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Zoo News Digest January-February 2008





Zoo 'shoot to kill' action out of order
Following recent escapes and shootings of chimpanzees at ZSL
Whipsnade Zoo (2007) and Flamingo Land (2005), and the euthanasia of
a macaque at Newquay Zoo last year for management purposes, more
questions should be asked about the safety and management of animals
in UK zoos.
The monkey was reportedly a recent arrival from Germany and was in
quarantine at Edinburgh Zoo. One might expect quarantine to be the
most secure and strictly monitored area of any zoo, and yet a monkey
managed to escape – how was this possible?
It is reported that the zoo "tried" to dart the animal on several
occasions, but was unsuccessful. Again, this is concerning –
tranquillising an escaped animal should form part of a regularly
practised protocol at all zoos – what was the cause of failure?
Why was the zoo so hasty to use lethal methods to control the animal?
According to reports, the zoo authorities were worried in case the
animal "got lost" in the 82-acre grounds, so it would seem that they had

Jaguar shot after escape from sanctuary
Provincial police were forced to shoot and kill a 180-kilogram jaguar
after it escaped from an exotic animal reserve in Bracebridge, Ont.
The owner of Guha Exotic Animal Reserve called police at about 5 p.m.
Tuesday after the six-year-old jaguar named Bhino broke through the
chain link fence of its enclosure.
When officers arrived, they found the jaguar still on the property near
the family home with their pet dog in its mouth and police say officers
shot and killed the jaguar in the interest of public safety.
The dog was on its chain and therefore couldn't escape

Zoo's new conservation programme
CHESTER Zoo's Bornean orang-utans go about their daily lives with the
luxury of food and shelter and a safe place to call home.
The orang-utans live naturally in a new environment, Realm of the Red
Ape, and are ambassadors for their species.
Visitors flock to the zoo every year to visit the orang-utans in a new
exhibit that enables the visitors to see and learn more about orang-
However, a world away, their counterparts face a struggle just to
survive in shrinking habitats devastated by deforestation.
The future for Bornean orang-utans - endangered in the wild - is bleak
and their numbers continue to fall as

Zoo curator uses Web site to promote nature, wildlife conservation
 From El Paso to the Congo and to places beyond, Rick L. LoBello is
cyberspace to teach people why it's important to conserve the habitats
of animals around the world.
"I've learned that if you care about animals, then you're not going to
achieve anything until you also address the needs of people," said
LoBello, the El Paso Zoo's education curator.
LoBello, who as a college student wanted to come to El Paso so he could
observe the spade-footed toad, is on a lifelong mission.
"We, as a society, need to change our ways, and we need to encourage
young people to connect with nature once again," he said.
As it turns out, LoBello said, experts

Aquatic park urges investors to splash out
Market gloom ... credit crisis ... recession fears: what better time to
persuade investors to back a £600m ($1.2bn) project to fill a vast clay
pit in Bedfordshire with a freshwater aquarium?
The county has long relied on Woburn Abbey and Whipsnade safari park
to attract visitors. Now it is hoping to do for pond life what
Eden Project did for plants.
The next few weeks could go some way towards fulfilling scientists'
dreams of a 225-acre site that could be home to the Panamanian golden
frog and other rare amphibians only visible in Britain via David
Attenborough's television series, Life in Cold Blood.
Undeterred by less

Rhino rescuers hope Cupid can pierce one tough hide
Endangered species - At the Oregon Zoo, Pete's fertility is tested, and
he's cleared to receive a mate
Valentine's Day was no hearts-and-flowers holiday for Pete, the Oregon
Zoo's lone black rhinoceros.
He awoke snorting mad after a 90-minute procedure Thursday, during
which veterinarians anesthetized him, took ultrasound images of his
reproductive organs and collected samples to determine whether the
2,200-pound rhino has

Better care planned for animals at Night Safari (Peter's comment...thank
Land to be returned to national park
Improving the health and living conditions of about 1,700 animals at the
problem-plagued Chiang Mai Night Safari will be a priority for the
Zoological Park Organisation when it takes over control from the
Designated Area for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Dasta).
Zoo organisation chief Sophon Damnui said he would lead a team of
veterinarians and officials to inspect conditions at the park today
prior to
working out a new animal management plan.
"The animals should have better living conditions," he said.
He would also look into the transfer of more than 200 zoo staff to the
Before it left office, the Surayud cabinet on Jan 22 instructed Dasta to
transfer all of the assets of the 1.5-billion-baht park, including
and staff, to the zoo organisation within 30 days.
Dasta must also revoke the status of the 819-rai park as a special
tourism development zone and return some of the land to Suthep-Pui
national park.
The cabinet also set up a committee comprising representatives of the
Finance and Natural Resources and Environment ministries,

Zoo releases boorolong frogs in NSW
The first booroolong frogs to be bred in a zoo have been released back
into the wild in NSW, in a bid to boost their numbers.
The release occurred one year after Sydney's Taronga Zoo started a
breeding program to save the tiny amphibian.
The numbers of the critically endangered native species are falling
dramatically, a zoo spokeswoman said, with fewer than 5,000 remaining
in the wild.
The decline has been attributed to water

A new baby elephant for Chester Zoo
CHESTER Zoo is delighted to announce the birth of a male elephant calf
at 4.19 yesterday morning. The as yet unnamed calf is the third for
mum Thi.
The new arrival weighs in at between 90 - 100 kilos and stands just
under a metre tall. Both mother and calf are doing well and the birth
went smoothly.
Thi had been pregnant for 23 months - 694 days - possibly one of the
longest gestation

New baby elephant born at Dublin Zoo
A male elephant has been born at Dublin Zoo - the second elephant to
be born at the zoo in the past year.
The calf, who has not yet been named, was born to mother Indian
elephant mother Yasmin at 5.27am in the zoo's elephant enclosure.
The birth was unassisted but was observed by zoo

Big cat exhibit renovated in San Francisco Zoo following fatal tiger
Renovations to the big cat exhibit at the San Francisco Zoo are complete
following a fatal attack by an escaped tiger.
The zoo's lions and tigers are getting their first look Monday at the
renovated pen. Once the animals acclimate to their surroundings,
officials will decide when visitors can see the cats.
The animals have been kept indoors away from public view since a
Siberian tiger killed a teenager and mauled his two friends on Christmas
The renovations include raised walls

Animal rights group protests Tiger attack on zoo
An international animal rights organisation has protested the bombing of
the zoo in Dehiwela allegedly by the LTTE earlier this month.
"In addition to injuring several human beings - which was no doubt its
intent -the explosive device that was set off near the zoo's birds
enclosure terrified many animals in the zoo," said Ingrid E. Newkirk,
president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in a
letter to the LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran.
At least seven people, including two children, were injured, when a
grenade kept near the birds' enclosure went off on February 3.
Newkirk said that animals got caught in the cross

Zoo to probe deaths of several animals
Sports and Public Recreation Minister Gamini Lokuge has called for a
report from officials at the National Zoological Gardens regarding the
mysterious deaths of several animals in the zoo.
Among the dead animals were six Sri Lankan spotted deer, a lechwe
(South African antelope), a jaguar and a cheetah.
Minister Lokuge said that he had called for a report on the deaths of
animals on the February 7 and the 11. According to an official of the
Zoological Gardens, the six deer had died due to stress faced by them as
a result of being transported outside.
Referring to the fate of the antelope


BirdPark chief quits amid reshuffle at the top in parent firm
THE chief of the Jurong BirdPark has resigned amid what insiders called
a shake-up in the upper echelons of its parent company, Wildlife
Reserves Singapore.
Dr Wong Hon Mun, veterinarian and executive director of Jurong
BirdPark, recently tendered his resignation, according to a staff member.
The exit of Dr Wong, who has been with the 20ha park for more than 20
years, came as a shock to industry watchers, who said that it would be
a 'great loss' for the BirdPark.
His departure comes three months after Wildlife Reserves Singapore
chairman Robert Kwan stepped down.
Dr Wong had been the third man to head the organisation. The first,
zoology veteran Bernard Harrison, quit in 2002 amid talk of management
The second, Mr Asad Shiraz, left a year later, after implementing a
string of unpopular policies.
Mr Kwan has been widely credited with bringing the Singapore Zoo, the
Jurong BirdPark and the Night Safari into the black after

Marine zoo expansion set to start
A wildlife conservation complex in Devon is to be transformed into a
tropical marine underworld in an £800,000 expansion.
The Living Coasts marine aviary in Torquay will eventually be home to a
mangrove swamp with dinosaur crabs, poisonous stingrays and swamp
The outdoor area will retain its penguins, wading birds and fur seals.
Living Coasts has received a grant of £800,000 from the South West
RDA Agency

The `last words' of a rhino killed by poachers inside Kaziranga National
Park, an SMS campaign to save the rhinos of Kaziranga
"You called me Pride of Assam. You made me the National Games
mascot. You tagged me as endangered and promised me security. You
earned a living by showing me to the world. Then why couldn't you
protect me from the poachers?"
?The `last words' of a rhino killed by poachers inside Kaziranga National
Park, an SMS campaign to save the rhinos of Kaziranga
February 5, 2008. 6:30 A.M. Sagar Mura and Girin Lahon, two armed
forest guards, had just reached a newly erected tongi-ghar (a
temporary thatch-and-bamboo watch tower) when they heard a
gunshot. "We rushed towards where the gunshot appeared to have
come from. But by the time we reached the spot, the rhino was already
down and the poachers had chopped off its horn and disappeared," says
The two followed a trail of blood and footprints. But after about 50
metres or so, the trail faded away. Kaziranga National Park, a World
Heritage Site, had lost its fourth rhino in less than six weeks of the New
The situation couldn't have been more different in February 2005 when
it celebrated 100 years of rhino conservation and earned praise as "the
world's biggest conservation success story of the century". Poaching had
scaled down commendably?in 2003 there were only three instances of
poaching. The figure reached eight only twice over a period of nine
years from 1998 to 2006. Then it all changed. Kills went up from five in
2006 to as many as 21 in 2007.
"Yes, incidents of rhino poaching have gone up in the past few years.
There are two sides to it. One, the demand for rhino horns (popular
aphrodisiac in South-east Asia and the Arab world) in the international

