There was a time when the killing of endangered animals was fairly easy to cover. Elephants were slaughtered in great numbers for their tusks, bears for their gallbladders, and, of course, tigers and other large cats for their fur. These “byproducts of death” entered the market, the poachers returned to the hunt, never having to look over their shoulders, and life–or is it death?–went on.
Enter the US Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon. This one-of-a-kind facility utilizes state-of-the-art forensic science techniques to determine the origin of any animal product. In many cases, this will lead investigators to the animal’s place of origin and then to the poachers themselves. Couldn’t happen to a nicer group.