Elephants ‘shot to eat’

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TWO elephants that dodged poachers, illness and landmines to walk from Mozambique to South Africa have been shot dead and their meat donated to a local chief on the orders of KwaZulu– Natal Wildlife.

The elephants were killed last week even though the provincial nature conservation body, Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, did not have  permits to shoot them.

Parks and People general manager Sifiso Kheswa defended the shooting of the two animals, saying that there had been  numerous phone calls from locals who had contacted him to complain that the animals were threatening them.

African Elephant in South Africa

African Elephant in South Africa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But the shooting was also possibly in violation of Ezemvelo’s policy on dealing with problem animals – which is that, whenever possible, problem animals should be chased away from people or darted and relocated.

The two elephants had been in the same area close to the Tembe Park for more than three weeks, and according to Ezemvelo staff, had not attacked any humans.
They had, however, walked over a small piece of agricultural land, causing minimal damage.

A retired former senior employee of Ezemvelo said that the animals had been shot, under protest, by a conservation manager. The source said that the manager had informed Kheswa that the animals posed little or no threat to humans.

He warned Kheswa in writing that there were no permits to destroy the specially protected animals. But Kheswa ordered the animals to be shot regardless.

The trunks, tusks, ears and feet were removed  and the carcasses donated to a local chief.

The source said: “That was the reason the animals were shot: for their meat.

“The local chief wanted meatEvery year elephants and other animals are killed unnecessarily because locals put pressure on head office to shoot the animals – knowing they will score the meat.”

News link:http://www.citizen.co.za/citizen/content/en/citizen/local-news?oid=334312&sn=Detail&pid=334&Elephants-%E2%80%98shot-to-eat%E2%80%99

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Poachers Kill 40-years Old Elephant In Semiliki National Park

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“I apologise for the distressing picture, it’s both horrific & heartbreaking to see such a magnificent beast slaughtered like this! Humans can be so malevolent, this life taken, all for a little trinket of ivory, it makes me so bloody mad. Seeing it only fuels my anger & makes me want to help as much as I can…hopefully you will feel the same! Elephants are protected, so it’s about bloody time they were…we must make more of an effort to make our voices be heard…so please sign the petition below, it is one of many but the best in terms of helping to stop these atrocities!”

A 40 year old male elephant believed to be the oldest and most peaceful in Semliki wildlife reserve  in western Uganda has been killed by suspected poachers.

Park authorities said the elephant was named Baraka, a Swahili word meaning peace, because it was approachable.

They said most of the visitors to Semliki would almost be sure of an encounter with Baraka. The age of an elephant varies from one area to another. In East Africa, the oldest are normally about 70-75 years, while in South Africa they reach between 60 and 65 years. The world’s known oldest elephant died at 86.

The headless carcass of the peaceful elephant was discovered within Semliki near Kitika in Ntoroko recently. “We heard gunshots one afternoon in the park and we suspected it was either Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials chasing after poachers or poachers taking down a kill,” said Peter Mwanja, a manager at Wild Places. “After failing to get help from UWA, we called the UPDF in the reserve and during the search we came across this elephant’s carcass,” he added.
It is believed Baraka was killed for his huge tusks by poachers. “This was a cruel death. It seems they sliced off the head using a chain saw,” lamented one conservationist.  In a separate incident, Mwanja said about a week ago, while on routine patrol, they found another carcass of young elephant, still with no tusks. “It is very rare to find a young one moving on its own. This is very suspicious. We need more surveillance and investigations,” he said. Semliki has lost seven elephants since January, according to Charles Tumwesigye, the conservation director at the UWA. The last census in the reserve put the population of elephants at only 40.
Tumwesigye said elephant poaching has been increasing over the last two years, pointing out that the rampant killing of elephants is raging in Kenya, Tanzania and Congo. Apart from elephants, Mwanja said other animals such as Uganda Kob were being poached and loaded in small cars like goats. “They even sell the meat on goat stalls,” said, Mwanja adding that poaching was common in Kitika and near the sand river in the Semliki game reserve.
Elephants are protected according to national arid international laws. The Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of wild flora and fauna has for the last two decades listed African elephants in the region as endangered species. But poachers kill elephants for ivory, which is highly sought after in Asian countries such as China for making ornaments.
“Please, sign this petition, this has to stop, the more people that scream, the better we will be heard!”

