Join Protest of DEW Yankee Jungle

Join Protest of DEW Yankee Jungle

Maine residents — Join a peaceful protest

regarding DEW Haven and Yankee Jungle in South Portland on Saturday, August 29th, 2015

Hello Maine supporters of Big Cat Rescue! We are assisting local Maine big cat lovers who are organizing a protest in South Portland next Saturday, August 29th, from 11 am to 2 pm at 8 Cottage Road, South Portland, Maine 04106.

DEW Yankee JungleThese big cat advocates — lead by Kris Snyder and Karen Coker — will be demonstrating to Maine residents that animal lovers don’t want to see DEW Haven (formerly DEW Animal Kingdom) buy, sell, trade, breed and exhibit big cats and other animals.

As you may be aware, DEW Haven is featured on the program Yankee Jungle, which airs on Animal Planet. The protest will be on the sidewalk outside the office of Lone Wolf Media, producers of Yankee Jungle. Big Cat Rescue joins these animal lovers in seeking to raise awareness about the sad reality of what’s happening at DEW Haven and why the animals should not be further exploited in a television program.

Learn more and sign up to attend the peaceful protest here: https://www.facebook.com/events/570814466392088/

Bring your own signs or just show up. They will have extra signs for your use!

We hope you will add your voice and stand up for the cats and cubs being exploited and used as entertainment at DEW Haven. We are the only voice these animals have!

Susan-BassFeel free to email me any questions you may have. THANK YOU!

Susan Bass
Director of Public Relations
Big Cat Rescue
Susan.Bass@BigCatRescue.org
813.431.2720

Join Big Cat Rescue to Support FL Panthers in Ft Lauderdale

Join Big Cat Rescue to Support FL Panthers in Ft Lauderdale

Join Big Cat Rescue to Support FL Panthers in Ft Lauderdale

Last week (Aug 2015) the FWC posted their revised​ draft FL panther​ position statement. As some of you may recall, in June, Big Cat Rescue joined various national conservation groups in speaking out against the ​original ​draft position statement. Many of you responded to our action alert, contacting the FWC and asking them to not give up on the FL panther. Carole and I attended the meeting in Sarasota to speak up for the panthers (and the bears). We also participated in a media conference with the Sierra Club, The Conservancy of SW Florida, and the HSUS. You may read our response to the FWC’s original draft position statement at http://bigcatrescue.org/why-is-the-fwc-giving-up-on-the-florida-panther/.

Our actions resulted in the FWC taking note of the public’s comments and sending the statement back to their staff for revision​. As the Tampa Bay Times put it in their editorial on August 17th, the revised draft position statement is a “win for open government over secrecy” but the policy still has “some weasel language”. You may read the full editorial online at http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-positive-step-on-panther-policy/2241676

mountain lion cub sleepingWe are currently working on our comments in response to the​ revised​ statement and will be sending out another action alert to our Florida supporters.

In the meantime, ​PLEASE PLAN ON JOINING me, Howard, and Carole at the upcoming FWC meeting in Ft. Lauderdale on September 2nd​, 2015 at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina. The FWC will be voting on the revised statement as well as finalizing​​ rules for the impending bear hunt.

​More information about the meeting including the address, ​start time, agenda, and a ​link to ​the revised draft FL panther position statement​​ may be found online at http://myfwc.com/about/commission/commission-meetings/2015/september/02/agenda/

Jennifer Leon TigerI’ve also attached the revised draft FWC Florida Panther position statement.

Hope to see some of you in Ft. Lauderdale!

Jennifer Leon, MPA
Director of Outreach

813-393-6066
jennifer.leon@bigcatrescue.org
12802 Easy Street, Tampa, FL 33625
bigcatrescue.org

Ban Bobcat Hunting

Ban Bobcat Hunting

Kent Greene said we could share this letter he sent to the Illinois Governor. Please feel free to use in your efforts to ban bobcat hunting.

Please veto SB 106 / HB 352 a bill to allow over hunting of Illinois bobcats.

