South Africa Legalizes Rhino Horn Trade, Despite Massive Opposition – PETITION TO SIGN PLEASE

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Sorry not been around, pain controls my life as most of you know…feeling a bit better so thought I would get some posts done while I can. Some of them may be a little out of date, but I feel strongly about their causes so will post!! The story below will affect many Rhino, I don’t think this is the way to save our Rhino, if you agree with me, please sign the petition below! 

South Africa Legalizes Rhino Horn Trade, Despite Massive Opposition

By: Alicia Graef May 31, 2016 About Alicia Follow Alicia at @care2causes

A South African court has ruled to legalize the trade of rhino horns, with just “three terse sentences” National Geographic reports.

The international trade in rhino horn has been banned for decades, and was shut down in South Africa – home to the largest population of rhinos on earth, according to data from 2009. The future of the rhino species is continuously jeopardized because of the demand for their horns. Thousands of rhinos have been ruthlessly killed by poachers to meet consumer demands for rhino horns.

In April, conservationists celebrated a victory when South Africa decided against submitting a proposal to legalize the international trade in rhino horns at the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which will be held in Johannesburg this upcoming September.

Make no mistake; legalizing trade in rhino horn would have been nothing short of disaster for species that are just barely hanging on now as it is. The South African decision does not fix the plight of rhinos―but it gives space and time to tackle poaching, close down illegal markets and eliminate the loopholes that already help enable the $20 billion market in illegal international wildlife trade. South Africa bought more time for rhinos today―and should follow up with more key actions to keep these animals on the planet,” Alex Kennaugh, a wildlife advocate for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said at the time.

Now, however, the win is being undermined by a recent decision handed down by South Africa’s Court of Appeal, which effectively legalizes the trade within South Africa.

The ruling is the result of a challenge to the ban brought by rhino ranchers, and those on their side continue to argue that funds could be used to support conservation efforts, but opponents have serious concerns that it will do more harm than good, especially with poaching levels reaching record highs.

They also point to the fact that there’s virtually no market for horns within South Africa, which has raised worries that they will most likely be smuggled out and sold elsewhere illegally, and that legalizing the trade will kill the message that rhino horn, like elephant ivory, is something no one should be buying at all.

According to Reuters, in response the government may now change legislation, make obtaining permits to buy, sell or possess rhino horns so difficult to get it effectively stifles the trade, or it may possibly appeal to a higher court, but it’s not yet clear what course of action it will take.

Hopefully, it will do something to undo this. Considering the global efforts being undertaken to combat the illegal trade in wildlife and to promote the conservation of imperiled species in their natural habitats, we need to continue to push for more work on those fronts and rethink how inherently valuable these species are, instead of trying to figure out ways to ‘save’ them through continued exploitation.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION:

Urge The Florida Legislature to Ban The Sale of Ivory and Rhino Horns To Protect Endangered Wildlife!

SIGN THE PETITION & ORIGINAL NEWS SITEhttp://www.care2.com/causes/south-africa-legalizes-rhino-horn-trade-despite-massive-opposition.html

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Contains Very Graphic Media: Rhino Carcass Discovered in Marakele National Park

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“Please note; Viewer Discretion Advised for video & image below!”

Date: 18th July 2013 – A fresh rhino carcass, with its horn removed, was discovered yesterday in the northern section of the Marakele National Park near Thabazimbi in the Limpopo Province

South African National Parks field rangers, who were out on a routine patrol, detected the tracks of three unidentified people, and followed the tracks to where they exited the Park.

Upon backtracking on the same tracks the carcass of a de-horned rhino bull was found at around 17:00 yesterday afternoon, 17 July 2013. The crime scene was secured and is currently being investigated by a SAPS forensics team together with SANParks officials.

The Marakele National Park has not had any rhino poaching incidents for the last two years according to Mr Paul Daphne, SANParks Head of Communications, who said “We are distressed at the loss of this rhino, as SANParks had put in place a number of enhanced security measures to prevent further rhino poaching in Marakele since the loss of a number of animals at the end of 2011.

Our ranger teams have been working tirelessly around the clock to ensure that rhino poachers do not establish a foothold in the Marakele National Park.”

“We will continue to fight the battle against rhino poaching, and we will be implementing further measures in order to ensure greater rhino security. We are continuing to work together with other role players to develop more effective anti-poaching strategies for the Park and also in the Greater Waterberg Biosphere area.” said Daphne.

Anyone with information can contact Poaching tip-off anonymous lines on 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line on 32211.

Issued by:
South African National Parks (SANParks) Northern Region Communications
Tel: 012 426 5304

Enquiries:
Divhani Maremba
SANParks Regional Communications Manager: Northern Region
Tel: 012 426-5304; Cell: 082 941 9980
Email: divhani.maremba@sanparks.org

or

Paul Daphne
Head of Communications, SANParks
Tel: (012) 426 5072; Cell: 082 806 5409
Email: paul.daphne@sanparks.org

News Link:-http://www.sanparks.org/about/news/default.php?id=55614

Please copy & share this picture with everyone! http://www.stoprhinopoaching.com/ 

Rhino legacy Vietnam China dead baby

“The following video has nothing to do with the above post, but it does depict the horrific truth of how  rhino, are literally hacked to pieces for their horn; left to die a very slow agonizing death!! We have to do everything possible to stop these magnificent animals from more suffering. Please sign all petitions, share, cross posts, anything to help! We can’t let more die horrific deaths, because people choose to ignore the fact, that the rhino horn has no more health benefits; than human finger nails. Until people realize this is the truth, more will die from having their faces hacked off! If anyone has any rhino stories they feel may benefit the cause by being on a blog, please use them; we can help with the tools we have, to educate & bring more awareness to this problem. 

Very Graphic Viewer Discretion Advised – Rhino Poaching Video Shocks Journalist

Published on 8 Apr 2013

Lowvelder is currently on a media tour in the Kruger National Park where the effects of rhino poaching in this iconic park is being highlighted.

Read more on on the week’s proceedings and rhino poaching in South Africa on Looklocal Lowveld: http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/…

Please, if you were moved by the above, (unless your a corpse I don’t see how anyone couldn’t be) sign the following petitions. There are also more petitions in the page menu “new petitions added 2013”:

After Tiger & Bear Death – Is Help Finally Coming For The Remaining Animals Of Surabaya Zoo

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“Few words are needed to describe this zoo, dirty, overcrowded, dilapidated; hell on earth for it’s poor residents. Many need moving to specialist zoo’s who can undo the harm caused at this disgusting hovel. There are rumours that meat brought in for the animals is shared amongst the staff to take home either for themselves or to sell on; that would account for the animals being so thin! Also talk of  wildlife trafficking as some animals have gone missing in the past! 

“Even the Mayor, although disgusted with the zoo, seems to have her hands tied. I have tried to cover as many stories as possible, so that you may read at your leisure. Although I found nothing concrete about the welfare of the animals until I came across this Facebook site:-Surabaya Zoo Animal Welfare Action – Cee4life

I feel slightly relieved, now that I can see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel! Now Surabaya Zoo Animal Welfare Action – Cee4life are involved, hopefully things will start to change for the better for the remaining animals, along with the zoo management planning updates to more cages etc. 

“I’ve included more news links about the zoo below; before I found out about Surabaya Zoo Animal Welfare Action – Cee4life getting involved; I think it important that people know the full history on this pathetic place. Please sign, cross post & share all the petitions; especially this one:-http://www.thepetitionsite.com/330/792/006/stop-the-deliberate-cruelty-of-surabaya-zoo-animals/

Boycott Indonesia, don’t vacate there until something is done about Surabaya Zoo, where animals are literally dying of hunger & disease!! The best site for up-to-date  information is Surabaya Zoo Animal Welfare Action – Cee4life the Facebook page of:-https://www.facebook.com/SurabayaZooAnimalWelfareActionCee4life/timeline

Yet another Surabaya Zoo animal dies

Sumatran tiger at Surabaya Zoo in Surabaya, East Javadied on early Thursday after suffering digestive and respiratory problems for two years. 

The zoo’s curator, Penta, said that Rosek, a 13-year-old Sumatran tiger, was found dead in its cage by a zookeeper. “We had been trying to treat Rosek and gave it enzymes for digestion. We also took the animal outside its cage for a walk and some sun,” Penta told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

He said Surabaya Zoo now had only 10 Sumatran tigers, seven of which were females. One female tiger is currently undergoing treatment for an illness similar to that of Rosek. “Her name is Melani, see her picture below, it’s hard to believe a tiger in a zoo, could be left to get so bad!”

Internal conflict has plagued Surabaya Zoo since 1998 and peaked in 2007, when a number of animals died allegedly due to poor treatment. On Sept.8, 2012, Santi, a white tiger, died due to paralysis“The video below is of a white tiger”

Data show that almost 250 animals at Surabaya Zoo died in 2011, including a mountain goat that suffered digestive problems.

An autopsy found plastic bags in its stomach. The zoo’s veterinary team also found 25 stones in the stomach of a dead crocodile.

From June to August 2010, 20 animals died at the zoo, including a Sumatran tiger and 13 baby komodo dragons. Most of the animals died from pneumonia, dehydration caused by diarrhoea and malnutrition, while other problems included a dirty and poor environment and lack of nutritious food. (asw/ebf)

News Link:http://m.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/04/04/yet-another-surabaya-zoo-animal-dies.html

SURABAYA, Indonesia (AP)An emaciated female Sumatran tiger was in critical condition at Indonesia’s largest zoo Wednesday and may have to be put down after another rare tiger died at the problem-plagued facility earlier this month.  (Please see a very positive update to this story below, regards the beautiful tigress Melani…courtesy of  Surabaya Zoo Animal Welfare Action – Cee4life ) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=408313559283212&set=a.407286619385906.1073741828.407276089386959&type=1&theater

Melani was born at the Surabaya Zoo 15 years ago and has been suffering from an undiagnosed digestive disorder for the past five years. Her weight has dropped to less than 60 kilograms (132 pounds), down from 75 kilograms and below the normal range of 75-110 kilograms. Her eyes look sunken and bones can be seen beneath her skin. “See the video below!”

Monday, April 15, 2013 photo, a keeper tries to feed Melani, a 15-year-old female Sumatran tiger that has been suffering from an undiagnosed digestive disorder for the past five years, in her cage at Surabaya Zoo in Surabaya, Indonesia. The emaciated female Sumatran tiger was in critical condition at Indonesia’s largest zoo Wednesday and may have to be put down after another rare tiger died at the problem-plagued facility earlier this month. (AP Photo)

“I think euthanasia is the best option to end her suffering because it is difficult to be cured,” said Tony Sumampouw, chairman of Indonesia’s zoo association, who was appointed to oversee the Surabaya Zoo after the government took control of it in 2010.

He added that Melani’s illness is likely the result of mismanagement and poor nutrition since she was young.

Melani is one of 10 Sumatran tigers — the world’s most critically endangered tiger subspecies — left in the zoo following the death two weeks ago of Rozek, a 13-year-old male. He suffered similar gastrointestinal problems for four years.

Melani has now been transferred

The zoo’s remaining Sumatran tigers, which are part of a breeding program, are kept in dirty, cramped cages along with 10 Bengal tigers. All appear healthy, but remain at great risk, Sumampouw said.

Chaerul Saleh, the WWF wildlife group’s campaign coordinator on endangered species protection, said he hopes the latest tiger cases will force government and zoo authorities to do more to safeguard the animals. Strong action is needed to change the culture of neglect and corruption within the facility, he said.

The zoo has been plagued by uncontrolled breeding, a lack of funding for general animal welfare and suspicions that staff members may be involved in illegal wildlife trafficking.

