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Zoo News Digest - January/February - 2007


Zookeeper's killing by jaguar is under investigation

Officials on Sunday were trying to determine why a zookeeper killed
by a jaguar opened the door to the animal's enclosure when zoo
policies ban staff members from entering exhibits when big cats are
The Denver Zoo's feline exhibits were closed Sunday for the
investigation. Zoo officials also were interviewing staff members to
determine what happened.
The zookeeper, 27-year-old Ashlee Pfaff, had opened a door leading
from a service area into Jorge's enclosure on Saturday.
A visitor saw the attack from outside the glass enclosure, and his
shouts alerted other keepers, zoo spokeswoman Ana Bowie said.
Under zoo policy, staff cannot be in any large cat exhibit when the
animal is there.
The 140-pound male jaguar had no history of unusual behavior, Bowie
said. Jorge was shot to death by a zoo employee when

Kuwait finds 20 cases of deadly bird flu
Kuwait announced yesterday that it had detected the deadly strain of
avian influenza in poultry and birds such as falcons and had shut
the nation's only zoo. Twenty cases of avian influenza have been
detected in birds, most of them falcons,ESheikh Ahmed Abdallah Al
Sabah said. Ministry spokesman Ahmad Al Shatti said it was the
deadly H5N1

Beaver returns to New York City after 200 years
Beavers grace New York City's official seal. But the industrious
rodents haven't been spotted here for as many as 200 years -- until
this week.
Biologists videotaped a beaver swimming up the Bronx River on
Wednesday. Its twig-and-mud lodge had been spotted earlier on the
river bank, but the tape confirmed the presence of the animal.
"It had to happen because beaver populations are expanding, and
their habitats are shrinking," said Dietland Muller-Schwarze, a
beaver expert at the State University of New York College of
Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. "We're probably

China zoo tiger kills six-year-old girl
A tiger attacked a six-year-old girl, waiting to have her picture
taken with the animal at a zoo in southwest China, biting her head
and killing her, state media said on Friday.
The accident happened on Thursday in the picturesque province of
Yunnan at the height of the Spring Festival holiday when families
gather to celebrate the start of the Lunar New Year. The accident
occurred when the girl was standing behind the tiger together with
her mother and four other relatives waiting to take pictures with

Peacocks blamed for bird flu outbreak at zoo
A fresh outbreak of bird flu has struck the zoo in Islamabad, where
a gift batch of infected peacocks is blamed for decimating bird
The Marghazar Zoo has been temporarily closed after test results
this week confirmed the deaths of ducks and geese from the H5N1
strain of bird flu that is also lethal to humans.
gWe took emergency action by culling five peacocks and vaccinated
the rest of the flocks. The entire premises has also been
fumigated,h zoo director Raja Javed said as his 84 staff members
underwent daily medical checks for any sign of the virus.
Two dozen of birds died after the zoo received a gift of seven
peacocks on February 12. Health inspectors had only just given the
collections a clean bill of health when the new birds arrived.
The virus hit only ordinary species of ducks, geese and peacocks
kept in one section of the leafy zoo nestling

Cops nab zoo wolf on run
ARMED police were called yesterday after a wolf was spotted roaming
through a village.
Cops and animal keepers with tranquilliser guns spent hours tracking
the animal after it jumped a fence at Dartmoor Wildlife Park and
wandered along a road in Lutton, Devon.
The wolf — called Parker — was eventually darted and
returned to its
Wealthy widow Amelia Mee, 76, bought the park and its animals last
year for £1million and gave it to her sons Duncan, 41, and Ben,
They want,,2-2007070904,00.html

Rare colossal squid caught
A New Zealand fishing crew has caught an adult colossal squid, a sea
creature with eyes as big as dinner plates and razor-sharp hooks on
its tentacles, an official said today.
New Zealand Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton said the squid, weighing
an estimated 450 kilograms, took two hours to land in Antarctic
The fishermen were catching Patagonian toothfish south of New
Zealand "and the squid was eating a hooked toothfish when it was
hauled from the deep," he said.
Colossal squid, known by the scientific name Mesonychoteuthis
hamiltoni, are estimated to grow up to 14 metres long and have long
been one of the most mysterious creatures of the deep ocean.
Experts have not yet

Lab confirms bird flu in capital zoo
Lab results have confirmed that the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu
killed 24 birds at the Marghazar Zoo from February 12 to 19, a
meeting at the residence of Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan
Sherpao was told on Wednesday.
The meeting was told that the National Reference Laboratory for
Poultry Diseases (NARC) tested the dead birds for bird flu and found
the H5N1 strain in them. Zoo officers have started screening,
disinfection and isolation of birds and no deaths have taken place
since Tuesday. The National Institute for Health and World Health
Organisation have also been contacted for screening and preventive

This morning, PETA sent an urgent letter to Dr. Robert M. Gibbens,
Western Regional director of the U.S. Department of Agriculturefs
(USDA) animal care unit, urging him to immediately launch an
investigation into Predator World, an unaccredited roadside zoo in
Branson. PETAfs request comes in the wake of news reports that three
timber wolves escaped from their enclosure at Predator World on
February 15. Two of the animals apparently remain on the loose.
PETA points out that it appears that the menagerie may have violated
at least two provisions of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) that
address soundness of enclosures and perimeter fencing. Because
Predator World has a history of problems—including an incident in
which a volunteer was bitten by a leopard in 2004 and a fine for
$2,000 in 2003—PETA is asking the USDA to take steps to

Chimps Use "Spears" to Hunt Mammals, Study Says
For the first time, great apes have been observed making and using
tools to hunt mammals, according to a new study. The discovery
offers insight into the evolution of hunting behavior in early
No fewer than 22 times, researchers documented wild chimpanzees on
an African savanna fashioning sticks into "spears" to hunt small
primates called lesser bush babies (bush baby photo).
In each case a chimpanzee modified a branch by breaking off one or
two ends and, frequently, using its teeth to sharpen the stick. The
ape then jabbed the spear into hollows in tree trunks where bush
babies sleep.
(Watch new video of a chimp retrieving a bush
http://news/. nationalgeograph 2007/02/070222- chimps-
spears. html

Zoo keepers laud Lucknow Zoofs space management
Considering the fact that the Lucknow Zoo has seen a significant
increase in the number of animals, without any increase in the zoo
area, but growth in population and encroachment, itfs upkeep has
been good. This was the opinion of the team of zoo keepers from
several zoos across the country, who had come for a visit to the
Lucknow Zoo on Tuesday.
The zoo keepers were on a day-long visit from Kanpur zoo, where they
are undergoing a two-week training programme being conducted on the
guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA). They looked at
several aspects of how the zoo, which is one of the oldest in the
state. Zoo keepers came from the zoos of cities like Kanpur,
Gwalior, Bhopal, Delhi, Ahmedabad

Overfed or scared, Chinese zoo animals' festival spoiled
Animals in Chinese zoos had a rough and uneasy time amid the Spring
Festival hustle and bustle, with pigs overfed by tourists and
peacocks and a panda scared by banging fireworks.
During the week-long lunar new year holiday, mini-pigs kept in the
Shanghai Wild Zoo met a surging number of 20,000 visitors every day,
up 20 percent compared to the same period last year, said a zoo
Tourists were eager to feed the pigs, as they wanted to get near the
chubby beasts, which are considered symbols of luck and good fortune
in the Chinese Year of Pig, they said.
The over-fed animals were arranged to take shifts to meet visitors
after they invariably showed digestive difficulties including
constipation and diarrhea.
In central China's Hubei province, zoos were not

Taiwan zoo to reapply for Chinese pandas
A Taiwan theme park will reapply this spring to bring over from
China a pair of giant pandas that the island government rejected
last year amid political tensions, a park manager said on Sunday.
The Leofoo Village Theme Park in Hsinchu County of northern Taiwan
will ask the Taiwan government in March or April for permission to
bring over two pandas from the Wolong Giant Panda Reserve Center in
Sichuan Province of China to show eager visitors, who total about
1.1 million per year, marketing manager Albert Yuan said.
"Everyone has a wish to see pandas," Yuan said. "They

Man in wheelchair sues Lowry Park Zoo
He says his visit became frustrating because attractions were
inaccessible to him
A handicapped man and his family filed a federal lawsuit Friday
accusing Lowry Park Zoo of failing to comply with the Americans with
Disabilities Act.
Travis Smith, a Tampa resident, suffered a brain stem injury in 1994
at age 23 after falling on a construction job. He has used a
wheelchair ever since. He and his brother, Donald, visited the zoo
together last summer. But the experience quickly grew frustrating,
Donald Smith said.
"We had terrible difficulties," he said. "Because of all the
problems, he didn't want to stay there."
Donald Smith, 40, said the counters at the gift shops and food

Former zoo vet Epperson dies
Dr. Stanley Epperson touched the lives of many people. But even more
so, he touched the lives of many animals in the Tri-State, both
large and small.
Epperson, former veterinarian of the Mesker Park Zoo & Botanical
Garden for more than 20 years, died from cancer Saturday at his
home. He was 53.
After obtaining his veterinarian medicine degree from Purdue
University, Epperson began his work in Evansville as an associate of
the late Dr. Frederick Buente.
After Buente's death, Epperson joined friend and former classmate
Dr. Craig Butler in forming Animal Medical Services. Butler said
with such small classes, students were bound to get to know each
other well.
Butler remembers when he was in practice with Epperson, the two
would meet

8 zoo attendants test negative for bird flu
The Marghazar Zoo authorities on Friday heaved a sigh of relief
after learning that eight of their attendants had tested negative
for bird flu.
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) officials however said a
formal written report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and
the National Institute of Health was to be received Saturday. The
caretakers who underwent tests were in direct contact with the
birds. The zoo, which was closed to public on Monday\02\24\story_24-2-

Blackstock girl is Miss Teen Canada
Busy Cali Tanner is ready to compete against the world
Volunteering at the Oshawa Zoo since the age of 12, Miss Tanner has
accumulated 140 hours of community service, far surpassing her high
school graduation requirement of 40. She now trains new volunteers
at the zoo and is entrusted to take care of many of the animals. "I
can pretty much do anything there now," she says. "I can help


Woman killed by cheetah in Belgian zoo
A 37-year-old woman has been killed by a cheetah after sneaking into
its cage, an official at the zoo in northern Belgium said.
The woman, a regular visitor from Antwerp, was thought to have
hidden in the grounds of the Olmen zoo and entered the cage after
other visitors left on Sunday evening, local police told the Belga
news agency.
The woman was a so-called "godmother" to the cheetah under a program
at the family-run zoo that allowed regular visitors to participate
in the care of animals in the presence of zoo-keepers.
Despite the incident, the zoo said that its security was sufficient
and that the cheetah would not be destroyed.
However, zoo spokesman Jan Libot said that visitors would "no longer
be allowed in the future to take pictures near small predators or
feed animals."
A Belgian animal defence group Gaia

Sumatran rhinoceros leaving U.S. zoo, heading to Indonesia
Andalas, the first Sumatran rhinoceros born in captivity in more
than a century, will be moved from the Los Angeles Zoo to Indonesia
this week to take part in a breeding program for the critically
endangered mammals, officials said.
He will mate with two female rhinoceros at the Sumatran Rhino
Sanctuary in the Way Kambas National Park on the island of Sumatra,
the zoo said Wednesday.
"Andalas' journey to Indonesia is vital to the future of Sumatran
rhinos," said John Lewis, the zoo's director.
Andalas made a splash in September 2001 when he was born at the
Cincinnati Zoo &

Dying tiger in N.B. typical of challenges posed by aging zoo
critters The health issues facing an old, dying tiger in a New
Brunswick zoo are symptomatic of problems confronting zookeepers
across North America as they cope with a growing population of
geriatric animals. Officials at the small Magnetic Hill Zoo in
Moncton, N.B., have attracted worldwide attention in their search
for ways to keep the zoo's star attraction, Tomar the Siberian
tiger, alive and comfortable despite kidney failure. Bruce Dougan,
general manager of the Magnetic Hill Zoo, said Tomar is responding
well to a new diet and medications - including blood-pressure and
antacid pills - designed to reduce pressure on the 19-year-old cat's
failing kidneys. "We're feeding him egg yolks, ducks and fatty cuts
of meat because the fat will give him the nutrition he needs, the
energy he needs for his day-to-day activities and it won't give him
as much urea to process," Dougan said in an interview
Wednesday. "With the fattier diet, his kidneys don't have to work
quite so hard." Although there is no chance of reversing the te
ships say they have been made "pirates" Friday
February 2, 05:03 AM
An anti-whaling group searching Antarctic waters for a Japanese
whaling fleet with the aim of disrupting its operations said both
its vessels will soon be "pirate ships" following a decision by
Britain to deregister one its vessels.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which has offered a $25,000
(12,700 pounds) reward for the location of the Japanese fleet, said
Britain was acting on a request by Tokyo

Endangered cranes killed in Florida storms
All 18 endangered young whooping cranes that were led south from
Wisconsin last fall as part of a project to create a second
migratory flock of the birds were killed in storms in Florida, a
spokesman said.
The cranes were being kept in an enclosure at the Chassahowitzka
National Wildlife Refuge near Crystal River, Fla., when violent
storms moved in Thursday night, said Joe Duff, co-founder of
Operation Migration, the organization coordinating the project.
"The birds were checked in late afternoon

Population estimates decline for U.S. fur seals
America's northern fur seal pup population continues a marked
decline this decade, federal biologists reported Friday. The number
of pups born between 2004 and 2006 in Alaska's Pribilof Islands,
home of the world's largest rookeries, fell by 9 percent from the
previous two year estimate, according to researchers from the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
"We have seen a significant decline in the abundance of fur seals on
the Pribilof Islands starting about 1998, and we have not been able
to identify the

Zoo welcomes birth of first African elephant in Thailand
A zoo in northeastern Thailand is celebrating the first birth of an
African elephant in the pachyderm-loving country, a news report said
Thailand has thousands of native Asian elephants, which are smaller
than the African variety.
The male baby, still awaiting a name, was born Sunday at Korat Zoo,
210 kilometers (130 miles) northeast of Bangkok, according to the
National News Bureau, a publication of the government's Public
Relations Department.
The parents of the 70-centimeter (28-inch) -tall, 40-kilogram (88-
pound) newborn are Jaew and Aap, both 17 years old, who came to
Thailand nine years ago from South Africa'

Popcorn Park Zoo vet has seen cruelty at its worst
When veterinarian Laney Baris arrived at her job at Popcorn Park Zoo
in Lacey on a May morning in 2003, a distraught staffer met her
before she could enter the office.
Go out to the zoo right now, she was told.
In an outdoor pen, several emus -- exotic, flightless birds similar
to ostriches -- were dead.
"They had been bludgeoned to death with different objects -- one was
a huge limb off a pine tree. There was one still alive, and it was
"The bird was blind because it had been beaten so hard. It was
bleeding internally from its jugular vein. It was bleeding all over
its head," the slight woman says softly.
The previous night, three area men -- all 18 -- had brutally beaten
and killed three emus, two rheas, which are similar to emus and
ostriches, and three ducks at the Associated Humane Societies' zoo.
"I could see all the footprints in the pen where these boys had run
after the animals. I could see where the birds tried to run away --
the feathers and blood. I had to euthanize that animal. It was
probably the worst thing I've ever had to do," Baris says.
Matthew Mercuro, Matthew Ronneberg and Thomas Cavanaugh also killed
a goose at a park in Waretown and vandalized a business and a church
in Manchester. The three later received probation in the case, which
drew international attention. All three later violated probation.
Mercuro, of Waretown, served 90 days in the Ocean County Jail but
was continued on probation. Ronneberg and Cavanaugh, both of Lacey,
were sentenced to prison terms.
Baris can't forget what she saw that day, but this wasn't the only
cruelty case she's handled.
Abused animals often are brought to the agency's shelter

Funds established for zoo
City officials are hoping the establishment of two new funds and the
help of a Panhandle organization will boost donations to the
Amarillo Zoo.
One is an endowment fund, the other is an advise and consult fund
established by a new volunteer organization. Both will be
administered by the Amarillo Area Foundation at no cost to the city.
Previously, donations to the zoo were given to the city.
"We're a catalyst to ga

Tiger cub stolen from French zoo
Thieves have stolen a three-month-old, 12kg tiger from a zoo at
Frejus in southern France and keepers are concerned that he could be
turned loose into the surrounding countryside and run wild, they
said on Saturday.
Kouma the cub was stolen last Wednesday when intruders broke into an
enclosure in the zoo's nursery section, the management said. Police
have begun a local tiger hunt.
Keepers are concerned about both Kouma's personal welfare and
possible dangers to the local community if his kidnappers return him
to a
natural habitat.
"He's very young animal and won't eat anything but a kilogram of
hashed meat and has to be bottle-fed three times daily," said deputy
zoo manager Habib Nafati.
"I'm worried he may have been stolen by youngsters who'll play
around with him then release

Tiger mauls man at zoo feeding time
A TIGER has attacked a man at Bangladesh's Dhaka Zoo, leaving him
critically injured after he entered a cage to feed the big cat, the
official BSS news agency said.
The Royal Bengal tiger mauled Mujibur Rahman, an employee of an
animal feed supply firm, when he took 1kg of raw meat into the
enclosure at lunchtime, the agency reported.
Visitors screamed in horror as zoo staff rescued Mr Rahman by
injecting the animal with tranquilisers.
He was taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where he was said to
be in a serious condition.
No further information on his condition,23599,21202151-38197,00.html

The new owners of Dartmoor Wildlife Park are to begin the process of
applying for a zoo licence this month.

EXPECTANT MUM: African white rhino Tala, aged seven, who is four
months pregnant, keeps her strength up, feeding at the South Lakes
Wild Animal Park, in Dalton
AN endangered white rhino at South Lakes Wild Animal Park is
expecting her first calf.
The news is a huge boost to a species under increasing threat in the
Staff at the Dalton zoo are delighted to be making such an important
contribution to the global breeding programme.
Expectant mum Tala joined the park from a private breeding reserve
in South Africa at the end of 2003.
Since then the seven-year-old southern white rhino has been
inseparable from her 11-year-old mate, Mazungu.
Female rhinos reach sexual maturity between six and seven-years
while males take a little longer at 10 to 12-years, so they appear
to be a perfect match.
The park is home to two other white rhinos, 11-year-old male Huubke
and female Ntombi, who arrived with Tala as part of the European
Breeding Programme.
Many zoos are reluctant to keep rhinos because of their sometimes
aggressive temperament and the space they require.
So a successful birth would be a real coup for the park — not to
mention a huge attraction for visitors.
Park director David Gill said: "This will probably be one of the
most important births in the whole history of the park.
"White rhinos are such an endangered species and this park prides
itself on being at the forefront of conservation all over the world.
"It's what we've been working towards for months."
Despite the good news Mr Gill is cautious about celebrating too
Tala had a miscarriage last year.
But she is four months pregnant and past the point where she lost
her baby last time.
Mr Gill said: "Even if we have no success we know we have a female
mating here and everything is going in the right direction.
"We're keeping our fingers crossed. We've got
With a gestation period between 15 and 16 months, both rhinos can be
sure of a

Scuffle with tiger at Dhaka Zoo
Panic gripped the visitors at Dhaka Zoo yesterday noon when a Royal
Bengal Tiger attacked its food provider inside the cage, came out of
it and roamed the zoo premises for about half an hour. The victim,
Mujibar Rahman Sheikh, 40, employee of an animal food supply
contractor at the zoo, narrowly survived with injuries to his arms,
thighs, neck and chest.Scores of people including women and children
were seen running helter skelter for safety as they found the
majestic animal out of its cage. As the news spread like wildfire,
hundreds of people who went to the zoo with their families on the
weekend tried to hide wherever they could or raced out. Narrating
the incident, Mujibar said just as on other days, he went to
Sanjoy's (the tiger) cage yesterday noon to provide him meat. "The
tiger usually stays inside its second cage when food is given. But
today (yesterday) somehow it was in the first cage, and we did not
notice that," said Mujibar. Abdul Khalek, a zoo staff, opened the
gate of the first cage, Mujibar said. "We entered it and kept meat
on the floor. The tiger suddenly jumped on me."
In no time, both ran out of the cage but the tiger followed

Budding zoologist seeks vacant farm for Derry wildlife park
A BUNCRANA-based zoologist who hopes to specialise in protecting
endangered species, has appealed to local landowners for the
opportunity to rent, lease or buy a vacant farm to house his ever-
increasing collection of wildlife.
Despite being only 21-years-old, Donegal man Killian McLaughlin has
single-handedly established the 'Buncrana Wildlife Park', a venture
proving extremely popular with school tours, curious visitors and
naturalists alike.
However, this modest half-acre site has now become too small for the
myriad of animals Killian cares for, a collection which includes
snakes, Capuchin monkeys, chameleons, emu, pheasants, parrots,
raccoons, arctic and red foxes, hedgehogs and even wallabies.
Killian told the 'Journal' that his love of the natural world began
when he was only 5 or 6-years old, and ideally he hopes to
concentrate on protecting and breeding rare, endangered species.
Already, he has bred several endangered species, such as axolotl,
which are rare Mexican Salamanders that are now almost extinct in
the wild.
He explained: "It's been a gradual progression from having goldfish
and hamsters, my interest really developed from there.
"As I got older, the more I heard or read about conservation
SectionID=3421&ArticleID =2037865

Retiring Calgary Zoo president praised, criticized
The head of the Calgary Zoo's board says the organization will miss
president Alex Graham, who resigned suddenly late Thursday.
Ted Vogel, chair of the zoo's board of directors, said he is sorry
to say goodbye to Graham, who had been head of the the zoo since
"He's proven to be an extremely effective fundraiser. We have seen
wonderful projects like Destination Africa, which raised $25-plus
million, and his work has led to a much improved organization, a
much bigger organization."
Zoos are part conservation and part entertainment, he said, and he
believes Graham was able to enhance both those areas of operation.
The search for Graham's

Giraffe Dies in Fall and Injures Zoo Boss
Giraffes are notoriously difficult to anaesthetize, as a Swedish zoo
boss recently learned: the leggy animal fell on top of him, leaving
him with concussion and killing itself in the fall.
The two-year-old male giraffe, weighing 400 kilos, was to undergo
routine testing for tuberculosis at the Kolmården Zoo 160 kilometers
south of Stockholm. But things went terribly wrong.
Animal curator Mats Höggren told the local Norrköpings Tidningar
newspaper that "We have a portable wall that we pull up next to a
solid wall so that the animal can fall gently to the side when it is
anaesthetized. You also have to make sure that the neck doesn't fall
But instead the giraffe /International/nyhetssidor/artikel.asp?

ZooCheck again slams Bowmanville Zoo
Says Canada is "no place for elephants"
The authors of a report slamming Canadian facilities -- including
the Bowmanville Zoo where elephants are kept -- "snuck in like
thieves in the night" and didn't even bother to ask any questions,
said zoo owner Michael Hackenberger.
ZooCheck Canada released a report last month, compiled by Kenyan
wildlife consultant Winnie Kiiru. She visited seven Canadian
facilities, including Bowmanville Zoo, where she went in September
2006 unannounced. In the case of Bowmanville Zoo, no staff was
questioned by the report's author, said Mr. Hackenberger.
In general, the ZooCheck report concluded "Canada is no place for
elephants," given its climate and other issues.
At Bowmanville Zoo, Ms. Kiiru

Endangered turtles dying in Bangladesh
Hundreds of endangered sea turtles have been found dead along
Bangladesh's coast in the past two weeks, triggering concerns about
pollution and local fishing practices, an official said Thursday.
A team of four scientists has launched an investigation into the
deaths of the olive ridley turtles, said Jafar Ahmed, a top official
in the government's marine fisheries department.
At least 65 of the sea turtles – ranging from 88 to 132 pounds –
have been found dead along a three-mile stretch of beach near Cox's
Bazar, one of the main cities on Bangladesh's coast. Hundreds more
dead turtles have been found elsewhere in the area, and on a pair of
islands. There is no clear total of exactly how many turtles have
Olive ridleys, the smallest of all sea turtles, are endangered. They
often come ashore at this time of year to lay eggs, Ahmed said.
There have been reports of turtle deaths before, but not as many as
this year, he said.
Ahmed would not give any specific reason for the spike in deaths,
but said the use of illegal fishing nets near the shoreline has
apparently increased

Endangered primates harbour fewer parasites
Primates threatened with extinction harbour fewer parasites than
their non-threatened counterparts, a new study shows. It could leave
the most vulnerable more susceptible to infectious disease, the
researchers say.
Many primate species around the world are in danger of disappearing.
Conservation efforts typically focus on habitat loss and poaching,
but disease can also pose a danger, especially to populations
already in trouble. In particular, outbreaks of Ebola virus are
pushing Africa's remaining gorillas and chimps to the brink of
Ecologist Sonia Altizer at the University of Georgia in Athens, US,
and colleagues wondered if there was a correlation between the
diversity of parasites that a species hosts and its status on the
Red List of threatened


