A Chinese businessman has been sentenced to 13 years in jail for buying and feasting on three tigers.
The wealthy real estate developer, identified only by his surname Xu, was sent to prison on Tuesday for his “his special hobby”.
Xu likes grilling tiger bones, boning tiger paws, storing tiger penis, eating tiger meat and drinking tiger blood alchol, said the official Xinhua news agency in June when he went on trial.
With his “huge amount of money” the wealthy business man organised three individual trips for a total of 15 people, including himself, to Leizhou in the southern province of Guangdong to purchase tigers, and watch them as they got killed and dismembered, reported the government-run news portal gxnews.com.cn on Tuesday.
One of them filmed the entire tiger slaughter with his mobile phone. The police later obtained the footage.
Eight pieces of animal meat and bones from a refrigerator in Xu’s home were seized by the police, some of which were identified as tiger parts, including a penis, the report said. Moreover 16 geckos and a cobra were also found.
Earlier this year, a court in Guangxi convicted the 15 of “illegally transporting precious and endangered wild animal products”. However, the conviction was not reported at the time.
Along with his prison sentence, Xu was given a fine of $250,000, said gxnews.com.cn, with the others jailed for terms between five and six and a half years, and given smaller fines.
They appealed and a higher court upheld the ruling on Monday, the report said.
Tiger bones have long been an ingredient of traditional medicine for a capacity to supposedly strengthen the human body. Although they have been removed from its official ingredient list, the belief persists among some.
There is no orthodox scientific evidence for such claims.
Tigers are listed as endangered, according to the International union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species. The tiger population has been slashed from 100,000 to approximately 3,000 a century ago because of decades of trafficking and habitat destruction.