Florida officials say several people charged in flying squirrel trafficking operation

By Christina Maxouris, CNN

https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/20/us/florida-flying-squirrel-trafficking-arrests-trnd/index.html

Updated 6:59 AM ET, Tue October 20, 2020Seven people were arrested in a flying squirrel trafficking operation. Seven people were arrested in a flying squirrel trafficking operation.

(CNN)At least seven people have been arrested and charged in an “elaborate organized enterprise” to smuggle Florida’s flying squirrels — protected wildlife in the state — and sell them, investigators announced Monday.Up to 10,000 traps were set up across the state to capture the flying squirrels and as many as 3,600 of the animals were shipped overseas within three years “to be sold as exotic pets for hundreds of thousands of dollars,” the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said in a news release.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners revealed, with tiger image scooping top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners revealed, with tiger image scooping top prizeThe investigation started last year after the commission received an anonymous tip about people illegally trapping flying squirrels in one Florida county, the release said. The animals were illegally captured by poachers across several counties and sold to a dealer. The animals were then laundered through the business of the dealer, “who claimed they were captive bred,” the commission said.Officials said buyers would travel from South Korea to purchase the flying squirrels from the dealer, and the animals would then be driven to other parts of the country before being exported to Asia.Content by Trend MicroThis service keeps your computer running smoothlyThe internet really has opened up a whole new world. Literally. Anytime you open up your laptop, you have an entire globe’s worth of information at your fingertips.Investigators also learned the Florida suspects trafficked other animals as well, including protected freshwater turtles and alligators, the commission said.

Millions of wild animals are killed or injured unintentionally each year in the US. Here's how you can help

Millions of wild animals are killed or injured unintentionally each year in the US. Here’s how you can help“Wildlife conservation laws protect Florida’s precious natural resources from abuse. The concerned citizen who initially reported this activity started an investigation that uncovered a major smuggling operation,” Maj. Grant Burton, FWC Investigation’s section leader, said in a statement.“These poachers could have severely damaged Florida’s wildlife populations.”More arrests are expected, officials said.

Lakewood renter shocked complex using traps to control squirrel population

Posted: 5:52 PM, Jan 22, 2020
Updated: 5:49 PM, Jan 22, 2020

squirrel traps1.jpg

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A Lakewood woman said the laws need to be changed after her condominium has been trapping and killing squirrels.

“I don’t think this is a humane way to deal with this at all,” Klaudia Sekulska said.

The traps are placed on the roof outside her window.

She said someone in the building complained the squirrels were getting into the attic, and a local pest control company was called.

“There are different ways to go about it. You don’t have to let an animal freeze to death overnight and then put it in a black garbage bag. That’s not dignified for anyone,” she said.

Colorado law allows pest control companies to operate under the same rules as homeowners. It’s legal to trap and, in some cases, poison squirrels that are damaging property.

Sekulska said the laws should change.

“It’s a permit to kill, and that’s what’s happening here. We’re proud of our animals and our wildlife, and it was National Squirrel Day yesterday,” Sekulska said.

Sekulska brought her concerns to animal control, property managers and her HOA.

She said they haven’t done enough to patch the holes in the roof or bring in proper trash bins before resorting to killing the animals.

Denver7 reached out to the HOA for comment but did not hear back.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife recommends removing pet food and trash that may be attracting squirrels, create barriers, and use ammonia as a deterrent.

If you believe any animal is being abused or is being treated inhumanely, you can file a complaint with Colorado Parks and Wildlife or your local animal control.

Ancient humans hunted monkeys for tens of thousands of years

Early Sri Lankans turned the bones of the monkeys and squirrels they hunted into these projectile points.

N. AMANO

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/02/ancient-humans-hunted-monkeys-tens-thousands-years

If you picture early humans dining, you likely imagine them sitting down to a barbecue of mammoth, aurochs, and giant elk meat. But in the rainforests of Sri Lanka, where our ancestors ventured about 45,000 years ago, people hunted more modest fare, primarily monkeys and tree squirrels. Then they turned the bones of these animals into projectiles to hunt more of them. The practice continued for tens of thousands of years, making this the longest known record of humans hunting other primates, archaeologists report today.

Many scientists believed such forests lacked the resources for early humans to successfully settle. Instead, our ancestors apparently quickly adapted to this and other challenging environments (such as high elevations and deserts), in part by figuring out how to reliably hunt difficult-to-catch prey.

To conduct the research, archaeologist Patrick Roberts of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (SHH) in Jena, Germany, and colleagues analyzed animal bones recovered from Sri Lanka’s Fa Hien Cave in Kalutara during excavations from 2009 and 2012. Materials and artifacts including charcoal, faunal remains, shell beads, and bone and stone tools indicate people occupied the site from about 45,000 to 4000 years ago.

The scientists analyzed almost 14,500 animal bones and teeth from four periods of occupation and found that gazelle-size mammals were the most common. Monkeys (primarily macaques and purple-faced langurs, the latter of which inhabit the tallest trees, reaching some 45 meters) and tree squirrels made up more than 70% of the identified remains, which also included otters, fish, reptiles, and birds. Fewer than 4% of the bones came from deer, pigs, and bovids, such as buffalo. Many bones bore cut marks from butchery and had been burned, signs that humans processed them for meat.

Early humans settled in this Sri Lankan cave 45,000 years ago.

O. WEDAGE

The archaeologists also uncovered numerous microliths (minutely shaped stone tools), whose purpose is as yet unknown, but were likely used for hunting. In addition, they identified some three dozen finished or partially completed bone projectile points. These ancient humans were using “bones from the hunted monkeys to hunt more monkeys,” says study co-author Noel Amano, an archaeologist at SHH.

Finally, the remains reveal that the early Sri Lankans were sustainable hunters, primarily targeting adult animals, the scientists report today in Nature Communications. “They hunted these animals for nearly 40,000 years, without driving any to extinction,” Roberts says. “So they must have had sophisticated knowledge of monkey life cycles and an understanding of how to use resources wisely.”

The findings support the idea that, as humans spread across the world, they had to shift from hunting large, roaming animals like mammoth and bison to smaller prey that “could withstand a higher rate of predation,” says archaeologist Robin Dennell at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, who was not involved in the study.

These ancient humans probably already knew how to hunt more agile and elusive game, says Steve Kuhn, an archaeologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson. People had started to hunt small animals in Eurasia about the same time they first entered Sri Lanka, he notes, and so likely arrived with these skills.

Kuhn also cautions that the early Sri Lankans might not have been such wise resource managers; more likely the human populations were small and “didn’t make much of an impact.” They hunted more monkeys and squirrels and fewer deer or pigs, he thinks, simply because the smaller animals were likely more abundant. Like those of us who don’t have time to shop and cook, and so grab a burger, these early people may have simply hunted and dined on the animals that were most readily available.

Carrboro police looking for people illegally hunting squirrels

http://www.wncn.com/story/25204154/carrboro-police-looking-for-people-illegally-hunting-squirrels

Apr 09, 2014 9:49 AM PDT <em class=”wnDate”>Wednesday, April 9, 2014 12:49 PM EDT</em>Updated: Apr 09, 2014 9:49 AM PDT <em class=”wnDate”>Wednesday, April 9, 2014 12:49 PM EDT</em>

 [This is just killing for killing’s sake–no two ways about it.]

CARRBORO, N.C. – Carrboro police are asking for help in located people who are reportedly hunting squirrels from within their car in town limits.

Police say the people are described as males and one is reported to be armed with rifle. It is not known if the rifle is a firearm or an air rifle.

Hunting and the discharging of firearms or air guns are not permitted within the Town of Carrboro.

Police say incidents have been reported in the North Greensboro Street area and the Westbrook Drive area.

Police have provided descriptions of two vehicles that may be involved. The first vehicle is described as a green Honda sedan and the second vehicle is described as a silver Acura RSX.

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson