tagged w/ Elephants
Johanness Haasbroek, founder of Elephant Human Relations Aid, a Namibian non-profit organization aimed to facilitate the peaceful co-habitation among subsistence farmers, community members and desert adapted elephants living in the region, shares future challenges.Johanness Haasbroek, founder of Elephant Human Relations Aid, a Namibian non-profit... more
Neil Bone, a South-African native, has moved to Namibia, Africa, to help the Earth through Elephant Human Relation Aid, a non-profit organization aimed to facilitate the peaceful co-habitation among subsistence farmers, community members and desert adapted elephants living in the region.Neil Bone, a South-African native, has moved to Namibia, Africa, to help the Earth... more
A day this elephant will never forget: Anne's retirement begins as campaign to build haven for circus animals is launched
The Daily Mail
By JANE FRYER
Anne’s first steps are faltering as, slowly, she shuffles forwards, back legs dragging painfully on the concrete floor, her head bobbing nervously up and down, and breath coming in loud, whooshing blasts. Everything about her looks tired and creaky and sore, from her arthritic joints to her dry, wrinkled skin.
Her dark brown eyes are weepy, her huge yellow toenails chipped and gnarled. Her tail finishes in a sad, knobbly stump — the feathery end chewed off decades ago.
But as she edges further across the lush green grass of her new enclosure, towards a flock of pink flamingos and a herd of eland basking in the spring sunshine, she seems to savour every second.
Every few paces she stops to feel the sun on her back, curl a tuft of grass in her trunk, or have a satisfying scratch against a fallen log.
And, presumably, to revel in her sudden good fortune.
Because, thanks to the Daily Mail — and, more importantly, to the unfailing support of our readers — Britain’s last (and oldest) working circus elephant has finally hung up her undignified feather headdress.
After 54 years of performing and relentless touring, Anne has begun her long overdue retirement in a tranquil, 13-acre enclosure in the beautifully landscaped grounds of Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire.
It couldn’t be more of a contrast to the home where she has lived for the past half century — a corrugated metal compound, littered with animal droppings, owned by the Bobby Roberts Super Circus.
Over the past year, she was shackled by one foot, stabbed with a pitchfork and kicked in her painfully arthritic leg by a monstrous Romanian groom called Nicolae, who has now fled the country.
FINISH READING by connecting to link below
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1373415/A-day-Anne-elephant-forget-retirement-begins-Longleat.htmlA day this elephant will never forget: Anne's retirement begins as campaign to... more
TIME Magazine (Blog).......
Shooting an Elephant: Why GoDaddy's CEO Was Wrong
Posted by Bryan Walsh Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 6:36 pm
UPDATE, 3 p.m. Thursday:
We all shoot vacation videos, but most of us choose to keep them to ourselves — or, at worst, share them with our Facebook friends. Bob Parsons, CEO of the Internet-hosting firm GoDaddy.com, which you know from its lame Super Bowl ads and absolutely nothing else — likes bigger exposure. Parsons recently posted a video of his trip to Zimbabwe, where he shot an elephant. See below:
Now, there are so many things wrong with this video that it's hard to know where to start. First: Is it really appropriate to score a scene of hungry villagers tearing apart a dead elephant to the tune of AC/DC's "Hells Bells"? And I can't be the only one who found it creepy that Parsons outfitted nearly everyone in the area with bright orange GoDaddy baseball caps. Not to mention the fact that this all took place in Zimbabwe, a broken country oppressed by the tyrannical Robert Mugabe, where 64% of the population lives under the poverty line and nearly 100% live in fear. This is one step up from taking a spring break in North Korea.
But of course the biggest criticism comes from animal-rights advocates who view Parsons' video — which shows him shooting and killing an elephant, then standing proudly over its corpse — as, well, showing poor taste. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) singled out Parsons for particular abuse:
I am writing to present you with PETA's first-ever scummiest CEO of the year award (your certificate is on the way). You deserve the award for your egregious disregard for the life of the elephant you shot and killed for your personal enjoyment. Such behavior only shows a poverty of understanding and a deep insecurity, perhaps in your own masculinity. Nonlethal methods are available to protect crops from elephants left hungry because of their disappearing habitat.
