Archive for the ‘Elephants’ Category

“We have to be the generation to stop the illegal wildlife trade” – Prince Charles And Prince William Speak Out Against The Illegal Wildlife Trade – In Key Languages !

February 11, 2014


HRH Prince Charles says in the Unite For Wildlife video, “We must treat the illegal wildlife trade as a battle.”

This week the London 2014 Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference will mark a key milestone in the campaign to end wildlife crime. UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron has invited leaders from 50 countries to attend the conference and it is hoped that this will help win the war .

Prince Charles says “It will take action from all of us to beat back this highly organised criminal activity,”

We can all play a part in wildlife protection

The Princes delivered the last part of their message in multiple languages including English, Swahili, Arabic, Spanish, Mandarin and Vietnamese in keeping with the global scope of the campaign which has developed in tune with ambitions of the UN COP16 CITES conference in Bangkok. The campaign aims to address the demand side of the problem as well as the supply side. Getting the message across in all these languages is crucial. The resounding message from this video is “Together we can stop the illegal wildlife trade. Let’s Unite For Wildlife.”

HRH Prince William urges us all to make our voices heard in the social media and to support world leaders and conservation organisations in their efforts to end wildlife crime.

Why not join the social media thunderclap to support action to protect wildlife and habitat from criminal gangs?

To add your voice click

and follow the directions.


Wild Open Eye - Natural Vision, News from Wild Open Eye

“Our profound belief is that humanity is less than humanity without the rest of creation. The Destruction Of These Endangered Species Will Diminish Us All”    HRH The Prince Of Wales, Feb. 8th 2014

If you are worried about the illegal wildlife trade, take comfort from the video above.

Sunday morning’s BBC news showed HRH The Prince of Wales and Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge, speaking out in defence of  endangered species in their Let’s Unite For Wildlife video. Prince William’s United For Wildlife Foundation is the kind of powerful cooperative partnership of influential organisations needed in the fight against wildlife crime, but if humanity hopes to make headway against the organised criminal gangs responsible for much of the world’s illegal wildlife trade the Princes make it clear that we all need to be supportive and unite for wildlife.  In view of these efforts and long term commitments to…

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Thai Days: Royal Thai Police seize live Elephants in clampdown on illegal trade

August 21, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog got this latest from Richard. More elephant mischief.

Subject: Royal Thai Police seize live Elephants in clampdown on illegal trade

The Royal Thai Police today seized 14 unregistered and illegally registered elephants from camps in three provinces in the south of Thailand as part of sweeping investigations into live elephant smuggling and the abuse of elephant identity certification and registration systems.

Please find attached below a media release from TRAFFIC & and attached a photo of two live elephants seized yesterday in Ko Chang, Trad province, at the beggining of this operation. If the photo is used, please credit © Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division, Royal Thai Police.

Best regards

Thai Days; more bad news if you are an elephant. They want your tits and balls and your trunk to help them win the lottery

June 17, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is sad to report that some people in Thailand, hoping to win the lottery, purchase elephant bits and pieces. Spectrum magazine ran the story so this blog can’t pretend to having done anything to expose this trade. Spectrum did it for me. The photos were really, and I mean REALLY ugly.

Slices of elephant trunk. To bring good kuck. The slivers of trunk are set in candle sticks!

Slices of elephant penis. To bring, well, yes, I think we know where that one’s going.

The female elephant’s nipples! For good luck!

I feel revolted by this sort of behaviour. It’s witchcraft! Voodoo!

Owning an elephant testicle will bring you as much good luck as the elephant that owned its testicle! Elephant nipples?  Oh dear!

I’m not going on. This whole wildlife parts and magic and sudden cures for herpes is snake oil. It is hurting the morons who buy these potions and fetishes, it is encouraging poaching.

Hugh (who finds the idea of chopping up elephant’s trunks repulsive – really repulsive)

Manila burns blood ivory!

June 12, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog welcomes the Philippines to the fight against elephant poaching.

Manila is going to destroy five tonnes of confiscated tusks.

