Photo: Flickr, CC
Animal Cruelty in the Name of Superstition and MoneySometimes, 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.
Photo: Tigers in Crisis
Outrageous Treatment of Endangered Tigers
Also, some tigers were obviously not fed properly. We can't show you the picture that accompanies the Guardian article here, but you can see it by clicking this link. 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 (for example: Mass Grave Containing Rare Animals (Tigers, Lions, Leopards, etc) Discovered at Chinese Zoo).
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.
More on Tigers
Bangladesh Creates 300-Strong Special Task Force to Protect Endangered Bengal Tiger
India Says Wild Tiger Population Up by 15%, But Some Doubt the Accuracy of that Number
Fewer than 50 Wild Tigers Left in China, Says Wildlife Conservation Society
Mass Grave Containing Rare Animals (Tigers, Lions, Leopards, etc) Discovered at Chinese Zoo
Chinese Zoo Accused of Letting 11 Rare Siberian Tigers Starve to Death