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National Geographic

National Geographic: Hong Kong Starts Countdown to Ivory Trade Ban

  Hong Kong’s five-year plan for closing its ivory market will eliminate a legal loophole exploited by smugglers. By Laurel Neme PUBLISHED June 27, 2016   Today Hong Kong has taken a major step forward in phasing out its ivory trade. The government submitted its proposed plan to the Legislative Council, which began debating the details. This is a…

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National Geographic: Palm Oil’s Human Cost Alleged in New Report

    Indonesian plantations are accused of exploitative labor conditions and other harmful practices by a coalition of nonprofit groups. By Laurel Neme PUBLISHED June 8, 2016 Palm oil has oft been criticized for its alleged destructive impact on the environment—including clearing of tropical forests and peat swamps, destroying critical habitat for endangered species like orangutans, and contributing…

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National Geographic: Rescued Circus Lions Airlifted to Safety in Africa

First posted on 2016-06-27     Wildlife Watch Rescued Circus Lions Airlifted to Safety in Africa Lions rescued from circuses in Peru and Colombia are set to arrive back home in Africa. By Laurel Neme PUBLISHED April 28, 2016   This lion and 23 others removed from circuses in Peru are being airlifted to South Africa, where a…

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National Geographic: Abused Circus Tiger Gets Fairy-Tale Ending

His name is Hoover, and this big cat is about to enjoy a new life in Florida.   By Laurel Neme PUBLISHED April 21, 2016 Photograph by Animal Defenders International     Alongside crates of asparagus, Hoover the tiger will be airlifted Friday from Peru to Florida, where he’ll settle into a new home in Tampa after…

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National Geographic: Remembering the Woman Who Helped Bears in Distress

Bears smile just like we do, said Else Poulsen, who understood what makes them tick. By Laurel Neme PUBLISHED April 20, 2016   Few people know bears as intimately as author and bear behavioralist Else Poulsen, who died on April 15 in her home in Ontario, Canada, after a battle with cancer. She was 61. If ever…

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National Geographic: Inside the Secret Trade That Threatens Rare Birds

      Singapore is a major transit hub for trade in threatened birds, especially African grey parrots. By Laurel Neme PUBLISHED April 19, 2016 The Uganda Wildlife Authority safeguarded these African gray parrots before releasing them into a national park. A new study reveals that Singapore has been a major conduit for the trade in birds,…

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National Geographic: Happy Ending for Smuggled Pangolins

Wildlife Watch 16 rare scaly anteaters are back in the wild after being rescued from Vietnam’s illegal wildlife trade. By Laurel Neme PUBLISHED March 15, 2016 This story was updated to reflect that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today issued a preliminary finding to a scientific petition submitted by conservation groups, saying that Endangered Species Act…

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National Geographic: Petition Seeks Ban on Trade in Fake Rhino Horn

Exclusive: NGOs express concerns that cultured rhino horn undercuts existing law and imperils wild rhinos. By Laurel Neme PUBLISHED Wed Feb 10, 2016 Trade in bioengineered rhino horn shouldn’t be allowed. That’s the contention behind a petition filed today with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by the Center for Biological Diversity, a U.S.-based group that uses science and…

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National Geographic: One Country Will Destroy Its Ivory—and Pray for Elephants

    Sri Lanka also becomes the world’s first country to apologize that elephants are being killed for their ivory. By Laurel Neme PUBLISHED Mon Jan 25 12:04:00 EST 2016 During the past several years, I’ve watched country after country destroy their stockpiles of confiscated elephant ivory, preventing that ivory from somehow slipping back into the black market and…

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National Geographic: Myanmar Feeds China’s Pangolin Appetite

    New study shows open availability of world’s most trafficked mammal in town bordering China. By Laurel Neme PUBLISHED January 19, 2016 Myanmar and pangolins. Not words I normally think of together. That’s why the recent report by TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring NGO, on pangolin trafficking in Myanmar took me by surprise. While I’ve followed…

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