The Ugly Truth of Wildlife Poaching with Janine Vaccarello

Wildlife Poaching with Janine Vaccarello

On the podcast today we tackle a sensitive subject: wildlife poaching. We don’t go into detail, but it may be a subject for you or your kids. If it is a sensitive topic, please feel free to skip this episode.

Our guest today  is Janine Vaccarello of Alcatraz East, a crime museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where they’ve been working on a new exhibit called ‘Ivory, Tortoise Shell & Fur: The Ugly Truth Of Wildlife Trafficking.’

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You might wonder why, if you’re not a hunter, you should be concerned about wildlife poaching. But, as Janine explains, there are reasons to be concerned, especially if you travel and buy souvenirs. Do you know what you’re buying or where it came from? wildlife poaching

Janine talks us about her time in South Africa, Cecil the lion, dangers of poaching, and what they’re hoping to accomplish with the new museum exhibit.

Protect Our Wildlife: #protectourwildlife

Share exhibit link: https://www.alcatrazeast.com/temporary-exhibits/

wildlife poaching


From capture to trade, there is an international crisis concerning protected species in the wild. Poachers are abusing and killing innocent animals and turning their fur, bones, or shells into products such as purses, medicines, and jewelry. When traveling, tourists are often not aware that these souvenir products are illegally manufactured, and even in the U.S., black bears are being killed for use in Asian medicines.

This exhibit is made possible by the collaborated efforts of the following organizations: Freeland Foundation, International Fund for Animal Welfare, INTERPOL, Kashmir World Foundation, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, WildAid, Wildlife Trust of India, and the Center for Conservation Impact. Illegal wildlife trafficking is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, and has recently been linked to funding various terrorist organizations, threatening national and global security.

This exhibit will explore how endangered species are effected by poaching, and what you can do to help stop the practice.

souvenirs wildlife poaching Other Ways You Can Help- Reduce The Demand!

  • Want a New Pet? Be informed before you buy! Research the type of animal and related laws, and only buy from reputable companies that do not remove protected animals from the wild.
  • Hungry for Exotic Cuisine? No thanks! Take a pass if your delectable dish comes from endangered wildlife and try something else instead.
  • Buying Antiques, Jewelry, Clothing or Souvenirs? Ask questions! Where is it from? How was it made? Just because something is for sale, doesn’t mean it is legal. Be cautious if it is made from an exotic animal.
  • Photo Opportunity? Not this time! It is hard to resist paying to feed or take a photo with a cute exotic animal, but many of them have been taken from their mothers and the wild. Supporting these activities just encourages poachers to remove more animals from the wild.
  • See Something Suspicious? Report it! Contact your local state wildlife agency or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1-844-FWS-TIPS).

Help educate others about the issue & volunteer with organizations that work to combat wildlife trafficking and rescue confiscated or seized wildlife.

Thanks to:



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