poachers

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Poachers Use Cyanide to Kill 5 Elephants

Officials suspect team of about 5 poachers

(Newser) - Zimbabwean officials say poachers killed five elephants by poisoning them with cyanide, the AP reports. Violet Makoto, spokeswoman for Zimbabwe's forestry commission, said Monday that rangers discovered the carcasses of the elephants with their tusks removed in a western forest last week. Makoto says the poison was laced on... More »

Gabon Makes Huge Ivory Bust

Illegal haul was taken from about 20 elephants: government rep

(Newser) - Two Gabonese men—one of whom reportedly worked for the West African country's water and forest department—have been arrested for allegedly poaching, and a government rep tells Reuters that "We can confirm the seizure of around [440 pounds] of ivory, which represents about 20 elephants." That... More »

Why Americans Are Poaching Wild Ginseng

It grows mostly in Appalachian and Ozark public parks, and 95% goes to Asia

(Newser) - A federal judge earlier this month sentenced a North Carolina man to six months in jail. The crime? Illegally possessing more than 500 ginseng roots he harvested in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, reports the Asheville Citizen-Times . He's far from the only domestic ginseng poacher: By New York... More »

6 Tiger Poachers Shot Dead

Cops in Bangladesh found 3 tiger skins with suspects

(Newser) - Six suspected tiger poachers in Bangladesh aren't going to make it to trial: Officials tell the BBC that the gang members were killed in a shootout after opening fire on police, and officers found the skins of three endangered Bengal tigers that had been killed just days earlier. The... More »

Man May Have Paid $55K to Kill Africa's Most Famous Lion

Spaniard sought in killing of Cecil

(Newser) - Months after Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe came under fire for exporting 23 elephant calves to China ( National Geographic has published undercover photos), the park is again mired in controversy—this time after a hunter skinned and beheaded Africa's most famous lion, 13-year-old Cecil. The lion was wearing... More »

Poachers Threaten Existence of Venus Flytraps in Wild

It's now a felony to take them, as four men arrested in North Carolina found out

(Newser) - Four men caught skulking around a nature preserve in North Carolina earlier this month have learned all about a new state law: It's now a felony to pick a Venus flytrap in the wild. The men, ages 22 to 49, were caught with 970 of the plants and earned... More »

Why Namibia Is Chainsawing Off Its Rhinos' Horns

A third of the world's 4,800 black rhinos live in Namibia

(Newser) - You know what they say about drastic times. Rhino poaching has gotten so much worse in Namibia in the past year that the government is moving forward with a drastic measure—cutting off the coveted horns before poachers can get to them. Unfortunately, even this may not fully deter poachers,... More »

Baby Rhino Won't Sleep Alone After Poachers Killed Mom

Little Gertjie getting some TLC from endangered species center

(Newser) - Gertjie is only four months old, but he's got a backstory terrible enough to keep most people awake at night, so perhaps it's no surprise that the little guy has trouble sleeping by himself. The Independent has the tale of the baby rhino, who came to live in... More »

Poachers Going After California Redwoods

Rangers say many are addicts looking for quick money

(Newser) - Rangers at California's Redwood National and State Park are taking desperate measures to stop poachers from dismembering coastal redwoods to support, among other things, their drug addictions. Rangers say they've had to close areas of the park from sunset to sunrise and increase patrols to prevent criminals, mostly... More »

Florida Guy's Crime: Shooting Robot Deer

Decoy used to catch poachers

(Newser) - Florida officials use a bit of technological trickery to catch potential poachers: They set out real-looking robotic deer in areas they think are attracting illegal hunting, Outside reports. The tactic—also used in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Utah—seems to be effective, the Smithsonian notes. After a Florida man pulled over... More »

Poachers Kill 41 Elephants With Poison

Six arrests made in Zimbabwe

(Newser) - Awful story from Zimbabwe, where poachers killed 41 elephants by poisoning their water holes, reports the Zimbabwe Chronicle . Police have arrested six men and recovered 17 tusks worth about $120,000. It's the nation's worst case of elephant poaching, reports the BBC . Tests are expected to confirm that... More »

India Deploys Drones —to Protect Rhinos

Indian state gets aggressive against poachers

(Newser) - Problem: Poachers are killing more and more protected rhinos in India's Kaziranga national park, and the sanctuary is too massive to effectively patrol on the ground. Solution: Drones. Officials in the state of Assam plan to deploy the aircraft—presumably the inexpensive, unmanned variety—to help save their one-horned... More »

Thai Elephants' New Threat: Poachers After Their Meat

Some Asian cultures believe flesh will boost one's sexual prowess

(Newser) - A new gastronomic fad in Thailand is pushing the country's elephants a step closer to extinction. Poachers, who have historically hunted elephants to obtain their ivory tusks, are now killing the giant mammals and selling their trunks and sexual organs to be eaten as food, reports the AP . Consumption... More »

2011: Deadly Year for Elephants

Ivory seizures represent at least 2.5K dead

(Newser) - This year will ring out as one of the deadliest for elephants since ivory sales were banned more than two decades ago. Officials seized tusks from a record 2,500 elephants, and while some of those could be from long-dead animals, the news still isn't good. "As most... More »

$40K Baby Gorilla Saved From Poachers

But experts worry about ones they miss

(Newser) - A baby gorilla has been saved from poachers seeking $40,000 for the highly protected infant. But experts worry about how many more infants have been stolen from parents likely butchered by animal traffickers, reports MSNBC . The baby gorilla, hidden in a small backpack, was "extremely tense and stressed,... More »

Buffalo Kills Zimbabwe Conservationist

Wounded animal attacks veteran conservationist Steve Kok

(Newser) - Veteran Zimbabwe conservationist Steve Kok has been killed by a wounded buffalo he had spent days tracking. The buffalo—one of the most aggressive creatures in the African bush—had partially severed its leg in a poacher's trap and surrounding communities had been warned the animal was highly dangerous, the... More »

Elephants on Verge of Extinction

Illegal hunting could kill off African population in 15 years

(Newser) - Within 15 years, African elephants could be extinct as a consequence of rampant ivory poaching, conservation experts say. Africa's elephant population numbers just 600,000, and that number appears to be dwindling by about 38,000 a year. That’s faster than the birth rate. One animal welfare group is... More »

Poachers' Poison Slays Rare Elephant

Giant male ate spiked pineapples

(Newser) - A rare Sumatran elephant died after eating pineapples spiked with poison by poachers in northwestern Indonesia, officials report. The giant 30-year-old male, its tusks ripped out for the ivory, was the ninth Sumatran elephant found dead in the region in the last three months. At least seven of them were... More »

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