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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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.

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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

The Kenyan government is pushing to build a road through Nairobi National Park

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“I have copied & pasted this directly from an email received by my fellow animal warrior, Jill who lives in South Africa”

Dear friends across Africa,

The Kenyan government is pushing to build a road through Nairobi National Park — putting the future of this unique wildlife sanctuary at risk. But the head of the Environment Authority can stop this disaster. Sign the petition now to give him to public mandate he needs to save the park, then forward this email to everyone:

The Kenyan government has just approved the construction of a road that slices through the unique Nairobi National Park. But massive public opposition can give the new head of the Environment Authority the backing he needs to stop this outrageous decision.

Nairobi National Park is an international gem — home to over 100 species of mammals and a sanctuary for the endangered black rhino. But the government’s plans to build a giant bypass through it would set a dangerous precedent, putting all national parks at risk of development. Kenyan biologist Paula Kahumbu is taking the government to court to try and stop the road, but despite the pressure, they are still pushing the Environment Authority to approve this park-killing plan.

If we now add a wave of public opposition, we can strengthen the hand of Environment Authority head Geoffrey Wahungu to defy the government and end the highway plan. Sign the petition now to call on Wahungu to save Nairobi National Park! When we reach 50,000 signatures, we’ll deliver the petition directly to Wahungu and the Kenyan government:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Save_Nairobi_National_Park/?vl

The national park is under enormous stress from a growing city, and conservationists say that this road project could set a precedent for further attempts to expand into the park– if opened to development, this sacred parkland would be worth millions. All the while, alternative routes that avoid the national park have been dismissed without serious investigation. The government says they’ll give the park replacement land, but none has yet been secured and a major road would disrupt the park’s precious ecosystem.

Just last year, public opposition helped defeat a plan to build a road through the heart of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The Kenyan government was strongly opposed to that project on environmental and tourism grounds — but are now applying a double standard.

The government is already under legal pressure, and a public outcry can be the final push that saves Nairobi National Park for good. Sign the petition now to save the park:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Save_Nairobi_National_Park/?vl

The Avaaz community is winning on issues just like this all around the world. Just last year, we joined with Indigenous people in Bolivia to stop a highway that would have sliced through the heart of the Amazon rainforest — and won. Together, we are changing how politics works around the world, and now we can do so again.

With hope,

Alex, Paul, Emily, Ricken, Marie and the whole Avaaz team

PS: This campaign was started by Avaaz member, Mike. You can create your own campaign in just 5 minutes here: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?bv14939

SOURCES:

NEMA threathens to Bypass project (The Star)
http://www.the-star.co.ke/national/national/78286-nema-threatens-to-stop-bypass-project

Kenya government taken to court by conservation fraternity (eTN)
http://www.eturbonews.com/29349/kenya-government-taken-court-conservation-fraternity

Kenya: Tanzania Cancels Road Building in Serengeti (AllAfrica.com)
http://allafrica.com/stories/201106300106.html

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