In Arunachal Pradesh of north-east India, 26 major indigenous tribes wear animal parts as part of their tradition and culture. However, wildlife numbers have been decreasing while wild animal parts remain in high demand. In order to preserve the traditions of indigenous people and also protect wildlife, Bapu, an entrepreneur from the largest Indigenous tribe in the state, the Nyishi tribe, has teamed up with his tech innovator friend, Anang Tadar, and Likha Nana, a history researcher and his wife, to replicate animal parts by using a 3D printer. From sourcing raw materials to getting approval from village elders, their startup company, Arunachal Ivory and Ornaments, has produced more than 100 replicas of leopard and tiger teeth, boar teeth, and eagle talons. Currently, they are working on replicating the great Indian hornbill’s beak. Bapu and his team are also hoping to increase affordability for wild animal parts while decreasing poaching activities and illegal trade. “If people are shooting wild animals mercilessly using hi-tech guns,” Bapu says, “why not use technology for a greater purpose: to save wildlife and restore cultural practices.”

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