(EXOTIC ANIMAL SMUGGLING) THAILAND — Four tigers were slaughtered recently for their skins, skulls, and bones for alleged interior decorating projects, and the parts were confiscated en route to China by Thai postal customs in Bangkok. These murders were committed by an unknown gang trafficking group, and they still remain unpunished. The inhumane practice of poaching wild tigers is aiding to their vastly decreasing numbers, and currently worldwide only 3,200 exist in their natural habitat. Action must be taken to preserve these majestic creatures in the wild and bring the killers to justice. Read more about this specific incident and learn how to take action to protect tigers from future and possibly permanent destruction. — Global Animal
Numerous tigers slaughtered for potential skin profit. Photo credit: care2.com

Channelnewsasia.com

BANGKOK: Thai customs officials said they had seized four boxes of smuggled tiger skins and bones worth tens of thousands of dollars, believed to be destined for interior decoration.

The tigers, whose parts were found earlier this week, were thought to have come from Indonesia and eventually be destined for China, according to Somchai Poolsawasdi, director general of Royal Thai Customs.

“There were four boxes, and each box contained one tiger skin, bones and a skull. Each one weighed around five kilograms (11 pounds),” he said.

He said the parcels, thought to be sent by a trafficking gang, were en route to Mae Sai in northern Thailand and came through Bangkok’s main post office, where officials received the tip-off.

“The way they processed these tigers, I think they were meant for furniture or decoration,” he added.

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Anti-trafficking group Freeland said the tiger parts were worth an estimated US$60,000, warning that the poaching and trafficking of tiger meat, bones and skin was a key cause of declining wild Asian tiger populations.

“The confiscation of these tiger skins and bones is commendable and has clearly hurt the criminals financially,” said Tim Redford of Freeland.

“However, with so few tigers left in the wild, stopping any more ending up like this is vital.”

Thailand is one of just 13 countries hosting fragile tiger populations and is a hub of international smuggling. Worldwide, numbers of tigers are estimated to have fallen to only 3,200 from approximately 100,000 a century ago.

– AFP/ck

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