It may come as a surprise to most people that the world’s most illegally traded mammal — far surpassing the poaching and trafficking rates of elephants, rhinos and other high-profile species — is a solitary, nocturnal, scale-covered creature they’ve likely never heard of: the pangolin, commonly known as the “scaly anteater.”
Over the past few years, a growing number of shipping companies and airlines have stepped up to save sharks in one simple yet powerful way: banning shark fin shipments. Multi billion-dollar industry leaders including UPS, Cosco and American Airlines have all clarified their cargo policies to prohibit such shipments.
Now, global advocates are turning their attention to one powerful hold-out: FedEx. Over the weekend, WildAid and our campaign Shark Savers teamed up with Oceanic Preservation Society to support a series of protests at FedEx locations from Hong Kong to Boston urging the company to adopt a fin-free policy.
International wildlife trafficking is worth an estimated $10-20 billion per year annually, making it one of the world’s largest illicit trades after illegal drugs, arms and human trafficking. The United States is a chief consumer of wildlife products (both legal and illegal), but a recent poll commissioned by WildAid found 80 percent of Americans know little or nothing about illegal wildlife trade within the United States. As a result, travelers often are unaware that products they bring into the United States are prohibited.
This week marked the beginning of a fresh start for Casquita, an Olive Ridley sea turtle in Ecuador. Accompanied by children from the local community, Casquita triumphantly made her way back to the sea after recovering from injuries inflicted by a boat propeller and malnutrition.
We’re pleased to announce that Jay Chou, one of Asia's biggest celebrities, has joined the fight with WildAid in a new campaign against rhino horn, shark fin, elephant ivory and other products that are decimating wildlife.
Chou is a native of Taiwan, once a hotbed for rhino horn trafficking and consumption. In fact, in the early 1990s, Taiwan was the biggest consumer of rhino horn, contributing to a poaching crisis at the time that decimated rhino populations. But thanks to decisive new laws and a mass education campaign, Taiwan ended its trade in rhino horn. Since then, rhino populations rebounded until new demand for rhino horn developed in Vietnam and mainland China, where it is peddled as a panacea for ailments and diseases, from hangovers to cancer. Currently about 1,200 rhinos are killed each year in South Africa.