Giraffe dies after head hits highway overpass

Those responsible for the death of a giraffe whose head struck a South African highway overpass while they were been transported in a truck should be prosecuted under animal protection laws. .

The accident on a highway between Pretoria and Johannesburg (South Africa) last week Thursday was very unsettling because this could have easily been avoided and so unnecessary.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals group’s members were able to respond quickly to the giraffe accident because they were already out on the highway attending to a separate case of cattle stranded because of a truck breakdown.

Prior to the giraffe accident, startled motorists took photographs of the truck, which was carrying two giraffes and noticed those long necks were visible above the top of the trailer as they passed the caring the giraffes.

One witness said that when the giraffe’s head on the bridge is was so loud that her passenger who was driving, asked if someone had been shot, “The witness also said. ” she saw the giraffe head hit the bridge so hard under the bridge that it propelled forward.” And saw the giraffe’s head descend into the truck that it was in.”

The other giraffe appeared to escape injury by millimeters because it was slightly shorter than the animal that was hit. Besides this, the very same truck broke down earlier for hours on the side of the road.

Animal welfare officers have interviewed witnesses and obtained documents from nature conservation officials who had issued permits for the transport of these giraffes. The investigation includes determining where the giraffes were being transported from, as well as their final destination.

The transport company should be held fully responsible for irresponsible methods of transport and should be prosecuted.

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A recent article in Time Magazine highlights the current rise in rhino poaching and the increasing Asian demand and illegal trade which is driving the current crisis. Vietnam has rapidly emerged as the leading destination for illicit trade in rhino horn from 2003 onwards, as well as concerns over suspected rhino farming in China. SOTI_RHINOS_IN_AFRICA

Nestled in the golden bush grass of an open savanna, a black rhinoceros lies on her side. Her head is haloed by a dried pool of blood. The animal’s horns have been sawed off at the stump. Her eyes have been gouged out. “That’s a new thing,” notes Rusty Hustler, the manager of South Africa’s North West Parks and Tourism Board, whose job includes tracking the escalating number of endangered rhinos poached for their body parts. “The Vietnamese have started keeping the eyes for medicine.”

Hustler and an animal pathologist begin the postmortem. The stench and the proliferation of flies and maggots indicate that the beast, which was found at the Shingalana private game reserve by a local guide, has been dead at least a week. Eight bullet cartridges are scattered near the carcass. Wearing white boots and blue latex gloves, the pair get to work, sharpening a series of butcher’s knives, then ripping into the rhino. A metal detector is passed over the exposed flesh. After an hour, the metal detector squeaks, then emits a louder shriek. The pathologist reaches the heart. “That’s the kill shot,” says Hustler, slicing the heart to uncover an inch-long slug.

The South Africans rest and survey their grisly work. In 1993 international trade in rhino horn was banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), which now includes 175 member countries and regions. But somewhere, almost assuredly on an illicit route to Asia, the horns and eyes of a 9-year-old female Diceros bicornis are traveling, destined for often desperate people who believe in the mystical curative powers of the rhinoceros.

Unlike the elephant, its pachyderm cousin, the rhinoceros possesses little of the majesty needed to evoke worldwide sympathy. It is shy, low-slung, seriously nearsighted. It does not dazzle with its intelligence. Yet for millennia, these bulky lawn mowers have entranced humans with the agglutinated hair that makes up their horns. Ancient Arabs carved dagger handles from it; Yemen was a popular destination for the animal’s parts through the 1980s. Western colonialists in Asia and Africa lined their parlors with rhino-horn trophies and sometimes fashioned ashtrays out of the beasts’ feet. Most of all, though, rhino horn was prized in Asia for its purported medicinal value. Ancient traditional Chinese medicine texts recommended the powdered horn for ailments like fever and arthritis, and modern-day practitioners have prescribed it for high blood pressure and even cancer. (Common lore notwithstanding, rhino horn is not considered an aphrodisiac.) So treasured was rhino horn that some of China’s tributary states in Indochina were sometimes known in imperial shorthand as the lands of the rhino.


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Botswana intends to ban “canned hunting,” the practice in which large carnivores such as lions or other wildlife species are raised in captivity and hunted in small camps with no room for escape or to elude the hunter.

Botswana’s Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism said in a statement on Thursday that efforts are under way to strengthen legislation to ensure that this “abhorrent and unethical practice does not find its way into Botswana under any guise.”


“The Government of Botswana is committed to conserving our biodiversity; large carnivore included and does not tolerate cruelty to our wildlife in any form,” said the ministry.

The development comes after the department of wildlife and national parks in the ministry banned exports of wildlife including captive carnivores in January.

