Zoo News from around the World
Every week or so, Peter Dickinson pulls together the latest news, good and bad, from zoos around the world and sends the information out as ZooNewsDigest. He has kindly agreed to allow those zoo news links to be incorporated into a listing accessible from the main AAZV page. Updates will occur when provided by Mr. Dickinson.
Alert: some of the links may no longer be valid due to varying timetables by online news organizations in maintaining information on their servers.
(Search hint: Use CTRL-F (if using a PC) or,
COMMAND (Apple key)-F (if using an Apple) to easily search a Zoo News page
Zoo News Digest (2006 Updates)
Delhi Zoo employees go on strike
The employees of the Delhi Zoo have gone on strike to protest a move
by the government to make the zoo more autonomous.
The strike has resulted in the death of six lions in the last two weeks.
Zoo authorities suspect that a virus was what killed them and say they
are doing all they can to try and save the other lions.
The employees say that while they feel sorry for the animals, they have
no option but to protest to highlight their own plight.
As all 175 employees are on a day long strike, there is a danger of
hunger and hygiene in the zoo.
The workers are anxious about a government plan to make the
management more autonomous - a move they fear will result in job
"We cannot help it if the animals are suffering, we have no option but to
protest," said, leader, Zoo Employees Union.
Choti Devi is one of the Delhi Zoo's oldest employees and
Elephant-sized doses of drug makes for happy, aging elephant
If you hate to leave the house, you're struggling with anxiety and are
snooty with family, friends, and your dog, maybe you need Xanax.
The medication appears to work, even if you weigh 9,500 pounds.
At least it works for Tanzy, a 48-year-old African elephant at the
Abilene Zoo. Eighteen months ago Tanzy was down in the dumps and
grumpy. She refused to leave the elephant barn to go out and play and
was sometimes mean to her roommate, Tanya, 26, her only elephant
companion. Her behavior was aggressive to her keepers, too.
Not any longer. Tanzy's zest for life has returned, even though at 48 she
may be the first or second oldest elephant in captivity. Twice a day,
Tanzy takes 25 milligram doses of Xanax with her food.
The size of the tablet is about the size a person can swallow. However,
a human dose contains .25 to
Recaptured Canadian grey wolf dies in Thai zoo
A Canadian grey wolf that was recently recaptured after escaping from
a zoo in northern Thailand has died of a lung infection, a zookeeper said
A tracker shot the wolf with a tranquilizer pellet on Aug. 6, about a
month after the animal escaped from Chiang Mai Night Safari. The wolf,
which is believed to have roamed nearby forests feasting on local
chickens during its weeks of freedom, was then returned to the zoo but
kept in quarantine as a precaution to protect the other wolves.
Supot Methawiwat, who looked after the animal after it was returned to
the zoo, insisted however that the animal did not die of bird flu, which is
rampant in the region.
"The wolf suffered from a severe lung infection and died six days after
we recaptured him," Mr. Supot said. "It is 100 per cent
Zookeeper could face charges after tiger escapes from Lowry Park Zoo
Tampa, Florida- A Sumatran tiger at the Lowry Park Zoo was shot and
killed Tuesday evening after the rare feline escaped from a night house
cage while some visitors were still in the park.
State and Federal Investigators are reviewing Lowry Park procedures.
Lowry Park President Lex Salisbury confirms the tiger got out of the
cage Tuesday night because of human error.
Zoo officials are reviewing procedures to see how to keep this from
State Fish and Wildlife officials say the zookeeper could face a
misdeameanor charge for letting the wild animal loose.
Officials at the Lowry Park Zoo say a latch on the holding cell was left
unlocked, allowing a tiger named Enshala to slip through
Handler blamed in zoo tiger shooting
A zoo has fired an animal handler after a rare tiger had to be fatally
shot when it escaped from its unlatched holding cell.
Enshala, a 200-pound Sumatran tiger, escaped from her night enclosure
at Lowry Park Zoo on Tuesday and was trying to scale a 7-foot wall
when she was killed with a shotgun by zoo president Lex Salisbury.
Before the shooting, the tiger roamed an exhibit as zoo officials moved
visitors into restaurants and other secure buildings. (Watch Salisbury
recount how he shot the big cat -- 1:35)
Officials said the 14-year-old tiger was loose because the rookie handler
failed to secure the cell's latch. It was the first time an animal
Dolphin bites hand of boy at SeaWorld
A boy celebrating his birthday at SeaWorld Orlando was bitten on the
hand Sunday by a dolphin he was petting.
It was the second incident in three weeks in which a dolphin bit a child
at SeaWorld's Dolphin Cove, a popular dolphin-petting attraction.
It took two adults to pry the dolphin's mouth open so that 7-year-old
Hunter Hovan Quidor's hand could be freed, his mother, Hollie Bethany,
The bite left the Port Orange boy's right thumb bruised. It did not break
Star tortoises smuggled into Bangladesh
Going by recent evidence, wildlife offenders may have been using a less-
known route to smuggle star tortoises abroad.
Last week, forest officials in Bangladesh detected a consignment of
1,600 star tortoises, often kept as pets in some Asian countries. Madras
Crocodile Bank director Harry V. Andrews said on Wednesday that the
news was conveyed by Tapan Kumar Dey, Director of Dulahazara Safari
Park, Bangladesh, when he visited the Crocodile Bank. The tortoises
were being kept at the Dulahazara Safari Park.
He said those responsible had informed Bangladesh Forest officials that
the tortoises were all from south India. They were smuggled to Kolkata
and were destined for Hong Kong.
Star tortoises of varied sizes, from adults to week-old hatchlings, were
part of the smuggled consignment. Mr. Andrews said this was the first
time a large consignment of star tortoises was seized in Bangladesh.
Wildlife biologists and researchers want Indian authorities to request
the Bangladesh Government to return the star tortoises.
Star tortoises are found in the dry
Mutilated koala found in wildlife park
WA police are investigating a break-in at a wildlife park following the
discovery of a koala's mutilated body.
The remains were found near bins at the Marapana Wildlife Park, south
of Perth, early today.
Police believe there may
Zoo plan takes shape
It is a higgledy-piggledy patch of trees, open fields, ponds and
But, as the artist's impression shows, in just nine months it could be
doing a roaring trade as Norfolk's newest tourist attraction - Cromer
Zoo, mark two.
And, while full details of the wildlife that could be on display are not yet
being revealed, there will be jaguars, flamingos, parrots and monkeys.
Detailed plans have now been submitted for the zoo, on 10 acres of
land owned by Benji Cabbell-Manners between Hall Road and Roughton
Road on the edge of the town.
Among the proposals are a plant house, at least 20 animal enclosures,
a café with a veranda overlooking the largest pond, a shop and a host
of new trees planted on the fringes of the site to mask it.
Ken Sims, who runs Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, near Yarmouth, is
the man behind the bold plan to bring back a zoo to Cromer for the first
time in 23 years.
The last one opened in 1962 at the top
Man charged with theft of squirrel monkey from zoo
A man has been charged with the theft of SpongeBob the squirrel
Marlon Brown, aged 22 and unemployed, from Brixton, south London,
was accused of stealing the rare monkey from Chessington zoo, near
London, on July 18.
He was released on police bail and ordered to appear before Kingston
magistrates on September 14.
The endangered two-year-old
Shedd Aquarium announces death of historic fish
CHICAGO A famous fish that gave hope to many cancer survivors has
died at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.
Bubba the Grouper is believed to be the first fish ever to receive
chemotherapy and survive cancer. That was in 2003.
Bubba was thought to be about 24 at the time of his death. A
preliminary autopsy shows Bubba had some age-related health issues
and several abnormal growths.
Bubba has been a favorite since he was abandoned at the aquarium in
1987. He had been left at the reception desk in a cooler.
Shedd officials say cancer survivors were inspired by Bubba's
Sumatra tiger population continues to dwindle
The population of Sumatran tigers has continued to decrease due to
illegal hunting in Sumatra island, an Indonesian Wildlife Conservation
Center spokesman said on Tuesday (8/22).
The condition that the Sumatran tiger population was on the brink of
extinction was also attributed to rampant illegal logging and forest fires,
Taman Safari Indonesia (Indonesian Safari Park or TSI) director Tonny
Sumampouw said on the sidelines of an Orientation for Natural
Conservation Reporters (OAKA) which was held by the Center in Cisarua
subdistrict, Bogor district.
He said he had received information that at least 16 Sumatra tigers had
been smuggled out of Sumatra island as of mid this year.
Tony also said the environmental destruction caused the tigers to
abandon their habitats and move to nearby residential areas.
"The destruction of wildlife habitat has triggered conflicts between
Sumatran tigers and people," he said.
Tony said he supported the forestry minister`s idea to give rewards to
people who successfully saved the Sumatran tigers from extinction.
He also said that 22 out of 32 zoos across the country did not have a
required standard to protect their collections.
The remaining 10 zoos that had met the
Vietnamese men charged with poisoning, stealing tiger from zoo
Four Vietnamese men have been arrested on charges ofpoisoning an
endangered tiger, disemboweling it and stealing thecarcass from a zoo
in southern Vietnam, police said Monday. The four men, all in their 20s,
admitted feeding the tigerpoisoned meat and selling the body for 11,250
dollars to a man in HoChi Minh City, according to Dang Quang Minh,
head of police socialcrime investigations in southern Tien Giang
province. The buyer, Nguyen Khac Diep, 53, was arrested last week
afterpolice found the carcass in a refrigerator in his home, Minh said.
The four tiger thieves - Nguyen Van Cung, 21, Pham Phu Loi, 21,Luu
Ngoc Tan, 23, and Nguyen Van Chat, 22 - were apprehended
Saturdayin Dong Nai province, 100 kilometres north of Ho Chi Minh City.
Only a few hundred tigers are left in Vietnam, and the theft twomonths
ago of the big cat from Dong Tam Snake Farm caused outrage inTien
Giang. The thieves not only killed the tiger, but disemboweledit before
carrying away the body, leaving
Rio zoo welcomes leopard seal
A zoo in Rio de Janeiro received a very odd guest this week: a leopard
seal, who exchanged the cold waters of the Antarctic for Brazil's tropical
Large and aggressive, the species of seal, which generally measures
more than three meters and roughly weighs some 350 kilos, feeds on
penguins, squids, sea birds and even on smaller seals.
The zoo will send its visitor back to its natural
Success Beats in the Heart of a Captive Gorilla
The scientific name of the endangered western lowland gorilla echoes
like a cry for help.
Adult western lowland gorillas in captivity are dying of an unexplained
heart condition called fibrosing cardiomyopathy, which turns healthy
heart muscle into fibrous bands unable to pump blood. The condition is
similar to a human form of heart disease.
No one has kept track of exactly how many captive gorillas have
succumbed, but veterinarians Tom Meehan of the Brookfield Zoo in
Chicago and Linda Lowenstine of the University of California at Davis
calculated that 41 percent of deaths of captive gorillas -- and 70 percent
of deaths of the males older than 30 -- are the result of heart disease,
primarily fibrosing cardiomyopathy.
The toll includes Mopie, National Zoo, July 3; Kuja, National Zoo, July 1;
Pogo, San Francisco Zoo, May 24; Tumai, Memphis Zoo, May 18; Akbar,
Toledo Zoo, Dec. 6, 2005; Sam, Knoxville Zoo, Nov. 17, 2000; Michael,
the Gorilla Foundation in California, April 19, 2000.
Babec, a western lowland gorilla at Alabama's Birmingham Zoo, is a
rare exception, having been successfully treated surgically for the
Nearly two years ago, cardiologist Neal Kay, working
Zoo asked to check if China-bound elephants born in wild
The Asian Conservation Alliance yesterday called on Chiang Mai Night
Safari to check whether five elephants to be delivered to a zoo in China
are wild or captive-bred animals.
''The Thai Cites office should not issue an export permit for the
elephants unless there is a clear picture of where and when all the
captive elephants in Thailand were born so they are 100% captive-bred
as defined by Cites,'' ACA chairman Masayuki Sakamoto said in a
The Japan-based non-governmental organisation group also voiced
concerns over the wildlife exchange programme, saying it could become
a major threat to biodiversity in Southeast Asia and promote the
capture of wild elephants. It would definitely pose a serious threat to
the elephant population, as there are only 35,000 in Asia and just 2,000
The deal between the Thai zoo and Guangzhou Panya Xiangjiang Safari
Park Co, which runs Chime-Long Night Zoo, includes 24 other animals.
Chiang Mai zoo will receive 89 Chinese wild animals in exchange. The
elephants are scheduled to leave for China on Sept 7.
The ACA, a network of 43 NGOs in 14 Asian countries working for
environmental protection, also slammed zoos around the world for
sending the wrong message that elephant exchange was one method
for elephant conservation. The best way to ensure the species survived
was to stop the illegal trade, it added.
The deal, reported in the press yesterday, led to a meeting being called
by Noppadol Pattama, assistant to the Natural Resources and
He said he would review the regulations for identifying where the
pachyderms came from. The entire elephant population would be
surveyed in two years to collect accurate information for use in the
country's elephant database management.
The National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department
Zoo boss admits animals escaped
DAVID GILL ZOO boss David Gill has admitted breaching the terms of his
His comments came after two animal escapes in one week prompted a
visit by a government expert to examine fencing and security measures
at Dalton's South Lakes Wild Animal Park.
Barrow Borough Council's licensing committee meets on September 14
to discuss the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
official's report and the consequences of the escapes for the zoo's
Mr Gill told the Evening Mail: "I would admit
Warsaw Zoo selling wild animals, birds for cheap
The Warsaw Zoo is selling out wild animals and birds. Parrots,
hamsters, rabbits, chinchillas and mountain goats do not cost much, and
camels and llamas are also affordable.
The prices are much smaller than at local pet shops. A llama costs from
1,500 to 3,000 zloty or $30-50, and a camel is sold for only 10,000
It is not that the zoo is about to close down too many animals
Loose tiger killed at zoo
The president of Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa shoots the cat to protect a
veterinarian, who had tried to tranquilize it.
With 15 minutes until closing time, Lowry Park Zoo keepers began the
evening ritual of putting Enshala, a Sumatran tiger, into her night house.
But an unlocked latch allowed the 14-year-old cat to slip out of her
concrete bedroom and into the empty Asian Domain exhibit, a habitat
about half the size of a football field that is under renovation. The staff
quickly herded the last handful of visitors into the safety of the zoo's
restaurants or sent them home.
A 10-person weapons team assembled, and zoo president and chief
executive Lex Salisbury, who had been on his way home, came back
and armed himself with a 12-gauge shotgun.
Salisbury positioned himself among some elephant grass in the Asian
Domain exhibit, just yards from
Sumatra tiger's habitat reported to have drastically shrunk
The habitat of Sumatra tigers has drastically shrunk if compared to 20
years ago when two out of 20 landscapes of priority for tiger habitat in
the world were found on Sumatra island.
A recent comprehensive report on the tigers` habitat launched in
Washington DC recently said that most tigers in Sumatra were only
living in a 40 percent shrunk area if compared to ten years ago.
At present tigers only occupied seven percent of historic range in
Sumatra, a scientific report titled "Setting priorities for the conservation
and recovery of the world`s tigers "2005-2015" said.
A research jointly conducted by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Wildlife
Conservation Society (WCS), the Smithsonian`s National Zoological Park
and Save The Tiger Fund (STF), the report called for international
action to safeguard the population of tigers.
The research also showed that an effort to conserve and protect the
tigers from hunters, to save species and their habitat will result in a
stable population of the endanged animals.
However, the report concluded that success in
Javanese long-tailed monkeys threatened with extinction
Protected Javanese long-tailed monkeys (trachiphitecus auratus) are
threatened with extinction due to increasing illegal trade of the animal
and conversion of forest land into farms.
The director of ProFauna International, Rosek Nursahid, said here on
Saturday that the habitat of the animal had been depleted as a result of
increasing conversion of forest land into farms making the animal prone
"The habitats of the animal are now found in limited areas in Java such
as in the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, the Arjuna mountain,
the Alas Purwo National Park, the Baluran National Park, the Sempu
island and the Hyang hills," he said.
The animal has even been totally extinct in its former habitats in the
Panderman mountain and the eastern part of Kawi hills, he said.
Nursahid meanwhile said at least 2,500 monkeys were illegally traded in
2004 in animal markets such as in Surabaya and Jakarta.
The chief of the Petungsewu Wild Animal Rescue Center in Malang,
Iwan Kurniawan, meanwhile said that he had recently released 41
Tide turns for city in bid to host the world's biggest aquarium
THE world's largest aquarium could make a shock comeback to
Liverpool - 18 months after it was lost to the south east.
City officials have reopened talks with Nirah, the organisation planning
to build a £375m sanctuary for endangered freshwater species.
Early last year, Nirah (The National Institute for Research into Aquatic
Habitats) chose a Bedfordshire clay pit ahead of Central Docks as the
proposed site for the Eden Project-style tourist attraction.
Nirah had approached Liverpool first
Indianapolis Zoo to award $100,000 to top conservationist
A conservationist who's likely spent years in the wild enduring mud and
bugs will become the first winner of The Indianapolis Prize this week -a
$100,000 award honoring a researcher or pioneer in animal
Officials with the Indianapolis Zoo announced The Indianapolis Prize in
late 2004. On Tuesday, the winner of the first prize will be announced in
Washington, D.C., followed Sept. 30 by a gala ceremony honoring the
winner in Indianapolis.
Among the finalists for the prize are people who have devoted decades
to protecting and understanding whooping cranes, whales, wolves and
Zoo officials said the prize's size is unprecedented in the animal
conservation community - a world in which researchers often lead
hermit-like lives in huts, cabins or tents, observing animals and
documenting their movements, courtships, lives and deaths.
The winner of the prize, which is backed by a $1 million donation from
Eli Lilly and Co., also will receive the Lilly Medal.
"It's more the honor than the money," said
Pretoria Zoo to adopt breeding plan
Creatures from as far away as Sri Lanka and the Amazon jungle have
been bred by the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, but the
Pretoria Zoo, as it is popularly known, is set to phase out its exotic
animals project as it embarks on an affirmative action breeding
The executive director of the zoo, Willie Labuschagne, says the aim is to
have 80 percent of the animals at the zoo African and 20 percent exotic.
"Most of the exotic animals will gradually be grandfathered in favour of
African creatures," he says.
Many of the zoo's 126 species of mammals, 158 bird species, 283 fish,
21 invertebrates, 90 reptiles and
Lions endangered at Delhi Zoo?
Six Asiatic lions, including a lioness and four cubs, have died in the past
Delhi Zoo has lost six Asiatic lions in the past two months, including a
lioness and four newborn cubs housed in the same enclosure. According
to the Zoo authorities, four newborn cubs died during July. While two
were stillborn, the other two were weak and did not survive. An eight-
year-old lion died on August 8 followed by the death of a two-year-old
lioness on August 12.
Maintaining that there was no cause for alarm, the Zoo authorities
attributed the death of the lion to "unknown viral infection'', while the
lioness died of heart failure. "The cubs were too weak to survive,'' said
Zoo Director D. N. Singh.
Refuting claims about the spread of a viral infection, a health official at
the Zoo said as a precautionary measure enclosure No. 14 had been
blow-lamped after disinfecting. All the other lions housed in the
enclosure -- a female lioness and her two cubs -- were shifted out. And
while the lioness has now been put back in the enclosure, the cubs are
Zoo deaths: blame game starts between officials, keepers
Fresh trouble seems to be brewing at Delhi Zoo even as authorities are
trying to find reasons that caused the death of six Asiatic lions earlier
While the tissue analysis report is still awaited, a blame-game has
started between zoo officials and keepers.
It is being alleged that the keepers, who were on strike earlier, did not
resume their duties once they returned to work, leading to unhygienic
conditions. This could have caused the tragedy, officials are now
claiming. And they are going to strike work again on Wednesday.
Confirming the strike, Union Leader N Rana said: "The director has not
taken any steps to counter the proposal to bring autonomy to the zoo.
people who will be hurt the most by this are us. Since
Two dead owls at Dutch zoo probably not infected with bird flu
Two owls found dead at Rotterdam zoo earlier this month were
probably not infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu as initially
suspected, the Dutch agriculture ministry has said.
The deadly virus was suspected when the birds died on August 12 and
tests were carried out.
Unlike most of the birds at the zoo in the southern port town, the owls
had not been vaccinated against the bird flu.
"Initial test results show that the two owls did not die of H5N1," a
ministry spokeswoman said on Monday.
Definitive results are expected on Friday and security measures
implemented to contain any spread of the virus will only be lifted with
the full results are known, she added.
At the beginning of the month a mild form of the H7N7
Zoo authorities to increase height of chimps' enclosures
The frequent escape of chimpanzees from the open-enclosure in
Mysore zoo has forced the authorities to increase the height of the wall
surrounding the enclosure by three feet.
Apart from raising the height of the wall, the authorities have
incorporated certain changes in the design of the enclosure to ensure
that any attempt by the simians to break free is foiled.
On at least three occasions, chimpanzees in the zoo leapt across the
moat, scaled the fence and jumped into the open area of the zoo
spreading panic among visitors.
On July 29, 14-year-old male chimp Mason had broken free from his
enclosure and ambled around the zoo premises for nearly an hour
defying all efforts by the staff to secure him.
Eventually, veterinarians had to fire a tranquilliser at the chimpanzee
and put him back into the enclosure.
A couple of years ago, another male chimpanzee Jason not only leapt
out of the enclosure but
Going ape over Charlie
Charlie is looking happy these days. He has a woman waiting to be
romanced and a buddy to hang out with. Plus, he has traded in his rust-
brown dread-locked underarms for rust-brown silky smooth ones.
Since he migrated to Singapore a little over a year ago, the gloomy,
dank cell that he called home for eight years has faded away to a one
with sunshine and twice as much space.
Charlie is now 28. His present address is the exclusive 80, Mandai Lake
Road. Home is Singapore Zoo. Charlie is a Sumatran* Orang Utan.
When the Life & Times visited him recently, he was playing
affectionately with Riau, a 15-year-old Sumatran. Looking on from
inside the same enclosure is Charlie's intended mate, Sayang.
This is an especially amazing feat as for many years, Charlie lived in
solitary confinement because of his aggressive behaviour towards other
"When he arrived last June, he was very shy. He had been so attached
to humans that he did not know how to interact with his own kind," said
Rare Japanese calves are zoo's new stars, the deer wee things
TWO rare Japanese deer calves at Edinburgh Zoo have become the first
born in captivity in the UK.
Willow and Wisp, who are just a few weeks old, have been thrilling
young visitors to the zoo. Their parents were only brought over to the
Capital last year from Berlin and Vienna, and are the only Japanese
serow deer in the UK.
Willow is the calf of Shikoku, and Wisp was born to Kyushu, but they
share one father in Honshu.
All three adult deer were named after Japanese islands.
The zookeepers gave Willow her name because she is white, fluffy and
willowy, and then christened her cousin Wisp, in memory the children's
TV series, Willo the Wisp.
Wisp is dark grey and smaller - just eight inches tall.
Hoofstock keeper Sue Gaffing, who looks after the calves, said: "We
were so pleased when we found out that both of our females were
"Both Willow and Wisp are doing well and have been spending a lot of
time exploring their new surroundings."
The family are being kept in an enclosure below a tiger compound,
behind mesh fencing, but the zookeepers are not about to let anything
happen to their new star attractions.
Ms Gaffing said: "They look like little goat kids. People think they are
really cute and stand for quite a while looking at them."
Back in Japan, wild serows live in the country's wooded hillsides and
thick forests. Resembling
Central Africa: ORTPN Should Take Note of Ape-Hunting
Recently when I was in Kampala, retrieving some documents, I came
across a perturbing report detailing how in the central part of Africa,
apes' hunting is taking its toll. I developed the interest to get more
information and I found myself at the Uganda Wildlife offices, where I
even got more worried about the primates. I have found it necessary to
share the information with Rwandans and ORTPN in particular.
The people of Africa's equatorial forest region have been hunting and
eating forest animals for millennia. A mix of hunting techniques and
taboos have evolved, with indigenous beliefs and methods being
overlaid and infilled by the ritual and technology of myriad nomads,
missionaries, conquerors, and colonials. As a result, the animals eaten
by humans in one forest may be quite different from those people eat in
the next. To add to the complexity, millions of people have moved from
forest and rural communities into towns and cities, bringing with them
countless eating styles and food preferences. For many there is nothing
better than pangolin or bush pig. Others prefer primates.
Understandably, many of us who study and conserve primates are
uncomfortable seeing them on the menu. This discomfort may be ego-
centric, born of our own personal eating taboos or our concern that
animals at our field sites may be killed before we have finished our
research. It may be anthropocentric -- a manifestation of our reluctance
to eat anything so human-like as a gorilla or baboon. Or it may come
from a bio-centric concern for individuals and species that are on the
verge of extinction, high on the food chain, or demonstrably sentient
and subject to suffering. To reach the broadest audience we will focus
on animals that are covered by all these factors -- the great apes.
It has long been known that many people in west and central Africa eat
monkeys and apes. Not only is it part of the lore, it is part of the
economy. Bushmeat is big business, accounting for a significant portion
of the animal protein consumed in the region. An indepth year long
study by Steele in Gabon found over 50% of the meat sold in markets
was wild game. Gross sales were estimated at 50 million dollars.
Primates account for 20% of that commerce. Ammann has observed
gorillas and chimpanzees fresh from the hunt being butchered, smoked,
and sold in almost every country in the region, from Korup to Kinshasa.
Ammann and Pearce report "the hunters in the Kika, Moloundou and
Mabale triangle in Cameroon estimate that around 25 guns are active
on any given day and that successful gorilla hunts take place on about
10% of outings. This would result in an estimated kill of up to 800
gorillas a year." If 3,000 gorillas live in that 10,000 sq. km area, the off-
take is not sustainable. These same hunters say they bring out
chimpanzee too, half as many as gorillas in this location -- up to 400.
Sustainable or not, the slaughter of 1,200 great apes in one territory in
one year is of serious concern. One must ask how many other locations
there are with similar hunting scenarios. Are the gorilla ribs and chimp
arms sold for meat in the markets of Congo, CAR and Gabon all coming
from south-east Cameroon? Not likely. Ammann and WSPA's
investigations suggest these are each the tips of separate icebergs, and
that for every ape carcass on display in the markets of Ouesso, Bangui,
and Libreville there are five or more sold privately, poached from
nearby forests. A recent study by Hennessey reports that 13% of the
bushmeat sold in Ouesso is trucked in from Cameroon. The rest is local,
with 64% of the meat coming "from an 80 km road traveling southwest
to a village called Liouesso" where a hunter who specializes in gorilla is
responsible for most of the 1.6 gorilla carcasses sold each week in the
marketplace. That is over 80 gorillas per year in one city. Hennessey
projects th at 50 forest elephants are killed annually for meat and ivory
in this same study, but only 19 chimpanzees. This finding counters
Eliot's report that "in Congo alone poachers claim up to 3000 chimps
and 600 gorillas a year -- leaving hundreds of orphans."
There are at least two possible explanations. It may be that there are
more gorillas than chimps in the Ouesso area, with the reverse being
true for the whole of Congo. The revised Status Survey on African
Primates reports "perhaps 80,000 central chimpanzees found chiefly in
Gabon and Congo", as compared to "over 110,000 gorilla spread across
Cameroon, CAR, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and ... Southeast
Nigeria". An alternate explanation is that Eliot's information may be an
extrapolation from the count of orphans. Both Ammann and Redmond
report that among the orphans of the bushmeat trade, the chimps have
a relatively high survival rate, while gorilla infants tend to die in the first
2 or 3 weeks of capture. Thus the number of orphans that reach the city
is a poor indicator of the number of adult apes killed.
Historic reports from poachers indicate preference for hunting
chimpanzees -- hit one chimp and the others flee, while gorillas stand
their ground or even attack the hunters. The introduction of the
chevrotine cartridge that fells a gorilla in a single shot has changed that.
Bushmeat hunters supplied with this cartridge are successful in downing
a silverback and chasing off the rest of the group. A hunter interviewed
extensively by a researcher in Cameroon reports taking a gorilla a week
during his three years operating in the forest. He also said that gorilla
meat is more easily smoked and passed off as buffalo, which makes it
easier to sell openly in some areas. As public awareness of the....
Six Asiatic lions dead in Delhi Zoo
IN what could be a deadly viral infection or just a phase of "extreme
bad luck" as Delhi Zoo Director D N Singh puts it six Asiatic lions have
died at the zoo in just 18 days.
Asiatic lions are an endangered species and four of them were new-
born cubs.The Zoo is awaiting a forensic report from the Indian
Veterinary Research Institute in Bareli.
But the postmortem report of one of the dead lions, done by an
independent board of doctors, points to a viral infection. All the dead
lions were housed in the same enclosure.
"We have cleared the Beat number 14 enclosure. The remaining lions in
the same enclosure a lioness and her two cubs have been shifted
to the Zoo hospital. They are to be kept under observation. The immune
system of cubs is quite vulnerable. Four other lions are housed in a
"I believe all the deaths are normal, it is just a bad luck phase for us,"
Zoo Director D N Singh told Newsline.
The deaths started on July 25 after
Zoo in jumbo battle
ANIMAL welfare groups will today announce plans to mount a last-ditch
legal challenge to halt the contentious importation of Thai elephants to
In a move that could add months to the animals' long journey, Animal
Liberation NSW is seeking a Supreme Court injunction to prevent
Taronga Zoo keeping five elephants in a $40 million, custom-built
Animal Liberation executive director Mark Pearson said the NSW
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act provided strong grounds to mount
such a case.
The latest action relates only to the importation of the five elephants
bound for Taronga Zoo - not the three bound for Melbourne Zoo. It will
be the third challenge mounted against the import of the elephants,
aged from five to 13.
They have spent nearly two years waiting in a Thai quarantine camp
and are now in the Cocos Islands.
Animal Liberation NSW is awaiting legal advice to see whether it can
seek an interlocutory
Barbaro surgeon to operate on polar bear
The surgeon who has worked to save the life of Kentucky Derby winner
Barbaro will now try to help a polar bear with a broken leg, Erie Zoo
Dr. Dean Richardson will operate on Alcor, the 750-pound polar bear
with two badly broken bones just above his right paw, sometime next
week at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center in Kennett
Square, where Barbaro is being treated, officials said.
"This doctor is one of the best in the world and they've got a state-of-
the-art medical facility," zoo spokesman Scott Mitchell said. "There
couldn't be a better scenario, given the circumstances." (Watch Barbaro
stroll as he recovers from Richardson's handiwork -- 2:39)
Zoo officials do not know
Calgary Zoo mourns death of baby gorilla
The death of a baby gorilla born earlier this month brought tears to the
eyes of many staff at the Calgary Zoo today.
The female girl gorilla died Thursday.
Zoo officials said problems had developed when the mother, Zuri, put
down the baby and was foraging for food without her. Tabitha, a
dominant female in the troop and described as
Randy Dutch ape seeks mate on Net
Single male (red hair, long arms, interests include hanging in trees and
grooming) seeks female for long-distance relationship and possibility of
meeting up in future to help save species.
Zookeepers in the Netherlands are planning to hook up Dutch and
Panama rescue could be model for preserving frogs elsewhere;
scientists believe humans helped spread killer fungus
The face peering out from the plastic bag has a look of wise
inscrutability, with a touch of dismay, if such emotions are possible in a
It's a fantastic creature, made for fairy tales.
Bumps above its wide-set eyes look like tiny horns. Its body seems the
model of a tank for an elfin army: low to the ground, camo green, with
the appearance of armor forged from leaves.
Perhaps the frog was focused on dinner when the light of Edgardo
Griffith's head lamp fell on her. Or maybe she awaited a male. Then she
would carry fertilized eggs on her back - as frogs of this species do -
like an amphibian marsupial.
But the banded horned tree frog,
Rescuers race to save Central American frogs
Fungus puts species at risk of extinction
Kent Bekker of the Toledo Zoo starts his day swinging a makeshift net
across damp grass. It's about 8:30 in the morning, and already, the air
is near liquid with humidity.
One doesn't so much move through the day as swim through it. Nothing
dries out. Skin glistens with sweat even when the evening's mountain
breezes make light jackets necessary. Car interiors smell of mildew. An
abandoned damp towel sprouts a carpet of mold. A climate that allows
a gardener's dream of lush flowers is the perfect breeding ground for
It is also the ideal home for a fungus few here have heard of. It's called
chytrid (KIT-rid), or formally Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, and it's
completing a deadly sweep through Central America. It threatens to kill
nearly all of Panama's frogs, as it has in Costa Rica and Mexico before
this, and as it is doing on every continent on the planet. It's why the
Toledo Zoo sent Mr. Bekker to Panama. He's part
Wildlife park's new inhabitant
THERE was a new addition last week to Galloway Wildlife Conservation
Park's collection with the arrival of a male Lowland Tapir.
