CHEERS to Fairfield, Conn., Animal Control Officer Ralph Miller and Firefighter Jordan Charney for rescuing a swan that had become trapped in ice covering a local pond March 3. When the fire crews arrived on the scene, Charney donned a cold water rescue suit, and after edging out on the ice to the swan, helped free the trapped bird from its predicament. Unharmed, the bird paddled away to an ice-free section of the pond.
Friends of Animals wishes Holley, N.Y., firefighters would model themselves after the firefighters in Fairfield instead of insisting on hosting the horrific “Squirrel Slam” fundraiser, which rewards people for killing the heaviest squirrels.
We are thrilled to see the Fairfield community embracing and respecting wildlife, especially at a time when mute swans are in jeopardy in New York. The NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation is trying to eradicate them by 2025, but FoA is working non-stop to make sure that doesn’t happen.
In yet another example of a flaky celebrity tossing their supposed vegan lifestyle out the window, we have a JEER for Usher who was seen wearing a hideous coyote fur hat during the filming of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last week and a guest judge episode of The Voice.
A celebrity-worshipping animal charity had praised Usher in September of 2012 for reportedly going vegan and expected him to encourage his friends, like Justin Bieber, to make the change with him. This charity has made this mistake many times in the past...putting celebrities on a pedestal when they claim they’re ready to become vegan, even when it’s nothing more than a grasp at a few minutes of media attention and not a legitimate lifestyle change or anything to do with compassion for animals.
We are disgusted at Usher’s “Daniel Boon” headgear choice and believe that the anti-fur message we have been advocating since day one has to get turned up since nine times out of 10, these celebrity vegans are phonies. We hope Usher re-evaluates his fashion choices in the future and realizes that his archaic fur accessories are a thing of the past.
Tell Usher to end his fur-wearing ways and contact him on his official Facebook and Twitter.
JEERS to Lady Gaga for trying to get an endangered slow loris to co-star with her in her music video recently. After the primate nipped her she decided to “fire” him. This comes in the wake of another pop star, Rihanna, spending a weekend at the beach in Thailand and leaving behind a trail of racy tweets and incriminating Instagram photographs of her with a slow loris. The good news is those photos led police to arrest two people for allegedly peddling protected primates. On the island of Puket where Rihanna was, authorities have tried for years to crack down on the problem of vendors exploiting wildlife, particularly in popular tourist areas where people pay to pose for pictures with elephants, orangutans and other animals.
According to expert Anna Nekaris, who founded an organization to study and conserve slow lorises, the primates have become increasingly endangered worldwide due to the illegal pet trade after people see them looking cute and cuddly in Youtube videos. They may be adorable, but they aren’t meant to be pets, just like the primates at Friends of Animals’ Primarily Primates sanctuary in Texas, many of whom were also victims of the exotic pet trade.
The slow loris is the only poisonous primate in the world. Its elbows play an important part as a lethal weapon in their defense mechanism because on the inside of the elbows there is patch which is used to store a foul smelling toxin. Right before they bite, the loris will suck some poison from the patch and mix it with their saliva, inside their mouth.
Nekaris says that in the areas of the world she has studied there have been reports of people who have gone into anaphylactic shock and died from a loris bite or lost body parts. She points out that poachers typically pull out their sharp teeth using pliers to make them more desirable to pet owners.
In captivity slow lorises are usually unable to clean themselves properly and are thus covered in urine and feces. This, combined with unsuitable diets, is a death sentence for the slow loris—they often die before they are even sold.
Pop stars should use their celebrity to raise awareness about the dark side of the illegal exotic pet trade, not fuel it and devastate the population of endangered species even more.
You can tweet Lady Gaga at @ladygaga. Or write on her official Facebook page.