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Tibetan Netizens Show Frustration Over China's Continuous Consumption of Endangered Species


"Even a mile and a quarter away, it will commence this turning round at every short stage of its approach, and after each turn it will stop for a while, to look at the man over its own back." This was what Japanese traveler Ekai Kawaguchi wrote about kyang, the Tibetan wild ass, in 1909.

This time, even at its death, the kyang seemly tries to turn its head back—perhaps for a last attempt to look at the man. But the man is not a mile away. He is right behind, standing in his spotless blue jeans, raising his head high, and his arms stained in fresh blood. His hands are hidden behind the animal’s back, but presumably either holding the pulsating penis, or pulling it out of the animal’s living body. The animal is standing on its front knees, its rear part fallen on the blood-soaked ground. The eyes gaze down on the ground, where until now it has run wildly, danced timelessly, and lived freely.

This is an image of a Kyang, Tibet’s endangered species that the Chinese government has listed as a class 1 protected animal, which has now become a victim of China’s salacious elite society. Tibetan netizens circulated the image and angrily protested the act last month. But environmentalists find the Tibetan wild ass is not only endangered species killed in China for their penises. Tiger penis, tiger bones, and rhino horns are still illegally traded and consumed with wine by Chinese elites.

“In recent years, we have seen that tiger bones, rhino horns, and some other ingredients that were traditionally used in medicine are shifting to being used as collectables, as investments, and as gifts to receive favoring in business or politics,” says Grace Ge Gabriel; Asia Regional Director of IFAW, speaking to VOA's Tibetan Service over the phone.

Chinese government says the use of tiger parts and products is restricted in China. However, when pressed by the Environmental Investigation Agency last month at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, Beijing representatives admitted that the country allows the trade of captive tiger skins.

There is no information available on the value of Tibetan wild ass penis in Chinese market, but according to some information, tiger penis soup (hu bian tang) is sold for as much as $400 per bowl.

Sources: Interview: Grace Ge Gabriel; Asia Regional Director of IFAW; Rinchen Tashi, China analyst at ICT; Dalai Lama’s speech at 2006 Kalachakra.

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