Animal Activist Exploit Sun Bears at Bandung Zoo

sun bears

There is an old saying a picture is worth a thousand words. Today we need to update that saying to “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Bucks”

Having exposed some of the fraud that has overwhelmed the animal activist community, Wildlife Planet and EndYulin2017 was recently contacted and asked to investigate a GoFungMe fundraiser started by Rebecca Rodriguez.

To our utter shock (eye roll) we immediately saw this person was shopping a television show she created.

It is amazing that sooner rather than later every single investigation we do, inevitably we come across the almost exact same sentence in their about me page.

In addition, Rebecca is the creator and producer of the upcoming television series “Animal House”  and several other television series’ for which she is actively seeking a network home.

In another investigation, we did in late 2016. Our sister site Wildlife Planet exposed Dr. Dan Allen. In that investigation, we uncovered the pilot episode of his show. Below is an excerpt from that story.

Please note: “Animal House” is NOT a typo. They named their pilot shows the same, creative geniuses they are not.  

In 2014 Allen filmed an animal show pilot called “Animal House.” I am sure he was trying extremely hard to get it picked up by one of a dozen USA or UK reality channels… it failed.

“Animal House” describes itself “as a television show that will renovate or build animal shelters in struggling communities. It’s family-friendly, inspirational and in need of a network home.”

Rebecca Rodriquez may very well be a caring person, who loves animals but at some point, these “Celebrity Wannabees” come to the realization that “The Ends Justifies the Means”

This is the point where the fraud starts and normally where we start getting involved.

 

Dr. Dan Allen, Peter Egan and NTDM

Desperate to get his pilot episode picked up by a network. Allen, aided by British actor Peter Egan attempted to tarnish the reputation of a legitimate dog rescue organization called “No To Dog Meat” (NTDM)

Enlisting Andrew Penman a hack reporter from the Mirror. The three conspired together and created a narrative claiming Egan and Allen were being harassed by supposed NTDM followers.

At that moment Allen experienced an unprecedented rise in popularity and he believed he was well on his way to get his series picked up.

Then we stepped in and exposed his fraud. Within weeks of our expose, Allen went from trending to being exposed as a transparent clown.

To his credit, he saw the writing on the wall and knowing we would never relent on exposing the truth. Allen announced he was returning to the anonymity of his Otters.

Please Note: Allen and Egan had accused “No To Dog Meat” of pilfering donations from a Chinese Dog Rescuer named Mrs./Madam Yang. The British Charity Commission recently found NTDM innocent of any wrongdoing

The Commission also came to the conclusion that Egan and Allen with the help of Penman created the entire NTDM trolling narrative, and stating that no such harassment had ever existed.

 

James Tsai and Tonka

Just a few weeks ago Wildlife Planet and EndYulin2017 exposed another fraud, James Tsai (Pronounced Sī).

Tsai for almost two years had been pushing his “Dog Whisperer” television show. But he failed to get any television networks to take notice of him or his pilot episode.

In an attempt to receive more publicity he enlisted Stephanie Ip to write a story about Tsai.  Ip from our investigation was nothing more than just another in a seemingly endless supply of unscrupulous journalist willing to pen an alleged Quid pro quo story.

In her Vancouver Sun story, Ip used a Great Dane named “Tonka” to portray Tsai as a loving, caring rescuer, who loved this poor abused Great Dane.

According to Tsai’s own video, he claimed: “Tonka was a living being with a soul and it was sickening that people would abuse him and treat him like garbage”.

Our investigation exposed Tsai as a hypocrite and worse a heartless person using Tonka as nothing more than a pawn in one of his schemes.

Tsai who had taken over the rehabilitation of this poor abused dog threatened to abandon Tonka at an animal shelter because Tsai threw a hissy fit in a Great Dane Facebook group page.

Tsai had hoped the front page Vancouver Sun story would be enough to push Television executives to take notice.

After our stories, the only people taking notice of James Tsai are the Canadian Animal Welfare authorities.

For more on this story please visit

 

Rebecca Rodriguez

At some point, the quest to become an animal rescue celebrity becomes so overwhelming that the path they had been following becomes blurred.

As we have explained many times, in order for any television executive to decide to give your pilot episode a time slot on their network, you’ll need to have developed a certain number of followers.

