Hossain Sohel


Friday, March 04, 2011

Trafficking of Tiger Skeleton and Role of Forest Department

Different organs of tiger are sold at high prices outside Bangladesh, especially in China. As a result, hunters are on the rampage in the Sundarbans to kill this endangered animal. Hossain Sohel describes more on the reasons behind the killing of Royal Bengal Tigers……

Usually, poachers preserve the skin, eyes, teeth and even blood after killing a tiger. However, they initially bury the corpse for decomposition and exhume the exposed bones a month or two later.

Different organs of tiger are used for making varieties of medicines in different countries, especially in China. Particularly, its skeleton is very much costly. On an average, the skeleton of a mature tiger weighs roughly 40 kilograms, which costs about 4.5 to 5 million taka in the international market.

When a tiger is found dead or killed in the Sundarbans, Forest Department usually bury the body nearby the forest station. According to an estimate, 26 tigers were killed between 2001 and 2010 in the forest. Among them, four were buried near the enclosure of Kolagachhi Forest Station. An employee of the station admitted this.

However, in many cases, officials could not confirm the exact location of the buried tigers due to frequent transfer of Forest Department officials. Sometimes, they put blame on natural disasters to avoid the responsibility over the existence of any such skeleton of tigers.

Locals said irresponsibility and indifferent attitude of forest officials prompt poachers and traffickers to carry on this butchery that threatens the existence of the rare species of the world’s largest mangrove forest.