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|Zoo News Digest Jan-Feb 2018|
Zoo News Digest
Should we give up half of the Earth to wildlife?
The orangutan is one of our planet’s most distinctive and intelligent creatures. It has been observed using primitive tools, such as the branch of a tree, to hunt food, and is capable of complex social behaviour. Orangutans also played a special role in humanity’s own intellectual history when, in the 19th century, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, co-developers of the theory of natural selection, used observations of them to hone their ideas about evolution.
But humanity has not repaid orangutans with kindness. The numbers of these distinctive, red-maned primates are now plummeting thanks to our destruction of their habitats and illegal hunting of the species. Last week, an international study revealed that its population in Borneo, the animal’s last main stronghold, now stands at between 70,000 and 100,000, less than half of what it was in 1995. “I expected to see a fairly steep decline, but I did not anticipate it would be this large,” said one of the study’s co-authors, Serge Wich of Liverpool John Moores University.
For good measure, conservationists say numbers are likely to fall by at least another 45,000 by 2050, thanks to the expansion of palm oil plantations, which are replacing their forest homes. On
The Political Chimp
As of January 2018, the symbolic Doomsday Clock reads two minutes to midnight. The current age of global instability and uncertainty has revived discussion of an age-old question: is war ingrained in human nature? Warfare has been studied for centuries, by everyone from historians of ancient Greece to primatologists. But something strange is happening to the way we consider the subject, especially with respect to the study of chimp-on-chimp violence. Conspecific killing among chimpanzees (i.e. when chimps kill one another) has become a particularly political and controversial topic, and contending arguments seem to reflect the ideological preferences and outlook of the researchers on either side of the debate. At issue are the implications data about primate warfare might have for our understanding of human violence.
A link between chimpanzee and human warfare has been stated outright by leading primatologists, who suggest that it demonstrates humans’ innate predisposition for violence. I first encountered this controversy during graduate school. Steven Pinker had just published The Be
Animal Trainers Gone Wild
For the past 34 years, Terrie Williams has been studying Weddell seals. Every few years, she heads to the Antarctic for 10 weeks at a time to study seal behavior. Her recent focus is on how the seals navigate under the thick ice; in particular, she’s looking for evidence that the animals rely on geomagnetic perception.
If she can prove that seals use Earth’s magnetic fields to find their way, like sea turtles, it will be the first time a marine mammal has been shown to do so. But, in the process, Williams has also begun to change scientists’ understanding of how to work with animals in the wild.
This year, she and the animal trainers who recently began to accompany her on her expeditions accomplished an important first. “We decided to try something pretty radical,” Williams says, “which was to do the entire expedition working with Weddell seals and never have to resort to se
Coldilocks, the oldest captive polar bear in the US, dies
The oldest captive polar bear in the nation has died.
The Philadelphia Zoo on Tuesday said that the 37-year-old bear, Coldilocks, was in declining health and was euthanized.
Zoo officials said Coldilocks had a variety of age-related medical issues, including problems with her kidneys and eyesight, but that visitors wouldn’t have been able to tell as the bear pounced playfully on toys, pulling them deep into her pool during early morning dips.
Zoos Worldwide Answer Call To Help Save Asian “Unicorn”
Global Wildlife Conservation Joins Zoos in Supporting Critical Saola Conservation Breeding Center
Although no zoo has ever cared for the antelope-like saola-and no biologist has ever seen one in the wild-zoos and affiliated organizations around the world have generously contributed or pledged more than $350,000 to support efforts that represent the last best hope to save the critically endangered species: a conservation breeding center. The fundraising campaign, which started Oct. 1 of 2017 and ends July 31, has so far generated donations from 22 zoos and affiliated organizations in North America and Europe.
World’s Only Non-Chinese-Owned Giant Pandas Reach Advanced Age in Mexico City
It’s 10 am and Xin Xin, now 27 years old and 102 kilograms (225 pounds), walks slowly down a corridor to begin her daily training routine.
She is one of two giant pandas at the Mexican capital’s Chapultepec Zoo, which is home to the only members of that species worldwide that are not owned by the Chinese government.
Away from the gaze of the zoo’s paying customers, Xin Xin undergoes a conditioning program every day under the supervision of her trainer, Ulises, and a zoo veterinarian, who offer her an apple – one of her favorite foods – provided she allows them to examine her with a stethoscope and brush her.
After Xin Xin’s routine is finished, Shuan Shuan, who is about to turn 30 and weighs 114 kilos, has her turn.
“It’s a conditioning program focused on allowing essential medical interventions,” the director of Mexico City’s zoos, Claudia Levy, told EFE.
She said that during the training routine the zoo’s team simulates the extraction of blood and X-rays. The idea is to get the bears accustomed to these procedures and ensure that thorough medical tests are stress-free.
Thanks to this daily routine, the pandas establish a bond of trust with the zoo employees and will not need to be anesthetized or coerced into undergoing medical exams when the time comes.
Even though Shuan Shuan is Xin Xin’s aunt, the two are in separate compounds because giant pandas are solitary animals and could harm one another if they lived together.
The care they receive has allowed these giant pandas – the oldest in the world outside of China, where that species
Rhinos Wanted – Dead or Alive
Major gaps between South African and Namibian legislation that regulates the endangered species trade allowed for the sale of at least 13 white rhino bulls from a South African game park to a Russian big game hunting outfit in Namibia. Nine of these rhinos were found to have died.
CITES Ignores Illegal Import of Wild Elephants by China
In the last two years, China has imported more than 80 live Asian elephants from across its border in Laos and almost 100 juvenile African elephants from Zimbabwe. They were all destined for zoos throughout China.
According to wildlife investigator and film-maker, Karl Ammann, last year Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith publicly declared the trade in live elephants illegal under national laws.
Professors Say Global Warming Isn’t Killing Frogs — Scientists Are
Kermit the Frog sang “It’s not that easy bein’ green” — and it’s apparently not that easy being a green of the warmist persuasion, either. Because while the recent decades’ decline in frog populations has been blamed on “global warming,” it turns out there’s another culprit, perhaps the most embarrassing one the warmists could imagine.
University of Utah professors Henry Harpending and Gregory Cochran provide some background at their blog “West Hunter,” writing, “Starting in late 80s, herpetologists began noticing that various kinds of frogs were declining and/or disappearing. There was & is a geographical pattern: Wiki says ‘Declines have been particularly intense in the western United States, Central America, South America, eastern Australia and Fiji.’”
Researchers were befuddled by this, say Harpending and Cochran, because many of the frog declines couldn’t be attributed to human impact (deforestation, mining, etc.), as they were in remote areas such as the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica.
So, unsurprisingly, scientists
Tasmanian tiger just another marsupial in the pouch
Australia's ill-fated Tasmanian tiger looked like any other marsupial when born but assumed dog-like features by the time it left the mother's pouch, scientists said Wednesday in shedding new light on its puzzling evolution.
Using CT technology, they scanned all 13 juvenile specimens of the extinct carnivore found in collections around the world, developing the first 3D models of the tiger from birth to adulthood.
"These scans show in incredible detail how the Tasmanian tiger started its journey in life as a joey that looked very much like any other marsupial, with robust forearms so that it could climb into its mother's pouch," said Christy Hipsley, from Museums Victoria.
"But by the time it left the pouch around 12 weeks to start independent life, it looked more like a dog or wolf, with longer hind limbs than forelimbs."
Kangaroos, koalas, wombats and the Tasmanian devil are also marsupials.
The animal's resemblance to the dingo, a wild dog native to Australia, is one of the clearest examples of "convergent evolution" in mammals, which is when two unrelated species evolve to look very similar.
The Tasmanian tiger last shared a common ancestor with dogs and wolves around 160 million years ago.
Once ranging throughout Australia and N
Video: Man jumps into lion’s enclosure in Thiruvananthapuram zoo......
In a shocking incident, a man jumped into a lion's enclosure at the Thiruvananthapuram zoo on Wednesday. He was immediately rescued by the staff of ...
Bear or farmer? Scientists find bears' eating habits are critical for maintaining vegetation
A new study looking into brown and black bears in Alaska's Tongass National Forest has found that the animals' occasional eating habits are extremely critical for maintaining vegetation in the region.
Bears thrive in the forest by feeding on Salmon, a fish which grows in the sea but migrates to freshwater streams to spawn. The animals wait for their food to show up but in the meantime, they gorge on berries or small fruits available nearby, according to an Associated Press report.
France to let wolf population grow despite farmers' fears
France is to allow the wolf population to grow from about 360 now to 500 by 2023, despite protests from farmers worried about their livestock.
A new plan announced by the government represents a rise of nearly 40% in the wolf population.
After being eradicated by hunters in the 1930s, the wolf made its way back into France from Italy in the 1990s.
Wolves are listed as a protected species by the Bern Convention that France has signed up to.
Putting primates on screen is fuelling the illegal pet trade
Why would animal rights organisation PETA praise a film in which a group of apes are brutally attacked by humans? The answer is that War for the Planet of the Apes, the most recent movie in the franchise, used no real primates in its filming.
Yet while computer generated imagery is now good enough to create realistic looking animals on screen, some movies still employ actual non-human primates. In the last few years, primate actors have been used in major Hollywood films such as The Hangover Part II (2011), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) and Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017).
Regardless of how these animals are treated on set, the reality is that they’re being placed in unnatural environments and made to act for other people’s amusement against their will. What’s more, there’s evidence that using real primates on screen actually encourages the illegal pet trade. It’s estimated that more than 3,000 great apes and hundreds of thousands of other primates are traded as pets and bush meat each year.
A recent study of films released between 1990 and 2013 found 70 movies in which primate actors appeared. Chimpanzees, capuchins and old-world
Nearly 100 Animals Left Behind at Abandoned Zoo in Reynosa
Authorities are figuring out what’s next after taking custody of dozens upon dozens of exotic species discovered at an abandoned zoo near Reynosa.
Officials say no one was at the Parque Recreativo y Ecológico Aventura Animal when they went to shut it down.
Among the species are an Arabian camel, macaw parrots, a black bear and at least 18 more types of species and around 100 animals in total.
The only people around were state police when they arrived to serve a search warrant after they say someone filed an anonymous complaint. The complaint alleged, “killing, mistreatment or cruelty to animals.”
Officials say they found the exhibits without proper food or water.
A baboon was found dead and a young tiger, unable to walk on his own.
Authorities say they didn’t just discover exotic species but also found bags of marijuana and cocaine.
They say the animals recovered at the zoo will be handed over to the Tamaulipas State Commission on Conservation and Financial Manag
Zoo and Wildlife Solutions Training Courses
Practical Implementation of the Zoo Licensing
For Local Authority Officers and Zoo Professionals
24th and 25th April 2018 at Blackpool Zoo
£200 for Two Days (£180 for BIAZA Members)
This training course will provide participants with a full understanding of zoo licensing. The course describes the law and what is required by licensed zoos, explains the licensing and enforcement process and provides in depth insight into what inspectors are looking for and how to prove your zoo complies with the requirements of the Secretary of Sates Standards of Modern Zoo Practice. This is a highly interactive course based on small group exercises and practical tasks in the zoo.
TO BOOK PLEASE CONTACT
Dan Ashe: Zoos and Aquariums Adapt to Climate Change
In episode 59 of America Adapts, Doug Parsons talks with Dan Ashe, the President and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Previously, Dan was the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 7 years under President Barack Obama.
Topics discussed in this episode:
What is the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and its role in conservation and adaptation;
How zoos can be ambassadors in deep red states in communicating climate change;
Dan’s tenure as Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service;
How state wildlife agencies have, nor have not, stepped up on climate change planning;
Dan’s climate legacy at the US Fish and Wildlife Service;
And a morale booster to current FWS employees on why what they do is so important!
U.S. THE BIGGEST IMPORTER OF ENDANGERED AFRICAN WILDLIFE TROPHIES
The United States remains the biggest importer of trophy-hunted endangered animals in the world in spite of Donald Trump’s recent public comments overturning a decision by the US Department of Interior to allow elephant trophies into the United States.
In 2016 alone the US imported 3,249 or 60% of the animal trophies from just six African countries – Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. According to the trade database of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
One of the most popular big game mammals for trophy hunters to kill are elephants. Donald Trump has made specific reference to the horror of elephant trophy hunting before, yet hundreds of American hunters, including the President’s own sons, have on average imported around 200 elephant trophies annually. This excludes the approximate annual haul of 150 tusks and hundreds of feet, ears, teeth, skin pieces, and other elephant derivatives.
In countries like Zimbabwe and Tanzania,
A Zoo Without Borders: A Conversation with Beth Schaefer, General Curator at the Los Angeles Zoo
Since 2014, Beth Schaefer has served as General Curator of the Los Angeles Zoo, making her responsible for 1100 animals of over 250 species and their caretakers. She also serves as co-chair of the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center's Animal Care and Welfare Advisory Group, which benefits Grueller's gorillas. Schaefer has previously worked at the Houston Zoo, Disney's Animal Kingdom, the Center for Great Apes, the Kansas City Zoo and the Charles Paddock Zoo. Following in the footsteps of the late Mike Dee (the zoo's longtime General Curator), she has brought her immense animal knowledge to the zoo and helped bring its animal care programs to the next level. Here is her story.
Confessions of a zoo exhibit designer
With a proud smile, Mr Cham Tud Yinn, 50, leads us around the Amazon Flooded Forest - the highlight exhibit of River Safari, which features manatees swimming among large tree trunks in a water tank.
Mr Cham is the director of exhibit design at Wildlife Reserves Singapore and has worked on projects in the Singapore Zoo and River Safari, including the Flooded Forest, the largest freshwater aquarium in the world and one of Mr Cham's favourites.
He said: "We wanted to mimic how trees in the Amazon become submerged when water level changes."
Although his work revolves around animals, Mr Cham rarely comes into contact with them. Instead, his job involves nitty-gritty details such as plumbing and filtration.
Using the Flooded Forest as an example, he said: "It is a big exhibit, and there is a lot to consider - the volume of water in the tank, how to filter the waste from the water such that it looks clean."
Mr Cham, who joined the zoo more than 22 ye
Nest of critically endangered Royal Turtle found in Cambodian river
Conservationists have found a nest of the critically endangered Royal Turtle with 16 eggs on a sandbar along Sre Ambel River in southwest Cambodia's Koh Kong province, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said on Monday.
"This is the first nest of Royal Turtle found in 2018," the WCS said in a statement, adding that four local community rangers have been hired to guard it until the eggs hatch.
Listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List as critically endangered, Southern River Terrapin (Batagur affinis), locally known as the Royal Turtle, is one of the world's 25 most endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles.
The Royal Turtle is named because in the past only the royal family could consume its eggs, the statement said, adding that it is designated as Cambodia's national reptile by a royal decree in March 2005.
In Hul, an official of Cambodia's Fisheries A
Throw them to the lions
Edna Molewa is there to think slowly, act slowly and take decisions based on how she’s feeling that day.
She’s keen on selling our rhino horn stockpile, has granted emissions compliance exemptions to dozens of companies, including Eskom, and, in her previous portfolio, blamed wet coal for the electricity blackouts which, as we now know, was caused by the Guptas. My fear is that in Cyril’s rush to get rid of the rapacious termites, he will overlook bumbling imbeciles like Edna.
In terms of importance, the government ranks environmental affairs down there with sport and recreation. Edna seems to think it’s lame to protect stuff like animals and the climate. Take lions, for instance. I’ve never met Edna but from what I have read it seems unlikely she’s a cat person.
Members of the Arizona-based Safari Club International and Dallas Safari Club are also not cat people. They are not even animal people, unless by animal people you mean people who pay money to murder animal
Five dugongs wash up on Saadiyat beach in 'harsh blow' for the species
Five dugongs, including a pregnant mother with a fully-developed calf, have washed up on Saadiyat beach over the past few weeks in what may be the single biggest fatality of one of Abu Dhabi’s most vulnerable species, according to the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi.
The dugongs probably died by drowning after getting tangled in a illegal drift fishing net known as hiyali, according to the EAD, which has dispatched a team of experts to investigate the deaths and intensify monitoring in critical areas.
“This discovery is a harsh blow to one of Abu Dhabi’s most vulnerable species and it may be the biggest single die-off of dugongs recorded in a decade,” said Dr Shaikha Al Dhaheri, executive director of the terrestrial and marine biodiversity at EAD. “It once again affirms the vulnerability of these iconic species to human threats and the pressing need for fishermen to end irresponsible fishing practices.”
Abu Dhabi is home to the world’s second-largest population of dugongs, with about 3,000 found mostly in the waters around Bu Tinah Island, part of the Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve. Dugongs, their foraging habitats and their migratory routes in the UAE have been protected under Federal Law No 23 and No 24 since 1999. The UAE is also a signatory to the UN Convention on the Conservatio
The story of how the chiru was saved from the brink of extinction
At 15,000 feet, the early autumn winds had started to carry snow in their breath. On the road ahead was a convoy of cargo-laden trucks lumbering up the mountain pass. The colours were stark: a steel-grey road, brown mud tracks fast covering up with sleety snow, Chinese border guards in faded blue.
We turned our faces away from the unfriendly gust and took shelter under a stone column topped with a bronze figurine. I looked down at my boots dusted with snow and then up at the brass bovid looking down at me. This was why two of us were here: an odd couple from India, my colleague and renowned conservationist, the late Ashok Kumar, who was celebrating his 70th birthday, and I, about to embark on an expedition like none other.
Toy designers show keeping elephants amused not kids’ play
Art professors Richard M. and Laura S. Brown are combining arts and sciences to enrich the lives of two Asian elephants at a local zoo, and the couple is hoping their program goes national.
The Browns gave a presentation, “Toys for Elephants: Designing and Building Enrichment Objects for Elephants,” Tuesday afternoon in the Varis Lecture Hall at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in North Grafton. The couple shared their research as co-founders of the Handshouse Studio where the Toys For Elephants program is based.
In 2010, the Browns learned of two beloved 8,000-pound Asian elephants named Emily and Ruth living at the Buttonwood Zoo in New Bedford.
The couple learned about the elephants’ need for stimulation after talking with the zoo’s director and took on the challenge of enriching the elephants’ environment with limited funding, using art and design students.
Mr. Brown designed the “Toys For Elephants” program and introduced it at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston where he and his wife are faculty, in collaboration with the couple’s studio in Norwell.
The results were amazing – for Emily and Ruth, the students involved, and the community.
“Every zoo we’ve visited all over the country tells us they need more elephant enrichment,” Mr. Brown said. “We’re helping address the issue.”
RAPTOR TAXON ADVISORY GROUP
Romeo the lonesome frog is feelin' the love
A campaign to raise $15,000 by Valentine's Day to fund a search for Romeo's Juliet before he croaks generated $25,000, an environmental group said.
Romeo is the last known frog of his kind. Given the normal life span of Sehuencas water frogs, he has only about five years left to live, giving urgency to his love quest.
Texas-based Global Wildlife Conservation teamed with dating website Match and the Bolivian Amphibian Initiative to raise money for Romeo's last shot at romance.
"People from around the globe showed their love this Valentine's Day for the world's loneliest amphibian," the environmental group said in a statement dated Friday.
"We are overwhelmed by the support from Match and all of the donors who generously let Romeo into their heart this week," said Arturo Munoz, founder of the Amphibian Initiative
Kamikaze sperm and four-headed penises – the hidden ways animals win the mating game
We all know that individuals fight over potential love interests. Just think of Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) and Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) scuffling – rather impotently – over Bridget Jones in a fountain. But you might be surprised to hear that the fierce rivalry continues behind the scenes – in the form of sperm competition. This is when the sperm of two or more males compete inside the reproductive tract of a female, to fertilise the eggs, something that is widespread in the animal kingdom.
It is generally assumed that the sperm in a female's reproductive tract around the time of fertilisation will belong to one male. But DNA fingerprinting has revealed that even "monogamous" bird species that form exclusive pair bonds are not as exclusive as was once thought.
In fact, extra-pair young (those fathered by another male) are found in around 90% of bird species, and extra-pair copulations (matings with a
Conservation and Government Partnerships: A Conversation with Rich Block, CEO of the Santa Barbara Zoo
The Santa Barbara Zoo is one of the finest small zoos in the nation located on the Pacific Ocean. In the last decade, it has become renowned as a leader in the conservation of several California species including the Channel Island fox and the California condor. Rich Block has served as the zoo’s CEO since 1998. Prior to coming to the Santa Barbara Zoo, Block worked at a number of other zoos, worked at the World Wildlife Fund for several years and served as Executive Director of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. Here is his story.
Facial attraction: Red-fronted lemurs recognize photos of their own species
Wild red-fronted lemurs (Eulemur rufrifrons) appear to be able to recognize individuals belonging to the same species (conspecifics) from photographs, a study published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology suggests.
Researchers at the German Primate Center found that red-fronted lemurs spent significantly more time looking at pictures of conspecifics than at pictures of other, closely related species (heterospecifics).
Dr Hanitriniaina Rakotonirina, the corresponding author said: "We were surprised to find that the animals appear to be able to differentiate among closely related sister species. For example, males of the rufous brown lemur (Eulemur rufus) and the red-fronted lemur (Eulemur rufifrons) are difficult to distinguish by the human eye. However, we found that lemurs seem to be able to do it."
The time lemurs spent looking at pictures correlated with genetic difference; the more genetically different individuals were (which corresponded to how different they looked), the less time lemurs would spend looking at their pictures. Females showed a more pronounced response than males. This may indicate that female red-fronted lemurs perceive and respond to differences in fur patterns and coloration to recognize viable mates from their own spec
In Defense of Biodiversity: Why Protecting Species from Extinction Matters
A few years ago, I helped lead a ship-based expedition along south Alaska during which several scientists and noted artists documented and made art from the voluminous plastic trash that washes ashore even there. At Katmai National Park, we packed off several tons of trash from as distant as South Asia. But what made Katmai most memorable was: huge brown bears. Mothers and cubs were out on the flats digging clams. Others were snoozing on dunes. Others were patrolling.
During a rest, several of us were sitting on an enormous drift-log, watching one mother who’d been clamming with three cubs. As the tide flooded the flat, we watched in disbelief as she brought her cubs up to where we were sitting — and stepped up on the log we were on. There was no aggression, no tension; she was relaxed. We gave her some room as she paused on the log, and then she took her cubs past us into a sedge meadow. Because she was so calm, I felt no fear. I felt the gift.
In this protected refuge, bears could affo
Chiang Mai zoo puts white tiger cubs on display
The Chiang Mai Night Safari on Tuesday introduced its new additions of three white tiger cubs ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations.
The three-month-old cubs were two males named Fufu, or wealth, and Facai, good luck, plus one female, Ping-an, peace, acting zoo director Netnapa Sutthithamdamrong said.
Barrow MP hails victory as new independent zoo inspectorate to be launched
BARROW MP and zoo campaigner John Woodcock hailed the introduction of a new zoo inspectorate as 'a huge victory for safer zoos'.
The Animal Welfare Plan, launched today by Cumbrian Labour MP and shadow Environment secretary Sue Hayman, would introduce a new independent zoo inspectorate to raise standards of animal welfare and improve the quality of licensing and inspections in zoos.
