What's going out of Africa?

The continent of Africa is home to some of the world's most majestic and iconic wildlife. Sadly, it is also home to some of the world's most cruel, dangerous, and exploitative wildlife trading.

Some of the activity is criminal. Some of it is legally authorized. All of it is cruel.

Every day we learn more about the dangers of this trade, and how it is putting our own future at risk.

We are at a biodiversity tipping point - we must take action now before we potentially trade thousands of species into extinction. 

It's bigger than you think. Explore the scale of this devastating trade. Witness how these incredible animals are treated from the moment of capture to the point they are shipped around the planet. Follow along as we journey from the overwhelming traditional medicine markets of Benin, to the brutal trapping of grey parrots in the Congo, and the shocking export of lion bones from South Africa.

And find out what you can do to help stop it before it's too late.

Pythons from West Africa

More than three million Ball pythons have been exported from West Africa, to Europe, Asia and North America over the past 45 years.

African ball pythons are the most legally exported live animal from Africa but that doesn't make it safe or sustainable.

Wild-caught or bred in captivity, reptiles are well-documented as potential carriers of pathogens, such as parasites and viruses, and in particular of human illness-causing bacteria. We know that snakes can become vectors of diseases that also make humans sick while seeming perfectly healthy and unaffected themselves.

Snake farms in West Africa also trade in other species such as bats, civets and primates, which increases the risk of more dangerous and virulent pathogens arising that can be passed to other species, including humans.

One thing that makes Ball pythons a popular exotic pet is the misconception that they require little specialized care. But the reality is that snakes, including Ball pythons, have complex and specific requirements to meet even their most basic needs in captivity.

These misunderstood animals suffer from the moment of capture or being born at a breeding facility, through to their life of captivity.

Follow the pythons journey across the ocean

The traditional medicine markets of Benin

While conducting research for a documentary on the international trade of Ball pythons as pets, we discovered the heartbreaking reality of the wild animal derivatives trade in West Africa at traditional medicine and fetish markets, where pangolin heads, baboon skulls and dead birds lay alongside live animals like tortoises.

