Photography collective takes a stand against wildlife crime

theartnewspaper.com
Tom Seymour

Neil Aldridge’s image of a blindfolded young white rhino, which was sedated for transport to preserve it from poachers, features in the book. The price of rhino horn on the black market is more valuable by weight than gold, diamonds or cocaine, according to a study NEIL ALDRIDGE/photographersagainstwildlifecrime.com

At the beginning of the 20th century, half a million rhinos roamed Africa. Today, there are fewer than 5,000. In 2007, 13 rhinos were poached; since 2013, more than 1,000 have been killed each year. Overwhelmingly, their horns end up on the Chinese and Vietnamese market, where a burgeoning elite views rhino products as an elixir for all manner of ills, or as an ornamental trinket—the ultimate status symbol.

Rhinos are the most iconic of a host of endangered species driven to extinction by such rampant black markets. Pangolins, the only mammal with scales, are frequently found roasted and served in restaurants across East Asia. Black bears are farmed for their bile, which is extracted for use in traditional medicines, while shark fins and turtles are turned into soup. More than 6,000 tigers are held in captivity in China today—before their skeletons are soaked in rice wine and sold to the elite.

This has posed a challenge to some of the world’s most celebrated wildlife photographers. Should their practice and livelihood change as the animals they spend their careers capturing teeter on the brink of extinction?

“Magazines shy away from publishing such imagery. It doesn’t sell well”

Bigeye Thresher Shark Caught in Net by Brian Skerry (2012) © Brian Skerry

A new collective, Photographers Against Wildlife Crime, has formed to address this question and to confront the nation primarily connected to this horrific rise in poaching: China. Co-founded by the award-winning photographer Britta Jaschinski, the group includes some of the most renowned wildlife photographers in the world, including Adrian Steirn, Brent Stirton and Brian Skerry. It was formed in part due to wildlife crime’s lack of visibility in Western publications, Jaschinski says.

“Millions of animals are caught and harvested from the wild and sold in China as food, pets, tourist curios, trophies and for use in traditional Chinese medicine,” she says, adding that the issue doesn’t get the column inches it deserves. “The subject is so upsetting for a lot of people that magazines shy away from publishing such imagery,” Jaschinski adds. “It doesn’t sell well.”
Reaching the target audience

Together, Jaschinski and her colleagues crowdfunded and self-published a collection of their photographs alongside contemporary reporting on the issues behind wildlife crime. The book was initially published in English and quickly sold out. “But we realised we weren’t reaching the target audience that really mattered,” Jaschinski says.

Working in conjunction with a Chinese printer based in London, Jaschinski and her team have translated the book into Mandarin. After months of negotiating with the authorities, they are now in the process of distributing the book across the Chinese mainland.

The book is the first of its kind to be created specifically for a Chinese audience, and explicitly sets out to end the demand for wildlife products in China. It will be launched across the country in July and August, actively targeting the Chinese wildlife consumer market, the trading nucleus for one of the biggest black markets in the world.

Frozen pangolins by Paul Hilton © Paul Hilton

The illegal wildlife trade is the world’s fourth biggest criminal trade after drug smuggling, illegal firearms trade and human trafficking. The price of rhino horn on the black market, Jaschinski points out, is more valuable by weight than gold, diamonds or cocaine, according to a study by Science Advances. Rhino horn is estimated to fetch up to $60,000 per pound on the black market, and the illicit industry as a whole is estimated to be worth $20bn. Andrea Crosta, the director of the Elephant Action League, has called ivory the “white gold of jihad”, pointing out that al-Shabaab, an Islamic terrorist organisation, is funded directly by the illicit ivory and rhino horn trade in China.
Ban is barely enforced

In 2017, the Chinese authorities announced that all trade in ivory and its products would be made illegal. But the ban was barely enforced, Jaschinki says. The trade in rhino and tiger has been prohibited since 1993, but in October 2018, China alarmed conservationists by announcing that products from captive animals are authorised “for scientific, medical and cultural use”.

“I’ve worked on wildlife crime for 25 years—and I don’t distinguish between legal and illegal wildlife crime,” Jaschinski says. “China is becoming the economic leader of the world; I wanted to look at the horrendous treatment of animals and nature in the country, and especially at the link between poaching and trade in the country, and the mistreatment of animals in captivity in China.”

Bruno D’Amicis’s image of a Fennec fox pup offered for sale to a tourist after being caught in the desert in Tunisia. (Kebili Governorate, Tunisia, May 2012) © Bruno D’Amicis

While the images are often appalling, they have artistic merit, for each photographer involved has approached the subject from a different perspective, and by employing a different style. In the introduction to the book, Roz Kidman Cox, the chair of the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year jury, writes: “Some set out to highlight injustice through statement art, creating images that are unforgettable through their power—fury expressed beautifully. Others take dismembered beauty and reincarnate it in a haunting arrangement, turning evidence into art. Or they use the iconography of classical art to give their compositions human resonance, echoing a crucifixion, a deathbed repose or the spoils of war.”

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/amp/news/photography-collective-takes-a-stand-against-wildlife-crime?__twitter_impression=true

Poachers’ Poison Kills 530 Endangered Vultures in Botswana


(Photo by Hoberman Collection/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Meilan Solly

smithsonian.com
June 24, 2019 12:45PM

More than 500 endangered vultures died in northern Botswana after feasting on elephant carcasses laced with poison, the country’s government announced last week. Conservationists say that poachers targeted the birds—two tawny eagles and 537 vultures comprising five different species—because their scavenging activities, particularly circling carrion, can alert authorities to hunters’ presence.

