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Friday, 11 January 2013

Good News: Zambia bans hunting of big cats.

Zambia has announced a ban on hunting lions and leopards, saying the numbers of big cats are decreasing too quickly.Lions are found in all of Zambia's major parks, but their numbers are limited. Sylvia Masebo, the country's tourism minister said they did not have enough of the cats for hunting purposes."The cats are gone, and no amount of convincing from any sector or group will convince me otherwise,".

She said that Zambia does not have adequate stocks of cats such as leopards and lions hence the decisions to ban the hunting of the species.Lions are found in all of Zambia's major parks, but their numbers are limited. The total population is thought to be between and 2,501 and 4,649.The ban comes as conservationists warned that wildlife populations now face a greater threat from poaching than at any time since the 1980s.

To find out more about safari holidays to Zambia please call: 01227 753181 or follow the link.

Client Feedback

Hi Susie, 
I would just like to say a massive thank you for your excellent help. It's been invaluable. I will certainly be recommending you to anyone who is travelling to Africa.
The trip so far has worked out really well. We particularly enjoyed our stay at Shooting Star Lodge.
I owe you for yesterday's flight. Plus  would you mind booking me on Jane's return Zanair flight to Dar on 19th Jan B4105 at 17.00.
I hope your year has started well!
Kind regards,

For more information on Zanzibar Holidays please call: 01227 753180

Thursday, 10 January 2013

4 juvenile elephants taken from Zimbabwe to sub-zero China - 1 dead already.

14 more elephants awaiting a similar fate.
In November 2012, 4 elephants were exported from Zimbabwe to China, and it reported that one of the elephants has already died. The juvenile elephants, having been removed from their mothers, were transported long distances by road and plane, and taken to parts of China where the temperature at this time of year rarely rises above -10.

The elephants were taken from the Hwange area and transported by road to Harare, a trip that took 12 hours, where they were loaded onto an Air Emirates flight to Dubai. This flight to Dubai took 10 hours, and from there it is believed that they flew to Beijing.

Young elephants.
The total weight of the four elephants was 3.9 tons, which implies they were very young animals. If these elephants are juveniles as indicated, they must have been taken away from their mothers and therefore family units are being destroyed. It is further reported that another 14 elephants are being held in a boma in Hwange, also awaiting exportation in January 2013. It is said that the final destinations of the elephants are 2 zoos in China.

The surviving elephant in Taiyuan Zoo, in what looks like a freezing prison cell. Is that any place for any animal, let alone a young African elephant? Photo courtesy of Animals Asia.

The surviving elephant in Taiyuan Zoo, in what looks like a freezing prison cell. Is that any place for any animal, let alone a young African elephant? Photo courtesy of Animals Asia.

One elephant has died already.
Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) has learned, via Animals Asia Foundation who claim to have a number of volunteers monitoring the progress of the elephants, that 2 elephants were taken to Taiyuan Zoo and two probably went to Xingjiang Tianshan Safari Park.

Animals Asia has provided photos of the surviving elephant at Taiyuan Zoo. If true, it is disgraceful that these elephants have been removed from their mothers and the African bush to live alone in a cold unfriendly jail cell in a foreign country. The average temperature in Xinjiang at this time of year is -15, and about -12 in Taiyuan. It is highly unlikely the elephants will survive in the cold when they have been accustomed to temperatures of between 30 and 40 degrees.

More elephants to be exported?
There are reports that another 14 elephants are waiting to be exported from Zimbabwe, and the ZCTF are determined to try and stop this from happening. Please help them by spreading the word about this cruel and disgusting practice.

It is a well-known fact that Zimbabwe has a serious poaching problem and to compound that it is ridiculous that live animals are also being sent out of the country.

Let us help you see these magnificent creatures where they belong.
For more info on Safari Holidays please call: 01227 753180 or follow the link.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Sad News: Entire family of elephants wiped out by poachers.

An entire family of twelve elephants, including a two month old calf, have been slaughtered by poachers. All the carcasses were riddled with bullet wounds and all the tusks had been removed.
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers are Monday on tracking the poaching gang that is believed to carted off ivory from eleven of the elephants. The poaching incident occurred at Bisadi area of Tsavo East National Park. The gang is being pursued by a strong team of foot, canine and aerial units.

Tsavo National Park
At 22,000km2 Tsavo is the Kenya's largest single contiguous ecosystem and home to an estimated 13,000 elephant according to a 2011 census. However the size of the park and the difficulty of access in some areas means that it is a favourite for poaching gangs.

To find out more or to arrange a safari holiday please follow the links or call: 01227 753180

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

New tool in fight against bushmeat poaching in Tanzania.

Illegal hunting in the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania: social and molecular genetic methods of combating crimes against fauna.
Tanzania's many and diverse wildlife populations are under threat from illegal hunting, and large herbivores are particularly sought-after game. In the future, however, genetic markers can be used to identify meat from game in order to combat crimes against animals.

Difficulty of prosecution.
Even though the battle against illegal hunting has intensified, poachers are still very active. Attempts to put a stop to this kind of hunting are hampered by a defective judicial system and by problems associated with finding sufficient evidence so that the offenders can be prosecuted.
Stella Bitanyi, of Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, has developed molecular genetic methods of identifying species of wild herbivores in Serengeti in Tanzania. Most of the herbivores that are attractive as game or bushmeat for poachers in this area were included in Bitanyi's study and this genetic tool can now be used for monitoring and estimating wildlife populations and for acquiring technical evidence in crime cases against wildlife both in Tanzania and in other parts of the world.

Meat from protected species on sale, including elephant.
The efficacy of the genetic methods was validated by testing them on known species, which then functioned as references for the identification of bushmeat on offer at local markets. The findings of the study also provide important information about the extent of poaching, particularly in view of the fact that the bushmeat tested came from areas where hunting is strictly forbidden. Meat from many different species was on sale and also meat from protected species which are important both for Tanzania and for the international community, as for example the giraffe and the elephant. Other species, such as the buffalo, are so over exploited that they are in danger of becoming extinct in Serengeti.

Local community awareness.
Bitanyi's doctoral research also included a survey of local communities' awareness about illegal hunting. The results of the study showed that these communities had adequate knowledge about illegal hunting, law enforcement and the importance of protecting animal species. Tribes with strong hunting traditions, and especially men, knew a great deal about the restrictions on the exploitation of wildlife resources and about the consequences this had for them.

Information about species identification of bushmeat on sale in the local communities was unreliable, whether the meat was legally or illegally acquired. However, the reliability depended on the position the person concerned had in the trade chain.

The field studies were conducted in Tanzania, while the laboratory work and data analysis were carried out at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science in Oslo.
Stella Bitanyi promoted her PhD research on with a thesis entitled "Illegal hunting in the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania: social and molecular genetics approaches towards forensic investigations".

Courtesy of the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science.

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