Stop One. Stop Them All.

World Wildlife recently released a series of ads that many find both "shocking" and "morbid."
The ads center on the numerous industries and people of power contributing "behind-the-scenes" in the poaching, trading and eventual sale of wildlife products. 

A pyramid operation that begins with wildlife poachers, but is ultimately driven by the high demands of those at the top, 

The middle consists of those who strive to satisfy that demand and who do so at whatever the cost.

Although conservation laws have been put into place to help prevent wildlife crime, illegal poaching and trading still continue and demand for ivory is high. The trade and sale of old ivory is still legal and potential buyers looking to purchase legal ivory are often mislead. Something poachers are finding easy to do, using techniques to make new ivory appear old, in order to avoid detection by law enforcement. This makes it next to impossible for consumers who are making ivory purchases to ensure that the ivory they are buying is not illegally acquired.

In fact, the only way to avoid accidentally buying these illegally trafficked goods is to avoid the purchase of ivory entirely. 

And with ivory in such high demand, that option seems far from likely.

With so many working tirelessly to fuel illegal trading, it has become an extremely difficult operation to pinpoint, target and shut down. Corruption is rife even among enforcement agencies and many of the leaders ("bosses") of illegal trading markets are not only hard to track down but even more difficult to arrest, once enough evidence is gathered and a sting operation can be put into place. A problem likely attributable to inside informants notifying sellers, who quickly pack up and disappear.

Illegal trade is likely to continue as long as there is a high enough demand for it and enforcement laws remain lax. 

WWF wants to spread awareness about the issue in the hopes that people will add their voice in the fight to prevent and stop the trade of wildlife.

What do you think of the ads? Do they make you think twice?

Leo Burnett

Leo Burnett

Leo Burnett
Read more about the photographer, Leo Burnett, and view more of his work here.