Today Tiger-Bone wine is sold as a “tonic” or “traditional oriental medicine” on the black market across the world but mainly in Asia. People believe that Tiger-Bone wine strengthens your bones, warns off / helps relieve the pain from arthritis and believe the tigers strength is passed onto the person drinking the wine.
Tiger-Bone wine is made by placing a tiger carcasses in a vat of rice wine or alcohol along with some other ingredients such as ginger and sage and left to ferment for months even years.
Up until recently 10ml of Tiger-Bone wine twice a day was given to patients in hospitals across Asia to those suffering with arthritis and rheumatism. Today, if you were to prescribe the same amount to 125,000 people over 1 year you would have to kill all the tigers living in the wild today.
A bottle of Tiger-Bone Wine can be bought for as little €150 per bottle with manufacturers churning out over 200,000 bottles a year. Even though in 1993 China banned the sale of Tiger-Bone wine, it is still openly available but they have removed the it as an active ingredient on the packaging label and replaced it with “Lion bones”, unfortunately there is no way of telling if it is Lion or Tiger. Tigers are worth up to €250,000 dead and that is why there is over 300 Tiger Farms holding more than 6,000 starving tigers across Asia.
Asians have been using tiger bones in their medicines for thousands of years and its only recently that the demand has increased because of the reduction of tigers in the wild.
There are two different types of Tiger-Bone wine sold. “True” Tiger-bone wine consists of Tigers, Lions and Leopards which can sell for up to €4000 per kilogramme and “Common” Tiger-Bone wine which consists of deer, dogs, horses, bears, cows, sheep and pigs, this can sell for €400 per kilogramme. Tiger Bones are so valuable to poachers that they can earn a whole years salary from killing and selling just one Tiger.
Poachers have already made the Javan, Caspian and Bali tigers extinct. Unless we can offer another alternative medicine to the people or try and change the way they think, Tigers in the Wild will always be hunted for their bones. With millions of people drinking Tiger-Bone wine everyday and only and estimated 3,000 tigers left in the wild – we really need to protect every single tiger left in this world.