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.
So I watched “Ivory Wars: Out of Africa,” an episode of the BBC series “Panorama,” last night and maybe it’s just because I am immersed in this issue (and have been for so long) that despite a very impressive presentation by host Rageh Omaar and a lot of travel to different places, a number of key elements seemed to be missing:
Supply and demand. That’s how the commercial world spins. But sometimes things can go wrong between the two.
Case in point: The 25 monkeys being sold in February 2008 for laboratory testing, 15 of whom died while they were in excruciatingly prolonged transit between source and consumer. An animal broker is on trial this week in Los Angeles for his alleged role in the case. If convicted, Robert Matson Conyers faces up to six months in jail and a $20,000 fine.
Earlier today, my colleague Tracy Coppola testified before the Select Committee on Children, a joint panel of the Connecticut state Legislature. She spoke in favor of House Bill 5324, a bill drafted in part by Born Free USA that would place restrictions on trappers.
I am shocked (somewhat) and saddened (greatly) by breaking news of an elephant massacre in Cameroon, Central Africa, where at least 480 elephants have been killed in recent weeks in Boubou Ndjida National Park, a park official told Agence France-Presse on Thursday.
China has 1.35 billion citizens. That is a lot of consumers, and their appetite for shark fins, ivory and bear bile — resources that are extracted in excruciatingly cruel manner throughout the world, placing the survival of some of the planet’s most distinguished species at great risk — cannot continue to grow. In fact, it must decrease soon, and preferably disappear altogether.
The Giants played the Patriots in the Super Bowl, but I would have been more interested had it been Bears vs. Dolphins, Lions vs. Jaguars or Rams vs. Broncos. (What can I say? I’m partial to animal names.)
What Americans call “football” is fun, I’m sure, but I am not qualified to comment on Sunday’s game. I do, though, want to comment on some of the advertisements during Sunday’s TV broadcast. From an animal protectionist’s perspective, there was good, bad, ugly and … well, mixed bag.
This week, we helped save another monkey’s life. That alone means we had a very good week.
The adult male rhesus macaque who had been cruelly confined to a small cage and treated as a roadside attraction in Mississippi now begins a new life at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary, where he will learn how to truly be a monkey for the first time in his life. We are grateful to The Humane Society of the United States for having uncovered this cruelty and engineered the rescue, and we are thrilled to be able to give the macaque a new, infinitely less confining lease on life.
TV and film personality Rosie O’Donnell is in hot water with environmentalists and wildlife advocates in the wake of a family outing off Miami Beach. The Sun-Sentinel reported she and her kids went fishing, and produced a photograph showing them standing (and beaming) around the corpse of a hammerhead shark hanging by a giant hook.