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Zoo News Digest
Inokashira zoo hunts for 30 escaped squirrels, bags 38
One of the interesting factoids accompanying the escaped-penguin story that delighted the media for the last three months is that Japan has more penguins in captivity than any other country. Tokyo Sea Life Park, the facility from which the male Humboldt penguin in question made his break, has 135. The appeal is obvious: Penguins are cute and easy to handle. No one became upset when the bird managed to get out of his enclosure and into Tokyo Bay. In fact, a certain type of commentator dominated social media, cheering the errant penguin on and lamenting his eventual capture. A few of these boosters named him Steve, as in actor Steve McQueen, the star of "The Great Escape." He was a rebel.
The escape of another species of wild animal made the news on April 20, when two female employees of the Hachimantai Bear Farm in Akita Prefecture were killed by bears that had climbed over the wall of their enclosure by means of a pile of leftover snow. Six were shot and killed on the premises and it was eventually determined they were the only ones that escaped, but at the time, since the number wasn't immediately known, local authorities warned nearby residents to be on the lookout for, as the Mainichi Shimbun reported it, "bears on the run." They were criminals.
Thriller the Tiger’s Death Provides a Perfect Opportunity to Smear Michael Jackson
Tippi Hedren, former fashion model and most famous for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, is the founder of the California-based Shambala Preserve (ROAR Foundation) that takes in ‘unwanted’ and ‘abused’ big cats in the same manner of Florida’s famed (and similarly insincere) Big Cat Rescue. Among the most famous of her re-homed felines are Thriller and Sabu, two Bengal tigers who originally belonged to pop icon Michael Jackson and lived at his notorious Neverland Ranch’s zoo before its closure in 2006. The rest of Jackon’s exotic animal menagerie were also placed with various sanctuaries, including giraffes, flamingos, many reptiles, and even orangutans and elephants. Recently, Thriller, Shambala’s most popular resident, has died of lung cancer
The Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, is traditionally seen as a time when evil spirits are awakened, but the Taipei City Zoo is using the opportunity to educate the public about these so-called “heinous” animals long misunderstood in traditional Chinese culture.
Snakes, scorpions, centipedes, toads and geckos — also known as the “five poisons” — were believed to be evil in ancient Chinese culture and thought to rule over unfortunate human beings during the festival.
However, the zoo hopes to debunk the myth by holding an exhibition featuring the not-so-adorable creatures, which runs through July 15 to raise awareness and to protect the animals.
Zoo spokesman Chao Ming-chieh (???) said that this myth stems from the fact that people back then were more prone to diseases and pestilence during the fifth lunar month, but not through any fault of the animals. Illnesses were more prevalent during this month because of the summer heat and humidity caused by the frequent rains at that time of the year.
The lack of refrigerators, advanced medical care and adequate sanitation facilities in those days also fueled the spread of diseases, for instance through unclean food and rotting garbage, he said.
“These creatures are often wrongly seen as a threat to human beings because of their appearances or habits, but the truth is we don’t have sufficient knowledge about them,” he said.
To familiarize people with the creatures, Chao said nearly 80 species that fit into the venemous category are on display at the zoo’s Amphibian and Reptile House.
Chao said the exhibition features animals such as the brown-spotted pit vipers, emperor scorpions, Asian common toads, Chinese red-headed centipedes and Mexican red-knee tarantulas.
However, when organizing the exhibit, the zoo staff encountered a challenge because — despite the myth — geckos are not venemous, Chao said.
“After some thought, we decided to use spiders as a substitute for the geckos,” he
The Decin zoo keepers have successfully applied Coca Cola to save the life of a young Laughing Kookaburra, a rare exotic bird that suffered from serious digestive troubles and faced imminent death, the zoo said in a press release Thursday.
The Laughing Kookaburra, a species originating in Australia and very difficult to breed, hatched recently and the keepers, rejoicing at the arrival, put it in an incubator.
It fared very well for the first days. Afterwards problems emerged, however, the zoo expert Roman Rehak said.
The young bird suffered from digestive problems and was unable to accept food properly. That is why the keepers started to administer Coca Cola to it.
"It is a well-proved method. It is also known by a number of mums who give this drink to their kids if their bellies hurt," said Rehak, adding
It is predicted that there are now only 200 orang utan left at Rawa Tripa areas. In 1990, almost 2,000 orang utan were registered.
This was stated by Conservation Director of SOCP, Dr Ian Singleton, in his press release Monday, June 18, 2012. The Rawa Tripa areas in the Nagan Raya Regency and in West Aceh have a size of 61,03 hectares. According to Ian Singleton, the decreasing number of orang utan population in the said areas is caused by the ongoing forest conversion into palm oil plantations. "To think that Tripa used to be a territory with the highest numbers of orang utan population in the world," he said.
On June 16, Singleton's side saved a male orang utan baby from the people who tried to sell the baby to a member of the investigating team. "This rescue constitutes a great
Technically they are not an import, but a loan from the generous Laotian government, who have agreed to send across six elephants to Japan. The animals will make the Tohoku Safari Park in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture; Iwate Safari Park in Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture; and World Monkey Park in Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture, their new homes. The loan is for a short span of three years and the animals are expected to arrive in July.
There has been an animal kingdom imbalance in the Tohoku region, ever since the Great East Japan Earthquake. To compensate the loss, officials from the company that operates the safari park decided to request the Laotian government to loan them some elephants. The population of wild and domestic elephants in Laos is somewhere between 800 and 1,300 and a number of them are used for moving large items.
The Japanese government have consented to the proposal and pushed it forward with the Laotian Prime
When a giant panda gets pregnant, it’s news. Especially in Japan, a country that has waited decades for a baby panda to be born. But the good news that Shin Shin, a giant panda at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo on loan from China, appears to be with child, has quickly been turned into bad news by Tokyo’s outspoken governor.
Gov. Shintaro Ishihara suggested Shin Shin’s potential newborn be named Sen Sen or Kaku Kaku, a word play on the disputed islands known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China. Mr. Ishihara, laughing, proposed the names at the end of a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday in response to a question asking his thoughts on Shin Shin’s possible pregnancy. “This will give China control [of the Senkakus] when the baby pandas return to China,” he said.
Beijing fired back on Friday. ”Ishihara’s scheme to undermine China-Japan relations is a clumsy performance. It will only tarnish the image of Japan and Tokyo,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a
The Toronto Zoo’s annual audited financial statement shows the city subsidizes the attraction by $12 million a year, further evidence as to why penny-pinching Mayor Rob Ford wants to unload it and have a private interest running things.
Following a consultant’s report suggesting various budget cuts last year, Toronto City Council voted to gauge interest from outside parties in buying, leasing, or operating the zoo — or some other type of arrangement.
A city official says paperwork to that effect will probably be issued within a few weeks.
However, a poll last year of 1,046 Torontonians conducted by Forum Research shows the general public isn’t champing at the bit for a sell-off. The poll found 73 per cent opposed to closing or selling the Toronto Zoo.
Joe Torzsok, chair of the zoo’s board of management, says the city’s subsidy is much lower than it used to be.
“The zoo is getting better over time. In 1980, taxpayers were picking up 63 per cent of cost of the zoo. Today the subsidy is only about 25 per cent,’’ he said Monday.
And with a 57 per cent increase in attendance in the first four months of this year compared with the same time last year, or 92,423 more visitors — a jump attributed in large part to the warm winter — there’ll be less reliance on the city’s
Between 2008 and 2010, at least 38 rhinos were exported from North West Province in South Africa to China.
According to a document published by South Africa’s Parliamentary Monitoring Group, permit records obtained from O.R. Tambo International Airport revealed importer addresses.
26 of the rhinos were sent to “NQ1 Siulong Artery, Hangfu (or ‘Hanfu’) Road, Hangzhou, Zhejaing Province”; four to “No. 59, Hutouji Road, Fuzhou, Fujian Province”; two to “No Zero Xin Gongyuan Rd., Nanchang”; two to Luoyang Wangcheng Park, No. 312, Zhongzhou Middle Road Xigong District, Luioyang City Henan Province; and four to “Tianci Xu, Sanya Longhui Breeding Co, Ltd. Tailing Village Tianya, Sanya (City), Hainan Province”.
North West exporter names were not provided.
Rhinos exported from Gauteng and Limpopo Provinces
The same document stated that four rhinos were sent from Gauteng Province to Changsha Zoo in China by an exporter named as Jimmy Magill in 2010.
As we wrote earlier, at least 30 rhinos
Altogether 63 elephants died in West Bengal either naturally or by accident in a span of two years, while 139 people were killed in elephant attacks during the same period, state forest minister Hiten Burman said here today.
Giving details on the elephant reserve in the state, Burman said that there was a stock of 652 elephants comprising 529 in North Bengal and the rest 123 in South Bengal.
Out of the 63 elephant deaths between January 2010-2012, 49 were in North Bengal and 14 in South Bengal.
Of the 49 elephant deaths in North Bengal, 27 were natural and the rest accidental, but in South Bengal of 14 deaths, seven were natural and as many accidental, he said.
Out of 139 villagers killed in elephant attacks, 88 were in North Bengal and the rest 51 in South Bengal, he said, adding that a total of 425 persons were injured in such cases.
Replying to a question, the minister earlier said in the state Assembly that the state government disbursed total compensation of about Rs 1.44 crore for the loss of human lives and injuries in elephant attacks.
While Rs one lakh was given in cases of death of a person, Rs 50,000 to each of those rendered immobile, he said.
Regarding damage by elephants, the minister
Zoos have played an interesting and sometimes controversial role in human history. At their best, zoos are a stronghold of conservation and preservation dedicated to biodiversity, education, and research. At their worst, zoos make a spectacle of wild animals by keeping them in unnatural, enclosed habitats with inadequate amounts of space and mistreating them.
The first record of zoos existing is from around 1250 B.C.E. in ancient Egypt. Birds, lions, and giraffes were captured and exhibited by the Egyptians for what is speculated to be entertainment purposes. But the modern zoo has come to represent an entirely new field of work: conservationism. Since 5,624 plus species of vertebrates are currently threatened with extinction, the zoo has come to play the role of protector. Zoos have taken on the task after growing speculation and skepticism about keeping wild animals in captivity. Presently the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) estimates there are about 10,000 zoos worldwide.
Zoos have become more than just spectacle and recreation. Zoos work for conservation and preservation on local, national, and international levels. Zoos have gone far beyond the simple goal of merely keeping animals in captivity alive. Now zoos are proactive in their efforts and attempt not only to conserve species and maintain biodiversity, but also reintroduce endangered species back into the wild and make efforts to restore their habitats.
Scientists tracking the dispersal of hatchling loggerhead turtles have resorted to the nail salon to help fit tiny tags to the endangered creatures.
The Florida team tried several ideas to attach the technology to the animals, which measure less than 20cm in length.
This included making little harnesses, and using tough epoxy adhesives.
But it was only when the turtle shells were prepared like a manicurist primes fingernails that the satellite tags would stay on for a useful period.
"My collaborator typically has very fancy toenails that are nicely manicured with painted waves and other designs on them," recalls Kate Mansfield, a US National Marine Fisheries Service scientist in Miami.
"We gave her manicurist a call and her manicurist recommended we use an acrylic base coat. We went out to our local pharmacy and picked some up and tried it on the turtles. We prepped the shell, sanded it down a little
It's time for a trip to the beach. I can't stay away any longer. So I meet Tom Dyer at my favorite spot in the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas: the bench in front of the penguin exhibit.
"This is probably the most popular bench in the Aquarium," he says.
There's only one problem with it. People keep standing in front of us, laughing and holding up phones to take pictures and videos of the penguins.
There are 29 of them hanging out at the beach and swimming in the 4,000-gallon saltwater sea -- 26 black-footed African penguins and three Chilean rockhoppers. Both species are tropical and are happy to be living in hot, humid Louisiana. The Africans are native to the southernmost tip of Africa, where temperatures can climb to 100 degrees. Some of these birds are just visiting New Orleans, though.
"We're foster-parenting four young males that are going to Ripley's in Myrtle Beach (S.C.)," Dyer says.
We watch them, and I can't stop smiling.
I have loved these goofy little guys since I first visited them in 1991, a few months after the Aquarium opened. If they were in the circus, they'd be the clowns, tumbling one after the other out of a tiny car driven by Dyer. His title is "senior aviculturist," but he's really the ringleader of the penguins.
"Look at Dennis," he says. "I don't know how many times I've told him he can't fly."
