Dealing in death does not faze a criminal percentage of Pakistani shawl dealers bent on profiteering from a small percentage of fashionistas for whom the slaughter of endangered antelopes means zilch. The shawls in question are the world renowned shatooshes; their weaving is so fine that they can pass through a ring.
To have such a shawl or scarf as part of a wedding dowry is still deemed a ‘must’ by people with more money than respect for disappearing wildlife. As a result of this ‘under the counter’ trade, the Chiru or Tibetan Antelope is on the verge of extinction. Shatooshes are woven from the silky undercoat of the Chiru, yet despite an international ban on trading in this, poachers in Tibet and Ladakh in India, where migratory antelopes spend the summer, are hunting them down to meet market demand for their precious fur. The Chiru must be killed for the fur to be collected and the species has already been wiped out in Nepal. Continue reading