(Photo Credit: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo)
Oakland, CA …July 8, 2016 – Three adolescent Southeast African lions are adjusting well to their new home at
Oakland Zoo after a mandatory 30-day quarantine at Oakland Zoo’s vet hospital and transition from holding areas. The eighteen month-old lions are brothers, making up a ‘coalition’, meaning an all-male social group, that are rarely seen in AZA accredited U.S. Zoos.
The move was based on a recommendation made by the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a conservation-breeding program across accredited zoos to increase the genetic diversity and enhance the health of species populations. Named Tandie, Mandla and Gandia, the trio is now the juvenile neighbor to Oakland Zoo’s resident lion, Leonard, a senior at 16 years old. There are no plans to integrate Leonard and the coalition, as coalitions are known to fight fiercely with male lions unknown to them. Young male lions commonly form bachelor groups in the wild while developing skills to form their own prides later in life.
The lion brothers were transported by plane from Seattle on May 25th with the generous support of the employees at the local Merrill Lynch Wealth Management offices in Oakland and Walnut Creek. Hearing about the Zoo’s efforts to bring the lions over, they raised $7,500 through bake sales and other donation efforts that was matched by Bank of America for a total of $15,000 to cover flight costs.
“Lion coalitions are often seen in the wild, but rarely in zoos; so most people find this normal aspect of lion sociality peculiar! We are excited for guests to see the three brothers lounging and interacting with each other, and to learn about the threats facing African lions. We are one of a few zoos chosen to work with Southeast African lions, and though there are no future plans for females or a breeding program, we have a very important story to tell!,” Darren Minier, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo.
With Oakland and Woodland Park Zoo’s strong dedication to animal welfare, the three lions were successfully crated at Woodland Park, transported to Oakland Zoo, quarantined, then re-crated and transferred to the Simba Pori exhibit using only voluntary, positive reinforcement training – no anesthesia, tranquilizers, or force was used at any time in the 12 week process. This aided in the least amount of stress possible for the lions at all points in the process, and was only possible through the skill of dedicated, knowledgeable, and caring keeper staff.
Southeast African lions are one on the remaining eight species of lion. It’s estimated that only 30,000 to 35,000 lions remain in the wild – a decrease of 30% in the past twenty years. Threats include hunting, human-wildlife conflict, human encroachment resulting in habitat loss, and prey-base depletion. Oakland Zoo supports lions in the wild through our conservation partner, the Uganda Carnivore Program. Visit Oakland Zoo on World Lion Day, August 6, to celebrate lions, learn more about the conservation challenges they face and the wild, and what you can do to help.
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. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide; with 25¢ from each ticket donated to support conservation partners and programs around the world. The California Trail, a transformational project that more than doubles our size, opens in 2018, and will further our commitment to animal care, education, and conservation with a focus on this state’s remarkable native wildlife. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-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, go to: www.oaklandzoo.org
Network puts animals, the show’s cast, and crew at risk; ignores requests to consider humane alternatives
“We know the television industry is better than this and would never want a tragedy to occur.” – Born Free USA CEO
Washington, D.C., June 29, 2016 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in wildlife conservation and animal welfare, condemns the CBS Television Network for its use of live exotic animals in the series Zoo. The second season, which premiered last night, reportedly continues to use big cats, wolves, reindeer, horses, and buffalo in filming. The exploitative use of wildlife for entertainment is not only cruel to animals, but also extremely dangerous to the cast and crew working with them. Furthermore, using live wildlife for television and film is outdated in the age of computer-generated special effects, as recently illustrated in the feature film The Jungle Book, which seamlessly uses technology to bring wild animals to “life.”
According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “We spoke to executives at CBS last year and were told that, if the show got picked up, a conversation or meeting would take place to discuss Born Free USA’s legitimate animal welfare concerns. We never heard back and further attempts to speak with them have gone unanswered. It is clear that no progress has been made in phasing out live animals. Zoo can certainly adopt modern technology in place of outdated practices that significantly impact animal welfare and public safety. We know the television industry is better than this and would never want a tragedy to occur.”
