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Prevent Illegal Wildlife Trade

Allies Always

Allies for wildlife always keep conservation in mind. By continuing to think about wildlife after your visit to the San Diego Zoo or San Diego Zoo Safari Park ends, you can help create a world where all life thrives.

In your everyday life, you may be coming into contact with illegal wildlife and not realize it. Illegally trafficked wildlife can be advertised as pets, sold as houseplants, or fashioned into clothing or accessories. Demand for these products leads to increased poaching, decimating already-endangered populations. Unfortunately, this practice doesn’t just happen on the other side of the world—it also happens right here in our communities.

The United States is among the largest markets for illegal wildlife in the world. As a top destination for illegal timber, ivory, pets, and more, we are active participants in this international crisis. While that's a sad reality, it also means we have the power to help end this practice, saving endangered species worldwide.

By ensuring the products you purchase are free from wildlife or wildlife parts, you help safeguard their future. Whether shopping, traveling, or gathering with friends, your choices make a real difference for people, wildlife, and the planet we all share. By thinking like allies always, and questioning the origin of products before making purchases, we can save the world’s wildlife together.

Allies always shop smart.
Allies always travel mindfully.
Allies always advocate for wildlife.

Shop Smart

Just because an item is for sale, that doesn’t mean it's a legal purchase. And even if an item appears harmless, that may not always be the case.

To ensure that a purchase is legal, and free from wildlife parts, you can ask:
What is this item made of?
Where did it come from?

Part of shopping smart includes carefully considering what type of pet your family might care for. Exotic pets such as fish, reptiles, wild cats, and birds may have been obtained through illegal wildlife trafficking, putting unsustainable pressure on native populations. Know the regulations for pet ownership in your state and learn where animals came from before welcoming them into your family.


Travel Mindfully

In addition to the above, if traveling overseas, it’s also smart to ask:
Does this country allow the sale and export of these items?

Do I need permits or other documents from this country or the US to bring my item home

Wildlife products, especially those that are unique or representative of a local area, are often marketed as souvenirs to tourists. Stay mindful of these practices while traveling in-country and when abroad. To learn more, view this helpful resource from our partners and consider downloading the Wildlife Witness app to report any suspected wildlife trafficking while abroad.


Advocate for Wildlife

One of the best ways you can protect wildlife is by advocating for them. You can pledge below your support for wildlife, support policies that protect them and their native habitats, report suspected trafficking, and encourage others to do the same. By speaking up together, we can save wildlife around the world.

Want to know more? Read our answers to frequently asked questions for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

For additional ways you can help create a world where all life thrives, join us as an ally for wildlife, donate, or volunteer today.


Join Us – Sign the Pledge!

Show your commitment to saving threatened species, as well as preserving the fragile ecosystems of our oceans.