Zoo News Digest
UGA scientists eye tiger, leopard creation
Call it a pipe dream, or — better — something cooked up in the imagination of people who do implausible things with the very strands of life, DNA.Call it a last-chance grab at something fast vanishing. What is more fleeting than the genetic makeup of an endangered species?
Gaunt lion and tiger at Beijing Zoo not neglected, just inbred, says official
The Beijing Zoo said its animals were in normal condition after photos posted online showing an emaciated lion and tiger drew public attention, the Beijing Times reported.
The photos, posted by a visitor to the zoo on social media on Monday, showed a skeletal, hunched back lion with dull, patchy fur and a white tiger in similar condition.
Many internet users expressed concern about the animals’ health.
The zoo said the lion was bony due to a genetic defect, but its appetite and level of activity were normal.
“The lion already had a roach back, protruding bones in its hindquarters and looked skinny when it was admitted to the Zoo,” a zoo official told the Times.
He said most lions in zoos nowadays were the results of inbreeding and tended to have genetic defects. The z
Dalton zoo boss' court date changed
SOUTH Lakes Safari Zoo boss David Gill had been due to appear before a crown court on Friday charged with alleged health and safety breaches - but the hearing has been put back.
Needed — legislation for zoos
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) officials claim that chaining elephants for brief periods of time is a common practice in zoos all over the world and that the Marghazar Zoo administration is trying its best to put an end to it on its premises. It also claims that the 31-year-old Asian bull elephant Kavaan is healthy, taking his food and daily bath and that social media has portrayed a distorted picture of his condition and the affairs of the CDA-run Marghazar Zoo. The issue of Kavaan being chained on all four legs and seemingly suffering from some psychological disorder was first raised by a Pakistan-born US national, Zareen Khan, on social media after her visit to the zoo.
After Kavaan’s plight went viral, the CDA chairman hurriedly held talks with wildlife experts from the Wildlife Department of Punjab, the Animal Society, the Lahore Zoo and the World Wildlife Fund. CDA officials welcomed all expert advice for Kavaan’s welfare — agreeing on relocating him to Lahore and not sending him to a sanctuary in Myanmar. According to details gleaned from various press reports, Kavaan was brought from Sri Lanka in 1985 when it was a year-old and was a difficult animal to handle. According to its keeper of 26 years at the zoo, Bilal, the elephant had its legs chained after it attacked its keeper in late 1999.
In 1991, Kavaan was joined by a female companion, Saheli, a year-old Asian elephant calf gifted to Pakistan by Bangladesh. Saheli was always friendly towards visitors unlike Kavaan, but both elephants were kept chained despite repeated verbal and written protests by animal lovers and rights activists. The chains on Saheli’s legs eventually started cutting into its skin and a wound appeared on one of its hind legs — this was pointed out prior to its
Compensating: Loudest howler monkeys have the tiniest balls
The male howler monkeys with the biggest vocal organs have the smallest testicles and lowest sperm count, new research has found.
In his 1871 book on evolutionary theory called "The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex", Charles Darwin posited that sexual selection was determined in two main ways: through combat, or through display. For those animals who win mates by means of mating displays, those characteristics that are more likely to win a mate come at a cost to the animal. For instance, the peacock's tail feathers hinders its mobility. In other words, there's a trade-off.
For male howler monkeys, that trade-off is an unusual one. The larger their vocal organs, a new study has found, the smaller their testes and the lower their
Tennessee Aquarium to Open Freshwater Biodiversity and Conservation Research Institute [Slide Show]
The Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, the first of its kind in the U.S., will in part focus on captive breeding endangered freshwater fish
Researchers publish analysis of giant panda milk
A five-year study of giant pandas by Glasgow researchers has uncovered previously unknown details of the complex changes that a female bear's milk undergoes immediately after birth. The findings may have implications for rearing in other species, including humans.
Threatened sea duck may be reintroduced in southwest Alaska
A colorful, threatened sea duck whose numbers plummeted in Alaska may be reintroduced to the southwest corner of the state.
Federal wildlife officials are taking public testimony on possible environmental effects of a plan to move breeding pairs of Steller's eiders to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, where the birds once thrived.
Only 11 nests have been found there in the past 18 years. The birds' declining numbers on the delta figured heavily in a 1997 federal decision to declare the species threatened.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal calls for the release of Steller's eiders raised in captivity at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward. The agency says it's unlikely a subpopulation of Steller's eiders will re-establish itself without the introduction of captive birds.
Wild Steller's eiders continue to breed on tundra near coastlines in Arctic Russia and on Alaska's North Slope near Barrow, the northernmost community in the United States. The Alaska population is the only one listed under the Endangered Species Act.
Scientists in 1997 could not identify why Steller's eiders declined. Predation of young by ravens, foxes or gulls, hunting, ingestion of spent lead shot and changes in the marine environment were considered. The decline remains poorly understood, according to the agency recovery plan.
Steller's eiders are the smallest of four eider species and av
Park conservation fund purchases threatened rainforest
The Curraghs Wildlife Park has succeeded in its target of raising money to buy 50 acres of rainforest to mark its 50th anniversary.
The park’s conservation fund is sending £5,000 to the World Land Trust for the protection of part of the Choco rainforest in Colombia, South America.
The charity, whose patron is Sir David Attenborough, purchases important areas of rainforest to protect eco-systems and stop fragmentation of habitats.
The park raised the sum by selling badges and inviting donations for children’s craft sessions, eye-spy competitions and seasonal trails.
The climax of the fundraising was a sell-out evening with well-known wildlife artist Dr Jeremy Paul, organised by the Friends of the Wildlife Park, which raised more than £1,000.
David Cretney MLC, Member of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture with responsibility for the park, said: ‘We started the conservation fund to encourage visitors to think about global conservation issues while visiting the park
‘We chose to support Choco rainforest to mark our anniversary year because it is one of the wettest places on the planet and we are on a wetland of scientific interest. Many of the species we have, such as our spectacled owls and spider monkeys, come from South American rainforests, so it seemed fitting to support this deserving cause.
‘Sir David says money donated to the World Land Trust “has more effect on the wild world than almost anything he can think of”.
‘We are pleased to have reached our target before the end of our anniversary year. We are incredibly grateful to our visitors
Snake Chef Dies After Getting Bit by a Cobra’s Severed Head
A chef in China who was preparing a meal of black and white spitting cobra died after attempting to throw away the head of the snake 20 minutes after he severed it with a knife, according to America News. Peng Fan, a well known snake chef from Shunde, in the city of Foshan in Guangdong province in China, was dicing up the snake to make snake soup and apparently grabbed the head to toss it in the trash when it bit him, injecting him with venom. According to the report, diners heard screams coming from the kitchen and Peng died before medical professionals
Eye-opening research suggests sleeping crocodiles still keep watch
If you ever thought you could safely tiptoe past a sleeping crocodile, please reconsider – scientists have confirmed that the fearsome reptiles sleep with one eye open.
Researchers in Australia and Germany have discovered that crocodiles can deploy “unilateral eye closure” while dozing to keep a close eye on potential threats or prey.
It’s already known that birds, other reptiles and aquatic animals such as dolphins, seals and walruses have evolved unihemispheric sleep, which is when one half of the brain stays awake while the other shuts down. This allows the animals to keep one eye open to monitor events around them.
Human activity 'driving half of world's crocodile species to extinction'
Until now, researchers have had only anecdotal evidence of this behaviour in crocodiles, but a paper published in the Journal of Experimental Biology lends weight to the theory.
Three juvenile saltwater crocodiles were taken from northern Queensland to a large aquarium at La Trobe University and filmed 24 hours a day. Scientists confirmed that the crocodiles opened one eye du
Siegfried & Roy turn down six figures to fly four new cubs to UAE
For 12-year-old Emma Goldsberry of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, it’s a dream come true thanks to Siegfried & Roy, masters of the impossible.
On Thursday afternoon, she was appointed Cubs Child Ambassador of Conservation taking care of the magicians’ four new tiger cubs Hirah, Maharani, Liberty and Justice.
The newest additions to Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage were born Aug. 5.
Now 11 weeks old, they have gone from a birth weight of just 2 pounds apiece to nearly 20 pounds, and Siegfried revealed that he visits them quietly and privately every day:
“I love to see them. I don’t have to come, but I do because I want to. We keep it quiet because I don’t want to commercialize it. I get a real high from being there. I come home and tell Roy all the stories, and that’s a real lift for both of us.
“We have people come from all over the world. They all talk to me. Sometimes they see me, and it’s amazing we have been away from the stage for over 12 years, b
Ostava Zoo puts down elephant
A male Indian elephant named Calvin at the Ostrava Zoo had to be euthanized due to incurable abscesses in one of his legs.
The 29-year-old elephant had sired 14 offspring, 11 of which survive, the Ostrava Zoo said on its website. He was one of the most prolific elephants in Europe.
Calvin was born in 1986 and had been at the zoo since 2009.
As a young elephant, Calvin had a viral infection is his left front leg which left the leg weakened and with a curvature. As a result, he favored his right leg too much and it developed abscesses.
He was reluctant to let veterinarians examine him, and by the time they did the infection more serious than expected. Despite treatment, the abscesses continued to spread.
“Hope for recovery was zero,” the zoo said online.
Treatment was suspended Aug. 25, and the zoo consulted with foreign experts to see if there was any further course of action.
Two of his offspring remain
Rare black rhinos arrive at Pembrokeshire Zoo
Two rare Eastern Black Rhinos have been welcomed to their new home this week at Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo in Pembrokeshire.
The male Nkosi and female Manyara are the only herd in Wales, but the new additions now mean Folly Farm is one of only six zoos in the UK to hold this critically endangered species.
A new £500,000 five and a half acre, purpose built paddock called the 'Kifaru Reserve' will be their new home.
Bargo Dingo Sanctuary preserves purebred dingoes of Australia with new litters of dingo pups
THEY are cuddly, gorgeous and will help to preserve the purebred dingoes of Australia.
The latest two litters of dingo pups at Bargo Dingo Sanctuary are being sent to zoos and wildlife sanctuaries across the country to protect the genetic integrity of the Australian native dog.
Six of the 11 pups born at the sanctuary are staying on at Bargo, three have been sent to Australia Zoo, and two are at Ballarat Wildlife Park to establish breeding programs.
The genetic purity of the 11-week old dingoes is set to revive the rare purebred population.
The sanctuary’s president, Lucille Ellem, has dedicated the last 40 years to protecting the breed and educating the public about the “good” nature of the dingo.
How Knut’s disease is leading to medical breakthroughs
Abandoned by his mother, and reared by a zookeeper, Knut was Berlin Zoo’s adorable polar bear. Cameras captured his every fluffy white move – even documenting his sudden death in 2011. Footage shows the bear shaking uncontrollably before howling and collapsing into the enclosure’s pool. Hundreds of visitors stood by, confused and shocked, as the world’s favourite polar bear had a seizure and drowned.
Dr Alex Greenwood at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin was called to conduct the autopsy and uncover what killed Knut. “The zoo was under pressure to show that they weren’t responsible. The media was hounding us, and the public was so upset,” he says. “It was like trying to solve a gigantic jigsaw puzzle with a gun to your head.” But, after an exceptionally extensive investigation, what killed Knut remained a mystery.
23 test tube pandas have survived this year
A record 23 pandas have survived so far this year after being born using artificial insemination techniques, the world’s largest artificial breeding center for pandas announced Thursday.
A total of 26 panda cubs were born, including nine pairs of twins and one born to Mei Xiang at Washington’s Smithsonian National Zoo of the United States, according to the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP).
Giant Squid Babies Found for the First Time
When Toshifumi Wada received a picture of an odd-looking squid from Japanese aquarium staff, he knew he was onto something. The marine biologist requested the frozen specimen to be sent to him, and discovered that he was looking at the world’s first recorded giant squid baby.
“The fisherman who caught it and the aquarium staff didn’t know they were looking at a giant squid baby,” Wada, a cephalopod expert at the Institute of Natural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Hyogo in Japan, told me.
Giant squid are the world’s largest invertebrate, and can grow to over 10 meters in length. The sizes of the three Architeuthis dux babies, caught in 2013—one off the coast of Kyushu in southern Japan and the other two in the southwestern Sea of Japan—vary from 14 to 33 centimeters. The researchers detail the impact of this discovery in a paper published this week in the journal of Marine Biodiversity Records, announcing the discovery as the “first records of small-sized young giant squid.”
“I was excited because these are r
USDA fines S.F. Zoo over death of baby gorilla crushed by door
The San Francisco Zoo was hit with a fine by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the death of Kabibe, a young gorilla who was crushed by a door in her enclosure in November.
But some animal rights advocates, including the International Primate Protection League, slammed the $1,750 fine as “ridiculously small.”
“You failed to handle all animals as expeditiously and carefully as possible,” reads a notification sent to th
Visitors Can’t Tell If a Tourist Attraction Is Bad for Animals
In the first major study of wildlife tourism around the world, researchers at the University of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit—the same group that had been studying Cecil the Lion before he was shot in July—found that the millions of people who visit wildlife attractions each year don’t seem to realize that places they’re visiting have ill effects on animals.
Wildlife attractions account for between 20 and 40 percent of all tourism worldwide, with 3.6 to six million people visiting these sites annually. The study found that every year two to four million tourists financially support attractions that aren’t good for animal welfare or conservation. And it found that 80 percent of reviewers didn’t recognize that certain wildlife attractions weren’t good for the animals.
Led by conservation biologist Tom Moorhouse, the researchers compared 24 types of wildlife tourist attractions
Why everyone should embrace their inner sloth
Each year there’s an autumn weekend which is anticipated with particular glee: the one in which the clocks go back. The prospect of an extra hour in bed is certainly enticing, and the Sunday has duly been labelled “National Sleep In Day”. But the fact that sleeping in is designated to this one particular day betrays something else – that idleness is seen as wasteful, self-indulgent. A lie-in is only encouraged when time itself moves to accommodate it.
For some perspective on how the idea of laziness has changed over time, we could do a lot worse than consider the natural world’s undisputed champion of indolence – the sloth. Because the one thing everyone knows about sloths is that they are slothful. The clue’s in the name.
But it’s a name with a long and curious history. Sloth entered the English language in the early 12th century as a term for mental and physical sluggishness. It wasn’t until the early 17th century that the word was applied by European explorers to tree-dwelling mammals in central and south America. Sloth, in other words, was the name of a human quality long before it was the name of a distinct species of a
LION HAS SURGERY TO REMOVE 3.8-POUND HAIRBALL STUCK IN STOMACH
A 450-pound lion underwent surgery in Colorado Tuesday to remove a giant hairball from his stomach — weighing in at a whopping 3.8 pounds.
The 11-year-old lion, Arthur, who lives as “the king of a pride of lions” at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado, used to be housed at a now-shuttered zoo, Executive Director of the sanctuary Pat Craig told ABC News on Friday.
Last week, Craig and his team noticed Arthur wasn’t acting like himself.
“He started to move less around his habitat, and then over a number of days he began to eat less food and seemed lethargic,” Craig said. There were no obvious signs of injury, so he knew they had to take Arthur to the hospital.
Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Director Tim Hackett told ABC News that Arthur arrived sedated and
PENGUINS IN COSTUME ON PARADE AND HALLOWEEN AT LONG ISLAND AQUARIUM
Long Island Aquarium is pleased to present a Penguin Costume Parade during our Bats, Barnacles & Broomsticks Halloween Party taking place on November 1, 2015 from 10am-4pm. All “buoys” and “ghouls” who come to the Aquarium in costume on that Sunday, will get 50% off admission with a paying adult (one child 12 years and under, per adult).
Children will gather sweets and treats with our Safe Trick or Treating throughout the Aquarium. Our Unearthing Atlantis Dig has been transformed into a spooktacular haunted house by the amazing special effects team at HauntedProps.com. We will have face painting (a
An elk? An oryx? Large, unusual-looking horned animal reported on Germantown Road in Forest Park
Numerous callers alerted Multnomah County dispatchers on Saturday morning that a large, unusual animal with horns posed a danger to drivers on Germantown Road in Forest Park.
Initially, no one was sure what to make of it. Some thought it was an elk. One called it an oryx, a type of striking-looking antelope native to Africa.
Steve Clark quickly provided The Oregonian/OregonLive with photographs of the animal that he took in the Northwest Portland park. Clark provided pretty persuasive evidence that the wandering animal is specifically a scimitar-horned oryx, which are extinct in the wild.
It turns out the oryx, named Yellow Nose for a prominent marking, belongs to Reed Gleason, a Skyline Boulevard resident who has raised a small herd of oryx over the past two decades. He spent hours looking for his missing oryx Saturday before finding it unharmed -- and confronting the dilemma of how to get it home.
Gleason said he and other handlers are trying to lure Yellow Nose into a trailer with his favorite food: grain. As of just before 6 p.m. Saturday, they were just waiting for him to get hungry.
"I think he's actually pretty nervous and exhausted," Gleason said. "The curious thing is, he's been nibbling on some ferns. They really like grain a lot more than ferns."
Gleason said Yellow Nose escaped through a gate left open this morning. He's the second-oldest male in the 11-oryx herd, so Gleas
Oldest US polar bear ‘Klondike’ dies at age 34
The oldest polar bear living in the United States died at age 34 on Friday (Oct 23) at its home in the Philadelphia Zoo, zoo officials said.
Klondike, a female polar bear, was euthanised after weeks of worsening medical conditions that included mobility problems and infections, officials said.
City council still to complete internal investigation into zoo fatality
Hamilton City Council has yet to complete an internal investigation into a fatal tiger attack at Hamilton Zoo and remains coy on when the findings will be released.
The internal health and safety review is one of five investigations launched in the wake of zoo curator Samantha Kudeweh's death.
Kudeweh was killed by one of the zoo's Sumatran tigers on September 20 while carrying out routine duties inside the animal's enclosure.
Detroit Zoo chief’s compensation rises 162% in 3 years
Detroit Zoo director Ron Kagan’s compensation has risen dramatically under a beefed-up retirement incentive offered to select zoo executives to help “attract and retain qualified personnel,” financial records show.
From 2011 to 2014, Kagan’s compensation increased by 162 percent, primarily driven by six-figure contributions into his deferred retirement account the last two years, records show.
In 2011, Kagan — who also is the zoo CEO — received $292,644 in total compensation: a combination of a base salary, bonus, deferred retirement and other reportable income.
By 2014, his total compensation reached $767,824, primarily driven up by a $348,824 contribution toward his retirement, an amount that is nearly equal to his base salary that year of $357,791.
The remainder included a $47,650 bonus and $13,559 in other compensation and benefits.
Opinion: Phuket dolphinarium legitimacy put on show
On one hand, it was welcomed, particularly for the investors of the new “Nemo – Dolphins Bay Phuket” dolphinarium, who have spent an espoused B100 million in complying with legal procedures to ensure the attraction could open in time for the coming high season.
On the other hand, it has sent animal rights armchair activists into overdrive, as they fearlessly attack the animal entertainment tourism trade, quick to channel their anger at anybody who might not see it as black-and-white; if nothing else, our comments section has been overwhelmed with fury, passion and emotion.
Though relatively silent due to the associated controversy, dolphinarium stakeholders – public,private, foreign and domestic alike – are driven by the bottom lin
Get Rich Quick Schemes For Any Smart Zookeeper
There are a few skills required of zoo professionals that are kind of weird. Like, you never think about them until you're required to use them. It blows my mind knowing that out there on this great planet of ours, billions of people will never know what it's like to say, lock a padlock with one hand.
Staff at Port Lympne, near Hythe, sad at death of Kruger a 31-year-old African elephant
Wildlife park staff have been left saddened by the death of a 31-year-old African elephant.
Kruger had lived at Port Lympne, near Hythe, since 2006.
He had to be put to sleep after arthritis in his hind legs became too painful for him and he had no quality of life.
The death was announced on Facebook.
In a statement, the park said: “Elephant keepers and our team of vets have been treating Kruger for arthritis in his hind legs since his arrival at Port Lympne.
Animal Enrichment Award bestowed upon the Ecomuseum Zoo
The Ecomuseum Zoo recently announced it is the recipient of the prestigious Animal Enrichment Award bestowed upon it by CAZA-AZAC (Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) for its new Fisher habitat, inaugurated just a few months ago in July. Awarded annually by a jury panel composed of industry experts, the honour is presented to a zoological institution in recognition of exceptional achievements in the design and implementation of initiatives for animal well-being.
Oryx captured after running amok in Forest Park
An African antelope named Yellow Nose is back at home munching on grass in a fenced field after frolicking in Forest Park Saturday, much to the surprise of joggers and hikers.
The oryx did not harm any people in the popular Portland park. It is owned by a private citizen and has now been reunited with his fellow oryx at home.
Multiple people reported spotting the oryx in the park, northwest of downtown Portland.
"I got a phone call saying 'Hey, you're on the news!'" said Reed Gleason, the owner of the oryx. "Then, other people started calling me or
Thieves have taken more than a dozen reptiles from Hunter Valley Zoo in brazen early morning raid
COLD-BLOODED criminals have stolen a swag of native Australian reptiles from a zoo in the NSW Hunter Valley, including a 2.5m carpet python.
Hunter Valley Zoo director Jason Pearson said three hooded bandits jumped a perimeter fence about 2.45am Sunday and broke into a snake enclosure.
“They’ve helped themselves there, then gone up and emptied one of our lizard pits as well,” he said.
More than a dozen reptiles were stolen in the raid, including six shingleback lizards, a bearded dragon and eight
As Tiger Numbers Dwindle, Will Smugglers Target a Different Cat?
Among wild cats, clouded leopards are increasingly coveted—and bred in captivity—for commercial purposes, according to a new study from University of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit. They’re being sold into the pet trade, to tourist attractions offering cat encounters, and to other such profit-driven businesses.
Researchers Neil D’Cruze and David Macdonald reviewed import and export records filed with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), the body that regulates international wildlife trade, and found a 42 percent increase in the commercial trade of live clouded leopards from 1975 to 2013.
Clouded leopards are native to Southeast Asia and named for their distinctive spotted coats. They’re one of the smallest big cats, weighing up to 50 pounds and growing up to three feet long. They belong to an entirely separate taxonomic group from snow leopards and “regular” leopards, such as African and Indian leopards.
Georgia Aquarium details beluga's death; Plans to get more whales
A necropsy to determine why a beloved 21-year-old beluga whale died suddenly Thursday at Georgia Aquarium will be not be complete for four to six weeks, but officials are providing more details about Maris’ death.
"We check all the animals first thing in the morning," said Eric Gaglione, vice president of zoological operations, reports Atlanta Business Chronicle broadcast partner WXIA-TV. “Maris was bright, alert, responsive, she was eating and interacting with the other animals."
Animal Activist Ingrid Visser’s Plans To Profit Off Wild Killer Whales Will Shock You
Researcher Ingrid Visser has been very busy lately.
Visser, an orca researcher and anti-zoological advocate from New Zealand has been criss-crossing the globe as she photographs killer whales in human care in California, Texas, Florida and Spain.
Ingrid Visser recently gave a formal presentation as a "non-biased researcher" at the California Coastal Commission in Long Beach, California where she shared why she thought killer whales should not be kept in human care.
Feds say they prefer approving elephant import to Sedgwick County Zoo
Six African elephants are a little closer to becoming Sedgwick County residents.
Newly released federal documents say U.S. wildlife officials are leaning toward approving the import of 18 African elephants from the South African nation of Swaziland to three American zoos, including six elephants to Wichita’s Sedgwick County Zoo.
The government is now seeking public comment before it makes the decision final.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency that issues the import permits, is weighing three different options.
The Service says it can:
▪ approve the permits,
▪ block the elephant transfer to the U.S.
▪ or allow fewer elephants to make the flight across the Atlantic.
The Service says approval is the frontrunner based on its research so far.
“That was the one that was the preferred alternative,” said Timothy Van Norman, who is chief of a Fish and Wildlife Service branc
Aldergrove zoo has new owner, plans for a shift in emphasis
Changes are in store for the Greater Vancouver Zoo.
The Aldergrove business was recently purchased by a Vancouver entrepreneur who is keen to execute much-needed changes at the 45-year-old facility, general manager Jody Henderson announced in a statement Monday.
The zoo has hired zoo design consultants Bernard Harrison & Friends to create a 20-year master plan for the facility, which started operations in 1970 as the Vancouver Game Farm.
The new owner, who wants to stay anonymous at this time, plans to create a zoo focused on “engaging discussions on con
China is lending the Netherlands two pandas
China is lending two giant pandas to the Netherlands, foreign affairs minister Bert Koenders said on Monday. The minister was speaking in Beijing on the second day of a state visit by king Willem-Alexander and queen Máxima. The loan is ‘a sign of the special bond between China and the Netherlands’, the minister told Dutch media. The loan is definitely a sign of close ties between the two countries, but the Netherlands has been pushing for it for some time, according to Volkskrant reporter Marije Vlaskamp. ‘Prime minister Mark Rutte did not ask explicitly during his visit to China two years ago, but he hardly stopped talking about it,’ she writes. The pandas are not a gift and will cost the Netherlands money, although how high the cost will be is not known. The pandas will housed at Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen, but it is not yet known when they will arrive. ‘It depends on the preparations, including the building of an enclosure for them,’ a spokesman told the Volkskrant. Junior economic affairs minister Sharon Dijksma says she has signed an agreement with the Chinese forestry co
Corruption in Wildlife Department unearthed
The Punjab ombudsman has remarked in a decision that maladministration has been committed by the Wildlife Department DG Khan in awarding of excessive marks to its blue-eyed candidate during an interview held for a junior clerk post.
He directed the authority of Wildlife Department DG Khan to reexamine the case in view of observations, and determine the merit of the complainant again for the stated reasons, the complainant may be found entitled to appointment as junior clerk. The Punjab Ombudsman has also remarked that the representative of the agency could not explain as to where from 10 marks of experience have been awarded to selectee Tariq Ahmed.
There is discrimination in awarding marks in interview to Tariq Ahmed, it was observed. He passed the orders in the case of complainant Muhammad Ali, a resident of Shamsabad tehsil Taunsa.
Ali, who holds an M-Com degree, said that he had applied for the post of Junior Clerk in the office of Deputy Director Wildlife DG Khan. He was administered typing test on April 22, 2015 and secured the first position on the merit list. Subsequently, he was interviewed successfully. In July 2015, he learnt from the agency that all the posts advertised for recruitment were filled except the post of junior clerk. After three days, he telephoned in the office of Deputy Director W
Penguin Always Returns From the Sea to Visit Man Who Saved Its Life
A retired bricklayer’s act of kindness four years ago has won him a penguin friend for life.
When João Pereira de Souza found an oil-soaked bird on the beach near his southeast Brazilian home in 2011, he cleaned off the penguin, fed him some sardines, and when it was strong enough, took the bird to the beach, expecting it to swim away.
But the black and white Magellanic penguin, now known as Jingjing, refu
Dudley Zoo bosses: Council cuts will not affect us
Dudley Council revealed last week that the amount it gives to the zoo would fall by £200,000 over the next three years under new budget proposals.
The cash-strapped authority needs to save £20 million by 2019 and is set to close Dudley Museum and Art Gallery and reduce hours at libraries and its archives building to try and achieve this.
Council leaders have been keen to point out the cash it gives to the zoo is used solely to maintain Dudley Castle and the tecton buildings and not th
Australia Zoo crisis: Humans and animals both mistreated, say ex-staff
WALKING through the gate at Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo, dressed in crisp new khaki, Jane (not her real name) thought she had finally landed her dream job.
Young, experienced and brimming with passion for wildlife, she believed she’d spend the rest of her career at the world-famous facility.
But that dream, as the cliche forebodes, soon turned into a nightmare. Inside the zoo cult, Jane says she experienced bullying, intimidation, incompetence and a ‘toxic” work environment that she dreaded each day.
Lion Heads Arrive in Record Numbers as U.S. Considers Crackdown
Big-game hunters are killing African lions in record numbers as U.S. regulators threaten to curtail one of world’s most exclusive, expensive and controversial pursuits.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has an Oct. 29 deadline to make a final determination on the status of the African lion, which it has proposed to list as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The agency has also recommended requiring a special permit to import lion trophies. Those findings could curtail the number of slain lions entering the U.S., while also driving up safari costs that are often more than $100,000.
Walking With Lions: Con or Conservation? Further Thoughts
Some of you may have seen my post late last year questioning the ethics of “lion walks” on the Zambian side of Vic Falls in the face of growing allegations, concerns and criticism from former employees, volunteers, journalists and conservationists.
My post also bore the news that conversation with Zambia Tourism had led to the removal of “lion walks” activities and operators from the site. The feeling was that Zambia Tourism did not want to promote such activities so long as some of the questions and concerns surrounding them remained unresolved; they wanted to rather use that page of the website to raise awareness about some of the said same concerns and criticisms.
The page promised that Zambia Tourism would continue to investigate this issue further.
With that in mind, I have been busy at work trying to get as much information as possible from as many different sources as I could find, both on behalf of Zambia Tourism and in my own capacity with regards to a longer feature I am writing on the topic.
During my investigative process, I was contacted by Judy Goddard, who heads up the Marketing, Communications and Public Relations department of the African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT), which manages Lion Encounter in Zambia. While her original email in defense of ALERT and Lion Encounter felt a little like a “canned” (excuse the pun) response and failed to adequately negate some of the issues raised by myself and others, I thought that, in the name of “balance and fairness” as they put it in my trade, it was important to give her and ALERT a chance to share the
On the bat's wing do I fly – a remarkable journey
In January 2014 a tiny bat made headlines in the UK, Europe and across the world after a remarkable voyage of 600 Km. That previous record has now been superseded by another individual from the same species, namely the Nathusius' pipistrelle (Pipistrellus nathusii), who travelled a total of at least 1458km. This is a truly extraordinary feat for a bat that typically weighs the same as a 50p coin.
Last years bat had been ringed in Somerset and found dead in the Netherlands. The individual that was found this year was alive and well after its incredible North Sea crossing of at least 1458km as the bat/crow flies.
The bat was ringed by a research team in team in Latvia on the 20th of August 2015. The Latvian team were carrying out research into bat migration, a topic we still no little about, and had placed small rings on over 4000 individual bats. This particular bat (carrying ring number SA4722) was re caught at Rye
High stress during pregnancy decreases offspring survival, mongoose study shows
Researchers studying banded mongooses in Uganda have discovered that pups born to females that experienced elevated stress hormones during the later stages of pregnancy are much less likely to survive their first month.
Sadness at Chester Zoo as young elephant Hari Hi Way dies
Chester Zoo say they are 'devastated' to announce the death of one of their young bull elephants.
The tourist attraction could not hide their sadness as they announced the passing of Hari Hi Way who was being treated by zoo vets due to concerns detected in his daily blood tests.
Despite the best efforts of teams involved in his care, the condition of the elephant who was almost three, deteriorated and he died late on Tuesday afternoon (October 27).
A zoo spokesperson who described the news as 'terrible', said the exact cause of Hari’s death will be determined by a post-mortem examination but confirmed he tested positive for elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV), a fast-moving virus which affects both wild and captive elephants between the ages of two and five years old.
There is currently no vaccine against EEHV, although research is ongoing.
This news comes six weeks after the zoo anounced the death of female calf, Bala, who also had traces of EEHV. Staff carry out daily blood testing of the elephant herd and, as soon as the first traces of EEHV were detected in both Bala
The Intrinsic Value Of Elephants Far Supersede Their Monetary Value
Elephant owners, including temples in Kerala have come under intense scrutiny after illegal ivory traders confessed that they bought tusks of captive elephants from the state. A popular daily in India reports, one of the traders was arrested in New Delhi, after law enforcement authorities raided his home and seized 487 kilos of ivory worth more than $120,000,000 i.e. $1.8 million USD.
India's wild elephants are also under siege, fueled by the transnational ivory trade. According to media reports, in the past 10 months poachers slaughtered around 20 elephants in Kerala, and in the past two years more than 100 of them across southern India (Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states).
This is of grave concern as India is a global hot spot for the endangered Asian elephants. According to Dr. Raman Sukumar, a world
Rare white tiger quintuplets born in Kunming zoo
A White Bengal tiger gave birth to quintuplets at the Wild Animal Park in Kunming, Yunnan Province on October 25.
The six-year-old tigress and the cubs are all healthy but breeders are still keeping them under close 24-hour observation, reported the Chinese language Xinhua.
As tigers have only four nipples, staff is ready to step in and help nurse the cubs if the mother is unable to feed all of them.
According to the zoo, White tigers usually give birth to two or three cubs. Quintuplets a
Elephant Experts From Around the World Oppose Proposed Import of 18 Elephants from Swaziland to Zoos in Texas, Nebraska, and Kansas
We, the undersigned scientists, conservationists, elephant care, animal welfare and policy experts, are strongly opposed to the proposed import of 18 elephants from Swaziland by the Dallas Zoo in Texas, Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, and the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas, for the following reasons: 1. The capture and removal of wild elephants for display in zoos is detrimental to elephants. The forcible capture and removal of wild elephants from their home ranges and social groups is archaic and unethical. Elephants do not thrive in zoos. Most fail to breed, and an astonishing number of zoo-born elephant calves die young. The overall infant mortality rate for elephants in zoos is a staggering 40 percent – nearly triple the rate of free ranging Asian and African elephants.1 Those who
Swaziland elephant export ignores alternatives
Controversial plans are progressing to export 18 elephants from Swaziland to US zoos, apparently without proper consideration of relocating them to other reserves in Swaziland.
“There is space and food for elephants in other reserve areas of Swaziland, but we were never alerted of the export,” says a reliable nature conservation source at the Swaziland National Trust Commission, a parastatal of the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs which oversees four of the country’s seven reserves.
The export plan which has been met by strong global opposition, with more than 70 elephant experts and organizations objecting in a joint statement, is the brainchild of Swaziland’s Big Game Parks organisation and the three zoos - Dallas Zoo; Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha and Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita – that are destined to receive six elephants each.
This group, known as Roomforrhinos, claim there is nowhere for the elephants to go in Swaziland or the rest of Africa due to loss of habitat, legislation restrictions and the high levels of poaching.
But according to the statement signed by ecologists, policy m
Elephants ‘underfed’ at Kampot zoo: expert
The health of two elephants at the centre of a controversial proposed animal swap between zoos in Cambodia and Japan is deteriorating, just a month after the NGO caring for them was ejected from a Kampot zoo.
Photographic evidence of elephants Kiri and Seila compiled at Teuk Chhou Zoo in Kampot province this week shows protruding bones and one of the elephants resorting to eating grass from the ground outside its enclosure.
According to elephant conservationist Lek Chailert, who has offered the pair a home in a sanctuary she runs in Siem Reap province, they now appear extremely underfed.
“From the photos, it seems that both elephants have lost weight, leaving us all worrying about their condition,” said Chailert yesterday.
In September, conservation group EARS Asia was barred from entering Teuk Chhou Zoo after three years of funding their upkeep.
That followed the group’s vocal opposition to Kiri and Seila’s inclusion in a proposed swap with the Hirakawa Zoo in southern J
Zoo looks to sell giant crocodile to China
Madou Crocodiles King (麻豆鱷魚王) is looking to China as a potential buyer for its main attraction — a giant crocodile — as the Tainan zoo’s closing date approaches.
The zoo’s eponymous king croc is a saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) that is 5.8m long and weighs 1,250kg.
It devours 20kg to 30kg of fish daily, and will continue to grow to between 7m and 8m, said Chiu Hsi-ho (邱錫河), owner of the zoo in Madou District (麻豆).
Chu, who has cared for the massive reptile for 30 years, said it is the biggest living crocodile in the nation and a pampered pet that he has come to regard as an “old friend.”
However, the 37-year-old zoo can no longer keep its business license due to recent changes to the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法), and is due to close on Feb. 4, Chu said.
Chu is looking for buyers for the 166 types of animals in his zoo,
A Reptile With No Penis Just Solved a Baffling Scientific Mystery
The tuatara isn’t actually a lizard. It’s the last survivor of a 250 million year old group of reptiles that mostly went extinct with the dinosaurs. It doesn’t have a penis, and ironically, that’s made it a linchpin for understanding how penises evolved in vertebrates.
The tuatara’s penis-less state stands out because the other descendants of the first scaly animals to evolve shelled eggs that require internal fertilization–called amniotes–do have penises, and those penises are wildly diverse.
Mammals use cylinders of inflatable erectile tissue. Turtles have a terrifyingly large organ that layers inflatable tissues on top of a stiff tongue-shaped shovel.
Keeper-Animal Interactions: Differences between the Behaviour of Zoo Animals Affect Stockmanship
Stockmanship is a term used to describe the management of animals with a good stockperson someone who does this in a in a safe, effective, and low-stress manner for both the stock-keeper and animals involved. Although impacts of unfamiliar zoo visitors on animal behaviour have been extensively studied, the impact of stockmanship i.e familiar zoo keepers is a new area of research; which could reveal significant ramifications for zoo animal behaviour and welfare. It is likely that different relationships are formed dependant on the unique keeper-animal dyad (human-animal interaction, HAI). The aims of this study were to (1) investigate if unique keeper-animal dyads were formed in zoos, (2) determine whether keepers differed in their interactions towards animals regarding their attitude, animal knowledge and experience and (3) explore what factors affect keeper-animal dyads and ultimately influence animal behaviour and welfare. Eight black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis), eleven Chapman’s zebra (Equus burchellii), and twelve Sulawesi crested black macaques (Macaca nigra) were studied in 6 zoos across the UK and USA. Subtle cues and commands directed by keepers towards animals were identified. The animals latency to respond and the respective behavioural response (cue-response) was recorded per keepe
Yerkes Shouldn’t Offload Chimps to Unaccredited Zoo
With the end of an era of invasive experiments on chimpanzees at hand, and the National Institutes of Health aiming to retire the vast majority of its government owned chimpanzees to the national chimpanzee sanctuary, the three laboratories that house privately owned chimpanzees are no doubt considering their options for the 400 or so animals they own. As a consequence of the recent U.S Fish and Wildlife Service decision to list all chimpanzees as endangered, including captive chimpanzees, these facilities now have limited options when it comes to the use of chimpanzees. And when they do choose to transfer them, or cause them harm, there’s a public record and comment period, so that interested parties can weigh in and influence the outcome.
None of these institutions have sought approval thus far to conduct experiments on chimpanzees since the redesignation of their status on September 14th. It’s clear, however, that there’s no future in invasive experimentation on chimpanzees, and they see the writing on the wall as well as the letter of the law. Inevitably, that means these institutions are looking to offload the animals, since chimpanzees are very expensive to care for and will not produce any revenue.
We are concerned about a plan that’s surfaced to transfer chimpanzees to an unsuitable location. Yerkes National Primate Research Center, a laboratory located in Atlanta, is seeking to transfer six female and two male chimpanzees to an unaccredited zoo in England called Wingham Wildlife Park. This substandard exhibition facility has not previously managed a group o
Brazilian zoo hatches bird extinct in the wild (VIDEO)
A rare bird that has been considered extinct in the wild was born in a Brazilian zoo on Monday (October 26) breathing new life into hopes to keep the rare species from being wiped from the earth.
This baby Alagoas Curassow was born in the Parque Das Aves (Avian Park) in the Brazilian city of Foz do Iguacu, near the Iguazu Falls on Brazil's border with Argentina and Paraguay.
The Parque Das Aves says there are currently just 230 specimens of the exotic bird left on the planet, all of which are in captivity. They said the birth of their little chick marked the first time an Alagoas Curassow has hatched in a zoo.
Alagoas curassows were once native to the Atlantic forests of Brazil's northeast coast including the state of Alagoas, from where
Store complex to rise in Manila zoo
A store complex within a sports zone will soon rise inside the Manila zoo compound through a joint venture agreement with a private company that was chosen to renovate the 59-year old zoo.
This was cited in the contract between city officials and its joint venture (JV) partner, Metropolitan Zoo and Botanical park Inc., that is now pending for ratification at the city council once the much-needed public hearings between stakeholders h
Are pandas worth it?
Pandas are crowd-pleasers, but critics of China's 'panda diplomacy' allege that host countries adopt the bears at the cost of real environmental and political change.
Australia Zoo being investigated over animal mistreatment allegations after death of crocodile and iguana
AUTHORITIES have launched a second investigation into the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital over allegations of animal mistreatment.
It comes as a manager at the centre of the animal welfare scandal was yesterday seen being marched off the premises for alleged staff harassment.
The Courier-Mail can reveal the same curator has also been implicated in the shocking deaths of a saltwater crocodile and endangered species of iguana at the zoo.
VETS: Irwin family’s zoo hospital in crisis
Biosecurity Queensland has launched an investigation into animal welfare concerns at the hospital and will examine case files.
It is the second investigation by a government agency after the Veterinary Surgeons Board also responded to an official complaint. The RSPCA has also received two more formal complaints about the zoo, which it has forwarded to Biosecurity Queensland.
Several sources say the turmoil and staff turnover engulfing the wildlife hospital actually started at the zoo where the manager was initially employed. He is accused of enforcing decisions which led to the death of a 13ft male saltie named Shaka that died after it was transferred from its warm pond in winter into an enclosure with a cold pool.
Despite staff warning that the cold-blooded animal would not be able to digest its recent meal in cold water, they were told to continue with the “croc jump” which was being filmed for American TV.
Sources say an endangered crested iguana named Turaga also died after the same manager bagged the animal incorrectly for transport to Melbourne Z
Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans
Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.
The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.
“These humans appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and process information,” Davis Logsdon, one of the scientists who contributed to the study, said. “And yet, somehow, they have developed defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those faculties totally inactive.”
More worryingly, Logsdon said, “As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.”
While scientists have no clear understanding of the mechanisms that prevent the fact-resistant humans from absorbing data, they theorize that the strain may have developed the ability to intercept and discard information
Killing Kasatka… When Animal Activism Comes Before Animal Welfare
I know a lady. She is the calm, wise and benevolent leader of a group of 11 killer whales. She and her family do not live in the wild. Their home is one of the most advanced marine life habitats in world, located in San Diego’s Mission Bay. Her name is Kasatka. Her family is unique in many ways. Perhaps the most notable quality is the fact that over the last decade Kasatka's family has prospered more than any generation of zoological whales before them. But today, Kasatka and her family are threatened with extinction. Extinction not caused by pollution or climate change, but rather an invisible foe, emanating from human machinations and agendas. More than a week ago today, the California Coastal Commission voted to end this family’s future.
Snap up some crocodile oil, the latest skincare ingredient
It’s ironic that lurking beneath a crocodile’s skin is an oil said to remedy extremely dry skin.
Irony aside, it’s also just a little bit freaky sounding right? Crocodile fat in our beauty creams to relieve our own scaly skin?
But experts want us to snap out of our reptilian preconceptions because their research points to crocodile fat as a skincare ingredient that can help psoriasis, eczema, inflammation and irritation. Their fat contains a frightening number of naturally occurring skin healing ingredients - in particular skin-repairing, anti-oxidant-rich, vitamin E and A, joint soothing linoleic acid, cell-regenerating oleic acid, skin-softening sapogens and antiseptic terpines.
The oil is also brimming with naturally-occurring omega 3, 6 and 9 essential fatty acids, known for their moisturising and anti-inflammatory properties, and also for the fact that humans can’t naturally synthesise them.
One company basking in the data is South African brand Repcillin, who manufacture Nile crocodile oil specifically, and trade out of the UK’s epicentre of crocodile business: Sutton. Repcillin explains first that its products have been approved by the Organic Standard Soil Association, Fairtrade, Not Tested on Animals and Eco Salt to name just a few of its wellbeing certificates.
Which lends itself nicely to our second burning question around any potential crocodile cruelty. “Crocodile fat is an animal by-product and until very recently has been discarded. The fat from the crocodile is collected when the meat is trimmed and prepared. There is only 600g of fat available from a single cr
Chris Freind: Let orca breeding continue at SeaWorld
There’s always been something fishy about state government in California.
For decades, it has employed a nanny state mentality in passing ever more restrictive laws — many outrageously stupid — that serve only to erode the freedoms of Californians and the companies for which they work. That “government knows best” attitude, which has stifled the state’s economy and alienated its citizens, has led to a dramatic reversal in the migration of Americans to the Golden State, with millions leaving to seek a more productive life elsewhere.
Such arrogance was on full display recently as the California Coastal Commission in approving SeaWorld’s expansion of its killer whale (orca) tanks, also took it upon itself to ban SeaWorld from breeding any of the 11 killer whales it has in captivity. If such an egregious ruling stands, it could prove a deathblow to the state’s premier aquatic park, and, ironically, hurt the very animals it claims to be helping. SeaWorld is appealing the decision, and, should any common sense be left in our judicial system (though admittedly that’s a big “if”), it will prevail and expand its operation so that future generations can experience firsthand the wonders of sea life that would otherwise be impossible.
Given that SeaWorld has been under attack by misguided and often ill-informed zealots, both in the animal rights movement and government itself, let’s bypass the fish ta
First Pet Dogs May Have Come from Nepal, Mongolia
Dogs may have become man's best friend in Central Asia, specifically in what is modern day Nepal and Mongolia, a new genetic study suggests.
When Did Dogs Become Man's Best Friend?
When exactly did our pups not only get in our homes, but be LET in on purpose, and take over our lives?
Dogs evolved from Eurasian grey wolves at least 15,000 years ago, but just where and how they made the historical leap from roving in packs to sitting before human masters has been a matter of debate.
Aiming to resolve a long-standing mystery about where dogs were first domesticated, the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is the "largest-ever survey of worldwide canine genetic diversity," said scientists.
The international team, led by Adam Boyko at Cornell University, analyzed more than 185,800 genetic markers in some 4,600 purebred dogs of 165 breeds, along with mor
Islamic jihadists butchering endangered elephants, selling ivory on black market
With Islamic jihadists groups in the Eastern Hemisphere ranging from the Philippines to the Western Sahara, the same jihadists have done everything from selling crude oil on the black market to plundering the homes of those unlucky enough to be living in a region occupied by them. And with much of the globe peppered with that many terrorist organizations, the growing cost of beheading innocent victims, displacing millions of people and the rising price of explosive vests mean the implementation of a global caliphate can run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
As it turns out, al-Qaeda affiliates literally thousands of miles apart are both raising money in like fashion. With a history of video recording slitting the throats of captives and also burning prisoners alive, now the jihadists have taken to slaughtering a number of endangered species, then selling body parts on the Asian and Middle Eastern black markets, as reported by Lucie Aubourg of the new media VICE News portal on Oct. 20, 2015.
In the Northwestern African nation of Mali, various Islamist terrorist groups such as the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad; Ansar Dine, the Movement for Unity and Jihad, and the one group most recognized by Westerners, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have all taken to killing the endangered desert elephant just for their ivory. In a May 21, 2014 joint report issued by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and international police force Interpol entitled "Illegal trade in wildlife: the environmental, social and and economic consequences for sustainable development" an estimated 90 percent of elephants killed in Africa each year (numbering 20,000-25,000). Using their best diplomatic-speak, the UN and Interpol have stated the rare beasts have been butchered by "non-state armed groups, in or near conflict zones."
VICE's Aubourg cited, MINUSMA — the UN's peacekeeping mission in Mali — has released on their official website (thus far, only in French) that 57 elephants were killed in the Islamic jihadist-thick north of Mali during the first h
2 spotted hyenas born in Giza Zoo
Two baby spotted hyenas were born in Giza Zoo, which announced it hosts a “beautiful group of hyenas,” Youm7 reported Wednesday.
According to Giza Zoo, spotted hyenas live together in large groups to hunt their prey, and are led by females. Females give birth to 1-2 babies per year after a 110-day pregnancy period.
Hyenas, one of Africa’s iconic predatory mammals, live in center and south of the continent. Hyenas are also important for the environment; while they are scavengers and eat carrion, although they are skilled hunters.
Spotted Hyenas are also known for their sound, including the “laughing” sound.
They are situated next to the African ele
New species of giant tortoise brings Galapagos tally to eleven
A new species of giant tortoise has been identified in the Galapagos, taking the tally in the archipelago to 11.
For more than a century, taxonomists have lumped together all the giant tortoises on the central island of Santa Cruz. In a 2005 study, geneticists revealed that the island might be home to more than a single species. After a decade-long investigation, researchers have now formalised this distinction.
“People knew they were a little bit different but they didn’t know how different,” says Adalgisa Caccone, a geneticist at Yale University.
The two species inhabit different parts of the island. They might be just 20 kilometres apart, but they are as different from each other as any other tortoises in the archipelago, says Caccone.
Based on genetic evidence, it appears that tortoises reached Santa Cruz not once but twice. The first species probably arrived from neighbouring San Cristobal or Espanola arou
Look at this. Normal colored Lion Cubs! This is good news. They are not announced as rare, threatened or endangered as all of the all too common white lion cubs are. In fact it is getting close now to the overbred interbred white lions are becoming more common than 'real' lions in captivity.
Indianapolis Zoo welcomes 3 new African lion cubs
The Indianapolis Zoo welcomed three new members who were born on Sept. 21.
The three new African lion cubs are the first to be born at the zoo since 2003. A female and two males were born to their parents, mother Zuri and father, Nyack.
The ethical history of zoos
Love them or loathe them, there's a zoo in almost every big city. Although for many visitors they're just another tourist attraction, modern zoos see themselves as valuable centres of education, scientific research and conservation. Keri Phillips visits the zoo.
People have collected and kept animals—often to symbolise power—for thousands of years. During the 18th and 19th centuries, what were known as menageries, often royal collections, were turned into zoos, and ultimately opened to the public.
Although zoos had already been established in Vienna, Paris and Madrid, the London Zoo, established in 1826, marked the first step in the evolution of the modern zoo, according to Dr Nigel Rothfels, the author of Savages and Beasts; The Birth of the Modern Zoo.
BREAKING NEWS: Animals Asia to rescue eight bile farm bears in Vietnam
Animal welfare charity Animals Asia will this week start a two-day rescue of eight bears from bile farms in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam.
It follows a decree from Vietnam’s Prime Minister that the province must end bear bile farming and that Animals Asia be given the go-ahead to rescue the bears. The team will visit seven different properties on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 October to rescue the bears ahead of returning to Animals Asia’s sanctuary in nearby Tam Dao.
There the bears will be rehabilitated and integrated in open enclosures with 139 bears previously rescued from the bile trade.
This latest mission follows several successful rescues from Quang Ninh in recent months – so far this year Animals Asia has rescued 24 bears from Quang Ninh and 8 bears from other provinces with the support and help of Vietnam’s Forestry Protection Department and the local authorities. It’s believed that the vast majority of the bears rescued to date have suffered bile extraction. Many bear owners claim they are keeping bears merely as pets to circumnaviga
Busting Myths About Penguin Feathers
Emperor penguins reputedly have the highest feather density of any bird, with around 100 feathers per square inch of skin (15 per square centimetre). This “fact” crops up on Wikipedia and a host of other websites, and seems to trace to a statement made in a 2004 National Geographic news story.
When Cassondra Williams from University of California, Irvine, first started looking into penguin feathers, she was shocked to see how many unsubstantiated statements there were, and not just on websites. Various scientific papers claimed that penguins had anywhere from 11 to 46 feathers per square centimetre, and none of them—none—described any methods or cited any sourced behind these estimates. They might as well have come up with random numbers.
“Since we had access to several penguin bodies, we decided to find out for ourselves,” says Williams. The bodies in question belonged to emperors that had been died of natural causes in 2001 and 2005, and had been stored in a freezer ever since. By carefully plucking, counting, and describing the feathers on these specimens, Williams and her colleagues found several surprises.
First, these birds had a maximum of 9 feathers per square centimere—a lower density than any of the earlier reports
Gulf World's Penguin "Fat Boy" Turns 32 Years Old
A long-timer at Gulf World Marine Park celebrated a milestone Tuesday.
Fat Boy the African black-footed penguin turned 32 years old. He's the oldest penguin in the park.
The celebration kicked off with a meet and greet with the birthday boy. They also auctioned off a piece of artwork drawn by Fat Boy himself.
African black-footed penguins usually live into their mid-20's in the wild. But Fat Boy's trainers say he won't stop kicking anytime soon!
"Fat Boy has excellent care by our veterinarian Dr. Sags," Gulf World's Marketing Coordinator Sam Tuno said. "He is monitored very closely, and he also is given laser therapy weekly for his arthritis. So he lives a very great life. He doesn't have predators, so he
Bringing Amur leopards back from the brink – an interview with ALTA coordinator, Jo Cook
Native to Russia’s Far East and North East China, the wild population of Amur leopards has recently seen a revival, with estimates suggesting as many as 80 leopards now surviving in the wild – a figure double that of eight years ago. Sadly, this Critically Endangered subspecies still clings precariously close to extinction.
We decided to talk to Jo Cook, coordinator for the Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance (ALTA), the Amur leopard European Endangered species Programme (EEP), and the Amur Leopard Global Species Management Plan, about the future of Amur leopards, the role of good zoos, and the subspecies’ plight in the wild.
Cairns Tropical Zoo to shut doors after 35 years
ONE of Cairns’ oldest wildlife attractions, Cairns Tropical Zoo, will be shutting its doors in six months, after being sold to a local developer.
Zoo managers Peter and Angela Freeman announced the shock decision yesterday to close the much-loved Palm Cove attraction on March 31, after it had been operating for more than 35 years.
The popular zoo has the largest wildlife collection in the Far North, boasting crocodiles, alligators, Komodo dragons, cassowaries, brolgas, wombats, pademelons, cotton top tamarins, lemurs and dingoes.
