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Global Ideas

An alliance against wildlife trafficking

The Wildlife Alliance is making big strides in fighting the booming illegal animal trade in Cambodia with its conservationists and special forces successfully taking on the organized mafia-style business.

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Watch: Cambodia - Fighting the Animal Trade

Project goal: Fighting the illegal trade in endangered species
Implementation: Caring for rescued animals in an animal shelter, cooperation between animal rights activists and authorities to track and crack down on smuggling networks
Project size: There are some 1,200 animals in the shelter with a total of more than 100 species. The special task force against illegal animal trade includes 12 members

When it comes to the illegal animal trade, Cambodia is something of a hotspot. Primarily driven by rising demand from China, the mafia-style business is booming. But private animal conservationists with the US organization, “Wildlife Alliance”, are working with the Cambodian police and forest authorities to buck the trend. They have formed so-called “Wildlife Rescue Teams” which are unique in Southeast Asia. The Wildlife Alliance’s Phnom Tamao Wildlife Sanctuary outside the Cambodian capital is home to some 1,200 animals including crocodiles, bears, elephants, tigers. There are a total of 1,000 species there, all of which have been confiscated at customs.

A film by Michael Altenhenne

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