Amboseli Trust for Elephants

www.elephanttrust.org
The Amboseli Trust for Elephants aims to ensure the long-term conservation and welfare of Africa’s elephants in the context of human needs and pressures through scientific research, training, community outreach, public awareness and advocacy.

Born Free Foundation

www.bornfree.org.uk
The Born Free Foundation is an international wildlife charity working to stop individual wild animal suffering and protect threatened species in the wild.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

www.cites.org
List of all CITES CoP15 Proposals.

Eight suspected tiger poachers held near Pench Tiger Reserve

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BHOPAL: Eight suspected poachers were detained with a metal trap, a knife and others implements allegedly used to electrocute big cats at Linga village of Chhindwara district late on Friday night, close to MP’s Pench Tiger Reserve, which spreads over to Maharashtra. In Maharashtra’s Chandrapur district, a striped-animal was electrocuted and chopped to 11 pieces for costly body parts a week ago.

The detention of the group assumes significance as it comes some 22 days after a warning issued by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) that a big gang has paid advance to Katni district-based local poachers’ gang to kill tiger for body parts for big bucks in international market. In the wake of the NTCA warning, a high alert has been sounded in 42 tiger reserves across the country, including five in the state.

“We have recovered a metal trap, a knife, sharp iron rods, hammers, wires and wooden rods among other things used to kill tiger from their possession. After trapping the big cat, the modus operandi of poachers is that they put the sharp iron rod inside striped animal’s mouth to kill him,” Chhindwara divisional forest officer Ashok Kumar told TOI.

After killing the tiger, the poachers beat it up with wooden rod to loosen its skin and thereafter remove the hide with specially-designed knife, which they have recovered, he said.

Ashok said that the group was also owned one Gypsy jeep and eight motorbikes. “We believe that they had done a recee to kill tiger,” he added.

The arrested have been identified as Sanjesh of Shivpuri district and Zilendar Giri of Sarguja inChhattisgarh while Rai Singh, Dharma, Dhara, Ishwar, Jorawar and Kismat, all hail from Chhitorgarh in Rajasthan.

“We carried out searches at three places in Shivpuri,” Ashok said. He said that right now it was difficult for them to say that if the gang were members belonged to nomadic Pardhi tribe. Pardhi tribe, especially hailing from Katni district was infamous for killing wild animals for an easy living. The big poaching gangs allegedly use this tribe that is believed to have mastered the illegal art of killing wild animals across the country.

News Link:-http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/Eight-suspected-tiger-poachers-held-near-Pench-Tiger-Reserve/articleshow/13537758.cms

It’s Legal To Shoot And Kill Animal Poachers, Indian State Orders

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“Best news I’ve heard all day…its the only way to stop these animals becoming extinct. If the poachers know they are at risk of being shot, hopefully it will make them think twice before risking it for rich moron further up the chain!”

NEW DELHI — A state in western India has declared war on animal poaching by allowing forest guards to shoot hunters on sight in an effort to curb rampant attacks on tigers and other wildlife.

The government in Maharashtra says injuring or killing suspected poachers will no longer be considered a crime.

Forest guards should not be “booked for human rights violations when they have taken action against poachers,” Maharashtra Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam said Tuesday. The state also will send more rangers and jeeps into the forest, and will offer secret payments to informers who give tips about poachers and animal smugglers, he said.

No tiger poachers have ever been shot in Maharashtra, though cases of illegal loggers and fishermen being shot have led to charges against forest guards, according to the state’s chief wildlife warden, S.W.H. Naqvi.

But the threat could act as a significant deterrent to wildlife criminals, conservationists said. A similar measure allowing guards to fire on poachers in Assam has helped the northeast state’s population of endangered one-horned rhinos recover.

