Another rare leopard, one of the world's most endangered species, has been killed in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, local police said Friday.
It follows a similar case last week.
Two suspected poachers turned themselves in on Wednesday afternoon after remains of a killed male leopard was found by police, according to the Qiaoshan forest public security bureau under Huangling County.
The suspects said they bought the leopard in a county under Xianyang City and transported it to Huangling County, Yan'an City. However, they are suspected of killing the big cat, according to police.
Local police found out on Jan. 18 that somebody was willing to sell a male leopard. Police officers disguised themselves as buyers and met with the sellers at about 2 a.m. on Jan. 19.
The police caught a mini SUV and a dead male leopard at the scene, according to a policeman surnamed Deng.
As it was dark and the terrain was rough, the police gave up on arresting the suspects as they knew their identities, said Deng. The suspects then turned themselves in on Wednesday.
Police are still investigating the case.
Police are also hunting a man suspected of trapping and killing a female leopard.
Two men were caught transporting the dead female leopard out of a forest in the city of Yan'an on Jan. 17. The leopard is the first of its kind to be spotted in Shaanxi in decades, said Gao Jinlong, head of the city's wildlife protection administration.
"We've heard of rumors of a leopard here for many years, but never found any solid evidence. It's such a great shame that the rumors were finally verified with the bloody truth," said Gao.
The leopard was put on the list of animals under the top grade of national-level protection in 1983. Its wild population now is only a few hundred, according to Gao.