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|Zoo News Digest Jul-Aug 2017|
Zoo News Digest
The Lion’s Share
A briefing on how South Africa’s trade in lion bone is driving consumer demand for tiger parts and products
Myrtle Beach Safari Chimps Attend New "War for the Planet of the Apes" Premiere
To The Maryland Zoo Team
For those of you who don't know, Maryland Zoo has had two giraffe births within the past few months. The latest, a male named Julius, was born on June 15th. What happened afterwards is a story that so many of us have experienced, but have a lot of trouble not only processing internally, but expressing to people who have no idea what it is like to care for animals in this way.
Our critics often take opportunities where animals are ill, injured, or dying to rake us over the coals. Most people, even those who do not necessarily support zoos or aquariums, are decent human beings who do NOT leave heartless, cruel Facebook comments about these situations. However, it is the small minority of thoughtless people who mak
Zoomarine Italia Achieves Humane Certification for Animal Welfare
Today, American Humane, the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare and well-being, announced that Zoomarine Italia has achieved certification by the American Humane Conservation program, becoming only the second Humane Certified™ institution in Europe.
The American Humane Conservation program is the first-ever certification program singularly dedicated to helping ensure the well-being and humane treatment of animals living in zoos and aquariums across the world. The program enforces comprehensive, evidence-based welfare standards developed by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee comprised of world-renowned leaders in the fields of animal science, animal behavior, animal ethics, and conservation.
Why I Believe In Zoos
@liceham my anger in this reply is in no way aimed at you! I am super grateful you gave me a reason to write down some of my thoughts on this subject, and I love that you’re informing your own opinions. I think you’re great!
I’m really sorry this took me so long to reply to; I have a lot of feelings on this subject and I wanted to make sure I expressed all my points well.
I like your use of the phrase “low-key anti-zoo” because I feel like it sums up the feelings of a vast majority of people sort of 40 and under (although my favorite is “I don’t believe in zoos”. It’s a zoo, not fucking Narnia). I think the “zoos are bad” mentality has become part of our cultural consciousness, something that we absorb as truth in our childhood or adolescence and then never question as adults who are capable of informing our own opinions. I don’t blame people for having low-key anti-zoo feelings, though. Zoos in America were terrible places until not too long ago, and I feel like the Animal Rights movement did great things in bringing animal welfare into the public eye. Unfortunately, I feel like the majority of people who tell me they “don’t believe in zoos” generally don’t know why they have those feelings. They can point to one or two broader topics like, “wild animals should be wild” or “animals aren’t meant to be entertainment”, but they usually can’t clarify beyond those basic points, and they usually haven’t bothered to inform themselves about what zoos are doing in terms of conservation, animal care and outreach programs. And that makes me mad, because usually people tell me they don’t like zoos AFTER they find out that I’ve been a zookeeper my entire life, and that’s really shitty because it’s like they are telling me they don’t like me and everything I’ve worked for, and that they know more about zoos and animal care than I do. And they don’t. They just have this opinion that they’ve grabbed out of concoction of naked celebrity PETA ads, shittily-sourced internet articles and propaganda-ish “docum
The anti-zoo movement and the zoological community’s silence
I put “anti-zoo” rather than “anti-cap” in the title on purpose. Because it’s not actually anti-captivity. These people I’m talking about are perfectly happy keeping pets, livestock and other animals in captivity - it’s only zoos and aquaria - the “least evil” of them all, as far as I can tell - that are on the receiving end of their hate and vitriol.
This has been on my mind for a while, and I’m finally making a post on it, because the drop that finally made the cup overflow for me now was a post Kolmården Zoo made on their Facebook page yesterday. If you follow any zoo’s Facebook page, you’ll see they’re posting their various creative Christmas-themed enrichment for their animals the last few days. And Kolmården posted this video, of a lion tearing away at a tree, with the words “Do your cats also climb in the Christmas tree? A tip is to hang the tree in the ceiling so it won’t flip over! Merry Christmas from everyone at Kolmården.”
This was met with comments of “that POOR animal”, comparisons to Joseph Fritzl, “they need FREEDOM”, and you know the rest. Apparently, a lion playing with a toy in complete safety, being warm and fed and never having to worry about a thing in her life, was the worst thing these people had ever seen.
Grand birthday bash planned for Delhi zoo’s oldest inmate
For the first time in 56 years, Rita is getting a grand party for her birthday, one that promises to be quite unlike any other celebration.
For a start, no one knows exactly when she was born.
All that is known of the origins of the Delhi zoo’s oldest inmate —— and its only chimpanzee —— is that she came to the national capital from the distant shores of Amsterdam in 1964.
The chimp may no longer be the crowd-puller she once was due to her advancing age, but her long association with the zoo and “human-like” characteristics have endeared her to many.
“As its oldest inmate, she is a crucial part of the park.
She shows many human instincts. For instance, she wants to interact with her visitors, but old age forces her to stay back,” Raja Ram Singh, Joint Director, National Zoological Park, told PTI.
It will be more than just a birthday celebration, the official said, while promising an “emotiona
Stress test—how scientists can measure how animals are feeling
To help determine how stress is affecting animals across Australia, researchers at Western Sydney University are utilising non-invasive methods to help farmers, zookeepers and pet owners ensure their animals are happy and healthy.
Stress is an important biological response for animals as it helps their bodies prepare to fight or flee from danger. But many animals in the modern world are forced to coexist with humans in farms, zoos or homes, and the onset of chronic stress can have devastating results, both for them and their owners.
"Stress can affect the weight of farm animals, leading to losses for animal producers, and can disrupt the breeding patterns of endangered animals in captivity," says Dr Edward Narayan, Senior Lecturer in Animal Science, from the School of Science and Health.
"Here at Western Sydney University we are working with clients to collect animal scats under routine husbandry and run them through our laboratories to measure stress levels."
When a stress result is sparked in an animal, the brain-body starts to release biomolecules such as cortisol, which is the main stress hormone in large animals such as hum
Breeding hopes as new elephant attraction taking shape
Blackpool Zoo’s biggest ever attraction is edging closer to completion and bosses are excited that the resort could become a breeding centre for one of the world’s most iconic endangered species. The new £5m Project Elephant is taking shape on a one unused plot. And with construction work on both the paddock and main building nearing completion the scale of the scheme is becoming clear. Senior Large Mammal Keeper, Adam Kenyon, said: “From starting it on a piece of paper to where it is now is incredible. “When you start off with it in your head you have a vision of what it looks like. “When it comes to fruition i
New zoo in Yekaterinburg to be 17 times bigger than previous one
The administration of the Russian city of Yekaterinburg has presented a concept for a new zoo within the framework of the international exhibition 2017 INNOPROM, the body’s official website informs on Monday.
The report notes that a zoo will be a sort of gift for the 300th anniversary of Yekaterinburg. The space for animals is only part of the site built within the 300-PARK project in the area of Novokoltsovsky located in the south-west of the city.
“A new zoo occupies almost 35 ha, which is 17 times more than the territory of the existing one,” the statement reads.
According to a commercial director of Sin
Bertha’s death a reminder of Mali’s misery
The statement quoted in the report on Bertha the hippo supposedly
having lived a happy life in Manila’s zoo is false (Metro, 7/12/17). Manila Parks and Recreations Bureau Director James Albert Dichaves tried to refute Jason Baker, vice president of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), by claiming that Bertha was “happy interacting with our zookeepers.” That statement is laughable. Has anyone really monitored the daily number of hours zookeepers romp around with the animals?
I visited Manila’s zoo soon after the petitions for the release of Mali the elephant began around 2010. The zoo was in a pitiful state; there was hardly any greenery in any of the cages. The few zookeepers I saw seemed disinterested in the animals. I was told that a vet sometimes visited Mali, who has been in the zoo since she was given as a baby to Imelda Marcos by the Sri Lankan government.
To look at Mali’s misery is heartbreaking. Mayors Alfredo Lim and Joseph Estrada ignored all demands by Peta to be allowed to take her to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand. Absur
Managing Animal Enrichment and Training Programs.
This course provides students with the tools and skills needed to set up and manage a successful enrichment and training program that meets AZA accreditation standards. While some time will be spent on the concepts of training and enrichment, this course is not a workshop to develop enrichment ideas or learn animal training skills. This course focuses on developing the components of a successful program and learning the leadership skills needed to successfully implement that program.
Learn more and register at: http://www.aza.org/managing-animal-enrichment-and-training-programs
Puerto Rico economic crisis hits island’s only zoo
The economic crisis afflicting Puerto Rico for the last decade has also taken a toll on the island’s only zoo, with critics saying it is sorely understaffed and struggling to care for its animals on a limited budget.
Conditions at Dr. Juan A. Rivero, a 45-acre zoo featuring over 300 species in the western coastal town of Mayaguez, have deteriorated so far as to catch the attention of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which cited dozens of violations at the park in its most recent report from this spring.
Designs reveal how historic London Zoo aviary will become home for monkeys
IT is a neighbourhood known for its billionaires and ambassadors, actors and artists.
The newest residents to snap up a des-res in Primrose Hill, however, are set to be a troupe of Colobus monkeys with their eyes on a Grade II-listed beauty close to Regent’s Park.
The New Journal reported last year how the Snowdon Aviary at London Zoo – the soaring steel mesh landmark visible from canal tours – is to be turned into a home for primates, and now the plans for the conversion have reached the desk of planners. The £7.1m project to convert the aviary, which dates from 1962, will be overseen by globally renowned Modernist architects Foster and Partners.
The plans confirm the monkeys will be joined by African grey parrots, miniature deers called Red Duikers and waterfowl. Westminster Council hold the final say over whether it can go ahead, although Camden’s planning department has been surveyed too due to the proximity of the borough boundary. Designs show how a new monkey house will be connected to the aviary with a walkway for the monkeys to running above the Cumberland Basin footbridge.
The work is vital to improve the environment for the zoo’s animals, the application states. It is currently home to a variety of birds including peacocks and white ibis, but in a report to Westminster Council, heritage planning firm JLL
Ops to shift 7-year-old tigress for unique mating experiment begins
In a first-of-its-kind conservation breeding experiment here, seven-year-old tigress Lee of Maharajbagh zoo is being shifted to Gorewada rescue centre to mate with male tiger Sahebrao, which suffers from a limb disability.
The operations started on Saturday afternoon but were called off in the evening as the tigress refused to enter the cage that was readied for it.
Officials said the operations will resume on Sunday morning.
One-of-a-Kind Aquarium Comes to Jerusalem
Israel is known as the land of the Bible. It's a land rich in archaeological treasures and a place of innovation and technology. It even has a biblical zoo, where Jerusalem is opening the first aquarium of its kind in the Middle East.
A massive tunnel under the Mediterranean Sea exhibit is bound to be one of the main attractions at the new Gottesman Family Israel Aquarium in Jerusalem.
The tunnel is part of the aquarium's 400,000 gallon tank that's now part of Jerusalem's biblical zoo. It will hold sharks and other fish from the Mediterranean Sea.
Country’s Oldest Tiger in Captivity Dies in Assam State Zoo
Swathi, the oldest living tiger in captive environment in the country, died on Sunday at the Assam State Zoo in Guwahati. The tigress was 21 years old.
Born in Mysore Zoo on 28th January, 1997, Swathi was brought to Guwahati in 2005 even as she had already given birth to five cubs there. In Guwahati, the Royal Bengal Tigress gave birth to six more cubs, of which Birina – also a tigress is currently in the Assam State Zoo.
“She was not keeping well for some time. She died at around 0200 hours this morning,” Zoo authorities said on Sunday. Since the last two years, Swathi was kept away from public as she was unable to move. She was being nursed at a shelter.
The average life span of a tiger varies between 14 to 16 years and crossing twenty is only in exceptional cases.
Following its death, the Assam State Zoo is now left with four tig
World's large carnivores being pushed off the map
Six of the world's large carnivores have lost more than 90% of their historic range, according to a study.
The Ethiopian wolf, red wolf, tiger, lion, African wild dog and cheetah have all been squeezed out as land is lost to human settlements and farming.
Reintroduction of carnivores into areas where they once roamed is vital in conservation, say scientists.
This relies on human willingness to share the landscape with the likes of the wolf.
The research, published in Royal Society Open Science, was carried out by Christopher Wolf and William Ripple of Oregon State University.
They mapped the current range of 25 large carnivores using International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List data. This was compared with historic maps from 500 years ago.
The work shows that large carnivore range contractions are a global issue, said Christopher Wolf.
"Of the 25 large carnivores that we studied, 60% (15 species) have lost more than half of their historic ranges,'' he e
Baby western swamp tortoises set for release into wild
Three of Australia's rarest reptiles have been given a health check as they prepare to move from captivity into the wild.
Adelaide Zoo is one of just two zoos worldwide to house and breed the western swamp tortoise.
The zoo is celebrating a successful breeding season, which saw four baby tortoises hatching, each the size of a coin.
Native to Western Australia, in the mid-1980s it was estimated there were fewer than 50 tortoises left in the wild.
They now only live in the wild in two small habitats in the S
The sixth mass genesis? New species are coming into existence faster than ever thanks to humans
Animals and plants are seemingly disappearing faster than at any time since the dinosaurs died out, 66m years ago. The death knell tolls for life on Earth. Rhinos will soon be gone unless we defend them, Mexico’s final few Vaquita porpoises are drowning in fishing nets, and in America, Franklin trees survive only in parks and gardens.
Yet the survivors are taking advantage of new opportunities created by humans. Many are spreading into new parts of the world, adapting to new conditions, and even evolving into new species. In some respects, diversity is actually increasing in the human epoch, the Anthropocene. It is these biological gains that I contemplate in a new book, Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature is Thriving in and Age of Extinction, in which I argue that it is no longer credible for us to take a loss-only view of the world’s biodiversity.
The beneficiaries surround us all. Glancing out of my study window, I see poppies and camomile plants sprouting in the margins of the adjacent barley field. These plants are southern European “weeds” taking advantage of a new human-created habitat. When I visit London, I see pigeons nesting on human-built cliffs (their ancestors nested on sea cliffs) and I listen out for the cries of skyscraper-dwelling peregrine falcons which hunt them.
Climate change has brought tree bumblebees from continental Europe to my Yorkshire garden in recent years. They are joined by a
Wildlife faces climate’s survival and sex problems
Climate change could cast a dark shadow over the bees of Europe, with global warming posing sex problems for the sea turtles of the Atlantic.
Two separate studies confirm the worries that rising carbon dioxide levels, and soaring planetary temperatures, could devastate the creatures of the wild.
There are an estimated 550 species of bee in Germany, many of them solitary and short-lived: females devote their few weeks in the sun to feeding, reproducing and leaving food for their offspring.
What becomes of vital importance is the moment of hatching: if a bee emerges from hibernation too early, there is no food available, and starvation can follow. And spring has advanced steadily through the decades.
Researcher decodes the secret language of ring-tailed lemurs
Why do lemurs go "hmm?" It's not because they don't know the words, but the answer may provide important clues about how ancient human ancestors may have socialized with each other. In research published in Ethology, U of T Mississauga primatologist Laura Bolt recounts how vocalizations by Madagascar's ring-tailed lemurs may aid in protecting them from predators and bolster social cohesion within the troop.
How we're using ancient DNA to solve the mystery of the missing last great auk skins
The great auk, Pinguinus impennis, was a large, black and white bird that was found in huge numbers across the North Atlantic Ocean. It was often mistaken to be a member of the penguin family, but its closest living relative is actually the razorbill, and it is related to puffins, guillemots and murres.
Being flightless, the great auk was particularly vulnerable to hunting. Humans killed the birds in their thousands for meat, oil and feathers. By the start of the 19th dentury, the north-west Atlantic populations had been decimated, and the last few remaining breeding birds were to be found on the islands off the south-west coast of Iceland. But these faced another threat: due to their scarcity, the great auk had become a desirable item for both private and institutional collections.
The fateful voyage of 1844
Between 1830 and 1841 several trips were taken to Iceland's Eldey Island, to catch, kill, and sell the birds for exhibitions. Following a period of no reported captures, great auk dealer Carl Siemsen commissioned an expedition to Eldey to search for any remaining birds.
Between June 2-5 1844, 14 men set sail in an eight-oared boat for the island. Three braved the dangerous landing and spotted two great auks among the smaller birds that also bred there. A chase began but the birds ran at a slow pace, their small wings extended, expressing no
Animal Training Applications in Zoo and Aquarium Settings. This course provides zoo and aquarium staff with a background in training theory and an understanding of the skills necessary to train animals. It includes a historical perspective of animal training as well as terminology and an overview of training techniques. Selected training concepts and skills will be taught via animal demonstrations, group activities and individual skill development opportunities.
Learn more and register at: http://www.aza.org/animal-training-applications-zoo-aquarium-settings
Lebanon's PM has tigers to tea to talk animal trafficking
A truck carrying the caged animals was brought into the courtyard of Hariri’s residence, where the prime minister posed for pictures with the organization behind the animal’s care as a way to raise awareness on the issue of animal trafficking.
Jason Mier, director of Animals Lebanon, thanked Hariri for intervening in the matter. “We were only able to free them [the tigers] because of the support of the prime minister, Saad Hariri, who helped through the Council of Ministers,” Mier said. “We petitioned the government to take them in our care and it has taken us a full four months – and this should have been [an easy] case.”
Top of the south kaka breeding programme launches at Nelson's Natureland Zoo
To the untrained eye it looked like a first kiss, a touching of beaks on a tree branch.
But the first meeting of the male and female kaka, a nationally vulnerable native parrot, at Natureland Zoo on Monday was more innocent than that.
"They were just going up to say hi," said Meg Rutledge of Natureland Wildlife Trust.
Plastic to be phased out at major American aquariums
Working to reduce the massive amount of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, 19 of the nation’s top aquariums on Monday will announce that they are phasing out most plastic products — from plastic bags to straws to plastic beverage bottles.
The effort, which will also include the creation of exhibits explaining how people can find alternatives to plastic, is an attempt to raise consumer awareness among the 20 million people who visit the 19 aquariums, which include the Monterey Bay Aquarium, San Francisco’s Steinhart Aquarium and the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.
The aquariums say their goal is a market-based approach that they hope will steer the buying habits of the public to change the vast supply chains that manufacture, deliver and sell products to businesses across the world.
They compare the campaign to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s highly successful “Seafood Watch” program, which has provided 57 million wallet-sized cards to shoppers since 1999 telling them which types of fish are best or worst to buy based on a green-yellow-red scale.
As consumer demand changed, that program contributed to Walmart, Target, Safeway, Whole Foods and many of the largest retail stores in the United States announcing that they would sell only seafood
4 Ways to Train an Emergency Recall
One of the first behaviours I choose to train are Call overs and Recalls. I personally think it has so many great aspects to it just because it allows you to look at your animals from a closer range right away. On top of that you give every animal the chance to be trained what I think is very important. Through recalls you can start a great enrichment program as well. We will be talking about the emergency recalls, they are a little bit different than the usual Recalls or Call overs how I call them. With Emergency recalls you actually practise the most accurate scenarios that could happen in the animal’s environment. While Call overs you do not necessarily have to go through a full desensitisation plan for scenarios that could happen. The fun part is that we can connect any criteria to this behaviour, for example you can say come to me or come to a position, you can say males to the left and females to the right (what could help you with social feedings), it can even be part of your first group separation to close the first gates on your own. There are plenty of ways to train this behaviour, I listed a couple with my least favourite first and then the most favourite ones last.
Animal Training Academy - Dr. Susan Friedman – Behavior works/Psychology professor at Utah State University
Cheetahs in captivity need a better diet
Which is more stressful: being free, but having to fight for your own food and survival, or being confined in captivity, with all your food and security needs provided for?
In cheetahs it seems that unnatural food – rather than captivity itself – is the cause of their known health problems in captivity.
Captive cheetahs commonly suffer from chronic inflammation of the stomach lining, various forms of kidney failure, apparent low libido and immune system abnormalities, which are rarely seen in their wild counterparts. Also, members of the cat family are known to groom themselves meticulously, yet captive cheetahs are often covered in burrs and biting flies and hardly seem to notice these discomforts. Cheetahs in zoos and other facilities have shorter life expectancies and lower breeding success than other big cats in captivity. In these confined environments, cheetahs often produce large amounts of the stress hormone cortisol and many believe that, for cheetahs, life in captivity is simply too stressful.
Besides stress, many have proposed that a lack of exercise, low genetic diversity and the provision of unnatural
Lions Escape: Nigerians In South African Province Urged To Be Cautious
The Nigeria Union, South Africa, on Tuesday urged Nigerians resident in Mpumalanga Province to be cautious following the escape of four lions from the zoo in the area.
Mr Williams Mabasa, the spokesman for the South African National Parks, said that four male lions escaped from the Kruger National Park, at Mpumalanga Province on Sunday.
The Tourism and Parks Agency of Mpumalanga province, where part of the Kruger Park is located, said it was helping rangers and the police in their search for the lions.
3 escaped lions in South Africa are shot and killed
Officials in South Africa say three lions that escaped from the country's biggest wildlife park have been shot and killed.
The national parks service said Friday that a farmer near Kruger National Park killed one lion and wounded another after a cow carcass was found on his farm. It says park staff in a helicopter located the remaining lions and decided to kill them rather than dart and return them to the park as originally hoped.
Officials say the uninjured lion had to be killed partly because lions that eat cattle develop a taste for livestock and could pose
Houston Zoo supports local Texas conservation efforts
At the Houston Zoo, one can see animals from areas all over the world, but behind the scenes, the zoo is helping out with conservation efforts close to home.
According to Peter Riger, vice president of Wildlife Conservation, the zoo partners with nearly 30 conservation programs across a dozen countries and the state of Texas.
The zoo partners with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) on two important wildlife recovery programs for the Attwater's prairie chicken and the Houston toad.
The Attwater's prairie chicken is native to Texas. Its population used to be in the hundreds of thousands across the prairie of southeast Texas.
"It is estimated that less than 100 adult birds are left in the wild," Riger said.
Lion walks out of its enclosure at Rajkot zoo
A sub-adult lion sneaked out of its enclosure at Rajkot Zoological Park popularly known as Pradyuman Park on Wednesday morning. However, its keeper managed to shoe the big cat back into its enclosure within a few minutes even as zoo authorities termed it “a very minor incident” before the public visiting hours.
Sources said that Harivash, the three-year-old male lion escaped from its enclosure located in the heart of the park at around 8:30 am. “Caretaker apparently forgot to lock the door of animal retiring room on the edge of the enclosure after offering breakfast to lions. Minutes later, a lion pushed open the door of the retiring room and walked out of the enclosure. Within minutes, the caretakers came to know about it. Since Harivansh was borne in the enclosure and had some rapport with its caretaker, it responded to calls and w
City’s zoo from hell
More charges are to be laid against the East London Zoo by the national council of SPCAs (NSPCA) following the death of a female gibbon monkey called Peanut who died of TB and may have been infected by humans.
Peanut died in her enclosure on July 2, four months after her mate died of the disease and following an NSPCA request she be euthanased after she was found to be a TB carrier. Further contraventions of the Animal Protection Act would be added to the charges, NSPCA wildlife protection unit national inspector Cassandra MacDonald said.
BCM spokesman Samkelo Ngwenya said “legal recourse was welcomed” because the zoo had nothing to hide.
The new charges follow after a male Chacma baboon called “William” was put down in May after MacDonald found him suffering from paralysis in his hind legs. When a warning that the baboon be examined by a vet was not complied with, William was euthanased on site because his condition had deteriorated to the point where his open wounds became infected and infested with maggots. Ma
Stricter wild animal permit requirements impact North Texas Fair and Rodeo
People shouldn't expect to see tigers or other potentially dangerous wild animals at the North Texas Fair and Rodeo anymore.
After eight Bengal tigers made an appearance at last year's fair, the Denton Police Department's Animal Services Division created a written policy in February that outlines more stringent requirements for issuing wild animal permits. The requirements flat-out prohibit "dangerous wild animals," which, according to state law, includes tigers, lions, bears and cougars.
Glenn Carlton, the fair association's executive director, said last year's exhibit raised some concern from a "handful" of people about whether the animals were being kept humanely. While police officials said there were no issues reported in last year's exhibit — the city approved permits for the tigers — Deputy Chief Lenn Carter said the department received secondhand complaints with similar concern
A History of Primate Reintroduction
Attached is A History of Primate Reintroduction. The History is a fully copyrighted and protected book that is being published on this website for broad, rapid, and free distribution and review. I like to think of the History as a tool for colleagues and students (and anybody else who is interested), present and future, to increase the efficiency and success of future reintroductions and to improve the wellbeing of reintroduced primates.
