It’s been a while since we featured the great stuff by China Green, but they’ve been doing their good work still, turning a camera lens on the various environmental issues in China. This time, Sam Wangyal and his colleagues have taken a look at Tibet’s famed antelope:
The Tibetan Antelope, called Tsoe or Chiru, lives above the tree line on the Tibetan Plateau at an altitude of 14,000 ft and above. They are protected against the sub-zero temperatures and icy winds of the Himalayan plateau by the softest, finest hair on earth. An undercoat of this extremely fine fur, covered by a coarse outer fleece, enables it to survive winter temperatures of negative 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a cruel twist of fate, nature’s ingenuity is leading to ruin for this species. Shawls made from this fur, or shahtoosh, meaning “king of wool” in Persian, have long been prized amongst wealthy, fashionable Indian households. But in fact, shahtoosh shawls are produced by actually killing the antelope, a fact publicized in 1993 by world-renowned biologist, Dr. George Schaller. Despite current laws protecting the Tsoe, poachers shoot the animals before removing this prized undercoat, to be sold off to eager buyers.
Read more on their site.