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Justice for Sri Lanka’s Kidnapped Baby Elephants

sri lanka baby elephants

sri lanka baby elephants

The exact number of baby elephants kidnapped from the natural forest for captivity can only be guessed. Infants perhaps numbering over a hundred in chains seen paraded at scores of cultural pageants across the central and southern part of Sri Lanka have drawn attention to a crisis that is yet, by far overlooked. This is in spite of stringent wildlife legislation that the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) is independently capable of enforcing, supported by ample other protective laws (2). Instead of enforcing the law there is evidence that members of the DWC interfered and covered up after the kidnappers. The scenes of crime are popular wildlife Protected Areas Habarana, Udavalave, Kalavava, Yala and Hambantota, among other less popular sites. The baby elephants are sold as commodities from between US$50,000 and US$170,000 to be trained for use in temples and the tourist industry, in rides – that must be stopped due to the intense abuse endured by the elephants (1).
With healthy populations seen among the close-knit herds in the natural forest, these infants when kidnapped have not been weaned from their mothers. Most of the adult elephants killed during the kidnappings have been mother elephants trying to protect their babies from the violent and armed kidnappers (8). In the wild, once weaned baby elephants are sustained by a diverse array of natural food sources, while captivity leads to a diet deprived of milk and continued use as slaves at numerous cultural pageants that have sprouted in countless numbers — contrary to tradition, in chains and ankus for their control/abuse. Further observations across the national parks reveal that this crime — with no one yet taken to task — has now taken its toll on the mental and physical wellbeing of the elephant populations with signs of various stress-related aggressive behaviour, contrary to the norm!
The kidnappings would not have been possible without the support of high ranking DWC officials, while most members of DWC are committed to carrying out their jobs professionally (3), a small number of wildlife officials led by the Director General (DG) of the DWC, H.D Ratnayaka is suspected to have knowingly allowed wildlife crime networks led by the likes of Maharagama Roshan alias Ali Roshan, to kidnap elephants, hampering the efforts of the DWC unit’s “Flying Squad” in their efforts to rescue kidnapped elephants and then covered up for the kidnappers at the DWC, by registering the baby elephants via bogus papers, falsifying documents and concealing evidence. (1)(2)(3)(4)(5). The move by the Tourism and Sports Deputy Minister, Vasantha Senanayake to have the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) investigate the disappearance of an elephant record book and illegal possession of elephants without proper registration papers is a great beginning (7). We, the undersigned call on the Sri Lankan government to bring to justice: those that were involved in elephant kidnapping, blocked the rescue of kidnapped elephants, failed to enforce the law against kidnappers and covered up for the elephant kidnappers.

Complaints against DG/DWC
 Issuing of permits/license renewals with disregard to false affidavits and forged documents submitted by private individuals holding kidnapped baby elephants captive.
 Assisting and influencing the direct violation of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance by private individuals.
 Misuse of government property, with evidence of anti-government acts and corruption by way of renewing permits/licensesfor legalizing illegally captured baby elephants.
 No effective efforts made to regain state custody of illegally-held baby elephants in the hands of wildlife criminals possessing forged documentation.
 No effective action taken to eradicate corruption and misuse of National Heritage (by which Elephants are designated) by officials of the DWC Legal Division and in the field.
 No effective action taken to eradicate ‘organised’Wildlife Crime while liaising with wildlife criminals, despite the proven record of the general public, NGOs and committed DWC staff.
 No legal action taken to submit evidence and findings of the committee reports and recommendations regarding the Director General himself; and permitting the wildlife criminals to continue to illegally hold the illegally kidnapped baby elephants, up to date.
 Proven records of violation of the FFPO and criminal activities by way of administrative discrepancies, with direct links held with ‘organized’ wildlife criminals.
 Evidence of violation of Article 22 of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance (FFPO), particularly, Section 60: Since the presumption is that such elephant calves held in illegal captivity are considered public property, legalizing elephant calves illegally captured from the wild, with forged/invalid/false documents prepared fraudulently by the DWC for issuing of licenses
 Hampering the efforts of the DWC unit “The Flying Squad” to rescue kidnapped elephants.

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Victory for WildLeaks! Green Mile Safari Accused of Poaching in Tanzania

In 2016 Elephant Action League – through our whistleblower program WildLeaks – received videos showing illegal and cruel trophy hunting in Tanzania committed by the safari company called Green Mile Safari Co. Ltd. Among the shocking violations in the Green Mile videos are hunting with automatic weapons, having children hunt with automatic weapons, gunning down fleeing animals from moving cars, capturing baby animals and torturing dying ones, and using bait and lights at night to attract unsuspecting animals.
With the WildLeaks campaign on Green Mile, we were the first to speak-up and denounce those crimes.
The video was brought to parliament and became a national sensation.
In a recent development, Tanzania’s Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Hamisi Kigwangalla has released a list of operators, owners of hunting blocks and officials in the ministry accused of supporting poaching syndicates. That list includes Green Mile Safari Co. Ltd.
Minister Kigwangalla blamed the suspects whom he said had for a decade paralysed the country’s national parks, protected areas and game reserves. Dr. Kigwangalla, speaking to reporters here, said: “The suspects along with their associates will first undergo a thorough inquiry by the ministry’s special task force…I have potential incriminating evidence and I want them to appear before the task force for questioning.”
Minister Kigwangalla said the government has embarked on a comprehensive strategy to purge the entire syndicate of wildlife trafficking in the country by 2020.
Stay tuned for more updates…
https://elephantleague.org/green-mile-safari-scandal-tanzania
http://allafrica.com/stories/201801260119.html

Green Mile Scandal

The post Victory for WildLeaks! Green Mile Safari Accused of Poaching in Tanzania appeared first on Elephant Action League.

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Train Plows Into Elephant Herd in India, Killing 5 Animals

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Kenya:Prominent Ivory Trade Investigator Killed in Nairobi Home

[Deutsche Welle] World-renowned ivory investigator Esmond Bradley Martin has been found dead in his home with a stab wound to the neck. Martin had spent decades tracing the trade of ivory and rhino horns from Africa to Asian markets.

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Top ivory investigator murdered in Kenya

Esmond Bradley Martin, whose groundbreaking investigations helped the fight against elephant poaching, died after being stabbed at home in Nairobi

A well-known American ivory-trade investigator, who pioneered efforts to combat elephant and rhino poaching, has been killed in his home in Nairobi, prompting an outpouring of shock and revulsion across the conservation world.

Esmond Bradley Martin, 75, died after being stabbed in his house in the Nairobi suburb of Langata on Sunday. His wife, Chryssee Martin, found his body. Bradley Martin had led global investigations into illegal wildlife trading since the 1970s and was a charismatic and familiar sight at conservation conferences.

Related: The defenders: recording the deaths of environmental defenders around the world

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Top ivory investigator murdered in Kenya

Esmond Bradley Martin, whose groundbreaking investigations helped the fight against elephant poaching, died after being stabbed at home in Nairobi

A well-known American ivory-trade investigator, who pioneered efforts to combat elephant and rhino poaching, has been killed in his home in Nairobi, prompting an outpouring of shock and revulsion across the conservation world.

Esmond Bradley Martin, 75, died after being stabbed in his house in the Nairobi suburb of Langata on Sunday. His wife, Chryssee Martin, found his body. Bradley Martin had led global investigations into illegal wildlife trading since the 1970s and was a charismatic and familiar sight at conservation conferences.

Related: The defenders: recording the deaths of environmental defenders around the world

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Nigeria:Thailand Seizes Nigeria’s Smuggled Ivory As Rescued Chimpanzees Face Uncertain Future

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Overwhelming response to UK ivory surrender to protect elephants

Publication Date: 
Feb 2 2018

Image: 
Overwhelming response to UK ivory surrender to protect elephants

An ivory surrender to help protect elephants from further slaughter for the illegal ivory trade has received overwhelming support from the UK public with almost 500 ivory items weighing around 150kgs donated in just a few months.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) invited people to surrender their own ivory to be destroyed as part of a campaign to close the UK’s ivory market and save this iconic species from the threat of extinction.

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Overwhelming response to UK ivory surrender to protect elephants

Publication Date: 
Feb 2 2018

Image: 
Overwhelming response to UK ivory surrender to protect elephants

An ivory surrender to help protect elephants from further slaughter for the illegal ivory trade has received overwhelming support from the UK public with almost 500 ivory items weighing around 150kgs donated in just a few months.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) invited people to surrender their own ivory to be destroyed as part of a campaign to close the UK’s ivory market and save this iconic species from the threat of extinction.

read more

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