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Reducing the king of beasts to easy prey for ‘hunters’

Lions are majestic animals, the alpha predators of the African bush. We think of them as roaming wild and free across the plains. But this is far from the reality. South Africa has a population of about 2750 lions in national and private game reserves – and almost twice that number caged in pens. Since 2007 the conservation spotlight has been focused on rhino poaching. But looming as large is the intensive breeding of lions and other predators for the hunter’s bullet. These animals are being bred specifically to be shot in relatively confined or enclosed areas with little to no chance of escape. Canned hunting or ‘captive hunting’ as the…

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Safari company charged in US with illegal hunting and rhino horn trading

The United States continues with its never-ending task of holding back wildlife crime and poaching of endangered animals by charging the owners of Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris with a host of violations. Charges include breaches of the Lacey Act, money laundering, fraud and trafficking of rhino horn. Dawie Groenewald,  46, and his brother, Janneman Groenewald, 44, both South African nationals, and their company Valinor Trading CC (d/b/a Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris) have been indicted by the federal government and charges include: conspiracy, Lacey Act violations, mail fraud, money laundering and structuring bank deposits to avoid reporting requirements. The charges were announced yesterday by Sam Hirsch Acting Assistant Attorney…

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Australia plans to ban import of Lion trophies from South Africa

A permanent ban on the importation of lion parts, including trophies is planned by Australia. This was announced after South African conservationist. Ian Michler met with Australian Environment Minister, Greg  Hunt and other MPs in Canberra earlier this month. Canned lion hunting, or ‘captive’ hunting as the breeders and hunters refer to it, is a type of hunting where lions are bred specifically to be shot in confined areas. Despite widespread public outrage, killing predators under these circumstances continues unabated in South Africa, with over 700 captive-bred lions shot annually. “I think if Australians knew more… then they would be rightly horrified…It’s not fair, it’s not humane, it’s not 21st…

Court orders police investigation into bird charity

Intense lobbying by a hunting group in Malta has led to the magistrates court ordering police to investigate international wild bird charity Birdlife. The case involves Birdlife volunteers who handled protected species after rescuing them. Police had previously investigated the case and dropped the investigation quickly. In October 2012 6 volunteers from Birdlife were photographed for an article in local media about rescuing injured and shoot birds. The birds that had been photographed were protected species and handlers needed special licenses to disturb the species. A complaint was made to the police who investigated the situation and decided that as no crime was intended and the volunteers where trying to…

Desert elephant hunt quota increased from 6 to 9 – half of remaining breeding bull elephants

Concerns have been heightened by the Namibian Ministy of Environment and Tourism’s (MET) decision to issue additional hunting permits for some of the most unique elephants in the world. The Ministry had previously stated that only two hunting licences had been issued and seems unconcerned with the revelation of advertisements for the permits of up to six Desert Elephants. This week, the Ministry admitted to the issuing of nine permits in total, seven more than had been initially indicated. Romeo Muyunda, Spokesperson for MET, referred to the official press release, stating that: ‘”The two allocated elephants indicated in the press release are for own use as this was the concern…

Controversy grows as first desert elephant shot

With the world still reeling from the tragic poaching death of Satao, the iconic Kenyan tusker, news that Namibia has just followed through on killing the first of the Namibian Desert Elephants on Saturday, is causing another outcry. The Namibian Government, seemingly unfazed by the recent international outrage and negative publicity surrounding the issuing of up to six permits to hunt desert elephants, ignored offers by conservationists to buy these permits to save the elephants and allowed hunters to shoot the first of these elephants last Saturday. The elephant nicknamed ‘Delta’ was shot in a non-trophy hunt operated by Nick Nolte Hunting Safaris – the same hunting outfitter that had rejected…

Namibia set to kill a third of remaining desert bull elephants

There are growing fears that Namibia is about to sell off hunting rights to a third of the remaining adult bull desert elephants in the country. With an estimated population of just over 100 elephants and just 18 of those being adult males the loss of a third of the breeding males would be devastating for the long-term viability of the famous desert elephants of Namibia. Living in harsh conditions such as the desert has forced this population of elephants to learn new techniques to survive and this has been passed down through the generations. As the population grows smaller and the mature adults are killed the ability for the…

