Wildlife protection pioneers, the WWF have just released a series of videos entitled ‘Stop Wildlife Crime’. The five original videos look at the criminal activities against both protected animals such as elephants, tigers and rhinos and also the rangers, who literally risk their lives to halt the illegal wildlife trade.
The first video is entitled ‘It’s Dead Serious’ and reveals how illegal wildlife trade has become one of the biggest criminal acts, effectively placing up to 10 billion US dollars into criminals’ pockets every year. The WWF video explains how this trade impacts on our global security. This was also covered in the recent Poaching Wars series, fronted by Tom Hardy.
The second video focusses on the plight of the elephant in ‘I Am Not a Trinket’. It’s a sad fact that thousands of these majestic animals are slaughtered every year for their ivory tusks. The ivory trades for high sums and is turned into trinkets, ornaments and jewellery. The annual World Elephant Day each August 12th aims to raise awareness and engage people in conservation across the world.
Next up is ‘I Am Not a Rug’ which details the plight of the rapidly-declining wild tiger populations. Extensive poaching has reduced numbers to around 3,200. These graceful creatures are sought for their skins and body parts which are tuned into rugs and ‘medicines’. Each year on 29 July, the International Tiger Day is held.
The ‘I Am Not Medicine’ video focusses on rhinos, who are being hunted to the very brink of extinction. Only five species of rhino still exist; black, white, Sumatran, Javan and greater one-horned. Habitat loss, natural disasters and poaching have all affected rhino numbers. In fact, poaching in South Africa alone increased by over 5000% in just five years, between 2007 and 2012. The most endangered is the Javan rhino, where it’s estimated that less than 35 remain in the wild. Rhino conservation if brought to the fore with the annual World Rhino Day, held each 22 September.
Finally the hard-hitting ‘Rangers on the Front Lines’ video deals with the very real fact that over 1,000 rangers have died trying to protect these creatures from ruthless poachers. In fact, over the last ten years, 2 rangers have died every single week in the fight against wildlife crime. Watch the videos and get involved.