“These poachers have lost all fear. They just go in and poach what they want because they know the risks are low,” said Divyabhanusinh Chavda, who heads the World Wildlife Fund in India and is a key member of the National Wildlife Board, which advises the prime minister. In many of India’s reserves, guards are armed with little more than sticks.

India faces intense international scrutiny over its tiger conservation, as it holds half of the world’s estimated 3,200 tigers in dozens of wildlife reserves set up since the 1970s, when hunting was banned.

Illegal poaching remains a stubborn and serious threat, with tiger parts in particular fetching high prices on the black market because of demand driven by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners.

Read the rest of this post here:-http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2012/05/24/its-legal-to-shoot-and-kill-animal-poachers-indian-state-order/

Poacher admits to killing tiger 45 days ago

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BHOPAL: A tiger was killed in Shivpuri district some 45 days ago by one of the eight poachers, who were arrested in Chhindwara district on the charge of planning to lay trap for electrocuting a big cat in Pench Tiger Reserve.

The eight accused were detained on Friday and produced in a court on Sunday after forest department officials registered cases against them at ChhindwaraExcept Sanjesh who admitted to killing the striped animal in Shivpuri, all others Zilendar Giri of Sarguja in Chhattisgarh and Rai Singh, Dharma, Dhara, Ishwar, Jorawar and Kismat hailing from Chhitorgarh in Rajasthan have been sent to jail. The court sent Sanjesh in forest department remand for five days, Chhindwara divisional forest officer Ashok Kumar told TOI.

“We are going to grill Sanjesh, who hails from Shivpuri, and that is why we sought his remand. He might spill some more vital beans regarding poaching given he had been in Hoshangabad housing Satpura tiger reserve some days ago, ” Kumar said.

After Sanjesh confessed of having killed a tiger in Shivpuri, the officials are now planning to carry out searches at some places to recover the body parts of big cat. 

Two days back, the accused were detained with a metal trap, a knife and others implements used to electrocute big cat, at Linga village of Chhindwara district, close to MP’s Pench tiger reserve, which spreads over to Maharashtra.

News Link:-http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/Poacher-admits-to-killing-tiger-45-days-ago/articleshow/13578572.cms

Alaska trapper shoots horse, uses it as wolf bait and snares important female wolf from Denali National Park

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In an incident somewhat reminiscent of the “bad old days” of the Wild West, a trapper from Healy, Alaska apparently hauled a dead horse out to an area off the Stampede Trail near the boundary of Denali National Park – an area made famous by the 1996 book “Into the Wild” – and set snares all around the area hoping to catch wolves attracted to the carcass.

Wolves from Denali National Park were drawn to the dead horse, resulting in the killing of a primary reproductive female wolf from the Grant Creek (also called Toklat West) pack from the park, along with at least one other wolf.

It is unknown how long the two wolves were alive in the snares before being killed and collected by the trapper. In addition, the only other breeding female from the Grant Creek pack was just found dead yesterday near her den, and thus it seems certain that there will be no pups in this pack this year. The Grant Creek wolf pack has been one of the three packs most often viewed in Denali National Park.

The snares, set by Healy guide Coke Wallace, were on state lands along the north border of the national park, and within the former protected “Denali buffer” where from 2002 – 2010 trapping and hunting of wolves was prohibited to protect the park’s wolves. Ignoring several proposals and hundreds of supporting comments from citizens in 2010 to expand the no-take Denali wolf buffer zone – including a proposal from Denali National Park itself – the Alaska Board of Game instead eliminated the protective buffer altogether. At the same time, the Board also imposed a moratorium on future consideration of any Denali wolf protection buffer proposals until 2016. Some have questioned the legality of the Board restricting public process in such a way.

While the Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADFG) say the incident does not violate state law, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) is looking at potential violations of state water quality regulations, which prohibit discarding carcasses in surface waters of the state

Of concern in this incident is that the Grant Creek female was killed just after the mating season for Denali wolves (which is late February — early March), and thus it is likely that she was pregnant with what would have been a new litter of pups (perhaps this family group’s only litter), when she was killed. Last year, park service biologists observed her nursing pups at the ancient Murie den, thus she would likely have been preparing to do so again this year. As such, her death causes a significant loss of new pups/recruitment to this important pack, and thus a loss of viewing opportunities for the many thousands of visitors to the park wanting to see wolves in the wild.

