Dozens of elephants killed in Botswana

Baby elephants are seen in the photo: Baby elephants, orphaned by poachers, are now being cared for at a new sanctuary in Botswana© Elephants Without Borders Baby elephants, orphaned by poachers, are now being cared for at a new sanctuary in Botswana

of nearly 90 elephants have been found near a famous wildlife sanctuary in Botswana, conservationists say.

Elephants Without Borders, which is conducting an aerial survey, said the scale of poaching deaths is the largest seen in Africa.

The spike coincides with Botswana’s anti-poaching unit being disarmed.

Botswana has the world’s largest elephant population, but poachers have been breaching its border.

The scientist carrying out the extensive wildlife survey said many of the 87 dead elephants were killed for their tusks just weeks ago – and that five white rhinos have been poached in three months.

“I’m shocked, I’m completely astounded. The scale of elephant poaching is by far the largest I’ve seen or read about anywhere in Africa to date,” said Dr Mike Chase from Elephants Without Borders.

“When I compare this to figures and data from the Great Elephant Census, which I conducted in 2015, we are recording double the number of fresh poached elephants than anywhere else in Africa.”

That census estimated a third of Africa’s elephants had been killed in the last decade and 60% of Tanzania’s elephants had been lost in five years.

Botswana has had a reputation for an unforgiving approach to poachers and had largely escaped the elephant losses seen elsewhere.

Despite a lack of fences on the international border, data from tracking collars showed elephants retreating from Angola, Namibia and Zambia and deciding to stay within the boundaries of Botswana where it was thought to be safe.

Incidents of poaching in the country were rare because of armed and well-managed anti-poaching units.

With 130,000 elephants, Botswana has been described as their last sanctuary in Africa as poaching for ivory continues to wipe out herds across the rest of the continent.

The first sign that was changing came two years ago when the BBC flew with Mr Chase close to the Namibian border and he discovered a string of elephant carcasses with their tusks removed for the first time.

But these latest killings have been found deep into Botswana – close to the protected Okavango Delta wildlife sanctuary, which attracts tourists from around the world.

“People did warn us of an impending poaching problem and we thought we were prepared for it,” said Mr Chase, who pointed to the disarmament of the country’s anti-poaching unit as a cause.

“The poachers are now turning their guns to Botswana. We have the world’s largest elephant population and it’s open season for poachers.

“Clearly we need to be doing more to stop the scale of what we are recording on our survey.”

Botswana’s 2018 Wildlife Aerial Survey is only half-way through and conservationists fear the final figure of poached elephants will be a lot higher.

The survey area is split into sections, or transepts, and the plane flies back and forth like a lawnmower cutting the grass – turning at each end to ensure nothing is missed.

“Fresh carcasses” are those lost within the last three months, but many of those recorded had been killed within the last few weeks.

Conservationists fear the scale of this new poaching problem is being ignored as it is bad for the country’s reputation.

“This requires urgent and immediate action by the Botswana government,” said Mr Chase.

“Botswana has always been at the forefront of conservation and it will require political will.

“Our new president must uphold Botswana’s legacy and tackle this problem quickly. Tourism is vitally important for our economy, jobs, as well as our international reputation which is at stake here as being a safe stronghold for elephants.”

Namibia: 57, 000 sign petition against Elephant hunting

Namibia: 57, 000 sign petition against Elephant hunting

NAMIBIA

About 57 508 people across the world have signed a petition for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to stop the hunting of desert elephants in Namibia.

Iris Koch from Esslingen, Germany, started the online petition on Change.org website.

She stated in the petition that Namibia’s desert elephants are iconic and highly endangered.

These animals are among the rarest creatures on this and have adapted to extremely arid desert conditions.

“These animals are among the rarest creatures on this and have adapted to extremely arid desert conditions.
Unfortunately, their extraordinary status makes them a preferred target for trophy hunters, and even though they are survival experts, desert elephants don’t stand a chance against the rifles of hunters,” she stated.