Dennis is one of the rockhoppers that were added to the exhibit in 1996. They're easy to spot because of their reddish beaks and the spiky yellow feathers sticking out from their heads that make them look like pint-sized punk rockers.
Stunned visitors to Los Angeles Zoo witnessed the brutal death of a three month-old infant chimpanzee at the hands of an adult male on Tuesday.
The male chimpanzee is said to have snatched the female infant out of the hands of its mother at around 3.30 p.m. and swung its body violently around until the chimp was fatally injured.
While zoo workers could not intervene during the attack out of concerns for their own safety, they did eventually take the dead infant to a separate area in the chimp enclosure with its mother Gracie and grandmother so that they could both see it had died.
'Gracie is being allowed to keep the infant overnight to allow her the opportunity to grieve,' said LA Zoo spokesman Jason Jacobs.
Sometimes, zoo animals behave unnaturally. Most animals on display at zoos are not really designed for captive living. If you’ve been to a zoo, no doubt you’ve noticed evidence of this: a tiger who paces back and forth, or a monkey that does nothing but circle the enclosure. Life in captivity can even result in various forms of self-harm: a bird that plucks out its feathers, or a horse that bites at her own body, occasionally drawing blood.
Sometimes, zoo animals behave naturally. They mate. Or refuse to mate. They groom eachother. They get sick. They get better. They care for their young. They sleep – a lot.
It must have been extremely unsettling for a handful of zoogoers to watch a male chimpanzee kill a three month old infant female chimpanzee at the LA Zoo on Tuesday. She was the first chimpanzee to be born at the LA Zoo in thirteen years and was therefore, in a sense, symbolic. It’s a serious setback for conservation efforts, since there are fewer than 300,000 chimpanzees living in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The chimpanzee colony at the LA Zoo, now numbering fifteen members, is one of the largest in the country, and is considered a model for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan Program.
It is sad whenever an animal at a zoo dies, especially at so young an age. I am certain that members of the LA Zoo’s staff – especially those on the Great Ape Team who worked directly with the unnamed infant – will be grieving along with Gracie, the mother.
In a statement, the zoo expressed its surprise and regret:
Chimpanzee behavior can sometimes be aggressive and violent and the Zoo is sorry that visitors had to be exposed to this. Gracie is being allowed to keep the infant overnight to allow her the opportunity to grieve. This is a heartbreaking and tragic loss for the Zoo and especially for the Great Ape Team who have worked diligently to care for the infant and its
A US man cut open his family's pet piranha after it bit off his toddler's fingertip, according to reports.
The mother initially blamed the family's pit bull after finding the 18-month-old girl crying and bleeding on June 19, police said.
But the father suspected otherwise and turned his attention to the fish in the tank near where the child had been playing, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
After finding the fingertip he took it and the child to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.
A hospital spokeswoman
With 3-4 million domestic animals dying each year in shelters, what is it that lures someone to buy a tiger instead of a housecat? Is it the danger, is it the fame and ego gratification, is it the profit motive, or is it something we don't expect?
Looking at four tiger-owning men in the news, there seems to be a common thread.
Terry Thompson is the tiger owner everyone's heard of lately. Last year, he committed suicide by shooting himself, but not before setting loose over 50 of his caged exotic animals. Few will forget the carnage as authorities shot the tigers, lions, leopards, bears, and others frightfully fleeing through the fields on a rainy night in Zanesville, Ohio.
Thompson had long bragged that breeding tigers was his passion, that’s why he owned them. But he had other passions. Months before the massacre, he’d been released from a year-long stint in prison. The Vietnam vet's illegal arsenal of 133 firearms had been seized by federal agents – ranging from automatic weapons to sawed-off shotguns to a
sniper rifle. The IRS was after him for over $55,000 in taxes and penalties and court judgments for unpaid debts were mounting.
PETA demands Duluth zoo be prosecuted for animals' flood deaths
Honda Solar Panels Power Penguin Habitat - Web ExclusiveThe 11kW system will provide a reliable supply of clean energy that should reduce the Aquarium's reliance on conventional electricity
Rescued Namibian baby elephants move to Mexico
Nine baby elephants have arrived in a Mexican Safari park after their parents were killed by ivory hunters in Namibia.
Africam Safari in the Mexican state of Puebla, beat competition from other animal parks around the world to keep the mammals thanks to its prized conservation and education programmes.
But moving such "valuable cargo" from Africa
A zoo in eastern Shanghai successfully hatched its first artificially incubated crested ibis on Friday.
At around 5am Friday morning, staff at Shanghai Wild Animal Park noticed pecking from inside one of their incubated eggs. A few hours later, a baby ibis poked a hole through the shell.
But there was a problem.
[Yu Jinhua, Head, Shanghai Wild Animal Park]:
"The baby ibis's situation is similar to a human baby who is in an abnormal position in the womb. He is stuck because of his abnormal position."
Park breeders decided to intervene.
They used a regular cotton swab and their bear hands to help the ibis break through the shell.
Five hours later, the 37-gram newborn ibis was
A zoo official in southwestern Poland says seven endangered monkeys have been stolen from their cage for possible sale on the black market.
The Emperor tamarin monkeys, a family of two adults and five of their offspring, were reported missing early Sunday from the Opole Zoo when employees found someone had broken into their enclosure.
The head of the breeding section at the zoo, Krzysztof Kazanowski, said Monday the monkeys ranged in age from under a year to 10 years old. Kazanowski said they were probably stolen for someone who wants to own rare and endangered
The WWF is the most powerful environmental organization in the world and campaigns internationally on issues such as saving tigers and rain forests. But a closer look at its work leads to a sobering conclusion: Many of its activities benefit industry more than the environment or endangered species.
Want to protect the rainforest? All it takes is €5 ($6.30) to get started. Save the gorillas? Three euros and you're in. You can even do your part for nature with only 50 cents -- as long as you entrust it to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which is still known by its original name of the World Wildlife Fund in the United States and Canada.
Last year, the WWF, together with German retail group Rewe, sold almost 2 million collectors' albums. In only six weeks, the program raised €875,088 ($1.1 million), which Rewe turned over to the WWF.
The WWF has promised to do a lot of good things with the money, like spending it on forests, gorillas, water, the climate -- and, of course, the animal the environmental protection group uses as its emblem, the giant panda.
It's not part of the regular treatment but in a pinch, alternative medicine in the form of homeopathy, ayurveda or herbal concoctions, does the trick. And the doctors responsible for animals at the National Zoological Park, Delhi, find, that they sometimes work when allopathy doesn't.
"We started using them seven-eight years ago," says Delhi zoo veterinary officer Paneer Selvam. "We get them wheneve necessity arises." The zoo's standard line of treatment is allopathy but whenever a particularly difficult case comes up, Selvam consults practitioners of alternative medicine. 'About two years ago, one of the Asiatic lions had hind-quarter paralysis. Another one developed the condition some time back.
In both cases we first tried with allopathic treatment but when that didn't work we used homeopathic treatment," says Selvam, "In my experience, we have got good results." A Himalayan black bear that was afflicted with the same condition a year ago and was cured by homeopathy. "Many of the zoo vets prefer to try alternative medicine now," says Selvam.
One of the first time he tried it was some years ago with an old white tiger with a stone in the urinary bladder. Surgery was too much of a risk for the aged tiger and homeopathy was used instead. But the black herbal concoction, a potent medicine for wounds, Selvam's been using for a decade. "It is a very good ointment for maggot wounds," he says.
The zoo doesn't stock homeopathy or ayurvedic medicines. The vet says that homeopathic courses typically last for about three
More than 2,000 creatures small and large at the Dallas Zoo will soon have a new facility to help them stay healthy and eat right.
The Dallas Zoo on June 13 will open its $1.4 million William M. Beecherl Animal Nutrition Center. Zoo officials on Monday said a grant from the Eugene McDermott Foundation also contributed to the 7,900 square foot complex.
Authorities say the center is expected to help increase food production and save money through more efficient processes, such as
South African schoolgirl has had to have part of her little finger amputated after she was bitten by a tiger at an animal reserve.
Karla Malan was visiting Predator's Rock Bush Lodge in Rustenburg, to the north of the country, with her family when she lost part of her finger while stroking the big cat.
Her father said they had been assured that the tigers were tame and could be stroked through the fence. Indeed a tour guide proceeded to do that moments before the tiger turned on her and grabbed her
If zoo animals stay free of disease outbreaks, other animals and people stay healthier as well.
That was an idea behind a daylong infectious disease outbreak response exercise Wednesday at the Illinois Farm Bureau headquarters.
Called Flu at the Zoo, the exercise was attended by 85 zoo superintendents, veterinarians and state and federal regulators from 10 states.
“A zoo is a unique place,” Yvette Johnson-Walker, clinical epidemiologist with the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, said during a break in the exercise.
Zoos bring together animals from throughout the world, native wildlife that pass through the zoos, and people who work and volunteer there as well as visitors, Johnson-Walker said.
That creates a concern about spreading disease among people and animals, including livestock and pets. Zoos are in position to detect disease quickly because animals in zoo collections are cared for carefully by veterinarians, observed Jay Tetzloff, superintendent
Pharmacy helps sick pets, exotic critters get better
What happens after a hippopotamus swallows an opened umbrella?
Michael Blaire, co-owner and pharmacist in charge at Diamondback Drugs in Scottsdale, knows.
The registered pharmacist specializes in veterinary medications. He received a call from a New Jersey aquarium after a hippo swallowed a visitor's umbrella that fell into the tank. The release button had been triggered, resulting in the parasol opening inside its host.
Cape Town’s Tygerberg Zoo has just had one of its busiest weekends in months.
After news of its imminent closure broke in the press last week, visitors streamed through the gates.
Some came for a nostalgic last glimpse of Tigger the tiger, while others had simply never known that there was a zoo in Cape Town. But as suddenly as they appeared, the visitors abandoned the zoo again. By mid-week there was not a soul in sight.
On a visit to the zoo yesterday, the Cape Argus found owner Lorraine Spence driving her four-wheeler across a vacant lot between enclosures. “Do you see now why it has come to this?”
Spence is saddened, but not surprised, at the failure of the zoo.
She predicted this day more than 10 years ago. The decline in popularity is a trend that can be observed at virtually every zoo in SA, she said.
Today, the zoo’s income amounts to less than half of its basic running costs. The 25-hectare facility has now been sold for an undisclosed sum.
“It’s very sad. This zoo was John’s dream, it was his life’s work,” she says.
The late John Spence, Lorraine’s husband and the founder of the zoo, was four years old when he told his mother he would build a zoo. Spence recalls how her husband’s obsession eclipsed the newly-wed couple’s honeymoon. “In 18 days we saw 19 zoos in England, Wales and Scotland.”
But soon the zoo became the centre of her life as well. In the last three decades, Spence has personally “adopted” seven orphaned or otherwise neglected baby chimpanzees. They slept in her bed at night.
Today, 11-year-old Emma, one of Spence’s former chimp babies, sits next to the fence of her enclosure. Rubbing her hand and speaking to her softly through
Wildlife experts and conservationists from China, South Africa, the United States and the United Kingdom, including representatives from Humane Society International/UK, gathered in Beijing today to call for urgent action from China to help save the world’s rhinos from poaching. Hundreds of rhinos are poached for their horns every year largely to supply the Asian traditional medicine market.
The Rhinos In Crisis conference, organized by Beijing’s Capital Animal Welfare Association with the support of Humane Society International, is one of the largest gatherings of international rhino conservationists ever held within China. Their message to China: Rhinos are being poached out of existence, and Chinese consumers’ demand for rhino horn must end.
“Rhino poaching has reached a crisis point with animals being brutally slaughtered in huge numbers to supply horn for the Asian medicine trade. It’s vital that China takes urgent action to eradicate consumer and business demand for horn which has no scientifically established medicinal benefit whatsoever,” said Mark Jones, executive director of HSI/UK. “China is a crucial partner in the global battle to save this endangered and iconic animal from extinction. If it doesn’t act now, this species is unlikely to survive the crisis. That would be tragedy for the whole world.”
Rhino poaching has skyrocketed in recent years. In 2007 there was a global average of 12 poaching incidents reported annually. By 2011 in South
The world's oldest animal marriage looks set to have turtley ended after an incredible 115 years when the two Giant Turtles at an Austrian zoo refused to share their cage anymore.
Zoo management have called in animal experts to try and give the pair counselling - feeding them romantic good mood food and trying to get them to join in joint games - but so far without effect.
Zoo boss Helga Happ said: "We get the feeling they can't stand the sight of each other anymore."
