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Zoo News Digest Jan-Feb 2009


Officers raid Crocodile and Tiger World in Phuket, where animals were
being held illegally
In a raid that has only recently been reported, a team of National
Parks Department officers and wildlife activists on February 5 raided
a private zoo in Phuket City and rescued 11 young orangutans being
held there illegally to serve as a tourist attraction.
The successful raid followed several reports from tourists to the non-
governmental Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) that ten
young orangutans were on display at Crocodile and Tiger World, a
private zoo located in Phuket City.
The zoo also features more than 10,000 crocodiles, Bengal tigers,
ostriches and gibbons.
Attractions at the zoo allow people to bottle feed baby tigers for a
small fee and watch an attractive young woman stick her head into the
mouth of an enormous crocodile.
WFFT secretary-general Edwin Wiek said the raid followed several tip-
offs from tourists aware of the plight of the highly endangered
orangutans. They sent in pictures and video clips of the primates,
which Wiek used to convince officials to organise a January 22 raid
on the zoo.
Unfortunately, the first raid was unsuccessful because the media
leaked news of the impending raid in time for the zoo owner to hide
the apes.
In the successful second raid, carried out on February 5, authorities
found 11 orangutans ranging in age from less than two years old to
about five years in a small stock room, Wiek said.
All 11 animals are now being given

Zoo awaits patter of not-so-tiny feet
Regular foot massages, warm baths, rub downs and an exercise routine
that includes aerobics and strength training are all part of the life
of two very special pregnant ladies at the Melbourne Zoo.
Zoo authorities on Thursday confirmed that its 10-year-old Asian
elephant Kulab is almost three months pregnant. She joins 16-year-old
Dokkoon who is due to give birth towards the end of 2009.
No baby elephant has been born in Australia and

White Tigers to Spend Summer in Rochester's Zoo
County Executive Maggie Brooks announced Friday that two white tigers
will visit the Seneca Park Zoo for summer 2009.
The white tiger exhibit will mark the eleventh year of the Visiting
Summer Animal program, which allows the public to view an animal not
normally on display at Seneca Park. Past visiting summer exhibits
have included bears, baboons, lions, warthogs, and other animals.
°ßThe Visiting Summer Animal Program at Seneca Park Zoo is something
that our community looks forward to each year,°® Brooks said. °ßThe
white tigers are certain to be a popular attraction, throughout

Economic stimulus law to zoos, aquariums: No money for you
By William Mullen | Tribune staff reporter
Long counted as cultural, educational and economic treasures in their
communities, American zoos and aquariums were more than a little
upset when the $787 billion economic stimulus package signed into law
this week expressly denied them any of the money.
"None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available in this
Act may be used by any State or local government, or any private
entity, for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium,
zoo, golf course, or swimming pool," the legislation states.
Being lumped in with casinos and golf courses on a scale of civic
merit was insult added to injury. At a time when philanthropic giving
is shrinking along with the economy, being denied a source of funding
"Zoos and aquariums don't belong on that list," said Steve Feldman,
spokesman for the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the

Bucktooth rats attract strange love at zoos
Despite their less-than-photogenic appearance, naked mole rats are
gaining popularity at zoos in Japan. The rat's name in Japanese,
hadaka deba nezumi, literally means naked bucktooth rat, and serves
as a good description of this toothy furless creature.
Ueno Zoological Gardens in Taito Ward, Tokyo, now has 16 naked mole
rats, each about 10 centimeters long.
The zoo started raising the rats in 2001. At the zoo, visitors can
see the rats scuttling along transparent pipes that resemble the
conditions of their nests in the wild.
According to the zoo, the rats did not attract much attention at
first. However, they began to gain popularity soon after the first
airing of Disney animation series "Kim Possible" in 2003. In the
show, a naked mole rat appears as the pet

Five Fatal Lessons From Chimp Attack (Peter's note - Please note who
wrote appeared in several newsgroups without link or credit
to the author)
I feel like we at The HSUS are constantly reminding policy makers,
animal-use industries, and regular people about mind-numbingly
reckless behavior when it comes to our treatment of animals°Xwhether
it°¶s dragging sick or crippled °ßdowner cows°® into slaughterhouses
for human consumption, dosing animals on factory farms with human-
grade antibiotics that result in the development of drug-resistant
bacteria, giving animal abusers a slap on the wrist in the courts for
sociopathic behavior toward animals, or, in yesterday°¶s case,
bringing dangerous wild animals into our homes and communities
because we want to keep them as pets.
On Monday, we saw more evidence of people not heeding the warnings
and the perfectly predictable outcomes from irresponsible behavior.
In Connecticut, police shot and killed a pet chimpanzee after the
animal mauled

The Case of the Sexually Arrested Orangutans
It was late in the work day and I was rushing around trying to get
some new chimps settled in their habitat when the phone rang.
°ßHi Lisa, it°¶s Anne and I°¶ve got a favor to ask. I know you have
some captive male orangutans at the National Zoo and I°¶m hoping
you°¶ll help me collect some growth, development, and behavior
data on these animals. I°¶ve enlisted the cooperation of curators
at çpçq other zoos in the U.S. to help me assemble this database on
juvenile male orangutan development.
°ßAs you may know,°® Anne continued, °ßwhen juvenile males
are housed together, some begin to develop the characteristic
secondary sex characteristics at age four, resulting in the massive
body size, large cheek fl anges and laryngeal sac, while others
stay juvenile looking but grow to nearly adult size. I think the
diff erence in development might be due to variation in the eff ects
of captive stress, mostly from the presence of other adult males.
When we separate the arrested individuals from the rest, they
complete their maturation to adulthood rather quickly.°®
As an Assistant Curator at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington
D.C., I was in charge of the care
and health of the primates and pandas, and thought this sounded like
an interesting project.
°ßI think we can do that Anne. Actually, I have also noticed those
developmental diff erences in juvenile
orangutans and always wondered why they occur.°®
°ßGood, then you°¶ll know what to look for. I need information on
their housing situation, diet, medical
history, growth, behavior patterns, and as they go through puberty,
fl ange and laryngeal sac development,
social interactions, and semen quality if you manage to collect that.
I would also like you to collect fresh
urine samples from each individual periodically. Th e lab at the
Center for Reproduction of Endangered
Species (CRES) at the San Diego Zoo will run hormone assays on the
urine for me. I°¶ll send you a
spreadsheet for keeping records on each animal. You can send the
urine samples and spreadsheet data to
CRES for analysis. I really appreciate your help.°®
çp. Explain the normal hormonal control of male sexual

Tigers rescued from Chinese medicine farm
Animal inspectors have rescued eight tigers who were due to be
slaughtered for the illegal Far East medical black market.
The five fully gown tigers and three cubs were found stashed at a dog
kennels in Somma Lombardo, in northern Italy, after a tip off to
Investigators believe the animals were due to be used in traditional
Chinese medicines where healers claim that illnesses can be cured by
digesting parts of powerful animals like tigers. Now animal welfare
experts have moved the big cats to a nearby wildlife park.
"They were living in small cages in terrible conditions and they are
lucky to be alive. Sadly they have been so badly treated there is no
chance of returning them to the wild," s

Slaughter of the elephants
Legal ivory sale linked to poaching surge across Kenya's huge Tsavo
National Park
There has been an "unprecedented" surge in elephant poaching in one
of Kenya's principal national parks since a large-scale ivory sale
late last year, which gave a renewed boost to the international ivory
The sale was of more than 100 tonnes of legal ivory from four
southern African countries whose elephant populations are not
threatened, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. It was
permitted by the UN's Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species (Cites) in the teeth of fierce opposition from many
observers, from environmentalists to politicians, who warned it was
bound t

Kiwi Encounter Hatches Milestone 700th Kiwi
Kiwi Encounter in Rotorua is today celebrating the safe arrival of
the 700th Kiwi hatched there since they commenced participation in
the kiwi recovery programme in 1995/6.
The chick, named Whiturau (700 in maori), hatched just before
midnight yesterday weighing a healthy 253.6 grams. The hatch was
uneventful and the husbandry team at the National Kiwi Trust (Kiwi
Encounter) are ecstatic at achieving the milestone after what has
been a record breaking 2008/09 season. `'This is a stunning
achievement for the entire National Kiwi trust team and an amazing
result for our kiwi ñ we could not do this work without the help of
all the volunteers and supporters the trust has'' commented Kiwi
Husbandry Manager, Claire

Can jumbo elephants really paint? Intrigued by stories, naturalist
Desmond Morris set out to find the truth
Is it true that elephants are artists? Can they really paint pictures
of flowers, trees and even other elephants? Are they the only animals
on Earth, apart from human beings, that can create pictorial images?
Last summer my friend, the scientist Richard Dawkins, asked me to
look at a video clip on the internet, taken in Thailand, that showed
a young female elephant called Hong painting a picture of an elephant
running along, holding a flower in its trunk. He wanted to know if I
thought it was a fake.
The internet is notoriously awash with fakes of one kind or another,
but this particular video appeared to be genuine. I could hardly
believe my eyes as the elephant with a paintbrush inserted in the tip
of its trunk started to place lines on a large

SD Zoo euthanizes 60-year-old elephant
The oldest elephant at the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park has been
euthanized after more than a year of declining health.
Park officials say Sunita, a 60-year-old Asian elephant, was
euthanized Wednesday. Officials say she had been battling a series of
conditions linked to old age.
Park spokeswoman Christina Simmons told The San Diego Union-Tribune
that Sunita had been under intense care and a special diet, but she
was losing weight rapidly. She says Sunita was undergoing massive
organ failure and that led to the difficult decision to euthanize.
Sunita came to the zoo in 1974. Her death lea

Puerto Rico decides to ship wild monkeys to Iraq
Puerto Rico has found an unlikely solution to ease its surplus of
pesky wild monkeys: ship them to Iraq. About a dozen patas monkeys
will fly across the Atlantic on a commercial carrier in upcoming
weeks, courtesy of the Baghdad Zoo, according to the Caribbean
island's Department of Natural Resources.
Puerto Rico is eager to rid itself of the estimated 2,000 patas and
rhesus monkeys that have taken a toll on wildlife and agriculture in
the Lajas Valley since escaping from nearby research centers 30 years
"We will give them all the monkeys they want," said Sgt. Angel
Atienza, a ranger with the department. "We don't have a problem with
Unlike rhesus monkeys, patas are not considered desirable for
research, and there has been little demand for either from zoos ó
until now.
The U.S. military recently has spent more than $2.15 million to
revive the Baghdad Zoo, which collapsed after the 2003 invasion when
looters stole or freed almost every animal. Three lions were killed
when they tried to attack U.S. soldiers.
The military rebuilt exhibits and trained Iraqi zookeepers. Last
year, the zoo reported average weekly visits of between 8,000 to
10,000 Iraqis.
But animal welfare activists say the animals are not necessarily safe
in Iraq.
"In the middle of the war, animals are the least of anyone's
concern," said Lisa Wathne, spokeswoman for the People for the
Ethical Treatment of Animals. "It's just reckless and insensitive to
send these monkeys, who will be caged, helpless and completely
dependent on humans to survive, to such a hazardous area."
Puerto Rico Natural Resources Secretar

Safety lapses by worker, zoo officials faulted in jaguar attack
A zookeeper mauled by a jaguar at a park near Thurmont last month
didn't follow safety procedures, according to a federal inspector's
report obtained today by the Associated Press.
The worker, Deborah Gregory, didn't implement all safety features to
secure the den area, allowing one of two jaguars to enter while she
was working at the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo, the report
Inspector Gloria McFadden of the Agriculture Department's Animal and
Plant Health Inspection Service wrote that Gregory had been trained
in safety procedures during her two months of employment but wasn't
under direct supervision at the time of the attack.
The report directs the zoo to implement measures to

Horns of a dilemma: Rhino costs strain zoo
Facility agrees to spend $200,000 for one pair, plans to breed the
near-endangered species
Saving the planet's endangered species doesn't come cheap.
The Toronto Zoo decided yesterday to buy two young female white
rhinos from a South African reserve ñ not from the wild ñ so they can
become part of the zoo's breeding program. But at about $100,000
each, that will eat up close to half the zoo's acquisition reserve
Toronto lost its two male white rhinos last year. Bull, who was close
to 40, died of old age in February. Yekisamga, who was about 25, died
in September from complications following surgery to remove a
blockage in his colon.
That leaves one lonely female, Shaboola, who's in her 30s and past
the age where she can reproduce.
Chief executive Calvin White said buying new animals is becoming more
and more difficult.
"The big change that's occurred with things

Wildlife Conservation Society helps Cameroon create new national park
Gorilla population surveys, conducted by the Wildlife Conservation
Society, have helped the government of Cameroon create a new national
park which will protect more than 600 gorillas, along with other
threatened species such as chimpanzees, forest elephants, buffaloes,
and bongo.
Called Deng Deng National Park, the new protected area measures
approximately 224 square miles (580 square kilometers) in sizeó
approximately the size of the City of Chicago.
The creation of Deng Deng National Park is the result of years of
conservation planning, including the first gorilla population surveys
in the former forest reserve in 2002 by WCS. Results from the surveys
prompted the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife to list Deng Deng as a
priority area for protection, containing the most northern population
of western lowland gorillas.
"Deng Deng National Park is a major step toward conserving all of
Cameroon's gorilla populations and wildlife," said Dr. Steven E.
Sanderson, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation
Society. "We applaud the government of Cameroon for continuing to be
a leader in conservation and for taking this important step to
protect this species."
Additional support for the conservation of Deng Deng's biodiversity
will come from the French Government, specifically through the French
Agency for International Development (AFD). The agency has agreed to
provide 735,000 Euros to fund the first phase (a three-year period

Urban elephants ply Bangkok streets in search of tourist dollars
A drunken tourist staggers about as he repeatedly drops his bags of
elephant feed on Bangkok's Soi Cowboy boulevard.
Beneath the neon lights advertising Thailand's bars and bargirls, the
man teases the two-year-old elephant as the beast tries to coax a few
sugarcane snacks from his shaking hands.
Finally the distressed elephant lets out a cry and her handlers pull
her down the street to the next group of paying tourists.
"They get beaten because they're tired, they don't want to walk, it's
one o'clock in the morning," said Soraida Salwala who runs a charity
to rescue elephants such as this one.
Elephants first arrived in Thailand's cities about 40 years ago when
the Tourism Authority of Thailand brought a number of them to Bangkok
for an exhibition to attract visitors to the kingdom.
Once the elephant owners realised their money-making

Indonesia's psychedelic fish named a new species
A funky, psychedelic fish that bounces on the ocean floor like a
rubber ball has been classified as a new species, a scientific
journal reported.
The frogfish -- which has a swirl of tan and peach zebra stripes that
extend from its aqua eyes to its tail -- was initially discovered by
scuba diving instructors working for a tour operator a year ago in
shallow waters off Ambon island in eastern Indonesia.
The operator contacted Ted Pietsch, lead author of a paper published
in this month's edition of Copeia, the journal of the American
Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, who submitted DNA work
identifying it as a new species.
The fish -- which the University of Washington professor has
named "psychedelica" -- is a member of the antennariid genus,
Histiophryne, and like other frogfish, has fins on both sides of its
body that have evolved to be leg-like.
But it has several behavioral traits not previously known to the
others, Pietsch wrote.
Each time the fish strike the seabed, for instance

Advocate Discusses Zoo Elephant Controversy on "Talking Animals"
Our guest on "Talking Animals," March 4, at 11:30am, will be
CATHERINE DOYLE, an elephant advocate and central figure in what's
become a national story about the debate that's erupted over the Los
Angeles Zoo, its lone elephant, Billy, and the Zoo's plans to build a
$42 million "Pachyderm Forest" elephant exhibit.
Lined up opposite those who operate the L.A. Zoo stands a sizable
faction of folks--advocates like Doyle, as well as internationally
renowned elephant experts, animal-savvy prominent figures in other
fields and others maintain that the new exhibit would be a waste of
money because it still doesn't provide a sound, humane way to display
elephants in zoos, and that Billy should not only not be living alone
at the LA Zoo, but should be relocated to a sanctuary.
This debate intersects a pioneering, peer-reviewed study published in
the Dec. 2008 journal Science, documenting that elephants in zoos
live dramatically shorter lives than their wild counterparts.
Doyle is affiliated with In Defense of Animals

For zoos, it's survival of the fittest
Cleveland's Monkey Island was a product of the Great Depression.
But this time around, the monkeys at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo are
out of luck, since the federal stimulus bill specifically excludes
zoos and aquariums from its $787 billion grab bag.
Museums are eligible. President Obama even signed the legislation at
Denver's Museum of Nature & Science. But zoos are lumped with
casinos, golf courses and swimming pools on the off-limits list.
"It's a mistake," said Cleveland zoo Director Steve Taylor. "We're a
fun place to visit, but we're really into conservation and education,
like museums. ... Zoos really can create the kind of projects that
that law was all about."
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums lists 216 member institutions,
which generate $7.6 billion in annual economic activity and support
more than 74,000 jobs. They had more than 175 million visitors in
2007 and are working to save 182 endangered species.
A report from the National Academy of Sciences in June showed that
zoos and aquariums help increase interest in science.
"They are important to the public," said association spokesman Steve
Feldman. "If the test is: Does the project or program help create
jobs and stimulate the economy, and does the project or program have
lasting public benefit? Then, I think they can show they very much
meet that test."
The U.S. Conference of Mayors, which lobbied

Lion Country Safari Named Third Best Zoo In Nation
Drive-Through Safari Park First Cageless Zoo In Country
Lion Country Safari is ranked third on a list of the top 10 zoos in
the nation, according to a new report published by the USA Travel
"Moving into the altogether different realm of Safari parks, Lion
Country Safari near West Palm Beach, Fla., is the nation's original
open-road animal attraction, and arguably it's still the best," the
report said.
Lion County Safari ranks third behind the zoo in Columbus, Ohio, and
San Diego. Rounding out the other zoos on the list are the Phoenix
Zoo; Fort Worth (Texas) Zoo; Houston

Closed northeast Neb. zoo loses USDA license
The operators of a rural zoo in northeast Nebraska have lost their
USDA license.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture ordered Zoo Nebraska to close in
May 2007 because of problems with the zoo's renewal application.
The zoo in Royal - which housed a number of exotic animals such as
tigers, monkeys, parrots and other species - has faced troubles since
the September 2005 shooting deaths of 3 escaped chimpanzees on zoo
The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says a judge

Zoo launches 'spiderphobia' course
A zoo is launching a "spiderphobia" course to help people banish
their fear of the creatures with hypnosis, education and an optional
meeting with the eight-legged beasts.
Arachnophobes are being offered a place on the Living with Spiders
course at Bristol Zoo, to be held in April.
Experts will help people with extreme arachnophobia overcome their
terror of the creepy crawlies through a combination of "education,
discussion, relaxation and hypnotherapy".
Mary Ison, a local counsellor, hypnotherapist and phobia expert, will
lead the session, which for the brave includes an "optional meeting"
with a cluster of spiders.
The courses are run by Bristol Zoo Garden's education section which
believes that the media is often to blame for portraying the
creatures as "sinister".
Simon Garrett, head of learning at the zoo, said: "Many people find
spiders fascinating, but for others they are simply terrifying and
can seriously affect their lives. Our culture does nothing

Your Opinions: Zoos have little educational value (Peter's comment -
Get a life Jennifer)
Charging visitors to "take a peek" at reproducing animals may be a
titillating way to attract paying customers, but trying to put an
educational spin on this promotion is a real stretch. There's nothing
natural about anything animals in captivity do, since virtually every
behavior occurs in an artificial context.
One of the most successful marketing ploys ever devised is that zoos
are educational and foster respect for animals. But there is no
empirical evidence to support this industry catchphrase, and in fact,
multiple studies have concluded that visitors leave zoos with little
more than souvenirs and sunburn.
Even the self-regulated

Zoo to stream elephant's birth
Thousands of elephant fans have registered on an on-line site
promising live footage of the first birth of an elephant in Belgium.
Surfers logging on to can already watch the
baby's kicks inside the belly of its mother, Phyo Phyo, an Asian
elephant at the Antwerp zoo.
Zoo caretakers are also offering daily updates on Phyo Phyo's
pregnancy to the site's 18 000 subscribers - who will receive an SMS
message 48 hours ahead of the expected delivery.
Those interested in elephant trivia can also learn about the animal's
legendary memory, the weight of a newborn (between 80kg to 120kg) or
the time it takes for an

St. Louis Zoo should get back to basics (Peter's Note: Read the
We are taxed and also voluntarily support the Saint Louis Zoo so it
can care for and display animals in comfortable and natural settings.
The Zoo has become a party and events `monster', losing sight of its
The animals have become secondary and are at risk. The problem is too
much money. Fire its director and replace the Board. Get back to

Conservationists hunt for man-eating tiger
The Jambi Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA) in
cooperation with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and other
concerned NGOs are intensifying the hunt for a man-eating tiger.
The Sumatran tiger is reported to have killed and eaten two illegal
loggers from Lampung last week in Sungai Gelam district, Muaro Jambi,
Jambi. The BKSDA is reportedly mulling relocating the tiger.
On Thursday, ZSL Indonesia representative Dolly told The Jakarta Post
in Bandarlampung that a female tiger nicknamed Salwa, who the BKSDA
captured on Feb. 11, might not be the only tiger in the jungle that
had eaten humans.
The fact that people had continued to be attacked and eaten by a
tiger even after her capture indicated there was at least another man-
eater in the wild.
"We are now working together with the BKSDA

U.S. Zookeepers Wary of Herpes Virus Attacking Asian Elephants
Zookeepers here feared the worst when they noticed that Jade, a 2-
year-old elephant calf, was acting sluggish this month.
The calf was limping slightly, her appetite was down, and the
keepers, wary of a deadly herpes virus prevalent in the country's
Asian elephant population, sent a blood sample to a laboratory for
"That's pretty much the first thing we do when we see something amiss
with our Asian elephant calves," said Martha Fischer, curator of
mammals at the St. Louis Zoo. "It's such a mysterious disease, and it
has presented itself in so many different ways ó anything could be a
Veterinarians began monitoring the 1,100-pound calf around the clock.
They fed her fluids intravenously and started her on antiviral drugs.
Still, her condition worsened.
Her head became swollen at the jaw and forehead, and her tongue,
normally bubble-gum pink, became pale and speckled by an intricate
pattern of red bruises. Results from the National Elephant
Herpesvirus Laboratory at

Copenhagen Zoo celebrates 150 years of animal magic
Denmark's most visited zoo, and one of the oldest in Europe, has been
capturing imaginations for a century and a half
Until the 19th century, animal gardens or 'zoos' were unheard of, and
the only access the public had to exotic creatures was through
travelling menageries. These travelling animal shows frequented
Copenhagen, often spending entire summers at Dyrhavesbakken, the deer
park by Klampenborg. In the summer of 1799 an elephant was exhibited
at the park and the following year a white dromedary, a Bengali
tiger, an African lion and a spotted hyena all caused a sensation.
Permission from the authorities was needed to exhibit wild animals,
and for a short period all predatory species were prohibited. These
rulings gave rise to travelling shows with less dangerous animals
such as buffalos and camels, together with oddities such as a calf
with two heads and two tails. Conditions for the travelling animals
were questionable, with incidents of animals like lamas and bears

When Animal Activists Attack
Bitten on the set of a Rick Ross video, Mark McCarthy now squares off
against animal activists.
Rapper Rick Ross was not on the set of the Miami music video shoot in
May 2008 when Mark McCarthy led his 400-pound white tiger out of her
crate. The producers had offered McCarthy $5,000 to use the big cat
as a prop at a mansion on Star Island. They'd make it look like she
was Ross'

Lion Mauls Man in Western Kansas
You wouldn't know it driving down I-70, but outside of Oakley you'll
find cats you don't normally see in Kansas.
For almost 20 years Jeffrey Harsh has managed the Prairie Cat Animal
Refuge. The refuge sits between a motel and farm field. From the
outside, you see abandoned vehicles, construction debris and
fencing. "No they don't have Disney land facilities, but are they fed
well and are they happy," said Harsh.
Besides taking care of three lions and two tigers, Harsh also hires
people to work at the Free Breakfast motel. Saturday night one of the
workers came to see the animals. "He loved them and was good with
them when he was sober."
But Harsh and the sheriff say the man was drunk and tried to pet the
lion. "When you're drinking or under medication it tells them you're
part of the food chain," said Harsh.
When he came over to feed the animals Saturday

Dartmoor Zoo story could become Hollywood film
THE story of a family who bought a zoo near Plymouth could become a
blockbuster movie after a major Hollywood studio bought the rights to
the father's memoir.
Ben Mee, owner of Dartmoor Zoological Park in Sparkwell, wrote a book
about his family's experiences called 'We Bought a Zoo.'
The film rights to the book have now been bought by Twentieth Century
Although production companies do not always exercise the rights they
buy, the story of the Mee family is being tipped as the next big
thing by Hollywood experts, who believe that Fox will use the story
to try to emulate the success of the surprise hit Marley & Me.
Julie Yorn, one of the rising stars of the movie industry, has been
named by Fox as the film's producer - another sign that the studio is
serious about the project.
Ben said he's due to speak to Ms Yorn about the project on Monday.
He said: "I'm encouraged that she does want to talk to me. It could
be really good.
"If they do make a film, they could base it


Largest zoo a boon for Kemaman tourism
There are great expectations of the Kemaman zoo, touted to be the
largest on the east coast, which is due to open by the end of next
Located on a 54-ha site in Bukit Takal, bordering the popular firefly
colony in Kampung Yak Yah, it will house animals of about 100
species, including bears, seladang (Malayan gaur), kijang (barking
deer), wild goats, orang- utan, crocodiles and tigers.
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents Terengganu Chapter
Committee member and tour operator Alex Lee said the opening of the
zoo would bode well for the tourism industry here.
This is because it will help shift the focus of the industry to
Kemaman since most of the popular sites in the state are located up
north, he added.
"I hope the zoo will also serve as a rehabilitation and conservation
centre. This will attract more visitors."
Lee hoped there would be efficient management and promotion of the
place. He also hoped it would have an open zoo

Improved home built for tigers in Shanghai
A family of white tigers at Shanghai Wildlife Park were moved to a
more spacious living area recently to make their life more
comfortable, park officials said yesterday.
Sha Sha and Na Na, a white tiger couple which were imported from the
United States in 2001 and have had 12 cubs in the past seven years,
originally lived

Marineland's Last Blonde Dolphin Dies
Dolphin Lilly Champagne Dies At Conservation Center
Marineland's Dolphin Conservation Center reported on Friday that
Lilly Champagne, the last of Marineland's famous "blonde" dolphins,
has died.
Lilly died on Tuesday of age-related conditions and a weakened immune
system, which led to pneumonia, the most common cause of death in
Collected in 1964 from Steinhatchee prior to the Marine Mammal

Family of Tiger Attack Victim Settle With Zoo
The parents of the teenager mauled to death on Christmas Day have
reached a settlement with the San Francisco Zoological Society for an
undisclosed amount.
Carlos Sousa, 17, and his two friends were attacked by an escaped
three-year-old Siberian tiger on in 2007.
Sousa was killed while his two friends, the Dhaliwal brothers from
San Jose survived with serious injuries. The brothers have their own
lawsuit pending.
As part of the settlement there will be a bench in memory of Sousa at
the zoo. The family's lawyer said they are

Lawyer decries zoo's party for Little Joe (interesting comments
follow the article)
Says officials are capitalizing on 2003 escape
The fete planned for Little Joe's 16th birthday at the Franklin Park
Zoo would drive other apes bananas: door prizes, a jumbo card, and a
gorilla-shaped cake from the famed Montilio's bakery.
The party on Monday will kick off school vacation week, falling 10
days after the ape's actual birthday on Feb. 6.
The festivities make Little Joe the centerpiece of the zoo's "Go Ape
Week." That's what aggravates lawyer Donald L. Gibson, who

The Animal Odd Couple (A better than average 'sweet' video)

Leader Of The Pack
Mr And Mrs Wolf Tuesday, Five, 8pm
Studying animals by living among them seems to be very much in vogue
these days, but 'Wolf Man' Shaun Ellis has been doing it for more
than seven years.
His experiment with seven captive wolves at a Devon wildlife park was
documented on TV in 2007, but this twopart sequel shows him taking
the experiment a stage further - by trying to infiltrate his
girlfriend into the pack.
Helen Jeffs lives with Shaun in a small caravan on the edge of Combe
Martin Wildlife Park and

Final escaped wild dog captured (Peter's comments - very sad outcome)
All the wild hunting dogs that escaped from an animal park in Kent
have been recaptured.
The pack of dholes was discovered missing from their enclosure at
Howletts Wild Animal Park, near Canterbury, on Wednesday morning.
During their recapture, which involved police helicopters and armed
police, seven of the animals, also known as Asiatic wild dogs, had to
be shot.
The last one was found after spending two days on the run.
Members of the public were warned not to approach the dogs, while
staff at Littlebourne Primary School were also warned

