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.
One of our four top priorities at Born Free USA is to protect wildlife in their natural habitats. We recognize that nature is an extraordinarily intricate web of connections among plants and animals, and that humans — especially starting with the Industrial Revolution — disturb that balance all too often.
Usually I blog about wild animals and what can, or should, be done to protect them. Today I’d like to write about a person who has done such a lot to protect animals for a very long time: sensational British actress Joanna Lumley. She and my mother, Virginia McKenna, are close friends.
Imagine a zoo where monkeys are poked at by visitors as idle guards shrug their shoulders. Where the lone bear eats an empty cigarette pack, as the zoo’s other starving animals also waste away. Where the main “attraction,” a lion, loses an eye in a grenade attack. Where two elephants and a zebra are killed in crossfire between soldiers fighting a civil war. Where a mortar round destroys the entire parrot exhibit.
You would think zoos are all about locking animals up. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? If only they could be free … but wait a minute!
You all know the details because the Born Free USA team has shared them with you before: Bears are forced to perform in circuses; they are forced to live behind zoo bars; they are enticed with bait and shot like “sitting ducks”; they are chased with dogs to make the kill easier for the hunter; they are poached in the wild for their gallbladders and paws; and they are crammed into tiny cages in Asia to be milked for their bile.
So now it’s not enough to see elephants in small, unnatural enclosures: A handful of zoos, including the Orange County Zoo in Southern California, want to offer elephant rides!
I just happened across Thanksgivingworld.com. Rather than exploring things to be thankful for, the website glorifies the U.S. holiday’s traditional meal, offering turkey recipes, Thanksgiving jokes, how best to carve a turkey, and even Thanksgiving poetry, including “Mr. Turkey,” sung to the tune of the childhood classic “Are You Sleeping”:
I’m riding in a big old bus full of delegates to the high-level segment of the Global Tiger Forum Summit.
Heavy snow. Police escort.
North Korea has just fired on a South Korean island. It’s all over the news.
Will it blow tigers off the agenda of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, our host, and the other international leaders and heads of state due to meet this afternoon?