Battle lines are being drawn after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s announcement last month to suspend import of elephant trophies from Tanzania and Zimbabwe for the remainder of 2014. Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, says the new rules represent “common sense limits. Trophy hunting that threatens endangered wildlife is not real conservation.” But, he adds, the government is giving a contradictory message in terms of the overall ivory ban and its public stance against elephant poaching. “A poacher is not allowed to kill an elephant and shop the ivory overseas. But an American hunter is allowed to engage in the same slaughter and movement of ivory? The goal should be no more killing. Full stop.”
Link: National Geographic
In a vital partnership between Land Rover and Born Free, we use Land Rover’s “Defender” vehicle to travel across Africa to save lions and other imperiled species. Born Free has developed a new, effective version of the traditional boma, which protects livestock so that the Masai people no longer hunt lions who threaten these animals. As Will Travers, Founder of Born Free USA explained, “We are dramatically reducing the number of livestock killed and at the same time preserving the lion population in the region.”
Link: The Sun
South Dakota wildlife officials report that, in recent years, trappers in the state have increasingly used live animals—including domestic cats and rabbits, and live birds—as bait. Now, the practice might be outlawed. The state Game, Fish and Parks Commission will hold a public hearing on June 5.
Link: Aberdeen News
Claire LaFrance, Program Associate at Born Free USA, thanks The Boston Globe for highlighting the plight of two Asian elephants at the Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford. LaFrance explains the benefits of relocating these elephants to a sanctuary, which could better meet their physical, psychological, and social needs.
Link: The Boston Globe
If you’re looking for meaningful summer reading, we highly recommend the book The Life in My Years by Born Free founder Virginia McKenna. This poignant autobiography of McKenna’s life details her love of wildlife, her acting career, her compassionate activism, poetry, and touching family stories. It's not just about the years in her life—but the life in her years. Enjoy a good read, share a lifelong journey, and hear an inspiring voice for animals!
Born Free USA’s CEO, Adam M. Roberts, discusses the war on ivory—and how the newly released report, “Ivory’s Curse: The Militarization and Professionalization of Poaching in Africa,” reveals complex networks behind the ivory trade. Roberts declares, “We will call upon global decision-makers to uniformly prohibit the trade in ivory to once again dry up the marketplace. We will encourage targeted action in each of the poaching and trade hotspots we have identified to make sure the right approach is applied in the right place. And we will continue to identify the nefarious people working to doom elephants for their own greed.”
Link: One Green Planet
At recent hearings—attended by about a quarter of the trappers in Wisconsin—it was decided that the number of permitted trapping hours in Wisconsin will increase by 50 percent.
Link: The Capital Times
Born Free USA’s commissioned report, “Ivory’s Curse: The Militarization and Professionalization of Poaching in Africa,” finds that corrupt government officials are behind intensive, organized, illegal hunting in Tanzania’s protected areas. According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “the elephant poaching crisis has reached historic levels and shockingly, some elephant populations face extinction in my lifetime.”
Link: IPP Media