Calling all animal lovers: Trump’s sons are proud murderers of endangered species

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Some people are posting this picture as a joke. Don Jr. bringing down an elephant (under highly controlled hunting) and cutting off its tail is kind of ironic. But it’s really just sick, down to the clean knife above.

Don Jr. made his big debut tonight and some say he made a big splash and helped “humanize” his father.  But he and his disgusting brother, Eric, deserve nothing but scorn for the series of wild animal kills that spread across Twitter tonight.

I was not aware of their depravity towards animals until tonight. The folks calling Don Jr. “Patrick Bateman” on Twitter were spot on.

From The Daily Beast:

Back in 2012, photos surfaced of the elder Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, proudly posing with the carcasses of dead animals they hunted while on a big-game hunting expedition in Africa. The photos showed Donald and Eric posing with a lifeless cheetah, Donald clenching a knife along with the bloody, sawed-off tail of an elephant, and the pair posing next to a crocodile hanging from a noose off of a tree.

Here are Trump’s sons holding up a dead cheetah, all smiles:

How quickly the press forgot about Donald Trumps spoiled kids being exotic animal killers but I didn’t.

I guess this is the dead croc:

View image on Twitter
Horrible people doing horrible things,

More Daily Beast:

The Trump boys were hunting in Zimbabwe—the same country where Cecil was killed—and though Zimbabwean animal conservation groups looked into the incident, the hunt was deemed perfectly legal. Once the photos went viral online, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted (and then deleted): “Not a PR move I didn’t give the pics but I have no shame about them either. I HUNT & EAT game.”
Later, Donald Jr. clarified his thoughts on the big-game hunt in an interview with Deer & Hunting magazine in August 2012.

“I think what made it sort of a bigger story and kind of national and even global news was that I didn’t do what a lot of other people do, which is immediately start apologizing for what I am and that I’m a hunter and all this,” Donald Jr. told Deer & Hunter. “I kinda said, ‘No, I am what I am. I did all those things. I have no regrets about it.’”

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 · 12:16:27 PM PDT · kat68

CORRECTION: It has been noted several times in the comments that the Trump kids are holding up a dead leopard, not a cheetah. Apologies for the mistake. I relied on the news story instead of my own eyes.

Five rangers die in grim month for wildlife protectors

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/27/eight-rangers-killed-in-grim-week-for-wildlife-protectors

Rangers lost their lives in Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and India

Photo of the burial of Kasereka Matendere Mwana Zaire. A ranger for Virunga National Park who drowned after his boat capsized in Lake Edward. Two others were killed as well.
The burial of Kasereka Matendere Mwana Zaire, a ranger for Virunga National Park who drowned after his boat capsized. Two others were killed as well. Photograph: Ranger Bantu (IDPE)

Five wildlife rangers and three other men working in wildlife protection have lost their lives in four separate countries in the past month, highlighting the numerous hazards rangers and their colleagues face in protecting the world’s wild lands and species.

“It’s a tough week when we lose eight of our ranger family; some to poachers’ bullets and some to the other dangers that come with the territory,” said Sean Willmore, founder and director of the Thin Green Line Foundation, which supports widows and children of rangers killed in the line of duty.

“We are becoming accustomed to this sad reality. But we need the world community’s support to help provide training and equipment to prevent deaths and to support families left behind.”

On 17 February, a young ranger with the Kenyan Wildlife Service was shot dead by elephant poachers in Tsavo national park.

The ranger and a colleague were out on a de-snaring patrol when they came upon the tracks of known elephant poachers. The poacher ambushed the pair, killing one – officials have not yet released his name.

The other ranger pursued the poachers and reportedly killed one of them.

These particular poachers have become well known in Tsavo, which has one of the largest populations of savannah elephants in the world. A week earlier, the same group had shot and wounded an elephant, but abandoned it when they realised community scouts were on their tail. The elephant eventually perished from its wounds. Park rangers removed the animal’s ivory and sent it to Nairobi to keep it out of the black market.

The slain ranger was in his twenties and leaves behind a young wife. He had only recently graduated from the Kenya Wildlife Service Field Training school in Manyani.

“The threats [to rangers] are escalating and with that there is a corresponding need for increased support, which in many cases does not materialise.” said Chris Galliers, the chair of the Game Rangers Association of Africa and the International Ranger Federation African representative.

