Texas hunting club may cancel endangered rhino hunt

“I’m a hunter,” Knowlton told WFAA. “I want to experience a black rhino. I want to be intimately involved with a black rhino.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/texas-hunting-club-may-cancel-endangered-rhino-hunt/

DALLAS – A Texas hunting club that auctioned off a permit to shoot an endangered black rhinoceros in Africa said it will cancel the hunt if a federal agency denies the winning bidder’s request to bring the dead animal back to the U.S. as a trophy.

Corey Knowlton bid $350,000 at a January auction that the Dallas Safari Club billed as a fundraising effort to save the endangered species. Last spring, he applied for a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would enable him to import the rhino’s body following the hunt in Namibia. But he’s still waiting to hear back.

The agency is applying extra scrutiny to Knowlton’s request because of the rise in poaching, said spokesman Gavin Shire.

If the permit is denied, the safari club plans to refund Knowlton’s money that was pledged to a rhino conservation fund in the southwestern African country.

“Most people that have an animal mounted, it’s their memory of their experience,” said Ben Carter, the safari club’s executive director. “It’s not always, ‘Look at what I’ve shot.’ When they look at it, they remember everything. That’s what he bid the money on, that opportunity.”

The wildlife agency began taking public comment on the permit application this month and has already heard from many of the groups that fervently opposed the auction.

The safari club has defended the planned hunt, noting that auction proceeds would go to a trust fund administered by the Namibian government to help boost the black rhino population.

The wildlife service expects to make a decision after the public comment period ends Dec. 8, taking into account the state of the herd in Namibia, where 1,800 of the world’s 4,880 black rhinos live. The agency also is examining exactly how the auction funds would be administered.

Last year, the service granted a permit to import a sport-hunted black rhino taken in Namibia in 2009, but increased poaching since then may impact whether any more are approved, said Shire.

Each year, the Namibian government issues five black rhino hunting permits that fund efforts to protect the species. The program includes habitat improvement, hiring game scouts to monitor the rhinos, and removing the animals’ horns to reduce their appeal to poachers.

“The aim is to re-invest these financial resources back to conservation, protected area management and rural community development,” said Kenneth Uiseb, Namibia’s director of wildlife monitoring and research.

But opponents of the auction say the programs are not worthwhile if they entail the killing of any endangered animal.

“Kill it to save it is not only cruel, it’s not conservation,” said Jeff Flocken, the North American regional director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. “If black rhinos and other dwindling species are to have a future, people must be encouraged to value animals for their inherent worth alive, not their price tag when they are dead.”

The safari club has said the hunt will involve one of five black rhinos selected by a committee and approved by the Namibian government. The five are to be older males that can’t reproduce.

Namibia sold another hunting permit for $200,000 directly to Michael Luzich, a Las Vegas investment manager who is also seeking a permit to bring the trophy into the U.S., according to Shire.

But Luzich has received far less scrutiny than Knowlton, who said in January he hired full-time security because he received death threats after his name was leaked on the Internet.

Knowlton lives in Royse City, about 30 miles from Dallas, and leads international hunting trips for a Virginia-based company, The Hunting Consortium. He has killed more than 120 species, including the so-called big five in Africa – a lion, a leopard, an elephant, a Cape buffalo and a rhinoceros, according to the company’s website.

He did not return messages left by The Associated Press for this story, but told Dallas television station WFAA in January that he believed the hunt would be managed well.

“I’m a hunter,” Knowlton told WFAA. “I want to experience a black rhino. I want to be intimately involved with a black rhino.”

Ban Endangered African Animal Trophy Imports From Namibia & SA.

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Director_Robert_G_Dreher_USFWS_Ban_Endangered_African_Animal_Trophy_Imports_From_Namibia/?pv=29

Imports From Namibia & SA.

