Elephants have long been targeted for their ivory, but in the past half-century their numbers have been in especially steep decline. It's quickly reaching the point where the long-term survival of this magnificent species is in peril — especially in the wild. Recent events in Cameroon, where some 500 elephants have been poached in a national park so far this year, indicate there is much work to be done despite gains engineered by animal protection groups and a growing awareness of elephants' plight. The illegal trade in ivory must stop, and you can help. Visit our Elephants webpage for six actions you can take today.
To celebrate National Bird Day and in collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and the DVD/Blu-ray release of its comedy about birding, "The Big Year," last month we hatched a Free Bird Photo Contest! The four-week competition was open to all and attracted some 200 entries. The winning photo of a Carolina Wren was taken by Kanokwalee Pusitanun of Cedar Park, TX. Kanokwalee will receive a pair of powerful binoculars, a bird feeder or house from the Born Free USA online store and a copy of "The Big Year." Check out the Top 20 photos from this inaugural competition — and stay tuned for details about the second annual Keep Wildlife in the Wild Photo Contest we have planned for late spring!
The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary has welcomed a macaque! He had been found living in horrendous conditions (see how bad by watching this
53-second video, and then compare it with this 13-second video of our Primate Sanctuary!) at a roadside zoo in Mississippi after an undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States revealed serious animal welfare issues there. The macaque, as yet unnamed, was taken from the zoo on Jan. 25 and on the next day arrived at our 186-acre sanctuary in south Texas. According to Sanctuary Director Tim Ajax:
You would never force an animal to live in a cramped, barren cage suspended over her own waste. But hundreds of thousands of animals on “fur farms” are forced to endure such unconscionable misery while awaiting their grim fate. While many European countries have banned or severely restricted fur farming, the United States has largely turned a blind eye to this barbaric industry. You can help by signing our petition that asks upscale Barneys New York to stop selling fur and, if you live in one of the "dirty dozen" fur farm states, by contacting your elected officials. Born Free USA’s groundbreaking report “Cruelty Uncaged: A Review of Fur Farming in North America” revealed that, in addition to the inherently cruel conditions mink, fox and even bobcats suffer, the farms also place native wildlife at risk and are sources of environmental pollution.
One decade after we hatched National Bird Day, our feathered friends are as worthy of celebration as ever before — and as deserving of their right to live freely and fully in the wild. As the 10th annual National Bird Day on Jan. 5 approaches, Born Free USA invites you to participate in a number of all-avian activities! All-new for 2012 are our inaugural NBD photo contest, our colorful posters (which can be downloaded for free or ordered from our online store for a $1 shipping and handling charge), our "10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Bird Window Collisions" and "More Ways You Can Help Protect Birds Around Your Home." Keep abreast of events set for NBD 2012, and please let us know if you have anything special planned.
All of us here at Born Free USA — our chief executive in England, our East Coast and Sacramento staff members, our representative in Canada and the people who make sure things run smoothly at our Primate Sanctuary in south Texas — wish you the best of holidays and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Thank you for your support and for sharing our desire to make this a better world for animals. We've accomplished a lot in 2011, and together we can do so much more in 2012. We can, we must, and we will!
Believe it or not, an "Inside Edition" investigation found it is easier in some states to purchase a tiger than it is to adopt a dog from a shelter. Producer Charlie Mclravy found it was as easy as responding to a listing in a catalog called the "Animal Finder's Guide." The ad said: "Tiger Cub, five month old female, well socialized." The seller, Cy Vierstra, sent Mclravy pictures of a rare white Bengal tiger. The price: $2,700.
Born Free USA works vigorously to prevent such exploitation of wildlife. Please consider helping us today.
For many months we have been developing strategies for 2012 — what campaigns we will emphasize, investigations we will undertake, legislation we will promote, fundraising opportunities we will explore, etc. However, before the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, it's tempting to reflect on all that we have done in 2011. And by "we" I mean Born Free USA staff members, volunteers and, most importantly, supporters such as yourself. By signing our Action Alert letters, spreading the word about the work we do to Keep Wildlife in the Wild®, boosting us through donations, and treating all animals with compassion and respect, you are the heart and soul of Born Free USA and we cannot thank you enough.