United States bans elephant trophies from Tanzania and Zimbabwe

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on Friday announced a ban on the import of elephant trophies from Tanzania and Zimbabwe during the 2014 hunting season. The USFAWS has questioned whether there is sufficient monitoring of the big-game hunt and whether the number of elephant hunting permits is sustainable in the current poaching crisis. The service also highlighted  questionable management practices, a lack of effective law enforcement and weak governance. With the current elephant poaching crisis impacting on elephant populations across Africa the service has decided that no import permits will be issued for 2014. In the press statement issued on Friday the USFWS stated:  Questionable management practices, a lack…

German head of environmental protection one of the last to shoot an elephant

One of the last game hunters to be able to shoot an elephant in Botswana before the hunting ban came into effect was the head of environmental protection of German state, Thuringia. Udo Wedekind sent photos of himself posing with the dead elephant to colleagues at work and said the shooting ‘was a challenge’. Wildlife lovers in the state are calling for the sacking of Wedekind as his actions are not one of someone whose job it is to protect the environment and wildlife. Anja Siegesmund, the leader of the Green Party in Thuringia has called on the state’s environment minister to sack the official. The minister, Mr Reinholz, has…

Could canned hunting be on the way to Kenya?

Could canned hunting be on the way to Kenya?

The new Wildlife Conservation and Management Bill 2013 currently being proposed in Kenya could in a worse case scenario introduce canned hunts similar to the canned lion hunts of South Africa. This studio debate looks at the options of game farming under the new bill. (34:12).  

As poaching hits all time record WWF head goes elephant hunting

As elephants herds across Africa get decimated for the ivory trade and conservation groups call for tougher action the honorary president of World Wildlife Fund Spain – King Juan Carlos I – has gone on an elephant hunt in Botswana. His trip has caused fury across Spain mainly because of the cost at a time of extreme austerity but as head of the WWF locally his action are not setting a very good example for conservationists trying to save the elephant. Uncontrolled killing of elephants across Africa. Last year was deemed to be the worst year for elephant poaching since the ban in ivory trading came into effect over 20 years ago in 1989. This year hundreds…

To hunt or not to hunt? the finances of lions

Big game hunting has many supporters and just as many opponents. Many would be happy to see an end to trophy hunting especially the hunting and killing of big cats such as lions. In reality though the trophy hunters bring in big money to conservation and can make the difference between an area of land remaining wild or being turned over to over uses such as ranching or agriculture. Trophy hunting brings in much more income and resources to locals than photographic safaris that tend to be run by large international holiday companies with little ‘bleed ‘ of finances out of the companies into the local communities. Lion trophy hunts worth up…

How hunting is improving the lives of the poor in Namibia

For a lot of people in Africa life is tough. When you’re part of a rural community in Namibia that has traditionally been at the bottom of society then things are really tough. Extreme poverty and hunger becomes part of life. Sustainable hunting in community managed lands are turning the lives of the San group around.

New threats of eviction for Maasai people

New threats of eviction for Maasai people

The Maasai community in Loliondo, Ngorongoro are under threat of being evicted from their community lands by the Tanzanian government. Claims are being made that the Maasai are having a negative impact on wildlife and habitats on their community lands. Maasai warned of evictions. The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Ezekiel Maige, has warned the tribal leaders that unless a way is found to conserve the forests then he will have no choice but to order the eviction of people from a number of Maasai villages. The leaders reject the claims and highlight the fact that Maasai community lands are among the most diverse for wildlife in Africa.…

EU acts quickly over Sweden wolf hunt

EU acts quickly over Sweden wolf hunt

The European Commission (EU) has used the first opportunity available to it to launch formal infringement action against Sweden who went ahead with a cull of 20 wolves by over 6,000 hunters on January 15th. The cull went ahead despite a call by the EU’s Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik not to go ahead with it.