Parsons defended himself on his blog, arguing that his target was a "problem elephant" that had been destroying the crops of a nearby village:
I stand by my decision to help African villagers. I believe elephant management is beneficial. I have the support of the people who really matter in this situation, the families of Zimbabwe — people who need help to survive. I have the support of tribal leaders and the government.
Parsons isn't totally wrong — there is such a thing as "problem elephants," and human-elephant conflict is a real issue that needs to be dealt with in parts of Africa. From the World Wildlife Fund (WWF):
Not only are elephants being squeezed into smaller and smaller areas, but farmers plant crops that elephants like to eat. As a result, elephants frequently raid and destroy crops. They can be very dangerous too.
While many people in the West regard elephants with affection and admiration, the animals often inspire fear and anger in those who share their land.
Elephants eat up to 450kg of food per day. They are messy eaters, uprooting and scattering as much as is eaten. A single elephant makes light work of a hectare of crops in a very short time.
But that doesn't mean the best way to deal with this conflict is for rich foreigners like Parsons to make like Hemingway. There are sensible, nonlethal solutions, including using chili- or tobacco-based deterrents to keep elephants out of farmers' fields, or the simple method of growing crops that elephants don't like. WWF has more in this issue brief.
It's worth remembering that people bear at least as much responsibility as elephants do for any conflict, as the continuing growth of the human population puts more and more pressure on elephants. The African elephant is hardly thriving — the International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists it as vulnerable. It's been a long time since shooting an elephant could be considered fashionable.
Read more: http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2011/03/30/shooting-an-elephant%e2%80%94why-godaddys-ceo-was-wrong/#ixzz1ID1PrQXTTIME Magazine (Blog)....... Shooting an Elephant: Why GoDaddy's CEO Was... more
Elephant culling has been reintroduced as a method of controlling populations in some parts of Africa. The question we pose is why are humans so quick to reach for the final solution. Why is castration or vasectomy not an option? We castrate dogs, horses, cats, and various other animals even pedophiles are offered the option in some countries.
So why not elephants?Elephant culling has been reintroduced as a method of controlling populations in some... more
Woolly mammoth, an extinct species of mammoth elephants, could become a reality in roughly four years time, according to professor Akira Iritani from the Kyoto University in Japan.Woolly mammoth, an extinct species of mammoth elephants, could become a reality in... more
Wow, elephants really DO come in buckets. Just another day giving an elephant a little help in giving his best...
Remind me not to order a vanilla milkshake in Thailand.Wow, elephants really DO come in buckets. Just another day giving an elephant a little... more
Binge-drinking elephants, drunk on local hooch, have killed three people and destroyed 60 homes in a four-day rampage in east India.
Yesterday they were reported by local officials to be sleeping off hangovers as shocked communities tried to clear the wreckage left by the 70-strong herd in remote villages on the borders of the states of Orissa and West Bengal.
With a local festival approaching, villagers had stockpiled the fermented-rice based drink which is stored in earthenware vessels and, according to Bijay Kumar Panda, a local administrator, the elephants found and drank it.
They then staggered through the surrounding area and began "to fall asleep hither and thither, throwing life completely haywire".
According to the Pioneer newspaper, the "jumbos" are known "for their love of local country-made brews" which they "gulp down and make merry at the expense of the villagers".
Elephant experts say such incidents are becoming more common. With pristine forest increasingly rare, especially in the area where this latest incident occurred, Indian elephants no longer avoid contact with humans, said Dr Amirtharaj Williams, Asian rhino and elephant programme co-ordinator for the World Wildlife Fund. "These herds are effectively semi-urbanised. There are elephants who are getting a taste for food that humans prepare because it is tastier, stronger-smelling and often more nutritious and that includes rice- or molasses-based drinks. Some go looking for it."
Around 400 people are killed each year by elephants in India and nearly a million hectares of farmland damaged.
Around 100 elephants are killed by villagers each year.
India's booming population and economic growth have placed the historic grazing lands of elephants under enormous pressure. To avoid exhausting fodder in one area, the herds migrate. Attempts to create safe corridors for the animals' travel have foundered on bureaucratic sloth and lack of enforcement.
In September seven elephants were killed by a speeding goods train.
Latest estimates put India's elephant population at around 21,000 – the largest in Asia. About half of these are found in north-eastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya.Binge-drinking elephants, drunk on local hooch, have killed three people and destroyed... more
Photo: For four decades Iain Douglas-Hamilton has been an advocate for elephants, the endangered giants of Africa. Save the Elephants cofounder Iain Douglas-Hamilton has been named the 2010 recipient of the Indianapolis Prize, the world’s leading award for animal conservation. Four decades ago, he pioneered the first in-depth scientific study of elephant social behavior, which revealed their matriarchal society.
The Indianapolis Prize
The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com
Save the Elephants cofounder Iain Douglas-Hamilton has been named the 2010 recipient of the Indianapolis Prize, the world’s leading award for animal conservation. Four decades ago, he pioneered the first in-depth scientific study of elephant social behavior, which revealed their matriarchal society.
(The Indianapolis Prize)
By Yvonne Zipp, / Correspondent
November 1, 2010 at 9:38 am EDT
When Iain Douglas-Hamilton first started studying elephants in Africa, he had to invent ways of tracking the giant mammals. Over the course of 40-some years in the field, the zoologist learned how to fly airplanes and use radio collars and other high-tech means to follow their movements.
He also learned how to get out of the way – fast. "I learned how to climb trees very quickly," says Dr. Douglas-Hamilton, winner of the 2010 Indianapolis Prize, the largest prize ($100,000) given for animal conservation in the world.
As cofounder of the nonprofit group Save the Elephants, he also has learned to be an activist, author, and politician.
When Douglas-Hamilton left Tanzania, in East Africa, in 1970 to study at Oxford University in Britain, he left behind "an elephants' paradise," he recalls.
But when he returned in 1972, the country's national parks looked more like a war zone. Douglas-Hamilton often found more dead elephants than live ones.
"Never in all our wildest dreams did the small group of scientists who worked in Tanzania's national parks [in the 1960s] imagine that men armed with automatic weapons would one day stride through the national parks. It was just not in our thinking," he says of the heavily armed poachers who had moved in.
The soft-spoken conservationist now lives in Kenya with his wife, Oria, who co-founded Save the Elephants. Together they have written two books, "Battle for the Elephants" and "Among the Elephants."
During the height of the ivory poaching, Douglas-Hamilton rode in small planes wearing one flak jacket and sitting on another as he helped park rangers in Uganda bring back elephants from the brink of extinction. He's been repeatedly shot at and has survived plane crashes, droughts, floods, malaria, and once, being squashed by a rhinoceros.
He campaigned for years for a worldwide ban on ivory sales, which finally took effect in 1989.
His long-term commitment to saving elephants across Africa impressed the prize jury, says Michael Crowther, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoo, which administers the prize. Douglas-Hamilton pioneered the first scientific study of elephant social behavior, Mr. Crowther says.
Among his discoveries: Elephants have a matriarchal society and travel in families.
"He has been creative, committed, and consistent," Crowther says. "And he's been courageous – politically courageous and physically courageous."
"He shows bravery ... [and his work is so important," says Laurie Marker, a finalist for the Indianapolis Prize who founded the Cheetah Conservation Fund, based in Namibia. When CCF expanded into Kenya, it began working with Save the Elephants in Samburu National Reserve, in Kenya's Great Rift Valley.
Douglas-Hamilton has given practical assistance to CCF, from making introductions to sharing researchers and resources, Dr. Marker says.
Despite the ivory poaching ban, the future of African elephants is far from secure. Douglas-Hamilton describes the conditions in the Congo, for example, as "catastrophic" – and not just for elephants.
In 2009, he worked to save a rare herd of desert elephants in Mali from the worst drought in more than a decade.
There have been other successes, particularly in East and Southern Africa, whose elephant populations have rebounded since the ivory ban. At this year's Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species meeting in Doha, Qatar, conservationists, including Douglas-Hamilton, defeated an effort by the governments of Tanzania and Zambia to downgrade the status of their elephants so that they could sell off their stockpiles of ivory.
