New York, the country's largest market for the elephant ivory trade, has been cracking down on wildlife trafficking recently. Last August, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a ban on selling and buying both ivory items and rhino horn. Last June, the state passed a bill to ban "tiger selfies" in an effort to curb exotic pet ownership and trade.
If the new bill passes, at least five of the world's most endangered species will get much-needed protection in New York.
The legislation is critical, given that New York sees more than its fair share of wildlife crime. In 2014, inspectors confiscated more than 180,000 illicit wildlife shipments in the U.S., with New York and Los Angeles being the most popular ports. Items found in the U.S. range from common products like elephant ivory, rhino horn and leopard skins to more unusual items like fish bladders, seahorses and shark fins.