Just when you think it couldn't get any harder for wildlife to survive comes the news that China has lifted the ban of decades on the trade in tiger bones and rhino horn. Defending the move as ' in line with the needs of reality ' is unbelievable, what reality ? The only reality is that it has been scientifically proven there is absolutely no medicinal benefit in either tiger bones or rhino horn, that is purely a cultural idiosy. These are highly endangered animals that even with bans in place face extinction so how can China justify this appalling decision. Conservationists around the world are condemning the decision saying this move has doomed these animals to certain extinction and I believe it's true. For what ? the insane idea that their body parts somehow help mankind is a proven totally misguided idea. In a global community how can one country decide to expose these precious animals to the persecution and extermination that would surely see them wiped off the planet and for what ? It's a terribly distressing and sad outcome.
The harshest penalty yet has been handed down to two Indonesian wildlife poachers caught trying to sell a Sumatran tiger pelt. In Aceh Province the two men each received a 4 year jail sentence as well as $3300 fines or more jail time if they can't pay. The Sumatran tiger is highly endangered with only about 400 tigers left in the wild so the harsh sentences represent a system getting tougher on traffickers than in previous times. Sadly the penalties need to be more of a deterrent than the maximum of 5 years considering the huge prices gained from the sales of body parts and pelts. The loss of just one animal when there are so few left brings them closer to inevitable extinction unless dramatic intervention occurs and the harshest of penalties are brought into law. Somehow 5 years just doesn't seem nearly enough for taking the life of such a magnificent animal.
Rare footage from a concealed camera trap have revealed extraordinary pictures of the Chinese Mountain Cat in it's natural habitat for the first time. This extremely elusive and little known cat lives in remote China and is the only cat indigenous to the country. Almost nothing is known about it but this discovery could be the beginning of a study to gather more information about their behaviour.
Two small lion cubs were rescued in the South African bush after their mother died from a snake bite. Against the odds they survived after being found starving but the challenge of how to rear these cubs without human interference was a big one. South Africa's policy is non rearing of wild animals in captivity however it was decided to hold them in a secure place and allow them to grow up as wild. The story of the success of these two cubs shows that it's important to interfere sometimes to help wild animals and what better proof is there to know that both these females have grown up to have cubs of their own after being paired with two rescued males that now form a successful wild pride.
The catastrophe of plastic is obvious in our oceans floating like islands in the sea where creatures eat it and die. The same is happening on land to elephants who can't differentiate between plastic and appropriate food. They have been found dead with huge quantities of plastic in their stomachs in Asian countries that have not disposed of their waste in a proper way. China has the most appalling levels of waste followed by Indonesia and then other countries where Asian elephants live. Sadly rubbish being dumped in huge quantities is being scavenged by elephants looking for food so many of them are dying with plastic in their systems unable to digest this toxic substance. Our world is literally being destroyed by the use of plastic and so much of it seems utterly unnecessary. Those asian countries that head the list of waste need to take decisive action and responsibility for the waste they shed on the world and now.