"If there's to be a future for elephants, there has to be an accommodation about how they're going to live in juxtaposition with people," says Douglas-Hamilton, who considers the rapid expansion of human populations one of the largest challenges facing all wildlife. "This is where science and research comes in. It has to be linked to community development."
Elephants "need space," he says, including protected corridors so that they can travel from one protected area to another. (Such corridors would also benefit other large mammals, such as zebras, wild dogs, lions, and giraffes.)
Douglas-Hamilton has proposed the idea of a mobile national park, where the protected land would follow elephants as they travel. No country has yet adopted it.
"I know we're dealing with poor people who have immediate needs," he says. "But we have to escape from the tyranny of poverty in order to have the luxury of long-term planning. If we don't, the poverty is not going to get any better and the environment is going to deteriorate."
He's also thrilled that young African-born conservationists now are joining the effort to save the continent's elephants.
Even after decades of research, Douglas-Hamilton still enjoys the company of these gentle giants, the largest of land mammals.
"I love to sit with them and be with them," he says. "I have the greatest joy just to be with elephants at peace."Photo: For four decades Iain Douglas-Hamilton has been an advocate for elephants, the... more
BROEDERSTROOM, South Africa – Lions raised in captivity in South Africa are set loose in enclosed areas where hunters, many from the United States, gun them down. The toll: about 1,000 lions each year.
Kevin Richardson hopes a new movie "White Lion," which opens in a few U.S. cities on Friday, will give people second-thoughts about participating in such hunts.
"I just can't understand how anyone would want to shoot a lion that is clearly confined to a finite space with absolutely no hope in hell of ever escaping the so-called hunter," said Richardson, a self-taught "Lion Whisperer" and first-time film producer. "Canned lion hunting, in my opinion, is likened to fishing with dynamite in a pond and then calling yourself a fisherman."
"White Lion" is about a rare white lion, who as a cub is cast out of his pride because of his color. He is near starvation when he befriends an older lion who teaches him the ways of the wild. John Kani, a Tony Award-winning actor and playwright, is the storyteller. A young man helps the lion, whose name is Letsatsi, because his Shangaan tribal tradition says a white lion is God's messenger and must be protected. Tension builds as Gisani becomes a tracker on a game farm where he and a foreign hunter encounter Letsatsi.
Trophy hunting is big business in South Africa, worth $91.2 million a year, according to the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa. Foreign tourists pay up to $40,000 to shoot a lion.
The government promotes hunting as a revenue source and calls it a "sustainable utilization of natural resources." Provincial governments sell permits allowing hunters to kill rhinos, elephants — even giraffes. Hunters killed 1,050 lions in 2008, the last year for which figures are available, according to the South African Predator Breeders Association.
The hunters' association says 16,394 foreign hunters — more than half from the United States — killed more than 46,000 animals in the year ending September 2007.
Almost all lions hunted under permit in South Africa are bred in captivity. But a new report by Animal Rights Africa says animals that wander out of the huge Kruger National Park into neighboring private reserves have become fair game.
About 3,600 lions were kept in breeding facilities in 2009, to be sold to zoos, safari farms and for hunting on game farms, said Albi Modise, spokesman for South Africa's Department of Environment.
Animal Rights Africa says trophy hunting is incompatible with South Africa's push into ecotourism, noting that ad campaigns promoting tourism and game viewing showcase the same species that are offered up to be hunted. The government in 2007 introduced legislation that would reduce the financial incentive to breed lions for the hunt but the Predator Breeders Association challenged the laws and earlier this year won an appeal.
Richardson, the movie's producer, first befriended a pair of lion cubs at the Lion Park outside Johannesburg 12 years ago, when the cubs were 6 months and he was 23. He began shortening his hours as a therapist in postoperative rehabilitation to play with his new friends. Soon, park owner Rodney Fuhr offered him a part-time job which became full time.
Today, Richardson cares for 39 lions at his 800-hectare (2,000-acre) Kingdom of the White Lion in Broederstroom, an hour and a half drive from Johannesburg, where the film was shot to include tawny gold lions as well as those born white because of a recessive gene.
