Some disturbing facts that are not well publicized include:
- Wildlife has become the 4th largest illicitly traded product in the world. It is a $19B USD industry. Illegal wildlife trade is larger than illicit trafficking of small arms, diamonds, gold and oil.
- Transnational criminals and terrorist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and the Lord's Resistance Army make hundreds of thousands of dollars every month by partaking directly or indirectly in the killing and sale of animal parts. Part of their proceeds go towards buying guns and bombs, paying their members, and planning and executing terrorist attacks.
- The Elephant Action League -- an independent organization fighting elephant exploitation and poaching -- asserts that Al-Shabaab exports poached ivory via southern Somalia ports. The tusks are cut into blocks and hidden in crates of charcoal. Their monthly income is reported to be $200,000 to $600,000 USD per month. The ivory sells for $3,000 per 2.2 pounds (kilogram) in China.
- A rhino horn is worth $50,000 USD per pound on the black market -- more than gold or platinum. A rhino is killed by a poacher every 11 hours.