While airlines ban hunting trophy shipments, UPS says it won’t bow to controversy

August 4 at 1:58 PM http://platform.twitter.com/widgets/follow_button.a64cf823bcb784855b86e2970134bd2a.en.html#_=1438717358015&dnt=false&id=twitter-widget-0&lang=en&screen_name=slarimer&show_count=false&show_screen_name=true&size=m

Hunters and others looking to ship lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo heads and other big-game trophies across the world still have options available, even as Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Air Canada announced this week that they will no longer allow such cargo on their planes.

Shipments of hunting trophies are still allowed by United Parcel Service, a UPS spokeswoman told The Washington Post on Tuesday, noting that the global shipping giant follows U.S. and international laws, not public opinion, in determining what it will and won’t ship.

“There are many items shipped in international commerce that may spark controversy,” UPS public relations director Susan Rosenberg wrote in an e-mail. “The views on what is appropriate for shipment are as varied as the audiences that hold these views.

“UPS takes many factors under consideration in establishing its shipping policies, including the legality of the contents and additional procedures required to ensure compliance. We avoid making judgments on the appropriateness of the contents. All shipments must comply with all laws, including any relevant documentation from the shipper required in the origin and destination location of the shipments.”

[While other trophy hunters hide, Idaho’s ‘Italian Huntress’ is flaunting her kills]

Although FedEx doesn’t ship animal carcasses, the company “may accept legitimate shipments of parts for taxidermy purposes if they meet our shipping guidelines,” a spokesman said in an e-mail to The Post.

“These are legitimate shipments, not shipments that are illegally obtained,” spokesman Jim McCluskey wrote Tuesday. “Our priority is to ensure we abide by laws and regulations for all shipments.”

The policies of airlines and shipping companies are drawing extra attention and scrutiny following the death of one of Africa’s most iconic lions, which was killed in a hunt this summer.

That lion, known as Cecil, was killed in Zimbabwe by an American big-game hunter, an act that has sparked international outrage. Walter Palmer, a Minnesota dentist, has said he had “no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite.”

[Zimbabwean hunter says he did nothing wrong in luring Cecil the lion to his death]

“I relied on the expertise of my local guides…

Lay Cecil the Lion to Rest on the White House Lawn

Featured Image -- 9991

Lay Cecil the Lion to Rest on the White House Lawn

By Marc Ash, Reader Supported News
02 August 15

Blame for the death of Cecil the Lion lies squarely with the U.S.
government. For decades, the White House and its conservation agencies have
turned a blind eye to the well-being of wildlife in North America and
around the world. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence that inaction
would lead to their endangerment and often extinction.

*The Fish and Wildlife Service Is Investigating*
From Laury Parramore, damage control specialist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service: “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the
circumstances surrounding the killing of Cecil the Lion.”

Sounds like the FWS is keeping busy on this, but the fact that lions in the
wild have been critically endangered and face total extinction in less than
< http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1112797857/lions-nearly-extinct-40-years-030613/>
perhaps as little as 40 years
< http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1112797857/lions-nearly-extinct-40-years-030613/>
has been well known to the FWS for decades.

In searching for the truth, the Fish and Wildlife Service might well
investigate itself. As recently as October 2014, the FWS *rejected
< https://firstforhunters.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/fws-rejects-attempts-to-stop-lion-hunting/>*
Species status for African lions, saying that sport-hunting was “not found
to be a threat to the species at this time.” The Safari Club International
(SCI) was ecstatic. Their headline called the ruling a “Major Setback for
Anti-Hunting Efforts!”


Was Cecil the lion’s death business as usual?

Featured Image -- 10032



Published Monday, Aug. 03, 2015 6:00AM EDT


Cecil the lion is shown in a handout photo taken Oct. 21, 2012, and released
on July 28, 2015, by the Zimbabwe National Parks agency. (AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Ronald Orenstein is a Canadian zoologist, author, lawyer and wildlife
conservationist. He is the author of Ivory, Horn and Blood: Behind the
Elephant and Rhinoceros Poaching Crisis.

The death of Cecil the lion has shocked and angered people around the world.
It should. But perhaps the most shocking thing about his killing at the
hands of a selfish American hunter and his guides is that there may have
been nothing unusual about it. Zimbabwe’s government may have created the
situation that led to Cecil’s death.