Pregnant elephant at zoo
CELEBRATIONS have been in order at Colchester Zoo after one of the
elephants has fallen pregnant.
It was on January 17 that Colchester Zopo discovered Zola was
pregnant after tests were carried out by the German Primate Research
Centre in Gottingen.
A zoo spokeswoman said: "Keepers at Colchester Zoo were confident
that she was indeed pregnant as she had not been in oestrus for some
"A birth date is not yet known, however

 From the zoo to the wild
Finally, freedom is just a few days away for a few deer at the
Animal Rescue Centre at Kodanad. From the crowded cages of the mini-
zoo, they would soon be released to the forest area near
The first batch of the deer would be released in the coming weeks
and the preparation for the release, including de-worming the
animals, has started, said E.K. Eswaran, veterinary surgeon of the
Department of Forest.
Animals have been fed with a mineral and vitamin combination.
The area where the animals will be released has a natural population
of deer, he said.
The zoo has been facing the problem of over-population of deer. The
insufficient infrastructure facilities for their upkeep forced the
zoo authorities to think

Man held for trying to bribe zoo official
doha • A supplier of food for the animals at Doha Zoo was arrested
by police after he was caught trying to bribe a zoo official.
The contract between the supplier and the zoo called for the former
to provide 1,500 kg of food per day for the animals but he was
providing far less than the agreed amount.
When the zoo official, the in-charge of charge of food supplies,
caught the supplier out, he was offered a bribe which was turned
Undeterred, the supplier came back a second time and offered a
larger amount to ensure the zoo official's silence. The supplier was
turned down again.
The official then spoke to his colleagues who suggested he talk to
the zoo management and the police in order to catch the supplier in
the act, an Arabic daily said.
When the supplier came around a third

New zoo to have camel safari
Dubai: The mystery over the construction and location of a new zoo
in Dubai has been resolved.
"Dubai Municipality will build a new zoo in Dubailand and the
construction will start this year," said Engineer Eisa Al Maidour,
Assistant Director General of Dubai Municipality for General
Projects Affairs.
He told Gulf News yesterday that the new Dubai Zoo would be built in
cooperation with Dubailand. "We are planning, designing and
constructing the zoo on the land provided by Dubailand. It is a
joint venture," he added.
Animals from the existing Dubai Zoo in Jumeirah will be moved to the
new zoo.
Al Maidour said the zoo will be constructed in phases because it is
a huge project that

Detroit Zoo seeking $12 million in help from state
Detroit Zoo officials are requesting $12 million in aid from the
state, a potentially tall order considering Michigan's $800 million
budget shortfall.
The zoo warns it would have to consider raising prices or cutting
back hours if it doesn't get the additional funding. The request is
$8 million more than it received last year.
Some state legislators say the money simply isn't there.
"Who's got $12 million?" state Rep. Chuck Moss asked.
"I love the zoo, but we don't have $12 million of our own," the
Birmingham Republican told The Detroit News. "We're $800 million in
the hole. Who else gets cut? Do we cut money to schools? Or health

Grey wolves to leave endangered species list
Wolves in the northern Rockies will be removed from the endangered
species list within the next year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service said Friday, a move that would open the population up to
trophy hunting.
Federal officials are expected to announce the plan Monday, said
Sharon Rose, a spokeswoman for the service. The agency also will
finalize removal from the list of a separate population of wolves in
the Great Lakes region.
Federal officials for months have been readying a proposal calling
for Montana, Idaho and Wyoming to assume management

Sloth wins 3-year battle with German scientists
At long last, zoologists give up trying to bribe animal to move
To thine own sloth, be true.
For three years, scientists at the University of Jena tried to
persuade Mats the sloth to co-operate in an experiment on animal
But nothing they tried, not even the promise of cucumbers and
spaghetti, could persuade the lethargic Mats to get up off the floor
of his cage, climb a pole and climb back down.
So today, scientists at the university's Institute of Systematic
Zoology and Evolutionary Biology said they had finally given up. It
was, perhaps, a triumph of nature over nudging researchers.
"Mats obviously wanted absolutely nothing to do with furthering
science," said Axel Burchardt, a university spokesman.
Mats' new home is the zoo in the

Elephant Birth Video
(Remarkable footage but I do think the watchers should have moved
away. I am sure they were causing stress to the herd at a very
stressful time...who needs more. Peters note)

Africa's threatened species: Gorillas under guard
News that two endangered gorillas had been killed and eaten by
Congolese rebel soldiers shocked the world - not just because of the
environmental implications but because of the unique relationship we
have with the great apes. "There is more meaning and mutual
understanding in exchanging a glance with a gorilla than any other
animal I know," whispered David Attenborough during his memorable
encounter with the mountain gorillas of central Africa during
filming for the groundbreaking BBC Life on Earth series in 1978.
That short scene of a family group of gorillas - playing, resting,
feeding and reflecting ourselves back through the camera lens -
cemented our affection for a creature with which mankind shares
around 98 per cent of our DNA. They are, as Attenborough suggested
so effectively, our cousins in the wild.
And it is that unique relationship which underpinned the horror felt
by many last week when it was revealed that one and possibly two of
the remaining 700 mountain gorillas, confined to a small area
bordering three central African countries, had been killed and
probably eaten by Congolese rebel soldiers. And these were not just
some anonymous

Zoo cruelty charges dropped Construction of hippo enclosure at
Aldergrove facility satisfactory to Crown
Charges of animal cruelty have been dropped against the Greater
Vancouver Zoo, and the B.C. SPCA isn't happy about it.
The criminal justice branch of the provincial Ministry of the
Attorney General stayed the two counts of cruelty to Hazina the
hippo, arguing that it's no longer in the public's interest to
pursue a trial since the large animal's outdoor enclosure has been
Hazina spent 19 months inside a temporary pen with access to a small
wading pool. She took on celebrity status when she was featured in a
popular Christmas Telus commercial.
"By staying the charges, this says

Indianapolis Zoo Accepts Nominations For Animal Conservation Award
The Indianapolis Zoo is now accepting nominations for the 2008
Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation award. The $100,000 prize
is given to an individual who has accomplished achievements in
conservation of an animal species or group of species. The deadline
for nominations is April 30.
Nominations are now open for the 2008 biennial Indianapolis Prize
for animal conservation. The Indianapolis Prize is awarded to an
individual who has accomplished a significant achievement or
achievements in the conservation of an animal species or group of
species resulting in an advance in long-term survivability and
sustainability. Nominations can be made online at and are due by April 30, 2007. The $100,000
Prize and the accompanying Lilly Medal are awarded every other year
by the Indianapolis Zoo at a gala ceremony in late September.
The Prize is given to an individual and is unrestricted. The Prize

German chimps in Delhi zoo get new enclosure
The Delhi Zoo today released Marius and Manius, the two chimpanzees
imported from Germany, into their enclosures after a month-long
quarantine process, officials said.
The zoo hospital cleared Marius (11) and Manius (9) of HIV, TB,
Influenza and skin infections and gave them a "certificate of good
Zoo Vet Dr N Paneerselvam said, "We released Marius and Manius from
their month-long quarantine and now they are exploring their two-
acre enclosure".
The male chimps have been moved right next to the female chimps,
Ruby (18) and Rita (45). "At first, when the males and females came
face to face, both sides panicked

Sana'a Zoo animals need a better life
Lion cubs attract the attention of many children. However, the zoo
authority had to separate the male lions from lionesses because
there is no space for more baby lions.
"We try to keep the zoo animals from dying by helping them adapt to
their new environment in captivation," Sana'a Zoo, veterinarian Dr.
Ameen Al-Qubati says.
Sana'a Zoo, which was established after Taiz Zoo, opened in 1999 and
thus far has cost [a total of] YR 100 million ($735,000). The zoo is
located in Darsalm approximately 15 km. from the city center, a flat
area of rocky desert.
According to manager Khalid Al-Makben, Sana'a Zoo spends YR 2
million monthly for food and a million riyals in monthly salaries
for the 47 staff. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., it has witnessed
as many as 10,000 visitors on Fridays (the weekly day off) and 2,000
on other days.
Sana'a Zoo is proving very popular as a great family day out because
there are few other places for public amusement or family recreation
in this traditional Muslim city.
The zoo started with approximately 80 animals, including a lone
gazelle, a turkey, geese, guinea fowl, three hyenas, six lions, 13
baboons, a few

