Wildlife experts reach out to future conservationists with engaging activities that will educate about decline of lions

Washington, D.C., August 26, 2016 -- Experts believe that fewer than 20,000 lions exist across Africa today and they only inhabit 8% of their historic wild range. The decline of the lion has been rapid and steep—and, without global action, the species could disappear from significant parts of Africa during our lifetime. Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, has launched a critical educational program as part of its 2016 Year of the Lion campaign to teach children about the plight of lions, why they matter, and what needs to be done to make sure that they continue to survive. Born Free USA has created engaging, fun, age-appropriate lesson plans about the issue: one plan for first through third graders and one for fourth through sixth graders. These lesson plans are also available for families to download in order to open a conversation with their children about keeping wildlife in the wild. 

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, who is both an international wildlife conservation expert and the father of a 12-year-old: “When it comes to protecting wildlife, so much can change in a single generation. The actions of our children will determine whether that change is positive or negative: whether they will save species from suffering, or doom them to extinction. Kids have the power. We must protect imperiled species in the generations to come… before they vanish. Teachers and parents can encourage students to become future wildlife conservationists—or, at the very least, understand the issue and be informed about the impact for animals and for people. We believe these lesson plans can do just that.”

The Year of the Lion lesson plans use compelling facts, engaging talking points, and activities to get kids thinking about the king of the jungle, and how they can make a difference just by being aware of the importance of lions to our planet.

The lesson plans include similarities between big cats and domestic ones; information about their size, weight, sounds, and habits; and an array of questions, stats, and games. In addition, kids are encouraged to send their drawings of lions This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for display in Born Free USA’s online lion gallery wall to help spread the message of saving lions. A fifth grade class in Newtown, Connecticut has already submitted its drawings. The lesson plans also include a link to a song, a slide show, and a storytelling activity.

Roberts says, “More than a dozen African countries are already thought to have lost their lion populations, and the international demand for lion bones and body parts is further exacerbating this downward spiral. The public is more aware than ever about the need to save lions before it is too late. The slaying of Cecil the lion made headlines in 2015, and the 2015 documentary Blood Lions revealed the horrors of hunting to audiences worldwide. The time is right for us to let our kids know—without graphic language or horrific images—that there is a desperate need to save this beleaguered species, and that they can be part of the solution.” 

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of "compassionate conservation": the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic 1966 film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free's mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.


Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jillyn Sidlo

Producer - Lexi Lapp

Network Producer - Ben Boquist

Executive Producer - Bob Page

Special Guests - Author Jennifer Arnold will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 8/20/16 at 5pm EST to discuss and give away her new book "Love Is All You Need"

Jason Riccardi CEO of Pura Naturals Pet will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 8/20/16 at 630pm EST to discuss and give away his products

Alice De almeida will join Talkin' Pets at 720pm EST to discuss the recent cat adoption and Matilda's recent birthday bash at the Algonquin Hotel NYC

Our Story - The Pura Naturals Pet™ Promise

Why do we do things to our best friends, and by that I mean our pets, which we would not do to our worst enemies? Toxins, artificial colors, formaldehyde (yes the embalming elixir for the dead can now be found in shampoos), skin irritants, and chemical fragrances are found in a majority of the products available in the market today. Terrible but true! The FDA and USDA are supposed to be monitoring this category but because cats can’t complain about internal pain and dogs can’t tell you their eyes are burning from the bleach substitute you just used to clean the brown spots from under their eyes, the category is overlooked. Someone needed to be the voice of our pets. Someone shouting from the mountaintops what they are thinking, “I love you unconditionally and deserve better!” - And that is what we did. So we sat down and decided there had to be a better way. It began with products for our own four legged friends and quickly expanded to our friend’s pets and then the entire community. We knew we had something and wanted to share it with the world.

