Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Animal Planet Hero of the Year Award Contest

Big Cat Rescue's Operations Manager, Scott Lope, makes the Top 10 out of more than 4500 contestants who were nominated for Animal Planet's Hero of the Year Awards

Scott Lope

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release)Sep 16, 2009 – If Scott wins it could mean $60,000 to the lions, tigers and other exotic wild cats at Big Cat Rescue!  The economy has hit animal rescue groups very hard, but the big cats have big appetites and they have to be fed.  There are two contests right now that have a combined prize of $60,000 in cash and advertising and Big Cat Rescue has a very good chance of winning with the public's help.

Until Sept. 27, 2009 people can vote once a day for Scott Lope, Operations's manager of Big Cat Rescue, to win Animal Planet's Hero of the Year Award.  Scott had a career in medicine, but gave it up to be a full time volunteer and then staff at Big Cat Rescue.  There is a video of him in action rescuing all kinds of animals in addition to the care he provides the big cats at Big Cat Rescue here: http://www.BigCatRescue.org

"This is great publicity for the plight of big cats and it will provide $10,000 in cash to feed the cats at Big Cat Rescue as well as a much needed vacation for Scott" says CEO and Founder, Carole Baskin.  The public can vote daily here:

http://animal.discovery.com/roar/hero-of-the-year/vote/

Until Sept. 20, 2009 readers can vote daily for Big Cat Rescue in facebook's contest where their votes have gotten Big Cat Rescue into the last round of top 4 charities to win $50,000 in co branded advertising.  The public can vote daily here:

http://apps.facebook.com/voteforacause/

# # #

Big Cat Rescue, a non profit educational sanctuary, is devoted to rescuing and providing a permanent home for exotic (i.e. wild, not domestic) cats who have been abused, abandoned, bred to be pets, retired from performing acts, or saved from being slaughtered for fur coats, and to educating the public about these animals and the issues facing them in captivity and in the wild.


For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Until Sept. 27, 2009 you can vote once a day for Scott Lope, our Operations's manager, to win Animal Planet's Hero of the Year Award.  As many of you already know, Scott had a career in medicine, but gave it up to be a full time volunteer and then staff at Big Cat Rescue.  You can see a video of him in action rescuing all kinds of animals in addition to the care he provides the big cats at Big Cat Rescue on our web site at http://www.BigCatRescue.org

Please help him win as this is great publicity for the plight of big cats and it will provide $10,000 in cash to feed the cats at Big Cat Rescue as well as a much needed vacation for Scott.  Your DAILY vote can win this for us here:

http://animal.discovery.com/roar/hero-of-the-year/vote/

Until Sept. 20, 2009 you can vote daily for Big Cat Rescue in facebook's contest where your votes have gotten us into the last round of top 4 charities to win $50,000 in co branded advertising.  Please vote DAILY here and ask your friends to do the same:

http://apps.facebook.com/voteforacause/

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Baby Bobcat and Fawn Take Refuge Together from Fire

Baby Bobcat and Fawn Take Refuge Together from Fire 

Baby bobcat and fawn photoThe Jesusita Fire in Santa Barbara, CA caused these two to take shelter together. The fawn is 3 days old and the bobcat about 3 weeks. The fawn came from somewhere in the fire and the bobcat from Carpinteria. They immediately bonded and snuggled together under a desk in the Santa Barbara County Dispatch Office for several hours.

Animal Planet is reporting the bobcat kitten was rescued near Arnold Schwarzenegger's ranch, where it was dehydrated and near death.

They rescued the fawn during last weeks wildfire. Although wild animals, especially of separate species, are never placed together due to regulations, in this emergency situation, they had no choice. During the mayhem of the fire, they were forced to put animals anywhere they could, since they had run out of crates large enough for the fawn. The kitten ran to the fawn, and it was instant bonding.

Lets hope these two get a second chance at living free by going to a legitimate rehabber like Big Cat Rescue.

Big Cat Vote Worth Big Bucks

Vote Scott Lope of Big Cat Rescue on Animal PlanetYour votes could mean $60,000 for the lions, tigers and other big cats of Big Cat Rescue and a vacation for Scott.

Your votes could mean $60,000 to the lions, tigers and other exotic wild cats at Big Cat Rescue!  The economy has hit us all very hard, but the big cats have big appetites and we have to keep feeding them.  There are two contests right now that have a combined prize of $60,000 in cash and advertising and we have a very good chance of winning with your help.
 
Until Sept. 27, 2009 you can vote once a day for Scott Lope, our Operations's manager, to win Animal Planet's Hero of the Year Award.  As many of you already know, Scott had a career in medicine, but gave it up to be a full time volunteer and then staff at Big Cat Rescue.  You can see a video of him in action rescuing all kinds of animals in addition to the care he provides the big cats at Big Cat Rescue on our web site at http://www.BigCatRescue.org
 
Please help him win as this is great publicity for the plight of big cats and it will provide $10,000 in cash to feed the cats at Big Cat Rescue as well as a much needed vacation for Scott.  Your DAILY vote can win this for us here:

http://animal.discovery.com/roar/hero-of-the-year/vote/
 
Until Sept. 20, 2009 you can vote daily for Big Cat Rescue in facebook's contest where your votes have gotten us into the last round of top 4 charities to win $50,000 in co branded advertising.  Please vote DAILY here and ask your friends to do the same:
 
http://apps.facebook.com/voteforacause/
 
Thanks, Carole Baskin CEO of Big Cat Rescue

 

Join us at the 2009 Fur Ball Mask-Grrr-Ade Party!

Fur Ball Tampa FLJoin in our annual celebration and fund raiser.  It's a party, it's an auction (including for international travel to see exotic cats in their true habitat!), it's a Rolex watch raffle…So, whether you are in Tampa, FL and can attend or are more distant and must support from afar, we have something for you!

Brief podium time will focus on details of the rescue of Freckles the liger and her two tiger companions Cookie and Alex after they were abandoned in Mississippi.  Learn more about the heartbreaking story of their lives before being rescued. The great news is that proceeds from this event will provide a safe home for these exotic cats for rest of their days. 

 

Reserve Your "Spots" At The Fur Ball Today!


 
Learn more about the Big Cat Rescue 10th Annual Fur Ball.
 
Buy your ticket now for the must-attend charity event coming this fall to Tampa, Florida.
 
Participate in the Pre-Ball Silent Auction.


For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign send a quick and easy letter to protect tigers and bobcats here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=13810331

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Monday, September 14, 2009

Big Cat Rescue director up for Animal Planet hero award

By LEIGH SPANN
News Channel 8
Published: September 14, 2009

TAMPA - It takes a lot to be a hero, and for one Tampa man it takes a lot of meat. 

Scott Lope, director of operations at the nonprofit wildlife sanctuary Big Cat Rescue, helps house and feed nearly 115 large cats every day. Cable television channel Animal Planet has rewarded his work in educating the public about the plight of these animals by naming him a finalist for its Hero of the Year.

One of the volunteers at Big Cat Rescue, Sharyn Beach, wrote the letter that nominated Lope. She says she has been inspired by his dedication.

"Long after we're asleep at night, Scott's still working, and long before we wake up in the morning, he's already working," Beach wrote.
That letter put Lope in the top 10 out of 4,500 entries. In the letter, Beach focused on Lope's ability to educate and inspire others about the animals he cares for. She notes how kids have their birthday parties at the rescue and ask for donations for the animals instead of getting presents.

"One person doing a lot of work is a great thing, but what's really important is getting out there and talking to other people about what's going on with these animals," Beach wrote.

Lope began working at the Big Cat Rescue 11 years ago as a volunteer. At the time, he had a job in the medical field, but he decided to follow his dream of working with animals.

"Really decided that this was more important than some of the material things that really aren't that important. So I quit my job and moved here," Lope said.

It's been an amazing journey, he said, and he considers himself lucky to be able to work with the animals.
And he really hopes he inspires change.

"Just in the last 10 years, here at the Big Cat Rescue, we've worked to get laws changed. We've gotten animals out of a terrible situation all over the country," Lope said.

It is no easy task to feed and house more than 100 big cats. Big Cat Rescue, which is at 12802 Easy St., has a $1 million annual budget. It costs $7,500 a year to care for each of the 23 lions and tigers.

One of the prizes for the person chosen as Animal Planet's Hero of the Year is $10,000 toward his or her animal charity. Lope said that will take care of one of those lions or tigers for a whole year.

The winner of the Hero of the Year contest will be announced Dec. 18 during Animal Planet's Heroes Week. Voting started today and continues through Sept. 27.

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2009/sep/14/big-cat-rescue-director-animal-planet-hero-award/

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign send a quick and easy letter to protect tigers and bobcats here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=13810331

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Sunday, September 13, 2009

Vote for Scott Lope

Vote Scott Lope as Animal Planet's Hero of the Year


Vote Scott Lope of Big Cat Rescue on Animal PlanetPlease vote for Big Cat Rescue's Operation's Manager, Scott Lope, every day for the next 2 weeks.  That is 14 votes per person and should really help him win.  Scott says, "It would be great to get the $10,000 for BCR and the much needed vacation for me! Please send to every one you know, every vote counts!  Thank you so much!" 


Feel free to snag this image so that you can post to your Facebook, Myspace and other social networking accounts to remind yourself and friends to vote each day.  


AnimalPlanet.com/hero


Vote for Big Cat Rescue to Win $50,000


We made it to the next round in Intel's vote for a cause contest to win $50,000 in co-branded advertising with Intel.


Second round from 9/5/2009 12:00 AM PST to 9/8/2009 11:59 PM PST - top 16 will go on to third Voting Round.


Please visit this page and vote for Big Cat Rescue, then send out invite to friends to do the same :)


http://apps.facebook.com/voteforacause/


 

Comment on Tigers at Mall by GW Exotics - Awakening Productions

TAYLOR — When Judi Vig, a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, saw exotic animals on display Wednesday at Southland Center, it sent alarms off in her mind.



She called City Hall to check that everything was in order with the display and to voice concerns about the animals' welfare.

Vig said PETA has had issues with G.W. Exotic Animals of Wynnewood, Okla., which houses the animals Awakening Production uses.



Awakening Production came to Southland with lion and tiger cubs and a baby kangaroo.

It set up a display where people could see the animals, and if they wanted, pay $25 for two people to spend eight minutes in a cage with tiger cubs and a trainer.



Today is the show's last day.

Awakening Production had not obtained a permit to hold a special event, which is required, said Joseph Nardone, the city's executive director of development services.



A representative of the company came to City Hall with a letter from Southland Center giving permission for the event and to seek a permit, he said.

Ordinance and animal control officers investigated the complaint, he said.

Animal control officers found no violations, city officials said. The permit was issued.

As of Thursday afternoon, the company was in compliance with all city ordinances, Nardone said.



"Getting to touch a baby tiger is a moment in a lifetime," said Michael Bussey, stage manager for Awakening Production.



"You're seated. You go in with a certified trainer. The tigers will roam around the cage, crawl on your lap, and you can pet them."



There were plenty of takers, from young children to a 93-year-old woman, he said. But mainly, it was young families, especially mothers with their children.



Awakening Production also put on a free magic show each day. The purpose behind the magic show is to educate the public about ownership of exotic animals, Bussey said.



It booked several visits with General Growth Properties, which owns Southland Center and other malls across the country, Bussey said.



Awakening Production came with a 4-month-old white tiger; two 8-week-old tigers, which went into the play cages with visitors; a 13-week-old tiger; two 3-week-old lions; and a 3-month-old kangaroo, said Vicky Welch, road manager and animal caretaker.



Fourteen people, including stage crew and animal caretakers, travel with the animals, Welch said.

This paper makes it easy to post your comments without having to go through a tedious sign up hassle here:

http://www.thenewsherald.com/articles/2009/09/12/news/doc4aabdcd7f2446752163884.txt#blogcomments

Some of the Best Comments:

all you sorry people that have no clear understanding related to animal rights....The show at Southland was for self gain......Do you all know HOW MUCH MONEY THEY MADE! At the expense of breeding tigers that they can take around the country...to make money off you fools then they give or sell those tigers when they are too big...they end up in China and so on for their herbal cures....you people need to wake up, your just as guilty as they are....don't tell this woman to wake up she is very much awake...which is more then what I can say to you sorry people that can't engage your children into more productive activity to protect the environment and rights of animals.....you all get off easy putting your kid in a cage with an abused animal and you think your TEACHING or putting a star on your forehead for being a good parent....do your homework first!!!! Also, PETA along with other animal groups are all around...what do you think your local animal shelters, PAWS, etc.....what do you think they do...Also, The circus animals are also in a mess of abuse....pay attention and get involved...Don't attend GIB. Trade Center Circus......I wonder how many of you people that gave your hard earned money or welfare check money to this group just ignored putting a good meal on your table for your kids....Oh I know I forgot people like you get off easy.....processed food for the kids...right...$1.00 burgers at mcdonalds....PS.....I'm proud of my kids they wanted NO part of this! "  go michigan

" I'm not a member of PETA but would NEVER EVER put my kids in a cage with a wild animal.....I don't ever want them to think that it is cute or FAIR to the animal, they do not need to be in cages they need to be in their natural environment.....free....not caged! City of Taylor and Southland should be ashamed for allowing this! I'm HAPPY this girl made the phone call....we need more people like her... " non member of PeTA

" while everyone who paid money to sit with an exotic animal and said it was a great family moment talk about wake up and smell the real world if u thought that was so great an experience WHAT ABOUT THE ANIMALS where are their parents? how about the family experience for the wild animals?For areal family experience try the park, playing catch with ur kids when are parents going to get it MEMORIES CANNOT BE BOUGHT THEY MUST BE EXPERIENCED!!Thankfully this woman knew that and tried to point that out, good for her THANK YOU!!! "  wendy

" I was at the mall today doing some shopping with my son. We didn't even know about the 'show' until we were walking through the mall.

We wandered over and looked into one of the cages. There was a man sitting on the floor, holding his toddler daughter. The little girl was terrified of the baby tiger. She was screaming and kicking at the tiger. I think she made contact at one point. The employee never suggested the child be taken out of the cage, nor did the father have enough brains to cut the 'visit' short.

Now, repeat that scenario several times a day, in different cities, year round and tell me that these animals aren't being exploited and mistreated. It made me sick.

I am not a member of PETA. I agree that the organization is full of kooks. They were correct in their assessment of this 'show', however. "  calumet

" This is another sad excuse for an "educational show", where in reality these animals are being exploited for one reason only – monetary gain. These cute baby tiger and lion cubs will grow up to be 300-500 lb big cats and are destined for a life in captivity or worse, can end up in canned hunts or killed for the black market. There are more tigers in captivity in the United States then there are in the wild. Until laws are passed restricting private ownership and exploitation of these great cats, this type of animal cruelty will continue. For more information about "Big Cat Exhibition" visit: http://www.bigcatrescue.org/bigcatexhibition.htm " tigress62

Why would you ask such a question? "Are you with them 24/7"? Well, what you do think? NO! That is why I said hopefully, they get fed and are well taken care of. I do not associate with the animals mentioned in this article nor do I know the trainers and/or owners.

Think about this, "protectanimals", they MUST be PROPERLY TRAINED, because why else would this company allow people to GO INSIDE THE CAGES WITH THE ANIMALS? It would be insane to let in-experienced people into a cage with a wild animals, babies or not.

Here's something else to think about. If the animals weren't trained, don't you think the company would of done something about that? Obviously they are, because why would a company like this allow in-experienced people into a cage with a wild animal? I don't post on this blog to argue! " josh

" Josh.....they are pretty harmless at this age........they are far from trained, they are helpless and are used for money (it's a million dollar company), when they get too big they are not used anymore, they only breed them for their shows and once they get a certain age thats it for them.....'cause they can not be on the shows anymore..they sure would not let a child go in a cage with an adult tiger...this person who made the call to the city did it out of concern and I have to agree with her...this company just came in for the money and they will go to the next town....they made alot of money from the downriver residents, they are pros! "  " Also, Josh, Those workers would NEVER get in a cage with an adult tiger or lion....Never....the workers are only trained to work the crowd for the money and once again they have duped the public....those poor animals....their fate will not be good...I'm a retired teacher and have been a advocate for animals for many many years and have also known about this G.W. Exotic Animal group for a long time, they are very sly and never let anyone know what town they are going to next. "protectanimals


" How can any reporter do a story about baby lions and tigers at a mall and not investigate how it was that they were bred into such a miserable life and what will happen with them in a couple of months when they are too big to pet. Any one with access to the Internet could easily find out that these precious animals will spend the rest of their lives in tiny, filthy cages, be shot for their pelts, cut up for meat or worse. If people don't know, it is because they choose to be ignorant, but that doesn't ease the suffering. More at Dying To Be Held http://www.bigcatrescue dot org/000news/0articlesbybcr/2008DyingToBeHeld dot htm "




For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign send a quick and easy letter to protect tigers and bobcats here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=13810331

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Scott Lope Featured in Tampa Tribune

Lope is an expert on lions, tigers, panthers

By WALT BELCHER wbelcher@tampatrib.com

Published: September 2, 2009

 

Are big black panthers on the prowl in upstate New York?

Are dangerous leopards or jaguars on the loose?

Cue the spooky music. Roll the grainy video of cat-like creatures.

Tonight's episode of "Monster Quest" at 8 p.m. on the History channel explores sightings of large dark feline critters near a state park 18 miles north of New York City.

A team of trackers, scientists and technicians use surveillance equipment in an attempt to find out whether anything is lurking in the woods, or if it's a hoax, or if overactive imaginations are at work.

One expert that "Monster Quest" turns to for this episode is Scott Lope, director of operations at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa.

Lope says the evidence he was asked to evaluate was inconclusive. "Some of the footage looked like just big domestic cats," he says.

However it's not impossible for exotic animals to be on the loose in the United States because so many people have them as pets, he notes.

"You would be surprised how many people in Hillsborough County have permits for exotic animals."

Lope, 41, has worked for Big Cat Rescue for 16 years. He has become the go-to guy for commentary on lions, tigers, leopards, panthers and other wild animals.

In addition to numerous appearances on Animal Planet and History, he has been featured on Discovery Channel, ABC's "20/20," CNN and Jack Hanna's animal shows.

He has been the feline and dangerous captive wildlife expert on two seasons of "Untamed & Uncut" and three seasons of "Monster Quest." He has appeared on Nickelodeon's "Animal Atlas" and Animal Planet's "Misadventure."

Lope also is featured in "Lion Feeding Frenzy," one of the most popular specials on Animal Planet and Discovery. He goes inside a transparent box placed in the middle of a pack of lions to observe what happens when lions fight for food in the wild.

Lope, who is from Pennsylvania, joined the Air Force right out of high school. After serving in the Gulf War, he was stationed at MacDill Air Force Base and has made Tampa his home for nearly 20 years; He first joined the nonprofit Big Cat Rescue preserve as a volunteer.

"I was going into the medical profession but I found my life's calling here," he says.

He now oversees the daily operation of a sanctuary that is home to 150 animals and is devoted to helping the big cats, some of which have been abused, or abandoned, or retired from performing.

He says that his appearances on television help educate people about these animals and the dangers of keeping exotic cats as pets.

You can comment here:

http://tboextra.com/content/2009/sep/02/na-lope-is-an-expert-on-lions-tigers-panthers/tboextra/

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Friday, May 29, 2009

“PDKats” EVENT FEEDS THE LIONS AND TIGERS AT BIG CAT RESCUE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE              CONTACT:     Bonnie Kirstein
558-5300 ext. 230

"PDKats" EVENT FEEDS THE LIONS AND TIGERS AT BIG CAT RESCUE AND THE MINDS OF HILLSBOROUGH STUDENTS

Tampa, FL (May 27, 2009) – The Tampa Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa (PDK), the premier professional association for educators, in concert with the Hillsborough County School District, recently completed their first fundraising contest event for students called "PDKats." 

According to Dr. Jacquelyn Masters, Principal of Seminole Elementary School and President of PDK, the program has two goals:  "The first goal is to enhance the interest of the students in learning about wild animals and foster their compassion for these magnificent creatures by having them feel the personal satisfaction of raising funds to feed these rescued big cats. The second is to support a wonderful area nonprofit organization that has, for many years, provided our students with a totally unique educational experience."

