Anthony Marr




Part 1

The Doomed and The Dead



How many endangered

ex-creatures can you see

in this one store?  How many such stores still

exist in the world today?

Of the 8 species of bears,

5 are endangered (mostly

in Asia), 2 are threatened (Brown/Grizzly and Polar) and 1 is vulnerable

(American Black bear).

Having all but wiped out

their own, German and American hunters target the Russian Brown bear and

the Canadian Grizzly bear.

At 22,000 Black bears killed by hunters every year, the Canadian Black bear hunt resembles more a massacre,

a slaughter, even genocide.

While bear head and hide are legal, bear gall and paw are not.  Asian demand drives poaching, at about one bear poached for every bear legally hunted.

Endangered species studies

is replete with maps like

this, which shows shrinking  Grizzly habitat.  California

had thousands, but now

just one - on its state flag.

Grizzly bear habitat in British Columbia

today.  Green is good.

Grizzly bear habitat  in

British Columbia is 30

years.  Yellow is so-so.

Grizzly bear habitat in

British Columbia in 60

years.  Red is bad.

The SE corner of BC. 

Shows how green turns to yellow, and yellow to red.

In.1900, India had  over 50,000 tigers.  Hunting

and habitat loss cut them down to 1,800 in 1972.  Some hunters claimed over 1,000 tiger kills each.

In 1973, India launched Project Tiger banning

tiger hunting  and

establishing 26 tiger

reserves.  But in the 1990s poaching skyrocketed.

With the West coveting

head and skin and the East craving bone and penis,

there isn't much the tiger

could retain for its own.

This tiger penis is enough for (making aphrodisiac soup)

for 8 men.  How many tiger penises are there in the

world for how many men?

Spectators paid $2 to watch the man kill the tiger with a knife, and much more for a piece of the tiger.  This picture made world news, causing  the practice to be banned.

The bones of the 300 tigers poached in India every year

are ground into powder,

mixed with herbs and made

into pills.  These "Chinese

Patent Medicines" were

bought in San Francisco.

These TCMs bought in Vancouver's Chinatown in 1995 contained not only tiger bone, but tiger penis, seal penis, rhino horn, rhino skin, crocodile bile and bear bile.

Those venturing into India

to help save the tiger would

find the sight of rush hour

traffic weaving among

wandering cows, and vice

versa, initially amusing.

But having traveled

enough and seen enough

of cows and cows and

cows and cows every-

where they go...

... in towns, in villages,

along highways and

byways, and in fields,

and in and out of


... and forests-now-

desert, and in

country lanes, and

right in their faces...


...and in addition to the innumerable, ubiquitous,





... they would begin to wonder just how many

cows and goats there

are in India.


No one seem to know the

stats of goats, but for cows,

the low estimate is 350.  The high estimate is 600.  Million.

Another common sight

along Indian highways

and roadways is of women with heavy head-loads of

tree branches or logs.

While most would take

the wood back to their villages for fuel, others

would haul it to townships

to sell - for less than $1.

These two women were

more than 7 km from their village.  Why do they have

to go this far to get just

a bundle of  twigs?

Simply because any

closer to the village

there is no more

twigs to be had. 

Behind the village is a

shallow valley with a small dam.  The valley used to be forested not long ago.  Now, between deforestation and overgrazing, it has become...

... a lifeless desert.  Every year, India loses some 6,000 supertanker-loads of soil, flushed irretrievably into the Indian ocean by the monsoon rains.  A famine coming soon.

Originally there were 8 subspecies of tigers - 1 Caspian, 2 Bengal, 3 Indochinese, 4 Sumatran,

5 Javan, 6 Bali, 7 South

China and 8 Siberian.

By 1940, the Bali tiger

had fallen.  By the 1970s,

the Caspian and Javan

tigers had succumbed. 

Tiger range had

precipitously crashed   

By the late 1990s, the

South China tiger had dwindled to fewer than 20

left in the wild.  Tiger

habitat had fragmented

to isolated pockets.

As they stand today, the Siberian tiger has no more than 250 left in the wild, the Sumatran tiger about the same, the Indochinese tiger a few hundred, and the Bengal

tiger about 2,500.  Some might think the Bengal tiger

is relatively secure.  But in fact, it is no more secure

than the last carriage

of a crashing train.