Artist's Talk, Slideshow and Q&A
Saturday, January 31st, 5pm - 8pm.

THE POACHING WARS is a documentary photo exhibition on the struggle to stop rhino and elephant poaching in Africa.

Frank af Petersens is a Swedish professional photographer with a background in Africa. He has spent several years documenting the rapidly escalating poaching crisis.

Killing Africa's rhinos and elephants is now a multi-billion dollar industry, controlled by groups with links to terrorist organizations and global criminal networks. Rhino horn is highly valued in traditional Chinese medicine, and is worth more than gold in Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia. 1,120 rhinos were killed by poachers in South Africa in 2014, a dramatic increase from 13 rhinos killed in 2007.

Elephant ivory is smuggled from Africa to China and other countries in Southeast Asia, where it is carved into religious figurines and luxury gift items. Over 100,000 elephants have been killed by poachers in Africa over the last three years.

Wildlife rangers risk their lives every day trying to stop the poachers. Most rangers have old weapons and equipment, few vehicles and little or no training. The poachers have automatic weapons and powerful protection from corrupt officials and politicians. A ranger is killed in the line of duty every four days. The poachers very rarely get caught.

Frank af Petersens is a contributing photographer to several conservation organizations. He also works directly with national parks and conservancies in Africa in their struggle against organized poaching.

Frank af Petersens is represented in private and corporate collections in the United States, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Spain and Italy. "The Poaching Wars" will be on view at Gallery 169 through Sunday, March 15, 2015.