The History provides as much descriptive information about each reintroduction program as I could find. For some programs I’ve added some subjective impressions of the human and nonhuman primates involved and about the program’s context. The appended table summarizes the descriptive information.
I was able to document 202 primate reintroduction programs (please see Definitions, pp. 238-246) that involved 22,999 individual prosimians, monkeys, and apes. The precision of that number is misleading because some sources do not state how many primates were actually reintroduced, and at least one program probably exaggerated the number that were released.
The term Reintroduction is used in the History a
Publish and don’t perish – how to keep rare species’ data away from poachers
Highly collectable species, especially those that are rare and threatened, can potentially be put at risk from poaching if information describing where they can be found is published. But rather than withholding this information, as has been recently recommended, scientists should publish such information through secure data repositories so that this knowledge can continue to be used to help conserve and manage the world’s most threatened species.
Scientists are encouraged to publish data so their discoveries can be shared and scrutinised. However, a recent article has identified the risks of publishing the locations of rare, endangered or newly described species.
The example of the Chinese cave gecko shows that these concerns may be warranted. The species went extinct at the location where it was discovered, potentially at the hands of scientifically literate poachers.
But instead of withholding such information, we sug
To pace or not to pace? A review of what abnormal repetitive behavior tells us about zoo animal management
Wildlife park may move to Sugud
The Lok Kawi Wildlife Park will probably be shifted to Sugud in Penampang, but the proposed move is subject to the approval of the district office and feedback from the surrounding communities as well as allocation from the government, said Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) director Augustine Tuuga yesterday.
He cited the limited space at the park’s present site as the main reason for shifting, saying that although the Lok Kawi site covers an area of 280 acres, only 70 acres were utilised as the remaining were hilly terrains which also served as water catchment areas for the surrounding communities. The area in Sugud is about 2,000 acres.
A meeting had been held and that the proposal to shift the wildlife park came about two years ago, Augustine told reporters during a tour of the wildlife park yesterday following negative feedback concerning the condition of the animals and birds at the wildlife park.
With regard to negative allegations that had been made viral on the social media, Augustine viewed some of them as an exaggeration.
“We accept criticism. If they can properly channel the comments to us we can accept it … but some of the comments were too much for us to accept, hence we called you (reporters) here to see for yourself. We feel not all that has been said is true,” he told those present.
He said that the department decided against answering the allegations one by one and opted instead to bring members of the media to see for themsel
PETA says Feld closing Center for Elephant Conservation
After Feld Entertainment terminated its 146-year-old Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus in May and retired its elephant act a year before that, one of its long-time animal-rights nemeses says the Ellenton-based live-show production company is now planning to quietly disperse its herd of pachyderms.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, long critical of Feld’s Center for Elephant Conservation (CEC) in rural Polk County, says mounting expenses from its 200-acre Indian elephant retirement home is a likely motivating factor.
“Feld is an entertainment company, it’s not in the business of conservation,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “It doesn’t make financial sense for them to maintain elephants. These elephants are sick, they’re crippled, they’re dealing with psychological stress, and Ringling sees an opportunity to get rid of one of its major costs.”
Billionaire Ringling owner Kenneth Feld ann
Gujarat to set up its own bustard breeding centre
With collaboration of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and expertise offered by United Arab Emirates (UAE) the state government is planning to set up a breeding centre for great Indian bustards (GIB) at Naliya in Kutch. This will be the first breeding centre in the state for the birds, which are currently on the Red List of threatened species maintaine
What about one more zoo in Coimbatore?
Coimbatore may get another zoo and a conservation centre on its lake bunds if the suggestions in the interim report submitted by Oasis Designs Inc to corporation commissioner K Vijayakarthikeyan on Friday are implemented.
The report not just details the projects, designs, suggestions and challenges of the massive rejuvenation process that will be done on the eight lakes located inside the city but also the vario
Forum inspects Zoo cages
The newly constituted Zoo Protection Forum yesterday inspected the cages of the Assam State Zoo.
The seven-member delegation of the forum noticed that the drinking water containers in the cages were dry. Deer were licking the wet mud in thirst, the delegation observed.
According to the forum, the hippopotamuses were also kept in a very unhygienic condition. Similar was the condition of the crocodiles. “The condition of the cages has been deteriorating day by day. There is only one permanent cleaner at the zoo at present. The X-ray machine in the zoo hospital is lying defunct. Many animals were staring at death,” the forum said.
The forum is in the process of drafting a memoran
Phuket Aquarium steps up conservation efforts
Opens the new Aqua Dome in a bid to promote marine environmental awareness
Phuket Aquarium has opened its new Aqua Dome@Phuket Aquarium in an effort to raise awareness of marine environmental issues, bolster marine conservation and slow down the degradation that Thailand has witnessed in its coastal areas over recent years.Phuket Aquarium, part of the internationally recognized Phuket Marine Biological Center, offers lively aquatic displays, interactive exhibits and fascinating audio and video presentations to take visitors on a journey through various aquatic environments, from mou
Zookeeper Pregnancy - Morning Sickness
I swear to god this is not your typical pregnancy/morning sickness blog post.
Not that there is anything wrong with so-called Mommy Blogging. In fact, there are some great ones out there, so I am told. But the people who write that share at least three of the following qualities:
1) They have kids
2) They use coasters religiously and appropriately
3) They grow all of their own food with one hand (the other hand is usually doing something crafty)
4) They take perfectly artistic photos of everyday goings-on (such as pooping) that make it look like a utopian paradise
5) Their clothes match
I meet precisely one criterion in that list (hint, it is not number 5). Even though I do have a kid, and I am 31 years older than said child, I feel like I am still in seventh grade. This is a quality about my mindset that has not changed. The only re
'Bertha' the hippo, Manila Zoo's oldest inhabitant, dies at 65
"Bertha" the hippopotamus, Manila Zoo's oldest inhabitant, passed away Friday at 65.
Zookeepers said they found Bertha lifeless in her area this morning. They said the hippo may have died of old age as autopsy results did not point to any disease.
People who were in charge of taking care of Bertha also pointed out that the 65-year-old hippo had been moving slower than usual in the past two to three months.
Zoo official: This was not first time Kumar the orangutan escaped exhibit at Greenville Zoo
An orangutan escaped from its enclosure at the Greenville Zoo on Sunday, per zoo officials.
Jeff Bullock with the Greenville Zoo said the male orangutan was able to break one of the wires that held the enclosure netting together and slipped through the hole around 11:30 a.m. The orangutan then sat on top of the roof holding area, Bullock said.
A witness captured video of the orangutan during the very moment he escaped. Click to watch.
The zoo was then placed on lock down and all visitors were moved inside of the gift shop and various other safe areas.
Soon after, the orangutan returned to its enclosure through the hole and a curator brought in several pad locks to secure the netting where the hole was created. The orangutan never wandered away into the park area where visitors are.
Bullock says crew members then used water hoses and fire extinguishers to get the orangutans to retreat into the den area long enough for that crew member to secure the net using the pad locks. This is a tactic also u
Beluga whale dies at SeaWorld Orlando shortly after birth
SeaWorld Orlando says a beluga whale died shortly after it was born at the theme park and an investigation has begun into the cause of death.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that theme park officials say the calf was born this past week but was unusually weak and rose to the surface briefly before sinking to the bottom of a pool. Its mother was 17-year-old Whisper, who has lived at SeaWorld Orlando since 2010.
SeaWorld said animal care teams tried to revive the calf but were unable to save it. The cause of the newborn whale’s death is unclear.
Park officials say they will run
As Bradenton area mascot turns 69, let’s celebrate Snooty
Though the Bradenton area is fortunate to have many great ambassadors, there is one in particular whose contributions sometimes go unnoticed.
The good news is, he doesn’t seem to mind.
Snooty the Manatee, the “Oldest Living Manatee in Captivity” according to Guinness World Records, resides at the South Florida Museum in downtown Bradenton and will turn 69 on July 21.
His annual Birthday Bash on July 22 provides the perfect opportunity to see him and celebrate his life and contributions.
