Warning: The images shown in this article might be disturbing to some viewers.
The whole purpose of animal shelters is to help and protect animals against exploitation. However, we still see some shocking deviations occur on the surface.
One state-affiliated wildlife shelter in China has recently been accused of secretly dissecting endangered tigers' bodies and selling them as products.
Animal Cruelty Allegations Against The Qinhuangdao Wildlife Rescue Center
The Qinhuangdao Wildlife Rescue Center is said to have kept more than 10,000 wild animals to be sold, butchered, and sometimes consumed. They have been doing this for the past two decades, just to make some extra profit.
The shelter has killed hundreds, if not thousands, of wild animals, only to make them into specimens.
The center's deputy director, Ren Jingde, allegedly had workers dissect dead Siberian tigers. These tigers belong to an endangered species, and there are only 500 more of them in the wild.
The employees shocked the tigers to death and skinned them. They brewed a traditional Chinese drink known as 'tiger bone wine.'
According to traditional belief, the drink ramps up sexual performance. Through its production and selling have been banned in China since 1993, it was publicly sold at the shelter for up to $763 per bottle.
Not only that, but they were also accused of selling the furs of endangered animals for $104,971 apiece.
A whistleblower revealed information about the shelter's operations to the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF). And when they received the account, they decided to expose the shelter on Weibo.
They wrote: "Report from the masses, raising and selling wild animals at the Qinhuangdao Wildlife Rescue Center. Recently, our association's political research office received a report from the masses. China's wildlife protection association, the Qinhuangdao Wildlife Rescue Center, conducts breeding and trafficking of the nation's first and second class wild animals and the illegal production of rare and endangered wild animal specimens."
The center directors have been accused of serving tiger meat dishes as a delicacy to Chinese officials in return for their silence.
According to reports, one staff member from the shelter denied the claims.
This is Not the First Time the Shelter Has Been Accused of Unethical Activities
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) reported on this issue on their website. They highlighted many similar selling tiger skin rugs and tiger bone wine by the center's employees.
"If indeed the images are from Qinhuangdao Wildlife Rescue Centre, it would come as no surprise to EIA. This facility, which EIA exposed in 2012 for its role in making tiger skin rugs, is adjacent to the Qinhuangdao Wild Animal Park, which EIA also exposed in 2007 for selling tiger bone wine," they wrote.
"They were not operating at the time as criminal enterprises. However, they were operating with the full complicity of the government with permits to profit from the tiger trade."
Apparently, the EIA had been shown evidence in their past investigations which proves these allegations to be true.
"This government-supported commercial trade was highlighted in the Qinhuangdao Wildlife Rescue Centre promotional brochure, which states that 'the use of taxidermy items as luxury home decor is an increasingly fashionable way to demonstrate higher status.' Staff at the center also said concerning tiger skins, that 'once we get the skins, even before making them, they will all already be reserved. Anyone can buy. There are so many wealthy guys, some can sell it again.'"
We hope that enough awareness is raised on this issue and that the appropriate authorities take the right action. Animal cruelty like this cannot be tolerated, and we all need to take a stand against it.