Bibi and Poldi have been a pair since before anyone alive today can remember - they have been together at the Austrian zoo in Klagenfurt for 36 years and before that they lived at Basel zoo in Switzerland.
Happ added: "They are both 115 years old - they have been together since they were young and grew up together, eventually becoming a pair.
"But for no reason that anyone can discover they seem to have fallen out, they just can't stand each other."
Zoo staff realised the pair had fallen out after Bibi attacked her partner - biting off a chunk of his shell - and then carrying out several further attacks until he was moved to another enclosure.
Although they have no teeth Giant Turtles have a horn rimmed mouth and powerful jaws that are a potent weapon when they want to cause damage. Each of the 100 kilo animals has the ability
A cleaner is in hospital after being attacked by a giant otter that escaped from its zoo enclosure in Hamburg. Two men who tried to pull the nearly-six-foot-long animal off her were also bitten.
The bloody ambush took place in Hamburg's Hagenbeck zoo early last Saturday morning. A cleaner was busy scrubbing benches when she heard a rustling in the bushes next to her, the regional paper Express reported. Unconcerned, she continued until the 1.80 metre-long otter poked its head out of the foliage.
On seeing the animal, the unnamed 56-year-old screamed and tried to run away but fell over - only to be pounced upon by the otter. It bit her arms and legs so severely that she has been hospitalised.
A nearby zoo keeper and an assistant heard her screams and came running, only to be leapt on by the otter as well. They wrestled it to the ground and bound it up, enduring several bites in the process. The zoo keeper is also in hospital with minor injuries.
One of the cleaning lady's arms is so badly injured that she may never regain full use of it, the paper said.
As well as being monitored for possible blood poisoning, she was put into an artificial coma several times
A police investigation is underway after the severed heads of two seals were found nailed to the entrance signs of a wildlife sanctuary.
The gruesome discovery was made this morning at the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary in Co Kerry. The heads of a common seal and a grey seal had been mounted on plywood plaques, with R.I.P. CULL and R.I.P I AM HUNGRY painted in red.
Spokesman Ally McMillan said: “We are all very shocked and upset, as Dingle Wildlife & Seal Sanctuary is a public service for people who call in sick and orphaned wildlife, including mainly seal pups.
“Our volunteer run organization is dedicated to rehabilitating and releasing Ireland's wildlife to preserve the natural beauty of the
The Liberec zoo is the first in the world to have artificially raised a lesser spotted eagle, a protected bird of prey, after in artificial fertilisation, the zoo spokesman Ivan Langr told CTK Thursday.
The lesser spotted eagle is very difficult to breed in captivity. The only zoo to manage it was the Riga zoo 11 years ago. Nevertheless, Liberec is the first zoo to accomplish the task through artificial fertilisation.
The young eagle, that hatched in an incubator on June 2, will now be placed with "step-parents," Langr said.
The lesser spotted eagle, with the wingspan of up to 160 cm, inhabits mainly central and southeast Europe. In the Czech Republic it occurs mainly in the Sumava mountains along the southwestern border.
The Liberec zoo has made attempts at the bird's artificial fertilisation since 2007, as their natural breeding showed impossible.
"We have fertilised 40 eggs since. It was only the 40th from which we managed to breed [offspring]," zoo specialist Jan Hanel said.
The young will now be placed with two female lesser spotted eagles that share a nest and are experienced stepmothers of other bird-of-prey offspring.
Hanel said the most important and most demanding task was to take some sperm from the male. To achieve it, Hanel spent his every free minute
In Monterey's world-famous aquarium, the star attractions are jellyfish. They float silently in tanks flooded in blue light, in varieties you never imagined existed. They're spectacular.
In Atlanta's aquarium, it's the Whale Sharks. You never expected to see these enormous creatures outside a TV documentary. Yet here they are, for real. And they're amazing.
The two aquariums -- the legendary Monterey Bay Aquarium and the newish Georgia Aquarium, which is said to be the largest in the U.S. -- are noteworthy destinations in their own right. You can't visit either city without at least considering a stop at their aquariums.
We were lucky to see both within a week of each other on a recent road trip across America. But what if we could have chosen just one aquarium to visit? Which one would we have picked?
When it comes to authenticity, neither facility offers an obvious edge; both are manufactured experiences one degree or another. Monterey's Cannery Row, the backdrop of two John Steinbeck novels, is as touristy as it gets in Northern California. There's a Bubba Gump and a Johnny Rocket's and chain hotel of every persuasion. The Atlanta aquarium is also a tourist trap in its own
The veterinarian at the "Tiger Temple" - Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, in Kanchanaburi's Sai Yok district -said yesterday that the death of a tiger on May 26 resulted from a freak accident, but the temple treated its tigers well and cooperated with Thai authorities. The mysterious death of the tiger had led to fears animals at the temple were being mistreated.
Veterinarian Somchai Wisetmongkolchai said temple staff hung a tyre on a chain for tigers to play with, but next morning found the one-year-old female tiger dead with the chain around its neck. It had sustained serious neck wounds as it apparently tried to chew the chain off its neck.
Somchai checked and photographed the wounds, alerted the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department and submitted a report on the tiger's death to the Conservation Area 3 Office (Ban Pong). Authorities came to inspect the death as per normal procedure, he said.
Insisting the tigers were well taken care of and that each tiger had a microchip implanted and registered with the department, he said a Mahidol University (Sai Yok) vet checked on the tigers on a regular basis. He had suggested the department stuff the tiger carcass for educational purposes, rather than burn it, he said.
Conservation Area 3 Office (Ban Pong) director
You could of course visit one of the many tiger zoos, or the tiger temple in Kanchanaburi, where monks have trained the animals to lay still while tourists pose for photos with them.
The problem is that there are multiple reports of alleged animal mistreatment and trafficking connected to some of these places.
If the idea of docile caged tigers forced to pose for photos all day doesn't bother you, perhaps that many zoos are suspected of selling tiger meat out the back door to be butchered for the exotic wildlife trade will.
Spending your money at one of these places will only perpetuate these problems.
So what about seeing them in their natural habitat?
In 2010, Thailand came up with a plan to promote tiger eco-tourism. Natural Resources and Environment minister at that time, Suwit Khunkitti, estimated there were only 200-250 of the big cats left in Thailand.
But despite the government's 2010 initiative, there aren't any tiger tourism programs like those in India. Even worse, it would seem the government has taken two steps back.
Proposed dam to wipe out tiger habitat
In addition to long-standing problems like poaching and deforestation, another threat has emerged for these majestic beasts. The Thai government recently approved construction of a massive dam within Mae Wong National Park in western Thailand, an important tiger habitat.
The dam will flood 18 square kilometers of the park -- protected since 1961 under the National Park Act -- wiping out prime areas where tigers have made fragile gains, while allowing poachers easier access by boat.
It will also endanger the Huay Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary to the south, “internationally recognized as one of the very few places on Earth that can protect functioning populations of wild tigers,” said Anak Pattanavibool, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society Thailand Program, in an op-ed in the Bangkok Post.
Meanwhile, there were reports last year of a surprising resurgence of tigers in Thailand's Eastern Forest Complex near the border with Cambodia.
One of the great pleasures of learning bird songs comes in the drowsy predawn twilight. Through the window comes the voice of the first bold male offering up his species’ diagnostic song. From my bed in a friend’s cabin 30 miles north of Hilo this morning, the first sound to break the silence is the emphatic, repeated “whit-cheer!” of the northern cardinal, a bird I grew up hearing in southern Michigan. Next comes the soft cooing of Asian spotted and zebra doves, followed by the occasional harsh notes of the common myna, an import from India. Finally, I hear the slurred warbles of the Japanese white-eye. Later, with a cup of coffee, looking out over the pasture and woodlots spreading down to the sea, I hear and see a rich and complex ecosystem, almost none of which belongs here.
It is quite conceivable that a casual visitor to Hawaii could spend a pleasant holiday of a week or two and not see a single native Hawaiian species. Nearly all native lowland ecosystems in Hawaii have been replaced by nonnative species, including nearly all plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects. Human residents and tourists concentrate themselves in these areas near the ocean, so it is even possible to grow up in many parts of Hawaii thinking that mynas, doves, papaya, eucalyptus, geckos and even mosquitoes have always been here.
To see, hear and smell native Hawaiian forests, you need to get away from the beaches and go up in elevation where most of the exotic birds disappear. Our research in these kipuka forests is aimed at understanding how kipuka size and introduced rats influence kipuka food webs and the native birds. But if the birds in these kipuka are imperiled, some listed and others being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act, Hawaii is also home to a few bird species even
JET-SETTING Alsager zoologist Richard Champion is helping to protect a variety of endangered species in Africa.
Richard is currently in the Ivory Coast working with critically endangered slender snout crocodiles as well as birds and monkeys.
He is working with ‘The Association du Calao ASBL’ to set up a captive breeding programme, at Abidjan Zoo, which has the largest captive population of these rare crocodiles in the world.
The team is also looking to reintroduce some of the existing animals at the zoo back into
The Javanese tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica) may have been declared to extinct by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 1994, but recently clues discovered by a researcher are believed to be evidence of the tiger’s existence, especially in the forests of Central Java’s Muria mountain range.
Covering an area of nearly 70,000 hectares, the mountain range encompasses the three neighboring regencies of Jepara, Kudus and Pati.
“I believe the animals are still alive in the mountain range,” Javanese tiger researcher Didik Raharyono, 42, told The Jakarta Post, recently.
A biologist at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Didik said that his belief was based on his 14 years of research and efforts to look for evidence of the Javanese tiger in the area.
The latest evidence, he said, was a 5x6 centimeter piece of skin he believed to have come from a Javanese tiger.
He said he had obtained the piece from Muali, a staffer at the Pati Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA).
Muali, who is also the head of the Clereng Natural Preserve Resort, said he got the skin from a trader of antique goods at a traditional market in Kudus. The trader bought the skin from a hunter who was said to have killed the animal in the Muria mountain range’s Rahtawu subdistrict in 2008.
Yet, he said, further examination was needed to make sure the skin was really that of a Javanese tiger and not of a Sumatran tiger, which had had similar stripes.
“That is why I handed over the skin to
GRANT funding has enabled an east coast tourist attraction to invest in a £500,000 new development.
The Parrot Zoo at Friskney has now opened its new Visitor Management Centre under phase one of the project which includes a new education centre, cafe and shop and undercover seating area.
The sanctuary, the largest of its kind in the world, was founded in 1994 and opened to the general public in 2003. It now houses just under 2,000 parrots as well as a growing array of other exotic animals such as lemurs, meerkats, coatimundis, giant tortoises and many more.
Owner Steve Nichols said the work would take the zoo into the next league of visitor destinations helping to make the centre a premium attraction.
Mr Nichols said: "We've been a victim of our own success. People seem to love what we're doing so we're expanding to accommodate them.
"This is phase one of four for 2012/13, all of which are intended to offer both visitors and the resident animals an excellent experience and include an animal study centre working with the University of Lincoln."
It is hoped a planned study of parrot behaviour with animal experts from the university will help the sanctuary, a registered charity, establish itself as an international research centre in the future.
The next phases of the development include a large walk through enclosures so visitors can get closer to some of the more placid animals.
Mr Nicholls added: "It's a massive expense and a huge investment but it will all be worth it in the end, we have many supporters from around the country who all visit us on a regular basis. They deserve nothing
Denver Zoo curator Dale Leeds is not allowed to have a favorite animal species. But it's elephants.
Leeds, charged with populating the zoo's new $50 million Asian exhibit, Toyota Elephant Passage, can't help himself.
"I feel honored to be in their presence," he said. "I could sit like a guest on a bench for hours watching them."
And with the recent opening of the 10-acre exhibit -- a decade in the making and described as "a whole other continent" -- the world's animal caretakers will be focused on Denver.
Kids will be checking out the animals. Other zoos will be tracking innovations, in animal care and on-site energy generation.
"Everybody is looking at us," said vice president of animal collections
Two Amur leopards, among the most endangered animals in the world, were born at the Minnesota Zoo on Tuesday. Zoo officials said the breeding efforts are a key part of the growing effort to save the Amur leopard from extinction.
The cats once roamed across northeastern China and the Korean Peninsula, but logging, forest fires, and farming destroyed 80 percent of its habitat in the 1970s and early 1980s. There are now fewer than 40 Amur leopards living in the wild. About 300 Amur leopards live in zoos around the world, including 90 leopards in U.S. zoos.
Despite the bleak numbers, conservationists are hoping to save the species from extinction.
