Forced Inbreeding and Bloody Battles—Killer Whales Live in Horror at Spanish Theme Park

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“My apologies for these late posts” March 15, 2013 

Attacks against low-ranking orcas are not only intolerable—they’re illegal. Will U.S. officials step in and save them?

The battle scars of Tekoa, a killer whale living at Loro Parque, a Spanish theme park. (Photo: timzimmermann.com)

Animal welfare advocates are desperately seeking U.S. government intervention in the case of seven Sea World-owned killer whales on “loan” at Loro Parque, a theme park in Spain’s Canary Islands.

Armed with photographic evidence showing at least two lower-ranking orcas raked with teeth marks, and a new, damning report from a leading whale scientist, advocates say the federal government must repatriate the animals back to the United States at once.

“The group of orcas held at Loro Parque is fundamentally dysfunctional and the trainers there are not experienced enough to recognize or address this. Remote oversight by SeaWorld has been insufficient to prevent systemic social problems within this group of animals,” Dr. Naomi Rose, senior scientist at Humane Society Internationalwrote last month to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which shares jurisdiction over captive marine mammals with the USDA.

“The situation at Loro Parque cannot safeguard the orcas’ well-being and once again, we urge you to compel SeaWorld to repatriate these animals,” Rose said in a letter cosigned by the Animal Welfare Institute and Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

The two low-ranking members of the artificial, dysfunctional pod at Loro Parque are routinely subjected to violent attacks, leaving deep scars etched in their skin that would be unthinkable among orcas in the natural environment, critics allege.

One victim is the young female Morgan, a wild orca who became lost off the Dutch coast and, following lengthy court battles, ended up in Tenerife.

“Since her transfer she has been brutally and continually attacked and is subjected to excessive sexual pressure from a male orca who she is often locked into the same tank with,” Dr. Ingrid Visser of New Zealand’s Orca Research Trust wrote of Morgan in the report, which has been submitted to USDA and NOAA as evidence in the repatriation effort.

Trainers at the park show “a clear lack of empathy for this animal,” Visser said, “who ignore her calls for attention and her cries for help and disregard aggressive attacks on her by the other animals.”

Visser observed Morgan for 77 hours over eight days, and witnessed an “unprecedented 91 aggression events” involving the newcomer, who arrived in 2011. “Morgan, was attacked, on average, more than once an hour,” she wrote, noting that a similar study of another captive orca “recorded an aggressive episode only once every 234 hours.”

In other words, Morgan is “over than 100 times more likely to be attacked at Loro Parque than the orca in the other study,” Visser said. Morgan has suffered more than 320 puncture and bite marks (all documented by photographs), she added. “This does not include the damage she has self-inflicted from abnormal and repetitive behaviours such as banging her head on the concrete tanks.”

The other abused orca is Tekoa, who Visser once called in court documents “the most attacked and bitten orca in the world-wide captive industry.”

The young, confounding life of Tekoa has never been easy, and he has been both perpetrator and victim of serious attacks that simply do not happen in the wild. But when one considers the messed up little society in which he has been forced to live, the aggression becomes easier to comprehend.

In 2006, Sea World sent four young whales, all born in captivity, to Loro Parque on a renewable 25-year loan in exchange for a percentage at the box-office and ownership of offspring produced at the park.

All four transplants, two males and two females, had already led lives that I described as “interrupted” in my book Death at SeaWorld.  The females were Kohana, and Skyla. Both males are related to Skyla. Keto is a half-brother though their mother Kalina and the oldest and perhaps most dysfunctional of the quartet. But it’s the ravaged Tekoa, Skyla’s half-brother through Tilikum, who caught the attention of many advocates.

Tekoa was born in Orlando to an unstable mother named Taima, a bizarre hybrid of Icelandic mother and Pacific-transient father who could only be bred in captivity. Taima attacked her first-born and was equally aggressive with Tekoa. Mother and son were separated after Taima tried to kill him. In April 2004, Sea World sent Tekoa to San Antonio before “lending” him to Loro Parque in 2006.

Advocates were aghast at the trans-Atlantic arrangement. Killer whales, whether in the ocean or a crowded pool, are highly socialized animals who learn from elders about proper norms of behaviour. Mothers, grandmothers and older siblings keep youngsters in check, and extinguish outbursts of disharmony that disrupt cohesion and proper pod functioning.

“These whales are so young, without a normal upbringing, and now they’re in Spain together without any sort of adult orca supervision,” one observer said. “It’s like Lord of the Flies over there.”

The little dysfunctional family has grown recently.

In October 2010, the very young Kohana gave birth to a male calf, Adan, who she immediately rejected. Last August, she gave birth again, to a female named Victoria, who was also promptly rejected. Keto is the father of both, but as Elizabeth Batt pointed out at Digital Journal, he is a blood relative of Kohana, meaning she was bred twice “to her own uncle.”

Killer whale society is highly stable, though at Loro Parque, it seems to be anything but. Trainers have paid the price for this instability, but so have the orcas, especially the sub-dominant members of this matriarchal world.

Lowly Tekoa has borne much of the physical abuse, as evidenced by photos taken before and after his skin was covered in “rake marks” etched from the sharp conical teeth of tank-mates. Unlike the ocean, when an orca is attacked at Loro Parque, there is nowhere to escape, nowhere to hide.

