Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Vegan Animal Website

The Vegan Animal website can be found here :

Friday, December 4, 2009


Two white rhinos were killed for their horns by poachers at a farm outside Ficksburg in the Free State, the farm owner said on Thursday.

The carcasses of the two rhinos were discovered with their horns cut off outside the Kenyana Game Lodge home on Wednesday, said Anita Hughes.

They were about eight to 10-years-old.

"No one saw anything but we found the exit through which they (the rhino) went out and eventually found them killed. Police are handling the matter," said Hughes.

She said these were the last two remaining rhinos in the game park. Two others were sold years ago.

"We sold the two older ones and kept the young ones but now they are gone" said Hughes, adding that she was" really upset" about the incident.

Police could not be immediately reached for comment.

Dec 3 2009 Sapa

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Robben Island culling 'on track'

Courtesy of
Original article

Cape Town - Sharpshooters have culled about 1 600 of Robben Island's burgeoning rabbit population, and 174 fallow deer, an official said on Monday.

The island museum's heritage manager James Makola said the culling, which started just under three weeks ago, was "on track".

The vegetation of the 475-hectare island has been ravaged by 25 000-plus rabbits and around 500 deer, both of them alien species.

Makola said the shooting was being done by a team of experienced professionals, working after the last tourist of the day had left, and in the early mornings.

The rabbit carcasses were currently being buried on the island, while the dead deer were being shipped off by an organisation that was making use of the meat.

Cat sanctuary

Though the team had begun shooting the island's cats, thought to number about 20, it had stopped in order to give the Cat Trapping and Sterilisation Network a chance to catch them and take them to a sanctuary in Hout Bay. This would be reviewed after a month.

Island authorities were also looking at the possibility of trapping and relocating the island's guinea fowl, which were originally also on the culling list.

Island environmental officials said in September the rabbits and the deer had stripped virtually all its the edible vegetation, and that the rabbits had actually started eating stinging nettle.

They said the cats were on the hit list because they ate the chicks of penguins, the swift tern and Hartlaub's gull, of the threatened oystercatcher, and of the highly endangered bank cormorant.

Pressure group Animal Rights Africa (ARA) said on Monday it was outraged at the "illegitimate" killing of animals, which it said formed an integral part of the island's heritage.

It was confident that there were more humane solutions to the environmental degradation.

'Legal action'

The culling was in breach of the Animals Protection Act, ARA said.

"We are appealing to the public to assist us as we would like to take legal action to prevent the management of the Robben Island Museum from executing the ill-advised contract they have entered into to kill the animals.

"It seems that the Robben Island management is determined to desecrate this internationally acclaimed heritage site and once again turn it into a place of oppression, injustice, exploitation, suffering and death."

Makola said however that the island authorities were working closely with the SPCA and Cape Nature, and had based its decisions on their advice.

What was being done was the best option given the conditions on and challenges facing the island, he said.

Rabbits were brought to the island by early sailors, to breed as a source of meat. The fallow deer, which come originally from Europe, were introduced in the mid-20th century.


Police investigating ivory smuggling network network

ThisDay, Dar Es Salaam

POLICE in Dar es Salaam are investigating a suspected ivory smuggling syndicate following the arrest of four people this week in possession of over 30 elephant tusks.

According to sources within the wildlife industry, the ivory weighing more than 100 kilogrammes is believed to have come from at least 18 elephants killed recently by poachers within the vast Selous Game Reserve stretching over 54,600 square kilometres to the south of the country.

Other sources within the police force have described the latest seizure of poached elephant tusks in Dar es Salaam as further proof that the city is now a major transit point for ivory smuggling.

This latest development comes just days after THISDAY published a detailed expose on how the world-famous Selous has been turned into a veritable killing field where hundreds of jumbos are regularly slaughtered for their ivory.

The tusks, numbering 33 in total, are currently in the custody of Chang’ombe Police Station in Temeke District pending completion of investigations, said the police sources who preferred to remain anonymous.

The Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander, Suleiman Kova, on Wednesday named the arrested suspects found with the impounded tusks as Donast Mungi (73), Hassan Rashid (30), Salum Said (32), and Akram Masaki.

Kova said the four were apprehended in Mbagala Kizuiani on the outskirts of the city, following a tip from a member of the public in nearby Mbagala Nzasa.

He said they will be thoroughly questioned to reveal the exact origin, destination and would-be buyers of the seized ivory.

