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Two fishermen arrested in death of endanged whale shark

China – Two men have been arrested after their killing of a whale shark went viral, creating widespread outrage.

State-run news agency, Xinhua, say police in southwest China arrested two fishermen who killed a whale shark. The pair are set to be charged with hunting an endangered species after allegedly killing the fish and selling its meat for 2.5 yuan or $0.4 per kilogram.

Provincial Communist Party authorities also said the local fisheries chief would be investigated for “serious violation of discipline,” following the incident.

The killing generated online outrage after photos of whale shark were uploaded, showing the large fish hanging from a crane.

Liao and Huang, the two fishermen accused of killing the whale shark, reportedly told police that the animal was dead and decomposing when they found it, however, others have linked the dead fish to another whale shark spotted in the same area.

Last week, oil rig workers in the area posted photos of a whale shark they said was an “old friend,” who often came to visit the rig at this time of year. When photos of the dead shark went viral two days later, the two were quickly connected.

One online comment referred to the whale shark death as a “tragedy of greed”.

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