The more than 4 million animals shot, poisoned, snared, or trapped by the Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services in fiscal year 2013 included 75,326 coyotes, 866 bobcats, 528 river otters, 3,700 foxes, 12,186 prairie dogs, 973 red-tailed hawks, 419 black bears, and at least three eagles, golden and bald. However, there’s little data showing the cause for each killing, the methods used, and the reasons behind mistakes that lead to massive kills of animals that aren’t targeted.
Link: Washington Post
Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, begins his brand new monthly column for Wildlife Extra by examining the intricacies of the devastating rhino horn trade. He writes, “Rhino poaching for rhino horn is driving the species to extinction. This is an international crisis with significant consequences, and Born Free USA is urging every government globally to take action.”
Link: Wildlife Extra
After 20 years of a failure to update regulations on captive marine mammals, a pair of Congressmen has successfully passed an amendment that will force the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update their rules that protect captive orcas and other marine mammals. The amendment will provide $1 million toward an effort that involves studying the effects of captivity on orca whales.
Link: The Dodo
Three Pennsylvania butchers await dozens of charges for allegedly processing, selling, and buying venison illegally as a result of a two-year series of investigations. All three were charged on May 19 by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, along with three others accused of related charges.
Get a sneak peek into what happens after you donate your fur items to our Fur for the Animals drive! Claire LaFrance of Born Free USA “delines” donated furs in preparation for their use at wildlife sanctuaries across the country. The facilities will use them to provide familiar comfort, warmth, and bedding to injured, young, and sick wildlife in their care. Click here to learn how you can help!
Link: The Dodo
Read Born Free USA CEO Adam M. Roberts’ blog about the plight of cheetahs—and why we must crack down on the cheetah trade.
Link: One Green Planet
Two suspected poachers have been arrested for the May 23 murder of Dexter Chilunda, the head of law enforcement for Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia. “Ranger Chilunda's murder exemplifies the sad story of wildlife law enforcement officers literally laying their lives on the line across Africa to protect endangered animals,” said Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA. “The effects are broad and lasting, as families must survive the loss of the sole breadwinner.”
Despite criticism of SeaWorld in the U.S., aquariums and marine parks in other countries are ramping up their orca programs. Two wild orcas caught in Russia’s Sea of Okhotsk will reportedly appear in the tanks of Ocean Kingdom, a park in Hengqin, China. If the import did in fact happen, this would be the first case of international trade in orca whales from the wild since Iceland stopped allowing the capture and export of the species in 1990.
Link: The Dodo