Tigers' Bodies Are Plundered To Make £185 Wine !!

article-1252500-083577F1000005DC-706_634x418

Behind rusted bars, a skeletal male tiger lies panting on the filthy concrete floor of his cage, covered in sores and untreated wounds. His once-fearsome body is so emaciated it is little more than a pitiful pile of fur and bones.Death is surely a matter of days away and can only come as a welcome release. Wardens at the wildlife park in southwest China say, indifferently, that they do not expect him to see the start of the Year of the Tiger which began last Sunday.

‘What can we do?’ a female park official asks a small huddle of visitors with a sigh and a casual shrug. ‘He’s dying, of course, but we have to keep feeding him until he does. It’s against the law to kill tigers.’Instead, it seems, they die slowly of neglect. In row after row of foul, cramped cages, more tigers lie alone, crippled and dying. One is hunched up against the side of its cage with its neck grotesquely deformed. Another, blinded in one eye, lies motionless.

This shabby, rundown park in Guilin – one of China’s main tourist cities – is home to the world’s biggest single collection of tigers. Yet it is never included on foreigners’ tour itineraries.For here, 1,500 captive tigers – around half as many as there are thought to be remaining in the wild – live out miserable lives in squalid conditions.Each tiger costs around £6 a day to feed, and it is easy to see that the small clusters of visitors paying £7.50 each to wander around the cages and watch bizarre animal shows cannot possibly cover even the cost of food for the vast park.

article-1252500-08357236000005DC-839_634x449
More

Tigers' Bodies Are Plundered To Make £185 Wine !!

article-1252500-083577F1000005DC-706_634x418

Behind rusted bars, a skeletal male tiger lies panting on the filthy concrete floor of his cage, covered in sores and untreated wounds. His once-fearsome body is so emaciated it is little more than a pitiful pile of fur and bones.Death is surely a matter of days away and can only come as a welcome release. Wardens at the wildlife park in southwest China say, indifferently, that they do not expect him to see the start of the Year of the Tiger which began last Sunday.

‘What can we do?’ a female park official asks a small huddle of visitors with a sigh and a casual shrug. ‘He’s dying, of course, but we have to keep feeding him until he does. It’s against the law to kill tigers.’Instead, it seems, they die slowly of neglect. In row after row of foul, cramped cages, more tigers lie alone, crippled and dying. One is hunched up against the side of its cage with its neck grotesquely deformed. Another, blinded in one eye, lies motionless.

This shabby, rundown park in Guilin – one of China’s main tourist cities – is home to the world’s biggest single collection of tigers. Yet it is never included on foreigners’ tour itineraries.For here, 1,500 captive tigers – around half as many as there are thought to be remaining in the wild – live out miserable lives in squalid conditions.Each tiger costs around £6 a day to feed, and it is easy to see that the small clusters of visitors paying £7.50 each to wander around the cages and watch bizarre animal shows cannot possibly cover even the cost of food for the vast park.

article-1252500-08357236000005DC-839_634x449
More

Not Just China US Under Fire For Tiger Trade

capt.photo_1265822971791-2-0

Conservationists appealed Wednesday for an end to the commercial tiger trade, warning that demand in China, Southeast Asia — but also the United States — was threatening the big cats with extinction.Environmental campaigners see 2010 as crucial to spread their message as East Asian nations celebrate the Year of the Tiger and Russia prepares to hold a summit on tiger conservation in September in Vladivostok.

Only some 3,200 tigers remain in the wild, nearly half of them in India, down from 100,000 worldwide a century ago due to burgeoning human populations and a demand in China, Vietnam and Laos for tiger parts in folk medicine.But environmental campaigners said the problem was not just in Asia. They worried about the United States, where more than 5,000 tigers are believed to be in private hands as backyard pets or roadside zoo attractions.
More

Giant Cattle To Be Bred Back From Extinction

aurochs_1560693c

Aurochs were immortalised in prehistoric cave paintings and admired for their brute strength and “elephantine” size by Julius Caesar. But despite their having gone the way of the dodo and the woolly mammoth, there are plans to bring the giant animals back to life.The huge cattle with sweeping horns which once roamed the forests of Europe have not been seen for nearly 400 years. Now Italian scientists are hoping to use genetic expertise and selective breeding of modern-day wild cattle to recreate the fearsome beasts which weighed around 2,200lb and stood 6.5 feet at the shoulder.

