Friday, August 11, 2006

How to Kill the Tiger

Wednesday 2 August 2006 at 07:56

[From the Aug. 07, 2006 issue of TIME Asia magazine] One of the difficulties with killing tigers is that they scream. Snaring them is simple enough, says Nitin Desai, a conservationist at the Wildlife Protection Society of India—you set a few iron traps near a game-park watering hole, then wait for a tiger to take a wrong step. But when the trap's jagged metal teeth sink into its paw, the tiger howls—an alarm that can rouse a sleepy park ranger. So, a smart poacher will plunge a spear down the trapped animal's throat and tear out its vocal chords; then, at his leisure, he can poison or electrocute the cat—or, if the buyer doesn't mind a bullet hole in the pelt, simply shoot it. It may be far harder, in fact, to catch a poacher than a tiger.

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