- About Us
- Online Store
Zoo News Digest
Apes get legal rights in Spain, to surprise of bullfight critics
National Zoo Reverses Vasectomy on Horse
The first ever successful reverse vasectomy on an endangered species
is performed at the National Zoo.
The Prezewalski horse came to the Smithsonian National Zoo in 2006.
He was vasectomized in 1999 at a previous institution and now has had
a successful reverse vasectomy.
The Prezewalski horses are a horse species native to China and
Mongolia that was declared extinct in the wild in 1970. There are
approximately 1,500 of these animals maintained at zoos throughout the
world and in several populations in Asia.
"The major challenge we faced was that this procedure had never been
performed on an equid, let alone a critically endangered species," said
Dr. Budhan Pukazhenthi, a reproductive scientist at the National Zoo's
Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Va.
The team sought out Dr. Sherman Silber, a St. Louis-based urologist
who pioneered microsurgery for reverse vasectomies in humans and
Black Market Tigers Linked to Thai Temple, Report Says
It's the hottest part of the day at a forest monastery in western
Thailand, and tourists are led by the hand, one by one, into the beating
sun to pet chained tigers and smile for the camera.
Every day at this unusual "Tiger Temple," as many as 800 tourists pay
300 Thai baht (9 U.S. dollars) each for their chance to interact with the
endangered big cats.
The tigers—several of which were born at the compound—live
alongside monks and volunteers in what one temple handler called a
beautiful blend of Buddhism and conservation.
Though the remote monastery near the Burmese border is considered a
must-see by some tourists, it's what the public doesn't see that has
READ THE REPORT :
Exploiting the Tiger
Illegal Trade, Animal Cruelty, and Tourists at Risk at the Tiger Temple
Elephants: Thriving at zoos?
An African elephant in Philadelephia's zoo died recently at age 52. While
wild elephants sometimes live into their 60s, that left a 48-year-old in
Salt Lake City as the oldest African elephant in a U.S. zoo.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums talks about how "elephants
thrive in zoos." Consider us a bit underwhelmed.
The oldest Asian elephant in a U.S. zoo is a more impressive 67. The
AZA says average life expectancies are the same in capitivity and the
Most zoos, including Seattle's, are dismissive of calls for elephants to be
in spacious sanctuaries. Most critics would be happy to think the
elephants are enjoying themselves in conditions that might lead to
remarkably long lives. Somewhere there must be a watering hole
where dedicated professionals and caring
Poachers kill last four wild northern white rhinos
The last four northern white rhinoceros remaining in the wild are feared
to have been killed for their horns by poachers and are now believed to
be extinct in the wild. Only a few are left in captivity but they are difficult
to breed and the number is so low that the species is regarded as
The outlook for other types of rhino, including the endangered African
black rhino, was more optimistic yesterday however. Figures released
by the IUCN, the international conservation body that assesses threats
to wildlife, showed that the number of wild rhinos had increased to its
highest level for decades.
The northern white rhino, Ceratotherium simum cottoni, has been
struggling for suvival since the 1970s, when numbers dropped from
about 500 to 15. A slight recovery was recorded in 2003 when 30 were
counted but by 2006 only four were left. All of them were recorded in
the Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo but war
and civil unrest in the region has led to an increase in poachers.
"Worryingly, recent fieldwork has so far failed to find any presence of
these four remaining rhinos," Dr Martin Brooks, a rhino specialist with
the IUCN, said. "Unless
Rhinos on the rise in Africa but Northern white nears extinction(lifepr)
Gland, Switzerland, 17.06.2008 - African rhinos have reached record
numbers for the first time in decades, but the Northern white rhino
(Ceratotherium simum cottoni) is on the brink of extinction.
The figures, complied by the IUCN Species Survival Commission African
Rhino Specialist Group, show there are now more than 21,000 African
According to the results, the white rhino (Ceratotherium simum) has
increased from 14,540 in 2005 to 17,480 in 2007. It is listed as Near
Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(TM) , but one
of its two subspecies, the Northern white rhino, is listed as Critically
Endangered and is on the brink of extinction.
It is restricted in the wild to Garamba National Park in the Democratic
Republic of Congo and the only remaining population was reduced by
poaching from 30 in April 2003 to only four confirmed animals by August
"Worryingly, recent fieldwork has so far failed to find any presence of
these four remaining rhinos," says Dr Martin Brooks, Chair of the IUCN
SSC African Rhino Specialist Group. "Unless animals are found during
the intensive surveys that are planned under the direction of the African
Parks Foundation, the subspecies may be doomed to extinction."
In contrast, the other subspecies, the Southern white rhino
(Ceratotherium simum simum), is listed as Near Threatened on the
IUCN Red List and continues to increase in numbers and range.
Similarly, the population of African black rhino (Diceros bicornis), has
increased from 3,730 in 2005 to 4,180 in 2007, although it still remains
Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. In the last two years alone,
numbers have risen by about 450 animals, with several new populations
Zoo boss threatens to sue Dalton Carnival Committee
THE boss of a top Furness attraction says he missed out on thousands
of pounds worth of revenue over the weekend.
South Lakes Wild Animal Park owner David Gill has threatened to sue
the organisers of Dalton Carnival after the main route into the zoo was
blocked-off for hours.
No traffic was allowed to pass down roads affected by the carnival
between midday and 4pm.
Mr Gill says he was not told the road closures for Saturday's carnival
would be in place for so long and believes it may have lost him up to
He said: "I am taking legal action. I am going to sue the carnival
committee for the money we've lost.
"It is the worst thing that has happened to me in 14 years.
"This is the type of thing that will make us move from Dalton.
"The visitors were stuck in the zoo. We couldn't send them through
Marton because God only knows where they'd have ended up.
"People who are not from around here wouldn't have a clue where to
Mr Gill says the carnival committee should have paid for signs to say the
park was open and accessible through alternative routes.
He said: "This year they've gone crazy. They have not even made an
effort to talk to me. They
Zoo Tales: What Does a 400-pound Gorilla Eat?
The first segment of a new series Zoo Tales by Post photographer Joe
Elbert's follows animal nutritionist Karen Lisi as she helps to feed
thousands of animals across hundreds of species.
Lisi was online Monday, June 16 at 11 a.m. ET to take your questions
about the care and feeding of the National Zoo's menagerie. A transcript
Info For Daughter: Hello Ms. Lisi, I want to get as much info I can on
what my soon to be 17-year-old can do about her interest in animals.
She has volunteered at the zoo, but as a greeter/helper, and also
volunteered at nature centers. She would love to work at an animal
hospital or pet store, but to no avail. Can you give me any suggestions
on what she can do, while school is out? Thank you.
Karen Lisi: I would encourage your daughter to visit our Web site and
search for "volunteer opportunities." Friends of the National Zoo, FONZ,
runs several programs for interested students your daughter's age.
Since we offer a variety of opportunities, there may be something
different that would appeal to your daughter.
We also have information about wildlife-related careers on the Web site
May I also suggest looking into FONZ
Bengal tiger mauls Wildlife Park guard (Peter's Note: Earlier reports said
it was a Cheetah. This is more likely)
A wildlife department guard was attacked and severely injured by a
Bengal tiger at the Lahore Wildlife Park, Raiwind Road, on Sunday.
The guard, Masood Yasin, was immediately shifted to Jinnah Hospital in
unconscious condition. Yasin received multiple injuries and his jugular
vein was badly damaged in the attack, doctor said. "The patient is in
critical condition. He was operated upon but he is still not out of danger.
A major operation would be held today in the morning by senior
surgeons," he said.
Deputy Director Wildlife Department and incharge of the park, Ch
Shafqat Ali, talking to The Nation said it was the first incident that a
tiger had attacked a human being in the park. "It has not been
determined yet whether it was guard's fault that he did not follow the
precautions or there was some other reason that the animal became so
ferocious that it attacked," Ali said.
In past there had been incidents in which the big cats killed other
animals. In January 2007, a tiger killed another tiger while in October
2006, a tigress killed another tigress.
Sources in the Punjab Wildlife Department said Punjab Chief Minister
Mian Shahbaz Sharif had also planned to visit the park on Saturday
(today) morning. They said the CM had taken notice of some complaints
against the administration of the park and was personally visiting it to
take action against those involved in irregularities.
So far the Wildlife Department officials are reluctant to explain the
cause of incident. "It is a very unusual incident and the first of its kind in
the park. It is possible that the animals are not fed properly at the right
time. If the animals are properly fed they never attack.
"Also the guard may have broken the rules and directly engaged with
the animals or perhaps provoked the tiger by some act
Companies Get OK to Annoy Polar Bears
Bush Administration allows oil and gas companies to annoy already
threatened polar bears
Less than a month after declaring polar bears a threatened species
because of global warming, the Bush administration is giving oil
companies permission to annoy and potentially harm them in the pursuit
of oil and natural gas.
The Fish and Wildlife Service issued regulations this week providing
legal protection to seven oil companies planning to search for oil and
gas in the Chukchi Sea off the northwestern coast of Alaska if "small
Floods wipe out 1,600 nests in disaster for Britain's rarest birds
More than 1,600 pairs of wading birds and ducks have had their nests
destroyed by flooding in a wildlife catastrophe in the Cambridgeshire
Nearly 600 pairs of increasingly scarce ground-nesting waders –
lapwing, snipe and redshank – have lost eggs or chicks in the flooding
on the Ouse Washes, a narrow, 20-mile strip of grassland near Ely
which is the best breeding site for waders in lowland England. More
than 1,100 pairs of eight species of duck, including 12 pairs of the rare
garganey, have similarly had nests washed away.
The Ouse Washes were built as a winter relief channel for fenland flood
water in the 17th century, and were traditionally inundated every winter
and dried out in spring, leaving damp grassland which was perfect for
But in recent years the flooding has continued through spring and even
into summer. A combination
Authorities continue tiger investigation
Federal authorities continue to investigate the parking lot sale of six
Bengal tigers they believe were bound for Mexico.
On Monday, investigators interviewed workers from the Springhill
Wildlife Park and Ranch, the facility from which the cubs originated.
Little is known about the park, located at 5650 Springhill Road in
Calvert, Texas, about 35 miles northwest of College Station.
``This is the first time they've popped up on the radar,'' said Special
Agent Alejandro Rodriguez
Staff shortage plagues Corbett Tiger reserve
The Corbett Tiger Reserve might be brimming with a robust wild cat
population but the shortage of staff in the park is giving sleepless nights
to Uttarkhand wildlife officials who fear that poachers may take
advantage of the situation.
Park Director Rajeev Bhartri admitted that "forty per cent of the total
staff strength is yet to be filled."
Sources said the park spread over 1318 sq km area, including Sonanadi
Wildlife Sanctuary, has a sanctioned strength of 300 staff, not sufficient
to manage the healthy wildlife population comprising tigers, leopards
and elephants and other animals.
To worsen the matter, of these, 125 including 102 posts for forest
guards are lying vacant. The sanctioned strength of forest guards is
226, the sources said.
They said the problem aggravated when three dozen forests guards left
the Park en mass during the recent re-organisation of the state forest
"When given an option they preferred to join Western Circle, thus
Elephant, camels freed with Jaws of Life
Three circus animals had to be rescued by volunteer firefighters after
the transport truck carrying them overturned in a remote N.L.
"There are four very sharp turns here in town, a tractor-trailer was
coming around one of the turns and flipped over on her side, and there
was an elephant and two camels inside the truck," Daniel's Harbour
Mayor Steve Carey told Canada AM on Tuesday.
The local fire department, and one from a neighbouring town were
called in, bringing with them the Jaws of Life that had been purchased
in the last six months.
