An endangered species of bird grabbed headlines in Chinese media over the past week not because of its elegant beauty, but because 20 died of poisoning in northern China.
Poachers poisoned the wild birds within a wetland nature reserve in North China's Tianjin municipality. Their actions left 20 Oriental white storks dead and 13 others sickened, triggering public outcry for intensified protection of wild animals and harsher punishments for those behind the deaths of the storks.
The birds, no more than 3,000 of which remain in the wild worldwide, were stopping at the city's Beidagang Wetland Nature Reserve along their migratory route from Northeast China to central Poyang Lake.
Sources with the reserve management committee have confirmed that the birds, as well as other species, were found poisoned on November 11 after an amateur photographer spotted the dead body of a stork.
Volunteers and workers from the Tianjin Wild Animal Rescue and Training Center carried out rescue work, retrieving 13 poisoned birds and 20 corpses.
White storks are set free after rescue in Tianjin on Nov 21, 2012. Thirteen poisoned white cranes were saved by a wildlife protection institute in Tianjin before they were set free. Another 20 died from the poisoning. [Photo/Asianewsphoto\
Since being treated in the center, the 13 poisoned birds have made complete recoveries and are ready to be released on Wednesday morning, according to Dai Yuanming, director of the center.
Dai said the birds have been banded for further tracking and research. More....