Aphrodisiac value, traditional medicine, exotic food and decorative items are among the “uses” of animal parts, which fuel the lucrative wildlife trade.
Besides its skin, bones and claws, the tiger’s penis is also highly prized for its supposed potency.
Although such claims have no medical basis, the organ of the big cat is still being sold to enhance male virility and ends up in very expensive soups.
Tigers, elephants and snakes such as pythons are also killed to making trophies and luxury goods such as shoes, belts and bags.
The bones of tigers, bile and gall bladder of bears, porcupine bezoars (foreign material that is swallowed and collects in the stomach) and scales of pangolin are among the parts still being used in traditional medicine.
The flesh of the pangolin is also eaten as a sex stimulant.
Geckos are also much sought after for their supposed aphrodisiac value. A lizard weighing 300gm now sells for about US$1,200 (RM3,715).
Traffic South-East Asia’s senior programme officer Kanitha Krishnasamy said tigers were also being hunted for their teeth, claws and whiskers – used for “magic or superstition” – while freshwater tortoises and turtles and deer were sold as food. More....