Man-animal conflict flares up in Poonch, India

Source: merinews.com

October 30, 2007- WITH MILITANCY on the wane, though temporarily, the frontier district of Poonch is caught up in different kind of violence. Man-animal conflict is taking dangerous turns.

According to the Forest and Wildlife officials, irate residents of a Poonch village axed a female bear and her two cubs to death after they attacked some boys in the area.

The bears strayed into Bedar village in Sabzian area of the district and mauled some boys after which angry locals attacked them, officials stated. The villagers carrying torches attacked the female bear and her cubs with axes.

Earlier, the villagers had killed three wild bears in same area. A team of forest officials recovered the bodies of the three beasts, the next day. One of them was full grown female while two others were young ones – one male and the other female.

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Wild snow leopard captured after killing 50 sheep

A wild snow leopard that killed 50 sheep has been captured and put in a zoo in northwest China’s Qinghai Province.

The big cat haunted the Qijia village, Gonghe county of the province, and attacked the sheep before angry villagers finally decided to hunt it.

They chased the leopard on motorcycles and roped the beast after lengthy fight.

When villagers were told that the wild snow leopard they had snared was under first class protection along with the panda, they decided to hand it to the Xining Zoo in the capital city of the province rather than kill it.

“The animal, aged five or six, was caught alive by the villagers only because it had been without food for several days and was weak,” said Xu Shuren, head of the zoo and expert on wild animal protection.

There are believed to be between 5,000 and 7,500 snow leopards left in the wild and around 500 in captivity, mainly in Asia.

Qinghai had an estimated 900 to 1,200 wild snow leopards, Xu said.

The demand for snow leopard pelts in some countries had led to a great drop their numbers.

(Xinhua News Agency December 13, 2007)

Santa Barbara Zoo’s Snow Leopard Festival a Success

Source: The Santa Barbara Independent

December 6, 2007- Snow in Santa Barbara? Not likely. Today, however, thousands of people flocked to the Santa Barbara Zoo to take a look at animals and children frolicking in more that 40 tons of snow. It was all part of the Snow Leopard Festival, held to raise money for the critically endangered Snow Leopards. Hailing from the cold climes of the Russo-Chinese border, the two Amur Leopards, who also reside in the zoo, benefited from the snow as well.

Brought in by semi truck, the snow arrived before 5 a.m., and was met by zoo keepers and staffers who helped unload the delivery into animal cages and at the hilltop park at the zoo’s center. Staff even constructed two small sledding hills in the park, which, by 10 a.m., were packed with enthusiastic kids. Animals could be seen romping in the snow as well — albeit within their enclosures — with snow leopards rolling playfully in it, and Asian Elephants forming and tossing snowballs with their dexterous trunks.

The snow attracted more than the usual number of zoo visitors for a Sunday afternoon, with the official count being upwards of 4,000 guests. Dean Noble, the Zoo’s director of marketing, said that the money raised by admission fees will benefit the Snow Leopard Trust, which has worked since 1981 to help protect snow leopards and their central Asian habitat. Heavily involved in animal conversation efforts, the Santa Barbara Zoo is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which ensures that species — particularly endangered ones — get the space and habitat they need in captivity. “Zoos used to be for entertainment. Now they’ve become modern arcs,” said Noble.

Click to enlarge photo

Photo: Paul Wellman

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Huge stockpile of furs of endangered species burnt

December 5, 2007

By IANS

Srinagar : Wildlife authorities in the Kashmir Valley have torched nearly eight truckloads of furs and skins of endangered animals, worth an estimated Rs.99 million ($2.5 million) in the international market, as part of its efforts to stop the illegal trade.

The huge stockpile, including 125,000 endangered animal items surrendered by traders in the Kashmir Valley, were publicly burnt by wildlife officials Monday. It is estimated to be the single largest collection of wildlife skins in the world.

The burning was part of the government’s effort to discourage the illegal trade in animal parts that threatens to wipe out many of India’s most endangered species.

The incinerated items included skins, rugs, fur coats and gloves made from dozens of tigers, snow leopards, leopards, hill fox, leopard cats, black bear, otters and wolves.

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Animal Skins Burnt by Kashmir Authorities, Including over 100 Snow Leopard Items

Source: http://telegraph.co.uk

December 4, 2007- Animal skins and body parts worth millions of pounds have been ceremonially burned in the Indian state of Kashmir.

The destruction of the skins from some of India’s most endangered species was the latest phase of a campaign to stamp out the illegal trade.

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Eight truckloads of pelts from animals including snow leopard, leopard, tiger, black bear, otters and wolves, were thrown onto the bonfire.

Ashok Kumar, trustee of the Wildlife Trust of India and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) partner, lit the pyre. “This is a hugely significant moment. Going up in flames was the largest single agglomeration of wildlife skins anywhere in the world.”

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All species are protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, the Jammu & Kashmir Wildlife Protection Act of 1978 and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). The destruction was ordered by the High Court.

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