Tag: Leonardo DiCaprio

The plight of wild tigers

The power of our interconnected world.

My article yesterday about Tony the Tiger and what looks like a very happy ending to his dismal existence led me on to more sites regarding the situations about tigers.

Again, pressure on time means that this post is more about sharing links than expressing my own feelings, although most readers will know where I am coming from – having a Blog called Learning from Dogs is a bit of a clue!

The first website is Free Tony The Tiger and clearly has been an essential part of the force needed to get the win in court for Toby.  On that website, they set out their stance thus,

Free Tony The Tiger is dedicated to raising awareness to Tony’s situation as well as gaining support for Tony. The objective is to have Tony released to an accredited big cat sanctuary so he can receive the care, home, diet, enrichment, medical care and respect he deserves. It is also the mission of Free Tony The Tiger to bring attention to the severe problem of privately owned tigers in the United States.

Tony represents one of thousands of privately owned tigers in the United States whose numbers are greater than tigers in the wild. Captive U.S. tigers are used in roadside zoos and attractions, photo ops and exhibitions, entertainment shows, pseudo-sanctuaries, bred for profit or are owned as “pets.” Others end up in canned hunts or on the black market.

This is a serious situation that must be addressed and resolved and the more this issue is exposed , the better the chance to put an end to this abuse and exploitation. There is no conservational value in privately breeding tigers. The only sanctioned tiger breeding program in the United States is the Species Survival Plan in which AZA accredited zoos participate. Not all animal rescue centers and sanctuaries are what they claim to be. A true sanctuary would never buy, sell, trade, breed, or cart their animals to malls, fairs, etc. Such majestic and magnificent cats like tigers should be respected and protected. Visit End Tiger Farming In The U.S. and take action for tigers.

Please view this very important and informative video from Big Cat Rescue – Tampa Florida addressing this issue. Carole Baskin, Founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue of Tampa FL , the world’s largest accredited sanctuary, that is devoted entirely to exotic cats speaks out about:

1. Where do big cats go when they are no longer profitable cubs?
2. If the good sanctuaries are full, where do the big cats go?
3. Should we be building bigger and more sanctuaries for the unwanted cats?
4. What is the best way to prevent the abuse of lions, tigers and other big cats?
5. Does banning private possession of exotics work?
6. Who tracks maulings, killings and escapes by tigers and other big cat species?
7. Do USDA and state inspections make sure breeders and dealers are being humane?
8. When did the big cat crisis in America start?
9. Are there laws to prevent exotic cats from being traded for their meat, skin and bones?
10. How is the public to blame for the worst acts toward tigers and their cubs?
11. What happens to breeders, dealers and other wild animal exploiters when they run out of money?
12. What are some of the most lax states when it comes to wildcat standards and enforcement?
13. Why doesn’t the government do something about all of the abuse of tigers, lions, leopards, jaguars & other big cats?
14. Are there illegal activities operating in the shadow of legal uses of tigers?
15. What kind of tracking is done and what needs to be done to end the abuse of exotic wild cats?

More important links from the above can be found here.

The Big Cat Rescue organisation, as referred to above, may be found here.  Finally, on the Free Tony website is much information about the efforts to save wild tigers, thus,

Please support Tony’s “wild cousins” by visiting http://www.savetigersnow, a global campaign by World Wildlife Fund and Leonardo DiCaprio whose objective is to build political, financial and public support to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger.

There are an estimated 3,200 tigers left in the wild – in the USA there are approximately 5,000 privately owned tigers. View the videos below courtesy of The World Wildlife Fund and Big Cat Rescue – Tampa, Florida and for more information: http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/finder/tigers/captive-tigers/

Here are those videos.  A short video setting out WWF’s stance and promoting their campaign.

Then Carole Baskin, Founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue, the world’s largest accredited sanctuary, that is devoted entirely to exotic cats speaks out.

Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism and Tony the Tiger

You may well ask what on earth does this Blog title mean!

I have on previous occasions acknowledged the splendid job that Yves Smith does in terms of publishing the blog, Naked Capitalism.  I’m sure that I will have cause to mention her splendid Blog again.  Frankly, I don’t know how Yves finds the time to relentlessly publish every day a whole skew of articles and lots of links to other articles that have caught her eye.   So why the mention today?

Well this evening is the first of four evenings where I am running a course at our local Church Hall.  It’s a new project for me and the last few days have been ‘interesting’ as I get my stuff together and fret about it all, as I am wont to do!

So it was a blessing to find that the links presented on Naked Capitalism yesterday (10th) contained some wonderful stories that seemed appropriate for all you good readers, with the bonus that it allowed me to focus on last-minute preparations for the course.

Here’s the first one that caught my eye, published on the Care2 website, not a website that I had come across before.

Victory! ALDF Wins Freedom for Tony the Truck Stop Tiger

Tony, the 10-year-old Siberian Bengal tiger who’s been at the heart of an ongoing catfight over his living conditions at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, La., has had his freedom granted!

On Friday, May 6, District Judge R. Michael Caldwell of the East Baton Rouge District Court granted the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s (ALDF) request for a permanent injunction against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), preventing them from renewing the annual permit that allows Michael Sandlin to keep Tony as of this December 14.

Unbeknownst to Tony, he’s garnered the attention of people around the world who have been fighting to have him freed from the concrete cell he’s spent his entire life in for years. Unfortunately, officials have bent the rules and looked the other way when it came to the Tiger Truck Stop.

From the Care2 article, there was a link to the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the following press release.

Victory in Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Lawsuit to Free Tony the Truck Stop Tiger

May 6th, 2011

Baton Rouge Court Grants Permanent Injunction, Ordering Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to Stop Issuing Illegal Permit Allowing Tony to Be Kept on Display in Iberville Parish 

For immediate release

Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund

BATON ROUGE, La. – This morning, a judge in East Baton Rouge District Court granted the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s (ALDF) request for a permanent injunction against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, preventing the Department from renewing the annual permit that allows Michael Sandlin, owner of Grosse Tete’s Tiger Truck Stop, to displayTony, a ten-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger. When the current permit expires in December 2011, Sandlin will no longer be able to keep Tony confined as a roadside exhibit at the truck stop where he has languished for over a decade. The court also assessed costs against the Department in the case.

In preparation for the day the current permit expires and Tony is finally free, ALDF hopes to work with the Department to find the best possible new home for him, providing recommendations for reputable sanctuaries where Tony can live out his life in a peaceful, natural environment, free from the 24-hour exposure to noise and diesel fumes that have plagued his life to date.

ALDF’s lawsuit to free Tony has drawn the support of high profile advocates like Leonardo DiCaprio and True Blood’s Kristin Bauer and has galvanized activists around the world. This week, ALDF delivered to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries over 31,000 signed petitions urging it to revoke Sandlin’s permit to keep Tony. Tony has been on exhibit at the Tiger Truck Stop since 2001; he has lived there with no other tiger companions since 2003. Joining ALDF as a co-plaintiff in the case is former Louisiana Representative Warren Triche, who authored the state’s law that led to the ban on the private ownership of big cats, including tigers. Two other Louisiana residents, also deeply concerned by Tony’s long-time suffering, are additional co-plaintiffs. The law offices of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, & Berkowitz, P.C. are providing pro bonoassistance with the lawsuit.

“Today, the law was upheld in the state of Louisiana, which has explicit regulations designed to protect tigers like Tony,” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “It is an incredible victory for ALDF, the tens of thousands around the world who have supported this campaign, and most of all, for Tony. We eagerly look forward to the day that he leaves behind the noise and fumes of the Tiger Truck Stop for a new life of freedom that he has never known.”

Tony the Tiger

Splendid, splendid result which serendipitously led me to another aspect of tigers that I want to present to you tomorrow.

Earth Day and The 11th Hour

Some very thought-provoking ideas.

John H, a good friend of us here in Payson, lent us the Leonardo DiCaprio film The 11th Hour.  More information on the film’s website.  Here’s the trailer,

The plot of the film, if plot is the right word, is as follows,

With contributions from over 50 politicians, scientists, and environmental activists, including former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, physicist Stephen HawkingNobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai, and journalist Paul Hawken, the film documents the grave problems facing the planet’s life systems. Global warming, deforestation, mass species extinction, and depletion of the oceans’ habitats are all addressed. The film’s premise is that the future of humanity is in jeopardy.

The film proposes potential solutions to these problems by calling for restorative action by the reshaping and rethinking of global human activity through technology, social responsibility and conservation.

Whether or not you watch the film, and I strongly suggest you do, the action website that supports making a difference is For the Love of Action.  Drop in and make your own mind up.

Following on from that film is this apt reminder of the world we have created.  I tend to write articles a few days ahead of the publish date, so it wasn’t possible to have this post come out on the 20th April, last Wednesday, which was Earth Day.  Shame.  Because as this email from the Alaska Wilderness League pointed out, it’s also a sad reminder of our love affair with oil.

Dear Paul,

The next Deepwater Horizon could be amid the broken sea ice and polar bear habitat of America’s Arctic: unless we prevent it now. Donate to the League.

It was one year ago today. I remember sitting in my living room after dinner when the news alert flashed across the screen:Deepwater Horizon oil rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico; 11 workers dead or missing. 

Huddled around the office television the next morning, there was no way we could anticipate the true magnitude of the disaster. Images of ruined lives and tarnished lands poured out of the Gulf formonths on end. As the oil industry’s feeble attempts to contain the destruction grew evermore cartoony – ‘top hat,’ ‘junk shot,’ ‘top kill’ – we learned just how little they had prepared for the eventual catastrophe of an oil spill.

Our government rubber-stamped the faulty plans for this oil rig. They had a chance to prevent this disaster, but didn’t. What’s worse: they continue to approve plans for America’s Arctic that are functionally identical to the plans that caused the Gulf disaster. America’s Arctic could be our next Deepwater Horizon tragedy. The effects of deadly crude oil spilling into the broken sea ice and polar bear habitat of America’s Arctic would be disastrous: unless we stop it.

We are fighting the next horrifying oil spill every step of the way. Help us prevent it – donate now! 

When Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf, the League had just completed a campaign to highlight the incredible annual migration of Arctic birds that begins in the Arctic Refuge and extends through each U.S. state. Some of these birds fly as far as the southern tip of Argentina! Many of them rely on critical nesting grounds around the Gulf of Mexico.

The League moved quickly to save these birds, distributing ‘Arctic Garden Kits’ to help donors across the country to provide sustenance and shelter to Arctic birds in their own backyards. Proceeds from the fundraiser helped us fight faulty plans from moving forward in America’s Arctic for the last two summers.

Shell Oil, the biggest threat for Arctic drilling, remains undaunted by our success. Their drilling plans for 2012 have ballooned from one drill rig to six. This is their big move – their cards are on the table. We need your help and support to go over the top to stop their escalating plans.

Help us stop the next disaster in America’s Arctic. Give today.

The way in which the League responded to the Gulf disaster – stemming the damage to wildlife and preventing the next disaster – was one of the most inspiring experiences of my life. You have a chance to be a part of this continuing work. Help us save America’s Arctic before it suffers the fate of another Deepwater Horizon.

Thank you for all that you do,

Cindy Shogan
Executive Director
Alaska Wilderness League

Finally, let me close rather pointedly, perhaps, by this video of the fires in Texas which are burning out of control and have already scorched 1.6 million acres.; long-term drought being part of the cause.