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Ringling Bros Announces the Retirement of All Their Performing Elephants

5 Mar
Ringlings Elephants

Ringling’s Elephants

The surprise announcement today by Feld Entertainment to the Associated Press to phase out the elephant acts in the Ringling Bros Circus was HUGE. First and foremost, for the elephants. In the next three years they’ll all retire as a herd to Feld’s Elephant Conservation Center located in Central Florida, where they already have 29 elephants. The company has cited growing pressure from activists as one of the reasons for the decision, stating that the money they’ve spent to defend themselves and fight legislation could go towards taking care of the elephant’s retirement instead. They’ve recognized that the elephants are aging, and that public scrutiny can no longer be ignored. Feld also stated that since multiples towns and counties across the country have ordinances against bullhooks and wild performing animals, it’s increasingly difficult to organize its Ringling tours.

So, is it possible that the Feld family actually does care about elephants? I can only hope that the Ringling elephants aren’t eventually forced to perform at the “conservation” center, which Feld would like to ultimately open to the public. With the announcement today though, they have the potential to encourage other circuses with performing elephants to retire their elephants as well. The smaller shows don’t have a ready-made conservation center to send their elephants to, but there are two fine sanctuaries in the USA that may be interested in helping. Feld’s decision sends a powerful message, the mindset is surely changing. Thanks also in part to the HBO documentary “Apology to Elephants”, which could be compared to “Blackfish” about captive whales at SeaWorld.

For now though, this is a major win for the elephants. It’s also a win for all the people that have helped make this happen. Activism works. Ringling acknowledges that the protests are at every show, they’re growing larger, and have affected ticket sales. Public perception is changing. Activism is the reason for the bullhook bans and performing wild animals ordinances, it’s the reason for the lawsuits, and it’s the reason public perception is indeed changing. PETA has certainly played a major role as well, as they’ve been investigating and protesting Ringling Bros for 35 years. But average people like me that have a passion for elephants have also helped make a difference. This win is for me, and for all the people that stood for hours at a protest, signed a petition, wrote letters and emails, called legislators, attended council meetings, spread awareness on social media, passed out flyers, and did anything they could to inform and educate the truth about circus elephants. Today, we celebrate. CONGRATULATIONS and Thank You!

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Happy World Elephant Day

12 Aug

Don’t buy or sell ivory.

Don’t go to the circus if it features elephants, or any other captive performing wild animals.

Don’t support elephant rides.

Don’t go to zoos.

Don’t hire, or support, live elephants for special events.

Don’t support working elephants in popular tourist locations, such as babies playing in the surf, elephants begging, or doing tricks.

Happy World Elephant Day 2014

Happy World Elephant Day

 

Mourning the loss of two great Tuskers in Africa, killed by poachers.

22 Jun

Two iconic and well known jumbo elephants in Africa have been killed by poachers for their ivory tusks. These majestic elephants known as Mountain Bull and Satao, were known as Tuskers with Satao thought to be the largest elephant in Africa. Both were studied by conservationists, both were under 46 yrs old and both were survivors of previous poaching attacks. Sadly, both also ended up being killed by poisonous spears, which took several weeks to slowly and painfully cause their demise. All for the illegal ivory trade – blood ivory.

Mountain Bull was killed in Mt. Kenya National Park in May, and he was very well known and studied. In 2012 his tusks were cut down, in order to make him less desirable for poachers. The study of his migration routes assisted conservationists in developing a safe route for wildlife to pass from Mt. Kenya to Lewa and Samburu, without conflicting with human development. His acceptance and use of the new trail led to over 2,000 other elephants following the path. For the past 8 years he had a GPS collar tracking him by Save The Elephants, which alarmed the organization when they noticed it had stopped moving. The search team from Lewa Wildlife Conservancy found his body, with his tusks removed. He had survived at least one previous poaching attack, which left 6 bullets in his body. The loss of Mountain Bull was a shock and has deeply affected all that knew him. He was also featured on the CBS Evening News and CBS Sunday Morning regarding the poaching crisis in Africa. Their video report on his death can be found HERE. Mountain Bull was only 46 years old.

