Zoo News Digest
Tyre tunnel home being built for Durrell bats in Jersey
Fruit bats from Jersey are half-way towards getting a new home, the island's zoo says.
A new tunnel is being built for them to live in at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust using about 800 locally-sourced used tyres.
About 400 staff from HSBC are involved in the work and have finished the first stage of the project, the trust said.
Deputy head of mammals Dominic Wormell said the new habitat would be more energy-efficient when completed.
The project - expected to take four weeks - involves upgrading the current tunnel that houses the Livingstone's fruit bat.
The tyres are being be filled with earth and used to create the exterior wall of the new tunnel, the trust said.
The tunnel would provide the perfect environmental conditions for the tropical Livingstone's fruit bat, it added.
There are believed
Man sues Bakersfield museum after raccoon attack
A man is suing a Bakersfield zoo and museum for negligence after he was attacked by an escaped raccoon from one of its live exhibits.
The Bakersfield Californian reports that 31-year-old Ian Smith is seeking more than $25,000 from the California Living Museum for lost wages and medical expenses. He also claims his 9-year-old daughter suffered personal pain and injuries after witnessing the Jan. 31 attack.
Smith, a trained kickboxer, reportedly fought off the
Artist’s work adds to the zoo experience
Thousands of visitors to the Phillips Park Zoo have enjoyed the reptile house and bald eagle exhibits over the last five years. But they might not have consciously noticed the large, scenic murals that unobtrusively depict the animals’ natural habitats.
The man behind the murals at the zoo is 41-year-old Chris Mascarella.
Mascarella, of Crystal Lake, has worked for the city’s parks and maintenance departments since 1993. During the summers, he works at the city’s Fox Valley Golf Course in North Aurora. In the winters, he plows snow and does other maintenance work.
His artwork was most recently on display at the Phillips Park Visitors Center during Santa’s chats with children before Christmas. Dan Anderson, director of parks and recreation, wanted to enhance Santa’s corner by placing plywood over the windows behind Santa’s chair so families who brought along their cameras didn’t end up with glass glare in their keepsake photos. He asked Chris to paint a winter display, but left the rest to the artist.
The result was a whimsical winter scene, painted as a double
Sacramento Zoo's Reptile House Evacuated
The reptile house at the Sacramento Zoo was evacuated Tuesday afternoon after a heating and air-conditioning unit malfunctioned and caused smoke, zoo officials said.
Visitors were told to leave the area.
The reptile house will remain closed for the rest of the day.
The zoo said all residents inside the reptile house seem to be fine and that they're being checked
PCMC to check feasibility of zoo outsourcing
The Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporation will look into the feasibility of outsourcing the running of the Bahinabai Chaudhary zoo, before implementing a resolution approved by the standing committee in this regard.
Speaking to TOI on Tuesday, Prakash Kadam, additional commissioner, said, "The standing committee resolution approving outsourcing of the work of running and maintenance of the zoo was tabled by an elected member and not the civic administration."
He said, "The administration will have to check whether it is more profitable and proper for the PCMC to outsource this work than run the zoo on its own. Also, if it is found to be profitable then we need to take a decision on whether or not to invite bids for the contract to outsource the work."
A short notice resolution was approved by the standing committee last week to outsource the running of the Bahinabai Chaudhary zoo to the Indian Herpetological Society (IHS). The resolution states that the Union government has recommended the creation of four posts of director and biologist and the IHS has the experience of operating the zoo in Pune. The IHS will hire people for these posts and run the zoo.
"It is profitable for the PCMC to outsource the work. The
Trees come between grand zoo plan
A biodiversity report on the Byculla Gardens has said that the zone has more plant species than estimated, making it imperative that the 47-acre green lung be preserved as it is. The study commissioned by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and municipal heritage committee said that the BMC’s plans for the Rs600-crore ‘international zoo’ at the site will destroy the park’s biodiversity apart from damaging animal and plant habitat created in it over the last 150 years.
The report by botanist Marselin Almeida said that the park, originally laid out in 1861 as a botanical garden, has 276 species of trees — 50 more than earlier estimated. The report, which used GPS indicators for the first time to establish the exact location of trees, also counted the park’s plant species for the first time and said there were 843 plant types, including tree species, from 149 botanical families.
Apart from the addition of animal enclosures and more plant species, little has changed at the park over the last 150 years. But in 2007, the BMC announced plans to redevelop the park by creating
Zoo staffer wins Lifetime Achievement Award
If ever an opportunity arises to visit the “bowels” of the zoo, take advantage of it. And when we say bowels, we mean it! It is there you will find Mr. Jimmy Bucsit flipping, and forking, and hauling, and hosing, and performing all kinds of other duties required to keep those famous piles of poop percolating in the Zoo Doo yard. It is for that work—25 dedicated years of it—that Jimmy was honored this month with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the
Concrete jungle: Department store's zoo sparks controversy
A few staff members cast suspicious looks at me as my video camera rolled. One asked why I was filming.
I wasn't in army-ruled Myanmar or communist North Korea. I was visiting a zoo –in Bangkok – and the employees were monitoring me closely.
"One of our zookeepers even has a picture of the gorilla in his wallet, instead of his wife," the staff member said. "You see, we really love our animals."
But it's a tough love out here at Pata Zoo, a concrete jungle on the top two floors of a department store on a busy road in Bangkok.
About 200 species – a gorilla, a penguin, bears, tigers, leopards, sheep, flamingos, pythons, and nocturnal animals – are crammed into cages and pens that are too small or otherwise inadequate for them. The two floors of the zoo are each about the size of a soccer field.
The zoo's superstar, a 20-year-old female gorilla, lives in a 10x15-yard concrete pen. "Bua Noi," as she is called, sat gripping the iron bars of her dim
53 animal parks ordered to stop abuse
The State Forestry Administration (SFA) has ordered 53 wildlife parks and zoos that stage animal shows to improve their management after inspections found animals' welfare had not been well protected.
The administration also nullified the certifications of seven other parks and zoos that violated laws.
The measures came after a nationwide inspection revealed commercial performances have led to animals' frequent abuse and exploitation.
The central government has sent six teams to monitor and evaluate 500 wildlife parks and zoos nationwide since October.
The inspections found poor management and illegal activities in some zoos and wildlife parks were increasingly causing rare species' deaths. There were also incidents in which animals injured visitors, SFA department of wildlife conservation and nature reserve management director Zhang Xiwu was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying.
Some zoos were found unable to provide animals' basic care because of their insufficient profits and others were found to be engaged in illegal wildlife product sales, Zhang told a meeting in Guangzhou on Monday.
"Both the security of endangered species and the safety of the public are threatened by improper management," SFA deputy head Yin Hong told Xinhua.
An estimated 700 public zoos, wildlife parks and circuses organize animal performances, which attract about 150 million visitors a year.
International Fund for Animal Welfare Beijing office campaign manager Hua Ning told China Daily she viewed the restrictions on animal performances as a positive step toward animal rights protection.
"I believe many Chinese would be unhappy if they knew the baby tigers they hold in their arms for photos (in some zoos) have had their canine teeth pulled out," Hua said.
"The government needs to help zoos and aquariums
Upkeep of zoo in Pune to be outsourced
The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) is planning to outsource maintenance of the Bahinabai Choudhary zoo to a private player at a cost of Rs20 lakh per year, and the standing committee recently gave its clearance for the proposal.
According to sources, the PCMC will offer a hike of 10% per year for five years in the amount to be paid to the private party.
According to the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), the posts of curator, veterinarian, biologist and compounder need to be filled up, but the PCMC plans to outsource
Rising deer population a headache for Delhi Zoo
Officials at the Delhi Zoo are racking their brains trying to find housing for its burgeoning deer population as they are running out of enclosures to accommodate them.
The Delhi zoo has 11 species and sub-species of antelopes and deer, of which three varieties -- Black bucks, Sambar and Hog deer -- are over-populated, according to officials.
'We have about 130 black bucks, 70 Sambar deer and over 50 Hog deer,' an official said.
Few endangered groups like Sangai, Chinkara and Chowchinga are also present.
According to zoo officials, various steps are being taken to control the expanding deer population.
'As the deer are prolific breeders, we plan to discourage breeding in other varieties except the endangered species,' the official said.
However, the zoo authorities said they face a lot of challenges in controlling the deer population.
'For example, the black buck antelope
'Underage' elephant gives birth to calf at south Russian zoo
An underage elephant has given birth to a 70-kilogram (154 pound) calf at a zoo in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, a zoo official said on Wednesday.
The elephant cow named Sinta is one of three elephants who arrived to Russia from Berlin last year in an exchange by the Russian zoo for a polar bear. The elephants, two bulls and the cow, are around six years old.
Elephants are generally considered fully grown at the age of 10-12. They usually live to 60 or 70 years of age.
"The birth of the baby elephant came as a complete surprise for us: although the Germans warned us that Sinta could have been pregnant, we didn't have our hopes up because she is still underage...However
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Vet loses five stone as part of big changes at the zoo
A vet who has become the public face of Twycross Zoo has undergone her own transformation to coincide with the big changes that have taken place there.
During the past five years Twycross has had new animal enclosures built and improved visitor facilities created as part of a modern new look.
As the changes took effect zoo director Dr Susie Boardman found herself more and more in the public eye. Because of that, the high-powered wildlife vet and founder of the Wildlife Information Network, conservation charity decided she needed a new look – so went on a crash diet.
She managed to lose five stone in five months, converting her size 18 dress size to size eight and re-energising
Zoo plans home for new bull elephant
DUBLIN Zoo is planning an elaborate home for a new addition, due to arrive in the middle of next year.
A bull elephant is being introduced to the herd as part of the zoo's international breeding programme.
Now the search is on to find someone to build a single-storey bull elephant house with keepers' access for the latest addition.
The new elephant house in the Kaziranga Forest Trail section of the zoo will have an 11-metre wall lined with insulated panels. It will be divided into animal and keeper
Singapore Zoo breeds more giant river terrapins
THE Singapore Zoo has successfully bred four giant river terrapins. These terrapins are native to Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Sumatra, with more expected to join the family of eight in the months to come.
Both female terrapins at the zoo were recently found to be with eggs, due to be laid at any time.
X-ray examinations on Dec 13, 2010 revealed that they were carrying over 40 eggs between them. The incubation period for these rare and elusive terrapins ranges from 68 to 112 days.
Giant river terrapins lay their eggs only once a year and the Singapore Zoo has successfully had four hatchlings to date in 2007 and 2009 - two of which are now on display at the Proboscis Monkey pool, while the others are in the turtle hatchery facility.
The park is currently home to the two adult females, two adult males and the four hatchlings.
Considered an extremely rare species, this breed, also
Talks to extend panda cub's stay
China is being asked to allow the giant panda cub Lhinping, a celebrity at Chiang Mai Zoo, to stay in Thailand for two more years.
Zoological Park Organisation chief Sophon Damnui said on Thursday that his agency and the Natural Resources and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti have been working to extend the contract signed with China to keep Lhinping at Chiang Mai Zoo for another two years.
There are only a few months left before the cub is sent to China under the existing contract.
The cub was born on May 27 last year to Lin Hui and Xuang Xuang, two giant pandas on a 10-year loan from China since 2003.
The minister had visited Beijing twice for talks on extending the cub's stay with China’s deputy forestry minister, Mr Sophon said. The topic of a panda research centre in Chiang Mai was also discussed.
He said China would send representatives to inspect the living conditions of the giant pandas and their baby in Thailand. The delegation is scheduled to visit Chiang Mai Zoo between Jan 8 and 14.
Thai authorities would discuss the proposed extension of the cub's stay during the Chinese representatives’ visit, said Mr Sophon.
Chiang Mai Zoo has been trying to separate Lhinping from her mother Lin Hui so officials can examine the cub. Normally, separating a panda cub from its mother is done when the cub is one year old.
Locusts threaten bamboo supplies
Locusts are threatening the bamboo supply at the Halls Gap Zoo, forcing owners Greg and Yvonne Cullel to call on the public for assistance.
The arrival of the first red panda at the Halls Gap Zoo was welcomed by Greg and Yvonne, but they now have concerns with the impact the locusts are having on their bamboo supplies.
Red pandas are smaller than China's black and white pandas, growing to just over one metre in length with rusty red fur, a striped tail and white and red facial fur.
Like the Giant Panda, it cannot digest cellulose so it must consume a large volume of bamboo. Its diet consists of about two thirds bamboo, but they also eat berries, fruit, mushrooms, roots and grasses.
Greg and Yvonne have a bamboo plantation at the zoo, but with the arrival of the locusts who are destroying the supplies, they are searching for supplementary supplies.
Anyone in the region who may be growing bamboo in their yard is being asked to assist by making a donation. Greg will make himself available to attend and harvest the bamboo stalks, leaving the roots to ensure the plant continues to thrive.
"We will only take what we need and leave the roots there so the bamboo will grow back," Greg said.
"The locusts have been causing us big problems
Rare Saharan Cheetah Photographed in the Wild
An elusive Saharan cheetah recently came into the spotlight in Niger, Africa, where a hidden camera snapped photos of the ghostly cat, whose pale coat and emaciated appearance distinguish it from other cheetahs.
In one of the images the sleek, light-colored cat with small spots on its coat and a small head is turning in the direction of the camera, its eyes aglow.
Its appearance, and how the Saharan cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus hecki) is genetically related to other cheetahs is open to question, said John Newby, CEO of the Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF), who is part of the team, along with SCF's Thomas Rabeil and
Aquarium-raised whale thriving in the wild
The first killer whale to be released into the wild after human intervention was recently spotted in good health north of Vancouver Island with the rest of its pod.
Ten-year-old Springer, found orphaned and starving near the Seattle waterfront over eight years ago, was reported to be in excellent condition by research biologists.
The young whale's recovery was made possible by the Vancouver Aquarium's B.C. wild killer whale adoption program, which has funded research efforts for 18 years.
"Killer whales are an iconic species, the public care about them. But going out in boats is expensive and with the kind of research we do, we needed to find some way to fund it," said Lance Barrett-Lennard, a senior marine mammal scientist and adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia.
"[Springer's rescue] was to a great extent because of the research that we conducted
Four lions imported 'illegally' to Karachi
A Pakistani exotic animal dealer is battling to recover four lions which were impounded in Karachi Zoo after he had them flown in from South Africa.
Wildlife officials said it was illegal to import big cats and that the buyer, Irfan Ahmed, did not have valid import papers. He denies this.
The lions arrived in Karachi on Wednesday after being flown from Johannesburg to Frankfurt in November.
Zoos have often imported lions to Pakistan, where the cats are extinct.
Fahmida Firdous, chief conservation officer at Sindh province's Wildlife Department, told the BBC that Mr Ahmed's import permit had expired in June 2008.
"It has not been renewed since then. Besides, there has been a ban on the import of large wild cats since October 2008."
But Mr Ahmed, owner of Osaka Traders, which imports and exports animals and birds, told the BBC: "If I did not have the required documents, how could I fly these animals
Zebra the latest fatality at Canadian zoo
A zebra has died of unknown causes at a Canadian zoo that has come under fire for several animal fatalities in recent years, officials said on Friday.
A 13-year-old Grevy's Zebra died at the Calgary Zoo's breeding facility on Wednesday after it was found collapsed in a heated barn, the zoo said in a statement.
Veterinarians at the satellite facility, located outside the city, managed to revive the animal, named Igali, but it was unable to stand and later died, officials said.
The zebra, which is native to Eastern Africa, was born in Florida and had lived at the zoo for six years. A zebra's life span is normally about 25 years.
The zoo said it expects results from tests to determine the cause of death in early 2011. It said its staff saw no previous health problems.
A hippopotamus, four gorillas, a capybara and 41 stingrays were among creatures that died at the Calgary Zoo in recent years.
In June, the zoo officials adopted a plan to improve animal care practices after independent auditors uncovered systemic pr
Kids go free at ZSL London Zoo: 26 to 31 December 2010
The presents are unwrapped, the crackers pulled and dinner eaten; it’s time to banish the boredom with a visit to ZSL London Zoo – where between Sunday 26 and Friday 31 December, the Zoo is inviting five kids to visit for free with just one full-paying adult.
Most of zoo guinea pigs killed with poison
Tests show some of the 65 dead animals exhibited signs of being attacked
The 65 guinea pigs that died at the Edmonton Valley Zoo in May were victims of a deliberate attack, an investigation has found.
Necropsies revealed the majority of the rodents were poisoned, while some were killed by a small animal, said Milton Ness, Valley Zoo veterinarian.
Ness believes the attack was intentional. "I have no doubt in my mind that this was done on purpose."
Those responsible for the attack brought an animal similar in size to a small terrier into the enclosure to terrorize the guinea pigs, Ness said. He said the attack pattern of killing several guinea pigs indicates it was a domestic animal.
"Wild animals wouldn't do this. If they broke into the pen, they would grab a meal and run off."
The dead guinea pigs were discovered May 26. Orange slices that are suspected to have been poisoned were found
Lioness drowns in Lyon zoo
A young lioness recently arrived at Lyon zoo in eastern France has drowned in the moat surrounding her enclosure.
A Lyon town hall spokesman said the lioness died because she ran out of her covered shelter and fell into the moat.
"Visitors were evacuated to allow firefighters to intervene. But when they fished her out, the animal was already dead", a spokesman said.
Unlike tigers, lions are not good swimmers.
Lyon zoo is planning on putting a system of grates in the moat to prevent a repeat of the incident, which happened on the first day the lioness spent in the male lion's
Feline Conservation Federation Supports African Cheetah and Leopard Research Project
The Feline Conservation Federation (www.FelineConservation.org) and T.I.G.E.R.S., The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species have presented $2,000 in funding from their Rare Species Fund to the Matabeleland Leopard and Cheetah Project. This fund was created by T.I.G.E.R.S. and is managed and distributed by the FCF for worldwide conservation of felines and the territories they inhabit.
The Matabeleland Leopard and Cheetah Project was started in 2001 in Zimbabwe. This project works closely with Viv Wilson and staff at the Chipangali Wildlife Trust in support of the wildlife strategies of Zimbabwe's National Parks. The main objective of the research is to monitor the home range, movements and behaviors of leopard and cheetah in order to aid in their conservation.
The Feline Conservation Federation is a Washington, D.C. based international feline conservation organization. The mission of FCF is to preserve, protect and
New problems for crested ibis
China's conservation work for the endangered crested ibis is facing new challenges, including an increasing mortality rate due to inbreeding, and the conflict between the need to expand natural habitats and local communities' economic interests, bird experts have warned.
The crested ibis, once widespread in Japan, China, Russia and the Korean Peninsula, almost became extinct in the first half of the 20th century.
Before 1981, when seven crested ibis were accidentally found in Yangxian county, in Northwest China's Shaanxi province, academics thought the species had been extinct in China for almost 17 years.
Due to the huge effort put into species protection since 1981, the number of crested ibis in China has risen to an estimated 1,617, including 997 in the wild, the State
Keepers break ice to stop tigers escaping
The big freeze is affecting all creatures - great and small - in different ways.
Staff at Plymouth's Dartmoor Zoo had to smash through up to 5 inches of ice as the moat surrounding the big cat enclosure froze over.
Curator, Colin Northcott, said the tigers could escape over the solid ice.
Over the weekend some of the animals which usually had free reign within their enclosures, including tigers and a jaguar, were kept indoors
Blood donors eligible for free zoo admission
Nashville Zoo at Grassmere will hold a blood drive next week that will include a free admission for donors good through March 31.
Photos of Emperor Penguin hatched in Hutan Polar World on 17th August 2010
A shocking festive display: Japanese aquarium uses an electric EEL to power its 6ft tall Christmas tree
An aquarium in Japan is shocking visitors with its Christmas display - using an eco-friendly electric eel to illuminate the lights on its holiday tree.
Each time the eel moves, two aluminium panels gather enough electricity to light up the 6 ft tall tree, decked out in white, in glowing intermittent flashes.
The aquarium in Kamakura, just south of Tokyo, has featured the electric eel for five years to encourage ecological sensitivity.
Elephant's durian dung an aphrodisiac
UNDIGESTED durian fruits excreted by elephants may sound disgusting, but faecal fruit could well be the most expensive (and delicious) aphrodisiac from the jungle.
As supply is scarce, it is learnt that timber tycoons with good connections with the Orang Asli are willing to pay about RM1,000 for a sample.
Simply termed as "elephant durians", the fruits are collected the same way as kopi luwak (civet coffee) in Indonesia.
While the natives in Sumatra trail after the civet in search for its faeces consisting of undigested coffee berries, the Jakun in Malaysian forests follow elephants which have swallowed durian fruits.
They have to take the risk to follow the mammals for at least four hours, as this is the duration needed by the animals for digestion before the fruit is excreted with the faeces.
Malaysia Nature Society advisor (Johor branch) Vincent Chow heard about this aphrodisiac from his timber tycoon friends and Orang Asli.
He said timber tycoons will usually book in advance
Read Elephant Aphrodisiac
Potty training at the sloth orphanage from Amphibian Avenger on Vimeo.
Pandas will leave Adelaide Zoo in debt for a decade
ADELAIDE Zoo has a giant panda debt it will be paying off for a decade, the non-profit conservation charity says.
On the first anniversary of the pandas' Adelaide debut, Zoos SA chief executive Dr Chris West said the zoo was "not floating on a sea of panda dollars" and borrowed $6.7 million to turn the dream into reality, reported AdelaideNow.
"We are a charity, bringing very significant tourism revenue into South Australia but we are not loaded ourselves," he said.
"We are stretched - against a balanced business plan - and will be repaying the bank for a while. The time-frame for paying off the panda debt depends on several factors including visitation, other revenue and panda babies, but at the current
Animals in Aurangabad zoo not fed for two days
Animals in the 'Siddharth Garden' zoo were left hungry due to a food shortage occurred following mismanagement by the authorities here on Sunday.
The authorities were shifting the blame for not providing food to the animals on each other.
Madhukar Anavadya, the Animal Conservation Committee chairman, lamented over the issue and suggested the zoo officials to look into the matter.
"The incident which happened inside the zoo maintained by the Municipal Corporation of Aurangabad has not left anybody happy in the District. These animals cannot speak but earn good revenue for the municipal corporation and these animals were kept hungry for two days this is indeed very saddening. We hope that this incident is not repeated again," said Anavadya.
The authorities claimed that timing of food should be maintained and admitted that there has been a lapse in management and the food for the animals has been arriving late since past two or three days.
"Providing good quality of food and that too on time is very important. If that is not maintained then the health of animals
Zoo Deliberately Deprives Animals of Food
Animals at a zoo in India were deliberately deprived of food for two days because of a dispute about payment to the zoo contractor.
The company in charge of running the Siddharth Zoo in Aurangbad, India had not been paid by city officials for the past three months. In protest to the delay the company refused to feed the animals and ordered employees to leave the zoo.
Zoo employees upset by the situation went directly to the mayor’s office to complain. Mayor Anita Ghodele then ordered that immediate payment be made to the zoo contractor.
However, the check was not handed over to the contractor. Instead city employees claimed they could not cut the check
Camden Aquarium not paying medical bills for diver bitten by shark
THE SHARK was like a master surgeon, sinking its mouthful of scalpels into Robert Large's flesh so quickly and with such precision last year that he felt almost no pain whatsoever.
Large, a longtime volunteer diver at Camden's Adventure Aquarium, had just descended a ladder into the Shark Realm exhibit on Dec. 6, 2009, when he felt an "intense squeezing pressure" on his right leg. He thought it was a sea turtle.
"I thought to myself, 'What the heck is that?' " the married father of two said earlier this week. "I looked down and saw the shark's head and was in disbelief."
None of the visitors saw the 7 1/2-foot sand-tiger shark chomp on Large's leg that afternoon and the animal let go before it could carry him off into the 550,000 gallon tank and into news headlines across the country.
The pain that most endures, however, is that Large was kicked off the dive team, and now he's haggling over medical bills that he'd been promised would be covered, he said.
When Large, 59, of Mantua. Gloucester County,
Lincoln Park Zoo laying groundwork for blood bank for apes
Research opens the possibility of successful transfusions for gorillas
In April 2005, Mumbali, an adolescent female gorilla, was dying of a mysterious infection at Lincoln Park Zoo.
In a last-ditch effort to save her life, veterinarian and keepers anesthetized both Mumbali and Kwan, a male gorilla, then laid them side by side to send Kwan's blood directly from his arm into hers.
It was a crude procedure, similar to the way transfusions were done for humans before the blood bank was invented at Cook County Hospital in 1937.
But there was little to go on in the veterinary literature, which had nothing about whether or not gorillas have different A-B-O blood groups like humans or if they needed to have blood matched to their own for a successful
Milk of human kindness
A female baby lion-tailed macaque drinks human breast milk from a feeding incubator at the Guangzhou Zoo, Guangdong Province on December 10. The monkey, classified as a threatened species, on the IUN(International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List, was born on November 3, but its mother rejected it.
"It was born thin, and because its mother did not feed it, the situation was very dangerous," said a zoo worker surnamed Yang who looked after the baby.
When zoo employees discussed how to feed it artificially, a vet who was a 2-month-old father at that time thought that his wife's breast milk might be helpful. His wife agreed. "When my husband told me his idea, I
Mozambique's war-hit wildlife park slowly recovers
As warthogs play in the mud behind him, park ranger Charles Pereira Aranje scans the savannah for poachers, while waterbuck and reedbuck antelopes graze in the grass. Despite 95 percent of its wildlife being killed during Mozambique's 16-year civil war, the Gorongosa National Park is back on its feet and Aranje, 62, who started working here in the 1970s wants it to stay that way.
"There used to be many animals. Many elephants, hippos, zebras and other species," he says.
But the once popular holiday destination for Europeans during Portuguese colonial rule was closed when civil war broke out after independence. And by the time it had re-opened when the fighting ended in 1992, wide-scale poaching had severely depleted its numbers.
"I was shocked, because as we walked around surveying the park we found nothing," says Aranje. "The only living animals we found were monkeys. And even then they kept 100 metres or 200 metres away."
Succesful repopulation programme
Ten years later American philanthropist Greg Carr, who made a fortune from selling voicemail systems to telephone companies, backed a major repopulation programme at the park.
Since then 200 wildebeest, 180 buffalo, six elephants and six rhinoceros have been introduced with the help of the nearby Marromeu nature reserve and South Africa's Kruger Park.
In 2008 the government and Carr struck a 20-year
Veterinarian for Abilene Zoo staff sought
The Abilene Zoo’s steady growth the past few years has created the need for a staff veterinarian to serve the zoo’s animal population.
But this vet can’t simply be your standard neighborhood veterinarian whose practice ranges from small cats to dogs, or even farm animals. The vet the zoo is looking for must be trained and have experience in all treatment elements for exotic animals.
The zoo also is looking for an animal keeper to tend to birds.
This position also calls for a fair amount of experience that can only be gotten at a zoo.
Mike Hall, Abilene’s director of community services, said that to meet standards of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, as well as some federal requirements, the hire for a vet must meet certain
Zoo better to house northern animals
Georges Laraque has given much to Edmonton, not only in his hockey efforts, but also in the countless hours he has given to so many worthy causes in our city and province. His advocacy for Lucy the elephant is not the same as some of the shameless, self-promoting entertainment industry celebs indulging in pushing uninformed animal rights. He has even offered $100,000 without demanding concession rights. He should be commended for trying to move Lucy and end this blight on Edmonton's image.
This initiative should be looked upon by the zoo and the City as an opportunity. Media reports have shown an ailing, warm-climate elephant forced to trudge around in the snow. This does Edmonton and Alberta no good in the eyes of the many city dwellers across North America and Europe who equate all animals with pets or cartoons like Bambi and Babar. Their views may be shallow but they are real and affect how they think of other things like tourism.
Edmonton's zoo has wisely been turning it's focus away from children's entertainment to wildlife conservation and environmental education. Many look forward to the zoo's new
French Architects Win Contest to Design Zoo
The city’s new zoo will be built to designs drawn up by French architects on six islands in St. Petersburg’s Yuntolovo district in the Primorsky district, with each island symbolizing a different part of world.
The French architectural studio Beckman-N’Thepe Architects won the international contest for the construction of the new zoo in St. Petersburg on Friday.
The Frenchmen proposed turning the territory designated for the zoo into an archipelago of six islands with the help of six canals. Each island will present the plant and animal kingdoms of all six continents.
The cost of the French plan is estimated at $395 million and is particularly attractive due to the phased implementation its construction, the press service of the St. Petersburg government said.
Beckman-N’Thepe competed with a joint design created by two Russian architectural companies – the Ukhov Architectural Studio and the Studio-17 Architectural Bureau. The French architects received 12 votes out of a total of 14 in the Expert Council.
The city’s chief architect Yuri Mityurev said that in choosing the winner the jury weighed up three main criteria — the possibility of opening the zoo during the first stage of the
PBS' 'Nature' remembers 'Born Free,' 50 years later
It's been 50 years since Joy and George Adamson adopted a lion cub in Kenya. Her name was Elsa and she became the major character in the book, "Born Free" by Joy Adamson. A popular movie followed starring Virginia McKenna as Joy and McKenna's husband, Bill Travers, as George.
But the star of the piece was Elsa and it marked a new understanding of the relationship between wild animals and humans - a combination that nowadays people often - to their detriment - take for granted.
For those too young to remember the story, PBS is offering a documentary on "Nature" Jan. 9 (check local listings). "Elsa's Legacy: the 'Born Free' Story" not only brings us up-to-date on the status of animals in Africa, it shows us how it used to be, says documentary filmmaker Sacha Mirzoeff.
"It instructs us a little bit about our desire to connect with nature, to have a sense that we still can be part of the natural world and have an understanding, and that the relationships with wild animals are possible and that individuals, animals should be seen just as that, that there's no such thing as generic lion, elephant or monkey," he says.
McKenna says working with the young lions in "Born Free" (there were several) made her far more sensitive and pro-active to the needs of the graceful beasts who are often exploited by man.
"We started in 1984 because of the death of an elephant at London Zoo in '83, an elephant we had worked with in a film at the end of the '60s that we knew. And my husband, Bill, and I were so shattered by the death of this wonderful teenage elephant that we decided that her death should not be in vain.
"And we started our organization in '84, which was then known as Zoo Check because, at the beginning, our focus was totally on the situation of wild animals in captivity, whether it was the circus or the zoo," she says.
"And we started to investigate, not only in our own country, but further afield, the damage that so many captive situations can do to wild animals when they can't cope with their environment.
"But, as we developed, thanks, I have to say, mainly to the work of our eldest son Will - Will Travers - we began to work with problems that they face in the wild as well. And that, today, probably forms at least half of the work we do: wild animals in trade, wild animals who are poisoned because they are attacking villagers and villages and damaging crops, reduction of habitat, of sport hunting.
"For me always and for my husband until his death, our focus was on the captive wild animal because that is truly what the experience of working with the 'Born Free' lions, most of which were sent to zoos and safari parks when the film was over - only three were given to George to return to the wild, and that betrayal that we felt at the time spurred us on over the years."
McKenna thinks the Adamsons led the way. "They were pioneers just as Jane Goodall was for chimps, Dian Fossey was for gorillas and Biruta Galdikas for orangutans. They were the pioneers that started us thinking about animals as individuals. Before that, you know, it was lions and tigers and elephants and gorillas, whatever, but we thought of animals collectively. We didn't do that in our own homes with our cats and dogs, but we did do it for wild animals because we didn't seem to understand, until this new thinking came about, that animals, too, have feelings," she says.
"They have many feelings that we have. We are, after all, human animals. They feel jealousy. They feel pain. They can suffer. They can feel joy. They can feel a lot of the things, not all of the things perhaps, that we feel. And it was through the inspirational work and understanding of people that I just mentioned that we started to think much more deeply ourselves about those issues.
"And, of course," she continues, "once you see an animal as an individual, you can't bear for it to suffer. You can't bear to see it when it's deprived in a zoo cage or in a circus ring. It's truly deeply shocking and deeply sad, and you've got to try and do something about it. And because we were both action people, we thought it's no good us sitting at home and saying 'Isn't it terrible?' We want to get out and try and do something."
Comedian Paul Provenza got lucky a second time. Showtime has ordered up a second course on his "The Green Room with Paul Provenza
Edinburgh Zoo cuts admission prices
Edinburgh Zoo is offering all visitors entry for only £5 until 8 January.
The zoo is open every day of the year, weather permitting, including over the festive season.
Zoo's penguins are prescribed cod liver oil... to help p-p-perk up their sex lives
In the Antarctic penguins usually have no problem p-p-picking up a partner during the breeding season.
