‘Breeding factory for trophy hunters’

http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2014/09/09/breeding-factory-for-trophy-hunters

Gareth Wilson | 09 September, 2014

Lions and tigers from Port Elizabeth’s Seaview Predator Park are being sold to game farms known for hunting and the exporting of animal bones.

And one of the farms has been linked to Laos-based Xaysavang Network, which has been described “as one of the most prolific international wildlife trafficking syndicates in operation”.

Although the park has refused to comment, Eastern Cape department of economic development, environmental affairs and tourism MEC Sakhumzi Somyo has confirmed that:

  • The park has sent 22 lions to Cradock hunting reserve Tam Safaris since 2008; and
  • Two tigers have been sent from the park to the country’s leading bone exporter, Letsatsi la Africa, in the Free State since 2008. Nine lions were sent last year.

Last week, Somyo responded to questions by the DA’s chief whip in Bhisho, Bobby Stevenson, regarding the transportation of lions and tigers in and around South Africa.

The revelations come after the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality refused to give Seaview Predator Park an annual rates rebate earlier this year, saying it could not be sure the park was not participating in “canned hunting”.

Earlier this year, the Weekend Post revealed television show hosts, major league sports stars, wealthy entrepreneurs and a former US Congressman were among those who had hunted at the family-run Tam Safaris.

Departmental permits indicate there have been 86 lion hunts at the reserve over the past six years.

Tam Safaris owner Irvin Tam confirmed it had bought lions from Seaview Predator Park, owned by Janice and Rusty Gibbs.

“I have an agreement with them but can assure you that none of these lions from Seaview are used for hunting.

”They are specifically used to breed and bring new blood into our breeding projects,” he said.

“Those lions are then either sold or used for hunting.

“I must stress again that all our hunts are legal and completely by the book.”

Tam Safaris exported 32 lion carcasses to Vietnam in 2011, 738kg of lion bones and teeth in 2012 and 459kg of lion bones, claws and teeth last year.

Letsatsi la Africa has been linked to the Laos-based Xaysavang Network by former Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.

The network has also been described as “one of the most prolific international wildlife trafficking syndicates in operation” by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Letsatsi la Africa owner Jacobus van der Westhuizen refused to comment on his company’s links with Seaview Predator Park.

“It has nothing to do with you. Ask them [Seaview] if you want to know why.”

Several requests for a meeting with Seaview Predator Park were turned down but park owner Janice Gibbs said in an e-mail: “I trust you enjoyed your visit to the Park yesterday. We do not wish to comment to the media who publish untruths and are very biased.”

The department’s findings come as no surprise to Chris Mercer of the Campaign Against Canned Hunting, who said the lion trade was fuelled by parks that disguised “lion breeding factories” as petting zoos and wildlife sanctuaries.

“We have proved that the entire industry is corrupt, full of liars and just toxic. This now proves the known link between bone exporters, canned hunters and the petting industry.

“The bottom line is that these breeders are outsourcing their lions to petting zoos to generate money and when the lions are big enough they get exchanged with cubs and sent to hunting farms,” Mercer said.

“This proves that cub petting parks sell their lions for canned hunting and are fuelling the market. They constantly hide behind smoke screens but we all know that cub petting is feeding the canned industry.

“What else happens to the lions? They [predator parks] are breeding factories who pose as conservationists but are really feeding the lion bone and canned industry.”

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Global March for Elephants, Rhinos & Lions – October 4, 2014

hollywood march

Dear Friends,

Please excuse the heavy news, but this is too important not to share.

  • 100,000 elephants were slaughtered for their ivory tusks in the last 3 years.
  • Over 1,000 rhinos were killed for their horns last year.
  • Wild lion populations are in alarming decline due to “trophy” hunting and the lion bone trade.

We’re losing these animals. The good news is, you can help save them.

On October 4th, people in over 115 cities around the world will march with one voice to save these iconic endangered species.  

MARCH WITH US IN LOS ANGELES

We’ll gather at the La Brea Tar Pits Park in front of the Page Museum (5801 Wilshire Blvd, LA 90036) at 11am and march down Wilshire Blvd to the South African Consulate.

Promote your group or business

We’re encouraging people to bring signs promoting their business or group. We know that ALL people want to save these endangered animals, and we want the media and the world to see that.

 

Bring the kids!