For thousands of years, humans have put wild animals on display for the sake of our entertainment. The earliest zoos were merely collections of exotic animals that served as a way to flaunt one’s wealth. These animals lived in luxurious cages that hardly resembled any life they would lead in the wild. It wasn’t until the early 1900s in Germany that an emphasis was placed on ensuring animals had natural looking habitats while in captivity. Efforts to improve the environment for captive animals increased from there and slowly evolved into the modern zoo habitats many of us are familiar with today.
New jaguar, tiger reserve approved for Riviera Maya
A new animal reserve for the state of Quintana Roo has been approved. The reserve, which has been approved by the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), will be an ongoing project to bring tigers and jaguars into the region.
The new reserve, called Reserve Bengal Felina, is owned by Reserve Bengal SA de CV which plans to start with 18 jaguars (Pantera onca) and tigers (Pantera tigris), both they say, are of high ecological importance in their regions of origin.
State delegate of Semarnat, Jose Luis Izaguirre Funez, said the project was approved because the owners of the reserve are committed to the rescue and preservation the species, which are listed in the Norma Oficial Mexicana (NOM)-059.
According to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the project will take on an ecotourism approach as a wild sanctuary with the animals being on exhibition to national and international visitors. There will be a fee to enter the reser
White Ligers, Born To White Tiger And White Lion, Are A First
Cute and very innocent, Apollo, Samson, Yeti and Odin are unaware of their extreme uniqueness. Four of a kind, they could grow to be the biggest cats in the entire world, OMG Facts reported.
There are only around 300 white lions and 1,200 white tigers left on the planet, so the cubs' father Ivory and mother Saraswati are extremely rare in their own right. Brought together at Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina, they have produced the first ever white lion-tiger hybrids - commonly known as ligers.
Producing a liger is a critical cross-breeding operation. But Dr. Bhagvan Antle and his team were successful in producing the beautiful little creatures.
There are approximately 1,000 ligers in the world - m
Just What Is The Point Mr Antle?
There has never been a greater need than now for cooperation between zoos around the world. Not only with conservation breeding programmes and exchange of information and knowledge but in weeding out those who are working on the principles of 'ignorance is bliss' and 'let me see how much I can get away with'. Not only are animals suffering but the wrong educational messages are being promoted. The biggest problem here is that the press so often fail to check their facts and ordinary lies become compound lies.
94th southern white rhino calf born at San Diego Zoo
A three-day-old female southern white rhino calf bravely went horn-to-nub with her “auntie,” an adult female rhino named Utamu (pronounced O-ta-moo), early on Oct. 16, 2015, at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
The calf, named Kianga (pronounced Key-AN-ga), which means sunshine in Swahili, was born Oct. 13 to mom, Kacy, and father, Maoto (pronounced May-O-toe). Keepers report mom is fairly tolerant of the other rhinos being curious about her baby, but she tries to keep them at a distance. Given that Kianga seems to be quite rambunctious and is a very curious little calf, keepers say mom will have her work cut out for her.
Estimated to weigh around 120 pounds, the little ungulate with big feet will nurse from her mother for up to 12 months; she is expected to gain about 100 pounds a month for the first year. When full grown, a
What it means to be a good zoo
OPINION: This week, Wellington Zoo is opening our newest precinct, Meet the Locals He Tuku Aroha.
Sharing our love story for Aotearoa New Zealand, this is Wellington Zoo's celebration of our animals, our people and our environment.
But Meet the Locals He Tuku Aroha is symbolic of so much more.
The completion of this labour of love also celebrates Wellington Zoo's ten year Zoo Capital Programme (ZCP) redevelopment and is testament to the esteem in which our Wellington community holds us.
The past 10 years of investment has seen us transform - not just physically, but also experientially.
Over the years, the new physical space has allowed us to become a good zoo in so many other ways.
We've cared for our three customer groups - our animals, our staff and our visitors.
Animal welfare will always be our first priority, and alongside world class spaces to care for our animals, we have also created better working conditions for our staff, and fantastic innovative experiences for our visitors.
Good zoos help their visitors build connections with animals and help them understand the roles they can play to care for the environment we share.
We have brought our conservation work, our animal care, and our sustainability initiatives to the forefront – turning the zoo inside out to share all of the things that make Well
Singapore offers 25 animals to Karachi zoo
The management of Singapore Zoo has offered 25 animals to Karachi Zoo on exchange basis, said Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui on Monday.
“A list of animals is in the making on demand of Singapore Zoo. The list would then be sent to Singapore so that animals could be acquired from them in exchange,” he said this while addressing a meeting with the advisory committee of zoo that has been formed by the government. Measures for improvement of zoo were discussed in the meeting.
Senior officers, experts of different departments, members of civil society and representatives of media were also present on the occasion. Siddiqui said the measures for uplift of the Karachi zoo had yielded positive results. He sai
Animal activist wages hunger strike against sale of zoo animals
An animal activist is fasting and camping outside Seoul Mayor Park Won-Soon’s house in Anguk, Seoul in protest of the sale of “surplus” zoo animals in the capital city to a slaughter house.
President of Coexistance of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE) AJ Garcia has fasted for nine days so far and been sleeping on the bitumen a few meters from Mayor Park’s garage.
CARE presented evidence to the government that Seoul Zoo, which is run by government staff, has been breeding excess animals and selling them for slaughter allegedly for the l
Seoul Zoo to buy back sold animals
Days after a hunger strike by a U.S. civic activist, a public zoo caved in and agreed to buy back the animals that were sold in an auction upon concerns that some of them had been sold to a slaughterhouse.
Seoul Zoo, which is run by Seoul Metropolitan Government, said Monday that it has decided to buy back the animals that the zoo had sold at an auction in August.
A.J. Garcia, the U.S. branch president of civic group Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth, had launched a hunger strike in front of the Seoul mayoral residence from Oct. 9, claiming that 33 auctioned animals including goats and deer were actually sold to a slaughterhouse. He urged the zoo to repurchase the remaining animals.
Seoul Zoo had denied Garcia’s claim, arguing that the first buyer of the animals appeared to have sold the animals to a slaughterhouse without their knowledge. It also stressed that the sale of animals was part of the zoo’s long-term reform to control the num
Zim sends lion and lioness to China as 'state gifts'
Three months after more than 20 elephant calves were exported to China from Zimbabwe, China's state Xinhua news agency has announced that the Asian country has received two lions from the southern African country.
In a clip posted to its official NewChina TV YouTube channel this week, Xinhua said the lion and lioness were a "state gift" from Zimbabwe and would live in a wildlife park in Shanghai.
Footage showed the lions' crates being driven through some gates and then one of the lions - which appeared very restless - behind a wire fence in what looked like a concrete cage.
The report said a square had been built at the park with trees, pergolas and sandpits "that replicate the lions' living environment in Africa".
Pictures showed that the park was overlooked by high-rise buildings.
The news has already an
There Are Whales Alive Today Who Were Born Before Moby Dick Was Written
That’s right, some of the bowhead whales in the icy waters today are over 200 years old. Alaska Dispatch writes:
Bowheads seem to be recovering from the harvest of Yankee commercial whaling from 1848 to 1915, which wiped out all but 1,000 or so animals. Because the creatures can live longer than 200 years — a fact George discovered when he found an old stone harpoon point in a whale — some of the bowheads alive today may have themselves dodged the barbed steel points of the Yankee whalers.
Extra staff needed for zoo safety
Hamilton City Council is advertising four zoo keeper roles at Hamilton Zoo.
Chief executive Richard Briggs said the roles are to replace a staff member who has moved into another role and the other three are required to enable the zoo to put in place the two keeper protocol that was announced following Samantha Kudeweh's death.
"After Samantha Kudeweh died, we immediately introduced a two-keeper process for management of tigers," said Briggs. "This was to ensure we were providing our staff with the right level of on-the-job suppor
Dolphins in Air on Way to Phuket Marine Theme Park, Says Protest Posting
Several dolphins are being airlifted now to the Thai holiday island of Phuket, according to a Facebook posting by opponents of the Phuket Dolphinarium.
The notion of a theme park for dolphins has met with strong opposition from expats living on the island, local university students and wildlife advocates around Thailand.
Split Zoo to Close After 89 Years
More than a year and a half has passed since the announcement that the Split Zoo on Marjan will be closed, and that will finally happen by the end of this month, when the institution will close its doors after 89 years in existence. The final decision was made after a meeting of members of the Commission for the Relocation of Animals, which last week reported to the city authorities that they have found new, better homes for the majority of animals, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on October 18, 2015.
"We have been informed that the conditions for the transfer of animals have been fulfilled, and that new homes have been found. The transfer process could start by the end of this month, which would mean that the Zoo would close its doors to visitors, in order to prepare for the transfer process", said the Split deputy mayor Goran Kovačević, adding that the priority for relocation have those animals for which Marjan is not their natural habitat. "During the forthcoming period, we will announce a call for suggestions how to use the space on Marjan. Of course, we expect ideas in accorda
The place where wolves could soon return
The last wolf in the UK was shot centuries ago, but now a "rewilding" process could see them return to Scotland. Adam Weymouth hiked across the Scottish Highlands in the footsteps of this lost species.
In Glen Feshie there stand Scots Pines more than 300 years old, and in their youth they may have been marked by wolves. It is beguiling to think that now, camped beneath them, boiling up water for morning coffee.
Last year I walked 200 miles across the Highlands to see how those that lived there would feel about the reintroduction of the wolf. The wolf's population has quadrupled in Europe since 1970, and the fact that they remain extinct in Britain is increasingly anomalous.
With the return of the beaver, the success of the wild cat, a growing call for the return of the lynx, as well as an EU directive obliging governments to consider the reintroduction of extinct species, could it be time for the wolf's return? David Attenborough thinks so. Yet 250 years since their eradication, the animal is st
Nola the white rhino may be last of her kind
The queen of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park loves apples and a good toenail trimming. She is indifferent to carrots and not at all fond of antibiotics. She enjoys a soak in her pond and an enthusiastic back scratching from her doting keepers.
She is Nola, the Safari Park’s endangered northern white rhino. And despite the apples and the pedicures and the doting, this has not been her best year.
Saigon Zoo wants tiger exchange
According to the zoo’s planning for the 2013-2015 period, the zoo will have 14 tigers, including 10 yellow and four white tigers. However, its currently has 16 tigers, including 11 yellow and five white tigers.
The zoo has reported to the HCM City authorities that its current facilities and fund don’t meet standards to raise the existing tigers and animal welfare. The zoo wants to exchange its tigers for other animals with domestic and foreign zoos.
In July, for the first time a pair of Canadian-imported white tigers at the Saigon Zoo gav
Russian Animals to Be Protected From Dissection Barbarism in Foreign Zoos
The Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology of Russia, Sergey Donskoy, said that the Ministry of Natural Resources will not allow foreign zoos to publicly dismember animals from Russia.
If such attempts are made the agreement on the exchange of animals between zoos may be revised at the initiative of Russia.
There are specific reasons why zoos exchange animals and one such reason is to maintain genetic diversity, that is, to prevent the crossing of closely related animals.
In 2014 Moscow Zoo transferred a black antelope, two snow leopards, Dagestan goat, gorilla and screw-horned goat to European zoos. Now these animals live in Denmark, Poland, Finland, Estonia, France and Germany.
Sergey Donskoy said that t
Hunter pays $80,000 to kill one of the biggest elephants ever seen in Zimbabwe
A 40 to 60 year old elephant, and one of the largest ever seen in Zimbabwe, has been shot dead by a German hunter.
The tragic scene permeated the internet Thursday night as news of the majestic animal’s death traveled west. According to The Telegraph, the UK paper which broke the story Thursday, the elephant was the biggest killed in Africa for almost 30 years.
The trophy hunter, an unknown German man, reportedly paid £40,000 ($80,000 CAD) to shoot the animal in Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park on October 8.
He travelled to Zimbabwe for a 21-day game hunt to hopefully shoot any of the country’s big five animals, such as lions, elephants, rhinoceros, buffalo or leopards. The £40,000 permit was reportedly purchased to kill a large bull elephant while being guided by a local professional hunter.
The elephant’s tusks were so large, they touched the ground and weighed 122 pounds, according to the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force.
This comes only a few months after an American dentist named Walter Palmer killing a black-maned lion named Cecil the Lion, who was very popular among the Zimbabwean conservation park’s visitors. Palmer was p
Who let the crocs out?
Two yellow eyes emerge from the green water, along with rows of sharp teeth, and the rest of the two-metre crocodile appears into a rare sunny afternoon at the end of the monsoon season in a city near Bangkok.
He finds a space among the other crocodiles to rest after feasting on fish, his dark skin contrasting with the pale concrete floor of the pit, one of many at Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo, the world's largest farming facility for the reptiles.
The young male lives among 60 000 other crocodiles behind double concrete walls, metal fences and steel grates. But not every farm has such escape-proof measures.
"There are no detailed rules on how the pits should be," said Chanin Sangrungrueng of the fisheries department in the central province of Ratchaburi, 100km west of Bangkok. "The rule only states that the pits should be 'sturdy and strong'."
In October, 28 crocodiles escaped in the province, but were all captur
Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo
The Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo is located 10km out from and on the outskirts of Bangkok and not too easy for the casual tourist to Thailand to reach unless they visit with a scheduled tour. A taxi is not that expensive and is probably the best choice as it gives you a bit of freedom along with the opportunity to stop and look at other sites along the way.
The crococodile farm claims to be the largest in the world (founded in 1950) and to have the largest number of crocodiles and to be 'world renowned'. It may well be all or some of these but it is a 'tacky' place and will leave a bad taste in the mouth of the zoo professional. It is interesting though and well worth visiting for the good bits. They do apparently have genuine conservation involvement and are actually involved in research.
This is one of a series of zoo reports that was actually included within my travel journal ‘The Itinerant ZooKeeper’. Initially I started to extract the zoo data but found the reading was diminished by it. So look on it as a zoo/travelogue. The only major edits I have done is a little censoring an
Why a Denmark Zoo Publicly Dissected a Lion
Despite online outrage, a Denmark zoo publicly dissected a lion this past Thursday in front of a crowd of 300 to 400 children. Although the lion was killed earlier this year for conservation purposes, the dissection made news when it was scheduled to take place during Danish schools’ fall break so that children could attend. Despite calls from online petitions and animal rights organizations to cancel the dissection, officials at the Odense Zoo are standing by their decision
Hunters shoot elk in Norwegian zoo
Two elk in a Norwegian zoo have been shot dead by mistake by a group of hunters who did not realise they were shooting through a wire fence.
The accident took place at outside Narvik in northern Norway when the hunters opened fire at what they believed were wild elk.
However their elk hounds had managed to get into the beasts’ enclosure, which convinced the hunters that the animal were roaming the countryside.
Fresno Chaffee Zoo’s capybara dies following attack by anteater
A capybara was attacked by an anteater in a Fresno Chaffee Zoo enclosure and had to be euthanized, zoo officials confirmed.
The animals had shared the enclosure for more than seven years, said Scott Barton, the zoo’s director. The anteater-capybara enclosure is not part of the new African Adventure exhibit.
Zookeepers don’t know what caused the attack last week, but Barton theorized that the anteater may have been frightened by the capybara, a giant rodent similar to a guinea pig.
“What set it off,” he said, “we have no idea.”
Zoo veterinarians, he said, thought the capybara’s injuries were too severe to save it.
Capybaras and anteaters are from South America. They are commonly placed in the same enclosures in zoos around the world.
Anteaters have extremely sharp
Animal welfare and conservation experts in Al Ain for global conference
Conservation and animal welfare experts from across the world gathered in Al Ain for the 70th World Association of Zoos and Aquariums Conference.
It is the first time a Waza conference has been held in the UAE but it was fitting because Sheikh Zayed, the nation’s Founding Father, “was a conservationist before it became fashionable”, keynote speaker Peter Hellyer, director of research at the National Media Council, and columnist for The National said.
“Fifty years ago, recognising that uncontrolled hunting was pushing the Arabian oryx towards extinction, he arranged for the capture of two pairs from the desert and began a captive breeding programme,” Mr Hellyer said.
“A few years later, he set aside an area of land close to Al Ain as the country’s first zoo. It was then, and still is today, the largest zoo in the Middle East in terms of its area.
“In the years that have passed, the concept of conservation has become a central part of Government planning.”
Meeting at the new Sheikh Zayed
Zoos and aquariums: The ‘front line of conservation’?
The zoo in your city may be thousands of miles from the savannahs of Africa — but its effect on wildlife conservation may be many times greater.
At least one conservationist says that researchers and staff at the world’s zoos and aquariums — not just scientists in the field — hold the key to assuring the future of wildlife conservation.
“[Zoos and aquariums] have this incredible responsibility and power to actually change the way many of us think of conservation and wildlife,” said M. Sanjayan, executive vice president and senior scientist at Conservation International (CI).
The massive public audience of these institutions gives them influence, Sanjayan said in a recent keynote at the annual conference of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. “There are 183 million people [a year] who come through your institutions,” he said. “That’s an important responsibility that you have, and that gives you enormous power.”
Sharing highlights from his career as a researcher and journalist, Sanjayan spoke about a shift in the focus of conservation from wil
'The European Union wants me to kill my raccoons', claims Watchet zoo director
MISSY the raccoon may have to be put down thanks to new European Union legislation, according to a local zoo director.
Chris Moiser, zoo director at Tropiquaria in Watchet, said that the EU has introduced a new regulation regarding 'invasive species' which are animals that have been translocated from their natural area and established themselves in another, usually to the detriment of the indigenous ecosystem.
Mr Moiser said that part of this regulation dictates that commercial keepers (which include zoos) have two years in which to either transfer the animals deemed 'high risk potential invaders' to research facilities, a conservation facility, or to kill them.
Raccoons are on this list due to the way they have caused havoc in Germany by attacking vineyards and domestic wildlife.
In the Second World War a number of raccoons escaped from a bombed fur farm and their population has exploded to the point that there are
Causing a splash: A majestic and ferocious Bengal tiger takes a swipe at a photographer's camera during a dip at a zoo in Indonesia
Getting close to a tiger is either brave or reckless but a photographer in Indonesia put his nerves to the test to capture some truly spectacular pictures of the beautiful big cat.
Fahmi Bhs, 41, from Indonesia, got within an arm's length of Sinar the Bengal tiger during feeding time at Ragunan Zoo in Jakarta and almost lost his camera when the striped jungle cat took a swipe.
Sinar was taking a dip during feeding time which offered Fahmi the ch
Twycross Zoo boss in national gong as visitors increase
THE boss at Twycross Zoo has received a national award recognising her work in animal conservation.
The zoo's chief executive Dr Sharon Redrobe has won the prestigious Vitalise Businesswoman of the Year Award 2015 in recognition of the difference she is making to animal conservation.
It comes as the zoo, eight miles from Swadlincote, will see £55 million investment over the next 20 years.
Dr Redrobe was one of six finalists in her category, in a ceremony in Birmingham on Friday involving more than 500 women.
She is renowned internationally as a wildlife vet and a passionate conservationist with more than 20 years' experience working in academia, charity and business sectors.
She has focused on advancing knowledge of the natural world through university lectureships, addressing global conferences, publishing research, establishing award-winning programmes at three UK zoos and starring in a zoo-based television series.
She has held senior management positions in two large charitable zoos and is on the board of an African-based ape rescue charity.
Dr Redrobe is currently spearheading Twycross Zoo's ambitious masterplan, which will transform the 88-acre site in rural Warwickshire through a major £55 million capital investment programme over the next 20 year
White Tigers Aren't An Endangered Species -- Or A Species At All
Footage posted Monday of three white tiger cubs born in Crimea's Skazka Zoo might be adorable, but the cuteness of the little tigers belies the sad truth about breeding them.
Zoos and other exhibitors sometimes present white tigers with misleading language suggesting they are a separate species, usually in need of protection. Anecdotal evidence indicates some people are under the impression that white tigers are a variety of Siberian tiger specially adapted to a snowy environment.
But really, white tigers are white because of a rare, recessive mutation that causes white fur. All white tigers documented in the wild by scientists have been Bengal tigers. Bengal tigers are endangered, but the white ones are not a distinct species -- they're just Bengal tigers of a different color.
However, most of the white tigers in captivity are "highly inbred" hybrids of Bengal and Siberian tigers (also known as Indian and Amur tigers, respectively), according to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a nonprofit that accredits zoos in the United States.
Zoos are only able to continue producing
Negative Consequences of Bans on the Breeding of Captive Cetaceans
San Diego’s SeaWorld joins the Vancouver Aquarium in a category both would have preferred to avoid. The California Coastal Commission (Commission) recently “ordered SeaWorld San Diego to halt captive breeding of orcas as a condition of getting a permit to build a larger exhibit space for the 11 marine mammals,” as reported by Tony Perry at latimes.com, a year after the breeding of cetaceans in captivity was banned at the Canadian aquarium.
The public record of the Commission’s deliberations, available online at http://www.coastal.ca.gov/
, includes several letters from SeaWorld’s attorneys, providing their interpretation of federal and state laws governing the care of cetaceans, which preclude the Commission’s ban as preempted by federal law.
In a letter dated October 1, 2015, SeaWorld’s ongoing breeding programs are described by SeaWorld’s Sr. Staff Veterinarian, Dr. Hendrik No
To Euthanize or To Not Euthanize
On Sunday, Sept. 20 a veteran female zookeeper from New Zealand was attacked and killed by a Sumatran tiger at New Zealand’s North Island Hamilton Zoo. The Sumatran tiger is a rare tiger species so rare The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) estimates fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers exist today. This puts them on the list of being critically engendered due to the constant poaching and high demand for tiger parts and products. According to the WWF this subspecies of tiger is only found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra with the exception of these tigers in New Zealand. These tigers enjoy Tropical broadleaf evergreen, forests, peat swamps and freshwater swamp forests. This is not the first incident of this kind for a New Zealand zoo as this had been the third death in six years for zoos in New Zealand. The tiger in question was named Oz and was one of five Sumatran tigers at the zoo and was eleven years old and h
“Don't Shoot! I'll Put the Animals Back! Please!”
Late in the evening on Saturday, June 13, a heavy rain fell on Tbilisi, Georgia, for several hours. Zurab Gurielidze, director of the Tbilisi Zoo, was at the movies with his wife for most of it. The zoo, the largest in Georgia, sat on 22 acres in the middle of downtown. It was founded in 1927, five years after Georgia was absorbed into the former Soviet Union. Last year, 500,000 people—10 percent of the country’s population—came to glimpse African penguins, East Caucasian turs, a white rhinoceros, elephants, bears, wolves, and a dik-dik, a miniature antelope. Residents of nearby apartment buildings often called at night to say the lions were roaring loudly—were they perhaps sick? Staffers patiently explained that lions are nocturnal; they feed after dark. People paid particular attention to Shumba, the zoo’s rare white lion cub. Abandoned by his mother at birth in December 2013, hand-raised by the zoo, and now the companion of a black poodle named Karakula, Shumba had become a national celebrity, appearing on television and inspiring intense devotion from both residents and zookeepers, who called him “the white prince.”
A little after midnight, when Gurielidze and his wife checked in on the zoo, the rain had stopped, and the grounds were calm. The animals—lions, tigers, bears, and jaguars—were quiet. Gurielidze, a rugged 55-year-old with cropped gray hair and light eyes, went to check on the lower-lying parts of the zoo, which were prone to flooding during heavy rain. The predator enclosures there, w
Reintroduction of Hawaiian crow could happen as early as next year
The alala hasn’t been seen in the wild for about 13 years, but an effort to prevent Hawaii Island’s native crow from going the way of the dodo could soon begin to pay off.
According to a draft of the state’s revised Wildlife Action Plan, there are now 114 alala being raised in captivity — enough to begin reintroducing the birds to the island’s forests as early as next year.
But any celebrations at this point might be premature.
Scott Fretz, the state’s Fish and Wildlife chief, said funding still needs to be secured to support reintroduction — which includes tracking, veterinary support and predator control — and give them the best chance of survival.
He didn’t have a cost estimate immediately available, but a 2008 alala recovery plan drafted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated the total cost of implementation at $14.38 million over a five-year period. That estimate included breeding in addition to reintroduction and other support costs.
“We’ve got some funding to do this; we don’t have all the funding we need,” he said.
“We’re still looking for a complete funding package to sustain it in the long term.”
Fretz said additional funding could come from state or federal sources.
“We do plan to do the release within the next five years,” he said.
The alala’s historical range included low- and high-elevation forests around Hualalai and western and southeastern slopes of Mauna Loa. The crow, one of Hawaii’s many endemic species, wasn’t found anywhere else in the world.
Fretz said reintroduction would occur at two locations: Upper Ka‘u Forest Reserve and Puu Makaala Natural Area Reserve.
An earlier attempt to reintroduce alala in South Kona in the 1990s proved unsuccessful as the birds became susceptible to disease and predation. Of the 27
Sometimes The Good Guys Win, The CA Ban of the Elephant Guide Has Been Vetoed!
If you are involved in the animal business and especially the exotic animal business it is very easy to get discouraged with all the negative publicity and nasty legislation that we are confronted with daily. Every once in a while though we get some good news. Today California Governor Brown vetoed SB 716 the bill that would have banned the use of the elephant guide in America’s largest state.
What is really interesting is why he vetoed the bill. The veto letter states ” Each of these bills creates a new crime– usually by finding a novel way to characterize and criminalize conduct that is already proscribed”. This is a very astute assessment by the governor because that was the exact argument that was made against this bill in the first place. Very strong animal cruelty laws are already in place in the state of California, so if elephants are being abused as the animal activist groups claim, then it is already illegal!!! The truth of course is that the guide is not abusive and is never intended to be, it is just a husbandry tool, nothing insidious.
This is without a doubt a huge win for those who fought tooth and nail to stop this bill. The Johnson’s at Have Trunk Will Travel did an amazing job mobilizing people in the industry to write, email, call, and tweet out against this bill. As an industry we need to learn from this hard fought victory in CA. We are stronger together than apart and this has made that abundantly clear.
I wish that I could tell you that this fight was o
Animal store owner crushed by python
The owner of a reptile store in Newport, Ohio, was recovering after police pried off a 20-foot python that was wrapped around his head, neck and torso, crushing him on Monday.
Two officers pulled the the 125-pound snake off Terry Wilkens, owner of Captive Born Reptiles, police chief Tom Collins said.
Wilkens was not breathing when officers freed him, Collins said, but he resumed breathing before he was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Collins said the victim appeared to be doing O.K. at the hospital and was talking.
The call came around 11 a.m. and Lt. Gregory Ripberger and Sgt. Daron Armberg were at the store within minutes, Collins said.
"It was only by the grace of God that one of the officers knew how to deal with snakes," Collins said.
Ripberger grabbed the snake by the head and worked to uncurl it off Wilkens' body. Collins and other officers pulled Wilkens by his legs to free him.
The snake had begun to coil around Ripberger's arm before the officers were able to return it to its enclosure.
"It was a horrific event," Collins said.
Collins said Wilkens was feeding the snake
Hundreds of baboons to be relocated from OU
Six hundred and seventy-six baboons will be removed from a University of Oklahoma facility in El Reno as it winds down within three to four years.
Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Vice President James J. Tomasek said in a statement that OU is working closely with the National Institutes of Health to develop a comprehensive plan for the placement of the baboons. The OUHSC is also exploring the possibility of placing the baboons at sanctuaries after receiving communication from the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance.
The removal of the baboons has prompted concerns over the possibility of euthanasia from members of the animal rights community.
"The Health Sciences Center baboon program will not euthanize any baboons solely for the purpose of reducing the size of the colony,” Tomasek said.
In September, OU President David L. Boren announced the facility would be shuttered. Tomaske said the the decision was based on the decreased prioritization of the program within the OUHSC research strategic plan and the projected financial and staff time costs of continuing to operate the program.
The announcement followed an internal review of the facility, which had been ordered by Boren a month earlier. Inspection records maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service indicate that the facility had been cited numerous times in
Japanese zoo confirms swap, tries to allay fears
The director of Hirakawa Zoo in Japan has reportedly publicly stated his zoo wishes to acquire two Asian elephants currently housed at Teuk Chhou Zoo in Kampot province as part of a controversial animal swap deal.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday in the southern Japanese city of Kagoshima, where Hirakawa Zoo is located, Masamichi Ono confirmed the trade is in the process of being agreed and was initiated by his zoo, according to remarks made available by a Japanese animal-rights campaigner monitoring the transaction.
According to Ono, despite previous reports the trade would be completed in early 2016, it is unlikely to go ahead in the near future.
“We think it will take some years to complete the trade as we are negotiating with Cambodia for the first time,” he was quoted as saying during the press conference at Kagoshima City Hall.
Ono claimed representatives of the Hirakawa Zoo did not see any neglect or suffering during an August visit to Teuk Chhou Zoo, which will receive animals from Hirakawa in return.
But he said he was unaware EARS Asia were involved in the care of elephants Kiri and Seila, despite the fact the conservation NGO had funded their current enclosure and all of their care for the past three years.
Late last month, Teuk Chhou Zoo owner Nhim Vanda ejected EARS Asia from the zoo, amid mounting pressure for the trade to be called off.
Since learning of the proposed trade in August, EARS Asia has voiced its strong opposition due to fears that the journey would be overly
Animal rights advocates calling for boycott of 18 elephants
ANIMAL rights advocates are calling for boycott of the 18 elephants from the county’s game parks that are in the process of being exported to the US zoos.
The advocates were promoting a petition on the internet calling for people all over the world to sign it.
By 5pm yesterday 2 371 people had signed the petition against the importation of the elephants to the U.S.
Others who are supporting the petition are elephants captured in zoos, import and export of animals, animal rights, prevention of wildlife loss, suffering, protection, right to roam free, animal welfare amongst others.
Dallas Zoo is one of three US zoos applying to import 18 elephants from a government park in Swaziland.
According to a statement by the three zoos, which also include the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha and the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, the removal of 18 African elephants is necessary "to prevent further degradation of the landscape" and in order to make room for critically endangered rhinos. The import applications are for 15 female and three male elephants, which could arrive in the U.S. later this year if the necessary permits are approved. These permit requests are currently under consideration by the US Fish & Wildlife Service and Swaziland wildlife authorities.
If the permits are approved, each zoo will get six elephants.
These elephants were all born in the wild in Swaziland and their exact ages are unknown, but it is confirmed that 15 are sub-adults, estimated to range in age from six to 15 years old. Three others are young adult females with estimated age ranges from 20 to 25 years old.
This is not the first time Swaziland has exported ele
Zookeeper's legacy will live on
I had a dream (closer to a nightmare) the other night that I was attacked by a lion. I'm not sure if there's a Freudian thing going on here, but playing the psychoanalyst, I theorised that it was a product of suppression.
I had been upset, like most would have been, by the news of the tragic death of the zookeeper in the city, killed by a Sumatran tiger. What does one do with such information after the shock, the bewilderment, the sympathy and then the questions?
What you do is suppress it, because what else can you do? The thing has happened, it can't be undone and the poor woman is dead. It is terrible and heart-rending but it can't be made better. After feeling sick for all those involved, one tries not to dwell on it. The newspaper is put away and life goes on.
But these things have a habit of working their way up from the depths of the subconscious to appear in literal or symbolic form. Subterranean disturbance will find a way out.
As for the prospect of putting down the tiger, that has sensibly been averted, because what end would that serve other than some misplaced sense of revenge? And it would simply negate the reason the animal was there in the first place – to help save the vanishing species. And why kill the beast because of human error, if that was the case? It's not the tiger's fault, it's just being a tiger held in a captive state.
There are those out there who feel that zoos themselves should not be part of the landscape, that they should all be dismantled and the animals set free to be themselves in the wild, their natural home. Zoos are simply artificial constructs, it's argued, built for the pleasure of the top animal, which happens to be us.
I remember in the bad old days being taken to the Auckland Zoo and seeing the polar bear manically walking back and forth like some deranged patient in a care facility. It was retracing its exact same steps over and over across the concrete "snow" and as I left the viewing platform, I felt vaguely sorry for the thing. There was also a gorilla in a cage about the size of a wardrobe.
Human Impact May Be Causing Crocodile Species To Interbreed
It may sound like the beginning of a cheesy horror movie, but crocodile species actually do naturally hybridize in the wild. Hybridization is generally considered a threat to most animals, as it creates individuals with reduced fitness—meaning they are unable to reproduce. In Mexico and Belize, it has been hypothesized that American and Morelet’s crocodiles have been hybridizing due to sightings of crocodiles that have a mix of physical characteristics from both species. In a new paper in Royal Society Open Science, Evon Hekkala of Fordham University and colleagues investigate the causes of this hybridization in Belize.
Man survives lion attack in Bahawalpur zoo
A pair of lions on Saturday attacked an employee of the zoo when he attempted to signal them into the enclosure after feeding them.
Ayaz Nabi, the zoo employee, was mauled by the pair early in the morning before visitors intervened by pelting the lions with stones to spare him.
According to the zoo sources, Nabi sustained severe injuries to
Keep it Green: Zoos save endangered species
Take an extreme example. There are about 2,300 tigers left in the whole of the Indian jungle, but in the state of Texas alone, there are some 2,000 tigers, all in zoos or wild life parks. As a simple matter of fact, I spotted at least five in Phuket Zoo, whereas the last free-range tiger on the island was killed some forty odd years ago.
Some species, on the verge of extinction, or extirpation, have been saved by conservation programs initiated by zoos. Classic examples include Chinese pandas and the orangutan, but other less heralded species have benefited from these initiatives.
Minnesota Zoo has a program called ‘Adopt a Park’, aimed at helping save the Javan rhino. However, it is estimated that only three per cent of global zoo resources are actually spent on conservation, and a significantly lower proportion on the far more crucial issue of habitat conservation. It is of little use ‘saving’ threatened species, if there is nowhere in the wild to return them to.
Moreover, animals bred in captivity create their own problems. One is in-breeding, a genetic weakness caused by limited populations, while another and more serious concern centers on their inability to survive in the wild. Most released creatures will die within weeks - from predation or hunger. There is also some limited evidence that ‘surplus’ zoo animals are sold to circuses - with their unenviable reputation for animal cruelty – and to unscrupulous businessmen who allow them to be shot for so-called sport. Big game hunting is obviously not dead.
Are most people aware of these issues?
The answer sadly is a resounding ‘No’. Zoos, however, can,
Tapirs to reduce Japan 'nightmares'
Two Malayan Tapirs are about to embark on a journey of their lives to Japan, where the animal is regarded as the "eater of nightmares".
Im, a two-year-old male tapir, and its mate, three-year-old Bertam, will be placed at the world-class Nagasaki Bio Park for 10 years under a conservation programme by Malaysia and Japan.
Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Makio Miyagawa said tapirs were known as "Baku" in the country's mythology, a creature believed to eat people's nightmares.
"The tapir is a charming animal. It is large and has a cute snout. The two tapirs will have a reason to be welcomed and loved by people in Japan.
"Hopefully the arrival of the Malayan Tapirs will reduce our nightmares," he said at the signing ceremony of t
Stanley Zoo in County Durham: Recalling a forgotten animal attraction
Lambton Lion Park and the Bigg Market Winter Zoo have both evoked memories for Chronicle readers in recent months.
Our features on the long-gone animal attractions in County Durham and Newcastle city centre respectively sparked much response and recollection.
Also read: The winter zoo which was housed in Newcastle's Bigg Market in the mid-1960s
But more than one reader also asked about yet another, largely forgotten, North East zoo.
The attraction in Stanley, County Durham, drew families and school trips in the late-1960s/early 1970s, but ther
SeaWorld's fight over killer whales is not over
If there’s a star at SeaWorld San Diego, it’s the 11 killer whales. So does the animal park have a future without Shamu?
That’s the threat the San Diego park is facing after the decision last week by the California Coastal Commission to ban captive breeding of the park’s killer whales as a condition of building a much larger $100 million holding facility.
The vote, condemned by the park, comes as SeaWorld tries to fend off criticism highlighted in the 2013 documentary “Blackfish,” accusing the marine park of neglecting and abusing its killer whales.
SeaWorld has rejected those accusations but faced plummeting attendance and a constant barrage of public criticism. It planned to win back public support by building a much larger living environment for its orcas — a 450,000-gallon pool and a 5.2-million-gallon tank in place of its 1.7-million-gallon pen.
The Coastal Commission approved the plan, but placed restrictions that could mean an end to SeaWorld’s orca program. Without breeding or bringing in new orcas, its animals would grow old and die in the park, ending the shows permanently.
Auckland Zoo releases 300th kiwi
Twenty years ago, conservationists predicted the kiwi would be extinct by 2015.
But on Saturday, Auckland Zoo celebrated the release of its 300th hand-reared kiwi chick, which joined an estimated 70,000 others in the wild.
Little Tihoihoi hunkered down in a custom-built burrow on Rotoroa Island in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf after being introduced to a captive crowd.
Why a Delhi zoo is returning a jaguar from Kerala
Salman, the jaguar was borrowed on a 'breeding loan' from the Thiruvananthapuram Zoological Garden last October
Obesity has been identified as a life-threatening condition among human beings. But as officials in the Delhi zoo have realised over the last year, it can stall life in the animal kingdom too. That’s why they are returning Salman, a 12-year-old jaguar, to Kerala with this stinging verdict: “he’s too fat to breed”. Salman was borrowed on a “breeding loan” from the Thiruvananthapuram Zoological Garden last October, but has since shown “complete disinterest” in pairing up with the lone female jaguar in the National Zoological Park here, say Delhi zoo officials. They say Salman has “reached out for its meals more keenly than for Kalpana”, the female jaguar. “He was brought on a breeding loan but it has been over a year and Salman has shown no interest in mating. In fact, the female is seen trying to entice him but he lies in a corner and refuses to respond. He is too fat to breed,” Delhi zoo curator Riaz Khan told The Indian Express. “Now we know for sure nothing is going to happen. So it is best that we send him back home. He was brought for a purpose and if he is not fulfilling that purpose then what is the point in keeping
Leopard cub briefly escapes cage at Potawatomi Zoo; Zoo temporarily put on lockdown
Cell phone video from visitors sequestered indoors at Potowatomi Zoo shows the scene...
"I thought I'd done something wrong." Ron Niedbala of Edwardsburg said.
Niedbala was one of those visitors.
"I didn't know for sure what was going on. I thought it was just a monkey had gotten out." he said.
It was worse than that...it was a leopard cub.
"And an Amur Leopard is a code red, which is our highest code, which means that our staff dispatches to the site of the animal escape." Marcy Dean, Potawatomi Zoo's Executive Director said.
Dean says it's the only code red she's ever seen in her nine years at the zoo.
But it's a situation the zoo prepares for.
"We do practice codes throughout the year and so everybody is always acutely aware when a real code happens what their position is and where they jump into action." Dean said.
Dean says the cub was out for abo
ARTIS ZOO TEARING DOWN OLD STYLE BIG CAT CAGES
With a thumbs up from Artis Zoo Director Haig Balian, demolition of one of the oldest structures at the Amsterdam institution began. The old animal cages that houses the big cats stood since the zoo’s creation in 1838.
“The gallery dates back to the 19th century, a time when other views in the areas of animal welfare, architecture and landscaping prevailed. These views are as outdated as the building itself,” Balian said. “The demolition of this property is one of the milestones in our renewal process,” he noted in a final farewell to the “old Artis.”
Renovations at Artis include the opening of the Micropia microbe museum, more space for animals and plants, and further education opportunities. The renewal began about 12 years ago, with more focus on the balance between man and nature, the zoo said.
Artis hopes to grow into a leading institute within this fi
There Are More Captive Tigers In The U.S. Than In The Wild Worldwide. This Bill Could Change That
In Carole Baskin's dream world, there would be no lions and tigers in cages. That includes at her own facility -- a certified sanctuary called Big Cat Rescue, in Tampa, Florida.
Big Cat Rescue is home to 89 lions, tigers, ocelots, sand cats, bobcats, cougars and other big cats. Baskin keeps a spreadsheet of how each animal got to her, along with information about the animals that she's been contacted about but hasn't taken in.
It's a grim read. There's a bobcat kept as a pet, whose owner no longer wants him. A lioness seized in a drug raid. A tiger and a lion who used to be with the circus. A coatimundi losing his home because his owners are getting divorced. A cat merely identified as a "hybrid" found in the back of a U-Haul, along with a dead bobcat. Three tigers who need to go somewhere because the zoo where they're living says they can't afford to feed them anymore.
If they get to Tampa, these guys are lucky. Big Cat Rescue is such a nice place that its lions and tigers get to spend two weeks a year on vacation. They're removed from their already-large regular enclosures and dispatched to one of two 2.5-acre enclosures filled with grassy knolls, ponds, trees, hiding spots, toys -- all sorts of things to help keep them as happy as possible.
Which Baskin thinks, even with this, isn't happy enough.
"We absolutely believe that wild cats don't belong in cages and everything we do is working toward the day that we don't have to exist," she said.
Her newest effort is campaigning for a bill introduced in Congress last month. The Big Cat Public Safety Act would essentially ban most private ownership of lions and tigers, and a handful of other big cats.
Zoos certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the most-respected accreditation organization, would be allowed to keep and br
Blind leopards stretch rescue centre capacity
Ranibagh Rescue Centre for injured leopards in Haldwani has space only for two animals at a time. These days, it has an overload. There are seven leopards with age-related eye disease and other injuries in its care. While two are housed at the rescue centre, the other five leopards are in Nainital Zoo. Once injured, leopards take to hunting easy prey and are more likely to turn maneaters. Their release in the wild, thus, is not done.
Three leopards in the care of the rescue centre have eye trouble. These are all animals tranquilized and brought to the centre for treatment. Their full recovery is not a certainty, so officials say these three will not return to the wild.
Tejasivini Patil, divisional forest official, said, "A nine-year-old leopard has developed cataract. There is no lens available for a leopard's e
Hundreds of protected tortoises seized in Madagascar
On 29th September, Malagasy Customs and border police officials scanning luggage discovered a staggering 771 wild native tortoises concealed in two wooden boxes at Antananarivo’s Ivato International Airport.
The seizure was described by Customs as the largest ever of its kind at the airport. The consignment included 8 Ploughshare Tortoises—considered to be the world’s rarest tortoise—and 763 Radiated Tortoises although 20 of the animals are understood to have died subsequently.
The surviving Radiated Tortoises have been handed over to the Turtle Survival Alliance and the Ploughshare Tortoises to the Durrell Conservation Trust for rehabilitation, before their release back into the wild.
Both Ploughshare and Radiated Tortoises are found only in Madagascar and both are classified by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Critically Endangered, largely as a result of collection for the pet trade and habitat loss.
Jean Victor Ravony Tsaramonina, Head of the Air and Border Police told a media conference how the contents of the containers had been misdeclared and
In 1 year, Great Indian Bustard population falls from 44 to just 13 in Rajasthan
This might sound like a clarion call. If things go the way they are, the coming generations would be reading about the Great Indian Bustard (GIB), the state bird of Rajasthan, the way they do about the dinosaurs. Listed as critically endangered (IUCN 2011) under Schedule I (the highest protection status, Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, the GIB is numerically closest to extinction and its conservation efforts are heading nowhere.
The figures are alarming. One year back, a Wildlife Institute of India (WII) survey counted 44 Great Indian Bustards in Rajasthan. However, one mo
Denmark Zoo to Terrify Children By Inviting Them to Witness Lion Dissection
A zoo in Denmark is planning to dissect a lion next Thursday and is encouraging students who are off for fall break to come watch.
Nina Collatz, head of animal keepers at the Odense Zoo, told BBC Newsbeat that the lioness in question was nine months old when it was humanely killed earlier this year after no other zoo would take it in. AFP reports that the Odense Zoo had too many lions
Could elephants' 'superhero' cancer guardian protect humans too?
Elephants almost never get cancer.
The mystery of why that's so launched an investigation three years ago by a team of Utah scientists. Now they're going public with some answers that might open a whole new front in the war on cancer.
"You would expect elephants — (because) they're so large and so big, they have so many cells in their body dividing all the time to get to be so large — you'd think just by chance alone they'd have to get cancer," said Dr. Joshua Schiffman, the lead scientist on the project.
"Elephants must be protected somehow from developing cancer," said Schiffman, who does research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute and treats cancer patients at Primary Children's Hospital.
"And then we realized we need to figure out what that protection is so that we can help the kids and families that we take care of, some of them that are actually at increased risk for cancer," he said.
The scientific effort involves an unusual team: Utah's Hogle Zoo, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Primary Children's Hospital and
Belgian scientists look for biofuel clues in panda poo
Belgian researchers are examining the excrement of giant pandas to try to understand how they can digest tough bamboo, hoping for clues on how to develop new generations of biofuel.
The genetic make-up of endangered pandas is that of a carnivore but the animals have adapted to a diet consisting almost exclusively of bamboo.
While a few scientific studies have looked into the digestive tract of the panda, the researchers say their study is the first to focus on the microorganisms in the animal's gut.
"We can look for new enzymes which could be used to degrade tough biomass," said Korneel Rabaey, professor for biochemical and microbial technology at Ghent University, standing outside the giant panda enclosure at the Pairi Daiza zoo in Belgium.
The results of the study may point to new, cheap
Detroit Zoo no longer sells bottled water
Visitors to the Detroit Zoo have one less option if they get thirsty walking the grounds.
The zoo no longer sells bottled water, part of a multi-year effort to make changes that are environmentally friendly.
It’s an effort other zoos are watching closely, said Rob Vernon, spokesman for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. He said he believes Detroit is the first zoo in the nation to stop selling water in plastic bottles.
Instead of 20-ounce Aquafina bottles the zoo sold for $3.99, visitors will have to bring their own containers and can fill them up at filtered water stations. Or they can buy reusable green-and-white bottles with the zoo logo at $2.59 each.
The switch has had an effect on the zoo’s bottom line. The sale of Aquafina bottled waters brought in about $250,000 a year, which breaks
Poop on a Stick Tests Penguins’ Sense of Smell
Who doesn’t enjoy waking to a pleasant smell wafting past? Unfortunately for them, the penguins in a recent study woke up not to pancakes frying nearby, but to less appetizing aromas—for example, feces on a stick. But scientists promise the experiment taught them valuable lessons about a penguin’s capabilities. Besides, they let the birds go right back to sleep.
“Research into the sense of smell in birds has a bit of a dubious history,” says Gregory Cunningham, a biologist at St. John Fisher College. In recent decades, scientists have begun to get a better grasp on what birds can smell, but there’s still a lot to learn.
With king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus), researchers have focused more on sound than smell. The birds form monogamous pairs to breed; parents take turns caring for the egg or chick and foraging for food. When a penguin returns from the sea, it uses the sound of its partner’s squawk to find it among the huge breeding colony.
Penguins seem to use their sense of smell to help them hunt for fish, so it’s possible the birds also use smell to find each other. Maybe they can sniff out the colony when they’re getting close; m
Australia Zoo exodus: ‘Vet sacked during an operation’
A VETERINARIAN at Terri Irwin's Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital was allegedly sacked mid-surgery last month, as staff turnover spirals and fears for animal safety increase.
Sources say 12 staff have left in the past six months, including the highly-regarded head vet Dr Claude Lacasse.
Vet Dr Jackie Reed was allegedly stopped while operating on a koala and told she was out of a job. It's understood the Wildlife Hospital employs 16 nursing staff and four vets at a time.
More than half of these have had to be replaced or the positions are still vacant, with the zoo advertising on its website.
The hospital is one of the projects operated by Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors Ltd, a registered charity.
It is funded by donations and the Sunshine Coast Council contributes $50,000 a year as part of its draft Koala Conservation Plan.
All staff employed at the zoo are required to sign confidentiality contracts on employment and those concerned about what is happening there say they are afraid of speaking out for fear of being sued.
Australia Zoo declined to comment on the staffing situation, preferring instead to focus on the good work of the hospital.
But at least four sources, plus two carers who agreed to be quoted directly, have contacted the Daily and provided insight into the situation.
Wildlife carers Margaret Hewitt and Diane Meldrum revealed they no longer felt comfortable sending sick animals there.
In the past month, six nurses have left and Dr Lacasse, who had been employed at the zoo for seven years, quit two weeks ago.
"Ever since Australia Zoo got involved
Critically endangered Sumatran rhino pregnant again
A rare Sumatran rhino in Indonesia is pregnant with her second baby and expected to give birth in May, raising new hope for the critically endangered species, conservationists said Tuesday.
Only about 100 Sumatran rhinos are believed to exist in the entire world so the pregnancy is seen as tremendously good news for those trying to save the animals from extinction.
The mother is Ratu, a wild rhino who wandered out of the rainforest and into the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Indonesia’s Way Kambas National Park 10 years ago.
She got pregnant in January after mating with Andalas, a male rhino at the park, said Susie Ellis, director of the International Rhino Foundation.
Sumatran rhinos have very long pregnancies that last about 16 months, even though they are the smallest of the living
Animal Keeper Attempts Suicide
An animal keeper at the city zoo allegedly attempted suicide on Friday by locking himself up inside the cobra enclosure.
Both the keeper and Director of Museums and Zoos were unavailable for comment.
Zoo sources said that the keeper, a temporary employee who has spent more than a decade at the zoo, was disappointed that he was still not a permanent employee.
To get permanent employment as an animal keeper at the zoo, one needs prior experience in handling wild animals. Experience as a temporary employee does not count. In the master plan, it is suggested that people with a zoo-keeping course from Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University are eligible.
This would mar the opportunities of the temporary staff who have been working at the zoo for years. When contacted, the keeper confirmed the news. He said that the process to make him permanent had started more than six months ago, but with financial difficulties mounting, he decided to take his life as and the papers had not
Whatever Happened to Tbilisi Zoo? – A Eulogy of Sorts
One such tale is the sad fate of Guliko Nozadze, a much-beloved zoo caretaker, who, along with her husband and an elderly watchman, perished in the overpowering waves of the as they worked to release trapped animals from their cages. And all that only three days after she was discharged from hospital, where she ended up after losing an arm in a tiger attack.
Death of young elephant at Oklahoma City Zoo fuels breeding debate
A 4-year-old elephant at the Oklahoma City Zoo, where Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo moved its two female elephants this spring, died suddenly Thursday.
Zoo officials say they will perform a necropsy to determine what killed Malee, the first elephant born at the zoo. Staff had treated her for a type of herpes infection particularly deadly to young elephants.
Behold, the San Antonio dragon master!
Daenerys Targaryen may hold sway over three flying, fire-breathing dragons on HBO’s hit “Game of Thrones,” but the fictional despot and her fantasy creatures have nothing on the very real Craig Pelke and his very real dragons at the San Antonio Zoo.
Parents sympathise with zookeepers seeking to soothe gorillas in daylight saving transition
Melburnians will have an hour sliced out of their sleeping time this weekend, although with the grand final, warmer weather and the long weekend, few will be complaining.
Spare a thought, then, for those who struggle to adjust to daylight saving.
According to Melbourne Zoo senior primate keeper Damian Lewis, primates – our closest relatives in the animal kingdom – can be a little touchy about the transition to daylight saving, beholden as they are to the routines of their keepers.
"Their day-to-day lives are based around daylight hours [in the wild], so they might wake up a bit earlier and they might go to bed a bit later," Mr Lewis said.
Safe Havens for Slow Movers
Following a heavy downpour on a summer afternoon earlier this year, the turtle sanctuary at the Dr. Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation Center (KBCC) in southern Taiwan was teeming with life—albeit life at a slow pace. After the rain, the lumbering creatures on the institution’s grounds began to stir, preparing to take a walk in the comparatively cool air. Their current comfortable, carefree lives stand in sharp contrast with the dangers they faced only a few years ago. “Smugglers were ready to ship the turtles to mainland China when they were intercepted by police,” says Kuo Jui-hsuan (郭睿軒), a collection manager for the KBCC. “Many could have died on the trip across the Taiwan Strait if they hadn’t been rescued.”
Established in 2008 by Koo Cheng-yun (辜成允), chairman of Taiwan Cement Corp., the Pingtung County-based KBCC was borne from the idea that plant biodiversity in Taiwan and around the world is precious and must be preserved. As the center grew, so too did its ambitions, with a new focus placed on threatened and endangered animal species. The re-evaluation of its mission occurred when, at the end of 2013, the Forestry Bureau under the Council of Agriculture (COA) asked Li Chia-wei (李家維), the chief executive officer of the KBCC, if the institution could take in yellow-margined box turtles confiscated from smugglers. The conservationist agreed a
Who Are You Calling a Deadly Sin?
At the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., there lives a three-toed sloth. Specifically, this sloth occupies a box in the Small Mammal House.
At least, that’s where the sloth has been every single time I have visited the zoo, and I have been five times over the past two years. Of course, the sloth does leave his box; friends sometimes send me cellphone photos and videos, capturing the sloth while he hangs from a tree branch or climbs around—but in spite of my best efforts, I’ve never seen him outside the box.
And after two years of trying, I don’t want to.
It’s hard to explain, but you have to start way, way back in tim
Detroit Zoo cricket breeding effort aims to save $225K
A new cricket breeding program at the Detroit Zoo is part of an effort to cut the cost of feeding animals.
Zoo officials say crickets are part of the daily diet of about 1,900 amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals at the zoo.
The zoo says it usually spends more than $98,000 a
London Zoo investigates claim a visitor was bitten by a spider
London Zoo is investigating a claim that a mother-of-four was bitten by a spider in its new “In with the Spiders” room.
Elsa Fricker, 33, has told how she was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery after a "spider bite" she believes she sustained at popular attraction became infected.
Toronto Zoo's giant panda pregnant with twins
One of the Toronto Zoo’s giant pandas is pregnant — with twins.
Zoo staff and breeding experts observed two separate, fetal heartbeats in ultrasounds taken in the last week of Er Shun, a female giant panda on loan from China.
The next three to four weeks are critical, the zoo said in a statement, and “staff are cautiously hopeful for healthy births within this time frame.