The announcement comes following catastrophes in zoos across the country, resulting in abuses of welfare and deaths of hundreds of animals in their care. One of the most stark examples was that of South Lakes Safari Zoo, whose failings were revealed when the data on the numbers and causes of fatalities and illnesses in that zoo were published, and the zoo’s lic
Russia’s Oldest Polar Bear in Captivity Dies at 38
Russia’s oldest polar bear has died at the age of 38, a zoo in Perm has announced.
Polar bear Amderma was captured in the Yamal-Nenets autonomous region in 1989 and her carers estimate she was born in 1980. After brief stays in zoos in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan, she finally found sanctuary in Perm.
The death occurred on Feb. 7, but was not reported by the zoo until this week. "She lived there happily for 21 years, giving birth to five healthy cubs," the zoo’s press service said in an online statement.
Dublin Zoo announces arrival of Baby elephant
Dublin Zoo is celebrating the birth of an Asian elephant calf.
Proud mum, Anak, gave birth to the healthy male calf on Saturday, February 10 after a 22-month gestation period.
Yes, 22 months!
The new arrival is Anak’s second calf and the seventh elephant calf born at Dublin Zoo in less than four years.
“We are delighted to welcome our new arrival to Dublin Zoo and happy to report the calf is healthy, strong and was standing within minutes of his birth,” said Gerry Creighton, Operations Manager at Dublin Zoo.
“It is fascinating to watch the younger females interact with the calf, as they are working together to protect him. Witnessing the sights and sounds of an elephant birth, is important to inexperienced females in th
Pachyderms on the pitch
The 2018 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is set to kick off from March 8 to 11 on the banks of Chao Phraya River, next to Anantara Riverside Bangkok, with a full range of fun elephant festivities for the whole family.
Now in its 16th edition, the festival has become one of the biggest charitable events in Southeast Asia with approximately US$1.5 million (Bt50 million) raised to date, which has gone to various charities that benefits the elephants of Thailand. These include housing for the mahouts and families, shelters for the elephants and a mobile blood centrifuge and elephant ambulance for the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC).Funds from this year’s event will be donated to various projects including the Zoological Parks Organisation of Thailand, which supports veterinary and educational projects to improve the year-round lives of elephants and mahouts in the Surin Province. The donations have also funded workshops for mahouts and vets on how to keep elephants happy as well as a conservation education tri
Exposed: Inside the Mind of a Lion Murderer
Why would anyone be interested in killing a lion? Even if it was for free, which it is not. As a psychologist this is what I try to understand.
In 2014, after visiting South Africa, I wrote an article titled “Lion Canned Hunting, the person behind the ‘Hunter’”. This was before the infamous “Cecile the Lion” incident which sparked the world and exposed the brutal and pitiful practice of canned hunting. At the time, the psychopathic industry of canned hunting was unknown to most people. On the first of July 2015, Cecil the emblematic lion in Zimbabwe, is killed by an American dentist and exposed this barbaric kind of hunting to the world. Hearing of this industry for the first time, people were shocked and disgusted that this existed and was even legal. I decided to look back since my article was written and see how things have evolved and analyse the persona who indulges in such practices.
Creating A Guest-Friendly, Engaging Zoo: A Conversation with Randy Wisthoff, CEO/Executive Director of the Kansas City Zoo
Randy Wisthoff has been a household name in the zoo business since he served as Associate Director at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo from 1987 to 2003. During this time, he served as right hand man to director Lee Simmons as he turned the zoo into a world-famous institution with many cutting edge exhibits that were best of its kind. In 2003, Wisthoff became CEO/Executive Director of the Kansas City Zoo, a large institution that had just been privatized in order to realize its potential and operate more efficiently. He has made the zoo much more guest friendly, added several popular animals and engaging experiences and led the zoo to having more than one million guests. Here is his story.
Unseen killers are wildlife's worst enemies
Unquestionably, construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta is the man of the moment. His name is on everyone's lips, after he and three of his entourage were arrested and charged with poaching in Unesco's...
First elephant born at Woburn Safari Park beats the odds to survive Ebola-like virus
A three-year-old Asian elephant at Woburn Safari Park has beaten the odds to recover from an aggressive disease which is fatal in 80% of recorded cases. Similar to the Ebola virus in humans, elephant endotheliotrophic herpes virus (EEHV) can seriously weaken the circulatory system in juvenile elephants leading to rapid deterioration.
Look to penguins to track Antarctic changes
Penguins preserve records of Antarctic environmental change. The birds’ feathers and eggshells contain the chemical fingerprints of variations in diet, food web structure and even climate, researchers reported February 12 at the American Geophysical Union’s 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting.
The Antarctic environment has changed dramatically in recent decades. Overfishing has led to a decline in krill, small swimming crustaceans that are a key food source for birds, whales, fish and penguins in the Southern Ocean. Climate change is altering wind directions, creating open water regions in the sea ice that become hot spots for life.
These changes have cascading effects on food webs and on the cycling of nutrients. “Penguins are excellent bioarchives of this change,” says Kelton McMahon, an oceanic ecogeochemist at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston.
Penguins are at the heart of the Antarctic food web, and their tissues are known to capture details about what they’ve eaten. Different food sources contain different proportions of carbon and nitrogen isotopes, forms of the elements with different num
Six white lions introduced to Taman Safari on Imlek
Visitors of wildlife park Taman Safari Indonesia (TSI) in Bogor had the opportunity to observe six white lions brought in from Canada at the end of January.
The white lions were introduced for the first time to the public during an education program held during Chinese New Year, locally known as Imlek, at the park’s baby zoo on Friday.
Taman Safari Indonesia director Jansen Manansang said the six white lions – four females and two males – were brought to Indonesia from Canada on Jan. 28.
White lions were rare, he said, and it was predicted that there were only around 100 of them left in the world.
Jansen further said that the spe
Association of Zoos and Aquariums and U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance Join Forces
Today, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (USWTA) announced their joining of forces in a united effort to fight the global epidemic in wildlife trafficking. Effective immediately, Sara Walker former Executive Director or the USWTA, will join the AZA staff in Silver Spring, Maryland and the USWTA is now a program of the AZA.
“Wildlife trafficking is a global epidemic, and is driving some of the world’s most beloved animals to the brink of extinction,” said Dan Ashe, President and CEO of AZA. “AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are world leaders in saving animals from extinction, and this strategic alignment with travel, media, and consumer products business leaders, as well as conservation NGOs, will create and sustain powerful momentum.”
Pioneer of pheromone studies Ratan Lal Brahmachary no more
Ratan Lal Brahmachary, distinguished biochemist and a pioneer of tiger pheromone studies in India, died in the wee hours this morning (13 February 2018) in a nursing home in Kolkata, India. He was 86.
Widely known for his research in pheromones, the biochemical messengers in living organisms, Brahmachary made significant contributions in tiger behavioural studies researching the animal for over 50 years.
Interestingly, he was an astrophysicist by training and a student of eminent Indian theoretical physicist Satyendra Nath Bose. Brahmachary shifted streams to study pheromones at the Indian Statistical Institute under its founder Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis. He studied many species of wildlife, notably big cats, and undertook research trips to his favourite continent Africa fourteen times.
An ardent admirer of entomologist Gopal Chandra Bhattacharya, Brahmachary studied ethology in the Amazon basin in South Americ
Tributes paid following death of Zoo’s ex-birdkeeper Shep Mallet
Shep Mallet, whose real name was John, was a former curator of birds at the wildlife park, where he worked for around 35 years.
He was a colourful character in the history of the Zoo and was known for his jokes and pranks – and for always wearing his wellies.
Dr Lee Durrell, honorary director of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, paid tribute to Mr Mallett, who was born in Southampton to Jersey parents. He died on 9 February.
Dr Durrell said: ‘Shep was a great character in the annals of the Zoo and Trust, perhaps most famously for working with Gerry on a breeding programme for the rare white-eared pheasant in the 1960s, before most zoos were doing such things.
‘He was also known for his jokes and pranks, which everyone fell for. With his white hair and beard in later years, visitors often mistook Shep for Gerry, and he would lead them around the Zoo, chatting gaily about this and that animal, as if he were Gerry. Everyone went away happy.’
Writing on Facebook, former colleague Chris Haines said: ‘Shep was very enjoyable to work with. He was a great fount
Nearly 150,000 Bornean Orangutans Lost Since 1999, Cutting Population By Half
Earlier this month, an orangutan was found brutally shot to death in Borneo. In January, one was found decapitated and floating in a river. In 2017, oil plantation workers were accused of killing and eating one of the island's orangutans.
These stories are examples of small, incremental intentional killings of the island's endangered species. But according to a new study, published in the journal Cell Biology, such losses are adding up—contributing to the overall, long-term decline of a fragile species.
The comprehensive study pulled from data collected by 38 different research organizations. When Maria Voigt, the study's lead co-author and a researcher from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research, crunched the numbers, she found just under 150,000 Borneo orangutans were lost between 1999 and 2015—roughly half the population.
While many experienced habitat loss, the study found the primates were disappearing largely from forested areas, l
Wildlife crime: Pangolin trade still flourishing despite ban
Pangolins are small mammals that only move around at night. Hardly a zoo has been able to keep one alive. And yet, they sit above the elephant and rhino as the most illegally trafficked animal in the world.
Pangolins are amazing: With shiny scales and pointy heads, they look like miniature dinosaurs; baby pangolins ride around on their mothers’ tails; they slurp ants with 25cm-long tongues; and they can curl up into an armoured ball that foxes any predator – except humans. Being so elusive, not much more is known about them.
Pangolin researchers meeting in January 2017 in Singapore concluded that increased demand from China for pangolins has led to "great declines" in populations across Cambodia, Viet Nam, and Laos.
“Pangolins have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, but growing human populations and greater wealth across China have increased demand,” says the Worldwatch Institute. “Pangolin fetuses, sca
The Paradox Of The Platypus
Ever since I was a young child I have been fascinated by the animal kingdom, especially its more exotic members. When people asked me what I wanted to do when I grow up, I always replied I wanted to have a zoo. The response would be laughter; having a zoo is no job for a nice Jewish boy. Then I decided to become a rabbi, which was met with even greater disapproval; being a rabbi, I was told, is certainly no job for a nice Jewish boy.
But then I started to look into what the Torah says about the animal kingdom. To my delight, I discovered a wealth of fascinating material, and for the next twenty years I studied, wrote, and taught about it. In addition to rabbinic ordination, I co
The Living Museum: A Conversation with Dave Zucconi, Retired Director of the Tulsa Zoo
During his 27-year tenure as Director of the Tulsa Zoo, Dave Zucconi transformed the institution into not just a modern zoo but also an accredited museum. He came up with the vision for the LaFortune North American Living Museum, a groundbreaking exhibit that incorporated animal habitats with museum-quality interpretation. Zucconi served as President of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and as Chair of its Accreditation Commission. He wrapped up his career in zoos by serving as Director of the El Paso Zoo for three years. Here is his story.
Zoo design – The Idea (or need), the Dream, The concept – and Making it Come alive!!
I have had the fortune to work on a number of projects over the last few years, and have seen a wide range of successful and unsuccessful designs being built from new build or as rebuilds. The striking reality is that the planned concept that is in the mind of the Zoo Directors, Zoo staff, creators, architects, management, and designers often falls short of their expectations. Many of course are successful and tick all the boxes for animals, staff and visitors, but many go through a change during the process.
Change can take many forms, it can be a mixture of modifications to enhance the experience of the animals, or a greater visitor immersive experience, or a more practical application to assist the Keepers in managing the animals.
The great challenge is to manage a project and manage the change, with the overall aim of delivering the end product to everyone’s satisfaction, with of course the end user getting the Exhibit, holdings etc. they desired in the beginning.
The key factors that change these designs, from the obvious like concept design, funding, location, time, management, communication, staff feedback, change in direction/animal choice, animals, landscaping, Weather, contractor experience and quality of work, material choice and onsite observations. Health & Safety, Publicity/Visitor feedback and more!!
The truth is - The design has to wo
THE MORAL AND WELFARE ISSUES OF EUTHANASIA
Euthanasia is the act of deliberately ending an animal’s life to end their suffering. Its use has often been widely mis-understood, but ultimately is aimed at minimising suffering and mitigating poor animal welfare where no other realistic options are available. Despite this, it remains a contentious subject for many zoos and aquariums. Here we ask Dave Morgan our Field Director, about his thoughts on the subject.
1.Why do zoos euthanise their animals and what precautions should they take when considering euthanasia?
Broadly–speaking, euthanasia of zoo animals is thought to be permissible under the following circumstances:
when recommended by a veterinarian;
when irresolvable stress or conflict prevails and where changes in social structure result in distress, and where there is no option of relocation;
when the zoo is unable to ensure acceptable facilities and conditions for animals and where there is no option of relocation;
when an animal poses a danger and unavoidable threat to human safety;
where no other suitable accommodation can be found for the animal;
in cases of old age or severe injury; and
where no other suitable option exists
Except in the situation where an animal poses a threat to human life where a kill decision might need to be made very quickly, the other instances listed above usually have something of a lead-in time, allowing for appropriate consideration of the circumstances that indicate euthanasia. Such consideration ideally should be weighed by the zoo’s own in-house ethics committee. Unfortunately, not all zoos have such committees, so at the very least, when euthanasia is being considered, the zoo should only do so in terms of prevailing legislation and acceptable practices. Not all countries allow zoos to practice euthanasia under any circumstances, aside from threat to human life.
CHEETAH OUTREACH: DOES THE END JUSTIFY THE MEANS?
As I reported in a recent blog, the captive bred cheetah population is reaching epic proportions in South Africa with more than 600 cheetahs kept in about 80 facilities, like Cheetah Outreach, around the country and their conservation value is highly questionable.
Some of these captive facilities make genuine efforts to conserve the wild cheetah population with successful reintroduction programmes. Others support breeding programmes of Anatolian shepherd dogs, that are used to address human-wildlife conflict threatening predators like cheetah and leopard, by guarding livestock.
Vancouver park board lacked authority to ban whales, dolphins at aquarium: Court
A British Columbia court has ruled that Vancouver’s park board didn’t have the authority to ban whales, dolphins and porpoises at the city’s aquarium.
The decision follows Vancouver Aquarium’s announcement last month that it will end the practice of displaying cetaceans in captivity.
The Ocean Wise Conservation Association, the non-profit society that runs the aquarium, filed an application for judicial review last year challenging a bylaw amendment passed by
Thai seizure of a dozen captive tigers resurrects farming threat
A recent discovery of a dozen Tigers at a property in eastern Thailand serves as a reminder that Tiger farming is still a threat to Southeast Asia’s wild Tigers and an enforcement challenge for the region’s authorities.
On 2 February, authorities inspecting a premise in Khlong Kiu in Chon Buri province found a large pig farm where several species of protected wildlife were kept, including the 12 Tigers.
The checks were jointly carried out by the Wild Hawk Unit and Special Unit 1326 of the Forest Protection and Fire Control Office, both units under the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), and the Protected Areas Regional Office 2 in Sri Racha.
Thai media reported that two local men claiming to be the property owners produced faulty papers whose authenticity could not be verified. The documents were said to be issued by a government department that was no longer in operation, making it impossible to verify their legitimacy.
The Wild Hawk Unit told press that some of the Tigers were juveniles, raising suspicions
Why Snakes Have Two Penises and Alligators Are Always Erect
From spiky penises to an extra clitoris, reptile reproductive parts don’t lack for variety.
A Chimp was Shot dead at a Zoo in Langkawi, activists tell Clean Malaysia
There they languished, the three chimps, within dingy little enclosures at Bukit Gambang Safari Park in Pahang. The three apes (16-year-old Botan, 18-year-old Sumomo, and 29-year-old Gonbei) spent their time being cooped up in small 3m-by-4m cages without much of a chance to move around at will outdoors, according to animal rights activists, who raised the alarm about the animals’ plight.
They posted a video on YouTube showing the chimps becoming agitated within their small and filthy separate enclosures. They are banging on iron doors and throwing their metal plates around in despondent anger.
That was in early December last year. Then the chimps were transferred to a brand-new zoo called Langkawi Nature Park, which was opened to public in January.
A spot of good luck for the long-suffering apes? Hardly.
Presently, Sumomo, one of the three, was report
Sapporo zoo turns to AI in bid to improve animal welfare
An artificial intelligence system with features including image recognition is being developed to analyze behavior and better control the health of animals in a joint study aimed at modernizing municipal Maruyama Zoo here.
Zoos in Japan have seldom turned to AI systems in keeping their animals, said officials at the zoo, which is collaborating with outside parties, including Hokkaido University, in the study.
Parties involved said they hope to develop and commercialize similar control systems for prospective use by dairy farmers and hospitals as part of a new business model to be developed for the zoo.
Maruyama Zoo last had a major overhaul of the way it operates in 2007, including setting a target of 1 million visitors. It edged close to that milestone in fiscal 2015, when 980,000 people passed through its gates.
Now zoo officials are planning to work out a new business model to adapt to the changing purpose of zoos. They say the new missions include a pursuit of animal welfare, through breeding in environments that are close to wildlife conditions and the preservation of ecosystems.
“It is essential, for starters, to gather data separately by animal species and by individual animal,” said Osamu Kato, director of Maruyama Zoo. “That said, we hope to find out how far we could go, from a technical viewpoint, in ens
Essential Oils Can Be Very Dangerous to Cats !
While essential oils have been known to help us humans with various ailment and make our house smell great, some oils can be incredibly dangerous for your cat. Many essential oils (especially tea tree) are seriously toxic to cats and the diffuser spreads the oils through the air that your cat breathes.
Essential oils are found in aromatherapies and even insecticieds
Essential oils are utilized in a variety of ways: as insecticides, in aromatherapies, personal care products (e.g., antibacterials), flavorings, herbal remedies and liquid potpourri.
Cats lack an enzyme in the liver making the oils very toxic to them
Essential oils are rapidly absorbed both orally and across the skin, and are then metabolized in the liver. Cats lack an essential enzyme in their liver and have difficulty metabolizing and eliminating certain toxins like essential oils. Cats are also very sensitive to phenols and phenolic compounds, which can be found in some essential oils. The higher the concentration of the essential oil (i.e. 100%), the greater the risk to the cat.
Toxicity in cats can occur very quickly, through an internal or external application, or over a longer period of time, through repeated or continuous inhalation of essential oils, but either way, it can lead to serious liver damage or even death.
Below are just some of the essential oils that can be dangerous to cats:
The story of how a leopard escaped from Cornwall private zoo revealed as locals raised their fears to owner Todd Dalton
Villagers who felt in danger after a leopard escaped from a private zoo collection in Cornwall have voiced their concerns over 'negligence' and 'secrecy' during a meeting.
A dozen residents of Great Treverran met with Cornwall Councillor for Lostwithiel Colin Martin, the police and licence officers this morning in Chy Trevail, Countil Hall's office in Bodmin.
They expressed their anxiety over an incident on Boxing Day which saw a clouded leopard escape from its enclosure, disappear for six days and attack sheep. One of them was killed and others had to be put down because of their injuries.
But villagers were only notified about the evasion when a farmer trapped the wild cat one mile further.
Extremely endangered frog has online dating profile created by scientists in effort to save species
Romeo, “the world’s loneliest frog”, has had an online dating profile set up by scientists in an effort to save his species from extinction.
The lovesick amphibian is the only known Sehuencas water frog in the world, and he has been calling for a mate ever since researchers collected him from the wild a decade ago.
Now they have launched him into the world of online dating in an effort to raise awareness and funds for the rejuvenation of his species.
Romeo was found on an expedition to the Bolivian cloud forests led by biologist Arturo Muñoz 10 years ago.
Optimal Animal Care: A Conversation with Hollie Colahan, Vice President of Animal Care at the Denver Zoo
Hollie Colahan serves as Vice President of Animal Care at the Denver Zoo, one of the nation's premier zoos. She is responsible for supervising the entire animal care staff and keeping the institution at the forefront of animal wellness and husbandry. Additionally, Colahan is coordinator the African Lion Species Survival Plan (SSP) and is currently chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium's Professional Development Committee. Here is her story.
Hong Kong’s struggling Ocean Park expects launch of Marriott resort hotel to provide lifeline
Borth zoo to reopen ahead of schedule
BORTH Wild Animal Kingdom, which has been embroiled in a licence battle with the county council following the death of two lynx, is to reopen on Saturday ahead of schedule.
The zoo has been closed voluntarily since October after an escaped lynx was shot dead and the death of a second lynx following a handling error.
Zoo owners Tracy and Dean Tweedy had planned to reopen the zoo in time for the February half-term holidays but they have just announced
Kashmir to get its first zoo at tourist resort Pahalgam
After a long delay, J&K government has cleared a proposal to set up first zoo in the Kashmir Valley at famed hill resort of Pahalgam.
After receiving nod from central zoo authority of India and the state wildlife protection board headed by chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, the J&K wildlife department has written to state forest department for acquiring 31 hectares of forest land.
Unique procedure at Erie Zoo, if successful, will be the first of its kind around the world
The Erie Zoo attempting a procedure that may be the first successful one of its kind. It's all to attempt to help save an endangered species. We're talking today about the Amur Leopard. They are one of the rarest cats in the world and actually considered critically endangered.
The Amur Leopard is an exotic animal with beautiful, distinct fur. In the wild, they can only be found along the Russian/Chinese border as they favor a cold climate. With fewer than 60 left in the wild, experts fear extinction.
Scott Mitchell, President of the Erie Zoo, tells us, "When there's so few of them, sometimes it's even difficult for them to come across each other, even to meet."
The Erie Zoo is fortunate enough to have both a male Amur Leopard named Rowdy and a female called Nia. They're attempting a cutting-edge artificial insemination procedure. "It's a pretty complex process," Mitchell tells us, "it's laparoscopically done."
Zoo of horrors exposed . . . but why is no one taking the blame? CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night's TV
Rarely has a documentary left me angrier than Trouble At The Zoo (BBC2) — not only for the incompetence and negligence it revealed, but for the easy ride given to all involved.
This hour-long look at the South Lakes Safari Zoo in Cumbria made no effort to hold anyone to account for the catalogue of cruel neglect at the park, where nearly 500 animals have died in the past four years — a figure dismissed by the zoo’s director.
‘The number doesn’t mean anything,’ said Andreas, and this film was too lily-livered even to tell us his last name.
We learned at the start that the zoo had lost its licen
Call for RSPCA to re-open criminal investigation into animal deaths at Dalton zoo following documentary
BARROW and Furness MP John Woodcock has called on the RSPCA to launch a new criminal investigation into animal deaths at South Lakes Safari Zoo.
Mr Woodcock has referred the death of Nero the lion to the RSPCA in the hope the organisation will consider mounting a new criminal investigation following the airing of the BBC2 documentary Trouble at the Zoo.
The hard-hitting programme, filmed after zoo bosses invited the BBC to the park, showed how Nero the lion died after being fed meat contaminated with barbiturates.
