Displaying items by tag: Africa

 

Watch Jora and Black’s epic 10,500-mile journey from Bulgaria to South African sanctuary

Washington, D.C., January  20, 2016 – This week the Born Free Foundation has released a heartwarming video of two ex-circus lions who were successfully rescued from Bulgaria and now thriving in their new South African home.

Eight-year-old brothers Jora and Black made international headlines when they were rescued by Born Free from a beast wagon in Bulgaria more than three months ago.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of the Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA, “Thanks to generous public support, Born Free was able to transport Jora and Black 10,500 miles via the United Kingdom to their new life and forever home at the Shamwari Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  Their story has a happy ending; no wild animal should suffer in unnatural, cruel captivity, and Born Free will save every one we can until wild animal circuses are a thing of the past.”  

The seven minute video, made available for the first time this week, reveals how Born Free successfully rescued the lions, and shows the highly emotional moment the brothers were released from their traveling crates and stepped out onto African soil for the first time.

Born Free Foundation Projects Manager, Karen Pettman, said Jora and Black had settled into their new home quickly. “We are delighted that they have now adapted to their spacious home at Born Free’s Big Cat Rescue Centre on the Shamwari Game Reserve. Jora and Black clearly love being together and are very playful with each other. They are also becoming firm favorites with the center’s visitors, who they will often come out to say hello to, chasing each other along the edge of their enclosure.”

Taken in as small cubs, Jora and Black were originally part of a circus act touring Eastern Europe and Turkey. Following the Bulgarian government’s much-welcomed ban on the use of wild mammals in circuses, the lions were left to languish in a stifling beast wagon until the owners agreed to re-home them with Born Free. They will now be given lifetime care in their large, natural, and safe accommodation at the Born Free Jean Byrd Education and Rescue Centre in Shamwari.

The release of the video comes as Born Free declares 2016 the Year of the Lion to highlight the plight of lions worldwide and to mark the 50th anniversary of the motion picture Born Free, starring Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA co-founders Virginia McKenna and her late husband, Bill Travers as pioneering conservationists Joy and George Adamson, and their successful rehabilitation of Elsa the lioness to the wild. Screenings, activities, news, and events are planned throughout 2016.

The Born Free Foundation is a dynamic international wildlife charity devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare. Born Free takes action worldwide to protect threatened species and stop individual animal suffering. Born Free believes wildlife belongs in the wild and works to phase out zoos. We rescue animals from lives of misery in tiny cages and give them lifetime care.  Born Free protects lions, elephants, tigers, gorillas, wolves, polar bears, dolphins, marine turtles, and many more species in their natural habitats, working with local communities to help people and wildlife live together without conflict. Our high-profile campaigns change public attitudes, persuade decision-makers, and get results. Every year, Born Free helps hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide. For more information about Born Free, please visit www.bornfree.org.uk.

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.

Ex-circus lions complete epic 10,500-mile journey from Bulgaria to the UK to South African sanctuary

Washington D.C., September 28, 2015 -- The Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA have announced that Jora and Black, the two rescued ex-circus lions from Bulgaria, have completed an epic journey of more than 10,500 miles to begin new lives today in their ancestral home of Africa.

The two seven-year-old brothers were rescued by Born Free in July this year from a cramped metal beast wagon near Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, assisted by international animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS. Their horrific plight made international headlines.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and the Born Free Foundation, "Every time we rescue an ill-treated wild animal, forced into unnatural, cruel captivity for years, it is truly a cause for celebration. The story of Jora and Black and their opportunity to live in peace in South Africa is an uplifting one; a testament to the hard work of so many dedicated people including Born Free staff, and an inspiration that drives us to save more animals in need wherever they sadly languish."

The lions were flown on Saturday from Bourgas airport to London Gatwick by Thomson Airways. Eagerly awaiting their arrival was the legendary actress and Born Free Foundation Co-Founder, Virginia McKenna OBE, who greeted Jora and Black airside. McKenna said, “It’s fantastic to see the animals have travelled so well. They still have a long way to go but I am really happy that with the generous public support we are able to offer them a wonderful new home with our friends at Shamwari Game Reserve. They deserve no less.”

