• Wildife crime is a highly organised and violent business.
  • It fuels a massive illegal trade that has an estimated value of US$19 billion a year and involves organized criminal networks that are often involved in drugs and human trafficking.
  • Tigers are poached for their fur, bones and organs (which are sold as delicacies in restaurants) or used in traditional medicines and as status symbols.
  • The illegal tiger trade is growing because of a claim in Far Eastern culture and Traditional Chinese Medicine that tiger parts can cure human illnesses. This is scientifically unproven. Claims include that consuming a tiger eyeball will help cure epilepsy; or that tiger bone wine will help cure arthritis.
  • The demand for tiger skins and tiger bone wine is booming as wealthy businessmen buy these goods to prove their wealth. These products are also used as bribes for promotions within corporations.
  • Despite substantial conservation efforts poaching continues.
  • If poaching continues at the current rate some experts predict that tigers may be extinct in the wild within 20 years.
  • All international and domestic trade in wild tiger parts and products is illegal but the demand for tiger bone for traditional medicine and the burgeoning market for skins continues.