For those who don’t know his history, Snooty is the oldest-known manatee in the world. In the 1940s, Samuel Stout, owner of the Miami Aquarium and Tackle Company, acquired a permit from the state to exhibit a single manatee named Lady.
Baby giraffe at Maryland Zoo receives second plasma transfusion
A 3-week-old baby giraffe at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore underwent a second plasma transfusion Sunday and will continue to receive around-the-clock care, the zoo said.
The calf, Julius, has had trouble nursing and since he was born June 15, according to zoo officials, preventing him from receiving essential antibodies from his mother. Julius received a plasma transfusion from a giraffe at the Columbus Zoo three days after he was born.
On Saturday, a sudden change in Julius' bloodwork sparked "serious concern for the giraffe care and veterinary teams," according to the zoo's website. A critical care plan required a second plasma tr
Cotswold Wildlife Park backs RHS elephant campaign
COTSWOLD Wildlife Park is involved in a garden at this week’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show that highlights the destruction of Africa’s elephant population as a result of brutal ivory poaching.
It has worked with Tusk, a conservation charity set up to combat poaching in Africa, to create a garden named Not For Sale, which is made up of a ring of tusk arches, symbolising the scale of the slaughter of African elephants killed by poachers.
Sounds of the African savannah will play around the tusks while arid grasses, plants and acacia trees will help create a real sense of Africa.
At the end of the arched walk, the garden opens into
Gibbon Conservation Center Aims To Reintroduce Endangered Primates To Natural Habitats
20 species of gibbons–many of which are endangered or critically endangered–take shelter in the center, located in Saugus. In fact, this haven for the primates is the only institution in the world to breed all four genera of gibbons.
“From these 20 species of Gibbons, there is only one species that is only vulnerable, all the other ones are either endangered or critically endangered,” said Gabriella Skollar, the director of the Gibbon Center.
The endangered animals are becoming even more rare in the wild, Skollar said, because of human interference.
“The reason they are endangered is because of hunting and deforestation,” she said, adding that many gibbons are from dwindling forests in Southeast Asia. “They’re losing their habitat because they are cutting down the forest for palm oil plantations, cafe, tea plantations, creating roads, hardwood for furniture.”
The Gibbon Center, founded in 1976 by Alan Mootnick, provides consulting services to zoos, museums and government agencies such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and participates in all relevant species survival plans.
Entirely self taught, Mootnick spent 15 years caring for animals and studying captive primates before housing his first gibbon, according to the center’s website. He supported costs for the Gibbon Conservation Center by selling “personal assets” and running his own construction business until 1990 when it went non-profit.
He continued running the center until his deat
Flawed Indonesian captive breeding plan facilitates wildlife laundering
A new study has questioned the validity of Indonesia’s plan that allowed breeders to produce over four million animals in captivity for trade in 2016.
The Captive Breeding Production Plan (CBPP) establishes quotas for the species and number of mammals, reptiles and amphibians that can be bred by licenced commercial breeding farms in the country.
For 2016, the Plan applied to 13 captive breeding facilities, 129 mammal, reptile and amphibian species with a total of 4,273,029 animals to be produced through captive breeding.
However, a critical scrutiny of the Plan published today in Conservation Biology finds major flaws that permit the laundering of wild-caught animals into legal trade through falsely claiming they have been captive-bred.
Among the flaws highlighted in Biological parameters used in setting captive breeding quota for Indonesia’s breeding facilities, is the exaggerated inflation of the breeding capabilities of many animals—for one frog species the Plan sets a quota 67 times higher than the animal would have been able to produce naturally.
Researchers even found that quotas had been set for two species where no breeding stock was present in any of the country’s registered breeding facilities, nor did some quotas take into account how difficult it
The Top 10 Behaviours of Expert Animal Trainers by Steve Martin
Think of a trainer you recognize as an expert. Now, think of the characteristics that inspire you to call that person an expert. Is it the person’s knowledge, skills, charisma, confidence, reputation or … something else? This presentation will operationalize some of the most important characteristics that expert animal trainers exhibit, from my point of view.
We all know great trainers in our lives, people we look up to, admire, talk about favorably with others. But, how does a person earn that reputation as a great trainer? And, what separates a great trainer from an average trainer? To answer these questions, we need to start by operationalizing the construct “training skill.” What does a trainer do to earn a reputation and label of “Expert?”
Curators, managers, supervisors, veterinarians, directors and more would benefit from a description of the observable training skills of their staff. Since everyone’s training these days, how does a leader with no experience in training judge the skills of their staff? Because a person has read Don’t Shoot the Dog (a great resource by the way), has a whistle around their neck or a clicker in their hand, and uses jargon that confuses non- trainers, does not mean a person is a highly-skilled trainer. When a vet, curator or director watches a training session how are they to know skillful training when they see it? When the trainer tells them the animal is acting up, distracted by their presence, or messing with their minds, how does the director know the real problem isn’t the trainer encroaching on the animal’s personal space, unclear criteria, low rate of reinforcement, poor antecedent arrangement, or one of many other common training mistakes? For that matter, how does the trainer know?
Good training involves the artful application of scientific principles. As in other art forms, skill is a product of learning combined with practice. Where some people have developed their skill mostly by learning from their mistakes, others have benefitted from the guidance of knowledgeable and skilled mentors. As the training profession advances, there are increased opportunities to learn from mentors and other experts in the field through conferences and direct contact. However, animal training
Don’t get us wrong about rhinos says Environmental Affairs
Last Friday (June 30) the Department of Environmental Affairs issued a curious media statement in which it notes with concern what it terms the misrepresentation of facts associated with the international trade in rhino horn. It warns that this trade is prohibited in terms of the Convention on International Trade in Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES). As a case of slamming the gate after the horse has bolted, this is hard to beat.
In April this year the Constitutional Court upheld a High Court decision overturning a 2009 moratorium prohibiting the domestic trade in horn. This followed a successful application brought by rhino farmers challenging the moratorium. Environmental Affairs took the decision to the Constitutional Court and lost. The Department is now preparing legislation to ratify the trade.
The result of the ConCourt decision requires an unbanning of domestic rhino horn trade retrospective to 2009, opening the gate for charges against the department by farmers for restriction of trade and loss of earnings. How it came to this, in the face of massive rhino poaching (over 1 000 a year) and an international ban on cross-border trade and massive public support for rhinos is simply disastrous bungling by the department. The outcome was so startling that there have been questions raised about collusion between the department and rhino farmers.
The point, though, is why would anyone want to buy rhino horn if it could not be onsold illegally to dealers in Asia where it’s worth more per kilogram than gold or heroin? With sophisticated poaching syndicates running circles around highly trained military personnel in th
Muslim prayers at Quebec zoo upset some people
A Quebec zoo is defending itself after receiving criticism for allowing a group of Muslims to pray on its premises.
Parc Safari says it has been the subject of hateful and racist comments since a YouTube video was posted on Sunday showing the prayers.
A woman can be heard shouting, “we are too conciliatory,” while another says she is against prayers in public spaces.
Zoo management says the Muslims respected all the guidelines and would have been expelled had they not.
Parc Safari officials say the zoo is a multicu
Zoo workers strike but animals OK
The Pretoria Zoo has failed in a last-ditch bid to prevent a strike.
The National Trade Union Congress slapped a strike notice on the National Zoological Gardens of SA yesterday.
Zoo spokesman Craig Allenby said the notice warned that members of the union, which represents about 120 zoo workers, intended demonstrating and picketing after the expiry of the 48-hour notice period.
He said the dispute related to an agreement signed in 2009 between the zoo and its trade unions on the implementation of a seven-day working week.
"[The union] is demanding that the agreement be cancelled and employees be paid overtime for weekend work."
Management emphasised that the zoo - which attracts more than 150000 children annually - was a seven-days-a-week operation and it was impractical and financially impossible to meet the demands of the union.
Founded in 1899, the zoo is the largest and oldest in the country. It is home to more than 5000 animal species - many of the
Elephant MASSACRE: Tragedy as 720 tuskers killed in biggest ivory haul for decades
The 15,873lb shipment – valued at £7.1 million – was uncovered in Hong Kong, highlighting how the demand for “white gold” is as high as ever despite global attempts to smash the illegal ivory trade.
Customs officials discovered the tusks wrapped up with fish inside a 40-ft container shipped into the former British colony from Malaysia.
