Tag: African

Breaking! South African Customs Seize More Than USD $3.5 Million Worth Of Rhino Horn Headed To Malaysia

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) Customs Unit seized a shipment of rhino horn that was destined for Malaysia. The estimated value of the recovered horn is R 53 172 000, which is worth more than $3.5 million U.S. dollars.

The Customs Detector Dog Unit at O.R. Tambo International Airport found a suspicious shipment that was declared as ‘HP Cartridges Developers.’ The three-piece shipment was taken to a X-ray scanner for inspection, where the image analysis reflected objects resembling the shape of rhino horns. The shipment was then taken for physical inspection and that’s when 18 pieces of rhino horn weighing 63kg were found concealed in clothing.

This is the fourth rhino horn bust by SARS Customs at the O.R.Tambo International Airport between July of 2020 to February of 2021. The overall weight of the rhino horn seized in these four cases was 277.30kg with an estimated value of R 234 114 206, which is worth more than $15.7 million U.S. dollars.

When the rhino horns were discovered, Customs officers immediately called Hawks, the Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigation, who confiscated the shipment for further investigation.

Commissioner Edward Kieswetter congratulated the Customs officers on their excellent work and warned the perpetrators of this crime that SARS, together with other law enforcement agencies, would spare no efforts in confronting and dealing decisively with any criminal malfeasance. Those that are involved in such egregious and merciless killing and mutilation of rhinoceros will be brought to justice.

“Those that are determined to destroy the rich natural endowment of our country, which is a common treasure and heritage for all, which we should look after for future generations, will be met with unwavering commitment of our officers to enforce the law,” Kieswetter said in a statement.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post Breaking! South African Customs Seize More Than USD $3.5 Million Worth Of Rhino Horn Headed To Malaysia appeared first on World Animal News.

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Breaking! Undercover Investigation Exposes South African President’s Secret Ties To Trophy Hunting, Including A 50% Stake In Tsala Hunting Safaris

PETA has uncovered South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s hidden connections to, and investments in, the trophy hunting industry. The revelations came after the group released video footage of an American tourist who ineptly shot and killed a young elephant on a nature reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park.

PETA’s recordings of Ramaphosa’s managers reveal that he is quietly developing and expanding a trophy hunting property called Diepdrift and stocking it with animals from his personal wildlife-breeding operation, Phala Phala. He also owns a 50% stake in Tsala Hunting Safaris.

Two hunters pose with a leopard they just killed. Animals like these aren’t available for hunting at Diepdrift, which is why Tsala Hunting Safaris partners with other outfitters to provide them. As long as the hunts are brokered by Tsala, as this one was, the president of South Africa still gets a cut.

The group recorded conversations in which Ramaphosa’s staff members admit that he shares equally in the profits from all hunts conducted through Tsala and spoke of the importance of concealing his involvement.

One said, “We try to keep the president’s name actually out of the hunting thing. So [Ramaphosa] wants to spare himself this, how can I say, bad publicity and all of that. So we got to do it under a different name brand, where none of my name or his name are connected to it.”

This lion hunt was brokered by Tsala Hunting Safaris

“President Ramaphosa is lining his pockets through the cold-blooded murder of gentle, curious elephants and other wildlife, who deserve protection, not exploitation,” said the President of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk, in an email sent to WAN. “The majority of South Africans will not applaud their president for auctioning off the country’s wildlife to overseas trophy hunters for personal profit.”

PETA’s video shows an elephant peacefully wandering out of the bush as an American trophy hunter and his guides lie in wait. The American then shoots the elephant in the head and watches as he falls to his knees. The suffering animal looks at the shooting party as the man, who paid $30,000 to kill him, is given instructions from his guides on how to shoot more accurately. He finally shoots him four more times, causing him to rumble in distress and to warn others.

The shooter later paid nearly $20,000 to have the elephant’s body parts preserved for shipment to the United States, prompting PETA to renew its call for UPS to enact a ban on transporting wildlife trophies. More than 40 airlines have banned the transport of wildlife trophies since 2015. UPS has already banned the transport of shark fins, certain live animals, and ivory, but it is still enabling the trophy hunting industry.

Please sign PETA’s form to urge UPS to ban the shipment of hunting trophies HERE! (Bottom of the page)

Trophy Hunters Put The ‘Con’ In Conservation.

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African Wildlife Foundation Launches Virtual Safaris This Month To Help With The Loss That Tourism In Africa Is Suffering Due To The Pandemic

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has been closely monitoring the difficult situation for safari operators in Africa since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic  when travel bans and government closures began impacting protected areas and local communities on the front lines of wildlife conservation.

In April, AWF convened a meeting of 12 CEOs of leading safari companies operating in Africa to update the impact that COVID-19 was having on their core business operations as well as the threats to wildlife conservation areas. The goal was to determine the best ways for organizations, like AWF, to assist the tourism industry in order to help keep wildlife protected and communities afloat that rely on tourism.

An overarching concern during the pandemic is that people in wildlife communities, who typically gain from tourism dollars, will loosen their commitment to conservation behaviors as they seek alternatives to provide for their families, and that three decades of conservation progress may now be threatened.

“During our process of identifying how to assist our partners in the safari industry, we recognized the opportunity to share the information with donors through virtual safaris,” said AWF Safari Program Manager Carter Smith in a statement. “Many tourists have been introduced to the concept of virtual safaris, to experience wild animals and wildlands from the comfort of an arm chair. Our blue print was to reverse-engineer events to help both the safari-goers, who are grounded from international travel, and the communities in Africa on the front lines of wildlife conservation.”

The virtual safaris need to give participants an insider’s view into the wildlife conservation work on the ground, and introduce them to the heroes who are working tirelessly to defend Africa’s wildlife and wildlands. By pivoting to virtual safaris, wildlife tourists have a chance to hear stories of perseverance, develop meaningful connections, and learn how they can support the communities and field programs protecting wildlife directly.

AWF is engaging its donors though virtual safari offerings and offer them tangible takeaways as to how their donations support livelihoods and wildlife. The virtual safari-goers can go on a wildlife drive and chat with their guide or meet a ranger on a patrol with one of their sniffer dogs. They liken it to a fireside chat. These are not webinars. They are an enriching cultural experience, which is also informative and entertaining.

“We are designing virtual safari series around our 2021 safari portfolio to showcase our group safaris that will launch in October. Our guests will be transported to safaris in Uganda, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. There will be local guides on each safari as well as our Country Directors to speak about the programmatic and emergency response work we are doing in each country,” concluded Smith.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post African Wildlife Foundation Launches Virtual Safaris This Month To Help With The Loss That Tourism In Africa Is Suffering Due To The Pandemic appeared first on World Animal News.

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