‘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.”

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.

Trophy Hunting Will NOT Save Africa’s Lions – So the UK Ban On Imports Is a Positive Step For Wildlife Conservation.

Hans Bauer: “Over the past 25 years, I have spent a lot of time counting Lions as part of my job. Only last month, I spent three hours with two males – possibly brothers – right next to my car in Maze National Park, Ethiopia. Lions come in the night, very quietly. Despite weighing well over 20 stone (around 150kg), you do not hear their footsteps. What you hear is their breathing, the turbo of the killing machine.

Had I turned on a light immediately, they would have run away. These Lions are skittish, even if they face no threat from trophy hunters in Africa’s national parks. So we spend half an hour in the pitch dark before I finally switch on a small red light to count the eye reflections. Another pause, then a bigger red light enables us to see their sex and age.

We get lucky: with the big spotlight they move to a discrete distance, but we still get to watch them for an hour before retiring to our tents a few hundred metres away. The Lions have long lost interest in us but the ranger makes a campfire which smoulders all night, just to be safe. This park has no outposts, no visitors and no emergency services, so we need to stay out of trouble.

HANS BAEUR ASSISTING WITH TRANSLOCATING A LIVESTOCK-RAIDING LION TO WAZA NATIONAL PARK, CAMEROON.

Maybe you have counted Lions in a zoo or wildlife park: “I see three – no wait, there’s a tip of another tail and a flickering ear, so four, or five?” People on safari in popular destinations where Lions are habituated to cars may have had the same experience. In the wilderness, however, Lions are hard to spot – across much of their range you don’t see them very often at all, especially during the day.

I have spent countless nights sitting on top of my vehicle, playing buffalo or warthog cries with a megaphone, trying to catch a glimpse of Lions attracted by these sounds. I have walked for days to find footprints or put up automated camera traps. For every day of fieldwork there is a day of grant writing before and a day of reporting afterwards – but yes, it is a wonderful job.

I once found Lions in a part of Ethiopia where they had not been documented and added a blob on the distribution map. Unfortunately, over the last 25 years, it has been much more common to reduce or delete entries from our African Lion Database.

My research shows that during this time, Lion numbers have decreased by 43% throughout Africa, and that their range has declined by more than 90%. There are now roughly 25,000 Lions in 60 separate population groups, half of which consist of less than 100 Lions. Their existence is particularly threatened across West, Central and East Africa.

I first went to Cameroon in 1992 to do my masters project in Waza National Park, and have worked in various parts of Africa ever since (I currently live in Mali). My main research focus with WildCRU – Europe’s first university-based conservation research unit – is the mitigation of human-Lion conflicts. I study the difficult balance between people’s livelihoods and the conservation of biodiversity, working close-up at village level but also at national and international perspectives.

This led to me being asked to give evidence to the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Banning Trophy Hunting, which on 29 June 2022 presented its report on the impacts of trophy hunting to the environment secretary, George Eustice. This follows the UK government’s announcement in December 2021 that it would ban the importing of body parts of 7,000 species including Lions, rhinos, elephants and polar bears. On average, roughly ten Lion “trophies” are imported into the UK each year, among many other threatened species.

There are many ways to look at this issue, and the debate usually ends up in a deadlock between utilitarians and moralists. I won’t hide my sympathy for the latter – I work with organisations such as the Born Free Foundation. But after a week in the field living on pasta and tinned tomato sauce, I will eat bushmeat in a village with no alternatives if it has been harvested legally and sustainably.

The future of trophy hunting in Africa was not on the table during the APPG’s discussions about a UK import ban – and if it was, it would be for African scientists to advise their governments of the pros and cons. In my view, however, the evidence is clear that trophy hunting has not delivered for wildlife in most parts of Africa, and that local communities benefit next to nothing from its continued practice.

How trophy hunting works

Trophy hunting is a controversial topic in conservation circles. In some cases, the fact that Lions are doing better in parts of southern Africa has – wrongly, in my view – been attributed to it. But in itself, trophy hunting is not the Lions’ biggest threat either; my research shows that more are killed when they attack livestock, or perish when their habitat and prey is diminished by agricultural encroachment or poaching.

In Africa, trophy hunting’s popularity grew during colonial times when all sorts of slain animals were sent back to Europe. Nowadays, antelopes are this industry’s most hunted animals – but the most prestigious targets remain the “big five”: Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhinoceros and Buffalo.

LION IMAGE FROM A CAMERA TRAP IN DINDER NATIONAL PARK, SUDAN. HANS BAUER

A client might pay a local entrepreneur or hunting guide anywhere between £10,000 and £100,000 for a “bag” that includes a Lion – and the super-rich may pay (or donate) even more. It’s a lot of money for a holiday, and trophy hunting mostly attracts rich, white, middle-aged men from western countries.