“Vultures are sentinels to poached animals, so they’re directly being targeted,” Kerri Wolter, CEO and founder of conservation charity VulPro, tells The New York Times’ Kimon de Greef.

According to the government statement, the dead include 468 white-backed vultures, 28 hooded vultures, 17 white-headed vultures, 14 lappet-faced vultures and 10 cape vultures. (White-backed vultures in particular were once common across Africa but they’re now among the most threatened of the continent’s vulture species, with mere thousands remaining in the wild.) Per the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, all of these species are endangered or critically endangered.

As the Telegraph’s Catrina Stewart notes, it’s likely that the ramifications of this event will extend far beyond the initial death count. Given the fact that it is currently vulture breeding season, many of the deceased were new parents; now, they leave behind orphaned youngsters ill-equipped to survive on their own.

“[Since] vultures are late maturing and slow breeders, the magnitude of losing just under 600 vultures in one week is incomprehensible,” Wolter says to BBC News’ Alastair Leithead. “The species cannot withstand these losses and it is impossible to recover the disappearance of these individuals and breeding pairs in our lifetime.”

While vultures may pose an obstacle to poachers, the African Wildlife Federation explains that they are essential for maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Ella Hurworth of CNN further writes that the scavengers help keep the environment clean and minimize the spread of contagious disease. In India, where vultures have “all but disappeared,” according to De Greef of The New York Times, rat and feral dog populations have skyrocketed, leading to an increased likelihood of severe disease outbreaks.

As De Greef reports, the birds were found in a wildlife management area near the border of Botswana and Zimbabwe. Although the mass killing isn’t the first of its kind—in 2013, some 400 to 600 vultures died after dining on a poisoned carcass in Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, and between 2012 and 2014, researchers catalogued 2,044 poaching-related vulture deaths in seven African countries—it is the first to be widely reported in lieu of Botswana’s recent decision to lift its five-year suspension of elephant hunting.

The reversal, which has been criticized by conservationists but lauded by locals who say wild elephants are wreaking havoc on their livelihoods, could pave the way for increased poaching activity in the region. Previously, Rachael Bale points out for National Geographic, Botswana “appeared to have largely escaped the recent ivory poaching crisis,” but in 2017 and 2018, according to the Telegraph’s Stewart, poachers reportedly killed around 400 of the country’s elephants.

If elephant poaching becomes more prevalent in Botswana, vultures will pay part of the price, falling prey to poison left by illegal ivory hunters hoping to evade detection. For now, however, authorities are focusing on decontaminating the area where the birds were found and sending samples of the animals’ carcasses for laboratory analysis.

“The public in the vicinity … is [requested] to report any wildlife mortalities which may be spotted in their areas,” the government statement concludes. “The Department is concerned with the habit of some individuals who deliberately poison animals, as this is dangerous and harmful to the environment. Furthermore, the public is encouraged to desist from engaging in such illegal acts and report any suspicious activities which may suggest environmental poisoning to the nearest wildlife office or the police.”

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/poachers-poison-kills-530-endangered-vultures-botswana-180972477/

Poachers die in high speed chase – The Chronicle

chronicle.co.zw
Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter

TWO suspected rhino poachers in Beitbridge died on admission to the Bulawayo United Hospitals (UBH) after they were involved in an accident while being pursued by police and game rangers during a dramatic high speed chase.

The incident occurred last Wednesday at Bubye Valley Conservancy on the outskirts of Beitbridge.

This emerged when two other suspects James Mauto (41) of Zaka in Masvingo and Celestino Shate (35) of Soshangane Flats in Bulawayo appeared before Beitbridge resident magistrate, Mr Langton Mukwengi, facing charges of unlawful hunting of a specially protected animal in violation of the Parks and Wildlife Act. They were remanded in custody to June 28.

Prosecuting, Mr Guwanda said on June 12 this year, Mauto and Shate who were in the company of their deceased accomplices, Godfrey Makechemu and Charles Runye, were allegedly spotted by game rangers inside Bubye Valley Conservancy in Mazunga, Beitbridge.

The quartet, which was allegedly illegally hunting for rhinoceros, took to their heels with the game rangers hot in pursuit.

Their footprints indicated that they were tracking fresh rhino spoors at the conservancy.

“Acting on a tip off, a police mobile unit saw the suspected poachers coming out of Bubye Valley Conservancy and heading towards a nearby Jopembe village and pursued them,” said Mr Guwanda.

The court heard that as the police and the game rangers were making a follow up, they spotted the accused persons jumping into their car, a Toyota Wish and speeding off.

While in the process of fleeing from the pursuing police officers and game rangers, the car hit a stray goat resulting in the driver losing control of the vehicle and it veered off the road and overturned.

When police arrived at the scene, they found the four injured suspects inside the wreckage.

A search was conducted leading to the recovery of a telescopic sight rifle.

On being quizzed the suspects failed to give a satisfactory response leading to their arrest.

The accused persons were taken to Beitbridge District Hospital.

Makechemu and Runye were further transferred to UBH where they died upon admission.

https://www.chronicle.co.zw/poachers-die-in-high-speed-chase/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

—@mashnets

Poachers slammed with 80 year sentence for illegal poaching

dailynews.co.tz
Tanzania Standard Newspapers Ltd

THE Manyoni District Court in Singida Region yesterday sentenced two poachers to 80 years imprisonment for unlawful dealing in government trophies by killing five wildlife animals and illegal possession of firearm.

