By Kalpit Parajuli
A report by Nepali police reveals that in Tinkar, on the western border with China, rare animals are smuggled for sale into the mainland. In June, police seized five hides, 50 kg in leopard bones, four boxes of tiger teeth and two boxes of elephant tusks.
Tigers, elephants, rhinos and other rare animals can be had at Tinkar, on the western border between Nepal and China, the largest hub for the illegal trade in protected species between the two countries.
Nepali police, which uncovered the trade after eight months of investigation, released a report on 4 June that it hopes will raise awareness in the international community about the problem.
"The police can arrest the perpetrators of this type of trade, but not the instigators, because they are protected by local political leaders," said Kunwar Kathayat, local police chief.
China's markets are the prime destination for this type of trade. The parts of rare species have great value as luxury items and for traditional medicine in the Asian juggernaut.
In early June, police intercepted and arrested four smugglers, carrying a cargo estimated to be worth US$ 50 million, including five hides and 50 kg of leopard bones, four boxes of tiger teeth, and two boxes containing elephant tusks.