Earlier this month, a New York Times article reported that the Kings Romans Group—a company that operates a casino in the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone in Laos—offers “expensive plates of bear paw, pangolin (an endangered scaly mammal) and sautéed tiger meat, which can be paired with #tiger wine, a grain-based concoction in which the cats’ penises, bones or entire skeletons are soaked for months.” These dishes are available at the casino’s restaurants.
In addition to a casino, hotels, and a cockfighting and bullfighting ring, Kings Romans also operates a zoo, which conservationists claim is really a wildlife farm that raises #animals for slaughter.
To the average #tourist, the unkempt Kings Romans #zoo is simply a tourist attraction that offers the chance to observe tigers and other animals. But in reality, the facility is suspected to be part of an industry that traffics animals that are illegally taken from their wild habitats and sold into the trade.
The tigers featured in vacationers’ selfies could be the same ones slaughtered and served at Southeast Asian restaurants. According to the New York Times article, the Kings Romans zoo in Laos “plays a significant role in perpetuating the illegal wildlife trade, swapping tigers with similar operations in Thailand and illegally butchering animals for their bones, meat and parts.” Karl Ammann, an investigative filmmaker, told The New York Times that tigers are often sold on the black market once they reach sexual maturity and can no longer be controlled. During their youth, many of them are held captive at tourist attractions where visitors pay to take selfies and play with the animals.
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