The seizure sent shockwaves through the conservation community with calls for tougher sentences for those behind an illegal trade killing 80,000 elephants a year.
Heather Sohl, Chief Advisor on Wildlife at WWF-UK said today: “This huge ivor
In South Africa, Lions Are Bred for Slaughter - and Volunteers Are Duped Into Helping
Images of magnificent lions appear on the computer screen. Their tremendous manes seem to be windblown. This is the menu, or shopping list, of a site that sells short hunting vacations in South Africa to hunters from around the world. The surfers are invited to choose the lion they find most impressive, mark it with the mouse and make a reservation. The company promises to provide the lion for a kill within a fenced-in, confined area. You can’t miss. The payoff comes fast. Who has time to waste these days, especially if you have money?
Hunting excursions in enclosed or confined areas, known as “canned hunting,” are organized down to the last detail and operate like a Swiss clock. The owners of the game farms who organize these safaris breed the lions especially for this purpose. The trophy hunters arrive tw
The Cheetah Man: Fota Director Sean McKeown on a life working with the wild bunch
Sean McKeown has an office view that dreams are made of. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the cheetah run at Fota Wildlife Park. Every so often one of them swaggers past the window, sometimes stopping to stare through the glass. There had been talk of a wall to border the cheetahs and the office building when Fota’s entrance was revamped in 2010, but the wildlife park’s director put a stop to that. The view he secured is only right for the person known in the industry as ‘The Cheetah Man’.
McKeown holds the stud book in Europe for the Northern cheetah, deciding if and when they should be bred in zoos around Europe. Under his watch, there has been a hugely successful cheetah breeding programme at Fota — to date, more than 200 have been born, the latest on May 29. The four cubs, two male and two female, went on view to the public for the first time last Thursday. It’s the second birth this year for mother Nimpy.
Cameras are positioned inside the den where the female gave birth. It’s to ensure the cubs, and mum, are safe and secure. The director has access to the camera feed on his phone, he shows me video after video of the cheetah caring for her young, admitting he has a soft spot for the breed.
But we are here to talk about another new addition to Fota Wildlife Park — the new tiger cub. It’s a rare feat for any zoo — just five or six litters of the Sumatran Tiger are born in captivity worldwide each year.
In the wild, the species is critically endangered, with current esti
Italy has its own subspecies of bear – but there are only 50 left
It’s hard to believe that just a few hours drive from Rome, a small population of bears has survived in isolation for thousands of years. They live in the Apennine mountains that run along the centre of Italy, where high peaks merge into woodland, lakes and pasture, with humans scattered in villages throughout.
These are brown bears (Ursus arctos), the most common and widespread of the eight bear species.
Brown bears can be found from the coldest coasts of Alaska to the relatively warmer mountains of Turkey, and right across Eurasia from Japan to Scandinavia.
Lynx could return to Britain this year after absence of 1,300 years
After an absence of 1,300 years, the lynx could be back in UK forests by the end of 2017. The Lynx UK Trust has announced it will apply for a trial reintroduction for six lynx into the Kielder forest, Northumberland, following a two-year consultation process with local stakeholders.
The secretive cat can grow to 1.5m in length and feeds almost exclusively by ambushing deer. Attacks on humans are unknown, but it was hunted to extinction for its fur in the UK. The Kielder forest was chosen by the trust from five possible sites, due to its abundance of deer, large forest area and the absence of major roads.
Sheep farmers and some locals are opposed to the reintroduction, but Dr Paul O’Donoghue, chief scientific advisor to the Lynx UK Trust and expert adviser to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) believes there are good reasons for reintroducing the predator.
Rx for orphan walrus calf: touch, massage, cuddle, repeat
Everybody needs a shoulder to lean on now and then. A walrus calf at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska, is getting one 24 hours per day.
Trained staff members, working in pairs, are touching, massaging and cuddling a calf all day and all night as part of its recuperation. The calf, estimated to be about 6 weeks old, was found last month without its mother several miles outside Nome.
Walrus are highly social and spend two years with their mothers, said Jennifer Gibbins, marketing and communications director for the center.
"They need constant contact," Gibbins said. "Part of the caregiving is providing that constant contact and tactile interaction.
The calf was spotted in mid-June on the deck of a mining barge. The walrus was still on the barge the next morning and the barge crew summoned wildlife experts.
The SeaLife Center is dedicated to marine research and education and features a public aquarium. It's the only facility in Alaska that holds a permit for marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation.
When the calf reached Seward on June 17, it weighed 120 pounds (54 kilograms) and was extremely lethargic.
"He was severely dehydrated," Gibbins said. "That was really th
Of snarls and scratches: Stories from zookeepers who care for dangerous beasts
There are few beasts in the world that fascinate and frighten us as much as the tiger. Even when we watch the majestic animal when it is within the confines of a cage, a shiver runs down the spine as it growls and fixes its fierce eyes on us.
But for 48-year-old Raman, one of the zookeepers at the Thiruvananthapuram Zoo, the tiger is an animal who can be a friend.
Around 9.30 am, Raman reaches the first cage and calls out, "George!". The response from his friend is immediate. "Grrrr!" growls George, as he puts his massive head out of the inner enclosure and strides out to the outer cage. On seeing Raman holding the water hose, George cannot contain his joy. He runs towards him with a huge roar, as if he's forgotten that there are iron bars between the two of them."Were you sleeping?" Raman asks George lovingly. "Come, let's take a bath!"
The great cat obediently sits, ready for a good splash.
Sprinkling water on George's head, Ra
VIDEO: Kai Palaoa To Governor – Sign Aquarium Life Bill
Kealoha Pisciotta of the Kai Palaoa group is adding her voice to the chorus urging Governor David Ige to sign Senate Bill 1240, a bill that would phase out aquarium fish collecting in Hawaii.
Gov. David Ige announced on June 23 that he intends to veto the bill because “there is concern that the science does not support the claims made by the bill. It will be premature to ban aquarium collection before doing the necessary studies.”
Pisciotta, a cultural practitioner with Mauna Kea Anaina Hou and Kai Palaoa, disagrees. She equates the aquarium with wildlife trafficking.
“Aquarium fish are actually our wildlife,” Pisciotta says. “Imagine if we just went out and we collected our w
Big cats could be released onto Dartmoor - and sheep farmers have big concerns
Plans to reintroduce lynx into the countryside have taken a step forward following a new license application, causing fresh concern among sheep farmers.
The Lynx Trust, which has long campaigned for the wild cats – once native to the British Isles – to be brought back, has recently applied for a license from Natural England and Scottish Natural Heritage to reintroduce the animals.
Conservationists believe that such 're-wilding' efforts – currently focused in Scotland and Kielder Forest in Northumberland – could help to control the deer population, and be beneficial for farmers by reducing fox and badger numbers.
Monkey escapes at Woburn Safari Park not reported
A monkey escaped from its enclosure three times in a day and was not reported to the regulator.
The Barbary macaque got out of its pen at Woburn Safari Park but remained inside the Bedfordshire zoo's grounds.
The monkeys' exploits were only revealed after an anonymous letter to Central Bedfordshire Council, which issues the zoo's licence.
The zoo said the incident had "posed no
Jakarta zoo looking for female gorilla
Ragunan Zoo in South Jakarta is set to establish cooperation with a Japanese zoo to bring a female gorilla to the city.
Since 2002, Ragunan Zoo has acquired three male gorillas and the primates have now reached breeding age, said Jakarta Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat.
However, the zoo does not have any female gorillas.
"Now, they are 17 years old and ready for breeding. Hence, we are looking forward to cooperating with a Japanese zoo to barter a male for a female gorilla," Djarot said during a recent visit to the zoo, which charges entry fees of Rp 4,000 (30 US cents) for adults and Rp 3,000 for children.
Djarot, however, did not explain which Japanese zoo was being considered to cooperate with Ragunan Zoo.
Ragunan Zoo, which occupies 148 hectares of land, is home to 2,080 animals.
The zoo has an abundance of some animals, such as pelicans, elephants, orangutans and giraffes.
Its Sumatran tigers alone number 40.
To deal with the overpopulation issue, th
KILLING PILOT WHALES IN THE FAROE ISLANDS IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO!
