horrifying fate of tigers decapitated by poachers

The horrifying fate of tigers decapitated by poachers
By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 11:32 AM on 06th January 2009
Their heads hacked from their graceful bodies, these tragic pictures show the fate of tigers in the brutal hands of poachers.

The photographs, released by police this morning, show officers displaying the heads and carcasses of tigers seized from a truck in Hua Hin , Thailand – a popular tourist resort.

Police seized tiger carcasses weighing up to 250 kilograms from a truck passing through Hua Hin, in the Prachuap Kiri Khan province.

Tragic: The bodies and heads of the poached tigers are displayed

The tigers were believed to be smuggled from Malaysia and on their way to China, police said.

Two Thai men have been arrested in connection with the smuggling, police said.

A tiger can see for around £800 – but, broken into body parts, their value can soar to £26,500.

With profits so high, traffickers are usually armed and ready to do battle  – and China is one of the world's biggest markets for tigers.

Last month Malaysia, where the tigers were believed to have been captured, announced plans to step up its protection of the rare creatures.

Numbers of Malayan tigers have dropped in Malaysia from 3,000 to 500 in the past half-century mostly because of illegal hunting and the human encroachment.

Tiger meat is exported, served at exotic restaurants and used in traditional Chinese medicine.

It is illegal to kill tigers in Malaysia however – and the World Wildlife Fund was optimistic that the new 12-year plan to step up protection of the big cats, once voted the world's favourite animal, will help boost their population.

The new plan seeks to double the population from 500 to 1,000 by 2020 – but it still must be implemented at state level.

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For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457


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