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Drug dealing, arms trading, money laundering and human trafficking ... all major international crimes, right? Well, you can add wildlife (and forest) crime to that list – because it happens to be the fourth largest international crime in the world. It's worth a staggering $17 billion in illicit profits each year ... and that figure is growing. Unfortunately, it's been a low priority for many enforcement agencies, allowing criminal networks to grow and become increasingly sophisticated.

“An elephant is killed for its tusks every 15 minutes”

Africa's unique wildlife is particularly at risk. Here in South Africa we've lost 594 rhinos to poachers this year (Rhino poaching tracker) and many other species are being targeted (across the continent, an elephant is killed for its tusks every 15 minutes). One organisation that's working to highlight the growing threat posed rampant wildlife crime is the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Operating on the frontlines of environmental crime (sometimes undercover and often face to face with illegal traders), the London-based NGO works to gather evidence about criminal activities that range from illegal whaling to ivory smuggling. Eager to do our bit to raise awareness, we teamed up with the EIA to create this animated infographic to help publicise some pretty shocking statistics and the organisation's efforts to protect the natural world. Watch (and share!)...

Image © ENOUGH Project