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Eliminate the Illegals

Ivory Stockpile

There is some evidence emerging that sales of ivory stockpiles lead to increase poaching. Photo credit D Willets/IFAW

Citizens throughout the world should refrain from buying souvenirs made from endangered or threatened wildlife according to The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).   When traveling to various parts of the planet most tourists are unaware that some of the products they purchase in hotels, resorts, and airports are illegal.

As a result, custom officials confiscate thousands of souvenirs made from threatened or endangered species millions of tourists bring home from their trips.

In order to try and save the many endangered wildlife the IFAW adamantly requests citizens pledge their support in protecting wildlife by abstaining from purchasing products made from threatened and endangered species.

They suggest we become responsible tourists in a number of ways.

Capuchin Monkey

Capuchin monkey rescued from wildlife smugglers in Trinidad. Credit IFAW.

Support Your Local Community

First, a ecological concept many knowledgeable people are doing is supporting their local economy by purchasing non-wildlife products handcrafted from local artists, such as paintings, beaded jewelry, or woodcarvings.

Second, the IFAW suggests we should think about the welfare of animals; don’t become involved in the exploitation of wildlife like visiting circuses, hunting,  or even having photographs taken with animals.

Third, tourists should become more responsible in their endeavors; they should learn about the culture they are visiting and make sure where they are staying supports, rather than does harm to the environment.

Fourth, we should report any endangered species we might come across to the local police, local tourist board and hotel management.

Poached Elephant in Tsavo

Poached Elephant in Tsavo. Photo credit IFAW

Helpful Suggestions and Advice

If possible, the IFAW would like you to take photographs of suspected animal products and send them to the IFAW website.

Finally, in order to stop illegal wildlife trade the IFAW asks that we help to inform people to avoid purchasing products made from animals.  They provide banners, pamphlets, and literature to help us spread the word to help eliminate illegal wildlife trade.

What are your thoughts?

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