Horrors at Chinese Tiger Farm, Reports Undercover US Diplomat

A tiger tilting its head behind a cage.

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Animal Cruelty in the Name of Superstition and Money

A tiger sits on a hard surface in a cage.

Wawan Kurniawan / EyeEm / Getty Images

Sometimes, there's nothing like seeing for yourself. A U.S. diplomat posed as a Korean tourist and went to south China to visit a notorious 'tiger farm' where over 1,000 tigers are kept in cages. What he witnessed there confirms what the pessimists (and they are numerous these days) believe about China's tiger conservation efforts. The endangered animals were "whipped, made to perform 'marriage processions' and reportedly sold to be used in traditional medicines [...] the tiger farm offered tiger meat in its restaurant and tiger bone wine in a shop [...] most of the animals appear tame and some were used in circus-like entertainment shows, where they were beaten." Read on for more details.

Outrageous Treatment of Endangered Tigers

A tiger behind a cage being fed flesh with a tong.

simonlong / Getty Images

Also, some tigers were obviously not fed properly. We can't show you the picture that accompanies the Guardian article, but you can see it here. Warning: It's a sad one of a poor malnourished tiger, almost only a bag of bones...

Sadly, it isn't the first time that we get reports from China about tigers being mistreated and downright starved to death.

The trade in tiger parts is mostly fuelled by a combination of superstition and money:

In Taiwan, a bowl of tiger penis soup (to boost virility) goes for $320, and a pair of eyes (to fight epilepsy and malaria) for $170. Powdered tiger humerus bone (for treating ulcers rheumatism and typhoid) brings up to $1,450 lb. in Seoul.

You can learn more about tiger conservation and which countries are the worst offenders at Tigers in Crisis.

Via Guardian