Poaching Articles - PawNation

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COTONOU - Three men -- two Guineans and an Ivorian -- were in custody in Benin on Friday on suspicion of ivory trafficking, police in the financial hub of Cotonou said. Credit: Associated Press The trio were arrested in a hotel "as they tried to sell about 30 kilograms of ivory estimated at more than 10 million CFA (15,000 euros, $20,000)", said Benin Interpol head Marcellin Abbe. The arrests were the first against suspected ivory smugglers in Benin, said local police spokesman Adrien Tchomakou. "These people have been brought before the state prosecutor and received a committal order (for trial) on Thursday," he added. Trade in ivory was banned in 1989 under the Convention on...

PRETORIA - South Africa plans to evacuate hundreds of rhinos from the famed Kruger National Park to safe havens beyond horn smugglers' reach, the environment minister announced Tuesday. Credit: Getty Editorial "A decision has been made on this issue of translocation," Edna Molewa said, announcing an action plan to curb escalating illegal hunts for rhino horn. "Relocations from the Kruger National Park and the creation of rhino strongholds could allow the total rhino population size of South Africa to continue to grow," she said. The authorities "could relocate up to 500" rhinos, which can weigh a tonne or more, said South African National Parks ecologist Sam Ferreira. Illegal rhino...

BANGKOK - Thailand's "out of control" ivory market is driving Africa's elephant poaching crisis, conservationists warned Wednesday, accusing the kingdom of backsliding on its pledges. Credit: Associated Press The number of ivory products on sale in Bangkok nearly trebled from 5,865 in January last year to 14,512 in May 2014, according to the wildlife group TRAFFIC. The Southeast Asian nation, a known hub for the illegal trade in tusks from Africa, has come under pressure to ban the sale of ivory from domestic elephants. This legal trade is blamed for easing the smuggling of ivory into Thailand from other countries, most of which is made into ornaments or taken to China and Vietnam where...

Gertjie, a 4-month-old rescued rhino, refuses to spend his nights alone since he watched poachers attack and kill his mother in May. The orphaned calf was found crying inconsolably next to his mother's mutilated body in South Africa. Poachers attacked Gertjie's mother at the Kapama Private Game Reserve in South Africa, and took her horn. Leaving her to die, the poachers fled before rangers arrived on the scene. Gertjie could not be calmed, and the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) was called in for help. "It was a devastating sight, as the tiny animal would not leave her side, and was crying inconsolably for her," the HESC said in a blog post. Gertjie was brought to the HESC,...

HONG KONG - Hong Kong on Thursday began destroying nearly 30 tonnes of ivory seized from smugglers in the world's largest such operation, a major step in the fight against the illegal trade in elephant tusks. Credit: Associated Press The move to incinerate a stockpile seized since 2003 comes after intense pressure from conservation groups. "Today's ceremony sends a loud and clear message to both the local and the international community that the Hong Kong government is determined to curb illegal trade in elephant ivory," the city's environment secretary Wong Kam-sing told reporters. "We hope curbing illegal trade in ivory will help stop illegal poaching of elephants," Wong said at a...

WINDHOEK - The rising tide of elephant and rhino poaching in Africa is spreading to the sparsely-populated vastness of Namibia in the southeast of the continent, latest official figures show. Credit: Getty Editorial Between 2005 and 2011 just two elephants were killed, while 121 have been killed in the past two and a half years, according to figures presented by the environment ministry. And while no rhino were poached between 2005 and 2010, a total of 11 have been killed since then -- rising from one in 2011 to four already this year. Deputy Environment Minister Pohamba Shifeta told AFP that the government is worried by the trend and is working with law enforcement agencies to tackle...

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