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Zoo News Digest
Jan-Feb 2011


Japanese Macaque captured after 8-months on the run from Czech zoo; colleague still at large
A monkey has been returned to a Czech zoo, but keepers are puzzled as to why he doesn't celebrate.
Hana Labska, a spokeswoman for the zoo in Olomouc, 250 kilometres (155 miles) east of the Czech capital Prague, said Friday the Japanese Macaque looked to be "upset" in his first hours back in captivity.
Simpy and a colleague, Tatin, escaped from the zoo eight months ago when the sound of a chain saw triggered a dash for freedom.
Labska said the primates had escaped before, but always returned soon after.
Since fleeing, the monkeys had gone their separate ways and been spotted in numerous places around the region.
During his hundreds of kilometres (miles) on the run, Simpy

Cole Bros. Circus settles illegal elephant sale case
Tina and Jewel, 2 Asian elephants, now call Los Angeles Zoo home
Children may dream of running away to join the circus, but Tina and Jewel have escaped that life.
The two Asian elephants have traded the big top for the Los Angeles Zoo after federal authorities intervened on their behalf.
DeLand-based Cole Bros. Circus, its owner John Pugh, and former circus employee Wilbur Davenport entered plea agreements Thursday in federal court in Texas to resolve Endangered Species Act violations relating to the sale of the elephants.
Pugh and the circus were charged with unlawfully selling the elephants to Davenport, who was charged with unlawfully receiving the animals. Davenport approached Pugh in 2005 about buying Tina and Jewel, the federal Department of,0,5169308.story

Exercise helps police prepare in case of zoo escape
Police were on the prowl Friday morning, practicing what they would do if an animal were to ever escape from the Memphis Zoo.
Officers teamed up with zoo workers to track down the fictional animal. In the drill scenario, the animal had escaped the zoo and was hiding somewhere in Overton Park.
"We were very pleased overall," said Joe Scott, the Memphis Police Department’s deputy chief. "We were able to note some improvements we can make for future scenarios. Overall it went very well."
According to zoo officials, once they became aware that an animal has escaped, the police department was notified. Then, the MPD dispatched squad cars, motorcycles helicopters and even the TACT squad to the area. Once officers were on scene, they set up a command post inside the zoo.
Zoo workers played the part of the animal and thanks

Aquarium an attraction with teeth
As visitors squeal at the ragged-tooth shark gliding overhead, it’s easy to pick out the aquarium nerd. “Brain coral!” a little voice exclaims.
If Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, in this Appalachian resort town, is anything to go by, the company’s next fin fiesta, proposed for just south of the CN Tower, would spawn a lot of fish fans — and give the troubled Toronto Zoo a run for its money.
The Star visited the decade-old, Canadian-owned Aquarium of the Smokies over two days recently and found a bustling complex bursting with exhibits and educational eye candy.
While the Ripley’s brand has, believe it or not, given some Torontonians pause, there are no two-headed dolphins floating in formaldehyde.
There are 38 tanks, ranging from something you might see in a recreation room to a two-storey, 2.8-million-litre “Shark Lagoon” teeming with thousands of creatures including the four-metre, serrated-jawed stars, stingrays the size of area rugs and otherworldly sawfish.
Nine exhibits are sprawled over two levels, including Rainforest, Ocean Realm, Touch A Ray Bay, Coral Reef and a “discovery centre” with wet and dry educational displays.
Mesmerized visitors watch colourful jellyfish pulse against a deep blue background. Kids and parents roll up sleeves to stroke stingrays and horseshoe crabs. “Oohs,” “aahs” and Jaws jokes echo up and down a 100-metre moving sidewalk as wide-eyed patrons glide through a clear tunnel at the bottom of Shark Lagoon.
At Penguin Playground, the newest attraction, kids and a few limber adults crawl through a clear tunnel, pointing at two-foot-tall birds swimming by. The humans stand up into an onshore bubble to exchange up-close stares with the endangered African inhabitants.
Temporary exhibits in the past have included “Lethal Weapons,” showcasing

Dr. Julie Barnes Named Director of Animal Health at Santa Barbara Zoo
Dr. Julie Barnes BVSc MSc has been selected as the Santa Barbara Zoo’s new Director of Animal Health. She was the Zoo’s relief veterinarian for more than five years before taking this full-time position.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Barnes join our team,” said Zoo Director Nancy McToldridge. “She has experience with our collection and staff as a relief veterinarian. We have tremendous respect for her clinical abilities, as well as her ability to fit in with our team.”
Dr. Barnes graduated from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and completed a Master’s degree in Wild Animal Health at the London Zoo. Returning to Australia, she was a relief veterinarian at several zoos and wildlife parks and then was employed as a full-time clinical veterinarian at the Taronga Zoo (Sydney, Australia) for seven years, which included work as a veterinarian

A zoo in name only
"The zoo meant more than a sight-seeing attraction to me; it was a poetic haunt, an inspiration to my mind. While an undergraduate, I visited the place often and encountered for the first time in my life animals like the antelope, turtle, baboons, crocodiles, lions, python, different species of birds, to mention a few,” recalled Arthur Anyaduba, an alumnus of the Obafemi Awolowo Universty, Ile Ife, Osun State.
Another former student of the university who is now a teacher there, Dr Arowole Oladare, also recounted, “As a Master’s student and that was in the late 80s, I remember I went to the zoo four different times. The way I can describe what I saw then is that it was fairly what a zoo should be. The animals in their different species were always in their element. They had the right attention and were well taken care of.”
Located directly opposite the Faculty of Social Sciences with a tarred road in-between, the zoo now has a newly constructed car park in the place where its main entrance used to be. The zoo is fenced with poles and wires. There is the rickety structure serving as a staff office, there are small sign boards that show the way to the different abodes of the animals. Displayed in conspicuous places are also different instructions that visitors must strictly adhere to for their safety and the preservation of the animals.
In another part of the zoo where there is a community of bamboo trees, there is an engaging sight. On the bodies of the greenish bamboo trees are various names, dates and comments scribbled with sharp objects by some of the adventurous young minds who visited the place. On the walls and cages of the various enclosures are short notices containing the names of the animals, their botanical nomenclatures, their provenances, and warnings to visitors – all written in English and Yoruba languages.
The animals are housed in near-suitable habitats with enough room to move about, jump, fly or hide. However, the only crocodile there, an aqua-terrestrial animal, is seen in ‘sedate contemplation’ beside a very shallow, dingy pond. Arthur lamented, “There’s hardly anything left there. The baboons, birds and many others have died of hunger and age, and no replacements have been made. Sad still is the fact that the few animals left there are hungry and dying. The exotic natural environment of the zoo, which in my opinion is the most natural zoo in the country, is daily under threat of being mowed down for the erection of unplanned and wrongly situated buildings.”
The Nation visited the zoo recently. The official on duty was recumbent, listening to his radio. “Good afternoon,” he heartily responded to the reporter’s greeting, briskly assuming a sitting position. “This zoo has serious problems,” he said in answer to a question on the state of the zoo. “There are no more animals like we used to have them. The ones we have there now are not properly fed; they are starving. That is why we don’t allow the lion and the lioness to stay together. The former in that state of hunger will eat the latter. So we allow one to be in the cage with the other outside in their enclosure. We alternate this position every week. There is also the problem of replacement. When these animals die, some of hunger and others of old age, they are not replaced. That is why we don’t have many any more.”
When The Nation contacted Professor ‘Shola Akinpelu, the head of the Biological Garden Unit (OAU Zoo), he was unwilling to make comments on the

Citizen partners with Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo as official Timekeeper
Citizen, one of the world's largest watchmakers, has entered into a partnership with Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, to become Official Timekeeper for what is one of the largest aquariums in the world.
The agreement will bring together Citizen, who is not just the world's largest maker of watches but also leaders in eco-friendly timekeeping technology and advanced professional watches, with one of the largest and most popular underwater attractions in the world.
As Official Timekeeper, Citizen will equip the divers at the Dubai Aquarium with their professional dive watches featuring automatic depth sensors and will display Citizen branding at strategic locations around the aquarium.
Gordon White, General Manager, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, said: "The specialized Citizen watches will equip our divers to manage their underwater schedules, which is crucial - especially as they have daily feeding routines for the aquatic animals including the sharks. As one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo offers unique branding opportunities for businesses to reach out to a wide audience, as demonstrated through

Snow Leopard dies in Wildlife Dept’s custody
A Snow Leopard which had spread terror among villagers allegedly died in the custody of the Wildlife Department on Saturday.
The wild-cat had come out of a forest in search of food last month and had spread panic among the residents of Minthal by killing livestock.
On Saturday morning, the villagers followed and caught the cat and handed it over to the Wildlife Department but it died so

Owners breach cordons for pets
Pet owners are breaking through cordons to retrieve their animals, the SPCA says.
A Wellington SPCA Animal Rescue Unit is heading to Christchurch to help with an overload of animal welfare issues. It will be accompanied by Massey University's new Veterinary Emergency Response Team.
It is the first deployment of this type to be undertaken in New Zealand.
SPCA rescue manager Blair Hillyard said the combined 12-strong team would assist urban search and rescue teams that encounter aggressive dogs while conducting house-to-house checks.
The team will also work with animals in areas where humans have been evacuated and will distribute animal food and veterinary supplies to families in need.
The situation for animals has been "deteriorating because of time issues" and is forcing concerned animal owners to break through police cordons to search for their pets.
"That is really one of the common problems of why people break the cordon. It's not to go and do burglaries ... it's to go and retrieve their pets. We will be providing that pretty critical service."
Members of the SPCA team, who are all volunteers, and Massey's vet squad, are trained in urban search and rescue, emergency management, rope rescue, and Civil Defence.
This will help them rescue human quake victims should the need arise, Mr Hillyard said.
"All the Civil Defence qualifications are based on human rescue so we are well placed to morph between the two."
The team will arrive in Christchurch on Sunday afternoon and will start work the next day. The deployment is initially for seven days but could be extended.
SPCA national chief executive Robyn Kippenberger said she was "very aware the worst is yet to come because there will be lots of animals displaced".
"We are not expecting a huge number of dogs but I am expecting a large number of cats. They will be strayed from the earthquake or strays whose colonies have been upset."
Two senior SPCA inspectors have already been sent to Christchurch to help with what is expected to be an influx of stray and displaced cats.
Orana Wildlife Park marketing manager Nathan Hawke said there

Island's dingo debate reignited
Dingo warrior Jennifer Parkhurst has not stepped foot on Fraser Island since being sentenced last year for feeding the emaciated animals.
It's taking an emotional toll on the controversial photographer but she fears she would be jailed if the dogs so much as approached her, she told ABC TV's Australian Story, which features Ms Parkhurst in tonight's episode.
Since being sentenced in November for 46 counts of feeding the dingoes - she was fined $40,000 and jailed for nine months, suspended for three years - calls to better protect the island's dingoes have been all but silent.
Tonight's Australian Story episode again raises the question of whether the 160 dogs are becoming extinct.
Veterinary experts and other supporters interviewed say the dingoes are in grave danger.
"If things go on the way they’re going, the whole dingo population on that Fraser Island will become extinct," veterinarian Dr Ian Gunn, from Monash University's National Dingo Recovery and Preservation Program, said.
He praised Ms Parkhurst's efforts to prove the dingoes' plight.
Ms Parkhurst's obsession with the

Amur tigers in population crisis
The effective population of the critically endangered Amur tiger is now fewer than 14 animals, say scientists.
Approximately 500 Amur tigers actually survive in the wild, but the effective population is a measure the genetic diversity of the world's largest cat.
Very low diversity means any vulnerability to disease or rare genetic disorders is likely to be passed on to the next generation.
So these results paint a grim picture for the tiger's chance of survival.
The findings are reported in the journal

New look for main National Marine Aquarium tank after tragic incident
THE finishing touches are being made to the refurbished centrepiece of the National Marine Aquarium after more than 200 fish were killed in an overnight power failure.
The tragic incident in November at the site on Plymouth's Sutton Harbour caused the Atlantic Reef tank's life support system to fail and most of the water drained out.
Staff arrived the next morning to find the dead fish in the near-empty 550,000-litre tank which had featured a wide range of life from our waters, including pollock, bream and smooth hound sharks.
The aquarium is hoping to reopen the attraction in the near future, which will be renamed the Eddystone Reef.
A spokesman said: "It has been drained to allow the rock work to be cleaned and tweaked ahead of the redesign and the transformation into the Eddystone Reef. Sourcing for the fish

River Safari's panda frenzy begins
All creature comforts will be provided when pandas are flown in from China next year
THE nitty-gritty of moving the two giant pandas from China to Singapore early next year has started in earnest.
And Singapore Airlines will make sure it is 'a great way to fly' for the pandas. SIA signed on last September to transport the VIPs.
A team of zookeepers and veterinarians from the Chinese city of Chengdu will accompany the duo.
Details have emerged of the planning and logistics involved in making the trip comfortable for the pandas.
Mr Ang Cheng Chye, the curator at River Safari, said individual custom-made crates will be used to move the bears to the airport in Chengdu.
They will then be loaded onto a Singapore Airlines




Monarch butterfly count bounces back from bad year
Monarch butterfly colonies in Mexico more than doubled in size this winter after bad storms devastated their numbers a year ago, conservationists said on Monday although the migrating insect remains under threat.
Millions of butterflies make a 2,000-mile journey each year from Canada to winter in central Mexico's warmer weather but the size of that migration can vary wildly.
Fewer of the orange and black insects arrived in Mexico last year than ever before, researchers said, but the butterfly colonies increased by 109 percent this year to cover roughly 10 acres of forest. Researchers estimate the size of the butterfly colonies based on the area they occupy in a forest.
"Certainly this is good news and indicates a recovering trend," said Omar Vidal, director of the Mexico branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
But while the monarch colonies rebounded this winter, it is still the fourth-lowest year for the butterfly since researchers started census-taking in 1993.
Illegal loggers have picked away roughly 3 percent of a 138,000 acre reserve since it was created in 2000 but officials say they now have that illicit harvest under control.
Severe winter weather linked to climate change is more of a long-term threat, along with large-scale farming that crowds out the milkweed

Fast decline in fascinating snow leopards population
Though extinction of wildlife species in Pakistan is not new as well as ‘astonishing’ phenomenon but for those who care it would be quite disappointing that fast decline in population of fascinating snow leopards in mountain ranges has now clearly indicated their near-disappearance from the wildlife scene.
Only two population studies of snow leopards in Pakistan have ever been attempted — one in 1974 by noted biologist George Schaller and another by Shafqat Hussain of Yale University in 2003. But unofficial reports unanimously portrayed a bleak picture in which it was stated that there were only 300 to 400 snow leopards left in the snow-covered mountain ranges of Pakistan, out of a total estimated world population of 4,000 to 7,000. This region is the main corridor for connecting bigger populations of snow leopards living in Pakistan, Central Asia, China, India and Nepal.
According to International Snow Leopards Trust, the main factors blamed for decline in the population of snow leopards included poaching, retribution killing, prey loss and lack of awareness among the local people.
Though trade in snow leopards is banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, their pelts bring high prices on the black market, often equivalent to an entire year’s income for a mountain

Tortoises get beauty treatment
IT’S unlikely many beauty salons would have had a tortoise amble through its doors for a pedicure
But Shepreth Wildlife Park has been providing them of late as the ponderous reptiles come out of their winter hibernation.
Keepers at the zoo noticed tortoises waking up from their winter rest early due to the warmer February mornings, and one of their first duties was to sort out their nails.
Animal manager Rebecca Willers said: “We usually start the wake-up period for tortoises in March, but activity in the group had been noticed much earlier this year.
“Elin Jansson, who is on work experience with us, was amused when she was told her duties included giving them manicures and pedicures.
“Elin was not afraid to rise to the challenge, set with nail file, clippers and even some red nail polish to re-number their shells.”
Managers at the park have thanked members of the public for visiting the park in recent months, as it struggled to cope with

Britain delays decision on badger cull
A British government department says its decision on whether to order a cull of badgers to combat cattle tuberculosis will be delayed,
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs had said it would to announce its policy decision around the end of this month, but now says it could come as late as May, raising doubts about whether a cull could be conducted this year at all, the BBC reported Friday.
A source told the BBC that DEFRA did not want to "mess up" again after abandoning its plans to sell some public forests, a proposal it abandoned Thursday in the face of heavy public opposition.
"They've messed up on forests -- they don't want another one," the source said.
Environment Secretary Caroline

Inspiring wolverine conservation
A biologist is coming to Fernie to talk about wolverines and to try to stop their decline.
Doug Chadwick followed the fascinating animals for five years in Montana’s Glacier National Park, and is passionate about protecting them.
“Wolverines eat everybody,” says Doug Chadwick, whose book The Wolverine Way is published by Patagonia. “Alive, dead or long dead, moose, mouse, fox and frog; still warm or long-frozen.”
Chadwick is stopping by Fernie next week as part of Wildsight’s Wolverine Way tour.
Chadwick has already presented his book and slide show in Creston, Nelson, Revelstoke, Golden, Invermere, Kimberley and Cranbrook.
The biologist and author

Will SeaWorld hearing be closed to the public?
SeaWorld is battling the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after the theme park was slapped with a reckless citation.
It's been almost a year since Dawn Brancheau, 40, was killed when an orca, or killer whale, pulled her into a tank at SeaWorld.
However, the legal battles and questions of killer whale care continue for the theme park.
SeaWorld is fighting a $70,000 fine from OSHA, which handed the theme park one of the most serious of citations, accusing the park of recklessly exposing its employees to danger.
In April, the two sides are expected to battle it out, but you may never know what evidence either side has to offer.
It's likely SeaWorld will ask a judge to close the hearing off to the public.
"This is gonna be a hearing of great interest and great importance to SeaWorld," said J. Seegers, an attorney from Baker Hostetler.
Seegers is a long-time employment lawyer.
While he isn't related to the case, Seegers

New guests in Mysore Zoo
The Mysore Zoo has a new bunch of guests. The Indian gray wolf, the smallest sub-species of gray wolves belonging to the Canidae family, has given birth to seven pups. They were born to a pair that were brought to the Mysore zoo from Gadag Zoo in May last year.
The young ones were born in January after the gestation period of 63 days. Birth and survival of seven pups is quite rare and Indian gray wolves have bred for the first time in Mysore zoo. Also, the Mysore zoo is the second zoo in the country to breed this species.
Owing to difficulties in managing the wolves in Gadag zoo, the pair of wolves

Council urged to help Australia Zoo wildlife hospital
The Sunshine Coast Regional Council will today be asked to make a $25,000 emergency donation to Australia Zoo's wildlife hospital in the south-east Queensland region's hinterland.
On Monday, Australia Zoo rejected media reports it was in financial trouble and could be in danger of folding.
Director Terri Irwin said more than 20 staff were laid off this year due to poor weather, a drop in visitor numbers and the general financial downturn.
But Ms Irwin said none of the wildlife programs or attractions were facing the axe.
Councillor Anna Grosskreutz will make a call at a council meeting today to help the wildlife hospital.
She says the wildlife hospital is independent of the zoo and operates on donations and recent rain and flooding has seen a dramatic increase in the number of animals being brought to the facility.
"The animals are being taken there by the thousands ... from across the region and they're starting to struggle for funding to keep the le

Zoo's emergency exercise offers gut-busting sight gag
Emergency simulation exercises are usually serious business, especially ones that involve the escape of man-eating animals.
But workers at the Tokyo zoo likely had a tough time keeping their faces straight Tuesday, thanks to a simulated escape that featured a cuddly costumed character.
A zookeeper donned a fuzzy costume that was supposed to help him mimic a siberian tiger that escaped during an earthquake.

Borneo Pygmy elephant Rocco suddenly sickens and dies
An endangered Borneo Pygmy elephant, Rocco, has died in captivity at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park here.
Rocco, reportedly about 27 years old, died at 3.30am on Monday, hardly 24-hours after it showed signs of weakness that was treated with emergency intravenous and subcutaneous fluid therapy.
Sabah Wildlife Department senior veterinarian Dr Sen Nathan said Tuesday that the cause of death was due to prolonged lying in a reclined position (recumbence) that put pressure on the internal organs and triggered respiratory and circulatory failure in the Rocco’s body.
He said blood samples had been sent to the Veterinary Services Department’s Animal Disease Research

Dodo skeleton set to go on show in Jersey
A dodo skeleton has been returned to Jersey for the first time in 21 years.
The goose-sized skeleton, dug up in the 1860s, is on loan to the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust from the Government of Mauritius.
It will form the centre piece of the conservation organisation's new visitor centre when it opens in April.
The skeleton represents one of only a handful of similar specimens in the world and is one of the best examples according to the trust.
The majority of the bones are original but the skeleton was carefully restored by the Royal Museum of Scotland on behalf of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust about 18 years ago.
Jamie Copsey, head of the Durrell International Training Centre, said: "We are delighted to be able

Polar bear facing a grizzly end
A POPULAR polar bear at a Scots animal centre is facing a death sentence - just months after fans raised £75,000 to move her there.
Mercedes is already on a cocktail of painkilling drugs for arthritis following her transfer to Highland Wildlife Park from Edinburgh Zoo.
And the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland may have to end the life of the half-ton, 30-year-old animal if her health does not improve.
A source said: "There are rumours she will be put down within months."
The society's vet Simon Girling added: "Mercedes is suffering from advanced osteoarthritis. If she begins to suffer, it is probable that

Report suggests Orang home for pygmy hog
Conservation efforts on the endangered species in Sonai-Rupai wildlife sanctuary show good results
After Sonai-Rupai wildlife sanctuary, the next home of the pygmy hog could well be the Orang National Park — dubbed “miniature Kaziranga”.
“Orang could be the next home of pygmy hog. A feasibility report is being prepared for examination of the site,” principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) Suresh Chand told The Telegraph.
The report, being prepared by Orang National Park authorities, will be given to the forest department.
The pygmy hog (Porcula salvania) is the world’s rarest wild hog and most threatened by extinction.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in fact

PIL seeks relocation of zoo
Noise pollution and vibrations due to vehicular movement have resulted in a decline in the population of animals in the Delhi Zoological Park, so, it must be shifted, a PIL before the Delhi high court has argued.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, on Wednesday, issued notices to the Centre, urban development ministry, Zoo Authority of India and the Delhi government. The PIL cites an exhaustive record of previous years with respect to each and every species to show that lack of breeding and noise pollution

Elephant herd still uncertain
The future of elephants at Auckland Zoo could be in doubt with some new councillors questioning a proposal to import more of the animals.
A plan to create a herd of up to 10 elephants at the zoo was approved for investigation by the former Auckland City Council before the supercity election, with councillor Cathy Casey the only dissenting voice.
The zoo's sole remaining elephant Burma was left alone after longtime companion Kashin died in 2009.
But after the Central Leader polled 15 of Auckland's 20 new councillors on the issue, several echoed Ms Casey's concerns.
Albany councillor Wayne Walker isn't convinced the plan is a good one on a number of fronts.
"Elephants are convivial creatures and you need a number of them to operate as a social unit. The zoo's not set up for that and they have a degree of cost associated with maintaining the herd."
Orakei councillor Cameron Brewer has similar concerns.
"This will be costly for the ratepayer and

Malaysian experiment releases 3 orangutans in wild
Malaysian researchers are testing whether three young orangutans reared in captivity can adapt to life in the wild outside Borneo, while activists insisted Wednesday the experiment was a flawed way of trying to help the endangered primates.
The project is spearheaded by a private foundation that runs Orangutan Island, a research center and tourist attraction in northern peninsular Malaysia. The facility has bred orangutans in captivity over the past decade despite criticism by animal rights groups that conservation programs should focus instead on protecting existing orangutans in the jungles of Borneo and Sumatra.
D. Sabapathy, the center's senior manager, said researchers released three captive orangutans on a neighboring island last week. They are expected to remain there for up to six years before officials determine whether they can be let loose, either in peninsular Malaysia or Borneo.
The project marks the first time that orangutans have been allowed to roam on their own in peninsular Malaysia. Activists estimate some 50,000 orangutans live in the wild in Malaysian and Indonesian territory in Borneo, while another 7,000 can be found on Indonesia's Sumatra island.
The three apes include Sonia, born at the center eight years ago, and two others - Ah Ling, 17, and Nicky, 23 - found by wildlife authorities in Borneo a decade ago and brought to the center. Sabapathy

Durrell wildlife park trains conservationists worldwide
The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust may have its headquarters in Trinity in Jersey, but its reach and influence spreads around the world.
Founded by Gerald Durrell in 1959, the Jersey Zoological Park was a sanctuary and breeding centre for endangered species.
And that is still the mission of the trust 52 years later, except now they are helping conservationists protect species around the world.
In 1978 Gerald Durrell created what he called a "mini-university" at the centre in Trinity.
Its aim was to "provide intensive training to conservation practitioners worldwide."
In 2011 that centre is still going strong, helping to train conservationists who come from all over the world to study.
Breeding programme
Every year they run an internationally-acclaimed endangered species management graduate course.
The trust is now running this year's course.
“Being selected to further my studies in the endangered species management was of tremendous benefit not only to me but to the endangered and very rare wildlife of Fiji. ” Ramesh Chand
It takes place over twelve weeks and helps train conservationists to run projects in their own countries.
The dozen or so people taking

Fire at traveling zoo kills 300 animals, including endangered species
An early morning blaze at a traveling zoo here destroyed the entire facility, leaving some 300 animals dead, including endangered species.
According to Moriyama Station of the Shiga Prefectural Police, the fire broke out in a building housing animals at Horii Zoo at around 1:55 a.m. on Feb. 25. By the time the fire was extinguished three hours later, the 620-square-meter facility was completely destroyed, and approximately 300 animals (around 100 species) were killed, including endangered Bengal tigers, baboons

Lincoln Park Zoo to celebrate ex-director's 90th birthday
The Lincoln Park Zoo is scheduled to celebrate the life of a former zoo director Thursday.
The zoo is throwing a 90th birthday party for Doctor Lester Fisher.
Doctor Fisher's 30-year tenure helped transform the Lincoln Park Zoo.
His favorite zoo animals, the gorillas, will join in Thursday's

The palm oil PR offensive is gathering pace – but not weight
An Adam Smith Institute report is the latest development as the palm oil industry attempts to rebrand itself as 'the good guys', but many of its claims appear to be unfounded
Last week, I received an email from the Adam Smith Institute alerting me to a new briefing paper it is publishing this week. The ASI must have known that the title would catch my eye – and indeed it did: "Dispelling the myths: Palm oil and the environmental lobby."
The ASI bills itself as the "one of the world's leading thinktanks" and says that its aim is to "promote free markets, limited government, and an open society". It is known for being one of the chief policy architects of privatisation and the poll tax during the Thatcher era.
With this kind of pedigree, I was intrigued to see what the ASI's views on palm oil might be. I already had an inkling what its views on the "environmental lobby" might be (clue: not positive), but I wasn't aware that it had ever passed judgment on the merits of south-east Asia's highly controversial palm oil plantations.
But something else intrigued me: the timing of the paper. It was only a few weeks since I wrote about Tory MEP Roger Helmer, who had been flown out to Malaysia by the palm oil industry to give a speech in which he advised it how it could better lobby Brussels. Earlier this month the world's second largest palm oil producer, Golden Agri-Resources, signed an agreement with conservation group the Forest Trust. And just last week a major Malaysian palm oil producer

Stay The Extinction Of Egypt’s Sacred Cats
During certain periods of ancient Egyptian history it was illegal to kill cats, any cats. The punishment for said infraction? Death. Cats were considered so sacred that only the Pharaoh was permitted to own them. Now, not only do sickly stray cats slink through the capital, but the country is facing widespread extinction of its wild felines. Of the ten wild cat species present in Africa, six once roamed Egypt. Just how many wild cats still exist is difficult to determine because the animals are so elusive, but experts claim that not only is it crucial to biodiversity to map and protect remaining populations, but to eco-tourism.
Almasry Alyoum reports that The Jungle/Swamp Cat, the Wild Cat, Sand Cat, Caracal, Cheetah and Leopard at one time existed in Egypt. The cheetah went extinct in the 1980s while the leopard is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Wael Shohdi, the coordinator for Nature Conservation Egypt, says the Swamp Cat is among the most important species to protect given that they are native to the country. They also adapt well to a changing environment. They can be found cruising through the cane fields and agricultural lands of Fayoum and Wadi Rayas.
The challenge is mapping them, because they elude researchers. But doing so is essential to protecting them as their populations are threatened by

Softer touch with pandas
In October 1972, China sent two giant pandas — the male Kang Kang and the female Lan Lan — to Tokyo's Ueno Zoo to mark the normalization of the diplomatic ties between China and Japan. The bears, with their distinctive black and white markings, were a big hit with the Japanese public. On the first day of their public debut, some 3,000 people queued in front of the zoo, forming a line more than 1 kilometer long.
For about 35 years, Ueno Zoo had cared for the endangered animals until the death in April 2008 of Ling Ling, which China gave to Japan in 1992. Following a nearly three-year absence, two giant pandas from China — the male Bili and the female Xiannu — arrived at Uneo Zoo on Feb. 21 to the cheers of wellwishers who had gathered to welcome the pair to their new home.
The two animals came from the Ya'an giant panda conservation center in Sichuan Province. They left the center on Feb. 20, and arrived at Tokyo's Haneda airport the next day via Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, and Shanghai. Beijing regards them as "messengers of friendship" between China and Japan. Ueno Zoo plans to debut them to the public in late March. It will give Japanese names to the pandas by picking suggestions

Sexy monkeys wash with own urine
Capuchin monkeys have what at first glance appears to be an odd habit: they urinate onto their hands then rub their urine over their bodies into their fur.
Now scientists think they know why the monkeys "urine wash" in this way.
A new study shows that the brains of female tufted capuchins become more active when they smell the urine of sexually mature adult males.
That suggests males wash with their urine to signal their availability and attractiveness to females.

Kidnapped monkeys back at Lyon zoo
Police have recovered four monkeys kidnapped earlier this month from a zoo in Lyon, south-east France. The final primate was returned on Thursday morning, after being spotted on a building site a few miles from the zoo.
The young female L'Hoest's monkey is said to be in good health after surviving 20 days out of captivity.
It rejoins the other L'Hoest's monkey and two emperor tamarins stolen from the Tête d'Or park in central Lyon on 4 February. Both species are extremely rare, leading zoo keepers to suspect that they were stolen to order.
The first monkey turned up 24 hours after the break-in, left in a laundry basket outside a nearby fire station.
The two tamarins were found a few days

Sheikha Latifa adds white tigers to zoo's big cats
Two white tigers have been gifted to the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR) by a member of Dubai's ruling family. Sugar and Spice, a female and male, both two years old, were put on display last night.
The gift by Sheikha Latifa Bint Rashid bin Khalifa means AWPR is the only zoo in the GCC to have white tigers on display.
Raised at the Royal Palace in Dubai since they were three months old, the tigers are domesticated and quite tame, according to the veterinarian that cared for them at the palace. A promotional DVD shows the teenaged Royal Family member at home petting them as they nuzzle up to her like any domesticated house cat.
"They are very sociable and tame," said Dr Mohammed Thenayan, who helped to care for the cubs. "They are very used to being around people and were roaming in the palace until the age of four months, but then they got to be quite large.
"At the palace we had a proper enclosure for them with an indoor and outdoor room and a pool. When they reached the age of two, Sheikha Latifa decided that we should donate them to

Dublin Zoo wolves go underground
The folks down at Dublin Zoo face a new challenge this week as they search for the amazing disappearing wolves.
Zookeeper Ciaran McMahon and his team, curious over the whereabouts of a number of the wolves, enter their area and uncover a vast network of underground tunnels where apparently all the cool wolves hang out.
The tunnels though lie dangerously close to the zoo's perimeter fence so it is crucial that the team get the reluctant wolves out of the tunnels and employ underground cameras to assist them in the job. It's dangerous work, though, but somebody's

Rare dolphin pregnant at Shedd Aquarium
A rare dolphin at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium is expecting a calf in May.
Tique (TEE'-kay) is one of the few Pacific white-sided dolphins currently living in a zoo or aquarium.
Ken Ramirez, executive vice president of Animal Collections and Training at the Shedd, says there are fewer than 20 of the dolphins in North American facilities.
Tique is 26 years old and weighs about 200 pounds.
She and another female dolphin were taken to live with male dolphins at the Miami Seaquarium as part of a breeding partnership where

Zoo ape the subject of thoughtful documentary 'Nenette'
Paul Simon and a Parisian orangutan tell us the same thing: It's all happening at the zoo.
Nenette, a 40-year-old ape from Borneo, is the oldest inhabitant of one of the world's oldest zoos, the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes in the French capital. The hypnotic documentary "Nenette" is not really a movie about the aged orangutan or even about the venerable zoo but about the humans who view Nenette through the lens of their own lives.
While director Nicolas Philibert trains his static camera on a family of glass-enclosed orangutans, and mostly on their fleshy, red-haired matriarch in extreme close-up, we hear but never clearly see the many visitors who come to gawk at them.
The off-camera voices, in at least four languages, belong to both children and grown-ups with a variety of temperaments: curious, crass

Citizen member Torzsok named new chair of zoo
Beats out pair of city councillors for the position
Scarborough-Rouge River Councillor Raymond Cho lost a bid to keep his long-held position as chair of the Toronto Zoo board, but his successor says that does not mean a shift in direction for the zoo.
Joe Torzsok, a citizen member of the board, defeated Cho and another candidate, Etobicoke Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby, in two rounds of voting last Monday.
"I'm not totally disappointed. I'm an open-minded guy," said Cho, who held the post continuously since December 2003.
In an interview this week, he called Torzsok, a strategic alliance director at Telus who previously served as the zoo's vice-chairperson, "a good communicator."
While he was chair, Cho said, the zoo cut the city's subsidy of its revenues from 65 to 25 per cent and achieved record admissions in 2009, though admissions fell more than 10 per cent last year. "We're doing really well."
The zoo - which added a new polar bear habitat, featured an interactive stingray exhibit and explored alternative energy options such as solar and biogas - became less of a place to simply view captured animals and more like "a very environmentally-friendly place where people can meet nature," Cho said.
This week, Torzsok said Cho's vision of the zoo as a place where people learn about the natural world and, inspired, "can drive action" helping the environment, is one that needs to continue.
Cho started "fantastic stuff" as chairperson that should be taken




Pandas due at Ueno Zoo on Monday

A pair of giant pandas leased from China will arrive at Ueno Zoo on Monday, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said Wednesday.

