Letters [June 2007]
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2007:
Turtles & foxes
ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection
Society of Greece, has for more than 20 years
conducted conservation projects on the major
nesting grounds of the loggerhead sea turtle
(Caretta caretta) in Greece. Our activities
involve sea turtle and nest protection, habitat
management, rehabilitation, and public awareness
and environmental education.
The success of our work relies heavily on
the participation of volunteers–more than 500
people every year.
Volunteers this year will work on
Zakynthos, where the first National Marine Park
for sea turtles in the Mediterranean was recently
established; at Lakonikos Bay, where sand dune
restoration has begun and nature trails are in
operation; the Bay of Kyparissia, where we
prevent fox predation and have a new nature
information center; Crete, where tourism is a
challenging partner in sea turtle protection;
and Athens, where the ARCHELON Rescue Centre
rehabilitates injured turtles from all over
3rd Marina, Glyfada
166 75 Athens
Tel./Fax: : +30 210 8982600
ANIMAL PEOPLE asked about the ARCHELON
methods of preventing fox predation on sea turtle
nests. Responded Aliki Panagopoulou of
ARCHELON, “We are trying to keep predation to
not more than 10%. After all, turtle eggs are
part of the foxes’ natural diet. We fence the
nests with a metal frame and bamboo. We would
really not be an environmental organisation if we
meant to save one species at the expense of any
other. We believe that it is this kind of human
attitude that has brought the planet in this
state in the first place! I am glad that you
care enough to make sure that we do not use any
We are shocked by the atrocities being
done this very moment to dogs and cats in Serbia,
especially in Nis, where many are caught and
killed contrary to our Veterinary Law and
For two weeks at this writing,
dogcatchers have hanged dogs in parks in front of
children, put both cats and dogs in the same
cages, and kept them for three days and killed
them after feeding cages full of dogs (and some
cats) with one handful of dog food. Dogs with
distemper are put together with puppies on
purpose so that they get infected as well.
The vet in charge of this concentration
camp gets a good sum to run it. The vet
inspectors allow him to do it and tell the media
that everything is perfect, that people should
bring their own pets if they can`t take care of
them, because they will have two meals a day and
We tried to bring criminal charges
against everyone involved, but the public
attorney and police would not act.
We have sent out many photos and other
evidence. We are tired of taking pictures.
Please come and see for yourself.
–Jelena Kostic, APS
–Snezana Tadic, APS
–Milan Djuric, IZVOR
–Oliver Velickovic, CEIRI
–Goran & Marija Grujin,
Network of Independent Activists
for Animal Rights
–Zvezdana Radojcic, APS
–Jelena Zaric, Vegan Portal
–Slavica Mazak Beslic, EPAR
The nine prominent Serbian animal
advocates who co-signed these allegations sent a
more detailed version to senior officials in
three different branches of the Serbian
To update your May 2007 report about
Lionsrock, “Vier Pfoten buys South African game
lodge to turn into sanctuary,” we will finish
the first construction phase in July. In
September we will transfer the 13 lions from the
former Safaripark Gaenserndorf near Vienna to
Lionsrock. In November we plan to have the
Schönbrunner Strasse 131
A- 1050 Wien, Austria
Phone: 43 -1- 545-50-20-0
Fax 43 1 545 50 20 99
The May 2007 ANIMAL PEOPLE editorial
feature “The lessons zoos teach” was
terrific-comprehensive, informative, and
Something I have always found missing in
zoos is that no tools are offered to move
observers beyond a passive position.
No matter how well the animal on exhibit
is treated, no matter how authentically the
animal’s natural environment is recreated, and
no matter how much information is given about
threats such as habitat loss, the bush meat
trade, climate change, etc., usually not a
word is said about how to take an active role to
Although recommending specific
organizations or publications might create some
difficulty for zoos, most zoo visitors will do
nothing to help wildlife without tangible help.
The educational potential of a zoo visit is lost
in a day’s entertainment.
New York, N.Y.
Ethiopian lion is rescued
In “Help at last for the Addis Ababa zoo”
in your October 2006 edition, you mentioned that
I hoped to rescue “a common lion who was captured
young and has been held ever since” by a local
exhibitor “in a small cage, restrained by
chains, in the southern region of Ethiopia near
the Somali border.”
I am happy to report to you that after a
long campaign, networking with different animal
groups and the Ethiopian wildlife department,
the Dolo lion is finally free from his chains,
and has been transferred to a temporary shelter
in one of the national parks in Ethiopia.
