News

Endangered Wildlife Moves Up Wealthy Chinese Menus

Chinese police have seized hundreds of bear paws and dead pangolins smuggled into China where they are prized as an expensive culinary delicacy with uses in traditional medicine.

Police made 20 arrests in a smuggling ring in the south-western province of Yunnan, seizing 278 bear paws and 416 pangolins which had been brought in by lorry or train from Yunnan to three neighbouring provinces between December and January this year, according to a report in the Yunnan Daily.

The pangolins, which resemble armadillos, had been injected with tranquillisers to keep them quiet.

Tribute to Peter Benchley, Author and Conservationist

WildAid lost a dear friend this week as author and ocean advocate Peter Benchley sadly passed away, aged 65. Our condolences and best wishes are with his wife, Wendy, and the rest of their family in Princeton, New Jersey.

Peter had been seriously ill since last year, but when I last spoke to him we had hoped that his health would return and we were looking forward to traveling together again and perhaps even getting to dive with sharks, as he would have been writing an article about our work to protect sharks in the Galapagos and Asia.

Ecuadorian Soccer Star Weighs in to Save Sharks

In Ecuador, celebrities don't come more celebrated than Alex Aguinaga, the country's most widely recognized soccer star and one of its most respected citizens.

So Ecuadorians took notice last October when Aguinaga—along with the coach and four other top players of the country's World Cup-bound national team—launched a petition drive aimed at pressing the government to curb the wholesale killing of sharks.

Hidden Cost of Shark Fin Soup: Its Source May Vanish

Early every morning, the cold water lapping up on the beach here is stained red with blood as surly, determined men in ragged T-shirts drag hundreds of shark carcasses off wooden skiffs and onto the white sand.

Using eight-inch boning knives with quick precision, they dismember the once-mighty predators, cutting off heads, carving up big slabs of meat, slashing off the tails. Most important, they cut off the fins - dorsal and pectorals - a "set" that can fetch $100 or more.

Disney Ditches Shark's Fin

The scoresheet reads Sharks 1, Mickey Mouse 0. In what was seen as a monumental climbdown by the directors of the world's magical wonderland, Disney announced Friday it will not be serving the traditional shark's fin soup at its Chinese wedding banquets when the Hong Kong theme park opens September 12.

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