Illegal Wildlife trade - Forest watch
Thank you for your commitment to protecting the world's wildlife.
Every year, many tens of thousands of animals die because of the ongoing illegal trade in wildlife and their body parts. This enormous death toll is not only immensely cruel but ecologically unsustainable. The illegal trade is valued at around $8 to $10 billion every year, second only to narcotics crimes, and shows no sign of slowing. The situation is just as serious across the Indian sub-continent, where wildlife is facing an equally horrific future.
We need your help to combat this terrible upsurge in wildlife crime and cruelty. But we need to act quickly. You will know from your past support for Wildlife SOS India, and their work with ' dancing' bears, elephants and leopards, that they are an extremely effective organization practiced in rescuing wildlife wherever pain and suffering is caused them. But Wildlife SOS will now need all their resourcefulness to fight against this renewed demand, driven by wealthy East Asian markets that have a seemingly insatiable appetite for wildlife parts.
'Forest Watch' is the undercover team run by Wildlife SOS in India - a special force dedicated to reducing and eventually stopping the poaching of all wildlife. They work with the forest department and police in various parts of India, building upon their previous successes in bringing down some of the prime poachers in Asia, ensuring that more and more animals are left to live out their lives in the wild.
But to succeed they will need URGENT financial help from HSI and our ever committed supporters. As an example of how the Forest Watch team works, here is the text of a message received from them just last week:
"Sept 2011-- Poachers arrested last night after trying hard for two months, Forest Watch had a breakthrough and made contact with a trader who trades in tiger skins in Vishrampur area...........Sadly there is a myth in this region causing people here to believe that if they sit on tiger skin and perform black magic rituals, they will receive a night long shower of money and gold. Forest Watch decoys have been negotiating with the trader who has refused to come to Bilaspur with the contraband. The only option this leaves us with is to go to the location with the Police and the APU team to do the seizure. Tomorrow we will hire two unmarked private vehicles and we will go with the police and our team in separate vehicle to arrange the final plans, and depending on the situation we shall proceed with arrest and seizure"
The seizure was successful, and shows you how well Forest Watch works cooperatively with Indian authorities for the sake of precious wild lives, and we have attached a snapshot of some of their successes over the past 6 months and case studies for you to get a sense of not only the danger of this type of work, but also the effectiveness.
But the carnage continues, as Kartick Satyanarayan, Wildlife SOS Founder and Director recently conveyed to us:
'Forest Watch' was born from the urgent need to establish a protection system for bear cubs primarily that were being exploited in several states across India, decade after decade without any reprieve. With the pressure building on all of India' s wildlife there was a need to expand our anti poaching work in an effort to protect all trafficked species. It is becoming a race against time!'
Tigers and bears still top of the list for poachers. In the insurgency-hit forests and jungles of central India, human life is often cheap. But amid the desperation to grind out a living, the lives of animals come even cheaper. A poacher can expect to sell the body of a tiger for just 500 - 1,000 rupees ($10 - $20). But via long chain of middlemen engaged in the process, by the time the tiger skin reaches the Chinese consumer, it can be worth $20,000.
And the trade in bear parts is equally disturbing - gall bladders, bile, bear paws, bear tongues, claws and genital organs are all removed from the mother bear that was killed to remove the bear cubs. In many cases, the meat is smoked and eaten on the spot by the poachers and in other cases the meat is carried away and sold along with other parts. Forest Watch informers and decoys have confirmed that the trade trail leads into Nepal and Bangladesh (both of which have porous borders with India) and then onto other parts of south east Asia where the demand for these parts is frightening.
And so the fight continues - tigers, elephants, sloth bears, otters, leopards, jackals, hyenas, civet cats, giant squirrels, wild boars, antelopes and deer of various kinds, pangolins, porcupines, all manner of birds, and every kind of snake and reptile and all of India' s precious wildlife ' “ all potential victims for this cruelest of crimes
But we know we can make serious in-roads and save the lives of thousands of wild animals with your help - a partnership in which you, HSI and Forest Watch can make a real difference ' “ an anti-poaching team that DOES and WILL produce results.
Matters are getting URGENT! Please help us help the animals!
Michael Kennedy - Director and Verna Simpson - Director
PS How bad is life for a poached bear? The following account tells the story better than any words we could find:
The Chinese media has reported on an extraordinary account of a mother bear saving her cub from a life of torture by strangling it and then killing itself. The bears were kept in a farm located in a remote area in the North-West of China. The bears on the farm had their gall bladders milked daily for '˜bear bile, which is used as a remedy in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It was reported that the bears are kept in tiny cages known as 'crush cages', as the bears have no room to manoeuvre and are literally crushed. The bile is harvested by making a permanent hole or fistula in the bears' abdomen and gall bladder. As the hole is never closed, the animals are suspect to various infections and diseases including tumours, cancers and death from peritonitis. A person who was on the farm claimed that a mother bear broke out its cage when it heard its cub howl in fear before a worker punctured its stomach to milk the bile. The workers ran away in fear when they saw the mother bear rushing to its cub' s side. Unable to free the cub from its restraints, the mother hugged the cub and eventually strangled it. It then dropped the cub and ran head-first into a wall, killing itself (Asia One)
Please think about how you can help today