Zoo for sale
FOUR elephants, a band of gorillas, one lion and a giant tortoise
were all put up for sale today.
Blackpool Zoo is on the market - less than four years after the
council handed it over to a private operator.
Grant Leisure, who took over the running of the East Park Drive
attraction in April 2003, has told the council that it is proposing
to sell its lease for the zoo, along with two other attractions it
owns, in order to focus on its core marketing services business.
It is believed that potential new operators of the blue chip
attraction have already expressed an interest in taking over the 32-
acre animal park.
No reasons have been given for the shock move.
Grant Leisure, part of the Mice Group, has sunk £6m worth of
investment into it since took charge.
No cash was paid for the lease, but Grant Leisure will be able to
sell it on at a price to reflect the multi-million pound investment
it has made.
Blackpool Council however remains landlord to the zoo which is
currently operated on a 30-year lease.
It says it will be taking steps to make sure the animals continue to
receive the best possible care.
Council leader Coun Roy Fisher said: "Major expansion has already
taken place since Blackpool Council agreed to hand over the
operation of the zoo.
"That agreement has served the town wel

Great Apes could be beneficiaries of groundbreaking Winnipeg Ebola
Great Apes could be among the early beneficiaries of groundbreaking
work scientists from Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory are
doing to develop a vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus.
"The Great Apes are actually at substantially more risk of
elimination because of Ebola infection than humans," said Steven
Jones, a special pathogens expert from the Winnipeg lab who is a
member of a team of researchers working on the vaccine.
"Their populations are already at risk and it's getting worse
because they're dying of Ebola at a horrible rate."
It is believed the Ebola virus is normally found in some species of
bats. Contact between the bats and apes can lead to infection that
rips through communities of these primates.
While finding a way to test the safety and effectiveness of the
vaccine in humans is proving to be a significant challenge, other
hurdles face researchers hoping to see if the vaccine could help
protect these unique animals.
"How do you get it into them? They're big

N.Y. dolphin death toll rises to 10
The number of dolphins who have died since being trapped in a
shallow creek off eastern Long Island has risen to 10, a rescue
leader said Saturday.
About 20 of the "common dolphins" were first sighted about 11 days
ago in the Northwest Harbor cove, which is north of East Hampton.
Marine biologists feared for their safety. Eight dolphins swam to
safety earlier in the week after being coaxed out of the cove, and
three were spotted Friday. Officials don't know how many are still
More than 80 people have been involved in the rescue effort. The
10th dolphin's body was found midmorning

Images Of Rare Shark Captured On Film
Wednesday January 24, 2007
With its large, eel-like form and mouthful of razor-sharp teeth it
looks like a creature from a horror movie.
But the species of rare shark captured on film by Japanese marine
park staff this week was nothing if not real.
A fisherman spotted the 1.6-metre-long creature on Sunday and
alerted staff at the Awashima Marine Park in Shizuoka, south of
Tokyo. They caught it and subsequently identified it as a female
frilled shark, a species humans

Komodo dragon becomes mother and father
Flora, a Komodo dragon who has never mated or even mixed with a
male, became a mother and father of five this week, British
scientists said on Wednesday.
Scientists announced in December in the journal Nature that Flora
had fertilised the eggs herself without any male help, in a process
culminating in parthenogenesis or "virgin birth".
"When the first of the babies hatched, we didn't know whether to
make her a cup of tea or pass her the cigars," said Kevin Buley a
curator at the Chester Zoo in England where Flora and her babies are
said to be doing fine.
Other lizards can fertilize their eggs by parthenogenesis, but Buley
and his team said it was the first time it has been shown that
Komodo dragons, the world's largest lizards, can also accomplish it.
Two fertilized eggs are still in an incubator.
The baby dragons measured 40-45 cm (15-18 inches) and weighed up to


More Gorillas Killed in Eastern DRC
Goma, DRC (Imari and Frankfurt Zoological Society) January 17, 2007--
The news from the heart of the habitat of the critically endangered
mountain gorilla went from bad to hellish this week. Rebel soldiers
commanded by dissident general, Laurent Nkunda, shot and killed a
silverback Mountain Gorilla in the Southern Sector of Virunga
National Park in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on
the fifth of January. The killing occurred less than 600 meters from
a patrol post at Bikenge, which was recently abandoned following
rebel attacks by forces loyal to Nkunda. No sooner had Robert Muir of
the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) and warden Paulin Ngobobo
arranged for United Nations support to cross into rebel territory and
retrieve the remains, when word reached them that there had been one
and possibly another gorilla killing.
Paulin Ngobobo is the chief Warden for the Southern Sector of Virunga
Park in DRC.

British move to protect weird and rare mammals
It isn't often that the northern hairy-nosed wombat, the finger-sized
slender loris, and the mountain pygmy possum share the spotlight. But
these odd creatures are the focus of a conservation program launched
Tuesday to safeguard some of the world's rarest mammals.
The Zoological Society of London's program highlights 100 species
selected because of the peculiarity of their genetic backgrounds and
the degree of danger they face. The species' lack of close relatives
make their preservation particularly urgent, society scientist
Jonathan Baillie said. He described them as natural masterpieces.
"Would we just sit there and watch the Mona Lisa disappear?" he
said. "These are things that are just irreplaceable."
Many of the species are the only representative

Zoo Commission Endorses Idea Of Sending Elephant To Sanctuary
The Los Angeles Zoo Commission on Tuesday endorsed the idea of
sending Ruby the African elephant to a wildlife sanctuary, but
stopped short of acting on the plan.
Ruby is kept separate from the zoo's other elephant, named Billy, and
suffers from both a lack of companionship and the harsh impact of the
hard concrete floor in her enclosure, according to animal rights
Efforts to transfer Ruby to the 150-acre PAWS wildlife sanctuary in
San Andreas would give the 45-year-old pachyderm about 500 times the
space of her current enclosure at the Los

Mateless zoo animals get cranky
Some animals are not born hot-tempered, but a decade of life without
a sweet spouse might have been enough to turn a cheering white-
cheeked gibbon cranky.
This is what is happening with about 20 endangered animals in the zoo
in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province.
"Altogether, seven endangered animals now have difficulties in
finding a mate, and most of them are male," zoo manager Wu Kongju
They indluce rhinoceros, black ape, musk deer, elephant, golden

Boiler woes leave zoo workers shivering
A balky boiler at the Capron Park Zoo that's been on its last legs
for years broke down just as the coldest weather of the winter moved
in, forcing office workers to use mufflers and mittens to keep warm.
A main pipe for the 30-year-old, oil-fired heater that services the
zoo's administration building disintegrated last Thursday, prompting
a quick change in dress codes and the use of about 15 space heaters
to keep people warm and pipes from freezing, Zoo Director Jean
Benchimol said.
Only one animal, a lizard on display in the gift shop, was affected,
and has been moved to warmer quarters, she said.
Water faucets have been left dripping at night to prevent frozen
water lines, Benchimol said.
Temperatures in some sections of the building have dipped as low as
40 degrees during the day.
Outside temperatures on Wednesday were

Four Kangaroos Die In Three Days At Florida Zoo
A zoo in Gulf Breeze has lost several of its kangaroos. Officials at
The Zoo Northwest Florida said four of the 15 kangaroos died in a
recent three-day period.
Seven animals died in the last two years. But it's not clear exactly
when the kangaroos died.
Zoo officials said a common bacteria caused an infection responsible
for most of the deaths.
The zoos veterinarian said in a release that kangaroos sometimes

Animal rights groups put heat on zoo over elephant
Maggie gingerly guides a red ball back and forth from one end of her
enclosure to the other. She explores the nooks and crannies of the
concrete around her, searching and smelling. And sometimes she
extends her trunk through the steel bars to a visitor and blows a
gush of warm elephant breath on a hand.
She'll play the harmonica if encouraged, her keepers say.
The 7,500-pound African elephant does all of this while she whiles
away her hours from mid-October to mid-April in her concrete and
steel cage the size of two racquetball courts.
Are Maggie's living conditions unhealthy? Is Maggie unhappy? Another
animal rights group is saying yes. Those in charge of her at the
Alaska Zoo, though, persist in saying no.
The California-based In Defense of Animals put the Alaska Zoo at the
top of its list of the 10 worst U.S. zoos for elephants in 2006,
saying Maggie is living alone in a cramped enclosure that is bad for
The criticism is not new for the zoo, which has faced local and
national flak from animal rights groups and animal-behavior experts
for years over the pachyderm.
"While the zoo touts Maggie as a major attraction in the summertime,

