Born Free USA In The News
It was a professional hit, the quick and ruthless slaying of a family of 12. Poachers with machetes hacked off the tusks of 11 African elephants on Jan. 5 in a Kenyan reserve, passing over a baby that was crushed by its mother after a gunshot felled her. The same day, customs officials in Hong Kong seized more than 770 tusks, weighing more than a ton and valued at more than $1 million, according to Born Free USA, a group that tracks poaching and government seizures.
It was alarming to read new research which suggests that the West African Lion may be on the verge of extinction, with just 645 members of the sub-species left in western and central Africa. The study, carried out by conservation group LionAid, finds there are no lions at all in 25 of the region's countries, and the animal is virtually extinct in 10 others. In Nigeria, once home to a huge community of West African Lions, just 34 remain.
Some 1,500 African elephant tusks — the biggest seizure ever — were found this week hidden within timber planks and destined for China's ivory market. Shocked conservationists noted 2012 will now go down as the worst year in 24 years of records — and warned that 2013 could be even worse.
This past September marked the ending of a journey that involved transferring 107 macaques and one baboon from their former home, the defunct Wild Animal Orphange (WAO), San Antonio, Texas to their new location in Dilley, Texas. The macaques and baboon will now live out their lives in the primate sanctuary on 186 acres under the supervision of Tim Ajax, Director of the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary.
In late November our bid to have the African lion listed as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act cleared a hurdle. From now through Jan. 28, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is soliciting comments (click here to add your two cents) on why the lion should receive this layer a protection — a much-needed development that would mean the United States no longer would be a "consumer" of lions (import them for trophy-room display, restaurant use, etc.) On Dec. 6, 2012, our executive vice president, Adam Roberts, spoke on Canadian TV about this issue. Watch this CTV News segment now!
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will consider protecting the African lion under the Endangered Species Act. The groups Born Free USA, Born Free Foundation, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International, Defenders of Wildlife and the Fund for Animals filed the petition for protective status in a joint effort, and thanked the USFWS for its preliminary positive 90-day finding.
African lions may soon be protected under the Endangered Species Act thanks to petitions filed by Born Free USA, Born Free Foundation, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Humane Society of the U.S, the Humane Society International, Defenders of Wildlife and the Fund for Animals.
If wildlife activists have their way, U.S. hunters trekking to Africa soon won't be able to bring back any lion skins or skulls as trophies. Acting on a petition by those activists, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday said it will study whether the species warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act. Born Free USA, one of the petition groups, called the review "the necessary first step toward ensuring a chance at survival for this beleaguered species."