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Zoo News Digest Nov-Dec 2015

Zoo News Digest

Nov-Dec 2015


 

31Dec2015

Tiger-Goat Duo rockets to stardom in Russian cyber space on New Year’s Eve
In the last weeks of the outgoing year - the Year of the Goat in the Chinese Zodiac - a black goat nicknamed Timur and Far Eastern (also called Siberian) tiger called Amur met in a safari park in Russia's Primorye Territory to instantly rocket to stardom in the national cyber space. At the end of November the goat was brought to tiger Amur’s vast enclosure the size of a football pitch approximating wildlife environment as live prey. The park’s specialists explain this has to be done from time to time to ensure the tiger retains hunting habits. It is easy to imagine how surprised the park’s attendants were when the goat boldly confronted the huge cat head on showing no intention to step back an inch. The tiger had to retreat. Then, at a certain point the beast of prey for some reason displayed remarkable benevolence towards the unexpected guest. First, the tiger let the goat use his shelter to hide from rain and snow during the night. Then, in several days’ time the wild beast and the domesticated goat apparently developed what began to look pretty much like real friendship. They were repeatedly seen take long strides together, play tag and even have their
Swiss architects go wild over zoo design
Designing spaces for wild animals is not what most architects have in mind when entering the profession. But the creative Swiss are embracing the challenge to make lions, elephants and sea creatures feel at home.
Markus Schietsch clearly remembers his first encounter with a wild bull elephant. He was in the back of an open pickup truck when the elephant repeatedly mock charged the vehicle in the Kaeng Krachan national park in Thailand. The adrenalin-packed experience was courtesy of a study trip organised by the Zurich zoo, as the Zurich based-architect had just won a CHF57 million ($56.7 million) contract to build their new Kaeng Krachan elephant house. 
“The visit was to help me understand more about the role of zoos today,” the boyish-looking 40-year-old told swissinfo.ch. “You can still be critical about zoos but they are very important to generate an awareness about conservation problems outside Europe.” 
He was thrilled to win the elephant house commission, the biggest project his firm had ever been entrusted with. Competition was fierce, with around 65 entries from countries including the United States, France, Italy, Germany and Austria. 
But his 6,800 square metre free-standing wooden roof – designed to give the impression of being under a giant tree – bowled the jury over. 
“We delved into the world of the elephant and came across these beautiful tree canopies where they lived,” says Schietsch. “We then tried to translate this structure into the elephant house design.” 
Another Swiss architect who bagged a multimillion-franc zoo contract is Roger Boltshauser, who is also based in Zurich. His firm beat internationally-renowned architects like Zaha Hadid and David Chippe
Emmen zoo closes its doors after 80 years
Emmen zoo closes its doors at 16.30 on Thursday, 80 years after it first opened. The zoo will reopen at a new, bigger location outside the town in March. ‘We had to do something,’ said spokeswoman Hanneke Wijshake. ‘We were squashed in between the houses and could not expand.’ The decision to move to a new location was taken several years ago. The new zoo will be renamed Wildlands Adventure Zoo and will have bigger enclosures for the animals. The first of them, such as the tigers and panthers, have already been moved to their new home. ‘They will have to get used to their new situation, which is why we are taking three months to reopen,’ Wijshake said
What happened to the missing sun bears?
Two years ago, I visited the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sepilok, Sabah, for a documentary project. The centre is established and managed by an amazing individual known simply as Mr Wong. And through Mr Wong, I became acquainted to the main character of our documentary – Damai, a Malayan sun bear.
Damai is an adorable sun bear who was just eight months old when I met her. Unlike most sun bears who are dependent on their mothers until at least two years of age, Damai spends most of her time alone. This is because she is an orphan.
Apparently, when Damai was still a baby, she and her mother got lost in a palm oil estate. The workers who found them killed her mother and sold Damai as a pet. Damai then grew up with her adoptive human family, treated like a puppy, caged and given human food.
However, when she was four months old, Damai managed to escape from her cage and was found walking aimlessly around the neighbourhood when a concerned citizen informed the Wildlife Department – that was how she ended up at the sun bear conservation centre.
When I met Damai, she was already four months living in the centre under the care of Mr Wong. She totally depended on Mr Wong to help her regain her strength and teach her the skills she needed to survive in the forest one day. But it wasn’t an easy task to re-acquaint Damai to the forest.
The fact is, sun bears are supposed to be experts at climbing trees besides having a natural curiosity to explore the woods. Sadly, having been cage
Zoo breeds very rare jellyfish
Schönbrunn Zoo, which is the world's oldest zoo and is based in the Austrian capital of Vienna, notched up the success and revealed they have managed to breed the rare animal, which is now on show in the aquarium.
Rhizostoma luteum is so rare that despite claims of its existence based on sightings from hundreds of years ago, there was significant doubt that any were still left alive.
Zoo director Dagmar Schratter said: "The giant jellyfish was discovered in 1827 in the Western Mediterranean. But it is so rarely seen nowadays that some scientists had doubted its continued existence.
"The fact that specimens are still alive was only confirmed a few years ago when a few of the animals were stranded on beaches in Morocco and Spain."
This jellyfish currently measures just 4 centi
 

 

Tiger put down after escaping from KZN zoo
A tiger that escaped from the Natal Zoological Gardens and Lion Park in Pietermaritzburg has been put down.
Owner Brian Boswell, who also owns the controversial Brian Boswell's Circus, says that the animal escaped on Tuesday.
"We were notified yesterday [Wednesday]. It has since been killed," he said.
"We had a vet with us and we had to put it down because it wasn't safe enough to dart [tranquilize]."
He said nobody was attacked by the tiger.
Boswell did not comment on how the animal escaped.
"The police will look into that."
Nicholas May, who lives in the Mpushini Valley area, where the tiger made its way to, said the animal was spotted by a neighbour in her farm yesterday.
He says the owners were called, and locals assumed the animal would be tranquilized.
"They brought a shotgun and blasted the hell out of it... The animal has been in a cage, it was almost tame," May said.
He said the animal appeared to have survived that and walked off into the nearby bushes.
Boswell however confirmed that the animal was dead.
The circus has been heavily criticised recently, and calls were made for it to be boycotted after allegations emerged that it was mistreating 
Were five more tigers killed on Boswell’s Lion Park property?
The controversy over the recent ­shooting of a Bengal tiger that escaped from zoo and circus owner Brian ­Boswell’s property was further fuelled on Tuesday by allegations that it was one of six tigers in fact killed in the wake of a mass escape.
The allegations emerged during a ­protest by animal rights activists outside Boswell’s Natal Zoological ­Gardens and Lion Park on Tuesday.
In a brief telephonic conversation with The Witness, Boswell later, however, denied that more than one tiger was killed “that day”.
“One tiger escaped and one tiger was shot in a separate incident,” he said.
In reply to the allegation that it was rumoured that five other tigers were also shot, Boswell said, “We have put down tigers before, but this was separate. On this occasion there was one tiger that was shot.”
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesperson Musa Mntambo said the organisation was aware of only one tiger being shot at Boswell’s behest after it escaped onto a neighbouring farm.
“I have received other phone calls from people also asking the same ­question you are … Our guys are busy trying to find out if it is true or not,” said Mntambo.
He said later Boswell had denied there were additional tiger shootings.
According to his information, however, it appeared that legislation does not require a permit to shoot a tiger provided it is shot on the owner’s property.



Large permanent reserves required for effective conservation of old fish
100 years needed to fully recover slow growing fish
Permanent marine protected areas and wilderness--places where fish can grow old--are critical to the effective conservation of marine ecosystems according to a new study conducted by the Wildlife Conservation Society, James Cook University, and Lancaster University.
Unlike previous research focused primarily on the weight or biomass of fish as a measure of reef recovery, this study evaluated the life histories of fish communities. In doing so, the researchers found much slower change--well beyond the 20 years that it took for biomass to recover--and some factors like growth rate were expected to change for more than 100 years. The findings underscore the importance of permanent marine protected areas and wilderness in the effective protection of marine fishes.
The study titled "Marine reserve recovery rates towards a baseline are slower for reef fish community life histories than biomass" appears in th
Stem Cells May Save Northern White Rhinos
With only three northern white rhinoceroses left on Earth, conservationists are giving up on traditional breeding efforts and turning to cutting-edge science to save this subspecies.
At a meeting in Vienna from Dec. 3 to Dec. 6, researchers developed a plan to use stem cells to create fertilized rhino embryos, which will be carried by surrogate southern white rhino females.
This past year has been a sad one for northern white rhinos, a rapidly disappearing subspecies destroyed by habitat loss and poaching. There were six northern whites on the pl
Oldest of zoo gorillas turns 59 at Columbus Zoo
A gorilla that officials say is the oldest known gorilla living in a zoo is celebrating her 59th birthday with a party.
The Columbus Zoo says the female western lowland gorilla, named Colo, is celebrating with toys and an ice cake containing treats such as clementines and tomatoes frozen inside. Online viewers can see Colo’s habitat drap
Bowmanville Zoo owner denies wrongdoing after PETA releases video of whipping
A Bowmanville zoo director is defending his actions after an animal activist group released a video showing the man whipping a tiger and saying that if PETA had seen his actions, they would burn the place to the ground.
PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – posted a 1:37 video of Michael Hackenberger training the Siberian tiger. Hackenberger is heard swearing angrily after the animal ignored his cue and jumped on a ledge instead of continuing with his practice routine.
“Fu**ing piece of fu**cking sh**,” he says as he
Statement from Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums
The following is a statement from CAZA Executive Director, Massimo Bergamini, following the release of a video alleging animal abuse at the Bowmanville Zoo.
"The welfare of the animals in the care of our accredited member institutions is our paramount concern.  
CAZA's values, policies and standards are clear: animals must be treated with respect and dignity and in a manner that does not jeopardize their welfare.  
After viewing the edited video, we have decided to bring the matter before our Ethics Committee for investigation.
The Committee is being empaneled today and we expect that it will convene quickly to consider the matter.
The issues raised by the video are serious and requi
Siegfried and Roy Shouldn't Be Surprised By Their Tiger Cubs' Tragic Death
Just three months after Siegfried and Roy unveiled two white tigers who they had bred in captivity for people's entertainment, the Las Vegas performers announced, with great sadness, that the little cubs had died. The only problem is, the fact that these young animals lives' ended so early is their fault.
Hollywild Animal Park hires new curator
S. Nigel Platt will lead Hollywild's animal department and be the animal curator for the nonprofit animal park that has been home to the Upstate for more than 40 years. 
The press release describes Platt in the following: 
"For the last eight years, Platt has served as executive director at Safe Haven and Educational Adventures in Easley, SC, non-profit organization providing permanent refuge for rescued exotic wildlife. A native of England, Platt first came to the United States as Herpetologist for the Toledo Zoo in 1993. He then came to the Upstate as General Curator of the Greenville Zoo where he worked for six years providing professional leadership, strategic planning, oversight and supervision for the animal collection, facilities and personnel before being tapped by Reaseheath College in England to establish the school’s teaching zoo program and animal collection. Upon completion of the project, Platt returned to the SC Upstate and co-founded Safe Haven with Kim Chiswell, an animal care specialist and educator. Platt will remain a consultan
Vet's battle for chimp stranded in empty zoo
Marthe Arends had just arrived in Burkina Faso and was walking through the city of Bobo-Dioulasso when she heard a noise over her shoulder.
“I suddenly heard an ’uuhm, uuhm’ behind me,” the 31-year-old from Berlin said. On turning around she saw a pathetic looking Chimpanzee sitting on a wall with a chain around it.
“Lolita clearly wanted to get our attention,” said Arends. That was in 2012. But it became the start of a deep friendship for which the German vet even gave up her job.
Arends’ father - himself a doctor in parasiteology and veterinary medicine at the Free University in Berlin - had cautioned her before she left for Africa that she should 
Council responds to Dalton zoo 'harassment' comments
SOUTH Lakes Safari Zoo in Dalton is to close on January 9, bosses of the tourist attraction have announced.
A statement was issued after Barrow Borough Council ruled all wooden public walkways must be shut with immediate effect due to concerns about safety.
The decision was made at a meeting of the Licensing Regulatory Committee - prompting zoo spokesman Karen Brewer to say the attraction would be 'effectively closed'.
She said: "In effect if you close the walkways you are closing the zoo.
"We would be closing the only access areas to the natural park. You have been round to see the area and in effect you would be closing us."
Council responds to Dalton zoo 'harassment' comments
A statement was issued after Barrow Borough Council ruled all wooden public walkways must be shut with immediate effect due to concerns about safety.
The decision was made at a meeting of the Licensing Regulatory Committee - prompting zoo spokesman Karen Brewer to say the attraction would be 'effectively closed'.
She said: "In effect if you close the walkways you are closing the zoo.
"We would be closing the only access areas to the natural park. You h
Row over Dalton zoo safety intensifies
- Zoo criticises council's handling of licensing issues
- Council defends decision 
- Evening Mail calls for both parties to hold clear the air talks
- MP hopes solution can be found
- Petition launched to stop zoo closure 
Barrow Borough Council released a statement on Friday in response to South Lakes Safari Zoo accusing the authority of harassing the zoo for the past two years. 
RELATED ARTICLES:  Muck heap baboon escape fears raised at zoo
Timeline: The storied past of Dalton zoo and David Gill
November 1997: Mr Gill is found guilty of endangering the public after a white rhino escaped from its enclosure. During the incident in May, the animal fell down a ravine and had to be shot.
July 2001: A tribunal awards former animal park employee Lara Kitson £30,000 in compensation after she claimed she was sacked for being pregnant. Mr Gill denied the allegations.
April 2004: Mareeba Wild Animal Park, Gill’s venture in Queensland, Australia, closes after 15 weeks. He was later fined $10,000AUS after a cheetah escaped from the zoo.
August 2007: Mr Gill is attacked in his own home by the estranged husband of his then-partner. Richard Creary is later jailed for five years for stabbing Mr Gill in the neck.
July 2008: Mr Gill quits as chairman of the Barrow and Furness Conservative Association after just three months. He ran unsuccessfully for the Dalton South ward of Barrow Borough Council in the May 2008 elections, and again in May this year. 
December 2008: A fire in one of the park’s enc

