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16 September 2019

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement

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One of the coolest highlights of my internship so far is definitely getting a tour of the office of law enforcement of the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.

I went on a tour with Groundwork Elizabeth and got a presentation on what kind of situations they deal with on a day to day basis such as opening up a suitcase with 60 tropical fish or finding ivory that is found in elephant tusks. What was most incredible about the stories shared with my tour group was at what lengths people go to hide their illegal material. They will hide things in cigarette packs or even within feminine hygiene products. Later on we got to become the law enforcers our selves, when our group got taken to a room where we got to dig through pre-made luggage and got to do some investigating in order to find illegal items. It was cool because we were talked through the process and explained to about why certain items are illegal.

The last stop before the day was done was in a room where there were shelves of illegal wildlife items on display. We got to see what people use wildlife for when it comes to fashion or furniture. The moment that I was left in awe was when I saw and held an elephants tooth. It felt heavy and I was in shock because I almost forgot elephants had teeth! Although these items were all very cool, it did demonstrate how much work needs to be done in order to protect wildlife from all around the world and how difficult it can be to stop those in the lucrative business of wildlife trade. Because of the efforts of the USFWS we are a little closer every time they confiscate these illegal items.

MANO Project
is an initiative of Hispanic 
Access Foundation.

P: (202) 640-4342