The edited version of the Christian the Lion story, making the rounds on the Internet over the last year, has been named a 2008 "Moments that Mattered" in The New York Times Magazine.
Because this story is so intertwined with who and what Born Free is, we are overjoyed that the story is making as much of a difference now as it did then.
Moments That Mattered
The New York Times Magazine
Last week's death of Mac, a 2-year-old Asian elephant, at the Houston Zoo again puts the spotlight on the ability of zoos to safely care for elephants. As the article points out, "None of the 14 calves conceived by the zoos's elephants during the last 25 years is alive today."
With 10 zoo elephant deaths in 2008, and increasing incidents of the untreatable elephant herpes virus, the zoo industry has a lot of questions to answer.
Zoo a hot spot for fatal elephant Virus
The Houston Chronicle
Chicago's aldermen were not ready to step right up today and support a proposal aimed at curbing abuse of circus elephants. Two aldermen blocked a vote on the elephant-protection ordinance championed by Ald. Mary Ann Smith (48th) as the circus comes to the city next week. Smith originally wanted to ban the use of bull hooks on elephants. She agreed to amend the proposal to merely make it illegal "to use on an elephant any device or instrument with the intent to cause pain and injury, except as necessary to administer legitimate medical treatment." The ordinance also would ban chaining elephants except when necessary. Both changes leave more room for interpretation by circuses and law enforcement.
Born Free USA united with API's lawsuit against Ringling for mistreating its endangered Asian elephants (with, among other things, chaining and the bullhook) goes to trial on February 9, 2009.
Aldermen block vote on elephant-protection ordinance
Chicago Breaking News Center
Both California and Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly passed ballot measures protecting animals.
Proposition 2 in California passed by a margin of 63% to 37%! California is the first state to ban battery cages. Proposition 2 will phase out gestation crates, veal crates, and battery cages. Many animals on industrial farms are confined in small cages or crates and suffer tremendously. The overcrowded conditions on factory farms have also been found to pollute the air, contaminate groundwater and threaten human health. For more information visit www.yesonprop2.com.
Proposition 3 in Massachusetts passed by a margin of 56% to 44%! According to GREY2K this is the first time in history that dog tracks have been closed down by citizens’ vote. Proposition 3 will phase out commercial dog racing in the state by 2010. Racing dogs are housed in cages barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around, and in the past five years, more than 700 dogs have been injured on the racetrack. For more information please visit www.protectdogs.org.
These are historic victories for the animals. We thank all the voters who voted with compassion during this election.
Exotic pets cause big headaches for law enforcement and humane society officers who routinely respond to reports of unusual animals roaming the streets or attacking other animals or humans, something experts say is inevitable when dealing with animals ill-suited to captivity. "There's a reason why these animals are wild," said Adam Roberts, senior vice president for Born Free USA, a nonprofit animal protection organization. "They don't belong with people."
The Allure of Exotic Pets Bring Risks to Owners, Animals
When Ringling Bros. brings its circus to Pittsburgh on October 30 through November 2, volunteers from Voices for Animals of Western Pennsylvania will be present at each show, educating onlookers on the mistreatment suffered by animals in the circus.
The main protest is scheduled for Saturday evening, November 1.
Born Free USA united with API organized protests when Ringling brought the circus to the Sacramento CA area. We are delighted to offer this information to any activists or would-be activists local to the Pittsburgh area who wish to participate. Contact the organization at VoicesForAnimals@gmail.com.
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