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 ®.
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 have lots of work to do in the animal protection business, and we can use all the friends we can get!
I’d like to extend special thanks to Cabrón, the local artist who donated his skills and time to create the mural. (Check out this time-lapse video of Cabrón on the job!) With his hard work to create a stark black-and-white image, he captured one of our key concerns here at Born Free USA: the plight of the tiger, a species whose existence is so threatened that there are more tigers in captivity in the United States now than there are tigers in the wild in Asia, their natural home.
Saturday’s “Off the Wall” celebration also inspired guest Martin W. Shellenbarger to write this poem:
Tiger, Tiger on the wall, sentinel over us all, are you watching
Your species ruled Earth for eons as masters of your domain, until
humans caused your pain!
Hunted for sport! Trapped in zoos! Kept as pets by cruel kings!
Humiliation of the worst sort!
Into the jungle driven deeper, further into the forest to escape
needing a keeper!
Now yours are endangered. Their numbers are far falling. Very few
heed your kind's calling.
Calling for respite, begging a rescue, crying for help. A once
proud, strong race craving space!
Now we humans are endangered by our own selves. We can’t stop it,
no matter what we try!
Crowded cities, urban sprawl, soon enough will be the death of us all.
Mankind's future looks quite bleak. Your species may have the
cosmic revenge that you seek!
Perhaps one day man will be an alien's pet. So true, maybe even
displayed in a zoo!
Thought-provoking, isn’t it? Just like the mural. Check it out if ever you're in the neighborhood!