‘Fantastic day for elephants’: court rejects ivory ban challenge

Antique dealers fail in high court bid to overturn world-leading blanket ban on
trading

Owen Bowcott
Tue 5 Nov 2019 17.45 GMT First published on Tue 5 Nov 2019 15.17 GMT

Antique dealers have failed in an attempt to overturn a total ban on ivory
trading being introduced by the government after the high court ruled the
legislation did not breach European law.

Conservation groups, who argued that any dilution of the ban would
revitalise illegal elephant poaching, welcomed the decision, which they said
would preserve the UK’s position as a world leader in the fight against the
ivory trade.

Last month, a small number of antique dealers challenged the ban in the high
court, arguing that sales of “cultural heritage” objects had no impact on
the market for illegally plundered tusks.

The 2018 Ivory Act, which attracted cross-party support, has yet to come
into force. It criminalises trade in all ivory artefacts with a few artistic
exemptions. The prohibition was championed by the former environment
secretary Michael Gove, who pledged to introduce “one of the world’s
toughest bans on ivory sales to protect elephants for future generations”.

The high court claim was brought in the name of a newly formed company,
Friends of Antique Cultural Treasures (Fact), but funds were channelled via
the British Antique Dealers’ Association (Bada). The dealers also said the
ban undermined the European convention on human rights by interfering with
individuals’ property rights.

Responding to the judgment, Mary Rice, the chief executive of the
Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), said: “This is a victory for
common sense and one which maintains the UK’s position as a global leader
when it comes to fighting the illegal ivory trade.”

The EIA is part of a coalition of 11 conservation organisations that
supported the Ivory Act, arguing that any legal trade in ivory provides
cover for the illegal trade because it is difficult to distinguish between
antique and newly carved ivory. The UK is one of the world’s leading
exporters of antique ivory, particularly to China and Hong Kong.

The environment secretary, Theresa Villiers, said: “I welcome today’s ruling
by the high court which upholds the UK’s commitment to ban the ivory trade.

“We will move forward and make sure the ban comes into operation as soon as
possible to protect wildlife and the environment.”

The European commission is considering further restrictions on ivory trade
across the EU, based in part on the UK’s Ivory Act. Other countries, such as
Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, have introduced, or are considering,
similar legislation.

John Stephenson, the chief executive of the campaign group Stop Ivory, said:
“Challenges to the new legislation fly in the face of British public
opinion, which increasingly puts the conservation of nature before profit.
We hope that’s the end of the matter and that the government can get on with
implementing the act, without further distractions.”

Conservationists estimate that 55 African elephants are poached every day,
which they say is an unsustainable rate of loss. David Cowdrey, the head of
policy and campaigns at the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said: “We
are delighted to hear that the high court has rejected the antiques lobby’s
bid to overturn the Ivory Act. It is a fantastic day for elephants, and for
everyone that has fought so hard to make the UK’s ivory ban one of the
toughest in the world.”

Zimbabwe slates proposed US anti-trophy hunting law

by Staff reporter
7 hrs ago | 157 Views
Trump’s sons
GOVERNMENT is disturbed by moves by the United States to frustrate wildlife trophy hunting in Zimbabwe and is engaging Washington over the matter, a senior official said yesterday.

The United States is in the process of promulgating an anti-trophy hunting law called ‘Cecil Act’ purportedly inspired by the killing of Cecil the lion at Hwange National Park by an American millionaire dentist, Walter Palmer, in 2015. The killing of the globally famous lion sparked worldwide outrage.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Mr Munesu Munodawafa, revealed Government’s frustrations at Matopo National Park during the launch of the country’s Rapid Response Guide (RRG) toolkit on wildlife crimes yesterday.

A local non-governmental organisation that advocates for protection of animals, Speak for Animals, spearheaded the formulation of the toolkit with the involvement of stakeholders in various Government departments.

Mr Munodawafa said the US congress recently invited Government to make its presentation on the proposed law and Harare is still negotiating with Washington to understand its implications.

