The USDA has determined that zoos which remove cubs under four weeks old from their mothers and allow them to be manhandled by the paying public are in violation of the Animal Welfare Act. Zoos must ensure cubs are kept with their mothers, sheltered properly and handled with care by staff only.
A coalition of animal welfare groups has pointed to evidence that 75 so-called roadside zoos have removed hundreds of cubs from their mothers to allow them to be handled by the public. This process interrupts the nutrition cubs receive from their mothers and alters their behavior. The Humane Society said evidence it has gathered from two zoos – Natural Bridge Zoo in Virginia and Tiger Safari in Oklahoma – shows that cubs are regularly punched and smacked to prevent them from playfully scratching or biting people. One cub was used for 30 photo sessions and five 30-minute private play sessions in one day. With visitors charged $50 for a photo and $300 for a play session, the Humane Society said one cub could bring in $65,000 for a zoo over the course of a single summer. “We have seen substandard zoos mass breeding tigers for this kind of activity and then immediately severing the maternal bond with their mothers so they are compliant with human contact,” said Anna Frostic, attorney at the Humane Society. “They are regularly deprived of a regular, nutritious feeding schedule. “This activity is inherently inhumane. It’s not possible to convince a mother tiger that you will take her babies for a day and then given them back. That’s not how it works.” The zoos that allow people to grapple with big cats are covered by the Animal Welfare Act but are not members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a peak body that requires members to keep cubs with their mothers. Frostic said the USDA’s move will put these zoos “on notice” that they will be prosecuted if they flout regulations. The improper use of exotic cats has wider implications than their immediate welfare. Once cubs have grown up and are deemed surplus to requirements, they are often handed off to accredited zoos who have to find the resources to tend for them. The practice can also help fuel the market for poaching tigers and selling their parts. “The fate of captive tigers in the US has serious implications for the conservation of tigers in the wild,” said Leigh Henry, senior policy advisor for wildlife conservation at World Wildlife Fund. “Strengthened regulation of US captive tigers will help ensure that captive-bred tiger parts don’t enter the black market and stimulate the demand that drives the poaching of wild tigers.”
George Harrison with Howard Smith and Pete Bennett (photos 1 - 4) on 1 May 1970, and with Pete Bennett and Phil Spector on 30 October 1970 (photos 5 - 7) - photographed by Tim Boxer
The following archived article is courtesy of 15 Minutes Magazine and the official George Harrison Twitter account:
“Martin Scorsese licensed three of my exclusive photos for his latest documentary, George Harrison: Living in the Material World. The film will be shown on HBO in two parts on October 5 and 6.
I had these rare photos in my files thanks to Pete Bennett. On May 1, 1970, Bennett, the enterprising promotion manager of Apple Records and promotion manager of each of the Beatles individually, invited me to his Manhattan office. Harrison was preparing to record his first post-Beatle album to be called All Things Must Pass and Bennett was already promoting his client.
I came in and found Village Voice writer Howard Smith interviewing Harrison for his ABC-FM radio program to air a week later. It was evident that Harrison was unhappy with the breakup of the Beatles. Asked about the possibility of a reunion, he replied, ‘I think it’s very selfish if the Beatles don’t record together.’
With solemn demeanor Harrison posed with Bennett and Smith. I thought they were too serious. Bennett reached for an American flag. Harrison scribbled on a card, 'We are not these bodies,’ reflective of his Eastern philosophy. He was warming up.
Suddenly he grabbed Bennett’s hand and, with a great big smile, skipped around the room. It was spontaneous and it was wild! It caught me by surprise but I managed to capture five extraordinary images of Harrison cavorting with his promo man.
From May to September, Harrison worked with producer Phil Spector on recording his first solo album. In October Bennett called again. He said come to Media Sound Studio where Harrison and Spector were listening to the final recording mix of the album. This was my second time to create unique images of Harrison.
The album, All Things Must Pass, was released in the U.S. in December and became an instant smash. As a follow-up to his success, Harrison released Living in the Material World in 1973, which also became a monster hit.
Martin Scorsese’s associate producer called last year to review my cache of George Harrison images. Scorsese selected three prints to use in his documentary of the Beatle who died of cancer at age 58 in 2001.” - Tim Boxer, 15 Minutes Magazine, issue 103
Story behind the photo: I knew from the start that I wanted to do a time-lapse of the Milky Way at night. I hiked to this spot called Beacon Heights in the afternoon to scout the area. I choose an ideal spot to shoot at night and remembered the composition I would most probably be using for the evening. Decided to do this as it’s easier to do all this during the day.
Beacon Heights is merely 0.2 miles though the forest from the start of the trail to the top of the overlook with this view which isn’t long at all. That’s what I thought anyway during the day. I arrived again in the evening right after sunset while there was still a scant amount of light; there were still about 3 cars parked at the start of the trail so I knew there were people up there. Arrived at the top without issue and admired the view and started shooting my non time-lapse shots first. Little by little, the groups of people left and I was all alone.
The overlook was mainly rocks with a drop off and the view in front of that. Behind you is the thick tree line which I just hiked through. It was peaceful but honestly creepy at the same time, being so close to the dense trees and shrubs in complete darkness. I shined my flashlight from time to time at the trees to make sure nothing snuck up on me. I decided to play upbeat music on my phone to change the mood and to maybe ward off any curious animals in the area. It was absolutely breathtaking watching the Milky Way emerge out of the fading post sunset horizon light; seeing it slowly move horizontally across the sky little tiny bits at a time. The evening breeze was crisply cool, all you could hear was the critters of the forest at night, and the stars were so blindingly bright once your eyes adjusted to the lack of light.
The time-lapse was already going on for a while and I was lying down on the ground beside my camera setup and just enjoying the moment. The evening breeze changed direction and the wind blew from the trees towards me heading to the view I was staring at and then I smelled it, a really strong odor very similar to how a wet dog smells. What I immediately thought of was, oh god, the only big animals I’m aware of in this area would be deer and bear. I’ve been near deer before and they don’t smell like that, leaving the other unpleasant option a possibility.
This made me literally jump up, turn on my two flashlights and move as far away back from the trees as I could.
My heart was pounding and I was really nervous. Blasted the music even louder and checked the tree line for anything. Decided to stay for just a few more exposures to make it worthwhile but I could not relax anymore. When the last photo was taken at 10:10pm I called it quits and decided that was enough shooting for the night. Packed up all my stuff, tied a flashlight on my left wrist so it would be dangling and pointing at the ground, held another flashlight in my left hand as my sweeper light, held the tripod on the right as my improvised weapon, and put my phone in my pocket blasting music on maximum volume which just so happened to be the soundtrack of Guardians of the Galaxy. I thought to myself on how else I could make my presence more known; why of course, let me just “sing” along to the playing music which was more like me nervously yelling the lyrics and hiking down as fast as I could through the eerily dark path through the forest. (The specific song playing was I’m not In Love by 10cc, so imagine someone lit by flashlights enveloped by the dark in the forest trail yelling it out loud like a crazy person) 0.2 miles never felt so long in my life before, I can tell you that. When I reached the clearing past the trees at the bottom I just ran to my car and I’ve never been happier to be out of the hiking trails before. The things you do to take these photos…