Chinese tiger photo faker jailed after reprieve revoked

08:44, May 05, 2010      

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Authorities in northwest China's Shaanxi Province have jailed a farmer convicted of faking photographs of an endangered tiger species after revoking the reprieve of his sentence for a violation of probation.

Zhou Zhenglong had the three-year reprieve revoked because he failed to report on his own activities as required by the observing organ during the probation, according to a verdict handed down by the Intermediate People's Court of Ankang City.

The verdict cited the testimonies of two officials in Chengguan Township of Zhenping County, where Zhou claimed he had taken photos of a South China tiger and received a 20,000-yuan reward from the provincial forestry department in 2007.

Zhou was taken away by the police on April 30, said his wife, Luo Dacui.

In November 2008, Zhou was sentenced to two and a half year in prison with a three-year reprieve by the Intermediate People's Court of Ankang City after he confessed to faking the pictures.

However, police found he claimed his photos were genuine and continued tracing for the South China tiger on the mountain in Zhenping County during the probation.

"Zhou broke some rules during probation. We took Zhou into custody in accordance with law," said Zhong Qingsheng, a publicity official with the court.

The provincial forestry department announced Zhou's "discovery" to the public in October 2007.

Doubts mounted on the Internet after netizens found an old Lunar New Year poster showing a tiger that looked exactly the same as Zhou's photo.

In June 2008, the provincial government announced that Zhou's tiger photos were fabricated.



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