An estimated $8 to $10 billion is generated annually by wildlife trafficking and illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products. The scale of these crimes on the black market is second only to narcotics.
A large quantity and variety of wildlife products are smuggled from India to international markets. These include live animals such as birds and reptiles, along with skins, bones and other body parts from poached animals.
Historically, sloth bear cubs were poached from the wild for use in the ‘dancing’ bear trade within India, but with the eradication of the ‘Dancing Bear’ practice there was a marked reduction in bear poaching as per statistics. Wildlife SOS rescued 72 Sloth Bear Cubs before they could be traded around over a period of 10 years. We have recovered animal skins and ivory from poachers and traders in numerous Indian states as well.
Wildlife SOS’s Anti-Poaching team, code name “Forest Watch”, works by way of a large and complex network of informers who gather critical intelligence on wildlife criminals and the illegal trade of endangered wild animals and their body parts. Wildlife SOS actively assists the Forest Department, Police and other law enforcement agencies and provides legal support where needed.
Our grassroots-level training programs and workshops held in states like Maharashtra, Jammu & Kashmir & Karnataka help with capacity-building and target wildlife crime prevention in the field. Flagship species like tigers, leopards and Sloth Bears require intensive protection on the ground. We conduct training programs and workshops to train law enforcement officers at the grass roots level to help build capacity in the front line through strategic staffing of forest departments and enforcement agencies.
We extend gratitude to our partners, One Voice Association (France) and Hauser Bears (UK) for their invaluable support in running this dedicated anti-poaching unit.