Latest Wildlife poaching and smuggling News

In this supplied photo a dead elephant lies in the bush in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, Monday May 25, 2020.  Botswana says it is investigating a staggeringly high number of elephant carcasses, with 275 found in the popular Okavango Delta area of the southern African nation in recent weeks.(Photo via AP)

Botswana investigates 'mysterious deaths' of 275 elephants

Jul. 3, 2020 6:07 AM EDT

GABORONE, Botswana (AP) — Botswana says it is investigating a staggeringly high number of elephant carcasses — 275 — found in the popular Okavango Delta area of the southern African nation in recent weeks. The Department of Wildlife and National Parks said it is mobilizing human personnel and...

East Tennessee man pleads guilty to killing elk, faces jail

Jun. 25, 2020 4:06 AM EDT

CARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An east Tennessee man has pleaded guilty to illegally killing an elk that was part of a university study, wildlife officials said. Sean Doney, 33, pleaded guilty Tuesday to breaking hunting-related state laws in the December killing of a cow elk in the North Cumberland Wildlife...

This November 2014 photo provided by the Wildlife Trust of India shows a leopard caught in a trap in a forest in Karnataka, India. Authorities in India are concerned a 2020 spike in poaching not only could kill more endangered tigers and leopards but also species these carnivores depend upon to survive. (WTI via AP)

Coronavirus lockdowns increase poaching in Asia, Africa

Jun. 22, 2020 12:27 AM EDT

NEW DELHI (AP) — A camera trap photo of an injured tigress and a forensic examination of its carcass revealed why the creature died: a poacher’s wire snare punctured its windpipe and sapped its strength as the wound festered for days. Snares like this one set in southern India's dense forest have...

FILE In this June 21, 2016 file photo, a black bear lounges in a tree in a neighborhood near Adventure Island in Tampa, Fla.  Black bears, once a threatened species in Florida, will get stiffened protections against poachers, some of whom see the animals resurgence as a growing nuisance. Gov. Ron DeSantis agreed to increase the penalties against illegal bear hunting to further deter hunters from killing the once-imperiled creatures. The bill was among a slate of 21 pieces of legislation the governor signed Saturday, June 20, 2020. (James Borchuck/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

Florida governor stiffens penalties against bear poaching

Jun. 20, 2020 4:08 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Black bears, once a threatened species in Florida, will get stiffened protections against poachers, some of whom see the animals resurgence as a growing nuisance. Gov. Ron DeSantis agreed to increase the penalties against illegal bear hunting to further deter hunters from killing...

Florida man fined for illegally killing black bear in Alaska

Jun. 16, 2020 8:57 PM EDT

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A Florida man has been fined $8,000 for illegally killing a black bear in Alaska’s Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. U.S. Magistrate Judge Matthew M. Scoble on Monday fined James L. Connolly, 63, of St. Petersburg, Florida. Connolly was also ordered to forfeit the bear hide...

Bear with 3 cubs euthanized after being shot by poacher

Jun. 13, 2020 1:36 PM EDT

BRANCH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities said a bear with three cubs was shot by a poacher in northern Michigan. Officers from the Department of Natural Resources found the bear Thursday in a creek in Oceana County's Branch Township. The bear was struggling and was euthanized while the cubs were in a...

Texas man pleaded guilty in cacti smuggling case

Jun. 12, 2020 7:23 PM EDT

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A man pleaded guilty in connection with a West Texas ring that smuggled rare living rock cacti, a plant that wildlife officials say is a protected species. Harry George Bock II of El Paso pleaded guilty Tuesday before a U.S. magistrate judge in Pecos to one count of mislabeling...

Mexican woman sentenced in sea cucumber smuggling scheme

Jun. 9, 2020 8:36 PM EDT

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Mexican woman who smuggled endangered sea cucumbers into the United States was sentenced Tuesday to eight months in prison. A federal judge in San Diego sentenced Claudia Castillo, 49, of Tijuana, who previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import merchandise contrary to law. She also...

Massachusetts man admits to turtle, salamander smuggling

Jun. 9, 2020 12:08 PM EDT

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts man has pleaded guilty to illegally importing and exporting turtles and salamanders in violation of federal law and international agreements, federal prosecutors said. Nathan Boss, 27, of Worcester, pleaded guilty Monday to smuggling wildlife out of the U.S.,...

This May 27, 2020 photo show elephants pulling a 15-year-old pregnant wild elephant who died after suffering injuries, in Velliyar River, Palakkad district of Kerala state, India.  Indian police on Friday arrested one person for causing the death of the elephant which chewed a pineapple stuffed with firecrackers that went off in its mouth in southern India. The female elephant couldn’t eat because of the injury in its mouth and it died in a river later in a forest in Pallakad area in southern Kerala state on May 27, said a state forest officer, Surendra Kumar. (AP Photo/Rajesh U Krishna)

Elephant dies in India after eating explosive-stuffed fruit

Jun. 5, 2020 6:33 AM EDT

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian police on Friday arrested a man accused of causing the death of a pregnant elephant that died after biting a pineapple stuffed with firecrackers that exploded in its mouth. The 15-year-old elephant was unable to eat after the injury and died in a river in Pallakad in southern Kerala...