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Guardians honored for taming wildlife trafficking

By Wang Ru ( China Daily ) Updated: 2012-12-05 09:33:46

The Wildlife Conservation Society recently presented its annual awards to 15 individuals and organizations in China, who've made outstanding contributions to combat wildlife trafficking from the frontlines.

Guardians honored for taming wildlife traffickingThe event, which took place on Nov 24 in Beijing, marked the fourth consecutive year the US-based WCS has presented such awards.

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The Wildlife Guardian Action award is the first of its kind in the country and is supported by the central government. It enhances public awareness about endangered wildlife protection and crimes that threaten species, WCS China Program director Kang Aili says.

A Beijing Film Academy documentary screened at the awards ceremony told the winners' stories. It showed them stalking international borders, climbing the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau's snowy mountains and prowling the Inner Mongolian autonomous region's grasslands.

Li Tianyou, captain of the forestry police investigation team of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and the anti-smuggling bureau of Xiamen Customs in Fujian province's Xiamen city shared the top "outstanding guardians" honor of this year.

The winners will receive training and equipment to advance their work.

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Since August 2011, Li and his colleagues have cracked 213 trafficking cases, seizing 341 animals that are first-class nationally protected species and 5,227 from the second class. It also confiscated 2,226 illegal wildlife products.

Residents of Guangxi's capital Nanning were shocked by the brutality on show when Li exhibited the confiscated animal carcasses and products, including ivory, pangolins and bear paws, in a city square in March.

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