Last April RSPCA officers, along with Barrow Borough Council, launched an investigation after an autopsy list emerged charting the cause of death for hund
Zoo boss speaks out about BBC documentary and reveals reason they invited film crew to Dalton
THE chief executive of South Lakes Safari Zoo has revealed the reason she invited the BBC to do a documentary about the Dalton attraction.
Last night's Trouble at the Zoo, which aired on BBC2 at 9pm, gave a 'warts and all' account of the day-to-day running of the attraction.
Viewers saw heartbreaking scenes w
‘Trouble at the Zoo’ Documentary Shows it’s Time to Close This Chaotic Safari Park
I’m not a big fan of zoos. I’ll tolerate them if they demonstrate a genuine conservation role, but those institutions are few and far between in my experience. Many tick a few of the virtue signalling boxes, but in general I think wild animals are better off in the wild.
I certainly have no time for institutions that serve up animals to be gawped at by the paying public just to make money for the zoo operators, and after watching the BBC 2 documentary ‘Trouble at the Zoo’ on Thursday night, it would seem the South Lakes Safari Zoo might fit into that category.
Zoos can save wildlife
HARIMAU Malaya, or Malayan tiger, has been a national icon for over half a century.
Malaysia’s Coat of Arms feature two Malayan tigers. The name of the national football team is Harimau Malaya while the national hockey team is called the Speedy Tigers.
In theory, Malaysians hold the Malayan tiger in high esteem. However, when it comes to the protection and conservation of the species, how well do they hold up?
Sadly, there might be as few as 250 Malayan tigers left in Peninsular Malaysia, according to WWF-Malaysia (World W
Urban Ocean Conservation: A Conversation with John Racanelli, CEO of the National Aquarium
Since opening in 1981, the National Aquarium in Baltimore has been one of the most iconic aquatic institutions in the world. Its popularity and role in revitalizing the Inner Harbor of Baltimore inspired many other cities to build modern aquariums. Many of the National Aquarium’s exhibits have won awards from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and its conservation and cleanup efforts have received great acclaim. The aquarium’s CEO is John Racanelli and he is determined to keep the institution at the cutting edge of saving aquatic life locally and globally. Here is his story.
Odense Zoo and Knuthenborg Safari Park select Mobaro Park safety and maintenance solution
Denmark’s Odense Zoo and Knuthenborg Safari Park are the latest zoos to ditch paper checklists and opt for the Mobaro Park safety and maintenance solution.
Mobaro Park’s turnkey Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) solution is already trusted by attractions such as Chester Zoo to streamline their safety operations.
“We are pleased to welcome these two Danish attractions, and to take yet another leap into the Zoo segment,” confirms Jens Holm-Møller, Co-Founder and Director at Mobaro Park.
“There are many parallels in values and how you work across the various segments of the attractions industry, so it makes perfect sense for us to make Mobaro flexible to fit the needs of these segments, whether it is Amusement
Going Down the Brazos River: A Conversation with Jim Fleshman, Director of the Cameron Park Zoo
Opened in 1993, the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas is one of the youngest zoos in the nation. It has ben led by Jim Fleshman for most of its existence. He has expanded the zoo by leaps and bounds. Among Fleshman’s accomplishments include bringing orangutans to the zoo and opening Brazos River Country, an immersive exhibit complex taking visitors on a journey up the Brazos River, from the Gulf of Mexico into the Texas Panhandle. Here is his story.
Why Do Birds Get Divorced?
Humans are not the only animals that endure divorce; some birds go through it as well. A recent study reveals why members of one such species, the Eurasian blue tit, sometimes break their bond.
When ornithologists refer to “divorce,” they mean that both members of a breeding pair survive to the following breeding season but end up pairing with new partners rather than reuniting. Great blue herons divorce after every breeding season, and emperor penguins split up around 85 percent of the time. In contrast, just 9 percent of mallard duck pairs call it quits, and albatrosses almost never break up. Many researchers have focused on understanding how these separations affect reproductive success, but until now few have focused on the process itself.
Behavioral ecologist Carol Gilsenan of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany and her colleagues monitored hundreds of Eurasian blue tits for eight years, using artificial nest boxes in a protected forest in southern Germany. In their findings, published in Animal Behaviour, 64 percent of breed
Tapping Into Animal Behavior
Technology created at Lincoln Park Zoo is fostering a deeper understanding of animal welfare and health here and around the globe.
A Lincoln Park Zoo volunteer is holding an iPad and taking notes as she stares intently at Howie, a stout pygmy hippopotamus shimmering in the water at Regenstein African Journey. Just a moment earlier, she says, Howie wandered across the exhibit to chomp on a piece of lettuce that fell from a feeder above. From the volunteer’s voice, you can tell she’s excited at the activity, and for good reason: the iPad app she’s using, called ZooMonitor, collected the data that led to the installation of that very feeder. By observing Howie’s activity, this volunteer is part of a larger team helping the zoo better understand animal behavior and improve their care.
“ZooMonitor promotes data-driven decision making,” says Jason Wark, Ph.D., a Research Scientist with Lincoln Park Zoo who manages the volunteer-driven monitoring program, analyzes the data, and introduces the technology to other animal-care professionals around the world.
Designed at Lincoln Park Zoo, ZooMonitor launched in 2016, and the app is now a global tool freely used by more than 200 institutions, including zoos, aquariums, sanctuaries, universities, and other facilities in more than two dozen countries.
Lincoln Park Zoo volunteers spend 10 minutes per animal conducting observation sessions. In the case of Howie, for example, every 60 seconds the iPad beeps
An aquarium accident may have given this crayfish the DNA to take over the world
It sounds like a bad monster movie plot: A 10-legged mutant creature that reproduces asexually, escapes from confinement in Germany, and quietly begins a global invasion. Within 2 decades, clones of the voracious animal spread through Europe and Africa, bringing devastation to ecosystems and threatening native species.
That appears to be the strange-but-true story of the marbled crayfish, an invasive freshwater species suspected to have been created through a reproductive accident in an aquarium around 1995. A new analysis of the crustacean’s genome supports this unlikely origin and may help explain how the animal has subsequently spread and adapted to so many new environments.
The crayfish’s unusual evolution could also suggest a strategy to tackle a more infamous clonal monster: cancer. “In many ways, the invasive expansion of [the marbled crayfish] is analogous to a cancerous lineage spreading asexually at the expense of its host,” says Jean-François Flot, an evolutionary genomicist at the Free University of Br
The Smiling Axolotl Hides a Secret: A Giant Genome
The Mexican salamander has largest genome ever sequenced, which may account for its unique regenerative abilities
What medieval artists teach us about animal sex
The prevailing view is that animals mainly have sex to reproduce. Until recently, therefore, scientists assumed that animals were relentlessly heterosexual. This is the message conveyed by countless zoos, wildlife documentaries, books and films. Think March of the Penguins or 2014's controversial Noah. Such representations perpetuate the belief that animals are best seen through the lens of human "norms" of gender, sex and family.
The presumed "heterosexuality" of animals has also traditionally provided a backhanded justification for regulating human sexual activity. Acts of homoeroticism or gender bending get cast as "unnatural" insofar as such things aren't perceived as being clearly observable in other species.
But arguing against these viewpoints, biologists such as Bruce Bagemihl and Joan Roughgarden have begun putting forward evidence that animal sexuality comprises an array of behaviours, gender expressions and body types. In fact, reproduction is marginal to many species. Scientists impose human categories on animals at their peril. And increasingly, popular culture is also getting behind these moves. The web is inundated with articles and blog posts on such topics as The 25 Gayest Animals or Our Transsexual Pets. A search on YouTube turns up a wealth of related footage.
Yet a historical perspective on these issues is often lacking. Categories such as "gay" or "trans" are not ageless absolutes, after all. The word "heterosexuality" itself only began being used around 1900, initially in medical circles: a 1923 dictionary defines it as a "morbid" sexual passion for the opposite sex.
And what seems on the surface to be a relatively recent development
That Time Parisians Ate the Zoo
For four months from September 19, 1870 to January 28, 1871, the Prussian Army laid siege to the city of Paris, as part of the Franco-Prussian War. Prior to having all supply lines cut off, the French Ministry of Agriculture furiously worked to gather as much food and fuel as it could, and at the beginning, “livestock blanket[ed] the Bois de Boulogne park on the edge of Paris.”
Apparently insufficient, within less than a month, the Parisians began butchering the horses, with the meat used as you would expect and even the blood collected “for the purposes of making puddings.” By the end of the siege, approximately 65,000 horses were killed and eaten.
Within another month, by November 12, 1870, butchered dogs and cats began to appear for sale at the market alongside trays full of dead rats and pigeons. The former pets sold for between 20 and 40 cents per pound, while a nice, fat rat could go for 50.
As Christmas approached, most of Paris’ restaurants and…
Caretaker of lion recounts near death experience
The caretaker of a lion attacked at a zoo in Kaduna, Mustapha Adam on Monday recounted his ordeal saying, ‘I thought I was dead’.
Speaking to Daily Trust at the emergency unit of the Barau Dikko Specialist hospital Kaduna where he is presently receiving treatment, Mustapha said he went to feed the lion at 12noon on Saturday when he was attacked.
He said, “I have been feeding the lion for the past eight months even though the lion has been in the zoo for three years after the zoo was commissioned by the Yero administration.
“The accident was as a result of my carelessness, I thought that since I had been feeding it for over eight months the animal had gotten used to me, so on that faithful day when I came to feed it, I did not close the inner cage that I usually close when I come to feed it and before I knew what was happening, the loin grabbed a hold of my neck.
“It took the intervention of the Sarkin Pawa of the Zango abattoir where I work who was there when the incident occurred and other park officers who threw a chunk of meat into the cage and the lion let go of me and charged for the meat.
Lion devours zookeeper in Kaduna
A zookeeper, Mustapha Adam, has been mauled by a lion which escaped from the Gamji Gate amusement park in Kaduna. He died early Wednesday, February 7, 2018, following an injury sustained in the neck.
The big cat has been lured back to its cage after a break-out according to many reports.
BBC Africa confirmed that a similar occurrence happened at Ibadan, Oyo State, in September 2017. A lion reportedly killed its caregiver while being fed.
Much earlier, another lion escape from its confinement located in the central city of Jos but residents came to no harm
Michael Miller’s New Book “Through a Keeper's Eye” Significantly Focuses On The Importance Of Zoological Institutions To The Survival Of Fauna Across The Globe
Michael Miller, a wildlife preservation enthusiast, zookeeper, and photographer inspired by Steve Irwin, has completed his new book “Through a Keeper's Eye”: a riveting publication about the author’s life-changing perspective while caring for the animals, and how this shaped his resolve to be an ambassador for institutions that protect wildlife for future generations.
Author Miller fills in the untold facts regarding zoological facilities and their goal of conserving animal species: “It is easy to forget that we share the world with some of the most miraculous creatures besides ourselves. Zoological institutions across the globe present people with a unique opportunity: being alongside these astounding animals who are an essential part of our world. Ever since I became a zookeeper, I have realized how crucial it is to preserve the tradition of zoos for future generations. Being present in many facilities on both sides of the fence as an employee and guest, I have seen the importance, beauty, and benefit that each
Restrictions on movement of animals after TB death at Paignton Zoo
TB restrictions on movement have forced staff at Paignton Zoo to control breeding in some animals. Vets are using contraceptive implants to stop animals producing babies as the strict rules prevent any animal movement until the TB conditions are lifted.
It follows a single case of bovine TB discovered at the Zoo last year. One antelope died in May 2017 and the rest of the herd had to be put down. The 10 Kafue Flats lechwe - two male and eight female – were culled on advice from the Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA) in September.
Croc on: 42 years later, Madras Crocodile Bank is an ocean of cool reptiles
Ten steps into the Madras Crocodile Bank and you are greeted by an enclosure filled with mugger crocodiles (Indian Marsh Crocodiles). At first sight, with their jaws wide open, some lying one on top of the other, the crocodiles look like statues, and I had to wait for a full five minutes for one of them to show any sign of life.
“Crocodiles are very chilled out like that. They don’t move very often, like us humans. They look like they’re on an eternal vacation,” laughs Arul, the zoo instructor.
I also learn that they keep their jaws open to thermoregulate their body temperatures and that muggers are the most social ones among the species, most of which are very territorial. “So it’s alright for us to put them together in enclosures like this,” he explains.
Animal rights group PETA bought stock in Thomas Cook so it could lobby the firm to cut ties with SeaWorld
Animal rights group PETA has purchased stock in travel company Thomas Cook to gain entry to its AGM and lobby executives in person to stop selling tickets to SeaWorld.
PETA has long been protesting against the Florida marine park for its treatment of whales, which it says is cruel and inhumane. It also targets businesses that deal with SeaWorld, like Thomas Cook, which offers tours to the park.
The group told Business Insider that it has bought a single share in the company, valued at around £1.20 ($1.66), because it grants it entry to the annual general meeting, being held in London this Thursday.
Yvonne Taylor, a PETA campaigner, told Business Insider that she and a colleague plan to use this right to go inside the AGM in east London and ask executives directly to end ticket sales to SeaWorld, and to lobby shareholders.
Meanwhile, protesters outside are going
Finalists Announced for World's Leading Animal Conservation Award
Officials from the Indianapolis Prize today named six Finalists for the world's leading award for animal conservation. The Finalists, who have achieved major victories in saving species such as Magellanic penguins and snow leopards, will vie for the prestigious title of 2018 Indianapolis Prize Winner and an unrestricted, $250,000 award.
‘TIGER TEMPLE’ TO REOPEN AS TIGER ZOO
Thailand’s most infamous tiger petting zoo may not have used up its nine lives when it was raided and shut down following gruesome discoveries two years ago.
Though closure of the so-called Tiger Temple was hailed as a victory for wildlife protection, national park officials and the head of an animal welfare organization confirmed it will reopen this month – with 24 new tigers.
After the temple was raided in June 2016, the park has continued operating, albeit housing only a 100-or-so underfed animals. But this month, the temple will import more tigers for their attractions – this time, in a zoo.
“The zoo they’re opening won’t be inside the temple, but on a 20-rai plot next to it,” Adisorn Noochdamrong of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said by phone. “It will be legal, because o
The bird flu is killing the Queen's swans
Bird flu has killed at least 30 swans from Queen Elizabeth's flock, with more expected to succumb to the disease, UK officials say.
"We are currently at the river recovering bodies of the dead swans," said David Barber, the official responsible for the Queen's swans. "This is the first time in my 24 years as Swan Marker that bird flu has hit the Thames -- naturally, we are all very upset about the situation."
An alert was initially sent to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) by Swan Support, a rehabilitation center, after they noticed several of the animals near the Queen's residence at Windsor Castle, west of London, appeared to be ill.
"We found a few dead swans, but we find dead swans all year round," Wendy Hurmon, director of operations at Swan Support, told CNN. "But then we noticed that some of the other swans did not look very well and we thought 'something is not right here.'"
Top French court reverses ban on breeding whales, dolphins
France’s highest administrative court on Monday overturned a ban on breeding killer whales and dolphins in captivity after ruling there had been irregularities in the decree putting the legislation into place.
HSUS—AZA: Golden Bridge to Zoo Obsolescence
Why has Wayne Pacelle and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) taken such a proactive interest in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)? After decades of opposing zoos and all forms of captive conservation, Wayne Pacelle appears to have changed tactics in his bid to close the book on zoos. What if he could harness the active cooperation of AZA? He may then be able to influence a change of direction from within. To that end Pacelle spent the summer of 2017 speaking about how collaboration between HSUS and AZA is the way of the future. With long time friend and political ally, Dan Ashe, now at the helm of AZA, Pacelle may be empowered to usher zoos into a self enforced obsolescence.
The new twist in the HSUS—AZA partnership was unveiled when Dan Ashe announced that Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, would be the keynote speaker at the AZA Annual Conference 2017. Ashe added, “[Wayne] Pacelle has an important perspective to share with conference attendees.” Facebook blazed with opposition posts, and an online petition to disinvite Pacelle from the conference garnered more than 700 signatures. Nevertheless, Wayne Pacelle was welcomed as the keynote address.
Top 10 Zookeeper Qualities!
Working in a Zoo is a special type of lifestyle. You are a devoted keeper taking care of the animals you work with. Zookeepers work day and night if necessary, they work any day of the week to give the highest standard of care to the species on their sections. When animals are sick the zookeepers are there to give them that special care no matter the day or time. Zookeepers have a mission and that mission all comes together through protecting species through educating families and give them a lifelong experience about the nature we have to protect.
MP calls for 'criminal investigation' into lion's death at Furness zoo which features in TV documentary
THE Furness MP has called for a 'criminal investigation' into the death of a lion at South Lakes Safari Zoo, which features in a BBC documentary being broadcast next week.
BBC Two documentary, Trouble at the Zoo, charts the journey of the new company that is working to turnaround the Furness animal park, and will be broadcast on Thursday at 9pm.
BBC Studios filmed the observational documentary between April and September last year. It follows the zoo hitting the headlines when it was revealed that almost 500 animals had died there in under four years and that zoo founder David Gill was denied a new license to run the park.
Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd took full control of the park in January last year. The new company made improvements to the zoo's animal welfare, enclosures and facilities and inspectors noted those changes. Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd was awarded a license
ZOO OF DOOM STRIKES AGAIN Lion dies after being poisoned at South Lakes Safari zoo
Naked mole rat found to defy Gompertz's mortality law
A team of researchers at Google-owned Calico Life Sciences LLC has found that the naked mole rat defies Gompertz's mortality law. In their paper published in eLife, the group describes their study of the unusual-looking rodent and describe some of its unusual traits.
Naked mole rats are very nearly hairless. They evolved that way by living in a harsh underground environment. They are also almost ectothermic (cold blooded). And now, it seems they do not age—at least in the traditional sense. Reports of long-lived mole rats prompted the team at Calico to take a closer look—they have a specimen in their lab that has lived to be 35 years old. Most "normal" rats, in comparison, live to be just six years old, and they age as they do so.
Naked mole rats also have some other interesting biological features—they very rarely develop cancer, they experience very little pain and they have been found able to survive without oxygen for up to 18 minutes by going into a plant-like vegetative state. Also, they never reach menopause, and can have offspring right up until their death—and their hearts and bones never show signs of aging. But it was their longevity that was the focus of this new effort.
The team collected what they describe as 3,000 points of data
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Launches First-of-Its-Kind Seafood Slavery Risk Tool
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program – already the global standard for environmentally responsible seafood – today launches the Seafood Slavery Risk Tool, the first solution of its kind to help businesses assess the potential risk of forced labor, human trafficking, and hazardous child labor in fisheries. The tool is available at seafoodslaveryrisk.org.
The Seafood Slavery Risk Tool – originally created with Liberty Asia, Seafish and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) and now jointly run by the aquarium with Liberty Asia and SFP – produces a rating indicating the likelihood that human trafficking, forced labor and hazardous child labor are occurring on fishing boats in a specific fishery. Businesses can use the tool to identify seafood sourced from fisheries that have these issues and take steps to address them.
"Understanding the environmental impact of fishing and aquaculture is key to seafood sustainability," said Monterey Bay Aquarium Executive Director Julie Packard. "The working conditions of
International Animal Training Month – February 2018
2). Match to Sample training penguins with Anna Svensson (Swedish trainer)
Recipient of the IMATA (International marine animal trainers association) research advancement award in 2015.
To celebrate international animal training month – 2018 we are going to focus on Sweden & learn about some amazing animal training projects from some amazing Swedish trainers. You will receive the following 5 items below for FREE over the month of February …
Watch the Video
Saudi bug hits zoo keepers in Kerala
R. Deepu, a keeper at Thiruvananthapuram Zoo, is making a beeline to Riyadh Zoo in Saudi Arabia as an animal keeper on a salary of 2000 Riyal (Rs 34, 000 plus). Already four keepers from the city zoo had joined zoos in Saudi Arabia and Fujairah in UAE recently seeking better lives.
Deepu began his stint as a daily wager mahout in 2001 to take care of Maheshwari, the 88-year-old elephant which breathed its last on July 2017. Four years ago, Vellayani native Deepu was made a permanent keeper where currently he is taking care of 10 Liontailed Macaques and three Nilgiri Langurs. Deepu comes from a poor family backg
Senate bill to ban plastic straws in Hawaii passes committee
Most food and drink establishments have them, but a senate bill that would get rid of plastic straws in Hawaii is moving forward.
The bill passed the Committee on Agriculture and Environment Wednesday afternoon.
"This law can start a ripple effect if straws are banned from companies like McDonald's and Starbucks," said Riley Brooke Kamahele, a 10-year-old who runs a non-profit called the The Plastics Project.
Kamahele was just one of many who testified in support of the bill.
"Plastic straws are absolutely one of the most picked up and littered items we find," said Rafael Bergstrom, of the Surfrider Foundation as he talked about beach clean-ups.
Kathleen Penland, who submitted testimony on behalf of Hawaii Association for Behavior Analysis, also supports the plastic straw ban.
"It's harming our animals it's harming our honu, and it's polluting our beaches, terribly," said Penland.
The bill would outlaw the sale and distribution of plastic straws in Hawaii-- any violators would be fined. Violators will also be required to pi
Saving zoo has cost me my marriage
Moving on: Anna with a rhino at Manor House Wildlife Park, which she is leaving to rebuild her life in France. She is divorcing her husband Colin MacDougall, the father of her daughters Bibi and Dixie. And she’s in no doubt at all about what caused the collapse of her 16-year relationship.‘The stresses and strains and expense of running our wildlife park have destroyed our marriage,’ she declares. ‘I’m moving lock, stock and barrel to France, and I’m getting divorced. ‘I still well up thinking about all the beautiful Welsh countryside and the nature. I had the best of times there, but they became the hardest of times. We had so much work to do we never saw each other. I’m having to start all over again with nothing and it’s
A salty cure for a deadly frog disease
It's been described by scientists as the "most devastating wildlife disease ever known" — a deadly fungus that has caused the mass global extinction of hundreds of frog species.
But researchers at the University of Newcastle have discovered a simple solution in the form of salt.
The deadly disease
Chytridiomycosis is an infectious disease caused by the chytrid fungus and blamed for wiping out more than a third of the world's frog species.
It is a type of fungus that spreads infection by releasing small bodies known as "zoospores."
It gets into the skin of frogs, disrupting the flow of electrolytes and eventually gives them a heart attack.
University of Newcastle ecologist Sim
Activist demands answers over death of Siberian tiger at zoo
Stop Global Warming Association president Srisuwan Janya will file a petition to Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday, demanding an inquiry into the Ubon Ratchathani Zoo over the alleged delay in investigating the “unnatural death” of a Siberian tiger.
Srisuwan said the endangered tiger was killed after it ate food mixed with pesticides on April 13 last year but nobody at the zoo or the Zoological Park Organisation had provided any information about the death. In fact, he alleged that they had tried to cover it up.
Canned lion hunting - a buffer against what?
Canned lion hunting – SA Govt ‘Scientific Authority’ says everything is awesome.
