Saving Lions 2005
Big Cat Rescue is Saving Lions
Big Cat Rescue is home to over 100 exotic cats including lions, tigers, leopards, bobcats and more! They provide a permanent home to retired, abused, and unwanted big cats. We post the latest in lion news here and in our newsletter Cat Tales. We gather news from around the world DAILY and forward it to The Global Federation of Sanctuaries and the Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition, of which we are a part, who are actively involved in saving the lions. See what you can do to help save these exotic cats in captivity and in the wild. Great Cats are in peril around the world and need people like you, who care about lions and other exotic cats to help save them from the brink of extinction. Big Cat Rescue is working to make it illegal to sell lions as pets and is diligently striving to improve conditions for big cats in zoos and circuses.
Since the recent exposé on Carte Blanche, Big Cat Rescue has received countless messages from South Africans who want to take action against the barbaric “canned hunting” industry. As such, we put together a list of 10 action items, and the officials in South Africa to write but most have changed their addresses. Apparently, they didn’t want to hear what people who care about animals think. We do not have access to their updated information, but you can stop this barbaric practice here in the U.S.
Lions are not an endangered species and are not offered protection from those who will pay to kill them in their transport cages. Some states, such as Florida, ban the killing of predators in canned hunts, but the fact that many of these game ranches have cages and cages full of lions, mountain lions, tigers and leopards leaves you wondering why people who are committed to the business of providing animals for easy kills to people who do not have the skill to hunt would have such expensive and difficult to care for carnivores in their possession?
The answer is obvious to everyone except the governing agencies that turn a blind eye. You can stop the zoos and private breeders and brokers from providing tame zoo animals, like lions, tigers, cougars and others to these canned hunt operations by supporting three pending bills. One bill is in the House to stop Internet hunting, where a person can sit at their computer screen and control a real gun with their mouse to shoot and kill a real animal in a cage. Virtually everyone can understand how heinous this is, but canned hunts where the only difference is that you have to show up in person to shoot the animal in a cage, isn’t much different. There is no difference at all to the animals involved. You can help by writing your legislators with these click to send letters. Be sure to send all three! Thank you from the cats.
Internet Hunting letter to my Congressman: HERE.
Canned Hunting letter to my Senator: HERE.
Canned Hunting letter to my Congressman: HERE.
The Humane Society of the United States prepared this animated clip to illustrate just how awful these practices are. Click HERE.
One way to help save wild animals in their native habitats is through Eco-Tourism and our friend, Hamadi, founder of African Wildcats Adventure Safaris, assures us that his guides respect the animals and that his company is taking active steps to protect Kenya’s wildlife and habitat. If you are thinking above a trip to Africa, check out WildcatsSafaris.com
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Please write respectfully to:
The Chief Director: Biodiversity and Heritage
Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
Private Bag X447
You may wish to say you welcome the actions of the South African government in taking steps to ban canned hunting but that you feel captive-bred or captive-reared predators should NEVER be hunted.
It is the opinion of Big Cat Rescue that canned hunting and trophy hunting should not be permitted and that more humane and enlightened ways to encourage tourism to the beautiful countryside of South Africa should be developed. For more details on this situation visit: Born Free Foundation.
Appeal Against the Export of Wildlife to Thailand
Dear Mr. President ,
We, the organisations and local communities against the Thai Zoo deal, together with thousands of concerned citizens in Kenya and around the world, are strongly opposed to the government’s decision to export 175 of Kenya ‘s free-ranging wild animals to the Chiang Mai Night Safari zoo in Thailand . We believe Kenya ‘s wildlife should remain in Kenya for the benefit of all Kenyans, as part of our magnificent national heritage. Outlined below are the reasons for our concern:
- The animals involved include threatened species on Appendix II of the CITES list such as the Serval cat, Crowned crane, Lesser flamingo and Hippopotamus. The export of such species sends the wrong signals internationally and undermines Kenya ‘s future ability to lobby and safeguard endangered wildlife species within the CITES framework.
- According to a 2004 report by the Department of Remote Sensing and Resource Survey , Kenya ‘s wildlife population declined by 40–60% between 1977 and 2004. This massive reduction has continued unabated due to the rampant illegal bush meat trade, excision of forests and widespread encroachment into parks and reserves for human settlement. We note with concern that the wildlife population figures advanced by the government spokesman are not based on any known national wildlife species census and, consequently, cannot be reliably used to justify the export.