Photo Credit Lewa Wildlife Conservacy

Mountain Bull – Photo Credit Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

Mountain Bull - Photo Credit Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

Mountain Bull – Photo Credit Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

 

With the despair and frustration of Mountain Bull’s death still on many minds, the news of the great tusker Satao’s death was like blow to the body that you never feel you’ll fully recover from. Satao was thought to be the largest elephant in Africa, with his tusks almost reaching he ground.  He was from the Tsavo East National Park. Due to the size of his tusks he was under almost constant watch by the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Tsavo Trust. But sadly, the good guys can’t be everywhere all the time and poachers were able to spear him. The Tsavo Trust located his carcass on June 2, 2014.  Several months prior to that he was found with spear wounds, which luckily were treated in time for the poison to kill him.

 

I first heard of Satao earlier this year through a blog post by Mark Deeble, a wildlife filmaker in Africa. His blog post here talks about his observance of Satao and how his habits had changed in recent months. As Satao came across elephant carcasses in his travels, he most certainly realized that since their tusks were missing, that his may be a target as well. He would move through the bush in zig zag patterns, waiting and watching, and not trying to hide his body but rather hiding his tusks. It is highly possible that he knew his fate, and he was right. Satao was only 45 years old.

Satao. Photo: Richard Moller -Tsavo Trust

Satao. Photo: Richard Moller -Tsavo Trust

 

Satao. Photo: Mark Deeble

Satao. Photo: Mark Deeble

 

It is thought that the remaining tuskers are all in Kenya. A petition was started demanding the Kenyan President declare presidential protection for the remaining few, which would provide round the clock protection for them. President Kenyatta has yet to comment.

The source of poaching is directly caused by the demand for ivory, mostly in China. The majority of the buyers don’t even realize the crisis of poaching, and most have no idea if the ivory they’re purchasing is white ivory or blood ivory (recently poached ivory). The better their economy improves, which is steadily improving, the greater the demand. In addition, the true and traditional artform culture of carving ivory, which goes back 2,000 years, has been deemed a national intangible heritage in China. For those and other reasons, it’s undeniably an uphill battle. The chain of people from the poacher to the buyer of an ivory trinket or carving is rather long, and everyone is making money. For the poachers themselves, it’s an opportunity to make sums of money that they never have a chance of otherwise. So much that they’re willing to risk their lives for it. Everyone else in between is involved in corruption, and are helping to fund terrorist organizations and human trafficking rings.

My heart is with Kenya, and the rest of the continent as they’re losing elephants on a daily basis. The demand for ivory will cause the extinction of the African elephant if something doesn’t change. No…..not something, everything.

 

Ivory stockpile to be publicly destroyed as Obama seeks to end illegal trade | The Guardian

12 Nov afritorial.com

Ivory stockpile to be publicly destroyed as Obama seeks to end illegal trade | Environment | The Guardian.

This above link is a very informative article by The Guardian about the Ivory problem in this world. Yes, the world. And it is everyone’s problem. On Thursday this week, the United States will take a step forward by burning it’s stockpile with cameras rolling, in hopes that the rest of the world is watching. Hello, China? Everyone is looking at you.

I shutter at the thought that elephants will become extinct in my lifetime, and I am saddened by the thought that future generations will be robbed of their presence. Their extinction will be 100% the fault of mankind, due to poaching and loss of habitat.  Picture a large bull elephant, he’s approximately 45 years old, and standing 15ft high with tusks so long they almost touch the ground. Now picture him laying on the ground with his face carved away. This is what has been repeatedly found by rangers and such, from large bulls to smaller and younger elephants, dead. Tusks gone. Killed for one reason, and one reason only. Ivory.

Despite their size compared to man, they are defenseless. They are killed with guns, arrows and even cyanide poisoning. There are not enough Rangers, not enough resources, and not enough humans to stop the crisis. Not enough punishment for those found guilty. Elephants mourn their dead, and the poachers know it. They can kill one, then come back and kill an entire family that is simply there to do what we as human beings do when we are faced with the death of a family member.

Greed drives a lot of things. It’s so powerful it can drive the extinction of our planet earth’s largest mammal, and one of the smartest. Since the ivory ban, it’s only become more in demand. Don’t fuel that demand. Remember this – ivory only comes from one place: elephants.  Are your trinkets worth it?