The Lynx effect: One woman's quest to save a species
Europe's most endangered mammal has been pulled back from the brink
of extinction and it's all thanks to one woman, as Elizabeth Nash
reports from El Acebuche, Andalusia
You would be lucky to see the shy, elusive Iberian lynx, Europe's
most endangered mammal, in the wild. The 250 or so wild lynxes that
remain after decades of depredation of their habitat hide deep in the
protected scrubland of Spain's south-western corner, and shun human
contact. But you may just glimpse the agile and astute creature,
twice as big as a domestic cat but half the size of the more common
Eurasian lynx, crouching at night by the road that borders
Andalusia's DoÒana National Park, poised to dart across. The
roadsides here are cleared of vegetation to make the lynx more
visible to

Ape Advocate Cries Foul Over Super Bowl Simians
What do chimpanzees and motor oil have in common? If you said
nothing, you probably missed Super Bowl 43, when these otherwise
incongruent entities shared the screen in a 30-second commercial for
Castrol Edge.
In the spot (titled "Grease Monkeys" despite the fact that its simian
stars are not monkeys but apes), a slacker lounges in his garage as
chimpanzee "mechanics" work on his car. Crowned with an oil filter,
the man tells his neighbor that the chimps have made him their king.
The half-minute commercial may have generated a few laughs, and
somehow even spiked motor oil sales, but the price paid by the animal
actors isn't

Mayo smuggler jailed; UK apes go bananas
A Mayo man arrested in the UK for trying to smuggle cigarettes in a
shipment of bananas has been jailed for two years.
30-year-old John Vahey of Ballyhaunis was caught with 2.7m cigarettes
at the Poole Ferryport after coming over from Cherbourg, France in 1
December, 2007.
British customs officials say the cigarettes represented £400,000 in
excise duty.
The cigarettes were hiding among 530 boxes of bananas, which were
donated to the ape rescue charity Monkey World in Dorset (below).
Vahey was sentenced at Southampton Crown Court yesterday after
pleading guilty to the offence on last month.
Peter Avery, Assistant Director Criminal Investigation for HMRC,
said: 'Smugglers are only out to make a profit. They undercut honest
cigarette retailers and do not care abou

Election fever at South Lakes Wild Animal Park
Young visitors will be asked to vote for their top animal from over
49 species in the zoo's collection during half term week.
Four candidates have been put forward for the election campaign:
giraffe, lion, penguin and primate.
Each keeper has been busy writing the election speeches and will be
promoting the merits of their candidate during the scheduled feeding
The winner will be crowned Park Mascot 2009.
Education and marketing manager Karen Brewer said: "We've never had
a park mascot before. The winner will be our animal in chief for the
"Vote with pride for the lion; the gir

Chimp, 15, goes berserk, shot by police (Peters comment - very
sad...this and next link...masses of comments... human thoughts)
'Raised like child,' owner stabs pet as it mauls visiting woman
A 200-pound chimpanzee raised as a pet and once used in commercials
was shot and killed by police yesterday after it mauled a woman
visiting its owner and later cornered an officer in his cruiser,
authorities said.
Police Lieut. Richard Conklin said the injured woman, who wasn't
identified, was in "very serious" condition in hospital. He said she

Residents Shocked By Brutal Chimp Attack
200-Pound Primate Critically Injures Woman
The owner of a chimpanzee that violently mauled a family friend at a
Stamford home Monday claims the animal was suffering from Lyme
Police said they are working to get the 200-pound chimp's medical
records to corroborate the story. Officials said they are
investigating what medication the animal was taking and how long he
may have had the disease.
The pet chimpanzee, named Travis, attacked 55-year-old Charla Nash at
its Rockrimmon Road home Monday afternoon after it got out of the
"The animal is so intelligent, he grabbed the keys, unlocked the
kitchen door to allow itself out," Stamford Police Capt. Richard
Conklin said.
Nash was coming with an orange toy to help Travis' 70-year-old owner,
Sandra Herold, calm the animal, who police said had been agitated all
Herold gave the chimp tea laced with Xanax in an attempt to calm him.
When that didn't work, police said Herold called for Nash's help.
Police said Travis violently attacked Nash as she exited her vehicle.
They called the attack "lengthy and vicious."
Herold called 911 and went to help her friend. Police said she
stabbed Travis, whom the

Owner now says she never gave slain chimp Xanax
As authorities considered criminal charges, the woman whose 200-pound
domesticated chimpanzee went berserk and mauled a friend backtracked
Wednesday on whether she gave the animal the anti-anxiety drug Xanax.
Sandra Herold told The Associated Press on Wednesday that she never
gave the drug to her 14-year-old chimp, Travis, who was shot dead by
Stamford police Monday after he grievously wounded Herold's friend
Charla Nash.
However, Herold said in an interview aired Wednesday morning on
NBC's "Today" show that she gave Travis the drug in some tea less
than five minutes before he attacked Nash - she even showed a
reporter the mug. Police have said Herold told them that she gave
Travis Xanax that had not been prescribed for him earlier on Monday
to calm him because he was agitated.
In humans, Xanax can lead to aggression in people who are unstable to
begin with, said Dr. Emil Coccaro, chief of psychiatry at the
University of Chicago Medical Center.
"Xanax could have made him worse," if human

Myanmar Bans Crocodile Export
Myanmar has banned export of crocodiles to foreign countries to
protect them from extinction, the Ministry of Livestock Breeding and
Fisheries said on Monday.
As Myanmar crocodiles are included in the list of world's extinction
species, the export of such wildlife is subject to the permission of
the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild
Fauna and Flora, Xinhua news agency cited a local daily as saying
Of a total of 23 species of crocodiles in the world, 4 species - -
Ngamoeyeik, Thai crocodiles, Ginga crocodile are found in Myanmar.
Ngamoeyeik crocodiles take sanctuary in Bogalay, Laputta in
Ayeyawaddy division and other three in Magway and Taninthayi
Breeding of crocodiles in Myanmar started in 1978.
Meanwhile, Myanmar is building a wildlife park in a border town in
Kachin state, northernmost part of the country, to undertake
conservation work with wild animals.
The 405-hectare park lying at Putao between Mularoti and Zayar
mountains will keep wildlife and rare animals taking sanctuary in
snow-capped region.
There is also a large tiger reserve called Hukuang in the same state
established in 2004 on an area of about 22,000 square kilometers.
However, only 150 tigers reportedly remain alive in the reserve.
In the wake of tiger extinction threat, Myanmar wildlife police and
forest rangers have also planned to step up combating wildlife trade
and crimes in the tiger reserve and special training programs have
been introduced jointly by the Myanmar forest ministry and the
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
Besides, elephant conservation is

Vietnam's illegal ivory prices could be world's highest: report
Soaring demand for ivory from local and foreign consumers and a
restriction of supply sent the prices of illegal ivory skyrocketing
in Vietnam last year, an international survey released Monday said.
The survey, An assessment of the illegal ivory trade in Vietnam,
conducted by the wildlife trade monitoring organization TRAFFIC, said
illegal ivory prices in Vietnam could be the world's highest with
tusks reportedly selling for up to US$1,500 per kilogram and small,
cut pieces selling for up to $1,863 per kilogram.
"This is a worrying trend that indicates even more pressure is being
put on already fragile Asian elephant populations," Azrina Abdullah,
director of TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, said.
TRAFFIC last year surveyed eight Vietnamese localities, including
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Of 669 retail outlets surveyed, 11
percent were selling ivory, totaling 2,444 items.
HCMC had the most outlets (49) and ivory items (1,776) with Hanoi
second with 10 outlets and 407 pieces. Central Hue Town was a distant
third with eight outlets selling a total of 141 items, acc

Body parts of protected animals confiscated
The high demand and supply for products made from protected animals
was again revealed Thursday, after a raid confiscated dozens of body
parts of Sumatran tigers, spotted leopards, bears and elephants.
The parts were sold at the Rawa Bening precious stone market in East
"The body parts of the protected animals were sold for mystic
practices," Pramudya Harzani from Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN)
told The Jakarta Post on Friday.
"The findings from the Rawa Bening market are evidence that there is
still a high level of demand for the animals."
The raid confiscated dozens of skins, feet, nails, skulls, tails,
teeth of the spotted leopard (Panthera pardus), Sumatran tiger
(Panthera tigris sumatrae) and bear (Helarctor malayanus), as well as
a stuffed spotted leopard. Several ivory products were also
The estimated value of the confiscated items is over Rp 130 million
(US$10,830), ranging between Rp 150,000 for a small Sumatran tiger
skin and Rp 15 million for a keris (dagger) with a handle and sheath
made of ivory.
"The body parts were from five Sumatran tigers, two spotted leopards
and two elephants," Pramudya said.
"Since 2007, animal rescue centers have performed fewer raids and
campaigns due to a lack of funds. Thus, trade in protected animals,
both dead and alive, has increased over the past two years."
Thursday's raid at the market was performed by the police, Forestry
Ministry and Jakarta Wildlife Forum ó which includes the World
Conservation Society (WCS

Federal Rules Calling For Upgrades to Pecos Zoo
Federal investigators want big changes at the Maxey Park Zoo in
Pecos. Now city officials have to shell out thousands for the
facelift. However, people in town may have to pitch-in, if they want
to see the zoo remain open in the future.
"It's a tourist attraction," Mayor Richard Alligood explained. "We
want it to be nice, attractive, we want it to be safe, and we want
the animals to be taken care of."
It's been a part of Pecos for decades and even now, the local zoo is
free of charge for all visitors. But multiple changes will soon be
visible after federal investigators said it needs immediate upgrades.
"One of which is putting in a eight foot tall fence separating the
animals from anybody that could be walking around or driving by,"
Alligood said.
The City Council has approved 60,000 dollars for the new fence.
That's on top of hiring a veterinarian out of Carlsbad, N.M. to treat
the animals. Mayor Alligood said many of the rules are good ideas for
"No more than we want to see an animal hurt, if somebody were able to
drive up here and throw something

Zoo move is under USFS review
Moving a zoo isn't an easy thing. When it involves several government
agencies and volunteer groups, it takes months and years of planning
to get everyone on the right page.
The proposed relocation of the Moonridge Animal Park to the North
Shore next to the Discovery Center is in its final stages of review.
The public comment period on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement
ended on Nov. 24. The Draft EIS included three alternatives including
rejection of the proposal, the proposal and a modified proposal.
The U.S. Forest Service received 24 letters and e-mails with comments
from six individuals, eight public agencies, two American Indian
groups, the Friends of Moonridge Zoo and five environmental groups.
Several of the letters expressed concern about the size of the
proposed park.
According to Paul Bennett of the San Bernardino National Forest, the
Forest Service is reviewing comments to determine whether the range
of alternatives addressed in the Draft EIS was adequate. The next
step is to complete

Lion park victim 'satisfactory'
Surgery has been completed at Whangarei Hospital on a man who was
attacked by a lion.
The man was taken to the hospital's emergency department this
afternoon after being bitten on the knee by a big cat. The attack
reportedly happened at Northland's Zion Wildlife Park.
The injured man emerged from surgery

Wild dog shooting 'sad but necessary'
Staff at Howletts wild animal park have reassured visitors that
safety was not jeopardised by the escape of a pack of wild dogs.
Eight Asiatic wild dogs, or dholes, got out of their enclosure last
Wednesday by chewing along a bottom fence rail, releasing the
interior mesh, before doing the same again to release the exterior
Keepers at the Bekesbourne park are reviewing health and safety
procedures and replacing all wooden door systems with metal ones.
Animal director Neil Spooner stressed safety had not been jeopardised.
He said: "We've had these dogs in this enclosure since the 1970s
without incident, so all I can say to reassure visitors is we're
learning the lessons from what happened and replacing all wooden door

Zoo prepares to add tigers
World-class exhibit to hold Asian big cats
LSU's Mike the Tiger and Southern University's Lacumba will soon
have some more four-legged neighbors.
Construction is under way at BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo for the "Realm
of the Tiger," which promises to immerse guests in the sights and
sounds of Asia while they watch eight tigers from that part of the
One will be a white tiger, which the zoo already owns. That tiger is
being kept at an Audubon Nature Institute facility in New Orleans
until the new $3.8 million exhibit in Baton Rouge is completed.
Phil Frost, director of the zoo, said the exhibit also will feature a
rock garden, a koi pond, a walk-through aviary with exotic birds from
Asia and Siamang gib

Slaughtered tigers, panther seized in Thailand
Thai authorities have seized the butchered carcasses of two tigers
and a panther and charged the man transporting them with possession
of endangered wildlife, police said Tuesday.
The two Bengali tigers and a black panther were discovered when a
truck was stopped for a routine search late Monday in the southern
province of Pattani.
Lieutenant Colonel Theewa Daorueng, of Pattani's police force, said
the animals had been shot, cut in half and frozen for the journey. It
was not clear where the big cats had

Chimp's great escape from zoo (interesting bit of video)

Zoo keeper hugs lion and grooms his mane (Peters note: nice but
unnecessary and an accident waiting to happen)
A zoo keeper has become so close to one of his lions that he can
cuddle him and groom his mane as if he was a domestic cat.
Alex Larenty demonstrates just how much trust he and the 550lb lion
place in each other as he hugs him and spruces up his mane with a
The British keeper said it has taken six years to form the
relationship which allows him to interact so casually Jamu, an eight-
year-old male.
Mr Larenty, who looks after 75 of the big cats at The Lion Park, near
Johannesburg in South Africa, posed for the photograph just weeks
before a man broke into the reserve and was mauled to death by some
of its lions.
The 50-year-old, who is originally from Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire,
said: "The photographs demonstrate how much at ease he is with me.
"Trust me, though, you need to know what you doing and our
relationship is one that has built up over the last six years. Jamu
won't just let anyone touch him the way I do.
"We have 75 lions here at the park and I know

Crocodile that killed Jeremy Doble will live at a farm or a zoo
THE 4.3-metre crocodile confirmed to have taken a five-year-old boy
from the Daintree River in far north Queensland will be sent to a
farm or zoo, not put down.
The Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the
crocodile will not be put on public display, but will be kept at a
zoo or farm.
An examination of material found in the reptile's stomach at Brisbane
forensic lab, the John Tonge Centre, confirmed Jeremy Doble, who
disappeared on February 8 after he followed his dog into the river,
had fallen victim to the crocodile.
At the time of Jeremy's disappearance his seven-year-old brother,
Ryan, told police he saw a crocodile in the water moments later.
Police and EPA trappers caught two crocodiles,25197,25072346-12377,00.html

Police donate heat lamps to zoo
Police have donated 15 heat lamps seized in a drugs raid to a zoo.
The lamps, which were seized from a cannabis farm this year, have
gone to Dudley Zoo, West Midlands Police said.
Usually everything seized in a raid is destroyed, but the lamps were
donated after "health and safety complications" over disposal, police

Zoo boss aims to give sight to Africans
ZOO boss David Gill is launching an appeal to restore sight to some
of the poorest communities in Africa.
South Lakes Wild Animal Park funds a project in Niger to protect
endangered giraffes, while improving the wellbeing of the local
The giraffes are concentrated in a densely populated area and to
avoid conflict the villagers are given rewards for protecting the
giraffes and their habitat.
In exchange for creating seedbeds to replant trees the giraffes eat
the villagers receive cereal.
Until 2004 the fishermen and giraffes used the same pond so the
Association to Safeguard the Giraffes of Niger (ASGN) bought and
stocked a new pond to allow th

Cloned Wolves to Be Tested for Natural Reproduction
The world's first cloned wolves will be mated with other clones in an
experiment by local scientists to see whether they can reproduce
normally, the researchers said Wednesday.
A team led by Seoul National University (SNU) researcher Lee Byeong-
cheon, widely considered as the world's top expert in canine cloning,
plans to pair the two wolves at the zoo of Seoul Grand Park sometime
between March and April. Considering the reproductive cycles of the
animals, cubs could be expected around spring next year, Lee said.
Lee's team produced the world's first cloned wolves, females named
Snuwolfy and Snuwolf, in October 2005. The male clones, named
``Daehan'' and ``Minguk,'' were born in August the following year.
The female wolves are currently at Seoul Grand Park, while their
would-be mates are at the Cheongju Land Zoo in Cheongju, North
Chungcheong Province.
``The mating of wolves, even for natural ones, would be a very tricky
process, and it would require tight collaboration between th

Smithsonian gets $25M from stimulus package
The Smithsonian Institution is poised to receive $25 million from the
economic stimulus plan to help repair existing facilities.
The museum and research complex will get part of the $787 billion
stimulus package President Barack Obama signed into law Tuesday. A
House version of the bill had included $150 million for the
Smithsonian to tackle its $2.5 billion backlog on maintenance for its
19 museums, the National Zoo and numerous research centers. That
number was slashed to $75 million in the Senate, and cut to $25
million in a compromise passed Friday.
Museum officials are drawing up a list of priorities, Smithsonian
spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas said. Officials have said repairs to the
shuttered Arts and Industries building, one of the oldest

Seattle zoo locks down after monkey escapes
A Woodland Park Zoo monkey that escaped from his pen has been caught
by zookeepers.
The male Debrazza's monkey managed to jump out of his outdoor exhibit
Thursday morning, prompting zoo officials to lock down the zoo and
escort visitors out. No animals, staff or visitors were injured.
Zookeepers quickly spotted the 12-year-old monkey near his exhibit
area and tranquilized him with a dart about 45 minutes after he
escaped. The monkey has been at the zoo

Experts work to combat deadly amphibian fungus
The tiny Panamanian golden frog, with its sunflower yellow skin and
dark brown spots, is usually a symbol of good fortune.
But it appears the tropical frog's luck may have run out unless
experts find a way to combat a deadly fungus threatening amphibian
populations around the world.
"This is not a natural extinction event," said Allan Pessier, a
scientist from San Diego Conservation Research, which has been
researching the spread of the chytrid fungus. "It is caused by
humans, and it is our responsibility ó almost our moral
responsibility ó to do something about it."
Twenty-five of the world's leading amphibian veterinarians, disease
researchers and animal care specialists convened this week at the San
Diego Zoo to write a definitive conservation manual to combat the
spread of chytrid fungus.
Central America, South America and Australia are

Injured zookeeper speaks out about tiger attack
Zion Wildlife Park zookeeper Demetri Price is recovering from minor
surgery after being bitten by a white tiger.
Mr Price was moving the big cat between enclosures when the incident
took place.
The wildlife park say the incident occurred after an altercation
between the tiger and a pride of lions.
Despite the injuries, Mr Price says he has not been put off working
with big cats.
Mr Price spoke to Campbell Live about the incident.

PASA Saddened by Death of Vervet Conservationist
Arthur Hunt, who championed the cause and conservation of Vervet
monkeys for more than a quarter century in his native South Africa,
died suddenly on February 18. He was 63.
Hunt helped establish the Vervet Monkey Foundation sanctuary in 1989,
which is currently home to over 700 orphaned Vervet monkeys. The
Vervet Monkey Foundation was admitted as a member to the Pan African
Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) in 2006.
"Arthur Hunt was a compassionate, committed man, and he will be
deeply missed," said Doug Cress, executive director of PASA.
"Vervet monkeys are often overlooked in the broad scheme of
conservation and biodiversity, but Arthur was a tireless advocate in
their behalf."
Vervet monkeys are one of the most numerous and widespread species of
primates in Africa, but their prevalence caused them to be classified

Biologists Won't Meet in Louisiana Because of State Law on Teaching
An association of biologists has decided against holding its 2011
annual meeting in New Orleans because of a Louisiana law that the
group sees as diluting scientific standards for the teaching of
evolution and other science topics. The Society for Integrative and
Comparative Biology instead will hold its 2011 convention in Salt
Lake City, the group's president, Richard A. Satterlie, wrote this
month in a letter to Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
The society's leaders "could not support New Orleans as our meeting
venue because of the official position of the state in weakening
science education and specifically attacking evolution in science
curricula," Mr. Satterlie wrote. "Utah, in contrast, passed a
resolution that states that evolution is central to any science
According to Mr. Satterlie, more than 1,


Israeli animal rights groups send food and medicine to Gaza Zoo
Israeli animal rights groups have sent 30 truckloads of food and
medicine into Gaza to help take care of sick and needy animals in
distress, particularly those at Gaza Zoo. The initiative, Let the Animals
Live Israel, which is working together with a Palestinian animal welfare
organization and other international groups, arranged for the delivery of
food and medicine supplies in the wake of Operation Cast Lead. Oats,
hay and medicines were sent in the trucks. Eti Altman, spokeswoman of
Let the Animals Live said: "In light of this humanitarian effort I have no
doubt we can save many of the animals in the place. I am hoping that
through the animals we will be able to draw the two

Wild dogs on run from animal park
A number of wild hunting dogs have escaped from a zoo in Kent.
The dholes got out of their enclosure at Howletts Wild Animal Park in
Bekesbourne, near Canterbury, at about 9.30am on Wednesday, with all
but two now recaptured.
A spokeswoman for Kent Police said a search was launched in the
surrounding countryside and armed officers are on stand-by, but added
that the animals

Casual workers of Nandankanan zoo on indefinite strike
Casual workers at the Nandankanan Biological Park in Orissa have gone
on an indefinite cease work agitation over a demand for regularization
of their jobs. This has caused hardship to about 1200 animals at the zoo.
The casual workers said that their job involved risks and complained of
not receiving any health or social security benefits.
"We do not have any kind of healthcare facilities at all. In case of any
mishap, there is no such relief," said Bhaskar Samal, a contractual
The authorities, however, claimed that they have made alternative
They further said that a few NGOs have

Monkeys go geothermal at Toronto Zoo
The Toronto Zoo unveiled Thursday a state-of-the-art geothermal
heating and cooling system to warm its exhibit of Lion-tailed Macaque
The new system, which controls the climate of the 111-square-metre
outdoor enclosure, draws energy from deep below the earth's surface to
heat the floor and melt snow during the winter.
The Lion-tailed Macaque, considered a critically endangered primate, is
a semi-tropical species unaccustomed to the harsh Canadian winter.
Until now, the Toronto exhibit was heated by large, overhead electric
"Normally what these monkeys do when they come out into their exhibit
in the winter is they go straight into the rafters and stay off

Illegal animal consignment seized
A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation
Department (AFCD) said today (February 10) that the AFCD, in
collaboration with the Customs and Excise Department, had foiled an
attempt to import some animals, including two highly endangered
Angonoka Tortoises, 21 hedgehogs and 23 sugar gliders, into Hong Kong
illegally from Thailand yesterday (February 9).
Acting on intelligence collected by the AFCD and with the assistance of
AFCD Quarantine Detector Dogs, Customs officers intercepted a Hong
Kong male resident at the arrival hall of the Hong Kong International
Airport yesterday. The animals without any permit or health certification
were uncovered inside his luggage.
The man will be charged under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Ordinance (Cap 169), the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals
and Plants Ordinance (Cap 586), and the Rabies Ordinance (Cap 421).
The spokesman said that

Lehigh Valley Zoo to remain open
The Lehigh Valley Zoo will survive.
The Lehigh County commissioners voted tonight to fund the park for at
least the next five years. The 7-1 vote means the county will subsidize
the zoo's operations with about $1.8 million through at least 2013.
"I think that the zoo is an important part of the fabric of the Lehigh
Valley. This is part of the quality of life, the reason why we love living
here," said Commissioner Percy Dougherty, who had originally
expressed some reservations about the amount of money zoo officials
had requested, but voted in favor of funding the zoo.
The money does not come without strings. As part of the agreement,
the commissioners will require the zoo board to submit to

Tiger Bites Henry Doorly Zoo Worker
A 20-year veteran of the Henry Doorly Zoo was bitten on his right
forearm Wednesday morning while conducting a routine exam of a
Malaysian tiger.
Zoo director Dr. Lee Simmons said the tiger bit down on Dr. Douglas
Armstrong's arm several times, but that Armstrong was still able to
move his hand and finger after the incident.
The bite likely was a reflexive action that happened when Armstrong

Cagey zoo officials tarnish reputation
The Calgary Zoo is a beloved urban treasure that draws thousands of
visitors each year. It offers popular programs for all ages --whether it's
storytelling, a behind-the-scenes with Siberian tigers or the upcoming
Valentines with Gorillas.
But recent monkeying around regarding the facts behind the death of its
41 cow nose rays tarnishes this jewel. This latest controversy will cause
harm to its once well-earned reputation.
The zoo made a significant error in judgment by issuing a statement last
fall saying the real cause of the rays' deaths may never

San Diego Zoo to study movements of African elephants
The San Diego Zoo has begun a project to study the movement of
elephant herds over a 50,000-square-mile area encompassing the
African nations of Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The study is meant to monitor the impact of herds on various habitats
from desert to riverine. So far, 60 elephants have been outfitted with
global positioning system collars to track their movements.
Among other things, the study will increase the understanding of
elephant biology and help improve the management of

Kaohsiung City zoo to close for renovation
The Shoushan Zoo in the southern port city of Kaohsiung said Sunday it
is scheduled to close Monday for a renovation project that is planned to
take half a year to complete, but denied it was related to housing two
white tigers from China.
The zoo has appropriated NT$150 million (US$3.45 million) to fund the
renovation project aimed at revamping the entire facility, including
parking lots, zoo authorities said.
Noting that the zoo needs an overhaul after having not been revamped
for 30 years, they denied that the renovation will be carried out to
create a new place to house two white tigers that the zoo plans to
import from China in June.
Meanwhile, Kaohsiung City Tourism Bureau Director Lin Kun-shan said it
is still unclear whether the Shoushan Zoo will bring in the white tigers
from Guangzhou

New home sought for sad elephant Susi
THE only elephant in Barcelona zoo could die of sadness unless she is
moved to a bigger enclosure with other elephants, animal rights
campaigners say.
Susi, a 36-year-old African elephant who was born in the wild, has
reportedly been suffering depression since Alicia, her female companion
of six years, died early last year.
Animal rights charity Libera says the elephant is showing symptoms of
unhappiness that include eating her own excrement and repeatedly
swaying her head and trunk from side to side.
The group is petitioning for her to be moved to a safari park with other
Keepers at the zoo have said the elephant is in good health.
The zoo plans to expand

Zoo New England's 'roaring' expansion plan
Despite the uncertainties of the recession, Zoo New England is planning
a $53 million expansion project for the two state-owned zoos it
manages -- Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and Stone Zoo in Stoneham,
"We've been kicking and scratching and continuing to grow... growing
our membership and donor base and we're at the point where we think
we're ready to launch a plan that is major but not unrealistic," Zoo New
England CEO John Linehan said.
The plan is long-term, with multiple phases to create new exhibits, new
jobs, and double attendance by 2020. It all sounds great to this Foxboro
mom who comes to the Boston Zoo once a month with her four-year-old.
"It's very exciting. The zoo is growing right along with my son," Jennifer
Bartecchi said. "So it won't be the same zoo all the time. It will be
But Zoo New England admits it's not a done deal. The improvements will
be paid for in part by $30 million in state funding -- money which has
not been released yet. The remainder will come from private

Nepotism suspected in development of national park
The Forestry Ministry revoked PT Perhutani Alam Wisata's (Palawi)
license to manage the Tangkuban Parahu national park in West Java
only to soon hand it over the reigns to a company believed to have close
link to Forestry Minister Malam Sambat Kaban, a top West Java tourism
official said.
Palawi's license was revoked on May 22, 2007; a principal license to
manage the 250 hectares of protected forest, which surrounds an active
volcanic, was then issued to PT Graha Rani Putra Persada (GRPP) on
Aug. 7, 2007. The company now plans to develop the site. PT GRPP is
owned by Kaban's brother, Putra Kaban, a lawyer.
Herdiwan Iing Suranta, head of the West Java Tourism Agency, said that
the West Java Natural Resources Conservation Center - an agency of the
forestry ministry - currently manages the tourist park, located 30
kilometers north of Bandung, at a height

Baby elephant sizes up surroundings
The latest baby African elephant born at a Kent wildlife park is adjusting
well to her new surroundings in the outdoor paddock, her keepers said.
Weighing in at 70-80 kilos, the female calf was born at Howletts Wild
Animal Park near Canterbury just before Christmas, following a 22-
month gestation period.
Staff named her Etana, which means "strong one" in Swahili.
Her mother, Swana, was also born

Michael Stetz: Zoo's spins on outside food ban unbearable
When it comes to spin, the one being offered by the San Diego Zoo
takes the cake. (You just can't bring it inside . . . )
Outside food is now banned at the zoo and the Wild Animal Park
because guests tend to lug their snacks and sandwiches in coolers, and
there's no place to store the big suckers.
So the zoo is claiming – and I believe this is a first – cooler overload.
I'm used to spin. It's why my health insurance covers vertigo. High-
powered institutions spin all the time to make bad policy look like good
And, of late, I have been feeling dizzy.
The Padres? They say they're in the process of fielding the worst team
in baseball history so they can have a super-duper team in a few
The Chargers? They say they're hiring a marketing firm to woo the rich
in L.A. and Orange counties to tap that lucrative market. It's not a
prelude to

Short Takes: Zoo biologists to help at desert tortoise center
The San Diego Zoo is joining with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to
help operate a 250-acre Desert Tortoise Conservation Center near Las
Zoo biologists will "monitor newly released tortoises to measure the
success of the releases" and manage the animals' veterinary care and
health screening, spokeswoman Yadira Galindo said.
The goal of the center, home to about 1,000 tortoises, is to "reduce or
eliminate threats to the tortoise and restore a self-sustaining, wild
Desert tortoises, which can live up to 80 years and weigh as much as 15
pounds, live in deserts in southeastern California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona
and Mexico. They are threatened by development, loss of habitat,
climate change and humans' recreational activity in deserts, among

