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The pioneering vets who save rhinos left for dead by poachers – in pictures

South Africa’s rising poaching problem has seen a shocking 6,115 rhinos killed in the last nine years. Saving the Survivors’ ground-breaking initiative sees a small team of vets race to the scene to try and treat the animals before it’s too late

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Exclusive: footage shows young elephants being captured in Zimbabwe for Chinese zoos

Rare footage of the capture of wild young elephants in Zimbabwe shows rough treatment of the calves as they are sedated and taken awayThe Guardian has been given exclusive footage which shows the capture of young, wild elephants in Zimbabwe in preparat...

Leuser ecosystem: one of most biodiverse places on Earth under threat – in pictures

The Leuser ecosystem spans 2.6m hectares into the Indonesian provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra. It’s the only place in the world where tigers, orangutans, rhinos and elephants coexist in the wild. But it’s under threat from agricultural industries, including palm oil

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‘The last place on Earth’: how Sumatra’s rainforest is being cleared for palm oil

Sumatra’s Leuser ecosystem is the only place where orangutans, rhinos, tigers and elephants coexist. But palm oil companies continue to clear it, claims NGO

A palm oil company is continuing to clear forest in a fast-diminishing elephant habitat in Indonesia’s Leuser ecosystem despite being the subject of two reports into illegal deforestation, according to a prominent environmental organisation.

The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) published a study in July accusing plantation owner PT Agra Bumi Niaga (ABN) of growing oil palms on illegally deforested land in the Leuser ecosystem, in Aceh province, northern Sumatra.

Related: Pepsico, Unilever and Nestlé accused of complicity in illegal rainforest destruction

Related: Bornean orangutan declared ‘critically endangered’ as forests shrink

Related: The eco-warrior taking a chainsaw to Indonesia's illegal palm oil plantations

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David Shepherd obituary

Artist whose popular wildlife paintings helped raise millions for conservation

Fresh out of school, with no scholastic achievements to recommend him, David Shepherd applied for a place at the Slade School of Art in London. The Slade did him the biggest favour of his life by telling him that he had no talent for art. Instead, Shepherd, the artist and conservationist, who has died aged 86, took to painting meticulous pictures of railway engines, aircraft and – the real breakthrough – wildlife, especially his trademark African elephant bull, facing the viewer head-on with ears spread wide. A picture of this beast, alone or with its fellows, might be called The Men of Etosha, or Dusty Evening, or Elephant Heaven, or even, as in his bestseller, Wise Old Elephant. It didn’t much matter. The reproductions sold hugely.

Shepherd was, some said, Britain’s Tretchikoff, with Wise Old Elephant his Chinese Girl, and this was intended as a compliment. Certainly, he became immensely rich and helped to raise more than £8m for his other great passion – wildlife conservation – initially through donating painting sales proceeds to charities such as the World Wildlife Fund, and latterly through the efforts of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, which he set up in 1984. The charity campaigns to protect endangered species, and combat poaching and its trade.

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Elephants needing a room: hawkmoths on the march for a pupal pad

A herd of elephant hawkmoth caterpillars is trooping across my garden to pupate

Caterpillars are on the march. In the past week I’ve found several elephant hawkmoth caterpillars trooping across my garden. These are arguably the most subtly beautiful of the charismatic hawkmoth grubs. They are deep brown and charcoal grey with four arresting “eyes” of black, brown and silver – part of an armoury of deterrents against voracious birds, which includes the sudden switching into “snake” mode when disturbed, to discombobulate predators.

The adult moth takes its name from the caterpillar’s trunk-like snout, although its bewitching pink hued wings are also the colour of a cartoon elephant.