Hunting guides are businessmen (almost all are male). They generally lease government land that has been designated for conservation through “sustainable use”. Known as trophy hunting “blocks”, these areas vary widely (anywhere between 500km² and 5,000km²) and each has annual quotas for the amounts of different species that may be shot by trophy hunters.

In theory, this restricts the killings to a level the population can sustain. Hunting guides then manage their blocks to maintain these wildlife numbers, including organising anti-poaching patrols. The guides employ staff, pay the land lease, trophy fees and a bunch of other costs – including to a taxidermist and export company to deliver the skin and skull to their client after the kill. It is a big industry that claims to be good for both wildlife and local people, but these guides are not charity workers; they maximise their benefits and minimise their costs.

Trophy hunting also does not focus (as is sometimes suggested) on killing off the older, weaker animals in any block. Wildlife populations grow fastest when their densities are low, so that food and aggression are not limiting factors. In order to minimise any such competition – and to offer the biggest trophies – trophy hunts will target healthy animals, not just the old and infirm.

Lions and livestock

The methodology used for setting trophy hunting quotas varies from country to country. Cameroon, for example, has traditionally had very high quotas for Lions, but these were not based on scientific rigour. In 2015 we published our first survey results based on observations done by three teams tracking Lions over a vast range.

Each team drove for thousands of kilometres across Cameroon, very slowly, always with two trackers stationed on the bonnet of each 4×4 looking for footprints. We got stuck, camped, waited for trophy hunters to depart before being allowed into a particular area, struggled to get diesel, tolerated the heat and the tsetse flies – it was all part of our daily routine following the Lions.

Ultimately, we counted 250 Lions, 316 Leopards and 1,376 Spotted Hyenas. Cameroon does not offer a trophy hunting quota for Leopards, and Hyenas are not popular with hunters – but as a result of our count, the country’s annual Lion quota was reduced from 30 to ten. Today this quota is still applied throughout northern Cameroon’s Bénoué ecosystem, which has 32 trophy hunting blocks in between its three national parks.

Of these 32 blocks, however, more than ten no longer have any resident Lions. And when the blocks lose their Lions, this also threatens those living in the national parks – as there is a big difference between having 250 Lions spread across 30,000km² of contiguous habitat, or three isolated populations of 50 in parks of 3,000km² each.

GRAZING LIVESTOCK CAN BE EASY PREY FOR LIONS AT NIGHT. HANS BAUER

When I visited Cameroon again in 2021, I observed cattle everywhere – which is not a good combination with Lions. Many of these herds had come from neighbouring countries – pastoralists running from the threat of terrorists in Mali and Niger. As a result, the pressure on these areas, and those who manage them, is intense. It is hard enough to integrate local communities in conservation work, much harder with nomadic people.

Whenever livestock grazes in an area with Lions, you inevitably get some depredation. Lions will kill some livestock and, in retaliation, people will kill some Lions. This is perhaps the biggest challenge in Lion conservation, and all the programmes I know are working to mitigate it. There are tools available to reduce the damage, from flashlights and watchdogs to mobile enclosures and more. But this only works if you know the people living there and can collaborate towards a common goal – not if you have different people passing through every time.

In fact, the pastoralists I have met are usually quite tolerant – they like Lions. A herder in Cameroon once told me: “If a Lion attacks one cow this year, I will know that God has not forgotten me.” Another in Ethiopia said: “We do not think Lions take our livestock to hurt us. As a result, we do not refer to it as an ‘attack’ or ‘killing’ – they are taking what they need.”

Nonetheless, some people – pastoralists and others – inevitably pay a high price for co-existing with Lions, and they would prefer them in someone else’s backyard.

I have collared Lions in several countries. I know the thrill of a hunt, but a dart gun does not kill – and the information you get from a Lion’s collar is amazing. In Waza National Park, I followed Lions this way and some behaved very well – but the worst offender killed a hundred-thousand dollars’ worth of cattle in our time there. The park’s warden asked me: “How long do you think the local people will pay this price for Lion conservation?”

Almost all Lion trophy hunting zones in Africa are part of larger ecosystems that include national parks, and in most cases the hunt quotas are based on the entire population of Lions, including those living in the parks. An argument used by trophy hunters is that they are protecting extra land with extra Lions – but it’s not that simple.

While trophy hunting blocks do add Lions and extra habitat, they can still become a drain on the overall population when Lions move out of the parks into emptied territories within the blocks. These so-called “source-sink dynamics” became a global news story in July 2015 because of Cecil, the black-maned Lion that my WildCRU colleagues were satellite-tracking when he was killed by an American trophy hunter.

Cecil had been lured from Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and was shot by Walter Palmer, a dentist from the Minneapolis area. It was actually quite a routine occurrence, but the death of Cecil the Lion created a worldwide media storm – feeding into the UK’s proposal for a ban on trophy hunt imports.

