Los Angeles Zoo Joins New Effort To Streamline Rescue Of Trafficked Animals And Find Them New Homes

The struggle against animal trafficking is becoming better organized thanks to a a new effort spearheaded by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and Involving both los Angeles Airport (LAX) and the Los Angeles Zoo. The airport is the site of much attempted smuggling.

hippo with open mouth eating grass in zoo
Pablo Escobar smuggled hippos into Colombia where they are causing damage to the nation’s river systems. Photo by Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz on Pexels.com

According to Patabook.com the new system will replace an older patchwork model with a coordinator dedicated to matching rescued animals with an appropriate new home. The old system relied on a system of informal contacts, not a specific organization. Los Angeles Zoo has been the recipient of many smuggled animals and is helping start the new program.

According to the website:

“In 2022, Fish and Wildlife special agents and the service‚Äôs law enforcement partners investigated more than 10,000 wildlife trafficking cases and collected more than $11 million in criminal penalties.”

Los Angeles Airport (LAX) has thwarted dozens of attempts and many of the animals live ou their lives at the Los Angeles Zoo.

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The theft of cheetah cubs for pets is driving the cats closer to extinction in the wild.Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Animal trafficking is a big business. Some experts put it in a triad with drugs and gun running. In fact, the three sometimes go together. Drug lord Pablo Escobar, for example, trafficked in weapons and also in animals. He brought hippos from Africa to Colombia, They thrived and are causing ecological damage to the countries rivers. The number has grown to about 400 and some may have to be killed to reduce the increase and limit the damage. They are also dangerous and kill as many as 500 people in a year

The illegal pet trade is also rampant. Many animals are captured for exotic pets. That trade is said to be driving cheetahs closer to extinction in the wild. India has aunched Proect Cheetah to try and reintroduce the cats to that nation.

condor airplane on grey concrete airport
Airports are a frequent site of smuggling attempts for many animals around the world. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Published by ursusrising

long time writer and editor living in Los Angeles

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