Britain’s Guardian Newspaper reports: ” Police in the port city of Zhanjiang, in the southern province of Guangdong, China, seized a freshly slaughtered tiger and multiple tiger products in a raid this month,” said the Nanfang Daily, the mouthpiece of the provincial Communist Party. There is evidence of torture and electrocution death of 10 tigers as “visual feasts” for officials and wealthy Guangdong businessmen. A butcher was brought in to “dress the meat” and separate the bones to sell. According to the Guardian, ” … tiger bones s[ell] for an average of 14,000 yuan (£1,360) a kilo while the meat fetched 1,000 yuan a kilo.” Tiger bones are considered an essential part of traditional Chinese medicine. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List estimates there are only 3000 tigers (from an estimated population of 100,000 a century ago). The Chinese government made it a law to ban the killing of tigers in 1977.
The articles do not specify which of 9 subspecies of tiger were slaughtered. According to the website lions.org, the Panthera tigris amoyensis, also known as the South China tiger [would include Guangdong province] “is actually the most endangered tiger subspecies. They are even more endangered than the Sumatran tigers, which are already heavily watched by conservationists. The South China tiger has even made the list of the world’s 10 most endangered species.” If you can stomach reading the entire story, here is the link.
The Chinese are the major beneficiary of trafficking in rhino horn (considered a medicine and aphrodisiac) and elephant tusks that are made into complex carvings, jewelry and trinkets. Read the Green News Update stories on African elephant slaughter and new US policies; and a $24-million gift to slow the slaughter of rhinos in South Africa’s national parks.