BEIJING: A group of Chinese tourists has been fined 105,000 yuan (US$15,842) for chasing a herd of endangered Tibetan antelopes with four-wheel drives inside a national reserve in Tibet.
This happened during China's week-long national day holiday last week. The seven tourists chased the animals for more than a minute in order to take photos with them, said the Tibetan forestry authority on Sunday (Oct 8).
In a video taken by a bystander, two cars were seen speeding dangerously close to the animals.
An official with the Tibetan forestry authority said frightened Tibetan antelopes running at top speed can suffer from heart and lung failure, and possibly death due to pulmonary artery rupture.
Although wardens found that the animals were not harmed, Xinhua news agency reported that each tourist was slapped with a 15,000 yuan (US$2,262) fine for "disturbing rare wildlife's living and breeding."
However, some netizens felt that the punishment was too light, reported news channel CGTN.
One Weibo user said: "I think the punishment measures should include the suspects themselves being chased by cars at top speed."