The traditional medicine markets in Benin were like scenes from a horror movie. We saw the heads of monkeys, snakes, turtles, civets, dogs, cats, and more; thousands of animals, across hundreds of species laid out on tables in macabre displays. Director Will Foster-Grundy and I have covered stories of human-animal conflict for years, yet the markets were still a shock to the system.
– Award Winning Environmental Photojournalist Aaron Gekoski
  • 大量动物被关在卫生条件恶劣的环境中,在狭小的笼子中,它们忍受着巨大压力和痛苦。 恶劣的卫生条件加上与人类的直接接触为病毒的滋生和传播创造了温床。
    – “野生动物并非宠物”项目全球负责人 Cassandra Koenen
  • The traditional medicine markets in Benin were like scenes from a horror movie. We saw the heads of monkeys, snakes, turtles, civets, dogs, cats, and more; thousands of animals, across hundreds of species laid out on tables in macabre displays. Director Will Foster-Grundy and I have covered stories of human-animal conflict for years, yet the markets were still a shock to the system.
    – Award Winning Environmental Photojournalist Aaron Gekoski
  • With large numbers of animals kept in poor hygiene conditions the animals are kept in cramped cages, where they will eventually develop weakened immunities due to stress. This lack of hygiene combined with direct human contact creates a hot bed for viruses to mutate and develop.
    – Cassandra Koenen, Global Head of Wildlife Campaigns, Wildlife Not Pets
  • Research has shown that pangolins could potentially have spread COVID-19 to humans, but nobody knows for certain. Other mammals such as bats, camels and civets are capable or hosting and transmitting coronaviruses such as COVID-19
    – Gilbert Sape, Global Head of Wildlife Campaign, Bears and Traditional Medicine
  • Jaguars already face the challenges of habitat destruction and human animal conflicts. They are now cruelly killed,or injured and left to die. There are reports of jaguars being shot up to seven times by hunters, leading to a protracted and painful death. With the jaguar's habitat being opened, this also increases encounters between jaguars and miners, farmers and loggers, who shoot them opportunistically.
    – Nicholas Bruschi, Investigations Advisor
  • The traditional medicine markets in Benin were like scenes from a horror movie. We saw the heads of monkeys, snakes, turtles, civets, dogs, cats, and more; thousands of animals, across hundreds of species laid out on tables in macabre displays. Director Will Foster-Grundy and I have covered stories of human-animal conflict for years, yet the markets were still a shock to the system.
    – Award Winning Environmental Photojournalist Aaron Gekoski
  • Research has shown that pangolins could potentially have spread COVID-19 to humans, but nobody knows for certain. Other mammals such as bats, camels and civets are capable or hosting and transmitting coronaviruses such as COVID-19
    – Gilbert Sape, Global Head of Wildlife Campaign, Bears and Traditional Medicine
  • Jaguars already face the challenges of habitat destruction and human animal conflicts. They are now cruelly killed,or injured and left to die. There are reports of jaguars being shot up to seven times by hunters, leading to a protracted and painful death. With the jaguar's habitat being opened, this also increases encounters between jaguars and miners, farmers and loggers, who shoot them opportunistically.
    – Nicholas Bruschi, Investigations Advisor
  • With large numbers of animals kept in poor hygiene conditions the animals are kept in cramped cages, where they will eventually develop weakened immunities due to stress. This lack of hygiene combined with direct human contact creates a hot bed for viruses to mutate and develop.
    – Cassandra Koenen, Global Head of Wildlife Campaigns, Wildlife Not Pets
  • Research has shown that pangolins could potentially have spread COVID-19 to humans, but nobody knows for certain. Other mammals such as bats, camels and civets are capable or hosting and transmitting coronaviruses such as COVID-19
    – Gilbert Sape, Global Head of Wildlife Campaign, Bears and Traditional Medicine
  • The traditional medicine markets in Benin were like scenes from a horror movie. We saw the heads of monkeys, snakes, turtles, civets, dogs, cats, and more; thousands of animals, across hundreds of species laid out on tables in macabre displays. Director Will Foster-Grundy and I have covered stories of human-animal conflict for years, yet the markets were still a shock to the system.
    – Award Winning Environmental Photojournalist Aaron Gekoski
  • Jaguars already face the challenges of habitat destruction and human animal conflicts. They are now cruelly killed,or injured and left to die. There are reports of jaguars being shot up to seven times by hunters, leading to a protracted and painful death. With the jaguar's habitat being opened, this also increases encounters between jaguars and miners, farmers and loggers, who shoot them opportunistically.
    – Nicholas Bruschi, Investigations Advisor
