Category Archives: Wildlife

Poachers poison vultures in Mozambique

In Mozambique in just two years poachers killed nearly 150 hippos, and other protected species.

A total of 144 hippos, 111 buffalo, 54 elephants, four crocodiles and two lions – were killed between 2015 and 2016 in a small part of Tete province.

Dozens of monkeys, warthogs and antelopes were also victims to poaching.

Sadly, the numbers could be even higher, because at present poaching is reduced in the area thanks to wardens working with the Tchuma Tchato community wildlife management programme.


They went out on about 3,000 patrols during the period, intercepting 260 poachers, including Mozambicans, Zimbabweans and Zambians.

During the anti-poaching operation wardens seized 13 automatic weapons, 154 artisanal firearms, 16 spears, 34 axes, and more than 3,200 snares of various types, along with other items, like poison.


#BigCats: EU keeps an eye on endangered spieces

This year the European Commission celebrate on It has taken action and joined up efforts with to fight trafficking of endangered species in the EU and globally.

The EU has already confirmed its leadership in tackling the illegal trade in natural resources by adopting ambitious policies on timber and fishery products. This EU Action Plan demonstrates that the EU is ready to live up to international expectations and commitments, and that it is raising the level of its ambition as regards action against the illegal trade in wildlife. The bloc will also help to ensure that the significant investments made over the last decades through EU development support for wildlife conservation worldwide will not be undermined through criminal activities.

Wildlife trafficking has a devastating impact on biodiversity, threatening to eradicate some species. Moreover, it both creates incentives for corrupt practices and is enabled by them, thereby undermining the rule of law. Notably in some regions in Africa, it has a very negative impact on the potential for economic development.

Wildlife trafficking is very attractive to criminals, as it is highly lucrative and, in most countries it has lower enforcement priority by comparison with other forms of trafficking, so the risk of detection and penalties is very limited. Links with money laundering and other forms of organised crime, such as trafficking in drugs and firearms, have been regularly reported . The UN Security Council has acknowledged that wildlife trafficking in Central Africa is fuelling conflicts and threatening regional and national security by providing a source of funding to militia groups.


Cheetahs confiscated in Somaliland

This cheetah family includes young adults and adorable cubs were rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. Confiscated in Somaliland, the cheetahs were being sold as exotic pets, their mothers no doubt killed by poachers. (Image: illustration)

Happily they all now live at Born Free Foundation rescue centre Ensessa Kotteh in Ethiopia and one day there is a hope some of them will be returned to the wild, but for time being the fund will help provide their food and care.

However the youngest because of their age do not know how to hunt so will need to be supported for the rest of their lives.

From the times of pharaohs of Ancient Egypt cheetahs were used as noble hunting animals by African rulers, unfortunately in the XXI century they become must-have luxury accessories for rich young Arabs to flaunt alongside diamonds and sports cars.

Poached animals often die in transit because they are transported by criminals who show no regard for their welfare. According to charity the Cheetah Conservation Fund, only one in six cubs survive being trafficked.

More than 7,100 cheetahs survive in the wild and the CCF says at least 300 animals are sold each year on the ­illegal exotic pet black market.





2018 first rhino victim of poachers

Poachers shot dead a pregnant rhino and hacked off her horn in a nature reserve outside Komani (Queenstown, South Africa) this week. Lawrence de Lange Nature Reserve manager Hein Gerber said yesterday the five year-old white rhino had been due to calve in two to three weeks.

“One rhino is bad enough. We were very shocked and it is a great loss. But with her being pregnant, in fact we have lost two animals,” de Gerber said.

Initial investigations showed the poachers used a .375 calibre hunting rifle to shoot the animal before chopping off its horn with an axe either late on Christmas night or before dawn the next day, he said.

The carcass was found 60 to 70m from the reserve’s southern fence.The access point through the fence had not yet been pinpointed but it was clear that the poachers had got into the reserve and had not shot the animal from the road, the manage said.

Europol: wildlife crimes

The Spanish Guardia Civil, with the support of Europol and in close cooperation with Mexico, has carried out Operation SUZAKU, resulting in 29 arrests in Spain and in other countries. All of the arrestees have been charged with crimes of smuggling, wildlife crime and animal abuses, as well as being part of a criminal infrastructure.