But even Safari Club International has thrown PHASA and canned lion hunting under the bus – making this insane Non-Detriment Finding ( NDF) largely irrelevant..
In government Gazette No. 41393 published 23rd January 2018, the South African government Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) set out its non-detriment findings (NDF) for the African lion.
This is of extreme importance to the hunting industry since without an NDF, no lion hunts would
TRAINING FOR SCIENCE
How do seals and science intersect at the Alaska SeaLife Center?
Through scientific research training!
As a mammalogist at ASLC, my responsibilities through our training program are to first train our resident marine mammals for husbandry and veterinary care to ensure their well-being, and second, to train the animals to cooperate in behaviors and activities that support science.
Wellington Zoo picked to help world zoos go green
False advertising on sea turtle CT scanner costs S.C. Aquarium $400,000, lawsuit claims
A $443,000 CT scanner for sea turtles that required no special shielding seemed like a good deal at the time, but it didn’t turn out that way.
It wasn’t until the room to house the scanner in the South Carolina Aquarium’s new Sea Turtle Recovery Center was finished that staff found out they had been misled, according to the suit filed Wednesday against Epica Medical Innovations and parent company Epica International, maker of the Pegaso CT scanner.
In April 2015, the staff was corresponding with an Epica sales representative about their scanner. The diagnostic machine is d
In pursuit of the tortoise smugglers
In February 2016, Richard Lewis, a wildlife conservationist working in Madagascar, was contacted by a veterinary clinic with an unusual request. “Someone went to a vet and said: ‘Can you take a microchip out of a ploughshare?’” Lewis recalled. “So they called us.”
The ploughshare tortoise is one of the rarest tortoises on the planet: with fewer than 50 adults thought to be left in the wild, each one is worth as much as $50,000 on the global exotic pet market. Like gold or ivory, their very rarity is part of what drives smugglers’ interest. Lewis runs the Madagascar programme of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, which operates a captive breeding site where ploughshares are reared for more than a decade before being released into the wild. Both buying and selling ploughshares, or keeping them as pets, is illegal, and the breeding site is heavily defended, with barbed wire and round-the-clock armed security. As a further measure against smuggling, the organisation implants every ploughshare it encounters with a microchip. Anyone hoping to remove the microchip is likely to be involved with tortoise trafficking.
The Durrell Trust’s staff vet met with the man a few days later. It turned out that he had five ploughshares in total. As soon as the vet told him that what he was doing was illegal, he disappeared. But the very next day, alerted by staff at Durrell, an off-duty police officer was on hand at another clinic when the man tried once again to have the microchip removed.
For Lewis, what happened next was deeply dispiriting. “The person was arrested, went to court, was found guilty, and gi
Subtropical Paradise: A Conversation with Eric Stephens, Retired Director of Zoo Miami
Eric Stephens worked at Zoo Miami for the first 35 years of its history, 17 of those as director. He led the 324 acre zoo (the only one in the continental United States in a subtropical climate) through immense growth. Among Stephens' accomplishments were obtaining a $180 million bond, dramatically improving the zoo's attendance and business operations, building the 27-acre Amazon and Beyond (a massive departure from the zoo's previous habitats) and expanding the zoo's conservation efforts. Here is his story.
Escaped small mountain cat recaptured at Salt Lake City zoo
A small mountain cat who escaped at a Salt Lake City zoo has been recaptured after two days on the lam.
Zoo officials say they used mice to lure the young Pallas’ cat named Mushu into a live trap late Monday.
Hogle Zoo spokeswoman Erica Hansen says in a statement that Mushu was holed up in a small construction area near his enclosure, an ideal hiding spot for the elusive creature.
The Pallas’ cat is smaller than the average housecat and not dangerous. Mushu will be examined by vets before he’s returned to his exhibit.
The Sunday-morning disappearance mar
From the Newspaper to the Indianapolis Prize: A Conversation with Paul Grayson, Executive Vice President at the Indianapolis Zoo
Paul Grayson is the longest-tenured employee of the Indianapolis Zoo and has been with the institution for its entire history at its White River State Park location. Currently the zoo's Executive Vice President, he has served in a variety of different roles and watched the zoo evolve into a world-class institution at the forefront of conservation. Here is history.
Can Israeli scientists save Darwin’s finches?
Early discoveries from these tiny songbirds, which measure no bigger than a sparrow, are credited for having helped Charles Darwin develop his theory of evolution by natural selection. Now, 11 of the 13 finch species found in the Galápagos are in danger of extinction due to a parasitic fly’s fatal impact on the populations.
A research team from the Hebrew University’s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment is embarking next week on an expedition to the islands to help save the iconic birds that have become the Galápagos’ symbol.
Hong Kong votes to ban ivory sales one month after China embargo comes into force
Hong Kong has voted to ban the trade of ivory in a landmark decision after years of campaigning.
Politicians voted in favour of amending an existing law to outlaw sales of ivory in the Chinese territory by 2021.
The proposal also includes significantly stiffer penalties for the smuggling of ivory and other highly endangered species to deter black market sales.
Researchers say Hong Kong is the world’s largest ivory market.
Did human-chimp hybrid ever exist? Scientist claims 'humanzee' was born in lab before being killed by panicked doctors
A renowned scientist has made a sensational claim that almost 100 years ago, a human-chimp hybrid was created in a lab in the US - before later being killed by panicked doctors.
Evolutionary psychologist Gordon Gallup claims his former university professor confirmed that a successful 'humanzee' experiment occurred in Orange Park, Florida in the 1920s.
It would mean that a female chimp was artificially inseminated with human sperm, before successfully falling pregnant with a half-human, half ape child.
Gallup told The Sun : "They inseminated a female chimpanzee with human semen from an undisclosed donor and claimed not onl
Animal Trainers Are Key to Argentine Zoo’s New Mission
Personal trainers not only work in gymnasiums – they’re also on duty at zoos where they keep the animals in good condition and ease their move to new environments that give the wild creatures a new sense of freedom, a vital aspect in the renovation of the Buenos Aires Ecopark.
Close to 100 trainers are supervised by the Animal Behavior Sector, which in the case of Ecopark – one of the most popular zoos in the country – is coordinated by Maria Eugenia Dahdah.
In an interview with EFE, the Argentine specialist said it’s essential to get the animals used to the presence of veterinarians, to the food they are given and to their enclosures as part of the new mission of this zoo with its 100-year history.
Since 2016, this zoo spanning 16.7 hectares (41 acres) has been reconstructing much of its area and restoring historic monuments on its grounds to make it more suitable for animal life and send its vis
Architect of Animal Experiences: A Conversation with Gerry Creighton, Operations Manager, Animals and Grounds and Elephant Program Manager at the Dublin Zoo
Dublin Zoo has evolved into a leader in animal wellness and modernization among European zoos. Having its origins in 1831 as a Victorian zoo, many enclosures were extremely dated and in desperate need of help when Gerry Creighton started working as a member of the Animal Care Team in 1985. “The Irish government stepped in during the 1990s and gave us financial support and provision of additional land in Phoenix Park” Creighton recalled. “Now, it’s one of the most progressive zoos in Europe. We have very high standards of animal care and our habitats are some of the finest you’ll see. The people of Ireland have taken the zoo to their hearts [as] they appreciate these habitats where the animals can express specific species behaviors. We have reached 1.2 million visitors per year, with the population of Ireland less than five million. The zoo is a real part of Irish society.”
Pandasia: the revitalisation of Ouwehands Zoo
How a radical redesign – and Xing Ya and Wu Wen, the giant pandas – transformed the Ouwehands Zoo into a thriving attraction and a centre for conservation.
Robin de Lange is the Director of Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen, in the Dutch province of Utrecht. He spoke to Blooloop about how the zoo has turned from a struggling attraction into a huge success. He also discussed its conservation initiatives and the exciting arrival of giant pandas Xing Ya and Wu Wen from China.
Robin de Lange’s background is in marketing and management. He first worked as marketing manager for Duinrell, an amusement park based in Wassenaar, The Netherlands. Then, fourteen years ago, he joined Ouwehands Zoo as Director.
CCTV captures elephant's jumbo crossing
How drones are being used to protect the Amazon's dolphins
The drone is hovering above the Amazon river, but its battery is running low. André Coelho, the chief pilot, steers it back to safety with skills perfected by playing video games. Long hours practising on Need for Speed have become a surprising asset in the effort to conserve the dolphins that live in the river.
Marcelo Oliveira, a conservation specialist at WWF Brazil, stands on the bow of the boat with arms aloft. He plucks the white drone from the air, changes the battery, and swiftly sends it back into the sky.
How illegal wildlife trade decimated Nigeria’s vultures
At a market in Ibadan there are some fifty women selling both dead and live vultures, and they are part of a growing ring of bird merchants. Unknown to many, international vulture routes criss cross Nigeria, conveying vulture eggs, heads and feathers to eager patrons, who then pass them on to the traders, the next link in the chain. But the bird has been prohibited from any form of sale or usage by CITES, the convention on international trade in endangered species. Yet, in many markets across Nigeria the vulture is openly, sometimes secretly, sought, sold and bargained for, despite the fact that the country has an endangered species act.
Holding lions, conservation and Brand South Africa captive
Earlier this year, officials in the state of Florida, USA introduced legislation to ban the captive breeding of orcas as well as the keeping of them for entertainment purposes. Seen as a necessary and progressive step in line with our greater understanding of wild species, this move follows on from California successfully passing similar legislation in 2016.
It is against this backdrop that it’s worth reviewing South Africa’s current situation with regards to lion breeding and the commercial exploitation of these animals.
It’s been almost three years since the release of the feature documentary Blood Lions, and its global campaign to bring awareness around the issues portrayed in the film. Done in partnership with numerous local and international agencies, the film and campaign aims to do for lions what Blackfish has done for orcas.
To date, these efforts have brought numerous successes, at times way beyond initial expectations, and for this we owe huge thanks to all these committed partners. However, there is much work that remains as the indiscriminate breeding continues and thousands of predators remain on farms or i
Tail-fin first: See a baby dolphin born at a Swedish zoo
Watch the tail-fin slowly emerge from his mother Fenah, as the third generation of dolphins is born at Sweden's Kolmården zoo.
The baby, who has yet to be named, was born on January 4th at Sweden's biggest zoo, which is two hours' drive south of Stockholm.
"He's practising using his fins, swinging from side to side and steering himself," zookeeper Filip Johansson said in a statement.
"Those first weeks in a dolphin calves lives are critical. We can thank our expertise and experience that further animals in our care have one again had a successful birth."
The calf was just one meter long at birth, and weighed just 15kg. When fully grown he will weight more than 200kg.
Dolphins raised in captivity will soon get a new, more natural home
The National Aquarium in Baltimore is re-examining what counts as humane when it comes to the life of its dolphins. Facing increased disillusionment over such spectacles, the aquarium plans to move its dolphins to an enclosed outdoor sanctuary that mimics a natural environment. How much can change for dolphins that were raised in captivity? Science correspondent Miles O’Brien reports.
Realistic venomous snake bite emergency exercise at John Ball Zoo
John Ball Zoo's venomous reptile keepers, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine students and professionals from Spectrum Health teamed up Thursday, Jan. 25, for a venomous snake bite emergency exercise.
Over 80 professionals from the three institutions combined their skills for the five-hour simulation. A combination of simulated human patients, computer controlled manikins, along with human actors helped re-create symptoms of a venomous bite.
The collaborative drills were an excellent opportunity for the zoo staff, medical students and professionals to gain experience in the emergency of handling venomous snake bites.
"There's actually about 5,000 to 8,000 snake bites a year in the united states," said Bryan Judge, whi is a medical toxicologist and emergency medical phys
4 Months After Zoo’s Release, 11 Endangered ‘Alalā Thriving in Hawaii
You usually hear them before you see them. There’s no mistaking the loud and often synchronized cacophony of caws from 11 ‘Alalā, also known as Hawaiian Crows, released into a Hawai‘i Island Natural Area Reserve last fall.
These birds, seven young males and four young females, represent what conservationists hope is the beginning of a recovered population of this critically endangered Hawaiian crow on the island.
‘Alalā have been extinct in the wild since 2002. Since the birds took flight from a remote forest aviary in September and October 2017, they have been under the daily, watchful eye of a monitoring team from San Diego Zoo Global.
In partnership with the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others, San Diego Zoo Global reared the ‘alalā at its Hawai‘i Endangered Bird Conservation Program centers on the Big Island and on Maui.
The ‘alalā are tracked daily by researchers monitoring signals from the lightweight radio transmitters each bird wears, as well as watching them with the naked eye or through binoculars. Their movements, their flights, what they eat, where they roost, their behaviors and virtually everything else about these birds is closely monitored and carefully recorded. Of high interest to all the folks involved in The ‘Alalā Project is how the birds individually and collectively react to threats from predators. An initial release of ‘alalā in 2016 was halted and surviving birds were brought back into captivity after two were attacked by another native bird—their natural predator, the ‘Io or Hawaiian hawk. Prior to their release, the birds now living in the Pu‘u Maka‘ala NAR received extensive anti-predator training.
Paris zoo reopens after last truant baboons found
Paris's main zoo was set to reopen Saturday after the last of around 50 baboons who had escaped from their enclosure were found overnight, the zoo authorities said.
A spokeswoman for the National Museum of Natural History said two females and a baby were tracked down at around 4:15 am.
The zoo was expected to reopen around noon.
"The professionalism of the wildlife teams at the Paris zoo allowed for a happy ending ... we are analysing the precise circumstances of the incident," the spokeswoman said.
The baboons remain in the area of the "grand rocher", a landmark central mountain inaccessible to the public at the zoo in the lush Vincennes area of the French capital.
The breakout was first noticed by a zoo worker, who saw the primates gathering in a service corridor used by personnel
Mass call to rescue EL’s zoo animals
Thousands of wildlife lovers, many from Buffalo City, have signed a petition to rescue the bears, lions, a tiger, wolves, a jaguar, chimpanzees and other animals at the ailing 82-year-old East London zoo.
Paris zoo is evacuated after around 50 baboons escape their enclosure
The biggest zoo in Paris went into lockdown today after around 50 ‘large and potentially very aggressive baboons’ escaped from their enclosures.
All were seen running amok in the French capital’s Zoological Park, in the Vincennes woods, soon after midday, but it is thought just four remain on the loose.
‘It’s not known how they got out, but everything is being done to try and get them under control,’ said a source at the zoo, which opened in 1934.
‘The whole area has been shut down, with only trained professionals involved in the security operation.
Baby chimp makes surprise arrival at Wingham Wildlife Park
The birth of a chimp at Wingham Wildlife Park has surprised keepers - because the mum was on the pill.
But they are hugely excited by the new arrival 11 days ago, which is the first chimp born in Kent.
The troop of seven chimps arrived at the park in October 2016 after a long campaign to bring them to Wingham from a research centre in America where they had spent all their lives.
Eight Humboldt penguins arrive at Fakieh Aquarium
Fakieh Aquarium, one of the popular attractions offered by Tarfeeh Fakieh, has proudly welcomed the latest residents of Jeddah – eight Humboldt penguins who now live in their beautiful penguin tank which opened to the public on Jan. 29.
“Everyone loves these adorable birds and we are delighted to bring the first ever group of penguins to Saudi Arabia,” said Zaki Sadayo, executive manager of the aquarium. “After their long journey from Peru they are now happily settled in their new home at Fakieh Aquarium where we care for them with love and affection, and where they will delight children and adults alike with their irresistible cuteness.”
At the unveiling of the new penguin tank, Ms. Sara Al-Ghamdi, head of education at Fakieh Aquarium, informed the attendees that the eight Humboldt penguins were born in Peru and range in age from two to four years. Their previous home was the Parque Zoologico de Huachipa, where they were cared by the zoo keepers since their birth.
Humboldt penguins can live for 15 to 20 years and can grow as high as 70 cm and weigh from 3.5 to 6 kg. The species is native to South America, mainly to the coasts of Chile and Peru. They have feathers that protect them from the weather and
Orcas can imitate human speech, research reveals
High-pitched, eerie and yet distinct, the sound of a voice calling the name “Amy” is unmistakable. But this isn’t a human cry – it’s the voice of a killer whale called Wikie.
New research reveals that orcas are able to imitate human speech, in some cases at the first attempt, saying words such as “hello”, “one, two” and “bye bye”.
The study also shows that the creatures are able to copy unfamiliar sounds produced by other orcas – including a sound similar to blowing a raspberry.
Scientists say the discovery helps to shed light on how different pods of wild killer whales have ended up with distinct dialects, adding weight to the idea that they are the result of imitation between orcas. The creatures are already known for their ability to copy the movements of other orcas, with some reports suggesting they can also mimic the sounds of bottlenose dolphins and sea lions.
Amid SeaWorld lobbying, bill to ban orca breeding in Florida is killed
state bill to ban orca breeding and future captivity in Florida was killed by a legislative subcommittee, the Tampa Bay Times is reporting.
The Florida Orca Protection Act, which aimed to turn into law what SeaWorld voluntarily adopted in 2016, was pending in the House of Representative’s Natural Resources Public Lands Subcommittee but did not make the agenda of bills to be heard Tuesday, the newspaper reported.
"This shouldn’t be a controversial issue because it’s just making law out of what SeaWorld says its corporate policy is," Animal Legal Defense Fund attorney Lindsay Larris told the newspaper. "There’s no accountability. It should be the lawmakers holding them accountable."
SeaWorld spokesman Travis Claytor had said the Orlando-based company has already committed to end orca breeding. “The legislation is unneeded and distracts from the great work being done to positively impact Florida’s wildlife,” he said, according to the Times.
SeaWorld had three lobbyists regi
SeaWorld spurns orca protection bill
SeaWorld Orlando has worked hard to change its image in the wake of the "Blackfish" documentary. Among those changes was the end of its orca breeding program.
However, as Channel 9’s Jamie Holmes has discovered, SeaWorld has lobbied against The Florida Orca Protection Act, which would have made it a Florida law to permanently stop whale breeding in captivity.
World’s oldest flamingo dies aged 83 at Adelaide Zoo
At the ripe old age of 83, the greater flamingo was put down on Friday morning after the bird's quality of life had significantly deteriorated due to complications associated with old age.
Known as Greater, the flamingo – whose sex is unknown – arrived at the zoo in 1933 but records are not clear whether it came from Cairo or Hamburg Zoo.
Caring: A Conversation with Stuart Strahl, President and CEO of the Brookfield Zoo and Chicago Zoological Society
Dr. Stuart Strahl’s love of nature began at a young age. "I was born on Manhattan within a few blocks of Central Park, where my mother took me on frequent walks,” he remembered. “She told me that I always loved animals, from pigeons to squirrels. Mud puddles and the Central Park Zoo (which was a quite dismal zoo at the time) were my favorites, and my mother found it easier to clean up after a zoo outing. Some of my earliest memories stem from those times. Luckily, my parents moved us to the suburb of Pelham when I was two years old. My brother and I grew up exploring the old-growth forests of Pelham Bay Park, fishing the shores of Long Island Sound, and building rafts to catch frogs on a ½-acre wooded spring-fed pond, all within a mile of our home - it seems that we were always outdoors, 'on safari' and exploring nature.” Visits to his grandparents' farm along a tributary of the Wye River on the Eastern Shore of Maryland also added to his sense of wonder about the natural world.
Dr. Ingrid Visser (Free Morgan Foundation) and Co. banned from entering the premises of Loro Parque
It is well known that in November 2011, at the request of the authorities of the Netherlands, Loro Parque has accepted at its modern OrcaOcean installations a young female orca Morgan who was found helpless, in an extremely poor condition in the waters of the Wadden Sea in June 2010. This decision to transfer the orca to Loro Parque was made based on the opinions of the experts who came to the decision that it was no longer possible to return her to the wild. Therefore, this solution was the only way to save her life. Here, in Loro Parque, she is now fully integrated into the existing orca group.
Nevertheless, ever since Loro Parque has accepted the animal in need of help, the radical activists from Free Morgan Foundation led by Ingrid Visser visit the park, normally before court hearings or before events aimed at discrediting Loro Parque. Inventing arguments supported by manipulated photographs, they are communicating false information to the public in order to advocate for the release of the orcas into the wild.
Despite the unfriendly attitude of these activists and their smear campaigns against Loro Parque, the park continued to allow them access to its installations, since Loro Parque, recognized by TripAdvis
Humane Society CEO Under Investigation for Sexual Relationship With Employee
The Board of Directors of the Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s most influential animal-welfare group, has hired a Washington law firm to investigate an allegation of workplace misconduct against its longtime chief executive, Wayne Pacelle.
The investigation, which began last month, is being run by Grace Speights, who leads the labor and employment practice at Morgan Lewis. Among the topics, insiders say, is an alleged sexual relationship between Mr. Pacelle and a female employee.
In a statement, Eric Bernthal, chair of the board of the Humane Society, said: “We believe it is important to deal in substance and not rumors, and our process is designed to ensure confidentiality and fair consideration of these issues.”
Mr. Pacelle, who did not respond to an email seeking comment, continues to work there. He joined the Humane Society in 1994, became its chief executive in 2004, and was paid about $380,000 in 2016, according to the charity’s lat
OUR UNFOLDING STORY – 52 WEEKS IN
52 WEEKS AFTER CUMBRIA ZOO COMPANY LTD TOOK FULL CONTROL OF THE ZOO, WE LOOK BACK AT THE 52 POSITIVE CHANGES WE’VE MADE AND LOOK FORWARD TO THE YEAR AHEAD.
Today marks one whole year, 365 days, 52 weeks, since CZCL took full control of Safari Zoo. It’s been a long, rollercoaster ride of a 52 weeks but it has also flown in many ways! We’ve been through everything; threats of closure, the serious time of applying for, and the nerve wrecking, gut wrenching waiting game to see if we were to be awarded our first, very own, license to operate.
It’s been tough, we have the grey hairs and wrinkles to prove it, but we’ve made it through a whole 12 months and we have made some great strides in animal welfare with new and revamped enclosures, dietary revolutions, brand new education team and partnership with the best veterinary care team.
To mark this monumental day, we have compiled our celebration of CZCL achievements, so make yourself a brew, and maybe a cheeky snack as
Touch Tanks: The Importance of Hands-on Education
Whether it’s searching for starfish or petting a shark, touch tank experiences give aquarium visitors a unique perspective of life underwater. Touch tanks allow people to see, touch, and learn about marine life they may not otherwise encounter in nature. At AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, the welfare of the animals is just as important as the guests’ experience. Studies have shown that these living habitats can encourage both conservation and animal care. Several AZA facilities offer and promote these kinds of exhibits. Not only do touch tank exhibits provide visitors with hands-on educational and scientific opportunities, research suggests these experiences also offer social and psychological benefits, too.
Indonesia hints rhino sperm transfer to Malaysia may finally happen this year
Indonesia has signaled it may finally send a sample of Sumatran rhino semen to a breeding program in Malaysia, amid a growing urgency to keep the species alive.
Conservationists in Sabah, in Malaysian Borneo, where only two Sumatran rhinos (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) remain, have since 2015 sought a frozen sample of sperm taken from a rhino in Indonesia’s own captive-breeding program in Sumatra to kick-start an artificial insemination attempt — but to no avail, as the Indonesian government repeatedly ignored its requests.
