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Litter In Wildlife National Parks

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Appalling behaviour from tourists in wildlife national parks has resulted in catastrophic consequences for some people and animals. People everywhere must begin to be accountable for their litter and the damage it causes, especially tourists visiting the parks.

Utter Madness!

Kruger Park had to announce that rollerskating and skateboarding within it’s wildlife park is banned. Who in their right mind would want to skateboard past a lion or roller-skate past a resting cheetah?

Day visitors at Kruger National Park are no longer allowed to get drunk either. Neither are they allowed to bring alcohol into the park or buy it from the shops, although they can have a drink at a  restaurant.

Would you really want to roller-skate past these lionesses?

Would you really want to roller-skate past these lionesses?

Ladies – Pick Up Your Toilet Tissues!  On safari there is no easy access to toilets therefore you have to stop your vehicle and squat behind the car door. Women, PLEASE pick up your soiled tissue and carry it back to your camp. Do not leave tissues everywhere because it can cause serious injury or death to animals who ingest it.

Litter on the Masai Mara wildlife reserve.

Litter on the Masai Mara wildlife reserve.

Do not get between a hippo and the water, an elephant or any animal and it’s young and if they wish to cross in front of you then take a wide berth to give them room to do so; they have the right of way. Do not feed them either, they are wild animals, not zoo animals.

Angry hippo charging a human who should not be in the hippo's space.

Angry hippo charging a human who should not be in the hippo’s space.

Wildlife Game-Viewing Etiquette

If you drive up behind someone and cannot pass please don’t blow your car-horn and hang out your window shouting at them. True life example: cars were crossing the narrow Shingwedzi river bridge in Kruger, from both sides. A few cars would proceed from the north, stop take some pictures of the crocodiles then move on.

Crocodiles fighting on the edge of the KNP bridge.

Crocodiles fighting on the edge of the KNP bridge.

Then the cars from the south would proceed and so on – until a poor lady stopped to photograph the crocodiles and a taxi pulled up right behind her and the driver proceeded to honk his horn and yell at her to move on.

The taxi driver yelled at the Kruger park visitor while one of his passengers threw a beer bottle out the window into the river!

Angry tourist tossed his bottle in the KNP river, amongst wildlife.

Angry tourist tossed his bottle in the KNP river, amongst wildlife.

Cigarette butts are a constant problem in all national parks, not only because they are repulsive and can be ingested by animals, but also because of the obvious fire risk. If you smoke please dispose of your cigarette butts responsibly.

An impact of garbage is that some scavengers, such as hyenas, may change their natural feeding habits and became permanent garbage feeders. Most of the rubbish discarded by the tourists and local people is primarily concentrated at the road sites and much of it is very dangerous to the wildlife.

Baby cub with an empty plastic bottle. If the cub eats the plastic it will kill him.

Baby cheetah cub with an empty plastic bottle. If the cub eats the plastic it will kill him.

It doesn’t seem to matter how many rubbish bins are provided, people are happy to still toss litter anywhere. SANParks Honorary Rangers assist the section rangers in Kruger National Parks, by doing structured litter patrols. Rangers are supposed to be tracking poachers and bringing them to justice, while protecting endangered animals under imminent threat of death by poachers.

Instead, these highly trained Rangers and their Honorary Rangers are tracking “plastic bags” because too many tourists are too selfish to care about the safety of the animals they are busy photographing. Have respect for the animals and have respect and consideration for other visitors

Litter in the Kruger National Park.

Litter in the Kruger National Park.

Tourist Problems In Masai Mara

Chinese tourists are flocking to the Masai Mara to witness the wildebeest migration but sadly, they leave behind a trail of litter and furious fellow tourists who claim their viewing of the migration was ruined because of the Chinese tourists bad behaviour. Some young Chinese tour guides think being loud is important.

On Chinese sites, fellow Chinese tourists were seen shouting at a hippo and when the animal ignored their yells they began throwing litter toward him to get his attention for a good photograph.

Working in Nairobi National Park Peter Kuluo Ba said some Chinese tourists throw things at birds and yell at them to move so they can get an action photograph. Despite being warned of hippo activity at night, many Chinese tourists still wander around by themselves at night, taking photos out of the range of hotel security cameras.

As well as taking close-up photos of Masai people without their permission, Chinese tourists are often frowned upon for chain-smoking and throwing cigarette butts everywhere, as well as spitting, including spitting in hotel lobbies (C.G.V.)

Not only Chinese tourists, but tourists from around the world find it increasingly acceptable to ignore game park safety rules,  they blatantly  lean our of their open car windows and many actually get out of their car and stroll around. Some ignorant people even walk into the bush to go to the toilet!

Many tourists have become so relaxed they feel comfortable tossing food wrappers and plastic bags and bottles our of their window as they drive along. Empty water bottles and plastic bags strewn through animal habitats are potentially catastrophic if animals eat them.

A tourist man named Anjili’s relates his experience,  watching the wilderbeast migration at Masai Mara: “Within 10 minutes a vehicle of Chinese tourists drove up, the tourists jumped out of the car to take closer photos and scared the animals who stopped crossing.

The litter is devastating! Look closely at the litter – it all has Chinese branding on it. After speaking to several guides and rangers, I have now come to realise that to save costs, some Chinese operators are using Matatu (city transport vehicles) drivers to take their clients to the Mara.”

Tourist John Hunt wrote: “It’s not all Asian tourists. At one of the main migration crossing points on the Mara River there is a favourite lunch spot for bus travellers and jeeps that has a tissue behind every bush. Thousands of them. Thanks ladies. Truly disgusting. How hard can it be to give all passengers a paper bag?

Elephant charging a car in Kruger National Park.

Elephant charging a car in Kruger National Park.

Also we witnessed on the Mara, several outrageous displays by drivers concerning the disregard of the welfare of animals. Like 10 jeeps in a line on the savannah chasing a leopard chasing a gazelle, – at 50mph. Then fighting like dodgem cars for a position around the terrified beast trying to eat its meal. Seriously, how long do you think these animals will be able to tolerate such stress?”asks Hunt.

Tourists and Some Wildebeest, 2014

James Cusick says “It looked like a spectators’ car park at a busy Nevada rodeo, where the best way to get up close to the animals is simply to stand on the roof of your SUV and whip out a camera lens the size of a drain pipe. And when the kids get too excited and venture too close to the crazy critters, why you just holler and pull them back.

Masai Mara tourists.

Masai Mara tourists.

I could see them all. A hundred or so people, surrounding a couple of dozen 4x4s. They were perched on the roofs of their vehicles; or standing outside them, trampling the grass; or edging towards the open dirt space where the action was taking place. This was the Mara River in south-west Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Masai Mara tourists.

Masai Mara tourists.

The daily spectacle is a reminder that survival of the many often comes with the bloody death of the few. In the Mara, crocodiles pick off wildebeest and turn the river red with blood at “crossing” times and they call it tourism. To read the Mara Triangle Rules, click here. 

Two reasons to let animals have the right of way: the elephant was itchy and scratched himself on this car, which ended up with four blown tires and smashed windows.

Itchy elephant scratching himself on a tourist's car which would not move out of his way.

Itchy elephant scratching himself on a tourist’s car which would not move out of his way.

Several photos were taken of this itchy elephant, scratching himself against the car. Next time the tourist will allow an elephant to have the right of way.

Several photos were taken of this itchy elephant, scratching himself against the car. Next time the tourist will allow an elephant to have the right of way. The elephant was not injured during his scratching.

Saving Animals One Plastic Bag At A Time

Although not filmed in a national park, this beautiful video poignantly shows the effects of plastic and litter on birdlife and animals.

In eastern Africa thousands of plastic bags are thrown away every day, killing grazing goats and cows which eat the bags and die. Discarded bags also collect stagnant water which is known to breed mosquitoes – and malaria. American born Lori Anderson discovered a perfect solution: replace plastic bags with durable canvas bags!

Flying to the Jane Goodall Institute in Africa twice a year, Anderson exchanges a free durable canvas bag (which can be reused many times), in exchange for 25 plastic bags. “These women are ridding their entire community of plastic bags,” says Robinson. “The simplicity of this project is what makes it so effective.”

Christmas Holiday Bad Behaviour At KNP Camp

A few Christmases ago, the “day-visitor” area of Kruger National Park was filled to capacity with “day-visitors” celebrating Christmas at the Shingwedzi Camp. People became drunk and were staggering around while some people took off all their clothes and were swimming completely naked in the resident-guest’s pool.

Worst of all, because so many “visitors” were drunk, they forgot the time and a lot of people arrived at the gates late, after driving well above the 50km speed limit to the closing gates, hitting, maiming and killing many of the parks wildlife!

Hippo killed after being struck by a speeding driver, inside his own habitat.

Hippo killed after being struck by a speeding driver, inside his own habitat.

When all the “visitors” had gone the Kruger National Park Shingwedzi Camp was trashed. Soiled nappies, empty food containers, leftovers, empty cans and bottles and lots of plastic bags were strewn everywhere. Even areas of grass were still smouldering where “visitors” had illegally lit fires

Conclusion

To see how you can help combat the war against plastic bags and the damage plastic does to wild animals and birdlife, please visit Lori Anderson’s site: click here.

Author:I have spent time in Africa on numerous occasions and its wildlife reserves are truly breathtaking. If you have the opportunity to visit a national wildlife reserve, breathe in the experience of standing where wild animals roam at will, without bars. It is an inheritance to all of us sharing the planet, which we all need to respect and protect.

Thank you for reading,

Michele Brown.


Boto Poaching – Amazon River Dolphin Threatened – Killed for Bait.

 

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At the start of the 2000 deep within the Amazon Jungles the massacre began, even the baby dolphins were not spared nor the gestating females that had their young sliced out of womb hung up like a piece of dead flesh in a butchers shop. Without hesitation or even a shred of remorse these barbaric monsters pictured [August 2014] here sliced the baby out off the mothers womb flinging it to one side. Brazil has since laid down a hunting ban however poachers are not stopping and already in Peru, Boto’s are mercifully slaughtered just for bait.

Pink River Dolphins or the Amazon River Dolphin as its commonly known scientifically identified as Inia geoffrensis aren’t hunted to eat, oh no, no. Like many fisherman in the west catch smaller fish to catch the bigger species River Dolphins are caught simply for this reason of which they are butchered up into slabs of meat then thrown back into crates just to catch smaller species of fish commonly known as the piracatinga that feasts on rotten flesh of dead animals – in this case the Dolphin.

