Born Free USA In The News
The trade in illegal elephant ivory from Africa to Asia relies on as few as 200 shipping containers in a year, offering a weak point to target smugglers, according to Out of Africa: a report released last week by Born Free USA and C4ADS. “What we want to do is get a commitment from freight companies that they will not allow themselves to be used for this nefarious wildlife crime,” explains Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA.
On Wednesday, Born Free USA and C4ADS released a shocking report, “Out of Africa: Mapping the Global Trade in Illicit Elephant Ivory,” which asserts that efforts to stop the illegal killing of African elephants should focus on ivory transshipment ports and personnel. Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, explains that this “transit or supply chain is the single greatest point of vulnerability in the illicit ivory system.” Read Roberts’ informative interview about ivory trafficking syndicates, the African ports that ship out most of the ivory, and why law enforcement should target that link in the trade chain.
Link: National Geographic
An insatiable Chinese demand for ivory and the increasing involvement of organized crime syndicates in smuggling are causing the mass killing of Africa’s elephants, and could trigger a stampede to extinction if unchecked, according to a groundbreaking report released today by Born Free USA and C4ADS. Out of Africa: Mapping the Global Trade in Illicit Elephant Ivory asserts that “poaching and trafficking in ivory is at the highest level in 25 years.” According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “The more we can attack the ivory trade before the ivory gets to market, the more we can deter these poachers and profiteers from making money off dead elephants."
Link: NBC News
A two-month-old rhesus macaque named Bubbles—who has quickly gained fame as an internet sensation—is being raised by a Texas woman who treats the monkey as if she were a human child. “Keeping animals in unnatural conditions means they are put at physical and mental risk,” said Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA. “That mentality…is a very human-centered view of what the animal wants and needs and can withstand…as opposed to one that puts the animal's needs first.”
Listen to a brand new radio interview with Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, in which he discusses the dire need to protect lions from extinction—and what Born Free USA is doing to help.
Link: BYU Radio
Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, continues his monthly column for Wildlife Extra with his views on marine mammals being kept in captivity—and the continuing controversy surrounding SeaWorld.
Link: Wildlife Extra
New Jersey has become the first state to ban the sale or import of ivory and rhinoceros horns in a bid to stem the state’s role as a major hub in the illegal trade of such products. “New Jersey has emerged as a powerful leader on these issues,” said Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA. “This new law is of particular importance because the port of Newark is a hub for illegal wildlife trade. The elephant poaching epidemic across Africa has reached crisis levels and rhino poaching is escalating exponentially, so we have no time to waste in enacting legislation.”
Read the latest blog installment from Born Free USA CEO, Adam M. Roberts, on One Green Planet. This month, Roberts discusses the hypocritical practice of trapping on national wildlife refuges: lands set aside for the express purpose of conservation. Explains Roberts, “What I don’t know, and what I simply can’t accept, is that there can be a place in America called a ‘wildlife refuge’ that allows the trapping of wild animals. Synonyms for refuge: sanctuary, shelter, asylum, haven.”
Link: One Green Planet
Today, August 4, the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit will hold five signature events, one of them being “Combating Wildlife Trafficking”—“an opportunity for African leaders to join together and share their ideas on how to best counter the poaching threat,” according to the White House website. Born Free USA's CEO, Adam M. Roberts, would like to see a more hands-on approach that includes having the range states close their borders to ivory imports and infuse anti-poaching and wildlife law enforcement efforts on the ground.
A recent campaign by Born Free USA asked fur owners to donate their old garments to help rehabilitate injured or orphaned wildlife. “The furs are being used to replicate the warmth, comfort, and stimulation that young orphaned animals would have otherwise experienced from their mothers, siblings, and their natural environment,” says Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA. The organization sent 100-plus furs to wildlife rehabilitation centers across the country.
Learning how to respect and respond to wildlife in your backyard—and while camping, picnicking, and hiking—can mean the difference between co-existing peacefully and being in serious danger. “Fed wildlife is dead wildlife,” explains Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA. “Once a wild animal becomes accustomed to hand-outs by people, they eventually become regarded as ‘nuisance animals’ which opens the door to lethal control.”
Link: Living Green Magazine
Prominent New Zealand businessmen and philanthropists have teamed up with international supermodel and Patron to Born Free Foundation, Rachel Hunter, and the Executive Director of SPCA Auckland, to formally urge the New Zealand government to consider a complete ban on all ivory trading and to crush the Crown’s confiscated ivory stockpile.
Born Free USA’s CEO, Adam M. Roberts, continues his monthly column for Wildlife Extra. In this edition, he speaks out against the illegal trade in tiger parts: “More tigers are kept in private hands in America than remain in all of their historic wild range. This is a species that has suffered a 96 per cent decline in the past century. It is a pitiful indictment of human shortsightedness that the species’ plight has become so critical.”
Link: Wildlife Extra
World Cup fever has crossed over into the animal kingdom! Watch the latest video released by Born Free USA and the Born Free Foundation, in which nine rescued cheetah cubs ‘play soccer’ at Ensessakotteh: Born Free’s Wildlife Rescue, Conservation, and Education Centre in Ethiopia. "It is amazing to be able to give these cubs a safe, active environment,” explains Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and acting CEO of the Born Free Foundation. "All of the cheetahs currently being cared for by our rescue center in Ethiopia were rescued from the illegal wildlife trade.”
Commenting on Charla Nash's appeal to Congress, Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and Wildlife Extra columnist, said: “Charla’s story highlights a truth that cannot be ignored; these wild animals belong in the wild, not in someone’s home. This is an animal welfare and a public safety issue, where animals and people are being severely injured and killed. Charla Nash represents tragedy--but also resilience..."
Link: Wildlife Extra News
Charla Nash, who underwent one of the world's first face transplants in 2011, spoke to reporters with Connecticut Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy by her side, along with Born Free USA and the Humane Society of the United States. She then met with congressional staffers, calling for passage of Captive Primate Safety Act. The measure was actually passed by the House in 2009, but failed to gain support in the Senate. "Had this law been in effect, this would never have happened, and I don't want something like this to ever happen to anyone else ever again," Nash, 60, told staffers in the meeting at the Capitol.
Link: The News Times
With a heightened level of continental assault on elephants, prices for ivory skyrocketing, and wildlife law enforcement officers struggling to keep pace with the greedy perpetrators of wildlife crime, this is no time to tinker around the edges and equivocate about dealing definitively with the bloody ivory trade.
Link: One Green Planet
The ‘Cheetah World Cup’ has been a real success. The rescued cheetahs at Born Free’s Ensessakoteh Wildlife Center loved the game and it was a great opportunity for exercise. All of the cheetahs were rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. “Young cubs are stolen from the wild by criminals, and then pass through the hands of dealers, often on the way to the Middle East to become exotic pets on a chain,” says Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and the acting CEO of the Born Free Foundation. “These rescued cheetahs are the lucky ones.”
The issue of bringing an elephant to the Bourbonnais Friendship Festival is a lot bigger than one elephant in one town. "More and more people are seeing that these temporary shows, performances, and petting zoos are a thing of the past that shouldn't include elephants or other exotic animals," said Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA. "People are in an uproar about it."
Link: The Daily Journal
"Besides terrorist groups, corrupt military units and militias operating across Africa sell [ivory] to cartels that, in turn, sell mostly to Asian markets," Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA told WhoWhatWhy. Nor is it a new phenomenon, he said: The Janjaweed militias that were active in Sudan’s Darfur conflict have smuggled ivory across Central Africa for decades.
Born Free’s mission of “compassionate conservation” has inspired the participation of millions of people worldwide from all walks of life, including celebrity film stars to local businessmen. Littlegate Publishing recently caught up with Adam M. Roberts, the recently appointed and highly engaging CEO of Born Free USA and acting CEO of the Born Free Foundation.
Link: Littlegate Publishing
Citizens from all 180 nations represented at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) will monitor the upcoming deliberations of the CITES Standing Committee in Geneva (July 7 - 11, 2014), where decision-makers and politicians will meet to debate the future of some of the planet’s most threatened species. According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and acting CEO of Born Free Foundation, “CITES delegates have an amazing opportunity in Geneva to address the issues of endangered species conservation – the startling statistics of the wildlife trade will surely make anyone’s blood run cold.”
Link: Talkin’ Pets
Ivory’s Curse, a recent report by C4ADS that was commissioned by Born Free USA, suggests that the African population can peacefully coexist with wild animals—but only if two things happen. First, African governments must get serious about tackling their poaching problem. Second, the ecotourism industry, which has historically benefited only a few, must be transformed so that its profits reach a larger segment of the population, winning allies for wildlife from among Africa’s villagers (who often clash with the animals).
Link: YES! Magazine
The New Jersey legislature passed a bill that seeks to eliminate trade in ivory and rhinoceros horn. Illegal trafficking of these wildlife products is directly responsible for shocking declines in wild populations in recent years, and this bill is a crucial step toward reducing the target market. “As the second largest ivory market in the world, the United States bears a significant responsibility to act now,” says Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA. “New Jersey is of particular importance because the port of Newark is a hub for illegal wildlife trade.” The New York State legislature has also just passed a bill banning the sale of ivory and rhino horn.
Link: Pet News and Views
Summer is prime season for spotting wildlife. However, Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, advises, “Never feed wild animals. Once a wild animal becomes accustomed to hand-outs by people, they will feel very comfortable making it a habit to get close, and a deadly cycle begins. They will eventually be regarded as ‘nuisance animals,’ which opens the door to lethal control and other issues.”
Born Free USA commissioned C4ADS to write a report, "Ivory's Curse: The Militarization and Professionalization of Poaching in Africa," which suggests that virtually all of Africa's violent conflicts are being fueled by the black market in ivory. It's a vicious cycle: Elephants are killed to bankroll militias; well-funded militias destabilize nations; destabilized nations lose control of their territory and are unable to protect elephants. The killings accelerate until too few animals are left to hunt. Then, the poachers move on to fresh herds in new areas.
Link: Chicago Tribune
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has on his desk a bill to ban sale and purchase of illegal ivory in New Jersey. The legislation, sponsored by Senator Raymond Lesniak, cleared the Assembly Monday. This bill would prohibit the purchase, sale, and possession with intent to sell any illicit ivory product or rhinoceros horns. Exemption would be allowed for the transfer to legal beneficiaries of legitimately-obtained ivory. Born Free USA commended the action of the New Jersey legislature, warning that certain elephant populations could be extinct within a decade.
Link: Asbury Park Press
Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, begins his brand new monthly column for Wildlife Extra by examining the intricacies of the devastating rhino horn trade. He writes, “Rhino poaching for rhino horn is driving the species to extinction. This is an international crisis with significant consequences, and Born Free USA is urging every government globally to take action.”
Link: Wildlife Extra
Get a sneak peek into what happens after you donate your fur items to our Fur for the Animals drive! Claire LaFrance of Born Free USA “delines” donated furs in preparation for their use at wildlife sanctuaries across the country. The facilities will use them to provide familiar comfort, warmth, and bedding to injured, young, and sick wildlife in their care. Click here to learn how you can help!
Link: The Dodo
Read Born Free USA CEO Adam M. Roberts’ blog about the plight of cheetahs—and why we must crack down on the cheetah trade.
Link: One Green Planet
Two suspected poachers have been arrested for the May 23 murder of Dexter Chilunda, the head of law enforcement for Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia. “Ranger Chilunda's murder exemplifies the sad story of wildlife law enforcement officers literally laying their lives on the line across Africa to protect endangered animals,” said Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA. “The effects are broad and lasting, as families must survive the loss of the sole breadwinner.”
“Ivory’s Curse: The Militarization and Professionalization of Poaching in Africa,” a report recently released by Born Free USA and C4ADS, asserts that Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Sudan, Gabon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have “corrupt governments” that support elephant poaching. Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, states, “It’s not just enough to say [elephant poaching is caused by] criminal syndicates, nefarious profiteers. We wanted to know who is really behind it so that we can try and get governments around the world to do more to crack down.”
Link: The Citizen
On May 14, 2014, Belton Paul Mouras, Sr. passed away in his home at the age of ninety. In 1968, Mr. Mouras founded Animal Protection Institute, which became Born Free USA in 2007. We respectfully acknowledge a man who gave so much to create the animal protection organizations that we have today.
Link: The Sacramento Bee
Like many terrorist organizations in Africa, Boko Haram—who just abducted 200 girls in Nigeria—is funded by sales of illegal ivory. According to a recent report from Born Free USA and data analyst C4ADS, ivory has become the "bush currency" militants, terrorists, and rebels use to buy weapons and fund operations. Government corruption is thought to play its part, too.
Link: New Scientist
Four elephants are killed in Africa every hour for ivory. Highly organized transnational crime syndicates and militias run the poaching operations and reap the lion’s share of the profits, fueling terrorism and war. Born Free USA commissioned C4ADS to write Ivory’s Curse, a detailed report that reveals the complexities of this web of slaughter, conflict, and corruption.
Link: New Scientist
On Illinois Voices for Animals Day (May 7), a coalition of four animal advocacy organizations—including Born Free USA—mobilized approximately 100 people to speak with legislators in opposition to H.B. 4226, which would allow bobcat hunting in Illinois for the first time in more than 40 years. Kate Dylewsky, Program Associate at Born Free USA, explained that this event “presents an opportunity for constituents to connect with their legislators on issues that really matter to them.”
Battle lines are being drawn after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s announcement last month to suspend import of elephant trophies from Tanzania and Zimbabwe for the remainder of 2014. Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, says the new rules represent “common sense limits. Trophy hunting that threatens endangered wildlife is not real conservation.” But, he adds, the government is giving a contradictory message in terms of the overall ivory ban and its public stance against elephant poaching. “A poacher is not allowed to kill an elephant and shop the ivory overseas. But an American hunter is allowed to engage in the same slaughter and movement of ivory? The goal should be no more killing. Full stop.”
Link: National Geographic
In a vital partnership between Land Rover and Born Free, we use Land Rover’s “Defender” vehicle to travel across Africa to save lions and other imperiled species. Born Free has developed a new, effective version of the traditional boma, which protects livestock so that the Masai people no longer hunt lions who threaten these animals. As Will Travers, Founder of Born Free USA explained, “We are dramatically reducing the number of livestock killed and at the same time preserving the lion population in the region.”
Link: The Sun
Claire LaFrance, Program Associate at Born Free USA, thanks The Boston Globe for highlighting the plight of two Asian elephants at the Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford. LaFrance explains the benefits of relocating these elephants to a sanctuary, which could better meet their physical, psychological, and social needs.
Link: The Boston Globe
Born Free USA’s CEO, Adam M. Roberts, discusses the war on ivory—and how the newly released report, “Ivory’s Curse: The Militarization and Professionalization of Poaching in Africa,” reveals complex networks behind the ivory trade. Roberts declares, “We will call upon global decision-makers to uniformly prohibit the trade in ivory to once again dry up the marketplace. We will encourage targeted action in each of the poaching and trade hotspots we have identified to make sure the right approach is applied in the right place. And we will continue to identify the nefarious people working to doom elephants for their own greed.”
Link: One Green Planet
Born Free USA’s commissioned report, “Ivory’s Curse: The Militarization and Professionalization of Poaching in Africa,” finds that corrupt government officials are behind intensive, organized, illegal hunting in Tanzania’s protected areas. According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “the elephant poaching crisis has reached historic levels and shockingly, some elephant populations face extinction in my lifetime.”
Link: IPP Media
A new report, commissioned by Born Free USA, says organized crime, government corruption, and militias are all linked to elephant poaching and the illegal ivory trade. Regarding poaching, Adam M. Roberts, Born Free USA’s CEO, explains, “It’s not just enough to say it’s criminal syndicates, nefarious profiteers. We wanted to know who is really behind it so that we can try and get governments around the world to do more to crack down.”
Link: Voice of America
Born Free USA commissioned a report from C4ADS to better understand the role organized crime and corrupt government officials play in ivory trafficking across Africa. Born Free USA’s CEO, Adam M. Roberts, explains, "Our findings shine a bright light on Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, Sudan, and Kenya, where poachers move across borders with near impunity, slaughter elephants with complete disregard, and use the ivory to fund violent operations across the continent.”
Link: Yahoo! News
Experts warn that rhinos are on the path to extinction--perhaps even by the year 2020. Last week, Will Travers, Founder of Born Free USA, attended a summit on wildlife crime in South Africa. Travers states, “There are now just 20,000 white rhino and 5,000 black rhino left in the wild. If poaching carries on at the rate it is now for six more years it will devastate the numbers.”
Vassar College profiles the career of one of its successful graduates: Born Free USA’s CEO, Adam M. Roberts (class of 1990). This informative piece details Roberts’ professional background, how he became interested in animal advocacy, and his vision for the future of Born Free USA. “We’re looking to improve and enhance animal rights laws at the state and federal level here in the U.S. as well as do a lot more in the area of international animal rights policy,” Roberts says.
Link: Vassar College
Parade discusses 10 types of animals—from elephants, to polar bears, to bald eagles—who play important roles in the survival of our planet. Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, contributes his expertise throughout, stressing that “each animal has an intrinsic value.” Be sure to click the pink “Launch Gallery” button at the end of the article to see the list of animals—with Roberts’ commentary!
Hedgehogs are gaining popularity as household pets—but Born Free USA warns of the potential risks of hedgehog ownership. Hedgehogs can bite humans, and the animals are known to carry a rare strain of salmonella.
Link: Boston Globe
Born Free USA is featured in the newest issue of Kiwi, in an article titled "Caring for consumers: A look at the watchdog groups working to keep you informed." Adam M. Roberts, Born Free USA's CEO, explains our organizational goals, and the article briefly outlines our campaigns.
It has come to light that SeaWorld administered diazepam, a psychoactive drug, to a nursing orca—which is a clear violation of veterinary guidelines. Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, echoed the veterinary spokesman’s concerns: “Long-term high dosage can cause amnesia, heightened anxiety, aggression, and unpredictability, as well as probable birth and neonatal defects when administered to pregnant or nursing females.”
Link: The Dodo
The Charleston Gazette features an op-ed written by Born Free USA’s Program Associate, Kate Dylewsky. Dylewsky shares the good news that West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has signed the Dangerous Wild Animals Act (HB. 4393) into law, banning future private possession of all “wild and exotic animals” in the state.
Link: The Charleston Gazette