Jora and Black then traveled by road in an approved quarantine vehicle to London Heathrow.  The lions then commenced from Heathrow to Johannesburg. On arrival Sunday in South Africa they were transported by a convoy of Land Rover Discovery vehicles and trailers to their new home at the Born Free Jean Byrd Education and Rescue Centre, at the award-winning Shamwari Game Reserve, just outside of Port Elizabeth, where they were released into a spacious, safe and enriching natural accommodation, surrounded by the sights and sounds of Africa.  Upon release, the brothers greeted each other fondly after exploring the bush for a couple of minutes.  They will be enjoying their first meal together at Shamwari this afternoon. 

Taken in as small cubs, Jora and Black were originally part of a circus act touring Eastern Europe and Turkey. Following the Bulgarian government’s much-welcomed ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, the lions were left to languish in a stifling beast wagon since the summer of 2014, until their owners agreed to re-home them with Born Free.

With Jora and Black every step of the way was Shamwari Group Head of Wildlife and Veterinarian, Dr Johan Joubert, and Born Free’s Big Cat Expert, Tony Wiles. Speaking in transit, Wiles said, “The lions are doing really well and we are very happy with their progress. They are travelling well in their crates and we are keeping a close eye on them throughout the journey, with regular health checks and water stops.”

Shamwari, meaning “my friend” in Shona, is the pinnacle of private game reserves. Stretching 25,000 hectares over a malaria free landscape, it is one of the largest private conservation initiatives in Southern Africa.

The Born Free Foundation is a dynamic international wildlife charity, devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare.  Born Free takes action worldwide to protect threatened species and stop individual animal suffering. Born Free believes wildlife belongs in the wild and works to phase out zoos.  The Foundation rescues animals from lives of misery in tiny cages and give them lifetime care.  Born Free protects lions, elephants, tigers, gorillas, wolves, polar bears, dolphins, marine turtles and many more species in their natural habitat, working with local communities to help people and wildlife live together without conflict. The Foundation’s high-profile campaigns change public attitudes, persuade decision-makers and get results.  Every year, Born Free helps hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide. More at www.bornfree.org.uk.

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation” — the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film “Born Free,” along with their son Will Travers. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org; www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa; and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

Born Free urges greater protection for Africa’s lions following confirmation of catastrophic population declines

International science body highlights dire status of King of the Jungle

 

Following the release yesterday of a lion assessment by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA are urging immediate international action to halt catastrophic recent declines in lion populations across Africa.

In its most up-to-date assessment of the species, IUCN, the world’s oldest and largest global environmental scientific organisation, reported devastating reductions in lion populations across much of the African continent. The new assessment revealed:

  • The number of lions across Africa has reduced by approximately 42% over the past 21 years (approximately three lion generations, 1993-2014)
  • Excluding Namibia, South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe, lions across the rest of Africa have declined by an average 60%
  • In West Africa, the declines suggest lions should be classified as Critically Endangered
  • Lions have disappeared altogether from at least 12, possibly up to 16, African countries in recent years.

“The IUCN reassessment confirms what we have known for some time: that lions are in serious decline across much of Africa,” said Adam M. Roberts, Chief Executive of the Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA.

“The trade data suggests that international trade in lion parts and products is putting pressure on these vulnerable lion populations, which they clearly can’t sustain. We call on the international community to increase the protection for lions from the impact of trade through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to issue its long-overdue final rule on listing the lion as endangered under the US Endangered Species Act.”

Trade in lions and lion parts has been increasing. According to the official CITES trade database, from 2009 to 2013 the total number of lions and lion parts exported doubled compared to the previous five year period. The figures reveal particularly worrying increases in the trade in lion bones and skeletons (presumably to supply demand for Asian traditional medicines and tonics), skins, and trophies from captive bred animals.

“These iconic animals can’t wait,” added Roberts. “Lions used to roam all over Africa, west Asia and even southern Europe. Now we risk seeing them disappear from much of their remaining sub-Saharan African range. We cannot sit by and watch this species disappear under our watch.”

Born Free is working with the United Nations Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and African lion experts to improve collaboration between African range states on lion conservation, identify the reasons for the reported declines, and help range states to reverse them.

About Born Free

The  Born Free Foundation is a dynamic international wildlife charity, devoted to   compassionate conservation and animal welfare. Born Free takes action worldwide to protect  threatened species and stop individual animal suffering. Born Free believes wildlife belongs in the wild and works to phase out zoos. We rescue animals from lives of misery in tiny cages and give them lifetime care.