According to Carey, there were minor injuries resulting from the crash,
which occurred Sunday, but both the driver and animals are said to be
"It did turn into a circus for the youngsters that are in the area," Carey
Local residents were reportedly flocking to the area to get a look at the
unusual visitors, who are members
He's black, and he's back! Private enterprise saves southern Africa's
rhino from extinction
A pioneering scheme which allows private landlords to own and breed
wild rhinoceroses has succeeded in bringing one of Africa's most
majestic animals back from the brink of extinction, conservations will
In 1960, an estimated 100,000 southern black rhinos roamed the plains
of southern Africa. Poaching and the destruction of the animals' natural
habitat cut their number to 2,410 in 1995.
The decline has been reversed: the International Union for Conservation
of Nature (IUCN) will announce this morning that more than 4,000
southern black rhinos can be found in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia,
and Kenya, a landmark signifying stability.
Numbers of southern whites have also increased, from 14,540 in 2005
to 17,480 at the end of last year.
"Effective law enforcement has become much easier now that the
animals are largely privately owned," said Dr Richard Emslie, a scientific
officer with responsibility for rhinos at the IUCN.
"We have been able to bring local communities into the conservation
programmes. There are increasingly strong economic incentives
attached to looking after rhinos rather than simply poaching: from eco-
tourism or selling them on for a profit. So many owners are keeping
them secure. The private sector has been key to helping our work."
As a result of poaching for their horns, the news is dismal for Africa's
two northern species of rhino, however. Only four northern white rhinos
remained when they were last seen in August 2006, all of them in
Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic
A spy satellite is to be trained on the vast rainforests of central Africa as
part of a British project designed to protect them from illegal logging
under plans to be unveiled today.
The £1m high-resolution camera will beam images of the Congo Basin
Rainforest to a new ground station to allow governments, NGOs and
local communities to prevent the rainforests being lost.
The equipment, which can photograph objects as small as 10 metres
across, will hover 650km (400 miles) above the rainforest to track illegal
logging operations, as well as monitor pollution levels and help monitor
agriculture. A £1.5m satellite ground station will also be built in the
region as part of an £8m package of measures to be announced today
to prevent dangerous deforestation in the region.
British ministers hope the satellite camera, likely to be launched in two
years' time, will also provide images for a £1.8m mapping project
designed to help the 51 million inhabitants of the rainforest to establish
their land rights and prevent loggers seizing territory.
The new initiative will be unveiled at the launch of a global fund to back
projects to preserve the rainforest, the world's second-largest tropical
The forest covers an area twice the size of France and contains 26 per
cent of the world's remaining rainforest, extending across six countries;
Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of
Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of Congo.
Estimates suggest that 3,600 square miles of forest are cut down in the
forest each year. Britain has donated £50m to the new fund, which
ministers hope will rise to £250m to prevent the rainforest suffering the
type of deforestation which has depleted the Amazon's rainforest.
The fund is part of an £800m
Chimp Cure For Stress: Hugs And Kisses
Researchers Find Consolation Helps Quell Chimpanzee Victims Of
Researchers studying chimpanzees, the closest genetic relatives to
people, found that stress was reduced in chimps that were victims of
aggression if a third chimp stepped in to offer consolation.
"Consolation usually took the form of a kiss or embrace," said Dr.
Orlaith N. Fraser of the Research Center in Evolutionary Anthropology
and Paleoecology at Liverpool John Moores University in England.
"This is particularly interesting," she said, because this behavior is
rarely seen other than after a conflict.
"If a kiss was used, the consoler would press his or her open mouth
against the recipient's body, usually on the top of the head or their back.
An embrace consisted of the consoler wrapping one or both arms
around the recipient."
The result was a reduction of stress behavior such as scratching or self-
grooming by the victim of aggression, Fraser and colleagues report in
Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Frans de Waal of the Yerkes
A MILLION dollar communication bungle has put the Rockhampton Zoo
upgrade in jeopardy.
Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Brad Carter this week confirmed
council had received a letter advising it of a $1m State Government
grant, but he couldn't pinpoint why it wasn't passed onto the correct
The promised funding, secured from the Regional Centres Program,
was originally dependent on the zoo and chimpanzee facility upgrade
being completed by March 9, next year.
The mayor said he wasn't sure now when the project, which had
already started, would be finished.
Cr Carter said it was unclear where the breakdown in communication
had occurred, but said ultimately the responsibility landed on the desk of
the organisation's chief executive.
"I know that the letter had formally been received by council, I had
discussed that matter with the CEO (ex-acting CEO Gary Stevenson),
about the commitment of the State Government, but in terms of why
that wasn't known to the parks department, I have no idea," he said.
"There's no conspiracy theory to do with the piece of correspondence
not catching up with the action officers.
"We're reviewing the management structure and reviewing
Zoo sends £1,000 to help Pandas in China
COLCHESTER Zoo has sent £1,000 to China to help rescue Giant Pandas.
The zoo has sent the emergency funds to the Chengdu Giant Panda
Breeding Centre in the Sichuan province of China which was affected by
last month's earthquake.
The money will help rebuild
Zoo Negara goes green to cut cost
Zoo Negara is going green to save costs, and the environment.
One of the measures used by Zoo Negara is the rainwater utilisation
system, where rainwater is collected, stored and used for daily usage.
According to Malaysian Zoological Society director Dr Mohamad Ngah,
the National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia was helping out
with its expertise.
The rainwater harvested will be used for the aquariums, toilets and for
"This system is expected to help us save 30% in water bills," he told
reporters yesterday after a pre-launch of World Environment Day to be
held at the zoo on Sunday.
A group of young fashion designers, who will be showcasing their
specially-created designs at the zoo
Shhhh! The chimpanzees are mating
Female chimpanzees keep quiet during sex to keep other females from
finding out and punishing them for mating with the best males, British
researchers said on Wednesday.
The study of chimp copulation calls also found that females seem more
concerned with having sex with as many mates as possible rather than
just finding the strongest male as a way to confuse paternity and secure
future protection for offspring.
"They are trying to make the high-ranking males think they are the
father," said Simon Townsend, an evolutionary psychologist at the
University of St. Andrews in Britain, who led the study. "If you confuse
paternity, they are more likely to provide that female with future
The findings show that chimps – our closest living relatives – can use
their calls flexibly in response to social factors while knowing more
about the apes could help in conservation efforts, he added.
Researchers have long been interested in mating calls of different
animals, especially primates. A common hypothesis is that females use
such calls to advertise
Paul Martin launches fund to save Congo Basin
It's a haven for elephants, chimpanzees, gorillas and other wildlife --
and, now, former prime minister Paul Martin has helped launch a fund
to save the Congo Basin, the second-largest tropical rainforest in the
The $200-million Congo Basin Forest Fund, launched in London, England
on Tuesday, is jointly funded by Britain and Norway, aims to make the
forested area in Central Africa worth more as a living resource than it
would be cut down.
"The preservation of the Congo Basin rainforest is a tremendous step
forward, if we can make it happen, in the fight against climate change,"
said Martin in an interview Tuesday.
"Giving these communities the ability
Gharials pose problem of plenty in Patna Zoo
Patna (PTI): What would have been a dream come true for
conservationists has turned out to be a nightmare for the authorities of
The burgeoning population of gharials or "gavialis gangeticus" at the
Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park is giving a headache to the authorities
who are planning to release them in rivers or shift the reptiles to other
zoological parks in the country under an exchange programme or even
"I have written to the chief warden of the Department of Forests and
Environment to consider releasing the alligators in the Gandak river and
his response is awaited," Director of the Park, Rakesh Kumar said.
The obstacle that is apparently coming in the way of releasing the
gharials, which fall in the "critically endangered" category under
schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, is doubts about
Bronx Zoo Lion House Goes Green as Cockroaches, Crocs Move In
A springy, rubberized floor made from recycled plastic and used tires
cushions my steps as I move from a leafy jungle to a spiny forest at
``Madagascar!'' -- the new exhibit in the restored 1903 Lion House at
New York's Bronx Zoo.
Waiting inside are 100,000 (or so) hissing cockroaches, Nile crocodiles
and, more adorable, furry, long-tailed lemurs.
The historic structure, designed by Heins & La Farge as part of the zoo's
original Astor Court campus, represented state-of- the-art zoo design at
the turn of the 20th century. The lions could stroll through a
passageway connecting their indoor and outdoor cages -- a true
innovation at the time.
Some two decades ago, the lions were relocated so they could roam
more freely in a natural-looking setting, leaving the building vacant --
Restored by FXFowle Architects of New York, the Lion House retains its
ornate charms -- the limestone and brick facade, the stately Ionic
columns, the copper roof and carved heads of jungle cats on the terra-
cotta cornices -- while incorporating some very 21st-century ideas for
The architects deepened and widened the basement to hide the
building's infrastructure -- like the geothermal wells that eliminat
Lions, jaguars, and a wolf intent on escape - why we bought a zoo
Ben Mee had always relished a challenge – and that's what he got when
he and his family took on a run-down wildlife park
We never planned to buy a zoo, it just sort of happened. The whole
family had been looking for a small cottage for my mum to move into
after my dad had died, and then the idea evolved that she could live
with one of her five children, by pooling resources and buying a larger
place. Which is how we came to be on the mailing list for what was
then called Dartmoor Wildlife Park, for sale through a normal residential
estate agents. At first we laughed – I mean, who buys a zoo? But the
more we thought about it, the more we thought, "Why not?"
We soon discovered there are many very good reasons why not. But on
the face of it here was a large 12-bedroom house in the middle of a
park, which also happened to have lions and tigers roaming the
grounds. A bit of research revealed that anyone can buy a zoo, as long
as you employ qualified zoo professionals to run manage the animals.
What could possibly go wrong? Well, quite a lot, actually.
Our idea of relocating with my mother did not go according to plan.
Although the asking price for the 30-acre site was the same as that for
my mum's five-bedroom house in two acres of Surrey, there was the
small matter of the extra £500,000 we would need to renovate the
place to make it serviceable and presentable to the visitors. During the
long and unbelievably complicated negotiations, the zoo had closed, and
the owner had handed in his licence. The place was very run down and
the enclosures were ready to be bulldozed to make way for a nursing
home. When we finally took possession after six months of wrangling
with bankers and lawyers, and with the aid of a loan from the very
understanding National Farmers Union Mutual, our problems really
After four days, our big male jaguar escaped, due to the error of a
junior keeper. Amazingly, Sovereign the jag didn't kill the keeper,
Zoo animals' twilight years pose new questions
We've highlighted people spending gobs on medical bills for their baby-
boomer pets. Now the nation's zoos are entering a "zone of unknowns"
as animals live longer than anyone expected, the Associated Press
While animals in captivity living longer than their wild brethren is
nothing new, as that gap in life expectancy increases -- partly due to
better medical care -- there have been some adjustments.
The Santa Ana Zoo, for instance, is home to Moka, a colobus monkey
pushing 27 years old, making him the second-oldest in the United States:
For Moka, old age has meant only a few minor changes. His perch has
been lowered so he doesn't have to jump up to it. He gets regular X-
rays to check for arthritis. And he tends to get access to warm areas
during the winter.
But the aging population of America's zoos is raising many other
simple –- but potentially daunting –- questions.
Do female gorillas, now frequently living into their 40s and 50s,
Can an aging lemur suffer from dementia?
Should an oldster be put down simply because he's old?
"How old is geriatric? How old
Return of Zoo's exec causes controversy
Ambiguous leave of absence by chief leaves board questioning status
Calvin White, the chief executive of the Toronto Zoo who has been on a
leave for the past six months, will be back at his post July 2.
But Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37, Scarborough Centre), a
member of the zoo's board of management, is calling for a special
meeting to discuss White's return – which he says has never been
discussed by the board.
