Skip to main content

End Wildlife Trafficking

Wildlife trafficking – the illegal trade of animal products – is a global crisis. Many of the world’s rarest species, such as elephants, tigers, sharks, and rhinos, are on the verge of extinction due to an unsustainable demand for their parts and derived products.

across the U.S.

This trade is closer to home than you may think. Trafficking in illegal animal products – elephant ivory, shark fins, tiger skins, and rhino horn – is widespread across the United States.

through Tacoma

Seattle and Tacoma together serve as the third largest port complex in the country. Millions of tons of cargo pass through each year, including illegal wildlife products. This illegal trade fuels a multi-billion dollar business supporting global criminal organizations.

Partnering for success
Metro Parks Tacoma

Metro Parks Tacoma supports anti-trafficking laws. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is a gold level member of the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance and is partners with Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Woodland Park Zoo and Seattle Aquarium to stop wildlife trafficking by education and connecting people to wildlife.

Wildlife matters
to Washington
In 2015, voters overwhelmingly passed Initiative 1401, creating the Washington Animal Trafficking Act that bans the trafficking of products from ten groups of endangered animals.
The Act is vital in breaking the demand cycle for endangered wildlife products and allows Washington to serve as a role model for other states.
for wildlife
Governor Inslee and the Washington State Legislature have approved funding for the Washington Animal Trafficking Act. Enforcement is key to catching poachers and traffickers.
State funding allows Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officers to inspect more cargo, expand the K-9 detection program, develop lab testing of evidence, and apprehend traffickers.
public participation
Point Defiance Zoo and other zoos hold Toss the Tusk events.
Anyone who owns unwanted (now illegal for sale) wildlife products can turn them in.
public awareness
In 2022, Point Defiance Zoo and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park partnered with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (WTA), Woodland Park Zoo, and other local partners to unveil a first-of-its-kind interactive installation to help stop wildlife trafficking.
At the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the educational display empowers international travelers to prevent wildlife trafficking in how they shop, eat and experience while abroad. Read The Release

Take Action

Never purchase wildlife products. Be informed about what you buy, especially when traveling abroad – even small trinkets fuel demand, and animals suffer. And support laws that protect endangered species.

Meet our animals

Asian Elephant
Sumatran tiger