|Siberian tigers in China's Heilongjiang province|
A report was recently released providing details of the illegal trade in tiger body parts. According to illegal wildlife trade monitoring network, TRAFFIC, at least 1,069 tigers have been slaughtered in the last decade in nations where they roam. In turn, resulting for an average of more than hundred of the big cats killed each year. Of the eleven countries where tigers live, studies in the report showed that China, India, and Nepal have ranked highest in the number of seizures of tiger body parts. India, by far, had the highest with 276 seizures, representing between 469 and 533 animals. China, on the other hand, reported 40 seizures, the second largest between 116 and 124 tigers. Nepal came close to China with 39 seizures representing between 113 and 130 animals. According to Mike Baltzer, leader of World Wildlife Fund's Tigers Alive initiative, the reason behind this crisis is either the ineffectiveness of law enforcement efforts or the efforts themselves are an insufficient deterrent. He further stated that the seizures and arrests should be followed by a swift prosecution and proper sentencing. The studies in this report have shown staggering results in the current tiger population of the world. Even more appalling is that India, Nepal, and China have been recorded to have the highest numbers of seizures in tiger body parts. All three nations had earlier vowed to help each other in curbing down the illegal poaching and trading of wild tigers between them. But now, it seems they are not doing an effective job in curbing down such illicit activities.
As a person of Indian origin, I'm extremely disgusted at the whopping number of seizures made in the motherland. I feel that the law enforcement efforts are either futile, or they are an incapable determent. India really has to step up to the plate to protect its national animal, along with its northern neighbors, in order to put a stop to further fluctuation. I can only hope that a tiger summit held in St. Petersburg later this month (September was a mistake) will address this issue, followed by several tiger poaching cases in eleven tiger countries. And hopefully come up and establish new and improvised law and conservation efforts to halt the ongoing tiger poaching crisis before 2022 (the next year of the tiger).
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