Slaughtered tigers a source of ‘entertainment’ for wealthy businessmen

Siberian tigers play in a water pool to keep cool at Huangshan Mountain Tiger Park on June 14, 2012 in Huangshan, Anhui Province of China. AP Photo

WARNING: Story contains graphic details, discretion is advised

TORONTO –  More than 10 tigers have been killed and served as “visual feasts” to entertain rich businessman and officials of China’s Guangdong province, according to state media.

The Nanfang Daily, the official Communist Party newspaper of Guangdong, said local officials and business people gathered to watch the slaughter of tigers in order to “show off their social status.”

The details of the tiger killings were revealed after police arrested 15 butchers for allegedly illegally capturing and slaughtering a tiger in Zhanjiang, Guangdong last week.

During the raid,  one of the suspects “jumped from a building to his death while trying to flee.”

An anonymous source reportedly told the local state-run paper that every tiger slaughter became a gathering to “broaden participants’ horizons.”

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Last week, local police reportedly seized the body of a freshly killed tiger. Video evidence of a slaughter two years ago showed a tiger in an iron cage with “an electrified iron mass prodded into its mouth with a wooden stick and passing out after being electrocuted for more than 10 seconds.”

In 1993, China banned the trade and use of tiger products but experts say the slaughter and trading has continued.

“Tigers are subjected to slaughter as long as Chinese have faith in the medical value of tiger products, such as their bones or male genitalia, which are actually very controversial in terms of their efficacy,” said Xie Yan, an expert from the Institute of Zoology at Chinese Academy of Sciences in an interview with Global Times.

“Tigers are first class national protected animals in our country and it’s illegal to raise tigers without a certificate. But many will raise them for profit and do underground business.”

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