Monday, November 16, 2015

The Elephant In The Room from Today!

First things First this week, here is a message from Arnold:

Being an action hero in movies is fantastic. I get to take on the bad guys, and no matter how terrible things get, I always win in the end.

But in real life, beating the bad guys isn't always guaranteed. And for elephants, there's no promise of a happy ending. That's something we have to fight for together. Will you help?

Right now, Africa's elephants are being slaughtered by poachers for their ivory. And here in America, legislators are considering a bill that would block all efforts to halt the ivory trade. Crazy, right?

Be a hero today. Take one minute to send your letter to Congress. Tell your lawmakers to stand for elephants and defend the ivory ban against all attacks.

Take a look at where I stand:

Which Big Cat Are You?

Listen, the issue here is that some members of Congress have introduced language into the annual funding bill that would stop the government from restricting the sale of ivory.

This would take us back to the rules that couldn't stop 100,000 African elephants from being killed for their ivory between 2010 and 2012 – that's 96 elephants per day. It would stop the U.S. government from using any new methods or technology to determine whether elephant ivory was imported legally. It's not just going back in time – it's destroying the future for elephants.

Poachers and ivory smugglers are real-life villains, and we cannot let them win. Be a hero for elephants today.

Tell your lawmakers to TERMINATE this attempt to stop the ivory ban.

You can tell them Schwarzenegger sent you. And if they don't like it, they can take it up with me.

Sincerely,


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USDA - NO RENEWAL OF HUGO LIEBEL'S LICENSE ALLOWING HIM TO USE NOSEY/TINY FOR PERFORMANCES AND RIDES IN HIS CIRCUS OR ELSEWHERE!!
TARGET: TOM VILSACK, SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, USDA

We've got 2,038 supporters, help us get to 3,000, Click here to help get to that threshold.

We, the general public and advocates for Nosey aka Tiny aka Peanut aka Dumbo (yes Hugo Liebel uses all of those names) an African elephant captive and owned by one Hugo Liebel aka Hugo Bloom aka Tomi Liebel aka Tommy Liebel demand that the USDA revoke the license of the above-mentioned (currently USDA License No. 58-C-0288) when due for renewal in January 2016. 

You, the USDA, have received countless emails, videos, letters and telephone calls regarding the plight of this poor ailing elephant. 30+ years she has been performing and giving rides with the Liebels Family Circus aka Liebeling Brothers Circus aka The Great American Family Circus aka Florida State Family Circus. 

You, the USDA, have cited over 200 times, the above-mentioned for their poor treatment and care of Nosey and other animals in their ownership. 
Nosey (or by whatever of the above-mentioned names) suffers from severe arthritis, degenerative joint disease causing impaired limb movement. Her pain is exacerbated by the countless rides she gives before and after each performance. During her circus performances she is made to crawl across the ring on her “knees”. In her performances she is made to stand on hind legs performing various tricks and also carries members of the Liebel circus troupe via a swing hanging from her tusks. She is made to carry another member on her back, who performs acrobatic stunts on and from her back. Elephants’ spines grown upwards, not flat, so are not presented in a way to take the constant pressure of a chair or acrobatics performed over such. 

As the USDA, are aware Dr. P. Ensley has already provided yourselves with his assessment of Nosey in March 2014 and this further assessment was sent to you in June 23, 2015 :

“Nosey is a crippled female African elephant sanctioned by USDA/APHIS to be kept in circus chains her entire life under the fear of the bull hook, guide or whatever you want to call it. USDA/APHIS must correct this longstanding injustice, stop their lip service, grant Nosey her freedom, take away the pain, and revoke their agency's permit which serves only to prolong her suffering." – Philip K. Ensley, DVM, Dipl. ACZM”

Nosey spends her time between venues in a rusty and unclean cramped trailer with tools and equipment behind and alongside her, restricting any possible movement. Her skin is visibly dry and cracked, especially noticeable on her forehead, when she is not wearing a headdress to cover it. She has an ongoing eye condition, again visible to those seeing her up close. 

Nosey’s evident lameness is not just a reminder to us all how painful it is for her to continue performing and giving rides, but also a valid warning. When watching her falter, almost stumble, with people on her back, mainly children too... that they could easily, if she fell, be injured, maimed, crushed or even killed under her weight. This is a tragedy waiting to happen. 

We are bringing to your attention that elephants in captive situations show the inherent bobbing and swaying aka “weaving” which is known as stereotypic behaviour. Wild elephants don’t develop this behaviour as they are constantly stimulated by their natural surroundings and life with the herd. This behaviour in captivity is born of stress, trauma, boredom, frustration and desolation and although prevalent in lone elephants, is also seen with groups of captives, as by being chained, they are unable to reach social stimuli in their group, i.e., touching and body movement. Once a captive elephant reaches the point of stereotypic behaviour, which again can be shown in swaying/weaving, bobbing, lifting and lowering legs, swaying of the trunk and circling of the head, they have literally reached the point of no return. It has been noted that Nosey is experiencing such motions and video evidence can be seen to prove such, especially over the last few months. It is known that although stereotypic behaviour isn’t directly harmful to Nosey, in the long term the continual rocking motion will be detrimental to her already arthritic joints and cause further pressure pain to the soles of her feet and her toenails. 

We are signing this petition in the hope that you, the USDA, stand firm this year end, and revoke Hugo Liebel’s License to allow Nosey to continue performing and giving rides.  NOW is the time for her to retire and hopefully be given over to a sanctuary where she can see the remaining years of her life with her own kind.

Stop Zoo Imports of Wild African Elephants -- Take Action.
Swaziland elephantThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced plans to import 18 African elephants, torn from the wild in Swaziland, to serve a life of captivity in American zoos. But the southern African country only has 39 elephants in total -- so the proposal will cut the nation's elephant population by nearly half.

This is preposterous, and we can't let it go one step further. At a time when African elephant populations are plummeting due to the ivory trade, stripping live elephants from the wild for display in the United States fails to reinforce the reality that conservation -- not trade -- is what elephants desperately need.

Act now to urge the Service to abandon its woeful import plan. It's time to raise a ruckus and encourage the agency to keep the "wild" in wildlife.


IFAW Elephants Program Trailer.
A Soldier Saved a Cat, and the Cat Saved Him Right Back. What got Staff Sgt. Jesse Knott through the stress of serving in Afghanistan? Not what, but who–Kashka, to be exact.  The stray cat “pulled” the soldier out of one of his “darkest times.” And when Knott’s tour ended? He returned the favor, arranging for Kashka to come home with him and live out his years as a beloved family member. Learn all about their inspiring story in this heartwarming video.

Meet our (The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust) newest arrival. Rescued yesterday, this little bull elephant was struggling to free himself from thick mud in Tsavo East National Park. Our rescue team were on hand to safely transport the elephant orphan to our Nairobi Nursery - the total number of babies at the Nursery is now 37. Our newest arrival has not yet been named, however we will keep you updated on his condition over the next few days.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust's photo.
Please, if you can, consider donating towards the care of our newest arrival. With so many orphans, these are testing times for us, but with your support we can provide the very best care possible to each orphan. Thank you: http://www.dswt.org/donate.

After Years in the Logging Industry, Rescued Elephant Makes New Friends at Sanctuary Home. Asian elephants, like their African cousins, are in serious trouble. Deforestation and poaching have taken a serious toll on their populations and in much of Asia, wild elephants are a rare sight.  There are many elephants living as “domestic” animals who were captured from the wild and forced to work in tourism and the illegal logging trade. Needless to say, this is hardly the kind of life that an elephant deserves. But luckily, Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary is working to put an end to this exploitation by rescuing elephants from these abusive situations and giving them the chance at a second life. At the sanctuary, elephants are never expected to entertain guests or haul heavy objects, rather they are free to roam and live life as nature intended.

Elephants are extremely social animals, so when they get the chance to live amongst others in the freedom of the sanctuary, it is always an incredible treat. Just look at how Boon Lott’s newest arrival Permpoon reacts to meeting the rescued herd!


This gentle old girl was rescued from the logging industry. Despite injuries on her head and legs, she seemed eager to meet the other resident elephants.

boon lot elephant newcomer enters grazing area
This group of female elephants are lovingly referred to as the “gossip girls.” Elephants live in matriarchal societies, so when Boon Thong, one of the gossip girls “leaders” extended her trunk to Permpoon, it was a sure sign that she’d fit in just fine!
boon lot elephants gossip girls welcome newcomer
Permpoon was so pleased to meet her new friends!

boon lot elephants greet each other
In no time at all, Permpoon and Boon Thong hit it off.

boon lot elephants welcome trunk
Soon they were standing next to each other, purring and grazing, enjoying the day.

boon lot elephant old ladies hanging out
Like people, elephants form deep bonds with their friends and family. Although Permpoon may have experienced horrible trauma in her former life, there is no doubt that with her new friends by her side, that all will soon be a distant memory.
Boon lot elephants permpoon and boon thong following
To learn more about Boon Lott’s and the amazing work they do rescuing elephants, check out their website here. All image source: Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary/Facebook.

Beautiful 3-Legged Rescued Elephant Proves ‘Broken’ is Just a Mindset.

I must stay, we animals are pretty tough. No matter what life throws in our way, we always find a way to pick ourselves up and learn to smile again. We know how fun and awesome the world is and even in the worst of circumstances, we know how to see the silver lining and appreciate the little things in life.

I’ve seen lots of animals who have been through some really sad things, either because they got in an accident or humans were mean to them, but even no matter what, when they finally get the chance to live happy, healthy lives – they don’t dwell on their past, but rather spend every day making the best of every single situation.

Just take Mosha the elephant for example. She accidentally stepped on a landmine when she was a baby and lost her front leg. Most people think that elephants can’t live on only three legs because they’re so heavy, elephants with three legs are in some way “broken.” But the kind people who rescued Mosha knew that this brave girl wanted to live and joy her life, so they helped her … and look at her now!
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She might not be like other elephants in her appearance, but in her spirit and zest for life, she’s no different at all! Anything is possible if you’ve got the right attitude. So next time you think all the odds are stacked against you and you’ll never overcome what you’re facing, take a page from us animals and remember, the world is a pretty amazing place if you let it be! All image source: FAEmosha/Facebook.

Baby Tusuja is rescued.
….the trailer was backed up against a wall and placed under parking shelter as it had begun to rain. The calf was raised to his feet so he would not be recumbent throughout the night. To everyone’s amazement, despite the trailers high sides, the calf managed to clamber out over the side during the night and jump to freedom; in the morning he was nowhere to be seen!… read more: www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org. www.facebook.com/the dswt.

Rangers who poison elephants should be fired and jailed.

TARGET: Oppah Muchinguri, minister of Environment, Water and Climate Management, Zimbabwe; Mr. E. Chidziya, Director General of the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority; Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe 

Rangers who poison elephants should be fired and jailed
We've got 97,793 supporters, help us get to 100,000 by November 26, 2015.

Overview Petition
Update #2 13 days ago ▾
Latest news from Zimbabwe, courtesy friendsofhwange.com: "certain parks staff" (no number given) connected to poisoning of 11 elephants in the park's Main Camp area have been apprehended, and three parks staff members have been arrested in connection with ivory intercepted at Harare International Airport. Investigations continue.

Update #1 15 days ago ▾.
II will report any new information, as far as what the investigation finds out. Many have commented that losing their jobs is not enough punishment. I totally agree and said as much. And to the one signer who said I am "poisoning" the world against the rangers before they are found guilty, I want you to know that one source I read said the rangers DEFINITELY did this horrible thing. But until there is credible proof, I worded the petition this way.

About This Petition
Twenty-two dead elephants were discovered Oct. 26 in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park, many with their heads hacked off. It appears the elephants died from cyanide poisoning--possibly administered by disgruntled park rangers. Wildlife officials are currently investigating.

If it is determined that any rangers killed the elephants, they should immediately lose their jobs and face criminal charges, and lengthy, mandatory imprisonment upon conviction. It is absolutely unbelievable and totally unacceptable that people charged with protecting the elephants would kill them.

Evidently the rangers are angry about being paid late, not being reimbursed for some of their costs and not receiving the same allowances for their children's educations that senior park officials do. But there are many other ways these rangers could express their dissatisfaction outside of killing the elephants.

The cyanide, believed to have been obtained from illegal gold mining, was hidden in salt licks, oranges and water holes. The poison is also affecting other animals that use the water holes and salt licks and feed on the elephant carcasses.

This brings to about 62 the number of elephants killed in Zimbabwe during the past month, almost half of which died in Hwange Park. Although some will blame ivory poaching for this horrific slaughter, the 22 elephants just found included babies too young to grow tusks.

Please sign this petition telling Zimbabwe officials to do everything they can to protect their elephants and punish these rangers if they are found guilty.

Help Free Kaavan, the Sick Zoo Elephant Who’s Been Alone in Chains For 28 Years!

In 1985, a one-year-old Asian elephant named Kaavan was torn away from his mother in Sri Lanka and taken to Pakistan’s  Islamabad Zoo. Locked away in a concrete enclosure, all four of his legs were chained up so that he could barely move. This would be his life for the next 28 years…

Today, Kaavan is still in chains and to visitors he is a sorry and solitary sight. Still living in chains, he rarely moves. In fact, the only thing on him that moves is his head bobbing which bobs from side to side, a stereotypical behavior known as ”weaving” adopted by elephants in response to depression and despair. The chains he’s been entangled in for the last three decades have left both mental and physical scars. Worst of all, the deep gashes on his feet caused by the heavy chains have left him susceptible to the fatal gangrene, and unless action is taken now to help free him, he will surely die.

Forbidden Freedom
In the wild, elephants can roam up to 30 miles a day. They are extremely emotional and social animals that form strong bonds with other elephants and spend most of their life in family herds. The only time you’ll hear of a solitary elephant is one who lives in a zoo, like Kaavan for example. At the Islamabad Zoo, Kaavan is robbed of anything natural to him. Love, comfort, friendship and freedom – they’ve all been stolen from him.

For the last 28 years, Kaavan’s been living in a tiny enclosure that is nothing more than a length of grass with a small, filthy pond. Rather than moving 30 miles on any given day, Kaavan is lucky to move 30 steps. He has also been all alone since the death of his one companion Saheli in 2012, who is believed to have passed away due to gangrene and neglect, the same threat Kaavan now faces.
Kaavan
Kaavan has also shown signs of aggression which the zoo blames on the absence of his former partner, Saheli. More likely, it’s the never ending boredom and loneliness that have led to these angry outbursts.  Can you even imagine how it would feel to have all of your legs tied up in chains, every single day? Surely, it would drive us all crazy.

So much has been taken from Kaavan already. If he stays at this zoo for much longer, they’ll take away the most important thing of all: his life.

One Voice Can Save a Life
Sadly, so much animal cruelty is a result of human actions but at the same time, it’s at the hands of humans that animal cruelty is reduced. One individual comes to mind.

In the summer of 2015, a tourist named Samar Khan was left so outraged and saddened after seeing the lonely elephant at the Islamabad Zoo; she started a petition requesting the Zoo and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to release Kaavan to a sanctuary. Khan said the poor elephant barely moved and just stood in one spot, with his head swaying from side to side. At first she thought he’d been drugged but after researching, she realized that this head bobbing was just another indicator of the psychological trauma this elephant had endured.

This is a zoo that attracts over one million visitors every year and it’s hard to imagine how many people have passed Kaavan’s enclosure without a second thought. Samar Khan, on the other hand, wasn’t going to be another passerby.

Thanks to this petition, over 365,000 animal lovers throughout the world have so far sent messages to both the zoo and the CDA urging them to release Kaavan. While this global pressure didn’t strike the results they’d hoped for, it did result in the government ordering the zoo to remove his chains. But a visit to the zoo made by The Express Tribune showed that he was not completely unchained. Two of his legs were still in chains. Nevertheless, with the continuing global outcry for Kaavan, there is hope that someday he’ll be completely free.


This tourist was the voice Kaavan needed and sets an example to us all that standing up for what’s right can bring about amazing results. Together, we can make an even bigger change.
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Kaavan’s Life is in Our Hands – Will You Help Him?
After living in solitary confinement for 28 years, Kaavan is now suffering from a range of health issues – both mental and physical. While the zoo claims he is fine and happy in his barren enclosure, this is clearly untrue. We need to help him before gangrene and neglect take his life.

Sign this petition today to help free Kaavan and share it on your social media pages to spread the word. Let’s gather as many signatures as we can! To help even further, send an email to these Pakistani agencies urging them to release him to a sanctuary:

CDA email: chairman@cda.gov.pk

Prime Minister’s office: betterpakistan@gmail.com

Pakistan Embassy: info@embassyofpakistanusa.org

Your voice matters.


Lead image: Samar Khan/Tribune
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Our new 2015 fostering video. The success of Wendi and her wild born baby Wiva and a record number of babies in the Nursery today. Please help support us this holiday season by fostering an orphaned elephant so that we can be there for these survivors.
Foster an orphan elephant at: http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org...