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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Time Would Be Better Spent Obsessing Over 1% of a Papal Message 

Celebrity Smack references a new protest website, TellParisNo.com:


Someone Has To: Tell Paris No!

Demand Paris Hilton Stop Collecting Illegal Wildlife

Free Baby Luv
The Captive Rainforest Kinkajou!

Alleged singer and celebutante Paris Hilton, desperate for attention – any attention – has recently inflicted her lifestyle on a succession of exotic pets as a publicity ploy. The latest victim of her affections is a captive “pet” kinkajou cloyingly named “Baby Luv,” which has appeared in public draped across Paris as if it were the latest fashion trend.

A kinka-what? The kinkajou (Potos flavus), also know as the “Honey Bear,” is a nocturnal tree-climbing mammal related to the raccoon that lives in the rainforests of Central and South America. Although kinkajous may appear cute and cuddly, they are wild animals that belong in the rainforest eating tropical fruit, not ducking from flashbulbs on fashion runways or sipping lattes in the cafes and trendy clubs of Los Angeles.

Innocent kinkajous such as the prisoner “Baby Luv” are often stolen from their natural habitat and sold abroad through the international wildlife trade. But hey, what does the biological diversity of the rainforest or the welfare of Baby Luv matter compared to Paris looking cool and hip?

Kinkajous are rare and threatened enough in Honduras that the country forbids exporting them without a permit, an effort to prevent the species from being needlessly exploited to satisfy the pet industry or the egos of so-called celebrities. Kinkajous in Honduras are supposed to be protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

The international wildlife trade is a violent and exploitive $6 billion annual industry that threatens wild animals in almost every country of the world. In 2002, more than 38,000 mammals, 365,000 birds, 2 million reptiles, 49 million amphibians and 216 million fish were imported into the United States alone. Cruel practices are often used to obtain and transport these wild animals, and many species are closer to extinction due to the high demand for their fur and body parts or use as “pets.” Since 1996, more than 2,000 species have been classified as threatened by the World Conservation Union, partly due to the negative impacts from the international wildlife trade.

Baby Luv has apparently gained favor over Paris’s pet ferret (which is also illegal to own in California). How many more biting incidents before the self-centered celebrity abandons or discards the kinkajou to keep up with the latest animal trend?

Baby Luv exacted a measure of revenge for the affront of having to put up with Paris’s antics and shrieks, biting her skinny, tormenting arm last month and sending Paris to the hospital. However, Paris’s punishment does not quite match her crime.

In California it is illegal to import or possess kinkajous, ferrets or other wild animals without a valid permit. Fortunately, the state recognizes the serious threats that the international wildlife trade poses, both to wild animals from other countries and to U.S. species when these animals are imported and then abandoned or released.

But apparently Paris does not understand or share these concerns, and she continues to flaunt her violations of several of California’s wildlife protections laws (see Fish and Game Code Sections 2118 and 2185, 2189 and 2190). In a just world, Paris Hilton would be pursued, captured, displayed and prosecuted for criminal violation of these wildlife protection laws, facing civil penalties of up to $10,000 and imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months.

Wild animals belong in their natural habitats, and species like the kinkajou should not suffer needlessly from the horrors of the international wildlife trade. Since her mom or publicist apparently won’t do it, we’re hoping you will TELL PARIS: NO ILLEGAL TRADE IN WILDLIFE....

I return to the beginning of the tirade:

Alleged singer and celebutante Paris Hilton, desperate for attention – any attention – has recently inflicted her lifestyle on a succession of exotic pets as a publicity ploy.

Yes, Paris keeps exotic pets as a publicity ploy.

And TellParisNo.com sets up a website about the whole thing as a publicity ploy.

And I blog about it as a publicity ploy.

What a threesome. And I may be the least skanky of this bunch. Witness this message from the plumbutt chronicles:

I've received a gazillion emails lately from the creators of www.TellParisNo.com pushing their cause. All I can say is that by the looks of Paris in this photo we should all be happy she doesn't own an Elephant.

I guess the fear is that people will...uh...ape Paris Hilton and do whatever she does? Act like a slut? Tons of teenagers are doing just that. Gyrate around a car while eating a Carl's Jr. burger? Paris eats In N Out now. Buy a kinkajou? I don't think it's the latest trend...yet:

Price: £550

Kinkajou babies ready to go out for sale. they are raised from home and of age between 8 weeks and 13 weeks old.very tame, shipping available if neccessary worldwide.The kinkajou babies will come with free cage and toys.the babies are easy to hand feed,used to kids, toys and very exotic. Babies will come with perfect vet papers and shots.they are also raised from adult domestic breeders. and have 100% health guaranteed, any interested lover should contact me for the babies.

But TellParisNo.com can't milk the publicity wagon for much longer:

Paris Hilton reportedly broke down and sobbed after animal authorities took away her pet monkey.

The sexy socialite is said to have been devastated after Los Angeles officials ordered her to hand over the primate - named Baby Luv - because it's classified as an illegal pet.

The blonde heiress, who bought the monkey during a trip to Las Vegas last summer, allegedly refused to part with her hairy friend so authorities went to her home to confiscate the animal.

The funniest part? They called the kinkajou a "monkey," which probably incensed the devoted wildlife lovers everywhere. Kinda like when I call a tardis a "phone booth."

Now they'll demand kinkajou publicity. Maybe someone can teach a kinkajou to draw Mohammed cartoons.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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