Video: China Ivory Crackdown Welcomed

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CHINA has destroyed more than six tonnes of illegal ivory, in a move welcomed as an important signal the country backs action to stop elephant poaching.

China has destroyed six tonnes of illegal ivory in a move to stop elephant poaching. Source: AAP

The ivory, which is sought-after in China for making ornaments, was seized from the illegal trade and has been crushed into powder by the Chinese government.

Conservationists say China is the world’s largest consumer of trafficked ivory, most of which comes from elephants killed in Africa, and the move sends a signal of the government’s commitment to tackling the problem.

Destruction of the ivory, from more than 600 dead elephants, comes just weeks after eight Chinese citizens were convicted and sentenced to between three and 15 years imprisonment for smuggling some 3.2 tonnes of ivory.

“The destruction of seized ivory makes an important public statement that, in conjunction with other government-led efforts to reduce demand, has the potential to have a significant impact on the illegal market for ivory,” said Tom Milliken, from Wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic.

Image comment: China will destroy ivory stockpile on January 6, 2014 Image credits: The Telegraph

“China’s actions, more than those of any other country, have the potential to reverse the rising trends of elephant poaching and illegal ivory trafficking.”

China has a legal ivory market based on stocks that pre-date a global ban on ivory trade imposed in 1989, and on stocks which were part of a legal “one-off” sale from four African countries in 2008, but the seized ivory cannot be be used for commercial purposes under international rules.

Gabon, the Philippines and the United States have all recently destroyed stockpiles of ivory 

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In India, Poachers Are Now Killing Elephants With Electrified Power Lines

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This year, 295 elephants have died in Odisha, India; 61 by electrocution.

In India, elephant poaching has taken an electrifying turn—literally.

An Indian elephant calf makes hearts melt. (Photo: Phil Noble/Reuters)

In an attempt to stay one step ahead of the local authorities, poachers in the Ganjam district of Odisha, India, are configuring power lines into homemade, electrocution tripwires, which they are using to kill elephants. Two hundred ninety-five elephants have died in Odisha so far; 61 of those deaths have occurred because of some kind of electrocution.

This has caused a controversy between Odisha’s wildlife conservation and energy department officials. The former believe the poaching is made possible by lax regulation of the power lines; they believe that electricity has spread to rural areas without any supervision by Odisha’s electric companies. The wildlife officers have suggested several remedies, including building taller, more insulated power lines, to help ensure the elephants’ safety. Others suggest cutting off power to areas with large elephant populations during strategic migratory periods.

The energy officials believe that they are not responsible for the illegal poaching. They assert that it is up to the wildlife agency, not the electric companies, to prosecute the poachers. The chief executive officer of Southco, the area’s electric company, told the Times of India that the company has heightened transmission wires and is taking other measures to protect the elephants.

Sadly, poaching is not the only danger to the Indian elephant species. Destruction of their habitat and food sources is also an increasingly serious threat. Elephants are being driven out of their natural habitats, which forces them closer to villages and farmers.  The close human-elephant proximity usually leads to even more poaching.

Instead of wasting time trying to determine what government agency is at fault, action must be taken to end elephant poaching. Administrators have stepped up the number of patrols in the Ganjam District in attempts to discourage poachers. But with a worldwide Asian Elephant population of fewer than 20,000, a number that conservation experts agree is frighteningly low, that may not be enough to protect these animals.

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Kumki elephant Kavita dies at BRT

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R.I.P Kavitha age 73, I hope you are now happy having crossed Rainbow Bridge. Kavitha was captured in Kakanakote forest in 1977.  BRT stands for:- Biligiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary or simply BRT Wildlife Sanctuary!”

MYSORE: Fears of alleged neglect of by the forest department have come true with the death of Kavita, a Kumki elephant, at the K Gudi camp in BRT wildlife sanctuary on Sunday.

Confirming the death, a source said camp officials reportedly failed to treat the elephant which was suffering from old age problems. “The elephant may have died of old age problems, but doctors failed to treat it,” a wildlife expert told TOI.

On Saturday, TOI had reported about Kavita’s suffering and the alleged neglect of officials to treat it.

Director of BRT wildlife sanctuary Vijay Mohan Raj had denied neglecting the elephant and claimed that the elephant was responding to treatment.

Kavita had participated in several Dasara processions in the past. It had lost its vision and was therefore left out of the list of Kumki elephants for this year.

Kumki elephants are female pachyderms accompanying the male elephants participating in Dasara processions.

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Grand reception: The elephants at the Mysore palace. Photo: M.A. Sriram

Gentle and tolerant, or tough and strong, elephants have character traits too…

This is that time of the year when elephants are in the limelight in Mysore.

Elephants have been brought from the jungle camps to Mysore, to participate in the Dasara festivities to be held from October 8 to 17.

Leading them is the elephant Balarama who will carry the 750 kg golden howdah on the day of the Vijayadashmi procession which is also called Jamboo Savari.

Getting to know them

Balarama is 52 years old and his height is 2.70 metres. He was caught at the Kattepura forest in Kodagu district in 1987 and has participated in the Mysore Dassera 16 times. A gentle giant with a mild temperament, Balarama is an affable elephant, according to his mahout. Keeping him company is Arjuna – 49 years old and 2.65 metres tall. He was brought to Mysore as long ago as 1969 from the Hebbala forests. But this tusker is aggressive when he gets annoyed.

Gajendra is another giant of 2.8 metres. Trapped in 1987 from Kattepura in Kodagu, he is affable and participates in the various religious ceremonies associated with Dassera.

Abhimanyu, at 44, is a “toughie” and a “hard task master”. He is used by the forest department to tame wild elephants on the rampage. Sarala and Varalakshmi also feature regularly in the Dasara celebrations.

The second batch of six elephants comprise the mighty Srirama, Mary, Vikrama, Harsha, Kavitha and Kanti who will join Balarama and company next week to prepare for the annual event .

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The second batch of Dasara elephants arrived at the Palace premises here on Saturday afternoon. 2010

Six jumbos-Srirama, Kanthi, Vikrama, Kavitha, Mary and Harsha were given a ceremonial welcome by the forest officials on their arrival. These elephants would be part of the first batch of jumbos led by howdah elephant Balarama to take part in the Vijayadashami procession, to be held as the grand finale of the nine-day Dasara festivities. In all, the 12 elephants would camp in Palace premises for the next 20 days till the Dasara celebrations come to an end.

The mahouts and their families of the six elephants also accompanied the jumbos.
The 53-year old Srirama is brought from K Gudi camp and has took part in Dasara for 13 years. While, Kanthi and Kavitha took part in Vijayadasahami for seven times and are brought from the same camp. Vikrama from Dubare camp will be taking part in Dasara for 10th time and Harsha from Dubare has took part in dasara festivities for 11 years. The elephant Mary will be taking part in Dasara for 10th time and is brought from Sunka- dakatte camp(Hunsur).

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Video – Circus controversy: Should elephants be allowed? Vote

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See Link Below for Video

The circus is in town this long weekend, and as preparations for the show get underway, what’s going on underneath the big top isn’t without controversy.

The treatment of animals in circuses has long been a controversial topic.

However, organizers with the Royal Canadian Circus, which is touring parts of Alberta this week, says they exceed standards when it comes to how they treat their animals.

The Royal Canadian says they care for all the animals, and don’t believe they should be hurt during any form of training, further insisting the elephants enjoy the social atmosphere of entertaining.

“What we ask our animals to do is nothing they wouldn’t do in the wild. There isn’t one trick you’ll ever see that is something not their nature to do. We just teach them to do it on cue, and complimentary to the performance,” says Larry Solheim, Royal Canadian Circus.

However, there are those who don’t agree with the use of animals in circuses.

Animal Defenders International has successfully stopped the use of animals in circuses in Bolivia and Peru, but say it’s been challenging here in Canada, calling our animal welfare laws ‘pitiful’.

“These elephants are trying to get onto this little tub, then she had them on a tiny rotating stool with one leg. Elephants don’t do that,” says Carol Tracey, Animal Defenders International.

The people with the Royal Canadian Circus say they shouldn’t be judged based on what other circuses do.

The circus runs this weekend in the parking lot at the Crossroads Furniture Market

Do you elephants belong in the circus?

No, there should be a ban on all exotic animals.  86.27%

Yes, as long as they are cared for appropriately.  13.73% 

Please vote at the link below  – Stats. at time of posting!
Read it on Global News: Global Calgary | Circus controversy: Should elephants be allowed?

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Cynthia Moss on Elephant Mothers

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“Don’t you just love baby elephants…their just sooooo cute! “



Published on 11 May 2012 by 

Happy Mother’s Day from IFAW

Baltimore Mayor Ignores Pinkett Smith’s Plea for Elephants

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Last week, we wrote about Jada Pinkett-Smith‘s recent letter to the mayor of Baltimore. The actress has asked Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to protect Ringling Bros. elephants by upholding the city’s ban on the use of bullhooks when the circus comes to town.

The mayor has responded, and she has made it clear that she has no plans to ensure Ringling’s elephants are protected while in her city. According to the Baltimore Sun, Rawlings-Blake said she likes the circus and isn’t concerned with the elephants. She also claimed that the actress and Baltimore native has not helped with the city’s problems. “We’ve reached out about homelessness, about school issues. I would have loved to gotten some feedback, support or concern about those issues that are very pressing to the city,” said Rawlings-Blake. 

This seems like a pretty rude response considering all that was asked of her was to enforce a law that has already been passed. Pinkett-Smith’s aunt, Karen Evans, has fired back a response in a letter of her own, and says that the mayor’s claims are false.

“Jada is a proud Baltimorean who has generously given back to her hometown and will continue to do so. I hope that at the end of your administration you will be able to say that you have made as positive an impact as she has,” wrote Evans. She says Pinkett-Smith has donated $1 million to the Baltimore School for the Arts, contributed annually to Associated Black Charities, donated to the Park Heights Community Health Alliance and James Mosher Little League, and contributed to local schools to help buy books. “The mayor should take a little more time in her responses,” Evans added. “I just was very disappointed in her.”

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