You’ve probably by now become quite used to the all to familiar sites of Japans Dolphin massacres – but what about the killing fields within the Amazon?, Some conservationists seem non-to-bothered to print about this, as these bastards rip the hearts and souls out of aquatic life – At the start of this year some two thousand Amazon River Dolphins were slaughtered as can be seen in the pictures below. However European and South and North American Conservation Groups are taking a stand and have since handed in a 50,000 signature petition in. While it may stop hunting in Brazil will it stop the poaching? Furthermore will the illegal hunting in Peru, Ecuador,  Venezuela, Columbia, Bolivia, Guyana, Surinam and French Guinea stop too.

No one stopped these killings, many people outside off the Amazon are completely oblivious to the fact this horrifying atrocity actually exists. Now you’ll know though, were not going to stick for this anymore. International Animal Rescue Foundation Brazil plus many smaller conservation groups has known of this slaughter for the past several years. When the Federal government imposed a [temporary ban] five years ago all seemed quiet, unfortunately the hunting ban was lifted with many killed by August, its a wonder if the species will actually recover within this year alone before hunting ends. Since the start of August though Brazil has imposed a new [complete ban] but this hasn’t as explained stopped poachers and hunters that are now working their way down the rivers of the Amazon.

killo7

By the second half of the year [2014] over three and a half thousand River Dolphins were expected to be slaughtered. The number could even be higher as were now in November. what’s angered us even more is this – its completely ILLEGAL!

Sixty percent of the Amazon rain-forest is within Brazil and so Brazil is home to more Amazon River Dolphins commonly known as [Botos] than any other South American country. Botos live in the rivers and lakes of the Amazon and enter the flooded forest during high water season. The Amazon, and particularly the flooded forest, are threatened habitats. Since the 1980s the rate of deforestation and exploitation of the Amazon Rain-forest for mining, logging, human settlement and cattle ranching has increased significantly. These commercial activities pose a severe threat to the region’s indigenous people and wildlife.

“Every year, we see in the region Sustainable Development Reserve Mamirauá , the harbor porpoise population decrease by 7.5% per cent. That is not sustainable”, he says. According to Vera, the aggravating factor is that fishermen prefer young River Dolphins, which hardly ever reach reproductive age. A male dolphin takes 10 years to reach reproductive age and the female between 6 and 7 years. Gestation takes between 11 and 13 months, furthermore, the young mother feeds little ones for two years. The slaughtering of the young is having a massive impact on the Amazon River Dolphin species of which even with a ban in place will see the entire species wiped out should the world not come together now to enforce a complete in  Venezuela, Peru, Columbia, Bolivia, Guyana, Surinam and French Guinea.

The Amazon River Dolphin’s diet mainly consists of piracatinga which is a carnivorous catfish eaten by the locals and indigenous tribes. However humans in the Amazon require 4,500 [Boto's] to harvest every year piracatinga.

So why is this slaughter not being seen among the western conservation world? Well basically this method of harvesting piracatinga which is [only illegal in Brazil August 2014] only began back in 2000. And despite the entire practice being 100% [illegal] governments and law enforcement agencies are doing little to stop it.

When the fisherman capture the Amazon River Dolphins slaughtering of the dead animal is usually done there and then so that the carcass doesn’t rot to quickly. the carcass is then placed into wooden crates of which the fishermen use to capture the piracatinga fish. The crates of carved up Dolphin meat inside the crate is then lowered into the water. Fisherman await and the piracatinga fish move in feasting of the dead dolphin rotting carcass. From there its easy pickings for the fishermen.

Its been widely reported in some magazines, articles and media that Brazil has indeed banned this practice which from July [2014] they did. However these media and press reporters [even science based ones] may want to visit the jungles of the Amazon of which this practice is STILL ongoing and has been since 2000. Conservationists were delighted at hearing the ban announced by the government of Brazil which owns the largest part of the Amazon Rain Forest. “It’s the biggest fisheries ban since 1967 when Brazil’s original faunal protection laws were made,” says Jone César of the Friends of the Manatee Association, a conservation group based in Manaus, Brazil.

Just because Brazil has banned the practice though doesn’t mean for one minute in the rivers of Eqador or Peru for example from which the River Dolphin also inhabits and is not within [Brazilian territory] that fishermen will continue the trade. Furthermore until the Brazilian ban is [completely enforced] its expected that fishermen will kill thousands more Boto’s to store for later fishing. Then of course we have poachers that can and will still flout this ban, and sadly this has already been seen.

Dolfijn1

And before we all start jumping up arms in the air celebrating the soon to be enforced Brazilian ban – Killing Botos for this purpose is spreading all over the Amazon and has been already been reported in Peru. It is a threat to the future of Botos. Should the governments of  Venezuela, Columbia, Bolivia, Peru, Guyana, Surinam and French Guinea not follow suite more River Dolphins will be slaughtered just for a bait. While its also illegal to hunt Boto’s in Brazil by the start of [2015] its not illegal for hunters or poachers to pass up the river to Brazilian fishermen dead River Dolphin Carcasses. Dr Jose Depre – International Animal Rescue Foundation’s Chief Environmental Officer picked holes in this law and sadly this does need amending now to ensure that even the dead flesh of Amazon River Dolphins is not sold onto fishermen upstream.

“Its highly unlikely that the ban within Brazil is actually going to have any affect what-so-ever as policing such a massive area of rain-forest is about as easy as policing mangrove jungles the size of America” said Dr Josa Depre.  Furthermore Dr Williamson Environmental CEO for I.A.R.F Europea stated “While the Killing of River Dolphins is 100% illegal within Brazil coming this new year it will not under any circumstances deter poachers elsewhere, we have much work to do rather than just focusing ones attention on Brazil, we need to push for the same laws in Venezuela, Peru, Columbia, Bolivia, Guyana, Surinam and French Guinea immediately, however don’t think for one moment this is going to be an easy ride”.

The ban within Brazil as explained will be enforced at the end of the year. Fisherman catch on average a year 140 tons of piracatinga fish so in all due respects its highly unlikely cruel and barbaric killing of our Amazon River Dolphin is actually going to stop.

You can help by signing this petition below as soon as possible.

Read more here on the petition that was delivered this August: http://www.ale.am.gov.br/2014/08/21/comissao-do-meio-ambiente-recebe-ativistas-do-alerta-vermelho/

With thanks to Dr Josa C. Depre Chief Environmental Officer and Dr J. Williamson CEO Europa IARFE


Corruption – Poverty – Relocation – Shoot to Kill

lizbradlyasshole

Corruption-Poverty-Relocation-Shoot to Kill Policy!

In Central Africa approximately 80% of rangers are, on some level, involved in trafficking. Because communities are small, some rangers and poachers know each other directly and others, occasionally, are bribed. Luc Mathot of Conservation Justice has organized the arrest of 4 rangers in the Congo in 2012 and 3 from Gabon in 2013. Ranger involvement is less common in South Africa. Strict laws are enforced to curtail such actions and rangers found conspiring with poachers are relived from duty. However corruption is more widespread and larger than you could possibly imagine. Within SANParks for instance evidence has yet again emerged of five ranger involved in poaching activities. When this information is passed onto SANParks their response is “silent”. Back in 2013 we advised SANParks that they must routinely undertake polygraph testing of all rangers and staff involved with wildlife duties. Again they fail to acknowledge our concerns.

Illicit wildlife trade is the fourth largest illegal activity worldwide and is worth $23 billion US dollars per year. In order to understand what is happening in illegal trade, the prices that wildlife products yield must be monitored. Scarcity of a product reflects higher prices whereas low prices reflect abundance. High profit and turn over are the driving factor and poachers have a very small window to work in. If the probability of being caught and punished (i.e. imprisonment or death) is high, this will alter the expected price tag. Many reserve barriers are not deterrents for poachers, as they are minimal (i.e. barbed wire and sparse fencing). Moreover, legislation and borders between subsistence hunting and poaching are blurred. The majority of rhino populated countries have low penalty policies. However, Botswana has the lowest poaching rate due to its ‘zero tolerance-shoot to kill’ policy. The Defense Force treats apprehended poachers as aggressive military threats if they do not surrender their weapons immediately they are shot dead on site – International Animal Rescue Foundation supports this regardless of some public outcry we have to show poachers that killing our wildlife will most certainly involve rangers taking poachers out. Other factors that keeps poaching minimal is the country’s remoteness and low populace. Conservationists were looking to relocate South African rhinos via helicopter to Botswana for these reasons (Carrington, 2014). However, due to high cost and inhumane transportation complications this option has been rejected.

What’s more inhumane though? the transportation of rhinos and so called costs or the killing of rhinos? Personally we’d like to see a 50% score of rhinos moved from the Kruger to Botswana were breeding can take place securely and a shoot to kill policy is fair game. Poachers see South Africa as easy pickings. Until an immediate shoot to kill policy is given our rhinos will be in danger.

Poverty and poaching go hand-in-hand. Impoverished communities are more likely to engage in illegal activities so long as there is a demand for goods. Poaching organizations turn to disadvantaged communities to recruit new personnel. The sole source of income for these remote areas is farming, however, because of its remoteness and lack of transportation, selling produce and livestock is limited. If communities had ways of traveling further into more populated areas, they would have a better chance at sales. However, due to word of mouth, some consumers will travel to the farms to purchase goods, which allows farmers to raise their prices. These methods are sill no match for payouts from rhino horns and ivory. Because poachers are well financed and wildlife products can easily be turned into cash, the decision to poach becomes alluring to those in need. Factors such as social, political, and environmental status are also considered.

Those who begin as poachers have the opportunity to get promoted to better paying, less conspicuous positions. A simple poacher can move up to a chief position and organize trafficking for poachers. One could also sell his own ivory and become a trafficker. The ‘middle-man’ position takes product to the richer barons within cities. These people have an actual chance at moving up after accumulating enough money that allows them to work in less conspicuous ranks. According to TRAFFIC-ASIA, there is a direct link between the rise in regional incomes and illegal wildlife trading. Poachers who enter protected areas are more prone to be risk takers. Some are bribed with cigarettes, beer, money, or other items not so commonly found in local communities.

Poverty is not the only driving force in poaching. Illegal trade has become war-like with a complex network of violent militias, terrorists, government corruption, and organized crime, fueled by demand predominantly from Asia and the rising economic status in Vietnam. In 2012, a 10 kg rhino horn would bring in $20,000 per kg on the African-based Asian-run market. Today, prosperous consumers in China and Vietnam have driven the price up to $65,000 per kg and can fetch as much as $100,000 on the black market, making horns more valuable than platinum, gold, or cocaine. Because of its’ increasing prosperity, Vietnam holds the chief market on rhino horns, yet it has little to do with medicinal ailments. They are sold as recreational drugs for partygoers, aphrodisiacs, for detoxification from excessive food and/or alcohol consumption for the more affluent, décor, gifts such as horn bracelets, and necklaces, as well as a deceptive ‘miracle drug’ to cheat cancer patients out of cash. In 2008, the Vietnamese Embassy was found to be a participant in illegal rhino horn trade.

Conclusion:

South African government must implement a shoot to kill policy as soon as arms are not dropped. poverty must be tackled within “all African wildlife organisations” as this is one primary reason our wildlife is being slaughtered. Corruption must be tackled head on and NOW. Relocation of South African Rhinos to Botswana where a more policed approach is seen must be on the agenda.

Dr J. C. Depre and Ambassador S. Farthing
Rhino Welfare Africa.
International Animal Rescue Foundation
externalaffairs@international-animalrescue-foundation.org.uk


RESEARCH TEAM BELOW

Anonymous. (2014, September). Former poacher. (O. Gasaya, & L. Jorgensen, Interviewers)

Burton, J. (2014, September). CEO at World Land Trust. (L. Jorgensen, Interviewer)

Carrington, D. (2014, September). Inside Africa. Retrieved September 2014, from CNN World:http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/11/world/africa/rhinos-on-a-plane/index.html?hpt=hp_c4

Coghlan, A. (2014, January). Record poaching pushes rhinos towards extinction. Retrieved September 2014, from New Scientist-Life: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24894-record-poaching-pushes-rhinos-towards-extinction.html#.VAuOJWSwJZ8

Duffy, R., & St. John, D. (2013, June). Poverty, Poaching, and Trafficking; What are the Links? Retrieved September 2014, from Rhino Owners: http://www.rhinoowners.org/WYSI/assets/Documents/EoD_HD059_Jun2013_Poverty_Poaching.pdf

Hill, G. (2014, September). Director of Risk and Intellegence at Africa.cx. (L. Jorgensen, Interviewer)

Mathot, L. (2014, October). Founder and Director of Conservation Justice. (L. Jorgensen, Interviewer)

Montesh, M. (2012). Rhino Poaching: A New Form of Organised Crime. Retrieved September 2014, from University of Soutb Africa: http://www.unisa.ac.za/claw/news/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/rhion-poaching-for-profit.pdf

Pandolfi, A. (2014). Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge Supporters. Retrieved October 2014, from Kashmir World Foundation:www.kashmirworldfoundation.org

Peace Parks Foundation. (2014). COMBATTING WILDLIFE CRIME. Retrieved September 2014, from Peace Parks Foundation: http://www.peaceparks.org/programme.php?pid=24&mid=1021

Sandram, S. (2014, September). Wildlife Officer at Gonarezhou National Park. (L. Jorgensen, Interviewer)

Sas-Rolfes, M. ‘. (2012, February). THE RHINO POACHING CRISIS: A MARKET ANALYSIS. Retrieved September 2014, from Save The Rhino Trust: http://savetherhinotrust.org/programmes/84-the-rhino-poaching-crisis-a-market-analysis

Thomas, R. (2012, August). “Loose horns”, surging demand and easy money create “perfect storm” for rhino poaching. Retrieved September 2014, from TRAFFIC: http://www.traffic.org/home/2012/8/21/loose-horns-surging-demand-and-easy-money-create-perfect-sto.html

TRAFFIC. (2008). TRAFFIC’s engagement on African rhinoceros conservation and the global trade in rhinoceros horn. Retrieved September 2014, from TRAFFIC: http://www.traffic.org/rhinos/

Yale Environment360. (2014, January). e360 Digest. Retrieved September 2014, from Environment 360:http://e360.yale.edu/digest/more_than_1000_rhinos_poached_in_2013_south_african_officials_say/4051/

Read more here on the very people trying to stop us from undertaking our work – Liz Bradly from the UK a serial stalker and known sociopath has indulged in countless hours of trying to report the very articles that help save animals just to hide behind a veil of CELLULAR DEVICES. This time she again was caught red handed completely forgetting that the site she had just reported too was only to make her message a cowardly one public.

http://saynotodogmeat.net/2014/07/23/under-attack-from-hate-groups/

Now we know whom the animal hater is – we’re going to deal with that animal hater in the same manner as we do dog fighters.


Sudanese Badger Bat – Niumbaha superba

nium

Every month there is an estimated twenty species of new flora and fauna located on Planet Earth. However back in 2013 scientists from the University of Bucknell University and Fauna & Flora International located deep in the heart of South Sudan a new bat species commonly named as the Pied Bat or Badger bat. And what a stunningly beautiful bat this is too which oddly does look identical to the markings of our Chinese Panda.

The scientific name related to this species of bat was thought to be related to the Glauconycteris superba which for now thankfully is listed as [least concern] on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List identified back in 1939 Dr Haymen whom was the first to discover this particular species of bat. However the new “genera” pictured was discovered in 2013 DeeAnn Reeder, an Associate Professor of Biology at Bucknell.

This species of Pied bat (Glauconycteris superba) was bordering endangerment back in the mid 1990′s of which from 1996-2004 was listed as [vulnerable], to date though its population trend or how many Pied bats actually exist is currently unknown.

So whats the news on the “Panda bat” as its commonly named?

This is a special bat, and not just because of its strikingly beautiful spots and stripes. This is a rare specimen, whose discovery in South Sudan led researchers to identify a new genus of bat. The bat is just the fifth specimen of its kind ever collected. DeeAnn Reeder, an Associate Professor of Biology at Bucknell and first author of the paper announcing the new bat genus, recognized the bat as the same species as a specimen captured in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1939. That specimen was classified as Glauconycteris superba, but after detailed analyses she and her colleagues determined it did not belong in the genus Glauconycteris.

It was so unique that they needed to create a new genus for it. Reeder and her colleagues named the new genus Niumbaha, which means “rare” or “unusual” in Zande, the language spoken in Western Equatoria State, where the bat was captured. The bat’s full scientific name is Niumbaha superba, reflecting both the rarity and the magnificence of this creature.

“Our discovery of this new genus of bat is an indicator of how diverse the area is and how much work remains,” Reeder said in a press release.

So what’s the news on this species of bat?

Well firstly we can state that this species of bat (Niumbaha superba) although not the same genera was primarily located by Dr Haymen in 1939 Niumbaha superba oddly is not listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Natures Red List of (threatened species) as this newly discovered genera is listed as [vulnerable] wheres its relative Glauconycteris superba is listed as least concern.

The pied (panda bat) is found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Ghana and South Sudan, the genus Niumbaha was identified by Reeder, Helgen, Vodzak, Lunde & Ejotre, in 2013. The species lives in natural habitats, tropical or sub-tropical rain-forests or tropical moist lowland forests.

piedbat

To date we are only aware that the current threats surrounding this species is habitat loss. However this soon could change of which threats from hunters hunting for the bush meat trade could see the species pushed into extinction. Habitat loss or habitat fragmentation is playing quite a pivotal role with regards to many species of bats declining worldwide. However other species of bat that normally roost in caves seem to be less threatened by such habitat human disturbances.

Bats make up a quarter of the mammalian diversity on the planet, and they are the only mammal that can fly. The African continent and Madagascar and its associated islands contain about 258 extant species of bats, which comprises about 25% of the global bat diversity. Bats are an important component in ecosystem health and condition. They occupy a critical niche, the insectivorous species being primary nocturnal predators and are susceptible to increased levels of pesticides, while frugivorous species are critical for forest regeneration. Many plants are dependent on these night time visitors (e.g. Baobab), for both pollination and seed dispersal.

Both groups of bats are also greatly susceptible to environmental change especially Niumbaha superba. The effects of habitat and climate change on these species are unknown, and if so, there is much speculation as to the impacts, both positive and negative. These impacts on bats have a direct impact on food security and human related zoonotic diseases. What is of primary concern is that we know very little about the distribution, abundance or the biology of the various species. Also from a cultural perspective, bats are perceived by most African cultures as associated with dark and evil magic, and are persecuted.

Within western, north and the Central African Republic (bats) are hunted and eaten of which this year has been linked again to the worlds most deadliest virus – Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (EHF). While hunting though plays a threat to the decline of bat species habitat fragmentation is most certainly the largest threat to the all species/genera.

Because bats have low reproductive rates, populations are very susceptible to elevated mortality or depressed recruitment. There is scientific concern about the conservation status of bats as many species of bats are increasingly affected by multiple actions of humans such as ignorance, suspicion, pesticide poisoning, roost destruction and closure, habitat loss, over-exploitation, and extermination as pests. Avoid disturbance of bats in caves, including the lighting or use of fires in caves. Some bats have moved into residential areas because human expansion has resulted in loss of habitat, forcing bats to look for alternative roosts in which to live and raise their young.

namv

And of course while we know habitat loss is currently a threat to this species of Niumbaha superba other threats could/will also play a role in its decline that could evidently see this new genera of bat killed off. These these threats are as you may have guessed “human made up myths”..

An uncontrollable, irrepressible fear of bats may exist, but it is often the result of centuries of prejudice, misinformation and ignorance about bats. Dracula and other horror stories have contributed greatly to these misconceptions causing people to fear them and therefore be unconcerned about their conservation. Such as;

  • The incidence of rabies is rare.
  • Bat droppings in buildings usually are not a source of Histoplasmosis.
  • Bats are not filthy and will not infest homes with dangerous parasites.
  • Bats are not aggressive and will not normally attack people or pets.
  • South African bats do not feed on blood. (Vampire bats, which do feed on blood, live in Latin America) and the feasting on blood is mainly of cattle or other large mammalians – although there has been some very small isolated rare cases of Vampire bats attacking humans and feeding of them. Again this is (extremely rare).

So what else do we know about Niumbaha superba other than the threats currently facing the species, future threats and habitat degradation?

OK firstly the Niumbaha superba is really more stripped like a badger but does have we suppose some type of identical markings to that of the Chinese Panda. Niumbaha superba has some pretty amazing spots and stripes with around one and a half centimeters of fur covering most of its body manly on the back and undersides. Its cranial characters, its wing characters, its size, the ears literally everything you look at doesn’t fit that of the previous species located back in 1939 by Dr Haymen stated Reeder. You can read more on Reeder’s discovery here

Bat1

Niumbaha superba is an insectivorous bat meaning it feeds primarily on just insects, insectivorous bats are critically important to the environment as they help keep pests in control that would otherwise if not controlled damage vast swathes of crops, trees, plants and invade human populated areas. Insectivorous bats are also very important to humans as they help keep mosquitoes in check that endanger human life by the spread of Malaria which is known to be one of the Africa’s largest human killing viruses in.

So if ever your in South Sudan do keep a lookout for this stunning and most beautiful bat commonly named as the (pied bat, little badger bat, badger bat or panda bat).