Cooped up, nowhere to go Zoo too cramped, says expert
- Alipore zoo conditions appal champion of chimpanzees
The champion of the chimpanzees did not like what she saw at Alipore
zoo on Friday morning.
"The male chimpanzee was urinating and catching it in his mouth,
which is what they do when they are bored," observed primatologist
Jane Goodall, who has spent five decades researching chimpanzees in
the Gombe forest of Africa.
"There are two chimpanzees at the zoo, and while the male was in a
moderate-sized open enclosure, the female was shut in a dungeon-like
place. No one could tell me why the two were being kept apart," said
the 72-year-old. "The chimpanzees have nothing to do. The male looked
healthy, but he was not fit. He couldn't be fit, he has nothing to
Goodall, on her first visit to Calcutta as part of a British Council-
Aranyak initiative to screen wildlife films at Nandan, reached the
zoo around 10.45 am and spent close to 45 minutes there.
She headed straight for the chimps, before checking out the birds,
elephants, bear and big cats. "The bear has such a tiny cage. The
lions, too, are in prison-like enclosures, and all alone. I do not
know why the animals are put alone in cages," repeated
Goodall. "There is much that can be done to improve the zoo."
Goodall, who was accompanied by vice-president

Chimpanzee with sterile mates turns up pregnant
It's both a surprise and a mystery. At Caddo Parish's Chimp Haven,
where retired male chimpanzees all get vasectomies, a female chimp
has turned up pregnant. Chimp Haven managers knew something was up
when they could not find one of their chimps last week.
Teresa, who's been at Chimp Haven for the past year and a half, was
missing during the morning rounds. Later, she appeared with a newborn
chimpanzee in her arms.
"Well, we were all just a little bit surprised when we heard the
news," said Linda Brent, a spokeswoman for Chimp Haven.
Teresa was in a group with 17 other chimpanzees -- seven of them
Now Chimp Haven will have to determine paternity. "We're going to be
doing a paternity test, just like you would do on people," Brent said.
Workers have started collecting

Arkansas Zoo Chimp Escapes, Raids Fridge, Cleans Toilet
An escaped chimpanzee at the Little Rock Zoo raided a kitchen
cupboard and did a little cleaning with a toilet brush before
sedatives knocked her out on top of a refrigerator.
The 120-pound primate, Judy, escaped Tuesday into a service area when
a zookeeper opened a door to her sleeping quarters, unaware the
animal was still inside.
As keepers tried to woo Judy back into her cage, she rummaged through
a refrigerator where chimp snacks are stored. She opened kitchen
cupboards, pulled out juice and soft drinks and took a swig from
bottles she managed to open.
Then she went in the bathroom and picked up a toilet brush and
cleaned the toilet," primate keeper Ann Rademacher said. "Her
technique was good enough to make me think she must have done it
Judy, 37, was a house pet before arriving at the zoo in 1988.
Rademacher said that also might explain why Judy wrung out a sponge,2933,244170,00.html?

Taipei Zoo wants to find companion for old lion
The Taipei Zoo is seeking to import a lion to keep
its only lion, who is old and ill, company, a zoo official said on
"We are contacting several foreign zoos, hoping that they can give
us a lion in exchange for some of our animals. This is not easy
because we must find a lion and must make sure that lion can get
along well with our old lion Shih Chong," Taipei Zoo spokesman Chin
Shih-chien told reporters.
Chin made the statement in response to an Apple Daily report which
claimed Shih Chong, a 26-year-old African male lion, is suffering
from malnutrition and neglect.
he paper said Shih Chong is skin and bones and lies on the ground
most of the time, slowly dying. The paper also said that in the past
eight years, six lions have died at

Zoo's public feedings of big cats praised, condemned by experts
Thrilling. Barbaric. Primal. Anachronistic. Awe-inspiring. Unnerving.
Those are some of the adjectives used to describe the public feeding
of lions and tigers at the San Francisco Zoo -- a venerable ritual
that has stopped with the closing of the zoo's Lion House after a
gruesome attack on a keeper three days before Christmas, observed by
scores of visitors.
In the wake of the Dec. 22 mauling of Lori Komejan, whose right arm
was chewed up just after mealtime by a Siberian tiger named Tatiana,
the future of the Lion House is unclear.
"It will be closed until

Zoo Panda Too Fat For Sex
Chuang Chuang the Panda is just too heavy to have sex. Thai
authorities have put him on a strict diet as part of a long-running
campaign to get him to mate with female partner Lin Hui at the Chiang
Mai Zoo in northern Thailand.
—Chuang Chuang is gaining weight too fast and we found Lin Hui is no
longer comfortable with having sex with him,'' said the zoo's chief
veterinarian, Kanika Limtrakul, adding that Chuang Chuang weighed 331
pounds while Lin Hui is only 253 pounds.
as a result, zoo authorities are cutting out bamboo shoots in the
daily meal for Chuang Chuang and giving the obese bear only bamboo
leaves, Kanika said.
The diet plan is the latest in an unsuccessful .html

Marine World named No. 2 worst zoo for elephants
In Defense of Animals, a frequent critic of Six Flags Marine World
and its treatment of animals, named the Vallejo park as the nation's
second worst zoo for elephants Wednesday.
Meanwhile, shortly after the annual Worst 10 list was sent out, the
Association of Zoos & Aquariums released its own press statement
stating that "elephants in accredited zoos are thriving."
According to In Defense of Animals, Marine World made the list
because through the years elephants at the park "have suffered and
died from just about every problem you can imagine - from agonizing
foot and joint disorders to birth complications that killed both calf
and mother.
"If there is one facility that embodies

£35,000 floods in to save zoo animals
Generous Mail on Sunday readers have donated more than £35,000 to
help animals in Romanian zoos after an investigation by this
The World Society for the Protection for Animals and Born Free were
flooded with contributions - and the cash is still coming in.
• It's not too late to donate. Click here to join our campaign
The charities believe they will now be able to act on plans to rescue
animals from zoos that face closure under European Union law.
It is feared many may be slaughtered if zoos across the impoverished
country are forced to close because of poor standards.
Last week, we highlighted the plight of animals including three bears
at Bucharest Zoo that were seen /news/article-23381608-details/%C3%BD%C3%

Buy a peacock for Rs 5000 flat at Lahore Zoo!
Peacocks are up for sale at the Lahore Zoo, and the authorities here
have sold over as many as 36 peacocks in the past two years.

In 2006, the Zoo sold 20 peacocks for a whopping Rs 100,000.
Peacocks are not only beautiful, they are also considered sacred.
Their feathers are burnt sometimes to ward off diseases, even to cure
Urooj Jehan, a miniature painter, said peacocks are the most stunning
birds having a range of colours including turquoise, blue, green, and
purple. She also said peacocks had been the favourite motif of folk
and classical arts. She said feathers had been used in the Mogul
era. "Several Mogul dishes were embellished with its feathers," she
Moguls had fancied peacocks and reared them. Shell-craft, jewellery,
embroidery, weaving, filigree, woodwork, toys, stoneware and metal
craft were embellished with peacocks, reported the Daily Times.
Kazi Amman, a peacock enthusiast, said

Cook Inlet beluga whales face extinction risk
The beluga whales swimming off Alaska's largest city are at
considerable risk of going extinct unless something changes, a
federal study says.
The study by the National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle says if
the Cook Inlet belugas go extinct, another group of the white whales
probably won't come in to swim the silty waters off Anchorage.
"The population is discrete and unique with respect to the species,
and if it should fail to survive, it is highly unlikely

Hanoi to have night zoo
The Hanoi Zoological Garden is going ahead with its plan to display
animals in the evening beginning in the second quarter of this year.
Nguyen Van Hung, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Zoological Garden, said
that if approved the model for the night zoo would imitate the Night
Safari parks in the world.
M,r Hung said that the zoological garden was consulting with
scientists about the impact of humans on the animals' lives at night.
He said that most scientists do not protest against the idea of
displaying animals at night.
The Hanoi Zoological Garden is going to make heavy investment in the
facilities in the zoo, especially the lighting system, so as to help
the animals adapt to the lights at

Crowded Utah moose air-lifted to Colorado
It was a rough day to be a moose. Several were stalked by helicopter,
captured with a net, blindfolded and then airlifted to trailers for a
six-hour drive. The moose woke up in Utah on Friday but were going to
sleep in Colorado.
The strategy helps Utah cure a moose overpopulation while raising the
number in Colorado. In return, Utah will get big horn sheep.
"I equate this to alien abduction. It's got to be that traumatic,"
said Dean Riggs, area wildlife manager with the Colorado Wildlife
Wildlife officers hope to catch 25 moose through Saturday in northern
Utah and transplant them to western Colorado.
Though Utah's overall moose population of 4,100 is on target, there
are about 400 too many about 40 miles northeast of

Romania's zoo animals in trouble
Romania, which recently joined the European Union, may have to close
the 36 zoos across the country due to deplorable conditions and lack
of finances.
The Daily Mail reported on conditions at the Zoological Gardens of
Bucharest, where many animals -- including the tiger and the bears --
appear bored, listless and malnourished.
Romania's zoos reportedly do not meet the animal welfare standards of
the EU, which include larger enclosures for animals. The zoos have no
money to do that, the newspaper said.
If the zoos are closed, many worry the animals will be put to death,
a practice that has been carried out at other

African Sea Lions, Alligator Garr New Attractions At Zoo Negara
Three South African sea lions and a rare fresh water fish, Alligator
Garr weighing 12 kg found at Sungai Klang one month ago, will be
among the new attractions at Zoo Negara, Hulu Klang near here.
Malaysian Zoological Society Chairman Datuk Ismail Hutson said the
sea lions or its scienfific name, Cape Furseal joined the zoo two
weeks ago while the Alligator Garr (atractosteus spatula) from a garr
family was kept at the zoo's aquarium one month ago.
"The three seals are quarantined before they can be viewed in one
month's time and show their skills to the audience between five to
six months later," he said, adding that they were the new inclusions
to the zoo besides a 22 kg rhinoceros baby born on Dec 15.
The baby belongs to the rhinoceros pair, Duke dan Kibu.
Ismail said the sea lions from South Africa which had thick fur would
be placed with a sea lion from California which had been showing its
skills to the public for some time.
Animal trainer Mahad Mohamed said the sea lions were fed three times
a day with one and half kg of fish during each feeding.
He said the almost one-metre long Alligator Garr with a long nose
looking like an alligator was fished from Klang River by an angler
who handed it to the zoo one month ago.
Asked whether Zoo Negara organises Visit Malaysia Year 2007
programmes, he said the programmes at the zoo were not seasonal in
nature but were rather meant for all ocassions.
On a drop in visitors at the zoo compared to the 80s and 70s, he said
between 700,000 and 800,000 people visited the zoo yearly and this
proved that it was still a popular place among the people.
To entice the public to visit the zoo, he said efforts were being
made to address certain

Rs 100-cr project: Malaysian, American consultants to help transform
city's Byculla zoo
Once the plan is ready and okayed by the Central Zoo Authority, it
will be implemented in two years
New animals from various parts of the world, spacious moated
enclosures, a theme park, an aquarium—all of these and more are on
the cards to transform the Veermata Jijamata Prani Sangrahalaya Udyan
at Byculla into a world-class zoo as part of a Rs 100-crore project.
"Work on the plan should begin soon, then we will discuss and
finalise it with the project consultants," said Assistant Municipal
Commissioner R A Rajeev .
HKS Designer and Consultant International, a Malaysian company based
in Bangkok, and the Portico Group from the US were chosen from among
eight other bidders to prepare a master plan in the next four months.
The others included Bernard Harrison and Friends from Singapore,
Zoological Society of London and STUP Consultancy-Ayers Saint Gross,
New York.
The plan that the chosen consultants prepare will first have to be
approved by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) and is to be implemented
over the next two years.
"There are also plans to modernise the veterinary

Whooping cranes on the rebound in Texas
Once down to about 15, the world's only naturally migrating flock of
whooping cranes has continued its comeback, now numbering a record
237 birds in wintering grounds along Texas' Gulf Coast.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Tom Stehn, who tracks the
flock, said 45 cranes were born last year, including a rare seven
sets of twins.
He credited the increase to mild weather at their nesting grounds in
Wood Buffalo National Park in northern Canada's boreal forest. There,
the birds begin their 2,500-mile migration route from their summering
grounds to Texas.
"They avoided having that cold weather hit, that just-above-freezing
and drizzle that seems to kill the chicks," he said.
Stehn flies at low altitudes over the 35-mile stretch of Texas
coastline where the birds feast on blue crab and wolfberries. The
cranes tend to stay in family groups in territories about a mile
Stehn, who plots the groups on photocopied


UAE zoo to set benchmark
The Al Ain Zoo is set to become a benchmark for all zoos within the
Middle East region, said a top official.
His remarks came as the aoo Management announced a major renovation
programme that includes changes to the landscape and infrastructure,
and the introduction of several new exhibits that are aimed at
significantly improving the overall ambience of the existing zoo to
offer visitors a unique and memorable experience.
With the goal of transforming Al Ain Zoo into a major tourist
wildlife attraction, with tremendous support from the Abu Dhabi
Government, it is set to become a major tourist wildlife attraction
in the region.
A series of rapid improvements, both physical and operational in
nature, have been undertaken over the last eight months,
significantly improving visitor satisfaction while striving to
achieve best practices in all areas of zoo management.
Majed Ali Ibrahim Al Mansouri, secretary-general at the Environment
Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), and the chairman of the Al Ain Zoo
Development Committee, said:
"The Al Ain Zoo is set to become a benchmark for all zoos within the
Middle East region.
"With increased awareness of the needs of exotic animals, we felt it
was time for the Zoo to undergo major renovation and restoration
works while fulfilling international zoo-keeping requirements.
"Upon completion the Zoo is set to become the finest in the region.
"It will encourage an increase in the awareness of animal welfare
through educational and conversation programmes.
"The Zoo will also enable the public to see the animals in their
natural habitats, whilst keeping in mind the individual needs and
sensitivities of the animals."
One of the initial steps undertaken by Mark Craig, the new Director
of Al Ain Zoo, was to demolish existing out-dated cages.
These habitats were designed when the Zoo was initially setup, and at
a time when animal care awareness was at a low level, both regionally
and internationally.
Mark Craig, Zoo director, said: "Major renovations have already been
undertaken to create a new-look and exciting ambience for the benefit
of visitors.
"The on-going renovation programme will transform Al Ain Zoo into a
major tourism landmark in the region, as it

Isfahan Zoo Animals in Ghastly Conditions
Official apathy toward a zoo located in Soffeh Park of Isfahan has
caused the animals to be kept in appalling conditions in recent years.
Repeated calls by pro-environment NGOs on the Isfahan Municipality to
shut the zoo down have so far fallen on deaf ears, a report by the
Persian daily Ayandeh-Nou said.
They have urged the municipality, especially directors of Najvan and
Soffeh restoration project, to transfer the animals to other zoos
where they are taken care of in a better way.
Inattention of municipal officials as well as the reluctance of other
zoos to assume care for the animals have caused the problem to remain
unresolved for a long time. The zoos have even demanded extortionate
amounts for keeping the animals.
Neither the Isfahan Department of Environment, whether in the
incumbent or the former government, nor the provincial veterinary
authority has adopted measures to improve the health conditions of
the animals.
As a result, Isfahan citizens have witnessed the gradual and
sorrowful death of the ensnared animals including lions, foxes,
rabbits, owls, monkeys, bears and deer.
Only six out of 25 lions kept in the zoo have survived the tough
conditions throughout the years. Each year a number of them perish
due to poor hygiene and diseases.
The zoo is not only poorly designed but is also run by incompetent
and unprofessional personnel. The issue has led to pollution of the
environment in the area the zoo is located.
Results of an opinion poll suggest that most visitors to the zoo are
concerned about the dreadful conditions the animals are in.
Some 61 percent of visitors believes the animals are

Red squirrel may have ESP
In the eat-or-be-eaten animal kingdom, red squirrels have found a way
to stay one step ahead of their food source.
Biologists have discovered that the squirrels can anticipate when
evergreens will produce bumper crops of seeds, and they respond with
larger than usual litters. It's no coincidence, according to an
article published in the latest edition of the journal Science.
Rather, it's perfectly timed behaviour.
"We usually predict that animals will just track resources and
respond at a later date, so this is very surprising," lead author
Stan Boutin, a University of Alberta biologist, said yesterday.
"It's quite a story in the scientific world because we haven't seen
this before, and more importantly, we hadn't even thought to look."
Typically, spruce and pine trees use a boom-and-bust strategy in
their seed production to counter squirrels' big appetites. In lean
years, Boutin said, trees starve squirrels so that when larger seed
crops are produced randomly, there are fewer squirrels around to eat
up all their future seedlings.
Monitoring red squirrels near Kluane National