Resident Magistrate Stella Kiama convicted the duo, Ramadhan Saidi, alias Kitoweo, and Mohamed Rashid Sanda, of the offences after being satisfied by the evidence produced by prosecution witnesses.

The prosecution’s team led by State Attorneys Salimu Msemo, Patrida Muta and Tulumanywa Majigo had told the court that the convicts were involved in killing of three elephants and one giraffe, which are government trophies.

Magistrate Kiama sentenced both convicts to 20 years in jail each for dealing in trophies by killing the four elephants and another 20 years imprisonment sentence for dealing in trophies by killing the giraffe.

The convicts were also sentenced to 20 years in jail each for being found with a rifle in suspicious circumstances, while Kitoweo alone was given additional 20 years custodian sentence for unlawful possession of firearm.

However, the magistrate ordered each convict to remain in jail for only 20 years because the sentences provided in every count run concurrent with the other.

In addition to such custodian sentence, the magistrate ordered for forfeiture to the government of the United Republic of Tanzania the firearm.

It was alleged by the prosecution that on diverse dates between the year 2016 and 2017 at Sikonge District in Tabora region and at Manyoni District in Singida region, the convicts dealt in government trophies by killing the said four wild animals.

According to the prosecution, the convicts committed such offences without permit from the Director of Wildlife Division.

The court was also told that on June 10, 2017 at Magumukila area within Sikonge district, Kitoweo was found with the firearm without having a valid permit.

https://dailynews.co.tz/news/2019-06-025cf37158be565.aspx

Rhino poacher killed by elephant and then eaten by lions in South Africa, police say – CNN

Only a skull and a pair of trousers remained after the suspected rhino poacher was killed by an elephant and then eaten by lions in Kruger National Park, South Africa National Parks said.

The incident happened after the man entered the park Monday with four others to target rhinos, according to a parks service statement.

An elephant “suddenly” attacked the alleged poacher, killing him, and his accomplices claimed to have carried his body to the road that so that passerby, could find it in the morning. They then banished from the park, police said.

His family were notified of his death late Tuesday by his fellow poachers, and a search party set out to recover the body. Rangers scored on foot and police flew over the area, but because of the failing light he could not be found.

The search resumed Thursday morning and with the help of added field rangers, police discovered what was left of his body.

police say they arrested three men and seized guns fall in the alleged poachers death.

Indications found at the scene suggested that a pride of lions had devoured the remains leaving only a human skull and a pair of pants.

 

Continue reading here…

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/07/africa/south-africa-rhino-poacher-eaten/index.html

Breaking! Tiger Poachers Arrested In Thailand; Authorities Warn More Criminal Gangs Are Threatening Critically Endangered Tigers In The Wild – World Animal News

By WAN –
January 24, 2019

An image found on a confiscated mobile phone documents a suspected poacher standing over a dead tiger in a forest in Thailand. Photo from Freeland Foundation.
Following a three-month investigation, Thai officials are warning that organized crime gangs that are dispatched across borders are targeting the endangered wild tigers in Thailand and Malaysia.
According to Freeland Foundation, a frontline counter-trafficking organization working for a world that is free of wildlife trafficking and human slavery, Thai authorities have arrested one of many gangs.
The investigation was initiated after the successful arrest of two Vietnamese males by Thai Police in October 2018 following a tip-off from a Thai driver-for-hire.
The observant driver, who was taking the men from the western town of Tak to Pitsanalok, thought the baggage was suspicious, so he called the police who subsequently stopped the vehicle, inspected the bag, and discovered a fresh tiger skeleton inside.
The police arrested the owners of the bag, took the suspects and tiger remains to the Nakorn Sawan Police station, and inspected the suspects’ belongings, including their phones.

Police then contacted Freeland for analytical assistance.
Freeland’s forensics experts were dispatched to the scene and provided on-the-job training. Using Cellebrite digital forensics technology, police found evidence that the poaching coordinators, originating from Vietnam, had crossed Laos into Thailand to sponsor targeted hunting inside the forests of Thailand and Malaysia, and possibly Myanmar. The poachers documented their trips on their phones, including tiger kills.
Freeland believes the poachers were working on assignment from a Vietnamese criminal syndicate.
“We do not think this was the poacher’s or poaching coordinators’ first time in Thailand, or working together, and we have reason to believe they were planning to strike again,” Petcharat Sangchai, Director of Freeland-Thailand said in a statement.
Following the discovery of the gang and poached tiger, Thai rangers were put on high alert.
“This gang has been removed as a threat, but we should be aware that whoever employed them may dispatch more hunters to kill our country’s tigers,” said Sanchai. “Police, rangers, and the public must remain vigilant.”
Tragically, there are only an estimated 2,500 tigers remaining in the wild.
Freeland Foundation is requesting that people with any information on the “poachers’ ID, whereabouts, or about other poaching coordinators” to contact them; noting on their Facebook page that “solid tips” like the one that resulted in the arrest of two poaching coordinators who are in jail now, may be rewarded.”
Freeland Thailand is located at 92/1 Soi Phahonyothin 5, Phahonyothin Road, Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400 THAILAND. The phone number is +(66) 2-278 2033 and fax number is +(66) 2-278 2037. Tips may also be sent to info@freeland.org

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-tiger-poachers-arrested-in-thailand-authorities-warn-more-criminal-gangs-are-threatening-endangered-species/

Contact us: contact@worldanimalnews.com

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Breaking! Andrew Pashley’s Light Sentence For Poaching & Illegal Hunting In Colorado Could End With A Lifetime Suspension Of Hunting Privileges In 48 States – World Animal News