Born Free protects lions, elephants, tigers, gorillas, wolves, polar bears, dolphins, marine turtles and many more species in their natural habitat, working with local communities to help people and wildlife live together without conflict. Our high-profile campaigns change public attitudes, persuade decision-makers and get results. Every year, Born Free helps hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide. For more information about Born Free please visit: www.bornfree.org.uk

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.

###

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.

###

Warner Bros. Pictures, Gulfstream Pictures and Happy Madison Productions present a 117 minute, PG-13, comedy, directed by Frank Coraci, written by Ivan Menchell and Clare Sera with a theater release date of May 23, 2014.

Oakland, CA – In response to the killing of 35,000 elephants in Africa within the last year, a team of Bay Area elephant activists are taking action to get public awareness about the ivory trade and the thousands of animals that are dying due to the demand for elephant tusks. According to conservationists, if something isn’t done to stop the slaughter of elephants in Africa, these animals could become extinct within the next ten years. Oakland Zoo strongly supports the San Francisco March for Elephants, which is taking place on Friday, October 4, 2013 at 11:00am, with a rally following the March at 12:00pm in Union Square. The public is encouraged to gather on for the March at 10:00am in Portsmouth Square, 733 Kearny Street, San Francisco.

“On Friday, October 4th Oakland Zoo staff, volunteers and members will be joining people around the world to bring attention to the crisis facing elephants,” said Colleen Kinzley, Director of Animal Care, Conservation, and Research at Oakland Zoo. “Thousands of elephants are being killed so their tusks can be sold to buy guns and to make high value carvings. Please join us at March for Elephants - San Francisco to bring attention to this crisis and urge world leader to stop the illegal massacre of elephant. We can make a difference.”

The March for Elephants – San Francisco collation is part of an international effort to engage the public, educate, and grow awareness in regard to the elephant crisis. According to the San Francisco collation, China seeks 200 tons of raw ivory for their factories each year, which requires 20,000 elephants to be killed each year. The collation also states that the ivory trade is a billion dollar enterprise, and poaching has become a criminal operation that includes smuggling and international cartels.

Besides local support for the elephant crisis, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has pledged her support, urging world leaders to work toward shutting down the ivory trade. Secretary of State John Kerry has embraced this effort along with a pledge by President Obama to establish an emergency task force to address the crisis.

ABOUT MARCH FOR ELEPHANTS – SAN FRANCISCO:

March for Elephants is dedicated to promoting global awareness about the elephant crisis, advocating for cessation of poaching in all regions where elephants live, fiercely working to shut down the ivory trade, and raise the level of human consciousness to embrace the lives of elephants with reverence and humility. We uphold the belief that elephants are a nation unto themselves. Their lives reach beyond ours, and have meaning only they can comprehend. March for Elephants will strive to provide useful information and tools to enhance ownership and motivation for individuals who seek to carry out actions on behalf of elephants. For those who do, and for those who wish to learn about elephants, this is your community, an opportunity to find your herd. It is our fondest hope that you will join with us in our actions.

ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:

Oakland Zoo is always outspoken when it comes to elephants. The Zoo is home to four African elephants, three females and one male. Their names are Donna, Lisa, M’Dunda, and Osh. More than six acres make up their expansive exhibit, which includes a swimming pool, trees, hills, and areas for dust bathing, which is a natural behavior among elephants. The elephants are managed with protected contact, meaning zookeepers and elephants do not share the same space; bull hooks are not used. The animals are never forced to do anything they do not want to do; instead, they are rewarded with treats for participating with foot care, morning routines, and health exams. Ten spreads (scattering of food throughout the exhibit) are done each day to encourage foraging and exercise. Truckloads of browse or tree branches are collected and donated from surrounding areas, to ensure the proper diet is given to the animals.

CONSERVATION CONNECTION:

Each year, Oakland Zoo honors elephants by hosting a Celebrating Elephants day event and an evening lecture. The day event’s focus is to educate the public about elephants, explain why they should not be used for entertainment, and demonstrate what it is like to research elephants in the wild. The evening lecture is a more intimate gathering that features a guest speaker, silent auction, and reception. Proceeds from these events are donated to the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, which aims to ensure the long-term conservation and welfare of Africa’s elephants in the context of human needs and pressures through scientific research, training, community outreach, public awareness and advocacy. Cynthia Moss and her research team at Amboseli have spent time in the field researching and leading the efforts to understand these intelligent and complex animals.

