Chinese woman arrested for poaching ‘had 400 frozen birds in her house’
- Police find her with case containing 40 birds, before searching her home
- She was poisoning protected species with pesticide, officers say
Police in eastern China have arrested a 50-year-old woman for illegal hunting after she was found allegedly poisoning birds that a local newspaper reported she intended to sell to restaurants.
The woman, from Gaogang district in the city of Taizhou, in Jiangsu province, had frozen 413 dead birds including 19 different species, all of which were protected animals under Chinese law, according to a statement by the local police published on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter.
The statement did not specify which species the birds were.
Local police were on patrol on Tuesday when they spotted the woman, surnamed Zhang, picking up dead birds in a forest, they said.
Officers found that she had at least 40 birds – that she claimed she had just picked up – in a case strapped to her motorcycle, the statement said.
The police then searched Zhang’s house, where they found the rest of the frozen birds, reported Modern Express, based in Jiangsu’s capital Nanjing.
She finally admitted she had been feeding the wild birds with grain laced with a pesticide that killed them immediately upon consumption, according to the report, which stated she was collecting them to sell to local restaurants.
Zhang told the police she had originally been using methods such as nets and electric cages to trap the birds but found those too inefficient, the Modern Express report stated.
China lists 707 bird species as protected, including some species of magpie and goose, while one type of common songbird, the yellow-breasted bunting – known as the rice bird in southern China – has gained popularity as a delicacy. It was listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature late last year.