It is hard to believe that it has been one year since the tragedy near Zanesville, Ohio when Terry Thompson released more than fifty animals from his private zoo and then took his own life. Lions, bears, primates roamed the streets aimlessly, literally lost, before being shot by authorities, ill-equipped to handle such an insane situation. Since then, Ohio has strengthened its legislation but other states lag woefully behind. Still other exotic animal exhibitors perform with tigers or let patrons swim with them. Born Free USA is working tirelessly to ensure that we Keep Wildlife in the Wild!
Who says there's nothing good on television? Not us — especially now that we've heard the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary will be featured on the nationally syndicated program "Wild About Animals," hosted by Mariette Hartley. Because the show airs across the country at various times in each market, you'll have to check the listings to see when it airs in your area. (It's scheduled to air Saturday morning — Oct. 5 — on local TV stations in San Antonio and New York City, for example. Repeats of the episode are likely in the coming months.) "Wild About Animals," according to its press release, "travels the globe to bring viewers fascinating stories about wildlife and is known to offer the best in family-friendly, entertaining and educational programming. While the target audience is teenagers, the show provides quality viewing for all family members."
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About four years ago, baseball pitching legend and Texas Rangers co-owner Nolan Ryan spoke with reporters about having once been an "ambassador" for the snow monkeys who were living in what is now the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary. While everything at the sanctuary has changed for the better since Ryan's visit, his dry recitation of what happened back in the 1990s became a viral hit online, attracting so much attention that the Rangers' July 1 home game this season was declared "Nolan Ryan Snow Monkey Day" at the ballpark. Last week, as the regular season wound down, Born Free USA's executive vice president, Adam Roberts, flew out to the Rangers' ballpark to accept a $5,000 donation from Ryan himself — a most-welcome gift to our Primate Sanctuary, which has just completed its largest rescue ever. Thank you, Texas Rangers, and go get 'em in the playoffs!
of new arrival Kaleb the baboon!
We are thrilled to report that all 107 macaques and one baboon rescued from the Wild Animal Orphanage have arrived safely at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary! This rescue, by far our largest ever, has been in the works for a long time. Following many months of negotiations and planning, early this year we began building enclosures and recreation structures for what we call The WAO Group. We began accepting the monkeys, transported in stages by air-conditioned truck from nearby San Antonio, in late July. The last delivery was yesterday.
We've received word that the Senate could vote on the reprehensible "Sportsmen's Act of 2012" (S. 3525) this week. The bill absurdly grants trophy hunters the right to import the mounted heads and other pieces of polar bears they shot dead in the Arctic North. In April, we urged you to voice opposition to similar legislation in the House of Representatives. Today we implore you to do the same with S. 3525. We must do all we can to defeat this bill, which sets a dangerous precedent regarding the trophy hunting of imperiled species. Please write to your two U.S. senators today.
California's Senate Bill 1480, the Consumer and Wildlife Protection Act and a bill we helped initiate, has passed all hurdles in the state Senate and Assembly and now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature. If you live in California, please help make this bill become law by writing to Brown, who has until Sept. 30 to take action. For those of you interested in learning out more about this important animal protection issue, check out a three-minute video we prepared in support of SB 1480. (Please note the video contains images of trapped animals, so it might not be suitable viewing for everyone.)
This spring, for the fourth year in a row, dozens of compassionate clothes designers from throughout the globe entered our Fur Free Fashion Competition, otherwise known as fffashion. This summer, our panel of celebrity judges (including Melissa Rivers, Kelly and Sharon Osbourne, and Victoria Principal) pored over the Top 10 and concluded that the winners are Fifile Nguyen and Michelle French of Austin, TX. They created "The Miller Dress," a black-and-white swing dress with elaborate sleeve pleating, a deep neckline and no closures. The victory comes with a $750 cash prize.
Born Free USA's chief executive officer, Will Travers, went on CNN International to debate with a zoo representative about the appropriateness of having wild animals held in captivity. Some people, including Will's debate opponent, Andrew Marshall of York University, claim zoos are educational and promote conservation of species. Will spoke for the rest of us in maintaining that most zoos represent a crass exploitation of animals, and abuse of them, for entertainment and profit. Watch the debate and see what you think. Be sure to keep with it until the end, when Marshall makes a statement that prompted Will, who was not allowed time to respond on the air, to write a blog.