A Chinese man was caught on video last week shooting a caged bear to death in Myanmar’s Wa Self-Administered Region.
After the video went viral, the man explained that the bear was scheduled for execution after attacking humans. He had asked local officials if he could shoot the bear because he was “curious.” He also said the government had supplied him with the AK-47 rifle he used to shoot the bear.
The video shows the man, a Shandong Province resident whose name has not been revealed, shouting at the bear: “I told you not to open your mouth. Do that again and I will make you surrender.”
He then shoots the bear once in the head, and the bear collapses to the ground.
Near the cage, the video shows several bear paws and a man skinning a bear, suggesting that the executed bear would have its parts sold.
The bear has been identified as an Asiatic black bear, also known as a moon bear, whose teeth, paws, and gall bladder are prized in China and Vietnam for their alleged medicinal properties.
The species is considered vulnerable to extinction.
The man released another video after the shooting in which he says online criticism of the shooting has brought trouble to his life.
“Video [of the shooting] was not allowed to be shared. I don’t know which tourist sent the video to the internet in China. I was condemned by web users. I would like to clarify the matter,” he says before explaining that the bear would have been killed by local authorities anyway.
He ends the statement saying: “Take this as a lesson. Protect animals. Start from ourselves.”
The statement was filmed outside a police station, where the man said he had already dealt with the matter. It is unclear whether charges will be filed against him.