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Google Gives Millions To Build Poacher-Hunting Drones

Google has joined Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Chinese basketball star Yao Ming and countless wildlife organizations in the battle against illegal wildlife trade

Photo: WWF

Google has joined Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Chinese basketball star Yao Ming and countless wildlife organizations in the battle against illegal wildlife trade. As part of the company’s new Global Impact Awards, Google will provide $5 million to the World Wildlife Fund for developing aerial drones to help catch poaches in Asia and Africa.

Forbes reports:

The goal of the Google grant is to allow the WWF to create an integrated smart system that includes aerial drones, DNA tracking and communications with law enforcement it easier to quickly identify and intercept criminal gangs that are in the process of hunting endangered animals.

The global wildlife trade black-market is estimated to be worth whopping  $10 billion and is largely driven by demand for animals used in traditional Chinese medicine and wildmeat restaurants in Asia. So far, wildlife traffickers have largely continued to outsmart and out-power law enforcement agencies from Southeast Asia to South Africa.

More from Smithsonian.com:

State Department Takes on Illegal Wildlife Trade 
In Vietnam, Rhino Horn Is Both the Drug of Choice at Parties and Hospitals 

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