But at a British zoo the birds have been getting some extra help – a daily dose of cod liver oil which makes them more attractive to the opposite sex.
During the three months of the mating season, each penguin gets one 400mg capsule a day popped in its mouth by a keeper who holds open its bill.
The pills, ordered over the internet, cost about 2p
Wildlife park not such a sanctuary
ONE of Sydney's oldest wildlife parks has been ordered to lift its game after government inspectors uncovered ageing and dirty animal exhibits, drainage problems and out-of-date records.
The Department of Primary Industries has slapped a series of defect notices on the Koala Park Sanctuary, a privately run park that attracts thousands of visitors a year, including Asian tourists by the busload.
The West Pennant Hills park, which is home to kangaroos, koalas, penguins, echidnas, emus, dingoes and native birds, was ordered to fix a series of problems after an inspection in September found evidence of risks to animal welfare.
Inspectors demanded owners fix the stormwater drain in the kangaroo and emu enclosure urgently, as well as a sagging tarpaulin over the koala exhibit.
They also found sheep were being kept in pens on stage for long periods of time before and after shearing demonstrations, while a cockatoo exhibit was
As Incomes Rise, So Does Animal Trade
Four suitcases full of ivory, intercepted by customs at Suvarnabhumi International Airport near Bangkok. Rare tortoises, openly for sale at a fair in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital. More than 2,000 frozen pangolins — scaly anteaters — seized from a fishing vessel off China.
Oh, and a 2-month-old tiger cub, alive but sedated, found inside a suitcase, also at the Bangkok airport.
If you think all of this sounds like old news — didn’t we see this in the 1970s and ’80s? — think again.
Every one of these incidents, documented by Traffic, the wildlife trade monitoring network, took place within the past few months. They provide just a glimpse of the massive trade in endangered animals — and their bones, skins and other organs — that is taking place across Asia.
And they illustrate that half a century’s worth of efforts by governments, international organizations and conservationists have failed to stem wildlife trade and the extinction of numerous animals and plants.
Yes, conservation projects have helped preserve individual species, but over all the trade in rare creatures has grown, not shrunk — thanks largely to rising demand from an increasingly affluent Asia.
“I’ve been doing this job for close to 20 years,” said Chris R. Shepherd, who helps oversee Traffic’s Southeast Asia operations, “and I can say it’s never been anywhere near as bad as it is now.”
In the 1970s, when international conservation efforts began to take off, the issue was one of largely niche demand from wealthy consumers in the West. Now, however, the picture has changed radically.
Rapid growth across developing Asia
Zoo offers $50,000 for 'big idea'
THEY say the best ideas start small.
Earth Hour kicked off with a few thousand people flicking off their lights, now millions of households across 128 countries observe the hour of darkness.
Clean Up Australia Day began in Sydney Harbour in 1989 before catching on as a national movement.
Now, Taronga Zoo wants to fund the next big idea for wildlife conservation.
The Taronga Conservation Society Australia is offering $50,000 to the person who comes up with the most innovative project to inspire Australians to live more sustainably and have a positive impact on wildlife.
It is the first time the zoo has offered a Taronga Green Grant to members of the community.
“We’re looking for a totally new idea to help inspire Australians and make a difference for Australian wildlife,” Taronga’s research and conservation programs manager Rebecca Spindler said.
“We’re looking for originality and innovation so you can put your ideas down in document or audio-visual format or even tell us over the phone.”
With the world’s leading scientists predicting if humans keep using resources at the current rate, one third of species on the planet could be extinct by 2050, the new idea could potentially save many populations, Dr Spindler said.
The $50,000 grant will fund the implementation of the idea, not just the concept itself. Applications will be assessed by a prestigious judging panel including Australia
Dedicated zoo keepers battle through to feed 1,300 hungry mouths
DUDLEY Zoo keepers braved sub-zero temperatures and massive traffic delays to feed more than 1,300 hungry mouths at the Castle Hill site.
Staff travelled in from as far as Tamworth, Staffordshire and Shropshire, battling blocked roads and traffic jams to care for the attraction's 170 endangered and exotic species.
Curator Matt Lewis said:?“We had six inches of snowfall across the site which made moving food supplies around various zoo sections quite a challenge.
“Staff came in early to clear paths and grit the site to ease the situation, but it was hard, cold work transporting the foodstuffs manually.”
While most of the collection prefer the warmth of their internal enclosures species such as Humboldt penguins, Tibetan red pandas and Patagonian sealions revel in the winter chills.
Surabaya Zoo Celebrates Healthy Elephant Birth
A 20-year-old elephant on Monday gave birth to a healthy 100-kilogram male baby elephant, or calf, at the Surabaya Zoo, a spokesperson said.
Lembang, a female Sumatran elephant, gave birth at 2 a.m. on Monday, said spokesperson Agus Supangkat.
“The birth was normal and was assisted by paramedics from the Surabaya Zoo,” he said.
The father of the calf is 40-year-old Doa.
Agus said the new elephant, who has not yet been given a name, began breastfeeding from his mother after 12 hours.
“This has made all of us let out a sigh of relief ,” Agus said, adding that Lembang had been aggressive since giving birth, being very sensitive to the presence of humans or other animals nearby.
The mother and calf are under constant monitoring by the zoo’s veterinarian.
The new birth brings the number of elephants at the zoo to 10. Doa is the only male.
Lembang was given to the zoo
Dubai Mall sharks give blood
"It is a game of patience," says Juan Romero, pointing to four silhouettes swimming on the other side of a thick acrylic wall.
Although it is only 9am and shoppers are few and far between in Dubai Mall, the spectacle has already attracted a sizable crowd. They gather outside the vast transparent wall of the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo to watch as the divers try to catch a shark.
The plan is to have 31 of the aquarium's larger sharks - there are 50 in total - briefly taken to the surface so blood samples can be taken and quick health checks carried out. The smaller sharks are easier to handle, and do not need to be caught and brought to the surface for their examinations.
It is the first time the sharks have been tested since the aquarium opened in November 2008.
Mr Romero, the curator, believes the examinations are necessary both for the individual wellbeing of the fish and to maintain the health of the world's largest collection of captive sharks and rays.
The fish, however, do not appear to have read the e-mail. "The sharks know something is coming up and they are hiding," says Mr Romero.
Two of the divers try to attract the shark into a large, cone-shaped bag, while the others try to guide the fish by placing plastic poles on each side of the its head.
The poles, says Mr Romero, stimulate sensors and create the illusion that the shark is surrounded by walls, helping to guide it in the desired direction. But once the fish looks a
California Condor Poisoning Provokes Quarrels Among Hunters: Mike Di Paola
Two condors watched their chick emerge from its egg on March 23 at Pinnacles National Monument in central California -- the park’s first condor hatching in more than 100 years.
The joy, shared in the following days by hundreds of human gawkers, was soon clouded by an insidious menace.
On May 13, the park announced that the baby bird and its parents had extremely high levels of lead in their blood. They were evacuated to the Los Angeles Zoo to be treated by a team of veterinarians and condor biologists.
When I visited the park in late August, the young condor was still on the mend in Los Angeles, but its parents were thriving again at Pinnacles.
Wildlife biologist Daniel George told me how the birds got so sick.
“We feel pretty certain with the data we have that the vast majority of exposures are coming from ammunition,” George said.
Lead enters the food chain when hunters shoot game and leave entrails or “gut piles” in the field, where carrion- feeders such as condors consume it -- or feed it to
Female Chimps Play With 'Dolls'
Youngsters mimic mothering by cradling sticks
Deep in a Ugandan forest, Betsy Wetsy has gone wild.
A new study finds that young females in one group of African chimpanzees use sticks as dolls more than their male peers do, often treating pieces of wood like a mother chimp caring for an infant. In human cultures around the world, girls play with dolls and pretend that the toys are babies far more than boys do.
Ape observations, collected over 14 years of field work with the Kanyawara chimp community in Kibale National Park, provide the first evidence of a nonhuman animal in the wild that exhibits sex differences in how it plays, two primatologists report in the Dec. 21 Current Biology. This finding
New home for six zoo penguins
SIX Dudley Zoo penguins have moved north as part of an international conservation programme.
The half dozen Humboldt penguins have transferred to Flamingo Land in Malton, North Yorkshire.
The zoo's colony of 60-plus parent-reared Humboldts is one of the largest in the UK, and Dudley regularly helps found groups at other wildlife collections.
Senior Curator David Grove said: “Our colony started 19 years ago with a few hand-reared penguins, and due to our highly successful breeding programme it is now self-sufficient. The project gained a prestigious BIAZA (British and Irish Association Of Zoos And Aquariums) award for the innovative work we do with this rare species.”
He added: “We are delighted to supply some of our colony
Brookfield Zoo cuts 11 jobs, faces $1.3M shortfall
Eleven jobs are being cut at Brookfield Zoo to help close a $1.3 million budget shortfall.
The Chicago Zoological Society announced the staff reductions on Monday, citing budget adjustments and reductions that it says are necessary to ensure financial stability in 2011. The staff cuts bring the society's workforce to a 15-year low. The society says the staff cuts don't include positions that deal with animal welfare or public safety.
The society also announced wage freezes for non-union workers, the elimination of paid internships along with reductions in seasonal labor, operating expenses and leadership salaries. Two animal exhibit yards are to be closed and the animals sent to other accredited institutions.
The society says this is the second time in two years it has had
Tourist bitten by lion cub at wildlife park
A British tourist says she was shocked after being bitten by a lion cub, during a petting session at a Rotorua wildlife park.
Paradise Valley Springs invites visitors to interact with animals. But the woman – who wishes to remain anonymous – told RadioLIVE she was stunned when the waist-high cub bit her.
“There’s a scratch about two inches long where his claw was, and where is teeth were there was only a little bit of blood – but it has bruised very badly,” she says.
“It did hurt. It hurt and it gave me a shock.”
The woman says she was advised to fill out a report and get some medical treatment
Woman bitten by lion cub stayed patting it, says owner
A British tourist who was nipped by a cub she was patting at Paradise Valley Springs, happily stayed with the animal following the incident, the wildlife park's owner says.
Stuart Hamlett says earlier reports about the incident were inaccurate and he was not given a chance to respond.
The English tourist, who wished to remain anonymous, told RadioLive she was shocked and stunned after being bitten by a cub at the Rotorua tourist park last Friday.
"It hurt and it gave me a shock," she said, stating she had a 2-inch-long claw mark and blood where the animal's teeth bit her, leaving her bruised. She said she was told
One more abandoned elephant calf finds home in Vandalur zoo
The Arignar Anna Zoological Park or the Vandalur zoo, some 32km south of Chennai, is becoming a foster home for abandoned animals, especially elephants calves. One more abandoned calf, weighing 70kg, arrived at the zoo around 6pm on Tuesday, taking the number of such calves received this year alone to five.
In January, 18-month-old Narasimhan was brought from Coimbatore forest division after the herd refused to accept it. The same month, 16-month-old Urigam was brought in from Urigam forest range in Hosur after his mother died. In April 2009, two-year-old Sharon was rescued from the Sathyamangalam forests. Subsequently, two more calves were rescued.
On Monday, an elephant abandoned her calf in the forest area of Uvapalayam near Mettupalayam in Coimbatore. Villagers of Uvapalayam alerted forest officials, who in turn, tried to reunite the baby elephant with a herd that was crossing the Mettupalayam forests, but the herd refused to accept the calf. Since forest officials were unable to trace the mother and the calf was weak and needed care, they decided to shift it to Vandalur zoo.
After a long journey by road, the calf was immediately sent to Veterinary clinic inside the zoo for medical examination on Tuesday. At present, apart from these five abandoned
Zoos Unite to Save Endangered Apes
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Ape Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) today announced a critical new campaign to sustain a future for one of the planet’s most imperiled group of animals— apes.
For apes—bonobos, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, gibbons and siamangs—the outlook in the wild is bleak. Given catastrophic population declines, it is estimated that some ape species will be extinct within 20 years. The Ape TAG Conservation Initiative, supported by nearly 40 zoos, will fund 8 field conservation projects, one for each of the great ape species and two for gibbons and siamangs.
“As leaders in wildlife conservation, AZA-accredited zoos are dedicated to the protection of these intelligent and charismatic animals,” said Dr. Tara Stoinski, Ape TAG chair. “The Ape TAG Conservation Initiative will elevate the role of zoos in the international conservation community.”
The Arcus Foundation, a leading great ape conservation philanthropic organization, provided a generous matching grant to the funds contributed by zoos to the Initiative. Participating zoos have committed to a minimum
New species of lemur discovered in Madagascar
A species of fork-marked lemur believed to be new to science has been found in the forests of Madagascar.
The find is revealed on the BBC documentary Decade of Discovery.
Primate expert and president of Conservation International, Russ Mittermeier, first spotted the lemur during an expedition in 1995, but has confirmed its existence whilst filming the documentary this year, when he and his colleagues captured and took blood samples from the small
Runaway bear back behind bars after mountain ramble
A young bear that bolted from a zoo on the outskirts of the South Korean capital Seoul has been captured on a nearby mountain after nine days on the run, zoo officials said.
The six-year-old Malaysian black bear nicknamed "KKoma" (kid) escaped from Seoul Zoo at Gwacheon on December 6 and was sighted on a mountain about six kilometres (four miles) away.
Kkoma was Wednesday found caught in a trap placed at the mountain summit and appeared to be in good shape, a zoo spokesman told Yonhap news agency.
Zoo officials said they plan to move the bear back to its cage after giving it a medical check-up.
Plans to anaesthetise the 30-kilogram (66-pound)
Non-native species cost 'British economy £1.7bn'
Invasive non-native species such as the grey squirrel and Japanese knotweed cost the British economy £1.7bn a year, a report has suggested.
Researchers said crops, ecosystems and livelihoods could be damaged when such species took hold.
The study found that the rabbit was the most economically damaging species, followed by Japanese knotweed.
The research was conducted for Defra, the Scottish government and the Welsh Assembly Government.
The cost was significantly higher at £1.3bn in England where invasive non-native species have become more established.
The price was put at £251m
Ex-Hab Georges Laraque offers Edmonton $100,000 to move zoo elephant
Former hockey pugilist Georges Laraque is offering up $100,000 if the City of Edmonton will move Lucy, a zoo elephant he says is suffering from cold and isolation.
Laraque has written a letter to Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel, saying he will put the money toward a new downtown hockey rink or to other projects if the city will move the 35-year-old Asian elephant to a warm-weather elephant sanctuary.
He says Lucy's health problems and signs of mental distress mandate a move, adding that elephant exhibits -- especially in cold climates -- are out of date and being phased out.
Laraque has made Edmonton his home and played for the Oilers for a decade before finishing his career with three teams, the last being the Montreal Canadiens in 2009.
The animal rights groups Zoocheck
Katraj Zoo in Pune voted sixth best in country
The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has rated the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, popularly known as Katraj zoo, as the sixth best in the country.
Many developments are coming up in the 165-acre zoo, as per the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC)’s master plan, which was sanctioned by the CZA recently.
Garden superintendent, Naresh Zhurmure, told DNA that the rating was announced at a recent CZA meeting. “We managed to get a higher rating due to our management, maintenance and other activities. The zoo is being upgraded. We have a master plan, sanctioned by the CZA, to guide our activities,”
The master plan was prepared by Bharati Vidyapeeth’s Institute for Environment Education & Research (BVIEER). The plan incorporates protection, education and research. The staff will be taught about animals, their characteristics and habitats, so they can inform visitors how the animals live in the wild.
More animals and facilities will be added, as per the master plan. New enclosures are being planned. The authorities are also focusing on making the zoo a centre of education. Two zoo educators have been appointed. Emphasis is on inviting schools and educating children about wildlife.
Workshops are being held for students, officers and the public to inform them about the importance of each animal in the ecosystem and how they live in the jungles. Pupils from over 100 schools have visited the park in the last six months, said veterinary officer of the zoo, NK Nighot.
Under the animal exchange programme, barking deer and porcupines will be brought here from the zoo in Mumbai. A male
Colchester: Zoo’s ‘much-loved’ white tiger dies
A WHITE tiger which became one of the most popular attractions at Colchester Zoo has died aged 15.
Much-loved Sasha died in his sleep yesterday (Wednesday) morning after two weeks of illness where he displayed a number of concerning symptoms, including a loss of appetite, general lethargy and a small haemorrhage of the nose.
After becoming ill Sasha was anaesthetised and was given a full physical examination including a series of x-rays to try and determine the cause.
Zoo vet Dr John Lewis performed the examination alongside zoo management, keepers and an assistant veterinary surgeon.
X-rays revealed that Sasha was showing symptoms of spinal arthritis, not uncommon in large cats of his age and he was put onto a treatment and management programme for the condition.
An oral examination also revealed
Can you spot Edinburgh Zoo's albino squirrel
Edinburgh Zoo is home to exotic creatures from all over the world. But the park is also home to a very unusual and elusive resident - an albino squirrel! The resident albino squirrel has been spotted many times by staff and visitors alike, but we don't have any photos of
Elephant Dissection Video
Bucks County Zoo's newest resident - a rare female white tiger cub - needs a name
The Bucks County Zoo & Conservation Society, the first exotic animal zoo in Bucks County and the first accredited educational facility, is now home to a six-week-old white tiger cub.
The female cub will be on view starting Monday, Dec. 27 as part of the zoo’s extended hours for winter break. Patrons will have the opportunity to help name the latest addition to the Bucks County Zoo family. Voting
New $42M elephant habitat opens Thursday, despite lawsuit
Tina lumbered over to her girlfriend Jewel, and both gazed up at Billy the bull, whose tusks gleamed before tonight's celebrity party at the Los Angeles Zoo.
As the zoo prepared to open its $42 million Elephants of Asia exhibit Thursday, its newest pachyderms seemed to have already called L.A. home - despite a lawsuit that aims to send them packing.
"It's an elephant paradise," said Jennie Becker, curator of mammals and a 30-year zoo veteran, as the sun set Tuesday onto the carefully manicured pachyderm playland modeled on habitat from their native Cambodia, China, India and Thailand.
"I think this exhibit has really raised the bar on how we manage elephants."
For officials jubilant about the most extravagant feature in zoo history, Elephants of Asia provides a model for elephant care - and the world's most comprehensive exhibit on endangered Asian elephants, of which 35,000 survive in the wild.
What was formerly called the Pachyderm Forest features glistening ponds, towering waterfalls and meandering trails designed to allow up to 11 elephants to eat and exercise as if they were in the heart of Asia.
The new exhibit isn't just about keeping elephants, zoo officials say, but about educating the public on how their counterparts across Asia struggle at the brink of survival.
"We're very happy about
Wildlife Alliance Takes Part in Rescue of Dangerous—and Imperiled—Elephant
The first major step was taken today in rescuing an enraged elephant that was threatening and in turn being threatened by a rural community in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province.
Wildlife Alliance Care for Rescued Wildlife manager Nick Marx. working with veterinarian Nhim Thy of the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center and mahouts from the ELIE program, have sedated and subdued the bull elephant, ending a tense situation in the rural community. With hundreds of villagers making it a chaotic scene, the operation was carried out with the assistance of the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team, a unit of Forestry Administration officials and military police supported by Wildlife Alliance.
Earlier this month the domesticated elephant killed its owner, who apparently was the fourth person that the animal has killed. With his owner dead, the elephant fled to the forest around the village, frequently making raids into paddy fields which are flush with rice ahead of the annual harvest. Terrified of the elephant and fearing the damage it was doing to their crops, villagers had been lashing out at the animal, using catapults and fireworks in an effort to scare it off. Their attempts only further enraged the creature and put the two sides into a dangerous confrontation that was getting uglier by the day.
Jack Highwood of ELIE, which works with domesticated elephants and their mahouts in Eastern Cambodia, came to the village to assess the situation and consulted with Nick Marx of Wildlife Alliance as well as the Forestry Administration as to how best deal with the elephant.
On Wednesday, Nick Marx and veterinarian
Concerns about number of rhinos sold to private owners
The Ministry of Water and Environmental Affairs has revealed South African National Parks (SANParks) sold more than 500 white rhinos to private individuals over the past four years.
The details emerged through parliamentary questions and showed that some of the animals were sold to people who were later arrested for mass poaching. They are due to appear in court next year.
In October Eyewitness News revealed that alleged poaching kingpin Dawie Groenewald bought 36 rhinos from SANParks in 2009.
Records provided by the department showed that 568 white rhinos were sold since 2007, generating around R119 million. A total of 252 were sold last year alone, earning SANParks over R50 million.
“It’s important that South African
To save tigers we need tough action, not more of this talking
The political will to save the species has been abysmal despite its drastic decline in numbers
In your news report from the International Tiger Forum, the director general of WWF says: "Unless we take drastic action, there will be no tigers left by the next [Chinese] year of the tiger in 2022" (Big beasts join battle to save big cat, 22 November).
This should concern the Chinese community worldwide, as it is their demand for potions made from tiger parts that is hastening the decline of our largest cat species. If the Dalai Lama can tell his people in India and Tibet to disassociate themselves from tiger poaching, trading and consumption, so can the Chinese and Taiwanese governments.
At the first global tiger forum in India 15 years ago, I spoke about the illegal trade in tiger parts. Your article says: "Without a reduction in the demand for tiger products… efforts to protect habitat could come to nothing." This is true. However, much more needs to be done. As you say, we need core areas and cross-boundary protected areas, but also biological corridors, connecting forest routes between protected areas. All of these must be made inviolate.
Without this, and much tougher protection, national parks will be unable to ensure genetic diversity and sufficient habitat for tigers to survive. Anti-poaching should be placed on a "war footing" with legal enforcement to prevent poaching for Chinese palates.
Until now the political will to save the species in most states with tiger ranges has been abysmal. It has even lapsed in India. China is the worst offender, with others not far behind. Development projects and unchecked commercial exploitation threaten irreplaceable wild habitats, wherein a healthy tiger population also signifies a healthy water supply (which can improve agricultural productivity in surrounding areas) and an abundance of other flora and fauna.
The decline of the species is linked to this unchecked development as much as poaching. The two are inextricably linked.
The president of the World Bank – mentioned in your article as being behind the latest tiger forum – could have prevented the loss of many tigers by not implementing ill-conceived development projects in and around irreplaceable and ancient forests in tiger-range states. He and the Russian prime minister have addressed the "97% decline in tigers in the wild over a century" by hosting the forum, but we now need more than talk. Tough action is required.
Since 1987, my organisation has helped
Wildlife experts cheer gharial's return to Hooghly
It's being termed a miraculous revival that has taken wildlife experts and conservationists by surprise. And raised hopes about the survival of species that is now seriously threatened. The gharial the long-snouted fresh-water crocodile is back in the Hooghly.
They have been spotted in numbers that are larger than had been expected when the reptiles were spotted after a gap of 60 years in downstream Hooghly two years ago. Now, a team of researchers has identified a breeding group at Purbasthali in Burdwan which signals that the gharials are finally multiplying.
A young gharial, about three feet in length, was trapped in a fishing net at Purbasthali on Saturday. About a half-a-dozen more followed it into the net. They were all pulled up, examined and released back into the river. "By last count, the number of gharials had shot up to around 180. Now, it seems the number is actually more than 250 since they are breeding. We have spotted even smaller ones, new-born gharials merely six inches long. This is great news for conservation since the reptile was taken to be extinct in eastern India for six decades," said Tanmoy Ghosh, president of iRebel an NGO that has been researching on gharials with support from the West Bengal Bio-Diversity Board and the Hooghly Zilla Parishad.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCNNR), less than 200 breeding gharials now survive in the wild. They
Ex-San Francisco zoo director to lead Honolulu zoo
The man who headed the San Francisco Zoo when a tiger attack killed a teenager there in 2007 has been appointed the new director of the Honolulu Zoo.
Manuel Mollinedo resigned from his post leading Northern California's largest zoo six months after the attack. He assumed his new position this week.
Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle said Mollinedo's zoo and park managerial experience would benefit the city.
"Our zoo is incredibly important to our community, our children, and our visitor industry, and I'm very confident that we are placing the care of our treasured animals in good hands," Carlisle said in a statement.
The city said Mollinedo was among eight applicants evaluated by an independent selection panel of local business and civic leaders.
Carlisle didn't have a say in the appointment, but the mayor's spokeswoman, Louise Kim McCoy, said Mollinedo
Pembrokeshire ‘panther’ strikes again
A panther-like big cat blamed for the vicious death of a Pembrokeshire sheep two weeks ago has struck again following a string of fresh sightings.
Farm worker Alan Harries (pictured above) spotted the beast while driving near his home in Tir Croes last week.
The following day he took a photograph of what appears to be a huge cat-like paw print next to the carcass of a dead calf which
Zoo joins effort to save terns
Conservation groups and government entities from the United States and Canada convened at the Detroit Zoo to discuss plans for managing the state-threatened common tern in the Detroit River corridor. A signature species of the river, the migratory bird spends most of the year in South America but travels north for the milder climate and abundant food sources in the summer months.
Among the components of the project discussed at Tuesday’s roundtable is the development of additional common tern nesting habitats on the Detroit River. The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS), Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge (DRIWR) and Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) have established a site on DWSD land on Belle Isle to attract terns to a historic nesting location.
“In the 1960s, Belle Isle was a premier nesting and reproduction
Training for Devon tortoises
A Devon zoo is home to seven giant tortoises from the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles.
The three males and four females arrived at Paignton Zoo in 1986 after being confiscated from an illegal shipment by Customs & Excise officials.
And now they are being trained by their keepers with the help of strawberries -and a plastic ball on a stick.
BBC Spotlight's Philip Loat has been along to meet reptile keeper Andy Meek to find out how the training is
Polar bears, sure. But grolar bears?
Most people have seen a polar bear, usually at the local zoo. And most zoo-goers know that wildlife advocates worry about the big white bears’ future as their icy Arctic habitat literally melts away as a result of global climate change. But apparently more than the climate is changing above the Arctic Circle.
The new mammal around the North Pole is the grolar bear, a hybrid created when a polar bear and a grizzly bear mate. Then there’s the narluga, a hybrid of the narwhal and beluga whale. The presence of these two new creatures and others produced by cross-breeding may be caused when melting sea ice allows them to mingle in ways they couldn’t before, according to a comment in the journal Nature.
These hybrids could push some Arctic species to extinction, the three American authors said in their Nature piece. They identified 22 marine mammals at risk of hybridization, including 14 listed or candidates for listing as
Noah´s Ark off on the Wrong Foot - Again!
The world´s largest religious theme park is to be built on 40 acres in Kentucky and will include a full-sized replica of Noah´s Ark.
Called "Ark Encounter" (http://tinyurl.com/n89ez9) it will feature nine main areas including: a Walled City and Village typical of the Middle East; a full-size Ark; a large petting zoo with animals from around the world; a 100-foot-tall Tower of Babel; a 500-seat 5-D special effects theater; three bird sanctuaries and a butterfly exhibit.
Planned to open in the spring of 2014, it will be built by the private firm ´Ark Encounter´ for $125 million, using a private donation of $24.5 million to build Noah´s Ark itself. At least 25 percent of the project's cost will be written off in tax breaks from the State and donations will be ranked according to needs in building the Ark, ranging from: a wooden peg for a $100, a wooden plank for $1,000 and a wooden beam for $5,000.
Aside from the use of taxpayers´ funds, and the fact that a substantial number of people don´t believe that the Flood or Noah ever happened, one large problem will be the Theme Park´s claim to historical accuracy. Even among those who believe in the Ark and the Flood epic, the details are open to interpretation. Almost anyone who reads the Biblical account in Genesis comes up with a different idea.
Take the Ark.
According to early scholars it was shaped like a pyramid, this was suggested by Origen (circa 200AD). But by the 12th Century artistic imagination had decided that the Ark must have looked like a large wooden container. And the ship
Psych – “Dead Bear Walking” – review (something a bit different)
When a polar bear is thought to have killed her trainer, Shawn sets out to prove her innocence before she is euthanized. Meanwhile, Lassiter’s younger sister Lauren (April Bowlby) documents the case for her graduate film thesis.
Seeing no signs of a typical bear attack, Shawn teamed up with an animal activist to hide the bear, first in the Psych office, then in Henry’s backyard. Eventually, with data from the bear’s heart monitor, Shawn was able to prove the bear was sleeping during the trainer’s estimated time of death.
There were several human suspects with motive to kill the trainer: the activist who wanted the zoo shut down, the zoo owner who may have wanted to collect on an insurance policy, even the trainer’s girlfriend who was jealous of the time he spent with the bear.
As usual, Shawn and Lassiter tried to show each other up, and in the process, Lauren became disillusioned with her brother’s methods. She was most embarrased when Lassiter
Hunters Paying $150,000 to Kill an Endangered Rhino May Save the Species
In June 1996 a game rancher named John Hume paid about $200,000 for three pairs of endangered black rhinos from the wildlife department of the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. Among them was a male who would come to be called “Number 65,” and whose death would play a central role in the debate about conservation.
South Africa did not start the auctions because it had a surplus of the animals. Quite the opposite. Although the black rhinos had been reproducing, they were still critically endangered. Only about 1,200 remained within the country’s borders, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Dec. 13 issue.
But black rhinos are massive animals, and with just under 7 percent of the country set aside in protected areas, conservationists and wildlife departments had run out of room to accommodate them.
Hume’s 6,500-hectare ranch, Mauricedale, lies in the hot, scrubby veldt in northeastern South Africa. Hume, 68, made his fortune in taxis, hotels, and time-shares, and Mauricedale was his Xanadu, a retirement project of immense proportions. In the late 1990s he began buying up many of the neighboring farms and ranches, and his triangular estate would soon be boxed in on all sides by roads and sugar cane plantations.
Hume also was rapidly becoming the largest private owner of white rhinos; there are currently 250 split between Mauricedale and another similar property. He also raises cape buffalo, roan and sable antelopes, hippos, giraffes, zebras, and ostriches.
Rhino Number 65
When the black rhino bull arrived, Hume’s farm manager -- a burly Zimbabwean named Geoff York whose typical mode of dress is army boots and a pair of purple shorts -- tranquilized him, clipped two notches
There's no ‘zoo' in ‘zoology'
The natural response is that “zoology” is derived from the word “zoo,” which rhymes with “shoe.” But the natural response would be wrong. Actually, “zoo” is just a short form of “zoological garden.”
If you learned to read through phonics, you would know that “zoo-ology” is not the logical pronunciation. You'd need two “o's” to produce the “oo” sound in “zoo” and another to produce the “ah” sound in “ology.” So the traditional pronunciation requires you to split the two o's. The first gets the long sound, as in “show.” The second gets the short sound, as in “doll.”
“Zoology” is formed from the Latin “zo” (life) plus “-ology” (study). So “zoology” would be the study of life. The English ear translates the two “o's” into one sound, and it balks at splitting them into two. We find it easier to separate the “o's” in “cooperate,” but demand a hyphen between the “e's” in “re-enter.”
If you consult the usage dictionaries, you'll find that “zo-ology” is the pronunciation of choice, though “zoo-ology” is also acceptable. In 1990, some 88 percent of the American Heritage usage panel found “zo-ology” acceptable, but 60 percent also accepted “zoo-ology.” When it came to their own speech and writing, 68 percent opted for “zo-ology.”
“Does that thing around Clarisse's neck rhyme with ‘hootch' or ‘roac
Vietnam's planned sale of tiger glue protested
On November 19, Thanh Hoa Province People's Committee agreed to allow agencies under its control to organize a public auction of 2.8 kilograms of tiger glue, with a starting price of 50 million dong (2,500 dollars) per kilogram.
Responding to this issue, ENV raised the own concern about the actions of Thanh Hoa authorities which have helped to legitimize the trading of wild animals' contrary to law.
On December 03, Thanh Hoa authorities organized a press conference to report about the origin and the last decision for these tiger glue. The auction was no longer held but the resolution by the local authorities allowing the hospital to keep the tiger bone glue still goes against conservation efforts. Therefore, ENV recommended that the glue must be destroyed to send a clear message to the public that the authorities do not encourage the consumption of wild animals' products.
The issue attracted a lot of attention from most of Vietnamese and other international Journals:
From an ENV communication
Nepal's elephant drivers strike over pay
Elephant drivers in Nepal's top wildlife park held a four-hour strike on Monday and threatened to stop working altogether in a protest over pay and conditions.
The drivers, or mahouts, are employed by the hotel industry to take tourists on elephant-back safaris in the Chitwan national park, home to Nepal's largest populations of rhinos and tigers as well as many rare bird and deer species.
They say they have not received pay rises and other benefits promised to them in an agreement
Fearless Traudi Riegger cuddles Zuba - the 14 stone rare White Lion
HE may be the king of the jungle but for fearless Traudi Riegger this remarkable lion is as tame as any house cat.
Traudi – dubbed the Lion Queen for her affinity with Zuba, a rare African white lion – works at Mystic Monkeys & Feathers wildlife park in Limpopo, South Africa. She has such a close bondwith two-year-old Zuba, who weighs more than 14 stone, she can happily pose with her arm in his jaws.
African white lions are one of the world’s most endangered species, having been hunted for their
Save the tiger from those who love it
Russia recently hosted a summit in St Petersburg to focus attention on the plight of the tiger in the wild. This is the first international summit of this kind, where heads of states of Russia, China, Bangladesh and some of the other range countries gathered to discuss the fate of the tiger. The summit follows the new Global Tiger Initiative launched by the World Bank earlier in the year. The bottle was new, but the content was the same old stale stuff!
It is believed that around 1,00,000, tigers roamed in the wild across 25 countries at the turn of the 1900. Today, barely 3,000 of them are in the wild. Another 10-15,000 are in captivity. The wild tiger, facing the prospect of extinction for the past 40 years, has seen a barrage of activism and funding. The Project Tiger was launched in the 1970s, then the World Bank’s Global Environment...
Legalise jumbo sale: Forest - Govt wants changes in wildlife act to tackle growing elephant population
The state forest department has asked the Centre to make the capture and sale of wild elephants legal so that problems caused by the animal’s growing population in north Bengal can be mitigated.
The number of elephants in north Bengal forests has gone up from around 350 in 2008 to 500 this year. The foresters are worried that if the number of jumbos increases, there will be more man-animal conflicts in the region.
The state government has asked the Union ministry of environment and forests to excise clauses prohibiting the capture and sale of elephants from the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
“Time and again, the act has been amended for the conservation of wildlife. It was through these amendments that capture of wild elephants and their sale or donation have been prohibited,” S.B Mondal, the principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife), said here today.
“The elephants are beyond our control because of their steady rise in population. To stem regular incidents of depredation and attacks on humans by the elephants, we want the removal of certain clauses which debar the capture and sale of the jumbos”.
At present, calves rescued by foresters are domesticated and the act says the animals’ ownership can be changed only through inheritance.
“There is a huge demand for elephants from individuals and other countries. But we cannot supply
Bad for America, good for East Africa (Lion poisoning)
For decades, Africa has been seen as a dumping ground for toxic waste and other agro chemicals and pharmaceutical products banned in the West. For three months earlier this year, our Kenyan correspondent, Wanjohi Kabukuru, followed the trail in East Africa of one such chemical imported from the USA, and what he found was shocking. The chemical had been banned in the USA in 1991, but was on sale in East Africa until late 2009. Here is his report.
If Furadan is not safe enough for use in America, then it is not safe enough for us in Africa, says the world-renowned conservationist Richard Leakey. For decades, a US agro-chemical giant has been knowingly exporting for sale a highly restricted chemical to the East African Community (EAC) countries - Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
The chemical trading as Furadan but well-known scientifically as carbofuran was on sale in Kenya until late 2009. It was imported as a “seed dressing agent for control of soil dwelling and foliar-feeding insects” by the local distributor. Furadan is both an insecticide
Migration and wintering of released Italian Egyptian Vultures Neophron percnopterus. First results
(Very interesting paper)
Jim Carrey movie 'Mr. Popper's Penguins' begins filming at Staten Island Zoo
A comedy called "Mr. Popper's Penguins" -- reportedly starring Jim Carrey -- began filming this morning at the Staten Island Zoo in West Brighton.
A publicist for the film company confirmed the title of the movie, though declined to provide further information on the production schedule.
While it wasn't immediately clear when or if Carrey would be on location at the Zoo, British actress Ophelia Lovibond was spotted by a photographer undergoing the application of make-up.
As a result of the shooting, the Zoo was closed to the public today.
A series of production trucks
Mountain gorilla population grows
The population of mountain gorillas in their main central African habitat has increased by a quarter in seven years, regional authorities said Tuesday.
Most of the world's mountain gorillas are found in the Virunga massif, which includes three contiguous national parks in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda.
The population of the iconic but endangered animal in that area increased from 380 individuals in 2003 to 480, according to a census carried out earlier this year and funded by a number of local and foreign wildlife organisations.
"The increase in mountain gorilla numbers is a testament that we in the Virunga massif are all reaping from the conservation efforts sowed on a daily basis," Rica Rwigamba, from the Rwanda Development Board said in a statement.
The only place outside of the Virunga massif where mountain
Zoo 'wouldn't use a lot' of roo meat
The National Zoo and Aquarium in Canberra says it is unlikely it would use many kangaroo carcasses left over after culling.
Around 1,800 kangaroos were culled in Canberra this year with another cull expected to be carried next autumn.
The ACT Government is considering commercial uses for the carcasses that would otherwise go to waste.
Chief Minister Jon Stanhope says options include joining the New South Wales Government's kangaroo management scheme and offering the carcasses to the National Zoo for animal feed.
National Zoo director Trent Russell says they would be willing to discuss the proposal with the Government.
"Culling of the kangaroos generally happens at a certain point in time and then it doesn't happen for quite a long time after that," he said.
"We may be able to use a little bit of it if it was available.
"But it's not something we would use a lot of. So
In Sight: Robbie Little
Robbie Little credits his wet and muddy childhood for his passion for critters.
"I remember telling mom that I just wanted to catch frogs on Taylor Pond when I grow up," the 2008 graduate of Edward Little High School said. "I always wanted to be the crocodile hunter since fifth grade."
But crocs and frogs got a break this past spring while Little, 21, searched for something a little less slimy — the Bornean orangutan.
"I generally like more creepy, crawly things," Little said. "My favorite animal is bats. My second is snakes." Apes were not on the top of his interest list.
That all changed when the Bates College junior took the class "Conserving the Great Apes." Not long after, Little was brought to tears while filming a documentary that explores the orangutan's loss of habitat in Borneo.
With the help of the Bates College Phillips Student Fellowship, Little spent two months documenting orangutans and the destruction of their rain forest home in and around Gunung Palung National Park in Borneo. The Indonesian
IDA: Elephant aggression may lead to tragedy at S.A. Zoo
An animal rights group fears tragedy may be on the horizon at the San Antonio Zoo.
In Defense of Animals (IDA) filed a complaint in California against the San Antonio Zoo saying aggressive behavior between the two elephants, Lucky and Boo, will most result in 'dire consequences'.
The group says Dr. Joyce Poole, one of the world's leading elephant scientists who has studied elephant behavior in Africa and Asia for over 30 years, reviewed a videotape captured over a two-day period. Poole determined that Boo exhibited aggressive behavior toward Lucky.
San Antonio Zoo officials brought in Boo to become Lucky's companion last April. Boo was acquired from a circus handler who was facing charges for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. But, according to IDA, it was a bad idea.
They say the behavior is not the elephants' faults, but that of the zoo. IDA says their enclosure is just too clos
Winchester zoo makes conservation efforts in local wood
MARWELL Wildlife is famous for helping protect species overseas.
Now the zoo is doing more to preserve the flora and fauna on its own doorstep.
It wants to restore the ancient woodland that surrounds much of the parkland zoo near Colden Common.
Twenty volunteers from Veolia Environmental Services gave a helping hand by cutting invasive species and preparing the ground for the planting of native plants and trees.
The 30-hectare woodland has become overgrown in recent years and some areas have invasive species such as rhododendron.
This week marks the start of a 10-year plan to improve its
Caged and bound for Britain: Factory-farmed monkeys are being shipped in their thousands to UK laboratories
The young monkey reaches desperately into the cage where his mate is trapped, pawing in confusion at her soft fur. She has been lured by a juicy piece of sugar cane, and a trapdoor has slammed shut behind her.
Trappers rush through the jungle towards them and the male bares his teeth, but he’s forced to flee.
His mate screams as she’s grabbed by the tail and shoved into a sack.
Her fate is a bleak one — she is destined to spend the rest of her life producing babies for vivisection laboratories in Britain.
Although experimenting on monkeys caught in the wild was banned in Britain in 1997, laboratories across the UK have begun exploiting a ‘loophole’ in the law that allows them to use the offspring of wild-caught primates.
These are almost as cheap as wild-caught monkeys because they are reared abroad in vast factory farms.
According to Parliamentary questions recently answered by Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone, Britain imported almost 5,000 ‘non-human primates’ for experiments between 2008 and 2009.
A further 2,000 have since been shipped to the UK. Most were long-tailed macaques from Mauritius and Vietnam, but they also included rhesus monkeys from China.
Countries such as China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mauritius supply 100,000 monkeys a year
Zoo's director position revolves once again
After a few months on the job, Mike Janis resigned, and fundraising veteran Ray-Eric Correia took over -- the fourth person to fill that role since 2006.
Mike Janis has resigned as executive director of Mill Mountain Zoo and former Roanoke Catholic School leader Ray-Eric Correia has taken his place, at least for now, the zoo announced Tuesday.
Janis, who began work at the zoo only in May, has health problems, zoo board President Christopher Stevens said. "We wish him the best. He's a nice man."
Janis, who had previously directed zoos in New York and Minnesota, confirmed that he is entering the hospital Thursday for surgery on a lung. He has previously battled cancer, which he said has returned.
But Janis, who recently bought a house in Roanoke, also said the zoo board had "decided to go in a different direction, more geared toward fundraising. I got the word on Friday. We came to a fairly mutual
Twins polar bears born at Hyogo zoo
A polar bear at a city-run zoo here has given birth to twins, the zoo has announced.
According to Himeji City Zoo, 11-year--old Yuki delivered her first babies -- a 570-gram female and a 780-gram male -- at a breeding house between 10:10 a.m. and 11:50 a.m. on Dec. 5. Yuki had been paired with Hokuto, 10, for breeding since 2002 and was confirmed pregnant this autumn.
The zoo initially considered artificially raising the twins, but has decided to let Yuki look after them in an isolated room. Yuki is reportedly gathering fallen leaves in the room to warm the cubs. The twins are scheduled to be unveiled to the public around March.
Since 1999 only a total of seven polar
Zoo's elephant plan should be stopped – Wildlife expert
It is said that elephants never forget and Auckland Zoo says 27-year-old Burma has not recovered from her companion Kashin's death in August last year.
“Since Kashin died in August 2009, Burma continues to be monitored closely,” the zoo says in a statement on its website.
But that's only part of the reason why the zoo is embarking on an ambitious project to bring in a herd of up to ten Asian elephants.
The zoo also wants to establish a sustainable elephant breeding herd.
“Initially, we plan to bring in two elephants to be companions for Burma, and as a start to building up to a breeding herd of 10 elephants.”
But a group of prominent international zoologists and animal welfare advocates disagrees, saying no urban zoo in the world can adequately cater to the needs of elephants.
“The critical issue is that we have not really worked out how to successfully manage the social
30,000 go wild for free days out at the Dalton zoo
MORE than 30,000 people have visited Dalton zoo since it scrapped entry charges.
As a goodwill gesture the South Lakes Wild Animal Park has made entry to the until February.
And zoo boss David Gill says the promotion has proved a roaring success, with sales up by £60,000 compared to this time last year.
The Dalton-born entrepreneur also said that some weekends last month were busier than in the peak summer months.
Mr Gill said: “It’s been extremely busy.
“But the atmosphere in the park is amazing, there is such a feeling of goodwill.
“The reason we did all this was we wanted to give something back and also find a way out of this recession.
“I don’t think anybody has done this before.
“There is an old saying along the lines of: ‘If you give you will receive’, and this has proved that point to me.
“I’ve never felt so happy in myself as I have now.”
Mr Gill also said business in the zoo’s restaurant was booming, with staff serving up to 1,000 meals a day on a weekend.
He said: “Me and the staff have to eat outside because the restaurant has been that busy.
“The food uptake has been great and the results have been great.
“As a business it’s been a fantastic situation because our income is well, well up.
“It’s been a very successful venture in all ways. I’ve never come across anything that has worked so well and everyone is a beneficiary.
“We’re up about 20 times on our takings in restaurant and gift shop on what we would normally
Three tenders received for Maharajbagh master plan
The Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV) on Wednesday received three tenders for preparation of master plan of the historic Maharajbagh Zoo.
According to district collectorate sources, in all five tenders were received but two were found invalid as one party did not submit a demand draft while other was rejected for want of relevant papers.
Sources said papers of three parties from Nagpur, Aurangabad and Bhopal have been found valid. The bids were opened in the zoo office at 4pm in the presence of district planning officer (DPO) Kumbhare, PRO of PDKV Ram Gawande, horticulture department head DM Panchbhai, zoo incharge Dr SS Bawaskar and others.
In July, when the tenders were opened, only one NGO, Jansansthan from Bhopal, had submitted the bid, following which retendering was ordered. Jansansthan has once again submitted the bid. One of the bidders from Nagpur is PS Somwanshi of the Capital Services Limited. Somwanshi was also present in the pre-bid meeting held on December 1. The name
Leopards in danger of extinction: experts
30 died in Maharashtra this year alone with big cats being targeted for their skin and body parts for illegal trade
Leopards could vanish before the tiger if this animal is not given due attention to protect it, say wildlife experts.
Leopards across Maharashtra as well as across India are declining as the man-animal conflict over land increases even as poachers are eyeing it to replace the much-coveted tiger for its skin and body parts used in traditional oriental medicine.
This year alone, 30 leopards have died in Maharashtra while the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) has reported 207 deaths (mortality: 95 and poaching and seizures: 112) across the country compared to 290 deaths in 2009 (mortality: 129 and poaching and seizures 161)
The highest number of leopards killed was in 2000 when it shot up to 1,278. From 1994 onwards, between 70-200 leopards have been killed every year across India.
According to the WPSI, which works with government enforcement agencies to apprehend tiger and leopard poachers and traders, these figures represent only a fraction of the actual poaching and trade in leopard parts in India.
The WWF holds that the illegal wildlife trade in diverse products like deer antlers, rhino horns, tiger and leopard
Philippine eagle missing talons turned over to conservation center
A farmer rescued an injured Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) and brought the raptor to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) office in Zamboanga City on Tuesday.
The eagle was immediately flown to this city Wednesday by a team from the Philippine Eagle Foundation led by veterinarian Dr. Ana Lascano through the help of the Philippine Air Force, Tatit Quiblat, PEF communications officer, told the INQUIRER by phone.
Lascano said DENR did not give the name of the farmer to them and that there was scant information on how and where the eagle was found.
"The bird is healthy but missing three (talons)," she said.
Quiblat said that because it was missing appendages, the eagle may not survive if released to the wild.
The PEF is an eagle conservation group and has been breeding and hatching eagles
LA Zoo can move forward with elephant exhibit
A judge has ruled that the Los Angeles Zoo can move forward with its plan to open a new elephant exhibit next week, but a lawsuit filed to stop the expansion can continue.
City News Service reports Superior Court Judge John Shepard Wiley made the ruling Thursday.
Late actor and animal rights activist Robert Culp and real estate agent Aaron Leider filed the lawsuit in August 2007, alleging that the zoo did not treat the elephants well and the planned larger exhibit would be a waste of taxpayer money. A judge dismissed their suit in 2008 and Culp's attorney appealed. In September 2009 an appeals court ordered the case back to trial. Culp died in March, but Leider
Kangaroos Undergo Innovative Dental Treatment In Israel
Israeli veterinarians have developed a life-saving medicine for use on kangaroos' teeth, curing the jumping marsupials of the deadly Lumpy Jaw disease.
Here at Gan Guru Australian wildlife park in northern Israel, almost 40% of the kangaroo population have died from the disease, previously considered almost untreatable.
[Meytal Bakal-Weiss, Gan Guru Park Vetinarian]:
"What you saw today was a treatment against Lumpy Jaw Disease, it's a dental disease of Kangaroos, it's one of the most common causes of mobility and mortality among Kangaroos in captivity.”
Lumpy Jaw disease attacks animals in captive due to stressful conditions and industrial food. It is a bacteria that infects the teeth and gums of the animal in a way that limits their ability to eat and eventually kills them.
Previous treatments such as antibiotics or aggressive procedures
Conservation spells good business for Wildlife Reserves
Now in its 10th year, parks group has seen business shift with tie-ups and funding projects
CONSERVATION is not just a matter of principle: It also makes for good business at Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS).
That is because visitors are 'more sophisticated and enlightened', said WRS chairman Claire Chiang, and are now demanding more.
All that, Ms Chiang said, makes for a better visitor experience. 'We're showing Generation X and Y and idealists that we are commercially viable, yet we are able to focus on the non-financials like caring for animals and the environment, reducing carbon footprint, being family friendly, and encouraging education and entertainment.'
As the wildlife parks group - which manages the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, Jurong Bird Park and the upcoming River Safari - celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, it has also seen its business shift.
It ramped up its efforts in the past few years, signing tie-ups with the United States-based Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs several New York zoos, and with the Singapore National Parks Board to study and reintroduce hornbills into the wild here.
Last year, WRS set up its $1 million conservation fund for field projects in Singapore. Twenty cents from the sale of each park ticket goes to the fund.
It also receives sponsorship - Thai Beverage recently contributed $50,000. The company has given $400,000 since 2006, with the money going to help Asian elephants.
However, Ms Chiang said the fund
Gir lions lose all central funds to tigers this year
The tigers have got the lion’s share of central government funds this financial year - literally.
Absolutely no funds have been allocated for the conservation of the Asiatic Lions in Gir in the financial year 2010-11. This, according to the Union minister of state, finance, Namo Narain Meena, is because of the paucity of funds under the centrally-sponsored ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’ (IDWH) scheme.
Significantly, the Gujarat government has sought Rs262.36 crore for a plethora of conservation initiatives in the past two years.
Though the grant was ‘in principal’ approved more than a year ago, the time and method of actual allocation, as also the release of funds for lions is not happening.
This, combined with the state government’s difference of opinion with the Centre over the translocation of Gir lions to MP, has become a standoff point between the two establishments.
“We are unable to understand why the central government is being so tightfisted with lions when the tigers are being allocated huge amounts regularly. Though the state government has
Pearce hires lobbyist as chief of staff
Steve Pearce, elected last month to represent New Mexico's southern 2nd Congressional District, has hired as his chief of staff a lobbyist and former assistant Interior Department secretary during President George W. Bush's administration.
Todd Willens was deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of the Interior from 2006-2008. Previously, he served three years as senior policy director for the House Natural Resources Committee.
Since 2009 he's worked for Vitello Consulting. Vitello's clients include The Barona Band of Mission Indians, which operates a casino near San Diego; Mazzetta Company, a Boston-based seafood company; the U.S. Association of Reptile Keepers; the White Lotus Foundation, which is a nonsectarian spiritual foundation in Santa Barbara, Calif.; and The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species, a wildlife-education organization.
Cold Case: Record Number of Manatees Dead From the Chill
Cold weather is killing off the manatee
It used to be boat propellers that were the villain that killed Florida's manatees. Now it looks like it is Mother Nature.
Since Jan. 1, 699 manatees have reportedly died, most of them relating to the severe drop in temperatures the state saw last winter, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released in a report.
The dead sea cows set a record, but also signaled a significant population growth of the marine mammals. Researchers found nearly 5,100 manatees during a recent statewide count, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
But high death toll has some officials concerned, particularly with the recent cold snap that has hit the region in the past two weeks. The death total was a count up
Panthera Newsletter - December 2010, Issue 18
Pandas head for Scotland - but it's not in black and white yet
EDINBURGH Zoo is preparing for Scotland's first ever pair of giant pandas to arrive in September. The rare bears will be the first to be homed in the UK for 30 years
Negotiations to bring a couple of the endangered animals to Scotland have been ongoing for some time. Zoo officials now believe they will be housing the bears by next autumn.
Final paperwork is still to be completed and can only be signed by either the president or prime minister of China.
Because the animals can only be a gift from the country, a diplomatic ceremony must be arranged between the Chinese and UK governments. However, the zoo is making preparations for the bears this autumn.
Iain Valentine, director of animals, education and conservation at Edinburgh Zoo, has been working on acquiring giant pandas for four years. Mr Valentine, who previously worked at zoos in Blackpool and Ecuador, described the creatures as an "enduring fossil". He added: "To have giant pandas puts us in the premier league of zoos."
Just four zoos in America, two in Europe and one each in Australia, Japan and Thailand have the creatures. The UK has not had a giant panda since London sent theirs for breeding
Why are hundreds of Dartmoor ponies being slaughtered and fed to tigers at the zoo?
Five degrees below zero on Dartmoor and the fog is settling onto the valley floor for the evening. The last rays of the setting sun bounce off frozen ponds and lakes.
There is no sign of life — even the Hound of the Baskervilles wouldn’t be seen dead on the moors at this time of year — except for one breed of animal which has been here for 3,000 years and has seen much worse winters in its time.
The Dartmoor ponies appear oblivious to the plummeting mercury.
Heads bent to the ground to graze the icy turf, they occasionally shake their shaggy manes — not to warm themselves up, just to flick their dangling fringes out of their eyes.
Those manes — and their tails — are broad and thick, to cope with the worst Dartmoor can throw at them.
The ponies’ coats change according to the season. Their winter double-coat has guard hairs, which shed the rain and keep their skin dry in the worst of weathers; in summer, the coat is short with a silky sheen.
Other ponies are occasionally dumped on Dartmoor but struggle on these wild, bleak moors — their coats get out of condition and they quickly lose weight as they fight a losing battle with the elements. Dartmoor ponies have been here so long that they have become uniquely conditioned to the uplands of Devon.
A stallion and its group of a dozen or so mares become ‘hefted’, or attached, to a particular part of the moor for ever. They thrive on the unfriendly climate and the wind-blown landscape. Or they did thrive, until the delicate balance between pony, farmer and the world economy began falling apart over the past two years.
With the recession and a calamitous
Animal Christmas party in the Philippines
Manny Tangco rides on a bicycle cart with his pet orangutan dressed as Santa Claus during the animal Christmas party in Malabon zoo, north of Manila Dec 10, 2010. The Philippines, the largest Roman Catholic state in Asia, observes one of the longest Christmas holidays in the world, beginning with
Aquarium Owner Is Named Entrepeneur Of The Year
Atlantis Marine World owner, Jim Bissett, has been named "Entrepreneur of the Year" by the Advancement for Commerce, Industry & Technology (ACIT).
At the 2010 ACIT Annual Business Leadership Awards Luncheon, Jim Bissett claimed the award that recognized Bissett's success in co-founding and expanding the Long Island Aquarium, Atlantis Marine World.
"It is a great honor to accept this award from ACIT," said Bissett. "Although this is a personal award, I believe that it belongs as much to me as it does to my partner, Joe Petrocelli, Atlantis Marine World's owner and co-founder, and the teams at both Atlantis Marine World and at Bissett Nursery.
Bissett co-founded and opened the Aquarium in 2000. Since then, he has ushered the Aquarium to exceptional growth and profitability, and is currently building a 97,498-square-foot, $24 million facility next to the Aquarium that takes visitors beneath the waves and beyond the ocean. The new structure will encompass areas that include a 28,000-square-foot Exhibition, Banquet
Lahore zoo plans to get two pandas
The Lahore zoo administration plans to have actress Reema as ambassador of wildlife in captivity and rent a pair of pandas from China, officials said yesterday.
Reema will adopt some birds and animals at a ceremony where she will be declared as ambassador of wildlife in captivity. Zoo director Iqbal Khalid said as ambassador of wildlife Reema would help the administration raise awareness among the public about wildlife issues. He said people from all walks of life should come forward for the welfare of animals. He
Bear escapes from zoo cage
A 6-year-old male bear escaped from a local zoo on the outskirts of Seoul on Monday while a zookeeper was cleaning the cage, zoo officials said.
The 30-kilogram black Malaysian bear escaped from Seoul Zoo located in Gwancheon, some 18 kilometers south of the capital, around 10:50 a.m. and was last seen at the summit of Mount Cheonggye, about 6 kilometers from the zoo, according to the zoo officials.
Police and disaster management authorities have deployed a chopper and more than 100 officials to search for the animal, and 120 zoo officials are moving to the mountain.
No casualties have been reported, they said.
"He opened the cage door and got out of it when a zookeeper was cleaning the cage," said an official from the zoo. "We are focusing
Trainers, patrons grumble as nationwide animal live show ban nears
As the black bears rode around the ring on bicycles, Xiang Xiaohui clapped her hands and screamed, her face a picture of excitement. "It's amazing," said the thrilled 9-year-old, as she sat with 500 others watching the show at Zhengzhou Zoo, the largest in the Chinese province of Henan.
"The lions also ride horses here instead of eating them, like it says they should do in my school textbooks."
For many youngsters like Xiang that afternoon, it was the first time they had seen such daring stunts. It is also likely to be the last.
As of January, all 250 or so public zoos and wildlife parks nationwide will be banned from staging live shows as part of fresh efforts by the central government to improve animal welfare.
The move strikes a blow for animal rights groups in their battle to improve the treatment of wildlife in China.
Yet, it will also have a serious economic and cultural impact.
Zoos will lose a lucrative revenue stream and animal trainers argue the blanket ban will take away their livelihoods.
Kabul zoo hoping to get snow leopard from India
I see from a news report today Kabul Zoo officials are keen to restock their Zoo after severe damage over the last 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan. I wondered if staff and the facility are ready to take on the responsibility and safety and well being of new animals? Certainly for the troubled people of the country a well run and humane zoo would be a boost to confidence and education.
AFP reports Kabul zoo director, Aziz Gul Saqeb, who is leading a zoo team to India said “”Afghanistan wants an elephant, a leopard and a snow leopard from India because at present it does not have these animals.
Indian authorities have agreed to help us regarding the upkeep of the elephant once it is transported to Kabul,” he said after inspecting animals in a state-run zoo in the northern Indian town of Kanpur.
India activists urge against sending animals to Kabul zoo
Indian animal rights activists Saturday urged the government not to send animals to Kabul's war-damaged zoo, after Afghan officials came scouting for an elephant and leopards.
The Afghan capital's zoo suffered severe damage during the Taliban's 1996-2001 regime and the authorities are now working to restock with animals donated from India.
But the Indian arm of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) urged Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh not to allow animals to be sent to Afghanistan.
"The sad state of the Kabul zoo is well known," PETA spokeswoman Poorva Joshipura said.
"Sending wild animals to miserable zoos abroad contradicts our pledge to protect the welfare of our wildlife."
Kabul's zoo director Aziz Gul Saqeb told AFP on Thursday that Afghanistan wanted an elephant, a leopard and a snow leopard from India and said
10 Best Zoos in India
Is Hyderabad zoo being shifted?
Is the Nehru Zoological Park moving to the Kammadanam forest block near Shadnagar? If sources are to be believed the proposal to shift the Hyderabad zoo out of its current premises is indeed under consideration. It might be executed once the state's political situation stabilises. In fact, sources claim that a survey of this forest area, 3 km from Shadnagar, has already been conducted by revenue officials and even deemed fit to house the zoo.
According to Shadnagar mandal revenue office records, the Kammadanam reserve forest, located in the Mahabubnagar district, about 45 km from Hyderabad, is spread over an area of 824 acres and has been lying vacant for several years. "This is a very suitable site for the zoo as it is away from the city and, therefore, has low pollution levels. Also, the forest is more than twice
Is the Nehru Zoological Park moving to the Kammadanam forest block near Shadnagar? If sources are to be believed the proposal to shift the Hyderabad zoo out of its current premises is indeed under consideration. It might be executed once the state's political situation stabilises. In fact, sources claim that a survey of this forest area, 3 km from Shadnagar, has already been conducted by revenue officials and even deemed fit to house the zoo.
London Hamleys abandons live penguin display
Hamleys has cancelled plans to bring live penguins into its London store after welfare concerns were raised.
Two reindeer were withdrawn from the Regent Street shop a day early on Wednesday and penguins had been due to arrive next week.
UK wild animal welfare charity the Born Free Foundation said it was shocked at the plans to have animals in the shop.
The toy store said that after listening to people's views the cancellation was the best course of action.
Earlier this week the world-famous toy store issued a statement in response to concerns raised on social networking sites about the live animals.
Afghan team visits Kanpur zoo
A five member team of Afghan officials recently visited the city zoo here and inspected the facilities provided to the animals, a senior zoo official said today.
The team from the Kabul zoo visited the city on November 30 and inquired about the maintenance, medical facilities and enclosure of the animals in the zoo, Kanpur Zoo Director Praveen Rao said.
Recent media reports stated that the Kabul zoo officials have evinced interest in taking some animals and birds from the Kanpur zoo to their country and also sought assistance in the construction of the war-damaged zoo there.
However reputing this report, Rao said that there has been no
Experience: I'm proud I worked in an animal testing lab
It was a surprise to me that I ended up working in an animal testing facility. I've been a vegetarian most of my life and I wanted to be a teacher when I was younger. Animal testing wasn't something I saw in my future.
I've always cared deeply about animals. My parents stopped eating meat because they disliked the way animals were farmed and slaughtered, and I felt the same way. Then I met my partner at university and when we graduated, he started working as a toxicologist, testing drugs that might potentially go on to be used for humans.
I was interested in his field of work; the more he told me, the more I understood and believed in it. My partner qualified for a Home Office licence, so he learned to handle animals in the right way and cause the least amount of trauma possible.
When a job came up, I applied. They checked me out thoroughly to make sure I had no affiliations with antivivisectionist groups. I started in a technical role away from the animal facility, preparing doses and equipment for clinical tests on humans.
After a few months, I asked to see where the animals were kept. In the back of my mind I saw the grainy black and white pictures of cats and monkeys in agony that appear on antivivisectionist stands. I was curious but reluctant, particularly to see the dogs. It was so hard to think of them in that environment. But they were bright-eyed and pleased to see us. They were kept in a different building from the rats, rabbits and mice, so the barking didn't disturb them. The animals were behind strengthened glass, not unlike you see in a pet shop. Everything was clean and they all seemed content.
You couldn't walk the dogs outside because it would interfere with the research, but there were play areas with toys. The husbandry staff talked to the animals and petted them. Seeing them reinforced my opinion that I was doing the right thing for the right reasons.
After a few years, I moved to my partner's department, assisting research scientists with paperwork. It was like any other company, once the doors were shut and you'd passed security
$1M Given To Mystic Aquarium
Money To Go Towards Aquarium's $12M Overhaul Of Exploration Center
One day after announcing millions of dollars in grants for open space and environmental projects, Gov. Jodi Rell announced $1M will be given to Mystic Aquarium.
The grant was given to the aquarium for capitol improvements. Most of the funding will go into the institution's $12 million campaign to overhaul Dr. Robert Ballard's Ocean Exploration Center.
Renovation work is already under way inside that will make room for new interactive exhibits to include Ballard's work in the Black Sea as well as an exhibit on the Titanic, which Ballard helped to discover in 1985.
In a statement, Rell said, "The institution is now poised to make improvements that will enable it to focus even more on bringing in new business and
2 more rare red foxes confirmed in Sierra Nevada
Once thought to be extinct, federal wildlife biologists have confirmed sightings of two more rare Sierra Nevada red foxes they believe are related to one that was photographed this summer near Yosemite National Park.
More importantly, scientists say DNA samples show enough diversity in the animals to suggest a "fairly strong population" of the foxes may secretly be doing quite well in the rugged mountains about 90 miles south of Reno.
The first confirmed sighting in two decades
Bruised, tied up and caged: The desperate plight of starving orangutans forced into villages to look for food as their rainforest home is destroyed
Arms wrapped dejectedly around his mother, this baby orangutan can only cling on to her for comfort after being tied up in a cage.
The pitiful creatures were captured after going into a village in Sungai Pinyuh, Indonesia, in a desperate search for food.
They were then beaten by villagers so badly one of the primates died before being locked in the tiny cage without food or water.
Rainforests cover 60 per cent of Indonesia, but orangutans - which means man of the forest - have seen their habitat cut down at an alarming rate, often to fuel the need for space to grow palm oil crops.
Many adult orangutans are killed by farmers in Indonesia and Borneo to prevent them eating crops as their natural food disappears, leaving helpless orphans to die in the wild.
Indonesia is one of the world's leading
Wildlife genetics and its applications for snow leopard conservation in Nepal
As they gracefully navigate through the high Himalayan mountain landscape, the elusive and endangered snow leopards exemplifies nature’s greatest gift to all of us. Snow leopards are found throughout the Himalayan region. These magnificent creatures are the quintessential top carnivore, often the main balancing factor for all the downstream preys; sustaining the fine ecological balance.
Nepal’s high Himalaya region provides excellent refuse to snow leopards. It is estimated that there are close to 400 snow leopards in Nepal spread throughout pockets of various conservation areas. But the exact number of this species in Nepal remains to be studied. There are various reasons why experts believe the exact number of snow leopard found in Nepal could be much lower than the estimated number. Snow leopard’s long-term viability has continuously been threatened by conflict with locals because of livestock depredation-sometimes resulting in retaliatory killings. Loss of habitat and declining prey numbers due to their preferred grazing areas being encroached for livestock usage are also some of the major contributing factors for snow leopard’s declining numbers.
Furthermore, there is active illicit trans-border market for wildlife animal parts in the northern frontiers of Nepal and Tibet; as a result poaching has become widespread. As substitute to tiger bones and other tissue parts, Asian traditional medicine market has an increasing demand for bones and other tissue parts of endangered felids such as snow leopard. This has exacerbated the threat of snow leopards in Nepal.
Prior to any effective conservation strategy being designed and implemented, it is crucial to gather reasonable data on estimation of existing abundance and distribution of snow leopard in Nepal. However because of elusive, solitary nature of snow leopard and its rugged rocky terrain habitat, information available is sparse and inadequate on their actual distribution and population status.
Majority of snow leopard studies have consisted of surveys that relied upon sign (e.g. pugmarks, scrapes and scats), interviews with local inhabitants, and camera trapping. However
Ga. Aquarium gets 2 new beluga whales
The world's largest aquarium has added two new beluga whales.
The giant stars — named Qinu (KEE-nu) and Grayson — arrived at the Georgia Aquarium last week from Sea World San Antonio. The duo joins the aquarium's belugas Maris and Beethoven, who are older and larger than the newcomers.
Qinu is a 2-year-old female and weighs more than 600 pounds. Grayson, a 3-year-old male, weighs more than 800 pounds.
One of the aquarium's belugas, Nico (NEE-co), died suddenly last year of encephalitis while staying at Sea World in Texas. The whales were there temporarily while the downtown
Alligator Farm to assist Philippines
The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park will hold a special fundraising event on Friday to help citizens and wildlife in the Philippines after a super typhoon hit the region in October.
"Cupcakes and Crocodiles: Helping People Help Crocodiles" will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Cupcakes and refreshments will be available, as well as the opportunity to touch a Philippine crocodile and participate in guided night tours through the park to see the animals after hours and experience the vision of nighttime alligator eye-shines.
Typhoon Megi left extensive damage to infrastructure, property
Leopard wedding in Sochi
World Wildlife Fund specialists are planning to mate two West Asian leopards in the Sochi National Park in southern Russia. The move is part of a special program aimed at restoring the leopard population in the Caucasus.
The Sochi National Park now has four leopards – two males from Turkmenistan and two females from Iran. The three-year old female Mino and the young male Alous were picked as the best candidates for giving birth to a new leopard dynasty. They will be introduced to each other in January. Graceful spotted wild cats had once inhabited the entire Caucasus but were nearly extinct towards the middle of the 20th century.
Reintroduction appears to be the only way to reverse the trend, but it’s a complicated and painstaking job that may take years.
Vladimmir Krever, a WWF Russia coordinator, says the main and most difficult task is to form a leopard couple. The problem is you can never predict the result.
A male is stronger and it can maim or
In the dark of night, endangered microbats find a friend
As dusk falls each evening, Tanya Leary heads deep into the forest in search of bats.
It may sound like a scene from a scary movie, but Dr Leary is not looking for just any bat - her target is microbats, tiny creatures who can eat half their body weight in mosquitoes, moths and beetles each night.
Most people have never seen the animals, some of which weigh less than three grams.
But years of habitat loss mean many species are now threatened or endangered, said Dr Leary, a biodiversity officer with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Without swift action there was the potential for several species to disappear, sh
Owner of Montenegro zoo sets hippo free from flooded cage
The owner of a private zoo in Montenegro says he has released a hippo from her cage because it was flooded and the animal was in danger.
Nikola Pejovic says that the 2-ton hippo is "under supervision" in a nearby meadow. He says the 12-year-old animal is harmless.
The hippo, named Nikica, also escaped last year when flooding allowed her to swim out of her cage. She caused no problems in the wild.
Pejovic says farmers view Nikica "as their
DEFRA probes County Durham petting zoo
A DEFRA probe into a North petting zoo has revealed a catalogue of failings, including not providing enough water for ducks.
The review of standards at Tweddle Farm, in County Durham, came after it emerged the animal centre was operating without the correct license.
Now the farm has been subject to an inspection by a vet from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs and the Sunday Sun has been passed their final report.
As well as making reference to the housing for exotic animals the farm was not licensed to keep, the report flags up failings in basic pet care.
Among these were ducklings with no water to bathe, chickens overcrowded in the baby barn and pigs with no shelter.
Other problems highlighted on the Defra list include a collapsing camel shed, African grey parrots with no access to natural daylight, and no nesting material for "cold" mice.
As part of the report a Defra
Ex-Zookeeper Highlights The Do's and Don'ts
PARENTS, take note: Follow the instructions given at the Singapore Zoo, if you and your children do not want to get bitten or scratched when you interact with animals up close.
Indeed, many animal "attacks" arose from visitors - both young and old - touching and feeding animals wrongly or at the wrong time, according to former zoo curator Francis Lim, who had worked at the zoo since 1972.
The 55-year-old, who retired in May, was at the zoo yesterday to launch his new book, Once A Zookeeper.
The 79-page book is an anthology of poems - on his observations and encounters with people and animals - he started penning 15 years ago.
Mr Lim recounted to my paper the potential risks in handling animals.
Two years ago, at the Australian Outback exhibit, a man was scratched by a kangaroo because he touched its face,
Transported to Africa: Proposed interactive exhibit at Naples Zoo will put people in a scene
Imagine if you can, this scene in Africa after drought has forced ranchers to abandon their land. With nothing to keep them out, some of the region’s wildlife has taken over the home. Powerful lions have claimed the veranda and a herd of tall giraffe wander about the grounds.
Now imagine wandering through an entry portal and across a winding bridge to explore the ruined site. As you step inside the house, deadly snakes slither across the nearby floor or coil on the bed. Further inside, moving a curtain reveals a scorpion or a gigantic baboon spider crawling through the cupboards. In the servant’s house, playful monkeys explore the kitchen while leopards make their way through a fallen-down corner of the barn or lounge in the trees just over head.
Unlike any traditional day at the zoo, this thrilling experience will soon be part of an innovative and highly interactive new 5-acre, $3 million coastal Africa exhibit scheduled to open at the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens sometime in 2013-14.
Though the idea of developing a section of the zoo dedicated to presenting coastal Africa has been under consideration for the past several years, the abandoned ranch is an all-new brainstorm that will allow guests to
Ex-French president decries poaching
Former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing has made an impassioned plea to authorities in Tanzania to uphold the country’s traditional commitment to the conservation of wildlife and show no mercy to poachers. The resurgent poaching of elephants and other animals, which are particularly found in this region, was causing worldwide concern, Mr d’Estaing has said in an exclusive interview with The Citizen here.
“Stiff punishment to poachers will have a deterrent effect to people who intend to engage in the malpractice,” he suggested, noting that Tanzania was home to a very rich stock of wildlife.
“Tanzania is not only endowed with the richest variety of fauna and flora, but its successive governments since independence have demonstrated
New turtle rescue center arrives in nick of time
Workers in the New England Aquarium’s 23,000-square-foot brick building in the Fore River Shipyard once manufactured pipes for large ships such as Navy destroyers and battleships, nuclear subs and massive LNG tankers.
Six weeks ago, after a $3.5 million renovation, the pipe plant was reborn as the aquarium’s Animal Rescue Center. The makeover was just in time, as this year will likely break records for the number of endangered sea turtles suffering from the effects of cold air and frigid water temperatures that are rescued at Cape beaches.
The Animal Rescue Center has treated 85 turtles so far this year, and the facility could see more than 200 of the marine reptiles
Jungle fever had politicians entering lion's den
Entertainment ruled by circus acts and exotic animals in 1910
Welcome to the Jungle - Sheffield style.
Forget about the Wheel of Sheffield, Fright Night or any of the city's popular 21st century-style attractions.
A century ago folk in the Steel City enjoyed a far more exotic style of entertainment, as researchers from the University of Sheffield have been discovering.
Long since forgotten, the Sheffield Jungle was a massive menagerie of exotic animals and circus acts which came to the city for seven months from November 1910.
A century on Angela Greenwood and Ian Trowell from the National Fairground Archive at the university have found how the show - distinctly non-PC by the standards of 2010 - made a major impact on the city.
It featured animals from all over the world including an elephant which could play the drum, trained mice, llamas, camels and no fewer than 100 lions. It also had a number of unusual sideshows ranging from giants to midgets to people fasting.
The Jungle was in a building on land which had become available after a slum clearance scheme on Hawley Street, close to the Cathedral in the city centre.
The site later became a tram depot and was the third largest building in the British Isles at the time, covering more than 40,000 square feet.
Angela and Ian found out more after searching through old editions of the Sheffield newspapers
Rare white rhino born in snowy Liverpool safari park
Despite the climate being more Arctic than Africa, this baby rhino could not wait to make his entrance into his snow-covered home.
Staff at Knowsley Safari Park, on Merseyside, are celebrating the patter of not-so-tiny feet after the rare male white rhino calf was born yesterday morning.
The nine-stone 'big baby' is the first rhinoceros calf to be born at the animal conservation centre
The Hattiesburg Zoo mourns an alligator
A longtime resident of the Hattiesburg Zoo has passed away. Gator the alligator died on November eighteenth.
The male alligator weighed eight hundred pounds and lived at the Zoo for more than thirty years. Zoo Administrator, Lori Banchero said Gator came to the Hattiesburg Zoo as a fully grown adult.
She said he had a good, long life because alligators typically live between thirty to fifty years.
"And the zoo staff and myself are all saddened whenever we have a loss of one of our animals here," said Banchero.
Gator leaves behind his exhibit mate named
Topeka Zoo Hopes To Become "World Famous" Again
The Topeka Zoo has been no stranger to controversy over the past year, but they are hoping a new plan of operation will return the facility to its previous title of “World Famous Topeka Zoo.”
"We want to make sure we are on this road to being a world class organization,” Topeka Zoo Director Brendan Wiley said during a city news conference.
Wiley announced a comprehensive plan for improving the quality of zoo operations. The USDA issued three citations less than a month ago. So, they've revamped the vision statement, “returning to world-class” and mission statement, “To enrich the community through wildlife conservation and education.” Zoo officials are focusing on seven strategic areas: animal care, conservation, education, guest experience, communication, financial and leadership.
Wiley said the majority of employees will be briefed
Removing Jackson Zoo elephants recommendation - no requirement
'We did not misreport anything,' spokeswoman says
The decision to move both of the Jackson Zoo's elephants elsewhere apparently was more a matter of prudence rather than urgency.
In August, Jackson Zoo officials announced they were shipping female African elephants Rosie and Juno to the Nashville Zoo, in part, to meet an accreditation standard of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
That guideline - calling on institutions with elephant exhibits to house at least three females - is a recommendation rather than a requirement, according to the AZA's standards.
"We have to do what is best for these animals," said Rosemary Jalink, Jackson Zoo spokeswoman.
"We did not misreport anything. We hated to lose them. But I know our accreditation would be impacted if we hadn't done this."
Asked if the zoo's accreditation could have been affected, AZA spokesman Steve Feldman said, "I can't predetermine what the accreditation commission would have
Kadam promises to move CM on Gorewada zoo
Even as the fate of proposed international zoo at Gorewada hangs in balance, forest minister Patangrao Kadam has decided to take up the progress of the project with chief minister Prithiviraj Chavan.
Kadam, who had called a meeting of top forest officials at the insistence of city BJP MLAs Devendra Fadnavis and Sudhakar Deshmukh, told TOI, "a meeting with Chavan will be called next week. It will be attended by the finance minister, two BJP MLAs and officials," Kadam told TOI. He added that officials have been told to expedite paper work for the project.
The minister said as the project needed over Rs 700 crore, strategy to get the money in phases would be discussed in the meeting. "We will also look into acquiring additional revenue land for constructing lodges and tents, which is not possible inside Gorewada as it is a reserve forest," Kadam said.
Kadam did not promise any allocation for the project merely saying that the issue of initial budgetary allocation would also be taken up with the CM. However, sources attending the meeting said the minister talked of making a provision of Rs 100-150 crore initially to start the project's first phase.
A half-hour discussion in the assembly on Gorewada project was postponed on Thursday. The notice for discussion was given by Fadnavis. He did not respond to the calls made to him. MLA Sudhakar Deshmukh, in whose constituency the zoo falls, said, "I and Fadnavis
Kabul zoo officials in India seeking elephant, leopards
A team of Afghan officials are in India to find an elephant and leopards for Kabul's war-damaged zoo but transportation through Pakistan could be a problem, they said Thursday.
The Afghan capital's zoo suffered severe damage during Taliban's 1996-2001 regime and the authorities are now working to restock with animals donated from India.
"Afghanistan wants an elephant, a leopard and a snow leopard from India because at present it does not have these animals," Kabul zoo director Aziz Gul Saqeb, who is leading the five-member team in India, told AFP.
"Indian authorities have agreed to help us regarding the upkeep of the elephant once it is transported to Kabul," he said after inspecting animals in a state-run zoo in the northern Indian town of Kanpur.
Kabul zoo's showpiece lion Marjan, who was blinded by a grenade blast in 1993, died in 2002.
India and Afghanistan have enjoyed good ties and since the US-led invasion ended the Taliban's regime. Delhi has committed 1.3 billion dollars to Afghanistan -- mainly aid for social services including health and education.
Some 4,000 Indians are building roads, sanitation projects and power lines in Afghanistan, and India is also building the new
Kanpur zoo part of global network for animal exchange programmes
As the forest cover is gradually depleting in the country, a threat of extinction is looming large over the endangered species. At this point of time, the zoos are proving to be the pioneers of the effort to breed endangered animals. It is in this regard that the animal exchange programme is given due importance by the authorities of various zoos across the country. But the exchange programme is not an easy task as it requires comprehensive pool of knowledge before going ahead with it.
Thus, to make this task simpler, the Kanpur Zoo sometime ago became a member of the International Species Information System (ISIS), a global organisation that provides world-standard zoological data collection and a sharing software called ARKS (Animal Record Keeping System), enabling the various
German Zoo Forces Gay Vultures to Mate With Females
German zookeepers are forcing two male vultures who prefer nesting together to mate with females, sparking outrage from gay rights activists who accuse the zoo of discriminating against birds of a different feather.
The trouble began back in March, when Guido and Detlef, two Griffon vultures, decided to move in together. The lovebirds began crafting a two-man nest out of stray twigs in a communal birdcage at their zoo in the town of Munster, in northwest Germany.
Both birds are predatory males, but seemed to enjoy one another's company more than that of any female. They spent their days grooming one another with their beaks and fortifying their nest -- though other vultures occasionally stole their building materials, as if to spite them.
"They always sat so closely together. They defended their nest from the other vultures," the zoo's curator, Dirk Wewers, told The Daily Telegraph of Australia.
But Wewers explains their preference for one another as second-best. "A suitable female was missing and in such a case vultures look for companionship from
Governments Commit to Save Tigers
The International Tiger Summit held this week in St. Petersburg approved a wide-ranging program with the goal of doubling the world’s tiger population in the wild by 2022, backed by governments of the 13 countries that still have tiger populations: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam and Russia.
Tigers’ habitats are being destroyed by deforestation and construction, and the animals are a valuable trophy for poachers who want their skins and body parts, which are prized in Chinese traditional medicine. Only about 3,200 tigers remain in the wild — a dramatic plunge from an estimated 100,000 a century ago.
The Global Tiger Recovery Program estimates the countries will need about $350 million in outside funding in the first five years of the 12-year plan. The summit was seeking donor commitments to help governments finance conservation measures.
The program aims to protect tiger habitats, eradicate poaching, smuggling, and illegal trade of tigers and their parts, and also create incentives for local communities to engage them in helping protect the big cats.
Leape said that along with a stronger action against poaching, it’s necessary to set up specialized reserves for tigers and restore and conserve forests outside them to let tigers expand.
“And you have to find a way to make it work for the local communities so that they would be partners in tiger conservation and benefit from it,” Leape said.
“To save tigers you need to save the forests, grasslands and lots of other species,” he added. “But at the same time, you are also conserving the foundations of the societies who live there. Their economy depends very much on the food, water and materials they get from those forests.”
About 30 percent of the program’s cost will go toward
Scotland's beaver-trapping plan has wildlife campaigners up in arms
Scottish National Heritage's plan to catch 20 beavers highlights problem of animals escaping from private collections
An urgent campaign has been launched to capture up to 20 beavers that have colonised rivers and lochs and are freely breeding in the wild.
The unpublicised project has been authorised by Scottish Natural Heritage, the government wildlife body, after it emerged that a large number of beavers had taken root following a series of escapes from private collections in Angus and Perthshire over the past decade.
Some wildlife experts believe that more than 50 beavers could be roaming free: families of beavers, and evidence of their lodge building, have been regularly seen by villagers and naturalists around Invergowrie on the outskirts of Dundee, Forfar in Angus, Glamis in Perthshire, and Tentsmuir near the mouth of the river Tay.
The animals will be trapped and given to the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, which houses beavers at its Highland wildlife park and is closely involved with the UK's only official beaver reintroduction scheme at Knapdale forest in Mid-Argyll.
But pro-beaver campaigners have furiously attacked the trapping exercise, accusing the conservation agencies of bowing to political pressure from landowners and urging the protection of the Knapdale project to avoid it being damaged by rows over illegal releases.
Sir John Lister-Kaye, a former president of the Scottish Wildlife Trust who keeps beavers at his Aigas wildlife sanctuary near Inverness, said the animals were once native to the UK and should be given protection under
Forest dept faces stiff opposition on relocation
With the state forest department waiting for the dust to settle at Sariska before initiating any step in relocating another big cat to the reserve, it's a race against time. For if the department is keen on relocation, a strong opposition is building up to halt it.
Sources said: "A big lobby, whose members are into conservation and tourism, do not want more relocation. They have always been against relocation of tigers from Ranthambore fearing it would take away tourists from the national park. And now that they have a good enough reason, they are not willing to let it go."
However, Union minister of forest and environment Jairam Ramesh, chief minister Ashok Gehlot and the state forest department have insisted on continuing with the relocation in a bid to re-establish a tiger population.
After the death of first male tiger relocated to Sariska ST-1, the state has got into a massive exercise of overhauling the administrative machinery of the park. Relocation of villages from within the park is another top priority for the state after poisoning has been reported as a possible cause of tiger death.
During his recent visit to Sariska, Ramesh had urged the state forest department to speed up relocation . "I am under tremendous pressure in New Delhi," he said. Ramesh had advised the chief of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) Rajesh Gopal to imm
Thailand wants to keep panda
THAI authorities are considering asking China to let Lin Ping, the first female panda born in Thailand, to stay in Thailand's Chiang Mai Zoo for two more years.
Prasertsak Boontrakulpuntawi, head of the zoo's panda-research project, said the contract to keep Lin Ping is going to expire in another six months, after which they have to send her to China.
Following talks to keep Lin Ping longer, Thai officials will have another talk in Thailand with senior Chinese wildlife conservation officials on December 20. Hopeful for a green light from China, the zoo planned the panda section expansion and requested Bt28.5 million from the Zoological Park Organisation or the government for the 2012 fiscal year.
On Saturday morning the 61.2kg cub was let out to the open-air display section for the first time. Its caretakers provided it with an 'Ice Cake' of fruits
Examiner Uncovers New "Development" in 2007 Tiger Attack Case: Nachos
The Examiner reported on Thursday night that they obtained a never-before-released police interview with the Brothers Kulbir and Amritpal “Paul” Dhaliwal regarding the 2007 Siberian tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo, which resulted in the death of 17-year-old Carlos Sousa Jr.. This exclusive report, released just in time for the third anniversary of the incident, promised a "tasty treat" in its headline, which turned out to be the fact that the three victims were eating nachos at some point before Tatiana the tiger escaped her enclosure and attacked them.
This revelation hardly has much relevance, as the article states: "The taped interviews, however, still do not reveal what happened that day, when police had to shoot the tiger to death after the attack." Inspector Valerie Matthews, who headed the investigation, questioned the brothers about whether
Plans afoot to protect giant squirrel habitat
A conservation plan for the endangered giant squirrel is being chalked out which inhabits the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary near Pune
Forest Department officials have teamed up with Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to chalk out a conservation plan for the endangered giant squirrel, which inhabits the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary near here.
A peculiar animal known for its shyness and lightning pace, the Ratusa Indica species or the Indian giant squirrel is an attraction for the wildlife enthusiasts visiting the Bhimashankar forest, which also happens to house a famous Shiv temple, one of the 12 “Jyotirlignas“.
In coordination with IISc, we are working out a Geographical Information System (GIS) map to identify threats to the existence of the squirrel to know whether the forest area occupied by it is shrinking or not,” Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) M.K. Rao said.
At present, a census of the animal is being carried out by counting of its nests in the forest and the proposed GIS map is also expected to denote the human disturbance index.
“A healthy forest is needed to support the squirrel, which sustains itself on just leaves and fruit,” Mr. Rao said.
The IISc experts would interact with the forest field staff to enhance their technical skills for a better understanding of the ecology of giant squirrel, which leaps from one tree to another but never
Geriatric animals pose challenges for zoos
On an overcast Friday at the Salisbury Zoological Park, Poopsie the Andean bear could not be found in her hammock, where she spends most of her time.
Instead, she kept warm in a burrow in her den, which she has called home for nearly 37 years. When she finally emerged, she did so slowly. As the light hit her gray fur, which was once brown, it became evident Poopsie is no spring chicken.
"She's 37? No wonder she's not too active," said Jennifer Cross of Easthampton, Mass.
Poopsie isn't the only animal at the Salisbury zoo who might qualify for a senior discount. According to Director Joel Hamilton, the zoo's female sloth is nearing 37, a few of the alligators are in their mid-30s and one of the flamingos is 42.
Animals tend to live longer while in captivity because "their lives are much easier," said General Curator Ann Konopik, who has been with the zoo for nearly 27 years.
"They don't have to hunt for food or worry about predation, hunters and poachers," she said. "Also, their medical needs are met."
The zoo will celebrate Poopsie's birthday Dec. 27. After she passed the age of 35 1/2, Poopsie became the oldest-living Andean bear on record and "she's
International designer for India's first night safari
Renowned zoo designer Bernard Harrison, who has designed the famous Singapore night safari, will be designing the upcoming Greater Noida night safari, according to an official.
The Greater Noida night safari will be India's first and the world's fourth - the others being in Singapore, China and Thailand.
According to a Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority official, who didn't wish to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media, Harrison had recently met officials to discuss the project. He is expected to arrive in India next week to present the digital project report (DPR) to officials.
The night safari, to be set up on over 222 hectares of land, will be located along the Yamuna Expressway near Gautam Budh University, around 40 km from New Delhi. The zoo will have animals like leopards, tigers, crocodiles, gibbons and crocodiles. Only lions will be brought from Africa.
It will also have casinos and restaurants to attract visitors. The land for the project
Lions await trip to US refuges
The last of Bolivia's rescued circus lions — 12 females and five males — are now in the hands of animal rights activists, who say the big cats will be sent to wildlife refuges in the United States.
An Associated Press photographer visited the lions on Wednesday.
The felines, though still caged, were under the care of Animal Defenders International. ADI obtained them from circuses that gave them up in compliance with a pioneering Bolivian law that took effect in July prohibiting the use of all animals, domestic and wild, in circuses.
In May, ADI sent four lions to a sanctuary in California. In September, a baboon was sent to a primate center in Britain.
ADI is feeding the lions red meat and vitamin supplements — a big improvement
Edinburgh Zoo penguin cam snowed under with Twitter hits
Zoo closed but penguin snow antics still a hit online
Edinburgh Zoo is closed today due to the weather making it too dangerous for public access. But with hundreds of animals needing fed, most of the staff are still there.
When the attraction's marketing assistant Claire Richardson arrived at work this morning she noticed the penguin webcam was down. She could see the Gengtoo penguins were more active than ever, sliding around in the fresh snow, so rebooted the camera.
Richardson - who also looks after the zoo's Twitter account - sent out a tweet to let people know that, even though the zoo was shut, they could still tune in to see the penguins in action. Within just two hours, Edinburgh Zoo was trending in the UK's top Twitter searches. Richardson's link to the penguin cam was
Zoo Society offers scholarship
The Fort Wayne Zoological Society is accepting applications for the Lawrence A. Ackerman Scholarship, which bestows a one-time $2,000 award to a college-bound high school senior pursuing an animal-related career.
The scholarship award is based on an applicant’s character, commitment to the stewardship of animals, financial need and scholastic achievement. Graduating high school seniors in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties are eligible to apply.
The Fort Wayne Zoological Society established the scholarship in 1992 to honor the the late Dr. Larry Ackerman, who served as the zoo’s veterinarian for 25 years.
Interested students can download an application at the zoo’s website, www.kidszoo.org. Students may
DENR plans P500-M facelift for QC wildlife park
The Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center in Quezon City will get a P500-million facelift to turn the place into an ecological tourist attraction and a respite from the urban jungle.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is leading the transformation of the 22.7-hectare park, which houses an assortment of Philippine plants and animals confiscated from illegal traders or turned in by the public.
Urban planner Palafox and Associates was behind the master plan for the park’s redevelopment.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said he was looking for partners in the private sector to finance the project since his department’s budget could not shoulder the cost of the facelift.
“Our resources are very limited, whereas the private sector has the much-needed
European cheetahs spearhead drive back into wild
Two European-bred cheetahs are set to take part in a pioneering program to release their young back into the wild in an attempt boost their declining numbers.
As part of the program the hand-reared cheetahs Boumani and Zina will soon be swapping their green fields in Kent, south east England, for the arid Savannah of Kenya early next year.
It is hoped the pair will breed there in a 500-acre enclosure and that their offspring will be taught to hunt by their mother Zina during extended excursions into the adjoining Tsavo national park.
This method of reintroducing captive-bred cheetahs into the wild has never been attempted, says their keeper Jonathan Ames.
"My dream is to prove that captive-bred cheetahs can be successfully placed back in the wild, it is something that has been very unsuccessful [in the past]," Ames told CNN.
"There is no point in breeding cheetahs in captivity if they can't go back into the wild," he adds.
Cheetahs are more vulnerable than many other large predators in Africa -- they are designed for speed and they prey on a relatively small numbers of species, needing vast tracts of land in which to hunt and breed. They are also vulnerable to attack from lions, hyenas and leopards.
The cheetah has three main threats to its survival, according to the Namibia-based Cheetah Conservation Fund: A loss of habitat to farming and urban development; persecution by farmers who think they are a threat to their livestock and poaching for their skins.
Boumani -- his name means warrior in Malawi -- is a three-year-old male weighing just over 13-stone (85kg) who was hand-reared by Ames at the family-run Eagle Heights Wildlife Park in Kent.
The early stages of Boumani's training
Center plans to build wildlife corridor for pandas in Sichuan Province
A green group said Sunday it will build a wildlife corridor in Sichuan Province to protect wild pandas.
Beijing-based Shan Shui Conservation Center, will use a 1 million yuan gift ($149,981) from a private enterprise for the corridor. The center said Sunday that it will build a 1,000-mu (66.67 hectares) forest of carbon sequestration in Mamize Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province, located at 28 north latitude.
Sun Shan, from the center, told the Xinhua News Agency that pandas in that area are scattered. Based on figures from the third panda census, there are 120 pandas in the area.
"It's the most southern area for panda habitat, and it is vulnerable to climate change," Sun said, adding that the habitat for wild pandas has shrunk due to years of deforestation in the area.
She said 2,000 mu of forest for 20 corridors are needed to protect wild pandas. The 1,000-mu forest of carbon sequestration will absorb 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide over the next 30 years, which equals to emission from 7,500 cars in a year.
"Protecting pandas is not about protecting the pandas kept in the cages of the zoos. It is more about those in the wild area and
Former zoo veterinarian charged with molest
A former senior veterinarian at the Singapore Zoological Gardens has been charged with four counts of molest.
Fifty-two year-old Oh Soon Hock allegedly outraged the modesty of a 21-year-old ex-colleague at their former workplace between January and March last year.
Oh was known to combine both Western veterinary practices and Chinese traditional medicine when treating animals at the zoo. Once, he even used acupuncture to treat a lame elephant.
Oh, who looked visibly worried as he appeared
University of York in educational link-up with Flamingo Land zoo
A PARTNERSHIP between the University of York and Flamingo Land, near Malton, is helping to enhance conservation education in the region.
The Knowledge Transfer Partnership draws on expertise in the university’s environment department to promote scientific excellence in the education system at Flamingo Land.
The scheme will enhance conservation education by modernising the range of programmes, and incorporating scientific theory as well as aspects of the National Curriculum. A new research associate will undertake a range of marketing activities and develop educational events, building on the park’s recently-attained “Learning Outside The Classroom” Quality Badge.
This role will also further
Breeding trouble at zoo leaves vets brooding
It could be their home away from home. But for some exotic avian residents of the Mysore Zoo, there’s a catch when it comes to hatching.
The ostrich, the emu, the peahen and a few pheasants at the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Garden have been laying less and infertile eggs in the past two years, leaving the vets “brooding.”
The only female ostrich here’s too young to lay eggs. There are two male and another female bird which are around three years old. This is not the right age for breeding either, say zookeepers.
But all hope is not lost yet. An ostrich normally lives up to 17-18 years. And there’s always the next breeding season. “We expect fertile eggs in the coming season,” said the zookeeper.
As for emus, there are eight - three males and five females. Since they are large birds, they were recently moved in to a spacious new enclosure. But the giant avians chickened out. No eggs, no chicks.
“Although emus here are mature enough to lay fertile eggs, their relocation seems to be a hindrance. The vets even tried incubation, but in vain. It has been two years since they laid fertile eggs,” adds the zookeeper. Their life span is seven -eight years.
And the zoo’s peahen and peacock don’t see eye to eye. “The females are not ‘co-operating’ with the males. There are a total of 25 peafowls in the zoo and in the neighbouring Karanji Lake. The authorities are trying to change the grouping among white peafowls to encourage mating and successful breeding.”
The pheasants are old. There is only one Reeves pheasant; one male green and Monal pheasant and only females in the other varieties. The zoo plans to bring in mates through an ‘animal exchange programme’.
According to a health advisory committee which visited the zoo in August last, the breeding problems among the birds could be the lack
Seized lion cubs returned to owner
Under the law confiscated animals are to be given back when medical costs are repaid
The UAE animal welfare officials returned two lion cubs to the same Egyptian owner they charged with animal mistreatment.
The travelling circus which brought the animals to the UAE has now taken them to Bahrain while it is believed the owner has returned to Egypt, a ministry of environment and water official said.
For Dh35,000 each, Mamdouh Al Helw, an Egyptian lion trainer in his 50s offered the cubs for sale to Gulf News in an undercover investigation into the illegal animal and luxury pet trade in the UAE in March, this year.
Posing as potential buyers, Gulf News obtained access to the cubs and was taken to a location between Dhaid and Ras Al Khaimah where four adult lions and one tiger were also caged, and two elephants were tied up.
The cubs, both male, were lame from a bad diet and poor living conditions. They had to receive injections
Black rhino celebrates 40th birthday at Port Lympne
A critically endangered black rhino believed to be the oldest in the UK has celebrated her 40th birthday in Kent.
To mark the event, keepers at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park treated Rukwa to a rhino-friendly birthday cake.
Born in 1970, Rukwa has five children and ten grandchildren, two of whom have been returned to protected areas of the wild in Africa by the park.
Head rhino keeper, Paul Beer, said she had played a major role in helping to secure the future of black rhino.
"She is starting to show her age a bit now, her eyesight is going slightly, but she is still full of beans and we hope that she will celebrate many more birthdays to come," he said.
Her birthday cake was made
75 tigers died in zoos in last three years
Zoos do not seem to be safe for the royal Bengal tigers with infighting, disease and old age taking the toll on at least 75 big cats in zoological parks across the country in the last three years.
The highest number of deaths in captivity - 28- took place during 2009-10, while in the previous two years the figure stood at 25 and 22 respectively.