ByLauren Lewis –
December 28, 2018

A Colorado Parks and Wildlife investigation into illegal hunting and outfitting reports over the course of several years resulted in a felony conviction of Andrew Pashley of Evergreen, Colorado.
The 35-year-old pled guilty to the illegal sale of big game wildlife, a Class 6 felony, as well as illegal possession of a Mountain Lion on November 8th in Jefferson County District Court.
Pashley has never been registered as an outfitter by the state of Colorado.
A Jefferson County judge sentenced Pashley to two years of supervised probation and a court-ordered suspension of all hunting, fishing, and trapping related activities in Colorado. Pursuant to his felony conviction, Pashley is restricted from possessing a firearm or other weapon, even for hunting purposes.
As part of the adjudication of the criminal and civil cases in this investigation, Pashley was ordered to forfeit the truck that he used for his illegal outfitting business, cash that was paid to him for the illegal mountain lion hunt, as well as all the hunting equipment he owned for his hounds.
While the punishment seems hardly enough, the department shared in a statement that Pashley’s conviction makes him eligible for up to a lifetime suspension of all hunting, fishing and trapping privileges in Colorado. This is including the other 47 states in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, to be determined by CPW’s suspension hearing examiner at a later date.
Help put pressure on CPW to rule for the lifetime suspension. Please contact The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Headquarters in Denver at (303) 297-1192 or email: parksinfo@state.co.us.

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-andrew-pashleys-light-sentence-for-poaching-illegal-hunting-in-colorado-could-end-him-with-a-lifetime-suspension-of-hunting-privileges-in-48-states/

Contact us: contact@worldanimalnews.com

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Demand Justice for Baby Rhino Orphaned by Poachers

Baby rhino David was left as an orphan after poachers slaughtered his entire family for their horns. Demand justice for David and stricter anti-poaching laws in South Africa.

Source: Demand Justice for Baby Rhino Orphaned by Poachers

Sign Petition: Justice for David — The Rhino Calf Whose Entire Family Was Killed By Poachers

by: Care2 Team
recipient: SANParks

135,530 SUPPORTERS – 140,000 GOAL

One day David the 4-month-old rhino was frolicking in the savannas of South Africa, without a care in the world, running alongside his uncles and aunts, tugging on his mother’s tail. But the next day would change his life forever.

Under the cover of darkness, poachers came upon his family and slaughtered all of them. When park officials and rescuers from David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation came upon the adult rhinos’ carcasses, they found the young rhino calf petrified and cowering next to his mother’s body.

Now David, like so many other rhino calves is an orphan. One who will never learn the vital lessons his mother could have taught him to better survive in the wild. David was so tiny that rescuers — in tears from the tragic sight — were able to lift him into the back of a truck in order to take him to his new home, a rhino orphanage.

Rhinos are under threat. In total there are less than 30,000 in rhinos left on Earth separated into five different species. From the Javan rhino which numbers less than 70 to the white rhino at 20,000. These animals are all teetering on the edge. Currently, 3 rhinos are poached per day around the world.

All in all, Africa has seen a constant slaughter of their rhino population. Over the last decade more than 7,250 were killed and in South Africa — where David’s family was massacred — more than 1000 alone were poached for their horns in the last year.

This cannot continue. The world demands that governments work harder than ever to protect Africa’s rhinos. The world demands justice for David. Please sign the petition and tell South Africa to do more to stop the poaching and bring the killers of David’s family to justice.For more info, visit the David Shepherd Wildlife foundation.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/341/366/192/

 

The African Wildlife Foundation To Invest $25 Million In Major Efforts To Counter The Illegal Wildlife Trade In Africa – World Animal News

By WAN –
November 1, 2018

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) will invest $25 million over the next four years to support efforts by African governments and local communities to protect wildlife and wild lands on the continent.
Making the pledge last month at the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) conference in London, AWF President Kaddu Sebunya said poaching and illegal trade in wildlife products poses an acute threat to Africa’s rich heritage of natural wealth that is critical to the continent’s development prospects.
“We are seeing recovery and stabilization of some critical wildlife populations. We know what is working and it’s time to scale up the investment to combat this serious threat,” said Kaddu in a statement.
Soaring demand for illegal wildlife products is emptying forests and savannahs of key species, undermining efforts to put in place good governance and sustainable development. The London conference is a good starting point for strengthening partnerships across borders to collectively combat the illegal wildlife trade.
The money pledged by AWF will be used to support programs implementing the priorities coming out of the 2018 conference. This includes:

Building African leadership and ownership of the IWT agenda on the continent.
Protecting habitats and key populations of rhinos, elephants, great apes, large carnivores and giraffes.
Enhancing detection of wildlife crimes, and strengthening prosecutorial and judiciary capacity to put perpetrators behind bars where they belong.

