In Kenya’s Worst Drought In 40 Years, Elephants And Other Wildlife Are Dying In Alarming Numbers

THE CARCASS OF AN ELEPHANT THAT DIED DURING THE DROUGHT IS SEEN IN THE SHABA NATIONAL RESERVE, ISIOLO COUNTY, KENYA, SEPT. 22, 2022. (REUTERS PHOTO)

Over 100 Elephants died as a result of drought in East Africa, which has taken a toll on the wildlife in Kenya’s national parks.

Carcasses of dead Buffaloes, Zebras, Giraffes, Elephants and other animals litter the parks attracting scavengers such as Vultures and Hyenas.

ONE OF THE HUNDREDS OF ZEBRAS SUCCUMBING TO THE DROUGHT

The animals are dying due to one of the worst droughts ever to hit East Africa, with experts saying it has been the worst drought experienced in the eastern part of Africa for over 40 years.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Nancy Githaiga, the country director of Africa Wildlife Foundation in Kenya, said that 109 Elephants have been recorded dead in the Tsavo National Park, Kenya’s largest, over the past year.

“Although cases of poaching have greatly dropped due to surveillance, the number of Elephants is now going down significantly because of drought,” she said.

“It’s not just Elephants, it’s giraffes, zebras and all wildlife that are dying, you will find their carcasses around.”

Temporary waterholes were installed last year, but because of the increasing severity of the drought and the vast areas involved we MUST get more water to the dying animals of Kenya and do so FAST!

THE PHOTO SHOWS SIX GIRAFFES LYING LIFELESS IN THE SABULI WILDLIFE CONSERVANCY IN WAJIR. THE ANIMALs DIED AFTER GETTING STUCK IN MUD AS THEY TRIED TO DRINK FROM A NEARBY RESERVOIR, WHICH HAD ALMOST DRIED UP.

The drought is the worst in the region in more than 40 years and shows no signs of abating.

With each passing day, more parched animals are dropping dead, like the sad story of Monsoon, the matriarch Elephant.  

“Monsoon,” the miracle elephant, survived being shot FIVE times by poachers and even managed to give birth after her ordeal. A drought in northern Kenya killed her last month.

Animals like Monsoon are dropping dead beside dried-up water pans and nonexistent pastures. We cannot afford to lose wildlife in these staggering numbers. Please help us support charities at the heart of this crisis.

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Should Wildlife Tourism Be Banned In India?

Tiger T42 – Fateh. A dominant tiger of Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, he rules over Qualiji area. He is named after the legendary conservationist, synonymous with Ranthambhore, Fateh Singh Rathore-A tribute to a great man.

Wildlife Tourism in India has always been a controversial matter. In 2010, a Public Interest Litigation was filed by tiger activist Ajay Dubey, claiming that the industry was becoming unsustainable and exploitative. As per the 2006 Amendment of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972, “critical Tiger and wildlife habitats” must be inviolate for the vital growth of tiger populations. Any form of human activity was deemed a threat to Tiger conservation. It was on this basis that, on the 24th of July 2012, the Supreme Court ordered a temporary ban on tourism in the core zone of Tiger reserves. The ban stirred significant debate amongst conservationists.

More about the wildlife tourism ban

The underlying principle of the order was questionable. Tiger populations grew remarkably in reserves such as Kahna, Bandhavgarh and Ranthambore, despite substantial amounts of wildlife tourism. Contrastingly, Tiger populations in less popular Protected Areas, such as Buxa and Palamu Tiger Reserve, have depleted immensely despite a lack of tourism. Associating wildlife tourism to the depletion of Tiger populations remains a baseless claim.

The Supreme Court hoped that the ban would instigate the establishment of buffer zones in Protect Areas for wildlife tourism, in accordance with the November 2011 NTCA guidelines. However, despite the Supreme Court mandate, numerous states were reluctant to comply with the guidelines. Tourism in buffer zones was not the most practical alternative. These regions are used extensively by bordering villages for cattle grazing and the collection of forest produce. Habitat degradation would lead to inferior wildlife sightings, hence attenuating the attractiveness of wildlife safaris. 

Wildlife Tourism In India

Fortunately the MoEFCC and NTCA redrafted guidelines, allowing for wildlife tourism in up to 20% of the critical Tiger habitat of a reserve. The revised guidelines encouraged states to form their own ecotourism policies. Following this, on the 16th of October 2012, the Supreme Court allowed for the recommencement of tourism in core areas

Are there any benefits of wildlife tourism?

There are numerous benefits to wildlife tourism, particularly for the local communities. Following proper practices, ecotourism brings substantial economic benefits. With over 1 million people visiting tiger reserves annually, a lot of revenue is generated in the form of entry fees, guide salary, lodge bookings amongst others. This provides significant employment opportunities for the local communities and has ripple effects as locals will associate a monetary value with wildlife. This would increase the general acceptance of wildlife, hence reducing human-wildlife conflict. Furthermore, this would prevent locals from turning to game hunting for sustenance. Entry fees would also provide the Forest Department with much required funding for conservation works! It is estimated that in the Fiscal Year of 2019, wildlife tourism in Madhya Pradesh attracted nearly 2 million visitors, generating 27 crore rupees. An organization, TOFTigers, estimated that nearly a quarter of the state’s Forest Department Budget consists of park entry fees in 2017. Moreover, the industry generated an additional 2,500 full time jobs out of which 82% were given to locals. With the industry growing at a healthy 15% annually, local economies stand to benefit immensely, particularly in the North East where the wild wonders are relatively unexplored.

Tourism also has a plethora of benefits in the management of the reserve. With the Forest Departments heavily under resources and understaffed, patrolling Protected Areas is a daunting task. Parks certainly benefit from watchful tourists. Detection of forest fires, illegal activities and injured animals improves with the participation of tourists. In fact, with the development of citizen science software, tourists can contribute even further towards wildlife research. It is no surprise therefore, that within 6 weeks of wildlife tourism shutting down due to the pandemic in 2020, the cases of poaching increased by 151% across India.

Unethical Practices Cloud wildlife tourism

However, in the past, there have been concerns regarding whether the economic benefits of wildlife tourism actually reach local communities.  Wildlife tourism may also lead to some atrocious practices. For example, both captive elephants, and dancing bears, undergo immense torture while being trained for tourist purposes. Similarly, Kopi Luwark, the world’s most expensive coffee, is a major attraction in Indonesia. However, most people are oblivious to the fact that it sponsors the illegal wildlife tradeSnake charming also is equally diastorous.

Unruly visitors are not avoidable

Enforcement of rules and regulation also remains a dark spot in the wildlife industry. I personally have witnessed numerous accounts of wildlife harassment. Unruly tourists littering, wearing excessively bright colours and making excessive noise has made a few safaris unpleasant. Furthermore, in the lure of tips, guides are often overly enthusiastic during a safari. A critical protocol which is frequently ignored during a direct sighting is the minimum distance requirement between two jeeps. Though legally, animals have the right of way in forest roads, this behaviour by jeeps often obstructs their paths and causes distress to the animals. I witnessed this with the dominant male Rudra in Tadoba Tiger Reserve in October 2020 and in my first visit to the park in 2017, where a jeep did some off-roading to show the guests tiger cubs feeding on a kill. Not only did the family flee, the jeeps shamelessly continued chasing them off-roading. Littering is also a prominent issue. On the same trip, I visited the Tipeshwar Tiger Reserve where visitors, despite being confronted by both forest staff and guests, continued to litter in the park. I can name plenty of such personal anecdotes from forests all over India! Seeing the popular tiger of the park overwhelms tourist and guide alike!

The impact of such behaviour has had an observed impact on wildlife. Tigers and other wildlife of popular parks are far more accustomed to jeeps than in the smaller reserves. Despite this, tigers do witness increased stress levels. This is proved by a study of 341 samples of tiger scats by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Park. The study found that tigers had higher concentrations of the stress hormone, faecal glucocorticoid metabolite (fGCM), during the tourism season than prior. 

This behaviour could be rectified by improved education. While an underlying purpose of ecotourism is education, only 30% of India’s Protected Areas have visitor orientation centres. Private lodges also are not very proactive in the field. 

Wildlife tourism has to become more sustainable

Another issue with wildlife tourism is that lodges are not truly eco-friendly. A nationwide study of 10 of India’s major wildlife tourist destinations was alarming. 85% of tourist facilities were within 5km of the park. 93% of the lodges used local wood while the dependency on local borewells varied from 40% to 100%. Swimming pools in the lodges of Central India prove costly for local communities in the dry summer months. The fragile ecosystem of Ladakh is witnessing widespread decimation in recent years due to scores of tourists flocking to the state following the release of the movie “3 Idiots”.

The same study found that in the 10 parks, 95% of the revenue went to private operators. Only 4.5% and 0.5% went to the park and locals respectively. In fact, only 0.001% of the locals within a 10km buffer of PA were employed. This accentuates the fallacies of India’s wildlife industries! 

Larger mammals steal the limelight

Although only 10% of India’s 500 Protected Areas are Tiger Reserves, they account for 32% of wildlife tourism. Spotting charismatic species such as Tigers, Elephants, Rhinos and Lions still remains the sole interest for most visitors. Much of India’s natural beauties are unheard of by the general public. This is in sharp contrast with countries such as Australia, US, South Africa and Europe. Unlike India, ecotourism is not limited to safaris solely. These countries offer a wide array of sustainable activities across their natural landscapes including bird watching, camping, adventure sports, and natural history museums. Although it is essential to not damage the natural ecosystem, the ecotourism industry in India could be further developed. In fact, developing more activities in the lesser known parks could help distribute tourism more evenly across the country. There is much scope to expand. India could also adopt a private-public partnership in a few regions, much like the Private Game Reserves of South Africa!

The Greater One-Horned Rhino

All in all, the wildlife tourism industry is still fairly young and has much growth left. It has various benefits to wildlife but there are many issues for India to iron out such that the industry can bolster conservation efforts.

This article was first published on Think Wildlife Foundation. 

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Drought Forces Zimbabwe To Relocate 2,500 Wild Animals To New Reserves

The effects of climate change are outpacing poaching as the No. 1 threat to wildlife. In Zimbabwe, officials are now moving more than 2,500 wild animals from a reserve in the southern part of the country further north due to an ongoing drought. Rangers are relying on trucks, cranes and even helicopters to move the animals from the drought-stricken area.

“Project Rewild Zambezi,” the operation has been dubbed, involves moving animals to the Zambezi River valley, which will also help improve wildlife populations in that area. It is one of the largest live animal relocation projects in southern Africa, with more than 2,000 impalas, 400 elephants, 70 giraffes, 50 each of buffalo, wildebeest, zebras, and elands, 10 lions and 10 wild dogs, among other animals, being moved north.

The animals are being relocated from the Save Valley Conservancy to the Sapi, Matusadonha and Chizarira conservancies in the north. According to officials, the project is necessary to avoid a crisis.

“We are doing this to relieve pressure. For years we have fought poaching and just as we are winning that war, climate change has emerged as the biggest threat to our wildlife,” Tinashe Farawo, spokesperson for the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, told The Associated Press. “Many of our parks are becoming overpopulated and there is little water or food. The animals end up destroying their own habitat, they become a danger unto themselves and they encroach neighboring human settlements for food resulting in incessant conflict.”

One other option was to cull some of the animals to reduce competition for resources among the wildlife, but Zimbabwe has not had a culling since 1987. Conservationists argue that culling is a cruel and unnecessary solution.

The “Project Rewild Zambezi” is one of the largest in Zimbabwe. The country’s last mass relocation of wildlife occurred from 1958 to 1964, as hydro-dam construction led to rising water that ultimately created Lake Kariba. More than 5,000 animals had to be relocated at the time.

Drought is becoming an increasing threat in Zimbabwe and across Africa, reducing food and water available for wildlife, including vulnerable rhinos and giraffes. But hunting and poaching have also taken their toll. In Sapi Reserve, a UNESCO site, wildlife populations quickly declined from the 1950s until 2017, when it was taken over by the non-profit Great Plains Foundation. Relocating animals from areas affected by drought will also help in the foundation’s efforts to rewild and restore populations in Sapi Reserve.

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There Is No Excuse For Animal Abuse So Let’s Help End It!

ACTOR, COMEDIAN AND ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST RICKY GERVAIS

Cruelty to animals, also called animal abuseanimal neglect or animal cruelty, is the infliction by omission (neglect) or by commission by humans of suffering or harm upon any animal. More narrowly, it can be the causing of harm or suffering for specific achievement, such as killing animals for entertainment; cruelty to animals sometimes encompasses inflicting harm or suffering as an end in itself, defined as zoosadism.

Animal cruelty can be broken down into two main categories: active and passive. Passive cruelty is typified by cases of neglect, in which the cruelty is a lack of action rather than the action itself. Oftentimes passive animal cruelty is accidental, born of ignorance. In many cases of neglect in which an investigator believes that the cruelty occurred out of ignorance, the investigator may attempt to educate the pet owner, then revisit the situation. In more severe cases, exigent circumstances may require that the animal be removed for veterinary care.

Whether it is Elephants killed for their tusks or beaten so they comply in the Asian tourism ‘industry’, Rhino slaughtered for their horns for ‘traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), animals skinned alive for the fur trade etc, animal activists need to stand together to fight for their rights.

At many elephant ‘sanctuaries’ across Thailand and in other countries, the elephants are taught to fear humans. This is so that they will act with compliancy. From babies they are tied up, starved and beaten in what is known as a ‘crush’. This is the act of breaking a young elephant’s spirit. And it’s mostly true what they say: an elephant never forgets. This means that, with their long memories, elephants remember this period of abuse for the rest of their lives. It ensures that the elephants will do what the trainers (also known as mahouts) say, and are more easily trained.

They are also commonly beaten with hooks and sticks that have nails poking out of them – this is when they are seen to be misbehaving or not following orders, or being too slow to respond. The mahouts want the animals to be constantly putting on a performance for those tourists who are there for elephant riding in Thailand.

UNDERCOVER FOOTAGE SHOWS CRUEL TRAINING USED ON BABY ELEPHANTS TO BOOST THAILAND TOURISM

As poaching and habitat loss ravage rhinoceros and elephant populations, protections for these species are vitally important. Today, all five rhino species and both elephant species are threatened with extinction. Efforts are underway across the globe to save these iconic animals.

Elephants and rhinos often experience painful deaths when poached. Rhinos may have their horns cut off while they are still alive and contrary to belief, elephants do not lose their tusks; they are hacked out by poachers.

More than a thousand rhinos and tens of thousands of elephants are killed each year to feed demand for ivory and rhino horn. The international trade in elephants, rhinos, and other species is the second-largest threat to wildlife after habitat loss. If the market continues to drive poaching, both rhinos and elephants could vanish from the wild as early as 2034.

HORRIFIC IMAGES OF ELEPHANTS POACHED FOR THEIR TUSKS AND A RHINO FOR ITS HORN

Every year, hundreds of badgers meet a horrific death in the name of ‘sport’ in the UK at the hands of terriermen. Many of those who have been caught digging into badger setts have used the excuse that they were after foxes – and many have escaped prosecution by so doing.

More than 10,000 are caught, tortured and killed in the UK each year by huntsmen with terriers – with almost a third of these illegal acts being carried out in Wales. Alarmingly, this figure is rising constantly. Terry Spamer, a former RSPCA inspector, believes that there are around 2,000 people involved in badger baiting currently. However, only around three people are caught and convicted of badger baiting each year, while the majority carry on breaking the law.

Traditional fox hunting was banned in England and Wales under the Hunting Act 2004. In spite of existing legislation, there has been 500 successful prosecutions under the Act. However, many incidents of illegal hunting have gone unpunished.

FOX HUNTING AND BADGER BAITING IS ILLEGAL IN THE UK BUT CARRIES ON WITH WITH APPARENT IMPUNITY

Dogfighting is an inhumane ‘bloodsport’ where dogs who have been bred, conditioned and trained to fight are placed in a pit to fight each other for spectator ‘entertainment’ and profit. Fights average one to two hours, ending when one of the dogs cannot continue.

