Case was basis for hit 'Mountain Patrol'

BEIJING — In a footnote to one of the most popular Chinese pics of recent years, “Mountain Patrol,” Chinese police have arrested a suspect in the 17-year-old murder of a ranger that was the basis for the film about Tibetan antelope poaching.

“Mountain Patrol” was the breakthrough success for Chinese helmer Lu Chuan in 2003. Since then Lu has gone on to make the critically acclaimed “City of Life and Death.”

The movie drew attention to the plight of the Tibetan antelope, which became endangered after being hunted for its wool that is used to make luxury shahtoosh shawls.

The suspect, surnamed Mu, was arrested in the city of Golmud in Qinghai province on Sunday night, after six others surrendered to police for the 1994 murder of Sonam Dargye, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Sonam Dargye was shot during an exchange of fire when he confronted a group of 18 poachers during a patrol on the remote northwestern grassland plateau, while he was trying to protect the near-extinct Tibetan animals. Police are still searching for the last four members of the group.

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