15 Mar

Panthera’s VP Andrea Heydlauff Interviewed by The Huffington Post on the Rampant Trade in Tiger Parts


The Huffington Post published a recent article on the trade of tiger bones in China, which are used in tonic wines thought to hold medicinal properties, and the damning impact of this trade on the Endangered tiger. Read the article and find out what Panthera's Vice President, Andrea Heydlauff, had to say about the tiger bone wine trade, the larger illegal wildlife market, the decline of Asia’s tiger populations over the last 100 years and what must be done by governments in Asia, conservation organizations like Panthera, and consumers around the world to halt this rampant and destructive trade.

Read an excerpt from the article below:

The Huffington Post spoke with Andrea Heydlauff, the vice president of big cat conservancy group Panthera, who echoed EIA's concern. "Just 100 years ago, there were over 100,000 tigers in Asia," she said. This drastic decline is alarming, and due in part to the poaching of these animals for use in medicinal products, according to Heydlauff. "Basically, every part of the tiger is sold and consumed," she continued. "For centuries, these enigmatic iconic species [have been nearly] eaten to extinction."

Believers in its medicinal properties claim that tiger-bone tonic wine remedies muscle pain, rheumatism, arthritis and paralysis. It's even said to stimulate blood flow and qi, a Chinese concept often translated as "life force." The irony is not lost on Heydlauff. "Here you are drinking something that is dead & causing a species to become extinct, believing that its restoring life in yourself."

"Everything has to be done by all governments to curb the poaching of tigers, and the trade and consumption of their parts," she stressed. "Everything from protecting tigers at the source in the wild, which is what Panthera is doing, to the consumer end, wherever that may be."

Read about the Tigers Forever program to learn how Panthera’s tiger scientists are working with national and local governments, international NGOs and local communities to prevent the poaching of tigers across Asia.