Toronto spokesperson Jennifer Tracey said the support from people in Toronto and colleagues from other zoos around the world has been overwhelming.
“It’s an incredible accomplishment,” she said. “It’s great news for our reproductive program and for the endangered panda species.”
Er Shun was artificially inseminated last
Safari park lets visitors pet wild lions as they introduce torch-lit night time tours
A safari park is offering extraordinary night tours where visitors can stroke lions in torchlight and observe the animals in their nocturnal phase.
The unique excursions take place in special open vehicles with headlights which allow the guests to see the dozing animals.
The trips are being organised by the Taigan Safari Park in the Bilohirsk Raion region of Crimea, in the southern Ukraine.
How to design a good zoo
Last time you were at the zoo, peering at the gorillas and tigers and elephants did you ever stop to think about the layout of the various enclosures and architecture of the buildings?
Rachel Couper has just published an architectural history of early zoological gardens called Animal History. As part of her research she visited six of the most important early zoos - in Paris, London, Berlin, Hamburg,
Gentle giant elephant leaves Howletts Wild Animal Park for a new life in the sun
One of a Kent wild animal park's star attractions who has enthralled visitors for 26 years has been driven off to a new zoo in Spain.
Jums, the magnificent bull elephant, was crated up on Monday and taken by lorry from Howletts at Bekesbourne near Canterbury to the Cabarceno Natural Park near Santander.
Howletts bosses say the swap is "beneficial" for the elephants and is part of a breeding exchange programme with a new bull coming from the Cabarceno to take his place.
One year on, killer white tiger becomes Delhi zoo's biggest celeb
Delhi zoo's white tiger Vijay, who mauled a man last year, is the biggest attraction for visitors as zoo footfall jumps this year Ayear ago, a 20-year-old man was mauled by Delhi zoo's white tiger, Vijay, after he jumped inside the tiger's enclosure. The incident was witnessed live by scores and was later played on loop and widely shared, making Vijay a topic of discussion. Since then, no zoo visitor wants to miss out on seeing the 'killer' tiger and zoo officials say his popularity is the reason behind increased footfall.
International conference shuns local lion film
Despite repeated requests from South African attendees, the organisers of an international travel conference which takes place in Cape Town this week have decided not to include the acclaimed new documentary ‘Blood Lions’ in their programme even though the film raises serious questions about one of the key tourist attractions promoted during the event.
Every year, thousands of young people from around the world spend millions of rands to work as volunteers for a variety of wildlife and nature conservation projects in Africa. Many of them choose to spend time at facilities that offer visitors the opportunity to pet lion cubs and walk through the bush with juvenile lions. Most of the volunteers do so under the impression that their work is contributing to the conservation of the species in the wild.
‘Blood Lions’, which opened to acclaim at this year’s Durban International Film Festival and was recently screened in the Australian parliament, exposes lion petting and walking operations in South Africa as merely one additional revenue stream for the controversial but lucrative industry of breeding lions in captivity. The vast majority of the lions raised by this industry are destined for canned hunts and the bullets of wealthy trophy hunters – not for a life of freedom in the wild, but few of the volunteers are aware of this fact.
After watching the film, Toby Dixon of You2Africa, a Cape Town based company that promotes volunteer tourism at wildlife conservation projects, decided that its message was so important that it should be shown at the World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) 2015 to take place in Cape Town from the September 22 – 25, an event which he will be attending himself and at which youth volunteering in Africa will feature strongly.
Dixon met with Wendy Morrill, one of the conference organisers, in Amsterdam in June. He organised a Skype conversation between her and ‘Blo
The essence of good zoos
Today I heard news that gave me hope for a species declared extinct in Victoria. We have been working with the Eastern Barred Bandicoot for 20 years alongside our partners at Mount Rothwell, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Parks Victoria, the Victorian Government and now Phillip Island Nature Parks.
Last month, a small population of Bandicoots from Mount Rothwell and Zoos Victoria was released to Churchill Island under the stewardship of Phillip Island Nature Parks. And the good news? All females now have young! In just one month a new generation of this rare creature has emerged.
Tiger and lion cubs attack rabbits at a Chinese zoo as survival training before being released into the wild… but don’t worry, they haven’t got any teeth yet
A Chinese zoo has come under fire for giving their lion and tiger cubs live rabbits for hunting practise as the young predators were presented to the public for the first time.
Introducing seven baby tigers and four lion cubs to visitors, a zoo in Tsingtao, China, released a number of rabbits into the enclosure.
The two-month-old cubs could be seen chasing after the rabbit and biting it across the neck after hunting it down.
Class, stop monkeying around! Chinese zoo opens a performing school for macaques
A Chinese zoo has opened what might be the world's most unusual entertainment school.
Around 30 snow monkeys have been recruited by the Yellow River Delta Zoo in Dongying, eastern China, to study in its newly formed 'macaques performing school', reported People's Daily Online.
The monkeys, originally from Japan, are expected to learn tricks, such as walking on stilts and mathematics, and will be sent around China after their training to enter the entertainment industry.
US and China Agree to Halt Ivory Trade
In a historic accord to save Africa’s elephants from out-of-control poaching, President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping agreed Friday to end commercial ivory sales in the United States and China.
The announcement marks the first public commitment by President Xi to end ivory sales in China, the world’s largest market, and follows a pledge made by Chinese officials in May to phase out the domestic trade. It also puts heavy pressure on Hong Kong, a global hub for commercial ivory, to ban its legal trade — one that has provided cover for smuggling and illicit sales of ivory from African elephants poached in recent years. A recent survey found that over 90% of ivory sold in Hong Kong was being smuggled into main
Young Elephants in China Show Signs of Abuse
New photographs and video exclusive to National Geographic suggest that two dozen young elephants flown to China from Zimbabwe in July are being mistreated and are slipping into poor health, according to analysts who have examined the images.
The elephants—many no more than two or three years old—are being held in at the Qingyuan quarantine facility in Guangzhou Province, awaiting transfer to Chimelong Safari Park, also in Guangzhou.
In late 2014, the elephants were taken from their mothers and families in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, where they were held in a capture unit before the airlift.
U.S. Zoos Work to Relocate Elephants, Making Room for Rhinos in Africa
Three U.S. zoos are collaborating with conservation officials in Swaziland, Africa, in an effort to provide 18 African elephants necessary new homes. The animals were removed from two privately managed government parks to prevent further degradation of the landscape and in order to make room for critically endangered rhinos. If the elephants are not relocated they will be culled.
18 Swazi elephants taken to USA zoo
Eighteen elephants from Swaziland will find new homes at three Zoos in the United States of America.
The three are, the Dallas Zoo, the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kan and the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Neb.
Six elephants will join the four already living in the Dallas Zoo’s Giants of the Savanna habitat.
The Dallas Zoo expects more than double its herd of elephants because of the partnership the two other zoos have with the country.
The elephants will come from two country parks, where an overpopulation has stripped the already drought-ridden parks, depriving other species, like endangered rhinos of food.
Elephants were stripping the park's 900-year-old trees of their bark and eating grass faster than it could grow, leaving it barren. The black rhino were running out of food.
According to business wire press release, local government decided it needed to either relocate or kill 18 elephants in order to sustain its parks.
“We see these animals in Swaziland that are basically in a dire situation,” said Gregg Hudson, president of the Dallas Zoo, “and it’s important for us to reach out and ask ‘Is there a way we can incorporate them into what we’re doing here?”
The relocation must first be approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but zoo officials expect the agency to approve its application within the next 30 days.
Hudson said the zoo has extra property on the west side of Marsalis Avenue where the new animals would be cared for until next spring, when they can be added to the Giants exhibit. O
Child bitten by wild snake at Birmingham Zoo
Officials say a child was bitten by a copperhead snake at the Birmingham Zoo.
Local news media reported that zoo spokesman Clark Maxwell said the child was bitten by a wild snake around noon Thursday near the Trails of Africa exhibit and that the snake wasn't a part of the zoo's animal collection. The child's condition was unknown.
The child was transported to the Children's of Alabama hospital for treatment.
The snake was captured and relocated by zoo staff for examination.
Zoo officials said they were workin
Hamilton Zoo reopens, but questions remain
From its early days as a game farm to its emergence as a world-class visitor attraction, Hamilton Zoo has held strong to one quality: a sense of intimacy.
Whether it's a meerkat sentry dutifully eyeballing passers-by, or a strutting peacock displaying its iridescent plumage among lunching visitors, the zoo has brought generations of city-dwellers closer to nature.
It's a place where curious animal admirers can observe creatures big and small in verdant surrounds.
A Hamilton success story, dubbed "the zoo with personality", it attracted a record number of visitors last financial year.
The visitor upsurge was largely attributed to the arrival of the zoo's new Sumatran tiger cubs, Kembali and Kirana.
And the zoo's family continues to grow and births are celebrated with naming competitions.
But a week ago, the zoo lost a much-loved mem
Tens of thousands of birds illegally sold on the streets of Jakarta
A comprehensive survey of Jakarta’s sprawling bird markets shows the daunting scale of the illegal trade in native birds and raises the alarm for Indonesia, home to the highest number of threatened bird species in Asia.
Pandas would change our zoo - and not for the better
OPINION: It was my first day in Hong Kong.
The fun park was part zoo and part kitsch Asian-style Disneyland full of in-love Chinese couples videoing each other. Admission was not cheap, but I didn't mind because I was going to see pandas.
The outdoor panda enclosure was excellent.
The beautiful bears slept, sat, climbed, slept, munched on bamboo, slept, scratched, slept, farted and slept. I found the loud rifle shots of kids playing a theme park game close by disconcerting but nobody else did.
The indoor giant panda enclosure was fascinating.
Two bears sat mournfully staring at the animal species on the other side of the glass that had reduced their numbers to a handful.
The two pandas were adorably cute but looked sad. Reading about how their numbers had been so drastically reduced by humans made me sad.
I made for a quick exit but I wasn't to be that lucky.
The enclosure was designed so that the only exit was through an extremely tacky gift shop, where I was loudly accosted by retail staff. Pandas cost big money t
Risma Welcomes New Male Sumatran Tiger to Surabaya Zoo
Surabaya mayor Tri Rismaharini welcomes a new male Sumatran tiger named Wira to Surabaya Zoo. Wira was donated by Indonesian Safari Park to Surabaya Zoo (KBS) that is in need of male Sumatran tiger for breeding.
“It was a long process, since five months ago. Because it is an administrative issue, I handle it myself,” said Risma-how the mayor popularly known- to journalists after the ceremonial event for the animal’s transfer on Sunday, September 27.
“And it has just been delivered to KBS now."
Risma believes that Wira would help to avoid
Alaskan Officials Investigate Beheading of 25 Walruses
The deaths of 25 walruses are being investigated near Cape Lisburne, Alaska after photographs reportedly showed the animals, including a dozen babies, had been shot and beheaded, according to Alaska Dispatch News.
Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska were first notified of the incident when they received an email containing photographs of the animals earlier this month. From there, an investigation began.
"They were reporting that these animals had been shot and their heads had been taken," Andrea Medeiros, a spokeswoman for the service, told the Dispatch News. "Time is of the esse
Critical Wildlife Conservation and Research Projects Funded by AZA-Accredited Zoos and Aquariums
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) today announced Conservation Grants Fund (CGF) grants totaling $370,269 to be awarded to 18 projects.
“AZA’s Conservation Grants Fund provides support to AZA members who are scientists, wildlife experts and educators working to expand our knowledge of wildlife biology, reproduction, welfare, health, and the threats animals face in their natural ranges, while also actively working in the field and with communities around the world to address these threats,” said AZA Senior Vice President of Conservation and Science, Dr. Debborah Luke. “As a result of their work, we are all better positioned to help ensure the future of threatened and endangered species.”
Established in 1984, the AZA Conservation Grants Fund is a competitive grants program that supports the cooperative conservation-related scientific and educational initiatives of AZA members and their partners. Major areas of funding for conservation and animal care are represented including research, field conservation, education and outreach, animal welfare, animal health and animal management. Many Conservation Grants Fu
What I learned working at the zoo
I am a tour guide—and a pretty good one, if I do say so myself—at a world-famous zoo in the United States. I started volunteering because I love animals and the environment. I still do, but over the last few years, I have found that the primate Homo sapiens can be the most fascinating to observe.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
Tiger from Greece dies at sanctuary east of San Diego
Phevos, a tiger brought from Greece to a sanctuary east of San Diego amid international concern that it was being neglected at a zoo outside Athens, has died.
The 17-year-old male tiger was euthanized after weeks of a slow, painful decline that veterinarians at the Lions Tigers & Bears sanctuary in Alpine were unable to arrest, accordi
Dade City’s Wild Things faces complaints from feds
The U.S. Department of Agriculture in July issued a formal administrative complaint against Dade City’s Wild Things about the zoo’s handling of tiger cubs and other violations.
The following month, the USDA found more violations at the Meridian Avenue zoo during a routine inspection, recently released records show.
On Aug. 25, a USDA inspector found a tiger enclosure with rotten wood and exposed screws, lion and tiger enclosures that did not provide shelter from heavy rain, an “extremely dirty” freezer where animal food is kept and ducks swimming in water meant for llama consumption, the inspection report said.
The USDA’s July complaint accused the zoo of mishandling animals, maintaining improper enclosures and exhibiting tigers and monkeys at an unsafe distance from the public.
The zoo, which may face a lawsuit asserting it is violating the Animal Welfare Act, did not return a telephone call seeking comment. The zoo is run by Kathryn Stearns and her son, Randy Stearns, records show.
Despite being issued an official warning by the USDA in May 2012, the zoo “continued to mishandle animals, particularly infant and juvenile tigers, exposing these anim
Queens in lion kingdom
While many of us the world over shared and looked at pictures on social media of lions that died in the Gir National Park in Gujarat this July in massive floods, and then of the cute cubs that did survive, Rasila P. Vadher and her team was in the midst of all the mayhem.
The woman in charge of the Rescue Team at the national park says it took them a while to come to terms with the fact that the sudden release of dam waters meant that lions, that can usually swim were taken aback by the force of water, hit trees, and died. Gir, one of India’s oldest national parks, is the only home to the largest population of Asiatic lions in the world – abo
Assam Conservationist to Get Harry Messel Award
Dr Goutam Narayan has become the first Indian conservationist to get the Harry Messel Award for Conservation Leadership announced during the IUCN Species Survival Commission Leaders’ Meeting held in Abu Dhabi recently. The citation mentions that Narayan has been given the award “in recognition of his pivotal role in leading the Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme in North Eastern India since 1995, thus saving a whole genus from extinction, and his long service to the SSC Wild Pig Specialist Group.”
The Harry Messel Award recognises exemplary service to the IUCN Species Survival Commission, especially from individuals who have made a specific contribution to species conservation on the ground or through their leadership, as part of the work of an SSC Specialist Group or Task Force. Dr Narayan has been instrumental in reviving the long-term survival prospects of the critically endangered pigmy hog through the Pigmy Hog Conservation Centre at Bas
Chinese Villagers Join Together To Save An Elephant Stuck In Mud
A wild elephant who had gotten hopelessly stuck in a thick mire in southern China was saved from the grimmest of fates — all thanks to a crowd of villagers who worked tirelessly to free her.
It's unclear how long the female elephant had been trapped, but by the time rescue arrived, she was almost completely submerged in mud. Unable to hoist the exhausted animal out of the pit themselves, pol
China knows how to save endangered species, it's the tiger's turn.
China's 1989 Law on the Protection of Wildlife — which is now online in English and available for the
world to see — was created, it says, for the purpose of "protecting and saving the species of wildlife
which are rare or near extinction; protecting, developing and rationally utilizing wildlife resources, and
maintaining ecological balances."
The law lists 42 articles detailing the care and protection of "wildlife resources", which are owned by the
state, for their survival, including enforcement and penalties for violators.
In an interesting op-ed piece that went online Sunday, Mang Ping, a professor of ecological ethics at the
Central Institute of Socialist Studies in Beijing, points out that the "language" of the law plainly implies that
another of its goals is to "fairly use" the wild animals that are considered resources, and that is what has
been causing some animal conservationists concern.
"The relationship between man and nature is increasingly fused with a new ethical consideration," Mang
writes. "Wild animals for instance are no longer viewed simply as a useful resource for humans to exploit.
They are considered to have their own intrinsic value as part of the Earth's biological community."
Of the 580 species of mammals in China, about 30 percent are defined as "wild", Mang says, citing
research. And some of those "rare and endangered" ones seen as having "important economic or
scientific value are domesticated, bred and commercially utilized". In other words, farmed.
When it comes to tigers, however, the plan o
EU clamps down on grey squirrels and other invasive wildlife
Anyone caught exporting or possessing invasive species such as grey squirrels, ruddy ducks and water hyacinth in the EU will soon face heavy fines and confiscations, under a new blacklist filed at the WTO, which the Guardian has seen.
Raccoons, Javan mongooses, and South American coypus are among the 37 types of flora and fauna that will soon face eradication or strict controls in a bid to halt threats to native wildlife and economic losses, estimated at €12bn (£8.8bn) per year by the EU.
Initially, the new EU regulation will ban a wide range of activities linked with invasive species including trade, transport, possession, breeding and putting on the market.
It also obliges countries including the UK to eradicate invading populations within two months of a new appearance where possible, and to draw up blueprints for containing existing colonies.
The advance of grey squirrels imported
Rare white tiger cubs receive special care at Saigon zoo
The baby tiger grasps the man’s arm with its front legs while sucking warm milk from a bottle.
That is its 3 a.m. meal. The next will come in three hours.
It quickly falls back to sleep as the man washes the bottle before cleaning milk drops on the floor.
Nguyen Ba Phu takes care of the cub at the Saigon Zoo with two colleagues.
"It's like a mother taking care of her newborn,” he said.
The 32-year-old vet is among a team of experts who helped the only white Bengal tiger couple mate at the zoo.
They eventually give birth to three cubs two months ago, an extremely rare event during the 150 years of the zoo’s history.
Two of the cubs are staying with the mother. Phuc and his two colleagues have been taking care of the weaker one in a room of more than 20 square meters.
They give the cub ground beef during the day, but milk feeding is a harder job.
Phuc said the cub usually finis
Seoul Zoo caught selling animals to slaughter farm
Seoul Zoo sold 43 of its deer and black goats to meat traders in August claiming that there was no space for the “surplus” animals, activists said Tuesday.
Garcia, president of Coexistence for Animal Rights on Earth (CARE), says he was tipped off about the sale from an animal handler at the zoo.
Investigators followed a truck from the zoo and raided the farm.
A young black goat had been decapitated, six goats had died during transportation, and many goats had sustained injuries as a result of poor handling and transportation practices.
AJ Garcia claims that the practice of selling surplus animals for consumption has become a serious issue.
“It’s become a business for them. They purposefully overpopulate the zoo and then they sell the animals off,” Garci
Genetic Secrets of the Last Truly Wild Horses
The Przewalski's horse is the world’s last truly wild horse, found in small numbers on the steppes of Mongolia and China. Their mere existence today is astonishing—by the 1960s they had been declared extinct in the wild. A dozen remained in private zoos in several countries, and scientists undertook an ambitious breeding program. Today, there are around 2,000 of the animals, about one quarter of which live in the wild.
Researchers have now sequenced the genomes of more than a dozen of the creatures, and compared the results to genomes from domesticated horses. The scientists show that Przewalski's and domesticated horses are genetically distinct but diverged only 45,000 years ago, a relatively short stretch in evolutionary time, says Ludovic Orlando, a researcher at the University of Copenhagen. (While there are other
After 100 years in captivity, a look at the world's last truly wild horses
n the 1870s, the world's last truly wild horses, known as Przewalski's horses, lived in the Asian steppes of Mongolia and China. But by the 1960s, those wild horses were no longer free. Only one captive population remained, descended from about a dozen wild-caught individuals and perhaps four domesticated horses. Thanks to major conservation efforts, the current population of Przewalski's horses numbers over 2,000 individuals, with about a quarter living in reintroduction reserves.
Wild animals caged for months after rescue due to long legal process: experts
Animals seized from illegal wildlife traders should be released immediately to their habitat, instead of being kept as crime evidence for a long time, conservationists said.
Nguyen Van Thai, director of Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, said investigation agencies only need to take pictures of the rescued animals and record information on the number, the species and the weight.
However, Vietnamese investigators often choose to keep the wild animals until the case is closed, he said.
Vietnam has shown progress in wildlife protection, including convicting people involved in the poaching and trading of endangered species, he said.
“But we still need to change the law further to release these animals to the wild early,” said Thai.
In August, the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program launched by Save Vietnam’s Wildlife and the Cuc Phuong National Park received 60 pangolins that relevant agencies seized from illegal trade
Elephant NGO barred by zoo
Elephant conservation NGO EARS Asia has been ejected from Teuk Chhou Zoo in Kampot province and forbidden from caring for its two elephants, amid mounting pressure for a proposed animal swap involving the pair to be called off.
In a statement posted on their Facebook page yesterday, EARS Asia spoke of the devastation felt by founder Louise Rogerson, who has overseen the care of elephants Kiri and Seila for the past three years, after she was barred from entering the zoo on Wednesday.
The move by the zoo follows the launch of a campaign by EARS Asia in August to prevent Kiri and Seila from being swapped with animals living at the Hirakawa Zoo in southern Japan.
“This will not stop us in our campaign to bring to the world the absurdity of the Cambodian and Japanese trade deal. This also means that our campaign is working,” reads the statement.
While that campaign has been run by the EARS Asia board in Hong Kong without Rogerson’s participation, her ejection follows a series of articles in both the Cambodian and international press highlighting concerns surrounding the proposed deal.
Those concerns focus on the ability of Teuk
First Jersey chough chick born in about 100 years is male
DNA testing was used to confirm the sex of Dusty, the spring-born Chough.
Choughs, a red-billed member of the Crow family, died out in Jersey in about 1900.
Over the past three years, wildlife experts have worked to reintroduce the birds to the north coast and had some success with hand-reared chicks.
DNA samples were sent to a lab that specialises in finding out the gender of birds to find out for certain if Dusty was male or female.
Keepers say it is great news for the populati
New controversial fox cafe brings wilderness to Bangkok
Cat cafes are so last year after a coffee shop opened up in Bangkok that uses foxes to entice customers who are fine petting wild animals and using them as selfie props.
Little Zoo Cafe has opened up in Muangthong Thani and has quickly become the latest popular place for Instagramming as visitors are surrounded by tiny fennec foxes along with a meerkat and raccoon (aka Timon and Meeko.)
The exotic babies have made headlines in the media and on local forums, drawing a mix of approval and disapproval from netizens.
New birth brings fourth generation of endangered gorillas to Brookfield Zoo
A new arrival Wednesday at Brookfield Zoo adds a fourth generation to the zoo’s family of western lowland gorillas.
Kamba, 11, gave birth Wednesday to Zachary; and mom and infant can be seen at the zoo’s Tropic World: Africa habitat, according to a statement from the Chicago Zoological Society.
Dalton zoo boss appears in court
Barrow Borough Council prosecuted the zoo and Mr Gill, the director, following its investigation into the death of Sarah McClay, who was fatally mauled by a tiger at the Dalton attraction on May 24, 2013.
The 53-year-old, represented by solicitor Mr Paul Rogers, appeared before Furness Magistrates' Court on Thursday afternoon.
He did not give any indication of plea to 14 charges - seven of which are against him, and seven against the company.
District judge Gerald Chalk adjourned proceedings to Preston Crown Court on October 23.
The council is also prosecuting Mr Gill and the zoo for alleged breaches of health and safety law following an incident in July 2014, when zoo keeper Jasmin Walker fell from a ladder while preparing to feed big cats.
Mr Rogers said Ms Walker's injuries had "fortunatel
£1.2m National Lottery grant to protect UK’s red squirrel
A unique new project to secure the future of the native Nutkin in the UK is set to receive £1.2million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The much-loved, endangered native red squirrel and its habitat will be protected and promoted through Red Squirrels United, a new four year programme bringing together eight partners from across the UK.
Red Squirrels United will operate directly in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and work with the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels partnership on cross-border conservation action and skills-sharing to achieve the development of a truly UK-scale red squirrel conservation initiative for the first time.
The project will deliver key national conservation objectives with the aim of protecting red squirrels through communication, education and conservation activities. It is supported by Governm
Spiny Anteater Gets a Breeding Boost
The endangered long-beaked echidna, or spiny anteater, may have help on the way, thanks to the success of a breeding program between a university and a wildlife preserve in Australia.
The University of Queensland (UQ) and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary announced that they have worked together to produce 14 short-beaked echidna babies in captivity in the last five years, a number higher than any zoo has been able to produce.
"Up to a few years ago it was thought almost impossible to breed echidnas in captivity, and most births were somewhat accidental and unplanned," UQ Assoc
Scientists optimize breeding management for European minks
The European mink (Mustela lutreola) is one of the most endangered mammals in Europe. The reasons for its decline are the destruction of its habitat in riparian areas, competition with the alien American mink and historically, extensive hunting.
Newent's Bird of Prey centre recognised for its role in protecting animals
THE British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), which promotes the values of good zoos and aquariums, has compiled a list of the top ten birds benefitting from the work of zoos and aquariums in the UK and Ireland.
The International Centre for Birds of Prey plays a significant role in helping to protect these animals.
The International Centre for Birds of Prey supports the conservation on the Oriental White Backed Vulture in India and Nepal. Since the mid-90s, 99% of the population has been lost; the result of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac being used as a veterinary drug in livestock. When an oriental white backed vulture consumes a carcass that has been treated with diclofenac, the drug causes renal failure and visce
'We'll never know 100%' how cheetah escaped
How did "Pounce" the cheetah escape from its enclosure at the Indianapolis Zoo? We may never know, according to zoo officials.
The cheetah broke out of its exhibit Sept. 6, prompting a Code Red alert and temporary lockdown of zoo facilities.
Saving the few wild tigers left in the world: A talking point for Obama and Xi?
President Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping face an agenda of delicate issues, from China’s military buildup and creation of artificial islands in the South China Sea, to cyber theft of U.S. secrets, in talks that begin in a private dinner Thursday after Xi arrives in the nation’s capital from Seattle.
An international group of 13 wildlife experts, in a letter released Tuesday, is asking Obama to mention another topic — the threatened extinction of the 3,200 tigers that remain in the wild in Asia.
Wildlife “farming” is not conservation
The Earth is not a warehouse.
And living, breathing animals are not inventory.
Pseudo-conservationists often argue that we should focus solely on numbers, that only the size of wildlife populations matter. They largely ignore the complicated dynamics of ecosystem health, habitat range, and biodiversity.
Worse still, in their quest to sacrifice some for the greater good of a species, they ignore the intrinsic value of individual animals and the importance of those individuals on herds, communities and other various subsets of the population whole.
Yesterday's Crimes: Killer Elephants, Poisoned Orangutans, and the Curse of SF Zoo
When banker and philanthropist Herbert Fleishhacker found 30 acres near the southwestern coast of San Francisco, he thought it was the perfect place for the zoo he’d been dreaming about.