Super-Rich Kill bears for'Sport'
IN a sickening execution, a blood-crazed millionaire blasts an
endangered bear to death as it hibernates.
Given no chance, the rare beast is woken in its den, terrorised and shot
at point-blank range.
The grinning ?hunter? then poses proudly next to its blood-drenched
corpse for a twisted souvenir snap.
Hundreds of Asiatic black bears have been killed this winter in the vast
forests of Siberia. And all for nothing more than sick thrills and a prized
The massacre of these majestic animals has become big business, flying
in the face of international conventions which outlaw it, The Sun can
Yet it is not just rich Russians who are happy to exterminate their own
national symbol. Well-heeled clients from Britain, the US, Germany,
Spain, Poland and Finland have also booked Asiatic black hunting trips in
the past year, we have discovered.
Such slayings were illegal for years, but Russian president Vladimir Putin
has now relaxed his country's ban on killing the species, to appease the
Hunting the bears remains strictly illegal in the other countries where
they live, including India, China and Japan.
Like most bears, the Asiatic black hibernates from December to the end
of February, when winter snows begin to melt. Many of the females
killed as they hibernate are pregnant, as they breed in the summer and
autumn, ready to give birth

Aquarium Euthanizes Its Largest Ocean Sunfish
The Monterey Bay Aquarium said it regrets to announce that its largest
ocean sunfish, a visitor favorite because of its massive size and unusual
presence, was euthanized Thursday morning after a period of failing
health. Aquarium veterinarian Dr. Mike Murray and the husbandry team
said they made the decision Thursday morning after a week during
which the fish stopped eating and was increasingly unable to swim in
the million-gallon Outer Bay exhibit where it was housed.
The sunfish, known by its scientific name Mola mola, was collected in
Monterey Bay in September 2005 and placed on exhibit two months
later. It grew from

Tiger country may now be elsewhere
TASMANIAN tiger sighting in Victoria has reignited the theory that the
species may have been introduced to the mainland before it became
extinct in this state.
Victorian farmer Harry Cook owns a property bordering the Otway
Ranges south of Melbourne.
Late last year he was with a mate inspecting crop damage caused by
rabbits when they spotted three wedge-tailed eagles circling the
"They were circling over an animal -- we got within 12 foot of it. It was
about the size of a large dog with a very long tail that was sticking
straight up in the air as if it was fending off the wedgies," Mr Cook said.
"There were white stripes on its chest and it had a boofy head with
round ears and the,22884,23186559-921,00.html

7,000 free zoo tickets snapped up
ONE of the area's top tourist attractions is offering free tickets to local
schoolchildren this February half-term.
Every primary school in Barrow, Dalton and Ulverston has been offered
free children's tickets to South Lakes Wild Animal Park, with all of them
snapping up the offer.
More than 7,000 tickets, worth £28,000, have been sent out. The ticket
giveaway is a message of thanks from Dalton zoo to the local community
for its continued support.
Education and marketing manager, Karen Brewer, said:

Zoo stays mum over jumbo pregnancy
Taronga Zoo is keeping mum about whether one of its Thai elephants is
Rumours about the elephants surfaced yesterday following an effort by
the zoo to make Gung - the only male of the group - impregnate one of
his companions.
It is understood the zoo was considering whether to begin a program of
artificial insemination.
Either way, it will be the first time

Panda mother and cub on the loose
Police have appealed for the public's help in finding two red pandas
reported missing from a wildlife park.
The mother and cub escaped from the Galloway Wildlife Park in
Kirkcudbright overnight between 7 and 8 February.
The pandas have been described by police as being reddish ginger in
colour with a long curly black tail and a face similar to a bear.
They are about the size of a small dog and it has been stressed that
they do not pose any risk to the public.
A police statement said it was hoped that the pandas would return to
the park when they got hungry.
However, the force asked

Rhino at Potter Park Zoo dies
Potter Park Zoo officials said today that a 17-year-old rare and
endangered male black rhino in possession of the zoo died.
Spike, who arrived at the zoo in 2005, was found dead in his stall at
about 6 a.m. today.
Zoo officials said the cause of death is unknown. He had been treated
for suspected colic in the 48 hours prior to his death, and was believed
to have been improving.
"This death was totally unexpected and has affected us all deeply," said
Dr. Tara Harrison, zoo veterinarian. "Hopefully something definitive will
be found on necropsy to help us understand his death so that we can
better help remaining black rhinos in captivity."
Black rhinos are rare and there are very few left in the wild.
Spike, who weighed 4,000 pounds, was owned and at Potter Park

Rare sandpipers found in Myanmar
Eighty-four spoon-billed sandpipers have been discovered in a coastal
stretch of Myanmar, offering hope for saving the endangered birds, a
conservation group said Thursday.
The discovery in early February comes only months after Russian
researchers reported that numbers of the tiny birds -- with speckled
brow feathers and a distinctive spoon-shaped bill -- had dropped 70
percent in the past few years in their breeding sites in Siberia and none
had been seen this year in their traditional wintering sites in Bangladesh,
Britain-based conservation group BirdLife International said.
The World Conservation Union lists the bird as endangered with only
200 to 300 pairs left in the wild.
The discovery of 84 birds wintering in Myanmar -- only one of which
appears to have come from Siberia -- raises the prospect of breeding
grounds elsewhere, BirdLife said. The birds' migration route takes them
from Siberia down through Japan, North Korea, South Korea, mainland
China and Taiwan, to their main wintering grounds in South Asia.
"This is an important piece of the jigsaw,"

Vancouver aquarium announces pregnancy of beluga whale
Romance was in the air at the Vancouver Aquarium on Thursday and it
had nothing to do with Valentine's Day.
Aquarium staff confirmed Qila, a 12-year-old beluga whale, Qila, is
pregnant and due this summer, possibly in July or August. Staff actually
confirmed the pregnancy in August, but veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena
said the aquarium wanted to be cautious.
"It is Valentine's Day so it's kind of fun for us to announce on Valentine's
Day, but also, just like in many species and unfortunately humans
included, that first trimester and getting into the second trimester is a
time where there is concern," he said.
"We wanted to monitor the pregnancy and do

Clothes to go wild for: the animal park that launched a fashion line
A London fashion show and a Kenyan wildlife sanctuary: can two more
different worlds be imagined? but, for the past few days, models have
been strutting down the runways of Fashion Week, presenting
thousands of pounds' worth of designer clothing to editors who might
feature it in their magazines, and wealthy film stars and fashionistas
who might invest in a piece or two. Compare this to Kenya, a country
struggling with the civil unrest that followed the recent, contested,
election, and which has only added to the daily struggle to survive that
faces many Kenyans (over half survive on less than £1 each a day).
The idea of bridging the gulf somehow between these dichotomous
existences seems difficult, if not a little tasteless, but a new wave of
supposedly ethical fashion companies is emerging. These recognise that
the vast profits that the retail industry generates can be put to good use.
One such company is Wildlife Works UK, which showed its collection of
imaginatively tailored dresses, luxurious alpaca and cashmere knits, and
graphic prints, all made from a variety of sustainable and organic
fabrics, at London's Royal Academy of Arts on Tuesday.
If you think that the name Wildlife Works sounds more like a pet-rescue
centre than a high-fashion brand, you wouldn't be too far from the truth.
The company

Orang-utan hangs herself in zoo
A young orang-utan has died of a dislocated neck in a "freak accident" at
the Singapore zoo - the second primate death in a week.
Atina caught her neck in a hanging noose that was part of a hammock in
the ape enclosure, a spokesman for the zoo said today.
Her mother, Anita, and other orang-utans tried to free the infant, he
said. By tugging at her neck, they dislocated it.
Zookeepers said they could not reach Atina in time to save her because
the mother kept pushing them away.
All hanging nooses have been removed from the enclosure.
The death came three days after

Melbourne Zoo probe on cruelty ruled out
CLAIMS of cruelty and mistreatment of animals at the Melbourne Zoo
will not be independently investigated.
Disturbing allegations were made against the zoo last month, including
one claim that an elephant was stabbed with a metal spike.
Environment Minister Gavin Jennings has decided against the
independent inquiry demanded by the RSPCA.
But Mr Jennings has called for the living conditions of the zoo's seals to
be improved as a priority.
"The recent allegations over the treatment of some animals have
highlighted the need for strengthened oversight of animal handling
procedures and the need for improved advice to the board on these
matters," Mr Jennings said last night.
A report by Zoos Victoria has been reviewed by the Department of
Sustainability and Environment and the Bureau of Animal Welfare.
"I am confident that the appropriate,21985,23209344-2862,00.html

Zoo rejects elephant too young for pregnancy
Taronga Zoo has officially announced the pregnancy of one its Asian
Eight-year-old Thong Dee is five months pregnant and expected to give
birth in June 2009.
There was concern that Thong Dee, one of four female elephants
brought to Taronga Zoo from Thailand in 2005, was too young to be
sexually active.
News of the pregnancy was leaked to the media yesterday, when
Greens MP Lee Rhiannon expressed concern the zoo had put the animal
at risk by allowing her to get pregnant before reaching maturity.
But Taronga Zoo denies the elephant is too young to reproduce, saying
experts examined the female Asian elephants at the zoo last year and all
were found to be healthy and fertile.
New South Wales Environment Minister Phil Koperberg says the
pregnancy is exciting news for the zoo and the elephant is receiving the

Zoo moved to Burma's new capital
Burma's military government is moving hundreds of zoo animals from
Rangoon to Naypyidaw, the country's new capital.
Elephants and rhinos are among the animals being taken nearly 400km
(250 miles) to the new zoo from the main city's 100-year-old zoological
In recent years, Burma's entire government has been moved from
Rangoon to shiny new buildings in Naypyidaw.
The city has been built in the middle of an area of tropical scrubland,
away from the main centres of population.
But the military leadership appears to have felt that something was
missing. After all, what

Owners of Knut's Dad Want Cut of the Loot
Celebrity polar bear Knut has made Berlin Zoo millions. Now the zoo
which owns Knut's father Lars claims it is entitled to its
bear's "firstborn" -- but it would prefer to get the cash.
It sounds like the stories of what happens to people when they win the
lottery: All of a sudden, old friends and family start popping out of the
woodwork, hoping for handouts.
Something similar seems to be happening around Knut, the megastar
polar bear at the Berlin Zoo, whose unbearable cuteness has raked in
licensing deals worth millions of euros. Now the zoo that own Knut's dad
wants a slice of that pie.
"We lent our polar bear Lars to Berlin in 1999 to breed," Peter Drüwa,
head of Neümunster Zoo in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein,
told the,1518,535508,00.html