Sybille Klenzendorf, managing director of the World Wildlife Fund's Species Conservation Program, said the Russian government's decision to create a national park devoted to the rare species is a promising first step.
Conservationists also hope to release captive-born Amur leopards into their natural habitat along the Russia-China border within the next several years.
Klenzendorf spoke with MPR News reporter Madeleine Baran about the effort to save the rare cat from extinction. An edited transcript of that conversation is below.
Madeleine Baran: How endangered is this leopard? What I've read is that less than 40 are believed to exist in the wild at this point.
Sybille Klenzendorf: That's correct. The Amur leopard is the rarest large cat in the world. There's only about 25 to 40 left in the wild. Those cats are in what we call the Russian Far East. It's in the furthest part of Russia that you can go, next to Korea and China. And the reason why it's so rare is it has experienced some enormous hunting pressure for its fur and has declined rapidly.
And also, what they eat, deer and wild pig, have been heavily hunted in that region, too. And the lower (the population) got, the more vulnerable it is now to forest fires that are set every year for clearing for agriculture, and that spills over into their forests. So it's at a stage where there are few individuals left, and the pressures around them are enormous.
Hong Kong’s Ocean Park has used the latest innovations in sustainable building processes, in order to minimise the carbon footprint of its new, soon-to-open, Polar Adventure themed attraction. The company worked with local architectural firm Leigh and Orange, which has an international reputation, as well as award-winning green project credentials.
Polar Adventure has been designed to ensure that the eco-friendly installation is also optimised for the well-being of its polar animal ambassadors. Every aspect of the attraction’s design has been conceived with an eco-friendly approach in mind and this includes the world’s first ventilation system that “recycles residual cool air to cool down the Life Support System (LSS) and plant room area before being discharged.”
Polar Adventure is the final phase of Ocean Park’s HK$5.5 billion investment in the company’s Master Redevelopment Plan (MRP); attractions include a conservation and education platform which features a variety of animals such as penguins, walruses
Japan's escaped penguin recaptured after 82 days on the run
Japan's fugitive penguin 'living quite happily' in Tokyo Bay
Goa's lone zoo tucked in Bondla wildlife sanctuary will soon have birds on display in two aviaries, designed for wetland and terrestrial birds.
Deputy Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) D N F Carvalho said the aviaries are planned as a part of the zoo's infrastructure upgradation, which is prominently funded by Union government's Central Zoo Authority (CZA).
This would be for the first time that this facility would be displaying birds, since its inception in 1969.
Bondla Zoo, situated 60 kms away from Panaji, has been housing only wild animals and reptiles, with no separate enclosure for birds, except Peacock.
The zoo is tucked inside Bondla wildlife sanctuary, one of the smallest sanctuaries in the state.
Carvalho said the wetland and terrestrial birds would be kept in two separate sophisticated aviaries in the zoo, creating a near natural living condition for them.
The state forest department will be studying a model of aviaries from other zoos in the country, which could be emulated here.
The exhibits here would be of the same climatic condition, he said, adding that the migratory birds would not be displayed in the aviary.
The wetland bird will have aviary with the water body inside while terrestrial bird will be in the aviary replicating
ANY teenage boy will confirm that older boys make it impossible to get the girls. Young male orang-utans with the same problem have a unique and unexpected solution: they don't grow up until they are strong enough to challenge the dominant males.
Male orang-utans can reproduce from around age 15, but in order to attract a mate they also have to develop secondary sexual characteristics - the equivalent of men growing chest hair. These include conspicuous cheek flanges. Yet Sumatran orang-utans often delay acquiring flanges, sometimes for over 10 years. No other primates do this, not even Bornean orang-utans.
Gauri Pradhan of the University of South Florida in Tampa and colleagues noted another difference between the species: unlike Bornean males, Sumatran males can monopolise females for weeks at a time. Pradhan built mathematical models of orang-utan populations from decades of field data, and varied the extent to which males could monopolise females. She found that males that could delay maturation did better when
Zoos. The places where you can see wild animals. The kind of place you might enjoy, but do you know what’s happening behind the bars or fences? There is a whole life of cruelty hidden with little space, no care and “money—makers.”
Yes, it’s true—zoos don’t provide animals with enough place to live. The animals will get zoochosis as a result. Zoochosis is a term which is used to refer to a range of psychological problems associated with animals kept in captivity. Also, after conducting a study, the Born Free Foundation found that animals spend most of their time showing symptoms of stress as a result of captivity. Plus, in Milwakee County Zoo, elephants are kept in pairs or even isolated. Believe it or not, the enclosures are incredibly small.
It's not a lie that animals are not cared about in most zoos. In fact, a former director of the Atlanta Zoo said he was too removed from the animals and they were the last thing he cared about. Did you know that in most zoos, only 1/15 of the money
The Humane Society of the United States is accusing an Oklahoma exotic animal park of allowing children to handle and pose for photographs with juvenile tigers in what they called "a petting zoo for carnivores."
Joe Schreibvogel, owner of the G.W. Exotic Animal Park, 65 miles (100 km) south of Oklahoma City, denies the allegations, and he said on Thursday that the humane society simply wants to bankrupt him.
Wayne Pacelle, head of the animal rights organization, contends that allowing visitors to handle the unpredictable felines placed the visitors at risk.
The Humane Society sent an undercover operative to work at the park last year to videotape what he saw, including children mingling with exotic cats that are too old to be safe playmates. The investigator witnessed or heard about six incidents in which tiger cubs bit or scratched park visitors, Pacelle
Seldom do I agree with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The letter in last Friday's Daily Camera (May 11) from PETA Representative Jennifer O'Connor was correct on two points: 1) people should not taunt animals in captivity. The video of the lioness trying to get at a baby on the other side of the glass was disgusting. 2) Children's playgrounds and other attractions do not belong in zoos.
However, as a volunteer docent at Denver Zoo, the other points the PETA rep made were totally inaccurate and very out-dated. Accredited zoos today have done much to build exhibits that provide enrichment and a positive experience for the animals they house.
Yes, there are some older exhibits that could use some updating. In time and with more money, that will happen. But never doubt that the mission of zoos today is to educate people about the animals in their care, to provide excellent physical and mental care, to research how to take care of animals left in the wild, to increase the chance the animals will have enough habitat left to live in their natural home, to work with humans in the areas where
The Minnesota Zoo's popular dolphin program will end this fall.
The facility's two remaining dolphins will not return after repairs are made to their pool, officials said.
Dolphins, which have been exhibited at the zoo since it opened in 1978, are difficult to acquire, and the zoo would need at least one more animal to ensure proper socialization for the marine mammals, Director Lee Ehmke said Monday, May 14.
"It's a difficult decision, but it doesn't seem to be possible to create the kind of social situation we would need to have," Ehmke said.
The Minnesota Zoo recently received $4 million in the state Legislature's bonding bill to repair the aging tank.
Allie and Semo will be sent to other accredited facilities sometime this fall, and repairs to the tank will take place after
Environment officials came out on Wednesday to deny accusations that whales and dolphins were being actively killed and hunted down in Indonesian waters, despite laws prohibiting the activity.
The statement was made in response to a video and photos posted online by US-based nongovernmental organization Earth Island Institute alleging they were evidence of the killing of whales and dolphins in Indonesia.
“It is not true. How could that be? I have never heard of dolphins being hunted before,” Agus Apun Budhiman, director of fish resources at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said at a press conference on Wednesday.
“Local people consider them [dolphins] as man’s best friends, so they would not go after them, let alone eat or use their meat as bait,” he added.
If ever there were any whales or dolphins captured, Agus said, it would have been accidental, not deliberate.
The video posted on the NGO’s Web site showed an interview with a local fisherman in Flores describing how dolphins are captured using home-made bombs. He said the captured
Two giraffes at a zoo in central Poland's Lodz died of stress after unidentified vandals went on a night-time rampage, the zoo's management said Monday.
The vandals broke in overnight Saturday to Sunday, destroying benches, signs and sculptures and hurling pieces of the debris at the animals.
One of the giraffes died within hours of the incident and the second was found dead Monday morning.
"The autopsy of the first giraffe, three-year-old female, found a ruptured heart valve and bruising, a sign of a severe stress reaction," the zoo's deputy director Wlodzimierz Stanislawski told AFP.
"The second, a six-year-old female, was slightly ill before the incident. The stress likely aggravated the illness and finished her off.
"Giraffes are extremely timid. Stress causes a flight response in them. They react the same way to every unusual noise," said
A DOG walker has stumbled upon the corpse of an animal experts believe may have been a puma near a Scottish beauty spot.
John Robertson, 50, was walking his two dogs along a rural path in Cullen, Moray, with his wife Pauline, on Monday when he found the remains of what appeared to be a cat the size of a large dog.
Just metres from the rotting corpse were the remains of what may have been its last meal – half a dozen mauled seagulls.
Mr Robertson, from Drybridge, Moray, said yesterday: “I was walking my two dogs on Monday morning when we came across all these dead birds scattered about everywhere.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes. I have never seen so many dead birds in one area. They were completely mauled, they had their guts totally ripped out of them lying on the ground.
“Then a little further on we came across a horrible rotting smell which was this big cat.
“It looks like it has feasted on the seagulls and maybe it has fallen down the cliff nearby, injured itself and just lay there till it died.”
But despite its 18-inch-long tail and its sharp teeth, Mr Robertson claimed the animal was
The owners of Guzoo are waiting for a necropsy to find out how two wolves died but suspect they were poisoned.
Seven wolf pups are now being bottle fed since their parents were found dead in their pens on Tuesday morning.
The private zoo near Three Hills, Alta., has been a battleground between the Gustafson family and animal rights activists for years.
The environmental movement is losing momentum and governments around the world are ignoring their responsibility for slowing climate change. Greenpeace head Kumi Naidoo, however, remains optimistic. In an interview, he explains his new vision for a sustainable world -- and how the pope can help.
Politicians and business leaders are fond of talking about the new era of the green economy. But in reality, the exploitation of nature is on the rise. The Brazilian parliament is seeking to weaken laws protecting the rain forest. At the climate conference in Durban, South Africa, no agreement could be reached on limiting CO2 emissions. And in developing economies such as China and India, dozens of new coal-fired power plants are in the works.
One government after another is ducking its responsibility when it comes to the fight against climate change. Meanwhile, environmental activists around the globe have proven unable to reverse, or even slow, the trend. Indeed, the green movement seems to have lost momentum. Now, the head of Greenpeace has begun pursuing a new strategy. Kumi Naidoo is shifting his organization's focus to the developing world. He is linking the fight against global warming with the fight against poverty and is increasing Greenpeace's cooperation with large companies.
Critics have accused Naidoo of weakening the Greenpeace brand name. SPIEGEL ONLINE caught up with Naidoo at the
An entirely new home for San Diego Zoo Safari Park's Sumatran tigers could open by 2014, thanks to the park's largest pledge ever of $9 million.
Park officials announced Friday that the planned $19.5 million Tiger Trail attraction is assured of the donation as long as an additional $2 million is raised by the end of the year.
A couple who has chosen to remain anonymous pledged to contribute $9 for every $2 in donations to finance the new attraction, designed in part to draw attention to the dwindling Sumatran tiger population. The gift, at most, would be $9 million if the park succeeds in attracting $2 million in donations.
The anonymous donors do not live in the county but for the last six years have supported projects at the zoo, Safari Park and the
Mila the elephant most likely intended to kill her keeper at Franklin Zoo, says her former owner.
Robin Ratcliffe, brother of Mila's former handler Tony Ratcliffe, said they warned officials that someone would get hurt if her transition to the zoo was not handled correctly.
"This tragedy was in the making," he said. "We didn't have any doubt. It was only a matter of time."
That time came on the afternoon of April 25, when keeper Helen Schofield, a vet who lived on site at Franklin Zoo and Wildlife Sanctuary, was crushed to death by the elephant.
It is understood Schofield, 42, was killed when Mila picked her up with her trunk before bringing her down, crushing her.
Robin Ratcliffe, founder of Hamilton engineering firm Modern Transport Engineers, said it was likely Mila knew what she was doing.
"Mila possibly had a motive to kill her," he said.
"We won't conclusively be able to say that until we actually see evidence of how it happened, but we've got a strong belief that the elephant more or less set her up.
He said the killing would have been linked to prolonged separation from her former handler, Tony Ratcliffe.
Her transition to Franklin Zoo should have taken at least two years with Tony Ratcliffe's assistance, but instead, she
New wildlife park to replace Dubai Zoo
A new wildlife park is to be constructed on a 160-hectare piece of land in the middle of the desert in Al Warqa, Dubai.
