Stop Wildlife Trafficking

tigerWildlife 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.

This trade is not just a problem in Africa or Asia. Trafficking in illegal animal products is widespread across the United States – even right here in Washington. Together, Seattle and Tacoma serve as the third largest port complex in the country with millions of tons of cargo passing through each year, including illegal wildlife products – elephant ivory, shark fins, tiger skins, and rhino horn. This trade fuels a multi-billion dollar business that supports criminal organizations around the world. 

elephant-tuskWe’re Taking Action

Metro Parks Tacoma supports the implementation of anti-trafficking laws. To this end, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is partnering with Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Woodland Park Zoo and Seattle Aquarium to stop wildlife trafficking. We’re educating our communities about the threats facing these iconic and beloved animals. Our most important role is to connect people with animals and inspire action to protect them, even if they’re half a world away.

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 people of Washington spoke with a unified voice that wildlife deserves protection. 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. 

elephantYou Can Help
  • Contact your elected officials. Enforcement is key to catching poachers and traffickers, but funding for enforcement is limited. Contact your elected officials in the Washington Legislature right away to support funding for the Wildlife Trafficking Act. This will allow Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officers to inspect more cargo, develop a K-9 detection program, develop lab testing of evidence and apprehend traffickers - stopping the wildlife trade in its tracks.
  • Never purchase wildlife products. Be informed about what you buy, especially when traveling abroad - even small trinkets fuel demand, and animals suffer. 

We hope you’ll join us in taking action to make sure our earth’s irreplaceable wildlife is secure for future generations.