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 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 please visit our website at www.oaklandzoo.org.

###

Mega-Ivory Seizure Puts Future of Elephants in Doubt

 

December 12, 2012 -- A massive seizure of 1,500 ivory tusks in Port Klang, rumoured to weigh a staggering 20 to 24 tonnes, has stunned the conservation world.

 

"Last year, 2011, was described by trade experts as the worst year for elephants in decades," said Will Travers, CEO Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA. "This latest seizure coming, as it does, on top of 900 kg seized in New York in July, 1,500 kg in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in May and two seizures, one of 3,810 kg in October and another of 1,330 kg in November in Hong Kong, means the bloody ivory trade has reached new heights of destruction and depravity in 2012.”

 

This latest seizure was carried out by Royal Malaysian Customs officers at Port Klang, just outside Malaysia's capital city Kuala Lumpur. The shipment, reportedly, involved 10 crates, divided between 2 containers, shipped from the Port of Lomé in Togo, West Africa, destined for China, via Spain. The ivory was hidden in secret compartments underneath "wooden floor tiles.”

 

Travers continued, "I thought that when the international ivory trade ban was agreed in 1989, we would see a permanent reversal of fortunes for this beleaguered species. How wrong I was - the respite was temporary. Experts estimate that between 20,000 and 30,000 elephants are being illegally killed each year to fuel demand, largely driven by China. No part of Africa is now safe. Across the continent, for the first time, the number of carcasses recorded as a result of poaching exceeds the number reportedly dying from natural causes."

 

And the situation could get even worse.

 

With only three months to run before the 16th meeting of 176 Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a proposal has been put forward by Tanzania seeking approval for the sale of more than 100 tonnes of stockpiled ivory to China and Japan. Analysis by Born Free's trade experts concludes that, far from meeting demand and depressing poaching, this is fuelling demand and incentivising another wave of slaughter.

 

"I fear that elephants may disappear entirely from those parts of Africa least able to protect them from the onslaught" said legendary actress Virginia McKenna, OBE, Founder of The Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA. "The fragile elephant populations of West and Central Africa are most at risk, but even countries such as Kenya, with the well-trained and well-resourced rangers of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), are operating at full stretch and losing their lives in the process."

 

There are no easy answers but Born Free, together with other conservation charities with many years' experience working in Africa, are calling on Tanzania to withdraw its proposal; for China and Japan's ivory trading nation status to be revoked; and for the international community to come forward with the resources necessary to fund the African Elephant Action Plan, the only viable blueprint for elephant survival agreed by all 37 African elephant range States.

 

Born Free is calling on the public to make its opposition to any further ivory trade known by registering at http://www.bloodyivory.org where the latest details of the Malaysian mega-seizure and other interceptions can be found.

 

About Born Free USA: Born Free USA is a nationally recognized 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, now CEO of both organizations. 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; twitter twitter.com/bornfreeusa; Facebook facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

 

About the Born Free Foundation: The Born Free Foundation is a dynamic international wildlife charity, devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare. Born Free takes action worldwide to protect threatened species and stop individual animal suffering. Born Free believes wildlife belongs in the wild and works to phase out zoos. We rescue animals from lives of misery in tiny cages and give them lifetime care. Born Free protects lions, elephants, tigers, gorillas, wolves, polar bears, dolphins, marine turtles and many more species in their natural habitat, working with local communities to help people and wildlife live together without conflict. Our high-profile campaigns change public attitudes, persuade decision-makers and get results. Every year, Born Free helps hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide. For more information visit: www.bornfree.org.uk.

DreamWorks Animation presents a PG, approximately 95 minute animation, adventure, comedy in 3D, directed by Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Conrad Vernon, written by Eric Darnell and Noah Baumbach with a theatre release date of June 8, 2012.

Relativity Media, Virgin Produced and Apparatus Productions present an R rated, 127 minute, action, crime film directed by Marc Forster and written by Jason Keller with a theatrical release date of November 4, 2011.

Page 2 of 2