The model starts to unravel

Throughout most of Africa, Lion numbers are declining. While trophy hunting is far from the only reason for this, the evidence clearly shows it has failed in its promise to provide a significant boost to wildlife conservation. I once thought it might offer benefits too, but studying its impacts and costs has taught me otherwise.

Trophy hunting is allowed in countries throughout East, Central and West Africa including Burkina Faso, Benin, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Sudan and the Congo – and in all these countries, Lion declines have been particularly steep. The Central African Republic is the most extreme example: almost half the country was designated as hunting blocks, yet wildlife there has all but disappeared. In 2012, the late researcher and conservationist Philippe Bouché published Game Over! – the title said it all.

A MALE LION IN ZAKOUMA NATIONAL PARK, CHAD. PHOTOGRAPH: HANS BAUER

Trophy hunting has proved increasingly vulnerable to, on one hand, rising management costs due to the increased threats of agricultural encroachment and poaching (of both Lions and their prey), and on the other, reduced income from smaller wildlife populations.

Two rules-of-thumb are widely used: a sustainable annual “harvest” is one Lion per 2,000km², and the annual management of a trophy hunt block costs around US$1,000 per km² . Together, they suggest it costs around two milLion dollars to “produce a Lion”. These numbers vary hugely between areas and, of course, trophy hunters shoot other species at the same time, but exceptional conditions are needed for the hunt companies to break even. At the same time, local communities living with wildlife are, understandably, demanding their fair share. The model starts to unravel and fall apart.

In Zambia and Tanzania, for example, 40% and 72% respectively of trophy hunting areas have been abandoned. Management costs are rising and private operators do not find it profitable any more, except in a handful of the best areas. This is not due to any outright ban but rather, the inability to balance of costs and benefits.

Across Africa, in the vast majority of cases, trophy hunting has not delivered more Lions – whether because of financial imbalances, increased terrorism, land mismanagement or increased livestock mobility (or a combination of these factors). This failure to deliver undermines the already contested justification for the continued killing of Lions by trophy hunters. And as the decline continues, many communities stand to lose a wildlife heritage that could, under a different approach to conservation, provide them with employment and stability.

Success stories?

Namibia and Botswana in southern Africa are often cited as models for conservation, which implies their experience could be replicated elsewhere. Trophy hunting has been presented as a success factor in these countries. But in reality, how instructive are the experiences of two large countries with a combined population of less than 5 milLion people for the other bilLion-plus Africans living in more densely populated areas?

Certainly, these two countries have a lot of wildlife – but is this due to the effects of trophy hunting, or to very low human population densities, diversified tourism industries and well-resourced wildlife institutions? In Botswana, trophy hunting was banned from 2014 to 2020, but despite abundant polemicising from both pro- and anti-hunting advocacy groups, I’m not aware of any evidence of a significant impact on its national Lion and elephant numbers. In short, Botswana’s conservation efforts will succeed with or without trophy hunting.

LION NUMBERS ARE HOLDING UP WELL IN BOTSWANA.

While southern Africa has, in general, been quite successful in keeping its wildlife species stable, this is also not always through natural processes. There has been a lot of habitat engineering and captive breeding, so that many of the animals you find in confined nature reserves are, in fact, bred and auctioned.

In South Africa, for example, around 8,000 Lions live in captivity for the benefit of a small number of rich owners, having been bred like livestock. This model does nothing to improve habitat or biodiversity levels, nor does it support rural socio-economic development. The country’s overall trophy hunting quota is around five wild Lions and 500 captive Lions each year, and while the US banned trophy imports from South Africa in 2016, most imported Lion trophies into the UK have been killed there.

Another issue for Africa as a whole is that biologists have flocked to southern Africa’s conservation hotspots such as the Okavango Delta in Botswana and Kruger National Park in South Africa, which possess good infrastructure and lots of wildlife. As a result, there is an over-representation of people who have worked there among Africa’s community of conservation science, advocacy and practice. Many may never have worked outside southern Africa, and may not be aware of what is happening in the rest of the continent.

I’m not denying that some countries have been successful in their conservation efforts, and that trophy hunting has, in isolated cases, been part of that success. But the “if it pays, it stays” approach which seems to underpin many arguments in favour of trophy hunting has much more often led to the loss of natural ecosystems. This decay affects the vast majority of Lion ranges, and an even greater majority of African citizens.

The banning of trophy hunt imports in the UK and elsewhere can, I believe, help to reduce or even reverse this decline. The UK ban is supported by a large majority of British voters. France, the Netherlands and Australia have already banned Lion trophy imports, and the EU and US have restricted their imports. Since most clients want their trophy, that means significantly fewer potential clients overall, indirectly affecting Africa’s policy options.