Wild animal “actors,” such as the ones used in Zoo, spend their lives in captivity experiencing severe physical and psychological suffering. Training methods for animal actors have been known to include coercion and negative reinforcement: a process which may involve withholding food or using physical force.
Moreover, many of the animals used in Zoo have long lifespans. Lions can live 10-15 years, sometimes longer; bears live for approximately 20-25 years. Often, when animal actors are no longer deemed useful, or they become too dangerous to be used in media, they are sent to already-overburdened sanctuaries or deplorable roadside zoos.
In addition, the use of exotic animals places actors and crew in highly dangerous situations. No matter how “well trained” and “trusted” the animals are, repeated incidents recorded in Born Free USA’s Exotic Animal Incidents Database demonstrate that such animals inevitably display their natural, wild behaviors, which can lead to injury or even death to humans.
Roberts continues, “Wild animals are wild, and do not belong imprisoned in a trailer or exploited on a television or film set. These animals are not props, and forcing them to perform for our entertainment is neither humane nor safe—particularly when technological innovations can so easily be substituted. Given CBS’s stated plans to run the series for five seasons, we strongly encourage the network to ensure that only CGI technology is used in the future.”
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.
Speaker Toni G. Atkins Introduces Bill to Protect Elephants and Rhinos from Poachers
SACRAMENTO–In response to the global wildlife crisis in which an average of 96 elephants are being slaughtered daily for their ivory in Africa, Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins today introduced AB 96 to close loopholes that prevent the effective enforcement of existing California law prohibiting the sale of ivory. Senator Ricardo Lara is the Principal Co-author of the bill.
“The slaughter of elephants for their tusks and rhinos for their horns is as senseless as it is cruel,” said Speaker Atkins (D-San Diego). “California recognized that and enacted a law almost 40 years ago to end the ivory trade here, but that law needs strengthening in order to be effective. AB 96 closes the loophole that allows the illegal ivory trade to continue to flourish and adds real enforcement teeth to the law so California can do our part to end the slaughter.”
“Elephants and rhinos are being slaughtered and mutilated at an unprecedented rate and driven to extinction due to demand for their tusks and horns,” said Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens). “If we are serious about protecting endangered species and ensuring that they will be here for future generations to appreciate, California must take a decisive step in stopping, once and for all, the sale or trade of ivory and rhinos horns.”
International, federal and state laws are all being strengthened to protect iconic species from cruelty and extinction. The states of New York and New Jersey recently enacted strong prohibitions on intra-state ivory and rhino-horn commerce and the federal government has proposed strengthened ivory trade and import regulations.
In a new report commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Elephant Ivory Trafficking in California, USA, the investigator examined more than 1,250 ivory items offered for sale by 107 vendors in Los Angeles and San Francisco. He found that up to 90% of the ivory for sale in Los Angeles and approximately 80% in San Francisco was likely illegal under California law—much of it advertised as antiques and/or crafted to look older so it would appear legal, though the pieces were more likely from recently-killed elephants. Additionally, the incidence of what appears to be ivory of recent manufacture roughly doubled from approximately 25% in 2006 to about 50% in 2014.
AB 96 would prohibit a person from purchasing, selling, offering for sale, possessing with intent to sell, or importing with intent to sell elephant ivory or rhinoceros horn, except as specified under very limited educational and scientific circumstances, and would make this prohibition enforceable by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The bill would make a violation of this provision a misdemeanor subject to specified graduated criminal penalties. In addition to the specified criminal penalties, the bill would authorize the department to impose a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for a violation of this provision or any rule, regulation, or order adopted pursuant to this provision.
AB 96 is supported by a host of community, environmental, and animal protection groups including the NRDC, The Humane Society of the United States/Humane Society International, Wildlife Conservation Society, California Zoo & Aquarium Association, Oakland Zoo, and the Asian Pacific Alliance for Wildlife & Sustainability. Additionally, nearly a dozen state lawmakers including wildlife policy committee chairs in both the Assembly and the Senate have already signed on as co-authors of AB 96.
