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10 Extraordinary Things Bob Barker Has Done For Animals

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6. 25 Bolivian Lions Escape Horrible Circus Life For Colorado Sanctuary

Male lion

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Barker partnered with Animal Defenders International (ADI) to make Operation Lion Ark a reality in 2011. He helped fund a $200,000 airlift of 25 lions rescued from eight Bolivian circuses. After Bolivia’s game-changing 2009 prohibition on using any animals in circuses, Bolivian authorities accompanied ADI to find these lions and seize them.

The lions were found in cramped cages, malnourished and dehydrated. They were free, but had nowhere to go. That is, until Bob Barker assisted with the money to get them to sanctuary in Colorado.

“To look into those eyes, and those cubs, and to think I’ve played even a small part in making their lives not circuses, not those horrific conditions, and bringing them to the nearest possible thing to their natural habitat brings a lump to my throat,” Barker told ABC News.

7. Barker Offers University Big Bucks to Stop Experimenting on Cats

kitten with vet

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Washington University in St. Louis was reportedly the last university in the country to use sedated cats to teach its pediatric medical students how to properly intubate newborns. A cat’s upper airway closely approximates the airway of a newborn baby, which is why live cats were used for many years for this training.

It’s a method no longer endorsed and no longer practiced by most schools. When Bob Barker heard it was still going on, he made an offer to the school.

If they’d stop using cats, he’d give them $75,000 to buy two state-of-the-art pediatric simulators. This was the second time Barker pleaded to save cats from this type of treatment. He also successfully helped convince the University of Virginia to end cat intubation.

Washington University agreed in June 2013 to stop using cats for this purpose. It’s not clear if they took Barker up on his offer or not, but the negative press he generated on this issue surely made all the difference.

8. Wildlife Rehabilitation Group Asks For $5,000 But Gets a Whole Lot More

owl with vet

Photo credit: Thinkstock

A Texas-based wildlife rescue organization called Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation (WRR) found itself in desperate need of an avian ventilator in 2012. At $5,000 a pop, ventilators aren’t cheap. WRR decided to ask Bob Barker if he’d fund the purchase for them. His response knocked their socks off.

He gave them their $5,000 — in fact, he gave them $250,000. He told the group he’d looked into their work and was impressed enough to give them even more money than they’d asked him for.

9. Opposition to Pennsylvanias Cruel Pigeon Shoots

flying pigeons

Photo credit: Thinkstock

When animal activist group Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) showed him a video of a notorious live pigeon shoot at a hunting club in Pennsylvania, Barker was sickened.

He personally wrote letters to the state Attorney General and 2012′s candidates for that office, asking them to enforce the state’s humane laws and stop these events. Pennsylvania is one of only a few states to still permit live pigeon shoots. The doomed birds, sadly, are typically former homing pigeons, racing pigeons or raised by farmers.

They don’t simply die by gunfire. Often they perish slowly from wounds. Worse, pigeon shoot participants are known to stomp, kick and swing them around by their necks, smashing them against things to finish them off.

“It is very distressing to me personally to see such appalling cruelty,” Barker wrote in his letter. “This is not a hunt or sport, but a massacre of the cruelest kind. SHARK’s most recent video filmed at the Wing Pointe hunting club documents unspeakable acts of violence against docile, semi-tame and even banded pigeons.”

10. Endowments For Animal Law Studies at Multiple Major Law Schools

classroom students

Photo credit: Thinkstock

Barker set in motion a number of endowments in 2001 when he gave $1 million to his alma mater, Drury University, to create an animal ethics program of study. He followed that with another $1 million to establish a professorship on animal rights.

Since then, he’s donated a remarkable $1 million each to every one of these schools:

  • University of Virginia Law School
  • Columbia Law School
  • Duke Law School
  • Georgetown Law School
  • Harvard Law School
  • Northwestern Law School
  • Stanford Law School
  • UCLA Law School

These endowments mandate that the schools offer an animal law course at least every other year. They must also hold an animal law conference or other similar event in the year the course is not offered. Finally, any income from the endowment must be used only for teaching and research of animal law issues.

Truly, Bob Barker is a one-of-a-kind hero to the animals. His money and his compassion are making a difference every day for animals all over the world.

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5:22AM PDT on Aug 1, 2015

thanks for the article.

6:21AM PDT on May 20, 2015


8:28AM PDT on Apr 22, 2015

90 years old, still active and still doing good for others. I wish we all could be like that.

9:14AM PST on Dec 14, 2014


6:15AM PST on Dec 11, 2014

this man is a real hero..

12:26PM PDT on Oct 20, 2014

I wish more celebrities were like Bob Barker and Sam Simon (as a chinchilla mama, his rescue of chinchillas really touched my heart), taking their time and money to help animals. Hollywood take note, maybe you don't need that third mega mansion, that luxury yacht, or that birken bag, put your money to some good use. As a side note on another celebrity doing good, Oprah was recently in my neck of the woods visiting my alma mater (getting paid to speak) and she took time out of her busy day to visit the Mary Nelson's Youth Center and wrote the center a $100,000 check!

11:45AM PDT on Oct 20, 2014

You gotta love Bob Barker! The man has a heart of gold!

11:41AM PDT on Oct 20, 2014

OMG. I thought Bob Barker had passed. My apologies. He is 90.

11:38AM PDT on Oct 20, 2014

He did a lot of great things for the animals which I did not know that he did. Spending $1 million of his own money to pay for transport in specially equipped trailers with accompanying veterinary personnel and handlers to ease the journey for 3 elephants is priceless. May Bob Barker rest in peace.

5:22PM PDT on Oct 8, 2014

We have a small group of people here in Wellsley, Ontario, Canada who are committed to helping feral cats. Our tshirts this year for feral cat day are a cute cat face on the front and on the the back the view of a cat walking away with a red circle crossed out just under the tail with the phrase....Spay the sluts, neuter the nuts.

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