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Zoo News Digest September-October 2008


India's only gorilla alone despite search for mate
India's only gorilla is lonely.
Even though Polo is 6 feet tall, dark-haired, bilingual and good-natured,
the 36-year-old silverback gorilla is still single after a fruitless eight-year
"We have written to all major zoos in the world. We have tried
everything," said Vijay Ranjan Singh, the director of the zoo in Mysore,
a city in southern India about 525 miles southeast of Mumbai.
Polo, who was sent to Mysore from Ireland's Dublin Zoo in 1995, has
been alone since 2000 when his mate, 46-year-old Sumathi, died.
Singh said that because gorillas are considered highly endangered,
other zoos are reluctant to part with theirs. The Mysore zoo doesn't
want to send Polo abroad to find a friend because he is India's only
gorilla. Also, animal transfers are usually done within the framework of
breeding programs that are often regional.
Worried that failure to find a companion for Polo could cause him
psychological harm, his keepers decided to make one final plea. "He
needs psychological and emotional enrichment that we can't provide,"
Singh said by telephone from Mysore on Thursday.
Polo is a western lowland gorilla, native to the forests of central Africa.
Silverback gorillas — marked with a distinctive patch — are dominant

Country's first safari park opens in Binh Duong
VietNamNet Bridge – Dai Nam Joint Stock Corp., owner of a huge
tourism complex in the southern province of Binh Duong, on Saturday
inaugurated a safari park in southern Binh Duong Province, which is the
first of its kind in the country.
The 12.5-hectare open zoo as part of the 450-hectare Lac Canh Dai
Nam Van Hien entertainment complex on Binh Duong Boulevard in Thu
Dau Mot Town is home to rhinos, white lions, tigers, elephants, bears,
ostriches, chamois, zebras, gnus, squirrel monkeys and foxes, many of
which are not typically found in Vietnam.
Tran Dang Trung, manager of the safari park, said it had taken two
years to develop the open zoo at a cost of VND50 billion. Animals are
allowed more space than in a regular zoo while the encounter between
humans and animals will also be closer. To protect visitors, deep spaces
and various safety methods have been carefully applied.
The zoo is open every day until 9 p.m. and admission is VND20,000 for
adults and VND15,000 for children.
The Lac Canh Dai Nam Van Hien project, which opened last month after
nearly ten years' construction, has become the largest-ever tourism
area in Vietnam. Located in Thu Dau Mot Town, about 40km northwest
of HCMC, the sprawling complex includes man-made lakes, rivers and
mountains as well as a wide range of recreational facilities.
The company has invested VND1,800 billion, or some US$110 million, in
the first phase of the project. Facilities

3 Children Suspected of Killing Kangaroo at Zoo
Three children were detained in Rostov-on-Don on suspicion of brutally
killing a kangaroo and three sea- gulls at a local zoo, a regional police
spokeswoman said Thursday.
Two 12-year-old boys climbed over the fence Friday evening into the
pen where eight kangaroos lived at the zoo, a spokeswoman with the
Rostov regional branch of the Interior Ministry said by telephone.
The boys proceeded to beat a young kangaroo to death with sticks while
a 10-year-old girl acted as a lookout, investigators said.
They also threw stones into a building

Freedom closer for Atlantis whale shark
Pressure mounted yesterday on the Atlantis Hotel to release back into
the wild a "rescued" young whale shark that has been kept for almost
40 days in the hotel's aquarium.
After weeks of controversy over the capture of the shark, a member of
a species listed by the International Union for the Conservation of
Nature as "vulnerable" throughout the world, the Emirates Marine
Environmental Group (EMEG) yesterday issued a statement "to pressure
Atlantis into tagging and releasing this shark back into its natural habitat
as soon as possible".
EMEG was set up in 1996 under the patronage of Sheikha Manal bint
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the wife of Sheikh Mansour Bin
Zayed, minister for presidential affairs.
The National has also learnt that the controversy over the whale shark
has now reached the highest executive levels of Kerzner International
and Nakheel, the joint-venture partners behind the Atlantis resort. A
high-ranking official at the Ministry of Environment and Water is also
believed to be looking into the matter.
Until yesterday, EMEG, which works on some conservation projects with
the developer Nakheel, had remained silent on the matter, although
individual members had expressed their concerns privately. Yesterday's
statement, however, was unequivocal.
"It is essential that this gentle giant be tagged and released as soon as
possible to increase its chances of survival as well as gather scientific
data on its movements in the Gulf," said Ali al Suweidi, the

Virgin shark got pregnant in Virginia aquarium
Scientists using DNA testing have confirmed the second-known instance
of "virgin birth" in a shark -- a female Atlantic blacktip shark named
Tidbit that produced a baby without a male shark.
The shark came to the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Centre in
Virginia Beach not long after being born in the wild and lived there for
eight years with no males of the same species, said Beth Firchau, the
aquarium's curator of fishes.
The 5-foot (1.5-metre) shark died after being removed from the tank
for a veterinary examination, and a subsequent necropsy revealed that
Tidbit was carrying a fully developed shark pup nearly ready to be born,
Firchau said.
Demian Chapman, a shark scientist with the Institute for

Sharks attack each other in world's biggest aquarium in Dubai
Shark fights in one of the world's biggest aquariums are threatening the
opening celebrations of Dubai's flagship new mall.
More than ten percent of the sharks in Dubai Aquarium's 10 million-litre
aquarium have been killed in attacks that have marred the build-up to
its grand opening on Oct 30.
Sand Tiger sharks have killed at least 40 smaller reef sharks and been
aggressive towards divers working on final preparations in the giant
The aquarium features the world's single largest school of sharks and
the world's largest viewing platform. It is the centrepiece of the new 12
million sq ft Burj Dubai Mall.
Built to showcase one of the world's most diverse and exotic collections
of marine animals, the aquarium is home to more than 33,000 living
A total of 85 species is represented, with over 400 sharks and rays
considered the main attraction.
But the concentration of such a large number of sharks in a relatively
small space has led to what some might have considered

Marine police seize 42 pangolins worth RM100,000
Marine police seized 42 pangolins worth about RM100,000 after they
arrested two Orang Asli in the Melaka Straits, near here, early today.
The two Orang Asli, aged 24 and 46, who were believed to be hired to
smuggle the pangolins or scaly anteaters, were caught in a raid about
3.1 nautical miles off Parit Jawa at about 12.50am.
Muar marine police commander ASP Mohamad Pouzi Abd Rauf said the
two men were being investigated under Sections 64 and 66(2)(a) of the
Wildlife Protection Act 1972 for smuggling a protected animal.
They can be fined between RM3,000 and RM10,000 or jailed for two to
10 years or both, upon conviction.
Mohamad Pouzi said based on intelligence and public information, he
had ordered two patrol boats to the waters off Parit Jawa

Towers takes an aquarium plunge
ALTON Towers has revealed plans to open an aquarium next year.
Bosses at the theme park want to install a Sea Life centre at the
attraction for when the new season begins in March.
A spokesman confirmed that a planning application has been submitted
to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.
If the plans are approved, the aquarium will be installed at the theme
park's pirate-themed Mutiny Bay area, which was launched in March.
It is thought it will replace a 3D cinema which has not operated since
2004 and has since been used as a shop.
The Alton Towers Almanac, an unofficial website devoted to the park,
speculates that the new attraction will cost around £1.8 million to install.
Bosses say the aquarium will be the 30th Sea Life centre to open
around the world.
Alton Towers's owner Merlin Entertainments Group runs centres
throughout the UK and across Europe in countries including Spain,
Germany, Finland and Poland.
A spokesman said: "The Alton Towers Sea Life will provide the familiar
friendly and authoritative guide to the last great frontier – the seas

Councilman says elephants and L.A. Zoo don't mix
For years debate has raged over the fate of the elephants at the Los
Angeles Zoo. Similar debates have played out at zoos across the
country. Now Los Angeles City Councilman Tony Cardenas has entered
the fray.
Cardenas said Tuesday that he would ask the City Council to outlaw the
keeping of elephants at the zoo. As The Times' Carla Hall writes, the
proposal will complicate plans for a new elephant enclosure at the
For the Los Angeles Zoo, a city agency, that's one more bump in the
road -- which has been long and fraught with controversy -- to building
its new $40-million elephant exhibit.
The zoo hopes to bring in Asian elephants to exhibit and breed. But if
Cardenas' two motions regarding elephants were to pass, construction
on the new zoo exhibit would halt. Cardenas

LA councilman gets celeb help in zoo elephant move
Bob Barker, Alicia Silverstone and other celebrities are joining a city
councilman's effort to move elephants from the Los Angeles Zoo to a
massive sanctuary where they can roam free — or at least close to it.
Councilman Tony Cardenas, accompanied by several celebrities at a
news conference Tuesday, announced his desire to halt construction of
the zoo's elephant habitat and use the money to build a 60-acre
sanctuary operated by the zoo.
"We need to get those elephants out of the LA Zoo," Cardenas said.
Cardenas filed two motions Tuesday at the City Council meeting to
reallocate what's left of the $39 million approved for the elephant
exhibit and open the sanctuary in the northern San Fernando Valley. He
said the 3 1/2-acre "Pachyderm Forest" at the zoo will be too small to
keep elephants happy and healthy.
Los Angeles Zoo officials said they intend to complete the project, which
will house 11 African elephants and a breeding program. Zoo

Keepers hired to help troubled zoo
TWO keepers have been recruited to help revive the fortunes of
Rockhampton's troubled zoo.
One will start this week and the other on November 3 as Rockhampton
Regional Council seeks to find the right person to take charge.
The council is advertising nationally for a "manager of life sciences" and
is also looking for a "strategic manager recreation services" the senior
post made vacant by the redundancy deal accepted by previous parks
and gardens boss Tom Wyatt.
The advertisement says knowledge of running a zoo would be an
advantage, but is not a requirement.
Recruitment is also under way for a strategic manager of community
facilities, tourism and sport.
Deputy Mayor Rose Swadling said the council was determined to do all
it could to revive the fortunes of the zoo which has been fiercely
criticised in recent months by some ratepayers.
A strategic plan was being developed and there would be a community
consultation period to guide the council about the kind of facility the
region wanted the zoo to be.
The plan would be developed with expert assistance

First baby killer whale born to mother raised in captivity
A killer whale that was born and bred in captivity gave birth at an
aquarium on Monday, the first birth of its kind in Japan.
"Lovey" gave birth at Kamogawa Sea World in Kamogawa on Monday.
The baby is reportedly healthy and swimming along with its mother.
It's the first time a killer whale born in captivity has ever given birth in
Japan. Breeding killer whales in captivity is extremely difficult, and just
50 percent or so of whales born this way develop normally.
The baby whale's tail was first spotted at 8:55 a.m. on Monday, with
the birth finishing 3 hours later, to cheers from visitors.
The aquarium plans to suspend the killer whale shows to observe the
baby's growth. It hasn't been decided when the baby will be put

Les Schobert dies at 61; Los Angeles Zoo's former general curator
Les Schobert, a former general curator of the Los Angeles Zoo who
advocated more open space and less isolation for elephants,
chimpanzees and other animals in captivity, has died. He was 61.
Schobert died Oct. 14 at his home in La Quinta, Calif., said Gretchen
Kneeter, his longtime companion. The cause was lung cancer, she said.
Schobert worked in zoos for nearly 30 years and was an outspoken
critic of some zoo practices. He wanted animals to live in spaces that
came close to their natural habitat, rather than in tile or concrete cages.
He also advocated community living for animals that are naturally
inclined to form social groups.
"Les was a visionary," said Catherine Doyle of In Defense of Animals, a
nonprofit animal welfare group. "He was,0,4902702.story

New Reptile Discovery Center to open in December
On the outskirts of DeLand, off a dirt portion of Big John Road, is a
nondescript building. It's a peaceful place, with no indication that 800
snakes — more than 50 species and the vast majority venomous — call
the building home.
And soon, it will be open to the public.
Carl Barden, owner and director of Medtoxin Venom Laboratories will
fulfill a vision when he opens Reptile Discovery Center in December.
For more than 13 years, Barden has collected venom from the world's
most dangerous snakes. Because the science behind the snake is
fascinating to him, he wants to open the facility, and create a haven of
education and conservation.
(Watch video of Barden extracting venom from an Eastern diamondback
and a monocled cobra.)
The 3,600-square-foot building will house more than 40 exhibits and
static displays. A laboratory will be enclosed by glass, so visitors can
watch snakes be milked for venom.
"We'll be open four days a week, Thursday to Saturday, and have
venom programs twice a day," Barden said. "There are only two other
places in the country, and a half-dozen places in the world you can see
venom produced."
In addition to deadly snakes, there will have a quarter-mile-trail loop
around the property, where visitors can take an informative nature
walk. Along the walk will be animal enclosures with different reptile
species: snakes, turtles and alligators.
"It will be a broad overview of the reptile world," he said.
Barden said he had so many visitors come to see his snakes, he decided
to make an entire resource center devoted to education.
"We will be open for class tours and field trips, and to the general
public," he said. "It's such a unique aspect of science."
Barden has been fascinated with reptiles since he was a wee lad of 6.
While on a class trip from New England to Florida, he watched Bill
Haast, a famous venom extractor with Miami Serpentarium
Laboratories, collect venom.
"I remember thinking, 'That's the plan,'" Barden said.
He graduated with a bachelor's in biology from the

Fur flies in spat over Lion Man's website
Controversial Lion Man television star Craig Busch is involved in a nasty
catfight with his mother over control of the wildlife park that has made
him world famous.
The pair have had a bitter falling out, with police and lawyers involved
and Busch's mother, Patricia, understood to have hired security guards.
The dispute threatens to derail Craig Busch's career as a television star -
The Lion Man, now into its third series, screens in almost 100 countries.
The Herald on Sunday understands the spat revolves around control of
Zion Wildlife Gardens near Whangarei - home of almost 50 lions and
tigers and where the TV show is filmed - and another website set up by
Craig Busch.
A police source confirmed mother and son were in dispute over
ownership of the park and that officers had been called there at least
once. Both live on the site - Craig in a house, and his mother in a
Portacom shed.
The police source said there had been petty

Harnessing Turtle Power
They have been around for more than 100 million years and survived
the extinction of the dinosaurs. But human activity and ignorance in the
past 50 years has left only 50,000 leatherback sea turtles swimming in
our oceans, and as bycatch from fisheries activities, they could be
extinct as early as 2015 in the Pacific Ocean.
Now a UBC research biologist may have found the key to saving these
quietly charismatic animals from the brink of extinction -- with the help
of some rubber hose and fishing line.
At 250-550 kg and about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle®, an adult
leatherback turtle is a sight to behold. But few people have the privilege
in their lifetime to witness these critically endangered animals due to
their enigmatic lifestyle and interactions with fisheries.
"Leatherbacks are oceanic-pelagic animals," says T. Todd Jones, a PhD
candidate in the Dept. of Zoology, "which means that they are
programmed to swim continuously in open waters and are known to
swim the entire Pacific Basin to reach their nesting beach -- that's
13,000 km one way."
"Unlike the other six species of sea turtles, which forage along the coast
or in the reefs, leatherbacks, named after their rubber-textured `soft'
shells, have no concept of barriers or boundaries. If you keep them in a
tank, they would keep swimming into the walls or dive into the bottom."
For this reason, researchers have had trouble keeping and studying the
turtles to find the secrets to their conservation.
Jones came up with an ingenious -- and deceptively simple -- solution.
He custom-fitted hatchlings with harnesses made of soft rubber hoses
and attached

