How Saving One Chimp Led to a New Kind of Anti-Poaching Group

Protecting West Africa’s wildlife from poachers is all about making law enforcement and the courts work, says activist Ofir Drori.

Ofir Drori has gotten lost in Kenya’s wilderness, rescued a baby chimpanzee from traffickers in Cameroon, escaped death threats in Nigeria, and survived a crocodile attack in Ethiopia. But for Drori, life’s real challenge is fighting corruption in order to stop wildlife trafficking.

The 40-year-old Israeli-born activist is the founder and director of the EAGLE Network, which stands for Eco Activists for Governance and Law Enforcement, a coalition of NGOs in nine countries dedicated to helping governments crack down on wildlife trafficking and poaching.

It’s what he calls a “new-generation nonprofit,” one that’s focused not on education or policy but on law enforcement. And to enforce the law in central Africa, he says you first have to fight off corruption attempts left and right.

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