She added that they are horrified that the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has sold three more permits for the hunting of desert elephant bulls in the Ugab region.

Koch said the small population in that area is on the brink of extinction, adding that the elephants left in the Ugab area in 2016 had gone down to 30, declining drastically year by year.

“A shocking five out of five newborn calves died, three adult females were lost, while the total number of breeding bulls in the Ugab river region amounted to five,” she said.

She noted that they were under the impression that desert elephants have been designated as a top priority for protection by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

http://www.africanews.com/2017/11/30/namibia-57-000-sign-petition-against-elephant-hunting/

 Ivory investigator killed in Kenya


One of the world’s leading investigators into the illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn has been killed in Kenya.

Esmond Bradley Martin, 75, was found with a stab wound to his neck at home in the capital Nairobi on Sunday.

The former UN special envoy for rhino conservation was known for his undercover work establishing black-market prices.

The US citizen had recently returned from a research trip to Myanmar.

Bradley Martin was in the process of writing up his findings when he died, reports the BBC’s Alastair Leithead from Nairobi.

His wife found him in their house in Langata. Police are investigating the circumstances but suspect it was a botched robbery.

Our correspondent says Bradley Martin had spent decades risking his life to secretly photograph and document the illegal sales of ivory and rhino horn, travelling to China, Vietnam, and Laos to pose as a buyer – helping to find out the level of black market prices.

He first went to Kenya from the US in the 1970s when there was a surge in the number of elephants being killed for their ivory.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Conservationists believe that the ivory trade is largely responsible for the world’s declining elephant numbers

His work on illegal wildlife markets helped pressure China to ban the rhino horn trade in the 1990s, and domestic sales of ivory, which came into force this year.

Fellow conservationists have been paying tribute to him on social media.
Skip Twitter post by @paulakahumbu

2/3 Esmond was at the forefront of exposing the scale of ivory markets in USA, Congo, Nigeria, Angola, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Laos and recently Myanmar. He always collaborated with Save the Elephants and worked with many of us generously sharing his findings & views.
— Dr. Paula Kahumbu (@paulakahumbu) February 5, 2018

Always sharply dressed with a colourful handkerchief falling from his top pocket, Esmond Bradley Martin would immediately cut to the chase, honing in on the latest issue that was consuming him.

He was a well-known and highly respected character in the conservation community – passionate and unwavering in his efforts to crack down on illegal wildlife crime.

In a major report last year from Laos, he and his colleague Lucy Vigne established that the country had the world’s fastest growing ivory trade.

They risked their own safety staying at a Chinese casino inhabited by gangsters and traffickers in order to visit the illegal markets and find out the latest prices by posing as dealers.

His life’s work was combating the illegal trade of wildlife and he produced a huge body of highly respected research and investigative reports.

He will be a huge loss to the international conservation community.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-42943503

These dogs are taking on wildlife trafficking in Botswana

http://www.awf.org/blog/these-dogs-are-taking-wildlife-trafficking-botswana

Photo of sniffer dog and handler team demonstrating ivory detection on vehicle

 

Up to 130,000 elephants roam the wild lands of Botswana – and that is not counting transient herds moving across country boundaries in the region. As a significant range state, Botswana was the only nation in southern Africa to support a total and permanent ban on the ivory trade at the 2016 CITES conference.

The country made another landmark contribution to the continent’s mission to protect keystone wildlife species in November, when 15 of Botswana’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks rangers graduated from African Wildlife Foundation’s Canines for Conservation program.

Following almost two-and-a-half months of intensive training led by the program’s director, Will Powell, the new canine handlers and 10 ivory detection dogs will supplement anti-poaching efforts on the ground. They will be deployed to strategic airports, roads, and border crossings to stop the trafficking of illegal wildlife products through Botswana.

Botswana tackles wildlife trafficking head on

Previously, the country had lobbied with its neighbors to reintroduce limited ivory sales from countries with sustainably managed herds. After the spike in poaching and smuggling after a one-off sale in 2008, Botswana is now addressing illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade through innovative collaborations with other range states.

