World Animal News exclusive article by WAN undercover investigator, Sam Jojola:
‘WikiLeaks conjures up thoughts of government conspiracy or political scandals. Wondering about wildlife issues prompted me to conduct an internet search with the words “open WikiLeaks on illegal trophy hunting” and “open WikiLeaks on illegal trophy hunters”. Surprisingly, a reference that revealed details behind the Cecil the Lion incident in late July, 2015 titled “US govt never minded Americans killing rare lions before Cecil –WikiLeaks document” popped up.
The article claimed that WikiLeaks revealed a secret document on U.S. hunters in Zimbabwe allegedly sent from a U.S. official to the CIA exposing further details behind the Cecil the Lion debacle. A 2008 classified memo detailed that the U.S. government knew and approved of its citizens trophy hunting in South Africa. The article suggests that our government was more concerned about U.S. trophy hunters being implicated in poaching or smuggling than sympathy for killed lions. (https://www.rt.com/usa/311264-wikileaks-cecil-us-govt/).
When you Google “WikiLeaks rumor that ISIS in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park” scroll down to WikiLeaks on Twitter and click on the link to read some additional postings dated July 31, 2015 on the above issue to include a posting comment about rumors of ISIS moving into Hwange National Park.
I was reminded of a huge U.S. Fish and Wildlife Division of Law Enforcement investigation that my former colleagues conducted in the 1990’s. It resulted in a Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) report. This report titled “Tarnished Trophies”, dated October, 1996 revealed how some top Democrat and Republican officials and powerful members of Congress unified with wealthy safari trophy hunters back then.
To truly understand how politics interfaced with wildlife then and on a global level today, everyone should take time to read this amazing 29 page well documented historical account to ensure that our elected officials are held accountable when they say that they will protect our wildlife resources and take a leadership role globally, now and in the future. (http://www.peer.org/assets/docs/whitepapers/1996_tarnished_trophies.pdf)
Google “WikiLeaks exposes illegal ivory” and see what comes up with a host of stories that cover political wildlife issues that do not always reference WikiLeaks.
Readers will see a reporting tool created in 2014 called “WildLeaks” to provide anonymity and help whistleblowers expose global wildlife crime. You can read how one of the first articles about this successful website got started, here: (http://gizmodo.com/wildleaks-is-like-wikileaks-but-for-wildlife-crimes-1591688086). Check out this very informative website and read about a December, 2015 reference to a Facebook advertisement of a Rhino horn sale as well as other reports.
When you Google “WikiLeaks exposes ivory smuggling” scroll down to the article that reviews how the ivory trade vote from the most recent CITES convention exposes the divisions on saving the elephant (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/zimbabwe-namibia-push-ivory-trade-071747871.html). Also a host of other articles and references to ivory smuggling issues across the globe including cutting edge investigative reports by my colleague Bryan Christy.
It’s time for a United Nations Special Envoy on Wildlife Trafficking since our country, after all these years, has yet to create a special international position as such to coordinate international entities in a collaborative effort with guidance and support against these expanding international criminal syndicates.’
By: Sam Jojola
“Over the long haul of life on this planet, it is the ecologists, and not the bookkeepers of business, who are the ultimate accountants”.
Stewart Udall – ( 1920-2010) Secretary of Interior from 1961-1969
Photo Credit: Occupy For Animals