The news has been abuzz with the story of Corey Knowlton, the Dallas-based hunter who paid $350,000 at auction for the chance to shoot an endangered black rhinoceros in Namibia. Knowlton justifies the hunt in the name of conservation, as his money will reportedly be spent to save other endangered black rhinos—but his insensitivity and flawed logic have earned him disdain from animal advocacy groups and death threats from the public.
Two orcas will be captured from the wild, flown 4,614 miles, and then displayed in small concrete tanks at the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia. They will join six other orcas who suffer the same stifling fate.
Link: The Mirror
In December, Born Free USA asked our members to write letters to Judge John Gleeson, urging him to impose a strict sentence for illegal rhinoceros horn trafficker, Michael Slattery, Jr. On Friday, January 10, Mr. Slattery was sentenced to serve 14 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release; to pay a $10,000 fine; and to forfeit $50,000 in profits from his rhino horn trade. Born Free USA sincerely appreciates your involvement in this momentous case.
A zoo near Buenos Aires, Argentina invites visitors to touch, ride, and walk among wild animals such as bears, lions, and tigers: a dangerous practice that also begs questions of animal mistreatment. Born Free USA CEO, Will Travers, explains the risks of close interaction with wild animals.
Link: Yahoo! Travel
This week, China took an important first step in ending the ivory trade by publicly destroying six tons of elephant ivory. But, due to China’s unique, substantial role in wildlife trafficking, there remains much more to be done.
Link: National Geographic
A hunting community in India killed approximately 150,000 federally protected Amur falcons in the fall of 2012. But, following a successful year-long campaign by state officials and nonprofit organizations to educate villagers about protecting these birds, the number killed this season dropped to zero.
National Bird Day, the annual avian celebration, is a day to recognize the plight of captive and wild birds. Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA, states, “While some may argue that breeding and the pet industry increase the odds of survival, a literal bird in a cage does not make up for one absent from the wild.”
Link: The Oregonian
Following in the footsteps of Gabon, Kenya, the Philippines, and the U.S., China has demonstrated its commitment to ending the bloody ivory trade by destroying 6.1 tons of confiscated elephant ivory. This was an important gesture, considering that ivory is a traditional symbol of wealth and status in China.
Link: South China Morning Post