In the land of the rising sun, a select company of well-to-do citizens has embarked on a deviant sort of ethnic cleansing. No, they do not target human beings, but instead focus their efforts on another defenceless group; the spotted green sea turtle. Human greed.
[Tariq A. Al Maeena is a Saudi sociopolitical commentator. He lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Twitter: @talmaeena]
Believing that the presence of this turtle in their homes brings wealth and luck, these people have embarked on a voracious hunt for this beleaguered species of turtle. These turtles which usually take decades to attain adulthood are being systematically decimated without the pleasure of living out their natural life. Hunted relentlessly, these passive creatures are no match for the guile of human greed.
In countless homes, stuffed and epoxied bodies of juvenile turtles hang lifelessly on entryways. The larger the number of dead turtles, the more affluent the homeowner. Not content with the shrinking supply of turtles around their own land, these murderous individuals have now expanded their search to the further domains of this endangered species, such as in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
In China, the Royal Bengal tiger is a highly sought commodity. Not the live and ferocious animal with spirit and vigour, a natural beauty among predatory beasts with its glorious striped skin and menacing growl. Instead, what is highly prized is a cluster of skin and bones of this distressed animal.
Believing that body parts of the tiger are an aphrodisiac to improved physical relations; the appetite of lots of people has diminished the numbers of this species to an alarming level. Hunted mercilessly by poachers in the Indian subcontinent by men driven by demand and greed, this poor animal ends up in jars and boxes on display shelves in some stalls in the larger towns in China.