I photograph wildlife, including bobcats. Below video was shot in a SW Florida swamp while sitting on a bicycle. On another occasion, I talked quietly to a Bobcat and it fell asleep while I was filming.

I hunted in deep forests (PA/VA) 50 years and saw one bobcat. Killing these animals outdoors is no more difficult than shooting them in a petting zoo. Decide for yourself whether this is a sport.

Congress Asks Airlines to Stop Shipping Wildlife Trophies

DEMAND AIRLINES REASSESS POLICIES PROHIBITING SHIPMENT OF ANIMAL TROPHIES
FOLLOWING TRAGIC KILLING OF AFRICAN LION, BLUMENTHAL, BOOKER DEMAND AIRLINES REASSESS POLICIES PROHIBITING SHIPMENT OF ANIMAL TROPHIES

“As long as even one carrier will transport trophies into the United States, these individuals have a way to bring their ill-gotten goods home for display.”

 

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Cory A. Booker (D-N.J.) wrote to Airlines for America (A4A) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) to request details of their members’ policies of shipping animal trophies, following the tragic killing of Cecil the Lion in Africa by a Minnesota dentist, and to call on all member airlines to cease allowing the shipment of such trophies. Since the killing of Cecil the Lion, Delta, United, and American Airlines – members of both A4A and IATA – announced that they will ban the shipment of “trophy animals” on their planes.

Blumenthal and Booker wrote, “Americans who engage in trophy hunting do so because they are confident that they will be able to transport their trophies back to the United States with ease, including by airline. Passenger and freight airlines that permit shipment of animal trophies aid and abet trophy hunting and these abhorrent acts of barbarism.”

“We were very pleased to see Delta’s announcement yesterday that it will ban the shipment of any trophies from the so-called Africa Big Five: lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, and buffalo. American Airlines, United Airlines, and some international airlines have also announced similar prohibitions. These airlines have clearly recognized their responsibility and influence in this area, and we’re glad that they chose to take on trophy hunters and the trouble that trophy hunting represents.”

“However, there are many other carriers that you represent which have an important role to play in stopping trophy hunting. As long as even one carrier will transport trophies into the United States, these individuals have a way to bring their ill-gotten goods home for display.”

Full text of the letter can be viewed here and below:

Dear Messrs. Calio and Tyler,

Earlier this summer, an African lion named Cecil – well-known and beloved by his local community in Zimbabwe – was tragically killed and maimed by trophy hunters. This repugnant, reprehensible act has rightfully drawn the ire of the American public and shocked supporters of wildlife worldwide.

Sadly, Cecil’s killing was not an isolated incident. This vicious act was the latest consequence of the inhumane commercial trophy hunting industry. The perverse desire of some individuals – many of whom are from America – to acquire an animal trophy fuels the demand for this cruel industry. The individual who killed Cecil reportedly paid a fee of $50,000 to destroy a priceless animal. Such practices have had devastating consequences for wildlife populations, including endangered species that have already been decimated by other factors including habitat encroachment. The population of wild lions has decreased by more than 40 percent over the last twenty-one years, and trophy hunting has been a factor in that appalling decline.

Americans who engage in trophy hunting do so because they are confident that they will be able to transport their trophies back to the United States with ease, including by airline. Passenger and freight airlines that permit shipment of animal trophies aid and abet trophy hunting and these abhorrent acts of barbarism. We were very pleased to see Delta’s announcement yesterday that it will ban the shipment of any trophies from the so-called Africa Big Five: lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, and buffalo. American Airlines, United Airlines, and some international airlines have also announced similar prohibitions. These airlines have clearly recognized their responsibility and influence in this area, and we are glad that they chose to take on trophy hunters and the trouble that trophy hunting represents. However, there are other carriers that you represent which have an important role to play in stopping trophy hunting. As long as even one carrier will transport trophies into the United States, these individuals have a way to bring their ill-gotten goods home for display.

We are writing to request more information about the policies of your member airlines regarding the shipment of animal trophies. Specifically, we request responses to the following questions:

·       What are the current policies of your member airlines that operate in the United States regarding the shipment of animal trophies?