The Canines for Conservation graduation ceremony held at the training center in Usa River, Tanzania was graced by senior management from Botswana’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Tanzania National Parks, Tanzania Wildlife Authority, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, Manyara Ranch Conservancy, the College of African Wildlife Management, Mweka, and conservation organization, TRAFFIC.

AWF’s Vice President of Species Conservation, Dr. Philip Muruthi, commended Botswana’s wildlife protection authority for developing the capacity of their rangers and law enforcement officers. He explained that this development is critical in sealing previously existing loopholes that were exploited by criminal networks to traffic ivory from poaching hotspots like Mozambique.

Photo of sniffer dog and handler trained through AWF's Canines for Conservation

 

Conservation needs connections across species

For Powell, who has trained robust handler-and-sniffer-dog teams that have intercepted millions of dollars’ worth of rhino horn, ivory, and pangolin scales, stopping the trafficking of wildlife products is not just a numbers game. The effectiveness of this conservation strategy depends on the bond between handler and sniffer dog.

Botswanan ranger and freshly qualified sniffer dog handler, Tebogo Mangombe, knows that anti-trafficking initiatives are needed urgently in her country. She reveals how the training has added an edge to her work as a custodian of Africa’s wildlife — and a special companion in her life.

Why is Canines for Conservation important to you?

We have a lot of wildlife and we must protect them for future generations. Saving wildlife means saving our lives too – our livelihoods depend on how we take care of our flora and fauna. The training on handling the detection dogs was enriching and I hope to apply the expertise gained after the course to fight poaching in my country more effectively.

How was it when you met your dog for the first time?

It was challenging because I did not know how to handle him initially but later I realized he could do a lot more. One of the best moments of training was after the first month when I was able to relate better with my dog. He is loving, energetic and happy. He is my best friend — I love him so much because I have a very special connection with him.

What is the best lesson you learned during training?

Just the overall experience of being a dog handler and using that skill to fight poaching is a big achievement for me. I was previously in the anti-poaching unit — now this canine unit is my life. I cannot imagine myself doing anything else at this point in time. We are going back home with the goal of ending this organized crime.

>Learn more about the AWF-trained Canine Detection Unit deployed in Tanzania.

Like citizens of the Reich, we look away as species fall  

http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/like-citizens-of-the-reich-we-look-away-as-species-fall-20171207-h010kh.html?btis

Compassion fatigue is kiling off our fellow creatures.

  • Anson Cameron

I notice I have begun to avoid elephants. And rhinos. And polar bears – though I love those pale nomads best. Any time a wildlife show comes on with a pachyderm and a wobbly calf at foot I switch channels. I know what’s in store for that little fellow. And a white bear staring in bewilderment out to sea waiting for pack ice to form has me scrambling for the remote. What else is on TV? NCIS Anywhere will do. Something light. Maybe a movie about a class reunion where one guy has become a CIA assassin since leaving school.

Even Attenborough has become a sort of hospital for the incurables, too sad to visit. (I knew a man who spent five years in The Hospital For Incurables in Heidelberg, before getting out, marrying, having a family, and a lauded 60-year medical career. They changed the name of the hospital to The Austin). I’m on tenterhooks watching Attenborough these days. “High above me is a slumbering orangutan” I wonder is David whispering so he doesn’t wake the ape, or the loggers at their siesta nearby?

Like a citizen of that infamous Reich, I am developing a gift for turning away and pretending not to know. Why should I, out of some sense of moral duty, be made to watch the last unicorn have its horn hacked off as an aphrodisiac? How am I advantaged by knowing the forests of Siberia are now booby-trapped and that the last tigers are being gunned down remotely?

