According to a recent report by BBC News, organized crime organizations are becoming increasingly attracted to this black market because of low fines and lenient prison terms compared to drugs or weapons smuggling.
"Some estimates now put the trade second to drug smuggling," the report states, "with endangered animals becoming the new blood diamonds, funding war and terror." In Nepal, India, China and many other countries, rangers are being killed for the animals they are working to protect.
BBC journalist Sharon Mascall, who is also a lecturer at the University of South Australia, spent four months following the animal smuggling trade across Australia and reported on it in a recent audio broadcast. Smuggled cockatoos, which can fetch up to $1 million, are popular the Philippines, the Netherlands, Czech Republic and the United States.
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