Condor killer gets six months in Ecuador prison

A 6-month-old Andean Condor female chick spreads her wings in an aviary at Berlin's Zoologischer Garten Zoo on November 19, 2013

An Ecuadoran judge sentenced a man to six months in prison for killing a condor, a protected and endangered species considered a national symbol, officials said Friday.

Manuel Damian, 60, was convicted of committing an environmental crime in killing the bird -- the largest flying species -- the Environment Ministry said in a statement.

Hunting, capturing, collecting, removing or selling protected species of flora or fauna is punishable by up to three years and at least one year in prison, according to the penal code.

But Damian, who was arrested in November, received a reduced sentence because of his age.

In April, the Environment Ministry filed charges after a photo circulated on social networking sites showed a young dead condor in a protected forest of the southern Andean province of Azuay.

The ministry had requested the maximum penalty, saying Damian had committed a "crime against the rights of nature."