SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva, Glenn Rossman, Ava Smith, Elizabeth White

News Feed Item

Circus Animals' Lives In Jeopardy

KEENESBURG, Colo., Nov. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The future of 16 Lions and Tigers has become unclear with an ethical battle erupting between an American Wildlife Sanctuary and a Paraguayan NGO.  The exotic big cats are part of a traveling circus based out of Argentina, and have been stranded in Paraguay for nearly five months with Argentinian authorities refusing their re-entry.

The nine Bengal Tigers and seven African Lions belong to the Argentine circus that normally performs in the Paraguayan capital each August. Their owner, Oswal Wasconi, brought them back for a 2012 performance only to learn that a new law in Paraguay bans live animal acts at circuses.

With Argentina stating they were not going to allow the animals back into the country without obtaining more detailed information about their protected status as endangered species, the animals' future became unclear.  Paraguay's wildlife agency made the decision to move the 16 Lions and Tigers to the Asuncion Zoo in hopes they would be more comfortable and better cared for while a solution was found.

Immediately, calls and emails for help began pouring into the U.S. offices of The Wild Animal Sanctuary, a non-profit carnivore sanctuary located outside of Denver, Colorado.  The 720 acre (291 hectare) facility is the largest and oldest large carnivore sanctuary in the western hemisphere, and has successfully rescued more than 30 circus animals from Mexico and Central & South American countries in recent years.

After talking with Paraguayan wildlife officials, The Wild Animal Sanctuary began negotiations to save the animals and secure a permanent home for them at the Sanctuary. A relatively small NGO known as OIPIC located in Paraguay became the intermediary between the circus owner and the Sanctuary, and helped with initial negotiations.

In the beginning, the circus owner offered to sell his animals, but the Sanctuary made it clear they were only interested in saving the animals and giving them a permanent home where they could be free and live in large natural habitats - and not cages.  Circus owner, Oswal Wasconi, stated he had spent thousands of dollars in fines and caring for the animals, since they had become stranded in Paraguay, and requested compensation for his losses in order to relinquish the animals.

The Wild Animal Sanctuary agreed to pay for the feed and care of the animals while waiting to win their freedom, and also to cover the circus's costs associated with government fines and other welfare expenses. Communications between the parties involved established those expenses at $20,000.00

OIPIC president, Brigitte Fuzellier, reported success in the negotiations through her communication to the Sanctuary stating "Aqui estoy ahora con la duenha de los tigres que vino desde brasil para resolver el tema de los tigres ella est de acuerdo con migo. Si le pagamos la proxima semana la sena de 20 mil ella firma la carta de compromiso con nosotros."

However, within days, it became apparent the circus owners were still attempting to sell the animals for $70,000.00 U.S. dollars to OIPIC, and actually had no concern for their animals' future.  Instead of holding the circus to their agreement, OIPIC suddenly changed their stance and agreed to pay the circus owner an additional $50,000.00 dollars to buy the animals.

Subsequent communications from Sanctuary made it very clear to OIPIC that the owner's demands for money beyond expenses associated with their being stranded in Paraguay were extremely inappropriate… and in no way would the Sanctuary be willing to be part of a deal to meet the owner's unscrupulous demands. OIPIC responded stating they were afraid of damaging their friendship and close association with the circus owner, and said they would continue to try to raise another $50,000.00 in U.S. currency to buy the animals.

Sanctuary Executive Director, Pat Craig stated "It is highly unethical and illegal to purchase endangered species, and any reputable organization – including ours – would never agree to do so.  We have repeatedly made this clear to Brigitte, yet she is continuing to pursue donations from the public to meet the owner's sale price.  This unethical behavior and outright refusal to follow well-established international law leaves us no choice but to discontinue our relationship with OIPIC."

The Wild Animal Sanctuary sent an official letter to OIPIC President Brigitte Fuzellier on the 20th of November stating it was breaking ties with her organization, and they would be forced to pursue other avenues to secure the circus animals' freedom.  Sanctuary Public Relations Director, Katie Vandegrift, stated their internationally well-known animal welfare organization was saddened by OIPIC's clouded judgment, and hoped the South American NGO would soon realize the serious nature of their potentially illegal actions before they got in trouble with law enforcement.

Currently, negotiations between the two entities have ceased, and the future of the Lions and Tigers is not clear.  OIPIC has recently stated they want to keep the animals in Paraguay, and raise money to build them a home there.

Whether the animals return to Argentina... go to a Sanctuary in the United States... or remain in Paraguay... one thing is clear.  Whoever secures the animals freedom from the circus, will have to do so without asking people to donate money to purchase them, as it is now clear this would break important CITES treaties and international law.

About The Wild Animal Sanctuary:
Rocky Mountain Wildlife Conservation Center, Inc., DBA The Wild Animal Sanctuary is a 720 acre refuge for large carnivores that have been confiscated from illegal or abusive situations. The Sanctuary is located 30 miles northeast of Denver, Colorado near the town of Keenesburg. The non-profit organization currently cares for more than 290 Lions, Tigers, Bears, Wolves and other large carnivores and provides lifelong care for its rescued animals.  The Sanctuary is the oldest and largest carnivore sanctuary in existence, having been in operation since 1980.  The facility is distinctive among others in that it provides large acreage natural habitats for its rescued animals to live in and roam freely. The Sanctuary is open daily to the public for educational purposes and features an elevated "Mile Into The Wild" Walkway that visitors utilize to see the animals in natural habitats.

 

SOURCE The Wild Animal Sanctuary

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's large...
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is simplifying the cloud-purchasing experience for its clients, with the launch of Verizon Cloud Marketplace, a key foundational component of the company's robust ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies. The online storefront will initially feature pre-built cloud-based services from AppDynamics, Hitachi Data Systems, Juniper Networks, PfSense and Tervela. Available globally to enterprises using Verizon Cloud, Verizon Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop fo...
Leysin American School is an exclusive, private boarding school located in Leysin, Switzerland. Leysin selected an OpenStack-powered, private cloud as a service to manage multiple applications and provide development environments for students across the institution. Seeking to meet rigid data sovereignty and data integrity requirements while offering flexible, on-demand cloud resources to users, Leysin identified OpenStack as the clear choice to round out the school's cloud strategy. Additional...
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
We are all here because we are sold on the transformative promise of The Cloud. But what good is all of this ephemeral, on-demand infrastructure if your usage doesn't actually improve the agility and speed of your business? How must Operations adapt in order to avoid stifling your Cloud initiative? In his session at DevOps Summit, Damon Edwards, co-founder and managing partner of the DTO Solutions, will highlight the successful organizational, process, and tooling patterns of high-performing c...
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from ha...
Software-driven innovation is becoming a primary approach to how businesses create and deliver new value to customers. A survey of 400 business and IT executives by the IBM Institute for Business Value showed businesses that are more effective at software delivery are also more profitable than their peers nearly 70 percent of the time (1). DevOps provides a way for businesses to remain competitive, applying lean and agile principles to software development to speed the delivery of software that ...
Docker offers a new, lightweight approach to application portability. Applications are shipped using a common container format and managed with a high-level API. Their processes run within isolated namespaces that abstract the operating environment independently of the distribution, versions, network setup, and other details of this environment. This "containerization" has often been nicknamed "the new virtualization." But containers are more than lightweight virtual machines. Beyond their small...
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's

An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Ar...