Head of rhino poaching syndicate gets 40 years in prison.

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Jono
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09 Nov 2012, 2:16 pm

Does anyone remember this front cover of the Time magazine?

Image

Anyway, the point is that we've been having a problem in the past few years in South Africa with people poaching our rhinos in order to illegally smuggle rhino horn to asian countries such as China, Thailand and Vietnam. The WWF believes that the increase in rhino poaching is due to an increase in demand for rhino horn in asian countries for traditional medicine. Note that rhinos are endangered in most of Africa because of people hunting them for their horns in the past. The only reason why they aren't extinct is due to conservation efforts in South Africa and other sub-Saharan African countries, yet in South Africa, 450 rhinos were killed last year alone.

Anyway, the point of all this is that a Thai man by the name of Chumlong Lemtongthai has just today been sentenced to 40 years in prison in South Africa for running a rhino poaching syndicate, the longest sentence so far ever to be given for a wildlife crime in the country. His scheme was to exploit fake hunting licenses and employ Thai prostitutes to pose as fake "hunters" for rhino trophy hunts. Apparently he bosses in Thailand and he had an agreement to poach 15 rhinos a month. Here's a news story on this issue:

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/403466/20121109/rhino-poaching-longest-sentence-wwf-south-africa.htm



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09 Nov 2012, 4:15 pm

Too bad it won't bring the Rhinos back,smuggling exotic animals into the U.S. Is second only to drugs,I totally support the cops amd wildlife officials who are doing something about this.
Many of the animals die because of the way they are brought into the U.S.
One man was busted smuggling a rare Fijian Iguana in his prosthesis leg,I think the black market value was around $15,000.00 dollars.A man in South America was busted for making cowboy boots out of a Sea Turtle,interstingly this same boot maker had made a pair of boots for Pres.Baby Bush.I read about it in IRCF's journal.(international Reptile Conservation Fund),their website is www.IRCF.com They have a article on the Chinese consumption of turtles,they have none left.They have ate them all.Now it is big bucks to import turtles to China.I saw a picture of a room with live turtles piled in a heap trying to crawl on top of each other,I wish I had never seen that image,now I wish that they would choke on every turtle they ate.Just because they think eating turtle meat will give you a long life.



Aprilviolets
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09 Nov 2012, 11:20 pm

It just sickens me to think animals are being wiped off the face of the earth just to satify Human greed.
This and cutting forests down for palm oil plantations.
Also tigers being killed for chinese medicine, bears having their bile taken.
Not to mention the barbaric fur trade.



ruveyn
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10 Nov 2012, 7:27 am

Oh goody. That leave a niche open for other rhino poachers.

ruveyn



Jono
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10 Nov 2012, 4:42 pm

Misslizard wrote:
Too bad it won't bring the Rhinos back,smuggling exotic animals into the U.S. Is second only to drugs,I totally support the cops amd wildlife officials who are doing something about this.
Many of the animals die because of the way they are brought into the U.S.
One man was busted smuggling a rare Fijian Iguana in his prosthesis leg,I think the black market value was around $15,000.00 dollars.A man in South America was busted for making cowboy boots out of a Sea Turtle,interstingly this same boot maker had made a pair of boots for Pres.Baby Bush.I read about it in IRCF's journal.(international Reptile Conservation Fund),their website is www.IRCF.com They have a article on the Chinese consumption of turtles,they have none left.They have ate them all.Now it is big bucks to import turtles to China.I saw a picture of a room with live turtles piled in a heap trying to crawl on top of each other,I wish I had never seen that image,now I wish that they would choke on every turtle they ate.Just because they think eating turtle meat will give you a long life.


It won't bring back the rhinos that were poached, no, but hopefully such a long sentence will send a message to other potential rhino poachers.

The smuggling of exotic animals overseas is just as bad. As for the Chinese eating all of the turtles, the same thing happened to the dodo birds in Mauritius in the 18th and 19th centuries. Yes, humans actually made dodos extinct and only a few centuries ago at that, they are not the prehistoric animals that they are often portrayed as in popular culture like that group of dodos in the "Land Before Time" animated movie for example.



Jono
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10 Nov 2012, 4:52 pm

ruveyn wrote:
Oh goody. That leave a niche open for other rhino poachers.

ruveyn


Unfortunately, the poachers will always try their luck as long as there's a demand. Usually, most rhino poachers who were caught were only given prison sentences of 10 years maximum, but then again, this guy was to date one of the highest ranking guys up the ladder of a rhino poaching syndicate that has been caught. So hopefully, getting a 40 year prison sentence might act as a deterrent to others who would create similar syndicates in the future.



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11 Nov 2012, 3:26 pm

It didn't take long for people here in the U.S. to eat all the Passenger Pidgeons,I saw the dead stuffed one at the St. Louis Zoo,I think her name is Martha,there used to be millions,and we had a native parakeet,The Carolina Parakeet,it's gone,people didn't like it eating some of their food crops.Bachmans Warbler is still in the bird books with the hope that just maybe there's one left,they cut it's forest down in Cuba where it wintered,I think they planted sugar cane because it's more important for the world to have sugar than warblers.When a big Chicago lumber company bought the last virgin bottomland woods,the Sanger tract there went the Ivory Billed Woopecker,they have supposedly been sighted here
In Arkansas but some ornithologists doubt it,for a really great documentary on this watch Ghost Bird,it has some old black and white film footage of the birds and tells how they went extinct and the possible sightings.Have some tissues if you are upset by the stupidity of man,you will need them when you see the film of the birds,what a loss.



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12 Nov 2012, 4:01 pm

Hopefully this sends a message to other rhino poachers. I know I've posted this before, but would anyone consider sending a letter to help save the rhinos? http://onemoregeneration.org/2012/07/20 ... dent-zuma/


Poachers aren't just a threat to wildlife, but also a threat to conservationist, rangers and other people trying to save animals. I've heard that now they even booby trap the carcasses so that when they are found, it's dangerous to the people who find them and to discourage them from going after the poachers. Poachers really are ruthless killers. And it's pretty dumb, because rhino horns aren't really horns, since they don't have a bone core. It's just keratin, although some people swear it even cures cancer. Some Vietnamese politican(I've never been able to find his name)claimed rhino horn had cured his cancer, which led to a higher demand in rhino horn in Vietnam. That means that there are tons of potential cancer curing substances everywhere in my house! With the fur my pets shed, and my own hair and fingernails. Guess if I ever develop cancer, I won't have to get chemo. I've got everything I need at my fingertip(literally).


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18 Nov 2012, 12:30 pm

You'd think someone by now would have come up with phony rhino horn medicine scam to dupe their customers, and still make a ton of money.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



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18 Nov 2012, 1:27 pm

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/ ... win-text/2

Quote:
NO MATTER HOW GREAT a tracker Deon van Deventer may be, he could never find a wild rhino in Vietnam. Javan rhinos once proliferated in the Vietnamese forests and floodplains, but in 2010 poachers killed the nation's last wild rhino.

Yet Vietnam has no shortage of rhino horn. The illegal horn trade once revolved around markets in China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and Yemen, but now it centers on Vietnam, with more than a ton of horn likely to have entered the country last year alone. In South Africa several Vietnamese nationals, including diplomats, have been implicated in plots to smuggle horns out of the country.

Not all rhino horns enter Vietnam illegally. South African law, which complies with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), allows a rhino's horns to be exported as trophies. In 2003 a Vietnamese hunter flew to South Africa and killed a rhino on a legal safari. Soon after, dozens of Asian hunters arrived, each paying $50,000 or more for a hunt through a certified safari outfit. Many of these hunters are believed to work for syndicates. Back in Vietnam, an average pair of horns, weighing 13 pounds, could be cut into pieces and sold on the black market, yielding a profit that could easily top $200,000 after costs.....


....JOHN HUME BELIEVES no rhinos need to die to supply all the rhino horn the Vietnamese desire. The 69-year-old entrepreneur, who made a fortune in hotels and taxis before turning to game farming, has amassed one of the largest privately owned rhino herds in the world. Currently he has more than 700 white and black rhinos on two farms in South Africa and wants more.

"We take wool from sheep, why not horn from rhinos?" he asks one afternoon, sitting in the office of one of his farms as an albino parrot named Sebastian nuzzles his ear. "If you cut the horn about three inches above its base, it will grow back in two years. That means there is a never ending supply of rhino horn if we're smart enough to keep the bloody animals alive."

Nearly once a week Hume's game manager and a veterinarian, observed by a wildlife official, anesthetize one of his rhinos and remove its two horns with a power saw. Twenty minutes later the animal is back grazing, and the horns, implanted with microchips, are on their way to a bank safe. Hume refuses to say how much horn he has accumulated since he began harvesting in 2002, but a conservative estimate would put its value at tens of millions of dollars.....

A Vietnamese hunter would happily dart the animal, take the horns, and let it live, he thunders. "But South African law requires the hunter to kill the rhino to export the horn as a trophy." He shakes his head at the illogic....

Some of the resistance, he fears, is a cultural disconnect. "We basically are telling the Vietnamese that it is fine to kill an animal because our tradition of cutting a rhino's head off and putting it on a wall as a decoration is acceptable, but your tradition of cutting off its horn to use for medicine is abominable."...



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18 Nov 2012, 3:30 pm

I could never understand why someone would hang a dead animal head on the wall,why not a painting?I guess if you were man enough to kill it in a traditional way without a firearm you'd have some right to brag.
That's a good idea about sustainable harvest of horn but why can't we just give Viagra to the men who think they need help in the sex dept.
It's sympathetic magic to think a elixir of horn will make you "horny".
And poor Lonesome George,the last Pinta island(Galapagos) land Tortoise has died.
The Center for Biological Diversity has a good article on the increasing pressure on worldwide turtle population due to the demand in Asian markets.



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18 Nov 2012, 3:46 pm

The main problem with harvesting rhino horns is that there just aren't enough rhinos left. I suppose it's a good idea, but not practical anymore. I've always thought tropy hunting was disgusting. The addax is one of the most endangered animals in the world, and yet in Texas they have ranches where they raise specifically for trophy hunting. What's so cool about getting your picture taken with a dead animal at your feet? Are you proud that you killed something?


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18 Nov 2012, 4:34 pm

Kraichgauer wrote:
You'd think someone by now would have come up with phony rhino horn medicine scam to dupe their customers, and still make a ton of money.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


You could just go to barber shop and collect human fingernails and toenails. Ground them up and sell them as ground up rhino horn (the users usually buy it ground up form). I don't thing anyone would even know the difference, the chemical composition is exactly the same.



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18 Nov 2012, 4:35 pm

ArrantPariah wrote:
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/03/rhino-wars/gwin-text/2

Quote:
NO MATTER HOW GREAT a tracker Deon van Deventer may be, he could never find a wild rhino in Vietnam. Javan rhinos once proliferated in the Vietnamese forests and floodplains, but in 2010 poachers killed the nation's last wild rhino.

Yet Vietnam has no shortage of rhino horn. The illegal horn trade once revolved around markets in China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and Yemen, but now it centers on Vietnam, with more than a ton of horn likely to have entered the country last year alone. In South Africa several Vietnamese nationals, including diplomats, have been implicated in plots to smuggle horns out of the country.

Not all rhino horns enter Vietnam illegally. South African law, which complies with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), allows a rhino's horns to be exported as trophies. In 2003 a Vietnamese hunter flew to South Africa and killed a rhino on a legal safari. Soon after, dozens of Asian hunters arrived, each paying $50,000 or more for a hunt through a certified safari outfit. Many of these hunters are believed to work for syndicates. Back in Vietnam, an average pair of horns, weighing 13 pounds, could be cut into pieces and sold on the black market, yielding a profit that could easily top $200,000 after costs.....


....JOHN HUME BELIEVES no rhinos need to die to supply all the rhino horn the Vietnamese desire. The 69-year-old entrepreneur, who made a fortune in hotels and taxis before turning to game farming, has amassed one of the largest privately owned rhino herds in the world. Currently he has more than 700 white and black rhinos on two farms in South Africa and wants more.

"We take wool from sheep, why not horn from rhinos?" he asks one afternoon, sitting in the office of one of his farms as an albino parrot named Sebastian nuzzles his ear. "If you cut the horn about three inches above its base, it will grow back in two years. That means there is a never ending supply of rhino horn if we're smart enough to keep the bloody animals alive."

Nearly once a week Hume's game manager and a veterinarian, observed by a wildlife official, anesthetize one of his rhinos and remove its two horns with a power saw. Twenty minutes later the animal is back grazing, and the horns, implanted with microchips, are on their way to a bank safe. Hume refuses to say how much horn he has accumulated since he began harvesting in 2002, but a conservative estimate would put its value at tens of millions of dollars.....

A Vietnamese hunter would happily dart the animal, take the horns, and let it live, he thunders. "But South African law requires the hunter to kill the rhino to export the horn as a trophy." He shakes his head at the illogic....

Some of the resistance, he fears, is a cultural disconnect. "We basically are telling the Vietnamese that it is fine to kill an animal because our tradition of cutting a rhino's head off and putting it on a wall as a decoration is acceptable, but your tradition of cutting off its horn to use for medicine is abominable."...


I don't like trophy hunting. I think they should ban trophy hunting of rhinos altogether.



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18 Nov 2012, 4:46 pm

Jono wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
You'd think someone by now would have come up with phony rhino horn medicine scam to dupe their customers, and still make a ton of money.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


You could just go to barber shop and collect human fingernails and toenails. Ground them up and sell them as ground up rhino horn (the users usually buy it ground up form). I don't thing anyone would even know the difference, the chemical composition is exactly the same.


Hmm. Maybe I've got a whole new career ahead of me. :)

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



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18 Nov 2012, 7:21 pm

Could that be a part of why there are so many Vietnamese nail shops in the USA?