Karen Lapizco 14 hours ago
Lauren Lewis 5 hours ago
In what was an extremely busy weekend for apprehending poaching suspects in Kruger National Park (KNP), South African National Parks (SANParks) released information about two incidents that resulted in the arrests of numerous would-be poachers and the death of one poacher by a breeding herd of elephants.
“It has been a successful weekend in the fight to keep our rhinos alive in the park. We are delighted with our anti-poaching teams who were able to arrest suspects before any animal was killed,” Gareth Coleman, the Managing Executive of the KNP,” said in a statement. “The actions are a morale booster for our anti-poaching teams and conservation efforts.”
On Saturday, SANParks Rangers, supported by Airwing, and K9 units, apprehended one alleged poacher and recovered poaching equipment including a rifle and an axe. The second suspect was trampled to death by a herd of elephants. The third, who reportedly sustained an eye injury, managed to escape.
Sunday, after detecting another incursion on a routine patrol, the Rangers tracked spoor until they made contact with a group of three suspected poachers who were subsequently arrested in the Pretoriuskop Section of the Park. A high-calibre hunting rifle, poaching equipment, and ammunition were also recovered.
“We hope the arrests send a strong message to poachers that we are determined to stop them in their tracks within the Park. SANParks is committed to working harder with law enforcement agencies and communities outside the Park to intensify efforts to crack the criminal syndicates driving these crimes.
“Only through discipline, teamwork, and tenacity will we be able to help stem the tide of rhino poaching in KNP.
“The campaign against poaching is the responsibility of us all; it threatens many livelihoods, destroys families, and takes much-needed resources to fight crime which could otherwise be used for creating jobs and development,” concluded Coleman.
You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg
Courtesy of Greenwich Photography (Flickr)
PETITION TARGET: Ebay’s SVP Legal Affairs/General Counsel Marie Oh Huber
Shot down with rifles and hacked to pieces for the ivory in their tusks, wild elephants needlessly die to be made into trinkets for people’s pleasure.
It’s all made possible because of the illegal wildlife trade — a multi-billion dollar global atrocity enabled by continued sales of illegal ivory on online shopping platforms, including Ebay.
Ebay’s policies prohibit the sale of products containing ivory. Yet researchers recently found more than 140 listings containing illegal ivory on the platform.
They also found that Ebay only removed between 1% and 7% of the illegal listings they reported. The rest of the items were sold or re-listed.
The brutal killing of elephants and the illegal sales of products containing their ivory must stop. Ebay must take action to keep elephant ivory off of its platform.
The company already has the needed procedures in place; Ebay said it has removed 265,000 listings prohibited under its animal policy in the last two years alone and that it works closely with international and domestic law enforcement agencies.
Sign this petition urging Ebay to use all its internal and international resources to prevent, identify and stop the sale of illegal ivory on its platform and to crack down on sellers exploiting the suffering and deaths of thousands of innocent and endangered elephants.
Posted by: Yosemite Bear Team
Black bear crossing the road. NPS photo.
In the last three weeks, at least four bears were hit by cars in Yosemite, at least two of which were killed. The two bears that survived were hit by drivers going faster than the 25 mph speed limit and were seriously injured and limping. We will never know the severity of their injuries. It is important to remember that while traveling in the park, the posted speed limits are not only there to protect people, but to also protect wildlife in areas where animals cross roads. Following posted speed limits may save the life of a great gray owl as it flies across the road, or a Pacific fisher as it runs across the road, both of which are endangered species. This easy action—slowing down—may also prevent you from hitting a bear eating berries on the side of the road, or a deer crossing with its fawn. While traveling through Yosemite, try to remember that we are all visitors in the home of countless animals, and it is up to you to follow the rules that are put in place to protect them.
Have you ever noticed the signs by the side of the road that say, “Speeding Kills Bears” with the image of a red bear on them? These signs mark the locations of bears where they have been hit by a vehicle this year, or where bears have been frequently hit in previous years. We take these signs down each winter and put them up as the accidents occur, hopefully as a reminder to visitors to slow down and keep a lookout for wildlife. If you do hit an animal while in Yosemite and need immediate ranger response, you can report it to the park’s emergency communication center at 209/379-1992, or by leaving a message on the Save-A-Bear Hotline at 209/372-0322 if you believe that the animal is uninjured. You may also use the Save-A-Bear Hotline number to report non-urgent bear observations.
What killed at least 275 of these giant mammals remains a mystery three months later. Picture: Sizwe Ndingane / The Republic Production / Nikon
Elephant bodies lay strewn over the vast Okavango Delta bushes north of Botswana. Their tusks were still intact and no gunshots or other physical wounds were detected.
What killed at least 275 of these giant mammals remains a mystery three months later.
After post-mortems and laboratory analyses failed to reveal the cause of death, Botswana sought assistance from laboratories in South Africa, Zimbabwe and the US.
The discovery of the wildlife disaster, according to the Botswana government, was on April 25 in areas around the Okavango Delta. Government has so far verified the 275 elephant carcasses of the 356 that were reported to its wildlife and national parks body.
Botswana says it cares about elephants
Botswana, which has considered culling to deal with the elephant-human conflict, said the impression had been created that it had no interest in the mass elephant deaths.
“It is not true that the Botswana government has not been keen in finding out what has been killing our elephants. These allegations that we have not been showing keenness, seriousness and promptness in attending to this issue is a concern for us in that we are now wrongly reduced to a government that is irresponsible and not protecting its wildlife which is our treasure and the backbone of our economy, that is not true,” said Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism Minister Philda Kereng.
“We do not want to rule out any human factor or anything that has to do with toxicology but investigation is ongoing to find out what exactly has been killing our elephants”
Government’s action so far
Kereng said they sprang to action the moment the first case was reported to the department.
“A search was launched to locate the carcasses and get the numbers and when we realise mortality cases were increasing, an investigation team of wildlife veterinarians and biologists was put together to start a wider investigation. Post mortems were done on some of the elephants and we did not find any definitive cause of deaths,” she said.
Tissue samples were taken to veterinary laboratories for analysis and a detailed investigation was done with veterinarians, epidemiologists, pathologists and biologists.
“We also took the samples to laboratories in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Canada and the US. There have been delays due to the Covid-19 restrictions in terms of transportation and travel but we are expecting the last analysis from the US this week.”
The possibilities and suspicions
Earlier this month, Botswana announced that there was no evidence of poaching, especially because the elephants were found with their tusks still intact.
Wild animals such as elephants have been put down in Botswana after they attacked and killed people. Farmers and community members have killed elephants after they attacked them or destroyed their crops. These human wildlife conflict incidents pushed Botswana to do something about its high population of elephants.
The department revealed that the elephants were dying in the Okavango region covering Seronga, Beetsha, Gunutsonga and Eretsha villages.
Government has also warned communities near the areas where dead elephants were found not to touch them or consume their meat.
“It is not true that the Botswana government has not been keen in finding out what has been killing our elephants.”
There are suggestions that the animals might have been poisoned. However, government has maintained that despite the increase in human wildlife conflict cases, Batswana have lived side by side with the wildlife animals and would not just kill them for no reason. But pressure is mounting for Botswana to establish what killed the elephants.
“We do not want to rule out any human factor or anything that has to do with toxicology but investigation is ongoing to find out what exactly has been killing our elephants,” she said.
The minister said the mysterious deaths were a first in Botswana.
She said the only time Botswana elephants died in large numbers was during an anthrax outbreak about a year ago.
“It’s true that this has never happened, the only disease we have had was anthrax. What we have now appears to be a pandemic that has never been an issue for us before,” she said.
Kereng added that not other deaths had been discovered recently but said aerial patrols were continuing to ascertain this.
Her department said work was ongoing to remove tusks from dead elephants and then destroy carcasses close to communities.
For Immediate Release, May 20, 2020
Michael Robinson, (575) 313-7017, email@example.com
New Mexico Wolf Pack Destroyed After Alpha Female Killed, Yearling Flees
Wolf Mother’s Undisclosed Death in April Follows March Killing of Mate, Pup
SILVER CITY, N.M.— A pack of endangered Mexican gray wolves has been eliminated in the Gila National Forest through a combination of private trapping and federal shooting on behalf of the livestock industry.
Conservationists learned today that the Prieto pack’s nine-year-old alpha female died in federal custody on April 25 and that a yearling has fled dozens of miles from his natal range. These events follow the federal shooting in March of the alpha male and a pup, and the trapping, maiming and/or deaths of seven other pack members during 2018 and 2019.
“This latest incident is the cruel final blow to the Prieto pack, which struggled for two years to survive the Fish and Wildlife Service and avowed wolf-haters in the livestock industry,” said Michael Robinson at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We’ll do everything in our power to end the policy of looking the other way on so-called ‘accidental trapping’ of wolves. It’s crucial to stop the federal government’s sickening program of wolf trapping and shooting.”
The alpha female was caught in a privately set trap on April 24. When notified of this, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to take the wolf into captivity because the pack was deplored by local ranchers, even though she showed no significant injuries and no removal order was issued for her. The wolf died the next day of apparent capture myopathy, a stress response in which the body overheats.
The alpha female was the granddaughter of one of the first wolves released in 1998, who also died of capture myopathy after federal capture in 2005.
A male and a female wolf of the Prieto Pack were trapped in December 2018, resulting in the death of the female and causing the male to lose a leg and his freedom.
Following those losses, the pack began preying on livestock. In February 2019 another pack member was found dead, and in March 2019 the government trapped and removed two more; one was later released and is now a lone wolf in the wild.
In November two more wolves were trapped by private parties. One wolf was taken into federal custody, and the other was seen dragging a trap on its paw. This wolf was later seen with the trap gone but part of its paw missing, and has not been located in recent months. And in March federal agents shot the alpha male and a pup.
“The government is supposed to be recovering these endangered animals but is far too cavalier with their lives,” said Robinson. “Though the feds claim they’re looking at the population as a whole, this recurring mismanagement is precisely why the Mexican wolf is in worse genetic shape now than when reintroduction began more than two decades ago.”
The Fish and Wildlife Service currently has an open comment period through June 15, to determine the scope of issues to be considered in the course of a court-ordered revision in its 2015 Mexican wolf management rule that must conclude next May.
Prieto pack litter from 2016. Photo courtesy of USFWS. Image is available for media use.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.
Show captionHen harriers are among the falcons being targeted. Photograph: AlamyRSPB
Charity says lockdown has been seen as green light to target birds in belief there is less chance of getting caught
The RSPB has been “overrun” with reports of birds of prey being illegally killed since lockdown began.
Police have been called out to investigate multiple cases of raptors being shot, trapped or suspected of having been poisoned, with the charity saying most incidents were on or close to sporting estates managed for game bird shooting.
The RSPB has logged at least 56 potential offences – more than one a day on average – since lockdown began on 23 March, including 15 confirmed shot birds of prey and 24 birds submitted for further postmortem analysis after suspected illegal killing.
Birds targeted in the last six weeks include hen harriers, peregrine falcons, red kites, goshawks, buzzards and a barn owl.
On 29 March, a buzzard was found with its wing fractured by gunshot at Shipton, near York. The buzzard was rehabilitated by a local wildlife expert and recovered. Over the Easter weekend, a red kite was found shot dead near Leeds with 12 shotgun pellets in its body.
The following weekend, the naturalist and broadcaster Iolo Williams recovered a red kite in Powys which had been shot dead. Two further red kites were also reported shot in the area.
In Scotland, the police are investigating several raptor persecution cases and reports of the use of illegal traps on grouse moors.
Mark Thomas, head of UK investigations for the RSPB, said: “Since lockdown began, the RSPB has been overrun with reports of birds of prey being targeted. It is clear that criminals on some sporting estates, both in the uplands and lowlands, have used the wider closure of the countryside as an opportunity to ramp up their efforts to kill birds of prey.
“Spring is the time when birds of prey are most visible and therefore vulnerable, as they put on courtship displays, build nests and find food ready to breed. The criminal actions are targeted and malicious in nature, taking out birds before they have the opportunity to breed, often in areas where they have previously faced persecution.”