Director : Daniel M. Ashe: USFWS.<br />
: Ban Endangered African Animal Trophy Imports From Namibia & SA.” width=”453″ height=”227″ /></div>
</div>
<div id=
100,000
20,130

20,130 signers. Let’s reach 100,000

Why this is important to me

STOP COREY KNOWLTON. HE HAS BEEN GRANTED PERMISSION FROM NAMIBIA (MET) AND THE WORLD WILDLIFE FUND ; Chris Weaver SA /Namibia (WWF)’S TROPHY HUNTING PROJECTS and ICUN: Mike Knight’s HUNTING RECOMMENDATIONS / The Lead Professional working with the Namibia Black Rhino Conservation

THE USA ; FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE (USFWS) DECISION IS NOW PENDING, TO IMPORT THE BLACK RHINO.

THERE ARE between 1,700 /50 LEFT IN NAMIBIA, THE HUNT IS IMMINENT IF WE DONT BLOCK THE TROPHY IMPORTS!!! . YOU SEE NO IMPORT LICENCES INTO THE USA GRANTED , NO HUNTING PERMITS ISSUED !!!

The USFWS Hunting Permit Applications have been announced for 2 Black Rhinos , for 2 Americans including CK , to import BR trophies into the USA. This petition needs a lot of support to make a difference, ideally we need to reach close to a 100,000 signatures before the end of the month, TO TELL USFWS THAT WE OBJECT TO CRITICALLY ENDANGERED ANIMALS TROPHY IMPORTS INTO THE USA FROM AFRICA , can you make this happen ? CAN WE REACH THIS GOAL ?

‘The Namibia wildlife is at risk of going extinct because the animal populations are very low and vulnerable because the WWF are ‘cooking the books’ to allow Trophy Hunting to continue from the most fragile wildlife populations on earth, in Namibia.

The WWF should be protecting the animals , however, they are openly lying about populations to keep a Trophy Hunting stance as they control funding streams from USAID; to ALL the African countries from the USA Congress , who is lobbied by the USA Pro-Hunting Lobby Groups to maintain Trophy Hunting, from almost extinct animals .

The African people are powerless to stop their wildlife being massacred into extinction.

We urge the USFWS to consider their decision and listen to the world instead of the voice of a few and protect Africa through your laws and policies .

Save the last of the Black Rhinos and the Desert Elephants from American Trophies Hunter’s Greed and Vanity . We need the animals alive in healthy in family groups, or we will loose them forever’

COREY KNOWLTON’S Dallas Safari Club AUCTION PURCHASE

THE BLACK RHNIO , Between 1,700/50 IN NAMIBIA, TAG WAS BOUGHT IN JANUARY 2014, SINCE THEN IT HAS CAUSED A GLOBAL OUTCRY. THE WORLD IS HORRIFIED !! THE DEAL WAS DONE AT DALLAS SAFARI CLUB

COREY KNOWLTON, HAS MASSACRED 120 RARE ANIMALS IN THE WORLD IN THE LAST 10 YEARS , AND HE PAID $350.000 FOR THE RIGHTS TO KILL A CRITICALLY ENDANGERED BLACK RHINO, ON THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION.

COREY KNOWLTON IS KILLING A BLACK RHINO FOR A HUNTING TV CHANNEL IN AMERICA, FOR ENTERTAINMENT !! WE THINK THIS IS IMMORAL, ESPECIALLY WHEN THE POACHERS ARE SLAUGHTERING THEM TOO !!! !!! !!!

Ten Hunting permits to kill BR’s are issued every year for Trophies from Namibia and South Africa because of ‘ICUN: Mike Knight’s HUNTING RECOMMENDATIONS / The Lead Professional working with the Namibia Black Rhino Conservation / Hunting Projects is getting funding from the WWF’s International Charity Funding Purse and he is also working with Corey Knowlton’s purchase .