Kiarad, as he has been named, came to park all the way from Curraghs
Wildlife Park in Isle of Man.
John Denerley, Director, Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park
said: "Kiarad is a shy and adventurous creature. "He is a good
swimmer, using his "trunk" as a snorkel for breathing. We are delighted
with the arrival of such a rare, endangered animal. Kiarad is now
sharing a mixed exhibit enclosure with Common Rhea
Financial Irregularities Detected in Patna Zoo Project
The Nitish government has unearthed massive irregularities in funds
meant for the development of Patna's Sanjay Gandhi Botanical and
Zoological Garden while also discovering that all files with expenditure
details have also mysteriously disappeared, officials in Patna said on
Sources said the misappropriations of nearly Rs. 12 lakh relates to the
proposed plan of developing an aviary inside the zoo and took place
during the tenure of former zoo director Y. K. Singh Chauhan.
The matter is currently under investigation and until it is complete, it
would be hard to estimate the actual amount missing from the fund, the
chief forest officer Murarji Mishra said.
According to the report, the Patna zoo was to have an aviary with the
funds provided by the Central Zoo Authority. However, besides some
iron poles installed near the newly
Summer nights in the jungle
Fuengirola Zoo is the only in Europe that remains open to the public
THE silhouette of a large cat against the dark vegetation. The
glimmering eyes of a crocodile submerged to the nose in swampy
waters. The sudden erratic flight of rare bats against the fading light of
the sky. These are just some of the sights to be seen in Fuengirola Zoo,
the only one in Europe and one of two in the world the other is in
Singapore that remains open to the public until midnight.
Beneath the moonlight, visitors can discover a secret world of tropical
forests and swamps in the zoo, where one can travel in the imagination
to exotic places like Madagascar, Equatorial Africa and South-East Asia.
Fuengirola Zoo, thanks to a complete re-structuring of its habitats in
recent years, has become a magic world of tropical animals, fish and
"Moonlight has been created through a complicated system of
illumination, without disturbing the animals in any way or how they
behave at night," says the zoo's press officer, Marta Caballero.
Since this re-structuring five years ago, the zoo was re-designed as a
Wildlife park plan set for refusal
PLANS to open a small animal and wildlife park look set to be turned
down tomorrow because the scheme would encourage development in
the open countryside.
Fran Holah has applied to carry out the new development at East Lea
Farmhouse, on the outskirts of Filey.
The scheme includes an adventure trail and picnic area while also
creating a wildflower meadow.
Scarborough Council's development and regulation committee is being
recommended to reject the planning application despite support from
the council's own ecologist and wetland conservation officer, David
Mr Renwick says in a report to the council that he fully supports the
project, adding that he considers Mrs Holah's intention as "admirable".
"Her passion for nature conservation and wildlife is clear," said Mr
Renwick. "The environmental benefits of the scheme are considerable,
Mystery big cat leaves paw print
Another sighting of Mid Canterbury's big cat has been reported and this
time the mystery animal left a paw print.
A picture of the print has been sent to Biosecurity New Zealand to
Last week a Biosecurity New Zealand investigator and a large cat
specialist from Orana Wildlife Park visited the Ashburton River mouth
after a couple reported seeing a large cat there.
The latest sighting was at Wakanui, near Ashburton, last week by a
local farmer. He found the paw print in the mud after he disturbed the
It is the seventh reported sighting of
Meerkat family euthanized at zoo
Five meerkats at the Minnesota Zoo were euthanized after a 9-year-old
girl stuck her hand into their enclosure and got bitten.
The animals -- two adults and three young born this spring -- tested
negative for rabies, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported. They had been
vaccinated, but state law required them to be killed and tested because
the girl's parents did not want her to have rabies shots.
"Although we knew there was just a minute chance they had rabies, we
had no choice in this," said Tony Fisher, the collections manager. "Of
course, the public's safety comes first."
The meerkats, foot-long mongoose relatives native to the Kalahari
Desert in southern Africa, were among the zoo's most
HAVE COATIS MADE HOME IN FURNESS?
SPOTTED: A coati like this one was seen in a Lindal garden. The
householder said it was as big as a Labrador dog and had a bushy tail
with rings on it, but it was not aggressive THEY'RE a long way from
home but it seems a colony of South American coatis may have settled
A string of sightings culminated in one of the three-foot-long, meat-
eating mammals being tranquilliser darted from a tree in a Lindal
Householder Rob Hewitt, 64, of Low Farm Close, Lindal, said: "I was
sitting in a deckchair in my back garden when this face came round the
corner of the house and I thought you don't have a UK passport.
"It was as big as a Labrador dog. A big yellow and ginger thing with a
bushy tail with rings on it. Like a racoon, but the wrong colour.
"It turned round the corner and hissed at me. It wasn't scared or
"It climbed on the side of the wall and up on to a wall and it sat there
looking at me."
Rob rang South Lakes Wild Animal Park. But staff there said they had no
Eventually, park owner David Gill had to use a tranquilliser to sedate the
animal before he could catch it.
The coati sighting is the latest of several in this area.
One was spotted near the tarn at Great Urswick, another was in the
playground of Chetwynde School, Barrow,
Zoo Inspectors Probe Escape
ZOO inspectors have launched an official investigation after two animals
escaped from South Lakes Wild Animal Park.
An expert from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
was visiting the Dalton business today to examine fences and security
The Defra official will prepare a report on the security of the site, in
addition to checking the new bat facility and changes to the vulture
Barrow Borough Council is also examining whether zoo boss David Gill is
staying within the terms of his licence.
The escape incidents are being reported to the council's licensing
committee on September 14. Phil Newton, commercial services team
leader for the council, said: "It is a condition of David Gill's licence
Keeping wild animals as pets illegal
The UAE law does not allow wild and protected animals such as lions to
be kept as pets, officials from the Ministry of Environment and Water
Animal and wildlife centres across the UAE yesterday criticised the
conditions in which five lions and one cheetah were being kept in a
residential one-bedroom flat in a northern emirate, as reported by Gulf
Valid permits for the importation of protected species and tighter
controls on where these animals end up must be investigated, said a
number of wildlife groups.
Dr Mohammad Saeed Al Kindi, Minister of Environment and Water,
condemned the place in which the animals are being kept. "They are
not supposed to be there, they are wild animals. They are
The Scandal at the Zoo
WHEN New Yorkers went to the Bronx Zoo on Saturday, Sept. 8, 1906,
they were treated to something novel at the Monkey House.
Photographs: Unthinkable Now At first, some people weren't sure what
it was. It he seemed much less a monkey than a man, though a
very small, dark one with grotesquely pointed teeth. He wore modern
clothing but no shoes. He was proficient with bow and arrow, and
entertained the crowd by shooting at a target. He displayed skill at
weaving with twine, made amusing faces and drank soda.
The new resident of the Monkey House was, indeed, a man, a
Congolese pygmy named Ota Benga. The next day, a sign was posted
that gave Ota Benga's height as 4 feet 11 inches, his weight as 103
pounds and his age as 23. The sign concluded, "Exhibited each
Pretoria welcomes first koala born in Africa
A South African zoo said on Monday it had welcomed the first koala
ever born in Africa.
The National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria said the baby koala had
been born in January, but had only recently begun to peep out of its
"It is indeed an honour for the National Zoo to be able to boast with the
birth of the first koala on African soil," zoo executive director Willie
Labuschagne said in a statement.
"(We) are overjoyed by the fact that we now have a youngster to add to
The Pretoria zoo is the only zoo in Africa to house koalas. It began its
selective breeding programme last year hoping to gradually build up the
population of animals, which are native to Australia.
The zoo's official in charge of the koalas, Radion Khoza, said the newest
arrival would soon
Dutch orangutans to chat via internet with Indonesian counterparts
Orangutans in the Apenheul Primate Park near Apeldoorn in the western
Netherlands will soon be able to communicate by means of an internet
connection with their counterparts in a park on Borneo in Indonesia.
An Apenheul spokeswoman said the aim of the project was to draw
attention to the possibility that there would soon be no orangutans in
'We are are going to set up an internet connection between Indonesia
and Apeldoorn so that the apes can see each other and, by means of
pressing a button, be able to give one another food, for example,' she
She said the remaining orangutans in the wild in Indonesia were under
threat from deforestation.
Apenheul, spread over 12 hectares, was a revolutionary concept when it
was set up in 1971, allowing primates and people to
Zoo boss proposes $20m facelift
The new boss of the historic Adelaide Zoo wants to give it a major
facelift, which he estimates could cost $20 million over 10 to 15 years.
Chris West gave up his job as the head of the London Zoo because he
thinks he can make more of an impact in Adelaide.
His grand plans include replacing the fence surrounding the zoo and
building a new entrance with a public plaza.
"I would like us to open the zoo up," he said.
"I'd like to make it more part of the cultural precinct
Out of shell, into wild
They've spent most of the first three years of their lives being reared by
scientists, protected from predators and safe in their green-grey shells.
But a trio of young Blanding's turtles will march alone into Nova Scotia's
wilderness today as part of a long-term bid to rebuild the province's
population of this critically endangered species.
"These three turtles are kind of like astronauts," Stephen Flemming,
with Parks Canada, said yesterday. "They're all wearing transmitters.
They're going to be put out there and we're going to see how they're
The three siblings -- their sex will remain unknown until they're 20 --
will be released into a lake at Kejimkujik National Park, the same park
they were taken from while inside their eggs.
Blanding's turtles are found around
African vulture vanishes from zoo
A vulture has escaped from a Staffordshire zoo, police have said.
The African White-backed Vulture, called Bones, vanished from an
enclosure in Blackbrook Zoological Park, in Winkhill, near Leek.
The bird, which has a creamy, white-coloured back and brown feathers,
stands at 30in (76cm) high and has a wing span of about 11ft (3.3m).
The five-year-old ringed bird was last seen on Friday, but had gone by
Saturday when staff arrived for work.
'Not great flyer'
Malcolm Mycock, curator, said the bird, which is one of a pair, was not
aggressive and would not kill its own prey.
"It looks like it has somehow managed to get through a small hole
which had been gnawed in the aviary's nylon net.
"They're not great flyers and instead tend to soar on air thermals.
"It looks like your typical
Escaped wolf caught after month on run
Villagers living near Chiang Mai Night Safari slept soundly last night
after a grey wolf which escaped from the park was netted in the Doi
Suthep foothills on Saturday night.
"After we paid homage and prayed to forest spirits, the wolf eventually
walked out before us," said park director Plodprasop Suraswadi, who
named it lhong, which means lost.
Mr Plodprasop ordered that it be quarantined for
Penguins corralled on Texas highway
Four others, exotic fish killed when zoo transport overturns
Twenty-one penguins were rescued on a hot east Texas highway
Tuesday after a truck carrying the wildlife to a temporary home south of
Houston overturned, said a state trooper.
Four penguins and some exotic fish were killed in the accident, including
three penguins that were hit by passing motorists, said Texas
Department of Public Safety Trooper Richard Buchanan.
"The rest of the penguins kind of stayed together in the ditch," he said.
The truck, also carrying an octopus that was uninjured, was bound for
Moody Gardens, a tourist destination
Gov't promises major improvements for Hope Gardens and Zoo
VICTOR Cummings, the junior agriculture minister, has promised
significant improvements to the Hope Gardens and Zoo in Kingston in
time for next year's Cricket World Cup.
CUMMINGS. there will be significant improvements to enhance the
garden and zoo's attractiveness
"It is expected that there will be significant improvements to enhance
the garden and zoo's attractiveness to both tourists and locals in time
for the upcoming World Cup cricket," Cummings told the House of
Mittal Steel asked to find new elephant for zoo
A Polish city has appealed to Indian industrial giant Mittal Steel to find a
new elephant for its zoo after its previous Indian elephant died.
Though Burma, a 40-year-old crowd-puller, died in July, trade
restrictions on zoo elephants and long waiting lists mean it can take
years for zoos to find replacements.
Mittal Steel, the world's number one steel company which owns a mill in
the southern Polish city, could be the answer, said Krystina
Paluchowska, a spokesperson at Krakow city hall.
"Everyone in the city is waiting for a new elephant, especially the
Gangsta Rap Blamed for Elephant Violence (Peters Note - I find this sick.
NOT THE REMOTEST BIT FUNNY. A person DIED here! Blame it on the
50 Cent, Young Buck among killer Winkie's favorites
Winkie, the elephant who killed her handler a few weeks ago, may have
done so under the influence of gangsta rap, sources at Hohenwald's
Elephant Sanctuary say.
"Winkie liked 50 Cent and Young Buck, and sometimes even reached
back to the classics, like N.W.A. and the Geto Boys," says one volunteer
at the sanctuary, which has been Winkie's home since she was removed
from the Madison, Wis., zoo due to her violent tendencies.
As with all the elephants at the sanctuary, Winkie had been fitted with
cantaloupe-sized ear buds and had been taught to use her trunk to
select her favorite songs from her personal iPod. "It's quite a sight
watching all the elephants walking around holding their iPods and
bobbing their heads to the music," the sanctuary volunteer says.
Zoo director calls for moth census to monitor decline
A reference guide to animals and insects in the UAE is needed so that
species can be counted and declines in population can be monitored,
said the director of Dubai Zoo.
Following an apparent decline of moths in the UK, a census is being
launched to discover why it is happening an environmental initiative that
should be applied here, said Dr Reza Khan, Dubai Zoo director.
"There should be some scientists to name all moths and butterflies in
the UAE. There is no reference of birds, mammals, or fish either. We
really need this because there is no official record of what lives in the
UAE," said Khan. He added that moths and butterflies exist in all habitats
and are a vital part of the animal food chain.
"We do not see a number of the animals that survive in the desert or in
arid environments like the many lizards and birds, but they all rely on
moths and butterflies," he said. "If they start depleting we won't know
Avian flu pops up in German zoo
A swan tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza at a German zoo
yesterday, signaling the virus's re-emergence in the country after a 3-
A black Australian swan at the Dresden Zoo in eastern Germany was
found dead on Aug 1, but zoo officials weren't too concerned at first
because deaths in the breed are common, zoo biologist Ron Brockmann
told Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA). But after the bird tested positive
for H5N1 yesterday, he said, the zoo quarantined other animals and
sought government permission to vaccinate the rest of the zoo's
collection of 720 birds of 112 species.
The swan was the first zoo animal infected in Germany, according to
the story. Brockmann said the virus might have entered the zoo last
winter when wild birds visited the zoo's ponds. The staff is worried that
other animals in the zoo may become infected with the H5N1 virus if
they eat dead birds, he said.
Germany's last outbreaks of H5N1 avian flu were in February among
wild birds and in April in farm poultry, Agence France-Presse reported
In other developments, a man in Vietnam who was hospitalized
Zoo fined for animal deaths, attack
The Lincoln Park Zoo has paid a $3,000 fine after federal authorities
ruled it was to blame for a gorilla attack on a zookeeper and the deaths
of several monkeys last year, officials said.
The matter is considered closed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture
and there are no further investigations of the zoo, agency spokesman
Of gangs and genocide
Chimp behavior provides clues to the neural basis for aggression in
A kindly father romps with his children, and then steals away with his
male cousins at nightfall, machete in hand, on a mission to slaughter
unsuspecting neighbors. Well-
socialized chimpanzee males may quietly and purposefully hike to the
their territory, stalk a lone, browsing chimpanzee of the adjacent troop,
and viciously beat it, perhaps to death. Cannibalism driven by
exhilaration not hunger may occur, in both chimps and humans.
What are the neural mechanisms underlying the compatibility between
such in-group kindliness and out-group savagery?
The neurobiology of social behavior has come into its own in the last
decade. Important progress has been made in exploring the neural
basis of aggression in its varied manifestations. The key elements
targeted in aggression research so far are a set of neurotransmitters
and specific regions
Five int'l consultants short-listed for Saigon Safari Park
The selection of an international consultant for mapping out the first
safari park in Vietnam is drawing to a close as five foreign consulting
firms have been short-listed, said the project owner.
Le Toan, deputy director of the HCMC Service of Communications and
Public Works as the project management unit, told the Daily on Tuesday
that his service expected the chosen foreign consultant would help make
the large-scale park more feasible and attractive to foreign investors.
Ten competitors had joined the contest for zoning the US$300-mil
project to build the Saigon Safari Park in the outlying district of Cu Chi,
but only five had eased into the final round, he said.
The five short-listed candidates are the consortium of TJ Engineering
Consultants Inc. and PJA Architects + Landscape Architects, German's
Rasbach Architekten, France's Imaginvest, Singapore's Bernard Harrison
& Friends Ltd., and the consortium between the Portico Group of US and
HKS Designer & Consultant International Ltd. of Thailand.
These five consultants each will submit a bid for a contract to prepare
the zoning plan of the scale of 1/2000 for the park, the first one of its
kind in Vietnam.
The costly project was initiated two
Battle lines form over zoo entry
A proposed $2.3 million entrance planned for the Honolulu Zoo would:
(a) update the look and attract more visitors; or (b) emphasize
commercialism while abandoning history and risking legal action.
City officials take the first position, favoring a new zoo entrance that
would push out into the front lawn to the 'ewa side of the current
entrance, so it would be more visible from Kalakaua and Kapahulu
But the Kapi'olani Park Preservation Society and the Diamond
Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board take the second
view. They have expressed concerns about the project that calls for the
demolition of the current entrance, a low-rise structure designed by the
Zoos wants to 'milk' elephant
Chawang, the bull elephant at the Night Safari that gained notoriety for
nearly goring its keeper to death in 2001, has been isolated once more
for aggressive behaviour. But this time, it is because the 29-year-old
elephant is in sexual heat, also known as musth.
The condition, which can last three to five months, has seen Chawang
hurl mud balls at zookeepers, dig his tusks into the ground and chase
buggies that come near him.
Said the curator of Zoology at the Night Safari, Mr Kumar Pillay: "The
word musth is a Persian word which means intoxication. We don't put in
females together with him when he is
Flood-curbing plan to be implemented in next government: Thai
Thai Caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said Tuesday the 20
billion baht (526 million U. S. dollars) comprehensive plan to solve
Thailand's flood problems was put on hold due to the political crisis but
would get the go- ahead in the new government after the election,
media here reported.
In an interview on Tuesday Thaksin remarked on flooding in the
northern province of Chiang Mai that government officials had taken
preventive measures before the flooding, according to the official Thai
Flash flood hit Chiang Mai Province Monday following days of heavy
rains. Hundreds of dwellins were inundated. The Meteorological
Department has warned residents in Chiang Mai and surrounding
provinces of more rain and landslides.
In Chiang Mai city, the northern capital, the rising water from the Ping
River has flooded some areas, forcing some schools to close on
Government agencies have stockpiled more than 200,000 sandbags to
build barriers along the river to prevent flooding in the city's commercial
Some railway tracks in the nearby province of Lampang was damaged
by flash flooding Monday night, suspending temporarily ......Some
domestic critics accused the Chiang Mai Night Safari, a wildlife park
which officially opened earlier this year, and other development projects
of causing environment changes around Doi Suthep, the
Hanging Around At Dalton Zoo
THEY'RE usually associated with blood sucking vampires in horror films.
But the bats at South Lakes Wild Animal Park would prefer a banana to
From Saturday visitors to the zoo in Dalton will be able to come face to
face with Rodrigues fruit bats in full flight.
The park's new aerial walkway
Elephant Conservation Centre for Panchkula district: Choudhry
THE Haryana Forests and Wildlife Department will shortly set up an
Elephant Conservation Centre in Panchkula district for which talks are
going on with the Union Government. Haryana Minister of State for
Forests Kiran Choudhry disclosed this while addressing a press
She said 10.75 lakh saplings would be planted over an area of 1,160
hectares in Panchkula district and 16 villages had already been selected
under the JBIC Project and 15 more were selected during the current
year for which a financial assistance of Rs 93 lakh had been
Rescuers race to save Central American frogs
Fungus puts species at risk of extinction
Kent Bekker of the Toledo Zoo starts his day swinging a makeshift net
across damp grass. It's about 8:30 in the morning, and already, the air
is near liquid with humidity.
One doesn't so much move through the day as swim through it. Nothing
dries out. Skin glistens with sweat even when the evening's mountain
breezes make light jackets necessary. Car interiors smell of mildew. An
abandoned damp towel sprouts a carpet of mold. A climate that allows
a gardener's dream of lush flowers is the perfect breeding ground for
It is also the ideal home for a fungus few here have heard of. It's called
chytrid (KIT-rid), or formally Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, and it's
completing a deadly sweep through Central America. It threatens to kill
nearly all of Panama's frogs, as it has in Costa Rica and Mexico before
this, and as it is doing on every continent on the planet. It's why the
Toledo Zoo sent Mr. Bekker to Panama. He's part of a team attempting
Int'l zoo conference to be held in Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City is to host an international conference for the South
East Asian Zoos Association on effective management and wildlife
conservation, reported the city authorities.
The 15th annual conference is scheduled to take place September 11-
13 with participation of 100 experts and officials from zoological and
botanical gardens from 26 countries around the world.
Most of the participants to the conference are directors, veterinarians,
Under the theme of `Zoos on the fringe', the three-day event's
organization board will hold seminars to discuss topics on everything
from animal husbandry and veterinary medicine to fund raising,
conservation, animal welfare and ethics.
After the conference, participants will
Brazilian military to aid stray penguins
Brazil is staging a military operation involving a Hercules transport plane
and Navy ships all to return four dozen wayward penguins to the icy
waters of Antarctica, authorities said Wednesday.
The 50 birds are the survivors among 135 that started appearing in Rio
de Janeiro in early June, dragged to warm Brazilian waters by ocean
currents, said Giselda Candiotto, president of Rio's Niteroi Zoo
Foundation, which is caring for the penguins.
A Hercules C-130 transport airplane will take the flightless birds to
Pelotas in southern Brazil on Sept. 23 for the first leg of their journey
home, the Air Force's press office said. There, they will be examined by
veterinarians at the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center of the Eliezer
de Carvalho Rios Oceanographic Museum.
From Pelotas, the penguins will be driven to
ZOO TEACHER SAYS GOODBYE
A teacher at one of the Westcountry's most popular attractions has
retired after teaching more than 100,000 children over a 20-year
period. Janet Ceely has been the public face of Paignton Zoo, giving
outreach talks to a variety of groups and travelling across the region to
speak to groups.
In her role as an educator at the zoo she has also taught children of all
ages about wildlife and conservation and helped to run the zoo's Gibbon
Club since it started in 1995. She has also taken a particular interest in
LA Zoo Defends Handling Of Chimp That Died Of Rattlesnake Bite
Los Angeles Zoo officials defended their handling of a chimpanzee that
died last week after being bitten by a rattlesnake that fell into the Mahali
"In this particular case, I think our actions were appropriate,"
veterinarian Curtis Eng said. "We responded very quickly when we got
the radio call. We were down there assessing the animal within about
The chimp died last Wednesday and the results of a necropsy are still
A zookeeper who asked to remain anonymous told the Daily News that
the chimp was bitten at about 1 p.m., but officials didn't notify anyone
for about two hours. The zookeeper also said veterinarians
administered Benadryl instead of antivenin.
Zoo curator Jennie McNary said using Benadryl is not unusual, because
antivenin can be dangerous for animals.
"There is a problem with antivenin being a horse serum, that there
might be an allergic reaction to it that could be as deadly as the
Chaos at Lahore Zoo
The Lahore Zoo gift shop will be closed because it has been suffering
losses, whereas animals and visitors alike are being inconvenienced
because of construction at various sites in the first phase of the Lahore
Zoo master plan, Punjab Wildlife Department sources said in this central
Pakistan city yesterday.
Several ditches can be seen on the zoo premises because of excessive
digging to renovate cages, and the zoo's incubator is out of order as
well. No signboards have been put up to tell visitors about the cages to
which animals have been shifted.
Sources said that construction equipment had been thrown everywhere.
Khadeeja, a bank employee visiting the zoo, said that the zoo was in a
mess because visitors had no idea of where to go, and she had wasted
her money on the ticket.
Mansoor, another visitor, said that most cages could not be seen
because of heaps of mud. Expressing displeasure over the stinking
water in cages of the rhinos and water birds, he said the zoo
administration should put up signboards, telling people where to find
Murad, another visitor with his family, said the zoo administration
should offer a concession on tickets because most animals had been
shifted to other cages.
Sources said that the incubator had been out of order for several
months, but the administration had done nothing in this regard. They
said that around 500 eggs of 100 peacocks had been sent to Jallo
Wildlife Park, which had an incubator as well.
Around 150 of the 500 peacock eggs had already hatched, they said,
adding that eggs of more than 20 pheasants have also been sent to the
Sources said the gift shop had earned only Rs23,000 since it was
opened a year ago in former Lahore Zoo director
Hattiesburg curator says Romanian zoo faces bleak future
Editor's note: John Wright, general curator for Hattiesburg Zoo, is using
his two-week summer vacation to travel to Buhusi, Romania, as part
of "The Lions Roar" project, started by American storyteller Laura
Simms, which is lending aid and technical support to the Buhusi Zoo. He
also spent time in Buhusi last year.
The storytelling went so well with the children that Laura and I now
want to write a story about the gifts animals give to us everyday and
how they enrich our lives with wonder.
However, to keep them around for our children and their children, we
need to give them space and care for their needs. I hope that maybe
we can do this by year's end. Outside our reading to the children, what
is happening here isn't as storybook a tale as we'd hoped.
We had a meeting with the vice-mayor of Buhusi. He's a good man,
though he wants to see the zoo closed and made into a park. He knows
the situation, and the staff, are not well suited to continue to keep
animals. We suggested the zoo still has the potential for attracting
wildlife and that keeping some of the domestic animals to
Zoo hopes to unravel hippo's hidden past
Ishikawa Zoo visitors are enamored with its long-lived star attraction:
Grandma Deka, a hippopotamus with origins shrouded in mystery.
No one knows where she was born. And while some records show she
toured Japan for two years for an ad campaign more than half a century
ago, the details are sketchy.
Finding out more has not been easy. Now about 54 years old, Deka is
the oldest hippo in Japan. To celebrate Deka's longevity, the zoo is
planning a special exhibit about her eventful life. But hours of research
have failed to clear up two big mysteries about her life.
Deka came here in 1953, when Japan was still struggling to get back on
its feet after the devastation of World War II. She was purchased by the
Okayama-based food maker Kabaya Foods Corp. She was then thought
to be 1 year old.
Company files say that the hippo was born in the wild. Hippos are native
to Africa, but no one knows why Deka's files say she came from
Germany. An official in the company's planning division says no one
recalls details from so long ago.
The company's PR materials list Deka's birthplace as unknown, and the
Ishikawa Zoo exhibit only says Deka is thought to have been born on the
When she first arrived in Japan, Deka was called Kabako--"hippo child."
Between 1953 and 1954, she toured the nation in a Kabaya Foods
campaign vehicle equipped with a tank.
In subsequent years, Deka was moved to Ikeda Zoo in Okayama in
1955, the former Itozu Yuen in Kita-Kyushu in 1956, and
Burying the elephant
Not easily, as you might suspect.
Patsy, the 40-year-old African elephant who had arthritis so bad it was
tough for her to walk, was put to sleep Monday night, and buried in an
unmarked grave Tuesday at a remote location at the Toronto Zoo.
There were several logistical issues in burying Patsy.
In fact, some might callously wonder why the zoo didn't just carve the
elephant up and feed it to the lions. The lions would be happy and you
wouldn't have the herculean task of moving such a beast that was going
to be dissected anyway in the post-mortem.
On humane grounds, the zoo says it wouldn't do that.
On top of that, zoo officials say the animal was fed so many drugs in
being euthanized that the lions would have taken ill and probably died if
they ingested the meat.
Instead, as many as two
Accra Zoo animals on transit to Kumasi
Government is to move the Accra Zoo from its present location to give
way to the construction of the Presidential Complex. Mr Kofi Amponsah-
Bediako, Government Spokesman on Services and Infrastructure,
confirmed the story but said the movement of the animals from the
Accra Zoo to Kumasi Zoo was a temporary arrangement since the
Government was going to build a new Zoo with adequate facilities at the
The Zoo located behind the Flagstaff House, Accra was initially built as a
private zoo for Ghana's First President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah,
but it was later converted into a public one to serve the desires of
tourists, school children and holiday makers. About 1.5 billion cedis is
being sought, from the Government to cart the animals to the Kumasi
Zoo as early as possible, so that the presidential project, which is two
months ahead of schedule could go on as planned.
Mr Amponsah-Bediako said since the construction of the new Zoo was
going to take some time it was normal to move the animals to the
nearest Zoo and according to international requirement
Group Blasts LA Zoo for Animal Death Blunders, Calls for Zoo Director's
Disgusted at the latest reports of the unnecessary death of a male
chimpanzee at the Los Angeles Zoo, Last Chance for Animals (LCA), an
LA-based animal advocacy organization, calls for Mayor Villaraigosa to
dismiss LA Zoo Director John Lewis.
Judeo, a 25-year old chimpanzee, was bitten by a rattlesnake that fell
into his enclosure at approximately 1pm last Wednesday. Zoo officials
claim the chimp was promptly given antivenin but later died. However,
according to the Los Angeles Daily News, a whistleblower at the zoo
claims keepers were aware Judeo was bitten at 1pm, but failed to act
until approximately 3pm, despite reports that Judeo had "a bad case of
the shakes." However, instead of calling a veterinarian, keepers called
the "Reptile House" -- the zoo's home for snakes and lizards. Even then,
instead of administering antivenin, the whistleblower reports Judeo was
merely given over-the-counter Benadryl.
"The level of mismanagement at the LA Zoo is incomprehensible. When
Gita the elephant died, the zoo's official account of the events of her
death was proven false after a zoo employee came forward with the
real story. Now another employee is coming forward regarding Judeo. If
the whistleblower is correct, we have a serious problem on our hands
and LA city officials need to re-evaluate John Lewis' employment with
the city," stated LCA President Chris DeRose.
When the real story about Gita's death was uncovered, zoo officials put
all the blame on one employee -- a woman they later "allowed to
resign." Backing up zoo officials, Councilmember Tom LaBonge, whose
district includes the zoo, responded by stating, "When a public
Zoo claims Hazina the hippo was not mistreated
Lawyer says zoo staff 'heartbroken' by accusations; he wants charges
The Greater Vancouver Zoo is trying to convince the SPCA to drop its
animal cruelty charge, saying there is no evidence that Hazina the hippo
was mistreated or subjected to distress.
The zoo's lawyer Glen Orris, speaking outside Surrey Provincial Court
Monday, said staff are "heartbroken" over being accused of mistreating
the two-year-old hippo.
"These charges reflect on every person associated with and who works
with the zoo," said Orris. "Every person there takes these charges
personally. It is an inference that these people are not doing their jobs."
The animal cruelty charge was laid in May after the Vancouver Humane
Society complained to the SPCA that Hazina was being kept alone inside
a small temporary facility for 19 months with a pool too shallow to
support her weight. It is believed to be the first time a Canadian zoo has
been charged with mistreating an animal.
Orris insists Hazina was never in distress and that her concrete pen was
a temporary necessity while the zoo faced delays in constructing a new
$650,000 enclosure and heated pool.
He hopes the SPCA will drop the charge before it reaches court on Sept.
But Marcie Moriarty,
Should the zoo receive more cash?
Public invited to voice their opinions on budget increase
The public will get a chance today to try to influence the Victoria City
Council before it decides on a proposed budget increase of $45,000-a-
year sought by the Texas Zoo.
That opportunity will come during a budget work session immediately
following the council's regular 5 p.m. meeting. Both sessions will be in
the Council Chamber at 107 W. Juan Linn St.
After hearing from the public, the council is scheduled to make a
recommendation to the city staff on how
L.A. Zoo Records Show Elephant Gita Battling Multiple Problems Before
After the pachyderm died June 10, officials said she had been doing well
as recently as the previous day.
When Gita, the L.A. Zoo's beloved 48-year-old Asian elephant, died in
June, zoo officials said that as recently as the day before she had
appeared to be doing well and had healed from surgery on her left front
But the zoo's medical records from the two months leading up to Gita's
death paint a picture of an animal battling a number of ailments. Gita
was suffering from several abscesses on her body probably from
leaning against the bars of her barn that continued to grow even as
veterinarians treated them. The sole of her right front foot had
developed a sore that had to be debrided and covered with a protective
boot. And in the days before her death, when the zoo's staff tried to
administer antibiotics intravenously to her left foot, the usually placid
Chimp's day out at Mysore zoo
A male chimpanzee escaped from its open-air fenced enclosure in
Mysore zoo on Saturday creating panic among the visitors.