This looks like a chain network of poachers and ivory smugglers at work. Investigations are ongoing to track down any other members of the network. With enough cooperation from members of the public, we hope that by properly uncovering this network, we will have countered the problem of ivory smuggling in the country once and for all, Kova told THISDAY.

According to the THISDAY expose, there has been a fresh spike in elephant poaching in recent years, with some disgruntled game scouts believed to be either turning a blind eye to illegal hunting activities or themselves taking part in killing the same animals they were hired to protect.

”An average of 50 elephants are being killed in the Selous each month...and that is a conservative estimate,” an official working in the Selous told this newspaper, adding that the hardcore poachers appear to be collaborating closely with ”an army of demoralized game scouts.”

Ironically, as the country buckles under this latest wave of elephant poaching, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism now wants the worldwide ban on ivory trade lifted.

Tanzania and Zambia have jointly petitioned the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to further open up the trade by allowing them to sell off their ivory stocks.

The CITES ban on ivory trade was imposed some 20 years ago. Animal rights campaigners say the ban has been instrumental in allowing the elephant population in Tanzania to recover from the massive poaching of the 1980s.

According to wildlife industry experts, poaching is a sensitive issue that often involves powerful and dangerous syndicates.

It is understood that the wildlife division in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism used to pay game scouts a working allowance of between 250,000/- and 300,000/- a month, but due to budgetary constraints that allowance was suspended a couple of years ago.

Sources have described finding heaps of jumbo carcases minus tusks left lying on the mud roads within the Selous since the beginning of this year alone. One source told THISDAY he himself counted up to 60 carcasses.

This is organized poaching masterminded by disgruntled game scouts, which is more dangerous than the previous poaching of the 1980s, said the source, warning that if no action is taken urgently to halt the trend, we will have no elephants in two years to come.

Miguruwe (Kilwa District), Matambwe (Morogoro South), Liwale (Lindi Region), Msola (Morogoro Region), Ilonga (Mahenge), Kingupira (Utete), and Mtemere (Rufiji) were described as the most popular poaching areas within the Selous.

Industry observers have meanwhile described the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism as being literally crippled and the anti-poaching unit as being in the ICU (intensive care unit) due to their joint failure to control poaching.

Possible solutions suggested by the observers include the transfer of game scouts from their current work stations within the Selous Game Reserve, and recruitment of new scouts. Also the revival of Operation Uhai, which involved soldiers of the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces in fighting poaching in the 1980s.

The worst period of elephant poaching experienced in the country was probably 1977-87, when the elephant population dwindled from 184,000 to 55,000.

A joint crusade mounted by TPDF, the wildlife department, police and customs authorities resulted in the confiscation of more than 10,000 guns and at least 700 people prosecuted in connection with poaching activities in 1988 alone.

Contacted for comment this time around, the director of wildlife in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Erasmus Tarimo, said the latest reports of elephant poaching in the Selous were exaggerated.

A recent aerial count found 41 carcases of elephants. But 41 dead elephants is minimal compared to the total Selous elephant population of around 40,000, he said, adding that some elephants had died of natural causes.

Said Tarimo: Our intention is to have zero poaching, but to maintain zero poaching is impossible. It is not easy to control poaching 100 per cent.

He also acknowledged reports of demoralized game wardens participating in the poaching activities, saying: It is very difficult to pin down those wardens involved in the malpractice.

Tarimo called on members of the public with information about game scouts involved in poaching to come forward and give such information to relevant authorities so that preventive action can be taken

US tycoon fights for white rhino trophy

Tony Carnie, November 06 2009
Courtesy of

One of the richest men in America is embroiled in a heated legal battle with South African wildlife officials to recover the trophy head of a white rhino bull.

The twist to the story is that the rhino at the centre of the row appears to be alive and healthy in Mkhuze game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal after surviving a hunting attempt more than three months ago by Texas property tycoon H Ross Perot jr, son of H Ross Perot, 79, former US presidential candidate who stood against George Bush (sr) and Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential elections.

The animal was apparently shot and wounded by Perot jr in late July, but the bull ran off and wildlife officials have been unable to find any sign of a carcass or a wounded animal - indicating that it suffered a flesh wound or was not seriously injured.↓

A professional hunter acting for Perot then engaged lawyers to allow a "follow-up" operation and it was agreed that Perot could have the animal's head if it was tracked down during a hunting operation scheduled to start this weekend.

But in a dramatic about-turn last night, conservation authorities pulled the plug on the second hunt and declared that Perot was no longer entitled to his trophy horns in any circumstances.

