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Animal Rights Activists Protest at the NYC Homes of Trophy Hunters Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr

February 14, 2020 by Leave a Comment


The News

During the 2020 Worldwide Rally Against Trophy Hunting (WRATH) on February 8th, dozens of animal rights activists in New York City staged protests at the homes of America’s two most infamous trophy hunters, Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. Activists marched 20 blocks from Eric and Lara Trump’s apartment on Central Park South to the Central Park West home that Donald Trump, Jr. shares with his fiancé, President Trump advisor Kimberly Guilfoyle.

Throughout the day, hundreds of pedestrians stopped to engage with the activists, and many spoke to TheirTurn about their thoughts on trophy hunting.

During the 2020 Worldwide Rally Against Trophy Hunting, animal rights activists in NYC protest at the homes of Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr.

WRATH events are staged each year to coincide with an annual trophy hunting convention organized by Safari Club International, a 50,000 member association “dedicated to protecting the freedom to hunt.”  Donald Trump, Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle played prominent roles at the 2020 convention, with Trump Jr. auctioning off a hunting trip with himself and Guilfoyle hosting a fundraising breakfast for the organization.

Donald Trump, Jr. and his fiancé Kimberly Guilfoyle, a Trump advisor, host fundraising events at Safari Club International’s annual trophy hunting convention

“We are grateful to the activists around the world who came together to raise awareness about the ego-driven and senseless murder of countless wild animals by trophy hunters,” said Carrie LeBlanc, the Executive Director of CompassionWorks International, a Nevada-based animal rights organization that created WRATH. “We stand with conservation groups across the world in developing strategies for sustaining and growing populations of wild animals that do not involve their senseless massacre.”

Hunters Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump pose with their elephant and cape buffalo trophies

Opposition to trophy hunting entered the mainstream public when an American trophy hunter, Walter Palmer, killed Cecil, a beloved lion in Zimbabwe who was well known to park rangers and a favorite among tourists on safari. In spite of the outrage and backlash against Palmer, trophy hunters continue to shoot endangered wild animals and pose for photos with their bodies. Through education, lobbying, and other forms of grass-roots activism, CompassionWorks International and several other animal protection groups around the world are working to stigmatize and outlaw trophy hunting.

Walter Palmer, a trophy hunter from Minnesota, killed and beheaded Cecil, a beloved lion in Zimbabwe.

For more information about WRATH and CompassionWorks International’s advocacy to end trophy hunting, please visit CWI’s online and TrumpAnimalHunters on Facebook.


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Paul Watson: “If The Oceans Die, We Die”

January 7, 2020 by Leave a Comment


The News

Paul Watson, the founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, is best known for using direct action to protect whales from Japanese whaling vessels, but he’s also a world-renowned advocate for the oceans and all of its other inhabitants. During an interview with TheirTurn in New York City, Watson explained why protecting the oceans is not only vital to sea animals but also to the very survival of the human species. “If the oceans die, we die.”

Watson explains that oceans, which he describes as the “blue lungs” of the Earth, produce 70% of the oxygen that we breathe and that the source of the oxygen are phytoplankton. Since 1950, the amount of phytoplankton in the oceans has dropped by 40% due to whaling, commercial fishing, animal agriculture and other forms of pollution.

Watson is the subject of new award-winning documentary film, Watson, that chronicles his career as an eco-warrior on the high seas. Watson is available on Animal Planet.


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Actress Elizabeth Lail Lights Empire State Building Blue for Sea Shepherd

November 11, 2019 by Leave a Comment


The News

On Friday, November 8th, Actress Elizabeth Lail participated in a ceremonial lighting of the Empire State Building to commemorate Sea Shepherd’s Blue For the Oceans Campaign.

Lail, who is best known for her role in the Netflix series You and is starring in the new film Unintended, spoke to TheirTurn about why she is using her celebrity platform to speak on behalf of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society: “I think they’re incredible. Sometimes it’s so overwhelming to think about the environmental crisis and what we can do, so it gives me a lot of hope that there are organizations on the water doing the protecting, making it happen.”

Elizabeth Lail pulls the lever to symbolically activate blue lights on the Empire State Building ignited in honor of Sea Shepherd

Sea Shepherd volunteers, staff, and board members with Elizabeth Lail at the Empire State Building

Since 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been defending, conserving and protecting the seas and marine life through campaigns and direct action on its fleet of ships. In October, the Hamptons International Film Festival screened Watson, a documentary film by director Lesley Chilcott which chronicles the extraordinary life of Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson.


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Chimp Orphan Rejoices When Greeted with Hugs

April 30, 2019 by Leave a Comment


The News

When Leo was kidnapped from the forest of Liberia, the confused and traumatized baby chimp had no way of knowing whether or not he would ever see members of his own species again. That uncertainty might explain why he beamed with joy as other young chimps greeted him with hugs upon his arrival at Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection (LCRP), a chimp sanctuary in the West African country. 