Veterinarian of Mysore zoo Nanjappa told The Hindu that 14-year-old
Mason scaled the solar-fenced enclosure around noon, before jumping
into the open area of the zoo. After breaking free, the agitated
chimpanzee began ambling around the zoo premises.
Many tourists, including children, ran helter-skelter in the zoo. As soon
as the zoo authorities learnt about the chimpanzee's escape, the staff
cordoned off the area. An elaborate operation was launched by the
animal keepers and other zoo staff to lure the chimpanzee back into its
enclosure. "In a bid to pacify it, we offered it fruits. We waited for more
than 45 minutes so that the animal could calm down. Later, we tried to
cajole it inside the enclosure, but in vain," Dr. Nanjappa said.
When the chimpanzee refused to budge, the authorities were forced to
fire a tranquilliser at it. Later, the animal was put back into its
According to the zoo authorities, the
Zoo's exhibit plan getting rough ride
Most Calgarians can't bear the thought of the zoo keeping the kings of
arctic wildlife in captivity, says an activist-commissioned survey.
Only one-third of 401 people polled by R.A. Malatest & Associates
research firm supported the Calgary Zoo's multi-million-dollar project to
showcase polar bears and beluga whales, said Zoocheck Canada, an
animal protection charity.
Zoocheck spokeswoman Julie Woodyer said results showing 58% of
Calgarians are against the exhibit aren't surprising given the history of
similar polls and what animal experts know about the two species.
"There's a wealth of evidence that shows that wide-ranging carnivores -
specifically whales and polar bears - are among the worst candidates
for captivity," Woodyer said.
"Polar bears are hard
Oregon Zoo elephant, 51, to be put down
Pet's time has come. Her left front foot is ailing, and there's nothing the
veterinarians at the Oregon Zoo can do for her.
So next week, the matriarch of the zoo's Asian elephant herd will be
given a powerful narcotic and fall asleep. Then she'll be given an
overdose of the same drug, etorphine, delivered into a vein in her ear to
Veterinarian Mitch Finnegan said he and keepers have agonized over
For decades, arthritis has plagued Pet, 51, who was born in Thailand.
And now an infection of the toe has invaded the bone. Despite
antibiotics, it persists. Her mobility has declined drastically and X-rays
from last week show disintegrating
Zoo to the rescue of rare mice
EDINBURGH Zoo has been at the centre of a major conservation effort to
save rare mice on a Hebridean island.
Around 150 wood mice were relocated to the Scottish mainland while a
mass cull of rats took place on Canna in the Inner Hebrides.
The animals were transferred to Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife
Park so that pest controllers could eradicate the island's 10,000 non-
native brown rats which had been threatening the mice and seabirds.
The cull was launched by the National Trust for Scotland, which owns
the island. It ended in January and routine monitoring in April found no
sign of rats.
The Royal Zoological Society
I Want Your Job: Zoo keeper
'They're the most fantastic animals'
Tracey Lee, 36, is team leader of Mammals South, one half of London
Zoo's large mammals section. She looks after the zoo's big cats,
primates, bears, hippos, camels and bearded pigs.
What does a typical day's work at the zoo involve?
We get in at 8am and have a team briefing. Then we head off to check
any sickly animals, clean, breakfast the animals, and give public talks.
There's so much that goes on - yesterday I was picking out trees for our
new Gorilla Kingdom, for instance. All the animals have different needs.
A hippo would be annoyed if you spread its food all over the place, as it
prefers having the food in one pile - but monkeys prefer to forage
around. At the end of the day, we make sure everyone's all right and
lock up. The zoo closes at 5.30pm and we leave after 6pm.
What do you love about being a zoo keeper?
The diversity - and the fact that the animals do become so close to you,
that you forget they're a hippo, or a giraffe. That's really special. It's a
privilege to come into the zoo and work with the most fantastic animals
on the planet. I prefer the animals that don't want to eat you, to the
ones that do. Tigers and lions are more interested in you than what's in
your bucket, when you go to feed them.
What's not so great about it?
Working weekends, and the long hours. We work every other Saturday
and Sunday, and that can get you down - you end up missing a lot of
friends' weddings. If I could get my weekends off, I'd work here until I
What sort of skills do you need to do your job well?
You have to be physically strong and fit. It's hard work, especially in hot
weather. You also need to be a good communicator. We spend a huge
amount of time giving educational talks to children and adults - it
wouldn't pay to be a shy zoo keeper. People have to be compassionate,
as the job is more of a vocation.
You're not going to make a lot of money. Management is looking for
people with zoology degrees now, too.
Is there any advice that you'd give to someone who wanted to work in a
Be prepared to work long hours.
Patsy, famous Toronto Zoo elephant, dies
Patsy, the matriarch of the Toronto Zoo's elephant herd for 33 years,
has died at the age of 40.
Forty is fairly old for an elephant, Zoo CEO Calvin White said this
afternoon, but it wasn't old age that killed her.
Zoo staff said she was put to sleep Monday night after a period of failing
health due to long-term degenerative arthritis, likely caused by an
"She was in constant pain," White said in an interview. "She was still on
exhibit as of last night, but you could tell she was hurting. She walked
very slow, she would lean against the wall
Winkie the elephant's life is spared
Handler's death ruled accident
The death of a handler who was knocked down and crushed by an
elephant has been ruled an accident, and the animal will not be
Joanna Burke, 36, was killed Friday at The Elephant Sanctuary, a
nonprofit institution about 60 miles from Nashville.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Sheriff's Department
investigated, found that the sanctuary was in compliance with all
regulations and called Burke's death an accident.
Carol Buckley, the sanctuary's executive director and co-founder, said
Monday that Burke was hosing down the elephant, Winkie, and walked
around to the animal's side to look at a swollen eyelid believed to have
been caused by an insect bite.
"Without warning, Winkie spun around and struck Joanna across the
chest and face," she said. "Joanna fell backward and Winkie stepped on
her, killing her instantly."
Buckley said that from now on, handlers must have a barrier between
them and the elephants when they are touching them.
As for putting the elephant to death, Buckley said: "These animals are
not in the public. The people who go through that fence into the
sanctuary go knowing the dangers that exist. Second, this is an
endangered species and it's illegal to kill them."
While at a zoo in Madison, Wisconsin, Winkie hurt several staffers and
visitors and was considered a dangerous elephant, according to the
sanctuary's Web site.
Burke will be buried on the grounds of the sanctuary, as
Toronto subsidizes rest of province
In condemning the Toronto Zoo's proposal to charge out-of-towners
more than Toronto residents for admission, the Star repeats
unquestioningly the oft-cited canard that "taxpayers across the province
As anyone familiar with
Quit monkeying around with the zoo
Maybe he's just not saying it right. Then again, maybe there's no right
way to say that the City of Toronto should charge 905 residents more to
attend the zoo than city dwellers.
Or, maybe City Councillor Joe Mihevc is just trying to raise his profile by
proposing controversial ideas as he heads into a competitive election
contest (Ward 21, St. Paul's) against well-known challenger and former
Toronto mayor John Sewell.
Whatever his reasoning, Mihevc hasn't been persuasive.
After proposing this brainstorming idea at a council budget committee
last week one that would be divisive and be sure to incite opposition
in GTA border communities Mihevc was back at it this week,
following World Cup celebrations Sunday along St. Clair.
Pointing to piles of trash, the cost of the cleanup and the attendant
higher expenses of running a central city where inhabitants from the
region converge for civic celebrations, Mihevc said Toronto needs
revenues to offset the costs and burdens of hosting such events.
Sewell's response yesterday sums up the problem with Mihevc's
Sure, Toronto has its fiscal problems and needs revenues, Sewell said
in an interview. But this is no solution.
"It's just dead wrong. You can't divide up people according to where
they live. You don't attack people in the 905 to solve our problems," said
the progressive Sewell, who aims to shake up city hall and shake out
"The zoo is a regional resource. The function of big cities is always to
offer things that others don't," and the attendant higher costs are just
what it takes to run a big city, Sewell said.
Some call it the burden and the delight of big cities.
Like a big brother or a matriarch, you host the party. The family comes
to your place for special celebrations. And you pick up the operating
costs and hassles of more garbage, higher electricity and water bills
and greater wear and tear. It goes with the territory.
Sophisticated cities find ways to play the game without whining to their
siblings. They wheedle money from provincial governments to cover
what everyone acknowledges are higher costs. They skilfully levy fees
that counter the costs. They put in tolls on new projects that cater to
the influx of visitors. And they are careful not to talk about it because
such discussion is just bad form.
Mihevc's not all wet, here.
Toronto, as the heart of the GTA, does bear higher costs than its
neighbours. Its daytime population is higher than its nighttime
population as hundreds of thousands come in for jobs and recreation
The argument is that while these "visitors" eat lunch and shop at
downtown eateries and retail stores, the municipal government does
not reap any of the benefits. The businesses get the sales, the federal
government gets the GST and the province pockets the sales tax. All the
city gets is the cost of cleanup, and the residual effect of a healthy
business sector that, in turn, pays property taxes.
So, a portion of sales tax would be a welcome addition to the now-
limited menu of funding tools available to the city, Mihevc argues.
The councillor might have stopped there, though. Queen's Park has just
given Toronto a new act and the act fails to deliver a portion of the
sales tax to the city. Mihevc would be on solid ground beating the drums
for the province to change its mind.
Instead, the councillor suggests the city charge residents around
Toronto higher admission to the Toronto Zoo.
On the surface, it is a poorly designed plan in that it is bound to infuriate
Toronto's neighbours. Such a two-tier admission rate, conceived as
Mihevc proposes it, can only
Editorial: Don't prey on visitors
Toronto already has an image problem throughout the rest of Canada.
For many in the hinterland, this is the city they love to hate.
And that unwholesome sentiment will likely deepen, especially among
our closest neighbours in the surrounding 905 region, if two-tier pricing
is introduced at the Toronto Zoo.
Politicians on the city's budget committee last week unwisely proposed
that the zoo change its admission rates so that city residents would pay
less than everyone else.
The zoo, one of North America's largest, attracts about 1.2 million
visitors each year. It habitually runs a deficit, however; the projected
shortfall for this year is $11.8 million, to be covered by city taxpayers.
Proponents of a two-tier admission policy, led by Councillor Joe Mihevc,
have argued that price increases should fall on outsiders since Toronto
residents are already paying for the zoo through their property tax.
Officials are now studying the idea and are to respond with a report.
It seems relatively easy to calculate how much a suggested $2
surcharge on adults and youth from outside Toronto would add to the
zoo's bottom line. But it is far harder to calculate the harm that would
result to this much-resented city's image.
A $2 surcharge on out-of-towners amounts to a substantial cash grab.
For example, a Pickering family of four, including a 13-year-old and a
14-year-old, would pay $8 more than an identical group from
Scarborough. That kind of pricing creates two classes of
Likely alienate patrons
Also, a surefire way to lose even more money as well as leaving tourists
with a bad taste in their mouths
Zoo may take bite out of 905 visitors
In 2003, the Toronto Zoo said it was suffering severe financial
repercussions due to the SARS crisis. The attendance numbers were so
affected that the zoo was considering closing for a few months a year,
as opposed to its usual one day closing on Dec. 25.
Another idea was to cut back on its animal rescue programs.
I wrote to the Star at that time to prompt people to attend the Toronto
Zoo, voted Toronto's 2002 Best Family Attraction. I emphasized the
zoo's commitment to conservation and research was never-ending and
that it had been a phenomenal, established attraction for 29 years,
welcoming people from all corners of the world. I suggested people
bring handwipes along if that made their fears lessen about the spread
of germs while enjoying what the zoo had to offer us all.
I was sorely
Ape Meat Sold in U.S., European Black Markets
Meat from chimpanzees, gorillas, and other wild African animals is
popping up in illegal markets in the United States and Europe, a new
"Bush meat" consumption is widespread in western and central Africa
(Africa map). There, the poor have traditionally trapped wild animals as
a form of subsistence hunting to help feed their families and villages
However, wild animals such as primates have been shot in such large
numbers that conservationists have declared bush-meat hunting a crisis.
Adding to the demand, wild animal meat is making its way from small
villages into African cities, where some diners consider it a delicacy.
Now bush meat is going overseas to Western cities.
Justin Brashares, a professor of wildlife ecology at the University of
California, Berkeley, and a team of volunteers recently said it found the
illegal meat in markets in Paris, Brussels, London, New York City,
Montreal, Toronto, and Los Angeles.
The team documented 27 instances of gorilla or chimpanzee parts being
sold, though it never found a complete carcass.
"Most illegal meat is carried in suitcases and also is shipped in parcels
and large containers," Brashares said.
Brashares first learned of markets that trade bush meat through a
chance meeting with a Ghanaian living in New York City a couple of
"In the U.S. a lot of it comes through JFK and Miami airports," he
added. "Inspectors actively search for these shipments and use sniffer
dogs. But they tell me they can't begin to keep up with the volume
coming in and estimate they catch about one percent of the total coming
into the country."
Many officials at Africa's airports are aware of the illegal cargo but
choose to look the other way and allow the airports of the importing
countries to deal with the issue, says Karl Ammann, a bush-meat
activist and wildlife photographer.
"I have checked in on flights to Europe in central African capitals,"
Ammann said. "A lot of local passengers check in openly with [coolers].
AirlinesI talked to Swissair staff at the timeare terrified to confront
passengers and risk huge scenes at the airport."
Meat for the Elite
Bush meat is a vital part of the livelihoods of many rural Africans. But
for Western countries that are not suffering from food shortages, it has
become a luxury food item, like caviar or shark meat.
The biggest Western consumers come from the middle and upper
classes and have found easy ways to access bush meat, according to
"It is pretty openly for sale, and when checking out the buyers, it is clear
that it is not the poor but often the wives of politicians and
policymakers," he said.
The University of California's Brashares believes it's reasonable to
assume that African bush meat sold in North America and Europe is a
luxury good. But he found out that, for many, it's just a matter getting
some home cooking.
"My sense from talking with the volunteers who use these markets and
know them pretty well is that most buyers are
Haifa zoo's animals struggle with war
As Hezbollah rockets rain down on this coastal city, not only people
must take cover.
The threat keeps most of the Haifa Zoo's 600-some animals locked in
their night shelters.
With the zoo located in the heart of the city, a direct hit by a Katyusha
rocket on an outdoor cage could kill the animals or free lions, tigers and
other wild beasts to run loose in the streets.
Inside the small night shelter for 14 baboons, head zookeeper Yoav
Ratner said he and co-workers once complained about how the shelters
Monkey escapes from London Zoo
Visitors to Regent's Park witnessed some disgraceful monkey business
today as a primate from London Zoo swung into action and made her
Betty, a 10-year-old squirrel monkey is still on the loose after she
spotted her opportunity for freedom when staff left a branch of a tree
next to her enclosure growing too long.
Today crowds watched the monkey running through the trees as staff
waited for the moment to tempt her back home.
It also emerged that the cheeky monkey may have been plotting the
breakout for some time. A spokesperson said: "The monkeys have
really been hurling themselves from tree to tree and can travel quite a
David Field, London Zoo's Zoological director said: "She's certainly made
a monkey out of us! She is merely visiting the park.
"We train the monkeys to come back to their quarters and she will
return later in the day when it becomes quieter. We
Authorities raid private zoo
A raid at a private zoo uncovered drugs, guns and illegal video poker
machines, authorities said Wednesday.
Steve Macaluso, the owner of Metrolina Wildlife Park, might face
several felony charges, said Sgt. Tony Sharum of the state Wildlife
Resources Division. He might also face misdemeanor charges related to
the number of animals he kept and how he kept them.
State, federal and local law enforcement officials took part in the raid at
the zoo, which used to be called the Charlotte Metro Zoo. Sharum said
Wildlife Resources got a tip that Macaluso was keeping protected
animals without proper permits. He was also accused of holding them
improperly. State and federal laws dictate minimum standards for cage
size and sanitation.
"We treat every violation seriously and take due
Singapore firm shows interest in zoo revamp
Indian, foreign consultants invited to prepare master plan
THE Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan or the Byculla zoo is in for a
revamp and on the cards may be a new layout with moats, landscaping
and better sanitation and veterinary facilities for the animals.
National and international consultants with prior experience of designing
zoological parks have been invited to prepare a `master plan'. And
among the firms that have expressed interest is zoo design and
consultancy firm Bernard Harrison which designed the night safaris and
under-water viewing exhibits at the Singapore zoo.
``Considering the characteristics of the Byculla zoo, its limited space and
the density of people living around it, we will choose a plan that
provides for conservation and education, without compromising the
comfort of the animals,'' said Assistant Municipal Commissioner R A
``Bernard Harrison approached us last year, but nothing is finalised. We
will keep the process competitive and transparent,'' he added.
According to zoo officials, it will be
Joburg Zoo has a revamp
Hats off to Jennifer Gray, chief executive of the Johannesburg Zoo, who
is transforming one of the city's best-loved attractions into an
Already much-improved from a couple of years ago, when it was
looking positively shabby, the zoo will be relaunched in September with
seven new animal zones. And this is only the beginning, as Gray has five
years of redevelopment planned.
Hers is the kind of energy we need in our city - and not only because of
2010. Certainly, the World Cup appears to be providing the impetus for
many exciting projects in Johannesburg, but the main goal should
Elephant kills handler in Tennessee sanctuary
A 36-year-old woman whose love for pachyderms led her from her
native Maine to rural Lewis County, Tenn., was attacked and killed
Friday morning at a preserve for aging elephants, authorities said.
Also, a man who handles the 22 Asian and African elephants at The
Elephant Sanctuary was injured and hospitalized late Friday at Maury
Regional Medical Center in Columbia, Tenn.
Because the employees' next of kin had not been notified Friday night,
the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Lewis County
Sheriff's Department would not release their names.
The aggressor was Winkie, a 40-year-old female Asian elephant who
has been at the sanctuary for six years and who has a history of
attacking humans who worked with her.
The veteran handlers were tending to Winkie around 11:30-11:45 a.m.
" She was on one side. He was on the other. The elephant turned on
her. She was apparently on the side where the elephant had an injury,
an eye injury," said Doug Markham, spokesman for the Tennessee
Wildlife Resources Agency. The agency licenses and inspects facilities,
such as the sanctuary.
When the elephant attacked the woman, Markham said her colleague
tried to distract the 7,600-pound animal, but ended up getting hurt, too.
By the time emergency workers arrived, the elephant had moved away
from the body, which was retrieved without a problem, according to
Lewis County Sheriff Dwayne Kilpatrick.
" She was dead at the scene," he said.
This was not the first time Winkie, born in Burma (now called Myanmar)
and captured as a calf, had tried to harm a handler. According to the
sanctuary's website, the animal hurt several keepers at the Henry Vilas
Zoo in Madison, Wis., her former home for three decades. The
Night safari for Al Ain zoo
A day and night safari and water park could be built under
redevelopment plans for the Al Ain Zoological Park and Aquarium,
according to Gulf News. Plans also include a hotel, chalets, botanical
Latest Sequencing Targets: Gibbon Genome Sequence To Be Added To
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the
National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced several new
sequencing targets including the Northern white-cheeked gibbon
(Nomascus leucogenys), setting the stage for completing a quest to
sequence the genome of at least one non-human primate genome from
each of the major positions along the evolutionary primate tree and
making available an essential resource for researchers unraveling the
genetic factors involved in human health and disease. Comparing the
genomes of other species to humans is an exceptionally powerful tool to
help researchers understand the working parts of the human genome in
Society: Crying the beloved Zoo
When some good things are lost, it is hard to forget them. And many
Blantyre residents will tell you that, if given chance, one of the precious
things they would want authorities to bring back is the Blantyre Zoo
which was established in 1977 but was closed in 2000.
Robert Muhapala of Nkolokosa in Blantyre winds back the hands of time
and tells how he misses the place. He reminisces the good old days
when the zoo, along Chikwawa Road, provided the much-needed
excitement and fun.
" As a kid, I enjoyed being taken to the place. I went there twice. It was
a wonderful experience seeing live animals like a lion, leopards, jackals
" I feel sorry for the generation that has come when the zoo is no longer
there," he says.
Events leading to the Zoo's closure unfolded like a joke.
In 1998, the Blantyre Zooamid talk that the City Assembly was cash
strapped got some volunteers, Friends of the Zoo, who tried to save it
It then changed its name to Mgaka Nkhalango Sanctuary. Part of the
plan was that the Zoo should have an adoptive scheme where members
of the public would be responsible for the feeding and care of the
But reality descended on the Zoo in 2000 when Blantyre City Assembly
announced the place was to close, citing lack of space for future
development as the reason.
Answering to people's worries about the closure, City Assembly officials
explained that the Zoo would be back, relocated to a site along Nkolokoti
Parkway. The new site, the officials said, had 60 hectares and needed
about K30 million then to develop.
It was an ambitious plan that promised
Don't be bamboozled by anti-zoo activists
Bamboo and the other elephants at Woodland Park Zoo are healthy and
thriving, and people should come see for themselves. The Northwest
Animal Rights Network is simply wrong about what is best for Bamboo.
This animal-rights group is perhaps well-intentioned but definitely
misinformed in its desire to force the zoo to move Bamboo away from
her Northwest home to a private facility in Tennessee. Its desire is even
potentially harmful for Bamboo. It's time for the Seattle community that
loves the zoo, and appreciates its important global education and
conservation work, to speak up and say, "No."
The zoo staff has always kept the elephants' interests foremost. The
zoo has nothing to hide; in fact, it's one of the few zoos where visitors
can see inside the elephant barn. You'll find the staff and volunteers
extraordinarily proud of their work. Visitors should make their own
judgment, and not fall prey to hyperbole from an animal-activist group
that frankly is not in sync with most people's beliefs and lifestyles.
When Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium sought a third
Haifa zoo locks up animals to stop them escaping
Staff at Israel's Haifa zoo have locked the lions and tigers in bomb proof
cages to stop them escaping if there is a hit from a Hizbollah missile.
" If a rocket hits the open-air pen and one of the carnivores escapes into
the city, it would not be a nice prospect," said head keeper Yoav
Ratner. "Thankfully the night rooms are secure -- they are like bomb
Since the crisis with Hizbollah erupted a week ago when the group
seized two Israeli soldiers and killed eight others in a cross-border raid,
the guerrillas have rained scores of rockets on Haifa, Israel's third
A Hizbollah rocket killed eight people in Haifa on Sunday.
Israeli air raids in response have killed 230 people in Lebanon,
Four Bengal tigers 'born in Malaysian zoo'
Four Siberian Bengal tiger cubs have been born in a zoo in southern
Malaysia, a news report said today.
The cubs, born two weeks ago to eight-year-old Rainbow and her mate,
12-year-old Kumba, opened their eyes a few days ago, zoo caretaker J.
Siva Priyan told The Star newspaper.
" With the love and dedication from our keepers, all four cubs have
managed to survive," Siva said.
The zoo cordoned off Rainbow's cage and partially covered the sides
with plastic sheets to allow Rainbow to nurse and bond with her young
in peace, the report said.
Calls to the privately-owned Saleng Zoo home to 18 tigers rang
Siva said visitors to the zoo, near Johor Baru, will
White tiger's celibacy baffles Jharkhand zoo officials
Zoo officials in Jharkhand's Bokaro city are baffled by the behaviour of a
white tiger, which is maintaining celibacy during the mating season.
The mating season of tigers will end soon but the white tiger at the
Jawaharlal Nehru Zoological Park in Bokaro is not allowing any female to
even come near him.
Zoo officials have been trying to allure the white to interact with a
female but in vain.
" When the female tiger chosen for mating is taken near the white tiger,
he starts gnashing its large teeth. It also
Building a zoo is not worth your tax dollars
We like zoos as much as the next person, but we think it's time to put
an end to the talk of building a zoo in Cherry Valley.
The Friends of the Zoo committee, a group of business leaders and
elected officials, want to survey Winnebago County residents to
determine whether there is enough interest to build a zoological park in
Cherry Valley. If the $15,000 survey finds that enough people want a
zoo, the next step is asking voters to approve two referendums. One
would ask for bonding authority to build the zoo and the other would ask
the forest preserve district to levy a zoological tax.
In January, Cherry Valley leaders told Winnebago County officials that
they didn't support any new taxes to fund a zoo. It seems Friends of the
Zoo needs to sell Cherry Valley
Aquarium inaugurated in Crete
The aquarium "Thalassokosmos" (Sea world) was inaugurated in
Iraklio, Crete on Saturday by Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas,
Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis and Deputy
Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou. Sioufas described the
Cretan aquarium as a work "which advertises research, promotes
education and projects culture."
He added that it was a work "which is a motivating lever for elevating
In statements after the inauguration, the development minister stressed
that the Cretan aquarium "consitutes an acquisition for science,
Elephant calf born at Dickerson Park Zoo this morning
A 238-pound female elephant calf has been born at Dickerson Park Zoo.
The mother, 25-year-old Moola, delivered the calf outdoors at the zoo's
new cow barn after a brief labor early this morning.
It?s the sixth successful elephant birth at the zoo.
Moola and the calf, who hasn?t been named
Many zoo staff may suffer financial loss
A RECENT High Court judgment has upset many employees of the
Kanpur Zoo. They are apprehending heavy financial loss following the
According to sources, the zoo authorities engaged over two dozen
workers on daily wages who have been working there for several years.
Their salary varied from Rs 800 to Rs 1000 per month. They were
supposed to perform all duties of permanent employees.
In 1996, four daily wage employees, Sone lal, Madhvanand, Karan
Singh and Kishan Chander, filed a petition in the High Court claiming
equal pay for equal work. The Court passed an interim order in 1999
and directed the government to pay all these employees a sum of Rs
5,400 per month as their salary till the disposal of the case. The
government following the court directives allowed a monthly salary of
The court, during the final hearing of the
Rare monkey stolen in night zoo raid
An endangered Bolivian squirrel monkey has been stolen from a zoo
during a night-time raid.
The monkey, named SpongeBob, is still missing after thieves broke into
Chessington World of Adventures, near London, early on Monday
Zookeepers found two of the fences surrounding the Monkey & Bird
Garden had been cut.
Another nine of the monkeys - which are known to be territorial - were
either still inside or close by, but SpongeBob has not been found and is
Sonia Freeman, head of mammals at the zoo, said the two-year-old
breeding male, affectionately known as Bob, had only been at
Zoo gets giraffes in return for rhinos
Vikas, Shrishti and Shanti are yet to get used to the scorching hot and
humid climate of Patna, but they aren't complaining.
The giraffes have just arrived at the Patna zoo from San Diego, as part
of a mutual exchange programme of the International Rhino Federation.
And they are enjoying every moment here, much to the delight of
visiting children and parents. As per the plan, the zoo will now have to
transport two rhinos to the US in exchange of the three giraffes and two
female rhinos, also from San Diego.
Zoo Director Rakesh Kumar said the giraffes were being fed with Sudan
and Barsim varieties of grass. "They love to chew on leaves straight
from the trees," said Mr Kumar, who was present
Zoo asking city for more money for improvements
Texas Zoo is seeking a $45,000-a-year increase in its base funding from
the city of Victoria to continue building on the improvements it has been
making at the Riverside Park facility for more than a year.
Zoo officials are expected to make their pitch to the city council during a
budget workshop today, asking the city to increase the yearly base
allocation from $115,000 to $160,000. That represents a 39-percent
The workshop, which is open to the public, will be in the Council
Elephant Ellie is overdue but appears OK, Zoo says
Asian elephant Ellie still is waiting for the stork to visit the St. Louis Zoo:
Two weeks after her due date, Ellie shows no signs that labor is
imminent. Still, Zoo officials say mother and calf appear healthy.
" No worries," said Martha Fischer, curator of mammals and
ungulates. "She's doing great and is well within the normal range of
Easy for Fischer to say. She's not carrying a 250-pound calf in this
Based on Ellie's first birth, zookeepers had expected
Red tape fails primates (Peters note - Please see my comments on this
in my recent travel journal)
The recent handover of Schmutzer Primate Center to the Ragunan Zoo
management, which is under the city administration, has drawn
Former Schmutzer Center director Willie Smits, of the Gibbon
Foundation that ran the center from 2002 until May this year, told The
Jakarta Post on Wednesday that although the center was trying its best
to stick to the way the center was run under his leadership, changes
" Now, because the center is under the management of the local
government, it's living under a bureaucracy," said the consultant for the
center, adding that the foundation had planned to handover the center
to the city since it was set up.
An official of the center, who refused to be named, said that he was
concerned about the health and welfare of the 180 primates of 21
species under its care. The center, which is located within the zoo
complex, also houses four male gorillas from the Howletts Port Lympne
Wild Animal Park of the United Kingdom.
" I worry about the welfare of the primates outside," he said, referring to
the primates that were held captive in the zoo, but not in the center.
He said that the welfare of the primates outside the center was not as
good as the ones taken care of by the center.
Ragunan's primate unit head, Mimi Utami, now in charge of the
Schmutzer center, said that she and the other staff members were
working hard to maintain standards.
" It's a big challenge for us to stick to the same
Zoo will be among region's best in 5 yrs
" IN five years, Doha Zoo will hopefully be one of the best not only in the
Gulf but the entire Middle East," said Hamad Saleh al-Yazeedi, head of
" We have a number of plans to develop the zoo and we will be
upgrading and improving the facility one by one," he said.
The zoo has received "high marks" from a number of quarters,
according to Dr Abubacker Hamoda, veterinarian at the facility.
In their efforts, the officials have the support of Dr Qassim al-Thani,
head of animal resources and administration; and Dr Sheikh Faleh bin
Nasser al-Thani, director of agricultural research, at the Ministry of
Municipal Affairs and Agriculture. "They are keen on modernising the
zoo and give all their support", Yazeedi said.
The zoo has been certified as a "unique, clean and distinguished facility
in the world" by such agencies as the FAO and visiting experts from
other well-known zoos, universities and politicians, officials say.
Officials have ordered a study on establishing an amusement park inside
the zoo. A state-of-the art education centre where children can learn
about animals is also under consideration.
For the play area, the zoo has received two
Fellowship to aid zoo keeper's conservation research
A Northern Territory zoo keeper has won a major international
fellowship to research the conservation of raptors, such as eagles, owls
and falcons in the United States.
The Territory Wildlife Park's Melissa Merry has been awarded the
Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship.
She will spend time at various US institutions, including the International
Centre for Birds of Prey in South Carolina.
Ms Merry says she hopes to raise awareness of the important birds,
some of which are endangered.
" I hope to understand how overseas raptor rehabilitators conserve
Researchers Receive $1.4 Million From Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund
The Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund (DWCF) has announced $1.4
million in awards to non-profit environmental groups and universities
studying endangered species, bringing the DWCF total to more than $10
million in conservation projects supported worldwide.
The DWCF funds will go toward 82 programs in 27 countries to address
a variety of needs, including tracking collars for tigers and wolves, four-
wheel-drive vehicles for reaching remote African areas with
conservation education messages, and new wings for an ultralight
aircraft used to lead migrating whooping cranes across the United
Recipients were chosen from more than 240 applications reviewed by
scientists, veterinarians and other animal experts. The organizations
range from large national groups to small community efforts, including
conservation programs of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA),
Fauna and Flora International, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution,
Painted Dog Conservation Trust, University of Florida, WildAid and World
" The ability to enable such important work to protect wildlife and wild
places is a key component of Disney's mission," according to Jerry
Montgomery, Sr. Vice President of Public Affairs, Walt Disney World.
Montgomery oversees the DWCF program
Zoo's company... of a strange kind
THEIRS is a strange relationship. One is a predator while the other is
always the prey. One is a carnivore while the other relishes leaves and
grass. One is aggressive in nature while the other is docile to the core.
One is considered the king of the jungle while the other is one of the
most obedient subjects. Yet, the lion cub and the Axis deer at the Doha
Zoo are the best of buddies. Both are a little more than five months old
and both are born in captivity to mothers who are long-time inmates of
the zoo. They now share the same enclosure and are together always.
The cub, a male, is called Chottu, (named no doubt by his Nepalese
caretaker Bhoreel Mukhya Yadav), while the she kid is known as Fantu.
But, perhaps the strongest connection
Thieves swoop on exotic animals
Missing marmosets, abducted alligators, purloined penguins: Thieves
are targeting Europe's zoos and safari parks to supply animal collectors
who want to own ever more exotic species, officials say.
Conservationists say the practice is harming animals, threatening vital
breeding programs, and adding to an already flourishing illegal trade in
exotic birds and animals.
" We live in a designer world and people are not satisfied any more with
a budgie or a canary -- they want something more exotic," said John
Hayward, a former police officer who runs Britain's National Theft
Register, the only national database of animal thefts in Europe.
He says on average Britain's zoos have suffered a major theft every
week for the past few years, involving dozens of animals worth
thousands of pounds (dollars, euros).
Conservationists fear that the demand for exotic animals will put further
Fears for safety of stolen bird
Fears are increasing for the safety of an owl believed to have been
stolen from a zoo in Cambridgeshire.
Seven-year-old Whiz, a Mackinders Eagle owl, went missing from
Hamerton Zoo Park, Steeple Gidding, on Monday.
Whiz, who is 2ft tall and was raised at the zoo as a chick, is allowed out
of his cage during the day but cannot fly.
Cambridgeshire Police said it was "highly likely" the bird had been stolen
and appealed for anyone with information to contact officers.
A police spokesperson said: "Whiz is unable to fly as his wings are
clipped and keepers feel it is unlikely he would have wandered off as he
is allowed to roam around the zoo regularly, so it is likely he has been
" Keepers are
16-year-old attacked by tiger in Dublin Zoo
A 16-year-old girl is being treated in hospital for injuries she received
after being attacked by a tiger at Dublin Zoo yesterday afternoon.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio, the director of Dublin Zoo, Leo Oosterweghel,
said the girl and a man scaled two fences, one of which was 2m high, to
reach the Siberian tiger enclosure.
The girl then put her hand through the wire mesh of a third protective
Zoo review after woman is mauled
Dublin Zoo has said it is reviewing its security after a 19-year-old
woman was mauled by a tiger.
The victim had scaled security fences before putting her arm through
the fence into the Amur Siberian tiger enclosure on Tuesday.
A tiger grabbed her and tried to drag her in, but then let go. The
woman, whose name has not been released, is reportedly from
She is said to be in a stable condition in hospital in the Irish capital.
The woman, who was accompanied by a man, had climbed a timber
barrier into a service area and then over a 1.2 metre wall before putting
her arm through a wire mesh fence.
Two of the rare big
HUMAN ANIMALS MOVE INTO ZOO
A new animal exhibit has opened at Paignton Zoo - but don't get too
close, these humans are feisty.
Ten volunteers are living, eating and sleeping in special quarters at the
zoo as part of a BBC reality television science experiment.
Over two weeks, the human guinea pigs will be kept in an enclosure and
fed special "evolutionary diets", similar to that of gorillas and orangutans.
They will also be put through their paces in a series of physical tasks.
By mimicking the diets of human's distant ancestors, the experiment is
hoped to unlock the secrets of the ideal diet.
The results will be featured in a new series, The Truth about Food,
which will be screened on BBC 2 next year.
Series presenter Fiona Bruce will be in Paignton today at the official
The series is already being touted as the definitive guide to how food
affects the body.
The show will not only unlock the secrets to perfect health, but will
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Call of mating season foils Zoo sea lion show
Alex, the star of the sea lion show at the St. Louis Zoo, interrupted the
11 a.m. performance Tuesday when he celebrated the annual mating
season by plunging into the water where the females had been and
refusing to go back to the stage.
Kyle Ulmer, the show's veteran manager, eventually stopped the show
and invited the paying customers to return free of charge for the 1 p.m.
performance. Ulmer said in an interview that July is the height of mating
season. He said that Alex had left the stage before during mating
season, but Ulmer improvised and was able to complete the show with
the other sea lions. This time, with all of them misbehaving, he had to
The script calls for the two females, Rosie and Elaine, to go on stage
first to balance balls on their noses, walk on their front flippers, clap and
give high fives. Rosie and Elaine did a perfect job Tuesday. Sea lions
move with ease across the stage and with grace in the water.
When the females leave, Alex - the oldest
No More Monkey Business for Zoo Visitors
A chimpanzee that posed for photographs with tourists at a zoo in
Shenyang, Liaoning Province, had to be laid off earlier this week.
Although she was highly rated at her job, her role violates China's law
on the protection of wildlife, forestry authorities said.
Chimps must be kept in a fixed place with security measures guaranteed
in case of possible attacks on
West African black rhinos feared extinct
The West African black rhino appears to have become extinct, according
to a leading global conservation group. Extensive searches throughout
the black rhino's last known habitat in northern Cameroon have failed to
find any rhinos or signs of their existence.
The western black rhino sub-species, Diceros bicornis longipes, had
declined precipitously in the past 20 years largely as a result of
poaching. In 2002 there were only 10 remaining. The few left were
distributed over a wide area, making breeding
Racing to Know the Rarest of Rhinos, Before It's Too Late
A two-ton rhinoceros measuring 5 feet tall and 10 feet long, with a
fondness for browsing on low-lying shrubbery, hardly seems like a
difficult animal to find. Unless there are fewer than 60 left on the planet.
That is the case with the Javan rhinoceros, often called the rarest large
mammal on earth and perhaps the most endangered. Like its near
and larger cousin the Indian rhinoceros, the Javan has only one horn,
compared with two for Africa's black and white rhinos and the Sumatran
of Asia. The Javan, like the Indian, also has large plates of folded skin
that resemble armor but do not protect against guns.
Because they lead solitary, secretive lives in remote forests in Indonesia
and Vietnam, these rhinos are very hard to study: images of them come
from "camera traps" activated by movement in the forest, and biologists
get DNA samples
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Tigers Get A Business Plan: New Program To Increase Tiger Numbers
By 50 Percent
The Wildlife Conservation Society has launched an ambitious new
program that calls for a 50 percent increase in tiger numbers in key
areas over the next decade, according to an article in this week's journal
Nature. The new initiative, called "Tigers Forever," blends a business
model with hard science, and has already attracted the attention of
venture capitalists who have pledged an initial $10 million to support it.
The program involves a dozen WCS field sites where an estimated 800
tigers currently reside. Building on WCS successes in places like India's
Nagarahole National Park and the Russian Far East where tiger numbers
have rebounded, the new plan says that tigers can grow to an
approximately 1,200 individuals across these sites. The total population
for tigers remains a mystery, though some scientists believe that
perhaps 3-000-5,000 remain in the wild.
Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, who directs WCS big cat programs, notes that this
kind of accountability with specific numbers over a specific time period,
is a new concept for conservationists. "We're putting our reputations on
the line and holding ourselves accountable that we can grow tiger
numbers," said Rabinowitz. "At the same time, we have the knowledge,
expertise and track record to accomplish this goal."
The plan calls for working closely with local governments and other
partners to gain baseline knowledge on tigers in places like Myanmar's
Hukawng Valley the world's largest tiger reserve while stepping up
anti-poaching activities in other
Can the whales 'be saved' - again?
If people care for the welfare of whales, says Leah Garces, that alone
should be enough to stop hunting.
" The cruelty of whaling holds the key to stopping the pro-whaling bloc,"
she declared at the end of the five-day International Whaling
Commission (IWC) annual meeting in St Kitts.
" Scientific evidence presented this year confirms that there is no
humane way to kill a whale at sea and, therefore, that all commercial
and so-called scientific whaling should cease on cruelty grounds alone.
" We believe the issue of cruelty is an unsurpassable fortress blocking
any attempt to lift this moratorium."
The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), Ms Garces'
organisation, now aims to take the cruelty message into the homes of
countries where it will be heard and appreciated - indeed, where it was
heard and appreciated several decades ago
Delhi Zoo staff threatens stir
Proposal to declare the zoological park an autonomous body or
While the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences is fighting to maintain its
autonomous status, the National Zoological Park (NZP) here is resisting
the loss of its "run-by-the-Central Government" tag.
The NZP employees are threatening to go on an indefinite hunger strike
if the Environment and Forests Ministry decides to go ahead with the
latest proposal to declare the NZP an autonomous body or registered
" So far we have been protesting by wearing black bands and without
disrupting the functioning of the zoo, but we will resort to an indefinite
hunger strike in case the Government does not immediately look into the
matter,'' said NZP employees' union member Nand Singh Rana.
What the employees are protesting against is the new approved
proposal submitted by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) that will convert
the NZP into an autonomous organisation under the administrative
control of the Union Environment and Forests Ministry to be governed by
a 10-member governing body headed by Secretary, Ministry of
Environment and Forests.
Under the order, the NZP will be converted into Centre for Zoo Sciences
and will have to generate its own funds and manage the incurring
What has zoo employees are up in arms against is the fact that under
this latest order, they
Parasitic disease kills tiger, leopard at Ranchi zoo
A royal Bengal tiger and a leopard have died at a zoo in Ranchi after
being infected by a malaria-like disease, sparking fears that other
endangered big cats could be at risk, officials said on Tuesday.
Authorities at Ranchi's Birsa Zoological Park, in Jharkhand, said both the
cats had stopped eating days before. The tiger died on Monday and the
leopard on Tuesday.
" The blood tests of the dead cats have tested positive for babesiosis,"
said A.K. Singh, a state forests official.
Babesiosis is an infectious disease caused by a parasitic single-celled
microorganism. The disease is transmitted by the bites of ticks that have
picked up the parasite from infected animals such as rodents and horses.
In 2000, it claimed the lives of 10 royal Bengal tigers in a zoo in the
neighbouring state of Orissa.
Zoo officials said blood samples from seven other tigers and two
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Another tiger dies in Ranchi zoo
Ranchi, July 13 (IANS) A mysterious disease has claimed the lives of
three big cats during the last five days in Birsa Munda Zoological Park
here creating panic with officials scrambling to stop its spread.
A second tiger died in the zoo on Wednesday. Earlier, on Sunday a tiger
collapsed and died while on Monday a leopard died.
'After the deaths of animals, we are taking preventive measures so that
the unknown disease does not spread among other
Ghana: Kumasi Zoo Advisory Board Keeps Revitalization Dreams Alive
Tourism, it is reported, ranks second in the world economy. Eco-tourism
certainly plays a pivotal role in this country, and countries across the
world with adequate resoureces try to invest in the industry to keep the
economic blues away from home.
Recently, the Minister for Tourism and Diasporan Relations, Jake
Obetsebi-Lamptey, is said to have told the media that the tourism sector
saw 16 per cent growth in the fist quarter of the year. This growth,
according to the Minister, was very significant to boost economic
activities, and was capable of helping to eradicate poverty especially in
the rural areas and communities that had tourist sites.
Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey further said that if tourism could generate 300,000
jobs in 2007, as outlined in the Tourism Strategic Document, the level of
employment should increase by 135 per cent.
Ghana has a booming market in eco-tourism: Paga, "A haven for
culture", has the world famous Crocodile Pond, the crocodile created the
town's existence. Tongo has the Whistling Hills and the Tenzug shrines;
both Paga and Tongo can be found in the Upper East Region. The
Northern Region boasts of the ancient Mosque at Larabanga, an ancient
educational centre, too, and the Mole Game Reserve, among others.
The Brong Ahafo Region also hosts the Digha National Park; Ashanti
Region is a pot-pouri of tourism: Bonwire Kente, a butter-fly sanctuary;
a bird sanctuary; caves recently discovered to be having a multitude of
bats. Ashanti is
London Zoo to launch Gorilla Kingdom and Rainforest Lookout
London Zoo will be launching two new large-scale exhibits at Easter
2007, the £5.3m Gorilla Kingdom and £2.3m Rainforest Lookout.
A spokesperson for London Zoo said: "Gorilla Kingdom will allow gorillas
and associated Central African species to live in a beautiful naturalistic
environment. It will also give us an opportunity to talk about our wider
conservation work with gorillas, habitat protection and bushmeat
" Rainforest Lookout will bring new life to the existing small mammals
building, taking natural light into the area to provide a much fresher
environment for real lush vegetation and mixed exhibits. We can also
use it to talk about issues that affect the rainforest and our work with
tamarind in Brazil."
The projects were funded by various sources, including public donations,
legacies and grants. The Clore Duffield Foundation provided £1m for the
building of Rainforest Lookout.
The Gorilla Kingdom
Second Gorilla Death in 3 Days Shakes Zoo
A mature male gorilla died yesterday at the National Zoo -- the second
such death in the past three days.
M'geni Mopaya, known as "Mopie," was being introduced to the family
group of gorillas that had been headed by Kuja, the gorilla who died
Much ado about eight elephants
Claims by international animal rights groups that there is widespread
opposition to the export of eight Thai elephants to state-owned zoos in
Australia are a "breathtaking exaggeration," one of the Australian zoo
directors said yesterday.
Taronga Zoo Director Guy Cooper said the claims were just a publicity
stunt and insisted Australian zoos remain committed to elephant
" The Zoos have proven time and again to the satisfaction of the Thai
and Australian Governments, the international conservation agency
CITES and the Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal that the Zoos'
Asian Elephant conservation program meets every requirement made of
it by all recognized authorities," Cooper was quoted as saying in a
statement received from the Australian embassy in Bangkok.
" Lobbying has its place, but the crisis for wildlife is moving too fast to
refuse to take all actions available to us. It is time to put aside
ideological differences and work together on all aspects of wildlife
conservation that are available to us."
The eight elephants remain in a quarantine station in Kanchanaburi
where they have been kept since activists blocked their departure to
Australia on June 6.
The comment was in response to a joint statement by RSPCA Australia,
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Humane Society
International (HSI) that called for the elephants to be permitted to
remain in Thailand.
Despite the good work of both the Taronga and Melbourne Zoos in other
fields, their efforts to import the elephants were a "huge step back in
time," the statement said.
" We encourage the zoos to work with us to help save the species in
Thailand and find these eight animals sanctuary where they belong at
home in Thailand," the
When's the next jumbo out of here?
EIGHT Asian elephants bound for Australia remain in limbo in Thailand
with no date set for their departure from quarantine.
Zoo staff working with the elephants in Thailand yesterday released
pictures of the eight, which shows them healthy and happy, playing in
The three on the left -- Num-Oi, Kulab and Dokkoon -- are bound for
Melbourne Zoo, while the other five will make their home at Taronga
Zoo in Sydney.
Spokeswoman Lisa Keen said the people of Melbourne could look
forward to meeting three elephants which have three very distinct
Ms Keen said they were all in great condition and enjoying spending
their days in the mud churned up by heavy monsoonal rains.
" The youngest, Num-Oi, is a bit of a baby and she gets lots of attention
and protection from the older girls," she said.
" Kulab is Miss Personality, always socialising with everyone. She always
wants to play and is very inquisitive.
" And all the Thais regard Dokkoon as an extremely beautiful elephant
and very intelligent."
The three females will join males Bong Su and Mek Kapah in the multi-
million-dollar Trail of Elephants exhibit at Melbourne
A Shanghai dream for you, Singapore for zoo animals
Animal lover Anckur Choksey's plans to revamp Rani Baug à la
Singapore zoo, mired in red tape
Mumbai has no tourist destination," explained Anckur Choksey, owner of
the new Orama Excite & Thrill theatre at Atria Mall, Worli. But before
Anckur was known for giving Mumbai its first 4 D theatre, he was known
as the man who would take up the task of redeveloping the Jijamata
Udyan (more commonly known as Rani Baug), such that it becomes
Mumbai's numero uno tourist destination.
" When I saw the Singapore Zoo, I felt the urge to do something like that
for our Mumbai zoo," said the animal lover. "The city needs a place like
that. Before proposing the idea here, I talked to the people involved in
the making of the Singapore Zoo to know if the Jijamata Udyan could be
Anckur spent a lot of time with Harrison Bernard, the ex-CEO of the
Singapore Zoo, and his team. "Harrison Bernard is a name synonymous
with that zoo. He has promised to help us."
Formerly in the chemical business, Anckur was not well-versed with
Mumbai's politics and bureaucracy. "I didn't even know who owned the
zoo here. I found out that the BMC owns and manages it. It was two
years ago that I began my research starting from the grassroots level. I
spoke to the in-charge of the Zoo and Superintendent to understand the
functioning of the zoo."
According to Anckur's calculations, a BOT (Build-Own-Transfer) system
would work fine at the zoo. Anckur would build the zoo, own it for a
period of 30 years to recover his money. He would then transfer the
ownership back to the BMC.
