Home Page Home | Search Search | Online Store Store | Donate Donate | RSS Feeds RSS Feeds |  

Born Free USA Blog

Born Free USA Blog

An example of bad journalism

Published 05/23/08
By Zibby Wilder, Director of Public Relations

I have been receiving calls this morning prompted by an incredibly ridiculous story on WITN News in North Carolina that claims our group released two dangerous Monocled cobras on a road somewhere in North Carolina because we “want to make it illegal for people to own exotic animals and uses such tactics to raise awareness.”

These unfounded claims made by WITN, and apparently some unnamed “officials,” are not only an example of bad journalism (not citing sources, making unfounded and slanderous claims, not bothering to call the organization you are accusing — or responding to their attempts to contact you), they are great examples of how great a need the state has for regulation of dangerous wild animals.

WITN’s story mentions the fact that officials found a flyer stating someone had lost the snakes. Well, if someone was keeping two of the most dangerous venomous reptiles in conditions where they were able to escape and go for a tour of the countryside, wouldn’t it be logical that this person would be responsible for putting the safety of the community at risk — rather than pointing a limp finger at a well-respected animal advocacy group based more than 2,500 miles away? Shouldn’t people have the right to know that such animals are being kept by hobbyists in their neighborhoods? Shouldn’t the injuries, and even deaths, of people (particularly children) at the hands of people who improperly keep dangerous wild animals in North Carolina have already pushed legislators to take notice of the situation?

Obviously, this misguided hoax has turned the way they usually do — against the perpetrator. Whoever planted such a ridiculous story is only making it obvious, yet again, that the state needs to regulate ownership of dangerous wild animals such as venomous reptiles. If there truly are Monocled cobras that someone set loose somewhere in North Carolina, I am amazed someone would put people, not to mention the animals, at such great risk for nothing more than their own selfish desires.


After this blog was published, Bill Wilson, Managing Editor of WITN-TV, sent us the following email:


Thank you for your e-mail on our story.

We have updated our online story, as well as future broadcast stories with your comments. I am checking with the reporter about who she attempted to contact last night as this story was developing.

Bill Wilson
Managing Editor
Greenville-Washington-New Bern, NC

Blog Index   rss Subscribe   subscribe Updates by Email