The Guardian reported on 4th February 2012, that the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) warned all Zoo's and Safari Parks in the UK that Poachers could be targeting their animals for their horn. Colchester Zoo has spent 300,000 on an alarm system to prevent this appalling crime; which is now happening worldwide. African and Asian Elephants are also endangered with some species heading towards extinction. Please read the information about this below and donate to the great charities that are helping them. Thank you.

A rise in Rhino poaching was fuelled by a rumour that horn could cure cancer. Not only were European museums and zoo's being poached of their horns, but live Rhino's in Africa and south east Asia were being killed and maimed at a dizzying rate. In 2007, an estimated 13 rhino's were killed in South Africa. Last year, 2011, the toll was 448. 668 in 2012. And this years toll in 2013 is heading for 800. Both the Javan Rhino in Vietnam and the Western Black in West Africa were declared extinct. According to the Police, the threat has become so acute that even live animals in UK captivity are at risk of attack. Criminals, once they have shot rhino's and chainsawed their horn down to the skull, a bloody and brutal process that usually proves fatal, are selling the horn on the black market for as much as 41,000 a kilogram, despite the fact that rhino horn has no proven medicinal property. Elephants are faring no better than the Rhino. Scarcely, 400,000 survive in Africa, down from 1.3 million in 1979. Nearly 33,000 have been killed since January 2012, according to the website: www.bloodyivory.org
In Tanzania, more than 10,000 are being slaughtered annually! Elephant populations of Countries like Cameroon, Chad, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Mali, and Central African Republic have almost been wiped out. Prince William and his Father Prince Charles are calling for political and diplomatic action on a global scale to counter a scourge that has now reached epidemic proportions. Quack medicine in China and Vietnam has sent the black market price for rhino horns soaring past 18.000 a pound. It is an irresistable target for criminals who more commonly trade in guns and drugs.



Dominated by serious organised crime, Neil D'Cruze of the World Society for the Protection of Animals says that it is an increasingly complex and sophisticated black market, with rhino horn being the must have derivative of consumers in the far East. But those who police the trade in Britain see everything from tortoises, tiger bones, birds of prey, and bear bile for sale. Jewellery made from elephant ivory, birds of prey exchanging hands for 50,000, leopard bone sold as an ingredient in traditional medicine. All of these have been reported to Police in the UK, and all are signs of a booming trade with a supply end and a demand end according to the Metropolitan Police Wildlife Crime Unit.
Unfortunately, there is not enough staff in this dept to cope with increasing crimes.

The maximum sentence for trying to export Rhino horn out of the UK is 7 years, whilst in South Africa, three Rhino Poachers were sentenced to 25 years in jail. There needs to be greater awareness of this despicable crime and more resources are needed to protect these wonderful creatures from this barbarism and insanity.



Ian Craig set up the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya to protect endangered species. He and daughter, Jecca are friends of the Duke of Cambridge, who worked there as a Volunteer, later becoming a Patron of charity, The Tusk Trust. 20 years ago Black Rhino's were on the brink of extinction, and the African elephant was being slaughtered at a rate of 100,000 a year, just for their ivory. Tusk has raised over 16 million for a range of projects, not only for protection, but for education, to alleviate poverty, and to promote sustainable development amongst rural communities who live alongside wildlife in Africa.
Max, the beautiful gentle giant of a rhino, was shot 17 times, and his horn had been cut out. Everyone who knew Max including the Duke of Cambridge was devastated.

You can read the article in full where Prince William makes an impassioned plea to stop this trade in killing Rhino's for their horn by clicking on this link which follows: www.express.co.uk/posts/view/327667/Rhino-slaughter-is-ignorant-selfish-and-wrong-says-Prince-William-Rhino-slaughter-is-ignorant-selfish-and-wrong-says-Prince-William-Rhino-slaughter-is-ignorant-selfish-and-wrong-says-Prince-William

Poaching is increasing across Africa because of the rise in wealth in the Far East, coupled with a branch of traditional Chinese medicine. The false rumour a few years ago, that powdered rhino horn cured a Vietnamese official of liver cancer is just that,
it is untrue. Rhino horn is made of keratin, the same substance as fingernails and contains no remedial properties, and what is more, the official never even existed. It is because of stories like this that a rhino is killed every 20 hours. Armed with guns, Poachers enter a reserve at night, kill the rhino, remove its horn, and pass it to a courier, where it is illegally smuggled to Vietnam and other South-East Asian Countries, hidden in crates of avocados, and sold to wealthy buyers who believe in these ridiculous lies and myths.
Please help to end this despicable misery by contacting Tusk at, www.tusk.org or write to, Tusk Trust,
4 Cheapside House, High Street, Gillingham, Dorset. SP8 4AA. Or Telephone Tusk on 01747-831-005.

This baby elephant was born on the Elephant orphanage care of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya. It is run by David's wife Dame Daphne Sheldrick in memory of her husband who, as a Game Warden, dedicated his whole life to stopping Poachers slaughtering Africa's precious native animals. He founded the biggest national park in Kenya, Tsavo, which now shelters the largest wild herds in the country. The Model, Gisele Bundchen on a goodwill ambassador trip for the UN Environment programme lost her heart to the good work being done there which has raised and hand reared 130 orphaned animals. There are still 30,000 deaths a year caused by Poachers who want ivory for the black market. So, please support The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to keep Poachers at bay to protect these wonderful animals.
Go to www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org

The Panorama programme Ivory Wars, recently shown on BBC One highlighted the ongoing tragedy that is happening in Africa, especially with the poaching of the unique species of Forest Elephants in Congo. They are being wiped out by Hunters, and despite an international ban on trading in ivory, tonnes of ivory is being sold and is getting shipped out to China through Malaysia. Chinese nationals are buying it in Africa and then are shipping it over to their homeland. China is the biggest importer of ivory, by weight. The poaching is worse now than ever and this was started due to CITES decision to allow a stockpile of ivory to be sold in recent times. That then fuelled the hunting, killing, and buying spree to crisis levels in many countries and the future looks bleak if further permission is granted to sell these stockpiles, because the demand increases in the Far East. It is estimated that for every legal sale, where the ivory can be traced back to, there are six illegal sales. A lot of it is through organized crime and Interpol plus the African police forces are trying to crack down on this sickening trade. Wildlife crime is known to be second only to Drugs in the profit it makes. Congo is now the worst killing zone for the Forest Elephant. In Kinshasa, ivory, despite being banned is openly sold in the markets there. The Forest Elephant is a more remote animal and is a different species to the Savannah Elephant. It is a more isolated creature, but this makes it harder to find the Hunters. Sadly, it may disappear. Re-education is the key and many Chinese people seem to think that ivory is akin to being their teeth, and they dont associate it with the killing of Elephants. They regard having ivory objects as something traditional in having an artefact made from ivory because they have had this in their culture for thousands of years. This is no excuse for the disgusting practices that are being done to these wonderful creatures. They have their bodies riddled with bullets and their faces hacked off for their tusks. They dont even care whether an Elephant is pregnant or not. The Elephant herds mourn their deaths. Please help the charities who are at the forefront of stopping this awful crime:
www.savetheelephants.org/ And please also go to:www.elephanttrust.org/ THANK YOU.




Below is Mark Shand, Co-Founder of Elephant Family
Elephant Family was set up to save the Asian Elephant, which has lost up to 90 per cent of its population in the last 100 years. Mark recently explained in the Daily Mail on July 22nd 2012 that there is an ongoing illegal trade in Burma and Thailand, where Adult Elephants are rounded up and shot, and then baby elephants are taken away and beaten mercilessly without food and water to 'break them in' for the tourist trade. If they survive this horrific experience, and a lot of them dont, they are then smuggled across the Burmese border into Thailand. One thing is for sure, if Thailand's brutal baby elephant trade is not ended soon, Asia's last remaining populations of wild elephants in Burma may be lost forever. All for the sake of a tourist opportunity.

Mark's full article can be read here by clicking on this link: www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2176957/The-agonising-blows-expose-evil-secrets-Thailands-elephant-tourism-The-Duchess-Cornwalls-brother-tells-baby-elephants-brutally-starved-tortured.html

To save baby elephants from the tourist trade and support Elephant Family's vital work, please donate at www.elephantfamily.org/donate

You can review a film about this illegal trade online:
Baby Elephant Smuggling Exposed: How Thailand's Tourist Industry Is Driving A Brtual Trade in Baby Elephants. It was made by The Ecologist Film Unit in association with Link TV and Elephant Family. It can be viewed online at: www.linktv.org/video/7852/baby-elephant-smuggling-exposed