I have compassion fatigue for the planet. It’s cowardly, and treacherous, this impulse to turn away from the beloved, doomed species and places. But I’ve noticed I’m far from alone. A lot of people are looking away. “I can’t watch nature docos any more. It’s all too sad.” How many times have you heard that? Surrendering to the inevitable is prudent. But surrendering to the inevitable is sometimes what makes it inevitable.

It’s not just sadness at the incessant shrinkage and massacres – it’s guilt as well. Who wants to rehash the marriage that failed because of their own bastardry? Who wants reminding of their conviction for fraud? Rather look away.

I realised, when I started to avoid the elephant, that it would become extinct culturally before it actually went under in the wild. And that hearing of the death of the last elephant will be like hearing of the death of Keith Richards. Firstly, surprise he was still alive at all. Then a sort of fatalism. “Well, Jumbo, old boy, you had some pretty dubious habits, what with ranging the veldt and being large. No one expected you to last this long doing that shit.” We’ll be inured to the death of each species by the time its extinction occurs.

A recent University of New South Wales study found a 70 per cent decrease in water birds in the Murray-Darling basin in the last 30 years. An apocalypse slotted neatly between Richmond premierships. Again, I feel the same impulse to look away as I would seeing a truck bearing down on a toddler. Seventy per cent. Not a fact you can un-know – but neither should I be forced to bear witness. Should I? What is my responsibility here?

Maybe IT geeks will build a virtual ark. Maybe the natural world can be recreated as a computer simulation where the defeated species of our planet live in a binary environment, not summoned forth two-by-two as was Noah’s method, but with ones and zeros supplied by lab-nerds. But then … maybe not. Why would we bother simulating a world we let die in the first place?

Nature was once red in tooth and claw; dark forests amok with wolves and briny deeps bristling with sinister leviathan. We were her victims then. Until there was a brief parity of about 200 years in which we romanticised her, looked upon her as a great green God-given cathedral. (Even as we hacked away at her). Now she has become our victim. The oceans are brothy warm and croutonned with plastics. The forests piecemeal, vestigial, slashed with boardwalks. Globetrotters drag contrails across de-hawked skies.

But … recently a pallid cuckoo flew into my window. I heard the bang and found it on the porch sofa. It had one eye bulging and its head lolled. I brought it water but it didn’t drink. A goner. I went inside. It sat semi-conscious and palpitating for five hours. A goner. Until at sundown my daughter saw it fly away.

What Trophy Hunting Does to the Elephants It Leaves Behind

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/11/elephant-trophy-hunting-psychology-emotions/546293/

The legal African hunting programs that the Trump administration is reviewing affect more than population numbers.

Elephants play against a hazy sky.
Elephants play in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park.Goran Tomasevic / Reuters
If you were an elephant, you might be puzzling over human behavior this week. On Monday, the animal-rights attorney Steven Wise filed a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of three privately owned Asian elephants, arguing that the animals are “legal persons” who have a right to bodily liberty and should be free to live in a sanctuary. Then, on Thursday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the remains of elephants legally hunted in Zimbabwe and Zambia could now be legally imported to the United States as trophies.

This new policy overturned a ban put in place by the Obama administration in 2014. African elephants are considered “threatened” under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, a step below being endangered. The animals’ numbers have plunged from around 10 million 100 years ago to around 400,000 today, largely because of poaching and habitat loss. The Fish and Wildlife Service has not changed the elephants’ status; instead, it now argues that supporting “legal, well-managed hunting programs” will help provide “much-needed conservation dollars to preserve habitats and protect wild herds” in Zimbabwe and Zambia, the agency’s principal deputy director, Greg Sheehan, said in a news release.

But then, to further complicate matters, President Donald Trump tweeted Friday evening that nothing would actually change until he “reviews all conservation facts.”

The idea that killing more elephants will help save the species is counterintuitive, and its line of reasoning is difficult for many conservation organizations to support: Let rich hunters pay hefty sums to shoot elephants, and use the money to help conservation efforts and local communities. Supposedly, the villagers won’t then need to poach elephants to feed their families and pay their kids’ school fees. Still, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, a respected organization that sets the conservation status for all species, supportsthe notion.

But the evidence that “hunting elephants saves them” is thin. The hunting-safari business employs few people, and the money from fees that trickles down to the villagers is insignificant. A 2009 report from the IUCN revealed that sport hunting in West Africa does not provide significant benefits to the surrounding communities. A more recent report by an Australian economic-analysis firm for Humane Society International found that trophy hunting amounts to less than 2 percent of tourism revenue in eight African countries that permit it.*

And then, there is a larger moral question: How does hunting affect male elephants, especially the “big tuskers” that hunters want, and the overall population?

If elephants are recognized as legal persons, a term the U.S. courts have granted corporations and a New Zealand court gave to a river (elsewhere the term has been extended to chimpanzeesa bear, and the environment), it would be more difficult to hunt them at all—let alone import their body parts. Wise’s lawsuit cites extensive scientific studies that have established elephants’ cognitive abilities, emotional and empathetic natures, complex social lives, lifelong learning, and memory skills. “Taken together, the research makes it clear elephants are autonomous beings who have the capacity to choose how to live their lives as elephants,” he tells me.

One thing elephants would not choose, Wise and elephant researchers agree, is to be hunted. “It doesn’t matter to elephants if they are killed by poachers or trophy hunters,” says Joyce Poole, who has studied African elephants in the wild in Kenya and Mozambique for more than 40 years and is the codirector of ElephantVoices, a conservation organization. “Either way, you’re a killer. And if elephants understand that about you, they change their behavior.”

Elephants aren’t considered game animals in most African countries with substantial populations of these animals. But trophy hunters after large male elephants can seek their prey in South Africa, Namibia, Cameroon, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Gabon, and Mozambique. Kenya banned the sport in 1973, while Tanzania continued to permit legal hunting. That caused problems for the elephants of Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, says Poole, who was studying the large males in the park at the time. The park borders Tanzania, and after the Tanzanian government opened a hunting block on the opposite side, the Amboseli male elephants who wandered across became prized targets. 

“It was an awful time,” Poole recalled, “because on one side, the elephants learned to trust tourists—generally white people—in cars. From our studies, we know they can smell the difference between whites and local people. They also distinguish us by our languages. They know people who speak Maa, the language of the local Maasai people, may throw spears at them; those who speak English don’t.” However, the tables were turned on the Tanzanian side of the border. There, white people in cars who drove up close to see an elephant might lean out with a camera—or a rifle.

“The elephants didn’t run because they didn’t expect to be shot,” Poole said. Two of the large males she was studying were lost this way to trophy hunters. She and others protested to the Tanzanian government, and these particular hunting blocks were eventually closed.

Poole does not know how the loss of these big males, who’d fathered many calves, affected the other elephants. Female elephants, though, do mourn family members who die, and are especially troubled when the matriarch, their leader, passes. In 2003, for instance, researchers in Kenya’s Samburu National Reserve watched as Eleanor, an elephant family’s matriarch, died from natural causes. When Eleanor fell heavily to the ground, Grace, a matriarch from another family, used her tusks to lift her friend and helped her to her feet. Despite Grace’s efforts, Eleanor died that night. She had a tiny, six-month-old calf who never left her side. In a photograph, the calf stands like a small sentinel beside her mother’s body, while the rest of the family bunches together, grieving. 

Researchers have rarely seen similar moments among male elephants, who as adults, live away from the female herds they grew up in, and return only to mate. That behavior led to a “myth that males are far less social than females,” said George Wittemyer, a conservation biologist at Colorado State University in Fort Collins who has studied elephants in Kenya for more than 20 years. His new research contradicts this notion. “Actually, the males are always in groups and have preferences for certain companions. They’re not the loners they’ve been made out to be,” he said.

“The death of a bull will cause less disruption than the death of a family member,” said Iain Douglas-Hamilton, a zoologist who founded the organization Save the Elephants. “If a bull is shot while associating with a family the others will normally run away.” But he noted: “Bulls will defend or help each other sometimes, when one is down.”