He added that rangers in Africa are working under difficult conditions with “reduced capacity, fatigue, and possibly the need for additional skills.”

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“It creates a situation where cracks will begin to appear,” he noted.

Not all ranger fatalities are at the hands of poachers. Three rangers also died last week in the Democratic Republic of the Congo when their speed boat capsized in Virunga national park.

According to chief park warden, Jean Pierre Jobogo Mirindi, nine rangers were patrolling Lake Edward when a heavy wind capsized the boat. Local fishermen rescued six of the rangers, but three of them drowned after foggy conditions complicated the rescue: Bwambale Nyamikenge, Katu Mumbere, and patrol chief, Kasereka Mwana Zaire.

Virunga national park is home to a quarter of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. But militias and political instability have also made it one of the most dangerous parks in the world for rangers: 150 rangers have been killed in the park during the last ten years.

On 24 January two men working for African Parks law enforcement team died in a helicopter crash in Central African Republic. The pilot of the helicopter was also killed. The pilot, Shaun Barendsen was from National Airways Corporation, while David Fine, head of law enforcement, and sous-lieutenant Mbenga-Nzongomblo Ponce Pilate, assistant law enforcement manager, were African Parks employees based in Chinko.

In a statement African Parks said: “The helicopter we had chartered in Chinko, Central African Republic, to assist with our law enforcement work, crashed killing all three on board. The helicopter crashed on approaching the landing strip and we are trying to gain a better understanding of the cause of the accident. We are devastated by this tragic news, for the enormous loss of three committed and passionate individuals, and for the loved ones they leave behind, to whom we send our heartfelt condolences.”

Finally, in India, a 28-year-old forest ranger passed out while trying to stamp down flames in Bandipur national park. Officials say Murigeppa Tammangol died from asphyxiation, burns and brain damage. Tammangol leaves behind a wife and a three-month-old baby.

The local press blamed the fires on “miscreants” from nearby communities. But Bandipur national park is also in the midst of a drought, with two years of unusually dry conditions.

Three other people were injured in the blaze and are recovering in the hospital.

The Thin Green Line estimates that around 100 rangers are killed in the line of duty every year – approximately two per week.

  • This article was amended on 1 March 2017. The original article stated that eight rangers were killed in a week, this was corrected to five rangers and three other people working for African Parks since the end of January.

Poachers kill one of Africa’s last remaining ‘big tusker’ elephants

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/06/poachers-kill-satao-ii-elephant-kenya-tsavo-big-tusker

Satao II, about 50 years old, is believed to have been shot with a poisoned arrow in Tsavo national park, Kenya

 Screengrab of Satao II, a 50 year old elephant who was killed by poachers in Tsavo National park in Kenya. Photo KTN screengrab
Satao II, a 50-year-old elephant who was killed by poachers in Tsavo national park in Kenya. Photograph: KTN screengrab

One of Africa’s oldest and largest elephants has been killed by poachers in Kenya, according to a conservation group that protects a dwindling group of “big tuskers” estimated to be as few as 25.

Richard Moller of the Tsavo Trust said Satao II, about 50 years old, was found dead on Monday and was believed to have been shot with a poisoned arrow. Two poachers believed to be responsible for the killing were apprehended not long after his carcass was spotted in routine aerial reconnaissance of the Tsavo national park.

The Tsavo Trust posted on Facebook: ‘With great sadness, we report the death of Satao, one of Tsavo’s most iconic and well-loved tuskers … No longer will Tsavo and Kenya benefit from his mighty presence.’
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The Tsavo Trust posted on Facebook: ‘With great sadness, we report the death of Satao, one of Tsavo’s most iconic and well-loved tuskers … No longer will Tsavo and Kenya benefit from his mighty presence.’ Photograph: Tsavo Trust/Facebook

“Luckily, through the work we do with the Kenyan Wildlife Service, we were able to find the carcass before the poachers could recover the ivory,” said Moller.

The elephant, named after another giant killed in 2014, was beloved by visitors to the park. Moller said about 15 tuskers, named for impressive tusks that nearly scrape the ground, remained in Kenya out of an estimated worldwide population of 25. “They are icons, they are ambassadors for elephants,” he said.

Satao II’s death comes two days after a KWS officer was killed during an anti-poaching incident in the park, the second to die in less than a month at the hands of poachers, according to the wildlife authority.

