Displaying items by tag: Lions

Rescue team catches circus after public tip off

MARCH 13, 2015, Piura, Peru - Animal Defenders International (ADI) and Peruvian authorities SERFOR, ATFFS, the National Police and department of Piura have successfully raided an illegal circus today, rescuing three lionesses and two monkeys as part of a collaborative effort to enforce the country’s ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

ADI has now removed 24 lions from Peruvian circuses and has in its care almost seventy animals rescued during ADI's Operation Spirit of Freedom.

ADI urged members of the public to be vigilant for any circuses defying the law.  Following a tip off, ADI has been trailing the circus for over a week while liaising with the authorities in preparation for today's seizure.

Early this morning the circus suddenly moved with vehicles leaving in different directions but thanks to an ADI team the vehicle with the animals was stopped just outside Sullana, just north of Piura.

The three lionesses called Africa, Kiara and Muneca, and two monkeys, Valeria and Valentino, are on their way to the ADI Operation Spirit of Freedom rescue center near Lima, where they will join the 21 lions, 31 monkeys and other wild animals who have been saved from circuses and the illegal wildlife trade during the groundbreaking rescue mission.  A further nine lions are in ADI's custody in Colombia.

ADI will be relocating all of the animals to their permanent homes in the coming weeks. Native wildlife will be rehomed in jungle habitats, which are being constructed by ADI in the Peruvian rainforest, at Pilpintuwasi in Iquitos and IkamaPeru. A total of 33 lions, including 9 from a circus in Colombia, will fly on the biggest airlift of its kind to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in the US.

ADI President Jan Creamer said “The ADI mission has always been to ensure no animals are left behind.  We are elated to have saved these animals today and they will get their chance of a new life on the ADI Spirit of Freedom flight.  We will remain vigilant.  There should be no wild animals in circuses so if anyone sees one - they should call ADI."

Jan continued: "this is a historic day for Peru as ADI, SERFOR, the ATFFS and police have shown wild animal acts have no place in modern society and will not be tolerated."

The ban on the use of wild animals in circuses in Peru was secured after a five-year campaign by ADI and Peru's animal protection groups, following its shocking two-year investigation of South American circuses. The investigation led to five national bans on wild animals in circuses in Latin America - worldwide 30 countries have banned wild animal acts.

Efforts by ADI to stop circus suffering in Peru and enforce the law have been  supported by the public and local animal organizations including United for Animals (UPA), Amazon Shelter, Peruvian Association of Animal Protection (ASPPA) and Animals Without Borders (ASF).

ADI is funding all rescue operations in Peru and the huge cost of relocating the animals - the largest single cost will be the flight to the USA.

Jan Creamer:  "This is a wonderful day but it meant bringing our rescue team and trucks loaded with cages up to Piura.  Tonight our precious cargo will be traveling back to Lima where we will have five more mouths to feed and three more travel crates to build.  We urge people to please donate to help this mission.
 
http://www.ad-international.org/FreedomAppealUS

Peru’s ban on wild animals in circuses was passed in 2012 following a successful campaign by ADI and local animal protection groups, following a two-year undercover investigation by ADI which revealed widespread suffering of circus animals across South America. The shocking exposé led to calls for action and nationwide bans followed in Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and El Salvador.  

Operation Spirit of Freedom was launched in August 2014 with ADI providing complete logistical support to the Peruvian authorities and removing wild animals from circuses all over Peru.  21 lions are in ADI’s care at their temporary Operation Spirit of Freedom rescue center near Lima. ADI has also begun assisting the Colombian authorities with implementation of its wild animal circus ban and is caring for nine lions who will join the Peruvian lions on the flight to the US.   

Legendary, award-winning TV host Bob Barker donated $500,000 to get the rescue mission underway and establish the temporary holding center in Peru.   

ADI estimates that construction of all the habitats for the indigenous wildlife, their care whilst they are constructed, and the cost to relocate the animals, will require $60-80,000 – and possibly more because of the diversity of species.  

Approximately $200,000 is needed for the relocation of the lions from Peru and Colombia.  

National restrictions on performing animals in travelling circuses, either wild, all animals, or in a handful of cases specific species have been enacted in 30 countries – Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Malta, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, Taiwan, The Netherlands. Similar laws are under discussion in the UK, USA, Brazil and Chile.   

Animal Defenders International  
www.ad-international.org
With offices in London, Los Angeles 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.

Special rule establishes permitting requirements for the importation of sport-hunted lion trophies

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 27, 2014) – In response to thepetition submitted by Born Free USA,Humane Society International (HSI), The Humane Society of the United States, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and other animal protection groups, today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed listing African lions as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Additionally, a special rule was proposed along with the listing, which requires permits for the import of sport-hunted lion trophies, which should only be issued for lions originating from countries with a scientifically sound management plan for the species. A strong permitting system is critical because the U.S. imports over half of the hundreds of lion trophies brought home by trophy hunters globally each year.

“Lion numbers have declined by more than half in the last three decades. To allow trophy hunting to continue unabated is kicking an animal while it’s already down,” said Jeff Flocken, North American Regional Director, International Fund for Animal Welfare. “We thank the U.S. government for acknowledging that this iconic species is in grave trouble and that unsustainable trophy hunting is a part of this problem.”

In the past three decades, the number of African lions in the wild has dropped by more than 50 percent, with potentially fewer than 32,000 remaining today.  A recent study found that the West African lion population is critically imperiled with roughly 400 lions in total found in only four protected areas (down from 21 in 2005). And the most current estimates state that there are little more than 2,000 lions left in Central Africa; 18,000 in East Africa and 11,000 in Southern Africa.

“Lion populations and the habitat available to them have diminished dramatically in recent years due to trophy hunting, bone trade, meat and organ consumption, disease, and agricultural expansion,” noted Adam M. Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of Born Free USA. “Born Free and our partners on the ground in Africa will keep vigilant watch on lions and lion trade to ensure that the government’s decision today enhances conservation. The lion has no margin for error.”

“A threatened species listing for African lions will help ensure that American trophy hunters stop contributing to the decline of African lions,” said Teresa Telecky, Director, Wildlife Department, Humane Society International. “While we are disappointed that the U.S. government appears poised to continue allowing the import of some lion trophies, it’s vital that protective trophy import standards be put in place and that there will be transparency in that process. American hunters import about 400 trophies of wild lions each year, so we hope that the ESA protection will significantly curtail this destructive activity.”

A 90-day public comment period on the USFWS proposed ruling will commence on October 29, 2014.

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About Born Free USA

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and education, Born Free USA leads campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the international wildlife trade.  Born Free USA brings to America the mission of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free:  to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation. (bornfreeusa.org; twitter.com/bornfreeusa; facebook.com/bornfreeusa.)

About Born Free Foundation

Born Free Foundation, based in England, is an international organization devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare.  Born Free Foundation takes action worldwide to protect threatened species, stop individual animal suffering, and keep wildlife in the wild. Born Free helps hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide each year.  (bornfree.org.uk)

About The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated most effective by our peers. For 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 more about our 60 years of transformational change for animals, and visit us online at humanesociety.org.

About Humane Society International

Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide – on the Web at hsi.org.

About the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

Founded in 1969, IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare) saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  Photos and video available at www.ifawimages.com.

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Global March for Elephants, Rhinos & Lions October 4, 2014
On Saturday Oct. 4th, there is a VERY IMPORTANT global event that needs our support. It is the GLOBAL MARCH FOR ELEPHANTS, RHINOS, AND LIONS. Tippi Hedren will be there speaking on behalf of the Lions in the Wild and Captivity which are in danger. PLEASE read the accompanying message. For details on when and where to go link to: https://www.facebook.com/events/1449025795334300/ 
 
 

LOS ANGELES, CA - On Saturday, October 4, 2014, Los Angeles joins 116 cities on 6 continents in the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos, and Lions, the biggest international event ever held to save Earth's vanishing wildlife.  Our goal is to draw attention to the crisis facing elephants, rhinos, and lions and to call for an end to the global trade in ivory, rhino horn, and other wildlife body parts (such as lion and tiger bones) that's pushing countless endangered species rapidly towards extinction.

The illegal wildlife trade is a transnational business that funds criminal syndicates, fuels conflict in Africa, and poses environmental, development and security challenges. It's also a lucrative business, generating an estimated USD$20 billion per year.

At the launch of United for Wildlife's #WhoseSideAreYouOn campaign, in June this year, HRH Duke of Cambridge said, "There are two thousand critically endangered species on the verge of being lost forever.  It's time to choose a side - between the endangered animals and the criminals who kill them for money. I am calling on people all around the world to tell us: whose side are you on?"

The answer will be loud and clear from the thousands of people in over 116 cities worldwide joining the march on October 4, 2014. Ricky Gervais has voiced his support of the event, saying "How can we allow the extinction of 2 magnificent creatures for the sake of some morons owning tasteless trinkets or trying fake medicine?"

Also in support of the global march, Joanna Lumley, OBE and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, says "If we stand by and watch the brutal extinction of rhino and elephant, the stain of shame on our human consciousness will never be forgiven or forgotten."

The organizers of the grassroots event say that, "only a truly worldwide effort will stop our globally iconic species being sold into extinction," explaining, "World Animal Day this year must focus on action - individuals, peoples, governments - all of us must act to end the vile trade in endangered species."