Related: Exotic migrant moths invade Britain under cover of darkness

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大象2.0:留住珍贵的象群集体记忆

每头大象都是巨大的象群数据库和信息网络的一个神秘入口,让我们守护这份自然的奇迹。

大象有着一 副如此悲伤的面孔,很难现象任何人会去伤害它们。它们有着苍白的嘴唇和下垂的肩膀;它们的姿态悠长而松弛,眼睛若有深意,可以让罪过者动容。但似乎单凭负 疚感并不能拯救大象。八年前,非洲象和亚洲象的种群总数大约有600万到900万头。如今,大约只剩50万头。日复一日,大象距离灭绝越来越近。

也许我们需要一些新的观念。也许是时候从新的角度考虑我们为什么需要保护大象。对于我们来说,珍贵的或许并不是它们的身体,而是它们共享的记忆和经验。这就是我在这篇文中想要提出的观点。

Related: 打压盗猎盗伐,别小看了旅游业的本事

Related: Why the Guardian is publishing its elephant reporting in Chinese

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大象2.0:留住珍贵的象群集体记忆

每头大象都是巨大的象群数据库和信息网络的一个神秘入口,让我们守护这份自然的奇迹。

大象有着一 副如此悲伤的面孔,很难现象任何人会去伤害它们。它们有着苍白的嘴唇和下垂的肩膀;它们的姿态悠长而松弛,眼睛若有深意,可以让罪过者动容。但似乎单凭负 疚感并不能拯救大象。八年前,非洲象和亚洲象的种群总数大约有600万到900万头。如今,大约只剩50万头。日复一日,大象距离灭绝越来越近。

也许我们需要一些新的观念。也许是时候从新的角度考虑我们为什么需要保护大象。对于我们来说,珍贵的或许并不是它们的身体,而是它们共享的记忆和经验。这就是我在这篇文中想要提出的观点。

Related: 打压盗猎盗伐,别小看了旅游业的本事

Related: Why the Guardian is publishing its elephant reporting in Chinese

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What’s the story behind China’s ivory ban?

This year, China’s government enacted a ban on ivory sales and started closing down carving workshops. How did such an astonishing U-turn come about?

For years Chinese government officials were followed around the world, at every meeting, by a single issue: the scores of dead elephants across Africa, and the international community that blamed China for this “ivory “holocaust”.

Even the Chinese premier, Li Keqiang, could not escape lectures on poached elephants and the evils of China’s legal domestic ivory trade from foreign leaders. For years, China deflected the criticism with claims of a long cultural heritage and incremental policies, such as a ban on ivory carving imports two years ago.

Related: Alone, China's ban on ivory could make life worse for elephants

There’s a lot of groups talking about ivory, but no one would come out and say: ‘China needs to ban ivory'

Related: 'Elephants are not the only victims': the lament of China's ivory lovers

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What’s the story behind China’s ivory ban?

This year, China’s government enacted a ban on ivory sales and started closing down carving workshops. How did such an astonishing U-turn come about?

For years Chinese government officials were followed around the world, at every meeting, by a single issue: the scores of dead elephants across Africa, and the international community that blamed China for this “ivory “holocaust”.

Even the Chinese premier, Li Keqiang, could not escape lectures on poached elephants and the evils of China’s legal domestic ivory trade from foreign leaders. For years, China deflected the criticism with claims of a long cultural heritage and incremental policies, such as a ban on ivory carving imports two years ago.

Related: Alone, China's ban on ivory could make life worse for elephants

There’s a lot of groups talking about ivory, but no one would come out and say: ‘China needs to ban ivory'

Related: 'Elephants are not the only victims': the lament of China's ivory lovers

Continue reading...

Why Can’t We Protect Elephants?

They need our help, not an easier way to make their carcasses into trophies.
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For Now, Trump to Keep Ban on Importing Elephant Trophies

The president reversed his own administration’s decision in an evening tweet, prohibiting trophies of killed elephants from being brought into the country.
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Trump Bags Another Anti-Obama Trophy: Dead Elephants

The administration is lifting a ban on importing elephant parts severed as trophies after the animals are shot in Zimbabwe.
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Trump Administration to Lift Ban on ‘Trophy’ Elephant Imports

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it planned to reverse a ban on the imports from Zimbabwe, following its earlier move to allow them from Zambia.
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Lions next in line of fire as US rolls back curbs on African hunting trophies

The Trump administration’s lifting of restrictions on importing elephant body parts from Zimbabwe and Zambia is not the last gift to hunting interests

Hunting interests have scored a major victory with the Trump administration’s decision to allow Americans to bring home body parts of elephants shot for sport in Africa. Another totemic species now looks set to follow suit – lions.

As the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) was announcing it was lifting a ban on the import of elephant “trophies” from Zimbabwe and Zambia, it also quietly published new guidelines that showed lions shot in the two African countries will also be eligible to adorn American homes.

Related: Trump sons' hunting in focus as US lifts import ban on African elephant trophies

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Trump sons’ hunting in focus as US lifts import ban on African elephant trophies

  • Obama administration imposed ban because of conservation concerns
  • Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump are enthusiastic big game hunters

The Trump administration’s decision to loosen restrictions around the import of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia has turned attention back to the president’s family’s own connection to the controversial sport.

Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump are prolific big-game hunters and during the 2016 campaign, images re-emerged of the pair on a 2011 hunting trip posing with animals they had killed on safari, including an elephant, a buffalo and a leopard.

The GOP. Here's Donald Trump Jr. holding the tail of an elephant (party symbol) that he killed. #TrumpSacrifices pic.twitter.com/FIGkcH2F0t

What went so wrong with Trump sons that they could kill this beautiful creature pic.twitter.com/L1gquLQrRz

Related: 'There's no sport in that': trophy hunters and the masters of the universe

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US to allow imports of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe

Campaigners fear move by Trump administration will damage global efforts to end the ivory trade

Donald Trump’s administration plans to allow imports of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe into the US – a move campaigners fear could damage global momentum on ending the ivory trade.

In 2014, US big game hunters killing elephants in Zimbabwe were banned from bringing their trophies home, on the basis that the country had failed to show that it was taking elephant management seriously.

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Animals Strike Curious Poses by Elena Passarello review – brilliant essays on immortal beasts

The meanings of Dürer’s rhino, Mozart’s starling, Darwin’s tortoise and others explored with wild imagination and pyrotechnic prose

Elena Passarello starts this extraordinary book with the image of Yuka, a woolly mammoth chiselled from the softening permafrost by Siberian tusk hunters in 2010. First a rounded hoof comes into view, then a hollowed-out eye and finally the flank still bearing evidence of the gash that must have done for young Yuka – she was no more than 10 years old when she died – nearly 40 millennia ago. Most surprising of all, though, is the burning smoulder of her pelt, which has kept to its unconvincing ginger-red despite the passing centuries. Whoever knew that woolly mammoths shared their hair colour with dime-store dolls?

As Yuka is flopped on to the snowmobile it is not her odd dislocations – most of her spine is gone although her legs remain rigid – that qualify as one of the “curious poses” of the book’s title (taken incidentally from a line in “When Doves Cry” by Prince). It is what happens next, Passarello suggests, that stretches and shrinks Yuka into something truly strange. First she becomes the object of hard financial bargaining as the tusk hunters hide her carcass in a frozen cave and wait for the highest bidder. Then, when the scientists finally get their hands on her, she morphs into the poster child for a “rewilding” initiative that aims to make extinct breeds live again by splicing their ancient DNA into the embryo of their nearest living relatives.

Passarello moves between musicology, biography and the golden throat of a bird brain with virtuosic ease

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The week in wildlife – in pictures

Pintail ducks, an elephant seal pup and an osprey in action are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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A green tree frog and an erupting volcano: Friday’s best photos

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights, including a baby elephant and Melania Trump on the Great Wall

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Man jailed after rhino horns and elephant tusks are found in attic

Abbas Allawi is sentenced to 14 months for trying to sell on Instagram endangered animal parts worth up to £2m

A would-be trader in endangered animal parts has been jailed after rhino horns, elephant tusks and hippo teeth worth up to £2m were discovered by specially trained search dogs in a police raid.

Abbas Allawi, 52, was arrested when officers from the Metropolitan police’s wildlife crime unit searched his home in Gisburne Way, Watford, on 19 October last year.

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Man jailed after rhino horns and elephant tusks are found in attic

Abbas Allawi is sentenced to 14 months for trying to sell on Instagram endangered animal parts worth up to £2m

A would-be trader in endangered animal parts has been jailed after rhino horns, elephant tusks and hippo teeth worth up to £2m were discovered by specially trained search dogs in a police raid.

Abbas Allawi, 52, was arrested when officers from the Metropolitan police’s wildlife crime unit searched his home in Gisburne Way, Watford, on 19 October last year.

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