·       Will you confirm that your member airlines that operate in the United States will immediately enact prohibitions on the shipment of animal trophies, if they haven’t already?

Your member airlines would be powerful allies in the fight against inhumane trophy hunting, and we hope that we can work together on this incredibly important issue going forward. We appreciate your attention to this request and look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Richard Blumenthal

United States Senate

 

Cory A. Booker

United States Senate

Donate to Big Cat Rescue

 

Delta

Delta

 

“Effective immediately, Delta Airlines will officially ban shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight.”

Joseph Lion JokerVICTORY!! Big Cat Rescue asked you to let Delta Airlines know that animal lovers do not want international airlines to continue to transport exotic animal trophies such as Cecil. More than 5,000 of you took action for the big cats!!! And today Delta has finally agreed. This is fantastic news for all endangered and threatened big cats and other animals being hunted across the globe.

Read the New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/03/travel/cecil-lion-poaching-hunting-delta-airlines.html

Delta bans lion trophy shipments

In the days since the circumstances surrounding the death of Cecil the lion came to light, at least 20 airlines have shown their commitment to protecting wildlife by implementing or clarifying existing bans on the transport of hunting trophies.

While companies like Delta, Virgin Airways, United Airlines and KLM are moving in the right direction, one airline has taken a detour. Despite instituting a ban in late April, South African Airways recently resumed the transport of hunting trophies because of pressure from commercial trophy hunting interests

With Cecil’s death, the world has come to realize the truly horrific nature of trophy hunting. Africa’s wild animals are part of our global heritage and must be protected from needless slaughter for the sake of a head-hunting exercise. By giving trophy hunters — and poachers — a way to transport pieces of these majestic creatures, South African Airways is providing a getaway vehicle for the theft of Africa’s wildlife.

Urge South African Airways to honor Cecil by joining the growing list of airlines that will no longer participate in the depletion of Africa’s wildlife — write today and tell the company #DontFlyWild. https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=7003&autologin=true&s_src=em_ha080615

Cecil Lion

Cecil Lion

Cecil Lion Changed the World

I have a theory.  I can’t prove it, but it feels right to me.  Tell me in the comments if it makes sense to you, or what you believe.

I believe that we all are part of one universal consciousness that is becoming enlightened through this dance of perceived time, space and sense of individuality.  I think we sign up for our lot in life before we ever arrive on this stage, with the intent of playing our role toward the end goal of nirvana. Maybe it is just a coping mechanism, meant to protect me from utter despair, which fosters hope that Cecil signed up for his heroic role too.

Centuries of humans destroying the planet and everything that is beautiful and magnificent, to pursue personal wealth and status, has brought on the sixth mass extinction, with lives being extinguished at rates that are 10,000 times the norm.  The mounting evidence, of the destruction being caused, hasn’t been enough to make the masses stop and take notice, but Cecil did.

When Cecil the lion was lured from a protected area, onto private land to be brutally shot with a bow and arrow, caused to suffer for 40 hours as he ran for his life, only to be gunned down by a rich American, so that his head and skin could be stolen as a trophy; it was an act so egregious that just about everyone was outraged.  

For days his plight made every media outlet even though animal abuse is rarely discussed in mainstream media, for fear of offending industries who profit from animal suffering by being massive advertisers.

Social media first broke the news of Cecil’s torture and slaying, and the public outcry was so enormous that mainstream media couldn’t ignore it.  Jane Velez-Mitchell from CNN passionately spoke about how we have finally reached a tipping point in our attitudes toward animal protection at the Animal Rights Conference 2015 in Washington, DC on August 1.

“The evolution revolution is a process; not an event and we are headlong into that process.” said Jane Velez-Mitchell

I’ve been busy providing interviews to CNN, ABC and Fox, as well as a number of newspaper reporters and documentarians, but in between educating them about the nature of lions and their plight, I’ve been trying to look at this from the 30,000 foot level.  What is it about Cecil’s story that so moved everyone?  What made this lion different from the hundreds of thousands of lions who have been massacred since the 1940’s when there were estimated to be 450,000 of them in the wild?

