Animals : CONTENTS





Antilopes Lions
Apes Orangutans
Birds Pangolins
Cattle Poaching / Smuggling / Trafficking
Coral reefs Porpoise
Dogs Rhinos / Horn
Donkeys Sharks
Elephants / Ivory Songbirds
Farm heists Tigers
Fish Tortoises
Jaguars Whales


(Updated on 15/09/2016)





  • Smuggling = "The criminal offense of bringing into, or removing from, a country those items that are prohibited or upon which customs or excise duties have not been paid."

  • Wildlife smuggling "or trafficking involves the illegal gathering, transportation, and distribution of animals and their derivatives. This can be done either internationally or domestically.
  • Traffic = "Commerce, trade, sale or exchange of merchandise, bills, money and the like."
  • The animals sold as souvenirs - with an infographic
    "Every year, hundreds of millions of plants and animals are harvested or caught and shipped all over the world.
    They’re often sold as medicines, food, pets, souvenirs and clothing.
    While a large proportion of the trade is legal, there is also a great deal of illegal activity taking place worldwide, threatening the survival of many endangered species."




  • Illegal online sales of endangered wildlife rife in Europe - 23 May 2018
    "Exclusive: Study finds 12,000 items worth $4m, including ivory, live orangutans and a huge number of reptiles and birds for the pet trade...
    The online sale of endangered and threatened wildlife is rife across Europe, a new investigation has revealed, ranging from live cheetahs,
    orangutans and bears to ivory, polar bear skins and many live reptiles and birds...
    All the specimens were species in which trade is restricted or banned by the global Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species."

  • The Ins and Outs of Exotic Animal Smuggling - with pictures - 31 March 2017
    "The illegal wildlife trade is a rapidly expanding industry that's quietly affecting every country in the world. But why has the market gotten so big?
    And why are so many criminals getting into the game right now? Mental_floss has the answers."

  • Revealed: the criminals making millions from illegal wildlife trafficking - 26 September 2016
    "Exclusive: Investigation uncovers the ringleaders profiting from $23bn annual trade in illicit animals after more than a decade of undercover surveillance."

    "A ranger looks on after performing a post-mortem on a rhino
    killed for its horn in South Africa’s Kruger national park."

  • Letter from Africa: Game rangers in danger - 4 August 2016
    "In our series of letters from African journalists, film-maker and columnist Farai Sevenzo looks at those most in danger in the battle against poachers in Africa.
    World Ranger Day (31 July) is dedicated to the men and women who put themselves on the frontline to protect our wildlife from one of the biggest armed scourges of the 21st Century."

  • Police Open Unmarked Bags — And Find Sickening Surprise
    "Inside was a pile of severed bear parts, intended for smuggling abroad.
    Over the course of the inspection, officers found a total of 527 bear feet, a bear muzzle, gallbladders and three musk deer glands...
    Bears are often victims of the illegal wildlife trade; Animals Asia estimates that more than 1,000 of them are currently captive in illegal bile farms
    in Vietnam alone, where they're held for years in tiny cages and constantly tapped for bile through painful wounds in their sides."


  • Indonesia plans tougher punishments for poachers - 8 June 2016
    "Environmentalists are sceptical that plans to quadruple maximum jail terms from five to 20 years will be effective."


  • Illegal wildlife trade campaign enlists tourists - 8 May 2016
    "Conservationists have launched a global campaign asking the public to help tackle the illegal trade in wildlife."


    "A sun bear at Chester Zoo, which was saved by conservationists
    after its mother was killed by poachers."

  • Drones Help Rangers Fight Poachers - Text + Audio - 13 June 2015
    "Conservationists are struggling to stop people who illegally hunt or catch animals, such as rhinos and elephants.
    They are now using DNA identification and drones to follow animals in the wild and help protect them from poachers."




  • Prince and Duke unite for wildlife - 9 February 2014
    "The Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge have joined forces to record a video message calling on the world to act now to save endangered animals like rhinos, elephants and tigers."


The Princes vs the poachers: Charles and William in quest to end illegal wildlife trade

  • Stolen species - BBC joins police raid on Brazil's wildlife traffickers -  2 January 2009
    "As many as 10m animals are being taken from their natural habitats each year...
    Around 50,000 animals are rescued by the authorities each year - representing just a small percentage of those believed to be taken by traffickers.
    Many animals are said to die en route to market..."

    + Videos








  • Pakistan's secretive Houbara bustard hunting industry - Article + Photos - 11 February 2016
    "They're a shy, rare bird breed, the size of a chicken - and hunting them is officially banned in Pakistan.
    But it is no holds barred when Arab royals begin their Houbara bustard hunting trips.
    Arab princes and their wealthy friends like to hunt Houbara bustards both as a sport and because the meat is considered an aphrodisiac."







  • Thai police find hundreds of dog skins dumped in forest - 26 March 2014 dictionary
    "Hundreds of dog skins have been found dumped in an area of northeastern Thailand notorious for exporting canine parts
    as a delicacy or for use as a leather substitute - including for golf gloves, police said Wednesday."






  • The ivory trade "is the commercial, often illegal trade in the ivory tusks of the hippopotamus, walrus, narwhal,[1] mammoth,[2] and most commonly, Asian and African elephants."
  • Call to close ivory markets agreed at Cites conference - 2 October 2016
    "Delegates at a UN wildlife conference have endorsed calls for the closure of all domestic ivory markets.
    The non-binding proposal was approved at a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in South Africa.
    Conservationists hailed it as a significant step towards ending the current elephant poaching crisis."



  • Report: Vietnam Among Biggest Illegal Ivory Markets - Text + Audio - 26 July 2016
    "The conservation group Save the Elephants says Vietnam has become one of the world’s biggest illegal ivory markets.
    It also says that 75 percent of ivory buyers in Vietnam come from China."



  • Elephant summit: Kenya sets fire to huge ivory stockpile - 30 April 2016
    "Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has set fire to a huge stockpile of ivory in an effort to show his country's commitment to saving Africa's elephants."

    + The war on elephants, by Alastair Leithead, BBC News
    + The African push to tackle ivory poaching, by BBC Monitoring...
    Africa is home to between 450,000 and 500,000 elephants but more than 30,000 are killed every year for their tusks.
    Tanzania has lost 65% of its elephant population in the past five years...
    Some 1.35 tonnes of rhino horn will also be burned."


  • President Uhuru arrives at Nairobi national park for huge ivory burning - 30 April 2016

    "A Kenyan Wildlife Service ranger stands guard
    in the rain near stacks of elephant tusks,
    part of an estimated 105 tonnes of ivory
    and a tonne of rhino horn confiscated
    from smugglers and poachers to be burnt
    at the Nairobi National Park near Nairobi, Kenya,
    April 30, 2016."

  • I can use illegal ivory to top up stock - VIDEO - 28 April 2016

  • The war on elephants - Article + Photos + Videos
    "How the very existence of Africa’s elephants is threatened by poachers, traffickers and Asia’s appetite for ivory."

    - Outgunned
    - Men with poison arrows
    - All routes lead to Asia

    - Making hunters pay
    - Living with elephants
    - Find Out More


  • Sri Lanka destroys huge illegal ivory haul - 26 January 2016
    "Government publicly destroys biggest ever illegal ivory haul in bid to show poachers it will not tolerate the violent trade...
    Sri Lanka’s elephant population has reduced to just over 7,000, according to a census five years ago, down from a population of over 12,000 at the start of the 20th century."





  • Farm heists: a hive of criminal activity - 4 March 2018
    "Last week saw the theft of 1m bees in Oxfordshire, the biggest robbery of the honey-makers in the UK. But they are not the only farmyard target of thieves"



  • Project Uses Global Imaging to Stop Illegal Fishing - Video - 23 February 2015
    "Experts estimate twenty percent of the seafood market comes from illegal fishing.
    A new device follows fishing boats to try to stop the criminal activity."


  • New Technology Stops Illegal Fishing on the Seas - Article + Audio + Video + Quiz - 15 February 2015
    "Experts estimate that one out of every five fish sold was caught illegally. They say the illegal fishing market is worth $23.5 billion a year.
    It threatens food security and hurts the environment. Officials are using new observational technology to fight illegal fishing."




  • Jaguars killed for fangs to supply growing Chinese medicine trade - 4 March 2018
    "Demand from Chinese workers raises demand for skin and body parts of endangered species.
    Conservationists who have uncovered a growing illegal trade in jaguar fangs in South America are linking it to Chinese construction projects
    that could be threatening wildlife globally. "


    Jaguar numbers have dwindled in recent years, especially in South America.



  • France bans imports of lion hunt trophies - 19 November 2015
    "Officials told to stop issuing import permits for lion heads, paws and skins, while country considers stricter controls on other species."





  • Scale of pangolin slaughter revealed – millions hunted in central Africa alone - 20 July 2017
    "Pangolins are the world’s most trafficked wild mammal and decimated Asian populations have sharply shifted the focus of exploitation to Africa."


  • "Malaysian authorities seized almost 400kg of pangolin scales trafficked from Ghana
    for the second time in three days, an official said on June 16."

  • How to save the world's most trafficked mammal - 20 April 2017
    "Many people in the West have never even heard of the pangolin, yet this “scaly anteater” is the source of a billion-dollar criminal industry that threatens to push it to extinction. BBC Future met a team of Hong Kong’s ecologists and activists trying to save these creatures from extinction."






