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6 months detention for black swan thief

A man who killed and ate a black swan illegally taken from a downtown park was yesterday sentenced to six months in detention for theft.

The theft occurred around 1:20am on April 20 in Xujiahui Park, according to Xuhui District People’s Court.

The defendant, surnamed Zhou, and a friend planned to steal fish from the park’s pond but guards were patrolling.

As they were leaving, Zhou noticed a swan on the lakeside and managed to grab it without alerting the guards. He crammed it into a bag.

The swan died en route to his rental residence. Zhou, a migrant worker, cooked the bird. As it didn’t taste good, he threw it out, the court said.

The park reported the missing swan to police some hours later. From monitoring videos, police soon tracked down Zhou and arrested him.

According to a Shanghai wildlife detection center, the black swan is not under protected status in China. So, Zhou escaped a more serious charge of illegally hunting valuable and endangered wildlife.

According to the pricing authority, the swan was worth 1,666 yuan (US$255), which exceeds a 1,000 yuan legal limit. So, he was convicted of theft. Besides the 6-month detention, he was also fined 1,000 yuan.


 

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