The giant pandas will be the first at the zoo since panda Ling-Ling died in April 2008. Under the deal between the metropolitan government and the Chinese side, Tokyo will be able to lease the popular animals for 10 years.
The male panda, named Bili, and the female panda, named Xiannu, are both 5 years old. The metropolitan government will pay around ¥90 million each year to China in lease charges that go to fund wild animal protection.
The endangered giant panda is considered a national treasure in China and the international conservation group WWF estimates that there

Stray dogs eat 2 deer in city zoo
In a shocking incident, two deer were eaten up by stray dogs at the Nehru Zoological Park. Sources said that the incident occurred on the night of February 14 but came to light only on Thursday even as zoo authorities tried to hush up the matter.
The two dogs, appeared to have entered the zoo either through the service gate or from the area near the zoo director's quarters, ate two deer and another deer, in the vicinity which witnessed the attack collapsed and died.
Sources said that it was just another security lapse. Two years ago, a 16-feet boundary wall with barbed wires was constructed around the zoo. This is the first incident after the wall was constructed. They said that even during day time, the security is not adequate and in the night, all the animal keepers are off duty. Just a handful of security guards are left to man the 360-acre area. On February 15 morning, animal keepers, who were moving around the area, found half eaten bodies of the two deer and the other dead deer. The dogs

Asia's Biggest Aquarium Opened

Siberia: bringing the world the tiniest aquarium
Just two teaspoons of water – that’s all that the world’s smallest aquarium can hold. It was created by a micro-miniature extraordinaire Anatoly Konenko, who hails from the Siberian city of Omsk. A glass cube measuring 30 by 24 by 14 mm, complete with sand, multi-coloured stones and seaweed can contain 10 ml of water and play home to tiny fish. But that’s not all – the mini-aquarium is equipped with a water purification filter. It took the skillful master about two weeks to fashion it.

Anatoly Konenko has been fiddling around with micro-miniatures for 30 years – he was the first such craftsman in Siberia. He worked out how to write on rice grains, poppy seeds even human hair, and created the necessary micro-instruments to do this. He

Zoo snake enclosure yet to see light of the day
A special enclosure that Chattbir Zoo had planned to ensure safety of snakes is yet to see light of the day. Last year, 36 sand boas were released in forest area by zoo authorities without displaying them to visitors due to the absence of a safe enclosure.
According to sources, a proposal of building the proposed enclosure was initiated by the zoo authorities in 2008. Work was started on it, but it remains incomplete till date. At present the zoo has one python, which has to be shifted to a hospital during winters, when it gets too cold. The special enclosure was supposed to keep

Toronto Zoo to decide what to do with its elephants
A newly released survey of Toronto Zoo visitors has found that even without elephants, 85 per cent of respondents would still attend.
The survey of 800 visitors last summer comes as the zoo grapples with declining attendance and what to do with its three remaining elephants.
Prompted by a cluster of elephant deaths, the zoo’s board recently hired a consultant to explore the animals’ role.
The question of whether to keep them or send them elsewhere will likely be decided soon with a staff report presenting “options’’ due in the next few months, zoo CEO John Tracogna said after Monday’s board meeting.
“It is an important decision. We want to get it right,’’ Tracogna said.
Critics pushing for the animals to be sent to a sanctuary argue elephants experience high mortality rates in Toronto because it’s too cold and they lack adequate space to roam.
Others wanting them to remain say the elephants are important

Its a Boy (Great photos of new elephant birth)

Elephant trainer's death not zoo's fault
A Tennessee wildlife agency report says the Jan. 14 death of an elephant trainer at the Knoxville Zoo was likely due to an unprovoked but "intentional" blow by the animal.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency incident report said there is no reason to believe any zoo procedures contributed to the death of the trainer, 33-year-old Stephanie Elaine James.
James died from internal injuries suffered when the 26-year-old female elephant, Edie, pushed her into the bars of a barn stall during feeding.
WBIR-TV reported Tuesday that zoo director Jim Vlna said in a statement that only the elephant "knew her intent and whatever that was, it will not change

Monterey Bay Aquarium sponsors bill on shark fin ban

Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year for their fins, but a new bill introduced in the California legislature and sponsored by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, aims to reduce the market demand that drives the practice.

The bill, introduced by assemblymen Paul Fong, D-Cupertino, and Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, would ban the sale, possession, or distribution of shark fins. California is one of the largest non-Asian markets for sharks fins, which are used primarily in a gourmet Chinese soup. San Diego and Los Angeles are two of the leading U.S. points of entry for shark fins, said the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
The practice of shark finning, in which fishermen slice off the animals' fins and throw the bleeding sharks back into the water, is already banned in U.S. waters. But supporters of the new California bill argue that while demand for shark fins remains high, the incentive to continue the practice persists.
"Finning sharks is an environmentally destructive practice

Chris Selley: The elephant in the zoo
Among less famous people, Councillor Shelley Carroll and Bob Barker — yeah, that’s right, Bob Barker — want the Toronto Zoo to send its elephants to a more suitable setting in a more suitable climate. Just about anywhere south of 401 and Meadowvale Road would seem to fit the bill, but a sanctuary in California is Ms. Carroll’s preferred destination. I’m inclined to agree with her.
Just about everyone seems to think the zoo’s pachyderm habitat is too small, in addition to being … you know, in Canada. Price estimates for bringing it up to snuff stand at around $40-million, at a time when the zoo struggles to find a quarter of that to house and care for two giant pandas slated to arrive from China. And while I’ll eat just about any beast you’d care to roast and put in front of me, the idea of putting exotic animals on display in inherently stressful circumstances for human beings to gawk at leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
It also strikes me as far less entertaining, and educational, than other animal-themed activities. Parents I know speak of the zoo as a cheap, low-maintenance day out that holds their kids’ attention. But when it comes to the marquee attractions, what are they really seeing? Often as not, lions sleeping, polar bears sleeping and elephants not doing much of anything except being elephants.
Wild Kingdom it isn’t.
Surely children and adults alike would be more entertained and educated by high-definition video of the same creatures let loose in a more natural habitat — wallowing in mud, spraying water out of their trunks, tending

Minnesota Zoo dolphin dies at age 44
The Minnesota Zoo is mourning the loss of April, an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin.
The zoo reports that the 44-year-old dolphin died Tuesday after suffering physical ailments for the past few months. A necropsy, or animal autopsy, will determine the cause of death.
April was the mother of 22-year-old Allie, another dolphin at the Apple Valley zoo, and grandmother of Taijah (TAY'-shah), born last summer. She had been at the zoo since January 2008 on,0,2177843.story

Brazil zoo sends beached penguins to California
Nearly two dozen penguins swept to the warm shores of Brazil last year have been sent to California to be resettled in a cooler clime and become part of an exhibit on climate change, a zoo director said Tuesday.
Giselda Candiotto, president of the rehabilitation zoo in Niteroi, a city across Guanabara Bay from Rio de Janeiro, said the 21 penguins will live in an appropriately acclimatized space created for them at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
"They're doing well, really well," she said. "They're going to the First World, with all the best amenities."
The Magellanic penguins arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday night and will be

Sichuan Forest Biodiversity Project
To enhance networks of protected areas in China and engage local people in their sustainable management
In 1998 the devastating floods along the Yangtze River led to the introduction of the National Forest Protection Programme. This moratorium outlined changes to logging practice and land management policy within the upper Yangtze basin. Consequently these changes presented conservationists with a unique opportunity to encourage protection for the important broadleaf forest habitat and its endemic animals and plants within southern Sichuan Province. The conservation significance of this forest is highlighted by its inclusion within the Mountains of South-west China Biodiversity Hotspot (Conservation International) and the Chinese Subtropical Forest Endemic Bird Area (Birdlife International). However, prior to 1998 this ecosystem was largely ignored, with the majority of

Toronto Zoo hopes to lure donors with blockbuster exhibit
The new Toronto Zoo board meets for the first time Monday as plans to host two giant pandas next year are behind schedule.
Zoo officials said last fall that they wanted to have a private-sector partner or sponsor in place by now to pay for a panda exhibit.
But the zoo hasn't begun a search for a partner yet, because it doesn't have a deal on sharing the bears with zoos in Calgary and Granby, Quebec.
The Toronto Zoo needs the blockbuster exhibit to lure donors and

Hong Kong rare whales plan riles activists
Beluga whales are majestic, sociable creatures that live in small pods mostly in the icy waters around the Arctic circle.
They chat loudly with each other in elaborate clicks, clangs and whistles, have a big seemingly friendly smile and are, for a whale, relatively small -- meaning they can be easily kept in a large tank.
And that's exactly what's planned for up to a dozen of the rare mammals at a new attraction at an aquarium in Hong Kong.
"We want to use these iconic animals to deliver a message of conservation and education to our guests," Tom Mehrmann, chief executive of Ocean Park, told AFP.
"And we want to make sure that the pod is large enough for proper social dynamics to take place."
But outraged conservationists say the park's plans have highlighted the issue of aquariums "robbing the world's oceans" of already threatened species just to have a gimmick to sell to the paying public.
Ocean Park says it will try to source already captive belugas from other aquariums around the world but, if they can't find a pod that way, they admit they

The very worst kind of conservation
A charity called Songbird Survival (SS) has launched an appeal for £88,000 that will ‘examine the impact of corvid removal on farmland songbird productivity.' In other words, they apparently want to kill as many corvids as possible in the hope that this will boost songbird numbers.
SS claim that a healthy increase in corvid numbers in the last 40 years may be responsible for the drop in farmland songbird numbers. No matter that these corvids are native species that were heavily prosecuted by gamekeepers until WWII. Once that prosecution eased, their numbers started to grow again, and so the stats show that they have increased in number in the last 40 years. Native

Coco the elephant dies at Columbus Zoo
An Asian elephant that had been a resident of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for 37 years died this afternoon, but it likely will be weeks before zoo officials know why.
Coco, the patriarch of the zoo's elephant herd, died about 3 p.m. He was found by staff members, lying down and unable to get up, early this morning, said Patty Peters, vice president of community relations.
"They worked nonstop for almost eight hours in an attempt to save him," Peters

Orangutans Get Married on Valentine's Day
A "cougar" of an orangutan married her mate on Valentine's Day in a ceremony held in a Thailand zoo.
Discovery News reported that Nancy, a 20-year-old orangutan, married 12-year-old Suriya in a ceremony held by Songkhla Zoo to celebrate the holiday.
While Nancy has a son born a few years ago from her mating with another male, she and Suriya are doing well and have been together for three months.
The Thai news site MCOT said the happy occasion was named the "Happy Valentine's Day Orang-Utan Honeymoon." The ceremony was traditional and included a "Kan Mark" procession during which the groom offers dowry to the bride.
Local authorities signed as witnesses.
Rabbits made up the wedding party at another Thai location, Chiang Mai Night Safari

Promiscuous apes make more sperm
Chimpanzees produce 200 times more sperm than gorillas, the world's largest primates, and 14 times more than orangutans, scientists based in Japan reveal.
Promiscuous ape species have bigger testicles, and the latest discovery finally provides evidence that they also produce more sperm.
Scientists previously proposed that chimps have large testicles because several males mate with a single female, and so have to produce more sperm in order to compete.
For their research, published in the American Journal of Primatology, scientists studied chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas from zoos in Japan and Indonesia.
Analysing samples of testicular tissues at a microscopic level, researchers found remarkable variation between the apes.
They found that the sperm-producing tissue lining gorillas' testes was much thinner than that of orangutans and chimpanzees.
Chimpanzees were found to produce 14 times more sperm than orangutans and even more than

Poachers’ terror dies in Orang
- Old age claims Kaankata the rhino which survived bullets
Kaankata had survived many an attempt on its life by poachers as it strolled the grasslands of the smallest national park in the state, but the “most ferocious rhino” of Orang breathed its last this morning because of old age, producing conflicting emotions of relief and gloom among forest staff.
“Kaankata was a terror for the poachers as well the forest staff. It charged at people at first sight since it was hit by a bullet fired by poachers and lost one of its ears a few years back,” Orang divisional forest official (DFO) Sushil Daila told The Telegraph today.
That’s how it earned its name — Kaankata (one with a cut ear).
The carcass of the 35-year-old male rhino, found at a spot between Singveti camp and Satsimalu camp this morning, had its horn intact, without any external injury. “Our staff had sighted Kaankata last evening but did not approach it

Newly Discovered Geckos in Thailand (Good Photos)

Galapagos Tortoise Sebastian may well have been alive and well when Darwin was developing his theory of Natural Selection
Who are Sebastian and Carolina, why do they have T shirts, and why are they on sale here at the Houston Zoo?
1.Who are Sebastian and Carolina?
Sebastian and Carolina are wild giant tortoises who live on the Island of Santa Cruz in the heart of the Galapagos Archipelago. Under the auspices of the Galapagos Tortoise Programme, Sebastian and Carolina are participants in a study of tortoise migration, along with another 44 tortoises spread over three different islands: Santa Cruz, Isabela, and Española. The study is coordinated by the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany, in strong collaboration with the Galapagos National Park Service and the Charles Darwin Foundation.

Elephant's actions 'not an attack' on zoo worker
Intentional, yes. Evil, no.
That's the point Tennessee wildlife officials say they wanted to get across in their final report on the elephant's actions that killed handler Stephanie Elaine James at the Knoxville Zoo last month.
"It was intentional, but it was not an attack," said Walter Cook, state wildlife coordinator for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. "That was the only word that could be used in the report - 'intentional' - because nobody could identify any stimulus for the elephant to do that. It wasn't accidental, because the elephant meant to do it. But at the same time, the word doesn't indicate malice or mean the elephant was being aggressive in any way."
Investigators can't be certain whether the elephant acted out

Bolivian circus lions flown to U.S. sanctuary
Twenty-five Bolivian circus lions rescued from poor conditions arrived in the United States on Wednesday, bound for a Colorado wildlife refuge.
Dubbed "Operation Lion Ark," the 14 males and 11 female cats arrived at Denver International Airport on a jet chartered by Animal Defenders International (ADI), a British-American venture that advocates circus animal rights.
"This has been a dream for so long, to empty a whole country of its circus animals," ADI president Jan Creamer told a crowd of about 100 who assembled at a United Airlines hangar to watch the event.
Former game show host Bob Barker, a longtime animal-rights activist who funded the relocation, was on hand to welcome the cats alongside actress Jorja Fox of TV's CSI franchise.
Workers unloaded the animals in individual crates amid applause from animal-rights advocates in attendance.
Veterinarian Mel Richardson, who accompanied the animals on the 11-hour flight from Bolivia, pronounced them in relatively good health ahead of their move to The Animal Sanctuary

Crocodile collector opens first UK centre
HIS unusual hobby has seen him dubbed the “British Crocodile Dundee”.
But Shaun Foggett, 31, is deadly serious about reptiles and has just opened the UK’s first crocodile and alligator zoo in Witney.
The father-of-three sold his family home to fund the new Crocodiles of the World centre in Crawley Mill, which will house more than 30 of the reptiles.
Mr Foggett turned his life-long love of crocodiles into a dedicated breeding programme aimed at helping some of the world’s most endangered animals.
He said: “I’m delighted it’s up and running. I’ve wanted

NYS Zoo at Thompson Park Names New Executive Director
The New York State Zoo at Thompson Park has named a new Executive Director.
John Wright, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, has accepted the position and is anticipated to start Monday, March 7, 2011.
Mr. Wright will join the New York State Zoo from his previous position as General Curator, at the Hattiesburgh Zoo in Mississippi.
Previous employment held by Mr. Wright includes:
•Disney Animal Kingdom, Orlando, FL
•Birmingham Zoo, Baltimore, MD
•Kansas City Zoo, Kansas City, MO
Mr. Wright has served in related organizations, Associated Member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (1997-present), Member of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (1993-present), National Audubon Society (2006-present). He also has numerous publications on zoo and conservation topics.
Mr. Wright will be moving to the community with his wife and young daughter.
Replacing Dr. John Scott Foster as Executive Director of the New York State Zoo

Rare deer born at West Midland Safari Park
Mum Philipa proudly shows off her newborn daughter Philipinna at West Midland Safari Park.
Staff at the attraction, near Bewdley in Worcestershire, were delighted when the rare Philippine Spotted Deer came into the world ten days ago.
The breed is critically endangered in its native south-east Asia, with only around 300 believed to be left in the wild.
The decline in numbers has been put down to the destruction of its natural habitat due to logging and the conversion of its jungle habitat into agricultural land.
Now zoos across Europe are taking part in a breeding programme for the Philippines authorities.
The park’s head warden, Bob

SF Zoo closes early due to weather
The San Francisco Zoo closed at 1 p.m. on Thursday, three hours earlier than normal, because of the storms that have drenched the Bay Area.
Officials say the closure helped keepers to make sure the animals stayed safe and dry. There has been flooding at the zoo and tree limbs have

Baby panda can stay in Thai zoo for two more years, China says
Chinese authorities have granted permission to a zoo in northern Thailand to keep a locally born panda for another two years, media reports said Friday.
Lin Ping, who was born in the Chiang Mai Zoo on in May 2009, was originally scheduled to return to China on her second birthday.
The Thai government has been lobbying Beijing to extend Lin Ping's stay in the kingdom, where the baby panda has become a national celebrity.
Lin Ping even stars in a 24-hour reality television show dedicated to her every movement - or lack thereof, as she does sleep a lot - and is the subject of a live webcam and website.
Prasertsak Buntrakulpuntawi, head of Chiang Mai Zoo's panda research project, told The Nation newspaper that he had received 'unofficial news' from Chinese authorities that the paperwork for the agreement to lend the 20-month-old panda to Thailand for two more years had been completed.
No date has yet been set to officially seal the panda extension pact.
Lin Ping was born via artificial insemination to Lin Hui, a female panda that China gave to the zoo several years ago.
China also provided the zoo with male panda Chuang Chuang, but he failed to perform sexually despite the innovative efforts

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie provide major boost for Chester Zoo-supported African project
A CONSERVATION centre supported by Chester Zoo has received a major boost after Hollywood mega-stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie pledged $2million to help it further its work.
Brangelina, as the couple are known, made the donation to the N/a’an ku se Sanctuary in Namibia - the birthplace of their daughter Shiloh - after spending Christmas at the wildlife lodge.
The sanctuary is run by Rudie and Marlice van Vuuren.
“We have known Rudie and Marlice for many years and continue to be impressed by their hard work and dedication to the people and conservation of the land and wildlife of Namibia,” said Angelina Jolie.
“The new section of the project will be under N/a’an ku se and in Shiloh’s name. We want her to be very involved and grow up with an understanding of her country of birth.”
Chester Zoo has co-funded the sanctuary’s Carnivore Research Project since 2009.
The programme works with local farmers and land owners to reduce cheetah and human conflict and protect the cheetah population in the wild.
Cheetahs in Namibia that stray out of conservation zones and on to farmland are often killed by farmers who fear they are a threat to their livestock and have become one of the world’s most threatened species.
But thanks to the international collaboration involving the N/a’an ku se sanctuary, Wildtrack, Africat and Chester Zoo,

Hoan Kiem to be cleansed of Exotic turtles in March
“The temperature will increase in March. At that time, red-year turtles will go to the shore to expose themselves to the sun. That will be a favorable time to eliminate this dangerous species,” said the department’s director Le Xuan Rao.
An international workshop on turtles will be held in Hanoi this week, Rao said. Vietnamese and international experts will discuss measures to kill the exotic turtles and to protect the old turtle in the Hoan Kiem Lake.
Earlier, the Hanoi Department of Science and Technology proposed two methods to eliminate the red-ear turtles while making sure that the ancient turtle is left unharmed.
The first method is using plastic or steel cages to catch the turtles. The second way is to place floating rafts on the lake. Red-ear turtles will crawl onto the rafts to expose themselves to the sun, and then caught in the nets below.
Rao said that both methods will be first tested
Experts and the public are currently very worried about the health of the ancient turtle. On February 12, Professor Ha Dinh Duc, who has researched the ancient turtle for over 20 years, said that the legendary turtle had recently risen to the surface many times, with many new injuries that




‘Don’t trade in weak, diseased animals’
The Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW) has warned livestock traders to refrain from offering, selling or trading in animals affected with diseases or in those found to be physically weak.
In a circular issued by the Ministry, it also warned against practices of mixing animals bred differently or coming from various origins, while offering them for sale in the markets. The circular also warned against any kind of sexual abuse of animals. The Ministry pointed out that animals should be put under local or general anesthesia when undergoing any kind of surgery, adding that the surgery should be under the supervision of specialists or veterinarians using safe instruments.
These efforts are in the framework of the ministry’s keenness to ensure bio-security in the country, thus contributing to food security, as well as to prevent the spread of animal diseases, especially common among humans and animals, the circular added.
The Ministry stressed that all employees working in animal farms, zoos, breeding centres, research institutes, clinics, hospitals and stores that sell animals, mammals

Kent fire crews rescue sick elephant at Howletts
A sick elephant that had collapsed on its side at a Kent animal park had to be winched upright by fire crews.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service was called to Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury at 0930 GMT.
Keepers said Umna, a 13-year-old African elephant, had collapsed after becoming seriously ill with colic.
Faversham watch manager Ian West said: "Hopefully this will be a once-in-a-career incident but it'll definitely stick in my memory."
Neil Spooner, the animal director at Howletts, said he found the elephant collapsed on its side just after 0730 GMT.
He said: "She was lying down in her bedroom

Report: Tiger Involved In Deadly Zoo Attack Was 'Provoked'
The tiger that fatally mauled a teenager at the SF Zoo was 'provoked,' according to a federal investigator
The female Siberian tiger that fatally mauled a man at the San Francisco zoo on Christmas Day 2007, was likely provoked, according to a federal investigator.
Documents obtained by the Associated Press, state that "It appears the tiger was able to jump from the bottom of the dry moat to the top of the wall, and gain enough purchase over the top to pull herself out over the moat wall," and "With my knowledge of tiger behaviour I cannot imagine a tiger trying to jump out of its enclosure unless it was provoked," wrote Laurie Gage, a tiger expert who investigated the scene for the US Dept. of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
While the statement was written in a draft on Dec. 27, 2007, it was removed from the final version of the report because it was "irrelevant from an Animal Welfare Act enforcement standpoint," said David Sacks, a spokesman for APHIS.
The documents were provided to The AP more than three years after a Freedom of Information Act request and they offer the first glimpse into the findings of the APHIS investigation and details from the scene written by some of the officers who killed Tatiana.
Tatiana was killed in a hail of police gunfire following the fatal mauling of 17-year-old Carlos Sousa Jr.
Two of his friends -- brothers Paul and Kulbir Dhaliwal -- were also injured in the attack.
According to San Francisco Zoo officials, in more than 65 years, no other tiger had escaped from that enclosure but following the incident, new safety measures were put in place.
"Nobody was there to witness it at that time of day, it was closing, just the people who were there and the tigers," said Lora LaMarca, a zoo spokeswoman,0,976594.story

Bronx Zoo sells roach-naming rights for Valentine's Day
A New York City zoo is offering a Valentine's gift for Americans who have caught the love bug: a chance to name a cockroach after their loved ones.
The Bronx Zoo is exhibiting 58,000 giant Madagascar hissing roaches and is soliciting $10 (£6.25) donations in return for naming rights.
"Flowers wilt. Chocolates melt. Roaches are forever," the zoo quipped.
The brown, iridescent roaches grow up to 3in (7.5cm) long. Males hiss at females in courtship rituals.
Zoo spokesman John Calvelli told the Associated Press news agency that about 1,000 names had been bought on the first day of the promotion.
The Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the Bronx Zoo, suggested a reason for the unusual

Ocean Park reborn
More than three decades ago since it opened its gates, Ocean Park Hong Kong has welcomed and made 95 million guests happy.
In fact, it continues to reign supreme as one of the top 10 parks in the world with its magnificent marine and wildlife as well as themed rides and attractions.
Now, Ocean Park hopes to usher in new memories as it recently unveiled its grandest renovation, to date.
Complete with a grand scale fountain and a world-class aquarium, Aqua City is Ocean Park’s brand new flagship marine themed zone.
“The opening of Aqua City represents the birth of the New Ocean Park as it gives us a new flagship Aquarium and a new iconic entrance,” said Dr. Allan Zeman, Ocean Park’s Chairman.
He adds: “Ocean Park has been connecting people with nature for over 34 years by sowing unconditional love for the animal under its care, extending educational opportunities to the public, opening our eyes to the wonders of nature

Sexy barnacles stand out from crowd
Size really matters if you happen to be a barnacle.
The first stirrings of spring mean hot and heavy activity is picking up under the water at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre and, as the aquarium focuses on the theme Sex in the Salish Sea, barnacles are the stars.
"Barnacles have the largest penis in the world in relation to body size. Their penis is about 10 times their body length," said marine biologist Paula Romagosa, an aquarist at the Sidney aquarium.
There is a good reason why barnacles need such a long penis, Romagosa said.
"They are stuck to a rock, so they can't go off and look for a partner . . . they just reach out their penis and poke their neighbours and they try and reach as many of their neighbours

Orangutans Mistreated by Indonesia Zoos: Activists
An animal welfare organization on Thursday called for orangutans at up to nine zoos across Java to be moved to wildlife rescue centers because of their poor living conditions.
Daniek Hendarto, an off-site conservation specialist at the Centre for Orangutan Protection, said only three of 12 zoos studied since April 2009 were providing their endangered apes with a decent living environment.
He said the study showed the orangutans at most of the zoos were housed in small, poorly maintained enclosures, were not properly fed and lacked even simple facilities such as a rope to swing on.
He also said the apes at these zoos are forced into “doing unreasonable things, like cycling or posing for pictures.”
“In fact, visitors to these zoos can easily mistreat the orangutans,” he said.
“These conditions cause the orangutans to fall into depression and are hardly going to help in educating the public about the importance of wildlife conservation,” Daniek added.
The zoos studied by the welfare centre included Surabaya Zoo, Malang’s Batu Secret Zoo, Lamongan’s Maharani Zoo and Taman Safari Prigen in Pasuruan, all in East Java.
In Central Java, they included Solo’s Taru Jurug Zoo, Kendal’s Wersut Sugini Recreation Park, Banjarnegara Zoo, the Romensy Recreation Park in Sukoharjo and Yogyakarta’s Gembiraloka Zoo.
The zoos in West Java and Jakarta were Ragunan, Bandung’s Tamansari Zoo and Taman Safari Bogor.
Of these, COP said only the Taman Safari parks and Maharani Zoo were treating their orangutans properly.
Daniek said the zoos should phase out the traditional closed cages and build more open enclosures with play facilities.
“They should also prohibit attractions such as photo ops with visitors,” he said.
“It’s possible to have attractions

Malaysian beats tiger away to save wounded husband
A woman in a jungle region of northern Malaysia rescued her husband from a tiger attack by clubbing the beast on its head with a large wooden soup ladle and chasing it away, police said Monday.
The tiger pounced on Tambun Gediu while he was hunting squirrels Saturday near his home in a jungle settlement of the Jahai tribe, a police official in Malaysia's Perak state said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make public statements.
Tambun's 55-year-old wife, Han Besau, rushed out when she heard his screams and struck the tiger on its head with a kitchen ladle, causing it to flee immediately, the official

New zoo exhibit will focus on polar bears
Officials still looking for donors for “Arctic Passage”display; also features seals, reindeer, owls
The formal announcement of a new polar bear at the Henry Vilas Zoo doubled as a lesson in the necessity of conservation as climate change forces arctic species out of their natural habitats.
Zoo Director Jim Hubing said the initial sketch for the new Arctic Passage exhibit was made in 2002. The years since have been spent garnering support and donations to build the three-acre exhibit.
The exhibit will feature a large green area and pond for the bears, a reindeer paddock, a snow owl exhibit, a seal pond, a replica arctic research ship where patrons can get above and underwater views of both

Wild times: Love keeps pair going on 'My Life Is A Zoo'
Never try sneaking a hippopotamus through customs.
Bud DeYoung and fiance Carrie Cramer, who run the DeYoung Family Zoo on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and are the stars of ‘My Life Is A Zoo’ on Nat Geo Wild, know from experience that running a private zoo is filled with problems they never see coming.
You will have to see for yourself how the hippo got to their zoo – and what it’s like to find emergency surgery for one of their tigers – when the show runs a Valentine’s Day marathon starting at 7 tonight.
“They got all reality,” said Bud, “the good, the bad and the ugly.”
“There’s no apart time at all, so we have to blend running a business and try to run a relationship and the latter lacks because we’re so busy with the care for our animals,” he says.
Their love for their animals and for each other is pretty much what this four-episode series is about.
“This could be the best Valentine’s present for both of us to sit down and enjoy the shows,” said Carrie.
But even though their 2011 season doesn’t start until April 1, due to the harsh Michigan winter, there’s no guarantee they will find time to sit and watch.
“The thing about us doing the show is not about Bud and I wanting to be on TV. It’s not about Bud and I wanting to be famous. It’s about Bud and I wanting to get the word out about proper animal care. We want to inspire people to care and have love for animals,” said Carrie.
In fact, the attention they are receiving since the show started airing makes them both a little uncomfortable.
“I’ve had people come up to me and say ‘Oh, you’re a famous TV star’ and I honestly don’t think of myself as that at all,” said Bud. “I wear the same clothes I always wore and I




Mountain Gorilla Gives Birth to Twins
Gorilla trackers from the Volcanoes National Park, yesterday, reported a rare birth of gorilla twins, born to Kabatwa from the Hirwa Group.
According to park officials, the successful birth of twin gorillas becomes the second since 2004 in Susa Group and only the fifth case recorded in more than 40 years of Gorilla monitoring in Rwanda
The first twins in Susa Group, which have grown to the adult age of 6, were named by President Paul Kagame and First lady Jeannette Kagame during the first public and national Gorilla

Edinburgh Zoo at risk over welfare failings
The future of Scotland's flagship zoo is in doubt after it failed to act on a string of animal welfare and safety recommendations made five years ago.
The future of Edinburgh Zoo is in doubt after it failed to act on a string of animal welfare and safety recommendations made five years ago.
Scotland's flagship zoo could have its operating licence removed after a recent inspection found a series of repairs and hygiene issues flagged up during a Scottish Government visit in 2006 have not been resolved.
Edinburgh City Council's community safety department made a report in September, which has now been released under the Freedom of Information legislation.
It noted a failure to act upon warnings given for the big cat enclosure, which was found to be in a state of disrepair, and the sea lions were reported to be suffering from eye infections.
A main food store was also found

Move zoo's elephants to sanctuary: Councillor
Coun. Shelley Carroll will ask Toronto Zoo board members to let the attraction’s three remaining elephants live out their lives at a California sanctuary.
The former budget chief, tried to deliver the plea and the petitions in person last fall but couldn’t because not enough members of the zoo board showed up.
She’ll make another attempt at speaking about the “elephant in the room” at the next zoo board meeting on Feb. 14.
Carroll said she’s optimistic board members will listen to her and the more than 1,500 petitions from people asking that the zoo’s elephants — Toka, Iringa, and Thika — be sent to live in an animal sanctuary where they would enjoy more space and a climate better suited to the large animals.
She noted research that shows the health of elephants born in captivity is compromised from birth.
“(The Toronto Zoo) is a great zoo, that is not the issue here,” Carroll added. “The issue here is we know something about keeping elephants in captivity that we didn’t know in the days of Barnum and Bailey.”
The Don Valley East councillor stressed she’s not trying to play politics with the elephants.
“This has nothing to do with whether or not Rob Ford got elected,” Carroll

Growling surfaces at Naples Zoo
Longtime former owners criticized as they continue its management
The Naples Zoo has just celebrated a record-breaking year, its attendance surpassing 300,000.
Behind the scenes, though, the good feeling gives way to criticism over how the zoo is run, as well as the management of the taxpayer-owned land it sits on.
The zoo, a historic Southwest Florida landmark and the only one accredited between Miami and Tampa, has been forced to change radically over the last six years to survive.
The zoo became a nonprofit in 2005 after being a family-owned business for 35 years. Critics say that family still runs it as its own, circumventing or rebelling against oversight of a volunteer board of directors.
At stake is the zoo’s ability to evolve into a successful nonprofit, and the family’s ability to evolve into responsible managers instead of owners. The scenario unfolds against the backdrop of a $70 million, 20-year zoo master plan and a recent, three-day inspection by a team from the national Association of Zoos and Aquariums for reaccreditation.
Criticisms include:
• Resistance to changing a longtime pattern of nepotism;
• The purchase of seven giraffes for a new exhibit when the board agreed to three;
• Volunteers’ charges of indifference to and removal of some botanicals.
David Tetzlaff, eldest son of zoo founders Lawrence and Nancy Jane Tetzlaff, is the Naples Zoo’s executive director.
“David still runs this as his own fiefdom,” said Bob Printz, a certified master gardener who has volunteered at the zoo for five

Orangutan Copy Cats
How smart are copy cats? Maybe it depends on your species
You know the saying "monkey see, monkey do?" How about "orangutan see, orangutan do?" If that holds true, the small orangutan peering over his mother's shoulder in an enclosure at Zoo Atlanta should learn how to get a tasty treat just by watching how she gets one.
"One of the questions that we were looking at is how individuals learn from one another," says Marietta Dindo, a primatologist studying orangutans and their behaviors. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and in affiliation with the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., Dindo is studying these endangered primates to better understand how our distant ape cousins watch and learn.
"What's interesting and unique about orangutans compared to humans or even other great apes is the fact they're what we call "solitary but social," which means that the individuals, aside from a mother-offspring interaction, will only have limited times where they spend in affiliation with other orangutans," explains Dindo.
Since orangutans in the wild are difficult to observe, Dindo designed an experiment with captive animals. "We had 13 orangutans at the time of the study, and this allowed us to look at what we call a transmission chain: individuals learning like in the game of telephone. I tell you something, then you tell him something and so on, how does that information then pass on? We wanted to see whether or not these orangutans would learn," she continues.
Dindo built a small plastic box with a small door and attached it to the bars of the cage. It allowed the orangutans to slide or lift the door open, and she would give them a treat through the door. Regardless of which method the orangutans used to get the door open, they could always collect a treat behind the door. This meant that the only motivation to conform to one method over the

Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in £1m upgrade
A Kent animal park is set to undergo a £1m upgrade which will see its African exhibit expanded.
The project at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park involves changes to its African Experience, which was launched in 2005.
It will increase its safari area from 100 acres to 500, and cut the area to explore on foot from 500 to 100 acres.
The "on foot" areas of the park will be divided into four zones where visitors will be able to explore exhibits and interactive educational displays.
Managing director Bob O'Connor said the new format would overcome the problems experienced by visitors "struggling to see and do everything on offer".
"The new format will not only overcome

Tiger Mom? Teen Girl Sleeps With Pet Tiger
Felicia Frisco, 17, Raised 6-Month-Old Bengal Tiger Since Birth
Teen Felicia Frisco's pet cat, Will, is cute, fuzzy and bigger than a Rottweiler. He's a Bengal Tiger.
The Tampa, Fla., teen has had the tiger since the day he was born.
"My friends think it's really cool that I have a pet tiger because most of them only have a cat or dog," Felicia said.
Each night the playful tiger crawls into bed with Felicia, sleeping on her pink, black and leopard print sheets with her.
The 17-year-old girl comes from a family of animal handlers. Her parents run a program called Tiger Encounter.
"He'll be with me until he's a year old and we'll use him to educate others," Felicia said.
For now, she's still feeding the six-month-old tiger milk; but in just a few more weeks, he'll eat only meat.
Doctor Bhagavan Antle runs The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species. He's known Felicia's family for years and said that the family is well-trained to take care of the

Just What Is The Point Mr Antle?

