13 things you should not buy on your vacation

Trinkets and carvings made from ivory are among the items to avoid when purchasing souvenirs abroad.Planning on taking a vacation? If you’re like most people, you’ll want to bring the folks back home souvenirs from the places you visited.

But before you put down your dollars, euros, shillings, dirhams, yuan or other currency, think twice about the souvenirs you’re about to buy.

There are many made from endangered animals and exotic trees that need our protection.

Don’t encourage their sale with your money.

Here are 13 things you should not buy:

  1. Carvings, bracelets and other items made from ivory
  2. Belts, boots, handbags, wallets and other products made from exotic skins like alligator, crocodile, lizard and snake.
  3. Bracelets and other items made from elephant hair
  4. Exotic birds
  5. Live reptiles
  6. Coral and queen conch shells
  7. Products made from exotic wood. The loss of habitat in old-growth forests is devastating for wildlife. In general, if a wood is relatively lightweight it is from a fast-growing tree and is likely okay. If it’s heavy and dense, it’s from a slow-growing tree that should be protected.
  8. Turtle shells
  9. Accessories that include porcupine quill
  10. Products made from tigers such as bone wine, teeth and pelts
  11. Traditional medicines that claim to contain rhino horn, bear bile or other animal derivatives
  12. Bird eggs or bird nests
  13. Scarves and other products made with shahtoosh wool


Take the pledge and think twice before buying wildlife sourvenirs!

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Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Chief of Staff, International Fund for Animal Welfare
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
James Isiche, Regional Director, East Africa
Regional Director, East Africa
Jason Bell, Vice President for International Operations
Vice President for International Operations
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy