England – this is a really sad story; for all involved.
British citizens especially will be so fully aware of the superb contribution Martin (and his famous ears) has made for the welfare of so many different animal species.
So really saddened today to see that Martin has been dropped by the Born Free Foundation (BFF) as their celebrity Patron. On several flights I remember watching Martin doing a fundraising video for BFF; asking fliers to give all the spare foreign change to a BFF collection which was being undertaken on the plane.
First and foremost, this guy is a massive ‘animal’ person – and I have always liked him for that.
So it has been sad to read that he has now been dropped by the BFF for taking an elephant ride whilst making a tv program in Nepal. Not something he would have done by choice, but was it required of him by the producers of the series ?
As a patron for BFF and an animal person; yes, there is no way he should have gone anywhere near taking an elephant ride. I personally do not support this kind of abuse for tv, the circus, whatever. At the time, Martin was an idiot and is now paying the price for that. The BFF organisation will also lose out on the massive publicity that Martin always gave them whenever he could. He was a real patron and I admired him for what he did.
There are no winners in this situation, but several losers. As an animal person, Martin did wrong big time by doing what he did in the making of this program. BFF have lost a dedicated patron and campaigner for their work. As for the elephant; I guess it will continue to be used to give rides to tourists as it has done in the past. There are no winners here at all; only losers all round. Martin should have known better – Fact; and it was an ideal opportunity (for him) to speak out about the use of elephants for tourist rides. Would that ‘speak out’ against the rides have been recorded and broadcast by the Tv makers ? – we will never know.
This ‘sacking’ by the BFF does send a clear message to anyone who becomes a patron of an animal welfare charity. As I say, all round losers and no winners in this situation. I wish Martin well and know he will continue to be an ‘animals voice’; despite this one off act of an idiot; which is very much unlike him.