Shock: Ultra Rare Tiger Dismembered at Zoo and Sold on Chinese Black Market

rare sumatran tiger killed photo

Photo Credit: Brimack via Flickr/CC BY

In a shocking case that has zoologists baffled, an ultra rare Sumatran tiger was killed and dismembered at a zoo in Indonesia. There are only 400 of the critically endangered tigers left in the wild--but that's not even the most appalling part of the story. Well, it might be, but this is pretty despicable, too: just over 5 years ago, the Zoological Society of London had used this particular tiger to help train Indonesian veterinarians and zoologists. And one of those very veterinarians may be responsible for killing it, skinning it, dismembering it, and putting it up for sale on the black market.

According to Bloomberg:

The female Sumatran tiger, which ZSL used in 2003 to train Indonesians in veterinary care, was drugged and skinned at a zoo in Sumatra ... The body parts were likely sold on the black market as there is "high demand for their use in Chinese medicine," the London zoo said.
And while police are currently investigating a veterinarian and 5 workers at the zoo where the tiger was killed, the entire tragic episode points to the fact that the illegal trade in "wildlife parts" should see tougher enforcement, according to the Zoological Society of London. From Bloomberg:
"It is shocking that this tiger, who has contributed to tiger conservation via her role in training young Indonesian wildlife biologists and vets, should fuel the trade in wildlife parts which threatens her kind with extinction," said Sarah Christie, tiger conservation manager for ZSL.
It's a blow to conservation efforts, and a public wake up call that these tigers are getting "sold into extinction." Let's hope enough awareness can spread to deter this grisly practice--in time to save these beautiful tigers.

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