For more information on African and international conservation projects please view our Facebook page below.

International Animal Rescue Foundation Africa

For further information please email us hereto;

info@international-animalrescue-foundation.org.uk And don’t forget to please donate to our cause via clicking the link here >DONATE< Our transparency register can be viewed here of which is updated every six months and due for update this coming week. And don’t forget to subscribe for free to our Environmental News and Media site of which you are automatically sent news as its pressed directly to your email address. Subscribe here at www.speakupforthevoiceless.org

 

 

 


Annual Baby Seal Slaughter In Namibia

Cape-Fur-Seals-Cape-Cross-Namibia-Africa-1

Every year between July and November the Namibian government permits 85,000 baby fur seals who are still dependent on their mothers to be forcibly separated, herded into large groups and  bludgeoned as their distraught mothers scream out and leap around in blind panic, helpless to save their screaming pups.

Unweaned Cape fur seal pup.

Unweaned Cape fur seal pup still dependent on it’s mother.

This horror is followed by 7,000 large bull seals being shot, purely to cut out their genitals, which are sold to Asian markets for false medicine. The enormous and once-magnificent bull seals are left laying  in pools of their own blood along the coastline, which is transformed into killing fields. In 2012 it was found that Namibia also uses  the penises from the baby seals as well, for fake Chinese aphrodisiacs.

Namibia says seals are “not animals” and consequently ‘not’ protected by Namibian Animal Protection laws prohibiting “animals” being beaten to death. Clubbing seals to death is not unlawful in Namibia, which is now responsible for the largest marine mammal slaughter on earth and the only country in the southern hemisphere still commercially slaughtering seals. 

Mother Cape fur seal and her baby pup, in Namibia.

Mother Cape fur seal and her baby pup, in Namibia.

Sealers bludgeon baby seals with clubs and “hakapiks,” which are clubs with metal hooks on the end, then drag the conscious baby seals across the sand with boat hooks and toss dead and dying animals into heaps. Shocked pups vomit up their mothers’ milk onto the sand, as their clubbed and left alive, groaning in agony until some time later being stabbed in the chest. They are later skinned and their genitals cut out.

The Man Who Funds Seal Killings: Hatem Yavuz

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Hatem Yavuz funds the Namibian seal “harvests” and the Canadian seal “harvests.”

Hatem Yavuz funds the Namibian seal “harvests” and the Canadian seal “harvests and is the Namibian Honorary Consul to Turkey, which has little to do with his fur trade but it shows his standing with the Namibian government.

Born in Turkey, his family moved to Australia and he holds residency between the 2 countries. Yavuz was instrumental in developing a market for Australian kangaroo skins, and as a result many soccer players are now wearing boots made from kangaroo skin. To read how Yavuz has decimated the Australian Kangaroo gene pool by slaughtering them faster than they can breed: Kangaroos: Hundreds Of Thousands Annually Slaughtered

Namibia's baby seal kill, funded by  Hatem Yavuz.

Namibia’s baby seal kill, funded by Hatem Yavuz.

Despite the current problematic scenario in Namibia , Yavuz is of the opinion that the market for local seal products can be expanded.  Yavuz does not trade only in seal, but his factory also processes and sells various other boutique skins and furs as fashion items. He has recently received an offer to take over the American mink and otter trade as well.

Cape fur seal coat for sale by Yavuz.

Cape fur seal coat for sale by Yavuz.

Yavuz is considered and recognised as the number one boutique furrier in the world. He estimates his market share at about 85% of the segment. The amount of value added to seal skins as a fur product, is beyond belief. Seal skins come from seals harvested from the colonies along the Namibian coastline where the seal trade removes some 90,000 animals annually.

Baby seal victim of Namibia's seal kill.

Baby seal victim of Namibia’s seal kill.

Animals Australia asks for help to pressure the Australian-based fur and skins company, Hatem Yavuz, that has been financially supporting this annual slaughter. As of 2008, Australian-based HATEM YAVUZ IS THE LAST REMAINING BUYER of these dead seal pup skins to make them into fur coats.

Seals 13

“Cape Fur Seals are directly related to the protected Fur Seals living on the southeast Australian coast and the Namibian Government has allowed 85,000 of these animals to be killed each year.”

“The market for Namibian Cape Fur Seal skins has collapsed over recent years due to lack of demand and import bans in the European Union, the United States, Mexico and South Africa because of the cruelty involved in the sealing methods.”

Namibia's seal hunt massacare.

Namibia’s seal hunt massacare.

“There is international pressure on Hatem Yavuz to stop funding this cull. Please add your voice and express your outrage to Hatem Yavuz for their culpability in animal cruelty, and call on them to commit to never again buying Namibian Cape Fur Seal skins,” says Animal Australia. Click here for: Petition to Stop Seal Killing 

Please feel free to email Hatem Yavuz at his Australian or Turkish companies.

Cape Fur seals are under threat from mass harvesting by government approved sealers, mass die-offs, continual deaths from entanglement in fishing gear, illegal shooting by fisherman, and bad fisheries management leading to scarcity of food.

Fur seal entwined in fishing nets.

Fur seal entwined in fishing nets.

Namibia’s Ministry of Fisheries says “seal harvesting” is necessary to protect fish stocks, even though local fisherman have exhausted the waters of fish, forcing many fishing companies to close their businesses. Protecting fish stocks is the same excuse used in Japan to justify killing dolphins in Taiji. The seal industry falsely claims a constant demand for more fur, of all types, makes sealing necessary.

Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Along the windswept coastline of Namibia, cape fur seals bask on the sand as tens of thousands of female seals give birth to their pups. Pups are unable to swim for their first 2 months of life and are dependant on suckling milk from their mother. Within days of giving birth, mother seals swim out into the ocean, sometimes for days before returning with food for their hungry pups.

Mother and baby seal, along Namibian's coastline.

Mother and baby seal, along Namibian’s coastline.

While the mothers are searching for food, pups congregate together in large creche groups along the shore line. Because tens of thousands of pups are born in a short period of time, mother seals must quickly learn to identify their pups voice, to know which pup to feed.

BBC VIDEO – SKELETON COAST NAMIBIA – HAPPY

The recent colonisation of discarded fishing vessels, proves once again what a man-made shame it is, to force 80% of the seals to pup (give birth), on the mainland so that they can be slaughtered. Even where there is ample dry land seals prefer something resting on islands offshore.

“Seals Are Not Animals” Says Namibia Law

Namibia is one of the few countries within Africa which has conservation and environmental protection written into its constitution. Namibia’s own Animal Protection Act expressly forbids beating an animal to death. The authorities circumvent this by ‘not’ classifying seals as animals, therefore clubbing seals to death is not unlawful.

Baby seals about to be bludgeoned by sealers.

Terrified baby seals about to be bludgeoned by sealers.

It is not about conservation, since there is solid scientific evidence that the Cape fur seal is being threatened by extinction (see CITES list of endangered species app II). The quota of pups to be ‘harvested’ now exceeds the number of pups alive on the first day of the ‘cull’.

Namibian seal pup.

Namibian seal pup.

Independent research has found that the seals do not adversely affect Namibia’s fisheries, and that fish numbers have declined due to human over fishing and bad management practices. South Africa stopped its seal culling in 1990 for the above reasons, and Namibia was advised by the Commission on Sealing to follow suit.

Baby seal pups, in Namibia.

Baby seal pups, in Namibia.

The Namibian Government has ignored all pleas, stating that it will not be prescribed to by anyone. Those employed hardly benefit, since they cannot even support their families. We are advocating the promotion of community-based, sustainable seal-viewing eco-tourism, which already yields 10 times the revenue generated by the sealing industry.

No Filming, No Photographs

The Ministry of Fisheries is strongly opposed to Namibia’s seal “harvest” beatings being filmed or photographed.

“Such a project constitutes a hostile and provocative act that we would not take lightly,” said Alfred Mbanga, spokesman of the Ministry to the General Newspaper. “Namibia has appropriate laws and institutions that will establish law and order again for this case.”

Seals along Namibia's coastline.

Seals along Namibia’s coastline.

Mbanga recalls a meeting with Seal Alert and refuted the allegations and suspicions. “There is absolutely no reason for [animal protest organisations] to take lawless action against a country in the eye, which has all the reasons to harvest seals explained rationally,” said Mbanga. He reiterated that the seal hunting in Namibia would be carried out under existing laws for the sustainable use of resources.

Animal protest organisations considers beating the seals as “brutal, senseless and idiotic”. The Ministry of Fisheries set a quota of 85,000 pups and 6,000 bulls.

The assumption that clubbing several hundred baby seals is similar to hunting single independent seal’s from their mothers is incorrect. Canada, US, EU and Russia used in support of the Ombudsman’s findings banned the hunting of baby seals dependent on their mothers in the mid-1980s.

Overfished Waters

Fur seals swimming off Namibia's shoreline.

Fur seals swimming off Namibia’s shoreline.

When firmly established large fishing companies are going out of business and selling their fleet vessels due to lack of availability of fish, how are seals expected to find fish to survive? If fishermen using advanced technology cannot locate enough fish to stay in business then seals are in trouble.

Fur seals  looking for food, off Namibia's coastline.

Fur seals looking for food, off Namibia’s coastline.

Fishing companies reduced the size of their holes in nets, and now catch anchovy instead, which are the building blocks of the entire marine food chain, when it collapses, and its already down to its last 1/4. Every marine creature dies.

A look inside a cape fur seals mouth, while he's swimming.

A look inside a cape fur seals mouth, while he’s swimming.

Govts, Ministers and fishermen can go onto other careers and never be held responsible, whilst life in the seas vanishes. For seals its crisis, and endless struggle just to try and survive, even being forced to eat seabirds, even though they cant digest feathers. Penguins which eat the same fish as seals and are not harvested, have declined 90%.

Does Eating Seal Penises Boost A Man’s Libido?

In 1998 Susan Scott researched the use of seal penises. She uncovered shops in Toronto, Canada which specialised in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), were selling seal penises for $500.00 each. Each penis came with the tantalising promise “Seal penises will improve sexual function in men.”

A Namibian mother fur seal looking after a creche of baby seals.

A Namibian mother fur seal looking after a creche of baby seals.

Traditionally, a man is supposed to mix seal penis powder in wine and drink it. Some convenient potions come with seal penis already mixed in wine.

Alternate choices are to buy the bone (seal penises have a bone inside them) with preserved tissue on it or buy crosswise slices of the organ and grind up your own concoction. One recipe, named Three-Penis Wine, calls for dog, deer and seal penises.

Frightened baby seals rounded up and about to be brutally slaughtered.

