That is All: To soothe the savage beast

First Posted: 6/18/2011

“Wild thing, you make my heart sing … “

The Troggs

Summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the … wait for it … jungle.

Born Free USA’s National Keep Wildlife in the Wild Week begins Monday and will shine a spotlight on what every person can do to help protect wildlife and our planet. It’s a bit like Earth Day but for wildlife conservation.

There is something tragic and sad about a caged animal, particularly those who are meant to thrive in rugged wide open spaces.

Buy hey, who doesn’t like a trip to the zoo, or watching the dancing elephants at the circus?

We humans are torn when it comes to our affection for, and treatment of, animals. We’re torn between fearing, admiring, protecting, and sometimes eating animals. The world would be a better place if we all learned how to coexist with God’s other creatures.

Keep Wildlife in the Wild Week is designed to encourage people to protect wild animals in their own backyards and around the globe. The official week-long call to action includes advice, educational tools and online activities to engage adults and children to become more aware and protective of animals in the wild.

“Wildlife is suffering and disappearing for too many incomprehensible reasons, and our planet deserves better,” said Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA.

“Lions, tigers, bears and elephants are disappearing because of ruthless poachers. Foxes and other furbearers are barbarically killed for the sake of fashion,” Roberts said.

“Chimpanzees, tigers and other animals are victims of the unconscionable and dangerous epidemic of wild animals being confined as pets. Wild animals are cruelly forced to perform in circuses or are trapped behind zoo bars. And wild animals are slaughtered for the pot — shark fin soup, lion burgers, smoked chimpanzee meat,” he said.

Born Free USA’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. The organization is hopeful that Keep Wildlife in the Wild Week will get people to stop, think and take action.

If you’d like to get involved you can:

— Educate yourself and your community about co-existing with wildlife in your own town. Born Free USA has free brochures offering advice and humane solutions for conflicts at

— Host a fundraiser with your kids to collect money for your local wildlife sanctuary or for Born Free USA’s Primate Sanctuary, home to more than 500 primates. A yard sale, lemonade stand or car wash teaches kids how to be entrepreneurs for an important cause and make a real difference.

— Do not buy any wildlife products, such as sea turtle shell or elephant ivory, when you take your summer vacation to exotic destinations.

— Learn about the reality and danger of hidden animal traps, especially if you hike with your dog or have family pets who play outside. Trapping can cause severe injury or death to animals and people.

— Enjoy your own backyard wildlife by creating a bird habitat right outside your window. Wildlife appreciation starts at home.

— Become a Zoo Checker and help end the worst cases of suffering at zoos. Tell Born Free about the conditions for the animals at your local zoo.

— Commit to never shop at stores that sell live animals. Retail environment animals are treated like commodities in order for the store to realize a profit.

For those humans who insist on dressing their dogs in tiny tuxedos, this will be a challenge. For the rest of us, it ought to be a breeze.

Don’t poke the turtle with that stick. Stop feeding peanuts to the elephants. Take a pass on the alligator shoes.

Leave the beasts be.

That is all.

— Managing Editor John Charles Robbins can be reached at (910) 272-6122 or [email protected]

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