The way forward

Throughout the continent, most policymakers stick to the prevailing narrative that trophy hunting supports conservation. In this way, a small white elite continues to have exclusive access to conservation areas that are off-limits for the average citizen to visit, or for public agencies to invest in. Trophy hunting is getting in the way of much-needed innovation and investment.

I agree with trophy hunters that the land they use is important habitat for Lions and their prey. No one wants these areas to spiral down. However, the current situation feels like that famous frog in boiling water story – countries in Africa are afraid to jump out until they no longer can.

HANS BAUER ASSISTING AUTHORITIES TO MOVE A CONFISCATED LION CUB IN ETHIOPIA

The largest and most important conservation area in West Africa is the 25,000km² W-Arly-Pendjari (WAP) region, on the boundary between Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger. With around 400 Lions, it is the only three-digit Lion population in West Africa, and it also possesses the largest West African populations of elephant and buffalo.

Half of WAP’s land is managed for trophy hunting. Yet over 20 years, these blocks have contributed less than 1% of the region’s total conservation budget. Much of the area is now increasingly threatened by terrorist incursions and large parts have been abandoned, including the hunting blocks.

In Benin, however, the situation is changing. Lion trophy hunting has been ditched and a trust fund established that promises to fund the country’s conservation activities in perpetuity. While mainly funded by Benin and German government agencies, the fund has an independent international structure and several other donors have contributed. The park’s management, now delegated to a non-profit organisation, is striving to improve local livelihoods by generating employment and offering support for community initiatives that do not harm the local wildlife.

Of course, we should not expect wildlife to fix poverty and instability where 50 years of development work have been unsuccessful. But I visit Benin every year and where I used to find a dozen friendly but unorganised staff, I now see hundreds of local people trained, employed and proud. In the past, some children might have gone to school reluctant to learn things they would not need as subsistence farmers. After visiting the park, however, I see signs that they want to learn skills and compete for career options their parents did not have.

Another glimpse of a better future can be seen in Akagera National Park, Rwanda, which was completely depleted in the 1980s and 1990s. Rwanda is the only country in Africa with a population density higher than India’s. It is a country facing a huge number of challenges, yet Akagera is a conservation success story. Following an initial investment in the area’s recovery, it is now breaking even through ecotourism with primarily Rwandan visitors. While this cannot be expected to work everywhere, it has worked in this most unlikely of places.

The true cost of saving African Lions, and their prey and habitats, is estimated to be around US$1bilLion per year. With such funding, Africa could quadruple its Lion numbers up to 100,000 without creating any new protected areas. At the moment, Lions exist at only about a quarter of their ranges’ full capacities. Funding and community engagement are both critical to increasing this figure.

Ultimately, international solidarity is a much more substantial, and sustainable, source of funding than trophy hunting. Our approach to the extinction crisis should be similar to the one for climate: biodiversity justice as well as climate justice. The 2021 COP26 climate summit in Glasgow discussed the proposed annual fund of US$100 bilLion to help less wealthy nations adapt to climate change and mitigate further rises in temperature. A similar fund for supporting global biodiversity will be proposed at the COP15 summit in Montreal in December 2023. A bilLion dollars for Africa’s Lions and other wildlife may sound unrealistic, but in the arena of international policy, it should not really be a problem.

African nations are sovereign, and hold the key to the future of the Lion. Some may be keen to retain trophy hunting – but they know that demand is shrinking as UK politicians are the latest to respond to the concerns of their constituents.

Above all, the trophy hunting debate is divisive, draining energy from conservationists in Africa and around the world who agree on most other issues. Now is surely the time to focus our efforts on far better alternatives for the conservation of Lions and other endangered species.

Remember those two Lions in Maze National Park? They are part of a small population which has the park as its core area, but which roam the entire landscape in that part of southern Ethiopia. Sometimes a few Lions make it across to the next park for some welcome genetic exchange. Maze’s head warden has lots of rangers to assist in monitoring them, but only one motorbike. There is no hotel for hours around, no fuel station, no media. He does not need trophy hunters, he needs a car.

As told by Hans Bauer, Research fellow at Northern Lion Conservation, University of Oxford.

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.

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.

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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.

Elephants Left Motherless By Poachers Are Brought Up By ‘Foster Parents’ In 50-Strong ‘Family’

With big eyes, this baby Elephant enthusiastically climbs on the tired old man lying on the ground.

At just nine months old, he explores the world with all the playful curiosity of an enthusiastic young man.

And the older Elephants in the group let the smaller ones patiently crawl on them and show how kind these powerful animals can be. But there is a tragedy behind this extraordinary image.

Instead of growing up with their natural families, these Elephants are orphans forced to create their own extraordinary family of survivors.

Bondeni always wants to play with his Keepers and can usually be found chasing after or climbing on top of his friends!

Some were separated from their mothers by mistake, but too many were orphaned by predatory ivory poachers.