Officially acknowledged by United For Wildlife as an event that will raise awareness about the challenges facing the world's wildlife, organizers hope the event will also help to reduce demand for endangered species 'products' and will be pushing for governments to ban all commercial trading of endangered wildlife and to put an end to wildlife trafficking.

"Individuals, and society as a whole, can choose to shun ivory, rhino horn, lion and tiger bones as commodities," say event organizers, "but we need governments to play their part too, by increasing penalties for bribery, corruption and trafficking offenses, and by shutting down all ivory retail outlets and ivory carving factories, for example." The event will also call on governments to publically destroy their stockpiles of illegal wildlife products, to show "zero tolerance for illegal trading."

In Africa four elephants are illegally killed for their ivory every hour, and estimates are that between only 300,000 to 500,000 survive today. It is estimated that less than 22,000 African rhino now remain: every nine hours one is killed for their horn. As for the 'king of the jungle,' in South Africa more lions survive now in captivity, where they are bred for petting zoos and then canned hunting, than roam in the wild.

Their path to extinction is very clear and the culprit is well understood. "Ivory, rhino horn, lion and tiger bones continue to be sold to feed a relentless and growing demand, largely in Asia, where the body parts of these endangered animals are still viewed as highly sought after products," explain event organizers. 

The ivory and rhino horn trade is particularly cruel and gruesome, not only do poachers indiscriminately slaughter adults, babies or whole herds alike, but often hack off an elephant's tusks or rhino's horns while they are still alive. "When it comes to choosing between saving the elephant, rhino and lion from extinction or slaughtering them for some mythical unproven medicinal property or want for an expensive carving to show social status, we've made our choice," event organizers say. We want them to live.

MARCH & RALLY DETAILS

  • WHEN: Saturday, October 4, 2014 | 11am - 2pm
  • WHERE: La Brea Tar Pits, 5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Front of the Page Museum at the lion statue.
  • EVENT DETAILS (pre-march):
    • Begins at 11am. Education ambassadors Tippi Hedren from the Shambala Preserve, Catherine Doyle from the PAWS sanctuary, Carolyn Merino Mullins from The Museum of Animals & Society, Matt Rossell from ADI, Michelle Cho from the Humane Society, Lisa Levinson from IDA, and other experts will be on hand, as well as child ambassadors, to help people understand the crisis facing each animal and how to take action to save them.
    • There will be kids' art and face painting. 
  • MARCH DETAILS:
    • Begins promptly at Noon. Marchers will walk down Wilshire Blvd to the South African Consulate then return for a rally. People are invited to march with signs showing their business or group supports saving these endangered animals.
  • RALLY DETAILS (post-march):
    • Begins when marchers return to the La Brea Tar Pits at approximately 1pm
    • Will be a festive, kid-friendly, educational event
    • Musical performances by African drummers, Kat Kramer singing "Bless the Beasts and the Children," and the Agape Youth Choir
    • Keynote speaker: Dr. Reese Halter, an award-winning broadcaster, author of nine books, and distinguished conservation biologist.
    • Special guests
  • MORE INFORMATION:
 

Oakland, CA, August 24, 2014…Each year, World Lion Day is celebrated in August. On Sunday, August 24th, from 10:00am – 3:00pm, Oakland Zoo will honor lions in Africa and locally in the Bay Area by having a “Lion Appreciation Day.” On this day, zoo guests will have the opportunity to learn more about lions and have fun participating in a variety of activities. Activities include: special lion treats (enrichment) at 10:00am, a zookeeper talk at 1:15pm, face painting, a lion education station, an “I love lions!” “selfie” station, and tables by two conservation partners, Bay Area Puma Project and Uganda Carnivore Program. Guests may also purchase crafts made by communities in Uganda living near lions.

“Oakland Zoo is deeply committed to lion conservation issues all over the world,” said Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director at Oakland Zoo. “We support lions by partnering with lion conservation programs, like the Uganda Carnivore Program and Ewaso Lions in Kenya. Locally, we work with the Mountain Lion Foundation, the Bay Area Puma Project and the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife on research and our new program, BACAT (Bay Area Carnivore Action Team), which addresses human-mountain lion conflicts in the Bay Area as a united alliance. We are excited to be part of this international appreciation for lions everywhere.”

Lions are one of the most popular and iconic animals in the world; however, lions are in trouble. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, it is estimated there are just over 30,000 lions left in all of Africa. Habitat loss due to human settlement and agriculture development, loss of natural prey population, and retaliatory killing by humans after lion attacks on livestock are the main reasons many believe lions are in trouble.

“Oakland Zoo is one of the primary supporters of lion conservation in Uganda. Oakland Zoo’s support of our field work has had a significant positive impact on the wildlife as well as the local villagers with whom we collaborate on human-lion coexistence, said Monica Tyler,” Uganda Carnivore Program Director. “Being honored as Oakland Zoo’s Quarters for Conservation partner this year has been especially exciting as it has brought awareness of the conservation challenges facing lions, leopards, and hyenas, and because it will bring much-needed resources for lion research and community-based conservation activities in Uganda.”

For more information about World Lion Day at Oakland Zoo, please visit our website at: http://www.oaklandzoo.org/Calendar_Item.php?i=948

ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:

The Bay Area’s award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid’s activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 525-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information please visit our website at www.oaklandzoo.org.

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January 21, 2014, LOS ANGELES, CA – Lion Ark, the feature length documentary about the rescue of 25 lions from cruel circuses in Bolivia, has been nominated by America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, the NAACP, in their Outstanding International Motion Picture category for the 45th NAACP Image Awards.

The prestigious Image Awards by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) celebrates "the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts, as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice through their creative endeavors."

Others up for awards this year in different categories include Beyoncé, John Legend, Halle Berry, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Hudson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Forest Whitaker.

Lion Ark follows a dangerous and ambitious international animal rescue as illegal circuses are tracked down across Bolivia and the animals saved, culminating in a huge airlift of 25 lions to safety in the U.S. Behind the huge logistical task a group of people from America, Britain, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia come together to help the lions.

Actress Jorja Fox, world famous for her role as Sara Sidle in CSI, is an associate Producer of Lion Ark and also appears in the film: “What I didn’t realize was that it was going to be an extraordinary story about the human spirit and what the human spirit can do when people come together.”

Early in the film, Jan Creamer, President and founder of Animal Defenders International, the organization behind the rescue, explains the rescuers’ motivation: “People sometimes ask, why bother about animals when there’s so much human suffering? But it is not a choice of one or the other. When we protect the weakest or the most vulnerable, whether it is animals or people, we all gain. That’s how we shape our world…understanding our connection with other species, and our place on this planet, is the next step in human evolution.”

Tim Phillips, Director of Lion Ark“We are honored to have been nominated for this award. Lion Ark is a film about respect for people and animals so we are really pleased to receive this acknowledgement. In this film, you see the worst of humanity, but also humanity at its best. It is an empowering film that shows that people can make a difference. Lion Ark shows how animal protection is a vital part of the fabric of social justice, where human society draws a line as to what is, and is not, acceptable.”

The film shows how Bolivians got behind the rescue mission and in one scene a Bolivian Government official makes references to how some international non-governmental organizations can be heavy handed when working in poorer countries. Wildlife official David Kopp says: “Some international organizations think this is a poor country, a small, corrupt country and you can come in here and do what you like, but that’s not true. We’re looking for respect and coordinated work. Then we can do big things, like this.”

In addition to Lion Ark the other five nominees in the Outstanding International Motion Picture category are:
War Witch; Call Me Kuchu; La Playa D.C.; High Tech, Low Life.

Nominated for Outstanding Motion Picture are:
12 Years a Slave; Lee Daniel’s The Butler; Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; Fruitvale Station; The Best Man Holiday.

Members of the NAACP have until February 14th to vote for the nominated movies for the Image Awards, with the award ceremony taking place on the 21st and 22nd of February. The glittering awards ceremony in Los Angeles has, in the past, been hosted by luminaries such as Denzel Washington, Diana Ross, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Whitney Houston.

The Image Awards http://www.naacpimageawards.net

Lion Ark http://www.lionarkthemovie.com

Since Bolivia prohibited the use of animals in traveling circuses, 4 other South American countries have followed – Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Paraguay. And in Europe, countries like Greece, Austria, Croatia and Portugal have implemented similar measures. Countries like China and Taiwan are grappling with this issue of animal protection. 

Over 25 countries have banned animal circuses, representing a huge range of cultures and socio economic circumstances; there is a worldwide movement that animals should not be made to suffer, just to amuse us.

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See the Lion Ark Trailer online at: www.lionarkthemovie.com


Lion Ark: More action adventure than traditional documentary, Lion Ark follows the world’s most ambitious and daring animal rescue, with a narrative compiled from film, interviews, conversations and reactions as events unfolded. How attitudes to animals were changed in Bolivia, illegal circuses pursued and closed, and 25 lions airlifted to freedom.

Lion Ark Film Festival Selections include: Winner Best Documentary (Jury Award), Sun & Sand Film & Music Festival, Mississippi; Winner Audience Choice Best Documentary, San Diego Film Festival; Audience Choice Award Anchorage International Film Festival; Official Selection Raindance Film Festival, London; Official Selection Mill Valley Film Festival; Official Selection Hawaii International Film Festival; Official Selection Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival; Official Selection Virginia Film Festival; Official Selection Starz Denver Film Festival; Official Selection Irvine International Film Festival; Official Selection Beloit International Film Festival; Official Selection Sedona International Film Festival.

NAACP: Founded in 1909, the NAACP is America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. From the ballot box to the classroom, the thousands of dedicated workers, organizers, leaders and members who make up the NAACP continue to fight for social justice for all Americans. The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.

WHAT CRITICS ARE SAYING ABOUT LION ARK
“a spunky account of a perilous rescue mission...Lion Ark proceeds with refreshing unpredictability.”
– Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

“Compelling cinema verité”
– Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

“If you enjoy movies filled with suspense, thrills, surprises, adventure and action, put Lion Ark on your must-see list. For me, Lion Ark is the feel-good movie of the year!”
– Betty Jo Tucker, Reel Talk

“heartwarming, beautiful and inspirational. It reminds you of the majestic power of documentary filmmaking and it’s ability to stir true emotion.”
– Justin Bozung, Shock Cinema Magazine / Mondo Film & Video Guide

“…this film should be a target for this year’s Oscars. Excellent.”
ACED Magazine

“Lion Ark is through and through entertaining…be ready for some up-tempo action-adventure of the most thrilling variety: real-life.”
Stark Insider

thoroughly rewarding...”
– TV and Film Review

“Lion Ark is an awe-inspiring journey that grips and engages”
– Britflicks

“Lion Ark takes an already incredible and unforgettable story and breathes life and passion and transformation into it...one of your must-see films of 2013.”
– The Independent Critic

“A consciousness-raising milestone of a documentary”
– Edgar Vaid, The Ecologist

“will restore some faith in humanity”
– JM Willis, Shockya.com

“Lion Ark is a film that will grab your attention and your heart”
– Alexis Higgins, CMR Movie Reviews and News

“ultimately an uplifting story. It’s a revealing documentary with a lot of heart.”
– Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film

“AMAZING! Viewers will be crying tears of joy throughout...”
– Renee Snyder, International Animal Welfare Examiner, The Examiner

More reviews and links to all above reviews are available here: www.lionarkthemovie.com/news/lion-ark-reviews


Animal Defenders International
6100 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 1150
Los Angeles, California 90048
US

WASHINGTON D.C.             (AUGUST 8, 2013) – To generate awareness for the plight of the African lion and the distinct possibility that the species could disappear from the wild within our lifetime, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) joins wildlife groups around the globe in celebrating the inaugural World Lion Day 2013 on Saturday, August 10. World Lion Day is the first global campaign of its kind to impress the biological, cultural and economic importance of the lion and the urgent need to protect the species.

While the popular imagination holds the lion as a symbol of courage and power, African lion populations are plummeting due to a number of factors including loss of habitat, human-wildlife conflict, and trophy hunting. The number of African lions has declined by more than 50 percent in the past three decades. The most recent evidence shows that as few as 32,000 lions are left in the wild, and many experts believe there to be far fewer.

IFAW views trophy hunting as a particularly pernicious—and needless—threat to African lion populations. Trophy hunting targets the healthiest members of the lion population and creates unsustainable pressures on the species. Approximately 600 lions are killed every year in trophy hunts and approximately 60 percent of all lions killed for sport in Africa are imported to the United States as trophies.

To help alleviate the threat of hunting on the species, IFAW, along with a coalition of other wildlife groups, petitioned the U.S. government in 2011 to list African lions as an Endangered Species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

“World Lion Day 2013 is an important opportunity to stress African lions’ dire situation, and expose the unnecessary threat trophy hunting poses,” said Jeff Flocken, North America Regional Director, IFAW. “Classifying the African lion as Endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act would send a message that this magnificent but imperiled animal is dying for sport at the hands of wealthy Americans, and the U.S. government will no longer add this to the many threats lions already face.”

Currently, lions are the only great cat not protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Safeguarding the future of the African lion would not only conserve a beloved species, but it would also work to preserve a vital sector of Africa’s tourism economy. The lion’s symbolic significance translates to real-world economics. A study commissioned by IFAW, Born Free USA, and Humane Society International found that African countries and rural communities derive very little benefit from trophy hunting revenue. By depleting the beloved species, trophy hunters jeopardize non-consumptive nature tourism, such as wildlife viewing and photo safaris. These non-consumptive nature tourism activities contribute much more to African economies than trophy hunting.

As a portion of any national economy, trophy hunting revenue never accounts for more than 0.27 percent of the GDP. Additionally, trophy hunting revenues account for only 1.8 percent of overall tourism in nine investigated countries that allow trophy hunting – an insignificant amount, especially when you consider that local communities receive a mere 3 percent of overall trophy hunting revenues.

To learn more about World Lion Day, visit http://worldlionday.com/the-campaign/. For more information about IFAW’s campaign to list the African Lion as an endangered species, visit

http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/get-involved/help-protect-african-lions-hunters.

