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Will Travers
Will Travers has dedicated most of his life to wildlife issues, ever since he lived with his family in Kenya while his parents, actors Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, made the film ‘Born Free’ (1966). In 1984 he co-founded the charitable organization which has become known as The Born Free Foundation. Born Free’s projects and campaigns now span five continents and are supported worldwide. In 2002, Will brought the message of “compassionate conservation” to America and launched Born Free USA, now a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, BFUSA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets”, trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. BFUSA’s Primate Sanctuary in Texas is home to more than 500 primates rescued from laboratories, roadside zoos, and private possession. BFUSA’s mission is to end the suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.

Entries by Will Travers

You Can Take the Monkey Out of the Wild, But You Can't Take the Wild Out of the Monkey

(1) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 5:29 PM

Today I received a message from Tim Ajax, the Director of our Primate Sanctuary in Dilley Texas. Tim oversees the over 600 primates residing at the 186 acre facility. The Sanctuary is the only one of its kind in the U.S. in that the majority of its residents live in...

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Real Conservation or Just Rhino Slaughter for Sport?

(4) Comments | Posted January 18, 2014 | 6:18 PM

Corey Knowlton prides himself on being a prolific hunter -- but, for the first time, he is the one under the gun.

The Dallas-based Knowlton flooded this week's headlines for bidding $350,000 at auction for the chance to shoot an endangered black rhinoceros in Namibia. Knowlton justifies the hunt...

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Wild Birds Should Fly Free: National Bird Day Puts Our Winged Friends on Center Stage

(1) Comments | Posted December 25, 2013 | 2:22 PM

What does a caged parakeet in Connecticut have in common with a scarlet macaw flying freely in Costa Rica? They are both at risk.

The exotic bird trade remains complex, and related statistics are staggering. The number of "pet" birds in the United States is estimated to be between...

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Crush the Ivory Trade

(6) Comments | Posted November 7, 2013 | 2:11 PM

Next week, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service will preside over the destruction of 5.4 tons of seized elephant ivory -- confiscated from nefarious smugglers and other participants in the bloody ivory trade. I applaud the United States government for taking this bold and very public step...

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Pet Snakes Are Constricting Our Public Safety

(8) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 2:41 PM

I read recently that one of my countrymen, a British citizen, was sentenced to five years in prison for smuggling snakes from Kenya. A double tragedy personally as Born Free has such a long and important history of trying to save Kenya's wildlife.

The good news is that instead...

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Africa on the Edge

(0) Comments | Posted June 27, 2013 | 6:18 PM

Human rights violations and armed insurgencies in Africa generally, and the Central African Republic specifically, are deeply concerning. Born Free's committed and compassionate wildlife champions are on the ground throughout central Africa trying to protect elephants, rhinos, and other species in the face of tremendous human suffering and violent conflict....

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Safe Trails for All

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2012 | 11:12 AM

The sign is alarming: "CAUTION wolf traps set in the area near roads and trails. Please keep dogs leashed as they will be attracted to the traps and will be caught. Dogs will bite if approached in trap! If dog is caught place jacket over dog's head and compress springs...

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Better Late Than Never for Minnesota Dolphins

(1) Comments | Posted July 17, 2012 | 3:55 PM

I was intrigued by the Minnesota Zoo's recent announcement that it is discontinuing its captive dolphin exhibit. More than a decade ago we expressed concern about the zoo's acquisition of two dolphins from South Africa. In our letter we asked the zoo to instead consider phasing out the captive dolphin...

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Cee Lo Green's Cockatoo Exploitation

(17) Comments | Posted June 29, 2012 | 6:42 PM

NBC Television's popular show The Voice is employing a Moluccan cockatoo to accompany Cee Lo Green.

As far as I'm concerned, this kind of animal exploitation doesn't fly.

By showing a cockatoo perched on a celebrity's shoulder, NBC is giving viewers the mistaken impression that these...

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Ohio Doing Right by Animals

(3) Comments | Posted June 6, 2012 | 10:45 AM

Ohio, where dozens of animals were shot dead in October after being let out of their backyard cages by their suicidal owner, was ripe for catastrophe. After all, it is one of only seven states that lack any laws regarding the private possession of "exotic" animals.

Now, thanks...

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Canary in a Coal Mine? A Day to Save the Birds....

(1) Comments | Posted January 3, 2012 | 12:51 PM

This Thursday (January 5, 2012) marks the 10th anniversary of National Bird Day, a day to recognize the threats birds face -- both in captivity and in the wild. This day, launched by Born Free USA in coordination with the Avian Welfare Coalition, is a somber reminder of our winged...

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Primates as "Pets"? Not on Your Life

(12) Comments | Posted July 19, 2011 | 3:55 PM

In bedrooms and backyards across America, people keep nonhuman primates as "pets." The desperate, misplaced need for this type of cruel companionship is alarming. Chimpanzees and monkeys belong not in our homes, but in the wild, and it is time for legislators in Washington, DC to take a firm stand...

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Words That Don't Fail the Elephant

(1) Comments | Posted July 11, 2011 | 6:22 PM

"I thought the ivory trade was banned." How many times have I heard that in the last 15 years?!

Surely it's true: the bloody, corrupt and merciless ivory trade that precipitated the slaughter of 600,000 African elephants during the late 1970s and 1980s; the trade that outraged people all over...

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A Week to Remember: Keep Wildlife in the Wild®

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2011 | 3:31 PM

Born Free USA works tirelessly to protect wildlife in their natural habitats and as part of our mission, we designed a week to put an emphasis on what EVERY PERSON can do to help Keep Wildlife in the Wild®. From June 20 to 24, the third annual KEEP WILDLIFE IN...

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Barbaric Trapping: Not Ready for Prime Time?

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2011 | 2:58 PM

Kudos to Jane Velez-Mitchell at CNN Headline News for giving prominent national air time to Born Free USA's recent trapping investigation, Victims of Vanity.

Jane interviewed Adam Roberts, Born Free USA's executive vice president, and exposed the gruesome reality of trapping in America.

But where is the rest of...

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The "Wisdom" of Bob Parsons

(16) Comments | Posted April 7, 2011 | 3:41 PM

Bob Parsons: business guru or Neanderthal?

It's a question that's divided the country for the past few days ever since Bob's personal 'poverty-reduction mission' to Zimbabwe (which involved shooting an elephant) hit the headlines.

Mr. Parsons has been to Africa six or seven times and claims to know what he's...

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Born Free USA Trapping Investigation Lifts Curtain on a Barbaric Act

(7) Comments | Posted March 10, 2011 | 5:14 PM

What is it about wild animals that make some people feel that it's OK to inflict pain, suffering and death upon them?

As I watched in horror the footage of our investigation which exposes the sickening inner world of recreational and professional wildlife trapping, I asked myself that...

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Why Do Lions Matter?

(6) Comments | Posted March 2, 2011 | 12:34 PM

On March 1, a coalition of wildlife protection organisations (Born Free USA/Born Free Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife, The Humane Society of The United States/HSI and the International Fund for Animal Welfare) submitted a Petition to the US Secretary for the Interior to have the African Lion listed as...

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