Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Poachers Are Going After Musk, the 'Gold of Siberia'

The musk deer — a small species of deer native to the republic of Altai in Russia — is an unassuming source of what locals call “Siberian gold.”

But its musk, which is believed to have antiseptic properties in Chinese medicine, can sell for an average of $200 per gram. Although the musk deer is listed as an endangered species, poachers have run rampant since the fall of the U.S.S.R., trafficking this precious substance as a way of life.

We took a journey into the Siberian forest with a nature reserve inspector who is hunting these poachers and fighting to save this species.