“The background of the law is that there was a lion called Cecil which was shot in Hwange National Park under circumstances that are well documented. Now what has since happened is that the American government is coming up with what they call the Cecil Act. The long and short of what is happening is that they are saying we need to protect certain species and for that to happen the effect of the law will be to prohibit the movement of trophies to America whether by airplanes going to America or even to prohibit the American hunters from coming here. That would be the effect of that law,” he said.

Mr Munodawafa said Zimbabwe’s tourism industry thrives on wildlife conservancy and the proposed law would negatively affect conservation efforts. He said the country benefits from controlled trophy hunts as revenues generated are used for anti-poaching mechanisms. Mr Munodawafa said if the Cecil Act sails through, the country would regress on progress it has made in fighting wildlife crimes as Government cannot fund conservation efforts from its coffers.

“On average the operational budget, just the operational budget for national parks, is plus or minus US$30 million and that money has been coming in from various activities like sport hunting. That is why we even fight the issue of the ban on ivory trade. If you look at it, ivory has been banned, trading in live elephants has effectively been banned, now they are moving to cut off trophies for buffaloes, for lions, for anything they are closing all the sources of revenue,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, acting deputy Prosecutor General Mr Innocent Mutsonziwa said it was curious that the Cecil law is being crafted after an American sparked global outrage by killing the famous lion.

“The law which is being crafted to deprive Zimbabwe and other African countries of benefiting from their wildlife is coming from the same country where that person (who killed Cecil) came from. So, as a thinker you must think big and say what was the plan. Was it just a coincidence or it was a well-planned thing that we do this and after so many years then we tie this country down so that it doesn’t develop? It can’t use its resources. These are things that those with huge imaginations should think about,” said Mr Mutsonziwa.

President Mnangagwa recently revealed that the country is considering pulling out of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) as it prevents Zimbabwe from benefiting from ivory stocks worth US$600 million.

https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-171789.html

countering wildlife trafficking through Tanzania’s sea ports

Published 19th September 2019

Countering wildlife trafficking through Tanzania’s ports

Wildlife trafficking is the illegal cross-border trade in live wildlife, wildlife products or their derivatives, both of fauna and flora. It is one of the most lucrative types of transnational crime along with the illegal trade in drugs, counterfeit goods and human trafficking. This report was prepared in advance of a three-day workshop organised in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania by TRAFFIC, UNDP and UNODC, which brought together key port stakeholder groups to discuss ways to counter wildlife trafficking through Tanzania’s sea ports.

Countering wildlife trafficking through Tanzania’s ports

Report author(s):
Leanne Little

Publication date:
September 2019

About Wildlife TRAPS

The USAID-funded Wildlife Trafficking, Response, Assessment and Priority Setting (Wildlife TRAPS) Project is an initiative that is designed to secure a transformation in the level of co-operation between an international community of stakeholders who are impacted by illegal wildlife trade between Africa and Asia. The project is designed to increase understanding of the true character and scale of the response required, to set priorities, identify intervention points, and test non-traditional approaches with project partners.

UNDP-GEF Reducing Maritime Trafficking of Wildlife between Africa and Asia project

Implemented by UNDP between 2018 and 2021, this project under the GEF-financed, World Bank led Global Wildlife Program aims to curb maritime wildlife trafficking, targeting key routes and transit points between Africa and Asia. The GEF launched the 7-year Global Wildlife Program (GWP) in June 2015, bringing together funding from the GEF and a wide range of partners, including the Governments of participating countries, GEF Agencies, bilateral and multilateral donors, foundations, the private sector and civil society. Twenty GWP national projects are currently under implementation in 19 partner countries across Africa and Asia, including Tanzania.

Lion trophy approved for import into U.S., stirring controversy. Here’s why that matters.

Advocates question how this action benefits lions in the wild—a requirement under U.S. rules.

A FLORIDA TROPHY hunter has permission to import what is thought to be the first lion trophy from Tanzania since January 2016, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, an Arizona-based nonprofit that advocates for endangered species.

In that year, two subspecies of African lions were listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, meaning that those lions can be killed for trophies only if it can be shown that the hunts would enhance the survival of the species in the wild.