Once these executives are assured that a specific number of viewers (Followers) will tune in. They can then be assured of selling enough advertising to recoup any losses in the event that the show fails or is panned by TV critics.

Once these Celebrity wannabees understand what it will take to get see their dreams become reality, they focus their energies on building up their reputation.

 

Opportunity Knocks

Knowing their dreams of stardom depends on their popularity, these opportunists start seeking a situation that they could latch onto in hopes of using it as a springboard to fame.

After seeing a Daily Mail story and video of allegedly starving Sun Bears begging for food inside an Indonesian zoo. Rodriguez saw her opportunity to advance her career within a subject that she had never even been remotely connected to.

A majority of the information contained in The Daily Mail article, including the Video is basically from a group called Scorpion.

Scorpion is a wildlife trade monitoring group. There have been reports of them using some questionable tactics when filming. Since we have never investigated them we can neither confirm or deny these reports.

Overall they seem legitimate but some consider them an extreme group. I have found their lack of context in certain films can lead to people drawing the wrong conclusion.

 

Kneejerk Reaction

While the video that set this fundraiser in motion seems frightful and horrific to some it is also lacking context.

We have written a few stories that have involved Sun Bears. They are the smallest of the eight bear species, normally reaching around 5ft in height.

While many people based their preconceived notion of what a bear looks like on the black or brown bear.

Sun Bears, unlike their behemoth cousins, are extremely light, weighing anywhere from 110 to 150 pounds. Their small frames are mainly due to the fact that unlike many bears, sun bears spend a majority of their time living and sleeping in trees.

After watching the video many times we agree that these bears are thin and not properly nourished, but they are far from the “Skeletons” they are made out to be in this story.

Many will see the bears long fingers and extended claws. This feature only adds to the “Skeleton” narrative. But while these bears fingers are thinner than normal the length and overall look is actually normal for a Sun Bear because it aids them in climbing trees.

Please Note: Having written multiple articles on the reprehensible conditions at many of Indonesia’s zoos and on numerous occasions we have called on these zoos to send the elephant’s they are holding captive to sanctuaries that are located inside their country.

In no way are we saying these Sun Bears are being treated well.  We are just pointing out the fact that the story may have been over-exaggerated.

 

Close the Zoo Down

the-demise-of-Eco-Parque-zoo-min-300x150

While it’s easy for Scorpion and other organizations to cry “Close this and all zoos down”.

Not many people ask “What shall we do after we shutter the doors?” Wildlife Planet wrote a story on this exact situation in Argentina.

We do hope you take a moment to read it since it exposes the pitfalls of just closing a zoo down without a plan of action.

Related Story: The Forgotten Animals of Eco Parque

 

Fraudulent Accreditation

Latching onto this cause Rebecca Rodriguez went about starting a fund-raiser and in turn manipulated the facts to make her appear to be someone she is not.

By using special keywords or setting up various complimentary websites a person can make themselves appear to be an extremely qualified expert.

This, in turn, eases any trepidation a generous person may have had before donating money to a cause that they believe in.

In her ‘About Me’ page Rodriguez claims

“I am also the creator and producer of “Animal House” and the upcoming International Animal Series entitled “Animal House International”.

Of course, this will lead people to believe that her show will soon be aired on one of the many animal-related television channels.

Unfortunately, the people who generously give to animal causes along with having a caring nature, also trust far too easily. In their minds, it’s inconceivable for a person to use an abused animal for their own personal gain.

Reading further into Rebecca Rodriguez bio, she states she is seeking a home for her series on a television network. If this is the case then her show is not ‘upcoming’ anywhere,  except maybe her Youtube channel.

If her show had been picked up by a network. Rebecca Rodriguez would have been shouting from the rooftops the date, time and channel her show would be on.

 

Disingenuous Resume

On Rodriguez’s about me page, she wrote “I am a long-time animal advocate and critically acclaimed independent filmmaker”

She goes on to proclaim herself as the lead advocate/consultant at One Animal World. The major problem is Ms. Rodriguez owns One Animal World.

With this fact exposed, her so-called title of “lead advocate/consultant” is nothing more than a self-proclaimed fallacy.

I own WildlifePlanet.Net and EndYulin2017.com. I work alone and do everything on both sites.

Knowing this fact, I would be misleading you if I bestow upon myself the title of, Lead Investigator/ Reporter, Webmaster, Art Director, Editor, Head writer, etc.

Ms. Rodriguez also details her extensive filmography. The titles she has listed starting in 2000 seems most impressive. Any reader would naturally believe these films must, in some way be connected to Animals, right?

 

All is Not What it Seems

Investigating further we have discovered her first two, short 35mm films, were filmed in just ONE WEEKEND.

IMDb labeled the first film, a 7-minute “comedy-short” film called “Soul Collectors”.

Basically, the film centers around two men named Phil and Ed and their attempt to convince a confused woman that she had hit her head and died. Unable to make any headway as the dazed woman watched, one of the “collectors’ pulled her lifeless body from behind a large boulder to prove she had indeed died.

The other was called  “Floater”. That 7-minute “comedy-short” film is about a young couple about to have sex for the first time. When the girl goes to the bathroom to freshen up, she can’t get the poop to flush because it’s a “floater.” The guy followers her and tries to pee the “Floater” down.

As you can see these two films have nothing to do with animal activism. But since most people will never actually investigate her films, she listed them as part of her credentials on this Animal activist fund-raiser.

Additionally, Rebecca Rodriguez claims that he films were produced and distributed by Lucky Head Films.

Again this lends itself to the legitimacy of her credentials. That is until we exposed that she also owns Lucky Head Films as well.

Once our readers understand how easily it is to manipulate facts Rebecca Rodriguez’s impressive resume loses much of its luster.

In our opinion, Ms. Rodriguez’s carefully created resume shows less about her validity and more about her ethics and morals.

 

Fraudulent FundRaiser

Using her resume and credentials as a filmmaker and animal advocate, Ms. Rodriguez built her fundraiser.   With a stated goal of raising $75,000, she is well on her way to achieving that number. To date is has already raised over $44,000.

Ms. Rodriquez GoFundMe page states “I am assembling a team of animal experts to fly to Indonesia to advocate on behalf of these animals with the government agencies and zoo owners”

That sounds wonderful and combined with “I am a filmmaker” it makes this fundraiser sound even more believable.

We could never know what is truly in a person’s heart. but the moment we see someone crafting or manipulating their credentials to fit their narrative then we understandably become concerned that generous people will be taken advantage of.

 

What $75,000 will get you…

In her fundraiser, Rebecca Rodriguez scribed a very impressive list of things she would like to accomplish.

The $75,000 will be used to cover the expenses of a six person team to travel to Indonesia for two weeks. This team will consist of a wildlife veterinary expert, an animal legal representative, a rescue / placement expert, a special projects facilitator and a government advocate.

Most of the the $75K will be used to address the immediate needs facing the animals and for supplies, improvements and / or transportation for any compromised animals.

It all sounds so wonderful but just like every single “Rescue Fundraiser” the lack of planning and details is a prelude to disaster or a rip-off.

I’m assembling a team of experts?

  • What are the names of the people making up this six-person team?
  • What are their specialties?

There can’t be that many “experts” in the field of Sun bears?

  • Before starting a real fundraiser to save these bears, it would not have been too hard to contact a few people and get their expert opinion on the video.  Simply asking “Would you join me on a fully funded expedition to Indonesia to evaluate these abused sun bears?”
  • Before even accepting $1, she would have been able to list these “Experts” and their “Specialties”

 We will be capturing video footage if possible.

  • What does she mean… If possible?
  • Normal everyday people have filmed hundreds of hours of video inside Indonesian zoos. So now we are lead to believe that she may not be able to accomplish this?

Working to identify ways to inspire accountability and positive change.

How can Ms. Rodriguez not even list just one inspirational way she intends to produce a positive change? Having nothing to do with this quest I can list a few without even thinking about it.

  • “We will be visiting local elementary schools to expose and educate young minds to the inhumanity of an animal living out its life held in captivity”
  • “While our experts evaluate the Sun Bears we will open an educational stand to inform visitors of the plight of these bears as well as the other animals being held inside the zoo.
  • We will show local Indonesians and tourist that Sun Bears spend a majority of their lives in trees. Then challenge visitors to see for themselves that the Sun Bear habitat contains ZERO trees.

Working with [Insert Name]

Ms. Rodriguez additionally wrote “We are also working with a P Holmes who is the individual behind the Change.org and Care2 petitions aimed at raising awareness for the plight of these animals.

  • Ms. Rodriquez is working with this person who basically just starts petitions to close zoos, but she doesn’t even know his first name? Or did his mother actually name him “P”?

We didn’t want to waste too much time on “P” after reading his catchphrase “We are the Spartacus for the voiceless” ~ P Holmes.

I am not even sure what the hell this even means?

I believe “P” believed it sounded cool and just went with it. But using Spartacus” in this context means nothing more than gibberish. I highly doubt “P” comprehends the meaning of why the revolting slaves, after the Roman legion captured them, defiantly said, “I’m Spartacus”.

Special projects facilitator

What special project is Ms. Rodriquez referring to? She never lists one thing she actually intends to do, except maybe feed the bears. Feeding a few bears does not require or need a special project facilitator.

Again, not even being a part of this situation, but knowing real animal rescue operations and being somewhat familiar with Sun Bears I would have written.

  • “We intend to bring along a special project facilitator in hopes of extending the Sun Bears habitat area to include trees so they can live in a habitat that is far more familiar to the way their species lives in the wild”

 

Getting Basic Information Wrong

Ms. Rodriquez wrote:

We understand that there are 28 zoos total and we intend to visit each of them.

What kind of ‘expert’ looking to raise $75,000 writes “We understand”? This would be on par with a person living in New York and visiting Florida for the first time and saying “I understand it can get quite hot down there?”

Ms. Rodriguez claims there are 28 zoos in Indonesia. Ms. Rodriguez never listed the criteria she uses to come to this conclusion?

According to Indonesian government records, they currently have 58 registered zoos. So if Ms. Rodriguez is to be taken at her word and plans to visit and document all of these zoos. It seems highly improbable this could be accomplished in a 14 day period.

 

Situations Tend To Change

The whole premise of Rebecca Rodriguez’s fundraiser was to feed and evaluate the bear’s condition. But on her fundraiser page, she wrote

UPDATE 4/10/2017: Since this video was taken, the government has intervened and the animals are now being fed. We are not certain if they have established a long-term plan to keep the animals safe and healthy – but we will find out once we visit

If the animals are being fed then what is their reason to raise $75,000 dollars for a two-week trip? If she wanted to evaluate the sun bears conditions she could easily accomplish this.

Giving a few hundred dollars to a local animal advocacy group to film and document what is happening at this moment. This film and report will provide her with current information where she can then develop a legitimate detailed plan on what to do next.

Below is a video that was posted by Facebook user Cee4Life. This video clearly shows the bears are being fed.

While this is only one film and not to be taken as any sort of proof that this is happening daily. It does show that the need to raise $75,000 for a group of unnamed so-called “experts” led by a music videographer with delusions of grandeur, is far from warranted.

 

Feeding the Sunbears of Bandung Zoo 🙂 Starring Kardit <3

Feeding the Sunbears of Bandung Zoo 🙂 Starring Kardit <3Please support www.cee4life.org/supportersPaypal cee4lifeinc@outlook.com

Posted by Cee4life on Wednesday, June 21, 2017

In our opinion

  • The fundraiser never lays out a legitimate plan of action.
  • Their reasons stated for the trip have recently changed and now has become “We want to look for ourselves”
  • No named team members or specialties.
  • There has been no budget put forth for this trip I.E. Arline cost, Hotels, Supplies etc.
  • No timeframe as to when this trip will be taking place.
  • The fundraiser never lists any achievable goals.
  • The lack of any transparency.
  • The manipulation of Ms. Rodriquez’s credentials.
  • No stated way to assure donors that their money will be accountable.

In our opinion, this fundraiser shows very little legitimacy.

If you have donated we applaud your generosity and compassion to these poor animals, but we recommend that you contact your bank, credit card or PayPal and get your money returned.

If Rebecca Rodriquez is, in fact, serious, about helping these bears. We would be honored to pen a supportive story that promotes her fundraiser. But in order to do that she would need to provide us with detailed plans that will have a positive impact on these animals lives.

Summary
Animal Activist Exploit Sun Bears at Bandung Zoo
Article Name
Animal Activist Exploit Sun Bears at Bandung Zoo
Description
We were asked to investigate a GoFundMe fundraiser that was started by Rebecca Rodriguez after a video showed starving Sun Bears at the Bandung Zoo
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Publisher Name
Wildlife Planet and End Yulin
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