Target: Bolivian President Evo Morales
Goal: Crack down on animal trafficking in Bolivia
Sadly, animal trafficking has become standard practice in Bolivia. Animal trafficking is the illegal trade of wild animals for profit. The animals are taken from their natural habitat and smuggled to other countries (including the U.S.) to be sold as pets or for body parts. Over 70 percent of the animals die on the journey before even reaching their destinations. Often times, the animals are transported with their mouths taped up, trapped in the same position, and lying in their own filth for hours or even days. The ones that survive the trip end up living horrible lives at the hands of abusive pet owners or sellers.
Recently, Tracey Buyce, a Bolivian animal refugee photographer from New York, has shared her findings with the world by using her love of photography and animals for the greater good. She has photographed a number of monkeys, exotic birds, and other animals being trafficked in Bolivia. She photographed one female monkey who was locked up in her owner’s backyard, fed junk food, and was being stoned every day by the neighborhood kids. With Buyce’s photos as evidence, the monkey was saved and moved to an animal sanctuary located right in the Bolivian rainforest where she was nursed back to health.
Unfortunately, animal trafficking is one Bolivia’s most lucrative businesses and not a lot of people outside of Bolivia know about it. According to news reports, traffickers sell baby monkeys for as little as ten dollars for people who want them as pets. These are wild animals that are meant to live in their natural habitat, not kept as house pets. There are animal shelters and sanctuaries in the country, but because of the high number of animals being trafficked, the sanctuaries are overfilled and unable to help.
The government needs to get involved and create stricter laws against animal trafficking. Please sign this petition to ask the Bolivian government to enforce rules and regulations on this very important matter.
Dear President Evo Morales,
Although animal trafficking is not often talked about in Bolivia, a photographer took it upon herself to use her work to expose the trafficking that is happening in the country. She shared her work with the public to show the awful life of animals that have been taken from their homes to be trafficked to owners in other countries. Even though animal sanctuaries in Bolivia are doing all they can to help save these animals, they physically can’t because their facilities are overfilled.
Bolivia needs to get to the root of the issue by getting the attention of the government. If the Bolivian government were to make animal trafficking illegal with strictly enforced fines and penalties, the problem would start slowly start to dissolve. As the president of Bolivia, please consider the animals and take this under consideration.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Berichard via Wikimedia Commons