Kaddu said that while the international efforts to disrupt markets in illegal wildlife products—such as the Ivory Alliance being launched by the UK Government earlier this month —are critical, the IWT agenda in Africa must be led and owned by Africans.
“The trade routes trace back to decisions made on the ground, and while we are focusing this week on the commodities traded from dead wildlife, our interest is in seeing the living species remain part of modern Africa. We know from our work that leadership at every level—from the families living in wildlife-rich areas, to the heads of state—is an essential ingredient,” Kaddu said.
Since 2014, AWF has invested $13.1 million to counter the illegal wildlife trade in Africa and implemented a further $5.5 million with public-sector partners. The combined $18.6 million has been used to directly support anti-poaching efforts on the ground, strengthen prosecutorial and judiciary processes, place sniffer dogs in critical transit points, and campaign to stop the demand in Asia.
The investment is clearly working. 10 out of the 14 populations of elephants the funding has targeted are stable or increasing. All rhino populations and seven out of nine carnivore populations that AWF supports are stable or increasing. Prosecutors are building stronger cases and judges are delivering stronger sentences for wildlife crimes. The sniffer dogs have registered over 250 finds and counting.
“If we can keep wildlife safe from poachers, make wildlife products difficult to move around, actively involve key local players, and dampen the demand for wildlife products, then Africa’s magnificent animals have a fighting chance,” said Dr. Philip Muruthi, AWF Chief Scientist and VP of Species Protection.

https://worldanimalnews.com/the-african-wildlife-foundation-to-invest-25-million-in-major-efforts-to-counter-the-illegal-wildlife-trade-in-africa/

Please Go Plant-Based!

“One Person CAN Make A Difference”

 

Justice for Five Lions Murdered with Poison and Mutilated

Poachers have broken into a wildlife reserve and brutally killed five lions with poison. The lions suffered horrible deaths and were then mutilated by the killers. Sign this petition to demand the poachers be brought to justice.

Source: Justice for Five Lions Murdered with Poison and Mutilated

Protect Ocean-Saving Sea Cucumbers From Poachers

Sea cucumbers are the ocean’s garbage disposals and medicine men all in one, and they are the latest at-risk animals in the crosshairs of greedy poachers. Help save these ocean guardians and, in the process, help save the marine world.

Source: Protect Ocean-Saving Sea Cucumbers From Poachers

Petition: Tell Hong Kong: End the hippo ivory trade | African Wildlife Foundation

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ttps://secure.awf.org/hk-hippo-ivory-ban?utm_campaign=fy19advocacy2&ms=B19V03E03M&utm_source=1810adv1pr&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20322932&spMailingID=20322932&spUserID=MTkyNjA4MTE0NjQwS0&spJobID=1360114148&spReportId=MTM2MDExNDE0OAS2

23 Alleged Rhino Poachers Arrested In South Africa Since Tragic Death Of Ranger Respect Mathebula At Kruger National Park! – World Animal News

37726687_10160605001985635_1071390471139360768_n1770377461.jpg

By Lauren Lewis –
August 8, 2018

R.I.P. Ranger Respect Mathebula
While still mourning the tragic death of one of their own late last month, members of the Rangers Corps in South Africa are responsible for the recent arrests of 23 suspected rhino poachers in Kruger National Park (KNP).
Tragically, as previously reported by WAN, on Thursday, July 19th, Respect Mathebula became the second Ranger casualty since 1958 involving a poacher contact in Park. Mathebula was shot after making contact with a poaching group that they had been tracking.
As per the organization, Respect joined SANParks in February 2015 as Field Ranger at Shangoni Ranger Section. In July 2016, he moved to Crocodile Bridge Section in the same position and worked there until he passed away.
In a statement released earlier this week by South African National Parks, Managing Executive of KNP, Glenn Phillips commended the work of the Rangers saying they are resilient in the aftermath of the tragic loss of a colleague.
“The arrests are a sign that the Spirit of Respect is being honored by the Rangers Corps,” noted Phillips. “Further to this, the fact that no poachers were wounded or killed in these contacts is a clear demonstration of the professionalism and discipline that embodies our Ranger Corps.”
According to Phillips, there has been relentless poacher activity since Mathebula’s passing, with 156 incidents reported including contacts.
“We are still making a plea to our neighbouring communities to help us in this fight by exposing those who are exploiting their children, husbands, and relatives to hunt rhino illegally,” continued Phillips. “These people do not have the welfare of the communities at heart but are criminals without a conscience, and they need to be put behind bars for a long time for their criminal acts.”
The 23 arrested suspects were also in possession of 10 high calibre rifles and poaching equipment. They will be facing charges related to poaching and possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.
“Very few people have the courage and necessary skills to perform this important task other than Rangers, in which Respect was and will forever be part of. Etlela hi kurhula Respect – May your soul rest in peace,” the organization shared in a tribute to the lost hero who left behind his wife, Wisdom Ndlovu, their four children, five brothers, two sisters and all other family members. “You upheld the Ranger values and flew the SANParks flag high with honour. We are poorer with your absence but will continue where you left off.”
WAN salutes Mathebula and his fellow Rangers who continue to work tirelessly and selflessly to protect some of the world’s most endangered species from some of the planet’s most egregious predators, greedy humans!

https://worldanimalnews.com/23-alleged-rhino-poachers-arrested-in-the-18-days-since-death-of-ranger-respect-mathebula-at-krueger-national-park/

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

(ICELAND) Disgraceful & Barbaric: Icelandic whalers appear to have killed an endangered blue whale ‘ before chopping it up to be eaten as a delicacy in Japan: Photos of the massive mammal, which can grow to 3 3 metres long, were posted online by conservation groups claiming it was slain by Kristján Loftsson’s w haling company: The huge carcass was seen being hauled in to port by the Hvalur 8 ship while tied to the sid e of the vessel before being dragged on to the dock on Saturday evening #AceNewsDesk reports

Breaking News! At Least 3 Alleged Rhino Poachers Killed & Eaten By Pride Of Lions At Game Reserve In South Africa! – World Animal News

Breaking News! At Least 3 Alleged Rhino Poachers Killed & Eaten By Pride Of Lions At Game Reserve In South Africa!
By Lauren Lewis – July 5, 2018

