A total of 17 dead animals, including wild yak and Tibetan antelope, were recently seized in a poaching case in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, local authorities said Friday.
The carcasses of the animals -- eight wild yak, six Tibetan antelope, one lynx and two wolves, were found in the Altun Mountain nature reserve and a house in neighboring Qinghai Province around the end of November, said Ma Guoqing of the reserve.
Fifteen of the 17 dead animals are under the first-class state-level protection, Ma said.
Staff in the reserve believe a vehicle entered the park on November 26 via a frozen river to avoid checkpoints. The vehicle carrying six dead yak was captured on November 30.
The initial investigation concluded that the poachers chased and hit these animals in their SUV. Two poachers were arrested in Qinghai at the end of November and three others gave themselves up to the police in Xinjiang's Ruoqiang County on December 1.
The Altun Mountain nature reserve, adjacent to the Kekexili national nature reserve, was subject to rampant poaching in the 1990s, but the number of animals has kept growing in recent years with poaching greatly reduced.