Supt Nick Lyall, the head of a national police and policy group tasked with tackling raptor persecution, said he was “sickened” by the number of cases in recent weeks.
“Lockdown has been seen as a green light by those involved in raptor persecution offences to continue committing crimes, presumably in the belief that there are fewer people around to catch them doing so,” he said. “I remain grateful to everyone involved in investigating these crimes, and thankfully in the vast majority of the cases I am aware of, it looks like some really good lines of inquiry are taking place which should lead to arrests and interviews.”
Amanda Anderson, director of the Moorland Association, said: “Any confirmed reports of raptor persecution are cause for concern. The incidents specified near Leeds and York … [by the RSPB] are clearly not on grouse moors, while reports we have from our members in the uplands have suggested that many birds of prey are in fact benefiting from the lockdown restrictions and the subsequent reduction in disturbance from members of the public. Estates across the country have reported a number of raptors including peregrine, merlin and hen harriers nesting and living on those landscapes.
“We condemn any illegal activity and Moorland Association members have signed up to a cross-sector zero tolerance approach to wildlife crime.”
Dr Ruth Tingay of Raptor Persecution UK and co-founder of Wild Justice, said: “The reported surge really shouldn’t come as any surprise. Birds of prey have been ruthlessly targeted on many game-shooting estates for decades; lockdown simply provides the criminals with more opportunity to pursue their targets with little fear of detection or consequence.
“The big question remains the same – lockdown or not: when will this government acknowledge the scale and extent of the problem and hold these shooting estates to account? Wilful blindness can no longer be tolerated.”
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In Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, a Brookville teen was sentenced to two years of probation on Monday after pleading guilty to animal cruelty as he and another teen were caught on a viral video kicking and abusing an injured deer.
Alexander Smith, 18, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor cruelty to animals and four summary offenses, according to the Jefferson Prothonotary’s Office. Smith had originally been charged with four counts of felony animal cruelty, but those charges have since been dismissed.
According to CbsPittsburgh ,the video was posted on November 30 by Gregg Rossman, who identified the teens after first seeing the footage on Snapchat.
“Something definitely needs done. This video was shared to me from a mutual friend on Snapchat,” Rossman said. “I was not a part of this! I shared simply to get the attention of authorities!”
Video: (copy and paste url into your browser to view )
The viral video showed Smith and another teen laughing as they kicked the injured white-tailed buck in the face and ripped off one of her antlers. Brookville Police Chief Vince Markle identified one of the teens in the video as his stepson and stated he was sickened by the situations.
In addition to two years of probation, Smith will also serve 200 hours of community service and must be available to the game commission to speak at hunting safety courses, schools and youth groups. Smith also had his hunting license revoked for 15 years.
No information has been made available as to the other teen involved in this egregious animal cruelty case.
Myanmar transit route for China’s wildlife trade
NE NOW NEWS
Myanmar is an important trade and transit route for wildlife products of China.
It has also suffered from the loss of its own wildlife to the trade.
The capture and killing of wild animals in the country to help satisfy the appetite across the border in China threaten many species that are under threat or facing extinction, including pangolins and elephants, according to reports.
The situation for Asian elephants living in Myanmar has worsened.
According to the NGO Rainforest Rescue, until recently only male Asian elephants were in danger of being poached for ivory, as the females do not have tusks.
Now, the poachers are killing every animal they can find – including females and calves.
After the elephants slowly succumb to poisoned arrows, the poachers skin their prey on the spot.
The NGO claims the survival of the species is at stake if the killing continues.
More than 100 elephants are known to have been poached in Myanmar since 2013 to meet Chinese demand for elephant skin – a market that didn’t exist six years ago that is driven entirely by the criminal energy of southeast Asian elephant poachers.
According to a new study, the business is spreading to other countries via Myanmar and China.
A major hub of the elephant-skin trade is the lawless Myanmar border town Mong La.
It is also flourishing at a market near the Golden Rock, one of Myanmar’s most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites.
The elephant skin is dried, powdered and mixed with coconut oil to make an ointment that is touted as a cure for skin conditions and digestive problems.
Traffickers also mix powdered elephant skin and pangolin scales.
