Focusing On The Conservation of Ecosystems, Habitats & Wildlife

Special Valentine's Day for the San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Wild Animal Park received a special gift on Valentine’s Day – a baby African Elephant. At approximately 2:00 a.m., visitors that were camping at the zoo said they heard elephants “trumpeting” which commonly occurs when a baby calf is born.

Details have not been released for this baby African elephant, however newborns usually weigh between 250 and 300 pounds and stand approxiamtely tree feet tall.  With this new addition, the Swaziland herd has grown to more than a dozen.

Zimbabwean Security Forces – Poaching? – Really?

In a news conference today, the leader of a U.N. program to protect endangered species charged Zimbabwean security forces of being involved in the poaching of elephants and rhinoceros.   In the last 2 years, the rhinoceros population has decreased so dramatically that it is now on the verge of extinction in Zimbabwe.

Mark Davis, DVM travels to Zimbabwe to assist in the translocation of endangered black rhinos.  He is a technical advisor for the IRF (International Rhino Foundation). Click on the play button to watch the “Horror and Hope” of the Black Rhino.

WWF has reported recently that the demand in Asia for the rhinoceros horn for medical use has spearheaded the poaching in Africa and Asia to an all time high.

Dr Susan Lieberman of WWF describes the severity of the situation by saying that:

“This is the worst rhino poaching we have seen in many years and it is critical for governments to stand up and take action to stop this deadly threat to rhinos worldwide. It is time to crack down on organized criminal elements responsible for this trade, and to vastly increase assistance to range countries in their enforcement efforts.”

20th Anniversary of the International Ban on Ivory

It’s been over 20 years since the world of ivory has been banned internationally, however GREED and the demand for products made out of ivory have surge in the last few years.  Scientists are estimating that between 8% – 10% of African’s elephants are still being killed each year to meet this ivory demand.

So why are these products still in such demand?  Apparently, the recent growth in the far east’s appetite for ivory, which is a status symbol for the middle class, has sent ivory prices soaring from 150 pounds a kilogram in 2004 to more than 4,000 pounds a kilogram today.

African elephants in Kenya on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the world ivory trading ban. Photograph: Martin Harvey/AP

This is definitely a topic that will be discussed in detail at this year’s meeting in March of Cites (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species).

It has been estimated that more than 38,000 elephants were killed for their tusks just in 2006 alone and the death rate is even higher today.  To read this article (CLICK HERE) or click on the photo above.