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!
Virginia McKenna, the heart and soul of the worldwide Born Free movement, turned 80 this week. Talk about having a meaningful life! At the height of a stunningly successful acting career, during which she won a British Academy Award and left an indelible mark on modern culture with her portrayal of Joy Adamson in "Born Free," Virginia and her husband, Bill Travers, co-founded the Born Free Foundation in England. They were joined by son Will, who today serves as chief executive officer for that organization and for its companion, Born Free USA. But it was Will's "mum" who made it all possible. We salute a legendary star, a visionary activist and an inspiration to millions. Happy birthday, Virginia! And many, many more.
Will Travers speak at the
Library of Congress this spring.
Earlier this spring, Born Free USA Chief Executive Officer Will Travers gave a multimedia presentation in Washington’s Library of Congress. In addition to his general topic, “Compassionate Conservation in East Africa,” Travers talks about “Born Free” and how his parents who starred in that iconic 1966 movie, Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, were so moved by the experience that their lives were transformed. Along with their son, in 1984 they founded what now is the Born Free Foundation, a companion organization of Born Free USA. Watch Travers’ presentation and perhaps you too will become inspired to do even more for animals and support our efforts to Keep Wildlife in the Wild.
For compassionate shoppers on the go, our Pet Supply Locator keeps your consumer conscience clean — and it’s now specially formatted for your handheld devices! On vacation in a new town with your companion and running low on food? It's no problem to still shop with compassion. Easily access a database of more than 500 stores nationwide that refuse to sell live animals so you can confidently support retailers that don’t treat animals like merchandise. And there's nothing to download and you don't have do anything extra. Just access the Pet Supply Locator from your handheld device and the mobile version automatically loads. We’re constantly expanding the database thanks to submissions from conscientious shoppers such as you.
There are bargains, and then there are great bargains. What Born Free USA is offering this week is the mother of all great bargains! Through Monday (May 9), you can adopt one of six monkeys (Carly, Grinch, Joey, Khy, Mig or Shawshank) at our Primate Sanctuary for just $25 — more than a 50 percent savings from our regular price! Your generous, tax-free donation helps us provide for the necessary food, shelter and care for some 500 monkeys at the south Texas facility. Make the adoption in honor or your mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend — or all of the above! — who brought life into our world and should be thanked for the countless things she has done. Happy Mother’s Day!
The Vegetarian Site loves animals! For the month of April, 10 percent of all its sales are being donated to Born Free USA. Click here to find fantastic vegetarian and vegan products and help us Keep Wildlife in the Wild ®!
to learn more!
For many of us, procrastination is always in fashion! If you’re a clothes designer with a strong sense of compassion, however, time is quickly running out to enter Born Free USA’s third annual fur free fashion competition. You have until the end of the day this Friday (April 15) to submit an entry form and pay the $25 entry fee. One of our judges, Elizabeth Emanuel, is making headlines again. The creative mind behind one of the most famous wedding dresses in history (Princess Diana’s, shown here) just revealed that she also designed a “spare” for the princess as well! What an honor it is to have Elizabeth as one of our judges!
Born Free USA recently completed a landmark investigation into the cruel world of trapping for the fur industry. The investigation, “Victims of Vanity,” includes graphic and shocking photographs, video and investigator notes, and we suggest ways you can get involved in efforts to end this barbaric practice. On March 16, our executive vice president, Adam M. Roberts, talked about the investigation on CNN Headline News. Watch his interview with anchorperson Jane Velez-Mitchell.
Born Free USA and Respect for Animals just completed a landmark investigation inside the world of fur trapping. We uncovered for the first time in more than a decade the shocking cruelty and brutality involved in the trapping of wild animals for the fur trade. Born Free USA is using this groundbreaking investigation to shed light on a horrific, highly unregulated, inhumane and dangerous industry. Consumers, retailers and policy makers are all equally responsible for ending this barbaric and unnecessary cruelty by refusing to buy or sell fur and by pushing for and passing stronger regulations and prohibitions on the trapping of animals for their fur.
The African lion is in crisis. Experts agree that fewer than 40,000 remain in the wild. The species faces imminent danger of extinction throughout significant portions of its range due to several unabated threats, including over-exploitation by recreational trophy hunting and commercial trade, loss of habitat and prey species, retaliatory killings, disease and other human-caused and natural factors. On March 1, Born Free USA and a coalition of wildlife conservation groups submitted a formal petition to the U.S. Department of the Interior to list the African lion as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Approval could take more than two years, but the process has begun. Stay tuned and we’ll tell you how you can help save the African lion!
We are Born Free USA — our staff members on both coasts, our primate sanctuary workers in Texas, our Canadian representative in Ontario, our chief executive officer in England and, most importantly, you. With you, we can be everywhere in the United States speaking out for animals. Several times a month, we ask you to help us by getting in touch with legislators, signing petitions or in some other way promoting our various campaigns and causes. With legislation season ramping up, please make sure you hear about all we’re trying to accomplish by doing these three things:
- Join our Action Alert team, by which you will receive our weekly e-mail updates.
- Befriend us on Facebook, where we also have a sanctuary and a causes page.
- Visit this page often, and see where it leads you.
Together, we are making a difference. Thanks, as always, for your support and partnership.
Are you looking for an offbeat and fun way to show your Valentine some of that yearnin’, burning’ love? Without breaking the budget? Well do we have a wacky idea for you! Just pop onto our website and order a Valentine’s Day eCard, which you can send immediately, with a personalized message, for free! Choose from among three colorful and cuddly designs, each of which depicts a pair of primates at our sanctuary: “Heart Felt Hug,” “I Pick You” and “Monkey Around.” What are you waiting for?!
The sad fact that animals still are used as props by the entertainment industry, more than 10 years into the 21st century, is a stain on our civilization. At Born Free USA, we work tirelessly to bring all such exploitations to an end. Join us in calling upon The Mirage in Las Vegas to shut down its deadly dolphin exhibit that is part of Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. What The Mirage would like to keep secret is that its dolphin habitat has a nearly 75 percent death rate, one of the worst in an exploitative industry that keeps orcas and dolphins captive for entertainment. Tell top officials at The Mirage and its corporate owner, MGM Resorts, that it’s time to send the dolphins back to the wild and to then drain the pool — forever.
Who doesn’t appreciate a two-for-one special, especially for the day that specifically celebrates twosomes? From now through Feb. 14, 2011, adopt a monkey at our Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary and give yourself and your Valentine the gift of compassion: Choose from among Carly, Grinch, Joey, Khy, Mig and Shawshank for yourself, then select a second monkey for your loved one to adopt at no extra charge! That’s a $52 savings! We care for more than 500 macaques, vervets and baboons — many of them rescued from unsavory circumstances — at our 186-acre facility in Dilley, Texas, and to keep the sanctuary running smoothly we depend on the generosity of donors such as you. Adopt two for the price of one for Valentine’s Day, and we’ll love it!
In conjunction with this month’s premiere of “Elsa’s Legacy: The Born Free Story” on PBS, we asked you to share your thoughts about how Joy Adamson’s book “Born Free” or the hit movie that followed impacted the way you think about wild animals. We were delighted with the responses, and want to share the best essays with all of you. Click “Read More” below to see our four favorites. Each writer will receive an autographed copy of “The Life in My Years,” the autobiography by “Born Free” movie star Virginia McKenna. And remember the lyrics, sung so beautifully by Matt Monro and that continue to inspire 45 years later: “Born free, and life is worth living. But only worth living, cause you’re born free.”
(Own the “Elsa’s Legacy: The Born Free Story” DVD.)
My Dear Friends: Making Born Free with my late husband Bill, working with the Adamsons and learning so much about lions — and now working for wildlife around the world with Born Free USA and the Born Free Foundation, have been some of the greatest highlights of my life.
I cannot say how thrilled I am that “Elsa’s Legacy: The Born Free Story” was shown Sunday on PBS’ “Nature.” It is a story that simply has to be told and it sends a warning roar across the airwaves letting us know that we are perilously close to losing something that we, deep down, value so much — the world’s wild places and the wild creatures, such as lions, that still inhabit them.
Fifty years ago, Joy Adamson wrote “Born Free.” The best-selling book, which recounts how she and her husband were surrogate parents to a lion cub in Africa, in 1966 was made into an award-winning film of the same name. This Sunday evening, PBS looks back at the book, the movie and how they changed the way people think about conservation and lions with “Elsa's Legacy: The Born Free Story.” It touches on the compassion-to-all-creatures philosophy that drives our mission here at Born Free USA. After watching the documentary, share your thoughts with us — in 150 words or fewer — about how the book or movie impacted the way you think about wild animals and you could win an autographed copy of Virginia McKenna’s autobiography “The Life in My Years.” (Please include your hometown in your e-mail.) We'll publish some of our favorite responses in this space.
You have compassion. You acted. You gave. You and Born Free USA made life better for thousands of animals worldwide in 2010, and we’re not about to stop now. As you gear up for another year of helping animals — to give monkeys, elephants, bears, dolphins, coyotes, parrots, rhinoceroses, tigers, frogs and all other creatures the respect, protection and freedom they need to thrive — take a few minutes to read about our accomplishments in 2010. Our chief executive officer, Will Travers, will even tell you about them. Let’s build on those victories, and for the animals’ sake turn 2010 into 20!! !
We’re sensitive to your needs. Born Free USA is conducting a survey of our members and supporters, and we want your feedback! We would like to know more about you, your opinions about our website, our Action Alerts and other communications with you, Born Free USA Membership and Membership packages, and the animal protection campaigns you care most about. Before Jan. 15, please take about 15 minutes to fill out the online survey. You might win one of three Born Free USA gift baskets valued at more than $100 each!
What a season-setter, our Grinch! He's one of six primates in our “Adopt a Primate” program, and with your $52 annual donation you can bring a lot of holiday cheer to Grinch and the hundreds of other rescued monkeys we care for at our Texas sanctuary. Adopt Grinch before year’s end and you will receive his photograph in a holiday ornament frame. As Dr. Jane Goodall says: "Caring for each primate that has been rescued — often from a life of misery — is very important. It is also costly. Born Free desperately needs support in order to provide these primates with the kind of lives they need — and deserve!"
Four of us here at Born Free USA are running our tails off training for the California International Marathon this coming Sunday (Dec. 5). We have made this commitment to raise awareness and funds to support little Mig and others at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary. Our goal is to raise $2,500 — the cost of feeding the 500-plus monkeys for just one week! Will you help us run for the monkeys?
Dr. Jane Goodall, perhaps the most famous, recognizable and influential name in primate protection, recently sent a personal note to Born Free USA Chief Executive Officer Will Travers and our friends and supporters about our work in Dilley, Texas, caring for 500 primates in need at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary. “Caring for each primate that has been rescued — often from a life of misery — is very important,” said Goodall. “It is also costly. Born Free desperately needs support in order to provide these primates with the kind of lives they need — and deserve.”
Thanks to our thousands of supporters in Canada and the United States, Born Free USA has won $12,000 from the Body Shop Foundation! Last month in each country, we finished second in an online and in-store popularity contest that pitted us against two other nonprofit organizations. We received 13,743 votes in Canada and 44,265 votes in the United States. Our winnings, as do all our funds, will go toward our campaigns, advocacy and other efforts to Keep Wildlife in the Wild®. Thank you, Body Shop, and thank you, supporters!
Find out how your state rates in terms of trapping regulations by checking out Born Free USA’s unprecedented State Trapping Report Card, which assigns an academic letter grade to each state based on how its trapping regulations impact animal welfare, wildlife conservation and public safety. “We were actually generous in our grading system,” says Senior Program Associate Monica Engebretson. "Many states would receive an even lower grade if we took into account accurate monitoring of wildlife populations.”
Born Free USA, which for two years has promoted fur-free fashion with its fffashion design contest, last month co-hosted a celebrity-infused fashion show in the swanky Stone Rose Lounge in Los Angeles. Check out our photo gallery from the exciting inaugural event, which spotlighted guilt-free, no-animal-was-harmed dresses and other attire. Who says doing the right thing can’t be fun?
Born Free Needs Your Help To Ensure Their Rehabilitation to the Wild
Tom and Misha, the two bottlenose dolphins Born Free rescued this summer from a filthy pool in Hisaronu, Turkey, are starting to feel at home in their temporary sea pen. The picture shows a moment of joy for Tom as he leaps up into the air. Our project partners are building a bigger sea pen with the aim of introducing the dolphins to their official rehabilitation facility in a few weeks. Tom and Misha were captured off the Turkish coast five years ago. Now a dedicated team, including colleagues from the United States, are preparing them for a life back in the wild, where they belong.
Millions of animals are trapped each year, causing untold suffering and death for many of the creatures, not all of whom were targeted by the trappers. Dogs, cats, endangered species and even humans can be caught in leg-hold traps, snare traps or traps designed to crush and kill. Born Free USA's newest, easy-to-use interactive database details just a tiny fraction of such tragedies. “Since almost no state agencies track this information impacting so many animals and their families, we are,” says Born Free USA’s chief executive officer, Will Travers. “It is unacceptable that thousands of innocent animals are brutally captured by trappers’ devices.
Baby seal hunts and polar bear struggles are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to animal protection issues north of the border. Born Free USA is proud to discuss those issues in a detailed and thought-provoking way on our new Canadian Campaigns Page. Longtime journalist and animal advocate Barry Kent MacKay, Born Free’s Senior Program Associate in Canada, shares his observations and opinions in essays and blogs that whisk you north of the border and out into the wild. Find out what we’re doing to save Canadian wildlife and how you can help.
Following a dramatic 48 hours of negotiations, the Born Free Foundation® has secured the release of two dolphins, Tom and Misha. Their plight has made international news since they were placed in a small concrete swimming pool in the Turkish town of Hisaronu, from where local campaign group, the Dolphin Angels, arranged a massive Facebook protest and an ongoing street presence, calling for their release.
When humans exploit wild creatures, bad things happen.
Born Free USA tracks such confrontations, and in the interest of raising awareness presents an interactive database of attacks on humans, attacks on other animals, and escapes by exotic animals.
Born Free USA and E Magazine are proud to announce the 2010 winners of the second annual fffashion — the fur-free fashion design competition promoting the ethical and environmental benefits of forgoing fur fashions. Winners were chosen by a celebrity panel of judges and, this year, a "Green Award" was added. Check out our winners, including the Top 10. Of course, the furbearing animals are the big winners as more people learn how fabulous and fun forgoing fur can be!
Born Free USA cordially invites you to a benefit concert, For the Love of Animals, featuring a brilliant solo performance by award-winning New Age pianist Suzanne Ciani.
The benefit concert will be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25 in the International House Auditorium on the University of California, Berkeley campus.
Watch him on Riz Khan's One on One
Born Free CEO Will Travers was recently interviewed on Riz Khan's One on One. Watch the full interview now »
Khy is the winner of our Adopt a Primate Contest. In honor of his win, he (and his neighboring monkeys) received an extra day's supply of bananas. And you received $10 off Khy's adoption through July! Really, all the primates in the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary are winners. (But you already knew that!)
Meet Shawshank; the newest member of our Adopt a Primate program. Shawshank is a 16-year-old hamadryas baboon who had the good fortune to be retired from a research facility and now spends his days at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in a large, natural enclosure in the company of other baboons. Adopt him today.
Born Free USA is excited to announce our second annual Keep Wildlife in the Wild Week! Why a week? Because there are so many animals in need and species in trouble, we decided to give them a whole week! It's all happening here starting June 21. Find out more »
Born Free USA applauds the California Fish and Game Commission for upholding its decision to cease issuing permits for the importation of live turtles and frogs destined for live-food markets.
Help us build our "Pet Supply Store Locator," the only place on the web where you can locate compassionate pet supply stores that do not sell any live animals.
All you need to do is visit www.petsupplylocator.com and "suggest a store" in your area that should be added to our list. And tell your friends and family to do the same.
Are you an independent fashion designer? Would you like to win a cash prize, boost your fashion career, and help promote the ethical and environmental benefits of foregoing fur fashion?
Born Free USA and E Magazine are looking for independent fashion designers to enter our 2nd Annual fffashion: Fur Free Fashion Design Competition.
The deadline for entries in the 2010 competition is April 1, 2010, just days away! Learn more about the competition, how to enter, and who our winners were in 2009 at www.bornfreeusa.org/fffashion.
Thank you for all you did in 2009 to protect animals from cruelty, abuse, and exploitation. Without your participation — your actions, your donations, your support — we could not have been nearly as successful. Take pride as you read about this past year’s achievements.
But remember, our work is far from done. While we have great plans for 2010, we still need you to join us in ensuring that next December we can all look back with satisfaction on a string of victories on behalf of the animals.
Can you match the bird to the call?
Often a bird is heard before he is seen. An important skill for any birder is the ability to identify birds by their unique call. Test your skill with our Bird Call Quiz!
The quiz is one of the new features on our revamped webpage for National Bird Day, celebrated January 5!
Independent designers were invited to enter their fur-free fashion designs for cash, prizes, and the chance to be featured in a full-page ad in the September/October issue of E Magazine, a co-sponsor of the competition.
Winners can be seen now on the fffashion webpage.
We want to make sure everyone is sharing in the news about the great things going on at Born Free USA! In order to do that, we’re reaching out to our supporters and animal lovers everywhere, including on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re active on either of these, please take minute to follow us (and tell your friends, too!) to make sure you’re getting the latest and greatest from all your friends here at Born Free USA!
If you’re on Twitter, get ready to help us spread the word about our amazing Primate Sanctuary. We are going to “Twitter4Critters” @Born Free USA, #Twitter4Critters.
We'd love to get lots of new followers and lots of re-tweets to help raise money for the 500+ primates we care for at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Texas. Help spread the word about our Summer Banana-A-Peel! Should be lots of fun and we look forward to Tweeting with you!!
Thanks as always for your incredible support!
The folks (and critters!) at Born Free USA
While traveling in Indonesia six years ago, Senior Program Associate Monica Engebretson aided in the release of a wild-caught parrot — a rainbow lorikeet — who had been chained to a perch for more than a year. He paced back and forth on that tiny perch, occasionally biting at the chain in defiance of its authority, and when he called out in vain to birds flying free over head, it was heartbreaking. He was just one bird out of millions who suffer the same fate as a result of the “pet” bird trade. But “Lucky,” as Monica and her associates called him, deserved to be free. He suffered. And their hearts went out to him.
The excitement and bluster of a wild week for elephants, tigers, rhinos, great apes, and other species now wanes in the final day of the CITES Standing Committee meeting. While the Committee reviews reports from the week, my thoughts start churning in anticipation of the next international wildlife trade event — the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES in Doha, Qatar next March. There is such an incredible amount of work to do in the next eight months!
It’s a good news / bad news day from the conference centre in Geneva. Which do you want first?
Now it’s heating up.
Yesterday I mentioned the illegal primate trade and the transit routes through Egypt to the Middle East. Since then, noted but controversial filmmaker and conservationist Karl Amman has been thrown out of the meeting while trying to interview the Chinese delegation and CITES Secretary-General on film.