After the march we will return to the park for a festive, educational event. Experts acting as animal ambassadors will help people understand the crisis facing each animal and take action to save them. The program includes speakers (stay tuned for celebrity info!) and music by African drummers, the talented Kat Kramer, and the Agape International Children’s Choir.

Find us Facebook

Join the Los Angeles Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1449025795334300/

NOT IN LOS ANGELES? #FINDYOURCITY

London, Rome, Johannesburg, Austin, Chicago, Nairobi, Mombasa, Arusha, Seattle, Kilimanjaro, New York, Toronto, Boston, Baltimore, New Orleans… The list of cities marching goes on and on. Visit the global website to find a full list, as well as a wealth of other information, such as strategy and objectives of the march, graphics and other media, march merchandise, and much more.

http://www.march4elephantsandrhinos.org

HELP US RAISE MONEY

Organizing an event like this is expensive. We have to print flyers, posters, signs, banners, and educational materials. We have to rent sound equipment, tents and tables and chairs. Please donate if you can. Any help, no matter how small, is greatly appreciated.

Donate here: https://www.youcaring.com/GMFERL-LA

SPREAD THE WORD

Please SHARE this email far and wide. Many people don’t know elephants, rhinos and lions face extinction. Even if they’re aware of the crisis, they don’t know they can take action to help save them.

We hope that you’ll march with us on October 4 to help prevent the extinction of these endangered species. On behalf of Earth’s threatened elephants, rhinos, and lions, thank you!

With love for the animals,

Susan

Susan Campisi, Co-organizer

Global March For Elephants, Rhinos & Lions – Los Angeles

ooooooooooooooooooooooooo.◙..◙.ooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

global website: http://www.march4elephantsandrhinos.org/

LA website: http://www.saveourwildlife.org

LA Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1449025795334300/

email: march.for.elephants.rhinos.LA@gmail.com

WTF HSUS?

You could say that I am more than a bit peeved at the HSUS these days. Their shameless promotion of meat-eating—especially their sponsoring the hedonistic “Hoofin’ It” event—has me downright pissed off. 

I have to wonder if they can even see above the bullshit they’ve sunk into this time. 

For years I was an ardent supporter of their policies—until they went out of their way to join Whole Foods in perpetuating the myth of “humane” meat. Instead of sticking to their guns and helping to usher in an era of evolution that takes us beyond animal agriculture, they’re bent on reviving the “Old McDonald’s Farm” fantasy.

I live next door to Old McDonald, and I’ve seen how he treats his farm animals. It isn’t pretty.

One of the flesh food purveyors featured in the “Hoofin’ It” event (the ranch that raises bison) waxes poetic about their “product” as though it were a hand-crafted ale or fine wine: “Our bulls are…finished with a natural diet of whole corn, sunflower pellets…” and “are harvested and processed at the prime age of 24-30 months, weighing approximately 1,100 pounds.” 

 

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Prime age for whom? Certainly not for the Bison! Bison don’t even reach maturity until 3 years of age and can live well over 30 years in the wild when allowed to. The bison whose flesh they’re selling are still babies. In the wild, male bison remain with their mothers for at least 3 years before joining in with groups of other bulls. It’s like eating a lamb who is never allowed to grow up to be a sheep. And who the fuck eats a lamb anyway, HSUS? 

The big question is, how does one “humanely” kill (“harvest” or “process”) a 1000 pound, gregarious, empathetic herd animal who relates enough to others to make a habit of mourning over their dead? “Processing” day must be a real sad, morbid, not to mention horrifying day for those waiting in line for their turn to get slaughtered. 

This whole alternative “humane” meat issue reminds me of the popular new micro-brewery that cropped up in the small town of Twisp, WA, where I used to live. Their menu featured grass-fed, organic beef from a local rancher who turned out to be none other than wolf-hater/poacher Bill White. White, along with his son, was responsible for baiting and killing off most of Washington State’s first wolves, the Lookout Pack. (Yes, they’re the same folks who got caught trying to send a bloody wolf hide through the mail to Canada.) 

Is the HSUS being led down the garden path by other (possibly wolf-hater/poacher) ranchers who are eager to sell a higher-priced product to a new generation of starry-eyed foodies who think the sentient animals they’re eating were happy to know they were “sustainably” harvested? 

