Seven tourists have been fined for chasing Tibetan antelopes in a national reserve in Tibet. The regional forestry authority said on Monday that the tourists in two off-road vehicles left the designated travel route and chased a herd of Tibetan antelopes in Serling Co National Nature Reserve in Nagqu Prefecture last week, reports Xinhua news agency.
Forestry wardens seized their video footage, which recorded over one minute of the chasing. The tourists involved said they had wanted to get a closer look at the antelope.
Zhaxi Doje, an official with the Tibet Forestry Bureau, said frightened Tibetan antelope running on top speed can suffer heart and lung failure.
The tourists were fined 105,000 yuan ($16,000) in total for “disturbing rare wildlife’s living and breeding”.
The population of Tibetan antelope declined sharply from 200,000 to 20,000 due to illegal hunting in the 1980s. Thanks to the habitat protection in the past decade, the population has recovered but the species is still listed among China’s first class protected animals.