This image, first published by journalist Tim Zimmermann, shows that Tekoa’s dorsal side is scarred, scraped and battered by teeth-marks inflicted by his tank-mates, some of whom are related to him, in Sea World’s tiny, inbred universe of captive orcas.

“Tekoa is definitely subordinate, although he is probably no longer the lowest in the hierarchy—Morgan and the two calves are in that position now,” Naomi Rose told TakePart. “In wild orca society, no one gets beat up like this.”

In the wild, offspring likely inherit their mother’s status, which along with age determines pecking order. Thus, “beating each other up doesn’t need to occur and doesn’t, occur,” Rose asserted. Calves might nip others out of “youthful ignorance and exuberance,” she said, and relatives sometimes show a few nicks.

Other nicks, scratches and scars “are probably inflicted when discipline is meted out within a maternal group,” Rose said. But those are minor wounds that only sometimes become permanent scars. “We never see this kind of mish-mash of scars and rake marks and wounds when photo-identifying a wild orca,” she said.

Ingrid Visser concurred. “In the wild, even these playful nips are exactly that: You don’t see the outright attacks like I’ve seen at Loro Parque.” She compared such aberrant activities to what takes place in prison, calling it “seriously aggressive behaviour, typically manifested on the lower individuals in the population,” as opposed to the “protective behaviour” of more “normal” societies.

The beat-up Tekoa is himself no stranger to displaying “seriously aggressive behaviour,” at least against people.

In October 2007, trainer Claudia Vollhardt was warming up with Tekoa when he became frustrated and took her arm into his mouth. Then he dove to the bottom. Tekoa held her underwater a moment, then dragged her to the surface. After escaping, even as Vollhardt lay injured and bleeding, Tekoa tried to lunge from the water at her. Her right lung was punctured and her forearm fractured into three pieces. 

Suzanne Allee, a former Sea World employee who worked at Loro Parque, recalled that in the summer of 2007, “Tekoa was forced to perform while injured and bleeding after the supervisor lost control of Keto and he raced into the show pool and attacked Tekoa.” The supervisor ordered the show to go on, but “Claudia was the one who continued to perform with Tekoa,” Allee said. “I still believe Tekoa remembered this incident when he attacked her just a few months later.”

Both Tekoa and half-sister Sklya were banished from “water work” with trainers, due to aggressive unpredictability. Now, only Kohana and Keto could be trusted to swim with humans.

That illusion shattered on Christmas Eve, 2009, when Keto brutally rammed and killed trainer Alexis Martinez, a close friend of Orlando employee Dawn Brancheau, who’d spent time in Tenerife training trainers. Two months later, Brancheau was killed by Tekoa’s father, Tilikum.

Because these unstable creatures belong to SeaWorld, they still fall under the jurisdiction of the USDA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Activists continue to lobby for action, but so far the feds refuse to intervene.

“We’re in touch with the U.S. regulatory authorities to pressure them to act under what we believe are their obligations under the law,” explained Courtney Vail of Whale and Dolphin Conservation. But the government has “put the onus on us to prove there are issues over there, and I think that Ingrid Visser’s eyewitness accounts, and these other photos, provide all the evidence they need to intervene,” Vail said. “We are awaiting their response.”

Meanwhile, she added, the Canary Island orcas are “beating each other up over there.”

Activists say the time to return these hapless whales to the United States is now, before more injuries and deaths occur. And though some might scoff at “repatriating” marine mammals, scientists like Rose take the idea quite seriously.

Rose noted that SeaWorld repatriated the orca Ikaika from Marineland Ontario after decrying his sub-par conditions in Canada. “Clearly the company is able and willing to relocate orcas when conditions at a present holding facility put them at risk,” she wrote, adding that, “Loro Parque and Sea World must act—if Sea World will not, NOAA must compel it to.”

News Link:http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/03/14/activists-us-repatriate-seaworld-orcas-dysfunctional-spanish-tanks

TAKE THE PLEDGE:- Don’t the Ticket! Whales & Dolphins Shouldn’t Be in Captivity:- Please click link to sign :- http://www.takepart.com/actions/dont-buy-ticket-whale-show?cmpid=tp-ptnr-tab-d84909c52edcceb20c7bba62052b1b01

Three Pardhis From Katni Held In Nagpur For Tiger Poaching

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BHOPAL: A section of Pardhis from Madhya Pradesh have yet proved to be the biggest threat to wild life; particularly the big cat population in India. Very recently they are reported to have smuggled half a dozen tiger hides to an international syndicate from their base in Katni district. And all this while wild life officials, busy pitching for lions from Gir in Gujarat to the state, appeared blissfully ignorant.

The poaching racket headquartered at Katni was busted on Sunday with the arrest of three Pardhis by a crime branch team of Maharashtra police from Nagpur. The arrests were made from a village in Nagpur on specific inputs from an organisation working for wildlife.

The accused Chika alias Krishna, Badlu alias Mangru and Shiri – all residents of Katni’s Sagoni village -have confessed to selling five tiger hides so far to a Haryana-based trader. The deal was worth Rs 20 lakh for three tiger hides, said sources.