Pups of endangered species on exhibit in Al Ain
Six dog pups of an endangered African wild species on exhibit at Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort
The six dog pups of an endangered African wild species, born under a conservation breeding programme, have been placed in an exhibit at Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR).
Difficult to breed in captivity, the dogs were born in November last year in the park. They are recognised as an endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Farshid Mehrdadfar, Manager of the Animal Collection Department at the AWPR, said visitors can enjoy watching the dogs that are being taught how to hunt by their parents and other pack members.
"Our back-of-house environment with minimal disturbance and close veterinary and husbandry team observation enabled them the best possible start into their new life," said the manager. African wild dogs belong to the family of dogs, which also includes jackals, foxes, wolves and domestic dogs. Their large head and swift nature often misleads one to recognise them as hyenas.
The dogs were once widely distributed

Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort The Orangutans are waiting, the chimpanzees are waiting and the rest of the zoo world are waiting to see what will happen next

Consultant hired to provide Chattanooga Zoo study
The Friends of the Zoo's board, which took over the operation of the Chattanooga Zoo in September, has contracted a $25,000 consultant study to examine everything from the zoo's management team to its policies.
"Everything is on the table," said board Chairman Gary Chazen, who, with two other board members, addressed the Chattanooga City Council's Legal and Legislative Committee on Tuesday afternoon.
In a separate meeting Tuesday, the group also talked with editors and reporters at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
"We know there are some issues there [at the zoo], and obviously we're going to try to get to the bottom of it," Chazen told the Times Free Press.
The consultants began work last month and another meeting between the zoo board and the consultants is planned in the next few weeks. The board hopes to have the final report in March or April, members said.
Chazen and board members Mickey Myers and Robin Derryberry said the zoo has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the consulting firm of Schultz & Williams to help.
The board also is awaiting necropsies for the seven animals that died in a month's time over the holidays, said Myers, who also is a veterinarian.
"You have members of the board who take it very personally

Zoo suffers huge drop in attendance
The Toronto zoo saw a whopping 12 per cent drop in attendance last year — more than 150,000 fewer visitors — compared to 2009.
The decline is a major setback for an attraction trying to burnish its image and vastly improve fundraising.
The zoo drew 1,308,788 visitors in 2010, compared to 1,459,574 in 2009, according to figures set to be discussed at next Monday’s meeting of the zoo’s board of management.
Zoo spokesperson Shanna Young blamed the sharp decrease on the recession and the fact the HST came into effect at the start of the zoo’s peak season.
General admission now costs $23 ($20.35 + $2.65 HST). The same admission was $21 in 2009.
Young put a positive spin on the declining numbers

The Baghdad zoo's booze-swilling bears and laser-enhanced fish
The near-total destruction of Baghdad's city zoo over the course of the 2003 invasion of Iraq was, in retrospect, a grim portent of the poor planning and disastrous mismanagement that would characterize the early years of the Iraq war. The zoo had been the largest in the Middle East before the invasion, with more than 650 animals; eight days after coalition troops arrived in the city, however, all but 35 were dead. "All the Americans would've had to do is drop off 50 men, with a few vets and a truckload of food, and they wouldn't have lost any of the animals," Lawrence Anthony, a South Africa conservationist who salvaged what was left of the zoo after the invasion, told

London Zoo opening bigger pool for penguins
A new £2m pool for nearly 150 penguins is to open at London Zoo in May.
Penguin Beach will be four times longer and three times deeper than the current area set aside for the birds, which have had a permanent home at the zoo for the past 150 years.
"They are one of our most popular animals, with over eight million people visiting them in the last 10 years," said zoo director Ralph Armond.
Interactive games and displays will also be built for visitors.
And there will be a replica field station, which

Dead cubs to be used for vet classes
The tigress which was rescued from a dry well on Monday delivered two stillborn cubs at Deer Park at Seminary Hills on Tuesday morning. The third cub was noticed by the forest staff after the cage was shifted to the forest guesthouse around 1.30pm. The cages were completely covered with green net and late in the evening when the animal was being put in the squeeze cage, the staff saw one more stillborn cub.
Of the three premature cubs, two are female while one is a male. Tiger experts, who did not want to be quoted, said pregnancy in the tigers is not obvious to the eye for the first two-and-half months, but becomes noticeable only in the last 10-12 days.
"The tigress looked healthy but its genitalia were normal and hence the pregnancy could not be detected. The gestation period for tigers ranges from 93 to 111 days. It can have a litter of between 1 and 7 blind cubs, the norm being 2 to 4," an expert vet told TOI.
In the case of Katlabodi tigress, the cubs had developed body organs like whiskers, nails, ears, legs and tail. The coat and teeth were missing. Doctors of the government v

Race is on to repopulate species of bustards
After a major breakthrough reproducing houbara bustard chicks, scientists in the UAE are perfecting and expanding on their methods in hopes that one day soon they can repopulate the region with the endangered wild bird.
Teams working on two separate research projects in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, presented their findings yesterday to an audience of experts at the First International Symposium on Conservation and Propagation of Endangered Species of Birds, at Emirates Palace hotel.
Scientists are working to isolate certain male and female reproductive cells from a single houbara embryo so they can create what is known as an immortal cell line, one that can be frozen and used to produce chimeric birds, and ultimately houbara bustards, as needed.
The conference is organised by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and has attracted leading scientists from as far afield as Britain, Japan, Korea, the US, China, France and Australia.
The houbara bustard, one of the main birds

Patas monkey dies at Racine Zoo at age 28
A 28-year-old patas monkey named Julie has died at the Racine Zoo.
Julie spent nearly her entire life at the zoo except for one year in the early 1990s when she went to an Illinois zoo while her exhibit was rebuilt.
In warm weather, Julie was often the first animal zoo visitors saw.
The Times Journal reports Julie was the only patas monkey left at the zoo,0,2981547.story

John Ball Zoo advocates support idea of merging management into single nonprofit partnership
Longtime advocates of the John Ball Zoo still want to see the details but say results of a study released Thursday suggesting the zoo should be reorganized under a single nonprofit public private partnership make sense.
The more than yearlong study says zoo operations could be accomplished more efficiently if functions now performed by Kent County and the John Ball Zoo Society were organized into a single nonprofit group. The county would retain ownership of the zoo and essentially contract with the new nonprofit entity to manage the entire scope of zoo operations.
Kent County currently manages

Chattanooga Zoo to ban dogs
The Chattanooga Zoo has a new policy: No dogs.
"This board of directors is going to say no more dogs in the zoo," said Mickey Myers, a member of the board's executive committee and a veterinarian.
Pets in the zoo -- including animals owned or cared for by Zoo Director Darde Long -- have come into question after allegations that at least one of the most recent deaths of animals at the zoo may be tied to barking dogs.
Seven animals died at the zoo during a monthlong period over the holidays. During one of the Holiday Lights "pet night" events, a muntjac is believed to have been frightened by barking dogs.
The muntjac, a small Asian deer, was locked out of its shelter, appeared to have a seizure, fell into the frigid water of a koi pond and died, according to complaints filed with PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
While Myers said he doesn't think any animals at the zoo died from neglect, he acknowledged that the muntjac's death prompted the board's decision

Zoo mourns lion queens
In life, twin sisters Tawni and Nauschka were inseparable.
So it was only fitting when the elderly lionesses’ time came that they would go together.
“It was pretty tough,” said Debbi Rowland of Innisfail’s Discovery Wildlife Park, which the two lionesses called home for the past 15 years.
“We were so used to hearing the lions roaring all night. It’s pretty quiet around

First vulture chick born at Sakkarbaug zoo
In a significant development for the conservation of the endangered white backed vultures, the Sakkarbaug zoo here has succeeded in breeding vultures in captivity. A chick was born at the zoo's Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centre on February 1.
According to zoo director V J Rana this is good news for the species which faces extinction. Sakkarbaug is one of the five captive vulture breeding centres in the country.
The vulture breeding aviary was started in the zoo in April 2009 with 43 vultures and this

Zoo team heads to Panama to save frogs
A team from Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is heading back to the jungles of Panama to save amphibian species on the verge of extinction due to fatal chytrid fungus.
This is their fifth expedition.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a founding partner in the international initiative called the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project.
Della Garelle, the zoo's Director of Conservation, says over a third of the world's amphibian species are threatened with extinction.
A large part of the problem is habitat loss and

Chester Zoo's oldest Asian elephant dies
An Asian elephant which had lived at a Cheshire zoo for 46 years has died.
Chester Zoo said Sheba, who was the zoo's oldest elephant, had been ill for a short time and despite the best efforts of staff died on Wednesday.
Chester Zoo is home to eight Asian elephants: Maya, Jangoli, Sundara, Thi, Upali, Sithami, Nayan and a female calf, born at the end of January.
Dr Mark Pilgrim, zoo director general, said the death of the matriarch of the herd was a "huge loss".
He said: "Sheba had a long and happy life with us; she had a strong personality - intelligent and sometimes stubborn - and she thought the elephant section belonged just to her.
"She was a good elephant with a will of her own. Sheba had a way with the other elephants too and was able to keep the others in line.
"I have no doubt the elephants




Anger at delay in Lion Man case
A lawyer is annoyed at what he calls an "inexplicable delay" by the Employment Relations Authority to release its determination in a case involving Lion Man Craig Busch.
Auckland-based Steve Barter is representing Zion Wildlife Gardens, which is seeking more than $200,000 in lost income from Mr Busch through a counterclaim.
The ERA's determination has been pending for more than a year.
After Mr Busch was sacked from the park, he filed a claim with the ERA for unfair dismissal but later withdrew his application. While ERA member Yvonne Oldfield heard arguments on his application, she also invited submissions on two counterclaims.
The first counterclaim by Zion was for Mr Busch to return tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment he took from the park after being sacked.
He was subsequently ordered in November 2009 to

'Big Cat' Fight
The name sounds familiar, because they have promoted their cause in public forums around the country.
After encountering protestors and alleged PETA investigations, Big Cat Rescue Entertainment is under the microscope.
There is speculation from both parties; however it is still unclear where exactly this animosity stems from.
Representatives acting on behalf of 'Big Cat Rescue' in Florida actively protest the presence of 'Big Cat Rescue Entertainment' in communities, nationwide.
After encountering endless scrutiny, the traveling show's owner maintains that he's just in it for the animals.
G.W. Exotic, owner and operators of Big Cat Rescue Entertainment, are a USDA registered zoo.
Their mission is to raise environmental awareness through hands on education.
“People really care more if they are hands on, learning about something that they have never touched before,” said Joe Schreibvogel of G.W. Exotic.
However arguments from another organization, bearing a similar name, say this practice is unethical.
“He's breeding these animals, when there are already so many big cats with no place to go,” said Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue. “Using them for a four week period of time that he can make a lot of money of them and then they disappear into these zoos.”
“If they're over bred, I wouldn't have a waiting list for zoos,” Schreibvogel said.
“The kind of back yard breeders, the hoarders and collectors that might pay him for the animals are not the kind of places these animals belong,” Baskin replied.
“They have always went to USDA licensed facilities,” Schreibvogel said. “They can offer a better facility then I can.”
There are varying accusations against G.W. Exotic, involving details from a public USDA report.
“Last year [...] it came out that 23 cubs had died,” Baskin said. “That's just the ones they found out about. If you think about, the USDA inspector shows up maybe once a year?”
“That's why I have 187 cats, because I don't pawn my cats off on anybody else that doesn't ask for one and we have a no kill policy,” Schreibvogel said.
Video surfaces on PETA's website, an alleged undercover investigation.
While Schreibvogel admits to catching PETA 'spies', he maintains the video is fabrication.
“Because I have the largest privately owned facility in the United States, and they can make money off of me,” Schreibvogel said.
PETA Director Debbie Leahy issues a statement saying there is 'a lack of basic needs', and that cubs should stay with their mothers.
“Don't dictate to me what is too young because the government is the one that says we have to use them between the time that we're born and 12 weeks old,” said Schreibvogel.
The two organizations go toe to toe in allegations, but there are no standing USDA violations against Big Cat Rescue Entertainment, or Big Cat Rescue sanctuary

Zoo wants animal remains, so won’t cremate its dead
In a bid to add to its animal exhibition, the Delhi Zoo has decided that instead of cremating dead animals, the bigger ones will be buried so that their bones can be dug out after the flesh has decomposed.
Under the plan, bodies of animals like tigers, jaguars and antelopes will be buried and dug out after three to five months.
Last year, the zoo started the exhibition of animal remains at the Education Centre, next to the Lion Tailed Macaque enclosure. Antlers of six deer species and preserved bodies of five baby animals are on display here.
“Visitors can learn more about the animals by looking at them closely. By October, we expect to increase our collection, since we will be starting another exhibition then to commemorate Wildlife Week that is held between October 1 and 7,” said R A Khan, Curator (Education), Delhi Zoo.
The zoo now wants to add animal parts such as teeth, claws, skeleton and hooves to the exhibition. According to a zoo official

Animal performances still going on even with implemented ban
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Rural Development have issued a regulation last year stepping up management of zoos and implemented a three month ban on animal performances. But the regulation have expired last week and local zoos and parks turned a blind eye on animal performances.
However in the past three months since animal performances were still popular at the Shenzhen Safari Park and Xiaomeisha Sea World. Animal performance were staged every day at the park, and each performance involved birds, lions, tigers and dolphins. Both parks said the didn’t receive any notice from local government departments that banned the animal performances. Park employees claimed that the animals were not tortured in any ways when they were trained or forced to perform beyond their capabilities.
A representative from the Animals Asia Foundation said that its against animal nature to perform since they are born not to be show animal. Yet a lot of people are still not aware that many of this animal performance is a torment to them. Also before the three month banned was implemented an investigation by the State Forestry Bureau discovered that animals from 50 zoos are suffering from abuse.
A tourist said that its boring to just watch animals in

New African wolf species identified
U.K. scientists say genetic evidence revealed the mysterious "Egyptian jackal" is not a jackal at all but a new sub-species of gray wolf.
Researchers at Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit say gray wolves reached Africa about 3 million years ago and spread from there throughout the Northern Hemisphere, reported Monday.
The newly designated wolf, often confused with the golden jackal, is a relative of the Holarctic gray wolf, the Indian wolf and the Himalayan wolf, they say.
"We could hardly believe our own eyes when we found wolf DNA that did not match anything in GenBank," study co-author Eli Rueness of the University of Oslo said.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature does not consider golden jackals as threatened but the newly discovered African

Howletts staff hail success of elephant mother and calf
Keepers at a Kent wild animal park have said it is a "great success" an elephant has survived after giving birth to twins.
Staff at Howletts, near Canterbury, said the birth of twins in the wild would often result in the death of both mother and calves.
The African elephant, called Masa, gave birth last week to an as-yet-unnamed male following a 22-month pregnancy.
However, his twin did not survive.
Charlotte Jones, of Howletts, said: "Twin elephants are incredibly rare, estimated to occur in less than 2% of cases.
"For both mother and one of the calves to have survived is a great success.
"The mother is doing fine and didn't

Elephant link
An Indian elephant, which died recently in a zoo in the country, inspires El Salvador to seek closer ties with India.
SOME stories begin with no indication of the end. The story of Manjula is one such. This Asian elephant, who began her voyage to El Salvador, the smallest Central American country, in 1955 and became a national icon ever since she made the country's national zoo her home, died of ill health in September 2010. The emotions her death evoked among El Salvadorians have been a huge revelation.
“Manjula [or Man-hew-la as Salvadorians pronounce the name] is an emotional issue in El Salvador. She was the first elephant we saw in our lives. We have no elephants there. The day she died hundreds of people gathered to see her last rites. And the nation declared it a day of mourning,” said Ruben Ignacio Zamora Rivas, El Salvador's Ambassador to India. It was a pleasant winter morning, and the Ambassador, sipping coffee at the embassy in the upmarket Vasant Vihar in New Delhi, reminisced about the only elephant his country had housed. What the story brings home is the fact that Manjula was not just another elephant: she was brought from India, and the people of El Salvador became

London's sexiest places ... for fetishists (Might not seem to apply, but it does. Watch your tanks)

Victory - No More Elephants In El Salvador Zoo
IDA's campaign to end the display of elephants at the Parque Zoológico Nacional in El Salvador is a success! The Ministry of Culture has announced that the zoo will not acquire another Asian elephant to replace Manyula, who died last September.
IDA applauds the government of El Salvador for its progressive decision to no longer keep elephants at the zoo, sparing another elephant from a lifetime of loneliness and suffering. Manyula, who was taken from India as a calf, lived alone in a tiny enclosure at the zoo for more than 55 years. Though deprived of all that was natural to her, she was a national icon and hundreds of people turned out for her burial. Shortly after her death, there were calls to replace Manyula with another elephant, but fortunately the government did the right thing and permanently closed the elephant exhibit.
Thanks to everyone who took action and sent messages to Salvadoran officials. Please e-mail messages of thanks to El Salvador Secretary of Culture Dr. Hectór Samour and Georgina Hernández, Director of

Animal activists doubt logic of translocating elephants
Wildlife activists in the state are raising questions over the decision to translocate Deepa, the six-year-old rescued female elephant who died during her translocation to Manas National Park on Sunday, after they came to know that she was dropped from a similar exercise in 2008 because of her health condition.
Deepa was part of a group of six jumbos who were to be moved to Manas from the Bokakhat-based Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC). She, however, died after being sedated to be loaded on a truck meant to take her for reintegration with a wild herd at the national park.
Veterinarians, who conducted a postmortem on Deepa, declared congestive heart failure as the cause of her death. However, samples were sent to Guwahati Veterinary College for further confirmation.
Meanwhile, the state forest department has ordered an inquiry into the death of the elephant. The inquiry, which will be headed by chief conservator of forests (wildlife) S P Singh, has been directed to submit a report within a week.
Wildlife activists are raising doubts over the soundness of the decision for including Deepa in the translocation program because International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said she was dropped from an earlier translocation programme in 2008 on health grounds. In 2008, eight elephants were translocated from CWRC to Manas. IFAW said though Deepa was scheduled to be released at Manas in 2008, she was dropped from the plan to be reintegrated into the wild due to detection of "problems" during her health screening then.
"I do not understand the logic of making Deepa a part of the translocation programme if she was dropped from a similar plan on health grounds in 2008. I think the decision to include her in the latest translocation programme reflects on the fact that the entire exercise was hurriedly done. It raises the question whether proper health check-ups were done. Deepa should not have been given permission for translocation. Her death is very unfortunate," said Dr Kushal K Sarma, an wildlife expert who specializes in elephant health.
IFAW, however, said that Deepa's recent veterinary report showed her health condition was stable and she qualified for the Sunday translocation.
Project Elephant director A N Prasad said he was not aware of her death. "I have no information about the death of the elephant. I think releasing of rescued elephants into the wild is a logical step. It is not for the first time such a release programme has been undertaken. It has been done earlier as well," Prasad said.
The six jumbos were to be translocated on Sunday from CWRC to Manas under a collaborative project of the Wildlife Trust of India-IFAW, state forest department and Bodoland Territorial Council. However, the animal died after being sedated in order to be put on a truck meant for carrying the elephants.
Following Deepa's death, the remaining five jumbos were moved to Manas on Monday. All the six elephants including Deepa were orphaned calves rescued by CWRC after they became detached from their natal herds either due to human-elephant conflic

Phylogeography, genetic structure and populationdivergence time of cheetahs in Africa and Asia: evidencefor long-term geographic isolates


Record visitors but lower income at Brookfield Zoo

Investing in infrastructure a main strategy for future


Despite record attendance of 2.2 million people in 2010, Brookfield Zoo fell nearly $3 million below its projected revenue estimate, said Stuart Strahl, president and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society, which operates Brookfield Zoo.


Last week Museums Work for Chicago, a partnership of 14 Chicago area museums and zoos, announced that overall attendance at those local institutions decreased about 3 percent in 2010. However, Brookfield Zoo was one of just a few that experienced increased attendance in 2010, with 2 percent more visitors over 2009.


But the increase was not enough for the zoo to hit its revenue targets, said Strahl. While the zoo also sold a record number of annual memberships, it sold about 50,000 fewer individual daily tickets.


"We had a record number of members come, but we also had a record number of free passes," Strahl said. The zoo saw increased free visits by community groups as part of the zoo's outreach campaign, he added.


The fall off in individual ticket sales affected parking income and "people are spending less inside the park on special attractions" like dolphin shows and the Hamill Family Play Zoo and on souvenirs and food.


"It added up to about two and three-quarter million dollars below our projections on a $55 million budget," Strahl said.


The zoo has not planned any increases in admission, parking or membership fees in 2011, Strahl said.


The zoo also experienced less in the way of gifts from foundations and grant money was also lower, he said.


That's not to say the zoo didn't turn a profit in 2010. While its 2010 tax returns have not yet been filed with the state of Illinois, in 2009 the Chicago Zoological Society saw operating revenues outpace expenditures by more then $5.5 million. Of that number, $4.1 million was transferred to its capital projects fund and other transfers resulted in the operating fund showing a net loss of $70,000.


The zoo also funds capital improvements through philanthropic gifts and government grants, though the latter can sometimes be an iffy proposition.


In 2009, the state of Illinois earmarked $71.1 million for infrastructure improvements at the zoo as part of that year's much-ballyhooed capital bill. To date, said Strahl, Brookfield Zoo has received about 33 percent of that money. There's no guarantee the institution will receive the rest it was promised.


The zoo's policy of transferring operating profits into its

Lawmakers aim to ban aquarium fish collecting

State senators have introduced legislation that would impose a statewide ban on collecting reef fish for sale in the aquarium trade.


The Maui News reports the bill would prohibit the of sale aquatic life taken from state waters for aquarium purposes. Violators would face fines or possible jail time.


The legislation would allow exceptions for animals collected for subsistence or traditional or cultural use, human consumption, scientific research or public display.


The bill hasn't been scheduled for a hearing yet, which is an essential step if it is to become law.


Democratic Senate President Shan Tsutsui of Wailuku-Kahului, Democrat

Infant bonobo Teco offers rare opportunity

Today, Des Moines bonobo Teco celebrates eight months of life as scientists revel in the hope he will unlock new realms in ape communication and maybe even treatments for autism.


Teco was born at Great Ape Trust on June 1, marking the Des Moines research and conservation center's first ape birth. He's already playing baby games on a scientist's iPad and showing interest in the abstract symbols his cover-boy father, Kanzi, uses to communicate with people.


And he's caused some drama.


Ape trust scientists planned all along to do genetic research on Teco and his parents. That work became even more important when they discovered that Teco's eye movements and behaviors suggested he has autism.


That makes even more significant the trust's research into how the apes' genetic makeup plays into their physical appearance and behaviors, said William Fields, director of scientific research at the center.


Eventually, trust scientists may be able to find a way doctors can diagnose autism among human infants in the first month or so and treat it more effectively. They

Now, info on animals not caged in zoo

In a step that is likely to expand the ambit of RTI usage, the Delhi high court on Wednesday permitted an animal welfare organization based in the capital to seek information under the RTI Act on welfare of two elephants scheduled to be sent to Germany in an exchange programme in return for two cheetahs.


A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said the organization — Animal and Birds Charitable Trust — had the right to access periodical reports from Germany about the health conditions of the two pachyderms from the "Centre, Central Zoo Authority and the Animal Welfare Board under the RTI Act."


HC's permission came during the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the Trust challenging the government's exchange programme on the ground that the proposed zoo in Germany does not provide a conducive atmosphere for the two elephants as some elephants have died there earlier. The PIL sought quashing of plans to send the elephants to Leipzig Zoo in Germany in exchange for the cheetahs.


While HC refused to stay the exchange it asked the Centre and the Central Zoo Authority to ensure "conducive" atmosphere for the pair of elephants to be sent from Karnataka's Bannarghatta Sanctuary. "Ensure that the elephants live in a conducive atmosphere in Germany," the bench added after the counsel for the Centre and the CZA assured it that the prescribed guidelines under the Wildlife Protection Act for the exchange of animals between the zoos would be adhered to.


"The atmosphere and climatic conditions near Leipzig Zoo in Germany are conducive for Asiatic animals," the government said.


"We are only inclined to direct that transportation or transfer of the elephants should be done in terms of the guidelines and it would be obligatory (upon the Centre) to get updates on health conditions of the elephants and the petitioner (trust) will also be provided with the details under the RTI," the bench then noted.


The PIL, filed through advocates Mohit Chaudhary and Rashi Bansal, said the animal exchange programme has been chalked out between the German zoo and the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Mysore. According to the programme, a pair of Indian elephants would be transported to Germany in exchange for two pairs of cheetahs, the PIL said pleading that the Centre be restrained from going ahead with it.


"The habitat in India is totally different from the environment in Germany. Indian elephants will be totally unprepared for such a cold weather, which may pose risks to their health and lead to unacceptable periods of confinement indoors," the petition said.


It also provided a chart of comparative temperatures of

White lions coming to Dreamworld

TWO rare white lions are preparing to call the Gold Coast home.


It is understood Dreamworld will babysit the 200kg animals while the National Zoo in Canberra undergoes renovations.


Jake and Mishka, who are sister and brother, will be temporarily shifted from their home to the Gold Coast in the coming months.


While the logistics are still being sorted and finalised, it is understood the lions will be housed in a temporary enclosure within the park.


Dreamworld would not confirm the deal was officially done, but the team at the National Zoo said Jake and Mishka were heading north.


"We can confirm that we are currently in planning for a new enclosure here at Dreamworld that would have the capacity to house various animals, including exotic species, and one of those that we are currently looking into is the white lion," said Al Mucci, Dreamworld General Manager of Life Science.


It is expected the plan will be completed by the middle to end of February.


Dreamworld said they were unable to provide further

White Lion Breeding is not Conservation

Three little pigs face chop in breeding row

BOSSES at Edinburgh Zoo have admitted they might have to cull three endangered piglets, just months after two others were killed because there was a "surplus" of the species.


The trio of baby Red River Hog piglets, named Ellis, Nelson and Moses, will follow in the footsteps of brother Sammi and sister Becca if a worldwide breeding programme orders them to be put to sleep.


The zoo works closely with the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), which recommends that animals be culled rather than rehomed if the species does not have a breeding recommendation.


Today, campaigners called for zoo bosses to search for any possible alternative to culling, and said the issue raised questions about the real value of the breeding programme.


The Evening News revealed that Sammi and Becca were culled last year because they were "surplus to requirement", despite being the first pair of Red River Hogs born in the zoo's history.


In 2009, when the pair were born, it had been recommended to Edinburgh Zoo that it did not breed the Red River Hogs. It is unknown as to whether the same recommendation was made last June when Ellis, Moses and Nelson arrived.


One zoo insider said: "I wouldn't be surprised if they were culled. Many zoos and animal organisations around

Zoo piglets' bacon saved after protest

A CAMPAIGN to save three endangered red river hog piglets has proven to be one of the shortest in history after Edinburgh Zoo bosses said they would do their "utmost" to find a new home for the trio.


Bosses said they would do everything they could to relocate Ellis, Moses and Nelson after the Evening News yesterday revealed they were under threat because there was a "surplus" of the species.


The zoo previously claimed it had to carry out cullings recommended by a worldwide breeding programme.


Previously, two piglets, Sammi and Becca, were put to sleep after they were deemed "surplus to requirement".


The announcement that the latest litter might be culled left charities and residents furious, sparking a national campaign.


Thousands of people joined the Save The Hogs internet campaign.


One insider said: "I'm glad the zoo are rehoming them. Saying that, they tried and failed to rehome the

Complacency over deforestation pushes orang-utan closer to extinction

Illegal logging and hunting continues despite legal protection, so the WWF is raising awareness to help save the orang-utan


The destruction of the world's rainforests continues at an alarming rate. Where I'm from in Borneo, illegal logging, coupled with hunting, is driving species such as the orang-utan ever closer towards extinction.


There are three subspecies of orangutan in Borneo and we only have about 2,000 orangutans left in the wild in West Kalimantan province, and through deforestation and hunting their numbers continue to fall. Just last month I heard from villagers that some people are still killing and eating them even though they're supposed to be protected by law.


I've just been travelling around the region in this part of Indonesia as I've been running a series of summer schools as part of a WWF awareness campaign to highlight the problems facing the orang-utan.


Over the past two years, the main focus for the campaign has been children because we've found it very difficult to change the minds and attitudes of older generations. We invite the kids to come along to these camps from nearby villages and at the last one more than 200 kids turned up. We do many different activities from drawing to tug-of-war competitions but the over-arching aim is to touch their hearts with stories about this wonderful creature and the rainforests in which they live. We want to leave them with the understanding that these unique creatures need protecting.


We're also starting to join forces with local government officials and religious leaders to spread the message to communities that live in traditional longhouses. We tell them about a recent success story that acts as a warning against killing orang-utans. One trader in Pontianak, where I'm based, was recently jailed for two years for trading orang-utans.


Such discussion also helps us talk about their habitats and the need to protect them too. In West Kalimantan from 1995, large-scale illegal logging cut through a forest corridor that linked two national parks where one of three subspecies of orang-utan (Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus) lives. This meant they couldn't

US-based group launches study on tarsiers in South Cotabato's Mt. Matutum

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has cleared a group of United States-based experts to conduct a one-year study on tarsiers, the world’s smallest primate, that is endemic to Mt. Matutum in South Cotabato.


Alfredo Pascual, DENR Region 12 director, said a Wildlife Gratuitous Permit was issued recently to Endangered Species International, a California-based conservation group.


“The permit would allow the group to conduct research for the possible conservation of the tarsiers (which have been monitored to live in Mt. Matutum),” Pascual said.


Biologist Pierre Fidenci, Endangered Species president, said their study aims to assess the tarsiers’ distribution, population size and density, habitat association, and status in Mt. Matutum, a recognized protected landscape.


Fidenci said they plan to establish a core conservation center at Sitio Bagong Silang in Barangay Linan, Tupi town in South Cotabato “to better protect their habitat and to prevent the tarsiers from total extinction."


Rolly Visaya, Tupi town information officer, said residents have been reporting about the presence of tarsiers

Physicians, veterinarians learn from each other at first-ever 'Zoobiquity' conference

UCLA, UC Davis, L.A. Zoo foster species-spanning approach to medicine


A second grader and a Shih Tzu dog can both experience separation anxiety when their caregivers leave. A dangerous brain tumor manifests itself similarly in an alpaca and a school principal. West Nile virus attacks a flamingo in the same way it assails a nursing-home resident.


Behind the skin, fur and feathers, humans and animals are profoundly alike; they carry vastly similar genetics and have tremendous overlap in their health and disease. Yet while veterinary and human medicine come together periodically to address topics such as food safety and emerging infections, the two fields mostly operate separately. But because they are often confronted with similar clinical challenges, experts say both fields will benefit from more cross-disciplinary interaction.


To that end, Zoobiquity, one of the first conferences of its kind, brought together 200 physicians and veterinarians to give each a better understanding of the global and species-spanning nature of illness and to help forge ways that both fields can work together to further medicine, science and research.


The one-day synergistic effort, which took place Jan. 29, was organized by the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, and the One Health Center of the UC Global Health Institute.


"Whether examining shared molecular structures or

Taronga Zoo elephant diagnosed with TB

One of the stars of Sydney's Taronga Zoo, an 18-year-old Asian elephant, has been diagnosed with Tuberculosis.


The Asian elephant, named Pak Boon, has been diagnosed with the illness which keepers believe she bought with her when she came from Thailand four years ago.


She was tested for the bug when she came to Australia, but tests at the time came up negative.


Pak Boon gave birth three months ago to a female calf, Tuka.


Her handlers say the pregnancy almost certainly brought on the illness, which the zoo's vet says can be quite common in elephants and can lie dormant in their system for years.


The baby has tested negative for TB, as

New inspection confirms problems at Chattanooga Zoo

A Jan. 26-27 federal inspection at the Chattanooga Zoo confirms problems that could have contributed to at least four of 10 recent animal deaths there, according to documents released Friday.


Inspector Susanne Brunkhorst, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, focused much of her three-page inspection report on two marmosets that died after being without food for at least two days and the snow leopard that lost two cubs while locked out of shelter in bad weather.


She also noted feeding problems that she saw herself. The inspection came after USDA received an anonymous complaint and at the invitation of Zoo Director Darde Long after Hank the chimp became the seventh animal to die in a month.


"During the inspection of the petting zoo area, it was noted that the goats and miniature horses were all very busy eating some hay that had just been placed in the hay rack. It was also noted that there was only one small square bale of hay in the loft," Brunkhorst wrote.


"In addition to the 11 goats and 2 minihorses, the camel and the

Zoo Officials Respond to USDA Inspection

Hundreds came out to the Chattanooga Zoo this weekend to celebrate the life of Hank the Chimp. But among the celebrations zoo officials are responding to the results of a federal inspection. A complaint was filed with the USDA just after Hank's death.


The inspect report revealed improper handling of animals, listing a pregnant snow leopard left in 20-degree temperatures.


There was also improper feeding after a miscommunication led to two animals going unfed.


The zoo director says they have hired an additional

35 animals freeze to death at zoo in northern Mexico as frigid weather grips region

Thirty-five animals at a zoo in the northern Mexico state of Chihuahua have frozen to death during the region's coldest weather in six decades.


Serengeti Zoo owner Alberto Hernandez says 14 parrots, 13 serpents, five iguanas, two crocodiles and a capuchin monkey died. He said Saturday that power failures cut off electrical heating at the zoo in the town of Aldama.


Temperatures have dropped to 9 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 13 Celsius) in the area, the coldest weather in 60 years.


Power outages have affected much of northern,0,4552281.story

Trunk road underpass: How elephant herds were reunited

Zebra crossings are easy but how does an elephant get from one side of the road to another? Answer: it simply walks underneath.


At least, they can now, thanks to Africa's first dedicated elephant underpass –a new solution to the increasing problem of animal-human conflict in Africa.


It was 6.47pm when a gleaming set of white tusks poked through the end of the newly built underpass. A second set of tusks appeared, then a third. Moving cautiously, the three young males climbed a bank of dirt, made a sharp left turn and crashed into the forest.


The £150,000 tunnel – built with donated money – has connected two wilderness areas, Mount Kenya's highlands and the lower forests and plains, and brought together two distinct elephant populations separated for years by the road. Some 2,000 elephants live on Mount Kenya, with 5,000 occupying the lower plain.


Africa's wildlife is coming under increasing pressure from human development. Villages are being built and crops raised in areas that for centuries were the sole preserve of wild animals. The elephant underpass

Rescued tiger lands in SA

A tiger rescued from a zoo in Jordan has arrived at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Saturday.


The male tiger was approximately nine-months-old when its was rescued from a zoo. Its health had deteriorated and it was offered a new home at the Lionsrock Sanctuary in Bethlehem.


Princess Alia of Jordan arrived with the wild cat and will witness its release into the sanctuary.


The tiger was placed in

Central Florida Zoo's Maude the elephant moving to Miami

Maude, the Asian elephant at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, will be moving this month to Zoo Miami, where she'll join a herd.


It was a difficult decision to make to move Maude, zoo officials said. The elephant had been with them for three decades. Ultimately, officials say, it was in Maude's best interest to move her to Miami.


"We have every reason to believe Maude will enjoy her new home at Zoo Miami and the companionship of their two elephants," said Bonnie Breitbeil, director of Animal Collections, in a news release.


