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AWA-violating elephant keeper barred from Los Angeles

Published 04/11/08

A circus-elephant keeper was ordered to leave after the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services learned that, using different names and business aliases in Arizona and Texas, the man had a history of numerous Animal Welfare Act violations. New city rules for exotic animals prohibit an exotic-animal permit for any applicant who has violated the AWA within five years. Finding abuse of elephants in circuses to be rampant, Born Free USA united with API is working hard to stop their use. Elephants belong in the wild.

Circus-elephant keeper ordered out of L.A.
Dana Bartholomew
Los Angeles Daily News

The perfect time to consider the future of the zoo

Published 04/10/08

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is facing serious challenges, to be sure: possible loss of industry accreditation and millions of dollars of needed repairs. Perhaps this is the perfect time for everyone involved to consider the very future of the zoo. I understand the allure of seeing magnificent wild animals up close, especially threatened or endangered species. But I also understand the costs — both financial and ethical.

Time for a decision on future of our zoo
Letter to the Editor
Adam Roberts
Senior Vice President, Born Free USA

The Baltimore Sun

Gorgeously Green

Published 04/08/08

Gorgeously Green, the new book by Sophie Uliano, longtime friend to Born Free, will hit bookstores April 8, and provides readers with simple steps to make their lives more “green.” After all, green is the new black! With a forward by actor and activist, Julia Roberts, Gorgeously Green is a must-have for any gal making environmentally positive changes in her life. And Ms. Roberts isn’t the only celebrity hip to Sophie’s tips. Oprah will soon welcome Sophie to her talk show. Be sure to check your local listings.

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Elephants and Ethics at the Circus

Published 04/07/08

While the article "On the Other Tightrope" framed the debate about circuses' treatment of animals in general terms and mentioned a pending federal lawsuit, it failed to point out what the evidence against Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is. Ringling Bros. employees have repeatedly been documented hitting elephants with bull hooks. Ringling Bros. elephants are kept chained all the time except when performing; in one documented case, elephants were chained for 77 consecutive hours. This is just the tip of the iceberg of information presented in the lawsuit. Abusing elephants with bull hooks and chains, which is standard industry practice, is simply unacceptable.

Elephants and Ethics at the Circus
Letter to the Editor
Nicole G. Paquette, Esq.
Senior Vice President, Born Free USA

The Washington Post

Saving the desert tortoise from predatory ravens

Published 04/03/08

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program beginning next Spring will kill ravens caught preying on desert tortoises threatened with extinction. USFWS considered comments by animal advocacy groups to use only non-lethal methods, but that would take too long to have an effect, said a USFWS biologist, adding that the decline of the desert tortoise population needed to be stopped as soon as possible. Non-lethal in the plan including educating the public to place trash in covered garbage bins and not to over-irrigate lawns so that pools of water can be used by ravens for drinking. Monica Engebretson, senior program associate with Born Free USA united with API, said she hoped the program would have included methods to prevent raven eggs from hatching and efforts to pass ordinances that would fine residents for not properly taking care of their garbage or lawns so that the effort is taken seriously.

Plan calls for killing ravens to save desert tortoise
Jennifer Bowles
The Press-Enterprise

Our lawsuit against trapping wins in Minnesota

Published 04/02/08

Trapping and snaring in the "core" habitat of the Canada lynx in Minnesota violated the Endangered Species Act, a federal judge said in a ruling published Monday. U.S. District Judge Michael Davis ordered the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to "promptly take all action necessary to [ensure] no further taking of threatened Canada lynx." Davis said the DNR must apply by the end of April for a special permit regulating incidental takings of Canada lynx. The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed in 2006 by the Animal Protection Institute (now called Born Free USA) and the Center for Biological Diversity. According to the plaintiffs, trappers injured or killed at least 13 Canada lynx from 2002 to 2005.

DNR is told to put a stop to trapping Canada lynx
Dan Browning
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Our Staff Sounds Off

Published 04/02/08

Be sure to check out our new blog, where members of the Born Free USA team and animal experts talk about issues that make them tick — or just plain tick them off! Whether it’s a topic that infuriates, delights, or challenges, the Born Free USA blog is yet another way for us to connect and share stories about the work that inspires us all. Be sure to sign up to receive RSS feeds straight to your inbox!

Troubled zoo could lose animals on loan from accredited zoos

Published 04/01/08

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore could lose its national accreditation unless the aging facility fixes a litany of expensive problems stemming from years of financial struggles. Born Free USA united with API charts incidents at AZA-accredited facilities involving animal escapes and other dangerous occurrences.

Zoo accreditation in jeopardy
Doug Donovan
Baltimore Sun

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