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Animal News

Another Elephant Dies at the Zoo

Published 09/29/08

Misha the elephant died Sept. 9 in a cinder-block building at Utah's Hogle Zoo, her most recent home. No one is certain yet of what caused her sudden downturn, at what could be described as "middle age" for an elephant. But one of Misha's former trainers has a strong suspicion: "She lost her will."

Born Free USA united with API knows that captivity is no place for an elephant.

Misha endured a tragic life - and she wasn't unique
Matthew D. LaPlante
The Reporter (Vacaville, CA)

Covering up a Tiger Attack

Published 09/23/08

The owners of an exotic animal park and one of its board members have been charged with evidence tampering for allegedly trying to cover up a tiger attack on a volunteer. The owners of Wesa-A-Geh-Ya in Warren County, Kenneth and Sandra Smith, and the board member, Roy Elder, initially led the sheriff’s department to believe that a pit bull attacked the volunteer, Jacob Barr, who had part of his leg amputated after the Aug. 3 mauling. Mr. Elder and Ms. Smith are accused of lying to investigators by saying a dog attacked Mr. Barr. Mr. Smith, who shot and killed the tiger, is accused of participating in a cover-up by moving its body to a different location. Ms. Smith said she had misled investigators because she feared that the park’s animals would be euthanized if the authorities learned the truth.

Missouri: Animal Park Owners Charged
Associated Press
The New York Times

Giving up “pet” reptiles without facing a penalty

Published 09/19/08

Residents who own reptiles that are not native to Florida can now give up their pets without facing a penalty whenever they want — instead of releasing them into the Everglades. The new rules expand a series of pet amnesty events so pet owners can surrender their unwanted pets to a wildlife sanctuary instead of illegally releasing them.

Born Free USA united with API believes that wildlife belongs in the wild, not in private possession. Releasing animals to sanctuaries is a much better alternative to keeping exotic “pets” in substandard housing, with their dietary and psychological needs poorly met, if at all.

New rules set for owners of exotic pets in Florida
The Associated Press
Miami Herald

Not everyone is thrilled that the circus is in town

Published 09/11/08

Not everyone is thrilled that the circus is in town. "If people knew what went on behind the big top, they should be outraged about the cruelty that goes on, and they should not patronize any circus that uses animals, especially Ringling Brothers," said Nicole Paquette, senior vice president of Born Free USA. Born Free USA is one of four plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit against the circus contending that the treatment of the elephants is cruel and should be considered a violation of the Endangered Species Act.

Circus sued over treatment of elephants
Blair Anthony Robertson
Sacramento Bee

Wild animals should not be a part of the circus

Published 09/08/08

Wild animals should not be a part of the circus, Lisa Weisberg, legal consultant for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said. The association, along with The Fund for Animals and the Animal Protection Institute, will battle Ringling Bros. in federal court in October, citing violations of the Endangered Species Act. “They don’t want the public to know what really goes on behind the scenes,” Weisberg said, adding the plaintiffs have “incredible evidence.” The goal is to start enforcing existing laws and hopefully the trial will educate the public enough to not patronize these events.

Why not to go to the circus
Tara Bozick
Victoria Advocate

Article on Ringling fails to mention our groundbreaking federal lawsuit

Published 09/02/08

Your Thursday story on PETA's recent circus protest and the debate over the treatment of endangered Asian elephants in the circus ... failed to mention the groundbreaking federal lawsuit against the circus giant for its mistreatment of elephants, which will be heard in a Washington D.C., courtroom beginning Oct. 20. This lawsuit is based on actual evidence against Ringling Bros., not just unsubstantiated claims by animal advocacy groups.

Suit against circus to be heard in October
Zibby Wilder
Director of Public Relations
Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute
Letter to the Editor
HeraldNet (Everett, WA)

The show may soon be over

Published 08/25/08

“Ringling Bros. has been battling with animal welfare advocates for a generation or more, and a landmark federal lawsuit headed to trial in October could finally answer the question of whether rough, regular treatment of endangered Asian elephants by circus handlers constitutes illegal animal abuse. At stake is the future of performing animals in circuses, particularly this 138-year-old global institution. Circus officials say that if the court prohibits the use of tools like leg chains and the ankus (an elephant training tool that activists call a bull hook and handlers call a guide), they’ll stop touring with elephants — a feature that they admit is their biggest draw.”

