Hunters “Accidentally Shoot” One of New Zealand’s Most Endangered Birds

http://news.yahoo.com/hunters-accidentally-shoot-one-zealand-most-endangered-birds-214343066.html

By Taylor Hill | Takepart.com August 21, 2015

There are around 300 colorful, flightless takahe birds left in the world, but thanks to a hunting snafu in New Zealand, there are now four fewer of the critically endangered species.

 New Zealand’s Department of Conservation had allowed hunters to target a similarly colored—but significantly smaller and more aggressive—bird called the pukeko on Motutapu Island, a predator-free site established to protect the takahe. The common pukekos can overtake takahe habitat and threaten the rare birds’ survival, and culls are one way to manage pukeko numbers.

But authorities discovered the wrong birds had been killed when they found four dead takahe peppered with shotgun pellets on Monday.

“We weren’t formally notified; we actually found the birds when my team were out on the island checking the transmitters,” Andrew Baucke, the DOC’s conservation services director, told Radio New Zealand. “Each of the transmitters have a mortality function on them, so that’s how they picked up the dead birds.”

The department had hired experienced hunting members from the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association who were “carefully briefed” on how to differentiate between the two bird species, Baucke said in a statement.

Before the shooting, the island was home to 21 takahe. Most of the birds alive today survive in sanctuaries, with only about 70 or 80 remaining in the wild.

RELATED: An American Dentist Killed Zimbabwe’s Famous Lion

It’s not the first time the rare flightless birds have been mistaken for pukekos by hunters, as a similar bird cull seven years ago on Fiji’s Mana Island ended in a takahe shot.

Baucke said the deaths are “deeply disappointing” for the department, and Bill O’Leary, president of the Deerstalkers Association, said he is appalled by the incident.

“I share with the department a concern that the deaths will affect efforts to save an endangered species,” O’Leary said in a statement. “I apologize to the department and to the country at large.”

For now, all pukeko hunts are off, the department announced.

Pukekos, which can fly, number well over 1,000 on Motutapu Island, located 10 miles east of Auckland. Their arrival and expansion continues to threaten native birds like the takahe—a species that’s been slowly recovering since the birds once thought extinct were rediscovered on New Zealand’s South Island in 1948.

If pukeko numbers aren’t managed, they could overrun Motutapu—one of the sancturies established by the department’s takahe recovery program, which hopes to have 125 breeding pairs at secure sites by 2020.

Now, the New Zealand Herald is reporting the Maori people of New Zealand’s South Island are angry with the department’s conservation tactics.

“There’s no way that they would send their treasured takahe to a sanctuary for it to be slaughtered,” Rino Tirikatene, a member of the New Zealand parliament, told the Herald. “There are even calls for the return home of those birds. There is a lot of goodwill that goes with these gifts to improve the biodiversity, and to see that they’ve needlessly been bowled over by some deer hunters is just really disappointing.”

Cecil the lion killer’s shameless photos with illegally killed black bear

http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/598471/Cecil-the-lion-Walter-Palmer-poses-black-bear-killed-illegally-shock-new-picture

HORRIFYING new pictures showing the dentist who slaughtered Cecil the lion posing with a bear he slayed illegally have emerged.

PUBLISHED: 20:00, Fri, Aug 14, 2015 | UPDATED: 21:23, Fri, Aug 14, 2015


Man with dead bearWISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Dr Palmer is pictured with a bear he shot dead in 2006


Walter Palmer is pictured beaming ear to ear with a slumped black bear he shot dead nine years before killing Zimbabwe’s much-loved beast.

Dr Palmer, who has become notorious around the world for slaying the famous lion, allegedly tried to bribe his guides with £13,000 when it emerged the hunt was illegal.

The dentist slaughtered the animal with a bow and arrow in Wisconsin, US, in 2006, in an area where he did not have permission to hunt.

According to ABC news, who obtained the pictures through a Freedom of Information request, Dr Palmer then gave false statements to federal prosecutors investigating the illegal hunt.

Court documents said Palmer had a permit to hunt in one county, but he shot the bear 40 miles away in an area where he did not have permission.

When caught and tried, the American hunter pleaded guilty – but only paid a £1,900 fine after signing a plea agreement.

