A determined group of animal lovers in eastern China helped to save the lives of thousands of wild creatures last week after trailing a suspected smugglers’ truck for more than two days across the country, according to a local media report.
Police officers intercepted the vehicle as it was travelling on a motorway near the city of Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi province, Thepaper.cn reported.
When they pulled back its tarpaulin sides, they found scores of cages and boxes containing more than 10,000 animals, from wild boars and civets, to deer, herons and porcupines. Several of the animals are protected species in China.
The truck had started out in Shucheng county, Anhui province, and was en route to southern Guangdong province, the report said, adding that the animals, including hundreds of snakes, were destined to be sold for food.
The report did not say if any of the animals had perished during their ordeal, but said all those that survived were handed over to the Wildlife Protection and Research Institute at the Jiangxi Academy of Forestry.
The rescue was made possible after wildlife protection volunteers noticed suspicious animal trades taking place in Shucheng on Wednesday and reported the matter to the police.
They then followed the smugglers’ truck as it travelled south, and straight into the arms of the law, the report said.
Both the driver and owner of the vehicle wre detained pending a full police investigation, it said.