The skin is also made into jewellery, such as beaded bracelets selling for less than $100.
Rainforest Rescue claims the criminal business is internationally organized and the local authorities turn a blind eye.
In Myanmar, elephant poachers face up to seven years in prison, but it has been found that violations are rarely prosecuted.
Many animals or animal parts can be found openly being sold in markets in the country.
However, there is some respite to China’s deadly illicit trade in wildlife as Beijing recently announced a temporary ban on the sale of wildlife in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan that is suspected to have originated in the city’s wet market.
While the focus is on demand in China for live and dead animals for consumption for questionable health reasons, Myanmar is caught in the cross-hairs as an important transit route in the illicit trade.
Illegal wildlife traders in china selling Rhino Horn as Medicine for Coronavirus.
Illegal wildlife traders in china selling Rhino Horn as Medicine for Coronavirus.
Practically all the investigations have indicated that the source of the fatal Coronavirus episode that is unleashing devastation in China and around the globe was the illegal wildlife market in Wuhan.
It is accepted that the infection was moved from bats to people by means of pangolin, an endangered creature that is a much looked for after product in the Chinese illegal wildlife exchange markets.
Wuhan has a large market that sells a wide range of animals or animal-based items, including live foxes, wolf puppies, monster lizards, snakes, crocodiles, porcupines, camel meat, rodents, peacocks, and so forth including numerous of those who are restricted.
Presently even after the dangerous infection has spread out, illegal wildlife dealers are attempting to make money.
As per the UK-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), wildlife dealers are presently offering an alleged remedy for Coronavirus, including rhino horns and other rare species parts.
Wildlife dealers and traders in China and Laos have been utilizing online social media websites to peddle items like Angong Niuhuang Wan; a great solution trusted to treat the impacts of strokes and decrease fever. It is sold on the internet via networking websites as pellets and balls made up of animal parts, minerals & herbs. Presently, this old drug is being touted by a few venders as a powerful medicine for the new Coronavirus.
Illegal wildlife traders in china selling Rhino Horn as Medicine for Coronavirus.
“The irony of dealers promoting an illegal wildlife item to treat an infection which was accepted to have begun in the wildlife meat exchange again stresses the necessity for governments, especially China, to handle interest for undermined wildlife utilized in customary medicine,” the EIA said.
The nation has, for some time, been blamed by preservationists for enduring a shadowy exchange of endangered animals as components in traditional drugs or rare meat.
China stays an essential buyer of parts and results of rhinos, large cats, pangolins, and a few different animal types, incorporating for their utilization in conventional medications. To handle this interest, strategy changes required include a far-reaching, permanent restriction on the usage of parts and products of endangered wildlife threatened by the traders, including those from captive sources.
Rhino, one of the most fundamentally endangered animals on the planet, is a much looked for after item in the secret markets of China. In spite of the fact that conventional Chinese medication asserts that the rhino horn has a few therapeutic properties, present-day science has dismissed it. Rhino horns are made of keratin, a similar kind of protein that makes up hair and fingernails
This has, though not prevented Rhinos from being executed for their horns, both in Africa and Asian nations, including India.
As the demand for the Pangolins meat and scales is rising higher than ever in Asia, poachers are employing an array of sophisticated methods to avoid detection and arrest
Today the docile and endangered Pangolin has sadly earned the title of Most trafficked mammal in the world thanks largely to the ever rising demand for the animals meat and scales which are used in traditional Chinese medicines which are thought to cure ailments and disease.
Although Pangolins have been listed as a protected species in China since November 2018, the demand for their scales and meat has grown significantly on the Chinese, Hong Kong and Vietnamese black markets.
It is estimated that over 2.7 Million Pangolins are killed and trafficked from Africa every year. There are currently eight species of Pangolins with four found in Africa and the remaining four found in Asia.
To date the largest ever seizure of illegally trafficked pangolin scales was in Singapore when a shipment containing 12.7 tonnes of scales was seized. The shipment was travelling from Nigeria to Vietnam and it is estimates they belonged to 36,000 pangolins which were Killed and scaled.
The punishment for trafficking pangolins or their body parts in Hong Kong is 10 years in jail and HK$10 Million (AUD $1,930,000).
