Have your say about the Seattle Parks zoo assignment

Woodland Park Zoo Elephant logo

Very soon, a new Seattle City Council Chair of Parks will be selected. The Parks Chair oversees Woodland Park Zoo. Bamboo, Chai and Watoto are the three elephants who have lived 45, 33 and 43 years, respectively, on display at the Zoo. They need a council member who is concerned about their welfare to be the next Parks Chair.

Please ask Sally Clark (City Council President), Ed Murray (the Mayor-elect) and the other City Council members to choose a City Council member who will work with the Zoo to retire the elephants to a sanctuary in a warmer climate with hundreds of acres to roam.

Contacts:
mayoraltransition@seattle.gov
Sally.Clark@seattle.gov
Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov
Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov
Richard.Conlin@seattle.gov
Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov
Nick.Licata@seattle.gov
Tom.Rasmussen@seattle.gov
Mike.OBrien@seattle.gov

What you might want to know:

The Zoo-appointed Task Force’s recommendations should not be used to determine the elephants’ fate. Their bias was clear, with 5 out of the 14 being current or former Zoo Board members and many others having a clear conflict of interest. The Zoo Board will make their decision about Bamboo, Chai and Watoto’s future early next year.

Friends of WPZ Elephants commissioned a survey using Research Now, an independent research company. The findings debunk the Zoo’s cherished catchphrase and the Task Force’s justification for keeping the elephants: That seeing an elephant will inspire people “to learn, care and act to help conserve elephants and their habitats in the wild.”

NOT SO—NOT EVEN CLOSE:

  • 97% of survey respondents knew about elephant poaching for their ivory. They learned about this crisis from print and media—not from Woodland Park Zoo.
  • 88% of people who saw the elephants at the Zoo didn’t change to whom they donate or products that they buy.

Our wet and cold climate is wrong for elephants. It forces Bamboo, Chai and Watoto to be locked up in a tiny, barren stall for 16 to 17 hours a day for over half of the year. It’s like you being locked up in a broom closet.
Watoto in a box

Please write a polite email asking for the new Parks Chair to be someone who will work with Woodland Park Zoo to retire Bamboo, Chai and Watoto to a sanctuary so they may have a humane quality of life.

Thanks so much,
Nancy Pennington and Alyne Fortgang
Co-founder, Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants
A NARN Campaign
206-595-7770

Please join us on Facebook

Spaceless in Seattle — heartbreak at Woodland Park Zoo

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Billy the chimpanzee featured on Chelsea Lately

EOA_take_action

Many of you might have seen that a chimpanzee named Billy was on the show Chelsea Lately last week. Billy was seen rocking and showing his top teeth–a clear sign of distress. The show said they would have Billy back the next night, and despite hearing from thousands of people to please not air Billy again, they went ahead with the segment anyway.

We want to continue to put pressure on the show and on Chelsea Handler, the host of the show. Not only are there numerous welfare concerns, but seeing chimpanzees alongside humans perpetuates the pet trade.

Studies also show that since chimpanzees are so prevalent in media, people aren’t aware of their endangered status. Please speak up for Billy and all chimpanzees still used in entertainment and ask Chelsea to issue a mea culpa about Billy’s appearance and promise to never use apes on her production again.

Please send a polite letter to her, c/o Tom Brunelle, letting her know that chimps like Billy should not be used in entertainment.

You may send your letter to Chelsea Handler c/o Tom Brunelle at tom@borderlineamazing.com

Sample Letter to Chelsea Lately:

[Date]
Dear Ms. Handler:

I was disappointed to hear that Chelsea Lately had Billy the chimpanzee on the show, and despite hearing from concerned advocates, aired a second appearance by Billy. You should know that great apes used in entertainment are torn away from their mothers as infants, often repeatedly beaten during training, and then discarded when they become too strong to be managed.

Using a chimpanzee for a cheap laugh sends the message that these amazing beings are simply props. Surely you are aware that chimpanzees are endangered species in critical need of protection?

Please make the compassionate decision to issue a mea culpa for airing Billy’s segments two nights in a row, and pledge to never exploit great apes for entertainment purposes again. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.

Sincerely,
[Your name here]
[Your city & state]

If you send an e-mail to Chelsea, please BCC Eyes on Apes at EyesOnApes@ChimpsNW.org for tracking purposes. Thank you!

~reposted on behalf of Eyes on Apes~

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Please Protest Local Donkey Basketball

 

The Anacortes Middle School is having a donkey basketball event as a fundraiser on January 18th. PEOPLE can volunteer for sports, but animals are forced to participate. In donkey basketball events, the donkeys are forced to carry people far too big and heavy for them, have their tender mouths jerked around, and are kicked and often hit, as well as shouted at by teenagers who care more about winning the game than hurting the donkeys. The donkeys are dragged from school to school and are usually not even given food and water beforehand so that they don’t have “accidents” during the games. The deprivation, constant travel, unfamiliar surroundings, loud noise, and rough handling are extremely stressful for them. They often develop unpredictable temperaments and have been known to lash out in frustration or fear, causing injury to participants or bystanders (who, if they are there supporting such a method of fundraising, totally deserve it).

Allowing animals to be brutalized for entertainment ANYWHERE desensitizes young people to animal suffering and reinforces the already way-too-prevalent belief that there is no good reason to be considerate of animals. They should not have to pay the price at school fundraisers. There are LOADS of humane and fun ways to raise school funds.

This was brought to our attention by activist Deanna Devaul in Mount Vernon, who has asked for our help. PLEASE take 10 minutes and write a real paper letter (four, pls!) to the following people (can be the same for each one), whose reactions to Deanna’s concerns have varied from indifferent to unpleasant. A call would always be great ALSO. Schools ALL OVER THE COUNTRY cancel donkey basketball ALL THE TIME; let’s shut this one down, too. THANK YOU!



CONTACT INFO:

Rick Durfee, Eagles President
901 7th Street
Anacortes, WA  98221
Tel - (360)293-3012

Patrick Herrington, Principal
Mark Perkins, Assistant Principal
Chris Crane, Activities Director
Anacortes Middle School
2202 M Avenue
Anacortes, WA  98221
Tel - (360)293-1230

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Michigan: Lie, Cheat and Steal Your Way to Wolf Hunting

In December of last year, Michigan state politicians rushed a ‘lame duck’ bill through the House and Senate designating wolves a “game” species (i.e., an animal that can be hunted) and authorizing an open season on wolves. Governor Snyder signed it into law. It was already legal to kill wolves in order to protect dogs or livestock, and there is no scientific reason to hunt and trap them — the ONLY reason is for the “fun” of a small minority of hunters evidently lacking the gene responsible for empathy.

However, as you may remember reading here earlier this year, a coalition of different groups and citizens called Keep Michigan’s Wolves Protected quickly collected far more signatures than were necessary to put the issue of whether to allow wolf hunting on the November ballot. This meant that the citizens — not the politicians or a few wealthy special-interest groups — would decide the fate of the 650-odd wolves in the state. Michigan politicians responded by quickly passing another law giving the Natural Resources Commission the authority to designate wolves (and any other animals) “game animals”. Because the NRC is a regulatory body and not a legislative one, Michigan voters would be powerless to reverse their decisions.

Keep Michigan Wolves Protected is currently circulating a petition (unfortunately only for Michigan voters, but here is the link in case you know anyone there: http://keepwolvesprotected.com/sign) to place a referendum of this new law on the ballot. Last week, reporter John Barnes and a team of other investigative reporters from the state’s top newspapers blew the whistle on a conspiracy hatched by a lying farmer, state lawmakers, and the state Department of Natural Resources. The director of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, Jill Fritz (also HSUS’ state director) has asked Governor Rick Snyder to block the hunt scheduled to begin November 15th, since its entire rationale was corrupt, based on fabricated reports of wolves hanging around a daycare center and appearing in people’s back yards, and incidents of wolf depredation on a single farm whose owner baited the wolves to begin with, for the sake of financial reimbursement. In addition, after soliciting public feedback on the wolf hunt, the Natural Resources Commission ignored and deleted more TEN THOUSAND of the anti-hunting emails they received.

Does this corruption shock you? It shouldn’t. These are people who want to subject wolves to the prolonged and atrocious suffering caused by shooting, bowhunting and trapping. What is lying, cheating and stealing compared to that?

 

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TELL AQUARIUMS THEIR DIRTY SECRET IS OUT

There are 50 marine parks in Japan, housing about FIVE HUNDRED dolphins, almost all captured during violent and deadly drive hunts. Many of these Japanese dolphinariums are members of JAZA, the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The infamous Taiji Whale Museum, which has become the Japanese brokering facility for dolphins captured during the drive hunt, is a member of JAZA. So are numerous other Japanese dolphinariums that take advantage of the dolphin massacres to obtain dolphins.Thus, JAZA members keep the brutal dolphin hunt alive by doing business with the dolphin killers, This should not come as any surprise to you, since zoos and aquariums rarely act FOR animals, but it may surprise you that already in 2005, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) issued a statement entitled “WAZA Members not to Purchase Dolphins from Drive Fisheries”. It opposed the Japanese dolphin hunt in no uncertain terms, instructing its members to “adhere to the WAZA Code of Ethics and Animal Welfare [ha!] and to ensure that they do not accept animals obtained by the use of methods which are inherently cruel.” The statement continues: “In a resolution adopted at the WAZA …it was clearly stated that the catching of dolphins by the use of a method known as “drive fishing” is considered an example of such a non acceptable capture method.”

On its website, WAZA says: “All members of the WAZA Network are obliged to comply with WAZA’s Code of Ethics and Animal Welfare.” And: “Failure to satisfy or adhere to the Bylaws, Code of Ethics and all other rules and regulations shall be sufficient cause for suspension or denial of membership.”

And yet, WAZA welcomes JAZA, its Japanese counterpart, as an association member. 

So…WAZA has the power to document, expose and stop the world’s largest dolphin slaughter. More than 600 million people walk through the gates of the WAZA Network each year; ALL of them could be reached with a message to stop the dolphin slaughter. After all, the world’s dolphinariums claim that they capture and confine dolphins in order to educate the public to the various threats that dolphins face in nature. If the world’s largest network of zoos and aquariums is not going to educate the public to the largest slaughter of dolphins in the world – then W T F  ARE they doing??

(This entire issue does not even take into account that the conditions for dolphins in many of the ‘accredited’ marine parks are so dreadful as to be a living death.)

So while WAZA’s actions — or lack of action — may not surprise you, it WILL surprise them to get a flood of letters from angry and disgusted people who know what is going on. Please, be one of them.

Dr. Gerald Dick, Executive Director
World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
IUCN Conservation Centre
Rue Mauverney 28
CH-1196 Gland
Switzerland
fax: +41 (0)22 999 07 91
online contact form

SAMPLE LETTER

Dr. Dick:

I am asking you to take action against those member aquariums of WAZA that continue to purchase dolphins and small whales that are caught in dolphin drive hunts such as the one in Taiji, Japan. According to your own statements, these aquariums should be expelled from WAZA, including member groups of JAZA, the regional association member of WAZA.

As you very well know but choose to overlook, hundreds, if not thousands, of dolphins are ruthlessly slaughtered each year in these barbaric hunts. Despite their grandiose claims, aquariums and dolphin brokers actually HELP the dolphin killers in their work, paying the fishermen high prices for a few live dolphins, and condemning the rest to horrific deaths. Thus WAZA and the world aquarium industry subsidizes the killing of dolphins in Taiji. Please take steps now to end the hunts. Because you can.

Sincerely,

 

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URGENT: CONTACT THE US FISH&WILDLIFE SERVICE RE WOLVES

It was not many decades ago that America’s wolves had been hunted and trapped to the brink of extinction. Even now, the estimated 6,000 remaining wolves occupy less than 5% of their historic range, yet the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has already announced plans to remove all federal protection from them, stripping them of endangered species protection in the lower 48 states and turning management over to the individual states  – most of which consider trapping, hounding and aerial gunning perfectly acceptable. This plan to delist wolves would allow increased hunting quotas driven by political pressure from trophy-hunters, trapping organizations, and ranchers.

The US Fish & Wildlife Service is now accepting public comments on this proposal. We ask you to send yours TODAY, and ask them NOT to remove federal protection from wolves:

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Kent and Everett circus wrap-up

The circus has come and gone, and we’d like to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone who came out to the demos and helped in any way. Your presence in Kent and Everett sends a strong message that we won’t tolerate animal abuse of any kind–and when we see it, we speak up!

circus demo collage

The demos couldn’t happen without you. We know you could have done something else with your time, but you chose to speak up for animals. Being part of a protest isn’t easy. Thank you for stepping out of your comfort zones to help educate circus-goers. The signs you made were terrific, and your pleasant demeanors helped to open minds and change attitudes.

As activists, we sow seeds, but we don’t always see the fruits of our labor. Here are a few examples of how the demos are helping:

  • One woman’s kids never want to go to an animal circus again–because of the comic book they received.
  • In Everett, a woman whose friend invited her to the circus said she’d never considered what happens to the animals. She didn’t want to go to the circus, but the tickets were purchased. Next year, she won’t go.
  • After seeing the circus, a woman escorting some disabled adults said she was upset at what she saw and that what was happening to the elephants wasn’t right. She took some literature and will talk to her boss about finding something different for her clients to do next year.
  • At the Kent demo, some little girls told a protestor that they didn’t want to go to the circus because they had seen “An apology to elephants” on HBO but that their mom was making them go. They took literature so they could talk to their friends about why animal circuses were bad.
  • Another woman, after receiving a flyer, promised not to come back next year. She thought her kids would like it but realized that animal circuses are depressing and don’t send kids the right message.
  • One man, whose kids had their activist coloring books confiscated by circus security on the way in, turned around and declared that they were going to see a movie instead.

Thank you for making a difference. Whether you’re a seasoned activist or brand new at this, you were an important part of the demos. We loved seeing familiar faces and meeting new people.

Kent Friday demo

Kent Thurs demo

Everett Thursday demo

Everett Saturday demo

Everett Saturday 2 demo

Thank you all!!

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Join us at the circus demos in Everett

If you hate this:

Ringling elephants

then come and do this:

Kent circus demo

We just wrapped up four days of demos in Kent (seven shows in all), and we’re heading to Everett for another four days to educate circus-goers about what really goes on behind the scenes of the Ringling Bros. Circus.

For info on what Ringling does to animals, see: http://www.ringlingbeatsanimals.com.

We will have signs, leaflets, banners…we just need YOU!

You are also welcome to bring your own sign – be creative!  It shows that individuals, not just animal rights groups are concerned about circus cruelty.

Demos start an hour and a half before each show time. Come to one or come to all! We’d love to have you join us:

Thursday the 10th at 6:00 pm
Friday the 11th at 6:00 pm
Saturday the 12th at 10:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 6:00 pm
Sunday the 13th at 11:30 am and 3:30 pm

Meet at the corner of Hewitt & Oakes.

For directions, more info, or to RSVP, see the Facebook event.

 

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Come protest the circus with us!

Ringling is bringing the Cruelest Show on Earth to Kent, and NARN will be there to educate circus goers about what really goes on  behind the scenes. For info on what Ringling does to animals, see: http://www.ringlingbeatsanimals.com.

circus

We have signs, leaflets, banners–we just need YOU!

You’re welcome to bring your own sign. Be creative! It shows that individuals, not just animal rights groups, are concerned about circus cruelty. Demos start an hour and a half before each show time. We will be right along the front of Showare Center on West James Street–you’ll see us there!

Times:
Thurs, Oct. 3rd from 6:00-7:30 pm
Fri, Oct. 4th from 6:00-7:30 pm
Sat, Oct. 5th (3 shows) from 10:00-11:30 am, 2:00-3:30 pm and 6:00-7:30 pm
Sun, Oct. 6th (2 shows) from 11:30 am-1:00 pm and 3:30-5:00pm

If you have questions about the demos, contact info@narn.org. For more info or to RSVP, check out the Facebook event.

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Unglamour shots: Posing with wild animals

What’s wrong with this picture?

cougar

Five points if you said my mullet! Ten if you said the lion cub in my lap.

As a teenager in the 80s, I thought nothing of this. I was in the mall with my brother, a makeshift studio was set up in a corner of an open area, and I got to pick which baby animal I wanted to pose with.

I never thought to question the obvious: Where is this cub’s mother? Why is he being carted around from mall to mall for photos instead of being in his natural environment? Is there a danger to humans? What will happen to him when he’s too big and unruly to be cuddly?

Sadly, animals like this are still being exploited in malls, fairs, and at roadside zoos, and yes, you too can pay for a photo op.

When these babies are too big, they end up at shoddy roadside zoos, in the pet trade, in canned hunts, or killed for their meat.

The best thing you can do is never pay for a picture with a wild animal. The Humane Society has a campaign against primates, tigers, lions, and bears being used in photo sessions. These sessions with the public fuel the exotic pet trade, puts animals at risk, and endangers the public.

Please sign it and learn from my mistake. Wild animals are not stuffed toys. Whether at home or abroad, vote with your dollars and say no to animal exploitation.

Sign the petition here

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