My foster elephant Edo, a great success of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

23 Dec
Edo - Photo from The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Edo – Photo from The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

In 2004 I was trying to think of a thoughtful Christmas gift for my teenage daughter, and I remembered The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust offered a Christmas foster program. Since I’ve been an elephant lover since I was a child, both of my children have been raised with elephant awareness and have appreciated my “obsession” with them. In fact, all three of us have elephant tattoo’s now – but that will be another blog soon.

Christmas 2004 I browsed through the Trust’s website to select an elephant to foster. There were many infants that had been recently rescued, and many toddlers as well. All so adorable, and all with heartbreaking stories about why they were there. The decision was becoming harder and harder the more I read. Knowing that any donation helps the entire Trust, I decided to search for an ele that made some sort of a family connection with us. After eventually reading every profile, I was drawn to Edo. Beginning with his name, Edo was also a restaurant in our town that we frequented as a family. We had a lot of good memories there (it is now closed) so his name drew my attention. Edo was 15 yrs old, similar to my daughters age, so I imagined her and him “growing up” together. He is also a strong survivor and a true testament to the incredible work The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust does.  His story is amazing, and as they say – an elephant never forgets. He returns to the stockades to visit the orphans and keepers, and oh how I wish I could meet him one day. Going to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is #1 on my bucket list!

Exerpts from Edo’s profile, which can be found HERE:

Edo is the son of Emily, the elder sister to the now famous Echo, the star of many books and films. Emily was the Matriarch of the unit known for Scientific purposes as The E Group, but sadly she died as a result of foraging in the rubbish pit of a nearby Safari Lodge, and in amongst the peelings of fruit and vegetables, which were the draw in the first place, were bottle-tops, broken glass, torch cells and even an ash-tray, all of which she ingested, and were revealed in amongst the stomach contents during a post-mortem examination to determine the cause of death. Edo, her calf, was 6 months at the time, having been born in March 1989.

Edo was rescued by the Trust…
He was lifted out of the car, and collapsed in a heap on the ground, apparently too weak to even stand. Clearly, he no longer had even the will to try and live, so we sent for the other orphans, who surrounded him. Dika touched his face gently with a trunk, and then a miracle took place before our very eyes – Edo opened glazed eyes, and a spark of recognition ignited them. We offered Dika a bottle of milk, which he downed gratefully, then another, and another, watched all the while by Edo. With the help of the Keepers Edo was then lifted to his feet, and like Dika, offered a bottle of milk, which he drank hungrily and gratefully. In all, he took 6 pints straight off, and would have liked more, but we knew that this would be dangerous on a starved stomach. He was nevertheless visibly much stronger, and calmly accompanied the other orphans to their noon mudbath, where hordes of visitors anxiously awaited their arrival.

Amazingly, Edo had no fear of the humans, having been used to the attentions of the monitoring Scientists ever since birth. He watched the other orphans romping in the mudbath, and playing with the football, and although he did not want to be part of such frivolity, he merely stood aside and made no attempt to escape. From that day on Edo, never looked back, and very soon was again the playful youngster of yore, completing his infancy in the Nursery along with his peers, and eventually moving with them to begin the re-integration back into the Tsavo East elephant population, as do all our orphans.

Edo last returned to the stockades in February 2008 for a visit. I check the Trust’s website on a regular basis, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. They’re very good about posting updates daily, with photos and sometimes video. I am hoping to one day see a post about Edo coming for a visit.

Since 2004 I have fostered Edo every year as a Christmas gift for my daughter. She is now an adult, married, with a career, but it is something I will always do for as long as I can.  One of the first few years, I went on the website and printed out all of the material I could about Edo and the Trust and put it in a nice 3 ring binder. So she has something she can pull out every year and look at. I also print out the foster certificate you receive when you commit to foster and give it to her to put in the binder. The joy we receive is nothing compared to the joy that the good people at the Trust must experience every time they nurse a baby back to health, and reintroduce them back into the herds. I wish I could do more, but I know that I am not alone in the will to help any elephant, any way, I can.

