The haunting images offer a stark glimpse of the thousands of human lives and millions of animals caught in the international wildlife trade. Patrick Brown, an award-winning photographer, felt driven to document this little-known trade after seeing the shocking decline of Asia’s besieged wildlife populations.
He has travelled to some of the world’s most remote and dangerous places, including Cambodia and Burma, to investigative this multi-national trade in Asia’s rarest species, which according to some estimates is worth more than £25 billion a year, exceeding the annual revenues of Coca-Cola. Much of the trade revolves around what Brown describes as ‘the big sexy animals — tigers, elephants, bears’. Rhino horn, tiger bone, ivory and rare birds have become a profitable industry for sophisticated organised crime networks and unscrupulous buyers worldwide. ‘It’s terribly sad,’ he says. ‘Wildlife trafficking is huge, but only the ignorant and often desperate poachers get caught.