If only Bob Dole had known, he could have raked in some environmental brownie points while touting Viagra as a wonder cure for erectile dysfunction: The little blue pill could be the saving grace for thousands of endangered animals, according to research published recently in the journal Environmental Conservation. Tigers, reindeer, and harp seals, among other endangered animals, have been hunted for thousands of years, in part for their presumed powers to improve sexual performance. As Viagra sales began to boom during the late 1990s, however, the poaching rates of at least three species used in traditional Asian impotence remedies plummeted, according to two researchers. They attribute some of the drop-off to Viagra’s rise, saying they have hard data to back up their claim. But many wildlife activists are skeptical of the linkage, some of them pointing out that there is widespread suspicion in Asia toward Western remedies like Viagra.

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