has his owner fearing a deadly disease. The owner of Tiger Ridge Exotics says his king of the jungle is not acting like himself.
API files complaint against Tiger Ridge Exotics 2006
By DAN DEARTH
STONY RIDGE — The owner of a roadside zoo in Stony Ridge says a complaint that was filed last month by an animal rights group asserting his animals are a danger to the public is hogwash.
The Animal Protection Institute filed a complaint with the United States Department of Agriculture against Kenny Hetrick, owner of Tiger Ridge Exotics, 5359 Fremont Pike, saying Hetrick recklessly endangers visitors by exposing them to grizzly bears, lions and tigers.
Nicole Paquette, API spokeswoman, said two of her group’s inspectors recently visited Tiger Ridge Exotics and witnessed Hetrick open cage doors without providing a buffer between the animals and visitors.
“These animals present public safety and health threats,” Paquette said. “It’s an accident waiting to happen.”
In addition, Paquette said Hetrick allowed the inspectors to enter into a cage where a lynx was kept. The lynx, she said, bit Hetrick’s arm and caused an open wound.
“We’re not asking these facilities be shut down,” she said. “We want these facilities to provide proper animal care. These animals shouldn’t be kept in captivity.”
Hetrick said the lynx never bit him. Claiming it did is just API’s way of pushing a misguided agenda.
“They’re trying to make the public believe that dozens of people have been killed by tigers,” Hetrick said. “I’m not going to let the animals get out. That would be the end of me.”
To show the API is using dishonest methods, Hetrick said the investigators that Paquette mentioned claimed to be German exchange students when they visited his property.
The investigators also maintained that Hetrick kept a panther in his basement. The only problem with that story, Hetrick said, is that he doesn’t have a basement.
As to Hetrick endangering visitors, he said the API failed to mention that he has electric fences skirting the inside perimeter of the cages. The animals know better than to go near the cage or risk getting shocked.
“I’ve done this for 35 years and no one’s ever been scratched … and no one’s ever going to be,” Hetrick said. “(API is) not looking for anything good. They’re only looking for the negative.”
Hetrick, who has state and federal licenses to keep exotic animals, said the USDA recently sent an inspector to his property to investigate API’s complaint and found nothing wrong.
The USDA, however, refused to confirm Hetrick’s claim, saying Tuesday that a Freedom of Information Act request has to be filed first. An answer would be available in about a month.
Zimbabwean wildlife authorities say they have suspended the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in an area favored by hunters following the killing of a lion popular with tourists.
The National Parks and Wildlife Authority said Saturday that bow and arrow hunts have also been suspended unless they are approved by the authority’s director.
The authority says it is also investigating the killing of another lion in April that may have been illegal. It says it only received the information this week.
The announcement follows an international outcry stemming from an American hunter’s killing of a lion named Cecil that was allegedly was lured out of a national park. Zimbabwean authorities say the hunt was illegal and are seeking the extradition of Minnesota dentist Walter James Palmer
KASANE CONFERENCE SHOWS MUCH MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE TO FIGHT ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE
KASANE, BOTSWANA: The Kasane Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade concluded in Botswana today with the adoption of a statement which galvanizes the high-level political commitment to combat the “scourge of illegal wildlife trade”.
Building on the London Declaration on Illegal Wildlife Trade of February 2014, the Kasane Statement recognizes the efforts made to date by participating governments to work towards implementation of the commitments under the London Declaration – but stresses that much more still needs to be done.
Particular gaps highlighted include:
• making greater efforts to reduce demand;
• strengthening legislation in relation to penalties and following the money associated with wildlife crime;
• increasing resources and capacity along the length of the criminal justice chain;
• supporting networks of prosecutors;
• better engaging local communities.
The governments meeting in Kasane have called upon the UN General Assembly to address illegal wildlife trade at its 69th session in September and to support the preparation of an ambitious resolution for that meeting.
They welcomed the offer by Vietnam to host the third high-level conference on illegal wildlife trade in late 2016.
In his intervention, the President of the Republic of Botswana drew attention to how criminal syndicates make use of legitimate trade to launder illegally acquired products, while the President of the Republic of Gabon noted that legal markets for ivory increase poaching pressure across THE forests and savannas where elephants are not the only victims, but also rangers and their families.
Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) Executive Director Mary Rice, who addressed the conference, was encouraged by the growing articulation of concern at how legal markets stimulate demand, which in turn drives poaching.
“We are encouraged by the determination expressed to pursue implementation of historical commitments to combat wildlife crime, including commitments under CITES and the London Declaration,” she said.
“The Kasane Statement illustrates just how far we still have to go and we look forward to seeing tangible evidence of enhanced efforts; in particular, efforts to manage criminal information for the purposes of disrupting wildlife crime networks, increased access to court judgements for the purpose of analyzing reasons for acquittals and rationale for weak sentencing, and an end to domestic markets for ivory and tiger parts.”
* Mary Rice, Executive Director & head of Elephants Campaign – email@example.com or call +267 7482 6895.
* Debbie Banks, head of Tigers Campaign – via debbiebanks@eia-international. org or call +44 7773 428360.
1. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is a UK- and Washington DC-based Non-Governmental Organisation that investigates and campaigns against a wide range of environmental crimes, including illegal wildlife trade, illegal logging, hazardous waste, and trade in climate and ozone-altering chemicals.
2. EIA prepared a new briefing, High Profit/Low Risk: Reversing the wildlife crime equation, for the Kasane conference. It can be viewed and downloaded at http://eia-international.org/ reports/high-profitlow-risk- reversing-the-wildlife-crime- equation.
Environmental Investigation Agency
62-63 Upper Street
London N1 0NY
Tel: +44 207 354 7960
Hundreds of animals seized in operation targeting wildlife trafficking across Asia
LYON, France – A five-month long INTERPOL-coordinated operation targeting wildlife trafficking in tigers and other big cats across Asia has resulted in the seizure of hundreds of animals and more than 160 arrests.
Involving 13 countries, Operation PAWS (Protection of Asian Wildlife Species) also focused on lesser known species also in high demand by the black market, such as bears and pangolins. Wildlife traders using the internet and social media in certain countries were also investigated.
Among the live animals recovered were tigers, leopards, bears, monkeys, red pandas, lions and crocodiles in addition to 3,500 kg of elephant ivory, 280kg of pangolin scales, rhino horns and more than 4,000 kg of red sandalwood. A large number of turtles, tortoises and birds were also seized across a wide range of countries indicating a high demand for these species.
Designed and developed by the involved member countries as a collaborative law enforcement response to wildlife crime, Operation PAWS was coordinated by INTERPOL’s Environmental security unit as part of Project Predator, in addition to support from the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC).
Aimed at supporting and enhancing the governance and law enforcement capacity for the conservation of Asian big cats, INTERPOL’s Project Predator is primarily funded by the United States Agency for International Development.
The 13 countries which participated in Operation PAWS which was conducted between July and November were Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam. It was also supported by Australia, Canada and the USA.