Over 2,000 animal were seized during Operation SUKAZU, and the expected benefits that could have been obtained by the trafficking of species have been estimated to be above half a million euro. International trafficking of species is identified as a priority in the fight against organised crime within the EU Policy Cycle for the next four years.

The organised crime group controlled a network of operators, who were transporting birds of a large variety of species to Spain from different places in Africa and Latin America by using mules. International collaboration has taken place with police authorities and other bodies from 18 different countries.

Using various concealment techniques, the criminal group trafficked birds that are classified under different types of protection and that were included in the CITES Convention and in the national protection laws of the countries of origin. Many of the birds died during the transit and sometimes the death rate reached 50%. The criminal group used several points of entry in Spain, using the airports of Madrid-Barajas, Pamplona and Bilbao.

Operation SUZAKU has been mainly carried out by the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) of the Guardia Civil. Europol supported the operation and facilitated the exchange of operational information. AMERIPOL coordinated the activities with the different Latin American countries involved.

Europol birds

Neglected lions saved from Razgrad zoo

The lions of the Razgrad zoo, aged between 3 months and 12 years, will soon have a life free from suffering. The international animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has saved the animals from particularly adverse conditions in an urgent rescue mission which took place over two days. Thus far, the big cats, who come from a three-generation-long inbred line, vegetated for years without any medical care in tiny enclosures.

“To see the animals like that was shocking. Never in their lifetime have these lions been examined by a veterinarian. This is fatal, especially in the light of the systematic inbreeding of the big cats. Here, the descendants of siblings have procreated uncontrolled due to lack of care,” reports FOUR PAWS big cat expert Barbara van Genne. In the past, the bred lions were sold to other zoos, circuses and private persons.

The introduction of a stricter legislation in Bulgaria in 2008, however, led to a reduced demand. Hence, the big cats remained in the Razgrad Zoo.

Since the city owns the zoo, FOUR PAWS convinced the mayor of Razgrad to intervene. The international team of veterinarians provided medical care to all lions and additionally sterilised two adult males. Due to the lack of physical exercise, the older lions already suffer from severe issues with their spines. It is likely that the younger ones will face the same health problems soon.


A 3-year-old lion whose condition was particularly critical has already been brought to Sofia for comprehensive examinations. The veterinarians found sand in his bladder and diagnosed fibrosis in the kidneys. The upcoming results of a CT scan will provide more details about his health. As soon as he is fit enough, FOUR PAWS will transfer the lion to one of its own sanctuaries.

Siberia 'waterboarded' to ice cube dog killing defended by police

Police of Yakutia (Siberia) reported of an abhorrent death a dog, as claimed in social networks, the owner ‘waterboarded’ and left to die at -50 C° degree frost. The police authorities deny such a case in spite of massive photo, and other evidence brought by the group of animal rights defenders, who attempted to save the dog frozen into ice.

This particular type of execution was practiced in Russia in Middle ages, and even described in novels of 19th century authors: serfs turned into frozen “sculptures” by pouring onto them water in freezing temperatures. Later it was revived by Stalin during ‘great purge’. Today it is considered as at most perverse type of torture and execution.

A local media said about the verification of the publication of a photograph of a dead dog with a comment that a drunk owner doused the animal with water and him outside to die.

Police officers carried out verification activities, during which the owner was defined, as well as the circumstances of the dog’s death. According to police report the Shepherd dog suffered from Carre’s disease, and was partially paralyzed, the Interior Ministry said.

Police said that the owner did not kill the dog himself, but called in the volunteers of one of the animal protection organizations of Yakutsk. They took the animal, and after a while, a photo of a dead dog appeared on the Internet (image below).

dog ice

“The owner of the dog and members of his family are characterized positively, the pet was a favorite of a large family,” the police say.

The volunteers said the owner did not call them, but it was a neighbour who heard the howling animal, freezing into ice. The moment they arrived the dog was a block of ice and had no chance to survive. They suppose when knowing about the illness of the animal the owner decided to kill it himself to save up money and efforts to cure “the member of the family”.

There are no laws, protecting animals from human’s cruelty in Russia. For 17 years the administration of President Vladimir Putin has been blocking a package of laws, prepared previously in times of rapprochement with the West. So called ‘dog-hunters’ movement, promoting poisoning, chopping and shooting dogs is widespread in Russia, never confronted with prosecution, unlike animal rights defenders, who suffer hostility, and even threatened with jail for the promotion of ideals of humanism.


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