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10 suspected poachers arrested for killing giant panda in China, where species is protected

  • Five panda cubs eat special milk porridge served in separate bowls during feeding time at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center in Chengdu in southwestern China's Sichuan province Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Police in southwestern China arrested 10 people for killing a female wild giant panda, buying and selling its parts, state media said Wednesday. The giant panda is an endangered species that tops China's list of protected animals. (Chinatopix via AP) CHINA OUT

    Five panda cubs eat special milk porridge served in separate bowls during feeding time at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center in Chengdu in southwestern China's Sichuan province Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Police in southwestern China arrested 10 people for killing a female wild giant panda, buying and selling its parts, state media said Wednesday. The giant panda is an endangered species that tops China's list of protected animals. (Chinatopix via AP) CHINA OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Female pandas eat bamboo at Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center in Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan province Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Police in southwestern China arrested 10 people for killing a female wild giant panda, buying and selling its parts, state media said Wednesday. The giant panda is an endangered species that tops China's list of protected animals. (Chinatopix via AP) CHINA OUT

    Female pandas eat bamboo at Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center in Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan province Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Police in southwestern China arrested 10 people for killing a female wild giant panda, buying and selling its parts, state media said Wednesday. The giant panda is an endangered species that tops China's list of protected animals. (Chinatopix via AP) CHINA OUT  (The Associated Press)

State media say police in southwestern China have arrested 10 people for killing a female giant panda, an endangered species that tops China's list of protected animals.

China Central Television said Wednesday that forest police in Yunnan province recovered panda skin, panda meat, bones and an internal organ from the poachers. If convicted, the suspects could be jailed for years.

A recent census shows the wild panda population grew by 268 to a total of 1,864 in China since the last survey ending in 2003.

Poaching is limited and is not believed to be a major threat to the panda population. Their parts are believed to fetch high prices on the black market however because of their rarity.