“Watching the our juvenile chimp group embrace Leo with so much affection was a feast for the eyes” said Jenny Desmond, the founder of LCRP. “Moments like this serve as an important reminder of why we moved to Liberia in 2015 and why we are moving mountains to transfer all 40 of the orphans in our care to a permanent sanctuary in the forest.”

The chimpanzee orphans at LCRP’s sanctuary are victims of the bushmeat and illegal pet trade. In every case, poachers killed their mothers in the forest and sold – or attempted to sell – them to private individuals as pets or to zoos.  While many chimps are never rescued, about 20 are confiscated by LCRP staff or wildlife authorities each year and brought to the sanctuary where they receive around the clock care from surrogate parents until they can be fully integrated into a chimpanzee group.

In spite of government efforts to curb chimpanzee hunting and trafficking, poachers continue to kill adult chimpanzees for bushmeat and sell their children on the black market. Part of LCRP’s mission is to increase penalties so that poachers stay out of the forests, thus allowing Liberia’s remaining wild chimpanzee population to live safely in their natural habitat.  In the meantime, LCRP will continue to adopt orphaned chimpanzees and provide them with lifelong care.

At the moment, LCRP’s 40 chimpanzees are living in substandard enclosures on government property in a heavily populated village. In 2018, Jenny and Jim Desmond, the founders of LCRP, leased a tract of land in the forest on which to build a sanctuary from the ground up. Now they are working to raise $3 million for the build out. 

“For their safety and well-being, we have to move these chimps out of these enclosures and into a forest setting so that they can live away from the public and in as natural a setting as possible,” said Ms. Desmond. “In order to break ground, we have to raise an additional $500,000 dollars. If you have the means, please make a contribution.” 


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Activists Target Eric Trump During Worldwide Rally Against Trophy Hunting

February 7, 2018 by Leave a Comment


The News

During the Worldwide Rally Against Trophy Hunting (WRATH), dozens of animal rights activists in New York City protested at the home and office of one of the planet’s most notorious trophy hunters — Eric Trump.  Several broadcast and print media outlets reported on the event.

During the rally, Edita Birnkrant, the Executive Director of the animal rights group NYCLASS, entered Eric Trump’s apartment building to deliver a letter to his wife, animal advocate Lara Trump, encouraging her to dissuade her husband from trophy hunting. Two reporters followed her into the building with their cameras rolling.

Flanked by reporters, Edita Birnkrant, the Executive Director of NYCLASS, delivers a letter to Lara Trump, encouraging her to discourage her husband Eric from trophy hunting.

WRATH was created in 2016 by the animal rights organization CompassionWorks International in response to the killing of Cecil, a beloved lion in Zimbabwe who was shot and beheaded by Walter Palmer, a trophy hunter from Minnesota. The death of Cecil sparked global outrage and triggered several weeks of public discourse around trophy hunting.

Walter Palmer, a trophy hunter from Minnesota, killed and beheaded Cecil in Zimbabwe.

IN 2018, WRATH events took place in 32 cities in several countries around the world, including Australia, Ireland, Canada and Brazil.  

Activists in NYC participate in Worldwide Rally Against Trophy Hunting with protest at home of trophy hunter Eric Trump.

WRATH is held to coincide with the annual convention of Safari Club International, a 50,000 member Texas-based pro-hunting organization that spends millions of dollars each year lobbying elected officials to support their mission. During the convention, organizers auction off hunts with endangered & threatened species. In 2018, a polar bear hunt was featured in the in promotional materials for the convention. 

Trophies on display at Safari Club International’s annual convention in Las Vegas

Trophy hunters justify the killing on the grounds that the money they spend helps to conserve the species and supports local community. Activists dispute that claim, arguing that most of the money spent by trophy hunters goes to the trophy hunting companies and to local government officials.

Vendors at the annual convention of Safari Club International display the bodies of exotic animals

During the WRATH event in NYC, Nicole Rivard, a campaigner with Friends of Animals, told rally participants about pending trophy hunting legislation in the state of New York:  “We cannot rely on fluid federal law to ensure that Africa’s big five do not go extinct. When it comes to trophy hunting, federal law is not protective at all.  We have legislation – Save Africa’s Big Five bill – to stop trophies from entering New York. The state bill would ban the importation, possession, sale or transportation of the trophies of elephants, lions, leopards and black and white rhinos. New York is the busiest port of entry for African wildlife in the US. Let’s shut it down.”

Animal rights activists protest Eric Trump during Worldwide Rally Against Trophy Hunting

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Mainstream media coverage of CompassionWorks International’s 2018 Worldwide Rally Against Trophy Hunting


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