And these Elephants, who lie down to calm the little ones, are only two years old. Since they have no adults in their group, they became the protective mother figures 20 years earlier.

The family of 50 lives in the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya. Each of them has a heart-breaking story.

A young woman arrived at a ranch at the age of just seven weeks, roared with grief, and was “desperately looking for a company” after her mother was massacred.

Another was “found standing guard over her dying mother”, another victim of the ivory trade. So, it’s no wonder that when Elephants are taken to the orphanage, they are so traumatized that only one in ten survives.

In these risky early days, keepers, men from nearby villages, are careful to stay in physical contact with the newcomer at all times and imitate the affection he would have received from his relatives.

The 50-strong family lives at an orphanage run by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya. Above, a keeper looks after a young Elephant

The emotions of a young Elephant are so strong that a different animal keeper has to sleep next to him every night. If not, the orphan becomes too affectionate and begins to cry when her human companion has to be absent from work.

Luckily, there is an easy way to tell if the newcomer is successful. Baby Elephants should have thick cheeks like their human counterparts.

Older Elephants will benevolently watch over any nervous child. And as soon as this initial shock is overcome, the orphans will play and frolic happily together.

Due to the strength of a young Elephant’s emotions the keepers change the animal they sleep near each night. If not, the orphan will become too attached and start to grieve when its human companion has to take time off work

After the terrible two years, the orphans are transferred to one of the Trust’s two rehabilitation centres in Tsavo East National Park, where they recognize some of their older playmates from kindergarten.

There, they will slowly begin to reintegrate into the desert, a process that takes years. They go on walks with their animal caretakers until they gain confidence in their independence and receive water and milk until they are ten years old.

One day they’ll leave and they won’t come back. The little orphans who have won against adversity hope to start their own families.

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.

Bhogeshwara, Asia’s ‘Longest-Tusked’ Elephant Dies Of Natural Causes.

RIP BHOGESHWARA

The Elephant was a major attraction for tourists at the Kabini backwaters. The 60-year-old Elephant was found dead in the Gundre range of Karnataka’s Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

The Elephant was named Bhogeshwar by the forest department officers and tribals after he was often sighted near Bhogeshwar camp, where a temple and an anti-poaching camp are located. “Many tourists would be delighted and pleased on catching a glimpse of him, even if they were not able to sight a Tiger in Kabini. The tusker has also featured in several wildlife documentaries and films made by the department and some private organizations,” said a forest department official.

Bhogeshwara, reportedly the Elephant with the longest tusks in Asia, died of natural causes at the age of 60, according to officials. The wild Elephant, also known as Mr Kabini, was found dead in the Gundre range of Karnataka’s Bandipur Tiger Reserve on Saturday. The officials believe that he died three or four days ago.

According to forest department officials, Bhogeshwar’s tusks were 2.54 meters and 2.34 meters long.

Known for his gentle temperament, the Elephant frequented the Kabini backwaters for the last three decades. Wildlife enthusiasts who observed Bhogeshwara say that his calmness and long tusks used to attract the tourists at Kabini.

The director of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Ramesh Kumar, said: “The field staff found the carcass. We did not find any injury marks and the tusks were intact. Usually as they age, Elephants cannot eat properly due to the wearing of their teeth. The tusks were removed and carcass was left for the natural decomposition and scavengers to feed on,” he said.

FIELD STAFF WITH THE BODY OF BHOGESHWARA

The forest department in April came out with a notification that the carcass of the wild animals will not be incinerated or buried since they are an important source of energy and nutrients for predators and scavengers. The new rule, however, does not apply to tigers.

Meanwhile, tributes poured on social media for Bhogeshwara .

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 support our work by donating ANY amount, large or small. It only takes a minute and your donations make it all possible. Thank you for your support.

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.

Please support our work by donating ANY amount, large or small. It only takes a minute and your donations make it all possible. Thank you for your support.

What else you can do to help

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A Young Orangutan Kidnapped And Forced To Live In A Chicken Coop Is Given A Second Chance

Baby orangutans are prized possessions on the illegal black market, where many other critically endangered species are trafficked. Aman is just one of many infant Orangutans who were stolen from their mothers in the past couple of years, but his story highlights the extent of the illegal wildlife trade and the trauma that young orangutans suffer.

An infant Orangutan cannot be taken from its mother without force. Mother Orangutans will fight to the death to save their babies. To feed this insidious illegal trade, the mothers are almost certainly killed, often with machetes or guns. Not only are the infants traumatized and smuggled far from the forest, but the whole species is also robbed of future generations through the brutal murders of female orangutans.

Traumatic Transportation

Once captured by wildlife criminals, the babies are typically forced into boxes, crates, or even postage bags to be smuggled through or out of Indonesia, often to far-flung places like Thailand, the Middle East, Europe, or Singapore. Many also end up in small wooden cages, hidden away in homes across Indonesia. Owning a baby Orangutan is seen as a status symbol, even though the practice is illegal in both Indonesia and Malaysia. 

