According to an AP article (you can read it at the Save Tibet website), Tibetans burned rare animal skins after the Dalai Lama asked them to give up products made from endangered animals. The Chinese, who’ve moved into Tibet in large numbers since invading the country fifty years ago, banned the burnings—no doubt because there’s a lot of money in those pelts. According to the U.K.’s Independent newspaper, tiger skins can be worth as much as $10,000 on the streets.
One of the most endangered creatures to be made into a fur coat (for $1000 a skin) is the snow leopard. Just a beautiful animal, and one rarely seen, because it’s nocturnal and lives in the fastnesses of the Himalayas and central Asia. So rare are these animals (as rare as sightings of Osama bin Laden, who lives in the region), that the BBC’s new series Planet Earth is trumpeting footage of leopards doing things that have never been captured on film before. No news when the series will be coming to the U.S.