A blog for the conservationists, environmentalists, and animal rights activists. It would be great if we kept the wild in wild animals. // Corrine // beestheword@gmail.com // flickr.com/corhenn

Last of the Longnecks

Everyone go check out Ashley’s kickstarter!

"LAST OF THE LONGNECKS is a documentary that raises awareness about critical threats affecting GIRAFFE conservation.

Worldwide giraffe populations have plummeted from an estimated 140,000 in 1999 to just 70,000 in 2014. Essentially their numbers have been cut in half in only 15 years. To date, no documentaries have been produced which raise awareness about this silent march into giraffe extinction.”

Safari Club International On Conservation: The Pot Calling The Kettle Black.

"Safari Club International has released a report, "A Stampede of Hypocrisy," that attempts to serve as an exposé accusing animal rights activists of stealing financial donations that were intended for elephants. While SCI may be correct in its claims against the organizations it mentions, it is a rather weak attempt at discrediting those who oppose SCI’s methods of conservation and as we will see, their partners are not without their forms of corruption and mismanagement. The impetus for their attack stems from the USFWS’s temporary ban on the importation of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Tanzania. 

In the background section of their release, SCI states that activists “trumpet” that they are speaking for the interests of elephants, but “are nothing more than jumbo hypocrites.” The evidence that SCI uses to indict an entire community as being hypocritical are two stories about organizations that were found to have conducted improper spending and tactics. The actions that SCI highlights, while not acceptable, do not, however, reflect the tacit on-ground work that people in those organizations do, nor should they serve as examples of all activists. There are dozens of legitimate organizations worldwide working to protect elephants with little funding. Not only is the purpose of their report to point fingers, it is poorly constructed and shallow, as it does not present a valid claim that activists are poaching funds from elephants. It merely, although accurately, provides examples of the mismanagement of a few organizations. 

Another significant error is that SCI states that animal rights activists “want to impose their ideology on Africa.” Yet, the very method of “conservation through hunting” that SCI employs in Africa is an early 20th century western practice that gained popularity in the 1960s. There are many people throughout the continent who disagree with this practice and ask for the westerners to leave the care of the animals with them. It appears that SCI is the one guilty of having “an arrogant attitude rivaling that of the 19th-century colonials,” a rather exaggerated charge they accuse their opposition of holding.  

The real issue at hand, however, is the banning of elephant trophies. On April 4, 2014 the USFWS imposed a year long ban on the importation of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Tanzania based upon their conservation records and high rate of poaching. Within days, SCI was petitioning congress in protest of this decision and releasing emotionally laden letters that were as lacking in scientific data as they accused the USFWS’s decision as being. Such a quick knee-jerk reaction calls into question SCI’s true motivation. 

SCI claims its interest is in conserving the elephants of those countries, but with such a one-sided adamant position, it is clear it does not have a complete understanding of the elephant crises in the two countries, or it chooses to ignore it. SCI’s reaction is more about preserving its members’ ability to take home elephant “trophies” than to gain an objective understanding of the dynamics within those countries and conserve their elephant populations. 

They make it seem as though they kill, not because they enjoy killing, but for the resulting good that goes to the community and species. Such a concept makes it appear that they are altruistic magnanimous naturalists doing what they can to preserve the bounty, yet when the hunters are not permitted to take home horns, tusks, hides, or heads, their generosity towards the communities and species vanishes. In fact, they have not been denied the opportunity to continue spreading their generosity. They are still permitted to hunt and have those monies and meat go towards protecting the species and aiding the communities. The USFWS has not taken away their hunting privileges or their ability to practice good conservation and aid the communities. They have only been denied trophies for one year.”

Wolf OR7

"New photos of the famous wolf known as OR7, who roamed California for more than a year, confirm that he and his mate are raising at least three pups, not just two.

The black and white photos were taken July 12 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service using a remote camera in the Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest. It is there, in the woods somewhere between Klamath Falls and Medford, Ore., that OR7 and a mysterious female wolf produced a litter of pups.

The first photos of the pups, released in June, showed only two, although biologists suspected there were more because wolf litters are often larger.

The new photos show two gray pups on a dirt road. Together with a darker pup photographed earlier, that makes three unique pups that have been photographed so far, said John Stephenson, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist who captured the photos.

“We can confirm we’re up to three pups,” Stephenson said. “They look like they’re doing well, as far as we can tell from the photos.”

What the elephants know: the burden of sentience | IFAW - International Fund for Animal Welfare

"Satao’s loss sparked international press attention and outrage, but the part of his story that troubled me the most was Mark’s post about him in late March, a few months before poachers finally felled him after numerous attempts.

Mark describes watching Satao approach a waterhole, zigzagging slowly via bushes far too small to conceal his mighty frame. Mark wrote,

“I was mystified at the bull’s poor attempt to hide – until it dawned on me that he wasn’t trying to hide his body, he was hiding his tusks. At once, I was incredibly impressed, and incredibly sad – impressed that he should have the understanding that his tusks could put him in danger, but so sad at what that meant.”

“What that meant”; that this elephant understood not only to hide, but what part of his body needed hiding.

That kind of insight shook me deeply. Mark saw Satao several times before he was poached, and each time the elephant tried to conceal his magnificent tusks.

That was Satao’s tragedy; not only to fall to poachers, but before that to live in some level of understanding of that danger.

Even for elephants that die naturally, well-meaning humans come along and remove tusks, chopping out faces to extract them from the root. I can’t help but wonder what that means to the rest of the elephants that knew the deceased, especially when I visit a carcass and see the dung and footprints that mark the elephant vigils.

It haunts me.

—VF”

Bengal tiger discovered locked up in abandoned house in Mexico

"Mexican authorities searching an abandoned house were left stunned when they discovered a Bengal tiger locked in a cage.

