After poacher crackdown, Tanzanian endangered rhino and elephant populations are staging inspiring recoveries

Four years ago, there were 15 known black rhinos left in Tanzania -- "ground zero of the poaching crisis" -- and today there 167 of them; elephant populations (which dropped 60% between 2009-2014) are rebounding too, up to over 60,000 from a low of 43,330. Read the rest

China reinstates ban on using tiger and rhino parts in traditional medicine

After the whole damn planet declared its disgust with China's lifting the ban on using tiger bones and rhino horn in medicine, the Chinese government has decided to back peddle on its declaration: using the exotic, endangered animals bits and pieces will remain off limits to the world of eastern medicine.

From The New York Times:

Making a rare concession, the State Council, China’s cabinet, said that it had decided to postpone an order made last month to undo a 25-year ban on the trade.

“The Chinese government has not changed its stance on wildlife protection and will not ease the crackdown on illegal trafficking and trade of rhinos, tigers and their byproducts,” Ding Xuedong, a top official with the council, said in remarks published in the state-run news media on Monday.

I'm having a hard time believing that anything to do with any government would be good news this year, but here we are.

It is worth noting, however, that the Chinese ban on slapping bones and horn into medicine isn't permanent. It could be rescinded at any point in the future. However, as The New York Times points out, China's working hard to sort out a greater share of respect on the world stage. Not murdering rare animals for their bits and pieces? That's an easy win.

Now if we could just get them to knock off the shit they're pulling with Muslims in their nation, we'll be getting somewhere.

Image by Soumyajit Nandy - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link Read the rest

This baby rhino trying to play with its mom is the purest thing you'll see all week

When was the last time your eyeballs feasted on something that wasn't a part of the dumpster fire we call a news cycle? It's been a while for me and I'm betting the same can be said for you too. Here: get a load of this greater one-horned rhino calf pestering its mother to play with him. There is running. There are head butts. There is so much joy here that you won't know what to do with yourself. Read the rest

Facebook is the hub of the global trade in endangered species: can securities law be used to force the company into action?

Stephen Kohn, a highpowered whistleblower lawyer (he repped both Linda Tripp and the UBS Leaks whistleblower) showed Wired his heretofore confidential SEC complaint against Facebook, which details the undercover sting operations undertaken by his clients to investigate Facebook's role as a platform for the illegal trade in the remains of endangered species, such as rhino horn, elephant tusks, and lion claws. Read the rest

Orphaned baby rhino walks little girl to school

This orphaned baby rhino likes to walk with this girl to school in the morning.

Rhinos are endangered across Africa, as demand for their horn fuels ruthless criminal poaching networks. Ol Pejeta is the largest black rhino sanctuary in east Africa, and is also home to the last three northern white rhinos on the planet. When Ringo is ~4 years old, it is hoped he can be released into the wild.

(Thanks, McRaney!) Read the rest

Cameras embedded in rhino horns to fight poaching

Researchers developed an anti-poaching system for Rhinos that integrates a camera embedded in the rhino's horn with a GPS and heart rate monitors that switch on the camera and guide authorities to the animal's location. Read the rest

Flying rhinoceros

In South Africa, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife used a Vietnam War-era Huey helicopter to relocate a rhino threatened by poachers, a process incredibly documented by Emma Gatland and featured on National Geographic. Read the rest