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Born Free USA In The News

Man Kills Parrot for Being "Annoying"

Published 09/10/09

Irritated at his family's 20-year-old African grey parrot for disturbing him while watching a NASCAR race on television, a man pulled out a BB gun and shot the bird three times, killing him.

Born Free USA's Senior Program Associate, Monica Engebretson, contributes to this story.

Man Shoots and Kills Pet Parrot For Being 'Annoying'
Helena Sung
Paw Nation

Please say “no” to the circus when it comes to Seattle

Published 09/09/09

Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey ("Ringling Brothers") touts itself as the largest animal circus in the world. Its menagerie includes: elephants, horses, tigers, and a variety of other animals. "The Greatest Show on Earth", as it bills itself, is also home to immeasurable pain and suffering.

Discussed are Born Free USA's lawsuit against Ringling and reasons not to attend the circus.

The circus comes to town - and the misery continues
Jean-Pierre Ruiz, Seattle Pet Laws Examiner
examiner.com

Heads up from (and shout out to) Born Free USA

Published 09/08/09

An expedition team in Papua New Guinea for the BBC programme ‘Lost Land of the Volcano’ has filmed two Buff-faced Pygmy Parrots for the first time. The parrots stand less than 9cm tall and weigh 11.5g (0.41oz). To quote the report on the BBC website (which has some nice video), “The tiny bird, which is not much bigger than an adult person’s thumb, is smaller than some of the insects with which it shares the forest”. Cute. (Thanks to Monica Engebretson of Born Free USA for the heads-up.)

World’s smallest parrot filmed
Charlie
blog on 10,000 Birds website

fffashion competition winners

Published 09/02/09

Born Free USA have announced the results of their competition for Fur-Free Fashion. I was lucky enough to be one of the panel of celebrity judges, and we all unanimously picked the design team (Zsorzsa Kovacs and Jessica Richard), who created the most stunning outfits. So the animals won big time! ...

Fur-Free
Sophie Uliano
blog on her Gorgeously Green website

Born Free USA map is source for TV news story

Published 09/01/09

The video of this news story about a loose alligator in SW Washington uses a map of state laws and notes sourced from Born Free USA.

Alligator on the loose in Clark County
Bob Heye KATU News and KATU.com Staff
KATU TV, ABC News, Portland, OR

API's MyDogIsCool website lingers on

Published 08/27/09

Although we no longer maintain the site, the Animal Protection Institute is quoted as the link for inside temperatures of cars on warm days at mydogiscool.com.

Smart tips for protecting pets in heat and during storms
USA Today

Opposition to Dolphin Import Noted

Published 08/13/09

Despite a complaint by animal rights groups, MGM Mirage has been given a permit to import two Atlantic bottlenose dolphins for public display and breeding purposes. The new dolphins, a male and a female, will be housed in Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden on the Strip. The permit was granted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service on August 4th. It was opposed by the organizations Born Free USA and The World Society for the Protection of Animals, which cited the previous deaths of two other dolphins at the habitat.

New Dolphins Approved For MGM Mirage
KXNT Newsradio 840

Mirage Casino to get 2 new dolphins

Published 08/12/09

A federal agency has granted MGM Mirage a permit to import two Atlantic bottlenose dolphins for public display in Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden on the Las Vegas Strip. Born Free USA and The World Society for the Protection of Animals filed a complaint against the Mirage's petition to import during a 30-day public comment period.

Feds permit MGM Mirage to import 2 dolphins
Mary Manning
Las Vegas Sun

Protecting U.S. Bears

Published 08/12/09

Adam Roberts, Born Free USA's Senior Vice President, is quoted in this story on the reintroduced Bear Protection Act.

U.S. Bear Gallbladders Sold on Black Market
Brian Handwerk
National Geographic News

This story was reprinted:
U.S. Bear Gallbladders Sold on Black Market
Brian Handwerk
Wild Singapore

Weighing in on the Federal Bear Poaching Bill

Published 08/11/09

... In a National Geographic article, Adam Roberts, vice president of the animal-advocacy nonprofit Born Free USA, notes that 34 states ban trade in bear gallbladders and bile - but there are five states that do not. ...

Proposed Bill Hopes to Protect North American Black Bears from Poaching for Asian Markets - Before It’s Too Late
Rhishja Larson
EcoWorldly

Speaking out against animal abuse in circuses

Published 08/10/09

... The verdict in a groundbreaking civil trial against Ringling Bros. is due any day. Evidence obtained by the plaintiffs, Born Free USA and the Animal Protection Institute, shows that Ringling elephants are kept virtually immobilized in chains for most of their lives. ...

Poole: Show circus animals compassion
Lyndon Poole
Austin American-Statesman

"I just wanted to see elephants"

Published 08/03/09

... Even if it takes years of saving $20 per paycheck, it is possible to create a ‘dream travel’ fund to get you where you want to go. I recently saved up enough to take my dream trip to see the incredible wildlife of Kenya. Being that I work for Born Free USA, it was also exciting to think of seeing the land and animals that inspired the movie Born Free! But really, I just wanted to see elephants.

Taking the trip of a lifetime
Zibby Wilder
Memohotel Blog

API cited as a reliable source for information

Published 07/30/09

... According to the Animal Protection Institute, a 2007 study by San Francisco State University found that temperatures inside a car with the windows cracked can rise almost 20 degrees in 10 minutes, 35 degrees in 30 minutes and as much as 50 degrees in one hour. "Hundreds of beloved canine companions are unintentionally killed or injured each year by being left in hot cars, even with windows cracked and only for a short time," the institute's Web site states. ...

Dogs in Ashland found trapped in hot cars
Hannah Guzik
Ashland Daily Tidings

Reaching the tipping point on animal circuses

Published 07/28/09

... In February, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus stood trial for six weeks in Washington, D.C., accused by animal-rights groups of violations of the Endangered Species Act. In a press release, Nicole Paquette of Born Free USA said the court considered testimony from former Ringling Bros. employees alleging that Ringling keeps elephants chained often for more than 26 hours at a time and as many as 100 hours straight, and that elephants suffer from bleeding wounds after being beaten with bull hooks. ...

The greatest sham on Earth
D.A. Kolodenko
San Diego Citybeat

BFUSA's Engebretson Talks About Her 'Lucky' Book

Published 07/27/09

Born Free USA Senior Program Associate Monica Engebretson, in a "Sacramento & Co." interview on the ABC affiliate in Sacramento, talks about her book "Lucky," which tells the story of an exotic bird that was taken into captivity in order to spread awareness about what can happen when birds don't fly free.

Link: KTTA Channel 10

Spreading the Story of Lucky

Published 07/27/09

In this 5-minute news video, Born Free USA's Monica Engebretson talks about her book, Lucky, about the true story of the lorikeet on whom the book is bades, the plight of captive birds, and Born Free USA's work in addressing that.

The Story of "Lucky"
Sacramento & Co.
news10.net

A real danger

Published 07/15/09

... "The private ownership of dangerous reptiles such as pythons obviously presents a real danger," said Nicole Paquette, Born Free USA senior vice president and general counsel. ...

Burmese Pythons: When 'Pets' Turn Deadly
The Ledger (Lakeland, FL)

"We Indians too should follow suit ..."

Published 07/08/09

... Born Free USA united with API has urged a detailed federal examination of animal welfare and public safety conditions at all American zoos. They have made arrangements with their governments urging for an in-depth examination of current oversight of their zoos, with the ultimate goal of determining what specific immediate and long-term steps need to be taken to ensure the highest standards of animal welfare and to prevent another harmful human/animal interaction from ever occurring again. We Indians too should follow suit. ...

Animals in captivity
Rituparna Goswami Pandey
Assam Times (Assam, India)

The private ownership of dangerous reptiles presents a real danger

Published 07/08/09

... "The private ownership of dangerous reptiles such as pythons obviously presents a real danger," Nicole Paquette, Born Free USA senior vice president and general counsel said last week. "We're hoping that this incident spurs the Legislature to hold an immediate public hearing to discuss the serious public safety concerns surrounding the keeping of dangerous reptiles in private hands. There is absolutely no reason for the general public to be keeping such animals as pets. In terms of public safety it's an accident waiting to happen." ... She added: "The question is, how many accidents have to happen before legislators act to protect the public rather than the interests of a small group of individuals?"

Editorial: Ban these lethal 'pets'
The Gainesville Sun (Gainesville, FL)

Protesting the transfer

Published 07/08/09

... In a joint statement, In Defense of Animals, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and Born Free USA also wrote that they were concerned Kallie and Bette might breed. Both elephants are nearly 30 years old, an age when the risks of breeding become high, Roy said. ...

Phila. says farewell to beloved elephant pair
Zoe Tillman
The Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA)

Joining forces to oppose a pending move of elephants

Published 07/07/09

... Zoo administrators have said for some time that they planned to move two female elephants, Kallie and Bette, from the Philadelphia Zoo to the Somerset County center. But that initiative now is attracting controversy. On Tuesday, three organizations — PETA, Born Free USA and In Defense of Animals — said they are “joining forces to oppose the pending move.” ...

Pachyderm protest: Groups oppose breeding plan at Fairhope-area facility
Mike Faher
The Tribune-Democrat (Johnstown, PA)

Urging a ban on owning dangerous reptiles

Published 07/03/09

Investigators continued looking for answers the day after a Sumter County toddler was strangled to death by a python. ... The tragic case has sparked outrage from residents in the community as well as animal protection organizations. National wildlife advocacy group, Born Free USA, has called on Florida legislators to immediately ban the ownership of dangerous reptiles.

Investigation continues after snake strangles child
Larry Ell
The Daily Commercial (Leesburg, FL)

The Lucky Children's Book Continues Its Flight

Published 06/25/09

In Indonesia’s Maluku Islands it is not unusual to find wild parrots or cockatoos chained to perches outside local shops or in the homes of the wealthy. Lucky, a rainbow lorikeet, was one such bird. Trapped from the nearby forest and chained to a two-foot wooden stick, he lived outside his owner’s restaurant for more than a year before he was discovered by representatives from the Indonesian Parrot Project. Monica Engebretson, senior program associate for Born Free USA united with the Animal Protection Institute, was a member of the 2003 Indonesian Parrot Project ecotour and remembers Lucky’s story ...

Ecotourism Helps Birds and Communities Take Flight
Bonnie Zimmermann
Dinas Kebudayaan & Pariwisata Provinsi Maluku

Anything but an Elephant's Natural Environment

Published 06/23/09

In the circus, you see gentle giants donning funny outfits and performing tricks on tiny tubs. It's anything but an elephant's natural environment. "Should the elephants get out there and perform these tricks every day for the public so you (Ringling Bros.) can make pocket money? Or should it be that the elephants don't have to do this anymore?" asks Tom Rider, a former Ringling employee and plaintiff in the federal lawsuit against the circus.

See more on Born Free USA's lawsuit.

Lawsuit accuses Ringling Bros. of abusing elephants
Las Vegas KTNV

Keep dolphins out of the desert

Published 06/19/09

14 dolphins have died in the 19 years since Steve Wynn opened the Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage. Now, an animal rights group wants to stop the casino from bringing more dolphins to the desert.

Born Free USA's Senior Program Associate Monica Engebretson contributes to this video report via phone.

Dolphins in the Desert, seg. 3
Dana Gentry
Las Vegas Sun

More Ringling nonsense: Circus elephants enjoy living out of boxcars

Published 06/18/09

As the Ringling rail cars were unloaded in Las Vegas Tuesday evening, 12 hours before their scheduled arrival, Ringling animal handler Ryan Henning expressed the same sentiments his employer has emphasized in recent years -- mainly, how well circus elephants are treated and how much the big pachyderms enjoy living out of boxcars. "They enjoy it. They travel very comfortably. I would say they travel better than the people in the show. They've got it made," he said.

The article links to the court documents in Born Free USA's trial against Ringling (for violating the Endangered Species Act by cruelly mistreating Asian elephants) which clearly show otherwise.

Circus Arrives in Las Vegas Amid Controversy
KLAS Channel 8, Las Vegas

Trying to stop more dolphin deaths

Published 06/10/09

In the days before a dolphin named Sgt. Pepper died last week at The Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, two animal rights organizations — Born Free USA and The World Society for the Protection of Animals — had filed a complaint against the Mirage’s request to import two more dolphins for its habitat. Part of the complaint, ironically, said more dolphins shouldn't be brought in because other dolphins had died in the past at the habitat, which the two groups claim is being used as a money-making entertainment enterprise, rather than for educational or conservation purposes.

Animal rights groups try to halt Mirage from importing dolphins
Amanda Finnegan
Las Vegas Sun

"The circus is good, family fun." Not.

Published 06/08/09

As the circus chugs into town on its mile-long train, a federal lawsuit casts a shadow over the Greatest Show on Earth. ... "Elephants are mobile animals," said Nicole Paquette, senior vice president and general counsel for Born Free USA, a plaintiff in the trial. "They want to walk around and roam for food and water. In the circus, they're chained, one foot in the front and one in the back."

Details on our lawsuit are available at www.bornfreeusa.org/ringling.

Beloved by kids, circus arriving with trunk full of critics
Hailey MacArthur
The Gazette (Colorado Springs)

Ringling Tours under Criticism

Published 06/03/09

The circus came to town yesterday in Trenton, New Jersey, but Born Free USA is asking Trenton residents to consider the shocking evidence against Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey (Ringling) before buying a ticket that essentially supports animal cruelty.

Circus cruelty: "The Saddest Show on Earth"
P. Elizabeth Anderson
Animal Advocacy Examiner
examiner.com

Oregon Bill to Restrict Private Possession of Exotic "Pets" Passes Senate

Published 05/27/09

Legislation that would end the ownership of certain wild animals in Oregon passed the Senate today. S.B. 391 will prohibit future possession of alligators, monkeys, lions, tigers, bears, alligators, crocodiles and caimans. The Humane Society of the United States, Born Free USA and the Oregon Humane Society say they applaud the Oregon House Environment and Water Committee for passing S.B. 391 to "prohibit dangerous wild animals as pets."

Senate Bill Would Remove Oregonians' Right to Own Exotic Pets
Tim King
Salem-News.com

Segment on The Today Show Features Our Lawsuit Against Ringling

Published 05/20/09

After almost nine years of claims and counterclaims, a ruling is finally expected soon in a lawsuit accusing Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus of abusing endangered Asian elephants. (Circus elephants in the legal spotlight)

This Today Show segment featuring our lawsuit against Ringling touched briefly on the evidence. For all the facts, check out the exhibits and other evidence revealed at the trial which paint a clear and detailed picture of the daily systematic abuse endured by the elephants.

Natalie Morales, Jennie Thompson, and Alex Johnson
"Today Investigates"
The Today Show (NBC)

Owning exotics -- even if they're kept as pets for years -- only increases the risk of attack.

Published 04/28/09

In February, a frenzied chimpanzee attacked a woman in Connecticut. The victim is being treated for devastating, and near-fatal injuries at the Cleveland Clinic. So NewsChannel5 investigated and found there's not a single law in the state of Ohio that prevents your neighbor from putting a chimp, or even a 500-pound tiger, right in the back yard. Born Free U.S.A. said exotic animals can be deadly. Nicole Paquette of Born Free U.S.A. said, "Exotic animals have attacked and actually killed children and other individuals."

Hundreds Come To Ohio For Exotic Pet Auctions
newsnet5.com (Cleveland, Akron)

Private possession of primates and other exotic animals must be banned

Published 04/24/09

The April 20 article highlights the pressing need for Oregon to pass SB 391, legislation banning the private possession of primates and other exotic animals commonly kept as "pets." Born Free USA operates a sanctuary that is home to more than 500 primates, many of whom are unwanted dangerous "pets." Our sanctuary and others around the country are full to the brim. We urge the Oregon House of Representatives to pass this legislation before more people — and animals — are harmed.

Recent incident involving monkey shows need for legislation
Opinion
Nicole G. Paquette, Born Free USA
Statesman-Journal (Oregon)

Ringling Trial Hears Closing Arguments

Published 03/18/09

Are circus elephants abused? Or are the elephants under the big top healthy and thriving in a caring environment? That's the issue a federal judge must decide in a 9-year-old legal dispute pitting four animal rights groups against the nation's most famous circus, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. Closing arguments will be heard Wednesday in the case in which the circus is accused of mistreating its 54 Asian elephants, which are protected under the 1973 Endangered Species Act.

Closing arguments set for elephant abuse trial
Dick Uliano
CNN

Captive Primate Safety Act hits the blogosphere

Published 02/25/09

Just a week after a savage attack in Connecticut involving a chimpanzee, the House today overwhelmingly passed legislation aimed at curbing the keeping of primates as pets. The Captive Primate Safety Act (H.R. 80) passed on a vote of 323-95. Sponsored by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), the bill would amend the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to add primates to the list of animals that cannot be transported across state lines by individuals.

"The primate trade involves enormous animal suffering and threats to human safety," says Adam Roberts, senior vice president of Born Free USA. "Wildlife belongs in the wild."

Following Brutal Chimp Attack, House Overwhelmingly Passes Primate Pet Ban
Scott Nance
On the Hill (blog)

Connecticut agency unknowing contributor to chimpanzee attack tragedy

Published 02/20/09

The CT Department of Environmental Protection allowed a Stamford couple to keep a 200-pound chimpanzee without a permit, despite a 2004 state law that required they apply for and obtain the necessary approvals from the agency. On Monday, Travis, a 14-year-old chimpanzee, savagely attacked a family friend, who remained in critical condition Tuesday in Stamford Hospital. A DEP spokesman said the agency granted the couple a special exemption, noting that the DEP "had no compelling evidence there was a public safety risk," he said. "We had no reports there were issues." Born Free USA, a national nonprofit animal advocacy group, in a statement Tuesday, noted that Travis made headlines in 2003 for briefly escaping from his owners in downtown Stamford. Born Free Senior Vice President Nicole Paquette called on Gov. M. Jodi Rell to ban the keeping of primates as pets in Connecticut.

DEP let couple keep chimp without required permit
Brian Lockhart
The Stamford Advocate

Ducking out of the Ringling Trial

Published 02/06/09

Kenneth Feld, the sole owner of Feld Entertainment and Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus did not appear in U.S Federal Court today. Buying his way out of trouble is a way of life for Ken Feld, but this time, he just may be trapped. These animal rights people are not clowning around!

Reckoning at Ringling Bros.
Leslie Griffith
The Huffington Post

Ringling Trial Begins

Published 02/04/09

A federal judge began hearing a lawsuit alleging the abuse of circus elephants, including the use of heavy chains, tethers and sharp tools called bullhooks.

Learn more about the trial at www.bornfreeusa.org/ringling.

Judge hears case alleging circus elephant abuse
Paul Courson
CNN

Sacramento group among plaintiffs in groundbreaking case

Published 02/03/09

Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and its parent company, Feld Entertainment, Inc., will finally stand trial to face charges that the circus mistreats its Asian elephants in violation of the federal Endangered Species Act. The case is more than eight years in the making.

On Wednesday (Feb. 4), the plaintiffs, including Sacramento-based non-profit Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute (Born Free), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Animal Welfare Institute, the Fund for Animals, and former Ringling Bros. employee Tom Rider are scheduled to present their case in federal district court in Washington, D.C. Katherine Meyer of the public interest law firm Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal will serve as lead counsel for the plaintiffs.

Ringling Brothers Circus on trial for elephant abuse
Gary Bogue
"Pets and Wildlife"
Bay Area News Group

Lawsuit Challenges Iconic Image of Circus Elephants

Published 02/02/09

One of the most iconic images of American life, that of circus elephants joined trunk-to-tail as they lumber along to delight “children of all ages,” as the old saying goes, is about to be debated in a courtroom. Are the beasts docile because they are highly intelligent and respond well to training, reinforced with the promise of apples, carrots, water and kindness at day’s end? Or do they obey because their spirits have been broken and they fear getting hit by their trainers? These are among the questions that will be asked when a lawsuit by a coalition of animal rights’ groups [including Born Free USA united with API] against the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus and its parent company opens in federal court on Wednesday.

Suit Challenges Image of Circus Elephants as Willing Performers
David Stout
The New York Times

Ringling Trial Set to Begin

Published 01/28/09

"An animal abuse trial against Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, is set to begin next week in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C."

For more on Born Free USA united with API's involvement in this landmark case, which will be heard beginning February 3 before U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, click here.

Trial set on treatment of circus elephants
Natalie Neysa Alund
Bradenton Herald

Keeping wildlife in the wild and off dinner plates

Published 01/09/09

NY Assemblyman Greg Ball (R-Patterson) promised to introduce legislation in Albany to "combat bush meat" — entrees named for their origins, which is mostly the African forest, or bush. The legislation would aim to keep elephants, chimpanzees, gorillas, forest antelope and other African and Asian creatures off American plates, helping curtail what some say is a major threat to wildlife and ecosystems around the world. Bush meat also poses a health risk, said Adam Roberts of Born Free USA, an animal advocacy group. Bush-meat consumption has been linked to the transmission of HIV, Ebola and foot-and-mouth disease. Roberts is helping Ball formulate his legislation.

Assemblyman Ball aims to halt bush-meat sales
Michael Risinit
The Journal News

Suing over Pet Food Additives

Published 06/10/08

... Zibby Wilder, spokeswoman for Seattle-based Born Free USA, which published a report on pet food ingredients, said no one really knows what goes into a pet food using "meat byproducts" because the rendering plants are so secretive. ...

Animal Owners Seek Class Action Status in Suit Over Pet Food Additives

John Pacenti
Daily Business Review

Adam Roberts Appears on 'Good Morning America'

Published 12/28/07

Born Free USA's executive vice president, Adam Roberts, is interviewed on ABC's "Good Morning America" following the December 2007 Siberian tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo. He is pitted against Janna Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus (OH) Zoo. Click here or on the image to watch the segment.

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