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End Wildlife Trafficking

Poached to extinction?

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 being hunted by poachers to the verge of extinction.

across the U.S.

This trade is not just a problem in Africa or Asia. 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
In March 2018, Governor Inslee and the Washington State Legislature have approved $300,000 to fund the Washington Animal Trafficking Act for 2018-2019. Enforcement is key to catching poachers and traffickers,
This funding will allow 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
In fall 2019, Point Defiance Zoo held a Toss the Tusk event.
Anyone who owned unwanted (now illegal for sale) wildlife products could turn them in.
public awareness
In May 2022, Point Defiance Zoo along with Northwest Trek Wildlife Park partnered with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (WTA) and Woodland Park Zoo 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. Visit the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance to find out more.

Meet our animals

Asian Elephant
Sumatran tiger