Even though the Black Rhino Species is under attack from poachers and going extinct and classed as Critically Endangered, CITIES have allowed TEN animals to be massacred for Trophies every year because of the WWF and ICUN: Mike Knight’s corruption . We want to challenge this rule and over turn it so that the Black Rhinos are protected , by blocking USA Trophy Imports .
When the Namibian Government issued 5 permits a year for Trophy Hunting, they believed themselves invincible to Rhino Poaching. Now poaching has started and many Rhinos have already been killed this year in Namibia and the BR population is rapidly declining . http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3713688.stm

There are less than 1,700/50 Black Rhinos left in Namibia’. In the 1970′s there were 65, 000 in Africa , now there are 4/5, 000 Black Rhinos in the world. In Namibia there are now less than 1,000 Black Rhinos in protected areas an estimated 700/50 which, are Free Range. So once the poachers start seriously targeting Namibia (it has already started) , at the rate of the South African incidents, they will wipe out the total Namibian population of Black Rhinos in less than two years. NOT ONE MORE CAN BE AFFORDED TO BE HUNTED!


No one can see the benefit of more critically endangered animals being killed, and WWF and DSC have been so successful fabricating lies they have ensured TEN Critically Endangered Black Rhino Animal Trophies every year, are officially killed and this has been granted by CITIES, based on no factual evidence from the actual African people who this affects directly:

Resolution Conf. 13.5 (Rev. CoP14)
Establishment of export quotas for black rhinoceros hunting trophies
“THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION
APPROVES
“the establishment of an annual export quota of five hunting trophies of adult male black rhinoceros from South Africa and five from Namibia:
AGREES that hunting trophies of the black rhinoceros are defined as the horns or any other durable part of the body, mounted or loose and that all parts to be exported should be individually marked with reference to the country of origin, species, quota number and year of export”: Please read more on the Link: “

http://www.cites.org/eng/res/13/13-05R14C15.php


PLEASE READ THE WORDS OF THE ACTUAL PEOPLE FIGHTING POACHERS AND TAKING BULLETS TO SAVE THEIR WILDLIFE :-
‘OPEN LETTER TO COREY KNOWLTON’: Founder, Walk With Rangers; Quote:

“In forty years of close association with black rhinoceros, I have NEVER known of a free ranging wild old male past his breeding period targeting, and killing, rhino females and calves but, rather, the odd fights have only, in my own experience, occurred amongst breeding competing males, as is common in other species.
In Africa old age is respected: by extension, it is un-African and basically unethical not to allow an old male that sired many calves a peaceful retirement, in the same way as breeding bulls in the cattle world are put out to pasture, not sent to the butcher, once they stop being productive.

Sir, I have struggled to understand why SCI and DSC continue to put prices on the heads of our wildlife. It is laughable that they even think they have any right. The wildlife of a nation remains the sovereign property of its people. Would this not mean then, sir, that privatizing such public property would, in fact, be a gross violation of the rights of the African people? I will let you ponder over that for a while. We are in the wake of a crisis that has gripped our region. Poachers have decimated our herds, and Africa is no longer teeming with wildlife. You kind sir, have been duped into believing that your hunt will aid conservation in Africa.
It will not. Aside from gaining Namibia huge disrepute, it will go against the very fibre of what we are trying so hard to achieve – the protection and true management of our last wild things. It is also imperative to note here that local African communities do not eat rhino meat.”
Read more : Twitter: @raabiahawa

http://africageographic.com/blog/kenyan-rangers-moving-letter-to-american-rhino-hunter/#sthash.scgQxpuT.dpuf

http://africageographic.com/blog/kenyan-rangers-moving-letter-to-american-rhino-hunter/

THE NAMIBIAN WILDLIFE IS UNDER THREAT FROM CORRUPTION !!

The natural world is under attack like never before the ecosystem and food chain is breaking down in Africa and the African Tribes and animals affected, need protection . This is NOT SUSTAINABLE HUNTING !!

PLEASE STOP THE USA TROPHY HUNTERS IN NAMIBIA FROM KILLING THE LAST OF THE DESERT ELEPHANTS. THERE ARE ONLY an estimated 70 BREEDING ADULTS LEFT , LESS THAN 10 BREEDING MALES , OF THE VERY UNIQUE DESERT ADAPTED ELEPHANTS , THEIR NUMBERS ARE ON THE DECLINE , AND THEY ARE DOWN TO ‘EXTINCTION STATUS’ AGAIN, THEIR EXISTENCE IS THREATENED THEY ARE ON THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION .

Please watch the Youtube link : ‘ Elephants in the Namibian desert – Wild Africa – BBC 2009 ‘; this is independent evidence stating that there are ’100 or so Desert Dwelling Elephants; being supported by the Desert ” . The Namibia Ministry has just announced there are 20,000 backed by WWF . The relentless massacring is destroying the African Ecosystem and the Tribal People’s Food Chain. ; this is being done by the Media Invisible Wealthiest White People, and the most Powerful People in the world !!!!

WWF and the Namibian Government are claiming that the Unique Adapted Desert Dwelling Elephants do not exist, and there are 750 of them in the Namib Desert, which, is incorrect. Please read the following:

‘ Namibia Refuses to Cancel Desert Elephant Hunt After Protests’
Quote: “The elephants, which live in the Kunene region, are one of only two groups adapted to desert existence with the other being in Mali. They numbered about 750 in 2012, according to the WWF, an environmental group.”

http://www.noanimalpoaching.org/animal-poaching-news-2014/namibia-refuses-to-cancel-desert-elephant-hunt-after-protests

THE WEALTHIEST PEOPLE ARE MASSACRING ALONGSIDE THE POACHERS ! They are wiping out the last of the African animals unchallenged for hundreds of thousands of Dollars each, paying for Unsustainable Hunting in under -developed countries where populations of animals are being exaggerated by the WWF who are informing CITIES and USFWS, as they keep the doors open for Trophy Hunting to continue from almost extinct populations of animals , that , are being wiped out by poachers .

The truth is known and been written over 10years ago by a British MP and this evidence has been disregarded and the USFWS have continued to import Trophies and trade with corruption sending African wildlife in to total extinction…

THIS DELIBERATE EXTINCTION HAPPENING TO THE AFRICA WILDLIFE DONE BY THE USA CITIZENS IS OUTRAGEOUS !!

‘The Myth of Trophy Hunting as Conservation. A League Against Cruel Sports submission to Environment Minister, Elliott Morley MP
December 2004’
Quote: -
“A smokescreen for corruption and poaching

“With their financial and political might of the USA, this formidably powerful clique of hunters is shamelessly promoting hunting as a form of conservation. Many poor governments are easily won over because it offers such easy money – the bulk of which goes straight into their pockets. “

http://www.saveafricananimals.org/attachments/article/136/The_%20Myth_of_Trophy_Hunting_as_Conservation.pdf

This exploiting of the African countries; is directly affecting the poorest people in the world, who are victim to it ; as their animals are being massacred off this planet into extinction forever in one generation ; for ornaments, for TV Hunting Channels Entertainment and Mono-Culture Agriculture , which means 400,000 acres plus lands of one crop in a plantation . Which , means land is being Grabbed by USA Corporations for Food Globalisation, Food production .

No people and no wildlife can be tolerated on the plantations , so the land Giants are being massacred into extinction in the wild to allow this bio-diversity backed 100% by WWF , so that African Animals will only exist in Canned Hunting parks and farms in a small number in the future .

THE UNIQUE ADAPTED DESERT DWELLING ELEPHANTS ARE NOT LARGE ENOUGH IN THIER POPULATION TO CULL !!

35,000 AFRICAN ELEPHANTS WERE MASSACRED BY POACHERS LAST YEAR ALONE. THE ANIMALS ARE GOING EXTINCT ; MORE THAN THE WHOLE DESERT POPULATION OF ELEPHANTS ARE KILLED EVERY DAY, IN AFRICA.
Director : Daniel M. Ashe: USFWS
Please Ban Imports from Namibia into the USA of ALL Critically Endangered African Animals IMMEDIATELY !

The Desert Elephants population in 20 years has risen from 52 members to less than 100( they are rapidly declining) . Namibia’s Desert-Dwelling Elephants are one of only 2 populations of Elephants in Africa living in a desert environment (the other is in Mali).

The majority of the world population does not think massacring endangered animals is appropriate whilst , the poaching of the African Animals is out of control in Africa , and allowing imports of African Animals dead or alive by the USFWS shows a lack of respect and understanding for people who are actually risking their lives and struggling to keep these animals on this planet for longevity .

