After 17 years residing in Arizona and starting Trees for Tigers USA there, we have moved back to Washington State where we had previously lived for nine years in a small cabin on the beach of Puget Sound. It was worth the 100 steps down from the parking pad to the cabin, as we were fortunate to witness so much wildlife—deer frolicking in the waves, sea otters playing in the snow in our yard, harbor seals watching us work out on the treadmill, pods of orcas and other whales swimming by, giant jellyfish, foxes, bald eagles nesting nearby, and Kenny the Kingfisher with his wife—our friends for years. It was when the city started to cut down the trees next to our house to put in a housing development that we decided to move. It’s now, however, that we finally appreciate what we had.
In 1995 when we bought the cabin, there were 98 Southern Resident Orcas in the Salish Sea (the entire body of water that encompasses Puget Sound –from Olympia in the south all the way north passing the San Juan Islands, Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia all the way to the Campbell River in the north.)
In 2003 the Southern Resident Orcas were listed as an endangered species, and now there are just 74 of them left.
We are proud to call Port Angeles our home and wholeheartedly support the city’s efforts to bring back the orca and salmon populations.
NOTE: Trees for Tigers USA is still an Arizona non-profit corporation and is also registered in Washington State.
JUNE 2, 2020
The City Council of Port Angeles, Washington, votes to support the removal of 4 dams on the Snake River to restore salmon population. Southern Resident Orca whales rely on salmon exclusively for their diet, and salmon populations have plummeted. People in the Pacific Northwest regard the orca as an iconic species to the area and have enjoyed watching the pods (families) grow from babies to grandparents and even to four generations of maternal members. One of the oldest females recently died at the estimated age of 105.
The orcas are starving, and the population is decreasing rapidly. The Governor of Washington has created a task force to find solutions, and some actions have been taken. The most contentious issue surrounds the removal of the lower four dams on the Snake River in order to restore salmon habitat. Two dams were removed on the Elwha River near Port Angeles from 2011-2014, and salmon and steelhead have returned to native habitat. The success of the project was immediately apparent when nearshore habitation was achieved.
After seeing the Elwha River successfully creating greater salmon populations in their own county, the Port Angeles City Council voted to support the removal of the four dams on the lower Snake River.
Many other steps, however, need to be taken to provide sustainability to the orca and all other sea life in our oceans. For example, much of the toxicity in the Salish Sea, as well as all oceans, is the result of cruise ships. The Alaska Inside Passage cruise ships are allowed to dump raw sewage and other contaminants (oils and bilge, photo processing chemicals, etc.) directly into the Salish Sea in Canadian waters. Canadian cities also inject raw sewage and contaminants into their sea waters due to insufficient treatment facilities. Fortunately, the city of Victoria, Canada built a sewage treatment plant due to start operating this year.
In 2019, a study found that one of the largest cruise ship operators emitted nearly 10 times more sulphur oxide around European coasts than did all 260 million European cars in 2017. And that is just air pollution! Add that to the dumping of sewage and contaminants (including plastics) from the ship. It’s unfathomable how the cruise industry is getting away with destroying our oceans. It’s more unfathomable that the passengers don’t force the industry to stop this massive pollution of our oceans. Cruise ships should not be dumping ANYTHING into the oceans. Good reason to BOYCOTT CRUISE SHIPS.
AUGUST 4, 2020 (Peninsula Daily News)
The U.S. government announced that four dams on the Snake River in Washington State will not be removed to help endangered salmon migrate to the ocean. Environmental groups have fought for two decades to get the dams removed. The Center for Biological Diversity said, “The federal failure to remove the dams despite clear supporting science is a disaster for our endangered salmon and the orcas.”
Snake River sockeye were the first species in the Columbia River Basin listed under the Endangered Species act in 1991. Now, 13 salmon runs are listed as federally endangered or threatened. Four of those runs return to the Snake River.
The plan by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and Bonneville Power Administration calls for spilling more water over the dams at strategic times to help fish migrate faster to and from the ocean, a strategy that has already been in use. The government stated that removing the four dams would destabilize the power grid, increase overall greenhouse emissions and more than double the risk of regional power outages.
