Judge denies bond for man in donkey-dragging case

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A judge has denied bond for a Splendora man accused of dragging a donkey from the back of an SUV last October, severely injuring the animal, according to Montgomery County prosecutors.

Visiting state District Judge Suzanne Stovall denied bond Monday on a motion to revoke probation charge for , 30, who is being held on a $50,000 bail for a felony animal cruelty charge stemming from the Oct. 25, 2012, incident, said Rob Fryer, a Montgomery County assistant district attorney. Saunders is on probation for assaulting his wife in 2008.

“I’m very happy with Judge Stovall’s decision,” Fryer said. “It was obvious that the judge took her role very seriously. She listened to the evidence that the state presented and based her ruling on the horrendous natural nature (of the case) and brutal allegations as presented.”

The chain of events began when friends of Saunders told him that Susie Q, the jenny, had wandered around the corner and was secured on Acorn Hill Drive, northwest of New Caney, so that someone could retrieve her, investigators said.

Another friend offered to walk the donkey home, but Saunders insisted on driving, saying he would tie the animal to the trailer hitch on his Chevrolet Blazer and slowly lead her.

Saunders, accompanied by another man, found Susie Q, and they tied her to the vehicle with a rope, according to a news release from the Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constable‘s Office. The second man sat on the open tailgate of Saunders’ SUV and they took off with the donkey in tow.

The man continued to yell, but watched helplessly as the donkey was injured by the pavement. The man estimated that Saunders drove about 40 mph as he dragged Susie Q about one-quarter mile.

“The blood trail left by the donkey supported the witness’s story and showed that Saunders drove at least 10 to 15 feet farther after Susie Q fell on her side when the pavement had ground off her hooves between 1.5 and 2 inches, exposing raw flesh and bone,” the release states.

Meanwhile, Susie Q continues her long road to recovery at her New Caney home.

News Link:-http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Judge-denies-bond-for-man-in-donkey-dragging-case-4193449.php


Botswana To Ban Hunting Over Wildlife Species Decline

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Botswana will ban commercial hunting from January 2014 over growing concerns about the sharp decline in wildlife species, officials have announced.

“The shooting of wild game for sport and trophies is no longer compatible with our commitment to preserve local fauna,” the environment ministry said.

The ban is likely to be controversial as many communities depend on hunting for their livelihoods.

As much as a third of the global elephant population lives in Botswana. Recent estimates place the number at about 130,000.

Conservationists are concerned about the erosion of river banks caused by the animals in some nature parks, the BBC’s Letlhogile Lucas in the capital, Gaborone, reports.

The ban, set to come into place on 1 January, could also pose a threat to local communities, in particular bushmen, for whom hunting is a means to survive, our correspondent adds.

Furthermore, selling hunting licences to wealthy Westerners is an extremely lucrative business, he says.

Hunting concessions currently exist in the northern Okavango Delta and the parks of the Kalahari region, famous for its upmarket safari lodges.

According to the environment ministry’s official statement, the government will continue to issue special game licences “for traditional hunting by some local communities within designated wildlife management areas”.

Average trophy fee per species

  • Elephant: Up to $30,000, depending on weight
  • Lion: $29,000
  • Leopard: $7,150
  • Buffalo: $3,744
  • Giraffe: $3,500
  • Zebra: $1,923

Due to its seasonal nature, hunting has only contributed a minimal amount to the tourism sector, which ranks second to the diamond industry in terms of its revenue earnings, the ministry said.

Designated hunting zones will be turned into “photographic areas”.

The announcement has been welcomed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

The ideal scenario would be that it has a similar effect to the ban on whaling 20 years ago,” the organisation’s spokesman, Adrian Hiel, told the BBC.

“Whale watching is now proven to be more sustainable and profitable than hunting and killing the animals.”

Earlier this year, Spain’s King Juan Carlos faced international criticism for going on a hunting trip in Botswana. “He apologised to the Spanish people, not the world!”

News Link:-http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20544251


‘Game hunting necessary’ – OK guys I want Your comments on this, does hunting actually protect wildlife??


“WOAH…Ok guy’s COMMENTS ARE OPEN for this article…I want to hear what you have to say about WWF being a party to hunting etc. I heard before that WWF agree’s with hunting, which is why I stopped sending them money…but I can’t find anything that literally say’s they support hunting…What do YOU think about hunting; are they the true conservationist, is it necessary?? are we greenies out of touch with ourselves… or are hunters talking a load of crap?? 

