A farmer from Hangzhou, China was arrested after police caught him hunting and killing more than 100 toads.
The 48-year-old farmer, surnamed Chen, intended to serve the toads at a dinner party. In his defense, the man said that he did not know that killing toads was an illegal act. It is unknown exactly which species of endangered toad he was hunting.
“I didn’t know that catching toads is an illegal act. I will never hunt toads or sparrows again,” Chen told police.
In total, Chen caught 114 toads and killed 109 of them. The police set free the five remaining toads when they came to arrest the man in Chun’an County in Hangzhou.
According to China Daily News, problems like this occur because many are unaware of the list of endangered species and animals that are under the protection of the government. The State Forestry Administration has around 1,700 listed species that are of value to the ecology, economy, and research. They recently added sparrows, frogs, toads, hares, wall lizards, snakes, and pheasants to the list.
“It is time for us to take more measures to spread knowledge about wildlife,” said director of Chun’an Forest Police Bureau, Lu Qiangjun.
The criminal law states that hunting for any animal on the list is illegal without permission. Catching more than 20 is already a criminal offense while 50 or more is considered a severe crime.