Three alleged rhino poachers were killed by a pride of lions at a South African game reserve that is home to the Big Five of elephants, rhinos, buffalos, lions, and leopards.
According to Sibuya Game Reserve owner, Nick Fox, the remains of humans were discovered in the lion camp on Tuesday evening.
It is believed the perpetrators entered the reserve late Sunday night or early Monday morning.
“They were armed with, amongst other things, a high powered rifle with a silencer, an ax, wire cutters and had food supplies for a number of days; all the hallmarks of a gang intent on killing rhinos and removing their horns,” Fox explained on the reserve’s Facebook page noting that they first became aware there may be an issue when one of their anti-poaching dogs alerted her handler at about 4.30 am Monday morning that something was amiss.
It was dark and it is not unusual to hear a commotion coming from the lions at night, so the handler was not immediately concerned.
It was not until around 4.30 pm on Tuesday that one of the field guides on game drive alerted the Anti-Poaching Unit that there appeared to be human remains as well as other items in the immediate vicinity of the lions. Fox reported that they immediately alerted the Association of Eastern Cape Game Reserves’ Anti-Poaching Cluster and the Police.
“As it was already dark it was not possible to investigate the area until first light at which time we arranged for our vet to dart the entire pride of lions so that Police forensic teams assisted by our Anti-poaching unit could comb the immediate area for clues,” Fox stated. “At this stage, it is not clear exactly how many poachers were killed but the Police forensic team are continuing to investigate.”
Tragically, nine rhinos have reportedly already been killed by poachers on Eastern Cape reserves this year.
While any loss of life is sad, may this serve as a clear message to poachers to stay away!

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-news-at-least-3-alleged-rhino-poachers-killed-eaten-by-pride-of-lions-at-game-reserve-in-south-africa/

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Breaking! 6 Alleged Wildlife Traffickers Arrested In Myanmar, Southeast Asia; Elephant Hides, Deer Horns & Skulls Among Confiscated Items – World Animal News

By WAN –
June 13, 2018

Six men in the Mandalay, Ayeyarwady, and Bago regions of Myanmar have been arrested for allegedly storing and selling wild animal parts including elephant hides, deer and bison horns, turtle shells and meats, and porcupine quills as well as the bones, claws, paws, and skulls of various animals.
According to the Myanmar Times, the Forestry Department police department issued a statement yesterday explaining that the arrests stemmed from separate law enforcement operations and subsequent raids on June 9th.
The yet-to-be-named suspects, who were charged under the country’s Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas Law, may face up to seven years in jail for the killing and trading of protected wildlife.
Sadly, the growing demand in surrounding countries was cited as the reason that so many people are now storing and trading wildlife parts in the area.
U Khin Maung Myint, Director of Forestry Department of Ayeyarwady Region noted that the “market emerged as the horns and hides of the animal are hung on the walls for decorative purposes, made into hand wear accessories, and mixed with other medicinal roots for medicine.”
What pointless reasons to take sentient beings lives.
It’s as shameful as it is sad!

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-6-alleged-wildlife-traffickers-arrested-in-myanmar-southeast-asia-elephant-hides-deer-horns-skulls-among-rescued-items/

 

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134 Dead Birds Of Prey Found On Richard Parker’s NorCal Property In “Largest Raptor Poaching Case In California History” – World Animal News

http://worldanimalnews.com/134-dead-birds-prey-found-richard-parkers-norcal-property-largest-raptor-poaching-case-california-history/

BREAKING NEWS
By WAN –
March 19, 2018
Photos from CDFW
Wildlife officers in Northern California uncovered what is likely to be the largest raptor poaching case in the state’s history.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) made the announcement after wildlife officers assigned to Lassen County followed up on a tip and visited a private property in a town near Standish.
When nine dead raptors were found on the property owned by 67-year-old Richard Parker, a search warrant was issued.

When officers returned on March 11th with a CDFW K-9, a search of the 80-acre property resulted in the discovery of a staggering number of raptor carcasses, other dead birds and wildlife. Spent rifle casings indicated that there were more than 140 potential state and or federal violations.
In addition to the original nine birds, they found 126 more birds that hunt and feed on other animals, all in various states of decay. Most of the birds were red-tailed hawks, as well as one dead owl and an uncommon migratory ferruginous hawk.
Officers also located two dead bobcats, one taxidermied mountain lion, as well as other birds, all suspected to be unlawfully taken.
Parker was booked into Lassen County jail on multiple charges including the take of birds of prey, take of migratory non-game birds as designated by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, take of other non-game birds, and possession of wildlife unlawfully taken. Additional charges may be added as the investigation proceeds.
Staff at CDFW’s Wildlife Investigations Laboratory in Rancho Cordova are working to positively identify the species of all of the birds.
As the top bird predators in the food chain, raptors serve an important role in the ecosystem by controlling rodent and small mammal populations. However, they are also particularly susceptible to environmental stressors such as drought and habitat loss. For these reasons, biologists refer to them as an indicator species.
Standish is located near Honey Lake and the Honey Lake Wildlife Area, with habitat that supports a rich diversity and quantity of wildlife. The sheer number of birds poached on the 80-acre property will undoubtedly affect the raptor population in the immediate area.
“Poaching crimes of this egregious nature against raptors is unprecedented in California,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division. “The local raptor population may take years to recover from these killings.”
Each potential violation is a misdemeanor poaching crime at the state level, with maximum penalties of six months in jail and up to a $5,000.00 fine per each raptor. An unlawfully taken mountain lion could result in a $10,000.00 penalty. Each potential federal crime could result in additional penalties and possible jail time.