Regardless of where these highly intelligent beings end up, their freedom is gone forever unless they can be rescued. They are often fed the wrong food, are unable to climb or make nests in trees, and can become unwell and experience mental health issues. Some, like Aman, will carry the physical reminders of their early trauma for the rest of their lives.

Aman’s Story – From Trauma to Safety

Aman is missing the tops of his fingers on his left hand. His rescuers in Borneo believe his fingers were most likely hacked off while he clung to his mother as she was killed. It’s almost impossible to imagine what this young orangutan has been through in his short life: from being torn from his mother’s arms and experiencing her murder, to the pain of losing his fingers, to being shoved into a chicken coop and forced to look out at the world through wooden slats. 

Aman was rescued in June 2020 by the Bornean Orangutan Rescue Alliance (BORA) from a family home in Berau in East Kalimantan, Borneo. The BKSDA (Nature and Conservation Agency) contacted the BORA rescue team to notify them about an illegally held Orangutan, who they believed was about two years of age, and asked the team to help confiscate him.

The team immediately set to work and prepared an enclosure in their rescue center for the pending arrival at their vet clinic of the rescued Orangutan. They loaded a transport cage into their vehicle, left early one morning, and traveled to the home in Berau, where they found the young Orangutan peering up at them through the slats of a chicken coop. They learned he’d been fed mostly on bananas, water, and candy, and as soon as he was in their transportation crate, he was given leaves to rest on and fruit to eat. The confiscation and transport back to the rescue center went smoothly, although that is not always the case.

Within days of being rescued, the young Orangutan was recovering, learning to eat leaves and twigs, and finding simple joy in his freedom. Soon after he arrived at the rescue center, the team at The Orangutan Project, one of the BORA partners, contacted a bequestor to ask for a new name for the young orangutan. The name Aman was chosen as it means ‘safe’ in Indonesian. 

Nearly two years later, Aman still occasionally struggles to climb trees or open fruit, but he never gives up. Through the love and kindness of the Orangutan carers, the good diet of fruit, leaves, twigs, and termites; and the opportunity to learn from older orangutans and carers how to climb trees, swing through the branches and build a nest, Aman is flourishing. 

Jungle School was a new experience, but despite his missing fingertips, Aman is not daunted and is learning how to climb, swing through the trees, and forage for his food. He is a sweet, courageous young Orangutan who gives everything a go. Aman’s story is a testament to the resilience of young Orangutans who have been orphaned by the illegal wildlife trade, as long as they are one of the ‘lucky’ ones to be rescued from a life of captivity.

The Most Trafficked Great Ape

Orangutans are one of the most heavily trafficked critically endangered animals sold on the black market. International Orangutan conservation organization, The Orangutan Project, estimates that only one in six orangutans are rescued. Of the hundreds that the organization and its partners care for, there are thousands more that have been killed. 

Surprisingly, some baby Orangutans are even bought and sold online through sites such as Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram. At a price tag of $1,000 or more, baby orangutans are highly prized within the illegal wildlife trade, which is also responsible for poaching Tigers, Elephants, Pangolins, Rhinos, and many more species. 

As the forests of Borneo and Sumatra are destroyed, critically endangered species become more accessible to poachers. This, in turn, helps drive biodiversity loss throughout the remaining fragmented habitat. These dense, rich forests are healthiest when species like Orangutans, elephants, and tigers are flourishing. 

Less than Ten Years to Save the Orangutan

I believe, along with many other scientists and primatologists, that there are less than ten years to save orangutan populations from becoming too small, vulnerable, and fragmented to stop them from spiraling towards extinction. Without urgent action to safeguard the remaining rainforests of Indonesia, many species will die out. As forests are cut down for timber, mining, and unsustainable monocultures such as palm oilpulp paper, or rubber trees, orangutans and other species become easier prey for wildlife traffickers.

There are still forests in Borneo and Sumatra. There are still OrangutansTigers, and Elephants living wild and free in these forests. But without massive injections of funds to safeguard the remaining ecosystems, it won’t matter how many Orangutans are rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. While being rescued matters to individuals like Aman, this highly sentient species will have no forest habitat to return to without intact ecosystems.

We might save individual Orangutans, but if we don’t save the right size, type, and shape of the forest, Orangutans will become extinct in the wild. In 10 years, we might still have some forest left but not enough to sustain Orangutan populations. We might have some Orangutans left, but their numbers will be too low to secure the future of the species. And zoo populations are too small and too problematic to provide meaningful help.

