No 299 Wildlife Trade News 19th December 2014

More bad news about poaching, environmental and wildlife crimes

in the spotlight, again, today ……………………the plot thickens

Baby elephant export plan in Zimbabwe raised international outcry

Zimbabwe Reportedly Plans to Export ‘a Hundred’ Baby Elephants to China

Trade in live elephants from Zimbabwe – Public statement of the CITES Secretariat (NA comment: This statement from CITES is welcomed. No one we know said the sale of these baby elephants was illegal. Immoral, yes. However, we are at a loss to understand how so many tourists claimed to have seen helicopters being used to separate baby elephants from their mothers in Zimbabwe – it’s not the kind of story a group of people are likely to make up, is it? Furthermore, we do not trust the Chinese when they claim no interest in this trade. Chances are, and we suspect, the Chinese have decided or been told to back off while this issue is so ‘hot’ in the media. As for Zimbabwe – who trusts the government officials there? For now it is a question of waiting and watching Zimbabwe, China and the UAE. But wait: what about -……………………

this news report describes something wholly different to that by the CITES Secretary General and the CITES MA in the UAE. “The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said visitors witnessed the capture of young elephants by government helicopters and ground teams, who roped them together after separating them from their mothers by firing shots above the heads of the herd. The Telegraph obtained photographs of an unknown number of elephants being held in wooden pens in a compound in Hwange administered by Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped parks authority. Kasukuwere said it was normal for wildlife to be captured in the country’s largest game reserve and exported "from time to time". But he denied reports that the animals were destined for Chinese zoos, saying they were headed to the UAE.” (To clarify: The UAE (now supported by the CITES secretariat) claim they are importing a family group of elephants that have been captive (where?) for 10 years, while Zimbabwe’s Wildlife Minister claims they are being captured for export. Who do you believe – either or neither?

Where are the group of 10 elephants held in captivity in Zimbabwe for 10 years? Why the secrecy? If the UAE officials have been to see them, they surely took photos, so will the UAE authorities release them to us? Will the Zimbabwe authorities give access to the media to see the baby elephants they have rounded up? What do you think?

Zimbabwe Wildlife Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has publicly confirmed that elephants were being CAPTURED FOR EXPORT. So where is this so-called ‘captive elephant family’ coming from? And what of the elephants that are in bomas at the Capture Unit inside Hwange National Park?

And finally. A first-hand report by a journalist we invite the CITES Secretariat to investigate because the part about China is at could well be seen as at odds with what he claims in his above mentioned ‘statement’. extract: Is CITES a toothless-tiger, that cow-tows to its economic masters in China? The claims made here re China are supported by another independent journalist. And, China, as we know, has in the past been treated extraordinarily leniently by CITES and even given an award by the secretary general.

Actually, if we think about it: Nothing we have seen and read in the media appears to match what the CITES Secretary General has been told by CITES MA’s in the UAE, China and Zimbabwe – the three countries with the most to lose. Sadly, past experience has shown CITES MA’s can, when it comes to dodgy dealings, be the least reliable and trustworthy. It would be very helpful if the secretariat would look deeper into the claims and counterclaims and issue an update as soon as possible.

No 299 Wildlife Trade News 19th December 2014

Beijing Zoo boss who put 8 million yuan fortune down to part-time taxi driving is jailed for life for corruption

WATCH: Heartbreaking moment traumatised baby elephant mourns mother killed by poachers (NA comment: Mandatory viewing for all the silent CITES officials who have for years avoided enforcing sanctions against those countries VERY well known for their complicity in the ivory trade.)

Barcroft Media

China customs seizes 1,120 ivory tusks

EXTRACT: Through intelligence exchange with Chinese Customs, Hong Kong Customs seized a total of 1,120 ivory tusks, 13 rhino horns and five pieces of leopard skin, weighing about 2,266 kg (4982 pounds), inside a container shipped from Nigeria to Hong Kong.

Are your gloves made out of DOG skin? Barbaric slaughterhouses in China use the hide of pets slaughtered for food to make leather goods – and they are already in UK high street stores, campaigners warn
Read more:

Bears locked in tiny cages their ENTIRE lives so their bile can be harvested for Asian medicines – and the Australian fighting to end the cruelty extract: At least 20,000 bears are estimated to be trapped in bear bile facilities across Vietnam, Korea, China, Laos and Myanmar.
Read more:

UN-backed treaty, INTERPOL operation targets ‘most wanted’ environmental fugitives

Prospective Chinese grandparents deported for ‘smuggling’ bird nests into New Zealand

Spare a Thought for the Tiger of East Asia, It’s Almost Gone Abysmal efforts by governments in the region have seen the iconic animal poached into near extinction.

Tokyo, Beijing agree to boost steps against Chinese coral poaching in Japan’s waters

As Giraffes Disappear, Conservationists Are Fighting for Their Survival

Namibia: Hunting the Lifeblood of Conservancies

Sarawak Forestry Department geared to combat illegal loggers (NA comment: While next door in Sabah the forestry department remain asleep on the job.)
Read more:

Adenan targets dirty Sarawak forestry officers at annual dinner. SARAWAK – (NA comment: Remarkable statements well worth reading – and admiring.) See more at:

Indonesia Lax When Illegal Loggers Clear Forests for Palm Plantations

Heavy equipment being brought in to retrieve the trunk of a fallen tree in a forest region in this 2013 file photo. (JG Photo/Afriadi Hikmal)

Manila zoo gets in Christmas mood. extract: The orangutan is one of the main attractions in Mr Manny Tangco’s private animal collection in Manila’s suburb of Malabon, which also includes the native Philippine Brown Deer, in the background.

The things some people do to orangutans. Sad the Philippines authorities permit this ridiculing of wild animals.

Sea Shepherd confronts illegal Antarctic poaching vessel

Cove Guardians ‏@CoveGuardians Bottlenose dolphins are also netted off with the Pilot whales. They will be held overnight, too.

Crocodile boom gets out of hand in Vietnam province

Zimbabwe: Hunting Season Income Goes Down

Deakos launches campaign to help protect manta rays at Olowalu – See more at:–help-protect-manta-rays-at-Olowalu.html?nav=19#sthash.TiMp43Y3.dpuf

SA abalone traffickers jailed. AUSTRALIA

Because of greed and corruption, mostly in China.

Gibbon species pushed towards extinction as island loses its trees

Drones to guard Delhi forests, monitor encroachments

Enough for an elephant: why are Cameroon’s elephants raiding fields?

Four held with skins of tiger and leopard

Thousands respond to Texan’s black rhino import request

Katlabodi tigers can bring money, jobs: Experts

War on Poaching: ‘Saving the Wild’ Quotes of 2014

Forest department commits to save rare species. INDIA

Africa Focus: Southern Tanzania’s wildlife sanctuaries see less elephant poaching

Jumbos herded in garage-like sheds in Haathi Gaon. INDIA

10 civil servants among 57 held by MACC. MALAYSIA

10 civil servants in Sarawak detained for corruption-related offences this year
Read more:

Greed and Resistance in Sarawak’s Rainforest

Dreaded tiger poacher Ajit’s bail plea rejected

Stakeholders want forest agency to be monitored by independent entity. TANZANIA

Government mulls relocating some Chanda tigers

Cash-starved City Zoo Looking for Donors to Acquire New Animals. INDIA

CHINA: Member of provincial political advisory body sentenced to 14 years for buying. CITES Tweet.

China: online trader arrested this week for selling IVORY VIA a mobile apps, possibly facing over 10 years in prison. CITES Tweet.

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