It was partly because of the wisdom of a few friends working for the HSUS on wildlife issues that my wife and I went vegan 16 years ago. Those friends are still as dedicated to the animal rights cause as ever, but somehow the HSUS as a group must have lost its nerve, its soul and now, its ever-loving mind.

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Tackling the Tusk Trade

Michael Markarian: Animals & Politics

In a welcome break from partisan gridlock, Republicans and Democrats are joining together to protect elephants and rhinos from illegal poaching. This month, New Jersey and New York became the first two states to ban the trade in elephant ivory and rhino horns, with bills signed by Governors Chris Christie, R-N.J., and Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y.  The new policies will help to crack down on international wildlife traffickers and dry up the demand for illegal wildlife products in the northeast, which is the largest U.S. market for ivory and a main entry point for smuggled wildlife products.

Elephants and rhinos are threatened by a global poaching crisis. Only 28,000 rhinos of five different species remain in the wild, with more than 1,000 of them poached last year for their horns. In 2012, about 35,000 African elephants were killed for their tusks, and if the current poaching rate continues, African elephants could be extinct in a few decades. In Central Africa, populations of forest elephants have declined by 65 percent during the last decade. Asian elephants are critically endangered with fewer than 50,000 left in the wild.
Seized Ivory Crush

Seized U.S. ivory stockpile bound for crushing. Credit: The HSUS/Iris Ho
Much of the killing is associated with criminal networks and Africa-based terrorist groups like al-Shabaab, the Lord’s Resistance Army, and others, which use the proceeds from ivory sales to fund their nefarious activities. As House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., noted, “While this growing problem is a grave threat to wildlife, with some animals facing extinction, it is also a threat to U.S. national security interests. As long as illegal wildlife trafficking continues, terrorists and rebel groups will have yet another way to fund their deadly objectives.”
Policymakers need to do more to address this problem. Fortunately, President Obama has announced a national strategy to crack down on elephant poaching and the ivory trade, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to issue new regulations that would prohibit the commercial import all African elephant ivory, including antiques, with a few exemptions for non-commercial purposes. This near-total ban on U.S. commerce in African elephant ivory, with the exception of a narrow class of antiques and certain ivory items that are exempt from regulation under the Endangered Species Act, will build on the efforts of the states to stem the tide of the poaching epidemic.
Shockingly, some members of Congress are trying to retain the status quo on the illegal slaughter of elephants, and at the request of the trophy hunting and gun lobbies and the music and antique industries, are fighting the Administration’s proposal. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.—whom Chattanoogan columnist Roy Exum said is “morphing into America’s newest champion of animal abuse”—and Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., have introduced the so-called “Lawful Ivory Protection Act,” which would handcuff the Fish and Wildlife Service and prevent the administration from taking any new action to protect elephants from the ivory trade.
These short-sighted politicians are lamenting the ability of someone to resell a gun or a guitar with a little bit of ivory on it, without regard for the fate of the largest land mammal in the world or our national security. Congress should follow the lead of New Jersey and New York, and support the global effort to stop the slaughter of elephants and rhinos—not provide aid and comfort to the organized criminal network of poachers and traffickers.

We’re Eating Pangolins Off the Face of the Earth

http://www.care2.com/causes/were-eating-pangolins-off-the-face-of-the-earth.html

We’re Eating Pangolins Off the Face of the Earth

While we’ve been focused on the poaching crisis that’s threatening the future for charismatic animals like elephants, rhinos and tigers, another species now faces the threat of extinction thanks to human appetites and could disappear before most people even hear of it.

The pangolin, which includes eight species who live in Africa and Asia, are unique little creatures in a number of ways. They’ve been described as walking artichokes and because they’re insectivores they’ve been dubbed “scaly anteaters.” These toothless animals are also the only mammal covered in true scales, which are made of keratin, and the the fact that they walk like a miniature T. rex only adds to their charm.

Unfortunately, these curious creatures are being hunted to the brink for both their meat, which is considered a delicacy by the affluent, and for their scales, which are believed to have medicinal properties.

Even with protection and international trade bans in place, pangolins are still widely traded illegally on the black market. Just days ago, 1.4 tons of pangolin scales were seized by officials in Vietnam and are believed by customs officials to have come from as many as 10,000 animals.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) Pangolin Specialist Group, more than one million pangolins are estimated to have been taken from the wild over the past decade alone, which has made them the most illegally traded wild mammal in the world.