  • With large numbers of animals kept in poor hygiene conditions the animals are kept in cramped cages, where they will eventually develop weakened immunities due to stress. This lack of hygiene combined with direct human contact creates a hot bed for viruses to mutate and develop.
    – Cassandra Koenen, Global Head of Wildlife Campaigns, Wildlife Not Pets
  • Research has shown that pangolins could potentially have spread COVID-19 to humans, but nobody knows for certain. Other mammals such as bats, camels and civets are capable or hosting and transmitting coronaviruses such as COVID-19
    – Gilbert Sape, Global Head of Wildlife Campaign, Bears and Traditional Medicine
  • The traditional medicine markets in Benin were like scenes from a horror movie. We saw the heads of monkeys, snakes, turtles, civets, dogs, cats, and more; thousands of animals, across hundreds of species laid out on tables in macabre displays. Director Will Foster-Grundy and I have covered stories of human-animal conflict for years, yet the markets were still a shock to the system.
    – Award Winning Environmental Photojournalist Aaron Gekoski
  • Jaguars already face the challenges of habitat destruction and human animal conflicts. They are now cruelly killed,or injured and left to die. There are reports of jaguars being shot up to seven times by hunters, leading to a protracted and painful death. With the jaguar's habitat being opened, this also increases encounters between jaguars and miners, farmers and loggers, who shoot them opportunistically.
    – Nicholas Bruschi, Investigations Advisor
  • With large numbers of animals kept in poor hygiene conditions the animals are kept in cramped cages, where they will eventually develop weakened immunities due to stress. This lack of hygiene combined with direct human contact creates a hot bed for viruses to mutate and develop.
    – Cassandra Koenen, Global Head of Wildlife Campaigns, Wildlife Not Pets
  • Research has shown that pangolins could potentially have spread COVID-19 to humans, but nobody knows for certain. Other mammals such as bats, camels and civets are capable or hosting and transmitting coronaviruses such as COVID-19
    – Gilbert Sape, Global Head of Wildlife Campaign, Bears and Traditional Medicine
  • The traditional medicine markets in Benin were like scenes from a horror movie. We saw the heads of monkeys, snakes, turtles, civets, dogs, cats, and more; thousands of animals, across hundreds of species laid out on tables in macabre displays. Director Will Foster-Grundy and I have covered stories of human-animal conflict for years, yet the markets were still a shock to the system.
    – Award Winning Environmental Photojournalist Aaron Gekoski
  • Jaguars already face the challenges of habitat destruction and human animal conflicts. They are now cruelly killed,or injured and left to die. There are reports of jaguars being shot up to seven times by hunters, leading to a protracted and painful death. With the jaguar's habitat being opened, this also increases encounters between jaguars and miners, farmers and loggers, who shoot them opportunistically.
    – Nicholas Bruschi, Investigations Advisor
  • With large numbers of animals kept in poor hygiene conditions the animals are kept in cramped cages, where they will eventually develop weakened immunities due to stress. This lack of hygiene combined with direct human contact creates a hot bed for viruses to mutate and develop.
    – Cassandra Koenen, Global Head of Wildlife Campaigns, Wildlife Not Pets
  • Research has shown that pangolins could potentially have spread COVID-19 to humans, but nobody knows for certain. Other mammals such as bats, camels and civets are capable or hosting and transmitting coronaviruses such as COVID-19
    – Gilbert Sape, Global Head of Wildlife Campaign, Bears and Traditional Medicine
  • The traditional medicine markets in Benin were like scenes from a horror movie. We saw the heads of monkeys, snakes, turtles, civets, dogs, cats, and more; thousands of animals, across hundreds of species laid out on tables in macabre displays. Director Will Foster-Grundy and I have covered stories of human-animal conflict for years, yet the markets were still a shock to the system.
    – Award Winning Environmental Photojournalist Aaron Gekoski
  • Jaguars already face the challenges of habitat destruction and human animal conflicts. They are now cruelly killed,or injured and left to die. There are reports of jaguars being shot up to seven times by hunters, leading to a protracted and painful death. With the jaguar's habitat being opened, this also increases encounters between jaguars and miners, farmers and loggers, who shoot them opportunistically.
    – Nicholas Bruschi, Investigations Advisor
  • With large numbers of animals kept in poor hygiene conditions the animals are kept in cramped cages, where they will eventually develop weakened immunities due to stress. This lack of hygiene combined with direct human contact creates a hot bed for viruses to mutate and develop.
    – Cassandra Koenen, Global Head of Wildlife Campaigns, Wildlife Not Pets
  • Research has shown that pangolins could potentially have spread COVID-19 to humans, but nobody knows for certain. Other mammals such as bats, camels and civets are capable or hosting and transmitting coronaviruses such as COVID-19
