Pledge About

Rhinos

Famous Chinese antiques expert visits rhino poaching front line

Prestigious antiques expert and host of a popular online talk show Mr Ma Weidu joined WildAid and Investec Rhino Lifeline in South Africa this month to witness first-hand the threats posed to rhinos, and the measures required to protect them. 

Mr Ma observed wild rhinos in their natural habitat, participated in an anti-poaching demonstration, and encountered rhinos that have been injured or orphaned due to the illegal trade in rhino horn. 

"In my wildest dreams, I never imagined I would touch a rhino. It's an incredibly moving experience to see such a powerful animal so completely vulnerable," Mr Ma said.

South Africa shoots rhino poachers, but lets kingpins walk, new report finds

Rhino poaching middlemen and kingpins continue to operate with impunity in South Africa, according to a new WildAid report, which reveals how the country has failed to prosecute or sufficiently punish those arrested for high level involvement in rhino crimes.  

WildAid's report cites repeated examples of case dismissals, postponements and paltry fines, most often associated with suspects coming from the professional hunting, game farming or veterinary industries. Low level poachers, by contrast, are often shot or jailed for lengthy terms.

Domestic rhino horn trade could fuel poaching, WildAid warns

South Africa’s top court has ruled in favor of allowing domestic trade in rhino horns, WildAid has learned. Since 2009, a government-backed moratorium had been in place preventing the sale of horns within the country.

A legal challenge was brought against the moratorium by private ranchers who own large populations of the animals, and who are believed to be stockpiling horns in hopes of selling them commercially. WildAid is concerned that legalizing domestic rhino horn trade opens the door to additional illegal horn exports.

“There is no domestic demand for rhino horn products and, as the pro-trade lobby very well knows, the reason why the moratorium was implemented in the first place was to prevent domestic trade from being used as a cover for smuggling," said Susie Watts of WildAid's Africa Program. 

Continue Reading...

Vietnam’s Business Leaders Take a Stand to Protect Rhinos

On the eve of the International Wildlife Trade Conference in Hanoi, WildAid united more than 100 prominent Vietnamese business leaders with a pledge to never consume rhino horn or other illegal wildlife products. In a show of solidarity, the nation’s top business leaders joined our call and urged stronger enforcement and more effective wildlife conservation action. 

Consumer demand for rhino horn in Vietnam has fueled crisis-level rhino poaching in South Africa. That’s why WildAid Ambassador Sir Richard Branson to fly to Ho Chi Minh City last year for the launch of “Pledge on Wildlife Conservation and Ending Demand for Rhino Horn in Vietnam” with an elite and influential group of business leaders. Since then, another 75 top CEOs and over 250 executives have also signed on.

The growing corporate support in Vietnam to end the rhino horn trade is a clear signal to private citizens that consumption must end. To ensure that their message is heard, WildAid published the list of business leaders who took the pledge with full-page advertisements in leading publications. Our Vietnam team has also been busy producing a microsite that is being promoted throughout the country supported by our continued efforts to share public service announcements and prominent billboards in major cities. 

Tour of the Macabre at the National Wildlife Property Repository

Andrew Wegst (courtesy USFWS)

What’s scarier than the goriest slasher film? How about a stuffed tiger fetus? Or what about 45,000 dead seahorses — dried, wrapped in plastic and sitting in a cavernous warehouse full of seized illegal wildlife products?

Frighteningly enough, both – and even worse - can be found at the National Wildlife Property Repository just outside of Denver.

Coleen Schaefer, Supervisory Wildlife Repository Specialist runs the repository for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, providing tours to bring the grim reality of the thousands of animal products trafficked in the U.S. annually. The 22,000-square-foot facility is filled to the rafters with tiger skins, ivory tusks and trinkets, traditional Chinese medicines made from rhino horn and various parts from endangered species.

Pages