South African Park Houses Grim Exhibit

Non-poached hides and other animal parts prepared for sale
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2007 7:51 PM CDT

(Newser) – South Africa's Kruger National Park provides a bizarre but legal service: a legitimate source of animal parts for the world's manufacturers of buffalo upholstery, zebra footrests, and giraffe-bone handgun grips. The park's employees harvest the remains of animals that die of natural causes and store them in stockpiles, taking orders from around the world, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Kruger made only about $8,500 from its most recent sale; though it has more than 50 tons of elephant tusks—worth a fortune on the black market—the park is prohibited under international law from selling ivory. Opponents say Kruger's sales increase demand for endangered animals; the stockpile's manager says she's OK with the practice "as long as it doesn't increase poaching."