Thursday 1 April 2010

Siberian Tigers Starved

I guess you have heard about the Siberian tigers starved to death, all 11 (or is it 133) of them in a Chinese  Zoo (I have seen a picture of one of the starved but living tigers and it is horrendous). The zoo couldn't afford to feed them so they fed them all manner of rubbish that was highly innappropriate and eventually they starved to death at which point the zoo buried them to keep it all quiet until they were dug up.

That is not the whole picture though. This same zoo was allegedly, illegally, selling the ubiquitous tiger bone wine or is it "tonics" (a quite ridiculous product based on pure ignorance). Some zoo. The Siberian tiger is becoming extinct in the wild because of people's activities in destroying habitat and sport hunting etc. and this largest of all the tigers is being starved to death in captivity.

How bad does our behavior have to become before we take steps to change things? The whole thing disgusts me frankly. And I find it acutely depressing.

Here is some detail on the Siberian tigers starved to death:

The zoo is the Shenyang Forest Wildlife zoo. It is a semi-private operation, which means part is owned by the local or national government, which in turn means that they are equally to blame. But we already know that the Chinese government has no regard for tigers or indeed wildlife. There are thousands of captive tigers in "zoos" and horrible tiger farms (6,000 in fact1) in China and I allege that all are involved in the tiger body parts trade. That is why they exist! The tiger body parts trade is simply ridiculous and idiotic because there is no health benefits associated with consuming tiger body parts and there are alternatives that actually work. It is fraud built on fraud while the tiger is treated dispicably.

This is where this dispicable place is:-

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The problem is much wider and deeper. Of the 6,000 captive and farmed tigers it is said that 1,000 are starving2.

The "zoo" was created as a tourist attraction but I allege its true purpose was to supply the tiger parts business - utterly cynical behavior. But is there a silver lining? If I am correct it might mean that the tiger body part business supplying the Chinese medicine trade is on the wane, in decline. This is unlikely but possible as the tiger (Bengal or Siberian  - the others are as good as extinct) is on the very edge of extinction and that may have put more pressure on conservation albeit massively late in the day. Horribly late and in fact almost certainly too late in my opinion as tiger population sizes in the wild are unsustainable it would seem.

The assessment that the tiger body part business might be in decline is borne out by the fact (it seems to be a fact) that the zoo in question had to store tiger parts in freezers as they could not sell them. That cost money which would otherwise have been spent of tiger food. The freezers are thought to contain hundreds of tiger carcasses.

To add insult to injury the people (police and senior forestry officials)  charged with protecting wildlife including the tiger were allegedly involved in the open secret of the illegal tiger bone tonic wine. It is all horribly corrupt and a hopeless lost cause.

We must remind ourselves that there are no animal welfare or cruelty laws in China. Where there is little in the way of human rights how can there be animal rights? So not only are they starved to death they are maltreated by being declawed and detoothed2.

To round off this depressing post, it is alleged that tigers were being fed sweet buns instead of meat. Can you believe the scandal, the horror of this callous, careless, and cruel place labelled a bloody zoo?

2. Guardian newpaper
3. Sky News

From to Siberian Tigers Starved Home Page

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