In fact, Thompson said board members have not been formally told that
White is coming back.
"I've only heard it through the grapevine," he said. "It's a little bit
chaotic in terms of not knowing what's going to take place."
White's leave has been controversial. It started last December when
board members got a note saying White was seeking a medical leave of
absence of six months or more. The board struck a committee to look
into the matter and two members of the committee signed a proposal
for a severance package worth more than $400,000. But a third
committee member refused to sign and, in January, a majority of board
members balked at the deal.
SETTING THE MONKEYS FREE
THE cotton-topped tamarin, which lives only in north western Colombia,
is clinging to survival in the remaining pockets of rainforest in its
Dwindling habitat and the pet trade have pushed these tiny monkeys to
the brink of extinction.
With their flash of white hair and tiny stature – cotton-tops fit in the
palm of your hand – it's easy to understand how they've been snagged
as desirable pets.
Although they were declared endangered in 1973 they only recently
became the focus of conservationists.
David Gill has been working with the multidisciplinary Proyecto Titi, or
Project Tamarin, for three years now.
As well as providing funding, Mr Gill was recently invited to Baranquilla,
on the northern Caribbean coast of Colombia, to offer practical
assistance to the project.
His style of semi-wild facilities at South Lakes Wild Animal Park is in
great demand across the globe, with many zoos wishing to move away
from cages to create more natural enclosures.
While he was there Mr Gill started looking creatively at practical ways
Dalton zoo could help the tamarins.
His idea is to sell square-metre patches of rainforest here in Furness to
conserve the equivalent area of land in Colombia.
Explaining the concept, Mr Gill said: "We went out to the forest and saw
the fragments that were left suitable for cotton-topped tamarins. It's
frightening how vulnerable these tamarins are.
"We want to look at these forest fragments to see if we could get
involved with purchasing them to protect them forever. We thought we
could start a small project, based in El Ceibal.
"On that ranch there's a 400 hectare plot of forest, full of life. It's full of
howler monkeys, three different species of macaw, tortoises and cotton-
"It's an island of forest surrounded by cattle ranches. That particular
area floods in the wet season. It isn't being used because it isn't easy to
turn into grassland, otherwise it would have been destroyed by now.
Further across there's an area of forest that's also suitable.
"So what we thought was we would try to buy the grassland to be a
corridor in between the two plots.
"We came up with a scheme to encourage visitors to buy a metre
square of rainforest. It's 400 hectares and there's 10,000 square metres
in a hectare.
"It still seems like a very achievable thing, even if we can only put down
half of it.
"We want to try and buy it so we could protect it for all these species."
Key to conserving Colombia's natural habitats is getting the local
communities on board.
How do you convince the villagers that the tamarins are not worth
sacrificing to the pet trade?
Through education programmes and by creating more sustainable living
solutions, the tamarin has now become a living emblem, to the extent
that the species is celebrated in an annual cultural festival.
"The problem was the local villagers saw the forest for firewood and
tamarins for the pet trade," explained Mr Gill.
"So we had to go to the villages and come up with some sort of idea of
how to help them so they could help the forest. They came up with an
outstanding idea themselves. They started collecting supermarket
carrier bags that people were recycling.
"They slit the bag open with
Tiger cub diary: video exclusive
Forget meerkat manor – Kent Online has launched its own fly-on-the-
wall look at two of the county's more unusual animals.
Every two weeks we will be updating you on the progress of Sinda and
Bira, Port Lympne Wild Animal Park's pair of Siberian tiger cubs.
At 13 weeks, they may look like a pair of fluffy little tiggers only
interested in playing and food.
But these beautiful tiger cubs are already starting to show their claws.
In the first of Kent Online's exclusive video diaries cataloguing the
progress of Siberian tiger cubs Sinda and Bira at Port Lympne Wild
Animal Park, it is clear the pair are well on the way to becoming
boisterous young carnivores.
Keeper Richard Barnes said the smaller of the two, Bira, is emerging as
the most outgoing of the two, showing little fear as she bounds around
Sinda is a little more cautious – and a little more feisty with her
keepers – but still loves a scrap with her sister
Seattle zoo elephant may be pregnant
An elephant at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle may be pregnant. The
zoo says it won't know for sure until an ultrasound scheduled this fall.
The elephant, named Chai (chy) was artificially inseminated in January.
The father is an elephant named Sneezy at the zoo in Tulsa, Okla.
It all goes as planned the baby would be born by Thanksgiving of 2009.
Some animal rights activists are worried about the health risks. The
group Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants says it's unethical to
breed Chai because her 6-year-old daughter, Hansa, died last year of a
herpes infection. The group fears a new calf would also get the
Hogle Zoo requesting $65 million bond
Not to be deterred, Hogle Zoo officials are once again asking for a $65
million zoo renovation bond.
But to get there, they have to get through the Salt Lake County Council
first. The council must vote to put the bond on the November ballot and
is scheduled to discuss the issue Tuesday.
Last summer the council rejected the same request
PETA starts campaign to revoke tiger cub ranch
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has started a
campaign to revoke the license of a wildlife park that tried to sell six
tiger cubs in McAllen.
PETA sent an urgent letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture officials on
Thursday morning urging them to investigate the Springhill Wildlife
Ranch and Park in Bryan, Texas.
The park's co-owner Michelle Ashton under investigation for allegedly
attempted to sell six endangered tiger cubs in a McAllen Wal-Mart
parking lot on Sunday.
It is believed the animals were destined for Mexico possibly violating
American and international laws regarding the trade of endangered
PETA is asking the USDA to revoke the dealer'
Card sharks on Vegas Strip welcome Komodo dragon
A Komodo dragon has arrived on the Las Vegas Strip, where the
endangered species normally are limited to cheap buffets, 99-cent
shrimp cocktails and single-deck blackjack.
The 87-pound, 7-foot-long endangered lizard went on display Friday at
the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay casino. It comes from the
Miami Metro Zoo.
About 75 Komodo dragons are in zoos and aquariums in the U.S. and
Canada, according to Shark Reef officials. Some 3,000 to 5,000 Komodo
dragons live in the
U.S. and Iranian officials put aside difference to save one of the world's
rarest big cats
Iranian and Western wildlife experts are working together to save rare
cheetahs from extinction in this arid, mountainous region, despite a
nuclear row between their governments.
British-based conservation groups are backing a campaign spearheaded
by Iran's Department of Environment and the United Nations
Development Programme to prevent the endangered Asiatic cheetah
from dying out.
Iran is believed to host the only 60 - 100 Asiatic cheetahs left in the
wild. Some eke out a living in a forbidding terrain of jagged peaks, deep
gorges and bone-dry plains in the Kuh-e Bafgh protected area in Yazd
province in central Iran.
The sleek and spotted cats once roamed between the Arabian peninsula
and India, but their number in Iran is estimated to have fallen by
roughly half in the last three decades.
"This is a wonderful case of the urgent conservation needs of the
cheetah transcending political differences," executive director Luke
Hunter of Panthera, a non-governmental organisation, said.
The United States, which severed ties with Iran after its 1979 Islamic
revolution, is leading efforts to isolate the Middle Eastern country over
nuclear work Washington suspects is aimed at making bombs, a charge
But Hunter, an Australian, said he believed "both Iranians and
Americans realise that we cannot afford to allow politics to affect the
cheetahs. If we did, we could lose them."
Iranian officials expressed similar views.
"I love anybody who works for conservation and wildlife protection. It
doesn't matter who it is," said Ali Akhbar Karimi, a 59-year-old veteran
from Iran's Department of Environment in Yazd province.
Until the first half of the 20th century, Iran was home to four of the so-
called big cats -- including lions and tigers -- but now only leopards and
The Asiatic cheetah is closely related to its better-known African
counterpart, a killing machine that can reach speeds of over 60 miles
(100 km) an hour in pursuit of its prey.
In Iran, cheetahs have been pushed close to extinction by increased
population pressure and a lack of resources to protect them, with
villagers hunting their prey for food and herds of sheep and goat
encroaching on their habitats.
"We need to do something urgent to save them," said Iranian biologist
Houman Jowkar, field director for U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation
Society (WCS) in Yazd.
"It is a national treasure."
The Kuh-e Bafgh Protected Area
Tiger, lions not yet saved due to valley climate
The plan to rescue one endangered tiger and two lions from a Shifang
wild animal park was postponed due to bad weather, with one military
helicopter almost downed in southwest China's Sichuan Province
yesterday, local media reported.
Despite careful preparation, the rescue effort did not go smoothly.
Due to bad weather in the valley, the first planned rescue was
postponed. A new attempt will be made today, Ge Yujin, an Air Force
Deputy Chief of Staff, told the Tianfu Morning Post.
Three white lions and two white tigers had been trapped in the park
since the May 12 quake. Breeders had trekked into the valley on June
5, bringing beef to feed the bony and starving animals. Two days ago
a 2-year-old tiger was shot dead by soldiers to protect the safety
of quake survivors, while another white lion has already starved to
death. It is hoped to transport the remaining two white lions and
one white tiger to the Bifengxia Zoo in Ya'an City.
However, a Super Puma copter heading to Shifang City to evacuate the
animals made a forced landing at 12:35 PM yesterday when it
encountered mechanical problems. Three people were injured, one
critically, said an official with the
Junagadh zoo to get cheetahs from Singapore
Two cheetahs will be brought from Singapore to the Sakkarbaug
Zoological Park in Junagad in Gujarat in exchange for lions, a zoo
V.M. Rana, the zoo superintendent, Wednesday said a pair of
cheetahs, a male and a female, would be brought here within the next
six months. In return, lions would be sent to Singapore.
He added that a team of officials from Junagadh will go to Singapore
Safari park felled trees charge
WEST Midland Safari Park has pleaded not guilty at Kidderminster
Magistrates' Court to charges of uprooting more than 50 trees to
make way for a raft ride attraction - which they were earlier
ordered to pull down..
The charges relate to clearing land to build the £1 million White
River Rafting Ride over a two-year period up to 2005 and the Bewdley
park will now face a two-day trial.
Wyre Forest District Council has accused the park of breaching the
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 by destroying the trees.
advertisementThe top tourist attraction had already lost its appeal
to the Planning Inspectorate
Monkey uses garden hose to scale moat, bolt from zoo
A spider monkey used a garden hose to scale the wall of a moat at a
Michigan City zoo before being captured at a nearby boat dealership.
One of two spider monkeys recently added to the Washington Park Zoo
broke out of its enclosure this week while workers were cleaning the
moat, which had been emptied of water.
Zoo Director Johnny Martinez says workers had figured the monkeys
would remain inside their enclosure during the cleaning despite the
lack of water in the moat to act as a barricade.
Once past the moat Wednesday, the escaped monkey jumped onto the
roof of a water filtration plant. Martinez says zoo staff recaptured
it at the dealership atop a white
Monkey business in Rust de Winter
Meet Manzi and Makulu, two Chimpanzees that have found a new home in
Rust de Winter, Limpopo.
The pair were part of a group that lived in the Singapore Zoo, but
as they grew older they started to challenge the alpha male of their
group. Since he was not ready to give up his top spot in this
hierarchy, fighting broke out and the zoo management had to find a
new home for them.
Back in South Africa, Christa Saayman, the owner of Mystic Monkeys
and Feathers Wild Animal Park, heard of their plight and contacted
Singapore Zoo officials, who agreed to send the primates to her.
Obtaining Cites permits for these animals was a lengthy process, but
when the necessary permits were obtained, the chimps were sent to
South Africa via Singapore Airlines in March this year.
On their arrival, they were quarantined
Siegfried and Roy welcome new tiger cubs to Vegas habitat
Siegfried and Roy might want to move the good furniture into storage
for a while.
