Tiger parts are as profitable as Apple products

Tiger steak washed down with the best tiger bone wine is definitely on the menu in restaurants throughout China. The raw meat might start its journey in tiger farms in China or perhaps in Bangkok, Thailand. Tigers are treated like livestock in many parts of Asia. Half a ton of tiger meat was recently unearthed in Bangkok with bones (for the wine) all destined I suspect for the major restaurants of Shanghai where clients believe it will improve their virility especially if they eat a $6,000 (USD) tiger penis. Man that really does make you feel superhuman....The bones of the tiger's forelimbs are prized too. It is all completely senseless.

Burma is a major trader and so are Malaysia and Vietnam. The business, built on corrupt officials, pathetic enforcement of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and mafia masterminds, is worth billions of bucks. And you know what? As the tiger becomes rarer and rarer as a result of this senseless slaughter, the tiger parts become more and more desirable and expensive and so the profit margins go up. It is self generating. Until it is all over.

In Asia it seems that everyone is abusing the tiger, which is fast becoming extinct in the wild. It is a shame that the tiger's range or distribution is in Asia. That is not a racist remark. It is a simple fact that countries like Burma and China are horribly corrupt and have a disregard for animal welfare.  The illegal trade in tiger parts would not exist but for the corruption of officials. In India the Bengal tiger is often poached from tiger reserves with the assistance of corrupt wardens (I allege this).

For example, some of the so called "private zoos" in Thailand are in fact tiger farms or wildlife farms. Documents are falsified and inspections evaded or officials collude in the illegal trade.

I haven't mentioned traditional Chinese medicine. Did I say "medicine"? I shouldn't because it isn't. It is, though, the single biggest contributor to the extirpation of the tiger on the planet.

What chance does the tiger have in the wild? Pretty much a zero chance of survival. It will all be over in about 20 years and we can then stop bemoaning the tiger's gradual extinction on the planet and move on. We will be left with generic tigers (hybrids or moggie tigers) in farm cages or zoos and that will be that.

A tiger's body is worth £215,000 in China (2008 and going up). Here are some more prices:


Tiger ProductPrice $ USD per KgPlaceDate
Bone130Nepal2002
Bone130-175Vietnam2002
Boneup to 300Russia2002
Bone140-370South Korea, Taiwan2009
Penis Soup320Taiwan2009
Humerus boneup to 3190Seoul2009
Eyes (2)170Taiwan2009
Src: tigersincrisis.com and Sunquists


China is a CITES contracting party.  See also Bengal tiger facts.

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