Lesser-known links to Bolivia’s jaguar trafficking chain are about to be exposed by anti-trafficking investigators of the Earth League International (ELI), In collaboration with the Dutch national committee on International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). undercover Chinese investigators of ELI, were able to discover significant information on how and where members of the Chinese triad operate,the routes being taken in trafficking jaguar parts harvested in Bolivia. ELI’s CEO Andrea Crosta stated that jaguar trafficking is not only a conservation problem but also part of an organized crime.
The growing Chinese market for jaguar parts and the existence of Chinese mafia in Bolivia has encouraged the trafficking of such products. However, officials and natural parks administrators already know about the trafficking activities concerning jaguar parts in their areas, as it has been going on since 2014.
Whereas before, Bolivian jaguars were hunted for their fur because of their high value in international markets. However, since the international ban on animal fur use, Bolivia’s jaguars are facing a new problem as they are now being hunted by Bolivian hunters working for a network of Chinese traffickers looking to buy jaguar claws, fangs, and testicles.
In China, the value of jaguar testicles are considered to be the same price as pure gold as it is widely believed that it can cure diseases, as well as enhance a man’s sexual well-being. Jaguar fangs, on the other hand, have greater value when created as a pendant, usually worn by rich Asians as symbol of power and high status.
Bolivian Hunters Claim They are Now Aware of Bolivian Laws Prohibiting Jaguar Hunting
In Bolivia, a hunter can get as much as $215 per fang from Bolivia-based Chinese procurers. Actually, most hunters are surprised that something they consider as useless in Bolivia can be valuable to Chinese citizens. However, Bolivian hunters say they are not aware that there are laws in Bolivia that prohibit the killing of wild animals and that have been listed by the IUCN’s Red Book of vulnerable animals in Bolivia. They are unaware that the punishment for breaking such laws is up to six years of imprisonment.
Moreover, not all Bolivian hunters are not aware that it is illegal to hunt jaguars in the forests of the Chaqueña Region, northern Bolivian Amazon, and Bolivian lowlands, where the jaguar population is already threatened as a result of illegal hunting.