Born Free USA In The News
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
HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell speaks to Will Travers, Founder of Born Free USA, about the controversy surrounding Copenhagen Zoo’s recent killing of a healthy giraffe and four healthy lions. Travers states, "I do think that there are some really hard questions that need to be asked, not only of the Copenhagen Zoo, but of zoos in general... Are they just public display facilities that show animals that they then get rid of when they have no use for them?"
Congressional Quarterly (CQ) features Born Free USA's CEO, Adam Roberts, in its most recent publication. The article details Born Free USA's history, our focus on policy change to protect wildlife, and Roberts' expert background in the field of animal advocacy. Be sure to give this exciting article a read to learn more about our work to save animals!
Link: Congressional Quarterly
Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, speaks out against Copenhagen Zoo’s decision to euthanize four healthy lions, just weeks after the zoo killed a healthy two-year-old giraffe. Roberts calls the zoo’s program “irresponsible, unsound, and unethical.”
On the heels of the controversial 2013 documentary, Blackfish—and the subsequent public criticism of SeaWorld—Natural Pet World magazine explores the harsh reality of animal captivity. The article features Born Free USA CEO, Adam Roberts, who urges, “The way to learn about wild animals is to see them in the wild... This is infinitely more educational than seeing animals clinging to life in unnatural settings that are dangerous for both animals and people.”
Link: Natural Pet World
The April 2014 issue of National Geographic Magazine carefully explores the risks of exotic pet ownership. Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, contributes his expertise to this wonderfully detailed piece.
Born Free founder and trustee Virginia McKenna has urged Anglican and Catholic leaders: “Anyone who is in a position of influence, whether it’s the Church, politicians or leaders of society, you have to persuade all those people that seem to crave these little bits of carved teeth, that what they crave is a piece of death.”
Link: Amara Elephant Blog
A recent article proposes that we can protect elephants by farming them—but Will Travers, President of the Born Free Foundation, carefully debunks the author’s claims, point by point.
Link: The Guardian
Jon Patch, host of the Talkin’ Pets radio and internet show, discusses Born Free USA’s involvement in World Wildlife Day (March 3). As Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, explains, “The global wildlife trade is among the most profitable illicit enterprises along with drug and gun running… It is a wildly destructive and cruel enterprise that must be controlled.”
Link: Talkin’ Pets
Listen to the Animals Today Radio interview with Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, in which he criticizes the recent slaughter of a healthy, young Copenhagen Zoo giraffe: a shocking story that sparked international outrage.
Link: Animals Today Radio
Two primates—a Japanese macaque and a vervet monkey—have been rescued from “deplorable” conditions in a Carlisle, Pennsylvania home and relocated to the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Dilley, Texas. “We are grateful to help these two primates,” said Born Free USA CEO Adam Roberts. “They are the lucky ones.”
Link: Penn Live
France has just followed the lead of Gabon, the Philippines, the U.S., and China by crushing 3.5 tons of its stockpiled ivory. Will Travers of Born Free commented, “By destroying this ivory, France is sending two key messages to the global community: that the illegal ivory trade is completely unacceptable and that ivory should never be allowed to enter the marketplace, where it fuels demand and contributes to the death of both elephants and the wildlife rangers trying to protect them.”
Douglas, an orphaned hippopotamus rescued in Zambia by Born Free Foundation, is now being nursed back to health by the staff at Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust—and by Coco and Molly, two Jack Russell terriers. Douglas’ canine friends are keeping him company during his rehabilitation.
This month, representatives from 50 countries—including Prince William, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and Chinese media icons like actor Jackie Chan and basketball star Yao Ming—will attend a summit to pressure China to end their monumental role in the ivory trade. Born Free’s Will Travers states, “China is the biggest market because, in 2008, the international community decided it was acceptable to sell some stockpiled ivory to China and Japan to satisfy demand… What it did was it stimulated demand.”
Link: Voice of Russia
Senator Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha, Nebraska has proposed a bill that would make it illegal to own or sell shark fins in Nebraska. Despite living in a landlocked state, Nordquist understands the importance of taking a stand: “It’s obvious there aren’t a lot of shark fins in Nebraska…but it would send a statement that Nebraska cares about our world’s ecological balance.”
Link: KLKN TV
In the latest installment of his Huffington Post blog, Will Travers, CEO of Born Free, shares an important message from Tim Ajax, Director of the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary. Ajax tells the story of Brodi—a young spider monkey who was recently killed after biting a human—to illustrate the point that ownership of wild animals is dangerous, unnatural, and cruel.
Link: Huffington Post
Read Born Free CEO Will Travers’ latest piece for Huffington Post, in which he addresses the controversial story of Corey Knowlton: the Dallas-based hunter who recently won an auction to kill an endangered black rhinoceros in Namibia.
Link: Huffington Post
A zoo near Buenos Aires, Argentina invites visitors to touch, ride, and walk among wild animals such as bears, lions, and tigers: a dangerous practice that also begs questions of animal mistreatment. Born Free USA CEO, Will Travers, explains the risks of close interaction with wild animals.
Link: Yahoo! Travel
National Bird Day, the annual avian celebration, is a day to recognize the plight of captive and wild birds. Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA, states, “While some may argue that breeding and the pet industry increase the odds of survival, a literal bird in a cage does not make up for one absent from the wild.”
Link: The Oregonian
National Bird Day, held this Sunday, January 5, is a day to reaffirm our commitment to birds—and to focus on bird species that are in peril. Check out this fascinating list of 14 highly endangered birds to keep in mind on National Bird Day (and all year round)!
Link: Mother Nature Network
Born Free USA’s Kate Dylewsky praises Tony Schinella, Editor of New Hampshire’s Concord Patch publication, for publicizing the dangers that traps pose to non-targeted animals. New Hampshire Representative Steve Vaillancourt plans to introduce a bill that will ban the cruelest forms of trapping.
Link: Concord Patch
In his latest Huffington Post blog, Will Travers, CEO of Born Free, discusses the threats facing birds in captivity and in the wild. January 5, National Bird Day, is a day to reaffirm our commitment to birds everywhere and to acknowledge that the fight for their freedom and survival is not over.
Link: Huffington Post
Fur trapping rages on in Pennsylvania, which sadly boasts the highest density of trappers on the Eastern Seaboard. Despite those who defend the ‘tradition’ of trapping, Born Free USA argues that oversight is weak, laws are often ignored, and that non-targeted animals may be killed.
Link: Seattle Pi
“Talkin’ Pets,” with International Talk Show Host, Jon Patch, shares the exciting news that legendary rock band, REO Speedwagon, helped to raise funds for the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary by giving concert-going donors a chance to win a guitar autographed by the band. Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA, said of last weekend’s San Antonio concert, “The band has embraced our mission to Keep Wildlife in the Wild, and we are grateful they are on board.” For more animal-related stories, follow Talkin’ Pets on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/talkinpetsradio) and like them on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/talkinpetsradiofans).
Link: Talkin' Pets
Virginia McKenna, star of the iconic film, Born Free, and her son, Will Travers, Born Free CEO, sit down for an informative interview with London Evening Standard about the ongoing plight of elephants in the bloody ivory trade.
Link: London Evening Standard
Born Free USA’s Executive Vice President, Adam Roberts, recounts his experience at the historic November 14 ivory crush near Denver, Colorado--and meticulously explains the significance of the event. The crush was not only meant to send a message about destroying the value of ivory, but about crushing elephant poaching, wildlife trafficking, and other practices that harm wild animals.
Link: Advocacy for Animals
Born Free USA and the Humane Society of the United States report that more than half of the wildlife refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System allow trapping on their grounds. Legislation must be passed to ban these traps. Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA, explains, “It is inexcusable to subject any animal to such a fate on lands intended for their preservation.”
“Blackfish,” the acclaimed 2013 documentary that exposes abuse and exploitation in the captive marine mammal industry, has educated audiences about the dangers of supporting SeaWorld—and now, three popular musical acts have cancelled upcoming shows at the theme park. Will Travers, CEO of Born Free, believes that this film will “change public attitudes” toward orcas, just as the 1966 film "Born Free" did for lions.
Link: The Guardian
In the Business Day section of The New York Times, Will Travers, CEO of Born Free USA and the Born Free Foundation, recounts his most memorable travel experiences--including the careful transport of Rocky, a rescued captive dolphin.
Link: The New York Times
As nine baboons continue to settle in at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary after being retired from a research lab—what Born Free USA's Executive Vice President, Adam Roberts, calls "a happy ending for these lucky nine"—the discussion turns to the utilization of primates for research purposes. The U.S. remains the world's biggest user of primates in biomedical research, despite developments in alternative research tools that render primate-based research "largely unnecessary."
Link: The Star
In an interview with the Associated Press, Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA, explains how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's November 14 ivory crush is intended to deter elephant poaching. Born Free estimates that more than 30,000 elephants were slaughtered just last year: a considerable portion of the entire African elephant population.
On November 14, wildlife conservationists gathered near Denver for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's historic crush of 5.4 tons of elephant ivory. This event raised awareness of the illicit ivory trade, but advocates are still tasked with the complex, expensive challenge to combat dangerous poachers. Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA, asserts that night vision gear will be one critical tool for African park rangers to catch elephant poachers in the act.
Link: Denver Post
In an interview with CBS's Denver affiliate, Born Free USA's Executive Vice President, Adam Roberts, discusses the various forms of elephant ivory to be destroyed at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's November 14 ivory crush. Born Free estimates that 32,000 elephants were killed by poachers in 2012 alone.
Link: CBS Denver
Born Free USA's Executive Vice President, Adam Roberts, explains to Parade Magazine Online 5 reasons why exotic animals make bad pets.
With a historic crush of 5.4 tons of seized elephant ivory coming up next week, Will Travers, CEO of Born Free USA, reflects on Born Free's efforts to end the ivory trade, the harrowing plight of elephants, the U.S. government's involvement—and what still needs to be done.
Link: Huffington Post
Listen to the latest radio interview with Born Free USA's Executive Vice President, Adam Roberts, on Rich Britton's animal-focused radio show, Passionate About Pets. Roberts explains Born Free USA's work, including the most recent baboon rescue at our Primate Sanctuary, fighting the ivory trade, and combating trapping on wildlife refuges.
Link: Passionate About Pets
The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary is holding a “Baby Blankets for Primates” drive! Donated blankets will provide warmth, enrichment, and security for our residents, many of whom suffered brutal circumstances before arriving at the Sanctuary.
With a sharp increase in incidents involving escaped "pet" snakes harming communities and damaging ecosystems, it's clear why Will Travers, CEO of Born Free USA, opposes the keeping of snakes as pets.
Link: Huffington Post
Keep a primate warm this winter by donating a blanket to the "Baby Blankets for Primates" drive at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary! Tim Ajax, Director of the Sanctuary, says that "blankets can provide comfort to residents who have once been involved and suffered in the exotic pet trade."
Link: One Green Planet
Three elephants from the Toronto Zoo have arrived safely at the Performing Animal Welfare Society's wildlife sanctuary in California, following a carefully monitored three-day trek. CTV News interviews Barry MacKay, Born Free USA's Senior Program Associate and Canadian Representative, about the importance of this move.
Link: CTV News
Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary's Alexandra Bowman speaks at the Pumpkins for Primates event in New Braunfels, Texas, where children learn about the hardships facing primates and decorate pumpkins (with non-toxic paint) to give to the primates at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary. The event was presented by the local chapter of Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots organization.
Link: Herald Zeitung
At the International March for Elephants, Born Free USA CEO Will Travers gives an impassioned speech about the cruel realities of the ivory trade. (You can also read a transcript of the speech here.)