Cuttack: Officials of Cuttack Forest Division on Sunday arrested a notorious elephant poacher, Babuli Mahalik (45) for his alleged involvement in hunting of over 20 elephants in Athagarh Forest Division of the district.
Acting on a tip-off, a special squad of forest officials led by Athagarh Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Sasmita Lenka, raided the house of Mahalik at Durgaprasad village under in Narsinghpur area of the district and arrested him.
Upon interrogation, Mahalik confessed that he along with his two associates poached two tuskers in Athagarh division under Maniabandha section of the district on 20 February in 2018 and sold the tusks in Nayagarh area.
Mahalik informed that he charges around Rs 30,000 for shooting down an elephant and revealed that he has killed over 20 elephants so far. The forest officials also seized deer skins, antlers and a country-made gun from his possession.
“Babuli is a habitual poacher of Narsinghpur area. He has shot down more than 20 tuskers till date and smuggled tusks to several places. During interrogation, he confessed to have killed two elephants and smuggled their tusks in February in 2018. The case was handed over to Crime Branch after the forest department failed to make any arrests in connection with the case,” informed the DFO.
“After being tipped off regarding his plans to hunt another elephant, we picked him up from his house,” added Lenka.
Based on the inputs of Mahalik about selling the tusks of elephants in Nayagarh area, Lenka said that Nayagarh DFO has been intimated about the matter and investigation will be initiated in this regard soon.
On Saturday, two persons were arrested by the forest department officials for their alleged involvement in elephant poaching case in Sonepur in 2019. The accused have been identified as Suresh Karna and Kalia Karna of Meghanand village of the district. Two tusks weighing nearly 3 kg each were also recovered from their possession.
This post was last modified on February 9, 2020 6:29 PM
Wild burros are the target of an unidentified shooter, resulting in dozens of deaths so far. The casualties have been adding up for months and there is no end in sight as long as this offender walks free. Demand justice for these iconic creatures.
Multiple raccoons have been killed and placed in gory displays throughout a small town. Hung by the intestines or nailed to buildings, these poor animals did nothing to deserve this cruelty. Demand that this killer be brought to justice.
The Malawi Police Service, in conjunction with the Department of Parks and Wildlife, have arrested one of Malawi’s most wanted suspected wildlife trafficker, Yunhua Lin.
Lin, 46, a Chinese national, was arrested on Friday, 16 August 2019, in Lilongwe after a three months manhunt. He has been placed on remand in Maula prison, Lilongwe until 11 September when the next hearing will take place.
He is allegedly involved in the smuggling of elephant ivory, rhino horns, pangolin scales among other trophies and has been on the run following the arrest of nine other Chinese nationals and four Malawians in May this year including his wife Qin Hua Zhang.
Police received a tip that Lin was in hiding and managed to arrest him in Lilongwe during a joint operation with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife.
He is connected to the recovery of, a number of wildlife trophies including 3 live pangolins, 556 pangolin scales, 103 pieces of rhino horns, 2 hippo teeth, ivory made chopsticks and processed ivory.
Currently Lin is facing charges of ; illegal possession of listed species contrary to section 86 of National Parks and Wildlife Act as read with section 110 and Dealing in Government trophies contrary to section 91 of National Parks and Wildlife Act. Investigations are on going.
His arrest comes barely three months after nine other Chinese nationals were arrested in connection to the syndicate.
The nine–Yanwu Zhuo (37), Guohua Zhang(47), Jinfu Zeng(58), Guozong Zhang, Lio Hao Yuan(42), Qiang Chen(43), Shine He, Ya Shen Zhuo(51) and Qin Hua Zhang (43)- are currently being remanded to Maula Prison.
Four Malawians suspected accomplices James Mkwezalamba, Cosmas Sakugwa, Julius Sanudia and Steven Daza were also arrested in May this year and are remanded at Maula Prison.
Lin Hao Yuan was previously convicted of attempting to export processed Ivory at KIA in 2014. His wife Qin Hua Zhang and others are on court bail, case under senior resident magistrate , His Worship Msokera, following their arrest in Wildlife related offences in December 2017.
