Monday 29 December 2014

Boss of major rhino poaching syndicate arrested in South Africa

A 45-year-old man said to be the kingpin of rhino horn poaching in KwaZulu-Natal has been arrested. His wife, and his second-in-command were arrested in a separate swoop in Hluhluwe.

Barend Lottering of Nyathi Anti-Poaching Unit said the swoop was the culmination of an eight-month intelligence-driven operation. Lottering warned that while it appeared they had a water-tight case against the man because he had been caught in possession of a rhino horn, he had already evaded prosecution on several occasions.

“This man is the leader of KZN’s biggest rhino-poaching syndicate and about 80 percent of the horns
in the province go through his hands.

While the man claims he is unemployed, the Asset Forfeiture Unit seized six luxury vehicles from his premises including a BMW X5 and a 3-series, a Mercedes Kompressor, a Toyota Land Cruiser and a
Prada. The vehicles are valued at a total of R3 million. According to sources who walked through the man’s house, 3km outside Manguzi in Northern Zululand, evidence of ready cash was everywhere.

Lets hope this time the evidence doesn't go missing and they aren't foolish enough to let him out
on bail.

Thursday 11 December 2014

Poachers snares in Uganda

Recent efforts by the Uganda Wildlife Authority have reduced the incidents of finding poachers wire snares from 7000 a year to just one or two a week.

Snares are indiscriminate killers, often catching animals that weren't the intended target and always causing a slow and painful death. Many of the endangered Rothschild's Giraffes of Murchison Falls National Park have been lost in the way.

War threatens the remaining wildlife populations in South Sudan

Ongoing violence in South Sudan is threatening whats left of the Wildlife with extinction, according to WCS conservationists in the Country.

Species in danger include elephants, giraffe, Nile Lechwe, Tiang and many more. In the 1970's there were 80,000 elephants in S Sudan, the number is now only 2500.

Every dry season combatants from both rebel and government forces see these animals as a massive source of bush meat.

From 2010 WCS has been running a programme to secure all the remaining elephant populations.This has involved intelligence-led enforcement, elephant monitoring, community based conservation partnerships and Protected Area management.

However since the current hostilities broke out in December 2013 as many as 30% of all elephants may have been killed.

Despite the war, WCS has been continuing its field work, supported by USAID, and GEF/UNDP, and private donors Paul G. Allen Foundation and Enlyst Fund, in cooperation with local communities.

Field activities involve raising awareness of the need for urgent wildlife protection, terrestrial and
aerial monitoring of wildlife populations, threats, and human activity, securing Park infrastructure,
supporting anti-poaching and anti-trafficking operations, expanding community conservation partnerships and livelihoods activities. These actions have contributed to the securing of protected area infrastructures, and protection of key wildlife populations (including elephant and giraffe) in several areas, but much more needs to be done.

Read this story in much more detail at at

Friday 5 December 2014

Canadian rhino horn smuggler pleads guilty in New York court

Xiao Ju Guan, also know as Tony Guan, a Canadian antiques dealer, pleaded guilty November 25 in a federal court in New York City to attempting to smuggle rhinoceros horns from New York to Canada.

Guan was arrested in March as part of Operation Crash, a nationwide crackdown on illegal trafficking in rhinoceros horns, for his role in smuggling rhinoceros horns as well as items carved from elephant ivory and coral from auction houses throughout the United States to Canada, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

As part of his plea, Guan admitted that he, and others acting at his direction, smuggled more than
$400,000 of rhino horns and sculptures made from elephant ivory and coral from various U.S. auction houses to Canada.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 13, 2015.

Thursday 4 December 2014

Kenya's Elephant population is increasing.

The number of elephants has increased to 35,720, despite poaching in various parts of the country.

Kenya Wildlife Service director William Kiprono said the elephant population was 34,000 two years ago. He said measures put in place to stop poaching are bearing fruit.

However, he also reported that the number of tourists visiting parks has dropped by half due to fears of insecurity.

"Kenya is largely a safe country, especially within the parks, but the few cases of insecurity, especially at the Coast, cause panic among tourists," he said.

Ebola has also played its part as people don't seem to realise just how big Africa is and how far away Liberia is from Kenya. It is closer to London than Kenya.