Elephant falls in love with zoo keeper at West Midland Safari Park
A LOVE-struck elephant has fallen head over heels – or should that be
trunk over heels – for her zoo keeper.
Five, an African elephant, fell for her 30-year-old keeper, Lawrence
Bates, when he was given the task of looking after her at the West
Midland Safari Park.
And workers at the zoo think it must be the world's biggest ever crush.
The romance first blossomed when Lawrence joined the Bewdley-based
park in 2006.
Since then Five, who is 17, has showered him with thousands of wet
kisses and special hugs using her enormous trunk.
A spokeswoman for West Midlands Safari Park, said: "Five simply
adores Lawrence and she

Columbus Zoo ranked No. 1
The Columbus Zoo & Aquarium is the top zoo in the nation.
That's according to USA Travel Guide, which has compiled a list of the
ten best zoos in America.
Here's what the guide had to say on its Web site about the Columbus
Zoo, in southern Delaware County:
"While any of the zoos mentioned above are worthy of they respect they
have garnered, none have achieved the positive worldwide reputation of
the Columbus Zoo, arguably America's favorite. While the zoo has been
open continuously since 1927, its reputation grew to such heights under
direction of the amiable Jack Hanna, one the America's most beloved
animal experts.
"Under Hanna's guidance, the quality of the Columbus Zoo was elevated
considerably, making it what is considered today to be the aspiration of
any traditional zoo. Along with over 7,000 animals, the Columbus Zoo
has more recently expanded to include a water park, amusement park
and golf resort."
Jeff Swanagan, executive director for the zoo, said zoo officials are
"We're very excited, and we're honored to be among the quality 10 that
were listed," he said.
"This zoo ... has committed to improvement every year."
Swanagan listed highlights for this year including the birth of an
In addition to a new polar frontier exhibit, the zoo has prepared a new
animal show to start in April that teams the zoo with local animal
"It talks about how to be a responsible

Grrr! Zoo centre plans thrown out
A ZOO faces an uncertain future after an inspector threw out plans for
new visitor facilities.
Terry Willers, owner of Shepreth Wildlife Park, wanted to build a "play
barn" with children's activities, a café and toilets, in a bid to attract
visitors to the centre all year round.
But the proposals have been rejected by a planning inspector, leaving Mr
Willers wondering how he can boost revenue to keep the park going.
Visitor numbers last year were down by about 10,000 compared to the
previous year, dropping to 73,000. The zoo gets few visitors in the
winter because most of it is not covered.
There is little prospect of a spike in visitor numbers because of the
recession and Mr Willers says a revenue drop of 20 per cent would
leave the park, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, "on the edge".
The park has given up on its hopes for the play barn, which would have

Lengthy queue for London Zoo jobs
An offer of 50 seasonal jobs at the London Zoo in Regent's Park has
drawn record queues of people eager to fill the posts.
A Zoological Society of London (ZSL) spokeswoman said the posts
normally draw between 120 and 150 applicants.
But Wednesday's open-house application process drew an estimated

Zoo creates 150 job opportunities
A Leicestershire zoo has announced plans to recruit more than 150
seasonal staff despite the economic downturn.
Twycross Zoo is looking for catering workers, shop assistants, cleaning
staff and rangers.
A recruitment open day will be held in the zoo's Napier Centre on 28
February for anyone interested.
A spokeswoman for the zoo said an expected increase in visitor
numbers had prompted the creation of new jobs at the attraction.
Human resources manager Barbara Chawner said: "We have over half a
million visitors every year, enjoying the delights of the zoo.
"But this year we anticipate even more people through the gates as
many families will not have


Face time at the Cairo zoo
The capital's largest zoo, already scandal-tainted, offers patrons a
dubious $2 thrill: time inside the cage.
An Egyptian family asked to play with the lions. Two dollars, said the
zookeeper. The mother nodded and the zoo employee motioned to them
to come to a side door away from the row of cages and mesmerized
The zookeeper looked nervous, peering up and down the sidewalk.
Seeing none of the authorities, he swung the door open and beckoned
the family of four inside. By the time the family had entered, the
zookeeper had grabbed a lion cub and hoisted it into the arms of the
startled teenage son. Another lion cub looked on from a few feet away.
The family posed for photos. The cub snarled with displeasure.
Soon enough, the daughter had spotted Lula, one of the zoo's tigers,
and the others followed her out the door, though not before handing the
zookeeper $2 — or three times what he might otherwise make in a day.
Welcome to Cairo's Giza Zoo, the largest of Egypt's seven

Nakheel delays theme park project
Nakheel, the property developer, has indefinitely delayed the start of
construction of the Worlds of Discovery theme park project, a major
leisure tourism attraction planned for Palm Jebel Ali in Dubai in a
partnership with the US-based Busch Entertainment Corporation (BEC).
The project, which includes four water-theme parks under the brands of
SeaWorld, Aquatica Busch Gardens and Discovery Cove, is planned for
the "crown" of the island, which will take the shape of a giant killer
whale when reclamation is complete.
"Due to the current economic climate, the project has been suspended
and we will examine the situation in the coming 12 months," said Fred
Jacobs, the vice president of communications at BEC.
Worlds of Discovery is planned to include a variety of family activities
such as interaction with animals and resort experiences such as
swimming with bottlenose dolphins, rays and fish. BEC was to have
provided all animals for the theme parks, which are part of the emirate's
ambitious target of luring 15 million tourists a year by 2015.
When the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding in
February last year, it was agreed that Nakheel would finance the
building and operation of the parks and BEC would licence its brands to
Nakheel and operate the parks under a management contract. Nakheel
declined to give details on how much was invested in the project.
SeaWorld and Aquatica were scheduled to open in December 2012,
while Busch Gardens and Discovery Cove were to open in 2015.
"Design work and site preparation on the crown of Palm Jebel Ali has
been delayed for 12 months," said Nakheel in a statement

Lonely elephant 'could die of sadness'
The only elephant in Barcelona zoo could die of sadness unless she is
moved to a bigger enclosure with other elephants, animal rights
campaigners have warned.
Susi, a 36-year-old African elephant cow who was born in the wild on
the African savannah, has reportedly been suffering depression since
Alicia, her female companion of six years died early last year.
The animal rights charity Libera claims the elephant is showing classic
symptoms of unhappiness and boredom that include eating her own
excrement and repeatedly swaying her head and trunk from side to side.
"Her life is in serious danger," said the group who launched an internet
campaign to help save Susi.
They are petitioning for her to be moved from the concrete enclosure
measuring 1,000 square metres (1,200 sq yards) where she is currently
housed to a safari park environment with other elephants.
"The European Association of Zoo and Aquariums recommends that
elephants live in herds and in enclosures of no less than two hectares,
(five acres)" the group said.
Keepers at Barcelona zoo have said

Cruelty-to-elephants circus case heads to trial
After more than eight years of legal skirmishing, a trial is scheduled to
open Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by animal welfare groups alleging
that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus routinely abuses its
performing elephants.
The plaintiffs — including the American Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals and the Animal Welfare Institute — allege that
trainers' use of sharp tools called bullhooks and the prolonged use of
chains on the Asian elephants add up to an egregious violation of the
federal Endangered Species Act.
They seek an order from U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., halting
these practices, which some activists hope would force Ringling Bros. to
give up elephants altogether.
The non-jury trial before U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan is expected
to last three weeks.
Ringling Bros. and its parent company, Feld Entertainment, have
defended themselves aggressively since the suit was filed in 2000,
contending their treatment of all circus animals is state-of-the-art.
Circus officials note that government regulations permit use of chains.
They say the elephants are chained in place at night to keep them from
foraging their companions' food, and during train rides to prevent
sudden weight shifts that might derail their freight car.
The plaintiffs have asserted that Ringling Bros.' own train records show
the elephants are chained in railroad boxcars for an average of more

Cute baby elephant causes aaaww of the day
A nine-day-old baby elephant sticks with his eighteen-year-old mother
Tini at the Safari Park in Gianyar, on the Indonesian resort island of Bali
on February 2, 2009. The male Sumatran elephant baby, the 31st at the
park, was born

Released crested ibis set to breed?
Three Japanese crested ibis that were released into the wild in autumn
in Sado, Niigata Prefecture, recently were confirmed to have blackened
feathers, indicating the trio might have entered a breeding period, the
Environment Ministry said.
Yoshinori Kaneko, a veterinarian at the Sado Japanese Crested Ibis
Conservation Center in the city, said, "They're well nourished and
healthy." The center is hoping for the birth in the wild of a second
generation of the endangered species, known in Japanese as toki.
In winter, usually between December and February, the crested ibis'
upper body gradually turns black as they rub their feathers with a black
substance secreted from the neck. The cosmetic change is said to make
it difficult for natural enemies to spot them when raising chicks in a nest.
The blackened feathers, called

Thai mahouts ride tourist craze for elephants
Trudging the city streets with a hungry four-tonne elephant at your heels
is not a job for everyone.
But add a cute baby, and tourists flock to pet and feed the grey-brown
giants, making the plodding pachyderms more of an investment than a
curse for modern mahouts working in Thailand, one of Asia's top holiday
With logging banned in 1989, more babies are hitting streets and
trekking camps to meet tourism-driven demand for docile, good-looking
animals, said the director of the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre,
Richard Lair.
Big, aggressive bull elephants, who were excellent loggers were once
the most prized, Lair said. Now "gorgeous young female calves" and
cute babies with hairy heads and the ability to quickly learn tricks are the
most sought-after.
"It's calves that are coming in now," he said. "They weren't attractive in
the past, as basically you have to wait twenty

Poaching syndicate: probe into KZN links
Police bust a rhino poaching syndicate and are now hoping to link the
men to a spate of poaching incidents in KwaZulu-Natal.
To date 11 people have been arrested and charged for the poaching of
black and white rhino, police spokesman Senior Superintendent Vish
Naidoo said.
Five Mozambicans, three Chinese men, two South Africans and one
other person were arrested, he said.
The national department of environmental affairs revealed earlier this
month that 76 rhinos were poached last year.
Sonja Meintjes, the deputy director of biodiversity compliance at the
department of environmenta

Lack of oxygen killed stingrays, Calgary Zoo admits
A lack of oxygen likely killed 41 cownose stingrays last spring, and
Calgary Zoo officials insist that, though the terminology is different,
that's what they've said all along.
"The answer is 99.9 per cent sure: we believe the dissolved oxygen was
too low," Clement Lanthier, president of the Calgary Zoo, told the
Calgary Sun on Monday.
The zoo had just opened the $250,000 exhibit — which allowed visitors
to touch the creatures — when 41 of

S.F. cops tell how they killed raging zoo tiger
It was Christmas Day 2007, and San Francisco police Officers
Yukio "Chris" Oshita and Scott Biggs were driving slowly down an access
road in the San Francisco Zoo.
Behind them: a bloody tiger enclosure and one dead man, fatally mauled.
Ahead of them: the Terrace Cafe and the sight of a 243-pound Siberian
tiger sitting in front of her next victim, toying with the man as a cat
would play with a wounded mouse.
Across the way, Officers Kevin O'Leary and Daniel Kroos had just arrived
in their radio car. The man with the tiger was screaming, begging for
Armed only with their .40-caliber handguns, the officers had to figure
things out in a heartbeat. Shoot. Don't shoot. Distract the tiger. Wait for
"I never could have imagined having to deal with something like this,"
Biggs said. "We never got any instruction on dealing with wild animals
when we were at the academy."
Moments later, Tatiana left her victim and turned her attention on the
four officers, leaving them with one choice. They responded with a
deadly hail of gunfire, and the Siberian tiger soon was dead.
For their actions, Oshita, 31, Biggs, 37, O'Leary, 40, and Kroos, 29, will
receive the San Francisco Police Department's highest award for
bravery - the gold medal of valor - at a ceremony tonight at City Hall.
The officers have said nothing in public until now because of
investigations into the incident as well as pending lawsuits. But, as the
department prepares to honor the men, three of the four agreed to tell
the story of what happened that night at the zoo.
Just before dusk that day, 17-year-old Carlos Souza Jr. and two
brothers, Paul Dhaliwal, 19, and Kulbir Dhaliwal, 23, were at the tiger
enclosure when Tatiana turned, leaped over the retaining wall and went
on the attack. Zoo officials have said the men must have taunted or
somehow bothered the tiger. An investigation has never conclusively
proven that.
The tiger killed Souza immediately, then chased Paul Dhaliwal about 300
yards to the zoo's Terrace Cafe and was in the process of attacking him
when the officers arrived.
Plainclothes partners Oshita and Biggs were in one car, and uniformed
officers O'Leary and Kroos were in another. The first calls came in just
after 5 p.m. The initial radio broadcast indicated that a zoo patron had
been bitten by "an exotic animal."
"I thought it must have been some other animal, something small, like
just a small bite that needed to be handled," Oshita said.
In any case, they responded to the zoo as quickly

Ex-Zoo Boss's Safari Wild Puts 'Adventures' In Park
Perhaps the controversy surrounding Safari Wild was too wild for its
name. Or maybe the owners wanted a name more befitting the
experience they wish for visitors.
Either way, the yet-to-open exotic-animals park north of Lakeland now is
known as Safari Adventures, according to Polk County records.
The owners aren't saying what prompted the change. Former Lowry
Park Zoo President Lex Salisbury and his partner, St. Petersburg
veterinarian Stephen Wehrmann, did not return messages seeking
It's been a rough year for Safari Wild.
The owners made headlines across the nation last year when 15
recently-acquired patas monkeys swam off an island where they were
being held and bolted into the Green Swamp. The last surviving
monkeys were rounded up in December.
The escape prompted an inquiry into Salisbury's role as zoo director and
owner of a fledgling animal park, a for-profit venture. Salisbury was
forced to resign from the taxpayer-supported zoo after it was discovered
he used zoo animals and equipment to help build Safari Wild.
A business-naming expert said the name change is too subtle to
disconnect it from the bad publicity.
Sometimes a new name can seem like a huge change from the inside,
said William Lozito, president of Strategic Name Development in
Minneapolis. "But from the outside, people think, 'What's the difference?'"
It's not uncommon for companies to change their names to shed the
scars of bad publicity.
ValuJet Airlines took the name of its merger partner, AirTran, in part to
escape the bad publicity that ensued when a ValuJet crashed in the
Florida Everglades in 1996.
Safari Wild's name change was a success if the owners sought to better
describe the experience, Lozito said. In this case, the word "adventure"
is more descriptive than "wild."
Wehrmann and Salisbury bought about 260-acres in the Green Swamp
and plan to offer Africa-style safari tours in which visitors will pay to see
zebras, cheetahs and other exotic species. The project is stalled by
permitting issues.
Polk County building and permitting

Zoo owner shares more details on jaguar attack
No employee at Thurmont's Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo has ever
been through an attack quite like the one that happened Jan. 18 to
Deborah Gregory, 32, of Severn, according to the zoo's director and
Richard Hahn said in a Jan. 29 e-mail to The Gazette that the attack, in
which a jaguar weighing more than 180 pounds mauled Gregory, a
zookeeper, was "the only serious big cat accident in the zoo to an
employee ever."
"There have been a few, much less serious encounters between animal
and caretaker in the 45 years that I have been here," Hahn wrote.
A Frederick County animal control officer on Feb. 17 will evaluate Diego,
the zoo's 10-year-old male jaguar, and Evita, a 12-year-old female
jaguar in the holding area at the time of the attack, for any changes in
the animals' health or temperament. If the animals are cleared, they will
be returned to their normal area at the zoo. If not, their fates will be
decided by a county health official.
The jaguars are currently

Iraq Asks World To Help Replenish Baghdad Zoo
Barred by international conventions from replenishing the Baghdad zoo
with exotic animals like elephants and giraffes, Iraq is making a
worldwide appeal for animals.
Zoo Director Adil Salman Musa told RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq that as a
signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species, the zoo cannot buy animals on the market.
Zoo officials are therefore asking the Foreign Ministry to help it acquire
some animals that can only be obtained as a donation from another
Officials hope to tap into the same goodwill shown by animal
organizations worldwide who helped many zoo animals when Baghdad
was unstable after the fall of leader Saddam Hussein

Vandalur Zoo gets ready for white tiger cubs
The Arignar Anna Zoological Park at Vandalur, 31 km south of Chennai,
is set to witness the birth of rare white tiger cubs in about two
month. The zoo's five-year-old white tigress, Anu, became pregnant 45
days ago. The gestation period for a white tigress is about 105 days.
The zoo authorities were making all efforts, including regulating visitors,
to ensure that Anu and its male partner, six-year-old Bhishmar, were
not disturbed. The two cats are fed about 8 kg of beef daily.
Currently, zoo biologists told TOI, the park has a pair of white tigers
brought from Orissa's Nandan Kanan Zoo two-and-a-half years ago.
Today, white tigers in India are mostly confined to places like Nandan
Kanan the world's largest habitat for their ilk (it has a population of

Myanmar to build first butterfly park in border town
Myanmar will start building its first butterfly park in a border town in
Kachin state, northernmost part of the country, next month, the local
weekly Yangon Times reported Wednesday.
Similar to Singapore's, the park at Putao will have some 1,500
butterflies and insects of over 50 spices.
The butterfly park will be constructed in three phases and most of the
butterflies, kept in the park, are from the Kachin State, the report said,
quoting project company of Tun Foundation.
The project constitutes part of the program of building the National
Wildlife Park, which lies at Putao between Mularoti and Zayar
mountains, to undertake conservation work with wild animals.
Wildlife and rare animals, which take sanctuary in snow-capped region,
will be kept in the park, the report added.
Meanwhile, Myanmar is planning to modify

Cold-weather games keep zoo animals from going snaky
Like any toddler, Coco is easily bored – especially in winter.
It's too cold to get up to much, and without something to keep her
preoccupied, it won't be long until she's into some kind of trouble,
picking fights or pulling her room apart piece by piece.
Which can be a problem, considering she's a 250-pound Siberian tiger
with razor-sharp teeth and jaws strong enough to snap your neck.
Keeping animals engaged during the winter months is a perennial battle
faced by staff at the Toronto Zoo, where most warm-weather species
are brought inside when the temperature dips below 0C. When the
animals are kept inside, they can get bored. And when they get bored,
they can become listless, destructive and potentially dangerous.
That's where "enrichment activities" – balls, puzzles and even
snowmen – enter the picture.
"It's psychological husbandry, really," said Toronto Zoo animal care
supervisor Oliver Claffey. "In the wild, animals are inundated with all
sorts of pressures and stress factors – hunting, establishing territory,
defending that territory, breeding

Scientist braves monsoons to find 12 new frog species
A dozen new species of tree frog, including a pygmy frog so small that a
full-grown adult can fit on to a penny coin with room to spare, have
been found living in the mountain ranges of western India, scientists
announced yesterday.
The descriptions of the 12 species will be published next month by the
Linnean Society. The annoucement follows the news yesterday that
another team of scientists had found 10 new species of amphibians in
Colombian forests.
The Colombian team said the new species included a spiky-skinned,
orange-legged rain frog, three poision dart frogs and three glass frogs –
so called because their internal organs are visible through their skin.
Amphibians are one of the most threatened groups of animals in the
world. About one in three species are close to extinction. Scientists still
have little idea how many species have yet to be discovered. Experts
worry that frogs and their like are dying out faster

Inside the world of 'Wildlife CSI'
Techniques familiar from shows such as 'Silent Witness' are now being
used to fight the illegal trade in wildlife.
Dressed from head to toe in protective white clothing, Rob Ogden and
his team are hunched over the bodies laid out at Heathrow Airport,
carefully collecting samples of hair, blood and tissue to be analysed.
Forensic scientists are now a routine sight at the scenes of grisly
murders, and the inspiration for prime-time drama series such as Silent
Witness. But in this case, the corpses are not those of humans: Dr
Ogden and his colleagues are faced with body parts from a water
buffalo and the remains of a scaly anteater known as a pangolin.
Welcome to the world of 'Wildlife CSI'.
Although forensics has been a central plank of police work for decades,
its techniques are still rarely employed when it comes to animals. Cash-
strapped police forces are reluctant put funds into investigating wildlife
felonies when they already have so many human crimes to solve.
But the problem is not a small one. Interpol estimates that the illegal
trade in animals and plants is worth up to £13 billion a year, a figure
topped only by that in drugs. Around 3.5 million protected species, or
products made using protected species, are seized in Europe

3 dolphins rescued in Nepal after flooding
Conservation officials and army personnel rescued three dolphins from a
pond in southeastern Nepal where they were trapped, an official said
"The dolphins were spotted earlier this week in a pond that had formed
over three villages following the flooding of the area by the Saptakoshi
River last year," said Phanindra Pokharel, chief administrator of Sunsari
district, located 200 kilometers from Kathmandu.
The dolphins were apparently swept to the area during the massive
flooding, which occurred after a bank of the Saptakoshi River breached
its banks on Aug. 18 last year, Pokharel told Kyodo News by telephone.
The dolphins were transported on vehicles and placed back in the
Saptakoshi River, Pokharel said.
The flood displaced millions of people in southern

£2.3m zoo attraction for children unveiled
FREEDOM to roam - especially among wild animals - is a privilege
unlikely to be given to children nowadays.
But a groundbreaking £2.3million attraction due to open at London Zoo is
set to give the nation's little people a rare chance to escape their
parents' watchful eyes.
These pictures give the first glimpse of Animal Adventure - a brand new
exhibit at the Regent's Park attraction expected to revolutionise the
concept of children's zoos.
Gone are the days when youngsters are guided hand-in-hand with their
protective guardians to gawp at monkeys and giraffes.
Now they will be given the independence to climb alongside their simian
cousins, burrow through underground tunnels and

Misplaced priorities at the L.A. Zoo
Visiting Los Angeles, I decided to experience the Los Angeles Zoo last
weekend -and was quite disappointed.
The lone elephant, Billy, looked dejected, and I learned that the L.A. Zoo
has had a sad history with its elephants. The solution could be an exhibit
of mounted elephants, such as in a natural history museum, with videos
and other educational materials - but no live animals.
The L.A. Zoo should concentrate on just a few live animals, such as its
giraffes and orangutans. Snakes and alligators hardly move and should
be eliminated. Educational exhibits and videos would be far better.
Since many people seem to visit the L.A. Zoo just to roam the grounds
and snack on hot dogs and sweets, perhaps nicer food operations would
make sense.
The plants and grounds are impressive and well-maintained. But the
educational and preservation missions seem lost.
At the other end of Griffith Park, the

140-year-old lobster to regain freedom
A lobster thought to be about 140 years old will be returned to the
ocean after becoming the mascot for a restaurant in New York City,
Media reported Saturday.
The 9-kg (about 20 pounds) lobster was captured off the coast of
Newfoundland in Canada a week-and-a-half ago and shipped to New
It was bought for 100 U.S. dollars by City Crab and Seafood to become
its mascot.
"We bought a big lobster, started taking pictures with kids and it worked
out real well," said the restaurant manager Keith Valenti.
"We never intended to sell the giant lobster, just draw

Black wolves inherited colour from ancient dogs
Today's dogs are descendants of ancient wolves. Now, it turns out, at
least some of today's wolves inherited traits from ancient dogs.
Grey wolves have that name because of their colour, but in North
America many of them have dark or black coats instead of the standard
The genetic mutation producing dark coats appears to have occurred in
dogs, and then spread from them to wolves when the species mated,
according to researchers led by Gregory S. Barsh of Stanford University.
The dark-coated wolves are almost exclusive to North America and are
much more common in forested areas where they make up 62 per cent
of the wolf population, compared with seven per cent in open tundra,
the researchers noted.
But wildlife biologists don't think wolves

Lion man pursues lions' share
The Lion Man star Craig Busch is pressing on with plans to claw back
control of Zion Wildlife Gardens.
As well as turning to auction website eBay to raise funds by auctioning
off signed photos of himself and the big cats, he has now uploaded a
video on his official Facebook page asking fans to make donations so he
can take back the park from his mum Patricia.
Patricia took up residence at the park in July 2006. She raised a loan to
repay Craig's company and his personal debt, and in return was given
power of attorney and sole directorship until he could repay her.
But their relationship soured so much Craig is no longer employed by the
park and a court order had to be sought to allow him to come and go
from the property at Kamo, outside Whangarei.
In the Facebook video, Craig convicted in May 2007 of assaulting his

Geriatric Gorillas Challenge Zoo Atlanta Staff
The gorillas at Zoo Atlanta are victims of their own prosperity. They
have been thriving in their environment; having babies, expanding their
family groups.
And, because they are so healthy, they are living longer. That presents
the zoo's veterinary staff with a challenge: geriatric gorillas.
You can tell -- it's an effort for the female gorilla to move. That's what
happens when gorillas -- and people -- get old.
Zoo veterinarian Dr. Hayley Murphy runs down the list of things she
looks for in geriatric gorillas.
"Age problems related to joints, arthritis, that kind of thing," Murphy
said. "Dental disease you start to worry about."
In the wild, gorillas live 30-to-35 years. Zoo Atlanta has one of the
largest geriatric gorilla populations in North America. There are five
gorillas here between 47 and 50 years old. The zoo staff wants to keep
their geriatric gorillas active. They'll treat their arthritis with anti-
inflammatories, and keep their diet easy to chew. The trick is to
examine them without putting them to sleep.
"On these geriatric animals, the risk of anesthesia goes up," Murphy
said. "Certainly having them trained for the veterinarians to examine
without anesthesia is a huge benefit."
This is where Taz comes in. A silverback, Taz has been trained to
respond to commands. He's 20 years old. But the training he is getting
now will allow veterinarians lik


`Elephant-smuggling' fiasco solved
A suspected elephant-smuggling fiasco was cleared up Wednesday after
Bali Safari and Marine Park (BSMP) officials submitted a required letter
to the Bali Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA).
"They're legal. The transport letter faxed here said so," said Budi
Utomo, permit coordinator at the BKSDA.
The mix-up began earlier this week, when the agency discovered there
were 31 elephants in the park - eight more than the BKSDA was aware
of having been transferred to Bali.
The BKSDA only discovered the new elephants after the park reported
one additional elephant that was born earlier this week to the agency,
raising the number from 30 to 31.
It came as a surprise to the BKSDA, who only had knowledge of 22
elephants in the park, thus prompting it to demand that the BSMP
present the transportation papers for the other eight.
An informal explanation from park officials revealed that the elephants
had been transported to Bali from the BSMP's sister company, the
Indonesian Safari Park (TSI) in Bogor, West Java.
Further explanations revealed the elephants had actually been brought
to the park in December last year, meaning the heavyweight mammals
had slipped beneath the Bali administration's radars for two months.
Park officials could not provide the transportation letters at the time,
warranting a possible elephant-smuggling indictment for the park's
Things only began to clear up after the BKSDA received the
transportation letters on Wednesday.
The BKSDA's Budi declined to comment on whether the whole fiasco
was a setup to get the elephants into the park without the administration
The park had reportedly tried earlier to bring in more elephants but
could not get a recommendation from the Bali administration, since a
meeting between the two parties concluded the park could not hold any
more elephants.
The administration would only allow the park to add two more elephants
to the existing 20.
The addition was made anyway, with park officials saying the
recommendation for the additional eight was given by the Forestry
Ministry. Legally, the park is not obliged to abide by the regional
administration's instructions, though their decision could have
environmental consequences.
"We're probably just going to sternly reprimand park officials for this
delay in the paperwork," Budi said.
On Wednesday afternoon, BSMP officials held a press conference to
show photocopies of the transportation letter.
BSMP curator Kadek Kusuma Atmaja defended the park's decision to
obtain the elephants.
He said he did not understand how the elephants had slipped under the
administration's nose, only that the required papers had been duly
submitted to the BKSDA's Gianyar office.
He also denied the park could not hold any more elephants, and pointed
out a recent expansion of the park's elephant facility that would enable it
to keep 38 elephants in total.
As for the elephants, they are currently safe in the BSMP cages, Kadek

£225m Chester Zoo project to bring Man and animal closer
A £225 million expansion planned for Britain's most popular wildlife
attraction could usher in the age of the superzoo.
In the early and mid-1990s the future of zoos was in question, with
visitor numbers declining and concerns about animal welfare and the
role of captivity. A change in approach to conservation and a willingness
to invest in improved enclosures have helped to reverse the decline.
Zoos are now so popular that Chester Zoo intends to build on ten years
of growth by spending £225 million by 2018, compared with the £30
million spent since 1985. The main development will be the construction
of a £90 million biodome to house African rainforest animals, notably
gorillas. It follows the trend for animals and people to be able to mix
where safe, and for bars to be removed as far as possible.
Since the troubled early 1990s, zoos have worked to get more involved
in conservation, doing research in the field instead of simply being an
ark housing an emergency supply of threatened animals. At the same
time as expanding research and education, zoos paid more attention to
improving animal welfare and making visits more enjoyable.
Gordon McGregor Reid, director of Chester Zoo, which had a record 1.37
million visitors last year, said that zoos were reaping the benefits. "We
have had a pattern of investment in new and much better animal
facilities," he said. "Chester established the pattern in the early 1990s.
Zoos had kind of lost their way."
Visitor numbers for members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos
and Aquariums have risen rapidly. In 2002 they stood at 12 million and
by 2007 they were approaching 25 million.
Commitment to conservation in countries where rare animals are found
rose too. In 2005 members of the association were involved in 336 field
projects; by 2007 these had almost doubled to more than 600, with the
money spent increasing from £5 million to £7.75 million.
Miranda Stevenson, of the association, said that the conservation role
appealed to visitors. "People are now realising that zoos are doing good
work. They can have a good day out and feel they are doing good at the
same time," she said.
"If you take zoos like Chester, Marwell, London, Twycross, Bristol and
Edinburgh, they really are conservation organisations in their own right.
They do significant fieldwork."
Amos Courage, of Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks in Kent,
which have led work to reintroduce gorillas into the wild, said that the
public now demanded that zoos have a strong conservation
element. "The 19th-century standard Noah's Ark-type exhibit has gone.
We can no longer be seen to be consumers of wildlife. We have to be
springboards for conservation," he said from Thailand, where he was
attending a meeting aimed at saving cat species.
Zoos in the future are likely to have far more enclosures where the
public can almost touch the animals, and there will be greater emphasis
on keeping animals occupied as they would be in the wild.
Overnight stays by visitors are expected to become a mainstream
feature and zoos may also become more

