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How to Help

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Species protection coordinated by the Wildlife Conservation Society and ©Care2.com

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM):

If you practice TCM, please let your doctor or herbalist know how strongly you feel about not using any medicines derived from endangered species. Check to see if the store where you buy your medicines and herbs sell any tiger parts or any pills labeled as being made from tiger bones.

The 1998 Rhinoceros and Tiger Product Labelling Act prohibits "the sale, importation and exportation of products intended for human consumption or application containing or labelled or advertised as containing, any substance derived from any species of rhinoceros or tiger".

Do not patronize stores that sell these products, and if you feel comfortable doing so, you may want to inform the proprietors of such stores that selling tiger products is illegal and will cost them your business.

f you have friends or family who practice TCM, please let them know, as respectfully and politely as possible, how critically endangered tigers are and that there are alternatives within TCM to tiger based medicines. Do not criticize TCM or get into a debate with them about its scientific validity, this will only make them discount whatever else you have to say-this is especially important if you are of Western descent.

If you are in communication with people in China you may want to inform them of the almost hopelessly precarious state of the indigenous South China subspecies and the terrible state of the tiger in general. The tiger is such an important and ubiquitous cultural symbol that many in Asia simply take it for granted that the forests and jungles of China are still stalked by the great "King of Beasts." The realization that tigers may soon exist only in pictures and legends often comes as a sobering shock, and may help awaken more people to the need to take action.

Cultural factors can be powerful forces in conservation, sometimes more powerful than economic or political concerns.

Maurice Hornocker
From: Tigers in the Snow by Peter Matthiessen. Introduction and Photographs by Maurice Hornocker. North Point Press: New York. 2000.

ACAP's international ambassador, Jackie ChanRough Translation: When the buying stops, the killing can too.The Asian Conservation Awareness Program (ACAP) is a multi media, international campaign of US based WildAid, in partnership with local wildlife groups, to reduce consumer demand for endangered species products. ACAP works with all sections of society to produce innovative educational campaigns to raise awareness of the threats to wildlife due to consumer demand. The campaign is summarized by the slogan, "When the buying stops, the killing can too." ACAP's international ambassador is Jackie Chan:

One of the most serious problems for some wild animals and plants, is the international illegal trade in their body parts. Rhino horn, elephant ivory, tiger bone, turtle shell and bear gall bladder are all examples of wild animal products used for traditional cures, exotic foods and luxury goods . . .

Nowhere is this demand greater than in Asia, and among Asian communities worldwide where traditional consumption of wildlife products has increased with economic development. In Asia we have already lost many populations of these animals forever. And so, we in Asia have a special duty to help protect our natural heritage.

In the past consumers of these products were often unaware of the part they play in the destruction of wild populations, but it is the buyers who indirectly pay the poachers and smugglers to kill the animals, and it is only through the consumer that we can stop the slaughter.

You too can help me to help the animals. Spread the word of what is happening. You may have an elderly relative or may know someone that might use an endangered species product as a cure or who might buy endangered wildlife souvenirs while on holiday. They might want to buy an ivory hanko or name stamp.

Ask them to think first. Do they really want to be responsible for the cruel killing of an individual animal and to contribute to the extinction of the species? Don't they know that there are herbal alternatives to endangered animals in traditional Chinese medicine? And do they really need that endangered species product? There is no excuse.

Please help me to protect wildlife . . . 

When the buying stops, the killing can too.

For the full text of Jackie Chan's message, please click here.

Forever Tigers Store

Forever Tigers has donated $500 worth of clothing to the forest guards at Corbett National Park in India.

Forest Guards at India's Corbett National Park wearing Forever Tiger Caps.

Forest Guards at India's Corbett National Park wearing Forever Tiger Caps. These are the men who protect the wild tigers, elephants and other wildlife at Corbett from poachers.

Mahout Ram Charan helping a child onto his elephant Sudarshani -  © Gideon Egger 2004. Taken February 2004
 © Gideon Egger 2004. Taken at Bandhavgarh, February 2004

For each item purchased from the Forever Tigers Store, we receive a $1 tax-deductible contribution, which will be used to offset the costs of this and other programs.

Volunteering Your Time for the Tiger

Saving Wild Tigers is run by the Sierra Club Tiger Volunteers, who are always looking for dedicated volunteers who want to make a difference for the tiger.

Please realize that the living conditions in rural areas near the tiger are very difficult and it takes a long time to adapt to the local culture before being any help to the tiger. However, if you think that you have the dedication to make a long term commitment and/or have special technical skills or background to help the tiger on-site, please contact them with a detailed résumé and they will do their best to hook you up with an appropriate conservation program in South Asia.

Generally, it is far more effective to take up the tiger's cause while living in your own cultural element. For example, if you live in a developed country, the optimum way to volunteer your time is probably to raise resources for conservation activities. No effort is too small in this regard since the dollar (or yen, Euro, Sterling ....) has a tremendous purchasing power in the tiger's habitat. Even if you don't succeed in raising big bucks, your efforts will pay off in terms of raising awareness.

For more information, please see the Sierra Club Tiger Volunteers web site.