Sea Shepard spread the above picture around the world. Their purpose was to make the Faroe people look like the cutthroat bloodthirsty butchers so the public would send Captain Paul Watson a few million dollars of tax-free money. However, before you send Sea Shephard one thin dime or judge the Faroe people, you need to know the truth.
The whole world eats and slaughters animals. The killing part ain't pretty. There is no beautiful or humane way to take an animal's life. However, circumstances might occur under which taking a life quickly can by justified versus allowing the animals to die a brutal, horrible death.
And don't forget, hundreds of thousands of lives are often lost during natural disasters. Do you blame Mother Nature or do you blame God when thousands of people die in a flood or an earthquake? I blame the stupid people for living in an earthquake or flood-prone zone. But can you blame poor people who can't afford to live anywhere els
Zoo Science for Keepers and Aquarists
Three gorillas escape from their den at Paignton Zoo
Three gorillas escaped from their den into a secure corridor at Paignton Zoo and caused thousands of pounds damage ripping apart water pipes, electrical wiring and ducts.
Experts initially considered closing the zoo because staff were unable to get to all three together to dart the escaped lowland gorillas, which each weigh up to 30 stone (teenage gorillas).
It was decided to leave the primates overnight on Friday in a secure corridor in the dens of the Ape Centre at Paignton Zoo. But they have left a trail of destruction behind which could take weeks to repair.
The CITES authority in the Netherlands reasserts Loro Parque in the Morgan case
It sounds absurd that after 7 years since Morgan appeared dying on the Dutch coast and five judicial pronouncements stated that her return to the sea would mean her death and her deafness has been proved, there are still organizations committed to denounce Loro Parque demanding her release. But that is a well-known strategy of some self-proclaimed animalistic groups: seeking the impact on the media and social networks to get attention and funds. Although they know perfectly well that Morgan has no chance of being released and that there is a firm sentence of the highest Dutch court that ratifies it since 2014.
The Free Morgan Foundation has got us used to the scandal strategy. They file a complaint against Loro Parque, they publish campaigns in the media creating social alarm and worrying honest people who love animals and so they obtain funds for their organization. But when the administrations dismiss and reject these allegations as unfounded they never recognize their mistake and never make it public. They do not even put negative resolutions on their website to acknowledge its members. That is fraud.
Reimagining Spaces for Animals: A Conversation with Jon Coe, Legendary Zoo Designer
Jon Coe has been at the cutting edge of zoo design since helping establish immersion habitats in the 1970s. Throughout the years he’s been the one to break the mold with revolutionary ideas for animal habitats: a space where gorillas live in a lush replication of the African rainforest, an African savanna where you can’t see other people looking out at the animals, animals such as tigers and orangutans rotating a series of habitats and even trails that let animals explore the entire zoo grounds. Coe has not only defined the art of habitat design but pushed zoos worldwide to continue to be innovative and create dynamic, enriching spaces for their animals. Here is his story.
Lion Country’s new owner plans to expand conservation, education at zoo
The founder of a Connecticut-based wildlife center, who also has ties to Wellington’s equestrian community, plans to buy Lion Country Safari in western Palm Beach County in a deal that is expected to be finalized during the third quarter of the year.
Marcella Leone, founder and director of the nonprofit Leo Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich, Conn., has “agreed to purchase America’s first cage-less zoo,” Lion Country said Tuesday in a news release announcing the impending sale.
Money Over Morals: Colombia’s Conservation Failure
*This article would have been published in the next few weeks. However, it is being published ahead of schedule and without being entirely complete due to the recent, savage, and completely FALSE public accusations made by Eduardo Serio of Black Jaguar White Tiger against a heroic young woman who sought to help us and others take a stand against Serio, his lies and his abuse.
Somewhere in Colombia, six lions live in dilapidated circus carriages, the bars eaten with rust, the floors partially rotting. Four lionesses exist cramped together in one, two males in the other. They languish, the distasteful reminder of a country that tried to take a step forward in conservation by banning animal acts in circuses, but failed to consider the lives of the animals they were supposedly protecting. When Colombia made it illegal to utilize animal acts in circuses, it did so without having any feasible way to care for the hundreds of animals suddenly made homeless by their own policies. There was, and remains, scant documentation on the precise number of animals owned by circuses before the ban, or the number of ani
Let's Get Some Shoes
Something happened to me a few days ago that inspired this week’s blog (with a little encouragement from Suzanne Smith...thank you!). This event was both puzzling and frustrating, but it lead to some really great memories as I thought about which ones to populate this entry with.
So what happened? Well, someone stole my flip flops.
Court upholds gun ban at zoo
A St. Louis Circuit Court judge ruled Monday that the zoo has the right to ban guns.
The ruling makes a temporary ban that was issued in 2015 permanent. In 2015, gun rights activist Jeff Smith said he planned to lead a group of armed people into the zoo, challenging the zoo’s gun policy.
After Monday’s ruling, the zoo released the foll
Talking Turtles II: WCS Discovers More Turtles That Talk
Scientists from WCS and other groups have found that the pig-nosed turtle (Carettochelys insculpta) has joined a select group of chatty chelonians that can vocalize. The researchers recorded 182 simple calls from seven individuals in the wild and in a private breeding facility and found that the turtles communicate with each other while feeding, basking, and nesting.
The researchers published their study in the journal Copeia. Authors include Camila Ferrara, Aquatic Turtle Specialist for WCS; Richard Vogt of the Instituto Nacional de Pequisas da Amazônia; Carla Eisemberg of Char
500kg of rhino horn up for grabs as South African breeder hosts first ever online global auction
The world’s biggest rhino breeder has announced plans to sell part of his massive stockpile of horns in a global online auction‚ sparking concern that this could undermine the 40- year-old international ban on rhino horn trading.
Billed as the world’s first “legal rhino horn auction”‚ the three-day sale is scheduled for midday on August 21.
South African businessman and game rancher John Hume‚ who has nearly 1‚500 rhinos at his game farm in the North West‚ has a stockpile of nearly six tons of horns that he wants to sell. This after he won a series of court battles earlier this year to overturn the eight-year-old moratorium on the domestic sale of rhino horns.
Hume – along with other private rhino breeders — has been removing horns from his herd for several years. The animals are anaesthetised and the top section of the horn removed so that they can regrow naturally as part of a “bloodless‚ horn-harvesting” operation.
In an attempt to halt the unrelenting slaughter of rhinos in Africa and Asia by poaching syndicates‚ a ban on the international sale of rhino horns came into force in 1977 by member states of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). This was followed by a 2009 ban on the sale of rhino horns within South Africa that coincided with an unprecedented spike in horn poaching.
Now that Hume has overturned the moratorium on domestic sales within South Africa‚ he plans to sell 500kg of horns in an online auction
Ever Heard of “The Window of Opportunity”?
Right at this moment I’m in a dilemma if I should train the next 2 weeks for a triathlon. The race is called IronMan, it’s a big triathlon race. I’m not able to do a full one but half should be ok, although that’s what I think. The hardest part is that 2,5 weeks is not a lot of time to train for a 1,9km swim, 90km cycle and 21km run so decisions have to be made to do it yes or no. My window is not very big due to the time that I need for myself to practise. If I’m to late deciding I might not go full into my practises for this race. It’s kind of a condition test for myself but let’s see.
But let’s talk a bit more about decisions… We make many decisions in our life time, some good and some bad. Some will be quick and some will be super slow. Why are some decisions slower and others quicker? If we have a lot of time to decide, us as people will take this time till the last second where we have to decide. If we get a particular option and have to decide we will decide right away, this decision connects to the consequence we get afterwards. For example, I’m doubting about my decision for this IronMan challenge because I’m not forced to make a decision yet. I don’t mean forced in a bad wa
Singapore Zoo turns 44: Milestones of the popular attraction
On June 27, 44 years ago, the Singapore Zoo was officially opened by then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Goh Keng Swee.
It has become one of the country's most notable attractions, and now attracts some 1.7 million visitors each year. It houses more than 2,800 animals from over 300 species of mammals, birds, and reptiles.
It has also become one of the world's best rainforest zoos.
DEA 'ignores' concerns over lion bone trade
The South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has blatantly ignored public opinion by formally approving the export of 800 lion skeletons to Asia this year. This in spite of international condemnation from conservationists and local stakeholders.