Though the data for this year is not available, the situation does not seem to be very encouraging given that as many as seven felines have died last month in Bannerghatta zoo in Karnataka, two due to old age while rest due to infection of salmonella bacteria reportedly after consuming stale meat.
The rest of the infected tigers, who are showing recovery, are being kept in strict observation and isolation in the Zoo, which has to its credit the highest number of big cats - 36- in captivity among the country's 54 zoological parks housing tigers.
Besides the tigers, two lions, a nilgai (blue bull) and a sloth bear also died in the park recently.
In all, there are 275 tigers housed in 54 zoological parks with Bannerghatta Zoological Park topping the list followed by Nandkanan Biological Park (16) in Orissa and Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (14) in Andhra Pradesh.
"Deaths due to old age is a natural process in any zoo or for that matter in the wild. But infighting and diseases are certainly a cause of concern. Zoo managers are i
Saving the birds
While many lamas stay within the confines of their temples to study Buddhism or pursue spiritual enlightenment, 40-year-old Tashi Sange has turned his attention to ecological protection and the plight of one extremely rare local bird.
Documentary Bird Whisperer from Shanshui Conservation Center's (SCC) Geng Dong, reveals the very interesting life of a man who has dedicated himself to saving the lives of Qinghai's wildlife.
A kanbu (top scholar) in Tibetan Buddhism, Sange is the founder and director of Nianbaoyuze Conservation Association, recording changes in the local Qinghai environment and protecting ecological systems.
Geng spent three weeks living with Sange after meeting him two years ago. "I was quite moved when I heard his story. He spends nine months a year traveling and observing birds," Geng told the Global Times. "Local people call him the lama of birds."
Sange's hometown is a small village beside a lake under Nianbaoyuze
Putin offers Russia's tigers to revive species
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has offered to share his country's growing tiger population with other countries to help save the big wild cat from extinction.
“Tiger families from Russia could start the process of reviving tiger populations where they have completely disappeared, in such countries as Kazakhstan and Iran,” said Mr. Putin, addressing the “Tiger Summit” in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.
Stressing the importance of saving the tiger, Mr. Putin said: “The great humanist Mahatma Gandhi once said: ‘A country that is good for the tiger is good for everybody. This is very sharp and deep thought.”
He recalled his country's successes in restoring the tiger population. “Over the past 60 years the number of Amur tigers, whose habitat is almost exclusively in Russia, has increased more than 10 times over and today amounts to about 500,” whereas across the world the tiger
Recipe to save the world's tigers
World leaders seeking to save tigers from extinction at the International Tiger Conservation Forum in St Petersburg, Russia, this week should give them more prey to hunt.
Chris Carbone of the Institute of Zoology in London pulled together population data for 11 carnivores and examined how they were affected by changes in numbers of their prey. Fewer prey always meant fewer predators, but for large carnivores the effect was five times as great.
"For large predators, it's more important to protect their prey," agrees Guillaume Chapron of the Grimsö Wildlife Research Station in Sweden. Ecologist Nick Isaac at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Wallingford, UK, adds that we need to know whether a lack of food is as big a threat as poaching.
In St Petersburg, money rather than food
Island orangs descend from small group
Bornean apes went through a genetic bottleneck during ancient glaciation
Orangutans on the island of Borneo descend from a relatively small number of ancestors who apparently squeezed through a rough patch about 176,000 years ago, according to the broadest genetic analysis to date of their species.
The genetic data suggest an ancient population bottleneck , says anthropological geneticist Natasha Arora of the University of Zurich, in which animal numbers shrink but eventually expand again when conditions improve.
A serious chill gripped the planet roughly 190,000 to 130,000 years ago, Arora and her colleagues point out in a paper posted online November 22 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Borneo itself wasn’t iced over, but rain forests where orangutans live might have shrunk during this time, constraining the orangutan population within it. Such work, she says, “is important to
World leaders meet at tiger summit in Russia, pledge protection and cooperation
For three days, forestry officials from Nepal and Burma, wildlife officials from Laos and Malaysia, and environmentalists from Bangladesh and Thailand roamed the gilt halls of czarist-era palaces here, talking of tigers and searching for the political will to save them.
That resolve was pronounced found Tuesday by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who shared a dais at the International Tiger Forum with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick, among others.
"We have put the tiger on the agenda of the international community," Putin said, adding that when heads of government take the time to meet on behalf of a big cat, they are serious indeed.
At a news conference convened as the delegates set off for a concert where Naomi Campbell and Leonardo DiCaprio were the major attractions, no questions were taken. The final words came from Nepalese Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.
"The world is looking at us to act boldly," he said. "We need less conversation and more conservation."
Tigers are in desperate straits. Their numbers have dwindled to 3,200 from about 100,000 a century ago, and they are expected to become extinct unless there is a concerted
Rhino left with no place to hide
After the first attack, her horn was removed to dissuade poachers. Still, they came back for the stump. Her only refuge is a zoo.
She has a bullet in her face, another in her leg and every reason not to trust humans.
But when Johannesburg Zoo rhino keeper Alice Masombuka calls her name, the wild black rhino flutters her ears delicately and stands alert, gazing in the direction of the voice.
"Hey Phila, Phila! Hey big girl, good girlie. Phila!" says Masombuka, leaning against the fence, her singsong voice floating irresistibly in Johannesburg's damp
German experts to help in animal conservation
Sabah Wildlife Department director Dr Laurentius Ambu hoped that with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW), Leipziq Zoo (LZ) and the state government, it would further enhance the progress to prevent the loss of biodiversity in the state.
He said the department would be working hand-in-hand with the experts from IZW and LZ from Germany to prevent extinction of Asian mammals, particularly rhinos.
“With the expertise from Germany, we hope the reproduction of rhinos could be managed properly,” he told reporters after the signing of the MoU with the IZW and Leipzig Zoo at the Wildlife Department office yesterday.
He added that they had been cooperating with the IZW for several years to conduct research on the conservation needs of the threatened Bornean carnivores.
This initiative has raised international attention through
Rhino shot dead
A rhino has been found shot dead on a game farm in the Thabazimbi area, Limpopo police said on Tuesday.
“People heard gunshots on Monday night and when they went to the place where the sound came from they found the dead rhino... the horn was not cut off,” said spokesman Senior Superintendent Motlafela Mojapelo.
“We think they tried to poach the rhino for it's horn but (the attackers) were scared off.”
He said police were still on the
Zoo tries to find match for proud white tiger
A white tiger rests at Jiufeng Forest Zoo in Wuhan, the capital of Central China's Hubei province, Nov 20, 2010. The 8-year-old animal still has no female mate. Tigers are known to be proud animals. In order to ensure the survival of the species, zookeepers are trying to make a match between the white tiger and a female tiger named Qiqi at the zoo. The average life span of a white tiger is about
Amended Legislation To Facilitate Zoo Polar Bear Centre
The Manitoba government is bringing forward a proposed amendment to its Polar Bear Protection Act that would formally establish the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. It would also create an advisory committee to provide recommendations
Swiss hippo finds refuge in South Africa
Farasi, a male hippo born at Basel Zoo two years ago, has found a new home in South Africa.
Baby pictures published after his birth in 2008 made him a national darling, yet he made headlines again when the zoo announced that he would likely become food for other animals.
As the zoo explained at the time, there simply was not enough space for another male hippo at the zoo. Yet the appalled public called for another solution.
The idea now is that he will become a breeding bull at a nature reservation – something that would not have been possible at the zoo.
According to zoo officials, Farasi is now getting settled in the Tschukudu nature park after last week’s 40-hour journey. Upon arrival he
Battle to save tiger intensifies
FORGET the whales and the koalas.
It is the battle to save the real “world’s most popular animal”, the tiger, which will ultimately determine all future crusades, according to a Sunshine Coast big cat specialist.
Australia Zoo conservation manager Giles Clark claims there is little hope of turning the tide on other critically endangered flora and fauna if the tiger cannot be brought back from the brink.
Mr Clark’s comments came during the current international tiger summit in Russia this week.
Wildlife activists and officials from 13 nations where tigers live in the wild arrived in St Petersburg this week at the
A Lion's Tale
Shameem Faruque narrates the touching story of a lion that was born handicapped, and abandoned by his mother
"Life's greatest adventure is finding your place in the circle of life" thus goes the tagline of the 1994 movie Walt Disney's 'The Lion King'. The movie gifted us the animated but adorable little lion prince Simba, son of King Mufasa and Queen Sarabi, of Pride Rock. And a few years later was born in our Trivandrum city, to be precise, in our very own Trivandrum zoo, a little lion cub, soon to be named Simba. This is his tale.
He was no prince but on the contrary, abandoned by his mother soon after he was born probably because he was born handicapped, a genetic disorder that left him with weak limbs and a malformed vertebrae making him shorter than an actual lion but no less majestic. His journey from a lost little cub, nervously standing at a corner of his dingy and dark century-old cage, to a grown up lion standing his ground in
New Software Training For Vets
A five-day hands-on training on new software for veterinarians and biologists began at B.S. Abdur Rahman University, Vandalur, here on Monday.
K.S.S.V.P. Reddy, Chief Conservator of Forests and Vandalur Zoo Director, said Single Population Analysis Record Keeping System (SPARKS) and Animal Record Keeping System (ARKS) were the new software. SPARKS would deal with single species available in all zoos across the country and the second one would deal with many animals in a particular zoo.
Two resource persons from International Species Information System would conduct the training programme. The new software would help in keeping and maintaining proper record of animals, genetic diversity, demographical profile, stud book data validations, captive population management, editing records groups and reports.
Laurie Bingaman Lackey, Wildlife Biologist from the International
China Has 312 Captive-bred Pandas
China said on Tuesday that the number of human-bred panda has hit 312, due to breakthroughs in breeding and raising methods.
Captive-bred pandas gave birth to 38 panda cubs this year, of which 31 survived, the State Forestry Administration said.
Of the total, 17 pandas were born at Wolong Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, while 12 were born at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, also in Sichuan. The other two were born at Beijing Zoo.
In 2009, captive-bred pandas gave birth
Big cat owner cited on charges of violating County Code
Although Lyon County gave Pete Renzo 45 days to obtain a Restricted Animal Permit to house five Siberian tigers and one black panther at his large cat compound on Cougar Street, the Silver Springs man ultimately has not complied with that request, and was cited by county officials for not having such a permit.
75 percent of Spanish zoos at risk of exotic animals escaping
Lions, bears, monkeys, crocodiles, parrots and iguanas may seem inoffensive at first glance when they're behind bars in zoos. But some exotic species can escape and become invasive species. This has been confirmed by a scientific team that has checked 1,568 animal houses in 63 Spanish zoos. Birds are the animals most likely to escape.
"As zoos house a large number of exotic (non-indigenous) species, they could become an entry channel for these species if they escape, with the potential environmental risk that this implies", María C. Fàbregas, lead author of the study and a researcher at the Ethology and Animal Welfare Unit of the Cardenal-Herrera University (UCH) in Valencia, tells SINC.
The study, which has been published in the journal Biological Invasions, reviewed the security of animal housing against creatures escaping, and 75% of the zoos studied were found to be problematic, while 14% of the animal housing was evaluated as "insecure" against the possibility of escape.
"Species that could pose a danger to public health are usually housed in secure accommodation, but those that could represent a danger to the environment if they escaped (invasive species) tend to be in insecure housing", points out Fàbregas. According to the research, birds are the group most likely to be in insecure housing.
Based on a report produced in 2003 by the Ministry of the Environment, Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM), the research team studied 30 animal houses in each of the 63 zoos. The MARM is currently completing the first inventory of zoos and aquaria in Spain.
"Of the 1,568 animal houses studied, 221 were insecure against the threat of the species housed in them escaping, 167 housed non-indigenous species (potentially dangerous to the environment), and of these 21 housed invasive
Zoo reopens gorilla enclosure
For the first time in many months gorillas may be seen at the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria. Not a sound came from the gorilla enclosure yesterday as spectators anxiously waited for the primates to make their appearance.
The Home for Gentle Giants was officially reopened after its previous tenants had to be returned to their country of origin, Cameroon, because of complications with their permits about three years ago.
The gorillas, Bonsi, Binga, Louie and Asali, are part of an international breeding plan.
According to Dr Albert van Jaarsveld
Six Critically Endangered Birds Hatch At Queens Zoo
The Queens Zoo is proud to announce the hatching of six critically endangered thick-billed parrots this past week. This is a major event for this extremely rare species whose population has declined significantly in recent years.
“Being that thick-billed parrots are extinct in the United States, the arrival of these chicks marks a significant step in the conservation of this animal,” said Dr. Scott Silver, Director of the Queens Zoo.
Seeing these cute and colorful chicks exploring their nests and waiting for their parents to present the next meal of fruit and berries is an extremely rare sight. According to the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, it is estimated that 5,000 to 10,000 thick-bills
Santa Ana Zoo defends elephant rides
The Santa Ana Zoo is one of only a handful in the nation that still offer elephant rides.
For more than 25 years, children - and some grown-ups - have turned out by the hundreds to ride on the back of an 8,000-pound Asian elephant as it trudges around a shaded, circular enclosure near Monkey Row.
Although others have bowed to pressure from animal welfare advocates who oppose once-popular elephant rides as cruel to the animals and dangerous to the public, zookeepers in Santa Ana are rushing to their defense.
Animal activists set their sights on the zoo last year and have intensified their opposition since the ride opened for the season last month. Since Oct. 8, they have picketed outside the city zoo on weekends and urged visitors to boycott the old-school attraction.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals raised the stakes this month by enlisting stage performer Charo, who wrote to Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, asking him to ban the rides. The group contends that the rides are not possible without cruel training methods.
"I have spent my career entertaining people, but there is nothing remotely entertaining about hurting elephants," Charo wrote.
Zoo Director Kent Yamaguchi brushed aside activists' claims that the rides are abusive or unsafe and said they will continue because he is confident the animals are well cared for and that care givers use the strictest safety guidelines and most humane training methods. If there were any evidence of mistreatment, he said, he would end the rides immediately.
Besides, he said, the rides are such an educational
ASSE Stresses the Importance of Zoo Safety
With nearly 300 zoos in the United States and more than 1,000 worldwide, zoos represent a form of entertainment and educational activity that has been around for centuries. From the design of animal habitats to procedures for fall protection, fire plans and more, a zoo safety professional’s work is critical to the success of the park, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) pointed out.
During the past decade, multiple animal escapes have been featured in the news, ranging from the small and seemingly harmless to the much larger and dangerous animals such as tigers. To prevent animal escapes, several important elements of zoo construction and procedures must be in place, ASSE members stressed.
Animal escapes can be prevented through habitat design. U.S. zoos are regulated under the Animal Welfare Act and nonprofit organizations such as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) strive to provide support and guidance for successfully managing zoos to ensure the safety and health of employees, guests and the animals.
“Zoos are unique because zoos have a wide range of issues to consider. Animal health and safety is important, and the health and safety of employees and guests are also very important,” explained Mary Ciesluk, former assistant director of public safety at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Ill. “Animal enclosures are designed very carefully to meet all regulations and ensure that our guests are never endangered during their visit to the zoo. Enclosures are designed to appear as though animals are close to spectators, when in reality, there are fences, moats and many other tactics used to create this visual illusion.”
In May of 2010, Ciesluk saw months of work come to fruition when the Brookfield Zoo opened a new, completely renovated enclosure for its polar bears, grizzly bears, bison, wolves and eagles. The new, 7.5-acre enclosure recreates the North American wilderness to provide animals with realistic habitats. Additionally, this exhibit adheres to Manitoba Standards, the set of regulations for the best possible housing of polar bears in a controlled environment.
ASSE Vice President of Professional Development Trish Ennis, the director of workplace safety for the Denver Zoological Foundation, added: “Challenges to safety professionals working in zoos are directly related to both exhibit design and the age of many zoo facilities. Retrofitting older exhibits
Zoo breeds fried egg-like jellyfish
A Switzerland zoo has successfully bred a type of jellyfish that remarkably resembles a fried egg.
The cotylorhiza tuberculata, or fried egg jellyfish, is relatively common in certain parts of the Mediterranean but has only recently been bred in captivity by staff at Basel Zoo.
The jellyfish require a huge amount of sunlight to survive, making breeding difficult in the zoo's aquarium, the Daily Mail reported.
But dedicated staff managed to recreate the creature's natural habitat, a spokesperson said.
"The young jellyfish are tiny, just a few centimetres, but they take the egg shape right away," the staff member said.
"We keep them away from the lights at first in case they toast."
The species measure
Rare rhino horns seized from auctioneers
THE DEPARTMENT of the Environment has seized a quantity of rare and valuable black rhino horns from the premises of Mealy’s fine art auctioneers.
The horns were listed in a catalogue for a two-day sale of fine and decorative art scheduled to take place next week.
However, following an advertisement in last Saturday’s Irish Times, which featured a photograph of “antique trophy rhinoceros horns”, staff from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) visited Mealy’s galleries at Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny last Monday.
Auctioneer George Gerard Mealy said he was “interviewed under caution” and told that the family firm was committing “an offence”.
Trade in rhino horn is prohibited by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to which Ireland is a signatory.
The Department of the Environment, which is responsible for the NPWS, said that the owner could apply for a certificate which mig
Bid to shift birds from zoo slammedThe Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is considering shifting the birds and reptiles enclosures of Byculla zoo to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Garden, next to Powai Lake. However, the plan has not gone down well with everyone.
According to civic officials, the plan came up after mayor Shraddha Jadhav expressed her desire to set up a bird park in Mumbai along the lines of Jurong Bird Park in Singapore.
Among the dissenting voices is the founder of Young Environmentalists' Programme Trust, Elsie Gabriel, who told TOI: "It is not a good idea to shift caged birds and reptiles from the Byculla zoo to new cages in the Powai garden. This may have been done by the corporation to attract tourists, but is detrimental to the animals."
Byculla zoo director Anil Anjankar said the enclosures, which were a part of the zoo revamp programme, would be shifted to the Powai garden. "Babasaheb Ambedkar Garden is owned by the BMC and is 30 acres in size. We thought there would be more space in Powai to keep birds of different species. We are looking at all kinds of birds - both foreign and Indian," he said. "The Byculla zoo will be used only for mammals. We are planning to send
Read more: Bid to shift birds from zoo slammed - The Times of India
Ducklings a hope for the species
A special clutch of ducklings in Te Anau is the key to repopulating a rare species of ducks in the south.
The ducklings will be released into the wild in Fiordland when they are old enough, in the hope that they will mate with wild whio (blue ducks) to repopulate key areas. The ducks are found only in fast-flowing rivers.
It is the second time the Department of Conservation has taken eggs from the wild and hand-reared them at the Te Anau Wildlife Park.
Department of Conservation biodiversity ranger Andrew Smart said there were eight security sites throughout the country that were focused on replacing the whio species. The long-term goal is to have 50-plus breeding pairs of whio by 2017. The southern sites for whio include Fiordland, Nelson and the West Coast.
With the department taking the eggs it means a pair of whio will continue to breed and hand-rearing
Record visitor numbers at Wildlife Park
THE Wildlife Park in Ballaugh recorded its best ever visitor figures in October.
Figures are up seven and a half percent on the previous best for October and 36 percent on attendance figures for last year.
Nick Pinder, general manager of the Wildlife Park, said: "We're very pleased with the increase in visitor numbers not only for October but the year as a whole which to date is six percent up on last year.
"With the extra attractions we're proposing to put in place this winter we're hopeful that the success enjoyed by the Wildlife Park will continue.
"The park is an important attraction for residents and visitors to our Island alike giving them the chance to see animals up close and providing them with the opportunity to learn about the natural
New black-footed ferret breeding center dedicated at the Phoenix Zoo
The dedication of the recently completed black-footed ferret breeding center on Thursday, November 18, 2010 at the Phoenix Zoo represents the commitment to conservation and tireless efforts of many community partners.
Phoenix Zoo President and CEO Bert Castro noted that, although the zoo had to temporarily decommission its ferret breeding efforts in 2008 when the orangutan exhibit encroached on the original building, he was happy to see the old building demolished in December 2009. Castro said it was an “outdated, inadequate facility that did not represent the world class vision for the Phoenix Zoo and the zoo’s commitment to the conservation of the black-footed ferret.”
After 14 months of planning, design and construction, the new facility is a reality, thanks to the approval of a grant from the Arthur L. “Bud” and Elaine V. Johnson Foundation, which fully funded construction of the facility. David Hammerlag, Trustee for
Troops rebuild Belize zoo
Troops stationed in Belize with the British Army Training Support Unit, BATSUB, have been helping clear up following a hurricane which devastated the country. British Forces News reporter Charlotte Cross reports....
Hurricane Richard struck in late October, causing damage to many houses, bringing down trees and even destroying the war memorial in Belize City. Nobody was injured or killed during the storms, but The Belize Zoo was particularly badly hit. Many of the cages were left damaged by the winds, or hit by falling trees, and are in urgent need of repair. It will take months if not years to restore the zoo to its former glory.
Since the zoo was first built in the 1980s, BATSUB has enjoyed a close relationship with its founder and director Sharon Matola. Servicemen helped her design the zoo by flying her above the site in a helicopter to take pictures from the air. Soldiers used engineering machinery to dig out the giant pond, which is now home to crocodiles, turtles and many species of fish.
So it was only natural that the servicemen and women of BATSUB should rush to Sharon¡¯s aid when the zoo was hit by the hurricane
Siberian Tigers Coming to Korea
Russia has pledged to send three Siberian tigers to Korea next year.
According to a Foreign Ministry official in Seoul on Tuesday, Russian officials who were here last week for the Korea-Russia summit promised to send three tigers sometime next year when the animals are old enough to be transported.
Russia agreed to Seoul's request for two male and one female tiger last year. The animals will be used to help the survival of the endangered species.
A team of Environment Ministry officials and
Summit To Save The Tigers
Did you hear WCBS 880¡äs Pat Farnack speak with Dr. Steven Sanderson, the president and chief executive officer of the Wildlife Conservation Society?
Protecting Tigers (Radio broadcast)
Monarch butterfly, its numbers dwindling, gets new conservation centre in Mexico
Mexico's celebrated winter visitor, the Monarch butterfly, has a new conservation centre aimed at boosting its dwindling numbers.
The black and orange insect has been hit hard by deforestation around its winter nesting grounds in Michoacan state.
Environmentalists say that last winter, only about one-fourth as many butterflies migrated to Mexico from the U.S. and Canada as in the previous year.
President Felipe Calderon said Wednesday that logging is a major threat to the butterflies, which are a big tourist draw and a boon for the local economy.
He spoke at a ceremony inaugurating the centre
Elephant advocates allege mistreatment at conservation center
The U.S. Department of Agriculture received a complaint yesterday from animal activists claiming that two elephants that lived at the Philadelphia Zoo are being mistreated at a conservation center in central Pennsylvania.
A spokesman for the USDA said the agency would investigate the complaint, filed by Friends of Philly Zoo Elephants.
But, according to a spokeswoman for the Pittsburgh Zoo, which runs the International Conservation Center in Somerset County, the USDA's elephant specialist visited the conservation center on Oct. 1 and reported no problems.
Connie George, spokeswoman for the Pittsburgh Zoo, called the activists' complaint "just ludicrous."
Philadelphia Zoo communications manager Dana Lombardo said only that the zoo had confidence in the International Conservation Center and that the group making the allegations "is not qualified to evaluate their care or health."
The activist group said Kallie and Bette, both 28-year-old African elephants, spent two months last winter in a cement barn, rather than being allowed to roam the center's 724 acres.
In a video posted on YouTube, Dayton Baker, the conservation center's facility manager, says the animals were inside for two straight months last winter because of the weather. "We couldn't risk them going out and slipping on the ice," he said. "We had so much ice, it was a problem."
The group said that two of its members were told that the elephants were confined in pens of 1 to 3 acres since their arrival July 8, 2009, and that "there are no plans to allow them access to any of the rest of the property."
The elephants also are restricted free access to water for drinking or bathing and deprived of enrichment items, such as tires and balls to toss around, the activist group said it had been told during an event sponsored by the Salvation Army.
Kallie and Bette were moved to the conservation center because
Now, water contamination haunts zoo
After the rising levels of air pollution it is water contamination that has come to haunt the Nehru Zoological Park in the city. According to sources, the partially-treated water from the nearby Mir Alam Tank that overflows into the zoo and accumulates in the small lakes on its premises, has led to a rise in the pollution levels of these water bodies. There are about three such small water bodies in the Hyderabad zoo.
In fact, during summer this year, the contamination even led to the death of some fish in these lakes, said senior zoo officials. They claimed that the impure water also posed a threat to the lives of the many migratory birds that take shelter at the Hyderabad zoo every year. "The zoo animals are safe as this water is not fed to them. But the health of fish and birds are definitely at risk," the official said. He added that the water is also added for gardening purposes inside the zoo premises.
While the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority ( HMDA) did install a sewage-treatment plant (STP) at the Mir Alam Tank in 2007 to check this problem, it has not
Conservation, not conversation
Poachers are hunting down tigers across Asia and Russia for their skin, bones, and even private parts to sell on the lucrative wildlife black market. With populations dwindling, the world¡¯s remaining 3200 wild tigers could use some help - and fast. And certainly, it looks like people from around the world are uniting to save the tiger - by declaring their intention, over and over.
Next week, 400 participants from around the world will gather in Russia for the seventh meeting in two years on how to save the tiger ¡ª if they raise a tonne of money.
One could argue that next week¡¯s meeting is not your typical gathering of
S'pore-India ink zoo tie-up
WILDLIFE Reserves Singapore (WRS) and the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) of India have signed a three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU).
Under the MoU, WRS will facilitate a two-week attachment on zoo management for senior management from selected Indian zoos annually, while CZA will host WRS staff in specialised workshops.
WRS is keen to learn how to breed the Indian rhinoceros and participate in conservation programmes for Asian lions. WRS also
A horny headache
The rhinoceros is under threat yet again
CONTRARY to widespread belief in China and South-East Asia, the rhinoceros horn has no proven medicinal or aphrodisiac qualities. Its effect, some scientists say, is the same as chewing your fingernails. It is made of the same stuff, agglutinated hair. Yet rhino horn is currently worth more than gold, selling for up to $60,000 a kilo. That is why a beast that has been on earth for some 60m years is fighting for its existence.
So far this year, at least 260 South African rhinos have been illegally killed, a rate of nearly one a day and well over double last year¡¯s total. Almost all were shot for their horns; these days, few are taken for bush meat. South Africa is home to more than 90% of the world¡¯s white rhinos (the adjective is a corruption of the Dutch word wijde, meaning wide, a reference to the species¡¯s broad mouth) and around
Chefs, Conservationists Join Forces Against Shark Fin Soup
In a case of PR gone horribly wrong, sharks have held onto a fearsome reputation in popular media for decades. Ever since the movie Jaws hit Hollywood, the public has been more concerned over sharks eating people rather than people eating sharks. This attitude is slowly starting to change, but will it be too late too save sharks from extinction at the hands of unsustainable fishing practices?
Today, San Francisco conservation groups are standing up to the alarming disappearance of sharks at the hands of "shark finners" who kills an estimated 100 million sharks each year. Shark finning is the harvesting of adult dorsal and pectoral fins and the discarding of the less valuable shark carcass. The fins are usually cut off the live shark, with the still living body thrown overboard to perish at the bottom of the ocean. With dried shark fin prices reaching upwards of $500 per pound in San Francisco shops, harvesting has increased beyond sustainable levels and sales of fins continue to go unregulated by legislature.
The harvested fins from commercial fleets usually end up served as a key ingredient in traditional Chinese banquets. Since the Ming dynasty, shark fin soup has been an important cultural and culinary tradition in communities celebrating special events. According to an article in the New York Times, Emperors loved shark fin soup because "it was rare, tasty and difficult to prepare." Currently, the expensive soup is served by hosts determined to show honor and appreciation for their guests. Many consumers of the traditional dish argue that if you do not provide shark fin soup at special functions, the host will lose face and potentially suffer disgrace.
Served as a symbol of prosperity and health, despite that fact that today most shark fins contain dangerous levels of mercury, the subject of serving shark fin soup is an understandably culturally sensitive topic for consumers. This presents a delicate struggle for opponents who hope that public education will turn the tides against the unsustainable practice of shark finning.
Peter Knights, executive director of WildAid (based in San Francisco), told the Times in an interview that "what's needed, is a huge increase in consumer awareness." To accomplish that goal, local organizations like Aquarium of the Bay, Sea Stewards, and WildAid have enlisted the support of public figures--including nationally syndicated cartoonist Jim Toomey (of Sherman's Lagoon) and action star Jackie Chan--to try to alter public attitudes towards an often misunderstood and endangered predator.
Aquarium of the Bay's Director of Husbandry Christina Slager explains that "people have a perception of sharks as vicious killers and blood thirsty. Of course, the irony is sharks are endangered from humans, humans aren't in danger from sharks. Most sharks are shy and secretive. Very few of the many species would even remotely consider eating a human being. So it's really bad press and it's unfortunate."
Through outreach and special exhibits, Slager says she hopes to educate the public about the beauty and importance of sharks in both a global and local context.
"I think it would be easier to rally people if they were cutting fins off dolphins because of that whole charismatic
Chhattisgarh zoo closed to mourn death of tigress
A zoo in Chhattisgarh was closed Friday to mourn the death of one of the world's oldest tigresses.
The tigress died Thursday at the age of a little over 22 years and 10 months at the government-run Nandan Van zoo that is based on the outskirts of state capital Raipur.
'Shankari was ailing for a few days and had enjoyed a lot of affection of visitors and even residents of nearby villagers,' Rakesh Chaturvedi, conservator of forests (wildlife), told IANS.
'The local people are even demanding a memorial to commemorate Shankari who was one of the oldest tigresses in the world,' he added.
A few villagers had offered their land near the zoo to the forest department for construction of the memorial, he said.
R.S. Mishra, a zoo official, said over 1,500 people
Tiger den invader heads for mental test
The man who allegedly searched for two lion cubs in the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria, apparently on instruction from his ancestors, will be examined by a district surgeon to determine his mental condition.
Tshepo Phage, 27, who almost ended up in the tigers’ enclosure at the zoo when he mistook the striped cats for lions, appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on a charge of trespassing.
He was arrested on Wednesday after he was coaxed off the narrow wall between the tigers and lions’ enclosures.
Magistrate Len Muller yesterday had difficulty stifling a snigger when the State informed him about the man’s alleged transgression.
The prosecutor requested a postponement for seven days for further investigation, which included a visit to the district surgeon.
USDA inspects Topeka Zoo
The Topeka Zoo announced Thursday it would hold a news conference Friday to reveal three findings made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture during a routine inspection of the zoo conducted Tuesday and Wednesday.
The conference will be at 10 a.m. at the zoo in Gage Park, said city spokesman David Bevens.
This week's inspection was the zoo's first since the USDA cited it in connection with four noncompliance issues resulting from a routine inspection made in July.
The July inspection was the first during the tenure of Brendan Wiley, who became zoo director May 24. The USDA cited the zoo for eight issues during its last previous inspection, in April.
The USDA is the federal agency responsible for enforcing the
Topeka Zoo in hot water again with United States Department of Agriculture
Returning to world class is going to take a lot of work. But that's the goal for Topeka Zoo officials after being scrutinized again by the United States Department of Agriculture. Zoo Director Brendon Wiley says, "Because of our past, we are inspected differently than other zoos."
The USDA found three problems during their surprise inspection of the Zoo. Wiley says two of the problems they knew about, but it was the third that bothered him. He says, "We want to be an organization that knows our institutes well enough, knows our job well enough, that we identify the problems and not some outside agency."
That agency cited the Zoo for a sloth who went missing for a week. Wiley says they knew the sloth was in the exhibit because he was still eating, but they didn't want to disrupt the other animals by sending a team in to find him. Wiley says the USDA was comfortable with that decision, but a missing animal is still a problem.
Also, the USDA did not approve of some fencing in parts of the Zoo. Wiley says it will cost about $300,000 to replace. Wiley says, "If you're going to replace a fence like this,
Zoo animals for dinner - Why not?
Recent turkey and ham recalls casting a shadow over Thanksgiving plans? Not to fear, armed with a handy how-to guide for preparing everything from black bear to yak meat, your family will be in for a special treat this holiday season.
Just as a recent listeria contamination scare resulting in a massive recall of turkey and ham products leaves North Americans rethinking their Thanksgiving table centerpieces, Chef Dave Arnold blogs about some more, er, exotic alternatives.
