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NEWS WRAP: World’s largest ivory seizure + captive lion breeding here to stay, says DEA

In this week’s news wrap Vietnamese customs have seized over nine tonnes of ivory in a container shipment from the Republic of Congo, thought to be the largest ivory seizure ever made; the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has proposed that the captive lion breeding industry should continue; three KwaZulu-Natal rhino poachers have finally been convicted after a 10-year trial; celebrities have called on European Union to protect giraffes from wildlife trade; and Japan is to make carbon dating of ivory mandatory for trade, tightening controls on oft-criticised market.

NEWS WRAP: ‘Ivory Queen’ sentenced to 15 years + rangers get closer to capturing escaped lion

In this week’s news wrap a prominent Chinese businesswoman dubbed the “Ivory Queen” was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Tanzanian court for smuggling the tusks of more than 350 elephants; rangers have edged closer to catching a lion that has escaped Karoo National Park; four alleged rhino poachers, including a SANParks employee, were arrested in Kruger National Park; and China’s efforts to ban ivory trade have received worldwide acclaim as the effects of its strict measures are starting to be felt.

NEWS WRAP: Record seizure of pangolin scales + cameras find lone female elephant roaming Knysna forest

In this week’s news wrap Hong Kong customs have seized a record haul of pangolin scales bound for Vietnam; camera-trap technology has captured what is suspected to be the last elephant in Knysna forest; the South Africa parliament has attacked the Kruger agreement with neighbouring private reserves; Uganda seized ivory and pangolin scales worth an estimated $8 million; 20 endangered vultures die of poisoning near the Maasai Mara; thousands of baby flamingos have been rescued in South Africa as drought has put their breeding ground in peril; and a new widow spider species has been discovered – the first in 29 years.

Pangolin rescued from poachers in Limpopo

Earlier this February, Welgevonden Game Reserve’s anti-poaching unit received word of a pangolin sale which they intercepted, arresting five suspects and detaining two.

Parliament attacks Kruger agreement with neighbouring private reserves

The South African Parliament has strongly criticised South African National Parks for signing a formal agreement on 5th December to ratify a long-standing cooperation arrangement between Kruger National Park and several neighbouring private and community game reserves, which together form an area known as “Greater Kruger”.

NEWS WRAP: Six animals electrocuted in Kruger + wildlife trafficking kingpin’s case dismissed

In this week’s news wrap a freak accident in the Kruger National Park has resulted in six animals, including a white rhino and two lions, being electrocuted; a suspected wildlife trafficking kingpin accused of smuggling $1 million worth of rhino horns to Thailand has had the case against him dismissed; two people were arrested at O.R Tambo International Airport after police found R2 million worth of rhino horn hidden in their luggage; and Vietnam customs forces have discovered nearly 1.4 tonnes of pangolin scales and 20 elephant tusks hidden inside a container shipped from Nigeria.

NEWS WRAP: Hong Kong failing to tackle illegal wildlife trade + elephant poaching numbers down in Tanzania

In this week’s news wrap a new study has revealed that Hong Kong’s illegal wildlife trade is contributing to a global extinction crisis; the Tanzanian government announced that elephant poaching has declined in Tanzania’s national parks; China customs dismantled a major ivory trafficking syndicate after arrests were made; and a new Tanzanian reserve has been declared in order to protect invaluable forest.

2 Countries want changes to white rhino CITES listings, to permit trade

Proposed changes in CITES have been released, with Namibia proposing to downlist its population of white rhinos to Appendix II, to allow only international commercial trade in live animals and hunting trophies, and Eswatini seeks to allow unrestricted international commercial trade in all specimens of its white rhino population, which is currently included in Appendix II.

Africa is divided over ivory trade ahead of wildlife meeting

Several African countries with some of the world’s largest elephant populations will push this year for looser controls on legal ivory trade, while another group of countries on the continent says more restrictions are the best way to curb the illegal killing of elephants for their tusks.

NEWS WRAP: Famous super tusker rescued + 2.8 tonnes of pangolin scales torched

In this week’s news wrap the famous super tusker elephant, Tim, was rescued from certain death; Malaysia torched 2.8 tonnes of African pangolin scales; the Kruger National Park 10-year management plan was approved by acting Environmental Affairs Minister; the lion bone quota was reduced to 800 skeletons from 1,500; an American woman was attacked by a hippo after her canoe capsized on the Zambezi River; an anthrax outbreak in Mana Pools in Zimbabwe has killed 100 impala; and eight West African giraffe have been reintroduced to Gadabedji Biosphere Reserve in Niger after a 50-year absence.

Rhino Walking Safaris wins prestigious Kudu Award

Rhino Walking Safaris, a private concession located entirely within the Kruger National Park, has won the South African National Parks’ prestigious Kudu Award for the 2018 Business Partner of the Year.

Balule teams bust three suspected rhino poachers

Three suspected rhino poachers were apprehended on Balule Nature Reserve on Tuesday morning after a well-coordinated effort between numerous anti-poaching, security, aviation and policing personnel took place through the night.