There were 5 MILLION Elephants in Africa 40 years ago , now there are between 300.000/ 600,000 Elephants , of which, 100 Elephants are killed everyday by poachers , 700 a week and so on . The whole of the equivalent population of the DESERT ELEPHANTS are being WIPED OUT IN A DAY !! in Africa by poachers , issuing permits to kill more, this is NOT SUSTAINABLE HUNTING !!!

Associate Director : Robert G. Dreher : USFWS , you appear to be disregarding the rules set down by CITIES. :- Email Letter received , after I contacted David Cameron , Prime Minister of the United Kingdom , early this year: Defra Government Department United Kingdom :- I Quote ; Kevin Woodhouse Defra – Customer Contact Unit “

LETTER FROM THE UK GOVERNMENT

“The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), to which the UK is a Party, applies to ensure that trade in listed species hunted for their trophies is only permitted if it is sustainable.

In view of concerns raised that the import of hunting trophies of some species from some countries are unsustainable, we have agreed in principle with other EU Member States that stricter measures should be introduced in relation to the importation of hunting trophies of rhinos, lions and some other species. This list will be further considered and kept under review.

We will continue working with other CITES Parties and relevant non-government organisations to ensure the long-term survival of this and other important species.
Yours sincerely
Kevin Woodhouse
Defra – Customer Contact Unit “

SUMMARY

I reiterate : ‘The Namibia wildlife is at risk of going extinct because the animal populations are very low and vulnerable because the WWF are ‘cooking the books’ to allow Trophy Hunting to continue from the most fragile wildlife populations on earth, in Namibia.

The WWF should be protecting the animals , however, they are openly lying about populations to keep a Trophy Hunting stance as they control funding streams from USAID; to ALL the African countries from the USA Congress , who is lobbied by the USA Pro-Hunting Lobby Groups to maintain Trophy Hunting, from almost extinct animals .

The African people are powerless to stop their wildlife being massacred into extinction.

We urge the USFWS to consider their decision and listen to the world instead of the voice of a few and protect Africa through your laws and policies .

Save the last of the Black Rhinos and the Desert Elephants from American Trophies Hunter’s Greed and Vanity . We need the animals alive in healthy in family groups, or we will loose them forever’

U.S. charges South Africans in illegal rhino hunting case

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/23/us-usa-alabama-rhino-idUSKCN0IC2NH20141023

(Reuters) – A South African company has been indicted in Alabama for selling illegal rhinoceros hunts to Americans and secretly trafficking in the endangered animals’ horns, which sell on the black market at prices higher than gold, prosecutors said on Thursday.

The 18-count indictment charged Valinor Trading CC, which operated in the United States as Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris, and company owners Dawie Groenewald, 46, and his brother, Janneman Groenewald, 44, with conspiracy, Lacey Act violations, mail fraud, money laundering and structuring bank deposits to avoid reporting requirements.

All species of rhinoceros are protected under U.S. and international laws, including the Lacey Act, which addresses illegal poaching and wildlife trafficking, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

“This case should send a warning shot to outfitters and hunters that the sale of illegal hunts in the U.S. will be vigorously prosecuted regardless of where the hunt takes place,” Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division Sam Hirsch said in the statement.

The whereabouts of the Groenewalds, and whether they have hired a lawyer, could not immediately be determined.

National Geographic magazine reported that Dawie Groenewald was arrested in 2010 in South Africa, along with 10 others and that a multi-count case has been under way for four years.

Both Groenewald brothers are South African nationals. Janneman Groenewald lived and operated out of Alabama’s Autauga County, where he maintained company bank accounts.

Nine American hunters paid up to $15,000 per animal for a total of 11 hunts sold at hunting conventions and gun shows in the United States between 2005 and 2010.

None of the hunters was charged because prosecutors said the hunters were tricked by the Groenewalds into believing they were shooting legally at “problem” rhinos. The Groenewalds obtained no hunting permits from the Republic of South Africa or local government, the indictment said.