Poachers Snare

Poachers Snare

One of the tiger, they said, was poached from Mandla district. However, no tiger hides have been confiscated so far.

Now, the forest officials in four statesMaharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh – are on the lookout for 30 more Pardhis, from two villages (Sagoni and Billhari) in Katni district. Pardhi families from Katni disappeared from these two villages a day before the trio were arrested, said sources adding that the information got leaked.

Most of the accused on run are close relatives of the 37 Pardhis arrested from Katni for poaching lions from Gir national park in Gujarat in 2007. Teams have been dispatched to different locations tracking cell phones.

According to forest officials, the Maharashtra police had placed several Pardhis of Katni on surveillance besides intercepting their calls while the deal was being made. The arrest was made only after the skins were sold.

The 30-member gang got Rs 35,000 each from the first deal, said sources. They kept on changing their locations from one place to the other while striking the deal. Reportedly, the police could confiscate a few bones from them, which has been sent for forensic examination for identification of the species.

News Link:-http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/Three-Pardhis-from-Katni-held-in-Nagpur-for-tiger-poaching/articleshow/20548682.cms?intenttarget=no

Graphic Image Inc.:Odisha Signs MoU With Wildlife Trust Of India To Save Elephants From Being Hit By Trains

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“Please Note Graphic Image: furthest down page! Two items of related news: the first  shows yet another image of an elephant killed  by speeding train, in March  2013. In that article India’s Rail Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal stressed the need to protect the elephants from trains…the current news below is a step in the right direction!”

BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to check growing number of cases of elephants being fatally hit by trains, Odisha government today signed an MoU with the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) to develop a mitigation plan. 

The New Delhi-based WTI would identify and map the critical accident prone sites and habitats of elephants and also identify factors – ecological, physical and man-made- responsible for accidental deaths of elephants.

“WTI will prepare a detailed report on mitigation plan and implement the Rs 9.9 lakh project over a period of 12 months,” said Forest and Environment minister Bijayshree Routray after signing the MoU.

Last year, the state has witnessed death of about 13 elephants due to train hits. While seven jumbos were killed due to train accidents in Keonjhar, four in Berhampur of Ganjam district and two in Dhenkanal district.

The state government had held several meetings with the Indian Railway authorities and the Ministry of Environment and Forest(MoEF) on the issue. However, there had been no such improvement in the situation.

WTI will simultaneously organise consultations/ meetings/workshops with the staff of forest department and other stake holders departments and finalise mitigation plan and jointly implement a few identified shot term mitigation plan like signage along the railway track and awareness of train drivers, the minister said.

News Link:-http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/flora–fauna/Odisha-signs-MoU-with-Wildlife-Trust-of-India-to-save-elephants-from-train-hits/articleshow/19990978.cms?intenttarget=no

 “Please Note Graphic Image Below”

March 2013 –  Giant elephant killed by speeding train INSIDE nature reserve as it tries to cross track in remote northeast India

This tragic photo shows the body of a tusker elephant who died today when he was hit by a speeding train in West Bengal.

The adult elephant was struck by a train in a forest at the Buxa Tiger Reserve, a few miles from Alipurduar in north east India.

A speeding passenger train, the Guwahati-bound Somporkkranti Express, hit the elephant while he was crossing the railway line. He died instantly.

The tiger reserve where the elephant was killed is inside the Buxa National Park, which runs along India’s boundary with Bhutan.

This means that the tiger reserve serves as international corridor for elephants migrating between India and Bhutan, making a it a danger spot for train drivers.

Indian forest guards now have the difficult task of getting the huge animal off the tracks so that the train line can reopen.

Sadly this fatal collision was not an isolated incident.

As recently as December last year, five elephants were killed after they were hit by a passenger train in the eastern Indian state of Orissa.

They were crossing railway tracks with their herd.

At the moment there are around 26,000 wild elephants in India.

Although elephants are worshipped by many Indians, their shrinking habitat has made them increasingly unsafe, especially when travelling cross country.

The state of Orissa in eastern India last year issued a warning, asking trains to slow down because of moving elephants herd, but they say it was ignored.

The main reasons for elephant deaths are poaching, eating crops poisoned by farmers, and being hit by trains.

Last week, India’s Rail Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal stressed the need to protect the elephants from trains, describing the animals as ‘gentle giants’  whose lives must be safeguarded.

News Link:-: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2288559/Elephant-killed-speeding-train-crossing-railway-track-India.html#ixzz2TPEjBYHM
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Rhino: No Horn Of Plenty

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“This is a long post, but if you are interested in Rhino, this is a must read & well worth the time needed to read it!!”

More rhinos will be killed in the next two years than will be born, so those charged with saving the endangered animal are considering radical and previously unimaginable solutions.

Twenty-four-hour watch: An anti-poaching team guards a de-horned northern white rhinoceros in Kenya in 2011. Photo: Brent Stirton

The battle to save the African rhinoceros has all the ingredients for a Hollywood thriller. There are armed baddies with good guys in hot pursuit. There is a hint of glamour. And the drama is played out against a backdrop of a beautiful, bloodstained landscape.

