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Zoo News Digest
March-April 2008



Prank callers crash Dublin Zoo phone system
Dublin Zoo was forced to shut down its switchboard yesterday after
thousands of Irish mobile users fell for a new take on one of the oldest
phone tricks in the book.
Text messages have been doing the rounds in Ireland telling unwitting
recipients to call a number and ask for one of a number of named
The Irish Independent reports that the zoo's switchboard went into
meltdown yesterday, and has now been forced to answer all calls with a
recorded message saying: "If you are calling to speak to Mr Rory Lion, C
Lion, G Raffe or anyone similar please be aware that you are the victim
of a hoax message." Other contacts include Ana Conda and Rory Lyons.
A spokeswoman for the zoo told RTE radio that it had always received
similar calls, usually around April Fool's Day. But now that pranksters

China builds world's largest panda-breeding centre
The world's largest panda breeding centre is being built in southwest
China, an official at the country's biggest sanctuary for the notoriously
sex-shy animals said Tuesday.
The new centre, which will house 200 pandas, will be an extension to
current facilities at the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan province,
reserve official Zhang Hemin told AFP.
"It will be the world's largest panda research centre based on its area
and functions," Zhang said. "The first period of construction will be
finished by the end of this year."
Besides pens for feeding and breeding, the base will also include a
playground measuring 19,400-square-metre (210,000-square-foot) ,
Xinhua news agency said.
Pandas, one of the world's most endangered species, are a rare
national treasure in China.
They are notoriously poor breeders, and experts in China are
desperately trying to make the creatures mate to ensure their survival,
using measures as extreme as panda pornography or
rigorous "sexercises".
In one of the exercises, male pandas are made to walk on their

London Zoo celebrates its 180th birthday
It is now one of the world's leading conservation organisations, helping
to protect endangered wildlife with breeding programmes, carrying out
vital research and educating the public. But when London Zoo opened its
doors 180 years ago, experts were more interested in turning its exotic
creatures into beasts of burden and farmyard animals.
Photographs, reports and keepers logs, which have been buried in the
Zoological Society of London's archive, provide a glimpse of daily life at
the world's first scientific zoo when

New zoo opens in Valencia, Spain
Valencia, Spain, is continuing to create showcases for creatures great
and small. The city this month opened the first phase of Bioparc
Valencia. The $94-million zoo has re-created savanna and African rain-
forest habitats for zebras, lions, gazelles, gorillas and leopards in a 25-
acre park that houses 4,000 animals.
Habitats for Southeast Asian and Central and South American animals
are on tap next. The city is already home to one of Europe's largest
aquariums. Admission

wycross Zoo will be holding a "celebration of life" this weekend in
honour of co-founder Molly Badham MBE, who died last year.
The special weekend will give people an opportunity to hear and see
how Twycross started 45 years ago.
Visitors will hear the story of how two rival pet shop owners joined
forces to eventually create the most comprehensive collection of
primate species in the world.
For the events, a marquee will be put up in the zoo grounds.
A gallery of pictures, newspaper cuttings and a rolling screen of news
articles, including the famous PG Tips commercials, wil

Endangered Madagascan tortoise hatched at Chester Zoo
HATCHED at Chester Zoo, this baby Madagascan Radiated Tortoise is
making big strides to help ensure the survival of its species, which is
now critically endangered in the wild.
Believed to be the first UK hatching of the species, the tortoise hatched
from one of five eggs in a clutch, and so it may well be joined by some
siblings. Richard Gibson, Chester's curator of lower vertebrates and
invertebrates, said: "This tortoise might well be tiny at the moment but
what it currently lacks in size, it makes up for in importance.
"The species is native only to southern Madagascar where it is
threatened by loss

Increasing number of leopards gives Sakkarbaug Zoo officials a tough
akkarbuag Zoo in Junagadh is one of the country's oldest and is the
leading breeding centre for the Asiatic Lion. But the population of
leopards here is on the rise and, in fact, has even outnumbered these
Increasing man-animal conflict in last couple of years has been landing
the big cats into cages in such a large number that it is now becoming
difficult for the zoo authorities to handle the situation. At present, nearly
30 leopards are inmates of the Sakkarbaug (SKB) Zoo, while the
number of Asiatic lions stands at 21.
This year, half a dozen cases of man-leopard conflicts have been
reported so far. In 2007, the forest depa

Crocodile Bank breeds rare, painted roof turtle
wo eggs lay side by side in the incubator, a bright bulb glowing above. A
tiny head and two flippers emerged from one, bright eyes regarding the
world with curiosity. As the camera clicked away the baby turtle
emerged completely, frantically pushing its way out of the shell. In
another container close by, two other baby turtles that hatched on
Wednesday, the previous night, wandered around.
The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (MCBT) has taken another important
step forward in turtle conservation with the captive breeding of another
batch of the highly-endangered Indian painted roof turtle (kachuga
kachuga). The painted roof turtle was first bred in captivity at MCBT

Bear gave off no reasons for concern before trainer's death
The grizzly bear that wrestled Will Ferrell's character in the recent
film "Semi-Pro" seemed to obediently follow cues - which made its
killing of its trainer with a bite to the neck all the more stunning.
Three experienced handlers were working with the grizzly Tuesday at
the Predators in Action wild animal training centre when the bear
attacked Stephan Miller, 39, said San Bernardino County sheriff's
spokeswoman Cindy Beavers.
Stephan Miller is the cousin of training centre owner Randy Miller, she
Pepper spray was used to subdue and contain the bear, and there were
no other injuries, Beavers said. Paramedics

Rare monkey stolen from N.B. zoo
Officials at the Cherry Brook Zoo in Saint John, N.B., made a desperate
plea Wednesday for the return of a stolen baby monkey.
Police said someone jumped a fence, kicked in a door at the monkey
house and made off with a young callimico monkey named April.
Zoo Director Len Collrin

Picture Post: Gorilla tactics, 21.04.08
Greenpeace look as though it is taking a leaf out of the guerrilla – or,
pardon the pun, "gorilla" – tactics used by Fathers4Justice: volunteers
from the charity protested yesterday at a Unilever factory in Liverpool
and the headquarters in London, dressed as orang-utans.
The protest was against the destruction of the apes' habitat in Indonesia
to harvest palm oil, which is used in many of the firm's brands of food,
soaps and detergents such as Dove, Lux and Vaseline.
Sixty protesters swung into action at the Wirral-based factory at
6.40am; at 7.35am a four-strong troupe arrived at the headquarters on
Victoria Embankment in London, scale

Zoo visitors poison sable in East Siberia
A sable died from food poisoning in a zoo in East Siberia, after visitors
overfed the animal, a zoo spokesman said on Monday.
Despite a sign saying "Do not feed the animals," visitors threw titbits,
including candies and even cigarettes, into the sable's enclosure at the
zoo in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).
"We are all outraged by such a flagrant mistreatment of animals," the
source said. "Time and time again we warn our guests, ask them not to
feed the animals, but not all visitors comply with the rules."
He added that every day zoo experts work out a personal diet for each
animal, depending on its health needs. In the period of spring vitamin
deficiency, animals receive food rich in calories and vitamins,
supplemented with cod liver oil and minerals.
The zoo, which has 123 different species of a

Rampaging elephant kills 3 in India
An elephant rampaged through a Hindu temple in southern India today,
killing three people, including one of its handlers.
Television footage showed the adult male elephant charging through the
temple compound.
It knocked down a thatched awning, tried to batter its way through a
steel gate and finally trampled a man, kicking the limp body several
Penguin's wetsuit puts him back in swim of things
What's black and white and warm all over? A penguin in a wetsuit,
naturally. Sounds like a joke, but it's quite serious for biologists at the
California Academy of Sciences, who had a wetsuit created for an
African penguin to help him get back in the swim of things.
Pierre, a venerable 25 years old, was going bald, which left him with an
embarrassingly exposed, pale pink behind.
Unlike marine mammals, which have a layer of blubber to keep them
warm, penguins rely on their waterproof feathers. Without them, Pierre
was unwilling to plunge into the academy's penguin tank and ended up

Haryana claims first ever captive breeding of vultures
Haryana Wednesday claimed to have become the first state in the
country to successfully breed white-backed vultures in captivity, state's
Forests and Tourism Minister Kiran Chaudhary said here. Chaudhary
told reporters that a vulture chick was being bred carefully at the
Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centre at Pinjore, 20 km from here,
after a pair laid an egg for the third year in a row in captivity.
The 55-day old chick has been named `Vibhu' after the name of scientist
and breeder Vibhu Parkash, who has been trying along with the Bombay
Natural History Society and British vulture researchers since 2001 to
ensure captive breeding of the rapidly vanishing vultures.
Vultures used to be a common sight in Punjab and Haryana a

Safari Park Plan Raises Concerns About Possible Conflict With Zoo
Lex Salisbury's little-known side business gained nationwide attention
this week as he spent the last few days chasing a dozen patas monkeys
that escaped from his exotic animal park in Polk County.
Salisbury is mostly known for his job as president and CEO of the
nonprofit Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, a position that pays more than
$271,000 a year, according to the zoo's most recent tax filings.
But about a year ago he and St. Petersburg veterinarian Stephen
Wehrmann bought about 260 acres of land north of Lakeland to create
Safari Wild. The for-profit venture will feature safari tours on which
visitors will see roughly 400 exotic and endangered animals, including
animals from the zoo that needed a break from life on display.
Salisbury sees the park as a way to satiate his passion for exotic
animals and provide the zoo with something it doesn't have - a close,
cheap place for animals to roam freely

Why Britain's butterflies are desperate for a dry summer
Britain's butterflies are in desperate need of good weather in 2008 or
they may experience a population "catastrophe", conservationists said
They were dealt a massive blow by the record wet summer of last year,
new figures reveal. Many species were already declining and the heavy
rainfall may have caused them to disappear in many parts of Britain.
Plenty of sunshine is now essential for populations of many species to
recover. Survey figures for 2007, released yesterday, reveal that as a
consequence of the wet weather, British butterflies collectively suffered
their worst year for more than a quarter of a c

The great migration crisis
Many of the birds that migrate to Britain and Europe from Africa every
spring, from the willow warbler to the cuckoo, are undergoing alarming
declines, new research shows.
The falls in numbers are so sharp and widespread that ornithologists
are waking up to a major new environmental problem – the possibility
that the whole system of bird migration between Africa and Europe is
running into trouble.
It is estimated that, each spring, 16 million birds of nearly 50 species
pour into Britain to breed from their African winter quar

Zoo wants elephant moved out
The Rajiv Gandhi zoological park at Katraj on Monday moved an
application before judicial magistrate first class SJ Ansari urging her to
direct the forest department, Pune, to take custody of an elephant on
the grounds that the park is unable to maintain the animal due to
paucity of funds.
The forest department had impounded 'Poornima' after it was found
begging on June 7, 2007 and prosecuted the mahout, Dineshkumar
Satyanarayan Tiwari, after he failed to produce evidence that he owned
the animal.
The court, during the pendency of the trial, had directed the park
authorities to keep the elephant in their custody.
The application, moved by the director of the park, through advocate
Prakash Dugane said that it already has two elephants and that there
was no infrastructure at the park for keeping Poornima as per the
guidelines of the Centra

Memphis Zoo striving to create more humane, educational atmosphere
with 20-year plan
Past the towering, white animal sculptures, beyond the totems and the
serene sound of water spilling into itself, just there on the left at the
Memphis Zoo, Fred sprawls in the grass, sound asleep as the sun
warms his golden fur.
The 325-pound African lion, who turns 18 in July, is uninterested in the
record number of visitors that entered his fiefdom last year. Gone are
the concrete cages and metal bars where big cats spent years pacing in
the Carnivora building, bored and touching nothing natural.
Fred and his big cat brethren are part of a 20-year, $107 million r

Spanish firm buys Sea Life Park
The 200 employees are expected to keep their jobs under the new
Parques Reunidos Group of Madrid, Spain, has acquired Sea Life Park
on the Waimanalo coast.
The sale of the 22-acre amusement park by Dolphin Discovery of
Cancun, Mexico, closed Wednesday. The approximately 200 employees
of Sea Life Park were informed of the acquisition yesterday afternoon.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
"We feel honored and privileged to enter the Hawaii community and
look forward to making the Sea Life Park experience even more
exciting," said Richard Golding, executive president of Parques Reunidos.
No personnel changes are expected to result from the sale, the
company said. Jesus Bravo will continue as general manager, a position
he's held since December 2006.
With the acquisition, Parques Re

Slovakia launches bear census
Slovakia is launching a census of the country's bears, who are at the
centre of a fierce battle between hunters and animal rights groups.
GPS collars will be put on the animals, cameras will will monitor their
movements and teams on the ground will do their own count as part of
the four million euro (6.3 million dollar) programme.
"Teams will carry out visual counts on the ground, note details of prints
and excrement and carry out genetic analysis," said Vladimir Antal of
the National Institute for the Protection of Nature, in Banska Bystrica,
which is organising the scheme.
There is intense debate on the numbers. But with human pressure on
the bears' habitat rising, few countries

Polar bears not endangered, panel finds
The polar bear, a symbol of Canada's far north as well as the effects of
climate change on the sensitive Arctic environment, is in trouble, but it
is not endangered or threatened with extinction, a Canadian advisory
panel said today.
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada gave
the polar bear its weakest classification, that of "special concern", but
the Canadian government would nonetheless have to develop a
management plan to protect the animals if it agrees with the new label.
"Based on the best available information at hand, there was insufficient
reason to think that the polar bear was at imminent risk of extinction,"
Jeffrey Hutchings, chairman

Tip leads police to rare monkey stolen from N.B. zoo
A tiny, black monkey named April, stolen earlier this week from Cherry
Brook Zoo in Saint John, N.B., has been recovered safe and sound by
police following an anonymous phone tip.
"Relieved doesn't describe (the feeling)," Lynda Collrin, director of zoo
development, told CTV Newsnet Friday.
April, a rare callimico, a species also known as Goeldi's monkeys, is
from the Amazon region of South America. April is part of a vital
breeding program

