Born Free USA's International Wildlife Campaign
RICKY GERVAIS SAYS: Keep Wildlife in the Wild
"I believe wildlife belongs in the wild because bears deserve to live - not needlessly be killed for their gallbladders and bile to create traditional Asian medicines and toiletries. There are synthetic alternatives to using bear parts, as well as dozens of herbal substitutes that would still conform to traditional Chinese medicinal practices." — Ricky Gervais, actor
ISSUE: Animals Mercilessly Exploited Worldwide
Lions, epitomized by the image of Elsa, the legendary subject of the film "Born Free," are special to Born Free USA. They truly represent the wild world and, like countless other wild animal species, they need our help.
Lions have been in the news a lot this year. In January, a restaurant in Tucson, Ariz., announced it was going to serve lion tacos. After receiving a deluge of complaints — including from our team members — that gimmick was abandoned. Soon after, we heard a café in Sacramento, Calif., was frying up lion burgers. Born Free USA is on the front lines fighting to protect lions. In March, a coalition of animal-protection groups petitioned to have the African lion listed as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act. So far there's been no ruling on that petition, but we are very hopeful.
Meanwhile, across America, black bears are slaughtered for their gallbladders and paws. Born Free USA has lobbied consistently for a federal prohibition on such bear parts trade, and today is poised for victory in the New York Legislature, which is considering restricting the bear gallbladder and bile trade.
We're also involved in a campaign to end the trade in “bushmeat,” which involves the killing of wild animals — from antelopes to chimpanzees — for their flesh, and legislation to outlaw the barbaric shark-fin trade.
On the plains of Africa, elephants are slaughtered for their ivory and their meat. In Asia, endangered Asiatic black bears are kept in tiny metal cages for their bile to be extracted for traditional medicine, and tigers are bred in commercial "farms" to be slaughtered for their bones, teeth and skins. Across the globe, wildlife is slaughtered to satisfy seemingly insatiable human greed; many of these species are endangered, some on the brink of extinction. The illegal wildlife trade is thought to be second only to the drug trade in profitability.
Born Free USA wants to stop the slaughter of wildlife for their body parts and products made from them. Help us stamp out the illegal wildlife trade.
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WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
- Become an ecotourist: Wild animals are worth more alive than dead. "Photo safaris" or whale-watching expeditions can be arranged with great sensitivity toward wildlife. Local people and wildlife benefit.
- Do not buy any wildlife products, such as sea turtle shell or elephant ivory, when you take your summer vacation to exotic destinations.
- Report anyone in your community who you know is selling wildlife parts or products illegally. (Contact Born Free USA and we'll help you identify the right authorities to submit your complaint.)
- Resist ordering "exotic" animal foods in restaurants — and tell the restaurant owners that you strongly object to such menu items.
- Stay tuned as Born Free USA keeps you updated, via Action Alerts and our website's Wildlife Trade page, on news and legislation involving the international trade of wildlife.
- Family activity: No lions on the grill! Make veggie tacos or grill veggie burgers!
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SHOP: Support Born Free USA today!
- Check out our Plush Animal Collection! Adopt Honey the Bear and you will be supporting our efforts to stop the poaching of bears and the international trade of their gallbladders and paws.
- Contribute to our efforts in the field, which help protect wolves, parrots, dolphins and other embattled species.
- Donate now! Countries with wildlife that are under intense pressure from poaching and illegal trade need your help.
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One of the best actions you can take for the animals is to become a Born Free USA Member »