  • Chinese appetite for totoaba fish bladder kills off rare porpoise - 16 May 2017
    "There are no more than 30 vaquita – a five-foot porpoise – left in the northern Gulf of California today and they could be extinct within months, conservationists have warned. ..
    The totoaba, which is itself highly endangered, is caught for its swim bladders which are smuggled to China for sale on the black market.
    Undercover investigators found the swim bladders, called maws, for sale in Shantou in Guandong province, at an average price of $20,000 per kilogram. The cost has led to the maws being dubbed “aquatic cocaine”."





  • 'Better de-horned than dead' – zoo chops rhino horns to foil poachers - 22 March 2017
    "Czech zoo takes saw to the horns of its 21 rhinoceroses in response to deadly attack at Paris wildlife park this month...
    With rhino horns considered a wonder cure in Asia – for everything from cancer, colds and fevers to high blood pressure, hangovers, impotence and other ailments – poachers have killed thousands of the animals in Africa and elsewhere.
    It is estimated that 6,000 individuals from the world’s five species of rhinos have been killed in the last nine years, leaving a global wild population of about 30,000."

  • South Africa Proposes Legalizing Limited Trade in Rhino Horn - Text + Audio - 18 March 2017
    "International trade in the horns of the big land animals has been outlawed since 1977.
    Supporters of the new law say it will increase money to protect rhinos.
    But environmentalists say no trade in rhino horn should be permitted."



  • Can drones help save the rhino? – video - 26 July 2016
    "Drones are operating above some of South Africa’s national parks in an attempt to deter and intercept poachers.
    Poaching is at record levels on the continent, devastating elephant and rhino populations.
    These drones can fly 2.5 hours on a single charge and up to 22 miles from the control vehicle.
    The operators say they have seen a direct link between their presence in an area and a fall in poaching."




  • Rhino Poaching Reaches Record Level in 2014 - Article + Audio
    "Official says a record number of the large animals were killed last year even as the government strengthens its efforts to stop poachers.
    Demand for rhino horn in Asia said to be responsible for many of the killings. And official is looking for ways to stop the trade in rhino horns."








  • Uncaged: saving China's songbirds from the poachers' nets – video - 31 January 2019
    "Bird poaching – for meat or for the pet trade – has become a silent epidemic across China, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of migratory birds each year.
    Gu Xuan, a young conservationist, is determined to break this cycle of death and destruction, and set the birds free"



  • Thailand tiger farms: Hunting the traffickers - 19 November 2016
    "When the Thai authorities moved in to shut down a tiger zoo in a temple at the end of May, they exposed a lot more than just the various irregularities in that one facility. The macabre sight of tiger foetuses preserved in bottles, and the shrivelled, frozen remains of other cubs, suddenly cast the popular tourist attraction
    into a more sinister light. Was this evidence of illegal trade in tiger parts?"


  • Snow leopards: Numbers decline due to 'retaliation' - 21 October 2016
    "Hundreds of snow leopards are being killed by poachers every year across the high mountain ranges of Asia, according to a new report."


    Human wildlife conflict has been responsible for the greater number
    of snow leopards poached in recent years.


  • Tiger Temple investigators find suspected slaughterhouse - 7 June 2016
    "Four live tigers and 12 empty cages found during police raid at house 30 miles from temple in western Thailand."
    “We believe it was used by the Tiger Temple to hold live tigers before slaughtering them for their skins, meat and bones to be exported outside the country, or sent to restaurants in Thailand that serve tiger meat to tour groups,” said police colonel Montri Pancharoen, deputy commander
    of the crime suppression division, which oversaw the raid...

    “We have information that the Tiger Temple is not the only place that supplies tigers to illegal smugglers.”

  • Tiger temple scandal exposes the shadowy billion-dollar Asian trade - 4 June 2016
    "Campaigners hope the Thai temple raid will stir the world’s conscience – but the trafficking of tiger parts to China is a booming business...
    There are about 3,200 tigers in the wild. Fewer than 30 in Vietnam, 50 in China, 2,200 in India and about 500 in Russia...
    The skin, meat, bones and claws of tigers are all prized for luxury goods and traditional medicine."

  • Thai monk caught fleeing temple with tiger skins - 2 June 2016
    "Authorities intercept man trying to leave a day after dozens of dead tiger cubs found in Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua temple freezer."

    SEE Rescue

  • More tigers poached in India so far this year than in 2015 - 29 April 2016
    "Conservationists say census figures are ‘worrying’ and cast doubts on the country’s anti-poaching efforts...
    Tiger meat and bones are used in traditional Chinese medicine and fetch high prices...
    Poachers use guns, poison and even steel traps and electrocution to kill their prey."



  • Fading stars: India’s illegal tortoise trade - in pictures - 20 November 2015
    "The ‘shocking’ scale of illegal trade in star tortoises in southern India has been revealed in a study published in the journal Nature Conservation. A large-scale network, fuelled by growing international demand for exotic pets, is causing extreme suffering to the animals and threatening the survival of the species, researchers warn. In one site alone, at least 55,000 tortoises were poached from the wild in one year.