White lion cubs a big hit (Peter's comment: Freaks!...Zoos should not be
breeding them)
THEY'RE dreaming of a white winter at Mogo Zoo near Batemans Bay, in
southern New South Wales.
At the age of three months their four rare white lion cubs -- Lika,
Tahba, Makulu and Apple -- are being introduced to the public.
The private zoo, which specialises in endangered species, is the only
Australian zoo to exhibit white lions, and the four take their pride to 16.
White lions' recessive gene, "leucism", causes a loss of pigmentation in
the fur and skin but their eyes and paw pads are the same as tawny
They have not been seen in the wild,21985,23583055-662,00.html


One of escaped pandas found alive
ONE half of the missing Red Panda duo which escaped from Galloway
Wildlife Conservation Park in Kirkcudbright has been found alive.
The mother panda Pichu, who went missing with her daughter Isla
during a storm in February, was found perched on a tree branch near
Merse Farm by a farmer on Monday afternoon - on the opposite side of
the River Dee from where she disappeared.
It is believed Pichu had made the journey across the road bridge

'No conflict' over zoo plan
SENIOR Village Roadshow executive Robert Kirby was deputy chairman
of Zoos Victoria while the entertainment giant was developing plans to
launch a $220 million theme park at Melbourne's open-range zoo.
Village executive John Harnden told The Australian that the proposed
theme park at Werribee Open Range Zoo was born out of a desire by
Mr Kirby and his brother, John - sons of Village founder Roc Kirby - as
well as Village managing director Graham Burke, "to do something here
in our home town of Melbourne".
Mr Harnden, chief executive of Village's International Theme Parks, said
the company came up with the theme park plan "in the middle of last
year". Mr Kirby remained a board member and deputy chairman of Zoos
Victoria - the government agency that controls the Werribee zoo - until
But Mr Harnden, when questioned about Mr Kirby's dual role, insisted
that Village had avoided any potential for a conflict of interest by
ensuring that Mr Kirby was not involved in the theme park
project. "Robert Kirby was on the (zoo) board. He resigned from the
board and he's played no part in this in any way or shape whatsoever,"
he said.
"We have been very focused on that internally since this idea came up
that we ensured Robert was kept out of it. Any information we have
used, and how we have gone abou,25197,23534607-5013404,00.html

Moose return to the Highlands after several thousand years
Last seen several thousand years ago loping through the ancient forests
and glens of Scotland, two moose have arrived at a remote reserve in
the Highlands as part of plans to reintroduce wild animals now extinct in
the UK.
The male and female moose are part of ambitious and controversial
proposals by a millionaire landowner to recreate an ancient mountain
habitat, complete with wolves, lynx and brown bears roaming freely
within a vast fenced-off wildlife reserve north of Inverness.
Paul Lister, the son of the founder of the MFI furniture chain, wants
to "re-wild" 50,000 acres around his 23,000 acre estate at Alladale to
create a safari-style wildlife reserve.
The moose are to join a family of wild boar living within a far smaller
500 acre enclosure at the estate where he is already recreating ancient
Caledonian forest, planting 80,000 native trees.
He has been keenly pursuing his proposals for several years, but the
scheme is attracting substantial opposition. Critics insist

Captive Tigers Harbor Rare "Purebred" Genes
"These are fairly closely related lineages that they're trying to sort out,"
said Michael Russello, a conservation geneticist at the University of
British Columbia in Kelowna who was not involved in the study.
"I think it is remarkable that they were able to find individuals from
unmanaged populations that actually are purebreds of a given
The numbers of purebred tigers the researchers found likely
overestimate the proportion of unmanaged animals with pure lineages,
because many of the owners who sent samples to the team had some
idea of their tiger's ancestry.
Of the 50 tigers without any pedigree, 7 could be assigned to a
particular lineage based on the new genetic test.
Luo thinks that 15 to 23 percent of tigers not part of conservation
breeding programs are likely to be potentially useful for preserving
genetic variation unique to endangered subspecies.
Given the size of the captive population, that would mean thousands of

Nandankanan Zoo can rescue RMNH with carcasses
FACED with a queer problem of shortage of resources for exhibits, the
Regional Museum of Natural History (RMNH) here has called for handing
over of dead animals at the Nandankanan Zoo to it.
The practice in the zoos is to exterminate the remains, particularly by
burning them. If the corpses after the due procedure of investigating the
cause of death were given to the RMNH, they would serve the great
purpose of educating the public on the varied bio-diversity of not only
the region but across the world.
The dead animals can be restructured through taxidermy and chemical
treatment of bones and put on exhibit as life-like beings so that the
visitors will be able to see, touch and feel them.
The RMNH presently has only six life-like exhibits

Safari Park in Isreal Puts Animals on Kosher Diet
A safari park in Israel has changed its animals' diet in preparation for
the Jewish Passover, which starts on Saturday.
The eight-day Passover begins on Saturday, but officials at Ramat Gan
Safari in Tel Aviv have already made the zoo kosher for
the holiday. So instead of foods made with flour, the orangutan are
being fed unleavened bread, or matzo.
Safari curator Amalia Turkel says the or

Sana'a Zoo, education through entertainment
For the Yemeni people, entertainment is the prime reason for Sana'a
Zoo's huge and growing popularity. Green grass is now growing in many
areas of the zoo. This attracts visitors, as it is a rare sight in Yemen's
rocky desert landscape.
Visitors to the zoo have increased from 400,000 in 2003 to 560,000 in
2006. Yemenis love to picnic with their friends and families. A slope has
been terraced with grass for this purpose. There are also two large
playgrounds surrounded by grassy areas, flowers and small hedges.
Facilities for visitors have improved. For example, there is a new café.
However, more bathrooms are needed.
The animals provide great pleasure to visitors, who will stay at the zoo
the whole day in a city lacking recreational areas and leisure facilities.
While there were some newly-built cages waiting to be filled at the time
of our visit in early 2007, we were disappointed to see the reptile house
looking rather shabby and uncared for, compared with the past.
Maintenance of what already exists is essential.
The zoo, meanwhile, also wishes to improve its breeding, and conduct
research in conjunction with Sana'a University.
Education should be an important component at the zoo to increase
conservation awareness in Yemen. Some efforts have recently started.
Although no education center has been built yet, as was in the original
plans, the Netherlands' embassy staff wish to develop an area of the
zoo where people

Zoo rebuts PETA's claims of bear abuse
Dickerson Park Zoo officials say that bear's death was not a result of
abuse, but old age.
Claims by an animal-rights group that Dickerson Park Zoo's black bears
have been abused drew a pointed response from the zoo Tuesday.
Zoo officials said the allegations by the People for Ethical Treatment of
Animals are "exaggerations of the facts. It also called PETA
an "extremist" group that has made baseless complaints.
The zoo underwent a federal inspection March 14 and there were no
noncompliant items, the zoo stated.
PETA announced it has asked the regional director of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture's animal care unit to inve

Manila zoo orders therapy for stressed-out animals
Sisi slowly browses through the yellow pages, looking not for a phone
number but for peanuts and sunflower seeds hidden in the directory.
Mali plays with a block of ice containing apples and oranges, crushing it
with her feet to get at the fruit.
Sisi, a 23-year-old orangutan, and Mali, a 33-year-old elephant, are two
of a number of mammals and birds undergoing behavioral therapy at
Manila Zoo as part of a program to combat the stress and boredom of
living in captivity.
The program is Manila's answer to criticism that conditions at its 49-
year-old zoo, among the oldest in Asia, are dismal -- so dismal that
other zoos refuse to send their animals there.
"As you can see, some animals here are living for almost 20 years and
they are well taken care of," said Deogracias Manimbo, the zoo
"We feed them well and we are doing our best to improve our
facilities," he said.
His zoo houses 688 animals, mostly birds and reptiles and a number of
indigenous species such as the bear cat and long-tailed

Edinburgh Zoo: Chimps with everything
Why have Edinburgh Zoo's primates been given a new £6m home, with
an indoor climbing frame and climate control? Rob Sharp asks if the
world's gone bananas
Approaching this lustrous, hi-tech building, you might first notice its
jaunty angles, exotic veneered wood and towering glass walls. Glinting
in the sunlight, it looks like an upmarket holiday resort, or a boutique
hotel. Behind the perfectly finished surface of the glazing that extends
above you like a skyscraper, the interior is filled with plush green
creepers, a forest's worth of vegetation.
Look closer still and you might well see something furry and brown dart
past. These are not motorbikers on a day trip to see Zaha Hadid's latest
monolith. They are, in fact, the inhabitants of the world's largest
chimpanzee enclosure. Costing £6m, and boasting the world's biggest
climbing frame for apes, Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail will open on 1
May. Its backers hope it will become the centrepiece of a new £80m
redevelopment of what is already one of the city's principal tourist
But, crucially, it is not just an exotic place to visit. The designers of the
new enclosure hope it will allow both the public and the zoo's legion of
academic researchers to learn more about chimps – and one of their
closest cousins in the animal kingdom, namely us – than ever before.
And they hope it will also underline concerns over the destruction of the
apes' sub-equatorial habitats.
Iain Valentine, head of animals, education and conservation at the Royal
Zoological Society of Scotland, one of those behind the scheme,
says: "Moving through the enclosure, people will be able to see the
animals in an environment never hitherto seen in the UK. From watching
them play during

Park protecting rare animal
A Northern Tasmanian wildlife park says it's protecting one of its newest
animals by keeping it in captivity.
Snowy the albino echidna is at the Launceston Lakes wildlife park, after
he was discovered in September last year.
The Park Owner, Dick Warren says Snowy is only one and was at risk of
being attacked by other animals because of his light coloured fur and
"In the wild they wouldn't live long because they just, they show out and
any other predator would be just a feed for them," he said.
"So really it's a good thing to have him and we extend his life."
"When we come across this

Photos: Mythical Giant Turtle Found in Vietnam
Researchers from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo have discovered a rare
giant turtle in northern Vietnam, giving scientists hope for the species
they believed was extinct in the wild, the Associated Press reports. The
scientists from the Cleveland Zoo discovered the Swinhoe's soft-shelled
turtle when they followed up reports from villagers of a mythical
creature living in a lake. Vietnamese legend tells of a huge turtle that
helped the country fight off Chinese invaders in the 16th century. "This
is one of those mythical species that people always talked about

Changes are taking place
One month after the Acres check, we dropped by Zoo Negara's
director's office to present our findings. As it turned out, the zoo was
already a step ahead.
Last September, the South-East Asian Zoo Association (Seaza) audited
Zoo Negara on its ethics and welfare standards. The zoo managed to
obtain the Seaza certification, which is valid for five years.
"I'm very open to third-party audits. As I've said, to be the best, you
have to listen to feedback and continue

A species threatened by avarice of man
It has been coming for a long time – the first extinction of what
zoologists refer to, ironically, as the Charismatic Megafauna, the group
of big wild animals that have always captured our imagination, from
lions and tigers to elephants and giraffes.
And if it cannot be stopped by the revolutionary technique that we
report on today, the disappearance of the northern white rhino will
mark a milestone in man's unhappy impact on the natural world.
It will show that, despite the most tremendous conservation efforts,
some of the great beasts of the Earth simply cannot be saved.
The moment may nearly be here. The northern white rhino is a
creature that is now as close to the brink of extinction as it is possible to
get without toppling over, with perhaps as few as three animals left in
the wild, and a tiny population of less than a dozen held in zoos across
the US and Eastern Europe, which is probably non-viable from a
breeding point of view.
The wild animals have the misfortune to exist in a single site, the
Garamba National Park, which lies in one of the most war-torn countries
in the world, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), near the
border of another

Zoo upgrades costing millions
In the wake of a fatal Christmas Day tiger mauling, the San Francisco
Zoo has spent nearly $2 million in security upgrades, an official said.
Increased staffing for after-hour shifts, a centrally located gun safe,
direct access to the local police station and a handheld pendant that can
trigger a code-red alarm with the touch of a button are some of the
improvements San Francisco Zoo officials are implementing as a way to
improve security at the facility.
"We have put forth a substantial effort to improve the functionality of
the facility," said Jesse Vargas, director of operations from the San
Francisco Zoo.
The efforts are part of an ongoing reassessment of the zoo's procedural
strategy since the Christmas Day escape of a 250-pound Siberian tiger
led to the fatal mauling of a visitor and serious

Monkey rescue centre staff in appeal for herbs
STAFF at Monkey World have appealed for herbs and edible flowers to
help feed creatures at the park.
They need the plants for the diet of primates - particularly the 88
capuchins they have recently acquired.
Dr Marina Kenyon, who has worked with capuchins at Monkey World for
nine years, said: "Many plants, such as garlic, onion and fennel are
used by capuchin

Zoo releases endangered turtles in sea
Australia Zoo staff have released four young endangered turtles into the
Pacific Ocean after their nest was trampled by beachgoers.
Staff from the zoo, owned by Terri Irwin, widow of the late Crocodile
Hunter Steve Irwin, rescued 63 baby loggerhead turtles last Saturday
from Wurtulla, on the Sunshine Coast.
Their nest had been severely compacted by people walking on the
beach who were apparently unaware the nest was there, zoo staff
member Kate Winter said.
Forty of the turtles were released

Experts share tips to save the wildcat
EXPERTS gathered in Aviemore yesterday (Tuesday) as the first step in
a bid towards trying to save the Scottish wildcat from becoming extinct.
The major conference was the starting point for a wildcat conservation
project in the Cairngorms National Park, which is a stronghold for the
shy and elusive creature.
There has been a significant decline in the number of Scottish wildcats
over the past few decades and it is now one of Britain's most
threatened species.
Wildlife experts, land managers, tourism operators, vets and cat
welfare groups were amongst those who attended the conference when
the topics of discussions included the latest scientific information as well
as local and practical knowledge of wildcats and options for their
The conference was organised by the Cairngorms National Park
Authority, the Scottish Gamekeepers' Association (SGA), the Royal
Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), Tooth & Claw and Scottish
Natural Heritage (SNH).
Mr Eric Baird, vice-convener of the CNPA and chairman of the
conference, said: "The current number of wildcats remains uncertain,
but we know the prognosis is not good with some estimates putting the
population at a mere 400 individuals left in the wild.
"The biggest threat to the existence of the Scottish


Zoo criticized over unequal treatment of animals
Taipei City councilors criticized the city zoo management yesterday
for treating animals with two different standards under its plan to
house a pair of long expected star guests -- two pandas from China --
in a "luxurious mansion" while keeping other animals in small, shabby
City Councilors Hsu Chia-ching and Wu Si-yiao of the Democratic
Progressive Party (DPP) claimed that an "M-shaped" society is forming
in the Taipei City Zoo, after the management spent more than NT$300 millio

Irwin's father gets $1m zoo payout
The late crocodile hunter Steve Irwin's father is to receive a
resignation package in excess of $1 Million following his departure
from Australia Zoo.
Bob Irwin, who started the zoo over 35-years ago, announced this year
that he would depart from Australia Zoo following disputes over the
attraction's commercial direction.
It was today revealed that Mr Irwin will receive over $1 Million
following his exit from Australia Zoo.
Mr Irwin this week told the ABC's Australian Story program that he had
worked tirelessly for the zoo's benefit, in combination with his late son.
Bob Irwin also said he had no car or home, and was hap's-father-gets-$1m-zoo-payout

Berlin zoo under fire for allowing polar bear Knut to kill fish
Berlin zoo has come under fire for allowing its top attraction, polar
bear Knut, to kill fish. Knut, now 16 months old, killed 10 live carp
swimming in the moat surrounding his enclosure.
The fish were placed there to keep the water clean by eating algae
growing below the surface.
Visitors complained after Knut started fishing the carp out of the
water with his paws and throwing them around the enclosure before
leaving them to die.
Zoo biologist Heiner Kloes said Sunday that no more live fish would be
released into the moat. He said the carp were meant to act as
"cleaners" and not as food.
Dead fish form a regular part of the polar bear's diet. Under German
laws live vertebrates like fish are not allowed to be fed to animals.
Knut attracted global attention as a cub when his keepers raised,berlin-zoo-under-fire-for-allowing-polar-bear-knut-to.html

Super safari park in doubt
ZOO management has said no to a $220 million plan for a large-scale
theme park at Werribee, despite support from key stakeholders.
Entertainment giant Village Roadshow yesterday announced plans for the
park, to be known as African Safari World, winning the support of the
State Government.
Village Roadshow theme parks chief executive John Harnden, who ran the
2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, heads the proposal.
The prospect of taxpayers' money being used to bankroll part of the
project was not ruled out yesterday.
But Zoos Victoria chairman Andrew Fairley,21985,23494433-661,00.html

Winky the elephant euthanized by caregivers
Winky, one of two aging Asian elephants that left the Detroit Zoo in
April 2005, was euthanized today at the Performing Animal Welfare
Society (PAWS) sanctuary in San Andreas, Calif. She was 56 and
suffered from severe arthritis for years.
"Winky's death was not unexpected, but it is heartbreaking
nonetheless," said Detroit Zoological Society Executive Director Ron
Kagan in a prepared statement. "We are comforted to know that her
quality of life for the past three years was as good as it possibly
could have been, and we're grateful to the staff at PAWS for the
excellent care she received and the environment she retired to."
Winky and her companion, Wanda, were a main exhibit at the Royal Oak
zoo until 2005, when zoo officials urged their move to a warmer
climate due to their arthritis and foot problems. Michigan's harsh
winters forced the captive elephants to stay indoors and stand on
concrete floors

Rare gibbon born at centre
A RARE gibbon has been born at Monkey World at Wool.
The baby is the second golden-cheeked gibbon to be born at the rescue
centre, and third gibbon infant overall.
Staff at Monkey World at Bovington are delighted with the new arrival.
The baby is being looked after by his mother, Zoey, and is feeding well.
Zoey is a golden-cheeked gibbon who came to Monkey World from the

The playground as a place for some serious fun
A growing body of research suggests play helps kids build social
skills, aids their intellectual development and is strongly linked to
early literacy
In 2003, officials at the Central Okanagan school district put forward
a proposal to get rid of recess at its elementary schools.
No time for playtime?
The idea was supported by all the district's principals, who were
convinced the plan would reduce misbehaviour by kids and leave
teachers more time for instruction.
Parents, however, rebelled.
And after a survey found 98 per cent of parents opposed to the idea,
the district backed down and recess was saved.
To many parents, the importance of play is obvious - children,
especially young children, need unstructured time to pretend, interact
with their peers and explore the world around them.
Yet, at the same time, play is increasingly under attack: from schools
trying to cram more into the day and, often, from parents themselves,
who see it as an expendable luxury when compared to more "productive"
activities like tutoring, organized sports or piano lessons.
Indeed, time-use surveys conducted by the University of Michigan
suggest that, since the early 1980s, the amount of time U.S. children
devote to free play has dropped considerably - in the case of outdoor
play, by 50 per cent - with a corresponding increase in organized
sports, music lessons and studying.
"We have this culture of fear. Everybody wants their children to be a
success story. And they think the best way to do that is to shove more
information at them," said Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, director of the Infant
Language Laboratory at Temple University

Big-cat encounters: South Florida has had its share of exotic animal tales
Twenty-nine people and organizations in Palm Beach County and the
Treasure Coast have permits to keep exotic animals.
Class I permits are for dangerous animals, including lions, tigers,
chimps, baboons, crocodiles and komodo dragons, and the owners must
use them for exhibits, sale or research.
Class II permits are for less dangerous wild animals such as cheetahs,
bobcats, wolves, howler monkeys and dwarf crocodiles that can be kept
as pets.
Here's a county breakdown:February 2008
A 300-pound Malayan tiger at the Palm Beach Zoo nips an employee's
finger while she is feeding it. Although the injury is described as
minor, Susie Nuttall is hospitalized

A Unique Book about Amur Tiger is Published in Primorye
The monograph is based on observing the predators for many years
The monograph is devoted to the Amur Tiger, the master of Ussuri
taiga, and contains the recommendations on its preserving in the wild
life. The author of the book Galina SALKINA, the senior staff
scientist of Lazo nature reserve named after Kaplanov, researched and
proved many aspects of this predator ecology; the "Vladivostok"
newspaper reports.
G. SALKINA has been working in the reserve for 27 years and for 20
years she has been researching the ecology of the Amur tiger. She is a
follower of the Russian zoologists' school that researches the animals
in their environment without forcing them. The monograph "Amur Tiger
and its biocoenotic connection in the south-east of Sikhote Alin" is
based on observing the predators for many years. The research work
aims at revealing the ecological relationships of the Amur tiger and
hoofed mammals, its potential victims. Besides, the author recommends
the ways of preserving the predator listed in the Red Book, pointing
out that the most efficient way to preserve the Amur tiger is to
preserve it in the nature reserve.
Galina SALKINA is the author and co-author of

Fire hoses may help save Borneo orangutans
wo animal keepers at zoos in Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture hope to help
extinguish the threat facing orangutans in Malaysia with a novel
item--old fire hoses.
Hidetoshi Kurotori, of Tama Zoological Park in Hino, western Tokyo,
and Shigekazu Mizushina, at Ichikawa Zoological and Botanical Garden
in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, will place lengths of used fire hoses
among trees and across rivers to help orangutan bands that have become
isolated in deforested areas to migrate to other forests.
Kurotori, 55, and Mizushina, 41, plan to leave Monday for Malaysia.
Their project will start around the Kinabatangan River, which runs
through northeast Borneo Island.
Forest development is expanding in the area to produce palm oil,
resulting in a rapid decrease of orangutan food sources, including
fruits, tree bark and leaves. The decrease in trees also limits the
orangutans' activities, leaving some bands isolated in the forests as
the ape, which does not like water, cannot swim across rivers to move
to other areas.
Researchers are concerned that the great ape might become weaker as a
species if such bands remain isolated and unable to interact with each
The idea of using fire hoses to save orangutans came first to Isabelle

Back from the dead: Could wolves and wild boar roam Britain again?
'It's about time that stories such as Little Red Riding Hood were put
into context and people understood that wolves are absolutely
terrified of man." Paul Lister is a man who plans to put such fairy
stories to bed. The owner of an estate in Scotland, Alladale, he's
hoping to reintroduce wolves, among other predators, back into their
natural habitat â€" albeit into an enclosed bit of wilderness.
The number of species in the world that are critically endangered has
risen to 16,306. This means that one in four of the world's mammals,
one in eight birds, one third of all amphibians and 70 per cent of the
world's assessed plants are in now in jeopardy. Fortunately, a few UK
species have been successfully brought back from the brink by being
reintroduced, either through captive breeding or by transporting
animals from other countries. Grahame Madge, a spokesman for the RSPB,
says: "We have obligations to restore wildlife that's lost from
Europe, both due to legislation â€" the Birds and Habitats Directives â€"
and a moral imperative. Since our landscape has been completely and
utterly altered by man, we have to take the moral responsibility to
bring these lost species back."
The trouble is, reintroducing species is not simply about releasing
them into the wild. Ecological consultant Derek Gow has had to become
involved in extensive work to safeguard and restore parts of the River
Dore before water voles could be reintroduced, as well as finding ways
to remove mink. "Like it or lump it, the future for us with nature and
wild animals is going to mean some methods of constraint," he says.
At Alladale, Lister is creating a

Black Rhino Dies at Zoo
The last of the black rhinos at a Lansing, Michigan zoo has died.
The Lansing State Journal reports Ebony had suffered more than a year
with a bacterial infection. She endured a chronic foot ailment and
nosebleeds before dying on Sunday at the Potter Park Zoo.
The 14 year old animal became weak and a hard time in getting up.
Zookeepers earlier this month gave Ebony an X-ray, conducted an
endoscopy and ultrasound, and cleaned a leg wound.
It's the second death of a black rhin


Man's remains found in northeastern China zoo
Bones and tattered clothing were found in the lion and tiger's enclosure
at a zoo in China's northeastern Heilongjiang Province, an official
confirmed on Friday.
The remains were found at about 8:40 a.m. at the Beifang Forest Zoo in
Harbin, the Heilongjiang capital, on March 25 when staff were cleaning
the zoo.
An initial investigation by police revealed the victim was 37-year-old
Zhang Yachun from Pingshan Township, about 30 km away from the
zoo, the Party

Intl level zoo on cards
Efforts have been stepped up to set up a modern zoo of international
level on the lines of Singapore under phase two of Van Vihar National
Park at Bhopal. Renowned wildlife expert and former director of
Singapore Wildlife Park Barnard Harrison made a presentation about this
proposed ambitious project proposed to be developed over 350 hectare
near Kairwa eco-tourism centre here. The presentation was made at the
Cruise Boat at Boat Club. Harrison gave valuable suggestions regarding
the proposed scheme.
Minister for Forests and Tribal Welfare Kunwar Vijay Shah; Minister of
State Narayan Singh Kushwah; Vice Chairman of State Planning
Commission Sompal and senior officers concerned were also present on
the occasion.
It may be mentioned here that the Minister for Forests Kunwar Vijay
Shah has directed the departmental officers to bring Van Vihar National
Park on the international wildlife tourism map in view of its distinct
geographical location. It is in this context that Barnard Harrison, who
had developed Singapore Wildlife Park, was invited here for preliminary
Harrison had been the director of Singapore Wildlife Park for 25 years.
He is also a consultant of international repute. His consultation has been
taken for starting night safari in Noida and for construction of a new zoo
at Nagpur.
After the presentation Shah and Sompal Shashtri evinced interest in
development of a zoo of international level on the land meant for Van
Vihar phase-2. They directed to improve the arrangements at Van Vihar
to ensure easier spotted of animals to the visitors there.
Barnard Harrison was all praise for natural and scenic beauty of Bhopal.
He described the lakes, landscapes and greenery

Thief walks out of zoo with crocodile
A THIEF has walked unnoticed out of a Norwegian aquarium carrying a
crocodile and now risks losing a finger or two, the head of the aquarium
"I think whoever did this knew what they were doing," Bergen aquarium
director Kees Oscar Ekeli tsaid, suggesting the young crocodile was
smuggled out in a bag during the busiest hours on Saturday.
The stolen reptile, named "Taggen" (Spike), is a 70 centimetres long
smooth-fronted caiman also known as Schneider's dwarf caiman
(Paleosuchus Trigonatus).
Taggen eats "a good mix of fish and meat", can grow to be about 2.5
metres long, and has a solid bite.
"Considering it is not bigger than,23599,23464832-13762,00.html

Black Pine Animal Park Helps Zoo in Tajikistan
In a unique cultural exchange, eight people from Fort Wayne will visit a
zoo in Tajikistan and provide training and insight in zoo safety,
education, volunteer organization and animal care.
It all started as student pen pals at Holy Cross Lutheran School and
students in Tajikistan shared a frightening experience at the Dushanbe
Zoo. As the students discussed ways to improve safety they received
mentor support from Black Pine Animal Park of Albion, Youth
Opportunities and the Dushanbe Zoo, and ultimately a $75,000 grant
from the American Association

Cedric is only hope as disease hits Tasmanian devil
He has a blood-curdling scream and he fought like a devil when he was
trapped, but Cedric may hold the key to the survival of his species.
Australia's population of Tasmanian devils has been devastated by a
mysterious disease that causes disfiguring and usually fatal muzzle
tumours. Wildlife experts say the carnivorous marsupials face extinction
in the wild within 10 to 20 years unless the spread of the disease can be
Now Cedric has given scientists new hope. When he was injected with

Another gorilla dies at Calgary zoo
Animal protection groups say the fourth death of a western lowland
gorilla in the last year at the Calgary Zoo is proof that it should not be
keeping great apes in captivity.
The zoo said today that it was forced to destroy 22-year-old female
Donge late last week because she was rapidly losing weight and
growing sicker despite four surgeries earlier this summer.
Two other females died earlier this year from unrelated illnesses and a
newborn was lost last August after the dominant female in the group

Lion attacks girl, 4, at French zoo
A four-year-old girl suffered serious injuries to her face and back
yesterday when she was attacked by a lion at a zoo. The girl was taken
to hospital after one of the three lions at the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat zoo
leapt from its enclosure and attacked the girl who had walked past a
security barrier with her uncle and mother. "The lion ... saw this as an
intrusion. The lion pounced and reached the fence limits of the
enclosure that reach 4.5 metres

Monkey around at Edinburgh Zoo
The Budongo Trail, which is believed to be the world's largest
chimpanzee enclosure, is due to open in May at Edinburgh Zoo in
The five million pound exhibit, which will replace the existing
chimpanzee enclosure, will house up to 40 primates.
It will feature an extensive outdoor climbing area and three indoor
rooms of varying humidity, temperature and lighting so that the
chimpanzees can choose their preferred living conditions.
Additionally, there will be interactive exhibits for visitors

Lessons from the zoo – applied in the bedroom
The rules are simple. Reward the behaviour you want. Ignore the
behaviour you don't want
In the little, private zoo known as marriage, it helps to remind yourself
that you and your partner are just two bipedal primates trying to get
along in intimate co-habitation.
The trick, it turns out, is all in the training.
That's what Amy Sutherland discovered, and she didn't even have to
learn to crack a whip.
Blame it on Shamu, the killer whale. "I was inspired by watching how
they teach killer whales to do incredible behaviours, to leap out of the
water on command," Ms. Sutherland says over lunch recently in
Toronto. "Think about it, they are the top predators in the ocean, and
trainers can ride them. They can have a good relationship with them."
Which caused her to ponder the world's oldest marital issue: How to
train her husband, Scott, to pick up his dirty laundry off the floor.
A former journalist who wrote about food and the arts for local papers
in Vermont and Maine, Ms. Sutherland submitted a column for the
popular Modern Love feature in The New York Times about how animal-
training techniques improved her marriage. She did it to support her
book, Kicked, Bitten and Scratched, about an exotic animal training
school in California. The response was overwhelming. Within days,
publishers had tracked her down. Reporters from around the world
were requesting interviews. The Today show invited her to appear.
You'd think she had made an earth-shattering discovery. Maybe she
had: Humans are animals, too.
She promptly wrote a new book, What Shamu Taught Me About Life,
Love and Marriage. Hollywood producers swooped in for the rights and
snatched up her animal-training book as well. Actress Naomi Watts is
set to star in the story about a young woman who works as an animal
trainer during the day and applies her techniques on her love interest in
the off-hours.
Progressive animal trainers have simple rules. Reward the behaviour
you want. Ignore the behaviour you don't want.

