Blood of the Tiger takes readers on a wild ride to save one of the world’s rarest animals from a band of Chinese billionaires.
Many people think wild tigers are on the road to recovery, but they are in greater danger than ever—from a menace few experts saw coming.
There may be only three thousand wild tigers left in the entire world. More shocking is the fact that twice that many—some six thousand—have been bred on farms, not for traditional medicine but to supply a luxury-goods industry that secretly sells tiger-bone wine, tiger-skin décor, and exotic cuisine enjoyed by China’s elite.
Two decades ago, international wildlife investigator J. A. Mills went undercover to expose bear farming in China and discovered the plot to turn tigers into nothing more than livestock. Thus begins the story of a personal crusade in which Mills mobilizes international forces to awaken the world to a conspiracy so pervasive that it threatens every last tiger in the wild.
In this memoir of triumph, heartbreak, and geopolitical intrigue, Mills and a host of heroic comrades try to thwart a Chinese cadre’s plan to launch billion-dollar industries banking on the extinction of not just wild tigers but also elephants and rhinos. Her journey takes her across Asia, into the jungles of India and Nepal, to Russia and Africa, traveling by means from elephant back to presidential motorcade, in the company of man-eaters, movie stars, and world leaders. She also journeys to the US where we meet people like Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue, who work tirelessly to end cub petting and ban private ownership and breedingof tigers and other big cats. She finds reason for hope in the increasing number of Chinese who do not want the blood of the last wild tigers to stain their beloved culture and motherland.
Set against the backdrop of China’s ascendance to world dominance, Blood of the Tiger tells of a global fight to rein in the forces of greed on behalf of one of the world’s most treasured and endangered animals.
In this call to action, Mills recounts the complicated history and current state of efforts to save wild tigers, stop legal tiger farming and illegal trade, and end consumer demand for tiger products (such as tiger-bone wine, in which tiger bones and sometimes entire skeletons steep in vats of wine and sell for hundreds of dollars). For 20 years Mills worked for various conservation groups in the fight for tigers, and the story she tells is a twisted one, from political maneuvering by powerful countries to the "backstabbing jostle" in the conservation community itself. From the onset, Mills states the stakes plainly: "The King of the Jungle cannot outrun death much longer." And she does not shy from blame, either, stating outright that when the last wild tiger dies, "Its blood will stain China's hands forever. Other hands too." Though the first half of the book becomes tedious in its play-by-play documentation of infighting among conservation groups, by the latter half readers becomes emotionally invested in Mills's message that is, the endless manipulation, misdirection, and "charade" of the players involved and the final section entitled "How You Can Help End Tiger Trade" is a welcome one.