Big Cats Cause an Uproar in Las Vegas Resort

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Big Cats Cause an Uproar in Las Vegas Resort

Have you heard of the magician Dirk Arthur? It seems that many people haven’t, but that didn’t stop the Westgate in Las Vegas from hiring him on as their new act. Dirk Arthur is going to attempt to evade animal activists by only using a bobcat and a snow leopard on his act. His show was set to debut on November 1st, and for reasons unknown to us, was pushed back to November 15th at 6 pm.

Jonathan Kraft, Founder and Director of Keepers of the Wild spoke out two years ago stating, “Times have changed and it’s just appalling how these animals live on concrete, from box to box to box. They’ve got a miserable life and it’s really a terrible form of abuse”. He is the authority to speak to given the fact that Jonathan became an animal activist after training two cubs for a Las Vegas production and witnessing the abuse and neglect provided by other animal trainers.

The last time I blogged about Dirk Arthur, I posted:

Dirk Arthur says he is for conservation, but he has been cited by federal agencies for serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including forcing tigers and a lion to undergo a painful declawing surgery. This procedure amputates the last joint on each toe, and is highly frowned upon. He has also kept his large cats in metal cages with no protection from the harsh elements in temperatures over 100 degrees.

When Dirk Arthur performed during the last days of the Riviera, I hosted several protests in front of the hotel that attracted media attention. It was truly a shock when the Westgate picked up his bill. We also protested him during his last run at Westgate. Animal Defenders International released an expose, and he quietly ran away. Activists are already beginning to plan to put constant pressure on the hotel until they drop the show for good this time.

For information on the opening protest, follow this facebook event page.

Phone your complaints into the Westgate Hotel and urge them to drop Dirk Arthurs inhumane performance: (702) 732-5111


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World Animal Day Global March

marchh2On Saturday October 4th, animal rights activists from Las Vegas are gathering in front of the Mirage Hotel and Casino on the strip at 11am and then marching south to City Center and back to raise awareness for lions, elephants, and rhinos being poached daily. They request that all attendees try to wear red to stand out, and bring noise makers. There will be an official “After March Party” at Senor Frogs patio from 3-8pm where 15% of the parties proceeds will go back to DazzleAfrica.Org to prevent further poaching in South Luangwa, Zambia. Please follow their facebook event page for more information. If you will be in the area, please consider supporting them on the strip.

The protest in Las Vegas is only one of over 100 happening globally on World Animal Day. According to the official global website representing the march, more than 35,000 elephants are slaughtered every year for their ivory tusks, and a rhino is slaughtered every 9-11 hours for its horn.

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Africa loses 4 elephants to poachers EVERY HOUR, EVERY DAY of the year. It is estimated that less than 300,000 survive today. Africa loses 3 rhinos to poachers EACH DAY; of the 5 species of rhino, less than 25,000 survive today.

With so few numbers left, and such a slow rate of reproduction, these two species are rapidly heading for extinction, unless we – ALL OF US – do something to ensure they survive.

These remarkable and highly intelligent animals are being cruelly slaughtered in the most inhumane ways, with poachers often hacking off their tusks or horns while they are still alive. The agony these helpless creatures endure, and – especially for elephants – the anguish for their surviving family members, is unimaginable. Elephants have close family bonds and rely on the elders of their group to lead and teach them; when these are killed, the herd is left devastated and shattered, and if babies lose their mother they often will not survive either.

The upsurge in the killing spree over the last 8 years has been driven by the demand for ivory and horn in Asian countries – China is the biggest consumer of ivory (70% of the world’s ivory ends up as trinkets for the Chinese middle class), and Vietnam is the main consumer of rhino horn.

The money made from the illicit trade in ivory and rhino horn supports terrorist organizations in Africa and fuels civil strife and instability. Wildlife crime is estimated at $20 billion per year. The problem has become a global one, as trans-national criminal networks and heavily armed poaching gangs coordinate the bloody chain – from killing the animals, to smuggling their body parts for export, to selling them in outlets all over the world.

Meanwhile the plains and forests of Africa and Asia grow silent and barren, devoid of their once abundant wildlife. –March for Elephants and Rhinos website


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