“This ban affects all wildlife species with the exception of animals kept under permit from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks as household pets,” said the statement without indicating period for the directive.

Exporting wildlife has been on the spotlight towards the end of 2013 after 22 lions in Botswana were reportedly exported to South Africa.

Meanwhile Botswana has also banned trophy hunting effective Jan. 1, 2014 in preference for photographic tourism.

Botswana believes hunting is a seasonal activity compared to photographic tourism conducted all year round and the ban is on all controlled hunting areas or hunting management units throughout the country.

Hunting of allocated quotas had been taking place in many of these designated areas, but no quota is being issued in the areas anymore.

source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2014-03/20/c_133201928.htm

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A Big Bull black rhino has been poached in the Paradise Plains around 20 min drive in from the Musiara Gate inside the Maasai Mara National Reserve.  Report has been confirmed by two sources. We have heard that the Big Bull was shot potentially by infra-red – single shot to the heart. Ears, Horn and genitals removed!

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1. Legal trade will give the consumer the option of buying the product from a legal, ethical, controlled source

  • This will play a role in hindering the black market
  • There will be no need for rhinos to be killed (legally or illegally) to provide the product
  • Rhinos will be worth more alive than dead

2. Legal trade will increase rhino numbers

  • Rhinos will once again become desirable wildlife on game farms and reserves due to the financial benefits
  • Legal trade will allow for the means to protect rhino on these farms and reserves
  • New and emergent farmers will be encouraged to breed rhino
  • If all these people are breeding rhinos, the numbers will obviously increase

3. Legal trade will alleviate poverty

  • At present, communities are turning to poaching as it is a lucrative prospect. For every poacher that gets arrested, there are 100 more people willing to take their place.
  • If communities were taught and encouraged to breed rhino for regular horn sales, poaching incidents would drop dramatically. These communities would protect their livelihood with their lives.
  • Community-based natural resource management is a successful working concept in many third-world and developing countries. It is time for South Africa to get on board.

4. Legal trade will encourage biodiversity by creating habitat

  • Habitat loss and encroachment are major global issues for biodiversity.
  • Rhinos require a certain habitat to survive
  • This habitat will encourage all rhino owners and communities to create this habitat, leading to healthier ecosystems for many plant and animal species.

5. Legal trade is an innovative and conservation-based solution to the rhino crisis

More arrests and heavier sentences for offenders have not helped the rhino. Consumer education and awareness campaigns are extremely necessary, but they take time and a mass paradigm shift in order to be effective. They have not helped the rhino. Threatened or Protected Species (ToPS) regulations have been in place since 2007. They have not helped the rhino. An international trade ban on rhino horn is currently in place. It has not helped the rhino. Legal trade in rhino horn will satisfy the needs of consumers by supplying a sustainable, ethical product that contributes to biodiversity and habitat restoration, as well as preserving the rhino. This is the true nature of conservation.

6. Legal trade will not threaten rhinos

  • Rhino horn can be harvested sustainably – no rhinos ever have to die to provide it and it continues to grow throughout the animal’s life.
  • Tiger bones, elephant tusks, shark fins and numerous other wildlife products require and represent the death of an animal whereas rhino horn does not.
  • People who own rhino will probably never want to kill their rhino, even in hunts, as live rhinos will be worth more than dead rhinos.

7. Legal trade will allow us to keep rhinos in Africa, where they belong

  • Rhinos offer an economic benefit to the country and its population
  • Africa’s rhinos to the North of us have been decimated, but in South Africa we still have a chance to convince Africans that rhino are more valuable alive than dead.
  • Keeping rhinos in Africa will give us tighter control over the trade, ensuring that it is monitored and audited and that rhinos are bred under the best possible conditions.
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Good-looking HOMER was abandoned together with his mother before coming into foster care. He is a big breed, Ridgeback X with a very Happy nature and still young.  He has been vaccinated and neutered.  R300 to adopt him.

4hr Help Line & Adoption enquiries  –  Call Jojo @  072 609 1165

Website:   http://www.chain-boland.org            Email: chain-boland@mweb.co.za

Please consider adopting one of these special rescues currently in foster care with CHAIN Boland

Donations over above these fees are welcome (and very much appreciated!)

If you are not able to adopt one of these special animals, you can still make a difference to their wellbeing.  We are always in need of food, bowls, collars, leashes, second hand kennels, blankets, toys for the pups to chew on etc.  Our greatest and ongoing need is for FOOD.  Any donations are most welcome and will go directly to the animals.  If you wish to make a cash donation our bank details are:

CHAIN Boland, Standard Bank, Tulbagh.

Account Number 085 958 557,

Branch Code 050307.

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