Cheetahs Attack Zoo Handler
Wildlife officers are investigating after two cheetahs mauled the owner
of a wildlife sanctuary in Florida.
Judy Berens was airlifted to a hospital with 40 puncture wounds, but
police say it appears her injuries are not life-threatening.
She was conducting an exhibition with two male cheetahs when one
was excited by someone who

Berlin Zoo chief threatened over kitten killings
German police are investigating after Berlin Zoo reported an anonymous
threat against its director following his confession he once killed four
kittens by breaking their necks.
Zoo Director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz admitted recently he had killed the
wild kittens in 1991, saying they posed a threat to the zoo's animals as
they can carry disease.
"I can tell you that the Zoo reported a threat and we are investigating,"
a Berlin police spokesman said. He declined to give more details.
Blaszkiewitz defended his decision to kill the kittens in a newspaper
interview published on Saturday.
"I still think it was the right thing

Rare parrot chicks born in New Zealand
A species of flightless parrot edged back from extinction with the
hatching of five new chicks in New Zealand in recent weeks and two
more on the way, officials said Monday.
The latest births of owl-like kakapos in southern New Zealand brought
the population of the rare bird to just 91, said Emma Neill, a senior
official of a Department of Conservation program to save the parrot.
Neill said even a small lift in numbers was "awesome," especially
because the birds only breed every few years.
The kakapo is an owl-like nocturnal parrot with finely blotched yellow-
green plumage, a large gray

Rare Mongolian antelope under threat from traffic
A rare antelope species already under threat from poaching in Mongolia
is facing a new danger -- worsening traffic.
As affluent residents acquire motorbikes and cars in parts of western
Mongolia, they are clogging roads that run along a key migration route
for the saiga which, if not addressed, could reduce their already low
numbers, Kim Murray Berger, an ecologist with the Wildlife Conservation
Society, said Saturday.
"As we get more and more traffic through the corridor, it would
potentially discourage the saiga from using it," she said, adding that
could lead to the reproductive isolation of the species, reducing its
genetic diversity.
The saiga -- an odd animal which has a deer's body, a camel's head and
a bulbous nose -- has seen its numbers drop from 1 million in the 1980s
to as low as 50,000 in its range, which includes Mongolia, Uzbekistan,
Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and the Russian Republic of Kalmykia.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the saiga in Mongolia have come
under threat from poachers who were encouraged to substitute rhino
horns with those of the saiga for medicinal purposes, said Berger. The
animals, which number around 5,000 in the country, have also faced
competition from

Grey wolf hunts planned in U.S. after de-listing
Good news for grey wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains: They no
longer need federal protection. The bad news for the animals? Plans are
already in the works to hunt them.
Federal Endangered Species Act protection of the wolves was lifted
Friday in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, giving those states
management of the estimated 1,500 gray wolves in the region.
Even though environmentalists plan to sue the federal government next
month to restore wolf protections, hunts are already being scheduled by
state wildlife agencies to

Cloning may help Scottish wildcats survive
Britain's wildest animal could be cloned to save the species from
becoming extinct within 10 years.
The number of Scottish wildcats is believed to have fallen to below 400
in their native Highlands, and their continued survival is under serious
threat from interbreeding with feral domestic cats, which is diluting the
gene pool.
Two kittens were born nine days ago at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park
in Kent and it is hoped they will prove relatively pure. DNA tests have still
to be carried out.
Pound-for-pound, Felis silvestris grampia is one of the most ferocious
predators in the world, but there are fears that this famously
untameable creature - with its "tiger-stripe" markings and bushy, ringed
tail - will be lost forever as the last survivors die off.
It is on the World Conservation

Copycat Steve Irwin zoo opens in Africa
A SO-called conservationist in Tanzania has started up a private zoo and
named it after late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin.
James Morobo, 54, has set up the zoo next to a plot of land near the city
of Dar es Salaam.
"I have established this zoo because I have realised that the people in
the city are interested in looking at wild animals," Mr Morobo said.
"I have named it Steve Irwin Zoo after the Australian crocodile hunter
because he was a courageous hunter of crocodiles and lover of all wild
"Up to now I often see him on television while handling various wild
animals, including snakes and crocodiles."
Mr Morobo said he had invested more than $US50,000 ($54,700) in
starting up the zoo, and that he had been promised international help to
lift the zoo to international standards.
Apart from the inevitable crocodile, he had acquired a leopard, a hyena,
two chimpanzees, a pair of baboons, a zebra, a python and various
types of birds.
Mr Morobo said he would try to market his zoo to,25197,23476768-12377,00.html

Takin gives birth in Scottish wildlife reserve
A rare breed of Himalayan animal has been given a boost with the
arrival of a new baby at the Highland Wildlife Park.
The new addition to the Takin herd - a type of goat antelope - means
the park has the second largest group of the animals in Europe.
Raki the Takin is doing his fatherly duty, protecting his herd at the
Highland Wildlife Park - baby Daniella was born just a week and a half
The tiny tot seems to be settling in well to her new home.
One of the characteristics of the Takin is that

Zoo director pitches tax
Funds are running out, Kagen says; regional levy needs county board's
OK to get onto August ballot.
Detroit Zoo Director Ron Kagen made his pitch for a regional tax to the
Wayne County Commission on Tuesday, arguing the facility can't survive
without long-term, fixed funding.
"We're running out of money and this is a serious issue," Kagen
said. "We believe this is something that makes sense. We hope you will
agree to work on this."
Kagen and Detroit Zoological Society chairman Gail Warden have
traveled throughout Metro Detroit selling their plan for the 0.1-mill tax,
which needs approval from the commissions in Wayne, Oakland and
Macomb counties to place the measure on the Aug. 5 ballot.
Commissioners must

Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo duped over tax scheme
STEVE Irwin's Australia Zoo says it fell victim to "a highly sophisticated
case of deception" involving disgraced former tax commissioner Nick
General Manager Frank Muscillo released a statement yesterday
admitting that in 2005 the zoo entered into a tax minimisation scheme
with Petroulias, who has been charged with fraud.
Zoo officials denied any knowledge of the matter three months ago and
Terri Irwin and the zoo said at the time that they were shocked at being
Debt collection company Alyssa Treasury is suing the zoo for $2.5 million
and Mrs Irwin, the widow of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, for $60,000
over the deal, which,23739,23474111-952,00.html

Australia Zoo fund baffles workers
EMPLOYEES of Queensland's Australia Zoo are in the dark about a 2005
offshore tax scheme that allegedly promised them 90 per cent of the
zoo's profits.
"I've never heard of that. Are you sure we are talking about Australia
Zoo?" asked one long-time worker.
Documents seen by the Herald Sun show Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin
and his wife, Terri, established the Netherlands-based Atlas Trustees
Ltd Employee Entitlement Fund in June 2005 to motivate and keep
But employees of the zoo said they didn't,21985,23486035-662,00.html

Kangaroos win second reprieve from mass slaughter
Four hundred kangaroos on Australian Defence Department land have
won a last-minute reprieve, after a public outcry at a planned mass
Mobs of eastern greys have colonised a former naval site near
Canberra, the national capital, where their over-grazing is damaging
native grasslands, the habitat of several rare species of lizard and moth.
Last year, military officials announced a cull, but quickly backed down
and said they would relocate the kangaroos instead. Animal welfare
groups condemned that

American songbirds are being wiped out by banned pesticides
The number of migratory songbirds returning to North America has gone
into sharp decline due to the unregulated use of highly toxic pesticides
and other chemicals across Latin America.
Ornithologists blame the demand for out-of-season fruit and vegetables
and other crops in North America and Europe for the destruction of tens
of millions of passerine birds. By some counts, half of the songbirds that
warbled across America's skies only 40 years ago have gone, wiped out
by pesticides or loss of habitat.
Forty-six years ago, the naturalist Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring, a
study of the ravages caused to wildlife, especially birds, by

Vandals strike at Dalton animal park
ONE of South Cumbria's top tourist attractions was vandalised in the
middle of the Easter break.
Staff at South Lakes Wild Animal Park cleared up the debris, which
included smashed hoardings, before visitors arrived at the Dalton
attraction on Monday morning.
The vandals struck midway through the zoo's £80,000 security revamp
which follows the high-profile break-in at owner David Gill's home last
August, during which he was stabbed.
Mr Gill said: "Pictures and signs were damaged at the top entrance of
the park and the entrance barrier was damaged beyond use, and will
cost in excess of £1,000, at least, to repair."
The sign directing visitors to the animal park at

Crawling fish may be part of new family
A University of Washington professor says a recently discovered fish that
crawls instead of swimming and has forward-looking eyes like humans
could be part of an entirely unknown family of fishes.
The creature sighted in Indonesian waters off Ambon Island has tan-
and peach-colored zebra-stripping. It uses its leglike pectoral fins to
burrow into cracks and crevices of coral reefs in search of food.
UW professor Ted Pietsch says this

Orang-utan goes ape on the great escape
An adventurous orang-utan went on-the-run yesterday in Dublin Zoo,
making a bold bid for freedom after 24 years in captivity.
Maggie left her baby Mujur behind and managed to enjoy an hour on the
loose wandering around in front of her enclosure.
Zookeepers believe the 26-year-old ape made a long stretch for
branches at the edge of the compound, grabbed a wall and climbed over
at around midday.
The alarm was raised within

Last illegal building to be cleared at zoo
Ha Noi's People's Committee has ordered the destruction of an illegal
restaurant and tennis court which block the view of the only zoo in the
capital city.
Covering 3,000sq.m in front of the zoo, both the restaurant and the
court in Ba Dinh District are under the management of Hoang Vinh
Limited Company under a 20-year lease.
Although other similar constructions were torn down in mid-January to
free up land for the zoo, the restaurant and court continued to operate
under a license issued by the Ha Noi Zoo in 2004.
The company pays VND220mil (US$13,700) to the zoo each year under
the lease.
The committee sent an official letter in late March to Ba Dinh District and
zoo authorities to tear down the

Uganda to get 2 lionesses from UK
KIBONGE, the lonely lion that was left at the Uganda Wildlife Education
Centre after the 2002 demise of Salaamu, a lioness, will soon enjoy the
company of two females from Paradise Wildlife Park in the UK.
"I have met the donors who were impressed by the facilities and
management of the centre. With the donation of two females, the centre
is likely to be more attractive," said Serapio Rukundo, the tourism state
He added that they were processing permits for translocation of the two
Kibonge, one of the biggest attractions at

Conservation key for zoo's new curator
A CURATOR with a strong background in conservation is bringing his
skills and knowledge to Chester Zoo.
Richard Gibson, who has a passion for fieldwork and says he 'eats,
breathes and sleeps reptiles and amphibians', has joined the 110-acre
zoo as Curator of Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates.
He has taken over the position from Kevin Buley, who has become
Chester's Head of Zoo Programmes.
The 37-year-old has moved to Chester from London Zoo where he spent
over four years as Curator of Herpetology. Previously he has worked at
Jersey Zoo where he started as a reptile keeper before becoming Head
of Herpetology. Following that, he spent two years in Mauritius as the
Fauna Conservation Manager for the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation.
"Chester's reputation for its

Dead panda still on display at zooFrom correspondents in Beijing
A MUCH-LOVED panda that died in a Chinese zoo has been stuffed and
put on display in a glass cabinet.
Taotao, a 36-year-old panda, the equivalent of 108 human years, died
at the beginning of February of brain thrombosis and a cerebral
haemorrhage, Xinhua news agency reported.
She had been living at the zoo in Jinan, the capital of the eastern
province of Shandong, and would normally have been buried in a nature
reserve in the northwestern province of Gansu where she was born,
Xinhua said.
But due to her influence on the city,23599,23484819-23109,00.html


Tarzan's favourite side-kick Cheeta turns 76 but won't retire ... as he
pens his autobiography
It is 76 years since Cheeta the chimp was plucked from the African
jungle to become a Hollywood star in the Tarzan movies. Yet incredibly,
he is still going strong.
The oldest known living chimpanzee enjoys a leisurely retirement in
California, where he enjoys painting, piano and strolling in the
Not to mention writing his autobiography - or so we are told.
Me Cheeta, an account of his life in the limelight, is to be
published in
the autumn and extracts from it appear in next month's Esquire
The memoirs, widely suspected to be the work of a ghostwriter, discuss
his acting career, the healthy lifestyle which has replaced his former
diet of beer

