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Wildlife poaching and smuggling

Thailand seizes 422 pieces of smuggled elephant tusks

BANGKOK (AP) — Thai authorities have seized 422 pieces of elephant tusks and arrested a Gambian man suspected of smuggling the ivory. Customs Department Director-General Kulit Sombatsiri said Tuesday the tusks were hidden in a shipment listed as unprocessed gemstones. He said the parcel was examined because items from Malawi …

Hong Kong ivory trade faces uncertain future as bans loom

HONG KONG (AP) — Wong Lai-ngan hunches over a battered workbench, his electric rotary tool whining as he carves two phoenixes facing each other into a smooth white tusk. Decades ago, Wong’s canvas would have been elephant ivory. But since a 1990 ban on international trading, Hong Kong’s dwindling tribe …

Uganda seizes ton of ivory, arrests 2 West African suspects

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Ugandan authorities seized a ton of illegal ivory and arrested three West Africans they believe were plotting to ship it abroad, an official said Saturday. The seizure happened late Friday at an “opulent, expansive house” in a suburb of the capital, Kampala, where law enforcement officials …

Trade in African lion bones for Asian market faces scrutiny

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Wildlife traffickers in a major African park have been offering rewards for a full lion carcass, raising concerns that poachers are increasingly targeting a vulnerable species because of demand in some Asian countries for lion bones used in traditional medicine. The report from Mozambique’s Niassa National Reserve …

Vietnam destroys huge pile of seized ivory, rhino horns

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnamese authorities destroyed more than 2,200 kilograms (nearly 5,000 pounds) of seized elephant ivory and rhino horns on Saturday, sending a message ahead of a key international conference the country is hosting next week that they want illegal wildlife trafficking stopped. The seized horns — estimated …

Global efforts against ivory traffickers still falling short

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Poaching syndicates shipped large amounts of African elephant ivory last year despite global calls to dismantle the trafficking networks that often collude with corrupt officials, conservationists said as an international wildlife conference opened Saturday in South Africa. The illegal ivory trade “has remained fairly constant at unacceptably …

Zimbabwe, Malawi welcome anti-poaching drones

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Zimbabwe and Malawi are allowing flights by anti-poaching drones as part of an initiative supported by Google and the WWF conservation group. The drones, which resemble large model airplanes, have flown in South African wildlife areas and are part of the Air Shepherd program of the U.S.-based …

500 elephants find new home in massive African relocation

LIWONDE NATIONAL PARK, Malawi (AP) — Half a dozen African elephants lay strewn on a riverside plain in Malawi, immobilized by darts fired from a helicopter in a massive project to move 500 elephants, by truck and crane, to a sanctuary for the threatened species. As development squeezes Africa’s wildlife …

Plight of African lions persists 1 year after Cecil killing

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Some call it the Cecil the lion effect. A year ago, an American killed a lion in Zimbabwe in what authorities said was an illegal hunt, infuriating people worldwide and invigorating an international campaign against trophy hunting in Africa. Some conservationists, however, warn there are greater threats …

Turkey police find smuggled dagger of Libya’s Gadhafi

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish police on Monday caught a man trying to sell a jeweled dagger allegedly pillaged from the palace of former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, according to the state-run news agency. Police confiscated the ivory carved dagger which was encrusted with rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds, during a …