Full News Link:-http://bigstory.ap.org/article/sumatran-tiger-may-be-euthanized-indonesia-zoo

A Surabaya Zoo health worker checks the pulse of a sick 35-year-old female elephant named Fitri, which was suffering from swollen joints in her leg Picture: AFP/Gett

Questioned in Berlin, Surabaya Mayor Ashamed of Zoo

TEMPO.COSurabaya – Surabaya mayor Tri Rismaharini received many questions about the management conflict in Surabaya Zoo (KBS) when she visited Berlin a few months ago. As the result of the continuing conflicts, some animals died and abandoned“I was truly ashamed when they highlighted KBS. I could not do anything,”

Risma could only explain that the management of the Zoo is conducted by the Ministry of Forestry and not her authority. “They asked, how does your country manage this? I am honestly ashamed at the time,” said Risma.

Full News Link:-http://en.tempo.co/read/news/2013/06/29/206492180/Questioned-in-Berlin-Surabaya-Mayor-Ashamed

The Sorry State of Surabaya Zoo 

Published on 18 Jun 2013

Melani the Sumatran tiger heaves herself painfully to her feet, walks to the fence and is hand-fed a few pieces of chicken cut into small chunks. She’s skin and bone, but she eats less than a child might before returning to chew, like a sick domestic cat, on the grass.

There are less than 400 of Melani’s kind still roaming the dwindling forests of Sumatra, and soon this zoo-bound specimen will also be dead, after spending most of her life in squalor in Surabaya Zoo.

She suffers from an unidentified wasting disease which means her food, even when it’s minced, passes through her, almost entirely undigested. 

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/ani…

Surabaya Zoo – Animals Severely Neglected 

Published on 13 Mar 2012

The Surabaya Zoo is a nightmare, plagued by uncontrolled breeding, a lack of funding for general animal welfare & staff are involved in illegal wildlife trafficking.

Zookeepers have been taking meat meant for the tigers and selling it in the local market. The tigers are emaciated & the 180 pelicans packed so tightly they cannot unfurl their wings without hitting a neighbour.

Last week, a giraffe died with a beachball-sized wad of plastic food wrappers in its belly. “This could be the white tiger that has already passed away; a blessing I think, seeing the state she was in”

News from Surabaya Zoo Animal Welfare Action – Cee4life  25th June 2013 MELANI has now been moved

Melani has been transferred to Taman Safari.

FANTASTIC NEWS – MELANI. Not long ago, I have been informed by Zoos and Aquaria and Taman Safari, Indonesia, that the beautiful tigress Melani, has been safety transported and arrived at Taman Safari.

She is eating well, however her front and lower K9’s are looking quite rotten. Her demeanour is wonderful and she is now currently under going further veterinary testing. This is Melani when she arrived hours ago at Taman Safari. 

On a side note, we understand that people are very passionate about this case, however please DO NOT write abusive or threatening letters to either Zoos and Aquaria or Taman Safari, as these are NOT the people who have had control over Surabaya Zoo.

In any case, if you write, please keep your language polite, however instead of cluttering up the good peoples email boxs with your demands, please work together in a positive way. As you can see, Melani is now getting the correct care she needs, she is safe and in the best hands now.

That does not mean the other animals of Surabaya are to be forgotten about. Please keep signing and sharing the petition http://www.thepetitionsite.com/330/792/006/stop-the-deliberate-cruelty-of-surabaya-zoo-animals/ We will let it run until we leave for Indonesia. Thank you so much for your support, more to come on Melani soon ~ Sybelle

News from:Surabaya Zoo Animal Welfare Action – Cee4life :-https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=408313559283212&set=a.407286619385906.1073741828.407276089386959&type=1&theater

Please Read Additional News on the condition of the Surabaya Zoo & it’s animals:

In this photograph taken on March 1, 2012, Surabaya Zoo personnel attend to a 30-year-old ailing giraffe named Kliwon. The last remaining giraffe in the zoo died with 20 kilograms of plastic found in its stomach, the latest in a string of unusual animal deaths at the country’s biggest zoo. Picture: JUNI KRISWANTO/AFP/Getty Images

Related post on giraffe death:-https://preciousjules1985.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/surabaya-zoo-giraffe-death-brings-indonesia-animal-abuse-to-light/