From a population standpoint, “older male elephants are very important to the health and genetic vitality of a population,” said Cynthia Moss, who has led the Amboseli Elephant Research Project in Kenya since 1972. While hunters in the past have used the belief that older males are reproductively senile as an argument for killing them for their ivory, research has revealed that they are in fact an elephant population’s primary breeders. “By living to an older age, [older males show that] they have the traits for longevity and good health to pass on to their offspring,” Moss said. “Killing these males compromises the next generation of the population.”

It’s not clear if the Fish and Wildlife Service will consider how trophy hunting affects individual elephants or their families. The agency didn’t comment on Trump’s tweet when contacted, but later issued a public statement confirming that permits would be put on hold. “President Trump and I have talked and both believe that conservation and healthy herds are critical,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in the statement.

Wise believes that the emotional and psychological suffering the elephants endure from this sport is obvious. “One day it will be seen for the moral outrage that it is,” he said.

Before Trump’s tweet, the Fish and Wildlife Service had intended to begin issuing permits for importing elephant trophies on Friday. The new policy would apply to elephants hunted in Zimbabwe between January 21, 2016, and December 31, 2018, as well as elephants hunted in Zambia from 2016 to 2018. Regardless of how hunting affects elephants, if the policy goes through, some hunters will have trophies waiting for them in those countries.

Good News: Trump puts elephant trophy imports on hold

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42035832

  • 18 November 2017
Elephants at Mana Pools, ZimbabweImage copyrightSPL
Image captionThe US Fish and Wildlife Service argues hunting “will enhance the survival of the African elephant”

President Donald Trump has suspended the import of elephant hunting trophies, only a day after a ban was relaxed by his administration.

Imports of trophies from elephants legally hunted in Zambia and Zimbabwe had been set to resume, reversing a 2014 Obama-era ban.

But late on Friday, President Trump tweeted the change was on hold until he could “review all conservation facts”.

The move to relax the ban had sparked immediate anger from animal activists.

“Your shameful actions confirm the rumours that you are unfit for office,” said French actress and animal-rights activist Brigitte Bardot in a letter to President Trump.

Protests spread on social media with many sharing images of President Trump’s sons posing with dead animals during their hunting trips in Africa.

One photo of Donald Trump Jr shows him holding the amputated tail of a dead elephant.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) had argued that hunting fees could aid conservation of the endangered animals.

Experts say that populations of African elephants are plummeting.

Their numbers dropped by about 30% from 2007-14, according to the 2016 Great Elephant Census.

The non-profit group’s report found a population drop of 6% in Zimbabwe alone.

Despite their listing under the Endangered Species Act, there is a provision in US law that allows permits to import animal parts if there is sufficient evidence that the fees generated will actually benefit species conservation.

In 2015 a US dentist from Minnesota killed a famous lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.

Cecil’s death triggered an outrage in the US and Zimbabwe, and briefly forced the hunter into hiding.

Brigitte Bardot says Trump ‘unfit’ after permitting elephant trophies

 https://www.modernghana.com/news/817234/brigitte-bardot-says-trump-unfit-after-permitting-elephan.html
AFP
French actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot had previously criticized US President Donald Trump over his administration's move to loosen restrictions on hunting bears and wolves on federally protected land in Alaska.  By ERIC FEFERBERG (AFP/File)

French actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot had previously criticized US President Donald Trump over his administration’s move to loosen restrictions on hunting bears and wolves on federally protected land in Alaska. By ERIC FEFERBERG (AFP/File)

French screen legend and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot on Friday slammed US President Donald Trump as “unfit for office” after his administration’s “shameful actions” in authorizing the import of Zimbabwean elephant hunting trophies.

The move Thursday reverses a prohibition imposed under former president Barack Obama, permitting the import of “sport-hunted trophies from elephants hunted in Zimbabwe” between January 21, 2016 and December 31, 2018. Zambia will also be covered under the revised rule.