But you have to wonder if the San Francisco Zoo was built on an ancient Indian burial ground. Mysterious tragedies proliferated. The place seemed snake-bitten from the start.
Fleishhacker wanted to expand his zoo from a couple of sad grizzlies in cages to a world-class menagerie, so he hired George Bistany, a big game hunter and animal expert he met on a cruise in 1929. Born in Egypt, Bistany made a harrowing career out of capturing wild animals for zoos and "escaping death in a score of tight situations in the jungles and mountains of four continents," according to the Fresno Bee.
Bistany also believed there was a psychic bond between humans and apes.
"Monkeys have a well-developed communication system," he told the Santa Ana Register. "In the tailless varieties, it is both spoken and telepathic."
"What is more, I can understand them and talk with many," Bistany added.
Bistany’s far-out ideas were lent credence after one of his orangutans saved his life. When Bistany leapt into a cage to separate a pair of brawling apes, an orangut
Why I Believe In Zoos
@liceham my anger in this reply is in no way aimed at you! I am super grateful you gave me a reason to write down some of my thoughts on this subject, and I love that you’re informing your own opinions. I think you’re great!
I’m really sorry this took me so long to reply to; I have a lot of feelings on this subject and I wanted to make sure I expressed all my points well.
I like your use of the phrase “low-key anti-zoo” because I feel like it sums up the feelings of a vast majority of people sort of 40 and under (although my favorite is “I don’t believe in zoos”. It’s a zoo, not fucking Narnia). I think the “zoos are bad” mentality has become part of our cultural consciousness, something that we absorb as truth in our childhood or adolescence and then never question as adults who are capable of informing our own opinions. I don’t blam
Critically endangered miniature frogs get new lease on life through breeding program
An army of critically endangered miniature frogs has been given a new lease on life after being released in Western Australia's South West.
The white-bellied frogs are endemic to a vast area of forest south of Margaret River and are under immense pressure due to the destruction and disturbance of their habitat.
The creatures are the focus of a breed-for-release program at Perth Zoo, which has been designed to bring the threatened species back from the brink of extinction.
Eggs are collected from the site every year and are reared in aquariums at the zoo for 12 months before being released back into the wild to breed.
More than 60 frogs were discharged back into the region's muddy creek lines this week.
Perth Zoo zoology technical officer Tammy Goad said the process of releasing the frogs could be tricky, due to their paltry size.
"When they metamorph, they're about 0.02 of a gram, which is smaller than a rice bubble," she said.
"It's quite challenging for us to work with an animal that small, especially when we have a couple of hundred of them to deal with.
"We put the frog into a little depression, put a leaf over the
IL Supreme Court: Brookfield Zoo not a public entity, shouldn't be legally protected like one
Brookfield Zoo sits on publicly owned land. And every year, it receives a large amount of tax dollars to help fund operations.
But the zoo should not enjoy the same protections from lawsuits given to governmental organizations and their offshoots in Illinois, the state’s high court has ruled.
On Thursday, Sept. 24, the Illinois Supreme Court declared in an opinion the zoo does not pass crucial elements of the test used to determine whether an organization is a “public entity” under Illinois law, and so should not be shielded under the Illinois Tort Immunity statute from lawsuits filed more than a year after an alleged incident has occurred on its grounds.
The unanimous Illinois Supreme Court decision was authored by Justice Mary Jane Theis.
The ruling upheld a state appellate opinion, which had been au
'Horny' rhinos studied by Liverpool scientists and Chester Zoo experts
Chester Zoo experts and Liverpool scientists have been studying the rhino dating game in a bid to save the animal from extinction.
Specialists have been comparing rhino birth rates at different zoos as part of a programme to work out what makes rhinos want to mate.
The team, comprised of scientists from Chester Zoo, The University of Manchester and The University of Liverpool, is now busy writing up the research which is set to appear in several prestigious scientific journals.
It comes as World Rhino Day this week highlighted the plight of the five remaining species of rhino, an animal which has been on earth for 40 million years.
Rhino mother and calf settle in at Flamingo Land zoo
A RHINOCEROS mother and her calf are set to be unveiled in a £1.6m project to make a theme park and zoo among Europe's leading places to see the animals.
Staff at Flamingo Land, near Pickering, said black rhinos Samira and nine-month-old Olmoti had arrived from Zurich zoo as part of an international breeding programme and would be joined at the North Yorkshire attraction by a male.
The animals, which can reach 3.75m in length, weigh 1.5 tonnes and are capable of running at 35mph, will be the first inhabitants of the zoo's Selous Black
Sumatran rhino leaving Cinci for mating; another in Indonesia pregnant
As a Sumatran rhino in Cincinnati prepares to leave for an Indonesian sanctuary, another already there is pregnant with her second calf in the original habitat of the highly endangered species, a government conservation official said Wednesday.
Why are all the lions dying at India’s Lion Safari breeding program?
In India, there is a place where Asiatic lions should be thriving, but instead they are mysteriously dying. It’s called the Lion Safari, and its purported goal is to help reintroduce the nearly-extinct Asiatic lion to areas in India where this species used to live. The small lion breeding program is situated near the town of Etawah, which is the hometown of Akhilesh Yadav, the incumbent Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. In the past year, at least seven lions have died at the facility, including two adult lions last fall and five newborn cubs this summer. This means that all of the lion cubs born at the facility so far have died soon after birth. The worst part about this tragedy is that nobody outside the park really knows why the lions are dying.
Wellington City Council pushes for pandas at the zoo
Wellington City Council is trying to move along the idea of acquiring giant pandas for the city's zoo.
Deputy Mayor Justin Lester says the Government has driven the panda initiative in the past and wrote to the council in 2011 to seek their interest.
"The Christchurch earthquakes stalled further traction at the time, but it's worthwhile looking at it again now," he said.
Mr Lester, who chairs the governance, finance and planning committee, says he's putting forward a proposal for the council to invest in a business case, as part of the annual plan, to investigate the financial viability of the project.
"I think Wellingtonians would love to have pandas at the zoo. There would be considerable conservation and economic benefits to
'Not one person in Wellington has said they really want a panda' - councillor
Panda diplomacy? Malaysians voice outrage at 600,000 USD price tag for each panda cub born in their country
Last month, China News happily reported that a giant panda named Feng gave birth at the National Zoo of Malaysia.
Some say that Malaysia would be better off without the new panda cub. Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar explained to The Sun Daily that for each panda that is born in the National Zoo of Malaysia, the country must pay 600,000 USD within 12 months to China and then return the cub to the PRC after 2 years. All together, around 18 countries have been given pandas by China and each of the nations face similar charges every time their pandas successfully mate.
"Even to name the panda cub, we need China's approval as per the agreement," minister Wan Junaidi added.
Due to the MH370 disaster, the pandas were actually delayed in arriving to Malaysia. The two giant pandas only arrived in Malaysia last year, but it would seem they have settled in rather well. Malaysia gave the pandas new (approved) names as a welcoming gesture. The male Fu Wa was renamed Xing Xing meaning "prosperity," and the female Feng Yi became known as Liang Liang meaning "pretty."
Their arrival coincided with the Malaysian national zoo's 50th anniversary and the event was headlined by the opening of the Giant Panda Conservation and Exhibition Center. The event also happened to correspond with the commemoration of 40 years of good relations between China and Malaysia.
The cost of maintaining a panda is nearly 10,000 USD per month, a hefty price to pay for adorableness and diplomatic allegiance. It cost a further 4 million USD to build the conservation center in the zoo. Some say that by successfully managing to mate the apathetic creatur
Malaysia To Pay China US$600,000 For Each Panda Cubs That Are Born Here
Malaysia has to pay US$600,000 to China for each panda cub that is born here after 12 months and return the cub to China when it is two years old, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said.
This is stated in the Malaysia-China Giant Panda International Conservation Agreement programme, in which two giant pandas, Fu Wa (Xing Xing) and Feng Yi (Liang Liang), were loaned to Malaysia for 10 years, he told a press conference at the Giant Panda Conservation Centre here at Zoo Negara after making an official visit to the zoo.
"No, the pandas do not belong to Malaysia, even if it was born in Malaysia.
"We have to return the panda cub to Chengdu, China, after two years. We also have to give a gift for the birth of the panda, that is pay US$600,000 for each panda cub that is born here," he added.
"Even to name the panda cub, we need China's approval as per the agreement," Wan Junaidi said, adding that the ministry will organise a naming contest for the cub like the one held to name its parents.
The cub will only be displayed to the public once its mother releases her and the baby is able to move freely.
At the moment Liang Liang is still clutching her cub.
The total cost of maintenance of the pandas still remains at an average of RM60,000 a month.
He said the point to note is that Malaysia is able to keep "unique animals" and take care of them.
The birth of the cub has reportedly set a world recor
Kudeweh family statement
The family of Hamilton Zoo Curator Samantha Kudeweh have gathered at her Waikato home following her death on Sunday, 20 September, at the zoo she loved.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Samantha's colleague Catherine Nichols – also a Hamilton Zoo staff member – says the extended Kudeweh family wanted to thank the public and the global zoo and conservation community for their messages of support over the past 24 hours after news of Sam's death became public.
Samantha, 43, was recognised and respected globally as a talented, passionate and highly knowledgeable conservation and zoo professional whose expertise and understanding of animals was highly sought after by other zoos and captive animal breeding programmes.
Catherine says Samantha was an experienced zoo industry professional who had an exceptional reputation following more than 20 years in the conservation and zoo sector.
Her role as Curator at Hamilton Zoo made her second-in-charge to the Zoo Director, and she was responsible for the management of the animals and acquisitions of new animal exhibits.
"Samantha was a passionate conservationist, and today her family have recalled how, as an intermediate school student, she told her parents she wanted to work in the zoo sector," says Catherine. "She was a volunteer at Auckland Zoo for a number of years before joining the staff."
She grew up in Papakura, and studied at Lincoln University and Auckland University toward a Bachelor of Science.
She worked at Auckland Zoo for several years, before a shift to Zoos Victoria in 2002. During her stay in Melbourne she met Richard Kudeweh, another zoo professional who she would go on to marry.
In 2005, Samantha and Richard moved to Hamilton Zoo, where she started as the mammals team leader. In 2011 she was promoted to zoo curator, achieving one of her professional dreams. It gave her the opportunity to become involved in a number of species management programmes, an area of conservation which she had a passion for.
She was responsible for managing breeding programmes for a number of species, including the southern white rhino, and was able to influence the zoo sector across Australasia.
Hamilton Zoo tiger attack not isolated incident
A fatal attack on a Hamilton Zoo keeper by a Sumatran tiger should not be viewed as an isolated incident, commentators say.
A Worksafe NZ investigation was launched following curator Samantha Kudeweh's death at the zoo on Sunday morning.
Big cat commentator, Dr Bhagavan Antle, from South Carolina-based institution T.I.G.E.R.S - The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species, said any investigation into the fatal attack had to also examine a potentially lethal encounter with a tiger at Hamilton Zoo two years earlier.
In 2013, a keeper walked 10 metres into an enclosure she thought was empty before finding herself alone with a five-year-old female tiger after a gate had mistakenly been left open.
Antle said the 2013 incident raised "red flags" and circumstances surrounding the event had to be examined by Worksafe NZ investigators.
"You can't look at one event in isolation, you have to be very suspicious about whether there was any duplication in what happened," Antle said.
"You have to ask what on earth happened last time and what was put in place to stop a tragedy from occurring?
"Hamilton Zoo may be superbly designed and it could just come down to a human error or something, or there could be terrible flaws with their enclosures' designs, we don't know at this stage."
A council investigation into the 2013 close encounter concluded the incident was a result of human error and said appropriate processes were in place.
Editorial: Why kill thy fearful symmetry?
If Hamilton City Council had made the decision to euthanise Hamilton Zoo's killer tiger, Oz, a hot wind of outrage would have swept across the country.
Animal welfare groups like Safe or Peta wouldn't be leading the chorus against it for once. The condemnation would have come from everywhere.
The death of zookeeper Samantha Kudeweh is a tragedy, a horror no family would ask to go through, but the fact it took so long for Hamilton City Council to rule out euthanising endangered Sumatran tiger Oz because of the attack turned an awful, awful day for the zoo into something even worse.
It caused howls of indignation from every quarter and a petition to save Oz's life on Facebook gathered more than 10,000 signatures before killing him was eventually ruled out at about 3pm on Monday.
It meant people were filled with rage at a time when sadness for the loss of Kudeweh was the appropriate emotion.
Questions rightfully need to be asked about the safety of the zoo and whether its procedures for entering the tigers' enclosure are thorough enough. But the question that never needed to be asked was whether or not to kill Oz.
Oz is a tiger with symmetry so fearful it would make William Blake gush. That he killed, as he was born to do, was not down to his failings.
The precedents for what follows after zoo deaths vary somewhat in New Zealand.
When lion keeper Dalu Mncube was fatally mauled by a white tiger in May 2009 at Whangarei's Zion Wildlife Garden, the 260kg tiger was shot dead shortly – note the word shortly – after the attack.
In contrast Mila the elephant, who accidentally crushed h
Tiger must be moved: expert
An experienced big cat keeper who had worked with the woman killed in a tiger attack at Hamilton Zoo thinks the animal should be moved overseas.
The zoo's male Sumatran tiger, Oz, fatally attacked the zoo curator and mother-of-two Samantha Kudeweh, 43, on Sunday morning. Her husband, Richard, also works at the zoo and the couple were part of a tight-knit group of colleagues.
Todd Barclay, who had worked with Mrs Kudeweh when she was based at Auckland Zoo and had previously worked with the male tiger, was perplexed as to what went wrong.
"I always found Sam to be extremely competent a
Councillor calls for big exotic animals to go from Hamilton Zoo
A city politician says Hamilton Zoo should stop exhibiting large exotic animals.
Hamilton City Councillor Andrew King said tigers and other large animals have no place in a New Zealand zoo. He doesn't oppose the council's owning a zoo, but said keeping large animals caged in cold environments is inhumane.
"When I was a child, people would go to the circus and you'd see lions and elephants. That was accepted back then, and now it's frowned on. I think in the future, places like Hamilton Zoo will be frowned on.
Tiger that mauled zookeeper won't be on display as Hamilton Zoo reopens
Oz, the Hamilton Zoo tiger who fatally mauled a senior keeper, will not be on display today as the zoo reopens, four days after the incident.
Hamilton City Council staff held a press conference at the premises.
Council chief executive Richard Briggs said Ms Kudeweh's funeral will be held on Monday at Hamilton Gardens.
Mr Briggs said the council arranged for a blessing at the site where Mrs Kudeweh was killed yesterday.
"This was a very emotional event attended by 50 staff and supporters."
Mr Briggs said it was still a "very, very diffic
After three years in chains, Kaavan walks free
Kaavan, a 31-year-old Asian elephant, has been unshackled in its enclosure at the small zoo of the federal capital – three years after the beast was put in chains.
Kaavan was put in chains by the Islamabad Zoo administration for security of visitors after the death of its female companion, Saheli, in 2012. The elephant was set free within its enclosure after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif intervened in the issue following global outcry over the animal’s plight.
However, animal rights campaigners, who have been pursuing the issue vigorously, have announced that th
How Aquariums Can Actually Save Animals in the Wild
The orphaned baby sea otter was as sad and winsome as any cartoon animal Disney ever put on screen. Last October, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Monterey Bay Aquarium rescued a tiny pup that appeared to be abandoned by her mother on a beach near Santa Cruz. Stranded and crying, she was thought to be less than a week old and weighed just over 2 pounds, the smallest baby otter found in years.
This Cambodian Zoo Can't Afford to Feed Its Animals, But It's Getting Two New Tigers
Teuk Chhou Zoo in southern Cambodia is a cruel hell for most of the animals kept there, where not even endangered species are spared from brazen neglect. Yet under the terms of a proposed swap deal with a zoo in Japan, two extinction-threatened white tigers could soon be calling it home.
Sat six miles north of the sleepy riverside city of Kampot, Teuk Chhou is one of two private zoos owned by tycoon Nhim Vanda, an elected ruling party official and four-star general who counts strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen as a personal friend.
A visit to the zoo is an affronting experience. The initial surprise at the trash skirting the crocodile pond is quickly eclipsed by the realization the crocs have it far better than most.
Throughout the 1.8 million sq. ft. site, tiny rusted cages line paths crossing expansive, unused lawns. Inside those cages, disheveled exotic birds sit forlornly, waiting to see if the eyes gawking at them will be joined by a hand
PETA slams Cincinnati Zoo
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden should lose its accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claims.
In a letter to the AZA, PETA Foundation counsel Rachel Mathews says the zoo violated the organization’s rules when it allowed visitors to enter an elephant enclosure with nothing more than an electric wire between them and an employee nearby with an inhumane tool to tame the animal.
"I used to have baths with tigers!" - meet the woman who is trying to rescue Simi, the headline-grabbing tiger
MEET Simi – the tiger that stole the glory from new Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn at his first Prime Minister’s Questions.
Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner raised the issue about Simi, an eight-year-old tiger who cannot be rehomed on the island because of “red tape”.
The unusual question took the limelight away from Mr Corbyn, 66, who became leader of the opposition last weekend.
Laughter erupted in the House of Commons when Mr Turner brought up the subject of the Isle of Wight Zoo’s attempt to rescue the tiger.
Scottish wildcat at risk from deadly virus
The endangered Scottish wildcat could be further threatened by a deadly virus that is known to cause the cat version of HIV, according to new research.
Experts said they have isolated two cases of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) from cats with a mixed domestic-wildcat ancestry.
Sumatran tiger kills keeper in Wroclaw zoo in Poland
A police spokesman says a tiger has fatally wounded a keeper at a zoo in Wroclaw, southwestern Poland.
Kamil Rynkiewicz said the rare Sumatran tiger attacked the man Wednesday morning, probably during routine cleaning of the animal’s run. Police were notified by an ambulance crew who were called to the site. Prosecutors are investigating the accident.
TVN24 said the man had 20 years of experience in taking care of predators at the zoo. The zoo director was to hold a news conference
Tiger kills keeper at Hamilton Zoo
The senior zookeeper killed by a tiger at Hamilton Zoo on Sunday morning had worked there for more than 20 years.
She was identified by police late on Sunday as Samantha Lynda Kudeweh, 43, of Pirongia.
Her family had been advised of her death, they said.
On her biography on the Hamilton Zoo website, she is pictured face-to-face with a tiger separated from the animal by a cage.
San Antonio Zoo's Tim Morrow Addresses Lucky The Elephant Controversy
After nearly two decades working at SeaWorld, Tim Morrow thought he was basically set for life – planning to stay with the company until retirement.
Then he got a call from a recruiter asking if he'd be interested in the top post at the San Antonio Zoo. His initial reaction was to say he was all set, but then he thought about it some more and decided to go
Wolf escapes from zoo in Bulgaria’s Blagoevgrad
A wolf has escaped from its cage at the zoo in the Bulgarian town of Blagoevgrad, the District Interior Ministry Directorate announced.
The animal is still on the territory of the zoo. The area has been closed off by officers with the police and the gendarmerie.
Authorities are now waiting for qualifi
Here's How To Shut Down A Zoo Or Aquarium
I feel really sad about how politicized the topic of animal care has become.
You're either in one "camp" or the other, it seems. Some people in the cyber universe have christened these camps as "pro-cap" and "anti-cap", which are ridiculous titles regardless of your opinion about the topic because they do not represent what anyone really stands for.
Asiatic lions sent to 53 zoos in 50 years
Gir sanctuary, the last abode of Asiatic lions, over the last 50 years of its existence, sent big cats to 53 zoos in US, UK, Sweden, Malaysia, France, Singapore, and other countries. Three lionesses - Heidi, Ruby and Indi - in London trace their origin to Gir.
The Zoological Society of London has now sought two more pairs of lions from the Gujarat forest department. The proposal is awaiting state government's approval. "Meanwhile, the state government has already cleared similar proposals to send lions to Prague zoo situated in Czech Republic," said J S Prajapati, deputy conservator of forest, Sakkarbaug Zoo in Junagad.
AP Singh, chief conservator of forests, wildlife circle, Junagadh, said, "We also maintain an Indian National Stud Book which contains records of all Gir lions in zoos across the globe. We have sent 130 lions, captured from the wild in Gir, to various zoos across the country too
Aquarium Corals of Anchorage Poison 10 1/2 Humans, Two Dogs, and One Cat
On August 12, 2014, a man arrived at a hospital in Anchorage, Alaska, with peculiar symptoms and an even stranger story. He was suffering from fever, cough, nausea, pain, and a bitter metallic taste in his mouth, but he already had an idea of who the culprit might be, and it was a doozy: a zoanthid coral.
There are few places that seem less likely for a zoanthid coral attack than Anchorage, Alaska. And yet such a coral managed to poison around a dozen people and animals in their homes and places of work in Anchorage over the last few years, according to a report last month in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly from scientists at Alaska's Division of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
What attacked the people and animals was not the corals per se, but a substance called palytoxin. This molecule binds to the sodium-potassium ATPase, a protein crucial to normal cell functioning that uses t
Chicago Zoological Society to Honor Recipients of 2015 Conservation Leadership Awards
The Chicago Zoological Society, which operates Brookfield Zoo, will honor three recipients for their dedicated commitment to conservation and animal welfare at its 12th annual Conservation Leadership Awards Dinner on Sept. 30.
This year’s award winners are George Archibald, co-founder and senior conservationist of the International Crane Foundation; Susan Regenstein and The Regenstein Foundation, long-time supporters of Brookfield Zoo and the Society; and the Forest Preserves of Cook County, a steward in the prese
Can a nonhuman ape be a film buff?
You'll never forget some movie scenes, particularly in thrillers. The moment of terror may be imprinted on your mind, but you’re not alone.
Our hairy cousins, it turns out, can remember scary or dramatic moments in a film too.
Just as you might anticipate an upcoming moment in a previously watched thriller, chimpanzees and bonobos keep an eye on the part of the screen where something exciting will happen, acco
How not to save the rhino
As conservation efforts fail, scientists and economists are coming up with increasingly loony and dangerous schemes to save the rhino
Last month it was confirmed that the Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is extinct in Malaysia. The future looks bleak for this species. The few dozen remaining individuals are confined to remote forests in Sumatra (Indonesia), in refuges that are under siege on an island devastated by rampant deforestation.
Rhinos are under threat worldwide. The estimated population of the Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus), just 60 individuals, is even lower than that of the Sumatran rhino. In 2011 the West African black rhino (Diceros bicornis longipes) was declared extinct. The global population of another African sub-species, the northern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni), now consists of four individuals, all in zoos, none of them in breeding condition.
I find it shocking that the collapse of rhino pop
The Last of the Sumatran Tigers
Pittsburgh zoo drops accreditation due to disagreement over elephant handling
The Association of Zoos & Aquariums accredits 68 other zoos with elephants in the U.S.
The Association of Zoos & Aquariums will no longer accredit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium due to a disagreement over a new association safety policy that restricts zookeepers’ contact with elephants.
The Pittsburgh Zoo, in a statement issued Monday, said it had a “philosophical difference of opinion” with the AZA policy and will instead follow policies set by another zoo accrediting organization, the Zoological Association of America, which are more flexible.
“The Pittsburgh Zoo believes very strongly that decisions regarding our Zoo’s animals must be made by the professionals who are knowledgeable about the institution’s programs and staff and specifically trained to handle our animals,” said Barbara Baker, the Pittsburgh Zoo’s president and chief executive officer. “In the Pittsburgh tradition, we embrace this core principle and philosophy.”
The Pittsburgh Zoo, which has six elephants, has been an accredited AZA member for 29 years. In November 2002, a keeper was crushed to death by an elephant during a morning exercise walk at the zoo.
The AZA, the largest and oldest accrediting organization for zoos and aquariums in the U.S. and seven other countries, issued a statement saying it was “disappointed” the Pittsburgh Zoo “decided their status quo was preferable to complying with the
Pittsburgh Zoo loses sea turtle program, playground grant after dropping accreditation
Sea turtles and money for a children’s playground are the first, but possibly not the only, collateral damage caused by the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium's decision last week to drop out of a prestigious accrediting organization in a dispute over how its elephant herd should be handled.
Because it is no longer an accredited Association of Zoos & Aquariums facility, the zoo in Highland Park doesn’t qualify for participation in the Sea Turtle Second Chance program, which aids hatchlings of endangered loggerhead, green and leatherback turtles and has operated at the zoo since 2009.
“The requirement for permitting our program by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is that participating facilities be AZA accredited,” said Maylon White, director of the North Carolina Aquariums at Roanoke Island, which holds the federal endangered species permit. “Up until a day or two ago, Pittsburgh met those standards. Now we’re working out the logistics to bring the turtles back here.”
The Pittsburgh Zoo will need to reapply to the AZA to continue its participation as a non-member in more than 100 species sustainability programs that aid threatened and endangered species through research and breeding of shared animals. The AZA has also pulled its $5,000 grant for a children’s “nature playground” at th
Seattle Aquarium's Otter Inhaler Helps Treat Critter With Asthma
The Seattle Aquarium is hoping an inhaler can help a sea otter who officials believe developed asthma because of wildfire smoke near the city.
The 1-year-old sea otter named Mishka developed breathing problems recently when smoke from the Eastern Washington wildfires moved into the Puget Sound ar
A fifth of visitors get sad when they go to the zoo
One in five people surveyed in a YouGov poll for Metroxpress said that visiting the zoo made them more sad than happy, and a quarter answered that this was because it seemed like the animals weren’t happy.
However, Mads Bertelsen, a vet at Copenhagen Zoo and adjunt professor in zoology at the University of Copenhagen, told Metroxpress he doesn’t believe this to be the case.
“Our animals aren’t unhappy, but if some of our visitors get that impression, there’s something we aren’t getting across well enough,” he said.
According to Bertelsen, a zoo animal’
Chester Zoo birds to be reintroduced to the wild
A bird species that was extinct in Europe for more than 300 years is to receive a welcome boost, thanks to the efforts of keepers at Chester Zoo who are releasing them back into the wild.
Four northern bald ibis chicks have been relocated to Jerez in southern Spain as part of an international conservation effort to tackle the drastic decline in numbers.
The birds will be kept in an aviary at the Spanish zoo until the end of November when they will get the best possible start in the wild. Before that they will be introduced to other chicks bred in other European zoos this yea
Two big cats die at S.V. Zoological Park
Two big cats, a lioness and a white tiger, died due to health-related issues at Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park (SVZP), here on Friday. According to zoo officials, the 16-year-old lioness Yampa, rescued from National Circus in Maharashtra in 2001 and later transferred to SVZP’s Animal Rescue Centre, passed away owing to old age. “For the past few days, Yampa had been suffering from paralysis, besides being ridden with sores and ill-health,” they added. The three-year-old white tiger Balaram sustained an injury near its tail, during a playful banter with other tigers. Des
Last Remaining White Rhino Sick; Zoo Officials Don’t Know Why
Veterinarians at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on Thursday performed a surgical procedure on an abscess on the right hip of an aging northern white rhinoceros in an attempt to get to the cause of the recurring ailment.