Maude's pachyderm companion, Mary, died in March. Maude, who had moved to Sanford from Tampa's Busch Gardens, was about 10 years old when she met Mary. Because elephants travel in herds in the wild, zoos need to have at least two of them.


Zoo officials are planning a big send,0,4479581.story

Quinn blocks hike in Brookfield Zoo admission

Gov. Quinn on Friday spared visitors to the Brookfield Zoo from higher ticket prices by signing legislation that prevented the village from imposing admission increases.


Zoo officials said the proposed 25-cent increase would have cost the zoo as much as $500,000 in revenue. If allowed, revenue

It's a stampede! Birth of 100 sea horses caught on video

A curator at Tennessee Aquarium captures speedy delivery on cell phone


A teeny cavalry has burst onto the scene at the Tennessee Aquarium, where one of the resident lined sea horses recently gave birth to more than 100 babies.


Captured on video, the little sea horses can be seen popping out of a hole in their father's belly. (In the sea horse world, it is the males who carry the young and give birth.)


Carol Haley, the aquarium's assistant curator of fishes, captured the speedy delivery on video with her cell phone in the last week of January.


"There was a male that was starting his abdominal crunches – that's exactly what it looks like," Haley said. "He was either going into convulsions or getting ready to have his babies."


Although lined sea horses, a particular species of sea horse, produce offspring at the Tennessee Aquarium every few weeks, it's hard to predict the event’s exact time. Haley said

Larry Vogelnest awarded a public service medal

WHEN Collette, the baby humpback whale was stranded in Sydney’s Pittwater last August, Taronga Zoo chief veterinarian Larry Vogelnest was there to help the distressed animal.


And when anaesthetising 400kg leopard seals on floating chunks of ice in Antartica, the Cobbity resident’s expert advice was invaluable.


He may be the king of the animals, but the human species has taken notice - he was awarded a Public Service Medal for his contribution to the Taronga Conservation Society yesterday.


Dr Vogelnest, who has been working with animals for more than 20 years, was overwhelmed that he was awarded the medal - granted for outstanding public service.


“I have no idea who nominated me, but it’s something that came

Modern cage for white tigers in zoo

To ensure that space crunch for white tigers will not affect its captive breeding programme, the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur has begun constructing a modern cage for the big cats.


On Thursday, workers were busy with the construction process that began a few days ago. The concrete floor and pillars have already been built. "The new structure, which will be linked to the existing one, is being built at an estimated Rs two lakh and is expected to be completed in a few weeks. The zoo sees around 4,000 visitors during weekdays while the figure doubles during holidays and weekends," zoo director KSSVP Reddy, who is also chief conservator of forests, told The Times Of India.


The new cage, which includes a sloping roof, will be 43.29 feet (13 mts) tall at its highest point and 11 metres (36.63 ft) wide — enough for four adult tigers at a time. It will have separate entries for animal keeper K Chelliah and the big cats. Solar-power lights will illuminate it and it will have good ventilation.


According to officials, the enclosure for a pair of fully grown adult


Read more: Modern cage for white tigers in zoo - The Times of India

White Tiger Breeding is Not Conservation

Exotic fish with odd name causes problems at aquarium

An exotic Hawaiian triggerfish with an unpronounceable name has been causing problems for staff at a Hastings aquarium.


The Humuhumunukunukuapua'a fish, which can be found across the Pacific Ocean, has proved popular with visitors to the Blue Reef Aquarium.


But staff there have been struggling to pronounce its name when asked and have resorted to calling it a wedge tail triggerfish.


Kate Buss, who works at the East Sussex aquarium, said: "He's a beautiful-looking fish but none of us have got the faintest idea how to pronounce his name.


"It's proving a little embarrassing when we do our public talks and feeding demonstrations as he's the one fish in the toxic reef display that everyone always asks us about.


"We got someone

Python missing for 2 years is found

The owner of a Florida aquarium said a 14-foot Burmese python that disappeared two years ago was caught by police in an apartment complex.


Scott Konger, owner of the Tarpon Springs Aquarium, said he never expected to see Cleo the python again after she disappeared two years ago when someone broke into her outdoor enclosure, WFTS-TV, Tampa, Fla., reported Wednesday.


He said his hopes were raised when he heard about the Burmese python caught near Riverside Apartment Homes last week. A microchip implanted in the reptile identified it as belonging

Two crocodiles hatch from single egg

A wildlife park in far north Queensland is celebrating a rare event - the birth of twin crocodiles.


The two reptiles were hatched from a single odd-shaped egg.


A senior wildlife keeper, Clay Mitchell, says they were among a clutch of 63 crocodiles to hatch at the park, north of Cairns.


"It's actually quite a rare event - there has been eggs seen like this but none have made it right the way through term of incubation and actually

Experts confirm cause of rhino’s death at Cat Tien National Park

Experts looking into the death of a rare (

possibly the last in Vietnam

) Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) at Cat Tien National Park (NP) have confirmed it died from gunshot wounds, not natural causes. A rhinoceros can live to around 40 years of age in the wild, but this one is believed to have lived for only 15-25 years.


The conclusion was reached by a team of experts from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Cat Tien NP, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Freeland Foundation (an international non-governmental organization working in Asia for environmental conservation and human rights), together with two veterinarians, one a pathology expert

Feeder fears fate of grow-op bears after hibernation

The B.C. man accused of taming two dozen bears found at a marijuana grow-op says he fears the animals will be killed after they awake from hibernation.


Christina Lake resident Allen Piche appeared in court this week to face charges of feeding dangerous wildlife and marijuana production – but says his legal woes are less important than the fate of the bears.


"My concern has really been about the bears all the time," he told CTV News.


The bears, which were discovered during a police raid last August, are believed to be hibernating in the hills above Christina Lake. In a few months, they will begin waking up – and could head right back to Piche's property.


If they cause any trouble in the community, they will be deemed dangerously habituated to humans and




Interview: Illegal Wildlife Trafficking With Karl Ammann
In 2007, Karl Ammann appeared on Time Magazine’s Heroes of the Environment List, and for good reason. Since discovering 2,004 smoked primates and 1,000 fresh carcasses on board Zaire river boats in1988, he has devoted his life to exposing both the bushmeat and illegal wildlife trafficking. His photography and writings have appeared in several outlets including the New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Stern Magazine, and the National Geographic Almanac, and he has recently co-authored two books namely Conserving Nature with Tony Rose and others, and Eating Apes with Dale Peterson. For his work, he has received a slew of accolades.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park bashed for elephant breeding
Last year, four baby African elephants were born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
That was four too many, argues In Defense of Animals.
All the calves were males, which the animal rights group claims are hard to keep in zoos once they reach adulthood because of their strength and size. The organization is also concerned about the herd’s growing size — now at 17 elephants — as compared to the space the animals enjoy, which is about six acres.
The park’s breeding practice — which IDA called, “reckless” — led it to give the park a “Dishonorable Mention” in its recent annual ranking of the “Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants.”
The park didn’t make the list because it does some things right, such as the use of positive reinforcement, IDA said.
But the Safari Park can’t seem to break free of criticism when it comes to the handling of elephants. It’s been on the top ten list before.
“We try to be fair,” said Catherine Doyle, who directs IDA’s elephant campaign. “But we did feel it was important to address the number of surplus bulls in captivity. The Safari Park is contributing to this problem — hugely.”
The San Diego Zoo defends its breeding practices, saying that the elephant population in zoos is aging and dying off. It hardly matters that males are being born because zoos have become much more sophisticated in housing the animals.
"We keep moving forward," said Robert Wiese, San Diego Zoo’s chief life sciences officer.
Traditionally, zoos haven't liked to house the males because “they’re dangerous and unpredictable and very powerful,” Doyle said. In the wild, the young males roam mostly alone. In some zoos, for that reason, they’re kept isolated, she said.
"They end up living in miserable conditions,” Doyle said.
In all, 155 African elephants live in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, according to the AZA website. Only 28 are males.
That disproportion is evident at the Safari Park, where the female adults outnumber the males six to two. At the San Diego Zoo, which also houses elephants, it’s virtually the same story. There are six

Possible “Jurassic Park” waste of time, money
Recently, National Geographic published an article about a woolly mammoth resurrection. ""Jurassic Park"' Planned" was the tag line. Ambitious. Exciting. The newest attraction. But is it ethically wrong?
Scientists have eagerly planned to take sperm from a frozen woolly mammoth from 10,000 years ago, impregnate an elephant and raise the offspring in a safari park in the Siberian wild.
According to the article, Kazufumi Goto, head scientist at the Mammoth Creation Project, states that this experiment will help scientists learn "more about these animals, their history and why they went extinct."
Unfortunately, the animal would not be a replica of a woolly mammoth from 10,000 years ago. It would take about 50 years of reproduction to make the mammoth only 88 percent true woolly mammoth.
We'd learn no more about their history than we'd learn from the frozen, preserved mammoth.
Considering today's climate, surrounding animals, humans and plants are not the exact same as they were 10,000 years ago, so trying to find out why the mammoth went extinct would be near impossible.
Adrian Lester, a paleontologist at University College London in England, brought up the point that "DNA preserved in ancient tissues is fragmented into thousands of tiny pieces nowhere near sufficiently preserved to drive the development of a baby mammoth." Ultimately, the mammoth would be created merely as a theme park attraction.
Cloning is an expensive process involving large amounts of money and biological proficiency.
In 1996, Ian Wilmut and his associates required 277 tries before producing Dolly, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell.
A new cloning technique has recently been developed which is far more reliable. However, even this technique has a two to three percent success rate. Think of the expense and potential success rate of making that happen, assuming no baby mammoths die before being able to reproduce.
This brings up another possible glitch in this mammoth of a project. Clones are derived from an existing adult cell, or in this case, frozen sperm from 10,000 years

Birth of Rare Tiger Cubs in Asia
There is at last some hope for the Sumatran tiger.
Breeding them in captivity has proven to be difficult but the birth of three cubs at a zoo in western Indonesia today has shown it is possible.
The Taman Rimbo Zoo in Indonesia's Jambi province also said a fourth cub was born but died immediately.
Sumatran Tigers are on the brink of extinction. The World Wildlife Fund has said their numbers have now fallen to around 400. That's down from about a thousand in the 1970's.
The Sumatran tiger is the smallest of the species in the world and amongst the most threatened. It is only found on Sumatra, the largest island in Indonesia and the sixth largest in the world.
In theory the island should be able to host a large population of tigers. But the area they can roam is under enormous threat by the jungles being destroyed by logging and economic development. The huge areas of tropical rain forest each year that are wiped out by logging are easily noticed by Indonesia's neighbors by the huge clouds of smoke that come from there each year and often blanket Singapore and parts of Malaysia.
The smoke cloud is so dense visibility can be as limited to as little as fifty yards as I have experienced.
There are efforts to try to protect the Sumatran tiger by working with companies to leave some areas untouched but with their numbers falling fast there is the real possibility that there will be not enough left for their species to survive.
Tigers here in Southeast Asia have been under serious threat for decades. They have been virtually wiped out in many areas and cling on in the jungles of some countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
Once they roamed across the entire region. The last tiger to be seen in Hong Kong, for instance, was shot in 1942 during the Japanese occupation.
One of the main reasons for the demise of the tiger in Asia is the demand for tiger products in China. Their bones and other body parts are traditionally used in Chinese medicine in the belief they can help virility.
There are major ongoing campaigns here in Asia to try to educate the public about the threat to these beautiful beasts by hunting them and using their products. But the reality is now that the tigers and other threatened animals are so hard to get hold of in Asia that traders in these products are going further afield in search of them to countries in Africa and to India where the tiger there is under serious threat.
Tigers in the wild in Asia have fallen from about 100,000 at the turn of the last century to just over 3,000 today according to the WWF. The major problem is that they are scattered in small isolated pockets in 13 Asian countries.
Governments in the region have pledged to try to double

Former zoo worker's media comments get her fired
A former Chattanooga Zoo worker's comments to a newspaper about animal deaths at the zoo have gotten her fired from her job with a separate non-profit group that has a contract with the city to run the animal shelter.
Deborah Bond told the Chattanooga Times Free Press she was fired by the McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center after the newspaper published her comments about the recent deaths of 7 zoo animals, including 42-year-old

Nepal 'jails' blind rhino for manslaughter
Authorities in western Nepal have slapped a one-year 'jail term' on a blind rhinoceros who killed a man last year.
In remote Bardiya district in the farwest, where nearly two dozen rhinos live in the Bardiya National Park, park officials have slapped the 'jail term' on the recalcitrant male.
Named Bikram by park officials, the rhino used to be a hot favourite with visiting tourists till last year, when it inexplicably attacked the priest of a local temple and the mauled victim succumbed to his injuries.
Nine years ago, Bikram had been transported to Bardiya from Chitwan in southern Nepal that has over 400 rhinos - the largest after India's Kaziranga wildlife park.
He had been attacked by the villagers in Chitwan and was found with injuries, the Nagarik daily reported Thursday. Later, he was also found to have lost his eyesight.
The sightless Bikram held no fears for tourists visiting the park, who would pose close to him for photographs, the daily said.
But after the priest's death, the park authorities

Gorilla in Kent zoo filmed walking like a human
A Silverback gorilla which has started walking around on his hind legs like a human has become an internet star after video of him was uploaded to YouTube.
More than 300,000 people have

Gorilla at Sydney zoo 'walks like a human'
Amazing footage as a gorilla at Australia's Taronga Zoo in Sydney walks around upright on his hind legs.

Woman jailed for importing shrimp
A WOMAN has been jailed for illegally importing crustaceans into Australia.
Chin-Han Chen, 28, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court today to two counts of illegal importation of animals.
The court was told that on two occasions she arranged for a contact in Taiwan to send her two shipments of live Crystal Red Shrimp.
The shrimp are readily available for purchase in Australian aquarium shops but quarantine laws forbid them from being imported into the country.
The shrimp can sell for up to $1000 each to collectors.
The court was not told how many were in the packages brought

Chhatbir lion safari nearing end
From a strength of 87 in early 90s to a mere two in 2011, the population of Asiatic Lions has dwindled alarmingly at Chhatbir zoo. One of the lionesses in the zoo, Divya, who was brought to Chhatbir from Renukaji Lion Safari in Himachal Pradesh, died recently.
People visiting the safari miss the roar of lions as it wears a deserted look, while zoo authorities remain mute spectators with no efforts being made to ascertain the cause of mysterious deaths. Due to scientific mismanagement over the last 20 years lions have paid for human failing with their lives, said sources.
Zoo officials insist they are planning to bring a 'pure' pair of Asiatic of lions from Rajkot which might take some time. Punjab chief wildlife warden Gurbaz Singh said, "We are waiting for a response from the zoo in Gujarat and the cats will be here for breeding."
In 80s, the zoo had a big presence of tigers and lions. Authorities had bought a hybrid lion from a circus, which bred at the zoo and that gave rise to genetic diseases in the safari's population.
Punjab state wildlife board member Gurmit Singh said, "A DNA test was also conducted, the findings of which were rather damning." Later, Central Zoo Authority (CZA) issued instructions to stop the breeding. Moreover, the authorities did not maintain the history of the cat family, giving rise to incorrect diagnoses.
"If the practice had been followed, many lions would have been saved," an expert said.
Sources stated that zoo authorities had not made any effort to procure pure Asiatic lions for breeding. Later, many lions were sent to other zoological parks without any

Denver Zoo celebrates births of rare tadpoles
The Denver Zoo is celebrating the birth of five tadpoles in South America as part of its push to save the critically endangered Lake Titicaca frog.
Denver Zoo staff assisted a breeding project at the Huachipa Zoo in Lima, Peru, in December and met with experts from around the world on strategies to preserve the giant frogs in the lake that straddles the border between Peru and Bolivia at 12,500 feet.
The Lake Titicaca frog is the Denver Zoo's top conservation project. Since 2007, the zoo has spent about $100,000 and advised local conservationists in the effort.
Although the five hatchlings did not

Walking gorilla is a YouTube hit
A silverback gorilla who walks upright like a human has become a big attraction at a wild animal park in Kent.
The male, called Ambam, has become something of a celebrity at Port Lympne near Hythe, where he amuses keepers and visitors.
Phil Ridges, Ambam's keeper, said it was "not a novelty" for

Orang-utans join the genome gang
Orang-utans can now be added to the list of species that have had their genomes sequenced, offering conservationists a wealth of data in their efforts to save the endangered great ape.
A group of researchers in the United States and Europe has published a draft of the genome of a captive orang-utan called Susie, and less complete copies from ten wild individuals1.
"We've developed a resource that could allow conservationists to prioritize populations for saving based on genetic diversity," says Devin Locke at the Genome Center at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, who led the study. "Zoo breeding programmes could also be informed by genetics, allowing them to maintain maximum diversity."
But whether genetic data can really help to conserve orang-utan populations in the wild remains unclear. The apes are native to Sumatra and Borneo, where they are under

World's first artificial hip for German tiger
A tiger in Germany has become the world's first to be given an artificial hip after a three-hour-operation by a team of vets that she only just survived, Leipzig University said on Thursday.
Girl, as the Malayan tiger at Halle Zoo in eastern Germany is known, had been in visible pain for close to a year because of problems in her right hip joint, the university said.
"Malayan tigers are one of the world's most endangered species, with only around 500 estimated to be living in the wild. This was another reason to operate on Girl," a statement said.
The ferocious feline patient, eight, was not that long in the tooth either, with a life expectancy of 20.
During the operation by five specialists, Girl's heart came close to stopping, however, but anaesthetist Michaele Alef was able to save her.
Girl is now recovering in a separate enclosure back in Halle Zoo, and once a six-week danger period when the new hip could dislocate is over, there is every chance that it will last her the rest of her life.
"We are happy," said Peter Boettcher, another member

New ‘secrecy’ law threat to zoo, museums
Civil society organisations believe zoos and museums could be under threat if the Protection of Information Bill is not amended.
Johannesburg Zoo could be crawling with National Intelligence Agency operatives if Parliament does not amend the Protection of Information Bill, civil society organisations warn.
The Institute for Democracy in SA has issued a list of the 1001 state organs that would be able to classify information should the bill be passed in its present form.
It includes oddities such as the Afrikaans Language Museum, the Playhouse Company, the Natal Sharks Board and the Johannesburg Zoo.
"If this bill goes through, we’ll have agents from National Intelligence Agency running around the Johannesburg Zoo," the Right2 Know campaign said yesterday.
Work on the controversial bill — which seeks to create a new regime for the classification of state information — will end today as the mandate of the

Monkey captured after 120-person biting rampage
A marauding monkey that attacked 120 people has been captured following a city-wide hunt in Shizuoka, Japan.
The mischievous macaque – named Lucky – had bitten 120 people in a two-month rampage in Shizuoka before becoming Rakujuen Zoo’s most famous resident.
‘We called her name and she came to us,’ said an official.
One of Rakujuen's caretakers found Lucky missing from its cage one morning. It is believed that the monkey may have escaped while

Second Baby Elephant
Chester Zoo has welcomed its second elephant calf in 6 months.
Asian Elephant Thi gave birth to the female calf just before midnight on Saturday.
Thi, 28, is mum to Sithami, 13, who had her own calf, Nayan, in July.
Proud dad of both calves is Upali, 16.
Tim Rowlands, Curator of Mammals, said the zoo was delighted with the news.
Tim said: “The arrival of an elephant calf is always a cause for celebration but two healthy calves in six months is fantastic. The new arrival and mum

New face at the zoo welcomes a new era
Groundwork being laid for $200-million reno of prized ‘gem’
Polar bears might be more accustomed to the frigid Manitoba winters than an Australian man, but the freezing cold holds "no worries" for Tim Sinclair-Smith.
The Assiniboine Park Conservancy recently announced that Sinclair-Smith has been appointed as its new director of zoological operations.
Sinclair-Smith succeeds the retired Dr. Gord Glover and is confident that his new leadership role will make him part of Assiniboine Park Zoo’s evolution that he believes will ultimately make the facility "world class."
For more than 20 years, Sinclair-Smith has worked in zoological facilities across the world and was most recently based at Calgary Zoo.
"The plans for the [zoo] are nothing short of spectacular and I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of a great team," Sinclair-Smith said. "Our goal is to move

Cachorros de tigres desaparecen de Zoo
(Tiger cubs missing from zoo - eaten or stolen?)

Australia Zoo execs under fire
TWO senior Australia Zoo executives flew business class to Las Vegas just two days after more than 20 employees were dismissed from the organisation on Monday.
Director Wes Mannion and General Manager Frank Muscillo left the country to pursue business interests in the US.
An Australia Zoo spokesperson said Mr Mannion and Mr Muscillo were in California seeking opportunities that would cement the financial future for Australia Zoo and attract international tourists back to the Coast.
“These business class flights were booked a year in advance on a travel sale,” the spokesperson said.
Last June, Terri Irwin announced Australia Zoo was pushing ahead with a $300 million plan to replicate the famed Beerwah wildlife haven in the gambling mecca of Las Vegas.
She said the plans would employ about 900 people – many of them Australians.
Back on the Coast, dozens of former

Complaint to USDA causes investigation into animals' welfare
A federal inspector will examine the Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park after a complaint was filed.
U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman David Sacks told the Chattanooga Times Free Press the agency received an anonymous complaint about the welfare of zoo animals and will send an inspector.
The zoo has also invited the oversight, asking the Animal and Plant Inspection Service of USDA to do an inspection said Darde Long, director of the zoo.
Seven animals have died at the zoo in the past month. One,0,3605791.story

Zoo update included on city agenda
An update on developments at the Topeka Zoo is among topics local governing bodies will take up in the coming week.
The Shawnee County Commission will meet at 9 a.m. Monday in its chambers in Room B-11 at the county courthouse, 200 S.E. 7th, while the Topeka City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in its chambers at 214 S.E. 8th.
The commission plans to consider selling a parcel of property encompassing part of a lot at 335 S.W. Polk for $50 to Carl Hughes.
The county acquired the parcel at a judicial tax foreclosure sale in September 2004. The parcel was offered for auction by sealed bid in June 2006, when a bid was made but no payment was received. On Jan. 2, Hughes submitted the $50 bid by e-mail.
Monday's agenda doesn't indicate commissioners will discuss or take

Researchers Witness Polar Bear’s Epic Search For Ice
Scientists studying polar bears around the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska, were amazed to witness one polar bear that swam continuously for more than nine days, covering some 426 miles, in search of sea ice.
The scientists said this endurance feat could be the result of climate change.
Polar bears are known to swim between land and sea ice floes to hunt seals. But the researchers said that increased sea ice melts push polar bears to swim much farther, risking their own health and future generations.
In their findings, published in Polar Biology, researchers from the US Geological Survey (USGS) revealed the first evidence of long distance swimming by polar bears.
“This bear swam continuously for 232 hours and 687 km and through waters that were 2-6 degrees C,” said research zoologist George M. Durner. “We are in awe that an animal that spends most of its time on the

Phl croc may be extinct in 10 years
The Philippine crocodile, classified as critically endangered by the World Conservation Union, will be extinct in 10 years if no conservation measures are immediately undertaken.
The Mabuwaya Foundation Inc. (MFI), an organization engaged in protecting the species, said only 100 mature Philippine crocodiles are left in the wilds of Isabela and Liguasan Marsh in Maguindanao.
Philippine crocodiles (scientific name Crocodylus mindorensis) are endemic to the country. They thrive in freshwater and are non-threatening to humans unless provoked.
“The Philippine crocodile is the world’s most severely threatened crocodile species. It is at a real risk of going extinct in the near future if no conservation action is taken,” said Marites Balbas, communication officer of Mabuwaya Foundation.
The foundation collaborates with international conservationist group Critical Ecosystem

Leave the kids at home for Shanghai Wildlife Park's new live-feeding show
Many of you are probably already familiar with the live-feeding that goes on up at the Harbin Siberian Tiger Reserve. In case you aren't, visitors to the "breeding center" are allowed to select various animals for a sum, hop onto a modified van and drive around the enclosures as the freshly-bought animal is thrown to the tigers. Last time we were there (which was the previous winter) you could for 'round about a thousand kuai, choose a goat to get torn to shreds.
However, you don't need to go so far up north to do that anymore because there's a live-feeding show in Shanghai's own backyard. The Shanghai Wildlife Park, who was behind the distasteful Animal Olympics a few years ago, has created such a tour to raise revenues. It's selling live chickens at 60 RMB a pop so that visitors can watch as they're thrown to the park's bears, tigers, and lions.
Never mind how cruel it is for the chicken, feeding the carnivores whenever

Conserving the Bornean leopard
The Sabah Wildlife Department wants to launch a Bornean clouded leopard captive breeding programme at the Kota Kinabalu Lok Kawi Wildlife Park.
The move follows the discovery of the endangered leopard. The Bornean clouded leopard is a unique subspecies distinctly different from their relatives in Sumatra.
Sabah Wildlife Department director Dr Laurentius Ambu said the uniqueness of the Bornean clouded leopard put it on the high priority list for conservation.
He noted it has already been listed as endangered on the International Union of Conser­vation of Nature

Former Tilikum Trainers Take You Behind The Curtain At SeaWorld
Since the death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau almost one year ago, the world has been learning a lot about more about the reality of life in marine parks for killer whales.
Now two former trainers have just released a powerful report that captures the full range of stresses suffered by orcas in captivity, stresses that likely contributed to the death of Dawn Brancheau (as well as a trainer named Alexis Martinez as a marine park in the Canary Island two months earlier).
The former trainers, Jeff Ventre and John Jett (now a doctor and a professor, respectively), worked with killer whales at SeaWorld Orlando (including Tilikum) for a combined total of 12 years, and both knew Dawn Brancheau. The stresses they catalog include: aggression between whales, medical issues, captive breeding practices, and the total disconnect between marine park life and the natural world and social structures killer whales are used to in the wild.
In particular, Jett and Ventre break new ground by explaining how life at marine parks leads killer whales to damage

Blind orangutans have twins in western Indonesian rescue centre
A blind orangutan at a rescue centre in western Indonesia has given birth to a healthy pair of twins.
Ian Singleton, who works with the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program, said Thursday that Gober, the mother, so far appeared able to care for the babies herself.
"But vets and staff are ready to step in if necessary," he said, adding that Leuser, the father, also is blind.
There are around 50,000 orangutans left in the wild, 90 per cent of them in Indonesia, with more than 2,000 others in rescue centres.
Some of those at centres were seized in the illegal wildlife trade and others orphaned when their mothers strayed from rapidly disappearing rain forests in search of food.
The twins — a boy named Ganteng and a girl named Ginting — were born last Friday.
"It's hoped that both infants will eventually be released to a life in the wild, something that has been denied both their parents due to their blindness," Singleton said.
The twins' mother, who has cataracts in both eyes, was captured by vets two years ago in an area surrounded by palm oil plantations.
They were worried she'd be killed by villagers for routinely

Future Main Entry of Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort takes shape
Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR) today announced that the construction of its ambitious project development is progressing with the new Main Entry landscape taking shape. During an official ceremony, which was attended by HE Majid Ali Al Mansouri, Managing Director of AWPR, Ghanim Mubarak Al Hajeri, Director General of AWPR, and other Senior Executives, the first nine trees were planted at the Main Entry.
The Main Entry is located in a 340,000 square metre landscaped area including oryx and gazelle habitat, and will allow visitors to meander through desert landscapes that signify the character of this unique experience.
Sustainable approaches are being implemented at every step of the Main Entry construction. Sustainable practices include exclusive use of "grey" water for irrigation (Treated Sewage Effluent) and all construction debris will be reduced, reused, and recycled as much as possible.
Most important is the landscaping where plants are chosen to be native and adaptive to the UAE region. Drought and or saline tolerant species will be planted including different types of species that have a proven track record of surviving and thriving in desert environment. In-line with the project's sustainability approach, 90% of the Main Entry plants are native with low to medium irrigation water requirements.
During design and construction, great attention is given to conserving the site's native vegetation. Areas are protected during construction to preserve valuable habitat while more than 500 mature trees have been lifted during 'Operation Green Thumb', the largest tree salvage operation ever undertaken in the region.
Using techniques developed in the US and for the first time applied in the UAE in collaboration with AWPR's strategic

Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort The Orangutans are waiting, the chimpanzees are waiting and the rest of the zoo world are waiting to see what will happen next

Tiger mum picks the best
The law of the jungle applies even in the zoo – a tigress ate three of her newborn cubs at the Johor Zoo here recently.
The seven-year old tigress, Juli, gave birth to four cubs on Saturday, but the joy of the zoo personnel was short-lived when she killed and ate three of the cubs in the following two days.
Zoo chief assistant secretary On Jabbar said the tigress could have eaten her cubs for several reasons, including the cubs’ health and physical condition.
“Three of the cubs looked feeble and one had a limp before they were killed by the mother,” he told journalists when met at the zoo here, adding that a tigress would also kill its cubs if instinct told it that the cubs would not have a chance to reach adulthood.
On said this was the third time that 100kg Juli gave birth in captivity after mating with Jeli, weighing 150kg.
She also ate her litter after giving birth in 2006 and 2008.
He said the zoo was hoping that Juli

Tigress deals a blow to zoo's breeding plan

Over the past three years, the Johor Zoo has been facing a problem with its tiger breeding programme - newborn cubs were mauled and eaten by their mother.
The reason behind the female tiger's behaviour is not known. Of the four cubs that were born four days ago, only one survived.
Johor Zoo manager Zakaria Rosli said it could be because the female tiger was inexperienced in handling its offspring.
He said the female tiger gave birth to five cubs at the end of 2008 and two in 2009. All were killed and eaten by the parent.
The male tiger in the breeding programme is named Jeli Junior while its mate is called Juli. Both weigh between 100kg and 150kg.
"We have yet to ascertain the cause of Juli's behaviour. The incidents occurred even though we increased the quantity of meals given to the mother during her three-month pregnancy period, from 5kg of beef to 7kg.
"All we can do now is to separate the tigers from public view in the hope that they will not be stressed by visitors. We even provide medication to the mother," he said yesterday.
Zakaria said it was a norm for tigers to maul their young if instincts told them that the cubs would pose certain "threats" in the future.
"We only separate the cubs from their mothers at least six months after birth.
"Tigers are solitary creatures. They are not like lions and their prides. And the zoo has no problem breeding lions thanks to their


Saudi in bid to revive Arabian tiger
Kingdom breeds animal in activity and install cameras on border
Saudi Arabia has been locked in an ambitious programme to resurrect the almost extinct Arabian tiger by breeding it in activity, the head of the Gulf Kingdom’s wildlife agency has said.
The National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development (NCWCD) is carrying out the programme which also involves the installation of 50 thermal imaging cameras in areas stretching thousands of miles from the northern border with Jordan to the southern border with Yemen, NCWCD’s secretary general Prince Bandar bin Mohammed bin Saud said.
In comments carried by the Saudi daily Alhayat on Saturday, he said the Arabian leopard, which had lived in large numbers in the Arabian peninsula, has become extinct because of massive hunting and development plans following the discovery of oil.
“Concerning the Arabian tiger, it could exist in just a few numbers across Jordan’s mountains and the UAE…in Saudi Arabia, we have found two of this animal,” the Prince said.
“We have launched a project to breed this animal and study its habitats and the way it lives…the project includes the installation of nearly 50 thermal imaging cameras across the Kingdom’s western region from the border with Jordan to Yemen…we installed them two months ago but so far we have not spotted any animal it is a big project and the study will last at least two years.”
Prince Bandar said NCWCD had launched another programme in parallel with that project involving the breeding of the Arabian tiger in captivity. “We have just had some baby tigers and we expect to have more this year…but there are many other
Elephant refuge starts anew after founder's firing
Nestled on a secluded tract in the wooded hills of rural Tennessee is a sight that would likely startle an outsider, if outsiders were permitted to see it: the nation's largest sanctuary for old, sick and rescued elephants.
For the past 15 years, elephants who had spent lifetimes in zoos and circuses have found a place to retire, rest and roam, far from noisy audiences and free from cramped quarters.
Now, after an unexpected management change and a lawsuit filed by one of the original founders last year, their place of refuge is undergoing changes that may allow the world
Ueno Zoo to get pandas in February
A pair of giant pandas to be leased from China will arrive at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo in February, sources said Saturday.
The giant pandas will be the zoo's first since Ling-Ling, a male panda, died in April 2008, and follows a deal between the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and China to borrow the popular animals for 10 years.
One of the pandas is a male named Bili, and the other is a female called Xiannu. Both are 5 years old. The metro government will pay $950,000 (around ¥80 million) annually to China to lease the animals. Beijing will use the funds to preserve the species' habitat and conduct research on pandas.
The endangered giant panda is considered a
Vizag zoo selected as conservation breeding centre for ‘dholes’
In an effort to recover the population of the endangered wild dogs or ‘dhole’, the Central Zoo Authority has selected Indira Gandhi Zoological Park as the conservation breeding centre for wild dogs in the country and Vandalur Zoo in Chennai as the associate zoo in the pilot project.
“We have identified some areas for the breeding centre in the zoo premises. Once the biologist arrives here by next month, we will conduct a detailed study and submit the proposal by April,” zoo curator G. Ramalingam told The Hindu.
The breeding centre will have 24 hours monitoring unit with CCTV cameras. The dholes are classified as endangered by the IUCN, due to habitat loss, depletion of its prey base, competition from other predators, persecution and possibly diseases from domestic and feral dogs.
Vizag zoo is the only zoo in the country that was successful in the inbreeding of wild dogs for the third time. This time the zoo witnessed the birth of five wild dog pups a month ago.
“The area is now being strictly monitored by guards to prevent any kind of disturbances. Wild dogs are highly sensitive to disturbances and the young ones are vulnerable till they cross five months,” the curator said.
With its sharp ears and piercing eyes, the male and the female keep a track of the movements of kites and eagles hovering over the area. The pack of young ones, however, comes out only in the early hours of the day and in the late evenings when the keeper comes to serve them food. While they scurry along with each other to get their share of food, their parents shoo away the flying kites and eagles that try to nab away the share.
The zoo has two enclosures of wild dogs and a pair of litter was also spotted in the other location by zoo keepers.
Dholes live in packs and the size of the packs indicates
Beetle pest may encourage nesting turtles to move
THE egg is exactly the same shape, size and colour as a ping-pong ball, but soft and covered in a thin, glistening fluid. Just seconds ago it was dumped into a hole in the sand by a female olive ridley sea turtle.
It's midnight on La Escobilla beach on Mexico's Pacific coast, where two biologists and I squat near the solitary turtle. She's one of the stragglers; last week, some 50,000 females swam in to lay their eggs, a phenomenon known as an arribada. The beach plays host to several arribadas each year. In 2007, 1.4 million nests were dug in this 15-kilometre stretch of sand, making it a contender for the largest sea-turtle nesting site in the world.
That's remarkable when you consider that just 20 years ago, the number hovered around 140,000. In those days, the slaughterhouse in nearby San Augustinillo was licensed to kill between 1000 and 3000 turtles a day. The beach, which now attracts a mix of Mexican and European tourists, was drenched in blood and littered with left-over turtle parts. I'm told the bay teemed with sharks, and the stench - so remarkable that it has its own name, chuquilla - could be smelled in the next town, 2.5 kilometres down the coast.
Then, in 1990, a national ban came into force, and La Escobilla was brought under state protection. The locals are allowed onto the beach during the day, says Erika Peralta Buendia, the biologist who runs the beachside monitoring station, but at night you need a permit. The lure of the supposedly aphrodisiac eggs is
More visitors at Plymouth's National Marine Aquarium
The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth has announced increased visitor numbers for 2010.
Despite a "challenging" year, the tourist attraction said numbers rose to 264,000, which was 6,000 more than the previous year.
Managing director Dr David Gibson said the aquarium's income was expected to reach £2.5m by the financial year end.
Everyone had pulled together to buck the trend compared with many other visitor destinations, he said.
"We're predicting that 2011 will be equally tough... but we're confident we can repeat last year's numbers," Dr Gibson added.
Since its opening in 1998, the aquarium has regularly attracted up to quarter of a million visitors a year, but in 2009 it admitted it was fighting to keep visitor numbers strong