Now, though, a senior official says the sperm being stored at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) may be sent to Malaysia sometime this year.
“We have discussed all of the aspects of the request, and submitted our analysis to the [environment] minister,” Wirat
China Is Decimating Southeast Asian Wildlife
The Chinese were among the first foreigners to do trade with the island of Sumatra. Six hundred years ago, villages would have been but infinitesimal specks in an inconceivably vast and sublime rain forest. In 1416, a Chinese report on Sumatra noted that “There are in the forests immense quantities of wild rhinoceroses, which the king lets catch by men.” The rhinos, the author goes on to explain, would be sent to China as “tribute” to the emperor. Later, in the midst of compiling a list of agricultural products and minerals to be found in Sumatra, the author’s mind drifts back to something even more valuable, and he abruptly ends his list by reminding his Chinese reader: “Besides, there are rhinoceroses.”
There are still rhinoceroses in Sumatra today, perhaps as few as 30, and they are still hunted. According to that 15th century Chinese account, as well as the testimony of early European visitors and explorers, rhinoceroses once swarmed on the island. Yet their population has all been but wiped out. What happened?
The answer is pretty straightforward: They were hunted and slaughtered for their horns. Many of those horns were sent to China, where they were used i
Can blockchain serve business, people and planet?
It comes as no surprise that most of the top risks identified in the latest World Economic Forum Global Risks Report, from biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse to water crises and extreme weather events, are environmental.
Make no mistake, addressing their impact on our wellbeing, enterprise and prosperity requires a profound shift in how we produce and consume, as well as in our orientation to nature — from egocentric to ecocentric, balancing human and biosphere needs.
Nevertheless, technology and human ingenuity have a significant role to play.
From quantum computing and artificial intelligence to DNA sequencing and advanced robotics, we have an opportunity to create transformative approaches for sustainability. And of all n
Kingut the tapir turns 40
Keepers at Port Lympne Reserve in Kent are helping Malayan tapir Kingut celebrate a milestone birthday.
The animal turns 40 on Saturday, which they say makes him the world’s oldest tapir of his kind.
Kingut is being spoiled with lots of back scratches and his favourite edible treats – carrots, apples, bananas and raisins – incorporated into a special cake.
Kingut was born in 1978 at Ragunan Zoo in Jakarta, Indonesia and was transferred to Port Lympne Reserve from sister park Howletts in 2008.
Malayan tapirs are the largest of the five species of tapir and are classified as endangered.
A closer genetic look at the quagga, an extinct zebra
New DNA evidence confirms that the recently extinct quagga is, indeed, a plains zebra. Science writer Ricki Lewis, who has a PhD in genetics, discusses the latest Danish research and a fascinating project in southern Africa to breed quagga-like zebras. Her piece was originally published by PLOS Blogs.
Like the dodo bird, heath hen, and woolly mammoth, the quagga vanished so recently that glimpsing its evolution is possible, using DNA from museum specimens and breeding modern relatives to select individuals bearing ancestral traits.
Turkish Cargo relocated Humboldt Penguins
Relocating lion cubs and endangered penguins to their new home, Turkish Cargo keeps protecting the wildlife.
By a well-done operation, Turkish Cargo relocated Humboldt Penguins, one of the eleven penguin species threatened with extinction due to unfavorable circumstances resulting from the climate change, to the Public Oceanic Aquarium in China from the Riga Zoo.
The thriving sub-brand of the flag carrier Turkish Airlines, Turkish Cargo not only achieves customer satisfaction thanks to its special cargo transportation services to 120 countries worldwide, but also contributes to wildlife survival.
Giant new safari park could be created on Norfolk quarry site
The visionary behind the new Watlington Safari Park, near King’s Lynn, believes it would be the first of its kind of the United Kingdom, bringing £3.57m per year to West Norfolk’s economy and providing a popular attraction for residents and visitors alike.
In a brochure sent to villagers Edward Pope, the man behind the idea, said: “I am passionate about the conservation of endangered animals and birds.
“For several years I have been provided a refuge and breeding programme for deer and antelope at my home in Norfolk.
“Now I want to build on that work by expanding this refuge to create an inspirational centre for education, a visitor experience that people can enjoy and a site for extraordinary wildlife encounters.”
Animals Rotating Habitats: A Conversation with John Walczak, Director of the Louisville Zoo
The Louisville Zoo has long been known for its appetite for innovative exhibitry. This is shown by its three AZA award-winning habitat complexes: Islands (the first American zoo exhibit to rotate large animals), Gorilla Forest and Glacier Run. Additionally, the zoo has taken a significant role in conservation by helping save the black-footed ferret from extinction. Since 2004, the Louisville Zoo has been led by John Walczak. Walczak's strong animal background, desire to create innovative habitats and focus on improving staff relationships has helped the zoo grow and flourish. Here is his story.
Beijing Zoo Pledges to Conserve African Wildlife
The African Wildlife Foundation and the Beijing Zoo today launched a partnership intended to enhance China’s participation in sustainable conservation of Africa’s wildlife and wild lands.
In an event at the Beijing Zoo, the partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding signifying the need for genuine concerted strategies and action in ensuring conservation of the environment, wildlife, and wild lands in a modernizing Africa.
The African Wildlife Foundation said the partnership “ushers in a new era of global allegiance to wildlife protection.”
Speaking at the signing ceremony, AWF President Kaddu Sebunya said, “China is increasingly providing leadership on conservation through proactive policies, and Africa – and the world – is watching.”
Founded in 1961 and based in Washington, DC, the AWF claims to be the oldest and largest conservation organization focused solely on the African continent. AWF today expressed its commitment to amplifying the African voice in wildlife and wild lands conservation, globally.
“This partnership gives us an opportunity to bolster our work in China, and an ability to push for greater Chinese involvement in Africa’s conservation agenda, in which China is a key partner. I believe this collaboration, ultimately, will enhance opportunities to promote greater China-Africa engagement in conservation as a whole,” said Sebunya.
Beijing Zoo, owned by the People’s Republic of China, is a public zoological park opened in 1906, and claims to be the most authoritative center of zoological research that studies and breeds rare animals from various sources, including Africa.
The Beijing Zoo is visited by mor
Urgent appeal launched by Bristol Zoological Society to help gorillas in Africa
Today (Wednesday January 24) Bristol Zoological Society has launched an urgent appeal for £10,000 to help build a safe haven in Africa for orphaned western lowland gorillas.
They are the innocent victims of the brutal bush meat trade which sees thousands of adult gorillas slaughtered each year.
A total of 22 of these orphaned gorillas are being cared for by a sanctuary in Mefou National Park in Cameroon with which Bristol Zoological Society has worked for the past 20 years.
Gorillas such as Shufai, who was found as a baby with gunshot injuries after his mother was killed by hunters endured months of rehabilitation but eventually had to have his arm amputated above the elbow.
Similarly, Nona was hours away from death when she was rescued from a hunter’s camp. Wounded by the bullets that had killed her mother, she had been left for days without food or water. Nona was rescued just in time and taken to the sanctuary where she has grown into a beautiful young adult with a family of her own.
Now all the gorillas are in need of three bigger enclosures in which to live and remain safe.
Today Bristol Zoological Society is asking for help to raise the money needed for these enclosures. A team from Bristol Zoological Society is heading to Cameroon early in February to help build them.
Dr Grainne McCabe, head of field conservation and science at Bristol Zoological Society, said: “We hope everyone will want to help. These are amazing animals and every pound we receive will help to safeguard their future.
“When we started working with the sanctuary in 1998, all the orphaned animals were small and the initial enclosures were built with infant and juvenile apes in mind.
“Those orphans have now grown into formidable adults, and their space and grouping requirements have changed.”
She added: “Caring for orphaned apes is no easy task. While they may be cute and curious as infants, they soon grow into very large and very strong adults that are much more challenging to care for.”
Dr McCabe said larger enclosures built in the forest would allow several family groups and younger male gorillas to live together.
Western lowland gorillas are listed as Critically Endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red of Threatened Species and without the efforts of sanctuaries like the one in Mefou National Park they could be lost forever.
If you would like to make a donation to the appeal, please go to www.Virginmoneygiving.com/fund/gorillaappeal
Bristol Zoological Society has been working on the conservation of western lowland gorillas in the wild since 2003 and also participates in a breeding programme which has seen two gorillas born at the Zoo since 2016.
Kuwait Zoo has no sick animals – Director denies rumour
Director of Kuwait Zoo at the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) Zahra Al-Wazan denied rumor circulated that zoo has sick animals, reports Al-Jarida daily. Al-Wazan said the management always removes and isolates any of the animals from the zoo whenever they are found to be suffering from disease to protect the safety of visitors, especially as the major objective of operating the zoo is to display the animals for sight seeing.
She stated the zoo is a modern landmark in Kuwait that receives over 500,000 visitors in a year; mostly foreigners visiting the country in the winter. She declared the management is planning to organize some activities for visitors every Tuesday when there will be special educational and cultural programs, while opening the doors to students in the m
Malaysia’s zoos are cruel to the animals held
Reports last week of the Wildlife Department finding nothing wrong with conditions animals are held in at the Kemaman Zoo only serve to reinforce the general perception these government officials always find in favour of zoos.
Often over the past decade I have often wondered if this is because the department don’t know what they are doing or, they don’t care about the welfare of animals.
Whenever a complaint is made the Wildlife Department have always come to the defence of the zoo. The department sees nothing wrong, hears nothing, and does nothing. This must make its job easy and it doubtless means it can remain close friends with its buddies responsible for all this cruelty. Pity the poor animals the department is prepared to leave suffering.
The Wildlife Conservation Act may as well have been written in invisible ink. It is not enforced.
Most educated people know Malaysia’s 40 or so zoos are, with one or two exceptions, places of appalling cruelty. Profits are always put before animal care.
The baby trade torturing orangutans to extinction
A horrifying, low groan stopped us in our tracks.
It was hard to work out which cage the noise was coming from. But then a long arm, with a massive human-like hand, reached out and gave us our first glimpse of a desperate and distressed ape.
This was Jono, an orangutan from Borneo. He had been alone in this cramped cage for five years.
Smugglers keep wildlife officials busy
It is only three weeks into the year and already four attempts to smuggle animals or bush meat into and out of the country have been foiled.
On Wednesday, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) thwarted an attempt to smuggle seven pythons through a courier service in Larkin, Johor.
The sender, who is believed to be from Taiwan, had declared the package as toys.
It is not known whether the reptiles were alive when found.
Mnangagwa bans live elephant trade
The previous political regime of former president, Robert Mugabe, was notorious for brushing aside such outcries.
But Mnangagwa, who is hoping to charm the world by rolling back his predecessor’s policies, appears to have hearkened to counsel and has since committed government to conservation efforts.
In justifying its elephant trade, government has previously argued that Zimbabwe has an unsustainably high elephant population which, at 86 000, exceeds the ecological carrying capacity of 54 000 elephants.
Conservationists, however, argue that exporting the elephants — which prefer the temperate Savanna climate to that of the Far East which fluctuates between the hot and cold extremes —was not the solution.
Information at hand indicates that following the December brouhaha, Mnangagwa gave audience to representatives of two concerned international conservation organisations, Tikki Hywood Foundation and the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF), who had visited the country intending to raise their concerns with him.
Mnangagwa assured them of his c
Orangutan briefly escapes enclosure at Greenville Zoo again
Greenville Zoo officials confirmed that an orangutan, who briefly escaped his enclosure back in July, squeezed out of his pen again Monday.
Zoo Administrator Jeff Bullock said the orangutan named Kumar escaped around 1:45 p.m. Monday, as contractors were working on his enclosure and repairing the mesh panels.
After crews left, Kumar was let loose in the enclosure and he reportedly found a weak spot, made a hole and squeezed out.
Bullock said Kumar stayed on top of the mesh of the exhibit and holding building, and when staff gathered around he went back inside the enclosure.
Kumar was reportedly out of the en
Marghazar Zoo admin fails to cater to animals in 2017
Despite repeated attempts by media to highlight the plight of animals and birds in Marghazar Zoo over the last year, the mismanagement and lack of attention from the high-ups of Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) persists and results in an unhealthy environment for the animals at the zoo.
Dr Bilal Khilji is the only veterinary doctor to look after the animals at the zoo and he too has been given the charge of deputy director a few years back.
The management of more than a hundred staffers of MCI is being managed by Dr Bilal which disallows the required attention towards the daily check-up of the animals’ feed and the overall zoo environment.
In 2017, two Nilgai’s died in the zoo, which is a slightly better statistic than in 2016, when 17 animals died including a zebra, hog deer, ostrich male, zebra foal, ostrich female, wolf, lion cub male, lion cub fe
Thai cops arrest alleged kingpin in illegal wildlife trade
THAI police have arrested an alleged kingpin in Asia's illegal trade in endangered species, dealing a blow to a family-run syndicate that smuggles elephant ivory, rhino horns and tiger parts to Chinese and Vietnamese dealers.
Boonchai Bach, 40, a Vietnamese national with Thai citizenship, was arrested yesterday evening over the smuggling of 14 rhino horns worth around US$1 million (RM4 million) from Africa to Thailand.
His downfall follows the December 12 arrest of Nikorn Wongprachan, a Thai National Parks and Wildlife Conservation official, at Bangkok's main airport as he attempted to smuggle the rhino horns from the quarantine section to a nearby apartment.
The horns were smuggled into Bangkok by a Chinese man, who was arrested a day before on arrival from Johannesburg, South Africa.
Beloved zookeeper and Jackson teen identified as victims in Scott St. double homicide
Jackson police are investigating a double homicide that happened Friday afternoon on Scott Street.
One of the victims has been identified as Percy King. 57-year-old King was a beloved zookeeper at the Jackson Zoo from 1997-2011 and served as a member of the Jackson Zoo Board starting in 2017.
The Jackson Zoo sent this statement on the tragedy:
Penguin attraction: Byculla zoo's earnings sees 12-fold increase
Revenue of Veer Jijamata Udyan – popularly known as Byculla zoo - increased 12 times on monthly basis thanks to Humboldt Penguins brought from South Korea, reports Hindustan Times. The zoo authorities, who had hiked the entry fee after putting up the penguins on display, recorded earning up to Rs 70 lakh per month in the second half of 2017, equivalent to its annual income before the fee hike.
The zoo had put the penguins on display in March 2017. In following August, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) reportedly
Celebrating a Life Devoted to Saving Species: A Conversation with the late Dr. Michael Hutchins, former Chair of Conservation and Science for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
As the zoo and conservation community mourns the untimely passing of Dr. Michael Hutchins, I thought it would be appropriate to share an interview I conducted with him this past fall. Hutchins was a true warrior for zoo conservation, as evidenced by his influence as William Conway Chair of Conservation and Science for the Association of zoos and Aquariums. Additionally, he wrote and edited over 200 publications including the influential texts Second Nature and Ethics on the Ark, created the AZA’s Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs), led the Elephant Planning Initiative, launched the Bushmeat Crisis Task Force and served on the Disney’s Animal Kingdom Advisory Council. Hutchins was a mentor and friend to me and I’m very grateful for his time and generosity. Here is his story.
CAPTIVE BRED CHEETAHS – AN EPIDEMIC IN SOUTH AFRICA?
Since 1975, we have lost half of our cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) population worldwide with only an estimated 7,100 cheetahs left in the wild, confined to just 9% of its historical distributional range. Cheetahs are now predominantly found in Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, and Mozambique. For this reason, scientists are calling for a reclassification of the IUCN cheetah status from Vulnerable to Endangered.
Southern Africa is considered a regional stronghold for cheetah, with an estimated population of 4,500 adults, however its numbers are rapidly dwindling too. In South Africa, its status is classified as Vulnerable, mostly due to environmental pressures, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, and human-wildlife conflicts. The latter often leads to landowners illegally killing so-called “problem” animals.
Bird flu prevention zone extended to cover whole of England
A bird flu prevention zone has been declared across the whole of England, Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens has confirmed today.
This means it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures. It comes as 13 dead wild birds were confirmed to have the virus in Warwickshire.
Last week 17 wild birds tested positive in Dorset and a total of 31 infected birds have now been identified at that site. Defra took swift action to put a local prevention zone in the area on Friday (12 January). However, as these latest results show the disease is not isolated to a single site the decision has been taken to extend the prevention zone across the country on a precautionary basis.
Testing of the birds found in Warwickshire is ongoing, however, it is highly expected that this will be the same H5N6 strain of the virus which has been circulating in wild birds across Europe in recent months. Public Health England have advised th
The Value of the Desert: A Conservation with Karen Sausman, Retired Director of The Living Desert
The Living Desert in Palm Desert, California is dedicated to connecting visitors with wildlife and plants from deserts around the world. It all began with the vision of Karen Sausman, who served as the facility’s director from its inception in 1970 to 2010. She began as director in a time when women were not supposed to be keepers much less directors and is regarded as one of the field’s legendary directors. Here is her story.
Little-known Orange-fronted Parakeet Nearing Extinction
The Critically Endangered Orange-fronted Parakeet faces extinction if conservation and education efforts do not catch up to the rapidly declining population.
Rarer than the Kiwi but far less recognized, the Orange-fronted Parakeet is facing extinction. This and many other little-known New Zealand native birds are at risk of extinction due to the threat of invasive predators such as rats and stoats. It’s not that these birds are less in need of conservation, it’s just that some charismatic species receive more attention that others.
The Orange-fronted Parakeet is one species that has suffered from a lack of direct conservation interventions. The species was once spread throughout New Zealand but hunting and invasive species have brought the population to 150-200 adults found only in Canterbury.
Squirrel Sex is Complicated
Only 35 Mount Graham squirrels remain in the wild, but five captive squirrels could hold the key to their long-term survival—if we can get them to breed
It began with a bolt of lightning on June 7 and ended with a fire that eventually encompassed a staggering 48,000 acres of southeastern Arizona. By the time the blaze had been extinguished this past July, thousands of trees had been lost or damaged, impacting the already degraded habitat for the critically endangered Mount Graham squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis). Surveys conducted this past September in the high-elevation forests of the Pinaleño Mountains, about three hours east of Phoenix, revealed that the squirrels’ population had fallen to an estimated 35 animals and that at least 80 percent of their habitat had been damaged by the fires.
Could this be the end of the Mount Graham squirrel, which was already once thought to be extinct and has bee
Hotels, resorts threaten rare primates
Recent rapid construction of more than 20 hotels and resorts in Sơn Trà Nature Reserve is threatening the survival of highly endangered langurs and other wildlife. Human activities, such as illegal logging and hunting, also continue to badly affect the lives of the primates and wildlife in the reserve.
The 4,400ha Sơn Trà Nature Reserve, known for its rich biodiversity, is home to more than 1,300 red-shanked douc langurs and more than 1,000 plants and 370 animal species.
The langurs were declared endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2013, but this was recently redefined as critically endangered – nearly extinct.
Six of the monkeys were killed by motorcyclists in 2015-17, and two cases of illegal hunting were uncovered. Two red-shanked douc langurs were reportedly killed for eating. And about 10ha of forest have been illegally logged between 2014-16.
Thousands of traps and tonnes of r
Vancouver Aquarium will no longer keep whales and dolphins
The Vancouver Aquarium has made a major revelation today. They will no longer display cetaceans at the Vancouver Aquarium.
The Aquarium made the announcement Thursday, noting that they are opting to put an end to the program, despite it having “overwhelming support” year after year.
This is not to say, however, that the Aquarium’s rescue and rehabilitation arm will no longer care for whales and dolphins. As the Aquarium notes, they will do so for short-term cases, and then seek other venues for transferring cetaceans that need long-term care.
The Aquarium explains: “Rescued animals are transferred to the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre – located outside Stanley Park – for critical, short-term care, with the aim to rehabilitate and release back to the wild. Should a rescued cetacean need ongoing care, the animal care team will identify an appropriate long-term facility and work to arrange for a transfer of the patient.”
The Aquarium acknowledges that this is quite a shift for the organization, however, it is “a move that is in line with our commitment to our community, country, and to the world’s oceans.”
Additionally, the Vancouver Aquarium
VANCOUVER AQUARIUM — OUR FUTURE
Life in the information age is both exhilarating and challenging. We’re more plugged into technology and instant info than at any time in our history … but we’re also far less connected to our natural world.
The understanding and inspiration fostered in the galleries, exhibits and habitats at Vancouver Aquarium has never been more important; and our role as an interpreter of the natural world never as critical.
Despite independent polling, year over year, that clearly shows overwhelming support for our cetacean program, we have made the difficult decision to no longer display cetaceans at Vancouver Aquarium, with the exception of doing what is best for Helen and any need to use the Aquarium for the temporary accommodation of a rescued cetacean. Moving forward, we will focus on raising awareness of the many ocean issues impacting other vulnerable marine animals.
The ongoing discussions about whales and dolphins in our care have been a distraction from real threats to the ocean and have sidelined the critical work we lead. We aim to inspire people in every corner of the planet to participate in creating healthy oceans, and it’s time to get on with it.
The launch of Ocean Wise in 2017 as the parent global ocean co
Former research chimps at North Georgia sanctuary go outdoors for the first time
With reactions ranging from excitement and curiosity to fear and trepidation, 15 former lab chimps took their first steps outdoors this week at the Project Chimps sanctuary in North Georgia.
The 236-acre sanctuary is currently home to 31 chimpanzees who have spent their entire lives in captivity as subjects used in biomedical research.
On Tuesday, with the completion of the Peachtree Habitat -- a six-acre, forested habitat at the sanctuary-- nine females and six males ranging in age from 11 to 27 ventured out in two gender-separated groups to frolic and forage for food just as they would in the wild.
It was the first time they had the chance to exercise their free will with regard to their environment, said Ali Crumpacker, executive director of Project Chimps.
“Imagine never having stepped outside your own home and only knowing carpet or your porch under your feet. That’s
Concerns raised about ice-cream-eating bear at drive-thru in Alberta
Concerns are being raised about a video of a Kodiak bear from a central Alberta zoo being taken through a fast-food drive-thru and being hand-fed ice cream by the restaurant's owner.
The video, posted on social media by the Discovery Wildlife Park in Innisfail, shows a one-year-old captive bear named Berkley leaning out the driver's side of a truck's window for her treat at the local Dairy Queen.
"We've got Berkley in the drive-thru testing out some ice cream so she can pick out her birthday cake," says a man identified as Mark in the video. "We've added some peanuts to this batch and she seems to like it -- so I think we've got a winner here."
Hope rises for critically endangered monkey thanks to conservation efforts
The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey may survive because of work by communities, NGOs and the Myanmar and Chinese governments.
In 2010, a scientist working for Fauna & Flora International (FFI) discovered a new primate species in Myanmar, the following year scientists in China confirmed the same species in the neighbouring forests of Yunnan province. Two years later, Rhinopithecus strykeri, the Myanmar snub-nosed monkey AKA the "snubby," was declared critically endangered – becoming one of the most endangered primates on the planet due to small population size and threats from hunting and habitat loss.
Eight years on and now scientists have released a new report revealing how the primates are faring. Remarkably, things are looking relatively up. While the species remains in critical status, joint action by communities, governments and NGOs have resulted in a dramatic improvement in the outlook for the beloved snubby..
"Straddling the border lands of the Eastern Himalayas between Kachin state in Myanmar and Yunnan pro
Use of primate 'actors' misleading millions of viewers
More needs to be done to educate audiences, including viewers at home and filmmakers, on the unethical nature of using primates in the film industry, says a leading expert in a new study.
Brooke C. Aldrich, trustee at the charity Neotropical Primate Conservation, highlights serious concerns around the wider implications of using primate "actors" in films, including the trivialization of their conservation and welfare needs and representing them as suitable pets to viewers.
The new study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Anthrozoös, analyzed two decades of English-speaking film trailers from the period 1993-2013 to understand the modern use of primate "actors" in the film industry. Primate "actors" have been featured in major Hollywood films such as The Hangover Part II, The Wolf of Wall Street and Babe: Pig in the City.
Results indicated that primate "actors" in more than half the cases studied are shown amongst humans and performing "human" actions the vast majority of the time. The study also found that these individuals were shown "smiling" - which in most primate species can surprisingly indicate fear or submission.
Of further concern is how the use of primates as actors in films may misrepresent their conservation needs. A previous study by Steve Ross and colleagues found that 35% of respondents mistakenly thought chimpanzees were not endangered due to their frequent appearances in film an
New light on the mysterious origin of Bornean elephants
How did Borneo get its elephant? This could be just another of Rudyard Kipling's just so stories. The Bornean elephant is a subspecies of Asian Elephants that only exist in a small region of Borneo. Their presence on this southeastern Asian island has been a mystery. Scientists have discovered that elephants might have arrived on Borneo at a time of the last land bridge between the Sunda Islands in Southeast Asia.
How 200,000 antelope suddenly died
Scientists have finally solved the mystery of the antelope mass extinction event which killed 60% of the animal's population.
The world's scientists were baffled in 2015 when 200,000 antelope suddenly dropped dead in Kazakhstan.
More than 60% of the global population of saiga antelope died in just three weeks in May 2015, with entire herds mysteriously collapsing across the Betpak-Dala region of Kazakhstan.
Saiga antelopes are already a critically endangered species, and despite being a cousin species to the springbok and gazelle, is on the cusp of extinction.
Rhino mating attempt at Assam zoo turns fatal
A rhino mating attempt turned fatal at the Assam State zoo here after the female succumbed to injuries, zoo officials said on Monday.
Gaobura, the two-year-old male rhino, seriously injured Shanti, the one-and-half-year old female rhino, during a mating attempt on Friday. Shanti was left with backbone injury, including several bruises on her body. She succumbed to injuries on Saturday.
Wolf escapes wildlife sanctuary near Reading
A wolf has escaped from a wildlife sanctuary near a school in Berkshire
Police were called at 8am on Thursday with reports from a member of the public that the animal had escaped from the UK Wolf Conservation Trust in Reading.
The wolf, called Torak, was captured early in the afternoon and is on its way back to the sanctuary.
Teresa Palmer, 62, who founded the park, helped to encourage the 12-year-old animal into a trailer around eight miles away from the park.
Gibbons from Howletts Wild Animal Park, Canterbury, returned to wild Java
Cheeky gibbons have finally been released into the wild after travelling more than 7,000 miles to the Indonesian jungle.
Six gibbons made the journey back to their native homeland in Java, Indonesia, after they spent their entire lives at a wild animal park in Canterbury.
The apes were flown over 7,300 miles to a primate rehabilitation center near Bandung, Indonesia, where they were released into enclosures.
The power of partnership: could animal rights organsiations and zoos/aquariums join forces?
I spoke with several AZA (The Association of Zoos & Aquariums) members who were outraged that the association was extending an olive branch. From what I understand, many members protested by not attending the conference at all. Some even threatened to cancel their AZA membership. This got me to thinking about the potential power of partnerships; of keeping your friends close, and your enemies closer.
In conversations with zoos and aquariums in recent years, it seems the (excuse me for this) elephant in the room has been the focused, laser-like attention on our community from anti-marine and zoological park activists. We’ve all seen the many articles unfairly finger-wagging, the extremist commentaries and editorials, and the mainstream promotion of proposed, “frankly sophomoric” (to quote a colleague’s description) self-proclaimed “industry-changing” zo
Canine distemper confirmed in Far Eastern leopard, world's most endangered big cat
Russian Federation (Jan. 17, 2018) - The Far Eastern or Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is already among the rarest of the world's big cats, but new research reveals that it faces yet another threat: infection with canine distemper virus (CDV). A new study published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases describes the first documented case of CDV in a wild Far Eastern leopard.
The case involved a two-year-old female leopard that was found along a road that crosses the Land of the Leopard National Park, in the Russian territory of Primorskii Krai.
"The leopard was extremely sick when she was brought in, and had severe neurological disease" said Ekaterina Blidchenko, veterinarian with the National Park and the TRNGO Animal Rehabilitation Center. "Despite hand-feeding and veterinary attention, her condition worsened, and a decision was made to euthanize her for humane reasons."
Although CDV is well known in
It Is Not the Animal That Would Kill You, Its WORSE!
At this point I’m working with animals for my 13th year. It has been quite a ride and learned a lot on the way. Even today I learn new things all the time, or about people or about the animals we work with. In the blog I would like to talk about the most dangerous part with working animals and believe it or not its not that lion or that elephant you work with.
Imagine you have a sales job. Your job is selling phones, phone contracts, accessories etc. You are that person that wants to reach every target or even more. You are very successful in what you do and keep have the number 1 place in the company. Everything works out for you and you seem to grow fast. Not having failures and a team that’s likes you, you feel like needing some more challenges. After 3 years you decide to move on because you think you can’t learn more at the place you are. You find a company that sees your achievement and decides to take you in. Because you are so confident and believe in yourself you jump in.
Than it happens you think you can and you believe in yourself so much that you fail completely and you get fired. This actually happens failry often, this person is complacent with his current situation. He gets used to how good he is and is not aware of changing it. He gets to comfortable with this and thinks he can rule the world. That part
How three monkeys staged a daring escape at Dublin Zoo during Storm Ophelia
Three cheeky monkeys staged a daring escape at Dublin Zoo after Storm Ophelia blew the roof off a section of their enclosure last October, newly released records have revealed.
The three juvenile Sulawesi crested macaques jumped a staggering 20 feet from a climbing frame in their habitat onto an electric fence overhang, before making their way around zoo grounds.
The zoo was closed at the time of the incident, meaning there were no visitors on site. A zookeeper noticed that the monkeys were missing when he checked the enclosure at 9am and raised the alarm.
An emergency team immediately responded and located the three fugitives hanging out in a tree close to their habitat, around 65 feet off the ground. The area around the tree was secured and a cherry picker was deployed to the site.
Staff attempted to shoot the macaques with tranquiliser darts from the cherry picker, but this proved unsuccessful due to hig
A SAFE Haven
In the midst of an ongoing extinction crisis, Dan Ashe, president and chief executive officer of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, believes the conservation work of AZA members is more important than ever.
“As modern zoos and aquariums, nobody cares more about animals than the people who work at these facilities,” he said. “As facilities that exhibit animals, we have an obligation to take care of those animals in our facilities and provide exceptional care for them. But we also have an obligation to care for them in nature.”
Taipei Zoo considers closing for 12 days every year
Taipei Zoo said it is mulling closing the park for 12 days per year for renovations and is inviting the public to vote on the possible measure using the city’s i-Voting Web site.
The zoo welcomes 3 million visitors per year and only closes on Lunar New Year’s Eve, zoo officials said on Saturday, adding that closing the park from June 19 to June 30 each year would allow it to improve facilities.
People can vote online from 9am on Feb. 13 to 5pm on March 12, the zoo added.
The zoo uses a rotation system to close different exhibits every Monday for maintenance work, zoo spokesman Eric Tsao (曹先紹) said.
The need to stagger work on different enclosures and facilities extends maintenance time, which increases costs and prolongs disturbances to animals, Tsao said.
The idea of closing the park for a specified period every year was proposed after looking at the operations of zoos in other countries, he said, citing Japan’s popular Asahiyama Zoo in Hokkaido, which closes for three weeks every year at the end of winter.
“Zoo workers would still need to be at the park every day while it is closed to the public to take care of the animals. We could allow special groups to visit
Bill to ban orca breeding filed in House faces pushback from SeaWorld
A bill that would outlaw the breeding and performing of killer whales in Florida has cleared the initial hurdle that kept it off the table last year: getting a lawmaker to file it in the first place.
In an effort to solidify a voluntary policy change SeaWorld made two years ago, Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs, introduced in the House of Representatives the Florida Orca Protection Act. It moved to the Natural Resources & Public Lands Subcommittee on Friday, but Moskowitz said he anticipates a fierce blowback from the marine park that could hinder progress.
"They had been out there trying to prevent the bill from getting filed by any representative," he said. "If they hear the bill, members will vote for this, so (Sea World) is going to work to prevent it from being heard."
Former Rep. Alex Miller, R-Sarasota, was interested in filing the bill in 2016 but changed her mind after meeting with SeaWorld officials, she confirmed. Representatives from the marine park met with Rep. Ben Diamond, D-St. Petersb
Tiger out of cage, visitors in panic
A male tiger cub fled from the security enclosure of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Safari Park in Chakoria upazila of Cox's Bazar on Friday.
The 2-year-old tiger cub could not be captured till Sunday, causing panic among the visitors to the safari park.
Authorities of the park said that the number of visitors has decreased after the incident.
Local sources said, on Friday morning the security workers went into the enclosure for maintenance work. As soon as the door of the cage opened, the tiger cub escaped into the nearby forest.
Rejecting claims of panic, Mazharul Islam Chowdhury, an o
USDA says Topeka Zoo’s elephant program passes inspection
Following the death of Shannon the elephant, a Veterinary Medical Officer of the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service of the USDA began a focused inspection on the Topeka Zoo’s elephant program.
The inspection began on Jan. 3 and ended Tuesday, Jan. 16. The zoo was presented with a report showing there were not any non-compliant items found during the inspection.
“I think the USDA was very impressed with our preparedness to address a down elephant situation,” said Zoo Director Brendan Wiley. “Significant time was spent during the inspection to identify whether or not key staff were appropriately involved during the 24-hour period before Shannon passed.”
The actual cause of death for Shannon still has not been determined.
A gross necropsy was performed on Dec. 11. and tissue samples were collected for a histopathology evaluation. That is being done by th
Emergency rescue training for elephants at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
On Wednesday, staff at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo were preparing for the worst case scenario: helping a fallen elephant get back on its feet.
Crews were practicing with two-ton sand bags and hoisting them up with a specialized crane system.
This equipment had to be used in early January. It was to save Malaika, a 32-year-old elephant who had fallen asleep and fell over.
Malaika is just one of several older elephants at the zoo. Staff members say as these animals get older they have a hard time standing up. They can only be sitting for a few hours before it becomes dangerous.
President & CEO Bob Chastain said, "Three hours, four hours, maybe slightly more, and if they don't get up they'll start having serious compl
Wildest dreams a reality for zoos chief Elaine Bensted
ild African-style adventures, birds of prey flying overhead and tourists sleeping to the chilling laugh of hyenas – South Australia is set to have it all.
Two of the state’s best tourist attractions, Adelaide and Monarto zoos, are set for big changes on the back of rising visitor numbers which hit more than half a million in 2016/17.
At the helm of the plan is Zoos SA CEO Elaine Bensted who officially opened Monarto’s latest heart-stopper, Lions 360, in November 2017.
Retiring caretaker to part with elephant
Kaohsiung’s Shoushan Zoo has said that long-time elephant caretaker Chang Yung-hsing (張永興) is to retire next year and part with an African elephant named A-li (阿里) that he has cared for over the past 39 years.
Chang was 23 when first started caring for the then-five-year-old female elephant, zoo director Chuang Hsuan-chih (莊絢智) said.
“The man and the elephant share a profound rapport,” Chuang said.
Now 44, A-li is one of three African elephants in Taiwan and the only one in Shoushan Zoo. The other two are in Taipei Zoo.
Shoushan Zoo officials are concerned that Chang’s retirement could depress A-li and they have been familiarizing the elephant with her new caretaker over the past three years, Chuang said.
Captive elephants can become attached to their human caretakers a
MAZPA Wants Zoo Employees To Improve Animal Handling Skills
The Malaysian Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria (MAZPA) wants zoo employees to get training and improve animal handling skills so that the animals are well cared for besides avoiding persecution and bringing harm to the caregivers.
Its chairman, Dr Kelvin Lazarus said the training included nutritional aspects, zoo management, animal handling and appropriate environment.
The training could improve their level of competence and understanding of proper methods of handling animals and wildlife which was necessary to avoid any risks to either the handler or the animal itself.
“The welfare of animals is a matter of priority, so one of the most important means is to ensure that animal handlers receive adequate and appropriate training, MAZPA assists and fully supports this endeavour,” he told a press conference here, today.
Earlier, he officiated the 10-day MAZPA Field Work Course here beginning today to train and improve the quality of professional services in the industry jointly organised by the Melaka Zoo and Night Safari.
Fifty participants from zoos in the country, and
Flamingo Land CEO Gordon Gibb on wild animals, wilder rides and a new resort in Scotland
Though many come for its rides, Flamingo Land also boasts what is technically the country’s second most-visited zoo, behind Chester but ahead of ZSL London Zoo.
“The animal collection is my passion,” says Gibb. “It’s more rewarding than any of the commercial success we have had and complements the theme park well. There are no queues, no height restrictions, no reason to split the family group up. The zoo offers a welcome gear change to the visitor experience.”
Setting Zoos in Motion: A Conversation with Anne Baker, Retired Director of the Rosamond Gifford and Toledo Zoos
Dr. Anne Baker served as Director of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse from 1993 to 2006 and Executive Director/CEO of the Toledo Zoo from 2006 to 2012. Renowned for her excellent leadership, commitment to animal science and sensitive, thoughtful management of staff, she served as the first female president of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in over fifty years. Baker helped elevate the stature of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo and brought profound cultural change while at the Toledo Zoo. Since retiring in 2012, she has served as Executive Director of Amphibian Ark. Here is her story.
Chicago Zoological Society Takes Lead on Multi-Institutional Cetacean Study
The Chicago Zoological Society (CZS), which manages Brookfield Zoo, is taking the lead in the largest-ever, multi-institutional study of how physical habitat, environmental enrichment, and animal training impact the welfare of cetaceans in zoos and aquariums worldwide. This study will take place across 44 accredited facilities in seven countries where scientists will gather data regarding approximately 290 common and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, 20 beluga whales, and eight Pacific white-sided dolphins.
Asia’s appetite for Africa’s animals causes concern
An unquenched Asian taste for wine and herbal medicine laced with extracts of wild animals is driving poaching of rare species in Uganda and across Africa, conservationists have said.
Thousands of animals have been stolen and exported to China, Indonesia and Philippines for use in traditional medicines in recent years.
“For example in South Africa, people export lion bones to China, where they use them as Chinese traditional medicine. Africa is losing lions to Chinese industries which make wine mixed with lion bone powder,” Edith Kabesiime, the wildlife campaign manager for Africa from World Animal Protection (WAP), told The Observer.
“These industries crush lion bones into fine powder and mix it in wine to make people feel tough like a lion after taking it,” she said.
She said, a few years ago, the Chinese used extracts from Asian tigers, but when animals dwindled, a ban on the use of tiger bones was enforced.
“In South Africa, they legally export lion bones to Asia. Part of our campaign will focus on convincing the South African government to put a hold on exportation of lion bones to Asia since China has put a ban on use of their tigers. Why are they using our lions? It will be a problem in future when all of them have been destroyed,” she sai
Saudi Wildlife Authority: Vulture population threatened by human impact
Scientific studies by researchers from the Saudi Wildlife Authority (SWA) show that a huge number of vulture deaths are a result of poisoning, which will eventually threaten the wildlife ecological balance.
In a study on how vultures are facing threats, Dr. Mohammed Shobrak from the SWA in Taif said that vultures were one of the most threatened families of birds in the world and their decline had been shockingly rapid.
Some species in Africa and the Indian subcontinent have declined by more than 95 percent in the past few decades, a rate faster than that of the passenger pigeon or the dodo.
The biggest driver of these declines is human impact, either by poisoning (intentional or otherwise) or from maltreatment. As a result many Old World, vultures are now critically endangered, meaning they are at risk of beco
Wasted Millions of Animal Rights Group Exposed
This is a re-post of an article by the Animal Activist Watch – be aware NOT to DONATE your hard earned money to organisations that use emotions to solicit funds for their own gain.
Hollywood’s famous Sunset Boulevard is the focal point of a new hard-hitting campaign which exposes how PETA is raking in millions but brutally killing thousands of pets in the name of animal rights.
A giant billboard on the iconic route depicts a cartoon of the Grim Reaper wielding a scythe and looming over defenceless puppies accompanied by the wording: “72% kill rate for pets.”
More than two million motorists and pedestrians will see the graphic image which exposes PETA’s hypocrisy over the holiday season and New Year.
The billboard is a stark reference to PETA’s appalling record for putting to sleep stray and rescued animals because it believes animals should not to be kept as pets.
The portrayal of PETA as the Grim Reaper and not Guardian Angel in the home of the world’s biggest stars is a bitter blow to PETA which openly courts celebrities to further its aims.
It was erected by AnimalActivistWatch.com, a new team of
Why Chinese demand for ‘red ivory’ dooms helmeted hornbill bird to extinction unless poaching can be stopped
The international trade in illegal wildlife parts has another victim. Over the past five years, there has been an explosion in demand for the “red ivory” of an Asian bird – the helmeted hornbill.
Helmeted hornbill products sell for three to five times the price of elephant ivory. Their value has triggered a boom in poaching, sending the bird plunging towards extinction. Although it has been listed in Appendix 1 of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species in Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) since the 1970s – which means the trade is illegal – the helmeted hornbill is much sought after on the black market, and Post Magazine has discovered that Hong Kong plays a key role in the unfolding tragedy.
The helmeted hornbill lives in remnant pockets of lowland rainforest in Indonesia, Malaysia, southern Thailand and the sou
Why We Should Rethink How We Talk About “Alien” Species
The USDA’s “tick riders,” as they are called, are tasked with keeping infected cattle from straying deeper into Texas, where the deadly fever poses a serious threat to the beef industry. Whenever they find a stray or infected cow, they track it down and dip it in pesticide to kill the ticks and prevent them from spreading. Yet despite their best efforts, the tick riders’ challenge has recently increased, as more and more of the hardy ticks find their way across the border.
A large part of the problem is that cattle fever ticks also have another host: Nilgai antelope, a species native to India that was imported to North America in the 1930s as an exotic target for game hunters. These antelope, like the ticks themselves, and the pathogen
Five penguins set up home on Felixstowe beach
A group of penguins has set up home on Felixstowe beach, the first to ever settle naturally in the UK, it has emerged.
The five Magellanic penguins – all adults and apparently healthy – have been spotted over recent days on the pebbled beach close to the Spa Pavilion.
Experts say the flightless seabirds normally live in South America, and they are curious about how they came to be splashing around on the Suffolk coast.
It is likely they hitched a ride on a container ship from the Falkland Islands to Felixstowe Port, which arrived last week – and liked it so much they decided to stick around.
“From the photographs we have seen, the group seem healthy and happy enough,” said zoologist William Spence, from Cambridge University.
He added: “It’s certainly nice and cold at the moment, so they are quite at home in the conditions, and are likely to be finding ple
Don’t Believe the Hype: Giant Pandas Are Still Endangered
In September 2016 the International Union for the Conservation of Nature made a huge announcement: the giant panda, previously listed as an endangered species, had been downgraded from endangered to vulnerable. This news, covered by media around the world, was based in part on 2015 data presented by the Chinese State Forestry Administration that panda populations had risen to an estimated 1,864 wild individuals. While this action was lauded as an example of bringing a conservation icon back from the brink of extinction, we argue that the downlisting was premature and ill-advised.
Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) now occupy only small fragments of their historic range, fragments left in the wake of human population expansion, attendant land-use change and road construction. Other threats include natural disasters such as earthquakes and landslides and ongoing climatic change, which is shifting the range of pandas’ preferred bamboo species, accelerating the flowering and aging of bamboo and simultaneously enhancing outbreaks of herbivoro
Leopard escapes from private zoo in Cornwall and 'lives in a barn'
A leopard escaped from a private zoo in Cornwall just after Christmas, police have confirmed.
The animal was recaptured following reports that sheep had been killed in the area.
Cornwall Live reports that the wild cat, which is usually kept at a private property in Great Treverran, near Par, ran off in late December.
A "weather incident" is reported to have been blamed for its vanishing act.
The clouded leopard is apparently kept as part of a private collection also including other interesting animals.
The 'private zoo' in Cornwall that a leopard has escaped from
This is the enclosure on a Cornwall estate where neighbours claims leopards and flamingos are living at a man's 'private zoo'.
Parents in the area say they are scared for their children's safety after one of the leopards escaped last month - and apparently began living in a barn on a farm a mile away.
The authorities have confirmed the animals are being kept properly, with all the correct licenses in place.
Neighbours named Todd Dalton, who famously won a legal battle to keep meat-eating animals in his London garden 12 years ago, as the man who keeps the animals.
Police confirmed the escaped leopard was recaptured after vanishing from Great Treverran, near Par, on Boxing Day.
‘Not your typical zoo’
When does a “pet lover” commit animal cruelty? When they start to think it is “cool” to buy nondomesticated wildlife for a pet, keep them in a cage or tie them to a tree with a chain, or worse, dispose of them later on.
So-called hobbyists, or lovers of special pets, risk being slapped with fines or jail time for violation of Republic Act 9147, or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, especially if their pets, most probably undocumented wildlife, sustained serious injuries.
RSPCA ends probe at 'improved' South Lakes Safari Zoo
The RSPCA has closed an investigation into a troubled zoo where hundreds of animals and a keeper died.
In 2013, keeper Sarah McClay was killed by a tiger at South Lakes Safari Zoo and last year a council report revealed 486 animals had died in four years.
In a statement the charity said its decision was based on changes to the zoo's management and better conditions.
The Zoo's website said it had "made changes" for the better and continued to improve.
Inside the cruel world of illegal chimp trading: How apes are stolen to order, crammed into crates then smuggled across the world to satisfy the whims of the ignorant and wealthy
The crate flown in from Istanbul was filled with exotic creatures for collectors: tantalus and patas monkeys, golden and ring-necked pheasants, scores of parrots and several dozen pigeons.
The cargo quickly cleared customs and quarantine checks –thanks to a £4,400 bribe, say investigators – and was collected by a pair of local bird dealers in Kathmandu.
Little did they know they were being observed by a special squad of Nepalese police investigating a major international wildlife smuggling ring.
