NEW YORK (Monday, July 15, 2013)— The Wildlife Conservation Society today hosted U.S. State Department Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and Environment Robert D. Hormats at WCS’s Central Park Zoo, where the global issue of illegal wildlife trafficking of elephants, tigers, and other endangered species was discussed.

At the event, hosted by WCS President and CEO Dr. Cristián Samper and others, Hormats discussed the challenges posed by wildlife trafficking to national and international security, and how the United States government is partnering with conservation groups to protect the world’s wildlife and wild places from unsustainable trade.

Hormats cited recent diplomatic efforts to galvanize international actions on the issue and discussed President Obama’s recent Executive Order to combat wildlife trafficking. The event took place as WCS increases its efforts to raise awareness about the plight of African elephants. During the last decade, 76 percent of Africa’s forest elephants were killed by poachers, with an estimated 35,000 slaughtered last year alone.

A transcript of Under Secretary Hormat’s remarks will be available at:

Mary Dixon: 347-840-1242;
Stephen Sautner: 718-220-3682;
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.