Poachers Kill Over 20,000 Reindeer in Russia To Send Their Tongues To China

WWF Russia

We have previously discussed how the growing Chinese market for exotic animal parts is wiping out the world’s populations of endangered and threatened animals.  This week the extent of that slaughter was brutally evident in Russia where poachers have killed over 20,000 reindeer . . . only to cut their tongues out and leaving miles of rotting carcasses.

The images from WWF Russia are from the Evenkiysky district of Krasnoyarsk region from 800 locations.  The population of the reindeer has fallen by half since year 2000.  The wild reindeer population once numbered over 1 million.  Climate change has clearly also reduced the herd.

These efforts are unlikely to succeed until China actively and honestly clamps down on this market for exotic animals for culinary and medicinal uses.

33 thoughts on “Poachers Kill Over 20,000 Reindeer in Russia To Send Their Tongues To China”

  1. American Bison where slaughtered in the old west the same way.
    Its inefficient. The pelts could be used. At a minimum, the rest iof the carcus could be used as pet food.
    Cultural and food taboos.
    Russian legislation could be used.
    Certain dog breeds are used to herd rainddeer. Just as catfish farms are damn profitable in the American south, no reason why herds with fencing could not be used in Russia. I watched television show where American cattlemen where hired by Russians for cattle raising in Russia. Herdsmen would have a vested interest in keeping herd levels up for profit.

  2. to Curri: The answer to your question is yes, but it is not just the Chinese culture whose insane desire for endangered animal supposed aphrodisiacs (and ivory) is the main cause of African poaching. It is the entire Oriental culture. Also check out the destruction of sharks for just their fins to make shark fin soup, another supposed aphrodisiac. They catch the shark, cut off the fins, and throw the shark back into the ocean to die a horrible lingering death because the shark at that point cannot swim.

  3. For a tribal medicine man to earn status and wealth, his remedies must be difficult to obtain. Hence written prescriptions are required for most US medications. Make useful medications easily obtainable and the ancient remedies will disappear.

    1. Doglover – a Chinese pharmacy has an “American” side and a Chinese side, full of drawers with all sorts of things to cure your every ill. The Chinese side does not require a prescription.

      1. Many years ago, when i was into powerlifting, I went to Chinatown to get pills made up of ground up reindeer antlers that were said to act like anabolic steroids. They did work (in a haphazard way) but I tended to think that the active ingredient was something akin to Dianabol rather than reindeer antlers. It was just a short experiment.

  4. One effective way for the Chinese government to put a stop to this asinine behavior is to target those using the nonsensical remedies. These imbeciles believe that exotic animal parts will cure them, make them hump better, live longer, etc. When identified they should undergo extensive enemas, grueling purges, invasive rectal examinations, and perhaps in the most severe cases, bleeding. As they sink into the oblivion of pain and loss of blood, they will experience illusions of well being. That might just do the trick. And, in the spirit of charging the executed family for the bullet, these morons should have to pay through the nose for these treatments. After all they are paying through the nose for the damage they are doing to our world. The key word here being our.

    And yes, climate change is adversely affecting populations of many species, including reindeer. Anyone who disputes that would be more at home among the tongue eaters, testes samplers, horn sniffers, dong munchers…..

  5. Is the Chinese market the major factor behind the great slaughter of animals like Rhino. Elephant and Giraffe in Africa?

  6. I think there might be a market in Europe for the tongues of Chinese humans. This could offset, morally at least, the demise of animals created by the Chinese food drives. You could start at chinese funeral parlors and pay them for tongues of those already dead, or just dead. Freeze em and mail em off. Norway is interested.

  7. There are no shortages of chickens, sheep, cattle, pigs, and a host of other animals in this world. In fact there are 3 times more chickens then humans. Why is this… because we raise pigs for profit and food, so lets raise these reindeer as a food source supply the Chinese with all the tongue they can swallow (hehehe), and cut poachers out of the loop.

    1. Not to mention that both world wars were insane and there many, many opportunities to avoid both of them. That’s why I get very angry when the Pelosis, Schumers, McCains, Schiffs and Grahams go on their lunatic Russophobic rants. Everyone should read Nicholson Baker’s “Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization.” Herbert Hoover’s “Freedom Betrayed” (published many years after his death) has even more arresting information.

  8. All those pharmacies in China need reindeer tongue. Evidently the reindeer were not giving them up on their own. And claiming that AGW is causing a drop in the reindeer population is just speculation. Even a lawyer should know better.

    1. You didn’t read my comment just above.

      So yours appears particularly ignorant.

  9. The reindeer have to push away snow to reach the moss. If there is a layer of ice they starve. Warming melts the snow which refreezes into a layer of ice.

  10. What a waste.

    China has to take some responsibility in accelerating the poaching industry globally. There is a saying among conservationists that if you found the rarest new species in the world, it would promptly be labeled an aphrodisiac or the next great pet in China and be poached to extinction.

    And I mean that literally.

    Poaches now research scientific publications for their prey, so authors are beginning to withhold location information.

