Indian tigers in Chinese soup
Chennai: The growing popularity of tiger penis soup in China has become a disaster for Indian tigers. According to top conservationists and scientists in Wildlife Institute of India (WII), 71 per cent of tigers poached in recent years are male and poachers have now started zeroing in on tigers for their penis. Chinese believe that the soup can enhance male libido and its demand is only growing day by day in Chinese market.
“In fact, the situation is such that fake tiger penis products are often smuggled out from India to other parts and several fake samples have landed in WII laboratories”, S.P. Goyal, Emeritus scientist, Wildlife Institute of India. told Deccan Chronicle.
The international mafia continues to target Indian wildlife produce and the star tortoise is another victim of aphrodisiac market, explains wildlife biologist A Kumaraguru, member, Sathyamangalam Tiger Conservation Foundation, adding that more field patrolling is required in all the 48 tiger reserves of the country.
Illegal wildlife trade has been the major cause for declining tiger population. The international market is also now focusing on Indian Pangolins, opines Shekhar Kumar Niraj, Head- Traffic India. South East Asia, particularly China, is one of the major hub for illegal wildlife trade and the focus has now shifted to smaller animals, he said.
“Reports in the past had indicated that poaching and trade in pangolins is blatant, mainly owing to little awareness about this mammal among enforcement agencies as well as general public”. Shekar said.
It is evident that hundreds of pangolins from India are caught every year from the wild and are smuggled through porous international borders to other countries. Traffic is also set to launch a poster campaign “Scaly future for the Indian Pangolin” to stop poaching and illegal trade of the lesser known nocturnal mammal, he added.