The numbers of African free-range lions have declined alarmingly over the last few decades with only 20,000 remaining today, down from 30,000 just two decades ago.
“It is irresponsible to establish policy that could further imperil wild lions,” said Dr. Paul Funston, Senior Director of Panthera’s Lion Program earlier this year when the DEA first proposed its plans.
However, the DEA says the export will only be from captive-bred lions which is legal under the Convention in the Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). Lions in South Africa are listed under Appendix II, which means their products can be traded internationally - but only “if the trade will not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild.”
The DEA believes that the sale from captive-bred lions will reduce the Asian appetite for wild lion parts from a growing market for exotic products such as tiger-bone wine. Lion bones have lately been sold off as tiger bones, since the latter has become extremely rare.
But, says Funston: “South Africa’s lion breeding industry makes absolutely no positive contribution to conserving lions and, indeed, further imperils them.
In 2016, according to Panthera, 90% of lion carcasses found in the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique all had their skulls, teeth, and claws removed while rates of poisoning lions specifically for bones increased dramatic
Role of zoos is conservation, zoo veterinarians say
Among those who share this perspective are Drs. Scott Larsen, president of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians; Mike Adkesson, AAZV president-elect; and Sharon L. Deem, president of the American College of Zoological Medicine.
Some people believe wild animals don’t belong in zoos. Dr. Larsen, vice president for veterinary medicine at the Denver Zoo, said, "There’s a lot of public sentiment that for zoos to continue to exist, they need to be involved with conservation. They need to be very focused on animal welfare and enrichment, providing quality lives for these animals as individuals and as ambassadors for their species in the wild, and enlightening people about conservation issues."
Most zoo professionals feel strongly about the message they’re sending and the welfare of the animals, Dr. Larsen said. "It’s not just ‘Are we patching up lacerations o
Zoo veterinarians, behind the scenes and in the field
A flurry of activity surrounded Kasha, an Amur leopard, as he lay, intubated and anesthetized, on an examining table.
A veterinary technician cleaned the big cat’s teeth, including his long canines. Two veterinarians in training programs took a blood sample from a hind limb. Dr. Mike Adkesson listened to the leopard’s heart.
Kasha was undergoing a routine full work-up at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The zoo has seven veterinarians on staff: Dr. Adkesson, vice president of clinical medicine for the Chicago Zoological Society, which operates the zoo; three other clinical veterinarians who are specialists in zoological medicine, one also an anesthesiologist; a clinical resident; a post-residency anesthesiology fellow; and a radiologist.
Although the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians dates to 1946, and the American College of Zoological Medicine to 1983, having multiple vete
PhD student first Malaysian to get UK award for hornbill research
THE floor of the dense forest off the Kinabatangan River in Sabah is the playground for Ravinder Kaur, who maps her grid in search of natural cavities for hornbills among the thickets of the big trees.
She eats, sleeps and breathes hornbills, and for good reason too, as she and her team have just been honoured with the 2017 Future Conservationist Award by UK-based Conservation Leadership Programme, the only Malaysian to receive the award for 2017.
Her hornbill project is a long-term commitment towards building artificial nesting boxes for hornbills and studying the nest-hole crisis.
Her focus is now on Kinabatangan, in Sandakan, Sabah. It is a degraded forest, she said, as there was a lack of big trees, but it is also a regenerating forest.
“We find bigger species of hornbills living here,” she said, referring to the Rhinoceros and Helmeted H
Brexit threatens to clip the wings of UK butterfly exporter
That is the concern of Richard Lamb, general manager of the Stratford Butterfly Farm in Stratford-upon-Avon, which bills itself as “the UK’s largest tropical butterfly paradise”. It has its own zoo-like attractions, which the company says draws about 150,000 visitors a year. It also supplies butterflies for similar parks around the world. Last year, Stratford sold £1.2m worth of pupae, around 750,000, about half in the EU. “We’re a good business,” Mr Lamb says.
Yet, depending on the fine details of the UK’s exit deal with the EU, Mr Lamb fears Brexit could “wipe out” a large chunk of his business, and threaten the livelihood of his far-flung suppliers. “All arou
Japan’s oldest aquarium-born sea otter celebrates 21st birthday with ‘ice cake’
The oldest aquarium-born sea otter in Japan celebrated her 21st birthday Wednesday, in an event highlighted by a colorfully decorated cake made of ice given to her at an Osaka aquarium.
Having reached an age thought to be equivalent to over 80 human years, the sea otter, Pata, was handed the cake at a poolside by visitors chosen for the event at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, where she has spent her whole life.
Pata then returned to the water and ate the cake while floating. The birthday gift — a special version of the ice blocks she receives every day as a treat — had “icing” on top which was shaped like a fish and a heart, and brightly colored in green, orange, yellow and blue.
Visitors at the event also cheered and took photos to mark the occasion. Pata is the oldest of the 12 sea otters kept at aquariums in Japan, which had been home to 122 of the northern species i
China’s terrible zoos and why they’re still thriving
A donkey thrown into a tiger enclosure to be eaten alive. A brown bear so malnourished it looks like a bag of bones. Siberian tigers so obese they were mocked by visitors. A crocodile living alongside piles of rubbish in a dried-up pond, and a snake lying dead in its tank, unnoticed by its keeper.
How One Zoo Helped Save the Mountain Gorilla
Imagine sitting on the ground in a clearing in Africa and having a group of gorillas saunter over to you. That was Charlene Jendry’s first experience with the endangered mountain gorillas of Rwanda in 1992. “The females, who were carrying babies on their backs, came over and touched me,” recalls Jendry, then a gorilla keeper at Ohio’s Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on her first trip to Karisoke Research Center, established by primatologist Dian Fossey of Gorillas in the Mist fame, inside Volcanoes National Park. “Their mouths were so close I could feel their breath.”
For someone who cared for gorillas in a zoo but had never seen them in the wild, this was the manifestation of a dream—especially since the number of the endangered species she met, the mountain gorilla, had dwindled to around 250.
“It was amazing and magical,” says Jendry. “I went out in the park to visit the gorillas every day.”
One night the dream took a terrifying turn. Park patrolmen radioed to say they had shot three gorilla poachers. Two were dead but they were bringing one critically wounded poacher to the camp for emergency treatment. Jendry and her campmates, none of whom were medical doctors, scrambled to provide first aid for someone who was illegally hunting the very gorillas they were trying to save. As they worked to keep him from going into s
Thailand's thriving industry in crocodile farms
Thailand is home to some of the world's biggest crocodile farms, where tourists can see the giant creatures lounging in the hot sun, chomping on chicken, or swarming in emerald green pools.
Some 1.2 million crocodiles are kept on more than 1,000 farms in Thailand, according to figures from the Thai department of fisheries. Some are equipped with slaughterhouses and tanneries to produce luxury products.
Sri Ayuthaya Crocodile Farm is one of Thailand's biggest, and has been operating for 35 years.
"We're an all-in-one farm, creating jobs for the people, creating income for the country," said Wichian Rueangnet, the owner of Sri Ayuthaya, which has an estimated 150,000 crocodiles.
Sri Ayuthaya is registered with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), allowing it to legally export products made from the critically endangered Siamese freshwater crocodile. One of its top buyers is China.
"We do everything from raising crocodiles to slaughtering, tanning and exporting crocodile products," Wichian said.
Crocodile leather products include Birkin-style handbags, which sell for up to 80,000 baht ($2,358) each, and crocodile leather suits, which fetch around 200,000 baht ($5,894), Wichian said.
Crocodile meat is sold for as much as 300 baht per kg (2.2 lb). The bile and blood of the reptile, made into pills because they are believed to have health benefits, are worth 40,000 baht
Rare animals among body count at Scottish zoos
More than 900 creatures in the care of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) died in captivity last year, including several hundred rare snails bred for conservation.
Figures released by the charity, which runs the 82-acre Edinburgh Zoo and a wildlife park in the Scottish Highlands, show that about 25 animals were put down on health grounds.
Dozens more perished within weeks of birth, among them several animals designated as under threat by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Red List.
They included a female socorro dove, which is extinct in the wild; four cotton-top tamarins and three visayan warty pigs (both critically endangered species); a barbary macaque and two painted hunting d
Leigh Clayton, Director of Animal Health at the National Aquarium, speaks about being an aquarium veterinarian. Listen to the PODCAST.