    – Gilbert Sape, Global Head of Wildlife Campaign, Bears and Traditional Medicine
  • The traditional medicine markets in Benin were like scenes from a horror movie. We saw the heads of monkeys, snakes, turtles, civets, dogs, cats, and more; thousands of animals, across hundreds of species laid out on tables in macabre displays. Director Will Foster-Grundy and I have covered stories of human-animal conflict for years, yet the markets were still a shock to the system.
    – Award Winning Environmental Photojournalist Aaron Gekoski
  • Jaguars already face the challenges of habitat destruction and human animal conflicts. They are now cruelly killed,or injured and left to die. There are reports of jaguars being shot up to seven times by hunters, leading to a protracted and painful death. With the jaguar's habitat being opened, this also increases encounters between jaguars and miners, farmers and loggers, who shoot them opportunistically.
    – Nicholas Bruschi, Investigations Advisor
  • With large numbers of animals kept in poor hygiene conditions the animals are kept in cramped cages, where they will eventually develop weakened immunities due to stress. This lack of hygiene combined with direct human contact creates a hot bed for viruses to mutate and develop.
    – Cassandra Koenen, Global Head of Wildlife Campaigns, Wildlife Not Pets
  • Research has shown that pangolins could potentially have spread COVID-19 to humans, but nobody knows for certain. Other mammals such as bats, camels and civets are capable or hosting and transmitting coronaviruses such as COVID-19
    – Gilbert Sape, Global Head of Wildlife Campaign, Bears and Traditional Medicine
  • The traditional medicine markets in Benin were like scenes from a horror movie. We saw the heads of monkeys, snakes, turtles, civets, dogs, cats, and more; thousands of animals, across hundreds of species laid out on tables in macabre displays. Director Will Foster-Grundy and I have covered stories of human-animal conflict for years, yet the markets were still a shock to the system.
    – Award Winning Environmental Photojournalist Aaron Gekoski
  • Jaguars already face the challenges of habitat destruction and human animal conflicts. They are now cruelly killed,or injured and left to die. There are reports of jaguars being shot up to seven times by hunters, leading to a protracted and painful death. With the jaguar's habitat being opened, this also increases encounters between jaguars and miners, farmers and loggers, who shoot them opportunistically.
    – Nicholas Bruschi, Investigations Advisor
  • With large numbers of animals kept in poor hygiene conditions the animals are kept in cramped cages, where they will eventually develop weakened immunities due to stress. This lack of hygiene combined with direct human contact creates a hot bed for viruses to mutate and develop.
    – Cassandra Koenen, Global Head of Wildlife Campaigns, Wildlife Not Pets
  • “Investigaciones han mostrado que los pangolines podrían haber transmitido el COVID-19 a los humanos, pero nadie lo sabe con certeza. Otros mamíferos como los murciélagos, los camellos y las civetas tienen la capacidad de albergar y transmitir coronavirus como el COVID-19”.
    – Gilbert Sape, Director global de campaña: Silvestres. No Medicina.
  • “Los mercados de medicina tradicional de Benín son como escenas de una película de terror. Vimos las cabezas de monos, serpientes, tortugas, civetas, perros, gatos y muchos animales más. Miles de animales, entre cientos de especies, están sobre mesas como en una macabra exhibición. El director Will Foster-Grundy y yo hemos cubierto historias sobre el conflicto humano animal por años, sin embargo, estos mercados siguen siendo impactantes para el sistema”.
    – Aaron Gekoski, fotoperiodista ambiental galardonado.
  • “Los jaguares ya enfrentan desafíos por la destrucción de su hábitat y el conflicto con los humanos por su territorio. Ahora son asesinados cruelmente o heridos y abandonados para morir. Existen reportes de que los cazadores han disparado hasta siete veces contra un jaguar, provocándole una muerte prolongada y dolorosa. Con la apertura del hábitat de los jaguares, se incrementan los encuentros entre los animales y los mineros, los agricultores y los madereros, quienes les disparan de manera oportunista”.
    – Nicholas Bruschi, Asesor de Investigaciones
  • “Existe una gran cantidad de animales que son mantenidos en condiciones pobres de higiene, confinados en pequeñas jaulas, donde probablemente sus sistemas inmunes se debilitan a causa del estrés. La falta de higiene, combinada con el contacto directo con humanos, crea condiciones ideales para el desarrollo y la propagación de virus”.
    – Cassandra Koenen, Directora global de campañas de vida silvestre: Silvestres. No mascotas.
  • 科学研究表明,穿山甲、蝙蝠、果子狸等野生动物是一些人兽共患病病毒的携带者。
    –   
  • 贝宁的传统医药市场如同野生动物的地狱,这里有猴子、蛇、乌龟、麝香猫、犬、猫等很多动物的头部,数百种、成千上万只动物,被摆放在桌子上售卖,令人毛骨悚然。我和Will Foster-Grundy导演多年来一直在报道人兽冲突议题,但这个市场对于我们来说仍是一个巨大冲击。