Actor's bid to close zoo elephant exhibit thwarted
Rejecting a bid by Robert Culp to close the Los Angeles Zoo's elephant
exhibit and stop construction on a new one, a judge has ruled that
building plans can continue and the lone elephant can remain, according
to court papers obtained today.
The Los Angeles Zoo's elephant exhibit is currently home to a 21-year-
old Asian elephant named Billy.
Culp, 77, whose credits include the TV series "I Spy" in the 1960s, had
argued for a preliminary injunction that would have forced an expedited
closure of the exhibit and a halt in construction until a trial was held on
whether the injunction should be made permanent.
Zoo elephant handlers have a history of abusing

Video shows zoo animals' dismal digs
San Francisco Zoo animals pace in their pens, swim in their own waste
and live out their days in boredom and squalor, according to a video
shown Thursday night to the city Animal Control and Welfare
Commission at City Hall.
A polar bear's white fur is splotched with green algae. A giraffe gnaws a
hole in his barn in boredom. And a gray seal has been swimming in the
same tiny pool for decades.
"This is just pathetic," said animal rights activist Deniz Bolbol, who had
been invited to show the video on behalf of Mill Valley's In Defense of
Animals group. "What are we teaching our children when we bring them
to a place like this?"
Bolbol maintained that the zoo and city officials, in the wake of the fatal
Christmas Day tiger mauling, have their focus on improving visitor safety
and are neglecting the animals.
The commission voted to hold a meeting in two weeks to further
investigate animal welfare.
A spokeswoman for the zoo, Lora LaMarca, assured the commission
that "we have an ongoing commitment to animal welfare and


Appeal after adoptions put strain on zoo
ANIMAL adoptions at Howletts have gone through the roof and the
Aspinall Foundation is looking for volunteers to help clear the backlog.
The charity, which oversees animal adoptions at the Bekesbourne park
and its sister site ? Port Lympne near Hythe ? says that it needs
volunteers because of the increasing number of requests to adopt
Registrations for animal adoptions currently stand at around 2,500, but
there are an estimated 5,000 applications resulting from adoptions being
given as Christmas presents.
Sarah Tite, fundraising manager for the Aspinall Foundation, said: "The
number of people who want to help our breeding and conservation
projects continues to increase.
"We are looking to animal lovers

Japanese zoo sends 12 penguins to safari park in Indonesia
A Japanese zoo that has bred penguins in captivity has sent six pairs of
vulnerable Humboldt penguins to a safari park in Indonesia, a
spokesman for the park said Tuesday.
"The 12 penguins are in healthy condition, but the public can only view
them from next month after they pass their period of adaptation," Asep
Firmansyah, spokesman for Taman Safari Indonesia, told Kyodo News.
The penguins offered by Tokyo Sea Life Park arrived in tropical
Indonesia from chilly Japan last Friday.
Firmansyah said Hiroshi Takeuchi, a veterinarian from the Japanese
park, will stay in Indonesia for a month to monitor the process of
adaptation of the penguins, as well as to provide training for the
park's staff in taking care of the birds.
"Their cages have been designed with certain temperatures and water
that they are used to live in in their habitat," Firmansyah said.
"Dr. Takeuchi is also happy to know that the food for the penguins

Visitor injured by bear in Guwahati Zoo
A visitor to the Assam State Zoo here got injured after he was attacked
by a Himalayan black bear when he jumped inside the enclosure on
Thursday afternoon.
Earlier on December 19 last year a Zoo visitor met a tragic end while
attempting to click a close-up photograph of Royal Bengal tigers.
Zoo authorities said that the incident happened at 4.25 p.m. when the
injured visitor Azahar Ali (23), who hails from lower Assam's Goalpara,
jumped inside the enclosure of the Himalayan black bear.
A Zoo keeper saw the man jumping

Ah Meng dies
She was the Singapore Zoo's brightest star, loved by all
SHE was a great-looking Singapore girl who rubbed shoulders with
royalty, movie stars and statesmen.
People paid to sip tea with her, and countless others liked nothing
than to be photographed next to her.
So when Ah Meng the orang utan died yesterday, aged 48, it marked
the end of an era at the Singapore Zoo.
Saddened by the news, former zoo chief Bernard Harrison
remembered: 'She had the character to be a mega-star, the personality
to pull that off and became a legend.'
Ah Meng was a household name

I will fulfil inspectors' required list: zoo boss
DALTON zoo boss David Gill has vowed to complete a list of work
imposed on him following a damning inspection.
Barrow Borough Council's licensing committee has ordered Mr Gill to
carry out various jobs at the South Lakes Wild Animal Park and given
him deadlines to do them.
The committee took the decision after considering a critical report
of an
inspection, performed at his zoo last October.
Among the inspectors' complaints were the perimeter fencing, the lack
of a proper plan spelling out the future of the animal collection,
and the
way lemurs were allowed to roam around.
The committee grilled Mr Gill and stressed the importance of ensuring
the outstanding issues were sorted out.
Councillor Jean Waiting told him: "What I would like now to understand,
and the public to understand, is that all these we're talking about
will be
implemented as soon as possible."
Mr Gill later told the Evening Mail most of the items on the list had
done, either before or after the inspection.
Mr Gill explained how visitors enjoyed having the lemurs around and a
system of firing water at them had already been in place, to deter them
from going into the cafe and picnic areas.
The millionaire zoo boss said he required planning permission

Elephants may roam 350-acre St. Lucie facility by end of 2009
Chimpanzees and tigers are among the exotic animals that have called
St. Lucie County home over the years.
Now the elephants are coming.
The county is set to become home to the National Elephant Center, an
organization formed by zoos around the country to offer assistance to
one another in the areas of elephant breeding, research, training and
conservation. Officials with the Houston Zoo and Waste Management,
which owns the land the center will be on near the Okeechobee County
landfill, will announce details about the center during a news
in Houston today.
The center, which would be in western St. Lucie County near the
Okeechobee County line, would be a major international facility in the
field of elephant research, drawing trainers from around the country
who would study there and learn from its staff. The center was
proposed last year for Arkansas, but negotiations ultimately fell apart,
according to news reports.
Shanti, a female Asian elephant at the Houston Zoo, will dip its trunk
into ink to "sign" the agreement for the center, according to a press
release. A Web site for the project ? ? will go online today.
A spokeswoman for Waste Management declined to discuss further
details about the center.
Russell Rowland, Okeechobee Solid Waste Director, said Okeechobee
County isn't putting any money or public land toward the project. County
officials were notified about the plans and thought it sounded
worthwhile, he said.
Waste Management and zoo officials discussed the research

Hand grenade explodes inside Dehiwala Zoo premises
Seven people including two children received minor injuries and were
rushed to the general hospital Kalubowila, when a hand grenade
exploded inside the Dehiwala Zoo, today (February 3) at 10.35 a.m.
Dehiwala police rushed to the scene and sealed the area, Police sources
said. The Kalubowila Hospital sources when contacted said that, among
the seven people admitted one person was suffering from the shock
caused due to the explosion.
A pregnant woman was also injured and admitted for treatment, the
sources further said. Meanwhile

Winged migrants fall prey to poachers in south Gujarat
Surat: Gujarat make take pride in being home to many species of
migratory birds. But, the fact is that these winged visitors are
poached in
large numbers in coastal villages from Bharuch to Valsad.
Shockingly, neither the forest officials nor the NGOs have done anything
to stop the largescale killing. They do not even have `guesstimates' of
the extent of poaching. The birds are either consumed by local villagers
or sold to `select' customers for `exotic bird parties'.
TOI visited several coastal villages and spots where migratory birds
arrive between the months of December and March and was witness to
birds being poached using different techniques. Right from the main
poaching hub Hansot in Bharuch to Variyav of Surat and Nani Kakrad in
Navsari, migrant birds are killed with impunity. This correspondent
bought a Brahmini duck, a protected bird, for just Rs 60 on the banks of
the Tapi at Variyav. It was no different at Nani Kakrad where Common
Teals were found caught in special traps made of net and small wooden
The migratory birds which are on the poachers' hit-list include Sarus
Crane, Demoiselle

San Diego zoo puts down baby elephant with staph infection
A baby elephant at San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park has been
euthanized after contracting an antibiotic-resistant staph infection.
Park officials say three park employees who had contact with the
elephant also have been infected. They say it is unclear where the
bacteria came from and whether the employees got it from the
Officials say the two-month-old elephant was euthanized Monday after
developing skin lesions from the infection. The elephant had been
underweight for weeks because

Wild Animal Park workers have staph infection
Three employees at the San Diego Wild Animal Park have been
diagnosed with a staph infection that is resistant to certain
county officials said this evening.
Test results are pending on another three employees who may also
have been infected in an area that is off-limits to the public at the
Pasqual Valley park, said officials from the Health and Human Services
Staph bacteria can lead to skin infections that resemble a pimple or
and can be red, swollen, painful or have pus. More serious infections
may cause pneumonia or bloodstream

East London Zoo upgrade halted
R1 million set to be lost if the project is incomplete by June
PRELIMINARY work on upgrading the East London Zoo has come to a
standstill after the appointed contractor walked off the job.
According to the plans, a walk-through aviary, touch farm and curio
shop were supposed to have been completed in December.
Just over R1 million was made available in the current financial year
upgrades. If this money is not used by the end of June, it will be
back to the council.
Zoo manager Nico Roux said the structure for the aviary was partially
built before the contractor, whom he did not want to name, left.
"We are in the process of getting quotes and, hopefully, the aviary will
be completed by Easter

Longest-lived captive-born anteater dies at Santa Barbara Zoo
A giant male anteater, misnamed Sophie, has died at the Santa Barbara
A zoo press release says Sophie, the longest-lived captive-born male in
U.S. zoo history, was euthanized on January 31st.
Director of Animal Programs and Conservation Alan Varsik says the
initial necropsy found severe arthritis. Varsik says zoo officials
a significant decline in his

New bundles of joy at wildlife park
It was a busy week at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park with the birth of a
Proboscis monkey and a Borneo Pygmy elephant.
The monkey was born on Wednesday and the elephant on Friday.
The two births were also a milestone for the park as it was the first
in the world that a pygmy elephant had been born in captivity and the
second time for a Proboscis monkey.
Both newborns are in good health with staff keeping an eye on them
round the clock for the next two weeks.
"This is a crucial time for them. We need to give

