Tusks from 108 elephants seized in Dubai over weekend

Over $4.1 million worth of ivory was seized by customs officials in Dubai as it passed through the Jebel Ali Port. The 215 pieces of ivory was hidden in 40 boxes of green beans. Customs officials estimate that the ivory come from 108 elephants of differing ages. Officials were unable to confirm which country the tusks came from. The tusks were discovered following an X-ray scan of the containers which raised suspicions and a manual search was undertaken. It’s thought that the ivory was en route to the Far East as Dubai is part of a major regional trading hub and so attracts its fair share of illegally trafficked wildlife. Earlier…

Interpols pangolin operations rescues 8 tiger cubs

Interpol’s Environmental Crime Programme have revealed the results of their latest global investigations. Operation Libra targeted the poaching and illegal trading across South East Asia of the pangolin – a nocturnal scaly ‘ant-eater’. But it was not just the pangolins that were rescued officers involved in the raids also rescued 8 tiger cubs. The raids, which were coordinated by Interpol, took place in June and July and occurred Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. In total over 40 suspects were arrested and officers are following up on an additional 200 cases. The raids saw teams of local investigators and enforcement officers working with assistance from the World Customs Organisation and networking organisation ASEAN-Wildlife…

Almost 4,000 bird dealers busted by INTERPOL

Interpol environmental crimes division has announced that almost 4,000 dealers in wild birds have been caught from Operation Cage – a three-month intensive investigation between May and June focusing on the trade in endangered birds. Wildlife and law enforcement officers across 32 different countries took part in the investigations. While Operation Cage focused primarily on birds the action also uncovered trading routes of other wildlife and products such as ivory. As well as the arrests of almost 4,000 traders the law enforcement officers also seized nearly 8,700 birds, mammals, insects, reptiles and other animals. Also seized were hunting and trapping equipment together with firearms and ammunition. [pullquote]The criminals involved in this illicit trade have no…

Is Kidderminster a hub for illegal wildlife trading?

Concerns are being raised over the activities taking place in the  Wyre Forest Glades Leisure Centre in Kidderminster this Sunday – 29th July 2012. A planned reptile and amphibian fair is to take place in direct contravention of legislation that prevents pets from being sold at market stalls. The trading of pets at market stalls was banned in 1983 and since then pet fairs have slowly been eradicated and local councils whose job it is to police the ban tend to refuse bookings for pet fairs on council property. Wyre Forest District Council though according to the Animal Protection Agency (APA) have decided not to follow suit and ban reptile and amphibian…

Vietnam tops wildlife crimes table

One the eve of the opening of the latest CITES session the wildlife group WWF has released a report that shows Vietnam is the worse country for the illegal wildlife trade. In the traffic light system used by the WWF to rank countries Vietnam scored a red in trade in rhino and tigers with a yellow card for elephants. The new report called Wildlife Crime Scorecard looked at 23 range nations as well as transit countries and the final consumer countries of parts for three species – elephant, rhino and tiger. “It is time for Viet Nam to face the fact that its illegal consumption of rhino horn is driving the…

Alleged tiger smuggling kingpin claims he was set up by poachers

Haji Nawab Ali, alias Nawab Baksh, the man alleged to be behind the poaching that eradicated the tiger population from the Panna Tiger Reserve has claimed that he was a set-up victim of real poachers. The claim comes as the long awaited investigation into him by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is expected to be announced. Nawab named as man responsible for loss of Panna tiger population. Nawab is thought to be named as the person effectively responsible for the poaching of the Panna tiger population. Between 2005 and 2009 he is thought to have been responsible for the killing of at least 35 tigers in the region. On May 27th 2007 his home was raided by state forestry officials and the raid…

The horror of the war to save wildlife

If anyone was in any doubt that there is a real war going on to save our most precious wildlife then those doubts should have been put to rest last Sunday. As details now become much clearer over what happened at the Ituri lowland tropical forest in D.R. Congo it is becoming obvious that those who protect our most endangered species need the full support of governments across the world. First reports that came out of D.R. Congo suggested that 10 people had been killed in a clash with rebels hiding out in the park. The reality was that this was an intentional attack on the headquarters of the Institute in Congo for the Conservation…

