Rare Tibetan Antelopes Are Killed to Make Expensive Luxury Scarves

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The market for an expensive, luxurious scarf is wiping out the population of the rare Tibetan . The shahtoosh shawl or scarf is made from the down hair of these beautiful antelopes.

However, it takes the death of four antelopes to make just one scarf. They are not domesticated and can’t be shorn, so the only way to make the shahtoosh is to kill the animal and strip the wool from their carcass.

Image Source : Lian Deng/Shutterstock

The shahtoosh used to be a valued dowry item in India, and now it’s a luxury item for people in the West who pay up to $20,000 for a single scarf despite the fact that shahtoosh wool is a banned item because the Tibetan antelope is a protected under Convention on International Trade in of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Even with this ban, Swiss customs officers say they’ve seized the equivalent of more than 800 Tibetan antelopes from passengers.

Unfortunately, when an animal is rare and endangered, that is when people wish to have it as a trophy even more as is the case with the endangered national animal of Pakistan, the Astore .

Trophy hunters are paying insane fees to kill the goat just like people are paying $20,000 for illegally and secretly made shahtoosh scarves.

Unfortunately, an accurate census of the Tibetan antelopes is too difficult to do, but estimates say that the population is probably at about 250,000 whereas at one point, they numbered close to one million.

Thankfully, “China has expanded Changtang National Nature Reserve, the protected area in and around which the animals calve.” There are also customs who under CITES, are confiscating the shawls and scarves and hopefully sending the message that the luxury of owning a cruel, illegal shahtoosh isn’t even worth it when it may get taken away.

We hope the protections in place for the Tibetan antelope help the population even more than they have in recent years. It would be a shame to wipe out a precious rare animal all for a scarf.

This article was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 01 May 2019.


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Sylvia Ann Jenkins
Sylvia Ann Jenkins

how horrible that these lovely creatures should be sacrificed in the name of greed and vanity

Lois Carol Wessels

Vanity has no budget!!!!!

Arlene Steinberg
Arlene Steinberg

They soon won’t have any antelopes either.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

Another disgusting example of humans cruel and stupid

Tami Miller

Pretty DISGUSTING the large number of people who care nothing about all the NON VIOLENT species on this planet.

Karin Andersson

It is insane to do such a thing!!! What kind of people buy this scarves?


Shocking! What’s wrong with synthetic fabric. At least no animal has to die to provide it. Doubtless this is some kind of status symbol among the rich and stupid!

Cameron McElroy