19 November, 2005

thai zoo to serve bushmeat

While living in Singapore, the Night Safari was the first thing that AsiaPundit suggested when tourists asked what was worth seeing. After reading this report and others, I’m considering saying ‘Chiang Mai Night Safari’ when asked ‘what’s worth boycotting?’:

ZebraKenyan conservationists are furious after the government agreed to ship wild animals to a Thai zoo that is offering its visitors a chance to eat giraffe, zebra and crocodile.

Kenya recently agreed to send 175 wild animals including giraffes, buffalos, flamingos and gazelles to the newly-built Chiang Mai Night Safari in northern Thailand. This week, the zoo announced that it would celebrate its official opening on New Year’s Day with an “exotic buffet”, where guests can pay 4,500 bhat (£64) to sample anything from dog to lion meat. The director of the zoo project, Plodprasop Suraswadi, said the animals would be legally imported and killed for the feast.

The announcement has dismayed wildlife groups in Kenya, who already had misgivings about sending wild animals to a zoo in Thailand. No endangered animals are being sent, but Richard Leakey, former head of Kenya Wildlife Services, said the plans went against the ethos of modern conservation. He added: “Some of the larger zoos do serve a useful role in education but for Kenyan animals to be sent there as a curtain-raiser for an institution that is probably serving endangered species from south-east Asia is appalling.

“What this zoo is doing is serving bushmeat - and bushmeat is one of the greatest conservation challenges of the 21st century.”

Thailand already has a reputation for being a trading centre for the illegal trafficking of endangered species, and Thai wildlife groups have said the menu will confuse visitors about the real objectives of the zoo.The problem with the ‘bush meat’

Africa is lousy with zebra, and one of AsiaPundit’s signature barbecue dishes is “tequila-marinated crocodile fajita.” However, this goes against the concept of a ‘zoo’ as a refuge that modern institutions generally hold dear. More disturbing is that a report linked to by Maganoy’s Samsara mentions that tiger - endangered everywhere - is also on the menu.

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by @ 11:37 pm. Filed under Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Thailand

avian flu futures

AsiaPundit welcomes this piece of news.:

After the overwhelmingly positive response to the recent announcement that they would begin trading housing-price futures next year, an anonymous source at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange has informed us that they are now planning to make the trading of Tamiflu futures available as well.

In fact, with more reports of housing having already peaked and with the news of H5N1 spreading in China, there is said to be a raging internal debate regarding which one to make available first.

Tamiflu futures, based on the median price for a ten count package of 75 mg capsules from reputable Canadian online pharmacies, are being made available to Tamiflu owners who seek to hedge the gains they have made since buying supplies of this anti-viral drug immediately after the Avian flu became front page news just a few months ago.

Unfortunately it’s all made up, a Tamiflu market would be a useful tool to measure demand and researchers have evidence that futures market is a relatively good predictor of flu outbreaks.

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by @ 10:24 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia

bush and the v-sign

Andy at the Marmot’s (new) Hole spots a misunderstanding in a USA Today item.:

I was reading about the President Bush’s trip to Korea, we I came across this:

When the women stopped singing, he approached them, and the choir members surrounded him, bowing and giggling. “Thank you all,” he said. “Be careful, don’t fall,” he said to some who pressed in close. Bush reached over and around them to try to shake each woman’s hand and lingered for photos. In one last shot, one of the women held up a peace sign.

Emphasis mine. Apparently nobody told the report that it was not a ‘peace’ sign but in fact a ‘ubiquitous V that most young Asians feel obliged to make whenever having their picture taken’ sign.

Somebody needs to take a cultural sensitivity class.

VgirlThe item was likely filed by the paper’s White House correspondent, who was evidently not briefed on the ubiquitous ‘v-sign’ that appears in photos taken throughout in Asia, whether it’s Vietnam, Japan, Thailand or Taiwan. One Singapore blogger has even started the Sexy V-girls site.

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by @ 10:10 pm. Filed under South Korea, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia

bush’s asia tour blogged by the beeb

The Lost Nomad points to something I wish I had discovered earlier. BBC reporter Adam Brookes has a sanctioned blog on George Bush’s Asian tour.:

Now, the leaders are heading for their hotels to ready themselves for the “Gala Dinner and Cultural Performance.”

Ah yes, the menu. Scallop and ginseng salad. Chestnut porridge. Beef with pine mushrooms.

Kimchi, the sinus-shattering pickled cabbage.

And a rice wine flavoured with mushrooms - which the teetotal president will presumably avoid.

Saturday will see the uber-pack leave Busan early.

We will miss what must be one of the most mawkish moments of global statesmanship - all 21 Apec leaders must don an article of national dress from the host country. Then they all stand together and have their photo taken.

Here in Busan they will wear the durumagi, a sort of Korean coat decorated with “ancient Korean symbols”.

“It’s a race between the president and Putin to see who can take it off first”, said one White House official.


I don’t expect Bush will be wearing the durumagi much in D.C. or Crawford. I expect he’d prefer the leather bomber jacket and denim shirt that Bill Clinton got at APEC 1997.

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by @ 9:32 pm. Filed under South Korea, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Media

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