Bear Bile, Tiger Parts Sold in Myanmar Markets

Myanmar's Booming Illegal Wildlife Trade
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A large male tiger skin is offered for sale in a private backroom in Mvng La, a casino town near the border between Myanmar (Burma) and China, in this photograph taken in summer 2005.

"I was offered a huge tiger skin and a corresponding box of tiger bones," said Karl Ammann, a photographer who documents illegal wildlife trade.

However, recent crackdowns by governments in Southeast Asia have forced some dealers to sell the skins more cautiously, according to Steven Galster, the Bangkok-based director of Wildlife Alliance, which campaigns against wildlife trade.

Other tiger parts, such as penises (not pictured), are still sold openly, Galster said.

Some experts say bush-meat and illegal wildlife trade may be worth U.S. $8 billion to $10 billion in Southeast Asia alone—a reasonable guess, he said.

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—Photograph by Karl Ammann
 
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