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Another exhibited animal escape

Published 05/19/08

A 10-year-old Bornean orangutan escaped from her new exhibit at Busch Gardens for nearly an hour Saturday before she was recaptured. Luna Bella, who weighs about 85 pounds, climbed up the outside edge of a visitor viewing window in the park's new Jungala exhibit and then onto the roof of the exhibit. Born Free USA united with API keeps a log of exhibited animal incidents, which are more common than one might expect.

Orangutan tastes freedom, briefly
Bill Coats and Stephanie Garry
St. Petersburg Times

ESA Protection for Polar Bears

Published 05/14/08

Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced today that the polar bear will be listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The loss of sea ice threatens polar bear habitat, putting the animal at risk of becoming endangered in the foreseeable future. Born Free USA united with API welcomes this necessary step to protecting polar bears, but has reservations that an interpretation of the ESA will, as Secretary Kempthorne says, "ensure the protection of the bear while allowing us to continue to develop our natural resources in the arctic region in an environmentally sound way."

Secretary Kempthorne Announces Endangered Species Act Protection for Polar Bear
Press Release
U.S. Department of the Interior

ESA Protection for Polar Bears

Published 05/14/08

Secretary Kempthorne announced today that the polar bear will be protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as a threatened species due to the threat of decreasing sea ice habitat caused by climate change. Born Free USA united with API welcomes this necessary step to protecting polar bears, but has reservations that an interpretation of the ESA will, as Secretary Kempthorne says, "ensure the protection of the bear while allowing us to continue to develop our natural resources in the arctic region in an environmentally sound way."

Secretary Kempthorne Announces Endangered Species Act Protection for Polar Bear
Press Release
U.S. Department of the Interior

Circus "death defying acts" could include the audience

Published 05/08/08

"After 15 years of denying it, the USDA finally admits Asian elephants can pass m-tuberculosis to humans and vice-versa. ... Now ask yourself if you know anyone with m-tuberculosis. Then ask them whether they have been to the circus lately." Born Free USA united with API has long trumpeted the threats posed to public health and safety by circuses' use of TB-positive elephants in public performances.

Circus Elephants with Tuberculosis are a Real Threat to People
Leslie Griffith
The Huffington Post

Using animals to entertain is cruel

Published 05/05/08

People need to understand that using wild animals such as bears, tigers and primates in entertainment is as inherently dangerous as it is cruel. Those who do not attack, maul and kill people, and serve their purpose without incident, are frequently killed, neglected or sold off to research institutions or roadside zoos when they are no longer useful in making people money.

Using animals to entertain is cruel
Letter to the Editor
Zibby Wilder, Director of Public Relations
Born Free USA united with API
The Herald (Everett, WA)

The movement to restrict fur trapping in Montana

Published 05/01/08

As Footloose Montana plans a voter initiative to ban trapping on public lands after repeated incidents of nontarget animals, including dogs and even a golden eagle, killed in traps, trappers continue to say it's the fault of the dogs' caregivers and to cling to the absurd claim that trapping is a "very efficient and humane method of managing wildlife" in this story from The New York Times. Born Free USA united with API continues to show that the evidence of inefficiency and inhumanity is overwhelming, as documented on our www.bancrueltraps.com website.

Montana Dog Owners Find Wild-Animal Traps Put Pets in Harm’s Way
Jim Robbins
The New York Times

The dream becomes a nightmare

Published 04/28/08

The grizzly bear that wrestled Will Ferrell's character in the recent film Semi-Pro seemed to obediently follow cues — which made its killing of its trainer with a bite to the neck all the more stunning. ... The attack prompted actress Virginia McKenna, founder of the international wildlife charity Born Free, to call for the entertainment industry to stop using wild animals. "The movie industry urgently needs to use its technological and creative imagination to put an end to the use of live wild animals in commercials and movies," McKenna, who starred in the 1966 wildlife film Born Free, said in a printed release. "Hollywood is a dream factory — this time the dream has become a nightmare."

Bear gave off no reasons for concern before trainer's death
Associated Press

Grizzly bear, performer in movies and television, kills his trainer

Published 04/24/08

Paramedics rushed to an animal trainer who had been bitten on the neck by a 700-pound, 7-1/2-foot-tall grizzly bear. Stephan Miller, 39, died at the scene. Miller was killed by the 5-year-old bear during the making of a promotional video for Randy Miller's Predators in Action center. The bear's fate has not been decided. "It's still a wild animal," said a woman who works with wild animals. "Even though it may appear that the bear attacked for no reason, there was a reason. ... They're not cold-blooded killers." Born Free USA united with API has long warned of the dangers of using wild animals in entertainment and has documented dozens of deaths and attacks by wild animals at facilities using wild animals for amusement.

Grizzly bear attacks, kills his trainer
Associated Press
USA Today

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