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NEWS WRAP: Tanzania launches largest elephant collaring effort + Britain to ban sale of ivory

In this week’s news wrap Tanzania has launched the country’s largest ever elephant collaring effort to protect its dwindling elephant population; Britain will ban the sale of ivory items regardless of their age in an effort to restrict the illegal ivory trade; Taiwan is to revise laws for a complete ban in ivory trade from 2020; two Chinese nationals have been held in Nepal with 162 kg of pangolin scales; fifty-eight years jail time has been handed down to rhino poachers; a report states that donkey skins are the new ivory; and Kenya’s tourism minister advocates life sentences for ivory possession.

NEWS WRAP: Hunter kills collared elephant + 3 rangers drown in Lower Zambezi

In this week’s news wrap a giant elephant was killed by a Russian hunter – despite wearing a research collar; three rangers have drowned in Lower Zambezi; the South African DA says that the illegal abalone trade is fuelled by the Department of Agriculture; Kenya considers hunting as land-use model for community and private land; reports say that Grace Mugabe allegedly gifted ivory to Asian first ladies; five people were arrested over possession of elephant tusks valued at R600k; and a man has been jailed for 18 months over possession of elephant bones in Malawi.

NEWS WRAP: Sudan the rhino passes away + undecided fate for killer lion

In this week’s news wrap Sudan, the last male northern white rhino, has sadly passed away at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya; the fate of lion that mauled a woman to death at Kevin Richardson’s sanctuary remains undecided; African leaders call on EU to shut down ivory trade; and wildlife authorities in Zimbabwe have apprehended a villager in Hwange area for dealing in pangolin.

The story of little Mussa

Meet little Mussa. He was recently rescued from poachers who killed his family for bushmeat. Now he is safely recovering at the Lwiro primate sanctuary, Centre de Rehabilitation des Primates de Lwiro (CRPL), in the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, Mussa is just one of the few lucky chimps to be saved from the hands of poachers.

NEWS WRAP: EU major smuggler of African reptiles + 3 Kruger elephants killed

In this week’s news wrap a report claims that the European Union is a major destination for illegally smuggled live snakes, lizards and tortoises from southern Africa; three bull elephants are killed after escaping Kruger National Park; poaching is threatening the survival of the magot monkey according to a report; and in two separate cases, approximately 2,800 kilograms of pangolin scales and 3.5 tons of ivory – both originating from Nigeria – have been seized by Hong Kong and Singapore custom officials respectively.

Record jail time for DRC poachers in Congo

Congo-Brazzaville has meted out the highest sentence for wildlife crime with the conviction of poachers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for the recent slaughter of 11 elephants.

NEWS WRAP: Hunter shot dead + Hong Kong votes to ban ivory sales

In this week’s news wrap a hunter was shot dead at a captive-bred lion hunting farm in South Africa; Hong Kong has voted to ban domestic ivory sales in a landmark move; around 600 kg of elephant tusks and 600 kg of pangolin scales were seized in Ivory Coast; US President Donald Trump has confirmed that he will not be lifting the ban on elephant trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe; and 3.5 tons of hippo teeth went up for auction on Monday in Tanzania, despite criticism.

Japan’s ivory market must close down, according to study

With China announcing that it would shut down all ivory trade by the end of this year, concerns have been raised that Japan’s failure to prevent illegal ivory exports will undermine China’s prospective ban and the efforts to end the global trafficking of elephant tusks.

NEWS WRAP: Call for Japan to close ivory market + lion cub speared

In this week’s news wrap two major conservation groups have called for the closure of Japan’s domestic ivory market; a lion cub was speared during what appears to be a human-wildlife conflict in Maasai Mara; 216 elephant tusks were seized in southeast Cameroon; and a recent study has revealed that pangolin smugglers are constantly opening up new global trade routes every year to avoid law enforcement agencies.

Video: Lion cub speared, recovers

A lion cub from the famous Ridge Pride in Kenya’s Maasai Mara was speared during what appears to be a human-wildlife conflict incident. The cub was treated by a vet and seems to have made a full recovery.

Ostrich egg smugglers get 25 years

Two Tanzanian men caught with 16 ostrich eggs were sentenced to 25 years in jail on Friday after being convicted of “economic sabotage”.

Opinion: Hunting is sustainable (ab)use

None of the existing role players in conservation understand what is required to save Africa’s vanishing wilderness. The issue is just too broad and deep – and politically charged.

NEWS WRAP: China seizes 12 tonnes of pangolin scales + canned lion hunting

In this week’s news wrap Chinese customs officials in Shenzhen have seized 11.9 tonnes of scales from endangered African pangolins; the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA) has now approved canned lion hunting; a study reveals that trophy hunting may cause extinction in a changing environment; SANParks claims that some Kruger National Park rangers are collaborating with poachers; and staying in the Kruger, the Park and Mozambican authorities are now collaborating in a bid to clamp down on rhino poaching.

Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park: Protecting the “birthplace of rhino”

Over the past few months, Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park (HiP) in KwaZulu-Natal – managed by conservation agency Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife – has been hard hit by a significant escalation in rhino poaching. Ezemvelo has subsequently been hard at work developing more effective anti-poaching and resource management strategies. In support of this, Peace Parks Foundation has committed an additional R10,6 million towards the implementation of advanced technology solutions in this sacred rhino protection area.

NEWS WRAP: Rhino 8 nabs poachers + US big-game trophy decision

In this week’s news wrap an anti-poaching team celebrates success; US President Donald Trump calls elephant trophy hunting a “horror show”; the Trump administration is sued for allowing US hunters to import elephant and lion trophies; a woman’s body is found after a crocodile dragged her into river; and Mozambique ports have become the new export hub for ivory smugglers.

Opinion: Too many lions in Kunene

Whether tourism operators and armchair lion-lovers like it or not, there are now too many lions in some parts of the Kunene region. Trying to save the lions that are killing livestock, or harassing the farmers who kill them, including impounding their firearms, will not serve the interests of conservation in the region.

Top anti-poaching cop fired

One of South Africa’s top anti-rhino poaching cops has been fired on allegedly “trumped-up charges” and is now unemployed and looking for a job.

NEWS WRAP: Over 50 elephant tails seized + new cheetah blood in KZN

In this week’s news wrap four traffickers have been arrested in Ivory Coast after 53 elephant tails were seized; new blood as plans to introduce ten new cheetahs to a KwaZulu-Natal park is underway; rare cycads face increasing threats as they become a target for theft; almost 50 vultures are poisoned in the Kruger National Park; and distressing images of a pregnant rhino mother and calf killed by poachers.

NEWS WRAP: First cheetah cubs in 100 years + lion skeletons in Asia

In this week’s news wrap Liwonde National Park in Malawi celebrates the birth of the first cheetah cubs in 100 years; a report reveals over 6,000 lion skeletons have been exported to Asia in the last decade; African aquaculture is threatening native fish species; and good news for rhinos as 14 black rhinos are successfully moved from Kwa-Zulu Natal to a new private reserve to help with population growth.