The drop in wild lion populations to 30,000 by 2011 was enough to prompt many large wild animal protection groups to petition the US Fish and Wildlife Service to list lions as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.  Since then lion numbers have dropped as low as 20,000, and yet even knowing these facts the USFWS has ignored the petition for four years and the public has allowed them to do so…until Cecil.

I can’t help but think about how many of us first learned to read by following the heroes in comic books like Batman.  We grew up loving the storyline of a hero bringing the evil villain to justice, for his crime against a sympathetic victim.  All we had to do was shine that bat symbol on the night time sky (expose the issue) and we knew that justice would soon be served.  From what I’ve seen, most people want their part in Cecil’s justice to be that they easily sign their name to a petition and lions will be protected.  That’s a start…but it’s only a start.

Empire State Building CecilThanks to Cecil we are all shining the light on the issue.  But here’s the mind bending part.  We are all Batman.  We are all the victim.  We might all be the villain as well.  That’s the part I can’t quite wrap my head around.  Do some of us sign up before we enter this life to be evil incarnate, just to cause the massive mind shift that is necessary to become our better selves?  Or are we all on a path, to realising that we are really all ONE, and those that we perceive as evil aren’t really a part of the collective soul, but rather are a projection we make to fool ourselves into action?  Sort of like the endangered species that were projected onto the Empire State Building on August first 2015.  The images were to make us think about what we are doing.

Some things we don’t know and can’t know; but there are some things that we do know.

  • We do know that most people (96% of Americans) care about protecting animals from cruelty and that every year that number grows as the older generations, and their outdated beliefs die out.
  • We do know that now vegetarians outnumber hunters.  A 2011 poll showed that 13 million Americans are hunters and that has been a dying sport.  Hunt clubs have been desperately trying enlist children under the age of 16 and battered women, in an effort to bolster their numbers.  A 2014 poll revealed that there are 15 million Americans who proclaim to be vegetarians 100% of the time and 50 million who say they are vegetarians 50% of the time.  400-500 million fewer animals were eaten in the past few years as a result, despite climbing human populations.
  • We do know that cubs bred in foreign countries for pay to play as cubs are often used in canned hunts when they grow up.
  • We do know that approximately 200 lion and tiger cubs are being bred by a handful of bad actors in America each year for the pay to play schemes where people pay to see or pose with a cute cub.
  • We do know that the vast majority of those cubs just disappear off the radar once they are too big to use as photo props.
  • We do know that some end up in tacos or in slaughterhouses.
  • We do know that the only way cubs can be used as photo and pay to play props is by taking them from their mothers at only days or hours old; never to return to her comfort again.
  • We do know that when celebrities ignorantly choose to pose with these wild animal cubs that they will be bashed by the mainstream media and social media for doing so.

But why isn’t the outrage as strong yet, against those who perpetuate the exploitation of cubs, as it was against the dentist who poached Cecil the lion this summer?  Cecil had the benefit of being raised by his own mother and living free for 13 years.  Lion, tiger, liger and leopard cubs who are bred and pimped out by outfits like the GW Zoo, Kevin Antle’s TIGERS, Dade City’s Wild Things and others never had the benefit of being raised by their mothers or living wild and free.

Maybe the difference is that their ultimate plight is hidden from view?  Being shot with an arrow and then with a gun are a pretty gruesome way to die, but the public isn’t privy to the suffering, neglect and disposal of captive cubs when they grow up.  They quietly disappear behind closed gates and doors.

Maybe it is because we didn’t know their name?  T.S. Elliott famously opined that regardless of the names we may give a cat…

GivesuranceCub“But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover –
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.”

 

I don’t know why we have been so slow as a people, to protect lion and tiger cubs, but I think, if we did, we could end the practice of keeping wild cats in cages.  I may not know if Cecil signed up for this awakening, but I do know that he made a difference, and YOU can too.

Contact your member of congress and ask them to champion the Big Cats & Public Safety Act.

 

 

 

Article by Carole Baskin

Read more about Cecil the Lion at http://bigcatrescue.org/cecil-the-lion-an-agent-of-change/