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Lend Your Eyes to the Wild

We are witnessing an unparalleled spike in illegal wildlife trade, the greatest direct threat to the future of many of the world’s most iconic species. Taronga Zoo have partnered with TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, to create Wildlife Witness; the first global community action smartphone app in the fight against illegal wildlife trade.

The Wildlife Witness smartphone app allows tourists and locals to easily report wildlife trade by taking a photo, pinning the exact location of an incident and sending these important details to TRAFFIC.

Download the Wildlife Witness app and help to detect illegal wildlife trade.

Leading zoos worldwide have joined the charge to build a global community to become the eyes and the ears for wildlife by reporting what they see. The 7 million visitors who visit Chester Zoo (UK) and San Diego Zoo Global (USA) and Taronga each year will be encouraged to download the Wildlife Witness smartphone app.

What is illegal wildlife trade?

Illegal wildlife trade is the greatest threat to the future of many of our world’s most beloved species including elephants, tigers, and rhinos. Others like the elusive pangolin have a reputation that precedes them as the most trafficked mammal on earth, yet you have probably never heard of them.

Traded and sold for use in traditional medicine, luxury restaurant dishes, trophy parts and so much more.




  • 96 elephants will be killed for their ivory tusks to be turned into jewellery & ornaments.

  • 3 rhinos will die for their keratin horn to become a status symbol.

  • over 13,000 bears sit in cages across Asia, farmed for their bile.

  • trafficking of pangolins has reached unprecedented levels due primarily to the devastating and relentless trade in their parts, especially for their scales, while theirmeat is also consumed as a luxury.

  • tigers are hunted illegally in the wild for their skin and body parts, as they are falsely believed to have medicinal powers and act as a strong talisman due to the tiger’s power and strength.

Meet Mr. Hobbs - a survivor

One of Taronga’s resident sun bears, Mr. Hobbs, was rescued by an Australian businessman who saved him from becoming bear paw soup in a Cambodian restaurant. Only the size of a puppy when rescued, Mr. Hobbs was originally born in the Cambodian forest in 1995 before he was taken from the wild at only a few months old. Now Mr. Hobbs lives an enriched, happy life at Taronga where he and his companion, Mary a sun bear whose mother was also rescued in Cambodia, can safely grow old together in their forever home.

Mr. Hobbs is one of the ‘lucky ones’ to have survived the illegal wildlife trade and Taronga is very grateful to protect him for the rest of his life. Unfortunately thousands of birds, mammals, and reptiles do not get to live a “happily ever after” and instead are being taken alive from the wild for the pet, restaurant, and traditional medicine trade.