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 ®.
Born Free USA turned its attention to reptiles this week in having our Action Alert team members urge President Obama to approve a ban on the interstate transport of nine types of snakes. The Florida Everglades, incredibly, is now home to some 100,000 Burmese pythons — which have been known to swallow deer and alligators whole — thanks to some having been dumped there by snake-weary exotic “pet” owners.
Then we heard that Canadian pop star Justin Bieber, 17, plans to auction off his “pet” baby boa constrictor, which he had brought to the “2011 MTV Video Music Awards.” The species feasts on small mammals and can grow to be 13 feet long. Those facts strongly suggest boas might better be left in the wild than brought into the living room.
First let’s set aside the unsettling fact that a teen pop star would call his snake Johnson (if you require illumination on that nickname, I refer you — with some perverse amusement — to Gore Vidal’s 1968 satirical novel “Myra Breckenridge”). Second, let’s dare to re-suggest that having a “pet” boa constrictor is an insane, and in this case clearly vain, idea. And third …
Actually, need we say more?