For also inside the crate – stuffed into a secretive middle section – were two infant chimpanzees, cowering in fear after being ripped from their slaughtered families in an African forest.
The traumatised animals had been transported thousands of miles from their native lands and were at risk of dying of suffocation. They could barely be detected hidden among the more humdrum birds and monkeys.
For these terrified chimps, barely a year old, suffering severe dehydration and shedding body weight inside their grim
Plans for renowned bird conservation centre revealed
Plans for a world-renowned conservation and breeding centre for endangered birds have been revealed.
Birds Gardens Scotland has submitted proposals for a 200 square foot visitor centre made from straw and lime morter at its site in Oxton, near Lauder.,
The building - which is part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Scottish Borders LEADER 2014 – 2020 Programme and Scottish & Southern Energy - will provide a classroom, conference facilities, a resource area, library, coffee shop, and outdoor play area.
African Lions: Born Free? No, Born Captive to Be Killed
South African lion farmer Tienie Bamberger could not escape the blow to business from America’s ban on hunters importing trophies from captive lions. “The effect of the ban showed immediately, of course, from the moment the first hunter canceled a hunt,” says Bamberger, who runs Warthog Safaris. “I would say that roughly 80 percent of my clients were Americans, at least of those hunters coming to hunt lions.”
Bamberge says the number of foreigners booking lion hunts drastically declined and the business “shrank significantly” as many of his American clients—who make up 80 percent of his business—stayed away.
“It’s just our American clients, many of whom have become cherished friends, who are denied the opportunity to stalk and hunt the apex predator of the African continent,” says Bamberger.
But the hunting world is fraught with confusion these days.
In November, Trump reversed an Obama-era ban on Americans importing elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. A barrage of criticism followed and the Trump boys’ own dabbling in trophy hunting came under the spotlight, with critics, including celebrities, recirculating photos of the president’s sons posing with elephant and leopard
Barrow MP wins support for life-time ban on failed zoo directors
BARROW and Furness MP, John Woodcock, has today (January 10) taken part in a first meeting of a new inquiry into deaths and cruelty in zoos.
John joined Labour’s backbench animal welfare committee to launch a review into how zoos are regulated and inspected following severe shortcomings in inspection practices exposed by the tragedies at South Lakeland Safari Zoo and other establishments across the country.
At the first session of the inquiry, MPs heard evidence from campaigners pushing to create a new national office for zoo welfare to replace the regulatory system which is currently managed by individual local authorities like Barrow council.
The inquiry will also consider the prospect of imposing a lifetime ban on individuals who held senior management positions in regimes that allow cruelty and neglect to occur. Currently, only the named license holder faces future restrictions if a zoo is found to be failing in its animal welfare and safety obligations.
Following today's meeting, Mr Woodcock said a strong case had been made for
In defence of zoos
Oftentimes, zoos and aquariums are perceived as businesses that capture and exploit animals for personal gain. But if you look closer into the actions taken by these institutions, you will find that zoos and aquariums can be extremely beneficial in their conservation efforts and public education, as well as providing excellent care to their animals.
First of all, it should be emphasized that not all zoos are created equal. Yes, there are zoos that have very little credibility and low standards of animal care. But these aren’t the zoos I’m focusing on right now. The institutions that I’m talking about are the 214 zoos and aquariums across the United States that have an accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. This accreditation means that the institution provides top quality animal care, emphasizes education, and funds conservation and research efforts to benefit wild species.
When you walk into a zoo or aquarium, a large percentage of the animals you see can’t be released into the wild. Whether it be that they were born under human care, imprinted on humans, have injuries or don’t have the necessary survival skills to succeed in the wild, they are deemed by the federal government as non-releasable. They
Primate Problem Solving and Reintroduction: A Conversation with Dr. Ben Beck, Retired Associate Director and General Curator of the Smithsonian National Zoo
For decades, Dr. Benjamin Beck has been one of the leading authorities on animal behavior in zoos, particularly of primates. “Animal behavior research produces fundamental understanding of, for example, feeding behavior and of social systems and social behavior,” he stated. “Two examples in the social realm come to mind. In the 60s and early 70s, golden lion tamarins were kept in zoos like macaques, in multimale/multifemale groups. The results were disastrous: fighting, lethal wounding and poor reproductive success. Devra Kleiman discovered that golden lion tamarins were monogamous and should be kept as adult pairs and their offspring. When implemented, this insight led to a rapid growth in the zoo population, which of course provided individuals for the later golden lion tamarin reintroduction to Brazil, one of the finest examples of zoo conservation efforts.”
Captive orca Lolita can stay at Miami aquarium: U.S. appeals court
By a 3-0 vote, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Miami rejected claims by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and others that keeping Lolita in captivity violated the federal Endangered Species Act.
“The evidence, construed in the light most favorable to PETA, does not support the conclusion that the conditions of her captivity pose a threat of serious harm to Lolita,” the court said.
Friday’s decision upheld a lower court ruling. The lawsuit began in July 2015, two months after the National Marine Fisheries Service recognized wha
Swedish zoo kills nine healthy lion cubs over six years
A zoo in Sweden has put down nine healthy lion cubs since 2012 because they could not afford to keep them.
Borås Djurpark resorts to the controversial practice if the animals cannot be moved to other zoos or if they are rejected by their group.
The zoo’s CEO Bo Kjellson told Swedish broadcaster SVT: “I think they were killed after two years."
“At that time we had tried to sell or relocate them to other zoos for a long time but unfortunately there were no zoos that could receive them, and when the aggressions became too big in the group we had to remove some animals. And then it had to be them.”
Of the thirteen cubs born in three litters at the zoo since 2012, only two have survived. Two of them died of natural causes, but the rest were put down.
Borås Zoo was founded in 1962. It looks after 600 an
New hope for critically endangered Myanmar snub-nosed monkey
Scientists and conservation teams from Fauna & Flora International (FFI), Dali University and the German Primate Center just published a comprehensive conservation status review of one of the world's most threatened primate species, the critically endangered Myanmar snub-nosed monkey (also known affectionately as the 'snubby' by scientists, and as the black snub-nosed monkey in China), Rhinopithecus strykeri.
The species was discovered in Myanmar in 2010 by Ngwe Lwin, a local scientist working for FFI. The following year, scientists in China confirmed that these primates are also found in the neighbouring forests of Yunnan province. In 2012, research by FFI and partners led to the species being formally designated as critically endangered due to its small population size and threats from hunting and habitat loss.
Eight years after its discovery, the conservation status review sought to uncover how the species is faring. The report confirms that while the status of the snub-nosed monkey remains critical due to its fragmented, small population and ongoing threats, positive actions by communities,
The latest on the fight to save Sumatran rhino Iman
In the Asia Pacific, the news continues to be grim on the island of Borneo, where experts from one country’s wildlife department are desperately trying to save the life of an extraordinarily rare, critically endangered animal – one of only nine in captivity anywhere in the world; we’ve followed her story for weeks and have an update.
In Malaysian Borneo, since mid-December, wildlife officials have struggled to save the life of Iman the Sumatran Rhino. Iman is one of two of the critically endangered animals living at a wildlife reserve under the care of the nonprofit Borneo Rhino Alliance and Malaysia’s Sabah Wildlife Department. Captured in the wild in 2014, she has suffered from medical complications relating to a uterine tumor. The tumor burst, causing heavy bleeding from her uterus starting December 14. Iman initially refused to come into her indoor night quarters, remaining in her preferred space, a mud wallow, where she refused food and treatment for da
ARTIS Griffon vultures return to the wild
Today two young griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) from ARTIS will be sent to Sardinia where they will be released into the wild later this year. The birds hatched in ARTIS in April and May of last year. One of the chicks was raised by a pair of male griffon vultures. The other griffon vulture is the offspring of two vultures in Spain that were wounded in the wild and subsequently housed in ARTIS after their initi
LAWSUIT SEEKS TO UNCOVER WHY GOVERNMENT IS ALLOWING SEAWORLD TO HIDE ORCA NECROPSIES
The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) filed a lawsuit this week against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) related to the agencies’ refusal to enforce requirements for SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment (SeaWorld) to submit necropsy results of three SeaWorld orcas who died last year.
Specifically, AWI is suing NOAA/NMFS for failing to respond to its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents on the agencies’ decision. The agencies claim that an obligation under pre-1994 public display permits to provide necropsy results and clinical histories (complete veterinary records) is no longer in effect due to 1994 changes in the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), but have offered no legal justification for the claim.
The three deceased whales (Tilikum, who was featured in the documentary Blackfish; Kyara, Tilikum’s granddaughter, who was just 3 months old at the time of her death; and Kasatka, who, along with Tilikum, was one of the last remaining wild-caught whales at SeaWorld) were the subject of MMPA public display permits issued prior to 199
China's ban on ivory trade comes into force
China has long been one of the world's biggest markets for ivory, but as of 2018 all trade in ivory and ivory products in the country is illegal.
The move is being hailed as a major development in efforts to protect the world's elephant population.
Wildlife campaigners believe 30,000 African elephants are killed by poachers every year.
State media said there had already been a 65% decline in the price of raw ivory over the past year.
There had also been an 80% decline in seizure
Cumbria Zoo Company faces being 'struck off' by Companies House
THE company behind Dalton zoo faces being struck off after bosses failed to submit legal documents on time.
A compulsory strike off notice has been issued against Cumbria Zoo Company Limited after the firm failed to submit its confirmation statement by the deadline of October 25 of last year.
Documents registered with Companies House also reveal three directors of the private limited company - Yasmin Walker, Katherine Black and Jayne Birkett, have all resigned from their positions in the last three months.
Five directors remain - Kim Banks, majority-shareholder and chief executive Karen Brewer, Anna Gillard, Stewart Lambert and Adam Steel.
Chief executive Karen Brewer said t
The Answer On Your Animals Failure
Working in the position I have today at Kolmårdens Zoo I visit every department once a week to help with their behavioural challenges. The departments we have are, Kolosseum, Apehouse, South Amerika, Birds of Prey, Carnivore, Hoofstock, Marine World and the Petting Zoo. Quite some departments to talk about many different topics. All departments have their own level of growth in the animal training topic. All with their own ideas and achievements.
At the kolosseum they use more and more choice and control with their elephants. While at the birds of prey department they get creative with recalls and stations. Slowly together we change the way we work with our animals. But there is one thing all departments have in common… communication issues!
Many challenges we have are based on poor communication. If we narrow down the unwanted behaviour an animal shows 9 out of 10 times somebody in the team has been reinforcing it one way or another and didn’t communicate this to the team. Could
10 Worst Zoos for Elephants 2017
2017 was a landmark year of progress for captive elephants in North America. The infamous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus called it quits, Illinois and New York State passed prohibitions on the use of elephants for entertainment, and New York City banned the use of all wild animals in circuses. In the U.S. and Canada, more than 100 jurisdictions now have partial or full bans on wild animals used in performances. At least 44 zoos around the world have closed their elephant exhibitions, including 29 in the U.S. And now, the first ever lawsuit on behalf of captive elephants has been filed, arguing for their legal personhood. Globally, over 40 countries have legislated against the use of wild animals in circuses and similar forms of entertainment.
Perceptions about elephants, and the times, are truly changing. But while public awareness of the cruelty of exhibiting elephants for entertainment is increasing, elephants in zoos are suffering under the radar. Most zoos are trying to cling to respectability by misleading the public with conservation lies. Zoo tickets fund a c
Study examines obesity and reproductive status of zoo elephants
With low birth rates, the sustainability of a zoo African elephant population is in question. A new study from University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers reveals that there is no relationship between how fat a zoo African elephant is and her reproductive cycling status.
While obesity has been linked to abnormal ovarian cycles in other large mammals, the new findings suggest there is not an association between body fat and reproductive cycling in zoo elephants.
Daniella Chusyd, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, recently published new research in Obesity highlighting data she and her team collected from zoo African elephants. Chusyd and colleagues quantified, for the first time, total fat mass in African elephants. Rather than a direct measure of
Former Zoo employee files lawsuit, says CEO called women ‘hens’
It might not be unusual at a zoo to talk about a cat fight or even hens.
But this complaint filed by a former employee claims the zoo CEO wasn't talking about animals when he used those words.
"When you look at the complaint the things you see, there does appear to be some animosity between both parties," said attorney Claiborne Ferguson.
Ferguson, who is not involved in the gender discrimination lawsuit filed by former Memphis Zoo employee Dr. Kimberly Terrell, said these kinds of lawsuits can be hard to prove.
Terrell even tweeted about her lawsuit filed in federal court last month. The tweet featured a photo of Memphis Zoo CEO Chuck Brady the man she says discriminated and retaliated against her.
A conservation biologist, Terrell was hired by the Zoo in August 2015 as Director of Research and Conservation.
In the complaint, Terrell said she
Saving Tigers: A Conversation with Dr. Tara Harris, Vice President for Conservation at the Minnesota Zoo
The Minnesota Zoo has long been known in the zoo field for its immense conservation work with tigers. In fact, it is where the Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP) was started. Today, the SSP is run by Dr. Tarra Harris, the Minnesota Zoo’s Vice President for Conservation. She started the Tiger SSP’s Tiger Conservation Campaign to raise awareness for the plight of the felines and funding for on-the-ground projects to save them. Additionally, Harris has increased the zoo’s involvement in the conservation of native Minnesota species. This is her story.
The case for (and against) the tiger living on LSU’s campus
Visitors unfamiliar with a Louisiana icon are often shocked to hear there’s a gargantuan cat roaming just outside the Louisiana State University student parking lot. But supporters (and most locals, it seems) view the presence of Mike the Tiger not as nefarious captivity, but rather a charitable model for endangered species conservation.
Over the years, the university has sparked debate for declining to name any of its buildings after Civil War Union General William T. Sherman, the first head of the school. But newer questions have arisen over its feline mascot. Since 1937, seven Bengal tigers, all so far named “Mike,” have inhabited a sanctuary just yards between the school's football stadium and basketball stadium.
Coral is Dying Globally. But We Can Save Some Reefs From Total Destruction.
At the current restoration rate, it would take 550 years to remove the Staghorn coral, which peppers the coasts of Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean Islands and the Great Barrier Reef, from the list of endangered species. “What we are trying to achieve is to dramatically scale up restoration if we are going to get anywhere,” Scott Graves, director of the Florida Aquarium’s Center for Conservation, told Futurism.
To do so, the team is importing a technique developed in the U.K. by Jamie Craggs, a researcher at the Horniman Museum in London, who has been studying how to artificially boost the natural spawning cycle of corals by reproducing specific climatic conditions in the lab. Corals naturally reproduce once a year when a fine balance of water temperature, lunar cycle and
Woburn Safari Park fire: Thirteen patas monkeys killed
Thirteen monkeys have died in a fire at Woburn Safari Park.
The roof of the patas monkey house, within the African Forest drive-through enclosure, collapsed as a result of the blaze.
Fire crews arrived at 02:37 GMT to find the outbuilding "well alight", and spent two hours extinguishing the flames.
"Devastatingly", the park said, none of the animals could be saved despite the efforts of staff and crews.
In a statement, the park said all the ot
PETA calls for ban on caged animals following Woburn Safari Park blaze
A leading charity has reiterated its call for a ban on animals being kept in cages following this morning’s fire at Woburn Safari Park, which killed 13 monkeys. PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation, is a UK-based charity dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals. It made the call following the blaze which broke out in the patas monkey house in the the park’s African Forest drive-through area. PETA director Elisa Allen said: “The second fatal British zoo fire in two weeks shows that caging animals results in
EAZA Group on Zoo Animal Contraception
We are the EAZA Group on Zoo Animal Contraception, a group formed to gather knowledge on the use of contraception in captive wildlife within Europe.
We are an active part of the European zoo community, producing contraceptive guidelines for individual institutions, as well as working with breeding programme coordinators and studbook keepers.
What is animal contraception?
Prior to the introduction of contraception, zoos had three main options when it came to managing populations: separate males and females, struggle to care for animals exceeding available resources, transfer animals to new institutions, or in some cases, cull unwanted young. The advancements of contraception now provide another tool for the management of captive populations as well as a baseline for managing free-living wildlife.
Contraception allows animal managers to maintain sustainable population numbers while minimizing inbreeding within family groups. They can be applied therapeutically, preventing certain behaviours such as excessive egg laying or feather plucking in birds. In primates, contraception can also be used to mediate undesirable sexual behaviours and to manage escalated aggression in large social groups.
Animal contraception is not only used in zoos, but has also been applied in animals in reserves and in the wild. For exmaple in managing aggression in bull elephants going th
A Human, Welfare Case!
With the last days of the year in my mind something popped up what I wanted to share through my blog. I’ve been talking with my brother and other close friends about this particular thought what I find very interesting. At the moment im with my family in Malmedy. A nice village in the Ardenne of Belgium close to the German border with beautiful nature and stunning views. Yesterday I did a 15km hike in the hills of the Ardenne what was beautiful on its own. Not just the walk, the nature and the fresh air but also the company that I had. I was just with my brother. We walked for around 4 to 5 hours so plenty to talk about.
Both of us find psychological motivation very interesting, him in people and sales and me with animals. We came to a point that every book we read every piece of knowledge we try to gather to extend our knowledge is not completely based on facts. Many are thoughts based on test done on an x amount of people or animals. This gives me the focus of what if you fall outside the general audience that does not respond too a typical way being tested in the psychological books. We came to a point in our talk that we both agreed in that people want to have an answer on anything. Of course, it’s understandable, but is it? I mean why do we want to know everything all the time? You know what wanting to know everything is actually ok but accepting that we can’t know or do everything is the main issue we humans have developed. Same is accountable for the degree of agree to disagree but this might be a topic for another day.
Polar bear cub in Berlin Tierpark zoo dies after 26 days
Officials at Berlin's Tierpark zoo said that the young polar bear, which was born in December, was found dead when the zoo re-opened on Tuesday.
The cub had appeared to be healthy when it was last seen with its mother on New Year's Eve and appeared to have died of natural causes, the zoo said.
The zoo in the German capital had been closed between New Year's Eve on Sunday and Tuesday.
Born to an eight-year-old polar bear called Tonja, the cub had not yet been named and was only 26 days old when it died.
The zoo said in a statement that staff found the cub's lifeless body on a surveillance camera when they ch
A view on the new zoo
When news broke last month that Thailand's oldest zoo, Dusit Zoo, will be relocated from its present location in inner Bangkok to a new home in Pathum Thani province, it sent shock waves through the hearts...
The Landscape and Biodiversity of the American Southwest: A Conversation with Craig Ivanyi, Executive Director of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Since 2010, Craig Ivanyi has been Director of the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, a zoo that focuses exclusively on animals from the Sonoran Desert region. However, it is much more than a zoo and represents the region in a holistic way. “The blessing and curse of the Desert Museum is that it’s a combination of many things- zoo, aquarium, art museum, aquatic arena, botanical garden, natural history museum and research institute,” Ivanyi remarked. The Desert Museum is one of the most well-respected zoological institutions in the world and Ivanyi has kept it cutting edge and innovative. Here is his story.
Panther rips out man’s throat in private Moscow zoo
A man, said to be an animal keeper, fell victim to a horrific attack in a private Moscow zoo, as a panther ripped his throat open and escaped from its cage. The owner of the predator has reportedly refused to euthanize it.
The attack took place in a village near Istra in Moscow on Tuesday, the Russian Investigative Committee said. The man’s body was found with deep wounds in a cage where wild animals were being kept.
Cheetah gives birth to record-making litter at Saint Louis Zoo
The Saint Louis Zoo announced Wednesday that a cheetah named Bingwa gave birth to a litter of eight cubs — twice the size of an average litter — on Nov. 26.
The first few months of a cheetah cub’s life is critical, according to a release from zoo officials. Bingwa, who is four years old, and all eight of her cubs have been closely monitored and are all reported to be healthy.
German activists to sue Attica zoo over dolphin display
A German animal rights group said on Wednesday that it plans to file a lawsuit against the Attica Zoological Park in Spata, east of Athens, over its alleged “criminal” treatment of dolphins.
ProWal’s managing director, Andreas Morlok, said on the group’s Facebook page that the dolphins are forced to perform unnatural acts like jumping over cement walls outside their pool, while their accommodation facilities are lacking.
The privately-owned zoo issued a statement dismissing the claims made by Morlok and accused him of “systematic misinformation.”
It said that the aim of ProWal, “
Omaha zoo scientist works to save the black-footed cat, one of the world's smallest felines
An Omaha zoo scientist is among a dozen or so in the world striving to protect one of Earth’s smallest cats.
You won’t find these scrappy, 4-pound kitties emblazoning conservation posters, like an elephant or a lion. You won’t even see them on display — the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium moved the species from its home near Red Barn Park to an off-exhibit space in the Desert Dome years ago.
Only about 45 of these cats are in American zoos, and only 15 females are considered quality candidates for breeding. The captive population has suffered from a high incidence of kidney disease, and the wild population is declining, now classified as “vulnerable,” one step closer to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s “endangered” designation.
In the fight against extinction, the black-footed cat goes relatively unnoticed. But Dr. Jason Herrick, th
Why I pity Britain’s latest polar bear cub to be born in captivity
icture the scene. Every weekday, between 9am and sunset or 7pm, whichever is the earlier, people stand in solid blocks. More often than not, they seem to be staring at nothing. Then somebody shouts, “She’s getting up!” The throng presses forward. “And there’s the baby!” Whereupon one hears that curious, thin shriek that also happens when the bride appears at a film star’s wedding.
First polar bear cub born in the UK for 25 years at Scottish park
This could well become reality in a couple of months when a fluffy white child star makes their public debut at the Highland Wildlife Park. But it’s actually the Observer’s 1950 report of the crowds that thronged for Brumas, the first baby polar bear successfully reared in Britain. Brumas inspired such passion that London Zoo’s annual attendance rose from one million to three million. Celebrated in books, postcards and toys, she died aged just nine, about half the average life expectancy in the wild.
If the currently nameless cub tucked in its private den in Scotland could open its gorgeous dark eyes, it might want to look away now: the life of an extravagantly adored baby polar bear is unlikely to be l
The Pride of Chicago: A Conversation with Kevin Bell, President and CEO of the Lincoln Park Zoo
For the past twenty five years, Kevin Bell has served as President and CEO of the Lincoln Park Zoo, a 35-acre free zoo located in urban Chicago. Bell's vision and leadership has been credited with revitalizing the zoo and making it a leader in research, animal welfare, education and conservation. He has also been a leader in the broader zoo profession by serving as Chair of the Board of the Directors of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and on the Council for the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Here is his story.
Man climbs into lions’ den, lives to tell about it
Indore resident Kailash Verma's resolve to carry out a "divine command" led to high drama in Indore zoo on Thursday afternoon. The 38-year-old got into the lions' den "to teach them a lesson" — and came out without a scratch.
But for the macabre possibility of what-could-have-been, Verma's day turned out to be bizarre, even clownish — but a heart-stopping one for zoo staff. He leisurely munched on snacks in the lion den as foresters chewed their nails in agony.
