A new report, commissioned by Born Free USA, says organized crime, government corruption, and militias are all linked to elephant poaching and the illegal ivory trade. Regarding poaching, Adam M. Roberts, Born Free USA’s CEO, explains, “It’s not just enough to say it’s criminal syndicates, nefarious profiteers. We wanted to know who is really behind it so that we can try and get governments around the world to do more to crack down.”
Link: Voice of America
Born Free USA commissioned a report from C4ADS to better understand the role organized crime and corrupt government officials play in ivory trafficking across Africa. Born Free USA’s CEO, Adam M. Roberts, explains, "Our findings shine a bright light on Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, Sudan, and Kenya, where poachers move across borders with near impunity, slaughter elephants with complete disregard, and use the ivory to fund violent operations across the continent.”
Link: Yahoo! News
A company in China that raises bears to extract their bile will be turned into a rehab center for more than 130 of its bears. Animals Asia Foundation will spearhead the operation. According to a statement from Animals Asia Foundation, the bears on the farm are sick from earlier extractions, as well as from confinement in small cages, poor diets, and a lack of veterinary care.
Link: The New York Times
Sadly, animals can be the forgotten victims of human conflict. Animals in a Ukranian zoo have been left to die of starvation in the wake of the country’s political turmoil.
Link: Daily Mail
The Los Angeles City Council has unanimously voted to ban traps that snare or grip coyotes, bears, foxes, and other animals. Any trap "that maims or causes the inhumane death or suffering of any animal" will be banned.
Link: Los Angeles Times
Experts warn that rhinos are on the path to extinction--perhaps even by the year 2020. Last week, Will Travers, Founder of Born Free USA, attended a summit on wildlife crime in South Africa. Travers states, “There are now just 20,000 white rhino and 5,000 black rhino left in the wild. If poaching carries on at the rate it is now for six more years it will devastate the numbers.”
As elephant populations in Tanzania and Zimbabwe have declined significantly, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a suspension on imports of sport-hunted African elephant trophies taken in both countries during 2014.
Vassar College profiles the career of one of its successful graduates: Born Free USA’s CEO, Adam M. Roberts (class of 1990). This informative piece details Roberts’ professional background, how he became interested in animal advocacy, and his vision for the future of Born Free USA. “We’re looking to improve and enhance animal rights laws at the state and federal level here in the U.S. as well as do a lot more in the area of international animal rights policy,” Roberts says.
Link: Vassar College