This was made possible by growing world
awareness of the situation of wildlife in
Ethiopia, and especially about the poisoning of
Atlas lion cubs at the Lion Zoo in Addis Ababa
(“Ethiopian zoo poisons lion cubs,” December
A sanctuary for lions is now be
established in Ethiopia by the Born Free
Foundation, with the support of the Ethiopian
The rescue of the Dolo lion was conducted
by the Ethiopian wildlife department with the
support and assistance of the Born Free
Foundation. We undertook the obligation to
raise the funds required to care for the lion.
We are now working on this with the help of
Although the lion is not yet in an
optimal facility, he is out of the chains and
can now breathe freely and walk around. He is
properly fed and receives veterinary care. He
suffers from an abnormal gait and stunted growth,
due to the cruel conditions he was held in since
he was young. The Dolo lion is expected to stay
in the temporary shelter for one year and then we
hope he will become the first lion at the Born
Thanks for your involvement and support
in bringing this matter to public awareness.
Reviewer Chris Mercer in the May 2007
edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE described Marc. R.
Fellenz’ new book The Moral Menagerie as filled
with “wisdom on every page.” I have trouble
seeing the wisdom in a book that claims ethical
standards cannot be applied to our treatment of
animals; repeats the morally bankrupt refrain
that our relationship to animals should be
governed by aesthetics rather than ethics, a
claim which speciesist post-modernist
philosophers use to justify the reduction of
nonhuman animals to instruments of human
pleasure; describes hunting as “performance art”
(I can’t wait to hear what Fellenz has to say
about bullfighting); praises reactionary
pro-hunting philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset;
and considers hunting the ideal way for humans to
relate to animals.
Those who believe, as Mercer appears to,
that a comprehensive environmental ethic offers
the most promise for providing an adequate
theoretical framework for our relationship with
nonhuman animals would do far better to turn to
Lisa Kemmerer’s outstanding In Search of
Consistency: Ethics and Animals, which I believe
is destined to become a classic of animal
protection and environmental thought.
I am an admirer of Chris Mercer’s
campaigns against trophy hunting in South Africa,
but The Moral Menagerie is facile, pretentious,
Norm is quite right. I was deeply
unhappy with much of what the book says.
The May 2007 ANIMAL PEOPLE article
“Bangalore dog panic spreads to Hyderabad”
misidentified retired Justice B. Subhashan Reddy
as chair of the Karnataka State Human Rights
An outspoken opponent of the Indian
national Animal Birth Control policy, Reddy has
pledged to seek changes in the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals Act to expedite killing dogs,
and has exercised influence in several widely
separated parts of India. He presently heads the
Andhra Pradesh State Human Rights Commission.
Reddy previously served as a Judge of the
Andhra Pradesh High Court, 1991-2001; was Chief
Justice of the Madras High Court 2001-2004; and
was a Justice of the Kerala High Court,
Feeding elephants to crocs in Zimbabwe
Re “South Africa, Zimbabwe claim need to
cull elephants” in your April 2007 edition,
Geoff Blyth sent me an email ranting and raving
because he heard the National Parks were starting
a croc farm and they were planning on shooting
Kariba elephants to feed the crocs. He asked me
to expose it. I didn’t realize that he had sent
the same e-mail all over the world. I think it
was the same day or the following day that I
received a phone call from Eleanor Momberg [of
the Cape Times in South Africa] asking me about
the same thing. I told her what Geoff had told
me in his e-mail. I think I also told her that I
went to the Victoria Falls croc farm and the
people running it told me that their crocs are
fed on elephant meat, and I have it on good
authority that a certain number of eles are
allocated per year to feed the crocs at the Binga
croc farm, so Geoff’s story wasn’t unbelievable.
A few days later, I received another
e-mail from Geoff suddenly retracting everything
he had said. He said he had spoken to Wayne
Horsley, who he had originally claimed was
employed by the croc farm to shoot the elephants,
and Wayne told him that he had his wires crossed.
They were not going to shoot the Kariba eles to
feed the crocs. Instead they were going to shoot
eles in the Save Conservancy and tranport the
meat almost 900 kilometers to Kariba. He went on
to tell Geoff that ele meat is not suitable for
crocs. I smelt a rat when I read this, and I
also found very hard to believe that National
Parks would go to all the expense of transporting
the ele meat so far when they have financial
I sensed he was very nervous about what
he had said. In fact he told me he was afraid of
I didn’t forward his apology to anyone
because I really think there was some truth in
his original story, and I’m glad it got out
because that croc farm is not yet operational.
If they haven’t started killing eles yet, and
planned to, I should think all this adverse
publicity will make them think twice about it.
I’ve just been to Kariba, and
interviewed Wayne Horsley with my video camera.
He states categorically on camera that the croc
farm is not going to kill Kariba eles to feed the
crocs. He claims the story got out because there
was an ele bull with a broken leg he shot to put
out of his misery. That ele was fed to the
Innscor croc farm.
I’m investigating the whole thing to try
to find out what’s really going on.
–Johnny Rodrigues, Chair
Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Stopping rabies outbreak in Isiolo, Kenya
I have been meaning to write to you for
ages about the rabies situation in Isiolo,
Kenya, that you wrote about to the Donkey
Sanctuary last December. The Donkey Sanctuary
U.K., which funds our donkey project, donated
1,000 doses of rabies vaccine to use in Isiolo
As dogs are on the whole the main
carriers of rabies, we also applied for and
received another 1,000 doses of rabies vaccine
from the International Fund for Animal Welfare
for use on dogs and cats. Two teams went up to
the Isiolo area and vaccinated both pets and
donkeys. There was a good response from owners,
who were very happy that we were helping them.
Some dogs were tied up and brought in
wheelbarrows, as they were not used to leads,
and some cats (poor things) arrived in sacks.
In all, we vaccinated over 850 dogs and
a few cats, and used the remaining vaccine
around Nairobi in the low income areas.
Rabies is endemic in Kenya and from time to
time there are outbreaks, even in Nairobi. The
Veterinary Department deals with it by
poisoning “stray” dogs with strychnine. As most
village and slum dogs are free-ranging, they are
killing peoples’ dogs. It is indiscriminate.
The exercise is self -defeating because people
just get more dogs and the cycle starts again.
We have tried to lobby about vaccination, but
they say they don’t have the money. Strychnine
is cheap and easy to administer in bait. They
say the animals don’t suffer, at least not for
long! We beg to differ. So rabies continues.
When we make noise, we are told to come
up with a better solution. But they don’t like
the one we come up with.
Director of Animal Welfare
P.O. Box 24203
ANIMAL PEOPLE on December 11, 2006
shared with numerous organizations either based
in Kenya, concerned with rabies prevention, or
concerned with donkeys a report received that
morning from the International Society for
Infectious Diseases about a highly unusual rabies
outbreak in Isiolo which appeared to be passing
from donkey to donkey.
Although all mammals are vulnerable to
rabies, herbivores rarely carry rabies long
enough in a latent phase to directly infect other
animals, and relatively seldom bite other
animals, even when they are infected.
However, donkeys often do bite each
other in jostling for dominance, especially at
the tops of the legs.
ANIMAL PEOPLE pointed out that Isiolo is a
crossroads community, located almost exactly in
the center of Kenya, from which working donkeys
could rapidly spread rabies in all directions.
We expected to publish an article about
the outbreak and the containment effort as soon
as particulars became available. However, after
a flurry of related correspondence in January
2007, we heard no more from anyone until the
arrival of the update from Jean Gilchrist, above.
The Kenya Network for Dissemin-ation of
Agricultural Technologies and Brooke Hospital for
Animals also responded to the Isiolo outbreak,
vaccinating 283 donkeys in nearby Limeru.
Maintaining momentum in Azerbaijan
I moved with my husband to Baku,
Azerbaijan two years ago. We work in the oil
industry. I was appalled to see the large stray
dog and cat populations here. There is no
government animal service except culling.
With a local veterinarian who had tried
for years to start something, we enlisted some
other animal lovers and created the Baku
Protection of Animal Welfare Society.
We now have a clinic, where our vet
treats pets, and we sterilize cats from our
street projects. We have a small rescue centre,
and a mobile clinic that we use for our Comp-any
Animal Services. We fund ourselves by offering
trap/neuter/return service to large international
companies with stray animals on their land. At
this moment we are self sufficient and growing.
Our contracts with the participating companies
include an annual maintenance fee. We hope to
open a facility made from portable cabins to
treat the dog populations on a larger scale in
My problem is that now we have been
transferred to another nation–just as PAWS is
taking off, and just as the government here has
started to take an interest in what we are doing.
They are discussing opening their own center,
but have no practical experience, and need help.
We desperately need a dedicated animal
lover to come here and take my place. Azerbaijan
is developing at great speed, and is on the cusp
of changing its whole attitude toward animals,
both stray and wild. We cannot as yet afford to
pay a salary, but we could try to get
sponsorship to help with expenses.
The person would need to be able to
communicate with government ministers, company
management, other charities worldwide, and the
expatriate and local community. This would be
the main part of the job. Overseeing the clinic
and the street and company projects would also be
very important. We make sure that the standards
put in place by our visiting veterinarians are
maintained at all times.
Azerbaijan is an exciting country,
especially at this time as the oil money comes
in. Every day we see improvements. The people
are the friendliest I have ever met, and are
desperate to develop. I will be sorry to go.
President, Baku PAWS
Phone: 560 124