Animal CSI or from science lab to crime lab

Scientists are finding new ways to help stop poachers from hunting endangered animals.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM March 26, 2008

Robbery, vandalism, murder: Crimes happen every day. But people aren't the only victims of illegal activity. Bad guys can also target animals. And since animals can't tell police officers what they've seen, these are some of the toughest cases to solve.

Particularly challenging are the crimes that involve poaching—taking animals from the wild that are protected by law. Poachers can make a lot of money selling meat, tusks, fur, fins, and other parts of protected animals.

Federal inspectors took this suitcase from a traveler passing through Miami's airport. Inside were poached shark fins and seahorses that NOAA enforcement officers later sent to researchers at Nova Southeastern University in Florida for identification.

Federal inspectors...

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