Image Credit – Courtesy photo – VTDigger
PETITION TARGET: Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Two young coyote pups were dangled by their feet from a utility pole in front of a home in Vermont’s rural Essex County. The grisly sight took place on a main road and horrified people who passed by. These innocent victims were hunted, killed, and hanged in a smug showcase of vanity.
Brenna Galdenzi of the group Protect our Wildlife was shocked when she saw these poor creatures strung up for a gruesome display. Outraged, she told New England Cable News, “I don’t really think there’s any other way to look at those photos than to be completely appalled.”
Because these pups were hanged on private property, no current laws were violated. Coyotes can be hunted all year in Vermont. In fact, it’s open season on coyotes year-round in most of the US. Even more sickening, most states hold annual coyote-killing contests that are nothing short of “gruesome celebrations of slaughter,” as reported by The Washington Post.
Vermont has recently become the 2nd state to ban these horrific contests, but we need more. Animal advocates are calling for change. However, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board recently denied a petition to restrict coyote hunting. We must speak out to save coyotes and other animals from such brutal treatment.
Sign this petition to urge Governor Scott to call for legislation that would protect coyotes and end barbaric practices such as stringing them up like criminals on display.
Representative photo by chas53
PETITION TARGET: Plainfield Police Department Director Lisa Burgess
A defenseless raccoon trapped in a cage in Plainsfield, New Jersey was soaked in accelerant and burned alive, dying in terror and agony on the 4th of July.
Police discovered the body of the juvenile raccoon in the early morning after responding to calls reporting the incident. They found the burned corpse in a small cage on the curbside.
Two other raccoons were discovered in cages outside the home, but they were unharmed. An investigation revealed that a pest control company set up the cages.
Plainfield Police are still investigating this horrific act of cruelty and ask anyone with information to contact Police Lt. Edward Hafekin at 908-753-3131 or Prosecutor’s Office Sgt. Vito Colacitti at 908-527-4670.
Anyone capable of torturing and murdering an innocent animal in this way is a danger to animals and humans, and needs to be caught.
Sign this petition urging Plainfield Police Director Lisa Burgess to ensure police conduct a thorough investigation and prosecute whoever did this to the fullest extent of the law.
Nearly 600 arrests in Interpol operation that nets primates, big cats, birds and reptiles
Caged animals seized during a police crackdown
The operation, which covered 109 countries, led to 582 people being detained. Photograph: Kerek Wongsa/Reuters
Police across the globe have seized thousands of wild animals, including primates and big cats, and arrested nearly 600 suspects in a crackdown on illegal wildlife smuggling, Interpol has said.
Covering 109 countries, the operation was carried out in coordination with the World Customs Organization (WCO), with investigators homing in on trafficking routes and crime hotspots, the international policing body said.
Operation Thunderball, based in Singapore, was aimed at transnational crime networks seeking to profit from wildlife smuggling activities. It was the third such Interpol mission in recent years.
An Interpol spokeswoman said police were holding 582 suspects, with further arrests and prosecutions expected to follow. Among the animals seized were 23 primates, 30 big cats, more than 4,300 birds, nearly 1,500 live reptiles and close to 10,000 turtles and tortoises, the organisation said.
They also confiscated 440 elephant tusks and an additional 545kg of ivory, the organisation said, pointing to a flourishing illegal wildlife trade online.
In Spain, 21 people were arrested thanks to an online investigation, and in Italy, a similar probe led police to seize 1,850 birds.
“Wildlife crime not only strips our environment of its resources, it also has an impact through the associated violence, money laundering and fraud,” said Interpol’s secretary general, Jürgen Stock.
Interpol said slight declines in the seizures of certain species were a sign that continued enforcement efforts were working and that compliance levels were improving.
“It is vital that we stop criminals from putting livelihoods, security, economies and the sustainability of our planet at risk by illegally exploiting wild flora and fauna,” said Ivonne Higuero, secretary general of CITES, an international treaty to protect wild animals and plants.
Interpol has previously carried out similar large-scale crackdowns in 2017 and 2018 that netted seizures worth several million dollars.