The trial — API is one of the plaintiffs — is set to begin on October 20.

Dirty secrets under the big top
Steven T. Jones
San Francisco Bay Guardian

7-year-old's shoe is caught in Conibear trap

Published 08/22/08

“When Mark Wells and his family get together at his dad’s home ... the adults like to relax on the patio while the kids go running off to the nearby pond to hunt for frogs. But last Sunday ... Wells was flabbergasted to see his niece carrying a metal muskrat trap with her blue Croc shoe lodged firmly inside. The 7-year-old told the family she had stepped on the trap on the pond’s shore. ‘It took three adults to get the shoe out of the trap,’ Wells said. ‘I don’t know how it didn’t hurt her.’”

This is just the latest in a long list of incidents where people and animals were caught in traps meant for other species. See the list of non-target incidents compiled by Born Free USA united with API.

Muskrat traps posing danger in Sugar Grove
Elisabeth Kilpatrick
The Beacon News (Aurora, IL)

Challenge is to make lions' lives worth living

Published 08/19/08

Breeding and keeping lions in captivity may be fun for zoo visitors, but it’s not real conservation. Real conservation is aimed at addressing the persecution and threats facing lions in the wild. Lion habitat and prey are declining, hundreds of lions are killed each year for sport by western hunters and still others are killed for meat and body parts. In the last three decades alone, the continent-wide population of lions across Africa has declined by an alarming 70 percent. It is up to us to make sure that lions are protected in the wild as our top priority. How sad it would be to someday realize that lions are gone from Kenya, but are alive and caged in South Carolina.

Challenge is to make lions' lives worth living
Adam Robert
Senior Vice President for Born Free USA united with API
Letter to the Editor
The Times and Democrat (Orangeburg, SC)

Obama opposes Bush endangered species proposal

Published 08/15/08

"A Bush administration proposal that would eliminate the input of independent government scientists in some endangered species reviews would be tossed out if Democrat Barack Obama wins the White House, his campaign says. ... [A] proposal by the Interior and Commerce departments ... would change how the 1973 law is implemented, allowing federal agencies to decide for themselves — without seeking the opinions of government wildlife experts — whether dams, highways and other projects have the potential to harm endangered species and habitats."

The protection of endangered species is of great concern to Born Free USA united with API, and we support attitudes that shield them from threats to their survival.

Obama opposes Bush endangered species proposal
Dina Cappiello
Associated Press

Don't trap the "sacred center" of the land

Published 08/11/08

I was concerned to read that the city of Vacaville opted to use body-crushing Conibear traps to address conflicts with beavers. These traps are notoriously indiscriminate and pose a serious hazard to nontarget species, including cats and dogs. In fact, research has shown that for every target animal captured at least two other nontarget animals are caught, maimed, or killed.

Great engineers can co-exist
Monica Engebretson
Senior Program Associate for Born Free USA united with API
Letter to the Editor
The Reporter (Vacaville, CA)

Born Free Gives Obama a Tear

Published 08/07/08

"I think I may have teared up at the end [of Born Free] when they release [the lioness] Elsa. I couldn't have been more than 4 or 5 ..."

Barack Obama: My Pop-Culture Favorites
Benjamin Svetkey
Entertainment Weekly

Another tiger attack

Published 08/06/08

Three tigers attacked a worker at an exotic animal park in southwestern Missouri on Monday — the state's second tiger attack in as many days. Born Free USA united with API has long decried the dangers of keeping exotic animals in captivity.

Missouri sees second tiger attack in as many days
Betsy Taylor
Associated Press

Elephants Pushed to the Limit

Published 07/29/08

Born Free USA provided behind-the-scenes expertise and footage for this incredible piece on ABC News 20/20 which focuses on captive and wild elephants and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Elephants Never Forget
20/20 In Touch
ABC News

Protesters Greet Ringling in Los Angeles

Published 07/17/08

"Hard to tell which will put on the bigger show -- the 138th edition of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, opening at Staples Center tonight, or animal rights groups, including PETA, taking aim at one of their prime targets. Last Chance for Animals is also getting into the act, as is Born Free [USA united with API]..."

The circus -- and the protesters -- come to town tonight
Veronique de Turenne
Los Angeles Times

TV report on Ringling lawsuit

Published 07/09/08

In-depth investigative piece focuses on the Animal Protection Institute’s coalition lawsuit against Ringling Bros. for substandard care of endangered Asian elephants.

Ringling Brothers Responds to a Pending Lawsuit
KLAS-TV Las Vegas

Monkeys are not surrogate children

Published 07/01/08

The July 1, 2008, episode of ABC News Primetime focuses on people who have purchased monkeys as surrogate children. Born Free USA united with API has more than 500 primates at its sanctuary, many formerly kept as pets, and our staff worked closely with Primetime producers to develop this story, including allowing them the use of footage from our investigation into exotic animals kept as “pets.”

Families Adopt Monkeys as Surrogate Children
ABC News Primetime

Spain passes law on rights for great apes

Published 06/30/08

"Great apes should have the right to life and freedom, according to a resolution passed in the Spanish parliament, in what could become landmark legislation to enshrine human rights for chimpanzees, gorillas, orang-utans and bonobos." Born Free USA united with API's UK-based colleague, the Born Free Foundation, has a similar interest in great apes through its core involvement in The Great Apes Survival Project (GRASP), a United Nations partnership that aims to lift the threat of imminent extinction faced by gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans across their ranges in equatorial Africa and south-east Asia.

Spanish parliament approves 'human rights' for apes
Lee Glendinning
The Guardian

Another elephant leaves another zoo

Published 06/27/08

"The lone, and perhaps lonely, elephant at the Dallas Zoo is being sent to a park in Mexico. The zoo on Tuesday announced plans to relocate Jenny, a 32-year-old African elephant, to the drive-through Africam Safari Park, about 80 miles southeast of Mexico City in Puebla state. The park is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. So is the Dallas Zoo." Born Free USA united with API's UK-based colleague, the Born Free Foundation, began as a project to get the one remaining elephant, Pole Pole, out of the London Zoo.

Jenny, the elephant, leaving Dallas Zoo for Mexico
Associated Press
Houston Chronicle

Strengthening laws against exotic "pets"

Published 06/25/08

"The growing interest in adopting animals that belong in the jungle, not in high-rise apartments, is prompting many other states to tighten their laws. About two dozen states, including California, Vermont and New Hampshire, already ban exotic pets — usually defined as any animal that is not a dog, cat, fish, horse or rabbit. Maryland is moving to strengthen its laws, and Florida legislators are drafting laws to stop an invasion of giant snakes." Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute has authored many of those laws and ceaselessly urges the passage of laws restricting private possession of exotic animals.

Popular exotic pets
Ruth David
Forbes

Food crisis solution: Go vegan

Published 06/24/08

We grow enough food for everyone, but livestock are devouring our food supply. Commentator and bioethicist Peter Singer says unless we change, the dinner plate of the future will look far different. Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute has long maintained that going vegetarian or even vegan has the potential to affect positively lives of farm animals, to halt the destruction of the environment, and to improve one's own personal health.

Food crisis solution: Go vegan
Kai Ryssdal & Peter Singer
Marketplace
American Public Media

Suit Against Ringling Gains Ground

Published 06/18/08

Animal welfare groups have long accused the Ringling Brother and Barnum & Bailey Circus of animal cruelty and court records show the circus has played rough in response. It spent millions of dollars on a 10-year espionage campaign which infiltrated and spied on animal organizations and activists. The man in charge was previously the head of Covert Operations for the CIA. The groups hope to have the last word when they haul Ringling Brothers into federal court this October with a lawsuit alleging the circus is cruel to its endangered Asian Elephants. The Animal Protection Institute is one of the plaintiffs in that suit.

To view the video reporting, clink on these links (stories begin after the commercial:

Circus Lawsuit Moves Forward
George Knapp
CBS 8 Las Vegas Now Eyewitness News

Time for a change

Published 06/10/08

The Christmas tragedy that led to the death of Carlos Sousa Jr. and the tigress, Tatiana, is still fresh in people's memories. However, these should not deflect us from addressing the wider issue, namely should there be animals in zoos; I believe it is time for change.

Time to re-create our zoo
Letter to the Editor
Will Travers
CEO, Born Free USA

Aftermath of tiger mauling

Published 06/09/08

San Francisco's embattled zoo director announced his resignation Friday, nearly six months after a tiger mauled a San Jose teenager to death at the zoo. Manuel A. Mollinedo's sudden retirement comes after months of criticism over the San Francisco Zoo's role in the sensational Christmas day mauling that also injured two San Jose brothers and led to dual legal claims against the zoo and the City of San Francisco, which owns the zoo. Born Free USA united with API has decried safety issues even at AZA-accredited zoos.

San Francisco Zoo director resigns
Sandra Gonzales
San Jose Mercury News

Challenging zoos' "wildlife conservation"

Published 05/29/08

Wildlife charity the Born Free Foundation says zoos spend a disproportionately small amount on conservation. It commissioned an independent poll in 2006 to ask the public how much of a zoo's turnover they thought was dedicated to conservation. The survey found most people assumed between a quarter to 40 per cent was dedicated to conservation when, in reality, Born Free says even the better zoos – of which the charity concedes Edinburgh Zoo is one – only commit five or six per cent. Born Free's chief executive Will Travers says he would like to know how much money the zoo puts into its much-publicised sponsorship of the Budongo Conservation Field Station in Uganda.

Are zoos really wild about conservation?
Joanna Vallely
The Scotsman

And another orangutan escapes

Published 05/20/08

Visitors to the L.A. Zoo had to evacuate Saturday after an animal escaped its enclosure. Officials at the zoo said an orangutan named Bruno got out of its cage in the afternoon, but did not leave the area around its enclosure. Bruno is 29 years old, 300 pounds, and is one of six orangutans at the zoo. Born Free USA united with API keeps a log of exhibited animal incidents, which are more common than one might expect.

Orangutan escapes enclosure at L.A. Zoo
KABC-TV Channel 7 Los Angeles

Another exhibited animal escape

Published 05/19/08

A 10-year-old Bornean orangutan escaped from her new exhibit at Busch Gardens for nearly an hour Saturday before she was recaptured. Luna Bella, who weighs about 85 pounds, climbed up the outside edge of a visitor viewing window in the park's new Jungala exhibit and then onto the roof of the exhibit. Born Free USA united with API keeps a log of exhibited animal incidents, which are more common than one might expect.

Orangutan tastes freedom, briefly
Bill Coats and Stephanie Garry
St. Petersburg Times

ESA Protection for Polar Bears

Published 05/14/08

Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced today that the polar bear will be listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The loss of sea ice threatens polar bear habitat, putting the animal at risk of becoming endangered in the foreseeable future. Born Free USA united with API welcomes this necessary step to protecting polar bears, but has reservations that an interpretation of the ESA will, as Secretary Kempthorne says, "ensure the protection of the bear while allowing us to continue to develop our natural resources in the arctic region in an environmentally sound way."

Secretary Kempthorne Announces Endangered Species Act Protection for Polar Bear
Press Release
U.S. Department of the Interior

ESA Protection for Polar Bears

Published 05/14/08

Secretary Kempthorne announced today that the polar bear will be protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as a threatened species due to the threat of decreasing sea ice habitat caused by climate change. Born Free USA united with API welcomes this necessary step to protecting polar bears, but has reservations that an interpretation of the ESA will, as Secretary Kempthorne says, "ensure the protection of the bear while allowing us to continue to develop our natural resources in the arctic region in an environmentally sound way."

Secretary Kempthorne Announces Endangered Species Act Protection for Polar Bear
Press Release
U.S. Department of the Interior

Circus "death defying acts" could include the audience

Published 05/08/08

"After 15 years of denying it, the USDA finally admits Asian elephants can pass m-tuberculosis to humans and vice-versa. ... Now ask yourself if you know anyone with m-tuberculosis. Then ask them whether they have been to the circus lately." Born Free USA united with API has long trumpeted the threats posed to public health and safety by circuses' use of TB-positive elephants in public performances.

Circus Elephants with Tuberculosis are a Real Threat to People
Leslie Griffith
The Huffington Post

Using animals to entertain is cruel

Published 05/05/08

People need to understand that using wild animals such as bears, tigers and primates in entertainment is as inherently dangerous as it is cruel. Those who do not attack, maul and kill people, and serve their purpose without incident, are frequently killed, neglected or sold off to research institutions or roadside zoos when they are no longer useful in making people money.

Using animals to entertain is cruel
Letter to the Editor
Zibby Wilder, Director of Public Relations
Born Free USA united with API
The Herald (Everett, WA)

The movement to restrict fur trapping in Montana

Published 05/01/08

As Footloose Montana plans a voter initiative to ban trapping on public lands after repeated incidents of nontarget animals, including dogs and even a golden eagle, killed in traps, trappers continue to say it's the fault of the dogs' caregivers and to cling to the absurd claim that trapping is a "very efficient and humane method of managing wildlife" in this story from The New York Times. Born Free USA united with API continues to show that the evidence of inefficiency and inhumanity is overwhelming, as documented on our www.bancrueltraps.com website.

Montana Dog Owners Find Wild-Animal Traps Put Pets in Harm’s Way
Jim Robbins
The New York Times

The dream becomes a nightmare

Published 04/28/08

The grizzly bear that wrestled Will Ferrell's character in the recent film Semi-Pro seemed to obediently follow cues — which made its killing of its trainer with a bite to the neck all the more stunning. ... The attack prompted actress Virginia McKenna, founder of the international wildlife charity Born Free, to call for the entertainment industry to stop using wild animals. "The movie industry urgently needs to use its technological and creative imagination to put an end to the use of live wild animals in commercials and movies," McKenna, who starred in the 1966 wildlife film Born Free, said in a printed release. "Hollywood is a dream factory — this time the dream has become a nightmare."

Bear gave off no reasons for concern before trainer's death
Associated Press

Grizzly bear, performer in movies and television, kills his trainer

Published 04/24/08

Paramedics rushed to an animal trainer who had been bitten on the neck by a 700-pound, 7-1/2-foot-tall grizzly bear. Stephan Miller, 39, died at the scene. Miller was killed by the 5-year-old bear during the making of a promotional video for Randy Miller's Predators in Action center. The bear's fate has not been decided. "It's still a wild animal," said a woman who works with wild animals. "Even though it may appear that the bear attacked for no reason, there was a reason. ... They're not cold-blooded killers." Born Free USA united with API has long warned of the dangers of using wild animals in entertainment and has documented dozens of deaths and attacks by wild animals at facilities using wild animals for amusement.

Grizzly bear attacks, kills his trainer
Associated Press
USA Today

Our own Barry Kent MacKay weighs in on cormorants

Published 04/22/08

"Parks Canada has stated that cormorants are native to Middle Island and that they're a Carolinian species. They just don't want to have a vibrant native colonial nesting colony there and have spun a web of nonsense in an attempt to justify killing the birds. It is disappointing that two researchers would join Parks Canada in misrepresenting the facts," writes Barry Kent MacKay, Canadian Senior Program Associate for Born Free USA united with API and a birder of no small reputation. Barry authored the recent Action Alert on protecting Double-crested Cormorants on Middle Island in Point Pelee National Park.

Facts misrepresented by researchers
Barry Kent MacKay
Letter to the Editor
The Windsor Star

Extending federal protection to Canada lynx in New Mexico

Published 04/21/08

A coalition of conservation and animal protection groups (including the then–Animal Protection Institute, now Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute) on Monday sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to force it to extend federal protection to Canada lynx in New Mexico. The federal government lists the elusive, furry cats as threatened in 14 states — but not in New Mexico. Last August, the coaliion petitioned for protection for the cats, asking the agency to make a decision on the species' status in New Mexico. The lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., complains that Fish and Wildlife failed to make a finding on the petition within 90 days as required by the Endangered Species Act. The law gives the agency 90 days to determine whether the petition provides sufficient information for the agency to then determine whether a listing may be warranted.

Conservationists sue for lynx protection in New Mexico
Sue Major Holmes
Associated Press

Trouble with the circus

Published 04/16/08

Essayist Joel Schwartzberg takes his three children to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus performance and discovers — surprise! — protesters outside the venue and an "underwhelming" show inside. His own research leads him to Ringling's past AWA violations and the conclusion that "I'll probably steer myself and my family toward non-animal circuses in the future." Born Free USA united with API has long decried the abuses of circuses that use animals.

The Sadist Show on Earth?
Joel Schwartzberg
NJ Voices
NJ.com

Fighting puppy mills

Published 04/15/08

How much is that doggy in the window? And does he come with a money-back guarantee? Yes, he does, according to California's so-called puppy lemon law, which allows a buyer to return a dog for the purchase price — just like for a pair of shoes at Nordstrom — if the animal gets sick because of an undisclosed illness or condition. If that sounds heartless, the law also allows the consumer to keep the sick puppy and still be compensated for some medical costs. "People are much more aware of the problems with puppy mills," said Barbara Schmitz, an attorney with the group Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute. "That's what got the law passed."

Puppy 'lemon law' gives buyers a choice
David Colker
Los Angeles Times

The moaning of an elephant being abused

Published 04/14/08

"I read with great interest — and greater horror — that one component of TNT's new plan to expand the network's slate of original programming is an unscripted series set aboard the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train that transports the performers and animals from show to show. That sound you're hearing may be the bottom of the barrel scraping — or it could be the moaning of an elephant being abused." "Talking Animals" radio show host Duncan Strauss sounds off on Ringling's latest publicity campaign, echoing Born Free USA united with API's own concerns.

TNT's Ringling Reality Series: Sickest Show On Earth?
Duncan Strauss
The Huffington Post

AWA-violating elephant keeper barred from Los Angeles

Published 04/11/08

A circus-elephant keeper was ordered to leave after the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services learned that, using different names and business aliases in Arizona and Texas, the man had a history of numerous Animal Welfare Act violations. New city rules for exotic animals prohibit an exotic-animal permit for any applicant who has violated the AWA within five years. Finding abuse of elephants in circuses to be rampant, Born Free USA united with API is working hard to stop their use. Elephants belong in the wild.

Circus-elephant keeper ordered out of L.A.
Dana Bartholomew
Los Angeles Daily News

The perfect time to consider the future of the zoo

Published 04/10/08

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is facing serious challenges, to be sure: possible loss of industry accreditation and millions of dollars of needed repairs. Perhaps this is the perfect time for everyone involved to consider the very future of the zoo. I understand the allure of seeing magnificent wild animals up close, especially threatened or endangered species. But I also understand the costs — both financial and ethical.

Time for a decision on future of our zoo
Letter to the Editor
Adam Roberts
Senior Vice President, Born Free USA

The Baltimore Sun

Elephants and Ethics at the Circus

Published 04/07/08

While the article "On the Other Tightrope" framed the debate about circuses' treatment of animals in general terms and mentioned a pending federal lawsuit, it failed to point out what the evidence against Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is. Ringling Bros. employees have repeatedly been documented hitting elephants with bull hooks. Ringling Bros. elephants are kept chained all the time except when performing; in one documented case, elephants were chained for 77 consecutive hours. This is just the tip of the iceberg of information presented in the lawsuit. Abusing elephants with bull hooks and chains, which is standard industry practice, is simply unacceptable.

Elephants and Ethics at the Circus
Letter to the Editor
Nicole G. Paquette, Esq.
Senior Vice President, Born Free USA

The Washington Post

Saving the desert tortoise from predatory ravens

Published 04/03/08

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program beginning next Spring will kill ravens caught preying on desert tortoises threatened with extinction. USFWS considered comments by animal advocacy groups to use only non-lethal methods, but that would take too long to have an effect, said a USFWS biologist, adding that the decline of the desert tortoise population needed to be stopped as soon as possible. Non-lethal in the plan including educating the public to place trash in covered garbage bins and not to over-irrigate lawns so that pools of water can be used by ravens for drinking. Monica Engebretson, senior program associate with Born Free USA united with API, said she hoped the program would have included methods to prevent raven eggs from hatching and efforts to pass ordinances that would fine residents for not properly taking care of their garbage or lawns so that the effort is taken seriously.

Plan calls for killing ravens to save desert tortoise
Jennifer Bowles
The Press-Enterprise

Our lawsuit against trapping wins in Minnesota

Published 04/02/08

Trapping and snaring in the "core" habitat of the Canada lynx in Minnesota violated the Endangered Species Act, a federal judge said in a ruling published Monday. U.S. District Judge Michael Davis ordered the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to "promptly take all action necessary to [ensure] no further taking of threatened Canada lynx." Davis said the DNR must apply by the end of April for a special permit regulating incidental takings of Canada lynx. The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed in 2006 by the Animal Protection Institute (now called Born Free USA) and the Center for Biological Diversity. According to the plaintiffs, trappers injured or killed at least 13 Canada lynx from 2002 to 2005.

DNR is told to put a stop to trapping Canada lynx
Dan Browning
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Troubled zoo could lose animals on loan from accredited zoos

Published 04/01/08

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore could lose its national accreditation unless the aging facility fixes a litany of expensive problems stemming from years of financial struggles. Born Free USA united with API charts incidents at AZA-accredited facilities involving animal escapes and other dangerous occurrences.

Zoo accreditation in jeopardy
Doug Donovan
Baltimore Sun

Owner Closes Wildlife "Sanctuary"

Published 03/31/08

After years of receiving citations and fines from state and federal wildlife officials, the owner of the Horseshoe Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, for big cats, bears, and other exotic animals has decided to close it. He expected the USDA to revoke his exhibitor's license in the next several days but chose to close the sanctuary's gates early. Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute aims to reduce the suffering of captive exotic animals. See our online report, "A Life Sentence."

Polk Wildlife Sanctuary Closes
Ray Reyes
The Tampa Tribune

Three Ringling zebras escape. Again.

Published 03/27/08

The zebras made a run for it. Spotting a door ajar, three striped members of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus broke out yesterday from their temporary home in Baltimore's 1st Mariner Arena.

Three circus zebras escape
Nick Madigan
Baltimore Sun

Virginia "Zoo" closing after fraud

Published 03/26/08

A chiropractor who is also the owner and operator of Snowflake Farms, a zoo that features a wide array of animals including leopards, giraffes, zebras, monkeys and wildebeests, has been given 60 days to figure out what to do with his exotic animals before he goes to federal prison.

Scott County Chiropractor Sentenced for Fraud, Must Get Rid of Zoo Animals
Mac McLean
Bristol Herald Courier

Setting it straight for the Alaska Congressman

Published 03/24/08

The Bear Protection Act is pro-hunting, pro-bear, anti-poaching legislation. Alaska already prohibits commercialization of bear galls; this bill would support the state's efforts to manage its bear population successfully. The bill is supported by the humane and conservation community, numerous state game departments, law enforcement investigators and hunting organizations. Should it also be supported by Alaska's embattled congressman?

Young should realize that Bear Protection Act is pro-hunting
Adam M. Roberts, Senior Vice President, Born Free USA
Letters to the editor
Anchorage Daily News

Good and bad at the San Francisco Zoo

Published 03/21/08

The San Francisco Zoo is getting both praise and criticism for its handling of a Christmas Day tiger escape that left one person dead and two injured.

Zoo gets mixed grades on tiger escape
United Press International

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