Frightened baby seals rounded up and about to be brutally slaughtered.

When buying this product, people don’t know what they’re really getting. A team of Canadian scientists analysed DNA from supposed seal penises sold in Canada, the U.S and Asia. They found the real thing but also found penises of cattle, dogs, water buffalo and some protected species.

One DNA sample had an alarmingly close match to the African wild dog, a critically endangered species. Another from Hong Kong resembled the DNA of the protected Australian fur seal. Researchers found no scientific evidence that any species of penis boosts a man’s libido, in any way at all.

Bow Hunters

AfricaHunting.com is offering Namibian Seal Bow-Hunting packages where hunters get to kill seals with cross bows, even though seals are not on the official list of huntable game species in Namibia. Accompanied by a Park Ranger, the hunt takes place on the shore, where the ranger helps you make sure the bull will die on land.

Fur seal cruelly killed in Namibia, by a bow hunter from AfricaHunting.com.

Fur seal cruelly killed in Namibia, by a bow hunter from AfricaHunting.com.

When it comes to hunting a big bull Cape Fur Seal, AfricaHunting says it’s all in the timing. Fully grown bulls can weigh up to 360 kg (794 lb) at the beginning of the breeding season. They recommend killing big bull seals for a solid month, from the end of October to the end of November.

AfricaHunting says: “One thing no one can escape from is the overwhelming stench that impregnates every part of you, skin, hair, clothing, peoples eye tear and some even vomit, it is not an experience that is easily forgotten. Resulting from a combination of thousands of dead rotting seals, mostly newborn pups that have been crushed and excrement. The combination of heat, wind and the humidity coming off the sea blows the putrid smell straight into your soul.”

Bow hunters killing fur seals in Namibia, with AfricaHunting.com.

Bow hunters killing fur seals in Namibia, with AfricaHunting.com.

With the hunting permit in hand, hunters can export the Seal as a trophy, even though a CITES permit is required. This species is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES). Appendix II lists species that are not necessarily now threatened with extinction but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled.

 Seals Enjoy Human Company

Instead of bludgeoning baby seals and stabbing them to death, animal protestors are urging Namibia’s government to embrace it’s tourist market, utilising tourism and the natural acceptance fur seals have of humans (unless they are being threatened with violence) and the tourists enjoyment of photographing and filming up-close-and-personal encounters with wild seals.

A wild seal climbs onto a tourist boat and socialises with the people.

A wild seal climbs onto a tourist boat and socialises with the people.

The first video in not filmed in Namibia, but the antarctic seals in the video are closely related to the cape seal species and shows how naturally friendly and welcoming seals can be when treated with respect.

There are many recorded instances where wild cape seals jump into people’s boats and are happy to interact with humans, especially if the human has a fish for them.

This phenomenon has become a tourist attraction for thousands of tourists, as they gaze in amazement at the huge bull seal sitting quietly in-front of them, on the deck of the boat

You Can Help By Signing Petitions

Petition to Stop Seal Killings by Animals Australia, home of Australian-based seal slaughterer Hatem Yavuz.

Petitioning Versace, to stop Hatem Yavuz, seal slaughterer.

To read more how you can help the plight of Namibia’s seal crisis: Seal Alert-SA.

Conclusion

There is no excuse for anyone to buy fur clothing or fur products. Todays market has huge choices of magnificent man-made-fibre fabrics, which not only look good but are equally as warm for wear in cold climates. The world is moving toward 2015 and it is time for Namibia to take it’s blinders off and accept that Cape fur seals “are animals” and are therefore protected by Namibia’s already existing Wildlife Laws.

Please sign and share the petitions (above) for fur seals. They cannot keep being “harvested” at a rate faster than they breed without irreparable damage. Hatem Yavuz has already decimated the Australian Kangaroo’s gene pool; do not allow him to do the same to Africa’s bird and animal life.

Thank you for reading,

Michele Brown.

To read more of how Hatem Yavuz has damaged Australia’s Kangaroo population: Kangaroos: Hundreds Of Thousands Annually Slaughtered.

For more information about the use of dogs in traditional Chinese medicine: The Dog Meat Trade: Sex, Lies and Brutality and also SayNoToDogMeat.Net.


South Africa: President Says Dogs Should Not Be Mans Best Friend

www.Saynotodogmeat.Net

According to the South African president Jacob Zuma, owning a pet is part of ‘white culture’ and people should focus on family welfare instead. He says a dog should not be man’s best friend. The president’s statement, which was made a little over a year ago was met by anger from many pet lovers.

His presidential office tried to smooth things over by telling Star news he was encouraging “the previously oppressed African majority” to uphold its own culture.

“Will I become ‘more African’ if I kick my dog, President Zuma,” asked an angry pet owner.

One humorist wrote: “Well, that pretty much rules out that photo opportunity with Zuma, the Obamas and their pet dog, Bo, in the White House.”

www.Saynotodogmeat.Net

South African President Zuma.

During his speech to an appreciative crowd in his home province KwaZulu-Natal, the president said people who love dogs more than people have a “lack of humanity” and that some people are trying in vain to “emulate whiteness.”

“Even if you apply any kind of lotion and straighten your hair, you will never be white,” said the president.

Star news said he gave examples of people loving animals more than other human beings — letting a dog sit in the cab of a truck while a worker has to sit in the back in the rain, or rushing an animal to the veterinarian while ignoring sick relatives or workers.

Saynotodogmeat.Net is pleased to announce South Africa is participating in our Global March For Dogs and Cats In The Meat Trade!

We invite all South African pet lovers to join our march and bring your family and pets too, April 4th, 2015.

www.Saynotodogmeat.Net

Saynotodogmeat.Net Global March For Dogs and Cats In The Meat Trade, South Africa.

Africa hosts a lucrative dog and cat meat trade which has been kept in the shadows for too long. We are fighting to end the cruel pet meat trade in Africa and Asia. People from many nations will be marching with us, as one collective voice and we hope you will join us too. Please go ahead and mark your calendar. Join us and become the voice of the voiceless.

For information on our global march or how you can help us, please email us: CONTACT@SAYNOTODOGMEAT.INFO.

Thank you for reading,

Michele Brown.

GLOBAL MARCH

Saturday April 4th, 2015 Saynotodogmeat.Net is hosting a Global March for dogs and cats in the live meat trade. Please march with us, in your country. It will be an orderly and peaceful march but we need more ‘demonstration leaders.’ If you can help us, PLEASE EMAIL: CONTACT@SAYNOTODOGMEAT.INFO

Bring your family, children, pets and banners; we need as many people as possible, worldwide. Please mark your calendar and join our march. If you haven’t already done so, please click the box to let us know you are coming: https://www.facebook.com/events/294347744053559/

WE ARE NOW ACCEPTING DONATIONS

Saynotodogmeat.Net is now accepting donations: PLEASE MARK ALL DONATIONS “SAY NO TO DOG MEAT.NET” https://www.facebook.com/SayNoToDogMeat/app_117708921611213

No donation is too small and we are very appreciative of your help and support. Very soon we will be writing a full article outlining where donations will be used. You will receive an electronic receipt and we will too, which we will keep for historical data purposes. NO DONATION will be used to produce clothing with logos on, badges or banners. Donations are NOT for the directors. ALL MEMBERS FUND THEMSELVES.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO SIGN AND SHARE OUR SAYNOTODOGMEAT.NET PETITIONS; WHEN COMPLETED THEY’LL BE WILL BE HAND DELIVERED

PETITION FOR SOUTH KOREA
https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/president-geun-hye-park-take-dog-cat-meat-off-the-menu

PETITION FOR VIETNAM and THAILAND ANTI-SMUGGLING

https://www.causes.com/actions/1764795-a-petition-to-president-truong-tang-sang-moj-prime-minister-yingluck-shinawatra

PETITION FOR HEALTH MINISTER OF VIETNAM
https://www.causes.com/campaigns/71258-minister-of-public-health-thi-kim-tien

PETITION FOR NAGALAND
https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/additional-chief-secretary-take-dog-meat-of-nagaland-menu

PETITION TO BAN THE TRADE IN NIGERIA
https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/governor-of-lagos-hon-babatunde-fashola-ban-the-nigerian-dog-meat-trade-lagos

LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES

http://saynotodogmeat.net/2014/04/04/email-the-philippines-president-to-end-the-dog-meat-trade/

PLEASE SEND TO THE MUSLIM COUNCIL
http://saynotodogmeat.net/2014/01/17/open-email-to-the-muslim-council-of-great-britain/

PLEASE HELP THE PEOPLE OF TURKANA HERE
http://saynotodogmeat.net/2014/01/31/turkana-africa-emergency-aid-letter/

EMAIL THE GOVERNOR OF NIGERIA: New Address: info@nigeria.gov.ng
http://saynotodogmeat.net/2013/12/03/email-excellency-dr-honorable-alausa-excellency-honorable-babatunde-fashola/

JOIN THE WORLDWIDE GLOBAL EVENT HERE TODAY
PLEASE EMAIL US A.S.A.P FOR INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN HELP. SATURDAY 4TH APRIL 2015 – TIME TO MARCH FOR DOGS AND CATS IN THE MEAT TRADE.
JOIN HERE https://www.facebook.com/events/294347744053559/ SHARE EVERYWHERE WILDLY

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Email: contact@saynotodogmeat.info
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PLEASE CREDIT THE ORGANISATION WHEN SHARING


Dog Meat Is Big Business in Nigeria

www.Saynotodogmeat.Net 240 (1)

In a city where animal activists are almost invisible, dogs are crammed into small cages and trucked into Calabar from North Nigeria, to the waiting hands of dog butchers who hack them to death for dog meat.

Nigeria has a booming dog meat trade and the city of Calabar is one of it’s biggest hot-spots, where dog meat is openly sold on street corners and eaten by a broad spectrum of people who refer to it as ’4o4.’ Chunks of dog meat can sell for as little as a hundred naira (less than a dollar), while a whole pot of dog meat can sell for as much as N14,000 or $87.00.

In Calabar, eating dog meat is seen a way of relaxing for some people and they can’t see whats wrong with it. However, people in Calabar who are against eating dog meat say “It is inhuman to eat up a pet, especially a dog which can become a family member.” Dog eaters reply “It is something as old as our culture. Our forefathers ate dog meat and we grew up learning to eat dog meat and by all standards, it is ok”.

Dog eaters far outnumber non-dog eaters in Calabar where its pet meat trade is lucrative and no matter how many dogs they kill, there’s always buyers waiting to eat them.

Weekends are the busiest time for slaughtering and eating dogs, especially Sundays when people in Calabar like to get together with family and loved ones and relax and eat dog meat.

