Benjamin, a 4-year-old Asian Ringling Bros. elephant, was swimming in a pond in 1999 when his trainer instructed him to get out of the water. When he disobeyed, the trainer came at him with a bull hook — a club with a sharp metal point at the end — and the young elephant had a heart attack and died. ... Four nonprofit national animal rights groups ... in 2000 sued Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. ... The suit ... claims the defendants inhumanely and illegally mistreat their Asian elephants and have done so for decades. On Monday, Federal Court Judge Emmet Sullivan will begin hearing testimony in the case. The anticipated three-week, non-jury trial takes place in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
You can help Born Free USA united with API defray our massive legal expenses. Go to www.bornfreeusa.org/edf.
Lawsuit alleges elephant abuse
Natalie Neysa Alund
Originally released in 2003 and narrated by actor Joaquin Phoenix, the documentary Earthlings covers the suffering of animals used for food, fashion, pets, entertainment and medical research. And now, it’s getting a special-edition re-release with even more footage.
Born Free USA united with API knows that when people accept the truth about how animals are treated, they will change their behavior.
Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Earthlings’ Gets Special-Edition Release
The Latest in Green Gossip
Will Travers, CEO of Born Free USA united with API, responds, “Captive elephants (carefully marshaled by employees wielding sharp, steel-tipped bullhooks) ‘choosing the next President’ may seem like typical piece of election season ‘fluff’, but not even this latest gimmick from Ringling can deflect public attention away from the real Headline News — that in less than 2 weeks the most famous Circus in the world will stand before Washington DC Court to answer allegations of cruelty and abuse of endangered Asian elephants.”
The "contemptible" practice of keeping elephants in captivity and the breeding programs that force elephants to live an unnatural life for their entire existence ... might explain the bizarre behavior exhibited by Rose-Tu toward her newborn. But there may be another reason: The abuse she suffered eight years ago at the hands of one of her Oregon Zoo handlers may have compromised her ability to interact normally with her calf.
Born Free USA united with API knows that elephants don't belong in the zoo.
The lesson of Rose-Tu and her calf
In a victory for environmentalists, a federal judge has returned the gray wolf in the Upper Midwest to federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. The four environmental groups that filed the lawsuit included the Humane Society of the United States, Help Our Wolves Live, the Animal Protection Institute, and the Friends of Animals and Their Environment.
Gray wolf gets back on the protected list
Misha the elephant died Sept. 9 in a cinder-block building at Utah's Hogle Zoo, her most recent home. No one is certain yet of what caused her sudden downturn, at what could be described as "middle age" for an elephant. But one of Misha's former trainers has a strong suspicion: "She lost her will."
Born Free USA united with API knows that captivity is no place for an elephant.
Misha endured a tragic life - and she wasn't unique
Matthew D. LaPlante
The Reporter (Vacaville, CA)
The owners of an exotic animal park and one of its board members have been charged with evidence tampering for allegedly trying to cover up a tiger attack on a volunteer. The owners of Wesa-A-Geh-Ya in Warren County, Kenneth and Sandra Smith, and the board member, Roy Elder, initially led the sheriff’s department to believe that a pit bull attacked the volunteer, Jacob Barr, who had part of his leg amputated after the Aug. 3 mauling. Mr. Elder and Ms. Smith are accused of lying to investigators by saying a dog attacked Mr. Barr. Mr. Smith, who shot and killed the tiger, is accused of participating in a cover-up by moving its body to a different location. Ms. Smith said she had misled investigators because she feared that the park’s animals would be euthanized if the authorities learned the truth.
Missouri: Animal Park Owners Charged
The New York Times
Residents who own reptiles that are not native to Florida can now give up their pets without facing a penalty whenever they want — instead of releasing them into the Everglades. The new rules expand a series of pet amnesty events so pet owners can surrender their unwanted pets to a wildlife sanctuary instead of illegally releasing them.
Born Free USA united with API believes that wildlife belongs in the wild, not in private possession. Releasing animals to sanctuaries is a much better alternative to keeping exotic “pets” in substandard housing, with their dietary and psychological needs poorly met, if at all.
New rules set for owners of exotic pets in Florida
The Associated Press