In May, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency that oversees trophy hunting imports to the United States, approved a hunter’s application to import the skin, skull, claws, and teeth of a lion killed in Lukwati North Game Reserve, a hunting concession leased from the government and run by Tanzanian safari operator McCallum Safaris. That’s according to records obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Tanya Sanerib, international legal director for the Center for Biological Diversity. (See more from FOIA: We asked the government why animal welfare records disappeared.)

The hunter, whose identity could not be confirmed by National Geographic, originally applied to import a lion trophy from Tanzania in November 2016. It’s unclear exactly when he killed the lion. Nor is it clear whether the trophy has been imported. The permit to do so, issued by the Fish and Wildlife Service, expires in May 2020, a year after it was issued.

African lions have disappeared from 94 percent of their historic range, and populations have halved, to fewer than 25,000 since the early 1990s, according to the nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Network. The main causes of the decline are retaliatory killings of lions that attack villagers and depletion of their prey animals. Tanzania is home to 40 percent of Africa’s lions.

Sanerib, who calls the country a “stronghold” for lions, worries that the decision by the Fish and Wildlife Service could be a signal that the Trump administration will “open the floodgates” for future Tanzanian trophy imports for lions and other species, including elephants. The news of this approval of a lion import comes on the heels of a decision last week to allow a U.S. hunter to import a black rhino trophy killed last year in Namibia.

According to Laury Marshall Parramore, a spokeswoman with the Fish and Wildlife Service, “Legal, well-regulated hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation.”

Sanerib says she’s concerned about the lack of detail in the Fish and Wildlife Service’s determination that this hunt enhances lion conservation in Tanzania. She claims that the service didn’t do due diligence when approving the import permit. As part of her FOIA request, she says she obtained emails in which the service asked general questions of Tanzanian government officials, such as whether they were monitoring trophy hunting.

“Those are not the basic questions that I think that our government should be asking before we approve these types of practices. We should be way down in the weeds, getting all of the details to ensure that these programs are actually going to enhance the survival of species.”

“Organizationally, we’re opposed to trophy hunting—we don’t think we should be killing threatened and endangered species,” Sanerib says. “But if we are going to do it, if it is going to happen, Fish and Wildlife Service needs to follow the law, and they really need to ensure—and this is their own regulatory requirements—that this program has all the adequate safeguards to ensure that it’s going to be sustainable for the lion population.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service did not respond to a request for specific information about how this hunt benefits lions in Tanzania and for reaction to Sanerib’s concerns.

The lion decision is particularly troubling given Tanzania’s history of mismanaging trophy hunting, Sanerib says. In 2017, Hamisi Kigwangalla, Tanzania’s minister for natural resources and tourism, revoked hunting concession lease permits that previously had been issued to companies for a low set fee, citing a need for greater transparency about the process. The government then began auctioning off concession leases instead. But according to biologist Craig Packer, who had studied lions in Tanzania since the late 1970s, only undesirable concessions were put up for auction, a move he calls a “halfhearted” effort to reform.

Kigwangalla did not respond to a request for comment.

In 2015, Packer was barred from entering the country after he characterized the nation’s trophy hunting industry as corrupt. Trophy hunters are supposed to target only older male lions, thought to be less crucial to reproduction, but Packer says there was no accountability or oversight by Tanzania to ensure that this was happening. As trophy hunting declined in popularity, Packer says, concession operators charged hunters fees so low that they couldn’t possibly be providing enough revenue to maintain roads, hire rangers, and prevent illegal farming or grazing in the hunting reserves.

Whether this particular trophy import is good or bad depends on whether the hunt was shown to have a conservation benefit, Packer says. If the U.S. is rewarding responsible hunting operators, it will incentivize others to follow suit. “As long as the sport hunters are showing that they’re making a positive impact, good on them,” he says. “It would be great if the system is actually forcing some kind of reform.” But, he adds, the Fish and Wildlife Service “has no way of confirming whether Tanzania’s well-meaning policies are really being implemented.”

Representatives from the Tanzania Wildlife Authority, which implements the country’s Wildlife Conservation Act, the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, an organization under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism that conducts wildlife research, and the Tanzania Tourist Board did not respond to requests for comment about how the country manages its trophy hunting.