SeaWorld to Reopen Shamu Show after Trainer Death Last Year
SeaWorld has announced that they going to reopen their ‘Dine with Shamu’ show on February 26 in San Antonio, Texas. It will also be reopened in San Diego, California and Orlando, Florida later this year.
This comes a year after the show was suspended when one of the killer whales, Tilikum, dragged 40-year-old trainer Dawn Brancheau underwater by her ponytail, drowning her last February after one of the shows ended. The show was suspended everywhere after the incident, which had several horrified witnesses. A spokesperson says that the male Orca won’t initially be performing in the show when it reopens.
Brancheau had worked at SeaWorld for 17 years after dreaming of working with Orcas since visiting the park when she was little and was one of the park’s most senior trainers. Police initially said that she had fallen into the water, but the witnesses described that she was grabbed by the 6-ton whale while answering questions from visitors.
This wasn’t the first time that Tilikum was involved in a fatality with a trainer. He was also blamed for the drowning of a trainer in 1991 while he was in British Columbia at Sealand. He was also involved in an incident when a homeless man’s body was found on his back in 1999, after




Malaysia wants orang utans abroad to 'come home'
Malaysia will help non-governmental organisations to bring back orang-utans from zoos abroad and rehabilitate them in their native environment in Sabah.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said that the government was keen to assist in the rescue of displaced orang utans currently placed in zoos in Europe and United Kingdom.
He said one obese orang utan named Oshine, highlighted by the international media, was rescued from a private owner in South Africa and was now being rehabilitated at Monkey World in Dorset, UK.
“It is being put on a diet in the centre as it had grown too fat and has apparently never seen another orang utan until it arrived at Monkey World,” he said during a dialogue with

European beavers construct ideal habitats for bats
By felling trees, beavers thin out the canopy, scientists have found, leaving fewer obstacles in the way of aerial-hunting bats as they pursue insects.
Also, river-damming by beavers boosts the numbers of these insect prey by creating large waterlogged areas.
Scientists say this study provides further evidence of beavers' essential role in maintaining

Harrassing zoo animals may be criminal
Messing with a zoo animal is just plain stupid. Soon it may become its own crime.
State Representative Al Park wants to make sure people who get too close to the exotic creatures face jail time for it.
He has introduced a bill that is a direct result of last summer's zoo break-in by a group of college students. The group hopped a fence at the Rio Grande Zoo late at night, and then posted pictures of their midnight safari on Facebook.
They got into the giraffe, sea lion and rhino exhibits.
The Facebook pictures caused an outrage, and prompted zoo director Rick Janser to make it very clear how dangerous the stunt was.
Here is what he said in June: “A giraffe can kick the head off a lion, so they are very lucky that they weren't injured by these animals.” Janser went on to say, “We've got a 500 lb male sea lion in there who is very territorial.”
Now Park wants to make something clear: If you mess with a zoo animal you could go to jail.
Janser strongly support

Hundreds of Orangutans to Finally Get Taste of Freedom in Indonesia
A conservation group on Wednesday finally got the go-ahead to release captive orangutans back into the wild, following a nine-year hyatus marked by zero releases.
Restorasi Habitat Orangutan Indonesia, a subsidiary of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, was awarded a concession for an orangutan release area by the Ministry of Forestry in August 2010.
The concession covers 86,540 hectares of previously logged land in East Kalimantan, for which the RHOI must pay a license fee of Rp 13 billion ($1.4 million) over the next 60 years.
But the sluggish bureaucratic process meant the group only now received approval to start releasing the apes back into the wild.
“In addition to the concession we’ve been granted by the Forestry Ministry, we plan to add another 23,000 hectares in the northern part of East Kalimantan, because not all the land we got is suitable as an orangutan release habitat,” said Togu Manurung, chairman of the BOS Foundation.
“The topography is the main challenge — at 900 meters above sea level, it’s too high an elevation for orangutans.”
He said each orangutan

Rare Sunda Clouded Leopard Has Two Distinct Types
Tests have proven a long-held belief that Borneo's rare Sunda clouded leopard is really a different subspecies from its Indonesian relative, researchers said Sunday.
The two subspecies of Sunda leopard -- which was only identified as a species in its own right in 2007 -- must now be managed differently, said a report by Andreas Wilting from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research and researchers from the Sabah wildlife and forestry departments.
"The Sunda clouded leopard in Borneo and Sumatra is a different species from clouded leopards across the Asian mainland," Wilting said.
"We suspected the leopards on Borneo and Sumatra have likely been geographically separated since the last Ice Age, and we now

Clouded leopard: Sabah to try captive breeding
The clouded leopards in Borneo belong to a unique subspecies.
This discovery was made in a recent scientific study by an international team of researchers led by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin (IZW), with the collaboration of Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD). Using genetic and morphological analyses, they demonstrated that Bornean clouded leopards need to be classified into a unique subspecies (Neofelis diardi borneensis) distinct from its relatives in Sumatra.
The clouded leopards drew international attention in 2006, when scientists found there to be two species living with distinct distributions.
Clouded leopards from Borneo and Sumatra are genetically and morphologically highly distinct from their relatives on the mainland (Neofelis nebulosa) and, thus, form a separate species, the Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi).
Following up on these findings, a team of researchers led by

Nothing fishy about Karratha coral farm's expansion
Three years ago, Wayne McKenzie-Brown made a living selling coral, fish and shells to a few aquarium enthusiasts around Australia.
Now his business, Australian Coral Farms, is gearing up to become the world's largest marine production facility.
The farm, in the Western Australian town of Karratha, currently sends 70 per cent of its product to the world's poshest fish tanks.
Mr McKenzie-Brown says that's only going to get bigger once he completes a $20 million expansion, including 13 new hatcheries, improved holding tanks and sealed

Rising onion prices hit Mumbai zoo
Soaring prices of vegetables and onion are affecting the diet of the animals at the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and zoo at Byculla. The zoo authority is feeding only one kg of onion to all of the mammals and 450 birds, as a digestive stimulator.
The authority has prepared a diet list for each animal with the help of animal nutrition experts from the veterinary college in Parel.
This year, the suppliers have not got fresh and enough vegetables due to the rising prices. Also, there is lack of variety of vegetables in the market as untimely showers ruined the onion crop in September and October 2010.
The civic body passed a proposal of setting aside about Rs11 lakh every year for feeding the zoo animals. The contractors supply vegetables for the herbivorous animals and meat for the carnivorous

US Zoo calls in specialist, hoping to put panda's fertility back on cycle
The Memphis Zoo has turned to specialists with the hope of realigning the fertility cycle of Ya Ya, the facility's female giant panda.
The zoo's curator of mammals, Matt Thompson, says Ya Ya has been fertile during the holiday season, months before pandas are typically fertile. Despite insemination during that period, Ya Ya has been unable to carry a cub to term.
Thompson told The Memphis Commercial

Singapore based company to design Saigon Safari Park
The Singapore based company Bernard Harrison & Friends Ltd. has been selected as designers of the newly planned Saigon Safari Park in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City on January 22.
The park will be located in An Nhon Tay and Phu My Hung communes of the district, about 80 kilometers from the city.
The park project covering an area of 456.85 hectares will be the biggest safari park in the region at an estimated cost of US$500 million.
As per the initial blueprint, the park will have an open zoo, a night safari, a butterfly centre, a botanical museum, a fauna and flora research centre and a nature museum.
The safari park is expected to have a large

'Bird geek' is man behind the penguins
His official title at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is aviculturist.
Or, as Cody Sowers puts it, "I'm kind of a bird geek."
True bird geek that he is, Sowers isn't in it for the glamour. The 29-year-old Milford resident doesn't mind toiling in a cold, wet environment; or thawing and preparing 60 pounds of frozen fish for the 100 or so birds in his care; or cleaning exhibits - "we're hosing poop," he says - before the first zoo visitors arrive
As a keeper in the polar section of the Wings of the World exhibit, he works with about 20 species of sea birds from the Arctic and Antarctic, including penguins, puffins and auklets. The zoo has several species of auklets that are not housed anywhere else the world.
If Sowers does find himself in a foul - rather than fowl - mood, all he need do, he says, is glance at the people streaming through the bird house.
"You see kids and adults - everybody - just so excited to be here. That kinds of keeps me in check because even if I'm having a bad day, all these people would probably pay to be standing right here."
"Right here" is behind the glass of the Sub Antarctic Coast display, where it's 40 degrees and Sowers has just finished hand-feeding six king penguins. The second largest

Top marks for Zoo keepers
THREE Dudley Zoo keepers have achieved top marks in their animal care exams.
Jay Haywood, aged 27, Luke Millar, 23, and 22 year-old Stacey Ball, fit in their Advanced National Certificate in the Management of Zoo Animals studies around their animal keeping duties at the Castle Hill attraction.
Jay, from Dudley, joined DZG in 2000 and has cared for big cats and ungulates. Bird keeper Luke, from Tewkesbury, started work on site in 2008 and Walsall-based Stacey has been at the zoo for five years looking after primates and birds.
Zoo Registrar and Research co-ordinator Dr David Beeston said:?“Jay, Luke and Stacey have done

Love shack for angry elephant
Wildlife Alliance plans to invest US$70,000 to build two new cages to facilitate the breeding of a recently captured renegade elephant named Sambo and three potential mates at Phnom Tamao Zoo.
Nhem Thy, vice-director and animal technical expert at the Phnom Tamao Zoo, said plans had been made to build one cage for Sambo and another for three female elephants named Narann, Lucky and Chamroeun.
“We are building safe cages for Sambo and for Narann, Lucky and Chamroeun so they can breed and increase the elephant population,” he said.
He said according to estimates, Sambo’s new cage will cost $10,000 and the cage for Narann, Lucky and Chamroeun will cost an additional $60,000.
He added that zoo officials will also attempt a second meeting between Sambo and Srey Pao, the female elephant who refused Sambo’s advances earlier this

Erin's mammoth job a pleasure
THE day is one of obliterating brightness and tropical heat, when even in the shade you are compelled to squint.
And then comes a rumbling roar that opens the eyes so wide they could well leave their sockets.
What follows is a moment of quietness, of the sort you get when a gun goes off in the dark.
And then Erin Ballagh laughs. ‘‘That’s just Kulab,’’ she says.
‘‘They have all sorts of vocalisations.’’
As if to prove the point, Kulab, still out of sight, lets rip with the familiar trumpeting sound of Tarzan movies.
Soon enough, she wanders along the fence, making no sound at all in the dust with her tree-trunk feet.
Her calf, Ongard, ambles along next to her, mimicking her gait in an exaggerated fashion. They both have their ears lifted up and back.
‘‘She’s been listening to us, checking us out,’’ says Ms Ballagh, who then mutters a few things to the elephant that I can’t decipher.
‘‘She’s happy. You can tell by the softness in her eyes.’’
We’re sitting in a corner of the working area in the elephant compound at Melbourne Zoo. When Ms Ballagh was taken on as a trainee handler four years ago — learning how to read the various signals and behaviours by which elephants communicate— her first 12 months were spent almost

An unprecedented insight into killer whale behavior

Local scientists unveil surprising new research


Groundbreaking new research has revealed some fascinating insights into the patterns of killer whales near Alaska.


A scientist with the Vancouver Aquarium has discovered a surprising number of killer whales are preying on grey whales, the species far larger than themselves.


Lance Barrett-Lennard and his team of researchers have been following whale behaviour up north for four years.


He says they were surprised to discover killer whales are storing the carcasses of grey whales "They're killing the grey whales in relatively shallow water, stashing their carcasses on the bottom, feeding on them for a few hours, and then returning to feed on them for several days."


According to researchers, this kind of storage behaviour has never

Food is the key to big cat's survival

ASK any citizen of the UK if they believe that we have wild boar living free in our countryside and most will confirm this fact, having seen them on the television and read about them in local and national newspapers.


But mention big cats living wild and thriving amongst us then the answer is generally – yeah, right.


When it comes to evidence of their existence, we have deer kills.


If these big cats are in any way derived from leopards and pumas, antelope and deer would be their preferred prey, and as we have no native antelopes, then deer, which we have plenty of, are the natural choice for these animals to prey on.


When a deer kill is encountered, many times it has all the hallmarks of a large predatory cat kill – asphyxiation, or broken neck, deep puncture wounds to the head and neck area.


Bones would be licked clean, large claw marks on the flesh and a large amount of meat consumed in one session.


The evidence is very unlikely for any other native predator or dog to achieve.


Also, remains of deer kills have been reported in lower branches and forks of trees.


Indeed, not long ago an unnamed deer poacher rang me to confirm that he has found blood and deer hair where a deer carcass has been carried up into a willow tree.


The same chap also mentioned the fact that when he was skinning a fallow deer taken from the same area, very long claw marks were found on the haunches.


These frequent occurrences are accepted as just part of their working agenda and are often heralded as a possible threat to their stock rather than a rare sight in our green and

Edinburgh Zoo unable to raise sponsorship for new pandas

When news of their arrival was confirmed earlier this month, it was hailed as a diplomatic and scientific coup that would prove a massive money-spinner for Edinburgh Zoo.


But as plans are drawn up to accommodate giant pandas Tian Tian and Yangguang, disquiet is growing among conservation groups and questions are being asked about who is going to foot the estimated £6 million bill for their loan.


It emerged at the weekend that despite hopes of attracting a high-profile backer, no commercial sponsors are yet in place for the pandas, while Will Travers, chief executive officer of the Born Free Foundation, claimed the plan amounted to “animal exploitation”.


He said: “I am convinced Scotland does not need pandas any more than pandas need Scotland. It appears commercial sponsors, quite rightly, have other priorities and may share our view this whole thing is little more than animal exploitation.”


Edinburgh Zoo insisted yesterday that the breeding pair of giant pandas, which will arrive here from China in the autumn, will be a viable draw and that the species will benefit from research done here.


The zoo says it has already met informally with potential sponsors and that a robust business plan took account of the forecast increase in visitor numbers

Russian Activists Rescue Animals From Abandoned Zoo

Dozens of animals abandoned by a traveling zoo in Russia -- including some endangered species -- have been rescued from dire conditions thanks to intervention by local journalists and citizens' pressure on public officials.


The animals require special care and still face a long road to recovery after having been transferred from cramped cages to a municipal zoo last month.


"The wolves were in the worst shape. They had been fed only once or twice a week, and not at all what they should have been eating," Ivan Romanov, chief zookeeper at the Tanai Lake State Park, told AOL News. "When we got the Ussurian tiger, it could hardly get up; now, it's much better, although still hardly in good health."


Only one of the bears rescued appears ready to go into late hibernation, Romanov said, adding, "Without sufficient fat reserves, bears die in their sleep."


The prosecutor's office in the city of Kemerovo confirms that an investigation is under way, but it is unclear when or if charges will be brought because no one has been able to track down the people responsible for the abuse.


The animals' plight surfaced in early November after a journalism student brought photographs to the editorial offices of Tom, a weekly newspaper in Kemerovo




The Need for Conservation of Asiatic Cheetahs

The United Nations declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity and invited the world to take action to safeguard the variety of life on earth. Unfortunately, though, it is seldom completely clear what should be safeguarded. An example is provided by the cheetah, which conventional wisdom tells us does not vary much throughout its wide (if shrinking) range.

Recent work in the group of Pamela Burger of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna challenges this view and shows that the cheetahs in Northern-East Africa and those in Asia differ markedly from the populations in Southern Africa. The results are published in the current issue of the journal Molecular Ecology and have profound and far-reaching implications for the conservation of the species.

Historically, cheetahs were widespread throughout Africa and much of Southwest Asia, ranging through Kazakhstan and the entire Indian peninsula. The present situation is very different and the remaining animals are concentrated in certain areas in southern and eastern Africa. Very few cheetahs now exist in the wild in Asia, where the species is confined to small areas in Iran. It has long been believed that cheetahs show relatively low levels of genetic variation, although previous studies have not examined the entire geographic range. Pauline Charruau and Pamela Burger of the Institute of Population Genetics at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna have collaborated with groups in a number of other countries -- Portugal, Germany, the United States, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, France and South Africa -- to investigate a large number of cheetah DNA samples. The researchers even included in their study DNA that they extracted from bones found in mediaeval sites in north-west Iran. By means of sophisticated statistical methods to compare the sequences of certain pieces of the DNA, the scientists were able to gain a far more complete picture of the range of diversity in the species.

The results are dramatic. Cheetahs in Northern-East Africa (in Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti) differ significantly from the animals further south. Furthermore, the few cheetahs remaining in Iran are markedly distinct. It seems likely that the populations separated about 30,000 to 70,000 years ago and are thus more ancient than previously suspected. The cheetahs in Southern and Eastern Africa are known to represent two closely related subspecies but Burger's work reveals that the other subspecies in Northern-East Africa and in Asia represent older and highly distinct lineages.

The populations in sub-Saharan Africa are relatively secure but this is unfortunately not the case for the subspecies in Asia. And because Iranian cheetahs are the last representatives of the Asiatic subspecies and are so dissimilar from their African relatives, their conservation is a priority. There are only about 100 individuals left in Iran, possibly even fewer, so urgent action is needed to ensure the survival of this distinct form. Together with the United Nations Development Programme, the Iranian Department of the Environment (which cooperated on the paper) has established a comprehensive programme (CACP) that makes conservation of the Asiatic cheetah a national priority. Nevertheless, "We are running out of time to save the Asiatic cheetah," says Alireza Jourabchian, Director of the CACP in Iran. "We have been successful in stabilizing numbers in Iran but we still have a long way to go before we can consider this unique sub-species secure. We are hopeful these new findings will bring even greater attention to its plight."

A strategy that has been frequently employed to conserve endangered species is to capture individuals in an area where the animals are common and release them at sites where they are rare. Along these lines, the critically low Iranian population could be supplemented with animals taken from Southern and Northern-East Africa but the finding



Elephant That Crushed Woman Handler Gets Reprieve

Knoxville Zoo Officials Call Death an Accident, Elephant Won't Be Punished

Officials at the Knoxville zoo now believe that James' death was a tragic accident.

"The elephants acted as they should in that situation. In other words when they received a command, they responded. She responded in this case," Jim Vina, executive director of the Knoxville Zoo, said.

The 8,000 pound African elephant backed James into a stall on Friday, pushing her into metal bars.

"When something is... up to four tons...and that animal...pushes you against a wall or whatever inside tight quarters, you don't have a chance. It's just that powerful an animal," renowned zookeeper Jack Hanna said.

The 26-year-old elephant named Edie was not acting aggressively and followed the desperate commands of another handler to move back, zoo officials said.

When Edie followed the commands to move away from James, it was too late. The 33-year-old James lay crumpled against a stall. Medics rushed her to the hospital where she later died.

"Edie, the African elephant involved in the incident, will not be punished or disciplined for the incident," Vina said.

Hanna said that he, too, believes James' death was an accident.

"I can tell you I've seen elephants in the wild go through the brush and the bush and it's like a bulldozer...because they eat 200 or 300 pounds a day," Hanna said.

For now, zoo officials are keeping the zoo's three



AZA inspectors return to Topeka Zoo

The Topeka Zoo got a return visit Monday from two of the three Association of Zoos and Aquariums inspectors who crafted a highly critical report after examining that zoo's operations in December 2009.

Zoo director Brendan Wiley said the zoo was inspected Monday by Eric Miller, senior vice president and director of zoological operations at the St. Louis Zoo, and Gary Geddes, director of zoological operations at the Metro Parks in Tacoma, Wash.

Wiley said Miller and Geddes carried out the inspection Monday and planned to start preparing the report that evening.

"Essentially, they were able to see what they needed to see, and talk to enough staff to get a feel for how things are progressing," he said.

Wiley, who became the Topeka Zoo's director last May, said Monday's visit from



LT Educator, Brookfield Zoo Researcher Awarded National Honor

Jason Crean received $10,000 from the National Science Foundation and flew to Washington, D.C., to meet President Barack Obama.

Jason Crean, of Woodridge, is a Lyons Township High School science teacher, college professor, research aide, curriculum author, animal handler and zoo consultant.

He's also the recipient of last year's Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, an honor granted to just one math and one science teacher from each state. The award comes with $10,000 from the National Science Foundation to be used at the recipient's discretion and a trip to Washington D.C. to meet President Barack Obama.

"It was a humbling experience having the president recognize you with the highest award that a teacher can receive," Crean said.

Crean said he enjoyed meeting the other award recipients in Washington D.C. because they all faced the same challenges. "You



14 lions killed at Iran zoo over infection fears

Authorities put down 14 lions at the Tehran zoo that had been diagnosed with an infectious bacterial disease that could affect visitors, a local newspaper reported on Monday.

The state-own Jam-e Jam daily reported that the lions were suffering from glanders, a bacterial disease found in horses, donkeys, mules as well as other domesticated animals. It can spread from infected animals to humans. The paper did not say when the lions killed.

Houman Moloukpour, a veterinarian, told the newspapers that the lions most likely contracted the disease because of mismanagement at the zoo.

Moloukpour said over the past two month three lions have died in the zoo after they



Posthumous conservation award for Paradise Park's Barnaby the barn owl

A barn owl who lived at a Cornish wildlife park has won a posthumous award for his contribution to conservation.

Barnaby, who died aged 20 last summer, picked up the Lady Gray'l Award "for owls who have made a difference" at the 2011 World Owl Hall of Fame awards.

The bird, pictured above with television wildlife presenter Michaela Strachan, spent two decades at Paradise Park, teaching visitors about the species.

David Woolcock, curator at Paradise Park, said: "Barnaby flew daily in the Free Flight Bird Show from March 1990 to June 2010.

"In that time he touched the lives of more than 1.8 million people. His engagement with the public helped us to promote how they too could become involved to help barn owls in the wild – primarily through the Barn Owl Conservation Network. He also made numerous visits to schools and hospitals."

Barnaby also played an integral role helping animal care



Zoo visitors urged to bring in their own bamboo to beat panda feeding problem

IT'S set to turn the zoo rule book on its head.

After years of being told not to feed the animals, the public is to be asked to help provide nourishment for Edinburgh's new attractions.

The impending arrival of giant pandas Tian Tian and Yangguang has given bosses a headache in sourcing the 30kg of bamboo which the pair will munch through every day.

That means Edinburgh residents could be asked to bring in any bamboo growing in their



Veterinary hospital to be set up at Marghzar Zoo

A veterinary hospital equipped with latest equipments would be established at the Marghzar Zoo to take care of birds and animals health, said Capital Development Authority Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi during his visit to the Zoo on Tuesday.

He directed the authority's Environment Wing to take concrete steps for provision of natural habitat to birds and animals besides protection of wildlife at Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP). The chairman took serious notice of non-functioning of the lights and directed the formation concerned of the civic body for their proper maintenance and installation.

He asked CDA Environment Member Mian Waheedud Din to submit a detailed report regarding the issues relating to the Zoo and preservation of wildlife in the area of Margallah Hills National Park.

Imtiaz said CDA was taking concrete measures to preserve the fauna and flora at MHNP, adding that a comprehensive mechanism was in place to monitor the movement of wild animals and birds kept in designated enclosures in the capital city.

He said the awareness programme initiated at Margallah Hills National Park would also be provided at the Zoo so that the people visiting the entertainment facility could be educated



Diagnostic tool at Kansas City Zoo illuminates temperature of animals

The Kansas City Zoo is using a new, high-tech tool to better diagnose the health of its animals.

The thermogram produces pictures with bright digital colors of the animals' bodies. The different colors indicate where the temperatures are different. For example, places that show up blue — like ears — have less blood, while other areas where organs are can be orange or red.

Zoo veterinarian Kirk Suedmeyer says the thermogram can detect illnesses and potential problems even when an animal is acting like it feels fine.

The Kansas City Star reports that thermography machine,0,5007661.story



Zoos Are No Fun for Elephants

The Los Angeles Zoo has just opened a new $42 million, 3.8 acre "Elephants of Asia" habitat. Animal activists like Bob Barker claim that this Pachyderm Forest is too small… meanwhile, the two elephants at the Santa Barbara Zoo, Suzie and Little Mac, remain in a 13,000-square-foot exhibit, which is less than a third of an acre.



Two arrested over Wingham Wildlife Park meerkat theft

Two people have been arrested following the theft of a meerkat from a wild animal park in Kent.

The male meerkat went missing from its enclosure at the Wingham Wildlife Park near Canterbury on 29 December.

It was found dead in a dog waste bin in Sandwich last Wednesday after a member of the public reported seeing it hit by a car a few days earlier.

A 47-year-old woman and an 18-year-old man, both from Sandwich, were arrested and



Malayisa: Do we really need an orangutan reserve in the Klang Valley?

How far will having another orang utan sanctuary, this time in the Klang Valley, go in saving the endangered species?

IT IS yet another case of the tom yam syndrome: "Orang utan sanctuaries in Sepilok, Sabah, and Semenggoh, Sarawak, have done very well in drawing the crowds. Hey, let's do the same over in Peninsular Malaysia. Let's set up an orang utan sanctuary right in the Klang Valley, so tourists need not travel all the way to Sabah and Sarawak to view the rare red apes. Never mind that there is already such an orang utan park at Bukit Merah Laketown Resort near Taiping, Perak. And never mind that the primate died out in the peninsula thousands of years ago. The Klang Valley wants its very own orang utan sanctuary."

But leading orang utan scientists in the country and conservation groups are not at all happy with the idea. The plan is ill-conceived and lacks ecological reasoning, they argue.

Numerous questions have been raised: Why would we need another orang utan park when there is already the Orang Utan Island at Bukit Merah? Can the orang utans survive in peninsular forests? Won't it drain already limited resources? Will this sanctuary serve any conservation purpose or is it merely a tourism product? Will wild orang utans



Sweden wolf hunt brings EU legal threat

The European Commission plans to take legal action against Sweden over a wolf hunt that allegedly breaches EU law

Sweden is allowing hunters to shoot a total of 20 wolves this year. It reintroduced the wolf hunt in 2010 - the first in Sweden since 1964.

But Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik says wolves in Sweden have an "unfavourable conservation status".

A very narrow genetic base threatens the wolf population in Scandinavia, the environmental group WWF says.

The Swedish quota for the wolf hunt last year was 27. The total wolf population in Sweden is estimated at about 200 - the majority of Scandinavia's wolves.

This year's hunt began on Saturday and by Monday already 14 wolves had been killed, the Swedish news website The Local reported.

In a statement on Monday, Mr Potocnik said: "The actions of the Swedish authorities leave me with little choice other than to propose to the Commission



Five Reasons Pigs Are More Awesome Than You (Have a laugh)



Paid to Dress Like Pandas, Save the Species

How far would China's conservationists go to safeguard the country's giant pandas, a struggling species of a couple thousand? This far: oversized, fuzzily oppressive bear costumes.

Wolong Giant Panda Research and Conservation Centre in Sichuan, central China, hasn't had an easy time of introducing captive-bred cubs to the wild. In 2007, the first attempt to release a panda reared in a human-controlled environment came to naught. The infant was found dead after only a few


Tucson Taqueria Offers Up... Wait for It... Lion TacosIn the six months since it launched Exotic Taco Wednesdays, Boca Tacos y Tequila has served up some pretty exotic options - and when we say exotic, we MEAN exotic.


They've sold python and alligator tacos, as well as ones with elk, kangaroo, rattlesnake and turtle. Oh, and then there were those with frog legs, turtle, duck and Rocky Mountain



Elephants outgrow parks and roam in villages

The elephants are back. With their numbers rising, an unfailing memory and a dearth of poachers, the animals have put the worst time of their lives in Kenya, the 1980s, behind them.

Their population is galloping along at almost four per cent annually, and has almost outgrown the capacity of the protected areas of Maasai Mara and Amboseli national parks.

Following closely the movements of Lady Lorna and an older elephant called Kiramatian, scientists at the African Centre for Conservation have established that elephants are indeed increasingly venturing out of the protected areas.

Between 2006 and 2010 the researchers put electronic collars on the two elephants to help trace the herd movements. This combined with a trained group of security scouts in the South Rift has seen the animals try



LA Zoo Celebrates Rare Giant Horned Lizard Birth

The Los Angeles Zoo successfully reproduced the tiny, blood-squirting giant horned lizard for the first time in North American history

One giant step for giant horned lizards.

Weighing in at 1 gram each, nine giant horned lizards were successfully reproduced for the first time in North America, the Los Angeles Zoo announced Thursday.

"This clutch is a milestone event for the L.A. Zoo and zoos across the continent. These lizards will serve as ambassadors for their species and aid in the study of this species," Los Angeles Zoo Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians Ian Recchio said in a statement.

Native to Mexico, six adult giant horned lizards were transported to the United States and divided between the San Diego Zoo and the L.A. Zoo, where the nine lizards hatched in November.

According to Recchio, the offspring currently weigh about 5 grams, making "giant" a giant misnomer (see picture). The horned lizard family is the only species of animal known to squirt blood from their eyes as a defense mechanism.

Elizabeth Leider, spokeswoman for the L.A. Zoo, said the public will be able to observe the lizards when the new Living Amphibians, Invertebrates and Reptiles center (The LAIR) opens in the fall.

Onlookers should note, though, they may be disappointed not to see the red of the lizards' eyes. Expelling blood is a reaction reserved for only the most threatening situations, indicating discomfort in their new home and an expiration date on their survival.

"Since the lizards haven't disp



Sometimes, zoos can have too much of a good thing

At the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, animal births are normally celebrated. Photographs are snapped. Naming contests are held. Pandas? Oh, the zoo goes ape when it comes to the arrival of a new panda.

In some cases, though, the zoo doesn't want a bundle of joy.

An animal may be getting up in age and a pregnancy might be dangerous. The males and females could be too closely related, causing concerns about inbreeding. The animals may be just too good at making babies, leading to overpopulation.

So like zoos nationwide, the one here does gender separation or puts the creatures on birth control. Affected species include lions, Visayan warty pigs, sika deer and elephants, among others.

"The zoo's female elephants are all on contraception," said Yadira Galindo, a zoo spokeswoman. "The advanced age could cause complications during a pregnancy, so the decision was made to put them on contraception."

Zoos nationwide do this. It's a little bit ironic, though. Many zoos work tirelessly to preserve those species that are threatened and endangered in the wild. But the zoos also have to make sure some animals they house don't strain their facilities' limited spaces by procreating at a rate that's unsustainable.

Take the sika deer at the Safari Park, for instance. That species of Asian deer doesn't have a problem when it comes being fruitful and multiplying. So some of the males have undergone vasectomies. If males are needed again to breed, the vasectomies are reversed.

These are the more drastic measures undertaken to avoid unwanted pregnancies, though. The zoo prefers, when it's possible, merely to separate the males and females.

That's the case with Visayan warty pigs. They're critically endangered and hadn't been bred in zoos outside of the Philippines, according to the zoo. But they must like the air in San Diego or something. They were so prolific they had to be separated. All the ones on exhibit at the zoo are females.

For some species, that's perfectly natural. In the wild, many deer species form bachelor herds and stay away from the females until nature calls.

But for others, it's more complicated. Take the zoo's lions, Mbari and Etosha. They live together because that's what lions do in the wild. But Etosha has given birth twice and suffered complications, so the zoo made the decision to sterilize her.

Contraception for zoo animals is not something that's universally accepted. A number of European zoos don't believe in the practice, arguing that it's unfair for animals not to experience the joys of sex, pregnancies and parenthood. In the wild, after all, this is what animals do.

But that philosophy causes its own set of problems. If the offspring is unwanted, it's sometimes killed. In some cases, the meat is fed to the lions.

"It's a cultural difference," said Cheryl Asa, the director of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Wildlife Contraceptive Center at the St. Louis Zoo. "I can't imagine people in the United States accepting that practice."

It is, however, a more natural one, she said. Young animals in the wild are susceptible to disease and predators. They do indeed die. "But what's not more natural is humans, not Mother Nature, doing the killing."

The practice has come under fire. In 2008, in a Switzerland zoo, a baby hippo was born that quickly captivated the nation. But there was one problem: There was no room for the new guy. Once he reached maturity, he and his dad were going to battle for dominance. It's what male hippos do.

The baby hippo ended up being shipped to a game reserve in South Africa last year.

U.S. zoos have little choice but to use birth control because many animals breed quite well in zoo environments, Asa said. "You always hear about the animals that don't breed well. What you don't hear about are the ones that breed too easily."

Big cats, for one.

At a Bangladesh zoo, new lions and tigers began overwhelming the facility recently. It had room for 16, but the number jumped to 36. It had to put the animals on contraceptives.

While separating the animals is an effective tool, that practice should also be limited, Asa said. It dates back to the early days of zoos, when it was the only option available. But some animals are social creatures and enjoy the company of other animals. Keeping them apart can cause behavior problems.

It also lessens the zoo-going experience for the public. It's not as enthralling to see animals all by their lonesome, she said. The zoos are supposed to duplicate the animals' experience in the wild as closely as possible.

There are a number of safe birth-control methods, she said. For primates, human birth control, such as the Pill, can work. Implants containing a synthetic progestin which block ovulation are also a popular method.

Still, this is relatively new science. Zoos started using contraceptives in the 1970s. The AZA Wildlife Contraception Center was established in 1989. It doesn't recommend which animal should be on birth control, Asa said. It just provides the different methods.

They don't always



Edmonton zoo's care of elephant adequate, humane society finds

Lucy the elephant is being cared for by the Valley Zoo within the standards of the Animal Protection Act, according to the Edmonton Humane Society.

The society has been investigating the elephant's care since Oct. 5, when they received a complaint. The society conducts many such investigations, usually on domestic or farm animals.

"We're certainly not elephant experts, for sure, though we did rely on outside experts in this case," said senior animal protection officer B. Nicoll said.

Those experts, and the details of the investigation, are protected for privacy reasons Nicoll added.

The investigation is ongoing. "Our investigation will remain open until all requirements and recommendations are fulfilled," Nicoll said. "We take all investigations seriously and this one is no different."

Those recommendations are that the Valley Zoo continue to facilitate efforts to exercise the elephant in the winter, diagnose and treat her respiratory problem and manage her weight. Though elephants usually breathe through their trunks, Lucy has a respiratory problem that necessitates she breathe through her mouth. A


2 pandas will remain in US 5 more years

Mei Xiang and Tian Tian will continue to stay in the United States'National Zoo for another five years, Chinese officials said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Moments after President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao finished a White House news briefing, China Wildlife Conservation Association announced an extended five-year agreement with the National Zoo in Washington D.C. for giant panda breeding and research right after the previous cooperative plan expired at the end of 2010.

