Born Free USA Blog
by Adam M Roberts,
Chief Executive Officer
When it comes to animals, Adam Roberts not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk. Since beginning his animal advocacy career in Washington, D.C. in 1991, Adam's ambition, tireless involvement, and profound knowledge of conservation and wildlife issues have cemented him as a go-to voice for protecting animals — and he has elevated Born Free USA to the respected and impactful organization that we know today. Adam's compassionate, informed, and forward-thinking blogs will surely motivate you to join us in our fight to Keep Wildlife in the Wild.
Charla Nash should not be a household name--at least not because of an attack by a chimpanzee in Connecticut that left her mauled, disfigured, and blind.
On Friday, a U.S. District Court Judge rejected the Safari Club’s effort to overturn a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prohibition on importation of sport-hunted trophies of African elephants from Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Good.
The one thing I’ve certainly learned in more than two decades of animal advocacy is that every person draws a different line at what constitutes compassion: the line at which his or her level of dedication to animals starts or stops.
There’s nothing like spending an evening in a room of Born Free supporters and wildlife enthusiasts!
Having just completed my work in Veracruz, Mexico at the Animals Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, last Friday I flew straight to New York for our annual Art for Conservation event at the terrific Taglialatella Galleries in Chelsea.
Let us pay close attention to the global poaching of elephants for their ivory and rhinos for their horns. And, when I say “close attention,” I don’t mean ‘track the issue, study the numbers, and blithely watch as the populations of these precious species continue to decline;’ I don’t mean ‘urge elephant and rhinoceros range states to do more (and more and more) to stop poaching;’ I don’t mean ‘call for reduction of demand for ivory and horn in Asia.’ I mean “close attention” as in – close to home, right here in America.
Today, I asked my mother to retrieve the fur hats and fur stoles that my beloved grandmother, Carol Adler, had in her Bronx apartment, so we could add them to Born Free USA's "Fur for the Animals" drive. We will donate all of the furs we acquire to wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centers around the country to provide orphaned animals with a comforting bed to envelop them as they heal, revive, and, ultimately, regain enough strength to be returned to the wild—where they belong.
For twenty years, we have been calling attention to the bloody trade in bear parts. It is an intricate global web of illicit wildlife commercialization that leads to American black bears being poached for their gallbladders, which are consumed domestically or smuggled overseas; Russian brown bears killed for their gallbladders, which are shipped throughout Asia or smuggled to America; and endangered Asiatic black bears incarcerated in tiny coffin-like cages, so small that they can’t turn around, forever trapped and “milked” of their valuable bile.
I recall walking the streets of Cancun, Mexico on break from a meeting and witnessing misguided tourists taking photographs with a chimpanzee. $1 / one picture. One chance for a photo with an endangered animal who belongs in the wild. One chance for a horrible accident; an attack; a life-altering, painful incident.