Talkin' Pets News, July 22, 2017
Host - Jon Patch
Co-Host - Jay Stutz - Good Dog U Animal Planet
Producer - Daisy Charlotte
Network Producer - Quin McCarthy
Executive Producer - Bob Page
Special Guest - George Burgess - Sharfest 2017
March 1, 2017
New York, NY – In a highly controversial move, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) recently announced plans to formalize the country’s legal trade in captive-bred lion skeletons, proposing to institute a quota of 800 skeletons per year eligible for export permits. The number of captive-bred lion carcasses legally exported from South Africa—primarily feeding a growing market among upwardly mobile Asians for luxury products such as lion bone wine—has grown exponentially since 2007, as lion bones have begun to fill demand for increasingly scarce tiger bones.
Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization, condemned the quota as arbitrary and potentially devastating for wild lion and critically endangered tiger populations. Panthera is calling on the DEA to institute a moratorium on lion bone exports, effective immediately.
“The government’s proposed quota of 800 lion skeletons for legal export has absolutely no grounding in science,” said Dr. Paul Funston, Senior Director of Panthera’s Lion Program. “It is irresponsible to establish policy that could further imperil wild lions—already in precipitous decline throughout much of Africa—when the facts are clear; South Africa’s lion breeding industry makes absolutely no positive contribution to conserving lions and, indeed, further imperils them.”
Dr. Funston continued, “It is confounding that a country whose iconic wild lions are such a source of national pride—not to mention tourist revenue—would take such risks to sustain a marginal captive breeding industry that is condemned globally for its shameful practices. The legal farming of lions for tourists to bottle-feed, pet, and ultimately hunt in tiny enclosures is a stain on South Africa’s reputation as stewards of Africa’s wildlife.”
Proponents of the captive lion trade argue the industry reduces demand for wild lion parts, thereby benefitting wild lion conservation. However, there is significant evidence that South Africa’s legal trade in captive-bred lion trophies is accelerating the slaughter of wild lions for their parts in neighboring countries and is in fact increasing demand for wild lion parts in Asia—a market that did not exist before South Africa started exporting lion bones in 2007.
Recent anecdotal data and press reports from neighboring countries show an increase in lion killings for their bones and parts:
- In 2016, 90% of lion carcasses from Limpopo National Park, Mozambique had skull, teeth, and claws removed
- Rates of poisoning of lions specifically for body parts have increased dramatically in Niassa National Reserve, Mozambique
- A 6kg consignment of lion claws and teeth was found in an illegal rhino horn apprehension in Maputo in 2016
- In northern Namibia in 2016, 42% of lions killed in the Zambezi Region of Namibia (n=17), had their heads, feet, tails, skins and claws removed. In a previous spate of lion killing in the region in 2014 no body parts were removed from 20 lions that were killed
Panthera President and Chief Conservation Officer, Dr. Luke Hunter, added, “There is not one shred of scientific evidence showing that canned hunting and legal lion bone exports take the poaching pressure off wild lion populations. In fact, it is increasingly clear that these practices stimulate demand for wild lion, leopard and tiger parts throughout the world. The CITES mandate to limit captive-bred lion skeleton exports from South Africa was a step in the right direction; with global pressure mounting on the government to ban canned hunting, we may soon see the end of this reprehensible industry.”
Wild lion populations are on a steep decline, with only 20,000 remaining today, down from 30,000 just two decades ago. The species faces a deadly matrix of threats in the wild, ranging from conflict with people and bushmeat poaching to habitat loss, unsustainable trophy hunting and the emerging threat of poaching for the illegal wildlife trade.
Panthera’s Project Leonardo leads or supports initiatives in 15 African nations to bring lion populations back to a minimum of 30,000 individuals within 15 years. Learn more.
Read Beyond Cecil: Africa’s Lions in Crisis for more information about the plight of the African lion, and take the pledge to #LetLionsLive at letlionslive.org
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.
“Exotic animals may seem fun and like extravagant, novel gifts, but there are tremendous risks involved.” - Born Free USA’s CEO
Washington, D.C., November 28, 2016 -- With the holiday shopping and gift-giving season upon us, Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, wants to remind everyone about the serious dangers of giving a live animal as a pet. In particular, the purchase of exotic animals as gifts is a concerning phenomenon. As revealed in last month’s report from Born Free USA, Downloading Cruelty: An Investigation into the Online Sales of Exotic Pets in the U.S., there is a widespread online trade of exotic animals as “pets," including monkeys, lions, tigers, cheetahs, wolves, kangaroos, foxes, snakes, sloths, and more. All of these animals can be available with just one click online, making them far too easy to bring home this holiday season.
According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “Exotic animals may seem like fun, extravagant, and novel gifts, but the reality is that they have tremendously complex needs that require extensive care and commitment. While it is incredibly easy to buy a snake, sugar glider, or fox online, that does not mean that it will be easy to have that animal in your home. Despite claims made by exotic animal breeders, not one of these animals is “tame.” Purchasing an exotic animal as a holiday present perpetuates the abusive circumstances of breeding and captivity, and puts people at risk by exposing them to a wild animal who belongs IN the wild.”
As demonstrated in the Downloading Cruelty report, the enormous popularity of internet shopping has significant repercussions for the trade in exotic animals as pets, because animals who were never offered at a pet store are now visible and available from breeders around the country. The ease of acquiring them over the internet parallels the continuously-growing demand. Since the buyer cannot see the animal beyond a photo, and the shipping and payment options make the purchase simple and fast, the buyer is unlikely to have taken into account or understand the long-term care implications.
Roberts added, “An exotic animal is one of the most dangerous gifts you could give someone. There have been hundreds of attacks on humans that demonstrate the severe threat they pose, and they can also transmit serious and potentially deadly diseases to humans, including salmonella and hepatitis. Protect both animals and your loved ones, and don’t give the present of a monkey, a snake, a turtle, or any other living creature this holiday season. “
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 America the message of "compassionate conservation": the vision of the U.K.-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.
For the complete report and more, go to www.bornfreeusa.org/DownloadingCruelty.
Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 24 - October 5, 2016
Washington, D.C., September 19, 2016 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, will urge delegates at the 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to make precautionary decisions with respect to wildlife and international trade. Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, will be in attendance at the conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 24 - October 5, 2016.
The international wildlife trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars annually and includes millions of animals who are traded as trophies, pets, medicine, and more. After habitat destruction, exploitation of wild specimens for trade is a main reason for the critical decline of global biodiversity. CITES is one of the most effective global instruments to counter the depletion of wildlife species for trade. CITES accords varying degrees of protection to more than 30,000 species of animals and plants that are threatened by overexploitation. With 183 Parties bound by the Convention, CITES is the largest conservation agreement in existence.
According to Roberts, “This meeting is the most important call to save wildlife. And, people are watching and waiting for outcomes. Armed militia and sophisticated organized crime networks are operating across continents to slaughter and trade wildlife for profit. Traffickers and other profiteers are watching closely to see what happens if the trades in elephant ivory and rhino horn are reopened. Any signal from CITES that there is profitability in this deadly trade will result in animal carcasses unceremoniously littering the African savannah and forests. CITES Parties must act with precaution to adopt sufficient measures to ensure that international trade will not lead to the extinction of species for future generations. The outcome of this conference can change everything.”
Born Free USA will be there to focus on a number of important issues, among them:
African Elephants: Africa’s elephants remain beleaguered by poaching for their ivory tusks, and some populations could disappear forever without significant action. Born Free USA will be supporting Kenya’s call to uplist all of Africa’s elephants back to Appendix I, thereby closing any chance for trade that is primarily commercial. Going back to the 1989 ban will dry up ivory markets and reduce elephant poaching. Similarly, the organization will work to defeat certain southern African countries that will be trying to facilitate international trade once again.
Rhinoceros: Swaziland is proposing limited trade in rhino horn, which could seriously threaten the continent’s remaining estimated 25,000 black and white rhinos. Born Free USA will urge Parties to reject Swaziland’s proposal as the trade in rhino horn, like elephant ivory, leads to poaching. Rhinoceros horns are highly sought after in Asia because of false local beliefs in their medicinal properties. According to Roberts, “A resumption of rhino horn trade would have a devastating impact on this species already poached close to extinction.”
African and Asian Pangolins: Born Free USA believes that all eight species of pangolins—four in Africa and four in Asia—should be on CITES Appendix I. Roberts explains, “Pangolins are the most heavily-traded mammal in the world and are at risk from trade in their scales as medicines—despite a complete lack of efficacy in medicinal use. Pangolins are disappearing fast and a ban must be secured on international commercial trade.”
