fter releasing plague-like quantities of snakes into the wild in hopes of improving the fortunes of his business, a man is now under investigation for illegal wildlife trafficking.
The man, surnamed Yu, reportedly bought 40 kilograms of live snakes for 5,000 yuan ($744 – what a bargain!) from a market in (where else but) Guangdong province, along with an additional 11,000 yuan ($1,600) worth of fish and eels early last week. A few days later, he dumped out these animals alongside the Lancang River in Yunnan province.
The act is a Buddist ritual known as “fangsheng” (放生), literally “release life,” where one can gain merit by releasing captive animals back into nature. In Yu’s case, he was hoping that the move would help out his real estate business.
It remains to be seen how the incident will affect Yu’s enterprises, though it hasn’t exactly endeared him to the locals who voiced concern about the hundreds of (non-venomous) snakes being suddenly introduced into their environment. A team of 50 foresty and fishery officials were dispatched to attempt to recapture the snakes, they have only managed to catch 12 of them.