The Grant Creek wolf family group (“pack”) may be one of the longest-studied vertebrate lineages in the world, dating back at least to the 1930s when Adolf Murie studied them in the park. The pack’s home territory is eastern Denali, and as it is one of the packs most viewed from the Denali park road, it is considered a high value resource for the several hundred thousand visitors that visit the park each summer (see attached photos of the Grant Creek pack from Dr. Gordon Haber)

Read the rest of this post & contact details of people in the Denali National Park area : – http://www.friendsofanimals.org/news/2012/may/alaska-trapper-shoot.html

Agonising death of the King of the Jungle: Young lion doomed to starve after poacher’s snare got caught so tightly round his neck he couldn’t eat.

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“This is so tragic, a beautiful beast, reduced to this, by the hands of humans, is both disgraceful & heartbreaking!. More must be done to protect the few wild carnivores left on this, human poached earth!”  I am presuming whoever took this photo didn’t have a tranquilizer or some other gun… if they had,  surely they would have used it! I hate to say it, but it would have been kinder to put the poor  animal to sleep, than leave it to die a slow, painful death”. 

It is a heartrending sight.

Wire snare caught so tightly around his neck he cannot eat, this young male lion is doomed to die a slow and agonising death.

Within a matter of days he will be lying in the African bush gasping his last breath.

Nor is he alone in his grim fate. The sight is increasingly common in parts of the continent when a growing number of lions have fallen victim to poaching.

Some wander by mistake into snares that are meant for other animals such as antelope which are hunted by poachers for bushmeat.

Desperately injured: The young male lion cub was spotted in Mikumi National Park in Tanzania with a poacher’s snare twisted cruelly round his neck
Doomed to die: The wire was twisted so tight that the lion was unable to eat

Others, whoever, are being deliberately poached for their body parts.

There is now a growing demand for lion claws and bones in parts of the Far East for use in traditional medicines.

The huge animals are hunted more and more as a substitute for tigers, whose body parts have traditionally been used for the Chinese medicine market.

Tigers are now so scarce in the wild that poachers have turned to a another target.

A sharp increase in the lion bone trade suggests that these are being swapped for tiger bones. Pelts and claws are also being used.

Dr Pieter Kat, from LionAid, said: ‘There has been a huge jump recently in the value of lion bones driven by the traditional medicine market, seeing as we have so few tigers.

‘Since tiger bones are now so difficult to obtain there has been a switch to lion bones.’

The final journey: The lion slopes off into the long grass of the park where he would soon die either of starvation or infection

In the 1990s, 1kg of lion bones were worth just $10, but now that has massively increased to $300 in 2010.

And its reflected in the figures that show the populations of lions are on a serious decline. There were an estimated 200,000 lions in Africa in the sixties. This has dropped massively now to just 23,000- 25,000

A source said: ‘Only a few weeks ago we saw this lion with a snare around its neck in Mikumi National Park in Tanzania.

‘The park rangers tried to track it with the intention of trying to remove the snare from around its neck, but by the time they arrived at the location, the lion had disappeared into the bush.

‘It wouldn’t have survived for many more days. Already the wound was gaping, open to infection and covered in flies.

‘And it was so tight around its neck that it would have found it impossible to eat. It would have either died from infection or starvation.’

Just several days before that, two lions were found dead in Mikumi National Park, in Northern Tanzania, with their claws removed.

Tanzanian National Park Authorities have anti-poaching patrols, but with 25 per cent of Tanzania’s land set aside for conservation purposes, the area is a large area to police.

There are projects such as the SANA Project in Tanzania, set up by the Saadani Safari Lodge, to allow poorer communities to develop whilst protecting the national park areas.

It is hoped that projects such as these will help protect and preserve the wildlife for the future.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2147630/Lion-poachers-wire-neck-Tanzania.html#ixzz1vaqohNTM

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