The circus is coming to town! This familiar phrase conjures vivid images of amazing acrobats, capering clowns ... and exotic animals. Unlike the human performers who choose to work in circuses, however, exotic animals are forced to take part in the show. They are involuntary actors in a degrading spectacle, forced into an unnatural life.
Just imagine: You go out of town for a couple of weeks, your pet sitter doesn’t properly secure the gate, and your dog runs away. Where would you prefer your beloved companion wind up — in the local animal shelter, where you can claim him and bring him home safely, or in a research laboratory where he is caged and used as part of a cruel experiment? Few people realize that animal shelters and research labs may be connected. The connection is called “pound seizure,” and it’s one of this country’s shameful secrets.
As API members and supporters, know, we’ve actively campaigned to improve the lives of captive exotic animals for many years. In fact, API is widely recognized as a leading expert on the issue.
NOVEMBER: She is hungry. She is alone. Snow is falling. But the bear’s sole focus is the hole she digs under the trunk of an ancient yellow birch that had toppled over, two years earlier, during a windstorm. This would be a good place to spend the winter — and, perhaps, to give birth to the cubs that are slowly growing inside her.
Imagine a colorful flock of parrots flying free. Perhaps you picture them in lush Mexican jungles or on craggy mountainsides in South America. But what about in the hectic streets of San Francisco?
This past April Fools’ Day, animal advocates wondered if the joke was on them.
That's because on April 1, 2003, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released a rule lowering the protected status of gray wolves under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Despite the fact that wolves, once systematically extirpated, have yet to recover in most of their historic range, this reclassification is likely just the first step in the eventual elimination of all federal protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states. Once de-listed, the species’ fate would lie in the hands of individual states.
Dreaming of your next vacation? How about a wildlife safari where you can view exotic and endangered species from Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia? No time for a trip around the world? No problem! Your tour can take place right here in the U.S.A. As an added bonus, you can stalk these animals in a pen, shoot them at point-blank range, and take their mounted heads home as trophies. For a price, this shameful sojourn can be yours, courtesy of the federal government.
The pet shop seemed more like a pawn store, a place where disenchanted caretakers unloaded their birds for quick cash. During my visit, abandoned birds clamored for attention or followed me [Monica Engebretson] curiously with their eyes — except for a pair of Amazon parrots who sat motionless, side-by-side, with the most expressionless eyes I have ever seen in another living creature.