John Jackson, a member of the International Wildlife Conservation Council, an advisory group to the Secretary of Interior, is the Florida hunter’s attorney. Jackson welcomes more frequent trophy imports from Tanzania and says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been “too slow” to issue these permits—a pace Jackson calls “inexcusable.” Since 2016, he says, many hunting operators have had to surrender their lands because of a lack of revenue, which leaves the animals in those lands unprotected. More frequent trophy hunts would allow concession operators to afford anti-poaching safety measures. “Hunting is the single most important mechanism to save lion,” he argues.

Jackson disagrees that Tanzania’s trophy hunting is mismanaged. As home to about 40 percent of Africa’s lions, he says, the country has “managed to save more lions than anybody else.”

“I wish there was another country equal to it,” he says. “It’s easy to criticize people, but it’s much more important to work with them and support them.”

Sanerib says Tanzania deserves credit for having a “phenomenal system” of protected areas but that its lion conservation success has been despite trophy hunting rather than because of it.

Elephants too?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s findings for lions also could apply to elephants, Sanerib says. In 2014, the Obama administration effectively banned trophy imports of elephants from Tanzania because of a poaching crisis in the country and concerns about the management of its trophy hunting industry. Sanerib says this lion trophy import decision may indicate that the Trump administration plans to overturn that ban.

In 2017, the service reversed the ban on elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe. “So we have some history—some very recent history—to point to as evidence of them, I would say, leaping before they take a look,” Sanerib says. (After President Trump tweeted his dissatisfaction with the Zimbabwe decision, the service reversed course and decided to evaluate applications on a case-by-case basis. Since then, no elephant trophies are known to have been imported from Zimbabwe.)

Anna Frostic, the managing wildlife attorney for the Humane Society, says the decisions to issue lion and black rhino trophy import permits indicate that there are more to come. She says the Fish and Wildlife Service “is making these decisions behind closed doors and without the input of independent scientists and the public.”

“The issuance of this one lion trophy import from Tanzania will likely be replicated and applied to the more than 40 other applications for Tanzania lion trophies that are pending,” she says.

Even though Tanzania is a stronghold for lions, she says the fact that overall lion numbers are dwindling means this potential new pattern is “extremely concerning.”

“The decision to legitimize that type of activity,” Frostic says, “is not only unethical and scientifically unjustifiable but is unlawful” based on the decision’s merits and because of the service’s lack of transparency in its decision making.

Michigan man receives permission to import body of rare black rhino he paid $400K to hunt

A 4-year-old Female black Rhino, runs (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A 4-year-old Female black Rhino, runs (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)

167

A Shelby Township man who paid $400,000 to hunt rare black rhino Namibian national park in May 2018 will be allowed to import the rhino’s body, according to the Associated Press.

The Trump administration announced this week that it will issue a permit to the trophy hunter — identified as Chris D. Peyerk of Shelby Township — to import the skin, skull and horns of the rhino. Peyerk Applied for the permit through the Fish and Wildlife Service to import animals protected under the Endangered Species Act.

He did not respond to AP efforts to reach him by phone.

The rhinos are considered extremely endangered with approximately 5,500 remaining in the wild. Nearly half of those are located in Namibia. Under law, five male black rhinos a year are permitted to be killed by hunters who pay for the right to hunt them.

“Legal, well-regulated hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation,” said Laury Parramore, spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service.

For many years federal regulators denied hunters the rights to bring the body back to the U.S., however as population have increased, the regulations have scaled back. Still, animal rights organizations have been critical of permits allowing for the animals to be brought back to the U.S.

“We urge our federal government to end this pay-to-slay scheme that delivers critically endangered rhino trophies to wealthy Americans while dealing a devastating blow to rhino conservation,” said Kitty Block, the head of the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. “While we cannot turn back the clock to save this animal, the administration can stop the U.S. from further contributing to the demise of this species by refusing future import permits of black rhino trophies.”

Southern African nations threaten to quit wildlife trade monitor

https://www.sierraleonetimes.com/news/262271801/southern-african-nations-threaten-to-quit-wildlife-trade-monitor
01 Sep 2019, 17:40 GMT+10

Proposal to open up rhino horn trade rejected Countries voted against eSwatini and Namibia’s proposals to loosen restrictions on the trade in live rhinos and rhino parts.