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TAGS:Animal News,Animal Protection,Animal Welfare,animal welfare organizations
California Department of Fish and Wildlife,poaching

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Another Bust! More Than 600 Smuggled Reptiles Rescued From Animal Trafficking Network; Nine People Arrested – World Animal News

http://worldanimalnews.com/another-bust-600-smuggled-reptiles-rescued-animal-trafficking-network-nine-people-arrested/

By WAN –
March 13, 2018
Photos from Europol

A Spanish network illegally trafficking rare animals has been dismantled after more than 600 smuggled reptiles were found earlier this week.
Nine people were arrested and seven suspected members of the criminal organization are currently under investigation, as per Europol which made the announcement.

“This little dragon is free again,” the European law enforcement agency shared in a post on its Facebook page yesterday. “Big hit by Guardia Civil and Europol against an organized crime group trafficking more than 600 protected reptiles from the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania.”
The group reportedly purchased the animals from Australia, the Fiji Islands, Mexico, New Zealand, Oman, and South Africa, before illegally transporting them to Spain.

Europol explained that it provided analytical and operational support and “assisted Guardia Civil officers by deploying a team to Spain with a mobile office and UFED extraction capabilities on the internationally-coordinated action day, providing them with real-time intelligence analysis and forensic support.”
Their efforts helped to identify transnational links with other serious and organized crimes around the world.
Overall law enforcement authorities from 17 countries worldwide were involved in the operation.
Help Us End Wildlife Trafficking!

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TAGS:Animal News,Animal Protection,Animal Rescue
Illegal Wildlife Trafficking,Reptiles,Spain,Wildlife Smuggling

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Breaking! Notorious Wildlife Poaching Gang Busted In Malaysia; Responsible For 20 Elephant Deaths Over The Past Decade & More – World Animal News

http://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-notorious-wildlife-poaching-gang-busted-malaysia-responsible-20-elephant-deaths-past-decade/

By Lauren Lewis –
March 13, 2018

Royal Malaysian Police display the weapons, snares, and other poaching materials during a press conference today. Photo from TRAFFIC.
Authorities in Malaysia busted a poaching gang that is believed to be responsible for the slaughter of an estimated 20 elephants for their tusks over the last decade.
Four suspects, local men between the ages of 40 and 50 years old, were apprehended over the weekend during the three-day operation dubbed Ops Gading in Gerik. They are being held under police custody for seven days.
A joint team from the Royal Malaysian Police and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks also seized several high-powered modified firearms, 255 bullets of various caliber, cash, 13 snares, and animal remains including deer antlers and suspected tiger bones.
The team also located the carcass of a male Asian Elephant, believed to be 30-years-old in Piah Forest, not far from Gerik. The carcass was missing its tusks and a necropsy by the Wildlife Department’s forensics team showed the elephant had died from two gunshot wounds to its head.

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Photo of the elephant carcass recovered. Photo from Royal Malaysian Police.
“This is a notorious gang of poachers that the Wildlife Department has been tracking since 2009. We believe the tusks from the elephant have been sold by the group to foreign buyers,” said Police Commissioner Dato’ Seri Zulkifli Abdullah, Director of the Federal Police Internal Security and Public Order Department at a press conference today. “We hope this serves as a lesson to other groups to stop this kind of illegal activity and we will continue to work with Perhilitan to enforce the law.”
Zulkifli also noted that the police, through the Internal Security and Public Order Department would focus at least 20% of the Force’s manpower on addressing environmental crime including wildlife and fisheries.
“This is exactly the kind of collaboration Malaysia needs to bring down the syndicates decimating Malaysia’s wildlife,” Kanitha Krishnasamy, Acting Regional Director for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia said in a statement following the press conference.
According to the organization, the Royal Malaysian Police issued a release claiming that one suspect admitted during initial investigations that he had just sold a pair of elephant tusks to a middleman in a town at the Malaysian international border.
Police are continuing to work with the Wildlife Department and authorities in a neighboring country to investigate and identify the parties that may have purchased the tusks.
Forests in northern Peninsular Malaysia are often a target of poachers because they are rich with iconic endangered species including tigers, elephants and bears.
This successful operation marks the second elephant poaching gang to be dismantled in Malaysia in a little more than a year. On February 10, 2017, seven men from that group were arrested in the state of Kelantan, which is also located in northern Peninsular Malaysia. Follow-up raids uncovered two elephant tusks, dried elephant meat, and other wildlife parts.

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TAGS Animal News,Animal Protection,Animal Welfare,Animal Welfare Organizations
Elephant Ivory,Elephants,Poaching

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Hands off the helmeted hornbill! – Rainforest Rescue

The helmeted hornbill is being hunted to extinction: Poachers in Indonesia are killing these majestic birds for the “red ivory” of its beak, which sells for thousands of dollars per kilo in China. Tell Indonesia, Malaysia and China to properly enforce the existing ban on poaching and trafficking and say this unique species.

https://www.rainforest-rescue.org/petitions/1088/hands-off-the-helmeted-hornbill

By Nancy Posted in Uncategorized Tagged

Save Apes from Merciless Smugglers

Human disregard and greed has driven many species to extinction, with little fanfare. Now some of our closest counterparts in the animal kingdom are in immediate danger of a similar fate. Help end the unforgiving ape trade that captures untold numbers of victims each day.