Biologist recounts how rhinos came to town
Hemanta Mishra has never forgotten her.
She is, more than anything else, the reason he wrote a love story.
Her name is Aarati. It means evening prayers in the Nepali language.
She answers to it, perking her hairy ears up as she lumbers -- all 2
of her --across her enclosure to eat bamboo from the hands of her
Animals come and go at the Fort Worth Zoo all the time. But the arrival
of an Asian rhinoceros in Fort Worth in 1990 was unique. Aarati, the
of a King, was a prehistoric-looking baby, a mystical beast and
symbol to a devoted wildlife biologist in Nepal.
Mishra had captured her and a male calf named Arun in the plains
beneath Mount Everest and sent them to Fort Worth. He had done it as
a hedge against the species' extinction but also to fulfill the
wishes of
the Bass family, who had launched an effort in the 1980s to pull the zoo
out of mediocrity.
"They were our first big, exciting new additions to the zoo," said
Ramona Bass, who has led the Fort Worth Zoological Association for

New species of large monkey discovered
A NEW ZEALAND researcher has discovered a new species of large
monkey living in the Amazon region of South America.
"Finding a relatively large monkey as a new species these days is pretty
cool,'' said Jean-Phillipe Boubli of Auckland University's anthropology
"It shows how little we really know about the biodiversity of the
Boubli said the discovery was one of the most exciting and important of
his career.
The find has been announced in the New Scientist magazine and will be
detailed in the International Journal of Primatology in July.
The discovery was a result of a series of surveys conducted by Boubli
from 1991-2007 which focussed on the little known and hard to reach
Pantepui region of Brazil.
Boubli said he found the animal after following native Yanomamo Indians
on their hunts,21598,23165569-948,00.html

Tigers: a vanishing act
The wild population of all tigers -- including Bengal, Sumatran,
and Indochinese tigers -- stands at a maximum of 7,000 and a minimum
of 5,000, according to figures from the World Wildlife Fund.
In southern China, the WWF estimates there are a mere 30 tigers in the
wild, making them functionally extinct.
In 1993, China became a signatory of the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an
international treaty that includes nearly

Aspinall is caught in a big cat fight
Like the script from a bizarre version of Tarzan, casino entrepreneur
Damian Aspinall is being sued by conservationist Todd Dalton, who
famously won a court battle to keep leopards in his South London
Aspinall, whose late father John founded the Clermont Club and a
private zoo, has been accused by Dalton of breaking an agreement to
return three highly-prized and rare clouded leopards that he claims he
sent him for safekeeping.
According to Dalton, the animals were sent to the Howletts Wild Animal
Park in Kent while his own conservation centre was under construction.
In a High Court action, Dalton, who runs an internet food business
Edible, has also demanded the return of three giant ant eaters he
loaned to Aspinall.
Dalton and Aspinall had been on cordial terms until they fell out
over the
leopards at a meeting last year.
"Damian donated the leopards to me for conservation purposes," claims
Dalton. "They subsequently had a cub. I gave him the giant ant eaters as
a breeding loan and they, too, have had a baby.
"While building my own centre in Kent I returned

"The Gravest Threat to Bats Ever Seen": White Nose Syndrome Could
Quickly Lead to Extinction
"White Nose Syndrome," a mysterious, new and deadly disease, is killing
thousands of bats in New York, Vermont and possibly elsewhere. The
endangered Indiana bat is at risk of extinction, as its numbers plummet
in some of its last strongholds in the Northeast.

Northern oil drilling will hurt polar bears: WWF
Canada's decision to open bidding for the rights to drill in the
Beaufort Sea will destroy a large area of critical polar bear habitat
put the animal's future in danger, the World Wildlife Foundation said
"These are areas where polar bears and bowhead whales and beluga
whales and who knows what else call home," Dr. Peter Ewins, WWF
Canada's director, told on Thursday. "Clearly these areas are
important, perhaps critical, habitat for the pressured polar bears."
The rights to oil and gas exploration on more than 2.9 million acres of
continental shelf in the Beaufort Sea, north of the Yukon

Madagascar's tortoises are crawling toward extinction, groups say
Madagascar's turtles and tortoises, which rank among the most
endangered reptiles on earth, will continue to crawl steadily toward
extinction unless major conservation measure are enacted, according to
a recent assessment by the Wildlife Conservation Society and other
The groups, which met for four days in Madagascar's capital city
Antananarivo, said there is still hope to save these ancient animals,
time is running out as their habitat continues to shrink and illegal
worsens. Five of the nine assessed species have been downgraded to
critically endangered, with one variety ? the ploughshare tortoise ? now
numbering only a few hundred individuals. The other critically
endangered species include the radiated tortoise, flat-tailed tortoise,
spider tortoise and Madagascar big-headed turtle, all of which are found
nowhere else on earth.
"Madagascar's ancient tortoises and turtles are marching toward
extinction unless an all-out effort is made to protect these living
treasures," said Dr. James Deutsch, director for the Wildlife
Conservation Society's Africa programs. "The good news is that there's
still time to save Madagascar's tortoises and turtles from
extinction, and
we know how to tackle the issues."

Science, not romance, controls mating at Smithsonian's National Zoo
This Valentine's Day, Cupid won't be making a stop at the Smithsonian's
National Zoo. Unlike the spontaneous attraction that most humans
equate with love and romance, mating and dating at the National Zoo is
planned, strategic and science-based?quite an unromantic encounter.
Successful breeding is often much more complicated than putting a male
and female together and expecting nature to take its course. Animals in
captivity need to be managed carefully to ensure the most genetically
diverse population?which leads to healthier animals and a sustainable
population that can safeguard a species from extinction.
The National Zoo facilitates this controlled and strategic breeding
through its participation in the Species Survival Plan, a cooperative
population management program among the Association of Zoos and
Aquariums. Species Survival Plans maintain the pedigree of each animal
in a particular program and make breeding recommendations for those
animals based on which is most genetically important, as well as taking
into account whether the facility has space for potential offspring.
Without a Species Survival Plan, animal populations are at risk of
stagnation and eventual extinction. The plan ensures both a good
genetic match and an environment that enables optimal breeding
conditions for the animal, such

New group of safety experts to convene at San Francisco Zoo
A team of experts assembled by city officials will convene Saturday at
the San Francisco Zoo to start preparing recommendations for
improving visitor safety and animal care at the site of a fatal
Day tiger attack.
A group from the agency that accredits zoos in the United States visited
the zoo a few weeks ago. But a city spokeswoman says local officials
want suggestions from its own review team. The city owns the zoo and
the animals in it, but the facility is run by the nonprofit San
Zoological Society.
The seven-person team includes the director of the Houston zoo, the
general curator of the Bronx Zoo, representatives from two Bay area
humane societies and an architect who specializes in zoo enclosures,
among others.
A 17-year-old boy was killed and his two friends injured when

Chinese Zoo Puts On a Show, but Mistreats Animals
Xiongsen Park is rumored to sell tiger meatThe Xiongsen Tiger and Bear
Park in Guilin, China, has long been a favorite target of international
animal rights groups because of the live animal sacrifices and the
taunting and torture of animals that have been performed there for
years, to mostly enthusiastic audiences. The Guilin zoo is one of
largest, boasting a tiger farm with over 1,300 cats and scores

Farm opening delayed for 'zoo clearance'Feb 8 2008
A POPULAR farm will NOT open this week after further delays.
The Crystal Palace Park cannot let the public in without a "zoo
exemption certificate" - a piece of paper from the Department for
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) proving the farm is not a
Paul Bryant, head of the school

Escaped rabies cage monkey shot
A monkey has been shot at Edinburgh Zoo after escaping from a rabies
quarantine, it has emerged.
Visitors were moved to safety following the incident which saw zoo
keepers attempt to dart the Barbary macaque before being forced to kill
The incident happened at 1400 GMT on Tuesday while the zoo was
Iain Valentine, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's head of
animals, said it was a "regrettable situation" but people were
the "primary concern".
He said: "Any visitors were escorted from the premises or taken to a
secure location.
"In compliance with the Zoo Licensing Act and the Secretary of State for
Modern Zoo Practices

Nandankanan gets aquarium
Today was a red-letter day for Nandankanan Zoo. A state-of-the-art
aquarium, the first-ever zoo aquarium of the country and a natural
elephant enclosure were inaugurated by the chief minister, Mr Naveen
Patnaik, amidst wildlife enthusiasts and an equally excited zoo
The zoo aquarium has been set up by the Ahmedabad-based centre for
environment education (CEE). There are a total of 14 aquaria structures,
wherein the latest concepts, techniques and gadgets have been applied
to lend them a realistic touch.
All these aquaria are equipped with in-situ filtration and recycling
While four of them are marine aquaria, the rest of the 10 are fresh
water aquaria which have been equipped with titanium chiller.
The two large marine aquaria are 3.5 metre long and 0.9 metre wide.
The smaller one is 2.4 metre long and 0.9 metre wide. The six fresh
water aquaria are 2.4 metre long and 0.9 metre wide.
The marine aquariums are equipped with the latest gadgets and
components. One of the fresh water aquaria represents the fish of
Kanjia lake.
The most important component of the newly-developed aquarium is the
incorporation of 30 trans-slides boards displaying useful information.
There is a special section which depicts the unique features


Zoo mauled
DALTON zoo is reeling after a damning report from government inspectors.
They slammed the way lemurs are allowed to roam around South Lakes
Wild Animal Park and blasted the "inadequate" supervision in the big
kangaroo enclosure.
nvestigators were also worried the zoo's `keeper for the day'
advertising gave the impression contact with the most deadly animals
may be allowed.
The inspectors found there are satisfactory measures to stop animals
getting out. But they said escapes still happen and raised concerns
about the perimeter fencing.
The report was carried out in October by inspectors working for Defra
and Barrow Borough Council.
The findings are due to go before the council's licensing committee
next Thursday.
The panel is being urged to note the report and approve changes to
conditions of the animal park's zoo licence.
Zoo boss David Gill is invited to the meeting but has already
responded to the report.

