People and Lizards Endangered by Superstition

The Tokay Gecko has been claimed by uninformed people, even hucksters, as a cure for anything from HIV, diabetes, and cancer to asthma and skin problems. In, Asia traditional culture holds the consumption of animals parts to be beneficial for a variety of illnesses, but there is no proof, and the myth causes an enormous number of innocent animals to be captured and consumed.

“TRAFFIC is alarmed at the massive increase in trade of these geckos. If the trade continues to mushroom, it could take years to repair the damage currently being inflicted on gecko populations,” said an official from the non-profit organization monitoring illegal trade in wildlife. (Source: Washington Post)

Reportedly the lie that consuming Tokay Geckos can cure HIV has been making the rounds on blogs, news articles, advertisements and comes also from some wildlife dealers.

People spreading the misinformation are merely profiting by deceiving a naive, consuming public. Can you imagine telling someone sick with HIV to buy a lizard from you as a cure? Any truly sick person who consumed a lizard, rather than getting competent medical treatment could become gravely ill, or even die. It must be well known in most parts of the world eating a lizard is not a cure for any real illness.

Perhaps the individuals responsible for spreading the myth should be punished for animal cruelty, as their actions are resulting in the deaths of animals for no good reason.

Trade in the nocturnal geckos was banned in the Philippines due to rampant sales.

Image Credit: Nick Hobgood/ WikiCommons


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Dale Overall

A very vibrant, colourful and lovely looking lizard is the gecko.

One person commented, saying that: "Once more Assians destroying God's creation. I still wish they change their way to treat animals, but at the rate they are destroying nature there will be no animals left in a few years."

Are you serious, what is with this Asian nonsense-most of mankind, be they Asian, Caucasian or whatever has been involved in using lizards, mammals, birds, fish and everything else on the planet for our own use.

By the way, even when going vegan or vegetarian and consuming veggies, fruit, spinach and the like we are "destroying" some living entity-life on this planet involves man or other creations of Nature eating or using another living entity.

Enough of this being shocked about carnivores being hypocritical for jumping to the defence of the gecko. Anyone who lives on this planet consumes something living or we would not be alive at least not until Nature figures out a way to evolve this planet's organisms to eat mercury or rock and sand and live we will be eating something living!

Yes, so many things are used for no logical purpose other than a false belief that it will cure or make one stronger.

Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thanks so much for this story

KS Goh
KS G5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Jayne Braby Bethard

Once again, ignorance is rampant and hard to believe!

Sue Griffiths
SUE G5 years ago

Unfortunately, common sense is not very common.

Muriel Servaege
Muriel S5 years ago

Thank you for the article. Man's ignorance still causes animals to die now, in the 21st century! One more 'good' reason to kill animals!

tiffany t.
tiffany t5 years ago

thanks for the article

Cindy B.
Cindy B5 years ago

Byron S, you are totally missing the main point here. I am a "98% vegetarian" and agree that exploiting animals for food has meant death for multitudes of animals. BUT: the grievous and utterly idiotic notions (held especially by Asians) that eating certain parts of animals will grant you various characteristics of those animals -- or in this case will "cure" certain diseases -- holds its own unique place in the pantheon of animal mistreatment. For it has meant the destruction, extinction or near-extinction of some of our most magnificent endangered animals -- tigers, elephants, rhinos, bears...

The deaths of these animals didn't even put dinner on anyone's table! No, these animals were simply wasted -- wasted! -- on the altar of human stupidity. And human stupidity is terrifying for SO many reasons besides just the deaths of beautiful and exotic animals.

Bryon S.
Bryon S5 years ago

I take it that all of you who are appalled by this are vegetarians... Otherwise you are hypocrites as animals exploited for food is by far the larger cruelty.

Gayle J.
Gayle, J5 years ago

Wow - some people are really stupid. Too bad the animals continue to suffer and die because of human ignorance.