News Brief (E382, September 10, 2010)
Hanoi: The plight of Hoan Kiem’s special turtle
A recent series of news reports has highlighted the deteriorating health of the unique turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) in Hoan Kiem lake. The turtle continues to suffer from wounds when a fish-hook was left attached to its head after fisherman illegally tried to capture it months before. This is not the first injury the turtle has sustained; the turtle has been under attack for years and has wounds all over its body. The public is calling for authorities to find a solution to the problem.
According to a representative from the wildlife protection organization Asian Turtle Program (ATP), Vietnamese law on wildlife protection is adequate, but there is no strict enforcement of the law. To complicate matters, the Swinhoe turtle is not on the list of animals protected by Vietnamese law, despite being in danger of extinction.
Cu rua Ho Guom dinh luoi cau chum
Cach nao cuu cu rua
Malaysia: The ‘Lizard King’ arrested
On August 28, notorious wildlife smuggler ‘Lizard King’ Anson Wong was arrested after nearly a hundred live reptiles were discovered in his luggage at an international airport in Malaysia. The animals, including 95 Tropical American pythons, two Rhinoceros viper snakes and a Matamata turtle, were bound for Indonesia for later consumption. Wong will most likely be given a seven year sentence and an administrative fine of 32,000 USD for each individual if he is convicted. Wong and his wife play a key role in the global wildlife smuggling network, especially of rare and precious reptiles, and Wong has already been arrested and sentenced to jail terms several times.
“Vua than lan” ket tieng the gioi bi sa luoi
Binh Dinh: Poachers turn to raising poultry
Two local men formerly known for their smuggling of timber and destruction of forests have now become skilled farmers. The turn came about after the pair witnessed devastation caused by flooding on television, watching people and houses being swept away. Feeling guilty for being the cause of the flooding, they gave up poaching to raise poultry and cattle and earn an honest living. They faced many difficulties at the beginning, but later received technical and financial support from local authorities. The former poachers have become expert farmers, each keeping over 500 ducks, chickens, and dozens of pigs, and winning the respect of local residents.
Lam tac “rua tay…gac riu” di chan vit
Dak Lak: Baby elephant found dead, elephants destroy ranger’s cabins
On September 3, a baby elephant was found dead in Yok Don National Park. The male elephant was around three months old, 0.8 m tall and weighed approximately 150kg. According to authorities, the elephant was trampled by mature elephants when climbing a hill. On September 5, the head of the Ea Sup Forest Protection Department (FPD) reported that the elephant’s body had been incinerated, bringing the total of elephants found dead this year in Vietnam to seven.
Also in September, around seven mature elephants have been entering the forest area of Ea Sup district at night, leaving one hectare of forest and ranger’s cabins destroyed in their wake. Sturdier cabins will be rebuilt next week and extra rangers will help protect the forest area by driving the elephants away.
Mot con voi rung bi chet
Dan voi rung pha tan hoang 1ha rung
Ninh Thuan: Gayal moves into village
A male gayal (Bos gaurus) moved into a residential area of Phuoc Binh National Park one year ago causing concern amongst local residents, even though the gayal is a good sign for the park’s biodiversity. The one ton gayal split away from its herd and has attacked and injured three locals and destroyed many local farms over the course of the year. The local FPD is faced with the task of protecting both the local residents and the gayal, made even more difficult when hunters learnt about the gayal’s whereabouts from news reports.
Kho vi bo tot
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Phan Thi Thuy Trinh
Education for Nature - Vietnam
No. 5 Ngo 192 Thai Thinh
PO Box 222
Dong Da district
Phone/fax: +84 4 3514-8850
www.savingvietnamswildlife.org (English wildlife trade website)