Cyril the coati found in farmyard
A LONELY coati has been found at a Lake District farmyard.
Named Cyril by his rescuers, the long- snouted beast, native to the
Americas, was found in a chicken shed in Eskdale on Tuesday.
Now he could be heading for a new home with other coatis in Dalton,
where keepers at South Lakes Wild Animal Park have said they will
consider taking Cyril in.
A South Lakes Wild Animal Park spokeswoman said: "We have helped in
this type of situation before, so we'll take a look at whether we can
help Cyril."
The species, a member of the raccoon family, has been widely kept in
zoos and private collections across the UK for years, but was recently
taken off the list of animals for which licences are required.
RSPCA animal collection officers David Hatton and Nick Green were
charged with collecting Cyril after a member of the public reported
the find.
Mr Hatton said: "This animal was in a shed, on a farm, miles from
anywhere in perfect physical condition.
"It's possible that it's an escapee but we've been in touch with all
of the animal collectors we're aware of in the area, and no one has
come forward reporting

Physicist Calculates Trajectory of Tiger At SF Zoo
"Is it really possible for a 350-pound tiger to leap a 12.5-foot
barrier from 33 feet away? (Said another way: a 159-kg tiger, a 3.8 m
barrier, and 10 m away.) A physicist at Northeastern University has
done the math, a straightforward problem in ballistics, and the answer
turns out to be yes (abstract on the physics arXiv). But I guess we
already knew that following the death

Zoo experts, activists denounce poor conditions at SF Zoo
Zoo experts invited by animal activists to visit the San Francisco Zoo
found outdated exhibits and stressed out animals.
Three former zoo managers were asked by the group In Defense of
Animals to tour the facility, which is being investigated by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture following a Christmas Day tiger attack that
left Carlos Sousa Jr. of San Jose dead and injured Kulbir and Paul
Dhaliwal, also of San Jose.
After touring the zoo Thursday, the activists say they found more
problems than expected. They say the giraffes were chewing the walls
of their barn because there wasn't enough tree-top greenery for them
to munch on, and the polar bears were pacing.
The zoo managers - including one British and one Australian expert -

Zoo Curators Call For SF Zoo Overhaul
Animal welfare proponents will be joined at City Hall Friday morning
by a handful of former zoo curators calling for an overhaul of the San
Francisco Zoo.
In the wake of the fatal tiger mauling of a zoo visitor on Christmas
Day, the Marin County-based group In Defense of Animals is asking the
San Francisco Board of Supervisors for hearings on "inhumane
conditions at the zoo."
The group claims the San Francisco Zoo is outdated and fails to
incorporate proper, modern animal welfare practices into its exhibits

Manila Zoo problem: Too many crocodiles
An animal-for-reptile exchange has been proposed by Manila Mayor
Alfredo Lim so the city can address its surplus of crocodiles and add
to its animal collection.
Lim Tuesday said he was willing to exchange 20 of the Manila Zoo's
more than 40 crocodiles for animals like elephants, zebras and giraffes.
"The Manila Zoo continues to expand its collection of animals both
locally and from other parts of the world. We are willing to swap
animals with other

Fault lies with zoo over man's death
As you probably know by now, a tiger escaped from its pen on Christmas
Day and mauled one young man to death and seriously injured his two
brothers at the San Francisco Zoo. As a result, the tiger was shot and
killed by the zoo. One of the men has admitted that all three had
taken illegal drugs and consumed alcohol before visiting the zoo.
They also admitted to taunting the feline on top of a small fence
surrounding a moat which encircled the 12.5-foot tall wall that
enclosed the tiger.
But get this - police and crime scene investigators are actually
investing their time and money in dusting for footprints on top of the
moat's wall, strip-searching the vehicle in which the three traveled
and inspecting the brother's cell phones.
The irrelevance of this investigation blows my mind.
Who cares? This massive investigation into the tiger's motivation

Zoo defends its use of animals at party
Zoos Victoria says it is upset by claims it exploited animals at a
recent fundraising event.
Animals from Melbourne Zoo, Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Open
Range Zoo were paraded around a cocktail party last year to launch the
Zoo Foundation, which raises money for threatened and endangered
The party took place at the Toorak home of Zoos Victoria Chairman,
Andrew Fairley last November.
Zoos Victoria says five native animals, who are part of the
organisation's education program, were taken to the launch at the
Chairman's home.
The RSPCA is critical of the Zoo's use of the animals, but but Zoos
Victoria's Senior Vet, Dr Helen McCracken, says the animals' welfare
was never compromised.
"It's absolutely not exploitation. We would never compromise the
welfare of animals at Zoos Victoria and this is really just an event
to demonstrate those animals and really encourage people to understand
the plight of animals in a much more tactile way", Dr McCracken said.
"These are all very used to human handling and we have been doing that
at the Zoo for many

John Diaz: Interview with embattled S.F. Zoo director
Zoo directors don't usually travel with a high-powered entourage.
Then again, it isn't every day that a zoo director arrives at an
editorial board meeting to defend/explain the escape of a Siberian
Give San Francisco Zoo director Manuel Mollinedo credit for two things
in his meeting with The Chronicle Editorial Board today. (1)He took
every question posed to him, on the record; and (2) He never once
declined to answer because of potential litigation.
The specter of a lawsuit looms very large after Tatiana broke out of
her exhibit on Christmas Day and fatally mauled a teenager, then
wounded two of his friends before being shot to death by police.
Mollinedo was accompanied by Louise Renne, the former city attorney
who has been retained to represent the zoological society, and the
city's master of damage control, PR specialist Sam Singer. As capable
as Renne and Singer are at what they do, it's sad to see so much money
that could be spent on the animals going into legal and PR fees.
It's also disturbing that there is still more than a little hint of
"blame the victim" in the zoo's narrative.
Let's be clear: If you run a zoo to hold the most skilled predators on
the planet -- and human beings are potential prey -- you factor in

Safari Park boss "sacked after slurs against Lady Derby"
OBSCENE and offensive slurs about the Countess of Derby and her son
cost a Knowsley Safari Park manager his £30,000-a-year job, an
employment tribunal was told yesterday.
Former operations manager Sean Lawler allegedly made the remarks about
the family of the 19th Earl of Derby, Edward Stanley, who owns the
Knowsley estate.
Four witnesses claim that Mr Lawler insulted Lady Derby and her eldest
son, Edward, 11, at a meeting with park staff in February, 2007.
Mr Lawler, 51, categorically denies the allegations, claiming the
evidence against him was disingenuous. He said park employees
sometimes used "industrial language".
Cross-examining Mr Lawler, counsel for Lord Derby, Jonathan Bramley,
asked the former amusement park chief to imagine he was the owner of a
small, family-run company.
Mr Bramley said in the scenario, Mr Lawler should imagine he had heard
reports one of his senior managers had cast aspersions against his wife.
Mr Bramley said: "He had used words

Programme about to hatch 1000th kiwi
The survival prospects of New Zealand's national bird are about to get
a little better with the birth of the 1000th chick under a kiwi rescue
The North Island brown kiwi egg is incubating at Rotorua's Kiwi
The programme has successfully incubated, raised and returned almost
1000 kiwi back to the wild, where they stand a 65 percent chance of
reaching adulthood.
Without the programme, only five percent of kiwi reach adulthood
whereas 20 percent survival is needed for a population to grow.
Save the Kiwi Trust executive director Michelle Impey said the 1000th
kiwi egg sy

$1bn UAE wildlife park to be a global attraction
LIONS lounging on tree tops, elephants gambolling in running streams
as herds of oryx and deer leap on the little hillocks. Giving them
company a little distance away would be giraffe even as a solitary
chimpanzee keeps a vigilant eye. Of course, a few falcons too have
their keen eye on the surroundings.
We are not talking about a safari in Africa or a tour of the
Disneyland in Florida.
We are talking about the proposed Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort, a
mammoth $1bn development envisioned for the UAE emirate.
A sneak preview to the giant multi-use development was offered for the
first time at the recent Tourism Development Projects and Investment
Market (TDIM 08), at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition
Centre (DICEC).
For the first time in the region, the

Monkey business
Managers of the Toronto Zoo are obliged to show the public more than
just an array of exotic animals. Given their public funding, they also
have a responsibility to run an open and transparent operation.
Unfortunately, that second responsibility appears to have been
neglected by the zoo's board, which is refusing to reveal details
behind a top executive's attempt to snare a $400,000 severance payment.
The issue centres on zoo CEO Calvin White. He asked for a medical
leave last month, and a three-person subcommittee of the zoo's
governing board was set up to examine the request.
On short notice, however, a document unexpectedly surfaced that would
have provided White with two years' salary as part of a severance
package. That document was signed by subcommittee members Raymond Cho,
the Toronto city councillor who also chairs the zoo's managing board,
and zoo vice-chair Peter Evans. To his credit, Councillor Mike Del
Grande, the third member of the subcommittee, refused to add his
signature to the document.
The proposed severance was quashed last

Minister discusses zoo abuse claims
ZOOS Victoria's management has discussed almost a dozen allegations of
animal abuse and negligence with Environment Minister Gavin Jennings.
While stopping short of announcing an official inquiry yesterday, Mr
Jennings said he was alarmed by incidents revealed by The Age this
month, including the stabbing of an elephant with a marlin spike.
He said he had discussed the "unfortunate incidents" with the zoo. "We
have an understanding about the need to properly scrutinise each and
every one of those events," he said. But RSPCA president Hugh Wirth
described the comments as "rhetoric", and called on the State
Government to launch a full public inquiry.
"It's about time the minister took these allegations seriously and a
full public inquiry is the only appropriate way to get to the bottom
of these shocking allegations," Dr Wirth said.
He said Mr Jennings had failed to respond to an RSPCA letter sent
almost two weeks ago. He also called for new legislation to protect
native animals in captivity.
"We urgently need to look at the way we deal with wild animals in
zoos," he said. "Sheep have more legal protection in Victoria." Other
cases revealed by The Age included the death of a four-month-old
echidna taken to Phillip Island by its keepers, who went to car racing
in December last year.
A month earlier, the same echidna was

Dorset sanctuary completes world's biggest monkey rescue
A Dorset monkey sanctuary yesterday saved 88 monkeys from confinement
in small cages in a Chilean laboratory in the world's biggest rescue
mission of its kind.
Monkey World took two days to fly the 88 capuchin monkeys - some of
which were kept in solitary cages for up to 20 years - to its Wareham
The monkeys, aged between two and 30, were today enjoying their new
freedom after spending years only being taken out for medical
experiments and,,2249138,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront

Tests confirm zoo anthrax
Assam State Zoo began preparing to vaccinate its rhinos and all other
ruminant mammals against anthrax for the first time after receiving
confirmation about the contagious Bacillus anthracis spore lurking
somewhere on its sprawling campus.
Clinical tests at the College of Veterinary Sciences in Khanapara
confirmed what was feared: that an "acute" case of anthrax caused the
sudden death of a 30-year-old rhino, Jon, in the early hours of
January 22.
On receiving the report yesterday, the committee of experts that was
constituted to oversee preventive measures contacted the Institute of
Veterinary Biologicals, also in Khanapara, to suggest the dose of
anthrax vaccine appropriate for different species of mammals.
"There are different doses for different animals. One must know the
right dose to be administered for it to be effective," a member of the
committee said.
The Khanapara institute stocks the anthrax vaccine.
The divisional forest officer in charge of the zoo, Narayan