Animals such as elephants, lions, tigers, monkeys, cheetahs and guerillas - sourced from different parts of the world - will be part of the experience at the park, which will be known as Dubai Safari.
Animals from the current Dubai Zoo in Jumeirah will be relocated to the Dubai Safari park and the current zoo will be closed
India's Supreme Court Halts Plans to Import African Cheetahs
India’s Supreme Court has suspended an ambitious project to import cheetahs from Africa to an Indian wildlife sanctuary and revive a species which became extinct in the South Asian country nearly a quarter of a century ago.
A popular target with hunters, the Asiatic cheetah disappeared from the forests of India in the 1950s.The last of the three cheetahs in the country are said to have been hunted down by a former king in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
The government drew up a plan to revive the species by shipping African cheetahs from Namibia and introducing them to a wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. Fifteen cheetahs were to be brought in during the first phase of the project.
But the Supreme Court this week put the $56 million plan on hold, after wildlife experts called it “totally misconceived.”
Court-appointed adviser P.S. Narasimha said the African cheetah is not native to India and completely different from its Asian counterpart. He said introducing the African cheetah here goes against guidelines set by the International Union
Cheetahs which mauled British woman in South Africa had attacked another tourist A pair of supposedly tame cheetahs which mauled a British woman on her holiday in South Africa had previously attacked another tourist, it has been claimed.
Housewife Violet D'Mello, 60, from Aberdeen, was rushed to hospital last month after the two big cats leaped on her in a petting enclosure at a private game park.
Owners of the Kragga Kamma wildlife reserve claimed the male cheetahs Mark and Monty were tame and had never attacked humans before.
However an American tourist has since told a South African newspaper she was also injured when the pair lunged at her during a holiday three years ago.
Michelle Bodenheimer, from Portland, Oregon, told the Times people should not be allowed in the enclosure with the cheetahs.
She said: "I am heartbroken to see that Kragga Kamma did not learn from my unfortunate
Divorce Anyone? Woman Gets Mauled By Cheetahs While Husband Takes Pictures
Supposedly enjoying “a trip of a lifetime,” Violet D’Mello traveled with her husband, Archie (both pictured at bottom), to a South African wildlife park. Unfortunately for Violet, the excursion would turn nearly fatal while she was petting “tame animals,” according to RadarOnline
Crested ibis parents aced hunting tests
A pair of crested ibises that successfully hatched three eggs in April proved adept in a hunting and food-gathering test before their release into the wild, it has been learned.
To feed their chicks, the first born in 36 years under natural conditions, the pair need to catch 300 loaches a day. After seeing their outstanding test results in November 2010, the Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Conservation Center had no worries about their ability to feed newborns.
The center usually carries out such tests a few months prior to about 10 ibises being released into the wild. The birds are put in a cage together and must prove their abilities to gather food and adjust to a group-oriented environment.
According to the center, the ibis parents, a 3-year-old male and a 2-year-old female, were the first
Zoo closes after endangered dogs crawl under fence
The Pittsburgh Zoo closed briefly Saturday morning when nine African painted dogs crawled under a fence, said zoo Director Barbara Baker.
The dogs got into a "backup yard" not visible to the public, but were never out of their exhibit. As soon as a keeper realized that the dogs were in another section of their yard, he alerted zoo staff. Zoo officials closed the zoo at about 9:20 a.m. to get the animals back into their regular yard. It re-opened at 10:30 a.m.
Dr. Baker said the zoo went on a "full code red" as a precaution. "What that means is we bring the public into buildings so there is no danger to public."
There were about 200 people on the grounds. "We just walked them into buildings and put the dogs back in main yard."
There are 11 dogs in the exhibit. Nine broke out, crawling through a hole in the fence that separates the 11/2-acre public area from a backup yard that is also about 11/2 acres, Dr. Baker said.
Dr. Baker, a veterinarian, keepers and curators went to the exhibit to move the dogs back. They made the hole in the fence larger, "then we
No, A Jaguar Did Not Escape From Elmwood Park Zoo
get a lot of questions from readers via Facebook and Twitter about the goings on in and around Norristown, but the question I got today from one reader was about the strangest I've ever seen. The reader asked, "Can you say if Elmwood Zoo jaguar got out yesterday?"
Apparently the internet was abuzz yesterday and still into this morning about reports of Elmwood Park Zoo's jaguar making a break for it and prowling the streets of Norristown.
"It's not true," said zoo employee John Brown. He's not sure how the rumor got started, but Brown confirmed that the jaguar is safe in his cage and hasn't taken any field trips. Brown also confrimed that they've been slammed with calls from the public asking about it.
The Norristown Police Department
DOLPHINS KILLED BY 'HEROIN' OVERDOSE
TWO dolphins who suffered 'drawn out and painful' deaths at a zoo after it hosted a weekend rave were probably killed by a heroin substitute, a leaked toxicology report has claimed.
The animals died within five days of each other in November of last year after bosses had rented land near their training pool to organisers of a weekend rave party for thousands of clubbers.
Prosecutors said at the time that they believed that antibiotics given by zoo vets were to blame for the deaths of the two dolphins at the 'Connyland' zoo in Lipperswil, Switzerland, and they were considering negligence charges.
But now another toxicology report has been leaked to Swiss media that was carried out at the time by the forensics institute in St Gallen - which found the heroin substitute Buprenorphin was present in the animals urine.
Leading marine biologist and dolphin expert Cornelis van Elk said: "Opiates are extremely dangerous for underwater mammals and would never be used in any legitimate treatment.
"The reason is that dolphins are conscious breathers which means they actively decide when to come to the surface to breathe, for which they need to be awake.
"Even when sleeping – there is part of the brain that automatically
The dolphins that overdosed on heroin... at a rave
Drugged-out revellers. A party on the grounds of a Swiss zoo. Result: The death of two dolphins named Shadow and Chelmers. Here's the unsettling story
Last November, two dolphins at a Swiss zoo endured slow, painful deaths after the facility hosted a weekend rave. Initially, puzzled officials blamed the animals' fates on everything from blaring music to vet negligence. But new toxicology reports reveal that the mammals died of a drug overdose. Here, a brief guide to this tragic story:
What happened to the dolphins?
Shadow and Chelmers of the Connyland Marine Park in Switzerland died mysteriously, and within five days of each other, following a weekend-long rave. "Animal-rights activists originally blamed
AMMPA Standardized Information:
Longevity and Mortality
Current scientific data show that the average lifespan of bottlenose dolphins in Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums member facilities is longer than their counterparts in the wild. Calves born in AMMPA member zoological parks and aquariums have higher rates of survivability than those born in the wild. (See references below.)
Average Life Span in AMMPA Facilities
On average, a one-year old bottlenose dolphin in Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums member facilities is expected to live for more than 25 years (Willis 2007, unpublished data).
Average Life Span in the Wild
Research based on tooth extraction from 290 stranded dolphins, in cooperation with the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, produced data that show the average life expectancy from birth of animals off the coast of Texas is 11.73 years, and the average life expectancy from one year of age is 12.72. These numbers are also consistent with the results of other tooth-aging studies of stranded animals (Neuenhoff, 2009; Mattson et al., 2006; Stolen and Barlow, 2003; Hohn, 1980).
Singapore's Andover to build over 7 aquariums in India in 5 years
Singapore-based private equity firm Andover is planning to construct over seven large-sized public aquariums across India in association with Bhasin Group over the next five years.
Both companies have formed an equal joint venture and are gearing up to open one such aquarium by the end of this year in Greater Noida.
Bhasin Group Managing Director S S Bhasin said it will start exploring new cities for building aquariums once the first project is thrown open to public.
"We are investing $9 million with our partner in this aquarium in Greater Noida. This will be ready for public by the end of this year," he added.
"In a big country like India, strangely, there is not a single aquarium. We are planning to open such important tourist destination here. We could open two-three aquarium in every 18 months for the next five years," Andover Group President Sindu Zhang Huihan told reporters.
Andover, which has interests in real estate, manufacturing sector and leisure industry, will develop all these aquariums in association with its partner Bhasin Group.
Huihan, however, declined to share any investment amount that is likely to
Atlantis defends whale shark action
A top marine expert at Dubai’s Atlantis hotel has spoken openly about the fate of the rare whale shark that was kept at its aquarium and caused an international wave of protest from campaigners.
Speaking during a weekend of activities geared to educate the public about conservation of sharks, marine sciences vice president Steve Kaiser told 7DAYS: “I genuinely believe she did really, really, well.”
The 4m-long female shark was on view to visitors at the aquarium from August 2008 until March 2010. The Atlantis team was accused of “detaining” it by animal rights groups, including People for the Ethical Treatment
Kelly: For Med Center, ape not just any patient
Just outside the Nebraska Medical Center on Saturday, six people using a sturdy net lifted a 432-pound patient onto a gurney — a gorilla.
Motuba, a 28-year-old silverback known as “Tubby,” had suffered a fractured upper jaw Thursday evening at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. He apparently was pushed down by a 14-year-old, 460-pound gorilla named Tattoo, though no one saw it happen.
“Tubby used to be in charge,” said Dr. Julie Napier, the zoo's senior veterinarian. Tattoo, she said, is “a youngster feeling his oats.”
It's very unusual for a zoo animal to be transported to a regular hospital, she said, adding that it has happened only three times in Omaha in the past six years.
The gurney carrying the sedated Tubby was rolled inside, where the six handlers — on a count of “1, 2, 3” — shifted him onto a flat surface and slid him into place for a CT scan of his head.
Dr. William Lydiatt, a head and neck surgeon who volunteers with the zoo, left his son's track meet and arrived to help zoo vets assess the situation. Kneeling next to the gorilla, he used a flashlight to inspect the damage. With his fingers, he could feel bone fragments.
Lydiatt specializes in such things as head and neck cancers, salivary diseases and thyroid tumors. He has checked gorillas' thyroids before and operated on two monkeys, but this would be his first surgery on a gorilla.
The fracture on the upper right of the mouth was obvious, but the CT scan would determine if there was further damage to the sinus or eye orbit.
If this were a human, Lydiatt said, the jaw would be wired after surgery. A problem with the extremely powerful jaw muscles of a gorilla, he said, is that even with much thicker baling wire, the animal would tear it apart.
On a computer screen, the doc studied the scan with Dr. Anne Hubbard, a radiologist whose late parents' donations led to the naming of the zoo's Hubbard Gorilla Valley.
“It's a bit of an unusual break,” Lydiatt said. The fracture was upward, as if the gorilla was pushed from behind and fell forward, hitting the tip of his large canine tooth on a hard surface.
Said Napier: “I think he hit the concrete
Big Cat Attacks
Makes for an interesting read
Beauty trumps beast in conservation efforts
Human concepts of beauty are shaping conservation efforts, protecting good-looking plants and animals over ugly ones, a study suggests.
The report, "The new Noah's Ark: beautiful and useful species only,"has been published in the 2012 edition of the scientific journal, Biodiversity.
It describes how vulnerable species that overtly display characteristics human beings respect or find desirable -- such as beauty, strength, power or cuddliness -- are more likely to be the focus of concerted conservation programs than animals or plants that are less appealing to the eye.
"People have biases towards species that are glamorous," said Dr. Ernie Small, author of the study and taxonomist for Agriculture Canada.
"Animals that are beautiful, entertaining or that command respect due to their size or power are almost always given greater
Swedish teenage girl hurt in freak wolf attack
A fifteen–year-old girl who was visiting Sweden’s Kolmården Safari park a few weeks ago had to be rushed to hospital after one of the wolves suddenly attacked her and bit into her thigh.
“She panicked and it showed, and then one of the wolves bit her,” said Mats Höggren, zoological head of the park to local paper Norrköpings tidningar (NT).
When the attack occurred, the girl was visiting the park out of opening hours with some family members, accompanied by an employee at the park who is a friend of the family.
According to Höggren, the girl’s panicked reaction to seeing the animals was unanticipated as none of the others had realized she was actually scared of the wolves.
“Somehow they weren’t aware of the girl’s fears,” said Höggren to NT.
When she acted frightened, the animal’s natural reaction was to pounce, explained Höggren.
According to daily Aftonbladet, this is not the first time that visitors to Kolmården have been injured when entering the wolf compound.
In 2010, a 21-year-old woman sustained a bite in the arm after entering the wolf area of the park and in 2007, Swedish TV-profile Arne Weise was knocked over by
Zoo Chimp Makes Elaborate Plots to Attack Humans
"Santino," a male chimpanzee at a Swedish zoo, appears to enjoy his surprise attacks on humans.
"Santino," a male chimpanzee at Furuvik Zoo in Sweden, is devising increasingly complex attacks against zoo visitors.
At first Santino was famous for throwing rocks and other projectiles at visitors who annoyed him. Now he has improved his technique, which requires spontaneous innovation for future deception. Researcher Mathias Osvath, lead author of a paper about Santino in PLoS ONE, explained
Claws out at zoo
Union says moving jobs bites into city employees’ rights
Don Monroe, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 37, said complaints have been filed to the Alberta Labour Relations Board after learning existing positions at the city attraction are being moved from city jurisdiction to the Calgary Zoological Society, meaning unionized positions are set to be lost forever.
The society manages the zoo and hires its own employees, but a number of city employees augment the staff.
Monroe said the employees of the society are non-union and they earn lower wages than their members.
Sixteen on-call city employees were told recently their positions would no longer be available at the zoo, but the society is offering them permanent part-time positions at 25 hours a week, said the union boss.
“But even if they are successful applicants, they lose wages, seniority and pension benefits,” he said.
“The zoo society has decided that they’re going to get rid of the union there, basically.”
Laurie Skene, Calgary Zoo spokeswoman, said it’s not accurate to say that unions are being driven out, since the society recently signed an agreement with city plumbers and pipefitters.
But she said management has decided to fill up future vacancies from unionized city workers who retire or resign with employees of the society.
The union said 71 city employees currently work for the zoo, while the zoo claims that number is actually 50.
Skene said under the lease and
Japanese dolphin hunt town Taiji considers marine safari park
Map from Ceta Base -
If you have seen 'The Cove' but not seen the following two videos you need to watch them.
Two Cabinet ministers have confirmed Lion Man Craig Busch warned them big cats at the Zion wildlife park could kill someone shortly before a tiger fatally mauled a keeper. Before 26-year-old keeper Dalu Mncube was killed three years ago, Mr Busch wrote to Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson, Primary Industries Minister David Carter and to both the Department of Labour and the former MAF about his concerns over safety procedures at the Whangarei park, now called Kingdom of Zion. Spokespeople for both ministers yesterday said Mr Busch's messages had been passed on to the Department of Labour when they were received. The ministers, government departments and Mr Busch all declined to comment on the warning messages because Mr Mncube's death was set down for the coroner's hearing next month. Northland Coroner Brandt Shortland will hold a three-day inquiry into Mr Mncube's death at Whangarei on June 12-14. Two months before the attack, Mr Busch expressed his concerns to the ministers over the training and skills of Zion
An Act to amend the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to protect elephants Note: This Act amends the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. For the legislative history of the Act, see the Table of Consolidated Public Statutes – Detailed Legislative History at www.e-Laws.gov.on.ca. Preamble When elephants are required to perform in animal shows and performances, including in circus shows, some elephant handlers still employ abusive and outdated disciplinary tools. These tools are designed to cause the animals pain and to invoke fear. The elephants may also be routinely restrained for substantial periods of time, often by chaining their legs. This restricts their ability to move to one or two steps. These kinds of elephant handling practices, and the devices employed, are based on a traditional system developed hundreds of years ago. At the time, it was common to dominate an elephant by breaking its spirit to make it more compliant and therefore easier to train for performance purposes, as well as for husbandry convenience. Modern, progressive zoos around the world have stopped using fear or dominance-based training of elephants in favour of safer, more humane systems, such as protected contact management systems. Such systems reward elephants for good behaviours, rather than disciplining them for unwanted behaviours. The elephants are not restrained for substantial periods of time and are only restrained using specially designed barriers. Proponents of fear or dominance-based elephant training claim that the devices they use, such as bullhooks, are only supposed to be used as guides and that they are necessary and not damaging to elephants. They also claim that restraints such as chains are acceptable and do not negatively impact an elephant’s health or welfare. Cruel and abusive elephant training methods often result in life-long injuries to the elephants and there is also a high risk to human handlers. There have been incidents in which
Some new birds in town have animal activists hopping mad. The Vancouver Aquarium's African penguin exhibit opens on May 18, but animal-rights activist Annelise Sorg is deeply opposed. "Why are they bringing in African penguins?" asked Sorg of the group No Whales in Captivity. "They should be left in the wild and not put in captivity." Sorg called for a boycott of the aquarium. "This is not education and not conservation," she said. "They are keeping these animals to make money." But a notice on the Vancouver Aquarium website says the penguins were bred in captivity as a means of saving the species. "African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) are endangered. North American zoos and aquariums, i
Sleep with the fishes, dine with the sharks. Now you can literally do both when the Underwater Hotel premiers in Dubai. Without a doubt, Dubai is one of the hottest exotic destinations with amazing skyscrapers and luxury amenities to rival even the most modern cities from the rest of the world. Now, a Polish architecture design firm has unveiled a new hotel concept that will make use of space below the ground, giving guests the ability to sleep underwater while enjoying the
Elephant deemed too sick to relocate Edmonton Valley Zoo director Denise Prefontaine says Lucy the elephant will stay where she is, despite a decision by Calgary Zoo to move its four Asian elephants elsewhere. On Thursday, the Calgary Zoo announced plans to relocate its endangered elephants to another accredited zoo within the next four to five years. The Calgary Zoo's president, Clément Lanthier, said that relocating the animals to "a larger social group" would be in their best interest. The Valley Zoo "supports the decision," Prefontaine said in a statement, noting that the Valley Zoo’s African elephant, Samantha, was relocated to a breeding herd at the North Carolina Zoo in 2007. Lucy, the remaining Asian elephant at the Valley Zoo, "has a respiratory condition which precludes any thought of placing her in a stressful situation, such as transporting her and/or placing her with unfamiliar caregivers or in an unfamiliar environment," the zoo said. "Moving Lucy would be life-threatening and this is a risk that we cannot and will not take." It’s anticipated the Calgary Zoo's lone bull, Spike, will be moved out first in co-operation with the Miami zoo — which still owns him —and after consultation with the Asian Elephant Species Survival Plan. The Calgary Zoo's three female elephants — Kamala, Swarna and Maharani (and her calf, due next February) — will be kept together as a family unit when they are moved, officials said. Toronto city council voted in October
The Toronto Zoo has lost its accreditation from an international zoo association over the city’s plans to send three elephants to a sanctuary in California. The American-based Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which accredits most major zoos in North America, sent a letter to the Toronto Zoo last week announcing the decision, effective immediately. The zoo, accredited by the AZA since 1977, won’t be able to re-apply for certification — considered the gold seal for top zoos — until March 2013. The move comes after city council voted last year, over the objections of their handlers, to send the zoo’s three aging elephants to a non-AZA-accredited sanctuary in California called PAWS. Before council’s decision, the zoo’s board of management had voted to have its zoo staff find a new home for the aging elephants by first searching for a suitable AZA-accredited zoo. But staff failed — at least in council’s opinion — to do so quickly enough. The AZA says the council vote contravened the association’s governance rules. The rules state, among other things, that “while the governing authority (city council) may have input, the decisions regarding the animal collection must be made by the professionals who are specifically trained to handle the institution’s animal collection.” In the end the zoo board voted to abide by city council’s will, and the three elephants are expected to be sent to the PAWS sanctuary within the next month or so. AZA-accredited zoos have breeding agreements and species survival plans that involve loaning animals between facilities for conservation reasons. But Toronto Zoo CEO John Tracogna said he expects the AZA’s decision to have a “minimal’’ impact on the zoo’s breeding programs, and he doesn’t expect other AZA zoos to break their loan agreements with Toronto over the issue. The decision won’t affect next year’s arrival of giant pandas from China, either, he said, because the AZA had no decision-making role in the visit. The accreditation decision shows what happens “when you do policy on the fly,’’ Mayor Rob Ford said Wednesday. “You should leave it in the staff’s hands. Hopefully it won’t hurt us,” he said, adding “council sometimes thinks they know better, and this is a perfect example of when they don’t know better.’’ Ford, who was “absent’’ during the council vote last year, said it’s too late to halt the relocation to PAWS. Councillor Michelle Berardinetti, who tabled the motion at council calling for the move to PAWS, said Wednesday: “The reality is what we’re seeing here is the bully (the AZA) that’s trying to tell us what to do, and tell the taxpayers and residents of Toronto what to do, with our elephants. “The other issue is why are they doing it right now? They just happen to be doing it when we’re getting ready to move the elephants,” she added. But Grant Ankenman, president of CUPE 1600, which represents the zoo’s animal keepers, said in a statement Thursday that “the loss of our AZA accreditation puts the Toronto Zoo in a very precarious position.” He later added: “Despite what the mayor and zoo administration
Elephants don’t forget and neither does the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Toronto Zoo announced Wednesday that the AZA denied the attraction’s request to renew its accreditation citing city council’s decision to stomp over the zoo board and send three elephants to an animal sanctuary in California. Mayor Rob Ford blamed city council for the zoo being denied its AZA accreditation. “That’s what happens when you do policy on the fly,” Ford told reporters Wednesday. “You should leave it in the staff’s hands; hopefully it won’t hurt us.” Ford — who missed the vote on the elephants — said councillors shouldn’t have made that decision. “We should have left it in the staff’s hands, council sometimes thinks they know better and this is a perfect example of when they don’t know better,” he said. But the mayor said it was likely too late to reverse the elephant decision. The transfer of the pachyderms is still moving ahead. The zoo has had accreditation since 1977 and won’t be able to apply again until March 1, 2013. Zoo board chairman Joe Torzsok said if the the zoo does not get accredited next year, its ability to get animals on loan from other institutions could be impacted. “For 2012, this doesn’t have any significant impact on any of the great conservation, education and research work we are doing,” he said in an e-mail Wednesday. He stressed there is no financial impact on the zoo but it does highlight the need to deal with governance issues. “This provides another proof point that the zoo needs to leave the city’s nest,” Torzsok said. “Our governance model is outdated and we need to follow the path of other great zoos in North America.” Councillor Michelle Berardinetti — who led council in the elephant vote — blasted the AZA. “What we’re seeing here is the bully that is trying to tell us what to do and tell the taxpayers of Toronto and the residents of Toronto what to do with our elephants,” Berardinetti said. Zoo board member Councillor Gloria Lindsay
The Calgary Zoo has made the decision to move their group of Asian elephants within four to five years to a facility with more year round space. The move will include all three female elephants, Kamala, Swarna, Maharani and her expected calf, and bull elephant Spike. The females will be kept together with the calf because of the importance of the social structure with the elephant species.
There is no information on where they will be moved but the facility must provide for the following criteria:
•The facility must accept all three adult females and the calf as a family unit.
•It must participate in a breeding program that provides the elephants with the opportunity to participate in this fulfilling experience where possible and be part of a complex family group, and which supports the conservation of Asian elephants.
•It must provide large acreage that is useable year-round.
•It must be large enough to allow for an increased social group or herd size – minimum eight individuals.
The Calgary Zoo and the Miami Zoo, which still owns Spike, will be working together to find an appropriate facility for the elephant. It's likely he'll be moved before the females. "This decision is all about animal welfare," said Calgary Zoo President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Clément Lanthier in a release. "It was based on a growing acceptance and understanding of the importance of the social structure in elephant herds and the knowledge that their welfare is better served by being part of a large social group; something that can only be achieved at a facility with more year-round space than we can provide given the physical limitations of living on an island in a northern climate." Lanthier says that the zoo has a limited area for expansion and it will not be able to expand the year-round space for the elephants. Zoo officials say that they've chosen a lengthy time period to move the elephants because moving is a stressful experience for the animals. Special consideration has been made on accommodating for the new calf. "We know many people in Calgary will be as sad as we are regarding this decision, but we are confident that everyone wants only the best for the long-term welfare and care of these magnificent animals who have given us so much over the years," said Dr. Lanthier. "What we want people to understand is that the decision to move our elephants and
They’ll leave the biggest void, but there’s a good chance elephants won’t be the last to leave St. George’s Island under a major species shake-up taking place at the Calgary Zoo. For a guy used to wading through the largest manure piles possible, the zoo’s top animal director certainly gives a no-bull answer when it comes to the future of all creatures great and small in Calgary. Within minutes of breaking the heavy news — Calgary is abandoning elephants and shipping its four pachyderms to another zoo — Dr. Jake Veasey admits there are more animals endangered as local exhibits. “No firm decision have been taken on any of the big animals at the Calgary Zoo at the moment, but certainly we want to ensure we can provide year-round care,” said Veasey. “We have to face the reality that the Calgary Zoo is the region that it’s in, and everything is pointing to us having to look for animals more suited to this climate.” First to go, following a 40-year stint in Calgary, will be the elephants, because Calgary is too cold and the exhibit too small for a full-sized herd. The Zoo made the official announcement about the elephants Monday, though the rumour has been swirling for months. Veasey admits it’s a big loss for the city. “I would describe this as sad news, but not bad news,” said Veasey, director of care and conservation. “What we enjoy is not necessarily appropriate for the animals, and it’s going to be a sad day for Calgary and for our keepers, and a slightly sad day for myself, who’s worked with elephants for many years. “But ultimately, this is good news for our elephants, and that’s what we have to remember.” There’s still plenty of time to say goodbye to the bull and three females, given a recently-announced pregnancy, with a calf due in Feb. 2013. But the four- to five-year wait hinges heavily on that baby: if it fails to live — as has happened with other calves — the elephants may be leaving Calgary much sooner. “If we tragically lose that calf, we absolutely have to reassess that time frame,” said Veasey. “I would anticipate that time frame being brought forward.”
