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Another giant elephant taken by trophy hunters

Another blow for Africa’s remaining large-tusked elephants, as trophy hunters kill another massive elephant in Gonarezhou, Zimbabwe. The surgical removal of Africa’s giants continues.

NEWS WRAP: Singapore seizes record haul of pangolin scales + death row “nuisance” elephant Riff Raff gets a reprieve

In the latest news wrap Singapore has seized 12.9 tonnes of pangolin scales found in a shipping container destined for Vietnam, the biggest seizure of its kind globally in five years; death row “nuisance” elephant Riff Raff gets a reprieve as judge intervenes to prevent shooting; three rhino poachers from the notorious Ndlovu gang were sentenced to an effective 25 years behind bars; and two field rangers were attacked and injured by an elephant in the Kruger National Park while conducting a routine patrol.

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.

Opinion: Dereck Joubert reacts to Botswana hunting and culling recommendation

Respected filmmaker and conservation spokesperson Dereck Joubert has reacted to the Botswana government committee proposal to resume trophy hunting, and commence with elephant culling. Plans also include erecting fences to prevent certain wildlife migrations, and improve on human-wildlife conflict mitigation methods.

Fate of meerkats tied to seasonal climate effects

Does a drier and hotter climate present a threat to the meerkats in the Kalahari Desert? Researchers reveal that climate change is likely to impact meerkats, and seasonal rainfall and temperature will be the key factors.

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.

Detecting wildlife cybercrime

Being able to identify transactions involving restricted species, and conversations happening about them, will assist law enforcement in the fight against wildlife trafficking.

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”.

Understanding yellow fever

Recent news reports have raised concerns about yellow fever and its vaccine. We take a look at this disease and the risks and benefits of the vaccine.

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.