Posts Tagged With: endangered animals

When Cats and Dogs Aren’t Enough

 

This is Little Mo. She was just a few months old when poachers killed her mother and stole her from the wild. These ruthless wildlife traffickers wanted Born Free Foundationto sell the cheetah cub as a ‘pet’ in Somaliland, East Africa.

Mo is one of millions of countless big cats, and other endangered animals who are part of the exotic pet trade.

US Exotic Pets

The illegal trade is a $15 billion dollar business in the United States alone, with breeders and dealers selling animals over the Internet or in trade magazines. It is estimated that approximately 20,000 exotics live in “backyards” all across the US.

While some exotic pets have been bred in captivity, many are plucked directly from their natural habitats. The stress of being violently removed from their homes causes some animals to die before they ever reach a private residence.

pet tiger

Amazingly, the Endangered Species Act does not prohibit domestic trade in captive-bred wildlife. A grave oversight, considering that although tigers are endangered, more tigers reside in private residences in Texas, than in all the wild.

People purchasing these animals believe them to be cute and manageable until of course they grow, their wild instincts still intact, and become uncontrollable.  In 2013, there have been 1,969 incidents (anything from quarantine violations to deaths of animals and/or people) in the US alone.

Middle Eastern Trend

Of course this is not just problematic in the US. Big cat pets in the Gulf region is a growing trend. It is seen as a status symbol. Yemen is becoming the hub for this lucrative trade in the Arabian world. Although the numbers are not available, it is believed this is the reason for the dent in the wild cheetah populations in Somalia.

man riding lion

Several clips have surfaced on the Internet showing the absurdity and ignorance of owning these big cats; i.e. a  riding a lion and a group of men with a leashed cheetah.

Worldwide Smuggling

Authorities around the world suspect they’re intercepting under 10% of all wildlife smuggling, with many saying it’s actually only 1%.

african greys rescused

3 of 108 African Grays released into the wild after a failed smuggling attempt in Bulgaria.

The vast size of most wilderness areas and the limited number of enforcement officers virtually guarantee poachers and smugglers free access. The only way to get a definite conviction is to catch them in the act.

otters

11 otters found alive in unclaimed baggage in Bangkok.

Although smuggling of endangered species is an international violation of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), the penalties are stipulated by individual countries and vary greatly. CITES protection does not apply to exotic animals who are born in captivity.

Root of the Problem

As with rhino and elephant poaching, the root of the issue is to stop the demand. So it is with exotic pet ownership.

*Do not purchase endangered species.

*Do not patronize circuses and roadside zoos who use or showcase exotic animals.

Please read and sign the petition to : Ban exotic pet ownership in the US

Born Free FoundationWhat happened to Mo the cheetah?

She was rescued by the Born Free Foundation. She’s living the good life, with a spacious area and her medical and nutritional needs cared for.

After slowly introducing her to other cheetahs, she is happily living as part of a new family unit.

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Lights, Camera, Action: for Wildlife

Like movies? Care about world conservation? Then New York is the place to be Oct. 16th through Oct. 20th.

The New York Wildlife Conservation Film Festival attracts over 4,000 attendees from the conservation, education, wildlife film and travel industries; including representatives from NATURE, National Geographic, PBS, Smithsonian Channel as well as wildlife filmmakers, distributors, producers and newcomers to the industry.

The festival provides a chance for discussion and negotiation for business opportunities for experts and wildlife activists alike.  It also gives ample opportunity for the audience to interact with leading figures in the wildlife community.

There is a variety of film covering everything from otters to elephants. Check out the following rhino and anti-poaching  film trailers:

Spotter Come Home  (about a runaway rhino being brought back home to Lewa WIldlife Conservancy)

Boots on the Ground trailer  (about the Protrack anti-poaching rangers in the bush risking their lives to protect our rhino)

Rhinoceroses The Curse of the Magic Horn (about three different rhinos, and the threats they face)

rhino with ranger

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Shirley & Jenny

This is the story of a touching elephant reunion. It’s not a new story, but worth retelling. After a life of hardship, Shirley, an old gentle soul, gets a happy ending. She has finally found peace and companionship with Jenny, a friend from her past.

Watch here:

Shirley Part 1

Shirley & Jenny Part 2

Old friends

Old friends

 

Categories: Rhino Spotlight | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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