Both tigers and jaguars are CITES Appendix I species due to their precarious conservation statuses, and should therefore not be traded for commercial purposes.
Yet, both species are exported live by South Africa for profit purposes to zoos, captive breeding facilities and even to circuses and travelling exhibitions in mainly Southeast Asia.
How is this possible?
Whilst most zoos are run on a profit-making business model, CITES does not consider such captive wildlife facilities to be “commercial”.
This is a serious loophole that opens the legal commercial trade in CITES Appendix I listed species and needs to be addressed by CITES urgently in order to reduce the exploitation of endangered wildlife species.