Microsoft co-founder starts endangered-species initiative

SEATTLE — A Microsoft co-founder has donated $390,000 to start his initiative that would create new state criminal penalties for persons trafficking in body parts of endangered species.

The Seattle Times reported that billionaire Paul Allen’s Initiative 1401, launched last month, would ban trafficking in body parts from 10 frequently poached endangered species: elephant, rhinoceros, tiger, lion, leopard, cheetah, marine turtle, shark, ray, and pangolin — also known as the scaly anteater.

Allen is the only major donor to the effort so far.

The initiative must submit 246,372 signatures from registered Washington voters by July 2 to qualify for the November ballot.

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