The pair of pandas was in the Smithsonian National Zoo on a 10-year cooperative agreement with a loan of $10 million and they can remain in the



Little River Zoo in Norman closes doors to public

Financial difficulties have forced the Little River Zoo in Norman to close to the public, although it remains a sanctuary for about 400 animals, director Mickey Pierce said.

"We're having to fight to stay open as a sanctuary. It's exhausting, both physically and emotionally, but we do it out of love for these animals," Pierce said.

The zoo, which is on 120th Avenue SE, south of State Highway 9, is a nonprofit corporation that relies completely on donations to survive, Pierce said.

Bill and Janet Schmid co-founded the zoo in the early 1990s, but have been unable to afford much-needed repairs, Pierce said.

"You know, after a while things become antiquated," the director said. "It needs a complete renovation



Zoo Keeper Killed on I-15

The San Diego Zoo is mourning the loss of a senior mammal keeper.

Adam Ruble was killed Sunday night after running into fast moving traffic on Interstate 15 just south of Miramar Way, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Ruble's car was on the center divide when he ran out onto the freeway and was struck by a one car and then several other vehicles, the CHP said. His unoccupied car was working and had half a tank of gas.

There are a lot of unanswered questions as to why he ran into traffic. One CHP officer called it, "baffling." It does not appear drugs or alcohol were involved.

Those who cared about Ruble are stunned and heartbroken.

"He was very well liked and dedicated to his profession of animal care," said zoo spokesperson Christina Simmons.

Ruble worked at the San Diego Zoo since 2005. He went to Australia in 2008 to work at the Melbourne Zoo for three months and returned to the San Diego Zoo where he worked with zebras and polar bears.

"It's a disbelief. He's too vibrant



Tiger mauls tigress to death in zoo

In a shocking incident, a tiger mauled a tigress to death in the cage in Chaudhary Surender Singh Memorial Zoological Park at Bhiwani on Wednesday. The rogue tiger had also killed a man and another tigress in the past in the same zoo. The incident occurred zoo staff was serving meat to the animals, which were in different cages. However, as one of the employees? left the gate of the cage in which the tiger, Apaya, is kept, unbolted, the beast leapt outside and pounced upon the tigress, Rani, grabbing it by the neck. Deep wounds on the neck led to its death on the spot. The employees claimed that they tried to scare away the attacking tiger.

Hisar divisional wildlife officer, Shakti Singh told TOI, ?Prima facie there seems to be no negligence on part of employees. Apaya has a history of violent behaviour and we have written to the higher authorities to shift the animal to another place, but yet to get any response.? Apaya had also killed a zoo employee, Mahavir Singh, on January 29, 2010, when he had left the rear gate of the cage open,



Mysterious deaths of big cats at Tehran zoo captivate nation

The Tehran zoo remained closed Tuesday as a mystery surrounds the killing of several big cats, stunning the city and leaving angry mourners demanding answers from authorities amid accusations of politics and environmental bungling.

Between eight and 14 lions and tigers were reportedly shot in the head over the weekend amid conflicting reports regarding an outbreak of glanders, a potentially lethal disease that normally affects equine species but can spread to humans and other mammals.

After animal-rights activists and horrified zoo patrons expressed outrage at the killings, authorities later claimed that the animals were euthanized by injection, and they revised the number of big cats killed from 14 to 10 and then eight.

But the tragedy may reveal an even darker truth: Critics now claim the animals were victims of an irresponsible and politicized publicity stunt by government and zoo officials who claimed the cats were part of a program to revive the wild tiger population surrounding the Caspian Sea, where the animals have not been seen in over 50 years.

"[Bringing the tigers] from the very beginning was a just an empty and unscientific measure, because the Siberian tiger is not the same as the



Park boss hits back at cruelty jibe

KNOWSLEY Safari Park has been inundated with a mixture of support and abuse since their former press photographer released a string of distressing images of dead animals.

The images, taken by Penny Boyd between April and August last year, included pictures of rotting animal carcasses and a monkey kept alone in a cramped cage.

A Knowsley Council and Merseyside Police investigation subsequently found that the park had breached carcass disposal regulations.

But, among the messages posted on the safari park's Facebook "wall" this week was one from Amanda Senior which read: "My four-year-old son loves KSP. I use KSP as a tool to teach him right from wrong about animal welfare and, although I am distressed about reports in the media, I would not dream of cutting off my nose to spite my face."

Another, from Ruth Goode, read: "I love KSP and fully support them all the way."

But another, from Tracy Brereton, read: "A full admission of responsibility, a forward plan for the future and a full apology needs to be issued by KSP.

"It's not happened so far and I doubt it ever will. By not doing this they have only highlighted their own



Chester Zoo employs strict procedures for disposal of dead animals

CHESTER Zoo says the welfare and respect of its animals is `paramount' in the wake of allegations that dead bodies at Knowsley Safari Park were dumped and left to rot.

Former official park photographer Penny Boyd released shocking images of carcasses left out in the open at the Merseyside tourist attraction.

Her gruesome dossier also included two dead deer – one of which was allegedly left in a container for at least 10 days – and a baboon in a plastic bin bag.

Chester Zoo confirmed it has strict procedures in place to deal with the disposal of dead animals.

A spokeswoman said: "Every animal that dies within the zoo is removed from its enclosure and a post-mortem carried out under controlled conditions, either here at our animal health centre or at Leahurst Veterinary School in Neston.

"The body is then disposed of appropriately – usually by incineration – in accordance with strict legal UK requirements."

Ms Boyd, who took the photographs last year, alleges that some of the animals were `culled' – a claim denied by the park.

Chester Zoo does not cull animals and has other methods in place to keep the number of animals at a sustainable level.

The spokeswoman added: "Chester Zoo has a number of strict policies, procedures and guidelines in place. These are based on national



Fruit bats need new homes, experts say

Foreign scientists on bat conservation along with Filipino advocate Norma Monfort are now looking for new homes to accommodate Geoffroy's rousette bats.

Now in the Island Garden City of Samal for the upcoming Bat Camp on January 22 to 30, these foreign bat experts are aiming to learn more by immersing in what they consider the most interesting bat colony in the whole world, the Monfort Bat Conservation Park.

The Island Garden City of Samal, part of Davao del Norte Province, is off the coast of Mindanao, third largest group of the Philippine islands. Monfort Bat Cave is about 245 feet (75 meters) long and has five entrances. Bats cover 75 percent of its ceilings and walls. These are large bats, with males averaging just under a quarter of a pound (112 grams).

"This is already my fifth visit here and I am so glad that the conservation park remains protected," said Dr. Dave Waldien, vice president of Bat Conservation International.

The Monfort Bat Conservation Park houses about 1.8 million Geoffroy's rousette fruit bats, averaging 60 bats in every square foot.

Monfort, owner of the Monfort Bat Conservation Park, fought hard just to maintain and develop the property which was almost acquired and managed by the local government.

Admitting that she could not do bat conservation



Zoo elephant handler's death spurs outpouring of support across US

The sympathy and support keep coming in - from Pennsylvania, from Ohio, and from brothers and sisters in zookeeping everywhere.

Stephanie Elaine James, 33, died Jan. 14 from internal injuries suffered when Edie, a 26-year-old African elephant, pushed her into the bars of a stall in the Stokely African Elephant Preserve barn at the Knoxville Zoo during evening feeding. Her death made her the first person killed by an elephant at a zoo in Tennessee history, authorities said.

Family and friends plan to say goodbye to James today during services in Indianapolis, her hometown. Cards, letters, flowers and other condolences from elephant handlers nationwide have arrived all week, zoo officials said.

"The outpouring of sympathy has been overwhelming, and we have been extremely touched by the caring response we've received from our colleagues in other zoos as well as from friends and supporters from all over the country," said Jim Vlna, the zoo's executive director. "We can't thank everyone enough."

Friends at the Pittsburgh Zoo know what it's like. The zoo lost elephant handler Mike Gatti, 46, on Nov. 18, 2002, when an 18-year-old African elephant named Moja knocked him down and crushed him during a morning walk.

"A zoo is a family, even nationwide," said Barbara Baker



Zoo wants 400 kilos of onions

All the animals housed at Jijamata Udyan (Victoria & Albert Zoo Gardens) may soon be eating from better pastures as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) gears up to float its annual tender for supply of fresh vegetables used to feed them.

Included in the tender is an order for 400 kg of onions, which will attract many wholesale vegetable suppliers.

According to BMC officials, this onion order is strictly for consumption by the zoo animals and not for employees working at the BMC headquarters.

In addition, the tender is not restricted to onions only, but also an



Crocodile bursts in tears after swallowing zoo visitor's mobile phone

A croc named Gena at a Ukrainian zoo had to undergo surgery after eating an unusual lunch.

The 14-year-old reptile swallowed a mobile telephone after a visitor dropped it into his cage.

The woman tried ringing the phone in the hope this would make Gena cough it back up, but it only gave him a huge fright.

The zoo's employees say that the crocodile is going through an enormously stressful time. The reptile barely moves, does not eat and has digestion problems. Luckily, other members of the crocodile family are very supportive of their leader.

Zoo keepers thought Gena would lose the phone when nature took its course, but it seems the fright caused by the ringing has tensed him up too much.

They even tried to feed the reptile with laxative-stuffed partridges, but Gena




Following the announcement that Edinburgh Zoo has secured the loan of two giant pandas from China, the Born Free Foundation is alarmed to hear that the Zoo may need large amounts of taxpayers' money to fund their plan.

Despite reportedly being warned by official zoo inspectors that Edinburgh Zoo should focus on improvements to current facilities in order to guarantee the welfare of its existing animals, according to reports in The Scotsman, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland will have to pay `millions of pounds' to lease the pandas from the Chinese Government.

The news prompted Will Travers, CEO of the Born Free Foundation, to comment: "Every time some one says giant panda, pandemonium breaks out! But who wants these pandas in Edinburgh? The Born Free Foundation certainly doesn't. It appears that commercial sponsors, quite rightly, have other priorities (and may share our view that this whole thing is little more than animal exploitation



Easy bids to breed rare beast

ONE of Doncaster's best-known visitor attractions is set to help save an endangered species of tiger after it made a pledge to breed the big cats.

The Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Branton is joining a Europe-wide campaign to preserve the endangered Siberian Tiger - a species which is critically endangered.

It will take delivery of two pairs of the animals, described as the largest big

cats in the world, later this year.

They are expected to arrive in the spring.

Work is now starting on accommodation for the tigers, which will be brought to Doncaster from zoos across Europe.

It is believed there are fewer than 450 of the species still surviving in the world.

Directors at the walkthrough safari park have been working with the stud bookkeeper for the Amur (Siberian) Tiger European Breeding Programme to identify the four individuals which could come to Doncaster.

Tigers in the breeding programme are selected for their suitability and genetic diversity.

Park boss Cheryl Williams said: "They are definitely coming, but we don't know where they will be coming



Zoo forum studies animal welfare

What makes a hippo happy? How does one measure the contentment of a snow monkey?

Questions such as these represent the leading edge of research into zoo animal welfare, which aims to solve a larger challenge: How can a zoo know if efforts to give its animal residents a satisfying life are working?

The Detroit Zoological Society's Center for Zoo Animal Welfare, in partnership with Michigan State University, will continue to explore the answers at a day-long forum Sunday for zoo professionals from Michigan zoos as well as animal welfare students and faculty from MSU.

The forum isn't open to the public. About 50 people who work with animals, and MSU students and professors will talk about efforts in the applied studies to improve animal welfare. Research findings from zoo and university studies will be presented, and roundtable discussions will focus on various topics, including how farm animal welfare research can be applied to zoo animal welfare science. The forum


Gorilla known for using own cup to drink water dies at Fukuoka zoo

A gorilla at a local zoo, who is known for using his own cup to drink water, has died of old age.

Willy, the western lowland gorilla who was estimated to be over 45 years old, spent 43 years and three months at the Fukuoka City Zoological Garden, making him over 80 years old in human terms, according to zoo officials. He is believed to have been the oldest western lowland gorilla in captivity in Japan.

Willy drew attention from visitors after he started drinking water using a cup that a visitor to the



Sri Lanka mahouts suspended over elephant death


Sri Lanka's main elephant orphanage Monday suspended two mahouts and a curator following the death of a 23-year-old male pachyderm in their care, a senior official said.


Zoological department director Baashwara Gunaratne said the elephant, named Neelagiri, had died of wounds suffered when its keepers had poked it with sharp implements in November at the Pinnawela orphanage.

"We consider this a very serious matter and we also calling the police to investigate in addition our own internal departmental inquiry," Gunaratne said. "We will take stern action against officials who failed to supervise mahouts."

The orphanage, in a coconut grove about 80 kilometres (50 miles) east of Colombo, is a major tourist attraction.

Formally established in 1975, the orphanage shelters more than 70 elephants, most of them abandoned or separated from their herds when


North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association To Sponsor NC Zoo Veterinary Camp

The North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association (NCVMA) has become the named sponsor of the four Veterinary Science Camps that the NC Zoo offers each year to young people who are interested in pursuing careers in veterinary medicine.

Chief Veterinarian and NCVMA member Dr. Mike Loomis oversees these camps, each of which offers intensive, hands-on educational experiences to 20 campers. The camps engage aspiring veterinarians in activities that mirror many of the day-to-day activities that unfold in a typical veterinary practice and acquaint campers with some of the specialized techniques veterinarians use when working with wild, free-ranging animals.

The first two camps take place in May. These one-day camps are suitable for 12- to 15-year-old youngsters. The remaining two camps, which extend over three days, are held in July and accept 15- to 18-year-old campers. These Senior Camps provide broader and more in-depth experiences, including, teaching the basics of delivering CPR to cats and dogs and taking campers into the veterinary hospital's surgical suite to observe a surgery in the zoo's veterinary hospital.

As the sponsor of these Veterinary Camps, NCVMA has provided a $5,000 donation to the NC Zoo Society. Zoo veterinarians will use the gift to purchase surgical equipment and instruments, as well as medications for use by the NC Zoo's Valerie H. Schindler Wildlife





Paul the Octopus memorialized at German aquarium

Paul the celebrated octopus has finally got his tentacles wrapped around a football.

The Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen on Thursday unveiled a memorial to the World Cup's most unlikely star: A 2-meter (6½-foot) tall plastic replica of Paul clutching a ball in his eight arms.

Aquarium spokeswoman Tanja Munzig said Paul's cremated ashes were placed in a gold-leaf-covered urn inside




From Elephants to People: A Veterinary Scientist's Unique Career Path
In 1995, Laura Richman was working as a veterinary pathology resident at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., when she and her colleagues faced an unusual case. A 16-month-old elephant named Kumari had died mysteriously after a 5-day illness. Richman and Richard Montali, one of the zoo's veterinary pathologists, did a detailed necropsy and noticed swelling, signs of pain, and a strangely purple tongue. When they looked at heart, liver, and tongue tissues under a microscope, they saw signs of severe bleeding and telltale blotches that pointed to an unknown virus.
"First slide that went under the microscope, I saw the evidence of the virus and I couldn't drop it," Richman says. Her relentless curiosity propelled her on a scientific journey to understand the virus, now known as elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV).
Richman, who at 47 is now vice president for research and development for translational sciences at MedImmune in Gaithersburg, Maryland, couldn't have foreseen that the discovery would lead her to a career in human translational medicine. But her veterinary background

£50,000 coral research facility opens

A new £50,000 aquarium has opened at Essex University to help with research into the growth of corals under controlled laboratory conditions.

The new tropical research facility forms part of the University’s Coral Reef Research Unit and doubles up as a coral husbandry facility, enabling the unit to propagate their own corals.
The main system is unique in that it contains distinct experimental chambers, allowing different environments to be created in separate


Knoxville Elephant Keeper Killed

Elephant in fatal accident will not be punished
The Knoxville Zoo African elephant that fatally injured one of her keepers will not be punished as multiple agencies begin to investigate what zoo officials call a tragic accident.
Elephant keeper Stephanie Elaine James, 33, died from internal injuries she suffered Friday afternoon when a zoo elephant named Edie pushed her into the heavy metal bars of a stall inside the pachyderms’ barn. At the time James and another keeper had been attending to the elephants for the evening.
In the incident’s aftermath, visibly shocked zoo officials are working to determine what happened, to remember their co-worker and to provide solace to others on the park staff. Knoxville Zoo Executive Director Jim Vlna, in a press conference this afternoon, expressed deep sorrow at James’ death as he detailed plans to review the incident.
“This is a very difficult day for all friends and colleagues of Stephanie, who was a respected

Glanders kills Amur tiger presented by Russia to Iran
Glanders, a respiratory infection, killed the Amur tiger presented by Russia to Iran as a gift, Tehran Zoo manager Amir Elhami told the IRNA news agency on Friday.
He said the tiger was terminally ill before it was brought to Tehran from Russia.
The manager refuted claims that the tiger had allegedly died because of poor conditions at the zoo. He said that other zoo inhabitants had no glanders and were in good health.
The previous case of glanders happened at the Tehran Zoo 50 years ago, Elhami said.
“The Russian tiger that was brought to the country was itself a carrier of glanders and did not catch the disease in Iran,” Amir Elhami told Press TV.
Meanwhile, a source at the Russian trade office in Iran strongly denied the possible transfer of ill animals to Iran in an interview with Itar-Tass. “Two Amur tigers – a male and a female – presented by Russia to Iran in April 2010 were absolutely healthy at the moment of the transfer. The animals were closely examined by veterinarians and put under quarantine. Top-grade biologists examined them upon the arrival in Iran,” he said. “Eight months have passed since the moment of the transfer. A sick animal accustomed to a rather cold climate would not have survived Tehran summer heat, especially in a tight zoo cage,” he remarked.
The tiger’s death at the Tehran Zoo in late December caused a scandal. The local media recalled that about $5 million had been spent on the tiger reproduction project in northern Iran. Iranian officials accused each other of the failure of the costly project.
Iranian environmentalists planned to restore the tiger population in pre

Tiger will be bred again, despite cub's death
A female Siberian Tiger whose third straight cub has died at the Calgary Zoo will likely be bred again.
Ten-year-old Katja gave birth to a female cub on Monday but abandoned her after 36 hours, possibly having detected the health problems that led to organ failure and ultimately the death of the infant Thursday night.
Katja also gave birth to two cubs in September, but both died due to mishandling by their inexperienced mother.
Despite the deaths, Ron Tilson, director of the Species Survival Program which overseas all the captive tigers in North American zoos, said he has no reservations in recommending Katja breed with her nine-year-old male partner Baikal again.
"I'm going to tell them to give her a rest and when she comes back into estrous it's just fine to try and breed them again," said Tilson.
"All of the things are in favour of her

Disney Rival Ocean Park to Woo Visitors With Aquarium

Ocean Park Co., a theme park that competes with Walt Disney Co.’s Hong Kong Disneyland, expects attendance to climb by as much as 15 percent in 2011 as it opens new attractions including an egg-shaped aquarium.

The government-owned 34-year-old theme park received a record 5.4 million paying visitors last year, Chairman Allan Zeman said in an interview in Hong Kong yesterday. A “conservative” forecast for 2011 attendance was for growth of between 10 percent and 15 percent, he said.
The new aquarium, designed by Aedas Architects Ltd.’s Hong Kong unit and Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets Inc. with nightly water shows composed by Academy award-winning Peter Lehman, is one of the major new attractions as part of a HK$5.5 billion ($707 million) redevelopment plan. Ocean Park announced the facelift funded by bank and government loans in 2005, to boost competitiveness, as Disney arrived in

Hunt on for Corbett's wounded tigress
At the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve, a hunt is on for a wounded tigress that has killed four women since November. What's worse, the maneater was shot on Tuesday but couldn't be tracked down since then.
''A search is on for the man-eating tigress... we have built special machans and cages to trap it... we are trying to get the situation under control,'' said Rajesh Gopal, member, National Tiger Conservation Authority who is at

China's presence in Africa blamed for new threat to rhino
A devastating upswing in rhino poaching by criminal syndicates armed with helicopters, night vision goggles and silenced rifles is threatening to roll back more than three decades of conservation work that brought the species back from the brink of extinction.
Figures released by the charity WWF show that the number of rhinos shot dead in South Africa increased by 173 per cent last year, a trend that has seen poaching reach a 15-year high across the continent.
Although South Africa allows for limited legal hunting of white rhinos, national park officials say 333 rhinos were illegally killed last year including 10 critically endangered black rhinos. The yearly total is the highest ever in the country and nearly

Indonesia animal trade under pressure from campaigners (VIDEO)
Animal welfare campaigners are calling on the Indonesian government to do more to protect endangered animals from traffickers and traders.
They insist the illegal trade in primates, tigers and turtles is causing untold damage to some of the world's richest biodiversity

Species-saving Kakapo dies at age of 80
Richard Henry, a key member of a species of fat, flightless birds called kakapo, has passed away at the ripe old age of 80. He had had been credited with a significant contribution towards saving the entire species, after it was nearly made extinct by invading stoats, rats and cats.
The kakapo is a member of the parrot family, and is native to New Zealand. It's unique among parrots in that it's flightless, nocturnal, and herbivorous. It's also the heaviest member of the parrot family, leading it to be described memorably as the "world's largest, fattest and least-able-to-fly parrot" by Douglas Adams when he visited a population of kakapo for a BBC Radio 4 documentary.
The kakapo is thought to be one of the world's longest-living birds, which caused problems when the islands it lives on were colonised by Polynesians and Europeans. The population of the birds crashed swiftly, and they were almost wiped out. Ad-hoc conservation of the species began in 1890 by the original Richard Henry, but it wasn't until a formally-defined Kakapo Recovery Plan was begun in 1989 that the species' numbers began to recover.
Richard Henry was discovered in 1975, when it was thought that the kakapo may have already become extinct, and was swiftly moved to Maud Island, which only conservationists and scientists

'Tidal revolution' to begin as river powers Hull aquarium The Deep

A PIONEERING tidal machine should be in place to power The Deep by the end of March, the Mail can reveal.

North Ferriby company Neptune Renewable Energy Ltd has completed some last-minute design changes to the Proteus machine and should start to supply the aquarium with half its electricity within the next couple of months.
The Proteus was brought to Albert Dock in the summer after being constructed in Sunderland.
Neptune's engineers believe the Proteus will generate at least 1,000 megawatts of energy a year – enough to power 500 homes.
Financial director Glenn Aitken said: "The device is ready and will be placed in the Humber in February or March. We are in the process of getting some additional funding as we need to design and manufacture a footbridge.
"There is a huge amount of power in the river, which has been a driving force for Hull for hundreds of years."
Neptune will be the only company to have a full-scale, commercially viable, tidal stream power plant up and running in the Humber.
But Neptune only sees this as the start of a tidal revolution in Hull.
Mr Aitken said: "The first step is to get this machine up and

Lonely otter cries away his life in narrow cage
An indigenous male otter (Lutrogale perspicillata sindica), an endangered species called Ludhro in local parlance, passes his days wailing from dawn to dusk in a narrow cage, probably because of loss of habitat and isolation.
The cage that can barely fit this 34-60 inch animal has been placed near Haleji Lake for a year in violation of the Sindh Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1972.
The otter`s plight came to light during the annual planning and networking meeting of the WWF-Indus for All Programme convened in Hyderabad on Thursday.
Nawaz Kumbhar, an environmentalist, informed the meeting that the otter, a semi aquatic mammal, had been put in a narrow cage away from his natural habitat and away from his female, which was perhaps the major reason for his desperation and restlessness.
Mr Kumbhar said the smooth-coated otter was captured by then conservator of wildlife Saeed Baloch near Chotiyarioon Dam about 6km from Sanghar near Bakhoro Mori. He dumped it in his jeep and threw it into a cage placed near Haleji, he said.
Many participants of the meeting told this correspondent that they had witnessed the encaged otter who continued to wail and groan non stop.
They were critical of the Sindh Wild Life Department official who displaced the water animal instead of taking strict measures for its breeding.
They underlined the need for establishment

Big Hunts at Angola Nature Reserves Forbidden
The reinforcement of patrolling in national parks by guards from these institutions, in collaboration with the Police and the Armed Forces, has enabled over the last six months the reduction of big game, a source with the sector has announced.
The head of the department of conservation of the Ministry of Environment, Joaquim Manuel, has said.
"Hunters are still entering in conservation areas, but for little time and sometimes without success, as they fear being captured by specialists that make frequent patrols, meant at the preservation and maintenance of the fauna and nature reserves", explained Joaquim Manuel.
Although they represent a reduced number, he said, guards are still working to prevent poaching.
Works have been done for the training and integration

Curious crows use tools to explore dangerous objects
New Caledonian crows use tools to investigate unfamiliar and potentially dangerous objects, according to scientists.
New research shows crows cautiously investigating new objects using sticks as an extension of their beaks.
New Caledonian crows are known to fashion tools to access food sources such as wood-boring beetle larvae.
Scientists suggest this study is the first time birds have been recorded using tools for multiple

John Ball Zoo offers two programs to help fight invasive species
With the threat of unwanted species invading Michigan waterways, lakes, and ponds, John Ball Zoo officials are offering two programs to help kids and adults understand the problem and what they can do to help.
From 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 18, the Zoo will host an invasive species workshop featuring Dr. Dan O'Keefe, a wildlife and fisheries biologist and extension educator for the Michigan Sea Grant program. O'Keefe will present information about Asian carp and put guests in the shoes of a fisheries manager for discussions as to what should be done if the carp does make it to the Great Lakes. The adult workshop is free and the public is welcome.
On Saturday, Jan. 22, from 9 to 11a.m., the zoo will host the Sooper Yooper Family Breakfast for adults and children. Sooper Yooper is a children's book written by Mark Newman, editor, photojournalist, and communications specialist, and illustrated by the late Mark Heckman.
The book's superhero, 'Sooper Yooper' (aka: Bill Cooper), and his faithful bulldog sidekick, Mighty Mac, have no specific super powers but do fight

Experience: I lived with wolves'
I ate what they ate, mostly raw deer and elk, which they would often bring back for me, or fruit and berries'
Like most young children, I grew up with an innate fear of wolves. It wasn't until I was a bit older and saw a wolf in a zoo that I realised how far away this animal was from the mythological creature I'd learned about in books and films.
I grew up in a small village in Norfolk and was always interested in the natural world and wild animals. I knew I wanted to work with them in some way when I was older. In my 20s, I read about an American naturalist, Levi Holt, who ran a wolf research centre in Idaho and I thought, "That's where I want to go." I sold everything I had and raised enough money for my plane fare. When I met up with biologists working on the reservation, they took me on as a basic field biologist, teaching me how to track wolves and collect data for them.
Even though the other biologists and scientists thought it was dangerous, I soon wanted to get closer to the wolves really to understand their behaviour. I couldn't help wondering, "Could a human become part of their family?" If I could, I thought, imagine what information I could share.
After a year or two of working for the centre and getting to know the area – a rugged, mountainous landscape covered in forest – I moved to the wild. The first time I got up close to a

Dolphins recognize voices of other dolphins, research finds
It might be tough for dolphins to remember faces, considering they always look like they're smiling. But new research indicates they apparently never forget a voice.
That's one finding from a research project by University of Chicago doctoral student Jason Bruck that represents, he says, "a decoding of their whole communication system — at least the start of that."
Bruck, who is working with dolphins at Brookfield Zoo and five other facilities, plays recorded whistles of dolphins that had been in the same tank 20 years earlier but hadn't seen their tank mates in that time. When that happens, the dolphins swim toward the signal. When he plays the whistles of unfamiliar dolphins, the

Cricket crisis? Bug virus imperils live food supply for pets
Crickets. For many lizards and snakes, it's what's for dinner.
But a virus has killed millions of the tiny critters, mostly those raised as food for house pets and zoo animals.
The virus has forced some businesses that raise crickets in the U.S. to close, according to news reports. Although some pet stores in Monroe County that sell crickets as feed said they haven't had their supply disrupted, there is anxiety among some suppliers.
"This is a huge concern for us," said Bobby Blood, director of sales at Timberline, an Illinois-based company that raises crickets and supplies the Pet-Smart in Bartonsville. Blood said his company hasn't been affected by the virus and is taking precautions to keep it that way.
The virus, named the cricket paralysis virus, only kills the cricket. It has no harmful effect on the animals that eat crickets, such as frogs, lizards, tarantulas and some

The Toad
Will protecting an endangered toad trump Tanzania’s need for energy and development?
Kim Howell is a white-haired giant who wears Kissinger glasses that magnify his eyes. He was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and paid for a degree in vertebrate zoology at Cornell University by working at the school’s Library of Natural Sound. Howell preserved archival recordings of birdcalls collected in Africa in the nineteen forties and after four years he was convinced he should go to Africa. He taught science at an elementary school in the Zambian bush before going north to Tanzania, where he taught at a school for apartheid refugees. That was in 1970. Howell has lived in Tanzania ever since, raising a family and teaching zoology at the University of Dar es Salaam.
During his career, Howell has discovered tapeworms, spiders, and other species previously unknown to science. Former students and colleagues have named a bird, a shrew and a lizard after him. Discovering a new species can define a zoologist’s career and Howell’s big find came in 1996 when he reached into some vegetation at the base of a waterfall and pulled out a little toad, believed to inhabit the smallest native habitat of any vertebrate on Earth. Following his discovery, the Kihansi spray toad became the focus of one of the most controversial conservation efforts in recent decades, a crucible for the clash between biodiversity conservation and Tanzania’s need for economic development.
“I’ve often said I wish I had never discovered the toad,” reflected Howell.
In 1993, Howell saw an ad in a local newspaper, placed by Norconsult, a Norwegian engineering firm. “There was this hydropower project that was going to be done and they were looking for someone to look at birds,” Howell said. He responded but didn’t hear anything until a man walked into his office nearly two years later and offered him the job. Howell accepted. “How often do you get to go someplace no one’s ever been to before and get paid for it?”

