Animal Defenders International; Stars Set To Attend Lion Ark Gala Screening

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“I would love see this documentary, but live too far away, I hope it will be shown around England, as I think everyone, not just animal lovers should see it!! Especially those who aren’t aware of the miserable, repetitive & poor conditions, performing animals endure in circuses!!” I am totally ashamed of the English Government, for not fighting & implementing the ban on wild animals in circuses; as they promised. So many other countries have managed to do it, I can’t see any problem, as to  why it has not been in effect sooner; like the British people were promised!!”

December 1, 2014

Bill Oddie: Profile

Special guests including Bill Oddie, Alexei Sayle, Gillian McKeith, Celia Hammond and Bollywood actress Sofia Hayat are set to attend a glitzy gala screening and celebrity fundraiser in Leicester Square on Saturday December 6th for LION ARK, the multi-award winning critically-acclaimed documentary about the rescue of 25 lions from Bolivian circuses.

WHEN: Saturday December 6th, 6pm
WHERE: Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, London, WC2H 7BY
TICKET INFORMATION: Click here

Following sell out screenings at film festivals around the world, LION ARK is now screening in cinemas across the UK.

More action adventure style than traditional documentary, feel-good movie LIONARK charts one of the world’s most ambitious and daring animal rescues, as a team from Britain’s Animal Defenders International (ADI) swoops on eight illegal circuses spread across Bolivia following a ban.

The story begins when ADI secures a ban on animal circuses in Bolivia following a two-year undercover investigation across South America. The shocking findings lead to public outrage and calls for action across the continent. Bolivia is the first to act. Now ADI must help the government enforce the law. The team journey across a vast, hostile terrain to track down the illegal circuses defying the new law, save the animals and bring them to safety, and a joyous finale sees 25 lions airlifted to freedom in the US.

LION ARK Producer and rescue leader Jan Creamer said: “People have been gripped by the way Lion Ark covers a serious issue about saving animals from circuses, but in a uniquely exciting and enjoyable way. The British public can be very proud that the seeds of this historic operation were sown at Animal Defenders International’s headquarters in London, which makes Lion Ark’s West End gala screening a very special event indeed.”

A smash hit on the international film festival circuit, LION ARK is told through live action interviews, in the moment, as events unfold. This is up close and personal, in the thick of the action; you are as close as you can get to these animals and to understanding their life in the circus and feel the fear and joy of the rescuers as they journey through their incredible mission.

LION ARK Director Tim Phillips said: “The response to Lion Ark has been fantastic, receiving standing ovations, armfuls of awards and sell-out shows around the world and we are looking forward to welcoming so many celebrity supporters at the gala screening. This special event is open to the public so that everyone has a chance to enjoy the uplifting animal magic of Lion Ark on the big screen in London’s Leicester Square, and meet the rescue team directly from their latest mission in Peru.”

A similarly ambitious rescue operation – Spirit of Freedom – is now underway in Peru, where ADI is once again assisting authorities to enforce an animal circus ban, having successfully secured legislation. ADI currently has 30 lions, 9 primates and several other animals in its care, and audiences will hear the very latest news from rescue team leaders LION ARK Director Tim Phillips and Producer Jan Creamer, who have come straight from their latest mission to hold Q&A sessions following each screening across the UK.

The LION ARK rescue mission was backed by legendary and Emmy award-winning US TV ‘Price is Right’ game show host Bob Barker and CSI actress Jorja Fox (‘Sara Sidle’), whose company Seafox Productions is an Associate Producer and both appear in the film. Bob Barker’s support enabled the rescue team to empty Bolivia of its suffering circus animals and build new homes for them in the US.

LION ARK has recently been signed into distribution for television, video on demand,DVD / Blu Ray and in-flight entertainment with ITV Studios Global Entertainment, one of the world’s leading distribution companies which has its own channels in Europe, Asia, Africa and Middle East, including flagship ITV broadcasting in 40 countries.

Since opening at Raindance, London and Mill Valley Film Festival, California, LIONARK has taken the film festival circuit by storm with sell out shows, six awards, official selections for 14 prestigious film festivals, and an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding International Motion Picture.

Tickets for LION ARK screenings at UK cinemas including the West End gala and celebrity fundraiser are on sale now. Tickets for the gala start at just £11: click here for more.

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Intern Killed By Lion At California Sanctuary

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An intern at a big cat sanctuary in Dunlap, Calif., was killed after being attacked by a lion, officials told ABC News and ABC News station KFSN.

