Des tigres massacrés pour un spectacle évoquant les jeux du cirque >> http://t.co/wjHB8P0n2v pic.twitter.com/rwChBdFUSL
— Nouvel Observateur (@LeNouvelObs) March 27, 2014
A video has emerged, of a prisoner in a cramped cage, undergoing electroshock, and then being butchered. This tiger in the clandestine photography, is far from unique.
It is as though the world has jumped back to the age when the Roman emperor lit Christians on fire to light up his parties for the rich and famous. Chinese officials and the rich attend private events, to watch tigers massacred, mutilated, and then to buy the bodily remains such as bones, making sure the tiger was alive before they saw the medicine beast killed for their pleasure.
It is part entertainment, part a way to show off status and monetary position. The tigers are abused and killed, and the rich whether for superstition or for a show of grandeur, attend, and then are sure to buy the animal fetishes as medicine, though China Daily says in simplified Han Chinese, that the inspection itself is akin to a procedural formality for smugglers, the fetishes were already assigned to buyers well in advance.
The butchery parties are set up at plantations, in the woods or even in houses, China Daily reports in Chinese.
The combination of entertainment and superstition, particularly were hard hitting for French journalists. The slaughter of the animals alone was hardly the end of it.
'At least a dozen tigers were killed in a southern city of China, at private parties bringing together local officials and wealthy businessmen, the Chinese press reported, at the end of March.
'The beasts were then skinned and their fur, meat and their bones sold at exorbitant prices, specifies the newspaper "Nanfang", controlled by the Communist Party of Guangdong Province
'According to the newspaper, the beasts were killed in front of a public official and community leaders, proud to display their wealth.
'"The tigers were probably anesthetized during transport. But buyers ensured they were alive before their being put to death," said an anonymous source quoted by the newspaper.
'Despite official bans, there is a persistent demand in China for tiger products (bones, claws, whiskers, penis ..) [...]
'This fuels the poaching of this feline that has always been associated with high status in Chinese history and mythology.'
(Le Nouvel Observateur | 'CHINE. Des tigres tués et dépecés en guise de divertissement' at 27-03-2014 16h05 by staff and AFP)
The Nangfan communist paper continues the story:
'One of the suspects jumped from a building to his death while trying to flee. The police retrieved a number of weapons used to capture the tigers, tiger goods to be sold on the black market, and the tiger’s carcass, Yangcheng Daily reports on Tuesday.
'According to Zhanjiang Police, the 15 suspects are mainly from Baisha County, Leizhou; while the 16th suspect, who jumped to his death was from Shentang County. In total, 10 tigers were killed.
'In recent years, tiger meat and tiger baijiu have become quite popular in Leizhou, and can fetch a hefty price. Although unconfirmed, it is suspected that the tigers were smuggled into China from Vietnam. Typically, smugglers find buyers for the meat or bones before they smuggle the tigers from Vietnam. Occasionally, they make the trip to Vietnam and then quickly flee after the sale is complete. Tigers are slaughtered in a variety of places to avoid being caught by the police: in the woods, banana fields, or houses.'
(The Nangfan | 'POLICE BUST TIGER SMUGGLING RING IN WESTERN GUANGDONG' at 03/20/2014 1:00 pm by staff)