In a Nov. 8 blog entry written for Popular Science magazine's Web site, Arnold, who is the director of culinary technology at the International Culinary Center's French Culinary Institute, provides tips for sourcing, prepping and enjoying all sorts of unconventional meat.
According to Arnold, those who prefer tougher meat should enjoy wild game even more than standard meat and poultry, which he says are generally butchered young to ensure tenderness, and lack the flavor of their full-grown counterparts.
Arnold's tastes are nothing new - during the Middle Ages, bear meat consumption was symbolic, and bear paws are still considered a delicacy in Cantonese cuisine. Beaver meat has been eaten by indigenous North American populations for generations.
Upscale Chicago eatery Moto served a road kill raccoon dish back in 2008. (see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8i3F4MleHaE), and this past June an Arizona restaurant owner caused a public uproar when he put lion burgers on his menu.
Exotic meats are generally avoided due to concerns over bacterial contamination and animal cruelty. However
Stem cells will hopefully change a leopard's knee, not its spots
WHEN you are born to leap up rock faces that are almost vertical, an arthritic knee can be more of a pain than usual.
That's why one of Sydney's snow leopards, Kamala, has become the first big cat and first zoo animal in the world to undergo a new stem-cell therapy aimed at preventing further degeneration in her joint.
Her extremely long, thick, furry tail hung down from the operating table at the Taronga Zoo Wildlife Hospital, as the surgeon, Tony Black, collected a wad of fat from her belly.
After it had been processed in the hospital lab, the fat, which contains large numbers of stem cells, was injected back into her right hind knee joint.
A hospital veterinarian, Kimberly Vinette Herrin, said it was decided to try this new approach after traditional treatments for the five-year-old snow leopard
Zoo owners speak out against student protest
The Tregembo Zoo has been a family business for decades, but have recently been at the center of public criticism.
SETA, which is the student form of PETA protested against the zoo downtown around a month ago. They claimed the zoo provided inhumane living conditions for large animals. They dressed in animal costumes from head to toe, one student even sat inside an animal cage, to get their message across.
The Tregembo family says, however, they dedicate their lives to the animals. Many of the animals they take in are rescues or already born in captivity. They also explain that much of the animal's living space can't be seen by visitors, because it is behind the viewing area of the cage.
"There is no teasing or harm done to the animals," said Sherry Tregembo. "The FDSA comes out here a few times a year to inspect the animals and the park, just like they do at the North Carolina
NC zoo, aquarium charity ranked best in nation
The nation’s largest and most trusted evaluator of charities recently cited the North Carolina Aquarium Society as the top zoo and aquarium charity in their annual Holiday Giving Guide.
Charity Navigator is a New Jersey-based nonprofit watch-group that compiles financial data from over 5,500 charities across the U.S. and rates the efficiency and effectiveness of each organization. The results are posted on their website www.charitynavigator.org, providing prospective donors with inside information on the charities they might choose to support.
Whether it’s a natural disaster in a far-off land or a hometown charity in need, Americans are a generous people and quick to support worthy causes. One thing donors expect is accountability, along with an assurance their contribution will be used for the intended purpose in a responsible manner. Savvy donors have learned they can turn to Charity Navigator to evaluate an organization’s performance before making a donation.
This marks the third year in a row the Aquarium Society has received a four-star rating from the group, the highest possible ranking.
“Donors are demanding accountability, transparency and quantifiable results from the charities they choose to support with their hard-earned dollars” wrote Ken Berger, Charity Navigator’s president and chief executive, in the announcement letter. “This ‘exceptional’
Zoo offers free admission for help with cleaning up
The New York State Zoo at Thompson Park will offer free admission to anyone who stops by to do a little yard work.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, the zoo will hold a fall cleanup. Those who come with a rake in hand and give 30 minutes of work will be permitted to visit the zoo for the rest of the day.
For more information, call
Born to be Wild 3D
Farms to harvest rare animal parts 'are not the answer'
Farming rare animal species will not halt the illegal trade in animal parts, a conservation group has warned.
Care for the Wild says the fact that the animals are worth more dead than alive is hampering efforts to save species such as tigers and rhinos.
They add that selling parts from captive-bred creatures would not result in a halt of illegally traded animal parts and would instead fuel demand.
A kilo of powdered rhino horn can fetch £22,000 on the black market.
Mark Jones, programmes director of Care for the Wild International, said recent media reports suggested that the South African government was considering "a feasibility study on some kind of farming or ranching of rhinos for their horns".
"This flagged up that these sort of farming initiatives are still being considered at quite high levels," he explained.
"Rhinos are in quite a lot of trouble at the moment, with the value of their horns going through the roof, especially in Vietnam."
Media coverage in 2009 reported that a member of the Vietnamese government said he took rhino horn and his cancer went into remission, prompting a growth in the demand for the illegal product.
"The sums that are being paid for powdered rhino horn are just astronomical."
There are two species of rhino found in Africa. While the white rhino (Ceratotherium simum) has enjoyed a surge in numbers in recent years, taking the population to about 17,500, it is a very different story for the northern sub-species Ceratotherium simum cottoni.
It is listed as Critically Endangered, and conservationists have warned that it is on the "brink of extinction" with four
OTC students make tiger crate for zoo
Until this semester, Jim Bridwell and his welding students at Ozarks Technical Community College had never seen, much less built, a tiger crate.
But when Dickerson Park Zoo officials recently asked if Bridwell and his students would be interested in the construction project, Bridwell said yes.
"We didn't know anything about tiger crates. We just knew they had to be strong," Bridwell said.
About a dozen welding students made a custom 150-pound aluminum crate, 79.5 inches long, 29.5 inches wide and 40 inches tall, that is being used to securely haul large felines to and from the zoo.
Don Tillman, the zoo's development director, contacted OTC about building the crate.
"We said yes. We met with a zoo engineer and went to work," Bridwell said.
Crocker Consulting Engineers of Springfield designed the crate according to zoo specifications. The drawings
The Detroit Zoo is the first zoo in the country to be certified "StormReady"
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) has given the Detroit Zoo their seal of approval.
“The safety of our animals, guests and staff is our highest priority and we have a responsibility to be top notch at keeping the Zoo safe in the event of severe weather. This certification is validation that we are,” said Detroit Zoological Society Executive Director Ron Kagan.
The nationwide StormReady preparedness program leads communities, universities and other venues in developing plans to handle local severe weather and flooding threats.
The program is voluntary and provides advice from a partnership between the local NWS weather forecast office and state and
Blackpool Tower Aquarium to be replaced by dungeon
Blackpool is losing one of its oldest attractions to make way for a Lancashire version of the London Dungeon.
The Tower Aquarium is being revamped as part of new operators Merlin Entertainments' £10m re-development plans.
Work to move the 200 fish out of the aquarium starts on Sunday.
Most will be re-located to the nearby Sea Life Centre, which is owned by Merlin.
The rest of the fish will be
Elephant dung will be used to heat conservation center
Elephant manure at the International Conservation Center in Fairhope Township will help fuel a biomass furnace.
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium has received a $267,000 clean energy grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development and $375,000 from the Richard King Mellon Foundation for a biomass alternative energy project.
“Both grants will be used for the development and installation of a biomass furnace at the ICC that will run on elephant manure and switch grass,” zoo Chief Operating Officer Frank Cartieri said. “We want to thank state Rep. Pete Daley, whose support of the zoo and the ICC has made this all possible.”
Daley, D-Fayette/Washington, said in a press release that he was honored to work closely with the zoo.
“They have a proven track record when it comes to conservation,” he said. “This grant will not only showcase alternative energy and the use of biofuels, but it will provide more data to other zoos to help them evaluate the feasibility of installing similar units."
Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Austin Burke announced the clean energy grant as part of nearly $7.9 million in grants and loans approved by Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Financing Authority. The authority awarded grants and loans for projects in 12 counties.
To fuel the furnace, the ICC will recycle about 300 to 375 pounds of manure a day and will supplement it with switch grass, also grown at the ICC.
“Before we committed to the biomass furnace though, we wanted to make sure that it would work efficiently for us,” Cartieri said. “We took about 1,500 pounds of elephant manure for a test burn at a biomass furnace manufacturing company and
Calgary Zoo can be 'a better place,' believes new animal boss
Director wants to restore reputation
A s a teenager, Jake Veasey sold hotdogs at the London Zoo simply because he wanted to be close to animals.
He's come a long way since then.
Those humble beginnings were followed by 10 years in academia, studying zoology and earning a PhD. The last decade, Veasey has directed conservation at the Woburn Safari Park in England, and advised the U.K. government on zoo standards.
Now, the 39-year-old is the newest director of animal management, conservation and research at the Calgary Zoo, bringing with him a slew of experience and an attitude that puts animal welfare before all else.
He also walks into the aftermath of a tough number of years for the zoo, which has volleyed back and forth between a series of bizarre animal deaths and incidents, and is rebounding from a critical review by two national zoological bodies.
Veasey says his goal is simple: make the Calgary Zoo world-class at a time when wild animal populations are threatened around globe.
In his mind, world-class means every animal at the zoo has a purpose beyond entertaining the public -- that conservation and welfare not only come first, but also push beyond best practices.
"I have come here with a great deal of optimism about trying to make the Calgary Zoo a better place," he says in an interview. "Every breath I take and every decision I make is going to be around that."
He warns, however, change will take
80-year-old shark sent to breeding program
After about 19 years at the park, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom's only sawfish, which is believed to be about 80 years old, has been shipped to New Orleans for a breeding program, officials said.
Buzz's species is believed to have a life span of more than 200 years, "so he's not the old man we thought he was," park Animal Care Director Michael Muraco said.
Buzz lived among five or six shark species at the park's Shark Experience until late Friday when he headed for his new home, Curator of Fish John Shultz said.
"We all feel this is good for Buzz and good for the species, which is endangered," Shultz said.
Muraco said the process that led to Buzz's departure started during a regular "blue sky" meeting where ideas are discussed.
"This led to a conversation with the Autobahn Aquarium in New Orleans, and they mentioned there are only a handful of these animals left in United States and that they're at risk in the wild and they asked how we'd feel about a cooperative breeding program," Muraco said.
This left park officials with "a moral dilemma," he said.
Discovery Kingdom lacks the space for a breeding
Hundreds of fish die at National Marine Aquarium after power cut
HUNDREDS of fish have died at the National Marine Aquarium after a power cut caused a tank to drain.
A spokesman for the NMA said storms during Tuesday night led to multiple power failures which knocked out the life support and back up systems for the Atlantic Reef tank.
Water started to drain out of the tank at approximately 10pm. As the NMA has no night shift, the tank was nearly empty when the aquarist team arrived just before 8am on Wednesday morning.
The spokesman said: “Staff at the aquarium worked tirelessly to minimise the impact but unfortunately losses have occurred.”
Most of the fish in the tank died – a total of more than 200 – with a bout 30 survivors, some of them in poor health.
Conger eels, turbot, bass, pollock, grey mullet, horse mackerel and wrasse were among the all-native species lost.
The spokesman said: “The aquarist team are clearly very upset by the incident.
“A firm favourite, Caesar the Stone Bass, was amongst the fish that were lost.
“Although this is a tragic incident, the aquarium is moving forward with plans to refurbish and re theme the exhibit.
“The result of this unfortunate series of events
'Zoo revamp spells doom for trees'
Experts who have mapped the bio-diversity of the city’s only zoo have concluded that the civic body’s current makeover plan for it will mean doom for its existing green cover. A five-month study conducted by a committee of six taxonomists, under the guidance of botanist Dr Marselin Almeida, have shown that the
53-acre compound of the Byculla zoo has 3,213 trees belonging to 57 families and 285 species.
Of these, 30 species of trees are listed as rare and endangered under different levels of vulnerability, in the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list.
Also, 87 species have been tagged as locally rare, while 39 have been termed ‘very rare’ in list.
Litsea Fernandesii Almeida, a variety of tree that was found in quarries in Malad, was found during the survey. It is among five species that are not found anywhere else in the city.
The civic makeover plan envisions replicating the animals’ natural habitats and bringing animals from Australia, South Africa and other Asian countries to the zoo.
It has been stuck with the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee for more than two years.
The team used a global positioning system to superimpose the various trees within the premise on the current makeover plan to see how many trees fall within the enclosure.
“We found that at least 1,000 trees, which is one third of the total, will fall inside the enclosures. This will make these trees out of reach for the public,” said Almeida.
For the first time, a census of the herbs and scrubs was also conducted and it found that there were 843 species of them in the zoo.
“We have sent the report of members of the Central Zoo Authorit
Zoo hullabaloo: All motives are suspect
Louis Garibaldi was the director of New Bedford's Buttonwood Park Zoo until 2007. Today, he is the head of the Friends of Buttonwood Park.
Most of the time, that wouldn't even raise an eyebrow. The zoo abides already within the park's boundaries, and some of the Friends also give their time to the zoo.
But then came the zoo's proposed 4-acre expansion, an emotional response from members of the Friends who say that it would ruin the character of the park, and the strong backlash from those who favor the expansion.
And so Garibaldi — at least in the eyes of some of those who want to see the zoo grow, bring in tigers and snow monkeys and another elephant — is one whose motives might seem suspect.
Is his the honest opposition of the head of a non-profit group charged with protecting the vision of the 19th century visionaries who designed and built Buttonwood Park, or is it the jealousy of a former employee who doesn't like the new direction of the zoo?
And the Friends themselves, who only occasionally dip their toes into the political currents that meander through everything that happens in New Bedford, for the moment have become, in the eyes of some zoo expansion supporters anyway, a bunch of meddlers who think the park is theirs and not everyone else's.
That is the way of people in the Decade of the Knowing Sneer, when nobody's motives or actions — from the pope's to the president's to the news media's — are considered pure.
In fact, Garibaldi — who with two other mainstays of the Friends of Buttonwood Park visited The Standard-Times editorial board last week to talk about why they oppose the current master plan for the zoo's $12 million to $15 million expansion — had his doubts about the newspaper's intentions.
He twice pointed out that in The Standard-Times coverage of last weekend's tours through the section of Buttonwood Park that would have to be taken for the zoo's expansion, our reporter did not mention that the vast majority of questions being asked of current zoo Director William Langbauer suggested deep skepticism to the expansion and to the process surrounding it.
Although the newspaper's editorial board
Zoo giraffe killed in netting
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanial Garden officials were still waiting Sunday to learn how “everyone’s favorite” giraffe died in a freak accident the day before.
When it was time to turn the zoo’s three giraffes in for the night, Akilah was discovered dead about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, sitting in the back of the outdoor exhibit. She had been fine just 90 minutes before when the giraffes were fed hay.
The 3-year-old female Massai giraffe was spotted in a normal sitting
PETA tries to halt elephant rides at Santa Ana Zoo
The activity is banned at many facilities, but the director in Orange County supports the practice.
The Santa Ana Zoo is one of only a handful in the nation that still offer elephant rides.
For more than 25 years, children — and some grown-ups — have turned out by the hundreds to ride on the back of an 8,000-pound Asian elephant as it trudges around a shaded, circular enclosure near Monkey Row.?
Although others have bowed to pressure from animal welfare advocates who oppose once-popular elephant rides as cruel to the animals and dangerous to the public, zookeepers in Santa Ana are rushing to their defense.
Animal activists set their sights on the zoo last year and have intensified their opposition since the ride opened for the season last month. Since
Police fail to file charge sheet in zoo death cases
Despite substantial evidence on hand, the Sitabuldi police have failed to file a charge sheet against anyone for secretly burying a deer and an emu that died in August 2010 due to alleged negligence at the Maharajbagh Zoo. The zoo is run by the Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV).
It has been over three months now since an FIR was registered against associate dean of College of Agriculture, Nagpur, Vandan Mohod and in charge of the Maharajbagh Zoo Dr Abhijeet Motghare, who is presently working as the zoo vet. Both have been granted regular bail by the court.
Mohod was stripped of the zoo controller's charge and Dr Motghare was also removed as zoo in charge after the shocking incident. Both are facing charges of violating Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Recognition of Zoo Rules and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 for burying the exotic bird emu and a deer without conducting post mortem.
The duo has also been charged with negligence leading to the death of two deer while relocating the herbivores to Navegaon National Park on August 13, 2010. No transit pass, which is mandatory to shift Scheduled animals, had been obtained from the forest department.
Sitabuldi police inspector PB Thombre had registered an FIR on August 14 against the duo, on a complaint filed by city chief of People For Animals (PFA) Karishma
Dubai Zoo packed during Eid holidays
THE Dubai Zoo has received a record number of 28,299 visitors during the Eid Al Adha holidays, according to the Dubai Municipality (DM).
Moreover, nearly Dhs56,598 was collected through ticket sales during the five days of the holidays - also breaking previous years’ records, said a DM statement.
Dr Reza Khan, specialist at the zoo section of DM, said that the figures show a marked increase compared to previous years.
“We had 5,788 more visitors than last year and the income also rose by Dhs11,576 this year. During 2009, we collected Dhs45,022 through 22,511 visitors. In 2008, we collected Dhs39,646 from 19,823 visitors,” he added.
According to him, a record number of visitors thronged the zoo on the third day of Eid.
“On this day, about 9,043 visitors entered the
Penguin gets prosthetic beak
An injured penguin has received a prosthetic beak. It is recovering in a Rio de Janeiro zoo after he was found stranded on a nearby beach.
The zoo's veterinarian said the acrylic replacement will help the five-month-old Magellan penguin named Tungo to catch fish on his own.
About one month ago, the bird was found with a shattered bill which was damaged by a boat propeller.
He has only been able to eat with the help of caretakers since the accident. He will soon be ready to travel to a breeding centre in California along with other rescued penguins of this endangered species.
The prosthesis, made from the same material used to restore human bones, was shaped from the broken piece of the original beak that was found with the animal.
Veterinarian Marco Janackovic, who performed the surgery on Tungo, said he had to be extra careful not to cover the penguin's nostrils.
"My biggest concern was not covering his nostrils during the surgery with the resin material to
Komodo dragon’s evolutionary tale turned on its head by Canadians
A Canadian-led team of researchers that discovered the 33-million-year-old fossilized remains of a large lizard in an Egyptian desert is rewriting the evolutionary history of the iconic Komodo dragon and its closest carnivorous cousins.
The African find is being described as the oldest known specimen of the Varanus reptile group, which includes Indonesia’s giant Komodo — at three metres long and 75 kilograms, the world’s largest lizard — and all other species of monitor lizards inhabiting ranges in Africa, Asia and Australia.
The breakthrough discovery, led by University of Alberta biologists Robert Holmes and Alison Murray, challenges the prevailing theory that monitor lizards originated in Asia about 20 million years ago before spreading to Africa and Australia.
Instead, the researchers contend, the much older varanid lizard bones found at the well-known Fayum fossil bed south of Cairo indicates that these predatory lizards — perhaps 1.5 metres in length at the time — probably evolved first in that region before making their way out of Africa.
That finding has potentially major implications
Fighting for animal rights in Lebanon
"Grooming is a social thing, a friendly thing, it calms chimpanzees down," says Jason Mier director of animal rights NGO Animals Lebanon.
As Mier talks, Omega, a 12 year old chimpanzee, picks through Mier's hair, occasionally yanking out the offending strand. It's one of the few displays of natural behavior that Omega has shown in over a decade.
Omega used to serve customers at a café in southern Lebanon until some got him drunk. As a result he turned aggressive, attacked some clients and was sold to a small, decrepit zoo.
Mier, who first met Omega six months ago, points to trash littering the floor of the 5m by 10m cage, a putrid blend of old food, water bottles and plastic bags.
"There is cement, there are metal bars, there
NewsOK camera gives behind-the-scenes look at Oklahoma City Zoo elephants
A live online video from inside the elephant barn at the Oklahoma City Zoo is now available 24 hours a day exclusively at NewsOK.com.
Viewers will be able to see Asian elephants Asha and Chandra whenever the two are in the community stall inside their new home.
“From now until the spring, the elephant cam will provide a glimpse into the everyday lives of Asha and Chandra,” said David Morris, director of video for OPUBCO Communications Group. “Thanks to the support and generous access from the Oklahoma City Zoo, we have perched a camera above the community stall.”
The camera is the centerpiece of the NewsOK Elephant Nation page, which documents the elephant breeding
22 Sloth Bears Shift Base from West Bengal to Karnataka due to Maoist Threats
It’s not only human beings who are under threat form Maoist. Even the daily life of the wildlife is disturbed by the terror activities of the Maoists.
Purulia is a small town in West Bengal, the residents here living in fear due to Maoist attacks. This threat is not only for humans but for animals as well who would happen to be unfortunately in the wrong place. The Maoists have put up a poster here saying: 'Leave the forest if you want to remain safe."
Hence sensing the threat to the wild animals, forest officials shifted 12 male and 10 female sloth bears from the forest near Purulia to Bannerghata National Park, near Bangalore in Karnataka.
Accompanied by professional staff equipped with all facilities and with the support of animal conservationist, under the protection of the West Bengal state government, the sloth bears were shifted from their home to Bannerghata National Park, almost 2000 kms away. This move from east to south took almost four days.
"They (sloth bears) were evacuated with the help of three large trucks. A team of about 12 trained
Saving a species very well could mean saving ourselves
We've heard it all many times: More people are alive today than ever before.
Indeed, we're nearing 7 billion people now. Especially in developing nations, growing populations are running out of space and resources.
Though we'd hoped these problems would stay overseas, it's already started here in the United States. In Arizona, this manifests itself in conflicts over land use, air pollution and, especially, water.
Ever consider how much time, energy and water go into keeping a desert golf course - or for that matter, a front lawn - lush and green?
Water problems aren't only for desert dwellers, though. Where I'm from in the Great Plains, Nebraska and Kansas have taken each other all the way to the Supreme Court, waging a multiyear, multimillion-dollar battle over who owns the rights to the contents of our rivers and streams.
As conflicts like this continue, conservationists are working harder than ever to save wildernesses and with them biodiversity. Arizona and the desert Southwest are home to a stunning and unique array of species, from
Mexican gray wolves http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/viewpoints/articles/2010/11/13/20101113growing-population-sartore.html
Zoo Says Bear Wasn't Shot, Maybe
The Moscow Zoo on Monday distanced itself from an earlier statement that a sniper had shot at one of its polar bears.
"At this stage we can neither confirm nor deny that the animal was hit by bullets," zoo spokeswoman Yelena Mendosa told The Moscow Times.
The zoo said in a statement on its web site late last week that a 20-year-old polar bear named Wrangel had some 11 wounds that must have been inflicted by bullets from a small-caliber gun.
The statement, along with photos of the bleeding wounds, was still on the zoo's site Monday.
But Mendosa said no bullets had been found and the wounds might stem from a skin infection. She added that the bleeding had stopped and the bear
Recycling program benefits zoo
Topekan Barbara Lundquist lugged a green container filled with Pepsi cans Monday to a brightly painted Shawnee County Recycling bin in the parking lot of the Topeka Zoo.
"I'm here to recycle," Lundquist said with a smile as she placed the aluminum cans into the bin with the help of zoo director Brendan Wiley and Philicia McKee, with Keep America Beautiful-Topeka/Shawnee County.
Keep America Beautiful-Topeka/Shawnee County, Shawnee County Recycling and the Topeka Zoo kicked off a new program Wednesday in which citizens can save aluminum cans to help earn money for the zoo.
"We are celebrating America Recycles Day," McKee told a small crowd gathered near the new recycling bin. "I was very excited to get this in place. I want to thank all of you so much. Hopefully
Sea lions switch to sustainably sourced herrings at Edinburgh Zoo
SEA LIONS at the Edinburgh Zoo are now enjoying a full diet of MSC certified sustainable herring.
The move comes after the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) made it their goal to source all of its marine animal food from sustainable sources.
Darren McGarry, Animal Collection Manager for the zoo, said: “We’re really pleased that the Patagonian sea lions have taken to their new feed. Zoo animals can be very picky about what they eat but they’ve taken to the MSC certified feeds straight away”.
The zoo also houses one of the world’s most successful penguin-breeding programmes with over 200 penguins on site, and RZSS is currently in the process of incorporating MSC fish into their diet too.
“Gentoo penguins are particularly picky about their food and we need to ensure that the MSC certified South Africa hake will suit them – both in terms of taste and nutritionally,” adds Darren. “It’s important as well, that the South Africa hake fishery has radically reduced its seabird bycatch as part of its MSC certification – a cut that means thousands of seabirds will saved. We’re really pleased to support that work and will be working towards adding a recommendation for MSC certified feed with any penguin we export to another zoo.”
Claire Pescod, from the MSC says: “This is fantastic news. The RZSS has already helped the MSC by providing the technical expertise and laboratory work needed for our DNA tracing programme and this is further evidence of the Zoo’s commitment to sustainability. I’m delighted that sea lions are being fed Scottish MSC certified herring. This move supports the Scottish fishing com
You Really Do Have To Watch Zoo Visitors Like A Hawk
Leopard eats one of her cubs in zoo
Though cannibalism is recorded among leopards and lions, it is still a rare occurrence. Shockingly, it has happened at the city's Maharajbagh Zoo, that too right under the noses of the authorities. Rani, a leopard who delivered four cubs last Friday, is alleged to have eaten one of them.
Though the zoo has permission to house only four leopards, it now has eight after another new-born cub died too. Had all the four cubs survived, the count would have been an unmanageable 10.
What is worse, the officials are clueless as to how the female leopard could have conceived when the zoo had no permission for breeding. The male-female pair of leopards - Raja and Rani - were caught in Chandrapur and brought to the zoo for treatment a year and half back after they killed a few people.
Neither did the zoo authorities make any attempt to keep Raja and Rani separately nor did the forest officials take "possession" of them after their treatment was complete. "It made no sense to release the animals in the wild as they had come in touch with humans," said DC Pant, the principal chief conservator of forests. He squarely blamed the zoo autorities. "They should have kept the two leopards in separate enclosures. Rules have been contravened."
Ideally, they should have been released in the wild. Some conservationists feel that it's too late now to release these leopards now but, at the same time, "these animals certainly don't deserve the crumbling space in which they are being kept".
According to forest activist Kundan Hate, "I am surprised how the authorities did not know that the leopard was pregnant. It just goes to show how the zoo is run by the Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV)."
A perplexed zoo in-charge Dr SS Bawaskar said, "The female leopard was very aggressive and did not allow the staff to go near her. She was sitting alone in a corner and not ready to leave the cubs. This particular cub was the last of the four and a weak one. Even its umbilical cord was not clean. The position of the cub was such that we are assuming that it may have died from the mother's weight. It may not have been fed."
Bawaskar was not certain if it was Rani that littered. "I am not sure. I have so many leopards here. It's okay if you mention it as Rani," he said, admitting that breeding was not allowed among the wildcats at the zoo. "Rani may have conceived before I took charge of the zoo in August," he added. Leopards have a gestation period of 104 days. "This will only complicate things further," said Bawaskar.
The zoo is ill-equipped to handle such delicate cubs and lacks proper system to take care of wild animals. The vet Dr Abhijit Modghare has no experience of treating wild cubs. With no experts at hand, the future of the two surviving ones too remains bleak.
The incident has once again exposed the apathy of the Akola-headquartered PDKV which manages the historic 100-year-old zoo. The deer population in the zoo has increased manifold due to inbreeding but the zoo has simply turned a blind eye. Though the birth of the cubs may sound like good news, this is not good from a conservation point of view.
In the past, efforts to encourage mating among male leopard Ajay and his partners Riddhi and Samruddhi, brought from Navegaon National Park in 2007, had failed. According to sources, mating between Raja and Rani may have taken place because they are wild-bred.
Sources added that the cats are being served substandard meat. In the recent past, deer are suspected to have died due to haemorrhagic septicaemia, a highly fatal disease caused by bacteria due to multiple reasons. The image of the zoo, which has taken a blow recently due to many reasons, will only be further tarnished
Minister takes stock of Delhi zoo's condition
"If I cannot manage my zoo properly, how can I expect other states to keep their zoos in order?" said Jairam Ramesh, Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests after a visit to the National Zoological Park on Monday. The zoological park, also known as the Delhi Zoo, situated on the Mathura Road is the only zoo in the country that comes directly under the environment ministry. Ramesh was at the zoo to take stock of the measures taken after over two-dozen black bucks died in September due to contaminated water.
The contamination occurred after a blocked drain towards Yamuna led to backflow of storm water that mixed with overflowing faulty sewage. This was the minister's second visit to the zoo since the incident.
During his visit, the minister inspected the progress of the repairs that various agencies promised at a meeting held soon after the black bucks' death. At Monday's meeting Ramesh met Central Zoo Authority member-secretary, BS Bonal, zoo director
Two headed croc on the cards for Aussie zoo
A two-headed crocodile could be on the cards for a Cairns crocodile farm after a wildlife keeper found a conjoined egg in one of their croc's nests.
Wildlife keeper Clay Mitchell from Hartley's Crocodiles Adventures said there was a good possibility the egg could hold conjoined twins, he told the Cairns Post.
But he said he was hoping that would not be the case.
The egg is now in an incubator until it hatches, probably in
Meerkat mystery: Stolen zoo animal found at pet store
A stolen meerkat is back home at the Kansas City Zoo Tuesday after it vanished several days ago.
Zookeepers noticed the male meerkt was missing, but believed that he may have been picked up by a hawk for a meal.
A few days later, the wild animal was dropped off in front
'Significant' birth of rare frogs at Devon zoo
A Devon zoo has been faced with an unusual challenge - to try to recreate tropical weather conditions including the rainy season.
Staff at Paignton Zoo have been working hard to provide a familiar habitat so two rare species of frog could breed.
The yellow mantella is listed as endangered and the splendid or Parker's mantella is classified as vulnerable.
The zoo said the births of the frogs -which are native to Madagascar - are "extremely significant".
They were born at the Amphibian Ark, the zoo's species rescue and reintroduction
Zoo members looking for answers after board resignations
Barry Mano was away on business last week when he learned that eight members of the Racine Zoological Society board of directors had resigned. It left him wondering why.
It was also an indication, he said, that something had happened between the board members, which he thought deserved further explanation.
Mano and his wife, Jean, were among about 20 zoo members who attended Monday night's annual membership meeting at the zoo, 2131 N. Main St. The couple felt the board should explain what caused the members to resign. Barry Mano thought it was an "indication of a chasm."
"Just tell us. Boards change, but when eight people walk away en masse, we (as members) should understand what the core issue is," Barry Mano said.
But they didn't get the explanation they were looking for Monday.
The Manos, like other zoo members in attendance, are happy with the direction of the zoo and they like the improvements that have been made in recent years. However, they thought the board's lack of an explanation about the resignations
Tiny trunk shows new elephant life
WITH a tiny trunk already visible, this amazing picture shows ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s latest pachyderm arrival, George, in the womb.
The image, created with a 3D ultrasound scanner, shows the elephant embryo at three months - 19 months before he was born.
Ultrasound scans are carried out throughout the 22-month pregnancy, much like with humans, to monitor the health and well-being of mum and baby.
George’s amazing birth was captured by cameras and viewers can witness the incredible moment
PM backs zoo's bid to bring pandas to the Capital
PRIME Minister David Cameron has moved a long-awaited agreement to bring two pandas to Edinburgh Zoo a step closer by lobbying for the deal on his recent trip to China.
Zoo bosses said Mr Cameron had raised the issue during his official visit to Beijing earlier this month.
It comes as documents obtained by the Evening News show that First Minister Alex Salmond wrote to China's foreign minister in
Western Neb. zoo seeks deer meat for big cats
A western Nebraska zoo is accepting donations of deer meat from hunters this season that will go to the zoo's big cats.
Hunters will need to check their deer in at check stations at the Riverside Discovery Center zoo in Scottsbluff prior to donating the meat. Hunters wishing to donate meat will also need to complete a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Big Game Transfer/Storage Tag, which will be made available.
Zoo staff would prefer the deer be skinned before being donated, but doing so is not mandatory.
Zoo director Kelly Jensen says the deer provide
Controversial pride of man-made ligers
Made-in-China, with a little controversial human help, a zoo in China's tropical Hainan province claims to have bred a pride of ligers.
The offspring of a female tiger and a male lion, and larger than both parents, ligers are the product of human intervention as the two animals never meet in the wild.
But Hainan Tropical Wildlife and Botanical Garden in the island province's capital of Haikou says it has successfully bred 13 of the animals. Ligers are believed to be the largest of the cat family.
Reports of liger breeding date back to the 1800s, but the practice is frowned upon in some countries - especially in Taiwan where the crossbreeding of protected species is illegal.
There are barely 3,500 tigers left in the wild, according to a World Bank report released earlier this year. It has urged international action to help protect the animal in 2010, the Chinese Zodiac year of the tiger.
Some animal rights activists argue that ligers suffer from defects as a result of the cross-breeding and are little help in preserving an already endangered species.
"Cross-bred animals can't usually reproduce and they can have many kinds of disease. Since they are the combination of different species, their genes can oppress the development of normal genes, this is very bad for the animals and definitely not the right approach towards conserving a species," said the Director of the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan, Wu Hung.
The last case of liger cubs in Taiwan earlier this year earned the breeder a hefty US$1500 fine.
But Hainan's breeders are undeterred and the six-month-old male liger cub is the pride of the zoo.
Hand reared from birth, zoo manager, He Zailin, said the cub is given free range in the staff quarters.
The zoo claims to hold the world record in the number of ligers born to one mother, twelve altogether, according to state news agency Xinhua.
Haikou's zoo is not alone, several other mainland Chinese zoo's have also tried to breed ligers but with less success, according to Chinese media reports.
"A lot of zoos are trying to breed, but the success rate is very low. A lot are not successful - only one liger in every hundred thousand fertilisations will survive," he said.
The zoo says it has also managed to breed tiglons
Same-sex vulture couple to be split up by German zoo
A same-sex vulture couple at a German zoo are to be split up this week after spending several months building a nest together, officials said Thursday.
One of the two males is to be mated with a female vulture at a Czech zoo, said Dirk Wewers, curator at the Allwetter Zoo in Muenster. The zoo needs a few baby vultures.
The male couple, both 14, proved to be poor homemakers. "The other vultures kept stealing the material they used
Billy the LA Zoo elephant welcomes new company
Zookeepers say the only elephant at the Los Angeles Zoo was grunting, squeaking and chirping in the hours after two female elephants from the San Diego Zoo moved in.
Tina and Jewel arrived at the $42 million Elephants of Asia exhibit Wednesday night.
Keepers told City News Service that 25-year-old Billy, alone since 2006, answered noises coming from the females, who have lived together for 25 years.
Animal rights activists have criticized the zoo's care of
Betty White Fund to help rare saiga antelope in Kazakhstan
Having already funded research on the health of dolphins affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Betty White Wildlife Rapid Response Fund will now help the rare saiga antelope in Kazakhstan. More than 12,000 critically endangered saiga antelopes were found dead in western Kazakhstan in May of this year.
“Everyone knows how much I love dogs and cats, but wildlife species have a special place in my heart, too,” said Betty White. “It is such an honor to contribute to a fund that can rapidly address wildlife health needs in times of crisis.”
The rapid response fund, established by Morris Animal Foundation in honor of longtime trustee Betty White, will begin supporting Fauna & Flora International’s efforts to study this rare and beautifully unique antelope in Kazakhstan. Saigas have experienced one of the fastest declines recorded for mammals in recent decades: a 95 percent decrease in population over the past 20 years. This distinctive-looking antelope, which has a large, trunk-like nose that hangs over its mouth, once numbered in the millions and migrated in herds up to 100,000 strong across the plains of Central Asia and Russia. Sadly, the species has dwindled to about 80,000 globally since the early 1990s.
Morris Animal Foundation established the Betty White Wildlife Rapid Response Fund to give wildlife researchers timely monetary aid to respond to unexpected events
Phoenix Zoo helped saved oryx
A team of Phoenix Zoo veterinarians made its first trans-Atlantic house call last month to evaluate a herd of Arabian oryx whose species owes its survival to the Arizona zoo.
The oryx, a type of antelope, were not only healthy in their native surroundings - a wildlife preserve in Jordan - they were ripped, more muscular than their coddled cousins at the Phoenix Zoo.
"They have to forage to find food, and there is territorial fighting among the males," said zoo veterinarian Julie Swenson, who examined about 30 oryx during a two-week field trip to the nature preserve. "The ones here (in Phoenix) are in good health, but we can't give them the same kind of exercise."
Finding the oryx in such buff condition was a bonus for Swenson and two other zoo vets, who were crossing a bridge built more than 45 years ago when the Phoenix Zoo was at the center of an international rescue mission to keep the oryx from extinction.
Introducing Bianca, the cute new addition to the pride of white lions being saved from extinction in a South African safari park
It is one of the most endangered species in the world but one unique conservation project is taking giant strides in saving the mysterious white lion.
Based just outside Johannesburg the Ukutula Lion Park and Lodge is home to 15 white lions which are being used for invaluable research into the survival of the phenomenal breed.
Pictured here playing with project leader Willie Jacobs, three-month-old Bianca is the latest addition to the growing white lion pride at the park.
Her stunning fur is the result of a mysterious gene that produces a pure white coat, which occur only when two brown lion carriers of the white lion gene mate and produce offspring.
The 260-hectare park, where Bianca was born, is extraordinary in that it hosts a pride of brown lions capable of producing white lion cubs.
Of the 86 lions living at the park, Willie currently looks after 15 white lions, which are being used for invaluable research into the survival of the phenomenal breed.
Willie bought the site, which was used for breeding lions, five years ago and was quickly astounded by the secrets revealed by the resident pride.
'The pride male Felix was bought by the previous owner without any knowledge that he carried the white lion gene,' said Willie, 52.
'Very soon after we took over white cubs st
Indians have harmed tigers more than the colonialists: Goa governor
Indians, not the colonialists, have let down the tiger, Goa's governor S.S. Sidhu said Saturday, adding that contrary to forest department's claims, there was evidence to suggest that tigers exist in Goa's forests.
'Even the Royal Bengal tiger is endangered because of indiscriminate poaching. In India, it seems, we have done more harm to tigers since Independence, compared to what the colonialists did during their long stay here,' Sidhu said.
Speaking at a function 'Save tigers of Sahyadri', Sidhu said that a collective inter-state mechanism was needed to save the national animal from extinction.
'Evidence of tigers straying into Goa from Karnataka side of the Sahyadri mountains has been collected by the authorities. It only means there has to collective efforts on the part of Goa, Karnataka and possibly Maharashtra to save tigers,' he said.
Sidhu also said that India's extensive tiger conservation programmes like the setting up of national parks, tiger reserves and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had failed.
'All these initiatives were essentially directed towards protection of tigers and ensuring their unhindered growth, considering the important role they play in preserving the balance in the eco-system. However, all these efforts have not succeeded in preventing poaching,' Sidhu said.
Sidhu's admission of the presence of tigers in Goa comes at a time when the state's forest department has been repeatedly
Special Skin Keeps Fish Species Alive on Land
New study shows how an amphibious fish stays alive for up to two months on land
A new study shows how an amphibious fish stays alive for up to two months on land. It's all in the skin.
Mangrove killifish are small fish—only about an inch or two long—that live in temporary pools in the coastal mangrove forests of Central and South America and Florida. During dry seasons when their pools disappear, the fish hole up in leaf litter or hollow logs. As long as they stay moist, they can survive for extended periods out of water by breathing air through their skin. But oxygen isn't the only thing a fish out of water needs to worry about, according to Professor Patricia Wright, a biologist from the University of Guelph, Ontario, who has studied these fish for years.
"All cells in the body need the right combination of ions and water for an animal to stay alive," Wright explains. "Normally, the gills are responsible for these processes in fish. We knew that in mangrove killifish the gills
Banham Zoo boosts red squirrel numbers
A Norfolk zoo has joined the fight to save an iconic British animal after three young red squirrels were sent to a reintroduction programme in Wales.
The population of the red squirrel across the country has been decimated by competition from the colonisation of its American cousin - the grey squirrel.
But keepers at Banham Zoo are doing their bit to help the conservation of the red after three of its offspring became new additions to the Anglesey Red Squirrel Project.
The attraction, near Attleborough, which has a resident red squirrel couple, witnessed the birth of four squirrel babies earlier this year.
Three of the youngsters have gone to Anglesey to be reintroduced into the wild and the other has been sent to another wildlife collection as part of the captive breeding programme.
The National Trust-led red squirrel project at Plas Newydd began in 1998 following a cull of grey squirrels on the welsh island, which is helping to boost numbers of the UK’s only native squirrel.
Craig Shuttleworth, national operations dire
Zookeeper defends policy to let redheads in for free
A SENIOR zookeeper has defended Dublin Zoo's decision to offer free entry to all red-haired children this weekend -- since he is a redhead himself.
Gerry Creighton, operations manager at Dublin Zoo, said there was never an attempt by the zoo to discriminate against red-haired children and its only purpose is to raise awareness about orangutans as an endangered species.
He told the Herald that the free entry deal is not exclusive to redheads, but any child who wears red this weekend will be admitted to the zoo for free.
"One or two people have rang in [to complain] and once it's been explained to them, that the very core of it is educating children and protecting orangutan communities in the wild, then they see the reason behind it.
"The real story is about the orangutans. It's tough economic times and if children turn up with red on them they get in for free, and the money given by the adults goes towards saving a bit of forest for the orangutans," he stressed.
Parents groups had feared that red-haired children would be open to taunting at Dublin zoo this weekend because of their natural hair colour.
In 2008, Adelaide Zoo in Australia was forced to revoke a similar ad campaign which
Mongolian success for Dubbo's Przewalski horses
It's 16 years since Dubbo first sent Przewalski horses to Mongolia, and one of our keepers has recently spent a month checking their progress.
Earlier this year, Dubbo zoo keeper Todd Jenkinson spent a month waking up at 5am, climbing on board an old four-wheel drive and going in search of harems of wild Mongolian horses.
Among the mountainous landscape of the Hustai National Park in Mongolia are 664 species of fish, birds, insects and mammals including his favourite animal, the Przewalski horse.
Back in 1994, Taronga Western Plains Zoo first introduced some of their Przewalski horses to Hustai National Park, and since then 10 groups have been released into the area
Paddlefish partners restoring prehistoric fish to rivers
Wildlife management and conservation agencies routinely partner to save money and other resources, and to make things happen in a sometimes complicated bureaucratic environment.
But in its ongoing effort to restore a non-game prehistoric fish to the Ohio River watershed, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is partnering with the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.
Prior small-scale interactions have linked the zoo and PFBC, but Mike Stephan, a native species
Palm-oil harvesting a danger to orang-utans
IF you’re chomping into a bikkie or doing a load of washing you’re not thinking of endangered animals.
But you should be.
Zoos Victoria community conservation manager Rachel Lowry said we are unwittingly pushing orang-utans to extinction because of our purchases.
“At the moment you just don’t know if the product you are buying contains palm oil,” Ms Lowry said. “Without legislation changes, palm oil will remain unlabelled.”
An estimated 40 per cent of food on the supermarket shelves contains palm oil, harvested from rainforest that is typically orang-utan habitat.
Palm oil can be found in ice-cream, chocolate, biscuits, chips, popcorn, margarine, crackers, cooking oil, frozen dinners, toothpaste, soap, detergents and cosmetics but under food labelling laws can be listed in ingredients only as ‘vegetable oil’.
Melbourne Zoo’s Don’t Palm Us Off campaign collected 130,000 signatures that have helped get a Bill introduced to Parliament to require manufacturers to accurately label palm oil products.
The Bill is being considered now and also provides for manufacturers to label use of palm oil as “certified sustainable”, so that consumers can be advised that
CMC plan to spruce up zoo
The Central Municipal Council (CMC) has suggested a number of measures to elevate Doha Zoo to international standards, sister Arabic daily Arrayah reported yesterday.
Periodical maintenance, increasing the number of animals and birds and entertainment options, modernisation and improvement of safety and security measures has been recommended.
There should be co-operation with schools to conduct awareness visits to the zoo.
An environment awareness centre ought to be established for visitors.
Guides should be deployed to guide visitors. Pamphlets and bulletins with zoo timings and information about activities are needed.
The Central Municipal Council called for the establishment of a facility where children could interact with suitable animals, a photo studio, and a small museum of stuffed animals and birds from the Arab region.
There should be weekly and seasonal programmes and entertainment and cultural events
Washington prisoners helping save endangered frogs
James Goodall cradled a frog in his hand and stroked its belly, trying to soothe its racing heart before slipping it back into a cattle tub filled with water.
He smiled proudly as he watched the little black and green Oregon spotted frog dart away to join the other 28 that he and fellow inmate Harry Greer are responsible for fattening up before spring.
In a fenced off-area behind Cedar Creek Correctional Center called "Frogga Walla," the two men spend nine hours a day feeding and tending to the endangered species.
"We baby them like little kids," said Goodall, who is serving time at the prison near Littlerock for possession of drugs with the intent to deliver. "They've got personalities, too, it seems like."
Much to the surprise of research scientists and zookeepers also participating in a "head start" program to bolster the dwindling population of the frogs, Goodall, 45, and Greer, a
Omega, Cigarette Smoking Chimpanzee, Rescued In Lebanon Zoo (PHOTOS)
Animal rights activists have rescued a 12-year-old chimpanzee from a zoo in Lebanon, after it was discovered the animal had developed a cigarette habit. (Scroll down for photos)
Omega, who has reportedly never climbed a tree or been in an environment with other chimpanzees, began smoking after visitors to a now-defunct zoo in Ansar began throwing lit cigarettes into his cage, the Associated Press is reporting. Still, it was not the primate's first exposure to nicotine -- according to Beirut's Daily Star, Omega had been used in a local restaurant, where he served water pipe to customers and would occasionally smoke cigarettes.
Following his rescue Monday, Omega will now reside in the Vargem Grande Paulista Sanctuary, a dedicated chimpanzee reserve in Sao Paulo, according to the
Dalton zoo boss brings seasonal cheer with free admission
A TOP tourist attraction is scrapping admission fees for all visitors this winter.
South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Dalton will be free to everyone from today until February 2011.
Children will continue to receive free admission until Good Friday.
The offer includes weekends and school holidays.
Owner of the park, David Gill, is confident no other tourist attraction has ever run such a promotion.
By waiving admission for the entire winter season he hopes to avoid a massive influx of visitors all at once.
Unlike some other tourist attractions, Dalton zoo retains its full time staff and if the promotion is a success, it could mean extending the contracts of seasonal staff.
Mr Gill said: “The idea of giving something away is not as stupid an idea as you might think because it’s creating goodwill and helping families who can’t afford to come normally.
“We want to get as many people here as possible and we hope people will eat here; we’ve got special menus on and we hope we can make money out of the restaurant side and gift shop and cover the costs that way.”
Mr Gill added that he hoped the promotion would help ease people’s financial woes during these difficult times.
He said: “Come the end of October people are saving for Christmas and paying off Christmas
New Self-Cloning Lizard Found in Vietnam Restaurant
All-female species reproduces via virgin birth, new study says..
You could call it the surprise du jour: A popular food on Vietnamese menus has turned out to be a lizard previously unknown to science, scientists say.
What's more, the newfound Leiolepis ngovantrii is no run-of-the-mill reptile—the all-female species reproduces via cloning, without the need for male lizards.
Single-gender lizards aren't that much of an oddity: About one percent of lizards can reproduce by parthenogenesis, meaning the females spontaneously ovulate and clone themselves to produce offspring with the same genetic blueprint.
(Related: "Virgin Birth Expected at Christmas—By Komodo Dragon.")
"The Vietnamese have been eating these for time on end," said herpetologist L. Lee Grismer of La Sierra
Hybrid Panthers Helping Rare Cat Rebound in Florida
Breeding with Texas cougars created "Schwarzenegger"-tough offspring..
Breeding rare Florida panthers with Texas cougars created tough hybrids that one scientist calls the Arnold Schwarzeneggers of cougars.
And, like action heroes, these vigorous offspring may well rescue the Florida subspecies from extinction, according to Stephen O'Brien, an animal geneticist who co-authored new research on the North American big cat.
Florida panthers are considered a subspecies of cougar, big cats found across the Americas that are also called pumas or mountain lions, depending on the region.
In the 1900s people hunted the Florida panther out of most of its southeastern U.S. range, driving the few remaining animals into rugged South Florida swamps.
Inbreeding within this tiny population caused heart problems and reproductive defects that
Report: 1,000 Wild Tigers Killed in Last Decade
100,000 Wild Tigers Roamed Asia a Century Ago, but Today Their Numbers Have Fallen to Around 3,200 Due to Poaching
They have lost nearly 90 percent of their wild habitat. They have been placed on every "near extinction" list in the world. They have become a symbol of mankind's overreach in the wild. Yet somehow, the number of wild tigers continues to decline at an alarming rate, reports Traffic International, a British non-profit wildlife trade monitoring agency.
In a newly released report detailing the illicit trade of tiger parts, Traffic says that parts of at least 1,069 tigers have been seized in the last decade in countries were tigers roam wild, making for an average of more than 100 killed each year. Considering the number of tigers poached is probably far higher than the number officially reported, and with only an estimated 3,200 tigers remaining in the wild, the outlook for the future of the
Brown bruins could displace polar bears, scientists say
Scientists are warning that polar bears, which evolved quickly to dine mainly on seals, could face formidable competition as brown bears expand northward with global warming.
The iconic white bruins exist almost entirely on a meat diet, while their omnivorous southern cousins will chow down on almost any animal flesh and gorge themselves on berries.
In fact, one recent study predicts that polar bears may be forced to eat the eggs of snow geese to fill their bellies.
Another study, published Nov. 5 on an online research journal called PLoS One, says polar bears may be at a disadvantage precisely because they have adapted over the past million years to a diet of seals.
The polar bear developed smaller molars and a low, slender skull which allow it to "efficiently process" seal flesh and blubber.
Another paper that examined the "extremely rapid evolution" of polar bears notes that their skulls are less suited
Double award for Shepreth Wildlife Park
ONE of Crow Country’s most prominent tourist attractions is enjoying a double celebration this week after being commended with two prestigious awards
Shepreth Wildlife Park scooped the award for Best Education Project at the national British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) awards, at a ceremony last week.
The park then followed this up with the award for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year at the East of England Tourism Enjoy England Awards.
The first gong was for the park’s free of charge sessions which allow school children to enjoy encounters with hedgehogs, owls and reptiles.
It was presented to Shepreth’s, Head of Education, Lainie Bazzoni by Adrian Sanders, MP for Torbay, near Paignton Zoo, where the ceremony was held.
Rebecca Willers, Animal manager at Shepreth said: “We have been simply over-whelmed this week, and we were so delighted to hear we had won the BIAZA award for education.
“Lainie works tirelessly to provide
One last chance: can we save the tiger?There are only 3,200 left in the wild. So why are conservationists boycotting the world's first tiger summit?
When a British colonel called Jim Corbett was summoned to the thickly forested ravines of the Himalayas, he found people living in abject terror. Without guns, they were powerless to protect themselves from a small number of tigers that had developed a taste for human flesh. To live "and have one's being under the shadow of a man-eater" was not so different from prehistoric times, Corbett reflected, when early humans cowered in caves to escape the sabre-toothed tiger.
Corbett hunted alone. He tethered buffalo as bait, stalked silently in rubber-soled shoes and even tried to lure tigers by donning a sari and disguising himself as a woman cutting grass in the fields. Avoiding being dispatched by a tiger to what he called "the happy hunting grounds" in the sky, Corbett shot dead more than a dozen rogue tigers.
In the 70 years since Corbett bagged his last tiger, the balance of power between Panthera tigris and mankind has been dramatically reversed. In Corbett's day, 100,000 of these charismatic predators roamed free in Asia. As forests were slashed and hunting flourished, Corbett began to shoot tigers with film rather than with a rifle. "A tiger is a large-hearted gentleman with boundless courage and when he is exterminated – as exterminated he will be unless public opinion rallies
In pictures: Walker the polar bear
First dolphin calf born at Dubai Dolphinarium
The Dolphinarium is planning to name the calf using input from the public in early December.
Dubai: A first dolphin calf was born at Dubai Dolphinarium on 10.10.10.
Its mother, a 20-year-old Black Sea bottlenose dolphin called Ksyusha gave birth in a dedicated pool within the facility. The sex of the calf is still undetermined and is spending most of its time bonding with its mother, nursing and learning to control the movements of its body.
It measures about 90cm in length and weighs approximately 10kg. At birth the dolphin measured 20cm and weighed 4kg.
“Ksyusha’s pregnancy was confirmed in November 2009. We monitored her health by conducting regular medical assessments throughout the whole [12 month] gestation period to ensure that everything was normal,” said Alexander Zanin, Head Marine Mammal Specialist, Dubai Dolphinarium.
This is the first calf for Ksyusha, one of the five bottlenose dolphins at the 5,000 square-metre Dolphinarium. The baby’s father, Senya, is 24 years old. The calf is expected to appear
Al Ain to host 70th Conference of World Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2015
Abu Dhabi's 'Oasis City' of Al Ain has received a boost in its bid to become the Middle East's conservation capital, with Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR) winning the right to host the 70th annual World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) Conference.
WAZA is the unifying organisation for the world zoo and aquarium community. The body's network - an influential international group that comprises more than 1,300 institutions - includes leading zoos and aquariums, regional and national associations of zoos and aquariums and affiliate organisations, such as zoo veterinarians and zoo educators from around the world. Together, they are 'United for Conservation' and more than 600 million visitors pass through the gates of member zoos and aquariums every year.
Having outmaneuvered other competitive bids, AWPR intends to leverage WAZA's maiden foray into the Middle East and North Africa region to consolidate its dynamic leisure and learning destination credentials, as well as the Abu Dhabi emirate's burgeoning reputation for conservation and sustainability.
"Hosting this prestigious global conference will strengthen our position as a world leading wildlife and conservation organisation," said Ghanim Al Hajeri
43 animals died in Delhi zoo in Sept: Ramesh tells House
At least 43 animals, including several black bucks, died in Delhi Zoo in September this year and most of the deaths were due to consumption of contaminated water, the Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.
"Death of animals, particularly black bucks had occurred due to consumption of contaminated water which caused severe intestinal and lung infection," environment minister Jairam Ramesh said in reply to a written question.
He attributed the deaths to excessive rains and backflow /overflow of sewage resulting in contamination of the rain water in the animal enclosures in the national zoological park.
While 15 black bucks died due to gastrointestinal infection, a sambar, giraffe, leopard and a wild boar had lost their lives due to reasons like asphyxia, trauma and shock.
Various measures for improvement of animal health care have been suggested by a team of expert veterinarians from Bareilly-based Indian Veterinary Research
Chinese tortoise born with two heads
A slip of nature has resulted in the birth of a two-headed tortoise at a wildlife park in China.
The tiny reptile has really come out of his shell, popping out not one but two fully functional heads.
Born at Xiaoyaojin wildlife park in Hefeia, southern China, it is the result of a slip of nature when a pair of twins started to separate and then abruptly stopped.
'Both heads operate completely independently of each other and they eat separately and seem very happy with the way they are,' said one keeper.
'The only problem comes when one head wants to go one way and the other wants to go somewhere else,' they explained.
This is not the first case of polycephaly (multi-headedness) among animals, Serbia has its very own two-headed cow while
Help for the animals of Mt Merapi
Mount Merapi, on the island of Java, Indonesia, has been erupting since October 26.
Many animals have fallen victim to the hot ash and air and others have been left behind by their fleeing owners, many caged and without food or water.
The local association Animal Friends Jogja (AFJ), in conjunction with Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) & Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP), has started relief and rescue operations in the area, including safe disposal of the many animal carcasses. They are also sweeping affected areas for sick and injured animals in need to food, water and medical treatment. AFJ desperately needs help to treat animals with burns, lung injuries and breathing difficulties, as well as money to buy medication, food and to provide temporary shelter for the animals rescued.
While VBB is not affiliated with AFJ, we recognise the enormous task they're facing trying to help thousands of suffering animals in this disaster area.
AFJ have put out the following call for assistance: If any veterinarians who specialise in farm animals can come to Jogja and help the team, it would be much appreciated. As AFJ have no funding, volunteer veterinarians would have to stay at the base camp (basic mat-on-floor accommodation) and eat with the other volunteers.
Alternatively, if you
Palm oil for power station in Hawaii threatens forests and communities
HECO (Hawaiian Electric Company), the largest electricity company in Hawaii, could soon become one of the largest US importers of palm oil. They have been given permission to burn 2.56 million gallons of palm oil in two large power stations for a 'test phase' – and they want to burn far more after that. HECO's so-called 'clean energy' will mean more deforestation and land-grabbing in South-east Asia and West Africa, and more climate change. Please call on the state government of Hawaii to withdraw the permit and not to allow HECO to burn palm oil or other agrofuels.
Canada's pandas continue to befuddle government officials
Panda confusion continues with word that China verbally agreed to loan a pair of the beloved beasts to three Canadian zoos for a total of 11 years, not the 15 envisioned by Toronto’s chief panda booster.
Pascale Boulay, press secretary for federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice, said China’s state forestry minister gave “verbal confirmation” to Prentice on Friday, “for an 11-year loan of two pandas.”
Boulay said that’s the period proposed by a “consortium” of three zoos – in Toronto, Calgary, and Granby, Que.—with the giant panda pair staying at each for an undetermined period.
But Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, head of the Toronto zoo’s panda task force, said Tuesday: “The zoos have been talking about a 15-year deal,” with the animals spending 5 years at each, starting with Toronto in 2012.
“If it’s 11 we’ll adjust,” he said. “The zoos are putting their business cases together. If (the others) can’t make it work, we’ll accept the pandas for the full term if we have to.”
Conflicting information has been circulating about whether the loan is a certainty, the costs involved and the pandas’ power to draw visitors.
None of the zoos have signed agreements to
Huge solar panels for open range zoo
Three huge solar panels at Monarto Zoo will help offset the open range zoo's power use.
The solar energy will be fed back into the grid to neutralise the zoo's energy use.
The South Australian Government contributed $450,000 to the project at Monarto, south-east of Adelaide.
Zoos SA CEO Chris West says the panels will have both environmental and educational benefits.
"This allows the millions of people
Snake gives 'virgin birth' to extraordinary babies
A female boa constrictor snake has given birth to two litters of extraordinary offspring.
Evidence suggests the mother snake has had multiple virgin births, producing 22 baby snakes that have no father.
More than that, the genetic make-up of the baby snakes is unlike any previously recorded among vertebrates, the group which includes almost all animals with a backbone.
Details are published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.
Virgin births do occur among animals.
Many invertebrates, such as insects, can produce offspring asexually, without ever having mated. They usually do this by cloning themselves, producing genetically identical offspring.
But among vertebrate animals, it remains a novelty, having been documented among less than 0.1% of vertebrate species.
In 2006, scientists discovered that two komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis), the world's largest lizard species, had produced eggs that developed without being fertilised by sperm - a process called parthenogenesis.
Then in 2007, other scientists found that captive female hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna tiburo) could also reproduce without having sex.
But vertebrates generally
West Midland Safari Park scoops award for good working practices
West Midland Safari Park has received a silver award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) for their efforts in sustainability and good working practices.
Katie McDonald, the Park's Research Officer, said "This is a marvelous achievement for West Midland Safari Park and to get a silver first time around is extremely rewarding for all the hard work that has been put in by members of the Park's Green Team. West Midland Safari Park was assessed in July by a qualified grading advisor against a rigorous set of criteria, covering a range of areas, like energy and water efficiency, waste management and commitment to conserving biodiversity.
Based on our level of achievement, we had our fingers firmly crossed that we would at least meet the required standard of bronze for our first attempt".
"The silver award is a tremendous boost and will help the Park's Green Team define realistic goals for continued improvement in the sustainability
Woburn Safari Park scoops top award for Significant Advances in Animal Husbandry and Welfare in 2010 BIAZA Awards
Woburn Safari Park received one of the top awards from the zoo world last night, following a prestigious awards ceremony held at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, Devon, attended by some 100 people.
Woburn Safari Park was commended in recognition for its pioneering work in Animal Husbandry and Welfare. A certificate was presented to Adam Kenyon by Adrian Sanders, MP.
This award particularly highlights the Zoo’s efforts in taking significant steps in trying to achieve the highest standard of husbandry and welfare within its elephant
Safari park takes top tourism award
BLAIR Drummond Safari Park won a prestigious tourism award at a glitzy ceremony in Edinburgh last week.
The popular attraction – which this year celebrated its 40th anniversary – took the inaugural Scottish Daily Mail Kids’ Choice Award at the Scottish Thistle Awards. Organised by VisitScotland, the Thistles are the top awards for Scotland’s tourism industry.
The safari park couldn’t have been in a more difficult group of finalists either – up against both Edinburgh Castle and Edinburgh Zoo – but still came away with the top award in the category.
Blair Drummond also made the top three in the finals of the Readers’ Choice Award, though this time it was just edged out by Landmark Forest Adventure Park in the Highlands.
Home to exotic creatures such as elephants, rhinos, lions and tigers, the park has again proved itself
Wonderful news to report!
Despite the disastrous floods and major upheaval for all, it is not stopping our conservation efforts. Pang Phootson give everyone the special gift of feeling joyful when she gave birth to a healthy and strong baby girl on Wednesday 3rd November.
Only a few hours old we walked mum and baby to the safety of the Elephant Kraal where the other mothers and babies are temporarily staying. It was an impressive journey. Please see our website for photos and details.
Chinese zoo makes special toothbrush for hippos
A Chinese zoo has built a special four foot-long toothbrush to clean the teeth of its hippopotamuses, after using a broom for years.
Shanghai Zoo now puts on a public show three times a week where visitors can watch zookeepers administer oral hygiene to its three hippos.
“Usually wild hippos do not need to have their teeth cleaned,” said Pan Xiuwen, an official at the zoo, to the Shanghai Daily newspaper.
“They usually eat grass, which is not likely to get stuck in the gaps between their teeth. However, at the zoo we feed them fruit and vegetables which can easily clog up their teeth,” he explained.
Hippos have enormous mouths, measuring up to four foot-wide, and a pair of large incisors in each jaw. On the outer part of their jaw, they have curved lower canine teeth, which are a source of ivory and which can grow like tusks until they reach three feet in length.
London Zoo has also swapped brooms for special long toothbrushes
Overdue repairs to Calgary Zoo attractions called a looming 'crisis'
Alderman leery of rising costs
In the meerkat exhibit, the floor is worn and in need of repair.
The glaze must be replaced in the hippopotamus pool.
Then there's the South American pavilion -- the nearly four decade-old home to spider monkeys and giant anteaters -- where the heating and ventilation systems are inefficient and the building is outdated. It's due for a $30-million overhaul.
The Calgary Zoo's list of deferred maintenance projects is long -- and growing.
This week, zoo officials raised the alarm over the $7 million the popular attraction needs for critical maintenance of aging facilities. That tab is the zoo's three-year projected maintenance spending for levels considered "minimally acceptable" in the industry, but the cost of maintaining the zoo's infrastructure is steadily rising.
"We try to do as many repairs and as much improvement maintenance as we can afford. We do it in priority," said
Ten former laboratory south Asian monkeys fly in to begin a new life at Monkey World
TEN former laboratory monkeys flew into Southampton Airport on Thursday night on their way to a new life at Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre in Dorset.
The nine female and one male stump-tailed macaques are going into retirement at the leafy sanctuary near Wool after spending the last decade at a lab in Edinburgh.
They were each transported in separate boxes so they could make the journey from the Scottish capital to the south coast in comfort.
The south Asian monkeys were accompanied by Monkey World director and primatologist Dr Alison Cronin, who said: “We are so pleased to get Wilmot and his nine ladies a more natural life in their remaining years. Relocation can be a stressful time for anyone
Mysore Zoo flooded three times in as many years
Call it erroneous civic administration or callousness on part of the authorities — the animals in the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Garden have to pay with their lives. In the third flooding incident in as many years two animals have died when their enclosures were flooded by the waters of a swollen Karanji tank due to excessive rain on Thursday night. An adult Neelgai (of the deer family) and a bison died in the floods.
“The flooding has become an annual feature of this zoo. Though for the last two years the floods have not been to the magnitude of causing death of animals they did pose serious levels of pathogen infection
Hogle Zoo: Ambitious construction, education effort is under way
Years of anticipation have yielded to a feverish construction schedule at Utah’s Hogle Zoo, where a 3-acre section of the aging Salt Lake City animal park has been cleared to make way for the zoo’s most ambitious project ever.
But for a place that is open 363 days a year — and which proudly surpassed the 1-million-visitor mark for the first time last year — the $17 million “Rocky Shores” project will come with unique challenges.
For the next year and a half, Assistant Director Doug Lund and his fellow Hogle employees will work to make sure that the construction effort doesn’t hamper his guests’ experience at the park. In fact, Lund said, he’s hoping to make the big dig part of that experience between now and the spring of 2012, when the diverse arctic exhibit, featuring polar bears, seals, sea lions and river otters, is scheduled to open.