Dog fights usually take part in quiet, private locations, such as in an industrial unit or farm building. Participants will spend months training their dogs in preparation, much like boxing, the fighters will have to hit a target weight to take part. Organisers will create a fighting ‘pit’ for the dogs to fight within.

Dogs who have been used in fighting often have serious injuries to their head, ears, front legs and chest that are caused as they go head-to-head in a pit. They will also have injuries of different ages, some old scars and some fresh wounds.

IT IS BELIEVED OVER 16000 DOGS DIE EACH YEAR IN ORGANIZED DOG FIGHTS

Each year, thousands of bulls are barbarically slaughtered in bullrings around the world. Over the centuries, bullfighters have found countless ways to rig the “fight” in their favor. Bulls are often weakened with drugs or by having sandbags dropped on their backs. Their horns have been shaved to keep them off balance, or petroleum jelly has been rubbed into their eyes to impair their vision.

Every year, approximately 250,000 bulls are killed in bullfights. Bullfighting is already banned by law in many countries including Argentina, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Italy and the United Kingdom. Although legal in Spain, some Spanish cities, such as Calonge, Tossa de Mar, Vilamacolum and La Vajol, have outlawed the practice of bullfighting. There are only a few countries throughout the world where this practice still takes place (Spain, France, Portugal, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Ecuador). ~ HSI.

BULLS ARE TORTURED IN THE NAME OF CULTURE AND TRADITION

Each year from approximately September 1 to March 1, a large-scale hunt of dolphins takes place in the small village of Taiji, Japan, as featured in the 2010 Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove. During this six month season, dolphin hunters utilize drive hunt techniques to herd large numbers of dolphins to shore, resulting in their capture or death.

The captured dolphins may be selected for live trade to aquariums and marine parks for display, while others are slaughtered for their meat. The price for live captures is many times higher than those killed.

THE ANNUAL TAIJI DOLPHIN SLAUGHTER

What you can do to help animals in need:

Support ‘Protect All Wildlife’ by donating as little as £1 – It only takes a minute but it can last a lifetime for an animal in need. Thank you.

We believe EVERY animal should be treated with respect, empathy, and understanding. We raise awareness to protect and conserve wild, captive, companion and farm animals. It is vital that we protect animals against acts of cruelty, abuse, and neglect by enforcing established animal welfare laws and, when necessary, take action to ensure that those who abuse animals are brought to justice.

Protect All Wildlife are involved in many projects to protect animals’ rights, welfare, and habitats. Money contributed to Protect All Wildlife supports ALL of our worthy programmes and gives us the flexibility to respond to emerging needs. Your donations make our work possible. Thank you for your support.

A Testimony To Why Trophy Hunting Is A Vacuous Void, Devoid Of Any Moral Or Ethical Compass That Undermines Africa’s Indigenous Culture.

Below, is the full testimony of an anonymous source, a former member of the Oxford University Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) team that radio-collared and studied Cecil prior to him being killed.

CECIL LIVED IN HWANGE NATIONAL PARK, IN ZIMBABWE. HE WAS LURED OUT OF THE PARK WITH AN ELEPHANT CARCASS BY AMERICAN TROPHY HUNTER WALTER PALMER

This anonymous source’s first-hand account of the killing of Cecil 7 years on is an appropriate testimony, not only to the callous way in which American trophy hunter Walter Palmer et al took this pride male Lion’s life for their own self-gratification and/or financial enrichment (the ethos of trophy hunters and the industry that panders to them in general), but also a testimony to why trophy hunting is a vacuous void, devoid of any moral or ethical compass that undermines Africa’s indigenous culture. That is why the long outdated, notion of a bygone era of colonial entitlement and the predominantly white foreigner’s self-proclaimed ‘right’ to kill African wildlife for sadistic entertainment as espoused by trophy hunting must end:

“The physical act of a white hunter coming in and going out on their exploratory adventure, to conquer and kill an animal – that act rehearses the history of colonialism. That point is not lost on people who live in local communities, and it should not be lost on those of us from the country sending trophy hunters” (page 146) – Dr Chelsea Batavia

Senior environmental scientist

“When I started reading the narratives of trophy hunters, I was struck more than anything by the similarity with the narratives of terrorists when they talk about what they do” (page 151) – Professor Geoff Beattie, Professor of Psychology, Edge Hill University. Author, ‘Trophy Hunting: A Psychological Perspective’

The economic forces that drive the trophy hunting industry can be replaced with a balanced approach that enriches Africa’s own cultural identity and interaction with its native wildlife, free from the imposition of the destructive, greed-based desire of the trophy hunting colonial mindset and its bloated lobby heavily financed by vested interests.

ANON – a former member of the Oxford University Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU)

“I worked for close to a decade as a field researcher on the Hwange Lion research project in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. The initial focus of the work was the impact of trophy hunting outside the park on the Lions inside the park. There was a lot of darting, collaring and observational data to collect. I spent 7 days a week tracking Lions, catching and collaring them and getting to know them. Soon that developed into a study of the conflict between people and Lions, a subject I eventually specialised in.

Cecil was a very large mature Lion in Hwange. He was special because very few male Lions ever survive as long as he did, and thus a lot was made of his huge mane and the fact that it was black. The black mane is a genetic trait that is quite strong in Hwange Lions, but very few Lions survive long enough for it to present. Cecil was dominant over some of the best Lion real-estate in Hwange and this too was the area best for tourists. That is why he was so well-known. He had large prides and he was seen daily by tourists. Cecil was very much in his prime when he was shot, despite him being 12 years old or so. The hunters made a case that Cecil was old and therefore past his prime, but that was not true. He was still breeding and in perfect condition. He was considered old because most Lions are shot long before getting to that age. He was one of two males in a coalition. They were unrelated but had forged an alliance because together they were stronger.

On the night of the 1st of July 2015, a couple of professional hunters (PHs) and their client were sitting about 40 or 50 metres from a blind overlooking a dead elephant. Between 9 and 10pm Jericho, Cecil’s coalition partner, ran past the blind and started feeding on the elephant. Jericho was a very large Lion in his own right and was about a year younger than Cecil. His saving grace was that he was blonde. Walter Palmer – the trophy hunter who shot Cecil – has subsequently said that he didn’t know about Cecil and hadn’t come to hunt Cecil specifically. However, the fact that they didn’t shoot Jericho while watching him feed for over an hour meant that they knew that a larger and darker Lion – the traits a trophy hunter prefers – was still to come.

BROTHERS IN ARMS: THE LAST KNOWN PHOTOGRAPH OF CECIL (WITH BROTHER JERICHO STANDING BEHIND HIM)

Cecil arrived about an hour later. Walter Palmer let loose his arrow. Cecil ran off wounded. The hunters left to go back to camp for the night. Normally when a client is about to shoot a Lion from a blind, his professional hunter (PH) is ready too with his rifle. If the client’s shot doesn’t kill the Lion instantly, then the PH shoots the animal to “secure it”. This is common practice because a wounded Lion is dangerous to follow up and nobody wants to do it. The PH is professionally obliged to “back up” the client’s shot to avoid a wounded animal. In this case, however, Walter Palmer had told his PH not to back him up. The reason for this was that Walter Palmer was after Safari Club International’s bow-hunting record for a Lion. If a rifle was subsequently used, then the bow-hunting record would have been disallowed. So Cecil ran off wounded, and the hunters simply went back to camp.

In the morning, at around 9am, the hunters returned and tracked Cecil down. He was badly wounded and hadn’t gone far. Walter Palmer then finished him off with a second arrow. From statements made to police, we understand that when Palmer and the PH approached the Lion they saw the collar and panicked. The PH said that he took the collar off and placed it in a tree before following his client. When he returned he said the collar was gone. We know from the GPS data that the collar was collecting, however, that they then gave that collar to someone who carried it around for a couple of days to mimic a Lion’s movements in order to confuse us and presumably buy time to get the client out of the country. On the morning of July 4, the collar sent its last GPS point and was presumably destroyed. We never found it.

There was no permit for hunting a Lion in that area. The PH had purchased a Lion quota from another area. He was hoping to hunt Cecil and export it as one of the others shot elsewhere. Illegal practices such as those are relatively commonplace.

During my time as part of the Lion project, it happened maybe a dozen times that we know of. Usually the collar is destroyed and we only find it months later. In Cecil’s case he had a new satellite technology collar which meant all its data is sent to a server and even when the collar is destroyed the data is safe and accessible.

CECIL ENJOYS A MOMENT WITH A LIONESS. THE FAMOUS LION WAS KNOWN FOR BEING UNAFRAID OF HUMANS.

I became something of a pariah in Zimbabwe after the story died down. At first, when the story broke, I was the only person on the ground speaking to the press, and I was complimented by the authorities and WildCRU alike. However, when the hunting industry approached the government and told them that if they pressed for Walter Palmer’s extradition they would lose their industry, there was an about-turn.

Suddenly it was said everything was legal and no charges were pressed. I was left alone on the end of the plank, surrounded by sharks. I still had to go to meetings with the very landowners in the Gwaai Valley where Cecil had been shot where I was screamed at and accused of destroying the industry. I slept with a loaded rifle by my bed for many months, always waiting to hear a vehicle approaching our home at night. I have since been subjected to all sorts of abuse and character assassinations, including now having a file of everything I had ever posted on social media printed and given to Zimbabwe’s secret police, the CIO (Central Intelligence Organisation), the Parks authorities, local chiefs and so on. I was banned from entering the park for over a year and forced to delete my Facebook page. I have had to keep a very low profile since.

The situation of Lions today is difficult. There were 1.2 million wild Lions in the 1800s. Now there are around 20,000. They are doing well in protected areas. They are under threat from habitat loss, though, as well conflict with livestock owners which includes retaliatory killing and – worryingly – preventative killings before they kill any livestock. Lion conservation is all about boundaries. On park boundaries, where mortalities are man-related, that is where we lose Lions.

Much value is placed on the value of Lions in terms of economies, both for hunting and photographic safaris, and that is very important. However, to me these are the least important of their three values. The other two are cultural value and ecological value. The cultural value of Lions is all around for us to see. There was a premiership match a while ago between Manchester United and Chelsea. Three of the largest sports brands on earth and all three – the premier league being the third – have a Lion in their logo. That doesn’t even describe the value that the Lion represents to Africans which can hardly be quantified.

The most important aspect or value of Lions, though, is their ecological value. It is very much like the value of wolves which people are now understanding when they were lost and then reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the US. Lions keep landscapes healthy, rivers flowing and arid areas regenerating whilst avoiding desertification. Simply put, Lions keep browsing animals bunched in dense herds moving which avoids overgrazing. Savannahs are healthier with Lions. The loss of Lions would be a catastrophe for the people of Africa and for the globe to have lost the most iconic species on earth. Economies would suffer and ecosystems would have lost a key component that keeps millions of hectares of Africa from becoming desertified.

PALMER SHOT CECIL WITH A BOW AND ARROW ONCE THE LION LEFT THE SAFETY OF THE PARK, ONLY WOUNDING HIM. HOURS PASSED BEFORE THEY FINISHED HIM OFF

The 2015 IUCN Red Data analysis on Lions reported that trophy hunting was one of the main contributors “to an astonishing decline of 42% of the continent’s total Lion population.” Trophy hunting is detrimental because it targets the largest animals. With Lions, trophy hunters target the males with the darkest manes too. In nature, if a male has those two traits – in other words, he is the largest and darkest male in the area – then he is the pride male. Period. So hunters are targeting the very animal that is maintaining pride stability and holds all the best genes. The loss of that individual is felt for months after his death and over a large area for many species including ours. When a pride is stable and the male is in tenure undisturbed, his male offspring usually leave the pride at about 3.5 – 4.5 years old. They often leave in coalitions and have had plenty of hunting experience to allow them to fight for a territory and take one over for themselves. They are considered adults and will avoid humans and their livestock as a rule. The daughters will tend to stay with their mothers and that continuity is the maintenance of a pride and their territory.

CECIL’S PRIDE: CECIL’S CUBS IN 2015

If a pride male dies naturally, in a fight for instance, the new male is probably stronger with some genetic advantage. He will kill all the cubs from his predecessor and very quickly mate with all receptive females and get his genes into the system as soon as he can. And rightly so, as he is the strongest male around now. If the pride male is hunted, though – and we know that trophy hunters target the pride males by virtue of the fact they are after the largest, darkest males – then the weaker males that couldn’t beat the pride male move in after the hunter has left with his trophy, and the stronger male’s cubs are killed and replaced with weaker genes. We have seen a situation where a coalition of four males in a pride were trophy hunted and up to 16 cubs and sub-adults were killed by new males after the fact. So we don’t just lose 4 males – we lose 20 Lions altogether from that hunt.

Infanticide as I have described sounds all very clinical, but Lionesses if nothing else are the best mothers alive and they hardly just sit and allow their cubs to be killed.

They either fight, in which case they too can be killed, or they flee. Africa’s parks are large, but the Lionesses will flee to the only place that an adult male won’t follow her to kill the cubs, and that is often amongst people. When they leave the parks to avoid infanticide and find themselves amongst people, they rarely find wild prey to live off.

So they may start killing livestock. I noticed this pattern many years ago and I know that WildCRU has the data but they won’t publish it for fear of upsetting the people that give them their permits to study Lions – for example, the Parks department managers who receive money from Lion hunting.

As a result, we are told that trophy hunting is not the largest source of Lion mortality but that conflict with livestock is. This story shows that trophy hunting is in fact a major, if not the major, driver of that conflict. Ironically, the hunters that are responsible for the conflict spikes are often called in to deal with the “problem Lions” with no mention of the fact that they caused it. We have had prides of Lionesses birth 4 or 5 cohorts of cubs and not see a single one reach adulthood because they are caught in this cycle. No sooner have they moved out of the park and started killing livestock than they lose their cubs to snares and “problem animal” control. If the Lionesses survive they now move back to the park without cubs to protect and mate with the new males. Their own cubs are born when hunting season comes around and those males are killed too.

The Truth About Cecil’s Death and The Future of Africa’s Lions

And so the process repeats itself. All the time, Lions are getting the blame and hunters are seen as saving the day. Conflict work is the hardest work of all, especially if you are trying to be sensitive to people and protecting Lions. I have attended meetings where every man attending had an axe on his shoulder for me if the meeting went badly! Yet in Hwange, we know without a shadow of doubt that trophy hunting had the single most significant effect on Lion mortality. As Dr Andrew Loveridge of Oxford University WildCRU has written, levels of hunting mortality exceeded deaths of Lions in conflict with people or killed in wire snares set by poachers and also far outstripped natural levels of mortality. Other sources of mortality such as retaliatory and pre-emptive killing of conflict Lions are often driven by trophy hunting too. So the total impact of trophy hunting is enormous.

Lions breed quickly and their numbers can recover very swiftly once hunting is stopped. We saw Hwange’s Lion population nearly double in the 4 years that Lion hunting was stopped. By allowing the pride males to mature, their protection means that Lionesses lose fewer cubs to Hyaenas. The sub-adults leave later when they are more experienced and can get a territory, rather than get chased around by adult Lions until they too escape the park and predate on livestock – and end up being killed as a ‘problem’ animal.

What perhaps churns my stomach most are the prizes offered by groups such as Safari Club International. To win the highest Safari Club International award, it is estimated that a trophy hunter must kill more than 300 animals. This is one of the strongest arguments against trophy hunting. The hunting and killing of animals purely for ego is a colonial relic that has no place in modern humanity. Pro-hunters argue that if we stop hunting, then the lands that are set aside for it quickly turn to alternative, less Lion-friendly land uses. Slave owners and traders used a similar argument to counter the proposed abolition of slavery. If you ban slavery without finding an alternative source of labour then you won’t have sugar in your coffee, they might say. But that was not an excuse to keep an inhumane system going. It was banned, and people were forced to find an alternative, and so will conservationists when trophy hunting is banned.

MAJESTIC

If you wait, though, then there is no incentive to change. I actually advocate for traditional hunting in protected areas believing that people too are key components of healthy ecosystems, and traditional hunting is a disturbance activity that keeps animals moving and avoids overgrazing. Trophy hunting, though, has no place in African culture. If we are to strengthen Africa’s appreciation and protection of their natural heritage, we must look for links to their cultures. Currently, trophy hunting makes traditional African hunting illegal, and we call them poachers – while rich foreigners come and kill the wildlife with a red carpet rolled out for their arrival. It is vile and has to be consigned to history. These animals should not be sold and hunted as a commodity, but rather they should be part of a strong cultural and ecologically healthy system.

To ensure the survival of Lions, we need to get Africans to feel that the Lions are theirs and not only there for the privileged foreigners to shoot. Often I hear that there are people who have signed a letter saying that the world should leave Africa to manage its wildlife the way it sees fit. I agree with that in principle. However, when I read the list of names, especially from Zimbabwe, I see nobody who represents ordinary people. I see politicians with interests in the trophy hunting industry promoting hunting as “Africans managing their wildlife”. Trophy hunting has no place in African tradition. It is very easy to assemble corrupt people to sing the new song that the powerful trophy hunting lobby want to push, namely that trophy hunting is about promoting African self-determination.

I do believe Africans should decide how to manage their natural resources, but it is almost that they need to be allowed to re-learn what this means. All our park managers are trained by the colonial system under the “if it pays it stays” mantra. Let us instead promote a system change where self-confident Africans, who know what Lions and other wildlife mean to them culturally, and without outside influences, decide what to do with their rich resources. That is paramount. The rest will come easily after that.

I have advocated for the Lion to be declared the first World Heritage Species. This means not seeing it as a tax to ensure the survival of Lions, but rather as a celebration of an animal that means so much to all of humanity. Brands that use Lions for their marketing should come under pressure to pay into a fund that supports the types of work I describe above. Lions are important, but they are also the most efficient means of protecting large areas and a plethora of other species. If you give Lions what they need, their prey will be looked after and their landscapes as well as the people that have to live with them.

It is time to ban trophy hunting, set up Lion as the first World Heritage Species, and raise funds from businesses that use Lions in their marketing. That money should be used to protect Lion landscapes with less stick and more carrot, build up Africans in a way that they can explore what Lions and their wildlife resources mean to them both culturally and ecologically, and empower them to make those decisions.

BELOW ARE PHOTOS OF WALTER PALMER WHO KILLED CECIL IN THE PRIME OF HIS LIFE

US TROPHY HUNTER WALTER PALMER (LEFT) WITH ANOTHER LION HE KILLED
PALMER IS SNAPPED HERE WITH A RHINO THAT HE APPARENTLY PAID £13,000 TO KILL
PALMER WITH A LEOPARD FROM HIS NOW CLOSED FACEBOOK PAGE

© BRENT STAPELKAMP

PROTECT ALL WILDLIFE

We believe EVERY animal should be treated with respect, empathy, and understanding. We raise awareness to protect and conserve wild, captive, companion and farm animals.It is vital that we protect animals against acts of cruelty, abuse, and neglect by enforcing established animal welfare laws and, when necessary, take action to ensure that those who abuse animals are brought to justice.

Protect All Wildlife are involved in many projects to protect animals’ rights, welfare, and habitats. Money contributed to Protect All Wildlife supports ALL of our worthy programmes and gives us the flexibility to respond to emerging needs. Your donations make our work possible.

‘The Hunter Was Hunted’: Riaan Naude, Trophy Hunter Who Killed Hundreds Of Wild Animals, Murdered

RIAAN NAUDE WITH SOME OF HIS ‘TROPHIES’

Riaan Naude, a trophy hunter in South Africa known for “proudly” displaying images of himself with innocent animals that he killed for so-called “sport,” has been killed. Naude’s company Pro Hunt Africa has taken the lives of many threatened and endangered species throughout South Africa.

Riaan Naude was a professional hunter denounced by international animal rights organizations due to the large number of wild specimens that died in his hands.

Naude also was heavily involved in breeding and selling Giraffes to numerous customers so that they could later hunt them and serve as personal trophies.

NAUDE ALSO BRED AND SOLD HUNDREDS OF GIRAFFES FOR TROPHY HUNTERS TO ‘HUNT’

Environmentalists Expose Trophy Killing confirmed the news through their Twitter account, stating that Naude was killed while on a hunting trip.

Naude stopped his vehicle on the side of the road approximately 5 km from Mokopane after it overheated, according to the Heritage Protection Group (HPG), a non-profit crime-fighting organization

A second vehicle pulled up next to Naude, and a man shot him in cold blood at close range.

The two suspects got out of the car and stole a gun from Naude, HPG mentions. “The suspects then got into their vehicle and drove in the direction of Marken.”

Police spokesman Lt. Col. Mamphaswa Seabi said that when police officers arrived at the scene, they found the lifeless body next to his vehicle.

Police found two hunting rifles, clothing, water, whiskey, and pyjamas in the victim’s vehicle. The motive for the murder is unknown currently.

Users celebrate the death of Riaan Naude

The news has gone viral on social media and many cybernauts celebrated the killing, arguing that it was an act of justice for the animals.

“Hunter hunted. There is party in animal heaven. I’m not happy, but animals should not be anyone’s trophy; they should live and survive in their habitat naturally,” wrote a user in response to Expose Trophy Hunts tweet.

“No more abusing defenceless animals,” commented another user.

When I look at this picture (of Naude holding a Lion) I can’t feel sorry for him.

Death is the hardest thing to bear and I think of his family. However this magnificent lion in the picture also died…why turn a beautiful mature lion into a lifeless trophy? said another.

Truly, a tragedy. Why is it always the good ones that get taken from us so soon? My deepest sympathies to this poor lion’s family. said another

Why was he executed?

Although the authorities are working on the case, the hypothesis they are handling is the “high level of hatred that the locals had for the hunter, due to the enormous number of animals he killed.”

PROTECT ALL WILDLIFE

We believe EVERY animal should be treated with respect, empathy, and understanding. We raise awareness to protect and conserve wild, captive, companion and farm animals.It is vital that we protect animals against acts of cruelty, abuse, and neglect by enforcing established animal welfare laws and, when necessary, take action to ensure that those who abuse animals are brought to justice.

Protect All Wildlife are involved in many projects to protect animals’ rights, welfare, and habitats. Money contributed to Protect All Wildlife supports ALL of our worthy programmes and gives us the flexibility to respond to emerging needs. Your donations make our work possible. Thank you for your support.

Why Ricky Gervais Is An Animal Rights Legend

Ricky Gervais has carved an incredibly successful career from making people laugh but it’s no joking matter when it comes to standing up for the rights of animals!

In 2014, Ricky famously declared; “Animals don’t have a voice. But I do. A loud one. I’m a fucking big mouth. My voice is for them. And I’ll never shut up while they suffer”. And true to his word, Ricky is constantly shouting from the rooftops about bringing an end to animal cruelty. Whether it’s fighting against Fox hunting or battling a historic Bull fight when it comes to all creatures great and small, Ricky has their back.

Thanks to his celebrity status from films and TV, Ricky has a staggering following on Twitter and Facebook and he regularly uses social media to make people sit up and listen. One carefully worded tweet to his millions of followers can bring global attention to animals in fear or danger within seconds. He can encourage charity donations to come flooding in and get everyone talking about shocking examples of cruelty around the world.

In the past, Ricky has used social media to highlight the atrocity of 10,000 dogs slaughtered every year at the annual Chinese Yulin Dog Meat Festival and campaigned to bring it to an end.

He has individually named and shamed ‘big game hunters’ as they’ve posed by their bleeding ‘trophies’. Ricky also posted this message on his Facebook page – “I’m sick of Trophy Hunters trying to excuse their grim sport by saying they provide a service. They exploit the needs of the poor. They pay lots of money to go and shoot a magnificent animal because the authorities need the cash, and then claim they are doing a good deed. It’s not a good deed. Those authorities would rather have the money AND the animal still alive but they can’t afford to. So they’re forced to take money from rich psychopaths who get their cheap fucking thrills from shooting a giraffe or elephant in the head. If they were providing a service THEY would be the ones being paid. Imagine a vet paying you to put down your dog and then taking a selfie next to the corpse. And as for “the money goes to saving there remaining animals”. Oh dear. Where will it end? Can you pay more to kill the Leopard with a hammer if that’s your perversion? They’re already killing with bows and arrows for fucks sake. And would we allow some billionaire sicko to shoot one cancer patient if he gave a million dollars to cancer research? No. Of course we fucking wouldn’t. If they really wanted to do a good deed they would donate the money, and NOT shoot the animal. They would be heroes then. As opposed to murdering scum”.

Why Ricky Gervais Is Every Cowardly Trophy Hunter’s Worst Nightmare!

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In 2014, Ricky lent his considerable Twitter celebrity to the campaign against Western Australia’s controversial Shark kill policy. He appeared on social media holding up a sign decrying the WA government plans to catch and kill any shark 3m or over that comes within 1km of a Perth beach. It read: “To the government of Western Australia – Listen to Facts, Listen to Science, Listen to Reason – Stop the Shark Cull.” He also used his appearance at the British National Television Awards.

A local street artist made his own protest by painting a mural on a building which included the anti-cull quote by from Ricky. The cull was later called off!

Also in 2014, Ricky symbolically adopted one of the 130 moon Bears on a Bear bile farm in Nanning, China, a farm that’s set to transition into Animals Asia’s third moon Bear sanctuary. Ricky named the young male Bear, Derek, after his comedy-drama.

L to R – Peter Egan, Ricky’s partner Jane Fallon, Ricky and Jill Robinson (founder of Animals Asia)

Derek was a ten-year-old Bear with a host of problems, as a result of a life trapped in a cage where workers would extract his bile. His head is raw from years of rubbing his head against the bars of his small cage, and most of his teeth have fallen out, with the exception of a few rotten teeth which badly needed to be extracted. His lolloping tongue is a result of a nerve damage, while his right eye suffers from a cataract.

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“Derek is a beautiful but very damaged Bear,” said Ricky. “After such a sad and traumatic existence on a Bear farm I am thrilled to have adopted him as one of 130 Bears currently being rescued by Animals Asia in China and long to see him enjoying his new life in the sun! I so admire this historic initiative to turn a Bear farm into a sanctuary and applaud the efforts of everyone involved.”

In the USA in 2015, a female black bear called Ricky who spent 18 years in a cage was freed after a settlement in a lawsuit brought by the Animal Legal Defense Fund

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The lawsuit was filed by in December 2014 on behalf of concerned Pennsylvania residents against Jim Mack’s Ice Cream, where Ricky had lived in a small, concrete cage, eating a mix of corn and dog food funnelled onto the floor of her enclosure.

Ricky’s plight drew national attention, and tens of thousands of people (including Ricky) signed petitions requesting her release..

Again in 2015, Ricky helped hundreds of shelter dogs desperately lacking food and medical care. When an influx of 680 dogs arrived at a public shelter in Odai, Romania, the workers knew these dogs didn’t have anywhere else to turn. Despite not having enough food, bedding or even bowls for water, the shelter took them in. They needed help and fast, so London-based partner rescue, K-9 Angels created a fundraising page with an urgent plea for donations “to ease the emergency situation at the shelter.” Over the course of several days, the group had raised only about £4,000 for the Romanian shelter. The money was enough to make sure the dogs had enough food for about two months, but it didn’t come anywhere near what the shelter needed to pay for basic supplies, vaccinations and labour costs. In fact, it was about £26,000 short. That’s when Ricky stepped in and posted the following tweet.

“Within days we had raised £20,000. Before Ricky retweeted we had only raised £4,000 so it just goes to show the power that animal loving celebs have. We are very grateful,” K-9 Angels founder Victoria Eisermann. The group showed their gratitude with a post in which they called the comedian “an angel” for sharing their fundraiser page. Eisermann added that the group even honoured Ricky by naming one of the young puppies “Ricky.”

Lately,  Ricky has been very vocal about Lucy’s Law, the campaign to end the heart-breaking puppy farming trade. Lucy’s Law is named after a remarkable Cavalier Spaniel called Lucy who was rescued from a Welsh puppy farm and became a celebrity in her own right on social media before her death more than a year ago. Ricky regularly posted details on Twitter and Facebook leading to it being a short distance from becoming law.

rickylucy

Ricky’s passion and ability to be vocal has made millions of people painfully aware of such issues as the slaughter of whales in the Faroe Islands and the stolen pet dogs of Thailand that are destined for the illegal meat trade.

Ricky also reminds us all of the huge number of animals in rescue shelters and the importance of the hashtag #AdoptDontShop with his numerous posts.

ADOPT DONT SHOP 1

Ricky is driven to raise awareness and get signatures on petitions that pile pressure on governments. He has put his name to campaigns with charities such as PETA and the Humane Society International. Ricky won’t stop until animals are protected from blood sports, their fur is no longer used as a fashion statement, the Yulin ‘festival’ ends and the last SeaWorld ‘fish tank’ is empty (etc etc!)

This year Ricky donated £427,243 to animal charities from the sale of premium seats for his stand-up tour Supernature.

It was split three ways between International Animal Rescue, Animals Asia and Nowzad which each received just over £142,400. 

Ricky said: ‘It is such a privilege to be able to help animals in need, simply by doing a job that I already love.’

Ricky is undoubtedly a voice for all animals and it’s fair to say the world is listens to him.

And a final quote from Ricky……

BE KIND TO ANIMALS

This is only a small part of what Ricky has done for animals over the years.

…….and THAT is why Ricky Gervais is a animal rights legend!!

Protect All Wildlife

The Mission of Protect All Wildlife is to prevent cruelty and promote the welfare of ALL animals.

We believe EVERY animal should be treated with respect, empathy, and understanding. We raise awareness to protect and conserve wild, captive, companion and farm animals.

It is vital that we protect animals against acts of cruelty, abuse, and neglect by enforcing established animal welfare laws and, when necessary, take action to ensure that those who abuse animals are brought to justice.

Protect All Wildlife are involved in many projects to protect animals’ rights, welfare, and habitats. Money contributed to Protect All Wildlife supports ALL of our worthy programmes and gives us the flexibility to respond to emerging needs. Your donations make our work possible.

Thank you for your support and consideration.

Please Help End Animal Abuse And Cruelty.

Animal Rights Activist Ricky Gervais

 “Animals are not here for us to do as we please with. We are not their superiors. We are their equals. We are their family. Be kind to them.” ~ Ricky Gervais.

Cruelty to animals, also called animal abuseanimal neglect or animal cruelty, is the infliction by omission (neglect) or by commission by humans of suffering or harm upon any animal. More narrowly, it can be the causing of harm or suffering for specific achievement, such as killing animals for entertainment; cruelty to animals sometimes encompasses inflicting harm or suffering as an end in itself, defined as zoosadism.

Animal cruelty can be broken down into two main categories: active and passive. Passive cruelty is typified by cases of neglect, in which the cruelty is a lack of action rather than the action itself. Oftentimes passive animal cruelty is accidental, born of ignorance. In many cases of neglect in which an investigator believes that the cruelty occurred out of ignorance, the investigator may attempt to educate the pet owner, then revisit the situation. In more severe cases, exigent circumstances may require that the animal be removed for veterinary care.

Whether it is Elephants killed for their tusks or beaten so they comply in the Asian tourism ‘industry’, Rhino slaughtered for their horns for ‘traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), animals skinned alive for the fur trade etc, animal activists need to stand together to fight for their rights.

At many elephant ‘sanctuaries’ across Thailand and in other countries, the elephants are taught to fear humans. This is so that they will act with compliancy. From babies they are tied up, starved and beaten in what is known as a ‘crush’. This is the act of breaking a young elephant’s spirit. And it’s mostly true what they say: an elephant never forgets. This means that, with their long memories, elephants remember this period of abuse for the rest of their lives. It ensures that the elephants will do what the trainers (also known as mahouts) say, and are more easily trained.