The tusks originated in Tanzania (or didn’t). They came to the Phillippines from Tanzania anyway. My sources indicate they came from Congo, DRC, CAR. Possibly even Sudan.

I’m shifting to AFP.

” The seized tusks represent a portion of the 13.1 tonnes of Tanzanian elephant tusks seized in 2005 and 2009 that are kept in a government vault.”

This action according to Theresa Lim of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau is designed to send a message that the Phils “is against the illegal trade of ivory and the merciless massacre of elephants.”

Theresa, you are doing good work! But why not destroy all of it? If you’ve got 13 tonnes why only destroy 5 tonnes?

We all know about blood diamonds. Maybe less people know about blood ivory.

It kills everybody and every elephant involved.

Time now, Manila, to intercept the increasing tons of ivory sneaking through the port. Because the ivory is increasing.

Best wishes!

Hugh in Bangkok




Thai Days: More White Elephant News

April 25, 2013

Just a quick post from Hugh Paxton’s Blog to keep you up to date on the white elephant story.

One. The calf, believed to be male, has yet to be found and as a result nobody can be sure that it is white (see previous blog post for qualifications needed to be white if you are an elephant – pink toenails, genitals etc.) The only evidence to date is sourced from photographer, Apichart Puangnoi, who caught it on film while covering the deaths of two elephants in the protected area. One pregnant female beheaded.

Two. More park rangers have been deployed in Kaeng Krachan National Park to find the elephant and thwart poachers.

Three. Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNPWPC) chief, Manophat Huamuangkaew, has announced that Deputy Prime Minister, Plodprasop Suraswadi, is” concerned” about elephant poaching in the Kaeng Krachan NP.

Four. The Royal family is involved. “Acting on the Queen’s advice, the department ( that’s the DNPWPC in case you were wondering which department it was) is now providing food for elephants and increasing the number of forestry patrol guards dealing with elephant poaching.”

Five: This quote, unattributed, by the Bangkok Post newspaper – “Investors are thought to have offered 6 million Baht to any poachers who can capture the white calf”.

BLOG ED NOTE: I mentioned the bounty in my first blog and got that wrong. The sum remains the same. I’d assumed the reward was issued by royalists and people concerned with the elephant’s well being. Not scumbags. I really got that wrong.

Six. Kaeng Krachan is now a hub of activity. Park chief, Chaiwat Limlikhitaksorn, wishes to confirm the elephant as white but lacks physical evidence. Nobody can find it. “It would be good news for the nation if it is a white elephant,” he said.

That’s it for now. But if you are really interested in white elephants I posted a blog last year – the Burmese government announced they had found a white elephant and that it would bring a new era of prosperity to the country.


Thai Days: White elephant hunt

April 23, 2013

The race is on to locate and capture a white elephant calf before poachers get there first. The calf, photographed in Kaeng Krachan national park, apparently displays all the qualifying features required of a genuine white elephant including pink toenails. Forestry officials, border police and the military are searching the area and a reward of five million baht has been offered to anybody who catches it (poachers don’t qualify). I’ve posted a couple of white elephant stories on Hugh Paxton’s Blog in the past. Here is one of them for a bit of background information on the subject.


Get on the wrong side of Thai royalty and you could find yourself the proud new owner of a white elephant. Or so the legend goes.

A bit of background:

Every white elephant in Thailand automatically becomes the property of the king.

But the application process is tough. Just being a tad pallid doesn’t cut the mustard.

To qualify as a real (and royal) white elephant the candidate needs to succesfully meet a strict set of criteria.

Seven areas of whiteness must be present – eyes, toe nails, palate, outer edges of the ear, tail and testicles. The elephant is also judged on its behaviour. Is it dignified? Calm? Regal? Does it wash its food before eating? Does it kneel when it sleeps? Fart thunderously in the direction of the throne then hose the regal carpeting with urine? Start stampeding through the rose garden tossing dignitaries over its back and plundering seedlings?

Eleven elephants have currently passed the test. And, having been paraded and annointed with holy water, they now reside in the Royal Stables of King Rama IX.

In a way.

Keeping an elephant, white or otherwise, is expensive.

Only one elephant is actually in the palace compound. The other ten are housed in rural royal stables. And the King, in the interests of frugality, has also done away with parades and baptisms.

Should another white elephant be born it will miss out on the adulation of the masses.

But it still won’t have to work to earn its living. It isn’t allowed to work.

It’s royal. And royalty doesn’t haul teak logs or act as a taxi for thrill seeking tourists. Just isn’t done. Strictly forbidden!

Which brings me to the point of this post. The source of the phrase ‘white elephant’.

White elephants are costly, you don’t need them, they don’t work and they aren’t even what they are claimed to be, namely white. They are tawny albinos.

In times past, if you annoyed the King, you would be given one and maintaining it would beggar you. Hence the phrase.

Forest elephant slaughter – a Japanese perspective

April 3, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog suggests that this paper, published by Japanese researcher and, yes, expert! is worth a read. Published in Pachyderm.

He begins!

Dear All

Currently Japan has not much illegal evidence for ivory trade, but its ivory
management system is weak while they still have strong demand for forest
elephant ivory, and my country still has powerful politics in CITES. At
least, they have no intention to improve its management system (from our
meeting in Tokyo on Feb 22nd) while they strongly support any ivory trade
under CITES regulation.

Best wishes,


Tomo Nishihara, PhD
Senior Technical Advisor
Protection and Operations
in northern Congo
WCS-Congo Program
Wildlife Conservation Society

TEL: (+242) 05 703 9057 / 06 501 9754
e-mail: tomowcs
skype: Tomo Nishihara


Kenya gets tough on Chinese ivory smuggler (or not)

March 28, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog applauds the decision of the Kenyan authorities. Really worth a round of applause for its tragedy/comedy/farce.

Tian Yi, a Chinese national, was apprehended in Nairobi while in transit on Sunday. His suitcase attracted attention because it bulged with slivers of bark.

Mr. Yi, described them as ingredients for Traditional Chinese Medicine. China, traditionally, has no traditional medicine source in Kenya, or anywhere else in Africa. For millennia the Chinese apothecaries had no idea Africa even existed.

Yi, while no doubt spurred by noble thoughts of curing his countrymen, women and children from various diseases and ailments and mental health problems and impotency, had mingled his healing remedies with…


Did Yi stuff his suitcase with:

A. Soiled underwear and smelly socks

B. Traditional Chinese Medicine bark, roots, with a view to selling these to bio-prospecting companies.

C. Copies of “anal slave” and “ whip me, whip me”

D. Just lots of bark.

E. A present for his wife bought hastily and without forethought from Nairobi duty free.

F. An HIV-AIDS positive test result due to Yi’s reckless fornication with the girls at Buffalo Bills.

G. Nothing. He just wanted to carry the suitcase.

H. Three silly hats and eighteen bananas.

I. Lots of little shampoo bottles snaffled from various hotels, small bars of soap and several bathrobes and towels, and a Gideon’s Bible found in a bedside drawer.

J. Lots of bark and 439 pieces of worked ivory painted brown to match the medicinal bark.

Hugh Paxton Blog Quiz Winners, as usual, won’t roll home with a prize. But don’t give up! It has been known to happen.

Answers follow.

‘A’ to’ I’. You may well be right. Apart from ‘G’.

Yi wasn’t in this for the suitcase.

‘H’’ looks unlikely, too.


Did you think ‘J’?


Mr Yi had painted all his bits of ivory brown to make them look like his traditional medicinal tree bark.

Hugh Paxton’s Blog Final Quiz:

Q: Was he arrested and thrown into jail?

1. Yes.

2. No.

3. Did he pay a crippling fine for his role in a trade that spurs and supports criminality and rebel takeovers of countries such as the CAR (it’s in the Congo region, Central African Republci – they’re having a civil war as usual).

4. Or was he fined a punitive fee of one US dollar per ivory piece.

Number four wins!

I find this scenario ridiculous. This man, this Mr Yi,  is a smuggler, he isn’t a tourist who picks up an ivory trinket in ignorance. He is commercially motivated, his bark ploy indicates that he is of sub-standard intelligence,  and he should be in a Kenyan jail being fed weevils and gang banged by Somali pirates for robbing them (the Kenyan people) of their natural resources.



Death In The Forests: the unnoticed human and elephant holocaust

March 25, 2013

Forest elephants_tomo_final.doc

Thai Days: Event Advisory: Thai Buddhist leaders to pray for poached African elephants and call for end to ivory use – Saturday, March 9, 2013 in Bangkok

March 8, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog suggests that if you are interested in Buddhism, monks, ivory trade, great photo opportunities, elephants, Wats, Bangkok that doesn’t just involve cheap sex, fun bars and hotel lobbies waiting for a tour bus to take you to the crocodile farm, check this event out. Ivory has for many years provided the material for holy amulets. The elephant is a key influence on Thai art, culture, philosophy, and if you are in Thailand, you will see elephants everywhere. Not in Bangkok. The street begging elephants have been outlawed. But you will see images of elephants all over the place.

Here is a real opportunity to see a bit of monk action against ivory. It is going to be splendid. Come, one and all, but just don’t get in the way of my camera!

Best from Bangkok!


From: Chris Chaplin []
Sent: Friday, March 08, 2013 12:49 PM
To: Chris Chaplin
Subject: Event Advisory: Thai Buddhist leaders to pray for poached African elephants and call for end to ivory use – Saturday, March 9, 2013 in Bangkok

Thai Buddhist leaders to pray for poached African elephants and call for end to ivory use

What: At the first-ever traditional Buddhist merit-making ceremony to pray for the tens of thousands of elephants poached annually, revered Thai Buddhist leaders will call upon their congregations and other temples to reject the use and trade of ivory. The event will also feature a 3D elephant art installation by the renowned artist Remko van Schaik in the courtyard of one of Bangkok’s iconic temples. Monks, members of the Thai public, government representatives, celebrities like Miss Universe 2005 Natalie Glebova, and delegates from the ongoing CITES meeting are expected to attend.

When: Saturday, March 9, 2013

4:30 – 5:30pm:

Photo opportunities: Flower offerings at 3D elephant art installation, Prayers for elephants at wishing tree

Media interviews: Ajahn Jayasaro, forest monk and Buddhist teacher, previous abbot of Wat Pah Nanachat; Phra Maha Jerm Suvaco, General Director of the Buddhist Research Institute of the Maha Chula Buddhist University; Mae Chee Sansanee, founder and Director of Sathira-Dhammasathan Center

5:30 – 6:30pm: Teachings on “Buddhism and Elephant Conservation”

6:30 – 7:00pm: Prayer ceremony and traditional offerings made to monks

7:00 – 7:30pm: Closing

Media interviews: Phra Paisal Visalo, Abbot of Wat Pasukato, Chaiyaphum Province, Thailand; Phansiri Winichagoon, Director, WWF Thailand; Dekila Chungyalpa, Director, WWF Sacred Earth Program

Where: Wat That Thong

Sukhumvit Road between Soi 63 and 65, (BTS Ekkamai station)

Bangkok, Thailand

WHY: Illegal ivory carved into images of the Buddha, amulets, and other objects of worship are highly sought, sold, and bought by devout Thais and Buddhists around the world. Thailand is the world’s largest unregulated ivory market and a major sink for ivory poached from Africa.

Supported by WWF, the event aims to educate the deeply religious Thai public on the link between ivory and wildlife crime, and encourage the leadership of Buddhist temples and congregations to discontinue the use and trade of ivory.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra recently received over 1.5 million petitions calling on Thailand to ban its ivory trade. This week she pledged to start a legislative process to end ivory trade in Thailand at the opening ceremony of CITES, the international wildlife trade meeting.


ptemcharoen +66 890224474

Astrid Korolczuk, Astrid.Korolczuk +49 15118854803 / +66 9 15071594

Trishna Gurung, trishna.gurung +1 2022038863/ +66 860767463

Carmen Arufe, carufe +34 638603884

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