Chimps at Nebraska zoo bite off keeper's fingers
Two chimpanzees at a Nebraska zoo attacked a keeper and bit off two of her fingers, police said on Saturday.
The keeper at the Riverside Discovery Center in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, was petting a 40-year-old chimpanzee on Friday who apparently did not want to be touched, according to police.
When the chimp grabbed the keeper's hand, the keeper started screaming, causing the chimp to scream, police said. This attracted another chimp, who also grabbed the keeper's hand.
The chimps bit, and the keeper lost her index finger and a ring finger on one hand at the knuckles, police said. The middle finger had a laceration but was not bitten off.
Anne Janes, executive director of the zoo in western

A new lease of life for the dead dodo
Two important paintings of the extinct bird will star in a Natural History Museum exhibition that reveals the historically close relationship between art and science
It remains the most distinctive image that we have of the dodo. Painted by the Dutch artist Roelandt Savery in around 1626, the picture shows the extinct bird as having a large head, curved neck, short stumpy legs and a big rump. The poor creature looks faintly absurd, which probably explains the inclusion of the image in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
The image is of special scientific importance, too, because the Natural History Museum's first superintendent, Professor Richard Owen, used it to scientifically describe the bird. Owen placed the bones over the painting and his interpretation, published in 1866, became the dodo's recognised description.
Now Savery's original painting is to go on display

Former Tucsonan donates 750 acres to Reid zoo group
More than 750 acres of Sonoran desert north of Sahuarita has been given to the Reid Park Zoological Society to be used for conservation.
The property, part of the Ruby Star Ranch, was donated to the society by former Tucson resident Gilbert Aguirre. It is valued at more than $5.4 million.
"It's very exciting," said Nancy Schlegel, executive director of the Zoological Society. "The possibilities of what we can do for conservation are just amazing."
The ranch is leased for cattle grazing, but over the next three to five years the Zoological Society will decide how to best use the property. A house sits on the acreage, which is surrounded by mining operations and ranch land.
"It's a situation where we haven't really fleshed out our plans in too much detail," said Susan Basford, Reid Park Zoo's administrator. "It's something that requires

Poachers kill pregnant rhino
A pregnant rhino was killed and de-horned on a game farm in the Hoedspruit area, Limpopo police said on Monday.
"According to information, the carcass of the rhino was discovered on Saturday when a farm manager was patrolling the farm," Lieutenant Colonel Ronel Otto said.
She said the name of the farm could not be made public. It seemed as if the rhino was killed a few days earlier.
"Both the horns were removed."
A post-mortem revealed the animal

Expert raises ecology doubt on tiger park
A government move to declare a wildlife sanctuary in southern Karnataka as a new tiger reserve is unscientific and reflects arbitrary decision-making on tiger reserves, a leading wildlife scientist has said.
The Union cabinet in principle approved on Friday the creation of five new tiger reserves — the Biligiri Ranganatha Temple (BRT) sanctuary in Karnataka, Ratapani in Madhya Pradesh, Sunpeda inOrissa, Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh, and Mukundara hills in Rajasthan.
“The choice defies ecology-based science,” said Ulhas Karanth, director of the Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore, who has conducted research on the ecology of tigers and prey-predator population ecology in several parts of the country.
India’s tiger conservation programme launched in 1972-73 with nine reserves covering about 1,400sqkm has expanded over the years, and now has 39 reserves over an area of 46,390sqkm.
Project Tiger is believed to have helped increase the tiger population from less than 1,000 in the early-1970s to about 1,400 as estimated in 2008.
“This process of continuous expansion of tiger reserve areas appears to have become rather ad hoc,” Karanth said. “You can’t just go on adding areas. Some areas might also need to be deleted from the list of tiger reserves.”
Karanth said areas now devoid of tigers such as Panna in Madhya Pradesh or Sariska in Rajasthan or remote forests such as Indravati in Chhattisgarh, located in areas of civil unrest where wildlife staff do not venture, remain labelled as tiger reserves.
A tiger reserve gets significant extra funds through Project Tiger — and sections of wildlife researchers appear concerned that listing areas with unviable tiger populations or areas that cannot be adequately managed only allows scarce conservation resources to be spent on areas that are unlikely to actually benefit tigers.
Karanth said the move to declare the Biligiri Ranganatha Temple hills sanctuary as a new tiger reserve is an example of arbitrary decision-making that has ignored strong ecological arguments in favour of Kudremukh, also in Karnataka.
The proposed BRT hills reserve is adjacent to Bandipur and Nagarahole — two reserves with high density of tiger population. Kudremukh, on the other hand, is located at a distance in Karnataka’s central Western Ghat region. “Instead of having all tigers in a single corner of the state, it makes better sense to have them in different areas,” Karanth said.
The Biligiri Ranganatha Temple hill area is also ecologically

Gabon: 13 ape heads, 32 ape hands, 12 leopard skins, 1 lion skin, 5 elephant tails - and 5 dealers behind bars!
After Conservation Justice and the AALF project planned a second wave of arrests, the team comprised of the forces of law and order and "Ministère des Eaux et Forêts" (MINEF) arrested the five wildlife dealers on the 13th in Libreville. They have confiscated 13 great apes heads (one for gorilla and 12 from Chimpanzees), 32 great apes hands (2 from Gorilla 30 from chimpanzees), as well as 12 leopard skins, a part of a lion skin, and 5 elephant tails.
Imagine what the killed apes leopards, lions and elephants of this seizure represent, and now imagine that the dealers confessed they have been carrying their specialized trade for several years.
Putting these dealers behind bars probably has a direct impact on the lives of hundreds of chimps and gorillas. I hope this landmark arrest operation and the photos attached will serve all of us in proving the importance of law enforcement projects (AALF, PALF, RALF and LAGA) for the survival of great apes. The problem is not specific to Gabon and such specialized dealers exist throughout West and Central Africa, though Gabon shows it is possible to stop them. Help us establish law enforcement

Who's going to bear the cost?
ZOO chiefs are set to plead for government aid to help foot the bill for bringing two giant pandas to Scotland.
Edinburgh Zoo will have to pay up to £7million to lease the pair from China for a decade.
But private sponsors have been unable to cough up the full cost for Tian Tian and Yuangguang, who will be Britain's first giant pandas.
Gary Wilson, chief operating officer at the zoo, said: "We will approach the Scottish Government.
"We are a charity, and hopefully we'll be able to fund some of this through sponsorship."
First Minister Alex Salmond had claimed the Royal Bank of Scotland was underwriting the deal.
But Mr Wilson said: "We have a number of companies we want to go to. Banks aren't top of our list."
The pandas could arrive in

Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve on the market
FOR sale: 24 lions, four tigers, three bears, two cheetahs, seven hippos, one rhinoceros, seven monkeys, two pythons, two otters, various deer, four ostriches and 20 other birds, reptiles and animals.
The Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve is on the market, with expressions of interest being called for the zoo, near Kuranda.
No price tag has been put on the freehold property and business but its estimated value is more than $3 million.
Owner Jenny Jattke said she was selling to spend more time with her children and elderly parents.
Operating and owning the 53ha property, about 40km west of Cairns, for the past five years had been one of the most exciting times of her life, she said.
“But it’s time for me to spend more time with my family, my four children (aged 13-20) and my elderly parents,” Ms Jattke said.
“I’ve been working (at the zoo) seven days a week. I’ve haven’t spent one day with my children during the school holidays.
I want to spend more time with them before they grow up.
“It’s been the time of my life, it’s been great.
“Every day is a highlight. Outside my office (now) there are 19 lions just 5m away
Marketing agent Greg Wood of Knight Frank Cairns said they would be scouring

Katraj Zoo to play host to 30 more species
Over the last 12 years, there has been a substantial increase in the number of visitors to Katraj Zoo. In 1999-2000, the number was 8,68155. This increased to 1,367202 in 2009-10. As of April last year,1020681 people had visited the zoo in 2010. “The zoo sees nearly 13 lakh visitors every year,” Jadhav said.
When contacted, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Deputy Mayor Prasanna Jagtap said, “The implementation of the master plan is one of our priorities. We have also introduced

Myanmar works for wildlife conservation
Myanmar has been working for wildlife conservation and it will soon open its first ever international level Safari Park in the new capital of Nay Pyi Taw, according to official media report Sunday.
The park, with endangered species of animals from inside and around the world, was designed to serve as a public recreation center and enable people to learn about the natural ecology.
Animals are kept in natural condition as an open zoo in order that visitors could feel as though there are in an African forest, an administrator of the park was quoted as saying.
The park would soon be filled with over 200 animals of 16 rare species from some foreign countries, the administrator said, introducing kangaroo, giraffe, white rhino, zebra, ostrich, goat, deer, one-hump camel, lion and African deer.
The Safari booths are to be divided as Asian booth, Australian booth and African booth, of which the African Safari booth is the largest with an area of 24 hectares serving natural habitats for a total of 68 animals including six camels, eight African deer, six goat deer, six lions, 10 tigers, six white rhinos, 10 ostriches, six giraffes, six zebras and four ponies, it was disclosed.
Partly moved from the zoological garden in the former capital of Yangon, the first-ever zoological garden was opened in Nay Pyi Taw in March 2008 in which famous animals in Myanmar and rare ones such as penguins, Kangaroos and white tigers as well as mammals, birds and reptiles are kept.
The Nay Pyi Taw zoological garden project, which covers an area of more than 400 hectares stands the third after Yangon's and Mandalay's but the largest in the country.
Of the two existing zoological gardens, the historical Yangon's, which expands as 20.3 hectares, was set up in January 1906, accommodating over 1,000 animals including 554 mammals of 62 species such as elephant, tiger, bear, hippopotamus, monkey, takin and mountain goat, 424 birds of 70 species and 130 reptiles of 19 species such as crocodile, snake and monitor lizard; while the Mandalay zoological garden, which expands as 21.5 hectares, was inaugurated in April 1989 and has 107 mammals of 35 species, 142 birds of 39 species and 137 reptiles of 15 species.
In January 2006, the Yangon Zoological Garden celebrated its rare centenary with special fun fair and drew thousands of visitors.
According to the garden officials, the Yangon zoological garden is among the 40 ones in the world which have a history of over 100 years, attracting about 1.5 million visitors annually.
The Yangon zoological garden also exchanges animals and facts about them with counterparts of other countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Nepal, Germany and Czech Republic apart from many international organizations.
Meanwhile, the Myanmar forest authorities are calling on the country people to participate in the task for conservation of rare birds and wildlife to stabilize the ecosystem which faces collapse as in the world.
Taking note that the population of tigers worldwide gradually declines with tiger species being available in 13 countries only, Myanmar is cooperating with seven other Asian nations in an effort to establish a tiger protection corridor wh

Hop on over to Johor Zoo's Rabbit Garden
The Johor Zoo is getting into the Chinese New Year spirit by bringing in 50 rabbits to commemorate the Year of the Rabbit.
Head zookeeper Mohd Sham Mahdon said the zoo brought in a variety of rabbits that will be on display at an enclosure dubbed the “Rabbit Garden”, which has been decked with Chinese New Year decorations.
Mohd Sham said visitors, especially children, were allowed to pet these rabbits inside the enclosure.
He said public response to the Rabbit Garden was positive. As rabbits were vulnerable to diseases

Roaring success – thousands visit zoo free
DALTON zoo has recorded its best ever year after scrapping entry fees.
South Lakes Wild Animal Park has been free since November last year.
So far almost 60,000 people have taken advantage of the offer.
Even last month’s snow and ice didn’t deter revelers – too much.
Zoo boss David Gill said: “It has staggered me how good it has gone. The snow and ice has slightly ruined it for us.
“But on days where the road (Broughton Road, the main road to the zoo) was completely blocked by snow, down to the fire station in Dalton, we still had hundreds of visitors who had parked their cars in Dalton and walked up the hill.
“Lots of people got to see the zoo deep in snow.”
Mr Gill said the overwhelming success of the free entry scheme had come as a surprise.
He said: “I was confident of its success, but not on this level. As a business it has been a huge success.
“At a time when




How big does a good small zoo have to be?
I want to raise a question that figures into the current public debate about whether the Buttonwood Zoo should expand into four central acres of Buttonwood Park: How big does a good small zoo have to be?
The New York Central Park Zoo website is informative and surprising on this issue. The Central Park Zoo, like the Buttonwood Zoo, is also inside an Olmsted Park. Central Park has 850 acres compared to Buttonwood's 97. New Yorkers so greatly value their open parkland that they have set the limit of the Central Park Zoo at 6.5 acres, compared to the 10 acres of the Buttonwood Zoo.
The Central Park Zoo accommodates a million visitors a year and has outstanding animal exhibits: two polar bears, snow leopards, red pandas, snow monkeys, sea lions, a tropical zone with smaller birds, mammals and reptiles. The zoo's well-organized grounds include a formal garden around an aquatic center; a café; a shop; a zoo school; the Tisch Children's Zoo; and a wildlife theater program.
It's open to question that the 10-acre Buttonwood Zoo should be home to elephants. Many of us have developed affection for Ruth and Emily over the years, but think about it. We're not the Bronx Zoo with 250 acres; the large Bronx Zoo can possibly support a couple of elephants.
If you really love Emily and Ruth, look at it from the elephant's point of view. Elephants are immense mammals. They eat around 330 pounds of food a day and drink about 25 gallons of water. In the wild they need up to a hundred square miles of free range land to support

BNP protest Edinburgh Zoo pandas (You have to laugh)
The British National Party is organising a series of protests against the recent deal to bring two giant pandas from China to Edinburgh Zoo.
“It’s just another example of the Government making a u-turn and breaking election

Zoo responds to animal disposal claims
Knowsley Safari Park has insisted that it has 'swiftly addressed' issues that have arisen from allegations relating to its treatment of deceased animals.
Photos taken by a former employee, which were published in today's The Sun (10 January), showed carcasses that had not been properly disposed of.
Concerns were also raised regarding firearms procedures at the zoo; issues that the Lord Derby-owned attraction said "had been addressed".
Knowsley Safari Park general manager David Ross said: "Knowsley Council have thoroughly investigated a number of allegations with our full co-operation.
"Only two issues have required further action by the park, both relating to operational matters - the storage and disposal of animal carcasses and firearms procedures. Both these have been swiftly addressed."
British and Irish Association of Zoos

Animal deaths exposed at safari park (The CAPS report)
CAPS has revealed that Knowsley Safari Park has breached animal disposal legislation by leaving dead animals to rot in the open for up to ten days.
The zoo avoided being prosecuted by the council by building an enclosed area to store dead bodies. Merseyside police also became involved over the firearms licenses due to the way in which animals were killed. Police made recommendations over the issuing of weapons to keepers and improving record-keeping of firearms used by staff.
The evidence came to light after a worker at the zoo provided CAPS with a dossier of photographs. Penny Boyd had lived in the zoo grounds for ten years, working as Knowsley's official photographer. She became increasingly concerned about how and why animals were being killed

Knowsley - Further Response to Allegations - 11/01/2011
Knowsley Safari Park regularly culls surplus animals.
Completely untrue. The Park's policy is to move surplus animals to other collections
wherever possible; since April last year 190 animals have been successfully rehomed including Pere David's Deer, Fallow Deer, Axis Deer, Nilgai, Red Lechwe and Blackbuck.
Knowsley Council said that there is "no evidence that the Safari Park is unethically downsizing", and added that `the Park demonstrated through its animal transit records that the number of animals has been reduced to a sustainable and manageable total" by "animals being transferred to other collections." The rehoming of certain species was as a result of the previous Curator's (Penny Boyd's partner) failure to address overpopulation issues. Stock numbers are now at 2008 levels.
Untrained keepers have been used to cull animals and animals have been used to
provide keepers with target practice.
This is a preposterous allegation. Following a thorough investigation, Knowsley Council found that "there is no evidence to support this allegation". Similar Merseyside Police found that no offence had been committed and only recommended improvements to the record keeping of our firearms.
The photos taken by Penny Boyd show animals culled by Knowsley Safari Park.
Completely untrue. The photos show either stillborn animals, animals that died of natural causes, or as a result of fighting, or animals put down by the vet due to injury. Culling remains a last resort once all other options have been considered with the full consultation of our keeping and veterinary staff.
The image of a dead Baboon was particularly misleading. The male was infanticidal (having killed two young baboons) and humanely euthanized; its body was double bagged and securely tied, and taken to the storage area for collection and disposal. The bag was untied, the head exposed and a photograph taken.
Standards at the Safari Park have dropped since Penny Boyd's partner left the organisation.
This could not be furthest from the truth. The staff at Knowsley Safari Park are an exceptional and dedicated team; they join because animals are their passion, and they have the welfare of their animals as the highest

Chris Draper, Senior Scientific Researcher of Born Free's Zoo Check, comments on a shocking article in this week's Sun newspaper.

"The gruesome photographs published in the Sun newspaper show in grisy detail what happens to “culled” animals at one of Britain’s safari parks. I have seen few more graphic examples of why old chestnuts such as “I don’t like zoos but safari parks are better” or “zoos are all about conservation” are sadly way off the mark.
All too often people make the mistake of assuming that there are significant differences between safari parks and traditional zoos. True – safari parks appear greener, perhaps even offer their animals a modicum more space. But behind the façade lies a more mundane and worrying reality: some animals locked in tiny night quarters for the majority of each 24 hour period; the problems caused by breeding (for cute babies to attract visitors) and resulting subsequently in “surplus animals”; whole groups of animals killed or “culled” to control numbers or diseases.
Zoos, safari parks, aquaria, aviaries, vivaria

SF Zoo welcomes birth of giant anteater
The San Francisco Zoo welcomed the first giant anteater born at the zoo in a decade on Dec. 22, zoo officials said.
The 2-year-old mother is a first-time mom. The father, 12-year-old Angelo, also fathered the zoo’s last giant anteater, born in 2001.
The new baby will ride on its mother’s back for about one year.
Adult anteaters can grow up to 8 feet long, not including their tail, according to the zoo.
Wild anteaters can eat up to 30,000 ants per day, zoo officials said.
The anteater family will not be on display while

Pandas come to Britain for first time in 17 years
Britain is to house its first giant pandas in 17 years after a historic agreement was brokered with China, both countries have announced.
A breeding pair, named Tian Tian and Yangguang, will be homed at Edinburgh Zoo following the successful conclusion of five years of diplomatic and political negotiations.
The agreement was signed yesterday in London by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), which owns Edinburgh Zoo, and the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA). It was witnessed by Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, and Li Keqiang, China’s Vice Premier.
Both pandas are being loaned to Britain for 10 years, although any offspring they produce during that period will be returned to China shortly after birth.
The last pandas in the UK, Ming Ming and Bao Bao, were shipped out in 1994 after failing to mate. Only nine zoos outside China house the animals

Eats shoots and invests
Panda diplomacy is worth more than just the cuddly toy sales at Edinburgh Zoo's gift shop.
When Adelaide Zoo gained a panda, visitor numbers went up 70%. The business model on the capital's Corstorphine Hill is conservatively estimating a 40% leap in revenue at the turnstiles.
Even when you've paid for the import of a lot of bamboo shoots to give Tian Tian and Yanguang something to chew on, that's quite a money-spinner. So when the ten-year loan of two pandas was today described as a gift, it's the kind of gift that carries the condition of a sizeable, but so far unspecified, donation to conservation projects on the pandas' home turf.
Panda diplomacy is also a sign that Scotland's and Britain's relationships with China are going pretty well, as vice-premier Li Keqiang brings 100 business leaders from Madrid, to reassure with Chinese support for Europe's economic recovery plans, and Berlin, where he sought common ground with a fellow exporting powerhouse.
Whisky imitators
Coming to Scotland, this was to build on cultural

Zoo employee hospitalized after snakebite
A Sedgwick County Zoo employee was admitted to the hospital for observation today after he was grazed by the strike of a venomous Kanburi pit viper during routine feeding.
Kanburi pit vipers are native to Thailand. Although documented to cause swelling and pain, bites from this species are not known to be life-threatening.
The employee was an Amphibian & Reptile keeper. So far, zoo officials said, he has not had to use any antivenin.
The zoo said its employees regularly perform

Snake bite in Dubai park an isolated incident

Department carries out regular surveys for reptiles and other pests
A Dubai Municipality official assured the public that the incident when a pupil was bitten by a snake in Mushrif Park recently was an isolated one that should not be blown out of proportion.

Ahmad Abdul Kareem, head of Public Parks and Horticulture at Dubai Municipality, said the department carried out regular surveys of the park to find any pests or reptiles, due to the park's proximity to the wildlife reserve. The child, who was bitten while on a school trip to the park, has since recovered and left the hospital.
No clinic
A school administrator accompanying the pupils on the trip claimed that the boy, who is a pupil in the second grade, was bitten while he was playing at the children's area, and was

Species vs ecosystems: save the tiger or focus on the bigger issues
Millions have been raised to protect tigers but does this help or hinder the efforts to prevent wider biodiversity loss by tackling habitat loss, climate change and pollution?
The star-studded media frenzy that was the International Tiger Forum in St Petersburg this Winter was an unprecedented international effort to save a single species, raising millions of pounds for tiger conservation and receiving pledges of support from top-level government officials – a rare triumph for conservationists, on a never-before-seen scale.
Although a positive outcome, it raises the question of whether allocating such huge amounts of funding - $332 million in the case of the tiger - to one species is really justified. Shouldn’t we be focusing efforts on preserving entire ecosystems rather than cherry picking charismatic species?
Michael Baltzer, head of WWF's Tigers Alive initiative, argues that by saving tigers you also save all the other species that share their habitat, and consequently entire ecosystems as well. ‘As a top predator, tigers need highly productive ecosystems and these ecosystems need to be large and highly functional if they are to support the prey base that an expanding tiger population requires: they are an ‘indicator species’.
‘These vast ecosystems are home to some of the most valuable biodiversity on earth and the services provided by these intact, healthy ecosystems (watershed protection, carbon sequestration, climate change adaptation, etc.) are critical to millions of people across Asia. Saving the tiger therefore means saving so much more, and this is why it remains a priority for many. ‘
Jean Christophe Vie, deputy head of the IUCN's Species Programme says there isn’t much difference between the two approaches of species or ecosystem conservation. ‘If you want to save tigers you need to look at landscapes. Basically we are doing the same thing but with different packaging. The tiger is an emblematic species, it can mobilise people ... The species approach works; people can identify with it.’
Vie points to the million-dollar donation of Leonardo DiCaprio to the tigers, which he says he wouldn’t have given to preserve ecosystem processes or to do a landscape restoration project.
Pulling the plug on pandas
But Dr Ken Thompson, ecologist and author of Do We Need Pandas?, says that the ability of ‘celebrity species’ to capture the public’s attention is a double-edged sword. ‘It’s difficult to argue with the idea that threats to iconic, charismatic species help to focus public attention and make it easier to raise money. But the downside is that this encourages the belief that there is a TIGER problem or a PANDA problem, when in fact tigers, pandas and everything else (including us) are victims of the same mix of problems: habitat loss, overpopulation, war, corruption, climate change, pollution and plain human greed .’
‘Much as we like tigers,’ Thompson continues, ‘ it would be even easier to raise money if people understood the real problem, and that the casualties will not just be tigers, but us – our standard of living, and ultimately our very survival.’
Conservationist Mark Carwardine, presenter of the Last Chance to See TV series along with Stephen Fry, says we need both approaches. ‘In an ideal world you protect the entire region, the biodiversity, the habitat and all the rest of it. But the big problem when you talk about something like tigers is that we’ve left it until the eleventh hour,’ Carwardine says.
‘We’re doing fire brigade action in trying to protect some species; if we don’t have a combination of both then we’re going to

Mysore zoo will grapple with anacondas
The Colombo zoo in Sri Lanka is gifting five of its surplus Green Anaconda population to the famed Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens in Mysore. The procurement, as per a deal struck between the officials of both zoos at a recent conference in Nepal, is a first of its kind as none of the zoological parks in India has the snake species.
Deadliest reptile
The Green Anaconda is among the deadliest and longest snakes in the world, stretching to an average of more than 5 metres or 17 feet and weighing about 100 kg. Female species are bigger than the males.
Found in tropical rainforests, the snake is primarily aquatic and has high-set eyes to give it an overview of things outside despite being submerged in water.
The reptile’s olive green skin with regular dark blotches

Fears for Kent Wildlife park's missing meerkat
Owners of a Kent wildlife park fear thieves have stolen a meerkat because of a surge in their popularity following a TV advertising campaign.
The animal went missing from its enclosure at Wingham Wildlife Park near Canterbury on 29 December.
The park has ruled out the possibility the male meerkat, which had been microchipped, could have escaped.
An animated meerkat with a Russian accent - whose catchphrase is "Simples" - is being used to advertise insurance.
'Can't dress them'
Wingham owner Anthony Binskin said: "They've either taken it to resell it because of the value of them or they've taken it because they see them on the TV and they think they're going to make good pets."
The park said the social nature of the animals

Body of stolen meerkat found in bin in Sandwich
The body of a meerkat stolen from a Kent wildlife park has been found in a bin after the animal was hit by a car.
Keepers from Wingham Wildlife Park near Canterbury found the body in a dog waste bin in Sandwich after receiving a call from a member of the public.
The caller said he saw the meerkat being run over by a car in St Bart's Road on Sunday and dumped in the bin.
"It was the last place we would have hoped to retrieve this animal from," said a park spokesman.
The park was alerted on Wednesday after the caller saw media coverage of the theft.
The male meerkat went missing from its enclosure on 29 December. The park ruled out the possibility the microchipped animal could have

Coral species may be extinct within 50 years, warn scientists as they reveal most endangered
Scientists have identified the ten coral species at greatest risk of becoming extinct.
Led by experts at London Zoo, the Edge Coral Reefs project has prioritised the most evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species that conservationists fear will die out in the next 50 years.
Among those singled out as urgently in need of conservation are the crisp pillow coral, which resembles a brain, and the elegance coral, which has glowing tubular tentacles.
Current worst case predictions suggest that tropical coral reefs, which have evolved over millions of years, will be functionally extinct within the next 30 to 50 years.
Saving these species could hold the key to the future adaptation of coral reefs to climate change, the scientists said at the project's launch today.
The other species prioritised include are the pearl bubble coral, which is a favoured food source of the hawksbill turtle, and the Mushroom coral, which supports at least 15 brightly coloured shrimp including the popcorn shrimp.
The species are found in some of

Zoo helps hatch salamander scheme
The disappearance of the eastern hellbender has been a bit of a mystery for biologists working to save them.
Two decades ago, scientists started to notice fewer of the giant salamanders in the state's rivers. Since then, fears have grown that the creatures could disappear.
"The numbers have been declining at an alarming rate," said Mark Kandel, regional wildlife manager for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. "We want to make sure there are hellbenders around, when and if we get to the point when we figure out what's causing their demise."
So a team that includes the DEC and Buffalo Zoo is working to give hundreds of the giant salamanders a head start in the wild.
In a lab that will open to public viewing today, the zoo is raising 540 hellbenders from eggs that were collected from a river in the Southern Tier, in hopes of releasing them back into area waterways when they're large enough

Scandal-plagued Calgary Zoo intervenes to rescue baby tiger
Calgary Zoo staff were forced to intervene Tuesday in the feeding and care of a newborn Siberian tiger cub, after the mother tiger left the den and didn't return.
The cub, no bigger than one of its mother's paws, was born Monday morning and zoo officials were hopeful 10-year-old Katja would be able to care for the newborn herself.
Unfortunately, the mother tiger abandoned the den late Tuesday afternoon and went outside, the zoo said in a news release.
After monitoring the situation and the cub's fast-deteriorating health, the decision was made by senior staff to intervene.
Zoo officials say it won't be possible

Slow and steady losing the race
New wounds open old fears about survival of legendary Hoan Kiem Lake turtle Vietnam’s only living animal deity could be in mortal danger.
Already bearing multiple scars caused by pollution and illegal fishing at Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem Lake, the giant soft-shell turtle has sustained fresh injuries to its neck and carapace, said Ha Dinh Duc, a Vietnamese scientist who has been studying the giant species and kept a close watch on its conditions since 1991.
The rare soft-shell turtle has played a crucial role in Vietnamese lore for more than 2,000 years. There are only four confirmed members of the species left in the world – two living wild in Vietnamese lakes and a captive pair in China.
The Hoan Kiem Lake turtles are traditionally viewed as manifestations of the Golden Turtle God, or Kim Qui. Legend has it over the last two millennia, they have helped design fortifications, thwart enemy armies and produce a number of enchanted weapons.
Duc claims that the Hoan Kiem Lake turtle is around 700 years old and the last survivor of a species called Rafetus leloii. Several other scientists have argued, however

Lionman to save rhinos
The Lionman may soon have a new moniker - the Rhinoman.
Craig Busch, who once starred in a television series about his wildlife park in Whangarei, Zion Wildlife Gardens, has now set his sights on saving rhinos from poachers in South Africa.
Busch has been based at the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve about 40km north-west of Johannesburg for about a year.
He wants to spread awareness about the threats facing wild cats and other wildlife in Africa, reported The

Protector of the Turtle in Bali
Wayan Raga can usually be found by the shallow turtle pool in his garden. The area is filled with dozens of turtles swimming in the pool or just lazing around the yard. Some are an inch in size, others measure a meter long.
“Here is a new hatchling, just one month old. That one there is four months old. The one in the cage next to it is four years old,” said the renowned Balinese turtle breeder.
“The 4-year-old, already quite large, is a favorite of the visitors who come here.”
From the care and attention Wayan shows the gentle sea creatures, you would never guess that he once made a living hunting and selling them for their meat.
“After 20 years of hunting and trading turtles, I now realize that there is something very wrong in the way we exploit nature,” he said.
Wayan established Citra Taman Penyu in 2001 at his home on Pulau Serangan, or Turtle Island, 250 meters off the southeast coast of Bali. It is

Leopard lynched, but officials mum
In yet another man versus beast conflict, a leopard was lynched by a mob on Wednesday barely 30 kilometres from the capital. What is appalling is that the gruesome act carried out by a mob of villagers took place in front of the deputy commissioner, police and other forest officials.
The leopard, a male, strayed into Kheri Gujaran village on Wednesday morning and allegedly attacked a villager, identified

16 killed by tigers in Uttar Pradesh in 10 months
The increasing human-animal conflict due to shrinking habitat for wildlife has led to killing of 16 people by tigers over the past 10 months in Uttar Pradesh, wildlife officials said on Thursday. Attributing the deaths to "unabated human infiltration in the core wildlife areas", chief wildlife conservator B K Patnaik said: "Increase in the human population and their enhanced penetration into forests is largely responsible for the rise in this conflict that had also left 22 people wounded over the

Giraffe chokes to death at Delhi zoo
After a lunch of fresh fruits and green fodder, Mangal Pandey was frolicking in the sun. Minutes later, the playful three-year 10-month-old giraffe was in the throes of death, his neck caught in the Y-shaped trunk of a tree next to the enclosure wall at the Delhi zoo. Mangal Pandey — his nickname because he was never named officially — stuck his neck through the Y-shaped trunk to pull some twigs from a tree next to the wall.
The young giraffe — they normally have a life span of 25 years — tried to wriggle out but the struggle made the situation worse, his twisting and stretching neck injuring itself while he tried to save himself.
Mangal's desperate attempts were noticed by a visitor who alerted the zoo authorities, who rushed to

Shooting of escaped Hearst Ranch zebras prompts outcry
Three zebras from Hearst Ranch wander onto nearby property and are killed by two ranchers. Each asks a taxidermist to turn one of the animals into rugs.
Along with hairpin curves and heart-stopping views of the Pacific, motorists on Highway 1 near San Simeon may glimpse a most exotic sight: a herd of zebras grazing in pastures along the road.
They are what is left of what was once the world's largest private zoo — a menagerie of camels, kangaroos, emus and giraffes that roamed the estate of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.
Last week three zebras — a buck, a mare and a yearling — escaped,0,6193488.story?track=rss

Wild Cat Once Thought Extinct Spotted in Borneo
One of the world's rarest wild cats, an elusive creature once thought to be extinct, has been spotted in camera traps in Malaysian Borneo for the first time since 2003, researchers said Thursday.
The Bornean Bay Cat, a long-tailed reddish or grey feline the size of a large domesticated cat, was sighted in the northern highlands of Malaysia's Sarawak state, the forest department said Thursday.
Three photographs showing two or three individuals were captured, bringing new hope for the future of the endangered animal about which very little is known, said research officer Wilhelmina Cluny.
"This species is very secretive... it was classified as extinct until a photograph of it was taken in 2003," she told AFP.
"I do feel encouraged, this photograph was taken in a logged forest... when we saw this it made us wonder whether this kind of habitat can sustain wildlife, even for rare and important species

No truth in rumors of zoo accepting rotten foodstuffs
The head of the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) has flatly denied receiving any offers of confiscated expired foodstuffs from Kuwait Municipality for use in feeding animals at Kuwait Zoo.
The PAAAFR would never allow such a thing," the authority's director Jassem Al-Bader told Al-Watan, adding that neither the authority nor the zoo had received any formal correspondence suggesting such an offer. He added that while zoo officials had received an informal offer of expired foodstuffs for animal feed, they had immediately and categorically rejected the idea as potentially dangerous to the zoo animals' health and wellbeing.
The rumors follow the Municipality's seizure of large amounts of expired and rotten foodstuffs from warehouses and other outlets after a corrupt municipality official was discovered to be approving the sale of these goods in exchange for bribes.
Al-Bader said that the zoo already has a contract with specialist suppliers of animal fodder, including meat, that meets the required exacting specifications to meet the animals' food needs. "The

Zoo richer but experts worried about inmates
Several big animals and birds have arrived at the city zoo but wildlife experts are worried about the well-being of the new inmates because of lack of space on the Alipore campus.
The zoo authorities have brought in a pair of Asiatic lions, three leopards, two pairs of emu, 15 pairs of mandarin ducks and four iguanas and as many ostriches.
"The leopards and lions in the zoo have grown old. So we wanted to bring in new leopards and lions,” said Raju Das, the director of Alipore zoo.
The pure-bred Asiatic lions were brought from the Hyderabad zoo and the leopards from a rescue centre in north Bengal.
Wildlife experts questioned the rationale behind bringing in large animals like lions. “Just a few months back, the state government had announced plans to shift the zoo to Bhagabanpur on the outskirts because of a space crunch at Alipore. Then why did it allow the zoo to import two lions and three leopards,” said Samik Gupta, a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
“Lions are large animals and require a lot of space to move about. Even the four lions that were there before the ones from Hyderabad arrived lacked enough space,” added Gupta.
Director Das, however, claimed that the lion enclosures were big enough for the inmates. “Besides, the rule now is to keep pure-bred lions in zoos. The lions in our zoo were hybrid and very old, so we ha




Forced zoo tax foiled in House
Visitors to Brookfield Zoo may be spared a hike in ticket prices after the Illinois House Friday sent legislation to Gov. Quinn blocking the village of Brookfield from imposing a zoo admission tax with the revenue redirected to the village. The village sought
A death at the zoo (comment and reply)
Editorial: No, you can't hunt at the zoo, either
It seems like Colorado shouldn't need a law to say it's illegal to track hibernating bears to their dens, wait for them to fall asleep and then climb inside and blast 'em. But apparently we do.
A Craig hunter tracked a 700-pound bear to a cave in Moffat County in November, then waited several hours before crawling in and shooting it. His actions were not illegal, but they should be.
We support hunters and hunting rights in Colorado. Hunting is part of our Western heritage, and hunters play an important role in culling herds and improving overall wildlife health in Colorado. However, we also believe in the concept of the "fair chase."
Colorado wildlife commissioners this past week
2010 best year for antelope, gazelle births in Al Ain park
Al Ain: The year 2010 saw a record number of desert antelopes born at the The highly-threatened group of animals are a key part of conservation work and a number of conservation research initiatives are moving ahead in AWPR.
The year 2010 marked one of AWPR's best recorded year for antelope births, with a record number of young antelope raised, including 16 Scimitar-horned oryx, 27 Arabian oryx, 10 Beisa oryx, four Addax, three Chad dama gazelles, six Mhorr dama gazelles and six Speke's gazelles.
The Scimitar-horned oryx and Mhorr gazelle are extinct in the wild and only survive in captivity, making AWPR's herds extraordinarily valuable. The Addax survives with fewer than 300 individuals in the wild.
The Beisa oryx, native to the dry lands of North East Africa, is declining rapidly, already extinct in Eritrea and Uganda and with populations rapidly declining in Kenya.
The Arabian oryx at AWPR are being utilised
Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort The Orangutans are waiting, the chimpanzees are waiting and the rest of the zoo world are waiting to see what will happen next
Jobs go at zoo as finance woes mount in big freeze
A Cambridgeshire zoo has been forced to make staff redundant after the Christmas cold snap left it crippled by rising debts.
The deep snow meant the number of visitors to Shepreth Wildlife Park, near Royston, plummeted to an all-time low over the crucial holiday period with barely a single person stepping over the threshold for two weeks.
The -10C temperatures also left them with soaring electricity bills for the animal enclosures and the zoo’s founders, father and daughter team Terry and Rebecca Willers, fear they might not be able to pay their remaining employees.
One of the reasons for the park’s problems has been the failure of the indoor Play Barn, introduced in October 2009, which bosses hoped would encourage families to come regardless of weather conditions.
The zoo, which started as a private wild animal sanctuary in 1979 with a single injured jackdaw and a pony who still lives on site, is home to popular tigers Amba and Rana, as well as hundreds of other species of exotic wildlife, which would have to be re-homed if it were forced to close.
Animal manager Rebecca Willers, 30, emphasised that despite the tough times no keepers had been made redundant and maintaining the animals’ high quality of care was
New management at Austin Zoo means better future
As Patti Clark walks along a dirt road winding through the Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary, two lions roar raucously from within their covered enclosure. A black bear paces around his cage. Babe, the 500 pound pig, lounges in the dirt.
There's a lot going on at the western Travis County nonprofit, says Clark, the zoo's executive director. They're expanding the monkey area, building new trails, making plans for a new water system, paying off debt and attracting new donors.
But getting here hasn't been easy.
Just a few years ago, the Austin Zoo was saddled with serious problems: financial records in disarray, high employee turnover, decaying facilities and more than $60,000 in credit card debt. When Clark took over in 2007, she and the new board members found receipts, veterinary records and bank statements stuffed in bags
Zoo Closures Extended Due to Disease Outbreaks
Amid the spread of avian influenza and foot-and-mouth disease, the closure of four zoos will be extended to Jan. 25. They are Seoul Zoo in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province, Children's Grand Park in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul Forest in Seongdong-gu, and Dream Forest in Gangbuk-gu, Seoul.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has banned public entry to the zoos since Jan. 1 in order to prevent zoo animals from being infected as the alert for livestock endemics was raised to the highest level and an outbreak of bird flu
Zoo killed animals and left them to rot by bins
ANIMALS shot dead by keepers in culls at a top safari park were dumped to rot beside bins.
The scenes were so gruesome the zoo's official photographer reported bosses to a council.
Cops were alerted after snapper Penny Boyd, 58, revealed how keepers untrained in shooting animals were also handed guns to practise on LIVE exhibits.
Horrified Penny - who compiled a chilling dossier of the carnage at Knowsley Safari Park on Merseyside - described the cack-handed shootings as "the last straw".
She raged last night after quitting her job: "One morning I heard a gunshot and looked out to see a beautiful antelope I'd known for years being downed.
"Another TWO shots were needed before it was dead. That kind of job should only be done by experienced people.
"But culling was being used as a means of training instead of being carried out in the kindest
In 2010, Tacoma zoo posted highest attendance in its 105-year history
Even amid still-tough economic times, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium posted yet another banner year for attendance in 2010, zoo officials announced today.
A bear market? Paw-lease!
Not at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, at least.
Even amid still-tough economic times, Tacoma’s bastion of beasts posted yet another banner year for attendance in 2010, zoo officials announced Friday.
The 680,891 visitors who traipsed through the 29 acres of wildlife exhibits within Point Defiance Park last year marked the highest number of attendees in the zoo’s 105-year history.
The record figure – which includes combined totals of more than 587,000 daytime zoo attendees and 93
Record attendance at Fresno's Chaffee Zoo in 2010
2010 proved to be a record setter when it comes to the number of visitors to Fresno's Chaffee Zoo. Zoo officials think this year will be even better.
Even a cold gray day didn't stop visitors from flocking to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. Kids say where else can they see animals from the wild, like these wolves choking down a meal.
Riley Browning said, "You never get to see them outdoors doing their own thing so it's really cool to
Tragic fire at Riga Zoo kills several animals
An overnight fire at the Riga City Zoo has killed three zebra, three ostriches and an antelope.
The fire was discovered by security guards on patrol at about 6 am Friday morning. By the time it was found it was already too late to save the animals.
The fire started in the zebra house, which was also used as a storage place for hay, and spread quickly. It is still unknown




