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|Zoo News Digest May-June 2016|
Zoo News Digest
Can This Man Save SeaWorld San Antonio?
Carl Lum stands near the bottom of Shamu Stadium, close to the pool, and looks out at the arena.
He has a commanding presence—tall with broad shoulders—but with his unassuming polo shirt and khaki slacks he looks like any other employee. In a relaxed tone of voice, he talks through the changes that are coming. He points to the large, oval-shaped pool, long used for the killer whale shows. He gestures to the huge, multicolored fin that decorates one side and the two large monitors. “That will all be gone,” he says. “It’s just way too Hollywood.”
In the five months si
Cher joins campaign for Pakistani elephant
The plight of a lonely elephant in a Pakistani zoo has inspired help from pop icon Cher, who has sent a representative to oversee improvements in his living conditions.
Cher first became aware of 29-year-old Kavaan’s plight when pictures of the elephant in chains with only a dilapidated shed for shelter and a small, dirty pond to play in spread on social media.
Cher sent her representative, Mark Cowne, to Islamabad to check up on Kavaan, who has been kept chained for 27 of his 29 years at the Maraghazar Zoo in Islamabad.
“Mark got Kaavan Water, Shade & Unchained. MARK IS TRYING EVERYTHING TO FREE HIM,” Cher tweeted after Cowne visited the zoo.
Cowne told Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper that Cher would soon launch an international campaign to help elephants in captivity.
How do animals perceive their world in zoos and aquariums?
According to critics of marine parks, zoos and aquariums, captive animals (particularly dolphins, whales, elephants and primates) are utterly miserable creatures. The primary misery described by activists is that the animals are acutely self-aware, they miss the wild and their families, hate performing, feel like they are enslaved by humans, and hate being in cages and pools. They dream of freedom.
JAMA: No plan to pull elephant-cancer risk paper after PETA protest
JAMA has decided not to retract an article about cancer risk in elephants after receiving a request to do so from an animal rights group.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently protested the 2015 paper, which found that higher levels of a tumor suppressor gene could explain why elephants have a lower risk of cancer. According to PETA, the paper contained inaccurate information that could be used to justify inhumane treatment of elephants. At the time, the journal told us it considers all calls for retraction.
In an email sent to a representative of PETA over the weekend, Howard Bauchner, Editor in Chief at JAMA and The JAMA Network, wrote:
There is no evidence of scientific miscon
Taronga Zoo program helps corroboree frog back from brink of extinction
LET out a yell in the right place at the right time in the Snowy Mountains, and a corroboree frog is likely to answer your call.
And that croaky response is growing louder once again thanks to a conservation project aimed at saving the species from a deadly frog fungus.
Taronga Zoo, together with the state government and organisations, is leading a campaign to breed the species in captivity to bolster the corroboree frog’s wild population, estimated to have once dipped to as few as 50 adults.
New conservation project for threatened giraffe
Conservationists are launching a new effort to save one of the few remaining populations of Central African giraffe left in the wild.
Experts from Bristol Zoological Society are travelling to Cameroon this summer to begin a critical research effort to map the location of some of the remaining Central African or Kordofan giraffe using drone technology.
They hope to establish whether there is a sustainable population of this highly threatened giraffe subspecies that they can work to conserve and help save them from extinction.
Wild giraffe numbers have dwindled from 140,000 to potentially 80,000 in just 15 years. There are now fewer giraffe left in the wild than African elephants, with giraffe numbers being around a fifth of those of African elephants. Population numbers of Kordofan giraffe are critically low, estimated at fewer than 2,000, in several fragmented populations throughout their range.
Bristol Zoological Society’s head of conservation science, Dr Grainne McCabe, said: “Kordofan gira
Inside the minds of zoo animals
Terry Maple, a professor of comparative psychobiology at Florida Atlantic University, and the former director of the Atlanta and Palm Beach zoos, has built a career on trying to understand animals and improve their environments.
When he saw the video of Harambe with a toddler at the Cincinnati Zoo, he says he thought he could tell what Harambe might have been thinking.
“What I saw was the gorilla was really grabbing at that kid very much like he was another gorilla,” Maple says. “Male gorillas often steal the babies from the mothers briefly and, you know, in a playful way. They don't hurt them and it didn't look to me like he was going to hurt this kid. But we are so much weaker than gorillas."
"When a gorilla grabs a person's arm, it could be a very, very tough interaction and it could hurt you or it could kill you. As you saw in the video, if you're watching it, he drug [the child] a bit through the water. And of course that's a concrete floor and that could have been disastrous as well. So it was a very dangerous situation — no human being needs to get in with a gorilla. It would be very risky even for an adult and this was a small child.”
Maple says zoos have changed a lot in the past decades, making them better environments for animals.
“Landscape architects began to work in zoos and, rather than build buildings for animals, they started building landscapes,” Maple says. “That revolution start
14 animals that smell like snack foods
The animal kingdom is full of appetizing smells. While most of the time animals smell perhaps a bit on the musty or musky side, some animals produce scents that will make your mouth water. Here is a collection of animals who emit smells that will make you think you're in the kitchen rather than the great outdoors.
New Evidence Shows the Illegal Pet Trade Is Wiping Out Indonesia’s Birds
Indonesia has a long history of keeping birds as pets, but now it’s driving many species to the brink.
Indonesians on the island of Java have an old saying: A man is considered to be a real man if he has a house, a wife, a horse, a keris (dagger), and a bird.
The sprawling island nation is home to more than 1,600 species of birds, more than almost any other country in the world. It’s also home to the greatest number of species that are threatened by the bird trade.
Now a new study highlights just how severe a threat the pet trade is to Indonesia’s birds. The study, released Wednesday, has identified 13 species and another 14 subspecies that are at risk of extinction because of the pet trade.
“The number one thing I want people to know is that the bird trade is an incredibly urgent issue that needs addressing,” said Chris Shepherd, one of the study’s authors and the Southeast Asian regional director for TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring organization. “It is a conservation crisis that is being ignored.”
Among the species at risk of extinction is Indonesia’s national bird, the Javan hawk-eagle, a dark-brown raptor with a pointy crest of feathers extending from its head. According to the study, 300 to 500 mature hawk-eagles remain, and the number born each year is about equivalent to the number being taken from the wild for the pet trade. When the bird was elevated to a national symbol in 1993, there were fears that the special recognition would encourage demand rather than stifle it. Those fears have b
NICE WORK CHESSINGTON! Zoo keepers have just released hundreds of rare spiders into the wild… and some of them span THREE inches
The Fen Raft Spider is the biggest species in the UK with a span of up to three inches
The Surrey zoo has just released hundreds of the UK’S BIGGEST spiders into the wild.
The fen raft spider has a massive span of THREE INCHES and is the largest of the UK’s 660 species of eight-legged critters.
Now the boffins at Chessington have released them into the wild as part of a conservation effort for the endangered species.
Which is not good news for arachnophobes.
The fen raft are a protected species under
Japanese zoo and trust fund donate trucks to Sabah Wildlife Dept
The Sabah Wildlife Department received three Daihatsu Hijet mini trucks donated by Asahiyama Zoo and Borneo Conservation Trust Fund Japan to help ease the job of delivering food for the animals. State Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Kamarlin Ombil said each truck would be stationed at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park here, the Borneo Elephant Sanctuary in Lower Kinabatangan and the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation centre in Sandakan. “Asahiyama Zoo director Dr Gen Bandoh managed to acquire donations from the Daihatsu Motor Company Ltd to get the vehicles after he explained the conflict between humans and elephants at the said parks and centre in Sabah. “I would like to appeal to potential donors from non-governmental organisations to emulate deed of the Asahiyama Zoo, Borneo Conservation Trust and Daihatsu through their respective CSR programs by contributing towards the conservation of threatened wildlife species,” he said during the handover ceremony at the Lok Kawi wildlife park this morning. Kamarlin said the conflicts between humans and wildlife, which occur due to forest-clearing for farming activities
Alaska Zoo responds to claims of grizzly bear negligence
A recent online petition is claiming the Alaska Zoo has been negligent in the care of its grizzly bear exhibit.
The petition accuses the zoo of failing to provide a sufficient habitat, specifically, “No forest for any comfort except for a couple of dead pine trees in their empty cage.”
Author of the petition, Amy Smith, says she launched the effort after seeing the bears on a trip
SeaWorld addresses sanctuaries
Though it was a meeting aimed at investors, several questions at Wednesday's SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. shareholder meeting were focused on animals, rather than financial performance.
A couple of those questions mentioned the National Aquarium in Baltimore's recently announced plans to build a seaside sanctuary for its Atlantic bottlenose dolphins by 2020.
The aquarium says it is scouting locations in Florida and the Caribbean and is soliciting donations. One of its dolphins, Jade, was born at SeaWorld in 1999 and transported to the National Aquarium in 2006.
"We have the utmost respect for the National Aquarium," Chief Executive Officer Joel Manby said. "We certainly know they're going to take into account what we think are some health challenges of taking dolphins born and raised in an aquarium and placing them in an unfamiliar ocean environment, but having said that, we know they intend to pursue this experiment in a very mindful way and to monitor the health of their d
New Zoo is planned for Sabah. Should we be Happy?
One of Malaysia’s greatest natural assets is its world-renowned wildlife. That, though, is not always immediately apparent from the way native animals are treated and protected. The country boasts scores of national parks and protected forests, large and small, but much more work is needed to provide truly sage and permanent sanctuaries for threatened and endangered species.
But what of the country’s “wildlife parks” – zoos, in other words? We are asking because the Sabah government has floated the idea of setting up a new wildlife park in Penampang to better showcase the state’s famous biodiversity to the public. The plans are still in their initial stages, cautioned Masidi Manjun, minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, who have just announced them publicly.
“We will only proceed if all legal and cultural issues can be trashed out. We fully understand that native reserve has cultural significance to the natives in Sugud. We don’t want to be seen to be taking over native rights and that is the reason why the proposal needs to be discussed exhaustively,” he said but did allow that the new park, if established, would be considerably larger than the existing Lok Kawi Wildlife Park in Sabah. He has also floated the idea of relocating the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park to the new site. The latter wildlife park was set up in 2007 with both a botanical and zoological section to it.
Should we be excited about the prospect of a new zoo in Sabah? Not if we go by the nature of things in Lok Kawi. The zoo has come in for plenty of flak from animal lovers and conservationists over its treatment of captive animals. “[A] visit to this zoo offers a chance to see Sa
“Tigers from Cages to Black Market” 90% of Thailand’s Zoos and Tiger Farms Involved in Black Market
Mr Edwin Wiek, founder of Wildlife Friends Foundation-Thailand, during a seminar on “Tigers: From Cages to Black Market” said on Monday that about 90 percent of tiger farms and private zoos in Thailand are suspected to be involved in illegal trade in wildlife.
Referring to the recent raid of the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi and the eventual relocation of 137 tigers from the temple to a breeding station in Ratchaburi province, Wiek said that the number of tigers seized constituted
NMMU STUDENT’S YEAR-LONG STUDY REVEALS NEW PENGUIN BEHAVIOUR
King penguins off the sub-Antarctic Marion Island make epic trips to find food for their young, some swimming 2000km away from the island, crossing from the Indian Ocean into the Atlantic, and lasting for as long as four weeks.
This was among the findings of a year’s research at the sub-Antarctic Marion Island for Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University zoology master’s graduate Tegan Carpenter-Kling, who returned to South Africa last month on board the country’s newest research vessel, the Agulhas II.
The research conducted by Carpenter-Kling forms part of a large-scale project under the South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP), of which NMMU’s Dr Pierre Pistorius is the principle investigator. The data she collected, which will form part of her upcoming doctoral studies, is unique in that she studied the foraging behaviour of12 of Marion Island’s top-predator surface-breeding species (which includes seabirds and seals), rather than just a single species, as most researchers have done in the past.
“I was trying to simultaneously track all 12 species to be able to identify areas of ecological or biological importance,” she said.
Besides discovering the epic journey King penguins make, which has not been documented before, Carpenter-Kling also discovered new foraging behaviour for Gentoo penguins – in that they alternate between short foraging trips, to feed themselves, and much longer ones, to find food for their young. She also recorded the deepest dive yet for a Gentoo penguin, which was over 200m.
The broader project, which is a collaboration between NMMU, the Department of Environmental Affairs, and the universities of Cape Town and Pretoria, involves mapping areas of conservation importance around the island, while also monitoring the impact of
Mishaps at the Atascadero Zoo
To nobody’s surprise, wild animals and humans don’t mix.
That was the fascination with lion tamers in the ring with wild cats. Everyone knew all the lion wanted to do was eat the man with the whip and a chair — I never quite understood the chair in that act.
It was with interest that I followed the incident where the 4-year old boy fell into the enclosure that held a 400-pound gorilla. I don’t think those in charge at the Cincinnati Zoo had any choice but to shoot the 17-year old gorilla. Think of the angry folks who’d be out there if they didn’t kill the gorilla and the
In defence of captivity
Back to back human-wildlife encounters shocked the world in the past two weeks. Regrettably, these animals, like many others in the past, paid the ultimate price: their lives.
Curiously though, the reason these interactions made international headlines was not because they occurred deep in the wilderness or at the edges of human and wildlife cohabitation, but because they took place in the apparent safety of zoo enclosures.
In the Santiago Zoo, Chile, two African lions mauled a suicidal man who tried to feed himself to them. Only about a week later, a Western lowland mountain gorilla named Harambe handled a young boy who fell into its enclosure in the Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio.
Arguably these incidents were caused by human error: the former by a mentally unstable person; the latter, lackadaisical parenting or poor enclosure design. Yet at the end of the day, members fr
Is Being Color Blind Actually an Advantage?
The “new world” monkeys of South and Central America range from large muriquis to tiny pygmy marmosets. Some are cute and furry, others bald and bright red, and one even has an extraordinary moustache. Yet, with the exception of owl and howler monkeys, the 130 or so remaining species have one thing in common: A good chunk of the females, and all of the males, are color blind.
This is quite different from “old world” primates, including us Homo sapiens, who are routinely able to see the world in what we humans imagine as full color. In evolutionary terms, color blindness sounds like a disadvantage, one which should really have been eliminated by natural selection long ago. So how can we explain a continent of the color blind monkeys?
I have long wondered what makes primates in the region color blind and visually diverse, and how evolutionary forces are acting to maintain this variation. We don’t yet know exactly what kept these seemingly disadvantaged monkeys alive and flourishing—but what is becoming clear is that color blindness is an adaptation not a defect.
The first thing to understand is that what we humans consider “color” is only a small portion of the spectrum. Our “trichromatic” vision is superior to most mammals, who typically share the “dichromatic” vision of new world monkeys and color blind humans, yet fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and even insects are able to see a wider range, even into the UV spectrum. There is a whole world of color out there that humans and our primate cousins are unaware
High flying technology helping conserve WA's threatened black cockatoos
In a world first, researchers at Murdoch University have teamed up with industry to track endangered Carnaby's cockatoos in the southwest of Western Australia, using state-of-the-art technology developed in the Netherlands that will provide insight into threats to the endangered species.