Verma, who lives in Veer Sawarkar Nagar, arrived at Kamla Nehru
Elephant calves exported from Zimbabwe as China bans ivory trade
China is reportedly importing more than 30 wild-caught elephant calves from Zimbabwe following its decision to ban the sale of ivory.
According to a Zimbabwean government official who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, 31 wild elephants recently captured in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe have been air-freighted abroad.
The shipment was confirmed by the Zimbabwean Conservation Task Force.
The official said the elephants are between the ages of 3 and 6, adding that two of them were particularly fragile.
“One female calf is struggling to stand and has open sores on her body. She has been weak since she was captured.
"Another elephant, noticeably small, is quiet and reserved. When approached by other elephants, she moves away. She is suffering from trauma and is possibly being bullied,” the official said.
The elephants were captured from Hwange on August 8 and footage of the operation was secretly released to
Environmental crusaders risk their lives to save Philippine paradise
ata gives hand signals for his men to drop to the rainforest floor as the searing whine of a chainsaw fades, their mission to save a critically endangered piece of paradise in the Philippines suddenly on hold.
Former paramilitary leader Efren “Tata” Balladares has been leading the other flip flop-wearing environmental crusaders up and down the steep mountains of Palawan island for the past 15 hours in the hunt for illegal loggers.
One of them is nursing a swollen left arm that was broken a few days earlier when he fell during a reconnaissance trip. He has yet to see a doctor and it is just wrapped in a bandage.
Having slept overnight for just 30 minutes on a forest track, they should be exhausted from the hike. They could also be forgiven for being frozen with fear: team members have been murdered to stop their operations and others bear scars from the razored teeth of the chainsaws they seek to confiscate.
But with their targets so close, just a shor
A Day in the Life of a Cheetah Conservation Station Keeper
Some of the most endangered species on the planet can be found at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Cheetah Conservation Station. Get a glimpse behind-the-scenes at a day in the life of keepers who work with animals, ranging from the graceful dama gazelle to the speedy cheetah, from assistant curator Gil Myers.
Fears captive breeding hastening extinction of western ground parrot
Plans to save a critically endangered parrot from extinction are under scrutiny following the revelation that most birds caught in the wild for a captive-breeding program are dying in aviaries.
Eight of 12 western ground parrots captured in Cape Arid National Park in Western Australia for the program have died.
Attempts to breed the species in aviaries at Perth Zoo have failed, with no successful hatchings over four nesting seasons.
Captive-breeding programs are a key strategy to try to bring endangered species in Australia back from the brink of extinction. Birds are caught with the intention of breeding them in aviaries so offspring can be liberated to boost wild populations.
The fate of the Perth Zoo program and failed attempts to rejuvenate another endangered species — the orange-bellied parrot in Tasmania — have cast a shadow over the plans, with indications that in some cases captive-breeding may be hastening instead of preventing extinction.
Just 140 western ground parrots survive in the wild. Almost 10 per cent of the population has been caught in nets for the Perth Zoo program, which began in 2014. Six of the eight dead parrots succumbed to respiratory infections. One died of injuries sustained during capture and another was e
For bonobos, it pays to have powerful allies
Never trust anyone who is rude to a waiter, advice columnists say. For most people, acting nasty is a big turnoff.
But while humans generally prefer individuals who are nice to others, a Duke University study finds bonobos are more attracted to jerks.
The researchers were surprised by the findings because these African apes—our closest relatives in the animal kingdom along with chimpanzees—have been shown to be less aggressive than chimps.
The results support the idea that a tendency to avoid individuals who mistreat others is one of the things that make humans different from other species.
Even infants as young as three months old show an ability to distinguish nice guys from creeps, and prefer interacting with people they see helping others over those who are mean, previous studies show.
To find out if our closest relatives share the same social bias, Duke's Brian Hare, an associate professor of evolutionary anthropology, and doctoral student Christopher Krupenye studied adult bonobos at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In one series of trials, they showed 24 bonobos animated videos of a Pac-Man-like shape as it struggles to climb a hill. Then another cartoon shape enters the scene. Sometimes it's a helpful ch
Southern Africa rhino breeding programme roll-out takes off
The South Africa-based world biggest rhino breeder, Mr John Hume has partnered with a local NGO to implement a Southern Africa Community Rhino Breeding Programme aimed reducing the rhino poaching crisis in the region, working together with Southern African governments and private rhino breeders.
Currently, Southern African rural communities; settled next to national parks and game reserves suffer costs from wildlife human-wildlife conflict with no benefits from rhinos and are inclined to collaborate with poachers to get ‘benefits’ from the rhino.
Therefore, the decision to roll-out the Southern African Community Rhino Breeding Programme is aimed at increasing the rhino population and in the process, create opportunities for rural communities to benefit from rhinos and then stop collaborating with poachers.
This month, the Southern Africa Community Rhino Breeding Programme, the South Africa-based True Green Alliance held a meeting with Mr Hume in which they agreed on a commonly shared approach to introduce the Southern Africa Community Rhino Breeding Programme.
Most rural communities earn their living from cattle farming. The white rhino lives off similar veld as do cattle and can therefore be kept and bred under the same conditions as their cattle. The rural community members are good cattle producers and can therefore prove to be good rhino keepers as well. Therefore, they can breed rhinos by following the breeding programme set up by Mr Hume that uses many similar principles already used for this style of farming. It is hoped that the Southern African Community Rhino Breeding Programme that involves Mr Hume giving free rhino breeding training to Southern Africa rural communities could change the unwanted status quo; whereby the poor rural communities are currently more inclined to work with poachers to get ‘benefits’ from the rhinos as opposed to working with their governments and environmental NGOs to conserve the rhino. This community-poacher relationship is very harmful to the rhino as poachers give villagers small amounts of money that finish quickly and make the villagers wish that poachers return soon to poach again and give them money and in the process more and more rhinos get poached. This sad reality could potentially come to an end if the Southern Africa Community Rhino Breeding Programme gets successfully implemented.
However, the success of the Programme does not only depend o
Ragunan zoo objects to e-ticketing system
Ragunan Zoo management in South Jakarta has complained about a plan to implement an e-ticketing system supported by the JakOne Card, an e-money mobile app from city-owned Bank DKI.
Ragunan head Dina Himawati has particularly objected to a point that requires the zoo to deposit Rp 20 billion (US$1.49 million) to Bank DKI for the implementation of the system.
"We have no idea how the plan works. The money is deposited to the bank, in our account. We feel like the Rp 20 billion is used for the operation of the card, including for top-up funds," Dina said at the City Council building in Central Jakarta as quoted by kompas.com.
Dina said the money was needed by the zoo, particularly in an emergency when the city administration suffered
The Evolution Into a Modern Zoo: A Conversation with Larry Sorel, Director of the Seneca Park Zoo
Opened in 1894, the Seneca Park Zoo is located in Rochester's Seneca Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. For the last twenty years, the zoo has been directed by Larry Sorel. His immense animal knowledge, leadership and cooperation with Monroe County and the Seneca Park Zoological Society has allowed the zoo to flourish and grow. Currently, the zoo is undergoing a major expansion and renovation that will bring species like giraffes, zebras, gorillas and red pandas to the zoo and new habitats for species like orangutans, white rhinos, snow leopards and lemurs. Here is his story.
SeaWorld CEO slams activists who criticized the company for breeding killer whales in captivity
In 2016, SeaWorld announced it would end its killer-whale-breeding program after years of scrutiny about the theme-park company's treatment of animals. The decision was seen as a necessary refocusing away from SeaWorld's iconic live killer-whale show.
However, according to the CEO, the theme park has the whales necessary to continue a version of what was for decades its most famous attraction. While SeaWorld began phasing it out at some parks in 2016, its "signature killer-whale show" and animal viewings continue at others.
"We will still have the whales for 50 years," CEO Joel Manby said on Monday at the ICR Conference. "They live a long time. This is a decision that is for the immediate. But we get to keep the whales and have the experience yet hav
Gun-Toting Zoo Owners in Showdown With PETA and the Feds Over Baby Tigers
One day in October, Randy Stearns walked out to a Florida campfire, dressed in a fringed leather top like a modern-day Davy Crockett. “Hello, friends, Randy the Tiger Man,” the animal trainer greeted the camera, which was set between a teepee and totem pole out in the woods near his family’s Dade City zoo.
“You can’t believe a damn thing you see on the news,” the 34-year-old declared in the filmed fireside chat posted on Facebook. “Just look at me. I’m the newest Charlie Sheen. Every time you go on, there’s something on about us, the park…”
Then Stearns took aim at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)—a constant topic in The Tiger Man’s online videos. “Kind of like Rambo, they drew first blood,” Stearns said. “We had to go out there, defend ourselves.”
Just two months before, the wannabe Jack Hanna stood guard at the zoo’s gates with a holstered weapon, joining supporters flaunting neon “PETA Kills” T-shirts. They were protesting, and allegedly delaying, a court-ordered inspection of the private, unaccredited zo
New scandal at zoo where escaped lynx was shot and another was accidentally strangled as python ‘freezes to death’ and ‘underfed’ squirrel monkey also dies
It is now believed two further animals, a Burmese python and a squirrel monkey, have died since Lilleth the lynx escaped in November.
Dean and Tracy Tweedy took over the zoo in May 2017 after buying it from Jean and Alan Mumbray for £625,000.
The Mumbrays ran the zoo, then called the Borth Animalarium for 17 years before retiring.
Their son, Mark Cook told the Times the python 'froze to death' and the squirrel money 'died because it wasn't being fed properly'.
Singapore Zoo’s polar bear Inuka celebrates its 27th birthday
A birthday cake made from agar-agar topped with a salmon head made the perfect treat for Singapore Zoo’s resident polar bear Inuka, which celebrated its 27th birthday on Tuesday (Dec 26).
The bear, which is in its 70s in human years, was presented with the novel cake to the delight of around 400 visitors.
What next? Now Brexit apparently ’threatens zoo breeding programmes‘
British zoos are desperate for the government to make a deal with the EU on the issue
Kirsten Pullen, the chief executive of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (Biaza), said animals with shorter life spans such as rare types of rodent could be among the most vulnerable to a cliff-edge departure.
And she said the Government‘s “lack of clarity” about its vision for is “very concerning” and causing a lot of uncertainty for the sector.
Warning of the dangers of no Brexit deal, Miss Pullen said: “It is hard to pinpoint a particular species within our breeding programmes because all of them could potentially be impacted if we suddenly can‘t deal on a European basis, or it‘s much harder to deal on a European basis.”
This could result in zoos having to “re-evaluate” what they can do, she said.
Currently there is effectively free movement of zoo animals across the EU as all member countries sign up to the same high standards of animal health and welfare.
Zoos often give their animals to one another as part of coordinated breeding programmes, so they can find a mate and draw on a bigger gene pool.
Judge denies petition to free elephants from Connecticut zoo
Judge James Bentivegna denied a petition seeking to free three elephants from the Commerford Zoo Tuesday, rejecting the argument that the animals should be granted legal personhood.
The Nonhuman Rights Project filed the lawsuit in November, with the hopes of garnering a writ of habeas corpus for three elephants from the Goshen zoo — Beulah, Karen and Minnie.
The Florida-based group contended that, considering their cognitive abilities and sense of self, the animals should be considered autonomous beings and thus legal persons who cannot be detained under the law.
Its petition included an overview of research into the herbivores’ world view, pointing to a series of abilities possessed by elephants, including the ability to plan, communicate, have an awareness of self and of others, solve problems, understand causation and engage in teaching to pass down knowledge, claiming these as examples of their “complex cognitive abilities sufficient for common law personhood and the common law right to bodily liberty, as a matter of common law liberty, equality, or both under Connecticut common law.”
Bentivegna denied the group’s petition for a writ of habeas, writing that “the c
London Zoo lion family is so inbred that two out three cubs are dying: Pride are all descended from small group of 'founders' that shared the same grandparents
The lions at London Zoo are part of a breeding programme in which 70 per cent of cubs are dying, a study has found.
The lions are all descended from a very small number of ‘founders’ brought over to Europe in the 1990s.
But the ‘extremely high degree of genetic similarity’ of the founders’ offspring is ‘detrimental’ to their health, according to researchers.
Nepal's last known dancing bears rescued
Nepali authorities have rescued the country's last known "dancing bears", officials said on Sunday, ending the medieval tradition of abuse of the beasts for entertainment.
The Himalayan nation banned performing bears back in 1973 but the illegal practice- a traditional occupation for some street performer communities, lingered on in parts of its southern region.
Police and animal charities said they spent more than a year hunting the captors of the sloth bears bef ..
A New Species of Giant Octopus Has Been Hiding in Plain Sight
You wouldn’t think a giant octopus could hide in plain sight for decades. But researchers have now learned that the giant Pacific octopus (GPO)—the largest known octopus on Earth, ranging from California to Alaska to Japan—is actually two species. Now that we’ve been properly introduced to the new “frilled giant octopus,” we’ll need to learn more about it to ensure its survival.
This discovery isn’t a total surprise. Scientists have suspected for decades that giant Pacific octopus might be an “umbrella name” covering more than one species. In 2012, researchers from Alaska Pacific University and the US Geological Survey found a genetically distinct group of GPOs in Prince William Sound. Unfortunately, they’d collected only small snips of arm tissue for DNA analysis before returning the octopuses to the wild, so they couldn’t find out whet
Zoo Review: London and Chester Zoos
The spring of 2017 brought the first of two trips to Europe for me this year. My previous post shared my experiences at two of Poland’s best known zoos. This post explores two of England’s most beloved zoos, London and Chester Zoos.
Having a few long-time friends from England, I’ve been lucky to spend quite a bit of time in this beautiful country. I’ve visited the south west region several times (visiting Paignton Zoo and Eden Project in the late 1990s), but as many times as I have fallen in love with London, I had never once visited the famed Zoological Society of London’s crown jewel, London Zoo. The experience of visiting the London Zoo and the Chester Zoo back-to-back allowed for some stark contrasts and very few, but very key, parallels indicating the strong trend of Euro zoo evolution toward immersive storytelling.
Let’s begin in London.
Advanced tech breeding for endangered species
The Sabah Wildlife Department, with the support from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, has initiated a programme on the application of advanced reproductive technology in the conservation of endangered wildlife species in Sabah.
Sabah Wildlife Department Director Augustine Tuuga (pic) said the national significance initiative under the 11th Malaysia Plan began in 2010.
"We have appointed an non-government organisation, Borneo Rhino Alliance (Bora), to assist us, and they now have two wildlife veterinarians, a senior laboratory technician and two research students on their payroll, as well as their rhino keepers," he said in a statement Wednesday.
Tuuga said this in response to an article published recently in a news portal quoting two wildlife experts based in Sabah who expressed their fears on the status of endangered wildlife species, including Sumatran rhino, banteng, elephant, sun bear, orang-utan and pangolin, in the State.
He said amongst their partners in the
Is the UK’s only female polar bear pregnant?
Because there is no test to tell if a polar bear is pregnant, there is no way of knowing if all the weight Victoria has been piling on is because she is about to give birth.
But this is the crucial time when the patter of little polar bear paws is heard.
Last year Victoria – the UK’s only female polar bear – put on a staggering 440 pounds plus in weight only not to be pregnant.
But this time it is hoped the extra weight may produce a little polar bear – or two.
Staff at the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig have kept Victoria well-fed on fish and vegetables and treating her as if she is about to give birth.
She is currently out of public viewing because it is believed she is pregnant after mating with Arktos – one of the two male polar bears at the zoo – last spring.
Polar bears usually give birth to twins, with new-born cubs being around the same size and weight as an adult guinea pig.
The last polar bear cub born in the UK was in 1992 at Flamingo Land in Yorkshire.
And the last born in Scotland was on November 15, 1991, when female Ohoto was the second cub to Mercedes at Edinbu
The world’s last male northern white rhinoceros has wandered alone, for almost a decade, in his own enclosure in a game reserve sprawling 27 square miles along the northwestern foothills of Mount Kenya.
The private pen in Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a perk earned with age by the rhino, named Sudan. At 44 years old, he has lived longer than most of his species.
Rhinos have been around for over 30 million years, outlasting multiple ice ages and ancient giant predators. Then humans came along and, in a few centuries of hunting and habitat loss, whittled them down to just a few thousand individuals. Of the northern white species, only three are known to be alive today. Their survival has rested on Sudan’s massive shoulders since October 2014, when the only other fertile male, a fellow captive named Suni, died.
By April this year, all attempts at getting Sudan to mate with one of the only two remaining females, also in Ol Pejeta, had failed. The conservancy has turned to fellow singles for help, using a profile of Sudan on the dating app Tinder with information on how to donate toward the $9 million needed to research a possible solution — but time is running out to develop methods to ensure these giants remain on the face of the Earth.
On a recent chilly morning in October, a park ranger named James Mwenda stepped gently into the enclosure. Mwenda has worked as Sudan’s p
Borth zoo appeal date set for dangerous animal ban hearing
A zoo which had two of its lynx die within days of each other is to appeal against a ban stopping it from keeping certain dangerous animals next month.
Borth Wild Animal Kingdom, Ceredigion, lodged an appeal at Aberystwyth Justice Centre earlier this month.
It has been closed since the animals' deaths in October.
"We hope that come the new year we can work closely with Ceredigion council to resolve any outstanding issues and open the zoo again to the public," it said.
The ban was enforced
It is canned killing, not hunting, that hampers conservation efforts
The three greatest evils that have beset conservation in South Africa in recent times have been:
1. The canned killing of game;
2. The intensive breeding and manipulation of game to produce unnatural colour variants and animals with exaggerated horn lengths; and
3. The rise in prominence given to untried and untested views of animal rightists and anti-hunters.
Ragunan Zoo Targets 150,000 Visitors Per day on End of Year Long Weekend
Popular tourist destinations are an option for residents to fill the year-end holiday season throughout Christmas and New Year. Ragunan Wildlife Park, also known as Ragunan Zoo, is still a favorite place for family recreation.
Ticket prices are affordable for this capital city tourist destination, as visitors are charged IDR4,000. So when there are holiday moments like Christmas today, many people flocked to visit the zoo.
Wahyudi Bambang, Head of Public Relations at Ragunan Zoo, said the zoo’s management targets obtaining 150,000 visitors per day during this long holiday. For annual, targets five million visitors.
Wahyudi admitted a decrease in visitors whe
North America weather: Canadian zoo moves penguins indoors because of cold temperatures
Temperatures have dropped so low in Canada that Calgary Zoo has had to move its penguins indoors.
As an extreme-cold warning was in effect for the country – temperatures hit a frosty -25C late this week – zookeepers thought it safer to move the penguins to their indoor enclosure.
Larissa Mark, manager of communications at Calgary Zoo told Global News that: “On cold days lik
William and the vile tiger lie: Prince praised Laos for closing horrific big cat farms last year... but they are booming and tourists can select live tigers for £340,000 each - then feast on them
When the country at the heart of Asia's brutal wildlife trade promised to shut down its tiger farms, Prince William and conservationists worldwide hailed it as a watershed moment in the battle to save the species.
The Prince personally congratulated officials from Laos on their landmark decision to abolish the money-spinning farms where tigers are bred in pitiful conditions to be slaughtered to feed Chinese buyers' hunger for their bones, meat, claws and skins.
But more than a year after the announcement, a Mail on Sunday investigation inside Laos has found the tiger farms flourishing and the trade in tiger parts used as medicines and potency treatments booming, with one expert describing it as 'out of control'.
This comes despite millions of pounds in aid from countries including Britain to tackle the country's criminal syndicates which
Review on Animal Welfare
Animal welfare is a concept with both ethical and scientific dimensions, which consists of animal positive and negative experiences. Important ‘negative experiences’ are pain and frustration and important ‘positive experiences’ can be expressed in play, performance of appetitive behavior, health and physiology. Welfare varies in a continuum from very poor to very good and those kept in a good welfare can provide a good/better service. In most cases, most countries are improving the treatment of animals and improve the productivity as well as the economic values. It is true that most proportions of developed country livestock owners realize as animals are sensitive to beatings and mistreatment unlike that of developing countries. They has formulated regular ways of awareness creation to the public and are endorsed to the community what the minimal animal welfare standards to be esteemed. The welfare issue in Africa is not well kept, hence poor productivity and production is a common feature. The marketing places, transporting, farming place, slaughtering houses, and areas such as feeding, sheltering and watering places are the commonest ones where welfare deprived. Most of the present works in
Zoo attacks and the people who survive them
Zoo attacks in the UK are thankfully rare occurrences. But occasional lapses in safety, horrific though they are, have led to some remarkable survival stories. BBC News Online investigates.
The use of untrained teenagers as animal keepers in British zoos would send shivers down the spine of health and safety executives today.
But the practice was remarkably common during the 20th Century when small zoos sprang up in towns and cities across the country, as Richard McCormick can testify.
Richard, who now lives in Harrogate but grew up in Coventry, got a job at the city's Whitley Zoo in 1966, not long after leaving school.
"At first, I looked after the parrots," he said. "Then, after a few weeks, they gave me the elephant, the bears and Harry the hippo to look after."
Despite his rapid introduction to the wor
Why the lynx effect would be a boon for Scotland
During a difficult year, the lynx provided a welcome fragment of good cheer. It seems the big cat could be making a return to the wilds of Scotland after an absence of several hundred years. There are many things to like about the reintroduction of a Champions League predator to the Scottish countryside, not least of which is that it would greatly inconvenience and outrage farming and agricultural types. Indeed, Scotland’s farmers were so perturbed by reports of the lynx’s return that several of them undertook a study trip to Norway for the purpose of building a case against the lynx.
Unsurprisingly, the Norwegian harvesters warned their Scottish brethren that reintroduction of the lynx would be an “absolute catastrophe” for Scotland’s sheep population. The Norwegians claimed that 20,000 sheep were lost last year to the predations of the lynx and unnamed others. Curiously, they couldn’t produce a specific number of deceased sheep th
Another Disgrace Zimbabwe; another ‘Elephant’ Disgrace
It’s supposed to be a ‘new Zimbabwe’ isn’t it? You can’t have a new Zimbabwe when your tourism and wildlife sectors continue to be shamed by the actions of your Parks Authority.
The current Wildlife Minister (Oppah Muchinguri) has blindly followed the lead of your previous Wildlife Minister (Saviour Kasukuwere; who has now been expelled from the Ruling Party) with regard to this disreputable practice. It’s past time for someone at the highest level – and that is the new President – to review this policy, which has so many in the Wildlife World feeling so outraged with Zimbabwe. I know first-hand that there are a lot of Parks Authority staff who are also outraged by this ongoing practice. Hopefully now, in this ‘new Zimbabwe’, they will be less afraid to make their own beliefs public.
We understand that overall you have spent more dedicated time in the field monitoring elephant families than anybody in Zimbabwe. From first hand knowledge and experience, what would you like to tell President Mnangagwa?
I’ve said it all a million times, even when I was still in Zimbabwe
I saw for myself, over these many dedicated years, just how intelligent and human-like these animals are. I witne
At this past year’s Annual Conference, Vickie Clyde shared some special news during a business lunch.
Click HERE to read more.