White tiger dies in Surabaya zoo (sadly this could be the one on the above video):http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/09/09/white-tiger-dies-surabaya-zoo.html

Zoo takes terrible toll on animals: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/zoo-takes-terrible-toll-on-animals-20130526-2n5ct.html

10 Photo/News article by CBS News:http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-202_162-10011625.html

Disturbing state:-http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/03/15/the-disturbing-state-of-indonesias-zoo-of-death/

49 Animals Transferred From Surabaya Zoo – At last some are rescued (they call it transferred)

TEMPO.COBanyuwangi – As many as 49 animal collections from Surabaya Zoo (KBS) were transferred to Mirah Fantasia, Banyuwangi. The transferred animals include elephants, orang utans, iguanas, hippos, bekantans, gazelles, and some other mammals and birds.

From Surabaya, the animals were transferred by trucks to Mirah Fantasia. Rahmat Suharta, the Chief of Health Department from Surabaya Zoo, said that some of the animals must be transferred because KBS has been overloaded.

Rahmat also informed that Mirah Fantasia has already gained a conservation center operational license from the Natural Resources Conservation Office.

Ketut Suwardika, Mirah Fantasia Deputy Director, expected that the new collections will increase the number of visitors.

News Link:http://en.tempo.co/read/news/2013/06/05/206486062/49-Animals-Transferred-from-Surabaya-Zoo

A baby elephant pulls against the chains secured around its legs as it moves around a cramped, concrete cell. One of the keepers tells Sumampau the chains are used to train the young elephant to walk.

Tony Sumampau was brought in by the Indonesian government to lead a temporary team to improve conditions when it took over the privately run zoo in 2010. He now spends two days a week trying to teach zoo staff how to care for animals kept in cramped and unsanitary living conditions for far too long.

Before Sumampau arrived, about 25 of the zoo’s 4,000 animals died each month, many of them prematurely, from disease and neglect. Among them was a cheetah, a gift from South Africa’s President, whose leg was bitten off by a tiger and later died.

Poor sanitation and uncontrolled breeding also remain serious challenges for the zoo.

Lutvi Achmad, the head of the East Java Natural Resources Conservation Center, who works with Sumampau, told CNN, “This overpopulation has been going on for so long, there’s inbreeding and for sure this won’t be a good thing for the Surabaya Zoo.”

The biggest problem Sumampau says is the lack of understanding of animal welfare and conservation. He is slowly training the zoo’s 70 keepers but faces resistance from some who have worked in the zoo for years, even decades.

Read More Of the Above News:-http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/24/world/asia/indonesia-surabaya-zoo

Read the following horror stories regarding Surabaya Zoo:-

Like This Facebook Page:-https://www.facebook.com/savetheanimalssurabayazooindonesia

Petitions to sign, please spare 5 minutes & help save the animals of the Surabaya Zoo

The last petition relates to Surabaya Zoo Animal Welfare Action – Cee4life The petition has gained many signatures & I am hopeful that when handed over, things will change at the zoo, for the better! So please if you only sign one petition, let it be this one, Sponsored by: Cee4life Conservation & Environmental Education 4 Life

Surabaya Zoo – Joining Forces – Cee4life has joined forces with Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) to help aid the animals of Surabaya Zoo. We are very happy and excited to have connected with JAAN. Together we can do extraordinary things ~ Sybelle

FaceBook Page:-https://www.facebook.com/SurabayaZooAnimalWelfareActionCee4life/timeline

?

Beno the black bear dies at Surabaya Zoo. R.I.P

Unfortunately, whilst writing this (over several days), I have just found out more tragic news from the above site. Beno the black bear suffering from a terrible skin condition & or cancer, has sadly passed away.

R.I.P Beno, I hope you have now found the freedom & health, that was so cruelly denied you whilst caged up at Surabaya zoo!

Although the above is very sombre news indeed, I am just thankful that Surabaya Zoo Animal Welfare Action – Cee4life have got involved. If anyone can kick their ass…it will be Sybelle!!

