Shopping for ivory at one of Hong Kong's more prominent dept stores. According to the saleswoman, ivory is carved in China and 'smuggled' into Hong Kong via a free trade zone, which would be illegal. Note the difficulty one might have distinguishing elephant ivory from mammoth, and how they are typically mixed together, as well as the large number of Buddhist figurines made of ivory. Also note the CITES permit documents hanging in the back of the display cases. Decoupling religion from ivory, rhino, big cats and other wildlife products is one of the most exciting opportunities for change that exists for reducing illegal wildlife trade. Who will take that lead?
Advance clips and extra footage from National Geographic's film, Battle for the Elephants featuring investigation by Bryan Christy & Aiden Hartley. Written & Directed by John H. Heminway.
Documentary footage from Bryan Christy's Blood Ivory investigation, National Geographic Magazine.
Caution: GRAPHIC SCENES. On assignment for National Geographic in Indonesia, Bryan Christy gets a never-before-seen look inside a reptile slaughterhouse where skins are prepared for the exotic leather trade, fat is sold for batak style food, gall bladders are extracted and dried for Chinese medicine, and fertilized eggs are incubated to supply the pet trade.
Included is Karl Amman's subsequent Medan Connection, a documentary which forced the luxury skin industry (Gucci, Prada, Hermes, etc.) to take notice (but not, as yet, reform) of these conditions.