Animals as Commerce

An Integrated Curriculum For The Washington Post Newspaper In Education Program

February 14, 2020 ©2020 THE WASHINGTON POST

INTRODUCTION: Meeting a Demand for the Wild

There are those who believe in the magical powers of parts of animals and there are those who have made a business of meeting the demand for animals in the wild. Getting to the truth of what is happening in Laos since 2016 when the government promised to stop the trade of wildlife is not easy.

As Post reporter Terrence McCoy stated, traveling in Laos “had been dangerous from the beginning, and then gotten riskier.” Teachers will need to become familiar with the 10-part article to prepare their students for its content. Teachers Notes is provided to suggest different angles you might take and ways to use the online features.

“Tracking the Tiger Butcher” is an example of long-form investigative journalism. We have reprinted the first three parts with questions for students to guide their reading and discussion.

There are many dimensions and issues for in-depth study of what happens when endangered and threatened species are viewed as goods — and lucrative commerce.

Tiger Ranges — Current and Historic

SPECIAL REPORT

Tracking the tiger butcher

More tigers now live in cages than in the wild. The animal has become a commodity: farmed, butchered, sold. We joined one man on his dangerous quest to expose the truth.

Story and photos by Terrence McCoy • Originally Published May 19, 2019

THA BAK, Laos — He was up there somewhere, at the top of the hill, the man Karl Ammann had come to see. It would soon be night. The forest was all shadows and sounds. Ammann had driven across the country to reach this remote river village, and now he was finally here, looking to the top of the hill, ready to confront the person

he believed had murdered more tigers than anyone in Laos. In the distance, he could hear them: dozens of tigers roaring.

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