Source: Save Apes from Merciless Smugglers

Justice for Mother Wolf Murdered by Poachers | Animal Petitions

A four and a half year old female wolf and mother are several pups was discovered  slaughtered in Northeastern Oregon. she is the latest victim of illegal wolf poaching in the state.

https://animalpetitions.org/499956/justice-for-mother-wolf-murdered-by-poachers/

Petition: Demand Significant Prison Time for Deranged Poachers in Washington State


https://www.thepetitionsite.com/363/114/558/demand-prison-time-for-deranged-poachers-in-washington/

Massacre of polar bears by ‘trophy hunters’ on remote Arctic island

Sunday, Oct 15 2017

‘The 3am stop at a remote station miles from home is a moment you will remember for the rest of your life.’
Jon Pearson 

Massacre of polar bears by ‘trophy hunters’ on remote Arctic island
By The Siberian Times reporter
04 August 2017


Macabre remains of six slaughtered polar bears, ‘beheaded with their skins removed’, now under criminal investigation.

The skulls of the polar bears had been removed in a way that is consistent with trophy hunters. Picture: Russian Centre for Arctic Exploration


The gruesome evidence of illegal hunting was found on uninhabited Vilkitsky Island in the Kara Sea.

The carcasses and used gun cartridges were found by members of an ecological clean-up team sent to the remote territory.

Summer thawing meant the polar bear remains became visible.


There are claims that local police initially sought to cover up the crime – possibly suggesting an elite hunting group was involved in the bloody massacre. But the prosecutor’s office subsequently opened a criminal probe.

Massacre of polar bears by ‘trophy hunters’ on remote Arctic island
Polar bear rugs are highly sought after in black market sales, where they can fetch around $17,000 each. Picture: Russian Centre for Arctic Exploration

Andrey Baryshnikov, head of the Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration, said: ‘When they spotted the carcasses they immediately got in touch with me via satellite connection because this is a very serious case.

‘We passed the information to the police.’

A case was opened once law enforcement received the gruesome pictures of the polar bear remains.

‘For now we cannot say exactly how old the bears were, or whether they were were male, female or cubs; nor is it clear how long the carcasses were there.’


Massacre of polar bears by ‘trophy hunters’ on remote Arctic island
Audacious hunters even left messages to each other scrawled on the island’s lighthousehe. Picture: Russian Centre for Arctic Exploration

Deputy governor of Yamalo-Nenets autonomous region Alexander Mazharov said: ‘There were many polar bears at Vilkitsky island and unfortunately poachers came to hunt them.

‘Our guys have already found several dead bodies of the animals.

‘Now we are gathering information. We won’t let them get away with it.’

The skulls of the polar bears had been removed in a way that is consistent with trophy hunters.
Polar bear rugs are highly sought after in black market sales, where they can fetch around $17,000 each.

The slaughter of Red Book polar bears is illegal under international and Russian laws.

Massacre of polar bears by ‘trophy hunters’ on remote Arctic island

Massacre of polar bears by ‘trophy hunters’ on remote Arctic island
One missive from Stepan to another hunter read: ‘I was here, killed 5 bears, good luck to you.’ Pictures: Russian Centre for Arctic Exploration

In April 2017 there was an expedition by Russian Geographic Society to Vilkitsky,’ said Baryshnikov.

‘They found a skin of a freshly killed polar bear. The offenders were caught very quickly and as I heard they were sentenced already.

‘These bears were not spotted then because they were under the snow obviously.’

There are prolific numbers of bears on Vilkitsky Island ‘and poachers obviously know that’, he said.

‘The investigation is ongoing.’

Yet there are also now reports that there are now no bears left on the isolated island.


Massacre of polar bears by ‘trophy hunters’ on remote Arctic island
The expedition sent to the island in July 2017 to remove Soviet-era waste. Picture: Russian Centre for Arctic Exploration

Audacious hunters even left messages to each other scrawled on the island’s lighthouse.

One missive from Stepan to another hunter read: ‘I was here, killed 5 bears, good luck to you.’

The expedition was sent to the island to remove Soviet-era waste as part of the Green Arctic project.

The island is nine kilometres wide and about 18 km long, or 40 km including Vostochnaya Spit.

Discovered in 1874, it was named after Lieutenant General Andrei Vilkitsky (1858-1913).
Tags:

Arctic
polar bears
crime

http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/massacre-of-polar-bears-by-trophy-hunters-on-remote-arctic-island/

Petition: Find Maxine The Rhino’s Killer


http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/448/319/387/

Rhino Shot Dead at Wildlife Preserve–Find the Killers Now

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A white rhinoceros was shot and killed in cold blood in a Paris-area preserve. Demand that the poachers be found and punished severely to ensure other endangered animals remain safe.

Source: Rhino Shot Dead at Wildlife Preserve–Find the Killers Now

Poaching drives 80 percent decline in elephants in key preserve: More than 25,000 elephants slain over a decade in Gabon park

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Forest elephant populations in one of Central Africa’s largest sanctuaries have declined between 78% and 81% because of poaching, a new study finds. More than 25,000 elephants in Gabon’s Minkébé National Park may have been killed for their ivory between 2004 and 2014. With nearly half of Central Africa’s forest elephants thought to live in Gabon, the loss of elephants from the park is a considerable setback for the preservation of the species.

Source: Poaching drives 80 percent decline in elephants in key preserve: More than 25,000 elephants slain over a decade in Gabon park

Three Elephant Poachers Gunned Down In Kenya

Justice for Police Officer Shot by Poachers

 

A police officer was shot and killed while attempting to stop an illegal wildlife trade. Sign this petition to demand that the poachers responsible are found and brought to justice.

Source: Justice for Police Officer Shot by Poachers