The famed illusionists welcomed five new tiger cubs to their exotic
habitat on the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday, a move Siegfried
Fischbacher said would be therapeutic for Roy Horn, who was
critically injured when he was mauled by a 380-pound white Bengal
tiger onstage in 2003.
"That gives him a reason to get up in the morning," Fischbacher said.
Horn did not answer questions from reporters but played with the
small tigers, holding them for the cameras, kissing them and
nibbling on one's small ear. The playful, 15-pound, 6-week old cubs
were brought to Las Vegas three weeks ago to be part of the longtime
duo's animal breeding program.
The cubs - two white females, two white striped
Endangered sea dragon at Ga. aquarium pregnant
A weedy sea dragon at the Georgia Aquarium has something to
celebrate this Father's Day. One of the rare creatures is pregnant
for only the third time ever at a U.S. aquarium, aquarium officials
said. But don't look for the expectant mom -- dads carry the eggs in
more stories like thisThe aquarium's sea dragon has about 70
fertilized eggs -- which look like small red grapes -- attached to
his tail. He is expected to give birth in early to mid-July, said
Kerry Gladish, a biologist at the aquarium.
Sea dragons, sea horses and pipe fish are the only species where the
male carries the eggs, Gladish said. Sea dragon pregnancies are rare
because researchers don't know what gets them in the mood to mate.
"We know there's something biologically or
Lions at Kenyan park being wiped out
National Geographic puts up $150,000 to pay off local herdsmen
Conservationists raised the alarm Thursday that lions in Kenya's
Amboseli National Park face extinction within a few years unless
action is taken to help them.
"The situation has reached a critical level," said Terry Garcia,
executive vice president at National Geographic Society. "Unless
something is done immediately, there will be no more lions in this
part of Kenya, which would be a tragedy."
Fewer than 100 lions are estimated to remain in the 2,200-square-
mile region at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro on the Kenya-Tanzania
border, the society said. Lions are a major attraction at Amboseli,
2,500kg of water monitor, python meat seized
A total of 2,500kg of water monitor and python meat was seized from
the country's largest reptile meat-processing factory in Cha'ah here.
Wildlife and National Parks department (Law and Enforcement) deputy
director Celescoriano Razond said the average market price for the
meat seized on Thursday was about RM125,000.
"Each type of meat can be sold in the country at an average price of
RM50 per kg," he said, adding that if exported, the price could go
up to RM200,000 for the 2,500kg.
He was speaking at a press conference Friday at the Wildlife
Conservation Centre at Air Bangas, Segamat. Razond said the total
weight of the water monitor meat seized was 1,700kg while the python
meat was 800kg.
He said the meat was seized because the owner could not produce any
proof to show that the sources of the meat
Melbourne Zoo keepers in pay dispute
Melbourne Zoo keepers fear staff could be forced to look for work
elsewhere if a pay dispute is not resolved.
They have been protesting outside the zoo today with horticulture
and maintenance staff.
Keeper Noel Heafield says the 4 per cent wage increase they have
been offered amounts to a pay cut because of inflation.
He says the Victorian Government needs to step in to ensure the
highly trained staff are not forced to leave.
"The major impact that we're looking at is people having to look
elsewhere and having to find work elsewhere," he said.
"With that you lose all these
Zoo protest 'was to cause alarm'
Zoos Victoria has issued a statement saying a protest by staff today
was aimed at creating alarm.
Staff held a protest outside the Melbourne Zoo today, calling for a
better pay deal, and claiming the Zoo was about to cut their wages.
Zoos Victoria says it has been in negotiations with the union for
seven months, and all parties have agreed to take negotiations to
Ban on export of macaque reimposed
The Cabinet has reinstated the export ban on the protected long-tailed
macaque, ending months of uncertainty about the fate of about
250,000 `urban' monkeys that are in demand as exotic food in East Asia
and in laboratories in the West.
Confirming that the Cabinet made the decision last month, Natural
Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas said:
"The decision was taken to reverse the earlier lifting of the ban after
considering the arguments and views of the various groups. A Cabinet
paper on how to tackle the human-macaque conflict, especially in the
urban areas, was submitted and approved as well.
"An allocation of RM1.6mil has been made to Perhilitan (Department of
Wildlife and National Parks) to resolve the conflict either by relocating or
culling those problematic monkeys. Perhilitan will be presenting its
action plan to the ministry next week."
There had been fierce objections from animal rights and conservation
groups when the ban was lifted last June
Celebrities join World Bank in saving tigers
Hollywood celebrities Harrison Ford, Bo Derek and Robert Duvall on
Monday threw their support behind a new global initiative by the World
Bank to save tigers from extinction.
While the global development agency's main mission is to fight poverty
in developing countries, it has rarely taken on wildlife conservation
efforts of endangered species.
The new Tiger Conservation Initiative will bring together wildlife
experts, scientists and governments to try to halt the killing and thriving
illegal trade in tiger skins, meat and body parts used in traditional Asian
Ford, a long-time environmental activist, said efforts to protect tigers
would only succeed if local communities were involved in conservation
"By committing to help wild tigers, the World Bank is sounding its
intention to be a global leader in biodiversity conservation," Ford, the
star of the latest "Indiana Jones" movie, told an event at Washington's
Smithsonian National Zoo.
Police arrest man for smuggling rhino horns
Ho Chi Minh City police detained a man on Saturday so they can
investigate allegations he smuggled almost 18 kilograms of rhino horns
through Tan San Nhat Airport last January.
The HCMC Customs Agency had decided to investigate the case after
airport officials discovered the haul on January 1.
The five rhino horns, including the biggest which weighed-in at eight
kilograms, were hidden in smuggler Tran Van Lap's suitcases and
Lap – a photographer from Hanoi – left for South Africa last August and
was returning to Vietnam on a transit flight from Singapore when
An inspection by the HCMC Forest Control Agency January 7 showed
that all the rhino horns were genuine and had a total weight of 17.6
The rhino horns were for his own personal use, Lap said to the HCMC
Investigation Department Monday.
He also showed a license for exporting
Vietnam police arrest tiger smuggler
Vietnamese police have arrested a man smuggling a tiger carcass that
he planned to use for traditional medicine in the flourishing illegal
wildlife trade, state media said on Monday.
The smuggler, Pham Dinh Van, had bought the 190-kilogram (420-
pound) animal for 20,000 dollars at a border gate with Laos in central
Ha Tinh province to boil down its bones to make traditional medicine,
the report said.
He was arrested in Hanoi on Friday as he transported the frozen tiger
body, cut into five pieces, the state run English-language Vietnam News
All tiger species are endangered, and less than 100 of the cats are
believed to survive in the wild in Vietnam, where habitat loss and
poaching have taken a heavy toll on endangered flora and fauna in
The US ambassador in Vietnam, Michael Michalak, wrote in a
Nature laid waste: The destruction of Africa
The massive scale of environmental devastation across the continent
has been fully revealed for the first time in an atlas compiled by UN
geographers. Michael McCarthy reports
It was long shrouded in mystery, called "the Dark Continent" by
Europeans in awe of its massive size and impenetrable depths. Then its
wondrous natural riches were revealed to the world. Now a third image
of Africa and its environment is being laid before us – one of destruction
on a vast and disturbing scale.
Using "before and after" satellite photos, taken in all 53 countries, UN
geographers have constructed an African atlas of environmental change
over the past four decades – the vast majority of it for the worse.
In nearly 400 pages of dramatic pictures, disappearing forests, shrinking
lakes, vanishing glaciers and degraded landscapes are brought together
for the first time, providing a deeply disturbing portfolio of devastation.
The atlas, compiled by the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) at the request of African environment ministers, and launched
yesterday simultaneously in Johannesburg and London, underlines how
extensively development choices, population growth, regional conflicts
and climate change are impacting on the natural world and the nature-
based assets of the continent.
Panda bear killed in quake laid to rest in reserve
Mao Mao the panda's remains were gently laid in a wooden crate and
wheeled to a patch of ground in China's famed Wolong Nature Reserve
where a freshly dug grave awaited.
The center's director stood cap in hand and shoveled in a few spades of
dirt. Then Mao Mao's keeper stepped forward crying, and arranged two
apples and a piece of bread by the grave. Three minutes of silence
followed as workers gathered around the grave.
Nearly a month after she was crushed to death when China's
devastating earthquake collapsed the wall of her enclosure, 9-year-old
Mao Mao was laid to rest Tuesday in a quiet corner of the Wolong
panda breeding center.
Baby beluga whale born at Vancouver Aquarium
Qila, a 12-year-old beluga whale, successfully gave birth at the
Vancouver Aquarium, Tuesday afternoon.
"The baby looks very strong did just what babies are supposed to do,''
said John Nightingale, a spokesman for the aquarium.
"It popped out tail first, swam to surface, took a nice big breath, popped
back five seconds later and took another one. So that's the first
milestone,'' he said. "The baby's been swimming all over the place.''
Aquarium officials say they are virtually certain that the baby whale is a
Before giving birth, Qila had
Shedd Oceanarium to close for upkeep
Dolphins, otters, whales to be shipped out on loan
In what some wags on the staff have dubbed a "scrub the tub" project,
the Shedd Aquarium on Sept. 2 will close its Oceanarium section for
nine months so it can re-seal the surfaces of the giant pools housing its
beluga whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins and sea otters.
The animals will be shipped to facilities around the country so the
aquarium can empty the pools of their 3 million gallons of saltwater for
the project, described as routine preventive maintenance. The Shedd
will use the opportunity to make a number of other structural updates
over a nine-month period at a cost of $50 million.
"We want to emphasize that the aquarium itself and our popular Wild
Reef exhibit will remain open
Council backs safari park plan
WYNDHAM City Council's decision to give its in-principle support to the
controversial African safari park proposal at Werribee Zoo has been met
with mixed reaction.
In a significant move, the council voted last week to give the proposal its
conditional support, subject to receiving more detailed information.
But the decision was attacked by lobby group Friends of the Zoo, which
two weeks ago submitted a petition to the State Government containing
8000 signatures opposing the plan.
Friends of the Zoo president Christina Dennis told Star she would
consider writing to the council seeking an urgent meeting.
"I'm very disappointed that they have made this decision
Giraffes arrive at wildlife park
Staff at a Cumbrian zoo are celebrating the arrival of two new young
Bo and Earl, both two-year-old male Rothschilds giraffes, are settling in
at South Lakes Wild Animal Park after travelling from Belfast Zoo.
The pair, both about 9ft (2.7m) tall, will remain at the park until they
are mature enough to enter a Europe-wide breeding programme.
Park owner David Gill said: "They are just getting to know the other
animals but they seem to be mixing
Petition Aims To Bring More Polar Bears To Asheboro Zoo
Thousands of people have signed a petition which supports plans for an
expansion and improvementsto the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro.
The Zoo Society e-mailed members to get support for the zoo's
expansion of the Polar Bear Exhibit, to build a Children's Nature Zoo and
to develop plans for the replacement of the African Pavilion and
surrounding exhibits. In all, the Zoo Society wants $10 million for zoo
improvements and planning, promising to raise $4 million if the state
provides $6 million.
Of the Zoo Society members who responded to the petition, more than
two thousand added personal comments strongly endorsing
Legislation would make Zoo a rescue center
The San Francisco Zoo would transform to a center that primarily
houses rescued domestic and exotic animals and those confiscated by
law enforcement under legislation proposed at City Hall Tuesday by
Supervisor Chris Daly.
The legislation would create a city policy that states that future
acquisitions of animals occur from rescues or confiscations. The
legislation also would create an advisory committee to monitor the
welfare of animals at the zoo.