Until this week, only two species had been listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as endangered, while the remaining four were listed as threatened and species of least concern. Now they’ve all been upgraded over concerns that their populations are plummeting. Chinese and Sunda pangolins are now listed as “Critically Endangered,” while the Indian and Philippine pangolins are “Endangered” and all four species in Africa are listed as “Vulnerable.”

In an effort to get immediate conservation work going, the Pangolin Specialist Group also published a new action plan this week, ‘Scaling Up Pangolin Conservation,’ that outlines steps that need to be taken now to to stop the illegal trade and keep pangolins from disappearing forever.

Among many measures it hopes to see completed, the group has recommended stronger tracking of pangolin parts, more studies to get a better understanding of pangolins and their movements in the wild and working with local communities to ensure they don’t have to turn to poaching to survive.

What the group believes is the single most important step to conserving these species is reducing the demand for their meat and scales in China and Vietnam, which it hopes to do through awareness campaigns and by engaging the conservation community to help spread the word and change opinions.

“In the 21st Century we really should not be eating species to extinction – there is simply no excuse for allowing this illegal trade to continue,” Professor Jonathan Baillie, Co-Chair of the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group and Conservation Programmes Director at ZSL, said in a statement.

For more info on how to help pangolins, visit pangolins.org.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/were-eating-pangolins-off-the-face-of-the-earth.html#ixzz39UZ0K5co

Cancel Ted Nugent for His Violence Against Animals

While I’m happy to hear that Ted Nugent’s concerts are being cancelled across the country because of his well-documented racist remarks and that the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has a petition out to get his name off the list of headliners at an Ohio rock show, I’d like to see someone cancel him for his habitual violence against animals and his many blatantly speciesist statements.

Granted, Ted’s just an idiot. But to animals, he’s a dangerous idiot. From Meet the NRA.org, get a load of some of his hateful, illogical statements (presented here in chronological order of their idiotic appearance):

 

In a March 8, 2010 op-ed for the Washington Times, Nugent mocked high profile individuals who have been killed or injured by animals including, “Steve Irwin, brain-dead hippie grizzly bear neighbors, religious voodoo rattlesnake witch doctors, homosexual Las Vegas lion huggers, and the Orca handlers at Sea World.” Regarding his practice of riding a buffalo on stage during concerts, Nugent said, “I carried a 10mm handgun in my belt during those stage rides, just in case the beast decided to go buffalo on me. A quick 200-grain armor-piercing slug through the back of his head would have made the difference between a momentary increase in entertainment value and a few dozen or more trampled rock fans. I knew this, and I was prepared.”

On July 21, 2011, Nugent tweeted, “HumaneSocietyOfUnitedStates is vile criminal scam liars.”  

On April 14 2012, Ted Nugent signed a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, admitting that he had illegally shot, killed and transported a black bear in southeast Alaska in May 2009 and transported it in violation of the federal Lacey Act. Nugent agreed to a $10,000 fine and a two-year probation. He also agreed to pay Alaska $600 . After signing the agreement, Nugent advised fellow hunters, “ even when you are aghast at a maniac, inexplicable, illogical law, please abide by those laws at all costs .” According to Nugent, his prosecution for killing the black bear was the result of a “ witch hunt” inspired by his political activism. “ We are the people turning up the heat, and that’s why I’m being singled out by certain fish and game agencies and certain U.S. attorneys ,” he stated. Nugent then turned his attention to female Democrats in the House of Representatives…

On September 1, 2012, Nugent tweeted, “Did I mention how insane fun it is slaughtering pigs with machinegunsfrom helicopters? Cleanse the goodearth.”

On November 13, 2012, Nugent tweeted, “Since soulless animal rights fools hate nature I will kill many deer for them.”

In a March 2013 interview with Brett Winterble on Sirius XM radio, Nugent stated, “I took my machine gun in the helicopter—in the Texas hill country—me and my buddy ‘Pigman.’ His name is ‘Pigman’; I’m the swine czar. I killed 455 hogs with my machine gun. I did it for Bill Maher and all those other animal rights freaks out there.”

In a March 18, 2013 interview on a Lynchburg, Virginia talk radio show, Nugent stated, “When you have freaks like Bill Maher and the animal rights freaks, these brain-dead, doped up monsters, these mongers that think that they’re gonna tell Ted Nugent I can’t eat venison. Every time I hear the words ‘animal’ or ‘right’ in the same paragraph I kill more stuff.

