Laurel Neme

Mystery surrounds the theft of a rhinoceros horn from a natural history collection in the University of Vermont, in Burlington. Nobody knows its origins, or exactly when or why it was stolen. Its absence was first noted on April 27. It could have been taken as a prank, or it could be destined for the...

Nothing prepared me for the venom in his eyes. While not directed at me, nobody in the courtroom could escape the anger seeping from his pores. Through a twist of fate, I was in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), a province on the eastern coast of South Africa, on September 19, the day the trial of a suspected...

Even for experienced eyes, sifting through the roughly 200 documents to be considered at the upcoming Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) 17th Conference of Parties (CoP17) is a challenge. CITES protects about 5,600 animal species and 30,000 plant species through restrictions on commercial trade, and much discussion...

For years, the Hong Kong’s government rejected eliminating its huge retail ivory market, and mainland China has shown itself to be more forward thinking. Yet recent events—including evidence showing that Hong Kong’s ivory traders use the legal market as a conduit for illegal ivory, public protests against the trade, and moves in mainland China toward...

Children’s voices can be extremely powerful—a fact readily apparent on a recent Sunday when more than 325 people—most of them children—participated in Vermont’s first kid-driven Global March for Elephants and Rhinos. The event was initiated by 12-year-old Taegen Yardley, who organized a network of youngsters from across the state. Student “champions” at more than a...

Elephant poaching and ivory trafficking in East Africa is driven not only by foreign consumers but also by African nationals who actively “push” ivory to these markets. A recent report, Pushing Ivory Out of Africa: A Criminal Intelligence of Elephant Poaching and Ivory Trafficking in East Africa, released July 20 by Global Eye and the...

“When you think things need to change, you have the power to make it happen,” Ashley McAvey, homegrown elephant activist and mother of two, told students recently at Endeavour Middle School in Shelburne, Vermont. McAvey is the driving force behind Vermont’s proposed legislation (H. 297) to ban sales of elephant ivory and rhino horn in...

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — At a ceremony today in the capital, Ethiopia burned its entire 6.1-ton ivory stockpile. The event was held at the Gulele Botanical Garden, close to the headquarters of the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA), where the ivory had been stored. Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen and officials from the Ministries of...

Ten elephant carcasses discovered in mid-January in and around Cameroon’s Bouba Ndjida National Park are raising fears that poachers may again be targeting the park. But information remains sketchy. According to the Cameroon Tribune, a government newspaper, the military made several patrols following reports of gunfire and men on horseback searching for elephants. They found...

Hong Kong schoolchildren are transforming attitudes about elephant ivory through small actions that are having a big impact. Hong Kong is at the heart of the ivory black market. Its bustling ports are a major entry point for smuggled ivory shipped from Africa to Asia. In recent years officials have seized huge amounts of ivory:...

Orphaned elephants “can be fine one day and dead the next,” says Daphne Sheldrick, a Kenyan conservationist and expert in animal husbandry. She knows. To date, she has fostered over 250 calves, first in partnership with her husband, David Sheldrick, founding warden of Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park and a legendary naturalist, and later (following...