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|Zoo News Digest May-Jun 2014|
Zoo News Digest
Why Defenders of Killer Whales Are Worried About China.
Feds issued halt to rehabbing stranded dolphins in November
Virus killing scores of marine mammals behind the decision
Oregon Zoo firings: What we know and (more importantly) what we don't
Oregon Zoo firings: Vet techs say Metro's investigation was 'skewed,' 'incomplete'
Little penguins at National Zoo massacred by a fox
Goodall is being influenced by the ‘activist community’: Vancouver Aquarium CEO
Responds to letter from the renowned researcher regarding its keeping of whales, dolphin
Lion Man’s daring tales will be told
Big cat fans will not have to travel to deepest Africa to hear stories of wild animals on Saturday when Lion Man Craig Busch comes to North Walsham.
re the above
Craig Busch and Zion Wildlife Gardens
Prisoners help rehabilitate black cockatoos at Kaarakin Conservation Centre
South African helps keep animals alive in Ukraine's zoos
100th Arabian tahr, and twin tahrs welcomed in Al Ain
Knowsley Safari Park to highlight threat of extinction to vultures
The zoo world owes so very much to this man....a sad loss. My very sincere condolences.
Sacramento Zoo Mourns Loss of “Father of Zoological Medicine”
The Hunt for the Golden Mole
Gallery: The zoo that Molly built
Safe sex and zoos
Penguin Malaria Workshop
From Oklahoma to Dubai
"The Prince’s private zoo consists of 44 giant Nile crocodiles, lions, tigers, orangutans, giraffes, and many more"
Panda-monium at Zoo Negara but what about the tapirs?
Baby sloth born at London Zoo after parents ‘secret’ rendezvous
First ever OMR7.5 million aquarium to be built in Oman
This is what it is all about....Management of species. This is also why all US zoos should be AZA members.
They were lucky, it could have ended so much differently. Not the worst I have seen though. I recollect being shown photos of visitors actually inside a lion enclosure and a bear enclosure in zoos I have worked in.
Video shot at edge of polar bear pen prompts zoo probe
Iconic Jamaican iguana under threat from $1.5bn Chinese port project
Development will destroy Jamaica's biggest nature reserve and fragile coastal areas, conservationists warn
Wake-up Call: As Monarch Butterfly Numbers Plummet, will their Migration become Extinct?
More alarming news from the Monarch butterfly roosting sites in Michoacán last week: the 2013 season will surpass 2012 as the all time worst year for Monarch butterflies since records have been kept.
Ever since 1994, scientists have measured the hectares occupied by the migrating insects in the high altitude forests west of Mexico City to get an idea of their numbers. That information typically works as a key indicat
Chester Zoo use scouring pads help rear rare chicks
Two rare chicks are being hand-reared by keepers at Chester Zoo - with the help of scouring pads.
The white-naped pheasant pigeons named Kola and Wokam were rejected by their parents so the zoo has been using the bristly pads to help them thrive.
Keeper Gareth Evans said the pads stop them slipping away and help their feet and legs develop, as they mimic a nest.
The exotic birds were named afte
Campaigners' fury as court says move of Morgan the whale to zoo was legal
Animal rights campaigners have vowed to continue fighting to free Morgan the killer whale from a Spanish tourist centre despite losing a legal battle, writes Patrick Hill in the Sunday People.
They are furious over a Dutch court’s ruling that the creature, also known as an orca, was legally moved to the zoo in Tenerife.
The campaigners believe they have found the rescued sea mammal’s family “pod” off the coast of Norway – and if possible want to reunite her with them.
But in a blow to the campaign, Holland’s Council of State has ruled that an official acted lawfully in granting permission for Morgan to be transferred from the Netherlands to the Spanish holiday island.
The court made clear that its deliberations concerned only the legality of the November 2011 transfer.
The council – similar to the House of Lords – said there was no alternative for Morgan at the time. But it did not consider a claim by the Born Free Foundation that it has now located the family pod.
And it ruled that concerns about Morgan’s living conditions and health in Spain were outside its jurisdiction.
Campaigners, including the Free Morga
How to milk a naked mole-rat
For the sake of science, Olav Oftedal has milked bats, bears and a lot of other mammals. But a naked mole-rat was something new.
“The thin, hairless skin is so translucent that you can see the milk accumulating in the mammary glands,” says Oftedal, of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Md. For once he could tell exactly which glands were full.
“In most small mammals,” he says, “the big problem is you have hair that can wick the milk away. You have a capillary tube, and you’re trying to catch the milk so it can’t touch any hair.” Naked mole-rats, though, are helpfully hairless.
Oftedal collected milk from the queens of Heterocephalus glaber colonies at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. In colonies of dozens or hundreds of mole-rats, only the qu
Man who tended to Lucy the elephant dies
A man who fought vigorously against animal rights activists who wanted to see Lucy the Elephant moved to an animal sanctuary, has died.
Doctor Milton Ness, a chief veterinarian at the Edmonton Valley Zoo, passed away last week.
The Valley Zoo Development Society confirmed Ness’ passing on Facebook Saturday afternoon.
“We would like to acknowledge the loss of an important member of our Edmonton Valley Zoo family. Dr. Milton Ness, a passionate and dedicated friend to all animals,” the statement read.
“Our thoughts are with his family and all of his co-workers at this difficult time. He will be greatly missed.”
But like some of his endeavours, that post attracted some negative comments, primarily linked to his fight to keep Lucy in Edmonton.
Ness has been a vocal proponent of keeping the pachyderm in our city -- she’s been here for most of her 37-years -- as he says the move to a sanctuary in the Southern United States would likely kill her.
The Society quickly put a stop to the negativity, saying “using this post to further you personal agenda, cause grief to the family and friends of a man who was respected, loved and dedicated his life to animals is unacceptable.”
Others however noted how much Ness ha
Largest project in zoo history announced
The Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium has announced plans for the largest project in its history.
On Friday, zoo officials said the $70 million project, called African Grasslands, will enter the first phase of construction this summer.
"African Grasslands will be a full immersion outdoor habitat featuring breathtaking panoramic views and long vistas of grasslands teeming with African wildlife," the zoo said.
The zoo said it will use grasses, acacia-like trees, rock kopjes and minimal barriers to provide unobstructed views of the animals. New restrooms, food service and visitor activities will be carefully planned along the path.
The project will provide exhibits for elephant, giraffe, white rhino, cheetah, impala, zebra and more, including mixed species habitats, pools for animals and interactive demonstration areas.
The elephant herd room will be the
Hanging around at the zoo
Animal management used to be all about suppression and violence, according to a second generation keeper at Dublin Zoo. Now, it’s about caring and a bit of pampering
The zoo’s other aim was to provide easy access to animal corpses for doctors not mad on grave-robbing. Once animals – specially the primates – had outlived their usefulness as spectacles, their cadavers were much sought after for research purposes.
Paul O’Donoghue is the assistant director of the zoo and I disturb him in his office. He is staring intently at a computer screen. “Here, have a look at this,” he half whispers in an Australian accent. It is a map of England on which a little orange dot is flashing. The dot is a hippo who has just been transferred out of the zoo and is on her way to a new home in Rotterdam. A pan-European stud book – kind of like Tinder for exotic animals – found her to be an ideal genetic match for a Dutch hippo so she’s going over to make friends. And maybe more.
The animal traffic is two-way and recent arrivals in Dublin include some red capped mangabeys from Barcelona. The zoo wants these primates to share its “rain forest” with the gorillas. It can’t happen overnight and the mangabeys are now living in a compound next door. The two species have met but through a metal grill and only when the zoo is happy the two groups won’t tear strips off each other will they be allowed come together.
Fruit bats, the eco-friendly creatures
Bats are remarkable for their high diversity and broad geographic distribution representing over 20% of all the living species of mammals distributed over all continents except Arctic, Antarctic and some isolated Oceanic islands. They are unique in the sense, they are only mammals capable of true flight and can cross the barriers other mammals cannot. Large fruit eating bats are represented by 176 species worldwide and 4 of them are present in Pakistan. These include short-nosed fruit bat (Cynopterus sphinx), the Indian flying fox (Pteropus giganteus) the fulvous fruit bat (Rousettus leschenaulti) and the Egyptian fruit bat (R. aegyptiacus). Large colonies of the Indian flying fox, the largest fruit bat of South India is reported from the Baag-i-Jinnah and Lalazar garden, Lahore and is usually seen with fear and as a superstitious creature.
Tayiba Latif Gulraiz, a PhD Scholar in the Department of Wildlife and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore conducted studies on Indian flying fox under supervision of Dr. Arshad Javid and concluded that these fruit bats should not be considered as pests as the ecosystem services provided by them out weight the losses caused by them. Perhaps, they served mankind with number of services as a pollinators, seed dispersers, bio-indicators and afforest agents can commute up to a distance of 50km. Fruit bats transport pollens and disperse seeds of many economically important and edible commercial tree species such as banana, avocado, date palm, fig, peach and mango. These fruits contribute a sizeable portion of the annual GDP of Pakistan. The economic importance of these flying foxes as p
Rescued Jumbos a Burden for Bannerghatta Zoo
The Forest Department has temporarily put on hold the request made by the authorities of Bannerghatta Zoo to release a dozen elephants back to the forests because of huge cost of feeding them.
Recently, the zoo authorities wrote to Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (wildlife) to shift around 12 rescued elephants which are presently housed in the zoo’s elephant rescue centre.
Sources told Express that the Forest Department had not kept its promise to release more money towards feeding those pachyderms and the additional burden has fallen on the zoo. The zoo required just three to four elephants for display purposes, but it has 15 elephants. Maintaining them has become a big problem.
Sources said despite shortage of staff, the zoo has managed to put 30 people to look after the 15 elephants. Each jumbo is taken care of by two people — a mahout and a kavadi — and they need to stay with them day and night to prevent them from mingling with visiting wild elephants from nearby forests. Feeding of each elephant costs around `1.25 lakh-1.5 lakh per month and the zoo was not in a position to spend that much. “We can manage if the Forest Department gives us additional funds,” sources said.
Two days ago, an elephant calf, which separated from its herd near Kanakpura, was brought to the zoo. “If the Forest Department goes on adding elephants where is the money to feed them. Even the request to provide the services of veterinary doctor has not been fulfilled,” sources alleged.
Zoo parting ways with celebrated animal care director
The Calgary Zoo’s animal care director is leaving the top spot for work in Europe, capping off a more than three-year stint as the city’s zookeeper who led an overhaul of welfare practices and received widespread acclaim for heroism when he rescued animals from flood water.
Dr. Jake Veasey, a respected conservation biologist, will leave the zoo after its elephants are shipped to the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., later this month. The zoo released few details about the departure of its high-profile director, simply posting on its Facebook page that Veasey has decided to split with the zoo to “begin the next phase of his career back in Europe.”
“Since joining the zoo in November 2010, Jake has had a remarkable impact on both the Calgary Zoo and our city,” the post states. “His leadership and scientific expertise in animal welfare and conservation helped shape a world-class animal care department.”
Veasey could not be reached for an interview Monday.
Born in London, England, Veasey is a recognized leader in managing animals, both in the wild and in zoos, having worked in North America, Africa and Europe. He also designs animal enclosures for zoos worldwide and advises officials on managing their facilities and assessing animal welfare.
New enclosures: Safari Park makes room for elephants
Four juvenile elephants were brought from Tanzania in 2009 to the park but two of the females were handed over to the Karachi Zoological Gardens in 2010.
The new enclosures
“The pair needs the enclosed space and we hope the visitors like it,” said Safari Park director Salman Shamsi, adding that they are expecting an increase in visitors during the summer holidays.
Red-billed chough escapes Jersey's Durrell wildlife park
A rare bird has escaped from Durrell wildlife park and keepers are appealing for help in finding it.
The red-billed chough, a member of the crow family, is a small black bird with a bright red beak.
Named Arthur, it is a breeding male on the Birds on the Edge project, which aims to repopulate Jersey with rare native birds.
Keepers believe a rat may have chewed through netting in the bird's aviary.
Other choughs hav
Dubai’s Safari Park is on course to open next year
The Dh150m zoo will cover 120 hectares and will house more than 1,000 animals
Tucked away behind a large security fence on Al Aweer Road opposite Dragonmart, workers are diligently building and landscaping the desert to shape Dubai’s new Safari Park zoo in time for a 2015 opening, say officials.
Plans to relocate Dubai Zoo, currently located on Jumeirah Road, have been on the cards for nearly 10 years as the project has been scrutinised, reworked and revised to come up with a feasible method of relocating roughly 1,000 animals from their existing cramped quarters.
The development of the new zoo is being carried out by Dubai Municipality and will see one of the most modern facilities in the world rise from the sand in the Al Warqa area.
“The project is smoothly running on track and will be completed by the end of 2015,” said an official at Dubai Municipality who is working closely with the project. “The project consists of 12 phases, and wi
Oregon Zoo firings and mystery of orangutan's death show, once again, that a zoo is unlike any other government service
The executives and elected officials at Metro, the Portland area’s regional government, oversee a strange and sometimes incongruous collection of public services: golf courses and garbage pickup, pioneer-era cemeteries and planning and convention center hotels.
Recent events suggest none is as fundamentally challenging as the Oregon Zoo.
Metro officials thought they had solved the zoo’s public relation problems after agency auditors examined construction spending and found something near chaos. But this week, the zoo became a public punching bag again as two of its top managers – director Kimberly Smith and senior veterinarian Mitch Finnegan – were fired. The dismissals were tied to the January death of a 20-year-old orangutan after surgery, a Metro statement said, but beyond that Metro leaders have offered few additional details.
Activists hoping to free zoo elephants and stop the zoo’s nationally renowned -- and, in some circles, vilified -- breeding program claimed some credit for the firings and used the opportunity to promote their cause. They’ve called on Portland-area voters to write in Packy, a 52-year-old elephant suffering from tuberculosis, against three Metro Coun
More than 40 people testify at Metro Council about elephant program
Holding signs and chanting "Free Packy!", a crowd of more than 40 people packed the Metro Council chamber Thursday, calling for changes to the Oregon Zoo's elephant program.
Many expressed frustration with the zoo's implementation of its 2008 bond program, which called for upgrades to the zoo's elephant habitat. Others said the Oregon Zoo should end its elephant program, as some other zoos in North America have done, and send the herd to a sanctuary.
"Packy has paid his dues," said Portlander Will Windham, referring to the elder elephant born at the Oregon Zoo in 1962. "He deserves a peaceful retirement."
"How would you like to be in house arrest for 52 years?" asked Portlander Bob Bernstein. "Do you think you could endure it? I doubt it. You'd all punk out compared to Packy."
Vancouver resident Ann Radley said she's watched videos of elephants in a sanctuary.
"It's beautiful to watch them step out. I watched elephants have their first swim in a pond, their first swim in a lake, their first roll in the mud. Elephants love to play in the mud," she said. "Their first time dusting with dust, foraging on a hill, foraging through trees, lying down to sleep on a hill baking in the hot sun."
Zoo officials say they're moving closer to that vision as construction moves forward on the zoo's $53 million Elephant Lands exhibit. The new six-acre area, four times the size of the current exhibit, will include ponds, sand and both indoor and outdoor areas.
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)