It was only a matter of time: a new website, styled after the infamous WikiLeaks, is helping law enforcement agencies track down and crack cases involving crimes against animals.
The Guardian is reporting that the site, WildLeaks, was created by security expert Andrea Crosta, who was responsible for unveiling an ivory smuggling ring operated by the al-Shabaab terrorist group in Somolia.
“We had our first tip within 24 hours and the response has been beyond our wildest imagination,” Crosta told The Guardian. “You can’t, for example, export containers full of ivory from Mombasa without bribing people left, right and centre. We definitely feel we are filling a gap.”
Over a three month period, 24 serious tips were investigated around the world, which The Guardian reports as including:
• elephant poaching in Africa and illicit ivory trading in Hong Kong;
• killing of Sumatran tigers, of which there are just 400 left in the wild;
• illegal lion and leopard hunting in South Africa;
• chimpanzee trafficking in Liberia;
• illegal fishing activities in Alaska, including alleged mafia involvement;
• importing of illegal African wildlife products into the US;
• illegal logging in Mexico, Malawi and Siberia.
The illicit wildlife trade – a multi-billion dollar, world-wide industry – is not heavily involved with Canada’s wildlife; we hope that this launch of this site will help not only solve any crimes that may happen within our borders, but prevent them, too.