The number of African elephants has fallen by about 111,000 to 415,000 over the past decade, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The killing shows no sign of abating, with approximately 30,000 elephants slaughtered for their ivory every year, mainly to satisfy demand in the Asian market for products coveted as a traditional medicine or as status symbols.

Moller said one of Satao II’s tusks weighed 51.5kg and the other 50.5kg. “I am pretty gutted really. This particular elephant was one that was very approachable, one of those easy old boys to find. Many are the others are much more difficult to see,” Moller said. “He has been through lots of droughts and probably other attempts at poaching.”

The Tsavo covers about 16,000 sq miles (42,000 sq km) and is a major challenge for rangers to patrol.

The Tsavo Trust helps monitor the elephants through aerial and ground reconnaissance, and works closely with KWS. Moller praised the “swift action” that led to the arrests.

Uganda: Government Okays Life Sentence for Wildlife Crime Offenders

By Benjamin Jumbe

Kampala – Cabinet has approved amendments to the Wildlife Act and toughened
the penalties against wildlife crimes.

The review of the Uganda Wildlife Act 1996, seeks to address emerging
challenges in conservation, including poaching, illicit trans-boundary
wildlife trade and increasing human wildlife conflicts.

The acting commissioner of conservation in the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife
and Antiquities, Dr Akankwasah Barirega, said the proposed law spells out a
life sentence for a person convicted of wildlife crimes such as poaching and
illegal wildlife trade.

“Cabinet already approved the Uganda Wildlife Bill 2015 and, among other
things, the law is addressing is the issue of illegal wildlife trade and the
penalties that come along with the offenders,” Dr Akankwasa said.

“If Parliament agrees with what Cabinet has already approved, wildlife
criminals will face a maximum sentence of life in prison,” Dr Akankwasah
added.

He said Cabinet approved the Bill towards the end of last year, noting that
what remains is its gazetting by the Ugandan Printing and Publication
Corporation before it can be tabled before Parliament.

He added that once finally tabled, this legislation, which will repeal the
current Wildlife Act cap 200, is to be a game changer in the fight against
wildlife crime by making the penalties more deterrent.

New law

According to Dr Akankwasah, currently, the biggest sanction or penalty is
seven years of imprisonment and since a judge has the discretion to set the
sentence, sometimes the offenders are not given the maximum sentence but
rather asked to pay a small fines or three months in jail and are willing to
pay and be released.

The new piece of legislation also provides for compensation for people
affected by stray animals from protected areas.

In late December last year, the Acholi paramount chief, Rwot David Onen
Acana II threatened to mobilise his subjects to kill all elephants that
stray from Murchison Falls and Kidepo national parks and destroy crops in
Acholi sub-region, a plan that has attracted protests from the Uganda
Wildlife Authority.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201702250169.html

Trophy Hunting is Barbaric

02/22/2017 03:50 pm ET | Updated 15 hours ago

(Photo Courtesy of the Humane Society of the United States)

Trophy hunting is a despicable practice that even many hunters disagree with because of clearly unsportsmanlike practices like hunting animals in fenced enclosures, baiting, and using dogs to chase and exhaust wild animals. But the bottom line is that trophy hunting is simply killing for fun or bragging rights and no real hunter who follows any sense of ethics would participate in this blood sport.

Last year, The Humane Society of the United States used data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine that between 2005 and 2014, 1.26 million trophies were brought into the U.S. This is an average of 126,000 trophy imports per year or 345 per day.

The killing of Cecil the lion by American Walter Palmer demonstrated to the world how inhumane trophy hunting is. Cecil was in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and wore a collar that transmitted data about his movements back to researchers. This didn’t stop Palmer and his guides from luring the lion outside of the protected preserve with meat and then stalking and killing him. People were outraged and rightfully so.

Even with Walter Palmer as one of its members, Safari Club International continues to facilitate selling trips around the world to kill the rarest animals for their heads and hides. Their recent convention in Las Vegas in February offered the following options to wealthy individuals:

· a Zambian leopard, sable, roan and plains game hunt for $81,000;

· a Canadian polar bear trophy hunt for $72,000;

· a New Zealand red stag and tahr hunt for four people for $92,000.

SCI maintains that it is a “conservation” group that contributes substantially to the economies of poor African nations. Nothing could be further from the truth. To coincide with the meeting in Las Vegas, Humane Society International (HSI) released a study conducted by Economists at Large that finds that trophy hunters have overstated their contributions to African economies and employment.