OCTOBER 8, 2020 (Peninsula Daily News)
Environmental groups are vowing to continue their fight to remove four dams on the Snake River in Washington State which they say are killing salmon that are a key food source for endangered orcas. Conservationists intend to seek removal of the dams through the political or legal systems. Four of the governors in the Northwest states are very concerned about the loss of salmon and orca populations and are trying to negotiate a solution. Idaho’s Nez Perce Tribe is planning to go to court, to Congress, and to state capitols to find a way to restore the river, and stated, “To us, the lower Snake River is a living being. We are compelled to speak truth on the behalf of this life force and the impacts these concrete barriers on the lower Snake have on salmon, steelhead and lamprey.”
MARCH 5, 2019
Another try for Kingman Circus Ban Ordinance
With Garden Bros. Circus scheduled for another performance, the new mayor of Kingman, Arizona, put forth to the city council another ordinance to ban the use of exotic and wild animals in the circus. Despite an impressive showing of supporters for an ordinance and persuasive speeches by 8 local animal advocates, and only 1 dissenter (fairgrounds manager), the mayor decided to “table” the issue for a later date, claiming she now wanted an alternative agreement to deny permits.
Kingman passed in 2017 a Resolution “Condemning the Use of Wild and Exotic Animals in Traveling Shows and Circuses,” but for some unexplained reason, the city deemed the Resolution insufficient in denying future circus permits.
State legislators have now intervened and put a stop to any progress being made for circus animals in Arizona.
INTERNATIONAL CAPTIVE WILDLIFE CONFERENCE
Presented by The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)
Nov. 9-11, 2018 – Burbank, CA
Evolution of this conference is evident and appreciated by all attendees. We were blessed to share the expertise of many well-educated and consummate speakers chosen by PAWS which has been presenting such conferences since 1992. The event included over 40 speakers, 47 presentations, and 10 panel discussions. Major topics included multiple presenters and moderated discussions:
Shocks, Surprises and Stupefaction: My Journey through the Zoo World
Elephants and Tourism: A Pathway to an Elephant-Friendly Future
Elephants, Captivity, and Conservation
Male Elephant Society and the Importance of Being Social
Walking with Elephants: Changing the Elephant Tourism Industry
Saving Elephants: International Sanctuaries
The Nonhuman Rights Project’s Struggle to Gain Legal Rights for Animals
The Struggle to Protect Captive Wildlife: Regulations, Legislation and Law
ZOOXXI Campaign for Reconversion Zoos
Elephants in Japan
Confronting the Captivity of Marine Mammals
Investigating the Thai Tiger Temple
Examining Captivity through Science
Campaigns for Captive Wild Animals
Challenging the Captivity of Bears
Opposing the Exploitation of Big Cats
Captivity and Big Cats
Confronting Captivity through Education and Technology
FAREWELL TO ANNA LOUISE – THE DANCING ELEPHANT
Over 195,000 signatures (one hundred and ninety-five thousand!) were gathered in a Change.org initiative to demand that Anna Louise, a circus elephant, be taken to a sanctuary to live out the rest of her life in the company of other elephants. Anna Louise was noticeably failing with health issues but continued to be used for rides and forced to do tricks. The petition was unfortunately ignored by Anna Louise’s owner and the USDA. CompassionWorks International, the creator of the petition, announced on July 24, 2018 that Anna Louise died suddenly at a roadside zoo called Two Tails Ranch (owned by a circus family) in Florida where elephants are forced to give rides.
Deemed “one of the loneliest elephants in the U.S.,” Anna Louise never had a single elephant companion with which to socialize—a crucial psychological need for elephants. Like most circus elephants still alive today, Anna Louise was captured and taken from her mother in Africa in 1988. Like all circus elephants, she was tortured and beaten into submission to learn tricks including carrying a tambourine with her trunk and “dance.” During her life of captivity, she performed for Shrine circuses, Garden Bros. Circus and many others.
African elephants can live into their 70’s, but due to her stressful life, Anna Louise only lived to the age of 35. The cause of her death was reported to be from an aneurism, but the truth will probably never be known.