- There is evidence of drastic decline and even localised extinction of some wildlife species in habitats across the country. We believe that there are more ecological and economic gains to be had from restocking such habitats from overpopulated areas (e.g. elephants from Shimba Hills to Tsavo), as opposed to token wildlife exports. Kenya has a hard-earned reputation for being compassionate and precautionary when it comes to the protection of its wildlife. This reputation, built over decades, will be placed in jeopardy by this single act, nullifying the international goodwill that accompanies it.
- The process of capturing wild animals, caging them and transporting them over long distances is a procedure that should only be undertaken when absolutely necessary. For example, the relocation of endangered species such as the Black Rhino, and restocking of protected areas are essential wildlife management procedures. The intended Thai Zoo capture will certainly result in stress and mortality. In our opinion, it is neither essential nor necessary. Zoos worldwide can source animals from amongst themselves and not from the wild. Further, factoring in mortalities will demand that the total number of animals captured must surely exceed the designated 175.
- The intended export undermines the authority of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), whose legislation superintends ALL other environmental laws. Section 53 (1) & (2) of the Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act, for instance, lays out the specific conditions under which genetic resources, such as wildlife, can be transferred to non-citizens. Neither these conditions, nor the requirement for an Environmental Impact Assessment, have been met.
- Kenya ‘s wildlife has evolved within our local environments for hundreds of thousands of years. There are real dangers, therefore, in taking them to an alien environment, where they may be exposed to potentially fatal diseases. There is also the risk of these animals transferring zoonotic diseases to Thailand . These are some of the issues we believe an Environmental Impact Assessment should have addressed before the MoU was signed.
- The intended export is at odds with official national policy. Kenya has built an international reputation for its anti-wildlife trade stance. The intention to use wildlife gifts to gain diplomatic and economic leverage amounts to trade in disguise and is therefore, in our view, unethical. Economic gains, so far as Kenya ‘s wildlife policy is concerned, are meant to be incidental to conservation, and it is not clear whether this zoo is public or private enterprise. Note, also, that while Kenya banned wildlife cropping and consumption of game meat in 2003, the very facility to which our national heritage is destined had planned to offer exotic wildlife menus such as giraffe and lion meat. Although this plan has been rescinded, the proposal provides evidence of how far removed Thailand is from Kenya ‘s conservation values and policies.
- Lastly, it is our responsibility to promote the growth of our national tourism industry. Support of the Chiang Mai Night Safari zoo will undermine inroads into the Far East Market, in which the Kenya Tourist Board has invested substantially. All the hard work may be lost because there is a strong likelihood of many international tourists who are attracted by our conservation values and policies shunning Kenya as a result of this export. This is unfortunate, because it has taken considerable human effort and financial resources to realise the resurgence of tourism in Kenya following many years of decline.
Finally, your Excellency, we would like to bring to your attention the fact that the Director of the Chiang Mai Night Safari Zoo, Mr. Plodprasop Suraswadi no longer sees any need for the animals from Kenya . He was quoted recently as saying “ Even if the 175 animals are not sent to Thailand it won’t affect the zoo as we have enough animals already and the animals from Kenya are species that we already have .” (Thai Day, 23 rd December 2005 )
We therefore humbly call upon you to reconsider this deal.
We remain most respectfully,
Amboseli Tsavo Conflict Resolution Committee
Animal Outreach Society
Animal Protection Institute
Animal Voice of South Africa
Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights
Big Cat Rescue
Born Free Foundation Kenya
Born Free Foundation UK
Born Free Foundation USA
Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation
Bravo Bend Wildlife Sanctuary
Canadians for Furbearing Animals
Care for The Wild International
Catholic Concern for Animals
Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage
Compassion in World Farming (SA)
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Eastern Africa Environmental Network
Friends of the Asian Elephant
GAP Project – Brazil
Humane Education Trust (SA)
Humane Society International
Humane Society of United States
International Fund for Animal Welfare
Kenya Wildlife Coalition
Kenya Wildlife Conservation and Management Network
Kipeto Landowners Association
Kitengela Landowners Association
NARC Youth Congress
National CBO Council
One Stop Youth Information Resource Center
Pastoralists Information Bureau
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Virgin Bush Safaris
Wildlife Friends of Thailand
World Society for the Protection of Animals
Youth Center for Biodiversity Conservation
Youth Environment Network Kenya
Youth for Conservation
Youth for Conservation
P.O. Box 27689
Tel: +254 (02) 606479
Telefax: +254 (02) 606478
Mobile: +254 (0) 733 617286