These illegal ivory hunters sure put in the time…
And the risk!
Russian poachers are reaching back in time to cash in on the world’s insatiable demand for rare ivory, digging through millenia-old ice to collect the tusks of mammoths.
Photographer Amos Chapple spent three weeks documenting the harsh, vodka-soaked world of the men who mine for mammoths in the Russian wilderness, for Radio Free Europe.
The poachers scour remote Siberia, evading police patrols and boring deep into the Siberian permafrost to find remains of the prehistoric animals.
Woolly mammoths roamed the Northern Hemisphere for hundreds of thousands of years before dying out following the last ice age.
Hunters now spend months at a time camping out in freezing temperatures and dodging bears in the hope of striking it rich. A 65-kilogram tusk can fetch as much as $34,000.
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