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China Bans Animal Circuses

Published 01/28/11
By Malcolm Moore, The Telegraph (England)

China has banned animal circuses and warned its zoos they must stop abusing animals or face closure. Live animal shows and circuses are hugely popular in China, and draw around 150 million visitors a year at 700 zoos. However, animal rights campaigners have repeatedly complained that the shows should be stopped.

Link: The Telegraph (Warning: Contains mildly graphic photograph of a tiger carrying a live bird in its mouth.)

Chimps in New Mexico Given a Reprieve!

Published 01/24/11

Born Free USA, working with Animal Protection New Mexico (APNM), put out an Action Alert last September asking members to speak out for more than 200 chimpanzees housed at an Alamogordo, N.M., facility. These chimps, who are semi-retired and have not been used as subjects for laboratory experimentation since 2001, were to be shipped to Texas where they again would be subjected to invasive and harmful experiments. In recent weeks, the National Institutes of Health canceled the transfer until the National Academy of Science reviews policies on using chimpanzees in biomedical research, which is anticipated to take about two years. So for now, the chimps are safe – thank you all for your extraordinary efforts!

No More Pet Monkeys in the Prairie State!

Published 01/21/11
By Mike Riopell,

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — If you want to own a pet monkey, you’re out of luck in Illinois. A ban on new monkey ownership is one of hundreds of state laws that took effect Jan. 1.

Link: Daily Herald (Plainfield, Ill.)

China: Five More Years of U.S.-Sino Panda Diplomacy

Published 01/19/11
By Deborah Zabarenko, Reuters

China is extending its so-called panda diplomacy agreement with the United States, letting giant pandas stay at the Washington national zoo for another five years, a Chinese conservation official said Jan. 19. "This is a great opportunity ... to advance our friendship," Zang Chunlin, secretary-general of the China Wildlife Conservation Association, told reporters.

Link: Reuters

‘Elsa’s Legacy’ Essay Contest Winners Announced!

Published 01/19/11

In conjunction with this month’s premiere of “Elsa’s Legacy: The Born Free Story” on PBS, we asked you to share your thoughts about how Joy Adamson’s book “Born Free” or the hit movie that followed impacted the way you think about wild animals. We were delighted with the responses, and want to share the best essays with all of you. Click “Read More” below to see our four favorites. Each writer will receive an autographed copy of “The Life in My Years,” the autobiography by “Born Free” movie star Virginia McKenna. And remember the lyrics, sung so beautifully by Matt Monro and that continue to inspire 45 years later: “Born free, and life is worth living. But only worth living, cause you’re born free.”

(Own the “Elsa’s Legacy: The Born Free Story” DVD.)

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Virginia McKenna Discusses 'Elsa's Legacy'

Published 01/14/11
By Michele C. Hollow, Pet News and Reviews

Virginia McKenna, who co-founded the Born Free Foundation in England with her husband Bill Travers and son Will Travers (Born Free USA's chief executive officer), is featured in a three-part Q&A article on the Pet News and Views website.

Link: Part 1
Link: Part 2
Link: Part 3

China, Britain Make Deals on Trade, Pandas

Published 01/11/11
By Agence France-Presse

LONDON – Britain and China have signed trade deals worth £2.6 billion and announced Beijing will loan a pair of giant pandas to Edinburgh Zoo for 10 years. The agreements were inked during talks in London between Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Link: Agence France-Presse/Yahoo! News

'Elsa's Legacy: The Born Free Story'

Published 01/06/11

My Dear Friends: Making Born Free with my late husband Bill, working with the Adamsons and learning so much about lions — and now working for wildlife around the world with Born Free USA and the Born Free Foundation, have been some of the greatest highlights of my life.

I cannot say how thrilled I am that “Elsa’s Legacy: The Born Free Story” was shown Sunday on PBS’ “Nature.” It is a story that simply has to be told and it sends a warning roar across the airwaves letting us know that we are perilously close to losing something that we, deep down, value so much — the world’s wild places and the wild creatures, such as lions, that still inhabit them.

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