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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Lizard fans 'traded rare reptile'

By Zhao Wen (Shanghai Daily)

14:36, December 04, 2011

Reptile enthusiasts accused of trading in endangered Chinese crocodile lizards on the Internet went on trial yesterday at the Huangpu District People's Court.

Huang Wentao and Huang Jie, were charged with illegally selling endangered wildlife while three other men were accused of illegally purchasing an endangered species.

Prosecutors said Huang Wentao, 26, from Guangdong Province, posted a notice at an online chat room for reptile fans in June, offering the protected semi-aquatic lizards for sale.

He then sold three lizards to Huang Jie, a 23-year-old Shanghai resident, for 1,500 yuan (US$236), delivering the animals from Guangdong to Shanghai on June 28, it is claimed.

According to prosecutors, Huang Jie sold two lizards to friends Yang Lei and Shen Zhenyu, who owned a reptile pet shop on Xitangjia Lane in Huangpu District. The third lizard was sold to fellow reptile enthusiast Sun Yu, the court heard.

In court, the five accused, all in their 20s, claimed they didn't know the crocodile lizard is listed as a first-class nationally protected species in China.

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