    – 环境摄影记者 Aaron Gekoski
  • 美洲豹面临着栖息地破坏以及人兽冲突的挑战。现在它们被猎杀。曾报道过一只美洲豹被猎人射击了七次,导致其漫长而痛苦地死亡。 随着美洲豹栖息地的开发,它们与矿工、农民和伐木工的接触也逐渐增加,而这些人会趁机射杀它们。
    – 调查顾问 Nicholas Bruschi
  • Des recherches ont démontré que les pangolins pourraient potentiellement avoir transmis la COVID-19 aux humains, mais personne n’en a la certitude. D’autres mammifères, comme les chauves-souris, les chameaux et les civettes sont capables d’être des hôtes et de transmettre des coronavirus comme la COVID-19.
    – Gilbert Sape, chef de la campagne de protection de la faune Faune, au lieu de médicament
  • Les marchés de médecine traditionnelle au Bénin ressemblaient à des scènes d’un film d’horreur. Nous avons vu des têtes de singes, de serpents, de tortues, de civettes, de chiens, de chats, et même plus; des milliers d’animaux et des centaines d’espèces étendus sur des tables dans des présentations macabres. Le réalisateur Will Foster-Grundy et moi avons longtemps couvert les conflits entre humains et animaux, et malgré cela, ces marchés ont provoqué chez nous un choc immense.
    – Aaron Gekoski, photojournaliste environnemental primé
  • Lorsque de grands nombres d’animaux sont maintenus dans de piètres conditions d’hygiène — les animaux sont entassés dans des cages, où ils sont susceptibles de fragiliser leur système immunitaire en raison du stress —, ce manque d’hygiène, combiné à un contact humain direct, crée un terrain fertile pour l’émergence et la propagation de virus.
    – Cassandra Koenen, chef de la campagne de protection de la faune Faune, au lieu de compagnon
  • Les jaguars sont déjà confrontés à la destruction de leur habitat et à des conflits avec les humains. Ils sont maintenant tués cruellement, ou blessés et laissés pour morts. Des rapports révèlent que des jaguars ont été tirés jusqu’à sept fois par des chasseurs, entraînant ainsi une mort prolongée et douloureuse. L’empiètement sur l’habitat des jaguars augmente également les rencontres entre les jaguars et des mineurs, des fermiers et des bûcherons, qui les prennent opportunément pour cible.
    – Nicholas Bruschi, conseiller aux enquêtes
  • Research has shown that pangolins could potentially have spread COVID-19 to humans, but nobody knows for certain. Other mammals such as bats, camels and civets are capable or hosting and transmitting coronaviruses such as COVID-19
    – Gilbert Sape, Global Head of Wildlife Campaign, Bears and Traditional Medicine
  • The traditional medicine markets in Benin were like scenes from a horror movie. We saw the heads of monkeys, snakes, turtles, civets, dogs, cats, and more; thousands of animals, across hundreds of species laid out on tables in macabre displays. Director Will Foster-Grundy and I have covered stories of human-animal conflict for years, yet the markets were still a shock to the system.
    – Award Winning Environmental Photojournalist Aaron Gekoski
  • Jaguars already face the challenges of habitat destruction and human animal conflicts. They are now cruelly killed,or injured and left to die. There are reports of jaguars being shot up to seven times by hunters, leading to a protracted and painful death. With the jaguar's habitat being opened, this also increases encounters between jaguars and miners, farmers and loggers, who shoot them opportunistically.
    – Nicholas Bruschi, Investigations Advisor
  • With large numbers of animals kept in poor hygiene conditions the animals are kept in cramped cages, where they will eventually develop weakened immunities due to stress. This lack of hygiene combined with direct human contact creates a hot bed for viruses to mutate and develop.
    – Cassandra Koenen, Global Head of Wildlife Campaigns, Wildlife Not Pets
  • "Pesquisas mostraram que os pangolins podem ter transmitido a COVID-19 para humanos, mas ninguém sabe ao certo. Outros mamíferos, como morcegos, camelos e civetas, são reservatórios ou fontes de infecção de patógenos como o coronavírus".
    – Gilbert Sape, Gerente Global de Vida Silvestre da Proteção Animal Mundial
  • "Os mercados de medicina tradicional são verdadeiros filmes de terror. Vimos cabeças de macacos, cobras, tartarugas, civetas, cães, gatos e muito mais; milhares de animais, de centenas de espécies, dispostos sobre as mesas como uma exposição macabra. Eu e o diretor Will Foster-Grundy cobrimos conflitos entre humanos e animais por anos, mas esses mercados ainda são um choque para o sistema."
    – Aaron Gekoski, Fotojornalista Ambiental Premiado
  • "As onças já enfrentam desafios com a destruição de seus habitats, além de conflitos frequentes com humanos. Elas são cruelmente caçadas e feridas, muitas vezes deixadas para morrer depois de mutiladas. Há relatos de onças sendo baleadas por até sete vezes pelos caçadores, encarando uma morte prolongada e extremamente dolorosa. Com a crescente exploração de seu habitat natural, aumentam-se os encontros entre esses animais e mineradores, agricultores e madeireiros – que atiram nelas de forma oportunista"
    – Nicholas Bruschi, Investigador.