Interestingly, women in Calabar eat just as much dog meat as men. Throughout Asia, dog meat is eaten mainly by men and women are shunned from eating it for a variety of reasons, mainly because men believe dog meat boots a man’s virility and is therefore dangerous for women to indulge in.

Dog meat used to be restricted to certain areas in Calabar and was mainly served with palm wine. Due to clever marketing, dog meat in Calabar is now a mainstream food which is served like any other restaurant food, with multiple choices of side dishes and beverages.

Just like in Asia a few decades ago, dog meat has gone from being eaten secretly to chic restaurant food that’s accepted everywhere, thanks to some clever marketing by dog traders, dog butchers and dog meat cooks.

In the same way Saynotodogmeat.Net are fighting Asia’s dog and cat meat trade, we will continue to fight Africa’s cruel pet meat trade too. We won’t stop until the dog and cat meat trade is brought to an END in Africa and Asia.

Thank you for reading,

Michele Brown.

GLOBAL MARCH

Saturday April 4th, 2015 Saynotodogmeat.Net is hosting a Global March for dogs and cats in the live meat trade. Please march with us, in your country. It will be an orderly and peaceful march but we need more ‘demonstration leaders.’ If you can help us, PLEASE EMAIL: CONTACT@SAYNOTODOGMEAT.INFO

Bring your family, children, pets and banners; we need as many people as possible, worldwide. Please mark your calendar and join our march. If you haven’t already done so, please click the box to let us know you are coming: https://www.facebook.com/events/294347744053559/

WE ARE NOW ACCEPTING DONATIONS

Saynotodogmeat.Net is now accepting donations: PLEASE MARK ALL DONATIONS “SAY NO TO DOG MEAT.NET” https://www.facebook.com/SayNoToDogMeat/app_117708921611213

No donation is too small and we are very appreciative of your help and support. Very soon we will be writing a full article outlining where donations will be used. You will receive an electronic receipt and we will too, which we will keep for historical data purposes. NO DONATION will be used to produce clothing with logos on, badges or banners. Donations are NOT for the directors. ALL MEMBERS FUND THEMSELVES.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO SIGN AND SHARE OUR SAYNOTODOGMEAT.NET PETITIONS; WHEN COMPLETED THEY’LL BE WILL BE HAND DELIVERED

PETITION FOR SOUTH KOREA
https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/president-geun-hye-park-take-dog-cat-meat-off-the-menu

PETITION FOR VIETNAM and THAILAND ANTI-SMUGGLING

https://www.causes.com/actions/1764795-a-petition-to-president-truong-tang-sang-moj-prime-minister-yingluck-shinawatra

PETITION FOR HEALTH MINISTER OF VIETNAM
https://www.causes.com/campaigns/71258-minister-of-public-health-thi-kim-tien

PETITION FOR NAGALAND
https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/additional-chief-secretary-take-dog-meat-of-nagaland-menu

PETITION TO BAN THE TRADE IN NIGERIA
https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/governor-of-lagos-hon-babatunde-fashola-ban-the-nigerian-dog-meat-trade-lagos

LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES

http://saynotodogmeat.net/2014/04/04/email-the-philippines-president-to-end-the-dog-meat-trade/

PLEASE SEND TO THE MUSLIM COUNCIL
http://saynotodogmeat.net/2014/01/17/open-email-to-the-muslim-council-of-great-britain/

PLEASE HELP THE PEOPLE OF TURKANA HERE
http://saynotodogmeat.net/2014/01/31/turkana-africa-emergency-aid-letter/

EMAIL THE GOVERNOR OF NIGERIA: New Address: info@nigeria.gov.ng
http://saynotodogmeat.net/2013/12/03/email-excellency-dr-honorable-alausa-excellency-honorable-babatunde-fashola/

JOIN THE WORLDWIDE GLOBAL EVENT HERE TODAY
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Smuggling Snakes Is Big Business, Part 2.

Snake Smuggle 13  2

Endangered snakes on the black market are highly sought after commodities that sell for tens of thousands of dollars. Live animal smuggling is a £6bn illegal trade. Smugglers don’t care about the welfare of snakes being trafficked and as a result, many perish from cruel treatment. Snakes are seen as aphrodisiacs and are thus in demand, which places them in peril in the hands of snake traffickers.

Tourist laughs as he has his photo taken, holding an endangered Albino Python at a store in Thailand.

Tourist laughs as he has his photo taken, holding an endangered Albino Python at a store in Thailand.

Many people falsely believe that snakes can impart special powers and magic through either eating them, drinking their blood, eating their beating heart or turning them into an elixir.

King cobras are the world’s longest venomous snake and grow up to 5.5 meters (18 feet). They are also the number one snake used in traditional Chinese medicine, specifically for Snake Wine.

Magnificent king cobra in New Delhi.

Magnificent king cobra in New Delhi.

Snake Venom: Rave Party Recreation Drug

Snake venom has joined morphine and cocaine as exotic stimulants. According to Indian police, venom and snakebites are the intoxicants of choice for drug addicts at raves these days. Delhi police recently busted some snake smugglers who were keeping serpents in order to sell off their venom. Authorities recovered four cobras and half a litre of venom, which was to be sold at Valentine’s Day rave parties. Nothing screams “day of romance” like ingesting reptile toxins!

Police suspected that the four cobras were being smuggled to bite junkies. “Cobras are killed in large numbers and their venom is smuggled to Delhi and to be used in rave parties for doping purposes,” they said.

King Cobra’s In Vietnam

Hunting and trading king cobras for commercial purposes is banned in Vietnam, where people consider cobra meat a delicacy. But Vietnam’s big illegal market for king cobras is using them for snake wine.

Nguyen Van Hai was driving in Hanoi, Vietnam when he was pulled over for a traffic violation after driving erratically. Upon inspection police found 53 live cobras in his car, packaged in green sacks.

Snake smuggle 16

Cobra snake.

Thirty-year-old Hai told authorities he was paid $47 US to deliver the venomous reptiles to the northern province of Vinh Phuc. Hai’s passenger in the vehicle fled the scene while police were reading Hai’s paperwork. The cobras were taken to a wildlife rescue centre for health assessment before they were eventually released back into the wild, after regaining their health (TNN.)

According to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Vietnam program, over 90 percent of all animal and non-animal products (both legal and illegal) traded in Mong Cai between Vietnam and China are passing through illegal crossings. In just those three months they witnessed close to 17,000 vehicles, making nearly 34,000 shipments to and from China.

They discovered that the most commonly smuggled animals are pangolins (live, frozen, and de-scaled), freshwater hard-shell and soft-shell turtles, snakes (cobra, rat snakes, python), elephant ivory, crocodiles, civets, bears (live and paws), macaques, tokay geckos, rhino horn, and a number of bird species.

The list includes a number of species that are protected nationally (in China and Vietnam) and those that are prohibited from international trade under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Some are also considered Endangered and Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List. The trade in wildlife in Vietnam is vast and is driving species to extinction.

NGCUS Code: 6681; IBMS: 035701

Cobra fangs.

The criminal brokers facilitating human and drug trafficking across the border also play critical roles in the illegal wildlife trade – they act as middlemen between Chinese buyers and Vietnamese traders and maintain close, corrupt relationships with law enforcement agencies to evade arrest, prosecution and punishment.

The Vietnamese government enforced action against a major wildlife smuggling group in Mong Cai, including the capture and arrest of 20 members of “Steel-face” Dung’s syndicate, the most notorious and violent kingpin of wildlife (and other illegal) trade on the Vietnam-China border.

There are numerous repeat offenders who operate throughout Vietnam’s provinces but the largest fine that Vietnamese smugglers can be charged is up to 500,000,000 Vietnamese dong, or about $24,000. Smugglers usually pay tens of thousands of dollars in bribes to officials when shipping illegal wildlife over the border.

Myanmar

Forestry officials in central Myanmar seized nearly 10,000 snakes in 400 crates intended to be smuggled to China. Fifty cobras were among the 9,176 snakes seized in Pyin Oo Lwin district near Mandalay.

The report did not say how many people were arrested but said those involved would be charged under the Protection of Wildlife and Conservation of Natural Areas law, which carries a five-year prison sentence.

It said the 7,000 non-poisonous snakes were released into a wildlife reserve, while the vipers and cobras were sent to the state pharmaceutical company for their venom.

dscf4779

King cobra snake.

Thailand An International Hub For Illegal Trade in Wildlife

Wildlife can be openly sold every weekend at Chatuchak Market, which is just down the road from the Wildlife Protection and Nature Crime Police Offices. This makes no sense when Thailand claims to be effectively addressing the illegal wildlife trade.

An Iranian man was stopped by customs officials trying to smuggle 50 live snakes onto a plane in Bangkok by hiding them in rolled-up socks in his hand luggage.

With rare native creatures, a large international airport and long land borders with its southeast Asian neighbours, Thailand is an attractive hub for both the import and export of rare animals. Live lizards, snakes and big mammals are increasingly in demand in the Middle East as exotic pets, while tiger bones and bear gallbladders are exported to China, Hong Kong and Singapore for use in Chinese medicine.

Corruption and insufficient sentencing deterrents also make regulation difficult. Freeland Foundation, an international conservation and human rights organisation based in Bangkok, has described official corruption as the biggest problem it faces in tackling the trade.

Snake smuggle 10

Smuggled snakes.

Freeland Foundation director Steven Galster remarked: “Over the past six years we’ve seen only one trafficker go to prison. And that was because the prosecutor [...] happened to be an animal lover.”

While police may make low-level arrests, those ultimately controlling the trade have repeatedly gone unpunished.

In another incident, more than 2,000 cobras and rat snakes, packed in blue mesh bags that were in turn hidden in over 200 polystyrene boxes, were part of a shipment declared as fresh fruit at Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. The shipment had been flown to Hong Kong, where it was rejected by Hong Kong Customs and returned to Thailand because it lacked documentation.

Thailand’s CITES officials and Airport of Thailand officers cooperated to access the shipment upon its arrival in Bangkok. The boxes were then inspected by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and found to contain the snakes.

Authorities told a press conference that the shipment belonged to exporter AK International Co Ltd. The case is being investigated under the Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act (WARPA) and Thai Customs Laws. The snake species involved are protected under Thai laws and CITES legislation.

Snakes are traded in Thailand for their skins, meat, gall bladder, and venom. Large seizures of illegally traded snakes are common in the region.

China

In south China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, police found 89 boxes of snakes and 24 boxes of tortoises in a truck, which was heading for Guangzhou, the capital of neighbouring Guangdong Province, from the city of Dongxing on the China-Vietnam border.