Nola, 41, is one of just four northern white rhinos remaining in the world. She’s been on antibiotics since near the beginning of the month for the abscess, which animal keepers flush daily.
According to the zoo, the veterinarians couldn’t immediately determine the cause of Nola’s condition, but they took tissue and blood samples for further investigation. Results of the tests are due in a week of two.
Going deep into the abscess also helped it drain better and relieve pressure that can cause pain, park officials said.
“We are treating Nola for a bacterial infection on her right hip,” said Dr. Jim Oosterhuis, a veterinarian at the park.
“The inside of the abscess is very hard, and we want to determine what may be causing this,” Oosterhuis said. “At this point, we simply don’t kn
World leaders urged to join campaign to free Kaavan
An international campaign to free an Asian elephant — chained and kept in solitary confinement for years at Islamabad Zoo — intensified after animal rights activists announced they would approach international leaders to intervene after the lackadaisical response from the Pakistani government.
The CDA management – specifically the environment wing, which oversees affairs of the zoo – has remained indifferent to thousands of appeals lodged by animal lo
Experts dispel spider bite's connection to mental illness
Following a shooting at Delta State University, investigators are now checking claims that a spider bite caused the suspected shooter to have mental health problems.
Professor Shannon Lamb reportedly shot and killed Amy Prentiss and Dr. Ethan Schmidt before killing himself.
Experts at the Memphis Zoo stated they have never heard of a spider bite causing a mental reaction.
"In my experience, you would not have a severe mental reaction to a spider bite," Memphis Zoo Assistant Curator Chris Baker said. "They're physical reactions easily treated by medical doctors."
Baker has studied spiders for 17 years. He explained that spider bites, even from the most venomous animals, typically only cause a physical reaction to skin
Govt mulls new model of zoo operation
The government is likely to grant license to any organisation or agency to operate zoos if they meet the purposes including education, research as well as study and entertainment.
An amendment proposal to the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act (NWCA) 1973 has included a provision that allows institutions or agencies to operate zoos if they meet criterions set by the government and serve the purpose of education, research, breeding, genetic resource conservation and study, among others.
The proposal which is under discussion at the Ministry Forests and Soil Conservation and if approved, it will open the door for private sector as well as interested agencies to establish mini zoos across the country. Until now, there is no specific legal and regulatory framework that talks about zoo management. The Central Zoo in Jawalakhel, Lalitpur, operated under the National Trust for Nature Conservation is the only zoo in the country that manages captive animals from across the country.
Sarita Gyawali, chief at the Central Zoo, however, said the inclusion of a
An animal conservationist came up with a brilliant way to save these obscure, adorable mammals
A squat, hoofed creature with the body of a pig and the elongated snout of an anteater appeared in the photo projected on stage at the TED Fellows Retreat in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California. Roughly half the size of a horse, it lazily munches on a bunch of leaves just inches from a woman's face.
"This is one of the most amazing animals on the face of the earth,” said conservationist Patricia Medici, the woman in the photo. "This is a tapir."
The tapir, a large, powerful relative of the horse and rhinoceros, is one of the most helpful herbivores in the animal kingdom. As tapirs roam the forests and grasslands of Central and South America, they deposit fruit seeds through their feces — promoting future plant growth and shaping the region's biodiversity.
For this reason, they're known as the "gardeners
Inside the 'Zoo from Hell':
A schoolboy kicks a frightened monkey's tiny metal cage as a crocodile languishes in a concrete pool of its own urine, fed on dead dogs
A schoolboy laughs as he kicks out at a frightened monkey peering out from behind a wire cage, sending the animal screeching backwards in terror.
The boy moved from cage to cage, his friends giggling and taking photos on mobile phones, as he lashes out at other animals before a younger boy joined in to more laughter.
This is the distressing daily routine at what one wildlife expert called ‘the Zoo From Hell’, Borneo's Yuk Chin Mini Zoo - a shabby maze of metal cages where tortured animals are rarely fed.
It is here where a crocodile, living in a pond in its own urine, is occasionally tossed dead dogs and cats to eat.
Sabah WIldlife freezes applications for mini zoos following ‘zoo from hell’ expose
Sabah Wildlife Department today froze all applications to operate new mini zoos in the state, and launched a statewide operation against badly run zoos.
Its director William Baya said a directive had been issued to all wildlife officers that no new licences for mini zoos be issued.
“We also want to ensure that the existing licence holders will keep their zoos clean and well kept,” he said, in the wake of their recent rescue operation at the Yuk Chin Mini Zoo in Tawau.
Baya said the mini zoo was set up by the Yuk Chin Primary School over 20 years ago with the intention of educating its pupils o
Mauling, escapes and abuse: 6 small zoos, 80 sick or dead animals
The owner of the Reston Zoo in Northern Virginia has extolled the staff’s love of animals, but an employee drowned an injured wallaby in a plastic bucket, and a frostbitten spider monkey went so long without treatment that it had to be euthanized.
The Natural Bridge Zoo in western Virginia is billed as a sanctuary, but on recent visits, federal inspectors found more than 40 animals in need of veterinary care and questioned staff about a video that shows employees jabbing a monkey with sticks.
The Tri-State Zoological Park in Western Maryland advertises itself as a great stop for kids, but an inspector reported that some children had reached through a cage to pet tigers while a guide stood nearby.
Those are among a host of problems identified at six small zoos in Maryland and Virginia that are popular destinat
Are American eels endangered? Should we care?
The American eel may be ugly, but if it disappears, the impacts on the ecosystem will be even uglier.
Anguilla rostrata is a catadromous fish, meaning that it migrates from freshwater to spawn in saltwater. The eels travel 1,600 miles from the Sargasso Sea to freshwater rivers and streams, and then back to the sea.
Unless, of course, they are intercepted by fishermen who sell them to Asian food markets, which pay top dollar for young "glass eels" that the
What Does the Giraffe Say? Scientists Find the Answer
COWS MOO, LIONS roar, and pigs oink. But for many years it’s been assumed that, except for the occasional snort, giraffes spent most of their lives in a tight-lipped silence. New research from a group studying animal sounds at the University of Vienna suggests giraffes might not be so quiet after all: They spend their evenings humming.
For decades zookeepers reported occasional snorts as the only sounds their charges made. The conventional explanation was that the long necks of giraffes caused their taciturn nature. Giraffes do have a larynx (voice box), but perhaps they couldn’t produce sufficient airflow through their 13-foot long (4 meter) trachea to vibrate their vocal folds and make noises.
The researchers suspected the reason no one heard giraffe communication was because the sound frequency was too low for humans to hear. Elephants and other large animals use an ultra-low frequency “rumble” for long-distance communication; why not giraffes?
So they recorded giraffes at three zo
Houston Zoo forced to remove 'no guns' sign by city
At the behest of the City of Houston which was prompted by a prominent Texas gun rights group, the Houston Zoo has been forced to remove all "no guns" signage from its premises.
Attorney Edwin Walker with Texas Law Shield, a legal services firm for gun owners, sent a demand letter to the Houston Zoo and its corporate entity and the city's parks and recreation department on Sept. 3 asking that they take down all 30.06 (guns prohibited) signs at the zoo.
A 30.06 sign can be used by a business owner to prohibit a CHL holder from bringing a firearm into business. The signs refer to Texas Penal Code 30.06 which forbids CHL holders from bringing firearms into locales with 30.06 signs in plain sight at the entrance or a
PSA: I Worked While I Was Pregnant and This Is What Happened
Something happened that I need to warn all you lady zookeepers about, especially those of you who want kids.
It took me a while to realize the extent to which this occurred, and even longer to put two-and-two together. But my daughter was irrevocably altered largely due to the fact that I worked through the vast majority of my pregnancy.
I'm sorry it's taken me so long to post this, because I feel it's critical that every female who incubates their own children know just what they're doing when they continue to work at a zoo or aquarium while pregnant. But the delay had a lot to do with the Infant Red Zone (or herein referred to has IRZ). You know what I'm talking about. It's that period of time when your baby explodes into your life and is all like, "HELLO, I'D LIKE TO PLAY
Cheetah, tiger embryos cloned from frozen skin cells
Argentinean scientists have successfully produced embryos of endangered species such as Asiatic cheetah, tiger and Bengal cat using frozen skin cells, in order to preserve the planet's biodiversity.
"We are working on non-native species as a first step. Our main objective is to avoid the extinction of indigenous species, such as the jaguar," said Daniel Salamone, associate professor of agronomy at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA).
"The Buenos Aires zoo has a genetic ..
Blackpool Zoo Owner For Sale In Arle Clearout
The owner of Blackpool Zoo is being put up for sale as one of London's biggest pre-crisis investment firms embarks on a multibillion pound clearout of its investments.
Sky News has learnt that Parques Reunidos, a Spanish-based leisure parks operator, is to be the subject of an auction this autumn engineered by Arle Capital Partners.
Arle, which was born from the remnants of Candover, once one of the UK's pre-eminent private equity groups, has hired bankers at Morgan Stanley to work on the sale.
Information about Parque Reunidos will be circulated to prospective bidders imminently, a source said.
In addition to Blackpool Zoo, the company owns Bournemouth Aquarium and the Aquarium of the Lakes in Cumbria.
Its earnings are largely derived from visitor attractions in Spain, although it also has a significant presence in the US, France, Italy and Argentina.
Media reports in February sugges
Selling SeaWorld Orlando Would Be Stupid
It's not just Blackfish-fed activists calling on SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE:SEAS) to free the whales from its clutches. Citi analyst Jason Bazinet is suggesting -- in a note to clients -- that the theme-park operator should sell its most visited park.
SeaWorld Orlando has been a laggard in the otherwise booming tourist hotbed of Central Florida. Disney's (NYSE:DIS) industry-leading theme parks are growing modestly. Rival Universal is growing quickly. SeaWorld is struggling. Attendance at competing parks in Orlando has risen between 4% and 76% over the past five years, according to industry tracker Themed Entertainment Association. SeaWorld Orlando's turnstile clicks in that time have dipped from 5.8 million in 2009 to 4.683 million, off by 19% in that time.
It's going the wrong way, so Bazinet's modest proposal involves SeaWorld selling off the park. It owns the park's land -- unlike its original park's leased site in San Diego -- and that could net SeaWorld $500 million in after-tax value. Given the surge in popularity at Universal and Disney's expansion efforts that will play out in the coming years, it's easy to see how a juicy chunk of land right off I-4 between Disney and Universal could be tempting for developers if the buyers didn't want to stay in the theme-park
Baby Gorilla Died In Zoo, And Her Mother Just Can't Let Go
It is a heartrending scene.
Dian, a western lowland female gorilla at the Frankfurt Zoo in Germany, is devotedly carrying her newly born twin babies around in her enclosure.
However, one of the infants is dead.
Dian gave birth on September 15 without any complications. But immediately thereafter, one of the newborns began to rapidly decline — and by the morning of September 17, the infant had died, accor
David M. Rubenstein Pledges $4.5 Million to Fund National Zoo Panda Program Through 2020
The namesake of the National Zoo's giant panda habitat has pledged a second $4.5 million gift to the panda program, zoo officials announced Thursday.
The donation from David M. Rubenstein will fund the program through the end of 2020.
The news comes less than a month after twin panda cubs were born to the zoo's female giant panda, Mei Xiang. The smaller of the two cubs died four days after birth, but the surviving cub is healthy and growing quickly.
Zoo vets said earlier this week that the newborn now weighs close to two pounds. He has also been spotted
Really Big Grand Rapids Rodent May Be First Of Its Kind To Get Chemo
This may be the first time a Capybara will be treated with chemotherapy.
The large rodent named Jersey, who resembles a dramatically over-sized guinea pig, lives at the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids.
BluePearl Veterinary Partners oncologist Dr. Christine Swanson says Jersey, who is 11 years old and weighs about 100 pounds, recently had a cancerous tumor removed from her leg.
Swanson said chemotherapy beads will be implanted next.
“Chemotherapy is a pretty scary word if you’re used to it on the human side, but in veterinary medicine it’s more about quality of life,” she told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Beth Fisher.
“Particularly for Jersey here…these are going to be very slowly released.”
Swanson said this type of chemo is usually used for horses, but has been used to treat cats and dogs over the last five years. She the treatment probably won’t bother Jersey too much.
“We don’t expect her to have any side effects from
5 things we need to stop telling ourselves about zoos
We hear a lot of things to justify keeping animals in captivity. But are these justifications based on fact, or are they simply what zoos would have us believe? Here's 5 things we hear about zoos, and why we should think twice about them.
Vingroup begins animal conservation programme on Phu Quoc; safari next
VietNamNet Bridge – Property giant Vingroup announced plans to establish an animal conservation programme on Phu Quoc Island this month and start an animal safari two months later.
The group said Vinpearl Safari would help carry out research, educational activities and fundraising for wildlife conservation, enhance public awareness and develop nature tourism in Viet Nam.
The programme has started with research and conservation of some rare animal species and their natural habitats.
Next up is a safari park in Bai Dai (Long Beach) in Phu Quoc that will have a zoo and night safari with nine theme areas based on different regions in the world.
In phase 1, it plans to develop two theme parks -- African and Indian -- on an area of 180ha. Work is expected to begin in December.
It will involve 2,000 animals belonging to 130 species besides 400 plant species.
Le Khac Quyet, the director of the programme, said it would be of international standard and a precursor to many animal research and conservation efforts in Viet Nam.
Young elephant dies of herpes at Chester Zoo as virus claims its third victim in two years
A two-year old Asian elephant has died of herpes at Chester Zoo just days after falling ill.
Bala Hi Way, who was born at the zoo in January 2013, was taken sick over the weekend and died last night despite 'the very best efforts of all teams involved in her care', zookeepers said.
The exact cause of death will be determined by a post-mortem examination, but the zoo revealed the female calf had tested positive for elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV).
Thailand's 'superstar' hippo turns 49
Dusit Zoo will throw a birthday party for its most famous resident, Mae Mali the hippopotamus, who turns 49 this month.
Zoo spokeswoman Paowanna Wongmaneewan said Friday that the facility expects about 1,000-plus well-wishers to show up on Saturday and Sunday to sing Happy Birthday to the hefty herbivore.
Her exact birthday was not recorded by the zoo, so it calculated that sometime in September would be a good time to celebrate her birth date.
''Mae Mali is the oldest creature at the zoo. Obviously, she's a superstar to the kids,'' she said.
Dusit Zoo received the river horse from Tilburg Zoo in the Netherlands in 1967 when she was only a year old. Since then the hippo has sired 14 calves, one of them which died youn
Taiwan, China to exchange sika deers for giant pandas
A Taiwanese zoo said Sunday it has reached an agreement with a zoo in China to exchange a pair of Taiwan's Formosan sika deer for two Chinese pandas.
The Shoushan Zoo in Kaohsiung will give two of its endemic sika deers to the Chengdu Zoo in China's Sichuan Province, said Chuang Hsuan-chih, director of the Shoushan Zoo.
In return, the Chinese zoo will gift two of its pandas to the Shoushan Zoo, Chuang said.
The exchange is expected to enrich the diversity of species at the Shoushan Zoo, which has been seeking to do so but has been limited by its funding and space.
The zoo, which attracts ar
Govt to revive ‘wildlife gifting’
The government is doing its homework to revive the tradition of ‘gifting’ its wildlife to foreign countries as a way of improving diplomatic ties and help in wildlife conservation in the long run.
The amendment bill on National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act (NWCA) 1973 that is put for discussion by the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MoFSC) has included a provision that would allow countries to receive wild animals from Nepal if the agreement benefits the conservation and management of wildlife in the country.
“If any country forwards its request for a wildlife from Nepal and abides by the set guidelines, and the donor country considers the request appropriate from the conservation and management perspective, then the state could make the wildlife available as per the request,” the clause 15( E) of the amended bill mentions.
A practice of ‘gifting’ wildlife including endangered rhinoceros was already in place during the royal regime and was stopped after Nepal became a federal democratic republic in 2007. The then King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation, now renamed as National Trust for Nature Conservation, patronised by monarchs had been involved in gifting rhi
National Zoological Park staff injured
A staff of National Zoological Park (Delhi Zoo) here was injured while trying to separate two elephants who clashed this morning.
The staff member Kulin Boro, care taker of elephants' in the zoo was looking after the three elephants who were allowed morning stroll as per schedule. When the two elephants started a fight while playing he tried to separate them.
"While doing so he fell down and received light injuries on his arms and knee. He was rushed to RML hospital where he was treated for his wounds and later discharged," said zoo official RA Khan.
"It is wrong to say that he was attacked by elephants because in that case he wo
Want to Census a Jungle? Sequence DNA From Blood-Sucking Leeches
When Thomas Gilbert found the Annamite striped rabbit, he wasn’t traipsing through the jungles of Vietnam where the exceedingly rare creature lives. He wasn’t inspecting a trap, or peering through binoculars. He wasn’t even flicking through photographs captured by a camera-trap. He was, instead, looking at the rabbit’s DNA.
Which he had pulled out of a leech.
There are some 700 species of leech and many of them suck the blood of mammals. In doing so, they achieve with ease what scientists find difficult: They sneak through thick, tropical rainforest and collect DNA samples from rare and elusive species. By collecting these mini-vampires in turn, and sequencing the DNA in their bodies, scientists can get a cheap and surprisingly comprehensive snapshot of a jungle’s fauna.
The idea behind this unorthodox census technique started with Mads Bertelsen, a vet from Copenhagen Zoo. Bertelsen was doing fieldwork in Malaysia when he saw a leech fastened to the side of a ta
First European jackal discovered in Denmark
DNA samples of an animal that was struck and killed by a vehicle in Jutland earlier this summer have confirmed that the jackal has now also arrived in Denmark.
The European jackal a carnivore that is just a bit smaller than a golden retriever. It is normally found in the Balkans and southern Europe but has also been registered in Austria and Germany.
When tests confirmed that the animal struck by a vehicle was a jackal, it marked the first recorded appearance of the species in Denmark.
According to geneticist Liselotte Wesley Andersen, who examined the jackal, it was a male with no testicles which could mean that it was held in captivity.
Retirement won't keep zoo director away
Now that he is retiring as the director of the North Carolina Zoo, David Jones is looking forward to spending more time tending his 2 acres of yard, leading some trips to Africa, doing a little public speaking and maybe even writing a book.
“I think what I’ll miss most is the sheer variety of tasks and dealing with so many things at any time,” said Jones, 71. He was director for more than two decades. “As zoo director, nothing was the same from one hour to the next.”
But Jones has no plans to leave zoo life completely behind. He will help the new director, Patricia Simmons, through the end of October and will continue to serve with the N.C. Zoo Society, helping with a large capital campaign.
During Jones’ tenure, the zoo’s landholdings have increased from about 1,400 to 2,200 acres, making it the largest zoo in the world in terms of land area. The number of visitors per year has grown steadily to 750,000, and the zoo has gained international reco
Celebrating a Year of Excellence Beyond Compliance®
James F. Gesualdi, P.C., Islip, Long Island, New York, whose practice is concentrated on animal welfare and wildlife conservation, will be celebrating a year since the release of his book, Excellence Beyond Compliance: Enhancing Animal Welfare Through the Constructive Use of the Animal Welfare Act, Maurice Bassett (2014). (Named Finalist for the 2014 National Indie Excellence® Book Awards in the category of Animals/Pets.) Gesualdi’s book, released September 30, 2014, challenges everyone to work together towards excellence in animal welfare by asking one simple question,
What can we do TODAY to improve the well-being of animals?
Gesualdi has been busy this past year sharing the Excellence Beyond Compliance® approach via presentations, programs/webinars, radio/interviews, articles and updates. Excellence Beyond Compliance® is proud to be a Collaborating Partner of the San Diego Zoo Global Academy where Gesualdi writes a monthly e-Newsletter column, “Getting Better All the Time” (on continuous improvement in animal welfare), available at http://sdzglobalacademy.org/newsletter.html. For more information on Gesualdi and his book go to http://excellencebeyondcompliance.com/.
10 things you might not know about zoos
1. Dr. Seuss' 1950 book "If I Ran the Zoo" featured such animals as "a Nerkle, a Nerd and a Seersucker, too!" This is the likely origin of the slang term "nerd."
The Case for Zoos: They Just Might Save the Endangered Pygmy Hippo
Most people have never heard of the pygmy hippo, much less seen one. Until 1844, even scientists did not recognize the existence of this species—a miniaturized, snubbier-nosed (and considerably cuter) 400-pound version of the 3,300-pound common hippo. But pygmy hippos are rapidly disappearing from their West African habitat—and the culprits are entirely familiar.
“Large areas of the original forest habitat, especially in Côte d’Ivoire, have been destroyed or degraded by commercial plantations
Pro-hunting group call for BBC’s Chris Packham to be sacked for his ‘slanted’ animal rights views
TV nature show star Chris Packham should be fired by the BBC for his ‘slanted’ views on conservation, a countryside pressure group has demanded.
Tim Bonner, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, accused top executives at the Beeb of letting Springwatch presenter Packham use the corporation to push his own views.
‘We call on the BBC to take action as Chris Packham uses it as a platform from which to promote an animal rights agenda,’ said Mr Bonner, whose group campaigns on behalf of the hunting, shooting and fishing fraternity.
Aquarium to Test World's First Automated Fish Health Monitor
England's Blue Planet Aquarium is going to allow its tanks to be testing sites for what could turn out be the world's first automated fish health monitoring system.
The system, developed by Lynne Sneddon, an expert on fish pain and the University of Liverpool's director of bioveterinary science, places in each tank two cameras linked to software that scans fish movements in three dimensions.
Behavior data for healthy fish -- already stored in the system -- is compared with the comings and goings of the live aquarium fish. If the program spots something about a fish's behavior that doesn't match up with good health, aquarium staff a
Woman loses arm in zoo tiger attack in central Vietnam
A 21-year-old woman is recovering after a tiger in a zoo in Nghe An Province bit off her left arm two weeks ago.
Le Thi Yen of Thua Thien Hue Province is still terrified when talking about the incident on August 23 at the Muong Thanh Eco-tourism Area.
“I was visiting the place with my husband. We did not have a tour guide and I wandered into the prohibited area behind the white tigers’ cage.”
Together with some visitors she climbed a short wall and clung to the cage to watch the resting tigers when an animal suddenly woke up, leaped and grabbed her arm.
Inspectors blame tourist for being attacked by tiger in central Vietnam zoo
Inspectors have concluded that a 21-year-old woman was to blame for being attacked by a tiger at a zoo in central Vietnam last month.
Tran Thi Yen should not have climbed up to take pictures of the tiger, which was resting inside its cage at Muong Thanh Company’s Trai Bo Eco-tourism Area, said Le The Hieu, a local official in Nghe An Province said.
Inspectors said the cage has high concrete walls, with safety iron bars on top.
They launched an investigation after local media published many reports on the incident.
Yen visited Trai Bo with her family on August 23.
She said she accidentally went to the area, without being aware that it is a restricted zone, because there was no tour guide.
She followed others to climb up the wall to watch the white tigers sleeping.
When she was about to jump off, a tiger suddenly leaped and grabbed her left arm.
Others used sticks to chase the tiger aw
Charity warns world is running out of snake anti-venom
The world is running out of the one most effective treatments for snakebites, according to medical experts, putting thousands of lives at risk.
The warning was issued by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which said 100,000 people died from snake venom every year.
Another 8000 needed amputations, said the charity as it raised the alarm over what it described as “one of the world’s
Meanwhile In The Future: Endangered Animals Live In Armoured Zoos
Many scientists believe that the Earth is approaching another mass extinction event. Between deforestation, pollution, hunting and general human encroachment, all sorts of species are at risk of going extinct. In this week’s future, humans give up on saving species where they live and instead put them in armoured zoos.
Scots and Iranians in effort to uncover rare cats' secrets
David Barclay, of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), has been in contact with a researcher in Iran since 2013.
In a new development, an abandoned Pallas's cat kitten could be radio-collared for the first time in Iran.
Efforts to capture images of the animals in Iran using camera traps have been unsuccessful so far.
Mr Barclay said putting a radio collar on a young cat and releasing it back into the wild could help uncover new information on the cats.
He said: "Should this happen we will be
Carnivores in captivity: a question of motive and ethics
In the aftermath of several – in some cases fatal – wildlife attacks, social and mainstream media have been alive with the debate about whether wild animals, especially large predators, should be kept in captivity.
Personally, I try to steer well clear of the emotionally charged, and generally not evidence-based, social media feeds and instead focus on the bare facts of the issue. So, what is at play when we start to talk about the merits and problems of keeping wild animals, particularly ones with large teeth and sharp claws, in captive or even semi-captive situations?
On the one hand, animal rights activists argue that no wild animal should be kept in captivity because it is cruel and unethical.
On the other, captive facilities offer a slightly more convoluted argument. Some operations argue that the experience of seeing and sometimes touching an animal in captivity provides people with an important link to nature th
P135-million zoo, theme park to rise in Pampanga
If all goes according to plan, a zoo and theme park – to be built at a cost of P135 million ($2.89 million) – will rise inside the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga by next year.
Th development comes as firms map out the expansion of their operations in the freeport, and government implements infrastructure projects to boost Clark as the Silicon Valley of the Philippines.
State-run Clark Development Corporation (CDC) said on Tuesday, September 1, that it recently
Animal-rights activists closely monitoring P135-million Clark zoo
Animal-rights activists are keeping a close watch on the P135-million zoo that will soon be established in this former US Air Force base.
Last week the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) has signed a lease agreement with Global Zoo and Theme Park Alliance Inc. (GZTPAI) President Romeo Siccion that would pave the way for the establishment of a zoo in this free port.
The CDC said the total leased land is 20 hectares and the project will employ about 140 workers in the next five years.
But animal-rights activists said that, what is labelled as a tourism-related project could very well be another venue to exploit animals.
According to the People for the Ethical T
Orangutan shot dead while trying to flee German zoo
Animal rights activists have reacted angrily to the killing of an orangutan who tried to escape from a zoo in western Germany.
The endangered ape managed to slip out of his enclosure at Duisburg Zoo on Monday and tried to flee over the outer perimeter fence.
Keepers shot the male orangutan dead before he could escape, saying a sedative would have taken too long to take effect.
The German Animal Protection Association
RIP Masyanya bear: Animals die in flooded zoo in Russia's Far East, locals say (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Several animals, including a lion and a bear, have drowned in their cages in the Russian city of Ussuriysk after it was flooded by heavy rains, locals say. With more rainfall expected in the region, animal activists have raised the alarm to save animals still left in flooded cages.
A tough call: Zoo animals fate hangs in balance; officials fear backlash
Fairy, the 16-year-old lioness at the Lahore Zoo, drags her hind legs while attempting to walk. “She was paralyzed in 2009. She made a partial recovery in 2009 after extensive treatment but her hind legs remain imbalanced,” Lahore Zoo Director Shafqat Ali told The Express Tribune on Friday.