Rare victory for Madagascar tortoises
Conservationists are celebrating a double victory over tortoise
smugglers in Madagascar.
Earlier this month, a Nigerian man was arrested with 300 tortoises and
another 20 have been returned to their habitat after being seized on a
neighbouring island.
But campaigners' relief might not last long. The live animal trade,
particularly in reptiles, is big business.
The island's unique wildlife, which makes it so exciting for
conservationists, also attracts financial interest.
The haul of 300 seized from a house after a tip-off may be the largest
in the world, conservationists

Knowsley Safari Park to fight 'Frog Aids'
KNOWSLEY Safari Park is at the forefront of a battle against a disease
? dubbed Frog Aids ? that is threatening to wipe out up to half of all
amphibian species.
Experts believe that, after thriving for 350m years, frogs, toads and
other amphibians could die out in the single largest mass extinction
since the disappearance of the dinosaurs.
Campaigners Amphibian Ark have designated 2008 as the Year of the
Frog, and recruited Sir David Attenborough as their patron to raise
awareness of the current threat.
Knowsley is creating a special habitat where the amphibians can thrive
and supporting a nationwide campaign to raise £25m to rescue
endangered frogs and place them in "protective custody".
Safari Park general manager David Ross said: "We're delighted to be
doing our bit to support this important

Why conserve marsupials?
Vast amounts of money and resources are ploughed into conserving
Australia's native mammals ? is it all worth it?
As a biologist, I take the importance of the natural world for granted
and see it as imperative that we protect biological diversity from the
more destructive effects of human activity. But this is not a
universal view and it is still, surprisingly, quite new.
Indeed, it could be argued that conservation was not part of the
mainstream agenda in Australia until the 1970s when Jack Mundey led
the 'green bans' against rampant development in Sydney, and Bob Brown
galvanized the campaign to stop the damming of the wild Franklin River
in Tasmania.
The conservation ethos competes with other ideals even now. So why is
conservation important and why should we be concerned if we push a few
more marsupials to extinction?
One argument is that marsupials have a right to exist independently,
and should not depend on the capricious whims of humans for their
future survival. This perspective is sometimes dismissed as being too
simple-minded and philosophical when humans are so clearly the
dominant species on the planet but it is nonetheless compelling from
both ethical and moral points of view.
To me, it is arrogant in the

Colin England who represents the unnamed Middle East family behind the
plans said they had identified two potential sites one near Wootton
and another in south Wight. He could not be more specific at this
stage. Mr England who said he had worked on similar projects around
the world said once the land had been bought it would take around
months to open the park. Mr England said part of the park s work would
be to create breeding populations that could see animals returned to
the wild. This will be a modern park. We want to provide a spectacular
attraction and excitement and we are looking at creating upwards of
jobs and boosting the Island economy by millions of pounds said Mr
England. We want to work with the farming community and we have
already offered the IW Council an abattoir next to the park because of
the large amounts of meat we will need. We know farmers on the Island
have been struggling and we want to try to use as much produce from
the Island as possible he said. Along with IW Zoo in Sandown we would
take the majority of fallen stock. As from next year deadstock will no
longer be allowed to be buried and must be incinerated and

Asian elephant and calf die in labor at Fort Worth Zoo
Staffers struggle with the loss of 40-year-old Babe
A 40-year-old elephant died while trying to give birth to a calf that
also died, zoo officials said.
Babe, an Asian elephant that arrived at the Fort Worth Zoo in 1991 for
its breeding program, was its oldest female elephant.
Last month, as the end of her 22-month gestation period neared,
elephant keepers started watching her around the clock, zoo officials

Zoo chief's payout questioned
Proposal of $400,000 for `time off' probed
A proposed $400,000 severance payment to Calvin White, chief executive
of the Toronto Zoo, has been put on hold after the zoo's board of
management questioned how it was decided.
The board has appointed chief operating officer Robin Hale to serve as
interim chief executive, while White takes an extended leave.
But confusion surrounds White's status. The long-serving zoo boss said
in an interview he is "just taking time off" because he had accumulated

How to help zoo animals
SERIOUS allegations of animal mismanagement and, in one case, of
animal cruelty at Melbourne Zoo and the Healesville Sanctuary demand
an equally serious public response by the Zoological Board that goes
far beyond simply denying the allegations.
In summary, what has been claimed is that the management of many
animals is compromised by:
■A lack of adequate facilities to meet the behavioural, social
and physiological needs of the confined animals.
■Inadequate legislation underpinning the operation of the zoo
facilities. It should provide for standards approved by Parliament for
the keeping, exhibition or display and use of all species and include
documented animal management plans.
■Inadequate attention to changing community values on the
confinement and ethical use of animals.
■Commercial considerations affecting the ethical use of animals
rather than the welfare imperative.

Zoo chief wants elephants back
Maybe they can come home again.
And the Philadelphia Zoo is hoping its two young African elephants,
scheduled to be moved in the spring to a conservation center in
southwestern Pennsylvania for breeding, will do just that -
accompanied by elephant babies, called calves.
The zoo's president and chief executive officer, Vikram Dewan, said
yesterday that the idea of a new elephant enclosure at the
Philadelphia Zoo is still a gleam in the eye of zoo planners.
But he didn't outright deny a 2011 time frame for the project, which
animal activists say they have heard about.
Dewan yesterday said only, "2011 is a long way away for us.
"It's our long-term vision" to have an elephant exhibit at the zoo,
and there is room to establish an elephant compound of more than 10
acres at the back of the zoo, Dewan said. The elephants' current
habitat consists of a quarter-acre exercise yard, plus a barn where
they sleep.
"We don't have a master plan," Dewan added. "It's merely a vision and
a desire."

Knut is a psychopath and will never mate, say experts
Berlin Zoo does little to prepare visitors for the shock of a first
encounter with Knut, the world's most famous polar bear. Placards
advertising the ursine celebrity at its entrance gate show a cuddly,
snowy-white creature not much bigger than a domestic cat.
A kiosk next door is stuffed full of Knuts. The souvenir toy bears are
still cat sized, fluffy and white but this time at ?15 (£12) apiece
they are synthetic, machine washable and have grins on their faces.
A good hundred yards inside, past the pelican pond and the African
warthogs, an almost permanent 200- strong crowd of children and
camera-waving adults braving a January afternoon, belie the near
divine presence of the real Knut ? the bear turned future Hollywood
film star who has a following of millions.
Knut close up is disconcerting to say the least: he is not white but
mired a filthy brownish grey colour by the mud and dirty pools of
water in his enclosure. At a year old, and weighing more than 17 stone
he is bigger than a man when standing on his hind legs.

Mountain lion attacks zoo volunteer
Trained keeper tried to pet cougar on the head at zoo in Bastrop County.
A Capital of Texas Zoo volunteer was recovering after her thumb was
broken by a mountain lion she tried to pet after feeding it Sunday, a
Bastrop County animal control investigator said Wednesday.
The volunteer had to have stitches, said Sandy Perio, deputy chief
supervisor with animal control, but she was not seriously injured. Her
name was not released, and calls to the Capital of Texas Zoo, which is
closed Wednesdays during the winter season, were unanswered.
The zoo near Cedar Creek has a locked, 8-foot perimeter fence around
the lion's cage, Perio said. The lion is one of three cats housed at
the zoo.
The volunteer was bitten

Elephants at LA Zoo Shocked and Bull-Hooked?
Actor and animal activist Robert Culp is demanding an immediate
closure of the elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo and that all
work on the expansion of the elephant enclosure be halted. Billy, a
21-year-old Asian elephant, is now the zoo's only pachyderm, after the
departure of Ruby last spring.
KNBC reports that Culp and real estate agent Aaron Leider have filed a
lawsuit against the city and zoo director John Lewis for allegedly
mistreating the elephants by withholding medical care, keeping them in
an enclosure that is too small to adequately meet their needs and
using bull hooks and electric shock to punish disobedient elephants.

Zoos try to prevent extinction
When most people look at animals in a zoo, what they see are ... well,
animals. It is fun to see animals like giraffes, elephants, lions and
gorillas up close and personal. But zoos look at the animals in a very
different way. For a zoo, many of the animals are like the animals on
Noah's ark.

Strange Creature Immune to Pain
As vulnerable as naked mole rats seem, researchers now find the
hairless, bucktoothed rodents are invulnerable to the pain of acid and
the sting of chili peppers.
A better understanding of pain resistance in these sausage-like
creatures could lead to new drugs for people with chronic pain,
scientists added.
Naked mole rats live in cramped, oxygen-starved burrows some six feet
underground in central East Africa. Unusually, they are cold-blooded ?
which, as far as anyone knows, is unique among mammals.
"They're the nicest, sweetest animals I've ever worked with ? they
look frightening, but they're very gentle," said neurobiologist Thomas
Park at the University of Illinois at Chicago


Father of slain San Jose teen to cops: Friend admitted yelling at tiger
One of three San Jose youths mauled by a tiger at San Francisco Zoo
told the father of the boy slain in the Christmas attack that they had
been yelling and waving at the animal while standing on the railing
outside its grotto, according to news reports.
But, then, in an interview with San Francisco police, Paul Dhaliwal, 19,
had denied throwing anything into the enclosure or antagonizing the
animal in any way, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.
The interview - and the account by the father of Carlos Sousa Jr. of San
Jose - were part of the affidavit San Francisco police used to obtain a
search warrant for the car and cell phones of Paul Dhaliwal, 19, and his
23-year-old brother, Kurbil. The affidavit was filed in court late Thursday.
"As a result of this investigation," police believe "that the tiger may have
been taunted/agitated by its eventual victims," Police Inspector Valerie
Matthews wrote in the affidavit. Police believe that "this factor
contributed to the tiger escaping from its enclosure and attacking its
victims," she said.

