The Wildlife Warehouse: Where the U.S. Government Sends Illegal Animal Goods

I think initially it's it's very much a shock I don't think people realize the volume or the extent that wildlife and plans are used in trade people will buy just about anything we'll have crocodile purses or alligator skin boots traditional medicines hunting trophies if you can imagine it it's probably here in some form or another I've been with the repository for 18 years so you know I've seen things that I unless you work here you would never expect to see so now we are entering the warehouse portion of the repository this is where we store all the confiscated and wildlife property that we receive this bin here actually is representative of the ivory that was crushed here at the repository in November of 2013 we essentially crushed a 25 year stockpile of confiscated elephant ivory to show a support and send a message that we are serious about conserving elephants and eliminating the demand for elephant ivory and elephant ivory products you never know how to feel here when you look at where this stuff came from that it was actually derived from living animals and plants it is a little it's a little bit depressing I'll be honest so this aisle represents our collection of spotted cats tigers here and one item that I like to point out is this very small Tiger mount that you see this particular animal was actually taken while it was still inside the mother so this tiger this young tiger here never even had the opportunity or a chance at life and so this to me represents the laws of multiple generations with the loss of just this one little tiger here greed really does drive this business when I want to talk about greed it's about having something that is so unique or unusual that your neighbor doesn't have one or any no one else has that or very few people have that when someone views a leopard-skin coat for example when you point out to that person that that single garment required 15 to 20 animals to make a single garment it really does hit home many times when I open a box and I see either the diversity or on the other side of that you'll just see two or three hundred pairs of shoes in a single shipment a thought that goes through my mind often is how can there be anything left living when you see the amount of of trade going on oh of course we have the Wildlife property repository and the Eagle repository we get Eagles from all over the United States many years ago the then director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service directed all of the services agencies to send any dead Eagles here to the repository also in 1994 there was a presidential memorandum that went out ordering all the federal agencies that manage lands any Eagles that were found on their lands were also to be shipped here they're also protected under the migratory bird treaty act and the bald and golden eagle Protection Act you can't possess them you can't pick them up can't pick up feathers you can't tamper with their nests federal law protects the Eagles but they wanted to give Native Americans a way that they could exercise their constitutional right of religious freedom and so the repository came about to facilitate that give them a legal way to obtain the birds we look them over from head to toe in order to determine what parts of them are damaged and whether or not they're usable we are a salvage facility so many of those birds come in in very poor condition we get we've been averaging about 23 2,400 Eagles a year from those 23 2,400 Eagles we're normally able to fill about four or five thousand requests a year maybe about 12 for 1,300 those would be requests for whole Birds and then the rest would be a loose feather orders you see so many haven't worked so many of them you kind of realized at times you kind of taken it for granted that most Americans will never see them up this close or this this much and what's routine to me is kind of kind of amazing and unbelievable to somebody else it feels good to know that you're doing something that means a lot to someone at times when you you've got Native American African on the phone and you can tell they're very touched by what you're doing it makes it special number years ago it was taken off the endangered species list because it's recovered so well so hopefully what we do here helps encourage people to go about getting an eagle the right way and help the Eagles that they're I haven't survived

8 thoughts on “The Wildlife Warehouse: Where the U.S. Government Sends Illegal Animal Goods

  1. Should make a museum of all these illegal goods. If people could look at such items maybe they would feel less inclined to own them. Also the entrance fee to said museum would help fund the cause.

  2. And why you guys preserving that so one day a corrupt officer gona come and gonna sell all these things illegally

  3. What a strange irony, to simultaneously confiscate and destroy wildlife products while also gathering dead birds and sell bits to tribe members.  I thought the goal was to eliminate demand…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *