Ivory Trade Video: Suspected Poachers in Kenya Kill Two Wildlife Rangers

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July 19th –NAIROBI, KENYA — The Kenya Wildlife Service says two wildlife rangers were killed Thursday responding to dozens of suspected poachers in the Kipini Conservatory game reserve on Kenya’s coast. 

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Officials say the suspected poachers were armed with AK-47 rifles and opened fire on several rangers who were responding to a poaching incident inside the reserve.

Kenyan Wildlife Service spokesman Paul Mbugua says the rangers were actually attacked twice and one of the two men killed was a commander. One poacher was also killed.

“Then after that particular incident the rangers made a tactical withdrawal and then later they moved in to collect the body of the fallen ranger, and as they moved in to collect the body, the poachers were lying in wait,” he said. “They actually set up an ambush, and the rangers together with the police they were fired at, and during that second incident, which occurred at five in the evening, one of our officers who was actually the officer commanding the team actually went down.”

Mbugua said poachers are getting bold and patient. He said that after the first shooting incident, poachers had to lie low for up to five hours, waiting for the rangers to come back, knowing eventually they will come to collect the body of their fallen ranger.

“They are extremely brave and this is what we have been communicating, and you can see they are very sophisticated. One particular poacher had 208 rounds on him, he had three magazines for his firearm and he had other rounds of ammunitions of course in his possession,” he said. “And that tells you that these guys are willing to go to any length to ensure that they get their way.”

According to a recent United Nations Environment Program study, the number of elephants illegally killed in Africa has doubled over the last decade, reaching 25,000 killed in 2012, while the ivory trade has tripled in size.

Experts say the poaching of African elephants is at an all-time high, raising the possibility that the species could become extinct this century.

Trade in ivory was made illegal in 1989. Demand for ivory remains high in Asia, however, where it is used for ornaments and traditional medicine.

News Link:http://www.voanews.com/content/suspected-poachers-in-kenya-kill-two-wildlife-rangers/1705521.html

Petitions to sign please, also in above menu:-

Petition to Save Africas Elephants Ban Thai Ivory Trade

Published on 13 Jan 2013

Every day in the savannas and forests of Africa, elephants are being gunned down for their ivory tusks. Across the continent, tens of thousands of these majestic animals are being slaughtered each year. In many places the species has already been poached to extinction. If we don’t act now there may be no wild elephants left.
Elephant poaching is being driven by demand for ivory carvings and trinkets in Asia where many consumers think “elephant teeth” simply fall out and re-grow without hurting the animal. The truth is that ivory comes from dead elephants.
In Thailand, elephants are revered as sacred. There is a saying that there would be no Thailand without the elephant. But Thailand is also the biggest unregulated market for ivory in the world. Although it is against the law to sell ivory from African elephants in Thailand, ivory from domestic Thai elephants can be sold legally. As a result, massive quantities of illegal African ivory are being laundered through Thai shops. 
To save Africa’s elephants it is essential that Thailand closes this legal loophole.

Join us in asking Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to ban all ivory trade in Thailand.
Representatives from 176 governments will be meeting in Bangkok March 3-14 to discuss global wildlife trade issues, including the elephant poaching crisis. While the eyes of the world are turned to Thailand, we want to present 1 million signatures to Mrs Sinawatra.

Sign the petition and tell the Thai Prime Minister to ban ivory trade and save Africa’s elephants!

“Dear Prime Minister Sinawatra, we are greatly concerned about the record levels of elephant poaching in Africa. Demand for illegal ivory products could drive the species to extinction in Africa, and Thailand’s elephants could be next. You can save them. We urge you to ban all ivory trade in Thailand to give elephants their best chance of survival.”
For more information:
http://www.wwf.or.th/killthetrade
http://www.panda.org/ban

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Would Anyone Buy Ivory If They Had Witnessed This Cruel Slaughter?

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Posted 23 August 2012 

I’ve had so many wonderful days in Africa, there was bound to be tough one.

Former Chinese NBA player and WildAid ambassador Yao Ming observes the carcass of a poached elephant in Namunyak, Kenya. Photograph: Kristian Schmidt/WildAid/EPA

Earlier this week, I witnessed how illegal ivory was obtained, along with Peter Knights, executive director of WildAid , with whom I’ve worked for several years now. With the help of Kenya Wildlife Service, we travelled via helicopter to access the carcasses. Iain Douglas-Hamilton of Save the Elephants  had spotted the bodies from the air in his small plane, and marked the spot for our pilot to bring down the chopper in a dry riverbed. It was so tight we did a little hedge trimming on the way down.

Not 20 yards away, I saw the body of an elephant poached for its ivory three weeks ago. Its face had been cut off by poachers and its body scavenged by hyenas, scattering bones around the area. A sad mass of skin and bone. The smell was overwhelming and seemed to cling to us, even after we left.

I really was speechless. After seeing these animals up close and watching them interact in loving and protective family groups, it was heart wrenching and deeply depressing to see this one cruelly taken before its time.

People, like Iain, have spent their lives studying and living intimately with these animals and now, just like in 1989 before the international ivory trade was banned, they must spend their lives looking for bodies, using metal detectors to find bullets and conducting autopsies.

Before the international ivory trade ban, in addition to legal ivory from natural deaths, huge amounts of illegal ivory were laundered into the trade despite years of attempted regulation. This “regulated” trade led to the halving of elephant numbers from 1.2 million to around 600,000 in two decades. West, central and east Africa were hardest hit, while southern African populations remained stable and even increased.

Post-ban, the price of ivory fell to a quarter of its previous levels as markets in the US, Europe and much of the world, collapsed. For a number of years, elephant numbers stabilised and poaching declined. Some South African countries pushed for re-opening ivory trade for their stockpiles, but each time this was done, poaching increased again on speculation of a renewed market.

Theoretically, I’m told we could have a market in ivory supplied from elephants that die naturally. But unfortunately, with the high amount of money at stake, few will wait for the elephant to die to make a profit. There are too many people with access to weapons to do the killing here and too many people ready to buy the ivory without questioning how it was obtained.

Read the rest of this News Link:http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/aug/23/ivory-slaughter-yao-ming

Using Chinese star power to fight ivory poaching in Africa – August 28, 2012

The biggest demand for ivory is in China, so conservationists are trying to teach Chinese consumers about poaching – with the help of Chinese celebrities like Yao Ming.

Former NBA star Yao Ming visits an elephant orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya.

The former athlete is urging his fellow Chinese to stop purchasing ivory products.

William Davies/Special to The Christian Science Monitor.

He is one of a dozen of China’s most famous actors, athletes, talk-show hosts, and musicians lending their names to recent conservation campaigns inside their homeland.

Many are directed by WildAid , a charity based in San Francisco, which uses slick television advertisements featuring these superstars and the simple slogan, “When the buying stops, the killing will too.”

Such ads are now common on Chinese television. Anti-poaching posters with similar slogans fill billboards in Chinese cities, including one hoisted above a subway station serving Guangzhou city’s famous Ivory Street.

“To win this battle against poaching, we need multiple approaches,” Yao told the Monitor during his visit to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust , which runs the elephant orphanage.

“What I am trying to do is to raise people’s awareness, to show them the reality of the ivory business. When the killing of elephants happens 10,000 miles away from you, it’s easy to hide yourself from that truth. If we show people, they will stop buying ivory. Then elephants will stop dying.”

Traditionally, the fight against poachers has been carried out by rangers patrolling Africa’s savannas and forests, and by sniffer dogs and customs officials scouring its air- and seaports.

Read the rest of this news:http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/2012/0828/Using-Chinese-star-power-to-fight-ivory-poaching-in-Africa

Unimaginable horror as helicopter-borne poachers massacre 22 elephants before hacking off their tusks and genitals  PUBLISHED: 23:35, 24 April 2012 | UPDATED: 23:53, 24 April 2012

In a scene of inconceivable horror, these slaughtered elephant carcasses show the barbaric lengths poachers will go to in their hunt for nature’s grim booty.

The bodies were among a herd of 22 animals massacred in a helicopter-borne attack by professionals who swooped over their quarry.

The scene beneath the rotor blades would have been chilling – panicked mothers shielding their young, hair-raising screeches and a mad scramble through the blood-stained bush as bullets rained down from the sky.

Barbaric: In a scene too graphic to show in full, the carcasses of some of the 22 massacred elephants lay strewn across Garamba National Park in the Congo after being gunned down by helicopter-borne poachers

When the shooting was over, all of the herd lay dead, one of the worst such killings in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo in living memory.

Conservation group TRAFFIC, which monitors the global trade in animals and plants, said 2011 was the worst year for large ivory seizures in the more than two decades it has been running a database tracking the trends.

Conservationists say there was a spike in the mid 1990s driven by emerging Chinese demand that bubbled for a few years, then dropped off as red flags were raised.

Endangered: A White Rhino and her calf walk in the dusk light in Pilanesberg National Park. More than 180 have been killed in South Africa so far this year Zimbabwe-based Tom Milliken, who manages TRAFFIC’s Elephant Trade Information System, said since 2004 ‘the trend has been escalating upwards again, dramatically so over the last three years.

‘Ben Janse van Rensburg, head of enforcement for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the international treaty that governs trade in plants and animals, said: ‘The biggest challenge is that in the last few years there has been a big shift from your ordinary poachers to your organized crime groups.

‘This was on display in Congo last month, where investigators determined the poachers shot from the air because of the trajectory of the bullet wounds.

Helicopters do not come cheaply and their use points to a high level of organization. Ken Maggs, the head of the environmental crimes investigation unit for South African National Parks, said one person recently arrested for trade in rhino horn had 5.1 million rand ($652,400) in cash in the boot of his car.

South Africa is the epicentre of rhino poaching beecause it hosts virtually the entire population of white rhino – 18,800 head or 93 per cent – and about 40 per cent of Africa’s much rarer black rhino.

As of the middle of April, 181 rhinos had been killed in South Africa in 2012, according to official government data.At this rate, more than 600 will be lost to poachers this year compared with 448 in 2011.A decade ago, only a handful were being taken.

Read The Rest News Linkhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2134696/Scene-unimaginable-horror-helicopter-borne-poachers-massacre-22-elephants.html#ixzz24VEQyMBX

Published on 10 Aug 2012 by 

Warning: Contains Graphic Images

Over 300 elephants were killed between January and March 2012 when heavily-armed foreign poachers invaded Cameroon’s Bouba N’Djida National Park. Entire elephant populations could be wiped out from Central Africa if ivory poaching and wildlife trade continue unabated. Tens of thousands of elephants are killed each year for their tusks which are in high demand in Asian black markets.

Help WWF Stop Wildlife Crime! Visit http://www.worldwildlife.org/sites/stop-wildlife-crime/index.html

We need your help to save wildlife and people from becoming victims of wildlife crime. Join our campaign and help us:

  • Push governments to protect threatened animal populations by increasing law enforcement, imposing strict deterrents, reducing demand for endangered species products and honoring international commitments made under CITES.
  • Speak up on behalf of those on the frontlines being threatened by armed poachers so they are properly equipped, trained and compensated.
  • Reduce demand for illegal wildlife parts and products by encouraging others to ask questions and get the facts before buying any wildlife or plant product.

Together we can stop wildlife crime.

Link:-http://worldwildlife.org/pages/stop-wildlife-crime

Petitions:-

http://www.bloodyivory.org/petition

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/no_more_bloody_ivory/

http://www.avaaz.org/en/protect_the_elephants/

http://www.change.org/petitions/cambodian-government-stop-the-illegal-ivory-trade

https://www.change.org/petitions/stop-killing-african-elephants-for-illegal-ivory-trade

Hyena Pack Attacks Sleeping Family, Kills 2 Children, Injures Others

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A pack of hyenas killed two children and injured six other members of a family in a savage mauling in the middle of the night in the town of Wajir, Kenya. The entire family was sleeping in a traditional home in a family compound, called a “manyatta,” near Dilmanyale village.

Ten-year-old boy, Musa Jelle, was badly injured and left with deep wounds and slashes on his body and face from the teeth and claws of the catlike hyenas. The boy was first admitted at Garissa District hospital but was airlifted to the capital city Nairobi on Thursday by the Kenya Wildlife Service for further treatment. “The boy’s condition has since deteriorated,” said the KWS.

The other five injured members of the family were admitted at Habaswein District Hospital, where they were treated soon after the attack and released. Burials for the deceased children were quickkly performed.

The Kenyan Wildlife Service is responsible for game parks and wildlife in Kenya and has pursued and killed the hyenas. It has also paid the family’s medical costs and donated 20,000 Kenyan shillings (£150) to them as ‘consolation.‘  The amount is equivalent to approximately $230 in American dollars.

Attacks by wild animals in the area have increased, with 18 people killed so far this year, according to the NY Daily News. The nocturnal hunters are coming into conflict with humans more frequently as the human population increases in Africa. In some places, especially where they have attacked livestock, hyenas are heavily hunted as pests.

The Kenya Wildlife Service said its rangers are working in the community near the recent attack to educate people about ways to prevent conflict with hyenas and other wild animals.

Hyenas are most commonly known as scavengers that eat the remains of dead animals left by other predators, but as this tragic incident demonstrates, they can also be bold and powerful hunters. According to the African Wildlife Foundation hyenas can weigh up to 190 pounds, and despite their reputation as “laughing” cowards that usually go after the easiest prey, and they can be very aggressive and dangerous.

The spotted hyena is believed to have diverged from the striped and brown hyena 10 million years ago. Ancestral spotted hyenas probably developed social behaviors in response to increased competition from rivals over carcasses, thus forcing them to operate in teams. Because of the structure of their teeth and jaws, they did not need to wait for their prey to die, and thus became pack hunters as well as scavengers

The following video demonstrates the strength and speed of hyenas as one pursues a cheetah to steal fresh prey and is joined by a pack.

VIDEO:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwD5qoRGSNc (German)

News Link:-http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/animal-rights/hyena-pack-attacks-sleeping-family-kills-2-children-injures-others

 

Lions speared: Kenya’s human-animal conflicts grow

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ILKEEK-LEMEDUNG’I, Kenya (AP) – Crouching in the savannah’s tall grass, the lions tore through the flesh of eight goats in the early morning invasion. Dogs barked, women screamed and the men with the rank of warrior in this village of Maasai tribesman gathered their spears.

Kenya Wildlife Service rangers responded to the attack, but without a vet, and no way to tranquilize the eight attacking lions and remove them from Ilkeek-Lemedung’I, a collection of mud, stone and iron-sheeting homes 40 kilometers (25 miles) outside Nairobi, not far from the edges of Nairobi National Park.

In the end, the Maasai men – who come from a tribe renowned for hunting skills – grew tired of waiting for the vet, said Charity Kingangir, whose father’s goats were attacked. The men speared the lions, killing six: two adult lionesses, two younger lions and two cubs.

The lions had killed eight goats, each worth about $60.

Ref. Only

The deaths Wednesday of the six lions came one week after residents from another village on Nairobi’s outskirts killed a leopard that had eaten a goat. Last month KWS agents shot and killed a lion moving around the Nairobi suburb of Karen. And KWS said three lions attacked and killed three goats outside Nairobi National Park early Thursday. Rangers chased the lions back to the park.

Four days before the Maasai killed the six lions, KWS sent out a public notice pleading with people who encounter wild animals “to desist from killing them.” Such animals are dangerous, it said.

KWS summed up the problem in a posting on its Facebook page on Thursday: “Do animals invade human space, or do humans invade animal space? How can we find tolerance for our wild neighbors? And how can we humanely remove them when they get a bit too close?”

As Kenya’s capital enjoys a boom in apartment and road construction, an expanding population center is putting heavy pressure on Kenya’s famed wildlife, especially its big cats. Nairobi National Park is the only wildlife park in the world that lies in a country’s capital city.

Humans have killed about 100 lions a year over each of the last seven years, leaving the country with 2,000. Killing lions in Kenya is a crime, but Kenyans who lose livestock to big cats frequently retaliate. Lions, especially ones who leave Nairobi National Park, which is not completely fenced in, are at risk. After the killing of the six, KWS believes the park has 37 left.

As Nairobi continues to grow, small towns on its outskirts are cropping up and expanding, in part fuelled by the demand for low-cost housing from the city’s working class.

Humans are settling in traditional migratory corridors that wildlife from Nairobi’s park have long used to access the plains to the south around Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, or to travel to Kenya’s Maasai Mara in the country’s southwest, said Peter M. Ngau, a professor in the department of urban and regional planning at the University of Nairobi.

The herbivores migrate from the park in search of pasture during the dry season and the carnivores follow, KWS official Ann Kahihia said.

“Unfortunately the carnivores do not know the difference between livestock and wild animals. Once they get livestock they just kill them,” Kahihia said.

KWS Director Julius Kipngetich has said the human population in the Kitengela area, where the six lions were killed, was low in the 1990s but following the establishment of an export processing zone, where raw imported goods are made into products, the number of people living there grew dramatically.

The second biggest migration of animals in Kenya – the biggest being the migration between Serengeti National Park in neighboring Tanzania and Maasai Mara – was that of the wildebeests from Nairobi National Park to the Athi plains to Nairobi’s east. But that migration has been squeezed because of human settlement, he said.

If parliament approves, the Kenyan government will start compensating those whose animals are maimed or killed by wildlife as an incentive to spare the attacking animals. KWS spokesman Paul Udoto said the government stopped compensation for wildlife attacks in 1987 after the program was abused.

Kipngetich said other ways of avoiding human-wildlife conflict is to fence parks and compensate at market rates people whose land may be used for conservation purposes.

Jackson Sikeet, who was present during Wednesday’s killing of the lions, said the government should compensate the Maasai for the loss of the goats.

“Otherwise if they don’t, this problem is going to continue every other time,” Sikeet said.

News Link:-http://www.wqow.com/story/18846487/lions-speared-kenyas-human-animal-conflicts-grow

One More Elephant …Eight Orphans Left Behind

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A Pitiful Tragedy We Could Have Prevented

She was the oldest and the wisest.

She had successfully raised eight babies.

She was a celebrated character in the Samburu area of northern Kenya where she lived.

She was an elephant called Khadija.

Now she is dead.  Eight orphans left behind.

The tide of brutal, relentless poaching that is sweeping Africa carried her away, as it has thousands of nameless others, in a continent-wide carnage visited on elephants by the world’s most powerful, most dangerous and most egotistical species — the human being.

Khadija

We knew a lot more about Khadija because she was one of the elephants studied by the world’s leading elephant scientist, Dr. Iain Douglas Hamilton, founder of Save The Elephants.

Her radio collar discreetly opened our eyes to the intimate secrets of her life. The paths to water, the forests where the best browse could be found, the deepest and safest thickets. But even her wisdom, Iain’s vigilance and the determined efforts of Kenya Wildlife Service rangers could not protect her.

When bloody ivory sells for up to $700 a pound and when the hundreds of millions of wealthy Chinese middle class — the bafahu — can afford to buy it, then no wild elephant is safe.

So Khadija is gone. A wasted life, snuffed out to satisfy human vanity and greed.

How many more will follow her before we say “enough”?

Blogging off

Will Travis

P.S. If you want to help protect the survivors then please support Born Free USA‘s Elephant Defense Fund.

News Link:-http://www.bornfreeusa.org/bfusablog.php?p=2896&more=1

Dogs sniff out poachers

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Rhino poachers often manage to elude law enforcement officials, but now the SANParks Honorary Rangers are sponsoring a project to train tracker dogs.

Counter poaching has a new face and it’s adorable. Three foxhounds with warm brown eyes and floppy ears have joined the fight to bring poachers to justice.

Foxhounds have excellent tracking abilities and the three dogs are being trained to ignore animal spoor in favour of their human quarry. Starting in March, the dogs and
their handlers will learn to operate in wilderness situations

and it is hoped they will be deployed in the Kruger National Park before the end of the year.

The dogs will form part of a rapid reaction squad and will help the counter  poaching team track poachers faster and more efficiently, preventing them from escaping capture by fleeing across the borders of the park.

The SANParks Honorary Rangers made this project possible with a R43 000 donation through the Unite Against Poaching sponsorship. This initiative by Unitrans Volkswagen and Audi donates R500 for every car sold through their dealerships. So it is fitting that the foxhounds have been named Kombi, Jetta and Chico.aching team track poachers faster and more efficiently, preventing them from escaping capture by fleeing across the borders of the park.

News link:-Wild Card

One Rhino poached as seven suspected poachers arrested

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An eight-year-old female rhino has been illegally killed in Tsavo West National Park. The rhino carcass was sighted in Ngulia Sanctuary within the expansive park by a Kenya Wildlife Service aerial patrol team. Further investigation revealed that the three-day old carcass had neither bullet wounds nor any other visible injury. However, its horn was missing; a clear case of poaching. Investigators are following crucial leads and hope to unravel the exact circumstances of the killing and bring the culprits to book.


Elsewhere, seven suspected poachers have been arrested and two illegally held firearms recovered in separate incidents across the country in the last one week.

A total of five elephant tusks were recovered in Nyahururu, South Turkana and Isiolo. Two of these were recovered at Lonyek in Nyahururu  where one suspected poacher arrested. One  tusk was found at Kainuk in South Turkana and one suspect taken in. A further two elephant tusks were recovered in Banane area of Isiolo County and a suspect booked in at Maua Police Station. One M16 rifle and one round of ammunition were recovered in Narok in the Mau Mosiro Kiti area. The suspect was booked in at the Narok Police Station.  The second firearm, an AK-47 rifle and 39 rounds of ammunition, were recovered in Mbale area of the Taita Ranches and one suspect seized.

In Mau complex, Kenya Wildlife Service teams arrested two suspects and recovered an assortment of poaching gears, including poison, one bow, 19 arrows, a knife, matchbox, eland skin, 56 feathers of a vulture and a motor bike. The suspects were booked in at Narok Police Station.  The suspects will be arraigned in various courts once investigations are complete.

KWS has strengthened its law enforcement capacity and enhanced collaboration with other security agencies to address escalating poaching.  Efforts to secure wildlife will remain in high gear to ensure wildlife safety. Much of the success attained in apprehending criminals and recovering illegal trophies and firearms is attributed to information provided by the public.

News Link:- KWS.org

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