Skip to navigationSkip to content

Visit the illegal-animal-smuggling morgue at the busiest port in the United States

A lion skin is displayed on a table put together by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to show examples of confiscated animal by-products during a tour of a bonded warehouse at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York June 16, 2014.
Reuters/Lucas Jackson
Inside the smuggler’s morgue.
  • Tim Fernholz
By Tim Fernholz

Senior reporter

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

This week, Actuality visits a lab at the front line of the fight against a peculiar crime—animal trafficking. The global black market for snakes, sea cucumbers, ivory and the like is hot, but the world is starting to crack down.

Plus, whale euthanasia.

You can also listen to the podcast on iTunes or use this RSS feed with any podcast application. If you enjoy this episode, please subscribe so you don’t miss the next one.

This week, we visited the US Fish and Wildlife’s New York lab, and spoke to the World Wildlife Fund’s Crawford Allan and Marketplace reporter Tracey Samuelson. Our surprising discovery was reported by the Australian Broadcasting Company. We also promised you some more pictures of the lab, so without further ado:

Quartz/Tim Fernholz
Inside the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s US lab.
Quartz/Tim Fernholz
A carved Chimpanzee skull and the ceramic mask that hid it.
Quartz/Tim Fernholz
A crate of animal skins.
Quartz/Tim Fernholz
A Cayman crocodile skin shoe hidden behind cheap leather covering.
Quartz/Tim Fernholz
Two ivory statues; one is partially hidden inside papier-mâché.

This is the final episode of Actuality’s first season; we will return bigger and better than ever in March.

Actuality is a podcast jointly produced by Quartz and Marketplace, hosted by Tim Fernholz and Sabri Ben-Achour. Follow Actuality on Twitter, and let us know what you think of the show!

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.