Rhino Poacher Jailed For 40 Years In South Africa

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“Below are links to video & a more detailed look into this illegal racket. I was going to post it, had it all set up, then I saw this lighter version! But it’s worth reading, sounds to me like others got off Scott free; make me wonder if this guy hasn’t taken the rap for a few others!!”

A Thai man who organised illegal rhino poaching trips has been given the country’s strongest illegal wildlife sentence to date.

Thai national Chumlong Lemtongthai is sentenced at Kempton Park magistrates court, South Africa. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

A Thai national has been sentenced to 40 years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to charges of exporting rhino horns from South Africa, in the country’s strongest illegal wildlife sentence to date.

Chumlong Lemtongthai admitted to playing a large part in a scheme that used white rhino trophy hunts in South Africa as a cover for smuggling horns to black markets in Asia. He employed Asian nationals to pose as hunters and take part in organised hunts on game farms in the North West province.

Charges against three South Africans and two others Asian nationals, the co-accused, were however dropped without explanation.

Lemtongthai told Johnannesburg’s Kempton Park magistrates court: “I humbly apologise to the court and to the people of South Africa for my role in this matter. I appreciate that the emotions of all animal lovers in South Africa are running very high and that I was part of the problem.”

Jo Shaw, rhino co-ordinator for WWF-SA, said: “These higher-level arrests and convictions are critical to disrupting the illegal trade chains used to move rhino horns into illicit markets in Asia.”

Areas of Asiain particular Vietnam, have increased their demand for white rhino horn powder in recent years. Wrongly believed to enhance sexual performance, cure hangovers and even cancer, a growing wealthy class in Asian society have begun to pay more than ever for rhino horns. The result has been a rapid rise in rhino horn poaching in South Africa, culminating in a record rise in 2012, with more than 450 rhinos killed in the country this year already.

Around half of the poaching occurs in the Kruger national park, in the country’s north-west.

News Link:-http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/nov/09/rhino-poacher-40-years-south-africa

Chumlong Lemtongthai is the most senior figure in a smuggling ring ever convicted in South Africa

More Indepth view of trial:-http://mg.co.za/article/2012-11-08-rhino-butchers-caught-on-film

Video of above rhino hunt:-http://www.mg.co.za/multimedia/2012-11-08-inside-a-legal-hunt

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Sumatran Tiger Kills Plantation Worker in Indonesia

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“You can’t blame wild animals for anything they do, when humans destroy their homes & food source. How many more animals & human lives will be taken before those in power say enough? It’s time to stop now, before human greed wipes out this magnificent species! 

Sumatran tiger attacked and killed a palm oil plantation worker in Indonesia, a conservation official said Tuesday, underlining the growing problem of human-animal conflicts.

Animals including tigers and elephants are coming into closer contact with people in Indonesia as forests are destroyed for timber or to make way for crops such as palm oil.

A Sumatran tiger is pictured in its enclosure on June 18, 2012 at the zoo in Frankfurt, western Germany. An 18-year-old woman was killed by a Sumatran tiger at a palm oil plantation in Riau, Sumatra, on Tuesday

The 18-year-old female worker was killed Friday in the village of Indragiri Hulu, Riau, said provincial conservation agency chief Bambang Dahono Aji.

“Some of her co-workers were there when the tiger attacked the worker and tore her apart,” he said.

He added that about two weeks ago a Sumatran tiger was killed in the vicinity after getting snared in a trap villagers set to catch wild boars.

Estimates of the number of Sumatran tigers remaining in the world range from 300 to 400. Several die each year as a result of traps, poaching or other human actions.

News Link:-http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/sumatran-tiger-kills-plantation-worker-in-indonesia/531061

Please sign petition:http://www.thepetitionsite.com/997/620/263/list-indochinese-tiger-as-critically-endangered/

“I found a perfect example of the above from WWF, a camera trap obviously put their for tigers. This was taken in 2010, I wonder how many more acres of tiger land has been taken since!”

Camera catches bulldozer destroying Sumatra tiger forest

Uploaded by  on 11 Oct 2010

A video camera trap clearly shows the impact of palm oil plantations on tigers in Sumatra. Shotlist: 0:15 Tiger on 5 May 2010 | 0:47 Bulldozer on 12 May 2010 | 1:20 Tiger on 13 May 2010. Learn more: http://wwf.panda.org/?195632/Take Action: http://wwf.panda.org/tigers/action

Take action here https://support.worldwildlife.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=655

Abused exotic pets find final home in Minnesota

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NEAR SANDSTONE — Getting to the Wildcat Sanctuary is like trying to find a classified government facility. It has no publically listed address, takes at least an hour to get to from the nearest major city, and is surrounded by thousands of acres of farms, fields, lakes and hunting land. Once there, chain-link fences line the 40-acre compound, with signs warning “No trespassing” and “Not open to the public.”

“So many of them have been through a lot of abuse,” said Tammy Thies, founder and director of the Sanctuary. “We just want them to do what they were meant to do.”

Many come from living situations that may be indicative of thousands of exotic pets kept in homes, backyards and traveling exhibitions nationwide. The World Wildlife Foundation estimates there are 5,000 captive tigers in the U.S., compared to 3,200 in the wild in their native Asia.

Many exotic animal owners, Thies said, take on the cats and later realize they can’t keep up with caring for them.

“We (recently) got a call from people in Wisconsin who are in over the heads,” she said. “All these animals are together breeding, and unfortunately by the time the sheriff gets there, instead of 20 animals, they’re going to have 40.”

Some of the animals at the Wildcat Sanctuary still show signs of abuse and neglect from their previous owners, as well as hints of the black market exotic animal trade.

