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Tourist fined $10,000 for killing whio

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/05/2016

Whio (Blue Duck, Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos) at Staglands in Akatarawa, New Zealand © By Karora - Own work, Public Domain Whio (Blue Duck, Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos) at Staglands in Akatarawa, New Zealand A Danish tourist has copped a $10,000 fine for shooting dead a protected bird on the West Coast.

Rasmus Nielson, 24, was handed the fine at the Christchurch District Court on Thursday after shooting a whio near Whataroa in March.

He pleaded guilty to charges of hunting and killing the bird and hunting in a conservation area without a permit.

The sentencing was an important reminder that hunters had to make sure they identified their target, Department of Conservation Westland operations manager Jo Macpherson said.

"As this case demonstrates, ignorance is no excuse."

There are about 3000 of the whio, also known as the blue duck, left.

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