Hong Kong votes to end its massive ivory trade by 2021

February 2, 2018 by  
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In an historic vote, the Legislative Council of Hong Kong voted 49-4 to ban the trade of ivory by 2021. The conclusion of a campaign waged by organizations such as Avaaz and WildAid Hong Kong , the ban could save tens of thousands of African elephants from poaching each year. The vote comes two years after Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying pledged to end the ivory trade and over a year since the government submitted its plan to end the world’s largest ivory trade. To force action in the Legislative Council, US-based global actvist group Avaaz gathered one million signatures in support of ending the Hong Kong ivory trade. “It was a huge boost to be able to deliver a million voices into the debate before we voted for the ivory ban,” Hong Kong legislator Hon Elizabeth Quat told Avaaz . “The world stood with us, and it made a difference.” After Avaaz activists applied additional pressure, including a social media campaign featuring Hong Kong superstar Li Bing Bing, a traditional media campaign, and in-person protests, the ban was called up for a vote and passed overwhelmingly. Related: Hippos could be threatened with extinction due to demand for their teeth While the vote is a positive step forward, it leaves much to be desired. “Every positive step to us concerning elephants is good news,” Philip Muruthi, vice president of species protection for the Nairobi-based African Wildlife Foundation, told National Geographic. “But the urgency of the issue as it pertains to elephants hasn’t been taken seriously here.” In the past decade, the African elephant population has dropped from 490,000 to 350,000, primarily due to poaching . Mainland China banned its legal ivory trade last year, but there are concerns that a black market may take hold. “With the later implementation of the Hong Kong ban, those with ivory in mainland China might perceive a potential back door for unloading their stock,” Richard Thomas, spokesman for TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring organization, told National Geographic . “It will be critical to closely monitor and document ivory stockpiles and secure borders to ensure this door remains firmly shut.” Under the new Hong Kong law, smugglers could face up to 10 years in prison and a $1.3 million fine for illegal ivory trading. Via Avaaz and National Geographic Images via Avaaz (email)

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Hong Kong votes to end its massive ivory trade by 2021

Endangered Borneo pygmy elephants cruelly slaughtered for ivory

January 4, 2017 by  
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Elephant poaching has ravaged populations in Africa for years – and now poachers are starting to target endangered pygmy elephants in Sabah, Borneo. On New Year’s Eve wildlife officials found the bones of Sabre, a male pygmy elephant known for having tusks similar to a sabre-tooth tiger’s. Only days before, they’d found another mutilated male elephant. Both horrifying incidents occurred less than a mile away from each other. Sabre was probably murdered in late November. Conservationists fitted him with a satellite collar after finding him on a palm oil plantation in October. They released him back into the wild, as poaching wasn’t thought to be a grave danger to elephants in the area. Related: 8 Heartbreakingly Adorable Endangered Animals That We Need to Save The other unnamed male elephant was likely killed about a month after Sabre; his face had been hacked off so the poacher could grab his tusks. Danau Girang Field Centre director Benoit Goossens said a professional hunter may have cruelly slaughtered the elephants. Goossens told The Guardian, “My hope is that Sabah wakes up…we are losing our megafauna, the rhino is gone, the banteng [wild cow] is going, the elephant will be next. Those crimes should not go unpunished. Let’s not lose our jewels, the next generation will not forgive us.” According to the World Wildlife Fund, only around 1,500 pygmy elephants are alive in the world. These small elephants struggling for survival in Sabah face deforestation and habitat loss, mainly at the hands of the palm oil industry. Wildlife Conservation Society Vice President of Species Conservation Elizabeth Bennett told The Guardian that elephants will be safe from poaching only when ivory markets are closed. China has announced plans to ban the ivory trade by the end of the year – and for imperiled elephants, that date can’t come soon enough. Via The Guardian Images via shankar s. on Flickr and Bas Leenders on Flickr

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Endangered Borneo pygmy elephants cruelly slaughtered for ivory

Endangered Borneo pygmy elephants cruelly slaughtered for ivory

January 4, 2017 by  
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Elephant poaching has ravaged populations in Africa for years – and now poachers are starting to target endangered pygmy elephants in Sabah, Borneo. On New Year’s Eve wildlife officials found the bones of Sabre, a male pygmy elephant known for having tusks similar to a sabre-tooth tiger’s. Only days before, they’d found another mutilated male elephant. Both horrifying incidents occurred less than a mile away from each other. Sabre was probably murdered in late November. Conservationists fitted him with a satellite collar after finding him on a palm oil plantation in October. They released him back into the wild, as poaching wasn’t thought to be a grave danger to elephants in the area. Related: 8 Heartbreakingly Adorable Endangered Animals That We Need to Save The other unnamed male elephant was likely killed about a month after Sabre; his face had been hacked off so the poacher could grab his tusks. Danau Girang Field Centre director Benoit Goossens said a professional hunter may have cruelly slaughtered the elephants. Goossens told The Guardian, “My hope is that Sabah wakes up…we are losing our megafauna, the rhino is gone, the banteng [wild cow] is going, the elephant will be next. Those crimes should not go unpunished. Let’s not lose our jewels, the next generation will not forgive us.” According to the World Wildlife Fund, only around 1,500 pygmy elephants are alive in the world. These small elephants struggling for survival in Sabah face deforestation and habitat loss, mainly at the hands of the palm oil industry. Wildlife Conservation Society Vice President of Species Conservation Elizabeth Bennett told The Guardian that elephants will be safe from poaching only when ivory markets are closed. China has announced plans to ban the ivory trade by the end of the year – and for imperiled elephants, that date can’t come soon enough. Via The Guardian Images via shankar s. on Flickr and Bas Leenders on Flickr