US said to propose polar bear for endangered list
The Bush administration has decided to propose
listing the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act,
putting the U S government on record as saying that global warming
could drive one of the world's most recognizable animals out of

Animals starve in debt-ridden Chinese zoo
More than 30 wild animals, including an endangered Siberian tiger,
are starving in a debt-ridden zoo in China's Xinjiang Uygur region.
The private Kuytun City Zoo is facing a financial crisis as few
people visit the northern outback of Xinjiang in the bitter winter,
when the mercury falls below zero even at midday.
Life is particularly tough for Siberian tiger San Mao, African lion
Dong Dong, brown bear Tian Tian and 30 other wild animals and birds
who suffer cold and hunger, zoo managers told Xinhua.
The zoo has had difficulties in making ends

A 'Dear Santa' From the Zoo
Slides, Seesaws and Other Human-Style Toys Make Animal Wish List
Zookeepers want Frisbees for the pandas. They want feather dusters
for birds. They want nature CDs for the zebras and a Double Decker
Super Slide for the otters.
Like little kids everywhere, the animals at the National Zoo have
wish lists this time of year. But their wants, which are posted on
the zoo's Web site and can be donated through January, aren't just
for fun. They are specifically designed to make life in captivity
more stimulating, more wildlife-like, zoo officials say. They are
meant to help animals feel more a part of their species and less a
part of

Develop zoo as conservation school
Minister of State for Forest and Soil Conservation and Chairman of
the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), Dilendra Prasad
Badu has lauded the management of the Trust that has improved the
state of the Central Zoo in Jawalakhel.
Speaking at a programme organised to mark the 11 years of the Trust's
management of the Zoo here today, Minister of State Badu pointed out
the need to present the Zoo as a school in conservation of bio-
diversity and wildlife.
Member-Secretary of the Trust, Siddhartha Bajracharya said that the
Zoo should be shifted to a proper location from its current place in
the middle of the city.
Executive Director of the Zoo, R.K. Shrestha, however, said the
master-plan developed as the Trust took over the management was yet
to be implemented.
The Trust had taken over the management

Zoo man admits child porn charges
A former receptionist at Edinburgh Zoo has admitted downloading and
distributing hundreds of pornographic images of children.
Benjamin Hughes used his flatmate's computer to build up a collection
of pictures and videos of girls as young as six being sexually
The 24-year-old Australian was caught when his flatmate discovered
the child pornography and called the police.
Sentence on Hughes was deferred for background reports.
Custodial sentence
Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard that Hughes accessed 376 paedophile
images of

WW2 bomb find forces evacuation at Hanover Zoo
Around 500 people and more than 2,000 animals were evacuated on
Friday after a 500-pound (227 kilograms) World War Two bomb was
unearthed in the camel enclosure at Hanover Zoo.
"The bomb was located during construction work because the cage is
being remodelled," zoo spokeswoman Simone Hagenmeier told Reuters,
adding that the device was about two metres (6.6 feet) under the
The camels were not in residence, having

Campaign: Zoo animals facing slaughter...thanks to the EU
Pacing the perimeter of his small enclosure for hours on end, the
bedraggled tiger barely notices the taunts of zoo visitors trying to
make him snarl.
Nearby a lion peers out of a dark, dank hut in his pen to catch a
brief glimpse of the winter sun that reaches his enclosure for a few
short hours every day.
And, in cages measuring 5ft by 14ft, three bears lumber aimlessly in
seemingly endless circles around putrid pools of their own excrement.
These are the wretched conditions endured by residents of the
Zoological Gardens of Bucharest in Romania.
And the only escape for these animals from their miserable existence -
and for hundreds of others in the 35 other zoos scattered across
Romania - will be in death.
For, as the people of Romania look forward to a brighter future

Watertown Zoo hoping to open again
A first step was taken today to reopening the zoo in Watertown. An
inspector from the U.S. Department of Agriculture visited the New
York State Zoo at Thompson Park.
The zoo shut down last week after it failed to renew its animal
welfare act license. Without the license, the animal exhibits can not
be open to the public.
The inspector met with zoo

What killed Australia's giant animals?
Australia's giant prehistoric animals, including 10-foot-tall
kangaroos and wombat-like creatures as big as a rhinoceros, were
likely wiped out by aboriginal settlers, not climate change, a
researcher said Tuesday.
The question of what killed Australia's so-called megafauna during
the last Ice Age divides paleontologists.
The most popular theories are that climate change drove the giants to
extinction more than 40,000 years ago or that Aborigines, who arrived
in Australia as far back as 60,000 years ago, were responsible
because of over-hunting or burning the vegetation upon which the
creatures fed.
But new fossil evidence from the Naracoorte Caves region of South
Australia state ruled out climate change as the cause, according an

Gibbons sing their warnings
Gibbons living in Thailand have been found to communicate threats
from predators by singing – the first time the behaviour has been
discovered among non-human primates, researchers said Wednesday.
While other animals have been shown to use song to attract mates or
signal danger, researchers writing in this month's journal PLoS said
their study was the first to show gibbons – a slender, tree-dwelling
ape – issuing song-like warnings to each other.
"This work is a really good indicator that non-human primates are
able to use combinations of calls ... to relay new and, in this case,
potentially lifesaving information to one another," said Esther
Clarke, a University of St. Andrews graduate student and co-author of
the study.
"This type of referential communication's commonplace in human
language, but has yet to be widely demonstrated in some of our
closest living relatives – the apes," she said.
Clarke along with Klaus Zuberbuhler

Chimp Dies, 12 Other Sickened at Ohio Zoo
A severe respiratory infection has sickened a group of chimpanzees at
the Columbus, Ohio, Zoo and Aquarium.
One of the bonobos died. The other 12 are being treated with
It's unclear how the animals became infected.
The zoo's executive director says the bonobos are kept

Polar bear extinction threat called boon to zoo
Now more than ever there's a need for an Arctic exhibit in Calgary,
city zoo officials said yesterday, citing a U.S. government
recommendation to consider polar bears as an endangered species.
The zoo's Arctic Shores, an exhibit under development and expected to
open in 2009, has been criticized for a plan to house polar bears and
beluga whales, but zoo spokesman Graham Newton said Wednesday's
announcement by U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne proposing to
list polar bears as threatened is exactly why the exhibit's needed.
"There's major climactic changes

Endangered Idaho snail losing habitat
After clambering down a canyon wall, ducking poison ivy vines and
wading chest-deep across a lukewarm stream, Cary Myler spied some
flecks that look like pepper sprinkled on a wet rock and
announced, "Found some."
The pinhead-sized dots are Bruneau hot springsnails. The tiny
mollusks that thrive in water as warm as 100 degrees are found
nowhere else in the world but here, in the bottom of this
southwestern Idaho desert canyon riddled with hot springs 70 miles
southeast of Boise.
A decade ago, the snails were at the center of a national battle over
federal laws designed to protect endangered species. Today, years
after the lawsuits were decided and most of the rhetoric retired,
they are closer to extinction than ever before.
The level of the underground geothermal aquifer that feeds the seeps
and springs of hot water where the snails

A Des Moines scientist and two Iowa State University graduate
students have been asked to draft a strategy.
When a worldwide conservation network wanted a detailed blueprint on
how to successfully reintroduce great apes to the wild, leaders
turned to a Des Moines scientist and two graduate students from Iowa
State University.
Benjamin Beck, conservation director at Great Ape Trust of Iowa, is
widely known in research circles for helping return golden lion
tamarins, a monkey species, to the wild in Brazil. That species was
close to extinction, but has rebounded over the past several decades,
partly because of the work of Beck and colleagues.
A 100-member expert committee that is part of the World Conservation
Union asked Beck to write the new reintroduction guidelines for apes.
The draft document is secret until it's peer-reviewed, Beck said.
However, it addresses how to guard against genetic contamination,
overcrowding and disease outbreaks, for example.
The final report should be done by March or April. Sanctuary managers
will use it to give rereleased apes the best chance of survival, Beck
said. The union represents 82 states, 800 nongovernmental groups and
10,000 scientists from 181 countries.
Many scientists fear that the world will lose a species of great apes
for the first time within the next couple of decades. Orangutans are
found in the wild only on Borneo and Sumatra. Borneo has 45,000 to
63,000 orangutans; Sumatra has 7,300.
Bonobos also are in danger of extinction. They are found only in the
Congo. The bonobo population is estimated
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