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Being President isn't easy! Soon after I founded The Roar Foundation in 1983, I realized that you, our supporters, are the backbone of this organization.  Maintaining the Shambala Preserve is not something one person can do alone, and without your help it would not be possible. I am grateful to my core for your continuing concern and generous donations.

As you know, I seldom cry out for help, but at this crucial time in our economy, I am doing just that. Along with the monthly challenge of raising $75,000 to cover our basic costs, we are now seeing a desperate need for more fire clearance and the rebuilding of some of our compounds to provide safe, secure, life-long sanctuary for the Great Cats who call Shambala home.  The fire clearance quotes we have received are over $1,000.00 per day; and the new compounds (we need ten) are estimated at $100,000 each.

Many of these tasks are not only things we want and need to do, but are items that are being required by the different governmental agencies whom we deal with on a yearly basis.

The Roar Foundation operates solely on private donations including my own. Please consider sending us a donation, designated to The Roar Foundation Priority Fund - whatever you feel in your heart, large or small, will be greatly appreciated. I love these Great Cats more than my next breath, but they are not pets or business associates. I will continue to fight with all that is in me to stop them from being treated as commodities and to make sure that those in our care are allowed to live out their lives in peace and dignity.
or
Send a check to:
The Roar Foundation
6867 Soledad Canyon Road
Acton, CA 93510
A very warm thank-you for caring, from all of us at Shambala, animal and human.
With Love for the Wild Ones everywhere,
Tippi Hedren
President The Roar Foundation
The Shambala Preserve

Washington, D.C. (May 21, 2013) – Jeffrey Flocken, North American Regional Director, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), issued the following statement regarding the serving of lion meat at restaurants across the country:

“It is extremely worrisome to see restaurants across the country promoting the sale and consumption of lion meat. The African lion population already faces many obstacles for survival: a restaurant’s choice to serve up lion meat is simply irresponsible.

As we witnessed at eateries Taco Fusion (Tampa, Florida) and Mokutanya Yakitori (Burlingame, California) in the last couple of weeks, and many other establishments over the last few years, customers respond negatively to publicity ploys like novelty meats. Modern history shows that almost every restaurant serving lion meat has pulled it from their menu as a direct result of public backlash. A recent Synovate poll found that 63 percent of Americans would stop frequenting an establishment if it started serving lion meat.

The African lion population has declined by more than 50 percent over the last three decades, and as few as 32,000 remain in the wild. In March 2011 IFAW, along with a coalition of animal welfare organizations, petitioned the U.S. government to list the African lion as an endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. If listed, serving African lion meat in the U.S. would be illegal.

Restaurants serving lion meat send a message that they promote exploiting endangered animals. It not only alienates their customers, but it undermines conservation of this iconic species which is already fighting to survive. For any restaurants considering serving the meat of this imperiled species, we urge you to reconsider: African lions must be conserved, not consumed.”

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org/bigcatadvocates. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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This material is being sent at the request of both Ms. Tippi Hedren and The Honorable Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA 25) and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA 46) regarding yesterday announcement about The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act. The passing of this bill will finally mean that captive big cats-tigers, lions, cougars and other species - will not threaten public safety, diminish global conservation efforts, or end up living in deplorable conditions. Congressman McKeon's office contact can be found below. For more information regarding Ms. Hedren's efforts with The Shambala Preserve and The ROAR Foundation, please visit Shambala.org.

McKeon and Sanchez Introduce Big Cats & Public Safety Protection Act Washington, D.C.- Today, Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA 25) and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA 46) introduced H.R. 1998, the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act. The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act would prohibit private possession of big cats, such as lions, tigers, panthers and cheetahs, except at highly-qualified facilities, like accredited zoos, where they can be properly cared for and restrained. Additionally, since no agency, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), state agencies, or local first responders, currently knows exactly how many dangerous big cats are being kept in private hands, under what conditions, and in what locations, the bill would require any persons who currently possess big cats to register those animals with USDA in order to keep the cats they currently own. The bill would also outlaw the breeding of any big cat except at accredited zoos and research and educational institutions. Violators of the law could have their animals confiscated along with any vehicles or equipment used to aid in their illegal activity, and could face stiff penalties including fines as much as $20,000, and up to five years in jail. The need for federal legislation regulating the sale and captivity of big cats has become dire. An alarming number of wild cats have been bred and sold as domestic pets in the U.S. This trend threatens public safety and often results in the severe mistreatment of these animals. Most recently, the fatal mauling of young intern at a private wildlife park in Dunlap, California, and the tragic events in Zanesville, Ohio in October, 2011, where 49 wild animals were killed after they were let loose on an unlicensed wild animal preserve, showcase the dangerous implications of this rising trend. Currently, only nine states have laws enforcing “no wild animals permitted,” and the remaining states have weak or no laws in existence. This bi-partisan bill will deter the dangerous private breeding, selling and keeping of lions, tigers and other dangerous big cats, and will help keep the public safe. This bill will also help global big cat conservation efforts and will work to ensure that big cats do not end up living in horrible conditions where they can be subject to mistreatment and cruelty. “No matter how many times people try to do it, wildcats such as lions, tigers, panthers and cheetahs are impossible to domesticate for personal possession,” said Congressman McKeon. “These wild animals require much higher living standards compared to a domestic house cat and demand care that most black-market owners are not able to provide for. When accidents happen or when individuals learn they can't take care of these animals, and these wild cats are released into our neighborhoods, it causes panic, puts a strain on our local public safety responders and is extremely dangerous. This bill is a step forward in protecting the public, ensuring that wildcats are not exploited and making sure those that are held in captivity are taken care of humanely in proper living conditions.” “State laws addressing the private ownership and breeding of big cats vary greatly, with some states banning the practice outright while others impose few and partial restrictions,” said Congresswoman Sanchez. “This patchwork of regulations is confusing and it jeopardizes the safety of the public and the welfare of our animals. The Big Cats bill is a federal solution that will clarify these regulations and will lessen the interstate traffic of various species.” This legislation is supported by the Roar Foundation, Shambala Preserve, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Born Free USA, Humane Society of United States, Big Cat Rescue, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Ian Somerhalder Foundation. Sincerely, Congressman Buck McKeon OFFICE INFORMATION WASHINGTON DC OFFICE 2184 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 phone: 202-225-1956 SANTA CLARITA OFFICE 26650 The Old Road Suite 203 Santa Clarita, CA 91381 phone: 661-254-2111 PALMDALE OFFICE 1008 W. Ave M-14 Suite E Palmdale, CA 93551 phone: 661-274-9688 Safety Act Talking Points o There are as many as 10,000 big cats kept in private hands, but no one knows exactly how many and where. o The exact number is a mystery because few records are kept. What we do know is that these animals should never be kept as pets. o Just weeks ago, a young woman in Dunlap, CA was attacked by an adult lion while she was cleaning his enclosure. Tragically, the young woman died, and the lion had to be killed by authorities. The incident took place at a facility that breeds and frequently transports its big cats for public display. o In the last two decades in the U.S., dangerous incidents involving big cats have resulted in 22 people being killed (including five children) and nearly 200 being mauled or otherwise injured. The numbers are likely higher as these are only the incidents widely reported by the media. o It costs at least $10,000 a year on average just to feed a big cat, and they need huge spaces to roam. Many big cat owners, even those with good intentions, quickly realize they are in over their heads. o Local law enforcement and other first responders are neither trained nor financially equipped to deal with animals the likes of a 300-pound tiger, and taxpayers must pay the cost when animals escape or otherwise jeopardize the community. o Furthermore, the USDA does not have the resources to adequately inspect big cat licensees and enforce Animal Welfare Act compliance. o Co-sponsor the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act today. Passing this bill would mean an amendment to the Captive Wildlife Safety Act to generally restrict breeding and keeping big cats (lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, and cougars) as pets. Current owners of any of these big cats would just need to register them with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The bill would provide exemptions for the following: zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), wildlife sanctuaries (that do not breed or allow public handling of their animals), wildlife rehabilitators, some research and education institutions, and some traveling circuses. o Unfortunately, reform came too late to Zanesville, Ohio. That's where a backyard exotic animal owner released 38 big cats and 18 other dangerous animals and then took his own life. To protect the surrounding community, law enforcement had no choice but to kill most of the animals. We can't stand on the sideline waiting for the next incident. Don't let your neighborhood be next. You, your family, and these animals all deserve protection. o Passing this bill will finally mean that captive big cats-tigers, lions, cougars and other species-do not threaten public safety, diminish global conservation efforts, or end up living in deplorable conditions

Reader’s Digest: When Animals Act Like People

April 17, 2013 – Reader’s Digest compiled a list of 12 stories that show animals at their most personal: practicing yoga, driving cars and comforting their closest friends. The stories include regular pets, such as cats and dogs, and animals as wild as a lion and marmots. Here are their stories:

· Lions Care About Their Hair – According to Peyton M. West, PhD, an evolution and animal behavior expert, female lions actively court males that are more heavily and lushly maned, especially at night, which is reserved for socializing and grooming. Of course, today such bald discrimination is frowned upon by men and women, but the big cats are content to be old-fashioned. When fights break out among members of the pride, lions with flowing tresses get preferential treatment.

· Whale Says Thanks – Each winter for nearly 20 years, Great Whale Conservancy co-director Michael Fishbach has traveled with other research scientists to the Sea of Cortez off Mexico’s west coast to study blue and humpback whales. In 2011, he and his team spotted a humpback whale trapped in a fishing net and spent an hour freeing it. Afterward, in an hour-long display of thanks, the whale swam near their boat and leaped into the air about 40 times.

