We've received word that the Senate could vote on the reprehensible "Sportsmen's Act of 2012" (S. 3525) this week. The bill absurdly grants trophy hunters the right to import the mounted heads and other pieces of polar bears they shot dead in the Arctic North. In April, we urged you to voice opposition to similar legislation in the House of Representatives. Today we implore you to do the same with S. 3525. We must do all we can to defeat this bill, which sets a dangerous precedent regarding the trophy hunting of imperiled species. Please write to your two U.S. senators today.
California's Senate Bill 1480, the Consumer and Wildlife Protection Act and a bill we helped initiate, has passed all hurdles in the state Senate and Assembly and now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature. If you live in California, please help make this bill become law by writing to Brown, who has until Sept. 30 to take action. For those of you interested in learning out more about this important animal protection issue, check out a three-minute video we prepared in support of SB 1480. (Please note the video contains images of trapped animals, so it might not be suitable viewing for everyone.)
This spring, for the fourth year in a row, dozens of compassionate clothes designers from throughout the globe entered our Fur Free Fashion Competition, otherwise known as fffashion. This summer, our panel of celebrity judges (including Melissa Rivers, Kelly and Sharon Osbourne, and Victoria Principal) pored over the Top 10 and concluded that the winners are Fifile Nguyen and Michelle French of Austin, TX. They created "The Miller Dress," a black-and-white swing dress with elaborate sleeve pleating, a deep neckline and no closures. The victory comes with a $750 cash prize.
Born Free USA's chief executive officer, Will Travers, went on CNN International to debate with a zoo representative about the appropriateness of having wild animals held in captivity. Some people, including Will's debate opponent, Andrew Marshall of York University, claim zoos are educational and promote conservation of species. Will spoke for the rest of us in maintaining that most zoos represent a crass exploitation of animals, and abuse of them, for entertainment and profit. Watch the debate and see what you think. Be sure to keep with it until the end, when Marshall makes a statement that prompted Will, who was not allowed time to respond on the air, to write a blog.
Another week brought another delivery of monkeys to the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary from the bankrupt Wild Animal Orphanage in nearby San Antonio. Two deliveries, in fact, of 29 hybrid macaques. Watch an immensely entertaining three-minute video of their homecoming with fun-filled footage of their settling in! Now nearly 50 of the more than 100 WAO macaques (and one baboon) for whom we proudly are assuming lifetime care have arrived safely at our sanctuary. Stay up-to-the-minute on our Facebook page, see more photographs of this and our other rescues, and find out more about The WAO Group in our rescues section.
Our biggest rescue, which began on July 25, resumed on Aug. 1 with the smooth delivery of nine more stump-tailed macaques. This summer, our Primate Sanctuary in south Texas is welcoming more than 100 monkeys (and one baboon) from the bankrupt Wild Animal Orphanage in nearby San Antonio. Watch a 10-minute video that shows what happened on that first day: The 10 stump-tailed macaques being placed carefully on the air-conditioned delivery truck, then their arrival at our sanctuary, which was highlighted by the new residents having their first meal of bananas and other goodies. In the coming days, please stay tuned to our sanctuary website and Facebook page for more updates!
Some exciting news from our Primate Sanctuary in south Texas! The first move of 10 stump-tailed macaques (out of the 107 we will welcome to our sanctuary in the coming weeks from the bankrupt Wild Animal Orphanage) went like clockwork and everyone came through in great shape. The WAO team did an excellent job and we're looking forward to releasing the monkeys out into a larger enclosure within the next several days. Here's a picture of one of the males checking out his new surroundings. Check our sanctuary's Facebook page and photo and video galleries in the coming days as we bring you more updates. Meanwhile, please consider supporting this and our other rescues.
The fourth annual CLASSY Awards, which honor philanthropic organizations, pits Born Free USA against four other finalists in the Animal Advocacy and Services category. Please help us triumph over our competitors for the top honor, which will be announced Sept. 22 in San Diego. Cast your vote for us (you'll need to scroll down a bit to reach our category, and you need not vote in any other category) by the end of the day Wednesday, July 25 — and be sure to ask your friends and family to do the same!
Help animals and spread the good word about Born Free USA with our 100 percent organic cotton T-shirts! Your purchase goes toward our multifaceted work on behalf of animals, in the wild and otherwise. And by wearing this shirt in public, you are bound to engage others in conversation about Born Free USA and soon they, too, will adopt our mantra: "Keep Wildlife in the Wild®." Choose from among three sizes for women and four for men. Each shirt costs $19.95, including shipping and handling.
As Americans mark their independence this week, animals worldwide continue to face profound and relentless challenges to their well-being. Please take a moment amid your celebrations to consider what our civilization is doing as a collective force to help animals, and perhaps come up with a few things you can do as an individual to improve their lot. The staff members at Born Free USA wish you a safe and compassionate holiday.
When the Texas Rangers hosted the Oakland Athletics on Sunday evening in Arlington, TX, we were there — making a Jumbotron-size video pitch for support in the Lone Star State! About four years ago, Rangers pitching legend and co-owner Nolan Ryan talked onstage about having once been an "ambassador" for the snow monkeys who were living in what is now the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary. His dry recitation of what happened had the audience (or at least the two radio personalities who were interviewing Ryan) howling with laughter, and audio of the exchange attracted so much attention that Sunday's game was declared to be "Nolan Ryan Snow Monkey Day" at the ballpark.
When the Texas Rangers host the Oakland Athletics on Sunday evening in Arlington, TX, we will be there — making a Jumbotron-size video pitch for support in the Lone Star State! About four years ago, Rangers pitching legend and co-owner Nolan Ryan talked onstage about having once been an "ambassador" for the snow monkeys who were living in what is now the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary. His dry recitation of what happened had the audience (or at least the two radio personalities who were interviewing Ryan) howling with laughter, and audio of the exchange has attracted so much attention that Sunday's game has been declared "Nolan Ryan Snow Monkey Day" at the ballpark.
(One of last year's contest entries,
from Phyllis Wald-Fast of Gillette, N.J.)
It's time for our second annual Keep Wildlife in the Wild Photo Contest! Submit a candid picture you take of any animal who lives in the wild and you could win our top prize, a Born Free USA merchandise gift basket. There's one key stipulation, however: You must take the picture sometime in June 2012! Give it your best "shot" and send us your best photograph — or two photographs, maximum. And keep in mind that all entries must be received by the end of the day on Monday, July 9, 2012. (See last year's winners here.)
There's so much to do on behalf of animals that we have expanded our Keep Wildlife in the Wild Week to Keep Wildlife in the Wild Month! Throughout June, we will be discussing our five major campaigns — Wildlife Trade, Trapping and Fur, Animals in Entertainment, Exotic "Pets" and our Primate Sanctuary — through a series of Action Alerts and videos. Watch our chief executive officer, Will Travers, as he introduces Keep Wildlife in the Wild Month, which will include a children's essay contest, our second annual Keep Wildlife in the Wild Photo Contest, and our annual summertime online auction that includes more than 50 unique items.
Last summer's Compassionate Pet Supply Store of the Year contest was a great success, with more than 150 nominations. So we're doing it again! Nominate your favorite pet supply store before July 1. Use our online form to tell us what makes it so special. You know — the owner who knows you and your animal companion by name, or the salespeople who are so knowledgeable that they can take you straight to the right product, no matter how obscure. The contest's only criteria are that the store cannot sell live animals of any kind, including birds, reptiles or fish, and must be a brick-and-mortar store (not just an online shopping site).
Are you going to be in or near Los Angeles on Saturday, May 26? ThinkSpace Art Gallery in Culver City (map) invites you to the opening reception (5 to 8 p.m.) for "Wild at Heart: Keep Wildlife in the Wild," featuring works by more than 100 artists. The exhibition, which runs through June 9, will raise awareness about the precarious predicament of wild creatures around the world and aid efforts to protect them in their natural habitat. A whopping 20 percent of all artwork sales benefit Born Free USA, and we'll receive all proceeds from a silent auction of donated rare prints from Mark Ryden, Marion Peck and Audrey Kawasaki. After May 26, unsold works can be purchased online.
