Truth be told, all wildlife crimes are pretty awful.
Wildlife Watch is a blog created by National Geographic that highlights wildlife crimes that hit news blotters all over the world. It’s no surprise that some of these crimes, the more high profile of the sort, tend to ring out internationally as opposed to local crime.
For just a small sample of what wildlife officers fight all over the world, here are only seven of the most recent international wildlife crimes to flood the newsstands.
1. Guilty Logging
In a report from The China Post, 39 people, including runaway foreign laborers, gathered together and attempted to cut down as many trees as possible in the central Taiwan region.
2. Recipe for Zebra?
With an incident happening in Monze, Zambia, a police officer with nine accomplices was caught with 350 pounds of zebra meat without a permit, at least according to the Lusaka Times. The poaching group also had a live pangolin. Pangolin are sought for their meat, and even scales.
3. Ivory Thieves
Poachers have been after ivory for years. Black market demand for ivory is only going up as the source continues to get smaller. In a case reported by the Business Standard, four people were caught attempting to poach elephants with two pieces of ivory in possession just outside of the Mayurbhanj district in Odisha, India.
4. Turtle Trapping
In a case originating right here in the USA, the The Associated Press reported that men from California and Louisiana rounded up 220 turtles. 160 of those turtles were endangered or protected species while 60 were common snapping turtles. As it was reported, the snappers were used as cover because they assumed wildlife inspectors wouldn’t want to mess with them.
5. Illegal Leopard Skins
The New Indian Express reported that a special anti-poaching squad busted an illegal poaching gang in Nabarangpur, India. When the gang was caught, they had six leopard skins, bear claws, tiger teeth, and other bear parts.
6. Reptile Thievery
Smuggling exotic animals through an airport is exactly what wildlife agents are trained to stop. In this case, according to the Coconuts Jakarta, a man was caught with green tree pythons, an Argentine red tegu, and an Indian star tortoise. Hopefully they all weren’t in a carry on.
7. Pangolin Delivery
Pangolins doubled up in this list simply due to how rare and valuable the black market has made them. As seen in the Vietnamnet, a truck driver got busted with 81 pangolins and no permit. Unfortunately, Vietnam is a major link to illegal pangolin smuggling.
With only seven wildlife crimes in the last week making news around the world, don’t believe for a second that this is all there is. Wildlife officials fight 24 hours a day, seven days a week against a threat that won’t rest until the animals that are sought are exhausted to the point of extinction.
Hopefully, it can be stopped before it’s too late.