African Lions: Having successfully petitioned for the addition of Africa’s lions to the list of endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, at CITES, Born Free USA will be supporting the proposal submitted by Niger, along with many other lion range States, to uplist lions from Appendix II to Appendix I. “Lions are not only subjected to an international trade in trophies, but are also increasingly targeted by the international trade of their bones, which replace tiger bones in Asian folk remedies. This commercial trade is having an increasingly prejudicial impact on the species.” Read the proposal.
For more information about key issues Born Free USA will be involved with at CITES, visit www.bornfreeusa.org/cites. Born Free USA will be on Twitter and Facebook throughout the conference with live updates.
Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, the organization 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 USA’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.
September 8, 2016- South Africa- A lion family has been reunited in the African bush after they were torn apart by a traveling circus in South America. Leo, his mate Muneca, and daughters Africa and Kiara are back together. Animal Defenders International (ADI) is appealing for funds to complete an enclosure in the African bush where they can live out their lives together. https://lionsbacktoafrica.org/donate-for-leo/
The wonderful news comes after tens of thousands of people watched a viral video of Leo, groggy with anesthetic following dental surgery, battling to reach his daughter Africa as she willed him on and reached out for her father. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dm4NI_juV_0
Leo was rescued by ADI on the first day of a huge operation to enforce Peru’s ban on wild animals in circuses. But the circus had blocked the rescue of Muneca, Kiara and Africa, and then disappeared with them before a court could decide on their fate. ADI never gave up on them and eight months later tracked down the circus over 600 miles away, in a remote region near the border of Ecuador, and Leo’s family was saved.
During the biggest operation of its kind ever undertaken, ADI rescued over 100 animals (lions, bears, tigers, monkeys and others) as they closed down Peru’s wild animal circus industry. In May, ADI flew the 33 lions rescued during the mission to South Africa to start a new life at Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary.
Since then, the lions have been steadily rehabilitated, introduced to each other and are undergoing an intense veterinary program to repair the damage inflicted on them in the circus. The lionesses are also being neutered to prevent breeding. These battered animals cannot return to the wild, but it is the aim of ADI and Emoya to give them a life as close to what nature intended as possible.
Leo, one of the oldest lions rescued had all of his canine teeth smashed in the circus and underwent three hours of dental surgery in August to repair the damage. Leading veterinary dentist Gerhard Steenkamp, who repaired the damage, extracting teeth and doing root canals, noted “His mouth has taken a hell of beating.” Muneca also had surgery for two smashed teeth.
The video of Leo recovering has moved tens of thousands of people online and shows the importance of family bonds in this social species. As he began to recover from anesthesia and slowly stumbled and dragged himself towards his anxious daughter Africa, who appeared to be urging him on from behind a fence, even reaching her paw out to him. Once Leo reaches her, they nuzzle and he settles beside her for a few minutes, but soon recovers and is back on his feet as if nothing had happened. At the time the lions were in “bonding” camps, preparing them for reintroduction, with mesh between them allowing contact but ensuring they could not fight. Now the family is back together.
Jan Creamer ADI President: “It is wonderful that against all of the odds, these lions have been saved from circus suffering and the family reunited back where nature intended in Africa. Now we are asking for people to help, and donate for a huge natural bush enclosure for this family, that will be their happy-ever-after.”
The final step for Leo and his family will be a huge natural bush enclosure with self-filling water holes and secure solar powered electric fences. ADI and Emoya need to complete these for all the lions rescued costing up to $150,000.
Please help Animal Defenders International raise $16,500 for Leo’s family enclosure, where the lions will be cared for life by ADI at Emoya. Any extra funds raised will go towards the enclosures for the other rescued lions and care for Leo and his family. https://lionsbacktoafrica.org/donate-for-leo/
Operation Spirit of Freedom
Leo was rescued as part of Animal Defenders International’s Operation Spirit of Freedom, a mission with Peru's authorities to enforce the ban on wild animals in circuses. In the biggest operation of its kind over 100 animals were rescued from circuses and the illegal wildlife trade. ADI previously enforced a ban on animals in circuses in Bolivia.
Animal Defenders International:
With offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogota, ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing the behind-the-scenes suffering in industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals all over the world, educates the public on animals and environmental issues.