Sorry, Calgarians, but the zoo has traded our Asian elephants for a bunch of penguins. They haven’t put it like that, of course, but after opening the penguin display earlier this year, there’s news that our four cherished pachyderms — one of them a distinguished painter — will be moving in the next four to five years. “The decision is all about animal welfare,” said zoo president Clement Lanthier in a news release. “It was based on a growing acceptance and understanding of the importance of the social structure in elephant herds and the knowledge that their welfare is better served by being part of a large social group.” Bull crap! The zoo had nursed plans to bring polar bears and all sorts of other species to the zoo as part of its ambitious Arctic Shores exhibit until money ran short, but suddenly there’s no room for elephants, which have been part of the Calgary Zoo experience for more than four decades. The animals have literally been voted off the island. The decision shows a lack of imagination and compassion on the part of the zoo. It has recently added parking for 500 cars — outside the main compound, granted — but it can’t continue to provide a loving home for Kamala, Swarna and Maharani (along with Maharani’s calf due to be born in February 2013) and Spike, the distinguished gent with the silver tusk? It might be acceptable to announce that this is it, there will be no more additions to the exhibit, but to send the elephants asunder is a mistake. Where are our friends going to go where they’ll be better treated and loved than they are in Calgary? The zoo’s decision is a breach of trust to Calgarians. A quick reversal is in order and plans should be made to keep the elephants in Calgary. In the meantime, just try to imagine tusks on those interchangeable penguins and get ready to welcome the short-lived arrival of the pandas in the former elephant enclosure in a few years. Let’s start a stampede to see this
A new chief executive has been announced for Edinburgh Zoo. Professor Chris West, currently chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia, is to take up the post later this year. He will replace Hugh Roberts, who was appointed interim chief executive in April 2011 and is now retiring. It followed the departure of Donald Emslie, who resigned when a vote of no confidence in him was passed at an extraordinary general meeting. Professor West, originally from the UK, has been in his post in Australia since 2006. In 2009 he led the RZSSA team in introducing a pair of giant pandas to Adelaide Zoo. He said: "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be at the helm of an organisation that is one of the leading lights in worldwide animal conservation. "Edinburgh Zoo in particular has a global profile, supported by a robust long-term business plan which is set to build on the good work already undertaken. "There are many parallels linking my work in Adelaide to Edinburgh. I am tremendously excited by what the future brings and look forward to returning to the UK later on this year, following what has been a fantastic six years in Australia." International profile Professor West trained as a vet and has worked in senior roles for both Chester Zoo and the Zoological Society of London. Manus Fullerton, chairman of The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's board of directors, said: "I am thrilled to welcome Chris back to the UK and particularly to Scotland. "This is an excellent appointment for the RZSS and one which promises to build on the significant international profile enjoyed by the society and Edinburgh Zoo in particular. "Chris brings with him an unmatched track record in the development and stewardship of zoos of international
FORMER Edinburgh Zoo boss Gary Wilson has resigned from his position less than a week after the new chief executive was unveiled. Mr Wilson decided to leave his role as director of business operations with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) earlier this week, but the RZSS would not comment on the reasons for his exit. It followed the news that Professor Chris West will be the next chief executive of the RZSS, having quit the same post in Adelaide, Australia, after six years at the helm. Prof West, a former London Zoo director, will replace interim chief executive Hugh Roberts, who filled a leadership void last May amid a crisis that saw a director sacked and two suspended, including Mr Wilson, amid investigations into anonymous allegations. The same month, Donald Emslie resigned as chairman. Mr Wilson, who was chief operating officer at the time, was suspended last March while inquiries were carried out by the board. He was subsequently cleared of all allegations. Iain Valentine, the director
Media Summary 30 employees of Surabaya Zoo who were fired unilaterally by the Zoo's temporary management set up a protest tent and demonstration in front of the Surabaya Zoo gate. 30 employees of Surabaya Zoo who were fired unilaterally by Zoo Temporary Management set up a suffering protest tent in front of the Surabaya Zoo gate. They are demanding a salary during the 19 months that have not been paid by the management. In addition they also perform theatrical acts by eating a stone and grass, holding a charity box for non-active employees, and action poster. Sigit Handoko, Head of Unit Leaders Varia Sekar Surabaya Zoo, coordinator of the protest explain that, "We fired for no apparent reason. We stopped working since August 10, 2012. From that moment we become unemployed, but we've got a wife and children at home should eat and schooling. We are victims of Zoo internal conflict, which until now has not been resolved. " The demands requested by the protesters is the right of return to work and be rewarded and justice, strict punishment to the management, and investigations by the police against Zoo Management. Since disagreement between the new and old management happened, the victims not only animals, but also the employees who are innocent must be fired unilaterally because they are disagree with the new management. Theatrical action by eating stone and grass with an empty plate symbolizes the economic conditions of families of non-active employees who actually are in very poor condition. They are no
FCF accreditation is a detailed review and inspection process covering all aspects of a feline facility’s operation, including diet, veterinary care, physical design, construction and maintenance, public and employee safety, and licensing record. Hawk Creek Wildlife Center, Inc. and G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park are two of the latest feline facilities to earn accreditation from the Feline Conservation Federation(FCF). FCF accreditation is an assurance that the facility is providing excellent care for felines. FCF exhibitors provide great experiences for the public and help shape a better future for felines living in nature. FCF accredited facilities represent a diverse collection of the finest FCF members, including licensed breeding centers, zoos, educators and sanctuaries. FCF accreditation is a detailed review and inspection process covering all aspects of a feline facility’s operation, including diet, veterinary care, physical design, construction and maintenance, public and employee safety, and licensing record. Accreditation takes place every two years, ensuring that facilities are maintained at standards that meet FCF accreditation policy. With just over a dozen accredited feline facilities, FCF can attest that facility accreditation is truly limited to centers that meet high standards. FCF accredited refuges and educators like Hawk Creek Wildlife Center and G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park help preserve threatened and endangered felines through their rescue and public education programs. Hawk Creek Wildlife Center is an environmental center in East Aurora, New York, performing wildlife rehabilitation, outreach education and conservation. Over 500 native wildlife species are treated and released annually. The feline residents of Hawk Creek are a mixture of rehomed pets and felines that owners gave up, and a couple of specially acquired ambassador felines. The Hawk Creek Wildlife Center is open just seven days annually
Minister S.M. Chandrasena says that crocodile eradication operations in the Nilwala river in Matara have not been terminated. The Minister told the national radio that the officials of the Department of Wild Life will be constantly deployed around the Nilwala river. The murderous crocodiles will be released safely to the crocodile conservation centre to be set up in Muthurajawela. The centre will be established before the end of the year. Minister Chandrasena added that elephant conservation centres will be set up in Maduruoya, Veheragala, Horowpathana and Galgamuwa
If you ask Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz, the case is closed -- Terry Thompson cut the cages, freed his animals and then shot himself. The U.S. Zoological Association president doesn't think so. Joe Schreibvogel thinks Thompson was murdered. During a news conference posted Tuesday morning on YouTube, Schreibvogel told reporters he thinks Thompson was killed to push along legislation banning private exotic animal ownership in Ohio. He said there is no way Thompson would have had time to free all the animals and then shoot himself -- one of the cats would have gotten to him first. The comments refer to the Oct. 18, 2011, incident, during which officials have said Thompson set free 56 exotic animals from his Kopchak Road farm before
A zoo says it will transfer five exotic animals on Friday to the widow of the animals’ owner. The owner, Terry Thompson, released dozens of wild creatures, including black bears, mountain lions and Bengal tigers, last fall before killing himself. Two leopards, two primates and a bear have been held at the Columbus Zoo since October under a state-issued quarantine order, which was lifted Monday. A friend of the widow, Marian Thompson, said she planned to take the animals back to her farm in Zanesville, in eastern Ohio. Mr. Thompson released 56 animals before killing himself. Fearing for the public’s safety, the authorities killed a majority of the animals. The five animals that were quarantined are the survivors. The
Senior citizens are common in Florida but one 74-year-old is in a class of her own: "Little Mama" is believed to be the oldest chimpanzee in captivity. Born in Africa, she was one of the first residents at Lion Country Safari theme park in Loxahatchee, Florida, about 20 miles west of West Palm Beach. "She came here when the park opened in 1967," said Lion Country Safari Wildlife Director Terry Wolf, who has been with the park just as long. Wolf said the park's owners bought her from a pet dealer. "It was a whole different world then," explained Wolf. "Chimps in pet shops that were babies at that time could go for 10 grand." Wolf doesn't know how much the park's owners paid for Little Mama, who was certainly no baby when she came to Lion Country Safari 45 years ago. The owners said that Little Mama was part of the Ice Capades, a traveling variety show that performed
VietNamNet Bridge – Wild elephants could disappear from Viet Nam's Central Highlands permanently as deforestation has destroyed their habitat and source of food needed for survival. Their survival in the country remains doubtful as plans for a preservation project remain only on paper and forests continue to be cut down for rubber, coffee and cassava plantations. In 2006, the Prime Minister approved an action plan for elephant conservation in the three provinces of Nghe An, Dong Nai and Dak Lak. In the Central Highland province of Dak Lak alone, around 100 wild elephants live in districts of Buon Don and Ea Sup. The province's People's Committee signed a project in 2010 to preserve elephants in the province through 2015, with the total budget of VND61 billion (US$2.9 million). Nevertheless, between March 26 and 31, police and forest-protection forces from the province's Ea Sup District found three dead elephants. A 150-kg elephant was found in Cu M'Lan commune, and six days later, the bodies of two other elephants, one weighing 400-500 kg and the other two tonnes, were found in the same commune. Vice director of the province's Agriculture and Rural Development and head of Forest Protection Division, Y Rit Buon Ya, said that several elephants in the area had been hunted as food, and others had died of accidents or eaten inappropriate food. The illegal killing of wild elephants for their tusks and tails is common in some provinces. Y Rit said that last year, the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Centre
A new regulation spells hope for the betterment of animals kept in zoos. IF animals could laugh and sing in happiness, there would be some trumpeting of joy emerging from zoos and wildlife parks in Peninsular Malaysia for on Feb 1, the Wildlife Conservation (Operation of Zoo) Regulations 2012 was gazetted. The new regulation gives voice to the need to regulate zoos systematically and to higher standards. Animal lovers and conservationists have long highlighted the terrible conditions under which wildlife is held in captivity in such establishments. The problem was also widely highlighted in the media last year. The new regulation is made possible with the enforcement of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 in December 2010. It replaces the Protection of Wildlife Act 1972 which had been criticised as lacking bite and failing to address many concerns. One of the failures was the lack of power for the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) to act against errant zoos and wildlife parks. Also, the old legislation has no provisions addressing wildlife welfare and cruelty to captive animals. The new regulation resolves these loophole as it provides for some areas where Perhilitan could take action against errant zoos. Zoo operators have a six-month grace period to comply with the new requirements of the regulation. Those which do will be issued an annual permit. Any person operating a zoo without a permit is liable to a fine not exceeding RM70,000 or/and a prison term not exceeding three years. The new regulation requires zoos and animal parks to: > Adhere to minimum cage sizes, which are specified according to various animal groups. > Have a quarantine area and
They were hunted to extinction in Britain more than 400 years ago, but the beaver is believed to be back and breeding on our shores. Experts believe the dam-building, tree-gnawing creatures are breeding in the wild after unexpectedly finding a wild one in a slurry pit in Cornwall. A wildlife team had been hunting for an escaped beaver called Igor who, as we reported earlier this week, escaped from his owner three years ago and has been on the run ever since. The team thought they had found the dishevelled fugitive in a slurry pit in Gunnislake, South East Cornwall - but were mystified to discover their captive was nor Igor, but a wild beaver instead. And his appearance could mean more beavers
A zoo owner was crushed to death in an elephant’s trunk after the animal she had spent two years nursing back to health picked her up and lifted her into the air, New Zealand animal welfare authorities say. Helen Schofield, the owner and director of Franklin Zoo, 56 kilometres south of Auckland, was caring for 3.1-tonne Mila, formerly a circus elephant known as Jumbo, when tragedy struck. Emergency services were called to the zoo about 4.30pm yesterday after receiving reports that Ms Schofield had been killed when Mila picked her up and crushed her. Auckland SPCA executive director Bob Kerridge said he did not believe Mila had attacked Ms Schofield, who was also a vet. "It would appear to be a tragic accident," he said. Just two-and-a-half hours before her death, Ms Schofield revealed details of the elephant's troubled emotional state during a talk to a group of 50 zoo visitors - including a Fairfax reporter - while standing in front of Mila's enclosure. The elephant was known to suffer frequent panic attacks at night and Ms Schofield, who lived on site, would comfort the animal by speaking with it through a safety wall. The SPCA had expressed concerns about the elephant's physical and mental wellbeing before Mila went into the zoo's care. Emotional scenes unfolded outside the zoo last night as Mila's former handler Tony Ratcliffe demanded
Lindsay Luby Zoo board member Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby is stomping all over the impending move of the Toronto Zoo’s three elephants. “This whole exercise we are going through has cost us time and money, staff time, the board’s time,” Lindsay Luby said Wednesday. “We’re not saving any money by sending them, I think that has been pretty clear so what are we getting out of it? Nothing, we’re losing three elephants.” Lindsay Luby said the actual cost of providing food and lodging for the elephants at the Toronto Zoo is quite small and there will be no saving in staff costs once the elephants are gone because those that care for the pachyderms will be redeployed elsewhere in the zoo. Late Monday Toronto Zoo officials said they had reached an “impasse” with the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) animal sanctuary, claiming the group had not yet sent them needed medical records of elephants already being kept at the northern California sanctuary. Zoo officials are due to meet Thursday with Councillor Michelle Berardinetti. The Scarborough councillor said she has the necessary documents ready for Zoo CEO John Tracogna’s review. Berardinetti led council last year in overruling
About a week ago, the Toronto Zoo lost its golden seal from the American-based Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Now, the president of the union representing the zoo’s animal keepers is concerned the Canadian accreditation may follow. “That is a very strong possibility,” said Grant Ankenman. “At the present time our membership with CAZA (the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums) is under review and there is a very strong chance that we will have that revoked as well.” The two organizations are very similar in principle. The Toronto Zoo lost its AZA accreditation over governance issues. In its unanimous vote, the AZA board of directors found the zoo did not have control over its animals. This became obvious when city council was able to decide to move the zoo’s aging elephants to a non-AZA-accredited sanctuary in California despite the zoo’s protest. This was the first loss of its accreditation in the zoo’s history. CEO John Tracogna regretted the decision to suspend his zoo. “Clearly, we are disappointed with the decision made by the AZA,” Tracogna said. “There was never any question of the Toronto Zoo’s animal care. Governance was the key issue.” The zoo will not be able to re-apply for accreditation before Mar. 1, 2013. Ankenman is worried about the consequences of this. “In the short term it may not affect us too much. It mostly hurts our reputation,” Ankenman said. “I think the real test will be a year
As grasslands shrink, the world’s smallest and rarest wild pig is among the most threatened of species endemic to the habitat Success in conservation is usually measured by the effectiveness of steps to boost the numbers of big, charismatic species. In India, the stars are the Bengal tiger, followed by the Asiatic lion, the leopard, the elephant and the rhinoceros. Conservation in India, generally, begins and ends with the tiger, considered a flagship species at the top of the food chain. If the tiger is okay, then everything else is fine—so goes the theory. But that may be missing the woods for the trees. Assam, for instance, is celebrating an increase in the population of the endangered, greater one-horned rhinoceros by 250. Earlier this month, a once-in-three-year census put the rhino population at 2,505, just 495 short of the 3,000 target of the Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) 2020. IRV is a joint programme of the Assam forest department, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) in seven protected areas in Assam. The rhino, which has hogged the conservation limelight in Assam over the past century, is an animal of the grasslands, more specifically the tall wet grassland
NO MATTER HOW GREAT a tracker Deon van Deventer may be, he could never find a wild rhino in Vietnam. Javan rhinos once proliferated in the Vietnamese forests and floodplains, but in 2010 poachers killed the nation's last wild rhino. Yet Vietnam has no shortage of rhino horn. The illegal horn trade once revolved around markets in China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and Yemen, but now it centers on Vietnam, with more than a ton of horn likely to have entered the country last year alone. In South Africa several Vietnamese nationals, including diplomats, have been implicated in plots to smuggle horns out of the country. Not all rhino horns enter Vietnam illegally. South African law, which complies with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), allows a rhino's horns to be exported as trophies. In 2003 a Vietnamese hunter flew to South Africa and killed a rhino on a legal safari. Soon after, dozens of Asian hunters arrived, each paying $50,000 or more for a hunt through a certified safari outfit. Many of these hunters are believed to work for syndicates. Back in Vietnam, an average pair of horns, weighing 13 pounds, could be cut into pieces and sold on the black market, yielding a profit that could easily top $200,000 after costs. The triggers for this gold rush are difficult to pinpoint. Rumors about famous users, rising black market prices, and dwindling numbers of Asian rhinos are all feeding the mania. But behind the hype is a renewed interest in the horn's alleged healing power. For at least 2,000 years, Asian medicine has prescribed rhino horn—ground into powder—to reduce fever and treat a range of maladies. The handful of studies conducted over the past 30 years on its fever reducing properties have proven inconclusive, yet the 2006 edition of a Vietnamese traditional pharmacopoeia devotes two pages to rhino horn. The newest and most sensational claim is that it cures cancer. Oncologists say that no research has been published on the horn's efficacy as a cancer treatment. But even if rhino horn possesses dubious medicinal properties, that doesn't mean it has no effect on people who take it, says Mary Hardy, medical director of Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology and a traditional medicine expert. "Belief in a treatment, especially one that is wildly expensive and hard to get, can have a powerful effect on how a patient feels," she says. To gain insights into the popularity of rhino horn in Vietnam, I traveled the country with a woman I will call Ms. Thien. A mammogram had revealed a spot on her right breast; a sonogram showed a worrisome shadow on an ovary. The attractive and irrepressible 52-year-old planned to seek modern treatment but also wanted to consult traditional doctors. I asked her if she believed rhino horn might help cure he
As stories about a Chinese zoo keeper licking a monkey's butt in order to save its life gp, this one from chinaSMACK is by far the most endearing. After a young Francois' leaf monkey in his care consumed a peanut that had been tossed into its enclosure, Wuhan Zoo employee Zhang Bangsheng noticed that the animal had become dangerously constipated. Being too big to pass through the monkey's system naturally, the peanut had to be extracted manually. Apparently, that meant licking it out. Zhang told local reporters the three-month-old lutung was too small for laxatives, so he had no choice but to extract the wayward legume with his lingua. After washing the its bottom with warm water (because not doing so would be disgusting), Zhang spent an hour polishing the monkey's pooper before the peanut finally
A critically endangered frog species reintroduced to the Caribbean island of Montserrat is surviving in its new home, British conservationists say. The "mountain chicken" frogs had declined by as much as 80 percent in the wild, struck by a fatal fungal disease affecting amphibians globally. Captive-bred frogs are doing well three months after their release, Britain's Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust reported. Leptodactylus fallax are one of the world's largest frog species, with females weighing almost two pounds. "Due to their size they have very large meaty thighs which they use to leap long distances," Sarah-Louise Smith, project coordinator for the Mountain Chicken Recovery Program, told the BBC. It was those meaty thighs that gave them their curious name, she said. "Locally their meat is a delicacy, apparently they taste like chicken," Smith said. "In the past [it] was served in many restaurants and hotels to locals
South Korea’s largest aquarium opened at the 2012 Yeosu Expo site on Friday, about a week ahead of the official kickoff of the three-month-long international fair. Hanwha Engineering & Construction Corp., which built the aquarium, said the Aqua Planet is a four-story building covering 16,400 square meters and equipped with a 6,000 ton main tank. The overall size of the aquarium is two to three times larger than existing facilities in Seoul and Busan and will remain on the
The links between conflict and contraband are as old as war, and have been the subject of extensive research. The reasons are easy to grasp, if sometimes hard to trace. Wars disrupt economies and can create acute shortages, often while encouraging lawlessness and the breakdown of borders and institutions. In these circumstances, smugglers are both in demand and can thrive. Much of the public conversation about contraband and conflict centers on either products of high value – Iraqi and Chechen oil, West Africa’s so-called blood diamonds, the heroin trade extending from Afghanistan’s poppy fields – or on goods essential to organized violence, including weapons, ammunition and food. Now a recent study examines war and contraband from an atypical perspective: the illicit trade in wildlife products as souvenirs for Western soldiers. The study, published this year in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation, sketches market forces that are at once highly visible and mostly unexplored. The summary of those market forces is that Western soldiers on deployments have both relatively high salaries and access to bazaars, and they’ve helped create a niche industry on overseas bases and outposts for goods made from imperiled species. This
New species are all skinks on the Caribbean islands U.S. researchers have identified two dozen new species of lizards on the Caribbean islands, and about half of them may be extinct or close to extinction. Blair Hedges, a professor of biology at Penn State University, led the study in the New Zealand journal Zootaxa that was published Monday and co-authored by Caitlin Conn, a researcher at the University of Georgia. Skinks typically have small smooth round scales, thick bodies, strong necks and short legs or snake-like bodies. The team identified 39 types of skink — six of which were already recognized and nine named long ago but considered invalid until now – by examining museum specimens, DNA sequences and the animals them
Police uncovered more than 700 cases of illegal wildlife trade during a recent crackdown on websites and antique markets that openly traded in animal products from endangered species, the State Forestry Administration said Saturday. Around 100,000 police officers were sent to inspect 5,962 markets during the crackdown, the dates of which have not been revealed by authorities. They busted 13 gangs, punished 1,031 illegal traders, seized over 130,000 wild animals and 2,000 animal products worth nearly seven million yuan ($1.11 million), according to a statement posted on the administration's website. Police officers also shut down 7,155 high-street shops and 628 websites selling banned animals and removed 1,607 related online messages, it added. Illegal wildlife trade has been rampant in some parts of the country in recent years, triggering complaints from domestic and foreign wildlife advocacy
RHINO RESOURCE CENTER – NEWSLETTER 27 – MAY 2012
Edited by Dr Kees Rookmaaker
They're predatory killers in the wild, but zoo visitors rarely see the same side of tigers when they are locked in an enclosure. When Wenling Zoo in eastern China threw a live rabbit and duck into their tiger enclosure, however, visitors got a direct view of the majestic animals' hunting instincts. The zoo in Zhejiang province, China, claimed 'wild' training program was part of a practice to help its tigers awaken their wild hunting instincts.
Forced to the ground and with blood pouring from her head, this British holidaymaker had a miraculous escape after being attacked by supposedly tame cheetahs. Violet D’Mello was visiting a wildlife park with her husband Archie during a trip to South Africa for her 60th birthday. But their day out went horrifically wrong when two cheetahs turned on her, knocking her to the ground and biting her legs and head in a horrifying attack. Other tourists tried to scare the beasts off as park attendants desperately fought to get them away from the injured woman. And her husband? He carried on taking photographs, saying he did not quite realise what was happening. The attack took place at a wildlife park where tourists can pay £4.50 to pet cheetah brothers Mark and Monty, both hand-reared and said to be tame. Inside the private Kragga Kamma game reserve near Port Elizabeth, Mrs D’Mello posed for a picture with a cheetah, stroking its head and describing it as ‘a beautiful animal that felt so soft’. However, things changed quickly when one of the beasts grabbed eight-year-old Camryn Malan, who was among other tourists in the enclosure, and
Anneke Moresco spent the last year doing post doctoral work at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in the Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW). Anneke and colleagues participated in a conservation and reproduction project for the black-footed cat in South Africa. See the spotlight HERE. Photo credit Dr. Alex Sliwa (curator at the Cologne zoo)