The provisions of AB 96 would become operative on July 1, 2016.
What others are saying:
“We are grateful to Speaker Atkins and Senator Lara for pursuing closure of the loophole in California’s decades-old ivory ban that has allowed this pernicious trade to flourish in our state,” said Jennifer Fearing, a consultant with The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. “Californians don’t support trade here in products that put elephants and rhinos in jeopardy of cruelty and extinction.”
“It’s shocking how much ivory is being sold in California. Up to 90% of the ivory being sold in Los Angeles and 80% in San Francisco is likely illegal, according to an independent study commissioned by NRDC, with much of it being altered to look older so that it will appear legal,” said Elly Pepper, an NRDC wildlife advocate. “Too much ivory is slipping through the cracks. It’s time for California to do more to protect the lives of elephants, and we are thrilled to see the California legislature take this huge step.”
Said John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Director of the 96 Elephants campaign: “The Wildlife Conservation Society and the 96 Elephants campaign praises Speaker Atkins and Senator Lara for their leadership in moving toward passing a statewide ban on ivory. We are driving these magnificent animals toward extinction across Africa unless we stop the killing of an estimated 96 elephants each day, stop the trafficking and stop the demand for ivory. As long as demand for ivory remains high and enforcement efforts are low, the legal trade will continue to serve as a front for criminal syndicates. A California ban on ivory sales is an important step forward in this global effort to save elephants.”
“Research shows that Asian Pacific Americans are among the strongest supporters of conservation and environmental protection. On behalf of Asian Pacific Americans everywhere, the Asian Pacific Alliance for Wildlife & Sustainability (APAWS) is proud to support Speaker Toni Atkins’ AB 96 to close down illegal ivory trafficking in California that contributes to the cruel global decimation of elephants and other precious wildlife,” stated Judy Ki, chair of APAWS.
Website of Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins: www.asmdc.org/speaker
Having created the Casa Dorada Sanctuary Project back in 2008 and working together with other local entities, the resort has dedicated significant financial and human resources to ensuring that adequate measures are in place to safeguard nests, protect eggs and eventually successfully release baby turtles into the sea.
Every late summer and fall, guests staying at Casa Dorada are fortunate to witness the arrival of female turtles on the beach right in front of the resort to lay their eggs. Then, 6 to 9 weeks later baby turtles are born making their way to the sea for the very first time, offering one of nature’s most touching spectacles. The most common turtle species encountered in Los Cabos is the olive ridley, whose regular nesting period is from July to October, while the release of baby turtles usually takes place in September and October.
Casa Dorada and its turtle conservation efforts To date, the Casa Dorada Sanctuary Project has protected more than 160,000 turtle eggs and released nearly 140,000 offspring into the sea. These efforts have helped in making the Cabo San Lucas Bay and Los Cabos a vitally important nesting area for the olive ridley.
Local involvement In order to continue protecting turtles in the area, regional governments have created The Los Cabos Sea Turtle Conservation Program. In 2005 many of the community’s hotels, resorts, restaurants, and organizations have joined in, creating The Los Cabos Sea Turtle Protection Network. In 2008, Casa Dorada was officially added to this strategic coalition. Later, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources granted the hotel federal permission to establish a working nursery for the safekeeping of olive ridley eggs, a privilege only a handful of institutions in the Southern Baja have enjoyed.
About Casa Dorada With an incomparable location on Medano Beach--the best swimmable beach of Cabo, Casa Dorada is just steps away from world-class shopping, dining, entertainment, and the marina. As a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, a collection of the world’s finest independent luxury hotels, Casa Dorada Los Cabos brings the upscale service and family-friendly features to the Cabo San Lucas oceanfront. The Resort grants visitors a more convenient, yet equally spectacular, alternative to the more remote hotel zone of the Tourist Corridor. Boasting unobstructed vistas of Land’s End and the famous Arch, Casa Dorada is just 30 minutes away from Los Cabos International Airport. All of the 185 spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom suites and penthouses, open up to Los Cabos’ most dazzling ocean view, while the luminous and contemporary interiors ensure your comfort and satisfaction.