Hwange National Park is ringed with private landholdings where hunting is
legal, though the land where Cecil was killed did not have an assigned quota
for lions. Luring Cecil out of Hwange has been called “unethical” by the
Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe, and the Zimbabwe Parks and
Wildlife Act makes it illegal to “entice” an animal out of a national park
without a permit. However, a 2007 study found that 24 lions radio-collared
in Hwange were shot by sport hunters between 1999 and 2004. Further
killings have been alleged since. The difference this time is that Cecil was

Zimbabwe has been treating its wildlife as a commodity for years. Though the
kills have decreased recently, its hunting quotas for lions, among the
highest in Africa, have been called unsustainable by lion biologists. Lions
as young as two years old have been shot for trophies, despite
recommendations that only animals at least five years old should be hunted
to give young males a chance to reproduce.

In early July, despite protests from around the world (and arguably
violating its own laws against animal cruelty), Zimbabwe exported 24 baby
elephants from Hwange to a dubious safari park in China, claiming that the
move relieved elephant overpopulation. Zimbabwe’s Environment Minister at
the time, Saviour Kasukuwere, said that “it made commercial sense” to send
the country’s wildlife to China. The Zimbabwe Independent cited claims that
the money went to pay a shoe manufacturer for boots for the military.

Hunters argue that the fees they pay for the right to shoot a lion can
benefit conservation and alleviate rural poverty. Conservation is certainly
expensive, and money helps – though tourism revenue exceeds hunting revenue
in many African countries, and a 2010 study, published by the pro-hunting
International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation and the United
Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, found that hunting companies in
Tanzania contributed only about 3 per cent of their revenues to local

When a hunter is willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars into a corrupt
system, the benefits can be hard to find. Zimbabwean blogger Alex Magaisa
claims that there is “a huge amount of corruption and skullduggery” in
Zimbabwe’s hunting industry, and warns that there will be “more Cecils in
future.” The enormous prices hunters pay tempt operators to give clients
what they want, and fund the bribes needed to get it. When hunting quotas
are based on the industry’s bottom line, and the rules that exist are
ignored, trophy hunting becomes little more than organized, legalized
poaching, and the hunters’ targets little more than contraband.

African lions have been in serious decline for years. Numbering an estimated
75,800 in 1980, a combination of human population growth, habitat loss,
disease and hunting pressure has reduced their number to no more than 32,000
today (and possibly a good deal less). It is a decline that has gone largely
unrecognized. A 2011 petition to list the African lion under the U.S.
Endangered Species Act – a listing that would require the United States to
prohibit trophy imports unless they can be shown to benefit conservation –
still awaits action.

The revulsion at Cecil’s death may have been, in part, because he was an
animal with a name. I hope, nonetheless, that it leads countries like the
United States, the biggest importer of lion trophies, to take a closer, and
tougher, look at “sustainable” wildlife management, and to clamp down on
trophy imports that threaten the survival of Cecil’s nameless kin. If they
do, perhaps Cecil will not have died entirely in vain.


U.S. airlines ban shipment of big game hunting ‘trophies’


By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ, AP Airlines Writer Published: Aug 4, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) – The big three U.S. airlines have all this week banned the shipment of hunting trophies, although it is unclear how many – if any – they have been carrying in recent years.

Delta Air Lines was the first to announce the change Monday, saying that it would no longer accept lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies. American Airlines and United Airlines soon followed.

American spokesman Ross Feinstein said it’s largely symbolic because his airline does not serve Africa. United, which only has one flight to Africa, also announced Monday afternoon its own restriction. United said its records indicate no shipments of these types of trophies in the past.

The moves come after an American dentist killed a well-known lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe last month in an allegedly illegal hunt, setting off a worldwide uproar. The dentist, Walter James Palmer, lives in Minnesota, which is a major hub for Delta.

As recently as May, Atlanta-based Delta had said that it would continue to allow such shipments – as long as they were legal. At the time, some international carriers prohibited such cargo.

Delta has the most flights of any U.S. airline to Africa. Several foreign airlines announced similar bans last week.

Delta would not answer questions from The Associated Press about why the decision was made now and how many hunting trophies it has shipped in recent years. The company only issued a 58-word statement noting that prior to Monday’s ban, “Delta’s strict acceptance policy called for absolute compliance with all government regulations regarding protected species.”

Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry consultant, noted that the airline was probably responding to pressure following the news of Cecil’s killing. The airline was the subject of a petition on change.org to ban such shipments.

“I don’t think there was much of this shipment taking place, so there is minimal revenue loss and big PR gain for them,” he said.

Time for Major Airlines to Stop Shipping Africa Big Five Trophies

Featured Image -- 10026


By on August 3, 2015

Breaking News: Today, both Delta and United – the biggest U.S. based carriers to Africa – announced new policies that ban transport of trophies from lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, and buffalo – the “Africa Big Five.” These announcements come in response to the global furor of the illegal killing of Cecil, and will put pressure on foreign-based carriers that serve major African cities to stop their carrying of trophies from these species. 

Dr. Walter Palmer’s behavior in killing and mutilating Cecil the lion is disgraceful. But he’s not a one-off character. He’s a very enthusiastic participant in the larger enterprise of globe-trotting international trophy hunting, where rich trophy hunters seek out and kill some of the largest animals in the world to fill their dens or private museums, get their names in the record books of Safari Club International, and brag to their buddies that they’ve killed the biggest and the grandest of creatures on earth.

Now, sure as shooting, a second low-life character has come to light – Jan C. Seski, a gynecologist from Pittsburgh – for a possible illegal lion killing under similar circumstances in April. In addition to the lion he killed, Dr. Seski also shot his sixth elephant on that trip. (He apparently threatened to shoot his neighbor’s dogs too – as if any of us needed more evidence that this guy, too, is a heartless thug.)

Seriously, what is wrong with these people? Why are they obsessed with killing the world’s biggest, most magnificent animals, and denying the rest of us the pleasure of sharing the earth with these creatures? What is it about the serial killing of animals that titillates them so much?

Cecil the lion with his cubs.

Cecil the lion with his cubs. Photo by Brent Stapelkamp

It’s been reported that after Cecil’s death, Palmer requested help in finding an elephant with tusks above a certain weight. He only left the country after he was informed by his guide they could not help him with that.

The trophy hunters like to excuse their passion for killing by saying that their spending promotes conservation. That’s nonsense, and more of a self-serving diversion.

A 2013 economic report demonstrated what anybody with their wits about them knows: These animals are worth more alive than dead. Kenya, which banned trophy hunting in the 1970s, has an  eco-tourism economy that brings in far more than trophy hunting brings in to South Africa as a whole.

The fact is, trophy hunting of lions, elephants, and rhinos is a net revenue loser for African economies. Trophy hunters may throw around some money, but they rob parks, reserves, and other natural areas of the wonderful animals that are the real draw – the animals that attract countless people willing to spend money to see them and to be close to them.  In that respect, trophy hunters are like bank robbers who leave a little cash behind.

South African Airways suspended the transport of big game trophies from Africa several months ago, including the heads of lions killed on canned hunting operations in the country. But recently, under pressure from Safari Club International and other groups aligned with the trophy hunting industry, they resumed transports. Emirates Airlines, on the other hand, has remained steadfast in not accepting hunting trophies of lions, elephants, and rhinos. So has Lufthansa.  With the announcements from Delta and United, the momentum is clearly on our side.

Let’s let all the major airlines know it’s time to cut off the shipments for good of African lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, and Cape buffalo – the so-called Africa Big Five. This “hunting achievement” award leads to disgraceful behavior, and the airlines should not provide a getaway vehicle for trophy hunters’ larceny.

Using wealth to kill the magnificent animals of the world is a misuse of the gifts these people have been given. If trophy hunters are serious about conservation they should do some real good with their wealth – and stop spreading destruction, pain, and death.

Take action today to tell the rest of the airline industry: Don’t fly wild »

Speak For Wolves 2015 – Come Join Us!

Originally posted on Howling For Justice:

Speak for Wolves 2nd annual Aug 2015

We hope you can join us on August 7-9, 2015 at the historic Union Pacific Dining Lodge in West Yellowstone, Montana for Speak for Wolves!

Friday August 7

6:00pm doors open with music by Neil Haverstick.

7:00pm Screening of OR-7 the Journey with filmmaker Clemens Schenk. Amaroq Weiss of the Center for Biological Diversity will be part of the Q&A session following the film. Tickets cost $10 and can be bought online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1634194

They can also be purchased at the door-cash only.
Saturday August 8

11:30am doors open.