4 MINUTE READ
BY RACHEL FOBAR

PUBLISHED AUGUST 25, 2019

GENEVACountries have voted against decreasing protections for southern white rhinos at the 18th Conference of the Parties for CITES, the wildlife trade treaty, underway in Geneva, Switzerland. International trade in rhino parts has been banned since 1977, but at this year’s conference, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) and Namibia proposed loosening restrictions for their respective countries. The vote still needs to be finalized at the plenary session at the end, when all appendix change proposals passed in committee are officially adopted.

“I was encouraged and relieved to see parties resoundingly reject the proposal calling for legal international trade in rhino horn,” says Taylor Tench, a wildlife policy analyst for the Environmental Investigation Agency. “Rhino populations remain under immense pressure from poaching and illegal trade, and legalizing trade in rhino horn would have been disastrous for the world’s remaining rhino populations….Now is simply not the time to weaken protections for rhinos.”

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Other countries, including Kenya and Nigeria, worry that legalizing the trade would undermine the survival Africa’s wild rhinos.

“Humankind can do without rhino horn,” said a representative from Kenya during the debate. “It is not medicine.”

Thought to be extinct in the late 1800s, the southern white rhino is classified today as near threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which determines the conservation status of species. There are about 18,000 in protected areas and private game reserves today, almost all in South Africa, according to the IUCN. Black rhinos, which are smaller and have a hooked rather than square lip, are classified as critically endangered, with only about 5,000 remaining. They’re found mostly in Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya.

In 2005, eSwatini allowed the noncommercial trade in live rhinos and hunting trophies but not rhino horn. The country put forward a failed proposal to open the commercial rhino horn trade at the last CITES Conference of the Parties, in 2016. eSwatini’s white rhino population reached 90 in 2015, but following one of the country’s worst droughts in recent history, it had fallen to just 66 by December 2017. This year, the country re-upped a proposal to allow for commercial trade in their rhinos, including horn and parts. In a 25-102 vote by secret ballot, this measure was defeated.

Meanwhile, Namibia proposed that CITES downlist its southern white rhinos from Appendix I to Appendix II, with an annotation allowing for trade in live rhinos and export of hunting trophies. Though this move would technically weaken protections, conservationists said it wouldn’t have any significant implications in practice, since Namibia is already allowed noncommercial trade in live rhinos and hunting trophies under the Appendix I listing.

In the proposal, Namibia argued that its population no longer warrants the highest protection under CITES and that the restriction preventing export for “primarily commercial purposes” has held the country back from generating revenue for conservation. From 2008 to 2018, Namibia exported 27 white rhinos to Angola, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Africa. Namibia’s proposal anticipates creating “access to a far larger market for white rhinos,” especially with its primary trading partner South Africa. The country has nearly a thousand rhinos, and according to the CITES secretariat, the population is “increasing.”

“We are deeply concerned that unjustified trade restriction on the Namibian white rhino population, if not removed, will only deprive Namibia of their required resources to manage its populations effectively,” said a representative from Namibia during the debate.

Nonetheless, says Tench of the EIA, Namibia’s rhinos are at risk from poaching, which has intensified since 2014. The proposal was narrowly rejected in a 39-82 vote.

Hundreds of rhinos are poached every year—an average of about three a day, according to Tench—mostly for their horns. Made of keratin (the same protein that makes up our hair and fingernails), rhino horn is often used as a cure-all in traditional medicine in China, Vietnam, and elsewhere in Asia. Because southern white rhinos are more abundant and live in more open habitat, they’ve borne the brunt of the poaching, Tench says. (Go inside the deadly rhino horn trade.)

eSwatini says it has nearly 730 pounds of stockpiled rhino horn, with a commercial value of $9.9 million. Funds from sales of that rhino horn, it contends in its proposal, would have helped conservation efforts.

“Money is at the very core of the matter,” said a representative from eSwatini during the debate. “If the finance is not available to protect them, rhinos will continue to die.”

