Happy New Year’s, or is it for Africa’s wildlife?

New Years – a time of renewal, resolutions, hope.

I had hoped my New Year’s message would reflect that, but it doesn’t.

Since the birth of the New Year the poaching epidemic has blossomed with a vengeance, and I don’t even know where to begin.

What I do know is this: I need your help in stopping the transfer of 14 infant elephants to Chinese zoos.

These babies were stolen from their families. IMG_2125

This is taking place in Zimbabwe.

So now not only are the Chinese lusting for ivory they want baby elephants.

One transfer has already been completed with one of the four infants already dead.

These infants are young – under two years old.  It’s a fact that elephant babies are milk dependent until at least the age of two.

It also is a fact that a specialized formula is needed to help these infants thrive. Dame Daphne Sheldrick can attest to that.

And it’s a fact, that these babies much like humans bond with a parent figure. There are no parent figures in this case.

China’s climate is also not suitable for African elephants.

Zimbabwe CITES Official has ruled that, “The CITES Management Authority of Zimbabwe shall only grant an export permit when it is satisfied that the elephants were obtained in accordance with national law, the CITES Scientific Authority of Zimbabwe has advised that their export will not be detrimental to the survival of that species and the CITES Management Authority of Zimbabwe is satisfied that any living specimen will be so prepared and shipped as to minimize the risk of injury, damage to health or cruel treatment.”

Shipping to China IS detrimental for the survival of these infant elephants.

These infants need to stay with their families. The living environment they are going to is intolerable for elephants of this age, and most will perish.

Below is a contact list of individuals who need to be mailed as soon as possible because the decision to send these babies will be made within the next few days.  We need to let Zimbabwe authorities know that the global community will not tolerate this.

PLEASE SEND THE EMAILS TO:
echidziya@zimparks.co.zw
pangeti@gmail.com
environment@gta.gov.zw
hmadzikanda@zimparks.co.zw
omufute@zimparks.co.zw

These are the officials being emailed:
Mr. Edson Chidziya, Director General  of Zimbabwe Parks Authority
echidziya@zimparks.co.zw

Mr. George Pangeti, Chairman of Zimbabwe Parks Authority
pangeti@gmail.com

Minister Nhema, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Management
environment@gta.gov.zw

Dr Hilary Madzikanda, Chief Ecologist of Zimbabwe Parks Authority
hmadzikanda@zimparks.co.zw

Mr. Omufute, Zimbabwe CITES authority
omufute@zimparks.co.zw

For further information please go to the Save Queenie Save Elephants page on facebook.

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Mother rhino poached while giving birth

Yesterday in South Africa a mother rhino was poached while giving birth.  It seems as the year goes by poachers are becoming more and more twisted to the point where the word “human” no longer defines them – not that it ever did.

On the Outraged South African Citizens Against Poaching face book page the count of rhinos poached is now at 629 for 2012.  If poaching continues at this rate I shudder to contemplate what 2013 will bring.

According to the State Department, and conservationists who have testified in front of Congress regarding the global poaching epidemic the war is on, but if something is not done soon it will not matter!

Awareness and money seem to be key components in stopping this war.  Global public outcry is imperative to spur governments into action bypassing the political rhetoric. Money is imperative to fund the front-line defenses against these wildlife terrorists who are becoming more high-tech and brazen as time goes on.  They are probably sitting in the African bush right now laughing at the rest of the world because they get by with this cruelty time and time again.

This new year is the time to act!   2013 needs to be the year where we can look back and say “yes, collectively we made a difference and our wildlife became secure.”  It can be done!  We need the financial clout and voices!

Meanwhile until we can get Pass the Torch for Rhinos and Elephants literally up and running for 2013, three conservation organizations that could use your help are Big Life Foundation and Lewa Conservancy in East Africa, and Palala Rhino Sanctuary in South Africa.

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Today is World Wildlife Conservation Day

Today, December 4th, is the first ever World Wildlife Conservation Day as decreed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

To view her statement please click on State Department

It’s encouraging to learn that the State Department is becoming more involved in the global war against poaching, but I feel that rhinos and elephants are already teetering on the edge of an abyss.

That said, I noticed when I clicked on www.wildlifepledge.org and scrolled to the bottom of the page that various conservation oganizations have partnered together to stop the atrocities against wildlife.

My concern is that several of these organizations seem to be more focused on parties, political posturing and shuffling bureaucratic paperwork then seriously pursuing wildlife crimes…

In the end, I hope that the State Department and these organizations can once and for all put aside politics and posturing to actually work together ending the poaching holocaust before the last vestige of wildlife slips into eternity.

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AEFF’s film is pivotal for Kenya’s elephants

The weary war rages on bathed in angst and urgency 

Statistics reflect a poaching holocaust worse than the 1980s 

China’s lust for ivory seems insatiable 

Ivory is now funding terrorism

Six Kenya Wildlife Service rangers have been killed this year fighting poachers  

Just two days ago one of Amboseli Trust’s much loved matriarchs, Qumquat was butchered along with two of her daughters. The youngest daughter was rescued and taken to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. And as far as I know a 6-month-old grandson is still missing.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has the power to stop this slaughter. The catalyst will be African Environmental Film Foundation’s (AEFF) film “White Gold.”

Still in production, the film will be released at the CITES March conference in Bangkok, Thailand.

“White Gold” is similar to another AEFF film produced 10 years ago called “Wanted Dead or Alive,” which then had a dramatic impact at the CITES conference. The hope is that this project will be as effective prompting international delegates to vote in favor of Kenya’s elephants.

Ian James Saunders who is a producer of the film and with the Tsavo Trust says it best,

 “The international illegal trade in ivory and the huge demand from countries such as China could ultimately result in the destruction of a the earth’s largest land mammal and have a huge negative impact on the economies and internal security of some of the world’s most impoverished countries. The effects of this illegal trade could very well be felt by the world’s industrial nations as international terrorist and organized crime syndicates increasingly use the illegal trade in natural commodities to fund their activities.”

To view the trailer of this powerful film – click on White Gold

For further information on AEFF and “White Gold” please check out their website.

 

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Director of the Kenya Wildlife Service just resigned – now what?

Julius Kipng’etich, director of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), resigned yesterday and with his exit many issues go unresolved.

He says his departure is in pursuit of personal interests, but is it really?

With March elections looming was this cleaning house so-to-speak? And is this just the beginning of more resignations?

One of my readers commented on yesterday’s article. He said he wants to know the “true why.”

I agree. I think we should be concerned why Kipng’etich really left, especially now with Kenya’s wildlife in such a state of turmoil.             

As of this writing another rhino in Chyulu Hills is now gone. His body riddled with bullets.

That said, the reason why Kipng’etich left may play a role in who fills the director’s boots next.

One can only pray that whomever takes over will push any ideas of corruption aside, and work together with the global community in unity to decimate poaching and poachers once and for all.

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