Insects are being smuggled out of India by the thousands and sold on the black market. Huge gangs of men go the mountains of India to find tribes that will let them collect as many insects as they want for a small price. The gangs then drug the insects and store them in suitcases, which they smuggle home as private luggage.
This has become such a lucrative business that the environment is suffering, with certain insect species even becoming in danger of extinction. The Giraffe Stag Beetle is one of these insects that is seriously suffering in numbers due to this smuggling. It has long, sharp claws and is the largest saw-tooth stag beetle in the world. These insects are incredible important to the local environment. They eat rotting wood but, oddly enough, not living plants. They get their name from their large jaws, which look like deer antlers.
Do you want to know how much this business is making? Stag beetles bring in a whopping $100 million annually. So, who in the world is paying so much money for insects? It turns out the Japanese are the culprits. The import of exotic beetle species bas become a multi-million dollar industry in Japan, the recent obsession with beetles being called “beetle mania”.
Why do you think the sale of insects has grown so much in the past few years?