Thursday 29 January 2015

Ivory and Pangolin skins seized at Uganda's Entebbe Airport

A very large haul of Ivory and pangolin scales were discovered by Wildlife suveillance teams at
Entebbe Airport on Sunday.

There were over 700Kg of ivory and 2 TONS of pangolin skins in  three boxes due for export.
Raw ivory sells for around $2 100 a kg at markets in China, according to Save the Elephants.The
scaly-skinned pangolin is used in traditional medicine in China, with exploding demand in Asia
making it one of the most trafficked mammals in the world.

The boxes had been labelled as communications equipment, and had been cleared for export by customs officials. Their lame excuse was that the boxes were too heavy to be scanned by X-ray machines, but wildlife surveillance teams insisted they must be searched. So the customs officials were obviously in on it.

Three people including a customs officer, a clerk and a truck driver have been arrested. Uganda is a key transit country for the illegal trade in ivory, especially from  the huge rain forests of the Democratic Repuiblic of the Congo

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Kenyan Ivory smuggler denied bail

In a rare moment of common sense, the Kenyan auth orities have denied bail to suspected ivory smuggler Feisal Mohammed over evading investigations by a Mombasa court on Friday.

Senior Principal Magistrate Justus Kituku said Mohammed resorted to running away from justice knowing the charges he was facing in Kenya.

The Mombasa businessman was arrested in Tanzania in a joint operation with local police and Interpol.

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Rhino poachers killed in Kruger

Two suspected Rhino poachers were shot dead on Monday after they opened fire on rangers in South Africa's Kruger National Park, a park spokesman said.

The rangers were on patrol when they came across a trio of armed men who started shooting.
However, two of the men were killed while a third escaped.They had equipment on them that is integral to rhino poaching, including an axe which would be used for cutting off the horns.

The clash took place in the far south of the vast park, which is the size of Israel.

I'd have said they were more than 'suspected poachers'. I doubt they were on a photographic safari.

Monday 5 January 2015

Elephant numbers in parts of Zimbabwe dropped by 40% since 2001

The elephant population of the Zambezi Valley in Zimbabwe has decreased by more than 40 percent  in the last 13 years. It is almost entirely due to rise in poaching, A new survey released this month as part ofthe Pan African elephant survey confirms the figures.  Some Preliminary Results show that elephant numbers decreased by about 75 percent in the combined Matusadona and Chizarira areas.

"While for example the Zambezi valley has dropped from 19 000 to 13 000 elephants since the census in 2001, we also need to remember that if you take into account that an elephant population under no stress increases at about seven percent per year, we have probably lost more than just 6 000 elephants in this area," said a spokesperson.

Poaching has been out of control in Central and East Africa for several years and has clearly already reached Zimbabwe.

Given the apparent callous disregard for the fate of the so called 'Presidential Herd' last year, I wonder what the Government will do to curb the rampant decimation of the elephant population in the Country.

Friday 2 January 2015

Ivory stolen from secure storage in Zambia

Thieves have broken into one of the high security rooms at the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA)
regional office in Livingstone and stolen more than 30 pieces of ivory tusks worth about K1 million.

Three ZAWA officers at the station and five other people, among them a local taxi driver
allegedly used to ferry the valuable commodity, have been arrested by police.

Amazing isn't it that this continues to happen. Corruption is rife. They'd be better off burning all this confiscated Ivory, thus removing any possibility of it being used for financial gain.