The Race to Safeguard Eight Key Ecosystems

The most important act we can take now is to safeguard the remaining forests of Sumatra and Borneo. The Orangutan Project aims to protect eight key ecosystems across Borneo and Sumatra through legally binding agreements that put a stop to legal deforestation, unsustainable monocultures, and mining in those forests. At present, this world-renowned international organization has formed partnerships that have helped secure the future of two key ecosystems: the Bukit Tigapuluh Ecosystem in Sumatra and the Sebangau Ecosystem in Borneo.

Working with key partners in Borneo and Sumatra, The Orangutan Project is approaching the problem from all sides. To ensure these forests stay intact, they employ teams of wildlife rangers to patrol the ecosystems to reduce all illegal activities such as logginghunting, and snares. Their teams work closely with local communities, supporting economic development projects that provide incentives for forest conservation.

They engage with and empower indigenous communities in Borneo and Sumatra, responding to their immediate, expressed needs and aspirations with projects that support strength, resilience, and education. The evidence is encouraging; everywhere these rangers patrol the forest and engage local communities, illegal activities reduce over time, and farmers, children, and villagers become protectors of the forest.

All these efforts – from rescuing and rehabilitating Orangutans like Aman to patrolling vast tracts of forest and educating and empowering communities – require significant funds each year. Without funds from donors all over the world, such as Australia, the United States, Europe, and more, these activities would not be possible. Without support, many more Orangutans would be poached and illegally traded, and the richly biodiverse forests of Sumatra and Borneo would not be protected. 

Although actions now save Orangutans like little Aman, these steps taken will also bear fruit in the future – in 10, 20, or more years. Some of us will not be alive to see the outcomes of our actions and support – but we know that if we are part of this solution, we are helping bring about long-term survival, not only of Orangutans but also of TigersElephantsRhinos and the local people who live in and near the forests. 

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

Please support our work by donating ANY amount, large or small. It only takes a minute and your donations make it all possible. Thank you for your support.

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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That’s My Girl With The Gorilla… But She’s Totally Safe, Says Father Who Released A 20-Year-Old Home Video To Show How ‘Gentle, Noble And Wonderful’ Gorillas Are

Many will be deeply moved by the sight of a toddler beating her chest with tiny fists while a 300lb Gorilla lounges alongside her, eating a kiwi fruit. They will laugh as the two toss straw over their heads and gasp when one of the world’s largest primates leans forward to give the little girl a tender peck on the cheek.

Others, however, will be horrified. More than once, the Gorilla gathers the girl in her arms, carrying her off as she would one of her young. The bond between the playmates is unmistakable despite the the grainy VHS footage being more than 20 years old.

Dressed in navy jumper and light blue trousers, 18-month-old Tansy Aspinall romps in the sunshine, one minute swaying on a rope swing, the next tumbling down the slide, tummy first, her not-so-little friend behind her. Not-so-little being the operative phrase. For Tansy’s playground is, in fact, an animal pen at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent and her chums are Western Lowland Gorillas.

Scroll down to see the video of Tansy Aspinall and the Gorilla for yourself…

Controversial parenting: A photo taken in 1990,before the video was filmed, that shows Tansy Aspinall in the arms of an adult gorilla at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent

Controversial parenting? A photo taken in 1990, before the video was filmed, shows Tansy Aspinall in the arms of an adult gorilla at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent

Her father, Damian, released the family film via The Mail on Sunday and made it available on YouTube. It is a controversial decision and Damian, was prepared for criticism but remains unrepentant.

‘This is a family video,’ he says. ‘Before I wouldn’t have released it but now, with the internet it is different. I don’t care if I get a bit of stick because I think the gorillas get a good deal out of it. There’s an upside for them that there wasn’t before. If we can show millions of people how gentle and noble and wonderful these animals are, then I think we’re doing the Gorillas a service. I’m happy to take the stick for that.’

Tansy, now 33, agrees. She says: ‘I obviously understand that people might find it quite shocking seeing a baby going in with the Gorillas because that’s how they have been brought up – to see Gorillas in that King Kong kind of way. But really gorillas are such wonderful, gentle animals and they’re so human-like. So I hope it’s a way of people understanding how gentle and kind Gorillas really are.’

She was too young to remember the video taken at Howletts, the Palladian mansion that her grandfather, the gambler John Aspinall, bought after a particularly good night at the tables.

Laughing or crying? Video clip of 18-month-old Tansy Aspinall playing alone with one of Dad's gorillas

Laughing or crying? Video clip of 18-month-old Tansy Aspinall playing alone with one of Dad’s Gorillas

No fear: The toddler was filmed 19 years ago by Damian and has been kept secret because of some fears that it might have provoked a backlash from childcare experts because of the risk

No fear: The toddler was filmed 19 years ago by Damian and has been kept secret because of some fears that it might have provoked a backlash from childcare experts because of the risk

Gorilla-hug: The young girl is smothered by the 300lb adult

GORILLA-HUG: TANSY IS SMOTHERED BY THE 300LB POWERFUL ADULT

Aspinall filled the house and grounds with animals, including Tigers, Wolves and Gorillas. He also brought the pets he had kept in his previous home in London’s Eaton Square including  a Leopard, a Himalayan Bear and a Capuchin Monkey. In time, the animals were moved outdoors and Howletts became a wildlife park.