Lion Attacks and Kills Girl at California Sanctuary, Cat Haven – California

Published on 6 Mar 2013 By Minirales

I felt for that girl See realtime coverage Lion fatally mauls woman
at Calif. sanctuaryLion Attacks and Kills Girl at California Sanctuary, Cat Haven – California

DUNLAP, CALIF. A male African lion killed a worker on Wednesday at a private wild animal park in Central California where the cat had been raised since it was a cub, authorities said.

The worker was attacked and fatally injured after getting into an enclosure with the lion at Cat Haven in Dunlap, Calif., Fresno County sheriff’s Sgt. Greg Collins said. The founder of the park, Dale Anderson, said the worker killed was a female intern-volunteer. The sheriff’s office originally said the worker was male.

Sheriff’s Deputy at Cat Haven following fatal attack. / KPGE
Investigators were trying to determine why the worker was inside the enclosure and what might have provoked the attack, Collins said.

The facility, which is licensed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, is about 45 miles east of Fresno in the Sierra Nevada foothills. It is normally closed on Wednesdays, and only one other worker was there when the mauling happened, Collins said.

He said the county received an emergency call from Cat Haven about 12:30 p.m., and a second call 20 minutes later reporting the injured person had died.

A call to Cat Haven on Wednesday went unanswered.

CBS affiliate KGPE reports that the lion has been shot and killed.

The lion, a 4-year-old male named Couscous, had been raised at Cat Haven since it was 8 weeks old, said Tanya Osegueda, a spokeswoman for Project Survival, the nonprofit that operates Cat Haven.

Osegueda did not know how the park acquired the cub.

Cat Haven is a 100-acre wild animal park just west of Kings Canyon National Park. Since the property opened in 1993, it has housed numerous big cats, including tigers, leopards and other exotic species.

Couscous was one of about two dozen animals at Cat Haven, which has had a good safety record, Spada said.

Another big cat sanctuary, Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Fla., told the AP last year that at least 21 people, including five children, have been killed and 246 mauled by exotic cats since 1990. Over that period, 254 cats escaped and 143 were killed.

Tatiana, a tiger at the San Francisco Zoo, was killed by police after jumping out of its enclosure and fatally mauling 17-year-old Carlos Sousa Jr. and injuring two other people in 2007.

Cat Haven has housed Bengal tigers, Siberian lynx, caracals, jaguars and leopards of various types as well as bobcats native to the area. Its founder Dale Anderson, described the private zoo several years ago as one of a handful of facilities across the U.S. that has all of the big cat species in one place.

The News Article

“The lion was also killed,” CalFire spokesman Ryan Michaels told ABC News.com.

The incident occurred at around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Sierra Cat Haven in Dunlap, a small town in Fresno County near King’s Canyon National Park, authorities said.

The worker was inside the cat enclosure when the attack occurred, officials said. It was not immediately clear what the worker was doing inside the closure, or what prompted the attack.

When Animals Attack

In an interview with KFSN, Sgt. Gregg Collins of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said responding deputies found the worker dead inside a big cat enclosure.

Authorities have not named the deceased worker, but Dale Anderson, the owner of the facility, told reporters it was a female volunteer intern, KFSN reported. Anderson reportedly was crying as he read a statement to the media.

The animal involved in the attack, 4-year-old male African lion named Couscous, was shot by a Fresno County sheriff’s deputy who responded to a call, authorities said.

Prior to sheriff’s deputies’ arrival on the scene, another employee had tried unsuccessfully to lure Couscous away from the victim and into another enclosure.

The park was closed at the time of the attack.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department were investigating the incident.

Tony Spada of the Fish and Wildlife Department said wildlife forensic personnel would “look at the animal and determine if the animal did, in fact, attack the subject, and then we will have our findings. And we work closely with the homicide detectives and/or detectives working the case.”

Cat Haven was founded in 1993 and is run by Project Survival, a privately funded education and conservation organization.

The 100-acre facility is home to a variety of wild cats — including tigers, leopards and other threatened and endangered species which are kept for limited breeding and use in educational programs, according to Cat Haven’s website.

Officials said the park has had a good history, and had an active permit to operate.

Cat Haven also runs an outreach program, and its “cat ambassadors” may sometimes be taken off-site to make appearances as part of that program, the website said.

The preserve is run by a core staff supported by volunteers.

Couscous had been raised at the preserve since he was a cub.

News Link:http://abcnews.go.com/US/person-killed-lion-california-sanctuary/story?id=18669810

Asiatic Lion Cub Loses Battle, Dies At Mysore Zoo

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MYSORE: The Mysore Zoo‘s six months battle to save an Asiatic lion cub has failed.

The seven-month old cub that was abandoned by her mother days after her birth in July; died on Wednesday.

Preliminary investigations have revealed the cub Chamundi died due to acute

Asiatic Lion

hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, executive director of the zoo B P Ravi said.

According to post mortem report released by the zoo, Chamundi was normal on Tuesday and consumed food in the evening. Early in the morning, she vomited and died by 8.45 am. She was weak and anaemic too.

Chamundi was the first Asiatic lion born at the zoo and struggled really hard for three months to survive. Though the zoo has successfully hand-reared other species, it could not save the cub which was housed at the zoo hospital since her birth.

Born to Gowri and Shankara, who arrived from the Sakkarbaug Zoo in Gujarat in 2010, on July 29 Chamundi was abandoned by her mother within two days. At first, it appeared the lion and lioness were getting used to the job of rearing their first offspring in captivity, but they abandoned the cub. Experts said lion cubs are usually rejected by the mother. Shankar was six and Gowri five when they sired Chamundi.

The cub was removed from the enclosure and put into holding room at the zoo hospital even as the Zoo Authority of Karnataka contacted the Sakkarbaug Zoo to get experts advice. The zoo authorities were told that survival of hand-fed lion cub are slim, but Chamundi pulled it off managing to intake milk initially and later switched to solid food by mid-November.

The zoo was feeding her chicken and soup to build immunity. Besides, a vet was assigned to monitor her, her holding room sanitized and temperature regulated. Except one animal keeper, no other staff was allowed near the cub to avoid her getting infected.

Mysore zoo is the only facility in Karnataka to house Asiatic lions, thanks to efforts by former cricketer Anil Kumble, who is co-vice chairman of State Board for Wildlife Board.

News Link:-http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mysore/Asiatic-lion-cub-loses-battle-dies-at-Mysore-Zoo/articleshow/18595489.cms

Hangzhou Zoo Visitors Throw Snowballs At Lions

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“How immature & pathetic, this is what you would expect from children not adults…what an example to set…NOT!! Some may say people are being over sensitive, it’s only snow…that’s not the issue! It is bad enough that humans take these wild animals & cage them in unsuitable living quarters, for the rest of their natural lives! Yet still, some  humans seem to think they have the right to humiliate & ridicule them too…pathetic knob heads!” I would like to see them try it, without a large brick wall between them!! 

China‘s zoos have long since been criticized for instances of animal abuse.

But, despite past crackdowns, instances of apparent animal cruelty have continued, as a series of photos showing Hangzhou Zoo visitors throwing snowballs at lions surfaced this week.

According to China Daily, the photos — taken at Hangzhou Zoo on Jan. 5 and later posted on China’s microblogging site Sina Weibo — were shared countless times and received thousands of comments criticizing the abuse.

Breeder Zhu Yan told Xinhua News Agency that zoo workers did not see visitors throwing snowballs since they were busy clearing snow at the time.

“Although snowballs can’t hurt large animals like lions, the behaviour upset us nonetheless,” Zhu said. “Our animals should be treated fairly. We hope our visitors will use some self-discipline and be nicer to them.”

According to reports, a sole visitor threw the first snowball, inciting others to join. The lion and lioness huddled together, as seen in the photos, until the attack was over. In the end, the male lion let out a roar and starred down the visitors as they walked away, the Global Times notes.

The snowball incident may not be the first instance of apparent animal cruelty that has taken place at Hangzhou Zoo. As Redditor Triviumsogerd recalls:

The sad thing is, this is way better than what they normally throw. When I went LAST YEAR people were throwing anything they could get their hands on at the animals. Such as full plastic water bottles, coke cans, also full, rocks, and the worst part is NO ZOO STAFF WAS PRESENT.

Although the Chinese government has banned certain types of animal abuses at its country’s zoos in recent years, the restrictions do not apply directly to the behaviour of the zoo’s visitors.

Pictures & News Link:-http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/10/hangzhou-zoo-china-snowballs-lions-animal-cruelty_n_2448801.html#slide=1966558

Petition:-http://www.causes.com/causes/644857-let-s-turn-facebook-orange-for-animal-cruelty-awareness/actions/1724006?ctm=more_from_cause

Man mauled to death by grizzly bears while cleaning enclosure at Montana wildlife park

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A trainer who was mauled to death while cleaning the pen of two, 500-pound brown bears at a Montana wildlife casting agency suffered extensive wounds that make it impossible to determine if he was conscious before the attack, authorities said Monday.

Best friends: Animals of Montana owner Troy Hyde had to put down the attacking bear
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2227972/Man-mauled-death-grizzlies-tragic-bear-attack-Montana-wild-life-enclosure.html#ixzz2BOWyoEeJ
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There were no defensive wounds on the hands or arms of 24-year-old Benjamin Cloutier when his body was pulled from the pen on Sunday, and he apparently had not used the bear spray he was carrying, said Demetri Price, head trainer at Animals of Montana near Bozeman.

As a result, Price has speculated that Cloutier might have fallen and hit his head before being killed.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin confirmed the absence of defensive wounds and the non-use of the spray. But he said there was no way to prove Cloutier was unconscious when the attack began.

The body had been attacked so fiercely, there were so many injuries that there was no way — that’s why we’re not going to speculate,” Gootkin said.

However, he said it was clear that Cloutier died of bite and claw wounds that hit major arteries.

The death remains under investigation by the sheriff’s office and wardens from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. It has been listed as accidental and is not considered a criminal matter.

Animals of Montana provides captive-bred animals for photography shoots and motion pictures, ranging from African lions and minks to badgers and bobcats. The company says the bears have been used in “attack re-enactments” for films in which trainers are used as stuntmen.

Cloutier had worked as a trainer at the company since 2008 and had been in the bear enclosure hundreds of times, Price said.

Price was the first person to arrive at the pen after the mauling. He described Cloutier’s death as a “tragic accident” and insisted it was not an attack. Cloutier did not scream for help, and none of the other animals at the facility showed any signs of alarm before the discovery, Price said.

“I believe, given all things accounted for, that (Cloutier) was somehow rendered unconscious, whether it be he slipped and hit his head or something” else, Price said. “The bears we believed killed him, but we don’t believe it was an attack scenario.”

Price said he was approaching the enclosure when he saw the victim on the ground with two captive-bred, 8-year-old male bears nearby. One of the bears, nicknamed Griz, was behaving as though he had taken possession of the victim, and Price said he had to kill the animal so he could get to Cloutier.

When he did, Cloutier was dead, with wounds inflicted by Griz or the other bear in the enclosure, nicknamed Yosemite.

Cloutier was originally from York Haven, Pa. Price said the staff at Animals of Montana had suffered “a double loss” with the death of Cloutier and the loss of Griz, which he called the favorite animal of the victim.

Cloutier’s family could not be immediately reached for comment.

Animals of Montana had three bears prior to Sunday that were identified on the company’s website as grizzly bears.

However, the facility’s permit for the two involved in the mauling lists them as Syrian brown bears, a subspecies of brown bears that are different from grizzlies, said Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokeswoman Andrea Jones.

The company had the necessary state and federal permits to keep the bears. But its license is being reviewed in the wake of the death, and the company’s permit to exhibit Yosemite has been suspended pending the investigation, Jones said.

News Link: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/crime/article/Sheriff-Fierce-wounds-complicate-MT-mauling-probe-4007955.php#ixzz2BOTlh5i4

Close to nature: Workers at Animals of Montana are used to being on close terms with a number of dangerous animals like grizzlies, leopards, and coyotes
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2227972/Man-mauled-death-grizzlies-tragic-bear-attack-Montana-wild-life-enclosure.html#ixzz2BOSHotNV

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Lions ordered killed for King’s necklaces

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“WTF…how utterly selfish & heartless of the king; does he not know we are in the 21st century?  If they still want to live like Zulu’s & live in mud huts that’s fine, but don’t be killing animals just for bloody jewellery. Lion numbers in the wild are dwindling fast, the king could have had a few teeth from a lion that had died of natural causes…not taken lives from the wild. What kind of mixed message does this send out, if animals are killed just for a king’s festival but anyone local found to be poaching will be arrested?”

The two elephants were shot in the same park where rangers were recently ordered to shoot two lions so that the Zulu king and senior chiefs could have lion claw necklaces made. 

FILE PICTURE – Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini. Picture by Refilwe Modise.

When the order came for two lions to be shot Tembe rangers insisted that only lions which were old, sterile or in poor condition be shot.

But Ezemvelo head office insisted that two lions be shot as soon as possible to give the chiefs time to have their necklaces made before the annual Zulu reed dance.

The necklaces made of lion claws are a traditional status symbol.

Shortly before the deadline for the lions to be shot, a male lion escaped from Tembe  and was shot after killing several cattle.

No attempts were made to capture or chase the lion back into the lion park. Its carcass was  transported to the royal household.

Because the animal allegedly posed a threat to humans, the nature conservation body did not legally need a destruction permit.

‘‘Any animal that escapes from the reserve and causes damage outside the reserve is usually killed,” KZN Wildlife spokesman Musa Mntambo told The Citizen last month.

“The lion was wounded outside the reserve and then shot dead –  to stop its suffering –  when it re-entered the reserve,” he said.

Mntambo denied that any lion had been donated to the Zulu king.

Shortly thereafter,  another lion died in a freak accident as rangers were attempting to capture it after it was sold to a private game reserve.
Its carcass was driven to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife head office from Tembe and handed over to a senior manager.

The manager then accompanied the carcass to the home of a senior chief, where the animal was handed over.

Multiple attempts to contact royal spokesman Mbonisi Zulu for comment were u unsuccessful

On Thursday Independent Newspapers reported that a hippo  ended up in the Zulu king’s cooking pot after Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife shot the animal.

The hippo was shot in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve capture pens, where it was held for eight weeks while the wildlife body ‘‘fattened up the animal’’.

Ezemvelo reportedly said that the decision had been taken to destroy the hippo as it was a “problem animal” and had attacked a St Lucia home-owner, but did not explain why the animal was then fattened up for eight weeks before being shot.

After the report Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife CEO Bandile Mkhize,  who allegedly ordered the possibly illegal killing of the two lions,  lashed out at his critics, accusing them of being nostalgic for the days of apartheid.

Mkhize was quoted as saying: “From time to time we donate animals to the king.

“We have a special relationship and negotiate with him on what is possible or not, but I would hate to see him portrayed as someone who bulldozes us.”

The shooting of the lion, elephant and hippo come at a time when Ezemvelo KZN Wild faces funding shortages. Depending on their sex and size, elephants can fetch hundreds of thousands of rands at auctionsHippos can fetch up to R20 000 each.

News Link:http://www.citizen.co.za/citizen/content/en/citizen/local-news?oid=334309&sn=Detail&pid=146836&Animals-killed-to-make-necklaces

INTRODUCING A MOBILE PREDATOR-PROOF BOMA TO SAMBURU

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Born Free recently partnered with Ewaso Lions to help secure a future for lions in the Samburu region of Northern Kenya (link to previous article). This partnership aims to help minimize conflict between people and predators, while engaging Samburu warriors (‘morans’) in conservation through the Warrior Watch project.

Traditionally, Samburu morans do not attend school and spend most of their time in the bush, alongside wildlife. The Born Free / Ewaso Lions partnership aims to supplement morans’ traditional knowledge with conservation awareness by means of informal education.

Demostrating how to fix the door

Since morans are best placed to act as an ‘eye’ for the community, observing and reporting carnivores’ movements, they can help people to avoid grazing their livestock in areas with lions and hyenas, and thus greatly reduce conflict with these predators.

In August, the Born Free team visited the Warrior Watchgroup in Samburu and trained them in the construction of lion-proof bomas which will also help to avoid conflict with hyenas.

Over four days, the team, morans and rangers discussed lion conservation in Kenya, how Born Free and its partners are addressing this issue and how the warriors could help to save the remaining lions in the country. The concept of a model mobile lion-proof boma was examined and the participants watched a very informative film Living with Lions. The film explains in Maasai/Samburu how to construct a lion-proof boma and its benefits to the community.

Outside a completed hyena-proof boma

A practical session was then conducted, with participants constructing a mock mobile lion-proof boma.  The morans then had an opportunity to share what they had learned and have their questions answered.

Following this preparation, the morans put what they had learned into practice under the guidance of the Born Free team – an existing traditional boma was selected by the community and the morans upgraded this to a boma which prevents hyenas, as the main threat to livestock in the area, from gaining entry. In some cases the lions are killed even though the hyenas are the culprits of attacks on livestock, so that adapting the boma design to repel hyena attacks means that lions in the area will also be protected.

To test if the constructed boma was appropriate for the nomadic lifestyle of the Samburu community, the boma was then dismantled and the materials were transported to a different area. So far, they seem to have worked well, and the Samburu morans (in collaboration with Born Free) will monitor and evaluate them as they are distributed to the communities.

Please keep following us here to get the latest news on what Born Free and its partners are doing to secure the future of lions in Kenya.

News Link:http://www.bornfree.org.uk/index.php?id=34&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=1116&cHash=cfb4f829d8&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BornFreeNews+%28Born+Free%3A+Latest+News%29

 

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