Thailand seizes 270 pangolins
THAI customs on Friday seized 270 pangolins and arrested a man who
was attempting to smuggle the endangered animals out of the country,
an official said.
Customs officers intercepted a truck headed towards Bangkok in central
Prachuab Khirikhan province on Thursday morning and found the
pangolins, or scaly anteaters, hidden in plastic baskets, senior customs
official Rakop Srisupa-at told AFP.
The mammals are usually exported via neighbouring Laos to China,
where they are eaten as an expensive delicacy.
Srisupa-at estimated the pangolins were worth 1.4 million baht
'The driver claimed he had been paid 5,000 baht to drive the truck to
Bangkok where another man would call him on his mobile phone to fetch
the pangolins,' he said.
The Thai driver was arrested and charged with possessing and
smuggling endangered wildlife

Eating the Wild
In America, there are foragers among us, out searching for morels in
the spring, and there are hunters too. Yet most of our food, except for
fish caught from the sea, is farmed. We do not trap songbirds for savory
pies. (We destroy too many of them through other means.)
Once you look beyond the parochial culinary habits of most Americans
you discover that wildness, and the tastes associated with it, have a
talismanic power that is very hard to eradicate. It is what keeps the
Japanese whaling and keeps some Africans eating bush meat. And it is
one of the things that helps explain the voracious and utterly destructive
Chinese appetite for turtles.
As global wealth rises, so does global consumption of meat, which
includes wild meat. Turtle meat used to be a rare delicacy in the Asian
diet, but no longer. China, along with Hong Kong and Taiwan, has
vacuumed the wild turtles out of most of Southeast Asia. Now, according
to a recent report in The Los Angeles Times, they are consuming
common soft-shell turtles from the American Southeast, especially
Florida, at an alarming rate.
Some scientists estimate that two-thirds of the tortoise and freshwater
turtle species on the planet are seriously threatened. Some of that is
secondhand damage — loss of habitat, water pollution, climate change.
But far too many turtles are being lost to the fork and the spoon.
In the United States, the solution is relatively straightforward. States
should impose much tighter restrictions on the harvesting and export of
wild turtles. Internationally, the problem is more complicated. There
have been efforts to monitor the species of wild turtles found in Chinese
markets, but as long as the appetite

Bears get a second chance at Phnom Tamao Zoo
With countless animals in Cambodia falling victim to illegal wildlife trade,
one organisation offers a safe and healthy environment for rescued
THE timid, brown Sun Bear peered suspiciously out of his cage in the
quarantine area of the Phnom Tamao Zoo, nervously growling if
anybody came near him. He was extremely sick when he arrived at the
zoo and had to have daily injections of antibiotics. Hence, his aversion to
humans. His name is Harry, and he was recently rescued from the
fourth floor of a wealthy Phnom Penh family home.
Harry was purchased from a dealer in Ratanakkiri by his previous
owners when he was three weeks old and taken to Phnom Penh as a
family pet. Not knowing how to properly care for a wild bear, the family
fed him a diet of tap water mixed with sweetened condensed milk and
kept him in a small cage, barely big enough for a dog. By the time he
was rescued a year later, he was weak, emaciated and had lost large
patches of fur that had rubbed off when he paced against the metal bars
of the cage.
"I had to carry him in my arms down four flights of stairs, as the
transport cage could not fit up the narrow passageways," said head
bear keeper at the zoo, Chuon Vuthy.
The keeper works for an organisation called Free the Bears Fund Inc,
which runs a centre at the Phnom Tamao Zoological Gardens and
Wildlife Rescue Centre, 40 kilometres south of Phnom Penh. The
Australian NGO was created

Illegal trade in Malayan Box Turtles continues
The Malayan Box Turtle is disappearing across Malaysia despite a ban
on its export, finds a new report by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade
monitoring network and a joint programme between IUCN and WWF.
The turtles are in high demand in East Asia for their meat and for use in
traditional Chinese medicine.
The Malayan Box Turtle is a subspecies of the widespread South Asian
Box Turtle (Cuora amboinensis), which is considered the commonest
freshwater turtle in South-East Asia, but despite this, and even its
tolerance of manmade artificial habitats, the species is in peril due to
over-exploitation finds the new report, Science in CITES: The biology
and ecology of the Southeast Asian Box Turtle Cuora amboinensis and
its uses and trade in Malaysia.
In 2005, an export ban on Malayan Box Turtles was introduced by
Department of Wildlife and National Parks (PERHILITAN), the
government's wildlife agency in Peninsular Malaysia, and similar exports
bans exist in Sabah and Sarawak.
Following the ban, exports of turtles for the pet trade in Japan, Europe
and the USA apparently ceased

Letters:Gorillas at the Primate Center
In response to recent letters to The Jakarta Post by Ulrike von Mengden
(Dec. 30) and Shirley McGreal (Jan. 2), which questioned the actions of
The Aspinall Foundation and Howletts Wild Animal Park in sending
gorillas to the Schmutzer Primate Center (SPC), I would make the
following statement.
Puck Schmutzer's vision was to create an environment for captive
primates from around the world that would act as a positive model for
zoos in Indonesia and indeed in Asia with its cage design, husbandry
and record-keeping.
She achieved this with the creation of the Schmutzer Primate Center
and, with the direction of Willie Smits, helped create a network of
wildlife sanctuaries around the country.
Schmutzer believed that, by building the best gorilla enclosure in the
world and housing a breeding colony at the Primate Center, these iconic
animals would help draw attention to the plight of all primates under
threat of extinction (which should be one of the primary roles of any
The incredible number of visitors to the Primate Center validates her
vision. The late John Aspinall and Puck Schmutzer were good friends
and The Aspinall Foundation has been working in collaboration with SPC
since the 1980s.
Through a succession of breeding loans between two facilities, the

Letter: Orangutans in Ragunan Zoo
The Jakarta zoo's long-held, uncaring attitude towards these orangutans
is nothing less than a national scandal.
Orangutans, the most iconic of Indonesian animals, have been left to a
90-year-old lady to care for with money from her own pension while the
zoo squanders vast amounts of money restoring stone statues of
animals at the front gate
Despite repeated attempts over the past 12 months to persuade the zoo
director and curator to remedy this disgraceful situation, neither has
shown any interest.
The Forestry Ministry look upon these captive (though largely caught in
the wild) orangutans much the same way as they look upon those in the
rapidly disappearing forests they keep on selling; orangutans are
nothing more than an inconvenience getting in the way of making
serious money.

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo launches fun and interactive
education programmes
First of its kind display of aquatic animals in the GCC
Four ecological zones offering tailored aqua-education programmes for
Supervised human-animal contact; interactive exhibits
Safe, unique and engaging environment with educational workbooks
How do sea stars eat? Why do fish stay in schools? Answers to these
and other questions will unravel the mysteries of the aquatic world, and
can be learned first-hand at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo at The
Dubai Mall. The Ocean School Education Programme was recently
launched with students from Dubai International Academy, the first
group to experience the highly interactive sessions.
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo communicates important messages
of environmental care in a fun and interactive way. Close-up animal
encounters are an important part of creating awareness, and the tailor-
made education programmes at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo has
a team of

Feliz cumpleaños Chato!
Chato, el gorila macho espalda plateada del Zoológico Guadalajara
cumplió los 23 años de edad
El jueves 15 de enero de este 2009, Chato, el macho espalda plateada
del Zoológico Guadalajara, cumplió 23 años. Se dice fácil, pero la
verdad es que no hay tarea sencilla al ser un espalda plateada, como se
les conoce a los machos de gorilas por la coloración que adquieren en
su lomo una vez que alcanzan la madurez y son capaces no sólo de
reproducirse si no de llevar a cabo la misión del líder, guiando y
protegiendo a toda una familia de gorilas.
Chato, quien nació el 15 de enero de 1986, llegó al Zoológico
Guadalajara en 1989, junto con su pareja Chencha (los dos
provenientes de África) es muy especial y exigente. Le gusta la comida y
las bebidas en la boca, y el piso seco (es capaz de caminar de puntitas
si este está mojado), le gusta dormir hasta tarde (en una cama
acolchada de pasto), le gustan las vitaminas para humanos pero no las
que son especiales para gorilas

Sierra Leone launches first chimp census
Sierra Leone has begun its first comprehensive census of wild
chimpanzees, the head of the country's largest sanctuary for the
primates said on Monday.
"It will cost 220,000 dollars (167,000 euros) and run for approximately
10 months," Balla Amarasekaran, head of the Tacugama Chimpanzee
Sanctuary, said.
Amarasekaran explained that the chimp count would help answer key
questions about the population and the habitat of the great apes in
Sierra Leone and could even set the stage for reintroductions.
"It is estimated that no more than 2,000 chimpanzees currently reside in
Sierra Leone's forests but that number was culled from an informal
survey carried out in 1981," he told AFP.
Amarasekaran, whose sanctuary on the outskirts of Freetown is the
largest in Sierra Leone, said the impact of the country's ruinous civil war
and the rapid destruction of forest cover had led some experts to fear
that chimpanzees could cease to exist in the wild within 50 years.
Sierra Leone is struggling to get back on its feet after a decade-long civil
war from 1991-2001 in which some 120,000 people were killed and
thousands were mutilated.
The West African country is home to one of the most endangered
chimpanzee species, the Western Chimpanzees who live in the hills

New Zealand reptile becomes dad at 111 years old
A captive reptile in New Zealand has unexpectedly become a father at
the ripe old age of 111 after receiving treatment for a cancer that made
him hostile toward prospective mates.
The centenarian tuatara, named Henry, was thought well past the
mating game until he was caught canoodling with a female named
Mildred last March -- a consummation that resulted in 11 babies being
hatched on Monday.
Tuatara are indigenous New Zealand creatures that resemble lizards but
descend from a distinct lineage of reptile that walked the earth with the
dinosaurs 225 million years ago, zoologists say.
An endangered species, the hatchlings born at the Southland Museum
and Art Gallery will provide a badly needed boost to the tuatara's genetic
diversity, said the gallery's tuatara curator, Lindsay Hazley.
Henry was at least 70 years old when he arrived at the museum, "a
grumpy old man" who attacked other reptiles, including females, until a
cancerous tumor was removed from his genitals in 2002, said Hazley.
"I went off the idea he was good for

Vancouver Aquarium's beluga whale Aurora pregnant again
The Vancouver Aquarium's 20-year-old beluga whale Aurora is pregnant
Aurora is mother of Qila, born July 23 1995 and grandmother of Tiqa,
born June 10, 2008.
Aurora's new calf is expected in June or July, said Dr. Martin Haulena,
staff veterinarian at Vancouver Aquarium.
Aurora's new calf was sired by Imaq, who is also the father of Tiqa.
"We monitor the belugas closely, and started noticing an increase in
Aurora's serum progesterone last April or May," said Haulena.
Gestation for a beluga whale is approximately 14 to 16 months.
"We had to wait and verify with an ultrasound, which we did last June,"
said Haulena. "Just like any human pregnancy, you want to wait through
the first trimester to make sure everything

National Aviary names new executive director
The National Aviary on Wednesday announced the appointment of
Patrick Mangus to the position of executive director. Mangus was the
organization's COO for the past two years.
It was one of several personnel moves the Aviary announced. It also
named Ida D'Errico to oversee its capital campaign and other fundraising
activities, and Cheryl Tracy was promoted to COO. Tracy has been the
Aviary's director of finance and human resources for the past two years.
"We are delighted to have such a strong leadership team in place to
carry forward the many exciting changes planned and taking shape at
the National Aviary," Mike Flinn, National Aviary board chairman, said in

Special needs children ecstatic after touring Abu Dhabi Wildlife Centre
Fourteen children with special needs were ecstatic after getting the
opportunity to watch the capital city's wild animals at a close range.
Even though the Abu Dhabi Wild Life Centre has not officially opened its
doors to the public, the lucky children, accompanied by seven teachers
were elated after being accorded a special tour around the centre.
The wildlife facility is a privately owned centre that supports the
conservation of orphaned and sick animals, some of which include lion
cubs, Bengali tigers, spotted jaguars, Arabian leopards, gazelles,
baboons, cheetahs, dogs, crocodiles and parrots.
The medical condition

Bob Barker donates $1.5 million for L.A. Zoo elephant
Along with about 200 Los Angeles Zoo employees, children and
community members gathered today at City Hall, rock guitarist Slash
pledged his support for completing the zoo's Pachyderm Forest. But the
opposition had its own celebrity endorsement, this one with a $1.5
million donation, courtesy of former "Price is Right" host Bob Barker.
The planned future home to 23-year-old Billy the elephant, the
Pachyderm Forest is a $42-million, 6-acre proposal that began in 2006,
but was put on hold a month ago. Some animal-rights activists said the
area still would not provide enough roaming room, and Los Angeles City
Councilman Tony Cardenas suggested that the zoo's lone Asian elephant
be sent instead to the Performing Animal Welfare Society, a sanctuary in
San Andreas.
Cardenas' office today announced that Barker would donate $1.5 million
to help cover the cost of Billy's transfer to PAWS, where he would join
Ruby, a female African elephant who left the L.A. Zoo in 2007 and who
also benefited from a $300,000 donation

Celebrity controversy heats up at L.A. Zoo rally
Celebrity animal-rights advocates sat on opposite sides of the fence at a
rally to determine where Billy the elephant will live. Actress Betty White,
animal trainer Jack Hanna, musician Slash and TV host Bob Barker were
among the hundreds of people who attended the demonstration.
The controversy began when construction for a $42 million, 6-acre
habitat for Billy the 23-year-old Asian elephant at the L.A. Zoo was
stopped. Some activists protested that the habitat called Pachyderm
Forest was too small for Billy and they wanted him to retire to the
Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in San Andreas.
One advocate is former "Price is Right" TV host Bob Barker, who has
already helped an African elephant at the zoo, named Ruby, move to the
sanctuary in 2007.
Barker wrote in a letter that he would donate $1.5 million to help cover
the cost to move Billy to the PAWS sanctuary.
"The thousands of Angelenos who agonized over Billy's tragic life at the
Los Angeles Zoo will rejoice to learn that now Billy will have the
opportunity to roam over countless acres at the PAWS sanctuary

Sweet Elephant O' Mine
Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash and City Councilman Tom LaBonge were
among the roughly 100 people who rallied outside City Hall on Monday in
support of the LA Zoo's elephant exhibit project, which was temporarily
halted due to concerns over funding and animal welfare.
Meanwhile, about a dozen animal rights advocates demonstrated in
opposition to the Pachyderm Forest, and former "The Price is Right" host
Bob Barker pledged $1.5 million Monday to move Billy -- the only
elephant now at the zoo -- to the PAWS sanctuary in northern California.
The Los Angeles City Council voted 13-2 last month to temporarily stop
work on the $42 million elephant exhibit. Construction crews have
completed about one-third of the Pachyderm Forest, which is designed
to house up to five Asian elephants and three of their offspring in a

LA council votes to keep Billy the elephant at zoo
Billy the elephant is staying put, and Bob Barker isn't happy about it.
The City Council voted Wednesday to finish a $42 million elephant
exhibit and keep its lone pachyderm at the zoo, despite pleas by
the "Price is Right" host and other celebrity opponents to scrap the
The decision came after an emotional hearing attended by several
hundred people. Barker was among them after pledging $1.5 million
earlier this week to move Billy to a sanctuary in Northern California.
Supporters of the zoo project cheered after the council vote. Barker, a
longtime animal rights activist, said he was "terribly disappointed" and
hoped Billy fared better than other elephants at the zoo.
Officials have said about a dozen have died there since 1968, but the
zoo contends it has vastly improved its elephant program.
The new, six-acre "Pachyderm Forest" will be seven times larger than
the current enclosure and will feature nearly four acres of open space
with pools, mud holes and a waterfall. It's one of the largest planned
elephant enclosures in

Cher Loses Elephant Fight At Zoo Hearing
Cher's emotional appeal against the expansion of a Los Angeles zoo's
elephant exhibit has failed to convince officials to abandon the hotly
debated project.
The singer joined former TV game show host Bob Barker, among
others, when she urged L.A. City Council bigwigs on Wednesday to halt
the development of Los Angeles Zoo's new elephant enclosure and use
the cash to move pachyderm Billy.
Stepping up to the lectern at City Hall, Cher delivered an impassioned
speech and was repeatedly asked by Council President Eric Garcetti to
wrap-up after she passed the 60-second limit imposed on each member
of the public.
Cher argued: "I'm not a fanatic. I just love animals, like most
Americans. ... They say it's always been done this way, there's always
been elephants in zoos. But it doesn't make it right because we've had
other things we're ashamed of, like slavery."
The star's plea was followed by actresses Lily Tomlin and Tippi Hedren,
as well as "Weeds" actor Kevin Nealon, who also opposed the elephant
But the stars' desperate protests weren't

Delay in Lion Man hearing
A hearing on whether Lion Man Craig Busch was unjustifiably dismissed
from his job at Whangarei's world-famous Zion Wildlife Park has been
Mr Busch, the star of television's popular Lion Man series, was due to
have his claim of unjustified dismissal heard by the Employment
Relations Authority in Whangarei yesterday.
However the matter, against Zion Wildlife Gardens and Zion Wildlife
Services was postponed and an authority spokeswoman said another
date to hear the matter had yet to be set.
Mr Busch was sacked from the lion park he made famous for alleged
serious misconduct, including allegations of major breaches of safety
protocols, inappropriate behaviour in the workplace, performance
issues, failing to keep proper training records and causing loss of
revenue through

Security improvements help Baghdad Zoo attendance
Iraq's security improvements are even affecting animals at the Baghdad
Zoo visitation climbed from 1 million in 2007 to more than 5 million in
2008 as Iraqis grew more comfortable traveling to Baghdad's Karkh
district, where the zoo and its surrounding Zawra park are located.
"This place is relatively inexpensive and it is the only place, as a park,
where people can get away from the crowded parts of the city," said
Adel Salman Mousa, the zoo director.
The price is certainly right for a first date. For just 250 dinars, or less
than a quarter, visitors can see a variety of animals including
chimpanzees and Bengal tigers donated by a North Carolina animal
sanctuary. The zoo also houses the famed man-eating lions that one of
Saddam Hussein's sons kept, although zoo veterinarian Wasseen Sarih
said their reputation is overblown. The

Md. zoo worker bitten by jaguar is recovering, relatives say
The family of a Maryland zoo worker mauled by a jaguar says she is
Deborah Gregory, 32, of Severn remained hospitalized at Maryland
Shock Trauma Center today, eight days after she was bitten in the head
and upper torso at the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo near
Her family issued a statement requesting privacy as Gregory heals and
Zoo spokeswoman Mary Anne Hahn said federal,0,2915835.story

Ten years to the day since Mary Chipperfield's historic conviction for
animal cruelty, but animals still tour the UK in travelling circuses
Ten years to the day since Mary Chipperfield's historic conviction for
animal cruelty, but animals still tour the UK in travelling circuses.
Today marks the ten year anniversary since one of the world's most
famous circus trainers, Mary Chipperfield, was convicted of animal
cruelty after being found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a
baby chimpanzee and her husband was convicted of elephant abuse.
However, in the last decade, nothing has changed to prevent animals
being toured around the UK in travelling circuses, despite a Government
promise in 2006 that wild animals would be banned from circuses. This
has not materialised, and a parliamentary petition criticising a Circus
Working Group report has attracted 183 MP signatures.
The Mary Chipperfield trial remains the defining legal case in circus
campaigning. She was convicted on 12 counts of animal cruelty towards
18-month old chimp Trudy. Her husband, Roger Cawley, was also
convicted of

The day the Israeli army came to the Gaza Zoo
A month ago, it was attracting families - he says the zoo drew up to
1,000 visitors each day. He points at the foot-long hole in the camel in
one of the enclosures.
'This camel was pregnant, a missile went into her back,' he tells
us. 'Look, look at her face. She was in pain when she died.'
Around every corner, inside almost every cage are dead animals, who
have been lying in their cages since the Israeli incursion.
Qasim doesn't understand why they chose to destroy his zoo. And it's
difficult to disagree with him. Most of them have been shot at point
blank range.
'The first thing the Israelis did was shoot at the lions - the animals ran
out of their cage and into the office building. Actually they hid there.'
The two lions are back in their enclosure. The female is pregnant, and
lies heavily on the ground, occasionally swishing her tail. Qasim stands
unusually close to them, but they don't seem bothered by his presence.
As he takes us around, he is obviously appalled at the state of the
animals. The few animals that have survived appear weak and
'The foxes ate each other because we couldn't get to them in time. We
had many here.' There are carcasses everywhere and the last surviving
fox is quivering

There is always another side to the story:

Kiev mayor sacks zoo chief for failing to find mate for elephant
The mayor of Ukraine's capital Kiev said he sacked the head of the city's
zoo after he failed to find a "wife" for a male elephant, Ukrainian media
reported on Thursday. (Indian elephants take a dip in Siberian river -
Image gallery)
Kiev Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky said he sponsored the elephant through
Kiev zoo's sponsorship program, and his deputies are also involved in
the project.
"Today... I remembered that I feed the elephant 100,000 hryvnas
($13,000) per quarter or per month - I don't remember exactly," he was
quoted as saying by Ukraine's UNIAN news agency.
"He eats a lot," Chernovetsky went on. "He is single and needs a wife -
he is 30 years old and has no wife, although he is good

Zoo biologists help save endangered leopards
Clouded leopards are in danger with a declining number in the wild and
only 75 in North American zoos. But three Point Defiance Zoo &
Aquarium staff members are working tirelessly to ensure the long-term
survival of these shy, elusive cats in the wild and in zoos.
"There is still time to save these beautiful animals if we act quickly," said
zoo general curator Karen Goodrowe Beck.
This week, Goodrowe Beck and senior staff biologist Karen Povey will
travel to Bangkok, Thailand to help develop a regional conservation
action plan to protect wild clouded leopards in Southeast Asia. The first
ever international Clouded Leopard and Small Felid (Cat) Conservation
Summit will bring together more than 50 experts in field research,
wildlife trade, and community education to develop creative solutions
that address the needs of the wild cats and the people who live in the
Next month zoo biologist Andy Goldfarb will head to Chonburi, Thailand
where he will spend nine weeks at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo
overseeing its clouded leopard breeding program. Thirty-eight cubs have
been born and six have been imported to the United States to improve
the genetic diversity of clouded leopards in zoos since Thailand Clouded
Leopard Consortium launched the breeding program seven years ago.
Goodrowe Beck said the commitment and expertise of Povey, Goldfarb
and other staff will put the Tacoma zoo in a strong position to receive
clouded leopard cubs from the zoo-based breeding program in the
future. Point Defiance is already home to two 10-year-old clouded
leopards, Raja and Josie, who live behind the scenes.
"Our zoological staff have cared for hundreds of cats, including clouded
leopards, throughout their careers and are deeply committed to their
long-term survival," said Goodrowe Beck.
The upcoming trips to Thailand will be Povey's third and Goldfarb's fifth
on behalf of clouded leopards. All travel-related costs are paid through
grants and donations.
Goldfarb called his five stints at the zoo in Thailand "the hardest job I
have ever had by far." But he said he loves the work and does it for the
cats. "When people experience these animals up close, it inspires them
to work hard to save them," he said.
"Saving these rare wild cats will require creative problem-solving and

Lincoln Park Zoo awarded $1.5 million grant for new research institute
Urban Wildlife Institute will help mitigate wildlife and human conflicts in
Chicago; study zoonotic disease threats; serve as a model for other
urban areas
Chicago, Ill – Lincoln Park Zoo has been awarded a grant by The Davee
Foundation to establish a new research division, the Urban Wildlife
Institute, which will focus studies on the interactions between urban
dwellers and wildlife, and utilize sound science to create best practice
conflict resolution. The institute aims to integrate landscape and animal
ecology with epidemiology research to create a holistic approach to
ecosystem health as it applies to urban settings. The goal of the institute
is to use Chicago as a model for other urban areas struggling to deal
with wildlife relocation, rehabilitation, disease and conflicts.
"Urban sprawl is increasing wildlife and human interactions worldwide
and zoonotic disease threats are on the rise," said Urban Wildlife
Institute Director Eric Lonsdorf, PhD. "Current solutions for many wildlife
conflicts can be extreme, involving extermination or relocation. Our goal
is to integrate science with people's values to find more pragmatic
solutions. People are also becoming increasingly exposed to zoonotic
disease threats such as West Nile Virus, rabies and Avian Influenza; it's
important to understand the interactions between people and nature so
that real solutions can be established."
"We are very grateful for the support of Lincoln Park Zoo's scientific-
based conservation initiatives," said Lincoln Park Zoo President and CEO
Kevin J. Bell. "Thanks to the foundation's generosity in the past, the zoo
created a world-class epidemiology and endocrinology center and now
serves as an important national leader in the surveillance and
monitoring of emerging zoonotic diseases. With this recent generous
gift, the zoo is able to tackle the issues of human and wildlife conflict in
the face of urbanization, develop scientifically-proven solutions and help
Chicago serve as a role model for other cities."
The Urban Wildlife Institute is composed of scientific experts in
landscape ecology, population biology, epidemiology, endocrinology,
veterinary medicine and more. While still in the early developmental
stages, the institute has

Congo park reports 10 gorillas born in 16 months
The first census of critically endangered mountain gorillas carried out by
government authorities since rebels seized the area shows that 10
babies have been born in the last 16 months, wildlife officials said
The fragile habitat in the Central African highlands, which is home to
some of the world's last remaining mountain gorillas, was overrun in
2007 by rebels and soldiers and transformed into an off-limits war zone.
A deal between the insurgents and President Joseph Kabila's
administration late last year paved the way for staff who had fled the
fighting and rebel occupation to return to Virunga National Park.
In an eight-week census conducted by the Congolese Wildlife Authority
that ended last week, rangers found that 10 baby gorillas had been born
since August 2007.
It found the park's habituated population in Virunga National Park had
increased from 72 to 81, including the infants and two females that had
not been identified previously. However, three gorillas counted in the
park's 2007 census are now listed as missing, officials said.
"We're extremely encouraged but the threats remain," Virunga National
Park spokeswoman Samantha Newport said.
In the months before insurgents first seized the area in 2007, 10
mountain gorillas were killed by unidentified attackers.
It was the apes' bloodiest year on record since famed American
researcher Dian Fossey first began working in Congo in the mid-1960s
to save them. The rangers don't know for sure who

The Cost of the Biofuel Boom: Destroying Indonesia's Forests
The clearing of Indonesia's rainforest for palm oil plantations is having
profound effects – threatening endangered species, upending the lives
of indigenous people, and releasing massive amounts of carbon dioxide
into the atmosphere.
As a child, Matt Aman grew up in the lush tropical lowland rain forest of
Sumatra. Tigers padded through the underbrush, rarely seen and silent
as shadows. "It made my skin prickle," the indigenous leader recalled
recently as he sat on the floor of a stick hut surrounded by fellow
"When I was young, it was easy to find the mouse deer, monitor lizard,
and wild pigs," Aman said.
The birds were majestic, too, he said, as he nodded and lit a cigarette.
They filled the forest with a chorus of coos and trills that woke the Kubu
village every morning. "We never hear those birds anymore," Aman said.
It is easy to see why. The storybook forest of his youth, the great green
riot of reeds and vines, the cathedral-like thickets of fruit and hardwood
trees — all of it is gone. In its place, for mile after monotonous mile, is a
rollingPhoto Gallery
Tom KnudsonA lone stump is all that remains of this area of rain forest
in Sumatra that was cleared and planted for palm oil.carpet of palm
trees, not the kind that sway in the wind at Waikiki, but a shorter,
pudgier variety — the oil palm — that like corn and soybeans is rapidly
becoming one of the world's major sources of biofuel.
Not long ago, biofuels were billed as a green dream come true, a way to
burn less fossil fuel and shrink our carbon footprint. But today, mounting
evidence indicates that producing biofuels — particularly those derived
from food crops such as corn and oil palm — may be doing considerably
more harm to the planet than good, actually increasing greenhouse gas
emissions and driving up food prices worldwide.
Some of the most devastating costs of the biofuel revolution are on
display in Indonesia, where massive clearing of tropical forests for oil
palm plantations has caused staggering environmental damage and
tremendous loss of biodiversity. Only the Amazon and Africa's Congo
basin harbor more tropical forests than Indonesia, but the reality today
is that all three regions are seeing their rain forests disappear at an
alarming rate. And in the Amazon and Indonesia, growing world
demand for food and biofuel is now driving much of the damage.
A flurry of scientific field work and environmental reports have linked the
spread of oil palm plantations in Indonesia to the decimation of rain
forests, increased conflict between logging and oil palm interests and
rural and indigenous people, and massive CO2 emissions through
logging, burning, and the draining of carbon-rich peat lands. And most
of the trouble, as I learned on a recent visit, is

Elephant paternity mix-up at zoo
It turned out to be a case of "Who's the (big) daddy?"
Because today it emerged that an elephant credited with siring a yet-to-
be-born calf had nothing to do with the pregnancy.
Yesterday Colchester Zoo announced that Opal, a cow elephant at the
Stanway attraction, had become pregnant thanks to its bull elephant
Tembo, who has been at the zoo with Opal for 10 years, is already a
father of four - Kito, Jambo, Abu and Thabo-Umasi.
But it transpires that

Ebola outbreak has experts rooting for answers
When the Ebola Reston virus was discovered in pigs in the Philippines
last year, it marked the virus's first known foray outside primates, and
raised fears of a potential threat to human health.
Last week, a joint mission of 22 international health and veterinary
experts returned from investigating the outbreak with more questions
than answers about the virus's pathology and

Big cats at zoo adopted for Rs 20 lakh
Brahma and Anusuya will have no worries all their life. The two wild
cats at the Mysore Zoo have received Rs 20 lakh that will take care of
their needs all their life from yoga expert B K S Iyengar. The amount is
the highest to be donated by an individual towards animal adoption in
the Indian zoos.
Iyengar, who had adopted tigers Brahma and cub Anusuya for a period
of one year from December under the Mysore Zoo's animal adoption
scheme by paying

Young chimps can be more advanced than babies of same age
CHIMPANZEES have long been known for their ability to mimic humans.
Now scientists have found that baby chimps' mental development can be
even more advanced than children of the same age.
At nine months, the animals are just as curious and capable of
recognising carers and familiar objects as the average baby. When
compared with infants kept in isolated conditions in orphanages, the
animals are even more advanced.
The scientists who carried out the research believe their research also
provides valuable evidence that chimpanzees, like humans, thrive on
social interaction. The more intimate their contact with their carers, the
faster their brains develop.
Chimpanzees share about 96 per cent of their DNA,25197,24993119-2703,00.html

ESCAPE ARTIST: An Audubon Zoo orangutan boldly goes where no
orangutan has gone before -- over the wall
Using only a stretched green T-shirt and powerful upper-body strength,
a Sumatran orangutan named Berani escaped from his Audubon Zoo
enclosure Friday -- for about 10 minutes.
Employing a level of cunning that could have come from a prison movie,
the brownish-orange primate stretched the shirt, scaled a 10 1/2-foot
wall to the top of the moat, wrapped the shirt around

Safari Wildlife Park placed under Zoo admin's control
The Punjab government has renamed the Safari Wildlife Park as the
Lahore Zoo Safari, and has placed it under the Lahore Zoo
administration's control, sources told Daily Times on Saturday. They said
the new administration would levy the entry ticket to convert the safari
into a revenue-generating autonomous body.
Sources said the birds would be kept in their natural habitats instead of
in cages. They said the government had to bear expenditure of millions
of rupees to run the park, adding that the Punjab government's senior
administrative officers had decided to convert the park into a revenue-
generating institution after improving it to attract more customers. They
said the Punjab government has made

Zoo outpost on front line of research
At the top of a hill lying in the middle of a grassy plain, a female cheetah
seems to barely notice a vehicle full of enamored onlookers. Nearby,
scimitar-horned oryx graze and a clouded leopard stalks patiently back
and forth, waiting for a chance to find food.
But this is not your typical safari, and this scene is not set on the
savannahs of Africa or in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia.
Welcome to Virginia, home of the National Zoo's Conservation and
Research Center (CRC), where you'll find plenty of animals but far fewer

Little Rock Zoo Expansions
During tough economic times---state institutions we sometimes take for
granted can suffer.
New York's state budget, for example, includes cuts at the Bronx Zoo
and New York aquarium.
On the heels of a disappointing decision for the Little Rock Zoo an
agency desperate to expand. Could little

Teacher fought with tiger mauling his friend
An Auckland teacher has told how he fought to save his friend being
mauled by a tiger at a Thai tourist resort.
Daniel Charman was horrified when the semi-tame tiger called Pancake
attacked his friend Ruth Corlett, 45, as she posed for a picture with the
animal at the Khumsu Chiang Mai Tiger Centre.
The tiger, apparently trained so tourists can pat it, grabbed Mrs Corlett's
leg and tried to drag her away.
Mr Charman said the tiger lunged at his friend and grabbed her leg.
Mrs Corlett grabbed his leg as the tiger tried to drag her off.
"I'm a big guy and I never thought I'd say it, but it's nice to be big," he
told The Weekend Herald.
"My weight probably kept us both from being dragged away."
He said as the tiger locked its teeth around Mrs Corlett's leg he grabbed
its head.
"It seems a bit thick

The world's oldest Asian elephant, 86-year-old Lin Wang, seen cooling
off in this undated photo, died at the age of 86 yesterday at the Taipei
Zoo. Asian elephants usually live to be about 50 years old.
Lin Wang (林旺), Taipei City Zoo's star elephant,
decorated World War II veteran and the world's oldest Asian elephant in
captivity, died early yesterday morning at the zoo at the grand old age of
"Lin Wang was found dead by his pool at 2:30am yesterday. He died
with dignity from extreme weakness due to old age," said Lin Hua-ching
(林華慶), a city zoo section chief.
An autopsy later determined that he died from cardiopulmonary failure.
Lin Wang showed signs of frailty after the Lunar New Year holiday early
this month, moving slowly and eating less.
The zookeeper said the elephant had been observed spending unusually
long periods of time in the pool by his enclosure, known as the White
House, since last Friday.
"Though we knew his health was deteriorating, we're still surprised that
he has died so soon. But we take solace from the dignified way in which
he died -- the fact that he didn't experience a lot of pain," Lin said.
The zoo plans to have the body of the pachyderm stuffed and displayed
at the zoo, together with a reconstruction of his


Zoo death called preventable
An animal rights group is upset with the recent death of a turkmenian
markhor at the Calgary Zoo, calling the incident preventable.
The large, wild goat died Friday afternoon after becoming entangled
in a play toy.
Catherine doyle, a representative with California-based in defense of
animals, commended the zoo for using play toys that provide
enrichment, but noted there is tubing and hosing available to cover

Goat Takes Own Life; Hanged Itself at Zoo
The Calgary Zoo was unable to save an exotic wild goat after shocked
onlookers watched it hang itself accidentally when a rope used to
dangle a toy ball got tangled around its neck. One witness's attempt
to notify them was met with little concern.
"She said, 'Oh, they do that all the time,' and didn't really seem to
distressed about it," said Aubrey Williams, who felt help came too
slow. "It was quite a few minutes. It wasn't five. It was

Zoo officials rescue leopard trapped in bathroom after 8-hour
At 7 am on Sunday, panic gripped the residents the of GIDC colony
near Vallabh Vidyanagar after a male leopard in search of prey,
probably a dog, entered the area and injured a six-year-old boy in a
primary school. The predator finally entered the house of a security officer and got
trapped in the bathroom. It took Sayaji Baug zoo officials nearly
eight hours and two tranquiliser shots to bring the leopard under
control. They were later cheered at by the 5,000-odd residents of the
area. It may be mentioned here that there is no forest circle in
Anand district. This is the second such incident in two years. A similar incident had
occurred at Amitnagar Society of Karelibaug in Vadodara district,
when a young big cat had entered a bathroom and was rescued after a
five-hour long struggle. Another leopard had entered Mayo Hospital in
Vadodara, which was deserted several years ago.

Jaguars quarantined after zookeeper attacked
Two jaguars at the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo were in
quarantine Monday following an attack by at least one of them that
critically injured an animal care worker.
The woman was attacked around 11 a.m. Sunday while working in the
interior den area of the jaguar enclosure, the zoo said in a
When she called for help, staff moved the animals from the interior
den to the exterior exhibit area, the statement said. The woman was
given first aid by staff and emergency medical technicians before
being brought to Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltimore.
Zoo officials are investigating the attack. The zoo is in Thurmont,
about an hour outside Baltimore.
The worker suffered several bite wounds, according to Harold Domer,
Frederick County Animal Control director. There was never any risk to
anyone else, he said. The zoo is closed to the public for the season.
The attack occurred in an indoor area that has a steel door to the
outside exhibit area.
Domer said the worker was attacked by a male jaguar weighing between
180 and 200 pounds. He said animal control workers did not know for
sure if the second jaguar, a female, entered the indoor area or took
part in the attack.
According to Domer, an inspection Monday showed the door "has several
devices that allow the door to be locked." He called the safety
precautions "extremely adequate." I

Senior Ragunan Zoo curator speaks out for orangs
Ragunan Zoo senior curator Ulrike Freifrau von Mengden on December
30, 2008 for the second time in three years put her unpaid job and
her home inside the zoo at risk by speaking out on behalf of the
orangutans she has looked after ever since the zoo opened.
Prompting von Mengden's concern each time were the implications for
nearly 50 orangutans of a long-evolving deal whereby the Ragunan Zoo
is reportedly to acquire a female gorilla from the Howletts Wild
Animal Park in Britain in early 2009, in trade for 12 primates of
Indonesian species.
Brokered by Gibbon Foundation director Willie Smits, a Dutch-born
Indonesian resident, the exchange was disclosed in February 2006.
Five silvery gibbons and several Javan langurs were sent to Howletts.
Smits credited Howletts with curing the gibbons of diseases and
getting them out of small cages.
Preparations to receive the female gorilla are still underway,
Ragunan Zoo spokesperson Bambang Wahyudi recently told Mariani Dewi
of the Jakarta Post.
The female gorilla is expected to arrive after a Ragunan Zoo
veterinarian, a senior keeper, and a data base administrator complete
three months of training at Howletts. Their training started in
October 2008.
The series of animal swaps that are to culminate in the Ragunan Zoo
acquring the female gorilla began coincidental with the opening of
the Puck Schmutzer Primate Center in 2002, when Howletts sent four
young male gorillas to the Ragunan Zoo. Only three of the gorillas
have been mentioned in recent Ragunan Zoo announcements and media
coverage. The International Primate Protection League has
received a report that the missing

Southeast Asia's largest artificial sea inaugurated in Binh Duong
Dai Nam Sea is the largest artificial sea in Southeast Asia. It is
21.6ha, with a total water surface area of 20,000sq.m and coast of
1.4km long.
The artificial sea has beaches, with artificial waves up to 1.6m high.
The Dai Nam Sea will be opened for the public this lunar New Year.
The Lac Canh Dai Nam Van Hien project, which opened last September
after nearly ten years of construction, has become the largest-ever
tourism area in Vietnam. Located in Thu Dau Mot town, about 40km
northwest of HCM City, the sprawling complex includes man-made lakes,
rivers and mountains as well as a wide range of recreational
The company has invested VND1,800 billion, or some US$110 million, in
the first phase of the project. Facilities now available include a 9-
hectare temple area, a square, food and game areas, and open zoo.
Upon arriving at the complex visitors first see the Dai Nam Van Hien
Temple, one of the most important structures in the park. The temple
contains historical exhibits and is used as a place of worship.
Exhibits from various Vietnamese dynasties are on display there.
The site also has a 12.5-hectare open zoo, which is home to rhinos,
white lions, tigers, elephants, bears, ostriches, chamois

15 sharks die at Indianapolis Zoo
An entire species of shark has been wiped out at the Indianapolis
Zoo. The zoo says 15 sharks died overnight in their aquarium. They
say the cause was human error.
Bonnethead sharks used to live in an aquarium at the Indianapolis
Zoo. Now only two lone snapper are left after their 15 Bonnethead
neighbors died from too much ozone. The ozone is used to keep the
tank clean.
"It wasn't any kind of gross negligence or someone who didn't know
what they were doing. It was a real misunderstanding about the
location of a sensor," Paul Grayson with the Indianapolis Zoo said.
The zoo says on Monday, it had to shut down the ozone generator, and
a special sensor

Zoo Negara not ideal place to house pandas
SAHABAT Alam Malaysia (SAM) wishes to express its stand against the
proposed acquisition of giant pandas for Zoo Negara.
An astronomical sum of RM30mil for this exchange programme is
ridiculous and serious consideration should be given as to whether
Zoo Negara has the resources to sustain this animal for a long time.
Not forgetting that it has to maintain the services of the staff and
veterinarian and the pandas' special diet of bamboo.
After all, the zoo is always dependent on gate collections,
sponsorships and donations for the running of its large menagerie. So
should Zoo Negara spend such an enormous amount on acquiring the
The zoo is already overstocked with over 5,000 animals from about 450
species, many of which are high-profile animals.
The money should instead be channelled to manage the resident animals.
It is no secret that the zoo is sorely in need of space, development
of naturalistic exhibits and environmental enrichment.
Head swaying, pacing in circles,

Jack Hanna announces his support for the L.A. Zoo's controversial
elephant exhibit
Celebrity zookeeper Jack Hanna weighed in today on the hot topic of
Billy, the sole elephant resident at the L.A. Zoo. In a letter to
the L.A. City Council, Hanna pledged his support to the
controversial "Pachyderm Forest" project, which will cost $42 million
if completed as originally planned.
There's been a great deal of debate over Billy's living
arrangements. As our colleague Carla Hall reported last month,
construction on the Pachyderm Forest has been halted over concerns
not just over cost but also Billy's well-being:
"Our zoo is trying to do the best job they can with the real estate
they have and the budget they have," said Councilman Tony Cardenas,
who conceived the motion to stop construction of the exhibit and move
Billy to a sanctuary. "Elephants don't fit in zoos; they have
ailments they don't get out in the wild. Whether it's an acre or
three to four acres, it's inadequate."
Hanna writes about a tour he took of the Pachyderm Forest
construction site last month:
"What I [found] was a project taking shape that will set a new
standard for the care of elephants at zoos, providing a home that
will be even larger than what Asian elephants enjoy at the San Diego
Wild Animal Park. Not only will Billy and any future residents have
a huge amount of space in which to roam, they will continue to enjoy
24-hour monitoring, state-of-the-art medical care, love, nurturing
and a level

Slain Congolese ranger called 'exceptional'
Colleagues and bloggers are praising a park ranger shot dead last
week in Congo's Virunga National Park as a brave and committed
protector of gorillas.
Federal and local authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo
continue to probe the death Thursday night of Safari Kakule, who was
killed when Mai Mai rebels attacked a ranger station in the northern
section of the park -- a refuge for rare gorillas.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss," said Virunga National Park
Director Emmanuel de Merode.
In a tribute on a blog on the park's Web site, de Merode
wrote, "Safari was an exceptional ranger" who had worked with
gorillas for several years.
"Recently he had trained as a para-vet, and he was expected to play

Huge Population Of Endangered Asian Elephants Living In Malaysian Park
New data released by the Wildlife Conservation Society and Malaysia's
Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) reveals that a
population of endangered Asian elephants living in a Malaysian park
may be the largest in Southeast Asia.
WCS and DWNP researchers estimate that there are 631 Asian elephants
living in Taman Negara National Park – a 4,343 square kilometer
(1,676 square mile) protected area in the center of Peninsular
Malaysia. The new results confirm the largest-known population of
elephants remaining in Southeast Asia.
The WCS/DWNP team counted elephant dung piles to estimate population
size—a scientifically proven technique that produces accurate
figures. There were no previous scientific population surveys for
elephants in the park, according to DWNP and WCS.
"The surveys reveal the importance of Taman Negara in protecting
wildlife especially those species that need large home ranges. DWNP
will continue to safeguard this national park, which is the crown
jewel of Malaysia's protected areas system. The numbers of elephants
is testament to the importance of the park in protecting wildlife,"
said Dato' Rasid, Director-General of the Department of Wildlife and
National Parks.
"This new survey shows that Taman Negara National Park is one of the
great strongholds for Asian

Hair Of Tasmanian Tiger Yields Genes Of Extinct Species
All the genes that the exotic Tasmanian Tiger inherited only from its
mother will be revealed by an international team of scientists in a
research paper to be published on 13 January 2009 in the online
edition of Genome Research. The research marks the first successful
sequencing of genes from this carnivorous marsupial, which looked
like a large tiger-striped dog and became extinct in 1936.

Zoo has optimism for 2009
Director clarifies orangutan issue
After surviving a tumultuous 2008, The Zoo Northwest Florida begins
the new year with a renewed sense of optimism and determination.
The Zoo suffered several financial crises in 2008 that forced it to
rely on volunteer efforts, government grants totaling $275,000 and a
large private donation to remain open.
The private donation from an unnamed donor in Connecticut made The
Zoo a target of criticism from the Association Zoological Aquariums
(AZA) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
The two organizations were concerned about The Zoo's intentions to
separate a 3- year-old orangutan, Indah, from her mother, Sara, in
return for a $100,000 loan to cover The Zoo's operating costs.
The AZA has developed Species Survival Plans (SSP) as guidelines to
manage the populations of endangered species in captivity. The
orangutan SSP recommends that a mother and child not be separated
until the child is seven or eight years old.
Danyelle Lantz, executive director of the animal park, explained that
the donor intends to be a long-term investor in The Zoo and that the
baby orangutan would only leave under a worst-case scenario.
"She has a private zoo herself, and she's very blessed in her
financial situation," Lantz said. "She has both the passion for
animals and the financial means to step in and help, so she is
working with the private owners of the zoo to try and get the debt
paid off.
"We worked out a loan that is set up with a demand note with the baby
orangutan as collateral. If she's able to work out the deal with the
owners, the baby orangutan will never leave the zoo, and that's what
we're really hoping for."
In a letter to Lantz, a representative of PETA urged The Zoo to
cancel the "heartless and immensely cruel plan." The letter went on
to say that separating the mother and child would "surely leave the 3-
yearold with lifelong emotional scars."
Lantz disagrees.
"Is it ideal? No, and my analogy is if you were 13 and your parents
sent you to a boarding school," Lantz explained. "Is it ideal? No,
but could you still end up at Harvard? Yes. It's kind of the same
thing. It's not the same love and care as being in mom's arms until
you're seven, but it's not detrimental to the baby, mother or the
father to separate them at this point."
Chuck Emling, owner of The Club Family Sports in

UAE Helps Arabian Oryx Return to Natural Habitat
wenty Arabian Oryx will be released back into their natural habitat
in Jordan in March, as per the instructions of General Shaikh
Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy
Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Arabian Oryx had disappeared from the area seven decades ago.
Eight Oryx males and 12 females will be released in Wadi Rum
Protected Area, as part of the sponsorship agreement that was signed
between the Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi (EAD), which chairs the
Coordinating Committee for Conservation of Arabian Oryx, and Al Aqaba
Special Economic Zone Authority in April 2007.
Fifteen were transferred to Jordan last weekend and five more will be
transferred in the next two weeks.
Fifteen animals were transferred to Amman in a military aircraft, in
coordination with the UAE Armed Forces, while Al Ain Wildlife Park
and Resort prepared the Oryx for release, by conducting medical
checkup and administering the necessary vaccinations.
The 20 animals, which are the first to be released in Wadi Rum, will
be placed in enclosures to allow them the opportunity to adapt to the
desert habitat.
Majid Al Mansouri, Secretary-General of EAD, said reintroducing the
Arabian Oryx into its natural habitats in Jordon is part of the UAE's
effort to conserve these species, which is not only endangered but
also an important part of the Arabian peninsula's heritage.
"All of these efforts are translation of the vision and wise
directives of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al
Nahyan, and inspired by the legacy of the Late Shaikh Zayed bin
Sultan Al Nahyan."
Al Mansouri also pointed out that the vision

Helpful rodents join Safari team
A PAIR of life-saving baby rats are the latest arrivals at Knowsley
Safari Park.
Desperate Dan and Independent Eddy are Giant Pouched Rats which can
grow up to three feet long and be trained to sniff out explosives and
a killer disease.
The pair are used to find land mines in Mozambique and test people
for tuberculosis (TB) in neighbouring Tanzania.
The rats can smell 150 samples of human saliva to test for TB in just
30 minutes, whereas a doctor can test only 20 samples a day.
Similarly they are trained to wear a harness and lead their trainers
to land mines buried in the earth

Elephants pack trunks for zoo
Belfast Zoo is to become a "retirement home" for female elephants.
The zoo is already home to 44-year-old Tina, and she will soon be
joined by other elderly, non-breeding female elephants.
The zoo said it was likely that some of the elephants would be from a
circus background.
In preparation, international elephant expert Alan Roocroft is
spending four days with the elephant team at the zoo to advise on the
challenges of elephant retirement.
Mr Roocroft has over 46 years experience in managing elephants,
including 19 years in the world famous, San Diego Wild Animal Park
and Zoo.
"We want to create habitats for our elderly females. I am using my
knowledge to create an environment with more enrichment activity," he
In 2008, the zoo implemented a form of contact with elephants known
as protective contact.
This gives elephant's complete freedom of movement within the
confines of the enclosure and means

Fewer Mountain Gorillas Than Believed
Bad news from Uganda: the mountain gorilla population in the Bwindi
Impenetrable National Park is smaller than previously estimated.
Until recently, environmentalists believed 336 gorillas resided in
the park. Now it looks like the number has dropped to 302.
Why the change? The population numbers are usually collected by
counting nests and examining the dung left outside each site. Every
gorilla builds a nest and before leaving home in the morning,
defecates outside. It seemed like a good way to count the animals
with minimal human disturbance. But a new genetic method of counting
yields different numbers. A team from the Max Planck Institute for
Evolutionary Anthropology in Liepzig, Germany tested DNA samples from
each of the dung piles and found the number of gorillas dropped by
ten percent.
"We assumed that each individual constructs a single nest, but
genetic analysis shows that several individuals construct more than
one nest," says Katerina Guschanski, head of the German research
team. Like lowland gorillas

Highland Wildlife Park to receive some new residents from JapanThe
Highland Wildlife Park is making room for some new arrivals from
Edinburgh Zoo.
The Highland Wildlife Park is making room for some new arrivals from
Edinburgh Zoo.
A family group of breeding Japanese serow, which is related to both
the mountain goat and antelope, are to be established at the popular
attraction by Kincraig.
These animals are found in the conifer forests in the highlands of
Japan, where humans encroaching on their habitat and the popularity
of hunting have made them an endangered species.
The Japanese Government intervened and has placed the serow on the
international endangered animal register to protect them.
Doug Richardson, head of animal collections at Kincraig, told the
Strathspey and Badenoch Herald: "We will be putting the serow in with
the Macaque monkeys.
"It will be a very interesting combination, and one that

Zoo's pride as lions that dodged missiles prepare for parenthood
Cowering in the toilets as the missiles fell, Saher and Sabrina
narrowly escaped becoming casualties of the 23-day conflict.
Nearly all their fellow inhabitants had died. This week the couple
were rescued, starving, afraid — and ready to become parents. "It is
a miracle they survived. Any day she will give birth and she is in a
very delicate state," said Abu Jameel Qassim, 42.
But although it was possible to discern yesterday that Sabrina was an
expectant mother, she was less than forthcoming about the details of
her ordeal. That was because Sabrina and her partner are the pride of
Gaza Zoo: lions.
The two are in a cage while their larger pen is repaired after a
missile tore a hole through its main fence. The cats had slipped
through and ate some of the other

Zoo's penguin afraid of water
Keepers at a British zoo said a resident penguin with a fear of water
has become a hit with curious park visitors.
Staff at Blackbrook Zoological Park in Leek, England, said 11-year-
old Kentucky the Humbolt penguin developed a phobia of water because
he was born a runt and had problems with losing feathers too quickly,
making the water too cold for his comfort, The Sun reported Thursday.
"It's a bit too cold for him in the water, so he spends all his time
on the rocks just walking around," said Adam Stevenson, the zoo's
assistant bird keeper. "It's a bit of a pain having to go over
especially to him to feed him because he won't go in the water, but
he's a real character and everyone at the zoo loves him. W

Baby ape takes flight -- monkey business class
A baby ape born in the UK is settling into a new life in a German zoo
after flying from Birmingham to Frankfurt -- monkey business class.
The three-month old male bonobo -- who is to be fostered by a family
of German apes after being rejected by his natural mother -- was
considered too young and too fragile to travel cargo class, a
spokeswoman for the UK's Twycross Zoo told CNN.
Instead, the tiny ape named Bili checked in for the Lufthansa flight
with special travel documents -- including a fake passport in the
name of "Bili the Bonobo" -- before taking a seat in the cabin
alongside a handler from Frankfurt Zoo, who had flown over to
accompany him on his unusual journey.
"He was with his keeper

Rare, endangered primate born at Houston Zoo
There's a new baby lemur at the Houston Zoo.
Zoo officials say the as yet unnamed baby Coquerel's sifaka was born
Jan. 6 and is doing fine. The Houston Zoo is one of only five in the
country that are home to the rare and endangered sifaka. It is the
first such birth for the zoo as well as for the proud parents, mom
Zenobia and dad Dean.
The large arboreal, acrobatic lemurs are found only in Madagascar, an
island nation off the southeastern coast of Africa in the India

Wolf escapes from zoo by gnawing out of enclosure
A wolf escaped from a zoo after gnawing her way out of her enclosure
and was only discovered missing when a member of the public drove
An investigation has been launched into how the wolf was able to
escape at Combe Martin Wildlife Park, Devon.
Zoo officials believe she had been outside the park perimeter for
around half an hour.
It is thought she may have become frightened and bit her way through
the thick wire enclosure in a fit of terror.
Combe Martin Wildlife Park spokesman Kat Whitehouse-Tedd
said: "During the incident, park authorities said at no time had the
wolf posed any sort of threat to humans or other animals and had not
been in any danger herself."
She added: "We think she'd been digging, trying to get out, but she
obviously couldn't because the wire goes right under the enclosure,
so she chewed her way through.
"We think something must have spooked her but we don't know what."
The two other wolves who lived in the same enclosure made no attempt
to escape, and Mrs Whitehouse-Tedd said the female wolf was pacing
the outside of the enclosure when staff found her, searching for her
way back in.
Mrs Whitehouse-Tedd said all the enclosures were checked last thing
on Sunday evening, and nothing was wrong with the wolves, so the
incident must have happened overnight on Sunday to Monday morning.
As soon as they became aware the wolf was

Feeding time at Jakarta's Ragunan Zoo: What's on the menu?
In the Schmutzer Primate Center at Ragunan Zoo, two male orangutans,
six females and three babies share two hectares of land.
The 11 orangutans eat a breakfast of corn cobs, bananas, oranges and
other fruits at 8 a.m. The food is scattered about the enclosure.
At lunch, they are fed again. This time peanuts are added to the mix.
They return to their cage at around 4 p.m. to be given another
portion of mixed fruits.
The orangutans - Zidane, Putu, Pinky, Inah, Midah, Mada, Vonny, Bili,
Milo, Ziko and Olive - have three zookeepers caring for them.
The gorillas - Kimbo, Komu and Kihi - are even better-off.
They share a one-hectare island.
The gorillas are owned by Howletts Wild Animal Park of Canterbury,
Four gorillas came to Ragunan in 2002. In early 2008, the youngest of
them, Kijoum, 11, died.
Mimi Utami, the zoo's general curator, says Kijoum died from a
stomach illness triggered by stress.
Kijoum, she says, was bullied by the dominant gorilla, Kimbo, who was
entering maturity with no female in sight.
The three remaining apes have four meals a day, says one keeper.
A typical breakfast for them is bread and milk. At 9 a.m, and 3 p.m.,
they eat fruit. And at 4 p.m, they devour a dinner of boiled eggs,
potatoes and broccoli, mixed with mint leaves or cilantro, to keep
them warm at night.
Mimi says each gorilla and orangutan receives about 10 percent of
their weight in food each day. An adult orangutan can weigh between
100 and 150 kilograms, she adds.
The primates living outside the center eat exactly the same menu,
depending on their species, she says.

Endangered Arabian leopard's hopes of survival get a boost
Crouching behind a rock, Hector, a four-year-old Arabian leopard,
eyes onlookers suspiciously.
Three months after arriving at Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort he is
still a little shy around visitors.
Hector was born in captivity at the Breeding Centre for Endangered
Arabian Wildlife in Sharjah. So far, his contact with humans has
mostly been limited to a keeper and veterinary staff.
If he settles well in Al Ain, Hector's caretakers plan to bring in a
female leopard from another centre in the Middle East for him to
breed with. The park is the newest member of a network of facilities
in the Middle East dedicated to boosting the endangered Arabian
leopard population by loaning each other animals for breeding.
The long-term aim of the facilities, which include a wildlife resort
in Saudi Arabia, two in Yemen and another in Muscat, is to
reintroduce the species to safe areas in the wild.
A senior official at the Al Ain park said staff tried to make sure
Hector's new home resembled the natural environment and landscape of
his original habitat.
"They are from hilly areas historically," he said. "They once lived
here at Jebel Hafeet and in the north of the UAE, some areas of Oman,
Yemen and Saudi Arabia."
Hector has already been taking interest in his new home and seems to
be slowly gaining confidence.
"Before he was hiding all of the time but now we see him walking
around the area," said the official. "He collects his food from the
rocks and takes it into the back room, usually, to eat it."
There are only about 250 wild Arabian

Fourteen die in storms across France and Spain as a million lose power
President Sarkozy sent troops to help to restore services to more
than a million homes in southwest France yesterday after the fiercest
storms in a decade killed 14 people in France and Spain.
Mr Sarkozy, who visited the scenes of destruction in Bordeaux, said
that the army would help electricity workers and emergency services
to get life back to normal after roads and railways were closed and
falling trees cut power supplies across the region.
The worst storm since December 1999 blew in from the Atlantic and
across southwestern France and northern Spain, ripping off roofs and
flattening thousands of trees. Hundreds of generators were being
delivered to retirement homes and other priority sites to tide them
over until power returned. The French weather agency Météo-France
asked residents to stay indoors.
The highest number of casualties was in Spain, where four children
were killed when part of a sports hall collapsed on them when they
sought shelter from 150km/h (93mph) winds on Saturday afternoon. They
had been pla


Tigers get own ID cards
Tiger identification cards will be issued for captive tigers at
private farms and zoos nationwide to help authorities verify the
protected animals' sources of origin.
The ID card will be accompanied with a photograph of the tiger's skin
print, which is a unique characteristic of each tiger.
"A tiger's skin print is like a human's fingerprints. In foreign
countries, wildlife authorities use the skin print to prove a tiger's
origin in an illegal wildlife trade case," said Saksit Simcharoen,
director of the wildlife protection division in Nakhon Sawan province.
Mr Saksit last year led a team of officials to make skin-print
profiles of 30 tigers raised at Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno
forest monastery, better known as the Tiger Temple, in Kanchanaburi
province to help monitor its tiger population.
A wildlife protection group has asked the authorities to check the
tiger population at the temple for fear they might be sold to
wildlife traders.
Temple officials claimed the first 10 tigers

Male Cheetah Bark Triggers Female Ovulation
Male cheetahs turn females on¡ªliterally.
That's because a specific bark triggers the female reproductive
system to release eggs, researchers have found.
Unlike other cat species, female cheetahs ovulate rarely and at
unusual times. They also lack a regular reproductive cycle.
All this makes them tough to breed in captivity. (See a photo of the
first cheetah cubs born at Washington, D.C.'s National Zoo.)
But now, scientists know why¡ªand the discovery may boost efforts to
breed the rare cats.
A team of bioacoustics experts studying cheetah vocalizations
stumbled onto the discovery.
They noticed that the

Rare tree kangaroo species has twins at Neb. zoo
Nebraska zookeepers are seeing double and they're thrilled about it,
with the birth of twins to a rare species of tree kangaroo.
Twin joeys were born last month at the Lincoln Children's Zoo to
Matschie's tree kangaroos Milla and her mate Noru. They were found in
Milla's pouch last month, and count as two of the four documented
Matschie's tree kangaroo births last year.
Kansas City Zoo zookeeper Jacque Blessington says only about 50 of
the animals exist in North America. In the wild, they live

Unwanted exotic animals find refuge at South Florida zoos
The Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park is full of animals the zoo didn't
"We get calls all the time from people wanting to donate animals,"
said Keith Lovett, the zoo's director of living collections.
"You're never going to get a lecture," Lovett said. "(But) don't just
drop them off at the door or release them in the wild."
Sophie, for example, grew up in a Martin County living room. A family
found the deer in the wild and presumed she was an orphan. More
likely, Lovett said, the mother left her briefly to forage for food.
"It was only 16 pounds," he said. "Small for a deer. Big for a living
On top of that, he said, "you're not going to house-train a deer."
Some animals are brought to the zoo after they get loose. Very
rarely, someone will claim an animal

Theft of swiftlet nests soars
Thefts of swiftlet nests have risen since border patrol police
stopped protecting the nesting grounds in Pak Phayun district.
A source with the 434th provincial border patrol company said border
police sent to guard the nesting grounds on Koh See and Koh Ha
islands may have colluded with thieves to steal the nests.
Others said they face too many regulatory restrictions in doing their
job and the first source said the unit had now decided to stop
protecting the nesting grounds. It will be replaced by security
The thefts have resulted in losses estimated at 100 million baht a
Although local police, administration officers, border patrol police,
forest rangers and security volunteers were mobilised to prevent
bird's nest thefts, they were mostly unsuccessful.
"To date, 190 thefts of swiftlet bird's nests have taken place," the
source said.
"Some government officials are probably complicit

Activists call on Kaohsiung to turn down white tigers
Showing video footage of a Leofoo Wild Animal Park staffer throwing
stones at a pregnant tiger, animal rights activists yesterday called
on Kaohsiung City Government to turn down two white tigers offered by
a Chinese zoo to the city-owned Soushan Zoo and on Hsinchu County to
block Leofoo from breeding the species.
¡°Tigers are listed as Appendix I animals in CITES [the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora]
and should not be traded or bred for purposes other than research or
education,¡± Chen Yu-min (ê?ÓñÃô) of the Environment and Animal
Society of Taiwan (EAST) told a press conference in Taipei.
CITES is an intergovernmental agreement to ensure that the trading of
animals and plants does not hurt their prospects for survival.
Breeding white tigers has been condemned by most international
conservation experts because the offspring are often genetically
defective and die shortly after birth, she said.
Quoting Rob Laidlaw, the director of Canadian animal

Zoo boss blames downturn for delay in producing park strategy plan
ZOO boss David Gill has defended himself after failing to fulfil a
council demand.
Last January, Barrow Borough Council ordered Mr Gill to draw up a
collection plan for his South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Dalton by
October 31, 2008.
The council expected Mr Gill to explain in the plan what animals he
intended to keep at the zoo in the future, the reasons for those
choices and what likely contributions they would make in terms of
education, conservation and research.
But almost a year later, Mr Gill had still not produced the plan. Mr
Gill said: ¡°The collection plan is a paper exercise that is a
flexible document to show a longer term strategy for the zoo. It has
no bearing on the daily operations and is an ¡®attempt to see into
the future¡¯. When we had our full inspection last year, I did not
produce a new plan because of potential major changes to the
collection that were likely in the future.
¡°The inspectors agreed and suggested it be completed within the
year, with the assumption

Dolphins head to sea but turn back to sanctuary
The survivors of a group of dolphins living in a New Jersey river
have returned after briefly heading toward the sea.
Three of the five dolphins returned to the Shrewsbury River after
they were spotted Saturday in Sandy Hook Bay.
The Marine Mammal Stranding Centre says they were apparently
frightened by construction noise near the bay.
Four dolphins tried to cross again Sunday but turned back, although
it wasn't clear why.
Three dolphins had been confirmed dead out of the original group of
16 that spent the summer and fall in the

Gaza: IDF uncovers booby-trapped school, zoo
Explosive device rigged with timer neutralized by soldiers before
detonation; RPG launchers, grenades, AK-47 assault rifles found
inside school
IDF forces operating in Gaza on Sunday uncovered an explosive device
rigged with a timer that hidden in a Palestinian school. A fuse
attached to the explosives extended to a zoo located dozens of yards
The soldiers managed to neutralize,7340,L-3654407,00.html

Tokyo zoo may save monkeys' lives
The Ueno Zoo in Tokyo is ready to accept custody of nearly 20 macaque
monkeys at risk of being euthanized for chowing down on farm crops,
sources say.
The unidentified sources said the zoo appears set to house the
monkeys facing a possible death penalty in Aomori Prefecture for
causing significant damage to regional crops, The Yomiuri Shimbun
reported Sunday.
While the simians are designated as national treasures in Japan,
their destructive feeding habits led prefectural officials to request
permission from the Cultural Affairs Agency to reduce their numbers.
The prefectural government was granted

Gorillas go from Garden of England to African park
Three baby gorillas are thriving since leaving the Garden of England
for the wilds of an African nature reserve.
Tiya, who was born at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park near Hythe, was
only five-months-old when she was flown out to Gabon last June along
with two-year-olds Kouki and Oudiki, from Howletts zoo near
The young western lowland gorillas are being gradually released into
the Bat¨œk¨œ Plateau National Park co-managed by the Aspinall
Foundation, which also runs Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Park.
Amos Courage, overseas project director for the charity, visited the
gorilla sanctuary in December.
¡°They are all very well and adapting to

Pangolins worth RM120,000 seized
About one hundred pangolins worth RM120,000 were seized from a boat
at Sungai Sarang Buaya estuary in Muar.
Johor Baru Maritime operations director commander Abdul Razak Johan
said a maritime boat detected something amiss about the boat last
¡°When our officers tried to approach the boat, it sped towards the
Sungai Sarang Buaya estuary. ¡°The tekong of the boat jumped into the
sea and escaped into the swamp as soon as our boat overtook his,¡± he
said during a press conference recently.
He said the pangolins were believed to be from Indonesia because they
had a different scale colour compared to those found in Malaysia.
¡°Panglions are protected animals and this case will be investigated
under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972,¡± he said.
He also said that they the Department

Zookeepers to City Council: Let Billy the elephant stay at the zoo
L.A. Zoo animal keepers are the latest group adding their voices to
the debate over Billy, the zoo's lone elephant. They appealed Monday
to city officials to vote to complete the zoo's planned $42-million
Pachyderm Forest. (Construction on Pachyderm Forest was halted in
early December; the City Council is expected to make a final decision
on whether to continue the project this Friday.)
The keepers say they have Billy's best interests at heart and are
firmly convinced that the zoo is the best place for him. At a
sanctuary, they say, Billy would have less exercise and fewer
mentally stimulating opportunities than he has at the zoo. The
Times' Carla Rivera explains:
The keepers, with a combined 71 years of tending to elephants, said
they are uniquely qualified to know what is best for Billy. They said
their jobs are not at stake because they could tend to other animals
if the exhibit is not completed.
In a refuge or sanctuary, a young bull typically would be separated
from the female herd to mirror conditions in the wild and prevent
breeding, the keepers said. At the zoo, cows could be acquired for
Billy to breed with, helping to ensure preservation of his line and
the species, said zookeeper Vicky Guarnett.
"We know this animal and we love this animal," Guarnett said in an
interview after the morning news conference in front of the zoo's
current elephant exhibit. "He has not fathered another

Sarajevo Zoo renovations aim to draw tourists
The Sarajevo Zoo, founded in 1951, sprawls over 8.5ha of land. Before
the Balkan conflict, it boasted 150 animal species. The siege of
Sarajevo from 1992 to 1994 devastated the zoo. Animals starved to
death or fell victim to artillery or sniper fire. The last animal, a
bear, died in 1992.
In 1999, the first new animals arrived at the zoo as management began
renovations and expansion in an effort to attract visitors.
Currently, the zoo houses about 38 animal species, including apes,
pythons, llamas, ostriches, snakes -- most notably a boa constrictor -
- deer and elk, buffalo, various waterfowl and other

That¡¯s the wonder of a Woolly monkey
DIEGO sports a tiny nappy and rubs his face against his ¡°mother¡¯s¡±
This tiny bundle of fur represents hope for his whole species.
He is the third Woolly Monkey to be hand-reared by Dr Alison Cronin
at Monkey World near Wool.
Their habitat is under threat but breeding in captivity has proved
very difficult.
¡°They are simply dying off,¡± said Dr Cronin. ¡°They suffer badly
from high blood pressure and females often die in pregnancy.
¡°Monkey World is probably the only zoological garden left in the
world with increasing numbers of Woolly Monkeys.¡±
Monkey World has two thriving groups of Woolly Monkeys and Dr Cronin
is asking the European

Zoos, aquariums face the ax in New York
Even porcupines could get pink slips in the slumping economy as
states consider cutting or eliminating funding that supports zoos,
aquariums and botanical gardens.
As part of his plan to help New York address a potential $15.4
billion budget shortfall, Gov. David Paterson has called for cutting
funding for the Zoo, Botanical Garden and Aquarium Program from $9
million to $4 million in the state's 2009 budget and for eliminating
funding in 2010.
"We can't fire our bears or furlough our sea lions," said John
Calvelli, executive vice president of public affairs for the Wildlife
Conservation Society, which operates the Central Park and Bronx zoos
and the New York Aquarium in Brooklyn, among others.
New York isn't the only place where hard financial times threaten
government support for zoos, aquariums and gardens, known
collectively as "living museums."
In California, city council members ordered work halted late last
year on a new $42 million elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo
because of the city's fiscal woes. In North Carolina, state lawmakers
recently told the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro it won't get $4
million for repairs and new exhibits because of a budget shortfall.
Last year, city leaders slashed the Kansas City Zoo's budget by 20
percent, while The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore closed four weeks early
this winter to save money and offset budget cuts from the state
Legislature. In Florida, state lawmakers cut $2 million for manatee
hospitals at Lowry Park Zoo, SeaWorld and the Miami Seaquarium.
Living museums typically operate on a variety of funding from
government, philanthropic organizations, corporations, and admission
and sales revenues, said Steve Feldman, executive director of the
Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a Maryland-based organization that
accredits zoos and aquariums.
"It's been more difficult for some than others, depending on their
mix," Feldman said. "But nearly all are being forced to cut back on
spending and costs. The largest and deepest cuts at the state level,
though, have come in New York."
Combined, New York's living museums had mo

Dublin Zoo has record visitor year of 931,866
DUBLIN ZOO reported a record number of visitors last year.
The zoo, which celebrated the new year with the birth of a baby
giraffe on January 4th, attracted 931,866 visitors in 2008, 26,000
more than in 2007 which was in itself a record year. The zoo believes
a baby boom last year helped it to record figures.
Some of the births last year included Budi, the first bull elephant
in Ireland; Zukiszwa, the southern white rhinoceros

Zoo chief could be named OPM director
John Berry, director of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, is
close to being named head of the Office of Personnel Management.
A Tuesday morning report in The Washington Post said President-elect
Barack Obama had offered the top job to Berry and that he had
accepted it. Zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson said that as of
Tuesday morning that characterization was inaccurate. But later in
the day she confirmed that "things have progressed significantly" on
the nomination front, though any official announcement would come
from Obama's transition team.
The Obama transition team said they would not comment on nominations
prior to official announcements.
Michael Orenstein, a spokesman for the

Lion expert kicks off conservation lecture series at Oregon Zoo
There was a time when lions' tracks could be found by day and their
calls could be heard at night across Sub-Saharan Africa. Sadly, that
simply isn't true anymore. Ten years ago, lions were abundant in much
of East Africa. Now, outside of the biggest parks and reserves, lions
and other great predators are disappearing at alarming rates.
Laurence Frank, a wildlife biologist with the University of
California at Berkeley, discusses how to reverse this process when he
kicks off the 2009 Wildlife Conservation Lecture Series on Tuesday,
Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. at the Oregon Zoo.
In his lecture "Living With Lions," Frank discusses Lion Guardians, a
program that works with young

Palm oil frenzy threatens to wipe out orangutans
Hoping to unravel the mysteries of human origin, anthropologist Louis
Leakey sent three young women to Africa and Asia to study our closest
relatives: It was chimpanzees for Jane Goodall, mountain gorillas for
Dian Fossey and the elusive, solitary orangutans for Birute Mary
Nearly four decades later, Galdikas, 62, the least famous of
his "angels," is the only one still at it. And the red apes she
studies in Indonesia are on the verge of extinction because forests
are being clear-cut and burned to make way for lucrative palm oil
Galdikas worries many questions may never be answered. How long do
orangutans live in the wild? How far do the males roam? And how many
mates do they have in their lifetime?
"I try not to get depressed, I try not to get burned out," says the
Canadian scientist, pulling a wide-rimmed jungle hat over her
shoulder-length gray hair in Tanjung Puting National Park. She gently
leans over to pick up a tiny orangutan, orphaned when his mother was
caught raiding crops.
"But when you get up in the air you start gasping in horror; there's
nothing but palm oil in an area that used to be plush rain forest.
Elsewhere, there's burned-out land, which now extends even within the
borders of the park."
The demand for palm oil is rising in the U.S. and Europe because it
is touted as a "clean" alternative to fuel. Indonesia is the world's

Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort moves into site preparation phase
The Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR) has announced the recent
demolition of a landmark structure, the Houbara Aviary, originally
built for the Al Ain Zoo.
The crushed composition will be recycled and used to build the new
project, as the AWPR moves site preparation into initial phase.
'Through the destruction and recycling of this building, we intend to
create a monument to environmental sustainability which we owe to
Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan,' said Majid Al Mansoori, Managing Director,
'As sustainability is the key value to our development, it is our
mission to become the pride of our community by providing a world
class destination, where cultures, people and wildlife live in
harmony,' added Al Mansoori.
The Aviary was built in the 1970's and since then, has been home to
the legendary Houbara Bustard. Recognised as a landmark of the city
of Al Ain for years, the structure (800m long, 30m wide and 10m high)
was built to allow the elusive species to breed in a quasi-natural
It was in the aviary that the first ever breeding of the birds was
recorded in the UAE, which took place in 1982. In 1990, when the
Houbara Bustard breeding was transferred to the National Avian
Research Centre

Zoo 'first' to breed dragon fish
An endangered species of fish, known as dragon fish, has been bred at
Bristol Zoo Gardens, thought to be the first zoo in Europe to
Only eight individual dragon fish are thought to be housed in UK
zoos - four at Bristol zoo and four at Chester Zoo.
Jonny Rudd, from Bristol Zoo, said: "According to Zoo records, no
dragon fish have ever been bred in Europe. This could even be a world
The pair of dragon fish at Bristol Zoo have produced 15 fry
Jonny Rudd, assistant curator of the aquarium at Bristol Zoo,
said: "Dragon fish are notoriously

Wildlife Park loses young Bengal tiger: Death sparks controversy
A young Bengal tiger died at the Lahore Wildlife Park on Wednesday,
creating unrest among officials amid conflicting claims about the
cause of its death.Wildlife Park Deputy Director Shafqat says the
tiger was found dead at the Safari on Wednesday evening. It did not
have any wounds or scratches on its body. A year and eight months
old, it was one of those three tigers which were born at the park.
Quoting doctors at the Veterinary Research Institute, he said the
tiger died of a cardiac arrest. He, however, added that a snake might
have bitten the tiger; something the doctors have been rejecting so
far. A postmortem report would be issued in the next few days, he
"I have doubts that the tiger might have been bitten by a snake, but
doctors' early findings say it was a cardiac arrest." As for the
value (market price) of the tiger, he said: "In the wildlife
department the price of a Bengal tiger is not determined."
Sources, in the meantime, corroborated the claim that

Zoo statues aren't images of Buddha, expert says
The statues of "Buddha" at the Kansas City Zoo that are offensive to
an Overland Park man are not images of Buddha at all, according to a
local lama.
"I have seen them," said Lama Chuck Stanford, executive and spiritual
director of the Rime Buddhist Center & Monastery. "They are statues
of Ho Tai, the patron saint of children in China and Japan. He is
closer to Santa Claus."
David Engle, who said he and his family are Christians, was offended
when he recently saw people rubbing the bellies and heads of the
statues at the entrance to the Tiger Trail area of the

Dream job spreads a little animal magic
MARIE Conway reckons she has a dream job ˆ visiting schools,
children's parties and homes for the elderly with a variety of
domestic and exotic creatures to promote a wider understanding of
After studying hard for a degree in Animal Management and Behav-iour,
Marie realised that more hands-on animal experience was what she
She said: "I really enjoyed the practical work while I was studying
and so after getting my degree I moved away and worked at different

Feces-Throwing Monkey On The Loose In Florida City
He's not exactly the Incredible Hulk, but you won't like him when
he's angry.
Officials in Tampa Bay, Florida are on the hunt for a rhesus macaque
monkey that appeared out of nowhere and has been causing a lot of
concern ever since. The reason: the species has a tendency to start
throwing feces when it gets upset.
This simian saga began on Tuesday, when someone spotted the primate
leaping from a tree and running through a parking into some nearby
brush. Wildlife experts have been

Country's first captive-reared gibbon dies in Assam
The country&aposs first captive-reared hoolock gibbon, released in
the forest as part of an experiment on primate habits, has
died"probably due to meningitis"in Assam, forest officials said today.
The body of six-year-old&aposSiloni&

aposwas found in Panbari reserved
forest, near the rhino homeland Kaziranga National Park (KNP) in
Golaghat district on Monday afternoon.
"The female gibbon&aposs carcass was found under a tree by an
employee of the centre during his daily monitoring duty in the
forest," Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation in
Kaziranga veterinarian Prasanta Boro told PTI.
The gibbon was under constant observation of the conservationists
since it was released in May last year.
A post-mortem on the endangered primate suggested

Cold kills five penguins at Nuremberg zoo
Five penguins ˆ normally thought to love chilly temperatures ˆ have
died due to exposure to extreme cold at the Nuremberg zoo.
Deputy zoo director Helmut Mägdefrau on Thursday said the birds
couldn't cope with the deep freeze that has gripped much of Germany
for the past few weeks.
He said Humboldt and Jackass penguins ˆ indigenous to South America
and South Africa ˆ perished after the cold weakened their immune
systems, which made them susceptible to illness.
"Both types of penguins

Shame: Baby Orangutan Used as Collateral for $100,000 Loan at Florida
After surviving a tumultuous 2008, The Zoo Northwest Florida begins
the new year with a renewed sense of optimism and determination.
The Zoo suffered several financial crises in 2008 that forced it to
rely on volunteer efforts, government grants totaling $275,000 and a
large private donation to remain open.
The AZA has developed Species Survival Plans (SSP) as guidelines to
manage the populations of endangered species in captivity. The
orangutan SSP recommends that a mother and child not be separated
until the child is seven or eight years old.
Danyelle Lantz, executive director of the animal park, explained that
the donor intends to be a long-term investor in The Zoo and that the
baby orangutan would only leave under a worst-case scenario.
"She has a private zoo herself, and she's very blessed in her
financial situation," Lantz said. "She has both the passion for
animals and the financial means to step in and help, so she is
working with the private owners of the zoo to try and get the debt
paid off.
We worked out a loan that is set up with a demand note with the baby
orangutan as collateral. If she's able to work out the deal with the
owners, the baby orangutan will never leave the zoo, and that's what
we're really hoping for."
In a letter to Lantz, a representative of PETA urged The Zoo to
cancel the "heartless and immensely cruel plan." The letter went on
to say that separating the mother and child would "surely leave the 3-
yearold with lifelong emotional scars."
Lantz disagrees.
"Is it ideal? No, and my analogy is if you were 13 and your parents
sent you to a boarding school

Wolf escapes at Combe Martin park
RUMOURS have howled through Combe Martin after a timber wolf briefly
escaped from its enclosure at the Wildlife Park.
A park spokesperson said the female wolf had managed to chew through
the fence of her enclosure on Monday, but was safely returned to
captivity within half an hour of her escapade.
Despite this, the nearby village has been buzzing with rumours of
a "wolf on the loose" but these have proved to be a shaggy dog story!
"She was recaptured within the park grounds at the perimeter fence,"
said the spokesperson.
"The park firearms team was on site the whole time, keeping track of
her until keeper Shaun Ellis and a vet could arrive."
During the incident park authorities said at no time had the wolf
posed any sort of threat to humans or other animals and had not been
in any danger herself.
Once the vet arrived a dart

SeaWorld to showcase sex-selected bottlenose dolphin
Animal researchers: Process may aid endangered species
It's a girl!
But that's hardly a surprise.
Scientists at SeaWorld said they had chosen the sex of their newest
Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, Cocoa, a year before she was born. They
plan to showcase her to the media today.
Researchers at the park used artificial insemination, but only after
they honed the process with specialized tools and techniques at the
SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Reproductive Research Center in San Diego.
The facility is touted as the world's only zoological site that has
selected the sex of its animals.
Animal researchers said the methods eventually could help them
increase the diversity of endangered species. Similar procedures are
used to choose the sex of people and domesticated cattle.
Since 2005, the center has produced three other sex-selected dolphin
calves at SeaWorld. Two more dolphins are expected to have sex-
selected calves this year.
"We wanted to demonstrate that the technology is reproduceable ˆ that
we can use it repeatedly and successfully to produce offspring," said
Justine O'Brien, the center's scientific director.
She and her colleagues combine basic biological research with state-
of-the-art devices, including flow cytometry equipment to separate
sperm, in their bid to improve wildlife conservation.
Species managers prize the

SF Zoo Reaches Settlement with Trainer Injured by Tiger
The zookeeper whose arms were severely injured by the same tiger that
later fatally mauled a teenage boy has settled her lawsuit against
the city.
Lori Komejan sought an unspecified amount of damages after she was
clawed and bitten by the Siberian tiger Tatiana in December of 2006
during one of the zoo's public feeding events.
The case was set for trial on Tuesday. However attorneys for both
sides said a settlement was reached in December. The settlement's
financial terms have yet to be finalized.
Komejan's suit argued the zoo's failure to install effective
safeguards in the tiger cage created unsafe working conditions. The
tiger reached through the cage and grabbed Komejan as she bent over
to grab a piece of raw meat.
Her attorneys said she was permanently disfigured

Cops who shot zoo tiger to be recognized as heroes
Ever since a tiger jumped out of its exhibit on Christmas Day 2007
and mauled three people, killing a San Jose teenager, the San
Francisco Zoo has been in the news. We've reported on their financial
problems, their management issues, their morale problems, the
aftermath of the attack, animal welfare questions, and even the
deaths and births of other animals at the zoo -- not to mention the
lawsuits and ongoing coverage of the attack victims' lives.
But little information has been released about the four police
officers who risked their life and shot the 252-pound Siberian tiger
to death, in the dark.
Over here at the Insider, we still are pretty awed by the performance
of officers Scott Biggs, Yukio Oshita, Kevin O'Leary and Daniel
Kroos. The men had little training to deal with any sort of escaped-
animal emergency at the zoo -- let alone one involving a tiger -- and
by all accounts, there was a lot of confusion among zoo staff. Not to
mention they were staring down

Exotic goat dies in bizarre accident at Calgary Zoo
An exotic wild goat died at a Calgary Zoo in front of stunned
onlookers on Friday, when it accidentally hung itself from a rope.
Witnesses said the two-year-old Turkmenian markhor first appeared to
be in danger when it had difficult staying on its legs.
"It couldn't stand up," said witness Aubrey Williams, a mother who
had brought her family to the zoo. "That's when we noticed that from
behind the log it had a rope around its neck."
Williams hurried to a nearby gift shop, where she reported the
incident. The employees

Second zoo in Sri Lanka to be opened in June
The second zoological garden in Sri Lanka, which is currently under
constructions, is scheduled to open by next June at Pinnawela in
Kegalle about 80 km northeast of capital Colombo.
Minister for Sports and Public Recreation Gamini Lokuge said that the
first phase of the zoo will be to house the local mammals and the
The 77 acre Pinnawela Zoological garden is being constructed near the
famous elephant orphanage in the area. According

Aquarium Keeper Expected To Recover From Komodo Dragon Incident
The following is a release from the City of Virginia Beach:
Friday afternoon around 2:00 p.m., while conducting a routine feeding
at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, a reptile keeper
was bitten by a young male Komodo dragon. The injury does not appear
to be life-threatening.
"The incident occurred when our keeper and this animal were in a non-
public area. There is a small but inherent risk when keepers are
working with reptiles," said Aquarium Director Lynn Clements. "The
dragon was within a locked enclosure that is accessible only to
The injury occurred as the keeper was shifting the four-and-a-half
foot, 20-pound animal for feeding and weighing, and the Komodo dragon
bit the side of her hand through a small opening used for feeding. It
is possible that the scent of food triggered the reptile's behavior.
These animals do not carry the same bacteria in their mouths as wild
Komodos because the Aquarium dragons eat a controlled diet. Aquarium
curatorial staff responded immediately by securing the outer door of
the animal's holding area, elevating the keeper's hand, and calling
emergency medical services who responded in minutes. When EMS
arrived, emergency medical technicians assessed and wrapped the
keeper's hand.
The keeper was alert when she was transported to Sentara Virginia
Beach Hospital for treatment and was concerned that the Komodo hadn't
eaten his food. The keeper involved and the Curator of Reptiles are
the only staff members who work directly with these animals.
Curatorial staff have been through extensive training including
emergency procedures to care for the Komodo dragons.
The Aquarium has three Komodo dragons which are in a holding area
awaiting the completion of the Restless Planet exhibit which is
scheduled to open

British kill entire elephant herd
Hunting parties are paying out thousands to kill elephants, including
calves, in Zimbabwe
BRITISH hunters, including a prominent Harley Street surgeon, have
been paying the Zimbabwean authorities thousands of pounds each to
take part in a mass elephant cull.
They are among groups of hunters who have been permitted to track and
kill whole herds, including their calves, before taking photographs
of themselves with the carcasses.
Rumours that Zimbabwe was culling its population of 80,000-100,000
elephants have been circulating for some time, but definitive proof
that foreigners have been paying to be involved has emerged only now.
Elephant culls are highly controversial. They typically involve
killing every animal in a herd, usually about a dozen strong, and
they are condemned as brutal and unnecessary by many
Supporters argue that the animals are destroying ecosystems by
stripping whole areas of edible foliage and monopolising water
sources, and that killing is the only effective method of population
Alternatives, such as habitat expansion, relocation and even the use
of contraception, are proposed by wildlife campaign groups, but the
hunters reject them as unworkable.
Peter Carr, a professional hunting outfitter from Yorkshire, took a
party to the Hwange national park last year to cull a herd of 11
elephants, including some "adolescent" calves.
The game reserve, which