Daly said the Christmas Day incident at the San Francisco Zoo in which
an escaped tiger killed a teen and injured his two adult friends
was "rooted in fundamental animal welfare deficiencies at the zoo." The
tiger was shot dead by police.
"That tragedy is the latest indication that there are structural problems
that plague the zoo," Daly said.
His proposal comes just days after the executive director of the zoo,
Manuel Mollinedo, abruptly resigned his post. The zoo did not give a
specific reason for his departure, and a spokeswoman did not return a
request for comment on Daly's legislation Tuesday evening.
The legislation, which Daly said was not timed to Mollinedo's
resignation, closely resembles recommendations from the city's Animal
Care and Welfare Commission made earlier this year in response to the
The 250-pound Siberian tiger named Tatiana escaped from the tiger
grotto that had concrete moat walls nearly 4 feet below
Petal, oldest African elephant in US zoo, dies
Petal, the oldest African elephant in an American zoo, died Monday at
The elephant, which usually slept standing up, was found lying in her
stall by Philadelphia Zoo staff around 7 a.m. Veterinarians were called
immediately, but Petal died about two hours later.
A video monitoring system showed that Petal's right rear leg buckled
suddenly Monday morning, causing her to collapse, said Andrew Baker,
the zoo's vice president for animal programs.
Why Copenhagen Zoo's new elephant house is strikingly familiar
WALES doesn't do elephants, but if it did, they'd probably be the
happiest elephants in the world.
And that's because the new elephant house unveiled yesterday at
Copenhagen Zoo, described by experts as "one of the finest zoo
buildings anywhere", is almost precisely modelled on the National
Botanic Garden of Wales' Great Glasshouse.
And the man behind the familiar-looking giant glass domes rising from
the earth in the Danish capital – famous mainly for its Carlsberg lager –
is Sir Norman Foster, who also designed what is now one of Wales'
most recognisable features in the Carmarthenshire countryside.
Working with the Danish landscape architect Stig L Andersson, Foster's
firm designed the new Elephant House as an extension of Frederiksberg
Gardens. It has been described as "the latest thinking in elephant
'Safe sex' man bites cobra back
In a case that has baffled Thai police, a 40-year-old man was found
dead on Sunday with a badly bitten cobra carcass in his hands and a
condom on his penis, news reports said.
Wiroj Banlen, 40, was found dead on the side of a dirt road near Lamsai
village of Ayutthaya province at 07:00 on Sunday.
A preliminary police autopsy revealed Wiroj had several snake bites on
his right leg and his cheeks, said The Nation online news service.
The dead cobra found clenched in Wiroj's hands had also been bitten
several times, and snake remnants
Officials vow to punish sale of tiger bone wine
Authorities have vowed to punish anyone found to be trading in
endangered animals or their products, following a foreign media report
of sales of tiger bone wine in Beijing and northern China.
The U.K.-based Sunday Telegraph reported that undercover
investigators had been offered the chance to buy wine made from the
crushed bones of tigers at the Qinhuangdao wildlife rescue center in
north China's Hebei Province, as well as at the Badalingsafari park in
"An investigation into the wildlife park in Qinhuangdao would be
conducted on Thursday afternoon," said Yang Chunming, head of the
Qinhuangdao Forestry Public Security Bureau, without elaborating.
"We will deal seriously with any case of illegally selling the bodies or
products of wild animals," he said.
His counterparts in Beijing also vowed to strengthen enforcement to
punish and prevent such trade.
"We have opened a hot-line and welcome any report from the public,"
said Kong Lingshui, head of the Beijing forestry inspection team.
But he said previous investigations of markets
Trade in dead tigers alive and well - June 10, 2008
According to several reports in the British press, investigators for the UK-
based Environmental Investigation Agency had little trouble procuring
illegal tiger wine from so-called wildlife rescue centres in China.
The wine, made by steeping a tiger carcass in cheap booze, is used by
many for medicinal purposes, but it has been banned in Chinese
domestic trade since 1993 as well as under the UN Convention on
International Trade in Endangereds Species. At the Nature offices we
weren't too surprised by the news that tiger parks are apparently
flouting those rules. A freelancer who worked on a tiger story for us,
Jerry Guo, had no problem tracking down two bottles when he was
writing about the Hengdaohezi Feline Breeding Centre not one of the
two parks visited by investigators.
Jerry just asked around at the train station until a taxi driver agreed to
take him to a store that specializes
Box 1. Another pickle for Siberian tigers
On a nondescript street near downtown Harbin, the Double Mountain
Local Products Wholesale Centre offers the usual array of kitsch items
stripped from the wilderness: deer antlers, pelts and dried starfish. A
request for tiger wine, a traditional brew of corpse-steeped cheap liquor
with dozens of reputed medical benefits, raises a stern eyebrow from
an employee who informs a customer that as such concoctions are
illegal, they are not available at the store. But at the mention of
American money, a store manager intervenes — $100 would buy two
bottles, and true to the employee's words they are not at the store; they
will be delivered via courier. Doubts about the brew's authenticity are
shooed away. The manager is certain the bottles are the genuine article
because, she says, "they came from over at that tiger park". She is
referring to the Hengdaohezi Feline Breeding Centre on the outskirts of
the city. And whether or not she is speaking the truth, the manager is
highlighting a looming international stand-off between conservationists
and the Chinese government.
China banned domestic trade of tiger parts in 1993, but that did not
California sea otter population is slowly growing after facing extinction,
but still faces threats
The California sea otter population is growing by 5 percent each year
after facing extinction, but potential oil spills and disease pose threats
California's iconic sea otter population continues its slow recovery from
the brink of extinction but faces an uncertain future because of high
levels of disease and vulnerability to oil spills.
That's one of the main conclusions of a report released Tuesday by the
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the status of the California sea otter.
The 10-page report examines population trends and estimates how
many of the animals, also known as southern sea otters, are killed by
humans each year.
San Luis Obispo County is at the heart of the furry marine mammal's
range, which stretches from San Mateo County to Santa Barbara. At
least 3,026 otters live in that area, with 41 more at San Nicolas Island,
which is one of the Channel Islands. Scientists estimate that
'Unicorn' sighted in nature preserve
Instead of two horns, roe deer in Italy has just one - and it's in the
middle of his head
A deer with a single horn in the center of its head - much like the
fabled, mythical unicorn - has been spotted in a nature preserve in Italy,
park officials said Wednesday.
"This is fantasy becoming reality," Gilberto Tozzi, director of the Center
of Natural Sciences in Prato, said. "The unicorn has always been a
The 1-year-old roe deer - nicknamed Unicorn - was born in captivity in
the research center's park in the town of Prato, near Florence, Tozzi
He is believed to have been born with a genetic flaw; his twin has two
Tozzi said such anomalies among deer may have inspired the myth of
The unicorn, a horselike creature with magical healing powers, has
appeared in legends and stories throughout history, from ancient and
medieval texts to the adventures of Harry Potter.
"This shows that even in past times, there could
Hau hopes to secure rare animal deal in Shanghai
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (???) plans to
take advantage of his visit to Shanghai next week to seek giant pandas
and other rare animals, including golden monkeys, to be displayed at
The Taipei City Government has been hoping to receive the pandas
since the administration of former mayor Ma Ying-jeou
(???), when China offered two of the animals
to Taiwan as a sign of goodwill during former Chinese Nationalist Party
(KMT) chairman Lien Chan's (??) China trip in 2005.
China also presented two golden monkeys — an endangered species
from Yunnan Province — to People First Party Chairman James Soong
(???) as a gift during his trip to China in
2005, but political issues have also kept the monkeys from coming to
Hau, who will visit Shanghai from June 23 to June 27 to sign a contract
and finalize the city's participation in the 2010 World Expo, will further
seek rare animal exchanges with China, Taipei Zoo director Jason Yeh
(???) said yesterday.
Hau will visit the Shanghai Zoo on June 25 to talk with Chinese officials
about sending the pandas and golden monkeys to Taipei.
"From the animal conservation perspective, it's
Many kinds of frogs – including toads – face extinction
It's tough to be a frog these days – or a toad, for that matter: 2008 has
been named the Year of the Frog by a number of environmental groups
to raise awareness of the worldwide plight of amphibians.
What, you didn't know they were in trouble? Between one-third and one-
half of all amphibian species are threatened with extinction, the
conservation group Amphibian Ark says. Loss of habitat is the major
threat, affecting the most species, but a disease called chytrid fungus is
also proving deadly.
Frogs and toads make up one of three main groups of amphibians.
There are about 3,500 known species of frogs and 300 kinds of toads.
They can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
All toads are frogs, but not all frogs
Group's bear care centre proposal
A conservation group with links to Scotland is trying to establish a large
carnivores sanctuary in Slovakia.
The Slovak Wildlife Society's (SWS) work with mammals, such as
wolves and bears, has attracted interest from Highlands estate owner
The society is also to work collaboratively this summer with the Wildlife
Conservation Research Unit headed by Scot, David Macdonald.
SWS hopes the planned centre would help rehabilitate sick and injured
Robin Rigg, of the Anglo-Slovak organisation, said the sanctuary could
provide care for abandoned European brown bear cubs and lynx with
minimal human contact.
He said: "The aim would be to release them back into the wild.
"Another part of the sanctuary
Sharjah ruler inaugurates Sharjah Aquarium
The Sharjah Aquarium opened to the public on Friday to offer nature
lovers with state-of-the-art display of a host of marine species.
Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, UAE Supreme Council
member and ruler of Sharjah on Friday inaugurated the Sharjah
The aquarium was built to enable visitors to discover life under the
ocean—clown fish, seahorses, moray eels, rays, reef sharks and
San Francisco Zoo director resigns
San Francisco's embattled zoo director announced his resignation
Friday, nearly six months after a tiger mauled a San Jose teenager to
death at the zoo.
Manuel A. Mollinedo's sudden retirement comes after months of
criticism over the San Francisco Zoo's role in the sensational Christmas
day mauling that also injured two San Jose brothers and led to dual
legal claims against the zoo and the City of San Francisco, which owns
In a one-page statement issued Friday evening, the San Francisco
Zoological Society made no reference to why Mollinedo was quitting,
simply noting that he and his wife intended to retire in the Bay Area and
remain active in the support of the zoo.
Neither Mollinedo or zoo officials could be reached for comment.
"The board greatly appreciates his efforts and wishes him well in his
retirement," the news release said.
Tanya McVeigh Peterson, who serves on the zoo's board, has been
appointed interim director.
On the day of the mauling, Carlos Sousa Jr., 17, and brothers Kulbir and
Paul Dhaliwal, 24, and 19, were at the zoo when a 350-pound Siberian
tiger leaped out of her grotto and attacked
Caribbean monk seal becomes extinct
Federal officials have confirmed what biologists have long thought: The
Caribbean monk seal has gone the way of the dodo.
Humans hunting the docile creatures for research, food and blubber left
the population unsustainable, say biologists who warn that Hawaiian
and Mediterranean monk seals could be the next to go.
The last confirmed sighting of a Caribbean monk seal was in 1952
between Jamaica and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The National Oceanic
Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service confirmed Friday that
the species is extinct.
Kyle Baker, a biologist for NOAA's Fisheries Service southeast region,
said the species is the only seal to become extinct from human causes.
The seals were first classified as endangered in 1967, and wildlife
experts investigated several reported sightings over the past few
decades. But officials determined they were other seal types.
The federal agency says there are fewer than 1,200 Hawaiian and 500
Mediterranean monk seals remaining, and their populations are
"We hope we've learned from the extinction
Animals become prey at Egypt's Giza Zoo
Police say workers seeking to supplement low wages turn exhibits into
food or sell them as pets
In most zoos, employees feed and care for the animals. At Egypt's Giza
Zoo, police say, workers have been turning them into dinner or selling
them as pets.
