ACTION ALERT: Stop Elephant Massacres That Fund Terrorists
June 6, 2015
Chistopher Burley / The Petition Site & Associated Press
Ivory poaching is killing elephants -- and innocent people. Across Africa, an estimated 30,000 elephants are illegally killed each year, but the situation in Mozambique is especially concerning. Nearly 95 percent of the elephants in the country's northern region have disappeared since 2010. Urge Mozambique to step up efforts to find elephant poachers, crack down on the illegal ivory trade, and prosecute these criminals.
Stop Elephant Massacres That Fund Terrorists
Chistopher Burley / The Petition Site
(June 2, 2015) -- We are witnessing history -- and it's not good:
Mozambique, 2010-2015: The number of elephants in this African nation declined by nearly half, with almost 10,000 of these intelligent animals slaughtered for their ivory tusks by criminal poachers.
Kenya, April 2015: At least 147 people are killed in an attack on Garissa University College by the terrorist group al-Shabaab, funded in part by ivory smuggling from poaching like that which is occurring now in Mozambique.
Ivory poaching is killing elephants -- and innocent people. Urge Mozambique to step up efforts to find elephant poachers, crack down on the illegal ivory trade, and prosecute these criminals.
Across Africa, an estimated 30,000 elephants are illegally killed each year, but the situation in Mozambique is especially concerning. Nearly 95 percent of the elephants in the country's northern region have disappeared since 2010.
The deaths of these incredible animals aren't just a loss to the natural world -- blood from elephant poaching is also fueling terrorism. In fact, a 2012 study found that al-Shabaab drew 40 percent of its salary funds from illegal ivory smuggling.
Mozambique's government has begun to crack down on illegal ivory trafficking, and initial results from the country's efforts are cause for hope. But with so many lives on the line -- both those of elephants and of innocent people targeted by terrorists -- a more robust response is desperately needed.
Please make your voice heard. Urge the government of Mozambique to expand efforts to fight poaching and stop the illegal ivory trade. Sign here.
Mozambique -- Stop the Terrorist-Funding Elephant Massacre
Petition From: Christopher Burley
To: Beatriz Buchili, Attorney General, Mozambique
In the last five years, nearly half the elephants in Mozambique have disappeared -- killed by criminal gangs intent on selling the tusks of these sensitive and intelligent pachyderms in Asian markets.
Since 2010, the country's elephant population dropped from more than 20,000 to roughly 10,300. But there is also a human cost to the poacher's massacre of elephants, according to Elephant Action League Founder Andrea Crosta:
"Like diamonds, gold, coltan or timber; ivory is taking its own place as a conflict resource in sub-Saharan Africa."
In fact, a 2012 study found that notorious terrorist group al-Shabab drew 40 percent of its salary funds from illegal ivory smuggling. More than 147 people at a Kenyan university were killed in an April 2015 Al-Shabaab attack.
This year, Mozambique has cracked down on illegal ivory trafficking, but with the lives of so many -- elephants and people -- on the line, a more robust response is desperately needed.
Please this urgent petition right now and urge Mozambique's attorney general to step up efforts to find and stop the elephant-killing poachers who are fueling global terror.
Attorney General Buchili:
As someone who cares about saving elephants from extinction and shutting down poaching operations that help fund terror groups and criminal syndicates, I strongly urge you to step up law enforcement efforts to save Mozambique's elephants.
I applaud your government's recent efforts to crack down on elephant poaching, but feel that additional efforts are needed to save elephants and stop criminals. Specifically, I ask that you:
- Champion an increase in the number of national environment police officers who are deployed to find and stop illegal elephant poaching.
- Build law enforcement and witness protection capacity to expand intelligence gathering.
Elephant Numbers Plunge in Mozambique Because of Poachers
JOHANNESBURG (May 28, 2015) -- Poachers slaughtering elephants in Mozambique cut their population almost in half from 2009 to last year, but in Uganda, elephant numbers are increasing as a result of anti-poaching measures, according to aerial surveys.
Poachers have slaughtered tens of thousands of African elephants in recent years to meet demand for ivory, particularly in China. Conservationists and governments have collaborated on an aerial, continent-wide census of elephants to better marshal efforts to protect wildlife. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is a project funder.
The New York City-based Wildlife Conservation Society participated in the counts in Mozambique in southern Africa, and Uganda in the east. It said this week that Mozambique's elephant population dropped from just over 20,000 to about 10,300 during the five-year period, reflecting rampant poaching by organized crime rings. The lower number was recorded during surveillance flights between September and November.
Celso Correia, Mozambique's environment minister, pledged action against poachers, who sometimes work with corrupt state officials. Under an initiative between the Mozambican ministry and police, a new force has been set up to patrol conservation areas.
On May 12, Mozambican police seized 340 elephant tusks and 65 rhino horns from a house in the city of Matola, according to the Mozambique News Agency.
Two Chinese citizens were arrested, police said. On Wednesday, police spokesman Emidio Mabunda said six officers were arrested on suspicion of stealing a dozen horns from the huge haul, which was supposed to be under police guard.
South African police said they planned to work with Mozambique to test DNA samples of the seized horns to see if they belong to rhinos killed in South Africa. Kruger National Park, a big South African reserve, is often targeted by poachers crossing the border from Mozambique.
In Uganda, elephant numbers have increased to more than 5,000 from fewer than 1,000 decades ago because of improved measures to protect elephants, the Wildlife Conservation Society said. It said the Uganda Wildlife Authority, a state agency that was established in 1996, was key to the success.
Some elephants have migrated to Uganda from Virunga National Park in nearby Congo, where poaching has been severe, the conservation group said.
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