In Botswana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, trophy hunting brings in just 0.78 percent or less of overall tourism spending and has a marginal impact on employment, accounting for 0.76 percent or less of tourism jobs.

The fact is the segment of the tourism industry in Africa that does not rely on hunting is growing faster and employs 132 times more people than the trophy hunting industry. The tourism ministries of these eight countries must recognize the damage trophy hunting causes to their brand. We should call on these ministries to lead the charge in banning trophy hunting, something Botswana and Kenya – both prosperous tourism destinations – have already done.

Trophy hunting is still big business for SCI. In 2015, revenue from the convention was $14.3 million out of a total revenue of $22.7 million. The money is used to open up trophy-hunting seasons on wolves, fight any efforts to restrict the hunting of African elephants and lions, and lobby Congress to enable hunters to import endangered polar bear trophies into the U.S. or increase hunter access to public lands.

Trophy hunters are losing ground. In 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service restricted imports of elephant trophies from Tanzania and Zimbabwe, as well as conferring threatened and endangered status for African lions. Cecil’s shooting prompted numerous major airlines, including Delta, Virgin Atlantic, and United, to ban the transport of some or all trophies from Africa.

It is up to us to put pressure on Congress to continue to pass laws that limit trophy hunting. This will not be easy as President Trump’s sons are avid trophy hunters. We also need to encourage African nations to turn to viable alternatives to trophy hunting, like ecotourism, which promises sustained growth, much higher economic value, and greater contribution to employment.

Cecil the lion cast a light on this inhumane practice. In his memory, let’s save other big game from wealthy people who are neither hunters nor conservationists – they are cold blooded killers.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trophy-hunting-is-barbaric_us_58adf859e4b01f4ab51c75ab

Trophy hunters overstate contribution of big game hunting to African economies: Report

https://news.mongabay.com/2017/02/trophy-hunters-overstate-contribution-of-big-game-hunting-to-african-economies-report/

A new report released by the Humane Society International (HSI) finds that trophy hunters are “grossly” overstating the economic benefits of big game hunting in Africa.

HSI timed the release of the report to coincide with the start of Safari Club International’s (SCI) annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 1. US-based SCI, one of the world’s largest trophy hunting advocacy organizations, released a report in 2015 that claimed trophy hunting-related tourism contributes $426 million annually to the economies of eight African countries and creates more than 53,400 full- and part-time jobs.

But the HSI report, prepared by Melbourne, Australia-based consultancy Economists At Large, found that SCI had “grossly overstated the contribution of big game hunting to eight African economies and that overall tourism in Africa dwarfs trophy hunting as a source of revenue,” according to a statement.

In the eight countries studied for both reports — Botswana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe — tourism is responsible for 2.8 to 5.1 percent of GDP, according to the HSI report. Trophy hunting is responsible for less than $132 million — not $426 million, as SCI’s report claimed — of the $17 billion spent on tourism in those countries every year, or just 0.78 percent of total tourism spending, the HSI report’s author, economist Cameron Murray, adds. That’s an estimated 0.03 percent of GDP for those eight countries.

“In terms of the wider tourism economy, which relies heavily on wildlife resources, trophy hunting is relatively insignificant,” Murray writes.

Meanwhile, trophy hunting has a marginal impact on employment in those eight countries, as well. The HSI report states that big game hunting provides between 7,500 and 15,500 jobs. Even SCI’s estimate of the employment numbers directly and indirectly supported by the trophy hunting industry, 53,423 jobs, represents just two percent of the 2,589,000 jobs created by the tourism industry as a whole.

SCI did not respond to Mongabay’s request for comment.

The HSI report points out that there are other, less quantifiable impacts of trophy hunting that must be taken into consideration, as well. Trophy hunting is detrimental to conservation efforts because hunters tend to kill the strongest animals, which are critical to maintaining a healthy gene pool. Also, hunting quotas are frequently established without a solid scientific basis underlying them, and age restrictions on hunted animals are often ignored — “so that, for example, lions are killed as juveniles before they can contribute to the genetic pool,” Murray writes.

While the SCI report cites the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Species Survival Commission, which has said that, “Trophy hunting is a form of wildlife use that, when well-managed, may assist in furthering conservation objectives by creating the revenue and economic incentive for the management and conservation of the target species and its habitat, as well as supporting local livelihoods,” the HSI report counters that “corruption prevents trophy hunting funds from making it to conservation.”