It is a story that begins, perhaps improbably, in Vietnam soon after the turn of the 21st century. A Vietnamese official of some influence, so the story goes, lets it be known that he, or perhaps it is his wife (for the sake of the story it matters little), has been cured of cancer. The miracle cure? Rhino horn powder.

With disconcerting speed, the story shifts to southern Africa, where a series of gunshots ring out across the African plains. This is followed by the hacking sound of machetes – it takes little time to dehorn a rhino because its horn consists not of bone but of keratin fibres with the density of tightly compressed hair or fingernails.

The getaway begins, armed rangers give chase. Once the horn leaves the flimsy protection of the national park or game reserve, where its former owner lies bleeding to death, it may never be found.

White Rhinoceros with a calf at Lake Nakuru national Park in Kenya. Photo: Martin Harvey/WWF

Its new owners never brought to justice. Sometimes they are caught. Sometimes they get away. Either way, another rhino is dead in a war that the bad guys seem to be winning.

The story shifts again, back to Vietnam where even the prime minister is rumoured to have survived a life-threatening illness after ingesting rhino horn. More than a cure for the country’s rich and powerful, however, rhino horn has by now crossed into the mainstream. Young Vietnamese mothers have taken to keeping at hand a supply of rhino horn to treat high fevers and other childhood ailments.

It is also the drug of choice for minor complaints associated more with the affluent lifestyle to which increasing numbers of Vietnamese have access; rhino horn has become a cure-all pick-me-up, a tonic, an elixir for hangovers.

With this new popularity has come the essential paraphernalia common to lifestyle drugs the world over, including bowls with specially designed serrated edges for grinding rhino horn into powder. In a short space of time, rhino horn has become the latest must-have accessory for the nouveau riche.

The sudden spike in Vietnamese demand, the miraculous fame of a saved official or his wife, and rhino horn’s emergence as a symbol of status all came at a time when legal stockpiles of rhino horn were at an all-time low. Demand and supply. This is the irrefutable law of economics.

Or, as one expert in the illegal trade in rhino horn put it: ”It was a perfect storm of deadly consumption.”

The rhinoceros is one of the oldest creatures on earth, one of just two survivors – the other is the elephant – of the megaherbivores that once counted dinosaurs among their number. Scientists believe rhinos have changed little in 40 million years.

The rhino’s unmistakable echo of the prehistoric and the mystery that surrounds such ancient creatures – this is the animal that Marco Polo mistook for a unicorn, describing it as having the feet of an elephant, the head of a wild boar and hair like a buffalo – have always been its nemesis.

As early as the first century AD, Greek traders travelled to the east, where the rhino horn powder they carried was prized as an aphrodisiac. But the rhino survived and, by the beginning of the 20th century, rhino numbers ran into the hundreds of thousands.

They were certainly plentiful in 1915 when the Roosevelts travelled to Africa to hunt. Kermit, the son, observed a rhinoceros ”standing there in the middle of the African plain, deep in prehistoric thought”, to which Theodore the father is quoted as replying: ”Indeed, the rhinoceros does seem like a survival from the elder world that has vanished.”

The Roosevelts then proceeded to shoot them.

Rhinos are epic creatures, gunmetal grey and the second-largest land animal on earth. Up to five metres long and weighing as much as 2700 kilograms, the white rhino, the largest of all rhino species, can live up to 50 years if left to grow old in the wild. In an example of advanced evolutionary adaptability, the black rhino will happily choose from about 220 plant species, eating more than 70 kilograms of plants a day.

These impressive numbers, combined with some of the rhino’s more limiting characteristics – it has very poor eyesight – have added to the myth that surrounds it.

”A slight movement may bring on a rhino charge,” reported nature writer Peter Matthiessen in the 1960s. ”Its poor vision cannot make out what’s moving and its nerves cannot tolerate suspense.”

Thus it was that the rhinoceros became a permanent member of the ”big five”, the roll-call of the most dangerous animals in Africa as defined by professional hunters.

But respect has always been tinged with derision. ”I do not see how the rhinoceros can be permanently preserved,” Theodore Roosevelt is reported as wondering, ”save in very out-of-the-way places or in regular game reserves … the beast’s stupidity, curiosity and truculence make up a combination of qualities which inevitably tend to ensure its destruction.”

In the 1960s, one eminent scientist described the rhinoceros as ”a very pathetic prehistoric creature, quite unable to adapt itself to modern times. It is our duty to save and preserve this short-tempered, prehistorically stupid but nevertheless so immensely lovable creature.”

Such disparaging remarks aside, they were, of course, right to be worried.

We have been here before when it comes to saving the rhino. In 1960, an estimated 100,000 black rhinos roamed across Africa, absent only from tropical rainforests and the Sahara. By 1981, 15,000 remained. In 1995, there were just 2410 left on the continent. In 2006, the western black rhino was declared extinct.

In Kenya, the numbers of black rhino fell from 20,000 at the beginning of the 1970s to 300 within a decade. This catastrophic fall in rhino numbers was the consequence of a poaching slaughter that consumed the country’s wildlife as lucrative ivory and rhino horn was consumed to meet the growing demand in Asia; rhino horn also made its way to the Arabian Peninsula, where it was used to fashion the handles of traditional Yemeni daggers.