In an August 13, 2013 radio interview on “The Mike Huckabee Show,” Nugent spoke about his hunting dog Gonzo, stating, “We literally hunt anywhere between 250 and 300 days a year. And you think Gonzo is good on ducks, you should see him on squirrels and doves and rabbits and woodcock and grouse. He really is a mystical, wonderful hunting dog.”

On October 25, Nugent tweeted, “Weirdos against hunting are against nature herself-pure veison [sic] forever

In a January 14, 2014 op-ed for Newsmax, Nugent asserted, “The whole global warming lie is a giant, international environmental scam and hoax designed to control people by instigating fear and panic. There is no global warming, only hot-air from Al Gore and his gaggles of Woodstock rejects who have made many millions by perpetuating something that just isn’t so.” Contrary to Nugent’s statement, global climate change is a phenomenon that is well-supported by research conducted by agencies such as the National Academy of Sciences, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”

Oh, and who can forget the bold proclamation he made back on April 14, 2012 during a live interview at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting , “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year…”

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KWS Rangers kill poacher next to the 45-year-old elephant he had killed in Tsavo

Sunday, July 27, 2014 – 00:00 — BY RAPHAEL MWADIME

The suspected poacher killed in Tsavo West on Friday night lying with the elephant carcass they had killed.Photo/Raphael Mwadime

The suspected poacher killed in Tsavo West on Friday night lying with the elephant carcass they had killed.Photo/Raphael Mwadime

Kenya Wildlife Service rangers have killed one suspected poacher and recovered four elephant tusks  in Tsavo West National Park.

Five other poachers fled leaving behind an M16 rifle, two AK47 magazines, an axe, three saucepans and six five litre water jerry cans.

The poachers had already killed a 45-year-old elephant near the water pan and were in the process of removing its tusks.

Senior KWS Warden in charge of Tsavo West, Josephat Erupe, said KWS rangers on Friday traced foot prints of the group of poachers before getting them removing ivory from a bull elephant they had killed.

“On Friday our rangers spotted the strange foot prints that they traced to Marwa dam where the suspects had killed an elephant. At about 8pm our officers caught up with the suspects where they spotted spot lights and when they came closer, they saw the group removing tusks from the elephant. They opened fire and gunned down one suspect,” he said.

Erupe said that the rangers took ambush until Saturday morning where they realised that they had gunned down one suspect and recovered four elephant tusks and the firearm.

“We have launched an air ground operation to track the runaway suspects. It a matter of time before our security personnel catch up with them,” he told the Star at the scene of incident.

Erupe said that the poachers have devised a habit of waiting for elephant at the watering pans where they kill them.

“We have observed that the poachers wait for elephants when they come to drink water at the watering pans where they shoot them. We have enhanced security surveillance in the park in a bid to fight poaching,” he said adding that the male Jumbo aged about 45 years was killed some 50 metres from the water pan.

- See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-180101/kws-rangers-kill-poacher-next-45-year-old-elephant-he-had-killed-tsavo#sthash.EvqIopTK.dpuf

Ex Guns N’ Roses star Matt Sorum blasts Ted Nugent over hunting photo post

http://www.torontosun.com/2014/07/15/ex-guns-n-roses-star-matt-sorum-blasts-ted-nugent-over-hunting-photo-post

Former Guns N’ Roses star Matt Sorum has taken aim at fellow rocker Ted Nugent for68439_10151399495155861_1116657731_n his pro-hunting remarks.

Animal lover Sorum took offence to a photo he spotted of smiling Nugent standing next to a pre-teen boy who had just killed a groundhog, and took to Twitter.com to lash out at the Cat Scratch Fever hitmaker over the weekend.

The drummer wrote, “Hey @tednugent u are a sick individual, u are smiling too much for killing this animal. Something wrong w u (with you), poor kid.”

Nugent has made a name for himself protecting the rights of hunters, insisting they are vital to manage wildlife.

In an interview earlier this year, he attacked animal-rights activists opposed to hunting and killing, calling them “numb-nuts”.

Sorum is currently spearheading the International Fund For Animal Welfare’s campaign for elephant conservation, and last month wrote an open letter to his fellow musicians urging them to support a new U.S. strategy for minimizing America’s role in global elephant poaching.

