Experts: Demand in China fuels tiger poaching
(AP) -- International experts say demand in China poses the greatest threat to tigers in the wild and organized crime runs the illicit trade in the world's largest felines.
Yuri Fedotov, head of the U.N. office on drugs and crime, said Monday about 150 tigers are killed each year by poachers - 5 percent of the world's wild tiger population. He says tiger poaching brings $5 million in profits.
Yelena Averyanova of the International Fund for Animal Welfare said up to 50 Siberian tigers are killed annually in Russia's Far East to be sold in China. Their pelts, bones and meat are prized in traditional Chinese medicine.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who has used encounters with tigers to bolster his macho image, is hosting a tiger summit in St. Petersburg.
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