Somaliland zoo lion kills woman
A minister in the self-declared Republic of Somaliland has expressed
regret after a lion from his private zoo killed a woman in the capital.
Civil Aviation Minister Ali Mohammed Waran Addeh says he has shot
and killed the lion involved in the incident.
The police commissioner says the victim was Hinde Hassan Isse, 25.
Questions are now being asked about security at the zoo in Hargeisa
after it emerged that an employee was injured in a previous lion attack.
The minister says he is also

Zoo breeds endangered frogs through in-vitro fertilization
A new breeding program at the Memphis Zoo could nearly double the
known population of an endangered frog species.
Biologists estimate there are only about 100 adult Mississippi gopher
frogs left in the wild, but zoo officials say they've successfully
94 tadpoles through in-vitro fertilization.
The reclusive, stocky frog measures about three inches long as an adult
and has large hind feet made for digging through holes and burrows
made by other animals. They have a pointed snout and large eyes,
which they cover with their front feet when threatened.
The species once lived in Louisiana's lower coastal plain, parts of
Mississippi and the Mobile River delta in Alabama, but now is only found
in two locations in Mississippi.
Named by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Brothers attacked at zoo by tiger file claims vs. city
Two brothers who were attacked by an escaped tiger at the San
Francisco Zoo have filed claims against the city alleging negligence and
Kulbir and Amritpal "Paul" Dhaliwal are seeking monetary compensation
for "serious physical and emotional injuries." The claims filed this
are a prerequisite for filing a civil lawsuit.
The pair were injured on Christmas Day after a 250-pound Siberian
tiger scaled the walls of its enclosure, attacked them and killed their
friend, 17-year-old Carlos

Nelson zoo gains reprieve
The Nelson zoo, which was threatened with closure from this weekend,
has had a reprieve.
After pressure from zoo supporters, Nelson City Council has decided to
keep it open for at least three months while proposals for its future
Natureland supporters spokesperson

Zoo protesters enlist experts' help to fight land sell-off plan
AN expert group has been set up to fight Edinburgh Zoo's controversial
plans to sell off land for homes.
The zoo's £72 million expansion plans were thrown into doubt last year
after councillors voted to oppose the development of houses off Kaimes
The plans are a key part of the zoo's masterplan and are the focus of a
local public inquiry later this year. The Friends of Corstorphine
Trust –
one of the main objectors, has now enlisted the help of planning experts
from community councils to prepare a case ahead of the inquiry, and
any possible appeal against the final decision.
The trust warned that if the zoo's plans went ahead it would bring
traffic chaos to the area.
Eddie Price, chairman of the Corstorphine group, said it wanted to be
"It is impossible to know whether the

Feilden Clegg Bradley wins Jersey zoo job
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios has won a £25 million competition to
design two zoo buildings in Jersey.
The firm, working with engineers Atelier 1 and Atelier 10, was
appointed by the island's Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. It beat
competition from Wilkinson Eyre and Bill Dunster with its designs for a
temperate gorilla house and tropical house for bats.
The gorilla house, partly themed around an African "bai" or forest
clearing, will accommodate a large internal temperate area for year-
round use by gorillas, a central viewing gallery for visitors, a heated

Breakthrough in efforts to save Europe's last big cat
An Iberian lynx has produced her fourth consecutive litter in captivity,
confirming the success of Spain's captive breeding programme in its
attempt to save Europe's most endangered mammal from extinction.
But the latest birth presents a new problem, that of inbreeding that
could weaken the gene pool, and the fate of Europe's last big cat still
hangs by a thread. One scientist recently rated the lynx's chances of
long-term survival in Spain's southern wetlands at no more than 5 per
Saliega, the lynx taken from the wild in 2004 to inaugurate the captive
breeding programme near Huelva in Andalucia, produced three cubs at
the weekend

Regular inspections are made at a Cleethorpes zoo targeted by
protestors, according to officials.
As reported, visitors to The Jungle Zoo were greeted by a small band of
animal rights protesters campaigning for the abolition of zoos on
It had been organised by the Captive Animals' Protection Society (Caps).
But a North East Lincolnshire Council spokesman said today: "Regular
inspections are made at the zoo by officers from NELC, the enforcing
authority which issues the licence
"This ensures that matters raised by the vet on his routine inspections
receive attention and compliance.
"Thus, conditions and improvements at the zoo are being monitored
Oliver Dean (25), from Sheffield, who led the protest, said: "We are
here to highlight Zoo Awareness Day."
He alleged The Jungle Zoo had been investigated by the Department for
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which found "certain
He claimed: "They found there is very little enrichment in many of the
"They have monkeys which have very little to do

Nepal's royal family is accused of stealing from wildlife fund
Nepal's royal family – facing the end of centuries of rule after
elections – has been accused of stealing money that was set aside to
safeguard the country's threatened wildlife.
A investigation carried out by Maoists who wish to see the royal family
abolished has concluded that money set aside for the National Trust for
Nature Conservation was used by the family for its own interests. On
one occasion, Crown Prince Paras even allegedly gave a pair of rare
rhinos to a zoo in Austria while on a private visit.
Until last year the trust was named in honour of former King Mahendra,
and was chaired by

Who will save the animals from the zoo?
The picture of the crow pecking on the injured stork in our zoo is very
While everyone is concerned about endangered species in the wild,
animals are not even safe in our Mumbai zoo.
And now the authorities want to undertake a project to renovate the
What I fail to comprehend is, how can the very people who have
neglected the zoo all these years, take on a renovation project?
Isn't it time they realise that they should hand the zoo over to
competent people who care? Even the cages in the sick bay (if you can
even call it that) are rusty.
Even if the stork in the picture sought refuge, our zoo keepers did not
have the natural sensitivity to treat it and protect it from

Taiwan court rejects zoo's appeal to receive giant pandas
A court on Thursday rejected the Taipei Zoo's application to accept a
pair of giant pandas from China after president-elect Ma Ying-jeou said
he supported the import of the popular endangered animals. The zoo
vowed to appeal.
'We will appeal this ruling, and this ruling will not affect our
to receive the pandas,' Taipei Zoo spokesman Chin Shih-chien said after
the decision by the Taipei Administrative Court.
China in 2005 offered to donate the pandas, which only live in the wild
in China, to improve Beijing-Taipei ties.
The Taipei Zoo applied to the Council of Agriculture for permission to

Myanmar unveils zoo in new capital
Myanmar's military rulers opened a zoo in their new capital Naypyidaw
on Wednesday, bringing a rare attraction to the isolated city which
emerged from scrubland in 2005.
About 420 animals including rare wallabies, white tigers and penguins
were moved from the former seat of government Yangon in February
and trucked to the 612-acre Naypyidaw Zoological Gardens. "We are
very proud as we have constructed this international standard zoological
garden within seven months," Tin Aung Myint Oo, a senior junta\03\27\story_27-3-2008_pg4_22

Zoo Must Fix Numerous Problems To Retain Accreditation
The Maryland Zoo is in danger of losing its national accreditation if it
does not fix numerous expensive issues that resulted from years of
financial struggles.
The zoo has until September to repair faulty fire alarms, crumbling
buildings and drainage. Officials told WBAL TV 11 News that no visitors
have seen many of the animals, including the prairie dogs or flamingos,
in five years because of badly worn walkways.
The cost for the fixes could be as high as the zoo's current $12.5
budget, officials

Pioneering zoo boss 'joins tropical life cycle'
Tributes have been paid to a former Preston bricklayer who went on to
transform America's national zoo.
Dr Michael Hill Robinson died at his US home in Alexandria, Virginia,
after suffering from pancreatic cancer. He was 79.
Born an only child in Bank Place, Ashton, Dr Robinson was the director
of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington DC for 16
Described as a "pioneer", he developed the park into a "biopark" where
animals and the public intermingle in open exhibits without cages or
And, in one final gesture to nature, Dr Robinson's ashes are to be
scattered over Barro Colorado Island, Panama, "to be regenerated into
the tropical life cycle," as the zoologist himself put it.
Dr Robinson started out as an apprentice bricklayer for William Jackson
in Preston after leaving Kirkham Grammar

Coast mourns death of its Dr DolittleLeah Fineran
THE Australian wildlife community is in mourning after the sudden death
of the Gold Coast's own Dr Dolittle, Des Spittall.
The legendary animal worker and 'gentle giant' suffered a heart attack
and died in his Tomewin Valley home yesterday morning.
The 57-year-old left behind his wife Liz, two daughters, a newborn
grand-daughter and a legacy of tireless work in the animal kingdom.
Des's passion for animals and the environment led him into a rewarding
career in animal husbandry with Australia's top animal attractions
including the Melbourne and Taronga Park zoos, Sea World, Currumbin
Wildlife Sanctuary and Paradise Country farm.
He spent 19 years as senior curator at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
and six years at Sea World establishing

Zoo unveils crocodile enclosure plan
PLANS for a new walk-through exhibit showcasing endangered
crocodiles at Colchester Zoo have been announced.
The new tropical exhibit, which would also be home to snakes, lizards
and monkeys, will follow the completion of a £1.75million orang-utan
It will be spread over two floors and is hoped to feature an underwater
viewing tunnel for visitors to see crocodiles swimming above their
Explaining the forthcoming developments, a zoo spokesman
said: "Orang-utan Forest is finally reaching completion and it is hoped
that after three years of development that the indoor part of the
enclosure will open in the next few months, closely followed by the
outdoor runs.
"As the project nears completion

Barbary lions were part of medieval Tower of London zoo
Two medieval skulls found in the Tower of London belonged to a kind of
lion that boasted a giant dark mane, according to a genetic study that
sheds new light on one of the world's oldest zoos.
Infamous as a place of torture and executions, and home to the Crown
Jewels, the Tower was also home to lions, which were charismatic
symbols of monarchy.
Now researchers have used DNA evidence to analyse two members of
the royal menagerie, the oldest being late 13th to late 14th century
(1280-1385) and 'youngest' 15th century (1420-1480), the only
medieval big cat remains found in England.
They conclude that they

Saving the 'sea cow'
Manatees in Ghana are being slowly wiped out by hunting and loss of
habitat. But the very people who kill the elusive aquatic mammal for its
meat could be the key to its survival. In 1964, a vast lake was
created in
south-east Ghana by blocking the Volta river with a hydroelectric
dam. It
was good news for humans, with Lake Volta becoming the world's
largest man-made reservoir, but bad news for wildlife, as a group of
manatees was trapped in the lake after the dam blocked their route
south to the sea.
Since then the manatees, also known as sea cows and as dugongs, and
locally as "mami water", have lived in isolation in the northern Afram
arm of the lake, exposed to skilled hunters who can make a small
fortune selling their meat, and feared by superstitious locals who
believe mami water is a capricious river goddess.
Earthwatch, an international environmental charity, has begun a three-
year programme of the country's previously

New zoo at DubaiLand
The construction of the new zoo at DubaiLand would begin this year, a
senior official of the Dubai Municipality has stated, reports Khaleej
Amidst speculations that the ambitious project was being scrapped as
the civic body could not find suitable land for the project, senior
said that the zoo was currently in the final stage of designing.
"There has not been any further change in the venue. The new zoo
would be coming up at DubaiLand. We have decided upon a consultant
for the project and the overview of the project has been done. The
designing part of the zoo is being finalised at the moment.
The construction work would be beginning this year," said the official.
The new zoo will spread across an area of around 350 acres.
The total cost of the project is currently estimated to be Dh500
The official added that the whole project has been divided into two
"The first phase involves a total area of around 130 acres. This would
include a car park and arrangements for the relocation of the animals
currently dwelling in the zoo at Jumeirah," added the official.
The present zoo is situated in Jumeirah and houses around 1,200
animals, raising concerns that it is overcrowded. It has also been under
the scanner of prominent animal welfare groups like PETA (People for
Ethical Treatment of Animals).
The new zoo at DubaiLand will have features like

Hundreds of Shaldon residents have signed a petition objecting to the
extension of Shaldon Zoo into adjacent woodland.
Teignbridge Council granted Shaldon Wildlife Trust permission to extend
its zoo, providing eight new animal enclosures, into part of the Ness
woodland, which it leases from the council.When the £100,000 plans
were submitted, no objections were logged, but since then more than
100 residents have signed a petition against building in the woodland,
which lies within designated countryside and in an area of great
landscape value. It is also in the coastal preservation area and is a
bunting zone.
John Watkins, who lives opposite the zoo, said: "They have chopped
down 20-plus trees in an area where toads and frogs hibernate. They
have driven over them with pick-up trucks and there have

Australia facing threat of wildlife catastrophe
 From the tiny tree kangaroo via the greater bilby to the quoll, some of
Australia's unique and rare wildlife could disappear in the coming
decades as a result of climate change, according to a report by the
WWF published today.
The species, already under threat because of wide-scale land clearance
and the introduction of exotic predators, could be pushed into
by rising temperatures and the knock-on effects, including drought and
more frequent and devastating bushfires.
Australia already has the worst record in the world for conserving its
beautiful and unusual wildlife. Of all the mammal species that have
become extinct in the past 200 years, nearly 40 per cent are Australian.
Many surviving

Bears face new toxic threat
The iconic polar bear, already a marauding warehouse of toxic
substances, is facing a new chemical assault that could trigger serious
health problems in the bear population within the decade.
The damage may include higher risk of cancers and impaired
reproduction, say Danish environmental scientists in a study to be
published shortly.
Testing 128 polar bears from East Greenland, the researchers found
that the levels of a family of industrial chemicals called

Berlin zoo accused of profiting from slaughter
Berlin zoo is under pressure to explain the fate of hundreds of its
animals which allegedly have disappeared without trace amid
accusations that they have been slaughtered and in some cases turned
into potency-boosting drugs.
Claudia Hämmerling, a Green party politician, backed by several animal
rights organisations, alleges that the zoo's director, Bernhard
Blaszkiewitz, sold the animals to traders.
She claims to hold evidence on four Asian black bears and a
hippopotamus, which were taken from Berlin, officially to go to a new
home. They were transported to the Belgian town of Wortel, which has
no zoo, but which does have an abattoir.
According to Hämmerling these animals were slaughtered at the
abattoir. She said the systematic "overproduction of animals" at zoos,
designed to attract more visitors, was to blame.
Hämmerling said she also knew of several tigers and leopards from
Berlin that ended up in a tiger breeding farm in China that promoted
itself as a purveyor of traditional potency-boosting medicines made from
the bodies of big cats. She alleges the animals' remains were pulverised
and turned into drugs.
Blaszkiewitz, who became something of a personality after the polar
bear Knut was born at his zoo in December 2006, has strongly denied
the charges. The bear's popularity bumped up visitor numbers

