(May 18, 2017) – On the eve of Ringling Bros. permanently ending its traveling animal-based circus acts, The Humane Society of the United States released the results of a disturbing undercover investigation of a different traveling tiger act used by the Carden Circus and Shrine Circuses, showing tigers being regularly whipped and hit. In one instance, the investigator witnessed a trainer angrily whip at a tiger 31 times in less than two minutes after he became frustrated with the animal during a training session.
The HSUS investigation of ShowMe Tigers, a traveling tiger act hired to perform in circus shows, revealed numerous potential violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act and raises alarm about the violent handling and inhumane confinement of the tigers as well as safety concerns for the animals and public. ShowMe Tigers is owned and operated by tiger trainer Ryan Easley (aka Ryan Holder), one of many tiger trainers who contract with regional circuses around the country.
The investigation took place from December 28, 2016 through January 18, 2017, during which time The HSUS investigator was with Easley at his headquarters in Hugo, Oklahoma followed by nine days on the road while Easley toured with the Carden Circus, often performing for Shrine Circuses, in Sulfur Springs, Giddings, Bryan and Cedar Park, Texas, and in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Last year, Easley performed all season at Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Prior to that, Easley toured with the Kelly Miller Circus for years.
The HSUS has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture asserting likely violations of the Animal Welfare Act, and is urging the agency to investigate ShowMe Tigers and take swift enforcement action for violations of federal law.
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS said: “While it’s true that Ringling is going out of business, other circuses are still operating and using inhumane methods of handling wild animals. There’s no excuse or rationale for whipping tigers or other wild animals for these silly performances. All circuses should end their wild animal acts.”
- A tiger named Tora did not receive veterinary care for a raw open wound on the side of her face. The USDA had previously cited Easley for not providing veterinary care to Tora when she had a laceration on her ribcage.
- The distressed tigers were whipped and terrorized to force them to perform physically difficult tricks, including one tiger who was forced to “moonwalk” on her hind legs.
- The tigers cowered, flinched and moaned in distress and flattened their ears back in a fearful response to being whipped and hit with a stick, typical behavior of traumatized and abused tigers. The mere presence of these tools during performances evoked classic signs of fear and behavioral stress.
- While traveling, except for the few minutes each day when the tigers performed, they were kept exclusively in transport cages, where they ate, slept, paced, urinated and defecated in the mere 13-square feet of space afforded to each tiger. Not once were they provided the chance to exercise outside the cages. In fact, the tigers’ exercise cage was never unloaded from the trailer.
- In Hugo, Oklahoma, the tigers had no heat source and only an inch of bedding during temperatures often well below freezing.
- Easley withheld food from the tigers on five of the 22 days of the investigation, fed them only raw chicken and rarely provided necessary dietary supplements.
In a statement provided to The HSUS, Jay Pratte, an animal-behavior expert, trainer, and wildlife consultant with 25 years of experience, said: “Ryan Easley utilizes archaic training methods which entail fear, force and punishment. In my professional opinion, the tigers at ShowMe Tigers are suffering from psychological neglect and trauma on a daily basis.”
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated most effective by our peers. For more than 60 years, we have celebrated the protection of all animals and confronted all forms of cruelty. We are the nation’s largest provider of hands-on services for animals, caring for more than 100,000 animals each year, and we prevent cruelty to millions more through our advocacy campaigns. Read about our more than 60 years of transformational change for animals and people. HumaneSociety.org
Talkin' Pets News
Host - Jon Patch
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Special Guests - Author Bob Bennett will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 4/15/2017 at 5pm EST to discuss and give away his book "Guide to Raising Rabbits"
Inventor & CEO of ONLY LEASH, Brett Flippen, will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 04/15/2017 at 630pm EST to discuss and give away his Only Leash
Actress Maria Menounos will stop by Talkin' Pets with Jon Patch 4/15/2017 to chat about the first ever upcoming Beverly Hills Dog Show On USA Network April 16, 2017 at 8pm EST
First evidence of breeding tigers and cubs in eastern Thailand in over 15 years
March 28, 2017
Bangkok, Thailand– In a welcome sign of hope for the endangered tiger, a new scientific survey has confirmed the presence of the world’s second breeding population of Indochinese tigers and provided the first photographic evidence of tiger cubs in eastern Thailand.
Announced at a press conference today, Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), Freeland, a frontline counter-trafficking organization, and Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization, hailed the finding as a critically-timed victory for the future of the Indochinese tiger, confirming the first evidence of a breeding population in Eastern Thailand in over 15 years.
Conducted in partnership by Freeland and Panthera with support from the government of Thailand, the camera trap survey carried out in the forest complex in Eastern Thailand indicated a density of 0.63 tigers per 100km2.
While these data suggest the region supports an exceptionally modest tiger density, on par with some of the most threatened tiger habitats in the world, the results conversely demonstrate the species’ remarkable resilience given wildlife poaching and illegal rosewood logging present in the complex – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Breeding of tigers represents a key milestone for this UNESCO World Heritage Site. These and other results have inspired optimism that efforts to train and equip protected area rangers are paying off. The Director of the National Parks Division of the DNP, Dr. Songtam Suksawang, said, “The stepping up of anti-poaching patrols and law enforcement efforts in this area have played a pivotal role in conserving the tiger population by ensuring a safe environment for them to breed. However, we must remain vigilant and continue these efforts, because well-armed poachers still pose a major threat.”
Subject to such extreme levels of poaching, tigers are only believed to have survived in the area due to an early recognition of the significance of this Eastern Thailand forest complex for the species’ future in Thailand, and a strict, long-term investment in well-implemented, counter-poaching law enforcement efforts from the national government. These efforts have been supported by conservation organizations like Freeland and Panthera.
For more than a decade, the DNP and Freeland have surveyed tigers in Eastern Thailand and trained rangers tasked with their protection after others gave up on the idea that the area had any tigers. Freeland’s Chairman of the Board, Kraisak Choonhavan, said, “The existence of tigers here was often doubted, but these recent surveys are proving its importance not only nationally but regionally and internationally as well. It’s crucial to continue the great progress made by the Thai government to bolster protection for tigers at the frontlines.”
He added, “As long as the illegal trade in tigers continues, they will need protection. Counter-wildlife trafficking starts at the source. Here is a modern project that has helped to bring rangers and police together that should be replicated across all other tiger range countries, so these populations can recover.”
Panthera Senior Tiger Program Director, Dr. John Goodrich, explained, “The extraordinary rebound of eastern Thailand’s tigers is nothing short of miraculous, and a true testament to the DNP’s commitment to saving its most precious natural resource.”
Goodrich continued, “Even more invigorating, Thailand’s World Heritage Forest Complex is home to prime forested habitat that, with significant conservation resources, could support eight times as many tigers as it does now. With continued infiltration of rigorous anti-poaching protection, there is no doubt that this population can be fully recovered, burgeoning into a tiger stronghold and serving as a source of life and diversity for depleted tiger populations in Cambodia, Lao PDR and throughout the species’ range.”
Today, just 221 Indochinese tigers are estimated to remain in two Asian countries: Thailand and Myanmar. Thailand’s Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, the site where Panthera’s CEO Dr. Alan Rabinowitz worked on the big cats in the 1980’s, is home to the largest (35-38 individuals) and only other known breeding population of Indochinese tigers.
Once ranging across much of Asia, scientists now fear that tigers are all but extinct in southern China, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam and much of Myanmar. Poaching for the illegal wildlife trade stands as the gravest threat to the survival of the tiger, whose numbers in the wild have dwindled from 100,000 a century ago to 3,900 today.
Freeland’s tiger conservation efforts in Thailand have been supported by Panthera’s Tigers Forever Program, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Born Free Foundation.
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) was established in 2002, assuming management of the country’s national parks once managed by the Royal Forest Department. As an agency of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, DNP also helps to protect the kingdom’s wildlife and rich ecology.
Freeland is a frontline counter-trafficking organization working for a world that is free of wildlife trafficking and human slavery. Our team of law enforcement, development and communications specialists work alongside partners in Asia, Africa and the Americas to build capacity, raise awareness, strengthen networks and promote good governance to protect critical ecosystems and vulnerable people. For more info, visit www.freeland.org or follow Freeland on Twitter @FREELANDpeople or www.facebook.com/freelandfoundation.
|Panthera, founded in 2006, is devoted exclusively to preserving wild cats and their critical role in the world’s ecosystems. Panthera’s team of leading biologists, law enforcement experts and wild cat advocates develop innovative strategies based on the best available science to protect cheetahs, jaguars, leopards, lions, pumas, snow leopards and tigers and their vast landscapes. In 50 countries around the world, Panthera works with a wide variety of stakeholders to reduce or eliminate the most pressing threats to wild cats—securing their future, and ours.|
THE ROAR FOUNDATION SHAMBALA PRESERVE
The Roar Foundation, which I founded as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 1983, exists solely to support The Shambala Preserve. Our mission is to educate the public about the dangers of private ownership of exotic animals. Huge numbers of exotic dangerous animals are bred and sold in the United States for illegal purposes. Private ownership presents a grave danger to the public and is cruel and unfair to these animals. More stringent legislation is needed to prohibit breeding and selling. We are actively involved in legislating this on federal and state levels.
Prior to 1983 I had been rescuing the exotic felines since 1972. Up to the present, The Shambala Preserve has given sanctuary to over 235 exotic felines - lion, tiger, cougar, black and spotted leopard, serval, bobcat, Asian leopard cat, snow leopard, cheetah, lynx, tigon, liger and African elephant. All have come to the Preserve after confiscation by authorities, such as California Fish and Game, U.S. Department of Agriculture, SPCA and Humane Societies. They are from roadside zoos and private citizens who realize they have purchased an animal they can no longer handle.
The exotic cat trade is a huge business. According to US. Fish and Wildlife it is on a par with illegal drugs. Once an animal is brought to Shambala, it remains here for the remainder of its life. As a true sanctuary, we do not buy, breed, sell, trade, or subject them to commercial use. Our only purpose is to allow these magnificent animals to live out their lives with care, understanding and dignity. Each has the best human, nutritional, medical, emotional and mental care possible.
