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!
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 »