Squatter otter sparks Dublin zoo chaos
Dublin Zoo has been given permission to trap an otter that has set up
home in its lake and could pose a threat to waterfowl
Squatter otter sparks Dublin zoo chaos
Dublin Zoo has been given permission to trap an otter that has set up
home in its lake and could pose a threat to waterfowl
It spends huge amounts of money ensuring its animals don't escape,
but now Dublin Zoo is trying to force its latest exhibit out.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has given a licence to
zoo officials to trap an otter that has taken up residence in a lake
in Phoenix Park. It is stealing food left for flamingos and there are
concerns it may tuck into the birds themselves, or other exotic
Leo Oosterweghel, Dublin Zoo's director, said: "We are not sure how
it got in because we have a fantastic fence. I suspect it came in
through one of the drains. But it's also possible it entered through
one of the gates. There is a lot of building work going on and it's
possible someone left a gate open."
So far, the otter has avoided being caught in a baited cage-trap and
is rarely seen by staff. Otters

Lowry Park Zoo board approves new policies; its chairman resigns
The Lowry Park Zoo's board of directors adopted a strong conflict-of-
interest policy Friday, one of more than 40 changes prompted by last
year's scandal that led to the resignation of its president, Lex
Other new policies will create a hotline that staff members can use
to report concerns, and more detailed procedures for financial
The policies are the zoo's response to a 60-page city audit
commissioned by Mayor Pam Iorio that shed light on flaws in its
culture and holes in its business practices.
"The zoo was so successful that everyone involved got

Animal experts fret over poor conditions in zoo
A PRIVATE zoo that is open to the public has come in for criticism
from animal welfare experts over its unsatisfactory conditions. The
complaints levelled at Al Dosary Zoo include animals living in
squalid cages with little food or water and a lack of medical care.
However, owner Mohammed al-Dosary has dismissed the claims, saying
that all of his animals are housed in "good conditions" and are
regularly checked by a variety of veterinary sources.
The Al Dosary Zoo has been operating for more than 20 years in
Shahaniyah. There is no entrance fee and the animals on show include
hyenas, deer, birds of prey, baboons, 100 ostriches and many other
However, some visitors feel the zoo needs to be regulated in order to
improve the living conditions of the animals housed there.
"I could not believe how horrible the cages are," said one visitor to
the farm. "The animals live in their own
Animal experts fret over poor conditions in zoo


Taiping Four Gorilla Dies Following Protracted Illness
Izan, a male Western Lowland gorilla that became an international
symbol of illegal trade and African heritage as part of the so-
called "Taiping Four," died December 26 at the Limbe Wildlife Center
in Cameroon following a lengthy illness.
An autopsy was performed following Izan's death, and it is hoped
laboratory tests in Europe will provide answers as to the cause. It
is believed that stress and a lack of immunity to endemic pathogens
may have contributed.
"We are all deeply saddened by the passing of Izan and our hearts go
out to the staff of the Limbe Wildlife Center, which battled mightily
to save him," said Doug Cress, executive director of the Pan African
Sanctuary Alliance (PASA). "Gorillas are fragile animals that are
extremely susceptible to stress, and it could be that the ordeal of
Izan's original capture from the wild and his subsequent travels left
him vulnerable."
The Taiping Four gorillas were one male and three females that were
illegally captured as infants from the wild in Cameroon in 2001 and
smuggled across the border to Nigeria. From there, the gorillas were
transferred under forged CITES permits to the Taiping Zoo in
Malaysia. After the deal was uncovered, the Government of Malaysia
confiscated the gorillas and sent them to the Pretoria Zoo in South
Africa – despite repeated requests from the Government of Cameroon
for the return of the gorillas.
In support of Cameroon's request, a consortium of animal conservation
and welfare organizations lobbied aggressively for the repatriation
of the gorillas, and the Taiping Four were sent to the Limbe Wildlife
Center in late 2007. Their return was viewed as a national victory
for Cameroon against the international wildlife trafficking menace
that continues to threaten the species' survival.
Last June, Oyin, another of the Taiping Four gorillas, died from
intestinal problems similar to those that plagued Izan.
Although the Taiping Four gorillas joined Limbe's 12-member gorilla
social group within months of their arrival in Cameroon, Izan was
noticeably more shy

In late 2000, P. Schmutzer, an animal lover and long-time resident of
Indonesia, bequeathed her life savings for the construction of a
world-class center for primates in Jakarta. Willie Smits, to whom she
had entrusted this mammoth task on her

Orangutan rides a jetski
Four-year-old rescued orangutan Surya is having a whale of a time
playing on an inflatable jet ski at the centre which is its home.
The animal, dressed in a child's wetsuit to keep it warm, enjoys
floating across the wide pool, before waving at onlookers.
Surya lives at The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species
in Miami, Florida, USA.
He is put in the pool every week to keep him active and challenged
and appears to enjoy splashing about with his trainers.
Animal expert Dr Bhagavan Antle said: "Suyra loves playing in the
water. But he doesn't like getting his head wet, so he wears a
lifejacket so he doesn't go underneath.
"He is quite content when he's bobbing around on the top. And he
loves the jet ski because he can look down on all of us."
Dr Antle and his team of handlers introduced

'I wanna be like you': A Junglebook jolly as toddler Emily and baby
orangutan Rishi monkey around together
In a crawling race across the grass they're evenly matched. But Emily
Bland will need a little practice before taking on her new friend at
The little girl, two, met one-year-old orangutan Rishi at an animal
centre while visiting with her father.
They took to each other straight away and spent hours tumbling about
and having a tea party. Emily poured while Rishi waited patiently,
gripping his spoon in

White tiger cubs get names from President Yudhoyono
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono named after four Indian white
tiger cubs Ayu, Asri, Kasih, and Sinar in Ragunan Zoo, on Sunday.
"Kasih is to love others, Ayu is beauty, Asri is for the environment,
and Sinar is a light of kindness," President Yudhoyono explained
about the meanings of the cubs` names.
The four tiger cubs, consisting of three females and one male, were
born in the zoo on December 26, 2008.
President Yudhoyono and First Lady Ani Yudhoyono

Irwin's zoo plan irritates locals
THE widow of naturalist Steve Irwin has fallen out with her
neighbours and local conservationists.
The owners of properties abutting Australia Zoo on Queensland's
Sunshine Coast complain that their lives have been made a misery as
local and state governments accommodate a $100 million expansion plan
for the zoo.
Terri Irwin has spent more than $11 million buying out her neighbours
to make way for the expansion.
Neighbour Jim McNamara said the closure of a road in the area by the
local council at the zoo's request had caused inconvenience,
requiring longer drives for residents and concentrating zoo traffic
on once quiet roads.
Mr McNamara said the state Government had gifted a large area of
state forest to the zoo to accommodate the expansion. "You've got to
wonder how the zoo gets all this special treatment," he said.
He said relations with the zoo had deteriorated since Steve Irwin was
killed by a stingray in 2006.
The zoo no longer gave out free passes to locals and had cancelled
regular neighbourhood morning teas.
"Steve was a top bloke," Mr McNamara said. "He would come around,25197,24872853-30417,00.html

Saving Kenya's orphan elephants
A spike in the price of ivory and tough economic times are luring
poachers back to illegal hunting
Suguta doesn't like to stray too far from her keeper. She nuzzles
Benson Wambwa, pushing her trunk under his arm, rubbing her leathery,
muddy side along his green smock. If another elephant tries to get
attention, Suguta's clearly not pleased.
It has taken a stressful couple of months to get Suguta to where she
is now. The elephant calf was just three months old in August when
she was discovered, emaciated, dehydrated and with her skin hanging
from her face.
Her rescuers figured she had been without milk for at least five
days – another orphan for the

Elephant populations decline in the wild, but zoos may not be the
In Chad, the ivory poachers have upgraded to automatic weapons.
Having bolstered the population at this "last stand for elephants" in
central Africa, the Wildlife Conservation Society estimated recently
that the numbers had dropped again, from 3,500 to 1,000.
Half a world away, San Diego Zoo workers are building a $44 million
elephant exhibit. Its state-of-the-art amenities include a 2.5-acre
savannah, a 9-foot-deep pool, and rubber flooring to prevent foot

Perth Zoo's elephants enjoy $5m home improvement
THE days of parading elephants on cement pads with ankle chains are
gone, Perth Zoo chief executive Susan Hunt says.
The zoo has completed its $5 million elephant enclosure upgrade,
providing mud wallows, scratching poles and special drinking
fountains for the giant animals to use.
The two females and one male Asian elephants can now move amongst
mature rainforest trees while visitors watch them from an
amphitheatre-style platform.

``They have this issue of choice now which they certainly didn't in
the past, so it has been a dramatic change,'' Ms Hunt told AAP on
``We know that elephants shouldn't stand on cement now ... so we've
got right throughout the exhibit ... options to sleep on sand in
their night quarters,'' she said.
``They have a mound so they can sleep in the day if they wish and
they have access to indoors and outdoors,27574,24890990-2761,00.html

Pictured: The horrifying fate of tigers decapitated by poachers
Their heads hacked from their graceful bodies, these tragic pictures
show the fate of tigers in the brutal hands of poachers.
The photographs, released by police this morning, show officers
displaying the heads and carcasses of tigers seized from a truck in
Hua Hin , Thailand - a popular tourist resort.
Police seized tiger carcasses weighing up to 250 kilograms from

Pet Cat Keeps Orangutan Alive
It isn't unheard of to see different species develop unusual
partnerships. But at ZooWorld in Panama City Beach, one of the most
amazing friendships has formed between two of the most unlikely
"We thought we were going to lose her a couple years back because she
did get depressed," said Stephanie Willard, ZooWorld's director of
education. "She got off her food and off her activities."
As an elderly ape at 49-years-old, Tonda has her aches and pains, but
three years ago she slipped into a depressed state after her mate
Yakut died.
Tonda's handlers were initially uncertain

Australia Zoo handler bitten by snake
A reptile handler has been treated in hospital after being bitten by
a brown snake at Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast.
The incident involving the 26-year-old man happened yesterday
Two other people were also bitten by snakes on the Sunshine Coast at
Palmwoods and Cooroibah.
Herpetologist Peter Richardson says snakes are active at the moment
and people should be alert.
"The most common one you are going to find around is the eastern
coast brown or the common brown snake," he said.
"He is found right up and down the eastern

Despite rocky start, Mahal growing up to be normal orangutan
He loves bungee cords and building blocks and making loud noises.
He's bulking up, growing confident and looking a bit lanky. Gone is
the roundness of a baby.
This is Mahal, the Milwaukee County Zoo's Bornean orangutan, at 20
months old -nearly one year after arriving in Milwaukee to a new life
with a surrogate mom named M.J.
He came here on Feb. 7 aboard a private jet provided by wealthy
industrialists Terry and Mary Kohler, looking for a fresh start after
his rocky first months: a chaotic birth followed by hand-raising and
repeated, failed attempts to reunite him with his abusive young
mother, Hadiah.
He was successfully treated for a foot deformity and bonded with an
old surrogate orangutan named Sandra, only to have her die suddenly
in her sleep - all before he was a year old.
Mahal's story and the plight of orangutans in the wild was told in a
three-part series, "Ambassador Mahal: Face of a Dying Species," in
the Journal Sentinel in July.
So, how is Mahal doing in Milwaukee?
"He's always been very confident, but now he's getting a lot
stronger," says Trish Khan, a keeper at the Milwaukee County Zoo who
accompanied Mahal from

Life in limbo
Wild Animal Park's Frozen Zoo has DNA samples of the world's
threatened and extinct species
Though the sight of eight frisky lion cubs tussling around their
enclosure may be breathtaking, it is what visitors do not see at the
San Diego Wild Animal Park that is arguably the most astounding.
Tucked in a small room in the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for
Conservation Research for Endangered Species (CRES) is the Zoological
Society of San Diego's quagga, a yellowish-brown zebra that has the
classic marks only on its head and neck.
Don't expect the quagga to strut its sparse stripes anytime soon. The
last one died in captivity in the 1880s. The society has only tissue
samples from the extinct mammals, kept in what it calls its Frozen
Here, the DNA, embryos, ova, sperm, blood and other genetic material
of 8,600 extinct or endangered creatures remain under cool curatorial
The samples are placed in plastic vials, then frozen in liquid
nitrogen at minus-196 degrees Celsius to be thawed later and studied
by geneticists and researchers.
Though only genetic crumbs of the quagga remain, it is possible to
extract enough genetic material from a sample and clone one or more
of the animals.
However, geneticist and Frozen Zoo manager Oliver Ryder questions the
value of bringing animals back from extinction. The zoological
society's primary mission is preventing the

It's Survival of the Weak and Scrawny
Researchers see 'evolution in reverse' as hunters kill off prized
animals with the biggest antlers and pelts.
Some of the most iconic photographs of Teddy Roosevelt, one of the
first conservationists in American politics, show the president
posing companionably with the prizes of his trophy hunts. An elephant
felled in Africa in 1909 points its tusks skyward; a Cape buffalo,
crowned with horns in the shape of a handlebar mustache, slumps in a
Kenyan swamp. In North America, he stalked deer, pronghorn antelope,
bighorn sheep and elk, which he called "lordly game" for their
majestic antlers. What's remarkable about these photographs is not
that they depict a hunter who was also naturalist John Muir's
staunchest political ally. It's that just 100 years after his
expeditions, many of the kind of magnificent trophies he routinely
captured are becoming rare.
Elk still range across parts of North America, but every hunting
season brings a greater challenge to find the sought-after bull with
a towering spread of antlers. Africa and Asia still have elephants,
but Roosevelt would have regarded most of them as freaks, because
they don't have tusks. Researchers describe what's happening as none
other than the selection process that Darwin made famous: the fittest
of a species survive to reproduce and pass along their traits to
succeeding generations, while the traits of the unfit gradually
disappear. Selective hunting—picking out individuals with the best
horns or antlers, or the largest piece of hide—works in reverse: the
evolutionary loser is not the small and defenseless, but the biggest
and best-equipped to win mates or fend off attackers.
When hunting is severe enough to outstrip other threats to survival,
the unsought, middling individuals make out better than the alpha
animals, and the species changes. "Survival of the fittest" is still
the rule, but the "fit" begin to look unlike

The Bronx Zoo funding endangered
The Bronx Zoo wants to know: How do you lay off a bear or furlough a
sea lion?
Gov. Paterson's budget proposal would eliminate the zoo's state
funding in two years, along with living museums across the state —
including the New York Botanical Garden and Wave Hill in the Bronx.
With their city funding already snipped and private donations down,
the proposal has left the institutions reeling.
"We don't understand. It's a complete elimination of the program,"
said John Calvelli, vice president for public affairs for the
Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the city's zoos and
Calvelli said the cut is equivalent to 30 staff positions between the
zoo and New York Aquarium in Brooklyn.
If passed, the 2009 budget for zoos, botanical gardens and aquariums
across the state, most of which goes to New York City programs, will
be cut from $9 million to $4 million. Funding will be eliminated
entirely in 2010 under the proposal.
A spokesman for the state's budget division said the governor has
chosen to focus the state's

Tough times hit Tacoma's Point Defiance Zoo
Point Defiance may house lions that roar and tigers that roam, but
the zoo and aquarium is struggling to escape the stranglehold of the
"This is a year unlike anything we've ever experienced," said John
Houck, deputy director of the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. "We
could be several hundreds of thousands of dollars short on our
Half of the zoo's $10 million budget comes from Pierce County's sales
tax, which last year tumbled 6 percent and continues to drop.
The zoo has a cost-cutting plan. Starting Tuesday, it won't be open
on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during its four slowest months of the
year -- January, February, November and December.
"There's $40,000 in savings right there," Houck said.
Attendance isn't the problem. The zoo and aquarium exceeded 2008
visitor projections.
But on Monday, there were 32 visitors by 1 p.m. And by mid-week in
the slower months, things tend to slow down even more.
"Depending on the weather we can have a day where nobody comes.
Nobody comes," said Houck.
Point Defiance has issued a hiring freeze, and plans to use fewer
temporary workers. It has also slashed $26,000 from its outreach
education program.
The cuts will not affect the zoo's animals. Zoo officials

TV animal expert supports LA Zoo elephant exhibit
TV animal expert Jack Hanna has thrown his support behind a
controversial project to build a new elephant exhibit at the Los
Angeles Zoo.
The host of "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild" sent a letter to the City
Council on Monday urging completion of the $42 million Pachyderm
Forest exhibit.
After complaints by animal rights activists and celebrities that the
exhibit would be too small, the council voted in December to stop
construction until it receives a recommendation from its parks
committee. That is expected later this month.
Hanna toured the project last week and wrote that it sets "a new
standard for the care of elephants at zoos," according to the Greater
Los Angeles Zoo Association. Elephants would

L.A. Zoo should free Billy the elephant (Peter's Note: Read the
comments following Daphne Sheldricks emotional piece)
He's spent 20 years in captivity. Isn't that more than enough?
Billy, the lone elephant at the Los Angeles Zoo, has an anniversary
this week. On Wednesday, he will have spent 20 years in his half-acre
enclosure. It's up to the City Council to see that this is his last.
I have spent 50 years of my life working with elephants and have hand-
reared more than 90 from infancy, so I feel qualified to offer some
advice. All the orphaned elephants I worked with, when full grown,
were successfully returned to where they rightly belong: among wild
herds in a protected area large enough to offer an elephant a proper
quality of life.
would like to make a plea for Billy that this month, when the
council votes on whether to permanently end construction on the zoo's
$42-million "Pachyderm Forest" enclosure, it finally sends him to a
place where he will enjoy the companionship of others in the
appropriate amount of space for his needs.
It has been scientifically established that elephants are "human" in
terms of emotion, a finding I wholeheartedly endorse. Gregarious
creatures, they have a strong sense of family and of death; they,0,1991511.story

Work begins for key development projects in Jeddah
'The SR28.5-million project, which would reportedly consume more than
10,000 cubic meters of treated water per day, will eventually cover
an area of 10 million square meters, he said.
He said it was one of many potential greenery projects that include a
national park, a safari park and many other entertainment facilities
that would cover an area of 100 million square meters.'

In danger and in the spotlight
Threatened species — including two that can be seen in our area —
grace pages of National Geographic.
It's been a rough year for endangered species.
First, the polar bear was listed as threatened, becoming a sad symbol
of global climate change.
More recently, President George W. Bush's administration pushed
through a revision of the Endangered Species Act that many groups
believe severely impedes the benchmark law.
But finally, endangered species are getting some prominent exposure
this month as many of them — including two from the St. Louis area —
appear in the January issue of National Geographic.
The article, "Last One," by Verlyn Klinkenborg, features dramatic
photos of more than two dozen threatened or endangered species —
everything from a grizzly bear to a Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit,
which went extinct before publication.
Anna, a Mexican gray wolf at the Wild Canid Survival and Research
Center in Eureka, is featured on page 103 of the magazine, and about
a dozen American burying beetles from the St. Louis Zoo occupy a
photo spread on pages 96 and 97.The animals were photographed almost
two years ago by Joel Sartore, who has shot 25 National Geographic
stories — including six on endangered species.
Sartore has been taking photos of the wolves at the Eureka sanctuary
since the early 1990s and has a good relationship with the staff
there, said Sue Linsdsey, the center's director.
Anna was an easy choice as a model. Not only is she one of the most
genetically valuable wolves in the federal Mexican gray wolf
reintroduction program, she's not terribly afraid of people, because
she was hand-raised by the center's staff after her littermates
died. "She's Little Miss Photogenic," Lindsey said. "She looks almost
Sartore spent the better part of the day at the center in Eureka back
in 2007 photographing Anna in her enclosure. When it began

DECEMBER 12, 2008
The City first learned of the Zoo's CEO's for-profit venture through
media accounts. This obvious conflict of interest, reports of animal
transactions between the Zoo CEO and his forprofit venture, as well
as expenditures by the Zoo on Safari Wild property led to inquiries
by the City. When the Zoo President maintained there was no conflict
of interest and failed to
acknowledge that the City owned the Zoo animals, the City embarked on
this audit.
Tampa's Lowry Park Zoological Gardens n/k/a Lowry Park Zoo (Zoo),
situated on land owned by the City of Tampa, is operated by the Lowry
Park Zoological Society (Society), under a lease and operation
agreement with the City of Tampa. The Society operates as a 501(c)(3)
nonprofit charitable organization and provides programs in education
and conservation to benefit the general public.
The lease and operation agreement with the City states that the real
property shall remain the property of the City and all future real or
personal property donations shall become the sole property of the
City. The agreement continues that the animals, as of the date of the
agreement, will be leased to the Society and "the progeny of these
animals and any animals acquired . . . shall become and remain assets
of the City." In the agreement, the City requires
the animal collection to be maintained in accordance with accepted
standards of the American Association of Zoological Parks

Zoo Battles To Keep Some Wild Animals Out
Animals are usually not a threat at the zoo, but a recent flood of
wild felines in Roswell has zookeepers on the lookout to protect the
animals people come to see.
Elaine Mayfield is the director of the Spring River Zoo.
She said for the past several months, they have had problems fighting
off feral cats.
"They're pretty wiley. They're pretty sharp," she said. "One of our
security guards counted 37 cats one evening. That's a lot."
Mayfield said there are colonies of feral cats around Roswell coming
to the zoo to have their litters.
She's concerned about what they could do to zoo animals.
"We can get diseases passed from feral cats to the zoo animals, and
they also

2008 a good year for Dutch zoos
More than 10.5 million visitors came through the turnstyles of Dutch
zoos last year according to the Dutch association of zoos, that is
150,000 more than in 2007.
Amsterdam's famous Artis zoo booked a record number of visitors last
year, 1.25 million. The zoo, which dates from 1838 and is located
east of the city centre, puts the extra interest down to a series of
recent innovations. One of these was the opening of a new Lemur
island where visitors can get up close to these primates from
Madagascar. The destruction of their natural tropical-forest habitat,
means they are threatened

`Zoo could have elephants if CDGK gets funds'
Finance and Planning EDO says that CDGK would hopefully acquire
finances by end of this month
Delays in the arrangement of funds by the City District Government
Karachi (CDGK) Finance and Planning Department are hindering the
purchase of two elephants and some other animals for the Karachi Zoo
and Safari Park. It has also put on hold some other development
schemes in the Landhi-Korangi Zoo and the fish aquarium, The News has
The CDGK's Community Development Department has, for the past several
months, been trying to the purchase two elephants and some other
animals, including tigers, lions, leopards, and zebras. Tenders have
also been issued but the unavailability of funds is emerging as a
major hurdle in going ahead with the purchase. The CDGK has been
facing financial constraints since the provincial government withheld
its funds, causing a delay in the launch and completion of many
development schemes, purchase

Zimbabwe: extinction looms in a paradise lost to guns, greed and
At first it seemed a paradise. Baboons played on the dusty track
ahead of us. Impala and zebra, wildebeest and spiral-horned kudu
bounded into the bush as our vehicle approached. We stopped to admire
a 3,000-year-old baobab tree with a trunk that dwarfed our four-wheel
drive, and spotted a herd of African elephants. It seemed scarcely
possible that this semi-arid land in the Lowveld of southeastern
Zimbabwe could support so much wildlife.
It was only as we approached the eastern edge of the million-acre
Save Valley Conservancy that we began to encounter the problems
besetting this idyll. "Resettled farmers" had moved in - burning
trees, building huts of mud and thatch, and clearing land in an
improbable attempt to grow crops.
Soon Clive Stockil, chairman of what is the biggest private
conservancy in Zimbabwe, turned off the track and stopped. We were
hit by the stench of rotting flesh. A few yards away was the
decomposing carcass of a black rhinoceros, one of the world's most
endangered species, shot by poachers three days earlier.
In life this 15-year-old bull was a magnificent creature weighing a
tonne. Now it had been stripped of its meat by hungry villagers,
writhing maggots feasted on the contents of its belly and clouds of
flies hovered overhead. Its head was

Increase of sick brown pelicans baffles experts
Wildlife experts are trying to figure out why sick, disoriented and
bruised California brown pelicans are being found in record numbers
along more than 1,600 kilometres of coastline.
The birds, some of them dead, have been spotted from San Francisco to
Baja California, Mexico. Many have been found far from their homes on
roads, fields and backyards.
The pelicans started appearing late last month north of San Pedro in
Southern California, then began appearing farther north, said Jay
Holcomb, executive director of the International Bird Rescue Research
Center in Fairfield, in Northern California.
The center's San Pedro facility received more than 40 birds in the
past seven to 10 days, while the Fairfield one has received about 25,
Holcomb said Tuesday.
A man vacationing in Baja California alerted the center about a
similar problem there this week after discovering

Thai police seize four tiger carcasses
Thai Police have seized four tiger carcasses said to have been
smuggled in from Malaysia, in the resort town of Hua Hin.
Bangkok Post reported on Tuesday that the Police have arrested two
Thai men in connection with the smuggling.
The dead tigers, with their heads cut off, weighed 250kg and were
found on Monday in a truck passing through Hua Hin in the Prachuap
Kiri Khan province.
Police said the dead tigers were believed to have come from Malaysia
and were being transported to China.
Bangkok Post also reported that genetic testing would be conducted on
the tiger carcasses at Kasetsart University to see if they were
domesticated or wild animals.
"If they were captive tigers, officials will investigate which farms
they came from," National Park, Wildlife

Buffalo Zoo defends elephant treatment
The Buffalo Zoo has lashed out an animal advocacy group that included
the Delaware Park facility on a list of "Ten Worst Zoos of Elephants."
The San Rafael, Calif.,-based In Defense of Animals alleged in its
just-released report that the Buffalo Zoo was No. 4 on its list,
claiming that the facility's expanded and revamped elephant house was
still inadequate. It is not known if the IDA, an international animal
protection organization, visited the Buffalo Zoo.
The IDA also listed the Buffalo Zoo in its 2007 compilation.
"The Buffalo Zoo proves the emperor has no clothes when it comes to
zoo industry claims about `expanded'

Lowry Park Zoo Criticized for Elephant Dealings
A California-based animal rights group has put Lowry Park Zoo on its
list of the 10 worst zoos for captive elephants.
In Defense of Animals ranked the zoo No. 10 on the list for its joint
effort with the San Diego Zoo to bring 11 elephants from Swaziland in
At the time, then-Lowry Park Zoo President Lex Salisbury said they
were saving the elephants from being destroyed due to overpopulation.
The group contends Swaziland had fewer than 40 elephants at the time
in a sprawling 18,000-acre preserve. The group says Salisbury and
Larry Killmar, who was with San Diego's zoo at the time, "paid cash-
poor nations hundreds of thousands of dollars for elephants" and then
brought them to confining displays.
Lowry Park Zoo spokeswoman Rachel Nelson said in a statement that the
facility provides the best possible care for its elephants. She noted
that In Defense of Animals is critical of the zoo's rescue effort but
makes no claim that the animals receive poor care. The elephants have
a 2.2-acre exhibit and a half-acre rest area, a night house and two
outdoor paddocks, she said.
"The elephants roam freely outdoors year-round throughout their
exhibit area, play in mud wallows and swim in a 220,000 gallon
watering hole," Nelson said.
The importing of the elephants

Shenzhen zoo investigated over panda tricks
PANDA keepers in a Shenzhen zoo were being investigated by the zoo
authority for allegedly making money by forcing an old panda to pose
for photos with visitors.
Safari Park Shenzhen said they would be punished if the accusation
was true, Western China Metropolis reported today.
A panda fan in Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, said yesterday that
Yongba, the zoo's only panda, may be maltreated, the report said.
The netizen, who was identified by her online nickname as
Qiuyueguisi, posted on, the country's most popular online
forum, that the 25-year-old Yongba had two plates of milk and three
buns a day. Only when it was taking photos with visitors could the
female panda enjoy

Ohio zoo elephants unusually old?
Recent study suggests beasts live longer here
Ohio's pachyderms are packing on the years, living longer than a
recent study concluded that elephants do in European zoos.
"Middle-aged" would best describe most of the 13 elephants at four
Ohio zoos. They range in age from 20 to 41 if you don't count two
"If you look at the U.S. zoo populations, right now over 60 percent
of the female African elephants are over 25 years old, so it's kind
of hard then to believe that study's conclusions," said Anne Baker,
executive director of the Toledo Zoo, which has two elephants.
Keepers at Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland zoos -- the three other
Ohio zoos with elephants -- also are skeptical of the study,
published recently in the journal Science. Researchers said the
median life span for elephants in European zoos was

Gu Gu the panda mauls third tourist in 2 years
A panda at the Beijing zoo bit his third tourist in two years -- and
this time, his jaws had to be forced open to free the man, who jumped
in to retrieve his son's toy.
Gu Gu, a 110-kilogram panda, mauled the man's legs and refused to let
go until zookeepers pried his jaws open with tools, said a zoo
spokeswoman surnamed Gong on Thursday.
Gu Gu first made news in 2007 when he bit a drunken tourist who
jumped into his pen and tried to hug him. The tourist retaliated by
biting the panda in the back.
In October, Gu Gu viciously bit a teenager who climbed into his
exercise area out of curiosity.
The Beijing News said the latest victim, Zhang Jiao of central Anhui
province, suffered damage to major ligaments and is recovering after
The newspaper quoted