The month long contest, held in April, was open to all of the schools in Hillsborough County and was chaired by Bonnie Kirstein of Davidsen Middle School and co-chaired by Katey Runey of Farnell Middle School.  The goal for each school was to raise $250, the approximate cost of feeding the lions and tigers at Big Cat Rescue for one day. At the final tally a total of $3,783.95 has been donated, which is equivalent to the cost of feeding one tiger or lion for one full year!

Each class that achieved the goal will be recognized on a sign outside Big Cat Rescue's Trading Post for one year.  In addition to this special recognition, the students of the class raising the most money to feed the cats will receive free tour passes to the sanctuary. Big Cat Rescue will also film a special podcast of the winning students to post on the sanctuary's YouTube channel, which is currently the 7th most watched non-profit channel.  The Teacher of the winning class and the Principal and Area Director of that school, as a reward for their efforts in promoting this educational experience, each receive a 3 day weekend in a Jaguar XF provided by Jaguar of Tampa and a 3 day/2 night stay for two on St. Pete Beach at the Sirata Beach Resort.  Both corporate sponsors are long time supporters of Big Cat Rescue.

The winning teacher was David Nelson from the PE Department at Davidsen Middle School, whose class raised $1,400.  Brent McBrien, Principal of Davidsen, and Area 2 Director, Jerry Jackson were the other winners, but Mr. Jackson opted to defer his prizes to one of his other teachers, who he felt did the footwork in this effort, Ms. Jani Rouse at Lomax Elementary.

"Education is a critical element of our mission at Big Cat Rescue," said Education Director Beth Kamhi.  "On the over 70 school field trips to the sanctuary each year, students benefit by learning scientific facts that are made more meaningful and memorable by the feelings evoked when actually meeting these magnificent animals in person.  There is compelling evidence that learning compassion for animals as a child translates into compassion for people as an adult, and this opportunity for affective learning is extraordinary.  As students participate in donating to feed the animals, the PDKats program adds a dimension of direct involvement and pride, enriching the educational experience and emotional connection.  We are thrilled about this exciting collaboration with PDK and enhancement of our long time partnership with the Hillsborough County School District! We would like to offer our profound appreciation to Bonnie Kirstein for all her hard work coordinating this event, and to PDK and the Hillsborough students, teachers and staff."

About PDK

PDK, the premier professional association for educators, was founded in 1906 and today has chapters across the United States and abroad. The association strives for educational excellence through a wide range of innovative initiatives.  These include providing educators with information about current issues to promote dialog about which policies, ideology and methods to adopt.  PDK also works to connect members with the community and the school district through service projects and networking opportunities. The local chapter has participated in "Paint your heart out Tampa Bay," "Toys for Students" (a home grown project with the district's social workers to make sure all children have a gift for the holidays), and now the PDKats Program.  For further information on PDK visit www.pdkintl.org.

About Big Cat Rescue

Big Cat Rescue, a non-profit organization, provides a permanent home for abandoned, abused and orphaned exotic cats. Over 100 lions, tigers, leopards, bobcats and more reside at the astonishing 45 acre Citrus Park refuge, making it one of the largest sanctuaries in the world devoted to big cats.  Big Cat Rescue is located at 12802 Easy Street, across the street from the mall at Citrus Park. For further information on the sanctuary, please visit www.BigCatRescue.org, call 813.920.4130 or send an email inquiry to Info@BigCatRescue.org. 





For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tiger Bone Wine and Medicines

Source: Open source

Date: 04/24/09

Author: Elise Woods 

Recently, WWF Traffic released a publication called Paper Tigers? The role of the US Captive Tiger Population in the Trade in Tiger Parts.pdf (1) which calls for better regulatory overview of the tiger population in the United States.  Today, the two largest single populations of tigers are now those that reside in captivity in China and the United States (2).  Ongoing black market demand has relegated the tiger to a black market status of worth more dead than alive.  Much of this black market enters the U.S. and Canada in the form of Traditional Asian Medicines (TAM) or Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM).  CBP Agriculture Specialists and CBP Officers are the very tip of the point for recognizing, regulating and whenever possible, referring relevant medicines to US Fish and Wildlife Officials for legal enforcement.  Every good seizure of prohibited medicine gives us another bread crumb of information leading to the tangled world of illegal wildlife trade, industrial level pharmaceutical manufacturers, tiger /bear farms and international shipping, all of which hide the dirt under the cover of legitimate trade.  With that in mind, allow me to share what I have learned so far. 

1.  Federal officials have found several tiger medicines this year. 

A.  Leopard Bone, Musk and Ephedra Plaster Bandage. 

One of the most recent is a Chinese Patent medicine manufactured by ZHEJIANG DINGTAI PHARMACEUTICAL CO., LTD, a "one of the leading manufacturing enterprises for medical dressing materials (bandages, gauze etc) in China according to their website: http://www.zjdingtai.com".  Not surprisingly, one of their most interesting products is not listed on their website, and well it should not be as it contains two CITES listed ingredients and a banned FDA ingredient. Z33020963 is the patent trade number for this specific medicine from this specific company. Note: So far, all the Chinese Patents found have contained a similar style number that starts with "Z". 

Shexiang Zhuanggu Gao   Z33020963, Leopard Bone, Musk, Ephedra,                           

麝香 (Musk) 、豹骨 (Leopard bone) 、麻黄 (Ephedra    

Your browser may not support display of this image.   Your browser may not support display of this image.«"Z" number will be found on the lower half of label. 
 

B. Another brand of Shexiangzhuanggu Gao plasters Z42021305? 

These (1 and 2) were found in exams this week while the last label with the obvious tiger picture is listed in an online advertisement for the same trade name and number.  They are all the same medicated plasters from the same company:  HUANGSHI HYGIENIC MATERIAL PHARMACEUTICAL CO., LTD (http://www.hsssh.com).  All three boxes are labeled for the same patent product although the pictures are different.  In English on the box label it states the musk is artificial, and no bone is mentioned outside of the online advertisement translations*. The medicine does contain regulated ingredients such as Adeps Lanae (Hydrous Wool Fat), Ephedra and Chondroitin Sulfate for certain, along with several other herbs on which research is ongoing.  We will need better determination as to the musk ingredient and possible bone products including tiger or leopard for future Fish and Wildlife Enforcement opportunities. The online business Chinese advertisement translates via Bablefish into the following:   

    *"Medicinal extract brand Shen Nong the tiger specification 6.5*10*6 ingredient musk strong bone paste extracts… Uses the Shennongjia natural typical traditional Chinese medicine, the curative effect is good, turning head rate is high; Original musk tiger bone paste improvement product; Yunnan natural high quality rubber; The technique of production changes the advanced beating law by the dry pressing… 4th, domestic only through American FDA registration Chinese medicinal plaster (registration number 3003980579); 5th, obtains the Chinese international monopoly and the name brand exposition gold medal. " (Note: For what it is worth, Google search for Shennongjia includes the Shennongjia Nature Reserve which does house some species of protected felids).  
     

Shexiangzhuanggu Gao Z42021305 ,   
 

Your browser may not support display of this image.          Your browser may not support display of this image.   Your browser may not support display of this image.            Your browser may not support display of this image.    

  
 
 
 

C. Well known tiger bone pill.   

Bug symbol might be different (seen also with butterfly).  Compare to pictures on page Traditional Asian Medicine Identification Guide for Law Enforcers- version II (pg. 2.9 #B) . Note: tiger bone character (虎骨) is on ingredient label, chicken symbol on front (H5N1 disease risk) and also contains Deer antler (Anthrax, FMD disease risk), both of which also appear on the ingredient list in Traditional Chinese characters.  Gel capsule content inspection will show bone bits under microscope. 

Your browser may not support display of this image.  Your browser may not support display of this image.  Your browser may not support display of this image.

Box                                                             Bottle and pills               Tiger gel cap contents           
 

D. Vietnamese Little Tiger Medication.  

According to PAX this had tiger and monkey bone. Note the Black Cat Picture and the word "Cao" which is Vietnamese (vn) word which means "jelly" when associated with TAM.  In this case it is referring to animal jelly made by boiling desired animal part (usually bone or Cao xương (Vn)-bone jelly).  

Your browser may not support display of this image. 
 
 

2.  Canadians win one against tiger bone medicine trader.   

I recently contacted a Federal Wildlife Officer for Environment Canada Wildlife Enforcement Division to request pictures and information regarding their recent successful case against Wing Quon Enterprises Ltd., for possessing and attempting to sell medicines containing parts from Tigers and other protected species.  Thanks to the recent change in CITES, they were able to make the case on labeling alone.  They seized up to 1200 bottles of the endangered plant medication, 200 of one of the bear meds and 50 for each of the tiger meds.  1200 bottles were labeled as was being imported, the rest found in the warehouse either being sold or found during their warrant. Pictures of seizure are found in Attachment A.  They have also been instrumental in helping build information on known TAM issues and identification guides. 
 
    

3. Other important translations from TAM labels and research: Hu, Gu, hổ

Note: Look for Bone symbol "" and THEN for tiger or leopard or other animal symbol!

báo (Vn) panther
Cao xương (Vn) bone jelly
con cọp (Vn) tiger
hãc lão hổ (Vn) "black Tiger"-may be radix dipsaci plant if 黑老虎   also present
hēi lǎo (Ch-Pinyin) black tiger
hổ (Vn) tiger
(Ch) tiger
Hu Gu (Os Tigris) (Ch) Tiger Bones.
Hu Gu Jiu (Ch. Recipe) Medicated Wine with Tiger Bone,Secretio Moschus,Cornu Cervi,
Hu Qian Wan (1/2) (Ch. Recipe) Hidden Tiger Pill;
huāng;  (Vn or Ch) blood
huyết (vn) blood
lǎo tiger
Os (latin) os, ossis: Latin os = bone; plural - ossa,
Panthera Large cats
Panthera leo Lion
Panthera pardus Leopard
Panthera tigris Tiger
Shen Rong Hu Gu Wan Ginseng, Deer Antler and Tiger Bone Pill; Ginseng-Cornu Cervi-Os Tigris Pill
Tiger bone 虎骨
Leopard bone 豹骨
大猫 Big Cat (Chinese)
Lion
Panthera leo
老虎 lǎo , tiger
; tiger
Panthera tigris
虎骨 Tiger bone
豹骨 Leopard bone
bone (looks like a person)
 
 
 
 

4.  H5N1 tigers from Sri Racha Tiger Zoo 

Has anyone seen this heartwarming e-mail asking can't we just get along like the tiger and pigs in this picture? 

Your browser may not support display of this image.

*http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/tigerpig.asp 

I received this from a friend recently and thought this picture looked familiar.  According to Snopes.com, the cute tiger-pigs were actually taken* at Sri Racha Tiger Zoo in Thailand.  This zoo also has or had the Sri Racha Traditional Health Clinic on site and were caught selling tiger bone pills a few years ago (3).  According to a contact with Zoological Society of London/and International Tiger Coalition (ITC) associate, the difference between zoos and farms boils down to management:  

    "Zoos keep tigers in natural social groups (alone, a pair, a mother with cubs or possibly a pair with cubs) and practice "conservation breeding" in which the goal is maximum retention of genetic diversity and strategies include avoidance of inbreeding, equalisation of founder representation and lengthening of interbirth interval (slower breeding).  Tiger farms, in contrast, are aiming for  maximum production of product in terms of bones (and also of tourist revenues as a side benefit).  The management strategy necessary for maximum production of tiger bones is parallel to that used in intensive farming of any domestic animal - fixing desirable traits through inbreeding, rapidly selecting for stock that does well in the unnatural conditions,  producing as many animals as possible in any given time period, and then housing them all together to save on enclosure costs until they are full sized and can be harvested.  "Farming" in this manner results in rapid and large-scale loss of genetic diversity, in direct contrast to conservation breeding as practised by zoos (4). 
     

There exists a lot of controversy with this particular zoo. 

Another concern to USDA and  CBP  is the susceptibility of tigers to High Pathogenic (HP) H5N1 avian influenza (AI) which has been proven to be  linked to illegal trade and transport of infected poultry or exotic birds.  In 2003, H5N1 in big cats was first documented in a Suphanburi, Thailand zoo where two leopards and two tigers died (5).    

Then, in, 2004, there was a H5N1 bird flu outbreak which affected the tigers at Sri Racha Tiger Zoo as confirmed by the National Institute of Animal Health laboratory (6). 

At Sri Racha, 147 tigers out of 441 total population died of infection or were euthanized which meant that, as documented, approximately 31%  (45 tigers) of the cull were sick tigers, and approximately 69% (102) were culled to control the spread of the disease (6) (9). Note: OIE Follow-up report numbers used as final count. 

Standard disease eradication procedures are to dispose of the bodies of the culled animals in a way that eradicates the viral, bacterial or spore disease risk.  Previous studies indicated that implementation of control (including disposition of dead animals) is difficult in Thailand (7).  News reports at the time raised an alarming issue regarding the disposal of the sick and euthanized tigers.

    "Conservationists were alarmed that the dead tigers were not incinerated after their lung tissue samples tested positive for bird flu. Viruses tend to persist and re-infect, and the temptation for profiteers to dig up the valuable skins or tiger bones and smuggle them abroad puts black-market customers at risk as a result.  Steven Galster, the director of the conservation group, WildAid, called for a transparent investigation into the tiger mercy killings and wants carcass disposal to be supervised. "Whatever is really happening at Sri Racha, more tigers and people are potentially at threat," he said."(8)

Strikingly, there is no information on the disposition of the affected tiger carcasses in this study, nor in the follow-up reports issued to the World Organization for Animal Health Website-OIE (9).  I contacted an ASEAN source to ask if he had any up-to-date information on where and how the affected animals were disposed of.  According to the e-mail I received, He does have eye-witness testimony and there are photographs available (although not in his possession) of the tiger burial into a cement container and unknown chemicals were poured over the carcasses prior to being buried (10). 

In absence of incineration and given the potential for the burial site to be a "stockpile" of sorts, we should factor in the possibility of "bird flu tigers" in the tiger bone medicine black market as an additional disease risk factor in Traditional Asian Medicine (TAM) or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). 
 

5.  Is it too late? 

Is there still time or is it too late for tigers? 

CBP is actively enforcing US laws against trade in tiger parts and derivatives and by learning to identify these parts and derivatives in Traditional Asian Medications we will effectively limit much of the above ground trade that we encounter every day in ports in the US.  By applying the USDA regulations on regulated animal products such as bone, blood, antler, chicken, cow etc, CBP Agriculture Specialists can shut off the flow valve of endangered and/or disease risk components that enter this country every day via the pathway of TAM. 

Moreover, in learning to identify what we are dealing with, and in working with other agencies such as Fish and Wildlife, USDA SITC, we can help to lay the groundwork for effective legal action against the middle men and end-point distributors.   

As for the tigers, all is not lost. Much is being done by World Wildlife Foundation , ASEAN-WEN,  and various Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) and wildlife agencies to reeducate, reemploy and find other sources of income for those often found at the beginning of the tiger trade chain-those living at subsistence level.  Much has been done through WWF Traffic to capture enforcement data and provides educational resources for law enforcement agencies on a global level. 

Studies by Luo et al, measured the genetic variability of the worldwide captive tigers to assess whether they can be used to save the tiger species from extinction. (11). The results speak for themselves:  

    "Tigers (Panthera tigris) are disappearing rapidly from the wild, from over 100,000 in the 1900s to as few as 3000 [Javan (P.t. sondaica), Bali (P.t. balica), and Caspian (P.t. virgata) subspecies are extinct, whereas the South China tiger (P.t. amoyensis) persists only in zoos.  By contrast, captive tigers are flourishing, with 15,000–20,000 individuals worldwide, outnumbering their wild relatives five to seven times. As of 2007, there are approximately 421 Amur (P.t. altaica), 295 Sumatran (P.t. sumatrae), 72 South China (P.t. amoyensis), 198 Bengal (P.t. tigris), 14 Indochinese (P.t. corbetti), and 113 Malayan (P.t. jacksoni) tigers in captivity as recorded in regional and international zoo studbooks . The tested captive tigers retain appreciable genomic diversity unobserved in their wild counterparts, perhaps a consequence of large population size, century long introduction of new founders, and managed-breeding strategies to retain genetic variability." (11) 
     

Perhaps a quote by Dr. Ullas Karnath, a University of Florida alumni that has spent the past 20 years in India working for the Wildlife Conservation Society. 

    "A century from now there could be 30,000 to 40,000 tigers in India alone.  The real question is whether we can muster up the political will and raise the level of protection to make sure that this happens".  (12) 
     
     
     

Animals are not brethren, they are not underlings; They are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time. 
Henry Beston, American Author, also known as "The Vagabond of the Dunes" (1888-1968)
 
 
 
 
 

References: 

  1. Paper Tigers? The role of the US Captive Tiger Population in the Trade in Tiger Parts.pdf
 
  1. Ibid.
 
  1. Black Market-Global Syndicates Profit From a New Contraband; Inside the    Endangered Species Trade in Asia. Ben Davies and Jane Goodall. Publisher: Earth Aware Editions ISBN-13: 9781932771220 ISBN: 1932771220.
 
  1. Personal email with Sarah Christie, Carnivore Programme Manager, Zoological Society of London/International Tiger Coalition.
 
  1. Keawcharoen, Juthatip et al., 2004. Avian Influenza H5N1 in Tigers and Leopards. Emerging Infectious Diseases • www.cdc.gov/eid • Vol. 10, No. 12, December 2004
 
  1. Thanawongnuwech, Roongroje et al., 2005. Probable Tiger-to-Tiger Transmission of Avian Influenza H5N1. Emerging Infectious Diseases • www.cdc.gov/eid • Vol. 11, No. 5, May 2005
 
  1. Yee, Karen., Tim Carpenter and C. Cardona. 2008.  Epidemiology of H5N1 avian influenza * Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 29 April 2008.
 
  1. McGirk, Jan.  The Temple of The Tigers. The Independent, Nov 4, 2004
 
  1. World Organization for Animal Health Website. 2004 Thailand H5N1 year end report.
 
  1. Personal email with ASEAN source who prefers to remain anonymous at this time.
 
  1. Luo, Shu-Jin et al., 2008.  Report-Subspecies Genetic Assignments of Worldwide Captive Tigers Increase Conservation Value of Captive Populations. Current Biology 18, 592–596, April 22, 2008.
 
  1. Black Market-Global Syndicates Profit From a New Contraband; Inside the Endangered Species Trade in Asia. Ben Davies. Pg  126
 
 

Attachments 

      1. Wing Quan Canadian Sucessful Prosecution.pdf  Pictures of seized products
 
      1. Luo, Shu-Lin et al., 2008. Report-Subspecies Genetic Assignments of Worldwide Captive Tigers Increase Conservation Value of Captive Populations.
 
      1. Keawcharoen, Juthatip et al., 2004. Avian Influenza H5N1 in Tigers and Leopards. Emerging Infectious Diseases • www.cdc.gov/eid • Vol. 10, No. 12, December 2004
 
      1. Thanawongnuwech, Roongroje et al., 2005. Probable Tiger-to-Tiger Transmission of Avian Influenza H5N1. Emerging Infectious Diseases • www.cdc.gov/eid • Vol. 11, No. 5, May 2005


--
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Feds seize lion, tiger, ivory from yacht

Feds seize lion, tiger, ivory from yacht

Associated Press

13 May 2009

 

MIAMI (AP) - Federal authorities say they seized 29 illegal wildlife items from a yacht in Miami including tiger, lion, zebra skins and elephant ivory.

The items were taken from the yacht "Mystere" as part of a prosecution under the Endangered Species Act and other laws. The corporate yacht owner - Ruzial Limited - pled guilty earlier this month and paid 150 thousand dollars.

The seized items will be used in efforts to educate the public about illegal wildlife trafficking. US Attorney Alex Acosta says poachers continue to kill protected animals because there is a strong market demand. Officials put the value of the contraband at over 85 thousand dollars.

 

http://www.wrcbtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=10359342



--
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Saturday, May 09, 2009

Machester MI Bans Exotic Pets

A recent case of an alligator being kept at a local residence prompted
safety concerns from many people in the Manchester community.
At its April 20 meeting, the Manchester Village Council took a step in
alleviating fears by adopting a new ordinance regarding exotic and wild pets.
Village Ordinance 272, which bans the owning or keeping of exotic animals
in the community, was passed unanimously.

The ordinance will go into effect in late May around the Memorial Day
weekend.

At the council's April 6 meeting, village residents expressed concern about
an alligator being kept at a residence on City Road.

"The main concern was the health and safety of the people in the
community," Village Manager Jeff Wallace said. "There was nothing in our
ordinances

regarding the issue, so when the police and Humane Society came there was
nothing they could do about it."

During that meeting, members of the council reviewed four exotic pet
ordinances from different communities and agreed that an ordinance against
exotic pets be implemented in Manchester.

The ordinance reads that no person, corporation or organization can house
or maintain any exotic or wild animal within the Village of Manchester. A
person who owns or keeps such an animal on the effective date of the
ordinance must remove it from the village within 30 days.

The ordinance defines "exotic or wild animals" as those not occurring
naturally in the state. Among the animals listed were alligators, antelope,
badgers, bats, beaver, bears, bisons, bobcats, camels, cheetahs, chipmunks,
constriction snakes, cougars, coyotes, crocodiles, crows, deer, ducks,
elephants, elk, fox, gamecocks (or other fighting birds), geese, goats, gophers,
groundhogs, hippopotami, hyenas, jaguars, lions, leopards, llamas, lynx,
mink, moles, moose, muskrats, opossums, otters, ostriches, owls, panthers,
peacocks, pheasants, piranha fish, porcupines, primates, apes, chimpanzees,
gibbons, gorillas, orangutans, siamangs, baboons, pigs, wild pigs, pumas,
mountain lions, quail, raccoons, reptiles, rhinoceroses, seals, sharks,
skunks, poisonous snakes, snow leopards, poisonous spiders, squirrels, tigers,
whales wild rabbits, wild turkeys, wolf-dog crosses, wolverines, wolves,
zebras and any other traditional farm animals.

"If you allow someone to keep an alligator in their homes and do nothing
about it, how far can people go?" Wallace said. "That's why we tried to make
it as specific as possible."

The general penalties for violation of the ordinance could include up to a
$1,000 fine and possible 90 days in jail. Each violation is considered a
separate offense.

For more information on the exotic pet ordinance, visit the Village of
Manchester's Web site at _www.vil-manchester.org_
(http://www.vil-manchester.org/) .

Staff Writer Ed Patino can be reached at 428-8173 or _epatino@..._
(mailto:epatino@...) .

Click here to return to story:

http://www.manchesterenterprise.com/stories/050709/loc_20090507009.shtml


--
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Forever Wild must pave road to open

Forever Wild must pave road to open

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

By Bob Banfield

From tigers to reptiles, cougars and leopards, The Forever Wild Sanctuary
is the last stop for many exotic animals. But the facility in Phelan can't
open its doors. San Bernardino County officials say the sanctuary must pave
the dirt road leading to the sanctuary, at a cost of about $1 million.

Twenty-four big cats, tigers, lions, 60 reptiles and several birds are
housed in the Learning Center at the Forever Wild Sanctuary in Phelan.

The sanctuary was featured in a recent Extreme Makeover: Home Edition show
on ABC.

The sanctuary owners were given a new home and the Learning Center was
built from the ground up.

_Story continues below_
(http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/inland_empire&id=6800144&p\
t=print#bodyText
)

--
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




Deadly Cargo: Order Almost Any Exotic Online

Posted: May 7, 2009 12:23 PM PDT
Updated: May 7, 2009 12:55 PM PDT
By Trey Paul

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - There is no law in South Carolina that makes it
illegal for you to own any type of exotic animal, but how easy is it to get
a deadly snake shipped right to you?

WMBF News decided to find out. We had one of the world's deadliest snakes
shipped into the Myrtle Beach International Airport.

For about half a day, WMBF News Anchor Trey Paul actually owned one of the
world's most venomous snakes: a gaboon viper. They have the largest fangs
of any snake and some of the most venom.

All we had to do was go online. We found a website that gave us access to
dozens of venomous snakes that were for sale around the world.

We picked a snake, agreed on a price of $120, gave a credit card, and that
was it. No one asked an age or about experience.

We had our snake delivered to the Myrtle Beach International Airport and we
went inside with hidden cameras to pick it up.

We were told it would be shipped on a Delta Cargo plane, but after talking
with one of the clerks at the counter, we learned our snake, which was
packaged in a box, was actually shipped on a passenger plane inside of a cargo
area.

"He's all the way in the back, but if a bag were to come down and bust it
open or something like that, and it gets out, then what?" asked the Delta
clerk.

We didn't want to open our snake in a box on our own, so we met with a
local snake expert to help us out.

"A gaboon can kill a person and is potentially fatal," said Ken Alfieri.
"[It's] way more dangerous than our copperheads or cottonmouths. It's not an
animal you want to get bit by and end up in the hospital with."
Alfieri is a herpetologist and is trained to handle these types of snakes.
We asked him what he thought about how easy it was for us to get this
snake.

"I'm sad they didn't ask your age," he commented. "That should be a
requirement. Most people know what they're getting into and know what they're
dealing with. It's certainly not for the beginner or novice. You hope it
doesn't end up in the wrong hands."

According to a study done by researchers at the University of Florida,
there are 7,000 venomous snake bites per year in the United States, 15 of which
are fatal.

"If you look across the United States, nobody's ever been hurt by somebody
else's venomous snake," Alfieri noted. "It's never happened in the keeping
of the whole trade."

We found a 911 call from an Ohio man who was found dead after his "pet" boa
constrictor wrapped around his head, and another case in 2002 in South
Carolina when an 8-year old boy was bitten on the leg by his father's "pet"
tiger. In Myrtle Beach, a man was cited for keeping a hyena in his backyard
inside of a chain linked fence.

Dr. Jarratt Lark, an ER physician with the Grand Strand Regional Medical
Center, told us that the third ever reported case of a king cobra bite also
happened in Myrtle Beach.

Lark didn't treat that patient, but he did tell us that treating a venomous
snake bite is not easy, especially if it's from another country, like the
West African gaboon viper we purchased.

"It's kind of a chain of communication where I'd have to go down through
this chain of communication, identify the venom needed, find out where the
venom was, and then arrange to have the venom transferred here," Lark
explained.

The federal government leaves it up to individual states and cities to
decide if you can buy and keep an exotic animal. South Carolina law says you
can.
"Conceivably, you could probably get a lion shipped here," says State Rep.
Thad Viers (R-Horry County).

We showed Viers what we did and he called it "disturbing."

A Senate bill was introduced that would ban exotic animals, but we're told
since the committee chair wasn't briefed on it, it was killed.

"Without going into the merits of why, it just seemed like it was a
superficial reason why the bill did not move forward," Viers said.

South Carolina is one of nine states where you can do what we did, and our
investigation proves it can happen.

Since the issue doesn't seem to be getting anywhere inside the Statehouse,
Viers says he's taking a different approach. He says since the State of
South Carolina gives the Department of Natural Resources the authority to
regulate these types of animals, he's talking with officials about requiring
training or age certification.

He says this way is a lot quicker.


http://www.live5news.com/Global/story.asp?S=10322811

Reminds me of the 9 year old boy who used his mother's credit card and had a tiger shipped to his door.  That was in the late 1990's, I think.

--
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




You Can't Even Talk About It 20/20 of Farming Tigers to Eat Them

Please see below, regarding the tiger-farming promotion on ABC's 20/20.  Please post comments at:
http://abcnews.go.com/2020/AmazingAnimals/comments?type=story&id=7529068
 
 
Ban on Wild Tiger Sales 'a Complete Failure'?
John Stossel Says Killing Endangered Species Would Protect Them

By JOHN STOSSEL and JEFF DIAMOND
May 8, 2009

Tigers may be going extinct. There were once 100,000 of the grand animals, but today just a few thousand survive.

How do we save them and other endangered species? Well, here's an idea: Let's eat them!

Wild tigers are disappearing because poachers kill them for their skins and to get crushed tiger bone, which is made into paste that some people use as a painkiller.

Actor Harrison Ford does public service announcements supporting the international ban on the sale of exotic animal products.

"When the buying stops, the killing can too," he says in the PSA. "Case closed!"

But the case isn't closed, because outlawing buying and selling hasn't worked. The international ban has been in effect for 33 years, but the population of wild tigers has continued to shrink.

Watch John Stossel's special "You Can't Even Talk About It" tonight on "20/20" at 10 p.m. ET

Grace Gabriel, Asia regional director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, says what's needed to save the tigers is better law enforcement.

"There needs to be judicial systems in place so that there will be punishments for wildlife crimes [that are] strong enough to have a deterrence power." But Terry Anderson from PERC, the Property and Environment Resource Center, disagrees.

"If we continue the current approach of no killing, no trading, I think the tiger is doomed," he said.

He believes governments have repeatedly failed when they tried to save animals by banning their sale.

PERC suggests the opposite: let people own wild animals, farm them and sell them.

That's what saved another species. High in the mountains of Montana, Pam and Craig Knowles raise bison.

Millions of these animals once roamed America, but 100 years ago they were almost extinct. Why? Because no one owned them. No ranchers like the Knowles had the incentive to protect them, and people killed them and sold their hides.

"There were a few trappers who saw what was going on and said, this is wrong," said Pam Knowles. "Here's an animal that could provide the whole country with meat."

So people began to fence bison in and eat them. Now America has half a million bison -- that's a way to save animals.

Does America have a shortage of chickens? No. Because we eat them. Do we have a shortage of minks? No. Because people have a reason to
protect them.

The Debate Over Farming Endangered Animals

In Africa, rhinos were disappearing because poachers killed them for their horns. African governments banned poaching, but this did little good.

"We're talking about countries, governments and police forces that are often involved in the poaching," said Anderson.

Some government game wardens took bribes, or slept on the job.

"It was a complete failure," said Dr. Brian Child, associate professor of African studies at the University of Florida, who spent years in Africa trying to save rhinos. "Wildlife was disappearing everywhere."

What finally worked, he said, was letting landowners own them and make money off tourism. Suddenly each tribe had skin in the game, and an incentive to protect its own rhinos. Those indifferent security guards became fierce protectors of their tribal rhinos. Anderson asked one what happened if he caught a poacher.

"He said, 'We don't kill them, we just beat them up badly enough, they go back to their village, and don't ever come back,'" Anderson said. "These people don't tolerate poaching because they want to keep the animals alive. They allow hunting. They allow photography. That is the way to save wildlife."

And it's worked.

But Judy Mills, Conservation International's wildlife trade advisor says that farming tigers won't necessarily stop poaching.

"Bears are farmed in China. There is more than enough bear bile to go around to the whole of China. [But] wild bears are still being poached for their gall bladders."

And this is true. It's impossible to stop all poaching. Rhinos too are still being poached. But their numbers have steadily grown since farming began in Africa.

"There are a lot more rhinos alive on private land where there were no rhinos 50 years ago, 40 years ago," said Child.

Right now in China, thousands of tigers survive only because some tiger farms protect them. About a dozen farms are currently breeding tigers, and their owners hope that next year the Chinese government will lift its ban on tiger sales.

Gabriel believes that would be a disaster for wild tigers. She says it's expensive to raise farmed tigers, and legalizing the sale of tiger parts would just increase poaching.

"If you allow farmed tigers to be traded on the market, you're going to restimulate demand," she said. "You're going to undermine over a decade of conservation work to reduce demand."

But Anderson says "that's a silly idea."

"It ignores what supply and demand is all about," he said. "Legalizing trade is not going to increase the demand. Farming is a way to take the pressu
re off of those wild tigers."

Farming Animals to Save Them: 'Magical Thinking'

So who's right?

"Let me tell you about a survey that we did recently in China, which showed that 90 percent of Chinese people actually support the ban," said Mills. "They support the ban, and they see the greater good in keeping the ban in place."

But many of the same people who supported the ban also admitted to having products made from tiger bone.

Gabriel says we need more time to educate the Chinese consumer, that "we haven't had a lot of time to work at all the steps" to reduce the demand in China for tiger products.

But how long can we wait? Mills claims the ban has worked in America, where it's illegal now even to sell medicines that pretend to contain tiger parts. But even in relatively law-abiding America, we easily found these products in New York City's Chinatown neighborhood that used images of tigers to promote sales.

Nonetheless, Mills says, "The bans have worked tremendously. By my calculations, more than 2,000 tigers are still alive in the wild today because of the ban."

But thousands more have vanished because people aren't allowed to own and sell tigers. It's quite the conceit that a few conservation groups think a government decree can get a billion-plus people to just change their culture.

"The demand is there by people for thousands of years who have felt that this is a useful medicinal product for them," said Anderson. "That isn't going away."

So it makes sense that farming tigers will meet that demand. But Judy Mills disagrees.

"Believing that farming tigers and reopening trade in their products will somehow save wild tigers is magical thinking," she said.

Magical thinking? No. Anderson says farming has already worked with elephants in Botswana, rhinos in southern Africa, and the bison in America. He believes it will work again with tigers in China.

"If we make animals a marketable product," said Anderson, "they will be saved. "

Copyright © 2009 ABC News Internet Ventures


--
For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org


Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

Free ways to join us and help the big cats:

Twitter:  Follow Me and be invited to enter our Animal Lover's Dream Vacation Giveaway!  http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.