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(Photo by Hoberman Collection/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
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.”
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.
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.
By Elissa Katz, President, Humane PA PAC
During World War I, a pigeon named Cher Ami flew for the US Army Signal Corp in France, and served on the front lines for many months. She is credited with single-handedly saving the lives of over 200 American soldiers by flying 25 miles and through a sky of bullets, sustaining serious injuries in the process, to deliver a life-saving message to the Allied lines on behalf of the embattled 77th Infantry Division. Cher Ami was awarded the French Croix de Guerre and the “silver medal” by General Pershing for his heroism and bravery.
What a contrast with how we treat pigeons in Pennsylvania.
In Pennsylvania, pigeons like Cher Ami are netted, often unlawfully and from out of state, stockpiled, and then used for live target shooting competitions known as pigeon shoots.
The British depended on pigeons so extensively during…
View original post 588 more words
by: Margherita B
Thousands of birds fly over Malta during the migratory season.
And thousands are killed, both legally and illegally. Illegal killings amount to more than 200,000 birds per year — and these are only the documented ones.
Legally, birds that are protected worldwide (including storks) can be shot and caught in nets in Malta, by taking advantage of loopholes that allow hunters to collect birds for “traditional” and “cultural” practices. The black stork is an extremely rare bird and people have been shooting them, using these loopholes.
Although not as screen-worthy as the slaughtering of dolphins in other countries, what happens in Malta is no different. There is no need to hunt these protected species — they are protected for a reason!
These loopholes must be filled and Malta has to abide by the rest of the EU’s laws. Currently, Malta is considered a true sinkhole for migratory birds — this has to change. Malta, stop this slaughter now!
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com
By Karen Lane –
January 24, 2019
A father has been sentenced to jail time after he and his son were caught on camera killing a mother bear and her cubs in April of 2018.
After both men pleaded guilty to multiple counts, including illegal killing of the mother bear and her cubs, the father, Andrew Renner, was sentenced on Tuesday to three months in jail while his 18-year-old son Owen Renner received only 30 days of suspended time in connection with the killings.
Clearly, the punishment does not fit the crime for this senseless killing.
The mother bear that was killed was one of 20 fitted with collars for a three-year study that started in 2016, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The study by the department and Chugach National Forest came in response to concerns about declining numbers of black bears in Prince William Sound.
A U.S. Forest Service employee reported the deaths of the mother bear and her cubs to Alaska Wildlife Troopers on April 23rd 2018.
As previously reported by WAN, the shocking slaughter was caught on video by a motion-activated camera outside the den. After they shot the mother bear, they dragged her from the den and realized she had a Fish and Game collar. It also captured Andrew Renner saying, ‘I’m gonna get rid of these guys’ while tossing the cubs’ limp carcasses onto the snow outside the den, the documents said.
The clip captured the younger Renner saying, ‘We got the collar off.’ Next, Andrew Renner said, ‘We’re gonna skin it that way,’ and points away from the den. Owen Renner agrees, saying, ‘They’ll never be able to link it to us.’ They proceed to butcher the sow and place it in game bags, then ski away.
Andrew Renner took the black bear sow to a state wildlife office on April 30th, claiming he and his son had killed it near Granite Bay in Prince William Sound on April 14th, clearly lying.
Troopers said that while interviewing Renner, he said he had skinned the bear, brought the collar, and expressed that he had no knowledge of the mother bear having cubs, and that no cubs were in the area, yet another scathing lie.
Thankfully, everything was caught on camera and Renner and his son have been exposed.
Assistant Attorney General Aaron Peterson said the case was the “most egregious bear cub poaching case his office has ever seen.”
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© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com
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: email@example.com.
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© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com
I am not going to summarize the story in much detail here, because it would be far better if you read the original. However, as a brief synopsis, people have eaten wild game (bushmeat) in Africa for millennia. Snares are a cheap and effective way to catch game, since they can be constructed from easily-accessible materials and work while the hunter is away.
Unfortunately, snares are also indiscriminate and brutal. They catch any animal that is unlucky enough to walk into them, regardless of which species is being targeted, and often cause horrible injuries and painful deaths. In…
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