Opening the commercial rhino horn trade could have had disastrous implications, Tench says. It could have spawned a parallel illegal market, stimulated new demand for rhino horn, increased poaching, and created an enforcement burden for officials, who would have been tasked with the impossible responsibility of distinguishing legal from illegal rhino horn. “It ultimately could just kick off a new wave of demand that would be met by increased poaching. And eSwatini—it’s not the country that even could hope to supply rhino horn internationally.
They have 66 rhinos.”

What’s more, the trade in rhino horn is illegal in China and Vietnam, where demand for rhino horn exists, leading conservationists to ask:
Who would have engaged eSwatini in the rhino horn trade?

Neither China nor Vietnam has declared any intention to legalize the trade, although China flirted with the idea last October, when the government announced that tiger bone and rhino horn could be used legally in medical research or for traditional medicine. Soon after, a senior official announced that China was postponing lifting the ban on rhino and tiger parts, pending further study.

“The suggestion that there’s value in the rhino horn that eSwatini has is kind of false anyway, because they’re projecting that based on a black-market value and an assumption that those legal markets would open up again,” says Matt Collis, director of international policy at the International Fund for Animal Welfare, an animal welfare and conservation nonprofit that does works to prevent rhino poaching.

Collis says it’s unclear what Namibia hoped to achieve with its proposal—since under current regulations, noncommercial trade in live rhinos and trophies is already allowed in the country.

So, he says, this could have been a first step toward liberalizing trade in the future, because the proposal would have moved Namibia’s rhinos to Appendix II.

“It’s not necessarily clear what the motivation is, unless it’s for something for the longer term,” Collis says.

Going forward, Collis says conservationists need to help countries who bear the burden of protecting these species find another way to fund their efforts. “It does need a concerted effort from the international community to offer alternative ways of financing,” he says.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/08/rhino-horn-trade-proposal-cites/

Lion cubs found dead in freezer at South African ‘hunting’ farm while others tremble and twitch inside tiny cages ‘due to inbreeding’

THIS is the horrifying moment inspectors found two fatally ill lion cubs locked inside a metal crate on a farm – seconds before discovering the bodies of 20 others stuffed inside a freezer.

Officers dropped in on Pienika Farm in South Africa as part of a surprise inspection arranged after they found other animals in dire conditions just four months ago.

 The cubs were found suffering from neurological conditions and vets were forced to put them to sleep

7
The cubs were found suffering from neurological conditions and vets were forced to put them to sleepCredit: NSPCA

 Officers dropped in on Pienika Farm in South Africa as part of a surprise inspection

7
Officers dropped in on Pienika Farm in South Africa as part of a surprise inspectionCredit: NSPCA

The cubs, who ranged in different ages, were found suffering from neurological conditions and had to be euthanised at the scene.

Their bodies were later taken away from the farm, which was slammed in April after inspectors found animals in filthy and parasitic conditions, for post mortem examinations.

The discoveries sparked a further search, leading to inspectors finding approximately 20 carcasses of lions and tigers in a chest freezer.

According to Eduardo Goncalves, founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, the animals were being bred in captivity to be petted by tourists, bottle fed and then eventually shot for trophies.

The NSPCA removed five carcasses for post mortem examinations to determine the cause of death.

They stated that they will be laying further charges in terms of the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962, on the owners of the farm, who were initially charged in April.

Speaking to The Sun, Mr Goncalves, said: “Inspectors from the NSPCA previously found 27 tigers, lions, leopards and caracals in terrible condition at the same farm during an unannounced visit in April this year.

‘PET, BOTTLE FED, THEN SHOOT FOR TROPHY’

“They were kept in overcrowded conditions, had no water, were filthy and suffering from parasites. Two lion cubs were suffering from neurological conditions, likely to be the result of in-breeding.

“The farm is in Lichtenburg in South Africa’s North West Province. There are around 60 such facilities in South Africa breeding big cats for people to pet, bottle feed, and then shoot for a trophy.

“The bones are often sold off to dodgy dealers in Asia who make fake medicines out of them. This is the reality of big cat factory farming in South Africa.

“It’s simply obscene. The animals are kept in appalling conditions and their owners make a fortune out of their misery.”

Senior Inspector Douglas Wolhuter, manager of the NSPCA’s Wildlife Protection Unit, said: “With the release of The Lion King and the tribute to lions during World Lion Day, the rest of the world is celebrating these majestic creatures.

“Here in South Africa, where lions are indigenous and a massive part of our heritage, we are condemning thousands of lions to a life of captivity, where their basic needs are not being catered for, and we are subjecting what is globally known as the king of the animal kingdom to a pathetic life in a cage, waiting for death.”

 The discoveries sparked a further search, leading to inspectors finding approximately 20 carcasses of lions and tigers in a chest freezer

7
The discoveries sparked a further search, leading to inspectors finding approximately 20 carcasses of lions and tigers in a chest freezerCredit: NSPCA

 Cubs were found shaking uncontrollably in cages on the farm

7
Cubs were found shaking uncontrollably in cages on the farmCredit: NSPCA

 THIS is the horrifying moment inspectors found two fatally ill lion cubs locked inside a metal crate on a farm - seconds before discovering the bodies of 20 others stuffed inside a freezer.

7
THIS is the horrifying moment inspectors found two fatally ill lion cubs locked inside a metal crate on a farm – seconds before discovering the bodies of 20 others stuffed inside a freezer.Credit: NSPCA

In April, NSPCA investigators attended to a complaint at the same farm in Lichtenburg, where they found lions being kept in small, overcrowded enclosures and inadequate shelters with no provision of water.

The farm contained suffering lions, caracals, tigers, and leopards. In total, 27 of the lions had mange and the caracal were obese and unable to properly groom themselves.

An NSPCA spokesperson said: “The Inspectors were horrified to find two lion cubs that were unable to walk and appeared to be showing signs that they were suffering from a neurological condition.

“The NSPCA removed the two cubs for assessment and veterinary treatment by a veterinarian with a special interest in carnivores.”

The two cubs have since improved ‘with leaps and bounds’ and are now able to stand unaided.

The spokesperson added: “Two cubs that were unable to stand, and were paddling on the ground to try and move away from their own faecal matter, are [now] able to stand and even take steps.

Pushy bonobo mothers help sons find sexual partners, scientists find

 This article is more than 2 months old

High-ranking mothers lead sons to groups of females and keep guard while they mate

Female bonobo with crossed arms
 Male bonobos living with their mothers are three times more likely to father offspring, research suggests. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Their mothers are so keen for them to father children that they usher them in front of promising partners, shield them from violent competitors and dash the chances of other males by charging them while they are at it.

For a bonobo mother, it is all part of the parenting day, and analysis finds the hard work pays off. Males of the species that live with their mothers are three times more likely to father offspring than those whose mothers are absent.

Martin Surbeck, a primatologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, said: “We wanted to see if the mothers’ behaviour changes the odds of their sons’ success, and it does. The mothers have a strong influence on the number of grandchildren they get.”

Bonobo mothers seize every opportunity to give their sons a leg-up. In bonobo society, the lower ranks tend to be gender balanced, but females dominate the top ranks. Many mothers have social clout and chaperone their sons to huddles with fertile females, ensuring them better chances to mate. “The mothers tend to be a social passport for their sons,” said Surbeck.

But in the free-for-all that underpins bonobo sex, vigilance is the watchword. When their sons are finally copulating, bonobo mothers keep a wary eye on nearby males. Should any make a move to rush the busy couple – a tactic that is well-known – she can bound in and block the attack.

Such dirty tricks abound. When mothers spot other males on the job, they have been known to detach the hapless apes with a well-timed charge. On rare occasions, the mothers literally drag unrelated males off their sexual partners. “Once I saw a mother pulling a male away by the leg,” said Surbeck. “It doesn’t necessarily increase their son’s mating success, but it shows that they really get involved in the whole business.”

To assess the impact of mothers’ interventions, Surbeck and his colleagues observed several wild bonobo populations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and wild chimpanzees in Tanzania, Uganda and Ivory Coast. Mothers from both species, which share the title of our closest living relative, helped their sons in fights, but only the bonobos boosted their sons’ mating success. In chimpanzee society, males are dominant, so the mothers have less influence.

With a high-ranking mother on hand, the odds were particularly stacked in the male bonobos’ favour. For example, the young male of a high-ranking female might be allowed to lunch in the best feeding tree rather than being kicked out with the rest. “You see a lot of copulation while they go into these trees,” noted Surbeck. A report on the work appears in Current Biology.

In contrast to bonobo mothers, chimpanzee mothers had little impact on their sons’ reproductive success. If anything, based on the mating records the scientists analysed, chimp mothers had a slight negative impact on the chances of their sons having offspring.

While bonobo mothers looked out for their sons, the researchers found no evidence they helped their daughters in the mating game or in raising their offspring. But unlike the males, who hang around, the females usually leave the group to have their own families elsewhere.

Surbeck suspects bonobo mothers have hit on a winning strategy. In going the extra mile to get their sons mating, the mothers get to spread their genes without having to have more children themselves.

Makes Me Sick’: Daughter Disowns Trophy-Hunting Dad Who Kissed Partner Beside Slain Lion

The Carters from Edmonton, Alberta, were part of a tour organised by Legelela Safaris when they shot and killed the lion.

'Makes Me Sick': Daughter Disowns Trophy-Hunting Dad Who Kissed Partner Beside Slain Lion

Image credit: Twitter/YouTube

A Canadian trophy-hunter, who was slammed for kissing his partner beside a lion they had just shot and killed in Africa, has now been disowned by his own daughter.

“Hard work in the hot Kalahari sun… well done. A monster lion,” Darren and Carolyn Carter of Edmonton, Alberta, had captioned their photo on Facebook, drawing flak from animal rights activists and social media users.

The couple from Edmonton, Alberta, was part of a tour organised by Legelela Safaris when they shot and killed the magnificent animal.

“The tour operator regularly shares snaps of dead animals alongside proud hunters, often grinning as they hold up their guns, on their Facebook page,” reports Daily Mail.

Other photos showing Darren and Carolyn Carter posing in front of another dead lion were captioned: “There is nothing like hunting the king of the jungle in the sands of the Kalahari. Well done to the happy huntress and the team…”

As the pictures went viral on social media, the Carters were called “murderers”, “disgusting” and “cowardly.”

Daily Mirror

@DailyMirror

Sick couple kiss to celebrate killing magnificent lion in horrifying picture https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/sick-couple-kiss-celebrate-killing-18210999 

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Oilergirl@Sherwoodparkuke

I am thoroughly disgusted and appalled at these people. This is all for sport and it is absolutely disgusting. This has to stop now!

56 people are talking about this

Oilergirl@Sherwoodparkuke

I am thoroughly disgusted and appalled at these people. This is all for sport and it is absolutely disgusting. This has to stop now!

chrissys@chrissylso

Beyond disgusting! This is how they get their kicks. So disturbing.

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Dr Lauren Gavaghan

@DancingTheMind

Canadian couple kiss and pose for photo by dead lion they killed.

Not brave. Not cool. Cowardly to the extreme. What sad sad souls to kill such a majestic & beautiful animal.

Ban now. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/sick-couple-kiss-celebrate-killing-18210999 

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The pictures along with the Facebook page of Legelela Safaris have since been deleted. On July 16, Darren’s daughter took to YouTube to express her disgust.

“That just make me sick,” she said. “Like, I refuse to call him my dad anymore. Who does that? I’ll never understand people like that, that take pride in shooting a beautiful animal like a lion. … [K]nowing you trophy hunt beautiful animals like lions who are slowly getting endangered is just, it’s too much. I’m someone who loves animals and I never want anyone to hurt them. To know that my own father does that, I don’t even consider you my dad anymore,” she said in a 10-minute long video.

The Carters, who run a taxidermy business, have described themselves as “passionate conservationists” despite their trophy-hunting expeditions, reports Daily Mirror. “We aren’t interested in commenting on that at all. It’s too political,” Darren was quoted as saying.

Eduardo Goncalves, the founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, believes the lions were captive and bred for the sole purpose of being killed by hunters.

“It looks as though this lion was a tame animal killed in an enclosure, bred for the sole purpose of being the subject of a smug selfie,” he was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

“This couple should be utterly ashamed of themselves, not showing off and snogging for the cameras.”

Also see: https://canoe.com/news/world/disgusted-daughter-of-lion-killing-canadian-couple-speaks-out