  • "Com uma enorme quantidade de animais mantidos em condições precárias de higiene – a maioria amontoada em gaiolas apertadas, aumenta-se a probabilidade de enfraquecimento da imunidade devido ao estresse. Essa falta de higiene combinada ao contato direto com humanos é a condição ideal para que os vírus surjam e se espalhem."
    – Cassandra Koenen, Chefe Global da Campanha Animal Silvetsre Não É Pet da Proteção Animal Mundial
  • The traditional medicine markets in Benin were like scenes from a horror movie. We saw the heads of monkeys, snakes, turtles, civets, dogs, cats, and more; thousands of animals, across hundreds of species laid out on tables in macabre displays. Director Will Foster-Grundy and I have covered stories of human-animal conflict for years, yet the markets were still a shock to the system.
    – Award Winning Environmental Photojournalist Aaron Gekoski
  • Research has shown that pangolins could potentially have spread COVID-19 to humans, but nobody knows for certain. Other mammals such as bats, camels and civets are capable or hosting and transmitting coronaviruses such as COVID-19
    – Gilbert Sape, Global Head of Wildlife Campaign, Bears and Traditional Medicine
  • Jaguars already face the challenges of habitat destruction and human animal conflicts. They are now cruelly killed,or injured and left to die. There are reports of jaguars being shot up to seven times by hunters, leading to a protracted and painful death. With the jaguar's habitat being opened, this also increases encounters between jaguars and miners, farmers and loggers, who shoot them opportunistically.
    – Nicholas Bruschi, Investigations Advisor
  • With large numbers of animals kept in poor hygiene conditions the animals are kept in cramped cages, where they will eventually develop weakened immunities due to stress. This lack of hygiene combined with direct human contact creates a hot bed for viruses to mutate and develop.
    – Cassandra Koenen, Global Head of Wildlife Campaigns, Wildlife Not Pets
  • The traditional medicine markets in Benin were like scenes from a horror movie. We saw the heads of monkeys, snakes, turtles, civets, dogs, cats, and more; thousands of animals, across hundreds of species laid out on tables in macabre displays. Director Will Foster-Grundy and I have covered stories of human-animal conflict for years, yet the markets were still a shock to the system.
    – Award Winning Environmental Photojournalist Aaron Gekoski
  • Research has shown that pangolins could potentially have spread COVID-19 to humans, but nobody knows for certain. Other mammals such as bats, camels and civets are capable or hosting and transmitting coronaviruses such as COVID-19
    – Gilbert Sape, Global Head of Wildlife Campaign, Bears and Traditional Medicine
  • Jaguars already face the challenges of habitat destruction and human animal conflicts. They are now cruelly killed,or injured and left to die. There are reports of jaguars being shot up to seven times by hunters, leading to a protracted and painful death. With the jaguar's habitat being opened, this also increases encounters between jaguars and miners, farmers and loggers, who shoot them opportunistically.
    – Nicholas Bruschi, Investigations Advisor
  • With large numbers of animals kept in poor hygiene conditions the animals are kept in cramped cages, where they will eventually develop weakened immunities due to stress. This lack of hygiene combined with direct human contact creates a hot bed for viruses to mutate and develop.
    – Cassandra Koenen, Global Head of Wildlife Campaigns, Wildlife Not Pets
  • Jaguars already face the challenges of habitat destruction and human animal conflicts. They are now cruelly killed,or injured and left to die. There are reports of jaguars being shot up to seven times by hunters, leading to a protracted and painful death. With the jaguar's habitat being opened, this also increases encounters between jaguars and miners, farmers and loggers, who shoot them opportunistically.
    – Nicholas Bruschi, Investigations Advisor
  • With large numbers of animals kept in poor hygiene conditions the animals are kept in cramped cages, where they will eventually develop weakened immunities due to stress. This lack of hygiene combined with direct human contact creates a hot bed for viruses to mutate and develop.
    – Cassandra Koenen, Global Head of Wildlife Campaigns, Wildlife Not Pets
  • Research has shown that pangolins could potentially have spread COVID-19 to humans, but nobody knows for certain. Other mammals such as bats, camels and civets are capable or hosting and transmitting coronaviruses such as COVID-19
    – Gilbert Sape, Global Head of Wildlife Campaign, Bears and Traditional Medicine
  • The traditional medicine markets in Benin were like scenes from a horror movie. We saw the heads of monkeys, snakes, turtles, civets, dogs, cats, and more; thousands of animals, across hundreds of species laid out on tables in macabre displays. Director Will Foster-Grundy and I have covered stories of human-animal conflict for years, yet the markets were still a shock to the system.
    – Award Winning Environmental Photojournalist Aaron Gekoski