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Endangered Borneo pygmy elephants cruelly slaughtered for ivory

Cindy Chinn carves a tiny family of elephants into pencil tips

July 5, 2016 by  
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Many great things spring forth from the tip of a pencil, including beautiful sketches, thoughtful prose, and scientific equations. In all those instances, the graphite running through the pencil serves as a tool for expressing an idea formed in the human mind. Chinn’s work is similar in that she carefully shapes the pencil’s graphite into representations of familiar objects (and now animals). The big difference is that Chinn’s sculptures require considerably more skill and accuracy than using a pencil as a writing or drawing tool. Related: A tiny train emerges from a pencil in this intricate sculpture To create the minuscule pencil sculptures , Chinn hand carves the graphite with the help of a magnifying lamp, trinocular microscope, and surely a metric ton of concentration. She plans each piece carefully and the design of the elephant sculpture evolved from her client’s initial request, all before the sculpting started. “I added some grid lines to help me scale the carving on the pencil lead,” she wrote in a blog post . “The client requested a single elephant, but then I turned it into three… then I wanted to add trees… then I wanted to add grass for them to walk on.” The artist, who lives in Nebraska, regularly creates commissioned artworks  such as this, but also sells sculptures via Etsy . If you are enamoured with Elephant Walk, she will even create a custom version of it for you, ranging from $200 to $800 in price, depending on how many elephants you’d like. Made-to-order versions of her famous train pencil carving are also for sale, as well as other items created using a plasma cutter, such as a handsaw depicting a cowboy and horse cut out of the blade. + Cindy Chinn Via Colossal Images via Cindy Chinn

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Cindy Chinn carves a tiny family of elephants into pencil tips

11 Zimbabwe elephants found dead from cyanide poisoning in Cecil’s park

October 9, 2015 by  
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Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe has been the scene of another unnecessary killing, as park officials have confirmed they found 11 elephants poisoned to death with cyanide. Just months after Cecil the Lion was killed by American dentist Dr. Walter James Palmer in the same park, park rangers found the deceased elephants next to a cyanide-laced salt lick, several with their tusks removed. Authorities have also said three additional elephants were found dead in Matusadona Park, also from cyanide poisoning. Read the rest of 11 Zimbabwe elephants found dead from cyanide poisoning in Cecil’s park

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Net-zero INhouse boasts water-smart solutions essential for parched California

October 9, 2015 by  
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Zoo Zurich’s new elephant house is a pre-fab lace-like wooden dome

August 5, 2015 by  
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What we think about when we try not to think about global warming

June 20, 2015 by  
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Global warming is the elephant in the room. Here’s why so many people couldn’t care less, even though we should.

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What we think about when we try not to think about global warming

VIDEO: A Baby Elephant’s First Trip to the Ocean

December 2, 2014 by  
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Incredibly intelligent, empathetic, and just gorgeous to admire, elephants form close friendship bonds with those around them, and have strong connections with their family members. Their babies are also ridiculously cute, especially when they’re exploring the world around them. This little guy is jumping in the ocean for the first time in his life, and you can see the sheer amount of joy he’s experiencing. Do you remember the first time you played in the sea? Elephants are so much like us, and this beautiful video is a perfect example of the kinship we share with them. Missing Attachment Read the rest of VIDEO: A Baby Elephant’s First Trip to the Ocean Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: baby animal video , baby elephant , baby elephant ocean , baby elephant sea , baby elephant swim , baby elephant video , baby elephants , Elephant , elephant conservation , elephant swim , elephant video , elephants , ocean , ocean swim

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U.S. Introduces ‘Near Complete Ban’ on Elephant Ivory Trade

February 12, 2014 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock This week the White House announced a new “ National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking ” that includes a near complete ban on the commercial trade of elephant ivory . Under the new legislation it will be illegal to import any elephant ivory into the U.S., including antique ivory, while the export and domestic resale of elephant ivory will be prohibited in most circumstances. Read the rest of U.S. Introduces ‘Near Complete Ban’ on Elephant Ivory Trade Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Animals , elephant hunting , Elephant Poaching , elephant tuck , elephants , endangered , ivory , Ivory Trade , preservation , trafficking , Wildlife , wildlife trafficking        

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