LAST month The Morning Bulletin published an article about a Rockhampton resident shocked by one stall at the Hunting, Fishing and 4WD show.

World Wide Hunts offers a range of trips where one can hunt animals ranging from wild pigs to lions to elephants.

Upon returning from an African hunting safari, Greg Coyne felt compelled to share his thoughts. He said in two weeks of hunting in Zimbabwe he took only three animals, while bowhuntingfor trophy elephant. In the end he was outsmarted, but said for him hunting was more about the journey than the kill.

Greg Coyne shot this lion in Mozambique in 2008. He said the lion had killed and eaten a number of villagers as it had been injured by a snare and while injured, humans are easier game than other animals. “Although he’d almost fully recovered, it’s said that once a man-eater, always a man-eater,” Mr Coyne said.

A commercial fisherman in St Lawrence, Mr Coyne has been hunting and fishing since he was four, following his grandfather as he checked traps and snares in the bush.

He operates his fishing business off his 1214-hectare property where he has also been hosting both Australians and foreigners to hunt wild game for the last two years.

He has been to Africa on five separate hunting trips – “nowhere else in the world can you find such a diverse range of animals to admire and hunt at very reasonable rates,” he said.

“Hunters in Africa are also generally admired, respected and above all welcomed by almost everyone in the entire country.” “Probably because your white with loads of cash & guns!!!”

Greg Coyne shares his thoughts on hunting:

WELL, I’ve only just seen the article in the July 21 Weekend Bulletin titled ‘Hunting Stall Upsets Patron’ which happened at the recent fishing expo held in Rockhampton.

I’m a little late in responding to this as I have only recently returned from a hunting safari in Africa. I feel that as a hunter and a true conservationist it’s my duty to try to properly inform this fellow along with all others that may agree with him.

Now, if it wasn’t for hunters like myself there actually wouldn’t be any elephants or hippos or any other large game left in the world for that matter, period.

Because we actually put a value on an animal’s life, this is why conservation is working in a lot of areas.

If it wasn’t for some governments along with a large number of other folk with a vested interest in the hunting industry doing their very best to protect the large majority of species from the poaching activities that are running rife in the world, then most of our larger animals would had been extinct long ago.

It is mostly only from fees earned by governments and outfitters through hunting that allows anti-poaching operations to be carried out.

‘Greenies’, and most other so-called ‘wildlife conservation organisations’ mostly don’t know what they are on about and are by the majority not even in touch with themselves let alone nature.

They are not capable of taking care of our wildlife no matter how much money they throw at their so-called cause.

It’s only hunters and people like us with deep feelings and a good sense of well-being for the land and the animals that live here, that place any real value on this resource.

I do say “most other organisations” because, actually, unbeknown to most people in the big wide world, the largest conservation organisation in the world, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) actually works hand in hand with the Safari Club International (SCI) which is also the largest hunting organisation in the world.

Yes, that’s right, “hunting organisation”.

Together they have been directly responsible for saving a great number of our animal species from the very brink of extinction.

You won’t hear about this from anyone else in your community and most probably you will never ever hear it repeated again because this is very serious business and it is kept very low-key by parties concerned for fear that the WWF would lose vital funding from individuals that are willing to donate huge sums of money to the cause.

Although well-intended, these donors are more often than not uninformed and misguided and just wouldn’t be able to understand the complexity of the situation.

So WWF figures it best to just keep them in the dark.

What they don’t know can’t hurt them. You would have to travel to the farthest reaches of the world, perhaps to some remote hunting camp in deepest darkest Africa.

There you may be lucky enough to meet up with some WWF representative that is visiting the area to observe how some species was recovering under the watchful eye of “the hunters” the only true “wildlife warriors”.

Environmental and habitat management is probably the biggest major concern in any wildlife area.

Far too big an issue for myself to go much into here but folk may be interested to know that the Green movement has been successful in all but ending all forms of hunting in Botswana.

This breeds disaster either to all the animals in that country or perhaps to the land first, followed then by the wildlife.

Without proper management, if the population isn’t poached and slaughtered as recently seen in Zimbabwe, then the herds will breed up out of control and eventually denude the whole countryside.

This is already the case in large parts of Botswana because the country is currently carrying over 100,000 elephants where the carrying capacity in reality is less than one-third of this number.

Because of over grazing in areas, particularly along rivers, the bush has been almost totally denuded for up to 20 miles back from either side of both river banks.

I have been told by reliable sources that the countryside has the appearance of a lunar landscape.

This has already displaced many species especially those creatures that require thickly vegetated habitat as normally found alongside river banks.

Zimbabwe was once the number one hunting destination in the world, earning untold millions of dollars in revenue for its people.

However, since Mugabe gained power a little over a decade ago, the wildlife has been decimated.

The whole country has literally gone to ruin. I know because I was there a little over two weeks ago.

It’s now only a shell of its former self and even if it immediately came under proper management, it would take perhaps 30 years to return to what it once was.

However, sadly this is not likely to happen. On another note, all animals are not lovable furry things.

In India alone something like 50,000 natives get killed by various critters each year. Surprised? Well don’t be because it’s the reality.

Misguided folk see the African hippo, which is portrayed on TV as the lovable happy, jovial beast, as just that.

In reality the hippo alone attacks and kills hundreds of people each year in Africa.

Not to even mention what the other big six dangerous game animals over there kill.

Now, I’m not saying that because these beasts need to be slaughtered.

Quite the opposite in fact. They have the right to be where they are and they need to be protected the same as all other species, and the best way to protect any animal is to have regulated hunting

News Link:-http://www.themorningbulletin.com.au/story/2012/08/21/game-hunting-necessary-greg-coyne-africa/


Growing numbers of British hunters pay £15,000 or more to shoot an elephant.  Trophy hunting is easy to organise via the internet and elephants, lions, leopards and hippo can be legally shot in cold blood in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Tanzania.  The dead animal’s head is usually then stuffed, mounted and exported as a grotesque ‘trophy’.  Born Free believes trophy hunting may be contributing to species’ decline and fights to end this glorified ‘sport’.

News Link:http://www.bornfree.org.uk/animals/african-elephants/projects/trophy-hunting/

The Truth About WWF
 The WWF Endorses the Killing of Wild Animals, Too!!!

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) gives special meaning to the word “conservation. .” The organization, founded in 1961 by a group of wealthy trophy hunters, apparently believes that conserving animals means keeping them around long enough for well-heeled “sportsmen” to blast them out of the woods, oceans, skies, plains of Africa, and jungles of Asia.. Past WWF chapter presidents include C..R.. “Pink” Gutermuth, who also served as president of the National Rifle Association, and trophy hunter Francis L.. Kellogg, who is legendary for his massive kills.. In its early days, the WWF even used fur auctions to raise funds…

Since then, the WWF has learned that most people are appalled by hunting and trapping, so today, the organization veils its true stance under phrases like “sustainable development, ” arguing that killing is acceptable under some circumstances. . When answering difficult questions about its policy on hunting, trapping, and whaling, the WWF is careful never to state outright that it approves of all these activities.. But don’t be fooled, the WWF’s intentions are all too clear and deadly!!

News Link:http://www.animalliberationfront.com/AR_Orgs/TruthaboutWWF.htm

Horrific blaze kills conservationist and three baboons at South African animal rescue centre

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An horrific blaze has destroyed a baboon rescue centre killing a renowned conservationist as well as three animals.

Rita Miljo was renowned for helping to reintroduced packs of baboons into the wilds of South Africa

Rita Miljo, who reintroduced packs of baboons into the wilds of South Africa, died in the fire which destroyed much of the headquarters of the sanctuary she built, an official said.

Karl Pierce, a director with the sanctuary said the 81-year-old died in the small apartment she kept above the clinic of the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education in the bush of Limpopo province.

Also killed in the fire were three baboons including Bobby, the first chacma baboon she rescued and nursed back to health in 1980 after spiriting her away from a national park without a permit, Mr Pierce said.

The fire broke out around 8pm yesterday after volunteers and workers left the centre for the evening, he added.

No one else was injured in the blaze, which consumed the clinic, offices and a house on the property, about 250 miles north east of Johannesburg. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

While Ms Miljo no longer ran day-to-day operations of the centre, which cares for more than 400 baboons, she remained a constant presence and a figurehead for the organisation she founded in 1989.

‘Everybody’s still in shock about this,’ Mr Pierce said.

Born in Germany in 1931, Ms Miljo arrived in South Africa in the 1950s. In a 2008 article about her in the Washington Post Magazine, she said helping baboons taught her ‘why people behave the way they do’.

‘Chimpanzees can be deceitful, just like humans, whereas baboons haven’t learned that yet,’ she said. ‘So what you learn from the baboons is the truth about yourself.

Chimpanzees have already learned to find beautiful little excuses for their behaviour.’

In South Africa, baboons have a troublesome reputation.

In Cape Town, they are known for raiding cars and frightening tourists. Baboons are a protected species under South African legislation but their aggressive pursuits of food have led to conflicts with residents.

Ms Miljo nursed orphaned and injured baboons back to health, then pioneered ways of reintroducing whole troops of cared-for baboons back into the wild, her centre said.

In 1994, the centre released 10 hand-reared baboons back into the wild.

A year later, seven had survived and integrated back into the wild population, the centre said, a success as many thought the cared-for baboons would not be able to adjust.

Ms Miljo is survived by a brother who lives in Botswana, Mr Pierce said. Her first husband, Lothar Simon, and her 17-year-old daughter died in 1972 in a plane crash.

Despite personal tragedies in her own life, she remained focused on her work to help sick and injured baboons. 

When asked in 2008 where the body of one of the baboons she sheltered would be buried, she offered a quick answer: ‘I remember where each one is and that’s where I’m going to be buried too.’

Read morehttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2180325/Rita-Miljo-death-Horrific-blaze-kills-conservationist-baboons-South-African-animals-rescue-centre.html#ixzz226swhkqF

King of Spain faces calls to abdicate after elephant hunt

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

The King appeared on the web page of the safari company, Rann Safaris, beside an elephant he killed earlier during the trip

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rhino poaching – Gauteng reserve too risky – Asylum in Botswana

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Duncan MacFadyen, research manager of De Beers Diamond Route, was called at midnight three weeks ago by the local head of the endangered species unit.

The unit had received a tip-off that three poachers had been dropped near Gauteng’s Ezemvelo Reserve, one of the conservation and education sites that make up the Diamond Route. They’d been assigned to kill Ezemvelo’s two white rhino — a bull and a pregnant female — for their horns.

Since then, the rhino have been tracked 24 hours a day by armed guards, at considerable expense. MacFadyen says there had already been discussions about transferring the rhino to Debswana’s Orapa game reserve in Botswana, but this move suddenly became urgent. In the next couple of weeks the rhino will be moved to the reserve, joining 13 others which will form the core of a new breeding herd.

Orapa game reserve is a 10000ha, securely fenced reserve between Debswana’s Orapa diamond mine and the Makgadikgadi Pans, in the remote northeast of the country. Last week it became the 10th property in the De Beers Diamond Route portfolio and the first outside SA.

This will be Botswana’s second breeding herd. The first was established at the Khama Rhino Sanctuary in the early 1990s by the local community and conservationists, including Ian Khama, now the country’s president. The sanctuary has about 35 rhino, mostly white.

Botswana’s rhino population was decimated by hunting and poaching a long time before SA experienced its recent onslaught. By 1992 Botswana had only 20 white rhino left and black rhino were officially extinct. Today its rhino population is about 170, most privately owned.

Botswana’s rhino population was decimated by hunting and poaching a long time before SA experienced its recent onslaught.

That’s tiny compared with SA, which has about 18000 of the world’s total population of various species of rhino, estimated at 20000. This has made it a magnet for poachers seeking rhino horn for the Asian market . Last year, 400 rhino were poached in SA. In the first two months of this year, 50 were killed.

De Beers and Debswana chairman Nicky Oppenheimer says serious thinking needs to be done around the merits of making trade in rhino horn legal. There should be plenty of horn from all the rhino that died naturally in the past 50 years, and rhino can re grow horns if properly de horned. If sufficient horn was available to meet demand, the price should fall and there would be no incentive to poach, he says.

But, he adds, it’s a complex issue and such a suggestion would probably meet opposition from NGOs.

Oppenheimer says he was approached by Orapa game reserve to borrow the two rhino and he and wife Strilli felt it would be better for them “to live the good life” at Orapa. The pair of rhino are living in a relatively small area, at high risk from poaching, and the Oppenheimers feel being part of a larger herd would be a better environment for them.

Erik Verynne, consultant to Orapa’s rhino breeding project, says the difficulties facing the country’s herds include poaching, a limited genetic pool and a surplus of males. The country is reassessing its rhino conservation strategy, with plans to improve the male:female ratio and genetic diversity. Botswana’s target is 200 rhino by 2016 and Orapa’s contribution has boosted numbers.

Khama told guests at the launch of Orapa’s breeding programme last week that Botswana will use its security forces to protect its rhino. He called on local communities to help and said poachers stepping into Botswana would feel the full force of the law. “People coming into Botswana to poach should be aware that it will be a very high- risk undertaking,” he said.

Please sign petition:- http://wildernessfoundation.co.za/savetherhinos/#


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