When two Moroccan camels were butchered in August, the perpetrators
left behind only the hide and hooves. A police investigation found that a
zookeeper had slaughtered the animals and sold the meat to
Elephant barn nears completion
Pittsburgh Zoo administrators are taking advantage of construction-
friendly weather to work toward finishing a barn for bull elephants to be
brought to a new breeding center in Somerset County this year.
"It's moving along very well," zoo spokeswoman Tracy Gray
said. "Construction is underway."
By August, the center should be complete at a 724-acre former game
preserve that the zoo is turning into an International Conservation
Center. African elephants are the first on a list of endangered species to
be bred at the facility.
Meanwhile, two 25-year-old cows, Moja and Savannah, are on the
verge of giving birth at the zoo. Gray said they likely will have two
female babies within the next week. Elephants calves can weigh up to
250 pounds, she said, and require a gestation period of about 20
Those elephants are not slated for the center at this point, she said.
Another zoo resident will be headed to the center when it's ready: 28-
year-old Jackson, the most successful breeding bull in the country. He is
to be bred with
Australian zoo artificially fertilises rhino egg
An Australian zoo on Friday said it had artificially fertilised a rhinoceros
egg in a breakthrough that could be used in the future to ensure the
critically endangered animal's survival.
Biologists succeeded in fertilising the egg of a female black rhinoceros
with sperm from a male after several failed attempts.
The procedure was carried out at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in the
New South Wales town of Dubbo, about 300 kilometres (186 miles)
west of Sydney, with the help of experts from Berlin's Institute for Zoo
and Wildlife Research.
Biologist Tamara Keeley said despite the team's success, the technology
to implant the egg into a female to carry it for the 14-month gestation
period did not yet exist.
Instead, any viable embryos created would be preserved in liquid
nitrogen until the technology to carry out rhino in-vitro fertilisation
"This embryo, we're hoping, will continue to develop and if it develops
enough, we'll actually freeze it and keep it frozen until we've developed
the technology that we need to transfer it back into a rhino and possibly
Giraffe milk, meat confirmed kosher
Jewish authorities in Israel have ruled that giraffe milk and meat qualify
as kosher food.
Veterinarians at the Safari Park in the city of Ramat Gan said they took
a sample of giraffe's milk while treating one of the animals and
discovered that it clotted in a way that is in line with Jewish law for
kosher certification, Britain's Telegraph newspaper reported Friday.
Professor Zohar Amar said he and his colleagues submitted the milk to
rabbinical authorities, who ruled that meat and milk from giraffes is
kosher for consumption by observant Jews.
"Indeed, the giraffe is kosher for eating," said Rabbi Shlomo Mahfoud,
who worked with Amar's team. "The giraffe has all the signs of a
Berlin Zoo Feeds Goat to Wolves
It's been a hard year for Berlin Zoo Director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz. First,
he was accused of selling and mistreating animals. Then, he admitted
he had killed cats with his bare hands. Now he let wolves rip a goat to
shreds in front of zoo visitors.
At the Berlin Zoo, it's a short distance between the petting zoo and the
wolves' habitat. But it can apparently also be the distance between
being lovingly caressed by children and being dismembered by
Crowds at the zoo were shocked Thursday as they watched wolves
savagely jostle each other to get their piece of a recently killed goat.
The feeding of zoo animals to other creatures in the parks is an
accepted practice in the European Union. And like those animals, this
goat had already been killed before being placed in the wolves' habitat.
In simple terms, it's an issue of animal overflow in a man-made
environment without any predators. As Ragnar Kühne, the zoo's curator,
told the mass-circulation daily Bild: "When we have too many goats in
the petting zoo, we usually give them to farms or private persons. But if
we can't get rid of them, we have them appropriately slaughtered and
fed to carnivores."
Although some people might find it troubling
Toronto's zoo saving one frog at a time
Program is part of a world-wide effort to prevent the single largest
mass extinction since the disappearance of the dinosaurs
Deep in the bowels of the Toronto Zoo's service building, offlimits to the
public, the reptile room is uncomfortably warm and humid.
Most of the snakes and lizards snoozing in white plastic bins prefer it
toasty warm. A few, though, lurk in tanks where chillers work overtime
to keep a few centimetres of water at a brisk 18 to 20C. Among them
are Panamanian golden frogs and lemur leaf frogs, and their need to
keep cool is part of the reason they could soon vanish from
Rare white rhino birth caught live on webcam
The birth of a white rhino in Cumbria has been caught live on webcam
and watched around the world.
Ntombi gave birth to 70kg Nyala at South Lakes Wild Animal Park near
Barrow after a 16 month pregnancy.
The labour itself lasted just 15 minutes and the baby rhino's arrival and
first tentative steps were all caught on camera.
The park's director David Gill, who was present at the birth, said it had
been a long wait: "There was some concern about Ntombi as she was
about one month overdue.
"But when her labour started it was perfect for the camera. People all
over the world saw the baby being born.
"We put it out live on the internet and we had messages back from the
rhino's native Africa to say how it was the first time people there had
seen a rhino give birth.
"It was a fantastic day for us - the biggest birth we have ever had."
A spokeswoman for the animal park said all the staff were on "cloud
nine" after the birth on June 2.
She said Ntombi, who arrived at the park from South Africa in 2003,
had been caring for
Giant tortoises threatened as Galapagos volcano erupts
A volcano on the largest of the Galapagos islands has erupted and is
threatening rare giant tortoises that live in the area, Ecuadoran officials
The Cerro Azul volcano on Isabela Island began erupting on Thursday,
officials with the Galapagos National Park said in a statement.
The island is home to rare and unique flora and fauna, including the
Galapagos Giant Tortoise, which can weigh more than 230 kilos (500
pounds) and live more than 100 years.
"The eruption is a natural process" because the Galapagos islands "are
of volcanic origin," the park said in a statement.
However the volcano is spewing lava on the north-east side of the island
where a large population of tortoises lives, it added.
Park rangers are monitoring the volcano's activity to make sure
that "neither human lives nor the population of giant tortoises are at
risk," the statement said.
There are five active volcanos on Isabela, including Sierra Negra, which
erupted in October 2006. Cerro Azul last erupted in 1998.
Located 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) west of Ecuador's coast, the
archipelago of 13 main islands and 17 islets is a UNESCO World
Seeing the true face of the civil service of Hong Kong
The Zoological Unit of the Hong Kong Zoological & Botanical Gardens is
one of the teams featured in the series. Their efforts in breeding
endangered species have contributed to the protection of the world's
ecological balance. The unit won a merit award
Yeti 'photo-fit' shows 'potentially explosive' evidence of elusive mountain
A British artist has produced what she calls a "photo-fit" of the Yeti
based on "potentially explosive" new evidence of the elusive creature's
Wildlife painter Polyanna Pickering was shown what is believed to be a
100-year-old yeti scalp at a remote monastery in the Himalayas.
At least one expert believe it could be the most important proof yet that
the giant apelike beast is more than mere folklore.
Ms Pickering was gathering material for a new exhibition in the remote
Bhutan region of the Himalayas when she made her chance discovery -
with a little help from David Beckham.
She said: "I was told this was from
Scottish Government gives go ahead for beaver reintroduction
The Scottish Government has today announced that it has approved the
application from the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) and the Royal
Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) to bring back beavers to Scotland.
Conditional approval was granted for up to four beaver families to be
reintroduced on a trial basis, after six months quarantine, to Knapdale in
Mid-Argyll in spring 2009.
Extinct for 400 years
Allan Bantick, Chair of the Scottish Beaver Trial Steering Group
said: "This is a historic moment for wildlife conservation. The Scottish
Government has now given the go ahead for the first-ever formal
reintroduction of a native mammal into the wild in the UK. Beavers have
been extinct in Scotland for over 400 years and they are well known for
their positive impact on habitats and conditions for other species. By
bringing these useful creatures back to their native environment we will
have the chance to restore
Zoo-keepers' Training Opens in Patna
An 11-day training program for zoo officials designed to raise
awareness about the needs of the animals and their proper upkeep
within a confined environment opened at Patna's Sanjay Gandhi
Zoological Garden with officials from Bokaro, Tata, and Darjeeling Zoo
taking part in the program opened on Monday.
The Patna Zoo resident veterinarian Dr. Shashi Kant urged the zoo
officials to treat the animals with kids' gloves. "They are your
responsibility and you must treat them like your own children. If you see
slight change in their attitude and behavior, you must report to your
seniors without delay so proper steps are taken to prevent them from
getting sick," Dr. Kant said.
Zoo director Rakesh Kumar, during his inaugural speech, presented a
brief history of the Patna Zoo and its respectable position in the world,
particularly in the area of hippopotamus breeding.
"Because of our care and intensive medical research, we have come to
occupy a special position in the world of
What's the Zoo to do with its wild ass problem?
The St. Louis Zoo has a wild ass problem. If you worked at the Zoo and
you heard this, you'd immediately think that something was amiss with
our Somali wild ass herd. Most of you, however, were probably thinking
something else. That's exactly the problem.
Fewer than 1,000 Somali wild asses — and maybe as few as 700 —
remain in their native range states of Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia, in
the Horn of Africa. They live in rocky, arid land, including Danakil, one of
the lowest and hottest places on earth. Among mammals, the males
have one of the largest territories in the world.
Not only are they rare in the wild, where they're hunted for food and
are thought by many local tribesmen to have medicinal value, but North
American zoos don't have a strong safety net for them either. Three
zoos have just 27 of the animals, with seven of those in St. Louis.
Just a few weeks ago, our first wild ass foal was born, and I began to
spend more time up at Red Rocks. The little filly prances and dances,
kicks, bucks and nuzzles by turn. She has a gorgeous taupe-colored
coat, and she balances (sometimes precariously) on long light-colored
legs marked with vivid black stripes. Few animals are more adorable
than a baby wild ass. (And by the way, we have two more pregnant
But here's the problem. If you stand around their yard for any length of
time, you'll hear visitors making a variety of rather tasteless jokes about
the animals' name. Parents rush their children along so that they don't
have time to read the educational graphic. Mothers tell their children
that our asses are donkeys — which they are not. School groups break
into gales of laughter when the class clown shouts their name. In other
words, visitors are missing our conservation message that we are
working hard to save these rare, beautiful and magnificent animals.
We've supported ground and aerial field surveys in Eritrea and Ethiopia
and have funded training for conservation biologists in those countries,
too. Tim Thier, our zoological manager, keeps a breeding history of all
the Somali wild asses in North America. He is doing his best to help
manage the population in the most genetically
Cat-clawed, hairy, bone-breaking frog found in Cameroon
Biologists have described a bizarre, hairy frog that actively breaks its
own bones to produce cat-like extendable claws.
According to a report in the New Scientist, this grisly process allows the
frog to unleash sharp claws that puncture their way out of the frog's toe
David Blackburn, and colleagues at Harvard University's Museum of
Comparative Zoology, believe the behaviour is used for defence.
This unforeseen mechanism has also been found in 9 of the 11 frogs
belonging to the Astylosternus genus, most of which inhabit Cameroon.
Blackburn said "Some other frogs have bony spines that project from
their wrist, but in those species it appears that the bones grow through
the skin rather than pierce it".
At rest, the claws are nestled inside a mass of connective tissue.
Collagen forms a bond between
11 big cats rescued from Romania arrive at South African wildlife
The wide-eyed lion cub inched slowly to the edge of the wooden crate.
He stared around him, then with a growl from the older cub behind him,
he leapt out onto the grass.
