“Our Zoo,” a new six-part BBC series, is under fire for forcing wild animals to be a part of the show—and for using public money to do so. Adam M. Roberts, Born Free USA’s CEO and the Acting CEO of the Born Free Foundation, said, “The BBC has a global reputation for quality programming. If it wishes to retain that reputation, it must move with the times and adapt to changing attitudes. The use of captive wild animals for entertainment is now widely regarded as unethical among the British public, and we are convinced that a lifetime of training, transport, and performance puts the welfare of the animals at significant risk.”
Link: Daily Mail
The trade in illegal elephant ivory from Africa to Asia relies on as few as 200 shipping containers in a year, offering a weak point to target smugglers, according to Out of Africa: a report released last week by Born Free USA and C4ADS. “What we want to do is get a commitment from freight companies that they will not allow themselves to be used for this nefarious wildlife crime,” explains Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA.
Douglas the hippo was just two weeks old when he was found abandoned and close to death in Zambia in May 2013. Now, more than a year later, he has joined a pod of wild hippo in the South Luangwa River, close to the Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust (CWET) where he has grown up. Will Travers, President of the Born Free Foundation, which supports CWET, said of the rescue mission: "I’m so pleased to be able to say ‘mission accomplished’ for Douglas."
Link: Daily Mail
On Wednesday, Born Free USA and C4ADS released a shocking report, “Out of Africa: Mapping the Global Trade in Illicit Elephant Ivory,” which asserts that efforts to stop the illegal killing of African elephants should focus on ivory transshipment ports and personnel. Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, explains that this “transit or supply chain is the single greatest point of vulnerability in the illicit ivory system.” Read Roberts’ informative interview about ivory trafficking syndicates, the African ports that ship out most of the ivory, and why law enforcement should target that link in the trade chain.
Link: National Geographic
An insatiable Chinese demand for ivory and the increasing involvement of organized crime syndicates in smuggling are causing the mass killing of Africa’s elephants, and could trigger a stampede to extinction if unchecked, according to a groundbreaking report released today by Born Free USA and C4ADS. Out of Africa: Mapping the Global Trade in Illicit Elephant Ivory asserts that “poaching and trafficking in ivory is at the highest level in 25 years.” According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “The more we can attack the ivory trade before the ivory gets to market, the more we can deter these poachers and profiteers from making money off dead elephants."
Link: NBC News
The elephant poaching crisis rages on—and African elephants are unlikely to sustain this rate of slaughter. Today, it is estimated that there are between 434,000 and 684,000 African elephants, although the real figure may be lower. In the case of the Asian elephant, the situation is much worse, with approximately 30,000 remaining. (Again, this is an estimate, and the true figure could be significantly lower.) On August 27, Born Free USA and data analysts at C4ADS released a new groundbreaking report, Out of Africa: Mapping the Global Trade in Illicit Elephant Ivory, which focuses on the ivory supply chain and the trafficking of ivory from the bush in Africa to retail markets in Asia. If we can close down the transit routes that bring ivory to East Asian markets, we can save the elephants. Born Free USA will utilize this cutting-edge report to ensure the protection of African elephants for generations to come.
A giant snake bit one of Nicki Minaj’s backup dancers during a Friday rehearsal for the MTV Video Music Awards. The six foot long Boa constrictor brought the mock performance to a halt when it slithered up to the woman and took a bite out of her, as fellow performers looked on in disbelief. Visit the Born Free USA Exotic Animal Incidents Database to learn more about the dangers of interacting with exotic animals.
Link: New York Post
SeaWorld’s orca trainers will stay out of the water following the park’s decision to give up its appeal to overturn a federal appeals court ruling in April. That decision upheld the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s citations against SeaWorld for various violations, including some linked directly to the death of one of its trainers in 2010.