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Men detained after suspiciously driving after Tibetan antelopes

(CNTV)    15:01, October 07, 2017

(Photo/Sina Weibo)

A total of seven drivers have been put in custody by forestry police in Tibet and been interrogated after they were reported driving two cars to chase after a herd of Tibetan antelopes on Friday during the country’s eight-day National Day cum Mid-Autumn Festival vacation.

Weibo user @Cacaliyizhi published a post with several photos on Friday afternoon of two white SUVs with registration numbers from Shanghai and Jiangsu Province. The photos showed the two SUVs driving at top speed after a group of Tibetan antelopes, which are state-level protective animals.

Seen in a video clip which was reportedly filmed by an anonymous witness, the group of antelopes are galloping when the two white cars drove beside them.

As the post circulated widely on Chinese social media, the forestry police in Tibet immediately carried out an investigation into the report and sought out the witness to track down the seven people who admitted that they had driven very close to the Tibetan antelopes for photography on Wednesday near Co Ngoin Lake in Nagqu county. They hid their cars after and removed the number plates.

A panel of caretakers had also been assigned to the area who confirmed that there was no death case reported yet and the seven did not crashed into the antelope herd.

Lhasa police made an official statement via its official account on Weibo late Friday, saying that further investigation is still under way and the result will be made public shortly.

The statement post has taken center stage on social media, with thousands of comments criticizing the brutal way of photographing antelopes.

“Don’t free them [from detention]. These drivers are uncultivated. [I] don’t know what motivated them to behave like that,” commented @Lilyluoluoluo.

“Someone is devoted to animal protection while some act barbarous,” @Liuhuuashiwodexing commented on Weibo.

“You have the right not to love animals but you cannot harm them,” @Shengmeilinhepuleixibisai posted.

According to the forestry authority of Tibet, around 125 species of state-level protective animals inhabit in Tibet while over 200,000 Tibetan antelopes take Chang Tang Nature Reserve in the county as their habitat. To better protect these animals, the local authority has established around 70 monitoring stations with 780 professionals working there. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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