There may now be slightly less bear-murdering in New York state.
NPR reports that New York state, which has allowed the hunting of black bears since governments started making laws regarding wild animal-killing, has just passed the very first regulations on the trade of black bear parts. Wildlife officials don’t want people killing black bears in neighboring states and selling them in New York; poaching bears “has been a problem nationwide for years,” which this law is designed to combat.
Now, anyone selling bear parts in New York must document that the bears whose bodies once held those parts—particularly gallbladders—were killed legally. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem in New York, where permitted hunters can kill black bears, easy peasy. See, they’re not mad about killing bears, they’re mad about killing bears illegally, only for the gallbladders and paws, for use in “Asian medicine.”
Yeah, “Asian medicine.” Remember how in some Asian countries, they farm bears for their bile, and it’s absolutely fucking disgusting? In the U.S., they poach wild bears, take their gallbladders, and leave their bodies. Man we are the BEST at animals, right, humanity?
Listen to the whole story, or read it at NPR. Obviously we hate all bear-killing, but if this law stops the murder of bears exclusively for a few of their parts, it’s not the most objectionable thing. Right?
Super fucking sad: Last Javan Rhino in Vietnam now dead »
Super sad news alert: The last Javan Rhino in Vietnam* is dead, and so now they’re completely extinct (in Vietnam). Yep, some poachers wanted the last rhino’s valuable horn so they killed him and cut it off. Or maybe they cut off his horn while he was still alive and left him to die. Who knows! Who cares! Answer: nobody, and that’s why they’re extinct.
Anyway, the horn will now be used in some bullshit fake medicine for stupid humans and BLAH BLAH BLAH. Maybe part of it will even be carved into some hideous tchotchke! Perhaps in a couple hundred years, someone will find it in a locker in San Dimas, and it’ll be appraised at a couple thousand dollars, and woo! Won’t that be great? I am not sure what we can do, but I did spend some time looking around the Stop Rhino Poaching website. Anyone know anything about them? Might be worth looking into?
What a sad, fucked up world this is.
*correction, there are some in other countries still.
Baby gorilla rescued from poachers! Also: OMG BABY GORILLA. So cute. So eerily human with her expressive face. I love you baby gorilla! Her rescuers named her Ihirwe, which means Luck in the Rwandan language Kinyarwanda. I will call her Lil’ Lucky from now on. Oh boy, that could be her DJ name! DJ Lil’ Lucky on the ones and twos! Though DJ Baby Gorilla is good too. Wow, that’s really good actually. One of you has my permission to take DJ Baby Gorilla as your DJ name. First come, first serve.
It’s likely she was taken from the Bukima area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) park. This little girl was rescued by Rwandan police after poachers stole her, presumably for the international pet trade. Nobody knows if her family was killed when the poachers kidnapped her or any of the circumstances surrounding how they got her. But she’s eight months old, adorbs and safe. I’m not sure what her future holds but for now she is in the care of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project.
Mountain gorillas are critically endangered and according to a census by the International Gorilla Conservation Program, there are only 786 remaining in the mountains of DRC, Rwanda and Uganda. That’s like a medium-sized high-school. Fucking A. However, if you remember as I’ve written before, this is a dramatic increase from previous years. Let’s hope that continues. Also, screw whoever buys kidnapped baby gorillas from poachers! Who does that? Somebody is just like, “yeah, I totes need a gorilla” and calls their friendly neighborhood poacher? WTF.
Ivory poaching, elephant murder on the increase in Africa »
Vanity Fair has a great big article about the increase in illegal ivory trade in Africa. It’s horrible. You should read it; I’m not going to recap the whole thing here. You can have some low-lights* first, though.
Across Africa, “roughly 100 elephants are being killed each day.” Profits from ivory sales fund terrifying rebel groups, just like jewel- and ore-mining. The biggest markets for ivory right now is in East Asia, in particular China, and the Middle East. When smuggled ivory is seized, its DNA is sequenced so authorities can tell where its elephant came from. From this, we’ve learned that the ivory trade has increased everywhere in Africa that Chinese workers are.
The best paragraph:
Obviously, no ivory should be sold, legally or illegally. It has to be taken off the table completely. You can’t keep feeding the demand and providing incentives to poor Africans to continue killing their elephants. That—and educating the Chinese—is the only hope for the remaining ones in the wild. All of Africa needs to follow the lead of Kenya, which burned its ivory stock in 1989. As he ignited the 12 tons of tusks, thus depriving the government of millions of dollars of revenue, in a huge conflagration that remains the single most important event in the history of the battle for the elephants, then president Daniel arap Moi declared, “To stop the poacher, the trader must also be stopped, and to stop the trader, the final buyer must be convinced not to buy ivory. I appeal to people all over the world to stop buying ivory.”
Zimbabwe wants to feed prisoners elephant. People go on safari to shoot elephants. Most elephants, though, are killed because drought and poverty combined with the big ivory market have made killing them one of the only ways to earn money. Elephants are goddamn mystical, and murdering them is a terrible act of inhumanity. Read this entire article, cry your eyes out, be glad you’re not so poor that you resort to ruining the world to feed yourself. Jesus.
*Like highlights, but depressing.
[photo by brittanyhock via flickr]