DNR finds illegal hunting suspects through Facebook


The illegal killing of an albino deer in Boone County has been solved thanks to social media, according to the West Virginia Natural Resources Police

Natural Resources Police Officer Dakoda Chattin got a call Monday from Boone County 911 about an albino deer killed in someone’s yard along W.Va. 17.

The incident was posted on the National Resources Police Facebook Page where it was seen by nearly half a million people and was shared by more than 7,000. Information received following the post helped Officer Chattin locate three suspects.

Suspects have been charged with hunting without a license, hunting during closed season, carrying a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, shooting from a motor vehicle, shooting from a public road and illegal firearm for deer hunting.

“We continue to be impressed with how we’ve been able to solve crimes with the public’s help,” Natural Resources Police Col. Jerry Jenkins said. “The response has been beyond what we anticipated when we began using Facebook earlier this year. It’s become a valuable tool for us to gather information about crimes and suspects. It shows how deeply the community of hunting and fishing enthusiasts in West Virginia cares about protecting wildlife and enforcing laws.

“We encourage anyone who sees anyone violating the state’s wildlife laws to call 911 or their closest DNR district office.”

— Sarah Plummer


Walrus Slaughter in Alaska Raises Ivory Poaching Concerns

Sep 23, 2015 02:11 PM EDT

Pacific Walrus

25 walrus were found dead in Alaska. This raises concerns of poaching. (Photo : Flickr: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters)

A total of 25 walrus along an Alaskan beach were found decapitated. This large-scale slaughter prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to investigate, and while the cause of death has not been determined, they believe it could be linked to the illegal ivory trade. Walrus tusks are made of ivory.

“We can’t say with any certainty what the cause of death here was. You know, these animals, from the photos, do appear to have their heads taken off, but we can’t make any assumptions that that’s why they were killed, if they were, in fact, killed,” Andrea Medeioros, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said in a statement. “You know, people can take the heads if they find a dead walrus on the beach.”

Under the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act, it is illegal to hunt walrus solely for their ivory and not their meat.


Guide: Walter Palmer knew Wis. black bear ‘was illegally shot and killed’

KMSP) – Before Cecil the lion, there was this unnamed Wisconsin black bear. Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer let his guides know he wasn’t interested in any bear, but the largest they could find. He paid his guides more than $2,500, but was allegedly willing to pay so much more if they would lie about where the kill went down.


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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 .


White House says will review ‘Cecil the Lion’ petition


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.


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