Dalton zoo bosses to meet Barrow council chief 
The attraction made a shock announcement earlier this month that it would close in January, following a decision by Barrow Borough Council to close the zoo’s public walkways due to health and safety reasons.
The council has explained that their licensing regulatory committee ruled that all wooden public walkways at the Dalton attraction must be shut with immediate effect due to concerns over safety.
The zoo was given 28 days to comply.
In response, the animal park issued a statement last week saying they would shut on January 9. 
South Lakes Safari Zoo to issue 'formal complaint' against Barrow Borough Council, according to statement
THE South Lakes Safari Zoo has announced that they will be making 'a formal complaint' to Barrow Borough Council after the animal park was ordered to close its wooden walkways on safety grounds.
In a statement issued on their Facebook page, the zoo claims that the council has used a 'heavy-handed approach'.
Dalton Zoo facing order to prevent baboons escaping
Barrow Borough Council's licensing regulatory committee is being recommended to issue direction orders against South Lakes Safari Zoo at a meeting due to health and safety concerns.
The authority has identified three conditions to the Dalton zoo's licence which it states are not being met.
A muck pile in the African enclosure, which houses rhinos, giraffes and baboons, could pose a route for the monkeys to climb fencing and escape, a report to the council has found.
The zoo was told to move the pile away from the boundary by December 31, however the attraction states it cannot do so until the completion of a new rhino facility which has been delayed by several months.
"Moving the muck heap away from the moat and enclosure fence will reduce the escape risk and is deemed to be an easy task," the report reads.
The direction order, if imposed, would give the attraction a deadline of 14 days to carry out the work.
A letter to the council from the zoo in response reads: "At this time it is absolutely necessary for the muck store to remain within the boundary of the rhino field albeit a safe distance from the boundary to prevent escape of baboons.
"Any suggestion that the pile was to be in the middle of the field is simply unsafe and not good practice. It would create very dangerous wet patches in the ground for rh
Researchers find that Australian and New Zealand little penguins are distinct species
A team of researchers from New Zealand's University of Otago and the University of Tasmania has discovered that Australian and New Zealand little penguins represent two distinct species, rather than one.
Scientists had previously wondered about the relationships between populations of the penguin (popularly known as little blue penguins or fairy penguins) found on either side of the Tasman. The trans-Tasman team used genetic techniques to compare populations from both countries, and surprisingly found that they are not the same species.
"We found a very strong pattern, where New Zealand has its own distinctive genetic group that is clearly very differe
Perth Zoo in echidna breeding world first
Perth Zoo has produced the world's first puggle from two captive-born echidnas.
Perth's newest puggle hatched in August, weighing less than a gram, before spending two months in its mother's pouch to eventually be deposited in a burrow when it got too prickly for its mum.
A Perth Zoo spokeswoman said short-beaked echidnas were notoriously difficult to breed, but changes to animal management and their exhibit design, inspired by Philadelphia Zoo, led to a successful result.
'The puggles will remain in their burrows off display until they're about six months old,' she said.
'By then they will have a fully protective covering of spines and look just like a small adult echidna.'
It is hoped the successful breeding p
Russian specialists ready to assist North Korea count Amur tigers
Russian scientists are ready to assist North Korea assess the potential presence of Amur tigers in the country, director of the Amur Tiger Center's Primorye branch Sergei Aramilev said.
“The Russian Natural Resources and Ecology Ministry and North Korean representatives are holding negotiations for the assistance of Russian specialists in the assessment of the tiger population in North Korea,” Aramilev told reporters on Dec. 14. “If ther
Chester Zoo and Cheshire Oaks sign up to become Autism Champions
Chester Zoo and Cheshire Oaks have signed up to become more autism-friendly.
Both of the attractions have pledged to become Autism Champions under a Department of Health-backed scheme.
They have committed to put their staff through training as well as help spread awareness and understanding.
The Connect to Austism project is being run in the north west by Wirral-based charity Autism Together.
Autism Together CEO Robin Bush said: “People with autism want to lead normal lives, they want to go to the cinema or visit the shops or go on holiday.
“It’s actually easier than you may think to make an organisation autism-friendly by training staff and making small adjustments to venues.
“For example, people with autism can take several seconds to process what you have said, so we train staff to wait patiently for an answer.
Why Elephant Rides in India May Soon Be Banned
For decades, elephants have been used to ferry tourists to popular destinations in India—walking to the Amber Fort, an opulent palace high on a hill some seven miles outside Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital city, with up to four people on their back. It wasn't until this week that the government decided to speak out on their behalf. Members of the Indian Supreme Court have expressed concern about elephant working conditions and requested a response from the government in four weeks. Once they've reviewed the response, they will decide whether or not to ban the practice, which could be potentially be in violation of Indian law.
The original petition, filed by an advocate for the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, stated that only 50 of 130 elephants used for tourism in the Indian states of Goa and Rajasthan are housed in the state-sponsored supported Elephant Village, where the animals are given food, cleaned, and taken out for walks. The remaining 80 are housed in private sheds and “subjected to intense and relentless physical and mental cruelty” that affects both their mental and physical well-being—records exist of elephants suffering from back swelling, chain wounds on their legs, severe foot infections, and even exhibiting signs of depression.
Sadly, the mistreatment of elephants in India is an incident not limited to the subcontinent. In Vietnam, a number of elephants used for work in the touris
A Question To Ponder
The other day, the senior trainer on our team asked me a question as we filled out our records after the final session.
"If you could have a drink with one of the animals here, who would it be?" she asked.  
What a fantastic question, right?  Don't you ever wonder that about the animals you know?  What would they say if you were granted Doolittle amnesty and you could just chillax with a frosty beverage and wax poetic with another species of animal?  
"Take your time," the senior trainer added.   She knew how serious of a question this was.
So I walked around our main dolphin habitat, checking the area for the night to make sure everything looked good.  As I peered into the underwater viewing windows, I saw the dolphins playing*.  I heard their seemingly endless wh
The Disturbing Truth About Where Zoo Animals Come From
Sissy's life in the zoo system began in 1969. That year, at the tender age of 1, she was ripped away from her family in Thailand and shipped to the Six Flags Over Texas Amusement Park petting zoo in Arlington, Texas.
Not long after her arrival to Six Flags, she was sold to the Frank Buck Zoo in Gainesville, Texas.
Tiny Booroolong frog focus of $1 million project with implications for human survival
The waters of the trickling streams in the mountains around Oberon in central-west New South Wales are pretty chilly, even in December, but that goes with the territory for a group of dedicated frog researchers.
These scientists spend nights wading the waterways, listening for the croak of frogs, hand examining and recording each one to see if it is the Booroolong frog.
The species, found in pockets of streams along the Great Dividing Range in New South Wales and north-eastern Vi
Beef row: Bhilai zoo animals will now get fish
After having withdrawn a tender to procure beef for zoo animals following a controversy, public sector Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) will now feed fresh fish to animals at its famous Maitri Baag Zoo in Chhattisgarh.
Six New African Clawed Frog Species Discovered
McMaster University researchers have discovered and described six new African clawed frog species (Xenopus sp.) that reside in west and sub-Saharan Africa. The researchers determined the frogs were new species using a variety of analyses, including DNA, voice recordings, CT scanning of internal anatomy, and chromosome analysis.
Lions devour zebra in front of zoo visitors
Visitors to the lion enclosure at Duisburg Zoo were shocked on Thursday afternoon to see the big cats feasting on the remains of a zebra.
Zoo science director Jochen Reiter explained to Bild that at 24, the zebra had reached extreme old age and that it had been put down humanely according to animal rights rules.
Rather than disposing of the cadaver, the zoo keepers decided to reintroduce it to the circle of life by giving the l
INDONESIA: ZOO KEEPER ACCUSED OF IMPREGNATING FEMALE ORANGUTAN
 A zoo keeper at Indonesia’s Surabaya zoo has been arrested and charged with sexual assault on a number of animals and even, strangely enough, of impregnating a female orangutan, reports the Kalimantan Press this morning.
The 38-year-old zoo keeper was filmed in full action by a series of hidden cameras put in place by the zoo’s security officials after doubts emerged about the man’s devious actions towards the zoo animals.
“Some animals seemed sexually aroused when it was time to feed them” explains Akhiroel Yahya, employee of the zoo 
Report of orang utan sexually assaulted by zoo employee a hoax
 A report claiming that an employee of the Surabaya Zoo sexually assaulted an orang utan, resulting in the alleged victim's pregnancy, is a hoax, the zoo’s chief has confirmed. 
Zoo chief Heri Purwanto debunked the report by the World News Daily Network on Saturday, saying that the zoo was not housing an orang utan named Marilyn and that the named officials were not employees of the zoo.
"Everything in the news report is false. We don’t have an orang utan named Marilyn or a director named Abd
Cheetah on the loose might be 'Annie Rose,' known to stalk children
The cheetah on the loose in B.C.'s Kootenay region looks like an adult female named "Annie Rose" that is likely to stalk children, says the owner of an Alberta zoo.
A cheetah was spotted wandering along the side of a snowy B.C. highway north of Creston, B.C. Thursday afternoon, triggering a public warning from the RCMP and a search by three conservation officers.
Doug Bos of Discovery Wildlife Park says the markings, collar and other details of the unidentified animal match Annie, a female cheetah that was at his facility in 2014.
Tasmanian devil monitoring program given $500,000 by US zoo amid federal funding concerns
A US zoo is giving a monitoring program for the Tasmanian devil $500,000 over the next five years amid concerns over federal funding.
A deal has been struck between the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program and the Toledo Zoo in Ohio.
The zoo will contribute $500,000 over the next five years for a program that monitors the mammals in the wild.
The program will also assess the evolution of the facial tumour disease afflicting the population.
Save the Tasmanian Devil's team leader Dr Samantha Fox said federal funding runs out next year.
"Our federal funding is about to finish in about a year's time, and so what happens is the program then has to review some of the projects we have ongoing and look and see what's absolutely necessary to the ongoing 
My Professional Failures: New Trainer Edition
Here we go again, another journey down memory lane towards that oft-visited town I like to call FAILURE.  It's a bustling metropolitan area that lures me back on a relatively routine basis.  It's one of those places that always sounds really good in theory (you know, the whole "Oh, learn from your mistakes makes you a better person" thing), but when you get there it usually feels rotten.  Occasionally, like any good city experience, it makes you laugh.  Usually both.
13 veterinary doctors hired for looking after wildlife parks, zoos
Thirteen veterinary doctors have been recruited for treatment and looking after of wildlife and they are being posted at wildlife parks and zoos in the province.
One veterinary doctor each in wildlife parks whereas two each in zoos will be posted. Private breeders will also get guidance from these doctors.
This was stated by Wildlife and Parks Director General Khalid Ayaz Khan while addressing the first Breeders’ Convention in the history of the Department at Lahore Zoo on Saturday.
Officers of the Department, breeders from all over the province and a large number of people associated with this sector were also present on this occasion.
Khan said that online information system has been introduced for the guidance and assistance of breeders for protecting wildlife from diseases. He said that all matters relating to enhancing the period of renewal of license for breeding from two years to five years are being considered. However, breeders will have to provide all data of sale of birds and animals at the time of submitting application for renewal.
Khan said that all possible facilities will be provided to small breeders at every level and the procedure of bringing wildlife from abroad for breeding is also being simplified. He said that visits will be conducted to the farms of private 
Feral dogs kill 6 animals, injures 2 others at Jackson Zoo
Six Jackson Zoo animals were killed overnight by feral dogs, zoo officials said. Two others were injured.
Zoo staff members said they discovered that the animals had been attacked early Friday morning. Staff members said one Addra Gazelle and five Springbok were killed. Two spur-winged geese were injured. The geese were taken to the Zoo’s Animal Hospital for care.
Animal Control was called so that the feral dogs could be caught and not other animals.
The Zoo captured four of the five feral dogs believed to be involved in the accident. One dog escaped; along with another dog that was spotted in the cemetery next to the zoo. They said they don’t think the dog
Cricket St Thomas Wildlife Park - what happened next? From cheetah to zebra, we track the animals
IT was an attraction which brought huge enjoyment to thousands and many were left distraught when Cricket St Thomas Wildlife Park closed in 2009.
Memories abound of coming face to face with the monkeys that roamed free or hearing tales of daring simian escapes to neighbouring towns.
The house, which was used as Grantleigh Manor, the setting for the television series To the Manor Born, and its estate is also remembered for becoming home to Crinkley Bottom, a theme park created by Noel Edmonds. The project was short-lived an
Fugitive monkey was getting bullied in his enclosure say zoo keepers
Tamil the lion-tailed macaque is still on the loose and experts have warned to steer clear of him because the animals are aggressive brawlers
An escaped monkey is still giving police and keepers the slip after two days on the run - because he was getting picked on.
The lion-tailed macaque is still on the loose despite keepers setting traps and searching the fields and countryside around the animal park.
Keepers from Howletts Animal Park, Kent, are continuing the search for Tamil, the six-year-old macaque who ran away from the zoo on Tuesday night.
It is thought th
Omaha zoo CEO addresses concerns about planned elephant import: We're saving the lives of these animals
Hundreds of people and several animal rights groups have concerns about the Omaha zoo’s planned elephant import.
The Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium and partner zoos in Dallas and Wichita, Kansas, filed for a permit with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to import a total of 18 elephants from Big Game Parks in Swaziland, a small country in southern Africa. That permit application was open for public comment until late last month.
More than 8,000 comments were submitted. While many included support from fellow zoos, individuals and other groups, there also were plenty of people with reservations.
Those concerned with the import have questioned its merit as a rescue, wond
World's rarest magpie comes to UK zoo
Conservationists at Chester Zoo have started the first conservation breeding programme in Europe for one of the world's most endangered birds.
The Javan green magpie has been poached almost to extinction from its native Indonesian forests. Now, three pairs of the birds have been released into their outdoor aviaries for the first time.
BBC science reporter Victoria Gill was there to see the tropical birds get their first glimpse of the 
A Trainer's Great Insecurity
I want to admit something to all of you. 
I'm a little nervous, though.  I don't want to offend anyone, because you all seem really nice and totally non-judgmental.  But I'm a little worried you're going to judge me.  Especially those of you who are trainers, and experienced ones at that.
But I feel like I need to come clean.  So here it goes, my admission to you before 2016 rolls in, where we turn over a new leaf and try to become a better person and improve the things we feel we fall short in in our lives.  Whew, deep breath…
My Family and Other Animals 60th anniversary: Gerald Durrell's book is a triumph of conscious craft
Gerald Durrell was a man of paradise. Paradise found, paradise lost, paradise regained, paradise destroyed, paradise dreamed in a vision of hope, paradise under siege, paradise relieved, paradise unattainable, paradise built with his own hands. Paradise was his business, his life, his destroyer, his salvation.
He produced a literary masterpiece that remains the finest evocation of paradise ever written. He built a paradise based on his own beliefs of what a zoo should be. And after his death in 1995, he left behind an organisation that works to restore a touch of paradise to humanity and to everything else that lives. "The world needs Durrell," says Sir David Attenborough. Durrell is a voice, an example, a legacy, a belief, a cause. And while his message has never gone away, it will be proclaimed with renewed power in 2016.
Next year it will be 60 years since the publication of Durrell's greatest book – My Family and Other Animals. It has sold millions of copies worldwide, and across the decade's generations of schoolchildren have grown up with the story of the Durrell family's stay on their paradise island of Corfu in the five years leading up to the ou
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION… IN REPTILES AND INSECTS
December’s bank holidays and Christmas’s holidays have in common in that the Immaculate Conception is celebrated in both. The biological phenomenon in which a female animal reproduces without mating with a male is called parthenogenesis and, even if there isn’t any proof that this could happen to human beings, virginal birth is a widely distributed thing throughout the animal kingdom. In this entry we’ll see how this incredible phenomenon happens and some species in which it appears.
New zoo for animals rescued from cages flooded in September typhoon Goni
A massive rescue operation, divers and helicopters saved most of the zoo's animals after treacherous floods engulfed their cages. Two bears, a wolf and a badger were killed after the typhoon led to waters from the Rakovka River surging over the grounds of Green Island animal park.
Now 13 bears and a lion called Grey have taken up reside
Crimean deal for capital zoo in limbo
It was supposed to be a win-win proposal for both parties. A pair of white lions, a pair of Siberian tigers, 15 ring-tailed coati, two llamas, and five squirrel monkeys for the Thiruvananthapuram Zoo, all in return for just three elephants for the Taygan Lions Park and Skazka Zoo in Yalta, Crimea, Russia.
However, the much-anticipated animal exchange appears to be mired in bureaucratic hurdles in the State. The Forest Department, it is learnt, is not keen on exchange of an endangered animal species.
Since the city zoo does not have elephants of its own, the jumbos will have to travel from the Kottoor elephant rehabilitation camp of the Forest Department. This, apparently, has also come in for some opposition.
A lot of expectations were riding on the transfer for both the zoos. While the city zoo would get to add some ‘heavyweights’ to the 100-odd species it already housed, thereby increasing its profile and seeing an increase in footfall, the Yalta zoo would be realising its 15-year-old dream of having elephants.
According to reports in sections of the Russian media, t
Pandas Have More Babies if They Can Pick Their Mates
Giant pandas that are crazy about each other produce more cubs than panda couples lacking that mysterious spark, according to new research.
Even a one-sided romance has better odds of producing a baby than a mutually indifferent union.
The finding could provide a significant boost for the endangered species, many of which are lacking in the amorous arts.
Exhibit A are Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, the female and male pandas at Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C. All three of their cubs were conceived via artificial insemination after their parents couldn’t seal the deal the old-fashioned way. (Related: "These Newborn Pandas Face 4 Big Threats to Survival.")
Such unsatisfying arranged marriages are all to
The dogs that protect little penguins
When foxes discovered little penguins on a small Australian island, they nearly wiped the colony out. But a farmer came up with a novel way to protect the birds - and the story has been made into a hit film.
As a premise for a film, think Lassie meets Babe meets Pingu. What's not to like?
Middle Island, a beautiful, rugged and windswept outcrop off the coast of southern Victoria is home to a colony of the world's smallest penguins.
Originally known as fairy penguins, before some pen-pusher deemed that politically incorrect, they've now been given the far more dr
Monkey on the loose after escaping enclosure and fleeing from zoo
A monkey is on the loose after escaping from its zoo .
The lion-tailed macaque disappeared on night and concerned zoo keepers say it has left the boundaries of the zoo.
Staff, including specialist vets, have been put on standby to try to contain the monkey after it fled from Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury, Kent.
The male primate has not been sighted since its remarkable escape from its open-topped pen.
Members of the public have been warned not to approach the ape, although animal director Adrian Harland reassured nearby residents that it is not considered a threat to anyone.
A spokesman for Howletts said: “A young male lion tailed macaque is currently out of his enclosure at Howletts and keepers 
Detroit Zoo now totally powered by renewable electricity
The Detroit Zoo announced Monday that the zoo is now powered with 100 percent renewable electricity.
According to a release, the Zoo bought renewable energy credits through support from ITC Holdings Corp.
The Zoo said in a statement that the renewable electricity results in less environmental waste and pollution.
"We continue to look for ways to reduce our ecological footprint and thank ITC for helping us to accomplish that goal," Detroit Zoological Society Executive Director and CEO Ron Kagan said. "Our hope is to inspire others to look to clean, renewable energy sources."
Every Renewable Energy Credit represents a megawatt-hour of electricity generated by something like win