The initial decision to allow Perot's agents to have a "second bite at the cherry" drew strong opposition after it emerged that the animal would be shot by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife if there was a visible bullet wound from Perot's large-calibre hunting rifle.

Despite initial opposition, Ezemvelo later agreed that the trophy head and skin would become the property of Perot and could be shipped back to Texas. But last-minute discussions were held last night between Ezemvelo chief executive Bandile Mkhize and Andrew Zaloumis, chief executive of the IsiMangaliso Wetland Park world heritage site.

Shortly before The Mercury was about to publish the story, Mkhize and Zaloumis announced that there would be no second hunt and if Ezemvelo were to track down the animal and find that it was suffering they would put it out of its misery - but Perot no longer had any claim to its head.

Garry Kelly, the South African professional hunter who was sub-contracted to accompany Perot on the first hunt, had insisted that the primary purpose of the follow-up operation at Mkhuze was to ensure the wounded animal was tracked down and destroyed to spare it further pain and suffering.

Other sources felt the decision to allow a follow-up was "morally absurd" and merely a pretext to obtain the animal's head. They said the animal had suffered a flesh wound and was unlikely to bear any remaining visible wounds.

Kelly said the fate of the trophy head was irrelevant to him and he was simply completing his professional duty to follow the hunt to its conclusion. However, his attorney has stated that the current health status of the animal became immaterial to the trophy contract the moment it was struck by a bullet.

"The American client of my client (Kelly) has paid a vast sum of money, so there is an issue of getting the trophy... the legal issue is that there is a contract which says they are entitled and obliged to do what they are doing. The (American) client says he can't come back (to South Africa) and feels: 'I've paid for it and I want it (the trophy).'"

The Mercury has established from correspondence that Perot jr, 47, was accompanied on the recent African safari by one of his sons, Hill Perot, 27.

While Perot jr apparently bungled his shot in the controlled hunting zone of the Mkhuze reserve, Hill Perot is understood to have succeeded in bagging his own rhino trophy.

Judging from pictures posted on his "Facebook" and "MySpace" online networking sites, Hill Perrot already has an extensive trophy collection.

Neither Kelly nor his Pietermaritzburg attorney, Pat Dewes, would confirm the identity of their American client, but a spokesman for Perot confirmed his involvement through an e-mail message which referred all queries to Kelly.

Dewes said the American client (Perot) was "not a novice" and was required by the Ezemvelo hunting contract to undergo a marksmanship proficiency test before he was allowed to proceed with the hunt.

A flurry of legal letters was exchanged between Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and Kelly, reportedly with the support of Perot jr.

He insisted on an opportunity to do a follow-up hunt for the injured animal. But Ezemvelo CEO Bandile Mkhize declined this request on the basis that hunting rules and codes of conduct did not permit this. If an animal was wounded and could not be recovered it was considered forfeit. Mkhize also expressed concern about the difficulty of tracking and identifying the bull.

Last month, however, Ezemvelo acceded to Kelly's requests and allowed him permission for "one final search".

In a subsequent letter, Mkhize made it clear that the rhino could be shot only if the animal was identified according to agreed criteria and "if there is any doubt the animal will not be shot".

It made no mention, however, of the current health status of the animal being a factor in the decision to hunt it a second time.

Kelly's attorney has taken the view that if the animal was identified and shot by Ezemvelo officials his clients were automatically entitled to possession of the trophy head and skin.

Perot jr is listed on the Forbes list of America's richest people, although he is not quite as rich as his more famous father. Perot jr's wealth fell from $2,2bn to $1,25bn in the most recent Forbes list.

It is not known how much Perot jr paid for the hunt, but sources suggest a single rhino trophy hunting package would cost in the region of R500 000.

While the issue of rhino hunting remains contentious, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife offers at least two hunts in the Mkhuze reserve every year on a tender basis, and an average of 30 white rhinos are also auctioned annually to private buyers, including hunters.

Several conservation authorities have acknowledged the role of hunting and private ownership in boosting the species' recovery. But now the failed hunting attempt by Perot jr has raised fresh concerns around the issue of rhino hunting.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pan African condemnation of upcoming KZN Bull killing ritual

Courtesy of :

With only three months to go before another bull is torn apart to die a terrified and agonising death, animal welfare representatives from 10 African countries have called on the South African Parliament to denounce this annual ritual as unbecoming of the modern face of Africa.

