Photograph by Brent Stirton, Getty
Photograph by John Heminway
In the documentary Explorer: Warlords of Ivory airing August 30 on National Geographic Channel, Bryan Christy investigates the increasingly mechanized, militarized slaughter of elephants.
Also featured in the September National Geographic magazine, Bryan Christy profiles the people who are profiting or suffering in the central African poaching frenzy.
Investigative reporter and National Geographic Fellow Bryan Christy is director of special investigations for National Geographic magazine and was named National Geographic Explorer of the Year in 2014. His work on international wildlife trafficking has been cited as one of ten ways National Geographic has changed the world.
Christy is author of The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers. His reportage has appeared in National Geographic, Foreign Policy, and Playboy, among others. Christy’s January 2010 National Geographic story, “The Kingpin,” exposed Malaysian wildlife smuggler Anson Wong and his government relationship. His investigation into the role of religion in the illegal ivory trade—"Ivory Worship," the magazine’s cover story in October 2012—has had a wide and continuing impact and served as a foundation of the award-winning National Geographic-PBS documentary Battle for the Elephants.
A frequent public speaker on international crime, the wildlife trade, and the power of storytelling, Christy has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, and PBS NewsHour.
He began his professional career as a lawyer and CPA in Washington, D.C., where he worked on such topics as the U.S.-Japan supercomputer trade, Norwegian whaling, and the sale of light-water nuclear reactors to North Korea.
Christy’s education includes Pennsylvania State University, the Cornell University Graduate School, the University of Michigan Law School, and Tokyo University Law School (where he was a Fulbright Scholar).
In Their Words
The illegal ivory trade is clearly organized crime. The surprising thing is that it's taken them so long to call it that.
More From Bryan Christy
The ancient Chinese tradition of carving ivory was once left to the hands of skilled artisans but is now big business.
Florida's python hunt is an inhumane quest to banish an invasive species, Bryan Christy argues.
Thousands of elephants die each year so that their tusks can be carved into religious objects.
Togo takes bold steps to stamp out smuggling of illegal ivory via the port city of Lomé.