Climate change a new horseman of the apocalypse - zoo chief Chris
THE world's zoos are becoming field hospitals in a war zone, as they try
to salvage species from extinction, Adelaide and Monarto Zoo chief
executive Chris West says.
"We've watched for too long critical species being overcome by habitat
destruction, over-exploitation from logging, fishing and hunting, invasive
species, pollution and emergent diseases," Dr West said.
"But now climate change is looming as a huge new horseman of the
apocalypse, whose impact threatens to dwarf that of all the others.
"In the face of such a threat, zoos are now being called upon to urgently
realise their huge conservation potential."
Dr West will host the annual conference of the World Association of
Zoos and Aquariums in Adelaide from today.
The conference has attracted the leaders of some of the world's largest
zoos including the London Zoo and those in Copenhagen, Frankfurt,
Moscow and St Louis.
David Attenborough will,23599,24522392-29277,00.html

Zoo spending big to get $33M
Hogle has paid thousands to get bond proposal on ballot and put out ads
Thirty-nine cents. That's what Hogle Zoo supporters say it will cost the
average Salt Lake County homeowner, each month, to breathe new life
into the 77-year-old animal park.
That's a pittance, zoo officials say. And given that county voters have
been a virtual ATM for special funding proposals over the past 18 years,
they're feeling optimistic the request - $33 million in total - will be
approved on Nov. 4.
But although its own poll shows two-thirds of county voters approve of
the expansion and even though there is no organized opposition to
Proposition 2, as it is labeled on the ballot, Hogle is not leaving anything
to chance.
The Utah Zoological Association, which runs the 42-acre park at the
mouth of Emigration Canyon, spent more than $180,000 to bring the
matter to ballot. Most of that money paid for the consulting services of
the political gurus at The Exoro Group, who helped craft a strategy to
win the Salt Lake County Council's approval for putting the bond before
Then, in the two-week period that followed the council's vote, the Exoro-
run Renew the Zoo Political Interest Committee spent another $135,000
of Hogle's cash. That money launched a full-court advertising press,
complete with a ubiquitous billboard

Chinese workers in Kenya could be driving trade in elephant poaching
for ivory
Chinese workers rebuilding roads in northern Kenya are feared to be
driving a sharp rise in elephant poaching which has seen dozens of
animals slaughtered this year.
In the first eight months of 2008, 57 carcases have been found across
Kenya with their tusks hacked out, 15 per cent more than the total for
all of 2007 and the third annual increase in a row.
More than half of the elephants were killed in an area where Chinese
construction crews have recently arrived to tarmac hundreds of miles of
gravel tracks.
The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) believes there may be a link between
the workers' arrival and the increase in poaching.
"More than 50 per cent of the dead elephants we have found have been
in that area in the north where the Chinese are working on the road,"
said Moses Litoroh, elephant programme coordinator for the KWS.
"We can perhaps assume that they have had a hand in it, maybe not all
of them, but the coincidence is causing

Zoo elephant in pregnancy first
An Asian elephant has become the first of its species in the UK to
become pregnant by artificial insemination, a zoo said.
Keepers of Noorjahan at Twycross Zoo, in Leicestershire, said the
procedure had been "incredibly successful" and the baby is expected in
August next year.
The zoo chose artificial insemination because it had no male elephants
in its collection. The father is a bull elephant called Emmet, from
Whipsnade Zoo.
Zoo deputy director John Ray said: "Any artificial insemination can be a
tricky procedure, but we were particularly happy when Noorjahan
became pregnant after the first attempt.
"We would always prefer natural breeding for our animals, but in this
case our herd of elephants includes only females."
Without the procedure, the zoo would have to have

Sanctuary for sun bears in Sabah soon
There is hope for a bright future for sun bears in Sabah that are facing
extinction. A sanctuary is being set up in Sanda kan for the bears.
The state Wildlife Department together with the state Forestry
Department and non-governmental organisation Land Empower ment
Animals People (Leap) will jointly set up the conservation centre next to
the orang utan rehabilitation centre.
Wildlife Department director Laurentius Ambu said the sun bear facility
would be the first of its kind in Asia and was aimed at rehabilitation,
research and education efforts concerning

Painter offers images to help threatened gorillas
A rare and endangered primate is the focus of a Sunday open house.
Langley residents have the chance to help save the rare Cross River
gorilla in Cameroon, Africa.
"There are only 250-300 alive," said Daniel Taylor.
The Coquitlam artist and his wife Ginette have launched a campaign to
help save the rare animals and just recently returned from an
expedition to Cameroon and the Nigerian border, where the gorillas live.
Langley is the first special event they are hosting.
Daniel Taylor will have his artwork on display for the public at a special
open house Sunday at the Mountainview Conservation Centre (23898
Rawlison Cres.) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A minimum $2 admission
donation is required for the open house.
The Taylors are working through the African Conservation Network
which has worked for year to preserve wildlife on the continent.
The Taylors connected up with Mountainview through their mutual
concern for conservation.
The open house includes a film of the Taylors' expedition to the
Highlands of Cameroon to the habitat of the Cross River gorilla.
There will also be a silent auction with one of the prizes being

Illegal Mexican Parrot Trade Targeted by New Ban
A new permanent ban on parrot sales in Mexico may protect the
country's exotic birds from a thriving illegal wildlife trade,
conservationists say.
Mexico considers half of its 22 parrot species endangered, and all but
two are protected by federal law.
But between 65,000 and 78,000 parrots and guacamayas—a bigger type
of parrot—are captured illegally every year, and most of these birds die
each year before reaching their intended buyers.
The government has been unable to control the clandestine capture and
sale of the protected birds, environmentalists say.
The new ban—an amendment to Mexico's wildlife law—will eliminate
the parrot and guacamaya market completely.
The law will go into

Call for Melbourne Zoo inquiry as animal deaths hit 486
AN EXOTIC monkey savaged by a 200kg gorilla and a baby panda eaten
by its mother are among hundreds of deaths at Melbourne Zoo.
The dossier of deaths at the Parkville zoo, showing 486 animals
perished in captivity in the past two years, has prompted calls for an
inquiry into care practices.
Endangered and protected animals, including native and international
species, are among the list of the dead obtained by the Sunday Herald
Sun under Freedom of Information.
The death list includes:
A DE BRAZZA'S monkey put down after suffering deep bite marks to its
chest and losing part of a limb in an attack by a 200kg silverback in the
gorilla enclosure;
A FOUR-DAY-OLD red panda eaten by its mother;
A GREATER bilby that died of cancer;
A HAIRY-NOSED wombat found dead and malnourished in its enclosure;
MORE than 70 exotic fish killed in one day when a bacterial fungus was
found in an aquarium.
Other animals to die in the two years to February included frogs,
snakes, turtles, a wolf, a grey-headed flying fox and a meerkat.
Animal Liberation Victoria president Noah Hannibal said the zoo needed
to be more accountable for the deaths, especially after allegations of
abuse and neglect earlier this year, including claims an elephant was,21985,24516197-2862,00.html

Tiger skins for saleEnvironmental crime is a growing source of income
for international gangs attracted by huge profits on illegal items such as
tiger skins, according to the Environmental Investigation Agency. The UK-
based charity captured undercover video of tiger skins being sold in
Linxia, China

American zoo treats wild animals to hydrotherapy, along with their
Moksha Bybee, a trainer at Tigers in South Carolina, swims with
Balavan, a year-old tiger about two metres long and more than 14st in
A zoo in America is pioneering an unusual form of exercise for its
animals and their trainers. Going for a swim. Together.
Tigers at the Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (Tigers),
in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, are taught to swim with their trainers
from an early age in a specially designed pool.
"Tigers have a natural desire and ability to swim, exceeding that of all
the other big cats," said Bhagavan Antle, the director of Tigers, who has
trained more than 350 big cats in his career. "They have modified
webbing between their toes

Valuable reptiles stolen from Zoo
Four valuable lizards have been stolen in a smash and grab at Hamilton
Thieves smashed a glass panel and cut through chains and padlocked
doors on Friday night to get inside the reptile enclosure.
Zoo director Stephen Standley says they snatched a pair of Madagascan
Day Geckos and a pair of Bearded Dragons.
He says while they aren't endangered, the Madagascan Day Geckos can
only be held

He's no alpha male, but Sammy the chimp's a daddy
It has required DNA testing but the paternity of one-year-old baby Beni
has now been settled: It's Sammy.
Until recently, the father of Beni – Wellington Zoo's baby chimpanzee –
was a mystery. Mum Sally was a looker, and had always been Sammy's
favourite, but with that many males in the house, who could be sure?
DNA testing of a hair collected by Zoo veterinarians has now confirmed
keeper Cassandra Butler's suspicions. And, despite the initial confusion,
it's a love story.
"Sally is the most prized female in the troop, and she's Sammy's
favourite female so we were pretty sure Sammy was the father. He's
not the alpha male – I guess you'd call him a lover, not a fighter," she
Beni turns one tomorrow, in what the zoo is labeling a significant
milestone for an endangered species.
Wellington Zoo's chimpanzees

Missing zoo animals found
It's a happy ending for the owner of two exotic animals stolen from the
Capital of Texas Zoo outside of Bastrop.
"Moses" the camel and "Coco" the pony were mysteriously returned by
thieves to a pasture about a mile away from the zoo sometime on
"When he (Moses) saw me he came running over and bouncing like a
puppy dog. Now Coco, she's in her twenties so she kind of ambled
over," said Michael Hicks, the owner and keeper of the zoo.
It happened in the wee hours of

LaDue, Williamson agree: Zoo shouldn't get county $
If it is up to either of the two candidates on the ballot for the remaining
contested seat on the Santa Rosa County Commission, the financially
strapped Zoo Northwest Florida will not receive any more taxpayer
Stacia LaDue, registered as Non Partisan Affiliation, is running for the
District 1 commission seat now held by Tom Stewart. She made it clear
she would not vote to give money to The Zoo.
"I believe the county made a mistake helping The Zoo," LaDue said last
Monday during a candidates' forum at Calvary Chapel Church in Gulf
Breeze. "I think it was wrong of The Zoo to come to the county at the
last minute saying help us or we are going away. The Zoo is a private
entity, and I think it

2008 Year of the Frog -- State of the Frogs (Peter's note - interesting
Report Shows Successes, Highlights Need for Conservation Efforts to
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) today released a report
on progress made to date on amphibian conservation as zoos and
aquariums took up the challenge during 2008, the Year of the Frog.
"AZA is proud of the rapid and significant response of AZA-accredited
zoos and aquariums to save frogs, toads, and salamanders," said AZA
President and CEO Jim Maddy. "There is much more work to be done,
and it will take many years, but these success stories attest to the key
role that zoos and aquariums play in amphibian conservation."
Zoos, aquariums, and many international partners declared 2008 the
Year of the Frog to bring awareness to the plight of the world's
amphibians, and to launch an urgent effort to


Activists seek freedom for Dubai whale shark
Environmentalists on Thursday called on the managers of a massive new
marine-themed resort in this Gulf boomtown to release a whale shark
they are holding inside a giant fish tank.
The 13-foot long female whale shark wandered into the shallow waters
off Dubai's Gulf coast in August. A week later, representatives of
the recently opened $1.5 billion Atlantis hotel announced that the
resort's marine biologists and veterinarians had rescued the whale
shark and transported it to an open-air aquarium with 65,000 fish,
stingrays and other sea creatures.
But environmentalists and wildlife activists in Dubai say the whale
shark has become the hotel's hostage and needs to be release back
into the wild.
"It has to be put back where it belongs, into deep waters in the open
sea," Habiba al-Marashi of the Emirates Environment Group told the
Associated Press.
Representatives of Atlantis resort, which is located

Ex-staff reject Sammy rescue-act theory
Sammy was not rescued by the Atlantis hotel, Gulf News has learnt,
after speaking to ex-Atlantis employees who say that plans to have a
whale shark in the hotel's Ambassador aquarium were clear from the
According to several previous employees who spoke to Gulf News on
condition of anonymity, there was never been any plan to release
Sammy and the hunt to find a resident whale shark was relentless,
with fishing boats heading out every night to find one.
The hotel said in a statement in September that due to the high sea
temperature and salinity of the water where the whale shark was
found, the decision was made to transport the whale shark to Atlantis
for medical care and observation.
According to the resort, the animal is being monitored 24 hours a day
to gather data on swim patterns, feeding and behaviours.
Open secret
An ex-employee from the Marine and Water Park department at Atlantis,
who left the company this summer, said the hotel's plan to acquire a
whale shark was known by all since the beginning.
"It was going to be part

Atlantis will not release captured whale shark
A national polemic arises as the executives of the Palm Atlantis
(Dubai), have announced that they will not release the whale shark
that they captured from the waters of the UAE almost a month ago.
Atlantis announced the capture of the juvenile whale shark recently
which was found in shallow waters, "fatigued and disorientated".
Whale Sharks are protected by CITES (Convention for the International
Trade of Endangered Species) and apparently the hotel was urged to
release the animal. Environmentalists have hit out at the management
of Atlantis hotel for performing an apparent change of mind by
deciding to keep a whale shark caught off Jebel Ali.
On September 9, the luxury resort issued a press release to say its
marine experts had rescued a struggling four-metre whale shark. The
statement went on to say that the female animal had been taken to the
hotel's 11-million-litre lagoon "for medical care and observation" -
with no mention of a permanent capture.
Although it was initially reported that the shark would only be kept
until it had recovered from an unspecified medical problem, Mr
Leibman said there were no plans to release it. In an article
published in the National newspaper on October 4th, he says "I'm not
sure where that statement came from," he said.
He has also told 7 days "We have probably the most talented marine
science people in the industry monitoring it and making sure it is
Ibrahim Al-Zu'bi, environmental advisor for Emirates Diving
Association, says he has seen the whale shark and believes it should
be put back into the Arabian Gulf. "It should be tagged and released,
the sooner the better," he told 7DAYS. "I know Atlantis is under
pressure at the moment because

Welsh welcome for Tubman and Joey
TWO chimps faced with losing their home are heading to Wales.
Popular primates Joey and Tubman, who currently live at Mole Hall
Wildlife Park, Widdington, Saffron Walden, were going to be moved to
a sanctuary in Spain, but following an offer from another wildlife
park they will be heading off to the less sunny climes of south Wales.
Cambridge-based charity Mona UK had found the Spanish home for the
pair and were busily raising funds for the move, which became
necessary when the wildlife park was suddenly closed down last month
following the shock announcement of the terminal illness of one of
the owners, Douglas Johnstone.
But after being offered the place closer to home, the Johnstone
family decided it was better to keep the loveable duo on UK soil.
Katrina Allhusen, who works for the Johnstone family, said it was
good news for fans of the pair, who would now be

Nervous anteaters at Bangkok zoo evacuated after protests
Two anteaters at Bangkok's main zoo have been given a three-month
holiday to recover after violent clashes between police and
protesters erupted near their enclosure, the zoo director said Sunday.
The four-year-old male and female anteaters were moved to a zoo in
Chonburi province east of Bangkok soon after Tuesday's protests, when
tear gas and loud bangs rang through the streets around parliament
next to their enclosures.
"A pair of anteaters had come from the United States about a year
ago. This animal is sensitive about noise, and they have not yet got
used to loud noises," Dusit Zoo director Kanchai Sanwong told AFP.
The other animals in the park, however, had been there a long time
and are used to Thailand's shaky political situation, with noisy
protests often held in the Dusit government district, he said.
"The kangaroos and elephants who live near the wall opposite