They are also commonly beaten with hooks and sticks that have nails poking out of them – this is when they are seen to be misbehaving or not following orders, or being too slow to respond. The mahouts want the animals to be constantly putting on a performance for those tourists who are there for elephant riding in Thailand.

UNDERCOVER FOOTAGE SHOWS CRUEL TRAINING USED ON BABY ELEPHANTS TO BOOST THAILAND TOURISM

As poaching and habitat loss ravage rhinoceros and elephant populations, protections for these species are vitally important. Today, all five rhino species and both elephant species are threatened with extinction. Efforts are underway across the globe to save these iconic animals.

Elephants and rhinos often experience painful deaths when poached. Rhinos may have their horns cut off while they are still alive and contrary to belief, elephants do not lose their tusks; they are hacked out by poachers.

More than a thousand rhinos and tens of thousands of elephants are killed each year to feed demand for ivory and rhino horn. The international trade in elephants, rhinos, and other species is the second-largest threat to wildlife after habitat loss. If the market continues to drive poaching, both rhinos and elephants could vanish from the wild as early as 2034.

HORRIFIC IMAGES OF ELEPHANTS POACHED FOR THEIR TUSKS AND A RHINO FOR ITS HORN

Every year, hundreds of badgers meet a horrific death in the name of ‘sport’ in the UK at the hands of terriermen. Many of those who have been caught digging into badger setts have used the excuse that they were after foxes – and many have escaped prosecution by so doing.

The Lychee and Dog Meat Festival, commonly referred to as the Yulin Dog Meat Festival is an annual event starting on 20th of June where an estimated 10,000 – 15,000 dogs and cats are slaughtered for their meat.

The ‘festival’ began in 2010 to celebrate summer solstice. Advocates and restaurant owners say that eating dog is traditional in the summertime. Around 10-20 million dogs are killed for their meat each year in China. However, critics argue there is no cultural value in the festival and it was mainly devised as a way of making money.

While slaughtering dogs is common in China, the festival is seen as representative of the cruelty and lack of hygiene associated with the largely unregulated industry. In addition, many of the animals killed are stolen pets some of which have been seen still wearing their collars.

Some are sent to the festival in small cages without food or water on trucks that can travel hundreds of miles.

Slaughtering takes place in front of the live animals, usually with a club or with a blow-torch to induce the pain and fear that some restaurant owners claim makes their adrenaline-rich meat tastier.

“Psychologically and mentally, they have already died many times,” said Peter Li, a China policy specialist with the Humane Society International.

DOGS ARE TORTURED TO DEATH IN THE BELIEF THAT IT MAKES THE MEAT TASTIER

Trophy hunters pay large sums of money, often tens of thousands of dollars, to travel around the world to kill wild animals. Who can forget the killing of Cecil the Lion in 2015 in Zimbabwe? He was hunted over many hours with a bow and arrow, before being skinned and beheaded by Dentist Walter Palmer.

More often than not animals in their prime and in breeding age are targeted by trophy hunting because of their specific characteristics; their black mane, their long tusks, the size of their antlers, in fact Safari Club International offers prizes for the largest animals killed. Where older males are targeted this can have extreme negative consequences for the herd or pride; older males offer protection to groups and keep juvenile males in line, when they are killed less experienced animals move in, increasing the risk of human wildlife conflict and killing the cubs of the older male. When the elephants with the largest tusks are killed, we have seen the size of elephant tusks in the population decrease over time, making it harder to find food and defend themselves.

CECIL THE LION WAS SHOT BY DENTIST WALTER PALMER IN JULY 2015 AND CAUSED INTERNATIONAL OUTRAGE

More than 10,000 are caught, tortured and killed in the UK each year by huntsmen with terriers – with almost a third of these illegal acts being carried out in Wales. Alarmingly, this figure is rising constantly. Terry Spamer, a former RSPCA inspector, believes that there are around 2,000 people involved in badger baiting currently. However, only around three people are caught and convicted of badger baiting each year, while the majority carry on breaking the law.

Traditional fox hunting was banned in England and Wales under the Hunting Act 2004. In spite of existing legislation, there has been 500 successful prosecutions under the Act. However, many incidents of illegal hunting have gone unpunished.

FOX HUNTING AND BADGER BAITING IS ILLEGAL IN THE UK BUT CARRIES ON WITH WITH APPARENT IMPUNITY

Dogfighting is an inhumane ‘bloodsport’ where dogs who have been bred, conditioned and trained to fight are placed in a pit to fight each other for spectator ‘entertainment’ and profit. Fights average one to two hours, ending when one of the dogs cannot continue.

Dog fights usually take part in quiet, private locations, such as in an industrial unit or farm building. Participants will spend months training their dogs in preparation, much like boxing, the fighters will have to hit a target weight to take part. Organisers will create a fighting ‘pit’ for the dogs to fight within.

Dogs who have been used in fighting often have serious injuries to their head, ears, front legs and chest that are caused as they go head-to-head in a pit. They will also have injuries of different ages, some old scars and some fresh wounds.

IT IS BELIEVED OVER 16000 DOGS DIE EACH YEAR IN ORGANIZED DOG FIGHTS

Each year, thousands of bulls are barbarically slaughtered in bullrings around the world. Over the centuries, bullfighters have found countless ways to rig the “fight” in their favor. Bulls are often weakened with drugs or by having sandbags dropped on their backs. Their horns have been shaved to keep them off balance, or petroleum jelly has been rubbed into their eyes to impair their vision.

Every year, approximately 250,000 bulls are killed in bullfights. Bullfighting is already banned by law in many countries including Argentina, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Italy and the United Kingdom. Although legal in Spain, some Spanish cities, such as Calonge, Tossa de Mar, Vilamacolum and La Vajol, have outlawed the practice of bullfighting. There are only a few countries throughout the world where this practice still takes place (Spain, France, Portugal, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Ecuador). ~ HSI.

BULLS ARE TORTURED IN THE NAME OF CULTURE AND TRADITION

Each year from approximately September 1 to March 1, a large-scale hunt of dolphins takes place in the small village of Taiji, Japan, as featured in the 2010 Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove. During this six month season, dolphin hunters utilize drive hunt techniques to herd large numbers of dolphins to shore, resulting in their capture or death.

The captured dolphins may be selected for live trade to aquariums and marine parks for display, while others are slaughtered for their meat. The price for live captures is many times higher than those killed.

THE ANNUAL TAIJI DOLPHIN SLAUGHTER

What you can do to help end animal abuse

We believe EVERY animal should be treated with respect, empathy, and understanding. We raise awareness to protect and conserve wild, captive, companion and farm animals.

It is vital that we protect animals against acts of cruelty, abuse, and neglect by enforcing established animal welfare laws and, when necessary, taking action to ensure that those who abuse animals are brought to justice.

The Mission of Protect All Wildlife is to prevent cruelty, promote the welfare of ALL animals EVERYWHERE, and help END animal abuse.

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RARE BIRTH OF SUMATRAN RHINO BRINGS HOPE FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES

A Sumatran Rhino has successfully given birth in a Lampung sanctuary, environment officials said, in a boost for conservation efforts targeting the critically endangered animal.

THE CLAF BORN IN WAY KAMBAS NATIONAL PARK

The World Wide Fund for Nature estimates fewer than 80 Sumatran Rhinos remain in the world, mainly in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

A Rhino named Rosa gave birth to a female calf on Thursday in Way Kambas National Park in Lampung, after suffering eight miscarriages since 2005, when she was brought in from the wild for a breeding program.

“The birth of this Sumatran Rhino is such happy news amid the government’s and partners’ efforts to increase the population,” Wiratno, a senior official at Indonesia’s environment ministry, said in a statement Monday. 

The calf, who has yet to be named, brings the number of Sumatran Rhinos in the Way Kambas sanctuary to eight.

Successful births are rare. The calf’s father, named Andatu, was the first Sumatran Rhino born in a sanctuary in more than 120 years.

Standing between 3.3 – 5 feet, Sumatran Rhinos are the smallest of all Rhinoceroses and they have a lifespan of around 35 – 40 years. They were once found across South and Southeast east, from the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas in Bhutan to eastern India, through Myanmar, Thailand, and  possibly to Vietnam and China. Now, the species is critically endangered, with less than 80 individuals remaining in the wild in small fragmented habitats on the island of Sumatra and nearby Borneo.

MOTHER ROSA WITH HER CALF

In 2017, Rhino conservation experts and the Indonesian government concluded that the only way to save the species was through a captive breeding program. The move was similar to an initiative launched in the 1980s that saw 40 Sumatran rhinos captured for breeding. But in this case, nearly half of the captive animals had died by 1995 and not a single calf had been born.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies the Sumatran rhino, the smallest of all Rhino species, as critically endangered.

Multiple threats have brought them to the brink of extinction, including poaching and climate change.

This handout photo released on March 28 and made available on March 29, 2022 shows female rhino named Rosa (l) with her new baby born at the Way Kambas National Park, in Way Kambas, in Lampung province. Rosa delivered a baby rhino on March 24, for the first time after translocating from roaming in villages. A critically endangered Sumatran rhino was born in an Indonesian sanctuary bringing hope to the conservation of the rapidly declining species, an official said. (AFP/Handout)

Rhino horn is often illegally traded for traditional Chinese medicine. 

Indonesia is also racing to save another critically endangered species – the Javan Rhino.

Once numbering in the thousands across Southeast Asia, fewer than 80 are alive today, mainly in a national park on Indonesia’s main island of Java.

Efforts to conserve the species have shown promising results with the birth of five calves in Ujung Kulon National Park last year.

The Mission of Protect All Wildlife is to prevent cruelty, promote the welfare of ALL animals EVERYWHERE, and help END animal abuse.

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Tony Fitzjohn, Renowned For Wildlife Conservation Work In Kenya & Tanzania, Has Died Aged 76

He began as a Boy Scout, became a hippie, hitchhiked to Africa, & made himself useful.

Tony Fitzjohn, 76, died on May 23, 2022, “following a prolonged fight against a malignant cancer,” the Tony Fitzjohn-Wildlife Now George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust announced.

TONY FITZJOHN AND FRIEND. 1968.

Fitzjohn recounted most of his long career working on behalf of African wildlife in his 310-page memoir Born Wild, published in 2010.

“Growing up in England, Fitzjohn loved Scouting.  Tarzan tales enchanted him,” summarized reviewer Debra J. White.  “As a troubled teen, Fitzjohn landed in Outward Bound programs.  A letter Fitzjohn sent to Born Free author Joy Adamson brought Fitzjohn to Kenya,” by hitchhiking.

Assistant to George Adamson

In 1971, at age 24, Fitzjohn became assistant to Adamson’s then-husband, 65-year-old conservationist George Adamson.

GEORGE ADAMSON AND TONY FITZJOHN  SIT WATCHING THE SUNSET  ON A ROCK NEAR KORA CAMP IN KENYA. AFRICA. 1987.

Fitzjohn, as a full-time volunteer, helped Adamson to rehabilitate injured or formerly captive lions, leopards, and African wild dogs for return to the wild.  Tracking animals post-release was among his duties and was considerably more difficult and dangerous than it is today because radio collars had not yet been developed.

Once, in 1975, “I was incredibly lucky to survive,” Fitzjohn wrote.  “My attacker’s teeth had come within millimetres of both my carotid and jugular arteries.  There are holes in my throat that I could put a fist through, and I did.”

After several months of recovery Fitzjohn returned to help George Adamson at his camp called Kora, located east of Mount Kenya, near the Tana River, almost in the dead centre of the nation.

TONY FITZJOHN WITH SQUEAKS, LEOPARD FRIEND

Kenya “became a scary place”

Conflicts with poachers and illegal grazers at Kora intensified after a border conflict between Kenya and Somalia in 1978.  Somalia lost the war but, Fitzjohn remembered, “There were suddenly a lot of well-armed Somali men flooding across the border into northern Kenya.  They were bandits, well-trained, ruthless and armed.”

“Another camp near Kora was attacked and everything of value was looted.  Two workers were killed.  Poaching escalated,” White wrote.

“The Kenyan government was either unwilling or unable to stop the raiding, despite warnings that wildlife tourism could be destroyed.  Political unrest, corruption, drought, and tribal strife plagued Kenya for more than a decade,” White continued.

Understated Fitzjohn, “Kenya had suddenly become a scary place.”

TONY FITZJOHN AND A RHINO FRIEND

Murders brought move to Tanzania

The Kora camp site eventually became the hub of the Kora National Reserve, initially designated in 1973 but not added to the Kenyan national park system until 1989, after George Adamson came to the aid of a tourist who had been robbed and gang-raped by poachers.  Adamson was murdered while racing his jeep straight at the bad guys, who fled.

Joy Adamson had already been killed in a confrontation with an ex-employee in January 1980.

Of George Adamson’s murder, Fitzjohn said, “If I had been there, it wouldn’t have happened.”

Fitzjohn had left, temporarily, to assess the prospects for restoring the huge Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania, south of Tsavo National Park in Kenya.

Fitzjohn said of Kora – Life at Kora was one of overwhelming isolation. The camp was situated two days’ travel from the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, and conditions were basic. Aside from a few camp employees and George’s brother Terence, Adamson and Fitzjohn would go months at a time without being visited by an outsider. The work was everything.

“Our whole life was based around the lions: their health, their survival, their coping with going back to the wild. I became a self-taught mechanic, and I learned to maintain all the vehicles. I would also do the supply trips to Garissa [the Somali Kenyan capital], though god knows why the bandits didn’t take me out,” Fitzjohn laughs.

“The police would get shot up, even the commissioner would get shot up. And there I was, a heathen, storming down with a beer in one hand and a joint in the other, the ghetto blaster booming. But they never touched me. I think there was someone up there looking after me. And I’ve always been prepared to take my chances for what I thought was worthwhile.”

Fitzjohn soon became Kora’s de facto PR man and fixer: dealing with the local authorities, talking to the police, keeping things cordial. “It mainly involved a lot of drinking in the police mess and the army mess in Garissa,” he says. “Drinking was a big part of life out there, I suppose, though not so much in the bush.”

At one point, Fitzjohn thought two policemen were trailing him through the city — so he hid in an alleyway and ambushed them, taking them both out with fists flailing. That afternoon, he discovered that they’d been sent to look over him and protect him, should anything turn nasty.

“So I had to go and apologise to them at the station. Well: that turned into a long night on the beers, didn’t it…” he says, slightly sheepishly. “It was the Wild West, in many ways. But the Wild West with Land Rovers.”

Having worked with Adamson for 18 years, but at odds with himself after the murder, Fitzjohn soon afterward moved to Mkomazi.

Mkomazi, in Fitzjohn’s own words, was “the perfect place for me to bury myself and reinvent myself after the events of the past few years.”

Mkomazi Game Reserve

There, said the Tony Fitzjohn-Wildlife Now George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust statement announcing Fitzjohn’s death, “His main, towering achievement was the rehabilitation of Mkomazi.

“This was at the invitation of the Tanzanian Government in 1989,” the Tony Fitzjohn-Wildlife Now George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust continued.  “In the next thirty years, he enlisted a formidable group of supporters, experts and famous institutions in what became an international beacon for conservation of land and wildlife.”

Fitzjohn “created programs for endangered species, including the African wild dog, and one of the most successful rhino sanctuaries in Africa, and pioneered educational programs in the local communities,” the Tony Fitzjohn-Wildlife Now George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust memorial statement finished.

Frustrated by the corruption of the John Magafuli regime in Tanzania, Fitzjohn returned management of Mkomazi to the Tanzanian government in 2020 and returned to Kenya to work on rehabilitating Kora.

Magafuli, ironically, who had been the most vehement COVID-19 denier in Africa, died of COVID-19 in March 2021.

Fitzjohn was admitted to the Order of the British Empire in 2006.   He also received the Prince Bernhard Order of the Golden Ark, the North of England Zoological Society’s Gold Medal and the Hanno Ellenbogen Citizenship Award for public service.

A FITTING TRIBUTE TO TONY FROM MKOMAZI NATIONAL PARK

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