Sponsored Project

Horn Maker

Juliette D. Marquis
Juliette D. Marquis

Wildlife trafficking is the third largest illegal trade in the world. Animals are sold for their body parts for up to $100,000 per kilo. Species like elephant and rhino, killed for their horns, are driven to extinction as prices soar because of increasing scarcity. International regulation agencies and wildlife protection services have been scrambling to stem the flow, with no real solution in sight. One man, a scientist, comes up with a radical proposition.

Taking animals out of the equation, using the latest tools in synthetic biology, he engineers a system of 3D printing genetically identical clones of wildlife products, making them indistinguishable from the real thing. He begins with rhino horn, currently the most expensive exotic material on the planet, worth more than gold and cocaine combined. A crucial test case, because if successful elephant ivory, tiger claws, lion bones, and many other products would be next.

Horn Maker follows this innovator as he travels to Africa, China and Vietnam, navigating through the complicated waters of international policy, diplomacy and criminal syndicate organizations. This is a story of fighting for nature, challenging deep-seeded traditions and the possibilities of what pioneering technology can do for our planet.

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