It was in Kenya’s south, in the Tsavo National Park, that the war against rhinos reached its nadir – the park’s rhino population fell from 9000 in 1969 to less than 100 in 1980.

Since then, rhino numbers have rebounded thanks to a combination of legal protection – the trade in rhino horn was declared illegal under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 1975 – and beefed-up security.

When I visited the Tsavo West Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary three decades after the massacre, I was met by guards in full military fatigues and armed with machineguns. ”These rhinos in here,” one guard told me, ”they receive more protection than many African presidents.”

Kenya’s population of black rhinos grew to about 600, with the continent-wide figure thought to be 10 times that number. Efforts to save the white rhino proved even more successful, with more than 20,000 in South Africa alone. A corner had been turned, it seemed, and the battle to save the rhino was counted among the great conservation success stories of our time.

And then Vietnam acquired a taste for rhino horn.

In 2007, 13 rhinos were killed in South Africa. In the years that followed, the rate of killing grew steadily. From 2007 to 2009, one quarter of Zimbabwe’s 800 rhinos were killed, and Botswana’s rhino population has fallen to just 38. In South Africa, home to 90 per cent of the world’s white rhinos, armed guards patrol the parks.

Even so, 448 rhinos were killed in 2011. The following year, the number rose to 668. In the first 65 days of 2013, poachers killed 146 rhinos. At current rates the figure for this year will be close to 830.

As a result, rhino populations could soon reach a tipping point that may prove difficult to reverse. The rhino death rate will exceed its birth rate within two years on current trends, according to Dr Mike Knight, chairman of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s African Rhino Specialist Group. ”We would then be eating into rhino capital.”

Chief scientist of South Africa’s National Parks Hector Magome agrees: ”If poaching continues, the rhino population will decline significantly by 2016.”

The importance of saving Africa’s black and white rhinos is given added weight by the negligible numbers for the world’s other three surviving rhino species – the almost 3000 Indian rhinos live in highly fragmented populations, while just 220 Sumatran and fewer than 45 Javan rhinos survive. Vietnam’s last population of Javan rhinos was declared extinct in October 2011.

It is proving far easier to quantify the threats faced by Africa’s rhinos than it is to arrest the decline for one simple reason: what worked in the past no longer holds.

The recent upsurge in poaching has taken place in spite of the CITES regime of international legal protection. Security is also tighter than it has ever been.

In South Africa’s Kruger National Park, home to almost half the world’s white rhinos, 650 rangers patrol an area the size of Israel or Wales. This falls well short of the one-ranger-per-10-square-kilometres ratio recommended by international experts, and more than 100 rhinos have already been killed in Kruger this year.

Thus, those charged with saving the rhino are considering radical and hitherto unimaginable solutions. One such approach gaining traction is the controversial plan to legalise the trade in rhino horn, dehorn thousands of rhinos and flood the market with newly legal horns.

Were this to happen, supporters of the proposal say, the price of rhino horn – which reached $65,000 a kilogram in 2012 – would fall, and the incentive for poaching would diminish.

Dehorning has long been opposed by conservationists – rhinos use their horns to defend themselves and while feeding. But the failure of all other methods has convinced some that the time has come to contemplate the unthinkable.

”The current situation is failing,” Dr Duan Biggs, of the University of Queensland and one of the leading advocates for legalising the trade in horns, said recently. ”The longer we wait to put in place a legal trade, the more rhinos we lose.”

Dr Biggs and others point to the legalisation of the trade in crocodile products as an example of how such a plan could work.

Critics counter that any legalisation of the trade in rhino horns is unenforceable. They also argue that lax or ineffective legal controls in Vietnam – where trading in rhino horn is already illegal – and elsewhere ensure that it will be impossible to separate legally obtained rhino horns from those supplied by poachers.

”We don’t think it would stop the poaching crisis,” says Dr Colman O’Criodain, of the World Wildlife Fund. ”We think the legal trade could make it worse.’

The debate about saving rhinos is riddled with apparent contradictions: that we must consider disfiguring rhinos if we are to save them; that rhino numbers have not been this high in half a century but the risk of their extinction has never been greater.

And so it is that the story of the rhinoceros has reached a crossroads. It is a story that pits, on one side, a creature that has adapted to everything millions of years of evolution have thrown at it, against, on the other, the humans that will either drive the species to extinction or take the difficult decisions necessary to save it.

News Link-http://www.theage.com.au/world/no-horn-of-plenty-20130514-2jknt.html#ixzz2TKNlQary

Please Save The Wolves: Sign The Enclosed Petitions To Help End The Needless Suffering

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“Posting for & on behalf of my dear sister; Louise Du Toit, who tirelessly fights for the rights of all sentient beings & whose music inspires all who listen; to help the voiceless! “

GOOD NEWS that the Montana House Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee has struck down Senate Bill 397 – which would have allowed the relentless killing of wolves, mountain lions and black bears in Montana – by a vote of 17-4. SB 397 was rejected and tabled indefinitely, due in part to overwhelming public opposition.