The grey parrots from West and Central Africa

Research indicates that as many as 1.3 million grey parrots have been poached from African forests, putting this species on the brink of extinction.

Trappers are catching these parrots in many countries in West and Central Africa, but the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) remains a particularly major source of concern.

After the wild parrots are caught, illegally trafficked African grey parrots have their flight feathers brutally hacked off to prevent them from escaping, they’re then crammed into small, dirty containers ready for transport. Sadly, these parrots have a mortality rate of 66% and that’s even before they’ve left the country… the ones who survive the journey go on to a life of misery.

Despite the fact that the international commercial trade of wild caught African grey parrots is illegal, these parrots continue to be captured to feed the international demand for them as pets. Traders will use the legal trade of Green parrots to export illegally caught African grey parrots in the same shipment. They will cram the shipping boxes with a mix of birds, and only document the crate consisting of Green parrots.

The traffickers even put green gauze over the window so that if someone were to peer in the window of the shipping crate all the birds would look green rather than a mix.

The process of snatching an African grey parrot out of the wild is inherently cruel: they are often lured to a sticky branch from which they can’t escape. Their perilous journey from being caught, to time spent at a holding facility where they are held in dirty, dark facilities, fed inadequately and are left vulnerable to predators all before even making it to the planes.Whether wild caught or bred in captivity, parrots are destined to a life of suffering

Video: The lion bone trade

Lion bones from South Africa

Between 8,000 - 12,000  lions are currently held captive in some 300-400 farms in South Africa, the world’s largest exporter of farmed lion bone, skulls, skeletons, bodies, claws and teeth. Lion bones are shipped around the world to be used in Traditional Asian medicine, particularly lion bone wine and bone ‘glue’.

Sadly, trade and export of lion bones from South Africa is legal as long as the numbers are within an annual quota. Despite this, a 2018 study showed that people are not even following these rules. The study found up to three times the limit were being killed and exported through false declaration of how many skeletons a shipment contains.

Between 2007 and 2016, South Africa was the biggest exporter of lion products – it has been estimated that at least 70 metric tonnes of bone products were shipped between 2008-2016.

These majestic big cats are intensively farmed in cruel, and typically barren conditions that increase the risk of disease.

You have the power to fix this

You now know that the global wildlife trade is much bigger and much more dangerous than you thought it was. You know that for many species remaining wild populations are being driven to extinction. You know that millions of animals are suffering every single day. You know that the conditions these animals are forced to endure are a hotbed for disease. You know that diseases can be transferred between wildlife and humans. And as of this year, you know how truly devastating a new and emerging infectious disease can be when it spreads across the world.

You can help stop the next pandemic by taking action today. Please sign the petition now so we can deliver it to the G20 summit in Saudi Arabia this November. Sign it and tell the world's leaders that you demand an end to the global wildlife trade before it's too late.