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.
Soon, I will travel to Ethiopia for the Annual General Meeting of the Board of Trustees for Born Free Foundation Ethiopia. Together, we oversee the fabulous rescue center there, founded by Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation, where compassionate lifetime care is offered to animals in desperate need: lions, cheetahs, leopard tortoises, and more. Other animals who can be rehabilitated and released back to the wild are prepared for a life of freedom again.
It seems that every time I am there, new animals and new species arrive: cheetahs from the pet trade, being smuggled from Africa to the Middle East, servals discovered by unwitting farmers, monkeys kept at the Presidential Palace in Addis Ababa.
I have just learned that we can now add African grey parrot to the list of species in our compassionate care. Although not indigenous to Ethiopia, this species is heavily traded globally.
Our Project Director, Bereket Girma, saw the bird at a metal workshop in the outskirts of Addis. He reported it to the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA) who refused access to the animal! The following day, summoned to EWCA’s offices, the bird’s owner was told to surrender the animal or face prosecution. He relented.
However, stunningly, when EWCA, working with Born Free staff, went to claim the parrot, the cage was... empty. The bird had mysteriously “escaped!” After a week of pressure, searching, and patience, the bird was found, stressed, sitting in a cardboard box.
Under the care of our dedicated staff, the parrot is finally calming down – no easy feat, given s/he is in an office with two baby hyenas being rehabilitated in the next room and a vervet monkey in a nearby quarantine cage.
Perseverance pays off.
Having just last month celebrated National Bird Day, it is a thrill to know that we are not only educating people about the plight of wild birds, but also saving individual ones where we can.
21 is good news in blackjack. And now, the Born Free Ethiopia team has the 21st species in our stewardship. I look forward to making this special animal’s acquaintance.
Keep Wildlife in the Wild,