The hunts took place at a ranch in Mussina, Limpopo Province, South Africa co-owned by the Groenewalds and American investors, according to the indictment.

After killing or capturing a rhino, the hunters posed for photos with the carcasses that appeared on company marketing brochures, the indictment said. Dawie Groenewald, who supervised the hunts, then cut off the horns with chainsaws and knives.

The population of rhinos, indigenous to southern Africa, is being decimated by poachers who supply a demand for horns for decorative and supposed medicinal purposes, prosecutors said.

The investigation was part of ongoing Operation Crash, named for a term used to describe a rhino herd, led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It has resulted in 26 arrests and 18 convictions, with prison terms as high as 70 months for illegal rhino hunting or trafficking in horns.

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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

BREAKING: Facebook removes hunting photos of Texas teen that raised ire

Featured Image -- 6409

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-usa-texas-hunting-facebook-20140702,0,2940032.story

Reuters

July 2, 2014

DALLAS (Reuters) – Facebook has removed some photographs of a Texas teenager posing with freshly killed animals she hunted during a recent safari in South Africa that had been criticized by users as inappropriate, the company said on Wednesday.

Kendall Jones, 19, a cheerleader at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, set off a social media storm after she posted a series of photos of animals she killed, smiling in one picture as she hugs a lifeless leopard hanging limply from her arms.

Facebook said some photos were deleted from her page because they violated its policies regarding animal images.

“We remove reported content that promotes poaching of endangered species, the sale of animals for organized fight or content that includes extreme acts of animal abuse,” the company said. It did not provide specific information about the photos removed.

Comre Safaris, a company in South Africa that organizes licensed hunts, said the number of animals killed by Jones fell within a quota set by the country’s wildlife department.

Jones defended her actions, saying in a Facebook post she took inspiration from former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, a hunter and conservationist.

“How can it be possible that someone can love the earth, and take from the earth in the name of conservation? For some folks, they’ll never understand. For the rest of us … we were born that way. God Bless Teddy,” Jones said.

But criticism was heavy, with one post branding the hunts barbaric garnering 20,000 comments. More than 130,000 people signed an online petition asking Facebook to remove Jones’ photos, saying they promoted animal cruelty.

“You can see the thrill in her expression and eyes from these photos that she enjoyed the KILLING of these animals,” read one post.

Many cash-strapped African governments allow a small number of big game animals to be killed each year, using the money from the sale of hunting licenses for conservation.

The hunts are held under international guidelines meant to ensure they do not adversely affect overall species numbers.

Compassion in conservation: Don’t be cruel to be kind

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http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22229740.200-compassion-in-conservation-dont-be-cruel-to-be-kind.html#.U6L6w2dOVy2

June 2014 by Marc Bekoff and Daniel Ramp

Killing and harming animals in the name of conservation is not just unethical, it is counterproductive

EARLIER this year, a hunter based in Texas paid $350,000 for the dubious privilege of being allowed to kill a male black rhino in Namibia. The rhino, Ronnie, was past reproductive age and deemed to be a danger to other wild rhinos. Profits from the hunting permit are supposed to be ploughed back into conservation in the country.

A few weeks later, keepers at Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark killed Marius, a healthy young male giraffe, publicly dissected him and fed his remains to the zoo’s carnivores because he didn’t fit into their breeding programme. Several offers to rehouse him were declined on the grounds that the facilities were unsuitable.

The same zoo later killed four healthy lions because a male lion they wanted to introduce to a female may have attacked them. Then Dählhölzli zoo in Bern, Switzerland, killed a bear cub over fears his father would kill him.

These cases made headlines and caused global outrage. But they are just the tip of the iceberg. Zoos often kill healthy animals considered surplus to their needs: around 5000 a year in Europe alone. This isn’t euthanasia, or mercy killing, but “zoothanasia”.

The killing of “surplus” animals is just one example of people making life-and-death decisions on behalf of captive and wild animals. These are difficult decisions and various criteria are used, but almost without exception human interests trump those of the non-human animals.

