Big Cat Updates
SUMMARY: NOEL! What did YOU DO? Did you watch ‘Trophy’ on CNN? Keeper photos, Funny keeper notes.
A funny story for you. PurrFection is an elderly ocelot. When it gets cold we plug up one of her dens so she has a heated bed. She protested her den being heated and went to her other den that is not heated. So, fearing she would be cold, the keepers put a bunch of clean hay in there for her. LOL, that silly old girl then protested the hay and went back to the other den. Keepers are cheering because they wanted her in the heated den anyway.
Another funny one for you: Yesterday, Kali Tiger dragged her Christmas tree into her new pool. Keepers had to close her in a different section so they could go in and rescue the drowned Christmas tree.
Coordinator’s Report for Sunday, January 14, 2018
We had another cold day today. Very proud of all of the volunteers that came in to help in the cold. Everybody from volunteers to interns to cats were all happy to help today.
We had lots of regular tours and a few private tours. I saw very engaged guests that were very eager to learn about our cats and our mission.
Volunteers got to get some sign offs and go around to visit with cats after cleaning. We added hey inside of Loki’s den.
I was very happy to find Purrfection curled up inside of her heated den 🙂
All and all and very good day!
Evening Stroll with Carole to see various cats
Cats you will see: Gabrielle, Andre, Arthur, Amanda, Zabu, Cameron, Kali, Keisha, Cyrus, Beacher, Chaos, Zucari, Nat, Mrs. Claws and Nabisco
Keeper Momma Becky bought some extra special treats for Cameron. He and Joseph are really on a turkey drumstick kick so Momma Becky brought some extra ones in. You can buy some turkey for Cameron and Joseph’s extra snacks at BigCatRescue.org/turkey
If not, you should, but here is what CNN left out of the discussion. Born Free and several other Species Survival Network members, including Big Cat Rescue signed on to this letter to CNN before the show was aired on 1/14/18
Jeff Zucker Sent via email
President January 10, 2018
Executive VP of Programming – CNN U.S.
10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019
Dear Mr. Zucker and Mr. Bass:
We understand CNN – U.S. will be airing the documentary Trophy on January 14 preceded by a pre-recorded interview with the CEO of Born Free USA, Prashant Khetan, on January 11 and a live conversation between Mr. Khetan and Philip Glass, a hunter featured in Trophy, on January 12.
We are respectfully asking you to please reconsider airing this “shockumentary” on your esteemed network without offering your millions of viewers an opportunity to see and hear the counterviews to trophy hunting presented with the same degree of prominence and exposure. To this end, we request a meeting with you prior to the airing of Trophy to plead our case as to why airing the film in its current form could do irreparable damage to the cause of responsible wildlife conservation.
Co-directors Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau deliver a film that is almost devoid of facts, a film that articulates assumptions that go unchallenged, and a film that fails to offer the viewer the opportunity to make any kind of informed decision. Instead of exploring the topics of trophy hunting and conservation in a thorough, balanced and objective way, the film does a disservice to the subject by presenting a perspective that is, simply put, inaccurate, misleading and self-serving.
Throughout the film, many subjects and statements are presented as the truth or as a statement of fact when, in truth, they are controversial, contestable and confusing. For example, the annual Safari Club International (SCI) conference in Las Vegas, which features exhibits by hunting outfitters, gun manufacturers and taxidermy services, attracts 20,000 visitors from around the world each year. Hunting clubs and organizations like SCI argue that the fees paid by hunters engaged in legal, recreational trophy hunting make important contributions to African economies and also fund conservation efforts. However, there was no analysis or assessment of their assertion. There is no discussion or even mention of the research undertaken by independent analysts, such as Economists at Large, who conclude that, on average, just 3% of the revenue generated by trophy hunting ends up supporting local communities, or that Kenya alone generates in the order of between 5 and 6 times the total revenue generated by trophy hunting across all of Africa from its non-consumptive approach to wildlife conservation (i.e., eco-tourism).
