One Tree Planted


Kaylee Brzezinski | June 09, 2020 | 2 min read

Today on the One Tree Planted Show...

We spoke with National Geographic's Sharon Guynup and Steve Winter to discuss the illegal wildlife trade, captive tigers, and the Tiger King. If you're into photography, wildlife, or are a National Geographic connoisseur this episode is for you!

In December 2019, Sharon Guynup and Steve Winter released a feature in National Geographic Magazine documenting captive tigers across the United States. The article was both fascinating and disturbing. Captive tigers in the U.S. outnumber those in the wild. It's a problem. Reading the piece now feels almost like what Netflix's Tiger King should have been, a deep dive into the world of illicit animal products, exotic animal breeding, and asking whether captive tigers ever have a conservation value.

So are you team Exotic Joe or Team Carol Baskin? Well, if you're team Joe we are sorry to report that the experts say Baskin is in fact on the good guy side of conservation. Find out what they had to say about Big Cat Rescue as well as some of the other organizations featured on Tiger King. 

We learned more about why wildlife trade, especially for tigers can be so lucrative and got Guynup and Winter's expert views about how illegal and legal wildlife trade affects us all. Guynup says, "Few people realize that the United States is the second largest consumer of illegal wildlife products."

More About Guynup and Winter

Sharon Guynup is a journalist and author who focuses her work on environmental issues. She’s travelled widely through Asia, Latin America, and Africa to cover wildlife and ecosystems, energy and climate change, and the effect pollution has on living things. For the last few years, much of her work has delved into poaching and “wildlife crime” — the lucrative, global, cartel-driven illegal wildlife trade.

Steve Winter is a legendary Nat Geo photographer with a number of iconic, story-driven photos in his portfolio. Among the numerous awards Steve has won are BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, first prize in the Nature Story category from World Press Photo— twice—and also two times Picture of the Year International’s Global Vision Award.

Tiger laying down in the sun

We are thankful to have been able to sit down and chat with two experts at the top of their fields. Be sure to check out the entire episode to hear more about the history of their careers, animal conservation, and of course tigers!

Don't forget to like and subscribe to the One Tree Planted Channel where we interview people with unique experiences or expertise related to sustainability.

We plant trees on 4 continents around the world. Want to choose where yours are planted?