|No Animal Poaching||
In case you haven't been reading the updates, we are no longer updating the new postings after July 31st. Our website is deteriorating rapidly, and we simply cannot spend all of our time fixing it; that scenario means we don't have adequate time to post things in a timely manner. For additional information on this devolving situation, please go to the two posts immediately below this notice, starting with THIS LINK. Sorry for the inconvenience this will likely result in for our many visitors and those who receive our RSS feeds, but we're likewise certain that you--like us--are tired of hearing us complain about the state of disrepair if this website. And, without the requiste funds to build a new one, we simply don't see any logical way to proceed. If you have any suggestions to keep us alive, we'd be most interested in hearing them; you can send us an e-mail by GOING HERE. All the very best and thanks for your abiding support!
UPDATE, JUNE 1ST: THE TIME HAS COME. ENOUGH'S ENOUGH. TOO MANY ISSUES TO GO ON IN "BUSINESS AS USUAL" MODE. PLEASE SEE THE POST IMMEDIATELY BELOW FOR SPECIFICS.
For reasons nobody seems to understand, our RSS feeds and our associated e-mail subscriptions (via Feedburner) are all messed up. ONLY words with hypertext mark-up are being picked up, and all other (plain text) words are coming through completely blank. Images seem to be coming through okay, but we use few of them in order to not overtax the storage capacity of the company that hosts this site (Weebly). What this means--and due to additional issues with Weebly's software and "support"--is that all future posts will contain nothing but hypertext (or else you'll have nothing to read in the RSS feeds/e-mail subscriptions), and, by default, that means that all "true" hypertext links--those things that are normally marked-up as a link to some other page/site--will have to be eliminated till this gets resolved (we understand this IS a problem, but it's the only thing we can think to do until this issue is resolved). (When EVERYTHING is in hypertext--like this post is--it'll all link back to our own, NAP "landing page," so there's no reason to click on the words of that text, UNLESS you wish to donate [please see below!\.)
Bottom line--as noted on our "landing page"--we need money for a real website because the issues with Weebly persist and only grow worse and worse every month. That'll require money--money we don't have--so, if you find value in this--and in our related, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter--sites, anything/any amount you can donate would be GREATLY appreciated (and there's a PayPal donation button at the very bottom of that "landing page," which you'll go to if you click anywhere in this all-hypertext post). We estimate it's going to take a minimum of around $2,500 to have a quasi-decent new site built; after that, we'll absorb any ongoing, monthly charges, but we don't have the initial $2,500 to start the process. We really, really, REALLY don't want to generate revenue by including intrusive adds on this site, and we firmly believe our visitors--YOU--feel the same way.
Sorry for the inconvenience of having to generate all-hypertext posts, and sorry even more so for having to beg for money. But, this may mark the beginning of the demise of this site, if we don't, somehow, come up with that $2,500 to get the ball rolling. Many thanks in advance for your understanding and support. Okay, now you click on this text and go to that "landing page" and, ideally donate something! :)
P.S.--This post--originally dated October 31, 2014--will be dated July 31st (or until it's fixed OR I simply shut down the site) so it will stay at the top of this blog page, and not get "buried" beneath news posts.
Kano State Police Command has arrested a 31-man gang that specialised in cattle rustling in various parts of the state.
The police disclosed that leader of the cattle rustling syndicate and members of his gang that had terrorised herdsmen in the state, Yahya Saleh, were in police net.
Spokesman of the command, ASP Magaji Musa Majiya, stated that the bandits had in the past carried out cattle rustling and kidnapping of women of their choice in areas they carried out criminal activities.
According to him, the smashed gang was responsible for rustling of over 30,000 cows, adding that so far 178 cows have been recovered from them.
Majiya said the successful operation was launched by a combined team of security personnel drawn from various security agencies with the aim of ridding the state of the menace.
He disclosed that leader of the gang and some of his henchmen were apprehended in Sumaila Local Government Area of the state following a tip-off and well-conducted surveillance on the alleged cattle thieves.
Leader of the cattle rustling gang, Yahya Saleh said: “All that was said is true, but we hardly have killed anyone, but our big boss has shot at least two people dead throughout the period we have been operating.”
Well...if you're a frequent visitor to this site, you're well aware that we woefully need a new website...and the time has finally come to say the proverbial handwriting is on the wall. WE DESPERATELY NEED MONEY--$US3,500 to be precise--in order to build a more functional, updated, stable, useful website. Without it, this site is toast after the end of June; and, without this site, that means our Twitter accout and our Google+ account will likewise close down, too (as both feed directly into the blog page postings on this site); we previously closed down our Facebook account on January 1st, due to FB's insidious quest to make money rather than to support its clients, so that account is already a non-issue.
We put a great deal of time and effort into building NoAnimalPoaching.org, but, it cannot exist without a reliable, functioning website, and the current host does nothing to help--indeed, it does more to hinder our existence than anything else--and we simply don't have the money to build a new site and move to a new, better host. We CAN afford to--and we gladly would--spend whatever is needed every month thereafter, once a new site is built, and a new host is identified; but we do not have the initial money necessary (roughly $US3,500) to get to that stage.
So, here's the cold, hard facts of the matter. If you can, and are willing, to contribute toward keeping this site/organization alive, here's a link to our PayPal donation button, which we would be ever grateful for; we have roughly 7,200 followers on our Twitter & Google+ accounts alone, and many other, additional followers visit this site daily. If everyone of those followers were able to donate only a $1, we'd have far more than--about double--what we need. However, we realize that not everyone would be inclined or able to donate even $US1, so, more likely, the bottom line is that, more realistically, it's going to necessitate, for example, that a 100 or so individuals donate around $US35 each (or some similar combination of people and donation amounts) to equal what's needed to build the site and get it hosted elsewhere. And, as mentioned, then we can thereafter pay the required monthly fees to maintain it.
I am not good at asking for money/donations, so, I'll merely leave it at that. If you feel so inclined, and if you see value in what we've done the past few years (without ever resorting to those nauseating ads as a means to raise some money and thereby keep the site alive), that'd be terrific, and we thank you sincerely ahead of time. If you happen to know anyone of like mind who might also be willing to keep us alive, please let them know, too, but KEEP IN MIND THAT THERE'S NOT MUCH TIME BETWEEN NOW AND THE END OF JULY; so, remind them to DONATE ASAP RATHER THAN TO WAIT. If we are indeed able to raise the $US3,500, we'll then take this message down and move forward. In short, the sooner the better. Thank you in advance for the time you took to read this, and for your very generous decision to keep this site alive. All the very best!
By Morgan Winsor
Kenyan wildlife authorities Wednesday arrested two suspected poachers in the slaughter of five elephants in Tsavo National Park. But a major manhunt was still underway to catch the rest of the killing gang after the carcasses of a female adult and four young adult elephants were found with their tusks missing, Agence France-Presse reported.
The five elephants were killed in Tsavo West National Park, which covers about 3,500 square miles and harbors some 11,000 pachyderms including rhinos, hippos and elephants. The reserve is near the border with Tanzania and is Kenya’s largest elephant sanctuary.
"The suspected gang is believed to comprise ... four Tanzanians who operate across the Tanzania-Kenya border assisted by some Kenyans from the local area. They are believed to have used motorbikes to escape with the tusks," the Kenya Wildlife Service, which operates the park, told AFP.
Tsavo West and Tsavo East national parks together form one of the largest national parks in the world and cover 4 percent of Kenya’s total land area, making them a prime location for tourists and poachers. Trophy hunting has been illegal in Kenya since the 1970s, but the lucrative ivory trade has fueled a demand for elephant tusks. Ivory is reportedly bought at $45 per pound from poachers and sold for thousands of dollars in Asia.
The combined Tsavo parks saw the elephant population plummet from more than 60,000 in the early 1970s to fewer than 6,000 in the late 1980s. The establishment of the Kenya Wildlife Service and an international ivory trade ban in 1989 have helped slowly revive Tsavo’s elephant population, but there has been an unprecedented rise in poaching across the African continent since 2009.
“Elephants are now faced with the gravest threat to their survival in modern history,” U.K. charity Save the Elephants says on its website.
Kenya’s elephant population stands at about 38,000 nationwide. Wildlife conservationists and experts have warned African elephants could be extinct in the wild within a few decades, the Guardian reported.
During his trip to Kenya, U.S. President Barack Obama announced Saturday his administration will begin taking "urgently needed steps" to tighten restrictions on the sale of ivory from African elephants. The proposed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule would eliminate the market for illegal ivory in the U.S. and also further restrict commercial trade in ivory from African elephants, with limited exceptions for interstate sales of certain items, such as pre-existing musical instruments and furniture pieces that contain less than 200 grams (7 ounces) of ivory, the Associated Press reported.
Kochi: The Kerala Forest Department has arrested one more person in connection with the elephant poaching case. The arrested has been identified as Jiji alias Aandikunju. With this arrest, all of the main accused in the case have landed in the police net.
He was arrested by a team of Forest Department sleuths led by Thattekad range officer from Kerala-Karnataka border.
He was staying underground in Karnataka. Jijo and another accused Eldhose used to assist Aikaramattom Vasu, the main accused who was found dead recently at a farm house in Maharashtra, when he went to hunt down elephants.
Eldhose had surrendered before a court recently. Those who were involved in trade of the ivory of the killed elephants are yet to be held.
The case, known as Karimbani elephant poaching case, came to light when a member of the gang, Kunjumon, gave a confessional statement to the Karimbani Forest Station Deputy Range Officer on June 21. In his statement, Kunjumon told the officials that he had accompanied a squad of poachers headed by Vasu to hunt elephants in the Vazhacal Forest Division in Thrissur.
Following up on Kunjumon’s statement, investigators located the carcasses of at least five wild elephants. They suspect that Vasu had allegedly led the poaching operations in the Thundathil forest range and had killed more than 20 elephants, including calves.
By Ebonnie Spriggs, Lucie Bell
A pastoral station in Western Australia's Pilbara region plans to lock its gates to the public from the start of next month and employ guards following poaching and arson attacks.
Michael Thompson from Mundabullagana (Munda) Station, south-west of Port Hedland, said he was fed up with trespassers cutting his fences, lighting fires and shooting his stock and native animals.
For the past eight years, Mr Thompson has also leased part of neighbouring pastoral station Boodarie, which is owned by miner BHP Billiton, to graze his cattle.
He said trespassers on both stations, particularly at night, were causing him stress both financially and emotionally.
"I think it's as bad as it's ever been," he said.
"At the moment we've got three different shooters, shooting at night on Boodarie and Munda.
"I lost somewhere around 100 weaners [young cattle\ last year. At $700 or $800 each, it is a lot of money.
"I've tried my best to give the public a fair run but to lose close to $100,000 worth of stock from Boodarie alone... enough is enough."
In the past 12 months, Mr Thompson said his crew had fought five deliberately-lit fires on the stations, which led to a significant loss of pasture and feed for his stock.
After lighting the fires, poachers would then return to the burnt-out scrub to shoot native bush turkeys, which have become increasingly rare.
"Regardless of colour or creed, you need to seek permission from the station owner to use firearms," Mr Thompson said.
Syringes, bottles, nappies discardedThe leasing arrangement struck between BHP Billiton and Mr Thompson over parts of Boodarie Station allows for public access to a popular fishing spot near Port Hedland.
"We honoured that, we put arrows in the direction of the fishing and other arrows saying 'don't enter' because these are pastoral activity areas," Mr Thompson said.
"It hasn't worked. People think they can drive all over the stations.
"You go out there and see beer bottles, cans, syringes, dirty nappies, you name it.
"You think, well, that's the respect you get for trying to do the right thing by the public.
"It's always the minority that wreck it for everyone else."
Mr Thompson said a meeting had been organised this week with the miner to discuss limiting access to Boodarie, starting next month.
"I've asked BHP to have a meeting to discuss people travelling around on Boodarie at night," he said.
"I'm happy to leave one entry and exit point open for fishermen during the day, but as far as I'm concerned anyone there at night is there illegally.
"And anyone I catch on Munda [day or night\ will be a trespasser and will be dealt with by the police accordingly ... because all the boundary gates will be locked."
In the past, locked gates had been cut or run-down by trespassers, as had boundary fences on both stations, Mr Thompson said, adding he was concerned his cattle would stray onto the nearby North-West Coastal Highway.
"A cow is worth $1,000 to me, so why would I want to let the fence go down?" he asked.
Pilbara police support pastoralistLocal police said they would be supporting Mr Thompson's decision to ban the public from entering Mundabullagana Station.
Acting Sergeant Lauren Tamblyn said the unlawful use of firearms on the private property was a major concern.
"If they are going to be using their firearms unlawfully and discharging unlawfully on someone else's property, it's very serious," she said.
"No person can know at any time exactly where the station hands are, or the managers of that station.
"It's worrying that they could be checking fences or wells or doing something and there are possibly people shooting in the vicinity."
Under the firearms act, major penalties could apply to anyone caught doing the wrong thing, Acting Sergeant Tamblyn said.
"For example, carrying a loaded firearm whilst affected by alcohol has an imprisonment term of two years and a $8,000 fine," she said.
"There have been numerous alcohol cans sighted around near where the [shot\ carcasses have been found, so that's quite alarming that they are possibly drinking alcohol while making their kill."
Acting Sergeant Tamblyn said roaming stray cattle could put drivers' lives at risk.
"A cow can weigh anywhere between 400 to 800 kilograms," she said.
"So hitting a beast of that size, at speed, especially in the dark, could have catastrophic results for the members of the car."
Police are encouraging members of the public to respect the rules at all local cattle stations.
"By cutting gates and leaving fences open, you are exposing the greater community to possibly striking a cow at speed on the highway, which has the potential to cause a fatal car accident," Acting Sergeant Tamblyn said.
"You do not have authority to use firearms on other people's property, and if you are going to breach the firearms act we will be looking heavily at the offences."
By Too Jared
A Kenya Wild Life Service (KWS) officer died on Tuesday after he was trampled by an elephant at Archers Post in Samburu East.
Confirming the incident, KWS official, Simon Leriana said the officer, Bosco Lechoe, was chasing herders who had invaded the park looking for pasture for their cattle.
Leriana explained that while chasing after the herders, an elephant suddenly appeared and trampled him to death.
The body was taken to Maralal Hospital Mortuary.
Elsewhere, the decomposing body of man has been found dumped at Outspan area along river Chania in the outskirts of Nyeri Town.
Samuel Gacheru, 43, was allegedly killed by a hired gun contracted by his wife and sons.
According to friends and relatives, the deceased went missing two weeks ago but their search for him bore no fruit.
Family members are now calling on the police to conduct investigations into the incident.
By Deborah Hastings
Two Zimbabweans who were paid $50,000 by an American dentist to hunt and kill a beloved lion were charged with poaching Wednesday in a trophy hunting case that has sparked international disgust.
Local hunter Theo Bronkhorst and Honest Ndlovu, a private game park operator, appeared in a Hwange courtroom, about 500 miles west of the capital of Harare, but did not speak to reporters.
Walter James Palmer, a trophy hunter and a dentist in Minnesota, has been accused of killing Cecil the lion, a famous attraction at a local wildlife reserve, by luring it off protected land, shooting the majestic beast with a bow and arrow, then tracking it for 40 miles before chopping its head off and skinning the carcass. The body was left to rot.
Palmer has apologized for the killing, saying he thought it was legal. He has returned to the United States, but says he has not been contacted by Zimbabwe officials. He reportedly has gone into hiding.
The two nationals could face up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
Cecil was fitted with a GPS collar as part of a research project by Oxford University scientists. The college's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit had been monitoring the lion in its habitat since 2008.
"Insofar as this happened illegally, we consider it deeply reprehensible," the scientists said in a statement.
Cecil's death may also cause the killing of the lion's four male cubs as male members fight for leadership of the pack, wildlife authorities said.
Palmer has had previous run-ins over poaching. In 2008, he pleaded guilty to lying to a U.S. wildlife officer over the killing of black bear in Wisconsin.
Palmer killed the animal 40 miles outside of a permitted hunting zone, then hauled the carcass into the area and claimed he killed it there.
Palmer was sentenced to one year of probation and fined nearly $3,000. Video.
KOCHI: A special team Wednesday arrested Jijo alias Andikunju of Uravangachal, one of the main accused and a sharp shooter capable in killing elephant at one shot. He was taken into custody by the forest officials in Kasargod. The investigating team suspect to get more details on elephant poaching from Andikunju.
The probe is on a slow pace with the suicide of the main accused Aikkaramattom Vasu. Now all hopes are on Andikunju as he was with Vasu for the last ten years. The team strongly believes that Andikunju will be able to give some vital details of elephant poaching as the two were in a good relation. Jijo was hiding somewhere in Karnataka.
By Colin Deppen
Pennsylvania Game Commission officials say a juvenile has been sentenced in the 2013 poaching of a prized bull elk in Benezette, while court records say charges against his adult co-defendant have instead been dismissed.
The St. Marys juvenile, whose name is being withheld by officials due to his age, was reportedly sentenced to an indefinite period of detention in a Butler County facility for juvenile offenders, Game Commission Wildlife Officer Doty McDowell told The Era on Monday.
The youth was also reportedly ordered to complete 30 hours of community service and pay court costs, compensation and fines of nearly $90. Restitution in the case is reportedly still pending.
A second individual, 19-year-old Dylan Pontious also of St. Marys, had the charges against him withdrawn in March, online court records show.
The counts, including misdemeanors of unlawfully killing or taking big game out of season and recklessly endangering another person, stemmed from the mortal wounding of a five-by-five-point bull elk on Winslow Hill Road in October of 2013.
The reason for the dismissal remains unclear.
Defense attorney Michael Marshall of DuBois confirmed that both counts against Pontious had been dropped but said he was never told why. Meanwhile, attempts to reach Elk County district attorney Shawn T. McMahon were unsuccessful on Monday.
The case drew a large degree of public interest and more than $4,300 in reward money raised between seven local businesses, McDowell said.
The pot is set to be claimed by one anonymous tipster whose information helped spearhead the investigation and lead to the arrests.
“We believe that reward was the reason the tipster came forward and the reason we were successful in this case,” McDowell said.
Wildlife officials called it an especially cruel and callous crime, with the elk shot in both legs, effectively paralyzed and left for dead. The animal was later euthanized.
The search for the culprits would take nearly 15 months, with charges only filed in January of this year.
In accompanying court documents, officials say the juvenile, Pontious and two other men were joy riding in the area around 2:30 a.m. Oct. 15, 2013, when they came upon the elk standing alongside the road, near a grouping of homes.
Pontious and the juvenile are said to have used handguns to fire on the animal before racing away.
Groggy neighbors recalled hearing the gunshots but little more and leads were initially few and far between.
But an exhaustive investigation would follow, spurred on largely by the anonymous tip identifying three of the four men present at the time of the shooting, one of whom would later finger Pontious and the juvenile as the triggermen.
With the tips, forensic evidence and suspects’ own admissions, officials would charge the two, although only one of the cases would ultimately stick.
Nonetheless, wildlife officers call it a sizable victory in ongoing efforts to punish and deter further attacks on the region’s vulnerable and valuable elk herd.
Investigating wildlife officer Mark Gritzer, in an interview with The Era soon after the charges were filed in January, said the Game Commission’s role in criminal investigations like it is about “giving a voice to wildlife,” adding, “our primary responsibility is to protect resources, that’s what we get paid to do.”
Arizona Game and Fish is offering rewards in two poaching cases in the Sierra Vista area.
In the first case, a female javelina was euthanized July 11, after it was found near the 1600 block of Camino Rancho dragging an illegal leg trap while trying to keep up with its herd.
In the second case, a pregnant javelina was euthanized July 14, in the same area after it was spotted dragging its hind legs. It had been shot in the back.
A reward of up to $350 is being offered in each case for information that leads to an arrest, the agency said in a news release.
Anyone with information is asked to call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-352-0700. The reference number for the case is 15-002363. Tipsters can also go to www.azgfd.gov/thief to leave information.
By Keegan Hamilton
King County Sheriffs say they found "chunks of dog flesh" last week in a vacant apartment in south Seattle used for dog fighting. The same space contained an air mattress that police believe was used for bedding down prostitutes. Sheriffs rescued four pit bulls that had recently done battle, and had to summon the SWAT team to arrest their suspected owner.
At around 3 a.m. on the morning of July 23, the cops were called to a complex of duplex apartments on the 10600 block of Aqua Way South, just off of Highway 509 between White Center and Burien.
When Sheriff's deputies arrived, they saw a man bolt from an apartment that was supposed to be empty. According to Sgt. John Urquhart, inside the vacant unit the deputies found "large quantities of both fresh and dried blood on the floor and walls." They also found two "bite sticks," small pieces of wood that dog handlers use to pry open the clenched jaws of their animals when they're locked in a stalemate. Urquhart says the deputies also discovered an air mattress and both used and unused condoms, evidence of "prostitution activity.
"Outside, two pit bulls were chained to a railing. One of the dogs was "injured and quite lethargic," according to Urquhart. Two more dogs were later discovered inside.
Another pit bull rescued by Sheriffs and currently being cared for by King County Animal Control.
In an occupied apartment adjacent to the dog-fighting lair, the sheriffs found Anthony Thompson holed up in a back bedroom. Thompson refused to give himself up, and fearing that he was armed, the Sheriff's deputies called for backup.
"He got religion when the SWAT team showed up," Urquhart says. "He came out relatively quickly."
Thompson was booked into the King County Jail on a felony arrest warrant for "escape from community custody," meaning he'd recently been released from prison but failed to make his required check-in with the Department of Corrections. According to a press release from the Sheriff's office, the 26-year-old suspect has a rap sheet that includes felony convictions for promoting prostitution, robbery, and unlawful possession of a handgun by a felon. He has not yet been charged in connection with the dog-fighting bust.
Chad Lewis, spokesman for the Washington Department of Corrections, says Thompson is classified as a "high risk for violence." He served a year-long stretch in Washington prison from October 2004 to October 2005 for the pimping charge, according to Lewis, and ended up back behind bars again from 2007 to 2010. After that, Lewis says, Thompson was "in and out of jail" in King and Yakima Counties for failing to report to his Community Corrections Officer. The warrant for Thompson's arrest was issued July 22, the day before the dog-fighting bust.
Urquhart says the Sheriff's office turned the four pit bulls over to King County Animal Control. Cameron Satterfield, spokesman for Animal Control, says one of the dogs has already been euthanized "because of its condition," but that damage was "probably not from dog-fighting injuries." Necropsy results are pending.
The third rescued pit bull."Since this is still an active investigation, right now we just can't say what's going to happen with these particular dogs," Satterfield says of the remaining three pit bulls. "We're holding the dogs and will continue to hold the dogs."
Historically, pit bulls trained to fight have been euthanized after being seized by law enforcement. While the animals are rarely aggressive toward humans, they are often ferocious around other dogs, the result of a lifetime of brutal conditioning by their trainers. But in 2009 authorities in Missouri rescued more than 500 dogs in the largest dog-fighting bust in U.S. history. While half of the animals had to be put to sleep, roughly 250 were adopted by surrogate owners.
For more info on the pit-bull rescue and adoptions, read "For the Love of Pit: Many former fighting dogs find new lives as family pets," published last year in conjunction with a Village Voice Media report on the controversial undercover investigation that led to the massive dog-fighting bust.
By Naresh Mitra
GUWAHATI: Three poachers, who would lace venison with highly toxic pesticides to prevent putrefaction and committed a host of other wildlife crime at the Nameri National Park and Tiger Reserve, were convicted by a district court recently.
The Sonitpur additional sessions judge, S Das, has sentenced Arjun Basumatary, Bijoy Basumatary and Debeswar Pogag to seven years rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on each under the Wildlife (Protection) (Assam Amendment) Act 2009.
Nameri reserve field director and divisional forest officer of the western Assam wildlife division, Rajendra G Garawad, said this is probably the first instance in the state when three poachers have been convicted under the Wildlife (Protection) (Assam Amendment) Act. Garawad said the verdict came within 14 months of their arrest, making it one of the fastest conviction cases against poachers.
Among the three, Pogag was one of the most wanted poachers who had been evading arrest for years by shuttling his base between Sonitpur and southern states like Karnataka and Kerala. He added that apart from committing various wildlife crimes, the three were involved in killing various deer species at Nameri.
"During interrogation, they confessed to using Furadon, a highly toxic pesticide used to keep away flies from venison and also to prevent early putrefaction. Nameri is a tiger reserve, and deer is the most important prey base for the big cat. The poaching of deer is a big ecological threat to the tiger habitat," Garawad said.
The conviction of the three came a week after the Darrang sessions court also sentenced two poachers, who had attempted to kill a rhino at the Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park in 2011. The two at Orang were convicted under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
Also last year, a mother-son duo, Picholi Doley and her son Gautam, were convicted by the Golaghat sessions court in connection with rhino poaching at the Kaziranga National Park, a Unesco world heritage site, about 250 km from here. The last time poachers were convicted for killing rhinos at Kaziranga was in 2008.
By Ingrid Oellermann
The first two women to be convicted in KwaZulu-Natal of conspiring to poach rhinos for their horns, are due to be sentenced in Ladysmith next month.
The two women, Confidence Angel Mlambo (32) and Nokwanda Trendy Khumalo (22), were convicted in the regional court on charges of jointly conspiring to illegally hunt rhino in Umsuluzi Game Reserve between Weenen and Colenso in April 2013
They were also found guilty of unlawful possession of a .303 rifle with telescopic sights.
The firearm was seized by police when they arrested the women.
The court found that Mlambo and Khumalo had acted with a common purpose to commit the crimes.
During the trial the court heard evidence that a police agent from Johannesburg set a trap for the women. He was asked by them to shoot a rhino in Umsuluzi Game Reserve for its horns, which were to be sold in Gauteng.
The women had provided the agent with a rifle with telescopic sights intended to be used to shoot the rhino. They had placed the rifle into the boot of his car and drove to Ladysmith with him, where they were arrested.
When the trial began in September last year, Mlambo admitted that she was involved in a plot to illegally hunt rhino in the Umsuluzi Game Reserve, but she alleged that Khumalo had instigated the plan, and provided the firearm that was to be used to kill the rhino. Mlambo alleged in evidence that Khumalo had asked her if she knew anyone who wanted to buy rhino horns, and she had then set about finding someone. This was denied by Khumalo who said she knew nothing about a plan to kill rhinos.
The case has now been postponed to August 18 for sentencing procedures. Both the state and the defence will have an opportunity to call witnesses in aggravation and mitigation of sentence.
In papers before the Pietermaritzburg high court last week national deputy director of public prosecutions attached to the Asset Forfeiture Unit, Kenneth Samuels, said rhino poaching in South Africa has reached alarming proportions.
Statistics revealed that in 2012 poachers had slaughtered a total of 668 rhinos for their horns.
The number of rhinos killed by poachers rose to 947 in 2013, and increased again to 1 215 during 2014.
By Mikaela Collins
A whopping 89 per cent of convictions for illegal hunting or possession of kukupa were for offences occurring in Northland.
Statistics released to the Northern Advocate by the Department of Conservation (DOC) showed there had been 56 convictions for the illegal hunting and possession of the endangered wood pigeon nationally since DOC was established in 1987. However, 50 of these - 89 per cent - were for offences in Northland.
The last conviction was in 2007 but a DOC spokeswoman said reports from the public and evidence of illegal hunting indicated the crime was still a problem for the region.
She said the lack of convictions for kukupa offences (also known as kereru) in Northland was due to a number of factors, including collecting sufficient evidence.
"For example, the apprehension of individuals that led to the most recent convictions in Northland occurred deep in remote forests with the assistance of armed police and were complex operations involving considerable resources."
Northland Conservation Board chairman Mita Harris said conviction was the "last resort" and encouraged hapu and iwi to place rahui on forests to prevent the crime from happening.
"I mean, it's my position law and enforcement is the last resort. It's lore versus law. Put rahui in place, let's get it known the numbers aren't as great as they once were. I mean people used to go in the forest and bring back four birds - you just don't do that any more," he said.
"Hapu need to take it upon themselves look at what they've got in there rohe " whether it be kukupa or kiwi and decide on these things. It's tino rangatiratanga, self-determination."
The DOC spokeswoman said they relied on reports of illegal hunting, and also monitored areas where hunting was known to take place.
Forest areas where poaching had occurred included Reatea, Omahuta, Puketi, Russell, Waipoua, Tutumoe, Herekino and Utukura. She said, in the past three years, DOC compliance rangers responded with police on at least two occasions where information was received from the public. One was in 2013, in the Kaikohe region, and the other in 2014, in the Kaitaia area.
"On both these occasions, which involved travel to remote locations, the alleged offenders had already moved on.
"People should report any incidents of illegal wildlife hunting to the DOC emergency hotline 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468). Any specific information in relation to the location of the alleged offending or identity of the offenders is useful."
Ngapuhi runanga chairman Sonny Tau will appear in Invercargill District Court next month facing charges of hunting/killing kukupa and possessing the protected birds, after he was allegedly found with kukupa at Invercargill Airport on June 16.
The last two men convicted for kukupa offences were jailed in 2008 for six weeks. Michael Stanley Sampson, then 36, and Murray William Ogle, then 33, of Horeke, each pleaded guilty in the Kaikohe District Court on February 21 that year to hunting, killing and possessing kukupa in the Omahuta Conservation Forest on May 24, 2007.
Two men have been charged with illegal netting and selling of Atlantic salmon in central Newfoundland.
Provincial fish and wildlife officers from Springdale and Grand Falls-Windsor detachments arrested the men after a surveillance operation that spanned several weeks in the Harry's Harbour area.
The operation began in early July after members of the public called in tips about someone illegally catching and selling salmon.
Two men were arrested on July 16 for illegally netting salmon as well as possession of illegal salmon.
Two all-terrain vehicles, a net and three Atlantic salmon were seized.
By Don Pinnock
An Emergency was declared as the first elephant was poached on western border of Kruger National Park
Each day, In Africa, around 100 elephants die at the hands of poachers. Almost all the killing has occurred beyond the borders of South Africa but, as the escalating slaughter of rhinos in Kruger National Park shows, when the ivory poachers move south they could be unstoppable.
For this reason, when a dead snared elephant with its tusks removed was found in Balule Game Reserve on the western border of Kruger last Thursday, everyone scrambled.
'We had the Air Force, the Parks Board and Balule's Black Mambas anti-poaching unit there really fast,' said Craig Spencer, director of Transfrontier Africa. 'There were 35 people on the ground and we did an autopsy on the spot. The Parks Board is absolutely petrified this could start an ivory market in the area, so we have to get our hands on that ivory fast. We don't want to alert the community to the value of poaching elephants.'
PASIR PUTEH: The Kelantan Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) has deployed eight rangers to track down three wild elephants, which had destroyed the residents' crops in three villages here.
Kelantan Perhilitan director Mohamad Khairi Ahmad said since Wednesday, four rangers from Kuala Krai branch had been sent to monitor the situation at Kampung Bukit Jeram Linang, Kampung Lepan Rambai and Kampung Gong Genor, which are located near the animal's habitat in Bukit Kijal.
"Four additional personnel from the Kota Baharu Perhilitan elephant unit have been sent to the locations yesterday," he said when contacted here today.
Mohamad Khairi was commenting on concerns raised by residents in the three villages, who are living in fear with the presence of several wild elephants which have been rampaging their crops since a week ago.
He said at the early stage, the department would focus on efforts to drive the elephants back to jungle and away from the villages.
As for the long-term action, the department would capture the three elephants and move them to another area.
Mohamad Khairi said investigation found that five to 10 elephants had been roaming in Bukit Kijal.
"So far only three of the elephants are roaming in the villages, especially at night to find food," he said.
He advised residents not to act alone and avoid provocation when came across the wild elephants.
By Chen Jung-cheng, Staff Reporter
Authorities in Yueyang, Hunan province, have arrested four people in connection with the illegal sale of Mangshan pit vipers on the social media platform WeChat, reports our Chinese-language sister paper Want Daily.
The Mangshan pit viper only lives in the area around Mt Mang in Hunan and part of Guangdong province and was only discovered in the early 1990s. There are thought to be only 500 individuals in the wild, giving the species a smaller wild population than the giant panda. They thus became a hot reptile in the illegal pet trade, with an individual going for over 1 million yuan (US$161,000). The snake was listed as an endangered species under the Convention on International Trade Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in March, 2013. Under CITES, trade in the pit viper is banned.
Since 2002, scientists in the US as well as China have been attempting to help the population grow via breeding programs.
The Yao people, a minority ethnic group living in southwestern and southern China, believe themselves to be the siblings of Mangshan pit viper. In their mythology they and the snakes are the offspring of Fuxi and Nuwa, two ancient Chinese deities.
The snake can grow up to 2 meters in length and is the only known non-cobra able to spit venom. They are usually grass green or yellow-green in color and prefer habitat that is warm, wet and tropical. Their venom is extremely toxic.
By Zizi Sparks
A Marlborough helicopter pilot has been convicted of poaching on private land.
Southern Helicopters owner Dean Matthews admitted a charge of unlawful hunting when he appeared in the North Shore District Court in Auckland on Friday.
Matthew's lawyer said the agricultural contractor took his son and his son's two friends hunting in a helicopter in Marlborough in April.
The group landed in a clearing and began hunting in heavy shrub.
After killing feral goats on Department of Conservation land and wandering from where they had started, Matthews and the boys saw a fence and realised they were on private property.
Matthews left the property and when he found out photographs had been taken, he rang the land owner and apologised, admitted his involvement to the police and sent an apology letter to the land owner.
In 2003, he was charged for poaching deer for commercial use on a central North Island private property.
Judge Down said community service would usually be awarded for a second offence but because of the non-commercial nature of the incident reparations were suitable.
"It [unlawful hunting\ is a common picture and land owners are just so frustrated to be inundated with unlawful hunters," the judge said.
"I accept this was not an intentional trespass and that you made an error of judgement in landing where you did."
Matthews was convicted and ordered to pay $2000 in reparations.
By Tanya Basu
Cecil, one of Africa's most famous lions, was brutally murdered and beheaded in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park earlier this month
Authorities are chasing a Spaniard who allegedly paid a park ranger 50,000 Euros to viciously kill and skin a lion at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.
Cecil, one of Africa’s most famous lions, was murdered in an especially brutal manner, The Guardian reports. The 13-year-old had a GPS collar for an Oxford University research project, allowing authorities to track its movements.
Hunters lured the lion into leaving the park, a technique used by poachers to “legally” kill protected animals. The lion was shot with a bow and arrow. Authorities then tracked the injured animal for 40 hours before hunters shot Cecil to death with a rifle, then skinned and beheaded him.
Cecil’s headless body was found outside the town of Hwange.
“Cecil’s death is a tragedy, not only because he was a symbol of Zimbabwe but because now we have to give up for dead his six cubs, as a new male won’t allow them to live so as to encourage Cecil’s three females to mate,” Johnny Rodrigues, head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said. “The two people who accompanied the hunter have been arrested but we haven’t yet tracked down the hunter, who is Spanish.” Video.
KOCHI: The Forest officials investigating the Edamalayar elephant poaching case on Thursday made a major headway by arresting two key members involved in the case. While the Forest officials recorded the arrest of Manoj, a native of Iyrapuram near Perumbavoor, who provided shelter for the kingpin I Vasu at his farmhouse in Mumbai, the second accused in the case, Puthanpurakkal Eldoe, surrendered before the Kothamangalam JFMC in the morning.
With this, the officials have so far recorded the arrest of a total of 23 people in connection with the case. According to officials, though Vasu, a native of Koovappadam in Kuttampuzha and kingpin in the poaching case, was found dead at the farm house owned by Manoj in Dodamarg in Maharashtra on Monday, they could not substantiate whether Manoj has any role in the poaching racket and ivory tusk trade.
However, the officials are investigating if he has any in role in Vasu’s death and the racket run by Vasu, despite the fact that the local police had recovered a suicide note from the custody of the victim. Manoj also confessed to the officials that he had only a few weeks’ acquaintance with Vasu and when the forest lookout notice came to his attention, he had directed Vasu to leave the place. The officials also seized two guns from his house here, of which one was a typical double barrel gun used by poachers.
It was Eldos who used to transport the ivory tusk removed from the elephants killed by Vasu to Thiruvanathapuram where the ivory tusk trade racket is based. With the arrest of two, the forest officials received vital information about other people involved in the case and the ivory tusk racket.
Member representing Kaura Namoda/Birnin Magaji Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Hon. Aminu Jaji, Friday appealed to the Federal Government to take proactive measures to tackle menace of cattle rustling in Zamfara State.
Speaking with newsmen in Gusau on Saturday, Jaji said the call became necessary following the loss of lives as a result of attacks by cattle rustlers in two communities in Birnin Magaji local government area of Zamfara State.
He stated that the people of the constituency were living in fear as a result of incessant attacks by the Fulani herdsmen which led to loss of lives and properties.
"I can tell you that at least 52 people were killed by the cattle rustlers in two communities of Shigama and Kwokeya communities recently. In fact, about 100 people were affected in the incident including those whose shops were vandalised and houses destroyed while about 1000 cattle were taken away by the rustlers in the area”, he said.
He however, underscored the need for dialogue between Fulani herdsmen, farmers and traditional leaders in the area with a view to curbing the ugly trend. "Dialogue is the best way and this requires concerted approach by stakeholders and traditional rulers in the area.
By Maria Guerrero
SNOQUALMIE, Wash. —
People all over Western Washington and Canada are sharing a local woman's story online.
Someone stole her horse.
Sarah Dafler has been around horses all her life.
She boards a couple of them at her home off Southeast Tokul Road in Snoqualmie. But one stall has sat empty for two weeks now.
"I have to feed the other horses and I have to pick up after them and ... my horse isn't here," said Dafler tearing up.
Dafler's 24-year-old Arabian horse JD is missing and may have been stolen on Monday, July 13.
"This is our lower pasture and that's the fence," she said showing KIRO 7 her property.
The Snoqualmie Valley Trail butts up to the pasture where the horse, who Dafler values at around $5,000, was last seen grazing.
The secluded location, surrounded by nature and winding roads, could've provided the perfect cover.
"If somebody wanted to do harm they could very easily hide and we wouldn't even know that they were there," she said.
About a mile down the road, a witness said they saw a horse trailer that day. There is still hay on the ground next to Tokul Road.
Dafler says she found "spit-up hay” there too -- something JD often does.
The horse is a bay with older teeth, a right rear sock, a star on his forehead and a snip on his nose.
Dafler hopes someone may have seen JD roaming a pasture or being led away by someone. But she fears he may never turn up.
"I don't care who took him, I just want him back. Just bring him back," Dafler said crying.
The King County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.
Dafler’s friend set up a Facebook page for any tips.
One person on the Facebook page said another horse was recently stolen near Arlington. Video.