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Today is the 10-year anniversary of the Treasure oil spill in South Africa. After 556,000 grueling hours of labor by 12,500 volunteers, 95% of the 38,000 affected penguins were returned to the wild. I was a Penguin Aquarist at the time, and worked as a rehabilitation manager during this historic event.
An animal welfare advocacy group is demanding the Topeka Zoo be held responsible for recent animal deaths and that means the zoo will be inspected again.
Stop Animal Exploitation Now sent a letter to the USDA Monday asking for the Topeka Zoo's license to be suspended due to deaths of animals the last four years.
The most recent, the death of a chevrotain two
The Dvur Kralove zoo is the only one in the Czech Republic and one of a few in the world to breed secretary bird, an African bird of prey, Erich Kocner, from the zoo, told CTK Monday, adding that two secretary bird offspring have hatched these days.
The breeding of the species ranks among the Dvur Kralove zoo's biggest successes in the past years, Kocner said.
The zoo acquired a pair of secretary birds in late 2002. Their first offspring was born handicapped in 2008 and died.
Nevertheless, last year the couple successfully raised
Construction is underway at the Minnesota Zoo on a $20 million addition that includes a new main entrance, educational facilities and a penguin exhibit.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty joined zoo officials and corporate sponsors Monday for a groundbreaking ceremony. State lawmakers provided $15 million for the "Heart of the Zoo" project in this year's bonding bill.
Zoo Director Lee Ehmke said the expansion will strengthen the zoo's commitment to environmental education, set the tone for zoo visits and boost the area's economy.
"It means good things for the state of Minnesota," he said. "The zoo, this last year, had an economic impact of $114 million. With the completion
A mystery virus has already killed one and is likely to claim another member of the family of the world's most famous polar bear, Knut.
Vets at Wuppertal Zoo, Germany are at a loss to explain the bug which has infected the enclosure.
Knut, who hit the headlines as an abandoned cub three years ago, has already lost a cousin to the outbreak and his father Lars is expected to follow.
Zoo vet Dr Arne Lawrenz explained: 'Around two weeks ago two bears began having sudden fits. Last week a female called Jerka died. Lars is stills seriously ill.'
Famous Knut is himself based at Berlin Zoo, where he became a worldwide star after being hand-reared by humans. The cub
GROWING old can be a frustrating and undignified journey. And it isn't only humans who have to endure the indignity of old age. Bessie, a 60-year-old chimpanzee at Taronga Zoo, is showing signs of dementia.
Her walk is slowing down and so is her mind. She often forgets to go inside her enclosure at night, and can lose her bearings during the day.
The zoo's primate manager, Louise Grossfeldt, said Bessie's condition had not happened overnight. It had been a slow deterioration over 18 years.
She is one of three elderly female chimpanzees at the zoo; all have far surpassed the 40 to 45 years that chimps normally reach. The trio are among the world's oldest living chimps.
The animals' longevity was the result
The Smithsonain's National Zoo is calling all cooks and poets to submit to two categories: favorite honey recipes and original honeybee poems in honor of a new honeybee colony.
Not only will the submissions be displayed on the Zoo’s website, but one participant will be randomly selected and receive a private tour with their families of the Pollinarium and Invertebrate Exhibit .
Every year the Zoo starts a new honeybee colony, but previous colonies have perished due to mites or the introduction of pesticides in the hive by worker bees; one year, keepers watched as a larger, different species of bee stole the colony’s honey and wax.
“Sometimes it’s a challenge to start and keep a colony, but no matter what happens, we learn something new about these important insects and are grateful to share the experience with our visitors,” Stockton said.
The new bees are given access to the outdoors and inhabit a hive made of glass in the Zoo’s
Last year we opened the doors to the world’s largest polar bear facility in Orsa Grönklitt in Dalarna. Today is the grand opening of Europe’s largest leopard park as a part of a conservation project that supports the leopard, which is a highly endangered animal. The first residents of the Leopard Center are two Persian leopard pairs; Soroya and Barack together with Hanna and Jihlek.
– They are two beautiful couples that are moving in. It feels fantastic to be a part of a very important conservation project that supports this highly endangered species, says Torbjörn Wallin, Managing Director of Orsa Grönklitt AB, which holds the Leopard Center.
Today, June 22, 2010 is the grand opening of the Leopard Center, Europe’s largest leopard facility. The Leopard Center is a part of Orsa Bear Park’s ongoing development into an educational center for predators, as well as ongoing participation in conservation programs for endangered species.
The first residents of the Leopard Center are two Persian leopard pairs; Soroya and Barack together with Hanna and Jihlek but Orsa Grönklitt is also on a waiting list to receive snow leopards in their facility. The Persian leopard is a
"Metamorphoses of the Zoo marshals a unique compendium of critical interventions that envision novel modes of authentic encounter that cultivate humanity's biophilic tendencies without abusing or degrading other animals. These take the form of radical restructurings of what were formerly zoos or map out entirely new, post-zoo sites or experiences. The result is a volume that contributes to moral progress on the inter-species front and eco-psychological health for a humankind whose habitats are now mostly citified or urbanizing."
This book is not available till September but it can be pre-ordered by clicking
Wellington Zoo, which already has a small red species of panda, says it has been approached about whether it could also take endangered giant pandas.
Mayor Kerry Prendergast's office has confirmed that the possibility of bringing the pandas to the capital was discussed when Ms Prendergast met the Mayor of Beijing in China at the beginning of June.
The zoo's chief executive, Karen Fifield says major infrastructure changes would be needed if the giant pandas came. Part of the zoo would have to be redeveloped to house them, she says.
In Adelaide, the number of visitors to the city's zoo has gone up 70% since giant pandas
There may be no honour among thieves, but they will feed animals.
A tiger and two camels from an Ontario zoo who were the subject of an intensive search and international headlines were apparently fed by the crooks who snatched them in their trailer.
Jonas, a hulking three-year-old tiger, and Shawn and Todd, a couple of graceful camels, looked fit when Quebec police acting on a tip from an alert passerby sped to their abandoned trailer on a country road.
Jonas peered curiously from his cage and one of the camels, wearing what looked like a lopsided grin, craned his neck outside the long silver trailer when it was opened by police.
“They were in great shape,” said Sgt. Ronald McInnis, a Quebec provincial police spokesman. “The veterinarian thinks that the people who stole the animals gave them something
'WE clean these with Persil," Andrew Kitchener explains, running his hand over the skull of an Asian lion, perfectly intact and nestled carefully in a cardboard box.
Clearly labelled among the masses of skeletons piled high in the Granton collection centre of National Museums Scotland, the rest of the lion's bones sit close by. "We use the biological kind, though – we find it's the best to dissolve any meat and strip away grease."
Andrew, principal curator of vertebrates, is nothing but matter of fact about his work.
For him the arrival of giant creatures, usually from zoos – often lions and tigers – is a regular occurrence. It allows him to conduct intricate research aimed at enhancing our understanding of these awe-inspiring species.
Then the taxidermy team steps in – skinning, salting, pickling and tanning skins to preserve them for future research, while using them to create exhibits to fascinate and terrify generations of visitors.
"If we didn't do any of this, the animals would simply be incinerated," says Andrew. "Our main aim is to provide resources for research." Tonight he will spread the word about his work on "big cats" further, by appearing on Channel 4's Inside Nature's Giants.
Sprawled out at Andrew's feet, face first, is Max, a 15-year-old Asian lion who arrived from Dudley Zoo, in the Midlands, two years ago after dying of old age. He was delivered here as a corpse, before the gruesome task of investigating his insides, carefully
A breeding programme has begun at Jersey's zoo in order to re-introduce the Red-billed Chough to the island.
The bird, Britain's rarest crow, has been absent from Jersey for more than 100 years.
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust has a colony of the birds which it aims to reintroduce to the coastline.
Ahead of the bird's release, Durrell plans
Matt Damon is in early talks to team up with Cameron Crowe for "We Bought a Zoo," the true story of a man who used his life savings to buy a dilapidated zoo, replete with 200 exotic animals facing destruction, in the English countryside.
Damon would play Benjamin Mee who, along with his children, balanced caring for his terminally ill wife, with dealing with escaped tigers, raising endangered animals, working with an eclectic skeleton crew and readying the zoo for a reopening.
The project is based on Mee's memoir of the same name.
"Zoo" would mark a departure for Damon, who tends to make more dramatic or action-oriented thrillers. He next stars in the supernatural thriller "The Adjustment Bureau."
"Zoo" with its blend of animals and heartstrings, may occupy similar
The discovery of three dead Javan rhinos has intensified efforts to save one of the world's most endangered mammals from extinction, with an electric fence being built Monday around a new sanctuary and breeding ground.
With only about 50 of the species left in the wild — all but a handful living in one national park in western Indonesia — conservationists are even talking about taking the rare step of relocating some of the 5-ton animals to spread out the population and give the Javan rhino a better chance to survive.
Drought and proximity to an active volcano in the densely forested Ujung Kulon park have raised fears that a natural disaster could destroy almost the entire population at once. In Vietnam, the only other place the rhinos can be found, there are just four.
"Essentially, the eggs are all in one basket," said Dr. Susie Ellis, the executive director of the U.S.-based International Rhino Foundation, which has warned that without drastic action, some rhinos could be extinct in the wild within the next decade.
"A second population really needs to be established."
The Javan rhino, once the most widespread of
Biney Street Yaba, Lagos, is one of the streets that made Lagos to be popular in the early 70s and 80s.
But while the street still remains and has even undergone development, the popular Chief Biney Zoological Garden that made the street a centre of attraction had ceased to exist since 1986. Owned by a Lagos-based prominent Ghanaian businessman, identified simply as Chief Biney, the zoo was among the most visit centres by Lagosians during public holidays and on weekends.
PUNCH METRO gathered that visitors from other states also listed the zoo as part of their itinerary because this was at a time when the number of zoos in the country could be counted on the finger tips.
It was also learnt that schools made the zoo their priority for excursion. According to a source, who worked at the zoo in the 70s till it was closed down in 1986, it afforded the pupils and students a golden opportunity of seeing the lion, gorilla, tortoise and other animals they had either read about or seen on the television.
A visit to Biney last Saturday, however, revealed that part of the expanse land, which housed the zoo had been converted into two storey-building shopping malls, while the zoo‘s administrative block and the staff‘s quarters opposite it stand as the last remaining relic of what was once the pride of Lagos. The sign post, which welcomes visitor to the zoo with the inscription, Chief Biney Zoological Garden, Yaba, Lagos, also speaks volume of the fate of the zoo as some letters from the inscription are obviously missing. Although there were some cars parked within the administrative block, a security man at the gate declined comment and said, “Our MD (Managing Director) is not around.”
But the source said, ”The zoo was established in the 70s by a Ghanaian called Chief Biney. When he died, his son, Kweku Biney, a lawyer, took over the administration of the zoo. During this time, we were charging five kobo for children and 10kobo for adults. This place used to be jam-packed with spectators. Even on week days, people still come. Different schools brought their pupils from time to time.
“There were two lions, tortoises, crocodiles, different birds, horses and there was a gorilla called Janet. She provided a lot of entertainment for visitors and this attracted a lot of them to her cage. There were some other animals too. But we had no snake.
”In 1978, Kweku died but we were still running the zoo. But things started changing from the mid 80s because of the economic situation of the country. Along the line, some of the animals died and patronage reduced. You know I said there were two lions then and each of them was being fed with a live goat every other day. This was quite expensive.”
”People who knew the time we fed the lions also wanted to come around this time because it was always interesting to the see how the goats struggled with the lions when they were
Elephants from New Zealand’s Auckland Zoo could be quarantined in Niue later this year.
Agricultural authorities from Niue are in exploratory talks with the Zoo about establishing an offshore quarantine station on a one-acre block of land near the airport.
Niue’s Minister of Agriculture, Pokotoa Sipeli, says he’s due to meet Auckland Zoo officials for a second time about the possibility of quarantining three elephants.
The director of Niue’s Agriculture Department, Brendon Pasisi, says there was a programme with quarantining alpacas in the 1990s.
“With the requirements that they have with New Zealand biosecurity, there has to be a offshore quratantine station before they can be brought in, similar to the alpacas. Like for Australia they couldn’t bring alpacas directly from a single country direct to Australia, previously, so they had to have a secondary quarantine station offshore.”
The Auckland Zoo says it is still working through its options about where elephants suitable for transfer to New Zealand may be available and what
The great heat and extreme temperatures that hit Kuwait last week forced the Kuwait Zoo to come up with a new method to keep the animals cool. For the first time, zoo officials used ice cubes to cool the water pools of bears and hippos. Fortunately, not many zoo animals perished under the heat wave. "We managed to deal with the hot temperatures and there were no deaths apart from a few new born baby deer." Farida Mulla Ahmad, Director of the Kuwait Zoo, told the Kuwait Times. "We appreciated the co
operation of the Ministry of Electricity and Water as they didn't include the Zoo in the programmed power cuts.
There were further actions taken by the zoo's administration to decrease the animals' suffering. "In summer we feed them more fruits instead of dry fodder. It contains more liquids and increases their immunity at the same time. We also apply electrolyte solution for animals to avoid dehydration," she added.
In addition, we installed water spraying systems to decrease the temperature. We were doing the spraying in the beginning manually for the birds and herbivores. This year, we also focused on increasing the number of trees so we planted more of them inside and outside the cages to decrease the temperature," Farida explained.
The zoo staff are working hard, especially in this hot condition. "One of the Arabic local dailies published an article about the Zoo recently that contained many mistakes," said Farida. "They mentioned that we are suffering from the actions taken by the Ministry of Electricity and that animals are perishing from the heat. This isn't correct.
Not many people are visiting the zoo these days. "The extreme hot weather and the students examinations decreased the number of visitors. Few visitors are coming in the afternoon time and the animals are mostly in their cages because they are staying in the air-conditioned houses," said Farida.
At the end of last March, the zoo exchanged some animals with North Korea. "We received Asiatic Black Bears and a Ring Tailed Lemur from North Korea in exchange of mouflons, ba
Two new furry residents have arrived at the Hesperia Zoo in the form of a pair of 8-week-old white tiger cubs.
The white tiger cubs — a male and female — are two of less than 10 of their kind in California, according to Stephanie Taunton with the zoo.
“White tigers are very rare,” Taunton said, adding that there aren’t very many in the entire United States. “They’re essentially Bengal tigers, but the white coat makes them very unique.”
The cubs are pure white with black stripes, though Taunton says they’re not considered albino with their blue eyes.
The tigers arrived Tuesday night after spending time at a facility in Texas. Taunton said while the Hesperia Zoo has plans to make the cubs available for viewing on a regular basis in a few months, for now
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CDHB Operating Table Used To Neuter Lions
A male Lion cub will get 'the snip' tomorrow morning at Orana Wildlife Park. Last week the Park's two other male cubs were vasectomised. The one year old cats, each weighing 65kg, are being neutered to prevent future inbreeding and to create a more harmonious pride as the Lions age. The procedure tomorrow will take place on an operating table donated by the Canterbury District Health Board.
Animal Collection Manager, Ian Adams, says it is important to neuter the cubs before they get too much bigger: "Lions can be extremely aggressive animals and fight for dominance of their pride and over females. Past experience has shown us that neutering male Lion cubs significantly reduces infighting and aggression amongst the cats when they mature. It is therefore
North Korea zoo animals to be released after outcry
Conservationists in Zimbabwe said on Thursday that authorities had cancelled the controversial sale of zoo animals to North Korea.
The animals – which included two young elephants – would instead be released back into the wild after being rehabilitated by a local safari operation.
The move was considered a victory for local and foreign conservationists opposed to the shipment of the animals.
North Korea was going to pay US$ 23,000 for the animals which had been captured in Hwange National Park.
Johnny Rodrigues of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said he wanted assurances from the government that such shipments would
Highlights of independent zoo review
Some highlights from the Calgary Zoo review conducted by the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The dean of veterinary medicine at the University of Calgary was also on the review team.
The Calgary Zoo has put together a 36-point plan to address the findings.
Animal Handling Protocols, Husbandry Protocols, Program Animal Policy
-¦ The review found examples of keepers not knowing specified procedures dealing with such things as the tiger holding and bear enclosures.
-¦ The only training for keepers of the cow nose rays was self-taught. The review found this lack of expertise to have "been a major contributing factor to the problems with the ray exhibit where the zoo was reliant on external expertise which appears to have been inadequate."
Animal Welfare Process
-¦ Most workers didn't know they could submit a written concern about animal welfare and those who did were not used to it. "Many staff expressed a general view that it was difficult to get animal welfare concerns addressed," the review found.
Animal Mortality -- Natural Death vs. Human Error
-¦ The review team
believes there is a "significantly greater" number of deaths due to human error than at other similar institutions (this is disputed by the Calgary Zoo)
"Overall, these data demonstrate an increasing mortality at the zoo over the last few years and a clear increase in deaths that are human-related and in many cases could have been avoided by prompt and more aggressive response to identified problems," the review found.
-¦ The review dealt with traumas related to the capture and restraint of mule deer. The deaths are related to poor handling facilities, but the problem was not resolved over the years. The veterinary staff refused to provide some "routine health care" due to handling concerns.
-¦ "There are some indications that attempts to provide enhanced visitor experiences at the cost of careful exhibit planning within the Zoo's expertise may have contributed to some of the deaths observed.
Animal Care Staffing Levels, Training and Experience
-¦ The review team found staff were proud of the zoo and their role at the facility. They are "dedicated to the profession of saving wild animals through inspiring and educating their guests.
"The complement of full time keeper staffing appears to be thin, and/or, inefficiently utilized. There is a complex system of levels of keepers, a complex and rigid apprentice keeper program, and a union-negotiated, complicated scheduling system."
"Several junior keepers expressed concern that they did not have confidence to work some of the areas because of limited training or lengthy periods of time between assignments in these areas.
All Animal Facilities, Exhibits and Holding Areas
-¦ "There is a general impression of deferred maintenance. Examples include rotting wood, older facilities and equipment, rust, peeling and worn painted surfaces, etc. Operational funding for maintenance does not appear to be meeting
Death Threats For Lion Burger Restaurant
A restaurant in the US has received death threats after it put lion meat on its menu in honour of the World Cup in South Africa.
Il Vinaio restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona, has received one bomb threat and around 250 emails from animal rights activists after announcing its new dish.
"We have access to some really exotic meats that are USDA-approved," owner Cameron Selogie said.
"One of the ones that raised eyebrows was the lion," he added.
The big cat is not illegal to eat in the US and Mr Selogie insists the lions used to make the burgers were raised on a free-range farm.
"We've had quite a few customers asking us off the cuff when are we going to serve some lion," the restaurateur went on.
"In Africa they do eat lions.
"So I assume if it's OK for Africans to eat lions then it should be OK for us."
But Dr Grey Stafford from the World Wildlife Zoo said serving up a threatened species is sending the wrong message.
"Of all the plentiful things to eat in this country, for someone to request that or to offer
Local Jury Rules In Favor Of Wildlife Park Camel
A Coryell County jury Wednesday afternoon returned a verdict for the defense in a lawsuit charging personal injury filed by a one-time guest of the Topsey Exotic Ranch and Drive Thru Safari.
Robert McCarty and his attorney alleged McCarty injured his shoulder in 2004 when he tried to push a camel’s head out of his car.
The alleged incident happened July 22, 2004 as McCarty drove through the ranch in the Topsey Community near Copperas Cove.
The nine-man, three-woman jury voted 11 to 1 to hold defendant Gary Friedel harmless and find the wildlife ranch without liability for McCarty’s injuries.
Friedel told News 10 McCarty originally said he was seeking $1.9 million in the suit.
Friedel has owned and operated Topsey Exotic Ranch and Drive Thru Safari, near Copperas Cove, since 1984.
The ranch is home to several dozen wild animals and guests may
Ark's elephant enclosure will be size of 11 football fields
PLANS to create the UK's biggest elephant enclosure at a zoo farm in North Somerset have taken a step forward.
Staff at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm in Wraxall have been visiting zoos across the country as part of their plans to build a new 12-acre elephant enclosure and house.
Bosses at the zoo farm have been working with experts at Dublin Zoo to get advice and design tips for the new elephant territory.
In the last three years, Noah's Ark staff have visited all UK zoos with elephants, concluding with a trip to Ireland earlier this month. The new elephant enclosure will be the same size as 11 football pitches and will include a purpose-built, state-of- the-art elephant house, sand pits and water pools.
The elephant house, which will be 24 metres wide and 8.9 metres high, will be partially sunk into the ground.
The building would be made out of steel and concrete and the upper walls and the roof of the house finished in green sheeting to blend in with the countryside.
The northern boundary of the 14.9 hectare zoo site will extend to provide a new enclosure, surrounded by a four-metre high electric fence, for the elephants to exercise.
It is not known yet when work on the elephant house and enclosure will start, although it is hoped it will be open to the public within two years.
The new enclosure will be home to four female elephants, all of which will be rescue animals. Head keeper Chris Wilkinson says "During a busy week we were hosted by the impressive Dublin Zoo to look at the design of elephant enclosures, the types of enrichment used to stimulate the animals, and to get some advice on the day-to-day management of these specialised land mammals.
"This visit was very useful and staff at Dublin Zoo gave us important advice, which we can now use in our plans for elephants at Noah's Ark."
Elephants can live up to 60 years old and eat a vegetarian diet
Officials scramble to save endangered Javan rhinos
The discovery of three dead Javan rhinos has intensified efforts to save one of the world's most endangered mammals from extinction, with an electric fence being built Monday around a new sanctuary and breeding ground.
With only about 50 of the species left in the wild — all but a handful living in one national park in western Indonesia — conservationists are even talking about taking the rare step of relocating some of the 5-ton animals to spread out the population and give the Javan rhino a better chance to survive.
Drought and proximity to an active volcano in the densely forested Ujung Kulon park have raised fears that a natural disaster could destroy almost the entire population at once. In Vietnam, the only other place the rhinos can be found, there are just four.
"Essentially, the eggs are all in one basket," said Dr. Susie Ellis, the executive director of the U.S.-based International Rhino Foundation, which has warned that without drastic action, some rhinos could be extinct in the wild within the next decade.
"A second population really needs to be
Turning up heat on shark's fin soup
Eating shark's fin has become a political issue that is getting bigger in Hong Kong.
An environmental group wrote to 56 government departments and public bodies, asking about the situation regarding their consumption of shark's fin, and whether the departments have internal guidelines on this matter.
Having shark's fin on the menu of a banquet is obviously politically incorrect.
So sooner or later, the government will have to strike shark's fin from the menu when entertaining guests, to avoid pressure from green groups.
Among the public organizations surveyed, only the Hong Kong Observatory issued an internal memo - in February 2008 - prohibiting shark's fin at any official banquet.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption, meanwhile, said its practice is not to serve shark's fin or any other endangered species when entertaining guests, or at internal events.
Government departments have always been the pioneer of new practices.
Past examples include proper setting of air- conditioning thermostats, and the five-day workweek. If the green groups are successful in getting the government to ban shark's fin from banquet tables, it will set an example for the rest of the community, and serve to keep the issue alive.
In Hong Kong, shark's fin is not just a food matter, but one that has economic implications. A senior trade official once
Video: Pallas kittens arrived at Wildlife Heritage Foundation in Smarden
There are four new additions at the Wildlife Heritage Foundation in Smarden in the form of Pallas kittens.
The small wild cat, about the size of a domestic cat, comes from Central Asia but as new manager at the animal foundation Brian Badger warns, they’re nothing like a family pet.
The 47-year-old said: “These would have your eyes out literally if you were to open their cage.
"We never handle them other than for medical reasons and we let their mum do all the work, after all, she’s better at it than we are.”
Mr Badger has recently taken over as general manager, moving from Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire where he was head keeper.
The father-of-one continued: “Just over three weeks ago our female gave birth to four kittens.
"They’re growing nicely and all four have survived, which is quite unusual.”
The centre is not open to the
Zoo gets grant to help dolphins in oil spill
A team of Brookfield Zoo’s leading conservation scientists is studying the effect the Gulf oil spill will have on Florida dolphins, thanks to a grant from the Morris Animal Foundation.
Actress Betty White gave the foundation an undisclosed sum of money, and a nearly $55,000 grant went to the zoo.
The society received the grant from the Morris Animal Foundation’s Betty White Wildlife Rapid Response Fund. The grant provided the opportunity for Dr. Randall Wells, a senior conservation scientist, and his team to work on a health assessment of the 150 dolphins in Sarasota Bay to serve as a benchmark for when oil reaches the region.
“The grant has allowed us to respond to an urgent situation with the oil spill in the Gulf,” Wells said. “There is a strong need to obtain baseline information before the oil comes on shore.”
Wells and his team have been studying dolphin populations in Sarasota Bay for 40 years. Due to the grant, they were able to submit a project proposal and receive grant funding in two weeks, something Wells said he has never done in his four decades of dolphin research.
“We are conducting photographic identification surveys, identifying the dolphins by the nicks and notches on their fins on their backs,” Wells said. “It will helps
(Translated by Google)
1st Japan-born African elephant dies at 24
Woodstock in Oxfordshire housed UK's first zoo
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Workers Plan To Clean Oil-Stricken Turtles With Mayonnaise
As the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico claims the lives of many sea creatures, workers at the only licensed turtle hospital in the U.S. prepare for the worst.
Wilma the loggerhead turtle is suffering from pneumonia, and she is among 43 endangered sea turtles recovering from ailments, issues and injuries at The Turtle Hospital in Marathon. None of the hospitals' patients suffer from oil-related injuries -- yet.
Two new 30,000-gallon tanks are ready for a possible influx of sea turtles injured by oil and tar from BP's burgeoning underwater plumes.
"I can honestly say we're as prepared as we can possibly be," said Ryan Butts, of The Turtle Hospital.
It is hard to say when oil-affected turtles could arrive at the hospital, and the effects they will suffer are unclear, even for the experts.
"The oil will weigh them down, but they usually are strong enough where they can stay buoyant and they will float. Eventually, the toxins in the oil are what
CONSERVATIONISTS have attacked the decision to bring a captive monkey and two penguins to a Poole nursing home for the day.
Dr Alison Cronin, of the ape rescue centre Monkey World, spoke to the Daily Echo after a 12-year-old squirrel monkey and two Humboldt penguins took centre stage at Kingland House Residential Home on Wednesday.
Around 50 people, including residents, their families and staff packed a room to meet and handle the animals.
The visit, carried out by Oxfordshire’s Amazing Animals – a company that specialised in training animals to work in film and TV – saw Dougie the squirrel monkey and two miniature penguins, Charlie and Ferrari, enthral
A tortoise sanctuary in Cornwall could face closure after council officials reclassified it as a zoo.
Joy Bloor, who runs the Tortoise Garden at Sticker, near St Austell, has been told her docile pets are wild and cannot be classed as domestic.
Cornwall Cornwall said it had "no choice" but to apply the Zoo Licensing Act 1981.
Mrs Bloor said she was "devastated" and would appeal as being classified as a zoo brought added costs.
"These tortoises are not wild and it's pretty obvious we're not a zoo," she said.
She said the definition of a zoo was "an establishment which exhibits wild animals to the public".
She said that a zoo licence cost £262 but the sanctuary would not be able to afford the "spiralling" extra costs, such as paying for regular Defra vet inspections and vets'
(Video and comments)
It's the morning rush hour in the city, and all manner of trucks, cars and busses are whizzing along a downtown street.
But this isn't your average rush hour in Jakarta. Amid the hustle and bustle of the city an orangutan sits forlornly in a cage on the median right in the middle of the highway.
arms are wrapped around himself in a defensive pose, and his eyes look up to the sky, as if searching for help. The cage around him is so small he couldn't stretch his arms out if he wanted to.
Below him is a bright yellow sign with bold black letters that read, "In captivity, I live in cages smaller than this. Please set me free." The logo of the Friends of the National Parks Foundation appears at the bottom of the sign.
The orangutan is not an escapee from the zoo, nor
A grouping of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) joined forces to meet with officials from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and provincial nature conservation agencies on the 2 June 2010, to discuss the possible welfare crisis facing more than 3 500 Lions currently held in captivity in South Africa.
The potential crisis could arise as a result of Judge Ian van der Merwe’s ruling in the Free State High Court in June 2009, which upheld the provision of the Threatened or Protected Species (ToPS) Regulations and could effectively put an end to canned Lion hunting in South Africa. Judge van der Merwe, in his ruling, supported a widely held view that the hunting of Lions bred and raised in captivity, and which are therefore totally dependent on humans for their survival, “abhorrent and repulsive”. However, this ruling is currently under appeal and the application of the regulations to prevent canned hunting of Lions will be delayed until the appeal is heard.
The implementation of the provisions for Lions may well put a halt to hunting of captive-raised Lions, however the quality of life, and the future, of the thousands of animals still held in captivity is of major concern. The South African Predator Breeders Association (SAPBA) has warned that they believe the implementation of the regulations will make hunting economically unviable and many breeders may simply abandon or kill their lions rather than incurring the considerable expense of keeping them.
As a result of this, the NGO Alliance Grouping made suggestions to the DEA in 2009 and relayed their concerns regarding the fate of the thousands of Lions in captivity. The group includes animal welfarists, animal rightists and conservationists who have repeatedly offered their assistance to DEA in preparing an action plan to address issues which may arise and compromise the welfare of captive Lions and impact negatively on Lion conservation.
In the interest of these animals, the NGO Alliance Grouping has undertaken to present a detailed management and action plan to DEA for consideration.
The group’s spokesperson, Karen Trendler, stated: “We are committed to ensuring that the Lions receive the consideration they deserve. We will offer our expertise and knowledge to the Department of Environmental Affairs in preventing a possible crisis.”
The group also expressed its concerns to DEA regarding the commercial breeding of Lions for their bones that is being proposed by some in the Lion industry
ZOO boss David Gill wants to bypass Dalton by building a new road to his tourist attraction.
Mr Gill recently applied to Barrow Borough Council, outlining plans for a new entrance road to his South Lakes Wild Animal Park.
Mr Gill, who was born in Cleator Street, Dalton, intends to route traffic through the Melton Brow junction, off the A590.
He said: “The reason for the new road is quite simple – we need to remove Dalton-in-Furness from our map.
“It is a problem for us, people having to go down into Dalton.
“They drive past 200 family homes on the way into the animal park.
“There are parking problems on Market Street, Broughton Road and Ulverston Road. It blocks the access for my visitors and deliveries, and they have to come round Tudor Square, which is awkward.
“Then when you have something like the medieval fayre and the carnival, you also have the potential for loss of business. So what we have done is taken the project completely out of Dalto
The first documented evidence of the baffling disappearance of up to 90 per cent of snake colonies in five disparate spots on the globe has “large-scale implications” for humanity, a Canadian expert says.
And the “most obvious cause, intuitively, would be climate change,” biologist Jason Head of the University of Toronto, told the Star.
“Snakes are top predators in their eco system,” said Head. “They are regulators on rodents. If we remove that regulator, you can expect an increase in the number of disease vectoring (carrying) animals.”
Venomous snakes are taking the biggest hit in the findings, which has serious consequences for medicine, said Head.
“Snakes are not an insignificant component of human society
The plan to transfer orang utan from Sabah to a proposed ape sanctuary in Kuala Lumpur may not proceed, for fear the great apes may not survive in the different forest ecosystem there.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said the Sabah government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) here had conveyed such reservations at a meeting with the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry's technical committee recently.
"We were invited to present our case on the proposal to relocate the orang utan to Kuala Lumpur, so we provided evidence from scientific studies to show that the forest in the peninsula is different from ours. Therefore, we do not think the orang utan in Sabah can live in the forest there.
"Another issue is we don't have tigers here and they do in Peninsular Malaysia, so there is likelihood of the orang utan being mauled and eaten by tigers. The state government's stand is very clear, we are not agreeable to transporting the apes to the peninsula," he told reporters after closing the Workshop on Species Action Plan for Orang Utan, Elephant and Rhino, here Friday.
Masidi said following that, the technical committee agreed to recommend to the federal cabinet that they should not proceed with the plan to send orang utan there.
Sabah currently has some 11,000 orang utan, comprising 80 per cent of the overall orang utan population in Mala
A UAE-funded programme to re-introduce the Arabian Oryx back into the wild, an effort which started in Jordan last year, could soon be extended to Iraq and Syria.
The initiative, worth Dh4 million, released 20 antelopes, born in captivity in the UAE into Jordan’s Wadi Rum last year. Three babies have since been born and another 40 animals are set to be released over this year and next. “We have two more countries in the pipeline,” said Abdulnasser al Shamsi, the executive director of animal welfare and forestry projects at the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi.
Once numerous across the Arabian Peninsula, the Arabian Oryx has been extinct from the wild since 1972. The antelope has since survived only in zoos and private collections.
Abu Dhabi has the largest population, about 3,000 animals in captivity, and 155 live in a protected area in Umm al Zamool.
Yesterday, Mr al Shamsi said that 15 to 20 UAE-born Arabian Oryx can be sent to Iraq as early as next year, possibly in a secure area near the border with Jordan and Saudi Arabia. He was speaking from Damascus, where a regional conservation strategy to protect
Two Emiratis and a Somali national have been held by police in Dubai after a failed attempt to bring rare cheetah cubs into the country.
The cargo of 15 animals, which can only be exported under strict guidelines, was intercepted at Dubai International Airport two days ago. The shipment arrived from Somalia.
All of the animals weighed less than two kilograms.
“I think they were collected from their mothers,” said Abdullah Salem al Jan’an, executive director for agricultural and animal affairs, at the Ministry of Environment and Water.
Because of the stressful journey, six of the animals died, he said. The remainder have been sent to the Al Ain
When Ali al Shehhi’s son got engaged, the bride’s family brought a treat to celebrate: Arabian tahr with rice.
It was, he said, one of the best dishes he had ever tasted – “very different and delicious”. It was traditional, too: Mr al Shehhi’s ancestors had hunted the tahr near their rocky homes in the mountains of Ras al Khaimah for generations.
What neither he nor the other members of the two families realised was that the Arabian tahr they were eating is seriously endangered, with fewer than 50 animals remaining in the wild in the UAE.
That goat’s fate was all too common, according to Jackie Strick, the veterinary nurse and Arabian tahr specialist at the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife in Sharjah.
“They either get mistaken for a regular goat or some actually recognise it as the exotic mountain goat and hunt it down because of the very fact that they are different,” she said.
“Because of their dependency on water, they often get ambushed as they drink at known water holes.”
Efforts are now well under way at the centre to preserve the species.
Just four weeks ago, the project had another success, in the shape of Qara, the sixth tahr kid to be born there.
Named after a mountain in Oman, where most tahr reside, Qara already climbs easily over the rocks in her enclosure.
She has bumps on her head where her horns will eventually emerge, and a grey-brown coat that is rapidly turning browner as she gets older.
It is thought that the coat’s initial grey colour is to help the young tahr stay camouflaged in their natural mountainous habitat.
Qara is one of the nine tahr that now live at the centre, along with her mother, Kydd, and father, Akhdar.
Typically for a male, Akhdar has distinct thick horns that curve back over his head. His long, red-brown coat is shaggier than
Scarred by his traumatic childhood, Jeremy Keeling found solace working with exotic animals. Now, in his enchanting and touching book, he reveals how he became a ‘mother’ to an abandoned baby orang-utan called Amy - and how she healed his broken heart...
The car climbed the steep bank at high speed and then rolled – nose to tail – back on to the motorway hard shoulder, the impact ripping the roof and shattering windows. Everything went black. I suffered head injuries, as did Amy, the one-year-old orang-utan I had rescued after her mother abandoned her.
Luckily, my girlfriend Meryl was unscathed and my son Jamie escaped with bruising. A policeman, arriving at the scene, crawled into the mangled wreck from the rear and saw the back of my blood-soaked head. He noticed a large, hairy hand reach out and wrap itself around my head, cradling it. I had once saved Amy. And now she would not let me go.
There was always an innate attraction between me and the orange people – the orang-utans (the name actually comes from the Malay for 'man of the forest'). Chimps are highly intelligent and sociable. Gorillas are gregarious but lazy.
The orang-utan, though, is a simple, solitary creature that just wants to eat, sleep and work out mechanical formulas. It is the grumpy old man of the forest, something I empathise with. That's why I felt so much for Amy. I knew what it was like to be unwanted. I too had been discarded by my mother, Jill, who ran our family zoo in the Pennines, as punishment for making contact with my absent father.
I was forced to live in a beaten-up caravan at the age of 12, deprived of love and affection. Perhaps that was why I was so drawn to Amy. We were both loners. My mother was the dominant force in my family. The death of her childhood sweetheart days before they were to marry left a bitter resentment that she took to her grave.
After I left home, I briefly worked with chimps at a zoo owned by family friends and later at Colchester Zoo, where I gained my first introduction to orang-utans. Here was I, a troubled 18-year-old, responsible for chimps, baboons, spider monkeys, capuchins, gibbons and lemurs. The main draw for me, however, were Guy and Prissy, the zoo's orang-utans. You just get on better with some people than
The carcass of a critically endangered Javan rhino has been found in Indonesia, conservationists said Monday, bringing the world?s scarcest mammal one step closer to extinction.
The remains of the male rhino were found two weeks ago in Ujung Kulon National Park in West Java, home to the species' last viable population of less than 50, experts said.
Rhino Foundation of Indonesia head Widodo Ramono said the animal could have died during the rainy season around February to March. Its horn was intact, meaning it probably was not killed by poachers, he said.
"There were no signs that it had been killed or poisoned. We suspect it could have died from an illness or, since it was partly submerged in water when it died, it could have drowned," he added.
The Javan rhino is distinguished from African rhinos by its small size, single horn and loose skin folds. Rhino horns are used in traditional Chinese and Korean medicine although most Asian countries have banned the trade.
Around 44 Javan rhinos are believed to live in Ujung
A new study says the same rule that applies to Hollywood celebrities also applies in the jungle -- it pays to be beautiful.
Researchers may be biased towards "cute and charismatic" animals, such as polar or panda bears, leaving some of nature's homelier creatures at risk of being neglected – and therefore at higher risk of extinction -- the study suggests.
Conservation ecologist Ted Cheskey of Nature Canada says that all threatened species deserve equal attention.
"There's a problem in that because in ecology all species have a value and a purpose," he told CTV's Canada AM Wednesday, of the study. "If we put our research dollars or conservation efforts towards protecting the big, charismatic (animals), we might be missing the thing that is most important."
The study, carried out at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, surveyed scientific papers from 1994 to 2008, looking for mentions of some 2,000 species in southern Africa.
Combining the data with a global list of endangered status, researchers found threatened large mammals appeared in 500 times as many papers as threatened amphibians.
Threatened birds, reptiles and smaller mammals were studied much less often.
And some animals that are most often referred to with adjectives such as "cute" and "cuddly" at the zoo, had a disproportionate amount of studies on them.
For example, the loveable meerkat was featured in about 100 studies, while the noble, but charisma-free manatee was only featured in 14.
The most studied animals were chimpanzees
Malaysian authorities are trying to trap a female mate for Tam, a rare Borneo Sumatran rhino, in a last-ditch effort to produce an offspring in captivity and save his species from extinction, an official said Thursday.
Laurentius Ambu, a top wildlife official, said Tam's current mate is too old to reproduce. Tam was rescued from the jungles of Sabah state on Borneo island two years ago and is one of the handful of Borneo Sumatran rhinos believed to be alive.
"We are looking for a reproductive fertile female," said Ambu, the director of Sabah's Wildlife Department. "The female that we have is quite old now."
Hopes for saving the Borneo Sumatran from extinction were raised following the recent spotting of a rhino believed to be a female, whose image was captured by a remotely controlled camera, Ambu said.
The trap is in an area on Borneo island where the solitary rhinos, indigenous to the island, are known to roam.
Only 10 to 30 Borneo Sumatran rhinos -- a subspecies of the bristly, snub-nosed Sumatran rhino -- are known to remain in the wild. So it is crucial that the breeding-in-captivity program launched two years ago when Tam was rescued
George Tregembo, collector of animals and assorted worldly curiosities that became the Tregembo Animal Park, died Thursday after an illness. He was 88.
Tregembo opened the Carolina Beach Road zoo in 1953, originally calling it the Tote Em In Zoo. It quickly became a child favorite, and remains a landmark to this day.
Originally from Hallowell, Maine, Tregembo first came to North Carolina while in the Army and stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro.
He visited Carolina Beach and Fort Fisher while on a two-day pass and immediately loved the weather, said his son, Robert Tregembo.
After getting out of the Army and spending a few years running a zoo in Maine, George Tregembo moved to Wilmington in 1952 and soon founded the Tote Em In Zoo.
He started with less than a dozen animals and a collection of spear points, shrunken heads, masks and more that he had started while
Scent of a solenodon: On the trail of a living fossil
Yerevan hosts Caucasus leopard protection campaign
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Dizzying array of animals sold in resurgent markets
A dozen fluffy white kittens with piercing blue eyes frolic in a wire cage, perched perilously atop a pen containing two African lion cubs. Neighborhood schoolchildren stop to feed sunflower seeds to a chained monkey, while three red foxes cower in their curbside enclosure from the street noise.
Iraqis can get just about whatever animals they want, whether as pets, novelties or status symbols or for a private zoo — and as violence subsides many are stocking up at Baghdad's several pet markets.
The lack of government regulation means animals like lions and crocodiles are going home with people unequipped
Budding Bee keepers and honey lovers are excited about Honey Bee Day at Battersea Park Children's Zoo.
The day will focus on the importance of bees with live demonstrations, beeswax candle rolling and the opportunity to make a bee stick puppet.
James Hamill from the Honey Hive Shop will stage the event, and he sees it as a chance to raise bee awareness and also give hayfever sufferers a chance to try HayfeGUARD, a mixture of local raw honey and pollen concentrate.
Mr Hamill said: “I'm really looking forward to the day. It will be extremely educational and hopefully answer a lot of questions people may have about bee keeping.”
Mr Hamill has been keeping bees since he was five years old and bee keeping has been in his family for four generations.
It is hoped the Honey Bee Day will encourage people to keep their own bees and produce their own
Five of the world's most critically endangered animals spent their first day in a new home over the weekend after the start of the "most ambitious" international relocation of large mammals ever undertaken.
Three female and two male Eastern Black Rhinoceroses were airlifted on a chartered Hercules C-130 aircraft from the South African conservancy where they were raised to Tanzania's Serengeti National Reserve.
They are the first of 32 of the animals which will be flown home to the native habitat from which their ancestors were evacuated as poachers began decades of slaughtering almost 50 years
AN EXPEDITION INTO THE MOUNTAINS of Papua New Guinea has revealed what may be the world's smallest species of kangaroo.
A research team that ventured into the Foja Mountains in 2008 have this week released their findings of a number of species new to science, including a new dwarf wallaby, Dorcopsulus. The wallaby inhabits the floor of the montane forests, and has been called "beautiful" and "gentle" by expeditioner Dr Kristofer Helgen, a zoologist at the Smithsonian Institution of Washington DC.
Kangaroo expert Dr Euan Ritchie, of James Cook University in Queensland, told Australian Geographic that the new species may represent a major find. "It is indeed possible it represents
A Sabah Wildlife Rescue Centre has been set up at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park here.
It was made possible through a joint initiative between the Sabah Wildlife Department, Shangri-La Rasa Ria and the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC).
A memorandum of understanding was signed by the three organisations at the International Palm Oil Conference attended by 300 local and foreign participants here.
Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Ellorin Angin said the centre would be involved in wildlife rescue and translocation operations throughout Sabah.
“It will also conduct on site wildlife enforcement and monitoring as well as liase with other stakeholders like the Worldwide Fund for Nature and the plantation industry,” he said.
MPOC chairman Datuk Lee Yeow Chor said it would
8 eggs of a rare Chinese hen were reported missing following which T K Bahera had lodged a police complaint
A Police complaint lodged by the field director of Chhatbir Zoological Park against three Class IV employees sparked a massive protest here on Wednesday.
Around 150 employees, including zookeepers, caretakers, guards and peons, assembled outside director T K Bahera’s office and raised slogans against him.
They even blocked the way and did not allow him to go home and carried on the protest till late in the evening.
Gurmail Singh, president of Chhatbir Employees’ Union, and Banda Singh, chairman of Class IV Government Employees’ Union, said eight eggs of a rare Chinese hen ‘Emrest Fizard’ had gone missing from its enclosure on Tuesday morning, following which zookeeper Jarnail Singh
Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio has launched a campaign to protect the tigers.
'Tigers are endangered and critical to some of the world's most important eco-systems. Key conservation efforts can save the tiger from extinction, protect some of the planet's last wild habitats and help sustain the local communities surrounding them,' contactmusic.com quoted him as saying.
The 'Titanic' star has joined hands with the World Wildlife Fund to create 'Save Tigers Now' with a view to raise $20 million for the cause.
DiCaprio, who is currently in Asia learning about
Auckland Zoo will ban smoking from Saturday, riding the growing wave of opposition to lighting up at outdoor venues.
Smoking is banned by law indoors at all workplaces and everywhere - both indoors and outdoors - at schools and early childhood centres.
Now a growing number of outdoor venues, universities and polytechnics are choosing to ban smoking. Nearly a third of city and district councils
More than 3,400 acres (1,375 hectares) of Carolinian Canada land in Norfolk County will be preserved and restored thanks to the W. Garfield Weston Foundation.
A donation to the Nature Conservancy of Canada will result in the lands being gradually restored to natural habitat for many species-at-risk, said a media release.
The Foundation's Norfolk Carolinian Legacy project will help the Nature Conservancy of Canada preserve land on the Southern Norfolk Sand Plain, part of the Carolinian Life Zone – which comprises less than a quarter of 1% of Canada's landmass, but is home to 25% of all species at risk.
The lands that are part of this initiative are outstanding examples of Norfolk County's best forests, savannahs and wetlands.
"We are inspired by the commitment of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation to champion conservation in Canada," says John Lounds, president and CEO of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, said in the release. "The Weston family's generosity and foresight have allowed us to dream and plan for projects of this scope
Police, fire crews and council workers in the eastern Dutch city of Nijmegen are still searching for a crocodile after a passer-by reported seeing it creep into a pond. Meanwhile, in the northern city of Leeuwarden, the hunt is on for an escaped vulture.
Police in Nijmegen began their search on Friday evening after a woman reported seeing a 1.5 metre long brown reptile slipping into a pond in Steve Biko Square. The surrounding area, including two nearby ponds and the playgrounds beside them, was sealed off as a precaution. Then, on Saturday morning, local fire crews began searching the pond with sonar equipment, in an attempt to locate the reptile underwater.
Torches and cameras
On Saturday night, animal experts shone torches on the surface of the pond in the hope that it would be reflected in the eyes of the crocodile. When that had no success, sewage company workers started searching the bottom of the ponds, and the canals between them, with specialised cameras on Sunday morning. So far they have failed to find anything.
The police have now concluded that it’s highly unlikely there is a crocodile in the pond. A police representative said that, “large objects have been detected in the water, but upon investigation they turned out to be nothing more than branches.” No further search of the pond
A DUTCH voluntary animal welfare organisation will this week give shelter to two raccoons currently housed at the zoos of Limassol and Larnaca.
The animals will fly out from Larnaca airport onboard a Cyprus Airways direct flight to Amsterdam on Wednesday where they will be relocated just outside the city with an animal sanctuary called AAP.
According to reports all the necessary travel arrangements have already been made including who will take delivery of the two raccoons as well as their anaesthetisation so that they can be microchipped and transferred in special cages. A representative from Animal Responsibility Cyprus (Kivotos) will travel to Holland with the two animals.
The animals were relocated in line with European legislation which bans the operation of zoos where wild and exotic animals are kept in unsuitable conditions. Limassol zoo has in the past repeatedly come under fire for its unacceptable conditions
Emmen zoo has asked the local council for a financial boost of between €2m and €3m because of falling visitor numbers, news agency ANP reports.
'The bottom of our reserves are in sight. We are very worried indeed,' zoo director Hans Bosma is reported as saying.
However, the financial problems have no implications for the zoo's plans to move to a new location on the west of Emmen as part of the redevelopment of the town centre. The move is being funded to the tune
China will build nine zones in the northeastern provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang for the conservation of Siberian tigers, according to the latest international meeting on habitat protection for the endangered species.
The nine zones will be Huichun-Wangqing-Dongning-Suiyang, Changbai Mountains, the southern area of Mount Zhangguangcai, Muleng, Huadian, the northern area of Mount Zhangguangcai, Baishan-Tonghua-Ji'an, Lushuihe-Dongjiang and Jingyu-Jiangyuan.
The areas are all near the border of China and Russia and between China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and cover an area of 38,000 square kilometers.
In the areas there are vast forests and sufficient prey for Siberian tigers, according to experts.
Although they used to be widely distributed throughout northeastern China, wild Siberian tigers only number 20 or so in the region now due to fragmentation of forests and illegal hunting. But in the neighboring far east region
A dynamic breeding programme initiated by the Arabian Wildlife Park on Sir Bani Yas Island is beginning to show results and there seems to be hope for the conservation of some of the endangered species of native desert animals
Conservation lovers have reason to celebrate. In January this year, four cubs were born to Safira, a resident cheetah, on Sir Bani Yas Island, a nature reserve off Abu Dhabi which is a major attraction for wildlife enthusiasts.
Three cubs survived, and together with the one female cheetah, Safira, from the Wildlife Centre in Dubai and two adult males from the Sharjah Breeding Centre, the cheetah population in the UAE now stands at six.
In February, two cubs were born to striped hyenas Phiri and Arnold on the island. Both the cheetahs and the striped hyenas are indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula and figure prominently on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN's) red list, which deals with species of plants and animals that are on the brink of extinction.
The idyllic Sir Baniyas Island lies about 250km southwest of mainland Abu Dhabi, close to Jebel Dhanna. At 87 square kilometres, it is the largest natural island in the UAE. Together with the Dalma, Discovery and five other natural islands it forms the Desert Islands project which is being developed as an economic and ecological conservation centre that will provide a fiscal boost to the Western Region of Abu Dhabi.
The late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan recognised the need for conservation of the fast-disappearing plant and animal species of the country as soon as he assumed office of the president. He had observed: "We shall continue to work to protect our environment and our wildlife as did our forefathers before us."
In 1971, Shaikh Zayed transformed the island into a private wildlife reserve to ensure the survival of the most endangered species on the Arabian Peninsula such as the Arabian Oryx, sand gazelle, cheetah and hyena. The Arabian Wildlife Park was officially opened to the public in 1990. Intensive conservation work and ecological investment have made this island home to thousands of large, free-roaming animals, including the region's largest herds of the Arabian Oryx.
The 4,100 hectares of the Arabian Wildlife Park houses 4,500 animals of a variety of species today that are both indigenous and non-indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula. Flora too was
How caged animals became a tool of statecraft.
Earlier this month, the government of Zimbabwe announced that it was planning to give North Korea an ark's worth of animals -- two of every creature found in the southern African country's Hwange National Park -- for its longstanding Asian ally's zoo. Conservationists in Africa and elsewhere, not unreasonably, fear the worst As with most things in the Hermit Kingdom, only a few sketchy facts are known about the Korea Central Zoo in Pyongyang; its elephants purportedly are descended from a "hero" pachyderm given to the Kim regime by Ho Chi Minh -- even zoo attractions in North Korea come with an Western-imperialist-fighting lineage -- and one British visitor in the 1970s encountered a parrot that cawed "Long live the Great Leader!" in English. Suffice it to say that Pyongyang is probably no Mount Ararat.
But though President Robert Mugabe gifting a pair of baby elephants to Kim Jong Il may seem like a particularly ghastly move, zoos and geopolitics have long been closely linked -- with results that range from the bizarre to the downright appalling.
In 1861, Arab traders captured a 2-year-old African elephant calf on the plains of Abyssinia, now Ethiopia, and sold him to a European animal collector. The elephant's name was Jumbo -- the adjective, as applied to jets and buckets of popcorn in the English usage, originates with him -- and he would become not only perhaps the most famous zoo attraction in history, but also a sore spot in British-American relations.
In 1880, when the showman P.T. Barnum was looking for a marquee animal for his Barnum & Bailey Circus, his thoughts turned to Jumbo, who was at the time the prized possession of the London Zoo. It took him the better part of two years, but Barnum convinced the Zoological Society of London to part with the animal for $10,000. An uproar immediately ensued in London. The fracas was about more than a beloved sightseeing attraction -- it was about British national identity. Since antiquity, imperial rulers had gathered exotic animals from distant corners of their empires and kept them as tokens of their far-reaching power; similarly, the evolution of the modern zoo in Victorian England had happened in tandem with the growth of the British Empire. The London Zoo, which had replaced the private royal menageries of the past, was a potent symbol of British might -- visitors were admiring not only a captivating array of wildlife but also a physical manifestation of the crown's reach, to colonial lands that counted among their subjects everything from the rhinoceroses of Rhodesia to the tigers of Bengal.
The ability of an American upstart entrepreneur to wrest loose one of Britain's most prized African treasures was considered a "disgrace to English lovers of animals," in the words of one letter to the editor of a London newspaper collected in historian Harriet Ritvo's The Animal Estate: The English and Other Creatures in the Victorian Age. Jumbo "was a popular figure, as well as an imperial symbol," Ritvo says. "The zoo's selling of him was ballyhooed in the press of a kind of treason -- a betrayal of the public, and a lèse majesté."
Bits of doggerel verse written in Jumbo's voice abounded in London; in one of them the elephant declares, "I love the brave old British flag, of it my boys
Bereft of birthday gift ideas, Simon Hughes turns to London Zoo.
There are many annoying things about 12 year-olds. Their refusal to go to bed. Their inability to get out of it once they're in it. Their monosyllabic retorts when you ask them about school. The deliberate baiting of their younger siblings. Their general ignorance of the whereabouts of the rubbish bin/dishwasher/wardrobe. But perhaps the most frustrating thing about them is the lengths you need go to buy them a decent birthday present.
They've got everything. The laptop (including DVD player), the (overused) mobile, the (unused) bike,
Ukrainian police were searching for a man suspected of complicity in a series of zoo animal poisonings, the Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday.
The suspect, described as a man aged 40-45 wearing an earring, had been seen last week next to the cage of a dromedary camel in the Kiev city zoo.
The animal died of poisoning on Wednesday.
Handlers later found a boiled potato in the camel's enclosure, possibly used to deliver the poison, according to a Kiev city zoo statement.
One of the Kiev zoo's star attractions, a male Indian elephant aged 39, died of suspected poisoning on April 26. A high-profile biological research institute performed an autopsy
"The Patna zoo is amazing. It's much richer in terms of botanical species than I had expected," gushed Singapore zoo's assistant director May Lok.
She was here to attend a four-day training workshop on `Conservation, education and zoos', organized by the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park here last week.
"There are a number of old trees and the overall vegetation is also impressive. Another major thing that struck me was the huge size and number of Indian rhinos at this zoo. There are 12 of them, second largest number in any of the zoos in the world. They are a real treat to eyes," Lok said.
But, she said, there's scope for improvement. Like, signages for flora and fauna should be at least bilingual. "Under an overall master plan, zone-wise development should be undertaken. The enclosures should be upgraded so as to make it more animal friendly and lively, somewhat resembling their natural habitat," Lok said and also stressed the need for
The Director of the Ogba Zoo, Benin, Andy Ehanire, has faulted the circumstances behind the death of one of the chimpanzees in the care of the zoo.
Residents of Ogba, on the outskirt of Benin City were thrown into panic penultimate week when a chimpanzee allegedly escaped from its cage in the Ogba Zoological garden and attacked some fun seekers at the zoo.
One of the victims, Nwoke Chidozie, who sustained injuries in the incident, said he saw other visitors to the zoo scampering for safety after the chimp allegedly escaped from its cage.
“Upon sighting the animal, I tried to save my children from getting attacked, but was attacked by the animal,” he said.
He alleged that the animal grabbed his last son, Divine, and he had to fight the animal by grabbing it at the neck in order to rescue his son.
Police spokesperson, Peter Ogboi, confirmed the story, and added that men of the Airport Road Police Station had to shoot the animal dead when it became clear that it might cause harm to other people.
“The police were invited to the Ogba Zoo on the day of the incident, following the stampede caused by the chimpanzee,” he said. “When it became evident that the chimpanzee had became a threat to others on sight-seeing at the zoo, the best
Zoo authorities in Rajkot have set up top-open enclosures for leopards.
Praduman Park, a small hilly area surrounded by two lakes and situated on the outskirts of Rajkot city was selected as the zoo site.
The zoo is developed on 137 acres of land on a hilly area and the topography is suitable for wildlife.
The enclosure has a front of 40 meters, 29 meters at the back and 23 meters on its sides. Their fence is four meters high and on the top of it has a 1.2-meter high over hand made of stainless steel plates and hot wires on top.
"This kind of enclosure I am seeing it for the first time, I have seen so many zoos but this enclosure is open from the top safety measures in enclosures
A Siberian tiger has given birth to two cubs in northwest China zoo, bringing hope for the endangered species, zoo officials said Friday.
The tiger gave birth to the cubs two weeks ago, said zoo worker Yang Weiguo in Xining capital of China's Qinghai Province
"It was natural breeding, a real miracle in the plateau region," said Yang, who looks after the tigers at the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Safari Park in Xining.
He said the tiger and her cubs were all in good condition. "The cubs have not yet opened their eyes, but have a very good appetite."
Zoo workers were unable to approach the cubs for a closer look under their mother's watchful eyes, Yang said.
Zoo workers fed the mother tiger mutton, live chickens, milk and eggs to ensure adequate lactation, he said.
The mother tiger is three and a half years old and was born at a zoo in Ningbo, east China's Zhejiang Province. The cubs' father was born at the Beijing Zoo in 2000.
Park manager Liu Chuanhui said the 300-hectare safari park provides
The National Zoo says it is opening a new DNA lab that will help protect endangered species in the wild and in zoos worldwide.
The lab located on the Zoo's “Research Hill” is scheduled to open Tuesday.
Smithsonian officials says the zoo has studied genetics for more than 20 years, but the new lab will allow increased collaboration among zoo pathologists, veterinarians, reproductive biologists, ecologists and behaviorists.
Rob Fleischer, head of the Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics, says work done at the lab will range
At a time when the Karachi Zoo had just had two elephant calves, recent births of some rare local species have also added to its public attraction.
The News has learnt that a red-dear gave birth to a baby at the zoo just four days ago.
Similarly, Wallaby which is an Australian specie belonging to the kangaroo family gave birth to a baby some three months back.
The Wallaby’s baby was hardly had a length of more than one inch at the time it’s birth but now it has grown to an great extent and could be easily seen in the pouch of the mammal. District Officer (DO) Karachi Zoo Mansoor Qazi told The News that a black buck was also born at the zoo some four days back.
It is pertinent to mention here that the black buck which is commonly known as “Kala Hiran” is regional specie but endangered owing to excessive hunting.
Qazi added that a spotted dear and a blue bull (Neel Gaiy) also gave birth to babies at the zoo just a couple of months ago.
He said that jungle cat, which is local but endangered specie, also gave birth 25 days ago whereas blue peacocks also delivered four births at the zoo. He said that Afghan tortoise also delivered births some nine months back at the zoo.
Qazi said that the Karachi Zoo has also turned into a breeding place for a number of animals and around 18 different species were also shifted to the Safari Park from the Karachi Zoo.
He said that a number of animals and birds including s
Rescue Diary – The Lions Arrive and Go Free!
Spare wives, his own zoo … and a missing $200m
How much illicit wealth can the president of one of the planet’s poorest countries amass in just five years?
In the case of the deposed president of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the answer appears to be a staggering amount.
Gold bars, a private zoo of endangered species and tens of millions of dollars in hidden bank accounts – if his detractors are to be believed.
As the dust settles on a violent April uprising that forced Bakiyev and his extended family to flee the arid former Soviet republic, the politicians who deposed him say they have uncovered evidence of massive fraud.
In a country where the average monthly wage is the equivalent of just £45, revelations about the “Bakiyev millions” have stirred deep anger. Officials say Bakiyev’s entourage transferred up to $200 million out of the country just before they fled, leaving Kyrgyzstan’s coffers almost empty and the nation teetering
Stronger action urged to slow extinction
Experts have called for legislation to protect biodiversity and promote the efficient use of technology to curb the unprecedented decline of plant and animal species.
It is estimated that at least one species disappears every hour, including some unknown to human beings, according to the UN. Currently, more than 34,000 plants and 5,200 animals are on the verge of extinction, such as the Cuban crocodile and the white-headed langur.
The species that are part of an endangered species group are closer to extinction, among which amphibian species face the greatest risk. Deterioration of coral species face the highest risks.
"A better legislation is needed to curb the decline and maintain a stable ecosystem," said Li Wenhua, an ecologist at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, who attributed the decline to environment pollution and exploitation.
Li made the remarks on Saturday, International Day for Biological Diversity, at a ceremony to unveil the monument for the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity at the Beijing Zoo.
"We have to enhance efforts to protect biodiversity which not only benefits current development, but coming generations," Li added.
Li Ganjie, vice-minister of environmental protection, said that the ceremony marked the full implementation of China's action plan for biodiversity protection.
"We aim to improve the public's awareness about protecting biodiversity and encourage them to participate in the campaign," he said.
Local governments and NGOs also held activities to promote biodiversity conservation among people. The government in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, launched the first Asia-pacific Forum on Biodiversity Conservation on Saturday.
Despite repeated global promises to protect the planet's species, the variety of life continues to decline at an unprecedented rate, UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon said Saturday as he called for action to curb the root causes of the problem.
"Biodiversity loss is moving ecological systems ever closer to a tipping point beyond which they will no longer be able to fulfill their vital functions," he said.
In 2002, several countries vowed to greatly reduce the
Wetland aliens cause bird extinction
BirdLife International has announced, in the 2010 IUCN Red List update for birds, the extinction of Alaotra Grebe Tachybaptus rufolavatus. Restricted to a tiny area of east Madagascar, this species declined rapidly after carnivorous fish were introduced to the lakes in which it lived. This, along with the use of nylon gill-nets by fisherman which caught and drowned birds, has driven this species into the abyss.
"No hope now remains for this species. It is another example of how human actions can have unforeseen consequences", said Dr Leon Bennun, BirdLife International's Director of Science, Policy and Information. "Invasive alien species have caused extinctions around the globe and remain one of the major threats to birds and other biodiversity."
Another wetland species suffering from the impacts of introduced aliens is Zapata Rail Cyanolimnas cerverai from Cuba. It has been uplisted to Critically Endangered and is under threat from introduced mongooses and exotic catfish. An extremely secretive marsh-dwelling species, the only nest ever found of this species was described by James Bond, a Caribbean ornithologist and the source for Ian Fleming's famous spy's name.
And it's not just aliens. Wetlands the world over, and the species found in them, are under increasing pressures.
In Asia and Australia, numbers of once common wader species such as Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris and Far
Zoo Study Reveals $100 Million Economic Impact to City
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo Economic Impact Study results reveal the Zoo's economic impact to the City of Omaha to be $101.2 million. This includes $36.3 million in labor paid to nearly 1,418 workers employed at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo or businesses throughout the Omaha economy. The additional economic activity in Omaha due to Omaha's Zoo generates an additional $1.65 million in local sales, use and lodging tax revenues for Omaha. Study results reveal Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo's economic impact to the State of Nebraska to be $83.14 million which includes $27.35 million in labor income.
In 2009, 1.56 million people visited Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo. Of those visitors, 35.7% were from the City of Omaha, 42% were from other parts of the Omaha MSA and nearby counties and 17.6% were from outside of state. "The adventure-inspired experiences created at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo have helped grow Omaha's image as a tourism destination. Each new exhibit increases the city's ability to attract new visitors who in turn bring new money into our local economy. The Zoo's economic impact is significant and the prestige it brings to
Zoo Penguin Dies After 1 Day on Job
The Little Rock Zoo says a six-month-old penguin acquired this week suffered a seizure and died after one day at the park.
One of the two birds received Wednesday from the Tautphaus Zoo in Idaho Falls, Idaho, died in quarantine Thursday. A cause isn't known. The zoo says the other penguin is doing fine.
The Little Rock Zoo lost animals throughout the 2000s to various ailments, including two giraffes, a leopard, a black bear and a gorilla that died after a non-invasive echocardiogram. Two snowy owls died from suspected West Nile virus and a lemur escaped and was found dead two days later - the day after a sloth bear was
Tiger conservation is disastrous, says BBC wildlife presenter Chris Packham
Donating money to tiger conservation charities is a waste of time because their success rate is "disastrous", according to Chris Packham, the BBC wildlife presenter.
Packham, who caused an outcry last year when he suggested that pandas should be left to die out, said efforts to save the animals through conservation were worthless.
"Tiger conservation is a multi-million pound business that isn't working. If it were in the FTSE 100, it would have gone bankrupt. Who'd buy shares in a business that's failing in its objective?" he asked.
"I'm not saying the conservation agencies don't have their hearts in the right place, but the results are disastrous."
He told the Radio Times: "I do rather dislike the fact that if you do as I do and openly criticise conservation, it's almost as if you're attacking something holy.
"But if we're all giving a pound for the tiger, or whatever, I think we all have a right to think that money is being best spent, that's all. Why shouldn't I criticise if there is a criticism to be levelled? One would hope the vast majority of wildlife charities are doing good - but why shouldn't I ask? What's so sacred?"
There are only 3,000 tigers left in the world, down from an estimated 100,000 a century ago, according to figures from the World Wildlife Fund.
Last year, 85 tiger deaths were recorded in India - the highest toll since 2001 - many of them a result of poaching, Packham said.
The presenter of BBC Two's Springwatch said
55 rhinos killed in Kaziranga in last 4 years
While wildlife lovers around the globe are rallying against rhino poaching, as many as 55 rhinos have been killed in the UNESCO’s world heritage site Kaziranga National Park, in the last four years.
According to insiders of Kaziranga National Park, a nexus between a section of forest guards and poachers is being suspected to be involved in rhino poaching.
And now, authorities of Assam’s Kaziranga National Park, forest guard and security personnel are killing innocent people in fake encounters and producing them as poachers to cover up their failure, alleged by local people who reside near the park.
The incident came to light when villagers of Silveta under Bokakhat Police Station in Golaghat district, some 35 kms from Kaziranga National Park, alleged that, a youth called Rahul Kutum was killed by forest guards in a fake encounter inside the Park on May 21, morning.
Later, the park authorities produced 4 'poachers' killed
Javan rhino probably killed by poachers
The rare Javan rhino found dead in the central highlands of Vietnam last month was very likely shot by poachers, according to the World Wildlife Fund’s latest press release.
Physical and photographic evidence showed that the female Javan Rhinoceros, found buried at a muddy riverbank in Cat Tien National Park on April 29, had been shot dead and its horn had been removed, WWF said in the statement issued on Thursday.
Abnormal cut marks were found where the horn was attached to the skull, it said, adding that a large portion of
Oil spill creates huge undersea 'dead zones'
Clouds of crude and chemical dispersants have formed in the Gulf of Mexico and oceanologists fear these could have devastating effects on the food chain
The world's most damaging oil spill – now in its 41st continuously gushing day – is creating huge unseen "dead zones" in the Gulf of Mexico, according to oceanologists and toxicologists. They say that if their fears are correct, then the sea's entire food chain could suffer years of devastation, with almost no marine life in the region escaping its effects.
While the sight of tar balls and oil-covered birds on Louisiana's shoreline has been the most visible sign of the spill's environmental destruction, many scientists now believe it is underwater contamination that will have the deadliest impact. At least two submerged clouds of noxious oil and chemical dispersants have been confirmed by research vessels, and scientists are seeing initial signs of several more. The largest is some 22 miles long, six miles wide and 3,300 feet deep – a volume that would take up half of Lake Erie. Another spans an area
Ivory sale row: Tanzania should first put its house in order
One of the most emotive issues in the country today is what to do with a haul of ivory in government custody. On the one side is a group, which believes that the 90 tonnes should be sold and the proceeds spent on wildlife conservation, and in the opposite corner, those convinced that such a move would only fuel the slaughter of more elephants by poachers.
The matter became even more poignant last March after the Tanzania Government’s appeal for international approval to sell its ivory stockpiles valued at Sh20 billion was turned down, and some MPs cried foul, accusing neighbouring Kenya of involvement in an alleged conspiracy against their country.
Tanzania’s proposal to sell off the ivory hit a dead end at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) meeting held in Doha, Qatar.
With the Cites decision having slammed the brakes on the sale bid and the tension and finger pointing almost relegated to the back burner, it is time for deep reflection by all the players.
Lesson one: The last such concession that allowed the southern African countries to sell their "legal stocks" immediately resulted in increased poaching in eastern Africa, from where ivory is then smuggled to buyers overseas.
Lesson two: Kenya was hit by a wave of poaching last year, hardening the country’s stance on the matter.
Lesson three: Compared to 2007, poaching figures for elephants quadrupled in Kenya last year. Reliable sources within Kenya’s tourism and wildlife management organisations are laying the blame squarely on the Cites decision at the last meeting that allowed the limited trade in southern Africa.
And lesson four: The hunger and greed for the "white gold”, as ivory is also known, are largely fuelled by China and other south and far eastern countries, with little or no regard to conservation efforts in Africa, which are crucial to support and maintain wildlife and nature-based tourism.
Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF), an Arusha-based organisation working to improve natural resource management for local livelihoods, says the country should stop blaming Kenya for its failure to sell its ivory stockpiles and instead improve its own wildlife governance.
In a statement posted on its website this week, the TNRF argues that although the debate is interesting, it clouds the root cause of the problem: the fact that despite Kenya’s opposition, Tanzania
Mahout's Miracle Escape
Lion drags girl, 4, into cage at Russia's Tambov Zoo
A LION in a Russian zoo dragged a four-year-old girl through the bars of its cage and mauled her neck and arm, according to local news reports.
The girl was visiting a zoo in Tambov, in southern Russia, with her grandparents on Saturday when she approached the lion's enclosure and it dragged her in with its paw, a city police spokesman told Interfax.
"The visitors and zoo workers managed to shoo away the animal, which had time to seriously maul the little girl's neck and arm," he said.
The girl underwent an operation but was in a "very serious" condition in a city hospital tonight, Interfax reported.
A section of the bars around the lion's enclosure
Webcams burnish zoo's animal appeal
Putting a camera into saltwater and watching a live feed from that camera is nothing new for researchers at the National Zoo in Washington.
It may not be as deep as BP's cameras watching a mile-down oil spill, but the zoo has had a live feed from its octopus tank for a some time.
It is just one of around 100 cameras that the zoo uses for animal research, 20 of which can be accessed by anyone with a high-speed connection and a computer.
The zoo's two pandas have 38 cameras in their enclosure alone. A team of volunteers work in the panda control room to choose the camera with the best view and stream it out to the world.
"Our pandas accrued a huge following," said zoo director Dennis Kelly in a recent interview. "Of course, we're still using the recordings and what's going on with pandas for research, but boy, what a following our panda cam got over the years."
The giant Pacific octopus is another popular webcam. The camera is built to withstand cold saltwater 24
Kung Fu Bear
Leopards and other big cats ARE on the loose in Britain - just don't tell a soul
My worst fears nearly became a chilling reality last week when two girls, Kim Howells, 15, and her cousin Sophie Gwynne, eight, were stalked in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire - by what appears to have been a huge black cat.
Kim described the ‘panther’ as about the size of a Great Dane. ‘We cut through the brambles and just started running,’ she reported afterwards.
When they arrived home, their feet were cut and bleeding. Sophie was in tears. But what really brought this strange case home to me was the fact that if they had come to any real harm, I would have felt responsible
For six months earlier, I had visited the same spot near Cinderford while making a TV film about leopards around the world, including a short section about the (I thought unlikely) possibility of them living in the UK.
In the end, fearful of causing public alarm, I chose not to use any of the extraordinary evidence I gathered. But the encounter of the two girls last week has convinced me that might have been a mistake. Indeed, I have come to the conclusion that it is time to tell the full, disturbing story.
For the truth is I may well know the ‘mythical’ beast that chased them. Danny Nineham, the region’s local big cat enthusiast, showed me evidence of its existence when I was there last autumn. And it’s a black leopard — nicknamed Boris.
‘He’s huge, even for a male leopard,’ Nineham told me. ‘I’ve recorded many sightings of him. He’s dangerous, in my view. More so than any of the other leopards living and breeding wild in the Forest of Dean, or around the country.’
Leopards in Britain? Surely not. At least, that’s what I used to think. But after going on the trail of Britain’s big cats, I’ve
'EXTINCT’ PARROT COMES FLYING BACK
A RARE parrot species has staged a remarkable comeback.
Just 12 years ago the yellow-eared parrot was thought to be extinct – only for a colony of 81 to be found in the Andes of Colombia.
But yesterday, in a rare move, the species was given a more positive rating – going from “critically endangered” to “endangered” – by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
More than 1,000 of the parrots are now living in Colombia thanks to intensive conservation work.
The return was also partly thanks to the Catholic Church. The parrots rely heavily on Colombia’s national tree – the wax palm – and the church reduced the use of wax palm for Palm Sunday celebrations.
Meanwhile, half a world away, British conservationists were celebrating after “the rarest parrot in the world” also made a comeback.Just 20 years ago there were only 10 Echo parakeets left on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.
Now there are 500 thriving in its forests, with another 70 chicks being
Devil export sales lash
THE State Government is scrambling to stop wildlife parks selling endangered Tasmanian devils to interstate parks.
It gave East Coast Natureworld owner Bruce Englefield an export licence this month to send four devils to the Hunter Valley Zoo in NSW and Peel Zoo near Perth.
He has another three devils in quarantine at his park that are earmarked for Phillip Island zoo in Victoria.
The devils are not part of the Government's official insurance population drawn from the wild and housed in zoos around the country.
The gruesome devil facial tumour disease has wiped out 80 per cent of the devil population and the insurance population could be the only thing standing between the species and extinction.
Although all devils in wildlife parks are technically owned by the State Government, Mr Englefield admits charging a "management fee" of several thousand dollars for each devil.
"I can't charge for the animal but I can charge for the management, the vet bills, the cages," he said.
Mr Englefield said he had lost money on the deals but gained "internal warmth" thinking his contribution could help save the species.
But the exportation of devils has outraged the Zoo and Aquarium Association, which is a member of the Tasmanian Government's official Save the Devil Program and represents zoos that have invested millions of their own money in the insurance population, which is largely not on public display.
ZAA executive director Martin Phillips said the peak body had raised "strong concerns" with the State Government and the devils were unlikely to ever become part of the insurance population.
"It would appear a private institution in Tasmania has provided them to a private institution in Western Australia for public display. I can't ascertain any other benefit," he said.
Mr Phillips said the insurance population was carefully managed to breed animals with genetic diversity, because in the wild devils had inbred, making them more susceptible to the contagious
Staff at Australian Zoo Go Hungry to Feed Lions
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A tentative agreement has been reached between the Toronto Zoo and the union representing more than 400 unionized staff.
The workers, many of whom take care of the animals, are expected to vote on the agreement Monday. No details have been released.
“The negotiation’s committee is pretty pleased with it. We’re going to recommend it to our members,” said Grant Ankenman, president of Local 1600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents the workers.
The workers have been in a legal strike position since voting down a tentative agreement on May 5, but Ankenman said there never were any plans for an immediate strike.
“We wanted to be back at the bargaining table and get a fair and equitable agreement,” he said, adding that the decision to can the earlier proposed agreement had
A British scientist has been disciplined for sexual harassment by his Irish university for showing a female colleague a research paper about fellatio in bats, triggering an outcry over academic freedom.
Leading scientists and academics including Steven Pinker and Daniel Dennett have rallied to support Dylan Evans, after University College, Cork (UCC) placed him on probation for two years and ordered him to have counselling.
Supporters of Dr Evans, a behavioural scientist, said the university’s actions sent a dangerous message that areas of legitimate academic debate can be deemed off-limits if certain people find them offensive for personal reasons.
Professor Pinker, of Harvard University, described the sanctions as “absurd and shameful”. He said: “It runs counter to the principle of intellectual freedom and freedom of speech, to say nothing of common sense.”
Dr Evans was disciplined following a formal complaint from a colleague, to whom he had shown a peer-reviewed article from the journal Public
David Murphy, a national authority on manatees who helped solve the mysterious deaths of dozens of the endangered sea mammals in 1996, has left his job as chief veterinarian at Lowry Park Zoo.
The reason remains a mystery.
Murphy, 53, has been gone about two weeks, said zoo spokeswoman Rachel Nelson. Zoo CEO Craig Pugh described the departure as "wholly a personnel issue." Both declined to elaborate.
Murphy, returning a call during the weekend, said in a voicemail message that he was re-evaluating his severance package and also could not
Animal attacks at the Como Zoo aren’t common, but when a cougar attacked a two-year old boy last week, it wasn’t the first time the zoo has seen something like this.
Nearly thirty years ago a tiger in the very same cage mauled a teenager. Ricky Rousseau died of cancer five years ago at the age of 42. Ricky’s brother, Brad, says recent reports of a cougar mauling at the zoo reminds him of a similar attack.
Back in 1981, Brad Rousseau was playing catch with his little brother at the Como Zoo, when the ball landed on the front ledge of what’s now the cougar exhibit. At the time it was home to a Siberian tiger.
Rousseau says his brother who may have been drunk, climbed under the guardrail and started taunting the tiger for several minutes. The animal eventually pushed through the mesh fence and clawed his arm. He was left with two cuts that required nearly two hundred stitches.
“He was lulled into a false sense of security from the
One mother gorilla and three infants are reported to have died because of extreme weather conditions, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has announced.
The dead mountain gorillas were discovered during routine monitoring by the RDB trackers between May 16th and 17th 2010.
The dead gorillas have been identified as Intwali and her 1.5 year old baby- Mutesi (named last year), a baby belonging to Mahane and Imvune's two-week old baby discovered Monday morning.
Efforts by veterinary doctors to save the babies
The Beijing Zoo puts crocodiles, kangaroos, antelope, and hippopotamuses on display. Its restaurant puts them on its menu.
Hey kids, wanna go to the zoo today and look at the crocodiles? And then maybe eat one?
The meat might be pungent, but the concept seems somewhat tasteless. The Beijing Zoo puts the same animals on its restaurant menu as it keeps behind bars.
Crocodile, kangaroo, antelope, and hippopotamus are among the species that visitors can go the zoo to admire on the hoof, and then savor at lunch – steamed, braised, or roasted – at the Bin Feng Tang restaurant.
This has been going on for years, according to the restaurant’s manager, who seemed surprised that a newspaper article this week about her establishment should cause a stir on the Chinese Internet.
The news has not gone down well. “How would you feel, watching animals imprisoned in a limited space while eating their siblings?” asked
The Beijing Zoo has caused a stir after it was reported that that the same animals at the zoo are also on its restaurant menu, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
The Beijing Zoo has caused a stir after it was reported that the same breeds of animals found at the zoo are also on its restaurant menu, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
The restaurant's manager said this has been going on for years, but some people now are upset by it.
"How would you feel, watching animals imprisoned in a limited space while eating their siblings?" Zheng Yuanjie, a well-known author, put on his blog, according
A new elephant enclosure at the Reid Park Zoo came a step closer to reality Tuesday as the City Council moved Tuesday to fund $3.2 million of the cost to make it happen.
The council had been intensely debating whether to include about $4 million for the new elephant enclosure as part of $66 million in bonds the city is trying to sell this month. More than $10 million is being refinanced to help fill next year's budget shortfall.
However, Deputy Finance Director Silvia Amparano worked to find the city's $3.2 million contribution, which she did from $2.3 million in money left from a 2000 city bond sale. Amparano said the money came from interest and money left over from projects under budget or that did not have the funding to be completed.
The remaining $900,000 was a gift to the city that was restricted to improve the zoo, Amparano said.
The Tucson Zoological Society's portion of the project is $5.2 million, $2.2 million of which the society will put up in cash, and another $3 million the city will bond for and the Zoological Society will pay back.
The council backed the $66 million bond sale unanimously.
In other business, the council voted 5-2 to institute a new pawnshop fee of $1 on each transaction at a pawnshop or secondhand store. In addition, all pawnshops and
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The app also allows you to see the location of another iPhone-toting friend when you both have the app open in the park. (For safety reasons, the phones must first be paired by exchanging a four-digit number that allows your friend to see your location.)
The zoo is able to push instant notifications to those in the park with alerts to feedings and other activities.
New hope for dwindling regent honeyeaters as captive birds are released in Victoria.
FORTY-FOUR CAPTIVE-BRED regent honeyeaters were released into the wild in Victoria last week. This follows a successful 2008 trial release which granted 27 of these critically endangered birds their freedom.
Sarah Kelly, biodiversity officer from the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), Victoria, says the positive results of the first trial exceeded expectations: “The hope is that the captive-bred birds will mate with the wild birds, increasing the population base of the species.”
Currently, there are thought to be just 800 to 1500 wild honeyeaters left across Australia. In Victoria, numbers hover around 100, with only 11 sightings recorded this year.
Advantages of captivity
Dean Ingwersen, regent honeyeater recovery coordinator at Birds Australia, says reasons for the species' decline include “pressure from the continuing effect of historic land clearing, food scarcity due to drought, and competition from more aggressive species which out-compete them in their favoured woodland habitat."
Captive-bred at Adelaide Zoo and Sydney's Taronga Zoo, the latest batch of birds were released into the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park, Victoria last week. This subsequent
A 13-year-old male tiger died at the zoo in Thrissur due to alleged negligence on the part of the authorities and employees. This is despite the Governments, several corporate companies and voluntary agencies’ mission to protect the endangered tiger population.
Bharat, the tiger, was found dead in his cage in the morning by the cleaners. Regular visitors to the zoo and conservationists alleged that the authorities’ failure to give proper attention was the cause of death. “I used to see Bharat every alternate month and I had seen him even last week. He had showed no symptoms then,” said Poulose VK, a conservationist in Kuriyachira, off Thrissur.
Dr MK Narayanan, who holds charge of the animals, agreed with people like Poulose, saying that the tiger had no known illnesses. He said Bharat had not been showing any lack of appetite and had taken his normal quota of food the previous day. Vets have collected organ samples for analysis and the exact reason for the death would be known only later.
The organ samples would be analysed at the Department of Pathology of the Forestry College at Vellanikkara, Thrissur. However, officials of the State Wildlife Department indicated that they would hold a detailed inquiry into the death of the tiger.
They also said the post-mortem report had revealed disorders in Bharat’s liver and lungs.
Employees said they had noticed a wound in Bharat’s abdomen some months ago, from where worms had emerged after it aggravated.
