Monday, October 3, 2016

Elephant In The Room!



The Guardian just reported that Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park plans to covertly capture dozens of baby elephants and ship them to China.


These young, social, highly intelligent animals will be torn apart from their families. They’ll be drugged and forced into holding pens. And they’ll never see their mothers again.

We CANNOT tolerate this. Elephant will continue to be mistreated -- and driven into extinction -- unless we take action.

Zimbabwe has exported elephants to India, Spain, even the United States. Last year they sent 24 elephants -- meant to be protected in a national park -- to China.[1]

Photos show elephants distressed, injured, and possibly abused. But the government denies any wrongdoing.

Capturing elephants and holding them in pens until they are shipped off to be slaughtered is WRONG. And we need to take action today to stop it.






ThinkProgress: Goodbye, elephants. A new report shows the steepest declines in African elephant populations in 25 years.
CREDIT: AP PHOTO/TSVANGIRAYI MUKWAZHI
By the time today’s children are grown adults, there may be no more wild elephants on the African continent.. With only 400,000 elephants left there, and 30,000 to 40,000 lost to poachers every year, the population’s prognosis is dire, according to the newest African Elephant Status Report.
Poaching has had a resurgence in the past decade, according to the IUCN, the international wildlife organization that produced the report, but habitat loss also poses a longterm threat to elephants.

“It is shocking but not surprising that poaching has taken such a dramatic toll on this iconic species,” IUCN director general Inger Andersen said in a statement. “This report provides further scientific evidence of the need to scale up efforts to combat poaching. Nevertheless, these efforts must not detract from addressing other major and increasingly devastating threats such as habitat loss.”

This year’s report found that there are some 111,000 fewer elephants now than a decade ago.

“These new numbers reveal the truly alarming plight of the majestic elephant — one of the world’s most intelligent animals and the largest terrestrial mammal alive today,” Andersen said.

In East Africa, there are only half as many elephants as there were just a decade ago, due almost entirely to losses in Tanzania. In West Africa, 12 entire herds (“populations”) were lost across Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Togo, Guinea, and Nigeria since 2006.

While much of the current loss is due to poaching, in the future, climate change is expected to be a significant threat to elephant populations. Elephants are highly susceptible to temperature change, and they also migrate over large areas of land — where changes to water supply, vegetation, and weather can endanger elephants.

Earlier this month, the United States joined hundreds of other nations in a sweeping — but voluntary — agreement to ban the domestic trade of ivory.

International ivory trade has been illegal since 1989, but domestic trade has likely been continuing to push demand. Last year, President Obama proposed a national ban on domestic ivory trade throughout the United States, excepting antiques, such as furniture and musical instruments. The new rule will prohibit the sale of ivory across state lines and tighten restrictions at U.S. ports.

The United States is the world’s second-largest ivory market, after Asia.

A mother and her baby were sinking in the mud as the herd could only stand and watch..
A mother and her baby were sinking in the mud as the herd could only stand and watch.
The calf was crying out. There was nothing they could do.
The calf was crying out. There was nothing they could do.
But then wildlife officials showed up with some rope, hoping it would be enough to pull them out.
The calf was crying out. There was nothing they could do.
They got the baby out on the first attempt, but the baby just ran back to her mother. She got stuck again.
They got the baby out on the first attempt, but the baby just ran back to her mother. She got stuck again.
The baby started to cry out again. She wouldn’t leave the mud without her mother.
The baby started to cry out again. She wouldn't leave the mud without her mother.
Almost free for a second time, the baby tried running back to mom.
Almost free for a second time, the baby tried running back to mom.
The team did everything they could to try and keep the baby from going back into the mud.
The team did everything they could to try and keep the baby from going back into the mud.
They decided to try for the calf one more time. You know what they say about the third time…
They decided to try for the calf one more time. You know what they say about the third time...
The third time’s the charm!
The third time's the charm!
The herd cries out to the baby and she takes off to them instead of the mother.
The herd cries out to the baby and she takes off to them instead of the mother.
Mom is exhausted and ready to give up at this point. But the workers kept at it.
Mom is exhausted and ready to give up at this point. But the workers kept at it.
They wouldn’t be able to pull mom out the same way they did the baby. So they got a tractor.
They wouldn't be able to pull mom out the same way they did the baby. So they got a tractor.
It started to work! The tractor pulled and mom helped out.
It started to work! The tractor pulled and mom helped out.
Mom starts to yell out for her baby as she is pulled from the mud.
Mom starts to yell out for her baby as she is pulled from the mud.
Mom is finally free! She runs to the herd and her worried baby.
Mom is finally free! She runs to the herd and her worried baby.
They are all safe at last! And it’s all thanks to a group of heroes that wouldn’t give up.
They are all safe at last! And it's all thanks to a group of heroes that wouldn't give up.
What a feel good ending! If you love stories like this, share it with your friends.
We've Got the Strategy and the Expertise to Save Elephants and Rhinos
Donate to save elephants and rhinos
NRDC staff is on the ground now at a critical wildlife trade conference in South Africa, working to win new protections for these creatures. Can we count on your support?
Right now we're facing another high-stakes fight — over the fate of the world's dwindling populations of African elephants and wild rhinos.

The facts are stark: More than 20,000 African elephants were slaughtered last year alone. And rhino poaching rose by 9,000% in just eight years.

Our message is clear: World leaders must act now to stop trafficking in elephant ivory and rhino horn.

Please support NRDC as we wage an international battle for wildlife survival.

As I write this, NRDC wildlife experts are on the ground at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Johannesburg.

There, they're working every angle to garner support from key CITES delegates, counter misinformation and build international public pressure for lifesaving measures that protect elephants and rhinos.

But to keep that rapid response operation going strong, we need your immediate help.

Make an emergency, tax-deductible gift to support NRDC and help us close markets for elephant ivory and rhino horn.

Your donation will enable us to defend the environment on all fronts as we pull out all the stops to shape talks at CITES, turn votes and end the brutal slaughter of elephants and rhinos.

The U.S. and other countries have made incredible progress to crack down on the devastating global wildlife trade. But many nations face heavy pressure from traffickers and their allies to keep markets open — and even, in some cases, to open new ones.

The small kingdom of Swaziland, in southern Africa, is trying to lift a 40-year-old international ban on the rhino horn trade — a dangerous proposition for an animal that's already being slaughtered at alarming rates.

And the market for elephant ivory is growing so fast, scientists estimate that African forest elephants could be extinct within a decade.

With your help, last year we compelled President Obama to tighten federal restrictions on the ivory trade in the U.S. Now I hope you'll stand with us as we wage this critical fight for wildlife survival on the global stage. Please make a donation to NRDC right away.



A Wildlife Ranger’s Encounter with Poachers


Every day, poachers brutally murder elephants for their ivory tusks -- they’re sold on the black market for profit. But we have a chance to stop the killing THIS November with a ban on the illegal ivory trade in Oregon!

But the NRA is threatening to end our progress.

They’re lobbying hard to DEFEAT an ivory ban that would save countless elephants and rhinos from the vicious hands of greedy poachers.

If they succeed, elephants will be closer to extinction than ever. We need to act NOW and stand up to the NRA:

Sign your name to STOP the NRA's attacks on the ivory ban
The NRA claimed that this ban would be “harmful” to hunters.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

The NRA is fighting to make sure that elephants can be slaughtered, the biggest ivory trophies traded, and the most money made.

Of course they want to block an initiative determined to end poaching, end the ivory trade, and to help save animals -- they’re making a profit off of the death of elephants.

If we don’t show that we won’t stand for the NRA’s stealth lobbying campaign, we could lose animals we love and cherish forever.

Will you join us and tell the NRA to stop attacking the ivory ban?

http://go.saveanimalsfacingextinction.org/NRA-Attacks


Confession of an elephant thief

We must end this cruelty!

The above confession is fictional, but the tragedy of elephants being stolen from the wild is all too real!
Elephants are torn from their families. They're drugged and trucked to holding pens where they often suffer injuries and starvation.
And then they're transported long distances to live in zoos and other facilities that can't possibly meet the physical and emotional needs of these social, highly intelligent and wide-ranging animals.
But a new proposal set forth at the CITES meeting this week can change that, and I hope I can count on you to help. Act now to help protect elephants. CITES stands for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. It's a global gathering of countries that monitors and controls the trade in endangered animal and plant species.
We're working hard at CITES to protect many animals from the cruelties often encountered in wildlife trade. One of the proposals we're strongly supporting is a resolution to protect elephants from unnecessarily cruel removal from native habitat combined with overly restrictive captivity.
We're gathering as many names and comments as we can, and then we'll hand them over to the CITES authorities to show them how many people agree with us that wild elephants should remain in the wild.
Keep elephants in the wild
Keep elephants in the wild
Elephants that are stolen from the wild can suffer terribly. And it's usually the most vulnerable young elephants that are taken. We need your help to change that.
The Agonizing Story of Nosey the Circus Elephant
Noseys Law
It seems like a never-ending saga for the circus elephant Nosey, who has endured insurmountable pain and suffering for at least a decade. Her story has come into the spotlight after she was found limping and faltering in her gait this summer, as humans enjoyed joyrides on her back. A veterinarian who watched a video in which Nosey was seen balancing the burden on just three legs believes, she’s suffering from severe arthritis. Just one wrong move could prove disastrous for the riders and fatal for the poor elephant.

Please sign and circulate the petition below to show your support for S2508, Nosey’s Law to ban use of elephants in NJ.

