Tom Foreman: You even encountered one thing that I found astonishing, the idea that the Chinese organized crime people at one point had a scheme to buy up all the rhino horns then wipe out every rhino on the planet.
Peter Knights: It was a speculative plan to basically corner the market and then ensure that there is no new supply. And this is the problem we have, many of the local people, the poachers, many of them don't have much alternative. And there is a range of middlemen and those people just see this as a commodity. They don't care about the local people and they don't care if their environment collapses after they're out, because they'll move somewhere else.
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Tom Foreman: Right now in stores and homes all across the United States, people are doing things, which are causing these places to be destroyed, animals to be destroyed.
Peter Knights: Yeah, I mean the United States is probably the second largest importer of wildlife after China and in many cases
Tom Foreman: Like what?
Peter Knights: Well in many cases, we have things like turtle eggs for example. We do have things like rhino horn occasionally, and tiger fur, not on a huge scale, but it still happens. Bear claws. Caviar now is a problem in the Russian far east. The Russian mafia is involved in caviar smuggling and they're slaughtering sturgeon at a totally unsustainable rate. Cactus even from Mexico, large cactus being used for landscaping, being taken out of protected areas and brought over here.
Tom Foreman: What is your personal goal in all of this?
Peter Knights: My personal goal is to make myself unemployed. I'd love to go and sit and watch this wildlife and take photographs and things like that, that would be my goal to do that, but I've seen so many things going on and my conscience tells me that if I don't try and do something about this, there will be no wildlife to go take photographs of.
Inside Base Camp's Tom Foreman on Work, Guests
Presidents and prisoners; scientists and soldiers; the heroic and the hatedall have sat down with National Geographic Channel Senior Anchor Tom Foreman as he has traveled the globe for the past 25 years. Starting out in small town radio in Alabama, he progressed through local television to join ABC Network News when he was 30. For a decade he covered virtually every major news story for World News Tonight, Nightline, 20/20 and Good Morning America.
Now, as host and managing editor of the Emmy Award-winning Inside Base Camp with Tom Foreman, he brings his years of experienceand dozens of riveting gueststo the National Geographic Channel at 12:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, and Sundays at 11:00 a.m.
As the show's name implies, Foreman asks the intimate, revealing questions that cut to core of the passions that drive his guests.
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