Born Free USA Blog
by Adam M Roberts,
Chief Executive Officer
When it comes to animals, Adam Roberts not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk. Since beginning his animal advocacy career in Washington, D.C. in 1991, Adam's ambition, tireless involvement, and profound knowledge of conservation and wildlife issues have cemented him as a go-to voice for protecting animals — and he has elevated Born Free USA to the respected and impactful organization that we know today. Adam's compassionate, informed, and forward-thinking blogs will surely motivate you to join us in our fight to Keep Wildlife in the Wild.
Animal rescue, rehabilitation, and release (or providing lifetime care) is complicated stuff. It requires intelligence, determination, steadfastness… and, well, money.
Soon, I will travel to Ethiopia for the Annual General Meeting of the Board of Trustees for Born Free Foundation Ethiopia. Together, we oversee the fabulous rescue center there, founded by Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation, where compassionate lifetime care is offered to animals in desperate need: lions, cheetahs, leopard tortoises, and more. Other animals who can be rehabilitated and released back to the wild are prepared for a life of freedom again.
It is a special privilege to know someone who has authored a book, and even more exciting when it’s one of your best friends. I have known Dr. Rob Atkinson for more than a decade, and can honestly say that he’s one of the people in my life I admire most. Rob and I have been together on safari in Kenya, searched for wildlife in the jungles of Vietnam, eaten lunch from stalls on the streets of Bangkok, and discussed wildlife trade policy for hours in Geneva coffee shops.
China has now joined the U.S., Gabon, and the Philippines in recently crushing its ivory stockpile – six tons of confiscated elephant tusks. It remains to be seen whether China’s ivory crush is a true step in the right direction for the world’s largest consumer of ivory. Publicity stunt or move toward an end to China’s domestic ivory market?
If the bloody ivory trade is to end, it will require the unwavering commitment of governments around the world. So, I’m thrilled that the most notorious ivory-consuming country has taken a public stand against elephant poaching… but is there more to do?
It’s hard to believe that 2013 has ended and that 2014 is already here! These first moments of the new year hold a particular magic: a renewed vigor to strive for our goals, a blank slate filled with boundless potential, and a fresh start to the year ahead.
Never underestimate the power of media to stimulate positive change. “Blackfish,” the hit documentary that exposes abuse and exploitation in the captive marine mammal industry, made its television debut in October—and quickly drew the public eye to marine animal suffering at SeaWorld.
Born Free USA has been closely monitoring the recent assault on gray wolves – an icon of the American wilderness – across the United States.
We are involved in a noble lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore federal protection for Great Lakes wolves under the Endangered Species Act. We oppose anti-wolf legislation in the Rocky Mountain region, where previous federal protection was also stripped. We are working with anti-trapping groups in key states such as Wyoming and Arizona to end the use of barbaric traps and snares on public lands. And, we have mobilized our strong grassroots activist network against the government’s proposal to delist gray wolves in the lower 48 states. Despite all this great work, the plight to protect the gray wolf remains an uphill battle.