    Poaching would not happen if there wasn’t a market for it. We will never defeat poaching unless we can dry up the demand.


  11. So why are they wasting good meat and hides? If the Chinese want the tongues let them pay for that and remember Russia is a protein deficient country. If not there are plenty within shipping distance. What they do with their own natural resources is their business. But what they don’t do with their own natural resources Should be their business. China learned to switch to market capitalism Russia can do the same.

    I noticed no comment on clear cutting. Where do you think all those sawmills from Oregon disappeared to when that industry was shut down….Costa Rica is one right answer and Siberia is the biggie.

  12. I think the world or Mr Turley, but please. Climate Change hasn’t CLEARLY done ANYTHING.

    It may exist as a thing. Or may not. But please don’t get sucked in by and propagate fake science.

    1. ” Climate Change hasn’t CLEARLY done ANYTHING. ”

      Why do you believe that the reduction in the size of the herd is not due to climate change?

      1. Look, I’m not a climate expert and neither am I a reindeer expert. But I know a little about the scientific method, summarized here in one minute by one of the greatest physicists in history:


        Now, the “science” in the cited scientist’s paper goes something like this:

        1. Temperature is claimed to be 1.5C hotter than before.

        2. There are fewer reindeer than before

        3. Hence, we conclude that although more reindeer are born, they die because of global warming. (the gaping hole in the nexus should be apparent.

        I’m not really going to argue it further but people should do themselves a favor and challenge this stuff that is being spewed by “climate scientists” in a business in which they only get paid if it is a thing.

        Mr. Turley absolutely would not make that mistake in a court of law.


        1. There is not any thing in the Feynman video that would eliminate climate change as a cause of decline in numbers of the heard. But he does have a nice set of physics text books.

          Further, I don’t believe your three step syllogism and simple correlation is the argument that has been put forth to support the conclusion climate change is the cause for decline in the heard.

          If you are going to criticize someone’s conclusions perhaps you ought to actually read a little about their arguments so you know why they believe climate change is responsible for the decline in numbers of reindeer.

          1. The evidence of environmental degradation from man-made climate change is overwhelming, unless one is wearing blinders.

            “It is difficult to get a man to accept certain concepts, when growth of his wealth depends on his not accepting them.” – Upton Sinclair, paraphrased

            1. “It is difficult to get a man to reject certain concepts, when growth of his wealth depends on his not rejecting them.” – Regular Experssion, paraphrased.

              As to Feynman, the entire 1 minute video is the basis of all real science. “IF it doesn’t agreement with experiment, it is wrong.” Doesn’t matter who said it, what his politics and religion are, none of it matters. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it is wrong.

              And the bottom line is NONE OF IT agrees with experiment. So, what is left is “who is it”. 97% said it hence it must be right.

              The ENTIRE BASIS of the theory of global warming is at odds with the precepts set out by Feynman in 1964 and earlier.

              1. “As to Feynman, the entire 1 minute video is the basis of all real science. “IF it doesn’t agreement with experiment, it is wrong.” Doesn’t matter who said it, what his politics and religion are, none of it matters. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it is wrong. … And the bottom line is NONE OF IT agrees with experiment. So, what is left is “who is it”. 97% said it hence it must be right. ”

                Exactly which experiments are those? You seem to be laboring under the wild mis conception that the only way that science can proceed is by way of experiments – what nonsense!

                The essence of sciences is the testing of falsifiable hypotheses. The simplest example of testing hypotheses is through experimentation – but that is not the only way. On a regular basis we do science in areas where it is impossible to conduct the controlled experiments to which Feynman is referring.

                Feynman was not saying that the only way to conduct science is through experimentation. What he said is that when you conduct an experiment, if the results of the experiment contradict your hypothesis then the hypothesis is wrong. These are two very, very different propositions.

                It is surprising that some one who claims to know so much about science is not aware of the very, very elementary fact that the essence of science is the testing of falsifiable hypothesis. Sometimes we can do that with an experiment and sometimes that is impossible. When we cannot conduct an experiment there may still be other techniques we can use to test our hypotheses.

                Does anyone one really suppose that Feynman would claim that astronomy is not a science because we cannot conduct experiments? What about particle physics.

                In particle physics we conduct the same experiment billions of times with negative results – yet if we collect enough data we will capture clear experimental evidence of the phenomenon exists and our hypothesis is true.

                So, exactly which experiment would Feynman have us use and which hypothesis would we accept.

                The statement “The ENTIRE BASIS of the theory of global warming is at odds with the precepts set out by Feynman in 1964 and earlier.” is based on a profound misunderstanding of science and how it proceeds.

                Once again, before one criticizes the conclusions of those who actually study a subject it is essential to understand at least a very little bit about both science and the arguments scientists have made.

      2. Umm, well because they just killed 20,000 of them. That’s at least an uncontrolled con founding fester in York.

    1. We kill thousands if not millions of our own just to make room for more bombs in the arms warehouses.
      No laws, government branch, or checks and balances against that.

Comments are closed.