However, this had healed soon and there were no other problems
A MILLIONAIRE landowner has abandoned his quest to introduce wolves to the Highlands.
MFI heir Paul Lister has also shelved plans for brown bears and wild cats on his wilderness reserve because its 23,000-acres is too small.
The owner of the vast Alladale estate, near Ardgay, in Sutherland, was told he would need an area at least three times the wildlife park’s current size.
Nature groups also warned they would mount strong objections to the only alternative plan, which would see electrified fences installed.
Helen Todd, of the Ramblers Association of Scotland, said: “If you are going to bring in new species, you must have the right habitat. The issue with Alladale is there is not
and opposite reaction, and poisoned three lions. The man was arrested and admitted to killing the lions, which is illegal in Kenya. But he got off scot free after a local politician reportedly intervened on his behalf.
The poisonings, which occurred in April, were only the latest in a spate of big cat killings since the start of the year — at least 25, scientists say — that have spurred new warnings that the country's lions will go extinct in the next few years. The news is equally alarming for conservationists who fear that, despite millions of dollars spent on countless programs to save the lions over the years, their efforts are just not working. Kenya's lion population has declined from 20,000 to less than 2,000 in 50 years and there are very few places in the country where the animals are not under threat.
(See the animals of Kenya, up-close and personal.)
To understand why the Maasai are killing lions in Kenya, you have to realize that there is a big difference between the way Africans who live among predators think about them, and the way westerners do. Tourists will spend thousands of dollars on safari vacations for the chance to see
The Al Ain zoological park weds the thrill of watching wildlife with the urgent need for conservation
If you like roars, howls, chatters and grunts, the Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort (AWPR) is the place to be, especially during the scorching summer months when the park remains open until midnight.
Wild Nights runs daily until the end of September and exposes visitors to a new set of experiences with many animals displaying their nocturnal behaviour.
"A zoo is a different place at night. Lots of residents tend to rest during the heat of the day, so they get more active at night and exhibit more naturalistic behaviour," said Farshid Mehrdadfar, AWPR's animal collection manager.
The gardens and landscapes have special lighting by night, giving the park a mysterious, sometimes spooky feel. The downside of visiting the zoo by night is that lots of animals are indeed sleeping. There wasn't much action around 9pm at the monkeys' exhibit. But because it was bedtime, several of them were holding on to each other and sleeping on a branch — a very cute sight.
AWPR is home to 4,300 animals, 30 per cent of which are considered to be endangered. The sole Arabian leopard walked back
The Louisville zoo director is apologizing after he says he mistakenly lowered the American flag to honor the dead baby elephant named Scotty. John Walczak told WHAS11 News, it is a mistake that was called to his attention by a WHAS11 viewer who saw the flag on our newscast.
Last Thursday, the zoo lowered the American flag out front after the death of Scotty.
Since then, people have been posting comments at WHAS11.com, upset with that move.
Zoo Director John Walczak told WHAS11 he understands
The Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah (CAC) project is planning to hold a festival in an attempt to increase public awareness about the endangered species.
Cheetah and Media, which is to be held in September, will highlight the role of media in the preservation of Asiatic Cheetahs in Iran, IRNA reported.
National and local media can participate in the event with audiovisual productions or articles on Cheetahs, their habitats and preys, the threats to their lives and the possible ways to protect them from extinction.
Launched by the Wild Conservation Society (WCS), Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), and the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the CAC project helps to rehabilitate Iran's
London Zoo is joining the campaign against allowing mining on New Zealand's conservation estate, in a bid to save a rare, endangered frog.
The Zoological Society of London is calling on the British public to make submissions on the New Zealand government's proposals to permit mining on more than 7000 hectares of the conservation estate, the Dominion Post reported.
The campaign was launched on the London Zoo website and is drawing attention to the plight of the critically endangered Archey's frog, found in the area of the Coromandel Peninsula proposed as suitable for mining.
The frog is described as the m
Idema family members donate for expansion, growth
A Master Plan for the John Ball Zoo, years in the making, is being pushed front and center by Grand Rapids philanthropists you may never have heard of before.
The plan could change the "magnitude and landscape" of the zoo, featuring a tram to transport visitors from the main level of the zoo all the way up a hill to previously unexplored and uninhabited forest land.
The John Ball Zoological Society and influential people in the area are working to make this plan a reality. A feasibility study was just completed on the plan. The plan was OK'd five years ago by Kent County -- the owner of the John Ball Zoo.
Sisters-in-law Bea Aldrink Idema and Joyce Idema VerSluis come from the family that co-founded Steelcase, the largest office furniture manufacturer in the world. The two women are planning a gift that would spur the dream to reality.
They've expressed interest in financing
We may think we've seen it all when it comes to wildlife, but we haven't, as these remarkable pictures prove. You won't find any of these creatures in any zoo or aviary or animal collection, as every single one of them is believed to be new to science.
They are the results of an expedition to the Foja mountains of western New Guinea, a remote, untouched part of Indonesia which is one of the least disturbed areas in the whole Asia-Pacific region. An expedition to Foja in 2007 produced two new mammals, a pygmy possum and a giant rat, yet a subsequent exploration a year later produced an even richer haul of new species, whose pictures were unveiled for the first time yesterday. The group includes several new mammals, a reptile, an amphibian, no fewer than
The British conservation group Born Free has joined the outcry against a plan by Zimbabwe to ship a “Noah’s Ark” of wildlife, including two young elephants, to North Korea.
News reports last week said the animals, reportedly two of every species in Zimbabwe’s 14,600 square kilometer Hwange National Park, are to be a gift from Zimbawean President Robert Mugabe to his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong Il.
“We can see no conservation benefit to these plans, and are concerned about the substantial threat to the welfare of the individual animals involved,” Born Free said in a statement on its website.
The group said the 18-month-old elephants are unlikely to fare well during the approximate 7,000 mile trip and afterward when they get to North Korea.
“Baby elephants normally continue to suckle from their mothers for 4 years, so removal at this young age could have a severe physical impact in terms of nutrition, immunity and other developmental issues. It is also certain to have a huge impact on the emotional and social development
As the two birds gently entwine their heads, their soft, downy necks form a heart shape. They are, quite literally, a pair of love birds - Laysan albatrosses, reunited after months apart.
These seabirds, with a seven-foot wingspan and curved yellow beaks, soar over the oceans as far north as Alaska every November, after six months alone, before meeting at Kaena Point.
This rocky outcrop overlooking the Pacific in Oahu, Hawaii, is their ancestral breeding ground. It is here they return to mate and put on the world's greatest display of monogamy.
Albatrosses can live until they are 70 years old and it's said they make a lifelong commitment to one bird. They incubate their egg together for 65 days, taking turns to find food.
Indeed, former American first lady Laura Bush once hailed the bird as a mascot for pro-family Republicans. But a new study has emerged - and it is sure to shock Mrs Bush.
For all is not how it seems on Kaena Point. A biologist studying the 120-strong albatross colony at the University of Hawaii has ruffled quite a few feathers with her extraordinary discovery. She has found that many of the albatrosses appear to be, well ...gay.
Lindsay Young, who has worked on Oahu since 2003, has discovered that a third of the pairs at Kaena Point consist of two female birds.
The albatrosses have previously pulled the wool over conservationists' eyes with their cosy cuddling - as the two sexes look identical.
According to Young, who used DNA analysis
Police are investigating whether the theft of two rare South American birds from Sydney's Taronga Zoo was an inside job.
Zookeepers are in a flutter about how the green-winged macaws, which can measure a metre long, could be stolen despite tight security.
Staff discovered the females, aged eight and 10, were missing from their aviary yesterday morning.
There was no sign of a break-in, but the padlock was gone.
Police are investigating whether the crime is linked to the theft of another pair of macaws from a house in Sydney three months ago.
Officers are still searching for those birds, named Coco and Jackson.
Police Inspector Craig James
An employee of the Nehru Zoological Park reportedly drowned in a moat built to restrict movement of monkeys on Saturday morning.
The victim, 36-year-old P Narasimha Reddy, who had been working at the zoo since he was a teenager, drowned in the water filled in the moat that surrounds the primates' enclosure. Reddy was allotted the job on compassionate grounds after his father's demise. He had taken a liking to his job of feeding and taking care of primates at the Zoo Park.
Police officials said that he slipped accidentally into the water while working at the moat of the wolf monkey on Saturday morning. Reddy joined the zoo when he was 17-years-old. In 1991, his employment was regularised with the zoo.
Zoo officials said that the incident occurred between 9.30 am and 10 am. "The curator had seen him working at the moat at around 9 am when he was on an inspection
Most fish do not reproduce in captivity. Certainly not eels. But in a Leiden laboratory, scientists have recently eel reproduction. Useful for breeders.
Yaks poisoned in Kyiv zoo receive emergency care
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IT makes you want to say “jolly hockey sticks” or something just as old-fashioned and heartily British.
Except we're not in England and it's not hockey sticks that are involved. It's polo sticks. Being wielded by pucker-looking riders on elephants rather than horses. However, even though we are in Chiang Rai in the Golden Triangle in the north of Thailand, it's still all terribly British.
That's mostly due to the glorious toffee-nosed accent of the commentator and the spiffy polo gear of the players. The field is crowded with leather boots and tight cream pants. It's all very good looking.
The spectators sitting on lounge chairs sipping gin and tonics might be few, but they add to the exclusivity of the event. There is no doubt this is especially for the privileged.
Indeed, our commentator has advised us over the blaring microphone that a Texan billionaire has just landed her private jet nearby and will be joining us other non-billionaires shortly.
This is the annual King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, an elite event held each year in the grounds of the Anantara Golden Triangle Resort, presenting a series of matches that have devotees in a lather, and others (us) having
Great White Shark Caught In Baja California
A great white shark that was returned to the wild by the Monterey Bay Aquarium last year died after it was caught in a fishing net off Baja California.
The shark was on exhibit at the aquarium for 69 days prior to being released last November.
Aquarium officials said the female shark traveled about 500 miles south before being caught in early March in a gill net set by a fisherman in the waters off of Ensenada, Mexico.
“This just underscores the threats that these young sharks face in the wild,” said Randy Hamilton, vice president of husbandry for the aquarium. “Though they’re legally protected in both California and Mexico, they are still caught accidentally by commercial fishermen on both sides of the border. Not all of them survive.”
The shark is only one of five exhibited at the
A lawyer fighting to release Lucy the elephant from Edmonton's Valley Zoo said this week authorities are not looking out for her well-being, while the city said animal-rights groups have no standing in the court application to have the elephant sent to a sanctuary.
Onlookers packed a room in Court of Queen's Bench on Tuesday while lawyers sparred over the 34-year-old Asian elephant that resides at the city zoo.
Animal-rights groups want the judge to issue a declaratory judgment that Lucy is in distress, deprived of adequate shelter and space, or that she is in pain and suffering — all conditions not permitted
Venezuelan specialists began a research to determine the amount and location of jaguars, included in 2008 in the category of Near Threatened of the Red List of Threatened Species.
The Ministry of Science and Technology indicated that the data will permit to structure a network of ecological paths that allow the free movement of animals affected by the fragmentation of their habitats by human activity.
Displacement is indispensable for the survival and evolution of the species because allows the flow of genes through reproduction.
Among the field methods to collect information about jaguars and their prey includes photographs and recordings with cameras with infrared sensors, record of marks (tracks and droppings), and direct observations.
They will also collect skulls, bones and furs to be analyzed by means of isolation techniques and sequencing of mitochondrial DNA to identify groups of individuals along with evidences of other kind and to establish comparisons.
The Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Investigations ((IVIC), the National Experimental University Simon Rodriguez and the Mammals Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences among others are taking part of this research.
Jaguar, also known as otorongo, tiger, yaguar and yaguarete is identified scientifically as Panthera onca, belonging to the class of mammals
Two hand-raised clouded leopard cubs have been radio-collared as a step towards their return to the wild under an initiative of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and its partner the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI).
The radio-collars will help rehabilitators track the movement of the cubs as they leave human care and begin exploring on their own.
According to WTI, the tree-dwelling species found in India’s northeast region, the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is in peril today with only about 10,000 remaining in the wild. The clouded leopard is listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and is classified ‘vulnerable’ in IUCN Red List of threatened species.
A WTI press release stated “BTC has been supporting this effort to rehabilitate these clouded leopards in Ripu Reserve Forest - a part of Manas Tiger Reserve - and we are eagerly waiting
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Gorillas in Cameroon are finding an unlikely source of help -- a wave of interest in the Czech Republic fed by a primate reality show and a zoo's fundraising drive using recycled mobile phones.
The birth of a baby gorilla at Prague Zoo was broadcast live in April on an Internet radio show starring the animals, which has proved a huge hit among the Czech public since it was launched in 2007.
The tiny ape's arrival coincided with the launch of the zoo's new project to raise money for a UNESCO-listed gorilla-breeding reserve in the western African nation of Cameroon with cash raised from used mobiles.
"Our class has brought 30 phones altogether. I had old phones at home so I brought five," said Maximilian Kovacs, 11, a school pupil who was among several hundred invited to visit the zoo for just one koruna (four euro cents) each, on condition that every class brings at least 20 cell phones.
"I asked my mum to ask her colleagues at work if they had old cell phones. She brought me two," his classmate Tereza
The Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort (AWPR) is hosting a two-day workshop which will gather some of the world’s leading conservation and re-introduction experts to start drafting a set of guidelines for conservation that take into account the effects of climate change on the re-introduction of species back to their natural habitats.
Reintroduction has been successfully used to conserve a number of threatened plant and animal species-examples include the Arabian oryx and Houbara bustard in the Middle East.
The two-day workshop welcomes experts from countries around the world working together to develop and revise guidelines on reintroduction processes in light of the effects of climate change. Major institutions such as University of Oxford, Massey University (New Zealand), Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (Rome), Aberdeen University, Endangered Wildlife Trust (South Africa) and the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi will be represented at the workshop. The workshop will be chaired by Dr. Mark Stanley Price of the University of Oxford, a field biologist who worked on the initial oryx releases in Oman.
The Reintroduction Specialist Group (RSG), whose Secretariat is based at EAD Abu Dhabi, was formed to promote the reintroduction of endangered populations of animals and plants back to the wild and plays a significant role in conservation efforts worldwide. The group manages a global network of volunteers and aims to provide reintroduction practitioners with tools such as reintroduction guidelines, networking resources and publications. It is one of over 100 specialist groups that are part of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), an organization dedicated to developing and practicing
Asian American politicians and merchants are seething over a new state ban on the importation of live turtles and frogs for sale as food, saying the policy unfairly targets Chinese businesses while ignoring the pet shop industry.
The California Fish and Game Commission adopted the ban last month to prevent people from releasing nonnative species into the state's sensitive habitats. But opponents point out that merchants - who hawk fish and other seafood as well as turtles and frogs for people to eat - are already barred from selling the animals alive.
On Tuesday, six Asian American state legislators, including Assemblywoman Fiona Ma and Sen. Leland Yee, both Democrats from San Francisco, sent a letter to the commission asking it to reconsider the policy.
A "disturbing" part of the policy, they wrote, is that it "appears to disproportionately target Asian American owned businesses," - businesses, they note, that are largely owned and managed
Captive breeding provides a means for conserving species that may not survive in the wild. While captive populations are established for many reasons—such as conservation education, exhibit of interesting species, and research—establishing captive populations for saving species from extinction is an important contribution of zoos to conservation.
Many species have been saved from extinction by captive breeding. Examples include
Héctor Porras-Valverdo tried to adopt a Zen attitude when he discovered recently that jaguars had turned two of his cows into carcasses.
The jaguars’ numbers may have dwindled, but they still roam the forests here in eastern Costa Rica, making their presence known by devouring the occasional chicken, pig or cow.
“I understand cats do this because they need to survive,” said Mr. Porras-Valverdo, 41, a burly dairy farmer.
A few years ago, he acknowledged, his first reaction might have been to reach for a gun. But his farm now sits in the middle of land that Costa Rica has designated a “jaguar corridor” — a protected pathway that allows the stealthy, nocturnal
WORTH WATCHING AGAIN AS IT IS SO CLEVER
"The Last South China Tiger" was created by artist Craig Tracy, in aid of Save China's Tigers' South China Tiger Rewilding project, and in commemoration of SCT's ten year establishment, as well as the Chinese Year of the Tiger (2010). Glycee Prints of the "Last South China Tiger" is available through Save China's Tigers online store: savechinastigers.org
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has called for an independent evaluation of how animals in the Fort Worth Zoo's new herpetarium are cared for since an employee there once worked for an Arlington exotic pet wholesaler shut down after being accused of animal cruelty.
PETA sent a letter Tuesday to Michael Fouraker, the zoo's director, calling for comprehensive evaluation of the care and living conditions of the 177 species of reptiles and amphibians in the Museum of Living Art. A zoo employee who helps care for those animals, Ari Flagle, once worked for U.S. Global Exotics, which made international news last year when Arlington seized 27,000-plus animals because of inhumane conditions.
Arlington's animal cruelty case before a municipal judge relied heavily on testimony, photos and videos taken by undercover PETA investigator Howard Goldman, who worked at U.S. Global Exotics for seven months last year. In some footage, Flagle is shown violently shaking tree frogs out of the narrow opening of a plastic soft drink
PETA has fired off a letter to Michael Fouraker, director of the Fort Worth Zoo, urging him to order a comprehensive third-party evaluation of the care and living conditions of the 177 species of animals in the zoo's herpetarium--a facility that houses various species of reptiles and amphibians. Former U.S. Global Exotics (USGE) employee Ari Flagle currently works at the zoo's herpetarium under supervisor Mike Doss.
At the civil seizure hearing to determine the fate of the more than 26,000 animals who were confiscated from USGE, PETA provided the court with video footage from the group's undercover investigation of USGE. The footage shows Flagle violently shaking delicate frogs out of a plastic soda bottle, referring to animals as "garbage," and recommending that the undercover investigator "let [animals] die." Flagle also routinely denied animals food and veterinary care and placed snakes in a freezer to die slowly and painfully. Doss testified that he regularly visited USGE to do business with its owner
Binder Park Zoo is excited to release a video clip based on the popular television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to help promote a campaign to exhibit Red River Hogs at the zoo this summer. Harley and Squeaky, two Red River Hogs currently residing at the Zoo, need your help to renovate their exhibit and become animal ambassadors for the bushmeat crisis in Africa. More information about the campaign and the video can be seen by visiting
“When we were brainstorming ideas about how to get people excited about Harley and Squeaky and this campaign, we decided the best way would be to get them on camera and show their pretty faces to the world,” says Michelle Walbeck, Director of Graphics, Construction, and Facilities. “We had a lot of fun shooting the video and are excited to get the word out about this campaign.”
The video is about three minutes long and is set up as a spoof of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Energetic host Sty Piggington introduces his crew to Harley and Squeaky and gets down to the business of building a new dream home for the Hog family while at the same time telling their story.
“We've been working hard to find a way to get these unique animals out
A Javan rhino, one of the world's rarest large mammals, has been found shot dead with its horn chopped off in a national park in southern Vietnam, a suspected victim of poachers, conservationists said Monday.
A team of rangers found the rhino's carcass April 29 inside Cat Tien National Park in Dong Nai province, said park official Bach Thanh Hai. It had already fully decayed, and authorities believe it could have died more than three months ago, he said.
Hai said the animal had been shot one time through the front leg and its horn —considered a valuable ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine — had been removed.
"It's very sad news for our rhino conservation," Hai said.
Authorities suspect that there are only three to five Javan rhinos left in Vietnam, Hai said. The animal was
The dyslexic founder of a popular wild animal park has hit back at those who branded him “thick and lazy” at school.
Peter Smith, chief executive of the Canterbury-based Wildwood Trust, says he is living proof that children who suffer from the condition are more than capable of going on to have successful careers.
The 39-year-old will talk to members of the East Kent Dyslexia Support Group later this month, and told KOS Media he hopes his story will inspire youngsters to work hard and “discover their inner strengths”.
Mr Smith, who went to school in Blyth, Northumberland, said: “Dyslexia is not an illness but a gift – a gift that lets you understand the world in amazing ways.
“I was a bright boy at school but one teacher just couldn’t understand why I wasn’t very good at reading or writing. She told
Every month we feature an example of people and animals living together that illustrates “trans-species living”. Much of the transition, from a culture that objectifies and excludes other species from their own self-determination to one that embraces mutual respect, is discussed in words and ideas.
“Trans-species Living” celebrates in images what living well with animals looks like. Through video clips and interviews, we examine ethical and practical terra incognita to explore concretely how animals and humans are learning to share knowledge, culture, and their lives.
Many topics are controversial and challenging. “Trans-species Living” and Kerulos are designed to create a space for mutual respectful “listening, reflecting, and learning” so that
Despite being housed in a city park, visitors of the Little Rock Zoo can still light up. Smoking is allowed in sections of the popular attraction.
