Chinese real estate tycoon gets 13 years for eating tigers

Posted Dec 30, 2014 by Marcus Hondro
A wealthy real estate developer in China has found that money can buy him many things but it can't keep him out of jail. The man was sentenced this week to 13 years in prison for buying and eating three tigers.
Despite a long history of concern for wild tigers  both their range and total number have collapsed:...
Despite a long history of concern for wild tigers, both their range and total number have collapsed: fewer than 3,500 animals now live in the wild, occupying less than 7 percent of their historical range. Of these, approximately 1,000 are likely to be breeding females.
Tarique Sani
Hobby of eating tigers
In June when the man, identified only by his surname of Xu, was on trial the official news agency of China wrote of the offences. Xinhua news agency wrote Mr. Xu had "a special hobby of grilling tiger bones, boning tiger paws, storing tiger penis, eating tiger meat and drinking tiger blood alcohol."
There is an unproven belief in China that the tiger's penis makes a man virile and other parts of the tiger were once, and still are by some, considered valuable ingredients in medicines.
During the trial it was revealed that on at least three occasions last year, Mr. Xu took himself and some 15 other persons to China's southern province of Guangdong and he bought, had killed and ate tigers. News agencies in the country reported that he and his groups watched while the animals were "killed and dismembered."
Tiger killing filmed
A member of one group filmed the proceedings on his mobile, which police later obtained. All were charged but the 13 year sentence Mr. Xu received was the longest. The others received sentences ranging from 5 years to six-and-a-half years.
They were found guilty of illegally transporting precious and endangered wild animal products. Mr. Xu was also fined 1.55 million yuan, the equivalent of about $329,500 in U.S. dollars. The others were fined lesser amounts.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List has the tiger listed as an endangered species and the population of tigers in the wild is now thought to be no more than 3,500. Habitat destruction - 93 percent of the tiger's natural habitat has been taken from them - and poaching are the reasons for the terrible decline.
There were believed to be 100,000 tigers in the wild at the beginning of the 20th century.