Lions are nocturnal and spend most of the day sleeping, so filming was limited to a couple of hours in the morning and perhaps another couple in the afternoon — if the cats were willing. Letsatsi was portrayed by several different lions over the four years it took to make the movie. A cuddly cub filmed in the summer of 2006 might be sprouting a mohawk-style tuft of hair the following year, the precursor to a mane.
Richardson said he breaks every rule in the book in handling lions. On a recent morning, the lions welcomed Richardson with rumbling purrs. One shut his eyes in ecstasy and rolled onto his back as Richardson scratched his chin. Another licked Richardson's hand, the tongue as rough as sandpaper. Too many licks can cause bleeding.
Two 400-pound (180-kilogram) lions wrestled him to the ground and a lioness jumped on his back, covering Richardson for a tense minute. He emerged from a tangle of furry blond limbs, face red. One lion threw a casual paw on Richardson's shoulder.
"Ugh, no claws you naughty boy!" he admonished, slapping away a paw larger than his face.
He's been attacked by his lions twice. Once during filming, a lion named Thor grabbed Richardson's arm and pinned him against the cage holding the camera crews, who looked on terrified and unable to help.
"I thought: There goes my arm, and it's my own fault. I was provoking him to get a fight sequence that we needed," Richardson said. The lion stared him in the eyes for what seemed five minutes but couldn't have lasted more than a few seconds, before releasing him, he recalled.
"Lions are 99 percent chill and 1 percent lethal," Richardson said.;_ylt=AkcLm5W.4n_zZaE9v2PwZT5g.3QA;_ylu=X3oDMTRjaW1nNTB1BGFzc2V0Ay9zL2FwX3RyYXZlbC8yMDE... more
Trainer FAIL - Nice one, Charlie.
Four elephants, allegedly poisoned, dead in Assam
Kishalay Bhattacharjee, Updated: October 12, 2010 16:38 IST
Guwahati: The fringes of the Kaziranga National Park have turned into deadly territory.
In the last few days, four elephants - two of them calves - have been found dead in the area, the most recent was discovered in the Panbari Reserve Forest. All are suspected to have died of poisoning.
Panbari is one of the most important animal corridors in the country, but the corridor has been choked with more than a hundred stone quarries.
The impact of that on wildlife is compounded by the tea estates in the area which chemical pesticides and toxic weedicides.
It's not clear whether the poisioning was deliberate. But the conflict between elephants and humans has been rising. This year, elephant herds from near-by Karbianglong have destroyed fully-grown rice paddy in at least ten villages in Kaziranga.
In September, the government announced that the elephant would be given National Heritage Animal status, which would entitle it to the same level of protection as the tiger. A task force set up to draft policy has presented an agenda that tackles the diversifying conflict with humans, as well as the loss of habitat. However, it has not touched upon the issue of pesticides in eco-sensitive zones.
"There is no measure as of now and we have enough laws, it's the implementation which is lacking," says Rathin Barman, Coordinator of the Wildlife Trust of India.
Last month, pictures of seven elephants run over by a speeding train in Siliguri in West Bengal had people all over the country cringing. It also became a sore point between the Railways Ministry and Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.
Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/four-elephants-die-in-five-days-in-assam-59091?cpFour elephants, allegedly poisoned, dead in Assam Kishalay Bhattacharjee,... more
New Delhi, Oct 14 : Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh has asked Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to immediately probe into the recent death of four elephants, including two calves, in the Kaziranga National Park (KNP).
Suspecting that the jumbos had died due to poisoning, Ramesh while expressing his concern in a letter to the chief minister said, "enquiry may be immediately conducted and take the most stringent action against those found responsible for this tragedy."
http://www.sinlung.com/2010/10/probe-assam-elephant-deaths-jairam.htmlNew Delhi, Oct 14 : Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh has asked Assam Chief... more
Humans like to compete against one another to see who can be the champion at breaking records. What if animals did? If they did these would be some of the winners.Humans like to compete against one another to see who can be the champion at breaking... more
NEW DELHI – India's environment minister pressed railway authorities Friday to ensure the safety of elephants after seven pachyderms were mowed down by a speeding train in eastern India.