There are many ways you can support The Roar Foundation: become a Member of the Roar Foundation, Adopt a Wild One, provide an item from the Shambala Wish List; attend a Safari Tour: visit The Trading Post, become a volunteer, attend one of our hugely popular and unique Sunset Safaris, and for a truly memorable experience, spend an entire night in one of Shambala’s authentic African Tents! All of these help to further Shambala’s educational efforts and support our mission. One special weekend a month, we hold the Safaris where Shambala opens the gates to the public for a small admission fee (by reservation only). All guests must be 18-yrs or older. Please come visit us and support our beautiful Wild Ones.
Shambala is a Sanskrit word that means: “A Meeting Place of Peace and Harmony for all Beings, Animal and Human.”
President The Roar Foundation
The Shambala Preserve
For decades, Tippi Hedren's luminous beauty radiated from the silver screen, enchanting moviegoers and cementing her position among Hollywood's elite-beauty and star power that endure to this day. For too long Hedren's story has been told by others through whispered gossip and tabloid headlines. Now, in Tippi (William Morrow; hardcover; $28.99; on-sale: 11/1/16) Hedren sets the record straight, recalling how a young and virtuous Lutheran girl from small-town Minnesota became a worldwide legend-as one of the most famous Hitchcock girls, as an unwavering animal activist, and as the matriarch of a powerful Hollywood dynasty that includes her movie star daughter Melanie Griffith, and rising star Dakota Johnson, her granddaughter.For the first time, Hedren digs deep into her complicated relationship with the man who discovered her talent, director Alfred Hitchcock, the generous benefactor who would become a repulsive and controlling director who contractually controlled her every move for many years. She speaks openly about the dark pain she endured working with him on their most famous collaborations, The Birds and Marnie, and how as a single mother while shielded her daughter from her struggles on and off Hitchcock's set.Difficult as her experiences with Hitchcock were, they nearly paled in comparison to her time on the set of Roar-a film starring dozens of live lions and tigers that has become one of the most notorious film productions of all time. Including never before revealed details about the unbelievable making of the movie, Tippi describes how what began as a simple movie about big cats evolved into a sprawling, dangerous endeavor that consumed her career and often put lives, including hers and her family's, at risk. Tippi offers a clear-eyed and surprising look at the perilous chances they took, while also recounting how these events led to years of animal rights activism, culminating in the creation of her very own big cats preserve, Shambala. And yet, through it all, Tippi shows how her career and life have continued to embody her unwavering devotion-to her daughter Melanie, to her animal rights activism, to her humanitarian relief work overseas, and to her art.Hedren's incandescent spirit shines through as she talks about working with the great Charlie Chaplin, sharing the screen with some of the most esteemed actors in Hollywood, her experiences on some of the most intriguing and troubling film sets-including filming Roar, one of the most dangerous movies ever made-and the struggles of being a single mother-balancing her dedication to her work and her devotion to her daughter-and her commitment to helping animals.Filled with sixteen pages of beautiful photos, Tippi is a rare and fascinating look at a private woman's remarkable life no fan can miss.
Panthera, 8 West 40th Street 18th Floor, New York, NY 10018 United States
“New Jersey is a major hub for imports and transportation of body parts of endangered species.” – Born Free USA CEO
Washington, D.C., May 3, 2016 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, commends Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey for signing S. 977 into law—a bill that would ban the possession, transport, import, export, processing, sale, or shipment of lions, tigers, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and cape buffalos. These animals are endangered species that fall victim to trophy hunting.
According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “New Jersey is a major hub for imports and transportation of body parts of endangered species. We are thankful for Senator Raymond Lesniak’s leadership on this bill, which is crucial to protecting imperiled species. We commend Governor Christie for signing this bill into law. Born Free has studied wildlife trafficking for more than two decades, and we can conclude that trophy hunting does nothing to enhance conservation. In 2013, Born Free USA, along with partner organizations, commissioned Economists at Large to investigate the facts. The study proved that the trophy hunting industry makes a minimal contribution to national incomes. As a portion of any national economy, trophy hunting revenue never accounts for more than 0.27 percent of the GDP."
Under this legislation, those violating the law will be guilty of a third degree crime and fines of up to $75,000. The law will go into effect Monday, May 26, 2016, after the Senate and Assembly concur with the governor's conditions.
According to Senator Raymond Lesniak (D-NJ), who sponsored the bill, “Our ban will send a strong message to those who would endanger the very existence of these majestic animals to avoid bringing their ‘trophies’ into New Jersey and better yet, give it up entirely.”
This critical piece of legislation comes less than a year after the tragic death of Cecil the lion, who was allegedly lured outside of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and killed by an American hunter. He was shot with an arrow, injured, and tracked for 40 hours before finally being shot with a gun, beheaded, and skinned. The U.S. is a significant market for hunting “trophies” like Cecil. State laws banning the importation of these products are aimed at reducing the demand. Roberts adds, “Born Free USA encourages other states to pass similar legislation in order to protect imperiled species from extinction and ultimately put an end, once and for all, to this horrific ‘sport.’”
Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.
Talkin' Pets News
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