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Zambia’s Hunting “Bans”—Shedding Light on a Complicated History

By Katarzyna Nowak

On August 21, Zambia was reported to have “lifted its hunting ban,” announcing that a ban on hunting big cats—leopards and lions—would remain. One week later, an addendum was issued by the Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), clarifying that the hunting ban would remain in effect for elephants too.

However, confusion endures in the media, such as in a September 9 article on Mongabay: “Zambia ends trophy hunting ban, elephants fair game.”

Was there ever a hunting ban in Zambia, has Zambia resumed hunting, and will elephants be hunted?

OPINION: Can Elephants Survive a Continued Ivory Trade Ban?

Daniel Stiles, a member of the IUCN/SSC African Elephant Specialist Group, discusses whether there should be a legal trade in elephant ivory, and proposes elements that could be included in a legal trade. The outcome, he believes, will be a significant reduction of elephant killing for ivory.  

Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: Jumping Spiders, Angry Cats

Can elephants track scents? How can a jumping spider travel so fast? Read this week’s Ask Your Weird Animal Questions column.

September 7, 2014: Walking Through Conflict Zones, Driving 200 Miles Per Hour and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend radio, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they dodge whales and pirates on the Indian Ocean, track poachers in Africa, find lost societies in Orkney, shed light on glowing sharks, harmonize with melting ice in Antarctica, live underwater for 31 days, follow in the pawprints of a lone wolf for 1,200 miles, and rove across the red planet.

Opinion: Hunters’ Demand for Elephant Trophies Should Not Take Precedence Over Government Accountability

Katarzyna Nowak

While positive steps have been taken by governments to protect elephants and their ecosystems, private hunting companies are working hard to undermine the potential gains.

Q&A: Landmark Report Reveals Crucial Links in the Illegal Ivory Trade

While there are effectively unlimited numbers of poachers and consumers fueling the lucrative illegal ivory market, a new report suggests that nearly all the ivory shuttled from Africa to Asia—the biggest market—is confined to as few as 200 shipping containers a year.

100,000 African Elephants Poached Since 2010, Study Finds

Ivory-seeking poachers have killed 100,000 African elephants in just three years, according to a new study that provides the first reliable continent-wide estimates of illegal kills. During 2011 alone, roughly one of every twelve African elephants was killed by a poacher.

Geography in the News: The Strangest Desert

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM The Strange Namib Desert of Africa Africa seems to always be in the news covering conflict and disease across the continent. Its wonderful physical diversity, however, provides a background that is often overlooked by the casual reader. The Namib Desert is just one of…

OPINION: My Offer to Help Kenyan Authorities Catch an Ivory Kingpin Is Spurned

World Elephant Day was celebrated around the world yesterday, with pageantry, song and dance, events and activities. Everyone was wearing grey. But for award-winning conservationist and CEO of WildlifeDirect Paula Kahumba, Elephant Day could hardly be described as “fun.” “I sat for nearly nine hours with my team in a government waiting room at the office of the Chief of Police, in Nairobi to deliver a letter…an offer to raise funds to help in the arrest of suspected ivory kingpin Feizal Ali Mohamed, who has been a fugitive since June 1.” Has her offer fallen on deaf ears?

Illegal Wildife Trafficking and the U.S.-Africa Summit

David Hayes, Former Deputy Secretary of the Interior, sheds light on key issues and opportunities facing leaders at the U.S.-Africa Summit regarding supporting their people and growing their economies by protecting their wildlife.

Family Strife

Mushara Waterhole, Etosha National Park, Namibia – Sunset began with a visit from Paula and Nadia and their fraction of the Athlete family. We saw them break the clearing from the southwest, and I rushed to get two of my volunteers out on their bunker observation rotation, but we were too late. They were coming in fast.

Ozzie on Fire Again

Mushara Waterhole, Etosha National Park, Namibia — Ozzie was on fire again Thursday, parting a sea of 14 bulls with his parade of musthy pomp until he reached his target—Mike. Mike is one of the largest bulls in our study population, and also one of the least aggressive. Why was he the focus of the young…

The Night Belonged to Ozzie

The world’s largest land creature stood on me last night—two giant feet over my head, putting me at a disturbing eye-level vantage with a dripping elephant phallus in the dark. It has occurred to me over the course of my research that an untimely end could happen to anyone studying these larger-than-life animals, but it’s not something I ever thought I’d live to tell about.

July 20, 2014 Radio Show: Making Music With Elephants, Running Hundreds of Miles Through Mountains and More

This week, on National Geographic Weekend radio show we run ultramarathons through Nepal, Switzerland and Utah’s Rocky Mountains, then we save goliath, learn safety tips about the newest bacterial threat, making music with elephants, visit the world’s largest caverns, and find some secret cities.

Time Passes at an Elephant’s Pace

Time passes at an elephant’s pace here at Mushara waterhole in the northeast corner of Etosha National Park, Namibia. The mornings are slow to materialize, a few solitary bulls drifting in like a lazy late morning gust from the northeast and then later from the southwest, each gliding through on non-overlapping paths. By early afternoon…