When the Texas Rangers host the Oakland Athletics on Sunday evening in Arlington, TX, we will be there — making a Jumbotron-size video pitch for support in the Lone Star State! About four years ago, Rangers pitching legend and co-owner Nolan Ryan talked onstage about having once been an "ambassador" for the snow monkeys who were living in what is now the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary. His dry recitation of what happened had the audience (or at least the two radio personalities who were interviewing Ryan) howling with laughter, and audio of the exchange has attracted so much attention that Sunday's game has been declared "Nolan Ryan Snow Monkey Day" at the ballpark.
(One of last year's contest entries,
from Phyllis Wald-Fast of Gillette, N.J.)
It's time for our second annual Keep Wildlife in the Wild Photo Contest! Submit a candid picture you take of any animal who lives in the wild and you could win our top prize, a Born Free USA merchandise gift basket. There's one key stipulation, however: You must take the picture sometime in June 2012! Give it your best "shot" and send us your best photograph — or two photographs, maximum. And keep in mind that all entries must be received by the end of the day on Monday, July 9, 2012. (See last year's winners here.)
There's so much to do on behalf of animals that we have expanded our Keep Wildlife in the Wild Week to Keep Wildlife in the Wild Month! Throughout June, we will be discussing our five major campaigns — Wildlife Trade, Trapping and Fur, Animals in Entertainment, Exotic "Pets" and our Primate Sanctuary — through a series of Action Alerts and videos. Watch our chief executive officer, Will Travers, as he introduces Keep Wildlife in the Wild Month, which will include a children's essay contest, our second annual Keep Wildlife in the Wild Photo Contest, and our annual summertime online auction that includes more than 50 unique items.
Last summer's Compassionate Pet Supply Store of the Year contest was a great success, with more than 150 nominations. So we're doing it again! Nominate your favorite pet supply store before July 1. Use our online form to tell us what makes it so special. You know — the owner who knows you and your animal companion by name, or the salespeople who are so knowledgeable that they can take you straight to the right product, no matter how obscure. The contest's only criteria are that the store cannot sell live animals of any kind, including birds, reptiles or fish, and must be a brick-and-mortar store (not just an online shopping site).
Are you going to be in or near Los Angeles on Saturday, May 26? ThinkSpace Art Gallery in Culver City (map) invites you to the opening reception (5 to 8 p.m.) for "Wild at Heart: Keep Wildlife in the Wild," featuring works by more than 100 artists. The exhibition, which runs through June 9, will raise awareness about the precarious predicament of wild creatures around the world and aid efforts to protect them in their natural habitat. A whopping 20 percent of all artwork sales benefit Born Free USA, and we'll receive all proceeds from a silent auction of donated rare prints from Mark Ryden, Marion Peck and Audrey Kawasaki. After May 26, unsold works can be purchased online.
Born Free USA has launched an animal sponsorship program! Representing our core campaigns, the following animals can now be sponsored for you or a loved one: Parrot ($15 per year), representing National Bird Day; Fox ($25 per year), representing our trapping and fur free campaigns; Bear ($35 per year), representing our work against the gallbladder and bile trade; Tiger ($45 per year), representing our exotic "pets" campaign; Elephant ($75 per year), representing our animals in entertainment campaign; and Lion ($100 per year), representing our wildlife trade campaign. An animal gift sponsorship makes a great gift for a loved one — and for wildlife, too, because it helps with all our animal protection work!
Born Free USA was out in force on Tuesday, April 24, in support of California's anti-"hounding" measure, Senate Bill 1221 — legislation that would outlaw the insane practice of having dogs scare bears and bobcats up trees so that the terrified wildlife can be shot at point-blank range by humans. Hundreds of hunters showed up in opposition at the bill's hearing, in California's state Capitol, but so did scores of supporters, many of whom were there at the urging of Born Free USA. Stay tuned to learn how the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water voted and what happens next with SB 1221.
The neighborhood just got a bit more wild. Local painter and mural artist Alex “Cabron” Forster has completed a mural entitled “El Tigre” on a 17-foot-by-85-foot exterior wall at the office of Born Free USA on the corner of S and 12th streets in downtown Sacramento. The original, dramatic image of a tiger’s face looking between the bars of a cage was created by Cabron exclusively for Born Free USA, a leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Watch the artist and Born Free's creative director, Sharie Lesniak, interviewed on local Channel 31's "Good Day Sacramento" about the mural.