African Countries Set For New Fight Over Ivory Sales

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Three months from a major international conference on endangered species, African countries are divided over whether a fresh round of ivory sales should be allowed.With black market sales on the rise again, some nations that consider their elephant populations to be out of danger are arguing stocks of the precious ivory should be sold legally.

Tanzania and Zambia, for example, have asked the CITES (Convention on International Trade in International Species) conference to be held from March 13 to 25 in Doha to authorise them to sell 90 and 22 tonnes of ivory respectively.This request for an exemption to the 1989 ban on ivory sales, a measure destined to protect the African elephant and rhino, has rekindled a war between countries with varying animal population levels.

If elephants used to roam the African continent in their millions, today they number somewhere between 400,000 and 600,000.More than half are found in southern Africa with just a few thousand, or sometimes a few hundred, in most western, central and eastern African countries.In some cases the animals have disappeared all together, for example in Burundi, Gambia, Mauritania or Sierra Leone.
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Oscar The Dog : Hound The World In 80 Days

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A dog called Oscar is has laid claim to the title of the animal kingdom’s most intrepid explorer after visiting famous landmarks around the world. His travels include five continents, 29 countries and stopping off everywhere from the Eiffel Tower to the Taj Mahal.Oscar was rescued from a South African kennel by owner Joanne Lefson five years ago. In May the pair began an epic journey hoping to inspire millions to help save his fellow canines living as strays on the streets.

Dodging crocodile-infested rivers, walking on the Great Wall of China and escaping Italian police Oscar finally finished his tour last week.The £250,000 six-month trip – which Joanne funded by selling her home – also took in 15,000 shelter dogs and at more than 50 charity-run rescue centres.The pair capped off the tour at Brazil’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio, Brazil.

Ms Lefson, who is half British and half South African, had the idea to take the titanic trip dubbed ‘The World Woof Tour’.
She said it was a miracle Oscar was alive let alone a globe trotter.She said: “If I hadn’t gone to the kennel that fateful day Oscar had one more day left and would have been put down.”When I discovered what a wonderful dog Oscar was it broke my heart to think how many ‘Oscar’s’ are still out there and simply just don’t get that second chance.
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