National Geographic : 1988 Nov
BOTHBY WILLIAMTHOMPSON for the scent shops of Asia, a spoonful of musk is removed from a tranquilized musk deer by a researcher in Sagar matha Park, one of the few areas in Nepal where the creature is usually safe from poachers' guns. Readily extractable from a small orifice near the urethra, the ounce or so of musk present in a mature animal may bring as much as $200 on the interna tional market-more than a year's income for the average Nepalese. Little wonder, then, that the musk deer has become endangered throughout most of its Himalayan range. Only males, which sport two tusklike canine teeth (right), produce the substance, which is highly val ued by the Chinese as a folk medicine and as an aromatic with reputed aphrodisiac properties.