Lions and tigers and … bone wine?
Silver Spring-based Discovery Communications LLC was ordered
Thursday to turn over footage from one of its Animal Planet shows
about the use of tiger bones in winemaking to help bolster the defense
of an animal rights group being sued in China.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare asked the U.S. District Court
for Maryland, in Greenbelt, on Tuesday to compel Discovery
Communications to turn over footage from an episode of its Wildlife
Crime Scene show. A federal judge signed off on the subpoena and
gave the company until April 25 to turn over the footage and describe
where and how it was obtained.
The footage will be used in a civil lawsuit filed against the animal
group on Oct. 11, 2007. The Guilin Xiongsen Bear & Tiger Mountain Villa
Entertainment Center filed the lawsuit against the International Fund
Animal Welfare (IFAW) in the Beijing High People's Court. The company
claims the animal rights group impugned its reputation through a web
article claiming a wine it makes uses tiger skeletons as the primary raw
The show in question is a six-part series called Crime Scene Wild,
hosted by Steven Gastler, which features undercover investigating along
with DNA and forensic science to expose illegal animal trading. The
episode being subpoenaed is the final episode that includes a look at
Bear & Tiger Mountain Villa and the making of bone fortified wine. The


Zoo will release rescued seals back into the wild
RESCUED seals are to be freed into the sea at Penrhyn Bay.
The event, organised by Welsh Mountain Zoo, Colwyn Bay, takes place
opposite the golf course on Tuesday, March 25 at 1pm. Several seals
are due to be released after more than four months of veterinary care
and recuperation at the North Wales Seal Rescue Centre.
During the past four months the seals have been monitored and have
been improving in the specially designed pools, learning how

Monterey Bay Aquarium shark cruises past Cabo
A young white shark returned to the wild by the Monterey Bay Aquarium
six weeks ago has traveled past the southern tip of Baja California and
is heading toward waters off the Mexican mainland, according to data
from an electronic tracking tag the shark is carrying.
The tag is delivering near real-time information on his position ?
information the public can track online, where his movements are
updated and mapped almost on a daily basis.

Wildlife park chief arrested over massacre of rare gorillas
It was a gorilla massacre that shocked the world. Among the victims:
the majestic silverback Senkekwe, his body riddled with gunshot
wounds after a brutal execution; a female named Mburanumwe, killed
with her unborn baby inside; and another, Safari, burnt to a cinder.
The rangers of Congo's Virunga National Park who bore the corpses of
the rare apes on stretchers to be buried were visibly shaken by the
wretched crime. Now it seems that some of them may have
orchestrated the slaughter.
Honore Mashagiro, director of the park at the time of last year's
atrocities, was arrested yesterday at his home in the eastern town of
Goma on suspicion of arranging the killing of the endangered gorillas.
Another six foresters are expected to be questioned in the coming days
about trapping and killing the apes on the director's orders.
"This is a major breakthrough," said Dipesh Pabari, a spokesman for
conservation group Wildlife Direct. "The Congolese authorities are
showing the world that they will no longer tolerate mismanagement."
The slopes of the extinct volcanoes in Virunga, where the borders of
Congo, Uganda and Rwanda meet, are protected by Unesco and are
home to more than half of the 700 mountain gorillas not in captivity.
It was clear from the moment the bulk

Zoo opens £2.5m exotic birdhouse
London Zoo unveiled its new tropical bird exhibition yesterday which
allows visitors to walk through an enclosure as rare birds fly overhead.
The £2.5m refurbishment of the Victorian pavilion is part of the zoo's
drive to allow visitors to get closer to more than 650 animals. Highlights
of the birdhouse include the UK's only collection of hummingbirds,
Socorro doves, a species extinct in the wild, toucans, kookaburras and
partridges. Visitors progress along a boardwalk through

Zoo director accused of breeding animals for sale and slaughter
THE director of Berlin Zoo was accused yesterday of overbreeding
animals and selling the "spares" to be slaughtered in China and Europe.
Bernhard Blaszkiewitz is under pressure to quit after a criminal
complaint by a leading Green politician, claiming he illegally sold the
animals for slaughter. The Berlin public prosecutor is considering
whether to bring charges.
A pygmy hippopotamus and a family of bears are cited among the
animals traded to be killed.
The news is a disaster for the zoo after its huge success with polar bear
Knut, the cub abandoned by its mother and raised by its keepers which
became an international celebrity.
Claudia Haemmerling, a Berlin MP and an expert on animal rights, filed
the complaint. It alleges that the zoo bred "bastard" cross-breeds

Knut zoo accused of selling animals
NOT all the animals in Berlin zoo receive the star treatment lavished on
Knut the polar bear.
As visitors snapped the once-cuddly celebrity yesterday, the zoo came
under fire for allegedly dispatching three elderly black Himalayan bears
and a hippo to the slaughterhouse to make the most out of their skins
and meat.
The claims, made by the Green politician Claudia Haemmerling, have
caused uproar in Germany.
"This is frightening," said Beate Holzbach, who was leading a school
group towards Knut's compound yesterday. "It's inhuman just to rip
apart animals after they have become too old."
The 35-year-old teacher was speaking against a backdrop of screeching
monkeys and the melancholy roar of various big cats: it was as if the
whole zoo was protesting.
According to Ms Haemmerling, a family of Himalayan black bears and a
pygmy hippopotamus were sold in the 1990s to exotic animals dealers
by the Tierpark, now the eastern branch of Berlin zoo. They apparently
ended up in the Belgian town of Wortel, near Antwerp, which boasts a
slaughterhouse but no zoo.
The politician also argues that the zoo cross-bred panthers and Java
leopards, as well as selling tigers to China to be used in impotence
The claims are partly documented - some of the paperwork can be seen
on Ms Haemmerling's website - and the state prosecutor has begun
inquiries to see if there is enough evidence to open a formal
Bernhard Blaszkiewitz, director of the zoo and the man who authorised
the rescue of Knut from a negligent mother, furiously denies the
accusations. "This is a combination,25197,23411258-30417,00.html

Berlin Zoo boss accused of selling tigers and bears for Asian sex potions
The director of the world famous Berlin Zoo has been accused of
overbreeding animals ? and selling the "spares" to be slaughtered and
used in Chinese sex potions.
Bernhard Blaszkiewitz is under pressure to quit following the criminal
complaint by a leading Green politician that he illegally sold animals for
slaughter for profit. He vehemently denies the allegations but they are
now with the Berlin public prosecutor who will decide on whether
charges will follow.

Injured crane to leave for S Korea
After nearly four years of twists and turns in its fate, a rare red-
crowned crane named Dan Dan (丹丹) will finally leave
Taiwan for South Korea next week in preparation for an eventual
release into the wild.
Dan Dan, now weighing 9kg and almost fully grown, is scheduled to
depart for the South Korean capital of Seoul on Friday escorted by two
veterinarians from the Taipei City Zoo, a zoo official said on Thursday.
The bird unwittingly "tres-passed" into

Bristol Zoo's dream of creating a £50 million national wildlife
conservation park on a site close to The Mall at Cribbs Causeway has
taken a major step forward.
The zoo looks set to win planning approval to build a major roundabout
junction designed to cope with the 600,000 visitors expected to visit the
new zoo every year.
The junction, at the top of Blackhorse Hill, is less than 300 metres from
the roundabout serving junction 15 of the M5.
More than 155 residents had written to oppose the new roundabout
which they claim will bring even more traffic to a junction which is often
gridlocked at peak travel times. They
claim trying to squeeze the extra traffic to bring 600,000 people through
the roundabout will be a recipe for disaster for people living around the
Easter Compton area.
Next Thursday's meeting of South Gloucestershire

S'pore Zoo relocates two chimpanzees to S. Africa
THE Singapore Zoo has relocated two Singapore-born chimpanzees to
the Mystic Monkeys and Feathers Zoo in South Africa.
They were the first shipment under a partnership between Wildlife
Reserves Singapore (WRS) and Singapore Airlines Cargo (SIA Cargo) to
jointly promote wildlife conservation, both companies said in a
statement on Thursday.
Set for three years from Feb 1, the agreement encourages the
freightage of wildlife to zoos globally to boost the gene pool of
endangered animals.
With freightage, travel duration for animals is almost halved and SIA
Cargo's fleet of 14 B747-400 freighters ensures the animals' safe and
timely transfer.

Irwin proposes 'Disney feel' for zoo
Terri Irwin has announced plans to turn Australia Zoo into an
international tourist mecca comparable to Disneyland.
At a VIP breakfast at the zoo today, the widow of the late Crocodile
Hunter Steve Irwin said the zoo on Queensland's Sunshine Coast would
be Irwin-owned well into the future as it expanded with a safari park
and accommodation.
"(We) want to be 'Destination Australia' - kind of like that Disney feel
where a lot of Australians go and see Disneyland and then (ask) what
else is there to do?," Ms Irwin said.
"So it will be so exciting for people to come here and be able to see the
wildlife, spend the night, stay as long as they want, have the spa
treatment and the guided tours and the ex

Panda cub at National Zoo injures keeper
The 170-pound giant panda cub at the National Zoo grabbed a worker
while trying to play, sending her to the hospital with a small leg
laceration, zoo officials said Wednesday.
The panda apparently entered his yard through an unsecured door
Tuesday during a routine feeding, zoo spokesman John Gibbons said.
The keeper took 2-year-old Tai Shan indoors before placing food in his
yard, Gibbons said in a statement. The panda re-entered the yard and
approached the keeper from behind, playfully grabbing her with his
mouth, Gibbons said. Pandas have sharp teeth, used for chewing
"The keeper was able to radio for help, and other animal care staff
distracted Tai Shan with food as they also safely assisted the keeper out
of the yard," Gibbons said.
Keepers stopped entering

Monkeys and fish perish in East Siberian zoo fire
Two monkeys and many fish were killed early on Friday in a fire in a
zoo in East Siberia, the head of the Chita City Zoo said on Friday.
Five fire engines were sent to put out the blaze but were too late to
save Anya and Rocky, two pig-tailed macaques. The two monkeys
climbed to the top of their enclosure in a desperate effort to avoid the
flames, but were overcome by fumes.
The fire also inflicted at least 270,000 rubles ($11,000) damage.
Firemen have cited arson as a possible

Animal rights group hits out against Limassol zoo plans
RESPONDING to recent press reports on developments regarding the
relocation of Limassol Zoo, animal rights group Animal Responsibility
Cyprus (ARC/ Kivotos) yesterday attacked the authorities for their failure
to implement legislation and address the problems of the zoo.
"Why are animal welfare organisations not being consulted? Why is
there no transparency? Why are these backward decisions being made
behind closed doors? Why are taxpaying citizens being deprived of their
rights? Why is the World Society for the Protection of Animals' proposal
being ignored? What kind of democracy is this?" Patricia Kyriakou,
President of ARC told the Cyprus Mail.
According to Kyriakou, ARC, in co-operation with international animal
rights organisations, has for years been lobbying local and state
authorities with the objective of transforming Limassol Zoo into an eco-
zoo with no animals, equipped with interactive and educational facilities,
thus ending the suffering of animals presently kept in cages.
"Presently, Limassol Zoo is operating illegally, with no licence by the
Veterinary Services, while animals are kept in conditions that do not
abide by the relevant EU Directive (22/1999) or by the provisions of a
law passed in 2003, that adopted the Directive into domestic law,"
Kyriakou explained.
The organisation has in the past prepared studies on the cost of running
a zoo that would abide by the regulations. The study confirmed that
such a venture would not be sustainable, as Cyprus does not presently
have qualified professionals in zoology, and would simply cost too much.
"We have already given the government figures for operating a modern
facility. They are in the millions to create a modern zoo and millions for
running costs. We have no zoologists or experts in Cyprus, and the
Minister of Agriculture at the time, Timis Evthymiou stated categorically
that there was no suc

Only one bid for zoo master plan
The state government has received only one bid for preparing the
master plan for the Rs 500-crore international zoo and safari park at
Gorewada on 1885-hectare forest land in the city.
According to sources, Singapore-based Bernard Harrison and Friends
Limited is the only firm that has once again come forward to prepare
the master plan in the retendering process. Retendering for the coveted
project was ordered in February this year after the state finance
department raised strong objections to the tender process initiated last
year. The last date of receiving tenders was March 15, after which the
scrutiny was done.
When contacted, B Majumdar, principal chief conservator of forests
(PCCF), wildlife, Maharashtra, under whom the `Gorewada Project'
would function under the new system, said, "It's true that we have
received only one response and the bid evaluation committee (BEC)
headed by additional chief secretary J P Dange will evaluate the bid in
Mumbai on March 24."
"In fact, in the revised process, we had invited all the parti

Chimp Haven to fight return of chimps to Texas
The Chimp Haven board of directors has decided to fight the ruling of a
Texas judge that would return six chimps to a San Antonio animal
Chimp Haven's president and director, Dr. Linda Brent, says her
organization stepped forward to help the animals and won't turn its
back on them.
The chimpanzees were brought to Louisiana in November 2006 after the
state of Texas seized the San Antonio facility, Primarily Primates, and
placed it in receivership.
Primarily Primates has since restructured

Lion shakes up magazine shoot
A martial arts teacher knocked over by a lion during a photo shoot at
Bowmanville Zoo says she is happy to have come away with four broken
ribs and a bloodied lung.
"To be honest, the sensation I have is a great deal of gratitude to be
alive," Gitanjali Kolanad said yesterday.
The photo session organized by the Star-owned magazine Desi Life
produced a successful cover photo for the March-April issue, to be
published tomorrow. But from the beginning, the 180 kilogram beast
proved playful and not entirely under the control of its two minders.
Kolanad, 54, practises the ancient Indian martial art of Kalaripayat,

Mexican officials rescue Siberian tiger from unsafe cage
Mexican authorities said Friday they seized a female tiger from a
residence in the capital because her cage was not secure.
Animal rescuers sedated the six-year-old Siberian tiger and transported
her to a zoo in Mexico state, according to Mexico City police and federal
environmental regulators.
Authorities found the big cat on the house's patio in a roofless cage that
was just 8.2 feet (2.5 meters) tall. There was also too much space
between the bars, making it possible for the