Animals For Asia Coalition- Neglect & suffering: – http://asiaforanimals.com/coalition-voice/latest-news/item/63-neglect-and-suffering-at-surabaya-zoo-indonesia

http://embassy-finder.com/indonesia_embassies

Read the Letter Sent from the ASA on behalf of the following organisations: http://asiaforanimals.com/images/PDF/AFA%20letter_zoo%20licensing_apr12.pdf:-

 Asian Animal Protection Network
 Animal Guardians
 Animal People
 Animals Asia Foundation
 Animal Concerns Research & Education
Society
 Humane Society International
 Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society
 International Animal Rescue
 International Fund for Animal Welfare
 Royal Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals (UK)
 Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals, Hong Kong
 World Society for the Protection of
Animals

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

Pink Poison, the Surprising New Trend That’s Saving Rhinos

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“This is a great idea, I hope those that use the horn of any dead rhino suffer appalling reactions & suffer greatly; its’ nothing less than they deserve. If there stupid enough to use rhino horn instead of chewing their own fingernails, I have no sympathy. But, I’m not that happy either, that this pink potion has already killed test subjects; especially a rhino at an event to promote the cocktail. If inadequate studies have been performed to test this cocktail, should it go on, how many more rhino will die through testing; will several dying, justify saving the lives of those that are left? Or is there an easier option to save the rhino?”

“I’m for anything that stops the rhino poachers, dealers & resellers; but not at the cost of losing the  lives of an already declining species. If only there was a way to stop poaching, without putting the rhino’s life at risk; to simply catch & use anaesthetics are high risk factors that could end in death, irrelevant of what is going to be implanted into the horn!”

“So think how much it costs in terms of drugs, anesthetics, vets, helicopters, spotters, darts, dart guns, man power etc. to implant something into the horn of one rhino? A rhino, who could die from the anaesthetic or stress of capture: but the process is being done to hopefully stop it being killed by poachers!. Then think of those that go out & poach said species…Why do they do it? Well I’m pretty sure it’s not because they hate the rhino species, they do it for money only, perhaps it’s easy money, which is the attraction; especially when your family are constantly hungry etc.”

” So perhaps the simplest, least cost-effective idea, is being totally overlooked!! Consider the cost of all the above, to one rangers wages & it’s obvious which is the cheaper & most cost-effective way of saving the rhino; more manpower on the ground…but why just rangers already trained up!”!

“What about the poachers? they risk their lives for such a small percentage in wages; so why not turn it around? They only poach for money, so perhaps they could be convinced to fight for the other side, i.e. protecting the rhino & being paid to do so; instead of being paid to kill the rhino! They are already savvy in the knowledge of rhino tracking etc. because they have worked out how & when is the easiest time to kill without being caught. Of course those in charge would have to be diligent, as newly employed protectors of rhino, could easily still work for the poaching kings, on an undercover basis! Inside knowledge could just as easily kill rhino; if done the right way. One just has to think of a way of making poachers protect; instead of kill!

“Perhaps if the government implemented an incentive, to suggest that all rhino poachers who come forward of their own free will, will not be charged for past regressions (otherwise they won’t come; even though I would be so tempted to slap them in chains!) but will be taken on & trained as a special task force, to be paid to save the rhino rather than kill. At the end of the day, it all comes down to money! Rhino potions can not be sold in shops, without those that poach the rhino horn! To stop poaching, one has to think of those at the bottom of the pile, those that do the poaching; because without them, there will be no rhino horn. So give them an incentive to stop, a uniform, a regular weekly income, less risk of being killed by rangers etc. & there might just be a better chance to stop this trade…there is no harm in trying, right??”

Rhino experts discuss a bright approach to keeping poachers away. Please note the following picture has been digitally altered!

This photo has been digitally altered and is not an actual photo of a rhino at Sabi Sand. (Photo: Heinrich van den Berg/Getty)

This photo has been digitally altered and is not an actual photo of a rhino at Sabi Sand. (Photo: Heinrich van den Berg/Getty)

With over 200 rhinos already dead this year at the hands of poachers in South Africa and no signs of the slaughter slowing, some innovative rhinoceros lovers are stepping up their game.

Wildlife workers at Sabi Sand, a private game reserve at the southernmost tip of Kruger National Park, have injected a special cocktail into 100 rhino horns, turning them pink in an effort to deter illegal horn hunters.

In addition to discoloring the horn, the pink dye can also be detected by airport scanners, even when the horn is ground into a powder to make the high-priced traditional “medicines” that help fuel the killing of rhinos. The hope is to make transport of the illegal product that much riskier.

And that’s not all. There’s poison in the pink

The indelible pink dye is mixed with parasiticides, usually used to control ticks. Though it’s not meant to kill unscrupulous poachers and consumers who ingest the powder, it does have some pretty nasty side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Ironically, these are some of the symptoms which rhino horn is incorrectly believed to alleviate. (Rhino horns contain nothing more than the same keratin found in fingernails.)

This comes at a time when the demand for traditional “medicines” is growing, says Tom Milliken, Rhino Program coordinator with Traffic, a leading wildlife trade-monitoring network. He says, “There is a whole new market that advertises rhino horn as a successful cancer treatment. It’s being marketed in hospitals to the families of the critically ill. In addition, it has also become a trendy hangover remedy.”

Dr. Susie Ellis, Executive Director of the International Rhino Foundation, has concerns about the ethical implications of intentionally poisoning something that may well be ingested, but hopes the project will draw attention to the dire situation.

“If this strategy discourages even one person from buying horn, I think it’s marvelous,” she says.

Milliken also understands the urgency to save every rhino possible, but isn’t sold on this technique. “I’m not sure I fully buy the notion that this dye cocktail has been adequately tested and certified to be non-harmful to rhinos,” he says. “The process of anesthetizing living rhinos to inject the cocktail is time consuming and entails risks; we know of rhinos in the private sector that have died in the process, including one at an event to specifically showcase this particular dye technique.

News Link:-http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/04/10/pink-poison-rhino-horn-stop-ivory-trade?cmpid=tpanimals-eml-2013-4-12-pinkhorn

Ask Airlines to Stop Shipping Monkeys to Be Tortured :Please Sign Petition

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Air Cruelty: Inside the Labs of Two of the Largest U.S. Primate Importers

Published on 27 Sep 2012

Shocking undercover and whistleblower footage from inside the laboratories of Covance and Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories (SNBL), two of the largest importers of primates into the United States for use in cruel experiments.

Every year, tens of thousands of nonhuman primates are transported from countries such as China, Mauritius, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia to the U.S. to be imprisoned in laboratories and tormented in experiments. Some are bred in captivity on cramped, squalid monkey factory farms, while others are stolen from their families in the wild.

The traumatized monkeys are crammed into small wooden crates and transported in the backs of trucks and the dark and terrifying cargo holds of planes, often on passenger flights just below unsuspecting customers. 

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, nearly 23,000 nonhuman primates were brought into the U.S. in 2010—nearly all of them destined for laboratories. Nearly 3,000 monkeys were imported by animal testing conglomerate Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories (SNBL), where recent photos and video footage leaked by a whistleblower show sick, distraught monkeys suffering horribly from tests in which they were injected with experimental chemicals.

Almost every major airline in the world—including Delta Air LinesAmerican AirlinesUnited Airlines, US Airways, Air ChinaChina Southern Airlines,China Eastern AirlinesTAM AirlinesEl Al Airlines, and dozens of others—refuses to take any part in this violent industry and prohibits the transportation of primates to laboratories.

However, an increasingly small group of airlines—including Air France, Philippine Airlines, and Vietnam Airlines—continues to profit from animals’ misery by transporting monkeys destined for U.S. laboratories.

Please be a voice for the monkeys who are suffering in the primate trade. Take a minute of your time now to urge airlines that still transport monkeys to U.S. laboratories to join their peers and adopt a formal policy against the transportation of nonhuman primates for use in experiments.

Petition Link:https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=3888

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

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“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

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