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Naturally I was very interested to yesterday afternoon’s story about the tiger-penis smuggler. The women was caught by a customs dog, is said to be from Cambodia, and had a penis & gall-bladder conclaed on her body.
Link to NZ Herald Story

It’s actually very unusual to have tiger penises intercepted. In much of India, the intercepts are of claws and skins. And in China, the big risks mean only the big price parts get smuggled. So there, it’s all about the skins and bones. In my Chinese arrest-data set, only 1 instance of 22 intercepts included a penis. And investigations within China itself of aphrodisiacs, has seen a large shift away from animal parts to (probably fake) cialis, viagra and sex-toys. This market has moved on from the riskier animal parts- perhaps a handful of dried seal penises will sit on a shelf next to rows of other products.

In local markets there is more circulation of lesser parts- claws, teeth, sometimes meat.

I hope in this instance, the NZ authorities will DNA type the penis, both to check to see if it is an Indo-Chinese tiger or actually a chepaer substitute (like leopard). Given this is a rare intercept, it may yield some new clues as to the structure of the black-marker in Indo-China. It would for instance, be useful to know if the parts came from a wild tiger or an illegally farmed or zoo animal.