When wildlife enthusiasts think of Africa’s majestic big cats, tigers are not typically at the forefront of their minds.
But the Asian felines are a hot commodity in South Africa, where the controversial predator breeding industry has been under scrutiny.
Tigers can be found throughout South Africa’s “predator parks”, where tourists can “pay to play” and be photographed with cute tiger and lion cubs.
And while there has been increasing focus on the lion bone trade emanating from South Africa’s game industry, its “legal” tiger trade seem to have gone largely unnoticed.
With questions being raised about South Africa’s rhino exports to China and its lion bone exports to Southeast Asia, it seems that the tiger trade may be another part of the disturbing trend of sourcing African wildlife for traditional Chinese medicine.
South Africa’s game industry sent tigers to Vietnam Updated 07/18/2012: At least two companies in South Africa exported tigers to Vietnam, according to publicly available documentation at http://www.environment.gov.za/sites/default/files/question767.pdf.
Given current trends in Vietnam’s illegal wildlife trade (and particularly that of rhino horn and tiger bone for consumption in traditional Chinese medicines), it seems indisputable that due diligence must be done before any consideration can be given to exporting animals to a country where they are so heavily targeted by black market demand.
Trophy hunting tigers in South Africa? Disturbing images posted on the website of Limpopo-based Gotsoma Safaris strongly suggest that trophy hunting of tigers is indeed happening in South Africa. More....