Police: Tiger attack victim was drinking, admitted taunting
One of the three victims of a San Francisco Zoo tiger attack was
intoxicated and admitted to yelling and waving at the animal while
standing atop the railing of the big cat enclosure, police say in court
Paul Dhaliwal, 19, told the father of Carlos Sousa Jr., 17, who was
killed, that the three yelled and waved at the tiger but insisted they
never threw anything into its pen to provoke the cat, according to a
search warrant affidavit obtained Thursday by the San Francisco
"As a result of this investigation, (police believe) that the tiger may have
been taunted/agitated by its eventual victims," according to Inspector
Valerie Matthews, who prepared the affidavit. Police believe that "this
factor contributed to the tiger escaping from its enclosure and attacking
its victims," she said.
Sousa's father, Carlos Sousa Sr., said Dhaliwal told him the three stood

Zoo passion
A boyhood passion for zoo animals has led Lee Jenkins along an 18-year
journey through the animal kingdom to become head keeper at Combe
Martin Wildlife Park.
The vastly experienced keeper is a big cat specialist and has worked at
well-known zoos around the country and in the field in Africa, joined the
North Devon attraction in November.
Lee, who previously worked at Bristol Zoo, was brought in by owner Bob
Butcher to help him fulfil a wish for Combe Martin to become one of the
best wildlife parks in the world.
Since he grew up almost next door to London Zoo, perhaps it is
unsurprising zookeeping became his profession: "I actually used to bunk
off school just to go to the zoo," he said.
"I had a little corner of the wall I would climb over and would spend all
my days there fascinated by the animals."
He joined Whipsnade Zoo

The Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort preview $1bn development at the
TDIM event
The Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort will be offering visitors to the
Tourism Development Projects & Investment Market (TDIM) a sneak
preview of its first of a kind $1bn unique concept.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al
Nahyan, President of the UAE and in association with the Abu Dhabi

Five years for attack on zoo boss
A FORMER Barrow rugby player who attacked millionaire zoo boss David
Gill with a knife in his home has been jailed for five years.
Father-of-two Richard Creary was consumed by jealousy after the
owner of South Lakes Wild Animal Park formed a relationship with
Creary's estranged wife, Preston Crown Court heard.
He told police: "I just couldn't compete. I haven't got a Bentley,

Husband jailed for stabbing millionaire zoo owner after catching him in
bed with his wife
A millionaire zoo owner in bed with another man's wife was knifed in
the neck when the jilted husband stormed into his home, a court heard.
Richard Creary hacked at David Gill's throat and threatened to kill him
after finding him half-naked with Alison Creary in the middle of the
He shouted: "You're sh***ing my wife - you're going to die!" The pair
grappled at the top of the stairs before the Ferrari-driving zoo boss
escaped and fled for his life in his pyjama bottoms.
Creary, 38, a former rugby league player, was

Gunmen steal 15 birds at Nicaragua zoo
Hooded bandits also nab a raccoon
Five armed, hooded men broke into a Nicaraguan zoo and ran off with
15 endangered birds and a raccoon, officials said Saturday.
National police are investigating Friday's robbery of a raccoon, five
bicolored toucans, nine parrots and a macaw that were being
rehabilitated in the zoo's rescue center, Managua zoo director Marina
Arguello told The Associated Press in a phone interview.
The suspects broke into the rear of the zoo, overpowered a security
guard and headed directly for the rescue center, where they seized the
animals, all of which are species in danger of extinction, Arguello,1,4122384.story

Brookfield giraffe dies after becoming tangled in rope
An 11-year-old male giraffe that was found unresponsive Saturday
morning at the Brookfield Zoo died of a broken neck after getting tangled
in a rope, a necropsy showed.
The giraffe, Dusti, was found caught in a rope by a staff member about
7 a.m. at the zoo's exhibit Habitat Africa! The Savannah, officials said.
He had been checked on at 4:30 a.m. and was fine, but at some point
reached over his enclosure in the main exhibit space, stretched around a

NZ's biggest and newest tiger enclosure
NZ's biggest and newest tiger enclosure to open at Orana Wildlife Park
in Christchurch next week
One of the biggest and newest tiger enclosures in Australasia will open
to the public at Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch next week.
The $500,000 state of the art tiger area features two critically-
endangered Sumatran tigers from the Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo,

RSPCA 'not surprised' by Melb Zoo abuse accusation
RSPCA president Hugh Wirth says he is not surprised by allegations of
animal abuse at Melbourne Zoo.
It has been reported today that a former zoo staff member witnessed an
elephant being repeatedly jabbed in the leg at least a dozen times.
Dr Wirth says no complaint about the incident has been made to the
But he believes today's claim just scratches the surface of possible
animal abuse.

Melbourne Zoo denies cruelty claims
MELBOURNE Zoo has hit back at claims an elephant was stabbed and
animals mistreated on their grounds.
Zoos Victoria Life Sciences director Matt Vincent said the merlin spike,
carried by keepers to care for elephants' feet, did not break the animal's
skin and was used only when two keepers were at risk.
Reports accused a handler of stabbing an elephant, Dokkoon, more than
12 times with a sharp metal spike to restrain it.
Mr Vincent rejected outright all claims of animal abuse and cruelty.
But RSPCA president Hugh Wirth said a written complaint by a zoo
keeper indicated there had been a breach of cruelty legislation.
Dr Wirth said the RSPCA would start investigating possible cruelty
against the elephant and other animals at the zoo as early as tomorrow.
State Government spokesman Cam Scott said the zoo was expected to
provide animals with the highest standard of care.
"The minister will meet with Zoos Victoria and receive a full account of
their response to the allegations before deciding whether to take further
action," he said.
The zoo said the keeper involved in the incident, Pat Flora, was too
upset to comment yesterday. He still,21985,23078249-2862,00.html

Mystery surrounds death of elephant handler
MYSTERY surrounds the death of a circus worker originally believed to
have been crushed by an elephant at Yamba on the NSW north coast.
It is not yet known if the elephant's handler, aged in his 60s, died of a
heart attack today before suffering an injury to his back, or even if an
elephant caused the injury.
Early police reports said one of The Stardust Circus elephants fell on the
handler as it was being unloaded from a truck at the Angourie Road
Sports Reserve about 5.15pm (AEDT).
An ambulance spokesman said the injured handler died of a fatal
cardiac arrest at the scene.
However, police later said the handler and another circus worker were
together tending,23599,22976902-2,00.html

Call for zoo handling review
A LEADING zoo and elephant expert has called on Melbourne Zoo and
other Australian zoos to overhaul their approach to handling and training
animals, and elephants in particular.
Peter Stroud, a former senior curator with Melbourne Zoo, was
responding to revelations by The Age at the weekend, including that a
keeper at the zoo stabbed a 13-year-old elephant more than a dozen
times with a sharp implement known as a marlin spike in May last year.
The zoo's acting chief executive, Matt Vincent, defended the action as
self-defence because two keepers were in danger when the elephant
backed towards them. He said a "full and thorough investigation" had
shown that the two keepers were at serious risk of injury and had taken
appropriate action.

Rescuing endangered amphibians
A giant Chinese salamander that predates Tyrannosaurus rex and the
world's smallest frog are among a group of extremely rare amphibians
identified by scientists today as being in need of urgent help to survive.
The Olm, a blind salamander that can survive for 10 years without food,
and a purple frog that spends most of its life underground are also
among the 10 most endangered amphibians drawn up by the Zoological
Society of London.
"These species are the `canaries in the coal mine' ? they are highly
sensitive to factors such as climate change and pollution, which lead to
extinction, and are a stark warning of things to come," said EDGE head
Jonathan Baillie.
EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct

Zoos to come under tighter supervision
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation is
drafting new regulations to bring private zoos under stricter control and
to improve animal welfare.
The regulations would include new hygiene standards for zoo animals,
the director of the department's wildlife conservation office, Samart
Sumanochitraporn, said.
The department had received many complaints about poor treatment of
zoo animals. The new regulations would lead to improved standards and
boost the country's image on animal rights protection, he said.
''We are also considering whether it is appropriate to have a zoo in a
department store,'' Mr Samart said.
It would be better for their health if the animals were on show on a
temporary basis instead of being kept in malls permanently.
In 2004, wildlife officials raided Safari World and confiscated 53
orangutans which were illegally smuggled into the country from

Being a zoo keeper smelly, dirty, cold, but "worth it'
Zoo keeper Will Ratcliffe knows that Star, Spangle and Banner - a trio of
red river hogs born on the 4th of July, 2006 - will make quick work of
the treats he hides in their exhibit at the Birmingham Zoo.
"They'll find it within a couple of minutes," he says.
Nonetheless, the time he spends setting up this porcine version of hide-
and-seek, where he buries apples, carrots and bananas in their sand pit
or atop boulders and logs, is worth it, he says, because enrichment
helps keep boredom, and potentially destructive

Elephant 'owners' attack Delhi zoo
Jungle law prevailed inside Delhi zoo on Monday as a mob of around 25-
30 people - claiming to be the owners of elephants brought in for the
Republic Day parade - attacked the zoo staff, including its director, D N
According to sources, the elephant-keepers were waiting to hit back at
the zoo authorities since last year, as they had complained against the
mahouts for having misused the animals. Every year, elephants are
brought in by the Delhi government from private owners for the R-Day
parade and are kept at the parking enclosure of the zoo.
Officials allege that though the keepers are not allowed to take the
elephants out at night, they often indulge in the practice of renting them
out for processions and marriage ceremonies, and there's always a
chance of the animal getting hurt. Zoo officials, who provide medical
fitness certificates for the nine elephants which participate in the
parade, say this is a matter of grave concern as an injured elephant
may go berserk.
Zoo officials also allege that keepers make money

Ministers have ignored calls to give tax breaks to Plymouth's cash-
strapped National Marine Aquarium.
The Commons Science and Technology Committee had proposed
that "serious consideration" be given to slashing the rate of VAT on
admission tickets to the city venue and other science centres.
The move could have been worth up to £170,000 for the attraction,
which, like many of its counterparts, is struggling financially.
But the Government has rejected the plea, to the disappointment of city
MP Linda Gilroy.
The influential group of MPs had called on the Government to cut VAT
on tickets from 17.5 per cent to five per cent, provided independent



Why we SHOULD have stepped in to stop a polar bear eating her cubs
You run a zoo and one of your female animals abandons her babies -
what do you do?
Do you allow nature to take its course and let them die young, or do you
hand-rear them and risk creating "mental hybrids" - animals who think
they are human, even though they belong to a quite different species.
That was the dilemma that faced Nuremberg Zoo when their female
polar bear, Vilma, ignored the screams of her two starving cubs.
The zoo authorities took the tough decision to let nature run its
with the result that the cubs are now dead - eventually eaten by their
Although the zoo's decision was not taken lightly and they believed that
they were acting correctly, they have been under savage public attack
ever since, looked upon as callous monsters and subjected to an
international barrage of abuse.
Indeed, such was the outcry that when a second female polar bear,
Vera, failed to care for her cub, the keepers hurriedly announced they

Growling Over Polar Bears
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has failed to meet a federal deadline
to determine whether to protect the polar bear under the Endangered
Species Act. Some environmental groups say the Bush administration is
ignoring the effects of global warming on the animals. Host Steve
Curwood talks with Bill Snape, Senior Counsel for the Center for
Biological Diversity, about the delay.

What happened to ... The polar bear cubs
The Observer reported last week on the fate of a tiny polar bear that
was being left to starve to death in Germany's Nuremberg zoo after its
mother neglected it.
Zoo workers had taken the controversial decision not to rear the cub by
hand, even though the new mother, Vera, was ignoring the hungry cries
of her babies. Meanwhile, another mother bear, Vilma, was showing

San Francisco Zoo officials detail animal security incidents since tiger
Since a tiger escaped its pen and killed a person, a snow leopard has
ripped a small opening in its wire cage and workers have had to dart a
polar bear to goad it into its night enclosure, San Francisco Zoo
A nearly 45-kilogram snow leopard managed to rip a 10 centimetre hole
in its wire mesh cage Thursday afternoon and got part of its head and
paw out, zoo officials said. The zookeeper could have been harmed if
she had not secured the cage, but visitors were never threatened
because the cage was in a larger, secured

Evidence in car may point to drug use, tiger taunting in zoo case
The San Francisco City Attorney's Office contends the car of the two
brothers who survived the tiger attack at San Francisco Zoo
contains ''apparent evidence of drug use'' and may have evidence linking
the men to objects found inside the tiger's enclosure, according to
That could help show the victims pelted or taunted the tiger that
escaped and killed a San Jose teen, the documents state. The survivors
have denied any wrongdoing.
While a police investigation into such accusations has been described
as ''inactive'' by city officials, any evidence that the survivors
teased the
big cat could be used to defend the city and zoo against any lawsuits
filed by the victims, said a spokesman for the City Attorney's Office.
Also in the new documents is an account by a zoo security guard, who
said two young men in hooded sweatshirts sought to take the car from
the zoo parking lot the day after the Christmas Day attack. They were
denied entry by security guards, according to a statement a guard filed
Thursday in San Francisco Superior

Zoo safety questioned again after leopard, polar bear nearly escape
Revelations that a polar bear and a snow leopard came close to
escaping from their enclosures at the San Francisco Zoo over the past
week renewed questions Friday about the safety of visitors and workers
at the facility, several zookeepers said.
A female polar bear nearly scaled the wall of her enclosure on Jan. 3,
several zookeepers have told The Chronicle, almost escaping and
prompting the zoo to raise the height of the exhibit wall the next
day. A
week later, on Thursday, a snow leopard chewed through a temporary
enclosure, according to a zoo spokesman.
The zookeepers said the latest incidents made them fearful for their
safety and called into question whether visitors are safe. But zoo
disputed the keepers' characterization of the incidents, saying that the
wild animals

Animals torn to pieces by lions in front of baying crowds: the spectator
sport China DOESN'T want you to see
The smiling children giggled as they patted the young goat on its head
and tickled it behind the ears.
Some of the more boisterous ones tried to clamber onto the animal's
back but were soon shaken off with a quick wiggle of its bottom.
It could have been a happy scene from a family zoo anywhere in the
world but for what happened next.
A man hoisted up the goat and nonchalantly threw it over a wall into a
pit full of hungry lions. The poor goat tried to run for its life,
but it didn't
stand a chance. The lions quickly surrounded it and started tearing
at its
"Oohs" and "aahs" filled the air as the children watched the goat being
ripped limb from limb. Some started to clap silently with a look of
wonder in their eyes.
The scenes witnessed at Badaltearing Safari Park in China are rapidly
becoming a normal day out for many Chinese

Group puts Woodland Park Zoo on 10-worst-for-elephants list
Woodland Park Zoo was in the No. 2 spot when In Defense of Animals
released its annual list of the Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants on
The list is compiled through Internet voting, according to the animal
rights group. Most zoos made the list because of elephant deaths,
cramped exhibits or lack of elephant companions.
The group says it is dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of
The Seattle Zoo made the list for the third time, in part because of the
death of 6-year-old Hansa from an unidentified strain of herpes virus,
and the zoo's decision to artificially inseminate her mother, Chai. The
animal rights group says the zoo is potentially exposing another baby
elephant to the disease.
"We are not commenting on their list," said Gigi Allianic, a spokeswoman
for Woodland Park Zoo. She added that the zoo helps provide support
for the International Elephant Foundation for elephant conservation.
The top spot on the list went to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo,
Calif., for what the group calls a "disregard for the health and well-
of seven elephants forced to live in the shadow of roller coaster rides,
amidst noisy, rowdy crowds." Nine elephants have died at the
amusement park since 1995, according to the report.
Catherine Doyle, campaign director for

Vietnam zoo auctioned dead tigers
A zoo in Vietnam has admitted it auctioned dead tigers to animal
trafficking gangs.
The revelation by Hanoi Zoo came after police raided a gang in the city,
uncovering two live tigers, four dead ones and seven live bears.
The zoo said the tigers died of natural causes and were sold for about
125m dong ($7,800; £4,000) to raise money to buy more animals.
Under international law the animals should have been cremated.
Dang Gia Tung, the zoo's deputy director, told the Associated Press that
the carcass of a one-year-old tiger was sold in November.
"We thought we should auction the tigers' bodies to raise funds to
the collection of animals at the zoo," he said.
His admission came after police arrested two men when they discovered
two tigers in the back seat of a car in Hanoi.
The tigers had been drugged, but woke up during the police operation
and had to be sedated again before they could be removed to an animal
Officers found four more

Wildlife park lets you pet tiger for £160
A WILDLIFE park is charging members of the public to feed a 500lb tiger
and pet it by putting their fingers inside its cage, a practice
by animal welfare groups as dangerous.
For a £160 fee, Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire allows customers
to stroke with their fingers Rocky, a nine-year-old Siberian and Bengal
tiger cross described as a "gentleman". The park also permits
customers to feed Narnia, a white tiger. Meat is held up to the bars
so it
can be pulled into the cage. Staff said Narnia "does not like people
The wildlife park is offering the service up to twice a day despite the
deaths of two people from maulings by tigers at two unconnected zoos
overseas within the past month.
This weekend animal welfare groups criticised the practice of letting
public feed the tigers. Will Travers, the chief executive of the Born
Foundation, said: "These are wild animals. This is an accident
waiting to
However, the owners of Paradise Wildlife Park, which also used to allow
visitors to walk wolves in its grounds, said the feeding, which is
open to
anyone over 16, was entirely safe and sanctioned by zoo inspectors sent
by the local authority.
On its website, it tells visitors they will get a souvenir T-shirt after
they "experience the animal's

Why the Bonobos Need a Radio and Other (Unlikely) Lessons From
Deepest Congo
The footbridge gave way with the sonic punch of a giant walnut
cracking, plunging two of our best porters and a vital load of French
electronics into the Lula River, which was little more than a boggy
at this point in the dry season. In a spot where a young woman had
recently had her arm ripped off by a slender-snouted croc, they were
lucky to make it out alive. The mishap, nevertheless, cost us a half
of precious sunlight and, perhaps, the goodwill of our increasingly
anxious porters.
Our 30-person campaign trekked the next seven hours in a silent trudge
through Salonga National Park, a mostly unexplored lowland rain forest
in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). For reasons that were
beyond my comprehension at that early stage, we were led by a
mysterious five-year-old boy wearing a tattered red dress who had
somehow attached himself to our expedition. No one questioned our tiny
guide, or needed to, as he was able to lead
a team of porters, park guards, and one primate specialist through an
undulating course of fallen trees, barrel-chested fire ants, and
swampland of ankle-deep slop. The rain forest around us was
disturbingly quiet: no barks, calls, thumping, or cawing of creatures
except the tinnitus of insects and tweeting of birds.
About 16 miles (26 kilometers) in, the boy mercifully steered us into a
small clearing. We were not far now from where Belgian colonials in the
Congo used to exchange prisoners with a near-mythic people called the
Iyaelima, the same "lost" tribe

Zoo faces closure due to snakebite
Pasig City Mayor Robert Eusebio wants to close down the Arc Avilon Zoo
in Ortigas Center if it is shown to have ignored guidelines to ensure
safety of visitors.
He said he was taking action amid reports that a child was bitten by an
Albino King Snake last Jan. 5.
"If they fail to adopt safety measures for their patrons, we may have to
have it closed," he said.
Eusebio wrote a letter to Avilon's operator to explain how the
are secured to prevent a repeat of the incident.
He said the zoo opened Nov. 30 last year in time for the holidays after
securing a business permit from city hall.
A pro-nature advocate with his Green Pasig campaign, Eusebio ordered
Racquel Naciongayo, the chief of the City Environment and Natural
Resources Office, to check if the zoo had violated any provision of the
environmental law on the custody and display of animals.
He said any permit or license issued could be

Excerpts from recordings of emergency calls during zoo attack
The following are excerpts of a 911 recording made between 5:06 p.m.
and 5:22 p.m. on Dec. 25. A male zoo employee is on the phone with a
dispatcher relaying information he is getting from co-workers over a
Dispatcher: "Is the patient saying he was bitten?"
Male zoo employee: "He was saying he was bitten by an animal, but
there is no animal escaped so he could just be crazy."
Female zoo employee: "He is saying he got attacked by a lion."
Male zoo employee: "That is virtually impossible."
Female zoo employee: "I'm walking away from him right now so I can
talk to you."
Male zoo employee: "I'm heading over in that direction. I can't imagine
how he could have possibly gotten attacked by a lion. He would have
had to go in, I just can't see it."
Female zoo employee: "I got a tiger out. Code One. By the yellow picnic
site. Code One. Trooper, stay put."
Unidentified person: "What? What kind of

Extra security for animal centre
Extra money is to be spent on improving security at a wildlife park in
Dundee where several animals were attacked.
A deer was slashed, otters were beaten with clubs, and a terrapin's
eyes were gouged out during the break-in at the Camperdown Wildlife
Centre last July.
Dundee City Council has agreed to spend £40,000 on enhancing security
around the perimeter.
Experts will also carry out an audit of procedures and make
recommendations on any further action which is required.
'Invested significantly'
Temporary CCTV and onsite security were introduced following the
break-in at the wildlife centre, and will continue in place until the
improvements can be installed.
Three teenagers were


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