Often, for example, animals are harmed or killed “in the name of conservation”, or for the “good of their own (or other) species”. The result is unnecessary suffering and, commonly, a failure to achieve sustainable and morally acceptable outcomes.

Increasingly, scientists and non-scientists are looking for more compassionate solutions. Compassionate conservation, a rapidly growing movement with a guiding principle of “first do no harm”, is just such an approach. It is driven by a desire to eliminate unnecessary suffering and to prioritise animals as individuals, not just as species. It is also a route to better conservation.

Although one of us, Marc Bekoff, has been writing about the importance of individual animals in conservation for more than two decades, it took an international meeting at the University of Oxford in September 2010 for compassionate conservation to get a big push. There have since been three more meetings. NGOs are becoming interested and a Centre for Compassionate Conservation has been established at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

One sign that the influence of compassionate conservation is growing is that conservationists are questioning the ethics of producing captive pandas as ambassadors for their species. These animals have no chance of living in the wild and their existence is increasingly seen as indefensible.

Biologists are also re-evaluating the merits of reintroduction projects. The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park, for example, resulted in numerous wolves dying or being killed “for the good of other wolves”. The surviving wolves also lack protection, especially when they leave the park. As a result, scientists are concerned that the project is failing.

Other reintroduction projects are being similarly reappraised. A team at the University of Oxford assessed 199 such programmes and found potential welfare issues in two-thirds of them, the most common being mortality, disease and conflict with humans.

Urban animals also get into the mix. Marc was recently asked to apply the principles of compassionate conservation to a project in Bloomington, Indiana, which proposed to kill numerous deer even when no one knew if they were causing a problem. In Cape Peninsula, South Africa, non-lethal paintball guns are being used to reduce conflicts between baboons and humans.

Compassionate conservation is also offering solutions to previously intractable conflicts. Innumerable wolves, coyotes, dogs, foxes and dingoes are killed by livestock farmers, often by trapping or poisoning. A recent study showed that poisoning dingoes by dropping tainted meat from aeroplanes changes the dynamics of the ecosystem and reduces biodiversity.

Management of this problem is being revolutionised by the use of guard animals such as Maremma sheepdogs, donkeys and llamas. These guardians bond with the livestock and protect them, not only reducing losses but also costing considerably less than shooting programmes. Even colonies of little penguins in Australia are now protected from foxes by Maremma sheepdogs.

Compassionate conservation is also changing the way researchers tag animals. This is an integral part of conservation as it enables scientists to identify individuals and estimate population sizes. But it is often harmful or painful and can reduce the animals’ fitness, which compromises the usefulness of the data collected. More researchers are now using methods that don’t stress animals or alter their behaviour, such as unobtrusive tags or remote camera traps.

There is often conflict between those interested in animal welfare and those interested in conservation, with the latter viewing concern for the well-being of individuals as misplaced sentimentalism. It is not.

Compassion for animals isn’t incompatible with preserving biodiversity and doing the best science possible. In fact, it is a must. Mistreatment of animals often produces poor conservation outcomes and bad science. It is also immoral. Only through compassion can we advance global conservation.

This article appeared in print under the headline “Cruel to be kind?”

Marc Bekoff is professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He edited Ignoring Nature No More: The case for compassionate conservation (University of Chicago Press). Daniel Ramp is director of the Centre for Compassionate Conservation at the University of Technology, Sydney

DNA Links Rhino Horns to Namibia

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By Werner Menges, 19 May 2014

DNA tests done in South Africa indicate that the rhino horns allegedly
discovered in the luggage of three Chinese men at Hosea Kutako International
Airport at the end of March were of Namibian origin.

This was revealed by the national head of the police Protected Resources
Unit, Detective Chief Inspector Barry de Klerk, during a bail hearing in the
Windhoek Magistrate’s Court in Katutura on Friday.

De Klerk told Magistrate George Mbundu that samples from the 14 rhino horns
found in two suitcases at the airport were sent to South Africa for a DNA
analysis to be carried out.