Jail time awaits Baudette hunting guide for years of bear and deer poaching

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

http://www.startribune.com/local/268118152.html

by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune

  • Updated: July 22, 2014 – 10:22 AM

Keith Slick also was sentenced for fleeing in a motor vehicle and second-degree drunken driving for briefly trying to elude a conservation officer.

A longtime big game guide in far northern Minnesota is facing jail time after admitting to years of poaching bears and deer, acts that also have cost him his hunting privileges for three years, state conservation officials said Monday.

Keith R. Slick, 33, of Baudette, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Lake of the Woods County District Court to 90 days in jail for various misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors, including: transporting a big game animal, lending/borrowing a bear license, two counts of taking/possessing an over-limit of bear and failing to register a bear.

Along with his jail time, Slick also was sentenced to 120 hours of community service and must pay $2,090 in fines and restitution. Once out of jail, he will be on probation for two years with conditions that he surrender his weapons and agree to random searches.

Slick also was sentenced for felony fleeing in a motor vehicle and gross-misdemeanor second-degree drunken driving for briefly trying to elude a conservation officer. Slick will serve 30 days of electronic home monitoring for fleeing, with that time starting once his incarceration ends.

Ac­cord­ing to the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which investigated the case:

Dur­ing last fall’s bear hunt­ing sea­son, state con­ser­va­tion of­fi­cer Robert Gorecki spotted an ac­tive bear bait sta­tion be­long­ing to Slick. A search of his home un­cov­ered nu­mer­ous bear capes and skulls, as well as sets of deer ant­lers.

“There were no pos­ses­sion or reg­is­tra­tion tags found with any of the bears,” Gorecki said in a state­ment re­leased by the DNR. “The bears did not have any cuts in their ears that would in­di­cate that a site tag was at­tached at any time in the past,” Gorecki said.

A check of DNR re­cords in­di­cat­ed that Slick nev­er reg­is­tered a buck or bear tak­en in the past 10 years, which is as far back as a­gen­cy re­cords go.

A cellphone seized in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tained pic­tures of Slick with a dead bear. Nu­mer­ous text mes­sages were also found with Slick tell­ing peo­ple a­bout the bear he had shot. Oth­er text mes­sages from Slick stat­ed that he had shot seven bears in his life.

Only two of the six ant­ler sets re­cov­ered had site tags on them, but they were from in­di­vidu­als oth­er than Slick.

A rifle and bow that Slick used for poaching will be auctioned by the state.

The Real Face of Poaching

What exactly is a poacher? A person who kills animals (more often endangered one) and sells them, or their parts for profit. Correct? So, what does this poacher look like? In your mind who is a poacher? If you’re imagining the quintessential pith helmet wearing, rifle clad “Van Pelt” figure, you probably want to think again.

The WWF launched an incredible campaign to break down the definition of what a poacher is. People tend to distance themselves from the crime if they weren’t directly responsible for the “dirty work,” but the wildlife trade wouldn’t exist if we all took on some responsibility and stopped participating.

When you consider the number of exotic animal “delicacies” that appear on menus across the world (don’t think the U.S. is exempt here) and look at the people who made that dish appear before you, that is a poacher.

WWF Shows Us the Real Face of Poaching, the Outcome Will Shock You When you purchase a brand new ivory statue, the person who sold it to you is a poacher. When you purchase rhino horn pills…you participate in poaching.

WWF Shows Us the Real Face of Poaching, the Outcome Will Shock You Though it may be true that these people responsible for the sale of these items are not the ones out slaughtering animals, they play a vital role in continuing the industry of poaching because they supply the one thing this cruel trade is motivated by: profit.

WWF Shows Us the Real Face of Poaching, the Outcome Will Shock You Without the people who pay for these exotic items, there would be no wildlife trade, no poachers, and no senseless killing of wild animals. It is easy to distance yourself from the crime if there is no blood on your hands, but it’s hard to forget what happened to these beautiful animals to bring that commodity to your door.

Although the wildlife trade is an enormous industry, all it takes is one person who stops buying tiger skin rugs to kick off a long chain of others who join them in conscious actions. The choice it yours!

To learn more about what the WWF is doing to help end wildlife crime, click here.

Image source: World Wildlife Fund