Ouwehands Zoo Foundation donates 22,600 euros to protect bonobos
Back in 2002 Bonobo Alive constructed a field station in Salonga National Park in Congo. Since then 100 km² of bonobo habitat is being protected. Local villagers remove snares and make sure bush meat hunters are identified. At the same time a research project started to monitor the bonobo population. Next to this the natural diet of this threatened ape was analysed. So far all work was very successful. Considering the fact that bonobo’s more and more move out of the protected area it is a strong wish to enlarge it. Good for the bonobo’s, but in t
Rarest Cat in the World? Rescuing a critically endangered felid from conservation obscurity
In the early 1970's, the last tiger on the island of Java was seen alive in a tropical forest of the remote countryside. For a decade or more after, rumors of their survival persisted. Spectral vestiges of what they once were, a wake of ambiguous evidence continued to surface, invoking both certainty and incredulity much the way a haunting might. Found guilty of merely existing, and of having nowhere else to go, the Javan tiger likely defied an extinction sentence until the mid-1980’s when Indonesia’s exploding human population, and the almost complete deforestation of the island, was more than it could bear. To say I obsessed about this loss as a child would in fact be to understate the matter. That the world lost the Javan tiger was a standalone story of great tragedy. That it happened however on the heels of losing the Bali tiger and Bali leopard, was the equivalent of a knockout heavyweight’s uppercut after a disorienting right hook to the head. Worse I know that
SMITHSONIAN STUDY REVEALS DECLINE OF GENETIC DIVERSITY IN WILD CHEETAHS
The planet’s last stronghold of wild cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) is losing genetic diversity at an alarming rate according to a new study from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and partners published June 21 in the journal Biological Conservation. This is in direct contrast with the population of cheetahs in zoos, which is as genetically diverse as it was 30 years ago because of cooperative and strategically managed breeding programs, including the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Cheetah Species Survival Plan.
Highland zoo ordered to close over animal welfare concerns
A Highland zoo has been ordered to close over serious concerns about animal welfare.
The decision was made after complaints from visitors led to a special inspection of the Black Isle Wildlife Park.
A government vet called in by Highland Council found "serious deficiencies" at the North Kessock zoo.
The council will help rehome the park's animals, which include zebras, wildcats, llamas, meerkats, goats and emus.
The local authority issued a zoo closure notice to its owners on Wednesday, which they have 28 days to appeal.
The council said: "Findings of the special inspection and the specialist vet's report indicated that the zoo was found to be seriously below the standards required for operators to be in possession of a zoo licence, and was non-compliant
Zoobic opens petting zoo
A petting zoo was recently opened by the Zoobic Safari inside the Harbor Point Ayala Mall to introduce animals to the public.
According to Zoobic Park owner Robert Yupangco, the petting zoo will give little kids an introduction on how to take care of animals.
Dubbed as the Play Forest, the petting zoo will let children interact with the animals, showing them that they can be part of a bigger role in taking care of these animals. Animal trainers educate the children on how to properly feed, pet and clean their pets.
“It’s a place where kids can feed and interact with our very huggable and friendly animals such as bunnies, parakeets (love birds) and goat kids and sheep lambs,” he
India’s captive leopards: a life sentence behind bars
When an escaped leopard tackled a man at a poolside on a school campus in the southern Indian city of Bangalore early this year, the video went viral. The victim was one of the wildlife managers trying to recapture the animal. His colleagues finally managed to tranquilize it late that night and return it to a nearby zoo that was serving as a rescue center for a population of 16 wild-caught leopards. A week later, the leopard squeezed between the bars of another cage and escaped again, this time for good.
All the news and social media attention focused on the attack – and none on the underlying dynamic. But that dynamic affects much of India. Even as leopards have vanished in recent decades from vast swaths of Africa and Asia, the leopard population appears to be increasing in this nation of 1.2 billion people. The leopards are adept at living unnoticed even amid astonishingly high human population densities. But conflicts inevitably occur. Enraged farmers sometimes kill the leopards. Trapping is a standard response, but religious and animal rights objections have made euthanasia for unwanted animals unthinkable.
Thus anywhere from 100 to several hundred wild-caught leopards nationwide have ended up being trapped and locked away for life, in facilities that often cannot provide proper security, space, veterinary care, or feeding.
In the Bangalore incident, the attack victim, leopard biologist Sanjay Gubbi, managed to fight off the leopard and
2,000 animals at Tiger Temple 'starving'
2,000 animals remain at the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi with little, if any, food after authorities moved its tigers.
The recent Tiger removal has reportedly left the temple without any means for raising money to pay for animal food.
So, the Tiger Temple is now asking for food donations to feed the remaining animals.
NO VISITORS AFTER MUCH-PUBLICISED TIGER RELOCATION
Staff at the Tiger Temple said there have been no visitors at all to the temple after the relocation of 147 tigers to several breeding centres in other provinces between May 30 and June 4.
The relocation was carried out by the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department under a court order.
The temple, once famous among tourists for its Bengal tigers from 2004 to last month, was accused of involvement in illegal wildlife trafficking.
Nathawut Phokaew, a temple boy (a layman serving monks at a temple in exchange for shelter and food), said on Wednesday after the tigers were removed, the temple had been
Zoos are the problem, not the solution to animal conservation
In the past month the deaths of animals in captivity have highlighted continuing concerns around conservation. Zoos are entertainment, and while they contribute to conservation they don’t provide any real solution. Wildlife can only be saved by empowering their protection in their own natural habitats—and that means we have to work with local communities and not against them.
On 28th May 2016, for example, Harambe, a captive born gorilla, was shot dead after a young boy fell into his enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo in the United States. One week earlier, two lions were destroyed at Santiago’s Metropolitan Zoo in Chile, and a week before that a Sumatran elephant called Yani died in the notorious Surabaya Zoo in Indonesia. An online discussion has exploded about each of these sad cases, but by and large it’s a debate that excludes the views of those most important for success.
Opponents of zoos such as Marc Bekoff, a behavioural ecologist and professor emeritus at the University of Colorado, argue that an animal’s life in captivity is a shadow of their experience in the wild. Proponents of zoos such as the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums counter that the conservation benefits zoos provide outweigh the isolated (albeit tragic) costs paid by the animals involved.
On social media zoo supporters say that captive animals serve as conservation ‘ambassadors’ for their wild counterparts, and that zoos are a ‘Noah’s Ark’ that provides a buffer against the decline of endangered species. In truth, this is a script that even the zoo industry has quietly abandoned.
While some species such as oryx, wolves and condors have benefited from captive breeding programmes, there is precious little evidence that zoo bred genetics are being used to strengthen wild populations of gorillas, elephants and dolphins. Zoos recognise that they have insufficient space to engage in successful breeding programmes for lar
Tiger Temple raid opens door to positive changes
Sybelle Foxcroft is the founder of Conservation and Environmental Education 4 Life (Cee4life), an Australia-based non-profit whose investigative report on Kanchanaburi’s “Tiger Temple” led to the recent raid.
Cee4life had presented the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) in Thailand with two reports documenting overwhelming evidence that the temple was trading in tiger body parts.
Edwin Wiek, founder of the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, had attempted to discredit Foxcroft before eventually relenting and focusing his energy on tiger conservation. The focus now must be on the tigers and the continuation of what Foxcroft has devoted her heart and life to for the past decade.
Why did she have to waste precious energy defending her report against a small group of people who had missed the point - the report was what convinced the police and the DNP to finally take action. The Tiger Temple has finally been irrevocably exposed for the hellish, corrupt, abusive and disgusting place that many of us knew was hiding behind the monk's protective robes.
This story has huge repercussions for wildlife facilities and corrupt temples throughout Thailand. Tiger Kingdom, another tourist attraction, should also be closed. Sriracha Zoo is under scrutiny. It takes immense courage to expose these crimes and vision to find a solution that helps protect both the tigers and their environment.
Thailand closed parts of the Similan Island
Do wild animals that attack people need to die?
A marathon runner who was mauled by a bear in New Mexico on Saturday thought quickly, played dead and escaped injured, but alive. The female bear, which wildlife officials said was with her cubs when she was surprised by the runner, was captured and put to death.
New Mexico officials said they were confident they had the right bear, which wore a radio collar, and noted with regret that state law requires them to euthanize and test for rabies any wild animal that attacks or bites a person, no matter the circumstances.
The bear’s death was decried by some observers as an unjust sentence for an animal that may have been acting defensively. And it was the latest such killing to highlight the common reaction to most of the very rare attacks by wild animals on people in the United States: Capital punishment for the animal, and sometimes even for uninvolved animals nearby.
After a mountain lion pounced on a child in his Colorado yard last weekend, officials captured and killed two lions, saying it it is their policy to kill wild animals that may have been involved in an attack on humans. Last week, after an alligator dragged a toddler into a lagoon in Orlando, Fla., wildlife authorities trapped and killed at least six of the reptiles. Leaving them at tourist-filled Disney World certainly wouldn’t make sense, and Florida says it typically doesn’t relocate “nuisance alligators” – large ones “believed to pose a threat” to people, pets or property – because there are so many that killing individuals doesn’t affect the species’ population.
The justice system for wild animal attackers varies across jurisdictions, and sometimes by species. But there’s no Innocence Project
When Tiger Leaps
A tiger's soul-spark flares in the madness of captivity.
A YouTube video has been making its rounds on the internet. It is brief—less than a minute. The clip shows a young woman seated in front of a Plexiglas-enclosed tiger exhibit. She is smiling, posed, presumably for her family or friends’ cameras. Unbeknownst to her, the white tiger photo op behind her is on the move. He is silently approaching, step by restrained step.
Peel Zoo zookeeper defends dingo that bit her face
A ZOOKEEPER from Peel Zoo has defended the dingo that bit her face and landed her in hospital.
Emma Mitchell-Collett (23) was bitten by Shiloh, a three-year-old male dingo, who lives at Peel Zoo.
Ms Mitchell-Collett said it was important not to compare dingoes to pet dogs.
“Dingoes are not dogs and they cannot be truly domesticated,” she said.
“I love being a zookeeper and know these incidents are bound to occur at some point working with animals every day.”
A 21-year-old volunteer was bitten by Shiloh earlier this month when she entered his enclosure to put a harness on him for a walk.
Ms Mitchell-Collett tried to protect the woman.
“I intervened to remove the volunteer and was bitten in the process,” she said.
“We were both transported to the Fiona
Tadpoles hatch in seconds to escape predator
Although red-eyed tree frog embryos appear helpless within their jelly-coated eggs, they can hatch up to two days ahead of schedule, reacting within seconds to attacks by egg thieves. At the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama, scientists used high-speed video to uncover their rapid-hatching secret.
"Most people think of embryos as fairly passive," said Karen Warkentin, STRI research associate and professor at Boston University. "But evidence keeps accumulating that embryos of many species are actively engaged with their world, not only receiving information but also using it to do things that help them survive."
This is particularly true of the embryos of red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas). Native to Neotropical rainforests, adult frogs live in trees and lay clusters of 40 or so eggs on leaves, branches or other structures that overhang ponds or streams. Left undisturbed, tadpoles hatch after a week's development inside the gooey egg mass and drop into the water below. But the eggs are often attacked by hungry snakes or wasps and are also vulnerable to sudden environmental events like floods or heavy downpours. Developing embryos are able to assess the level of threat and have evolved a quick-release mechanism to escape the egg prematurely.
In a project led by Warkentin's doctoral student, Kristina Cohen, the scientists collected and studied egg clusters at STRI's open-air laboratory in Gamboa, Panama. By physically manipulatin
Buenos Aires zoo to close after 140 years: 'Captivity is degrading'
Buenos Aires has announced plans to close down its 140-year-old zoo, arguing that keeping wild animals in captivity and on display is degrading.
Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta said that the zoo’s 2,500 animals will be gradually moved to nature reserves in Argentina which can provide a more suitable environment. The 44-acre zoo in the Palermo neighbourhood will become an ecopark when it is reopened later this year.
“This situation of captivity is degrading for the animals, it’s not the way to take care of them,” said Rodríguez, at a ceremony on Thursday.
The new ecopark will be “a place where children can learn how to take care of and relate with the different species”, the mayor said. “What we have to value is the animals. The way they live here is definitely not the way to do that.”
Some of the zoo’s bird species will be released in the Reserva Ecológica, a riverside ecological reserve covering 864 acres in Buenos Aires. Older animals and those too infirm to be moved will remain at the current site.
The new ecopark will also provide refuge and rehabilitation for animals rescued from illegal trafficking, city officials said.
Buenos Aires zoo was one of the city’s main tourist attractions, but despite its popularity, the decaying zoo had been running a loss for its private concessionaires.
It had also attracted bad publicity in recent years, particularly regarding the desperate plight of its captive polar bears during the city’s oppressively hot summers. The zoo’s last remaining polar bea
Bowmanville Zoo to close this year
The exotic animals of the Bowmanville zoo — wolves, tigers, and baboons to name a few— will be looking for new homes after the east-end facility announced Thursday it will be closing at the end of the 2016 season.
At a press conference, zoo officials said recent “allegations” made by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had led to a “catastrophically” low number of visitors— resulting in financial problems.
Earlier this year, the zoo’s director Michael Hackenberger stepped down after being charged with animal cruelty. The charges were due to a video released by PETA in December which appeared to show him hitting a tiger with a whip during a training session.
“Untrue allegations made by PETA in regards to a tiger incident have created a climate in which the zoo can no longer operate,” said Angus Carroll, the zoo’s director of communications, who estimated attendance is down 65 per cent since last summer.
“The zoo attendance is down dramatically, and in fact that hardly captures it. Catastrophically. So, there just isn’t enough money to run this zoo at this time,” he said.
In an interview, Brittany Peet, PETA Foundation’s director of captive animal law enforcement said “the blame lies solely on Michael Hackenberger.”
The Ontario Society for the Pre
Osaka aquarium boasts first successful artificial insemination of endangered penguin
The Kaiyukan aquarium in the city of Osaka said Thursday it has become the world’s first to succeed in artificial insemination of the southern rockhopper penguin, a species at risk of extinction.
The chick was born June 6 and has grown to weigh 724 grams. It is now on display at the aquarium.
The penguin is designated as a vulnerable species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ Red List of Threatened Species.
The penguin, whose scientific name is eudyptes chrysocome, breeds on islands near Antarctica. Kaiyukan succeeded in the artificial insemination of the penguin for the first time since it began the attempt in 2011.
Using sperm obtained from Tokyo Sea Life Park, Kaiyukan performed artificial insemination on three female penguins in April. Three chicks were born in June, and DNA tests confirmed that one of them was conceived through artificial insemination.
Kaiyukan said it managed to tell an appropriate time for insemination thanks to its accumulated research data. “We’ll foster the chicks carefully so we can contribute to efforts to increase their offs
Darjeeling zoo to receive snow leopard from London
The Padma Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (PNHZP) in Darjeeling, one of the highest high-altitude zoos in the country, is eagerly awaiting a new resident — a snow leopard from Dudley Zoological Gardens in London.
The two-year-old male snow leopard, named ‘Makalu’, will travel in air for about 16 hours with a stopover at Dubai before making an expected arrival at the Kolkata airport in an Emeritus Flight at 8.20 a.m. on Friday, from where the big cat will be transported to the park.
The snow leopard is named after the world’s fifth highest peak at 27,765 feet on the south-east side of the Everest.
One of the most elusive mountain cats, the snow leopard (Panthera uncial) is categorised as an endangered species in the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list.
“At this moment, the PNHZP has nine snow leopards. Eight of them are females while one is male,” V K Yadav, Member Secretary, State Zoo authority told The Hindu. The male big cat, named Subhas, is 14 years old.
The initiative to bring a male snow leopard to the zoological garden is seen as crucial to its conservation and breeding programme. Located about 7,000 feet above the sea-level, PNHZP has given six snow leopards, a pair each, to high-altit
SeaWorld on Saudi shores likely
Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, met with executives from SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment here Tuesday.
SeaWorld's CEO Joel Manby said that his company was looking at all the options for expanding global operations in tourism and looking for new partners, including Saudi Arabia.
"Saudi Arabia has beautiful coastlines filled with marine life and wild animals and it is in need for a tourism push. We are waiting for the opportunity to go there," Joel said.
SeaWorld has over 12 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase zoological collections of ov
Tiger Temple crackdown spurs animal tourism overhaul
Tourists flocked to the temple for an opportunity to touch and snap a selfie with live big cats, earning the monks nearly $6m a year from ticket sales, according to the New York Times. The temple, Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, is situated west of Bangkok in Kanchanaburi Province, near another of Thailand‘s top tourist attractions, the Bridge over the River Kwai.