For anyone interested in fostering an elephant, please visit the Trust’s website at www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org

Holiday cheers to all,

~ LT

A note to my local news station about the circus being in town

25 Nov

I was so irritated this week watching my local news station promote the Cole Bros Circus being in town, I couldn’t help but drop them a little note on Facebook. I didn’t even care if it got any “Likes” or “Comments”, I just hoped that someone there would read it. Because not only did they report about it, but the correspondents would add their 2 cents by saying “I can’t wait to go” or “we’re going on Saturday”..further encouraging people to go. Below is my post:

“In the 1800’s, before science and studies, it was acceptable to enslave and beat animals in circuses. Today it is not. Cole Bros has already been fined by the USDA for violating the AWA (Animal Welfare Act) for the abuse of their elephants, yet every day this week you have advertised and interviewed Cole Bros and encouraged viewers to support them. On Friday, one of your on air correspondents even stated that he “loved elephants and can’t wait to see them at the circus” – what an oxymoron! No one that “loves” elephants would ever support an elephant in a circus. It is a fact that elephants will die in less than half of their intended life span if they do not have thousands of miles to roam. It is a fact that young female elephants require mothers and aunts to raise them until 16-18 years old (just like humans), it is a fact that elephants do not perform “tricks” 2 times a day on command without being beaten until their spirit is broken and regularly subjected to bullhooks (which are also banned and illegal). Wild animals in circuses are getting banned all over the world, for just some of the reasons I just stated. Not mentioned is also the problem of TB spreading throughout circuses, the horrible travel schedule and conditions, and the risk of a wild animal going rogue and killing people. Elephants are an endangered species – Asian and African – and deserve to be free. There is more than enough scientific evidence about elephants now to prove that what circuses are doing to them is wrong – they live a miserable slave life and are guaranteed an early death sentence. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with a circus that does not use wild animals, they can survive without them, i.e. Cirque du Soleil. It is disappointing that a news organization would establish such ignorance to encourage the support of a traveling circus with wild animals. Your 10 minutes of entertainment costs an animal her entire lifetime.”

While the TV station was doing a live remote in front of the elephants, they state that they have a two 5 year old’s that perform, and a one year old that doesn’t perform yet. I can only imagine the hell she’s going through getting trained.

Please – if the circus is ever in your town, DON’T GO. Do not support acts of abuse, do not teach your children that it’s OK to treat animals that way, and that animals are not meant to amuse and entertain us.  Elephants are, in fact, an endangered species. Nature will have played no part in their extinction, it is 100% the result of human beings – due to poaching, enslavement and encroachment.

~ LT

A dachshund’s summer vacation

13 Aug

Gia went on a road trip this summer and spent time on beaches, on a boat ride, at interstate rest stops, in historic restaurants, and even drank from the Fountain of Youth! She crossed the state from Pensacola to St. Augustine and back to South Florida. She met lots of new people and a few other doggies as well.

Early in the year when planning the trip, I realized that 10 days away from home was too long away from my baby girl and best friend, Gia Carangi. Since it was a road trip and we were spending part of the time visiting various family members, I checked into some pet friendly attractions and hotels for the rest of the trip. We spent 5 days in Pensacola, FL and five days in St. Augustine, FL, driving to both cities from SW Florida, thus driving in a huge triangle across the state.

Gia

Pensacola, Florida

The first leg of the trip was to Pensacola to visit family. It’s about a 10 hr drive, so we got an early start the first day. Gia has been on the Pensacola trip before, and she’s a good car dog anyway so I wasn’t concerned about her traveling. We drove on a Monday, so we made good time on the interstate and didn’t encounter too many people at the rest stops. It’s uber hot in July in Florida, so we kept a bowl of water in the truck for her the whole time. Each rest stop and gas stop was a relief for her, and she had so many new things to investigate, but she was always excited to jump back into the truck and get going again. We made it to Mom’s house and got all settled in rather quickly, Gia does her normal meet and greets and sniffing around and THEN, we go outside. My parents live on an acre lot, in a neighborhood of same size lots. The house sits in the center of the property, so there’s a huge front, a huge back and both sides are wide. Gia is five now, and well behaved and extremely attached to me so I just couldn’t resist letting her off her leash to run free. She never once ran off, but I kept a close eye on her knowing that she is after all a hound dog, if she picked up scent she’d take off running. We happened to meet a family member of the neighbor, who coincidently also had a five year old dachshund and was also visiting for the week. After a few days we were outside having coffee early in the morning and saw the neighbor dog take off running with the neighbor running after him, my exact fears of what Gia might do. She did not however, instead she was too interested in what was right in front of her and what we were doing. She enjoyed chasing lizards, butterflies, bugs and anything else that moved, and especially enjoyed rolling around in the grass and digging holes. Mom has lots of trees with lots of squirrels, but Gia didn’t seem to care too much for them, which I found odd, ha. During our time in Pensacola we stopped at the groomer’s and got cleaned up, had nail’s clipped and a pretty little pink bow for her collar. It lasted less than a day, however.

