Earlier this summer we asked Born Free USA supporters and friends to participate in our first photography contest, and we received scores of quality entries. Our staff members have selected their 12 favorites. Now it's time for you to pick the winners! We'll be collecting your votes through Aug. 26, 2011. Winners will be announced Labor Day weekend, with a photo printer at stake in the Backyard category and binoculars going to the Worldwide winner.
It was seen as one of the most distressing effects of climate change ever recorded: polar bears dying of exhaustion after being stranded between melting patches of Arctic sea ice. But now the government scientist who first warned of the threat to polar bears in a warming Arctic has been suspended and his work put under official investigation for possible scientific misconduct.
Link: The Guardian (U.K.)
He's wild at heart! Ian Somerhalder testified before Congress on July 28 for wildlife conversation. The Vampire Diaries actor, 32, is head of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which aims to empower, educate and collaborate with people to help them positively impact the planet and its creatures.
Link: US Magazine/Yahoo! News
Learning how to respect and respond to wildlife while camping, picnicking, and hiking can mean the difference between co-existing peacefully and being in serious danger. Born Free USA, the leading animal welfare and wildlife conservation organization, reports that there is an increase in wildlife encounters this time of year because families are enjoying activities that take place at the home of these animals.
In a rare defeat for Republican leadership, the House on July 27 backed a Democratic proposal allowing the Interior Department to continue adding new species to the Endangered Species Act. A spending bill backed by GOP leaders would have only allowed species to be removed from the endangered list, rather than added. Republicans said the current program encourages lawsuits from advocacy groups that seek to have species listed as threatened or endangered, costing the government tens of millions of dollars.
await the flame Wednesday in Kenya.
See more Kenya ivory burn photos.
A few decades ago there were 1.3 million elephants in Africa. The bloody, corrupt and merciless ivory trade that precipitated the killing of 600,000 African elephants during the 1970s and 1980s is sadly booming across Africa again. Reports of elephant poaching (possibly 35,000 animals a year!) and ivory seizures are becoming an almost daily occurrence. Something dramatic needs to be done to protect these magnificent, increasingly imperiled animals — to remind the world to say, no, to scream: "NO BLOODY IVORY!" On July 20, a dramatic message was indeed sent …
A slick black head breaks the surface, drawing delighted shrieks from whale watchers in a growing, and lucrative, activity that some say should replace Iceland's controversial whale hunt. Since their meager beginning in the 1990s, whale safaris in this island state have grown to attract tens of thousands of visitors each summer. But its proponents tensed up when Iceland reintroduced commercial whaling in 2006, and the two sides remain uneasy bedfellows.
MANYANI, Kenya — Record prices for ivory are fueling a sharp increase in poachers killing elephants, even those in protected areas, conservation groups warned July 20 — the same day that Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki burned five tons of confiscated ivory to highlight the problem.