Breeds of large cattle which most closely resemble Bos primigenius, such as Highland cattle and the white Maremma breed from Italy, are being bred with each other in a technique known as “back-breeding”.At the same time, scientists say they have for the first time created a map of the auroch’s genome, so that they know precisely what type of animal they are trying to replicate.”We were able to analyse auroch DNA from preserved bone material and create a rough map of its genome that should allow us to breed animals nearly identical to aurochs,” said team leader Donato Matassino, head of the Consortium for Experimental Biotechnology in Benevento, in the southern Campania region.
More

The Last Known Wild Tiger In China Killed And Eaten By Villagers

article-0-07AE775A000005DC-391_468x312

The last wild Indochinese tiger in China was killed and eaten by a man who was yesterday sentenced to 12years’jail.Kang Wannian, a villager from Mengla, Yunnan Province, came across the tiger in February while gathering freshwater clams in a nature reserve near China’s border with Laos.He claimed to have killed it in self-defence.The only known wild Indochinese tiger in China, photographed in 2007 at the same reserve, has not been seen since Kang’s meal, the Yunnan-based newspaper Life News reported earlier this month.

A local court sentenced Kang to 10 years for killing a rare animal plus two years for illegal possession of firearms.Prosecutors said Kang did not need a gun to gather clams.Four villagers who helped Kang dismember the tiger and ate its meat were also sentenced from three to four years for ‘covering up and concealing criminal gains’, the report said.

More

1,147 Fish Species Threatened With Extinction: IUCNFF

More than 1,000 freshwater fish species are threatened with extinction, reflecting the strain on global water resources, an updated global “Red List” of endangered species showed on Tuesday.The list by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the most respected inventory of biodiversity covering more than 47,000 of the world’s species.

Scientists looked at 3,120 freshwater fish this year, 510 more than a year ago. They found that 1,147, or a third, are now threatened with extinction.”Creatures living in freshwater have long been neglected,” said Jean-Christophe Vie, deputy head of species programme at the IUCN.

“This year we have again added a large number of them to the IUCN Red List and are confirming the high levels of threat to many freshwater animals and plants.”This reflects the state of our previous water resources. There is now an urgency to pursue our effort but more importantly, to start using this information to move towards a wise use of water resources.”
More

New Species Discovered In The Greater Mekong At Risk Of Extinction

new spe

Leopard gecko. A bird eating fanged frog, a gecko that looks like it’s from another planet and a bird which would rather walk than fly, are among the 163 new species discovered in the Greater Mekong region last year that are now at risk of extinction

A bird-eating fanged frog, a gecko that looks like it’s from another planet, and a bird which would rather walk than fly — these are among the 163 new species discovered in the Greater Mekong region last year that are now at risk of extinction, says a new report launched by WWF.

During 2008 alone, scientists identified these rare and unique species within the jungles and rivers of the Greater Mekong, including a bird eating fanged frog that lies in streams waiting for prey, one of only four new species of musk shrew to be described in recent times, and a leopard gecko whose “other world” appearance – orange eyes, spindly limbs and technicolour skin – inspired the report’s title Close Encounters.
More

Creatures Nearing Extinction

Typically, a species becomes extinct 10 million years after its first appearance. Up to 99.9% of all species that have ever existed have become extinct

pic 1hjuik

Amazonian manatee
These large, gentle mammals have forelimbs that have modified into flippers, and a paddle at the rear of their body. When Douglas and I set off to find them 20 years ago, we only saw a pair of nostrils disappearing underwater. But Stephen and I found a rescue centre, where an orphaned manatee was about to be released into the wild.We both found it deeply moving, because the rescuers showed such love and tenderness to the little manatee. Here, on our first few weeks together, I saw just how deeply out of his comfort zone Stephen was.

We slept on a tiny wooden boat with nowhere for Stephen to plug in his mobile phone or laptop. He was so optimistic that he always carried several phones in the hope of getting a signal in the middle of the Amazon.

The crew and I quickly realised that if we wanted Stephen to trek up a hill, we only had to say, ‘There’s probably a signal there,’ and he would hike up without complaining. He never found a signal, but he did lose more than four stone.

white rihno

Northern White rhino
Nine months after Stephen’s accident, we resumed our journey. We flew to the Democratic Republic of Congo to find the northern white rhino. We planned to go into the Garamba National Park to find it, but we were warned by UN forces that the park was swarming with rebel soldiers.
Under threat: The northern white rhino lives in the politically unstable Democratic Republic of Congo

Stephen’s high profile meant that we would be at risk of kidnap. It was such a tough decision – we had come on a mission, and it was so hard not to just travel across the river and face the danger.

Sadly, we decided not to risk it. Instead, we sat among a family of mountain gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest just over the border in Uganda. One baby gorilla even tripped over Stephen’s size 12 boots, and the mother gave him such a glare.

aye aye

Aye-aye
In Madagascar, this gremlin like creature is thought to bring bad luck. It is killed on sight, and we were stunned to learn that if an aye-aye wanders into a village, the entire village is burned to the ground and rebuilt again, to ‘rid’ it of any bad omens.

One night, after wandering around with our torches, Stephen and I found two aye-ayes high in the treetops. It was our first real success in seeing one of these endangered species in the wild, and we were both elated.
More

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.