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Day Two of Will Travers' Report from Geneva – CITES Standing Committee

Published 07/07/09

We’ve spent a long day wading through technical administrative matters, but I think we have been winning more than we are losing so far. Every bit of forward progress helps.

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Day One of Will Travers' Report from Geneva – CITES Standing Committee

Published 07/07/09

Well, the first day of Standing Committee to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has come to an end in Geneva, Switzerland ... imagine a huge room with rows of tables, hundreds of delegates (some would say “government bureaucrats”), headphones, microphones, papers, computers, and the slightly muted buzzing of simultaneous translation into the three working languages of the Convention: English, French, and Spanish.

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Urging a ban on owning dangerous reptiles

Published 07/03/09

Investigators continued looking for answers the day after a Sumter County toddler was strangled to death by a python. ... The tragic case has sparked outrage from residents in the community as well as animal protection organizations. National wildlife advocacy group, Born Free USA, has called on Florida legislators to immediately ban the ownership of dangerous reptiles.

Investigation continues after snake strangles child
Larry Ell
The Daily Commercial (Leesburg, FL)

Deadly exotic "pets" are never a good idea

Published 07/02/09

It is the sort of headline that grabs your attention: "Toddler Dies, Python Found Coiled Around Her." Wednesday, a 12-foot-long Burmese python appears to have killed a 2-year-old Florida girl. The girl's family owned the python, as well as a 6-foot-long boa constrictor. No doubt, this incident will start a conversation about whether it's a good idea to house exotic pets, especially when there are children involved.

Born Free USA knows it's never a good idea. See our list of incidents involving children and adults who have come into contact with reptiles, often with deadly results.

Python Attack Raises Safety Concerns about Housing Exotic Pets
Al Tompkins
Poynter Online
The Poynter Institute
St. Petersburg, FL


The Lucky Children's Book Continues Its Flight

Published 06/25/09

In Indonesia’s Maluku Islands it is not unusual to find wild parrots or cockatoos chained to perches outside local shops or in the homes of the wealthy. Lucky, a rainbow lorikeet, was one such bird. Trapped from the nearby forest and chained to a two-foot wooden stick, he lived outside his owner’s restaurant for more than a year before he was discovered by representatives from the Indonesian Parrot Project. Monica Engebretson, senior program associate for Born Free USA united with the Animal Protection Institute, was a member of the 2003 Indonesian Parrot Project ecotour and remembers Lucky’s story ...

Ecotourism Helps Birds and Communities Take Flight
Bonnie Zimmermann
Dinas Kebudayaan & Pariwisata Provinsi Maluku


Anything but an Elephant's Natural Environment

Published 06/23/09

In the circus, you see gentle giants donning funny outfits and performing tricks on tiny tubs. It's anything but an elephant's natural environment. "Should the elephants get out there and perform these tricks every day for the public so you (Ringling Bros.) can make pocket money? Or should it be that the elephants don't have to do this anymore?" asks Tom Rider, a former Ringling employee and plaintiff in the federal lawsuit against the circus.

See more on Born Free USA's lawsuit.

Lawsuit accuses Ringling Bros. of abusing elephants
Las Vegas KTNV


Keep dolphins out of the desert

Published 06/19/09

14 dolphins have died in the 19 years since Steve Wynn opened the Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage. Now, an animal rights group wants to stop the casino from bringing more dolphins to the desert.

Born Free USA's Senior Program Associate Monica Engebretson contributes to this video report via phone.

Dolphins in the Desert, seg. 3
Dana Gentry
Las Vegas Sun


More Ringling nonsense: Circus elephants enjoy living out of boxcars

Published 06/18/09

As the Ringling rail cars were unloaded in Las Vegas Tuesday evening, 12 hours before their scheduled arrival, Ringling animal handler Ryan Henning expressed the same sentiments his employer has emphasized in recent years -- mainly, how well circus elephants are treated and how much the big pachyderms enjoy living out of boxcars. "They enjoy it. They travel very comfortably. I would say they travel better than the people in the show. They've got it made," he said.

The article links to the court documents in Born Free USA's trial against Ringling (for violating the Endangered Species Act by cruelly mistreating Asian elephants) which clearly show otherwise.

Circus Arrives in Las Vegas Amid Controversy
KLAS Channel 8, Las Vegas

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