NBC Evening News for Wednesday, Feb 21, 1979
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(Studio) Decr. in legal killing of endangered species in order to use hides for clothing and in willingness of many to buy such clothing noted. Skin smuggling reported still profitable trade. Upcoming international conference on problem, particularly events in Suriname, in South American, stated.
REPORTER: John Chancellor
(No location given) Amts. of money involved in trading in rare wildlife discussed. Scarcity of jaguars and ocelots in Brazil due to poaching noted; cost of some coats from these skins in West Germany reported Many illegal transactions said required between jungles and consumer. Contd. contraband traffic despite international agreement among 47 cntrys. restricting such sales stated. Details given, include reasons accord to United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Info. learned that many spotted-animal skins have been transported to England and West Germany with country of origin as Suriname, though these animals don't live there in any great numbers, reported [International Society for Preservation of Animals spokesperson John WALSH - says they try to make Suriname government realize size of contraband traffic and aware of bad image it gives Suriname in rest of world.] Film crew's attempts to talk to dock officials about alleged falsification of papers in Suriname in connection with this trade detailed. [Suriname agriculture department' spokesperson Dr. E. HOOGHIEMSTRA - hasn't heard of places like Germany claiming Suriname as country of origin in importing animal hides. Says it's nonsense.] Suriname's Fndn. for Nature Preservation spokesperson Henry Reichhart's letters, obtained by NBC News, said to claim that agriculture department official and attorney general assist skin traders; refusal of any of these people to be interviewed cited. Comments of American Wildlife Service officials about problem noted.
REPORTER: Bob Jamieson narrates