Police officers, who found the endangered animal after a tip-off from a member of the public, say it is a “complete mystery” how the tiger got there.

They were searching a property in the municipality of Chilapa de Alvarez, in the state of Guerrero, when they heard a strange noise.

The female tiger was found inside a locked room and police suspect it was illegally owned.

Police spokesman Leonidas Bueno Escamilla said the big cat was in a “good condition”.

“She didn’t have any food or water to hand, but we don’t think she could have been there for long,” he told AFP Indonesia.

"The cage was much too small for an animal of this size, it’s a complete mystery what the tiger was doing there.”

He added: “If a child or anyone else had wandered near the cage the tiger could easily have grabbed them and then the consequences could have been terrible.”

The animal was taken to a zoo where it is being cared for while police carry out their investigation.

The owner of the property told investigators he did not know who had brought the tiger to his house.”

I love when you give hunters who hate wolves a computer and access to the internet. Here are a few of my most recent favorites…
"We have a hunting and trapping season on them. Get over it cry babies."
"Well it’s just plain fun."
"After I skin them their rotting corpse make for a good meal for scavengers like coyotes and ravens."
"They make excellent trophies. Especially Yellowstone wolves with collars. Big smile."
"We be White Trash from Idassissippi and we Kill Wolves because we Hate Them and we Hate the U.N. Commies who brung them. And its a lot of Fun, Hating & Shooting & Killing."
"These wolves are not native here. Introducing them was a crime against nature. Everyone responsible for this crime should be rotting in prison. The only way to deal with these filthy vermin is with a bullet."
"To all you "Cute Cuddly" wolf Lovers: These animals are killing machines. They are going to wipe out the deer and elk population. Then what??? HUMANS!!! I’d like to see you scrawny little vegitarians and vegans fight a pack of wolves off. AINT HAPPENING! For all I care they can all just DIE!!! Take that into consideration you MORONS!”

I love when you give hunters who hate wolves a computer and access to the internet. Here are a few of my most recent favorites…

"We have a hunting and trapping season on them. Get over it cry babies."

"Well it’s just plain fun."

"After I skin them their rotting corpse make for a good meal for scavengers like coyotes and ravens."

"They make excellent trophies. Especially Yellowstone wolves with collars. Big smile."

"We be White Trash from Idassissippi and we Kill Wolves because we Hate Them and we Hate the U.N. Commies who brung them. And its a lot of Fun, Hating & Shooting & Killing."

"These wolves are not native here. Introducing them was a crime against nature. Everyone responsible for this crime should be rotting in prison. The only way to deal with these filthy vermin is with a bullet."

"To all you "Cute Cuddly" wolf Lovers: These animals are killing machines. They are going to wipe out the deer and elk population. Then what??? HUMANS!!! I’d like to see you scrawny little vegitarians and vegans fight a pack of wolves off. AINT HAPPENING! For all I care they can all just DIE!!! Take that into consideration you MORONS!”

Reader Comment: Killing Wolves, Without Reason

"It is known, and not refuted by anyone from the governor through the state Legislature, that the latest bill to slaughter 60 percent of the wolves is bought but not paid for by the National Rifle Association. The people of this state are paying $400,000 to kill the wolves in the Frank Church Wilderness Area.

The bill was drafted by the NRA, and not for the good of all the people or national/state forest lands where wolves and other predator and non-predator animals are being at this moment shot, trapped and snared in the cruelest of ways.

Huge, ongoing efforts have been and are being made to inform people in this state that it is at this moment proven in the Wood River Valley and other areas of the state that predators can be and are being manage — something that other state Fish and Game organizations model. But not here.

Mr. Otter has stated that he is “not interested in managing wolves but in killing them.” I would like to bring to light some facts that the front-page article missed.

Thanks to Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), a new national bill has been introduced to help ensure, again, that state and national public lands remain free of hunting, snaring or trapping of any kind, including perimeter areas.

Since gray wolves were delisted in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho three years ago, the number of gray wolves has dropped 25 percent; in Yellowstone, 50 percent. Wolves don’t understand invisible park boundaries and are shot and killed outside park borders.

What your readers were not told is that poachers (killing illegally) take down wolves and other wildlife. They are snared or trapped and left alive in traps for weeks to suffer and die.

Hunting today is indiscriminate. A shot can take out one of breeding pairs or a pregnant mother. Why does this matter? When pairs can’t breed or take care of their own, they die off. What happens when natural predators are gone? The entire ecology of the area is negatively affected, and drastically. To personally witness this, see the Yellowstone Fish and Game video on the subject on YouTube called “Wolves of Yellowstone” or “How Wolves Change Rivers.”

Organizations all over the nation and the world have rallied to the cause of wolves — not the least of which includes retired Fish and Game employees, scientists from Brigham Young University, University of Montana, Perdue and many others and serious outdoor/wilderness activists on behalf of those who have no voice to lobby for themselves.

To the point of the cattle and sheep producers in the state — in the Wood River Valley and elsewhere in the state, large producers have worked with wildlife defenders to manage wolves and other natural predators and have met with high success, losing (without additional cost) far fewer animals than ever in the past.

Why weren’t the many large sheep and cattle producers in favor of wildlife management interviewed? There are many in the state the author could have talked with who would have provided a more balanced story.

Finally, the “wolf kill bill” recently passed through the Idaho Legislature and signed by Gov.r Otter, will cost at least the appropriated $400,000, and readers should know that prior to this term, the Idaho government approved professional hunters, provided and paid for their wilderness cabin, food, travel and more to take out wolves in our national parks and forest areas.

Imagine, Idahoans, what that money could have done for education in Idaho — now 50 out of 50 states in graduating seniors.”