“She is in a lot of pain,” he said adding that chances of her recovering from the condition were remote. Ali said euthanasia was the only option for animals in such a state. “It is neither good for the animal nor the herd to keep them alive,” he said.
Ali said five animals at the zoo including the lioness, a houbara bustard, some peafowl and select pheasants had
Johor prince carries out spot check on zoo
The Johor Zoo that has invited harsh criticism from the public and animal NGOs for its neglect of the animals under its care had a visit from Tunku Temenggong Johor Tunku Idris Iskandar yesterday when he headed there to conduct a spot check on the place.
Taking to Instagram, Tunku Idris, the third child of the Sultan of Johor, said, “Spot check. Lots of improvement needed.”
The prince was there after the zoo came under intense criticism for its obvious neglect of an 18-year old lion, whose claws had become so overgrown it had dug into the frail animal’s paw pads causing him injuries so bad, he was unable to walk without limping or dragging his feet.
However, the prince in response to the complaints said it was time to fix the situation by actually doing something concrete about it.
In a shot posted on Instagram of the prince and a
Polar bear’s death at Berlin zoo finally solved
Knut, a polar bear that became a global celebrity then mysteriously drowned at age 4 in his Berlin Zoo pen, died of a rare autoimmune disease, a scientist revealed Thursday.
The finding solves a mystery that has lingered since Knut’s sudden death in 2011. Knut, who had been rejected by his mother and hand-reared by a zookeeper, was the global face of 2007 with his fluffy fur and toddler antics.
Not to forget Thomas Doerflein
Knut keeper Thomas Doerflein is found dead after being banned from his bear cub 'son' (old news)
The zoo keeper who raised Knut the polar bear cub after he was rejected by his mother has been found dead.
There were rumours Thomas Doerflein committed suicide because bosses banned him from playing with his cuddly "son" when the animal got too big.
Police said the 44-year-old, who had been seriously ill, was discovered dead at his apartment.
Officers were last night waiting for the results of a postmortem.
Dad-of-three Doerflein made headlines around the world when he started hand-rearing Knut after the cub's mother snubbed him at birth in December 2006.
The move sparked controversy with animal rights groups demanding the bear be destroyed rather than raised by a human.
Doerflein lived, ate and slept with K
Last Sumatran rhino at Cincinnati Zoo going to Indonesia
As a rare rhino is readied for a new home in the next few weeks, the Cincinnati Zoo is acknowledging a bittersweet farewell.
Tigress nurses her own along with adopted Amur tiger cubs — RT In motion
A tiger’s day out in Hyderabad zoo
The weekend crowds in the Nehru zoological Park here had a harrowing experience after a tiger jumped off its enclosure to freedom, in the zoo premises though, on Saturday.
According to zoo officials, the tiger gained temporary freedom while being shifted to another enclosure. Fortunately, it walked into a prohibited zone near the snake park even as the panic-stricken visitors ran helter-skelter.
The police and zoo officials got the zoo evacuated on a war-footing and tranquilised the big cat which was on the prowl.
Even though none was injured, the fact that the tig
USDA complaint alleges Dade City zoo offering 'Swim with Tigers' mistreated animals
A zoo in Pasco County has mishandled animals, carelessly forcing tiger cubs to swim in a pool and pose for cameras, according to an administrative complaint filed by inspectors with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Officials said in a filing against Dade City's Wild Things that the company "has not shown good faith," failing to get in line even after an official warning in 2012 detailed years of missteps. It alleges that zoo employees have painted young tigers' fur and forced them to endure stressful and harmful situations.
The zoo's director, reached Thursday, denied the claims.
"On principle I won't settle this," said Wild Things director Kathy Stearns. "I'm going to take it all the way because I know for a fact that I have not done these things."
The legal filing was publicized by the activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which says its members have complained about Wild Things to the USDA and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
"For years, Dade City's Wild Things has forced young tigers to swim while the cubs have struggled, cried and fought to escape from the water and unwanted
Effort afoot to freeze animal reproductive cells at Yokohama zoo
From humboldt penguins to black jaguars, sperm and eggs from dozens of zoo animals are being frozen and stored at the Zoorasia Yokohama Zoological Gardens until they can be used for artificial insemination.
Placed in thin tubes, the reproductive cells taken from over 50 different species raised in three zoos — Kanazawa Zoo, Nogeyama Zoo and this one — in Yokohama are stored in tanks and frozen with minus-196 degrees Celsius liquid nitrogen.
“Theoretically speaking, the frozen sperm and eggs can be preserved semipermanently,” said Noriyoshi Ichikawa, director of the Yokohama-run Preservation and Research Center at the zoo that stores the cells.
“If we preserve these gametes now, they could be used in the future” if the species face extinction, he added.
Dubbed Frozen Zoo, the initiative is part of conservation efforts that Japanese zoos have pursued in recent years, hoping to help breed animals that may disappear from their facilities in the future, and possibly to save endangered species in the wild.
Apart from Yokohama zoo, Tama Zoological Park in Tokyo and Kobe University, which initially launched the research in the early 1990s, have frozen zoos.
And a new one is also slated to be created in Sendai Yagiyama Zoological Park in Miyagi Prefecture by the end of th
Top ten bird species surviving thanks to zoos
The African penguin, the Chinese Blue-crowned laughing thrush and the Ecuador Amazon parrot are among species staving off extinction thanks to the help of zoos, according to a new report co-ordinated by a conservation biologist at the University of York.
Ant colony protests to save the Amazon rainforest
Half a million ants take part in a ''protest'' at a German zoo calling for increased protection of the Amazon rainforest.
To Decode Elephant Conversation, You Must Feel The Jungle Rumble
The natural world is abuzz with the sound of animals communicating — crickets, birds, even grunting fish. But scientists learning to decode these sounds say the secret signals of African elephants — their deepest rumblings — are among the most intriguing calls any animal makes.
Zoo goes into lockdown after baboon ESCAPES enclosure by breaking through electric fence
Visitors to the park in Kent were left out on safari trucks in the reserve due to the break out - while others were stuck in the gift shop and cafes
“Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty…”: Zoo Barrier Jumpers and Social Darwinism
Meet Josh Newell (on right), a 35 year old bartender that recently garnered attention by jumping the barriers at the Columbus Zoo so that he could videotape himself petting the cougars. The hapless bartender then uploaded the video to YouTube to share with the world (and ultimately the police) his shining “Cougar Love” moment in the sun. Congratulations, Josh! This chain of inappropriate behaviors and complete inability to predict the consequences of your actions has earned you the crown of this week’s “Topic Queen” on Tales From The Wetsuit.
Joan Embery on Why Zoos are Good for Conservation
Keeping wildlife in captivity is bad. Animals being free to roam the wild is good. Right?
The issues surrounding animal rights can seem very black and white to armchair activists. But what happens when the habitats in which these animals live– their food sources, their safe havens– are destroyed? What happens when humans hunt and poach animals to the brink of extinction? How do we save these species for future generations?
Logistics giant UPS bans shark fin shipments amid pressure from conservationists
Global logistics giant United Parcel Service is banning shipments of shark fin amid worldwide pressure from conservationists.
The firm announced the move on Twitter, saying it had implemented the ban "following consultation with [green group] WWF".
In a separate statement, it said it had enacted the ban "due to concerns about the enforcement capabilities of the authorities and potential inaccuracy of visual inspection" under the global Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
It called the potential for misidentification an "unacceptable business condition".
The ban severely limits choice for shippers of shark fin products. At least 31 global airlines, including Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Lufthansa, have imposed a blanket ban on the
Topeka Zoo director denies PETA's request to discuss elephants' care
Animal-rights group contends pachyderms not getting enough social interaction
Topeka Zoo officials on Wednesday rebuffed claims by activists that the zoo’s two elderly elephants are struggling psychologically because of a shortage of social interaction.
On Aug. 7, a lawyer with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wrote to Topeka Zoo director Brendan Wiley requesting a meeting to discuss elephants Tembo and Sunda. Tembo is an African elephant, and Sunda is an Asian elephant.
Rachel Mathews, with PETA’s Captive Animals Law Enforcement unit, wrote about the “complex physical, social, and psychological needs” of elephants.
“Without complex social interaction, elephants are afflicted with loneliness, boredom, and depression,” Mathews said in the letter.
The zoo’s two elephants, M
Cub’s arrival creates excitement at Zoo Negara and around the globe
It may only be about the size of a palm, but it is fiercely protected by its mother, watched like a hawk by zoo authorities and is creating excitement around the world.
The unnamed newborn baby giant panda of Xing Xing and Liang Liang has not even opened its eyes but can be heard crying loudly, much to the delight of Zoo Negara staff.
Malaysian Zoological Society Giant Panda Conservation Centre and veterinary services director Dr Mat Naim Ramli said that it was a very thrilling time for the zoo.
“We can see the legs and some parts of the body but the mother, Liang Liang, is very protective and is keeping her baby well hidden,” he said.
When born, giant panda cubs are pink, blind and almost hairless. They typically begin to open their eyes around 40 days after birth and start developing the signature black and white pattern in a month.
Dr Mat Naim said it was also too early to determine the gender of the baby, adding that officials would be observing the family closely.
“We can hear it crying. It’s a loud sound and that’s
A New Option for Crocodile Birth Control
When they live in zoos, Mugger crocodiles happily mate and lay eggs. Maybe a little too happily: when they produce two clutches of 25 to 30 eggs each year, a zoo is quickly going be swamped by little croc babies. And rampant habitat loss means that there are fewer places to return them to the wild. What zoos need is reliable crocodile birth control.
One good reason? Keeping males and females in separate enclosures–the current method of population control–makes the crocs more aggressive than normal. If we were talking about a mammal, giving the males a simple vasectomy might be an option. But crocodilians keep their testes and their associated ducts deep inside their abdome
Spying on Animals: Moments from Zoo Surveillance Feeds
An orangutan appears to hit its own head with a swing. A panda huddles in the corner of a sparse, carpeted room. A leopard stands in an artificial cave, mouth ajar and eyes vacant, like a taxidermied museum exhibit.
These unsettling scenes come from the live surveillance video feeds of zoos in North America and Europe, frozen in time by photographer Arko Datto. Instead of using a camera, Datto made screenshots from the videos available online, revealing perspectives and moments of distress unseen during a typical zoo visit.
His series of images, titled CAPTIVECAM, is the t
Rare Sand Cat Startles Israeli Zoo With Unexpected Birth
It's just as well for the sand cat species that personal taste isn't a prerequisite for procreation, it seems. Rotem, the only surviving sand cat at the Ramat Gan Safari Park, lost her mate a year ago and seemed rather repulsed by Kalahari, his replacement, a sand cat imported from Sweden last September.
Maybe he put a bag on his furry head, because three weeks ago, to the astonishment of Rotem's keepers, she gave birth to three kittens, who have now started to totter on their tiny legs beyond the nest.
"We had been extremely worried," confessed Sigal Horowitz, spokeswoman of the Safari, which is officially called the Zoological Center of Tel Aviv. "Here we had gone
Drones Used for Wildlife Observation Cause Bears’ Hearts to Beat Significantly
The researchers came to know that the presence of drones was related to increased heart rates among bears by as much as 123 beats per minute.
Now, another group of researchers finds that despite the calm demeanor bears may display in the presence of airborne robots, drones make bear heart rates soar, a major sign of stress.
Drones are being used in South Africa with the goal of wildlife park rangers to look out for elephant or rhino poachers, but a correspondent observing the animals’ behavior has forwarded the information to Mark Ditmer that there is a psychological stress placed upon them due to the incessant buzzing of the device.
In the news release, researchers admit that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – better known as drones – have become valuable tools for wildlife researchers, giving them the means to observe animals that were once hard to reach because of long distances and inhospitable terrain.
The National Park Service has already dubbed drones unwelcome, banning their use withi
Tentacles that think
ALMOST all intelligent creatures, be they parrots, sharks or human beings, are vertebrates. This is inconvenient for anyone trying to understand the nature of intelligence because it means, by and large, that he can study only how it has developed down a single evolutionary path. But there is an important exception. Molluscs branched off to form their own lineage before any organism had a spine—and one particular class of them, the cephalopods, has since become smart enough to rival some vertebrates.
Modern cephalopods are octopuses, squid, cuttlefish and an unusual shelled creature called the nautilus. Octopuses, in particular, are rated as intelligent. Some carry coconut shells across the seabed to make shelters. Others have worked out that fishing boats offer easy pickings. There have even been cases of them climbing out of aquarium tanks to raid a neighbouring tank that contained a tasty morsel. Many researchers would like to know whether these behaviours have come about in a differe
Zoo director: We will have to abandon Grand if we fail to find an elephant by 2017
World Elephant Day dedicated to the preservation and protection of the world's elephants is marked today, on August 12. “Visit the zoo to congratulate Grand Junior the elephant!” the zoo’ officials said in a statement posted on Yerevan Zoo’s Facebook page.
What measures have zoo managers taken to make the day of Yerevan Zoo’s only elephant festive, what presents await Grand Junior?
Panorama.am learned from Yerevan Zoo that no festive events are held on World Elephant Day, but the zoo workers providing care for animals assured us that they do their best to turn every day of Grand Junior into a holiday.
“The elephant that has lived Yerevan for over a year does not need any gifts at the moment,” the zoo officials said.
In the words of Yerevan zoo workers, the joy and pleasure that both children and adult visitors feel on seeing Grand Junior is the best present for the male elephant that has turned 8. The most important problem is to find a mate for Grand,
Mosquarium Opens in Russia
People in Moscow have been flocking to one of the Russian capital's newest attractions: A massive aquarium.
"Mosquarium" opened August 5th and is giving the residents of Moscow as well as tourists the chance to explore life under the sea.
The centre boasts as being unique, given its size and the variety of exhibits.
Marina Zhuravleva is the head of the oceanograph
Exotic and exploited? ‘Dangerous’ exotic animals can be pets in Wisconsin
When Bekah Weitz’ phone rings, she never knows what is waiting for her on the other end of the line.
During one of her shifts working animal control for the Eau Claire County Humane Association in 2005, a confused officer responding to a house fire in Dunn County called for backup after being tipped off that a shed attached to the burning house contained several pet cats -- big cats.
More specifically, tigers. And no one knew they were there prior to the fire.
Weitz advised the officer not to act until she and other animal control officers arrived on the scene. If the tigers were to escape, Weitz said, they should be considered extremely dangerous, and the officers should take action to defend themselves and those in the neighborhood if necessary.
While en route to the scene, Weitz received another phone call from the officer: The tigers had been found, but all of them had died from smoke inhalation.
Recalling the incident, Weitz -- now a humane investigator for Monroe County -- said th
Perceived dangers posed by selfie sticks prompt bans at some tourist venues
As selfie sticks become popular among young people and foreign visitors, more tourist facilities in the Chubu region are banning them over the apparent dangers they can pose.
While some facilities prohibit use of selfie sticks for the sake of visitor safety, others allow them, arguing that sharing such pictures on social networking services helps promote the venues.
Critically endangered species successfully reproduced using frozen sperm
Black-footed ferrets, a critically endangered species native to North America, have renewed hope for future survival thanks to successful efforts by a coalition of conservationists, including scientists at Lincoln Park Zoo, to reproduce genetically important offspring using frozen semen from a ferret who has been dead for approximately 20 years. The sire, "Scarface," as he is affectionately called by the team, was one of the last 18 black-footed ferrets to exist in the world in the 1980s. Eight kits, including offspring of Scarface, were born recently, significantly increasing the gene diversity of this endangered population that a dedicated team is working to recover in the wild.
Their work published Aug. 13 in the journal Animal Conservation "Recovery of Gene Diversity Using Long-Term Cryopreserved Spermatozoa and Artificial Insemination in the Endangered Black-Footed Ferret."
Partners working to save black-footed ferrets from extinction, and recover a healthy population back to the wild include Lincoln Park Zoo, The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisville Zoological Garden, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Phoenix Zoo and Toronto Zoo.
"Our study is the first to provide empirical evidence that artificial insemination with long-stored spermatozoa is not only possible but also beneficial to the genetic diversity of an endangered species," said David Wildt, lead autho
Shocking video shows young bear being savaged by group of tigers in Chinese zoo
A shocking video has emerged of a three-year-old bear being brutally killed by an ambush of tigers.
The young Formosan black bear is believed to have wandered into a tiger pen at Shanghai Wild Animal Park.
Xiao Heixiong, meaning 'little black bear, as he is known, stands on his hind legs as the tigers stalk towards him to try to scare them off.
But the little bear is no match for the tigers and they pounce.
Woman dies from tiger attack in China zoo
A female tourist died after being attacked by a tiger in a wildlife park in north China's Hebei Province on Wednesday, local authorities said.
The woman broke park rules by going out of her own car when touring the wildlife park in the city of Qinhuangdao and then got attacked by a tiger at 1:55 p.m., the city's publicity department said.
The woman was rushed to hospital but died there after treatment failed, it said.
Sea creature sends Oklahoma City zookeeper to hospital
A zoo keeper at the Oklahoma City Zoo was taken to a nearby hospital after an accident with an animal.
Zoo officials say an employee was clipping the barb of a cownose stingray Wednesday morning when she was stung.
“When you work with wild animals, things can happen, but we have professionals,” said Tara Henson, a spokeswoman for the zoo. “But we’ll be reviewing process to see if we need to do anything differently and better to ensure that she wouldn’t have gotten injured.”
The zoo keeper was taken to a nearby hospital but is expected to be okay.
“Any one of us could have some sort of reaction to something like that,” said Henson. “We err on the side of caution. She did not want to go to the hospital and we said, ‘well you’re going to.'”
Clipping an animal’s barbs is a routine procedure — similar to a human clipping his or her fingernails.
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the parent brand for ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, has undergone a rebrand that it hopes will position it better as the global conservation charity that it is.
The new tagline, ‘Let’s Work for Wildlife’, is part of the new logo and presents a clear brand purpose that goes beyond the UK-based zoos.
ZSL’s previous logo featured typography filled with easily recognisable animal print, the new rendition stems from ZSL’s London Zoo brand, uniting the sub-brands with the overarching brand. The previous tagline, ‘Living Conservation’, has also been dropped for being too unclear in its proposition.
Rich Storton, marketing director at ZSL, says, “The time was right for us to consider how the ZSL brand reflected who we are and our role as a modern conservation charity. ‘Living Conservation’ no longer felt right or active enough to inspire the public. ‘Let’s Work For Wildlife’ is a strong proposition that works harder to raise our profile with the public, whose contributions are so vital to help us create a better future for wildlife.”
Previously, the ZSL brand was somewhat overshadowed by the popular London Zoo brand. The new identity should ensure that ZSL receives recognition for the work it does. Through science and conservation projects ZSL seeks to achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. The new brand
Zoo wolf’s death a senseless mistake
Rebel, the wolf from the Menominee Park Zoo, took one for the team. When I first heard the story, my heart ached. I couldn’t sleep that night. Subsequent nights all I could think about were the wolves left behind. One of the pack was missing.
It was all a senseless mistake. Someone wasn’t thinking. Someone wasn’t paying attention. Someone inadvertently left a restricted area gate open at the wolf exhibit. This didn’t mean the public was free to enter, but some people did. To further complicate the situation, a child was momentarily left unattended.
Of course the child was fascinated and naturally stuck his fingers through the fence. Naturally Rebel was curious and went to investigate. You can’t blame the wolf for checking out the outstretched fingers.
There was no serious injury, but the opportunity for the child to take rabies shots was declined. Rebel didn’t have the opportunity to decline the death penalty, which caused a great deal of pain for those who loved and cared for the wolf.
Too bad someone with awareness or a sense of civic responsibility didn’t report the unlocked gate to a staff member or even intervene in the dangerous circumstances the child had created.
There is shared responsibility for this unfortunate situation; the Parks Department, patrons who entered a restricted area and a child left unattended. According to the article by Nathaniel Shuda, published in The Northwestern July 29, the Parks Department implemented safety measure
Three pygmy marmosets - which measure less than 15 centimeters (six inches) - were taken by intruders from a zoo in Dortmund, Germany, between Sunday and Monday, zoo authorities said Wednesday.
"Small monkeys are the most irreplaceable for us," Anke Widow, a spokeswoman for the city of Dortmund, told the DPA news agency.
Two of the missing South American primates were being used for breeding and the zoo has since installed a 24-hour surveillance system, DPA reported.
In recent months there has been a spate of primate abductions from European zoos. A baby baboon was stolen Tuesday from a zoo in Skopje, Macedonia, this week by a 26-year-old woman, who had intended it as a gift for her deaf 7-year-old son, the "Dnev
Mother's love behind abduction of baby baboon
The mystery of a baby baboon abducted from Skopje's zoo had a bittersweet resolution: A mother says she stole it as a gift for her deaf son.
The 26-year-old woman told Dnevnik newspaper took that she lifted Luka, an 18-month-old crowd favorite, as a belated birthday present for her 7-year-old son. The woman said frequent visits to the zoo in Macedonia's capital had left her boy "in love with the monkey." She was not identified in line with Macedonian regulations concerning suspects.
Police said Luka was taken Tuesday by two people who cut nets at his enclosure. He was rescued about four hours later. Two people have been charged w
Baby Lear's Macaw Hatched In Brazil (PHOTOS)
The baby parrot is the first Lear's Macaw to hatch in captivity in Latin America.
Parents, Francisco and Maria Clara - both Lear's Macaws - had laid some eggs in the past but they were not successfully incubated and were just broken. The next time the couple laid an egg, zoo keepers made sure that it would hatch. They placed the egg on an incubator where temperature and humidity can be controlled.
Wallaby study hopes to determine Isle of Man population
Researchers in the Isle of Man are to study the island's wild wallaby population which is thought to be more than 100, according to the Manx Wildlife Trust.
The animals, which are native to Australia and Tasmania, have populated the Curraghs since a pair escaped from a wildlife park in the 1960s.
The project will use a series of hidden cameras and hopes to establish their populations and asses the impact on the environment.
Manx Wildlife Trust director Duncan Bridges said: "Their numbers are gradually increasing b
Parrot Feared Extinct For 100 Years Is Found
The night parrot, believed extinct since the last confirmed sighting in 1912, is found to be alive in arid desert in Queensland.
Belle Vue Zoo tigon goes on display at Manchester Museum after 65 years in storage
Maude, who was born in 1932 to a tiger father and lioness mother, has been in the storeroom of the University of Manchester's museum for more than six decades
No drop in orders for Taiji dolphins despite restriction
Orders for dolphins caught in drive hunts in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, this fiscal year are coming in at almost the same rate as before even though the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums has banned its members from buying animals caught via such methods.
A local fishermen’s union said Monday that the orders are mostly coming in from facilities that are not members of JAZA and dealers who may be exporting the dolphins.
Of the roughly 150 orders placed this year, the only applicant belonging to JAZA was the Taiji Whale Museum, according to sources close to the purchase.
Orders from members of the association generally accounted for 20 to 30 percent of applicants in previous years.
JAZA introduced punitive measures last month, including possible expulsion from the body, for members acquiring dolphins captured in drive hunts, in line with the hard-line stance adopted by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
The world body had threatened to expel the Japanese body if its members continue to buy such dolphins, criticizing the practice as cruel.
The practice of herding dolphins into coves has long been used in Taiji.
It attracted controversy after the 2009
Filmmaker tries to rebut documentary on Japan dolphin hunt
A Japanese film is being offered as a rebuttal to the Oscar-winning documentary, "The Cove," which graphically depicted dolphins being slaughtered in the tiny town of Taiji.
"Behind The Cove" has interviews with Japanese whaling officials and footage of a whaling festival and Hiroshima atomic bomb victims to counter what director Keiko Yagi thinks is an unfair dosage of "Japan-bashing."
Her film argues that whale meat provided food in the lean years after Japan's defeat in World War II and was frequently served in school lunches. The practice has been phased out, and most Japanese these days though have never eaten whale or dolphin meat, no more than Westerners have.
"Unless we can respect each other's food culture, war will be a never-ending story," Yagi told reporters after a screening Friday in Tokyo.
She filmed retired whalers reminiscing about the old days, but not today's dolphin hunters or the people engaged in the lucrative business of selling dolphins to overseas aquariums and marine shows.
"The Cove" was named best documentary at the 2009 Academy Awards. It referred amply to the aquarium industry and contained surreptitiously obtained footage of Taiji fishermen in small boats, herding a pod of dolphins into the cove,
Aquarium locked in legal battle over denied bid for Russian beluga whales
The Georgia Aquarium is locked in a legal battle with a federal agency over the denial of its request to bring 18 beluga whales from Russia for display in aquariums in the US.
The aquarium argues introducing new belugas into the captive population in the US would diversify the gene pool, make the population more stable and broaden the database of research on belugas’ needs and capabilities.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), said the aquarium’s application for an import permit failed to meet some requirements of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
The aquarium filed the application in June 2012, and NOAA Fisheries denied it in August 2013. The aquarium then filed a lawsuit in September 2013 asking a federal judge to overturn the denial, and both sides are set to present oral arguments in court this week.
The two sides have asked the judge to make a decision on the merits of the case, based on court filings and oral arguments, without holding a trial.
The 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits the capture of marine mammals in US waters and by US citizens elsewhere and also doesn’t allow the import of marine mammals and marine mammal p
Nearly entire caribou herd at St-Félicien zoo mysteriously dies
The deaths of 19 of the St-Félicien Zoo's 21 caribou in a two-week span have got zoo biologists scratching their heads.
"We found one animal dead and another one the next day, and two others the next day... it was too much. We knew something was going on," said biologist Christine Gagnon.
Now just two caribou remain after nearly the entire herd died in July.
"It's still a mystery for us," Gagnon said. "We are still waiting for the final report."
Initial tests seem to point to a blood parasite, but Canadian and American labs are working to definitively identify the cause of the deaths.
Caribou have lived at the zoo and animal conservatory for more than 50 years.
This is the first time so many caribou have died all at once, Gagnon said.
"It's the first time that we hea
Challenge to St. Louis Zoo's weapons ban fuels Missouri gun debate
Gun rights advocate Jeffry Smith says he won’t be packing heat as he originally planned when he heads to the St. Louis Zoo on Saturday.
Smith, 56, of the Cincinnati area, says he believes the zoo has failed to prove its ban on guns and other weapons is legal, but he will not defy a city judge’s order barring him from entering the zoo with a firearm. He had planned to go armed with a holstered .45-caliber handgun Saturday afternoon — and invited other armed zoo-goers to join him— to test the zoo’s policy, a move that has put the St. Louis Zoo in the crosshairs of the gun rights debate in Missouri.
After Smith announced his protest, the zoo sought a restraining order blocking Smith from entering the zoo with a gun or weapon. St. Louis Circuit Judge Joan Moriarty granted the restraining order Friday. The order also applies to anyone working “in concert” with Smith and is in effect until a hearing set for 1:30 p.m. on June 22.
Smith’s zoo challenge comes as the city reviews some of its gun ordinances after voters last yea