Born Free USA has launched an animal sponsorship program! Representing our core campaigns, the following animals can now be sponsored for you or a loved one: Parrot ($15 per year), representing National Bird Day; Fox ($25 per year), representing our trapping and fur free campaigns; Bear ($35 per year), representing our work against the gallbladder and bile trade; Tiger ($45 per year), representing our exotic "pets" campaign; Elephant ($75 per year), representing our animals in entertainment campaign; and Lion ($100 per year), representing our wildlife trade campaign. An animal gift sponsorship makes a great gift for a loved one — and for wildlife, too, because it helps with all our animal protection work!
Born Free USA was out in force on Tuesday, April 24, in support of California's anti-"hounding" measure, Senate Bill 1221 — legislation that would outlaw the insane practice of having dogs scare bears and bobcats up trees so that the terrified wildlife can be shot at point-blank range by humans. Hundreds of hunters showed up in opposition at the bill's hearing, in California's state Capitol, but so did scores of supporters, many of whom were there at the urging of Born Free USA. Stay tuned to learn how the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water voted and what happens next with SB 1221.
The neighborhood just got a bit more wild. Local painter and mural artist Alex “Cabron” Forster has completed a mural entitled “El Tigre” on a 17-foot-by-85-foot exterior wall at the office of Born Free USA on the corner of S and 12th streets in downtown Sacramento. The original, dramatic image of a tiger’s face looking between the bars of a cage was created by Cabron exclusively for Born Free USA, a leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Watch the artist and Born Free's creative director, Sharie Lesniak, interviewed on local Channel 31's "Good Day Sacramento" about the mural.
How would you like to speak out for animals killed for their fur without ever saying a word — and look and feel good doing so? Thanks to fffashion designer Yan Fong, you can by buying a shirt or bag adorned with one of her creative, non-graphic inkblot designs accompanied by the message, "Please don't wear any fur." Choose from among bear, bunny, raccoon and seal images in our CafePress store. You'll feel good because for every item purchased, Born Free USA receives $5. And you'll look good because this unique design was donated by a rising star in the fashion industry who cares passionately about wildlife.
We are honored to have received permission to share with you "Menagerie," a powerful, non-graphic art film by Jonathan Hodgson. The nine-minute film's stark and haunting images take you on a journey through an all-too-common zoo. A place where wild animals are held captive in small cages so they can be on display for our entertainment. Get a glimpse into what it must be like for these magnificent animals day after day, after day, after day. All with the simple tool of a pencil and an artist's touch. Watch it now, and be sure to share the link with your friends and family.
Born Free USA's online auction is under way! Bidding is open on more than 50 fantastic items. Check them out! We have gourmet treats for you or a doggie gift basket for your four-legged friend, a selection of animal-themed pottery and artwork, luxury cruelty-free cosmetics, and much more. A number of our items are one-of-a-kind, hand-made, artisan goods. You will find several very affordable items — hand-dyed women's and children's T-shirts, "Rio" and "Planet of the Apes" DVDs, handbags and jewelry — all with starting bids under $10. And best of all, every dollar raised helps Born Free USA in its multifaceted efforts to protect wildlife.
Elephants have long been targeted for their ivory, but in the past half-century their numbers have been in especially steep decline. It's quickly reaching the point where the long-term survival of this magnificent species is in peril — especially in the wild. Recent events in Cameroon, where some 500 elephants have been poached in a national park so far this year, indicate there is much work to be done despite gains engineered by animal protection groups and a growing awareness of elephants' plight. The illegal trade in ivory must stop, and you can help. Visit our Elephants webpage for six actions you can take today.
To celebrate National Bird Day and in collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and the DVD/Blu-ray release of its comedy about birding, "The Big Year," last month we hatched a Free Bird Photo Contest! The four-week competition was open to all and attracted some 200 entries. The winning photo of a Carolina Wren was taken by Kanokwalee Pusitanun of Cedar Park, TX. Kanokwalee will receive a pair of powerful binoculars, a bird feeder or house from the Born Free USA online store and a copy of "The Big Year." Check out the Top 20 photos from this inaugural competition — and stay tuned for details about the second annual Keep Wildlife in the Wild Photo Contest we have planned for late spring!
The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary has welcomed a macaque! He had been found living in horrendous conditions (see how bad by watching this
53-second video, and then compare it with this 13-second video of our Primate Sanctuary!) at a roadside zoo in Mississippi after an undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States revealed serious animal welfare issues there. The macaque, as yet unnamed, was taken from the zoo on Jan. 25 and on the next day arrived at our 186-acre sanctuary in south Texas. According to Sanctuary Director Tim Ajax:
You would never force an animal to live in a cramped, barren cage suspended over her own waste. But hundreds of thousands of animals on “fur farms” are forced to endure such unconscionable misery while awaiting their grim fate. While many European countries have banned or severely restricted fur farming, the United States has largely turned a blind eye to this barbaric industry. You can help by signing our petition that asks upscale Barneys New York to stop selling fur and, if you live in one of the "dirty dozen" fur farm states, by contacting your elected officials. Born Free USA’s groundbreaking report “Cruelty Uncaged: A Review of Fur Farming in North America” revealed that, in addition to the inherently cruel conditions mink, fox and even bobcats suffer, the farms also place native wildlife at risk and are sources of environmental pollution.
One decade after we hatched National Bird Day, our feathered friends are as worthy of celebration as ever before — and as deserving of their right to live freely and fully in the wild. As the 10th annual National Bird Day on Jan. 5 approaches, Born Free USA invites you to participate in a number of all-avian activities! All-new for 2012 are our inaugural NBD photo contest, our colorful posters (which can be downloaded for free or ordered from our online store for a $1 shipping and handling charge), our "10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Bird Window Collisions" and "More Ways You Can Help Protect Birds Around Your Home." Keep abreast of events set for NBD 2012, and please let us know if you have anything special planned.
All of us here at Born Free USA — our chief executive in England, our East Coast and Sacramento staff members, our representative in Canada and the people who make sure things run smoothly at our Primate Sanctuary in south Texas — wish you the best of holidays and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Thank you for your support and for sharing our desire to make this a better world for animals. We've accomplished a lot in 2011, and together we can do so much more in 2012. We can, we must, and we will!
Believe it or not, an "Inside Edition" investigation found it is easier in some states to purchase a tiger than it is to adopt a dog from a shelter. Producer Charlie Mclravy found it was as easy as responding to a listing in a catalog called the "Animal Finder's Guide." The ad said: "Tiger Cub, five month old female, well socialized." The seller, Cy Vierstra, sent Mclravy pictures of a rare white Bengal tiger. The price: $2,700.
Born Free USA works vigorously to prevent such exploitation of wildlife. Please consider helping us today.
For many months we have been developing strategies for 2012 — what campaigns we will emphasize, investigations we will undertake, legislation we will promote, fundraising opportunities we will explore, etc. However, before the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, it's tempting to reflect on all that we have done in 2011. And by "we" I mean Born Free USA staff members, volunteers and, most importantly, supporters such as yourself. By signing our Action Alert letters, spreading the word about the work we do to Keep Wildlife in the Wild®, boosting us through donations, and treating all animals with compassion and respect, you are the heart and soul of Born Free USA and we cannot thank you enough.
Lisa Guerrero of "Inside Edition" ventured into a shopping mall in Cincinnati, OH, to investigate a display there of live tigers. For $55, patrons are allowed to play with tiger cubs and pose with them for pictures. As Guerrero points out to exhibit workers, some of the animals look ill; one cub has a patch of fur missing. It's a heartbreaking scene. Born Free USA's executive vice president, Adam Roberts, is interviewed during the segment and firmly states the obvious: There's no excuse for such cruel exploitation of a species who should instead be left alone in the wild. Watch the report!
We are thrilled to announce that the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Dilley, Texas, soon will have 113 new residents! A bankruptcy court's ruling on Nov. 21 represents the last legal hurdle in our agreement to care for 112 macaques and one baboon from the Wild Animal Orphanage, which declared bankruptcy last year. But there is one more major hurdle for us to overcome, namely our ability to provide shelter, food and caregivers for these rescued monkeys. Please consider helping us out by making a generous donation today to our Primate Sanctuary Rescue & Rehabilitation Fund.
One decade after we hatched National Bird Day, our feathered friends are as worthy of celebration as ever before — and as deserving of their right to live freely and fully in the wild. As the 10th annual National Bird Day on Jan. 5, 2012, approaches, Born Free USA invites you to participate in a number of all-avian activities! All-new for 2012 are our colorful posters (which can be downloaded for free or ordered from our online store for a $1 shipping and handling charge), our "10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Bird Window Collisions" and, related to that, a photo contest in which you can win a pair of binoculars! Just send us a picture of how you've made one of your windows bird-friendly by the end of the day on National Bird Day, Jan. 5, 2012.
Bidding Ends Saturday Evening, So Don't Wait!
It's your turn to look like a ritzy runway model. We don't often have the opportunity to buy these eye-popping threads, but now anyone can own designer and hand-crafted apparel up for bid at Born Free USA's Fur Free & Eco Fabulous Auction! For a steal of a deal, check out the looks shown at our star-studded fffashion L.A. show, including some of the winning pieces of our third annual Fur Free Fashion Competition (fffashion), plus many more fashion and beauty related items. The auction closes promptly at 8 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 12. Register now (it's easy). You don't want to miss getting these designer fashions at such amazing prices … and helping animals at the same time.
Many of you arrived here as a result of seeing the OWN cable TV show "Oprah's Lifeclass," which featured a clip of Christian the Lion — whose story was told in a documentary (and subsequent YouTube exposure that went absolutely viral) by Born Free co-founders Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna. Learn about Born Free's history, learn more about lions, and learn more why exotic wild animals such as lions don’t make good pets!
Born Free USA, which uses the collective might of its staff and supporters to combat the concept of people having exotic “pets,” wants the massacre that happened last week in Zanesville, OH, to have some sort of positive impact. See what our chief executive officer, Will Travers, has to say about the tragic incident — and how we can prevent something like it from happening again.
Born Free USA was out in force Wednesday when news about the exotic animals incident in central Ohio — in which dozens of wildlife who had been held captive in a rural resident’s backyard were impetuously released by their suicidal captor, then mostly shot dead by law enforcement officers — dominated the news cycle. Among the many interviews with print, radio and TV journalists by Born Free USA representatives was Executive Vice President Adam M. Roberts’ appearance on CNN with Erin Burnett. Watch as Roberts stands toe-to-toe with another Ohio man who has a long history of exploiting exotic animals by presenting them as caged tourist attractions. Read, hear and see us also on ABC, Agence France-Presse/Yahoo! News, BBC, CNN Opinion, the Los Angeles Times and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
This week's incident involving escaped exotic animals in Ohio is a call to action against private possession of wildlife. Our chief executive officer, Will Travers, calls it a "horrific situation" that should "serve as a brutal reminder that wildlife belong in the wild and that no one should ever put the animals or the public at risk by trying to confine them in a zoo, circus, backyard or home, where serious injury or death can occur at any time." Born Free USA tracks such cases through its online database, which lists some 1,600 attacks and incidents reported nationwide. Please consider helping us in our multifaceted efforts to ban the private ownership of exotics by making a generous donation today.
Monkey, a 3-year-old baboon who had been living in a basement laundry room in Wisconsin, is the newest resident of Born Free USA's Primate Sanctuary near Dilley, Texas. He joins 13 other baboons in a 2.5-acre enclosure at the 186-acre sanctuary, home to 532 primates, many of whom were rescued from laboratories, roadside zoos and private possession. Read more about Monkey (who soon will have a new, more baboon-appropriate name!), see his photo gallery and watch the video of his arrival.
Starting Monday, Nov. 7, and through that week, Born Free USA will auction off some of the eco-friendly clothing, shoes and accessories donated for our fffashion L.A. show. This is an excellent opportunity to get great deals on stylish designer clothing and accessories and, at the same time, help Keep Wildlife in the Wild®. All proceeds will support Born Free USA's work to save the lives of fur-bearing animals everywhere. Check out what we will have up for bidding by visiting our auction site.
In Hollywood last week, Born Free USA held its second annual fur free fashion show: fffashion L.A. Hundreds of fashion enthusiasts saw firsthand that compassion is the future of fashion. Our show featured 10 of the best and most innovative fur free and eco-friendly designers today, including the emerging compassionate designers who placed in Born Free USA's Fur Free Fashion Competition. See for yourself by visiting our fffashion L.A. webpage, our photo gallery and a fun 4-minute video!
And remember: Compassion is always in fashion!
On today’s show, Lori spoke to Adam Roberts with the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. They discussed what constitutes an animal sanctuary and the benefits of accreditation. Adam was a great guest who is a true advocate for animals. Then Charlie Crosby from Noah’s Wish came on, and discussed how they respond during emergencies and disasters to aid animals.
Link: Animals Today Radio
Born Free USA, as you know, uncovered the graphic reality of furbearer trapping with our hard-hitting "Victims of Vanity" investigation. But we also look at the fur issue from the market side of things. Short for fur free fashion, fffashion is a clothing-design competition that encourages innovative and compassionate designers to submit striking dresses, jackets, coats and couture combinations that are chic — without the "Yeek!" of real fur. We're proud to announce this year's fffashion winners, including Stephanie Teague of North Carolina, whose first-place mustard mini dress (shown in the accompanying image) is made from fine hemp linen and organic cotton gauze colored with eco-friendly, low-impact dyes.
Earlier this summer we asked Born Free USA supporters and friends to participate in our first photography contest, and we received scores of quality entries. Our staff members have selected their 12 favorites. Now it's time for you to pick the winners! We'll be collecting your votes through Aug. 26, 2011. Winners will be announced Labor Day weekend, with a photo printer at stake in the Backyard category and binoculars going to the Worldwide winner.
await the flame Wednesday in Kenya.
See more Kenya ivory burn photos.
A few decades ago there were 1.3 million elephants in Africa. The bloody, corrupt and merciless ivory trade that precipitated the killing of 600,000 African elephants during the 1970s and 1980s is sadly booming across Africa again. Reports of elephant poaching (possibly 35,000 animals a year!) and ivory seizures are becoming an almost daily occurrence. Something dramatic needs to be done to protect these magnificent, increasingly imperiled animals — to remind the world to say, no, to scream: "NO BLOODY IVORY!" On July 20, a dramatic message was indeed sent …
to watch the video.
Born Free rescued Dolo the lion – chained by his neck at a restaurant in Ethiopia – and brought him to Ensessakotteh, our Ethiopian Wildlife Rescue, Conservation and Education Center, where he can have the space and privacy he deserves as well as grass under his paws for the first time. George Logan, multi-award-winning photographer and Born Free friend, took some fantastic photos capturing the whole trip.
The Captive Primate Safety act, introduced by U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., David Vitter, R-La., and Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal, aims to eliminate the interstate sale of monkeys, apes and other non-human primates in the exotic pet trade.
“The captive primate trade involves enormous suffering and threats to human safety,” said Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA. “These innocent animals are often confined in small cages and have their teeth extracted. We can’t allow animals to be mutilated in the name of companionship. There is simply no excuse for keeping nonhuman primates as pets. Wildlife belongs in the wild.”
Link: Canton (Conn.) Patch
Born Free was instrumental in helping coordinate Vanity Fair reporter, Alex Shoumatoff's global trip around the globe for his in-depth report into the devastating African Ivory Trade. VF Daily spoke to our CEO Will Travers about his life in compassionate conservation and specifically Born Free's work with elephants.
Link: Vanity Fair
Have you taken any great wildlife pictures? If so, we'd like to see them! In fact, we want to collect as many as we can, and offer prizes for the best submissions, in our Keep Wildlife in the Wild Photo Contest. Please enter your favorite photo, or photos (no more than two total per person, please), by the end of the day on Saturday, July 9, 2011. Our contest has two categories: worldwide wildlife and backyard wildlife. Once we've whittled down our favorites to six photographs per category, we will ask our Action Alert team members to vote and decide the two winners. So, what are you waiting for? Snap to it!
The Keep Wildlife In The Wild Auction is now open. The auction will run through Friday (June 24), with proceeds going to Born Free USA in order to support our work to save the lives of animals. Auction items range from exotic vacation getaways to donated items guaranteed to delight and surprise. So, tell your friends, family, community. Let the bidding begin!