Our Mission

Healthy Pet | Happy You

Our mission is simple. Pura Naturals Pet™ is dedicated to delivering the highest quality products using only the best materials the Earth has to offer. That dedication means we deliver USDA certified organic ingredients, plant based foams and plastics, biodegradable elements that have amazing natural properties – like rice hulls – in every product. The best part is, those ingredients not only make the SAFEST product but also the most comfortable. What does comfortable mean? It means shampoos and lotions that won’t irritate the skin, scents and perfumes that don’t trigger allergies, and materials that are relaxing, safe, renewable and earth friendly. When you combine the Earth’s best with amazing innovation and design you get the intersection of luxury and responsibility.

What to Expect


We are passionate about our pets. We connect with them like we do our children and friends. They know our likes and dislikes, love us unconditionally and are quick to forgive us when we are wrong. We know you are as passionate about your pets and we want to help you show it. That is why we are so dedicated to the products we make and what they stand for. You can be sure that every product we sell has been used by our animals first and has every ounce of our commitment and care behind them.


Quality is a cornerstone of the company. We don’t use China or anyone else, even here in the US, with questionable business practices. In fact, we have become so over the top about this that we changed our vendor relations policy from a complex document to one simple phrase. “We only buy from and trust people we would be friends with”. If they don’t share our values, passion and commitment to everything we believe then we can’t trust them to make our – no – your products.

American Made

We believe in this amazing country. We believe in its opportunity, its freedom, and its ability to change the world. So we always try to buy from here. That word “try” sounds like an excuse doesn’t it? We can honestly say that EVERYTHING currently available from Pura Naturals Pet™ and all of its brands is MADE HERE IN THE USA. We promise that if we ever do make something somewhere else, we will always be very open about it and let you know the country of origin clearly and openly. (Unlike some other folks we know)


ASPCA responders dispatched to rescue pets and large animals during devastating floods

Baton Rouge, La.— At the request of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) has dispatched its disaster response team to conduct water rescue for animals displaced by severe flooding spanning East Baton Rouge and Lafayette Parish. At least six people have died in the disaster, and approximately 20,000 residents have been displaced.

The ASPCA is working with the Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART) to coordinate local resources required to rescue the large number of animals displaced by the flash floods. Residents who need assistance with recovering a pet from their home or emergency sheltering for their pets are encouraged to contact the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP). Residents can find contact information for their parish’s OHSEP office at http://gohsep.la.gov/about/parishpa.  

“If you evacuate your home, do not leave your pets behind,” said Dr. Dick Green, senior director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team. “Many people consider pets as family members, and losing a pet on top of this already tragic situation can be horribly stressful. We want to give people peace of mind while they cope with this crisis by making sure their pets are safe.”

The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team frequently responds to natural disasters including wildfires, tornadoes and floods. In addition, they are called on by state and municipal governments and other animal welfare partners to lend expertise during large-scale animal rescue operations.

The ASPCA also has a disaster preparedness mobile app which advises pet owners on what to do before, during, and after a disaster. The app, which works even without internet connectivity, also provides personalized instructions on how to search for and recover lost animals in a variety of circumstances.

More information on the ASPCA’s disaster response efforts can be found at http://www.aspca.org/fight-cruelty/field-investigations-and-response-team/natural-disasters.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, and celebrating its 150th birthday this year, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Washington, D.C. (August 17, 2016) – Jeff Flocken, North American Regional Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), issued the following statement in response to the killing of a giraffe and zebra in South Africa by a 12-year old American trophy hunter:

“It’s sad any time that an imperiled animal like a giraffe is killed for fun, regardless of who does it.  Giraffes are in serious decline across Africa—it is estimated that their populations have dropped by 40 percent in the last 15 years. The last thing they need is to be killed for anyone’s enjoyment. 

All the negative on-line energy focused on this should not be directed at any individual, particularly a minor. We know that the problem is so much larger than any one of these isolated incidents.  These kills were just two of thousands and thousands of animals legally killed for sport annually.  This includes an approximate 200,000 animals from threatened species killed for trophies over the last decade.

Trophy hunters need to stop taking the lives of wildlife simply for fun.  We are in 2016 and wild animals are facing a multitude of threats to their existence.  Killing them for sport just isn’t right.”


About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

“A provocative account of the latest developments in evolutionary biology.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Richard C. Francis’s DOMESTICATED: Evolution in a Man-Made World [W. W. Norton & Company; July 19, 2016; $17.95 paperback].

Since that fateful day when the first wolf decided to stay close to human hunters, humans and their various animal companions have thrived far beyond nearly all wild species on earth. Tameness is the key trait in the domestication of cats, dogs, horses, cows, and other mammals, from rats to reindeer. Surprisingly, with selection for tameness comes a suite of seemingly unrelated alterations, including floppy ears, skeletal and coloration changes, and sex differences. It’s a package deal known as the domestication syndrome, elements of which area also found in humans. Our highly social nature—one of the keys to our evolutionary success—is due to our own tameness. In DOMESTICATED, Richard C. Francis weaves history and anthropology with cutting-edge ideas in genomics and evo devo to tell the story of how we domesticated the world, and ourselves in the process. 
“An essential read for anyone interested in the stories of the animals in our home or on our plate.”
BBC Focus
“Intriguing. . . Our self-domestication, [Francis] avers, has driven the cultural dynamism that has made us what we are.”
Richard C. Francis is a science journalist with a Ph.D. in neurobiology from Stony Brook University. He is the author of the acclaimed books Epigenetics and Why Men Won’t Ask for Directions.

Followed by a Church Picnic
Beaverton, August 10, 2016: All are invited to join us for the 8th Annual Blessing of the Animals service on Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 10:30 am (change in worship time). The service will be held at Beaverton’s Evelyn M. Schiffler Memorial Park, SW Erickson Ave. and SW Berthold St. In addition to the Blessing of the Animals, Pastor David will also focus on the Bethel mission statement and what it means to be part of the welcoming community that is Bethel. After worship, we will have an all church picnic. All are welcome to attend, bring their pets for a blessing and stay for the picnic. If your pet isn't comfortable around lots of people and pets, you are invited to bring a photo. Some children even bring their favorite stuffed animals -- all options are encouraged.
In 2008, Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ held its first Blessing of the Animals service. Since then, it has become an annual tradition to hold an outdoor service honoring, blessing and celebrating the relationships we have with those animal companions that fill our hearts with thanksgiving and love. It’s a time to remember those pets and animals that may no longer be with us as well as celebrate those that fill our lives with joy on a daily basis.
Blessing the Animals is not a new concept. It began with St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, who was believed to sing and preach to all of God’s creatures, honoring God’s presence in each of them. Animals were drawn to him and stories of his great love for animals abound. St. Francis was a true steward and brother to the animals, without discrimination and an example of how to treat God’s precious creatures.
This is a wonderful opportunity for the entire family, including our furry friends, to be blessed and honored in this unique outdoor worship service on Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 10:30 am at Beaverton’s Evelyn M. Schiffler Memorial Park, SW Erickson Ave. and SW Berthold St. Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ is a progressive Christian community that is committed to service and is open to everyone. Our motto: “No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!” For more details go to the website at www.bethelbeaverton.org or call 503-646-1191.
Contact: Beth Astarte/Bethel Church Office
Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ
5150 SW Watson Ave, Beaverton, OR 97005
Phone: (503) 646-1191
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Coat made from 20 foxes to be repurposed as part of Born Free USA’s global Fur for the Animals campaign

Washington, D.C., August 8, 2016 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, recently received what was thought to be a lynx fur coat as part of the Born Free USA Fur for the Animals campaign. After further investigation at a furrier by Born Free USA, it was determined to be an arctic fox fur coat, dyed to look like a lynx, made from up to 20 fox pelts originating in Finland. Born Free USA sent the coat to the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona, California, where it and other fur donations from the campaign are being used to comfort 28 orphaned coyote pups and additional baby wildlife.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “Without a doubt, the foxes who died for this coat were born and held in miserable captivity on a Finnish fur farm. They were not allowed to run, play, or feed naturally. Simply put, they were not allowed to be foxes; their paws almost certainly never even touched the grass. Instead, they would have been driven mad by spending their entire lives in crowded, unsanitary, and painful wire cages: a fate shared by the millions of animals imprisoned in fur farms today.”

Due to the global success of Born Free USA’s Fur for the Animals campaign, the organization continues to receive fur donations every week from people who refuse to wear fur they have acquired: coats, stoles, hats, scarves, rugs, pillows, toys, etc. After receiving them, Born Free USA ships the items to wildlife rehabilitators across the country to use for supporting and comforting the baby animals in their care.

“Fur only comes from tortuous death,” Roberts explains. “The methods fur farms use to kill their victims are unspeakably cruel. Now, this coat that came from so much cruelty will be used to comfort coyote pups who, once rehabilitated, will potentially get the chance to live full lives in the wild. While the symmetry and symbolism is not lost on us, it would be far better if these foxes never had to die for fashion in the first place.”  

The lynx-dyed fox coat was included in a large shipment of fur donations Born Free USA sent to the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center. The center is currently caring for 28 orphaned coyote pups, many themselves victims of wildlife conflict and lethal control. The parents of six of these pups were killed for getting ‘too close’ to a residential neighborhood. Two others were found wandering alone after their mother was hit and killed by a car.

According to Ali Crumpacker, Director of The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center, “This coat, which needlessly killed so many animals, will now help many more on their journey to recovery and rerelease into the wild. While we are grateful for the opportunity to give a better ending to this tragic story, we continue to hope for a future in which fur is never taken from its original owner, and wildlife conflicts are resolved in a humane manner that doesn’t result in overwhelming numbers of vulnerable, orphaned wildlife.”

In addition to the coat, Born Free USA has shipped other donated fur pieces to The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center over the past year, which has helped comfort: 54 skunks, 141 Virginia opossums, 38 coyotes, 4 bobcats, 5 bears, 1 gray fox, 1 mountain lion, and dozens of others in need.

About Born Free USA: Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free USA’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

About The Fund for Animals: The Fund for Animals operates the nation’s largest and most diverse network of animal care centers. An affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States, The Fund for Animals provides hands-on care and safe haven for more than 3,000 animals representing 150 species each year, including those rescued from cruelty and neglect, victims of the exotic pet trade, injured and orphaned wildlife, refugees from research labs, and many more, and works to prevent cruelty through advocacy and education. For more information, visit fundforanimals.org. The Fund for Animals’ animal care centers include · Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Texas · Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in California · Cape Wildlife Center in Massachusetts · Duchess Sanctuary in Oregon.




Baby Wallaroo Emerges from Mom’s Pouch at Oakland Zoo

Oakland, CA…August 4, 2016 – A baby wallaroo, called a joey, has emerged from mom’s pouch at Oakland Zoo. Wallaroos are a species similar to but smaller than a kangaroo. Too early yet to determine the baby’s sex, ZooKeepers are waiting to name the joey until a gender can be determined.

Although it’s impossible to determine an exact birthdate, zookeepers estimate it between October - November last year. Joeys are technically born after only one month's gestational period - fur-less, blind, and about the size of a kidney bean (1’’ long). The tiny newborn will crawl unaided from the birth canal to the mother’s pouch where it begins to nurse. There it will continue to develop, not making an appearance until it is six to eight months old. (Zooborns. (n.d.) Retrieved from: http://www.zooborns.com/zooborns/2011/05/baby-wallaroo-peeks-out-of-the-pouch.html

“We’re very excited about the arrival of this new joey, who brings our wallaroo “mob” - the term for a group of wallaroos - to 12. For guests who get a peek from our Outback Adventure Train, the joey can often be seen near its mother, sometimes resting in the shade during the warm summer days or foraging on the lush grass in the cooler morning and evening hours,” Valerie Salonga, Zookeeper.

Since a Joey will not start coming and going from the safety of its mom’s pouch with any regularity until approximately ten months of age, only recently has the youngster begun grazing on grass, eating food-pellets, and spending time with female wallaroos in the mob other than its mother. More active every week, the joey is still quite shy and mom, Tallara, remains very protective.

Zookeepers are giving mom and joey plenty of privacy during this transitional period, providing a morning diet in a holding area and allowing Tallara to choose whether or not to go on exhibit each day.



The Bay Area's award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid's activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide; with 25¢ from each ticket donated to support conservation partners and programs around the world. The California Trail, a transformational project that more than doubles our size, opens in 2018,

and will further our commitment to animal care, education, and conservation with a focus on this state’s remarkable native wildlife. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information, go to: www.oaklandzoo.org



Logging loopholes threaten old-growth forests; Marbled Murrelet’s protected zone reduced by 98 percent

Advisor, 202-888-7490

(Washington, D.C. August 5, 2016)The Bureau of Land Management has approved a logging plan for the forests it manages in Oregon, significantly weakening protections for the threatenedMarbled MurreletandNorthern Spotted Owl. These protections were put in place in 1994 as part of President Clinton’s Northwest Forest Plan.

“The BLM plan is huge step in the wrong direction that ignores science, the dangers of climate change, and the successes of President Clinton’s Northwest Forest Plan,” said Steve Holmer, Senior Policy Advisor for American Bird Conservancy. “The BLM is now planning to log mature forests that are needed to recover populations of the threatened Marbled Murrelet and Northern Spotted Owl, and that provide for clean water and carbon storage.”

American Bird Conservancy (ABC) submitted aletterto BLM providing feedback on the plan; ABC also urged Obama administration officials to shelve the proposed plan, instead keeping the Northwest Forest Plan in effect until it can be updated in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service.

“The Marbled Murrelet, a species listed under the Endangered Species Act, will be placed at great risk by the BLM’s plan to increase logging in mature forests,” said Holmer. “The Northwest Forest Plan provided for half-mile buffers around nesting territories. These are needed to ensure sufficient protected habitat around nests in a heavily fragmented landscape. This common-sense safeguard is being abandoned at the same time BLM is proposing to ramp up clearcutting.”

The Marbled Murrelet nests on large branches of mature and old-growth trees. It is listed as a threatened species under the ESA because of habitat loss caused primarily by logging of old-growth forests. An estimated 19,000 birds remain, but the Washington State population is currently in a steep 5.9 percent annual decline, and long-term population projections indicate a high risk of extinction in California and Oregon within the next 100 years.

Marbled Murrelet nests suffer heavier predation in areas where the forest is not intact. Clearcutting proposed in the BLM plan for Oregon will further fragment the landscape. The current buffers protect a circular area of 503 acres of habitat based on a half-mile radius from the nest site. The new plan provides for only 6.5 acres of protected habitat,a 98 percent reduction from the current standard.

Meanwhile, the Northern Spotted Owl—also listed as a threatened species under the ESA—is in decline across its range, including in Oregon. A recent study showed that the owl population has decreased by 31-68 percent in Oregon since 1985, due to the dual threats of habitat loss and competition from Barred Owls. The BLM plan calls for commercial logging in areas designated as reserves for the owl by the Northwest Forest Plan, in particular in late-successional and riparian habitats. This raises doubt that the new reserves will function properly.

The BLM plan is proposing a five-to-eight-year moratorium on Spotted Owl take until a Barred Owl control program is initiated in the planning area. (Research on the effectiveness of Barred Owl removal has just begun, and uncertainty remains as to how much Barred Owl control the public will support over the long term.)

“The Northern Spotted Owl will benefit from the proposed moratorium on take, but its habitat is at greater risk over the long term because of the extensive logging planned in late-successional areas of the reserves,” said Holmer. “We advise placing a much longer moratorium on owl take. In about 30 years, a large amount of new, suitable owl habitat will become available under the Northwest Forest Plan as forests mature. We need to stay the course and be as protective of the Northern Spotted Owl as possible until then.”


American Bird Conservancy is the Western Hemisphere's bird conservation specialist—the only organization with a single and steadfast commitment to achieving conservation results for native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas.  With a focus on efficiency and working in partnership, we take on the toughest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on sound science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.


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