Extinction alert for pangolin, tapir
The gentle pangolin (Manis javanica), found in Malaysia and Thailand,
is officially listed as "endangered", under threat of extinction.
So, too, the Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus).
Both animals are officially cited on the 2008 Red List of Threatened
Species, by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
All species of gibbon monkeys are now also "endangered", from "near
threatened" last year.
The list assesses the conservation status of wildlife to highlight
those threatened with extinction and therefore promote their
However, the news of the pangolin's status would probably come as no
surprise to Malaysians.
Last month, the New Straits Times reported on the increasing illegal
trade in pangolins; between 1998 and last year, the media reported 34
cases of pangolin smuggling and the confiscation of 6,000

Taiwan's Taipei Zoo panned for failing to phase out smoking areas
The John Tung Foundation (JTF) slammed the Taipei Zoo Saturday for
continuing to maintain outdoor smoking areas inside its complex,
saying the city zoo has set a bad example for the campaign against
Lin Ching-li, a JTF section chief in charge of tobacco hazards
control and prevention, said the foundation has received complaints
from a number of citizens in recent weeks about the presence of
outdoor smoking areas inside the city zoo.
One of those sounding off said he didn't know how to explain the
concept of a smoking ban to his young children when people were
lighting up in the zoo's "smoking areas" despite a sign at the zoo's
main entrance clearly stating that smoking is not allowed inside its
compound, according to Lin.
A survey by JTF staff showed that there are three smoking areas
inside the zoo, with one close to its main gate and another close to
vending machines in its temperate zone animals area, Lin said.
Although the new version of the Tobacco Hazards Prevention and
Control Act that completely bars smoking in 13 types of venues will
soon take effect on Jan. 11, 2009, the city zoo has yet to install
posters or signboards inside its complex.
"It seems to me that zoo administrators do not think that any
improvement is needed with regard to its duty to discourage smoking
and create

A 'song of the apes' you won't forget
The public is invited to visit the Gibbon Conservation Center in
Santa Clarita Sunday, Oct. 19, on the occasion of an annual
fundraiser, beakfast and guided tour of the largest collection of
gibbons (small apes) in the Western Hemisphere.
"We'll hear the gibbons ' sing' their spectacular territorial call--a
trulty remarkable and unforgettable experience," enthuses Alan
Mootnick, founder of the center.
Gibbons are a rare species of acrobatic, tree-dwelling apes that live
in Southeast Asia. Even as they are so dexterous while moving through
trees that no predator can catch them, all nine species of these
primates make the the endangered list because of the rapid
deforestation of their habitats.
The gibbon center was founded to advance the study and conservation
of these small, long-armed apes. It also assists in educating the
public about their endangerment and aid zoos, rescue centers and
veterninary universities in developing improved captive management
practices and supporting ongoing field conservation projects,
Mootnick explains.
"We generally have one fundraiser a year. Since we have outgrown the
5 acres we are currently on, there is a 1,000-acre development next
door, and weather is becoming more harsh, we would like to purchase
50 useable acres in Ventura County," he says. Thus,


Mojave Max tortoise successor chosen
A 10-pound successor to the Mojave Max legacy at the Red Rock Canyon
National Conservation Area has been selected to carry on educating
people about their role and responsibility in the health of the
Mojave Desert.
The new Mojave Max is a healthy 19-year-old male who will carry on
the tradition of predicting spring-like weather conditions in Clark
County, which is part of the Mojave Desert.
For now, Mojave Max will be temporarily housed at the Desert Tortoise
Conservation Center until he can be moved to the Red Rock center in
2010 after remodeling, the Bureau of Land Management said today. The
Desert Tortoise Conservation Center, managed by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, is not open to the public because rescued and
quarantined tortoises are kept there.
Clark County has sponsored a Mojave Max emergence contest so school
children can guess when the tortoise will leave his burrow in the
spring. The contest will continue on schedule.
The new Mojave Max's age is estimated at 19 years old, a youngster in
tortoise ages. Desert tortoises can live longer than 50 years.
In August 2005 Mojave Max was turned into Clark County. No one knows
where he came from, but he might have been a backyard pet, the Bureau
of Land Management said.
Mojave Max was picked up along

Polar bear plunges into zoo moat
Officials with Wisconsin's Milwaukee County Zoo said one of their
polar bears took his second tumble into the moat surrounding his
enclosure in 15 years.
Laura Pedriani, the zoo's marketing director, said the bear, Zero,
was caught by the safety net in the moat just as he was during his
tumble 15 years ago, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Tuesday.
"There's a wire mesh toward the bottom of the moat for just this kind
of thing," Pedriani said.
Pedriani said Zero, who is nearly 19 years old, fell into the 17-foot-
deep moat about 12:30 p.m. Monday while playing with a plastic toy.
She said the polar bear had apparently not noticed how close he was
to the moat when he took his fall.
Pedriani said the bear climbed out of the net uninjured

Where the Not-So-Wild Things Are: Rating Animals at National Zoo
EVERYONE HAS DIFFERENT priorities when visiting the National Zoo.
Some seek out the cutest animals, others delight in the creepy and
reptilian, and some prefer the size and majesty of the elephants. So,
whether you're a panda partisan or a flamingo enthusiast, the Zoo has
a creature to accommodate every taste.

Gorilla study gives clues to human language development
A new University of Sussex study provides evidence that gorilla
communication is linked to the left hemisphere of the brain - just as
it is in humans.
Psychologist Dr Gillian Sebestyen Forrester developed a new method of
analysing the behaviour of gorillas in captivity and found there was
a right-handed bias for actions that also involved head and mouth
movements. The right side of the body is controlled by the left
hemisphere of the brain, which is also the location for language
The findings could provide major clues as to how language developed
in humans. Dr Sebestyen Forrester says: "We shared 23 million years
of evolution with great apes and then diverged approximately six
million years ago. Gorillas have highly-complex forms of non-verbal
communication. I think we

Kenya's elephants send text messages to rangers
The text message from the elephant flashed across Richard Lesowapir's
screen: Kimani was heading for neighbouring farms.
The huge bull elephant had a long history of raiding villagers' crops
during the harvest, sometimes wiping out six months of income at a
time. But this time a mobile phone card inserted in his collar sent
rangers a text message. Lesowapir, an armed guard and a driver
arrived in a jeep bristling with spotlights to frighten Kimani back
into the Ol Pejeta conservancy.
Kenya is the first country to try elephant texting as a way to
protect both a growing human population and the wild animals that now
have less room to roam. Elephants are ranked as "near threatened" in
the Red List, an index of vulnerable species published by the
International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The race to save Kimani began two years ago. The Kenya Wildlife
Service had already reluctantly shot five elephants from the
conservancy who refused to stop crop-raiding, and Kimani was the last
of the regular raiders. The Save the

Illegal Trade Decimating Wildlife
A great variety of endangered wildlife species end up feeding the
illegal market for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) thanks to poor
enforcement in stopping the trade, say experts and activists.
"The Chinese market is like a 'black hole' sucking in wildlife
products from neighbouring countries," said Peter Pueschel, head of
global Wildlife Trade Programme at the International Fund for Animal
Welfare (IFAW), in an e-mail interview with IPS.
India, China's neighbour to the south, is most at risk with its vast
biodiversity and poorly enforced laws.
According to the wildlife crime database maintained by the Wildlife
Protection Society of India (WPSI), 846 tigers, 3,140 leopards and
585 freshwater otter (skins) were poached between 1994 and Aug. 31,
2008 and another 320 elephants were poached between 2000 and 2008 in
"Although many species used in TCM are now protected by national and
international laws, illegal trade and poaching have increased to
crisis levels as TCM's popularity has expanded over the last two
decades," says Samir Sinha of the Indian chapter of the TRAFFIC, the

Bonobos not all peace and free love
Bonobos may not fully deserve their "make love not war" hippy-like
reputation, scientists have found.
Researchers have recorded the first evidence of the world's most
human-like apes, who were formerly known as the pygmy chimpanzee,
killing and eating other primates.
Bonobos, an endangered chimpanzee species found only in the
Democratic Republic of Congo, live in polyamorous communities where
females enjoy high status.
Sex plays a vital role in bonobo society. The animals do not form
permanent partnerships and making love is used both as a greeting and
to resolve conflicts. Both males and females are highly promiscuous
and actively bisexual.
The bonobo, Pan paniscus, is the only animal, besides humans, known

Conservation award for zoo
FLAMINGO Land zoo, near Malton, has scooped a national green award in
recognition of its efforts in protecting and enhancing the natural
It gained the silver David Bellamy Conservation Award after a
detailed audit of its environmental policies.
Inspectors looked at areas including, water, energy conservation,
recycling, waste management, and how the park works with the local
In making the award Professor David Bellamy said he was amazed at how
much was being done by holiday parks to protect and enhance the
environment and create "wildlife wonderlands" and it was time they
were recognised for their work.
The park is set in 375 acres of countryside and is home to the

Zoo needs new leader of the pack
The Toronto zoo was once a world-class destination, a happening
place, with dreams of someday challenging the likes of the San Diego
Zoo for prominence.
This must be news to the vast numbers of you who've arrived here in
the past 25 years. You've missed the glory days.
Now, if it weren't for bad news of palace coups and amateurish
sparring and infighting among the political baboons who run the
place, one would be forgiven for not knowing the zoo existed. Or that
it's worth visiting.
As such, the political fighting and resignations and general chaos in
northeast Scarborough are good. At least the zoo has a pulse. Maybe
someone at city hall may be reminded of the city's forgotten child.
Toronto owns the zoo and contributed $11.5 million to its operation
last year. The zoo is run by an arm's-length board, occupied by five
councillors and

A new leader for L.A. Animal Services?
An update on rumors about L.A. Animal Services comes courtesy of L.A.
Lloyd Levine for dog catcher?
Sure, L.A. shelter workers have petitioned for the ouster of Ed Boks
as head of the city Department of Animal Services, but that doesn't
mean Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, a Van Nuys lawmaker, is looking to
fill the job.
So why do the rumors persist?
Levine has built a good reputation with many animal rights activists
for his push for a law (that didn't pass) to require that most of
California's dogs and cats be spayed or neutered. He also introduced
a bill to ensure that zoo elephants walk an average of five miles a
day. But Levine leaves office next month because of term limits, so
he'd be free for the job.
Levine's on his honeymoon in Greece right now, having tied the knot
last month with Edie Lambert, a Sacramento television news anchor.
Lambert, meanwhile, renewed her contract with KCRA-TV, an aide to
Levine disclosed

Boy's killing spree at zoo hard to stomach
In a week of financial apocalypse, tax-cut wrangling and election
campaigning, only one news item has managed to occupy my attention
The story of the little boy who broke into the Alice Springs reptile
centre to kill a swathe of animals and feed them to the zoo's
resident croc was totally riveting.
That in itself is unsurprising - awful things usually are completely
compelling. Reams have been written already about the pull of blood
and gore. There's no surprise in being fascinated by acts of violence
and wanton destruction. I'm confident that in asserting my own
interest in unsavoury events, I'm merely underlining my membership in
the human family.
There were a number of aspects to this story, however, that made for
singularly diverting reading.
The carnage alone was impressive, firstly. Thirteen animals in all
were slaughtered in the massacre, which claimed representatives from
a number of lizard species including bearded dragons, thorny devils
and a 20-year-old, much beloved Spencers

Putin gets tiger cub for birthday
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been introducing a tiger
cub he was given as a 56th birthday present.
Mr Putin said he had not decided on a name for the female cub, but
may call her Mashenka, a short form of Maria or Milashka, which
means ''sweetie.''
He did not reveal the name of

Fairchild garden director resigns for job in Abu Dhabi
Mike Maunder, executive director of Fairchild Tropical Botanic
Garden, is headed to Abu Dhabi to become director of botany and
landscapes for the new $1 billion, 2,000-acre Al Ain Wildlife Park
and Resort.
Bruce Greer, head of the board of trustees, notified the garden's
board of directors Monday evening.
The wildlife park and resort in Abu Dhabi will combine botanical
gardens, wildlife exhibits, safaris, hotels and even shopping, as it
rolls out in three phases, the first to be completed in 2010. The San
Diego Zoo signed an agreement with the Abu Dhabi government in May to
create the wildlife park.
Maunder will coordinate the distinct desert ecosystems from United
Arab Emirates, Arabia, Africa, Asia, Australia and America, each with
its plants and

Rare lion is zoo's pride and joy (Peter's Note: OH NO!! Not another
one...Aaaaagh!! Why? Why? Why?)
Big white cat drawing crowds in Attleboro
With a spread in People Magazine, daily admirers, and a staff that
tends to his every need, Ramses, a rare white lion plucked from a
South African zoo last December to keep company with two female lions
at the Capron Park Zoo, is living large.
But despite being the king of the jungle, he's not quite in charge
inside the 4,800 square-foot cage he shares with Kayla and Nyala, two
4-year-old lionesses.
"Oh, the girls will put him in his place," said zoo director Jean
Benchimol, moments after Ramses, a playful 2-year-old who weighs
almost 450 pounds and stands more than 8 feet tall on his hind legs,
attempted to steal a stuffed lion from Nyala's grasp. With a deep
roar, Nyala sent Ramses on his way.
Ramses is the latest addition to the 8-acre municipal zoo, the
smallest such facility in New England. And the lion's presence is
boosting attendance figures that have been on the upswing since 2005,
when Benchimol arrived from a similar size zoo in Victoria, Texas.

Lily Tomlin tells council that zoos are like Guantanamo Bay for
Comedian Lily Tomlin wasn't cracking many jokes when she came before
the Dallas City Council for a brief speech this morning on Jenny the
Dallas Zoo's last elephant.
Comparing Jenny's current enclosure at the zoo to a bare closet for a
person, she urged the council to send the elephant to a sanctuary in
"An elephant cannot live a fulfilled life in a zoo," she said.
She said Dallas could send Jenny to Tennessee while the city builds a
new elephant habitat. That is scheduled to be complete in 16 months.
Once it's complete, the city can seek another elephant, Ms. Tomlin
Apologizing for going 10 minutes without being funny, Ms. Tomlin said
that she wanted to try to say something

Chimpanzees' last stronghold in danger as numbers fall by 90 per cent
Time appears to be running out for chimpanzees living in the wild
after a survey of its last "stronghold" found numbers had plummeted
by 90 per cent.
The effect of man had already led to a reduction from an estimated
100,000 fifty years ago to between 12,000 and 8,000 in 1990 in the
Ivory Coast, the west African country that harboured more than half
the world's population of chimps.
But a new survey has found that it has dropped a further 90 per cent
to little more than 1,000 individual chimps.
Now scientists believe there is only one viable population left in
the Tai National Park and that the ape should be classified
as "critically endangered".
Christophe Boesch, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary
Anthropology, told the journal Current Biology, that the rise in the
human population was to blame.
"The human population in Cote d'Ivoire has increased nearly 50 per
cent over the last 18 years," he said.
"Since most threats to chimpanzee populations are derived from human

Lowry Zoo Boss Has Accrediting Agency Inspect Operations
A team from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is sifting through
information gleaned from records and the examination of operations
last week during a 2 1/2 day visit to Lowry Park Zoo.
The zoo's chief executive officer, Lex Salisbury, requested the visit
after news reports of connection between the zoo and Safari Wild, an
animal theme park Salisbury owns and is developing in Polk County.
Zoo records acquired by News Channel 8 and The Tampa Tribune show
that in the past 20 years, Salisbury and the zoo exchanged 201
animals, mostly for breeding. In the past three years, the records
show, animals were shuffled between Safari Wild and the zoo hundreds
of times.
AZA spokesman Steve Feldman said reviews such as this are not
standard. This is an effort by the zoo to address concerns raised by
the media, Feldman said.
One agreement between Safari Wild and the zoo, according to the
records acquired by the media, would have turned over to Salisbury a
rare newborn white rhinoceros calf

Camel, pony stolen from Bastrop County zoo
Someone pilfered a pony and young camel from a private zoo in the
Bastrop County town of Cedar Creek.
Capital of Texas Zoo Director Michael Hicks says overnight Tuesday
the two animals disappeared from the zoo's front pasture.
"The staff and I are heartbroken," he says. "We raised Moses (the
camel's name) on a bottle. He thought he was a person, loved
everybody. Our pony, CoCo, and Moses were best friends. It was
comical, they went everywhere together. Coco is over 20 years old,
and she mothered the camel like he was her baby."
Moses is three years

Animal rights group protests zoo elephant handling
With Baby Samudra getting bigger every day, space for the massive
mammals is running out. But a bigger home may be on the way for the
elephants at the Oregon Zoo.
Bond Measure 26-96 would expand the elephants' zoo habitat from 1.5
acres to six acres. It would also give them a 100 acre facility
Thursday morning, an animal rights group protested the measure.
The group In Defense of Animals, said the Zoo's handling practices
are outdated and inhumane. They believe the zoo should not expand
until it changes its treatment of

Snow leopard genes could help estimate populations
A genetic test specific to endangered snow leopards can pin down
vital information on their numbers and diversity from the animals'
faeces. What is more, a pilot study has found that some faeces
thought to come from snow leopards were actually from foxes or lynx -
a disturbing sign that estimates of snow leopard numbers may be far
too high.
Some 4000 to 7000 snow leopards are thought to remain in high-
altitude regions of central Asia. The area's inaccessibility makes
the population hard to count. Camera-trap surveys can record
individuals, but are costly and time-consuming. Searching for traces
such as shed fur or faeces is faster, but can yield only indirect
Genetic testing would be more precise, but efforts to date have been
disappointing: testing fur proved impractical because shipping
samples across international boundaries requires special approval,
while standard genetic primers based on domestic cats were not
reliable when testing the degraded DNA in faeces. This led co-author
Jan Janecka of Texas A&M University to develop tests specific for
snow leopard DNA in scat.
Trials using the new approach in China, India and Mongolia show it is
much more reliable and can even

South Africa: White Lions Make History At Reserve
Rare white lions have been released into the wild at Sanbona wildlife
reserve, making the Klein Karoo wildlife reserve home to what's
believed to be the only free-roaming white lions in the world.
The reserve, in 2003, procured two white lions, one male and one
female, as the basis for an ambitious project - to re-establish the
first wild, self sustaining white lions since their removal from the
Timbavati region in the 1970s.
Spokesperson Veronique von Rehbinder said white lions had been
isolated to breeding programmes and circuses over the past few
decades and there had been few reported sightings of the rare big
cats in natural environments.
"As a result, it has been widely assumed that the recessive gene in
the lions producing the unusual colouring is bordering on
extinction," she said.
The project aimed to integrate the white lion offspring with wild
tawny lions so that they could be taught to hunt and survive
"Breeding between white and

Fury at dolphin import plan
Safari World's plan to import bottlenose dolphins from the Solomon
Islands has been opposed by an animal rights group.
The Save Japan Dolphins Coalition recently sent a letter to the
Department of Fisheries, lobbying the agency not to grant the zoo an
import licence.
The letter voiced concern that the dolphin population in the Solomon
Islands is not known, so large-scale hunting of Indo-Pacific
bottlenose dolphins could pose an extinction threat.
The dolphin is listed in Appendix II of Cites - the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Trade is permitted under the condition that the export of animals
must not be detrimental to a species' survival in the wild.
But there is no credible information to clarify the dolphin
The letter also said: "If allowed to proceed, we believe this import
will jeopardise the international reputation of the country and its
tourism industry.
"Thailand is an international destination for tourists. There is no
reason why Thailand needs to import a few dolphins."
Safari World was not available for comment.
Acting director of the Licence and Fisheries Management Division
Bancha Sukkaew said that a special committee on the status of
preserved wildlife, comprising authorities, wildlife experts and
representatives from non-government organisations, would approve
import licences for animals covered by Cites.
The bottlenose dolphin species is also

Lioness meets with a grim end at zoo
What began as an attempt to placate an angry male lion at the city
zoo on Thursday afternoon ended in the gory death of a lioness.
In the presence of animal-keepers and zoo vet Joe Jacob Sebastian,
the seven-year-old male lion, recently brought over from the
Vandalloor zoo, pounced on the lioness and locked his massive jaws
around its neck. Within moments the lioness was dead.
According to zoo officials, Thursday's killing was the first of its
kind at the zoo. The chain of events that led to the death of the 14-
year-old lioness began on Thursday morning when the male lion started
aggressively clawing the bars of the cage housing the lioness which
had given birth to a cub on Wednesday. The disturbed lioness grabbed
the new-born in her jaws and started pacing the cage, refusing to
feed it.
According to zoo officials, it was then that the


Rare Kauai bird making comeback
Endangered puaiohi has more than doubled in population since '94
Eighteen years ago, the puaiohi was a diminishing breed in the Alaka'i
Wilderness Preserve, the 10,800-acre rain forest on Kaua'i.
But the endangered, brown birds that can easily fit in the palm of an
adult's hand are making a comeback with the assistance of scientists
who are repopulating the preserve with a once-plentiful species.
Yesterday marked the 11th time in the last decade that juvenile puaiohi
have been introduced into the preserve, an effort that those guiding the
project say is showing success. A total of 23 youngsters who were born
and raised at the San Diego Zoo are to be let go in two groups over the
next two weeks.
"The superstars in this conservation effort have been the puaiohi
themselves," said Alan Lieberman, the zoo's conservation program
The puaiohi, which live on the floor and in the low bushes of the wild

Formal application submitted for new wildlife park
A PLANNING application has been submitted for a wildlife park at
Compton Greenfield.
The National Wildlife Conservation Park, the first of its kind in the
country, is being built by Bristol Zoo at the Hollywood Tower Estate.
Due to open in 2012, the £70 million park will offer a 21st century
approach to zoos, housing animals in settings close to their natural
The plans, which have now been submitted to South Gloucestershire
Council, include a number of ecosystems including Congo and Sumatra
rainforest, Georgia wetlands, Tanzania savannah, Nepal grasslands,
China montane forest, Costa Rica swamp and Indian Ocean coral reef.
As well as housing animals such as plans Bears, Giraffes, Zebras, Rhinos
and Wolves, the park will also have an animal hospital, restaurant,
Conservation Breeding Centre, ranger

Weighing manatees isn't as easy as it sounds
Weighing manatees isn't as easy as it sounds. Especially when some tip
the scales at over one and a half tons.
That could be why the manatees at Homosassa Springs State Wildlife
Park are only weighed once a year.
Not only does a large crane have to be brought in, but it took seven men
just to maneuver the massive mammals onto a sling to get them out of
the water.
A park veterinarian says this might be the last weigh in for some of the
manatees. A few could be released back into the wild.
"Especially the females we have, so that they can go out and breed
naturally and help propagate more manatees," Veterinarian Dr. Mark
The park's required to weigh the manatees once a year't+as+easy+as+it+sounds

Drugs factory equipment donated to zoo
EQUIPMENT confiscated by the police during raids on Vietnamese drugs
factories in Plymouth is being donated to Paignton Zoo Environmental
When police raided properties being used as cannabis factories in
Plymouth they seized compost, lights, light fittings, fans and fertiliser.
Paignton Zoo Environmental Park Curator of Plants and Gardens Kevin
Frediani said: "We are very grateful to the police for thinking of us when
it came to recycling these items. It is good quality equipment, as the
criminals are interested in both the quantity and quality of plants they
grow. We are very happy to be able to turn these things to a more
honest purpose."
"We have been given a quantity of grow lights and fans and a significant
amount of bagged compost and liquid fertilisers - the donation is worth
several thousand pounds. The equipment can be put to good use
growing good quality ornamental and tropical plants here for the public
and our animals to enjoy."
All items with any sort of cannabis contamination were destroyed by the
police, along with used pots, compost and any whole plants.

Gorilla attacks, kills another gorilla at Omaha zoo
Male gorillas usually are easygoing toward females and offspring. But
that wasn't the case Thursday at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo.
Samson, a 13-year-old male silverback gorilla, struck his daughter,
Baina, about 10:15 a.m., the zoo's director, Lee Simmons, said.
"(Samson) suddenly jumped and slapped (Baina) and knocked her off
her feet and down the side of the enclosure," Simmons said. "She fell
and hit her head. There was tremendous head trauma."
Zoo staffers put forth "a heroic struggle" to save her life, Simmons said.
The 3-year-old was even taken to the Nebraska Medical Center for

Zoos: Why a Revolution is Necessary to Justify Them
Watching a Siberian tiger kill a grey squirrel for a half-hour proved to be
one of my most enlightening experiences at a zoo. It was a weekday; I
was alone, not even an employee passed by. The tiger pounced on the
squirrel, flipped it into the air like a juggler's ball, pinned it and rolled it.
A short reprieve from this unlikely encounter and the bloodied, half-
crushed squirrel attempted an escape, dragging itself across the grass;
the tiger watched curiously, let it go a few feet then pounced again. My
whole self suffered over the squirrel's pain and torture while marveling
in the same instance at the tiger's power, the ease with which it
knocked the rodent along the ground. Here in an institution where
nature is faked was a relatively truthful half-hour: nature's brutality,
grace, ugliness, awe, beauty, and tragedy were reveled. I never could
conclude whether the Asian terror was just playing or if it simply lacked
the knowledge (as has been proven with many captive cats) to finish off
the squirrel. Either way, it took a long time for the rodent to die.
At the zoo: tiger versus squirrel
At 28 years of age I have spent countless hours in well over twenty zoos
spanning four continents. I present this fact as the main expertise I
posses in writing an essay analyzing contemporary zoos and their
visitors. That is to say, this is not an exploratory essay of a professional
zoologist or biologist (or even a science major), rather this is one zoo-
goers and environmental reporter's view of the current state of zoos
and, more importantly and rarely discussed, some general ideas that
could transform the zoo's place in our society. This is my hope. Due to
the desire to avoid a dissuadable length,

Founder's statue at monkey centre
A statue has been unveiled at an animal rescue centre in Dorset in
memory of its late founder.
Jim Cronin set up Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre in Wool, near
Wareham, in 1987 to provide abused Spanish beach chimps with a
permanent home.
He died in March 2007, at the age of 55, after a short illness.
A bronze bust of Mr Cronin and Charlie, one of the first chimps he
rescued and re-homed at the centre, was unveiled by his wife Alison on
Monkey World is home to 150 apes of 15 different species.
Mr and Mrs Cronin, who established

Thai tiger heroes recognized
A naval officer who uncovered six tiger carcasses being illegally
exported was among 10 Thai nationals honoured recently by the
international environmental conservation community.
WWF-Thailand joined fellow environmental organization PeunPa, the
International Tiger Coalition and the Save the Tiger Fund to mark
International Tiger Day, celebrated around the world to raise awareness
of the plight of wild tigers.
Thailand is one of the last places in the world with substantial numbers
of tigers left in the wild. It is also a transit country used by wildlife
criminals smuggling tigers from other countries on to international black
The 10 "tiger heroes" are all government officers who made a
significant contribution to conserving the wild tigers of Thailand and

Wachovia gives $2.5M for zoo renovation
Wachovia's philanthropic arm plans to give the Saint Louis Zoo $2.5
million to overhaul the south entrance with a pedestrian bridge and
improve aesthetics with animal sculptures.
The Wachovia Foundation's gift, along with a $5 million appropriation in
2006 from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Treasury, Judiciary,
Housing and Urban Development and Related Appropriations Act, will
finance the project, which includes a new bridge that will span Wells
Drive, allowing for pedestrians, strollers and wheelchairs to pass from
the south parking lot to the zoo entrance.
To accommodate the bridge, the zoo's iconic Z-O-O sculpture will be
moved to a prominent spot on the parking lot, and

Zoo Generous To Its President's Project
Inside The Zoo's Trouble
Lowry Park Zoo President Lex Salisbury took an immediate leave of
absence Friday until the completion of two separate audits exploring
whether he improperly used zoo resources and animals for Safari Wild,
his private exotic-animal park in Polk County.
Salisbury and St. Petersburg veterinarian Stephen Wehrmann bought
258 acres of land north of Lakeland in 2007 to build Safari Wild. Visitors
would take African-style tours in which they will see exotic and
endangered species. Permitting issues have halted construction.
Late last year, the zoo's six-member executive committee signed a
memorandum of understanding with Safari Wild to ensure the two
facilities will work together. The executive committee severed the
relationship in June after concerns arose about Salisbury's possible
conflict running the zoo and a for-profit exotic-animal park. The zoo and
the city launched separate audits to ensure nothing improper occurred.
The audits should be completed within a month.
Lowry Park Zoo President Lex Salisbury has been a big beneficiary of the
zoo's generosity.
Earlier this year, the taxpayer-supported zoo gave Salisbury animal pens
it paid $27,526 for six years ago. Since 2006, the zoo donated at least
11 animals to Salisbury, including patas monkeys, helmeted guineafowl
and a grey parrot.
The zoo director said he has never wrongly profited from his ties to the
facility, but the donations show that Salisbury has been able to leverage
his close ties to the attraction to aid his effort to build Safari Wild, his
yet-to-open exotic-animal park in Polk County.
Fauna Research of Red Hook, N.Y., installed the pens in February 2002,
according to records obtained by The Tampa Tribune. The steel and
wood pens and are designed to contain large, hoofed animals.
Earlier this year, Lowry Park Zoo officials determined the pens were too
beat up to be useful and recommended they be thrown away.
Around the same time, Salisbury inquired about taking the pens. He
asked that Fassil Gabremariam, the zoo's board chairman, sign off on
the donation.
On May 28, Gabremariam wrote a letter to Salisbury saying the zoo
would donate the pens, loading chute and hardware. The pens are "no
longer suitable or practical for our use," wrote

Zoo running cost at £2.4m
The cost of running Dudley Zoo last year was £2.4 million, latest figures
revealed today.
The annual accounts show the attraction would have failed to break
even without £250,000 in grants from Dudley Council and the
Government. But zoo bosses say the figure for 2007-08 is a "significant"
improvement on the previous year. Its total income was £2,601,133
including £1,583,524 from admission fees and gifts.
Donations and gifts have halved over the past three financial years
according to the figures which show a drop from £60,000 to £30,981.
Zoo chief executive Peter Suddock was unavailable for comment but the
difference in the figures for donations could be to do with an greater
emphasis on gift aid through tax via admission fees, according to
chairman of the zoo board David Sparks.
The Castle Hill site spent £1,733,568 on animal welfare, education and
conservation, including £155,632 spent on marketing and publicity.
The report says seven decades after opening it is regularly contacted by
local, national and overseas press on a host of topics on the theme of
the the latest animal antics.
Publication of the accounts come amid uncertainty about a £10 million
redevelopment of the zoo.
The company St Modwen has stalled on starting the scheme which also
featires a hotel, garden centre and hosuing for Castle Hill.
Despite the uncertainty the zoo has also announced

Rare black rhino dies en route to Oregon Zoo
A rare black rhinoceros died while being transported to Portland from
Kansas City for breeding purposes, the Oregon Zoo said Tuesday.
The rhino became agitated early Monday about 20 miles outside
Phoenix, causing the truck to sway. Zoo staff immediately stopped the
truck to check on her before heading to the city's zoo to seek care.
The Phoenix Zoo had a crane delivered and the rhino