· Pandas Like to Cavort – Is there anything cuter than a baby panda, except maybe a human baby? Even the word “panda” is cute. In fact, cubs sometimes behave like human babies: They sleep in the same positions and value their thumbs (pandas use theirs for holding the bamboo they munch on all day). Pandas have been known to wander inside mountain homes and get into the pots and pans. And although they grow into solitary adults who roam alone and mate just once a year, they also like to snuggle. If given the chance, they’ll sleep side by side with domestic animals.

· Bear Does Yoga – Santra, a female bear at Finland’s Ahtari Zoo, entertained visitors with a 15-minute “yoga” routine following a nap. Sitting upright, Santra used her front paws to grab her right back paw, then her left, stretching her legs as if doing a One-Legged Split. Next, she demonstrated the Open-Leg Seated Balance Pose with near-perfect form, pulling up both hind legs while keeping her balance.

· Horses Are Picky Eaters – Horses have an even keener sense of taste and smell than humans do, say equine scientists. When horses wrinkle their noses and flare their nostrils, they’re activating their vomeronasal organ, which allows them to sense smells we can’t detect. Horses also have taste buds on the back of their tongues and the roofs of their mouths, which might explain why they reject stale water and meticulously move around meadows, grazing on only the tastiest herbs, experts say.

· A Cat Honors Its Owner – A sprig of acacia, paper towels, and a plastic cup are just a few of the gifts that Toldo, a devoted three-year-old gray-and-white cat, has placed on his former owner Iozzelli Renzo’s grave in Montagnana, Italy, every day since the man died in September 2011. Renzo adopted Toldo from a shelter when the cat was three months old, and the two formed an inseparable bond. After Renzo passed away, Toldo followed the coffin to the cemetery, and now “stands guard” at the grave for hours at a time, says Renzo’s family.

· Pigeons Serve Their Country – Pigeons’ speed and navigational skills made them prized military messengers in World Wars I and II and the most decorated animals in military history. Thirty-two messenger pigeons have received the Dickin Medal, a British award that honors the gallantry or devotion of animals in war. At the moment, pigeons are resting on their laurels. They’ve fallen out of military favor and are no longer used — for now.

· Dogs Drive Cars – Three New Zealand dogs recently navigated a specially modified Mini Cooper around a racetrack at about 20 mph. (Engineers raised the gearshift and pedals and added handles to the steering wheel.) The stunt was an effort by the Auckland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to show off canine intelligence and boost adoptions from animal shelters. After months of practice, Monty, a giant schnauzer, Porter, a bearded collie mix, and Ginny, a bearded collie–whippet mix, followed trainers’ commands to put the car into gear, press the accelerator, and steer with their paws. Since a video of the test drive appeared online last December, all three dogs have been adopted.

· Monkeys Do Math – If capuchins ran the world, we might have avoided the recent banking crisis. In an experiment conducted at Yale, capuchins demonstrated an understanding of pricing and budgeting, as well as a desire to avoid losses when required to buy food with tokens.

· Cat Guides Blind Dog – After Terfel, an 8 year-old chocolate Labrador retriever in North Wales, U.K., developed cataracts last year, he began to bump into walls and furniture. Soon enough, the once energetic dog was spending most of his time in his dog bed, unable to find his way around. On a whim, Terfel’s owner Judy Godfrey-Brown let a stray cat, whom she named Pwditat (pronounced Puddy-tat), into her home. The feline made a beeline for the blind dog and began using its paws and head to herd Terfel into the garden. Now the unlikely friends sleep together, and Pwditat helps Terfel find his way everywhere.

· Camel Eats Breakfast with People – The first time Joe dined with British farmers Nathan and Charlotte Anderson-Dixon, he was uninvited. The four-year-old Bactrian camel stuck his head through their open kitchen window in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, and proceeded to empty the contents of a fruit bowl. Now the couple, who rent out reindeer, camels, goats, and other creatures for television shows, movies, and photo shoots, set a place at their table for the assertive double-humped creature, where he munches on cereal and his favorite: bananas on toast.

· Marmots Befriend a Boy – A colony of marmots in the Austrian Alps has embraced eight-year-old Matteo Walch, whose family vacations there in summer. The Alpine marmots are the largest of their species, sometimes reaching 15 pounds. Typically, they beat their tails, chatter, and whistle to warn other marmots of danger, but with Matteo, they behave much differently, allowing the boy to feed, pet, and even touch noses with them.

To read about these personal animals, please visit: http://www.rd.com/slideshows/animal-stories-when-beasts-act-like-humans/#slide2=&slideshow=slide1.

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