Suppose everything the circus people say is true. The elephants they use in their shows are not harmed, and the training is humane. The animals are healthy and happy. Even if all that is right, it doesn't change the bigger picture. Performing elephants should have long since gone the way of the circus freak show. It's something future generations will look back on in embarrassment.
Link: Connecticut Post
MOSCOW – Key tiger habitats in Russia's Far East are slated for logging in what would be a new blow to the dwindling population of the highly endangered Amur tiger, the World Wildlife Federation reported Oct. 20. Within a week, the local government in Primorsky region is planning to auction off some 28,000 cubic metres (990,000 cubic feet) of forest that includes cedar and oak forest inhabited by the Amur tiger, said the WWF's Denis Smirnov.
Link: AFP/Yahoo News!
VALLEY FORGE, Pa. — An animal-rights group that opposes the use of hunters to cut the deer population in Valley Forge National Historical Park wants officials to consider using coyotes instead. Friends of Animals opposes a plan to use sharpshooters to eliminate more than 80 percent of the Pennsylvania park's deer in the next four years. Last year, it filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the hunts.
Fishermen at the Japanese town made famous by the controversial Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove" shrugged off protests by animal rights activists on Tuesday to carry out their grisly annual dolphin hunt.
Furry critters across the District of Columbia — with the exception of rats and mice — soon could be getting a reprieve from animal-control specialists who rid homes and properties of wild animals. The D.C. Council gave tentative approval Oct. 5 to a bill to impose some of the nation's strictest standards for how animal- and pest-control companies can remove raccoons, opossums, foxes, snakes and other nuisance animals from lawns, attics and basements.
Link: The Washington Post
The Sacramento splittail fish does not warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Oct. 5. The decision puts the Obama administration on the same side as a former Bush administration official who was accused of improper political interference in dozens of endangered species cases, including a 2003 decision to remove the Sacramento splittail from the threatened species list.
BILLINGS, Mont. – Two decades after the federal government spent a half-million dollars to study the reintroduction of gray wolves to the Northern Rockies, lawmakers say it's time for Congress to step in again — this time to clamp down on the endangered animals.
Sewage contamination in an Indian zoo has killed 32 blackbuck antelope and left two rhinos in critical condition, an Indian news agency reports. The antelope fell ill and died last week after drinking sewage water that seeped into the moat around their pens at New Delhi's National Zoological Park, according to a Press Trust of India report cited by The Associated Press. Two rhinos are struggling to survive after drinking the toxic water.
Link: AOL News
PARIS — An alliance of conservationists and international donors on Wednesday unveiled a map of six areas on the Mediterranean rim aimed at guiding policy for preserving precious habitats and threatened species.
Link: AFP/Yahoo! News
In the quest to save the endangered Florida panther, their Texas cousins were the cat's meow. Wildlife biologists moved eight female panthers from Texas — close relatives yet genetically distinct — into south Florida 15 years ago in hopes of boosting reproduction, and the immigration paid off.
Link: Yahoo! News
Virginia McKenna, who co-starred with real-life husband Will Travers in the classic and inspirational 1966 film Born Free, recently was interviewed by KABC-TV (Channel 7) in Los Angeles. McKenna talks briefly about her firm intention to continue speaking out for animals, and the short segment includes footage from our Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Texas.
Born Free USA (BFUSA) estimates that more than 300,000 non-target animals are the unintended victims of body-crushing wildlife traps set each year. Cats and dogs are injured or killed, suffering excruciating pain and losing limbs, as a result of the remorseless jaws of leghold traps, Conibear traps and snares set for wild animals, who trappers capture and strip for fur.
A disturbing collection of discarded animal parts has been found in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the west coast of Vancouver Island near Tofino, British Columbia. Park wardens found 35 kilograms of bear and deer meat, marine and freshwater fish, shellfish and the hide and paws of a black bear.
Link: CTV British Columbia Warning: The story's slideshow contains graphic images.
Born Free USA's senior program associate, Monica Engebretson, recently was interviewed by Shannon Devereaux Sanford of WTBQ radio in New York. They talked about urban and suburban conflicts between animals and humans. Listen to the 11-minute, 30-second interview.