They were among nine cubs, along with an adult lion and a tiger,
rescued from bleak Romanian zoos and released Saturday into their
new home — a sanctuary in South Africa that was once a notorious
game lodge where lions were bred to be hunted.
When another of the crates was opened, the cubs disappeared inside
but came out again, rolling and playing with two other young lions.
From the third and fourth crates came more frightened cubs who looked
suspiciously around them, their bodies crouched low and ready to
Sticking close to each other, the cubs sniffed the grass, the air and
Tiger sanctuaries selling bone for Chinese medicine against
Animal parks in China are turning tiger bones in an alcoholic "health
tonic" and defying international laws aimed at protecting one of the
world's most endangered species, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.
Staff at two "safari parks" a few hours from the capital Beijing offered
to sell undercover investigators wine made from the crushed bones of
tigers that died in captivity at the sanctuaries.
The wine, which it is claimed, helps to cure conditions including arthritis
and rheumatism, is advertised openly and sold at the parks.
The revelations that the parks are breaking the law are embarrassing
for the Chinese government which is trying to promote a positive image
of the country in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics in August.
International trade in tiger body parts and derivatives is banned under
UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Domestic trade is prohibited under national law and reinforced by a
special State Council order in 1993.
Conservationists said lifting the ban would increase demand and lead to
a surge in poaching that could push the highly endangered tiger into
Poaching has reduced the number of tigers in the wild to around 5,000
to 7,000, compared to 100,000 in the early 1900s. At one point in the
1970s, the number fell to 4,000.
Investigators from the UK-based Environmental Investigation Agency
found tiger bone
Zoo mourns the death of last tigon
National Zoo and Aquarium staff are mourning the death of Asta,
Australia's last tigon.
General manager Trent Russell said yesterday Asta - part lion, part
tiger - defied the expected 15-year life span of most big cats, living until
he was 22.
''Asta was really lovely, just like a big pussy cat,'' he said.
Asta passed away from old age late last month, surrounded by his
keepers, who made sure he was comfortable in his last days.
''It is an extremely sad moment for staff, as we all become very
attached to the animals,'' he said.
Brother and sister tigons Asta and Tangier arrived at the zoo almost
eight years ago after retiring from a
Sir Bani Yas Wildlife Park opens in winter
From October, tourists will be able to stay on Sir Bani Yas Island when
the first phase of Abu Dhabi's unique Desert Islands destination is
The former private eco-retreat of the UAE's late President His Highness
Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the island is at the core of the multi-
experiential Desert Islands destination and will be the first step in
unlocking the latent potential of Abu Dhabi's western region, according
to Lee Tabler, CEO, Tourism Development & Investment Company
(TDIC) and the name behind Desert Islands.
Tabler was speaking at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in
Dubai, he believed that the Desert Islands,
The debate over zoos
Are zoos an anachronism from a time before the internet and AnimalPlanet?
Orangutans escape from two U.S. zoos
A male from LA, female from Tampa curiously broke free on the same
A female orangutan from Florida and a male orangutan from Los
Angeles both escaped from their zoo enclosures over the weekend.
Whether they planned to rendezvous in Texas was unclear because the
orangutans were returned back safely to their cages before they
could leave either zoo's premises.
At Busch Gardens in Tampa, Fla., part of a new exhibit is closed
after a 10-year-old female orangutan called Luna Bella broke free
Saturday by climbing the exhibit's windows. Caretakers had to coax
it into a back area using apples, carrots and vanilla ice cream
Busch Gardens Announces Worlds of Discovery Resort in Dubai
Just got back from the BIG announcement! BEC will be building 4
parks in Dubai with the first phase set to open in 2012.
The entire project will be called Worlds of Discovery, and will
consist of Sea World, Busch Gardens, Discovery Cove, and Aquatica.
They are being constructed on one of the man made Palm islands. When
the entire project is complete, it will resemble a giant killer
whale. (See pics below!)
There were not a lot of details about the parks
"Worlds of Discovery will occupy a section of The Palm Jebel Ali
known as "the Crown," which will resemble a giant killer whale when
reclamation work is complete. Nakheel's plans for The Palm Jebel
Ali, currently the world's largest man-made island, also call for
the development of commercial, residential and shopping districts,
as well as resort hotels and restaurants.
The Worlds of Discovery project will be phased and includes
SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Discovery Cove and, the company's newest
theme park brand, Aquatica. Worlds of Discovery on The Palm Jebel
Ali will also include a variety of other family activities,
including resort hotels, spas, shops and restaurants.
In addition to SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, plans call for the
construction of a Discovery Cove similar to the park adjacent to
SeaWorld Orlando in Central Florida. Discovery Cove in Orlando is an
all-inclusive, reservations only park that features a variety of
animal interactions and resort experiences, most notably swimming
with bottlenose dolphins, rays and exotic fish. The"
Animal group calls for changes at Calgary zoo after elephant injures
An animal advocacy group is calling for changes to how elephants are
handled at the Calgary Zoo after a keeper was injured by an animal
over the weekend.
Lisa Wathne with People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals is
calling on the zoo to use protective barriers that separate the
keepers from the animals at all times.
Calling the practice "protected contact," Wathne says in a letter to
the zoo's president that keeping the animals separate protects
elephants by preventing keepers from using corporal punishment.
"Protected contact eliminates the beatings, bullhooks and chains
that are routinely used on elephants when they are handled using the
free-contact system," Wathne says in the letter.
Brent Vanhooft was taken to hospital on Sunday afternoon
Protest group plans wildlife park
People who were opposed to a planned recycling centre are hoping to
start a wildlife park at the site.
Rhuddlan Environment Group originally submitted a planning
application to try and spoil Denbighshire County Council's plans for
the recycling unit.
But after the council withdrew its own application, the group
decided to continue with the wildlife park.
It has also been offered a £30,000 donation which could be used
towards building the park if it is approved.
On Sunday, about 250 people held a "celebration march" in the town
after news that the council would not be continuing with its plans
for a recycling centre some 600m, or a little over a third of a
mile, from Rhuddlan Castle.
The march had initially been planned as a protest, but turned into a
celebration after the council's unexpected turnaround last week.
The recycling park plans were pulled after objections from the
Environment Agency, which wanted the council to design the site so
it could deal with a "one in a thousand
Israeli elephant expert dies in Ethiopia blast
An Israeli elephant expert was killed Thursday morning in a blast in
the Ethiopian capital.
Prof. Yehezkel Shoshani, a world-renowned specialist, was killed
after a minibus blew up in the heart of Addis Ababa. Two other
passengers were killed, and nine were seriously wounded.
Shoshani, 65, dedicated his life to the study of elephants. For
eight years, he studied elephant communities in the east African
state of Eritrea, and moved to Ethiopia last year to teach at the
Zoo denies allegations of unfair pay
Australia Zoo officials have emphatically denied allegations they
are underpaying their staff.
Media reports yesterday claimed the multi-million-dollar Sunshine
Coast tourist attraction made famous by the late Steve Irwin had
failed to offer some of its staff fair workplace agreements.
The reports alleged it not only underpaid staff but also stripped
rest breaks and other penalties from them, based on a leaked letter
to a staff member from the Workplace Authority.
It is understood the letter, dated May 2, pertained to a staff
member who worked in the zoo's food courts.
The government body reportedly ordered
Quake-shaken Chinese Pandas head to Beijing
Eight pandas from a Chinese reserve severely shaken by a deadly
earthquake are expected in the capital this week to go on display
for the Olympics, a Beijing Zoo spokesman said Wednesday.
Some of the pandas are still acting nervous, eating and sleeping
less since the quake, officials said, so their keepers will
"I'm not sure about the mental state of the pandas right now,'' said
Ye Mingxia of the Beijing Zoo. "We will have to carefully observe
them after they arrive.''
The pandas from the Wolong Giant Panda Reserve will arrive Saturday
on a special plane and be on display until November, a visit planned
long before the May 12 quake in central China. They are expected to
draw more than six million tourists, the state-run Xinhua News
Agency has reported.
"I want them to be more than just a tourist attraction, and for
people to understand that they are endangered,'' said Suzanne
Braden, director of U.S.-based Pandas International
Reward for Vancouver zoo's missing spider monkey reaches $10,000
None of the tips that pour in daily to the Greater Vancouver Zoo
have panned out, but staff continue to cling to the hope that Mia,
the spider monkey missing for more than two weeks, will be
returned. "I think she's out there; I just don't know where she is,"
said zoo spokeswoman Jody Henderson, describing the situation as
frustrating and devastating. The reward for Mia's safe return, which
is funded partly through donations, has reached $10,000, she added.
Mia, pictured, disappeared after thieves broke into the zoo's monkey
enclosure on the night of May 6. Zoo staff found Mia's lifelong
partner, Jocko, dead from a blow to the head
Hospital boss `disgusted' by kangaroo killings
AUSTRALIA Zoo has called for a halt to Canberra's controversial
kangaroo cull, saying the Government is spending more than it needs
The zoo's Australian Wildlife Hospital manager Gail Gipp said on
Thursday she was "absolutely disgusted" the more than 400 eastern
grey kangaroos were being slaughtered and that the government is
spending more to kill the roos than it would have cost to relocate
and track them for wildlife research.
"They're shooting them _ there's a lot of room for error and its
quite barbaric," she said.
"They just corral about 10 at a time and start shooting them _
they're killing about 40 animals a day so this is going to take well
and truly over a week."
"Peter Garrett (Environment Minister) has lost all of his
credibility. He's let us down badly. And the RSPCA are doing nothing
because they get funding
New London Zoo gorilla is a sex addict
She's 5ft tall, weighs around 65 kilos and has glossy black hair all
over! She may not be everyone's cup of tea but ZSL's new female
gorilla has certainly set one heart racing.
Mjukuu, or `Jookie' as she's nicknamed, is now a permanent resident
of ZSL London Zoo's Gorilla Kingdom and she's proving quite a hit
with male silverback Bobby; so much so that the pair took to
consummating their relationship a staggering 17 times in just four
Jookie, nine, joins the 25-year-old male gorilla and two females
Effie, 15, and Zaire, 33, from a group of eleven gorillas at another
zoo, and it looks like her social skills are paying off.
Her arrival has caused quite a stir with gentle giant Bobby;
zookeepers say he is captivated by his new love interest.
Zoo theme park 'a circus'
TWO former directors of the Werribee Zoo have called plans for a
$220 million theme park a "circus" that would jeopardise the zoo's
Friends of the Zoo — which has more than 67,000 members and
contributes $1.7 million annually to Zoos Victoria — is mounting a
campaign against the Village Roadshow development bid, which has the
backing of Tourism Minister Tim Holding.
The park, to be known as African Safari World, would be built on 40
hectares of the existing zoo site and backers say it will boost
annual visitor numbers from 266,000 in 2007 to 1.3 million a year.
Former Werribee Zoo director David Hancock said rhinoceroses should
not be combined with roller-coasters, and warned the amusement park
would become a white elephant.
"I think it will be busy for a year or so and after the novelty has
gone we'll be left with a junk yard at the side of the freeway," he
said. "It completely degrades
Future of zoo's CEO still murky
Not known when – or if he will return from leave
The status of the Toronto Zoo's chief executive, which has been
uncertain since December, remains murky after the latest meeting of
the zoo's board of management.
Chief executive Calvin White has been on leave since December.
Yesterday Councillor Raymond Cho, who chairs the zoo board, says he
has no idea when, or whether, White will be back.
"We don't know. I hope so, but I don't know," Cho replied when asked
in an interview whether White will be returning.
Robin Hale, the zoo's chief operating officer, has been made acting
CEO in White's absence.
The uncertainty about who is running the zoo comes at a sensitive
time: The zoo is planning a $250 million fundraising drive to renew
aging facilities and put new emphasis on conservation and education.
