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BEIJING — Ten people were arrested in suspicion of killing and dismembering a wild panda and selling its meat, according to Chinese state television.
Police found the panda's skin, bones and 22 pounds of meat in a raid on a house in Yanjin, Yunnan province, in December, CCTV reported.
Two of the suspects are brothers who told police they were hunting for an animal that killed their goat.
On finding the creature in a tree, they shot at it and found the falling animal to be a giant panda. When the injured panda climbed another tree, they shot at it again, causing its death.
The account was confirmed to another Chinese journalist by the Yunnan Forestry Bureau.
DNA tests revealed the panda was an adult female, CCTV said.
The grisly case provoked strong reactions on social media.
“How can people be so heartless towards such adorable animals?” asked Sina Weibo user, Jiwuge.
However, Netease user Xiazi said: “Without the existence of buyers there would not be this killing.”
There are only about 1,800 wild pandas left in China, CCTV said.
Julia Zhou and Alastair Jamieson contributed to this report.