BEFORE YOU SCROLL DOWN TO THE PHOTOS, BE WARNED, THEY ARE NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED!
Welcome to the village of Salba, 610 km southeast of the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. This is where 600 Siberian Marals (a subspecies of Red-Deer) lose their antlers every year. These photos, taken June 15 2009, at a private ranch, in Salba, show the marals held in special devices, in order to have their antlers removed with a hand saw.
The antlers are sold to markets in Russia and East Asia, where antler velvet is used as a holistic medicine. Some people consume the antlers themselves, grinding and consuming them in small quantities.
Marals go through this brutal process every year and, even though some say it doesn’t cause them too much pain because they have no nerves in the antlers, I still call it animal cruelty.
Photos by REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin