|Former Beijing Zoo chief prosecuted for corruption
Xiao Shaoxiang, former vice curator of the Beijing Zoo, has been prosecuted by the city's procuratorate for corruption.
According to a statement issued by the Second Branch of the Beijing People's Procuratorate on Wednesday, Xiao "is suspected of graft, taking bribes and owning a huge amount of property of unidentified provenance." The case has been accepted by the Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court, Xinhua news agency reports.
The prosecutor said that Xiao, working as head of Taoranting Park and vice curator of the Beijing Zoo between 2005 and 2012, was involved in seven counts of graft, involving a total of over 14 million yuan.
For instance, Xiao is believed to have pocketed 10.05 million yuan in funds from renovation projects for animal enclosures, and to have asked for a payment of 220,000 yuan from a demolition company when an electric substation was removed.
The prosecutor also suspects that Xiao accepted 100,000 yuan in commission charges to help an enterprise win a bid. He allegedly failed to identify the provenance of another eight million yuan of his fortune.
The case has drawn much public attention. On Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, netizens have even accused Xiao of skimping on feed for the animals because "some animals in the zoo appeared very thin."
Xinhua's attempts to contact the zoo have gone unanswered.