On The Edge – Global Tiger Day

July 29 is International Global Tiger Day, marked to bring awareness to a very critically endangered species.

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The Crisis

  • Over 97% of all wild Tigers have been lost
  • It is now estimated that there are less than 3000 left in the wild
  • There are more captive Tigers, like Tony the Truck Stop Tiger, in the USA than in the wild

Threats

  • Deforestation, climate change, loss of prey, contact and conflict with humans and hunting are but a few factors taking a toll on Tigers
  • The biggest threat to Tigers however is from poaching for their bones, skins and various body parts used in TCM

Wildlife crime is extremely organized, violent and it is booming”

  • “The illegal tiger trade is growing because of a claim in Far Eastern culture and Traditional Chinese Medicine that¬†tiger parts can cure human illnesses. This is scientifically unproven. Claims include that consuming a tiger eyeball will help cure epilepsy; or that tiger bone wine will help cure arthritis.”
  • “The demand for tiger skins and tiger bone wine is booming as wealthy businessmen buy these goods to prove their wealth. These products are also used as bribes for promotions within corporations.” – source TigerTime

“…China has created a demand that is unlikely to cease. Today there are tiger farms, where pelts and bones are collected. While tiger farms have many additional issues based on the inhuman conditions farm tigers are kept, these farms fuels the demand of tiger products, wild or not.” – source Earthtimes.org

In the News
Recently China admitted in public that “it permits trade in skins from captive tigers”. It was huge and the news rapidly spread around the world. Read the BBC News article here if you missed it.

While all this is very daunting, I will be the first to admit, it does not mean we give up. Here are some way you can help:

  • Sign the AVAAZ petition to Close all Tiger Farms in China
  • Go to TigerTime, find your country contact listed and email your CITES Rep asking them to support an end to Tiger Farming in China
  • On Facebook follow organizations like End Tiger Trade and Tiger Time
  • Educate by sharing the information on your social networks

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Tigers – Dying To Be The Main Course

There are some things that leave me asking why, with what we know today, is this stuff still happening. Tigers have long been the victims in the unrelenting and cruel pursuit of pseudo-medicine. Tiger farms (parks) in China have been allowed to flourish and the trade in Tiger parts continues despite the species being listed as Endangered.

Most recently 10 Tigers were killed to entertain rich Chinese business men. Wealthy individuals paid money to see Tigers killed, then to eat them, Tigers literally dying to be the main course. The details are gruesome and it ended with 15 arrested and one of the participants leaping to his death trying to evade capture by authorities. Entertainment, corruption, greed, death.

There are less than 3,000 Tigers left in the wild (maybe) and 5,000 + in China in captivity. Will those who profit from and consume Tiger parts ever stop or is this species doomed?

Decades of trafficking and habitat destruction have slashed the roaming big cat’s numbers from 100,000 a century ago to approximately 3,000, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species, where it is classed as endangered.”

Decades of trafficking and habitat destruction have slashed the roaming big cat’s numbers from 100,000 a century ago to approximately 3,000, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species, where it is classed as endangered.Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-03-tiger-chinese-rich-powerful.html#jCp

“Trade in tiger parts was banned nationwide in 1993, although bones are sometimes used in traditional Chinese medicine and as a tonic for men.”

“The last Indochinese tiger in China was killed and eaten by a poacher in 2007.”

“The South China Tiger, a separate species that once roamed in Hong Kong, was killed off in large numbers in the 1950s and is believed to be extinct in the wild. There have been no official sightings since the early 1970s”

How to help

Sign up with and organization like Tiger Time and add your voice to help ban the trade in Tiger parts.  Educate others, you would be surprised how many people are simply unaware, and when traveling be aware and never buy any products derived from Tigers. Contact the Chinese Government or your local embassy encouraging them to close Tiger farms and commit to enforcing a ban on Tiger parts for good.

Tiger, Tiger Trade, China, Tiger bones, Killed for entertainment, asian medicine, stop tiger farms in ChinaIn the meantime, all those people involved should have their “wealth” redirected to support Tiger conservation, mass education on this issue and anti-poaching units. May not be an equal trade for the Tigers lives, but it’s a start.