Siberian lynx missing in Palm City
A Siberian Lynx has been missing from a Palm City home since early
Saturday morning.
The nocturnal cat disappeared from 3560 SW Wood Creek Trail at about
4:30 a.m., shortly after owner Tina Love fed her on the patio.
"She's a wild cat at heart, but not dangerous," Love said. "My fear is
she's discombobulated and scared out there. Her life is like a house cat."
The 6-year-old cat, which is de-clawed, weighs about 50 pounds and
stretches about 4 feet long. Love adopted her from a breeder at birth.
Simba, as the cat is named, has deer-colored brown fur, a white belly
and black spots. Her tail is half the length of a standard cat's, with a
black tip. Her ears have black tufts. She's wearing a red collar with
The cat woke Love at about 3:30 a.m. and the two headed to the patio,
where Love fed her raw chicken and left her - a routine she's had for a
long time, Love said.
When Love awoke at 5:30 a.m. Simba

Python tries to eat zoo owner in Germany
A zoo owner in Germany was rescued by colleagues after a 12 foot long
python began eating her head.
Renate Klosse became the prey for the 24-year-old python called
Antonia while inspecting the reptile zoo that she runs at Uhldingen near
The nine-stone snake with 70 sharp teeth attacked her as she cleaned
out her cage at the weekend.
"The jaws of the snake opened so wide that, with one lunge, she was
able to completely cover the woman's face," said a police spokesman.
"She feared that with a few more gulps her head would

Blackpool Zoo rehomes airport seized turtles
Blackpool Zoo has taken in 50 southern painted turtles, recently seized
at customs at Manchester Airport.
The turtles were part of a larger consignment of reptiles which had
been flown over from Florida, USA, and were intended for the pet
Although the turtles were declared, the importers were unaware that
this species needed a license.
The turtles are as small as a 50 pence piece and are called southern
painted turtles because of the markings on their backs.
The turtles will grow up to ten inches and can live up to 20 years in
Jude Rothwell, PR and marketing executive at Blackpool Zoo, said: "As
the importers of these reptiles did not have a license for the turtles

Zoo animals too will benefit from smoking ban
The Central Zoo Authority has asked all the zoos in the country to
comply with the Health Ministry's notification on smoke-free zones to
ensure good health of animals as well as

PETA suggests altering mission of local zoo (Peter's comment- PETA
talking through its arse again...does it not sound EXACTLY like the San
Francisco proposal?)
The biggest challenge faced by the Zoo of Northwest Florida is the
public's growing intolerance about keeping animals in cages for our
entertainment. Serious thought should be given to transforming this
facility to a private sanctuary for abused, abandoned and neglected
exotic animals.
The natural behaviors of animals in zoos are profoundly distorted. Every
aspect of their lives is controlled and manipulated. Animals are housed
in cages that don't come close to the jungles, deserts, and forests that
are their natural homes. Birds are denied free flight, aquatic animals are
relegated to tiny, chlorinated pools, and free roaming species are
restricted to tiny pens. Animals have no choice in their diets, mates, or
living companions.
There is an overwhelming need for safe

Young cougar shot dead by police in Saskatoon
A cougar that was shot and killed in Saskatoon was wearing a tracking
collar from South Dakota State University.
Scientists at the university say the collar was put on the cougar about a
year ago, and they were surprised the cat travelled so far in a short
time. The distance to Saskatoon from Brookings, S.D., where the
university is located, is more than 1,100 kilometres.
Police shot the cougar three times Tuesday in a backyard in southwest
The shooting happened in John Rutherford's yard. He's upset that the
cougar was killed, saying it wasn't threatening anyone.
"I was hoping that they would tranquilize

2nd councillor quits troubled zoo board
Board of directors has become `tight-knit club' controlled by
management, Thompson charges
Councillor Michael Thompson has resigned from the Toronto Zoo's
board of directors, complaining it has become a "tight-knit club"
controlled by zoo management.
"I've just essentially lost confidence both in management and the board
that I was a part of," Thompson said. He said it's time for Mayor David
Miller to intervene.
Thompson is the second councillor to quit the embattled board in a
month: Councillor Mike Del Grande (Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt)
resigned in September.
In his resignation letter, addressed to Miller, Thompson says the board
is supposed to oversee management and maintain a "respectful
distance" from the paid staff.
"This is no longer true in many decisions made at the zoo," he writes. "A
tight-knit `club' has developed that is stifling innovation (and) blocking
needed change."
Thompson (Ward 37, Scarborough Centre

Future of Giant Turtle Still Uncertain
Scientists trying to save one of the world's most endangered species of
freshwater turtles say waiting is their only recourse after a complicated
attempt to mate two elderly turtles during this year's breeding season
ended without producing any offspring.
The fate of the Yangtze giant soft-shell turtle seems especially uncertain
because only one female is known to exist — an 80-year-old turtle

Dohmen foundation will fund new Zoo hippo exhibit
The Dohmen Family Foundation expects to cover the entire cost of
designing and constructing a new underwater hippo viewing exhibit at
the Milwaukee County Zoo.
The new exhibit, expected to cost between $9 million and $12 million,
would feature a large, glassed-in aquarium that will allow zoogoers to
watch hippos swim from just inches away. The extra space will let the
Zoo house three adult animals and several youngsters. The Zoo's
current hippo exhibit includes an outdoor yard, a pond and two hippos.
On Wednesday, Robert Dohmen, president of the Dohmen Family
Foundation, presented a check for an initial $1.75 million to Robert
Davis, president and CEO of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee, and
zoo director Chuck Wikenhauser. The check will cover the exhibit design
and the endowment to maintain the exhibit once it is completed.
"This exhibit fits with the Zoo's mission to provide excellent animal
habitats and upgraded facilities," said Davis. "The Zoo and the ZSM are


Mole Hall Wildlife Park closes
MOLE Hall Wildlife Park has closed.
The shock decision to shut the popular zoo in Widdington with
immediate effect was taken following the announcement today (Tuesday
September 16) that owner Douglas Johnstone is dying from cancer.
A statement said: "Due to the terminal illness of Douglas Johnstone,
one of the proprietors of Mole Hall Wildlife Park, it is with great
sadness and regret that the Johnstone family have decided to close the
"The Johnstone family and all the staff at the wildlife park wish to
thank everyone for their continued support over the years and would
also like to reassure you that the animals' welfare has been taken
into account."
Mole Hall has confirmed that the majority of the animals have already
been relocated to other parks and zoos, with the rest due to be
re-homed over the coming days.
The wildlife park first opened to the public in 1963 and covers
20-acres of grounds and gardens surrounding a moated 12th century
manor house, where the Johnstone family still live.
The park's most popular attractions were

S.F. leaders defeat proposal to change zoo
The San Francisco Zoo will remain as is, after the Board of
Supervisors on Tuesday rejected a proposal that would have turned the
institution into a rescue facility.
Even a last-ditch effort by author Supervisor Chris Daly to water down
the legislation failed to convince most supervisors to get behind the
measure, which failed 7-4.
The proposal was amended Tuesday to erase the requirement that nearly
all new zoo animals come from rescue situations, such as exotic
animals confiscated from illegal traders. Yet the legislation still
included aspects that some supervisors found troubling or unnecessary,
including the creation of an oversight committee and a clause barring
the zoo from adding new animals "unless the needs o

Association of Zoos and Aquariums honors Hanna
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums has awarded its highest honor to
animal expert Jack Hanna.
Hanna received the R. Marlin Perkins Award for Professional Excellence
Tuesday at the association's annual conference in Milwaukee.
In a statement, Hanna said the award is a highlight of his career. He
says it's a privilege to work with zoos and animals for so many years.
Association President Jim Maddy says the association is proud,0,1723657.story

White Rhino Dies At Toronto Zoo
For the second time in just over a week staff members at the Toronto
Zoo are mourning the loss of a friend.
Despite extensive steps to save a white rhinoceros named Yeki,
including a complicated 10-hour surgery and constant monitoring, the
animal died earlier this week from complications of an illness that
affected the creature's digestive system.
The 25-year-old rhino died on Sept. 11, zoo officials announced
Tuesday, after surgery to correct a condition called colic, which is
commonly seen in horses, and makes it difficult for an animal to defecate.
After veterinarians' failed attempts to hydrate the large creature
they decided surgery was the next option. Yeki's operation, which
involved setting up a facility inside the animal's enclosure with

Rhino tranquilized and returned to park in India
Forest officials in India's remote northeast tranquilized and captured
a rare one-horned rhinoceros and returned it to a wildlife park two
weeks after it escaped, an official said Monday.
The 1.2-ton adult male was one of two rhinoceroses recently
transferred to Assam state's Manas National Park in a bid to
repopulate the refuge after its rhino population was wiped out by
poachers and a separatist insurgency.
More than 100 wildlife officials tracked the animal using its radio
collar after it strayed from the park on Sept. 1, but could not
capture it, fearing that if they tranquilized it in the marshy area it
could drown.
"We were waiting for an opportune place to tranquilize it," said Mohan
Chandra Brahma, a wildlife warden.
The rhino was tranquilized late Sunday and a crane was used to haul it
onto a truck, he said, adding that it was released into the

Zoo's Rhino Deal With Private Park Concerns Tampa Mayor
Mayor Pam Iorio said she wants to find out more about a now-defunct
plan to hand over a baby rhinoceros from Lowry Park Zoo to a private
exotic-animal park owned by the zoo's chief executive officer.
"I've not been aware of any of these agreements between Safari Wild
and the zoo," Iorio said. "And I've really been distressed and very
The reason, Iorio said: The animals at the zoo belong to the city.
An 8 On Your Side investigation revealed that three white rhinoceroses
were among animals from the nonprofit, tax-supported Lowry Park Zoo
that were housed this year at Safari Wild, a for-profit park under
development in rural Polk County by Lex Salisbury, the zoo's chief
executive officer.
Two of the animals are female and the zoo thinks they are pregnant.
"Safari Wild is paying for all of their feed and care," Salisbury said
during an interview in June, when 8 On Your Side first began asking
questions about the rhinoceroses.
Lowry Park Zoo, he said then, would get the first offspring from those
"Under the standard breeding lo

Chattanooga Zoo Applauded For Commitment To Diversity
Two Chattanooga Zoo employees will present their original research on
diversity in the field of zoology at the 2008 Association of Zoos and
Aquariums Annual Conference next week.
"Black and White but Zoo All Over: Earning Your Stripes as a Woman in
Our Profession," is a collaborative composition between Zoo Director
Darde Long and Camp Director Janella Butler. In addition to providing
biographical material on both women, the piece explores the roles of
women and minorities in a field traditionally dominated by a strong
male presence.
"There are many parallels to the challenges Jan

Crocodile Hunter's son, 4, wants TV show
Bon Irwin, son of the late Steve Irwin, may only be four years old,
but already duty calls. He is determined to follow in the footsteps of
his "Crocodile Hunter" father and present his own wildlife television
Bob's ambitions were disclosed by his mother, Terri, during a
television interview aired last night. Bob's big sister, 10-year-old
Bindi, has already achieved international stardom, having made a
26-part TV series for the Discovery Channel. But Mrs Irwin firmly
rejects suggestions that the children are being exploited, or denied a
normal childhood.
She revealed to Australia's Channel Nine that the family have a daily
ritual: every morning they watch a DVD of Mr Irwin, who was killed by
a stingray's barb at the Great Barrier Reef two years ago.
"It's nice while we're having breakfast to hear Steve's voice in the
background," Mrs Irwin explained. "It's special."
Channel Nine's 60 Minutes programme filmed the Irwins on a trip to
their wildlife reserve in Cape York, in far north Q

Birds of a feather #@$! together
There are many ways in which the United Kingdom differs from Canada.
We drive on the right side of the road. We drink more coffee than tea.
We tend not to riot during soccer matches. And we rarely encounter
swearing birds.
Consider a story published yesterday in Britain's The Sun tabloid,
which began as follows: "A foul-mouthed parrot is telling visitors to
a zoo to `f--- off.'"
Yes, inside the South Park birdhouse in Darlington, it seems Max the
African Grey is ruffling feathers with his potty-beak. Keeper Peter
Hansom has blamed mischievous school kids. Others believe Max gleaned
his offensive lexicon from a previous owner.
Whatever the cause, Max is now carrying on like an agitated lorry
driver from Manchester.
"There's no knowing when he'll blurt it out," Hansom told the paper.
"I hold my breath when parents stand with small children at his cage.
Sometimes he will just say, `hello' or `bye.' But as often as not it's
`f--- off.'
"It's usually when people are walking away and least expect it. His
favourite trick is to stick his head in a tin cup in his cage and then
swear. He seems to know it makes a louder sound."
And you thought the lowland gorillas at the Toronto Zoo were rude.
Then there was a Daily Mail story in April that began thusly: "First,
he told the mayoress in rather forthright terms to go away. Then
Barney the Swearing Parrot used more Anglo-Saxon language on a vicar
and two police officers."
But Barney, a blue-and-gold macaw at the Warwickshire Wildlife
Sanctuary in Nuneaton, was not content to offend human sensibilities
as a soloist. Soon, he "taught" two nearby birds his profane
vocabulary, creating a triumvirate o

$7m to be spent on zoo entrance
Plans have been unveiled for a $7 million redevelopment of the
entrance at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.
The re-development of the new entrance on Obley Road will include a
visitors precinct, a recreation and visitors area opposite the Streets
Milk Bar and a new childrenâ•?s playground.
The new precinct will set the scene for the discovery and exploration
of the zoo and its animals and act as an information hub, showcasing
the zooâ•?s role in Australian and international conservation.
By 2010 the local community will be able to gain free access to the
new visitor precinct and childrenâ•?s playground area, which will be
open to the community providing new opportunities for lakeside
picnics, themed events, exciting play, animal discovery and a relaxing
meal and drink on the lakefront.
A new system will be adopted wher

HABITAT, FOREST DESTRUCTION : Studies say Palawan animalsâ•? extinction
Philippinesâ•"Scientists and leading conservation experts raised
warnings Friday about the imminent extinction of some of the countryâ•?s
most important species that are found only in Palawan due mainly to
the destruction of their habitats and the illegal wildlife trade.
â•?All threatened species in Palawan are endemic and they are facing
total extinction because of our neglect in protecting their habitats
which are the low elevation forests,â•? Aldrin Mallari, a foremost
ornithologist [expert on birds], told the Inquirer.
Mallari presented a study at a three-day bird festival organized here
by a global network of bird watchers and conservation groups.
The study said all of Palawanâ•?s endangered animal species live in low
elevation areas and forest fringes that are classified as â•?bufferâ•?
areas and open to human intrusion.
Palawan is covered by a special law, Republic Act No. 7611, which
categorizes old growth forests and areas above 1,000 meters in
elevation as â•?core zones,â•? or areas exempt from human development.
â•?There is a mismatch in the protected area systems and the
requirements of important species. All threatened species in Palawan
live in what had been designated as buffer areas and these are open to
exploitation, primarily mining,â•? Mallari said.
Mallari was alluding to dozens of mining applications all over Pala

Okapi alive and in pictures
Congo's endangered okapi, so shy that it has not been seen in its
natural habitat for 50 years by conservationists, has been
photographed in the wild for the first time, the Zoological Society of
London said on Thursday.
The okapi, which has stripes like a zebra and a black tongue like a
giraffe, lives exclusively in the eastern forests of Democratic
Republic of Congo, an area gripped by a decade-old armed conflict and
plagued by rampant poaching.
"To have captured the first ever photographs (in the wild) of such a
charismatic creature is amazing, and particularly special for ZSL,
given that the species was originally described here over a century
ago," Dr. Noelle Kumpel, ZSL's Bushmeat and Forests Conservation
Program Manager, said in a statement.
Two years ago, rangers in Congo's Virunga National Park began
discovering tracks and droppings believed to be those of the okapi. The