The herd was crossing the tracks in Banarhat forest in West Bengal state at midnight Wednesday when the freight train plowed into the animals, killing them all.
"This is not the first time that such a mishap has taken place, although the scale with which it has taken place now is unprecedented," Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said in a statement.
Ramesh said he had previously written letters to the railway minister and met with rail officials to discuss "measures to be taken in order to avoid such tragedies."
Outraged wildlife activists in India said they too complained to railroad authorities many times, asking them to divert trains to other routes or avoid running locomotives through the forests at night.
"The drivers hardly ever adhere to the restrictions," said Animesh Basu, who runs the Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation, a wildlife conservation group.
Scores of wild bison, deer, boars and leopards have died in the same forest after being hit by trains, Basu said.
Dozens of elephants have died in India in recent years after being struck while crossing railway tracks that often run through national parks and forests.
India's wild elephant population was recently estimated at about 26,000.NEW DELHI – India's environment minister pressed railway authorities Friday... more
Ivory trade could make Vietnam's elephants extinct within a decade
Country's wild Asian elephant population further endangered as rich get a taste for home-produced ivory
* Guardian Weekly, Tuesday 21 September 2010 14.44 BST
Vietnam ivory trade Elephants endangered: a shop owner displays carved ivory items at his antique shop in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photograph: Dai Kurokawa/Corbis
Huong's dank shop provides some brief respite from the waves of horn-blaring luxury SUVs bullying pedestrians on the pavements of Hanoi. But more crucially, it offers a final resting place, of sorts, for some of Vietnam's wild elephants.
Huong is the beaming owner of Artcen Company, an "import-export" outfit specialising in crafted ivory products. And, like those of the SUV-driving government officials cashing in on foreign investor paranoia about missing out on "the next little China" – Artcen's coffers are swelling.
"A few years ago, our customers were all Japanese, Chinese and Korean. But we get rich fast now too, and rich people always want to show what they have," says Huong, indicating a fashion that is likely to further endanger the slow-reproducing mammal.
The wild elephant population has plummeted from more than 2,000 in the mid-90s to between 72-80 animals at liberty today, according to Vietnam's ministry of natural resources and environment. A large number of them have succumbed to illegal logging, agricultural encroachment and landmines left over from what Vietnamese call "the American war".
However, it is clear that over the last decade, most of Vietnam's wild herd has fallen victim to the rifle. Increased poaching in one of south-east Asia's fastest-growing economies has ignited fears that the once-revered animal will disappear from the jungles within a generation if conservation efforts are not stepped up soon.
"Most of our small pieces are locally sourced," admits Huong as she hands me crudely made Buddha and Jesus icons to inspect. "Our prices are already too high, so we don't want to pay off more customs to bring it in from Laos or Cambodia."
Her comments underscore another dark layer in Vietnam's march to economic development. The country has quickly shifted from a transit point in the wildlife trade to a major end-consumer, now rivalling the richer Asian markets of Taiwan, South Korea, China and Japan.
Conservation group Traffic estimates that 4,000 tonnes of illegal wildlife products pass through Vietnam every year. Surging consumer demand means poaching is also spreading to forests in neighbouring Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Burma.
"It's also moving into new technology," says wildlife conservationist Duac Fegot. "We're starting to see more avenues for trade in endangered wildlife in Vietnam emerge on the internet."
"The situation is becoming very critical and serious," says Huynh Tien Dung, World Wildlife Fund Vietnam's national policy co-ordinator. "If the right efforts are spent, it is possible to bring the wild elephants back from the brink. If international donors give more priority to elephants, we are sure that it will help."
Blaming the lack of donor funding may seem disingenuous given the amount of aid pouring into Vietnam for environmental programmes and strategies. Yet the real problem could well be that wildlife protection laws in Vietnam are toothless.
Hanoi officially banned ivory sales in 1992 when it ratified the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. But a loophole was left, allowing for ivory traders to sell stock purchased before the treaty was ratified. Analysts say the loophole is a veiled nod to the continuation of poaching and smuggling.