The truck driver, a man with the surname He, said he was hired by a man in Dongxing to transport the animals to Guangzhou. Neither He nor the owner of the animals, a man with the surname of Li, were able to produce legitimate certificates for transporting them. Police believe the reptiles had been smuggled into China.

The animals have been handed over to local forestry authorities, according to the police, who said they will release the healthy ones into the wild, while the others will be transferred to local animal rescue centres.

Malaysian King-Pin’s Lenient Jail Sentence

A convicted Malaysian wildlife smuggler, who served 71 months jail time in the United States after he pleaded guilty to trafficking charges, was caught for the second time while trying to smuggle 95 endangered rear-fanged boa constrictors (snake species) at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. According to an official, Keng Liang Anson Wong was caught after the luggage conveyer belt that was carrying the large snakes snapped.

The former convict appeared in a district court where he was charged with exporting endangered animals without a permit, for which the maximum penalty is seven years and a fine. Officials say the animals were being transferred to Indonesia’s capital of Jakarta.

Snake smuggle 15

King cobra snake.

Other species of snakes and turtles were also found in his luggage but Wong will only be charged for the boa constrictors because they were the only animals on the endangered list. Wong was first arrested in 1998 as the head of an illegal animal smuggling ring that imported, exported and sold hundreds of animals listed as endangered or protected.

Wong, who goes by the name “Lizard King” pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months in jail for smuggling snakes, a penalty activists said was far too lenient and a “tragedy.”  He was sentenced under laws that prohibit the export of animals without a permit and was fined 190,000 ringgit ($61,000).  An official from the Wildlife and National Parks Department confirmed the sentence but declined to comment.

DM7

“This is a tragedy,” said Traffic Southeast Asia regional director William Schaedla in a statement. “It clearly tells wildlife traffickers that they have little to fear from Malaysian law.

“As the government was not successful in delivering a harsh, deterrent sentence to a long-time, globally known and convicted wildlife trafficker, it gives up little hope that other offenders will be penalised accordingly,” Schaedla added. “It sends a clear message that Malaysia is not ready to stand up and battle wildlife crime.”

WWF Malaysia described the fine as a “slap on the wrist” and urged the authorities to revoke Wong’s licenses to trade in wildlife, including permits for the wildlife establishments he runs as well as those linked to his family.

SW 6

Three Cobra Snake Wine.

Australia

In Australia a man was arrested for trying to sneak 44 snakes and lizards onto a flight from Australia to Bangkok. The smuggled animals, including the critically endangered Albino Carpet Python, were intended for sale on the black market for large amounts of money.

The haul included four snakes: three Black Headed Pythons, one critically endangered Albino Carpet Python, 24 Shingleback Lizards and 16 Bluetongue Lizards. Customs officials said the snakes would have black market price of around AU$20,000 each. The 24-year-old man from Sydney was charged with attempting to export native species without a permit.

Australian Customs officers have foiled two attempts to smuggle snakes and lizards concealed in ceramic figures, such as garden gnomes, into Australia by mail that had been sent from the UK and marked as gifts.

Seven snakes and eight lizards were detected in two packages at the Australia Post gateway facility at Clyde in western Sydney. Customs spokesman Richard Janeczko says the practice of animal smuggling is cruel.

Snake smuggle 7

King cobra snake.

“In this case, because the animals are a potential risk to our own wildlife, they had to be put down by quarantine officers,” he said. “Apart from the quarantine risk, Australia is committed to international conventions that outlaw the trafficking of endangered and exotic species.”

Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999, the maximum penalty for smuggling wildlife is up to ten years in prison, as well as fines of $100-$10,000. Investigations into the illegal trafficking are continuing.

Philippines – Snakes In Plastic Bottles

In the Philippines, Manilla Airport authorities show off a viper and other reptiles in plastic soda bottles that were seized from a Filipino passenger in Manila, Philippines. The passenger was trying to smuggle at least 134 reptiles onto a flight to Bangkok.

The reptiles included cobras, water skinks, pit vipers, iguanas and monitor lizards, which were spotted in the passenger’s suitcase as it went through airport security x-ray machines. The animals were handed over to the Wildlife Management Council, part of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the Philippines.

Snake smuggle 12

Snakes in plastic drink bottles, confiscated by customs officials.

In Conclusion

Snake smuggling takes place in almost every country for a variety of different reasons. Officials in Norway say reptile smuggling in “not uncommon” because Norway prohibits people from having many of the reptile species as pets. While most snake fanciers obey all laws, some are tempted to purchase more exotic snakes than they have access to and unfortunately, there are always traffickers to try and tempt them.

Snakes are to be respected. These shy reptiles are powerfully strong and many can easily kill people. They do not have magical powers, so drinking their blood or cutting out and eating their beating hearts is nothing but horrific animal cruelty. Snakes are magnificent reptiles that have an important place in our world’s delicate ecosystem. They are creatures that deserve to live out their lives undisturbed and free from human molestation.

Thank you for reading,

Michele Brown.

To read Part 1: Snake Wine – Bizarre Sex Aid 


Africa: Live Dogs Exchanged For Palm Oil

www.Saynotodogmeat.Net

Danwaki Dog Market is one of the main dog markets in Nigeria where live dogs are bartered in exchange for palm oil. Thursday mornings are the main day, at the Plateau State Dog Market, Danwaki.

On the day before (Wednesday), Kanke dog vendors get their stalls ready to attract as many customers as possible. Most Nigerian markets traders arrive at dawn, but for Danwaki, many traders travel through the night in lorries because by 4.00am the market is already bustling with activity. By 5.00am business is well underway.

Dog traders and buyers travel all the way from states like Cross Rivers, AkwaIbom, Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba, and many other southern states. Dog traders from neighbouring countries of Cameroun and Ivory Coast also frequent this dog market. Traders bring goods from their home states, in exchange for live dogs.

Palm oil from Calabar is known as “red gold,” giving Calabar traders an upper hand in doing business, as they exchange live dogs over for the equivalent value of palm oil.

A regualr dog buyer at Danwaki dog market, Mrs. Bassy Essien says she travels to the dog market twice a month to exchange palm oil for dogs because the business is “lucrative and rewarding,” the only risk involved is having to travel through the night all the way from Calabar to Jos in a lorry.”

Calabar palm oil site.

Calabar palm oil site.

She says once she gets the dogs back to Calabar they “sell like hot cakes” because their cooked as delicacies at local hot-beer joints like the Marina Beach spots, where politicians and foreign nationals sit outside in the cool of the evenings and enjoy eating dog meat.

She says:“With dog meat served together with hot local beer, an evening is made in Calabar!”

Another dog trader who calls himself Akpan said: “I have lived all my life in Calabar, but 12 years ago I started my dog business, that I discovered Marina Spot. When I see big politicians enjoy the delicacy dog meat I feel exceedingly fulfilled that I am a part of their joy.”

Dogs are bred in Plateau State for dog meat. [ NOTE: Breeding dogs for consumption means DOG FARMS.]

In Kanke Local Government Area it is considered a great honour to welcome a visitor with dog meat delicacy. Dog meat has now become a trend in most famous “joints,” even in Jos city. People joke that dogs which westerners call “man’s best friend” has now been renamed “man’s best taste.”

Does Dog Meat Have Powers To Cure?

Many people who eat dog meat falsely believe the meat has medicinal properties, including the false belief that dog meat improves a man’s sexual performance. This ties directly in with customers enjoying tough dog meat, which is brought about through cruel methods of slaughter which are done to deliberately flood the dog’s body with as much adrenaline s possible – making the meat as tough as possible. This is falsely believed to enhance a man’s libido.  It will NOT.

Dog meat contains no magic, no power and no cures. If you’re impotent then seek professional medical help or see a sex therapist, but do NOT expect to get relief from eating dogs or cats.

Some people believe dog meat cures a lot of disease such as malaria, typhoid, dysentery in children, and even protection against witchcraft. It is falsely believed by some dog meat eaters that if they eat enough dog meat they will be protected from evil. There is no scientific evidence proving dog meat does anything except cure hunger.

Veterinarian Dr. Pam Musa believes dogs are inherently emotional and friendly to humanity and that slaughtering dogs for food is excessively cruel.

Thank you for reading,

Michele Brown.

GLOBAL MARCH

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Cassowary – World’s Most Dangerous Bird

Cassowary 14 The magnificent Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii) is a large, flightless bird that lives in the Australian rainforest. As the Bruce Lee of birds, it can kick with deadly force and possesses incredible speed and power. If you can see them that means you are too close and should take immediate protection. If you turn your back and run the bird will take that as a sign of weakness and will come after you at 50km ph (30 mph), which is faster than any human can run.

The Guinness Book Of Records lists the Cassowary as the most dangerous bird in the world. Seriously threatened with extinction in the wild, there were reportedly less than 1,500 of them left in 2011.

Cassowary kicking a shield.

Cassowary kicking a shield.

Cassowaries are territorial and each one will guard about a 7km2 patch of rainforest. They will fight each other to protect their ground. With 5-inch-talon middle claws, they can split you open in seconds. Females are much bigger than males, standing 2 metres (6 feet) tall. Its protruding head-horn is made of keratin (same as rhino horn), which they use to slash through heavy rainforest scrub.

Evidently a family was picnicking on the beach when some Cassowaries came to investigate their food. The people jumped straight into their car and the Cassowary attacked it, ripping a six-inch gash through the door of the four-wheel drive vehicle with its centre claw, which the bird uses for slashing and disemboweling.

Cassowaries Have A Soft Side, Too

Cassowary father and his chic.

Cassowary father and his chic.

As tough as Cassowaries are, they also have a gentler side. Notoriously shy, they are herbivores that eat mainly berries and fruit.

Every day is Father’s Day for male Cassowaries. After courting the female with a very impressive visual display and sound show, she accepts his advances and then lays a clutch of large green eggs in a scrape in the ground that is lined with plant material. She then packs up and leaves while the male takes sole responsibility for the eggs, incubating them for approximately 50 days, during which time he hardly eats.

Every day is Father’s Day for male Cassowaries. After courting the female with a very impressive visual display and sound show, she accepts his advances and then lays a clutch of large green eggs in a scrape in the ground that is lined with plant material. She then packs up and leaves while the male takes sole responsibility for the eggs, incubating them for approximately 50 days, during which time he hardly eats

Cassowary father and eggs.

Cassowary father and eggs.

After hatching, he rears the chicks, taking care of them for nine months and often up to 18 months if he doesn’t mate in the following season. They are the perfect stay-at-home dad, protective of their eggs and chicks and capable of becoming very aggressive in their defense.

Female Cassowaries may mate with more than one male during each season and are sometimes seen hanging out with family groups.