LOS ANGELES’ ACCLAIMED WILD AND EXOTIC ANIMAL SANCTUARY, THE WILDLIFE WAYSTATION
FACES THE “FINAL CHAPTER.,” SAYS FOUNDER MARTINE COLETTE.
FINANCIAL SITUATION “THE WORST” IN 35 YEARS.
Martine Colette, founder and director of the Wildlife WayStation, is facing what she calls – bluntly – the “final chapter” of the acclaimed wild and exotic animal sanctuary that has long been a Los Angeles fixture and is home to around 400 animals, birds and reptiles.
But home for how long?
That is Colette’s predicament and it’s crunch time for the animal supporter and her life’s work.
Says Colette: “If the WayStation does not find a way out from under the horrific financial burden it is currently facing, caused by the current recession and disastrous economic downfall, then all these animals that came to us for safe haven are in real jeopardy.
“And sooner rather than later.”
Funded solely through corporate and foundation grants, private donations, animal sponsorship and bequests, the non profit WayStation, situated in the Angeles National Forest just outside Los Angeles, has seen the results of fundraising activities drop abruptly.
“Donations are down,” notes Colette. “This is the worst I have experienced in my 45 years of animal welfare and rescue..
“We have been forced to cut back severely on WayStation staff, relying on volunteers and supporters day-to-day. They do a great job but it’s frustrating not having a complete, permanent staff to serve our animal population.
”The economic situation adversely affects our work on the County of Los Angeles-required WayStation improvements that would allow us to reopen our sanctuary to the public, another way we raise money. The work is proceeding, but slowly.
“All in all, this has been one horrific year.”
Colette views the upcoming Thanksgiving-Christmas period – a peak time for donations and fundraising – as “crisis time,” the make-or-break period for the WayStation.
Facing the reality of the WayStation’s downward financial spiral, Colette and fellow board members are looking to change the Waystation’s business methods and philosophy.
Colette’s opinion is that the WayStation management, herself included, must become more progressive and proactive,
Says Colette: “We are putting real emphasis on the possibility of some organization going into partnership with the WayStation, a company that sees a real advantage in aligning with the WayStation brand that could take us – and them - in a different direction. An organization that will find the WayStation image and history advantageous to them.
“Frankly, we are open to any and all suggestions – a merger with another like-minded animal organization is not out of the question. A wedding chapel with the WayStation has background has even been suggested! Just as long as respect for the animals is part of the package, the first priority.”
While the WayStation is seeking an organizational partner with deep pockets, the small change is not being neglected in the fundraising drives.
“People can sponsor a particular animal, or contribute to a food bill. I can tell you to the last cent how much it costs to feed one tiger or one chimp for one day. If someone wants to help that way, I am just as grateful. The most important thing is that the Wildlife Waystation must survive
“A large part of the WayStation’s appeal is its connection with the public, whether in the school room or the other outside events that feature the Waystation’s animals.”
Martine Colette acknowledges: “Animal rescue and protection has never been a money making business and those operations with large animal populations are especially vulnerable. Two respectable large animal sanctuaries in Texas have just gone belly up, victims of the same financial crisis that’s affecting the WayStation. And the blunt fact is that, in these cases, there is no place for the animals to go.
“If the worst happens, there is no place in Los Angeles County that can take in an animal population of 400 – tigers, chimps, bird, reptiles.
”This must never happen. We do good work here.”
Wildlife WayStation Particulars:
14831 Little Tujunga Canyon Rd.
Sylmar, Ca. 91342-5999
People/Business’s can make donations by: Mail, In-person, Phone, Web-site, Facebook
The WayStation accepts: Cash, Checks, Money Orders, Credit/Debit Cards
Text Wildlife to 20222 on your cell phone to make an instant $10 donation that will show up on your next bill.
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For more information & other ways to help please visit www.wildlifewaystation.org