The DNA profiles of the samples were compared to DNA profiles on record in
the Rhino DNA Index System (RhODIS) database, and the results showed that
all of the horns came from Namibia, De Klerk testified.

The RhODIS database was developed by the University of Pretoria’s Veterinary
Generics Laboratory with the aim of keeping a record of the unique DNA
profile of individual rhinos, which could then be used to prove the origin
of rhino horns confiscated from suspected smugglers.

De Klerk said one of the horns found in the suitcases at the airport was
micro-chipped; it came from a white rhino that had been imported into
Namibia from South Africa some years ago.The three men applying to be
granted bail – Chinese nationals Li Xiaoliang (30), Li Zhibing (53), and Pu
Xunin (49) – are suspected to be the foot soldiers being used by the
faceless figures in control of an international wildlife poaching and
smuggling syndicate, De Klerk said.

The three accused were arrested and charged with possessing and exporting
controlled wildlife products after 14 rhino horns and a leopard skin were
found in two suitcases that two of them – Li Zhibing and Li Xiaoliang – had
checked in as part of their luggage on a flight on which they were supposed
to leave Namibia on 24 March.

All three men have claimed during their bail hearing that they did not know
what was in the suitcases. Li Zhibing told the magistrate last week that a
Chinese citizen living in Zambia had asked him to take the suitcases to
China. He said he was promised US$3 000 as payment if he delivered the
suitcases to someone in Shanghai.

He also told the court that he had asked Li Xiaoliang to book one of the
suitcases in as part of his luggage. Pu Xunin denied having any involvement
with or knowledge of the suitcases.

However, De Klerk testified that closed-circuit television recordings at the
Windhoek Country Club Hotel, where the three men stayed the night before
they were due to leave Namibia, showed that the two suitcases in which the
rhino horns were later found were first taken to Pu’s room, where he and an
unknown man then spent about an hour with the pieces of luggage, before the
suitcases were moved to the room of the two Lis.

De Klerk said that poachers, who have killed hundreds of rhinos in South
Africa in recent years, could try to target Namibia’s rhino population next.
The country’s courts should make it clear to would-be poachers and rhino
horn smugglers that Namibia would not be a soft target for them, he said.

The bail hearing is scheduled to continue on Wednesday.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201405191469.html

China Steps Up: Politician Pledges A Whopping $100 Million To Stop Poaching‏

China, a notorious source of demand for a massive illegal wildlife trade, is stepping up its game to save wildlife with a massive $100 million donation to combat poaching in Africa. The Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, announced the fund during a visit to the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa.

The fund is not a moment too soon — an estimated 22,000-35,000 elephants are killed every year by poachers, while last year poachers killed over 1,000 rhinos in South Africa alone. The funds will surely be helpful to curb supply of wildlife products in Africa, but meanwhile campaigns are working to stem demand from Chinese consumers, who value exotic animal products in traditional medicine and ivory ornaments.

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It’s Terrible About Those Death Threats

I don’t know who is sending would-be rhino Corey Knowlton all those death threats we keep hearing about, but I think it’s just terrible.

It’s terrible they waited until after he’d killed all those other 120 species—from every continent—that line the walls of his trophy1613918_577895065613412_412557772_n room. Too bad they held off until he had a chance to murder one of every species of wild sheep in existence, for instance. It’s a shame the 35 year old lived long enough to become the co-host of a hunting show on The Outdoor Channel which extols the virtues of snuffing out wildlife and encourages animal assassination in the name of sport.

It’s an absolute tragedy they waited until he won last week’s Dallas Safari Club auction to hunt a black rhino in Namibia. Now, unless the threats are in fact serious and carried out in the coming weeks, he will get the chance to destroy yet another undeserving sentient being in the name of ego, selfishness, arrogance and hedonism.
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For those not keen on lethal action, here are 3 things you can do to help:

1) PETITION: http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=104&ea.campaign.id=24844
2) PETITION: http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/get-involved/protect-black-rhinos-trophy-hunters
3) FB page with USFWS contact info and sample letter for writing to ask them to deny permit: https://www.facebook.com/events/242483775925213/

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