He took his proposal to the then Assistant
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2 Aquarium Workers Resign After Sea Lion Deaths
Two Long Beach aquarium workers have resigned after an investigation
determined they did not properly keep a sea lion and her pup cool on a
hot day on which the animals died of heat exhaustion.
Four-year-old Kona and her four-week-old pup were found motionless
July 1, less than an hour after they appeared healthy and active during a
cold bath at the Aquarium of the Pacific.
The aquarium's president, Jerry Schubel, says an internal investigation
has found that the animals were not watered down enough to keep
them cool for that particular hour.
He declined to release the names or job titles of the departing workers.
He says the aquarium is conducting
The monster detectives: on the trail of the ninki-nanka (full story is a
good read - Peters note)
Once, the komodo dragon was thought to exist only in folklore. What
other mythical beasts might we find if we look hard enough? Helen
Brown meets the man on the trail of the ninki-nanka
As you read this, a small group of intrepid, pink-nosed Brits are creeping
through the Gambian jungle, dodging crocodiles and cobras, in the hope
of spotting the legendary "ninki-nanka". (OK, it sounds like a Goon Show
plot, but bear with me.) This fabulously named creature is said by locals
to resemble a giant reptile, up to 30 feet long and dwelling in the murk
of the mangrove swamps.
The "dragon" is rumoured to look rather like a game of
zoological "consequences", possessing the body of a crocodile, the neck
of a giraffe and the head of a horse with three horns. Less fantastically,
the team's leader, Richard Freeman of the Centre for Fortean Zoology,
suspects the ninki-nanka of being a species of colossal monitor
lizard. "Whatever the truth," he says, "this is the first dedicated
expedition to search for this animal."
So far, the explorers' blog hasn't revealed any sightings. At a
slaughterhouse, they were ceremonially presented with some ninki-
nanka scales, which turned out to be pieces of rotted film - "certainly not
biological", says Freeman. "However, we have acquired a sample to test
when we get back to the UK, as it would be bad science not to
investigate every claim."
More encouraging are the witnesses. A compelling chap called Papa
Jinda had described a scene of devastation at a pumping station where,
the blog gushes, "a ninki-nanka had destroyed several pipes". It
continues: "The mention of a ninki-nanka had caused a panic among the
workers, and they had asked for a mirror as it was thought that the only
way to get rid of the animal was to show it its reflection.
" The second time Papa Jinda came into contact with the ninki-nanka was
to prove fatal. After seeing it he fell ill, complaining about pains in his
legs and waist, and his hair fell out. He died two weeks later. The ninki-
nanka being seen as an omen of imminent death, either sudden or
within the next four years, is one of the few aspects of the folklore
surrounding it that has been consistent in every case reported to us. If
we do find the creature on this expedition, we can only hope that this
will prove to be incorrect."
It's a thrilling, romantic, lunatic quest: the sword-swashing stuff of H
Rider Haggard tales. Who could fail to be charmed by cryptozoology?
The eccentric discipline - which adds the Greek prefix kryptos,
or "hidden" to zoology to yield "the study of hidden animals" - is about
hunting down (or explaining away) the beasts of fairy-tale and folklore.
The Loch Ness Monster, Yeti, sirrush, unicorn, Ebu Gogo and cyclops.
Creatures known to initiates as "cryptids".
Scholarly interest in the subject began when Anthonid Cornelis
Oudemans published his 1892 study of The Great Sea Serpent. From
then until today, enthusiasm for the existence of the weird and
wonderful has spread like dragonfire.
Before he packed his binoculars and ninki-nanka net, I asked the frock-
coated Freeman how he became the UK's only full-time
cryptozoologist. "I can answer that question in two words," he
says. "Doctor Who. As a boy in the 1970s I saw the episode where the
Doctor was incarcerated on earth. All the monsters from that story were
so much more frightening because they were in a familiar setting."
After leaving school, Freeman became a zookeeper and wound up as
head of reptiles at Twycross Zoo. "I've worked with animals
Socializing Helped Ebola Wipe Out Gorillas
Social contact helped the Ebola virus virtually wipe out a population of
gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo, French researchers
A 2004 outbreak of the virus, which also kills people, killed 97 percent of
gorillas who lived in groups and 77 percent of solitary males, Damien
Caillaud and colleagues from the University of Montpellier and the
University of Rennes in France reported.
Overall, it wiped out 95 percent of the gorilla population within a year,
they reported in the journal Current Biology.
" Thousands of gorillas have probably disappeared," they wrote.
The study shows that the deadly virus spreads directly from gorilla to
gorilla and does not necessarily depend on a still-unidentified third
species of animal, perhaps a bat, that can transmit the virus without
getting ill from it.
It also may shed light on how early humans evolved, they suggested.
The findings may show that pre-humans were slow to live in large social
groups because disease outbreaks could wipe out those who did.
Ebola hemorrhagic fever is one of the most virulent viruses ever seen,
killing between 50 percent and 90 percent of victims. The World Health
Organization says about 1,850 people have been infected and 1,200
have died since the Ebola virus was discovered in 1976.
WHO and other experts say people probably start outbreaks when they
hunt and butcher chimpanzees. The virus is transmitted in blood, tissue
and other fluids.
Caillaud's team said Ebola is a serious
ZOO CELEBRATES SAFE RETURN OF STOLEN MARMOSETS
A Westcountry zoo was yesterday celebrating the return of two rare
marmosets that were stolen earlier this year.
The tiny creatures were stolen in a burglary at North Devon's Exmoor
Zoo almost four months ago by thieves who took more than ten
marmosets, as well as two pairs of exotic birds.
A police raid in the Midlands resulted in the recovery of a range of
animals stolen from zoos across southern England - among them a pair
of marmosets from the zoo near Bratton Fleming.
Yesterday, the marmosets - Columbo and Roy - were safely back at the
zoo and were given a few special treats to celebrate their return. Zoo
curator Danny Reynolds said he was "chuffed" that the marmosets were
" They had microchips so we were able to prove they were ours," he
The two marmosets will now have to undergo six months' quarantine
before they can go back on display.
" They were not in perfect condition, but they were better off than some
of the animals the police found," said Mr Reynolds.
" Our marmosets had suffered a bit of hair loss on the tail and a few bite
marks, but otherwise were not too bad. The stolen animals
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Aquarium project loan is rejected
Developers behind plans to create one of the world's largest freshwater
aquariums in Bedfordshire have rejected a loan to salvage the project.
Bedfordshire County Council agreed to loan another £300,000 to Nirah,
which has already received £3m.
This was on the condition that the company changed its business plan.
The board of Nirah Holdings Ltd unanimously rejected what it described
as "a red tape-bound offer" and appealed to the public for support.
The money is needed to finish work for an outline planning application.
The National Institute for Research into Aquatic Habitats (Nirah) wants
to build the development on the site of a former brick works at
The research complex and aquarium would be four times larger than
the Eden Project in Cornwall.
City financier behind the Nirah
Zoo ignores orders to send orang utan back
A rare orang utan is caught in the middle of a tussle between the
Johor Zoo and the Wildlife and National Parks Department.
The department wants the zoo to surrender the orang utan so that it
could be released into its natural habitat in the Sumatran forest.
The zoo has so far ignored the department's request.
The orang utan belongs to the "pongo pygmaeus abelii" species, which
is classified as critically endangered under the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) 1973.
Under the convention, it is forbidden to trade in the protected
species, and keepers of such animals are required to send them back
to their countries of origin.
It is believed that the disputed orang utan is the only one left of a
batch of seven that were smuggled from the Sumatran forest to Johor.
Laboratory chimps retire with the help of the Dutch government
Wary of the open space and the curious crowds, 13 chimpanzees long
confined to research labs -- some for up to three decades -- are
trying out their new "retirement home," in part sponsored by the
Coaxed outside by fruit treats, the former denizens of the Dutch
Biomedical Primate Research Centre for animal testing appear
apprehensive of their new, improved surroundings.
" It's quite scary for them, they are used to barred cages and
concrete floors and now they have sand and water," animal keeper
Loek van Hoek, told AFP.
The colony now has several large islands to call home each filled
with trees, climbing frames and swings with a view of the herd of
rhinoceros and gazelle in the neighbouring enclosures.
One of the older males, who was captured in Sierra Leone in the
1960s when he was just a baby and spent most of his life in the
research centre, ventured outside but always kept a hand on the
" He doesn't want to lose contact with the
U.S. Experts Help Promote Zoo Animal Protection in SW China
The first workshop on the protection of zoo animals, presented by
experts from the United States, opened in Chengdu Monday.
China has some 200 zoos and aquariums, which receive more than 100
million visitors every year. Zoo animal protection has attracted
public attention after the famous bear-abuse in 2002, when a college
student poured sulphuric acid on black bears at the Beijing Zoo.
" We do need this kind of training to educate visitors," said Zhao
Hui, a personnel with Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research
Base, "sometimes they harm animals with their good intentions, such
as feeding the animals."
Thirty-seven employees from 27 zoos in China joined the 20-day
workshop, called Academy for Conservation Training (ACT).
" The program is aimed at creating a community o
Zoo receives $500,000 gift from Vierheller family
The Saint Louis Zoo received an endowment trust challenge gift of
$500,000 from the family of former Zoo Director George Vierheller,
the Zoo said late Friday.
The Zoo is seeking to match the gift, which established the George
Vierheller Endowed Fund for Zoological Medicine, over the next three
World's smallest fish are bred at aquarium
EXPERTS at Bolton Aquarium have become the first in the world to
breed the smallest tropical freshwater fish in captivity.
Tiny danionella translucida, which are just 12mm or 0.47 inches long,
are bred from fish which had been brought to the aquarium to be
studied by scientists.
The tiny fish are currently housed in the research area, but could
soon go on public display.
The danionella translucida originate from Myanmar, formerly Burma in
Asia, and are difficult to study because of their size.
Two aquarists spotted the new fish glinting in the light as they
prepared to close one night. Several more hatched over the following
They will be moved to public display when staff
Activists risking elephants welfare
Sydney, July 10, 2006
ANIMAL rights activists who jeopardised the transfer of eight Asian
elephants to Australia are endangering the elephants' lives, experts
As zookeepers remained hopeful the elephants would be in Australian
zoos by Christmas, Environment Minister Ian Campbell labelled the
behaviour of a group of protesters who prevented the importation
And he said yesterday the Federal Government was prepared to launch
legal action to ensure the elephants come to Australia.
The elephants were supposed to leave Thailand for the Cocos and
Keeling Islands, where they will spend a further three months in
quarantine, early last month.
Five of the elephants will be housed in a $40 million enclosure at
Taronga Zoo, the others will go to Melbourne Zoo.
But a group of aggressive protesters terrified the animals so
severely their handlers aborted the trip, forcing the elephants to
remain inside Bangkok's quarantine centre where they have been for
nearly two years.
Senator Campbell told The Daily Telegraph the biggest threat the
elephants faced was the animal activists and their "outrageous
" They have hurt these animals wilfully," he said. "They are a serious
threat to the welfare of these animals."
Senator Campbell said the Government would use "every method possible
to make sure the move takes place in the future" and did not rule out
Ever since the elephants were housed in quarantine in August 2004,
Taronga Zoo has had a core group of four Australian zookeepers
looking after them.
Taronga communications manager Lisa Keen, who was in Thailand last
week when The Daily Telegraph spoke to her, said the road to get the
elephants to Australia had been "long and hard".
" The handlers are living in fairly basic circumstances and it's a
back-breaking job," she said.
Activists are calling for DNA sampling of the elephants to determine
whether the elephants were born in the wild, which would prevent
Ms Keen ruled it out, saying blood samples had been taken and that
more tests would take years.
Plan envisages better facilities for visitors to Bannerghatta park
The Bannerghatta National Park, the piece of wilderness in the
backyard of Bangalore, is set to expand and improve facilities for
Now designated a biological park in view of the biodiversity in terms
of plant and animal life, it has a zoo area of about 40 acres, with a
mini zoo, bird enclosures and lion and tiger safari parks. The zoo
will be expanded to 100 acres. The entire park area, mostly forested
hills, is spread across 1,800 acres. These forests spread across the
border into Tamil Nadu and have wandering elephant herds and other
The Zoo Authority of Karnataka, with financial assistance from the
Union Department of Biotechnology, plans to spend Rs. 20 crore to
bring the biological park to international standards. Inputs for the
upgrade plans are known to have come from an internationally reputed
expert in zoo design and management, Bernard Harrison, who is based
He has emphasised the scientific aspects of the needs of animals in
captivity, including physical dimensions of enclosures in the area
open to visitors. The master plan for the development of the wildlife
park, now being finalised, will have to consider aspects such as the
B.C. group launches zoo boycott over giraffe's death
An animal protection group is organizing a boycott of the Greater
Vancouver Zoo after the recent death of a baby giraffe.
Liberation B.C. spokesperson Jan Olson said members of the group
planned to protest in front of the zoo on Sunday over what she
alleges is a long list of broken promises from the facility located
in the Fraser Valley community of Aldergrove, east of Vancouver.
Olson alleged that the female giraffe's death on June 29, eight days
after it was born, raises serious questions about the zoo's ability
to care for its animals.
The British Columbia Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has
launched an investigation into what happened during and after the
Gorilla Dies During Surgery At Washington Zoo
As veterinarians attempted to implant an electronic cardiac device
into Kuja, a 23-year-old male Western Lowland Gorilla, he died. The
device would have helped his heart pump more effectively, said zoo
officials. Kuja was one of two male and five female western lowland
gorillas at Washington's National Zoo.
The operation was being carried out by veterinary surgeons from the
University of Alabama and Auburn University.
Kuja was born in Memphis zoo in 1983, he was the father of two male
gorillas. He was part of a group of breeding gorillas. Western
Lowland Gorillas are an endangered species.
Kuja had congestive heart failure as a result of a chronic disease of
the heart muscle. Basically
Churchill expands jail for curious polar bears - and adds air
The polar bear capital of the world - the northern Manitoba town of
Churchill - is beefing up its unique facility for hulking carnivore
The provincially run polar bear jail, a transformed military
warehouse with 23 holding cells, is getting five new cells and will
soon offer air conditioning to some of its furry inmates.
" It's not air conditioning that we'd want to get the temperature down
to zero or anything," Shaun Bobier, a district supervisor with
Manitoba's Conservation Department, said from the town of 1,000 on
the western shore of Hudson Bay.
" If the air temperature outside is 30 degrees . . . if we could knock
it down (inside) to 20 degrees, it will make the bear that much more
Dozens of polar bears come near
Oops the monkey flies the coop
Primate on the lam from Roanoke zoo
A Japanese monkey aptly named Oops bolted from the Roanoke city zoo
Sunday, sparking a park-wide shutdown as staff searched the
surrounding forest, where they could hear her in the trees.
The 20-pound Japanese macaque and her family were being moved from
their holding cells to the exhibit for routine feeding and cleaning
when she got away Sunday morning, said David Jobe, education curator
at Mill Mountain Zoo.
She was still on the run Monday
Critics blame zookeepers for Gita the elephant's death
She gave distress signs night before she died
The keepers of a 48-year-old Asian elephant that died did not begin
emergency procedures for more than eight hours after the animal was
discovered in a sitting position, a Los Angeles Zoo investigation has
The 8,000-pound female named Gita died on June 10. A zoo statement
issued Friday said Gita was seen sitting down -- a general sign of
distress in elephants -- the night before she died, but it did not
say who observed her. Keepers did not begin emergency procedures
until the following morning, it said.
" Corrective actions have been taken that will serve to prevent the
occurrence of similar situations," the statement said.
A report on the cause of death from the California Animal Health and
Food Safety Lab will not be completed for several weeks.
Animal rights activists had long complained about conditions for
Tragic Weekend At Aquarium As Three Sea Lions Die
Three sea lions at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific died last
weekend, two likely from heat exhaustion, including the 6-week-old
pup that was the first ever born at the aquarium.
One of the sea lions, Roxy, died as a result of reaction to
anesthesia from a surgery last Friday. Then, over the weekend, Kona
and her new pup were discovered dead in their private holding area.
" Our animals are part of our family. To lose Roxy, Kona and our new
pup in such a short time is devastating
New lease of life for Loch Lomond Aquarium
Tropical sharks, seahorses and otters are just some of the creatures
due to arrive at the new Loch Lomond Aquarium this morning.
Contractors hope the multi-million pound attraction will bring a new
lease of life to Drumkinnon Tower near Balloch, after it failed to
bring in enough visitors. Fewer than 500,000 people were