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Most Heavily Trafficked Animals Of All Time.

The wildlife population has been in a constant state of decline for the last few decades. The decline has been so severe that a few species have officially become extinct and a lot more are marked as endangered and may cease to exist in the next decade. There are various reasons for the drop in the animal population, climate change is one of them. But one of the major reasons for it is the human encroachment! Human beings more than most times use up natural resources for their own convenience. Animals are often used by humans for their own benefit. Some are used for their medicinal qualities while some are used for their fur and some are used for personal amusement. The demand for such animals has caused a significant rise in animal trafficking.

Animal trafficking is the practice where animals are transported from one place to another for commercial purposes. Wild animals are captured and used for their resources. The world has been dealing with a spike in illegal wildlife trade which threatens the wildlife population as well as the efforts beings taken for the conservation of wildlife. Here is a list of the most heavily trafficked animals of all time.


Pangolin is an ant and termite eating mammal that is covered with scaly skin and has a long sticky tongue. When threatened, it curls up into a ball. At present, they are considered to be one of the most trafficked animals on the planet. Why? That is because in the Chinese culture their scales are said to have medicinal value and their meat is also in extreme demand.

African Rhino

The horns of this majestic animal are in hot demand throughout the globe and especially in Asia since it is said to possess medicinal qualities that can cure a lot of diseases. Its demand is ever-increasing, due to which they are captured and slaughtered. The illegal trafficking of African Rhino has reached a point where the animal can now officially qualify as one of the most endangered species on the planet.


As tourists, you sure would have noticed a lot of tigers in captivity in quite a few wildlife parks everywhere. But that is not the only thing they are endangered from. Tigers are usually held captive and traded for commodities like claws, teeth, skin and a few other organs. Due to this, the number of tigers has been on a decline.

African Elephant

When you see this regal creature you notice the beautiful tusks made of ivory. Ivory has been in use for centuries, due to which elephants have been hunted or captured. Despite the ban on ivory trade since 1990, the illegal trafficking of African elephants hasn’t stopped and they still continue to be the hot ticket for traffickers due to their coveted tusks.

Snow Leopards

These animals have a strikingly beautiful pelt. They are rare and exceptional and this makes them an automatic target to hunters and poachers. The population of snow leopards is reducing due to poaching which in return makes them a rarity and a target for poachers to be sold in the black market.

Helmeted Hornbill

This unique bird from Southeast Asia has a helmet-like structure on its bill which is made of keratin and that is where it gets its name from. This makes it a popular ivory alternative for poachers wanting to sell it to jewelers and carvers. In recent times, the status of this bird has been upgraded from ‘near threatened’ to ‘critically endangered’.


As terrifying as they look, humans are more of a risk to sharks than sharks will ever be to humans. Various species of sharks are preyed upon for their fins. Their fins are used in culinary practices. Shark poaching is extremely cruel and unnecessary.

Animal trafficking is a very serious crime. Animals are being removed from their natural habitat every day just to fulfill unnecessary human demands to keep living a luxurious life and for entertainment purposes. By the time you finish reading this article, one animal will already have died. This needs to be a topic of concern for everybody. Activities like these harm the balance of nature and such practices should be eradicated completely.

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Pooja Advani

Pet Industry Expert, Canine Behaviourist, Consultation & Training

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