Washington D.C., February 2, 2011 — Born Free USA, a leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, says that a snake bite that sent a Fair Lawn, NJ man to the hospital in critical condition on Monday, is just one of thousands of unnecessary occurrences between wild and exotic animals and humans.
Every year, captive wild animals kept as private “pets,” as well as in zoos and circuses, are involved in incidents that result in human injury or death. Millions of reptiles — snakes and lizards — in private possession pose severe safety risks to humans, including the transmission of deadly diseases, strangulations, and bites. Snakes are the most common “pet” reptiles – about 3 percent of U.S. households possess 7.3 million pet reptiles.
According to Will Travers, Born Free CEO, “By their very nature, exotic animals are dangerous creatures. This New Jersey man kept three snakes as ‘pets,’ not only putting his own life at risk, but that of his family and community. Given the life these animals are forced to endure as pets, it is no surprise that they exhibit their natural instincts to the detriment of their owner and the public at large. These animals are time bombs waiting to explode.”
Born Free USA tracks such incidents through its online database (http://www.bornfreeusa.org/database/index.php) designed as a resource for the media, lawmakers, activists and the public, to help shed light on the magnitude of the issue.
The database lists more than 1,450 attacks and incidents reported that have occurred since 1990, searchable by state, species, and key word, and includes a map graphic marking each location — a shocking visual to illustrate how geographically widespread the problem is.
History has proven that injury or death can happen at any time, anywhere, as a result of someone keeping a wild animal as a pet, a captive animal escaping from a zoo, or an animal used for entertainment.
Travers wants people to know that “Wild animals in captivity are ticking time bombs when it comes to public safety. They should not be confined. They deserve better than that.”
Born Free USA asks the public to report any incidents that may not already be in the database, by emailing details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Born Free USA is a nationally recognized 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 destructive international wildlife trade.
Born Free USA’s Primate Sanctuary in Texas is home to more than 500 primates rescued from laboratories, roadside zoos, and private possession. 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 film Born Free, along with their son Will, now CEO of both organizations.
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:http://www.bornfreeusa.org/ on twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/bornfreeusa and facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BornFreeUSA
Media contact: Rodi Rosensweig, 203/270-8929, email@example.com.
This press release was reprinted with permission.
Impact to Florida’s ecosystem from released and escaped snakes
The problem that snakes cause to Florida’s ecosystem is particularly troublesome.Released and escaped pythons are breeding in the wild, and creating ecological problems, particularly in the Everglades.
They thrive in Florida’s climate, and there are large areas of habitats for them to “conquer.”
Another problem is the fact they are an invasive species. This means that factors that would keep them under control in their natural habitats, do not exist in Florida.