20,000 Russian Reindeer Were Killed For The Sake Of Exotic Cuisine

Hunting inspectors believe 20,000 reindeer were shot at 800 locations over a 1,500 kilometer route.

Russian Reindee

China’s growing market for exotic animal organs is quickly and efficiently decimating the world’s population of endangered wildlife.

Case in example: Just last week, 20,000 reindeer were brutally slaughtered in Russia and had their tongues cut out.

Distressing images of the massacre by poachers in the Evenkiysky district of Krasnoyarsk region show miles of rotting carcass of the mammals. Hunting inspectors believe 20,000 reindeer were shot at 800 locations over a 1,500-kilometer route. One killing field was 6 hectares in size.

Some 300 reindeer, which had been shot and wounded, struggled into the forest where they later died.

These particular reindeer were shot dead but a previous report by Taimyr Nature Reserve stated another tactic of poachers is to drown the reindeer in the cold river. They chase the animals for up to 10 kilometers to the rivers and numerous pregnant females often suffer miscarriages during the pursuit.


Now, the unburied cadavers of the animals may pose risk of dangerous diseases.

Pavel Kochkarev, director of the Central Siberian Reserve, said: “I have the impression that wild reindeer are shot dead for one particular thing. Poachers want reindeer tongues. They shoot, cut off the tongue, leave the rest. If they want, they shoot, chop off the legs, and drop the rest.”

It’s not just the tongues — which sell for a high price in foreign black market in Asian countries, including China, for cuisine — that the poachers are after, but also the antlers, which have been used for hundreds of years and are prized for health, longevity, potency and medicinal properties.

All of these countries have laws against this type of illegal animal goods but they are barely enforced. Mass slaughter of endangered animals will continue until all the Asian  countries actively decide to clamp down on these illegal trades.

Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters

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