From tigers in Asia to elephants in Africa, wildlife crimes only seem to make the news when it concerns rare and exotic species and high-value animal parts like rhino horns.
But there’s no need to cross the ocean to find the pervasive and persistent problem of poaching and links to an international black market. Poaching for specific high-demand animal parts to feed the demand of a nefarious underworld of dealers, merchants and buyers is widespread in the U.S., its fingers extending to nearly all parts of the country.
And with any criminal enterprise, it’s the money that supplies the motive. For example, the American black bear has long been poached for its hide, paws, gallbladder, and bile, mainly due to their use in Eastern medicine. (Gallbladder and bile are often used to treat diseases of the heart and kidneys.) Undercover operations have found single dried bear gallbladders fetching as much as $30,000 on the black market.
But it’s not just the American black bear that’s under siege. The horns of ram sheep can sell for more than $20,000 on the black market. The bighorn sheep, which largely resides in the area between the San Jacinto Mountains and the U.S.-Mexico border, has been on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s endangered species list since 1998. Although land development and disease have been the major contributors to the dwindling of this species, poaching is only putting more nails in the coffin. These sheep are usually found in remote areas, making it a challenge for game wardens to patrol and monitor poaching activity.
Shark fins are also highly valued in Eastern cultures, making poaching off the coast of California a major problem, despite the fact that selling or distributing shark fins is illegal under California’s Shark Fin Law. When a great deal of money is at stake, the crimes continue. A single shark fin can sell for $500 in China, where it is used to make shark fin soup, a delicacy. It is estimated that there are more than 100 million shark deaths every year due to shark finning: the practice of catching a shark, slicing off only the coveted fins, then tossing the animal back overboard to die a slow and painful death To read the full article visit: gamewarden.org
We have a serious problem of illegal hunting in the U.S. and the NRA is NOT holding their original standards which was about gun SAFETY AND TRAINING. NRA became the only national trainer of law enforcement officers with the introduction of its NRA Police Firearms Instructor certification program in 1960. In civilian training, the NRA continues to be the leader in firearms education. Over 125,000 certified instructors now train about 1,000,000 gun owners a year. Courses are available in basic rifle, pistol, shotgun, muzzleloading firearms, personal protection, even ammunition reloading. Additionally, nearly 7,000 certified coaches are specially trained to work with young competitive shooters. The focus now is more about fighting for gun rights, money and political power. Safety means nothing to the NRA. By the NRA getting away from their roots has created a very dangerous gun problem in the United States.
Another problem in the U.S. is Texas
Of the 1,525 seizures that FWS recorded at the U.S.-Mexico border from January 2020 to September 11, 2023, more than 85 percent occurred in Texas, accounting for 17,317 animals and exotic animal parts—such as a South African ostrich and shark bones. Learn more here:
The biggest organization that is a threat to our wildlife is Safar Club International with their trophy hunting AND Hunting contests! Learn more at
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