12:00pm opening remarks.

12:30pm Kim Wheeler, Executive Director of the Red Wolf Coalition, will discuss the plight of red wolves and the USFWS Red Wolf Recovery Program.

2:00pm activist Oliver Starr will discuss the reasons for the sharp decline in gray wolf populations in Denali National Park in Alaska and offer remedies.

3:00pm Brian Ertz, founder and Board…

View original 210 more words

wikileaks exposes gov’t knowledge of illegal hunting

There is hypocrisy all around this brutal hunting industry. The US government purports to be horrified at Palmer’s illegal activity, and there is talk of extradition.
What a farce!
Wikileaks documents show that the US government has been well aware all along of the illegal and unethical practices of US hunters in Zimbabwe (and elsewhere in Africa) – and deliberately chose not to act on this knowledge, hoping it would never become public.
Featured Image -- 10032

Zimbabwe alleges second American [this time a 68-year-old gynaecologist] involved in illegal lion hunt


By Peta Thornycroft,and Aislinn Laing in Johannesburg

02 Aug 2015

A second American hunter has been identified by the Zimbabwean authorities as having allegedly illegally killed a lion with a bow and arrow following the death of Cecil, the country’s famous black-maned lion, last month.

The man, named by Zimbabwe’s national parks authority as Jan Seski, a 68-year-old gynaecologist from Murrysville, Pennsylvania, is said to have killed the unidentified lion in April this year.

Pictures on social media show Dr Seski, who has a hunting license in Alaska, is an active hunter.

A 2012 post from Melorani Safaris said Dr. Seski went on a 10-day hunt and “harvested some very nice animals” including a nyala, a type of antelope, and a giraffe.

The professional hunter who accompanied him, Headman Sibanda, is said to be helping police with their enquiries, the wildlife body said.

Dr. Jan Seski

The revelation came as Zimbabwe announced a crackdown on all lion, leopard and elephant hunts in private conservancies.

Cecil the lion’s brother ‘safe and well’ and eating a giraffe

Emmanuel Chidziya, Director General of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, said in future anyone hunting Zimbabwe’s most iconic wildlife would need permission directly from him and to be accompanied by ZPWMA staff.

Up until now, around 50 lions were killed by hunters each year in Zimbabwe, some 20 fewer than were killed each year before reforms to the industry in 2013.

Louis Muller, chairman of the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association, said he anticipated a drop-off in visitors following the public outcry about the shooting dead of Cecil by American dentist Dr Walter Palmer on July 1.

He warned that that would be bad for the country’s wildlife population, whose numbers have dropped by 60 per cent since the 2000 seizures of white-owned farms which served as a haven for many animals.

“We suspect the unfortunate incident may lead to tourists cancelling bookings to our part of Zimbabwe,” he told The Telegraph.

“This will hurt the wildlife community, both professional hunters and photographic safaris which will mean less income for conservation and anti-poaching operations.”

Dr Palmer is believed to have paid $61,000 (39,000GBP) to shoot Cecil, who wore a GPS collar as part of an Oxford University study, from a hide on a private conservancy around two miles from the border of Hwange National Park.

Wildlife authorities have since alleged the hunter accompanying him and the landowner on whose property the hunt took place did not have the correct permits and that Dr Palmer financed an “illegal hunt”.

Dr. Jan Seski poses with with animals he has killed as a part of Melorani Safaris

Both the hunter, Theo Bronkhorst, and landowner, Honest Ndlovu, are facing illegal hunting charges, although Mr Ndlovu, who is understood to have close ties to the Zanu PF ruling party, has not yet appeared before a court.

On Friday Zimbabwe’s environment minister called for Dr Palmer to be extradited from the US to Zimbabwe to face similar charges, labelling him a “foreign poacher” whose aim was to tarnish Zimbabwe’s reputation.

Now, it appears the scope of the investigation may be widened to include other recent lion hunts.

The second lion declared illegally killed by the Zimbawbean wildlife authorities was at first identified as Jericho, the second adult male in Cecil’s pride who had inherited the task of looking after its young cubs.

However, researchers tracking the pride confirmed to the Telegraph that Jericho had been sighted “alive and well” at 6.15am on Sunday.

“Fat and full of giraffe which he has been feeding on for the last 24 hours,” wrote Dr Andrew Loveridge, from Oxford University’s department of zoology.

