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Wildlife poaching and smuggling

Kenya burns huge pile of ivory tusks to protest poaching

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya’s president set fire Saturday to 105 tons of elephant ivory and more than 1 ton of rhino horn, believed to be the largest stockpile ever destroyed, in a dramatic statement by this East African country against the trade in ivory and products from endangered species. …

Cambodia to repopulate forests with tigers from abroad

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia has unveiled a plan to reintroduce tigers from abroad into the dry forests of the country, where the big cat has become virtually extinct thanks to poaching, conservation officials said Wednesday. Between 20 and 50 tigers were believed to exist in Cambodia’s forests, but …

In South Africa, drones used to battle rhino poaching

HLUHLUWE-IMFOLOZI GAME RESERVE, South Africa (AP) — In hills where Zulu royalty once hunted wildlife, South African conservationists now scan live video from a thermal-imaging camera attached to a drone, looking for heat signatures of poachers stalking through the bush to kill rhinos. The unarmed drone, which resembles a model …

Mozambique park sees wildlife numbers grow in wake of war

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Lions are getting pregnant and the waterbuck population is soaring at one of Mozambique’s main national parks, once the scene of fighting during a civil war which virtually wiped out the park’s lions, elephants and many other species. The 15-year conflict that killed up to 1 million …

South African group reports slight drop in rhino poaching

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The number of rhinos poached in South Africa in 2015 was slightly lower than in the previous year, representing modest progress by law enforcement in countering poachers who have killed rhinos in record numbers, according to a conservation group. Citing unidentified sources, Elise Daffue, founder of StopRhinoPoaching.com, …

Zimbabwe: 14 elephants killed by cyanide poisoning

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Fourteen elephants were poisoned by cyanide in Zimbabwe in three separate incidents, two years after poachers killed more than 200 elephants by poisoning, Zimbabwe’s National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said Tuesday. Three elephants were killed in Matusadona National Park in the Kariba area in northern …

US man accused in African lion death thought hunt was legal

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — An avid Minnesota hunter accused of illegally killing a protected lion in Zimbabwe said Tuesday that he thought everything about his trip was legal and wasn’t aware of the animal’s status “until the end of the hunt.” Walter Palmer, who has a felony record in the …

Palau burns Vietnamese boats caught fishing illegally

TOKYO (AP) — The tiny Pacific nation of Palau, fighting a rising tide of illegal fishing in its waters, has set fire to four boats of Vietnamese caught poaching sea cucumbers and other marine life in its waters. Palau’s president, Tommy Remengesau Jr., said the boats were burned Friday morning. …

Activists: Decline of elephants in Tanzania is catastrophic

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The sharp decline of the elephant population in Tanzania, most likely due to poaching, is catastrophic, a wildlife conservation group said Tuesday. The Tanzanian government on Monday estimated that 65,721 elephants have died in the country in the last five years. The report showed the number …

Thailand says it makes its biggest bust of elephant tusks

BANGKOK (AP) — Customs officials in Thailand say they’ve seized 4 tons of ivory worth $6 million hidden in bean sacks in what they’re calling the biggest bust in the country’s history. Customs Department Director-General Somchai Sujjapongse says the 739 elephant tusks were bound for Laos but seized at a …