Wild elephants destroy hundreds of hectares of people`s plantation
Three of wild elephants were reported to have trampled down hundreds
of hectares of plantation area belonging to the residents of Kapa Sesak
and Naca villages in Trumon sub-district, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam
"Since the last one week, the wild giant animals have destroyed
hundreds of hectares of residential plantation in some villages," head of
the Trumon sub-district administration H Lahmudin said here on
According to him, a band of wild elephants destroyed hundreds of
hectares of crops, paddy, palm tree and patchouli farming areas.
He hoped that such troubles caused by wild elephants could be
addressed by encumbent power elite as a wayout

Sumatran tigers on brink of extinction
The Leuser International Foundation (YLI) said, according to its data,
Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris Sumatrae) still exist in the Leuser
ecosystem area (KEL) but they were very endangered.
Poaching and human encroachment on their habitat had pushed the
Sumatran tigers to the brink of extinction, Chik Rini, a YLI spokesperson
said here on Tuesday.
In 2007, 10 tigers had been caught by local people in Labuhan Haji
Timur, Meukek, Samadua and Kluet Timur, in South Aceh district alone,
she said.
The residents caught and shot the tigers because the animals had killed
6 people, she said.
Sumatran tigers were the largest

Boy, oh boy: Zoo announces elephant's birth
It's a boy.
That was the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore's much anticipated news of a
male elephant calf born Wednesday evening.
The 290-pound pachyderm's birth is likely to drive attendance at the
zoo, thought not for several months. The elephant and his mother will
not be immediately on view for the public.
It is the first elephant birth in the zoo's history.
Since early February, animal care staff have watched Felix around the
clock for signs of labor.
The zoo has been struggling financially. Baltimore

Group lobbies for primate lab
200-acre site would house up to 250 apes
A group of Lafayette residents hopes to attract to South Louisiana a
national ape observatory and behavioral science research facility that
will help sustain the chimpanzee population, draw world-class scientists
and boost tourism.
The National Great Ape Preservation Foundation, chaired by Gerald
Breaux, executive director of the Lafayette Convention and Visitors
Center, was formed as a nonprofit corporation Feb. 27.

Bat population under siege
Quebec checks for signs of 'white-nose syndrome,' a mystery illness
killing creatures in U.S. northeast
Wildlife scientists are scouring deserted mines in southern Quebec for
traces of a deadly disease decimating bat populations in the U.S.
Thousands of cases of a mysterious illness American wildlife officials
call white-nose syndrome have popped up in grottoes and abandoned
mines in a half-dozen states.
White-nose syndrome often leaves behind skinny, dehydrated corpses
that appear to have had their snouts dunked in a bucket of flour. As U.S.

Zoo hosts fish conference
THE PLIGHT facing freshwater fish in the wild has come under the
spotlight at a high-profile meeting attended by the world's leading
A two-day gathering brought together experts from around the world in
an effort to address the difficulties facing freshwater fish of which there
are more than 14,000 species.
More than 35 specialists and advisors from around the world were at
Chester Zoo for the meeting of the Freshwater Fish Specialist Group, a
collaboration between the IUCN (The World Conservation Union) and
Wetlands International.
Chester Zoo's Director General, Professor Gordon McGregor Reid,
chaired the meeting which looked at the global picture for Freshwater
Fish region by region and developed strategies for assisting threatened
Biodiversity issues, climate change, global


'Sale of zoo' blamed for rift between Irwins
PLANS to sell Australia Zoo to a US company and build a multimillion-
dollar theme park on the site may have been the wedge that has driven
apart Bob and Terri Irwin.
A staff member has told The Sunday Mail that American-born Mrs Irwin
plans to sell the tourist attraction to US television channel Animal Planet
and move back to the US with children Bindi and Robert.
The speculation surrounding the sale and move was believed to be
behind the recent rift, which saw her father-in-law, Bob Irwin, leave the
zoo he started 32 years ago.
The zoo employee said the rumoured,23599,23380296-421,00.html

Terri denies plans to sell Australia Zoo
THE wife of the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin has denied rumours
she plans to sell Queensland's Australia Zoo and relocate to her
homeland, the US. Rumours are rife about the future of Australia Zoo
amid media reports Terri Irwin plans to do a deal with US-based
investors to turn the wildlife conservation site into some kind of theme
park. "I'll never

Irwin zoo rapped on koala care
THE Irwin family's Australian Wildlife Hospital at Australia Zoo has
breached environmental laws relating to koalas 13 times, the
Queensland Government said.
Sustainability Minister Andrew McNamara said yesterday he was
concerned by repeated infringements involving the release of injured
koalas back to the wild.
Under Queensland laws, koalas should be released no more than 5km
from the area where they were found, unless permission is granted.
"Senior management of Australia Zoo,21985,23377182-662,00.html

Death has a field day at city zoo
THE last five years could be the worst in the history of the city zoo, for it
lost 259 animals to death. In 2007, there were 65 deaths and in 2008
the toll has already crossed the half-century mark. These figures were
revealed by Minister for Education and Culture M.A. Baby in the
Assembly in answer to an unstarred question raised by G. Karthikeyan.
The reasons for the deaths have been cited as old-age, diseases and
infighting among the animals. As many as 22 animals died soon after
birth. In 2008 itself, three bear cubs, four tiger cubs and one fawn died
in the months of January and February. Most of these deaths have been
attributed to genetic defects resulting out of inbreeding of animals in
captivity. Another reason cited is the lack of maternal care. Unlike the
animals living in the wild, the animals in captivity seem to lack the
capacity to take care of their young ones. The lack of space is
supposedly a limiting factor.
All of these contribute to the high incidence of juvenile deaths, clarified
the Minister. The zoo authorities

San Diegans Shocked by Circus at Giza Zoo
The Giza Zoo's income doesn't even cover upkeep costs, but remains
low to allow residents and tourists of all incomes a chance to
experience everything the facility has to offer. The zoo houses an
extensive breeding facility, where the first California Sea Lion was born
in the Middle East, and a fully operational taxidermist. Nevertheless, the
zoo staff's focus is less about education as it is about entertainment.
The green gardens and wide walkways of the Giza Zoo contrast the
crowded and urban landscape of Cairo. Even on Friday, the first day of
the Egyptian weekend and Muslim holy day, the zoo is less crowded
than its San Diegan counterpart on the slowest of days.
While the San Diego zoo welcomes visitors to snap photos of the
resting, frolicking or pacing creatures, the Giza Zoo prohibits guests to
enter with their personal cameras. But this rule, like so many others in
Cairo, is flexible and laxly enforced.
Another practice that sets the Giza Zoo apart from the San Diego Zoo is
the proximity with which tourists or guests can find themselves from the
animals. The San Diego Zoo is a pioneer in building cage-less exhibits;
at the Giza Zoo visitors can stand mere feet fro

Two million tourists
TOURISM in Barrow is booming ? and that's official.
Figures due next month will show the town is climbing aboard the
tourist bandwagon once belonging almost exclusively to South Lakes.
A report from independent researchers showed that a staggering 1.9m
tourists visited the Barrow Borough "footprint" ? which excludes
Ulverston and Grange ? in 2006. The visitors generated £59m for the
local economy and directly sustained 1,102 full-time jobs.
But analysts believe those figures will be put in the shade when the
2007 figures come out next month.
Barrow town centre manager Ann Taylforth told the Evening Mail: "Early
indications for 2007 are encouraging.
"We know bed occupancy is definitely up in the area and Barrow has
enjoyed significant growth trends."
Millionaire zoo owner David Gill, from the South Lakes Wild Animal Park,
reports that visitor numbers for the first two months of this year were
38 per cent

City ends zoo director search
New hire Joel Hamilton has served as exhibit designer, curator
The prolonged search to fill the Salisbury Zoo's top post ended
Wednesday with the hiring of a director who has designed zoo exhibits
and worked in them.
Joel M. Hamilton, 48, runs a firm in Providence, R.I., which since its
founding in 2001 has worked with eight zoos in the United States and
Mexico to draft "master plans" and create exhibits, he

Bergerons welcome new zoo rules
Owners of a local exotic animal sanctuary welcomed news of the
Ontario government's plan to introduce new legislation aimed at
imposing new rules for the province's 50 roadside zoos.
Joe and Pat Bergeron, who operate Bergerons' Exotic Animal Sanctuary
on County Road 5 in Prince Edward County, are hopeful the new
regulations will bring a new standard of care for animals at similar
operations across the province.
"I know it's been coming, but it's been talked about for such a long
time," said Pat Bergeron shortly before heading out to care for the
dozens of animals at the site.
"As long as the health and happiness of the animals is front and centre,
it should be a good thing."
The legislation, aimed at overhauling a 90-year-old law, is expected to
set standards of care for small zoos and give the Ontario Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty

Patna Zoo takes a big leap in rhino conservation
Breeding of eight beasts places it second among rhino breeders in the
world behind Santiago Zoo
The successful breeding of eight rhinos has put Patna Zoo right on top
among rhino breeders in the country and second in the world behind
Santiago Zoo.
Director Rakesh Kumar told DNA because of its best performance,
International Species Information System (ISIS) had offered
membership to Patna Zoo for sharing information on the techniques
involved in rhino breeding.
Kumar said the other zoos in the country were also preparing to join the
hi-tech ISIS to stay updated on the various health problems faced by
different species of animals and their treatment. Because of their

Oldest white rhino turning 50
Charly, a white rhino at the Serengeti Park zoo in Germany, turns 50
and the zoo says he could be the world's oldest rhino in captivity.
The zoo says that there is no record of any older rhinos in the world's
zoos, and they rarely live beyond 40 in the wild.
Charly celebrated his half-century with a "cake" of fruit and vegetables
from the zoo where he has lived since 1972.
The zoo says Charly is in good

Dolphin guides stranded whales out to sea
WELLINGTON, New Zealand?Most days, Moko the bottlenosed dolphin
swims playfully with humans at a New Zealand beach.
But this week, it seems, Moko found his mojo.
Witnesses described today how they saw the dolphin swim up to two
stranded whales and guide them to safety.
Before Moko arrived, rescue workers had been working for more than
an hour to get two pygmy sperm whales, a mother and her calf, back
out to sea after they were stranded Monday off Mahia Beach, said
Conservation Department worker Malcolm Smith.
But Smith said the whales restranded themselves four times on a
sandbar slightly out to sea from the beach, about 480 kilometres
northeast of the capital, Wellington.
It looked likely they would have to be euthanized to prevent a prolonged
death, he said.
"They kept getting disoriented and stranding

Java zoo hatches rare Komodo dragons
A zoo in Indonesia's second-largest city Surabaya has succeeded in
hatching Komodo dragons, the largest living species of lizard, for a
second time outside their natural habitat.
Komodo dragons are found only in eastern Indonesia, in Komodo island
and several other islets in the Nusa Tenggara archipelago.
Fourteen Komodo dragon eggs were hatched in incubators at the zoo in
Surabaya on the main Java island over the weekend, bringing to 41 the
number of the reptiles in their collection. The zoo succeeded in hatching
13 eggs in the first attempt during the 1990s.
"We collected all the eggs in September 2007 from Komodo cages, and
now 14 eggs have already hatched while one has failed to hatch," Nur
Ali Faisol, head of the animal nursery at the Surabaya zoo, told
The habitat of the Komodo dragons is extremely harsh as they live on
arid volcanic islands with steep slopes and l

New bird species discovered in Indonesia
A bird first reported spotted on the remote Indonesian island of Togian
in 1996 has been declared a newly discovered species, a top taxonomist
in the Southeast Asian country said Saturday.
The Togian white-eye or Zosterops somadikartai is named after
taxonomist Soekarja Somadikarta and is being introduced in this
month's edition of the Wilson Journal of Ornithology, according to a
news release from Indonesia's Institute of Science.
Somadikarta said his colleague, Mochamad

Safari lions hunting hi-tech prey
A pride of lions have been given their first taste of a new playmate,
designed to help them hunt in captivity.
The 12 big cats at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling gathered
round the 100kg contraption as it trundled into their territory.
Powered by a purpose-built motor and three golf buggy batteries, the
high-tech prey is called LionRover3.
It is painted with a springbok motif to better resemble live prey and has
also been given a tail.
Feeding live prey to large carnivores in captivity is illegal and it is hoped
the remote-controlled

Lincoln Park Zoo chimp expert says . . . it's not funny!
A spin around YouTube finds ads featuring chimps in cowboy hats
whooping it up on horseback, dancing the Irish jig and wearing suits
and ties while smoking cigars.
Not to Lincoln Park Zoo chimpanzee expert Steve Ross.
In the new issue of the journal Science, Ross argues that these comedic
portrayals of chimps undermine conservationist efforts to save the
endangered species.
In a survey of 1,000 Lincoln Park Zoo visitors, Ross found that 95
percent correctly thought great apes are endangered and 91 percent
were accurate in naming orangutans as endangered species. But only
66 percent thought chimps are endangered. Follow up interviews found
that since people often see chimps monkeying around,CST-NWS-chimp14.article

Report: Tiger escape response 'impressive,' but needs work CNN
An organization that accredits zoos says the San Francisco Zoo had
an "impressive" response to a tiger escape on Christmas Day but could
have done more initially, according to a report the zoo released
Tuesday. A Siberian tiger got out of its enclosure on Christmas Day,
killing a 17-year-old young man and injuring two of his friends, who are
brothers. Police shot and killed the tiger. "The overall response

Boy Gets Shock Climbing Into Zoo Exhibit
Authorities say a nine-year-old boy got zapped by electricity when he
tried to climb into an anteater exhibit at the National Zoo.
D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Alan Etter says the boy is not hurt. Etter
says the nine-year-old apparently tried to climb into the anteater exhibit
at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
The boy got an 110-volt electric shock

