Lawyer Wears a Wire in Bid to Stop Elephant Poaching
Posted Jul 21, 2010 8:55 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A Connecticut lawyer posed as an American tourist interested in buying ivory last February as part of an effort to help the Kenyan government crack down on poachers.
G. Kenneth Bernhard of Cohen and Wolf in Westport wore a hidden microphone when he purchased ivory from a roadside gift shop outside of Nairobi, the Connecticut Law Tribune reports. The dealer spotted a wildlife official and ran out the back door, but he was arrested the next day.
Bernhard, 66, also flew over Kenya's Tsavo National Park with officials from the Kenyan Wildlife Service who were trying to spot poachers. He never saw any poachers, but he did see a lot of zebras and elephants.
Bernhard has volunteered with animal protection groups for many years. He told the Law Tribune that his Kenyan work was fascinating. "Kenya is serious about protecting its wildlife, and I was honored to be part of a process where I could make a small contribution,” he said.