6-month detention for stealing and eating a black swan

The swan was stolen from a park and cooked. The thief  said he didn't like its taste and threw out the remains.
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A man who killed and ate a black swan illegally taken from a downtown park was on Thursday 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 his friend planned to steal some fish from the park’s pond but that plan failed as guards were patrolling.

As they planned to leave, 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.

Back home, Zhou, a migrant worker, cooked the bird. As it didn’t taste good, he threw it out, 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 the Shanghai Detecting Center of Wildlife, 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 the legal limit of 1,000 yuan. So, he was convicted of theft. Besides the 6-month detention, he was also fined 1,000 yuan.


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