CHICAGO - Lincoln Park Zoo and O'Hare Airport are joining forces to combat wildlife trafficking.
On Monday, they revealed the groundbreaking actions they're taking.
The zoo helped train wildlife detector dogs by providing rhinoceros "horn and nail trimmings" to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Those trimmings, collected during routine care at the zoo, are from the Eastern Black Rhinoceros.
One example of how bad the problem is: there are more tigers in the US being kept as pets and at roadside zoos than tigers living in the wild all over the world. That treatment was outlawed in the "Big Cat Public Safety Act" last year.
"Wildlife trafficking has a much greater impact on our lives than many realize. Yes, it causes harm to animals and ecosystems, but it also impacts the health and safety of our communities. Illegal trafficking and markets often play a huge role in the spread of zoonotic diseases like COVID," said Rep. Mike Quigley.
Trafficking in illegal wildlife is estimated to be worth between $7.8 and $10 billion a year.