Today 100 elephants will die and 12,000 bears will sit in cages not much bigger than they are as bile is extracted from them .But now you can make a difference simply by downloading an app. Taronga Conservation Society has partnered with TRAFFIC with the aim of giving everybody the opportunity to help report wildlife trafficking.
The ‘Wildlife Witness’ app sees users taking a photo of wildlife crimes, working out the exact location and then sending these details to TRAFFIC.
The data will be analysed with credible reports sent to local enforcement agencies who can take action to prosecute the criminals. It is hoped this information will highlight areas where extra attention is needed and help to prioritise response.
The director of Taronga Zoo, Cameron Kerr, stated “The free Wildlife Witness app will become a powerful weapon in the fight to stop illegal wildlife trade, particularly in Southeast Asia.”
He added how this app is the first of its kind “Wildlife Witness is the first global community action tool to tackle illegal wildlife trade. The app makes reporting these activities simple for both tourists and locals and will help give TRAFFIC the information they need to help address this global wildlife crisis.”
Currently illegal wildlife trafficking is earning $19 billion dollars a year for the people who commit these crimes.
The Minister for the environment also showed his support for the app saying ‘“The illegal wildlife trade is now a global crisis which is devastating wildlife populations around the world. By using this simple app, Australians can be part of a global effort to stamp out illegal wildlife trade.”
Taronga has a history of helping animals who were part of the illegal wildlife trade. The zoo’s sunbear, Mr Hobbs, was rescued from a Cambodian restaurant. Mr Hobbs was just a cub when an Australian couple found him as he was about to be sold for bear paw soup.
The app can be downloaded for free at: Wildlife Witness App
Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo