Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Rescue News 2007

Posted: 4 December 2007. Updated: 20 July 2009


Our rescued lions taste freedom

Caesar and Sarah, the two lions we rescued from a circus in Portugal and took to our South African sanctuary earlier this year, are enjoying life in the bush. No more life in a cramped cage on the back of a lorry. The pair now roam a large enclosure of natural African bush at the ADI Rescue Centre in the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre.

Meanwhile, Tarzan the tiger had to be moved from his enclosure whilst the fence was reinforced because he was so determined to meet the ‘grumpy old lady’ tigers. They, however, ignored him, making it clear that they did not want to be pestered by the young whippersnapper. Tarzan has now settled to just observing the ladies in the distance from time to time.

Elsewhere, we continue efforts to rescue big cats from distress in Peru and Ecuador – see Stop Circus Suffering.


Kodak’s Loneliness to end!

Kodak is a wild-caught capuchin monkey, who was exported from Guyana in South America to Greece at the age of one year. In 2003 he was sold by a primate dealer to an Athens resident. As Kodak matured, his owner became increasingly aware that the monkey needed the companionship of his own species. However, the owner was unable to secure a companion for Kodak, due to a ban on the import of wild-caught primates. He concluded that Kodak would be better off in a sanctuary and handed him over to the AAP Exotic Animal Sanctuary in the Netherlands. Now, Kodak is set to move to a permanent place at the Monkey Sanctuary in Looe, Cornwall.

ADI will be funding Kodak’s quarantine in Guernsey for six months, after which he will start his new life in Looe. Kodak’s sad story will be used by ADI and the Monkey Sanctuary to highlight the need for a ban on the keeping of primates as pets under the regulations of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Kodak’s time in quarantine will cost about £1,000 – or just over £5.50 a day.

Could you send a donation to sponsor Kodak for a day, a week or a month?


Farewell Pasca

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Pasca, one of the beagles we rescued from vivisection in a dramatic undercover sting in 1994. Pasca enjoyed 13 years of freedom and love at the heart of the family of Ferial Evans.

Born on 5th July 1994 in a concrete, steel-walled, factory farm facility at lab animal dealer Interfauna, beagle number 7355 was destined for experimentation. When Interfauna loaded 7355 and five other pups into a delivery van, they thought the animals were heading for experimentation in Italy. Instead, they were escaping in a sting organised by NAVS and the News of the World.

When the truth was revealed, one of the Interfauna directors wrote: “Our primary concern is the welfare of the animals. We feel it is gross irresponsibility to put these animals into a domestic environment completely alien to them....[You have] actually subjected six dogs to unnecessary distress and suffering”. What nonsense it was. Instead of a long flight, concrete pen and dying in a laboratory test, the pups were already romping around the garden, enjoying the sensation of grass underfoot, and Pasca was digging up the flower bulbs!

On day one, Pasca teamed up with Jonesy, and so the pair were homed together with supporter Ferial Evans. The pups became a beloved centre of the family and showed that these dogs can of course settle to family life. Throughout her life Pasca was a happy dog who loved attention and lived life to the full. Our thoughts are with Ferial’s family, who are devastated by the loss of a dear family member, and to Jonesy who has lost his lifelong companion. Pasca was a lucky little dog who made it out of that terrible industry alive – to which Ferial responds: “No, we were the lucky ones”.

Karla and Panchito: two lives of suffering and beatings

ADI South America reports: Our work with governments, mass media, educational centers and animal organizations has informed the community at large about the suffering of animals in circuses in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. We have worked with governments to introduce measures to prohibit the use of animals in circuses, and this has produced excellent results, such as local prohibitions and seizures of animals.

Importantly, it has attracted the attention of the international media to the plight of Karla, a chimpanzee who spent more than 20 years in the circus, and was filmed by ADI Field Officers being abused in the Circus Wild Animals of Africa (also known as Rolex and/or Mexico and/or Brothers Gasca). Karla was whipped about the legs to force her to dance the tapatío (a Mexican folk dance), repeatedly beaten with a metal chain, forced to smoke, and exposed to a constant siege of pedestrians in order to advertise the Circus. During the investigation she was also bitten in the genitals by the circus proprietor’s dog but did not receive veterinary attention. She suffered poor food, limited access to drinking water and severe confinement.

As a result of legal action and publicity generated by ADI Sudamérica and Mentes Verdes (Foundation Green Minds), Karla was suddenly “donated” to Medellin Zoo in February 2007 and remains there while her fate is decided. ADI and Mentes Verdes are hoping to get permission from the Metropolitan Area of the Vale of Aburrá in Medellin, Colombia, to transfer Karla to a natural bush refuge in Africa.

Karla’s case has been taken up by the most important newspapers in Colombia, including The Time, The World, The Colombian and The Spectator; the television program Al Rojo Vivo from Telemundo Internacional and the newscasts of the Andean Parliament (covering all South America). Many other newscasters and radio networks have covered the story. In May, Jan Creamer, ADI Sudamérica and Mentes Verdes met with the director of Medellin Zoo and the representatives of Metropolitan area of the Aburrá Vale in order to request that Karla be allowed to go to a sanctuary.

Unfortunately, the Zoo have seen a breeding opportunity with Karla (despite her advanced age and poor condition) and are now unwilling to give her up, despite the local authority considering their facilities to be substandard and wanting the Zoo to move out of the centre of the city. At present, Karla is sharing an enclosure with the Zoo’s two resident chimpanzees, Bobby and Chita.

ADI and Mentes Verdes hope that we can persuade the Zoo and the local authority to let us take Bobby, Chita and Karla (along with Panchito) to a sanctuary where they can be properly rehabilitated and live out the remainder of their lives in peace.

Panchito is a teenage male chimpanzee owned by the Circus of the Brothers Gasca, one of the largest circus families in South America, with many animals and many shows under different names. On May 17 2007, at Ibagué, the circus revealed its abuse and aggression towards its animals. When a worker was dressing Panchito for a performance on a motorcycle, the animal objected and bit the circus worker. In front of the audience (including a policeman), Panchito was beaten with an iron bar so badly that he started to bleed and members of the audience walked out in disgust. Before the local authorities could examine the chimp, he was donated to the Zoo Matecaña de Pereira, Colombia, where he remains. The suffering of these two chimpanzees at the hands of the circus are a clear example of the cruelty, suffering and humiliation inflicted on animals in this industry.

ADI Sudamérica and Mentes Verdes will continue to press for Panchito and Karla to be released into the care of ADI. We hope to show that the well-being of the chimpanzees must be a priority over the entertainment of human beings. We all hope to see these chimps running freely in Africa.

Rhanee, the Elephant

Few animals have touched the hearts of supporters and public as much as Rhanee. Trapped in the wild in Thailand, sold into a life in chains in the circus, viciously abused at Mary Chipperfield Promotions, her keeper was jailed after ADI caught the evidence on film. We then campaigned to have her freed from the Spanish zoo to which she was sold, after her owners were convicted of cruelty to other animals.

We have continued to monitor Rhanee’s life and made several approaches to the zoo over the years. So earlier this year, when we learned that Valwo Zoo (owned by the same company as Madrid Zoo) had gone bust, our Campaigns Director, Tim Phillips, flew to Spain to meet with Madrid (which is handling the relocation), to discuss options for Rhanee.

Madrid has said that they would hand Rhanee and her companion Toto over to ADI, provided we could find a home for both elephants together and minimise the journey time with appropriate conditions. Rhanee is now reported to have arthritis and may not be fit for a very long journey. PAWS have said that they can take the two elephants at their wonderful ARK2000 sanctuary in California, provided ADI can get them there. We presented a proposal to the zoo that compared climates between European zoos and Ark2000 – we believe (and our vet concurs) the cold damp climates in northern Europe are likely to aggravate the arthritis or force Rhanee indoors for extended periods. We also analysed journey times, establishing that if Rhanee and Toto are flown, then the journey time is comparable to that by road to most of the European zoos with Asian elephants. Unfortunately, the zoo wants the two elephants to remain within the European Zoo Association remit. Madrid Zoo is also looking for a home. There is space in their Selwo facility, but this would mean separating Rhanee and Toto.

We continue to work on a solution. It should be stressed that there is no legal avenue for the removal of these animals from the zoo. Any solution to Rhanee’s and Toto’s plight must be negotiated.

See also Animals in entertainment

And Stop Circus Suffering USA

Please send a donation to help us launch more Stop Circus Suffering campaigns.

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