Chinese Businessman Jailed For Eating Three Tigers

A Chinese businessman is facing 13 years behind bars for reportedly eating endangered tigers.

The wealthy real estate developer, identified only as Xu, allegedly organized three trips to Leizhou in Guangdong province in the spring of 2013 to buy and pay for the slaughter of the tigers while his group of about 15 watched. At least one of the tigers was killed by electric shock. Each of tiger cost the businessman about $70,000. The tiger meat was then transported back to the man’s home in Guangxi. One of the tigers may have been a main course at a banquet.

The big businessman with a taste for big cats was originally found guilty in April. A Chinese court rejected his appeal this week, so the prison sentence stands. In addition to the jail sentence for illegally transporting endangered wild animal products, he was fined about $250,000. Xu’s associates received lesser prison terms and fines.

“During the trial it was said that Xu would grill tiger bones and paws, and stored their penises. Xu would also eat the meat and create alcohol out of the tiger’s blood, which he would drink,” the New York Daily News reported, citing a Chinese media outlet. Investigators found tiger meat in the defendant’s refrigerator, along with gecko and cobra meat.

Authorities apparently got wind of the scheme because one of the man’s associates recorded a tiger dismemberment on a cell phone camera, evidence which the police later seized.

XU allegedly provided his tiger-eating friends with a cover story. “If anyone asks, say it is beef, horse, or big cat meat.”

In addition to making wine out of tiger blood and eating the meat, the all-you-can-eat buffet also included consuming tiger penis, London’s Daily Mail claimed.

Although no scientific studies back this up, tiger body parts in that part of the world are believed to offer health benefits. “Tiger bones have long been an ingredient of traditional Chinese medicine, supposedly for a capacity to strengthen the human body, and while they have been removed from its official ingredient list the belief persists among some. It is a long-held belief across parts of Asia that penises of animals such as tigers and seals can boost men’s sexual performance,” The Straits Times explained.

The tiger population in China is said to be dwindling owing to poaching and the loss of animal habitats. In this case, authorities suggested that the tigers in question may have been imported from another country.

Trafficking of endangered species, including the trading of meat or other animal parts, is against the law in China.

[image credit: Lotse]

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