"These pieces we have on display are all new and would be even more expensive if they dated to before 1992," says Huong. "But we still say they're from before then."
To the ongoing irritation of conservationists, traders and their inventories are never monitored. "The two things that are causing the problems are: weak law enforcement and low awareness of the poor communities on protection of wild elephants," Huynh says.
However, according to conservationists, the cost of street-level ivory – Traffic says tusks are selling for up to $1,500 a kg and cut pieces for up to $1,863 a kg – have encouraged law enforcement agents to seize consignments rather than attempt to halt poaching in the first place.
Authorities recently seized 30 elephant tusks and 15 elephant tusk segments that were being transported to the northern province of Móng Cái on the Chinese border. And last year, a container of tusks shipped from Tanzania to Vietnam – its contents worth millions of dollars – was "confiscated" by the government. But no charges have been brought and the whereabouts of the ivory is unknown.
Nevertheless, the ministry of environment says it is trying to crack down on traders such as Huong, and claim a "master plan" is in the offing. It remains to be seen if this measure will prevent the extinction of the Asian elephant in the wild.Ivory trade could make Vietnam's elephants extinct within a decade... more
In 2009, PETA went undercover at "the saddest show on Earth"—Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus—and captured Ringling workers on video as they beat and whipped elephants dozens of times in venues across the country. The undercover footage of this suffering is only the latest chapter in Ringling's long history of abusing animals.In 2009, PETA went undercover at "the saddest show on Earth"—Ringling... more
Performing Animals Mistreated in China, Reports Animals Asia, an Animal Rights Campaign Group | Photos | VideoPLEASE be sure to look at the four photos, and when you get to the fourth photo, just imagine if that were you... or a child of yours...
Performing animals mistreated in China, says report
August 15, 2010 11:21 p.m. EDT
(CNN) -- Bears riding motorcycles, tigers jumping through flaming hoops and pigs leaping off diving boards. Just some of the "entertainment" that can be seen at circuses, zoos and safari parks in China, according to a report by Animals Asia into animals cruelty.
The Hong Kong-based animal rights campaign group visited 13 safari parks and zoos in China and according to David Neale, Animals Asia's Animal Welfare Director, found that the animal shows "portray the animal to the public in a humiliating way" and have no educational value.
"There is a misunderstanding really within China at the moment about what these animals are experiencing," Neale told CNN.
The report says that many of the performance animals that include tigers, lions, Asiatic black bears, elephants and monkeys are born and bred in captivity and brutalized throughout their lives.
Video: Cruelty to performing animals
"These animals have been suffering from birth, really. Once they're born they go into this industry. And straight away the trainers are starting to brutalize them to make them to do these tricks.... We saw some of the training of the younger animals; they were continually hit to make sure they learnt these tricks so that when they're out in the performance ring they perform them to the best standard."
"Once the trick is finished they then go to the backstage area where they're housed in the most shocking conditions. All kinds of animals are held in cages full of faeces, with very little access to water, very little access to food."
The abuse of performing animals isn't specific to China.
"Animal cruelty is happening in every country across the world," said Neale.
However Neale points out that in China there are currently no animal protection laws, a reason why Animals Asia have worked with Chinese academics to draft legislation not just for animals in captivity, but all animals.
Despite the findings of their investigation, Neale is encouraged by a few signs of progress by the Chinese government to take animal protection seriously.
According to a government report on July 29 the Chinese State Forestry Administration accused companies that have animal performance shows of having excessive focus on profits, leading to the mistreatment and death of the animals.
"We're very pleased that the Chinese government has said that they want the zoos and safari parks to look at the conditions they keep their animals in to rectify these problems," said Neale.PLEASE be sure to look at the four photos, and when you get to the fourth photo, just... more
Maybe we can learn something here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBtFTF2ii7U&feature=fvwMaybe we can learn something here.... more
When you can't train the animal to surf (I'm sure sir arthur streeb greebling tried it) you might as well use the skills of a CG artist to create it for you. So for the world this video clearly shows what a lightweight surfing elephant would look like. Stunning.When you can't train the animal to surf (I'm sure sir arthur streeb... more