The Southern Cassowary normally feeds alone. If two males meet, they may have a stand off in which both birds stand tall, fluff up their feathers and rumble at each other until one retreats. If a male and female meet, the male will move away, as the female is dominant.

The burden of preventing Cassowaries from disappearing from the wild is mainly being carried by Rainforest Rescue. This organisation is flanked by the Australian government and selected zoos, such as The Australian Zoo, home of the late Steve Irwin and now operated by his wife Terri and their two children, Bindi and Robert. This zoo has a specialised captive Cassorwary breeding campaign, imperative as wild Cassowary numbers dwindle dramatically.

At Mission Beach, Queensland, a Cassowary identification and tracking project remains underway, in which all members of the community are invited to take part. “The Tracking Of Judith” is one example of this project, in which a Mission Beach resident photographed and recorded the growth of Judith, a wild Cassowary, from chick to an adult.

The dense rainforest habitat combined with the Cassowary’s secretive nature make individual birds difficult to see. Although not a main cause of Cassowary deaths, hand-feeding alters the birds’ natural behaviour and disorients them, rendering them dependent on humans. Many threats endanger the Southern Cassowary, mostly due to increasing human presence in its habitat.

cass_fead_bird

Loss Of Habitat

Loss of rainforest habitat is the primary threat to the Cassowaries of the Wet Tropics. Rainforest vegetation has been extensively cleared, particularly in lowland areas. By 1997, 81 percent of native vegetation had been cleared and remaining rainforest habitat was substantially fragmented, according to Rainforest Rescue.

While the clearing rate in the Wet Tropics has slowed considerably since 1997, land clearing for housing development still continues and threatens local populations of Cassowaries already subsisting in degraded or fragmented habitats outside of protected areas. An increase in human population brings more cars and dogs to a locality, which increases the risk to Cassowaries.

Cassowary which has been struck by a car.

Cassowary which has been struck by a car.

Habitat fragmentation due to clearing disrupts Cassowary movement patterns and can separate parts of an individual bird’s territory, such as the habitat associated with feeding and breeding activities. Habitat fragmentation can also separate birds from each other, resulting in genetic isolation and local extinctions.

Habitat degradation caused by selective logging, changed fire regimes and invasion of weed species also affects Cassowaries by reducing the quality of habitat and food sources.

Roads and vehicle strikes

Cassowary which has been struck by a car.

Cassowary which has been struck by a car.

Roads are a major cause of direct Cassowary mortality due to vehicle strikes. According to data from The Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection Threatened Species Unit and Garners Beach Cassowary Rehabilitation Centre, there were 104 Cassowary deaths from vehicle strikes between 1992 and January 2014. Attacks on Cassowaries by feral and free-ranging domestic dogs are also a major cause of mortality and injury, especially around developed areas such as Mission Beach.

Disease

Southern Cassowaries can also fall prey to diseases such as avian tuberculosis, which is caused by the bacterium mycobacterium avium. It can affect wild and domestic birds around the world and is spread by ingestion or inhalation of the bacterium, which can survive in the environment for many years. It causes chronic wasting in infected birds and there is no known treatment.
Stressed birds may be more susceptible to disease and pressures such as food shortages, habitat loss and the presence of predators may make Cassowaries more susceptible to disease.

CyclonesSevere cyclones are a natural part of living in the Wet Tropics and they can have a huge impact, not just on local residents and infrastructure, but also on the rain-forests and wildlife, including the Cassowary. Cyclones can result in major losses of Cassowary food sources and habitats. Not only are the birds in danger from falling trees and rising waters during storms, they must travel further to find food, increasing their exposure to risks such as road crossings.

Cassowary 12

Cassowary in the rainforest.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Larry crossed the tropical North Queensland coast near Innisfail during the morning of 20 March 2006 and is regarded as the most powerful cyclone to affect Queensland in almost a century. In the wake of this cyclone, one third of the cassowary population died as a result of the loss of their natural food sources, dog attacks and vehicle strikes as they left the fragmented and destroyed habitat in search of food.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi was a very powerful and destructive tropical cyclone that made landfall in northern Queensland, Australia on 3 February, 2011. Cyclone Yasi made landfall in Mission Beach with wind gusts estimated to have reached 290km/h, leaving behind significant damage.

A storm surge estimated to have reached 7m (23ft) destroyed several structures along the coast and pushed up to 300 m inland. Most of the beach had lost its sand and every structure was damaged to some degree. The worst affected areas were around Tully, Tully Heads, Silkwood, Mission Beach, Innisfail and Cardwell. In the wake of Cyclone Yasi, Rainforest Rescue came to the rescue to help fund the feeding of the Cassowaries.

Poo That Grows Trees

MyPoogrowstreesNEW-2

Rainforest Rescue best describes the importance of the Cassowary’s place in rainforest hierarchy: “the Cassowary is the rainforest gardener, a ‘keystone species’ that maintains the balance and diversity of its rainforest home through its role as a seed disperser. The digested seeds help prevent fruit fly infestation.

The Southern Cassowary’s main food is rainforest fruits, and the gentle treatment of the fruits through the Cassowary’s primitive digestive system means the seeds are passed unharmed and ready for germination in their own “compost heap” of dung!”

Cassowary fruit and habitat layout.

Cassowary fruit and habitat layout.

Cassowaries are known to eat the fruit of at least 180 species (52 families, 102 genera) of which 149 are woody trees. Forty-five of these plants have large fruit that are mostly dispersed by the Southern Cassowary over long distances.

In Queensland’s rainforests, Southern Cassowaries are the only native animal capable of dispersing the seeds of large-fruited plants and trees over long distances, ensuring the continued balance and biodiversity of the rainforest plant community.

Conserving Cassowaries has flow-on effects for other threatened rainforest species such as the mahogany glider and northern quoll, for which the fruit also provides a major food source.

Habitat

Cassowary 15

Southern Cassowaries live primarily in lowland tropical rainforest, but they also use other types of forest such as eucalypt, mangrove, and tea tree. They are also seen on beaches adjacent to these habitats. Like most animals, Cassowaries need access to fresh clean water for drinking, and bathing.

Each adult Cassowary maintains a home range or territory of about 100Ha. The home ranges of males may overlap with each other’s and with those of females. The loss of Cassowary habitat due to farming and residential development in Northern Queensland is affecting the number of Southern Cassowaries the environment can support.

Cassowary feet.

Cassowary feet with talon claws.

The loss of good quality habitat development (degradation) and purchasing of small parcels of land for homes (fragmentation) is also affecting the Cassowary. Birds living in areas of degraded or fragmented, low-quality habitat need larger home ranges and so the environment cannot support as many birds.

The Importance Of Corridors

A wildlife corridor is an area of habitat connecting wildlife populations separated by human activities or structures (such as roads, development, or logging). Due to habitat fragmentation, local populations can become dispersed, resulting in reduced genetic diversity and in-breeding that often occurs within isolated populations.

Wildlife corridor layout.

Wildlife corridor layout.

Creating corridors allows for the reconnection of fragmented habitats and facilitates the re-establishment of populations that have been affected by fragmentation or eliminated due to random events such as fires or cyclones.

The image above highlights key habitat values including feeding, breeding and resting habitat, water availability and movement corridors. Feeding areas change with fruiting seasons, and traditional food supplies can fail due to events such as cyclones. Cassowary habitat also supports at least 106 plant and 37 animal species identified as threatened under state and federal legislation.

Fast Facts

Cassowary.

Cassowary.

*  Cassowaries have pointed beaks and do not have tongues.
*  They must pick up and toss food to the back of their throats.
*  One of the Southern Cassowary’s most defining features is its casque, the helmet-like structure on its head.
*  Duck-billed dinosaurs that roamed the earth 65 million years ago (e.g. corythosaurus and parasaurolophus) had similar ‘wedged’ heads.
*  Each casque is unique. The casque begins growing in juveniles when their plumage changes from striped to brown.
*  Casques are thought to be used in communication as an amplifier or receiver of the birds’ low-  frequency infrasound vocalisations.

Voice

Cassowary.

Cassowary.

Cassowaries communicate with each other through a range of hissing, rumbling, coughing and booming noises. The low-frequency, booming calls of the Southern Cassowary are at the bottom end of human hearing. At 32 Hertz, they are the lowest known vocalisations of all birds and have been described as ‘strange’ and ‘unsettling’ by people who have heard them.

These low frequency sounds, known as ‘infrasound,’ are thought to travel over long distances, even through dense rainforest foliage. Elephants and emus also communicate via infrasound.

During acts of aggression, Cassowaries are known to make a booming gurgle and hiss noise.

Breeding and Raising Young

Adult Cassowaries live alone and are territorial, except during breeding, which typically takes place during the dry season (May-Oct). The females are usually dominant but are tolerant of males during this time. The female selects a mate with whom she may spend days or even weeks, during which time the male will ‘court’ his partner through dance, display and vocalising.

From Chick to Chic

Cassowary chic.

Cassowary chic.

Cassowary chicks hatch with brown and cream striped plumage, perfect camouflage for their sun-dappled habitat. Chicks do not yet have a casque and their wattles are very small and cream coloured. Chicks are totally dependent on their father for food and protection.

At 4-5 months of age chicks begin to lose their stripes, which are replaced by longer brown feathers, similar to the black plumage of adult birds. In juvenile birds, the wattle begins to grow slowly and turn a pale pink colour, and the casque begins to grow.

Casslifestages-1024x239-1

Juvenile birds are still in Dad’s care but begin to forage and explore independently or with their siblings. They are considered sub-adult when they become independent of their father, which normally occurs when they are about 9 months old (if the father does not find a mate the following year, the chicks may remain with up to 18 months). During this stage, the plumage begins to darken, the distinctive blue head and neck colouration emerges, and the casque and wattles continue to grow and darken.

Cassowaries attain sexual maturity between about 3- 4 years of age. Adult birds have distinctive glossy black hair-like plumage, a tall casque, a brightly coloured bare head and neck and dangling red wattles.

What’s Underneath? Cassowary Dissection:

What You Can Do

Please consider helping the Cassowary, a bird that plays such an important part in rainforest ecology. Losing wild Cassowaries would be catastrophic to all inhabitants living in the Queensland tropics.

One way to help Cassowaries is to donate to SaveTheCassowary.org.au, an organization that is doing so much to help these birds, including playing the role as first responders to injured Cassowaries. They need all the help they can get.

Rainforest Rescue

Rainforest Rescue

The importance of the Cassowary and the significant role it plays in rainforest ecology needs to shouted from the rooftops. Education and awareness needs to be dramatically lifted if the wild Southern Cassowary is to be saved from extinction. One they are gone, they are gone forever.

Thank you for reading,

Michele Brown

 


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