Gabon to burn more than 4 tons of ivory today

Gabon to burn more than 4 tons of ivory today

As a demonstration to its commitment to elephant conservation Gabon will today burn over 4 tons of ivory. The destruction of the ivory will ensure that it does not find its way into the illegal wildlife trade. The ivory burning will see the destruction of Gabon’s entire stockpile of ivory seized from poachers and smugglers. The stockpile has been independently verified by the WWF and TRAFFIC.  By burning its stockpile the Gabonese government will ensure that the recent thefts of ivory from other countries government stocks will not be repeated there. [pullquote]If not managed properly, ivory stockpiles in the hands of government suddenly ‘get legs’ and move into illegal trade.[/pullquote]  Last week over 3 tons…

Endangered frogs saved from the cooking pot

In a series of raids by Indian forest officials 40 endangered bull frogs have been rescued from poachers and saved from the cooking pot. The Indian bull frog is a delicacy in the restaurants of Goa but they are becoming increasingly rare and are now protected in India. During the operation 6 poachers were captured and the forest authorities are now looking for the frog poachers that escaped. The operation also saw equipment such as torches, knives and vehicles being confiscated. Now is a popular time for the bull frog poachers. The monsoon season is the time that the normally solitary bull frogs will come together for mating. The poachers shine powerful torches…

Interpols biggest wildlife raids captures over 200 smugglers

Yesterday (Tuesday 20th June) Interpol announced that it had carried out its biggest operation to date against the illegal wildlife trade. The operation covered 17 African countries as well as China. Over 200 smugglers were arrested and over 2 tonnes of ivory and other wildlife parts recovered. African countries which participated in Operation Worthy were Ethiopia, Botswana, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe. [pullquote]This has been to date the most wide-ranging operation coordinated by INTERPOL against the illegal ivory trade, not just in terms of seizures and arrests, but also in targeting the criminal organizations making millions of dollars through the killing and destruction of…

Where’s the commitment to tiger conservation?

With international tiger forums and conferences, millions of pounds being spent on tiger breeding programmes and campaigns to combat poaching and illegal trading in tiger parts you’d think three rescued tiger cubs would be well looked after. Unfortunately it seems to be a bit of a pass the parcel game. The three 2 month old tiger cubs were rescued from a house in Dhaka, Bangladesh by a team of special forces soldiers following a tip off. Good news you would have thought. While the traders may still be on the run at least three young tigers have been rescued and cared for. Sadly, if the reports are correct, the Bangladesh…

Commandos raid poachers den and rescue 3 tiger cubs

New has started to come through of a raid by Bangladesh’s special forces on a house used by smugglers in the illegal wildlife trade. Following the raid three tiger cubs were found and rescued. The raid by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) commandos was on a house located in the capital Dhaka earlier today (Monday 11th June). Local television showed footage of three 2 month old Royal Bengal tiger cubs playing in a cage after the raid had successfully been completed. One person, Zakir Hossain, was arrested. “The cubs seem to be in sound health,” forest department officer Fazlul Hoque told AFP from the scene. The cubs were thought to have been in the capital for…

China receives CITES commendation for wildlife trafficking fight

China is stepping up to the mark in its fight against the illegal wildlife trade with coordinated raids by its newly established Forest Police of the National Inter-Agency CITES Enforcement Collaboration Group (NICECG). The effectiveness of the actions undertaken by NICECG (including recent raids involving 100,000 police officer) have been rewarded with a commendation by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) organisation. The Secretary-General of CITES, Mr John E. Scanlon, awarded a certificate of commendation to Ms Yin Hong, Vice Administrator of the State Forestry Administration and chair of NICECG on Wednesday 9th May 2012 in a ceremony at the opening of a meeting hosted by China on the Development of CITES…

Indonesia refuses to accept rescued orangutans

The Indonesian government has refused to accept 12 rescued orangutan back saying that it does not have the facilities to look after the apes. The orangutans were rescued from zoos in 2008 and 2009 after campaigning by the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand. Unfortunately the Indonesian government has requested that the apes be handed over to a Samat Prakan zoo – one which had 5 illegally imported orangutans seized in 2003.