Wildlife department told to halt import of big cats
federal government has advised the Sindh government not to process
any request for the import of big cats ? lions and tigers ? belonging to
the endangered species, it has been reliably learned.
Sources said that the federal environment ministry took the decision as
the Sindh Wildlife Department was delaying the matter of taking punitive
action against the wildlife traffickers who had brought big cats from
Africa and Europe in the country last year.
In a strongly worded communication, sources said, the National Council
for Conservation of Wildlife asked the Sindh Wildlife Department (SWD)
about the status of wildlife trafficking cases involving the `import' of
tigers and lions.
Under the procedure, a wildlife importer has to apply to the SWD to get
permission for the import of endangered species. The SWD on its part
surveys the health, safety and other facilities available with the importer
to see if they are up to the mark. Once satisfied, the SWD forwards the
application with its recommendations to the National Council for
Conservation of Wildlife, Islamabad. After reviewing and evaluating the
request, the NCCW issues the NOC / permission for the import of the
endangered species.
The sources said that a large number of tigers and lions were brought
in the country last year by some influential wildlife traffickers without
getting the mandatory permissions from the provincial and federal
wildlife authorities. The Customs department also cleared the
contraband consignments of endangered species animals without
checking the mandatory permissions.
The sources said that the endangered animal species were smuggled
through the country's busiest airport and the agencies were not even
aware of the `import' going on right under their nose. They came to
know about the clandestine operation only after the matter was
reported in the press.
In the communiqu้ to the SWD, the National Council for
Conservation of

City lights turn peregrines into night hawks
They carry out targeted killings on vulnerable victims and go on
nocturnal rampages of violence and aggression. A new group of deadly
predators has descended on Britain's towns and cities ? but fear not,
these urban clashes are taking place not on the streets but high in the
Peregrine falcons, the world's fastest birds, have moved into urban
areas nationwide in the past 20 years, and have now learned to hunt
other birds in cities at night ? by street light.
The predators, which in the countryside and on the coast generally use
cliffs as nesting sites, are using tall buildings including blocks of flats,
power stations
They carry out targeted killings on vulnerable victims and go on
nocturnal rampages of violence and aggression. A new group of deadly
predators has descended on Britain's towns and cities ? but fear not,
these urban clashes are taking place not on the streets but high in the
Peregrine falcons, the world's fastest birds, have moved into urban
areas nationwide in the past 20 years, and have now learned to hunt
other birds in cities at night ? by street light.
The predators, which in the countryside and on the coast generally use
cliffs as nesting sites, are using tall buildings including blocks of flats,
power stations

Limassol zoo considers relocation to nature park
THE FATE of Limassol Zoo has been contested for a number of years,
but finally some progress seems imminent. Aiming to abide by a
relevant EU Directive on animal living conditions at European zoos, the
state has announced the intention to commission a study for the
feasibility of the creation of a national zoological park in Limassol.
The Ministry of Agriculture announced that an expert would be called in
from abroad to deal with the issue of Limassol Zoo and the possibility
for the creation of a national zoological park that would provide decent
living conditions to the animals, in contrast to present captivity
"A number of experts have expressed interest in the project and the
right candidate will be selected soon," confirmed Dr Lambros Lambrou,
Vet at Limassol Zoo. "The chosen candidate will undertake a study on
the placement of the national zoological park, the type of animals that
will be hosted there and the costs of creating and maintaining such a
park," Lambrou added.
Limassol Municipality has confirmed that the Council will request a
meeting with the Minister of Agriculture to discuss the issue. Limassol
Council argues that the local authority cannot take the burden

Thundering Plains: How the Wildlife Conservation Society...

Zoo beasts must battle the bulge, too
Gorillas on Weight Watchers? Polar bears slurping sugar-free Jell-O
shots? Giraffes nibbling alfalfa biscuits?
The days of letting visitors throw marshmallows to the animals are
mostly history at zoos around the country, replaced by a growing focus
on diet and nutrition that parallels the fitness craze in humans.
And thanks to mounting research on wild animals' food needs, today's
zoo staffers are trying new feeding tricks to keep their lions and tigers
and bears healthy and happy.
Avoiding obesity is part of the p

Warlords turn to ivory trade to fund slaughter of humans
In Chad, Janjaweed militia from Sudan killed 100 elephants in one
afternoon; in Kenya, Somali warlords armed with rocket-propelled
grenades killed four wildlife rangers during a bloody raid on herds in the
Tana Delta; in Democratic Republic of Congo, a whole host of rebel
groups have turned the country's dwindling elephant population into a
new cash crop.
The fight to protect Africa's elephants has just got more dangerous.
Across the continent, armed groups linked to civil wars and conflicts are
using the illegal ivory trade to fund their activities. Groups like the
Janjaweed, responsible for carrying out countless atrocities in Sudan's
western Darfur region, are now the "greatest problem for the protection
of elephants in Africa", according to Michael Wamithi, the head of the
elephant programme for the International Fund for Animal Welfare
"Small groups of people used to kill elephants and take their ivory for
purely commercial


Over 500 species in Arabian Peninsula could disappear
Nearly 500 to 600 species of fauna in the UAE and the Arabian
Peninusla are in danger of disappearing from the surface of the
Earth, according to the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species (CITES).
Around 30,000 species of fauna are facing extinction worldwide.
As part of its strategy to conserve and protect wildlife, especially
in the Northern Emirates, the Environment and Protected Areas
Authority (EPAA) in Sharjah has embarked on an ambitious breeding
"Through its Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife
(BCEAW), EPPA is conducting wide-ranging programmes for breeding of
endangered species, both in captivity and in the wild," EPPA
Director-General Hana Saif Al Suweidi told Khaleej Times.
She said the breeding centre is a modern pilot conservation
initiative, research and captive breeding facility specialising in
the unique fauna of the Arabian Peninsula.
She added that the scientific research centre was the brainchild of
His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the
Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. The air-conditioned wildlife
centre houses an impressive variety of animals indigenous to the
Arabian Peninsula.
n facility was opened by Dr Shaikh Sultan in 1999 and

Philippine breeding programme brings eagles back from the brink
Chick Number 22 chirps in delight as a feeder thrusts a talon-shaped
puppet through a hole in a blind and offers it a full-grown mashed
quail complete with bones and feathers.
Still in its birthday suit of fluffy white down the 44-day-old
Philippine eagle is already bigger than a rooster, weighing 3.55
kilograms (7.8 pounds).
The Philippine eagle which once ruled the skies over most of the
Philippine islands is today close to extinction.
Chief breeder Domingo Tadena, 60, is hoping his 30 years of captive
breeding here on the lower slopes of the country's tallest mountain
will soon be crowned with the first successful release of the king
predator into the wild.
"We now have enough breeding stock," he tells AFP.
"The goal is to eventually release all birds that are hatched here,"
the breeder said as he hand-fed the chick, the 22nd hatched at the
Philippine Eagle Foundation.
Drawing on lessons learned from the condor and harpy eagle
conservation programmes in the United States, the foundation's goal
is to set free one captive-bred bird each year.
"In the next five years I am confident that

German zoo wants money for siring Knut
A north German zoo is laying claim to some of the millions of euros
generated by the famous polar bear Knut, saying they were
responsible for lending the bear's father to the Berlin zoo where he
was born.
Fifteen-month old Knut helped bring in 5 million euros (3.8 million
pounds) to the Berlin Zoo in 2007 thanks to a flood of visitors and
sales of Knut-branded merchandise.
But a smaller Zoo in Neumuenster, north Germany, said on Friday it
should also have a slice of the pie because it lent Berlin Lars, the

Mayor Asks For Millions For New Zoo Exhibit
Mayor Mufi Hannemann is asking for millions of dollars to finish a
new elephant exhibit at the Honolulu Zoo that's been in the works
for over a decade.
A large portion of the enclosure is finished and sits empty --
waiting for the funding to complete the job.
KITV's Keoki Kerr reported that in his budget proposal last week,
Hannemann asked for about $7 million to complete an elephant
breeding facility

Teens charged in zoo shooting
The Cumberland County SPCA filed animal cruelty charges Tuesday
against two teens who allegedly shot pellets at animals in the
Cohanzick Zoo over the weekend.
The boys also face weapons charges after the alleged pellet-gun

It really is time for zoo animals to get new home
Al Ain did it. Abu Dhabi are planning it. So, in the spirit of
healthy competition between the Emirates, why doesn't Dubai do it?
I'm talking about the upgrades to the zoos in these Emirates. With
all the mega projects on the go here in Dubai (Dubai world etc), it
would seem as if the Dubai Zoo on Jumeirah Road looks seriously
dated.But looks aside - let's face it, keeping large animals
confined in tiny spaces within a zoo is old school (not to mention
It is also not very educational to send school children to this type
of zoo, as is often the case. Animals should be seen in a more
natural setting. I am sure this is what the upgraders to the Al Ain
zoo had in mind when they selected only those animals who they felt
were adaptable to the harsh desert climates associated with the
region. The animals are also in a more natural more open setting as
opposed to the tiny enclosures at Dubai's zoo.
I am sure that by upgrading the zoo it

Debt collectors sue Irwin widow
A Victorian Court has ruled that a multi-million dollar lawsuit
against the late Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo will be heard in
Debt collection agency Alyssa Treasury Services is suing the
Queensland zoo for $2.5 million of debts which it acquired from
several different firms, including offshore banks.
The agency demanded payment of the debt in May last year and is also
suing zoo manager Terri Irwin, wife of the late Steve Irwin, for
Despite lawyers for Australia Zoo

Zoo denies locking out Bob Irwin
AUSTRALIA Zoo has denied reports of a rift between Bob Irwin, the
father of dead "Crocodile Hunter'' Steve Irwin, and his widow Terri.
Mr Irwin released a statement at the weekend, saying he was cutting
ties with the zoo he had founded on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, the
Sunshine Coast Daily reported.
But the zoo's director Wes Mannion told the media today the zoo's
conservation direction had not changed since the death of Steve
Irwin on September 4, 2006.
Mr Mannion also denied Mr Irwin's father had been barred from the
tourist attraction, saying Mr Irwin Senior had only been at the zoo
three or four days ago.
"He's not locked out,'' The Sunshine,25197,23319622-12377,00.html

Zoo supervisor suspended for 'theft' of animal parts
In a case of alleged stealing of leopard claws, hair of elephant
tails and peacock feathers from the zoo here, the Zoo Director has
suspended a supervisor, pending an enquiry.
The suspension was ordered on Monday, following an enquiry into a
complaint by some medical college students from Nagpur, who had
reported to authorities two months back that a staff member at the
zoo had tried to sell leopard claws to them.
However, Zoo Director Elsy George told PTI that it was not possible
to remove body parts of animals and birds, as they are kept under
strict supervision of higher officials.
The staff might have misled the students

Endangered tiger cubs get Aussie home (Peter's note: Coup it may be
and I suppose if one good thing comes out of it then these tigers
will not be chained up in Taman Safari so they can pose with
visitors for photographs...but what about the animals from Austraila
zoo? Do they take their place? In my mind...not a good move on
Austrailia Zoos part...not without Taman changing established
THREE Sumatran tiger cubs have arrived at Queensland's Australia Zoo
from Indonesia in a coup for the zoo that will revitalise the
tiger's international breeding program.
Australia Zoo exotic carnivore supervisor Giles Clark said the 12-
week-old siblings - one male and two female - arrived at the
Sunshine Coast zoo last week in an "incredibly important'' step for
species worldwide.
"What they're actually doing is introducing new bloodlines and
genetics into the captive population which is vital,'' Mr Clark said.
"So, to put that in context, this is the first time in over 30 years
that Sumatran tigers from Indonesia have been allowed outside the
country for breeding.''
He said that up until now, captive populations had been heading
towards a "genetic bottleneck'' where inbreeding would soon happen.
Therefore, the three cubs would revitalise,21985,23318582-5005961,00.html

Zoo denies accusation that it dumps animals
The group of a half dozen animal lovers, including one dressed up
like a kangaroo, stood in the cold Thursday to register their
concern that zoo animals could end up on hunting ranches.
Local supporters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals held
up a banner declaring, "Dickerson Park Zoo: Rescue Dumped Animals

'Extinct' bird found for 1st time in nearly 80 years
A pale-bellied bird species last seen in the 1920s and long thought
to be extinct has been rediscovered near Papua New Guinea.
The Beck's petrel was photographed last summer by an Israeli
ornithologist in the Bismarck Archipelago, a group of islands
northeast of Papua New Guinea.
Hadoram Shirihai, who led an expedition to find the seabird,
returned with photographs of more than 30 of the birds and a freshly
dead specimen found at sea -- evidence that has so far convinced
several experts.
Shirihai's photographs and his report were published in "The
Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club'' on Friday.
Britain's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and BirdLife
International -- a Cambridge conservation

White killer whale spotted off Alaska
The white killer whale spotted in Alaska's Aleutian Islands sent
researchers and the ship's crew scrambling for their cameras.
The nearly mythic creature was real after all.
"I had heard about this whale, but we had never been able to find
it," said Holly Fearnbach, a research biologist with the National
Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle who photographed the rarity. "It
was quite neat to find it."
The whale was spotted last month while scientists aboard the Oscar
Dyson, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research
ship, were conducting

Zoo boss wants permission for new boundary fencing
APPLICATION: David Gill, owner of the South Lakes Wild Animal Park
in Dalton, has applied to Barrow council for permission for a new
perimeter fence
ZOO boss David Gill is seeking planning permission for a new
boundary fence to stop his animals escaping.
Inspectors slammed the perimeter fencing at South Lakes Wild Animal
Park when they visited the Dalton tourist attraction in October.
They concluded it would not "deter unauthorised entry" or help keep
the creatures in.
Barrow Borough Council has since received a planning application
from Mr Gill for a new security fence at his zoo.
The council's planning committee ? a panel of councillors ? could
decide whether to grant Mr Gill's application on March 18 or April 8.
Council planning officials said a three-week consultation on the
proposal was under way but they had not received any responses.
Michelle Grafton, administration

Rare frogs bred in New Zealand
A rare and threatened species of tiny frog has been found breeding
in a New Zealand animal park, meaning its future may now be more
secure, researchers said Monday.
The 13 finger nail-sized Maud Island froglets were discovered
clinging to the backs of full-grown male frogs at the Karori
Wildlife Sanctuary in the capital Wellington, said researcher Kerri
Lukis. The frogs are normally found only on two islands in the
Malborough Sounds region of New Zealand's South Island.
"Maud Island frogs have never been found breeding" before, even on
their home island, said Lukis, a masters degree student


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