US Attorney John Vaudreuil told ABC: “As soon as the bear was killed, Palmer and the three guys he was with – guides – they agreed they would lie about it.”

But Dr Palmer’s cover-up fell through after the bear trackers on the beast didn’t match with his story.

Dr Palmer has become a worldwide hate figure after paying £35,000 to kill Cecil and return him to the United States as a trophy after luring him off government-protected land.

Man with dead bearWISCONIAN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

The American hunter tried to cover-up the illegal hunt

Palmer and the three guys he was with – guides – they agreed they would lie about it

John Vaudreuil

The American hunter, who also holds the world record for slaughtering the biggest white rhino ever with a crossbow, has come under a barrage of abuse and has even received death threats from animal rights activists.

He has been in hiding since the reports of him killing Cecil with a crossbow broke last month.

Dr Palmer, who admitted killing the big cat, claimed he believed all the necessary hunting permits were in order.

Zimbabwe has called for the dentist to be extradited from the United States after accusing him of killing the beloved animal illegally.

6 endangered animals poachers are hunting into extinction

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/07/31/globalpost-6-endangered-animals-poachers-hunting-into-extinction/30932385/

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

American Public Roars After It Gets a Glimpse of International Trophy Hunting of Lions

http://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2015/07/cecil-lion-killed-by-trophy-hunter.html?credit=web_hpfs1-cecil-072915_id93480558

Cecil the lion is dead because Walter Palmer the dentist is a morally deadened human being.Featured Image -- 9991

The man traveled clear across the world – from the suburbs of Minneapolis into the pay-to-slay world of Zimbabwe, where dictator Robert Mugabe sells off hunting rights and other natural resources to the highest bidders – for the chance to kill the king of beasts. In this case, the victim was a lion who has been widely photographed and somewhat habituated to a non-threatening human presence in Hwange National Park. The hunt was a “guaranteed kill” arrangement, where Palmer paid about $50,000 to hire professional guides to help him complete the task. The local guides knew exactly what they were doing. In the dark of night, they lure a famed, black-maned lion from an otherwise protected area, with a dead carcass as bait. Palmer then stuck Cecil with an arrow.

Even though he’s used that weapon to kill countless other rare animals all over the globe – from leopards to black bears to Argali sheep – Palmer didn’t deliver a killing shot. He wounded the animal, and because he did it at night, I bet he didn’t have the courage to track the animal at that time. So he waited, while the lion tried to live minute to minute and hour to hour after receiving the stab wound from the arrow. At some point, Walter and the professional guides resumed the chase. It took them nearly two days to find him, and then they apparently shot him with a firearm. The killers then removed a radio collar nestled around his neck – because Cecil was also the object of a study by Oxford researchers. Some reports say they tried to disable the signal from the collar, unsuccessfully. The team took the customary pictures of the westerner guy standing atop a beautiful, muscled animal, and then they decapitated and skinned him, as keepsakes for Palmer’s global crossing in order to conduct a pointless killing.

The lion is one of Safari Club International’s Africa Big Five, along with elephants, rhinos, leopards, and Cape buffalo, and the idea of killing each of them motivates thousands of wealthy people to do it. It’s one of more than 30 hunting achievement and “inner circle” awards you can get if you become a member of Safari Club – including Cats of the World, Bears of the World, and Antlered Game of North America. If you win all of the awards, and there are plenty people who do, you have to shoot more than 320 different species and subspecies of large animals. In the process, you spend millions of dollars, in addition to spilling an awful lot of blood and spreading a lot of death.

Partly because of the dramatic decline in lion populations, and also to stop heartless and selfish people like Palmer from meting out so much pain and suffering, The HSUS and HSI filed a petition four years ago to protect lions under the terms of the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Last October, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to its credit, proposed a rule to list the lions as threatened.

The United States is the world’s largest importer of African lion parts as hunting trophies and for commercial purposes. Between 1999 and 2013, the United States imported about 5,763 wild-source lions just for hunting trophy purposes; and the last five years of this period averages to 378 wild-source lions per year. Worse, this number has increased in recent years. That’s a lot of Walter Palmers doing ugly things.

The Oxford University study Cecil was part of was looking into the impact of sports hunting on lions living in the safari area surrounding the national park. The research found that 34 of 62 tagged lions died during the study period. Of these, 24 were shot by sport hunters.

When we think of Bengal or Siberian tigers, we think of big cats nearing extinction. We should think the same way about lions, since their populations have been plummeting. They are in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future.

For most of us, when we learn they are in crisis, we want to help — to protect them from harm, because we empathize with their plight.

But for one subculture in the U.S., when wildlife are rare, that means they want to rush in and kill them precisely because they can do something that few others can.  It’s like the rush of trophy hunters to Canada to shoot polar bears when the United States announced it planned to list them. “Let me shoot a polar bear before they are all gone!” They want to distinguish themselves from others who live in the world of competitive hunting.

Sadly, Cecil’s story is not unique – American hunters kill hundreds of African lions each year and are contributing to the steady decline of the species.  Today we sent a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which recently took steps to protect chimpanzees and African elephants, urging the agency to make final its regulation to upgrade the legal status of lions, to restrict people from trekking to Africa and bringing back their parts for no good reason. Not for food.  For vanity. For ego gratification. And because they are morally deadened.

Ask the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to protect African lions from extinction »

Editor’s note: This version has updated numbers on wild-source lions trophy-hunted each year.

Also from Wayne: Miss Cecil the lion? End trophy hunting

Why Do Trophy Hunters Resent Cecil the Lion’s Name?

Because, as with other serial killers, Trophy Hunters want their victims to remain anonymous. They make every effort to depersonalize their living targets, so the last thing they want is someone giving them a human name and an identity.

To prove the point, consider the following excerpt from an unapproved comment by a hunter received today and printed here in full (grammatical errors intact):

Look rule of thumb.If your a hunter you don’t harvest an animal your kids have tagged with a silly human name with human attributes attached.So silly tourists who drive around in raised vehicle leaving them safe from good old Cecils claws and teeth got undercut by another silly American paying a huge fee to use his permit on a lion .

11822340_726977697428045_328099618114932837_n

White House says will review ‘Cecil the Lion’ petition

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/white-house-says-will-review-cecil-the-lion-petition/ar-AAdJtmH

WASHINGTON, July 30 (Reuters) – The White House said on Thursday that it will review the public petition to extradite the American dentist who allegedly killed “Cecil,” a Zimbabwean lion.The petition has exceeded the required 100,000 signatures, and the White House has said it will respond to all petitions that meet that level.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said it is up to the Justice Department to respond to an extradition order.

In this frame grab taken from a November 2012 video made available by Paula French, a well-known, protected lion known as Cecil strolls around in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe.© Paula French via AP In this frame grab taken from a November 2012 video made available by Paula French, a well-known, protected lion known as Cecil strolls around in Hwange National Park, in Hwange…The incident is currently being investigated by Zimbabwean authorities and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Poacher Ted Nugent says: ‘Cecil the Lion story is a lie’

http://www.komonews.com/news/entertainment/Ted-Nugent-Cecil-the-Lion-story-is-a-lie-320074031.html

By WENN.com Published: Jul 30, 2015 at 9:46 AM

Ted Nugent has risked angering animal rights campaigners by branding the circumstances surrounding the shooting of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe “a lie.”

Dentist Walter Palmer sparked outrage this week when it emerged he had shot and killed the popular beast during a $50,000 hunting trip at the Hwange National Park.

It is alleged the big cat had been lured out of a protected zone in the region, but Nugent is adamant the hunt was a legitimate form of animal population control.

In a post on Facebook.com, he writes, “The whole story is a lie. It was a wild lion from a ‘park’ where hunting is legal & essential beyond the park borders. All animals reproduce every year & would run out of room/food to live w/o (without) hunting. I will write a full piece on this joke asap. God are people stupid.” [Look who’s talking–stupid is as stupid say!]

When other users of the social networking site disagreed with his stance on the controversy, Nugent angered them further by branding them “ignorant.”

The controversial rocker was fined $10,000 in 2012 and banned from hunting in Alaska after pleading guilty to transporting an illegally killed black bear.

68439_10151399495155861_1116657731_n

What Could Happen to Walter Palmer and Hunters?

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/cecil-lion-what-could-happen-walter-james-palmer-hunters-n400461

What is the legal case against the guides?

The two Zimbabweans — professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst and farmowner Honest Ndlovu — were in court to face poaching charges. Authorities say they did not have the valid hunting permits.

<img class=”img-responsive img_inline” src=”http://media4.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2015_31/1146066/lion-hunters-ejo-072915_d2c2ca3b3a964dcae3fe0d3df2ed6126.nbcnews-fp-360-360.jpg” alt=”Image: A combination photo shows Zimbabwean safari operator Ndlovu and fellow countryman and hunter Bronkhorst waiting to appear in Hwange magistrates court” title=”Image: A combination photo shows Zimbabwean safari operator Ndlovu and fellow countryman and hunter Bronkhorst waiting to appear in Hwange magistrates court” itemprop=”image”/> Image: A combination photo shows Zimbabwean safari operator Ndlovu and fellow countryman and hunter Bronkhorst waiting to appear in Hwange magistrates court

A combination photo shows Zimbabwean safari operator Honest Ndlovu (rigjt) and fellow countryman and hunter Theo Bronkhorst waiting to appear in Hwange magistrates court on July 29, 2015. PHILIMON BULAWAYO / Reuters

Wildlife officials accuse the men of taking $50,000 from Palmer in order to coax Cecil out of the Hwange National Park and onto private land, where he was beheaded and skinned.

Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said Palmer is the one who fatally shot the creature.

Bronkhorst has been stripped of his license while he faces criminal charges, according to a joint statement from the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority and the Safari Operators Association.

Bronkhorst’s bail was set at $1,200 and he’s due back in court in one week. If found guilty, he and Ndlovu could be fined $20,000 and get a sentence of up to 10 years in jail.

What charges could Palmer face — and could he be extradited?

Police would like to question the 55-year-old trophy hunter for his role in the killing, but have not commented on any possible charges.

He may not face any charges depending on the circumstances, according to the U.K.-based charity LionAid, which advocates for the animal’s protection. The group says it is legal to bait lions in Zimbabwe, and even to kill them using a bow and arrow outside of national parks during private hunting trips. Whether or not they’re wearing a radiocollar — Cecil was — also doesn’t matter, the group says.

But the landowner in this case allegedly never obtained a “quota” for the number of lions that could be killed on his property, making it illegal, LionAid said.

Palmer, meanwhile, was merely the “client” and entrusted his guides — a defense that could get him off the hook for any charges, the group added.

Palmer said in a statement Tuesday that he had “no idea” who the lion was and the legalities of the hunt. He added that he has not been contacted by Zimbabwean authorities.

The U.S. does have an extradition treaty with Zimbabwe that covers crimes punishable for more than a year in jail. Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum has asked the U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to investigate whether any American laws were violated.

Palmer in 2008 pleaded guilty to making false statements to U.S. wildlife officials about a black bear he had fatally shot in western Wisconsin.

Why was Cecil so celebrated?

The black-maned beast was a fixture of Hwange National Park, making him a local favorite among parkgoers and wildlife researchers. He was named after Cecil Rhodes, a British businessman who was also the namesake for the former southern African territory of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

Since 2008, Cecil was being studied by an Oxford University research program. “The lion, Cecil, was a remarkable individual. Remarkable particularly because we have studied him for so long,” Professor David MacDonald, founding director of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University, told NBC News.

What could happen to Cecil’s cubs?

Although the exact number of cubs that 13-year-old Cecil fathered is unclear, researchers believe about eight to 10 of them could wind up dead. That’s because in a lion’s social circle, when one male dies, incoming males in a new coalition typically kill the cubs of the old incumbents, MacDonald said.

“The death of one male lion can cause a cascade of effects that leads to other lions being killed,” he said, adding, “We are working hard to follow the consequences of Cecil’s death.”

More: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/cecil-lion-what-could-happen-walter-james-palmer-hunters-n400461

Two Zimbabweans freed on bail in death of Cecil the lion

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/29/africa/zimbabwe-cecil-the-lion-killed/

(CNN)Two men arrested in the death of Cecil the lion — a case in which an American dentist has also been accused, unleashing a torrent of anger online — were released Wednesday by a court in Zimbabwe on $1,000 bail each.

Theo Bronchorst, a professional hunter, and Honest Trymore Ndlovu, a land owner, both Zimbabweans, said through their attorney that they were innocent of poaching charges, which officials said could bring a sentence of 10 years in prison.

Zimbabwean authorities said that Walter J. Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota, paid at least $50,000 for the hunt. Palmer has said he relied on the expertise of local guides “to ensure a legal hunt.”

But the lion that he and his local guides killed wasn’t just any lion, according to Zimbabwean officials.

He was Cecil, a major tourist draw at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.

The 13-year-old lion, recognizable by the black streaks in his mane, suffered a slow death, according to the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force.

The hunters lured him out of the sanctuary of the park with a dead animal on top of a vehicle, the conservation group said.

Palmer, officials said, then shot the lion with a crossbow, a method for which he is known. But Cecil survived another 40 hours until the hunters tracked him down and shot him with a gun.

Walter J. Palmer, left, a U.S. hunter wanted in the killing of Zimbabwe's Cecil the lion, poses with a dead ram.

<img alt=”Walter J. Palmer, left, a U.S. hunter wanted in the killing of Zimbabwe's Cecil the lion, poses with a dead ram.” class=”media__image” src=”http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/150728212459-03-walter-james-palmer-large-169.jpg”>

Cecil was skinned and beheaded, and the hunters tried to destroy the GPS collar that Cecil was wearing as part of research backed by Oxford University, the group said.

“I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt,” Palmer said Tuesday in a statement. “I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt.”

Torrent of anger online

His alleged role in Cecil’s death brought a wave of online anger crashing down on him.

The Yelp page for his dental practice in Bloomington, Minnesota, was inundated with reviews posted by people irate over his lion hunting.

Only four northern white rhinos are left

<img alt=”Only four northern white rhinos are left ” class=”media__image” src=”http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/150728201741-northern-white-rhino-large-169.jpg”>

Only four northern white rhinos are left

MUST WATCH

Only four northern white rhinos are left 01:10
PLAY VIDEO

“Shame on you, killing a majestic creature,” wrote a user named Charmie P.

The website for Palmer’s business, River Bluff Dental, appeared to have been taken down.

A torrent of outrage flowed on social media, with celebrities such as Sharon Osbourne lambasting the dentist.

“I hope that #WalterPalmer loses his home, his practice & his money,” Osbourne tweeted. “He has already lost his soul.”

At least $50,000 allegedly paid for hunt

Investigations suggest the killing of Cecil was illegal because the land owner “was not allocated a lion on his hunting quota for 2015,” said a statement from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe.

The dentist said in his statement that no authorities in Zimbabwe or the United States had contacted him but that he would assist them in any inquiries.

“I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion,” Palmer said.

#WalterPalmer: Internet seeks revenge for Cecil the lion

At least $50,000 allegedly paid for hunt

Investigations suggest the killing of Cecil was illegal because the land owner “was not allocated a lion on his hunting quota for 2015,” said a statement from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe.

The dentist said in his statement that no authorities in Zimbabwe or the United States had contacted him but that he would assist them in any inquiries.

“I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion,” Palmer said.

Dentist’s enthusiasm for hunting with bow and arrow

But Cecil’s killing doesn’t appear to be the first time Palmer has got into trouble while hunting.

A man by the same name and age, and from the same town, illegally killed a black bear in Wisconsin several years ago, according to court documents.

That individual pleaded guilty to making false statements knowingly to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and was sentenced to one year on probation and ordered to pay a fine of nearly $3,000, records show.

A New York Times article in 2009 that profiled Palmer and his hunting methods said he had served a year of probation over the false statements case.

Palmer, right, poses with a dead black-tailed deer. The dentist said he "deeply" regrets killing Cecil the lion.

<img alt=”Palmer, right, poses with a dead black-tailed deer. The dentist said he "deeply" regrets killing Cecil the lion.” class=”media__image” src=”http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/150728212457-02-walter-james-palmer-large-169.jpg”>

The Times article detailed Palmer’s skill and enthusiasm for using archery rather than firearms to slay animals.

He is “said to be capable of skewering a playing card from 100 yards with his compound bow,” it said, recounting his killing of a large elk with an arrow in Northern California.

More: http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/29/africa/zimbabwe-cecil-the-lion-killed/

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 636 other followers