Photo credit: Keith Roper via Flickr/CC BY
One of the main reasons that there are only estimated to be some 3,500 tigers left in the wild worldwide is the still-burgeoning black market trade for their skins and parts. Those tiger parts are still in high demand, both as luxury items and for use in "traditional" medicines. Efforts to clamp down on this trade have met with mixed success at best, and in much of China and Southeast Asia, it continues on as strong as ever. The result? Places like the one revealed in the video above -- where, for a price, patrons can buy those parts right off a table.
In this video, which contains clips from Current TV's Vanguard series, the host ventures into one of the more brazen outposts in the tiger trade -- and even gets offered fresh endangered tiger meat. Warning: there is some graphic footage of dead tigers.
Below, from the same series, is a look at what some conservationists view as a partial solution to halting the illicit tiger trade -- though it's far from a pretty one. Some argue that the establishment of 'tiger farms' would help sate the demand for tigers without devastating wild populations. Others argue it will merely cause said demand to balloon, and that in practice, it's supremely cruel.
Here's a look:
Join me in the good green fight. Follow me on Twitter, and check out The Utopianist.
More on Tigers
Wild Tiger Population Dropped by 96.8% in 20 Years
Myanmar Creates World's Largest Tiger Sanctuary