The film asserts so many falsehoods that it is difficult to know where to begin. But perhaps one of the most confusing and dangerous is the “conservation recipe” put forth by South African John Hume, the most successful private rhino breeder on the planet, with a herd of 1,530 rhino to his name. Confusing because it has nothing to do with trophy hunting, and dangerous because it could hasten the demise of wild rhino the world over.
Mr. Hume’s ill-conceived plan is to breed rhino, cut off their horns and sell them on the world market. Such sales are currently legal in South Africa but prohibited internationally. The film discusses this notion with almost no risk analysis, no alternative vision and no understanding of what would happen to the world’s 30,000 remaining wild rhino if his plan was put into action. His “recipe” would indeed create a legal market for rhino horn to be sold to hundreds of millions of potential customers in the Far East and, based on bitter experience with other wildlife products such as ivory and tiger body parts, without a doubt establish a cover for the illegal trade, create a parallel market into which illegal rhino products could be laundered and cause a wildlife law-enforcement nightmare.
Mr. Hume and the filmmakers seem to ignore or be unaware of the lessons of the past. In 2008, the international community, despite the desperate pleas of Born Free and other non-profits, approved a one-time sale of more than 100 tons of ivory from South Africa and several other countries to Japan and China. Far from “satisfying consumer demand,” as the architects of this deal had hoped, it fueled a dramatic and deadly explosion in poaching and the illegal ivory trade. In fact, between 2009 and 2014, Tanzania, a country that permits trophy hunting of elephants and hitherto an African elephant stronghold, lost an average of 1,000 elephants per month, every month, for five years. That’s 60,000 elephants we shouldn’t have lost!
The poaching epidemic continues to this day with 20,000 elephants poached each year, tons of ivory being seized, and wildlife rangers and wardens – the first line of defense for elephants and rhino – losing their lives on an almost daily basis. More than 1,000 of these conservation guardians have been murdered in the last 10 years.
We could go on and on. In short, there are many problems with this film and, therefore, we urge you not to air the film on CNN on January 14 without considering airing a counter-piece of similar nature (i.e., a documentary that adequately provides the counterpoints and facts of the other side, if you will). To be candid, we are glad that CNN is taking a leading role in giving primetime coverage to important conservation issues like trophy hunting (just as it did with Blackfish and other similar thought-provoking documentaries), with the goal of encouraging viewers to think through the issue and make informed decisions. However, in its present form, your viewers will walk away from this primetime showing with only one side of the story. While we appreciate the opportunity for interviews (indeed, Mr. Khetan is a co-signer of this letter), in the hope of furthering your much-appreciated attempt to stimulate a conversation on trophy hunting, we ask for more.
Therefore, we respectfully and most urgently request a meeting with you to discuss this matter further on behalf of our many thousands of members and the many, many millions of concerned citizens (many of whom are devoted CNN followers) who, without a doubt, will share our concerns.
Will Travers, President, Born Free Foundation
Born Free works internationally to conserve and protect individual wild animals, threatened species, natural habitats and functioning ecosystems, in partnership with national and local governments and local communities.
Prashant Khetan, CEO/General Counsel, Born Free USA
Jill Robinson, CEO/Founder, Animals Asia Foundation
Carole Baskin, CEO/Founder, Big Cat Rescue
and many others including Tim Phillips & Jan Creamer at ADI, Olivia and Carter Ries Founders at One More Generation (OMG), Carolyn M. Bocian, Ph.D.Co-director, Wildlife Ambassadors and Rainbow Eco-Farm and Training Center, Ashley Leiman Director/Trustee Orangutan Foundation, Lesley Sutty, CEO at EAST CARIBBEAN COALITION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS
Her cone was supposed to come off tomorrow and we had a great new tool coming to do that, but Noel decided it was coming off TODAY!
Since getting her cone off she has been on a bathing marathon. With her head in the cone she has been unable to bath everywhere she wanted to bathe.
Good Morning, Zimba
Photo by Keeper MaryLou
Pretty Pretty Zabu, is a little big pudgy so the keepers call her “fluffy.”
Gabrielle of the day returns!
Photo by Keeper Michael Heap
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