The current demand for endangered species products in Asia is unprecedented and largely driven by demand for medicinal products, such as rhino horn and tiger parts, or as a demonstration of economic and social status, through products like ivory and rhino horn carvings or tiger bone wine.
Growing wealth in Asia, particularly in China, has resulted in an increase in the number of consumers with the means to purchase such products. In addition, a dramatic spike in demand for rhino horn in Vietnam has been driven by a recent myth that rhino horn cures cancer, and renewed interest in other non-traditional medicinal uses.
With our partner TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, we are making it harder for people to buy illegal goods. Through our efforts,China's top e-commerce companies have pledged that they will not allow any tiger, rhino or elephant products to be sold on their sites.
We need your help telling others that its illegal to buy these products. Even if you see ivory for sale in a fancy shop on your Asian vacation, its acrime to bring it home. Please don't contribute to the poaching of elephants by purchasing ivory.
Dr Joseph Okori, head of WWF's Rhino Programme in Africa, talks about the African rhino poaching crisis.
South Africa has lost at least 287 rhinos in 2011, including 16 or more critically endangered black rhinos. A majority of the poaching incidents have occurred in the world famous Kruger National Park, but privately owned rhinos have also been targeted. Law enforcement officials have made over 165 arrests so far during the year, and some convicted poachers have been sentenced to up to 12 years in prison.
More on our work with African rhinos: wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/rhinoceros/african_rhinos/
Standard YouTube License