The bear that recently killed a caretaker in a Cleveland suburb was the latest example of animal violence in a state that has some of the nation's weakest restrictions on exotic pets and among the highest number of injuries and deaths caused by them.
Flo and the 185 other chimpanzees who live at the Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico have not been research subjects for nearly a decade. Now, however, the National Institutes of Health decided to move the elderly chimps to Texas for more research. Animals rights advocates are outraged, including Born Free USA.
Link: The New York Times
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has updated the status of five penguin species as “threatened” effective today (Sept. 2), under the Endangered Species Act — meaning the species are likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future. The five penguin species in question are the yellow-eyed penguin, white-flippered penguin, Fiordland crested penguin, Humboldt penguin and erect-crested penguin. They will be added to the federal lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.
A Queens hairdresser is suing a famed artist and owner of a fancy upstate bed-and-breakfast after his pet capuchin monkey mauled her during a weekend visit.
CHICAGO – Two gators in the Chicago River. One strolling down a Massachusetts street. Another in bustling New York City. And that's just in the past few weeks. From North Dakota to Indiana, alligators are showing up far from their traditional southern habitats.
Link: Yahoo! News
A 24-year-old Elyria, Ohio, man has died after being mauled Aug. 18 by a bear owned by Sam Mazzola, an exotic-pet showman who has battled with authorities over his animals for decades. In 2008, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported that Mazzola was permanently stripped of his federal license to exhibit exotic animals. He was fined $13,950 for exhibiting his bear-wrestling act without a license; refusing to allow an inspection of an exhibit; threatening, abusing and harassing federal officials; and illegally selling skunks at an Elyria store.
Link: The Plain Dealer
What are we teaching children when we take them to watch animals be exploited for a few minutes of "entertainment"? Teaching children to be kind and considerate of animals not only creates a sensitivity and respect for animals, but as they grow into adults, those feelings manifest themselves in respectful and considerate interaction with each other. Isn't that what we human beings should be striving for in our lives?
Link: San Jose Mercury News
A federal judge in Montana has stopped the killing of wolves in Montana and Idaho by ordering the wolves put back on the federal threatened list.
Judge Molloy ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had illegally stripped the northern Rockies gray wolf of its Endangered Species Act protections in 2009 by relying on political, rather than biological, reasoning.
Enviro officials cite lax safety under the big top
While protecting the circus-going public is laudable (the risk is real) it’s clear to informed and compassionate people that circuses make play-things out of animals who are forced to perform silly stunts and degrading acts, and are far too often abused behind the scenes and kept in close confinement. The new law is a good step in the right direction by British Columbia, and three cheers for its prompt enforcement.
Once again the overpopulation excuse is provided for allowing the hunt; this time for black bears in New Jersey. As we know, the biological truth is that animals regulate their own populations, based upon available food and habitat. In nature, unaltered by humans, there is no such thing as a "surplus" (or "game") animal. Feel free to let the Department of Environmental Protection commissioner Bob Martin, hear about your disappointment.
With the recent stories of lion meat burgers being served in the states in "honor" of the recent World Cup it is a little less surprising – but still just as tragic – to hear about another totally unnecessary product threatening lions; tiger-bone wine. That's right, tiger bone wine. Can you believe that lion bones have become a cheap substitute for tiger bones?!
Born Free USA applauds New Mexico Gov. Richardson for ordering temporary trapping ban to protect the Mexican Grey Wolf
The Mexican wolf is one of the most endangered animals in North America. The decline in Mexican wolf population has numerous causes, including targeted killing, disease and genetic problems. By their very design traps are inherently cruel and indiscriminate and pose serious risk to wildlife including threatened and endangered species. This ban although temporary, will go far in protecting the Mexican Grey wolf and will hopefully lead to a permanent trapping ban in wolf territory.
Following the frightening incident involving escape of a 9-foot python, later found dead under a neighbor's home, the city of Ravenswood West Virginia passed an ordinance requiring owners of exotic pets to obtain a license and pay a fee to the city.
A coordinated operation undertaken by INTERPOL and supported by Born Free Foundation has resulted in the closure of an illegal ivory factory in Africa and the confiscation of hundreds of kilos of elephant ivory and rhino horn. The sting, dubbed “Operation Mogatle” in honor of the late assistant director of the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks, was the third coordinated effort of its kind in the past three years.
Born Free USA applauds California Citizens for Standing up for Bears
Thanks to the efforts of animal advocates including Born Free USA and our members the California Department of Fish and Game rescinded its bear hunting proposal that would have expanded bear hunting across the state, increased the number of bears killed, and allowed the use of high tech equipment on bear hunting hounds.
Our Animal Loving Public has spoken — and the Government is listening. Today Jim Fitzpatrick, The Animal Welfare Minister, announced that the huge response to the Government’s consultation on keeping wild animals to perform in circuses clearly indicated that this is no longer acceptable and he is ‘minded to pursue a ban on the use of these animals in circuses’.
Born Free Foundation has long campaigned for such a ban and has actively participated in the Government consultation process, believing firmly that a complete ban is the only humane and sensible approach. This view is shared by over 94% of those who responded.
Born Free USA applauds the recent announcement by notorious dolphin trader Chris Porter that he will stop capturing and trading dolphins and that he plans to release his remaining 17 dolphins back to the wild.
According to Porter, he is known as the “Darth Vader of dolphins,” having captured and sold more than 83 dolphins to aquaria around the world, a moniker that will surely change soon if he keeps his word.
As we know first-hand from some of the primates who come to the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary because they were too aggressive or their "owners" became so frightened that the monkey never left their small cage, primates don't make good pets. And can in fact be downright dangerous. We're glad to see that the majority of Illinois lawmakers agree.
State House OKs ban on primates as pets
Sun-Times Springfield Bureau
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials are asking the federal government to remove the gray wolf from the list of endangered and threatened species, saying the state's wolf population has fully recovered and is beginning to cause more conflicts. ... However, at least one animal advocacy group is concerned about Minnesota's petition to remove the wolf from federal protection. Born Free USA, a California-based group involved in the lawsuit to keep the wolf on the endangered list, believes it might be too soon to lift protections for the wolf.
DNR asks feds to remove gray wolf from endangered list
Minnesota Public Radio
Ignoring the plight of polar bears, CITES Parties gathered in Doha at the 15th Conference of the Parties (CoP 15) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) voted to hasten the polar bear's demise by failing to support an uplisting to Appendix I which would have banned all international commercial trade in the bears and their parts.
Follow Born Free USA's reporting of the daily battles of CITES at our CITES tracker.
Wednesday’s death of an orca trainer by Shamu was not an accident — it was an accident waiting to happen. American lives are put at risk in the name of entertainment. There is zero conservation or education value to killer whales performing stunts in captivity. Born Free USA believes that wildlife belongs in the wild. The only question is how many captive wild animal attacks have to happen before our citizens stop attending such events and legislators work to close down these dangerous animal acts.
Vote in the New York Daily News poll if whales should be kept in captivity.
Two men have been indicted in California on charges of smuggling ivory from endangered African elephants into the United States. Samart Chokchoyma of Thailand is accused of selling the ivory on eBay to Moun Chau of Montclair, Calif. Prosecutors in Los Angeles said Tuesday that both men are charged with violating an international treaty that protects endangered species....
Born Free USA has extensive material on the wildlife trade, of which ivory smuggling is just a part.
2 men indicted in Calif. for ivory smuggling
The Washington Post
A leading rights group that works to protect the well-being of wild animals in Canada says that the mauling death of an Ontario man by his tiger is a wake-up call to governments at all levels to prevent people from owning exotic animals. Rob Laidlaw, the executive director of Zoo Check Canada, said the death of Norman Buwalda on Sunday was the result of Ontario's weak laws that make it too easy for people to keep wild animals as pets without any oversight. ... Barry Kent MacKay, the Canadian representative of Born Free USA, another animal rights group, said his organization has been warning communities for years to toughen laws. "We warned these communities to pass these bylaws, because people can have a plethora of animals," MacKay said. "Private owners don't see the danger, they think everything is fine."
Animal groups urge tougher laws after Ontario tiger owner killed
Mark Iype, Canwest News Service
After years of legal wrangling, a decision has been rendered in the Ringling Bros. Circus case. Unfortunately, Judge Emmet Sullivan dismissed the case on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacked legal "standing" to pursue their claims. Because he dismissed the case for a lack of jurisdiction, the Judge did not address any of the extensive evidence in the case which showed that the Asian elephants are kept on chains for hours on end and are hit with bull hooks to make them perform tricks in the circus.
Judge rules in favor of circus in lawsuit over treatment of Asian elephants
Del Quentin Wilber
A national animal rights group is blasting Idaho for its treatment of mink, calling the Gem State the third-worst in the nation for its treatment of animals farmed for their fur. According to a news release by the national wildlife advocacy organization Born Free USA, Idaho earned its place near the top of the list for its high number of unregulated mink farms.
Mink treatment draws group’s wrath
Idaho State Journal
All elephants living in Indian zoos and circuses will be moved to wildlife parks and game sanctuaries where the animals can graze more freely. The decision affects around 140 elephants in 26 zoos and 16 circuses in the country. The order followed complaints from animal rights activists about elephants that are kept in captivity and often chained for long hours.
The chaining of elephants is one of our charges against Ringling Bros. in our Federal trial for the circus's abuse of elephants.
India to move all zoo elephants to wildlife parks
The city’s Animal Care Division seized 111 birds last month from an Aurora home last month, claiming that the animals were treated cruelly and forced to live in inhumane conditions. According to court documents, the officer found dirty cages with no water, bedding soiled with feces and several dead mice. The woman is facing several charges related to infractions to the city code, including cruelty to animals, the endangerment of the health and life of an animal, failure to remove feces and humane care charges related to the lack of potable water. The possible fines for the misdemeanor charges range from $15 to $1,000, plus one year in jail.
City seizes 111 birds from Aurora home
The Aurora Sentinel, Aurora, CO
Leading animal advocacy and wildlife conservation organization Born Free USA and leading environmental publication, E Magazine, celebrate the glorious climax of fffashion, their fur free fashion design competition promoting the ethical and environmental benefits of foregoing fur fashions.
fffur Free and Fabulous!
It’s not often that a primate from a research facility, a circus or a backyard zoo gets a second chance, but that’s exactly what happens at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary. Home to over 500 non-human primates, including vervets, baboons and macaques, the sanctuary strives to help these primates heal from their pasts.
Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary: A Place of Healing
Advocacy for Animals
A lifetime of misery is what elephants endure in circuses. They are carted in box cars or trucks from city to city for the majority of the year, forced to perform unnatural tricks under threat of beatings with bullhooks, chained for hours on end, and separated from their families — all for just a few minutes of mindless entertainment.
It's Time to End the Use of Elephants in Circuses
Nicole G. Paquette, Born Free USA
Tune in this Friday, October 16, to “The Nature Connection” at 6:45pm EST (3:45pm PST) to hear Born Free USA’s Adam Roberts talk about big cat conservation and what Born Free USA is doing to help all these magnificent animals!
This interview with Will Travers, CEO of Born Free USA, discusses how the merge with the Animal Protection Institute came to be, and the united organization's mission and methods.
Born Free USA's own Grass Roots Coordinator, Jessica Stout, is featured in this story on dispelling misconceptions about pit bulls.
Pit bull makeover: Shedding new light on the most feared breed in America
Sacramento News & Review
For nine years, Kelly Ann Walz kept the black bear she called "Teddy" as a pet, raising it from cubhood at her hilltop menagerie where she also cared for a mountain lion and tiger. On Sunday night, she went into Teddy's 15-by-15-foot steel and concrete cage, throwing a shovelful of dog food to one side to distract the bear while she cleaned the other side. But the 350-pound bear turned on Walz and attacked her. Walz was pronounced dead at the scene.
Now matter how tame they may seem, wild animals are still wild animals. Born Free USA keeps a database of attacks by captive pets on their possessors.
Pet bear turns on Pa. owner, kills her in cage
The Associated Press
The Learning Channel (TLC) has sunk to an all time low with their new show My Monkey Baby which airs this Sunday, October 4.
The "greatest show on earth" starting at the Rose Garden tonight isn't so great for its largest performers, according to a 2003 lawsuit filed by animal-rights groups against Feld Entertainment, Inc., the parent company of the Ringling Bros. circus. After years of legal wrangling, a verdict is expected shortly. The parties' lawyers delivered their final arguments in March.
Federal court will decide fate of circus elephants soon
Jacques Von Lunen