Haridwar: Tibet is fast emerging as a big market for smugglers of wild animal skins. Here, skin of leopards and tigers hunted in India are sold at sky-scrapping rates. In this epicenter of wildlife trafficking, skin of wild cats mainly from Uttarakhand are sold unabated in the local markets.

In last two to three years, smugglers apprehended in 25 cases related to wildlife trafficking by the police for the unlawful activity accepted that the skin of leopards and tigers were taken to Tibet.

Programme Officer, WPCI, Teeto Joseph said, “Following the age old orthodox rituals, people in Tibet wear the skin of leopard or tiger during the religious discourse. Indian government has been informed about the activities.”

It needs to be mentioned that skin is also wore on the occasion of horse festival. The skin is called as Chuba in Tibet.

According to the information gathered by the team of Delhi-based Organisation, WPCI, smugglers trade the skins of leopards and tigers to Tibet via Nepal.

Expressing concern over the flourishing illegal trade in the neighbouring country, Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPCI) said Indian Government has been apprised about the situation. Dalai Lama and Chinese government have also been requested to stop the wrongdoing.

In one of the seminars for the conservation of wild cats at Geneva in August 2011, the representatives of China and Tibet expressed their concern over the expansion of wildlife trafficking in Tibet.