T.I.G.E.R.S. – Elephants being driven into extinction

Good chilly Thursday from T.I.G.E.R.S. in Myrtle Beach!  For those of you who wished for chilly weather, you got your wish!  Winter months are perfect for making plans for the warmer weather to come.  If you live here or are planning a visit, you should definitely plan to visit T.I.G.E.R.S.

T.I.G.E.R.S.,(The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species) is a wildlife education organization, dedicated to promoting global conservation with informative, educational and entertaining interactive programs.  All of the animals can be seen up close and uncaged in close personal contact with their trainers.  When you take the tour, you are helping endangered and exotic animals everywhere.  

Please enjoy this article I read this morning:

Conservationists say elephants are being driven to extinction in large parts of Africa, amid the seizure of a large shipment of poached ivory in Malaysia.

ELEPHANTS are being driven to extinction in large parts of Africa, conservationists said yesterday after the discovery of what is thought to be the largest shipment of poached ivory in Malaysia.

Seizure of 1500 tusks hidden in shipping containers destined for Asian buyers highlighted the scale of the trade that is destabilising African nations by helping to fund rebel movements, they said.

The shipment originated in Togo, a popular smuggling outlet for armed gangs who control the illegal ivory trade.

"I fear that elephants may disappear entirely from those parts of Africa least able to protect them from the onslaught," said Virginia McKenna, the actress and founder of the Born Free Foundation.

Richard Thomas, of the wildlife-trade monitoring group Traffic, said that although elephant populations in southern Africa were well protected, and therefore growing, those in other parts of the continent were under serious threat.

"The majority of poached animals are in Central Africa, and that is down to poor governance," Mr Thomas said.

The region's dwindling population of forest elephants are prized by poachers for their finer, straighter tusks and pinkish ivory.

A report submitted to the UN yesterday by the WWF warned that the illegal ivory trade threatened Africa's governments as rebel groups used the sale of tusks to fund their wars.

"This is about much more than wildlife. This crisis is threatening the very stability of governments. It has become a profound threat to national security," said Jim Leape, director-general of WWF International.

In this week's seizure the Malaysian authorities estimate that 20 tonnes of ivory were hidden in secret chambers in 10 containers supposedly carrying wooden floor tiles.

The shipment travelled from Togo via Spain and was destined for China until customs officials at Port Kelang made the discovery.

This single haul is almost equivalent to the total amount of ivory seized last year, the worst year on record.

Despite a ban on ivory since 1989 demand has continued to soar, primarily in China and Thailand.

A recent investigation by National Geographic magazine revealed another growing market in the Philippines, where ivory is carved into icons venerated by its Catholic population.

In June the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species described the plight of Africa's elephants as "critical" and said that elephant poaching had reached its highest level for a decade, with tens of thousands of animals killed for their tusks each year.

By: Tristan McConnell
From: The Times

Bhagavan “Doc” Antle designed the Myrtle Beach attraction to provide enriched habitats for the resident felines that enable the keepers, trainers and employees of T.I.G.E.R.S. to perform routine feeding and cleaning chores and facility maintenance safely and effectively. Public safety is also addressed, since the facility is open for educational tours and filming.

Make a difference! Do something good today! Join us, Support FCF, and Endangered Wildlife Species.  Contact us today and see how you can become a part of the oldest, premiere private Feline Conservation Organization in the world!

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