Richard Leakey on rights

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 1999:

Explained recently reinstated Kenya
Wildlife Services director and world-reknowned
field biologist Richard Leakey recently to the Dali
Tambo’s People of the South broadcast audience,
“We now know that elephants communicate, have a
sense of humor, have a sense of grief, and have a
sense of family. They recognize family over several
generations.”
Allowing listeners to contemplate what all
that means for a moment, Leakey then declared, “I
think humans today owe animals a certain courtesy
and respect, and I believe the intelligent mammals,
in particular, need a bill of rights––not human
rights––but a bill of rights.”

Leakey cedes seat for KWS hot seat

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1998:

NAIROBI––Richard Leakey, resuming
directorship of the Kenya Wildlife Service,
which he previously headed 1988-1994, has
surrendered his seat in Parliament.
“I would prefer that my successor
should be from the handicapped community,”
said Leakey, who lost both of his legs in a 1993
airplane crash. “I would prefer a female candidate,”
he added.
Credited with virtually halting poaching
in the Kenyan national parks and corruption
within the KWS during his previous stint,
Leakey resigned after clashing with politicians
close to Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi, and
helped organize the opposition party Safina, but
Moi reappointed him after the KWS ran up an
$8 million deficit last year under David
Western. Within days of Leakey’s reappointment,
KWS received $2 million in U.S. aid.
Besides the deficit, resurgent corruption,
and renewed poaching, Leakey must contend
with tree poaching which according to
Musa Radoli of the Nairobi Nation has
destroyed much of the formerly protected
Kakamega Forest.

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Moi brings back Leakey to patch wildlife service

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1998:

NAIROBI, Kenya––Anthropologist Richard
Leakey, 56, on September 25 returned to the head of the
Kenya Wildlife Service. His appointment by president Daniel
arap Moi surprised just about all observers.
A third-generation Kenyan, whose British grandfather
came as a missionary in 1902, Leakey previously took
charge of the KWS in 1989, also at Moi’s request. Then as
now, poaching, crime, and mismanagement threatened the
viability of the Kenyan wildlife reserves, which together attract
as many as 750,000 visitors a year, and are the nation’s third
biggest source of foreign exchange.
Attracting strong support from abroad, Leakey
stepped up wildlife law enforcement, scarcely missing a day on
the job even after losing both legs in a 1993 plane crash, but
his legal rigidity openly antagonized some of Moi’s intimates.
Some reportedly wished to undo the Kenyan constitutional ban
on sport hunting, in order to start trophy hunting businesses;
others were accused of farming on wildlife reserve property.

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Witch doctors tell Swiss voters what to say: “Ooh-ee ooh ah ah!”

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1998:

GENEVA, JOHANNESBURG,
WINDHOEK, LONDON, ATLANTA– –
Swiss voters on June 7 rejected a proposed
moratorium on research involving genetically
modified animals by a 2-to-1 margin.
Swiss referendums have historically
favored animals. The very first, held more
than 100 years ago, banned the slaughter of
livestock without prestunning. However,
Swiss-based multinational drug firms reportedly
spent more than $35 million to defeat the
proposed genetic research moratorium. The
coalition of 50 animal protection groups who
backed the measure spent only $1.3 million.
Swiss citizens may have relatively
little concern about the outcomes of genetic
research, but in Eehama-Omulunga, Angola,
sensational reports of transgenic experiments
fed rumors that goats kept by Mateus Shihelp
and Ricardina Otto have given birth––twice
since March––to creatures with goat-like bodies
but human heads. Neither survived.

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Foreign

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1998:

British armed forces minister John Reid on
June 12 suspended British participation in NATO exercises
which involve shooting sedated pigs to give
medics practice in treating gunshot wounds, pending
review of the value of the procedure, which is reportedly
often used in training U.S. combat surgeons.
Reid’s action came as the Home Office was
reportedly preparing to release statistics showing that
the number of animals used in British laboratories is up,
for the second year in a row. About 20% more animals
were used in genetic work in 1996 than in 1995, and
that trend is expected to continue, even as the numbers
used in conventional product safety testing continue a
long, slow drop.

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African updates

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1998:

Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi
in May fired Kenya Wildlife Service director
David Western, 53, who told The London
Times that he believes the reason was his
refusal to cooperate with the turnover of land
reserved for wildlife to agriculture and development
projects promoted by persons well
connected with the arap Moi regime. Western
succeeded Richard Leakey in 1994, after
Leakey was ousted over his uncompromising
stances against poaching and corruption.
The National Party, of South
Africa, on June 16 endorsed the recommendation
of the International Fund for Animal
Welfare that the South African government
should adopt “parliamentary proposals for the
special protection of lion, leopard, and cheetah,”
who are under increasing risk from habitat
encroachment and the spread of diseases
associated with domestic dogs.

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