In the back of the vehicle were the frozen bodies of 70 crocodiles, along with 88 additional tails. In total, authorities confiscated 158 animals, all of whom were sadly dead.This discovery is even more disconcerting because it involved Siamese crocodiles, a species from Southeast Asia which is incritical danger of extinction. There are only 5000 left in the wild, threatened by hunting and the destruction of their habitat. Their skin is used to make purses, shoes, and wallets, and are sold for high sums.
Gary Stokes, the director of the Southeast Asian branch of the organization Sea Shepherd confides that the discovery is not an isolated incident. The border between China and Vietnam is the scene of daily trafficking of wild animals, whether they be pangolins, elephant tusks or rhinoceros horns.DJ Schubert, a wildlife biologist, explained toThe Dodo :
The video doesn't provide clear footage of the crocodiles, but they all seem to be around the same size, and they don't seem to be too beat up, suggesting that they came from a captive breeding facility. It can be a difficult life in the wild, so oftentimes, their hides will get scarred with fights from other crocodiles.
Breeding farms have been booming recently, notably in Cambodia. DJ Schubert explained that these farms have opened Pandora's box and incited illegal trafficking of animals from their natural habitat by creating a burgeoning demand for crocodile skins.The animals also live horrible lives on these farms, where they are often killed in inhumane manners, like embedding a metal rod in their spine. In this case, it seems as if the crocodiles with frozen to death.
However, not all hope is lost. The Chinese government seems ready to act. Not only for crocodiles, but for many other species. The Pekin authorities have notably announced the shut down of the ivory trade by the end of 2017, a huge step for the conservation of elephants.[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiEfmy2OsNo&feature=youtu.be[/embed]
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