California's Senate Bill 1480, the Consumer and Wildlife Protection Act and a bill we helped initiate, has passed all hurdles in the state Senate and Assembly and now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature. If you live in California, please help make this bill become law by writing to Brown, who has until Sept. 30 to take action. For those of you interested in learning out more about this important animal protection issue, check out a three-minute video we prepared in support of SB 1480. (Please note the video contains images of trapped animals, so it might not be suitable viewing for everyone.)
Not long ago it looked as though elephant poaching in Africa was on the downswing, in part because of more rigorous enforcement of a global ban on trade in most elephant ivory imposed in 1989. That moment is gone and with it, elephants in the tens of thousands every year. These astonishing creatures, which seem more intelligent and emotionally aware the more we know about them, are being gunned down by poachers for their ivory tusks at a fast pace — the worst slaughter seen since the 1980s.
A tiger escaped its enclosure at Cologne Zoo in western Germany on Aug. 25 and killed a female keeper before being shot dead by the zoo's director, police said. The tiger slipped through a passage between the enclosure and an adjacent storage building, where it fatally attacked the 43-year-old keeper, said police spokesman Stefan Kirchner.
Link: Huffington Post
This spring, for the fourth year in a row, dozens of compassionate clothes designers from throughout the globe entered our Fur Free Fashion Competition, otherwise known as fffashion. This summer, our panel of celebrity judges (including Melissa Rivers, Kelly and Sharon Osbourne, and Victoria Principal) pored over the Top 10 and concluded that the winners are Fifile Nguyen and Michelle French of Austin, TX. They created "The Miller Dress," a black-and-white swing dress with elaborate sleeve pleating, a deep neckline and no closures. The victory comes with a $750 cash prize.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Tom Hardy are teaming up to produce an untitled animal-trafficking drama set up at Warner Bros., sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. Hardy came up with the idea, inspired by friends who are former Special Forces operatives and went on to become anti-poaching fighters in South Africa and other nations.
Link: Hollywood Reporter
About 200 square miles of Alaska backcountry terrain where a California hiker was mauled to death by a grizzly bear remained closed Sunday as investigators continued to piece together what happened. Weather permitting, rangers at Denali National Park were planning to recreate the steps taken by 49-year-old Richard White, of San Diego, before he was attacked Friday afternoon near the Toklat River, park officials said. Before the attack, White photographed the male bear for at least eight minutes from a distance of 50 to 100 yards.
Link: Huffington Post
Born Free USA's chief executive officer, Will Travers, went on CNN International to debate with a zoo representative about the appropriateness of having wild animals held in captivity. Some people, including Will's debate opponent, Andrew Marshall of York University, claim zoos are educational and promote conservation of species. Will spoke for the rest of us in maintaining that most zoos represent a crass exploitation of animals, and abuse of them, for entertainment and profit. Watch the debate and see what you think. Be sure to keep with it until the end, when Marshall makes a statement that prompted Will, who was not allowed time to respond on the air, to write a blog.
This is a story of Twitter and the turtle. Blake Shelton, country singer and a star of TV's "The Voice," tweeted that he swerved his vehicle to "smash" an Oklahoma box turtle. When my friend, herpetology expert John F. Taylor alerted me to the tweet, I replied to Shelton asking if his comment was a bad joke or he was really so cruel?