Lion trade: The secret threat faced by SA’s tourism industry

TRAVEL NEWS / 17 SEPTEMBER 2019, 4:30PM / IOL SUPPLIED

A recent study has shown that nearly half of the captive lion facilities in SA are directly linked to tourism through offering one or more unethical activities. Picture: Supplied

Annually, thousands of tourists flock to South Africa to experience our unique wildlife. But behind this booming industry is an ugly truth, many wildlife encounters support the mistreatment of iconic species, such as lions.

Tourism plays a vital role in job creation and contributed over R130-billion to the economy in 2017, about 2.9% of the total gross domestic product (GDP).

However, exploitative wildlife interactions such as cub petting, walking with lions and the associated volun-tourism sectors are all closely linked to the captive predator breeding, canned hunting and lion bone trade in South Africa. All of which has the potential to drastically damage South Africa’s reputation as a tourist destination.

A recent study has shown that nearly half of the captive lion facilities in South Africa are directly linked to tourism through offering one or more of these unethical activities, explained Fiona Miles, country director of FOUR PAWS in South Africa, one of the largest national animal welfare organisations fighting for the protection of big cats.

Dragging down the South African name

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“Although global trends in responsible tourism are showing that tourism is moving away from such exploitative captive wildlife interactions, many tour operators at home and abroad continue to promote these activities to their clients,” said Miles.

“Local and international visitors carry on supporting hands-on captive wildlife facilities either through a lack of awareness or purely to get that perfect wildlife selfie.”

In addition, the captive lion trade has the potential to tarnish South Africa’s reputation as a conservation leader.

A recent Legacy Report of the Portfolio Committee on Tourism in the Fifth Parliament on the effects of wildlife interaction found the safari niche market has been marred by the growth of animal interactions and canned hunting, which have “damaged the country’s brand as a champion of wildlife conservation”.

According to a report by the South African Institute of International Affairs on the economics of captive predator breeding in South Africa, our tourism brand value could potentially be negatively affected by as much as R54 billion loss in revenue over the next decade, if the captive lion breeding industry is allowed to thrive.

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But there is a way to prevent further damage to our image as a tourism destination, believes Miles, and this starts with ending the demand for these devastating activities.

“Collectively, we need to stop supporting any type of cub petting, walking with predators or associated volunteering options, whether this involves lions, tigers, or cheetahs, as none of these activities support conservation of the species in the wild, as many facilities would like you to believe,” added Miles.

“It is also time for all of the establishments offering these activities to put a stop to it.”

This is why FOUR PAWS is challenging both the tourism industry and the public to commit to their Lion Longevity Oath: A commitment to end all support of activities and interaction with captivate lions and raise awareness of lion trade and canned lion hunting.

Six major tour operator companies have already signed the oath in against visiting establishments where lion cub and other animal interactions take place.

The Ugly Side of Wildlife Tourism

https://thewire.in/the-arts/the-ugly-side-of-wildlife-tourism

Kirsten Luce’s photographs focus on the problems with ‘selfie tourism’.

With the growing popularity of Instagram and the “selfie” has come the search for the ultimate photo.

Now a growing industry offering access to animals in wildlife sanctuaries is emerging as the latest trend on social media.

“Without a doubt, the demand for this type of photo, to sit down next to a wild animal and have your photo taken, has grown exponentially because of social media,” says Kirsten Luce, an American photographer whose work previously concentrated on Latin American migrants in the state of Texas.

Thailand and Russia

While working on a project in Brazil, Peru and Colombia on the rise of selfie tourism, Luce realised just how big a problem it was.

She felt more research was needed and decided, along with her reporter, to focus on Thailand and Russia.

Chinese tourists at a crocodile centre in Thailand, taken by Kirsen Luce. Photo: RFI/Anne-Marie Bissada

“We were looking at where native species were exploited for the entertainment of tourists,” Luce explains on the sidelines of her exhibition at the Visa pour l’image photojournalism festival in Perpignan, France.

“In Thailand, everybody goes looking for an experience with the Asian elephants. They also have a lot of tiger experiences, so that was an obvious choice.

“Since we had already looked at a lot of tropical places, we wanted something tonally and texturally different. In Russia we found that travelling marine mammals are exploited at a large number as are bears and even polar bears.”

Image of bears performing for the ice circus in Russia from Kirsten Luce’s exposition. Photo: RFI/Anne-Marie Bissada

It’s a topic that hits hard through its raw imagery.

Many people at the expo took the time to talk to Luce about what she saw and how they can help.

“With a project like wildlife tourism, I think because people have never really seen the topic tackled, they are universally responding by condemning it,” she says.

“I’ve never produced a body of work that has gotten such an emotional response from virtually everybody. Everybody wants to do something to stop it and I’ve even had people say to me, how are you able to sleep at night, it must be the hardest thing to witness?”

Images and access

Photo from Kirsten Luce’s photo exposition. Photo: RFI/Anne-Marie Bissada

But prior to visiting the sanctuaries, Luce and her reporter met former trainers, veterinarians and animal rights activists. They would explain how the animals were often mistreated or prepared before an audience to look healthy, especially if tourists were visiting an “ethical” venue such as those offering bathing with elephants.

“The animal rights activists and trainers that had turned away from the field would give us tips and clues as to what to look out for in behaviour, and also whether or not teeth or claws had been removed,” explains the photographer.

Image of a chained tiger seated on a platform in Kirsten Luce’s exposition. Photo: RFI/Anne-Marie Bissada

Impact

The beauty of photography is in capturing a moment in time – and how that moment can make an instantaneous connection with viewers.

In an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, one such photo brought about change.

“It was clear he needed vet care,” says Luce about the young elephant that was kept away from the public because he had a broken leg. “They claimed they were treating him.

Also read: The Story of How the Orphaned Tigress of Bandhavgarh Was Rehabilitated

“We had a fixer go back a couple of times to check on him – he would be in the exact same position. We knew that the elephant was not getting the care he needed.

“That photo got a lot of movement. There was a lot of pressure, and he was finally purchased and moved to a sanctuary,” Luce says, adding that it was a rare occurrence of a happy ending.

But the owner of the wildlife centre has many more elephants there, and the wider industry continues to thrive, catering for wildlife consumers.

Wildlife ‘likes’

In Russia, a burgeoning industry has kept photographer Olga Barantseva busy, fulfilling people’s desire to pose with a big bear.

Barantseva has nearly a hundred thousand followers on Instagram.

Stepan, the bear used in Barantseva’s photos, was a former circus bear, likely abused into submission, says Luce, which would explain his apparent docile nature that allows him to pose with humans.

Also read: What Happened to the Women in Photography?

Another phenomenon Luce experienced in Russia was the travelling dolphin shows.

“These marine mammals are living and performing in inflatable tents, almost like a circus would come to town for six weeks,” she says. “These belugas and dolphins would be living in tanks for six months.”

The travelling shows do not provide proper water filtering or medical attention, which almost certainly leads to premature death, and to keep up numbers, fresh stock is replaced illegally through poaching in the Black sea, according to Luce.

More than 80 tigers die after being removed from Thailand tourist trap

https://nypost.com/2019/09/16/more-than-80-tigers-die-after-being-removed-from-thailand-tourist-trap/

More then 80 tigers have died after they were rescued from a Thailand tourist attraction dubbed Tiger Temple, a report said.

A total of about 87 felines died from a virus they had contracted after being held at the The Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua Yanasampanno temple west of Bangkok, according to London’s Independent newspaper.

“When we took the tigers in, we noted that they had no immune system due to inbreeding,” said a senior official from Thailand’s department of national parks, wildlife and plant conservation.

The official said the animals were susceptible to the canine distemper virus.

While the tigers were living at the temple, monks charged admission for people to take photos with them and bottle feed their cubs.

But the tigers needed to be removed from amid allegations that they were being drugged and illegally bred.

Local media reports claim that as many as 87 of the 147 creatures taken from the temple have died.

During a raid of the temple, Thai officials found 40 dead tiger cubs in a freezer along with 20 glass jars containing baby tigers and tiger organs.

Also, a monk tried to flee with 700 vials of tiger skin and a suitcase full of tiger teeth.

Top international biologists and planners call for an end to elephants in captivity

By Don Pinnock• 10 September 2019

Photo: Unsplash/ Timothy K
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An international conference of elephant experts has condemned the capture and confinement of elephants and has called on zoos to release and reintegrate them into the wild or relocate them to sanctuaries where they can live a more normal life.

Holding elephants in captivity causes them enormous stress and constitutes cruelty. Capturing wild elephants and removing them from their families is unacceptable. Captivity is simply unsuitable for elephants.

This was the overall agreement at a conference in Hermanus on 6 September 2019 attended by elephant specialists from Kenya, Zimbabwe, the United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands and South Africa. They were seeking to work out a framework and policy guidelines for dealing with elephants in captivity.

The conference, Taking the Elephant out of the Room, was organised by the EMS Foundation and followed the historic ruling by the United Nations wildlife trade organisation, CITES, prohibiting wild-caught elephants from being held in captive facilities.

The conference was opened by Chief Steven Fritz of the Khoi Council.

“Elephants are sacred to the Khoisan First Nation people,” Fritz told delegates. “What you do to them you do to us. If you enslave elephants you enslave the Khoisan nation. Like us, they are First Nations. They’re our rainmakers and have been with us from before memory. For this reason my people have resolved to unite to protect them from cruelty and killing.”

For Kenyan elephant ethologist and conservation biologist Dr Joyce Poole, who has conducted groundbreaking elephant research in Amboseli National Park, confinement even in the best facility constituted extreme cruelty.

“In a single day, an elephant may socialise with hundreds of individuals. Relationships radiate out from a mother-offspring bond through families, clans, subpopulations. Independent males form long-term friendships.

“Elephants communicate through more than 300 gestures, complex speech and glandular secretions. They contemplate, negotiate, collaborate, plan and are aware of death. They care about their lives and are more like us than we realise.

“What happens when we remove all intellectual stimulation? In confinement, without companions, an elephant has no purpose. Captive elephants lack the very foundation of elephant life. It is utterly wrong to confine them.”

Biologist Dr Keith Lindsay, whose conservation work began in Amboseli in 1977, outlined the centrality of elephants in ecosystem health.

“They’re a keystone species, essential components in an ecosystem. If you take the keystone out of an arch it collapses. They’re ecological engineers upon which many other species depend. They bring down trees to browse level, they open paths in the forest, they find salt licks, they open space for grazers and disperse seeds. The wild is where they belong.”
Pictures of African elephants taken at Karachi Safari Park in Pakistan in January 2019. Photo: Ban Animal Trading

Advocate Jim Karani of WildlifeDirect in Kenya said the important question is not “can animals reason or talk, but can they suffer?”. Our confinement of elephants shows they can and do.

“There’s a body of research that proves there’s no conservation-education value to the use of elephants in zoos,” he said.
“They are miserable and tell us nothing. Their only use is to take a selfie and walk away.

“The law has a duty to protect all sentient beings and in zoos there are serious welfare concerns about the treatment of non-human persons. An animal has a right of protection against needless pain and suffering.

“Confining and isolating an elephant is not the way to treat a sentient being. They’re not merely property. They should be granted rights as legal non-human persons, as corporations are.”

Marion Garai of the Elephant Specialist Advisory Group provided the statistics. There are presently 1,770 elephants worldwide in captive facilities, of which 1,491 are in zoos. Most of these are in the United States, followed by China, Germany and Japan. Just under 100 facilities hold a single, lonely elephant.

Several speakers detailed the extreme stress caused to elephants by capture and confinement.

Audrey Delsink of Humane Society International-Africa said capturing baby elephants – as Zimbabwe continues to do – causes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that can last decades. This was confirmed by Dr Gay Bradshaw of the Kerulus Centre for Nonviolence in the United States, whose work has led to the field of trans-species psychology.
Pictures of African elephants taken at Karachi Safari Park in Pakistan in January 2019. Photo: Ban Animal Trading

“There is an epidemic of PTSD among elephants in captivity,” she said.
“Elephants share with humans the same brain, same consciousness and the same vulnerability to trauma. They can experience psychological and social breakdown. Trauma spreads from parent to child, neighbour to neighbour.

“If we ‘save’ elephants from extinction by confining them, they will be elephants in body only but psychologically extinct. We have to end killing and captivity and restore ancestral habitats. That holds true for all wildlife on every continent and in every ocean.”

Wildlife management specialist Dr Yolanda Pretorius explained the negative effect humans have on elephants, from fencing, manipulation and noise to capture, confinement and cruel training.

“All this causes trauma and impacts on their welfare. The less people have to do with elephants the better it is for elephants. But there’s almost no place left on Earth for this to happen.

“In captivity elephants are less aware, they move slowly, they seem to droop. If you’ve worked with elephants you can see their depression, their sadness. So we have to work out our future relationship with elephants very carefully.”

Lynn James of SPCA Zimbabwe and environmental lawyer Lenin Chisaira outlined the traumatic impact of the live capture of baby elephants in Zimbabwe. Adults are driven off by helicopter and the exhausted babies grabbed and bundled into trucks for export, mainly to Dubai and China.
They showed heartbreaking undercover footage of terrified youngsters being pushed and kicked to “move up” while loading into trucks.

Professor David Bilchitz of Animal Law Reform SA explored the legal perspective of South Africa’s engagement with elephants. He noted that the way sustainable use of wildlife was used in South Africa was to focus on the species as a whole and allow for the sacrifice of many individuals. This allows individuals to be objectified and exploited rather than respected and well stewarded.

An integrative approach, on the other hand, he said, would focus on the individual and the species: showing respect for both the individual and the survival of the species.

“Trophy hunters, for example, would say it works to the benefit of the whole by bringing in revenue to conserve the species. However, can we justify serious harm for the individual animal for the greater good?

“An integrative approach would reject the view that this advances conservation. It would argue that respect for individuals advances their conservation.

“I would adopt this position as this is the only approach that ensures the long-term goals of both positions. Only our respect for animals will ensure their long-term survival.”

Elephant researcher Antoinette van de Water has been working on the value of elephants in society and searching for the narratives needed to make them more important in order to change exploitative practices.

“We have to find goals that are good for both humans and elephants. What are the drivers of peaceful coexistence? In this, cultural values are important and we must work with affected communities whose problems get heard. Putting a price tag on elephants is not the way.”

Kahindi Lekalhaile of the African Network for Animal Welfare insisted that captivity of elephants was not a method of conservation. Captivity isn’t just about space, he said. It denies them social interaction and that is a great injustice.

“Because elephants in zoos do not live long, however, there is a constant demand for replacements from the wild. This is a threat to wild populations.

“Worldwide, most captive elephants are still wild-caught. We can look into artificial insemination,” he said. “But capturing young elephants for export to zoos should never happen. There should be no international movement of elephants.

“But what do we actually do about elephants who are already in captivity? We should think deeply about releasing them into the wild.
Where are these wilds? They are diminishing. And should we be releasing traumatised elephants? Let’s keep them in natural sanctuaries.”

Brett Mitchell of the Elephant Reintegration Trust outlined the steps necessary to integrate captive elephants into the wild, a process, he said, that can take many years. For a few deeply traumatised elephants it may not be possible. But he mentioned a group of elephants which were released from a holding boma into the wild that never went back, not once.

In concluding discussions it was unanimously agreed that no new elephants should be placed in captivity and that elephants currently in captivity should be placed in as free and natural environments as possible and not penned for human pleasure.

A policy framework will be developed from the conference inputs and discussion. DM

The conference was live-streamed and can be viewed here:

https://youtu.be/eKvD7DOPx2U

https://youtu.be/yvvHYzXOsMs

https://youtu.be/Wpq8J3gISv4

https://youtu.be/u7L-9BIiyVM

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2019-09-10-top-international-biologists-and-planners-call-for-an-end-to-elephants-in-captivity/

An Idaho resident illegally raised an elk in captivity: ‘A sad ending’


This elk was illegally raised by a Gem County resident, Fish and Game says. (Photo courtesy Brian Marek, IDFG)

A bull elk may spend the rest of its life in captivity after an Idaho resident illegally raised the elk in Gem County.

Idaho Fish and Game says a resident of Sweet illegally removed the elk when it was a calf in the spring of 2018. The elk ended up leaving the area during the winter, but it returned to Sweet this spring.

Officers were receiving calls about the 400-pound elk roaming around the small town and it was unafraid of people.

“With the fall rut approaching, things could only get worse,” Idaho Fish and Game said.

“With plenty of elk in the Bear Valley area, it was hoped that the young bull would integrate into one of the local herds,” Fish and Game said. “But after two weeks in the wild, the young bull appears uninterested in its own kind, instead approaching curiosity seekers who have driven to Bear Valley in the hopes of spotting the animal.”

The elk, recaptured on Sunday, was deemed to be too habituated toward humans and will now live out its days in captivity. Previous attempts of finding the elk a home at an accredited facility were unsuccessful.

“A sad ending for what should be a wild animal,” Fish and Game said.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

Cows, carbon and climate change

Cows, carbon and climate change
© Getty

With record heat waves, costly fire seasons, rising sea levels, and superstorms wracking our planet, it is clear that human-caused climate disruption is causing major problems for all of Earth’s inhabitants. Fossil fuels have long (and correctly) been identified as the biggest culprits, with the majority of humanity’s atmospheric carbon contribution coming from burning fossil fuels — oil, coal, and natural gas — and reversing hundreds of millions of years of natural carbon sequestration on the part of swamps and forests. However, there is an increasing global awareness that animal agriculture also plays a major role in accelerating climate change.

Cattle and other domestic ruminants have a four-chambered stomach, including a fermentation vat (called a rumen) that enables the animal to use microbes to break down cellulose — the main component of wood, paper and cardboard — into sugar. This fermentation process creates methane, which increases atmospheric temperatures  25 to 84 times as much as carbon dioxide. Thus, cattle, sheep and other livestock boost the carbon dioxide absorbed by plants into a far more climate-potent gas.

Livestock belching, farting and manure emissions of this and other gases has been estimated to account for 14 to 18 percent of the total human-induced greenhouse gases that are responsible for climate change. The remaining 82 to 86 percent of carbon emissions into the atmosphere comes from taking carbon out of the ground and pumping it into the atmosphere, whether through equally-potent methane leaks from natural gas wellfields and pipelines or through burning fuels to produce carbon dioxide. Thanks to the combined effect of greenhouse gases from livestock production and fossil fuel combustion on the world’s climate, the survival of the planet’s life forms, humanity included, is now at risk.

But the livestock also convert and degrade lands, radically reducing carbon sequestration — the natural ability of the biosphere to soak up atmospheric carbon — creating an even greater climate problem than methane emissions themselves. This effect is most obvious in tropical rainforest areas, which are being deforested at an accelerating pace to create pasture lands for livestock. This upsets natural nutrient cycling, as soil nutrients present in rainforest settings quickly leach out of the soil. Following deforestation, the massive carbon banks tied up in rainforest trees, vines and shrubs are gone for the long term. This bankrupting of carbon reserves in the tropics is paired with a catastrophic loss of biodiversity, an environmental crisis co-equal to climate disruption in its severity and significance.

Less visibly but perhaps more importantly, livestock grazing on the world’s grasslands, shrubsteppes and deserts can cause even greater withdrawals from a carbon banking standpoint than cutting down the forests. Livestock grazing eliminates deep-rooted native grasses and wildflowers, replacing them with shallow-rooted annual weeds that thrive in disturbed environments and die every year, releasing their carbon back to the atmosphere. Annual weeds therefore have little ability to store carbon in the soil.

In addition, once rangelands become degraded through overgrazing, shrubs sometimes increase, but clearing these shrubs to stimulate forage production for livestock further cripples the land’s ability to store carbon.

Throughout the Intermountain West, heavy grazing by livestock flips the ecological switch that converts healthy native habitats to an annual weed called cheatgrass, by suppressing the native perennial grasses and destroying the soil crusts that otherwise prevent cheatgrass invasion. Cheatgrass is highly flammable, and the resulting high-frequency range fires can eliminate deep-rooted shrubs, accelerating carbon loss from the soil.

Restoring the 25 million acres of livestock-degraded and cheatgrass-infested rangelands in the western United States back to native shrubs and grasses could offset some 23 percent of all U.S. carbon emissions. Stopping the livestock-induced damage would allow the land to heal over time and regain its carbon-storing capacity.

Natural areas are the lungs of the planet, breathing in carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen. Personal choices by consumers (adding rooftop solar panels, eating less meat) can help, but they’re not enough to stem the tide. Returning half the Earth to nature would restore carbon reserves while also addressing the biodiversity crisis.

We need major policy initiatives like the Green New Deal to force decisive action, stabilize and slash carbon emissions, and restore healthy levels of carbon sequestration through the natural processes of photosynthesis. Major livestock reforms on America’s western public lands would be a key step forward in this effort.

Bear attacks worker during wildlife tour at Pennsylvania resort

The resort said that it has “ensured the enclosure is completely secure” and is arranging counseling for guests and staff who witnessed the attack.

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 

View image on Twitter

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.

See chrissys’s other Tweets

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 

View image on Twitter
248 people are talking about this

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

Bear Flees Over 3 Electric Fences, Drawing Mockery for His Captors

Rangers search woods in northern Italy
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A European brown bear roams a forest.   (Getty/ErikMandre)

(NEWSER) – Forest rangers are searching the woods for a bear that climbed over three electric fences and a 13-foot barrier to escape a wildlife enclosure in Northern Italy. The bear had been captured only hours before, the Guardian reports. “Run and save yourself,” the president of an animal rights group implored. “We are on the side of the bear and of freedom.” The president of the province of Trentino had ordered the capture of the European brown bear after it was spotted near residential areas. After the escape, he authorized rangers to shoot the bear, labeled M49, if it went near people, per MSN. Italy’s environment minister overruled that order, saying, “M49’s escape from the enclosure cannot justify an action that would cause its death.” He sent a team to Trentino to help catch the bear without harming it, and to investigate the escape.

Animal rights advocates mocked the bear’s captors. One cheered the bear on, and another said: “A solid electrified fence with adequate power is an insurmountable barrier even for the most astute bears. Obviously the structure was not working properly, since bears do not fly.” An anti-hunting organization said that “evidently, M49 is an escape genius … gifted with superpowers akin to a hero of Marvel Comics.” The group suggested the bear was allowed to escape Sunday so it could be decreed dangerous and killed. Italy’s constitution court, per ANSA, on Tuesday upheld provincial laws allowing the capture and killing of bears and wolves that pose a threat. The bear was spotted by a camera on Tuesday. Rangers think it’s somewhere in the Marzoil woods near Trento. (Read more escaped animal stories.)