Police investigating the temple then found what they believe is a slaughterhouse and tiger holding facility at a home roughly 50 kilometres from Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, which they suspect is part of a larger wildlife smuggling operation involving the Tiger Temple. The following day, police stopped a monk and two men leaving the temple in a truck with two tiger skins, tiger teeth and more than 700 vials containing tiger skin. Tiger parts are sometimes sold on the black market for use in traditional medicine, with tiger bone selling for as much as $353 per kilogram and tiger penis soup costing up to $320 a bowl, according to the New York Times.
The Prime Minister appears to have given up on bringing giant pandas from China to Wellington Zoo.
In a statement to ONE News, a spokesman for John Key confirmed there have been no conversations about acquiring the black and white bears since the cost of bringing them here was hotly debated last year.
"It’s a matter for Wellington Zoo," the statement says.
It was estimated it would cost $10 million to create a panda enclosure, with another $1.3 million each year to lease a pair from China.
The Government had lobbied hard for a deal, even suggesting New Zealand swaps two kiwi birds for two panda bears.
Today Wellington Zoo all but ruled the idea out, releasing a list of priority animals for the next decade, which did not include pandas.
It’s now interested in snow leopards, wombats and ring-tailed lemurs, saying it would find room for pandas if the Government covered the bulk of the costs.
City Mayor Celia Wade-Brown
As A Major Zoo Closes, 10 Reasons To Rethink The Concept
After 140 years in operation, the Buenos Aires Zoo in Argentina's capital plans to move almost all of its 2,500 animals to natural reserves.
Those animals too old or infirm to make the move will stay, but will no longer be kept on public exhibit. The zoo will become an educational eco-park where animals rescued from the illegal-trafficking trade may be helped and housed.
According to The Guardian, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, the mayor of Buenos Aires, said in announcing this news on Thursday: "This situation of captivity is degrading for the animals, it's not the way to take care of them."
Good news like this brings with it an exhilarating surge of humanity and hope. Just last week, the National Aquarium in Baltimore announced plans to move its eight Atlantic bottlenose dolphins to an outdoor sanctuary — one with natural seawater — by 2020. That decision as well was driven by animal-welfare concerns.
An information fact sheet provided by the organization In Defense of Animals (IDA) reports that since 1991, 27 zoos have closed or will be closing their elephant exhibits; 13 zoos have sent elephants to the two elephant sanctuaries in the United States, one in California and one in Tennessee. This change comes in recognition, the IDA says, "that a traditional zoo cannot meet elephants' needs for space for movement and health maintenance, mental stimulation, and large social groups."
I don't mean to suggest that zoos or the e
Plan to fly rhinos to Australia comes under fire
An ambitious project to relocate rhinos from South Africa to Australia has been accused by some conservation researchers of being a waste of money.
The Australian Rhino Project charity, headquartered in Sydney, has attracted huge publicity for its plans to move 80 rhinos to Australia “to establish an insurance population and ensure the survival of the species”. It raised more than Aus$800,000 (US$600,000) in the year to September 2015, and hopes to start by flying out six rhinos later in 2016. The charity says that eventually, rhinos from the Australian herd could be sent back to Africa to re-establish wild populations there, when poaching — which is devastating rhino populations in Africa — becomes less of a threat.
But in a letter published in Nature this week1, four researchers warn that the project “is diverting funds and public interest away from the actions necessary to conserve the animals”. The million-dollar cost of moving 80 animals would be better put towards poaching prevention, the researchers say.
Zoos Are Not Prisons. They Improve the Lives of Animals.
The recent death of Harambe—the Western lowland gorilla shot dead at the Cincinnati Zoo after a three-year-old boy fell into his enclosure—has ignited a fierce debate about the role of modern zoos. Some critics have seized the tragedy as an opportunity to advance an uncompromising anti-captivity narrative in which all zoos and aquariums are inherently unethical and cruel.
To be sure, there are bad actors. The spawning of so-called “roadside zoos”—an exploitative enterprise known for its systematic negligence and abuse of animals—are some of the most egregious cases-in-point. But blunt and sweeping indictments of zoos and aquariums fail to account for how ethical institutions enrich and ultimately protect the lives of animals, both in human care and in the wild.
Responsible zoos and aquarium
MEET DAMIAN ASPINALL, SOCIETY'S DR DOOLITTLE
A bright sun is beating down on Damian Aspinall as he sits outside one of the lavishly appointed (and rentable) treehouses he's had built at his Port Lympne Reserve, in Kent. Below are some of the 600 acres in which black rhino brood, gorillas gambol, zebra frolic and Amur tigers exude sleek ferocity; through the haze the English Channel can be seen. 'Evocative, isn't it?' he says, pleasure pouring from the 56-year-old's six-foot-three frame, and who's to disagree?
Licences for UAE dog owners and exotic animal ownership are target of new draft FNC law
Dog owners must buy a licence for their pets and keep them on a leash at all times when in public under a new draft law passed by the Federal National Council.
There will be fines of up to Dh500,000 and up to six months in jail for owners who fail to keep their pets under control and the animal will be confiscated.
The penalty also applies to owners who do not vaccinate their dogs against dangerous diseases. Owners will have six months from the date the law comes into action, which is yet to be announced, to buy the necessary licence and vaccinations.
The law, which was discussed by the FNC on Wednesday also bans the private ownership of wild and exotic animals.
It aims to regulate the possession and trade of predatory, dangerous and semi-dangerous animals.
Only zoos, wildlife parks, circuses, breeding and research centres are allowed to keep wild or exotic animals. The public is urged to report cases of wild animals being kept as pets.
Anyone who takes a leopard, cheetah or any other kind of exotic animal out in public will be fined between Dh10,000 and Dh500,000.
People who use an animal to threaten
Australia Zoo cleared of animal mistreatment
An eight-month investigation into poor treatment of animals at Australia Zoo's animal hospital has found no evidence its hospital staff deliberately mistreated animals.
The Queensland Government's Biosecurity Queensland investigated 31 allegations since 2015 against the hospital st
Questions over probe as Australia Zoo cleared of animal mistreatment
A WITNESS who made allegations of animal mistreatment at Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital was not interviewed as part of an eight-month State Government investigation.
Biosecurity Queensland yesterday announced there was “insufficient evidence” that injured animals were given poor or wrong treatment at the Sunshine Coast facility operated by “Wildlife Warrior” Terri Irwin.
Zoo visitor perceptions, attitudes, and conservation intent after viewing African elephants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Elephants in the wild face several conservation issues. With the rebranding of zoos as conservation and education pioneers, they have the ability to both educate and inspire guests to action. The purpose of this research was to analyze visitor perceptions and attitudes toward elephant conservation and outcomes post-exhibit visit. A one-page survey was randomly administered to assess perceptions of elephant behavior, attitudes about elephant conservation, and intended conservation-related outcomes from September 2013 to January 2014. Principle component analysis identified three major components: concern for elephants in zoos, importance of elephants in the wild, and modification of nature. Visitors who scored highly on conservation intent were those with positive attitudes towards elephants in the wild and negative attitudes regarding the modification of nature. The greatest changes in conservation intent were a result of a self-reported up-close encounter and the ability to witness active behaviors. Prov
St. Augustine Alligator Farm becomes first U.S. zoo to breed endangered Indian gharial
The first successful hatching of an Indian gharial outside of India or Nepal took place Sunday at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.
The park announced the hatching Monday morning.
John Brueggen, the Alligator Farm’s director and general manager, said the keepers have been trying to get a live Indian gharial hatchling for decades.
It’s a difficult feat to pull off, Brueggen said, because the animals like to lay their eggs in sandy river banks in their native territory. The Alligator Farm staff did its best to replicate that environment.
Brueggen added that the animals also need very specific
National Aquarium to move dolphins into refuge
Eight dolphins that have spent their lives swimming in tanks will be retired from the National Aquarium in Baltimore into a seaside sanctuary.
By announcing plans to move its dolphins into the ocean enclosure by the end of 2020, the aquarium sails into uncharted waters for the marine mammal industry.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals welcomed the news, and the CEO of the Humane Society of the United States blogged that his counterpart a
Separate bill for zoo management sought
The Environment Protection Committee of the Legislature-Parliament today directed the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and Council of Ministers to bring a separate bill for zoo management within three months.
Mother of tragic Scots zookeeper says wildlife park should be closed over continuing safety concerns
THE mother of a Scots zookeeper mauled to death by a Sumatran tiger has said the wildlife park should be closed while concerns continue over the safety of the public three years after the tragedy.
Fiona McClay, whose daughter Sarah, 24, was killed at South Lakes Safari Zoo in Cumbria three years ago, said the zoo should not have its licence renewed as David Gill – who walked free from court last week over the 24-year-old’s death – faces new claims over fears about animal welfare and interfering in management decisions.
Last week Mr Gill, the 55-year-old founder of the z
Family 'horrified' at zoo's letter
The family of a zookeeper killed by a tiger at Hamilton Zoo last year are horrified a letter sent to Australasian zoos appears to blame the keeper for her death.
Samantha Kudeweh was killed by a Sumatran tiger on September 20 when she was working in the tiger enclosure.
Hamilton City Council pleaded guilty last Thursday to a Worksafe prosecution that alleged the council failed to take all practical steps to ensure the 43-year-old was not exposed to hazards arising out of working with the tiger.
The letter, signed by Hamilton Zoo director Stephen Standley, said "although we felt our tiger management systems and processes were adequate and met MPI standards, there is more that we could have done to ensure staff were safe in the event of human error, particularly those managing dangerous animals. It is no longer enough to rely on procedures as people make mistakes. We need to identify engineered solutions that prevent human error resulting in staff ending up in the same space as a dangerous animal."
The letter, issued last Thursday, a
‘They could have killed me instantly, but they didn’t’
Even if they look cute and cuddly, don’t mistake zoo animals for pets.
“They are wild animals. You have to respect them. They will kill you,” says Guy Lichty, curator of mammals at the N.C. Zoo.
He knows that better than most people.
On May 17, 1979, two polar bears nearly mauled him to death.
The incident took place at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado, about a year after he graduated from Furman University with a bachelor’s degree in biology. As a keeper, Lichty cared for a variety of animals … elephants, antelope … and sometimes bears when the regular keeper was on vacation.
“My job was to shift the bears from bedroom to bedroom and clean, then feed and put them back in the assigned bedrooms.”
Each series of rooms for the various bears was separated into sleeping and eating quarters, divided by a lift door in the ceiling and doors leading to the hallway. To clean each stall, Lichty used a water hose he pulled down the hallway.
On this day, he was working alone. It was about 4 p.m., around closing time, and he was at the last stall, home to a male and female pair of polar bears. He sprayed the den and climbed on top to lift the guillotine door and move the bears back.
From that vantage point, Lichty noticed
Probing the Link between Biodiversity-Related Knowledge and Self-Reported Proconservation Behavior in a Global Survey of Zoo Visitors
Many environmental communication interventions are built on the assumption that increased knowledge will lead to changes in proenvironment behaviors. Our study probes the link between biodiversity-related knowledge and self-reported proconservation behavior, based on the largest and most international study of zoo visitors ever conducted. In total, 6,357 visitors to 30 zoos from 19 countries around the globe participated in the study. Biodiversity understanding and knowledge of actions to help protect biodiversity were significantly related, but only 0.6% of the variation in knowledge of actions to help protect biodiversity could be explained by those same respondents’ biodiversity understanding. Biodiversity understanding was only the sixth most important variable in significantly predicting knowledge of actions to help protect biodiversity. Moreover, biodiversity understanding was the least important variable of those that were significantly related to self-reported proconservation behavior. Our study indicates that knowledge is a real, but relatively minor, factor in predicting whether members of the public – zoo visitors in this case – will know about specific proenvironment behaviors they can take, let alone whether they will actually undertake such behaviors.
Dingo attacks Peel Zoo staff
A zookeeper and a volunteer at a private Pinjarra zoo are recovering after a dingo attacked them last week.
The 21-year-old volunteer is understood to have walked into the dingo enclosure at Peel Zoo to take a male dingo, Shiloh, for a walk.
She radioed zookeeper Emma Mitchell-Collett, 23, for advice about moving the animals when she was bitten by Shiloh.
With so many dolphins in captivity, Spain is swimming against the tide
More than half the dolphins held in aquariums are owned by Spanish companies
A dolphin called Buffalo Bill serves hamburgers and chips while another in a cowboy dress jumps repeatedly through a hoop. Part of an “educational” spectacle, the animals are photographed by a British family being led around the pool by Fiona, a sea lion who nudges them forward with her nose while winning over her audience with cute “human” gestures.
In the same park, children’s cries blend in with the squawking of parrots overhead, beers come and go in big plastic cups and a vulture flies just meters above the crowds, close to where two albino tigers are dozing off, clearly bored by the constant pointing of cellphones in their direction.
Man Jumps Into Zoo Enclosure To Save A Drowning Chimp
In 1990, during a visit to the Detroit Zoo, truck driver Rick Swope did something no one else would do, and tragedy was averted because of it. As Swope stood looking in on the facility's ape enclosure, a fight broke out between a chimp named Jo-Jo and another male. After the brief scuffle, Jo-Jo tried to escape — only to end up falling into a deep moat designed to keep him in.
Since chimps are unable to swim, the move nearly proved fatal.
"Everyone in the whole place was just standing around watching this monkey drown," Swope told the Deseret News. "When he went down the second time I knew I had to do something."
ZSL celebrates Zoo success after winning big at annual BIAZA awards
ZSL walked away with a total of 14 awards from the event held on 8 June, with key acknowledgements in a variety of categories such as animal breeding, care and welfare, conservation, education, exhibits and research.
Zoological director David Field said: “The BIAZA Awards are designed to illustrate best practice in zoos and aquaria across Britain and Ireland. The volume and variety of awards won across the board is a wonderful demonstration that ZSL is not only leading the way in the welfare of animals, we are at the forefront in exhibit design, horticulture and animal training.”
In addition to the Zoos’ collective achievements, Luke Harding from ZSL London Zoo’s herpetology department won this
India puts 18 lions on trial for murder, and the culprit may get a life zoo sentence
Police have rounded up 18 male suspects wanted for the murder of three in Gujarat, an arid western Indian state.
If one is found guilty, he will be sentenced to life in prison. Or, a kind of prison at least: a zoo. The suspects are all Asiatic lions.
The species is endangered, and its population has dwindled as human settlements encroach on its remaining habitat. As that process speeds up, humans and lions are more likely to come into contact, leading to killings that go both ways. Approximately 400 Asiatic lions are left in the wild, and they are the only lion population outside of Africa. Wildlife officials in India say that Gir National Park, where almost all these lions live, can accommodate only 270 of them, leading some prides to venture outside its boundaries.
High Park Zoo captures one of two escaped capybaras
One of the capybaras that escaped from the High Park Zoo last month has been captured, the zoo says.
“With a big team effort one of the capybaras has been rescued. It is resting off site for now,” Ward 13 Coun. Sarah Doucette wrote on Twitter.
The two capybaras – a male and a female – escaped from the High Park Zoo May 25 as they were being brought to join one other capybaras capybara who lives at the zoo and the two have been on the loose ever since.
Sea lion so far from home has experts in a sea of theories
The presence of a sea lion here so far south of its natural habit has researchers in a tizzy.
They are hard pressed to figure out whether the mystery creature is a foreign visitor that strayed far off-course or confirmation that the Japanese sea lion, far from being extinct, is alive and well.
The animal in question was spotted on an island off Kagoshima Prefecture earlier this year. A Japanese sea lion has not been seen in 40 years.
After seeking expert opinion, Kagoshima City Aquarium here said the large marine mammal with impressive flippers photographed on the island was “definitely a sea lion.”
It was spotted by local fishermen March 15-16 near Tsurikakezaki cape, which is part of Shimo-Koshikijima island and located 60 kilometers or so from Satsuma-Sendai in Kagoshima Prefecture.
Toshihiro Hamada, a 51-year-old fisherman who lives on the island, had a close encounter with the aquatic animal on the morning of March 17 and took a photo of it. When he got to within 10 meters from the creature on his boat, it barked, as if to fend him off, and eased itself into the water.
“It appeared to be about 2 meters long,” Hamada said. “I think I’d lose if it came to a fight.”
The following day the fisherman told the aquarium he saw a fur seal and forwarded the digital photos he took. But when the aquarium staff saw the pictures, they were pretty sure it was a sea lion, an animal not found in Japanese w
Bettongs learn to survive through predator training at Arid Recovery park near Olympic Dam
FOCUS on the hunted, not the hunter — teach them to be afraid, very afraid.
That’s the aim of groundbreaking research in South Australia’s Outback showing “encouraging” results in a new strategy to save threatened species.
Most conservation projects work by excluding or culling feral pests to protect native animals.
The research by an organisation called Arid Recovery wants the native animals to learn to look after themselves.
At Arid Recovery’s park on the outskirts of the Olympic Dam mine, at Roxby Downs, four desexed male cats have been inserted into a 26sq km enclosure along with 352 burrowing bettongs and 46 greater bilbies and some rabbits.
“We wanted to simulate what would
Down to 60: scientists mull risky captive breeding for panda porpoise
Today, there are approximately 7.3 billion people on the planet – and only 60 vaquitas. The vaquita has seen its population drop by 92 percent in less than 20 years in Mexico’s Gulf of California as the tiny porpoises suffocate to death one-by-one in gillnets. Now, scientists with the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA) are cautiously moving forward on a once unthinkable option: captive breeding.
“We have no idea whether it is feasible to find, capture and maintain vaquitas in captivity much less whether they will reproduce,” said Barbara Taylor, one of the world’s foremost experts on the vaquita with NOAA. “The uncertainties are large.”
Captive breeding of vaquita, if it ever happens, would be a last-ditch and incredibly risky action, according to scientists. The world’s smallest porpoise and cetacean, vaquita (Phocoena sinus) are shy and retiring with eye patches that have led them to be described fondly as the ‘pandas of the sea.’ These rarely-seen porpoises also have the smallest range o
Did That Come Off Wrong?
As zoo professionals, many of us (all of us?) have dealt with our share of animal rights extremeist questions. I could probably write a Russian novel-length blog about AR extremeism, using real-life examples from my own career path. And it'd all probably be stuff you've heard before.
CuriousCity: Calcium-dusted bugs and tasty wallaby all on the zoo menu
The circle of life takes some curious twists in captivity.
Fluttering tui watch from bushes as Zulu the lion guzzles his "triple mix" of beef heart, lungs and kidneys off his pride's rock.
Elsewhere in Wellington Zoo, the meerkats snack on $250-a-kilogram crickets and meal worms.
The cruelty behind that selfie of you with a baby tiger
Tigers leap on cue through a ring of fire, walk along double tightropes and step backwards on their hind legs in scenes similar to circuses that traversed Australia last century.
Elsewhere in the sprawling complex outside Bangkok, elephants drop balls into baskets, dance, take bows and gently lift their giant feet on to the backs of members of the audience lying facedown on concrete.
Catalogue of concerns at zoo where tiger killed Scots keeper
THE owner of a zoo where a Scot was mauled to death by a Sumatran tiger three years ago stands accused of putting more lives at risk in spite of the tragedy.
David Gill - who walked free from court over the 24-year-old's death last week - also faces claims over fears about animal welfare, interfering in management decisions and going back on a pledge to hand over its running.
He vowed to council bosses changes would be made after Sarah McClay, originally from Glasgow, was savaged to death in the keeper's corridor of the tiger house on May 24, 2013.
Zoo owner says police inactivity left him no choice but to shoot down drone
The owner of a private zoo in the Nicosia district who shot down a drone that had been hovering over his home and business for the last two months, said on Saturday he filed a report to the police chief as he believes the force failed to protect him and his customers from privacy and security violations.
Melios Menelaou, who owns a zoo in Ayioi Trimithias, shot down a drone reportedly worth €1,700 on Thursday that was operated by a neighbour after police failed to convince the device’s operator to stop flying it over the former’s zoo and home.
After two months of constant day and night drone flying over his property and himself personally, and numerous calls to the police, which he said proved ineffective, Menelaou told the Sunday Mail, he had “had enough”.
Not only was the drone user invading his and his family’s privacy, he said, it was also causing panic to the animals, every time it hovered over them, “twice per day” and it also posed a safety hazard in the case it fell on a zoo visitor.
“The last time I called the police, I told them this is it, I’m going to buy bullets. Two days ago, when it was following me around all day long, I shot it down,” he said.
He says he was not to the only one to feel disturbed by the drone.
“Neighbours too were complaining that he would fly the drone at night outside their bedroom windows,” Menelaou said. “And zoo visitors were complaining to me as t
Gir lions gifted to Etawah Wildlife Lion Safari Park die; Mulayam's dream project could be in question in next year’s elections
The uncertain fate of the Gir lions gifted by Gujarat to the Etawah Wildlife Lion Safari Park, a dream project of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav, could possibly be revived as a political slogan in next year's assembly elections. Of the 11that arrived in September 2014, four have died as have five cubs that were born of the original Gir pride. The ninth death was that of Kuber on June 2.
The chief minister and Prime Minister Narend ..
Letter of invitation to Sir Roger Moore to meet Morgan and the other orcas at Loro Parque
Dear Sir Roger Moore,
Loro Parque recognises your distinguished acting career, but believes that you have been seriously misinformed by the extreme animal-rights organisation, PETA. PETA appears to have enlisted your support to accuse Loro Parque of mistreating the orcas in its facilities, but nothing could be further from the truth. For you to verify the situation directly, Loro Parque invites you to visit the park and orca facilities.
The incident which appears to have triggered your involvement in this issue is the recent video of the orca Morgan lying out of the water at the edge of the pool, which animal-right activists alerted to the media with the completely false message that her behaviour was abnormal, and that it signalled such a high level of stress in the animal that she was supposedly trying to commit suicide. This allegation is so absurd that even the well-known activist for Morgan´s liberation, Dr. Ingrid Visser, otherwise quite a critic of Loro Parque, has rejected the suicide attempt explanation in National Geographic magazine.
Loro Parque wishes to inform you that th
Kruger Park forced to cull its wildlife
The Kruger National Park has started culling hippos and its buffalo will be next. Although the park, which is one of the largest game reserves in Africa, received rain in March, there is not enough food for the animals.
William Mabasa, spokesman for South African National Parks, said that 59 hippos had been culled and another 100 were in the firing line for later this year as well as 200 buffalo.
Memphis Zoo begins ‘unusual’ conservation efforts to save rare snake
The Memphis Zoo is spearheading efforts to save the rarest snake in North America by pulling all of them from zoos across the country.
"We're doing something a bit unusual honestly," zoo spokeswoman Laura Doty said. "We are recalling all of the snakes."
Each of the 108 Louisiana Pine Snakes hosted in 21 zoos will be redistributed to four institutions: the Memphis Zoo, the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans, the Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin Texas, and the Fort Worth Zoo. The large, nonvenomous serpent is native to Louisiana and Texas.
"Now just four zoos will have 12 or more pairs and they're going to have room to really, really grow the population," said Steve Reichling, curator of reptiles at the Memphis Zoo. "It's a real conservation machine."
Memphis has long headquartered the snakes' Species Survival Plan, a program managed by the American Zoo Aquarium Association. Reichling also serves as the species coordinator for the project.
"The whole purpose of the program is to make sure that ge
‘SOS Taiz zoo’: As civil war rages, lions and leopards at a zoo in Yemen don’t have enough food to survive
Add lions and endangered Arabian leopards to the casualties of Yemen’s civil war.
To see the impact, enter through the rusting gates of the zoo in this southwestern city, go past the handful of donkeys in a fenced compound and walk toward the cages.
Inside are the desperate-looking lions, leopards and other animals. Their pens are the size of walk-in-closets, with some cramped with two predators. One lion is taking medication because his skin peeled off from hunger.
“We have about two and half weeks of food for them,” said Victoria Johner y Cruz, a Geneva-based lawyer who is trying to help save the animals.
The animals were in far worse condition four months ago. They were emaciated, bones protruding. Some were covered with untreated sores from fighting each other for scraps of food, according to zoo workers. The city’s go
Georgia: A Happy Hippo and a Rebuilt Zoo for Flood Anniversary
One year after a devastating flood that killed 21 people and sent zoo animals into the streets of Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, both the city’s zoo and its famous wandering hippopotamus, Begi, are back in shape.
On June 13, 2015, flood waters lifted Begi and other animals out of their downtown enclosures, creating an apocalyptic tableau of a city of 1.1 million people overrun by water and beasts. Some 230 animals drowned or were shot by police to prevent attacks on humans. Still, one man was mauled to death by an escaped tiger three days after the disaster.
It was on that tragic night that Begi (“hippo”) offered comic relief as he sauntered around a central highway that cuts through the heart of Tbilisi. Next morning, he was sighted passing stately by a downtown Swatch store, pausing to munch phlegmatically on tree leaves. A tranquilizer and some I
Going to the zoo while black
A first-grader from Wichita, Kansas was mauled by a leopard after the boy scaled a 4-foot railing that surrounded the leopard exhibit, crossed an 8-foot gap and approached the animal's cage. The child received lacerations to his head and neck after the leopard stuck its paw through the cage and grabbed the boy by the side of the head.
A 3-year old boy at Little Rock Zoo with his father and grandfather slipped through the railings surrounding a jaguar exhibition and sustained multiple injuries after he fell 15-feet into the cat pit. The family’s request to keep the child’s name private were granted by the hospital, zoo and multiple media outlets.
A 2-year-old boy at the Cleveland Zoo suffered injuries to his legs after he experienced a 10-foot fall into a cheetah exhibit after his mother dangled him ov
Al Wabra has already 100 Spix’s Macaws, two chicks are being raised under their parents
After a huge success from the last year when 16 Spix’s Macaw babies were raised in Qatar, Al Wabra is breaking new records. In the last week, the 17th chick of this season was hatched.
„To add to this success, a new era has started, we would also like to announce that we have 2 Spix’s macaw chicks been parent reared, they are been monitored and the parents are doing a fantastic job, the parent reared Spix’s are now currently 6 weeks old and looking good,” said Al Wabra representatives on their official Facebook page.
“We have been training pairs and are hoping over the coming years to have the majority of chicks parent reared,” they added.
It seems that the record of 17 chicks raised within one season might be still improved. “The season is not over yet although it is waning a
Caring For The Animals In The World’s Zoos And Aquariums
tic shows what we’ve all known for millennia...that we have a remarkably deep emotional connection with the animals who share our world.
And yet that connection is in danger of disappearing. In the face of what scientists are calling a “Sixth Extinction” with species disappearing at a rate 8-100 times higher than expected since 1900, today’s zoos and aquariums are playing an increasingly important role in preserving the vital web of life on Earth. Serving as arks of hope for endangered animals and powerful ambassadors for conservation, these institutions are cultivating new generations who care about the future of these creatures. Through zoos and aquariums, people are becoming increasingly aware of and invested in the fate of the world’s animals. At the same time, they are also rightly demanding that the millions of creatures who live in human care at zoos, aquariums and conservation centers be afforded good treatment and welfare.
To help achieve this, American Humane Association, which has been leading the compassion movement for 140 years and is the largest certifier of the humane treatment of animals, developed the first-ever independent, science-based, third-party humane certification program focusing solely on the well-being of the animals living in zoos and aquariums. This new Humane Conservation™ program is based on comprehensive standards created by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee consisting of the most well-respected, iconic names in animal welfare, animal ethics, and the conservation community. The standards cover everything from good health to good housing, good feeding, good management, and appropriate behaviors, and their implementation is verified through rigorous audits by a completely independent third party.
Indianapolis Zoo to close polar bear exhibit
The Indianapolis Zoo announced on Monday that they are closing their polar bear exhibit.
The exhibit opened in 1988 and is in need of updates. That means 29-year-old Tundra will be relocated.
Tundra will be transported to the Detroit Zoo which is considered one of the leading polar bear facilities in the world. The Detroit Zoo offers large spaces and pools with easy slopes for Tundra to enter and exit the water, especially as she gets older.
Olm eggs: First two Slovenian 'dragons' emerge
After a four-month wait, the eggs laid by a peculiar salamander in a Slovenian cave have started to hatch.
Ghostly pale and totally blind, olms - fondly known by locals as "baby dragons" - only reproduce every 5-10 years and are thought to live to 100.
This clutch of eggs started to appear in January in an aquarium in Postojna Cave, a tourist destination where the creatures have lived for millennia.
Observing baby olms develop and hatch is a rare opportunity for science.
The first of 23 developed eggs hatched
Oil massage, coffee and new toothbrush everyday: Hyd zoo pampers Suzi the Chimp
Talk about being pampered! Suzi the Chimp is all of 28 years old and seems to carry her star status with easy panache ever since she arrived at Hyderabad’s Nehru Zoological Park in 2011.
Earlier the prized pet of business tycoon and Sahara chairman Subrata Roy, Suzi is indeed lucky that the authorities have no qualms about catering to the lifestyle that she is used to, as they consider her the star attraction of their zoo.
Shivani Dogra –the zoo curator- while speaking to The News Minute admitted that Suzi’s lifestyle was indeed lavish but then she felt that was what made Suzi unique: “As is done for every other animal, we take care of Suzi too. It is not all that difficult to fulfill her demands, but yes…Suzi does have a lavish life which actually makes her unique. We
Elephant calves more likely to survive in the care of their grandmothers
Among the Asian elephants, the grandmothers have a significant role. They ensure the survival of the calves and breeding success for their daughters.
Grandmothers often provide vital childcare in human communities across the world. In traditional societies such help even increases grandchildren's survival prospects and leads to shorter birth intervals for the daughters. In a new study, a research group from the University of Turku in Finland has now discovered that a similar phenomenon exist among the elephants in Myanmar.
"We found that calves of young elephant mothers under 20 years of age had eight times lower mortality risk if the grandmother resided in the same location compared to calves whose grandmother was not present," says Dr. Mirkka Lahdenperä, the lead author of the study.
Resident grandmothers also decreased their daughters' inter-birth intervals by one year, so that altogether mor
'Finding Dory' Could Be More Bad News For Sea World
The latest data from TickerTags indicates that Walt Disney Co
's upcoming movie “Finding Dory” could be a huge hit for Disney and a major blow for one Disney rival.
TickerTags monitors social media sites to identify trends by searching for words or phrases that appear together in social media content, such as tweets.
Cumbria zoo pleads guilty over death of keeper mauled by tiger
A zoo has admitted health and safety breaches over the death of one of its keepers who was mauled by a Sumatran tiger.
Sarah McClay, 24, was pounced on in the keeper’s corridor of the tiger house at South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria, on 24 May 2013.
The company, now known as South Lakes Safari Zoo, entered guilty pleas at Preston crown court to contravening the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 in relation to the day of the tragedy.
The company admitted that on or before 24 May 2013 it failed to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of employees, including McClay, arising out of and/or in connection with the keeping of big cats.
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It also pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that persons not in its employment on that date were not exposed to risk to their health and safety.
The pleas were entered on Wednesday before a scheduled trial.
After the hearing, McClay’s boyfriend, David Shaw, said: “It’s a shame it took this long to come to what was a fairly obvious conclusion but I am pleased we do not have to go through a trial.”
McClay suffered “unsurvivable” multiple injuri
Guilty plea over fatal tiger attack
The Hamilton City Council has pleaded guilty over the death of one of its senior zoo staff members who was attacked and killed by a tiger.
Hamilton Zoo curator, Samantha Kudeweh, was tragically killed in the enclosure of Sumatran tiger Oz on September 20 last year.
In March, WorkSafe New Zealand announced it will be prosecuting the council for failing to take all practical steps to ensure the 43-year-old was not exposed to hazards arising ou
Myrtle Beach animal exhibit under federal investigation
Myrtle Beach Safari is involved in a federal investigation.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has conducted 23 inspections at the facility since April 2013. That’s more than three times the number of inspections at any other Horry County facility.
A USDA spokeswoman told WMBF News APHIS typically visits a facility once a year.
Businesses are visited more often if there is repeat noncompliance, or if complaints are filed.
The agency said it has 130 inspectors for about 10,000
In about two weeks, the lions and leopards at this zoo in Yemen may be out of food
Add lions and endangered Arabian leopards to the casualties of Yemen’s civil war. To see the impact, enter through the rusting gates of the zoo in this southwestern city, go past the handful of donkeys in a fenced compound and walk toward the cages.
Inside are the desperate-looking lions, leopards and other animals. Their pens are the size of walk-in-closets, with some cramped with two predators. One lion is taking medication because his skin peeled off from hunger.
“We have about two and half weeks of food for them,” said Victoria Johner y Cruz, a Geneva-based lawyer who is trying to help save the animals.
Wildlife phone apps cause chaos in Kruger Park
Mobile telephone apps that track wildlife sightings in South Africa's Kruger Park have caused a rise in road rage, roadkills and speeding as tourists rush to animal sightings, officials said Wednesday.
Utah's Hogle Zoo reopened after escaped leopard captured
2News reporter Chris Jones, who was visiting the zoo with his wife and young son when they were corralled into a bathroom around 9:30 a.m., said visitors were not permitted outside while zoo officials tracked the Amur leopard. School is out for summer and the zoo is in peak visiting season.
What's an Amur Leopard?
"It was relatively sparsely populated, but there were a good amount of people there," said Jones on the phone with 2News.
Zoo employees told Jones that that they cornered the leopard as of 10:15 a.m. Zoo employees expressed concern the animal could try to dart away after
Hogle Zoo explains how leopard escaped from her enclosure
Officials at Utah's Hogle Zoo have released new information about how they believe a leopard was able to escape from her enclosure Tuesday morning.
Zeya, a 60-pound, four-year-old Amur Leopard, is the smallest animal that has ever lived at the zoo's Asian Highlands exhibit. They said she apparently climbed up some mesh fencing that surrounds the enclosure and squeezed through the 6" by 6" mesh that makes up the roof of her enclosure.
A large quantity of Zeya's fur was found on the mesh, which led zoo officials to reach this conclusion about her escape.
Zeya was found sleeping on a beam about 15 feet in the air just outside the fence to her cage. Her escape prompted a lockdown at the zoo and guests were ushered into buildings as workers contained Zeya. An emergency response time shot her with a tranquilizer dart and she was taken to the zoo's hospital f
Underwater World Singapore to close Jun 26
Underwater World Singapore (UWS) and the Dolphin Lagoon are set to close on Jun 26 after 25 years of service, operator Haw Par announced on Monday (Jun 6).
Haw Par said that UWS had to vacate the facility and cease operations as the lease on the Sentosa attraction was expiring in less than two years. Its pink dolphins, fur seals and otters have been transferred to Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in Zhuhai, China.
'Life in the Dark' zoo researcher works to protect San Antonio's water supply
In a little-seen section away from the crowds at the San Antonio Zoo, Dr. Dante Fenolio pops the lid on tanks containing the best indicators of San Antonio's drinking water supply's health.
Fenolio is the top conservationist and researcher at the zoo. It's a position that didn't exist up until a few years ago, when zoo officials decided to do more than just show animals to the public. They also wanted to protect the animals and their environment.
Don’t Stay Away From Zoos - They Are a Vital Resource
The sad death of Harambe the Gorilla last week at Cincinnati Zoo has provoked international outrage and debate from experts, campaign groups and concerned members of the public alike.
Whether or not in this particular case the zoo’s actions in shooting Harambe were right or wrong, the incident has provided an opportunity for animal rights campaigners (and wider social media audiences) to point the finger of blame at zoos more widely. It has been labelled as yet another example of captivity taking an animal’s life and I even saw it suggested that families should stay away from any facilities that display animals.
As a researcher and lecturer in animal behaviour, interested in primate behaviour, welfare and conservation and focused on zoo animals, I believe that this kind of discourse is misleading for the public and could also be detrimental for the wider natural world.
Despite this odd incident, modern zoos (for exa
Shocking Find: Electric Eels Can Leap Out of Water to Attack
In an unusual discovery, electric eels leap from the water to attack predators with a high-voltage punch, a new study says.
In recent experiments, a scientist found that the South American fish go after large, moving, and partially submerged objects, pressing their chins against the target to discharge shocks. (Also see "The Electric Eel’s Superpower Just Got Even Cooler.")
The finding lends support to a centuries-old account of eel fishing by the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt.
In 1800, Humboldt observed native fishermen in Venezuela collecting electric eels by "fishing with horses." The men herded horses into a muddy pool containing electric eels, provoking the eels to repeatedly attack. After the eels had exhausted themselves—and caused a few horses to drown—the natives safely captured the five-foot-long (1.5-meter-long) fish.
This famous story has been repeated an
Thai Tiger Temple denies it abused, traded cats
The Buddhist temple accused of abusing dozens of tigers seized by wildlife authorities in Thailand has denied allegations that it mistreated or traded the animals on the black market.
At a press conference Thursday, a representative for the monks Siri Wangboonlert said,"this is a robbery. They have no right to confiscate the tigers."
The Tiger Temple was a popular attraction with visitors who paid an entrance fee to pet and pose for photos with the 137 cats, but it had faced substantial criticism over its alleged practices.
The temple's abbot Luang Ta Chan had been expected to speak at the press conference, but arrived on a gold cart and waved at reporters before leaving.
Temple officials said he had not been involved in the running of the sanctuary a
Tiger Temple abbot to tell his story
The abbot of the Tiger Temple will hold a briefing on Thursday as 2,000 wild animals remain at his temple in Kanchanaburi province after all 137 tigers were relocated, according to the temple's legal team. The...
Tiger Temple investigators find suspected slaughterhouse
Thai police have found what they believe is a slaughterhouse and tiger-holding facility used in a suspected animal trafficking network.
Acting on a tip, officers raided a home about 30 miles from the Tiger Temple, a popular tourist attraction that allows visitors to pose for photos with the tigers and take them for walks.
Investigators believe the house, in an isolated area and surrounded by tall fences, served as a holding facility and slaughterhouse, said police colonel Montri Pancharoen, deputy commander of the crime suppression division, which oversaw the raid.
“We believe it was used by the Tiger Temple to hold live tigers before slaughtering them for their skins, meat and bones to be exported outside the country, or sent to restaurants in Thailand that serve tiger meat to tour groups,” he said.
The house had a work area with a large c
OWNER OF ALLEGED TIGER BUTCHERY DENIES LINKS TO TIGER TEMPLE, TRAFFICKING
The owner of a home where authorities suspect tigers linked to the now shuttered Tiger Temple were slaughtered went public Wednesday afternoon to deny the allegations.
Thawat Kajornchaikul, aka Sia Tong, appeared at 2:30pm on Wednesday at the residence he owns in Kanchanaburi city, where four tigers were found locked in cages. The 60-year-old man showed documents he said showed he was authorized to possess the four protected animals and has the property rights to his residence.
On Tuesday, the widening investigation into the so-called Tiger Temple’s links to international wildlife tracking brought authorities to Thawat’s home, where they suspect tigers were killed for their meat, pelts and other parts. Thawat told police he was given two big cats from an acquaintance over a decade ago, and said the two younger tigers were their offspring.
“Sia Tong said he got the tigers innocently w
Thai authorities say they have enough evidence against Tiger temple’s abbot
The authorities say that all the tiger farms in the country will be thoroughly investigated
Thai authorities said that they have enough evidence against the now infamous Tiger temple’s abbot and have asked investigators to trace the Buddhist monastery cum Tiger zoo’s earnings, reportedly over USD 30 lakh annually.
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) Deputy director general Adisorn Noochdumrong said all the tiger farms in Thailand will be inspected for possible involvement in tiger trafficking.
The DNP insisted it has enough evidence against the abbot and is urging investigators to trace the temple’s earnings, estimated to be more than USD 30 lakh annually.
30 tiger zoos nationwide face checks
Kanchanaburi: Police are set to inspect 30 more tiger zoos nationwide as authorities expand their investigation into illicit wildlife trafficking following the raid on the Tiger Temple in the province. Police...
Over 100 wild animals ‘rescued’ from Hua Hin zoo
The authorities launched a major raid at Hua Hin Zoo in Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Hua Hin district yesterday, while investigations into the Tiger Temple and the case of stolen rare tortoises continue.
More than 100 wild animals were seized Hua Hin Zoo by the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department (DNP) inspection team, led by Phraya Sua Taskforce commander Chaiwat Limlikitaksorn. The team claims many of the animals in the zoo did not match the licences taken for them.
Chaiwat said the raid revealed that all the protected animals in the zoo had been acquired illegally.
"We inspected the zoo on May 28 and found a couple of suspicious mistakes on two of the elephant licences, so we looked further and found that all the licences for protected animals were fake," he said.
"According to the licences issued in 2003, all the animals should be over the age of 13, but it turned out that all the animals in question were below the age of 10. This is proof that the zoo forged the official documents and obtained the wild animals unlawfully," Chaiwat alleged.
"The zoo owner Prakorb Chamnankit is being sued over these accusations,."
The animals seized from the zoo yesterday include two elephants, two tigers, five Asian black bears, two Malayan sun bears, two deer, one fishing cat and one crocodile. All these animals will be sent to wildlife breeding centres across the country.
He went on to say that staff at this zoo had been arrested twice previously for acquiring protected animals—the first time in 2014 and the second just last month.
Conservation center relocates Sumatran tiger to Taman Safari Zoo
The Bengkulu Natural Resources Conservation Center has reportedly relocated a Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) to the Taman Safari Zoo in Cisarua, Bogor, West Java, after it attacked rubber farmers in Seluma, Bengkulu.
Head of the Bengkulu conservation area Abu Bakar noted here on Monday that the the tiger was relocated to ensure the survival of the endangered species as it had begun preying on rubber farmers in Seluma region.
"This decision was taken after a lengthy consideration process. Everything is being done to ensure the tiger's survival," Abu remarked.
The male Sumatran tiger was also relocated, so it could receive medical treatment from the Taman Safari medical team.
Giring, the relocated tiger, was diagnosed with a blood parasite disease that required speci
Meet Dublin Zoo's newest residents, the Orangutans... and take a trip around their new home
The Orangutan Forest consists for huge life-like trees built with hidden mechanisms which encourage the four resident orangutans to climb up to 12 metres high to the tree tops to get their daily food.
Many of the impressive trees are on a new large island constructed in the lake.
Sibu (35) and his mate Leonie (35) delighted crowds at the zoo today when they shimmied across ropes high above the footpaths to reach their new island playground.
“This wonderful new habitat will add complexity to their lives and stimulate their natural behaviours,” said zoo director Leo Oosterweghel.
“Every detail of Orangutan Forest has been co
ZSL London Zoo ditches plastic water bottles
With estimates suggesting that by 2025 there will be a tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish in our oceans, international conservation charity the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) will be announced today as a lead partner in #OneLess, an ambitious new campaign that aims to make London the first major global capital city to completely eliminate single-use plastic water bottles.
With ZSL London Zoo visitors alone gulping back some 155,000 plastic bottles of water in 2015, ZSL has made the switch to more ocean-friendly packaging options, with a new range of refillable plastic bottles available alongside fully-recyclable paperboard drink cartons.
An art installation in the Zoo’s Aquarium paints a
Rare Madagascan tortoises missing from breeding station
Rare Madagascan tortoises seized from illegal wildlife traders and worth millions of baht on the black market are believed to have been stolen from a bird breeding station in Si Racha district, Chon Buri province,
The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry has set up a committee to investigate the disappearance of the 78 missing tortoises, Thairath Online reported.
Adisorn Noochdumrong, deputy director-general of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, said the endangered tortoises were being kept at Bang Phra Water Bird Breeding Station in May. He had lodged a complaint with Si Racha police.
There were six Astrochelys yniphora and 72 Astrochelys radiata tortoises, both species endemic to Madagascar.
Yniphora is the rarest species of tortoise on earth. One of the six missing was about 10 years old, about 12 inches long, and worth 1 to 2 million. Each of the other five was three to four years old, six inches long, and worth about 200,000 baht.
Radiata is a radiated tortoise, considered to be one of the world's most beautiful tortoises and at high risk of extinction. They bring 3,000 - 10,000 baht each on the black market.
The missing tortoises are worth about 3 million baht in total.
Mr Adisorn said he had reported the suspected theft to Thanya Netithammakul, director-general of the de
When Dublin did a roaring trade in lions
The Royal Zoological Society of Ireland bred lions from the 1850s, principally for zoos and circuses abroad
What links the British secret service, an Irish red setter and Dublin Zoo? The answer: an international trade in lions.
The image adorning the annual report of the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland for 1899 is of an Irish red setter. She looks up at the photographer as she nurses the zoo’s three new lion cubs. The cubs had been rejected by their mother and had made use of a goat (tied down for the purpose). The red setter proved a good surrogate and two of the cubs survived.
The society had gone to extra lengths to save the cubs because it feared they might be the last of the Dublin-bred strain of lions it had begun breeding in the 1850s. The loss would also have been financial: Dublin lion cubs were principally an export product, sold to zoos, circuses and travelling menageries.
As zoological gardens expanded in size and increased in number during the 19th century, lions were in high demand. Lion tamers such as the famous Van Amburgh filled theatres across the world. In Dublin in 1832, Lady Morgan recorded her delight at a lion show in which the lion and tamer had played “like a great Newfoundland dog romping with a child”.
The underlying threat of potential disaster was the main attraction, and Morgan remarked that the tamer was destine
Shedd Installs Largest Lithium-Ion Battery of Any US Aquarium or Zoo
The Shedd Aquarium has added a new source of power as part of its green initiative – and it isn’t coming from the institution's electric eels.
The aquarium installed a one-megawatt lithium battery weighing 30 tons on May 26. It’s the largest lithium-ion battery installed in any aquarium or zoo in the U.S.
"It's taken us about two and a half to three years to fully realize and install it," said Bob Wengel, vice president of facilities at the Shedd. "Because of the infrastructure we're putting in, we feel right now we're in a pretty good spot to reach our goal."
Specifically, that goal is to cut the aquarium’s energy use in half by 2020. It's part of Shedd's Master Energy Roadmap plan, a green initiative started in 2012. In addition to the installation of the giant battery, the plan calls for replacing 75 percent of the aquarium
I recently returned from the United States where I participated in a court hearing about the chimpanzee export from the Yerkes National Primate Research Center to the Wingham Wildlife Park (WWP). This post focuses on that hearing and next steps, inaccuracies some are saying and reporting about the chimpanzee donation and our park, and more details about our proposed collaboration with the Population & Sustainability Network (PSN) to benefit chimpanzees in the wild.
Malfunctioning air conditioning forces penguin evacuation
Malfunctioning air conditioning units forced the evacuation of visitors and an exhibit full of penguins at an aquarium in northern Utah.
Firefighters responded to reports of smoke coming from the aquarium in Draper south of Salt Lake City at about 1 p.m. Saturday.
United Fire Authority Capt. Dan Brown told The Salt Lake Tribune
Popular zoo animals could be banned under EU rules amid fears about them escaping
Popular zoo animals including raccoons and chipmunks could be banned from collections under EU rules amid concerns about them escaping and setting up home, it has been claimed.
Grey squirrels and ruddy ducks could also be affected as officials claim the risk of them disrupting native animals if they escape captivity is too great.
Edinburgh Zoo bosses slammed for recruiting unpaid staff for key roles
EDINBURGH Zoo chiefs have been accused of exploiting unpaid young workers to fill key posts.
The tourist attraction have advertised for volunteers to work in PR, as well as running events and
working in animal enclosures.
The one-day-a-week posts, advertised on social media, offer discount food and travel expenses but no wages.