Gia Carangi

Road Trip!

After a fun filled visit with family in Pensacola we headed to Jacksonville, FL to stop by the JAX airport and pick up my son. He had been at summer camp in North Carolina since before Memorial Day so we were all eager to see him. Jax is 6 hrs from Pensacola so we were on another road trip! Got an early start again and headed East. Made it to the airport an hour early and went to the cell phone lot to wait. Luckily there were big trees, park benches and lots of grass to run around in so we had a picnic lunch and waited for my son to call. After we got him all loaded up, we headed 45 minutes south to St. Augustine. Dropped my son off at Flagler College for a 4 day soccer camp and went to the hotel to check in. I love pet friendly hotels, by the way. There are many to choose from in St. Augustine, as it’s ranked #4 in the nation for pet friendly cities by DogFriendly.com. The majority of the attractions, many restaurants and the beaches are all pet friendly. Smart move on their part, since St. Augustine is such a great tourist town, there’s so much to do and see and who wants to leave their companion’s at the hotel? They should be able to enjoy the sights too.

Fountain of Youth

Gia at the Fountain of Youth

We spent the first night relaxing at the hotel and getting settled in. Found the dog run and potty places, which were conveniently located near our room. It was a large enough area that more than one dog could do their business without having to do any introductions. Saw the cutest mini-mini-dachshund there, couldn’t have weighed more than 7-8 lbs. Planned out our adventures for the next few days in the room that night with take out food. Checked out which attractions and restaurants were pet friendly, and what not to miss. I must say, St. Augustine is a beautiful city and the history there overwhelms you. As a lifelong Floridian I am ashamed to say I had never been there before, boy was I missing out. We started out at…you guessed it, The Fountain of Youth.

Gia at the Fountain of Youth, St. Augustine, FL

Grounds at Fountain of Youth

The grounds are amazing, and you get a sense of calm and peace while appreciating the beauty and history. You can take your time on a self guided walking tour, so it’s a great place to bring pets, and Gia thoroughly enjoyed herself as well. Wild peacocks roam around, so I kept Gia close to me when they were near. The best part of the attraction is of course, drinking from the fountain. She was thirsty anyway, so she had no problem drinking her cup. After we explored the park we stopped in the gift shop. I was concerned they wouldn’t let her in, but as it turns out it is commonplace for small dogs to be in stores in St. Augustine. She got a lot of attention and lots of pats on the head, and seemed to be in her glory. She’s not always the friendliest dog to strangers, especially small kids, but she was such a good girl on this trip. After shopping we had a picnic lunch from the snack bar and got some rest in the shade before we headed to our next stop.

Gia in the Park

Historic District Park St. Augustine

We went a few blocks over to St. George Street, which is a non-vehicle cobblestone road that you walk on and go from store to store, stop at a restaurant, sit on a bench, or venture to the many parks and monuments nearby. We easily found a parking space and gazed at all the historic buildings and fantastic architecture. As we walked from store to store, I was again catching myself being worried they wouldn’t let her in, then I started noticing that most of the stores not only welcomed dogs, but they had bowls of water set out for them. Again, she got a lot of attention, and a lot of pats on the head and my anxiety that she may snap at someone quickly faded away. She was truly enjoying it! We stopped to rest quite a bit, each time pouring her a bowl of water that she lapped up. I know I was hot, so of course she was hot too, July in Florida is scorching. I carried her a lot by choice, and we went in and out of air conditioned stores frequently. After our shopping overdose, we made our way to a shaded park area and laid in the grass for Gia passed out in the hotel rooma bit under a big tree. I marveled at the beautiful churches, fountains, monuments and buildings and imagined all the history in that area. After resting we strolled through the park a bit, and waited while my sister went into the Catholic church to light a candle. Saw the most beautiful dachshund from across the park, a long hairded blonde standard. Wasn’t close enough to meet though. It was a long day on our feet, so we grabbed something to eat and went back to the room to relax in the air conditioning. Gia was wiped out, she plopped up on the bed and passed out, right where the A/C was blasting of course.

Image

Vilano Beach Pier

The next day we planned to visit the beach, which I was particularly excited about since we live on a beach as well, so I knew Gia would feel right at home. I love visiting other beaches in Florida, it’s amazing how different each coast is, north and south. St. Augustine beach did not disappoint, it’s absolutely beautiful and so well maintained. There’s even parts that allow you to drive out on to the beach. First we went to Vilano Beach, on the bay side to the public pier. From the pier you can see the historic district, a few monuments and the St. Augustine Lighthouse. We spent time gazing and taking photos, and Gia spent time sniffing and sniffing, especially since this was a fishing pier. We craved a breeze though so we headed to the ocean side, to the beach. Gia played in the sand, chased waves, and went on a long walk with me to check out the ocean. Even though it was mid week, the beaches were busy. After soaking in some sun we packed up and headed back to the historic district to catch the next boat leaving for the Scenic Boat Cruise.

St. Augustine Beach

St. Augustine Beach

Gia Carangi

Gia on the Scenic Boat Cruise

We were about a 1/2 hour early for departure, so we drove around the back streets of downtown St. Augustine through the old neighborhoods. Some of the homes we saw were incredible, reminded me of real life dollhouses. We made our way back to the marina, bought our tickets and boarded the cruise boat. Luckily it wasn’t too crowded, so we were able to get a great table at the front of the boat. Once we began moving Gia was instantly on the railing hanging over the side with her face in the breeze. We cruised past some historical monuments and enjoyed the boat captain’s stories about the locations. The boat ride was about an hour and a half, and Gia spent the entire time on the railings. I was holding her tight, hoping she wasn’t seriously thinking about jumping in the water, but I think she was. We pulled back into the marina and walked along the seawall on the Bay back to our truck. Exhausted and hungry, we headed back to the hotel to take showers and pig out.

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At The Florida Cracker Cafe

The next day we wanted to go back to St. George Street and get a few more things in the cool little shops before we headed home. We went in the afternoon and decided to have a late lunch at The Florida Cracker Cafe. The food was excellent, and the staff is very accommodating to dogs. The waitress immediately brought over a fresh bowl of water and some treats. Gia was more than happy to take a break and sat very quiet and patient while we ate lunch. She didn’t even care that there were 2 other dogs in the restaurant doing the same thing. By now I’m thinking, who is this dog and where is my grumpy little weiner dog? I just couldn’t have felt more blessed that she was being so good on this trip. Later in the afternoon we had to pick up my son from Flagler College and make the 6 hr drive home. We packed ourselves up, packed my son up and got back on the road headed South. It was bittersweet to end our trip, but I planned it so that I still had a week at home before I had to go back to work. Kind of a stay-cation after our vacation.

After 10 days of being away, we were all glad to finally be home. Gia however, spent the first hour back home sniffing and investigating her toys, bed and all our furniture. She didn’t know that friends of mine were house sitting while we were gone and had their chihuahua with them, Gia figured it out as soon as we walked through the door. Regardless, her and I both slept like a rock and were so glad to be back in our own bed. We spent the next 7 days sleeping late, going to the beach, playing in the yard, snuggling on the couch and just being together at home.

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Summer Vacation – July 2012

 

Happy World Elephant Day

12 Aug

On August 12, 2012 World Elephant Day gives you a chance to help conserve and protect elephants from the numerous threats they face.

About – World Elephant Day.

Alec Baldwin Urges Boycott of Ringling Bros and Circuses That Use Wild Animals

19 Mar

Award winning actor and animal rights activist Alec Baldwin released a video for PETA urging people to boycott Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus and other circuses that use wild animals.  The almost four minute long video exposes Ringling Bros. cruel treatment of their elephants, which has been well documented over the years. The star of NBC’s hit comedy 30 Rock pleads with viewers to not only boycott the circus but to also understand the natural habitat and needs of a wild elephant versus the cruel life an elephant leads in captivity with a traveling circus.

“The amount of suffering those elephants go through in order to entertain anyone’s 5 years old for fifteen minutes is a crime”
Dr. Mel Richardson, Veterinarian with 40 Years Experience with Elephants

It’s been proven that elephants in circuses develop arthritis, suffer psychological damage, live in unnatural conditions and have a much shorter life span. Their lives are spent being trained and corrected with brutal and painful training equipment, they’re forced to perform despite their health, they’re in confined storage places chained at the foot, they endure extensive travel in small poorly ventilated boxcars, they’re subject to diseases such as tuberculosis and they’re denied the social companionship that elephants naturally depend on.

Alec Baldwin: Boycott Circuses That Use Animals

Baldwin has been an animal rights activist and PETA supporter for many years. In November 2000 he appeared on a celebrity edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and won $250,000 which he donated to PAWS. He’s a card-carrying member of PETA and narrated the PETA video Meet Your Meat

He joins a long list of celebrities that advocate for elephants including Cher, Bob Barker, Cloris Leachman, Ricky Gervais, Calvin Klein, Sarah Ferguson, Tommy Hilfiger, Sophie Dahl, Lily Tomlin, Gisele Bundchen, James Franco, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kathy Griffin and Billy Bob Thornton, among others I’ve failed to name.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Animal Defenders International introduced the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act, H.R. 3359 to amend the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) to restrict the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses and traveling exhibitions. Please, contact your member of congress today and urge him/her to support and co-sponsor HR 3359, the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act. It’s very simple and only takes a moment. Everything you need, talking points and sample letters, are right here on this action page.

http://www.breakthechainus.com

http://www.federalcircusbill.com

 

Donald Trump Jr proud to pose with dead elephant, other African animals

14 Mar

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Shame on the Trump boys. Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump proudly posed for photos with dead wild animals, rifles and knives when they were in Zimbabwe, Africa in March 2011. Particularly disturbing is a photo of Donald Trump Jr. with a dead elephant, holding the elephants severed tail in one hand and a knife in the other. He makes no apologies for it either.

“I have no shame about the pics. I HUNT & EAT game … I’m a hunter, for that I make no apologies”

Donald Trump Jr. – Twitter

DTJ

Donald Trump, Jr. holding a severed elephant's tail

The brothers went to Africa and killed the animals legally through a hunting safari company. Trump Jr. has been sarcastically defending himself on twitter at @DonaldJTrumpjr but I don’t believe he realizes what the slaughter of an elephant does to the elephant family it’s a part of. It’s been proven that elephants live in social circles, communicate with each other, exhibit emotions similar to human beings and they mourn their dead. Purposely walking into their “house” and killing one of their own requires a total lack of compassion and empathy. Although the slaughters are legal, what does it say about one’s character that chooses to do it?

The disturbing photos can be viewed in a YouTube video here:

The release of the photos has brought much attention from animal rights groups across the country, including PETA, with a post about it here.  Jack Carone of the group In Defense of Animals stated “Would any intelligent person feel moved to murder a magnificent elephant, then further insult and desecrate by hacking off his/her tail as an additional gesture of dominance? Privilege has clearly not bought them the sensitivity or wisdom needed to view the world as anything but their personal playground, including the imagined entitlement to end the lives of sensitive and social animals for mere amusement. This is truly a pitiful testimony to their lack of character and compassion, at the ultimate expense of their innocent fellow Earthlings.”

Their father, Donald Trump, commented on the situation almost immediately stating to TMZ, “My sons love hunting. They’re hunters and they’ve become good at it. I am not a believer in hunting and I’m surprised they like it.”

Donald Trump Jr. is currently starring in his father’s show “The Celebrity Apprentice”, a reality TV shows that raises money for charities by pitting washed up celebrities against each other. Some people are using social media to encourage others to boycott the show and to contact it’s advertisers and request them to pull their ads.

I certainly won’t be watching.

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