On John’s death in 2000, Damian took control and set up the Aspinall Foundation, a conservation initiative to return captive-bred animals into the wild. His foundation has now bred more captive animals – and reintroduced them into the wild – than any other organisation in Europe. There have been 139 Gorilla births, 33 Black Rhinos and 20 African Elephants. The animals are released into reserves in Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the foundation has approximately a million acres of guarded land.

Contrary to popular belief, this is no rich man’s hobby. True, Damian is wealthy thanks to the chain of casinos he set up with media mogul Kerry Packer’s son James – but it is all self-made money. His father refused to help him financially, and at the time of his death, Howletts was running at a loss of millions.

Gorilla-loving father Damian Aspinall, 52, with his daughter Tansy Aspinall (now 23)

GORILLA-LOVING DAMIAN ASPINALL WITH HIS DAUGHTER TANSY

John Aspinall was the owner of Howletts and grandfather to Tansy Aspinall

JOHN ASPINALL WAS THE OWNER OF HOWLETTS AND GRANDFATHER TO TANSY ASPINALL

Damian has not only ensured its survival but turned it into a truly groundbreaking conservation project. Tansy also wants to play a part in the foundation’s work – mainly, she says, because of her childhood experiences.

‘I don’t really remember that specific moment with the gorillas but I do remember playing with them,’ says Tansy, who has just completed a degree in politics at Bristol University and is ‘on the job hunt’. 

‘I don’t have any of the fear of Gorillas that people normally have. I just feel love and warmth. Of all the  animals, Gorillas are my favourite. And that’s because they were always something I went in with as a child. I remember them being so gentle –  they almost treated me as if I was one of their own little babies.’

AMBAM THE GORILLA SHOWS HOW HE CAN WALK LIKE A HUMAN

Of course, there are dangers. During his adolescence Robin Birley, Lady Annabel Goldsmith’s society club-owning son, was mauled by a Tiger at Howletts. In 1980, a Tigress called Zeya was shot after killing two keepers, and in 1994 the park’s head keeper was killed when a two-year-old Siberian Tiger pounced on him.

And in 1989 a two-year-old boy had his arm ripped off by a Chimp after he reached into a cage to stroke it at another Aspinall park in Kent, Port Lympne. There is no record of a Gorilla ever killing a human.

Damian says: ‘I wouldn’t put my children or daughters in with an adult Tiger or a Lion regardless of the relationship – but Gorillas are different.’ Even so, times have changed, something Damian accepts. Tansy and her younger sister, Clary, 20, are Damian’s daughters with his first wife, Louise Sebag-Montefiore. The couple divorced in 1997. Both girls were allowed to play with the Gorillas but Freya, his eight-year-old daughter by his former partner, Donna Air, was not. He says: ‘I gave an interview when Freya was young and they said, “Would you take Freya in with the Gorillas?” I said, “Yes, sure.” There was uproar. The police called and said if you do this we’re going to have to come and interview you and social services called and said, “We might take your child if you do this.” The usual absolute nonsense.’

Still, he’s teaching her Tiger speak and Gorilla gurgles. He’s serious. ‘I can speak Wild Boar,’ he says. ‘When you wake up in the morning, open the bedroom door and two Tigers jump in your bed, you’re in serious trouble if you don’t know good morning in Tiger-speak.’

Damian’s earliest memory is of playing roly-poly on the lawn with Wolves and rolling over a wasps’ nest. ‘I was about eight and was with my sister,’ he recalls. ‘The swarm came out and they chased us and the Wolves, biting and stinging us everywhere. Even the Wolves screamed.

‘One of the animal people grabbed me, my sister and the Wolves and shoved us underwater at a trough. I remember opening my eyes under the water and a wolf and I just looked at each other terrified. My fear was never of the animals – but I’ve been wary of Wasps ever since.’

Damian Aspinall has put the film on the internet to show the amazing bond that can be formed between Gorillas and humans.

He said: ‘It’s a thing of great beauty in my life. It’s priceless. It’s a very deep connection and when you know that and see that, you will know what I mean.

‘That’s why I released the video. If seeing Tansy does a little bit more to reinforce the belief that there is a place for Gorillas on this planet, then people can say whatever they like.’

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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

What you can do to help

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

Please support our work by donating ANY amount, large or small, at HELP PROTECT ALL WILDLIFE. It only takes a minute. Thank you for your support.

What else you can do to help

Please SHARE to raise awareness to wildlife and environmental issues from around the world. You can also receive NEWS and UPDATES by signing up in the top right of this page.