At the end of the first-ever pan-African conference on animal welfare, held in Nairobi, Kenya, on 21- 24 September 2009, delegates unanimously called for the recognition of animals as 'sentient', deserving of care, respect and protection.

Delegates also signed a petition calling on the South African Parliament to halt, with immediate effect, the bare handed killing of the bull at the First Fruit Festival in Kwa Zulu-Natal usually held on the first Saturday in December each year. The petition stated:

"We believe that cruelty to animals is not the face of Africa that will see us contributing to global discourse as competent and dignified participants."

Countries that took part in the conference included Somali, Uganda, Egypt, DR Congo, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and South Africa. (See attachment for signatories).

For more about the conference, please go to: or contact:

Josphat Ngonyo, Director: Africa Network for Animal Welfare.

P.O. Box 3731 - 00506
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 20 606 510
Telefax: +254 20 609 691
Mobile: +254 (0) 722 243 091
+254 (0) 733 617 286

This Press Release is issued by: Compassion in World Farming (South Africa). Compassion's delegate to the conference was Tozie Zokufa.

The signatures referred to in the Press Release are at

Our letter to President Zuma can be seen at

For more information:

Louise van der Merwe
SA Representative: Compassion in World Farming
Editor: Animal Voice
Managing Trustee: The Humane Education Trust
CEO: Humane Education Publishers
Tel./Fax +27 21 852 8160

Rhino run down in park

2009-10-01 08:06
The Witness
Ingrid Oellerman

Pietermaritzburg - A white rhino was knocked down and killed by a bakkie and subsequently dehorned in a baffling hit-and-run accident in the Weenen Game Reserve on Tuesday night.

Wildlife investigators are looking into the unusual circumstances surrounding the death of the animal, and the subsequent removal of one of its horns, which was discovered hidden in the bush some 100 metres from where the collision occurred.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesperson Maureen Zimu confirmed the incident, but referred The Witness to top EKZNW official Bheki Khoza, who said he is awaiting a written report before commenting.

Lost its horn
The Witness learned that the white rhino female - believed to have been pregnant - was struck by a white Toyota Hilux bakkie on the main road leading through Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s Weenen Game Reserve shortly before 19:00 on Tuesday.

When police arrived at the scene about three hours later, in response to a report, they discovered the rhino carcass and the bakkie still at the scene.

There was no sign of the driver or any other occupants of the bakkie.

Stranger still was the fact that the dead rhino appeared to have lost its horn.

The horn had not been hacked off in the usual manner employed by poachers, but probably came loose as a result of the collision, after which it appears it was pulled off.

A member of the Pietermaritzburg Organised Crime Unit, Inspector Riaan van Rooyen - who is assigned to a task team investigating wildlife crime, including the recent rhino poaching epidemic in the province - said guards had been stationed at the site until daylight.

Driver traced
At first light, an extensive search of the area was made and the missing horn was found concealed in a thorn tree in the bush.

The driver of the bakkie has since been traced by the police, but his name is being withheld pending further police investigations into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

A full forensic examination of the bakkie and the recovered rhino horn will be carried out.

Van Rooyen said the driver of the Hilux returned to the accident scene on Wednesday. He did not sustain any serious injuries as a result of the collision. The Hilux was badly damaged, however,
A veterinary surgeon carried out an autopsy on the rhino carcass on Wednesday to determine whether or not the animal had been shot, but reportedly found no evidence of gunshot injuries on the rhino.

Alarming increase in poaching
According to evidence led earlier this month during a bail application by four alleged rhino poachers at Kwambonambi, rhino horn currently sells for between R35 000 and R45 000 per kilogram on the black market.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife investigator Rod Potter gave evidence of an alarming increase countrywide in rhino poaching in 2008 and 2009, which is likely to impact on tourism.

In KZN, private game reserves are showing reluctance to stock rhino because of the threat of poaching by syndicates.
Rhino horn is usually destined for the international market as there is a limited demand for it in SA traditional medicine.

It is especially popular as an ingredient in Chinese traditional medicine.
The four accused, who were arrested in possession of freshly hacked off rhino horns linked to a carcass in Umfolozi game reserve, were each granted bail of R10 000.

Another rhino death
Police are also looking into the circumstances in which a white rhino died in Hluhluwe Game Reserve.
The animal’s skull was recovered last week with the horns missing. An extensive search of the area has failed to uncover the horns.

Although predators such as hyenas may have carried them away, experts say that they should have been found in the vicinity of the carcass. The rhino probably died at least a month before the skull was discovered.