The non-hunting tourism industry is growing much faster in Africa than the big game hunting industry, HSI report author Murray found: “Overall tourism spending grew by as much as the claimed direct value of the trophy hunting industry ($326 million) every four months on average in the eight study countries between 2000 and 2014.”

“For too long, trophy hunters have tried to justify their activity by falsely claiming that their killing helps local economies,” Masha Kalinina, international trade policy specialist for HSI, said in a statement.

“As this new report shows, those claims are a sham. In the African countries studied, trophy hunting contributes virtually nothing to local economies or jobs, and is dwarfed in comparison to tourism overall, including eco-safaris reliant on the very animal species whose populations hunters decimate. It’s time to stop pretending that slaughtering big game and posing for morbid selfies by their slain bodies is anything more than killing for kicks.”

Lions in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. Photo by Rhett Butler.

 

‘That’s karma’: Infamous lion hunter’s death celebrated online

https://www.rt.com/viral/370432-ponzetto-lion-hunter-death-online-reaction/

© Max Rossi
 
Controversial Italian hunter Luciano Ponzetto has died after falling 30 meters (100ft) down a ravine. His death occurred while he was hunting, prompting many to describe it as “karma”.

Ponzetto, who became a figure of controversy after posting images of his trophy kills online, slipped on ice and fell down a ravine according to Corriere Della Sera. The 55 year old had been hunting birds in Colle delle Oche near Turin in Italy when the accident happened.

It seems the photos Ponzetto posted previously hadn’t left a good impression, with social media users rejoicing in Ponzetto’s death, or “divine intervention,” as it was described by some.

More: https://www.rt.com/viral/370432-ponzetto-lion-hunter-death-online-reaction/

A Forgotten Step in Saving African Wildlife: Protecting the Rangers

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/28/science/a-forgotten-step-in-saving-african-wildlife-protecting-the-rangers.html?_r=0

Zimbabwe drops charges against hunter who helped American dentist kill Cecil the lion

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/zimbabwe-drops-case-local-helped-kill-cecil-lion-article-1.2868925

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, November 11, 2016,
Charges against the hunder who helped Walter Palmer (pictured) kill Cecil the lion have been dropped.

Charges against the hunder who helped Walter Palmer (pictured) kill Cecil the lion have been dropped.

(facebook)

Zimbabwe has dropped charges against the local hunter who alleged helped an American dentist slaughter the nation’s most beloved lion.

Theo Bronkhorst — accused to aiding Minnesota native Walter Palmer when he gunned down Cecil the lion during a July 2015 hunting trip — was cleared of charges, his lawyer announced Friday.

Despite international outcry about the killing of the rare black-maned lion, Palmer had legal authority to hunt outside Hwange National Park, Zimbabwean authorities said.

So instead, they slapped Bronkhorst, who guided Palmer on his trip, with charges of failing to prevent an unlawful hunt.

Boat of Minn. dentist who killed Cecil the lion stolen from home

Cecil's death sparked international outcry.

Cecil’s death sparked international outcry.

(New York Daily News)

The local hunting trip leader’s lawyers petitioned the High Court in Zimbabwe’s second city of Bulawayo to set aside the charge, arguing it was it was not an illegal hunt because Palmer had the proper permit.

“The court granted us that prayer yesterday — that the charges be quashed,” said Lovemore Muvhiringi, a lawyer for Bronkhorst, adding that it’s unlikely that the state will re-file charges against the local hunter.

Palmer, traveling with Bronkhorst, took down Cecil last summer. The animal had been fitted with a collar to track his movements but strayed outside the confines of Hwange National Park and was then shot.

NORTH AMERICA OUT; AP PROVIDES ACCESS TO THIS HANDOUT PHOTO TO BE USED SOLELY TO ILLUSTRATE NEWS REPORTING OR COMMENTARY ON THE FACTS OR EVENTS DEPICTED IN THIS IMAGE. THIS IMAGE MAY BE USED ONLY FOR 14 DAYS FROM THE TIME OF TRANSMISSION; NO ARCHIVING; NO

Cecil the lion was killed in July 2015.

(Paula French/AP)

Bronkhorst was accused of setting bait to lure Cecil out of the park. Palmer said at the time that no one in his hunting party realized the targeted lion was Cecil, a beloved symbol of the park and the country.