 

 

 

12Dec2015

Can Extinct Giant Tortoises Be Brought Back to Life?
An 80-foot cable dangled beneath a helicopter as it emerged from the mists and flew to an anchored ship, where it gently deposited its living cargo. A century-old giant tortoise lumbered out of a tangle of green netting and stretched its mustard-yellow neck from its shell.
Plucked from lava-strewn slopes, this male tortoise holds the hope for reviving a species that’s been extinct since the 1850s. Known as H-2, he’s a hybrid bearing the strong genetic stamp of tortoises once native to the Galápagos’ Floreana Island.
Weighing in at 380 pounds, H-2 is one of 32 giant tortoises retrieved last month during a $500,000 expedition that could be key to resurrecting two extinct species, the Floreana and the Pinta. The last known Pinta, a hundred-year-old, beloved tortoise dubbed Lonesom
Chimpanzees heading to Canterbury animal park delayed indefinitely
A group of primates from America expecting to make a home at the Wingham Wildlife Park have been delayed after a permit has been postponed.
The animal park initially set a tentative arrival date for the group of eight chimpanzees for summer 2015.
This date was initially deferred due to work being pushed back on the purpose-built enclosure because of poor weather conditions.
Now the chimps' arrival date has been further pushed back after an initial public comment period.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) decided on December 2, 2015 to postpone issuing the permit to the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in America, which would allow the exportation of the eight chimpanzees to the park.
Explaining why the application was delayed, Animal Collection Curator, Markus Wilder, said: "The permit for exporting these animals needs to show that the move will in some way benefit chimpanzees in the wild.
"We had put in to place arrangements to support conservation projects but had to change this during the original public comment period.
"The USFWS is reopening the comment period so the public can comment on the revised enhancement plans.
"As soon as the USFWS reposts the information for public comment, we will let everyone know how they can show their support for the eight chimpanzees being donated to our park and given retirement in the beautiful Kent countryside."
The delay comes as a blow to the park, who are add
The Dallas Zoo is arguing six elephants are better off in Texas than in Africa
The Dallas Zoo wants to transfer six elephants from Swaziland to its man-made savannah near the city’s downtown, where it says they will have a better chance of surviving than in their native Africa.
The Texas zoo, along with zoos in Omaha, Nebraska, and Wichita, Kansas, have filed paperwork (pdf) with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to import a combined 18 elephants, representing close to half of the 40 elephants in two managed areas of Swaziland, the Mkhaya Game Reserve and Hlane National Park.
The zoos say the Swaziland herd has outgrown its current habitat, which is managed by private nonprofit Big Game Parks. The elephants are feeding through forests and crowding endangered rhinos, they add. Rampant poaching makes it unsafe to move the animals elsewhere in Africa, they argue, and if the zoos don’t take them, park managers will cull them.
But the idea is generating an uproar among conservation activists and wildlife managers who say zoos are no place for the highly intelligent and social pachyderms. “African elephants belong in Africa,” one such group declares.
Reuben Abati: Who released, killed and ate our Lion?
“Did they send you your own share of the bush meat?”
“Bush meat?”
“The lion in the zoo that became bush meat in Jos”
“What’s my own inside? I don’t know any zoo worker in Jos and how could a lion that was allowed out of its cage and got shot end up in my stomach. The kind of things you say sometimes.”
“That means you have not been following the story.”
“It is an animal tale”
“Created, concocted and delivered by animals in human skin, working in animal kingdom, telling us animal tales. What surprises me is the fact that there has been no public uproar, no outrage.”
“People are too busy thinking of how to survive as human beings, how to fight the current nationwide epidemic of empty pockets and stomachs, and survive the change in their lives.”
“But when a similar incident occurred at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, there was serious outrage all over the world. Dr. Palmer, the American who killed the lion was the target of abuse and attacks. He even had to shut down his dental office. There were calls for his prosecution.”
These adorable marsupials have nearly wiped themselves out because they won't stop eating toads
Australia's northern quoll is a ridiculously cute marsupial that grows to roughly size of a cat. But despite being one of the country's most iconic predators, it's now on the brink of extinction in certain regions, all because it just won't stop eating highly toxic cane toads.
The problem stems from the fact that cane toads – an invasive pest species in Australia – look similar to the native frogs that are part of the quolls' normal diet. So the marsupials often eat cane toads by accident, and then die quickly as a result of the toxicity. But a researcher from the Unive
Cranes, other endangered birds see numbers tick up
As the rare Sarus Crane makes its annual return to Banteay Meanchey to nest for the dry season, wildlife experts said yesterday that they have noticed a growing population of these birds – along with more than a dozen other vulnerable species returning to a sanctuary in the province.
Bird flocks in the Ang Trapaeng Thmor conservation area – built atop a notorious Khmer Rouge worksite – have grown by 20 per cent per species, including among populations of the Greater Adjutant Stork and the Greater Spotted Eagle.
The Sarus Crane – which is the tallest flying bird in the world, and currently listed as “vulnerable” – has done even better. Some 850 cranes are now
Vultures are Revolting. Here’s Why We need to Save Them
AT SUNSET THE WILDEBEEST SEEMS DOOMED: Sick or injured, it’s wandering miles from its herd on the Serengeti Plain of Tanzania. By sunrise the loner is dead, draped in a roiling scrum of vultures, 40 or so birds searching for a way to invade its earthly remains. Some of the scavengers wait patiently, with a Nixonian hunch, eyes on their prize. But most are engaged in gladiatorial battle. Talons straining, they rear and rake, joust and feint. One pounces atop another, then bronco rides its bucking and rearing victim. The crowd parts and surges in a black-and-brown wave of undulating necks, stabbing beaks, and thrashing wings. From overhead, a constant stream of new diners swoops in, heads low, bouncing and tumbling in their haste to join the mob.
Why the fuss over a carcass so large? Why the unseemly greed? Because the wildebeest is tough-skinned and wasn’t killed by c
Wellington Zoo retains carboNZero certification
Wellington Zoo leads the way for the planet by retaining carboNZero certification
Wellington Zoo is thrilled to have again achieved carboNZero certification, after becoming the first Zoo in the world to be carboNZero certified in May 2013.
“Regaining certification for each financial year just goes to show that Wellington Zoo is leading the way in sustainability,” said Karen Fifield, Wellington Zoo Chief Executive and member of the Sustainable Business Council Advisory Board.
“Conservation is at the heart of everything we do, and this achievement shows how very seriously we take our commitment to minimising the Zoo’s environmental impact.”
“Our journey to become the world’s first carboNZero certified zoo was a five-year undertaking, and achieving certification again is a testament to the hard work and commitment to sustainability of all Zoo staff – and a wonderful acknowledgment of our passion for creating a better future for our precious animals,” said Karen.
“As a Council Controlled Organisation we’re delighted to ha
Petting Zoo Accused Of Slaughtering Endangered Gray Wolves For Fur
An animal advocacy group is threatening to sue a Minnesota wildlife farm and petting zoo that it claims is slaughtering gray wolves for their fur.
Fur-Ever Wild, in the city of Lakeville, allows visitors to pet gray wolf pups. But the Animal Legal Defense Fund alleges that the farm kills and skins the wolves to sell their pelts. Gray wolves are protected under the Endangered Species Act, which means it is illegal to kill them.
Cheetahs stationed on South African air base attack officer
Two cheetahs used for animal control on a South African air base attacked an air force officer, slightly injuring her.
The cheetahs, reared by humans and housed on the base to keep other animals off the runway, are part of a natural security program. Exploring their new environment, the two males on Tuesday entered a hangar on the Makhado Air Force Base, where a few officers were gathered.
The animals were shooed away, but as they stalked off, a warrant officer tried to take their picture. They began to growl. As the warrant officer turned to flee, they pounced. The woman was treated for minor injuries on her shoulders and the back of her head.
The cheetahs, who were deployed two weeks ago, will keep their home on the base, and the 

Owner to close Crimea zoos as protest against prosecutor’s accusations
The owner of two Crimean zoos on Thursday announced plans to close them in protest against a local prosecutor’s accusations that he caused the deaths of two white tiger cubs. "We’ve decided to close the Taigan safari park and Skazka zoo as a protest. I will demand the resignation of the Crimean prosecutor," Oleg Zubkov said. "I am ready to consider relocating the zoos to another Russian region or another country." Prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya said earlier that Zubkov was responsible for the two cubs' deaths at the Skazka zoo in the resort city of Yalta. She also said he was standing trial for attacking a zoo keeper and may face up to three years in jail if convicted. Commenting on Zubkov’s plans to close the zoos, Poklonskaya said the decision might be linked to his failure to keep the animals properly. "He is most likely closing them as he cannot provide normal conditions to keep the animals," she said, adding 
Nigeria: Animal Rights Activists Fume Over Feeding of Lion to Hyenas
The Jos Wildlife Park fed the carcass of the lion killed after it escaped confinement last week to hyenas.
The park's personnel told Daily Trust at the weekend that they were directed by their General Manager, John Doy, to feed the carcass to hyenas after its head, claws and skin were removed for preservation.
Although this disclosure helped to douse rumours that the dead lion was given to locals who butchered it for food, it set the stage for a fresh battle as animal rights activists argue that the management should have preserved the bones and not feed them to hyenas.
"Lions are endangered species of wildlife, and their bones are scarce. For the park management to invite troops to kill an endangered animal without justifiable reason is enough embarrassment to us. To feed the carcass to hyenas when the bones would have been preserved for studies in a tertiary institution is unforgiving," an activist told Daily Trust yesterday.
Dr. Shase-et Spak, the chairman of Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) in Plateau State, said fellow animal rights activists across the world had been c
Illegal Montekristo zoo hosted 36 state school visits in five years
The illegal zoo at the Montekristo estate has hosted 36 state school visits since 2011, the education ministry confirmed. 
In reply to MaltaToday’s questions, the ministry said that so far this year no outings have been organised at the zoo, which was recently closed down after a child was pawed and badly injured by a tiger.
In the 2013/14 scholastic year pupils from 24 state schools visited the zoo, part of a complex described by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) as “Malta’s largest illegal development”. Last year the number of visits went down to five.
In 2011/12 four schools orgainsed a visit at Montekristo and another three visits took place in the following scholastic year. 
Last month the unlicensed zoo was closed down by the owners, the Polidano group, after a tiger being walked by its keepers grievously injured a three-year
First Zoo Hospital of Pakistan completed at Lahore Safari Park
Wildlife and Parks Punjab - Director General - Khalid Ayaz Khan has said that the first zoo hospital in the history of the country has been completed at Lahore Safari Zoo Park with a cost of Rs. 4 crore. The hospital will be made operational after provision of necessary staff, equipment and medicines.
He was presiding over a meeting to review the pace of ongoing schemes at his office today. Director Lahore Zoo, Deputy Director Lahore Safari Zoo Park and officers concerned were present. Khalid Ayaz Khan said that the first zoo hospital set up over two acres land will help in the treatment of ill and injured animals and birds of zoos, breeding centers and wildlife parks.
He said that the facility of blood test, X-ray, surgery, ultrasound and dispensary will also be available at the zoo hospital. Khalid Ayaz Khan s
Zoo webcams to live stream tiger Amur and his goat friend Timur
"Following insistent requests from the website visitors, the Far Eastern Safari Park has decided to install webcams so that anyone can watch online if Timur is still alive," said the park’s director Dmitry Mezentsev. The tiger and goat are playing together more often than just walking around the enclosure or eating, he said. "On December 9, Timur invited Amur to try their strength," he said. The goat "pointed his horns at the tiger that met the challenge by pressing his forehead to the goat’s horns. They were butting for five seco
Channel 4 commissions The Secret Life of Chester Zoo
Channel 4 has revealed some of its 2016 highlights. This includes the fourth and final series of Fresh Meat and a “major new” documentary based at Chester Zoo.
The Secret Life of the Zoo (working title) takes a look behind the scenes of Britain’s most popular zoo. Using a range of filming techniques, including micro-rigs to capture close up animal behaviour, it will explore what the animals get up to, as well as their relationships with the keepers.
Vulture breeding may get fillip
If it hatches, this egg could break the jinx of the vulture breeding centre at the Nehru Zoological Park.
An egg laid by a vulture last month in a crucial incubation stage and its progress is being keenly monitored by the staff here. And if it hatches successfully, it would be the first major success for the centre which, in six years of its inception, has had no positive results to boost of.
The vulture breeding centre at the zoo so far had only two instances of the birds laying eggs, but both ended up as doomed episodes. In one case, the egg slipped from the nest and got wasted while in the other case, the egg did hatch but the chick emerged with congenital problems and died within a few days.
A zoo official put the incubat
Can a zoo visitor/animal interaction ever be good for animal welfare?
The other day I was talking about interactions between visitors and animals in zoos and aquariums.  Many sub-standard (and some modern zoos) hold controversial activities that allow for close interactions with wild animals.  Petting and photo opportunities, animal shows and animal rides are amongst just some of the opportunities on offer, and any of them are likely to have a negative impact on an animal’s welfare.  One colleague asked whether my perception of interactions included walkthrough enclosures, such as the very popular lemur or bat enclosures found at a number of zoos.  This is a good point as this is of course an interaction of some form.  It’s in a contained environment that is shared by both the visitor and animal and where an animal may not have the ability to remove itself from this environment, it often results in close and sometimes direct contact.  But does this close proximity necessarily translate into a negative welfare state for the animals?  Or can we learn from these types of interactions to positively make a change to other more obviously detrimental interactions?
To find out more, I asked my colleague Dr Jake Veasey, who has significant experience in master-planning and zoo development, having designed a number of award winning facilities. Jake focuses on the important aspect of ensuring an an
Another PH eaglet successfully hatched by PEF in Davao City
The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) based here has successfully hatched another eagle, the 26th chick it managed to produce since the start of its breeding program in 1992.
Anna Mae Sumaya, PEF curator, said the eaglet was the result of the natural pairing of male eagle “MVP Eagle” and female bird, “Go Phoenix.”
The chick was the first fertile egg and also the first offspring of the pair since they became partners in 2013. It hatched on December 7 after 56 days of incubation, Sumaya said.
Zoos could become 'conservation powerhouses'
What do the golden lion tamarin, Przewalski’s horse, the Puerto Rican parrot and the kihansi spray toad all have in common? Well, for one thing they’ve all been on the very brink of extinction; for another, they very likely wouldn’t survive today if not for the work of zoos. Over the past century, zoos have played a crucial role in saving dozens, maybe hundreds, of species from extinction. Most often this work has stemmed from breeding captive animals inside zoo walls, but today more and more zoos are funding conservation in the field or even starting their own programmes. Now a new report by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) has called on these institutions to raise their ambitions by spending at least 3% of their operational budgets on conservation. 
“The idea is to make it very clear that the ultimate purpose of zoological institutions is conservation,” said WAZA Executive Director, Gerald Dick. “This can be achieved in various ways, and spending money is one important one.”
WAZA, based in Switzerland, is the top global organisation for the world’s zoos and aquariums. It has a membership of 28
Out of Africa handlers romp with beautiful yet dangerous creatures
Ask Jeff Harwell of Out of Africa Wildlife Park if he ever feels fear while working and he'll answer, "All the time."
Harwell, a Texas transplant, has been a large carnivore handler here for nine years. As part of his job, he enters exhibits inhabited by roaming tigers, lions, leopards, bears and wolves.
"It's based on respect and mutual love," said Harwell. "It's a calculated risk."
"We have lot of people apply and then get here and say, 'I don't actually like this. The risk is not worth it,'" Harwell said. "For me, it's worth it."
"Firefighters get burned and football players break collar bones. We get bitten and scratched," he said.
A typical work day for Harwell may include swim