Circus acrobats hang from Nosey's tusks during performances
Nosey the elephant has arthritis and foot abnormalities. She suffers from chronic diarrhea and is underweight. She has had a serious skin condition for over 22 years. But The Liebel Family Circus still forces her to give rides and perform in their shows.
Despite receiving over 200 citations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), including 33 direct violations of the Animal Welfare Act, The Liebel Family Circus has been allowed to keep Nosey for 28 years. Earlier this year, the USDA even renewed Hugo Liebel's license for the circus. This is unacceptable.
Kelly has been advocating for Nosey's freedom for years, but she refuses to give up until the elephant is placed in a sanctuary. So please sign Kelly's Care2 petition demanding that the USDA remove Nosey from The Liebel Family Circus.
The circus spends a lot of time on the road. That means Nosey has spent most of her life being carted around the country in a tiny, dilapidated trailer. Animal experts believe that so much time alone and in such cramped quarters has led Nosey to become severely depressed.
But life outside her trailer isn't much better. Whenever the circus arrives at a new town, Nosey is forced to carry visitors on her back as she hobbles around a tiny barricaded area. Her performance during the circus show includes tricks like standing on a stool while an acrobat hangs off her tusks.
The decades of well-documented abuse that Nosey has suffered at the hands of The Liebel Family Circus is criminal. That the USDA has not confiscated Nosey is appalling. Who knows how much longer this poor elephant can last under such cruel circumstances. We must act now.
Sign Kelly's petition demanding that the USDA confiscate Nosey and send her to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. If enough of us continue to speak out on Nosey's behalf, we may be able to pressure the USDA into finally taking action to save this poor, abused elephant. 
EDITORIAL: Elephant ban a first to be proud of
IMG_End_of_an_elephant_e_3_1_AFE8HNVQ.jpg_20160504.jpg
(Photo: Associated Press file)
New Jersey leads the nation in property taxes, population density and more than a few other categories for which we would rather not be setting the pace.

But we get some things right too, including a bill now moving through the Legislature that would make New Jersey the first state in the nation to ban the use of elephants in traveling circuses.

Lawmakers have more pressing issues, and the practical effect of the ban could be negligible. Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey, the kingpin of traveling circuses, has already removed elephants from its performances, although officials insist that move was made for economic reasons, not because of any public pressure or abusive practices. Beyond Ringling Bros. the traveling circus presence in the state isn’t substantial, although Cole Brothers has also been a target of protesters.

Animal rights supporters, however, have been pushing hard for such a law, picketing circus performances to highlight alleged animal abuse. The movement has coalesced around the plight of Nosey, a 34-year-old elephant who has continued to perform all across the country despite deteriorating health, and whose freedom activists have championed. The proposed New Jersey law has even been dubbed “Nosey’s Law.”

Two states — California and Rhode Island — have banned the use of bull hooks to move elephants. But New Jersey would be the first to step up with a total ban.

The Senate Economic Growth Committee approved the bill last week. No one testified against the measure, although Ringling Bros. sent a letter to lawmakers expressing opposition, even though its elephants have all been sent off to a Florida preserve. The letter said the ban was unnecessary because of existing federal regulations, would cost jobs and reduce awareness of global dangers faced by elephants.

Let’s take those points one at a time. If the law is unnecessary, that would suggest the effects of the law have already been achieved. If that is the case, then why would Ringling Bros. care? Is the circus trying to save the Legislature some work?

As for job cuts, it isn’t entirely clear where those losses would occur, considering Ringling Bros. no longer uses elephants. Beyond that, we can’t imagine much of an unemployment spike resulting from this measure, and while we don’t like seeing anyone lose a job, that concern cannot override a law targeting potential animal abuse. Nor should some vague rationale about raising awareness.

What Ringling Bros. and other operations using animal acts may fear is that this represents a step toward broader prohibitions, not just in New Jersey but across the country. As a nation we’re becoming increasingly aware of and sensitive to the difficulties encountered by wild animals in captivity, even when cared for with the best intentions. SeaWorld, for instance, has agreed under pressure to stop captive breeding of killer whales.

Animal acts entertain us. But they’re not worth the sacrifice many of these animals must make.

A Vote Could Help Save Africa’s Wildlife

This week more than 2,000 government representatives from around the world are meeting in South Africa to determine the fate of elephants, rhinos, lions, pangolins and hundreds of other species. Members of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) are voting on critical proposals such as reopening trade in ivory and rhino horn during the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17). African Wildlife Foundation believes highly endangered species like elephants, lions and rhinos are under too much threat to be traded sustainably, and we support and stand with the governments and leaders who have the courage to put Africa’s wildlife before borders. If you haven’t done so already, you can stand with wildlife and send a message to the CITES Secretariat.
 
> Send your message to CITES
Ivory cartel brought down in DRC

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Prince William speaks out for wildlife

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