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Discovery ordered to turn over tiger bone tapes

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Assistant Business Editor Ben Mook uncovered an alarming story yesterday when the U.S. District Court for Maryland ordered Discovery Communications, of Silver Spring, to turn over footage to help the defense of an animal rights group that’s being sued in China.

A civil lawsuit filed in Beijing claims The International Fund for Animal Welfare impugned the reputation of a Chinese business through a web article claiming a wine it makes uses tiger skeletons as an ingredient.

The subpoenaed footage, which has not aired in the U.S., is from an episode of Animal Planet‘s Crime Scene Wild series, and examines the Guilin Xiongsen Bear & Tiger Mountain Villa Entertainment Center and its making of “bone fortified wine.” Guilin Xiongsen runs a tiger farm, villa, restaurant and winemaking operation at Bear & Tiger Mountain.

The villa’s defense? They’ve got the wrong bones.

“The main ingredients of the ‘animal bone medicated wine’ produced by [Guilin Xiongsen] are rice wine, papayas and African lion bones, and do not include any ‘tiger bone’ ingredients at all,” the company said in the lawsuit.

Read Ben’s online-only story at our main Web site.

JACKIE SAUTER, Web Editor