With the holidays right around the corner many people have started their yearly quest for one of a kind gifts. It is very easy amidst the hustle and bustle to purchase items based on beauty alone. Please be wildlife aware when buying and receiving gifts. The cost may only be a few dollars out of your pocket, but for an animal it just may have cost his life.
It has been well known for quite some time that the illegal trafficking of wildlife and their parts is a multi-billion dollar a year business. Falling behind only drugs and weapons, wildlife trafficking is a deadly business for animals and humans alike. Although government complacency, compliance, and corruption allow such atrocities to occur, the overall demand of such products perpetuates these crimes.
When it comes to wildlife trafficking, be part of the solution not the problem. It is every ones responsibility to know what you are purchasing and where it comes from. Is an ivory statue worth the life of an endangered elephant? More times than not, wildlife products are not intentionally obtained. Jewelry and hair accessories made from bone, hair, and shell fragments can be found in every corner of the globe and now in the digital age just a click away. What may look exotic to some may represent death and destruction to others. Know how to tell the difference.
No doubt that international involvement from governments to mandate compliance to regulate and end wildlife trafficking is needed to end this horrible business. However, we all have a part to play with the choices we make via purchasing power. Support wildlife conservation efforts by not supporting the killing and exploitation of wildlife for trinkets and material symbols. The future of the planet and its inhabitants lies in all of our hands.