Members of the zoo board got a note last December
Updated: Tiger injures Toledo Zoo keeper
A normal day on the job turns dangerous for a Toledo Zoo keeper. The
worker is out of the hospital after one of the tigers swiped him.
Tanieya Lewis was at the zoo and says this happened before the zoo
opened to the public Sunday morning.
The Toledo Zoo keeper was going through his daily routine around 8:30
a.m. Sunday. He was giving the tigers their normal cleaning and
feeding when one tiger reached his paw through a double mesh barrier
and swiped the keeper's chest.
The keeper was treated for three minor chest lacerations and released
from the hospital.
It happened at the Tiger Terrace where the two cats live. The tigers
are around five years-old and are named Kat and Marta.
The tigers remained in their enclosure the entire time. The zoo says
there was no risk to the public.
They are conducting a review of what happened
Toledo Zoo Director Dr. Anne Baker says, "I do want to stress that
this was not keeper error. It was simply an unfortunate accident. I
think the cat was just jumping
Researchers dig up new details about elusive shark
A recent research expedition to the Canadian Arctic has uncovered
fascinating details about the mysterious and elusive Greenland shark.
Canadian scientists took part in the study, camping out on the ice in
remote locations in plywood shelters amid -25 degree temperatures, to
learn more about the monsters of the deep.
Steve Campana, who has been studying
Stingray deaths another blow to Calgary Zoo
Calgary — As nine surviving stingrays, some covered with black
blotches – a telltale sign of stress – slowly swam around a temporary
holding tank at the Calgary Zoo yesterday, officials were scrambling
to determine what wiped out 34 others in a matter of hours.
The cownose stingray exhibit, which opened in February and allows
visitors to touch and feed the fish in their 10,000 gallon tank, is
closed as staff await test results on water, food and tissue samples
from the dead rays.
But the circumstances are so mysterious, so sudden and so unusual
that zookeepers aren't ruling out foul play.
"It's hard to speculate, but certainly you have to look at was
something introduced through the water lines? Was something
introduced into the pool? Did someone put something in there?" said
Doug Whiteside, a zoo veterinarian who performed necropsies on the
rays and found irritants
Calgary zoo wants police help in rays' likely poisoning
The Calgary Zoo is seeking the help of city police in the mysterious
deaths of 39 cownose rays, now believed to have been poisoned by a
"This is a huge tank, so something substantial had to have been put
in. . . . We don't know if it was a powder or a liquid," said Laurie
Herron, a spokeswoman for the zoo.
"But at this point we're thinking it was not accidental."
Tests from an independent local lab released Wednesday found the
water chemistry of the ray pool was within acceptable ranges. Levels
of ammonia, dissolved oxygen, PH, salinity and other natural minerals
were measured. Initial tests, however, can't identify possible toxins
in the water.
Late Sunday, 26 of the 43 rays died, with other deaths following over
the next few days, including one Tuesday evening and another
Safari park sued for £500k after tot left with kidney damage
A MUM who fears her daughter needs a kidney transplant after playing
at a safari park is demanding £500,000 damages.
Kerry Ramage claims that seven-year-old Beth was exposed to E coli
0157 after touching bird droppings.
Beth suffered acute renal failure requiring dialysis and will need
further treatment and possibly a new kidney, it is alleged.
Single mum Kerry, 40, wept as she told how her daughter fell ill
after visiting Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling.
She said: "For days I didn't know whether Beth was going to live or
die, it was the most terrifying experience of my life and something
no child should have to go through.
"The E coli caused her to have an acute kidney failure.
"She was in intensive care for two
Indianapolis Zoo to award $100,000 to researcher
A wildlife researcher who has spent more than 50 years working to
save endangered species around the world will be named the winner of
the 2008 Indianapolis Prize - a $100,000 award honoring
George Schaller, who turns 75 this month, will be presented the
biennial award at a gala in September. The Indianapolis Zoo
administers the prize, the most lucrative given to champions of
"I am honored and proud," said Schaller, who has a home in
Connecticut but spends much of his time abroad. "But I also feel
humbled because I know, scattered around the world, there are lots of
conservationists who do the things I am doing."
Schaller has trekked 1,000 miles across a rugged reserve in Tibet to
study the endangered Tibetan antelope, or chiru, and is working to
save Marco Polo sheep and snow leopards. He has also worked to save
mountain gorillas, giant pandas, tigers, lions and the wild
$16 million rainforest exhibit due soon
These days, one of the most frequently asked questions of Donna
Fernandes is: "What is that tall building going to be?"
The Buffalo Zoo president explains that the building is a $16
million, 50-foot-tall rainforest exhibit designed to bring a bit of
South America to Buffalo's Delaware Park.
Fernandes began work on the exhibit in early 2004. When finished this
summer, the 15,000-square-foot building will be home to more than 30
species including exotic reptiles, birds, monkeys and giant
anteaters. It will be kept an average temperature of 80 degrees and
have an 80 percent humidity level. A 30-foot waterfall will complete
the tropical package.
The building is considered an engineering and construction marvel.
The peaked roof is made from a specialty plastic developed in
Germany, welded in China and installed by English craftsmen, said
David Resetarits, owner of Resetarits Construction Corp., the
project's construction manager. It took his crews more
San Diego Zoo panda expert worries about people, not pandas, in post-
Upbeat reports on the survival of China's giant pandas in the Sichuan
province's Wolon panda reserve are encouraging, Ron Swaisgood, co-
leader of the San Diego Zoo's panda conservation unit, said Tuesday
afternoon. But "my biggest concern is and was the people. Some of my
best friends are there."
In 13 years of visits to Wolon and neighboring areas, Swaisgood said,
he's learned that many panda reserve employees send their children to
schools in Dujiangyan, where calamitous school-building collapses
have been reported. The 7.9-magnitude earthquake
Minnesota Zoo raises $2.7M
The Minnesota Zoo has raised more than $2.7 million, mostly from
corporate donors, over the past year to support its goal to become
one of the top 10 zoos in the nation, the organization announced on
The Cargill Foundation and the Medtronic Foundation each pledged more
than $1 million, the largest corporate gifts since the zoo in Apple
Valley opened the UnitedHealthcare Marine Education Center, where
dolphin shows are presented.
Cargill's gift will help build an Environmental Learning Center,
which will be a major part of a new entry and visitor
Columbus zoo names new director
The director of the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta has been named the
new executive director of the Columbus Zoo.
Jeffrey Swanagan will succeed Jerry Borin, who's retiring after being
in charge of the zoo since 1992. The zoo's board of directors
announced the hiring Tuesday.
Swanagan is a Cleveland native who started his career as a Columbus
zookeeper in 1980. He later worked at the zoo in Atlanta and spent
four years at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa before becoming head
Calls to stop zoo's panda plans
Politicians north and south of the border have called on Edinburgh
Zoo to reconsider its plans for a giant panda breeding programme.
Scottish Green MSP Robin Harper has tabled a motion at Holyrood
expressing concerns at plans by the Royal Zoological Society of
It has been proposed that a breeding pair should be loaned from
The RZSS said work in zoos was integral to preserving the species and
helped conservationists in China.
Animal campaigners claim no captive-bred panda has ever been released
into the wild and conservation groups
Blackpool Zoo keeper attacked by ape
A woman keeper at Blackpool Zoo spent three days in hospital after
being attacked by an ape at the attraction.
The staff member was in the corridor at the ape house when a 24-year-
old orang-utan called Vicky launched into the attack.
She bit the keeper on her arm and foot, and an ambulance
Orangutan escapes enclosure at L.A. Zoo
Visitors to the L.A. Zoo had to evacuate Saturday after an animal
escaped its enclosure.
Officials at the zoo said an orangutan named Bruno got out of its
cage in the afternoon, but did not leave the area around its
Bruno is 29 years old, 300 pounds, and is one of six orangutans at
The animal has since been recaptured, and no one was
hurt. "Fortunately all of our great apes, the staff trained them to
allow medical procedures, so the keeper actually put him through his
behaviors, and he allowed her to hand inject him
Parents of tiger attack victim seek compensation from San Francisco
The parents of a teenager killed by an escaped tiger at the San
Francisco Zoo want the city to pay up for the fatal mauling of their
Carlos Sousa Junior died on Christmas Day when a Siberian tiger named
Tatiana escaped its enclosure and attacked the San Jose teenager and
two of his friends.
The two friends were injured before the tiger was shot dead by
Sousa's parents say the city's tiger enclosure did not meet height
standards set by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums,
Baby gorilla good news for Calgary zoo
Zuri the gorilla delivered some much-needed good publicity for the
Calgary Zoo yesterday: a new baby.
After a week during which the zoo has made headlines across the
country over the mysterious deaths of 40 rays, Zuri's little bundle
of joy was welcome news.
The birth was especially good news for Zuri, a Western Lowland
gorilla who suffered the loss of a previous baby in August 2006. That
infant gorilla lived only 12 days because
Sofia Zoo Celebrates Its 120th Birthday
Sofia Zoo marks on Wednesday, May 14 its 120th birthday.
At the festivities that starts at 11 o'clock, will take part many
famous Bulgarian music stars like Rositsa Kirilova, Milena Slavova,
many jugglers and clowns.
Sofia's mayor Boiko Borisov will also attend the celebrations.
In the Zoo, which is b
Park plays part in securing pandas for Scotland
EXPERIENCE in caring for a host of creatures from the Orient on the
part of keepers at the Highland Wildlife Park has played a key role
in negotiations to bring giant pandas to Scotland.
After months of talks, officials at Edinburgh Zoo have reached
agreement with the Chinese Government to look after a breeding pair
of giant pandas.
The zoo is owned by the same organisation that runs the popular
attraction by Kincraig, where several species native to China have
been bred and reared successfully.
That experience played a major part in persuading the Chinese to sign
a letter of intent to allow a pair of their prized giant pandas to
leave their country for life in a foreign zoo.
The endangered animals are revered in their native China, which keeps
strict controls on their allocation to zoos around the world.
If the final stages of negotiations are s
Don't turn on the tears, Daddy ... How rescuing a rundown old zoo
helped one father survive a shattering tragedy
Mum and I arrived as new owners of Dartmoor Wildlife Park to the
sound of wolves howling in the darkness.
My brother Duncan was already there and that night of October 20,
2006, with Mum safely in bed in the zoo's mansion, we stepped out
into the misty park to try to get a grip on what we'd done.
Everywhere the torch shone, eyes of different sizes blinked back at
us and the mystery of exactly what animals lurked behind them added
to the atmosphere.
We knew where the tigers were, however, and made our way over to one
of their enclosures that had been earmarked for replacement posts to
get a close look at what sort of deterioration we were up
More animal donations to zoo, bird park last year
THE Singapore Zoo and the Bird Park both had a bumper year last year
in terms of the number of animals donated.
Most of these were brought in by the police or confiscated by the
Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority.
The animals were mainly reptiles, and included star tortoises, green
iguanas, fly-river turtles and South-east Asian soft-shell turtles.
The total number of animals donated to the Singapore Zoo and Night
Safari rose to 460 last year, almost four times the 118 animals
donated in 2006.
The Jurong BirdPark received 177 donations in 2007.
The AVA confiscated 175 animals last year, seven
Python Immobilized After Eating Zoo Deer
Reptile Moved To Forest Reserve
A python in southern India got more than a mouthful when it ate a 6-
The snake snuck into a deer enclosure at a zoo and swallowed the much-
Zoo officials said the snake gobbled the deer whole, without leaving
The python was so full, he couldn't
At this past year’s Annual Conference, Vickie Clyde shared some special news during a business lunch.
Click HERE to read more.