African elephants 'suffer worst decline in 25 years'
The number of African elephants has dropped by around 111,000 in the past decade, a new report released Sunday at the Johannesburg conference on the wildlife trade said, blaming the plummeting figures on poaching. The revelation, the worst drop in 25 years, came amid disagreement on the second day of the global meet over the best way to improve the plight of Africa's elephants, targeted for their tusks. With Namibia and Zimbabwe, wanting to be allowed to sell ivory stockpiles accrued from natural deaths to fund community elephant conservation initiatives, Zimbabwe's Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri rejected the "imperialistic policies" of opposing countries, branding them a "clear infringement on the sovereign rights of nations".
Correction: Tangled Whales-Crabbing story
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In a story Sept. 23 about a bill to protect whales from fishing gear for Dungeness crab, The Associated Press erroneously reported the name of an environmental group that backed the legislation. The group is the Center for Biological Diversity, not the Center for Environmental Diversity.
Albania seeks to liberate chained bears
The two five-year-old Albanian bears carry physical and mental scars from their days of mistreatment and captivity -- Pashuk has marks from the tight chain on his neck, while Tomi is an alcoholic. The pair are temporarily staying in Tirana zoo after they were rescued from their jailers, amid a new drive to liberate the Balkan country's cruelly caged brown bears. There are up to 250 of them roaming free in Albania's mountains, according to the international animal rights group Four Paws.
California governor backs protecting whales from crab traps
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California's governor has signed legislation meant to reduce the surging number of whales getting caught in crabbing gear.
South Africa unveils test-tube buffalo, plans IVF rhino
By Ziyanda Yono MARBLE HALL, South Africa (Reuters) - Almost 40 years after the first human test-tube baby was born, South African scientists have produced something bulkier: the first Cape buffalo brought into the world by in vitro fertilization (IVF). Pumelelo the buffalo bull calf was born on June 28 and was unveiled to the world this week at a game farm north of Johannesburg in South Africa's Limpopo province. The technique holds hope for far bigger and more endangered species such as the northern white rhino - only three of them are left on the planet.
Laos failing to curb illegal wildlife trade: monitor
The illegal trade in pangolins, helmeted hornbills and other wildlife products is thriving in Laos, a monitoring group said Friday, urging the Southeast Asian nation to crack down on a lucrative commerce largely fuelled by demand in neighbouring China. The authoritarian country has long been top transit hub for the smuggling of wildlife products, with widespread corruption and weak law enforcement allowing the criminal activity to flourish. Wildlife trade monitoring group TRAFFIC said Friday that endangered species such as pangolins and helmeted hornbills were being openly sold in Laos and that law enforcement against the illegal trade remained threadbare.
Ivory, rhino horn and pangolins on agenda of CITES meeting
The 17th meeting of the U.N.'s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) kicks off in Johannesburg on Saturday and runs until October 5. This meeting comes against the backdrop of a surge in elephant and rhino poaching in recent years in Africa, which has raised the emotional, ecological and economic stakes in this round of big animal diplomacy.
Rusty patched bumble bee recommended for endangered list
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Federal wildlife officials on Thursday made a formal recommendation to list the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species because it has disappeared from about 90 percent of its historic range in just the past two decades.
King penguin chick shows up at Vienna zoo
A King penguin chick, hatched in Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo four weeks ago, has emerged from the folds of a protective parent's body. The zoo published pictures and video footage on Thursday of the little gray bird with its much larger and more brightly colored parents. King penguins are the second-biggest species of penguin after Emperor penguins.
Bangladesh zoo throws wedding for lions with meat cake
Chittagong (Bangladesh) (AFP) - Bangladesh zoo keepers have thrown two lions a wedding party that included a heart-shaped meat cake in the hope of drawing much-needed visitors and encouraging the animals to mate.