“We think there is going to be a lot of interest in how exhibits like this are created,” said Lund.
Could hard-hatted construction crews become as popular to visitors in 2011 as the zoo’s cute and clumsy baby elephant, Zuri, was in 2010? Lund is hoping so. While many amusement parks try to hide new construction with hedges and fences, a long chain link fence along Hogle’s northwest quadrant offers a panoramic view of the construction area — and viewing opportunities will continue through the construction schedule.
Right now, the area is little more than a dirt patch. But as crews begin to build — likely in the next few weeks — Lund and education curator Chris Schmitz will work together to provide visitors opportunities to learn about how the project, funded by Salt Lake County voters through a 2008 bond measure, is taking shape.
That will be good practice for the future. While all of the zoo’s exhibits have educational features — signs noting facts
Detroit Zoo trying to save frogs from extinction
That's not only how the mountain chicken frog got its name, but it's also one of the big reasons why the creatures have been nearly wiped out in the Caribbean, where the amphibians are native.
Besides islanders hunting them for food, the rare species also decreased in population because of habitat loss and disease.
The Detroit Zoo is one of only five U.S. zoos that has mountain chicken frogs, and is trying to preserve the species designated as "critically endangered" from extinction through breeding, Marcy Sieggreen, the curator of amphibians, said.
On Wednesday, zoo officials announced that three more frogs were born on Oct. 21. It is the zoo's second successful breeding, bringing the total number of the species there to eight. The baby frogs are 2 weeks old today.
"It is very exciting and significant that we have bred these unusual frogs, as they are extremely difficult to breed," Sieggreen said.
Mountain chicken frogs grow up to 8 inches long and can weigh up to 2 pounds, making it one
New Scottish polar bear
A new arrival at a wildlife park in the Scottish highlands has had a frosty reception.
A two year old polar bear called Walker has been brought over from Holland as a companion for the park's resident bear - a mature female called Me
In the lap of nature
After a 30-minute flight from Abu Dhabi, landing here on water is the quickest way to reach Sir Bani Yas, although a boat trip from the mainland after three hours drive from the capital has the advantage, especially at this time of year, of spotting endangered species like dugongs or dolphins.
The ferry crossing also allows the only view of Shaikh Zayed’s palace on the island. Another surprising sight is the wind turbine, the only one in the Middle East.
Visiting the island anytime soon would be a good idea, as everyone here is in a celebration mood because Sir Bani Yas got to blow two candles on its birthday cake this week. Yes, it was on November 4, 2008, that this beautiful island unveiled its eco-friendly transformation to its long-waiting visitors.
“So much has been happening on the island during the last year,” said George Chakar, communications manager for the Western Region at Tourism, Development and Investment Company (TDIC).
“We had the first hyenas and cheetah, indigenous of the Arabian Peninsula but long declared extinct, born free without any human interference in the wild!”
“We had the Desert Island hotel named among the world’s greatest hotels on the ‘Condé Nast Traveller’s 2010 Gold List!”
“And we had the first electric buses arriving, as it is our ultimate objective to have all transport on the island petrol-free and environment-friendly!”
Part of TDIC’s over Dh 11 billion Desert Islands tourism development, Sir Bani Yas was also the first in the archipelago of eight natural islands, all in Al Gharbia, to open for tourism. But not just any tourism. It is nature-oriented, eco-friendly tourism, as the island is now one of the region’s most important wildlife park reserve.
Arabs, Europeans, Americans, Asians, Australians—people from all corners of the world who come to Sir Bani Yas, stay at the Desert Islands Resort and Spa, the only hotel on the island and, according to manager John Rogers, 30,000 visitors from 47 countries have been hosted here since the opening two years ago.
What is it about Sir Bani Yas that attracts so many to its shores? With desert sands, rocky hills, pristine beaches and abundant wildlife, the island is hard to resist for any adventure seeker or outdoors lover. Yet, there is a lot more to Sir Bani Yas than meets the eye.
Efforts on to shift Corporation Zoo
In an effort to end the long stalemate over the shifting of the Corporation Zoo at VOC Park from the cramped 4.61 acre site, the Corporation has identified another piece of 27 acres of land belonging to the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department at Othakkal Mandapam on Pollachi Road.
The land was recently inspected by the Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra, Deputy Commissioner S. Prabhakaran and Joint Commissioner of HR&CE, P.R. Ashok.
Mr. Anshul Mishra said that the process was in the preliminary stages and the Corporation is writing to the HR&CE department and Government for getting permission to use the land.
Since reassignment of the HR&CE land for Corporation would be difficult, authorities are exploring the possibilities of either taking it on lease or on a revenue sharing basis.
The process involves getting the Government
Rhino's zoo retreat under fire
The decision to move Phila - the black rhino who survived two attacks by poachers - to Johannesburg Zoo has been criticised as exploitive.
The black rhino cow was part of a breeding programme in Limpopo.
She was shot nine times by poachers and was moved to the zoo last month to recover.
Michael Swart, founder of the Mission Rhino charity, criticised Phila's owner last week, saying she was being "exploited" for financial gain.
Swart wrote: "Why would the owner ask the zoo to have Phila moved there when more suitable locations exist? Again the answer is simple - no medical bills. The zoo has agreed to pay for its keep and medical costs," he charged.
But Phila's owner, who asked to be referred to only as ''Allan", said he had no other options if he wanted to keep the rhino safe.
"I had to beg the zoo to take her because where else can I take her? There is no other secure location,"he said, adding that, though the zoo was not ideal, "the practicality of her being in a bigger space is not possible".
Swart also accuses Allan of wanting to continue breeding with Phila while she recovered at the zoo.
"And, more disturbingly, it now seems the owner is planning to have her artificially inseminated.
"If it were my rhino, I would be far more concerned about her welfare rather than planning to have her artificially inseminated right now."
But Phila's owner blasted back, saying: "Well, it's not your rhino.
"[Artificial insemination] was certainly
Chhatbir officials propose zoo society
Taking a leaf out of zoological parks functioning in other parts of India, Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, Chhatbir, plans to install a local zoo society to improve its day-to-day functioning. Many other zoological parks in the country—Mysore, Lucknow and Rajasthan among others— have their own zoo societies which facilitate daily functioning and funding purposes.
The Chhatbir zoo authorities, too, have submitted a proposal to the finance department after getting the forest ministry's approval. Sources said that at present the zoo authorities are dependent on the finance department for implementing their plans and projects, and it often leads to inordinate delays. They have to approach the department even for fulfilling their small needs. In fact, it is considered the major reason factor behind the failure of animal adoption scheme at Chhatbir.
'If we are given a chance to self-finance... to renovate the zoo and other needs, perhaps we would not have to depend on the finance department for (carrying out) small projects. It will be better for the wildlife area,' an official told
TOI. When the animal adoption scheme was launched in September
Robitussin Pulls Orangutan Ads
After learning from PETA that great apes used in commercials are torn from their mothers when they are just babies and beaten into submission, pharmaceutical company Pfizer has replaced a new TV ad for Robitussin that originally featured an orangutan with a new ad that includes a computer-generated ape.
Grey Group created the old commercial just before signing PETA's Great Ape Humane Pledge, agreeing to never again use great apes in ads. It joins many other top ad agencies including BBDO, Young & Rubicam, and Ogilvy & Mather. Pfizer has also pledged not to use
Sharjah Aquarium to host lecture on marine environment
AS part of Sharjah Museums Department’s education programmes for adults, Sharjah Aquarium will host a free lecture and a behind-the-scenes tour of UAE marine life on Saturday.
The guest speaker, Dr Thabit Zahran, director, Biodiversity Management Sector Environmental Agency, Abu Dhabi, will provide an overview about the uniqueness of marine life found off the two coasts of the UAE. The lecture will highlight the importance of preserving marine environment - an issue of global concern.
The free lecture is open to the public and will be held from 11-11.30am. Attendees can also take part in an exclusive tour, observing over 100 different species of marine life in the aquarium display tanks. Kerwin Porter, curator of Sharjah Aquarium, will lead the informative
Wildlife authorities grapple to contain jumbo-sized problem
Help is at hand in the deadly game of saving elephants and other threatened species
Wildlife authorities are playing a "cat and mouse" game with criminals who kill elephants, wrench the tusks bloodily from their heads, then sell the ivory on the black market _ usually in Thailand.
They say they are trying better ways to deal with what they term "wildlife crimes" _ which involve big cats, pangolins and ivory.
Authorities said they are "playing a game with wildlife smugglers" which now is a transnational, well-planned, organised network. Criminals are changing tactics to avoid crackdowns.
One of the top concerns for Thailand is the illicit ivory trade. Thai craftsmanship is regarded as among the world's finest.
Thai authorities from police to customs agencies are in talks for the first time with officers from the Nairobi-based Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) in Bangkok to map out better planning and closer cooperation to try to stop the flow of raw tusks from East African countries to the kingdom.
The illegal ivory trade is complicated. In many cases, elephants are killed in Africa and the raw ivory culled from the slaughter is sent to Thailand for carving.
The finished products are exported to international customers, said Onkuri Majumdar, a senior programme officer with the Foundation for Human Rights an
Government green light for Chester Zoo’s “biodome”
AMBITIOUS plans to build a £225m “Eden of the north” at Chester Zoo have been given the green light by the Government.
The zoo’s Natural Vision project includes a “Heart of Africa” biodome, a hotel and expansion of the main entrance and car park.
Doubts were cast over its viability after the Government scrapped the NWDA.
The zoo had approval in principle for a £40m grant from the NWDA and European Regional Development Fund towards the scheme, but in August the NWDA confirmed this was one of more than 100 projects in the North West hit as it cut millions of pounds from its budget ahead of its abolition.
But Dr Mark Pilgrim, Chester Zoo’s director general, said: “We are delighted with the Secretary of State’s decision.
“The announcement is the culmination of many years of hard work and extensive public consultation.
“In light of the decision, the zoo will now take stock of the project as a whole and agree the best way forward
Taiping Zoo: Will they, won’t they prosecute? .
Since denying it was complicit in attempting to have the case dropped against the Taiping Zoo, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) have done nothing to allay either public concerns or perceptions.
Following a rumour circulating last week, neither NRE, DWNP or the Attorney General’s office have attempted to deny their offices want the case dropped for ‘political reasons'.
If the case was to be dropped, one would imagine Anson Wong as well as the NGO community would be disappointed and angry.
Wong, because dropping the Taiping case might suggest, the AG applied double standards.
It confirms the NGO's beliefs that both the NRE and Perhilitan have not changed their spots, only in a few cases – changed their desks; otherwise it is up to its cloak and dagger business as usual.
Whilst on the subject of Perhilitan and the AG’s office. Follo
Taiping Zoo prosecution: Ministry waiting for AG's green light .
We appreciate the concerns highlighted by Mr Sean Whyte in his letter, “Taiping Zoo prosecution: Stalling for time?”, (Free Malaysia Today, Oct 14, 2010).
We would like reiterate that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) have always been serious in curbing wildlife smuggling in this country. Therefore, we have given our utmost importance on the said case and proceeded to appeal for a tougher penalty against Anson Wong which will serve as a deterrent to international wildlife trafficking and wildlife crimes.
In relation to the investigation on Taiping Zoo, the ministry and the department have taken up the matter with the AG’s Chamber for reconsideration. For your information, we will take necessary actions based on advice and decision by the AG’s Office.
We also wish to inform that the ministry does not condone any violation of law among government officials and will not hesitate to take the necessary action as we view such cases very seriously. In addressing those issues, we are continuing to enhance the capabilities of our officers in the aspects of enforcement, integrity and professionalism.
The Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) has enlisted the assistance of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to nab officers who collude with illegal wildlife traders and poachers.
The ministry would like to engage the larger public
MP investigates complaint against Primate Sanctuary in Sorocaba
home to more than 40 chimpanzees and other animal species
The prosecutor met on Thursday for search and seizure warrant at the Shrine of Primates in Sorocaba. The site investigation for complaints that the animals would be used in research.
Police and prosecutors have seized dozens of records with information from chimpanzees that are in the Sanctuary, and other types of documents and computer hard drives from the site. They were investigating a complaint of the Association of Traveling Circuses, accusing the institution of abuse and also to use them illegally, the monkeys as test subjects for research.
It houses more than 40 chimpanzees and other animal species. Almost all were victims of over-treatment. Many were brought in circuses all over Brazil, where they received inadequate treatment. According to prosecutors, despite repeated complaints, has not found any indication of an improper location.
The creator of the Primate Sanctuaries, Pedro Alejandro Ynterian, said he has nothing to hide. He believes the visit was great Gaeco to clarify that the animals do not suffer ill-treatment and there is no secret laboratory, would have denounced as the Association of Circus. He also denied the existence of any scheme with IBAMA. Ynterian be quiet and said that pending completion of investigation, so it is proved that the accusations are all baseless.
MP investigates whether primates suffer maltreatment sanctuary in Sao Paulo
Complaint also points out that animals are subjected to irregular surveys.
Primate Sanctuary owner denies accusations of Sorocaba.
Police and public prosecutors of Sorocaba, 99 km from Sao Paulo, seized on Thursday (28) chips with dozens of information that are of chimpanzees in a sanctuary city. They investigate a complaint of the Association of Traveling Circuses, accusing the institution of maltreatment and to use them illegally, the monkeys as test subjects for research is not authorized.
Agents also seized computer hard drives from the site. The Sanctuary Primate Sorocaba works since 2000. It houses more than 40 chimpanzees and other animal species. According to the complaint, nearly all were victims of maltreatment. Many were brought in circuses all over Brazil.
The prosecutors and police reported that, despite reports, have not found any indication of an improper location.
The creator of the Primate Sanctuaries, Pedro Alejandro Ynterian denies the existence of a laboratory for research and says it is awaiting completion of the investigation to prove that the accusations are unfounded.
Polar Bear Celebrity Knut Said to Be Suffering
Berlin Zoo is cramming too many animals into limited space and isn't providing enough room for celebrity polar bear Knut, a Berlin politician has said. She attributes the recent deaths of an elephant and an ostrich to the shortage of space. The zoo has rejected the accusations.
Berlin Zoo has rejected criticism from a local member of parliament that it has been cramming too many animals into too little space and that it isn't providing enough room for its charges, including hand-reared celebrity polar bear Knut, who is reported to be unhappy in his new enclosure.
"He doesn't feel well and international bear experts confirm that," Claudia Hämmerling, the wildlife protection expert for the opposition Greens in Berlin's city parliament, said in a statement.
Canadian polar bear expert Else Poulsen told Berlin daily Tagesspiegel last month that Knut's life with three other polar bears was "monotonous, outdated and cruel," and that he was losing fur and didn't have enough muscle for a four-year-old.
Knut had an area to himself but was moved into a new enclosure in September and shares it with Tosca, his mother who rejected him, and with two other female bears. Visitors have complained that the trio has been ganging up on Knut and threatening him, and that he often looks scared and sits in a corner of the enclosure looking depressed.
"Visiting the zoo should be fun rather than cause sympathy and protest. It is bad for Berlin if animal lovers around the world are worried about Knut. Berlin's 'golden polar bear' gave Berlin global attention and provided the zoo with millions in revenue," said Hämmerling. She said Knut didn't have enough room for himself.
Berlin Zoo director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz denied the accusations: "It's simply not true that we're holding more animals in less space," he said.
Animal Numbers Increasing
Hämmerling said the number of animals held in Berlin's two zoos in eastern and western Berlin had increased by 2,029 to 23,706 between 2007 and 2009. "This is not justifiable," she said.
She said the death of elephant cow Sabah last month following a fight with another elephant was attributable to a lack of space, as was a tragic case in which an ostrich died because
Cheer up, the zoo's going to help you save your species
WITH the chill winter winds turning Edinburgh into a fridge, it's no wonder these monkeys looks less than thrilled to be here.
But despite the long face, for the L'Hoest monkeys it's a case of love in a cold climate.
Edinburgh Zoo has recently received six of the animals from North America, after being selected to oversee the European breeding programme for the at-risk species.
The animals enjoy more tropical weather in their natural habitat, the jungles of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda.
Despite the obvious difference in temperature, however, Edinburgh has had success in matching up mating couples, one of the main reasons the zoo was chosen to oversee the breeding programme.
This was previously managed by the Species Survival Programme in America, but after noticing the disparity in numbers of the species - European zoos have more than 40 of the animals while there are just 12 in North America - the decision was
Zoo To Use 'Poo' In Recycling Efforts
The Cincinnati Zoo is recognized as the greenest zoo in America and soon hopes to use an unusual recycling effort to save energy and costs.
The zoo already uses the sun to cut down on the amount of power it uses. Two huge solar panels save the zoo more than $500,000 per year.
"Our goal down the road is to have enough to generate 25 percent of our electricity from solar panels," said Cincinnati zoo director Thane Maynard.
Water collectors and permeable pavement around the zoo also help the zoo reuse rainwater. The zoo went from using 220 million gallons of fresh water per year, to less than 100 million gallons.
In the future, Maynard said the zoo hopes to use animal waste as compost and soil for its botanical garden. The waste could also be used to heat the elephant house.
The zoo's green efforts have helped
Bristol Zoo brings gorilla sculptures to city's streets
Life-sized gorilla sculptures on Bristol's streets will be part of the city zoo's 175th birthday.
The public art display around Bristol will also help to raise funds and awareness if the threats facing gorillas in the wild.
The gorillas are to be sponsored by businesses and will be painted and decorated by local artists.
Schools and community groups will also be invited to paint the gorillas which will be on the streets in summer 2011.
"We want our birthday year to be a city-wide celebration of all that is great about Bristol and its people," said Dr Bryan Carroll, director of Bristol Zoo Gardens.
"We hope the colourful sculptures will be enjoyed by thousands of Bristolians and
Probe ordered into death of elephant calf at Gobha
The Forest Department on Thursday said that the three-year-old elephant calf that died at Gobha area in Morigaon on October 23 – attributed to a violent mob by a section of the media – aggravated its injuries when its movements were sought to be restrained by the people along with departmental staff, and subsequently died.
Briefing the media on the preliminary report of the inquiry committee, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), S Chand said that the animal was very weak from a deep wound on its body and that is why the team of veterinarians opted against tranquilizing it for treatment and applied local anaesthesia instead.
“But the animal became very restless following application of the sedative and started to run around nervously. The Forest officials present, in fact, engaged the local people to restrict its movement so that it does not enter the nearby waterhole where treatment would be impossible,” Chand said, adding that killing the elephant was never the intention of the people. Chand, however
PANTHERA CONGRATULATES ONE OF ITS ORIGINAL TIGERS FOREVER SITES FOR BEING RECOGNIZED AS A LEADER IN SAVING WILD CATS
Thailand's HKK Sanctuary follows strategy focused on results
NEW YORK, NY - The wild cat conservation organization Panthera congratulated the government of Thailand today for its long-standing efforts to conserve wild tigers. While tiger populations across Asia are plummeting due to poaching for the illegal trade in wildlife parts, lack of prey and habitat loss, Thailand's Huai Kha Khaeng (HKK) Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Forest Complex was recently recognized by the Global Tiger Initiative as a shining example of how tigers can be effectively protected.
HKK was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991 and is well situated as part of a much larger landscape of connected protected forest. It is also one of the founding sites of Panthera's Tigers Forever strategy. Tigers Forever is a unique model that Panthera initiated in 2006, in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society to increase tiger numbers at key sites by 50 percent over a 10-year period.
Tigers Forever focuses only on what will alleviate the most critical threats to the tigers' survival - such as patrols and enforcement to mitigate poaching and other illegal activities - while using scientific measurement and monitoring of tigers and their prey to ensure that conservation actions are being effective. Prior to utilizing the Tigers Forever model, HKK was already making efforts to protect its tigers, but law enforcement patrols were increased in 2006 to seriously combat poaching and other illegal activities in the park. Today, almost 200 staff members are conducting
Drunk bar manager eaten alive by lions
A bar manager was eaten alive by lions after he wanted to play with them following an all-night party at a wildlife park in South Africa, it was reported here.
Thirty-year-old Jan-Friederick Bredenhand was dragged into the lions' complex by his legs after he climbed up a fence pole.
He was then "ripped to pieces", The Sun reported Tuesday.
The incident happened at the privately-run Addo Croc and Lion Ranch near Port Elizabeth.
The food and drinks manager was drunk and he wanted to "play" with the animals after the all-night party at the wildlife park.
Veluchia Hassim, a tourist who saw the lions chewing the victim's carcass, said: "We ran to the encampment. It was horrific. One lion was gnawing on his ribs when we got there."
The animals had to be shot dead so that
In Defense Of Animals Blasts San Diego Zoo Plan To Loan Elephants To Los Angeles Zoo
In Defense of Animals (IDA) is blasting the San Diego Zoo for its plan to loan two elephants to the Los Angeles Zoo, claiming the move is detrimental to the elephants’ welfare. The San Diego Zoo received Tina and Jewel after they were removed by federal agencies from an abusive circus handler last year.
“Scientific research shows that inter-zoo transfers contribute to the premature deaths of elephants, so unnecessary moves should be avoided at all costs,” said IDA Elephant Campaign Director Catherine Doyle. “If the San Diego Zoo cannot keep Tina and Jewel, the elephants should be sent to a natural-habitat sanctuary where they would be assured a permanent home and the stability that elephants need to thrive. Unlike a sanctuary, there is no guarantee that the L.A. Zoo will not move these elephants yet again.”
IDA worked for more than two years to free Tina and Jewel from a life-threatening situation in the circus, filing complaints with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act and pressing for confiscation of the ailing elephants. The USDA and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service removed the elephants and sent them to the zoo in August 2009.
The PAWS Sanctuary in San Andreas, California, had long offered to take Tina and Jewel and guarantee them a lifetime home. IDA expected that if the elephants were to be moved again, it would be to PAWS, which provides expert rehabilitation for abused
Dolphin species attempt 'common language'
When two dolphin species come together, they attempt to find a common language, preliminary research suggests.
Bottlenose and Guyana dolphins, two distantly related species, often come together to socialise in waters off the coast of Costa Rica.
Both species make unique sounds, but when they gather, they change the way they communicate, and begin using an intermediate language.
That raises the possibility the two species are
Calgary Zoo to host two rare giant pandas
After learning the Calgary Zoo has won a bid to host two giant pandas, one young conservationist is excited to see them.
Holly Hykawy said she has been taking her kids to the zoo since they were babies.
“It’s really exciting for my eight-year-old daughter,” said Hykawy. “For her birthday last year she adopted a gorilla instead of having birthday presents.”
Annika, 8, said she’s “really excited” to learn about the pandas.
“I’ve never actually seen a panda so I sort of want to know what they look like,” said Annika.
“I sort of like learning about how they’re endangered and why.”
For the staff at the Calgary Zoo, hosting “an icon for world
Zoo faces drastic cuts after visitor slump
THE boss of one of Scotland's best-known visitor attractions has admitted it has "no option" but to slash its running costs in the wake of a dramatic slump in visitors.
Edinburgh Zoo's chief executive has warned it will have to making major savings by the end of the year to stave off a financial crisis.
David Windmill has denied claims from worried staff that the attraction is in danger of going into administration and that management have ordered the 250-strong workforce to take a pay cut.
But he has conceded that the zoo is expected to make a significant loss at the end of the current financial year, even taking into account a widespread cost-cutting programme, which has put dozens of jobs at risk.
Mr Windmill revealed that a drop in visitor numbers of about 60,000 - almost 10 per cent of last year's total - was expected to cost the attraction almost £1 million. He said the zoo's relatively small cash reserves of just £2 million meant it was being forced to scale back important conservation and education projects.
Mr Windmill said the number of jobs to go over the next few months would be "nowhere near" the 50 figure quoted in recent reports.
But other emergency measures which have been ordered include closing a flagship exotic birds enclosure, charging members of the society to park at the attraction and cutting back
An elephant in my garden
From her sunny balcony she can hear the roar of a tiger and the bark of a sea lion not too far away. Today, there's a squawk from an exotic bird and the constant chatter of gibbons - mixed with the ripping growl of chainsaws and the resounding thump of hammers.
The boundary of Auckland Zoo is metres from Annette Isbey's Westmere home. The renowned artist has worked from her studio since the 1970s and lived in the house above it since 1999.
From here she's watched zookeepers walk wildcats, pigs and even elephants past her garden.
To prove her point, the 82-year-old shows photographs of Burma and Kashin pushing their heads through her back fence. They seem to be reaching for the lemon tree.
Not your normal neighbour, a zoo. Not your normal neighbourly concerns, either.
Frail but determined, Ms Isbey is one of hundreds of residents fighting the zoo's planned expansion into Western Springs Park.
The proposed 22,000sq m land grab
West Bengal sets up new zoo authority
A zoo authority has been set in West Bengal to control the two largest zoos in the state, an official said here Saturday.
The Alipore Zoological Gardens in the city and the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park at Darjeeling will now be controlled by the West Bengal State Zoo Authority.
State Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh is the chairman of the authority and senior forest department officials are its members.
'The committee members held their first meeting Friday at the State Secretariat - Writers' Buildings where it
Rhino horn GPS used to deter poachers
Five rhinos in South Africa's North West province have been fitted with a Global Positioning System (GPS) device to help protect them from poachers.
The GPS chip is fitted into the rhino's horn by drilling a small hole in the inert or dead part of the horn.
As well as GPS tracking, the device is equipped with alarm systems to alert game wardens of unusual movement or if a rhino is outside of the park.
The North West Park Board is testing the devices
Dolphin death data collected, not analyzed
Critics say feds should review for trends, issues
When Sumar the killer whale died unexpectedly at SeaWorld San Diego on Sept. 7, company officials issued a statement mourning the loss of the 12-year-old orca and fans poured out their sadness on the Internet.
What most of them probably didn’t know was how common it is for members of the dolphin family, which includes orcas, to pass away at the local facility.
Sumar was the fourth orca to die at SeaWorld San Diego since 1985, according to the Marine Mammal Inventory Report, maintained by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
In addition to those, federal figures show, 42 non-orca dolphins died at SeaWorld San Diego over that same timespan.
Whether that record is troubling — or more likely, laudable — is an open question because federal regulators don’t
3rd ibis release to start today / When 'acclimation cage' door opens, will birds fly to freedom?
The release of 14 Japanese crested ibises, a species designated by the government as a specially protected natural monument, will start Monday on Sado Island, Niigata Prefecture, it has been learned.
The birds, called toki, are the third batch to be bred and released by the Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Conservation Center in the hope that they will adapt to life in the wild. After the first group of toki was released in 2008, followed by the second in 2009, a total of 21 are thought to be living either on Sado Island or on Honshu.
The conservation center hopes that the 14 ibises, eight males and six females ranging from this year's hatchlings up to 5 years old, will pair up among themselves or with the previously released birds in next spring's breeding season or later, hopefully leading to the first hatching of ibis chicks under natural conditions since 1976, center officials said.
The current ibis release will be carried out by having the 14 fly directly out of their 4,000-square-meter "acclimation cage," where they were trained to fly and feed. The first release was conducted after shifting each ibis from the acclimation cage to a smaller one with the aim of having the bird take wing immediately once the cage was opened, but
Indian police bust elephant smuggling ring
Indian police busted an elephant smuggling ring in the northeastern state of Assam, arresting five people and seizing three wild elephants, two of them calves, authorities said Monday.
Documents seized during the operation Sunday night showed the gang had been engaged in the illegal elephant trade for years, smuggling at least 92 elephants from the state to other parts of India over the past five years, said P. K. Dutta, superintendent of police in Kokrajhar, a district in the west of Assam.
Selling elephants is barred under Indian law and even getting permission to move domesticated elephants between states is a lengthy and complicated procedure.
Regardless, authorities say there remains
Small, wrinkly and worth waiting for
Tuatara are not known for doing anything in a hurry and are notoriously difficult to breed, so a group of seven newly hatched babies has conservationists excited.
Staff at Wellington Zoo found the eggs in May, and now - after months of careful incubation - three males and four females have emerged. The zoo is aiming for a self-sustaining captive population, and the eggs represent a crucial step.
Senior reptile keeper Olivia Walley says the zoo has four adult tuatara - three are female - and they are kept separate from the four juveniles on display for visitors. They are in a breeding enclosure that is divided into six sections, leaving the male, Tuatahi, to roam freely between them.
"He climbs in between them to whoever he fancies the look of."
When Ms Walley found eight eggs laid by Matamuri earlier this year, Tuatahi had become a first-time father.
The eggs were moved to Victoria University to be watched over by conservation ecology senior technician Susan Keall. In a dedicated room, the eight eggs were kept incubated in two separate
Sydney zoo celebrates birth of Asian elephant
Sydney's premier zoo is celebrating the birth of its first female Asian elephant - a 270 pound (120 kilogram) calf that is doing well.
Taronga Zoo director Cameron Kerr said in a statement that the birth Tuesday means that Australia now has a dozen of the endangered animals in zoos in Sydney and Melbourne, after initially receiving eight from Thailand in 2006.
The newborn, which has yet to be named, is the third
Baby Dolphin Dies at Gulf World
Gulf World Marine Park’s youngest baby dolphin, Chloe, died Sunday when she fell from her habitat.
She and her mother were housed with Gulf World’s other two new babies and their mothers. The accident happened at night and it appears that she was accidently pushed or washed over the wall by some type of activity caused
$12M panda cave needed
Designs for climate-controlled dwellings begin this month
Design plans will likely begin this month for a $12 million “cave-like” dwelling for two rare giant pandas from China making Toronto Zoo their home in two years.
Plans for a 950-square-metre climate-controlled cage will have to receive a green light from the Chinese government before construction begins, Ward 7 Councillor and zoo panda task force member Giorgio Mammoliti said.
He said the pandas arrive in 2012 and will remain for the 2015 Pan Am Games.
Mammoliti said sponsors are being sought to help cover the cost of the pen.
“We are using the panda bears to raise money for the zoo,” Mammoliti said. “People are interested in the panda-mania that will take place.”
Officials estimate the animals will attract 450,000 visitors and bring in about $10 million annually for the zoo.
“We don’t need taxpayers to subsidize the zoo,” Mammoliti said. “Some of us believe the zoo should be run independently from the city.”
He said the Chinese government and Zoo Association of China committed the pandas to Canada for 15 years. They will spend five years each at zoos in Toronto, Calgary
Aquarium Loses Long-time Favorite
Squirt the sea lion was a fan-favorite at the Aquarium of Niagara for 22 years. Staff members say that she had a strong personality and loved performing.
Over the two decades she was at the Aquarium, she was one of the star attractions. Recently she underwent cataract surgery.
The surgery was successful, but doctors made a troubling discovery.
Squirt was also suffering from cancer. Her health deteriorated quickly and they made the difficult decision
Admin negligence increases animals, birds’ death ratio at Margazar Zoo
Two vacant seats of Zoo Supervisors in the Margazar Zoo, located in Sector E-6, seem to have created huge problem for the administration as the death ratio of animals and birds has increased in the zoo.
Another female ostrich was died in Margazar Zoo and was shifted to National Institute of Health (NIH) in CDA’s ‘Shahzoor’ truck for postmortem on Tuesday evening.
According to reliable sources, there were three ostriches in the zoo out of which a female ostrich was died due to carelessness that showed the mismanagement of the zoo administration.
Sources said the Capital Development
Operation tiger: 27 stone zoo animal requires police escort as surgeons remove rugby ball-sized tumour
She tips the scales at 27st and she’s perfectly capable of biting your head off should she happen to get upset.
On top of that, she’d been feeling a bit tetchy lately due to a crippling pain in her gut. So here’s a question not many surgeons will face in their career: just how do you remove a tumour the size of a rugby ball from the belly of a sleeping tiger?
Answer: very carefully indeed
World's rarest snake back from brink of extinction
The world's rarest snake has slithered back from the brink of extinction, with its numbers increasing 10-fold in the past 15 years, conservationists said today.
Researchers found there were just 50 Antiguan racers (Alsophis antiguae) in 1995, all confined to the eight-hectare Great Bird Island, off the coast of Antigua in the Caribbean.
The snake had been wiped out on mainland Antigua by the mongoose, a species from Asia which had been introduced by humans, while the species had been attacked by black rats which had colonised Great Bird Island.
The harmless Antiguan racers were also killed by people.
But work by conservationists in the past 15 years, including eradication of the rats from a dozen offshore islands, an education programme and reintroduction schemes, has boosted the population to more than 500 snakes.
The range of the snake has increased to 63 hectares and other wildlife has also benefited, the conservation groups involved in the project said.
Caribbean brown pelicans have increased from just two breeding pairs to more than 60 pairs on the first islands to be restored