[Below is the original script. But a few changes may have been made during the recording of this audio podcast.]
You can actually farm tigers, but not to save the species unfortunately.
Under cover of an animal park, the zookeepers at Xiongsen Bear & Tiger Zoo in China were killing the endangered cats, serving the meat as a snack and then dropping the carcasses into vats of wine.
According to certain tenets of traditional Chinese medicine, tiger bone steeped in wine is thought to relieve human bone ailments like arthritis and bear penis is used to treat, well, you get the idea. Wild tigers' bones are particularly prized since they are considered more potent than their semi-domesticated peers.
There are only--at most--4,600 tigers left in all of the wild, according to a 2007 estimate. China, for its part, has banned any trade in tiger products since 1993, nearly eliminating tiger parts from medicine shops, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare—something I witnessed for myself in China.
But the ban will not successfully counteract the human development that is reducing Asian forests, where remaining tigers roam. And having a zoo double as an abbatoir is clearly no way to save the tiger.