Private farms play part in tiger trade
Bangkok Post, 8 Jan 09
Some private tiger farms in Thailand are probably a part of the
region's illegal tiger trade which sends most of the endangered
animals to China, according to the Asean Wildlife Enforcement Network
Chumphon Suckasaem, of Asean-Wen, a network of wildlife officials,
police and customs officers from the 10-member Association of
Southeast Asian Nations, said most tiger carcasses confiscated from
wildlife traffickers by police come from private farms here in
"Finding tigers in their natural habitat is not easy because very few
are left in the wild," he said.
Thai forests have about 2,500 tigers. Tiger meat is in high demand in
The animal is transported from many Southeast Asian countries with
Bangkok and Laos serving as transit points.
Tiger carcasses seized in Prachuap Khiri Khan on Monday were
suspected to be captive tigers kept at a private farm.
Authorities use DNA testing to differentiate domesticated tigers from
those from the wild. They can also tell by the animal's physical
appearance if they come from the wild or a breeding farm.
Captive tigers have fewer scars or wounds. The surface of their paws
is also smooth as they do not have to fight or survive in the jungle.
Under Thai wildlife protection laws and the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
(Cites), the trade in tigers is illegal, no matter whether the
animals are domesticated or come from the wild.
Mr Chumphon said

Animals in Bulgaria zoo shiver without gas heating
About 1,300 animals in a Bulgarian zoo were left without gas to heat
their enclosures on Thursday, the latest victims of the Russia-
Ukraine supply row.
The zoo in the capital Sofia rushed to switch to electric heaters to
keep its elephants, monkeys, parrots, rhinos and hippos warm in the
sub-zero temperatures.
"About a third of the animals are vulnerable to cold," said the zoo's
director Ivan Ivanov said. "Only the Siberian tigers feel comfortable
in these temperatures."
All Russian gas supplies to Europe were halted over a price dispute a
day earlier.
Heating was sharply reduced in snow-covered Sofia and hundreds of
thousands of people across the Balkans were left in the cold as the
impact on the hardest-hit region grew.
Bulgaria and the western Balkans rely almost entirely on Russian gas
supplies which are crucial in the winter because utilities

Slimbridge workers sail to work
Workers at a bird sanctuary braved sub-zero temperatures to make it
to work while their canal bridge was replaced.
Three members of staff at Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust's
Wetlands Centre were ferried across the canal to join the protected
wildfowl on the other side.
Beverley Hardman, retail and visitor service manager, her deputy Jane
Kennett, and supervisor Tanya Grigg wrapped up warm as they made the
journey across the Gloucester to Sharpness Canal.
After safely completing the 100ft ferry ride in temperatures of –6 C,
they carried out redecorating work to the shop and helped feed hungry
Nine other staff managed to get in on foot before the bridge became
too dangerous, but many made the return journey by water.
The conservation centre, which recently welcomed back hundreds of
Bewick's swans from their Siberian mating grounds, has been closed to
the public but will re-open today.
Pintails, teals, shovelers, a bittern

New TV show is unfair to bears, some experts growl
Discovery's `Bear Feeding Frenzy' accused of fostering negative
Grizzly bears tear down a tent in the Alaskan wilderness. Another
bear sinks its huge fangs into a mannequin dressed like a camper and
drags it away. Black bears rip up an empty van.
The scenes are from Discovery's new cable-TV series "Bear Feeding
Frenzy." And as NBC News' Peter Alexander reported for TODAY on
Tuesday, they have sent many wildlife experts and some viewers as
well into a frenzy of their own.
"The idea of a bear attack can be terrifying, and this show may not
exactly ease those fears," Alexander said. "It was meant

I'm sure there's another stick insect here somewhere – the great zoo
stock take 2009
They were not doing it two by two, but zookeepers in Britain were
counting their animals as part of the annual assessment of numbers
Nearly all species, from highly camouflaged insects and fish to more
easily countable monkeys, lions and polar bears, have to be recorded
according to the laws governing zoos. Fortunately, there is an
exemption for ants which are counted by colonies, not individuals.
A spokeswoman for London Zoo, which had 15,104 animals last year,
said that some species often posed problems for the counters.
"The leaf insects, which are amazingly well camouflaged, live in
quite a lot of foliage so they are probably right up there in terms
of the hardest to count. Stick insects are the same, they are the top
two headaches," she said.
"And last night we had some meerkats born. We haven't seen them yet,
but we can hear them in the nest and hope to include them in the
London Zoo, which was continuing its

The cuckoo: A cheat, a thief and a killer
Documentary uncovers the macabre truth about how the familiar spring
visitor exploits its victims
The cuckoo's call is probably better known than that of any other
bird in Britain – an instantly recognisable signal that spring is
here. But the owner of the call is a cheat, a thief and a killer –
wiping out the families of other birds and tricking them into raising
its young instead.
For centuries, nature-lovers have puzzled over the cuckoo's strange
behaviour. It dupes other birds into caring for a chick that will
quickly dwarf it in size after it has destroyed any eggs or babies.
Now the cuckoo's secrets are about to be revealed in a remarkable TV
documentary tonight on BBC2 narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
Cuckoo shows exactly how the bird spends its brief annual visit to
Britain. Using a combination of archive footage, a re-enactment of a
study carried out in the 1920s, footage using new techniques by the
award-winning cameraman Alastair MacEwen; and the latest findings by
Professor Nick Davies, of Cambridge University, who has been studying
cuckoos on the National Trust's Wicken Fen, and elsewhere, for more
than 20 years.
Professor Davies has shown the quite exquisite adaptations and
counter-adaptations that have evolved among cuckoos and their hosts.
For example, by using model eggs he has been able to test which
cuckoo "host" species are discriminating about foreign eggs in their
nests, and which are not.
In the case of a bird which is not discriminating – such as a
dunnock, or house sparrow, which will "sit on anything" – the cuckoos
that parasitise it have not needed to evolve a special egg (different

Rare venomous 'giant shrew' caught on camera for first time
One of the world's rarest mammals, that looks like a giant shrew and
has a venomous bite - the Hispaniolan solenodon - has been filmed for
the first time in the Dominican Republic.
Like an enormous rat, with a long thin snout, the Hispaniolan
solenodon is the last of an ancient lineage of species stretching
back to the age of dinosaurs. It is one of the few mammals that have
survived in the Caribbean islands since the arrival of humans and is
now under threat from deforestation, introduced species like dogs,
climate change and development.
In an effort to find out more about the solenodon, scientists from
the Gerald Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust tracked mammals on the
Dominican Republic for four weeks last summer.
However despite a huge effort, only one specimen was trapped. The
animal was filmed being handled by a member of the expedition wearing
gloves. DNA samples were taken and important information


Gorillas replace orangutans in Ragunan?
In late 2000, P. Schmutzer, an animal lover and long-time resident of
Indonesia, bequeathed her life savings for the construction of a world-
class center for primates in Jakarta. Willie Smits, to whom she had
entrusted this mammoth task on her deathbed, accomplished her
The opening in 2002 of the greatest primate-center in the world, the
Schmutzer Primate Center, located within the Rangunan Zoo compound,
was indeed a significant event.
Sadly, however, the original aim of the center catering to the poor was
diminished, since entry into the Primate Center has consisted of a
separate fee, that is prohibitively expensive for its original target group
of visitors: poor Indonesian children.
The center currently houses a variety of primates including
chimpanzees, three African gorillas, gibbons, siamangs, lorises and a
few fortunate Orangutans -- supposedly Indonesia's national treasure.
Unbeknownst to most visitors, there are close to 50 other Orangutans
living at Ragunan zoo that live in desperate, miserable conditions in tiny
and dark cement cages.

Obesity epidemic strikes zoo animals
Even hippos and whales, it turns out, can get fat. But how can you tell,
let alone slim one down?
"It's actually a huge problem, and a multifaceted one," said Michael
Stoskopf, a professor at North Carolina State University, which recently
sponsored a two-day symposium for zoo nutritionists from around the
world on the subject. "You have to look at not only diets themselves and
the amount of calories delivered, but also things like exercise."
The basic cause of chubbiness is no different for moray eels and
wildebeests than for humans: "If the energy going in exceeds the energy
going out, you're going to get fat," said Karen Lisi, a nutritionist at the
Smithsonian National Zoological Park. "We don't like to hear that, but
that's pretty much how it is for us, too."
With so much variation among creatures, though, nutritionists have

Zoo hope: New entry, new rooms
If Sunset Zoo officials get their way, a new entryway/education complex
could replace the zoo's bland gates in two to three years.
Manhattan residents in April may decide the fate of the proposed
improvement, which would have new classrooms, meeting space, public
restrooms, an animal education area and a relocated giftshop. Zoo
officials hope the improvement will attract visitors and help summer
programs thrive.
The proposed complex comes with a pricetag of $3

Bear attack video raises some hackles
Put a TV soap star in a plastic box in the bear pen at the Alaska Wildlife
Conservation Center, tie a dummy alongside, turn loose the bears, roll
video and what do you get?
A whole lotta controversy.
A storm of it has been building since a program called "Bear Feeding
Frenzy" first appeared on the Discovery Channel.
State wildlife biologists call the self-proclaimed "documentary"
misleading and worse. The bear authority who worked with the
filmmakers says he got snookered. And some average citizens - taken in
by the show's appearance of having been filmed in the wild - are
outraged that television producers would be teaching grizzlies to attack
lifelike dummies, tear into

Another rhino killed in Kaziranga
In yet another rhino poaching, a full-grown female one-horned
herbivore, of highly endangered species, was killed near Kaziranga
Park while its horn was taken away.
Forest officials said the female rhino which had strayed out of the park
alongwith two males last week, was shot dead by poachers at Kameri
Chapori under Numaligarh forest beat office on the outskirts of the Park
three days back.
The decomposed carcass of the animal was dug out today by the police
after the

PETA Calls On Louisville Zoo to Make Bullhook Ban a New Year's
While many of us are making New Year's resolutions to break unhealthy
habits such as smoking and overeating, PETA has a resolution in mind
for the Louisville Zoo: Kick the bullhook habit. PETA has sent a letter to
the zoo's director, John T. Walczak, urging him to implement
a "protected contact" system of elephant management like those already
in use in more than half of U.S. zoos. This system eliminates the
imposition of fear, dominance, and pain as a means of forcing elephants
to "cooperate."
The Louisville Zoo currently uses outdated circus-style training methods,
including the use of steel-tipped bullhooks, which cause severe pain and
trauma and result in lacerations, puncture wounds, and abscesses.
Bullhooks and beatings are eliminated with protected contact. Instead, a
safety barrier is kept

Zoo program could save dying frog species
At Brookfield Zoo there's some big excitement over some very tiny
They are called Panamanian golden frogs and in the wilds of Central
America they have virtually disappeared. They might be extinct but the
four little frogs at Brookfield just might help bring them back.
Brookfield Zoo's Feathers and Scales exhibit is closing out the year of
the frog with a bit of hope that some dying species just might be saved.
In a back room in small aquariums, four tiny Panamanian golden frogs
are involved in a project that could save them and all their possible
"We got two pairs of Panamanian Golden Frogs and they are getting
ready to enter the breeding season. And we're

Zoo Atlanta's giant panda cub now on display
The panda cam may be going away, but fans of Zoo Atlanta giant panda
Xi Lan can now see the cub face-to-face.
The city's newest favorite son is on display for a few hours every day
beginning at 10 a.m., said zoo spokeswoman Keisha Hines-Davis. It's the
first time the cub, which was born late this summer

Karachi Zoo in management limbo
The Karachi Zoo is one of the few remaining places in the city where
visitors can escape the pollution and noise of vehicular traffic and
breathe a sigh of relief, walking beside the animals and relaxing under
the shade of age-old trees. Although the original planners were correct
in selecting the site, lack of proper care and management of the
premises is now a cause for concern, frequent visitors said.
In response, the Karachi Zoo management claims to have made
arrangements for preserving vegetation and breeding of different
species. So far, more than 150 mammals, reptiles and birds have been
bred in captivity, and on various occasions, the Karachi Zoo has provided
around 500 animals and birds to Safari Park and 150 others to Korangi
Zoo in order to further develop these amusement parks. The species
bred in the captivity include neel guy, crocodiles, jackals, and snakes
among others.
However, despite hectic efforts, the Zoo management has not managed
to procure pairs of hyenas, hog deer, fishing cats and Indian python.
The Zoo currently has a disproportionately large number of female
species and needs to acquire males for mating purposes. The issue of
building habitats for species, originally belonging to various cold and
warm climates, is also a problem

Safari park jobs
THE Jobcentre Plus jobsbus will be rolling into Kidderminster town
centre with staff from West Midland Safari Park looking to fill 250 jobs
for the new season.
The recruitment drive will take place on Saturday, January 10, and
Monday, January 12, between 10am and 1pm.
The new season at the safari park starts on February 14 and vacancies
on offer include commercial assistants, guest services assistants,
catering assistants, cleaning staff, leisure assistants, games assistants
and mini bus drivers.
Michelle Link, human resource officer for the safari park,
said: "Following the success of last year's recruitment, we are very
pleased to be working with Jobcentre Plus again this year and hope to
attract a lot of people to the open days.
"We have a wide variety of positions for people of all ages and
backgrounds, which

The Myth of the Wild (Peter's Note: A very Good Read)
My last post here, about the efforts by animal activists to halt
construction of the Los Angeles Zoo's new elephant habitat, sparked
more debate than anything I've previously written. As I've followed the
firestorm of comments here and in other media outlets, I've been
increasingly struck by what has become the rallying cry of Los Angeles's
anti-zoo crowd: "Free Billy."
It's cute and catchy, but utterly disingenuous.
"Billy" is a 24-year-old Asian elephant who has resided at the Los
Angeles Zoo since 1980 [correction: 1989]. For the past few years he's
been the unwitting star of a battle between the Los Angeles Zoo and
animal rights activists over the construction of the zoo's new elephant
habitat. The Pachyderm Forest project is 30% complete, but work has
been temporarily halted while both sides fight it out in L.A. City Council
But the people filing into City Hall wearing "Free Billy" T-shirts and
stickers aren't actually calling for his return to the wild. No one is
advocating unlocking the zoo's gates and allowing the massive
pachyderm to roam freely in Griffith Park. Nor are they suggesting he be
airlifted to Malaysia, the country of his birth, and dropped off in what
little remains there of the wild. (If that were the case, experts on both
sides of the issue would surely agree his prospects for survival would be
No, the acknowledged goal of the "Free Billy" petitioners is to send Billy
to an animal sanctuary. And that's what has me scratching my head.
Sanctuaries, like zoos, are captive environments -- captive environments
that by and large have fewer resources and are subject to less rigorous
scrutiny and accreditation standards than zoos. As I've stated before,
there are good sanctuaries and bad ones, but any way you look at it, the
animals living in them are not free.

Lowry Park Zoo audit dictates course of director
Craig Pugh inherited a mess.
The deputy director took over Lowry Park Zoo the day after its president
resigned amid scandal. The zoo's board put him in charge temporarily
while they conduct a nationwide search for a new president.
How will Pugh repair the zoo's tarnished image?
First, he says, he has to listen: Listen to professional accreditors, who
suspended the zoo's seal of approval. Listen to a city audit that
described a culture of intimidation under former president Lex Salisbury.
Listen to the staff, their questions and needs.
Pugh hasn't fired anyone, including a high-ranking official who signed off
on animal transactions between the taxpayer-funded zoo and its
president's private venture.
But he has begun to make other changes, using as a checklist the 60-
page city audit that spurred Salisbury's resignation.
The audit details his predecessor's missteps, from private transactions
with the zoo involving more than 200 animals to charging the zoo for
personal expenses.
Salisbury is gone — not seen again at the zoo since his resignation —
but the audit's findings remain: Animal record
Craig Pugh inherited a mess.

Melbourne Zoo to ban smoking on New Year's Day
FIRST they were barred from watching the footy and the cricket, now
smokers have been snubbed by the lions and tigers.
The first day of 2009, on Thursday, will mark the introduction of a ban
on smoking at the Melbourne Zoo.
The new year will also mark a decade since smoking was first banned at
the MCG, conversely causing the stadium's outside perimeter to have
been turned into a hazardous smoky haze by refugee smokers ever
The zoo ban was important because a high number of visitors were
children, who would no longer be exposed to the habit, Quit executive
director Fiona Sharkie told reporters on Wednesday at the zoo.
"The community will back this because,21985,24859121-2862,00.html

Zoo greenhouses getting greener
A major renovation of the Calgary Zoo's greenhouses is underway and
the goal is to achieve a green milestone of another kind.
The plants housed in the conservatory have been moved to other parts
of the zoo and as far away as Edmonton and Winnipeg.
As the zoo expands and updates the greenhouses, officials are striving
to obtain a gold standard for new buildings.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental

New lions at city zoo injured in transit
It was a New Year gift for Kankaria zoo, when a pair of lions was
housed here. Both of them were welcomed to the zoo at a
function by Chief Minister Narendra Modi during the Kankaria Carnival.
However, it appears the lions didn't have a smooth journey to the city.
For, they have got minor abrasions on their face and body while they
were on transit from Sakkarbaug zoo in Junagadh.
The two-year-old lion was named Ambaradi, and the two-and-a-half-
year-old lioness named Pooja. Recently, Central Zoo Authority has
cleared the proposal to house

Lowry Park Zoo advocates warned of mismanagement
The last seven months have been one of the worst periods in Lowry
Park Zoo's history. First, reporters discovered Lowry Park CEO Lex
Salisbury's use of zoo personnel and resources for personal gain. Then
revelations about dead zoo animals at Salisbury's Dade City ranch
leaked out. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums revoked Lowry
Park's accreditation. And the city of Tampa conducted an audit, which
led to Salisbury losing the job he'd held for over two decades.
Not far from the zoo in a small Seminole Heights bungalow, Jeff and
Coleen Kremer watched the scandal unfold with a sense of déjà vu.
Creative Loafing interviewed the Kremers in 2006 as part of an
investigation into public safety issues at the zoo. Along with a handful of
other former zoo employees, the couple claimed Salisbury's heavy-
handed style was one of the problems leading to a myriad of safety
issues at the zoo.
Each employee saw a different aspect of alleged mismanagement at the
zoo -- animal escapes, broken locks on dangerous animal cages, lack of
food -- but they all shared one concern: the culture of intimidation at the
zoo created by Salisbury.

Chester Zoo uses thermal imaging camera to monitor baby rhino as
weather freezes
Chester Zoo is using the latest technology to keep a watchful eye on a
rare baby Rhino amid freezing winter temperatures
Asani, a male Eastern Black Rhinoceros calf, was born at the end of
October to mother Kitani, the first black rhino calf at the zoo for 10
After weeks in the warmth of the Tsavo rhino house, mother and Asani
have taken their first steps outside. But the cold weather means the
zoo's vets and keepers are being extra vigilant.
They are using a thermal imaging camera to monitor the calf's core
body temperature, helping to make vital decisions about its care.
Kevin Buley, Chester Zoo's Head of Zoo Programmes, said: "Our rhino
calf continues to go from strength to strength but we are not
complacent. It's important that both he and Kitani get out and about but
the freezing conditions mean we keep an extra eye on them.
"The images allow us to determine their body temperatures and gauge
how they are faring outside and also how long

Rare civet caught at Ramna Park
A large Indian Civet was yesterday caught at Ramna Park in the city by
morning walkers who captured the rare animal after chasing it into the
lake in the park.
The globally vulnerable and locally endangered animal was then
shackled and the different officials informed of the matter.
The animal meanwhile injured itself while trying to free itself from the
shackle. When a team from The Daily Star team reached the place, the
animal with its magnificent black and gray coat was lying down and
appeared too weak to move.
Prof Anwarul Islam of Zoology Department of DU who is also a
representative of Bangladesh Wildlife Trust collected the animal in the
Later, under the guidance of the forest department, the wild civet was
released at the Bhawal National Park at night. Assistant Conservator

Thieves steal five rare monkeys from French zoo
Thieves cut their way into enclosures at a zoo in central France and
made off with five endangered monkeys, police said Tuesday.
The gang, which appears to have had experience with primates and was
armed with specialised equipment to pin down the elusive creatures,
struck in broad daylight at lunchtime on Monday.
They made off with two marmosets, two capuchins

Zoo lends a gorilla-rearing hand to keepers nationwide
* The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has cultivated its expertise in hand-
raising gorillas since 1982.
When a mother refuses to take care of her child, to whom can one turn
in order to ensure the child's well-being?
When the child is a gorilla, the answer is obvious: the Columbus Zoo
and Aquarium.
Over the last few years, the zoo has established itself as one of the
leaders in gorilla surrogacy programs in the U.S.
The surrogacy program is run by zoo Living Collection Director Dusty
Lombardi and gorilla hand-rearing experts Barb Jones and Maureen
Many zoos developed such programs in the 1980s, during a period when
many baby gorillas were being rejected by their mothers. But the
effectiveness of the Columbus zoo's program, which began in 1982,
made it stand out from the pack.
"For many years, the Columbus Zoo had female gorillas that were not
raising their own babies, so we became very proficient at hand-rearing
baby gorillas," said Lombardi. "We noticed that it was very traumatic for
the babies, when they were raised in a nursery setting, to be taken back
over to the gorillas."
To prevent that problem, the zoo's experts hand-rear the gorillas on the
other side of a mesh fence from the older gorillas. That ensures the
baby and the older gorillas will get used to each other before the baby is
put into the group.
Each baby gorilla is hand-reared alongside its older counterparts from
day one, Lombardi said. Eventually, it is put with its foster mother so the
two can develop a bond.
When the baby approaches the fence to get food or the adoptive mother
brings over for food, that's a sign that the youngster has been accepted,
and it is put into the gorilla community.
As would be the case in nature, the babies

Abu Dhabi's Putting Giraffes In The Desert
Dubai's lil' bro Abu Dhabi is apparently doing more than just becoming a
cultural capital of the UAE--now it's heading into a new career in being
environmentally conscious too.
Well, they're calling the new Desert Islands project "conservation," but
we're not quite sure yet. With the first stage just open, the Desert
Islands are just southwest of Abu Dhabi and while they used to be a
royal retreat, this area is becoming home to individually-irrigated trees
and an incredible mix of animals.
So far in the Arabian Wildlife Park section there are 23 species of
animals, including the almost-extinct Arabian oryx, along with giraffes
and antelope. Cheetahs are due to arrive soon and in time the fences
that divide the animals will

S.F. moves to collect on medical bill for tiger-mauling victim
San Francisco officials have taken a step to try to ensure that the city is
reimbursed for $75,000 in medical bills incurred by one of two brothers
mauled by a tiger at the San Francisco Zoo last Christmas.
In a filing this week in federal court, officials said the city wanted to be
compensated for the cost of treating Kulbir Dhaliwal, now 24, at the city-
run San Francisco General Hospital after the attack.
The document, a medical reimbursement lien, was filed Wednesday in
connection with proceedings in a federal lawsuit filed against the city
and by Dhaliwal and his younger brother, Paul. That suit, filed in
November, claims that the brothers were permanently scarred when a
243-pound tiger named Tatiana escaped its enclosure just before
closing time on Christmas 2007 and attacked them.
The tiger also killed the brothers' friend Carlos Sousa, 17, whose family
filed a separate lawsuit against the city Dec. 23. All three of the men
lived in San Jose.
The Dhaliwals' suit also claims that they were falsely accused by city
officials and the zoo's hired public relations man, Sam Singer, of
taunting the animal before it escaped.
If the court approves the city's request for a lien, Kulbir

Zoo eyes giant pandas
Zoo Negara may soon be home to two giant pandas if negotiations with
China are successful.
Its director Dr Mohamad Ngah said Malaysia was eyeing the giant
pandas, ringtail lemurs, white tigers, and golden monkeys from Chinese
"On our end, we might be sending them our milky storks and painted
storks, and other animals which we have in surplus.
"We are still looking at each other's surplus list. It has to be a fair
exchange, of course," he told reporters after the launch of the zoo's
loyalty card programme here yesterday.
He said Zoo Negara had been working on the exchange programme for
two years now, and had so far signed two memorandums of
understanding (MoU) with the Shanghai Safari Park and the Ningbo
Youngor Zoo in China.
"The MoUs state that we have an agreement for animal exchange, but
we haven't gone into the details of what animals," he said.
He said they were hoping to bring

Rare bird, spooked by fireworks, thrashes itself to death
Fireworks used to ring in the New Year instead led to a horrific scene at
a local wildlife conservation center, officials said.
Workers at the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation doing a routine
morning check-up today discovered a dead red-browed Amazon parrot
with severe head and face injuries.
It was obvious from the bird's injuries that it had thrashed itself to death
against its enclosure, said Paul Reillo, director of the conservation center.
The parrot was part of a recovery project

Top ten animal finds of 2008
National Geographic News has outlined its ten most read stories on
animal finds of 2008.
The top ten animal finds of 2008 are:
1. Alien-like squid with "elbows" filmed at drilling site: At an extremely
deep oil-drilling site, a remote control submersible's camera captured an
eerie surprise: an alien-like, long-armed, and "elbowed" Magnapinna
squid, scientists said in November.
2. Vampire moth discovered-evolution at work: A previously unknown
population of vampire moths found in Siberia may have evolved from a
purely fruit-eating species, researchers reported in October.
3. Lizards rapidly evolve after introduction to island: A paper released in
April suggested that Italian wall lizards introduced to a tiny island off the
coast of Croatia are evolving in ways that would normally take millions
of years to play out.
4. Heavy metal-eating "superworms" unearthed in UK: Newly
evolved "superworms" that feast on toxic waste could help cleanse
polluted industrial land, according to an October report.
5. "Lost" deer species rediscovered in trap: In October, conservationists
released the first ever photograph of a live Sumatran muntjac, a dog-
size deer that had been largely forgotten by science for some 60 years.
6. Largest squid ever caught is "Giant, gelatinous blob": The August
dissection of a colossal squid snagged off Antarctica in 2007 revealed
that the half-ton female was carrying partially developed eggs and was

Apprenticeship in animal magic
"There's a fair amount of shovelling involved," grimaces teenager Erin
"But I wouldn't change it for the world - I love every single day here."
While some 19-year-olds might be studying for a college place, or taking
their first tentative steps in an office environment, Erin is learning to
become a zoo keeper.
She is one of the lucky few to have won a modern apprenticeship place
at the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay.
The zoo, perched high above the seaside town in Conwy county, is
home to some 100 different animals, from Sumatran tigers to guinea
And of course there is Scooby, a young Welsh mountain goat, who loves
nothing more than chasing trainee Erin around his compound first thing
in the morning.
"He'll just keep running and jumping until he is out of breath, he's got
real character when he wants

Mainland panda pair adapt to diet of all-Taiwan bamboo in Taipei zoo
The panda pair from the mainland began to eat local bamboo as their
entire staple diet in the Taipei Zoo on Friday, 11 days after their arrival
in Taiwan.
The pandas, named Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, "have very good
appetites," said Ming Cheih Chao, director of the zoo's animal
Chao said they ate 33 kilograms of bamboo plus steamed corn bread,
apples and radishes between 9 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. on Friday.
He said that the zoo had arranged a gradual process for the pandas to
adapt to the local diet. They began to get half their food from Taiwan on
the third day after their arrival, rising to 90 percent on the eighth day.
"So they have fully adapted to Taiwan bamboo," Chao said, adding that
Tuan Tuan weighed 109.2 kg on Friday, up 1.4 kg from Thursday, while
Yuan Yuan's weight increased by 2 kg to 110.4 kg.
The pair were transported from a nature reserve in

Zoo Negara has got its act together after all
TWO THUMBS-UP to Zoo Negara for launching the much-awaited loyalty
card and its plans to bring in more exotic animals (The Star, Jan 2).
If there's one tourist attraction in Kuala Lumpur that attracts locals or
foreigners like a shopping mall on public holidays, Zoo Negara is
definitely it.
Its location in the quiet, leafy suburbs of Kuala Lumpur has not
discouraged visitors from visiting the over 5,O00-odd animals from
about 450 species.
Being a non-profit centre and living on grants and sponsorships, Zoo
Negara is in dire need of contributions and consistent gate collections.
Thus with the loyalty card programme, the hope is that everyone will
rise to the occasion to support a noble cause. Just a mere RM20 each
will go a long way in the upkeep of the animals.
The recent announcement that Zoo Ne

Chester Zoo to launch vital new wildlife project
CHESTER Zoo is teaming up with a leading biodiversity information
centre to launch an important new wildlife project.
It follows survey results which show that numbers of house sparrows,
starlings and blackbirds have fallen dramatically over the last 30 years.
All three species have been familiar residents of British back gardens for
Monitoring local wildlife is the aim of the new project to be launched by
the zoo and rECOrd, Cheshire's biodiversity information centre.
Called "Count Me In!" the project will create the wildlife recorders of the
future by encouraging people to actively take note of the wildlife they
Over the next two years there will be a programme of interactive
training events looking in detail at wild animals and plants.
Many of the events will take place at Chester Zoo and the remainder at
important wildlife locations elsewhere in Cheshire.
Thanks to generous funding from the National

30 Penguins Born At SeaWorld
A spokeswoman for SeaWorld in San Diego said 30 penguins have been
born at the park since early November.
Spokeswoman Kelly Terry said


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