Tangling with tigers and running with wolves: Daredevil wildlife workers teach predators to HUNT - with only trust to keep them safe
These daredevil wildlife trainers dice with death every day - by teaching wolves and tigers to hunt.
Workers at the Out of Africa wildlife park in Camp Verde, Arizona, wear no protective gear as they run around with the vicious predators and train them to attack.
The only thing saving them from being attacked by their charges is the bond of trust that stops them being transformed into a quick meal.
Zoo swap opponent meets with first lady
The donor who funded the enclosure at Kampot’s Teuk Chhou Zoo for Kiri and Seila, two elephants slated to be sent to Japan in a controversial animal swap, reportedly met with first lady Bun Rany and the prime minister’s secretary last weekend to request the swap be halted.
After learning of the planned trade for two white tigers and two zebras, zoo donor Fiona Hardie met the premier’s wife and then visited the elephants last weekend, according to an email from Louise Rogerson, founder of the elephant conservation group EARS, which was barred from the Teuk Chhou Zoo in late September 
Hamilton Zoo death: Staff get bravery awards
Two female Hamilton Zoo staff who tried unsuccessfully to save the life of their fellow keeper have received bravery awards.
Monique Alexander and Sarah Jones were presented with District Commander's Commendations at a ceremony in Hamilton today for their role in trying to prevent the September tragedy.
Zookeeper Samantha Kudeweh, 43, was inside the enclosure of Sumatran tiger Oz, when she was mauled.
Oldest penguin in Britain dies aged 37 at zoo
Britain's oldest penguin has died aged 37 - following a battle with arthritis caused by years of waddling around.
Pat the penguin - thought to be the second oldest penguin in Europe - was put down by zoo vets due to her advanced condition and pain. 
Phil Knowling, a spokesman for Living Coasts in Torquay, Devon, said she had lived a good life. 
He said: '"Pat had terrific innings thanks to good husbandry, good vet care, good food and freedom from predators. 
"Her quality of life had declined because of arthritis - the only thing to do was put her to sleep." 
An African penguin, Pat hatched at Paignton Zoo in 1978 but moved to Living Coasts zoo in 2003. 
Her toy-boy partner Eddie hatched in April 2001 - making him 14. 
Living Coast operations manager Cla
Heavy Metals, Snow Leopard DNA Found In Traditional Chinese Medicine Purchased In Australia
Some Chinese medicines have been found to contain toxic heavy metals, undisclosed prescription medications, and the DNA of snow leopards, cats, and dogs, new research has found.
The research, published by a group of researchers from Curtin University, Murdoch University and the University of Adelaide in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, finds nine out of 10 Chinese medicines has a substance in it that’s not declared on the label.
“The most concerning finding was snow leopard DNA (snow leopards are an endangered species), which was detected in one medicine,” study co-authors Dr Ian Musgrave and Professor Michael Bunce wrote on The Conversation.
“DNA from pit viper, frog, rat, cat and dog was also detected in several medicines.”
The number of traditional Chinese medicines which included undeclared substances was extremely high, a fact the researchers said was concerning.
“Nearly nine in ten of these medicines had some f
Hublot And Haute Living Host Charity Brunch For Black Jaguar White Tiger Organization In Miami
The two companies hosted a charity brunch celebration to benefit the Black Jaguar White Tiger  organization at Tamarina in Miami.  Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe announced a new partnership with the foundation by unveiling a massive Mr. Brainwash mural in the Brickell neighborhood of Miami. Hublot is also commemorating the new partnership with a special edition Hublot timepiece due to arrive in 2016.
There is No ‘But’ In the Word Conservation
In an earlier post titled ‘Why The End Will Never Justify The Means When It Comes To Conservation’ (which you can read here) ICARUS wordsmith Artemis Grey focused on the issue of ‘hands off’ conservation, particularly citing the world famous ‘Lion Whisperer’ who insists that his main focus is animal advocacy and conservation, even while he, himself, interacts with the lions under his care, and engages in the exact activities that he condemns as animal exploitation in other situations. As expected, we received a great deal of defensive response from fans and supporters of the Lion Whisperer, every one of which contained some version of the statement ‘He does those things, but…’
But he raises awareness. But the animals are well cared for. But he does more good than bad. But he has a special bond. But the only reason you’re attacking him is because secretly, you’re jealous of him. But you can’t compare what he does to ‘real’ cub-petting. But he didn’t breed his lions 
Calls grow to move Hanako from Tokyo zoo 
Thai elephant lovers and animal welfare activists are calling on Japanese authorities to relocate Hanako, a 68-year-old female Thai elephant living alone at a zoo in Tokyo, to another zoo where she will... 
Friends of the Asean Elephant made the call, joining similar concerns expressed by Japanese people, after learning that Hanako, which was sent to Japan in 1949 to help strengthen diplomatic relations,... 
Fighting Wildlife Crime in Vietnam: The Downfall of the Bastard of the Internet
The case file reads like a book: Nearly 25 pages of documentation detailing Education for Nature-Vietnam’s efforts to take down a wildlife trader who is referred to internally within ENV as the “Bastard of the Internet”.
The story starts on August 16, 2013 when ENV received a call on our Wildlife Crime Hotline from a member of the public reporting a macaque advertised for sale on the internet. A phone number leads us to a shop in Tan Binh district of Ho Chi Minh City where an assortment of wildlife including macaques and ferret badgers are observed. However, it was four days later before police inspected the shop and of course, the wildlife had disappeared.
This incident started what would become more than a two-year campaign to shut down Phan Huynh Anh Khoa, AKA the Bastard of the Internet.
Khoa deservedly earned his name over the course of our investigation campaign by advertising a wide assortment of endangered and protected species including douc langurs, leopard cats, pangolins, marine turtles, otters, and lorises on his personal Facebook account and on websites and forums. His evolving list of live animals for sale goes on and on, reading like the inventory of a small zoo, and includes both native and exotic wildlife.
During our investigations, we actively sought his arrest and worked with police to organize more than 25 inspections of his shop, where he openly sold wildlife. However, only a handful of squirrels and exotic chickens were confiscated. Moreover, Khoa mocked authorities and ENV on his Facebook account, promising that he would never be caught and cursing ENV a
The Middle Flipper Is...(Part 15)
...a penguin who plays your emotions like a glorious fiddle.
Missy is an African penguin who was hatched at my place of employment.  You might look at her and think about how cute she is.  You might look at her and think she looks like an ordinary penguin who launches poo out of her body at speeds only documented in outer space.  But there is nothing ordinary about this bird.  
Missy was hand-raised by humans. So the first faces Missy ever saw were that of us, the great naked apes.  And while I've read only one paper discussing African penguin chick imprinting before fledgling, Missy had a very unusual "hatch" story. 
Basically, Missy is a miracle bird.  When trainers went to candle the egg she was in to see if it was viable, they found nothing.   Always the eternal optimists, they placed the egg back and figured they'd check on it later, knowing that they'd find out it was a dud.
But on Thanksgiving day that year, a trainer heard the egg chirping.  That night, it was really cold (too cold for African penguins), so all the birds had to be moved inside, which meant the parents couldn't sit on the egg.  The trainers got a brooder from a local zoo, took the brooder and baby Egg-Missy home, and hatched early the next morning.   Panicked, because they 


 

 

 

