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Kim Basinger Trying to Save Tigers Headed to War Zone

Written by PETA | July 31, 2008

askmen / CC
Kim Basinger

There must be something in the drinking water of decisionmakers these days—a little lapse in judgment, perhaps? Thankfully, our longtime supporter Kim Basinger, who has testified on behalf of “exotic” animals on Capitol Hill in the past, can spot a bad situation from a mile away.

At our behest she has just sent a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their irresponsible decision to issue a permit that will allow two tigers to be transferred to the Baghdad Zoo. That’s right, according to the permit, Riley and Hope will be sent off to live an uncertain future in a war zone—an area already proved to be dangerous and deadly to the animals at the Baghdad Zoo and where the last two tigers were shot to death by…”friendly fire.” You can read Kim’s full letter here:

July 28, 2008H. Dale Hall, DirectorU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service1849 C St. N.W.Mail Stop 3238 MIBWashington, DC 20240Dear Mr. Hall,I have long had an interest in how “exotic” animals are treated in captivity. Now, I am very troubled to learn that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved an export permit to send two tigers, Riley and Hope to the Baghdad Zoo – into a war zone with an uncertain future – and hope you will do all in your power to reverse the Service’s decision.It has already been shown that the animals at the Baghdad Zoo cannot be properly protected from the country’s military conflict. When the war began, hundreds of animals in the zoo were killed, stolen, eaten, or let loose by looters. The last two tigers escaped and were shot dead. The future is uncertain. Most of the people in Iraq still do not have access to basic necessities or a safe environment and Iraq remains a war zone: sending tigers there would place the animals squarely in harm’s way.Also, because Iraq is not a signatory to Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), issuance of the permit would violate the basic tenet of CITES and will eliminate a significant incentive for other countries to sign on to the provisions of this very important international treaty that is designed to protect tigers like Riley and Hope.The Endangered Species Act mandates that such a transfer enhance the species in the wild, yet there’s absolutely no evidence that sending these tigers to Iraq would fulfill that requirement. Their presence is for amusement.In their natural environment, tigers quietly roam throughout many miles of territory consisting of forests, swamps, grasslands, savannahs, and rocky terrain, hunt, and raise their young. This is the life that they were meant to have—not dodging bullets in a facility that does not have the expertise or resources to properly care for them. It’s my understanding that the zoo even lacks veterinary diagnostic capabilities and many of the animals are handled with the crude use of ropes.Surely your agency will give thoughtful reconsideration and make the kind and responsible decision to deny the export. Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.Sincerely,Kim Basinger

If you’re as outraged by this decision as Kim is, please immediately contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service using our action alert. Ask them to rethink their decision to transfer Riley and Hope and to consider the safety of all animals at the Baghdad Zoo.

Posted by Jennifer Cierlitsky

Commenting is closed.
  • Baghdad citizen says:

    Hope and Riley are thriving. They are safe and wellkept. Al Zawra park and zoo is a safe placepeople should know that.

  • lynda downie says:

    What?! Really Anonymous?

  • Anonymous says:

    They left… Hope and Riley are already there…

  • Caroline says:

    Hello and greeting for your involvement with these two tigers Riley and Hope. It is sad to leave from so beautiful beasts in a place where they are not protected. I hope they will hear you.

  • erika says:

    what is the point of sending the tigers to someplace where they are going to get killed? and as it was stated properly before our troops are DYING over there right now. we need to really work on getting both the troops and animals out of the war. hopefully our next president will keep this in mind and make that humane desicion. WAY TO GO KIM!!!! WOOHOO FOR YOU!!!!!

  • Devin Newmeyer says:

    I am sure that somehow our moronic president is behind this…it’s such a sad world that mankind just can’t stop destroying. I am not a religious person but I will pray for those tigers. Kim that was a beautiful letter. I am going to send one myself as everyone should…thank you.

  • Barbara says:

    What the hell?!? We send soldiers over there and they can’t even protect themselves with the weapons they have … how the hell can the tigers protect themselves from that conflict. Troops and Tigers Out NOW!

  • ATHENA C HOGUE says:

    Sometimes all you can do is sit back and say “WHAT?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” I just can’t believe these people would even THINK of doing this! I wrote a letter and signed the action alert of course but I’m just dumbfounded that an alert such as this would even need to exist. Thank you thank you thank you to Miss Basinger for a wonderful letter and for taking a stand!

  • Crystal says:

    What a lovely letter. Way to go Kim!!!

  • rachel says:

    wow that bs tigers should be in the wild!

  • Annabelle says:

    Great letter. It’s good to know that people are out there to look out for animals like that. It’s nice of you to take some time and probably save two lives. Good work.

  • John Carmody says:

    Great to see Kim’s name and image back with PETA again well done Kim!

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Great letter by Kim. I like the way she referred to CITES and the Endangered Species Act. Is the USFWS unaware of these protocols?!?

  • Lisa says:

    Letters are not enough. Those two tigers need more than that. I hate to say money talks but celebraties need to use their powerful resources to stop these brutal transfers of animals. Where are they being transferred from and why can’t we physically stop it??

  • nicole says:

    this is fantastic i love it when celebrities use there positions for good unlike the devil aka sharon stone

  • Jan Graveson says:

    Putiing these tigers in Baghdad zoo is unacceptable and outrageous. This should NOT be allowed to happen and the person making these decisions needs to rethink of an alternative.

  • lynda downie says:

    Beautiful letter Kim. Thank you for becoming involved.

  • Carla says:

    Dear Mr. Hall I have heard that the US Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to send two tigers Riley and Hope to the Bagdad Zoo. Tigers are in danger of extintion so it is irresponsible to send these magnificent animals to a war ridden extremely poor country where animals rights does not exist. Remember the two tigers who escaped the zoo and were killed? As human beings we do not have the right to decide upon the life of a being that cannot take decisions on its own. Please reconsider.

  • Judith FFFA says:

    Kim wonderful letter. I hope they read this and grow a brain. There is most definitely something missing with these people anyone that listens to the Fish and wildlife service people are one brick short of a load. They would like to think they are intelligent but they are quite laughable. I hope this letter helps. We need to hear a lot more from this wonderful woman and her amazing exhusband Alec Baldwin who would make an amazing President someday. Kim and her daughter also adopted a little Calf. I hope this letter keeps the Tigers here. Lets put Bush Cheney and Rove in a cage and send them over so the people can throw peanuts and shit at them just like the shit they have thrown at the American people. Friendly fire anyone??? Peace for all animals! Most of my heroes wear masks!