The identity of the lion that was killed is not yet known, nor is it known whether it was one collared as part of the Oxford University study. The researchers say around four of the lions they had collared have been killed on the same tract of land where Cecil died since January.

“The authority, working with other law enforcement agencies has launched a crackdown to weed out any undesirable elements,” a statement from ZPWMA said.

“To date our law enforcement agencies are following up on all found or reported cases and they have since arrested another culprit, Headman Sibanda, on allegations of breaching hunting regulations. He is currently assisting police with investigations.”

Mr Sibanda operates a hunting company from a farm he took from white farmers after land invasions began in 2000.

Prince Mupazviriwo, an environment ministry official, said Mr Sibanda had no permit for the hunt.

Meanwhile in Minnesota, where Dr Palmer runs a dental practice which he was last week forced to close down amid the furore surrounding Cecil’s death, pictures have emerged showing a country house the dentist is believed to own.

The wood-clad house, on a 650-acre site, also has an old schoolhouse in which are hung the heads of various exotic animals. Neighbours said Dr Palmer visited at least once a month to shoot deer from a series of hides dotted around the property.

6 endangered animals poachers are hunting into extinction


Jessica Phelan, GlobalPost 2:55 p.m. EDT July 31, 2015

Zimbabwean authorities restrict hunting after Cecil the lion killing

Posted: Aug 01, 2015 11:30 AM PDT &amp;amp;lt;em class=”wnDate”&amp;amp;gt;Saturday, August 1, 2015 2:30 PM EDT&amp;amp;lt;/em&amp;amp;gt;Updated: Aug 01, 2015 11:30 AM PDT &amp;amp;lt;em class=”wnDate”&amp;amp;gt;Saturday, August 1, 2015 2:30 PM EDT&amp;amp;lt;/em&amp;amp;gt;

    • Related LinksMore>>

    • Zimbabwe: American lion killer’s extradition being sought

      Zimbabwe: American lion killer’s extradition being sought

      Updated: Friday, July 31 2015 1:29 PM EDT2015-07-31 17:29:19 GMTJul 31, 2015 10:29 AM PDTJul 31, 2015 10:29 AM PDT
      Oppah Muchinguri, theZimbabwean Minister of Environment, Water and Climate addresses a press conference in Harare, Zimbabwe, Friday, July, 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)Oppah Muchinguri, theZimbabwean Minister of Environment, Water and Climate addresses a press conference in Harare, Zimbabwe, Friday, July, 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
      Zimbabwe intends to seek the extradition of an American dentist who killed a lion that was lured out of a national park and shot with a bow and a gun, and the process has already begun, a Cabinet minister said Friday. In the Zimbabwean government’s first official comment on the killing of Cecil the lion, the environment, water and climate minister lashed out at Walter James Palmer, accusing him even of trying to hurt Zimbabwe’s image.More >>
      Zimbabwe intends to seek the extradition of an American dentist who killed a lion that was lured out of a national park and shot with a bow and a gun, and the process has already begun, a Cabinet minister said Friday. In the Zimbabwean government’s first official comment on the killing of Cecil the lion, the environment, water and climate minister lashed out at Walter James Palmer, accusing him even of trying to hurt Zimbabwe’s image.More >>
    • HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe has suspended the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in an area where a lion popular with tourists was killed, and is investigating the killing of another lion in April that may have been illegal, the country’s wildlife authority said Saturday.

In addition, bow and arrow hunts have been suspended unless they are approved by the head of the director of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, the organization said. The authority said it only received information this week about the possibly illegal killing of a lion in April. An arrest has been made in that case, officials said.

The announcement follows an international outcry stemming from an American hunter’s killing of a lion named Cecil that was allegedly was lured out of a national park. Zimbabwean authorities say the hunt was illegal and are seeking the extradition of Minnesota dentist Walter James Palmer.

Palmer is believed to have shot the lion with a bow on July 1 outside Hwange National Park after it was lured onto private land with a carcass of an animal, Zimbabwean conservationists have said. The wounded cat was later tracked down and Palmer allegedly killed it with a gun, they said. Two Zimbabweans — a professional hunter and a farm owner — have been arrested for the killing.

More: http://www.abc3340.com/story/29687102/zimbabwean-authorities-restrict-hunting-after-cecil-the-lion-killing