Born Free USA Blog
by Will Travers,
Chief Executive Officer
What can you say about a big-hearted bloke who has rescued dolphins, tigers, elephants and more and whose parents once helped a lion cub from a department store by caring for him in their backyard and engineering his rightful return to Africa? You can safely say that he's got great animal instincts! In 1984, Will Travers joined his parents — "Born Free" film stars Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers — to form what became The Born Free Foundation. With knowledge, passion and compassion dripping from his every word, Will's blogs are sure to make you embrace our crusade to Keep Wildlife in the Wild ®.
Did you know that for every 10 elephants who die these days, eight are killed by poachers?
That’s a shocking statistic. And what makes it even worse is that less than a decade ago, four of every 10 elephant deaths were attributed to poaching. In other words, criminal activity against one of the planet’s iconic species is surging upward.
"Ice Age 3: Continental Drift" opens in theaters this week, and I can’t help but wonder if our sense of reason has gone adrift lately at the way we look at the icy regions of our planet and the wildlife that calls the Arctic home.
We certainly have our fill of outrage in the animal protection business. Last week I received another unsavory serving of it when I learned a baby chimpanzee had been mauled to death at the Los Angeles Zoo — in front of zoo visitors.
The 3-month-old female, who was the first chimpanzee born in the zoo in 13 years, was grabbed from her mother by an unrelated male who tossed the infant around, resulting in her death.
Note: This blog also appears on the Huffington Post.
NBC Television's popular show "The Voice" is employing a Moluccan cockatoo to accompany Cee Lo Green.
As far as I'm concerned, this kind of animal exploitation doesn't fly.
I have just learned that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has bestowed upon me the honor of OBE — Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire — for services to wildlife conservation and animal welfare. As many of you may know, my mother, Virginia McKenna, had previously received her OBE for contributions to the arts and to animal protection. Just as I share the joy of having started the Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA with her, I now share the honor of receiving this award.
Having just taken part in the rescue of Kebri, the juvenile lion from a remote part of Ethiopia (who is now safely at Ensessakotteh, Born Free’s center, just outside Addis Ababa), I think it is safe to say that Born Free knows a thing or two about rescues.
So when we heard that a zoo in Mexico had "rescued" nine juvenile African elephants faced with certain death in Namibia, we thought we understood what was going on.
This past Saturday our Sacramento staff members threw a party and invited everyone. The occasion? To celebrate the stunning 85-foot-mural of a caged tiger on the side of our downtown building!
Some 500 people showed up to check out the mural up-close, peruse the wares of indie craft vendors, hear the rockin’ sounds of Joy Hammer, eat vegan sandwiches and free vegan pizza, drink beer and learn more about Born Free USA. Sharie Lesniak, our creative director and the driving force behind Saturday’s party, categorized the event as a “friendraiser.”
We’ve just done something rather rash. We acted instinctively, with our hearts not our heads. Let me tell you what we’ve done. I know you’ll understand …
Last week I got a heart-wrenching phone call from Ethiopia. It was Stephen Brend, our project director there. “If we don’t rescue this lion cub, they’re going to shoot him."