Today circus elephants spend most of their lives in cages and shackles and are usually forced to eat, sleep and defecate in the same space. In the 3 years that we have been advocating against the use of wild and exotic animals in circuses, we have personally witnessed the substandard care received by circus animals. We have seen the dilapidated trucks with no air conditioning, the dark and dank interior of the trucks in which the animals spend their lives traveling from city to city, state to state, for up to 8 months of every year. We have witnessed the elephants, most of whom are approaching 50 years old, walk with pain from arthritis and have witnessed elephants so mentally ill that they can barely perform their tricks and have to “stand alone” in the ring while the other elephant performs a particularly difficult trick. We have witnessed the horses that do not receive proper care of their hooves and are forced to give rides while lame. We have witnessed the trainers jab the elephants in the mouth and all over their sensitive skin with a bull hook before, during and after performances.
All circus animals deserve to live out the remainder of their lives in a sanctuary rather than die from neglect and abuse like Anna Louise. We need to realize as a society that circuses using animals are an archaic and barbaric form of entertainment that needs to come to an end. We need animal-free circuses. PLEASE BOYCOTT THE CIRCUS!!
Arizonans for Wildlife Campaign Suspended
Unfortunately, for Arizona residents who had hoped to stop the indiscriminate and inhumane killing of bobcats and mountain lions and to protect the other wild cats of Arizona (jaguar, lynx and ocelot), the campaign financed by the Humane Society of the United States was suspended with less than three months left to gather signatures. Kitty Block, Acting President of the HSUS, said that efforts to gather the minimum 150,642 valid signatures by July 5th had been impacted by some new Arizona laws governing the circulation of initiative petitions and requiring “strict compliance” with every technical aspect of state election laws. Those laws, she said, made signature gathering more difficult. Ms. Block also said there are also “national issues that currently demand our attention.” Our fellow volunteers were saddened at this decision, as we were making much progress and had received tremendous support from thousands of Arizonans who eagerly signed our petitions.
On March 30th, Kingman, Arizona, hosted a 4-day animal-free circus! A heartfelt “THANK YOU” to Kingman from all those who made this happen and from all wild animal lovers and animal welfare advocates in the country. The circus “Cirque Legacy” featured amazing acrobatics, flying trapeze artists and skits by clowns that were enjoyed by the children. Audience participation and enthusiasm was exceptional at this modern contemporary circus. According to the Kingman Daily Miner, “Cirque Legacy reaches out to all generations through its deep tradition of family circuses and is especially aimed at the younger generation. Daniel Perez, co-creator and Artistic Director, was born in Cuba and graduated from the National Circus School in Havana in 1988. He’s a specialist in Russian acrobatics on the pole and swings. Frank Diaz, co-creator and Artistic Coordinator, was also born in Cuba and has performed as an acrobat, hand balance and trapeze artist since 1994.” He and his son, Derek, 13 years old, performed daring balancing acts that stunned the audience. The City of Kingman adopted a Resolution in October 2017 that stated the city “determined that the abuse inherent in the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling shows and circuses is detrimental to the animals themselves and to the viewing citizens of our community.” The Resolution also “determined that circus animals used in circuses are often mistreated by the use of bull hooks and whips when learning to perform tricks, are deprived of food and water to control bodily emissions during performances, are shackled with tire chains making normal movements impossible, are transported over long distances in uncomfortable trucks, and are deprived of normal socialization with other animals.” The Kingman City Council resolved “to affirm as matters of principle the values of the ethical and humane treatment of all animals; and to establish by example and leadership the city’s commitment to these principles.” Passed and Adopted October 17, 2017
Worldwide Rally Against Trophy Hunting (WRATH)
On February 3, 2018, the Worldwide Rally Against Trophy Hunting held an
Impressive 32-city showing across 16 states. In addition six countries participated in WRATH’s third annual event.
The main protest took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Safari Club International’s annual trophy hunting meeting where hundreds of animals from around the world are auctioned off to be killed for trophies.
Protests were also held at The White House, The Capitol, The Supreme Court, and New York City’s Union Station. Other countries holding protests were Adelaide and Brisbane, Australia; Birmingham, England; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Ottawa; Canada; Zimbabwe, Africa; and Ireland.
WRATH (formerly The Worldwide Rally for Cecil) is sponsored by CompassionWorks International. Visit www.cwint.org if you would like to be a part of the effort to stop trophy hunting.
Initiative to Protect Arizona’s Wild Cats
Please join Arizonans for Wildlife in their campaign to collect enough signatures to place a measure on the 2018 ballot in November to protect mountain lions, bobcats, jaguars, ocelots and lynx from extreme cruelty by prohibiting trophy hunting and trapping. LET’S ALLOW THE CITIZENS OF ARIZONA TO VOTE ON THIS MEASURE in November.
Every year thousands of mountain lions and bobcats are killed in Arizona by some of the cruelest methods imaginable. Bobcats are trapped and left to languish in excruciating pain for hours using painful and indiscriminate steel-jawed, leghold traps. If a trophy hunter or trapper kills a mother wild cat, her dependent kittens will die from dehydration, starvation, predation or exposure.
Mountain lions and bobcats are chased down with packs of trailing hounds then shot at point blank range. Jaguars, ocelots, and lynx can fall victim to these cruel methods as well. By allowing this to continue, we are further jeopardizing their survival in Arizona.
If you are an Arizona resident, please sign this initiative now!
For more information, visit www.azforwildlife.com or call (602) 603-2141.
NEWS IN 2017
In addition to forming our company, Trees for Tigers Corporation, we have been active for two years in helping alleviate the suffering of animals in trophy hunting and circuses. We started by attending the “Worldwide Rally for Cecil” in 2016 in Las Vegas which was organized by CompassionWorks Intl. (www.cwint.org). We again attended the rally in 2017 and plan to attend again in February 2018.
The Jordan World Shrine Circus comes to our area every year (Kingman, Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City), and we have organized protests in Kingman and Lake Havasu City for two years. As you probably know, the trainers in the circuses and in other wild and exotic animal shows torture their animals to teach them to do tricks and force them to travel in small cages, boxcars and trucks for most of their lives, traveling day after day, week after week, month after month for up to 10 months per year. Many circus elephants are approaching 50 years old, having performed in the circus since they were 3 years of age.
CIRCUS PROTEST LAKE HAVASU CITY, AZ
On Nov. 9th, we organized a protest of the Jordan World Shrine Circus in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Jordan Productions has produced the circus here every year for over 20 years. They have numerous violations of abuse and neglect of their circus animals and lost their UDSA exhibitors license many years ago. Since then they have rented animals from other circus organizations who also have many USDA citations. This treatment of these magnificent creatures is unconscionable, and we look forward to the
day all circuses using animals are gone.
This particular protest was a success, insofar as, the article published in the city paper was picked up by the Associated Press and sent to cities around the country: Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, Yuma, U.S. News & World Report, San Francisco Chronicle and the Washington Times.
CIRCUS PROTEST KINGMAN, AZ
On Nov. 7th we protested the Jordan World Shrine Circus in Kingman, AZ., and were accompanied by the directors and staff of Keepers of the Wild Nature Park in Valentine, AZ. (www.keepersofthewild.org) as well as the director of CompassionWorksIntl (www.cwint.org).
KINGMAN CITY COUNCIL VOTES “NO” TO CIRCUS BAN
On October 17, 2017, the Kingman City Council voted down the ordinance they had previously voted unanimously to draft. All who had worked so hard to make Kingman the first city in Arizona to enact an ordinance to ban the circus were devastated. “Welcome to politics” is what the city attorney later stated. In lieu of an ordinance, the city did sign a resolution in which they formally resolved that “circus animals used in circuses are often mistreated by use of bullhooks and whips when learning to perform tricks, are deprived of food and water to control bodily emissions during performances, and shackled with tire chains making normal movements impossible, are transported over long distances in uncomfortable trucks, and are deprived of normal socialization with other animals.”
We are continuing to try and educate the public about abuse of animals in the circus, and, hopefully, change the minds of the community.