However, there have been unsuccessful attempts by members of the Zoo Board to stop people from smoking on zoo grounds.
There are nine members on the board. Last month, three of them voted to ban smoking at the zoo. The problem with that is that three other board members voted against it. Another member was absent, and there is a vacancy on the board. Without a majority vote for the ban, people can continue to light-up.
At the Zoo, though there are rules in place to protect chimpanzees from second-hand smoke. "Our primates can actually pick-up smoking habits if someone where to fling a cigarette into their exhibit or if they were to see someone smoking that could be very dangerous for them," says Zoo Spokesperson Susan Altrui.
When teacher Karen Bradley Fulton entered the park passing smokers she found out the same rules don't apply to protect her second graders.
"I just thought that was very inappropriate for them to be able to smoke at the zoo," says Fulton.
Inappropriate or not, it's not against the rules. In fact, there are accommodations
A marten caught in a cage for breeding Japanese crested ibises on Sado Island, Niigata Prefecture, will be given a new home at a zoo in Toyama.
The male marten was captured in a cage at the Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Conservation Center, where nine ibises were killed in March. However, it is unclear whether the marten had attacked the rare birds.
The Environment Ministry considered putting the marten down, but eventually decided to give the weasellike creature to Toyama Municipal Family Park Zoo, which already
Every year hundreds of thousands of people take in the sights and sounds at Columbia's Riverbanks Zoo.
The effort to preserve the 41-year-old zoo is in motion. The goal is to improve security measures that will keep the environment, family friendly.
In the past, visitors enjoying the nearly river have harassed zoo patrons in the parking lot.
"When the zoo was formed back in 1969, there were rules that were established to actually help us inside the zoo," said Riverbanks Zoo Executive Director Satch Krantz. "But there was very little attention paid to the parking lot."
Krantz says the animals aren't the only ones protecting its territory at the zoo; the police may soon beef-up its efforts as well.
"This is not aimed at the regular zoo visitor," said Krantz. "This is aimed at the activities that occur in our parking lot, usually
In a shocking incident, a 16-month pregnant elephant is being forced to work by the Mandabari Forest Department in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district here in contravention of existing legal directions forbidding it.
According to law, an elephant cannot be used for work after 15 months of pregnancy.
In 2002, Rangini, the female-elephant, had suffered miscarriage when she was forced to work by the department after 15 months of pregnancy.
Animal protection organizations here are livid and allege that Rangini's life is endangered.
"If it (elephant) continues to be deployed for work, it is likely to suffer a miscarriage again like before. If the Forest Department doesn't provide rest to her, all the organizations and institutions have decided to protest," said Sujit Das, member of the Nature and Adventure Society, a non-government organisation working for wildlife.
According to Rangini's mahout, his repeated pleas to the concerned officials to not use the elephant for work were allegedly ignored.
"I was sent back from here to accompany her to Doctor Madam (female veterinarian) and I informed the DFO (Divisional Forest officer) that my elephant's condition is not good, and I am facing
A charity which provided $500,000 towards a major new exhibit at Auckland Zoo has asked that the money be paid back following concerns the zoo and its charitable trust misrepresented what was done with the money.
The decision by Pub Charity to seek the return of the grant from the Auckland Zoo Charitable Trust will be a blow to the $16m native exhibit, Te Wao Nui, which is billed as the largest initiative in the zoo's 85-year history but has been plagued by delays and funding shortfalls.
Pub Charity's decision follows a Sunday Star-Times investigation in February which revealed the zoo trust had allegedly provided invoices from previous, unrelated projects - already funded by ratepayers through the capital works budget - to give the impression the money was spent on the purposes it was applied for.
This included $129,488 spent on a water filtration system for Hippo River and $126,676 on strengthening the zoo's aviary - projects senior sources allege were completely unrelated to Te Wao Nui.
There is no suggestion of anyone gaining personally from the alleged deception, rather sources say the money was held in trust to bolster Te Wao Nui's bottom line at a time when the project's future was in doubt because of the economic crisis. Sources say the money should have gone to other community organisations.
It is understood a private investigator brought in by Pub Charity after the Star-Times article provided a report which backed up the newspaper's findings of discrepancies with invoices.
The zoo and the zoo trust deny any wrongdoing and it is understood if they continue to maintain that stance, the matter could end up before the courts.
Penny Whiting, chair of the zoo charitable trust, disputed
Son of game preserve's founder envisions resort for nature lovers on same lands
Tigers, rhinos and gorillas no longer ramble around this rolling 360-hectare spread at the corner of Highway 14 and Range Road 223 in Strathcona County.
But for tens of thousands of Edmonton-area schoolkids who ogled their first lion or camel at the Alberta Game Farm in the 1960s or '70s, the memories are fresh.
"One fellow I talked to said, 'You know, your damn emu plucked the popcorn right out of my hand when I was eight,' " chuckles Todd Oeming, whose father Al started the game preserve, once among the world's largest, in 1959.
Al Oeming, a renowned wildlife conservationist, worked in his early years as a pro wrestler, made nature films with Marlin Perkins -- host of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom TV show -- and toured
Here you can download back issues of SCA's award-winning bi-annual newsletter, Saiga News. Simply click on the language version of your choice to download. If you would like to contribute anything to the next issue of Saiga News, please email the Managing Editor, Elena Bykova.
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NOAH'S Ark Zoo Farm has taken a big step forward in its plans to move four elephants to the site.
The owners of the Wraxall attraction hope to build an elephant house and enclosure to house four females and the plans were given the go ahead by North Somerset councillors this afternoon (Thurs).
Members of the central area planning committee voted in favour of approving the planning application but it will now have to be approved by the Secretary of State due to the fact some development falls on green belt land.
The plans show the large elephant house would be built alongside an enclosure measuring two hectares, which would include an outdoor sand yard and pond.
A fence of 4m high would be installed with electric cables running through it with an additional fence to ensure members of the public are not too close.
At today's meeting, Noah's Ark employee Jon Woodward said: "We are not undertaking this project lightly at any stretch of the imagination.
"If we plan this project well we can bring four magnificent animals to Noah's Ark and care for them really well."
Support for the attraction was also offered by Councillor Howard Roberts, who praised its work with animals.
However, Cllr Tom Collinson
This could just turn out to be a master stroke to ease if not solve man-animal conflict. In a novel experiment, the Nagpur forest division officials used urine of captive tigers in the city's Maharajbagh zoo and sprinkled it near the spots frequented by tigers in Ranmangli village, as close as 60km from Nagpur. The result: tigers have now stopped encroaching from the Bhiwapur forest range to the village.
It was the idea of Dr S S Bawaskar, a young veterinarian who has been with the Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth-owned city zoo for last eight years. Harried forest officials, who were ready to take any step to ensure that the conflict doesn't flare up, agreed to work on the suggestion.
The Ranmangli tigress, bearing two sub-adult cubs, had killed a woman last month. This was the first case of a human killed in the area. The thirsty wild cats were coming
Attempting to retrieve his girlfriend's dropped sunglasses, a man jumped into the pool of the Northeast Tiger Area at the Shanghai Zoo last month.
After his girlfriend's 3,000 yuan ($429) sunglasses accidentally fell into the pool, the man immediately ordered zoo staff to cage the tigers so he could fish out the sunglasses himself.
Seeing they were hesitant, the man then claimed that he would jump in regardless, which forced the workers to comply to ensure his safety.
Stripping down to his white briefs, the man jumped into the
Vientiane's Ban Keu Zoo has opted for a "natural incubation" technique this year to hatch the eggs of endangered Lao crocodiles to cut costs, a media report said Monday.
Last year the zoo used artificial incubation - keeping the eggs wet and warm in lighted tanks, resulting in successful hatching rate of 70 per cent, the Vientiane Times reported. But the zoo has now opted for the natural method, or putting the eggs in a sawdust-filled box where they stay for a couple months.
"Zookeepers will compare the two methods of incubation and select the most suitable to use next year. The testing is part of efforts to conserve the indigenous Lao crocodile," the state-run newspaper reported.
The zoo is home to more than 300 crocodiles from Southeast Asia - a small number of them Lao specimens also
A PAIR of extremely rare white otter cubs have been born at the Blue Planet Aquarium.
The duo are part of a litter of three baby Asian short claw otters born at the aquarium at the end of March.
It’s the first time otters have been born at the attraction and it was only when the cubs started appearing outside of their holt that keepers noticed their unusual colourings.
Exhibits manager Tom Cornwell said: “Otter cubs can remain inside the holt for anything up to the first six or seven weeks of their lives. They’re born blind and are completely reliant on their parents to look after them.
“Normally the cubs – like their parents – are dark brown in colour so it came as a major surprise to see
Zoo workers have unexpectedly voted down a deal that would have given them a 6% raise over three years, plus a healthy hike in their mileage rates and other benefits.
“It’s kind of surprising,” John Tracogna, the Toronto Zoo’s chief executive officer said Wednesday.
“We negotiated a tentative agreement but in a vote last night the members rejected it.”
Tracogna would not disclose the terms of the tentative deal but sources say it gave the more than 400 full-time workers a 2% raise in each of the next three years. Workboot allowance was to increase to $400 from $350 and the mileage rate to 52 cents a kilometre from 40. There were also improvements to the eye care package.
The two sides are not now in talks but Tracogna said he’s not aware of any immediate plans for job action. The union has been in a position to strike since May 6.
No talks are scheduled. Tracogna said management is trying to get some “clarification” from the union on what might come next.
“We’re hopeful,” he said.
Grant Ankeman, president of CUPE 1600, said he couldn’t comment on the vote or the proposed deal. He said the union is hoping to hear from the zoo over the next couple of days to determine
Life goes on at the Louisville Zoo, though director John Walczak says the loss of three-year-old elephant Scotty has been hard on employees there. Scotty was euthanized last night after a week-long gastrointestinal illness.
Walczak says Scotty was beloved by the community and by his keepers, and his loss has been difficult to deal with.
“It’s a very sad time,” says Walczak. “They’re professionals, but this is a devastating setback, but they’re all in there right now, doing their jobs, and doing it very professionally, but it’s been very hard. We’re concerned and we’re taking care of each other to get through this.”
Walczak says they’re setting up a memorial outside the zoo’s offices where
All life on Earth evolved from a single-celled organism that lived roughly 3.5 billion years ago, a new study seems to confirm.
The study supports the widely held "universal common ancestor" theory first proposed by Charles Darwin more than 150 years ago.
Using computer models and statistical methods, biochemist Douglas Theobald calculated the odds that all species from the three main groups, or "domains," of life evolved from a common ancestor—versus, say, descending from several different life-forms or arising in their present form, Adam and Eve style.
The domains are bacteria, bacteria-like microbes called Archaea, and eukaryotes, the group that includes plants and other multicellular species, such as humans.
The "best competing multiple ancestry hypothesis" has one species giving rise to bacteria and one giving rise to Archaea and eukaryotes, said Theobald, a biochemist at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
But, based on the new analysis, the odds of that are "just astronomically enormous," he said. "The number's so big, it's kind of silly to say it"—1 in 10 to the 2,680th power, or 1 followed by 2,680 zeros.
Theobald also tested the creationist idea that humans arose in their current form and have no evolutionary ancestors.
The statistical analysis showed that the independent origin of humans is "an absolutely horrible hypothesis," Theobald said, adding that the probability that humans were created separately from everything else is 1 in 10 to the 6,000th power.
(As of publication time, requests for interviews with several creationist scientists had been either declined or unanswered.)
Putting Darwin to the Test
All species in all three domains share 23 universal proteins, though the proteins' DNA sequences—instruc
Assam has been found to be the state with the highest diversity of non-human primate species in India the after a survey team lead by Aaranyak’s primatologist Dr Dilip Chetry has stumbled upon Eastern Hoolock gibbon (Hoolock leucondys) in three reserved forests of Sadiya sub-division in Tinsukia district of the state.
Before the Hoolock gibbon survey was undertaken, the North East India was known to harbour 11 species of non-human primate out of the total 25 species present in India. Out of those, nine species were confirmed to be present in Assam.
However, the present study reports that the Assam actually has 10 species. The extensive Hoolock gibbon survey was carried out in the month of March-May, 2010, in the reserve forests of Sadiya subdivision in Tinsukia district of eastern Assam. The survey was jointly carried out by the Zoology department of J.N.College, Boko and the Gibbon Conservation Centre, Marinai under the leadership of Dr Dilip Chetry, primatologist of Aaranyak, in collaboration with Assam Forest Department, especially Sadiya Range. The Primate Conservation Inc., USA supported the programme.
The survey team not only sighted Hoolock gibbons but also subsequently identified the same as the Eastern Hoolock gibbon (Hoolock leuconedys) on the basis of scientific observations and research. The pelage colour differences which distinguish it from the Western hoolock gibbon were confirmed through binoculars and photographs. Their identity was further authenticated
Half of all wild canine species such as dogs, foxes and wolves are harvested for traditional folk medicines, conservationists warn.
According to a scientific survey, 19 out of 35 known species of wild canid are still used in traditional medicine worldwide.
For example, wolf parts are eaten to treat chicken pox, while jackals are used to treat epilepsy and asthma.
Such trade may place added pressure on some dwindling canid populations.
Details of the survey are published in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation.
The report is produced by the same researchers who earlier this year published a review showing that more than 100 species of primate are still used in traditional medicines and religious rituals.
To conduct the latest review, Professor Romulo Alves of the State University of Paraiba in Brazil and colleagues searched the scientific literature and other sources for references to folk remedies using canine parts.
Using only those sources they considered authoritative, they then created a database containing the details of which species are used to treat certain conditions in different countries.
A fox for flu
Of 35 known canine species, the evidence suggests that 19 are still used in traditional medicines, the researchers report.
Of those, five species belong to the genus Canis, including the wolf Canis lupus, the side-striped jackal (C. adustus), golden jackal (C. aureus), coyote (C. latrans) and the black or silver-backed jackal
AROUND 10,000 kangaroos have invaded a small national park near Loxton and may have to be shot or starved out.
The Department of Environment and Heritage has warned locals a culling campaign could soon begin after surveys showed numbers at the Murray River National Park near Loxton had tripled to 80 animals per square kilometre.
The current population would mean the equivalent of 200 animals in an area the size of the Adelaide CBD.
The decision has been welcomed by locals who told The Advertiser that despite being listed as a tourist attraction in the park, the grey and red kangaroos are starving and destroying plant life.
Former chairman of the Katarapko Community Action Group Sandy Loffler said the organisation had lobbied the department for eight years between 1996 and 2004 for a cull to save bettongs which had been reintroduced to the Katarapko Island within
Zimbabwean president sending giraffes, zebras, baby elephants and other wild animals taken from a national park to zoo in communist state, conservation groups say
Two by two, they were caught and lined up as an extravagant gift from one despotic regime to another.
According to conservationists, the Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, will send a modern-day ark – containing pairs of giraffes, zebras, baby elephants and other wild animals taken from a national park – to a zoo in North Korea.
The experts warned that not every creature would survive the journey to be greeted by Mugabe's ally Kim Jong-il, the North Korean leader.
There are particular fears that a pair of 18-month-old elephants could die during the long airlift.
Johnny Rodrigues, the head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said elephant experts did not believe the calves would survive the journey separated from their mothers.
Rodrigues, whose task force is an alliance of conservation groups, said all the animals were captured on Mugabe's orders to be given to North Korea. He cited witnesses and officials in the western Hwange National Park. Witnesses reported seeing capture and spotting teams, government vehicles towing cages, and armed men at key watering holes with radios to call in the capture teams.
The animals were being kept in quarantine in holding pens at Umtshibi camp in the park, he said.
Rodrigues added that officials opposed to the captures had leaked details to conservationists.
They reported that some areas of the 5,500 square mile park, the biggest in Zimbabwe, were being closed to tourists and photographic safari groups.
"We fear a pair of endangered rhino in Hwange
FOUR Tasmanian devils have arrived in Perth in a desperate bid to save the species from a gruesome virus ravaging wild populations.
They are the first breeding pairs transported to mainland Australia in eight years, following the discovery of devil facial tumour disease in 1996 and a subsequent exportation ban.
The world's largest carnivorous marsupials are literally wiping themselves out by biting each other in the face and spreading the deadly tumours.
The new arrivals will be housed at Peel Zoo in Pinjarra. Two other devils are being shipped to Hunter Valley Zoo in New South Wales and three to Phillip Island Zoo in Victoria.
Peel Zoo director
The Chinese calendar considers 2010 the “Year of the Tiger.” As such, it may be an appropriate time to pay homage to the majestic animal’s strength and beauty, while also lamenting its endangered status. Although long revered by many cultures, the tiger has also experienced a sad history of exploitation by humankind. Among other uses, various components of the tiger’s body have served as ingredients within traditional medicine systems—and like many other animal species, the tiger continues to be a victim of medicinal demand.
Zootherapy, the use of animals and products derived from them in healing, has been practiced by most ancient cultures throughout the world, and it continues to be prevalent within many contemporary societies.1,2 Within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), more than 1,500 animal species have been identified as having therapeutic use.3 At least 109 animals have reportedly been used for traditional medicine by India’s different ethnic communities. In Northeast Brazil, at least 250 animal species are used medicinally.1
Animal-based remedies are important therapeutic resources within many cultures, and in some instances, the medicinal use of animal species has led to the development of pharmaceuticals for global markets. A component of snake venom, for example, served as the basis for angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which help relax blood vessels and are used to treat high blood pressure and other conditions.4 Several compounds of fish and amphibians have also served as important leads for biochemical research and drug development.
Not all animals are harmed when used as sources of medicinal ingredients. Remedies consisting of animals’ fur, feathers, urine, excrement, or by-products are used within some cultures, and such medicinal ingredients can be collected without injuring or killing the animal.3,5 The antler of the European red deer (Cervus elaphus, Cervidae), which has been widely traded and researched, can be harvested without any apparent adverse effects on the animal.6
More frequently, however, animal parts used in traditional medicines require the animal’s death.3,5 The killing of animals for medicinal use has significantly contributed to the rarity of certain animal species, and some societies continue to use endangered or threatened animals for medicinal purposes.2,3,5,7,8 Although international trade of many rare species is regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and use and trade of such species is often banned nationally through laws of individual countries, trafficking frequently continues through illegal channels.8
"Increasingly, animal parts are traded internationally—often because of local depletions but also because globalization means distance is no barrier,” said Richard Thomas, PhD, communications coordinator for the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC (e-mail, December 4, 2009). “Some powerful national and international regulations certainly exist—CITES is potentially a very powerful Convention. However, the Convention rarely seems to impose the punitive measures at its disposal against those countries that fail to comply to its regulations.” He added that, likewise, other laws meant to prevent wildlife trade are not sufficiently enforced. “Sometimes
Can an Alpaca help protect the shores of the Gulf of Mexico from a massive oil slick?
SOUNDBITE (off camera): Patti Hall, Director, Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo
“They’re not having a great time, but by the time they’re finished, they’re going to feel a lot cooler. “
Some Gulf Coast residents are pinning hopes on what may be a unique defense against millions of gallons of oil that has spewed from a ruptured deep sea drill site.
Soak it up with hair.
Skip a few days of shampooing and human hair can get oily. The link between hair and oil has led salons and pet groomers to save hair to make what is hoped will essentially be giant oil adsorbers.
Hair can be hard to get in high volumes quickly. That’s where these four alpacas at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and several other animal species can lend a hand, or… hoof.
The only zoo in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) plans to stuff its animals after their deaths and put them on show in a museum, officials say.
The move follows a ban by India's central zoo authority on new animals being kept in confined spaces.
Mumbai zoo says it is unable to replace animals as they die because existing enclosures for some animals do not conform with anti-cruelty guidelines.
Stuffing the animals will at least allow people to see them, the zoo says.
Officials plan to set up a taxidermy museum as part of a $100m makeover at the zoo, which
YOU might be prepared to walk across hot coals in support of a cause you really believe in – but how about going barefoot across the smashed remains of 2,000 wine bottles?
After two years of organising a fundraising firewalk, Edinburgh Zoo is this summer to bring in a charity glasswalk.
Organisers hope that around 60 people will volunteer to walk barefoot over a 20ft path of glass shards to raise money for conservation and education work.
A new, modern botanical and zoo park will be founded in the canyon of Hrazdan, Yerevan. The representatives and directors of Amsterdam’s and Singapore’s zoo parks and “Wild nature and cultural values protection” organization have had discussion in the Municipality of Yerevan.
The sketches are ready and they’ve been introduced to the Mayor, Municipality’s information and PR department told Panorama.am. The Mayor liked the sketches and promised to support the project.
According to the project the local residents and foreign guests may enjoy different plants, animals, birds common to our climatic conditions. Several types of animals recorded in the Red Book are supposed to be taken to the park for permanent residence, which could contribute to reducing the danger level.
A scientific-research center and college should also
Ding dong travels with endangered schlong
A woman travelling from Singapore to Auckland was discovered by an airport sniffer dog yesterday to be carrying a tiger penis and gallbladder, according to New Zealand biosecurity authorities.
The Cambodian woman, travelling with her husband and daughter, had the endangered animal's parts in a stocking tied around her waist and in a plastic bag attached to her leg.
"Our dogs consistently find items that would otherwise prove difficult for our inspectors to locate," said Craig Hughes, of the MAF (government biosecurity division)."
All species of tiger are endangered, and tiger populations
Zoo Atlanta’s new president and chief executive has decades of business and philanthropy experience and an even longer memory of the Grant Park attraction.
Raymond King, 44, will start at Zoo Atlanta June 1 after a 22-year career at SunTrust, where he worked most recently as the senior vice president of community affairs. The lifelong Atlanta resident remembers visiting the zoo as a child and has become even more of a regular with his wife and 8-year-old daughter.
King said he'll try to keep the visitor and research momentum at the zoo while increasing attendance and raising more money locally for the nonprofit institution.
"There’s always going to be something new," King said. "That can be the simple birth of another animal or a new exhibit. People in this town, rightfully so, expect new things."
Former zoo president and CEO Dennis Kelly left earlier this year for the top job at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington. Kelly's years at Zoo Atlanta built on the work of his predecessor, Terry Maple, who helped reshape what was thought to be among one of the worst zoos in the country. Kelly brought the zoo to international prominence, erased its debt and began to implement a
Two new executives at the city’s largest animal attractions are expected to manage the nonprofits, bring in more donations and keep audiences coming back again and again — but neither necessarily needs to know much about whale sharks or pandas.
The long-held axiom that veterinarians or biologists should lead zoos and aquariums is long-gone in Atlanta, and industry watchers say that speaks to attractions' development and stability.
“In Atlanta, you’ve seen a lot of success keeping the public engaged through new exhibits, new programs,” said Steve Feldman, spokesman for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the accrediting organization for animal institutions. “Whether it’s setting up a dolphin care and education program or the intricacies of panda breeding, zoo directors have a lot to learn. Fortunately, there are a lot of pros they’ll have at their disposal.”
Raymond King, a former banker who worked half his 44 years for SunTrust, will take over Zoo Atlanta on June 1. Zoo Atlanta board chairman Brad Benton said they had the luxury of hiring someone with business and philanthropy experience and deep ties to Atlanta because of their confidence in the zoo’s existing research and animal care teams.
Georgia Aquarium is looking for a new leader after former president Anthony Godfrey, an accountant, unexpectedly resigned this month. CEO Bernie Marcus said Godfrey's resignation was a surprise, and that he left for personal reasons. Phone calls to Godfrey have not been answered. Marcus said he expected to hire a new president within two weeks of Godfrey’s
The New South Wales Government has finally backed an inquiry into the seizure of koalas from Gunnedah's Waterways Wildlife Park.
The inquiry, which will report back on September 9, was mentioned in the Upper House this week and supported yesterday without going to a vote.
The animals were removed by the RSPCA in February under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, although the park's owners have never been charged.
The Nationals' Duty MLC for Tamworth, Trevor Khan, says the
The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) will submit its survey report on the probable places where the African cheetah, if brought to India, can be housed by the end of this month.
According to M K Ranjit Singh, chairman WTI, "I, along with my colleague, had been to a few places earmarked for housing the cheetah if brought to India. However, certain places in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are still left. We would complete the survey by the end of the month and hopefully give the report to the Centre."
The proposal to bring the cheetah into India, decades after it was declared extinct from the country, was first mooted by the ministry of forest and environment. Thereafter, an experts meeting took place in Gajner to study the nitty-gritty of the project.
The meeting identified Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh as the probable places. While in Rajasthan areas near the border along the Desert National Park, the Chandhan grassland and the Shahgarh bulge were identified, the 200-sq km Banni in
The Lottery Grants Board is withholding a $2.69m grant to a native exhibit at Auckland Zoo in the wake of a funding scandal that has thrown the future of the $16m project - the biggest in the zoo's history - into doubt.
Last weekend the Sunday Star- Times revealed that Pub Charity had asked that a $500,000 grant it gave to the Te Wao Nui project be returned, because of concerns that the Auckland Zoo Charitable Trust misled Pub Charity over how the money was spent.
Now, the Lottery Grants Board, whose $2.69m pledge last month meant the project had reached its fundraising threshold and work could begin, says it will not release the money until it is satisfied with the "integrity" of the zoo trust's processes.
The Auckland City Council, which owns the zoo, was told of alleged discrepancies last year, well before the Star-Times first broke the story, but an internal inquiry found no wrongdoing and no action was taken. Pub Charity was not told of the concerns until contacted by the Star-Times.
The dispute focuses around what was done with the Pub Charity money, which had to be spent within a year of being granted for Te Wao Nui-related projects.
Senior sources have told the Star-Times that the zoo trust provided invoices for work carried out at the zoo which were general maintenance or resource consent works, unrelated to Te Wao
The union representing more than 400 Toronto Zoo staff is in a legal strike position after voting “no” on Tuesday night to an offer tentatively agreed upon by union and management representatives on May 5.
But Grant Ankeman, president of CUPE Local 1600, said the union currently has no plans to strike.
“What we’re trying to do is get back to the bargaining table so we can get a fair and equitable agreement,” said Ankeman, who was unable to discuss the union’s demands or the contents of the settlement offer.
In fact, both sides were equally tight-lipped about the main issues that have been discussed during the bargaining process that has been ongoing since March, but Toronto Zoo CEO John Tracogna said finances are one of the issues on the table.
“Obviously there’s an element of a financial package and some other elements of concessions from previous agreements,” said T
As bats die in Connecticut, mosquitoes go uneaten
World Migratory Bird Day
The Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre in Al Ain is aiming for a 5 Pearl rating from Estidama and is scheduled to finish by November 11, 2011, according to its architects.
"The construction contract was awarded in December 2009 to the construction firm Zueblin and work is under way," Talik Chalabi, of Architekten & Partner ZT, told Emirates Business.
The Pearls Rating System is the only green rating system in the world that is a government initiative which will streamline sustainability efforts. The Pearls Rating System integrates with other Abu Dhabi regulatory codes and initiatives for example the building and development codes. 5 Pearl is the highest level of achievement.
"We were part of the six firms invited to a competition in October 2007. There was no infrastructure in this area when the brief was decided. We won the project in August 2008. We are aiming for the 5 Pearl rating based on the 2008 criteria from Estidama since the current one is very strict and we designed the building much before the new criteria. But the client had given us the green light to introduce all new ideas to make the building achieve high standards of sustainability."
The project is located within the Al Ain Zoo, which is meant to include a safari park and it is at the interface between the existing zoo and the extension. "They had an idea of the themes that they will exhibit like geology, the scarcity of water, the culture, and flora and fauna," said Chalabi, whose practice is headquartered in Austria and is jointly run with his brother Jaafar Chalabi.
"We were inspired by the landscape of the area and the beauty of the site. It is a savannah like landscape and has a very beautiful mountain range, which is the beginning of the plateau that extends to Oman. Al Ain has a beautiful mountain called Jebel Hafeet and a ridge of this mountain acts as the natural boundary to the safari park," he said. "So when we were given the brief about the themes of the desert, we took the inspiration from the landscape and decided that the concept will be based on a loop - a concept used in some museums
Devra G. Kleiman, 67, a biologist whose groundbreaking research on giant pandas and South American monkeys showed how zoos can play a critical role in preserving endangered species, died April 29 at George Washington University Hospital. She had cancer.
In a career spanning more than 40 years, much of it at the National Zoo, Dr. Kleiman helped create and define the new field of conservation biology.
She was perhaps best known for spearheading an unprecedented international effort to save golden lion tamarins -- small, reddish-orange monkeys that live in Brazil's Atlantic coastal forests -- from extinction.
In the early 1970s, Dr. Kleiman responded to an alarm sounded by Brazilian biologist Adelmar Coimbra Filho. Golden lion tamarins were in trouble; research showed there were only several hundred of the animals remaining in the wild and fewer than 75 in captivity. Dr. Kleiman and Coimbra helped persuade officials at more than a dozen zoos not to sell their golden lion tamarins for profit. Instead, the zoos would lend the animals to one another for breeding. Eventually they gave up title altogether, ceding ownership to the Brazilian government. Dr. Kleiman played monkey matchmaker, using genetic data to determine which animals should mate to create strong offspring.
Those offspring were reintroduced to Brazil, where Dr. Kleiman and Coimbra helped preserve and restore wide swaths of the animals' habitat. Today, about 1,600 golden li
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Wild Mammals in Captivity, the first handbook of its kind, focuses on new approaches to the management of wild animals in captivity. In one comprehensive volume, the editors have gathered the most current information from field and captive studies of animal behavior, advances in captive breeding, research in physiology, genetics, and nutrition, and new thinking in animal management and welfare. Featuring contributions from dozens of internationally renowned experts, this book is a professional reference of immense practical value, surveying every significant scientific, technical, and management issue. This extraordinary book is an essential resource for administrators, keepers, veterinarians, and everyone who works directly with mammals or is concerned generally with their management and conservation.
"This is the only up-to-date and comprehensive manual on the problems of and the solutions to keeping and handling wild mammals outside their natural environment. . . . [A] magnificent manual."—Harry Miller, Times Higher Education Supplement
Sir Elton John, Jay Leno, Alex Trebek and Jamie Lee Curtis are among the Co-Chairs for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association's (GLAZA) 40th Annual Beastly Ball honoring long-time supporter Betty White on Saturday, June 19, 2010, 6 p.m., under the stars at the Zoo. NCIS star Pauley Perrette serves as the evening's MC. White, the entertainment industry icon, is a long-time GLAZA Trustee and was named “Ambassador to the Animals of the City of Los Angeles” by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2006.
Known as "one of L.A.'s biggest and most popular fund-raisers" (FOX News) and "one of the best parties in Los Angeles" (KCAL TV News), the Beastly Ball is presented by GLAZA, which for more than four decades has successfully supported the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife. As a major cultural and entertainment resource for Southern California, the Zoo is a place of beauty and inspiration and a catalyst for discovery of the natural world for children of all ages. GLAZA funds Los Angeles Zoo exhibits, plant and animal species conservation, capital projects, and education and community outreach programs. GLAZA currently has
Mike Maslanka, head nutritionist at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, talks about what it takes to feed 2000 animals from 400 different species 365 days a year. Each one receives a diet specially designed by National Zoo nutritionists that not only meets their nutrient needs but also encourages them to employ their natural feeding behaviors. The Zoo’s commissary is one of the world’s largest zoo commissaries and is about half an acre in size. In all, 13 people make up the Zoos nutrition team. Two members of the team are certified nutritionists. Of all 220 zoo members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
The fact that a pair of Japanese crested ibises -- which had been released into nature after being raised at a conservation center -- dumped all three of their eggs from their nest has shown that nature never works as people expect.
Many people have apparently been disappointed because it would have been the first time in 34 years for an ibis chick to be hatched in the wild.
However, Japanese crested ibises have their own reasons for dumping their eggs. Experts say ibises can dump their eggs if they are infertile, or if they are fertile but not growing steadily. Since the ibises concerned are still young, experts pointed to the possibility that the eggs were infertile.
This year is designated by the United Nations as the International Year for Biodiversity. In October, the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity will be held in Nagoya. Under the circumstances, biodiversity has drawn attention from the public, and the Japanese crested ibis has emerged as a symbol of biodiversity.
The government's national strategy for biodiversity also calls for efforts to reintegrate Japanese crested ibises into nature. Japanese-born ibises became extinct when the last remaining bird died in 2003, and the Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Conservation Center on Sado Island, Niigata Prefecture -- set up by the Environment Ministry -- have artificially bred the birds using ibises borrowed from China.
A diverse ecosystem supported by the long history of evolution is indispensable for water circulation and soil formation, and also serves to prevent natural disasters. It also brings about a wide variety of food and helps develop diverse pharmaceutical products. Above all, diverse nature is beautiful.
Japanese crested ibises draw attention from
CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
Nagoya, Japan, 18-29 October 2010
Russian and Iranian ecologists plan to revive extinct species of Caspian Tiger and Asiatic Cheetahs in their respective regions. Last week, a group of Russian ecologists headed by the country’s deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Sergey Donskoy, arrived in Tehran.
The Russian team would cooperate with Iranian counterparts for ways to revive these majestic cat species that went extinct by the end of the last century, Iran’s English language Press TV reported.
Earlier Russian scientists requested delivery of Asiatic Cheetahs to Russia for their revival program. In Russia, Cheetahs were at one time numerous in southern regions but went extinct over 50 years ago. Cheetah is an atypical member of the cat family (Felidae) that is unique in its speed, while lacking climbing abilities.
The species is the only living member of the genus Acinonyx. It is the fastest land animal, reaching speeds between 112 and 120 km/h (70 and 75 mph) in short bursts covering distances up to 460 m (1,500 ft), and has the ability to accelerate from 0 to 103 km/h (64 mph) in three seconds, faster than most supercars. Recent studies confirm the cheetah's status as the fastest land animal.  There are only 50 to 60 remaining Asiatic Cheetas in central
Zoo Animals: Behaviour, Management and Welfare
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The keeping of zoo animals has become a central tool in the conservation of some of the world's most fascinating, yet threatened, species. But how do zoos operate on a day-to-day basis? What are the key problems zoos face in trying to feed, breed and keep healthy the animals in their care? How do they play their part in conserving biodiversity?
Zoo Animals: Behaviour, Management and Welfare addresses the key questions surrounding the keeping of zoo animals, and reveals how we can apply our ever-growing understanding of animal behaviour to ensure zoo animals are managed as effectively as possible.
Drawing on their extensive experience of zoo research, practice, and teaching, the authors blend together theory with a broad range of both mammalian and non-mammalian examples to give a highly-readable overview of this burgeoning field. Zoo Animals: Behaviour, Management and Welfare is the ideal resource for anyone needing a thorough grounding in this subject, whether as a student or as a zoo professional.
The Lucknow Zoo Sunday pulled out its two elephants and sent them to two wildlife parks of the state, an official said.
This follows an order of the Central Zoo Authority banning elephants in zoos of the country.
While one of the elephants was shifted to Dudhwa National Park in Lakhimpur district, about 250 km from here, the other was sent to Katarniya Ghat Wildlife Park in Bahraich district, about 160 km from here.
According to a spokesman of the state wildlife department, the pachyderms were dispatched along with their mahouts on trucks Sunday afternoon.
“I know kids visiting the zoo will miss the elephants, who always draw children in very large numbers, but then it cannot be helped,” the official said.
Keeping elephants in private captivity has already been banned
"Polly" got more than a cracker on Friday at the ZooFest Wild About Parrots fundraiser out at the San Francisco Zoo.
In fact, "Polly" and her pals now have many, multiple crackers upon which to munch thanks to a surprise million dollar donation by longtime Zoo supporters, Tad Taube and his wife, Dianne Taube, and Jeff Farber of the Koret Foundation, for reconstruction of the Zoo's South American Aviary, a building that houses parrots, amphibians and primates and was originally built during the Great Depression.
This generosity was immediately followed by another spontaneous check from Anthony Cernak and the Hugh and Eila Korpi Family Trust of Sonoma to house rescued Squirrel monkeys to the tune of ... $250K!
Lafayette, a baby American alligator, and Zoo Education staffer Amy Gaffan
Minster for food and civil supplies and consumer protection Anil Deshmukh on Tuesday gave some food for thought to the beleaguered Maharajbagh Zoo authorities by asking them to run the zoo as per the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) norms.
Deshmukh's visit was fuelled by a series of animal deaths in the recent past due to alleged negligence of the Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV), which runs the zoo. On April 26, TOI had highlighted how the 110-year-old zoo was going to the dogs.
The minister reached the zoo around 10 am and spent around 50 minutes examining the enclosures and facilities for animals. He also inquired about the animal welfare. Deshmukh, who is the first minister to officially come forward for the development of the zoo, is aware of the CZA norms and the problems grappling the zoo. His poser to authorities on whether the zoo was being run as per the CZA guidelines puzzled officials.
"When were the green nets and rain guns installed?" Deshmukh asked PRO, Prof Ram Gawande when he was near the peacock and tiger enclosures. Gawande replied, "Eight days ago."
Deshmukh then snubbed him saying, "Why can't these works be done before the onset of summer. Animals are dying due to the heat and you are taking it casually." When
A lawyer fighting to release Lucy the elephant from Edmonton's Valley Zoo said this week authorities are not looking out for her well-being, while the city said animal-rights groups have no standing in the court application to have the elephant sent to a sanctuary.
Onlookers packed a room in Court of Queen's Bench on Tuesday while lawyers sparred over the 34-year-old Asian elephant that resides at the city zoo.
Animal-rights groups want the judge to issue a declaratory judgment that Lucy is in distress, deprived of adequate shelter and space, or that she is in pain and suffering — all conditions not permitted by Alberta's Animal Protection Act.
They claim Edmonton's climate is unsuitable for an
An elephant resident of the Bowmanville Zoo has helped scientists in their quest to understand how Siberian mammoths were able to adapt to their frigid surroundings.
A New York Times article reports on the efforts of a University of Manitoba team of scientists looking into how a once tropical species adapted to the Arctic.
In order to proceed with their research, the team needed the blood of an elephant, and they found that getting the necessary permits for obtaining wild elephant blood was too cumbersome.
Enter the Bowmanville Zoo's elephant Caesar, who made the necessary
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Hand–Rearing Birds will provide the reader with a guide to the best methods of hand rearing all major species of birds. The book is broken into two sections. The first section covers standard hand raising methods and equipment, while the second provides individual chapters devoted to many major avian species. This book will be an invaluable reference for shelter veterinarians, zoo veterinarians, avian veterinarians, aviculturists, bird enthusiasts, and conservationists alike.
Mike Janis, former director of the Lake Superior Zoo, has just been tapped to lead the Mill Mountain Zoo in Raonoke, Va., according to the Roanoke Times.
Janis served more than 10 years as the director of Duluth's zoo. The local zoo lost its accreditation from the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums several months after he left Duluth to take a job in Binghamton, N.Y. Duluth has yet to regain that certification, although this remains an oft-repeated goal.
At the time of his departure, Janis expressed frustration with funding cuts to the Duluth zoo. He also was angered by what he viewed as subsequent efforts to make him a scapegoat for the Lake Superior Zoo's loss of accreditation later that year. He personally faulted Mayor Herb Bergson's administration for cutting funding and making it impossible to properly maintain the operation.
Janis said he had repeatedly warned Bergson and Carl Seehus, the city's parks and recreation director, that continued underfunding was putting the zoo's certification at risk. But both Bergson and Seehus said they were unaware that the zoo was in danger of losing its certification.
At any rate, Janis went on to lead the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park in Binghamton, N.Y., where he was publicly credited with helping that facility become reaccredited. Apparently the zoo lost its accreditation prior to Janis' arrival there. The Press &
This is taking trunk calls to a new level. Two young elephants, who were born in a Dooars sanctuary and gifted to Japan's Okinawa Zoo, are hooked on the mobile phone. When they get restless or stubborn, only the voices of their mahouts — who are back home in Bengal — calm them.
Mahouts Dinabandhu Burman and Kharka Bahadur Biswakarma are the only parents Devi and Rahul have known since birth in Holong in Jaldapara. Now aged nine and seven, they understand instructions in Bengali — or the unique voice commands mahouts have known for generations — but are yet to pick up Japanese.
Biswakarma and Korke Bahadur had camped in Okinawa for six months after the elephants were transported from India in December 2007. The trouble started after the duo returned to India. At times, the giant beasts got depressed or proved difficult to control. No amount of food or cajoling would work. Then, the Japanese handlers fell back on technology. They called up the mahouts on mobile phones and put them on speaker mode. It settled them down quickly.
"The bond between a mahout and an elephant is very strong. Elephants are very intelligent and have a long memory. They never forget the mahouts who took care of them," said a forest official. Dinabandhu sings folk songs to the elephants, shouts instructions over phone
Students in Rachel Zabel's fourth-grade class at Hawthorn Elementary North in Vernon Hills asked: "Where does the Proboscis monkey live, and why does he have such a big nose?"
A proboscis is a large appendage that protrudes from the face. Mosquitoes have them, elephants have them and so do Proboscis monkeys.
The male Proboscises have huge noses, flat and oval-shaped and so long that their nose extends below their mouths. Female Proboscis monkeys also have large noses, but not quite as large as males.
The entire population of Proboscis monkeys lives in the forests of Borneo, a large island in Southeast Asia. The countries of Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei share the island. Proboscis monkeys have some unusual traits. Unlike many primates, they are terrific swimmers. The males are twice the size of females.
"The males vocalize. The larger nose adds to the tone of the vocalization, a 'key-honk' sound
The use in animals of an anti-inflammatory drug meant for humans threatens with extinction three species of Gyps vultures in India.
FOR the three endangered species of Gyps vultures in India, 2009 was a year of mild optimism. Hornbill, the magazine of The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), reported that the first-ever captive-bred nestlings of the Slender-billed vulture (Gyps tenuirostris) had “fledged successfully”; that three pairs of Oriental White-rumped vultures (Gyps bengalensis) had bred successfully; and that two White-rumped vulture nestlings born in 2007-08 were also doing well. Apart from all this heartening activity at the Society’s Vulture Conservation Breeding Centres in Pinjore, Haryana, and Rajabhatkhawa, West Bengal, there was the good news that another centre would soon become operational in Rani, Assam, and that land for a fourth centre had been acquired in Madhya Pradesh.
India is home to nine species of vultures, of which five belong to the genus Gyps. Three Gyps vultures – Gyps tenuirostris, Gyps bengalensis and the Long-billed Gyps indicus – are resident species and face the threat of extinction. The Himalayan griffon, Gyps himalayensis, and the Eurasian griffon, Gyps fulvus, are
City lawyer says animal rights groups have no legal standing
A lawyer fighting to release Lucy from the Valley Zoo says authorities are not protecting the elephant's well-being, while the city says animal-rights groups have no standing in their case to have the elephant sent to a sanctuary.
Onlookers packed a room in Court of Queen's Bench on Tuesday while lawyers sparred over the 34-year-old Asian elephant that resides at the city zoo.
City lawyer Steven Phipps argued the whole case should be tossed out. The groups bringing forward the legal action did not go through the right channels and have no standing to do so, he said.
There are regulatory bodies such as the Edmonton Humane Society to investigate and take action if Lucy is not properly cared for, Phipps argued. He said the case could set a "dangerous" precedent if allowed to proceed.
"It would be quite dramatic if all of a sudden any citizen could bring a civil action alleging a person had contravened a piece of legislation and only have to prove it on a balance of probabilities in civil court. It would completely undermine the criminal regulatory system," he said outside court.
But prominent Toronto lawyer Clayton Ruby said bodies such as the local Humane Society and the province have done nothing to help Lucy, despite recommendations from an elephant expert who says her indoor enclosure is inadequate.
"We're saying no, you don't have to beg each and every agency or official who could help you, if you can show it's likely that no one else would bring an application to save Lucy," Ruby said outside court. "We have a regulatory body that's done nothing, that knows the facts ... there's an expert report saying this enclosure
Delhi Zoo would soon bid farewell to one of its rare inmates, a white tigress which is moving to Gwalior Zoo in exchange for two pairs of chinkaras being brought in to help avoid excess inbreeding among the resident antelopes.
Currently, the capital's zoo has three pairs of endangered chinkara (Gazella bennettii) but the animals are at risk from inbreeding, which makes it mandatory to borrow animals from other zoos to maintain the genetic diversity of offspring, says Delhi Zoo officials.
"The two pairs of Chinkara are being brought from Gwalior to reduce inbreeding and slow down the loss of vigour as the existing animals have inbreeded for two to three generations. But the continued inbreeding results in terminal lack of vigour and probable extinction as the gene pool contracts, fertility decreases, abnormalities increase and mortality rates rise," says Anand Krishna, currently in-charge of Delhi Zoo.
Line-breeding is still a form of inbreeding i.e. breeding within a family line and includes between two cousins, aunt and nephew, niece and uncle as well as between grandparent and grandchild.
However, on the other hand, too much outcrossing is also not
Lore has it that elephants are afraid of mice, but scientists have now discovered that elephants are truly afraid of bees — and that the pachyderms even sound an alarm when they encounter them. The researchers hope this discovery can help save farmers' crops from elephants.
And they hope it will save elephants too.
Conflict between humans and elephants in countries like Kenya occur often. A single hungry elephant can wipe out a family's crops overnight. Farmers will huddle by fires all night during the harvest season. When an elephant nears, the farmers spring up with flaming sticks while their children bang on pots and pans. Not all fields can be guarded, and sometimes the elephants aren't frightened off.
Farmers sometimes kill elephants for raiding their crops. Rampaging elephants have also killed people, and they are then hunted down by park rangers.
The discovery that elephants emit low-frequency alarm calls around bees could help lessen these conflicts, said Lucy King, a researcher into animal behavior whose paper on elephants alarm calls was published in a journal of the Public Library of Science last week.
Farmers could make "bee fences" by stringing up hives on poles around ten meters
The El Paso Zoo will get 17 more animals for its new Africa exhibit.
The City Council voted 8-0 Tuesday to spend $70,000 to buy the animals from Safari West Inc. of Santa Rosa, Calif. The price also includes medical exams for the animals and shipping them here.
The zoo will spend admittance fees to buy six zebras, two greater kudus, five Thomson's gazelles, two ostriches and two East African crowned cranes.
The animals will have to be put in a 30-day quarantine
My daughters were young teenagers when we visited the Mirage Hotel Zoo in Las Vegas and saw a white tiger dozing off in his garden.
"Oh, look,"I said. "That's the tiger who ate his trainer."
I referred to an attack four years earlier when a 380-pound white tiger clamped his jaws around the throat of trainer Roy Horn in front of a horrified audience watching the famed Siegfried and Roy magic show at the Mirage Theater.
"The tiger didn't eat him," interrupted another zoo visitor eavesdropping on my remark. "It was trying to save him. And the trainer is still alive."
Of course, I had exaggerated to make a point. Roy Horn was still alive, but crippled and brain-damaged for life after the performing tiger, Montecore, dragged his master like a rag doll 30 feet offstage. The tiger released his fangs only when a stagehand sprayed the big cat with a fire extinguisher and used the tank to bash the beast over the head.
To me, the stranger's remark reflected the assumption by animal lovers around the world that tigers can be cuddly pets, always faithful to their masters, and that their jungle instincts are bred out of them in captivity.
You don't have to be a zoologist to recognize that as nonsense.
Tigers are genetically programmed to attack and kill. Over the past five years in the US, tigers privately owned as pets have killed nine people.
In my US neighborhood, we have feral cats tiptoeing around in search of mice, chipmunks and an occasional bluebird for dessert. To an outsider, they might appear as docile as house cats, which they were before they got lost or were abandoned.
But if you get too close now, they arch their backs and bare their fangs with a hissing sound that can make your blood run cold. The stray cats have the same survival instinct as their larger relatives in the forest.
Yet the belief persists that caged tigers cannot fend for themselves if they are released back to the wild.
"Back to the wild?" a friend challenged me after I wrote recently that China's zoo tigers should be uncaged and returned to their natural
The cause of death of Boy the elephant, an animal kept at Kyiv Zoo, will be studied by two commissions of experts formed by Kyiv City State Administration.
"Two commissions will be set up at Kyiv City State Administration - the first will consist of experts who will directly study the cause of the elephant's death. Permission has been received to include in the commission two experts from Mykolaiv Zoo, the other two from Kharkiv Zoo, and one expert will come from Moscow. The second commission will be created after the [May 9] holidays, and it will include representatives of public organizations and zoo experts, including Yalta Zoo Director Oleh Zubkov," Head of the Council of Experts Public Organization Andriy Kapustin said at a press conference at the Interfax-Ukraine news agency on Thursday.
He also said that his organization and other animal rights groups had proposed that Deputy Head of Kyiv City State Administration Ihor Dobrutsky suspend Kyiv Zoo Director Svitlana Berzina from her post until the official investigation is conducted, and expel "all those linked to the zoo and Berzina" from the existing commission. In addition, animal rights groups proposed inviting a foreign expert to head the Kyiv Zoo for at least a year, "so as to avoid clan fights," and create a board of trustees.
Kapustin said that according to Dobrutsky, the official "submitted a report to [Kyiv Mayor Leonid] Chernovetsky proposing that Berzina be dismissed from her post in order to conduct an official investigation."
He also emphasized that a pathological and morphological
A MEMBER of the research team that resurrected the blood protein haemoglobin using DNA from the 43,000-year-old bones of a woolly mammoth from Siberia has rejected speculation that the study takes scientists a step closer to cloning an extinct animal.
Alan Cooper, director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA at the University of Adelaide, told the HES it was technically infeasible to bring an extinct species back to life.
And even if it were possible it would be a waste of money.
Professor Cooper and colleagues made headlines worldwide this week when they published their research in Nature Genetics.
The team, led by Kevin Campbell of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, wanted to find out how a species with roots in equatorial Africa evolved to tolerate the harsh Arctic conditions.
ACAD geneticist Jeremy Austin amplified, or made multiple copies of, DNA from the mammoth, focusing on two genes involved in the protein structure of haemoglobin, which transports oxygen to the cells.
He worked in the hi-tech ACAD clean facility, one of only three such laboratories in the world, on a sample of only about 100 thousandths
Officials have declared the final results of the count of total numbers of Asiatic Lions in the Gir National Park/forest
which was taken up in two phases between April 24 and April 27 2010. According to the survey, at present there are 411 lions in this forest, indicating a healthy growth rate of 13%. In the year 2005, the growth rate was just 7%. This increase in growth rate can be mainly attributed to decades of conservation work by the forest department of Gujrat.
The Saurashtra region of Gujarat is the only abode of Asiatic lions today. They once roamed across the entire southwest Asia and were great tourist attraction. However due to an increase in hunting and natural deaths in the late 1960s, only about 180 of these had survived in Gir National Park. “The lion census in three districts of Junagadh, Amreli, Bhavnagar and some parts of Porbandar has been counted to 162 mature females, 97 mature males and 152 cubs. The number of female and young lions is quiet encouraging and the male to female ratio is a very good indicator for future prospects of these animals”, said Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi.
A lot of planning was done prior to the beginning of the counting process. According to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Mr. R.V. Asari, the lion habitat in the four districts of Saurashtra had been mapped and divided into seven regions which were further divided into 28 zones and 100 sub-zones to make the counting process easy and foolproof. “It is understood
He's the real lion king.
Animal keeper Ralph Aversa knows the new triplet cubs at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo better than anyone.
He's one of the few humans to have held the baby lions in his arms, and he can tell them apart at a glance.
The boy cub is lighter in color and has a bigger head than his sisters. The girls are no less distinct.
"She's really loud," he chuckled, describing girl cub No. 1, which yelps, purrs and growls almost nonstop. "We call her the little chatterer."
Daily News readers have until midnight Saturday night to submit names for the personality-packed trio.
Aversa has worked at the zoo for 24 years, but for most of that time, there were no lion cubs.
Then M'wasi and Sukari had a single cub, Moxie, in November 2008.
Aversa realized Sukari was pregnant again when she put on weight and didn't go into heat. He sensed she was nearly ready to give birth when she refused her food and shunned the company of M'wasi and Moxie the night of Jan. 26.
The kindhearted keeper worried about the lioness all night and rushed back to the zoo in the morning.
"I was here at the crack of dawn," he said, "just to make sure she was all right."
Not only was she all right — she had
A wayward rhinoceros caused quite a stir at the Jacksonville Zoo on Thursday morning. Archie the Rhino got out his barn somehow and it took 30 workers to get him back.
Pictures provided by zoo officials show a line of employees using a rope to pull the 5,000 pound white rhino back to his barn.
Zoo officials are investigating how the animal got out around 6 a.m. He was found wandering down a zoo service road by a zookeeper.
"When they came across him, he was actually calmly eating alfalfa in the barn," said Delfi Messinger, Director of Animal Programs at Jacksonville Zoo.
Messinger was one of about 30 people who pulled Archie back.
She said under the supervision of three veterinarians, Archie was hit on the shoulder with a tranquilizer dart gun. A rope was then tied around his horn.
She said it took about six hours to coax him down the road.
"He was in the Twilight Zone. He really wasn't aware of his surroundings," said Messinger.
Archie was not allowed to be viewed by the public on Thursday. Zoo officials
Shanti and Baby Baylor Doing Fine at the Houston Zoo
After a pregnancy lasting almost 23 months, Shanti, a 19-year-old Asian elephant, delivered a healthy 348-pound male calf Tuesday morning at the Houston Zoo’s McNair Asian Elephant Habitat. The calf has been named Baylor by the Zoo’s elephant care team in recognition of the unprecedented and ongoing advances made by Baylor College of Medicine’s research team to significantly reduce the threat of a potentially lethal elephant herpes virus.
Shanti began exhibiting signs of labor around 10:30 Monday night. Attended by the Houston Zoo’s elephant care team and assisted by the Zoo’s veterinary staff, Shanti delivered the baby at 9:32 a.m. on Tuesday, May 4. “After months of preparation and tender loving care, the delivery was actually quick and easy for Shanti,” said Large Mammal Curator Daryl Hoffman. “The keepers helped Baylor get to his feet and he was standing on his own within about 2 hours after his birth,” added Hoffman.
“Baylor started nursing at 12:05 p.m. Tuesday,” said Hoffman. “This little elephant has a very good appetite. In
A new breeding pair of beavers has been released into the wild as part of the Scottish Beaver Trial.
The five-year scheme, the first reintroduction of a native mammal in the UK, has been running since May 29 last year, when 11 animals in three families were released on to lochs in Knapdale forest in Argyll.
The Scottish Beaver Trial aims to assess the impact beavers have on their environment and how well they settle in. It is a partnership project between the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, run under licence from the Scottish Government on Forestry Commission land. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is co-ordinating the scientific monitoring of the trial.
Two of the original beaver families are thriving. In the third family, the adult male has had to be returned to captivity because of an underlying health condition, while the adult female and their kit are unaccounted for and are feared dead.
The new pair, released on Tuesday, was previously at the Highland Wildlife Park. The animals were originally trapped in Norway and then quarantined for six months before being transferred to the park. In preparation for their arrival in Knapdale, two artificial lodges were built to give them temporary shelter until they can build their own. The trial team are hopeful that they will go on to breed in the coming years.
A two-month consultation period with local residents
DECISION FOLLOWS YEARS OF FRUITLESS NEGOTIATIONS
FINGAL has been dealt a major blow with the news the Irish Seal Sanctuary (ISS) has relocated to Wexford, following years of fruitless negotiations with the local authority over a new home. For more than two decades, the organisation worked
(Photo of Elephants from Elephantstay.com)
Grand ceremony honours coronation
A glimpse of His Majesty the King waving his hand as he left Siriraj Hospital for the Grand Palace yesterday cheered Thais waiting to greet him on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of his coronation.
A crowd packed the hospital compound early yesterday eager for a glimpse of the King, who, together with Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the royal family, were scheduled to preside over a ceremony marking Coronation Day at the palace.
As the King's motorcade arrived at the gate of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, lines of people shouted "Long live the King" to welcome him. He responded by waving to them.
The brief greeting was enough to move many spectators, who burst into tears.
Such scenes are common when Thais are given the
This is the second time in a year that someone has managed to release "Johnson" the bobcat from his exhibit in the Topeka Zoo, and city and zoo staff are now looking for ways to improve security.
The Topeka Police Department patrols the zoo and tells us the facility and the exhibits in it are secure, but what the city believes to be vandals still managed to cut the perimeter fence and reach the enclosure in which the bobcat is located.
The Interim Topeka Zoo Director, Dennis Taylor, tells 27 News the zoo is taking a closer look at what can be done to prevent this from happening in the future, but acknowledges that no place is completely safe from crime. Taylor also let us know further
The two forms of white rhinoceros; northern and southern, have had contrasting conservation histories. The Northern form, once fairly numerous is now critically endangered, while the southern form has recovered from a few individuals to a population of a few thousand. Since their last taxonomic assessment over three decades ago, new material and analytical techniques have become available, necessitating a review of available information and re-assessment of the taxonomy.
Dental morphology and cranial anatomy clearly diagnosed the southern and northern forms. The differentiation was well supported by dental metrics, cranial growth and craniometry, and corresponded with differences in post-cranial skeleton, external measurements and external features. No distinctive differences were found in the limited descriptions of their behavior and ecology. Fossil history indicated the antiquity of the genus, dating back at least to early Pliocene and evolution
(43 page investigation)
Despite death of 128 animals since last year, the authority of Kanpur zoo was treating the incidents as normal.
A female elephant died in the zoo yesterday taking the toll to 128 since April last year.
But, the zoo authority refuses to take responsibility for the deaths.
The elephant named 'Champa', who died yesterday, had been suffering from a disease "Pododerma" and the zoo doctors had been treating her, Zoo director K Praveen Rao told PTI.
Asked about reasons for deaths of the animals, Rao said most of it were due to natural causes.
In January 2010, 27 animals died due to extreme cold, among which on a single day alone 17 cocktail birds had perished.
The zoo director denied report of negligence
Asks for bids to construct a biogas facility to create gas which can be burned and lower heating costs
The Toronto Zoo has taken a major step towards turning poop from its elephants, giraffes and hundreds of other animals into clean electricity and emission-free heat.
Canada’s largest zoo put out a request for bids Monday to construct an on-site anaerobic digester facility that uses special microbes to convert manure, animal bedding, as well as grease and organic waste from zoo restaurants into biogas.
The gas, which is rich in methane, can then be burned to generate green power for the grid and heat that can be used by the zoo to offset its own use of natural gas. The zoo currently spends about $1 million a year on natural gas to heat its animal exhibits and other areas.
“We do produce a considerable amount of waste, but I prefer to call it fuel,” said Dave Ireland, who heads up conservation programs for the zoo, which is also the third-largest public zoo in the world.
“If we can decrease the necessity for coal-fired and other fossil fuel power plants, then we’re cleaning up the air and indirectly fulfilling the zoo’s (conservation) mission.”
He said about 45 companies have already approached the zoo with an interest in developing the biogas plant. Many are from Europe
An emotive TV ad for the World Wildlife Fund, featuring "threatened" polar bears in their shrinking Arctic habitat, has been cleared by the advertising watchdog, despite claims it was "misleading" and "exaggerated the plight" of the animals.
A rare flightless cricket is being reintroduced to areas of newly created heathland in a bid to bring the insect "back from the brink" of extinction.
The field cricket, Gryllus campestris, is the rarest cricket species in Britain and had suffered steep declines because of the disappearance of the heathland habitat it needs to survive.
By the early 1990s the insect was teetering on the edge of extinction in the UK, with just one remaining colony of 100
One of the oldest inhabitants of the Bulgarian readjustment park for dancing bears near the southwestern town of Belitsa has died.
Milena, aged 30-35 years, the Serbian dancing bear that was brought to the park in 2009 has died in her sleep, reported Friday , the Four Paws Association – one of the founders of the readjustment park.
Friday morning, during the routine rounds of the park’s carers, the body of Milena was found, explains Dimitar Ivanov, manager of the Belitsa Readjustment Park for Dancing bears located on the outskirts of the Rila Mountain.
According to Dimitrov, the animal was very old and had not been very active in the last days.
“Unfortunately,” concedes the park’s manager “No matter how well we take care of the animals, the years they have spend in captivity take a toll on them. However, we’re happy we managed to save Milena from her painful life in chains
As part of the loan agreement, as soon as the Arabian leapords mate, 50 per cent of their cubs will return to the ADWC, where further breeding will continue.
The Abu Dhabi Wildlife Centre (ADWC) has established a loan scheme which provides breeding stock to other centres across the UAE, to save critically endangered animals, whose numbers have dwindled to mere hundreds in the wild.
To protect their animals' rare and unique existence the ADWC has started its initiative, by sending their only male Arabian leopard, to a centre located in Sharjah, where the leopard will be introduced to females of his kind.
As part of the loan agreement, as soon as the Arabian leapords mate, 50 per cent of their cubs will return to the ADWC, where further breeding will continue.
According to Ronel Barcellos, Manager of the ADWC, there are only 280 Arabian leopards left in the world.
"Our aim is to protect the habitat of these rare animals, through various conservation programmes. We won't stop breeding till we reach our hundreds. Once the numbers come up, I'd like to encourage other centres across the UAE, to work with us, and help introduce a new bloodline to these rare big cats," she said.
The centre, which consists of over 100 different animals, out of which 50 per cent are endangered, is currently working with international centres on exchanging endangered animals, with the aim of increasing their population numbers globally.
Also rare due to poaching and habitat loss, an estimated 200 to 400 Siberian White Tigers are currently now living in the wild. "Tiger products are thoughts to have powerful medical properties and are sold in the majority of East Asian countries, that's why the Siberian white Tiger is facing extinction," said the ADWC manager.
The only two Siberian White Tigers at the centre
Director of Kyiv zoo Svitlana Berzina denied information about her suspension. "I was not suspended from post, as some media reported. This is not true"- said Berzina to Segodnya newspaper. Deputy mayor of Kyiv Ihor Dobruckiy confirmed that no such decision was taken yet. "The comission which investigates death of elephant Boy is still working. We are not to take any actions until the investigation is over. If the comission decides Berzina should be suspended, she
This month, we are highlighting Jennifer Hausmann, a resident veterinarian at Milwaukee County Zoo. See the story about her residency program.