Poaching is not only a crime of cruelty, it is a widespread but largely invisible problem. Many people have never heard the estimate that for every wild animal killed legally by hunters, another is killed illegally.
Wildlife poaching victims could total in the tens of millions annually.
Given that these offenses generally are committed in remote locations, it isn't surprising that very few cases get solved, despite the skill and dedication of wildlife law enforcement.
You can be part of the solution by becoming aware of these crimes against wildlife and learning how to put officials on the trail of poachers.
To that end, we selected ten poaching cases out of the 56 we publicized—along with offered rewards—in 2010. The countdown provides a glimpse of the range of poaching crimes as well as the tactics some law enforcement agencies use to catch poachers.
10. Undercover investigation in Shannon County, Mo., reveals more than 400 violations
Investigators with the Missouri Department of Conservation set up a taxidermy shop as part of an investigation into illegal hunting. In July they announced that 62% of the people who came into the shop with killed animals were in violation of the law.
9. Poacher in Iberia Parish, La., shoots a threatened black bear who had to be euthanized
Louisiana black bears are a threatened species and it is illegal to shoot one. That didn't stop a poacher who shot and wounded a female Louisiana black bear so badly that she had to be euthanized. Agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division are still looking for the perpetrator(s), and The HSUS has an outstanding $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case. More....