30Nov2015

The Loneliest Frog in the World
Every morning when Mark Mandica opens the door, he feels a pit in his stomach. He knows that today could be the day that he discovers the last Rabbs' Fringe-limbed tree frog has passed away. When that day comes, his species will be extinct forever - another in a long and growing list of animals that are disappearing at an alarming rate. He will close his eyes, and his kind will vanish from the face of the Earth forever. Many of these species will disappear without even a mention from the media.
"It's kind of nerve-racking taking care of him, knowing he's the last one of his kind," says Mark, the Amphibian Conservation Coordinator at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. He admits he was not much of a conservationist when he first became fascinated with amphibians. "I was more interested studying how fast their tongues move to catch prey, not much to do with conservation. Since then it has become harder and harder to find frogs and amphibians and so now I feel obligated to help conserve these amazing and vital creatures. It's sort of an 'all hands on deck' situation."
It was Mark's young son Anthony who nick-named the frog "Toughie." When asked why he picked that name, six-year-old Anthony exclaims, "Because he's the only one that made it!"
Toughie is originally from the lush rainforests of Panama, where he used to spread his large webbed hands and could glide for up to 3
Chinese leader caught on CCTV petting pangolin, elephants in Zim
Wondering what else Chinese president Xi Jinping did during his whistle stop tour of Harare this week?
As Zimbabwe's finance ministry put out a statement on Friday on the visit that gives a more measured view of the much-trumpeted "mega-deals" signed between the two governments, footage has emerged of the Chinese leader feeding giraffes and petting baby elephants during a visit to a wildlife park near the capital.
Posted on YouTube, the footage, taken by CCTV, shows Xi at the Wild is Life Sanctuary. He and his wife Peng Liyuan are also f
China’s “new stance” on illegal wildlife trade reinforced at Johannesburg conference
In September China and the US, the worlds’ two largest markets for illegal ivory, agreed to “nearly complete” bans on all ivory imports, a move praised by conservation groups worldwide. Now, at a conference in Johannesburg, retired Chinese diplomat Yuxiao Zhou highlighted the Chinese government’s growing concern at the country’s poor image in respect of the illegal wildlife trade. Businessman Si Hai, chairman of the Southern Africa Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Liaison Association, said “We are willing to participate and lend support to efforts to stop illegal trade – if we can help we will certainly do so”.
Where should US chimpanzees live?
Ongoing decisions and news coverage about US chimpanzee research have provoked continuing debate and raised questions about the best course of action for the animals, science, and public interests. Like many complex, emotional, topics the arguments and language that have surrounded the discussion have been polarized and have left many with impressions that are less than accurate. In turn, thoughtful and serious consideration has often been stymied.
One of the primary areas of confusion surrounds what exactly is meant by the term “research.” Another is what standards of care best provide for chimpanzees’ welfare. Here we cover some common questions about chimpanzee research in the US and the implications and consequences of decisions about chimpanzees living in dedicated research facilities. We also highlight and compare standards for care, external oversight, and public transparency for chimpanzees living in different settings in the US. We share two documents that provide details about the many scientific discoveries published over the past several years from scientists working in dedicated chimpanzee research facilities. One is a list of over 175 representative publications from recent years. The great majority of these scientific publications report discoveries from
A Legal Victory and a Strong Message
Beluga whales are the large, white, rubbery-looking dolphins found in Arctic seas in the Northern Hemisphere. Their whimsical faces and white, supple bodies make them a favorite of aquariums around the world. Unfortunately, the trade in captive beluga whales, like dolphins and orcas, is growing tremendously as new aquariums are being built, especially in Asia and the Middle East. Beluga whales require special conditions, including chilled seawater, and they still do not thrive - nor are they ever likely to - in small tanks in captivity.
Hence the proposal in June 2012 by the Georgia Aquarium to import 18 beluga whales caught in Russia to replenish the captive population in the US. The Georgia Aquarium itself lost two newborn beluga whales that died shortly after birth. Just in the past month, two adults have recently died at


How a giraffe expert is working to protect their genetic future
Jason Pootoolal is well known in the giraffe world. 
Pootoolal, giraffe and hoof supervisor at African Lion Safari, was the first in Canada to impregnate one of the animals through artificial insemination. And another baby is on the way, this time through frozen semen insemination.
At the Flamborough facility, Pootoolal works on techniques to save and use genetic material to continue the population of the Rothschild giraffe, a breed so rare that only about 1,000 remain in the world.
What Is Taxonomic Order And Why Is It Used For The Sequence Of Birds In My Field Guide?
Most field guides and checklists present birds in taxonomic order, which represents our best understanding of the evolutionary relationships between bird families. Generally speaking, the groups at the front of the list are thought to have split off earlier from the common ancestor of all birds, or what is called the “root” of the bird tree of life. (That common ancestor is now known to have been a theropod dinosaur.)
Before the advent of DNA sequencing, overall taxonomic order was based on such factors as where a bird first appears in the fossil record, and on similarities in physical features (morphology) among families.
Modern advances in gene sequencing have revolutionized our understanding of these relationships. Morphological and fossil evidence are still used, but the information from the genomes (DNA) of birds has led to major updates in taxonomic order in the most recently published guides compared to ones from 20 or even 10 years ago.
A case in point: falcons have long been grouped with the other raptors such as hawks and eagles, but DNA evidence now shows that they are most closely related to parrots.  So


The Antwerp zoo has been evacuated following a bomb alert
The Antwerp zoo, situated at the Reine Astrid place, has been completely evacuated Thursday afternoon around 14h00, following a telephone conversation indicating that there was a bomb inside the zoo, local police released in a statement.
Since there are ongoing renovations at the zoo only few visitors had to be escorted out. The police is currently carrying out a search at the site and has also brought in sniffing dogs to assist them. 
The police is clear that the alert only concerns the zoo and not the Antwerp station that is close to it.
Antwerp has received several bomb alerts the last few wee
INNOVATIVE APPROACH FORGES RHINO FOOTWEAR
An angel gets its wings, and at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, a rhino gets her boots.
Coco, a 25-year-old southern black rhino, has lived at Fossil Rim since 1995. At age six, she began to have issues with her right front foot.
“We’ve treated it a number of different ways,” said veterinarian Dr. Holly Haefele, director of animal health. “In 2009, we put a boot on for about a month and got good resolution to the problem for about five years. In August 2014, she started having trouble with the right front again. We think there potentially used to be (a foreign object) in there that flared up in the foot pad and opened up a hole.
“Even if nothing is in there any longer, maybe now it’s hard for normal tissue to grow back. We tried to address it again last spring, but we’ve had trouble 
Echidnas Have Sex Half A Penis At A Time
What do you do when you work at a zoo, with an outreach program designed to give the public an up-close look at the safer animals in your care, and the animal you’re showing off gets an erection? If you work at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, you get to work.
Zookeepers handling a short-beaked echidna took what they had to work with and conditioned the echidna, over two weeks and out of the public eye, to maintain its erection until it ejaculated. They noticed a couple of odd things along the way. The first was that the echidna ejaculated bundles of sperm, which glommed together in order to swim faster th
Grizzly Bears Can Eat 40,000 Moths in a Day
Grizzly bears will eat just about anything. They make a living by consuming whatever is edible in their immediate surroundings, happily dining on huckleberries, dead animals, small mammals like rodents, nuts, fish, or, occasionally, human food.
As seen in the film Wild Yellowstone, which debuts this Sunday (Dec. 6) at 9 p.m. ET on Nat Geo Wild, grizzlies also voyage way up into the seemingly barren, rock-strewn highlands of mountains. For decades, people have witnessed grizzlies in these locations, puzzled as to why the bears would make their way up there. But why would they go to a virtually life- and food-less area, above nearly all vegetation and animal inhabitants?
Researcher Don White Jr. set out to get to the bottom of this enigma when he began studying grizzly bears in Glacier National Park in the 1990s. He soon found out—and Wild Yellowstone reveals—the reason the bears climbed to such frosty, rocky heights: to dine on moths. Lots and lots of moths, says White, who is now a wildlife ecologist at the University of Arkansas-Monticello. His calculat
Panic Spreads Through Jos As Lion Escapes From Zoo
Panic as spread through the town of Jos like wildfire as a lion is reported to have escaped  from the Jos Wild Life Park on Wednesday, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
According to the Acting General Manager, Plateau Toursim Corporation, John Doy, the lion escaped at about 8 a.m. while it was being fed.
Doy said that the lion, had been caged since 1972, but slipped through the gate of the cage when it as opened for its routine feeding.
He said that the animal is still within the vicinity of the Park but thier fear is that the Park is not fenced.
The acting general manager said that he had already informed all security agencies to come to the Park’s assistance.
Naomi Cishak, Public Relations Officer of 
Nigeria lion shot dead after escaping from zoo
A four-year-old lion has been shot dead after it escaped from a zoo in Jos, central Nigeria.
The lion is believed to have escaped from its cage in Jos Wildlife Park at feeding time on Wednesday morning.
There was tension in Jos as police and soldiers spent the day trying to track the animal down.
The police say the lion was hostile during attempts to get it back to the cage and it was killed before it could harm any
They were wrong to kill lion on the loose in Jos – Runsewe, ex-NTDC boss
There was tension in Jos, the capital  of Plateau State, Wednesday when it was learnt that a lion escaped from  Jos Wildlife Park at feeding time, before it was  killed. Many felt it was wrong to have killed the lion instead of   tranquilising it. On inquiry from tourism officials of the Plateau Tourism Corporation on why the  lion, which had been caged since 1972, was shot, they said the zoo lacked the equipment to tranquilise it.
The officials, who did not want to be named, disclosed that a former Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Otunba Segun Runsewe, had warned of  impending danger  when he saw the condition of the zoo as he was said to have written to the state government on it then. This led  our reporter to go after Runsewe, who had gone under ground since he was unceremoniously removed in 2013, to share his thoughts on how we can make our zoo tourism friendly. Though, he initially refused to talk, after much persuasion, he spoke. 
Money on Extinction, but Fighting Nonetheless
Species are disappearing at alarming rates around the globe, yet the vast majority of these extinction events fail to elicit even the tiniest of sobs from the general public. As one “enlightened” reviewer of Elizabeth Kolbert’s excellent book The Sixth Extinction so eloquently put it, “So what if scorpions, polar-bears, rattlesnakes and sharks go extinct. Who cares??” Well, I care, particularly in light of last week’s news that the San Diego Zoo was forced to euthanize one of the four remaining northern white rhinoceroses left on the planet. Now the fate of the species rests on three elderly individuals and the hope of a successful in vitro fertilization campaign. My heart is with the rhinos, but my money’s on extinction.
Man injured after entering polar bear enclosure at Copenhagen zoo
 Copenhagen Zoo says a man has jumped inside a polar bear's enclosure, forcing zookeepers to fire rubber bullets at the animal while he was rescued.
Zoo spokesman Jacob Munkholm Hoeck said Wednesday the man, who was not identified, was "pulled out and was able to walk" but was sent to the hospital in an ambulance.
Munkholm Hoeck says zookeepers fired several rounds of rubber bullets at the bear to get it to back off.
On Twitter, police described the man as "men
Animals should not be outside enclosures, and visitors need to be more educated - park owner
Wild animals should never be outside their enclosures while visitors are present but members of the public have to take greater responsibility for their own safety, according to the owner of Malta’s only licenced zoo.
Chris Borg, who owns the Wildlife Park in the limits of Rabat, told the Times of Malta that as wild animals could react unpredictably around people, repeatedly letting them out made an accident almost inevitable.
Mr Borg, however, defended Montekristo owner Charles Polidano, who has been charged over alleged infringements at his zoo. He insisted Mr Polidano 
Wildlife park owner speaks out against tragic Montekristo incident – blames handlers, parent
Speaking out against the tragic incident when a three-year-old boy was mauled by a tiger at the illegal Montekristo zoo on Saturday afternoon, Wildlife Park Malta owner Chris Borg took to Facebook to comment on responsible wild-animal ownership.
The bottom line which Mr Borg highlighted in his Facebook post was that the animals should absolutely never be outside of their enclosure when members of the public are in the vicinity.
“Animals should neve
Doubts raised over zoo handlers’ licence
‘Illegal to take big cats from cage’
The animal handlers at the Montekristo Animal Park “could not have been licensed” because the whole zoo has not yet been given the thumbs up, Animal Welfare Commissioner Manuel Buhagiar said yesterday.
Mr Buhagiar told the Times of Malta that licences for handlers were granted together with a zoo’s permits – which have never been issued to the Montekristo Park. “If a permit for the zoo hasn’t been issued then nothing is in line and nothing is legal – not even the handlers’ licences, if these have even been issued,” he said when asked if the zoo’s handlers were registered and adequately trained.
The licences for handlers as well as for zoos are issued by the Veterinary Services Department. When contacted, however, department head Robert Balbo would not comment on the park, which is subject to a magisterial inquiry.
The Montekristo Animal Park was thrust into the national spotlight last weekend after a three-year-old boy was injured by an adult tiger 
First discovery of a hibernating primate outside Madagascar
Up to now, three species of lemurs on Madagascar were the only primates known to hibernate. Researchers at Vetmeduni Vienna in Austria, now show for the first time that another primate species that lives in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and China, the pygmy slow loris, also uses hibernation to save energy. The results were published in Scientific Reports this week
Animal Rights Group Sues San Antonio Zoo
The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) made good on its promise to sue the San Antonio Zoo over Lucky, an Asian elephant animal right groups want removed from the zoo and transported to an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee. 
The lawsuit alleges the zoo is violating the Endangered Species Act by confining the elephant in isolation (its last companion was Boo, who was aggressive and euthanized in 2013); by providing insufficient space; by not providing adequate shelter; and for leaving inappropriate substrate on the exhibit floor. According to the ALDF, these conditions injure Lucky both physically and psychologically.
“More and more zoos have admitted that they cannot meet elephants’ complex needs and have closed their elephant exhibits,” Stephen Wells, executive director of ALDF, says in a press release. “Instead of acknowledging the obvious — that it cannot meet Lucky’s needs — the San Antonio Zoo makes excuses about why it is unwilling to allow her to have a better life. We hope the zoo will choose to let Lucky live o
Prague Zoo selling ‘elephant urine’
The Prague Zoo, ranked by TripAdvisor at the fourth-best in the world, has introduced a new gift at its online shop and zoo souvenir stand just in time for the holidays: bottled elephant urine.
Actually, it is a yellow herbal liqueur made from an undisclosed recipe, but actual urine is not one of the ingredients and is billed as useful for either an aperitif of digestif
The label is in Czech and
Bill would allow zoos to breed big cats
If one Michigan lawmaker is successful, large carnivores will be able to breed at Michigan zoos.
Republican Sen. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge announced he plans to introduce a bill allowing breeding programs for carnivores to begin at five Michigan zoos, including Battle Creek's Binder Park Zoo, according to a Tuesday news release.
The release said such breeding was made illegal in the state because of the inhumane conditions created at exhibits found at roadside attractions. Binder Park and the other zoos mentioned in the bill — Detroit Zoo, Lansing's Potter Park Zoo, Grand Rapids' John Ball Zoo and Saginaw's Children's Zoo at Celebration Square — are members of the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Other groups would be allowed to breed the animals if they comply with safety, animal welfare and conservation mandates in the bill.
Animals outlined in the legislation include lions, cheetahs, tigers, jaguars, leopards and bears.
Binder Park Zoo has long had a cheetah exhibit,
Wildlife Park chosen for prestigious breeding programme
The Curraghs Wildlife Park has been chosen to participate in a prestigious breeding programme for an endangered animal.
The Ballaugh park is to house a pair of silvery gibbons with the hope they will mate, contributing to the survival of the species.
David Cretney MLC, member of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture with responsibility for the Wildlife Park, said the primates would be the ‘most high-profile animal ever housed at the park’ and would boost visitor numbers.
The wild silvery gibbon lives exclusively on the Indonesian island of Java but the population of 2000 is threatened by habitat destruction and the illegal pet trade.
After fears in 2004 that it would become extinct within a decade, the latest International Union for the Conservation of Nature currently lists it as ‘endangered’. 
There are just 42 silvery gibbons in European zoos – more than half of them at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent.
The Aspinall Foundation, which operates Howletts, and the Javan Primate Project has chosen the Curraghs Wildlife Park to take part in the European Endangered Species’ breeding programme.
This was after a rigorous assessm
1 penguin dead, 2 missing at Dortmund Zoo; police investigate if linked to other incidents
 One penguin is dead and two others are missing at the Dortmund Zoo and police in Germany say they are investigating a possible string of crimes there.
One Humboldt penguin was found dead in the zoo's flamingo cage on Monday morning and two others are missing, police spokesman Marco Mueller said Tuesday. He says police are trying to determine if someone stole the birds or if they had somehow escaped.
"The loss breaks our hearts," zoo director Frank Brandstaetter told reporters in Dortmund, saying the 1-year-old birds had been born and raised at the zoo.
In November, a 21-year-old sea lion named Holly was found dead in her enclosure at the zoo with a smashed
Study suggests fish can experience 'emotional fever'
A small team of researchers from the U.K. and Spain has found via lab study that at least one type of fish is capable of experiencing 'emotional fever,' which suggests it may qualify as a sentient being. In their paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the team describes their experiments with stressing zebra fish, how the fish reacted, and why they believe it should now be added to the list of organisms labeled as sentient beings
Zoo’s owner charged over lion gimmick
A ZOO owner has been charged with transporting a wild animal, an African lion, to Shanghai without authorization, prosecutors in Songjiang District said yesterday.
Earlier this year, the zoo in Wenling, a city in neighboring Zhejiang Province, was contacted by a real estate developer about using a lion in a sales promotion.
The developer, which wasn’t named, and the zoo owner, surnamed Deng, signed a contract in March.
Deng took the lion to Shanghai on March 28 but failed to get the necessary approval from provincial and city authorities, prosecutors said.
The lion was put on display in a
South China Tigers Face Grim Survival Conditions
The last time a South China tiger was seen in the wild was over 30 years ago. Worldwide, there are only 131 of the highly endangered species, all living in captivity, according to Chinese zoologists.
Wang Jinjun, deputy secretary-general of the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens, said on Wednesday that not a single South China tiger has been spotted in the wild in more than 30 years. A species is declared extinct if no members are found in the wild in 50 years.
Wang said the tiger, which is indigenous to China, is facing a grim outlook for survival. The association's latest investigation found that 111 of the tigers are kept in 15 zoos in China, and another 20 are in a South African nature reserve. The tigers in South Africa are the offspring of five tigers sent from Chinese zoos since 2003.
The zoo in Nanchang, capital of east China's Jiangxi Province, is home to the highest number of South China tigers, with 8 male tigers and 16 female tigers.
Kuang Huaming with the zoo said that the tigers are all descendants of six tigers. The zoo has set up a team of scientists to select the best mating pair
Floods cause crocodiles to escape Sumatera Zoo
Floods which hit the district of Permatang Siantar in northern Sumatera resulted in the escape of 18 crocodiles from the zoo last night, according to media reports.
The reptiles emerged from their enclosure at about 9pm Tuesday after the floodwaters rose as high as three metres at the Permatang Siantar Zoo, rendering only the roofs visible, the media quoted the zoo general manager, Nandang Suaida, as saying.
Nandang said workers at the zoo sa

 

 

 

16Nov2015

KNOWSLEY SAFARI PARK UNVEILS £1.5M DEVELOPMENT PLANS
Knowsley Safari Park has unveiled £1.5m plans to introduce two new attractions: a five-acre tiger habitat and a safari drive lodge.
The zoological park said that the habitat would form a central area to the existing walkaround while the lodge would allow visitors to stop off on the main safari drive for the first time and enjoy views of the animals.
The work, which is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2016, will take up to four months to complete.
Eveline De Wolf, head of the animal collection, said: "The new tiger habitat has been designed especially for Sinda and Bira, our Amur tigers, to provide an enriching habitat with naturally flowing water that is integrated into the long-established woodland.
"It will be great for visitors too, with a full trail around the habitat and elevated views from specially designed timber viewing platforms."
Edward Perry, director of operations, said: "The addition of the safari drive lodge has been in planning for a long time and will give visitors the chance to stop off mid-drive, 
Red panda vanishes from California zoo
A red panda is missing on California's far north coast.
 The tiny creature named Masala disappeared from the Sequoia Park Zoo in Eureka sometime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday.
Zoo manager Gretchen Ziegler tells the Times-Standard newspaper that any resident who spots the 1 1/2-year old panda should not approach it, but try not to lose sight of it and call the zoo or police.
Ziegler says the biggest threat to Masala would be cars or an animal that preys on small animals. Red pandas are abou
Earth Matters: Thailand’s efforts to help endangered Asian elephant
After camping among wild African elephants in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, last September, I greatly anticipated visiting wild Asian elephants in Thailand this month. But when I arrived, I found that finding wild elephants in this country is a little tricky.
Like their larger African cousins, Asian elephants are a highly endangered species. According to the the American Museum of Natural History, hundreds of thousands of elephants roamed Asia until only about 100 years ago. Today, they have been wiped out from large areas of India, Southeast Asia and China, leaving fewer than 50,000.
I found three great places to visit Asian elephants in northern Thailand, all about an hour’s drive from the city of Chang Mai. Trouble is, the elephants in these places are not exactly wild. That’s because 95 percent of Thailand’s elephants are living in captivity, and nobody really knows how many wild elephants are left.
A friend and I drove to the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in the densely forested hills near Lampang. The TECC is a government-sponsored elephant camp that houses more than 50 Asian elephants (including six of the Thai Royal family’s white elephants). TECC seeks to educate tourists about the plight of elephants and to raise money for their conservation.
We watched the elephants bathe and frolic with their trainers in the creek flowing through the TECC grounds — truly a highlight of this trip!
After bathing, about a dozen eleph
France bans imports of lion hunt trophies
France has banned the import of lion heads, paws and skins as hunters’ trophies, nearly four months after the killing of Zimbabwe’s most famous lion by an American trophy hunter sparked international outrage.
In a letter to the actor and animals rights activist Brigitte Bardot, France’s environment minister, Ségolène Royal, said that she had instructed officials to stop issuing permits for lion trophies and was considering stricter controls on trophies from other species.
“Following your letter and recent visits in Africa in preparation of the climate summit in Paris, I want to let you know I have given orders to my services to stop delivering certificates for importing lion trophies,” Royal wrote in the letter dated 12 November.
“Concerning other species trophies, I am in favour of a much stronger control for hunting trophies and this issue will be discussed with all the countries concerned and with the EU.”
In July, conservationists and MEPs called for an EU-wide ban on the import of lion trophies following the death of Cecil the lion 
Hong Kong detector dog sniffs out endangered dried seahorses in airport crackdown
A dedicated detector dog named Maggie sniffed out a parcel containing 16.8 kilograms of dried seahorses at the Air Mail Centre of Hong Kong Airport on Wednesday.
The huge haul was found in a box with no relevant permits, sparking an investigation into the contravention of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance.
Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) set up a Quarantine Detector Dog Team in 2008 to bolster its efforts in combating the illegal importation of animals and animal products, including endangered species.
The AFCD yesterday reminded the public not to buy, import or export endangered species, pointing out t
Sea Urchin Goes to the Dentist at National Aquarium
If you think that humans are the only ones who have to worry about dental care, think again. A pretty diverse group of animals has to put effort into maintaining their pearly whites, including a sea urchin that recently went under the knife at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.
The aquatic creatures are equipped with five calcareous plates that support their teeth. With the help of their beak-like mouths, the sea urchins scrape algae right off of rocks and grind up mussels, a process intended to keep their teeth ground down.
'Frozen Ark' collects animal DNA in face of mass extinction
A British-led project called "Frozen Ark" is preserving the DNA of endangered species before they disappear as the Earth undergoes what scientists are calling the sixth mass extinction.
"Many of these species are going to go extinct before we even know they exist," said John Armour, Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Nottingham, which is host to the project.
"The whole idea of the Frozen Ark is to get and preserve that material for future generations before it's too late."
Launched a little over a decade ago by Britis
New conservation technology network launches today
A new online platform, launched today, will allow conservationists and technology experts to share ideas on how ackle some of the world's most pressing environmental challenges.
Half the world's natural history specimens may have the wrong name
As many as 50% of all natural history specimens held in the world's museums could be wrongly named, according to a new study by researchers from Oxford University and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
The real story about our elephant project
As you may know, we’re awaiting approval of a permit to relocate 18 elephants who face certain death in Swaziland. We’re joining two other accredited U.S. zoos to give them the newest, most innovative homes for elephants in human care. Some anti-zoo activists are spreading untruths about this project and attacking us to spark negative comments to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services. They believe these animals are better off dead than living in our remarkable new habitats – and we strongly disagree.
So we’re sharing the facts in this short VIDEO below. We partner with many African conservation groups, helping save species in crisis there. It’s a difficult, complex situation with few easy answers. Between the horrific daily poaching deaths and the devastating Swazi drought, there simply is no safe place for these elephants in Africa. Swazi officials have worked on their thoughtful conservation plan for 50 years, and their decision about these elephants is critical to saving the nearly extinct black rhino. We are proud to o
 

 

Capuchin monkeys use sticks as shovels to dig out caiman eggs
Capuchin monkeys are renowned tool users – they famously wield hammers and anvils to crack nuts – but the newest addition to their arsenal combines ingenuity with a certain bravado.
Quite by chance the monkeys have been spotted using an improvised shovel to steal eggs from caiman nests in the Amazon rainforests of the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve in Brazil.
The monkeys grab a long stout stick and then dig away at the caiman’s nest mound, flicking the rotting vegetation aside until they reach the eggs.
The monkeys then pick up one egg at a time, carry it away to the relative safety of a nearby tree, eat it and then come back for more.
It’s a risky strategy. The metre-high nest mounds are often gu
Disturbing: Ex-SeaWorld Trainer Reveals What It Was Like Getting Splashed All The Time
Every year, millions of visitors flock to SeaWorld to see incredible performances by dolphins and killer whales. But what looks like harmless family fun on the surface has a dark side. Now, one brave ex-trainer is exposing the reality of being repeatedly and systematically splashed.
Former trainer Jeff Rodriguez has gone public with his story in the hopes that he can stop SeaWorld’s cycle of exploitation.
“They prey on young people who have dreams of working with animals,” Jeff said. “At first, it’s just a light mist, then it’s Shamu splashing these huge waves right into your face. They keep upping it, and before you know it, you are getting splashed very hard.”
Jeff had to endure large, wet splashes—sometimes right in his eyes—on a daily basis for four years.
Horrifying.
“The splashing might seem fun from the safety of the bleachers, but imagine that big splash blasting right into your face,” said Jeff. “For the audience, it’s just a few quick splashes and then they head back to their hotels, but for us, we get wet—like, real wet.”
“Some days, we’re in the water with these animals for eight or nine hours,” Jeff added. “We’re getting splashed constantly.”
When it comes to where the blame lie
Vinpearl Safari Phu Quoc welcomes 200 rare animals
VietNamNet Bridge - The Vinpearl Safari Park on Phu Quoc Island, the first wildlife zoo in Vietnam, has just received 200 endangered animals of different species from various bio-geographic regions in the world.
The rare animals include white antelopes (addax), black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata), ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and giraffes.
The Conservation Park, part of the Vinpearl Resort project in Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province, one of the biggest zoo in the world, is scheduled to be put into operation on December 24. 
Captured kitten to undergo wildcat DNA test
A kitten captured after getting trapped in a garden shed is being tested to confirm if it is one of Scotland’s rare wildcats.
The five-month-old has the markings of a wildcat, eats only raw meat and behaved so ferociously when cornered it has been nicknamed Grumpy Cat.
Experts at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland are now doing DNA tests that will prove conclusively whether the kitten – picked up near Alford – is a wildcat.
There are thought to be fewer than 400 Scottish wild
The end of canned lion hunting looks imminent
Breaking news has also come out of the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA) AGM. A motion has been passed that disassociates PHASA with the captive-bred lion industry until such a time that the industry can convince PHASA and the IUCN that the practice is beneficial to lion conservation. This came after canned lion breeders and supporters were apparently outvoted 147 to 103.  
Why Zookeepers Don't Want To Touch Seattle's Newborn Gorilla
Zookeepers have noticed that Nadiri, a gorilla at the Woodland Park Zoo, has been restless at night and walking around more. For two weeks, they’ve watched her on closed-circuit television, waiting for signals that her baby is ready to arrive.
Nadiri, a 19-year old, first time mother, was due on Thursday. Her minders are hoping to be hands off at this birth – to give mother and child the time they need to bond.
Update: Baby Gorilla Is Born, But Mom Walks Away
“If we never have our hands on this infant, never have to handle it in any way, I would consider that a huge success for all of us,” said Harmony Frazier, a senior veterinary technician at the Seattle zoo.
At the very least, they hope it goes better than Nadiri’s own birth.
Nadiri’s traumatic birth in February 1996 – and what happened after – tugged Seattle heartstrings. Woodland Park Zoo received 3,000 submissions for baby names. Long lines formed to watch baby Nadiri at the zoo nursery. Bruegger’s Bagels held a press conference to financially adopt the newborn and lavished the baby gorilla with diapers and f
Wolf escapes from Galloway Wildlife Park - but public told not to panic
The five-year-old wolf disappeared last week but owners of the wildlife park say she poses no threat to the public.
A wolf is on the loose after it escaped from a Kirkcudbright wildlife park on Saturday.
The animal made a run for it after torrential rain and high winds knocked a tree down onto its enclosure and left a hole in the fence at the Galloway Wildlife Park.
l keeper Cameron Denerley was only made aware of the wolf’s disappearance when a woman who lives nearby spotted it roaming around the area.
He said yesterday the animal (pictured) poses no danger to the public and anyone who discovers it should walk away and phone him immediately.
“It’s a five-year-old female that was born here so it’s not a wild animal,” he said.
“She’s quite shy and would probably be more scared than any member of the public who came across her. She won’t attack anyone but we want her back.”
Cameron and his father also spotted the wolf at the golf course near the park on Monday night but were unab
Ruff sex: Scientists identify genetic sequence of a bird with four genders
Talking about the "birds and the bees" is a tricky and delicate matter. Especially if you are referring to the mating behaviour of a particular bird called a ruff.
A ruff is a type of wading sandpiper. The female ruff looks similar to the type of sandpiper you may see at the beach. But the male ruffs are a more diverse bunch. There are three different kinds of male genders -- including a "female mimic." Scientists have known about this for a few years. But now a group of biologists has found the group of genes responsible for the unique gender diversity and behavioural traits in ruff sex.
"We try to avoid the use of that word actually because it takes you to strange places on an internet search engine," David Lank tells As It Happens host Carol Off.  "The enigma of the species is how there are three distinctly different kinds of males and how they co-exist in the same species."
Lank is a biology professor at Simon Fraser University and co-author of the new study.
The male genders are split into three categories: territorial males, satellite males or female mimics. Lank explains that during the mating season each gender competes for fe
Truth Squad: Blackfish Scientists Get Schooled
The anti-zoological crowd has built its legacy on sneaking misinformation into society through films, books, speeches and social media.
Sometimes, anti-zoo proponents will even try to sneak their agenda into real science, as Jeff Ventre and John Jett did with their 2015 paper claiming wild killer whales live longer than those in zoological facilities.
Since Ventre and Jett were so eager to pretend to be experts, they should have been ready for the real ones to call them out, which is exactly what happened at IMATA 2015.
Dr. Kelly Jaakkola, one of the world’s foremost experts in dolphin cognition, and Dr. Grey Stafford, a PhD biologist and expert on positive reinforcement training in zoological species, tore apart the Ventre and Jett paper in a 15 minute smackdown dual presentation at the conference held in the Bahamas.
“What you’ve got here is bad science” Dr. Jaakkola said, while introducing the Ventre-Jett lifespan piece, “and I don’t say that lightly, as a scientist.”
UAB engineers develop new method to repair elephant tusks 
When Birmingham Zoo veterinarians approached researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Engineering to help them stop a crack from growing in their oldest elephant’s tusk, the engineers saw an opportunity to use their expertise in materials science to improve the industry standard for the repair process.
Cracks in elephants’ tusks historically have been repaired by adhering a metal ring to the tusk in order to stabilize the crack and prevent it from growing any farther up the tusk.
The Birmingham Zoo asked the director of UAB’s Materials Processing and Applications Development Center, Brian Pillay, Ph.D., to do just that, for Bulwagi, a 35-year-old male African elephant in their care.
Pillay’s immediate response was to innovate the process, and apply some of the science the lab uses in other materials processes to create a new, more robust and seamless tre
Scientists discover method to eliminate killer fungus in amphibians
Research published today details the first-ever successful elimination of a fatal chytrid fungus in a wild amphibian, marking a major breakthrough in the fight against the disease responsible for devastating amphibian populations worldwide. The highly-infectious chytrid pathogen has severely affected over 700 amphibian species worldwide; driving population declines, extirpations and species extinctions across five continents.
NYÍREGYHÁZA-SÓSTÓ ZOO NAMED BEST OF EUROPE IN IT'S CATEGORY!
The zoo of the city of Nyíregyháza in North-eastern Hungary was ranked first by the foundation of Anthony Sheridan in the category of comprising zoos with between 250 000 and 500 000 visitors a year. The high ranking is due to the rare species of animals and the significant number of visitors, from Hungary and abroad. 
„19 years ago, when we developed the idea of the institution, we simply wanted to open a zoo with a novel approach in this wonderful oak forest at Sóstó" – says Mr. László Gajdos, director of Nyíregyháza Zoo, which is one of the youngest participants of the competition. „We regard our work as a mission, and we see this recognition as a confirmation that we proceed in the right way. Our aim is to ensure the best conditions for the 5000 animals living here, and that our 450 000 visitors every year could leave th
Zoo animals crave human touch
In a city like Ludhiana, where people don't hesitate to spend big money on their pets, there are no takers for zoo animals up for adoption. Since Punjab government approved the animal adoption scheme on June 15, 2009, there have only been two cases of animal adoption, that too by a city based school. In 2010 and 2011, Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines adopted a tiger, black bucks and birds for two years. But no one came forward to adopt the animals after that. Adoption entails bearing expenses of food and upkeep of the animal.
Zoo officials spend lakhs on the diet and medicines of animals, but due to lack of funds, the department fails to pay contractors feeding animals. The state government has passed zero budget for forest and wildlife in the assembly, so the department has no money to feed their animals and take care of them.
District Forest Officer (DFO), Surjit Sahota said, "It would be great if citizens come forward to adopt zoo animals, because funds are always limited. They should join this good cause. Adoption can be for one year and for one month too. Anybody can adopt an animal. The person adopting will have to pay a fixed amount."
Sandeep Jain, president, People for Animal (PFA), Ludhiana said, "There should be awareness about this scheme. People do not know they can adopt zoo animals. Sec
Australian Reptile Park snake handler Billy Collett bitten milking venomous death adder
THE head keeper at the Australian Reptile Park was taken to hospital on Tuesday after being bitten by a highly venomous death adder while milking it.
The park confirmed head reptile keeper Billy Collett was bitten on the index finger by a common death adder — the sixth most venomous snake in Australia — during a routine venom extraction procedure at the park.
It was the first time Mr Collett — who was milking the adder as part of the park’s venom-milking program — had been bitten by a snake.
Tulsa Zoo: Tova The Elephant Had Massive Bladder Stone
The necropsy performed on the elephant that was euthanized on Sunday revealed she had a 10-pound bladder stone, according to the Tulsa Zoo.
The zoo said Tova the 43-year-old Asian elephant was euthanized because she had stopped eating and drinking and was in pain. Experts from the Center for Elephant Conservation tried to find what caused the symptoms. Despite that, Tova was euthanized to end her suffering.
Baby Tiger Drugged And Dragged Around Casino — Just For Fun
When Russia's latest attraction, the ritzy Tigre de Cristal casino, opened its doors last month, it needed something big to make an impact. So, it decided haul around a 5-month-old endangered tiger cub who was drugged so heavily she couldn't open her eyes.
Patrons and members of the public were shocked to see the young Amur tiger being carted around the casino floor in Vladivostok, Russia. Barely conscious, her inner eyelids drooped shut, leaving her with a blank red stare.

 

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