The illegal trade in exotic animals is second
only to the drug trade in the U.S. With tigers It takes two forms.
Trophy Parts - status symbols or good luck charms
A live adult tiger can be purchased for two hundred dollars in
America. Tiger skins can be found on Craigslist for between
$5,000 and $10,000.
The tigerís head, paws, skin, claws, teeth, eyes and other
parts as well as its meat are sold into the black market.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
The renewed interest in TCM
which uses tiger parts for their medicinal properties is
an alternative to Western medicine.
Asian medicine or folk remedies containing tiger parts are
believed to cure acne,
epilepsy, laziness, meningitis, rheumatic fever, arthritis,
headache, leprosy, paralysis, skin disease, back pain,
impotence, malaria, snake bite, and toothache.
The powdered humerus bone of a tiger sells for $1,450 a pound
and people believe it can cure ulcers and rheumatism. Full
retail value of a complete tiger bone set in the TCM market can be over $50,000.
There are 10 million people in this country who believe in the
medicinal value of tiger parts.
It is difficult for us to make the case in the
international community to stop selling tiger parts when the U.S. is
second only to China in this trade.