A program of the Lindbergh Foundation
The extraordinary increase in elephant and rhino deaths threatens extinction. Ignorance, and economic and social pressures are fueling the slaughter of African elephants and rhino at extraordinary rates.
Illegal poaching: $70 billion dollars a year and growing. Elephants are slaughtered for their tusks, then their ivory is carved into trinkets. China and the U.S. lead the countries that are driving the demand for ivory tusks. A single tusk can be worth more than US$ 75,000.
Rhino horns are worth over $65,000 per kilo on the black market. Criminal gangs are involved as it’s worth more than gold. The skyrocketing values of tusks (up to US$ 150,000) and horns (as much as US$ 500,000) generate extraordinary profits.
Organized crime and terrorist groups are now actively supporting poaching because of the great amounts of money that are involved.
Illegal wildlife trade is one of the world’s most lucrative criminal activities. Well-organized syndicates operating as transnational criminal networks often participate in other illegal activities, including trafficking in narcotics and weapons. Some have links with terrorist networks.
The criminals are ruthless with hundreds of park rangers killed in the line of duty. This has left a great toll not only on the animals but also on the lives of surrounding villagers who are corrupted by the lure of big money.
Rhino horn powder. It’s what the newly wealthy and fashionable in Vietnam use to spice up their cocktail. It’s called “the drink of millionaires” and the “party drug of choice.” Some boast that they can drink all night and not be hung over because of rhino horn.
Vietnam’s thirst for powdered rhino horn is a new phenomenon. It didn’t exist 10 years ago. This isn’t based on an age-old tradition or eastern medicine. Opportunists making outrageous claims regarding the power of rhino horn have created a booming market based on ignorance and greed. The rapid increase in the Chinese middle class is fueling the huge demand for carved ivory.
Rhinos used to roam in the jungles of Vietnam.
They have all been slaughtered for their horns, and the Javan Rhino is now extinct.
Copyright © 2017 · The Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation