ALDF; A Truck Stop is No Place for a Tiger! Why We Won’t Stop Fighting for Tony

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April 21, 2017

At this moment a 16-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger named Tony is caged at a gas station truck stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana, 20 miles outside of Baton Rouge. Confined to a cramped metal cage, Tony breathes in diesel fumes daily while passersby tease and harass him. Tony has lived this way for nearly his entire life, and his circumstances are often a shock to the average person, who feels innately that this is not the right place for a tiger, especially an ageing one with neglected veterinary needs. People ask, “how can this be legal?” and the Animal Legal Defense Fund believes firmly that it’s not. In fact, we’ve been fighting for over six years to have Tony relocated to a sanctuary that can meet his complex needs and give him the veterinary care he is entitled to. Our campaign to save Tony is now even more dire after reports raising concerns about Tony’s health.

Let Tony Live the Rest of His Days in Comfort

Tony

All across the world, people follow Tony’s story. Recently, we’ve received many reports from worried citizens stating that Tony appears lethargic and is experiencing diarrhoea and a decreased appetite. The Animal Legal Defense Fund obtained photo and video evidence and enlisted the help of a veterinarian with experience treating exotic animals to review it. In the vet’s expert opinion, Tony is likely suffering from kyphosis of the spine and an injury or other condition that is causing him to limp. This isn’t run-of-the-mill ageing; Tony needs help. Living at a truck stop is, at the least, exacerbating Tony’s poor health. While no animal is suited to living at a truck stop, tigers are particularly ill-equipped because of their sharp sense of smell and sensitive hearing. Independent of all our pending legal work to free Tony, the Animal Legal Defense Fund just submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which licenses the Truck Stop under the federal Animal Welfare Act, urging that Tony be inspected by a licensed specialist and given any necessary veterinary care.

The Legal Battle for Tony’s Safety

We believe that Tony, and all big cats held in captivity, deserve to live in environments that meet their psychological and physical needs. Our campaign to remove Tony from his particularly grim captivity at Tiger Truck Stop has been lengthy and determined. Michael Sandlin, the owner of the truck stop, however, has pulled out all the stops to keep Tony in captivity.  He has spent over $750,000 fighting our efforts and has also manipulated the legislative system by successfully lobbying the Louisiana legislature to pass a special exemption designed solely to benefit Sandlin and allow him to keep Tony. It’s no surprise that Sandlin puts up such a fight; he’s been exploiting tigers like Tony for decades, using them as a gimmick to lure customers to his gas station. The USDA has cited Sandlin numerous times for violations ranging from failure to provide veterinary care to lack of clean drinking water. In 2003, Sandlin relinquished three tigers amid public outrage over his treatment of the big cats. Only Tony remains.

Inspired in part by Tony’s plight, then Representative Warren Triche, Jr. introduced legislation in 2006 to ban private possession of big cats in Louisiana. The law passed, and while it was a tremendous win for the big cats saved from being the next Tony, Sandlin continued to hold Tony in violation of the law. The Animal Legal Defense Fund sued the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for unlawfully issuing Sandlin a permit to exhibit Tony. We were joined in the suit by former Rep. Triche, Jr. and several other Louisiana taxpayers. Both the trial court and the Louisiana Court of Appeal held that Sandlin and the Tiger Truck Stop were ineligible for a big cat permit and could no longer keep Tony captive. In October 2013, the Louisiana Supreme Court let that decision stand. Still, Tony remained at the truck stop.

Despite the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s victory, which should have freed Tony and allowed him to be moved to a sanctuary, Sandlin has been able to keep Tony in captivity because of two legal tactics that he has pursued relentlessly.

First, after the trial court ruled against Sandlin and while his appeal was pending, he filed a separate lawsuit challenging the big cat ban as unconstitutional.  The Animal Legal Defense Fund, along with concerned Louisiana citizens, promptly filed a petition to intervene in that action to defend the constitutionality of the big cat ban.  Both the State of Louisiana and the Animal Legal Defense Fund argued Sandlin’s claims were barred because he failed to raise them in the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s prior action.  Those arguments are still pending today, nearly five years later.

Second, Sandlin manipulated the legislative system by successfully lobbying the Louisiana legislature to pass Act 697, a special law designed to exempt Sandlin – and only Sandlin – from the big cat ban. It was signed into law by then Governor Jindal. The Animal Legal Defense Fund again immediately went to work, suing the state of Louisiana and arguing Act 697 violated the Louisiana Constitution because it was a “special law” designed to benefit one individual from existing state public safety and animal welfare laws. We were again joined in the suit by former Rep. Triche Jr. and other concerned Louisiana citizens.

We’re Not Giving Up

The Animal Legal Defense Fund recently combined its challenges to both of Sandlin’s legal tactics into the same action, filing an amended petition in intervention in Sandlin’s lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the big cat ban.  This will allow the Animal Legal Defense Fund — in one motion — to raise arguments both challenging the constitutionality of Act 697’s exemption for Tony and explain why Sandlin’s challenges to the big cat ban itself should fail.  A ruling in favour of the Animal Legal Defense Fund on such a motion should finally put an end to Sandlin’s legal tactics and provide a final resolution allowing Tony to be relocated to a sanctuary.

As the world watches the ups and downs of the fight to save Tony, the tiger’s life remains essentially the same. He doesn’t know his story inspired a former Representative to come out of retirement to fight for him, or that the big cat ban will help others of his kind. All he knows is life in a cramped cage off the highway. Tony deserves the veterinary care he needs and to live out the rest of his life in peace. He doesn’t just deserve it, we believe he’s guaranteed it under the law. We won’t stop until Tony is safe

News source:http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/we-wont-stop-fighting-for-tony-the-truck-stop-tiger/

 

The Animals at Animaland Zoo Have a New Home, Thanks To ALDF!

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“Here’s an email I’m eager to share with you, I’m so relieved these animals are now safe!!” But there is so much more work to be done to free animals from dilapidated road side zoo!!”

 Animaland Zoo Shut Down For Good


Dear Julie,

Now they have grass under their paws, clean water, companionship, enrichment and veterinary care. At last, thanks to the Animal Legal Defense Fund and your support,the animals once held at Animaland Zoo in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania will get the lives they deserve. With you by our side, we sued the roadside zoo for violating the Endangered Species Act and state wildlife laws. In the face of our lawsuit, Animaland settled with us and shut down. We were able to step in and choose new locations for Bear the wolf and the two black bears, Shawn and Sandy.

Let’s celebrate this together—your continued support of the Animal Legal Defense Fund empowers us to litigate these victories for animals.

Help Us Rescue Other Animals in Captivity

All of the animals at Animaland were suffering physically and psychologically. Sandy and Shawn were forced to share a concrete enclosure for 17 years. Almost two decades in a cell hardly big enough for the bears to move in. Thanks to our lawsuit and logistical support from the sanctuary team at Lions Tigers & Bears, Sandy and Shawn are now living at Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, a Texas sanctuary where they’ll have the freedom they need.

We also found a safe place for Bear the wolf to live out the rest of his life. Bear was lethargic at Animaland, a pack animal in agonizing solitude. After being nowhere near others of his kind for years, Bear is now safe at the Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania, where he is exploring lush vegetation amongst other wolves.

Your generous support helped save Bear, Shawn, Sandy and other animals from Animaland. The tax deductible donation you make today can help us find happy endings for even more animals.

We would also like to thank the law firm Baker Hostetler in Philadelphia for their invaluable pro bono assistance with this case.

Every day, the Animal Legal Defense Fund fights to protect animals, and victories like this one are the reason we never give up.

For the animals,

Stephen Wells
Executive Director

Many more animals need out help, Please visit:https://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5154/p/salsa/donation/common/public/;jsessionid=A985D6881533F73B3E5089D7711F864B-n4?donate_page_KEY=14317&okay=true

Disturbing Horse Cruelty Case Lands Temecula Area Couple Work Release, Probation Terms

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“This just pisses me off! Pitiful sentence; anyone who can neglect such a regal & loyal animal as a horse…does not deserve the right to own & abuse another one…PERIOD!!! The fly mask was probably put on to obscure the severe skin ailment. It wasn’t just the hair loss, the horse was very skinny too; this poor horse must have been going mad through itching! BUT NO EXCUSE FOR LACK OF FOOD, THAT’S JUST CRUEL & LAZY!!”

By June 28, 2016 5:50 pm ET

“I could see her spine, hip bones and rib cage. Her entire body was covered with a severe skin ailment causing hair loss, crusty patches.”

Skinny horse –Temecula, CA

Temecula, CA – A local couple who didn’t properly care for their mare have been sentenced to work release custody and probation in Riverside County Superior Court, officials said Tuesday.

According to to John Hall of the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, 56-year-old Charity Wilson was convicted of the more severe charges of the duo, including felony animal cruelty and a misdemeanor of keeping an animal without proper care. Daryl Willliams, 51, was convicted of the same misdemeanor charge, but the jury was hung on the felony charge against him.

The case goes back to August 2013, when Riverside County Animal Services got word of a “skinny horse with a skin condition” at a property in the 44000 block of De Portola Road in the unincorporated Temecula area, according to John Welsh of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.

“I observed an emaciated chestnut-colored Arabian mare in a corral,” Riverside County Animal Services Sgt. Lesley Huennekens wrote in her declaration in support of an arrest warrant upon visiting the property. “I could see her spine, hip bones and rib cage. Her entire body was covered with a severe skin ailment causing hair loss, crusty patches of skin and stocking (swelling) up in her hind legs.”

Animal Services told the couple to get the horse examined by a veterinarian, but the woman told them she was treating the animal herself, Welsh said. ”

“Ultimately, the horse was relocated and proper veterinary records were never supplied to Riverside County,” he said. “The horse was later found in October 2013 at a Winchester property, and Riverside County seized the horse. The seizure was later ruled justified by a hearing officer.”

About a month later, on Oct. 24, 2013, the horse was euthanized and taken to a state lab for testing, according to Welsh. It was then that he was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called pemphigus foliaceus.

This image shows the horse’s skin disorder. Courtesy: Riverside County Department of Animal Services.

“The horse was described as being in poor nutritional condition with a body score of 3.5 out of 9,” Welsh said. “The lab report indicated that her poor body condition was likely due to, at least in part, a consequence of the severe, often pruritic (itchy) and/or painful skin disease.”

“It was a shame that this horse went so long without medical care and deteriorated to the state where it needed to be euthanized,” Riverside County Chief Veterinarian Dr. Allan Drusys said.

According to the DA’s office, Wilson was sentenced to 120 days in a work release program and three years of formal probation. She is not allowed to own a horse for 10 years.

Williams was also sentenced to work release, for 90 days, the DA’s office said. He’s not allowed to own a horse for five years.

“We are pleased with the judge’s sentencing,” Huennekens said. “This couple never considered what was best for this poor horse. They tried to hide the horse from us – but we found her. Ending her suffering was a humane act, and seeing her abusers get convicted was a just conclusion to this sad case.”

News Link:http://patch.com/california/temecula/disturbing-horse-cruelty-case-lands-temecula-area-couple-work-release-terms

Edmonson Shelter Must Be Closed

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No reason to try to rehabilitate or reuse terrible facility

5756e4fb6b3a3-image

 The situation at the Edmonson County Animal Shelter should have never been allowed to happen.

Animals were discovered very malnourished, without water, covered in their own urine and feces, with urine burns on some of the animals’ feet, and some of them had obvious wounds.

 Last week, the shelter’s director, Kim Carroll, of Bee Spring, was cited and charged with second-degree animal cruelty following the discovery of dozens of cats and dogs – including dead ones – in what police called an “extremely poor environment.”

It’s very unfortunate that a year after a Daily News investigative team visited the shelter numerous times and reported conditions that appeared to fall short of guidelines for shelters offered by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians that the same conditions still exist. In that investigation, it was revealed that animals were in cages too small, some were underweight and some were without water.

It’s quite obvious the newspaper’s story had no impact on those running the shelter as the conditions remained the same.

After the animals were discovered last week, several of them had to be euthanized due to the cruel conditions of this shelter.That’s a shame and a good indication that Caroll and her husband, Greg, have no business running an animal shelter. The conditions these animals were found in is a clear evidence of that.

It’s truly reprehensible that someone would let animals live in these types of conditions. There is some good news out of this and that is that the shelters doors have been shuttered for now and 47 dogs and 17 cats were removed from the property. Other county agencies as far away as Owensboro also took animals from the property to their shelters.

The question now is, where does Edmonson County go from here in regards to the future of this shelter? Edmonson County Judge-Executive Wil Cannon says the county doesn’t condone wrongdoing and that the county government doesn’t own or operate the shelter in Bee Spring. He is correct. It is a for-profit business owned by the Carrolls.

Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society Director Lorri Hare has been invaluable in getting some animals out of their shelter and getting them here. Hare has called for this shelter to be closed and has been invited to speak by Cannon before the Edmonson County Fiscal Court next week.

Hare expects the county will ask the Bowling Green shelter to take in Edmonson County animals with a contract agreement. Hare said there will only be a chance for that if the Carrolls are no longer involved at all in animal control in Edmonson County.We agree with Hare that it’s time for the Carrolls to move on to a new profession because this one certainly isn’t for them.

Cannon seems to be on the same page as Hare, which is good. Edmonson County government will have to hire, equip and properly train someone to take the animals to Warren County if something is worked out with the Warren County shelter. Barring some legal reason, Cannon plans to ask fiscal court to dissolve the county’s contract with the Carrolls.

 Cannon is being proactive and taking the right approach. He should be commended for doing so. Cannon made a very good point when he said the Carrolls were given a chance last year to right whatever wrongs that may have been occurring at the shelter and they didn’t.The Carrolls simply dropped the ball and in doing so put animals at risk which in some cases resulted in animals being euthanized.

In the final analysis, this should’ve never happened. We’re glad to see that the county and Hare are working on correcting this bad situation and providing a better home for these animals. Our view is that this shelter needs to be closed permanently and we sincerely hope that is the final decision.

News Link:http://www.bgdailynews.com/opinion/our_opinion/edmonson-shelter-must-be-closed/article_d0c68420-8ae7-5178-ae75-a6d60b691a15.html

Thai Monk Caught Feeing Temple With Tiger Skins

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Thai wildlife officers load a tiger on to a truck outside the temple in Kanchanaburi province. Photograph: Dario Pignatelli/Getty

Wildlife authorities in Thailand have found adult tiger skins and fangs during a raid on the “tiger temple” tourist attraction and intercepted a monk who was trying to leave in a car that was carrying skins. Separately, officials said they would press charges against the Buddhist temple after 40 tiger cubs were found in a freezer on Wednesday.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) moved in this week to relocate 137 tigers to government-run sanctuaries after repeated allegations of animal trafficking. The temple claims the tigers will be worse off.

“Today we found tigers skins and amulets in a car which was trying to leave a temple,” said Adisorn Noochdumrong, the deputy director of the DNP. He said a search of several monks’ quarters yielded further body parts, bringing Thursday’s haul to two full-body tiger skins, about 10 fangs and dozens of pieces of tiger fur.

Volunteers, staff and monks at Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua temple complex have long denied trafficking allegations. But international animal rights groups including WWF and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals applauded the raid. Police Col Bandith Meungsukhum told AFP the dead cubs would have been one or two days old. He said their DNA would be tested to see if they were related to tigers at the temple.

The temple claims it decided in 2010 to stop cremating the cubs and preserve them to “keep as proof against the allegations of selling cubs”.

Thailand is a central route for the illegal wildlife trade through south-east Asia, including for ivory, rhino horn and live animals. Tiger parts, including bones and penises, are used in traditional Chinese medicine.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species banned the trade in tiger parts and products in 2007. The raid is the culmination of a battle that has been going on for years between the government and the temple. Thailand has an estimated 1,200-1,300 captive tigers.

News Link & Video:-https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/02/thai-monk-caught-temple-tiger-skins-fangs

Graphic Video: California Towns Ban Bullhooks For Elephants

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 “Seriously, if you were caught using a bullhook, stick or broom etc. on a dog, cat or horse etc. whipping or poking it until it bleeds; I’m sure, you would be charged with animal abuse; & quite rightly so! These bullhooks are used to control elephants; via pain, just as various other weapons are used for the rest of the circus animals! Elephants may have thick skin, but did you know they can feel a fly land on them?? So how do you think a bullhook feels to an elephant when it’s used aggressively by an impatient trainer or handlers mucking out stalls etc. I bet it hurts like hell! Bullhooks are used to keep circus elephants in check, by tugging on sensitive parts of the elephant like their ear’s & gouging at their legs to make them perform unnatural tricks for the paying audience! Elephants were not made to entertain humans, which is why they are forced by the bullhook & electric prods (verified on undercover surveillance) to entertain! How else would one get an elephant to lift off front or rear feet, walk around a big ball with one foot on it, the other turning it, or how about getting them to do a handstand; using their trunks as a balancing aid? I’m pretty sure they don’t conform to words alone, or snacks! These elephants are performing stunts in such a way as they would never, in the wild; their bodies are simply not made to do balancing acts, it’s so unnatural for them to even consider doing tricks…but a bullhook used by a human, aimed at the right place, makes it much easier to get the job done, by causing pain. They’re not dogs who can learn a trick within half an hour using treats alone. Plus the tricks elephants are forced to do; adds injuries to their ailments later in life!!!bull hook

“Those that intentionally inflict pain & suffering & enjoy carrying out their sickening hold on animals, are not worthy of being called animal trainers or handlers etc.; they are good for one thing; picking up the mess after said animal has been to the toilet!! If they can yank an elephant round, how do the treat their family pets? They shouldn’t be or in the care of any animal; if they don’t mind whacking an elephant around its body, for simply getting a verbal command right!! Torture devices can be used right under the noses of the people, paying to watch the elephants or other animals at the circus; paying customers have no idea the animals are suffering; whilst performing ridiculous tricks! Innocent looking walking sticks can be used to enforce pain, yet they look totally harmless to the distanced crowd! However, they are anything but innocent, a simple walking stick can be turned into a torture device used on any animals whilst performing etc. Props like this can have spiked nails in one end that the trainers uses to control the animals! Those watching the performance wouldn’t be able to see nails in sticks etc…they are simply too far away; but it still looks so innocent to those watching!”

“To be honest I’m astounded that more elephants haven’t attacked, killed their trainers or gone on a rampage; like several have over the years, due to the constant abuse from humans carrying  bullhooks or other items, such as a walking cane, filled with spiked nails, that when touched, cause pain etc! Could it be that elephants who were caught in the wild, remember the heartache of being taken from family & the torture chamber called the Phajaan? I’m sure those that were caught wild will never ever forget the pain of being taken from its mother & family! But it’s the Phajaan, the poor little elephant will remember forever, because that was home where he was a victim to horrendous abuse! The Phajaan is where all wild caught small elephants are horrifically tortured daily; used for one reason other than a horror chamber…it breaks the spirit of the elephant!

 Once they are in the Phajaan they can’t turn or even lay down; heavy duty rope or chains cause terrible suffering & injuries! Each foot is tied down so tightly to stop them having any chance of hurting the people who are torturing them. Rope is tied around the neck & body so there is no way they can escape! Food & water is used as a training tool too (it still is being used today) the elephants get neither if they haven’t complied with the human commands being barked at them all day for weeks or months! The elephant will stay tied in the phajaan, being whipped, poked & prodded daily to the point of bleeding from  wounds!! It stops, only when & depending on how quickly the humans can break the little elephants spirit! That is what the phajaan is made for…to literally break the elephant down, both physically & mentally, until it has no fight left in it & the elephant starts to obey the human commands!! Captured young, these elephants have to be submissive before they can be trained for log work or to be sent somewhere to be trained as a circus elephant! Nobody will pay for an elephant if it will not obey human commands. The Phajaan is used as a medieval cage of wood & it succeeds in breaking the most hardened spirit of an elephant…over time the elephant just won’t be able to stand the beatings or go on without water or food; he must submit to stop the pain & he realises; he is now a slave to humans!”

“I have a theory about why most captured elephants try not to retaliate after a beating with a bullhook etc. They say elephants have fantastic memories…well perhaps it’s the thought of being taken back to that torture chamber, where the elephants endured terrible suffering & beatings…in the Phajaan; at the hands of humans!! The horror of that place must be tattooed in the memory of every elephant that suffered there. The elephants don’t understand they will never return to that horrible place if they don’t conform. The Phajaan & the humans, who mentally & physically broke them using such weapons like the bullhooks, will stay with the elephants forever! They may be in a different place, but it is still the humans who control them! Do the elephants even know their own power & strength against humans; probably not, because it was forced out of them in the Phajaan? They only know that humans are the leaders & with their torture tools, can still physically beat & hurt the elephants, if they don’t comply!!”

“Could fear alone stop the elephants from causing harm to their trainers or owners, after all, thats all the elephants know about humans; how much pain they can cause! When they are shipped off to do other work, where all elephants know of humans is they are to be feared & must be obeyed in order not to receive punishment, I wonder if the new elephant looks at the other elephants old wounds & realises; that they too came through the same cruel path!  So do they actually behave & perform out of fear? Fear of going back to the Phajaan perhaps ensures most elephants comply! What do you think?”

“Please watch the video below, to help understand what elephants endure through life. A circus elephant could have come through the same route; tortured & abused in the Phajaan, their spirits forever broken at the hands of humans!”

By Kristin J. Bender Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif.The circus will stop coming to Oakland in a few years after a tool used by elephant handlers was banned in the city.

The Oakland City Council earlier this week unanimously approved an ordinance outlawing bullhooks. The instrument resembles a fireplace poker, with a sharp hook on one end that is used by trainers to control the animals. 

Tom Rider, a former circus elephant trainer, shows a bullhook that is used by elephant trainers. The Oakland, Calif., City Council earlier this week unanimously approved an ordinance outlawing bullhooks, an instrument resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end that is used by trainers to control the animals. Oakland is now the second city in California, after Los Angeles, to ban the use of a bullhooks. File photo

Oakland is now the second California city, after Los Angeles, to ban the use of a bullhooks. The circus will stop performing in Los Angeles in summer 2016. The Oakland ban takes effect in 2017.

“(That) will be the last time we will be in Oakland because we can’t perform without the elephants,” said Stephen Payne, spokesman for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

But the circus is still holding out hope about having future performances in Oakland. “We may see if the Oakland City Council wants to reconsider,” he said. Payne said the move is a loss for people who enjoy the circus. An estimated 30,000 people attended the Oakland circus over six days last summer, he said.

“Please Note Viewer Discretion advised! “Breaking the spirit of a young wild elephant” to be used to pull logs, work in the tourist industry or sold onto circuses”

“To Truly understand how an elephant’s spirit is broken & make them afraid of man…you really should watch this video”

Published on 8 Mar 2012

Here are the images of the training of wild elephants that are caught for the tourist trade. Please remind yourself and tell others that by visiting elephant camps you are supporting this!

The Oakland Zoo and animal rights activists supported the ordinance, saying bullhooks are cruel and inhumane. Other U.S. cities to ban bullhooks include Miami Beach, Florida.

Proponents say the tool is designed to give trainers dominance over elephants and does not hurt or harm the animal. “A lot of the information that was presented to the Oakland City Council by the proponents was designed to distort our animal care,” Payne said.

Oakland Zoo Chief Executive Officer Joel Parrott said the practice hearkens back to the turn of the 20th century and has no place in modern times.

“If I suggested using a bullhook on giraffes to get them through gates or to stab tigers to get them to do what I want them to do, everybody would react,” Parrott said. “The only reason it’s acceptable is we’ve grown used to it with the elephants.”

News Link:-http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20141219/business/141218357/

“Quote links below; read the & find out something you never knew about elephants”         

                                                                                                     The Sense of Touch

Despite its thickness, an elephant’s skin is very sensitive, to the point where it can feel a fly land on its back. Surprisingly, it is also sensitive to the sun, and baby elephants are even known to sunburn. The species’ notorious love for mud and baths helps alleviate both of these problems.

If you liked this article and the Bonus Facts below, you might also enjoy:

Bonus Elephant Facts

  • Elephants can be either “right-handed” or “left-handed,” and this is often shown by greater wear on one tusk as opposed to the other. Dogs and Cats are also often right or left “handed”.
  • Unlike the rhinoceros, whose horn is made of hair-like keratin, elephant tusks are actually overgrown incisors. Incredibly long, at least one-third of an elephant’s tusk is inside the animal’s head, outside of view. The outside, ivory part of the tusk is, like its other teeth, comprised of dentine surrounded by a layer of enamel. An elephant’s tusks never stop growing.
  • The heaviest tusks recorded weigh about 220 pounds per tusk, while the longest ever discovered were 11 feet long! Tusks today are generally much smaller due to the ivory trade and poaching keeping them from reaching such mammoth sizes.
  • In a rare example of unanimity, the whole world banned the trade in ivory in 1989 with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). In the decade preceding the agreement, more than half of Africa’s elephants had been killed in order to harvest the ivory, and today, poaching continues. In fact, in 2011, only a portion of the largest seizures collected found in excess of 50 thousand pounds of poached ivory. To combat this, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had proposed regulations in February 2014 that would have placed “a near-total ban on anything made with ivory moving in and out of the U.S.” However, the sweeping regulation had many concerned that it would inhibit the transportation of “old ivory,” such as that found in antique pieces of art and musical instruments. After a public outcry, particularly from concert musicians who often need to travel with their antique, ivory-fitted instruments to perform, FWS carved out an exception in May 2014.
  • Today there are somewhere between 400,000 and 600,000 African elephants remaining, and, unless things change, they are predicted to become locally extinct within 50 years

News Link with more interesting facts about elephants:http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/07/skin-african-elephant/

GRAPHIC VIDEO: R.I.P… PAWS Says Goodbye To Beloved Asian Elephant Annie.‏

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It is with very heavy hearts that we at PAWS share news of the passing of our dear friend, Asian elephant Annie – best known for her joyous romps in the lake that is part of our Asian elephant habitat at the ARK 2000 sanctuary. She had endured severe arthritis and foot disease, which gradually worsened over many years. After it became clear that the medications and treatments used to treat her chronic conditions were no longer providing relief, she was humanely euthanized on Tuesday, while lying on soft soil and surrounded by those who cared for and loved her. At age 55, she was among the oldest Asian elephants in North America.

“Everyone at PAWS will miss Annie. She was a very special elephant,” said PAWS president Ed Stewart. “I’m proud we were able to give her a peaceful and more natural life at the PAWS sanctuary for nearly 20 years. We restored her dignity and gave her the care and respect she deserved.”

Annie was born in Assam, India, around 1960, and taken from her mother at a very early age for use in the zoo industry. She was immediately put on display in a zoo in Wisconsin, where she spent much of her life chained to a concrete floor.

In 1994, the nation was shocked by videos showing Annie and her companion Tammy being cruelly trained. While held by ropes and chains handlers “broke” the elephants, mercilessly beating them into submission. This was no undercover video; the zoo recorded the training session as instruction for other keepers. (This footage was included in the 2013 HBO documentary, “An Apology to Elephants,” narrated by actress and comedienne – and friend of PAWS – Lily Tomlin.) Under public pressure, the zoo opted to relocate the elephants to PAWS.

Annie arrived at PAWS in 1995, rescued from the Wisconsin zoo with Tammy, who passed away in 2003 at age 52 from chronic foot disease and arthritis – the leading causes of death for elephants in captivity. Despite their great intelligence and size, in captivity elephants are forced to live in small, barren enclosures that cause a multitude of physical and psychological harms. Their social, physical and psychological complexities may make them one of the most deprived of all captive wild animals.

Annie keeps cool in the lake, provided for all the animals; this is as free as any captive animal can be, pure heaven for all!

Annie’s life at the PAWS ARK 2000 sanctuary was far closer to what elephants naturally need. She had a sprawling habitat in which to roam, elephant companions, soft grass to lie down and nap on, and a lake in which she loved to bob, splash and swim. It was always a joy to see Annie enjoying her habitat – something we often shared with you on our Facebook page and on Youtube.

Over the years, Annie experienced a variety of health problems, including an injury caused by a bull elephant during forced mating. Her arthritis and foot problems had progressed, including a severe foot abscess. In 2012, Annie tested positive for tuberculosis, but never exhibited symptoms of the disease. Her general condition remained good, including normal appetite and weight, but Annie’s arthritis and foot disease ultimately made movement unbearably painful for her. Tuberculosis has been diagnosed in many elephants used for circuses and to give rides, and in zoos such as the Oregon Zoo and St. Louis Zoo.

It is a sad fact that by the time most elephants come to PAWS they are suffering the debilitating effects of a life spent in inadequate captive conditions. Annie was no exception. Had she remained in her native home, she likely would have been leading a full and enriched life today, surrounded by a family of her own.

“Our job at PAWS is to restore dignity to captive elephants and, for elephants like Annie and Tammy, give them a life free from beatings and chains,” explained Ed. “We did our best for them, and continue to make a significant difference in the lives of all the elephants and other wild animals under our care.”

As is customary for all elephants that pass away at PAWS, a necropsy is being performed on Annie’s remains by pathologists from U.C. Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and tissue samples sent to a laboratory.

PAWS thanks everyone who has ever cared about and supported Annie and helped give her – and all of the wild animals at PAWS – a life of dignity, serenity, and love. On behalf of Annie and everyone at PAWS, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts
“This next video shows pure brute strength by keepers to make Annie lay down. Watch closely & see how the bull hook is gouged into her skin to make her first lay down, then stand; Annie cries out in pain as she is manhandled, she could easily have harmed her trainers, but she didn’t. Now, listen very closely as the keepers talk about how to get her to lay down, near a diagram, around 5.29..(I can hear what sounds like an electrical shock prod) …I bet they were using it on Annie…vile acts of cruelty; just for the publics entertainment!! Annie must have thought she was in heaven when she was moved to PAWS; she finally had some freedom to behave like an elephant should, larking about in the lake & making friends with other free elephants,. I’m so grateful to PAWS for giving Annie her freedom & final home, her final resting place of peace, tranquility & compassion…God bless her soul!”

1989: Zoo training tape of Annie.

Warning: Contains graphic images that are hard to watch.

Uploaded on 5 Oct 2011

Asian elephant Annie, and her close companion Tamara, shared an elephant barn/enclosure at the Milwaukee Zoo until 1994, when videotaped recordings of cruel beatings and abusive training elicited public demands that the two elephants be sent to the PAWS sanctuary. Today Annie (Tamara died in 2002) spends her days roaming and grazing among the trees, swimming in the lake, dusting and mud-bathing before lying down to sleep on a sunny hillside.

The archaic management of elephants by zoos that have been using the Free Contact system, has been the focus of controversy between AZA and animal welfare organizations, as well as many zoo professionals who advocate the use of Protected Contact management, a safer and kinder approach to elephant management.

Free Contact allows elephant keepers and handlers to share the same space with the elephant while using the cruel weapon known as the bullhook, the ankus, or the “guide”, to control the animal and to protect the handler. This system has caused injury and death to keepers and considerable suffering to elephants. Protected Contact requires that keepers work with the animal behind barriers and eliminates the use of any weapon or punishment for the elephant. It is a system that ensures the safety of the keeper and the welfare and comfort of the elephant.

In August of this year, The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) board of directors has approved new standards that will maximize occupational safety of elephant care professionals at AZA-accredited and AZA-certified facilities. The recent release of this new policy by AZA is a giant first step toward maximizing the physical and psychological health of the elephants as well.

The Elephant Manager’s Association opposes these new standards. In a recent statement, EMA wrote: “It is the opinion of the EMA that evaluations and decisions of this sort are best made by elephant care professionals intimately involved in the program as opposed to policy makers that casually observe from a distance.”

PO Box 849
Galt, CA 95632
(209) 745-2606

www.pawsweb.org

 “TORTURE CHAMBER…JUST THINK ON, THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE AN ELEPHANT IN A CIRCUS OR EVEN A ZOO…THIS IS HOW THEY WERE FIRST SNATCHED FROM THEIR MOTHERS IN THE WILD; THEN TORTURED, SO THEY WOULD ACCEPT THE COMMANDS OF HUMANS; FOR THE SOUL PURPOSE OF ENTERTAINING HUMANS…HORRIFIC!!”

 VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED…BUT IF YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW ELEPHANTS SPIRITS ARE BROKEN SO HUMANS CAN USE THEM…PLEASE WATCH!!

Published on 8 Mar 2012

Here are the images of the training of wild elephants that are caught for the tourist trade. Please remind yourself and tell others that by visiting elephant camps you are supporting this!

Edwin Wiek of the WFFT and Khun Lek (Sangduan Chailert) of ENP are now targeted by the DNP for speaking up about the illegal wild elephant poaching and trade. This video shows what the DNP doesn’t want you to see or know about!

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