“No despot in the world can take responsibility for killing off an age-old species that is part of the world heritage of humanity,” Bardot said in a letter to Trump, released through Fondation Brigitte Bardot.

The move is “a cruel decision backed by Zimbabwe’s crazy dictator and it confirms the sick and deadly power you assert over the entire plant and animal kingdom.”

“Your shameful actions confirm the rumors that you are unfit for office,” the 83-year-old added.

According to the Great Elephant Census project, African savannah elephant populations fell by 30 percent between 2007 and 2014, while Zimbabwe saw a drop of six percent.

Hyderabad Hunter Shot Serial Killer Elephant In Hours

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/hyderabad-hunter-shot-serial-killer-elephant-in-hours-1736969

Nawab Shafat Ali Khan told AFP he shot the elephant late on Friday, a day prior to World Elephant Day, hours after being called in by authorities.

Hyderabad Hunter Shot Serial Killer Elephant In Hours

A rogue elephant was shot dead in Taljhari forest of the Sahibgunj district in Jharkhand. (AFP)

NEW DELHI: 

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Top hunter from Hyderabad shot elephant that killed 15 people since March
  2. The elephant said to have lost way after it was separated from its herd
  3. 100 people including forest officials, villagers took part in the hunt

India’s top hunter from Hyderabad told on Saturday how he felled a rogue elephant which had killed 15 people in a series of attacks since March.

Nawab Shafat Ali Khan told AFP he shot the elephant late Friday just hours after being called in by authorities. Saturday was World Elephant Day.

Mr Khan said he shot the elephant at point-blank range, but before the animal fell it tried to swing its trunk at the hunting party, forcing him to fire a second time.

<>The union environment ministry estimates a human dies every day in the country in clashes with endangered animals — the vast majority crushed by elephants.

Experts say violent encounters between elephants and humans are increasing as forests are cleared for human settlements and industry.

Rescue Gajraj the Elephant From Torture at Indian Temple

https://animalpetitions.org/243668/rescue-gajraj-the-elephant-from-alleged-torture-at-temple/

Target: Modi Narendra, Prime Minister of India 

Goal: Rescue Gajraj the elephant, who has been tortured and held in captivity for over 50 years, from the Satara Temple.

A 63-year-old elephant named Gajraj has been living in devastating conditions for most of his life. Currently, he is being kept in chains as a tourist attraction at the Satara Temple in India. Before he was there, he was used by handlers to beg visitors for money. Since becoming ill and too sick to continue doing that, he was left at the Satara Temple.

Gajraj’s living conditions were revealed anonymously to The Sun newspaper in the U.K. in the form of video footage. Due to being chained to a hard floor, he has developed abscesses on his hind quarters and elbows. He reportedly spends time every day trying to free himself from those chains. Pictures also show that the ends of his tusks have been cut off and that he has overgrown and broken toenails on all of his feet.

He is also exhibiting classic signs of severe psychological distress, presumably as a result of both his social isolation and the terrible conditions he is living in. He is apparently not receiving the appropriate care because he can no longer make the handlers any money, but he does not deserve to die in agony because of that.

Something needs to be done to save Gajraj and to prevent this from happening to more animals in the future. Sign this petition to demand that the appropriate measures are taken as soon as possible.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Modi Narendra,

Gajraj the elephant is dying in agony at the Satara Temple and it seems that no one at that facility cares. You have the power to do something about this and to send someone in to rescue Gajraj before it’s too late.

He has spent the majority of his life being tortured and held in captivity. At the Satara Temple, he is chained to the ground and completely alone. This is driving him into severe psychological distress that no living creature deserves to experience.

We ask that you help save Gajraj and take the measures necessary to implement legislation that prevents this from happening to more animals in the future.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

https://animalpetitions.org/243668/rescue-gajraj-the-elephant-from-alleged-torture-at-temple/