The Government have cracked down on unpaid internships and placements but organisations such as the zoo – who have charity status – are exempt.
Unions have criticised the six-month roles at the five-star attraction, which brings in 800,000 visitors a year but slashed jobs by a quarter in 2010.
Sarah Collins, of the STUC’s Better Than Zero campaign against exploitation of young workers, said: “The zoo is a highly profitable and well-renowned organisation and visitor attraction and – leaving asid
Father of California Condor Population Healthy, Flying High in the Wild
Some might say he is the father of California Condors.
AC-4, a California Condor who helped bring the endangered species back from the brink of extinction through a captive breeding program started in the 1980s, was recently given a clean bill of health and is flying high in the wild, officials with the San Diego Zoo announced this week.
Condor AC-4 spent 30 years at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park as part of the California Condor Recovery Program. It was there, in 1988, that he fathered the first captive-born chick and went on to help bring the number of California Condors in the world from 22 to 435 — more than half of which have been released into the wild in California, Arizona and Baja California, Mexico.
Of those, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park hatched 188 chicks and released more than 130 birds into their natural habitat.
The California Condor Recove
What really happened at Thailand's Tiger Temple?
Tucked away among the swelling vistas of west Thailand's Kanchanaburi province, Tanya Erzinclioglu paced around the periphery of Pha Luang Ta Bua Yanasampanno temple with her colleagues. Every now and again, she anxiously glanced at her phone, taking calls or checking for updates.
"I have no idea what's happening," she said repeatedly to herself.
Tanya's mornings typically involved being inside the temple grounds where she helped to feed and observe some 137 tigers who were under her partial care. It had been her routine for six years and, from the passion with which she speaks about it, it seems to be where her heart lies.
SAVING THE SAIGA Protecting biodiversity in Russia’s steppe
A sign pasted to a lamppost in the town just outside the reserve advertises that someone is interested in buying saiga horns.
The text says they’re looking for antique horns, but the intention is clear: if you have horns, we’ll buy them.
One kilogramme of saiga horns (equalling two or three pairs) can fetch US$5000USD in China. The purchase price on the Russian steppe can reach up to 25,000RUB (about $375), a significant temptation for local poachers. In 2013, Russia toughened penalties for illegal saiga hunting, and for storing or selling any parts/derivatives of the saiga. In 2015, anti-poaching operations were stepped up, and coupled with efforts to combat illegal purchases of horns, but these efforts have not been enough. More work is needed to stop poachers and save the saiga population.
Oil & Water: Zookeeping & Math
It is currently 5:45am as I write this, which is either:
a. A very deliberate, artistic intention
b. A direct consequence of procrastination
c. All of the above
The social implications of vicuña trafficking
The vicuña (Vicugna vicugna) is a charismatic high-alpine camelid known for its fine wool. Vicuña poaching is a serious problem in Latin America and the primary threat to this species. Despite relatively successful conservation efforts around this highly sought-after animal, the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) South American Camelid Specialist Group estimates that over 5,000 vicuñas have been killed for their wool over the past eight years.
Addressing the issue is legally and socially complex.
Many Latin American countries fail to adequately recognise illegal hunting as a serious crime that warrants considerable fines and imprisonment. Enforcement is difficult to achieve due to the geographical characteristics of the region, human and technical resource deficiencies and limited coordination of security forces within and between countries. Many residents don’t report poaching activities out of fear of retaliation from hunters. One country representative from the South American Camelid Specialist Group was held at gunpoint by vicuña hunters early last year. There aren’t strong incentives to develop legal vicuña use but illegal vicuña use can be profitable.
For successful action against vicuña poaching at the national level, law enforcement officials need to be adequately trained to identify illegal vicuña products and on related legislation. Awareness campaigns about illegal vicuña products should target touristic sites and airports.
Scottish zookeepers armed and ready to shoot animals if public put at risk
YOU may not know it as you wander around Edinburgh Zoo, or drive through Blair Drummond Safari Park, but these sanctuaries for animals and animals lovers have arsenals of guns and staff trained in firearms ready to shoot dead any animal which poses a threat to human life.
The world may have been shocked by the killing of Harambe the silverback gorilla who was shot after he was seen to behave dangerously with a three-year-old boy who had managed to get into his enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo ... but the events would have played out exactly the same here in Scotland. In fact, they have already played out exactly the same - with dangerous or escaped animals shot dead by Scottish zoo staff to
Malawi to relocate 500 elephants to new home
Conservation group announces ambitious plan to move animals over 300km from overcrowded wildlife reserves.
Conservationists in Malawi will next month attempt the largest-ever relocation of elephants in Africa.
They will move 500 elephants from two overcrowded wildlife reserves in the country's south to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, a distance of more than 300km.
The relocation of the herd by African Parks, a non-profit conservation organisation, is an effort to halt a steep decline in elephant numbers, the result of ivory poaching and loss of habitat.
Over the past 20 years, Malawi's elephant population has been halved - from 4,000 to 2,000 amid a continent-wide decline.
“Most of the news we hear about elephants out of Africa is about the poaching crisis, and their steep declines," Andrea Heydlauff, the organisation's director of strategic communications, told Al Jazeera.
"This is a story about restoration and providing a future for Malawi's elephants,” she said.
The $1.6m relocation operation, funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, will require small groups of elephants to be sedated, using darts shot from a helicopter.
The first herd will then be transported by trucks from Liwonde National Park to the Nkhotakota wildlife reserve, wher
Tiger temple scandal exposes the shadowy billion-dollar Asian trade
A week ago it cost 600 baht (£11.50) to visit the tiger temple in Thailand’s Kanchanaburi province, west of the capital, Bangkok. Tourists moved by the spectacle of such splendid creatures living side by side with human beings could also pay the saffron-robed Buddhist monks an extra £15 to help feed the cubs, or to have their picture taken with an adult tiger’s head resting on their lap.
Along with nearly 250,000 people, Jay Z, Beyoncé and their daughter Blue Ivy posed with the animals last year, and marvelled that some of the world’s fiercest creatures could be so tame.
Now the doors of the temple have been closed and the animals removed, possibly for ever. After a decade of allegations by animal groups of cruelty, illegal wildlife trafficking and breeding, 1,000 police, military and government officials descended on the temple to expose a shadowy trade in tiger parts that feeds an insatiable market in China and threatens the few remaining tigers in the wild.
The figures are stark and depressing. Today’s population of wild tigers is estimated to be around 3,200, down from 100,000 in 1900. But research by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Australia’s Conservation and Environmental Education 4 Life (Cee4life) and others, backed by investigations for Traffic, the wildlife trade monitoring network, suggest that more than 5,000 tigers are being farmed in China, 1,450 in Thailand, 180 in Vietnam and possibly 400 in Laos. In addition, there are private collections and zoos in most other Asian countries.
Debbie Banks of the EIA has worked undercover at tiger farms in China. She says that for the past decade, tiger breeding has been a fast-expanding and lucrative industry, often masquerading as conservatio
Police search for ‘possible’ escaped bear in Cantabria continues
A CRACK team of government experts and Guardia Civil nature protection officers from the force’s SEPRONA arm reconvened on the morning of Friday June 3 to continue the search for an evasive bear that may have escaped from the Cabarceno Wildlife Park in Cantabria.
The animal was supposedly spotted by three ‘reliable’ young men a few kilometres from the park on Wednesday June 1, who said they had seen what was “clearly a big brown bear” near the river in the hamlet of Casas del Monte, although no footprints or other evidence have been found.
The news and subsequent emergency operation has created great interest on national television, with the major channels sending camera crews to the northern region in order to follow proceedings.
Wildlife park director, Miguel Oti, says that no damage to the perimeter fence of the massive bear exhibit has been detected, claiming that an escape would be very unlikely.
“The whole complex is electrified and the wires are connected to an alarm, which has not been activated at any time this week.”
There are ‘approximately’ 80 brown bears inhabiting the 35-hectare exhibit, where they live in semi-natural surroundings, but it is not possible to count them to see if any are missing since the space is filled with cavities and caves meaning many remain hidden during the day.
Park staff do occasionally use anaesthetic darts to tranquilise individuals, but only when there are health concerns or the animal is to have a microchipped tag inserted.
Chief veterinarian and bear specialist Santiago Borrigan said that the three boys who claim to have seen the critter are ‘normal guys’ and that nothing has made him doubt their testimony,
I’m coming in late to this conversation because I wanted to take a lot of time to read and listen. I’ve watched the videos, listened to the news reports, read eyewitness accounts, and read responses by or spoken to zookeepers, exhibit designers, primatologists, attorneys, and dangerous animal response team members. Here is what I have for you: the incident at the Cincinnati Zoo was a tragedy. Once the child was in the moat, what had to happen could not have been prevented. Actions need to be taken on all sides to ensure that such a perfect storm of a bad situation can never happen again. I am glad the child is alive and I grieve with the zoo staff for the loss of their beloved and rare companion. I do not believe in continuing to point fingers and lay blame - those who deserve it are well aware at this point, and while it is natural and human to seek vengeance and justice it does no good to protect future children and future gorillas. So, with that said, let’s talk about what happened.
Mandai to be nature hub with five wildlife parks
Singapore will have a new wildlife and nature attraction in Mandai, complete with eco-lodges and a rainforest-themed park where visitors can get up close to wildlife.
When the Mandai nature precinct is completed by 2023, two wildlife parks - the new Rainforest Park and the relocated Bird Park - will join the existing trio: the Singapore Zoo, the River Safari and the Night Safari.
Sleeping under the stars could be an option for those who want to spend a night or two in Mandai, as options such as tents, suites and family rooms are being considered.
Belfast Zoo on a steep slope literally and financially - things must change
In January the Belfast Telegraph headlined its account of a report presented to Belfast City Council's growth and regeneration committee 'Fears over future of Belfast Zoo'. The paper took its cue from Ulster Unionist councillor Chris McGimpsey - a long-standing critic of the zoo - who, apart from condemning losses running at £2m a year, raised more fundamental issues, arguing "zoos are a thing of the past" and no better than "Victorian peep shows".
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He added: "We are taking animals that normally have been on flat land and we stick them on a hill... in areas which are just too small. It is virtually impossible to run a zoo without there being massive concerns about animal welfare."
The recurrent loss on the zoo's operations in 2014-2015 was £1,080,259, but capital depreciation of around £570,000 and other support services and property maintenance charges make up McGimpsey's total of a £2m-a-year loss.
The council's business manager agrees this is "unsustainable". Yet, other councillors are hardly onboard for closure. Rather, they have approved a plan to reduce the deficit by 30% over three years. As the detail is opaque, it seems unlikely it will fare better than similar initiatives over the years.
Like drowning men (and women), they can reach for rescue as even Chris McGimpsey does - and that is the hope that fu
In defence of zoos: how captivity helps conservation
The death of Harambe the gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo, shot to protect a child who had fallen into his cage, has caused outrage. Some of the anger has now turned from “trigger-happy” staff towards zoos in general. Why, some are asking, is an endangered gorilla behind bars in the first place?
In an ideal world, Harambe would live peacefully in Central Africa. There would be no deforestation, no poachers, and no diseases transmitted by humans and our livestock.
But in the real world, fewer than 900 mountain gorillas are left in the wild. And zoos are a necessary and vital part of efforts to conserve them and other endangered animals.
Modern zoos aim to promote animal conservation, educate people, and support further wildlife research. The three are entwined to ensure the animals are housed to the highest possible standards of welfare. Staff are dedicated to providing species-specific housing, appropriate diets and husbandry to ensure that the animals’ lives are as natural as possible within captivity.
Anti-zoo and animal rights groups such as CAPS, PETA or the Born Free foundation claim that zoos are inherently cruel. They highlight animals housed in small cages for “our entertainment” and claim all should be released
Stuttgart Zoo Gives Orangutans Option of Video Dating
Modern dating is going to the apes. Literally.
A zoo in southern Germany has decided to give its orangutans more mating options through video dating.
Two of the rare orangutans — Sinta and Conny — were shown videos of available males to see if there was any interest in hopes of one day breeding, according to a statement from the Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart.
"The signs are positive," the zoo said after Sinta and Conny appeared to take a liking to a male named Gempa living 350 miles away in Belgium.
The zoo said Sinta and Gempa are now enjoying a real-life date at the Pairi Daiza zoo, approximately 40 miles south-west of Brussels.
"We will now have to wait and see, whether it will be love at se
Calgary Thai tiger temple defender yanks support as new details surface
A vocal defender of the Thailand tiger temple says he is pulling his support after new information make the allegations he once dismissed, far more likely.
The Buddhist temple in Kanchanaburi province west of Bangkok came under fire early this week as local wildlife authorities discovered 40 tiger cub carcasses in a freezer.
Live animals were removed in response to international pressure over suspected trafficking and abuse.
Calgarian Gary Agnew came to the defence of the temple, questioning the motives of the Department of National Parks (DNP) and saying the dead cubs were being stored at the temple for research on the direction of the temple's former vet.
One of Vietnam’s oldest zoos to exchange animals with local counterparts
Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden, which celebrated its 150th anniversary last year, is making plans to exchange animals with three other zoos across Vietnam, in an attempt to diversify its collection.
The Ho Chi Minh City-based Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden, or Saigon Zoo for short, was established in 1865, and has since been a hallmark of the city, leaving unforgettable childhood imprints on generations of city dwellers.
The zoo’s management recently announced its plan to trade parts of its tiger, lutung, and gibbon populations for other animals including ostriches, camels, and zebras from three other zoos across Vietnam.
According to the plan, Saigon Zoo will trade two Bengal tigers, four Indochinese tigers, and three Indochinese lutungs for two white tigers, one zebra, two Alpacas, four Arctic foxes, and five ostriches from Cu Chi Waterpark in Ho Chi Minh City.
In its exchange with the Prenn Waterfall Tourist Site in the Central Highlands city of Da Lat, Saigon Zoo will trade two Bengal tiger cubs, two yellow-cheeked gibbons, a
RHINO RESOURCE CENTER – NEWSLETTER 43 – JUNE 2016
Edited by Dr Kees Rookmaaker
The Rhino Resource Center is a repository of all publications about all species of the rhinoceros. Any time, any language, any region, including children's literature, popular articles and academic publications. Also with an image gallery of every rhinoceros in the wild or in art.
The total number of references in the database and collection of the RRC now stands at 20,250. Thank you to all contributors.
Please share your articles on rhinos, pictures of rhinos.
The RRC thanks the sponsors: SOS Rhino, International Rhino Foundation, WWF AREAS, Save the Rhino International, Rhino Carhire as well as individuals who have found the RRC useful in their research.
TO DOWNLOAD THE NEWSLETTER, CLICK HERE
Asia's first vulture re-introduction programme launched in Haryana
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said almost 95 per cent of vultures have disappeared from the country due to the widespread use of diclofenac - a pain killer drug used to treat cattle.
The Haryana government on Friday launched Asia's First 'Gyps Vulture Reintroduction Programme' at Jatayu Conservation Breeding Centre, Pinjore.
The Centre has become prominent vulture breeding and conservation centre in the country-after successfully breeding Himalayan Griffon Vultures-an old world vulture in the family of Accipitridae-in captivity.
Cincinnati Zoo to store slain gorilla's sperm for future use
After shooting dead a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo to save a 3-year-old boy, zoo officials said they had collected a sample of his sperm, raising hopes among distraught fans that Harambe could sire offspring even in death.
But officials at the main U.S. body that oversees breeding of zoo animals said it was highly unlikely that the Western lowland gorilla's contribution to the nation's "frozen zoo" of genetic material of rare and endangered species would be used to breed.
"Currently, it's not anything we would use for reproduction," Kristen Lukas, who heads the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Gorilla Species Survival Plan, said on Wednesday. "It will be banked and just stored for future use or for research studies."
Bengal tigress and 114 other animals die at Yumká Zoo in Tabasco
“Animals are not immortal,” was the “smart” comment made by Cristel Perez Arevalo, director of Yumká Ecological Park in Tabasco, recognizing that in three years, 114 animals have died and that 70% of the population of the zoo are long-living species.
The official appeared before the members of the Local Congress after more than two months of meetings and demands by the different parliamentary factions, who requested her presence to explain the constant death of animals in Yumká.
After the meeting with legislators, Pérez Arévalo acknowledged that a total of 114 animals have died from 2013 to 2015 in the zoo, but she denied that these deaths are due to negligence. She said several factors are involved in this situation, such as predators, age and diseases, claiming that this amount represents 15% of the total population which currently stands at 819 animals.
While she says that animals “are not immortal”, the albino tigress known as “Shakira” died on May 31, after agonizing for several days. According to veterinarians from the Yumká Zoo, the animal passed away after not being properly fed for an eight-day
How One Man's Obsessive Orca Hunt Left A Legacy Of Controversy And Conservation
These days, the prospect of seeing the Pacific Northwest’s iconic orca whales in the wild attracts thousands of tourists annually to whale-watching boats or shore-side excursions. But it wasn’t that long ago that these majestic endangered creatures were seen as a menace.
The person who turned the tide on that thinking was, perhaps ironically, someone who pioneered the controversial practice of hunting orcas so they could be put on captive display in aquariums.
In 1965, Orca Hunter Ted Griffin became the first person to ever swim publicly with a killer whale. He also founded and operated Seattle’s first aquarium, the Seattle Marine Aquarium on Pier 56 in Elliot Bay, where he showcased Namu, the famous orca who also starred in a Hollywood movie of the same name made that year.
Griffin went on to capture and sell dozens of orcas to other aquariums during the late 1960s and early 1970s. That practice earned him lasting infamy in many circles, from people who find keeping such large and intelligent mammals captive inhumane. But at the time, it represented a radical change in the way humans related to killer whales.
With their enormous appetites for salmon and massive size, killer whales were viewed as a nuisance by com
Orca whale filmed beaching herself as zoo defends welfare record
Animal rights activists have called for the release of an orca whale filmed deliberately beaching herself and lying motionless at the side of the pool for several minutes after a show at Tenerife’s Loro Parque zoo.
Some spectators interpreted the video as an attempt by the whale, named Morgan, to commit suicide.
“Looks to me as if trying to take her own life, I don’t blame her,” wrote commenter Efrat Cybulkiewicz after viewing the clip showing Morgan on her belly outside of Loro Parque’s display pool on Vimeo.
Owner of Bowmanville Zoo, charged with animal cruelty, in court Monday
The owner of the Bowmanville Zoo, charged with animal cruelty, will appear in court on Monday.
Michael Hackenberger is charged with four counts of causing an animal distress and one of failing to comply with the prescribed standards of care for an animal.
The OSPCA began its investigation after video footage surfaced that appeared to show Hackenberger hitting a tiger with a whip during a training session. The footage emerged in December.
Three of the distress charges relate to the use of a whip.
Mitch Albom: Gorilla empathy not matched for humans
A silverback gorilla belongs in the Cincinnati Zoo as much as a human being belongs in an African bird’s nest. But when a child got into that gorilla’s enclosure last weekend, and the animal was killed to protect the child’s life, we were suddenly arguing as if both sides had an equal say.
“The gorilla didn’t have to die!” people protested. “It’s inhumane. It’s cruel.”
It certainly is. But if you are worried about cruelty to gorillas, you should begin with them being in a zoo in the first place. Healthy debates can be had over the rights of man to imprison animals for exploration and profit.
33 more tigers removed from Kanchanaburi temple Search mounted after big cat briefly escapes
Wildlife authorities drafted veterinarians and staffers from across the country on Tuesday to help them continue relocating dozens of big cats from the Tiger Temple, including one that briefly escaped. After...
Tiger Temple raids: 40 dead cubs uncovered in freezer at popular Thai tourist attraction
Photos from inside Thailand's controversial Tiger Temple have shown rows of small tiger carcasses lined up on the ground, alongside a small bear, a set of deer horns and plastic bottles reportedly containing animal parts.
The Buddhist temple in Kanchanaburi province, west of Bangkok, has more than 100 tigers and has become a tourist destination where visitors take selfies with tigers and bottle-feed their cubs.
Tourists pay hundreds of dollars to mingle with the docile animals, but allegations of abuse and illegal trading have long plagued the facility.
Earlier this week the temple was raided by wildlife authorities and officials moved 52 live tigers from the temple since Monday, Adisorn said, leaving 85 still there.
Tiger parts are used in traditional Chinese medicine.
The 40 dead tiger cubs were foun
The zoo which wants to release wild elephants in Denmark
Rewilding is here to stay. The term broadly refers to restoring areas of wilderness to their former glory, but it is the reintroduction of large mammals, from wolves to beavers, that has captured the popular imagination, and come to define this ambitious conservation strategy.
Such projects are not without controversy. Some ecologists worry that reintroducing extinct animals to our radically changed modern ecosystems might have unforeseen impacts.
Farmers and landowners, meanwhile, express concern about the effect interlopers like wolves or lynxes might have on their livelihoods.
Just imagine how they might react to the ideas proposed by a small but dedicated subset of extreme rewilders. In their vision, the plains of North America and E
The Harm of Verbal Promiscuity
Whether they have one true love for life, multiple partners, or are free-loving, animals have many different mating systems. We have different scientific terms for these different mating systems, and most of these terms have very specific meanings. An animal is socially monogamous when it has one exclusive mating relationship, but maybe has sex with others outside of that relationship. It is sexually monogamous when it has one exclusive sexual relationship and is sexually faithful to that partner. Animals are polygamous when they have multiple sexual relationships. Polygamous animals can be polygynous (when one male has a mating relationship with multiple females), polyandrous (when one female has a mating relationship with multiple males) or polygynandrous (when multiple males and multiple females all have a mating relationship). However, one mating system term has been used much more loosely: promiscuous. In some scientific papers, promiscuous is used to describe
Pregnant sea lion at Henry Doorly Zoo dies
Some visitors at Henry Doorly Zoo witnessed an unsettling sight Saturday: Zookeepers had to shoot tranquilizer darts at a female sea lion after she began exhibiting some unusual behavior.
New effort to save one of world’s rarest spiders
One of the world’s rarest spiders has been brought into captivity at Bristol Zoo Gardens in an attempt to save it from extinction.
It is believed to be the first time the Desertas wolf spider has been held in a UK zoo and it is only found on the Desertas islands, near Madeira, Portugal.
These impressive-looking black and white spiders can grow up to 12cm in size, with a body size of 4cm alone. They are under threat from habitat loss due to invasive grass binding the soil where they burrow and blocking their natural shelters.
The spider has been classified as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species but is not protected by any specific legislation.
Bristol Zoo has now joined forces with Madeira Natural Park (MNP) and the IUCN to develop a conse
Dublin Zoo mourning unexpected death of one of its main attractions - Harry the gorilla
In a statement posted to its Facebook page, the zoo confirmed that Harry died after a short illness.
Harry, who also known as the ‘silverback’, was the leader of Dublin Zoo’s gorilla troop. He was 29 years old and during his time at the zoo he fathered six offspring.
The zoo said that the gorilla was "very gentle and calm" and will be greatly missed.
The exact reason for Harry’s death is still unknown and Dublin Zoo is awaiting the final results of a postmortem.
Gorillas have an average lifespan of 35-40 years.
Social media was quick to react to the news, with people posting messages of sympathy and tribute.
"Genuinely very sad reading this," wrote Triona Ryan Taheny. "Harry has been our family's fav in the zoo for years. We've spent so many hours just sitting watching him, and he's given our kids so many g
Sharjah Ruler inspects projects in Al Dhaid
The second phase of Al Bardi Park will have the largest safari park outside Africa and will house around 50,000 animals.
His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, approved the park’s second phase plans yesterday (Monday) as he inspected a number of vital projects in Al Dhaid.
As he inspected the progress of work on the first phase of Al Bardi Park, Dr Shaikh Sultan pointed out that the park will be a prominent eco-tourism location on its completion in a year and a half.
He also pointed out that Al Dhaid’s Al Wosta channel will begin its operations this Eid Al Adha. Dr Shaikh Sultan also issued directives for renaming Seeh Al Mahab Square after Emirati martyr Sultan Bin Mohammad Bin Ali Bin Huwaidan, who died while performing his national duty in Yemen as part of the Saudi-led Arab coalition.
He instructed developing the mosque near the square, and also
Stop the suffering of sun bears at Miri Crocodile Farm
Investigators from Friends of the Orangutans Malaysia (Foto) recently investigated the Miri Crocodile Farm (MCF) in Sarawak after we received numerous complaints of cruelty and exploitation of wildlife from concerned members of the public. We were shocked to find the conditions the animals are forced to live in at the farm (it’s not even a zoo).
At MCF we found three sun bears forced to live in appalling conditions. These sun bears are visibly stressed and are suffering from zoochosis as a result of living in a concrete tomb without enrichment. No readily available, clean drinking water was seen. These are conditions which resembles a 19th-century zoo. Sun bears are a protected species in Sarawak and with many bear experts calling for urgent action to prevent their extinction in the wild. These bears and other animals at the farm urgently need help.
The management of MCF also offers farm visitors opportunities to take photos with a sun bear cub. According to a staff, this cub is taken (away from its mother) from an enclosure and returned to it at the end of the day. Although no evidence of this
Quebec walrus pups drawing international attention from scientists
Marine researchers around the world are paying close attention to the development of two newborn walruses at the Quebec City aquarium.
The pups are only the seventh and eighth walruses born in captivity in North America in the last 85 years.
“We got news from Australia, from Germany, from everywhere,” John Mackay, CEO of Quebec’s outdoor network, told CTV News. “All the scientists, veterinarians and wildlife scientists are very interested by that.”
Who Is to Blame When a Child Wanders at the Zoo?
The incident of the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo is a reminder that closed doors and barred gates are like beacons to some kids, just waiting to be breached or climbed.
Basic -- but often ignored -- rules of zoo safety
256 animal attack-related injuries at zoos reported over past 26 years
The killing of 17-year-old Western lowland gorilla Harambe to protect a 3-year-old boy who had slipped away from his mother and entered the gorilla habitat at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden has galvanized social media and left many wondering who to blame: the mother or the zoo?
Perhaps there's a more important question: Do most parents know how to play it safe while visiting the zoo? In the past 26 years, there have been 256 injuries from animal attacks at accredited and non-accredited zoos, menageries and wild animal parks in the U.S., according to a searchable database developed by the animal advocacy group Born Free. Thirty-three victims died from their injuries.
Though the majority of attacks occurred between animals and their trainers or zookeepers, there were a number of unfortunate incidents with children. And those numbers don't count the near-misses.
All accredited zoos point to safety warnings. Some of them are common sense. But it is up to us, as parents, to read and follow them. Here are some of the more obvious (but sometimes clearly ignored) warnings and what can happen when they aren't heeded.
Don't let your children tease the animals
The safety glass may not be as billed. Take a family enjoying the gorillas at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, in April 2015. The father was videotaping his young daughter as she playfully beat her chest behind the thick glass protecting her from t
How safe is your zoo?
You go to the zoo to see some of the wildest animals on the planet. Wild and potentially deadly. Cincinnati zoo officials had to fatally shoot an endangered gorilla after a toddler fell into the gorilla's enclosure. So how closely do you need to watch your child at the zoo?
Brianna George, a Dolgeville Resident says "Accidents happen obviously, but at the same time, that child had to be out of her sight for some time to get over a barrier, into where the gorilla was."
Marissa Sykes, of Herkimer "Obviously as a parent, your responsibility when you're at the zoo is to watch your child. Know where your child is at all times. And if you don't know where your child is, then that's a problem."
Tomeka Ray of Cooperstown "Where was the parent at the moment? I mean I know it's easy to get sidetracked, but when you're in public like that, in a place like a zoo, I just feel like there should have been more attention to the child."
The Utica Zoo has plenty of measures in place to ensure you have a safe visit. Signs are up showing you how to properly feed animals, and warn you of potential biting. There's thor
Safety and zoo enclosures
Hippos, a tiger and monkeys just a few animals Deidre Hoston and her family came to see at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo. She says it's time to have fun, but also to be safe.
"They hold hands they walk together they say they are tired of holding hands, but they have to stay together, this what they do hold hands when we walk in the zoo," says Hoston.
So when she heard about a four-year-old ending up in a habitat with a gorilla in Cincinnati she felt the parents were to blame.
"You know I hate the gorilla lost his life all because of a parent not watching their kids because I don't really think the animal would have hurt the baby because to me he seemed like he was trying to protect the baby," says Hoston.
Zoo Director Joe Clawson says it's all about safety and several barriers are in place to prevent the animals from getting out and humans getting in, but it's not impossible.
"To someone who's determined they'll find a way to get in, but our enclosures are appropriate and reasonable," says Clawson.
Slanted railings, multiple fences, moats, and e
Snack attack: Some zoo visitors don't understand why cages exist
A lot of things can happen when you put human beings and wild animals together in the same spot at the same time — and most of them aren’t very pretty to watch.
Still, every year, a handful of confused zoo visitors, for reasons known only to themselves, climb into enclosures where they come face to face with lions, tigers, bears and other captive critters with pointy teeth.
Last weekend, for example, one of two men who broke into a zoo in Minot, N.D., had his hand bitten by a brown bear after sticking his arm through the bars of the animal’s enclosure.
Police said the two men were (Surprise!) under the influence of alcohol at the time and are facing felony trespassing charges.
"I think people sometimes think that just because they are in captivity, they are somehow not a wild animal, but they are wild animals," zoo director Becky Dewitz said.
In Santiago, Chile, two lions had to be shot dead last Saturday after they mauled a man who stripped naked and entered their enclosure in an apparent suicide attempt. At last report, the man was in grave condition in hospital.
In Hyderabad, India, meanwhile, a 35-year-old "drunken man" jumped into a lion enclosure at Nehru Zoological Park Monday, reportedly to "shake hands with a lion," but was rescued unhurt by the animal’s alert keeper.
You’d like to think such stupidity was rare, but, tragically, these
Report concludes BREC Zoo not at fault in death of giraffes
Inspectors from the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums have concluded that BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo was not at fault in the death of a pair of elderly giraffes earlier this year.
The full results of the site inspection report, requested by the Zoo, were released on Thursday.
The site survey included a formal review of the circumstances surrounding the death of two of the Zoo’s elderly giraffes in April.
The reports conclusion includes the following statement:
“After careful review of a number of cascading circumstances that resulted in the death of two adult female giraffes, it is my professional opinion that the Baton Rouge Zoo staff responded as an experienced and knowledgeable team faced with a challenging circumstance for the Baton Rouge Zoo’s giraffe herd of four animals. I commend the Baton Rouge Zoo for the long-term care of these individual animals that resulted in their longevity. Their difficult decision to humanely alleviate the suffering of Mopani and Hope was a sound professional decision, in line with standard animal welfare practice. In my investigation, I found no fault with the difficult decisions that were made under a set of unfortunate circumstances that resulted in the death of two geriatric female giraffes.”
The investigation was carried out last month by staff and veterinarians with the AZA. It included the review of staff incident reports, vet medical records and pathology reports.
“We were very pleased to hear our peers echo
Dolphin snot might play a crucial role in echolocation
You might think it's funny, but it's snot! Okay, sorry. I'm really sorry. Please don't leave.
Aaron Thode, a research scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, believes he's uncovered the key to the high-pitched "clicks" that make dolphin echolocation possible. And, well, it's snot.
It's thought that dolphins create their high-pitched sounds — such as signature whistles used to communicate and clicks used to "see" the ocean via echolocation — by forcing air through nasal passages beneath their blowholes. Their nasal passages contain the dorsal bursae, lumps of tissue that smack together and vibrate to produce sound. But the exact mechanics behind the diverse set of chirps and whistles a dolphin can make remain murky.
[There’s something fishy about that viral image of what dolphins ‘see’]
"It’s kind of a mystery how you can make ultrasonic sound without metal, just using soft tissue," said Thode, who presented his as-yet-unpublished research this week at the 171st meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. He was noodling around with ideas for the artificial production of these noises when he came up with an idea for how to model the process.
Along with his father, retired physicist Lester Thode — who was recruited because "he was getting a little restless" — Thode adapted a simple co
Six months on, still no action on Montekristo zoo
No monkey business: big cats at the illegal zoo hurt two young children in the space of five months. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi
No monkey business: big cats at the illegal zoo hurt two young children in the space of five months. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi
No action has yet been taken against the owners of the Montekristo Animal Park, six months after the first violent incident involving big cats.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had publicly called for action to be taken and an inquiry to be launched into the park after a second incident, involving a young child, took place within a matter of months.
Dr Muscat had tweeted that it was “totally unacceptable that the illegal zoo was opened”, after it had been ordered to close its doors following the first incident there.
The contentious animal park, owned by construction magnate Charles Polidano, first closed its doors after a young girl was clawed by a tiger last year.
The big cat had been “let out for a walk” by its handlers during visiting hours, and the girl had to undergo surgical intervention after the tiger scratched her back and face.
The park was closed immediately by its owners due to “unforeseen circumstances” and remained so during a magisterial inquiry.
However, it was not long before a second incident occurred.
This time it was the hunters’ international fair, organised by the Hunters’ Federation last month, which set the scene for a big cat attack.
While the park was inexplicably opened, a child, this time a young boy, suffered scratches to his neck and back from another animal, a juvenile lioness. Details of the incident remain sketchy and investigations are yet to be concluded.
A spokesman for the Off
More tigers to be moved from temple on Monday
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation intends to start relocating more tigers from the famous Tiger Temple on Monday despite the objections of temple officials. The date was...
Marineland's closure blow for sea life - critics
Marineland opened in 1965 and was a Napier icon for decades.
It housed several species of native marine wildlife, including the common dolphin, the New Zealand fur seal, California sea lions and otters.
Marineland has been closed to the public since 2008, but continued to look after rescued sea mammals such as sea lions and seals.
The final three residents - New Zealand fur seals Mr Bojangles, Molly, and Pania - left Marineland last night and are on their way to Australia, making way for the demolition of the facility later this year.
Mr Bojangles and Molly were heading to Gold Coast Seaworld, and Pania was going to Melbourne Zoo.
A group that tried to save the marine park, The Friends of Marineland, said many people did not understand that Marineland was not just about seeing dolphins perform tricks.
Secretary of the group, Sue MacDonald, said the facility also took care of injured or sick marine mammals.
"The work that it did in rehabilitating other sea creatures and releasing them was legendary. People knew if they found a marine creature, Marineland would be able to look after it.
"It means now if any marine animal comes up on the beach it is more than likely to be either euthanised or left to
PETA caught out in Australia Zoo cruelty claims
ONE of Australia’s key animal welfare groups has been caught out spreading misinformation about Australia Zoo’s care for its animals.
Officials from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have acknowledged they made a mistake when they claimed the zoo was putting the welfare of animals at risk by taking them to America last week.
But they have blamed the error on the zoo’s own publicity and have since failed to respond to questions a
Zoo permit for Tiger Temple merits our disgust, outrage
Wildlife trafficking at Wat Pa Luangta Maha Bua in Kanchaburi has now received an official seal of approval
The infamous Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi has been granted an official zoo permit by Thai authorities, signed by the director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP).
We at the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) are shocked and disgusted by this latest development of an ongoing sickening drama that has continued for so many years.
Since 2001, Wat Pa Luangta Maha Bua has faced numerous allegations of animal abuse and illegal wildlife trafficking, with substantial evidence presented on several occasions by both non-governmental organisations and former volunteers and staff at the temple. Last year authorities acting on information received conducted several raids on the temple and discovered evidence that illegal po
“We are very proud:” Racine Zoo’s white-handed gibbon reaches important milestone
The Racine Zoo is excited to announce that on Saturday, May 28, Yule, the white-handed gibbon and the oldest living gibbon in North America, turns 50 years old.
Racine Zoo’s white-handed gibbon reaches important milestoneWhite-handed gibbons typically live approximately 25 years in the wild and about 40 to 50 years under human care, according to a press release.
To celebrate this historical event, the Zoo is hosting an informal birthday party on Satur
The truth about volunteering with lions
I had been an animal lover – more specifically a cat lover – since I was little. So when I finished school, it seemed only logical to sign up for an animal-focused volunteering trip.
I found Real Gap, a company centred around sending students abroad. Amongst their top trips was the ‘Live with Lion Cubs’ experience at Ukutula – a fortnight in South Africa with hands-on experience helping to rehabilitate lions, all in the name of conservation. The two-week experience cost £1,118 (ZAR25,689 at current exchange rate) excluding flights, but it seemed like such a good cause that I didn’t mind putting all my savings towards it.
Prior to the trip I was not at all clued up about the canned hunting business. I knew all about poachers and trophy hunting, but that didn’t strike me as being related to what I was about to do. I posted a tweet expressing my excitement about the trip, and received a message from a girl urging me to avoid Ukutula and that the reserve was affiliated with canned hunting. I was distraught but managed to convince myself that it was an online troll. The idea played on my mind, however, and I sent a message to a representative at Real Gap querying the reserve, but their response was just what I needed to ease my mind – they were disgusted at the very idea of canned hunting and assured me that the trip was solely for the sake of conservation.
On arriving at the reserve in July 2014, I was more excited than I had ever been. The reserve itself was beautiful, located in Brits, just outside of Johannesburg. We were shown to our room, which was in the ‘Devils’ enclosure – a small hut surrounded by the 26 three to six-month-old lion cubs.
There were eight volunteers in my group, who had all booked through the same company, along with another 25 volunteers, some of which had been to Ukutula before. On the reserve at the time were four young cubs, which we cared for on cub duty. The environment seemed welcoming enough, but the staff were incredibly rude sometimes and any questions regard
Adelaide Zoo closes indefinitely after would-be thieves target gift shop ATM
Adelaide Zoo has been forced to close indefinitely after would-be thieves blew up an ATM at the gift shop.
Police said an alarm was activated at the ATM on Plane Tree Drive about 3:30am.
A security patrol responded and found the front of the machine had been badly damaged.
Police said the culprits fled empty handed.
Explosives experts from SA police will examine the machine and police are seeking anyone who may have seen or heard anything.
Students were staying at the zoo overnight but police said they did not hear the explosion.
Sergeant Phil Clague said the ATM, which is on the wall of the zoo's gift shop, withstood the blast despite the use of a substance which is normally used with hardened plastics.
"ATMs are basically a safe with a computer on the front so they are built to withstand a significant attempt to gain entry to them," he said.
"I've been told this is the first time that this
Tender, loving care for dolphins at RWS Dolphin Island
Long before the doors open daily at 10.30am at Dolphin Island at Resorts World Sentosa, 27 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins from the Solomon Islands are already splashing about in the 11 large interconnecting lagoons.
At the crack of dawn, a team of marine veterinarians, specialists and animal husbandry professionals, together with 35 trainers from more than 10 countries, gathe
Soaring With Condors (Part I): Shell Game
Did you know that the Los Angeles Zoo has been an integral part of California condor conservation efforts since the inception of the California Condor Recovery Program (CCRP) in 1982? Were you aware that the Zoo has housed this iconic species since 1967, when the legendary Topatopa (who went on to sire more than 20 chicks) was brought to the Zoo as a malnourished fledgling?
Though the Zoo does not exhibit California condors to the public—unless you are fortunate enough to be here on a day when Dolly, the first outreach ambassador for her species, is making an appearance—condor care at the Zoo takes place every day, 365 days a year. Seasonally, L.A. Zoo staff collaborate with other agencies in the CCRP to share data and provide veterinary care for the birds, as well as check on the health of eggs, chicks, and adult condors in the wild.
This blog takes you behind the scenes and out into the
Trainee Keeper Blog: Having my cake and wolfing it
I don’t really remember how it started, or where it really came from, but my fascination with wolves has grown into something of an obsession over the years. I had always dreamt I would work with them and my experiences at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust only fanned the flames.
I was thrilled to help Jasper, the Park’s Education Officer, with Wolf Awareness Week when I first started and I jumped at the chance to talk to people about these amazing animals and try to dispel some of the myths. To be honest, I take the chance to
Hanako the elephant died Thursday afternoon at the Inokashira Park Zoo
According to Tokyo officials, the aging elephant was found lying on the floor of her cage at around 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, and zoo workers tried to get her on her feet to prevent her from dying of suffocation. However, they were unsuccessful in saving Hanako, and she was pronounced dead at 3 p.m.
While the cause of her death was not immediately known, Kiyoshi Naga, the head of the zoo, said Hanako the elephant died peacefully and without suffering. Reportedly, an autopsy has been scheduled for Friday to attempt to find the cause of death.
“I wanted her to live a little longer. I really want to thank all the people who have loved Hanako all these years,” Nagai said.
However, while Hanako’s passing is sad, she apparently outlived the normal life expectations for Asian elephants. Reportedly, the pachyderms can live up to the age of 60 in the wil
Cambodia plans world-class aquarium to also act as fish farm
The Cambodian government has revealed plans for a US$23.5m (€30.7m, £23.5m) saltwater aquarium, which will begin construction in Sihanoukville in the southwest of the country later this year.
Norwegian company Vitamar is behind the project, which Ministry secretary of state, Nao Thouk, said was the first such investment from a foreign company into aquariums.
The aquarium will be unique in that it will operate both as a traditional tourist attraction and as a breeding ground, using the comparatively-mild Cambodian climate to rear ocean-faring fish such as red snapper, grouper, seabass and Pompano for consumption and export.
“[Vitamar] are now waiting for the approval, as they are already preparing everything such as a budget and human resources,” said Thouk, speaking to Cambodian paper Khmer Times. He added that the move
How Technology Can Support Wildlife Conservation and Help Protect the Future of Our Natural World
As global wildlife populations have declined by 52% in just 40 years, our planet needs all the help it can get in turning this terrible decline around and ensuring wildlife is conserved for generations to come.
The threats are serious, and many: habitat destruction, climate change, illegal wildlife trade, to name just a few. But advances in technology can give conservationists the edge, meaning the difference between survival and extinction of some of the world's most threatened species.
As an international conservation charity, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is working to develop technological tools that can enable us (and other conservationists around the world) to better understand animals, their habitats and the threats they face so we can protect our precious wildlife.
From satellite-enabled cameras, to new software for the reporting of illegal wildlife trade, technology can help protect th
FNC discusses draft law on banning exotic animal ownership
Abu Dhabi: The Federal National Council on Tuesday discussed a draft law which would stop individuals from owning wild and other domesticated but dangerous animals such as lions, tigers, apes and monkeys, as well as pit bulls, mastiffs and Japanese tosa dogs.
The law is designed to stop people from unlicensed dealing and ownership of all types of wild and other domesticated but dangerous animals, according to the draft law, which requires to be finally approved by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan before it takes effect.
The draft law includes penalties for offenders of up to life imprisonment and/or a Dh1 million fine.
Those who use an animal to attack people and the assault causes death will face life imprisonment. In the event the attack causes a disability, a prison term of up to seven years will be imposed. If other minor injuries are inflicted, a prison term of not more than a year and a fine of up to Dh10,000 will be give
Threatened penguins bred through artificial insemination at Yamaguchi aquarium
An aquarium in Yamaguchi Prefecture has succeeded in breeding threatened Humboldt penguins using artificial insemination.
It is the second successful artificial insemination of any type of penguin worldwide, and the first for a penguin species under threat of extinction, officials at the Shimonoseki Marine Science Museum Kaikyokan said Tuesday.
The aquarium collected and froze sperm from an 11-year-old male penguin called Genki between 2014 and 2015, and used it to inseminate 8-year-old Happy on around 10 occasions over a nearly two-week period in February.
Happy then laid one egg on Feb. 28 and another on March 3. The eggs hatched on April 7 and 10, resulting in one male and one female chick.
The chicks represent the culmination of roughly four years of work, during which staff estimated when females would ovulate based on weight fluctuations and ultrasound testing, and developed a method to preserve males’ sperm at low temperatures.
Aquarium employee Teppei Kushimoto, 34,
South Africa Just Lifted Its Ban on the Rhino Horn Trade
With just three terse sentences, South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal has legalized rhino horn trade in South Africa again, rejecting an appeal by the government to keep a ban on domestic trade in place. The decision opens a door to criminal activity that some say is necessary to save a species—and others say will doom it.
International trade in rhino horn has been banned since 1977 among the now 182 member countries of the Convention on I
Stingrays Respond to Enrichment With Affection and Bonding, Phoenix Zoo Finds
Aquarists are given the rare opportunity to learn from a wide variety of animals on a daily basis. The ability to constantly learn from animals in our care provides valuable insight and advances in animal welfare. The Phoenix Zoo has recently been providing significant insight to the intelligence of the Southern cownose stingray. This insight is being used to assist other facilities in breeding and husbandry practices.
I began training stingrays at the Phoenix Zoo in the summer of 2014 after analyzing some interesting behaviors I captured on film. I placed an underwater camera in the enclosure when providing enrichment. I saw that one female stingray, Annie, was incredibly interested in a hula hoop. She would swim back to this hula hoop repeatedly and would move or bump it with her rostrum. On her final approach she picked up th
Zoos in Malaysia still breaking the law
Back in April 2012 the government made a big thing out of the launch of its new Wildlife Conservation Act first conceived in 2010.
In 2010 a new law was deemed necessary. It took two years of debate before the new Act became law – on paper.
Despite everyone in the Malaysian zoo industry knowing change was coming, despite most zoos still being decrepit and law-breaking, Perhilitan agreed to a six-month extension period to allow zoos to become compliant. The fact that many zoo animals were suffering from appalling neglect, no one in government cared.
Now, nearly four years later, what has change
Fugitive High Park Zoo capybaras duo elude search party after morning escape
Two dog-sized tropical rodents known as capybaras busted out of the High Park Zoo Tuesday morning, the latest in a line of daring critters that have made a mad dash for freedom over the years.
The great capybara escape of 2016 began around 7 a.m. The zoo was attempting to trade their male capybara, Chewy, for a breeding couple. But when a handler brought in the young female and male capybaras, they somehow slipped out of the pen, said Doug Bennet, a spokesperson for the Parks, Forestry and Recreation department.
There is no telling how Chewy felt after the couple abandoned him. “I can’t venture a guess on the mental state of a capybara,” he said, laughing.
About 30 staff members from diff
10 Secrets of Professional Animal People
1. Doing strenuous manual labor for years wreaks havoc on our bodies. Most of us have bad backs, bad joints, trick knees or worse by the time we hit 30.
2. Very little of what we do involves hanging out getting to play with the animals we have dedicated our lives to taking care of, but when we do have time for it, we definitely relish it!
3. It is probably the least glamorous, glamorous-sounding job. There is lots of poop scooping involved!
4. 90% of our wardrobe is work clothes. Maybe more.
5. There are very distinctive traits of people that choose to work with different groups of animals, and each group thinks the other is more crazy. Bird people, marine mammal people, big cat people, dog people... but truth is, we are all nuts!
6. We don't always have time to shower before we have to go out into public, and yes the smell can be noticeable, and yes, we are aware.
7. Working with animals isn't a job to us, we see it as a lifestyle. It becomes who we are, not just what we do.
8. We talk to our animals more than anyone else, what
Vinpearl named investor of safari park project in Ho Chi Minh City
Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have announced that Vinpearl JSC, a subsidiary of Vietnamese realty conglomerate Vingroup, are the chosen investor in the Saigon Safari Park project.
Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong has approved the proposal to award Vinpearl the Saigon Safari Park proj
Leigh Clayton, Director of Animal Health at the National Aquarium, speaks about being an aquarium veterinarian. Listen to the PODCAST.