Contact Us:

Please notify us at info@forevertigers.com of sites that sell or promote the use of "Hu Gu" (tiger bone) or any other tiger parts. Also, please let us know about incidents that should be recorded in our Hall of Shame.

Hall of Shame

As of April 2004, we have found the following sites, which sell or promote the use of tiger parts:

10 oz of tiger meat
1 oz of 1000 year old gingseng
2 slices of ginger
5 tiger claws
1 tiger penis (optional, depending on availability)
2 teaspoon of the finest chinese wine
100g of tiger bone grind to powder

The same recipe also was on Chef2Chef Home Page but it has been removed due to protest.

Further atrocities:

  • Deutsche Presse-Agentur, August 15, 2002, Malaysian Islamic party orders shooting of tigers on sight, Kuala Lumpur

    Malaysia's hardline Islamic party has issued an order to shoot tigers on sight, saying that the endangered species was "better off dead" . . . . The move to kill all wild tigers would involve a two-month mission in the jungles of the northeastern state of Kelantan, which is ruled by the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS). "Malaysia already has far too many tigers," Nik Aziz Nik Mat, the state's chief minister, was quoted as saying by the Star daily. "The point is, tigers must not be in (Kelantan) anymore. They are better off dead. I agree that they should be shot for there is no use in keeping them alive," he said. He said the decision was made to protect humans whose farming and agriculture activities were increasingly encroaching into the animals' jungle habitat, adding that the welfare of tigers "cannot be above that of humans". Nik Aziz, who is also PAS' spiritual leader, cited the high maintenance cost for the tigers as another reason for approving the move. "The country's money could be put to better use like providing education and other social amenities," he said. However, PAS' announcement came under fire from international wildlife group, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), who claimed that the move was "ridiculous and simply unacceptable". "This is a green light for assassination of the species, and it reflects total ignorance of just how few tigers are left not only in Malaysia but in the world," said WWF spokesman Teoh Teik Hoong.
  • In 1998, Fuji (Japan) TV broadcast a gourmet show in which TV personalities feasted on an endangered Bengal tiger. On the show, three TV personalities dined on Bengal tiger with green peppers, served Cantonese style at a restaurant in Shanghai, China. Two of the three said the tiger was "delicious." The lone criticism during the show came from Midori Utsumi who said tiger meat was "stringy." After the meal was finished, a live Bengal tiger was brought into the restaurant and paraded around the table to the delight of the three TV talents. They took turns petting the tiger and made comments to the effect that they hoped the beast was not angry about their dining on one of its brethren. SOURCE: Seattle Times July 13, 1998.
  • News Flash from Indianjungles.com:

23 Tiger Skins Seized in China

Reuters reported on Nov 27 that Chinese police had arrested three men smuggling the pelts of tigers, leopards and sea otters over the border from Myanmar into southeast China's Yunnan province, state television said.

China Central Television (CCTV) showed the men, two Chinese nationals and one from Myanmar, standing handcuffed next to the hides of rare Bangladeshi tigers discovered on their truck.

The men pretended their cargo was jellyfish, CCTV said. Forest police in Baoshan city, 350 km (200 miles) from the provincial capital of Kunming, caught a Chinese driver but allowed him to proceed to neighbouring Xiaguan city in order to catch the buyers meeting the truck, according to CCTV.

It said police found the hides of 23 tigers, 33 leopards and 134 sea otters, which fetch high prices at illegal markets in Chinese cities.

Report poaching and illegal traffic in tiger parts:

If you have any knowledge of poaching, trading in tiger parts, or selling of tiger parts, you can contact the local authorities or contact TRAFFIC, the international wildlife trade monitoring partnership between the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN).

Write a letter:

Read about the Shambala Wild Animal Protection Act (will open new window), and if you support it, write your legislator

Write an op-ed for your local newspaper

Possible Points to make in an Op-ed

  1. Only 5,000-7,000 wild tigers remain in the world, scattered throughout parts of Asia from Siberia to India. Approximately 3,000 tigers are in India.
  2. In 1900 there were 8 subspecies of tigers in the world--now there are only five. But soon there may be only four, because the South China subspecies is on the very brink of extinction.
  3. Tigers are disappearing for several reasons: destruction of habitat; poaching; disappearance of the animals tigers prey on.
  4. Tigers are important for many reasons: they are at the top of the food chain of large ecosystems, and thus if they disappear, that means that the whole ecosystem, with all its plants, animals, and even the people who are dependent on them, are threatened also; for thousands of years, tigers have been a vibrant part of human cultural, religious and social history; etc.
  5. What can readers of your op-ed do to help tigers? Many things!
    • Request that Congress put pressure on U.S. corporations and lending institutions such as the World Bank to cease investing in projects throughout Asia that destroy tiger habitats
    • Learn more about efforts to conserve tigers in the wild and take action to assist those efforts by:
      • Joining letter-writing campaigns
      • Circulating petitions
      • Donating time and money to tiger conservation organizations
      • Promoting educational efforts in local Chinese communities regarding the use of tiger body parts in traditional medicine products as a way to help shut down poaching
      • Visiting and learning about tigers at the local zoo

SOURCE: 5 Tigers: The Tiger Information Center

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