Largest owls in the world threaten British birds
Several pairs of eagle owls, the largest owls in the world, are now
breeding in the wild in Britain, according to a new study.
But it is unlikely they will ever be considered British birds as they
escaped from a large pool of birds kept in captivity.
With its prominent ear tufts, 6ft wingspan and its ability to kill
birds as large as herons and animals as big as roe deer, the eagle owl
is one of the most remarkable birds in Europe, nesting from Spain in
the south to Russia in the north, but has always been absent from Britain.
However, in the past 15 years, several pairs of the birds have begun
to nest in different parts of England, according to a review of the
eagle owl's status in Britain published in the journal British Birds.
Beginning with a nest found in the Derbyshire Peak District in 1993,
there have also been successful or attempted nesting in North
Yorkshire; in the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire; and at an
undisclosed site in southern England.
The North Yorkshire pair raised 23 owls between 1997 and 2005. The
Lancashire pair hit the headlines in May last year when they began
attacking walkers,

Lady vet as new curator of conversation center
DR. JOANNE Justo has been appointed curator of the Biodiversity
Conservation Center (BCC) of the Negros Forest and Ecological
Foundation Inc (NFEFI) in Bacolod City.
A native of Palawan, she takes over from Dr. Darwin Bandoy, who has
taken up a teaching position at the University of the Philippines Los
Baños (UPLB).
Dr. Justo, a doctor of veterinary medicine graduate from UP, comes to
NFEFI from Palawan where, for six years, she was head of the clinical
section of the Palawan Wildlife and Conservation Center (PWRCC) in
Puerto Princesa City.
She was previously a volunteer vet at the Palawan Welfare Foundation,
an NGO that promotes animal welfare and responsible pet ownership.
Dr. Justo started her career as a farm vet responsible for two
thousand pigs for a farming corporation in Cebu.
"But given my deep interest in wildlife, I decided animal conservation
would be a more worthwhile career," she said. "I'm delighted to be in
Negros at NFEFI's facility in Bacolod, which has an excellent
reputation for animal conservation work. W

Zoo to cut ties over dispute
Operation fails to save Yeki the white rhino
A white rhinoceros answering to "Yeki" has died after an awkward
surgical procedure at the Toronto Zoo.CEO Calvin White takes steps to
end fundraising agreement with a letter to the zoo foundation
The Toronto Zoo has taken steps to end its fundraising agreement with
the zoo foundation, and has warned the foundation it will be seeking
its assets, estimated at $10 million, the Star has learned.
A letter to that effect signed by zoo CEO Calvin White was sent to the
foundation this week.
White declined to comment yesterday. Foundation chair David Strickland
was tight-lipped, saying only that the foundation was to meet today at
the zoo for an update on its relationship with the board.
The $10 million in foundation assets the board of management

Snarling zoo spat leaves donors' millions in limbo
The fundraising arm of the city zoo is disbanding after a rancorous
dispute with the zoo's board, leaving $10 million in assets in limbo
and raising questions about who will direct a planned $250 million
fundraising drive.
The Toronto Zoo Foundation wants a court to ensure the funds it raised
is used for the right projects at the 34-year-old animal park.
The foundation's board, from which several members have resigned over
unhappiness with the Toronto Zoo's governance, voted to dissolve the
foundation yesterday. The move came in response to a letter from zoo
CEO Calvin White saying the board wanted to end its fundraising
contract with the

Crocodile bonfire in South Africa
Wildlife experts have built a giant bonfire of dead crocodiles in an
attempt to prevent the spread of a disease that is threatening a
colony in South Africa.
More than 150 crocodiles have died in three months from a illness that
has puzzled wildlife park attendants and scientists.
Pansteatitis disease creates a lack of vitamin C that leads to a
hardening of body fat, preventing the animals from swimming and
hunting. The crocodiles then die either from starvation or drowning.
scientists have not been able to pinpoint t

'Big cat handler' saved from the cage
A GULGONG teenager with a knack for disguises who impersonated a
zookeeper at Western Plains Zoo was cleared yesterday of fraud under
the Mental Health Act in Mudgee Local Court.
Adrian Simpson, 19, had a uniform and vehicle made up to emulate those
used at the zoo in order to impersonate an employee between September
last year and February.
During that time he took at least one couple on a tour of the zoo,
pretending to be a big cat handler and even taking them inside an
Mr Simpson, who lives with Asperger syndrome and narcissistic
personality disorder, had also applied to both the Koala Hospital at
Port Macquarie and Zoos Victoria for employm

Lynx and boars may once again roam free in Scottish Highlands
Wolves, boars and big cats might be reintroduced to the wilds of Scotland.
Conservationists are meeting near Inverness today to discuss the
possibility of re-establishing these native mammals in the Highlands.
The successful reintroduction of bird species, such as white-tailed
sea eagles and red kites, as well as the imminent return of beavers to
parts of Argyle, has seen support swing in favour of welcoming back
species once persecuted to extinction.
Dan Pulpett, of the environmental campaign group Trees for Life, which
seeks to re-establish 900 square miles of the Caledonian Forest north
of the Great Glen, believes the experience of other countries which
have gone down that route has proved too compelling to ignore.
"It is not just about trying to recreate the past but moving forward
to re-establish healthy eco-systems in which these animals will play a
crucial role," Mr Pulpett said. "There are also clear cultural and
economic benefits. Lynx reintroduced in Switzerland and Germany

Monkeys chew up worker in Kerala zoo
A 25-year-old worker at the Thiruvananthapuram Zoo may never forget
the savage attack he suffered at the hands of three monkeys when he
entered their enclosure. But zoo authorities say it was partly his fault.
The Rhesus monkeys bit off a big chunk of flesh from Rajesh's hand and
even injured him on the legs and stomach when he went inside their
cage to clean it up on the morning of last Saturday. He is recovering
at a government hospital now.
But Sadasivan Pillai, the superintendent of the zoo, said if Rajesh
had been more careful, the incident would not have taken place. Rajesh
was a daily wager at the zoo and had been working there for a year.
"The normal practice for cleaning up|2q9/oQXw=&Title=Monkeys+chew+up+worker+in+Kerala+zoo&SectionID=lMx/b5mt1kU=&MainSectionID=wIcBMLGbUJI=&SectionName=tm2kh5uDhixGlQvAG42A/07OVZOOEmts&SEO=

Storm forces Brookfield Zoo to close early for 1st time since opening
in 1934
Officials waive admission, parking charges as park reopens Monday
No calls for carpenters went out from Brookfield Zoo to build an ark
during the weekend's record-breaking storm, but all that rainwater did
cause the zoo to close its gates to the public much earlier than
scheduled for the first time since it opened in 1934.
So much rain had fallen on the zoo by early Sunday that water was
rising in the deep moats surrounding the outdoor habitats of large
carnivores such as lions and bears. A full moat would allow those
animals to swim out, so they have been kept in their indoor habitats
since Saturday.
Brookfield reopened Monday but did not charge for admission or parking
because several exhibits and buildings remained closed as water,0,4744084.story

Zoo�s £750k scheme for new chimp enclosurePlans to build a new
£750,000 chimpanzee enclosure at Dudley Zoo within the next year have
been unveiled - the first of many new schemes in the pipeline.
Bosses from the attraction revealed the plans which form part of a
long-term project to free up land at the site for redevelopment.
One of the zooâ•?s landmark concrete buildings, built by the Tecton
group, previously used to house lions, polar bears and tigers, will be
converted into the enclosure.
Plans for the new enclosure have been submitted to Dudley Council and
are set to be be considered during the next few months.
The zoo still has 11 of the original 13 concrete tectons, built in the
1930s, designed for the zooâ•?s original buildings by Berthold Lubetkin,
who also designed two of London Zooâ•?s attractions.
Chief executive Peter Suddock said it was an exciting time for the
Castle Hill attraction. â•?It will be a great enclosure for the chimps.
â•?We are going to get people closer

Panda in Wakayama zoo gives birth to twins
Giant panda Rauhin gave birth to twin cubs Saturday at Adventure World
amusement park in Wakayama Prefecture, western Japan, becoming the
first Japanese-born panda to become a mother.
A female cub weighing about 194 grams was born

International Zoo, Aquarium Professionals Touring Milwaukee County Zoo
Nearly 1,600 international zoo and aquarium professionals will be at
the Milwaukee County Zoo today.
They are in town for the Association of Zoo and Aquarium conference.
The professionals will get a behind-the-scenes look at the zoo
throughout the

Crisis In Leadership Threatens Support For Lowry Park Zoo
Lex Salisbury has had a great run as president of Lowry Park Zoo,
elevating its facilities, its draw and its stature.
But recent news reports reveal another side to the man who has won
public affection for his great way with animals.
Reports by the Tribune and NewsChannel 8 paint the portrait of a
public official who has lost his way - and shattered public confidence
in his ability to safeguard public resources.
It appears Lowry Park's president has been gaming the
taxpayer-supported zoo to build Safari Wild, a private, for-profit zoo
he is developing near Lakeland. Now he's resisting city demands for
better oversight, presumably because he doesn't want Lowry Park to
meet the transparency requirements of the Sunshine Law, which raises
another question: What else is he trying to hide?
A few weeks back, Salisbury assured the public that there were no
ethical conflicts between his public job and his private development.
He admitted that zoo staffers had done some work for Safari Wild in
Polk County, but he assured us that staffers had done little more than
make a few phone calls and arrange a couple of meetings.
Salisbury failed to mention that:
â•¢The zoo paid to build a 2,400-square-foot horse barn at his private
park, plus a similarly sized primate building. The zoo also paid for
fencing around five acres of property, where Salisbury was housing the
zoo's horses.
â•¢The zoo agreed to pay Safari Wild $600 a month for five bison to
graze there. Never did Salisbury ask the c

For a comprehensive list of links to stories relating to the above go to:

Wealth of new species found at the Great Barrier Reef
Hundreds of new species of marine creatures, from shrimp-like
crustaceans to soft-bodied corals, have been discovered by scientists
exploring the rich assortment of life inhabiting the Great Barrier
Reef in Australia.
Among the discoveries were dozens of small crustaceans, a rare
insect-like animal with a whip-like back leg three times the length of
its body and a jellyfish that floats upside down to dangle its
tentacles in the sunlight.
About half of the 300 soft corals found are thought to be new
discoveries, although they will only be given names a


Zoo Pays For Barns At Safari Venture
Taxpayer-backed Lowry Park Zoo has built two barns at zoo President
Lex Salisbury's private exotic-animal attraction in Polk County.
The zoo paid for and constructed a 2,400-square-foot horse barn and a
primate building of similar size on the Safari Wild property,
according to a May 9 application for a federal loan guarantee for the
project. The zoo paid for fencing around five acres of property for
the zoo's horses, as well.
"This is a cooperative project between Safari Wild and the Lowry Park
Zoo," the application stated.
The barns were built as part of a now-voided memorandum of
understanding between the zoo's executive committee and Safari Wild,
zoo spokeswoman Rachel Nelson said in an e-mail. The agreement
granted the zoo a free, 10-acre lease that

Lowry Park Zoo denies conflict in deal
Government officials made it clear Thursday they want answers to
ethical questions swirling around Lowry Park Zoo president Lex
Salisbury, with calls for an investigation and the mayor making
Meanwhile, Salisbury spoke for the first time about the heat he's
receiving for structures the zoo built at his private animal park. He
called the controversy a misunderstanding, saying it is based
on "perceived" conflicts of interest.
"I take responsibility for having probably erred in judgment for
this," he said. "I should not have made private resources available
to the zoo."
Salisbury, who owns a 258-acre game park called Safari Wild, leased
10 acres of that land to the zoo for free to allow zoo animals to
roam its pastures. On those acres, the zoo built a horse barn and
fencing and started constructing a holding area for birds and small
When government officials learned of the zoo's Safari Wild
connections this week, many cringed at the idea of taxpayer money
being spent on private land. Salisbury said none was, and that most
of the zoo's $20-million budget is privately generated.
But the zoo was given $450,000 this year by the city and $2.2-million
by the county.
As of Thursday afternoon, Salisbury hadn't spoken to them about the
He said he planned to, and thought they would ultimately understand
the zoo benefitted from the partnership, and trust his record of
helping the zoo grow.
"I just owe them an explanation," he said.
He'll have a lot of people to meet with.
County Commissioner Kevin

New Report Gives SF Zoo Good Marks
A new city report, commissioned by San Francisco supervisors to
assess the San Francisco Zoo's compliance with national and
international animal welfare and conservation standards, and released
Friday, gave the zoo a favorable grade, with some exceptions.
Animal rights activists have claimed many of the zoo's facilities and
enclosure are outdated and inadequate for the proper care of its
animals, citing the deaths of elephants and other animals at the zoo
in recent years, as well as December's tiger escape during which a
zoo visitor was mauled to death and the tiger was subsequently killed.
The report was requested after legislation was introduced by
Supervisor Chris Daly to transform the 100-acre facility bordering
the Pacific Ocean into a rescue zoo, with its primary mission the
housing of wildlife, domestic and exotic animals rescued from
inhumane treatment.
The board on Tuesday postponed a vote on the legislation in order to
wait for today's report from the Office of the Legislative Analyst. A
vote is scheduled for the next week.
Friday's report concluded that most of the zoo's current
practices "compare favorably" with standards of the United States
Department of Agriculture, which enforces the federal Animal Welfare
Act, and with standards of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
(AZA) and similar associations in Canada and Europe.
"If you look at the entire body of the report, we're about 90 to 95 p

Steve Irwin's widow Terri finds a nice little earner
AS A television critic for this newspaper, I delighted in lampooning
the on-screen antics of the late Steve Irwin.
"This week, Steve The Crocodile Hunter becomes Steve The Orang-outang
Grunter as he swings through the trees with the monkeys – that's
Steve in the shorts – in search of some simian sensationalism.
"Steve conducts a number of one-on-one interviews with the 'orangs'
as he so lovingly describes them, although viewers not fluent in
Orangonese may find these intimate little chats rather one-sided. I
couldn't see their lips move but I guess they must have been
answering, because Steve kept asking them questions."
I wrote these lines in 2001 and then watched in dismay as Irwin went
on to become a superstar, and while I thought his antics boorish, I
admired him for his success.
In the two years, almost to the day, that have passed since his death
I have watched the ongoing episodes of the Irwin saga as scripted and
choreographed by his widow, Terri and the ever-present manager John
Stainton, and I am heartily tired of it.
The most recent episode was played out last week in the Queensland
Land Court where Ms Irwin's company Silverback was ordered to allow
bauxite miner Cape Alumina to access the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve
where it holds exploration permits. The Irwins bought the 135,000ha
property for $6.3 million and then, handily, received a cheque for
exactly that amount from John Howard's,23739,24307622-27197,00.html

Continental Micronesia Returns Endangered Birds To Guam
Celebrating 40 years of service, Continental Micronesia proudly
announces today that it has successfully transported two live
Micronesian kingfishers (Halcyon cinnamomina cinnamomina) back to
Guam 25 years after the native birds faced extinction in their local
habitat. Continental's PetSafe program flew the birds from
Philadelphia to Guam safely this week.
"We're especially proud to be the hometown carrier of Guam, and take
pride in this important mission of bringing home Guam's endemic
bird," said Continental Micronesia President and Chief Executive
Officer Mark A. Erwin. "Thanks to the fine care they received at zoos
such as the Philadelphia Zoo and the careful transport of the birds
on our PetSafe program, our Micronesian kingfishers are home safe,"
said Erwin.
"Given the complex routing involved in getting the birds from
Philadelphia to Guam, it's been extremely helpful working with an
airline that's dedicated to the cause," said Beth
Bahner, Philadelphia Zoo Animal Collections Manager. "Continental
Airlines is considered a leader

Computer dating new tool for zoos with rare species
Attention, amorous guys: Killarney's an Australian cutie, but woo her
with care.
The feisty gal once swatted at a beau who got a little close, and
gave another poor fellow the cold shoulder during their introduction.
Undaunted, Killarney's friends keep updating her online profile in
the hope of finding her Mr. Right. Like many of her contemporaries,
the koala might find her dream date waiting somewhere in the files of
a computerized matchmaking service, keepers at the Riverbanks Zoo
Just like the digital dating services that pair up people, so-called
studbooks are used to match most animals held in captivity. The
databases containing information on sex, age and weight -- not so
much about favorite comfort foods or long walks on the beach -- are
used by more than 200 zoos nationally and some internationally.
They're practically taking the place of Mother Nature in the not-so
wild world of captive animal breeding.
Now, new software is going to the Web, promising more easily
accessible data, faster matches and -- in a page out of the most
particular of human dating sites -- details on an animal's
personality to ease what can be a testy process.
Zoos won't be required to document the turn-ons and turn-offs of each
animal in Zoological Information Management Systems, a collaboration
between about 150 zoos and aquariums that's a year or two away from
wide distribution.
At the very least, though, the software will give zookeepers better
access to species-level details currently found only in zoo husbandry
manuals that now are mostly e-mailed back and forth, said Bob Wiese,
director of collections for the Zoological Society of San Diego.
While there's no candlelight or Marvin Gaye being played in the back
rooms of zoos, there are endless tricks used to get the animals in
the mood, said Wiese, widely considered the authority on ZIMS. In
China, breeding experts have claimed success putting giant pandas in
the mood by showing them images of other pandas mating -- panda porn,
as it's been called.
"There are some frogs that you have to simulate rain for or they
won't come out and breed," Wiese said. "Other frogs, they just need
to hear the sound of rain and the sound of

Orangutan under threat of extinction in Indonesia
The population of Orangutans in Kalimantan or Borneo Island of
Indonesia remained under threat of extinction, despite claims by palm
oil firms of applying eco-friendly work practices, according to a
newspaper here Saturday.
Deforestation for palm oil plantation was blamed for the killing the
protected apes, particularly those living outside conservation areas,
said Novi Hardianto, the habitat program manager of the Center for
Orangutan Protection (COP).
""The forest is continuously being cleared and orangutans are killed
every year. It's ironic,"" he was quoted by the Jakarta Postas
The manager said a recent investigation by the group show that two
palm oil firms in Central Kalimantan, both of them members of the
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), endangered orangutan
populations with their clear-cutting.
RSPO spokeswoman Desi Kusmadewi denied

Rings made of elephant hair flood central highland souvenir shops
To ethnic minority groups living in the central highland province of
Dac Lac, a ring made of hair taken from an elephant's tail is far
more than an ordinary ornament. Because most people consider it to be
an amulet that is expected to bring them luck in love, local couples
often use elephant hair as a pawn in the game of love.
Although no one has ever been able to prove the reliability of such a
rumor, rings plaited with elephant hairs are now appearing in many
souvenir shops. But the consequences of such beliefs in the
significance of the elephant rings are leaving a tale of cruelty –
thieves are often the ones who cut off the tails of the massive
The elephant's hair tail is worth VND200,000-300, 000 (US$12-18),
depending on its length and a ring woven with elephant's hair costs
around VND500,000 ($30). Any ring inlaid with white elephant hair can
be sold at double the price because it is considered rare.
Love-birds find that the exotic flavour is another attraction of the
unique ring. This new trend has fuelled tourists' quests for rings
inlaid with elephant hair but at the same time has spawned a trade
that involves gratuitous cruelty.
Y K'Tuk, an elderly resident of Buon Don, the province's most famous
tourism village, couldn't hide his anger while

100 Hawksbill turtles die in latest Filipino poaching incident
The fishing boat's 13-man crew flooded their vessel as a Filipino
gunboat approached them near the country's main gas field, around
80km off the coast of Palawan Island in the South China Sea
Foreign poaching of Philippines marine life has flared up as an issue
again following the discovery of more than 100 dead Hawksbill turtles
aboard a Vietnamese fishing vessel apprehended near Malampaya.
The fishing boat's 13-man crew flooded their vessel as a Filipino
gunboat approached them near the country's main gas field, around
80km off the coast of Palawan Island in the South China Sea. A total
of 101 Hawksbill turtles were found drowned

The Ivory Trade Need Not Endanger the Elephant
The "to be or not to be" question of selling ivory has been the
subject of a heated debate for 20 years now. Kenya has been leading
the charge in the debate with its resounding "Not to be" answer.
Kenya banned the domestic use and sale of ivory and other wildlife
products in 1978, and it was instrumental in promoting the Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) ban on
international ivory sales voted in 1989.
Everyone remembers the huge bonfire of elephant tusks in the Nairobi
National Park, drawing international attention to the issue.
More recently, Kenya, along with Mali, sponsored the resolution at
the last Cites conference in 2007 that resulted in a 9-year
moratorium on international ivory sales, which will follow after the
ivory auctions that will take place soon in four southern African
No consensus has been reached on the wisdom or otherwise of banning
international ivory trade. The pro-ban and anti-ban supporters
continue to bicker, with a lot of misinformation put out to the
public in newspaper articles and editorials. I would like to present
what I think is a reasonable answer to the question. Finding the
right answer is crucial for elephant survival.
CITES HAS APPROVED TWO "ONE-off" sales since the international ban
came into effect in 1990. The first took place in 1999 when Botswana,
Namibia and Zimbabwe sold about 50 tonnes of national stocks to
dealers from Japan.
The pro-ban side had argued vigorously that the sale would stimulate
ivory demand and result in a new wave of elephant poaching. With the
second sale of 108 tonnes of ivory to Japan and China by the same
three countries as in 1999, plus South Africa, the pro-banners are
making similar warnings. I was asked in 1999 by Esmond Martin, a
wildlife trade expert living in Kenya, to join him in trying to find
out which side was right.
Since 1999 Martin and I, with support from Save the Elephants, Care
for the Wild and other organisations, have carried out ivory market
investigations, mostly undercover, in more than 30 key ivory
countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the US.
Using a set of quantitative indicators to measure the present ivory
markets and comparing what we found with what existed in the past, we
assessed country-by-country what the trends were.
We found that in every instance, except perhaps one (Nigeria), ivory-
related activity and local markets were smaller than in 1990. The
Cites ban seemed to have worked in reducing ivory use. This was the
good news. The bad news was that several countries were showing signs
of increasing ivory use since about 1995. Was this due to the 1999
OUR DATA SHOWED THAT increased ivory activity was limited to only
certain countries in Asia and Africa. Western Europe, the US and
Japan, the three strongest economic blocs in the world, had static or
declining ivory use.
After interviewing dozens of ivory craftsmen, dealers and retail
vendors around the world, we concluded that the 1999 sales were
irrelevant to the increase. The increase was due more to stronger

Veterinary form of pain killer is banned
After nearly losing country's vulture population to the drug
diclofenac, the drug controller general of India has warned drug
manufacturing firms to ban the sale of veterinary form of diclofenac.
Drug companies have also been asked to label human dziclofenac
containers as "not for veterinary use" to stop the misuse. The drug
is blamed for killing more than 90 per cent of country's vulture
species, including the once common white rumped vulture.
In a recent letter to more than 70 drug manufacturing firms, the drug
controller general has asked these firms to completely ban the sale
of veterinary form of this anti-inflammatory drug after complaints of
usage of human form of diclofenac for livestock

$6m funding for Irwin zoo breached guidelines
JOHN Howard approved a $6.3 million grant to buy a Cape York property
as a memorial to naturalist Steve Irwin, although the funding
breached government guidelines.
Australia Zoo, which is owned by Irwin's widow, Terri, should have
contributed at least one-third of the cost of the Steve Irwin
Wildlife Reserve under the guidelines.
However, the zoo was not asked by Canberra to contribute anything,
The Australian reports.
Irwin was killed by a stingray in September 2006.
In April last year, the zoo applied for funding for the 135,000ha
In the same month the application was made, the zoo spent $1.7million
buying properties for its expansion at Beerwah on Queensland's
Sunshine Coast.
In September last year, two months after the zoo received the $6.3
million federal grant, Ms Irwin spent $1.3 million on a waterfront
property in Minyama on the Sunshine Coast.
The Minyama holding adjoins a property she and her husband paid $3.2
million for in 2004.
In June last year, the federal director of National Parks, Peter

Timor toads aren't Aussies, says expert
The species at the centre of the East Timor toad row is not found in
Australia but is common in Indonesia, an Australian expert says.
A Timorese environmental group has accused Australian peacekeepers of
introducing cane toads to East Timor during INTERFET operations in
In their report to the East Timorese government, the Haburas
Foundation says cane toads either hitch-hiked on military equipment
brought from Australia or were delibratly introduced by troops to
control mosquitos.
But the University of Sydney's Professor Ric Shine has examined a
photo presented in the report and says it is a case of mistaken
He says the culprit is in fact the asian black-spined toad.
"For someone who doesn't study toads in excrutiating detail, you'd
have to say that a very high proportion of the toads of the world
look incredibly similar," he says.
"People are incredibly bad at identifying frogs in general and cane
toads in particular, so it wouldn't surprise me at all if people were
confused between a black-spined toad and the cane toad.
"One of the community groups

Walruses: The friendly, fun-loving, musically talented creatures are
under threat from climate change
With its bearded face and thick blubber, the walrus isn't the
prettiest mammal in the ocean – that distinction is more likely to go
to a sleek seal pup or a playful dolphin. But looks aren't
everything, and scientists who work closely with walruses say that
they have winning personalities, a great sense of fun and are musical
to boot. Now, though, these majestic creatures could be at risk from
the effects of climate change. Divided between the larger and more
numerous Pacific walrus and the smaller and rarer Atlantic walrus,
the world's walrus population is found at Arctic latitudes across
Alaska, Canada, Greenland and western Russia. Here, walruses spend
much of their time on and around ice floes, feeding on molluscs. But
as temperatures at the North Pole rise, this pack ice is shifting
north over deeper waters where the walruses struggle to reach their
It seems that anyone who works with walruses soon falls under their
spell. Dr Ronald J. Schusterman of the University of California, who
has studied them for many years, says that they are all too easy to
fall in love with. "The first time I encountered

Safari park fined for cutting down trees without consent
WEST Midland Safari Park has been fined £7,500 and forced to pay
costs of more than £12,000 after cutting down protected trees.
District Judge Bruce Morgan, at Kidderminster Magistrates Court,
heard that a group of mature trees had been felled near the Wild
River Rafting Ride without the consent of Wyre Forest District
He was told there had been no consultation with the council about the
trees being dead, dying or diseased and there had been no attempt
since the trees had been felled to plant replacements. Mary Morgan,
prosecuting for the council, said that a 26-metre high scots pine was
destroyed by the construction of the ride, which had been sited about
three metres from the tree.
Julian Salmon, counsel for the safari park, said that the ride had
been built under a misapprehension about planning development rights.
He explained that a park employee believed the trees were dead or
dying and had felled them.
He said that an arboricultural consultant

Pair sentenced over India insects
A Czech scientist has been fined and a colleague jailed for three
years after being found guilty of illegally collecting rare insects
in India.
Entomologist Peter Svacha was called a victim of circumstance by the
judge in the north-eastern town of Darjeeling.
But Emil Kuchera was sentenced to three years in prison.
The pair were arrested in possession of dozens of species of beetles,
butterflies and other rare insects. They denied planning to sell
The two men were charged with collecting the specimens from Singalila
National Park after their arrest in June.
They were found guilty on Monday of violating India's Wildlife
Protection Act and Bio-diversity Act.
Sumita Ghatak, the forest official in charge of the region, told the
BBC: "They neither had permission

Visitors going wild about the zoo
VISITORS have ignored the horrendous weather and flocked to a Furness
tourist attraction.
That's according to South Lakes Wild Animal Park owner David Gill who
says he has been amazed by the number of visitors who have come to
the zoo this year.
Mr Gill said: "Last year was a record year for us with around 200,000
visitors. That was 45,000 up on the year before but we're about 5,000
up on last year already so far. We've been so busy but I suppose the
weather has meant people aren't going up the fells.
"I'm so pleased because I was really worried. I'm astounded and we'll
have to look at how we're going to expand.
"The secret of our success is expanding and changing every year,
looking at taking animals out, bringing new ones in and building new
New attractions next year are set to include a new hippo mangrove and
flamingoes. Mr Gill said: "They're in quarantine just now."
One of the park's rhino, Tala, is due to give birth at any time.
The birth is extremely important as there are few breeding pairs in
Europe. With the end of the summer

Great Plains Zoo rhino packed up and shipped to Chicago
A 600-mile journey began this morning for an Eastern Black
Rhinoceros, who is now taking a ride from the Great Plains Zoo in
Sioux Falls to Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.
Kapuki, a 3-year-old female rhino weighing 1,565 pounds, was placed
in a large crate and lifted by crane into the air, over a fence,
across a section of parking lot, and inside a climate-controlled semi
She is being transferred to Chicago as part of the Species Survival
Plan, a breeding program for endangered animals, said Elizabeth
Whealy, Great Plains Zoo director.
"That is something that happens here and at many zoos behind the
scenes as part of our mission," Whealy said. We are part of 17
endangered breeding programs."
Kapuki is one of 3,500

Family donates $1 million to Des Moines zoo
Des Moines lawyer Elizabeth Kruidenier and her family foundation have
given $1 million to the Blank Park Zoo Foundation.
The gift is part of a fundraising effort to expand and renovate the
Des Moines zoo. Plans call for expanding the 23-acre zoo to more than
103 acres with walking trails, new exhibits and rides.
The Kruidenier family has donated to many Des Moines area,0,2344462.story

World's rarest tree frog found
An extremely rare female frog has been spotted for the first time in
20 years.
The tiny amphibian, Isthmohyla rivularis, is carrying eggs,
suggesting that the species is doing well.
The discovery was filmed by the BBC in the Costa Rican jungle as part
of a scientific expedition with a team from Manchester

Zoo needs cash, but not this way
WHAT'S not to like about Edinburgh Zoo? I understand there are those
passionately opposed to the very idea of keeping animals in
captivity, but if you have to have zoos – and I would argue that
sadly, in conservation terms, you do – then Edinburgh's is truly
This was illustrated by the birth in July of Florence, a Grevy's
zebra foal. She's important as the species is endangered. There are
only 1500-2000 remaining in the wild, as they are the largest of the
zebra family and therefore preferred by both predators and hunters.
More zebra for your buckshot, if you like.
To have such a foal born in Edinburgh is a great testament to the
zoo's conservation and breeding programme, which involves working
with similar organisations in Kenya and Ethiopia to preserve the
zebras in the wild.
Then there's the fantastic new Budongo Trail, a world-class
chimpanzee enclosure, which features links to the Budongo
Conservation Field Station in Uganda, which is funded by the Royal
Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), owner of the zoo. This
conservation project involves the study of endangered chimps in their
natural habitat and the relationship between bio-diversity and the
local community.
On top of that is the Living Links field station and research centre,
for the study of primates – capuchin and squirrel monkeys – in a
partnership between the RZSS and the University of St Andrews.
Finally, who can fail to be excited by the idea that pandas could
soon be at the zoo too? This may come about

Miller Park Zoo's Sumatran tiger fundraiser hits $50,000 goal
Zoo-Do did it. The fundraiser for Miller Park Zoo one week ago topped
its goal to raise at least $50,000 to help the facility launch a
breeding program for rare Sumatran tigers. The actual amount
collected was $51,500, said Deanna Frautschi, who co-chaired the
event with Alan Bedell. Attendance exceeded the target of 300.
"Al and I and our team are thrilled to have been able to help this
wonderful little gem of a zoo that's been in our community for 117
years," Frautschi said. "Besides exceeding the $50,000 goal, we hope
Zoo Do helped raise awareness of Miller Park Zoo and inspired people
to continue to support it for their families and future generations."
Zoo Director John Tobias was as happy with the first-of-its-kind
event. Zoo-Do was held at the zoo and Miller Park Pavilion. Previous
fundraisers were held off-campus and were not as successful
financially or able to showcase the zoo well, he said.
"I am very pleased with the entire event. The committee that put it
together did a great job. I hope we can continue to make it grow,"
Tobias said.
Zoo-Do kicked off phase two of Operation Roar, a capital

Joy at second rare rhino arrival
Experts have established that the second rare white rhino born at a
Cumbrian wildlife park in three months is a male.
Seven-year-old mother Tala gave birth at South Lakes Wild Animal Park
in Dalton-in-Furness on Thursday afternoon, 16 weeks after her due
In June the park's other female rhino, Ntombi, gave birth to a calf
which has since been named Nyala.
The latest arrival is to be named Zimba after the park's first male
There are few breeding pairs of white rhinos in Europe, with only two
births reported last year. It is estimated that there are only about
11,500 of the animals left in the wild.
The one-hour birth was watched on TV monitors by eager staff and by
hundreds of viewers to a webcam set up in the rhino enclosure.
Park director David Gill said: "This is one of the most important
births in the history of the park.
"Very few establishments breed white rhinos, we are being told there
were only two births within Europe

Second Borneo rhino caught on camera
An image of a second wild Borneo rhino has been captured by
scientists in Malaysia using a motion-triggered camera. Only 25-50
Borneo rhinos, a subspecies of the critically endangered Sumatran
rhino, are thought to exist. They are found in the interior Heart of
Borneo forests of Sabah, Malaysia.
It was just two years ago that the first-ever still photo of a Borneo
rhino was captured by WWF, who last year also produced a video using
a camera trap showing a male rhino eating, walking to the camera and
sniffing the equipment.
After comparing the body structure and size of the animal in the
latest photo WWF-Malaysia have confirmed that this is a different
rhino to the one previously photographed. The new photograph suggests
a young female rhino.
Rhino monitoring and protection efforts

As governor, Palin sued the federal government over the Interior
Department's potential listing of the animal as an "endangered"
species. (It actually wound up giving polar bears "threatened" status
under the Endangered Species Act in May of this year.)
"We are suing the federal government recognizing that the endangered
species act is not a place to kinda mess around with in terms of
listing a species that right now is very, very healthy," Palin said
on the Glenn Beck show earlier this year (About five minutes into
this video). "In fact, the number of polar bear has risen
dramatically in the last 30 years. Our fear being that the extreme
environmentalists will use this tool -- the ESA -- to curtail or halt
North Slope production of very rich resources that America needs. And
we need that oil. We need that gas."
But that puts her at odds with McCain.
"The polar bear is now obviously listed

Singer Pink leads the pack against Sarah Palin
In 2006 Pink challenged the policies of George W. Bush in her
song "Dear Mr. President."
How can you say
No child is left behind?
We're not dumb and we're not blind.
Now Pink has a few words for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain's
VP choice.
"If I were writing a letter to Sarah Palin," Pink told PopEater this
week, "it would be a lot of whys and hows. Who are you? Do you know?
Why do you hate animals? Please point out Iraq on a map."
What scares Pink are women who believe that Palin's pick is a victory
for modern women.
"This woman hates women," Pink said. "She is not a feminist. She is
not the woman that's going to come behind Hillary Clinton and do
anything that Hillary Clinton would've been capable of.... I can't
imagine overturning Roe vs. Wade. She's not of this time. The woman
terrifies me."
The outspoken singer and animal rights activist also believes that
natural wildlife should be worried.
(Some background on Palin's controversial policies in Alaska that
Pink is opposed to after the jump....)
According to Slate, in 2007, Palin proposed that the state pay
hunters $150 for the foreleg of every wolf gunned down by aerial
hunting (meaning they're shot by hunters in low-flying helicopters or
small planes).
Animal rights activists -- particularly

Dead Utah elephant suffered tragic life - and she wasn't alone
She was born 27 years ago in the wilds of Africa.
By the time she was a year old, she had been ripped from her family.
Penned, chained and shipped to a noisy new world, her California
keepers allowed her to roam only a few paces this way and a few paces
that. She was bullied and dominated. She lost a baby. She was poked,
prodded, cut and left in pain.
Misha the elephant died Tuesday on the concrete floor of a
cinderblock building in a lot behind her most recent home at Utah's
Hogle Zoo, some 10,000 miles from where she was born.
No one is yet is certain of what caused her death, at what could be
described as "middle age" for an elephant. But one Misha, a 27-year-
old African elephant, died Tuesday at the Hogle Zoo. She likely was
taken from Africa after her mother was killed and brought to the
United States in the 1980s. Since then, she lived a tragic life in
various zoos. But one of Misha's former trainers has a strong
suspicion: "She lost her will."
Out of Africa. It was the early 1980s in South Africa. Apartheid was
law. Nelson Mandela was in prison. And the nation's population of
elephants, which had fallen to less than 200 earlier in the century,
had steadily climbed to more than 8,000, pushing against the capacity
of the country's wildlife reserves.
Between 1981 and 1983, the South African government approved the
killing of more than 3,200 elephants. The government also permitted
the capture some of the animals - mostly juveniles, whose size and
temperament made their integration into captivity easier - for
"The only way you could do it was to kill the mother first," said Les
Schobert, a retired California zoo curator who procured a number of
elephant calves in the early 1980s before growing disenchanted with
the industry. "You couldn't get a baby elephant away from its mom in
any other way. You had to shoot the mom and then collect the babies."
In most cases, Schobert said


Aerial wolf hunting
A look at Palin's preferred method of killing wolves

Putin saves TV crew from Siberian tiger (Peter's note: just what was
the tranquiliser he used????)
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was feted by Russian media on Sunday
for saving a television crew from an attack by a Siberian tiger in
the wilds of the Far East.
Putin, taking a break from lambasting the West over Georgia,
apparently saved the crew while on a trip to a national park to see
how researchers monitor the tigers in the wild.
Just as Putin was arriving with a group of wildlife specialists to
see a trapped Amur tiger, it escaped and ran towards a nearby camera
crew, the country's main television station said. Putin quickly shot
the beast and sedated it with a tranquilizer gun.
"Vladimir Putin not only;_ylt=A0wNcxVKFsRIjhkAnCESH9EA

Interesting interview with Bob Lawrence of the West Midland Safari

Colchester: white rhinos head for home, thanks to our zoo
WHITE rhinoceros are set to be released into the South African wild –
helped by staff at Colchester Zoo.
Since 2004, the zoo and Action for the Wild have been working to
develop the Um Phafa Private Nature Reserve, in Kwa Zulu Natal, South
Africa, by reintroducing species naturally found there before human
intervention led many to become extinct in the area.
Colchester Zoo and its charity Action for the Wild have now announced
that the first release of

Algae-dyed Polar Bears Puzzle Japan Zoo Visitors (Peter's Note: Every
couple of years this story does the rounds)
Green-colored polar bears are drawing questions from puzzled visitors
at a Japanese zoo.
Three normally white polar bears at Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical
Gardens in central Japan changed their color in July after swimming
in a pond with an overgrowth of algae.
The sight of green polar bears has prompted many questions from
visitors concerned about whether the animals are sick or carrying
mold, zoo official Masami Kurobe said Sunday.
"Visitors seem to be shocked by the color, and we are asked every day

PB asks city to vacate zoo lot
THE Cebu Provincial Board (PB) yesterday approved a resolution
withdrawing and terminating the authority of the Cebu City Zoo from
using portion of the seven-hectare Province-owned lot in Barangay
PB Member Agnes Magpale said the city zoo should be phased out and
replaced with a women's crisis center since the zoo is
apparently "neglected."
In fact, Magpale said the bidding for the proposed construction of
women's center was done. But the winning bidder deferred the
construction of the center due to a tug-of-war over the lot between
the city and provincial government.
"(The city zoo) is no longer feasible and proper… as it is near
thickly populated residential areas and other government
institutions, like the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation

Zookeepers learn the finer aspects of husbandry
Its was a fun time for 36 local and foreign zookeepers at the 5th
Mazpa Field Training Course for Keepers at Malacca Zoo recently.
Organised by Malaysian Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria
(Mazpa), the 10-day course was aimed at educating zookeepers on
ensuring proper management and husbandry of animals in line with
latest developments.
Malacca Zoo in Ayer Keroh, being the second-largest zoo in the
country with more than 1,500 animals of 200 species, was chosen for
the course, which included hands-on training with various animals.
Mazpa chairman Dr Kevin Lazarus said that several parts of the course
was crucial as it taught participants zookeeping aspects such as
feeding, creation

Animal center closed due to lack of funds
Financial difficulties have forced Pentungsewu Animal Rescue Center
(PARC) in Malang to shut its doors and send its rare and endangered
animals to zoological recreation parks.
PARC was the last center of its kind surviving on funding by donor
foundations and the governments.
PARC project manager Iwan Kurniawan said the difficult decision was
made because charity Gibbon Foundation stopped funding the center's
rare species and the central government cut off funding for its
operational activities.
"The rare and endangered species have been handed over to Indonesia
Safari Park II in Prigen, Pasuruan, Jatim Recreational Park and
Malang Municipal Recreational Park," Iwan

Man or beast
Of the country's hundreds of ethnic groups and tribes, there are some
most of us have never heard of. When we do hear of them, it is when
their members cry out in fear of extinction. Such is the case with a
community in Lampung called the Belimbing clan -- a name which
Indonesians associate only with star fruit.
The tribe's representatives have protested the decision to move two
Sumatran tigers from Aceh to Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park,
Lampung, which overlaps with their area.
A village chief, quoted in this newspaper Thursday, said the
authorities had not discussed the decision with them.
The majority of people on this planet are in favor of saving tigris
panthera sumatrae from extinction. The tribes people were merely
concerned about their own protection. Authorities working with
activists, a private management agency, the Zoological Society of
London and Safari Park Indonesia joined hands to transport the two
tigers, aged 9 and 4, to their new home.
Can Indonesia ensure their mutual existence? Obviously, not yet.
Another clan leader cited the Constitution, which guarantees
protection for traditional communities. Despite the offer of land and
financial compensation, A. Zulqomain Syarif said, "we

Zoo to offer viewers gorillacam
A webcam has been placed inside an enclosure at Bristol Zoo Gardens
so people can watch a group of lowland gorillas at play on the
The camera on Gorilla Island offers a 180-degree view of the western
lowland gorillas as they eat, sleep and play.
A spokesman said the best time to tune in was 0900 BST or 1230 BST
for the feeding times.
"But it's great for the public to be able to watch these fascinating
animals on the webcam anytime," he said.
Western lowland gorillas are

Smuggled elephants return home
Working members carry the cage containing the returned elephant at
the Yunnan Wild Animal Park in Kunming, southwest China's Yunnan
Province, Sept. 5, 2008. Four out of five elephants returned their
home from a wild animal protection center in south China's Hainan
Province after

Rehab elephant beats his heroin addiction
An Asian elephant that was addicted to heroin is ready to be released
after finishing a three-year rehabilitation programme.
The four-year-old bull, named Xiguang, became addicted to the drug
after illegal traders laced bananas with heroin to trap and pacify
him when he was captured on the Chinese-Burmese border in 2005. When
he was found with six other elephants two months later he was
suffering withdrawal symptoms.
Xiguang was taken to a protection centre on the Chinese island of
Hainan, where he was given daily methadone injections in doses five
times larger than those given to people.
The elephant has recovered and

Vancouver zoo reviews practices after boy injured
The Greater Vancouver Zoo is reviewing its practices after a young
boy was wounded when a hawk landed on his head during a show on
Sunday afternoon.
The boy, about four or five years old, was taking part in a
demonstration that involved dragging a lure on a rope across an
outdoor amphitheatre, zoo spokeswoman Jody Henderson said yesterday.

Toronto Zoo, and its elephants, mourn Tequila
The surprise death of a Toronto Zoo elephant yesterday offered a
fresh challenge for veterinarian staff who have learned that
elephants, like humans, mourn the death of their loved ones.
When Thika found her mother, a 38-year-old African elephant named
Tequila, dead early at the zoo's outdoor elephant exhibit, she stayed
beside the body for four hours. Thika even started digging at the
ground and throwing dirt on her mother's body, as if hoping to get
any response at all.
It wasn't until Toronto Zoo staff stepped in between the two
elephants that Thika parted from Tequila.
"Elephants are extremely intelligent," the executive director of
conservation education and research at the zoo, Dr. Bill Rapley, said
"When we look at animal behaviour, it's so hard to put it in human
perspective. But elephants seem to show

Dallas Zoo receives $5 million donation, the largest in its history
The Dallas Zoo announced this morning that it has received the
largest gift in its 120-year history, a $5 million donation from the
Harold Simmons Foundation.
Zoo officials plan the use the funds to help build a new $40 million
African Savanna exhibit that will house large animals from elephants
to giraffes and zebras.
Plans for the Savanna's elephant exhibit were

Australia Zoo will fight miners
Australia Zoo will continue its fight against the "environmental
vandalism" of an eco-sensitive area through bauxite mining, the zoo's
director says.
Land Court member Paul Smith on Wednesday ruled that Cape Alumina
could access a portion of the 135,000 hectare Bertiehaugh Station
leased by the family of the late crocodile hunter.
Cape Alumina had sought access to part of the land, known as the
Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve or Steve's Place, to conduct an

Irwin zoo denies cattle grazing claims
The late Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo has rejected accusations from a
mining company that it has a secret agenda to expand a grazing
operation on the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve on Queensland's Cape
Cape Alumina yesterday won a legal battle to conduct exploration and
environmental surveys on the reserve.
The company's CEO Paul Messenger has accused Steve Irwin's widow
Terri Irwin of trying to stop the surveys so she can expand cattle
grazing in the reserve.
Australia Zoo director Wes Mannion says plans to build 31 dams and
100 kilometres of barbed wire fencing

Chester Zoo to make donation to Chinese project
CHESTER Zoo has come to the aid of a vital Chinese research base
which was hit by a devastating earthquake.
The Sichuan Province area of China was left shattered by a huge
earthquake in May this year; the largest natural disaster in the
country in nearly 60 years.
Measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale, the earthquake

Colchester: white rhinos head for home, thanks to our zoo
WHITE rhinoceros are set to be released into the South African wild –
helped by staff at Colchester Zoo.
Since 2004, the zoo and Action for the Wild have been working to
develop the Um Phafa Private Nature Reserve, in Kwa Zulu Natal, South
Africa, by reintroducing species naturally found there before human
intervention led many to become extinct in the area.
Colchester Zoo and its charity Action


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