By Anna Vallery
A Chinese man was just sentences to 13 years in prison after purchasing three tigers to eat and share with friends. The first tiger was purchased on March 13, 2013. According to Chinese courts, the man watched as the tiger was killed by electric shock. He then ordered 14 men to deliver the dismembered body of the tiger to his hotel room.
Then the man shared the meal of tiger meat with several friends.
Two more tigers were purchased, killed and delivered in a similar manner to the same man in April and May of 2013. Each tiger was purchased for roughly the equivalent of $70,000.
The man was arrested after police found footage of him witnessing the first tiger’s execution. When they entered this man’s home, they found not only bones and other remnants of the tigers, but other animal skeletons and meat, which were later confirmed to be those of a giant gecko and cobra, both endangered animals under government protection in China.
Chinese courts just rejected this man’s appeal, and ruled that he will spend the next 13 years in prison. The 14 men who helped in the transportation and delivery of the tiger are each facing five to six years in prison as well. Authorities believe that the tigers were smuggled into the country. With only around 3,000 tigers left in the wild, this man should probably do a lot more jail time.
Tiger parts are thought to have medicinal and mystical qualities in some Traditional Asian Medicine practices, making them a target for the illegal wildlife trade. Thankfully, several steps have been taken in the past year to slow the loss of these beautiful animals. Vietnam’s Prime Minister, for example, approved a new plan for tiger conservation earlier this year. China has also been striving to stop the illegal wildlife trade. In 2013, China signed on to criminalize poaching. The policy that put this man in jail was actually put in place earlier this year. This new policy increased penalties for killing and consuming endangered species and included criminal punishment for the abhorrent behavior.
We can only hope that this man’s punishment will deter others from similar behaviors. The loss of three individuals from the tiger population is truly devastating.