This announcement is a great inspiration for us to continue raising awareness and doing our utmost best to be a voice for the voiceless. “For the time has come to take a stand, to honor and respect; to do no harm, to help rebuild the lives that have been wrecked. The time has come to make it known for everyone to see, that beyond the feathers, fur and skin, the heart is beating free.”

Louise du Toit – THE TIME HAS COME:

Uploaded on 7 Oct 2011

Louise du Toit – CD Albums @http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/Louisedu…
Louise du Toit – Official Website @ http://www.louisedutoit.com

It is my ultimate wish that all forms of animal cruelty will forever come to an end. As a singer-songwriter, I have chosen to use my music as one of the vehicles to support this wish. THE TIME HAS COME is a contribution to raise awareness about the suffering and torture that countless animals are constantly enduring at the hands of mindless, heartless humans. May those who listen to it, be deeply touched, vowing to always support the salvation of every living being on earth in any way possible. 

Music, lyrics, performance and recording by Louise du Toit in Greece, 2011, for WEEAC – World Event to End Animal Cruelty. The copyrights to the music and lyrics are reserved by the artist. Video created and produced by Louise du Toit. The images in this video are not the property of the producer. This video was made as a contribution to the salvation of all animals, for nonprofit educational purposes, without any intention of commercial advantage or private financial gain. There is no intention of copyright infringement either.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gG51DT_Ufs

THE GOOD NEWS that Susi will be allowed to remain in her territory in Junsele, Sweden, until the fall, brought happiness to all of us who are fighting tirelessly to save the tragically persecuted wolves all over the world. My beloved friends, please join, like and support the following event, page and website to keep following her journey and to continue the fight: https://www.facebook.com/louisedutoitfanpage?group_id=0

https://www.facebook.com/events/469950329743729/

https://www.facebook.com/Wolf.Association.Sweden?fref=ts

http://w-a-s.se/

Please sign these petitions for Scandinavian wolves:

http://w-a-s.se/?page_id=7844

“Ode to Magnificence” is specially dedicated to beautiful Susi today:

Uploaded on 29 Feb 2012

Louise du Toit – CD Albums @http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/Louisedu…
Louise du Toit – Official Website @ http://www.louisedutoit.com

I AM WOLF. I am the true spirit of nature, a perfect creation, walking beside you, guiding your senses to see the invisible. My true destination will only become visible when humans discard their imaginary fear, false legends, phantasmal myths, to seek the truth. (Louise du Toit)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XW27deV9j6k

My beloved friends, please support the wolves of France and other countries with the following petitions. Let us UNITE in love and compassion and let us ALL add our signatures:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_the_shooting_wolves/

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/967/635/860/tell-fashion-designers-to-stop-using-wolf-fur/

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/514/229/316/wolf-baiting-shame-of-kyrgyzstan-please-sign-and-share/

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Louise Du Toit

May we NEVER be silent about the plights of any suffering beings!

Save The Wolves -The Petition Site-

Save The Wolves -The Petition Site-‘s Page

This is a list with several petitions to help wolves world wide!

They need US to be their voicePLEASE, SIGN AND SHARE

KYRGYZSTAN:
http://forcechange.com/60111/end-wolf-baiting-in-kyrgyzstan/

UNITED STATES:
http://forcechange.com/22252/stop-wolf-trapping-outside-of-alaskas-denali-national-park/

http://forcechange.com/29486/applaud-decision-to-protect-californias-wolves/

http://forcechange.com/40983/protect-north-carolinas-endangered-red-wolves/

http://forcechange.com/61733/ban-the-use-of-dogs-in-wisconsin-wolf-hunts/

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/333/510/784/fire-federal-employee-for-killing-endangered-mexican-wolf/

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/747/991/812/maintain-federal-protection-for-western-wolves/

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/840/121/151/

http://theanimalrescuesite.greatergood.com/clickToGive/ars/petition/Earthjustice-Exterminationofwolves?Origin=ETA_040913_Earthjustice-Exterminationofwolves_F

IBERIAN PENINSULA:
http://forcechange.com/35273/dont-force-iberian-wolves-off-sanctuary-lands/?fb_action_ids=654501347898591&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%22654501347898591%22%3A348069308618246%7D&action_type_map=%7B%22654501347898591%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map

SLOVENIA:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/584/965/950/urgent-preserve-wolf-in-slovenia/

CANADA:
http://forcechange.com/63663/stop-canadian-wolf-slaughters/

http://forcechange.com/40742/end-the-killing-of-wolves-in-british-columbia/

http://forcechange.com/13664/tell-canada-to-stop-poisoning-wolves/

RUSSIA:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/492/940/402/stop-killing-wolves-in-yakutiarussia/

— with Esther LopezJackie Davis and Kadi Spicer.

CITES Partner Spotlight: INTERPOL’s Project WEB combats online wildlife crime

Comments Off on CITES Partner Spotlight: INTERPOL’s Project WEB combats online wildlife crime

“As the CITIES conference comes to the end of its first week, I thought I would just add the video in along with this post. Born Free’s CEO Will Travis, talks about some of the issues raised. Although I can’t believe the bid to halt the polar bear trade, was just swept under the table…WTF… Russia, Canada & the US…really have left the polar bears out in the cold…literally! I’m disgusted with their decision; same goes for the poor manatee!! I can’t wait to see what rubbish they come up with next week, for protecting species round the world; who are just about hanging on with their teeth!! Do the delegates from their respective country, actually know the danger some species are in?? I have my doubts given the first weeks bungles, honestly some of them are about as much use as a chocolate fire guard. Take about 30 of us animal advocates from face book, stick us round a table; & I’m sure we could come up with plans to help those in need!!”

Today saw the launch of the first ever internationally coordinated enforcement investigation into the online ivory trade.

Following the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW’s) recommendation and with our support INTERPOL undertook Project WEB, an investigation into the online ivory trade within the EU.

Summing up week one at the CITES meeting in Bangkok

Published on 8 Mar 2013

Will Travers, CEO of Born Free, sums up week one at CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) meeting, covering secret ballots, elephants, rhino, polar bears, manatees and turtles.

The report revealed that there were hundreds of ivory items conservatively valued at approximately EUR 1,450,000 for sale during a two-week period on Internet auction sites in nine European countries.

During this survey of sites by enforcers, more than 660 advertisements for ivory on 61 different auction sites were analysed and as a result of the surveillance, six national and three international investigations were launched in cases where ivory was described as new or where ivory was being traded from abroad.

Project WEB by the numbers:

Estimated €1.45 million worth of ivory

Found in 9 Countries

Across 61 auction websites

In 660 online advertisements

Containing 100s of items made from ivory

Over a 2 week period

Leading to 6 national investigations

And 3 international investigations

This week sees the 16th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

The 177 countries that are Party to CITES have already agreed, thanks in part to IFAW’s lobbying efforts, to investigate and prosecute wildlife criminals trading online as well as evaluate or develop their domestic measures to ensure they are sufficient to fight online wildlife crime.

While at least one country has strengthened their legislation to specifically target online wildlife crime and a small number of countries have started to develop strategies for tackling illegal wildlife sales on the internet, many more countries need to deliver on their promise and stamp out online wildlife crime.

Since 2004 IFAW has been highlighting the growing global threat posed by online wildlife crime to endangered wildlife.  A series of IFAW investigations have repeatedly shown that there are thousands of wild animals and wildlife ‘products’, such as ivory, available for sale on the internet all over the world.

Stop The Ivory trade

IFAW has found live primates, big cats, birds and reptiles advertised online while animal parts from rhino’s, elephants, sharks, Tibetan antelopes and sturgeon have also been available to purchase on the internet.

In January 2012, IFAW’s online monitoring found 17,847 ivory products listed on 13 Chinese websites, even though none of these products had the necessary Government approval.

Meanwhile, a four-week investigation in the United Arab Emirates and some neighbouring Arab countries in the same year found 796 adverts featuring live wildlife over 11 websites. None of the adverts had any documentary proof to demonstrate that the sales complied with the law.

In Europe an IFAW investigation in 2011 found a thriving trade in ivory items. The investigation tracked 43 sites in the UK, France, Portugal, Spain and Germany for a two-week period and found 669 advertisements for ivory.

The statistics are disturbing but can be hard to comprehend so let me give you one example that shows the horrors of this illegal trade.

In 2010 a British couple admitted 12 counts of illegally exporting, three of illegally importing, seven of illegally selling and two of illegally possessing specimens under the Customs and Excise Management Act.

The couple in question had been selling animal body parts from owls, a baboon, macaque monkeys, a python, an African penguin, an African lion cub and a Malaysian flying fox.

These items were kept in a store room full of skulls and other animal body parts which, when I saw the pictures, made me think it as a room of death for wildlife.

Highlighting the problem of this trade is an important first step but IFAW has been going one stage further and engaging website companies, law enforcers and Governments in our campaign to stamp out online wildlife crime.

After our 2008 Killing with Keystrokes investigation, where we found ivory was the number one wildlife product being traded online, we encouraged eBay to ban the sale of ivory on their websites and IFAW was very pleased to see them announce this ban in January 2009.

Meanwhile other websites have since followed suit including Alibaba (www.taobao.com) in China, the world’s largest business-to-business and outsource portal site for traders.

However, while banning the sale of wildlife products on websites does restrict unscrupulous traders’ ability to easily profit from these products, there is clearly a need for enforcers to ramp up their efforts.

We have seen traders time and again attempting to disguise their wildlife products to avoid detection by police, customs or website companies such as eBay.

In addition to working with INTERPOL IFAW is working with enforcement agencies across the world to catch online wildlife criminals by sharing the findings of our online investigations, facilitating international enforcement operations and by bringing together website companies and enforcement agencies in order that they can work in partnership in their fight against illegal wildlife sales on the internet.

–TM

Please sign petition:- Take action to help end the trafficking of wildlife online now, click here. 

News Link:-http://www.ifaw.org/united-kingdom/news/cites-partner-spotlight-interpol%E2%80%99s-project-web-combats-online-wildlife-crime

Inc.Very Graphic Picture: The Illegal Commercial Bushmeat Trade Inc. Videos

Comments Off on Inc.Very Graphic Picture: The Illegal Commercial Bushmeat Trade Inc. Videos

“I started off with the intentions of just posting the news below…but as always, I get side tracked. (please remember, anything I have to say in a post is in this blue writing) I’ve heard about this gorilla but not seen much, until I saw this. It’s most remarkable, a great ape, capable of killing a human, in an instant; but instead, Koko the Gorilla & Robin Williams preferred to have a chit-chat, through sign language, then a tickling session  I’m more than aware that humans share between 80% to 98.5% (The reason for the big gap in % is because not all agree) of DNA with chimps, gorillas & orangutans. This really does show the fact that humans & apes are so very much alike, when it comes to feelings & behaviour etc. So we can’t let these magnificent species be taken to the edge of extinction; due to the bushmeat trade!!.”

Koko the Gorilla with Robin Williams

“After watching the above , now, try to comprehend my other video & the article below; posted for & on behalf of Tony Zadel. This shouldn’t be happening, yet it continues & is a thriving business!” 

Bushmeat, popular in many parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America, is the meat of hunted wild animals; including shark fin. reptile & whale meat, birds & turtles eggs! So whilst on your travels please don’t ever buy; ANY TRINKETS MADE FROM ANIMALS, or EAT EXOTIC CUISINE…YOU MAY NOT BE AWARE IT IS FROM AN ENDANGERED SPECIES OR THAT EXTREME SUFFERING WAS INVOLVED IN ACQUIRING IT. The trade in bushmeat has become highly commercialized in recent years and is the most significant immediate threat to the great apes in Africa today.

“Don’t think for one minute, if a female chimpanzee is caught, her babies will be left alone…no way! There is just as much demand for babies as there is for the meat, perhaps more! Any nursing monkeys or apes could be targeted by the poachers, who without empathy, drag the babies from their mothers, still warm but breathless bodies! As if that wasn’t cruel enough, the callous barbarians, set about hacking the mothers into pieces; all, whilst in full view of the babies! I can’t begin to imagine how those poor babies must feel, or how long the nightmares will last.

 While most CITIES countries dilly dally, about this & that…you can be helping end the bushmeat trade by simply signing a petition or sending a pre-written letter by email; small things that will soon add up. We need to make it our goal, to educate & raise public awareness of this diabolical trade; that could eventually see some species become extinct! One voice can say a lot but may not be heard, but a chorus of voices, can demand attention! So if you want your grandchildren, to still be able to see these exotic species, please, just spend a couple of minutes signing petitions etc! I want my great-grandchildren to be able to see the fascinating creatures of the rain forests, roaming wild;where they belong!” 

Illegal Commercial Bushmeat Trade

Uploaded on 24 Jun 2009

At the heart of the declining chimpanzee population is the illegal poaching of chimps and other great apes for bushmeat. The Jane Goodall Institute is working with governments and local communities to end this horrible practice.

“Posted below, as is, for & on behalf of Tony Zadel – Please sign the petitions & take note of the links, inc. video, providing more information. Thank you!”

The Bushmeat Trade – Threat of Primate & Wildlife Extinction !!! 

The unsustainable commercial and illegal bush meat trade is threatening extinction of apes, chimpanzees, gorillas, and other primates and wildlife. Not only are the primates killed for food and body parts, orphaned primates are being sold on the exotic pet market, and they are also losing their habitat through logging and commercial development.

In Africa, forest is often referred to as ‘the bush’, thus wildlife and the meat derived from it is referred to as ‘bushmeat’ (in French – viande de brousse). This term applies to all wildlife species, including threatened and endangered, used for meat including: elephant; gorilla; chimpanzee and other primates; forest antelope (duikers); crocodile; porcupine; bush pig; cane rat; pangolin; monitor lizard; guinea fowl; etc.

Though habitat loss is often cited as the primary threat to wildlife, commercial hunting for the meat of wild animals has become the most significant immediate threat to the future of wildlife in Africa and around the world; it has already resulted in widespread local extinctions in Asia and West Africa. This threat to wildlife is a crisis because it is rapidly expanding to countries and species which were previously not at risk, largely due to an increase in commercial logging, with an infrastructure of roads and trucks that links forests and hunters to cities and consumers

The bushmeat crisis is a human tragedy as well: the loss of wildlife threatens the livelihoods and food security of indigenous and rural populations most depend on wildlife as a staple or supplement to their diet, and bushmeat consumption is increasingly linked to deadly diseases like HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and Foot and Mouth disease. You can also help with organization like the BCTF, CWAF, and much more..

Please take a moment to view my friend link about the Bushmeat Trade http://www.occupyforanimals.org/bushmeat.html

Illegal Bushmeat

The picture link i have posted above is from Central Africa Traffic of animals body parts, Gorillas,Primates, Crocodiles and many more..

READ MORE ONhttp://www.save-the-primates.org.au/facts-bushmeat-trade.htm

READ DETAILS ON BUSHMEAT & WILDLIFE TRADEhttp://www.bushmeat.org/bushmeat_and_wildlife_trade/regions_affected/central_africa?page=2

Read alsohttp://www.buzzle.com/articles/endangered-gorillas.html
PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO (NOT GRAPHIC) http://vimeo.com/4984959#at=0

Above posted for & on behalf of Tony Zadel; https://www.facebook.com/tony.zadel

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