Tigers’ teeth have had to be removed after they gnawed away at their cages, while some arrivals show the effects of malnourishment. Other big cats are cross-eyed — a sign of in-breeding, Thies says — and many have been declawed.

“The problem hasn’t gone away”

The growth of the facility may indicate that despite a 2005 Minnesota law to restrict exotic animal ownership, people are still doing it — and aren’t always able to keep up with the animals.

“The law helped,” said Thies, noting that it shut down many of the state’s breeding operations. “But the problem hasn’t gone away.”

It has loopholes, and it’s not fully clear just who is supposed to enforce it. Exotic pet owners before the law took effect could be grandfathered in, so long as they registered their animals with the “local animal control authority,” according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

But just who is the “local animal control authority”? The News Tribune asked representatives from the Duluth Animal Shelter, Animal Allies Humane Society and the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department, none of whom could say who the authority was. The newspaper also asked the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, which is charged with overseeing parts of the law, and requested the number of exotic pets statewide. The agency did not respond to the request for comment.

Sanctuaries vs. ownership

Those developments are partly why the Sanctuary is starting a fundraising campaign, “No more wild pets,” Thies said.

Asked if anyone — even a responsible pet owner — should be allowed to keep a tiger, Thies says no; calling that person probably “one in a million.”

“We want people to see these animals for what they are — wild. And let them be what nature intended,” she said. “Most people that want a pet tiger, they don’t really want a pet tiger. They want a tiger that acts like a dog. It’s a false notion. What we’re trying to explain through this campaign is that’s not what they are. They don’t belong in your backyard. It doesn’t benefit the animal.”

Read the full article:-http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/234592/

It’s Legal To Shoot And Kill Animal Poachers, Indian State Orders

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“Best news I’ve heard all day…its the only way to stop these animals becoming extinct. If the poachers know they are at risk of being shot, hopefully it will make them think twice before risking it for rich moron further up the chain!”

NEW DELHI — A state in western India has declared war on animal poaching by allowing forest guards to shoot hunters on sight in an effort to curb rampant attacks on tigers and other wildlife.

The government in Maharashtra says injuring or killing suspected poachers will no longer be considered a crime.

Forest guards should not be “booked for human rights violations when they have taken action against poachers,” Maharashtra Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam said Tuesday. The state also will send more rangers and jeeps into the forest, and will offer secret payments to informers who give tips about poachers and animal smugglers, he said.

No tiger poachers have ever been shot in Maharashtra, though cases of illegal loggers and fishermen being shot have led to charges against forest guards, according to the state’s chief wildlife warden, S.W.H. Naqvi.

But the threat could act as a significant deterrent to wildlife criminals, conservationists said. A similar measure allowing guards to fire on poachers in Assam has helped the northeast state’s population of endangered one-horned rhinos recover.

“These poachers have lost all fear. They just go in and poach what they want because they know the risks are low,” said Divyabhanusinh Chavda, who heads the World Wildlife Fund in India and is a key member of the National Wildlife Board, which advises the prime minister. In many of India’s reserves, guards are armed with little more than sticks.

India faces intense international scrutiny over its tiger conservation, as it holds half of the world’s estimated 3,200 tigers in dozens of wildlife reserves set up since the 1970s, when hunting was banned.

Illegal poaching remains a stubborn and serious threat, with tiger parts in particular fetching high prices on the black market because of demand driven by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners.

Read the rest of this post here:-http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2012/05/24/its-legal-to-shoot-and-kill-animal-poachers-indian-state-order/

King of Spain faces calls to abdicate after elephant hunt

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The King of Spain who is recovering in hospital after injuring his hip during a fall while elephant hunting in Botswana faced calls to abdicate amid growing controversy over the trip.

The King appeared on the web page of the safari company, Rann Safaris, beside an elephant he killed earlier during the trip
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/9204680/King-Juan-Carlos-of-Spain-operated-on-after-elephant-hunting-accident..html

The 74-year-old monarch has faced a barrage of criticism over his extravagant lifestyle at a time when Spaniards are suffering harsh austerity measures in a nation mired in economic crisis.

Left wing leaders called for greater transparency of Royal accounts and one even suggested it may be time for the once popular monarch to give up his throne.

“The head of state must choose between his obligations and the duty of service of his public responsibilities, or an abdication that would allow him to enjoy a different kind of life,” Tomas Gomez, the leader of the Madrid branch of the opposition socialist party, said on Sunday.

Spain’s minority United Left (IU) party called for a referendum on whether Spain should return to a republic citing the poor example the Monarch was setting during a time of hardship.

“It shows a complete lack of ethics and respect toward the people of Spain who are suffering a lot,” said Cayo Lara Moya, spokesman of the IU

The party said it will present a list of questions to parliament calling for details of the financing of the trip to be made public. The budget for the Royal Household was reduced by only 2 per cent in 2012 – from 8.43 million euros last year – whereas government ministries faced cuts of 16 per cent across the board.

This year, for the first time, the Palace will publish a breakdown of its accounts in a step towards greater transparency.

So far the Royal Household has declined to give details on the trip except to say it was a “private matter”.

King Juan Carlos also faced calls to resign his position as patron of the Spanish branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) over his hunting of elephants.

A petition on the online forum Actuable had already attracted 40,000 signatures by Monday lunchtime calling for the King to renounce his presidency of the WWF in light of the recent hunting trip.

El Mundo, a newspaper normally supportive of the Monarchy summed up the feeling in Spain with an editorial, Sunday, entitled: “An irresponsible journey at an inopportune time.”

Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s Prime Minister, will meet with the monarch later this week when he is discharged from hospital, the government website said.

News Link:-http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/9207280/King-of-Spain-faces-calls-to-abdicate-after-elephant-hunt.html

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