Rare monk seal colony found in the Mediterranean
Scientists have found a colony of rare Mediterranean monk seals at an undisclosed location in Greece.
The species is the world's most endangered seal, and one of the most endangered marine mammals - fewer than 600 individuals remain.
Researchers are keeping the location of the colony secret to avoid having the seals disturbed by human visitors.
It is the only place in the region where seals lie on open beaches, rather than hide in coastal caves.
Alexandros Karamanlidis, scientific co-ordinator of the Mom/Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk seal, explained that this was the

Bonny Doon woman lends a healing hand to Asian elephants
Boonmee was depressed and in pain.
The 10-year-old Asian elephant was separated from her mother and her foot looked like a cauliflower. She'd stepped on a land mine near Thailand's border in September, which blew her foot apart, and traveled for two days before arriving at the Friends of the Asian Elephant hospital in Lampang, Thailand.
By early November, the hospital's staff worried that Boonmee was giving up, said Bonny Doon resident Jodi Frediani, 62, who visited the hospital last month. Boonmee wasn't eating, was withdrawn and couldn't walk easily. And, "she repeatedly, gently touched her cauliflower foot with the tip of her trunk," Frediani said.
But then, Frediani tried using TTouch on Boonmee. The touch-based therapy is similar to gentle bodywork and can help relieve physical and emotional distress in animals.
TTouch appeared to revive the elephant's spirit, and her previously glassy-eyed stare gave way to tears. Soon, Boonmee was offering areas to be worked on -- like her enormous, large-eared head, which "she lowered so I could do some of the circular TTouches," said Frediani, a 30-year practitioner of TTouch.
By the end of the day, Boonmee had become playful, even letting Frediani peel bananas for her.
"Boonmee had a new brightness and a twinkle in her eye," said Windy Borman, a San Francisco-based filmmaker who traveled to Thailand with Frediani and observed the TTouch process. "The elephants

Drama at German Zoo
Escaped Penguin Ends Up in Lion Enclosure
A little penguin intent on seeing the world strolled out of her ice-covered pool and ended up in the lion enclosure of the Münster Zoo in western Germany. Zookeepers armed with herrings tried to rescue her in a race against time, as the big cats dozed nearby.
An adventurous penguin that had escaped from its pool at a German zoo took a wrong turn and ended up in the lion enclosure, the zoo in the western city of Münster said on Monday.
A visitor spotted the three-month-old bird, the zoo's youngest African Penguin, strolling up and down the ice-covered moat alongside the enclosure on New Year's Day, blissfully unaware of the proximity of a pride of lions.
"Luckily the family of lions didn't pose a threat because they were dozing in the warmth of their house," the zoo said in a statement. But the penguin was still in danger because she could have panicked and slipped under the ice.
A zookeeper managed to lure the penguin,1518,737560,00.html

Iran's Siberian tiger dies: reports
A Siberian tiger delivered to Iran by Russia in a swap deal last year has died from a disease which one official said it contracted before it was given to Tehran, reports said on Monday.
The tiger was a resident of Tehran's Eram Zoo since April 2010 when Russia gave it to Iran along with a Siberian tigress in exchange for two Persian leopards.
Hooshang Ziaee, an adviser to Iran's Environmental Protection Organisation, told ISNA news agency that the tiger had been infected with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) but it was unclear when it died.
"The preliminary laboratory tests show that the Siberian tiger.... tested positive for FIV," Ziaee said, adding that a Bengal tiger and five other lions at the Eram zoo had also tested positive for FIV.
"The final cause for the death of the Siberian tiger was that it and other felines fed on diseased donkeys," he said.
Eram zoo director Amir Elhami said the tiger had been infected with FIV before arriving to the zoo but denied that other animals contracted the virus.
"The doctors tested the dead feline and have concluded

Taipei Zoo introduces newborn pangolin
The Taipei Zoo's program to keep and breed pangolins, an animal notoriously difficult to maintain in captivity, has scored another success as a pangolin born recently there is doing well, the zoo said Monday.
The baby pangolin, the fourth ever born in captivity at the zoo, was born on Dec. 9, 2010 and now weighs 260 grams, compared with 105 grams at birth, said zoo director Jason Yeh in a statement.
Yeh said much of the zoo's success can be attributed to its special formula of feeds, consisting of apples, egg yolks, mealworms and bee pupae, developed after one of the four pangolins born at the zoo died in 2004 after having trouble adjusting from milk to feed.
Pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, forage with their long and sticky tongues, with ants and termites their major food, but reproducing the natural diets in captivity has been problematic.
Yeh said zoos around the world attempted to keep the animal in the 1970s, but they failed because of problems finding appropriate feeds.
He did not anticipate having similar problems with the baby pangolin, which at present is doing little other than sleeping, feeding on milk and occasionally climbing on the back of its mother.
The toothless pup was found by zoo staffers last month in a hole

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm
Now, I’ve had this in my drafts box for ages.
The zoo/farm is near Bristol and I’ve been kicking around the idea of a field trip for some time – the lack of desire to give them any money being one deterrent.
What is it? It’s a tourist attraction, specialising in school trips, pushing a creationist agenda. It’s the kind of thing I’d expect to see in the Bible Belt of the States but it’s been nestled in South West England for some time now.
You could be forgiven for thinking “that’s a bit harsh” and that they are in fact a decent, educational establishment. The website is fairly innocuous until you reach the far-right tab ‘Evolution and Creation‘, which links to a ‘sister website’, Earth History: A New Approach.
Some gems:
We believe the fossil record does not show one evolutionary tree of life but rather genetically controlled diversification from a number of original forms
As the currently measured value of an element’s decay rate (or half-life) has no theoretical basis, the only way we can test which is true is to compare the

Marineland's dolphin center sold to Georgia Aquarium
The Georgia Aquarium has purchased Marineland's Dolphin Conservation Center, marking a new epoch for the historic attraction.
Georgia Aquarium President David Kimmel said no immediate changes are planned at the dolphin center, where people can go beyond just watching dolphins to feeding the animals and swimming with them.
The Georgia Aquarium's purchase of the dolphin center will help the aquarium in its research and collection of animals. Three manta rays at the Georgia Aquarium were captured off the coast of Marineland, Kimmel said Monday.
"It adds to our ability to collect and to our ability to do research," Kimmel said.
The majority of the approximately 40 people employed at Marineland's dolphin center will keep their jobs, said Kimmel, who added that staffing levels are still being evaluated.
Kimmel declined to reveal the purchase price during an interview Monday. But an Associated Press

Attorney suing zoo to shut down elephant exhibit to launch refuge in Cambodia
During the holidays, the new Elephants of Asia exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo drew big crowds. Zoo officials say they’ve greeted as many 10,000 visitors a day. However, one opponent eager to shut down the exhibit that opened in mid-December has his own plans for an elephant sanctuary this year.
Leading the legal fight is Tarzana-based trial attorney David Casselman. His firm is handling the lawsuit against LA Zoo for free.
“While elephants are forced to stay in zoos, they really don’t live in zoos,” says Casselman. “They die in zoos.”
Casselman says he wants to help change that, so he’s establishing a wildlife sanctuary near the Angkor Temples in Cambodia. He plans to open a veterinary hospital there this year, and Casselman says he’s covered most expenses to develop the million-acre jungle preserve.
“We’re hoping to have ponds and underground viewing area for elephants and tigers, Clouded Leopards and other animals,” he explains.
And, he hopes, to open it up for eco-tourism in a couple of years.
LA Zoo Director John Lewis says its $42 million exhibit, about 6 square acres, includes some elements that activists like Casselman say the

Bear mauls zoo worker in South Russia
A zoo bear mauled to death a 55-year-old worker who was cleaning an enclosure in the southern Russian city of Stavropol, an official with the city's emergencies service said.
"A zoo cage cleaner forgot to lock the bear's cage, and the animal attacked him from behind," Boris Skripka said. "The bear caught him by the leg and damaged a vital artery. The worker was rescued by other zoo employees, but succumbed to his injuries before the ambulance arrived."
The bear is still being kept in the zoo while its future is being decided.
"I have no idea of

Who ape all the pies? Orangutan kicks back with a full belly in the midday sun
It looks like this orangutan got more than her fair share of the Christmas hamper.
Louise Bleakly, 69, snapped the portly primate as she lazed by a tree after over-indulging.
The sedentary creature soaked up the midday sun at Taman Safari Park near Jakarta, Indonesia - and was too lazy to even swing on

No takers for two ageing elephants at Byculla zoo
A year after the central zoo authority had asked all 26 zoos in the country to relocate their elephants to national parks or sanctuaries, the two female elephants at Byculla zoo are still waiting for a new home. Following the circular, teams from Solapur and Chhattisgarh forest reserves had visited
the Byculla zoo but rejected Laxmi, 53, and Anarkali, 46, because they are too old to patrol the jungles.
The situation is similar across most zoos in the country. Only 10 elephants have been shifted from six of the 26 zoos in the country.
Officials from the central zoo authority confirmed that compliance of this directive has been low and several zoos have written to them asking them to exempt their pachyderms from being relocated.
The administration of the Byculla zoo too had written to the authority asking to exempt Laxmi and Anarkali because they are old and will neither be able to adapt to the new surroundings in the wild nor fend for themselves.
“A team will visit these zoos and inspect whether an exception can be made for those

Following a year that saw the birth of a giraffe, two lemurs and a zebra, Rome's zoo is celebrating its own significant birthday, turning 100 years old this month.
The Bioparco di Roma is feting the centennial of its inauguration, which took place on January 5, 1911, with free admission for all children 12 and under tomorrow, January 5.
A series of special activities have been organized for the event, like close encounters with reptiles and elephants, face painting, shows and children's laboratories, where kids can learn about and build the ears, noses and tails of animals.
The zoo will be receiving

Dentist Called In After Greenville Zoo Elephant Loses Part Of Tusk
A Greenville Zoo elephant, Lady Bird, 40, lost part of her right tusk last week, according to zoo officials.
In a release, they say the tusk was discovered by zoo staff in the elephant barn when they let her out for exhibit.
While they say it is not uncommon for elephants to break off their tusks, Lady Bird had a large crack in what was left of her tusk that concerned staff.
“If the pulp canal, the vital portion of the tooth that runs down the center of the tusk, is open via the crack, then there is a direct route for bacteria to invade and result in a tooth infection,” said Greenville Zoo Director Jeff Bullock.
Dr. Mike Lowder, a professor at the department of large

Putting his life on the line for his lions
The radio station called, and Jimmy Jablon went to wake the lions.
"Yes, I'm still in one piece," Jablon said into his cell phone Tuesday morning as he walked to the far end of the enclosure where Ed and Lea were cuddling mid-nap.
Jablon slapped Ed on the chest and the year-old, 225-pound cat raised his head groggily.
Then Jablon grabbed Lea's head, opened the 2-year-old, 250-pound lion's mouth and pointed it toward a videocamera to show off massive teeth to the Miami radio host and other viewers watching live on the Web.
"As you can see, they're quite content, and I'm content in here," Jablon, 46, said in a thick Long Island accent.
On New Year's Eve, Jablon closed the gate on the 4,000-square-foot pen to begin a month of captivity with the two lions. The goal: garner enough publicity — and subsequent donations — to keep his non-profit wildlife and exotic animal rescue operation afloat.
"We need about a hundred and fifty thousand to get through the next two years," Jablon said. "That shouldn't be a problem. There are so many people who love animals, they should get off their butt and do something."
Founded in 2002, Wildlife Rehabilitation of Hernando Inc. is situated on 14 acres behind Jablon's ranch home just north of the Pasco-Hernando line.
The place is home to Bengal tigers and Siberian tigers, white lions and cougars. There are spider monkeys and emus, alligators and lemurs. They were raised in captivity, Jablon said, and can't be returned to the wild. He also rehabilitates and releases native animals such as r

Rhino put down at N.C. Zoo
Alice, a 41-year-old Southern white rhino that has been a popular draw to the N.C. Zoo for more than three decades, was euthanized Tuesday after years of declining health.
The rhino, according to zookeepers and veterinarians, suffered from chronic foot infections that, after three years, were no longer responding to medical or surgical therapies. Dr. Ryan DeVoe, senior veterinarian at the zoo, said Alice was in constant pain.
"There is no doubt this was the right thing to do for her at this point," DeVoe said in a statement. "But this was tough for everyone. Alice was one of

Detroit Zoo attendance breaks record
Detroit Zoo broke its single-day attendance record and hosted more than one million visitors for the fifth consecutive year.
The zoo counted 1,146,241 visitors in 2010, according to figures released today. The zoo also broke its single-day attendance record last year, hosting 18,264 guests on Aug. 7.
“The Detroit Zoo continues to provide a unique and wonderful experience for our guests. We’re grateful to the community for its support as we look forward to another amazing year,” Detroit Zoological Society Executive Director Ron Kagan said.
Dinosauria returns to the zoo this summer with more than 30 animatronic dinosaurs, a major draw last summer. Later in the year, the zoo plans to open

Squirrel Returned to Wild After Tiger Attack at Buffalo Zoo
One lucky squirrel who survived a run-in with some tigers at the Buffalo Zoo was returned to the wild Wednesday.
The squirrel was noticed within the tiger enclosure last week. Catherine Carroll from the Zoo says the "tigers were being tigers" playing with the squirrel and tossing it around.
Zookeepers lured the tigers back indoors with some meat, before heading into the enclosure. They found the squirrel still alive.
The squirrel was taken to the Erie County SPCA to be rehabilitated. We're told part of it's tail needed to be amputated, but otherwise it's alright.
Joel Thomas from the SPCA says even though we think of them as cute, fluffy creatures, "Grey squirrels are tough as nails, they're survivors."
The squirrel was returned to a spot close

Restaurant sneers at Monterey aquarium's 'don't eat' list
A Boston-based restaurant chain is planning a dinner featuring seafood it says environmental groups have "brainwashed" consumers to avoid.
Legal Sea Foods owner Roger Berkowitz tells the Gloucester Daily Times that guides such as "Seafood Watch," published by the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, have "no scientific basis," but intimidate buyers.
The guide, for instance, tells consumers not to eat trawl-caught Atlantic cod, because it says the gear damages sea floors.
The Jan. 24 dinner in Boston features tiger shrimp, cod cheeks and hake -- items Seafood Watch recommends people avoid.
Aquarium spokesman Ken Peterson said the recommendations are "grounded in good science" and aim to inform

The Serpent King
How a notorious Malaysian wildlife smuggler was brought to justice -- and what it tells us about stopping the world's most profitable black market
It began almost innocently. A broken lock on a suitcase moving through Kuala Lumpur International Airport this summer led to an odd discovery: nearly 100 baby boa constrictors, two vipers, and a South American turtle, all hidden inside. It was a fairly modest cache for a wildlife smuggler, but the man who claimed the suitcase was no ordinary criminal. He was Anson Wong Keng Liang, the world's most notorious wildlife trafficker. And instead of a slap on the wrist, which he might reasonably have expected, Wong was about to receive a surprising punishment.
From the tiny Malaysian island of Penang, in a storefront no larger than your average nail salon, Wong commanded one of the world's largest wildlife trafficking syndicates. Much of the work Wong's company, Sungai Rusa Wildlife, had done since he got into the business three decades ago was above-board: He legally wholesaled tens of thousands of wild reptiles annually, making him the likely source for many of the snakes, lizards, turtles, and frogs on sale in American pet stores. But using a private zoo as a cover, he also offered an astounding array of contraband, including snow leopard pelts, panda bear skins, rhino horns, rare birds, and Komodo dragons. He moved everything from chinchillas to elephants, smuggling critically endangered wildlife from Australia, China, Madagascar, New Zealand, South America, and elsewhere to markets largely in Europe, Japan, and the United States. For a man capable of brokering these kinds of deals, Wong's arrest over a suitcase of boa constrictors was the equivalent of a Mexican narcotraficante getting caught with a few marijuana cigarettes in his pocket.
Wong's long career beyond the reach of the law offers a window on the illegal wildlife trade and our broken system to combat it. Underfunded law enforcement, government corruption, controversy-shy NGOs, and a feeble international legal framework have yielded few inroads against wildlife syndicates or kingpins like Anson Wong. Wong's arrest and his sentencing in November 2010 provide

Strolling cheetah killed near Saudi bank
Residents of Riyadh panicked after seeing animal on the street
A cheetah triggered panic among residents as it strolled freely on a street in the Saudi capital Riyadh before it was shot dead by security forces, a newspaper in the Gulf Kingdom reported on Tuesday.
Frightened residents of Marbaa neighbourhood phoned the authorities after they saw the leopard roaming on the street near a local bank, Sharq said.
“Security forces rushed to the scene

Siberian tiger attacks, kills bus driver in China
A rare Siberian tiger attacked and killed a tour bus driver in northern China while the man's horrified passengers watched, Chinese media reported.
The tiger pounced on driver Jin Shijun and dragged him into the forest after he got out to check on his bus, which was stuck in the snow at the world's largest Siberian tiger breeding base in the northern province of Heilongjiang, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
The bus was full of tourists visiting the breeding center, and Jin broke safety guidelines by leaving the vehicle, the report said. Park employees tried to distract the tiger with firecrackers and tranquilizer darts, but when they managed

Thailand zoo unveils 2 new members of its white Bengal tiger family
Bangkok's zoo has unveiled new arrivals to its white Bengal tiger family — a pair of white-and-black striped cubs named "One" and "Two."
The Dusit Zoo held a photo opportunity Thursday for the 50-day-old female cubs, who were born Nov. 16.
Zookeeper Noppadon Tiptanya says it is the sixth time the cubs' 15-year-old mother has given birth in captivity at the zoo. Female white tigers generally produce,0,54461.story

Army divers working at Edinburgh Zoo
A team of Army divers have been working at Edinburgh Zoo, carrying out an underwater survey of the penguin enclosure.
The zoo contacted Soldiers from 39 Engineer Regiment in East Anglia after cracks appeared in the penguin tank.
The regiment are providing their services for free but are gaining valuable training to maintain their skills and safety standards

Road to Rare Earths

Thai temple butchers carcasses of 3 elephants, sold their meat
Following news that a Maha Sarakham temple butchered the carcasses of three elephants and sold the meat, skulls and tusks for Bt2 million ($85,619), elephant conservationists yesterday called on the government to rescue the remaining beasts and do something before tourism was affected.
The case has disturbed elephant conservationists worldwide, raised questions over the temple's treatment of its animals and highlighted Thailand's severe cruelty against elephants, said Thai conservationist and one of Time Magazine's Asia's Heroes 2005, Sangduen Chailert.
The government should assist the remaining seven elephants there, she said. The Elephant Nature Foundation president said the elephants seemed to be suffering from severe malnutrition and could die if they did not receive treatment.
Sangduen said the government should use this incident as the starting point for passing an elephant protection law. The beasts are a symbol of Thailand and could become extinct if not protected, she said.
A source said the temple bought 10 elephants including two from Phuket, two from Phang Nga and two from Mae Hong Son.
Krittapol Salangam, manager of the Elephant Village

Jerusalem Biblical Zoo puts three elephants on low-calorie hay diet in hopes of conception
The pregnancy drive stems from the fact that Asian elephants are in danger of extinction.
For several weeks now, Tamar, Michaela and Suzanne have been on a very strict diet, seeking to lose 600 kilograms apiece − because that’s what the doctor says is needed for the three Asian elephants to get pregnant.
Thus the mountains of apples and watermelons that used to grace their cages at Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo have been replaced with low-calorie hay. They spend their mornings on long walks down the zoo’s trails before it opens to visitors. And once every two weeks, they are weighed on a special scale originally designed

Aquarium heralds exciting new era for coral research
An exciting new era of research has begun at the Coral Reef Research Unit at the University of Essex.
Its new tropical research aquarium facility is now up and running and will greatly enhance the diversity of research undertaken at Essex.
The £50,000 aquarium doubles up as a research facility and a coral husbandry facility, taking away the need to buy coral for experiments and enabling the research unit to address key research questions under controlled laboratory conditions.
It is unique in terms of its experimental chambers where different environments can be created and will showcase the world-class coral research being carried out at the university.
Dr Dave Smith, director of the unit, said: “We now have total control over coral growth conditions and this will enable us to answer key questions from the molecular to the ecosystem level. It is a new

Tiger which killed three Indian villagers ordered to be shot on sight
Big cat's latest victim, a 35-year-old woman, was killed earlier this week as she collected animal fodder near her village

Environmental officials in northern India have issued an order for a tiger that has attacked and killed three women to be shot on sight.

A specialist team has been dispatched to track down the animal in the world-famous Corbett national park, seven hours' drive north of Delhi.
There have been angry protests by local people at the gates of the park, an increasingly popular tourist destination, since the body of the tiger's most recent victim was found.
Devki Devi, 35, was attacked earlier this week when she and 12 other women went out to collect cattle fodder near their village, said Anil Baluni, the vice-chairman of the Uttarakhand forests and environment advisory committee. The others managed to get away.
Such attacks are rare but regular occurrences in India where repeated drives to preserve the country's tiger




Older animals mean more deaths at zoo
It's been a tough year for the staff at Reid Park Zoo.
Fivelarge animals died in 2010 - most as a result of age-related ailments - and the new year could be just as challenging. Nearly a dozen animals have reached the average life expectancy for their species.
"An elderly zebra, two lions, a rhino, we knew that string of deaths was coming," said education curator Vivian VanPeenen. "We have a very geriatric collection of animals. We really tried to prepare our visitors and our community that those animals were going to pass away. You can still expect deaths in the very near future from our elderly animals. There's no preventing it. The public needs to be prepared."
Boris, an 11-year-old male polar bear, was the fifth animal to die this year. His death Dec. 10 likely was the result of an allergic reaction to anesthetic after routine veterinary procedures.
"Talking about life expectancy and longevity can be confusing," VanPeenen said. "Life expectancy is an average number of years you would expect an animal to live. Longevity is how long an animal can live. There will always be cases of animals dying younger than expected or living longer than expected. The key for us is not how old the animal is, but how we care for the animal on a daily basis."
Older animals are afforded special privileges by their keepers. They are fed geriatric diets, monitored closely for changes in behavior and allowed to sleep late or remain off display and in their dens all day if they want.
"The older animals really get to choose. If they don't feel like getting up, that's perfectly acceptable to us," VanPeenen said.
The growing number of geriatric animals "is a testament to the great veterinary care animals at zoos receive," said Steve Feldman, spokesman for the the nonprofit Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) based in Silver Spring, Md. Reid Park Zoo is one of 223 facilities accredited by the AZA.
Accreditation is based on a zoo's animal care and welfare practices; guest services and safety; and conservation and education. Reid Park Zoo undergoes a three-day inspection every five years to make sure it meets AZA standards. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is AZA

Mohammad releases 170 houbaras at desert conservatory
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has set free 170 Asian captive-bred Houbara bustards at the Al Maha desert conservatory in Dubai.
The release was in line with strategy of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to increase the number of houbaras and re-locating them in the UAE and the Arabian peninsula, in addition to the interest of Shaikh Mohammad in important environment issues.
Shaikh Mohammad, who was accompanied by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, listened to the presentation by Mohammad Salih Al Baidani, Director-General of the Fund, regarding the preservation and breeding of the houbara bustards.
The birds were bred at the National Avian Research Centre (NARC) of the International Fund for Bustards'

Lim deploys more cops at Manila Zoo
MANILA Mayor Alfredo Lim yesterday ordered the deployment of additional security personnel at the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden, or the Manila Zoo, as crowds gather in the area starting today.
Lim made the move after engineer Deng Manimbo, parks and recreation bureau director, reported that 30,000 people are expected to troop to Manila Zoo to spend their New Year’s Day.
The mayor told Manimbo to coordinate with Station 9 Commander Senior Supt. Frumencio Bernal for the deployment of more policemen to secure the zoo’s visitors.
Lim meanwhile called on the public to maintain

Zoo is looking to Hollywood for a revival in fortunes
DARTMOOR Zoo is recovering from a "miserable" Christmas when poor road conditions forced it to close.
There are hopes that a Hollywood blockbuster about the attraction will revive its fortunes.
The zoo, in Sparkwell near Plympton, was forced to close for the first three days of the holidays, as snow and freezing temperatures rendered minor roads almost impassable.
Some staff had to stay at the zoo overnight to ensure there were enough people on site to look after the animals.
Recent news of the zoo's financial difficulties resulted in a groundswell of local support with many companies offering help, but the Christmas holidays usually bring a much needed boost in visitor numbers during the winter.
Dartmoor zoo's operations manager, George Hyde, said: "It's been fairly miserable. Christmas is our last opportunity of the year to make some money.
"The first three days of the holidays we were completely closed to the public because of the weather conditions."
Mr Hyde said access roads to the zoo were treacherous, with bus services cancelled and little or no gritting.
He added: "After that we were under four inches of snow. The zoo looked beautiful, but it took a lot of backbreaking work to get the car park and paths clear."
Fortunately, the zoo's management had anticipated the bad weather and had extra stocks of all the specialist food it needed for the animals.
Staff were also kept busy keeping the moats around the jaguars and tigers ice free – the water is an important element in the safety of the enclosures.
Mr Hyde said visitor numbers were now picking up following the thaw, although the weather remains less than ideal for an outdoor attraction.
But Boxing day, usually one of the busiest days of the year at the zoo, saw just 30 visitors.
Because the animals still need to be fed and cared for, the zoo cannot make savings by closing during quiet periods.
Dartmoor Zoo's owner Ben Mee will be buoyed by news that filming on the adaptation of his book, "We Bought a Zoo," is to start on January 17.
The film will star Matt Damon as Ben and Scarlett Johansson

We Bought A Zoo

Rewilding of Cheetahs a big success in Sir Baniyas Island
The three cheetahs are getting used to their natural instincts of survival in the wild.
Sir Baniyas Island: Safira, a free roaming female cheetah on Sir Baniyas Island, is pronouncing that the Earth is no more a male dominant bastion. She is not doing it noisily by outshining two male cheetahs in the same territory in hunting skills.
Safira hunted down a sand gazelle within a couple of hours of her release into the wild. But her male companions — Gibbs and Gabriel — had to roam here and there until the second day [of their release to the wild] to manage a successful hunt, Aimee Cokayne, Conservation and Research Officer at Tourism development and Investment Company (TDIC), told Gulf News.
The trio [Safira, Gibbs and Gabriel], who are part of six free roaming cheetahs on the island, were taught to hunt by the conservation team of TDIC as part of rewilding process.
Rewilding is a term used to describe the process by which an animal bred in captivity or raised by humans is taught natural behaviour to be able to survive in a wild environment.
"As part of the Sir Bani Yas Island Carnivore Project, we have taken three adult cheetahs bred in breeding centres in the UAE and applied methods to encourage their natural instincts, have taught them to hunt and be self-sufficient requiring no more aid from humans to survive," Cokayne said. The male cheetahs took longer than Safira to learn their skills.
Safira took four months to rewild whereas Gibbs and Gabriel took six months.
Safira has been free ranging on the island for over a year and Gibbs and Gabriel for almost 10 months. They never needed any assistance from humans during this time. They have not only been feeding themselves but also successfully bred.
Safira made headlines in April 2010 when she gave birth to four cubs as they were the first cheetah cubs to be born in the wild in the UAE in 38 years. Safira raised the four cubs as wild cheetahs with no help from humans.
Baby animals learn a lot from watching their mother's behaviour and from playing with their siblings.
The cheetahs were moved into separate but adjacent enclosures within the Arabian Wildlife Park on the island so they could get used to the area and environment and have a large space to learn their hunting skills.
The rewilding of cheetahs on the Island has a two-fold purpose. As part of creating a working ecosystem, these predators will control the herbivore population like gazelles and create a natural balance.
The second phase of the project was a breeding program for both the cheetah and the striped hyenas to preserve these species for future generations.
Striped hyenas and cheetah are both extinct in the UAE and are internationally classified by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List as ‘near threatened' and ‘vulnerable' respectively.
Creating more space
- 4,200 hectare -area of Arabian Wild Life Park on SirBaniyas Island n 87 Square kilometre-area of the island.
Balancing the nature
The Arabian Wildlife Park on Sir Baniyas Island, developed by Abu Dhabi's Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), is a nature reserve that aims to recreate a working ecosystemSpanning over 87 square kilometres the natural island is located 250 kilometres from Abu Dhabi.
The park is surrounded by a 32km fence and is home to several thousand free-roaming animals, indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula. These animals include the endangered Arabian Oryx, Sand Gazelle, Arabian (Mountain) Gazelle as well as predators and scavengers such as the cheetah and hyena.
"We have several species of ungulates (antelope, gazelles) in the park. In order to control the herbivore population and prevent them from destroying the island fragile eco-system, we introduced different species of predators which will eventually create a natural balance," said Aimee Cokayne, Conservation and Research Officer.
Male and female striped hyenas have also been re-wilded and are free-ranging in the Arabian Wildlife Park since August 2009. This project has also been very succes

Decrepit zoo left donated cash in bank
SYDNEY'S neglected Koala Park Sanctuary has done nothing with more than $400,000 worth of donations from the public.
The West Pennant Hills wildlife park has let the funds, intended for a new koala hospital, sit in a high-interest savings account for more than 20 years, while the park has grown decrepit and neglected.
The park began collecting funds in 1989 to build what was said to be an urgently needed koala hospital - enlisting the help of a Sydney newspaper to spread word of the appeal. Thousands of schoolchildren helped raise the cash, donating bags of five cent coins.
Residents, business owners and children who gave generously from their own pockets are now demanding the park owners come clean on their plans for the cash. Castle Hill resident Frances Harding, now in her 80s, contributed some cash

Study on Arabian tigers' wildlife in Yemen
Ibb Governor Ahmed al-Hajri met on Saturday with Executive Director of the Foundation for the protection of the Arabian Leopard in Yemen David B. Stanton, who is currently visiting the province.
Stanton's visit to Ibb province aims to conduct an environmental study on the growth of the Arabian leopard in al-Jannat Valley and some areas in the province.
At the meeting, al-Hajri and Stanton reviewed the tigers' shelters and their appropriate environment and supporting the local authority to implement such studies.
Al-Hajri confirmed the attention of the local authority in all animals and providing a suitable environment for them in protected areas and natural forests, as well as raising the community awareness on the importance of maintaining the predators and not harming them.
For his part, Stanton affirmed that Yemen is one of the most important countries where there are descendants of Arabian tigers, and evergreen

London Zoo’s bid to help the world’s ugliest animals
THEY may not be the most attractive of species but these ‘ugly ducklings’ of the animal world are in danger of losing out to the ‘poster boys’ of extinction in the struggle for survival.
The Ganges River dolphin, rondo dwarf galago, and saola – or ‘Asian unicorn’ as it is known – are just some of the rare species to have recently been added to a list of the top-100 most evolutionary distinct and globally endangered mammals in the world.
Conservationists in the Zoological Society of London’s EDGE team, based at London Zoo, have just conducted their latest update of the most unique, threatened species as they try to highlight the plight of a host of animals that don’t get the coverage they deserve.
Protecting some of the weirdest and most wonderful species on the planet, the programme specifically targets creatures that have few close relatives among animal species and are often extremely unusual.
Carly Waterman, EDGE programme manager, said: “A lot of what we focus on tends to be smaller, less charismatic animals.
“These are the species that are currently falling through the net.
“It does seem to be that it’s the large charismatic animals in particular that get the lion’s share of conservation funding.
“We don’t think the ones on the list are ugly but they tend not to be as charismatic in the traditional way and find it difficult to compete with the poster boys of conservation – things like elephants and rhinos.”
Working with the world’s most extraordinary species that are largely unfamiliar to the masses, Ms Waterman says these animals that provide the most unique characteristics which would be totally lost if they were to become extinct.
She says the programme is in a race against time to raise the profile of these animals and avoid the same fate of the original number one EDGE mammal, the Yangtze River dolphin, which is now believed to have died out.
“These animals are the ones with the fewest relatives in the rest of the animal world so they have unique characteristics,” she said.
“There are things like a species of toad that gives birth through the skin on its back or the long-beaked echidna which is unique in that it is a mammal that lays eggs.
“These are the most remarkable animals

Lions of Tower of London recalled
An elephant that drank a gallon of wine a day was among the menagerie at Britain's first zoo - and their story is to be told in a new exhibition.
Many centuries before animals were kept at London Zoo in Regent's Park, they were kept in the Tower of London.
Lions, ostriches, tigers and bears were kept at the venue. Dogs were used to bait them for sport.
Now an exhibition there, featuring specially-commisioned animal sculptures, will tell their tale.
The first record of a lion in England

Roar and peace for Highland park's polar bears
"I wouldn't say they have got on like a house on fire," said David Barclay of the Highland Wildlife Park's two polar bears.
The senior keeper of carnivores, primates and birds added: "There was a bit of hostility from Mercedes but we knew that was going to happen given she's been on her own for about 15 years.
"For Mercedes it was going to be a bit of shock."
Mercedes, an aged female brought to the park at Kincraig from Edinburgh Zoo in 2009, was joined in her enclosure by young male Walker in November this year.
For a short while it was less than a walk in the park for the newcomer from Holland's Rhenen Zoo.
First, Mercedes stamped her authority in a series of open-mouthed charges and hurling her 291kg (45 stone) frame through undergrowth in hot pursuit of the smaller, lighter Walker.
Next the boy bear had to be sedated and treated by a vet for a wound under his tongue, possibly caused by a splinter from a piece of wood he had been chewing on.
A few days later, on my visit to the park, Walker looked to be in rude health and appeared to have settled at least some of his differences with Mercedes.
She was stretched out to her full length along a fence of the enclosure, occasionally throwing Walker a dirty look.
Keeping his distance, Walker made his way to the enclosure's pond, jumped in and rolled onto his back.
Mr Barclay said: "Walker has been very well behaved.
"He has been approaching Mercedes in all the right ways, starting by being submissive to her, but now he realises that she isn't that aggressive.
"He is being bolder and standing up to her more and she has been letting him get closer to her without her being too aggressive."
When he first arrived at the park, Walker was kept separate from Mercedes.
He rolled around in earth so much that only the fur around his eyes and nose was still white.
The combination of filth and his natural colouring gave him an almost blue tinge.
Park staff have been amused by his youthful enthusiasm for sliding down the enclosure's hillside and diving into the pond.
Once he reaches sexual maturity, Walker will be a key part of efforts to breed polar bears at the park.
Mercedes, however, does not figure in the project.
Mr Barclay said: "Bringing Walker to the Highland Wildlife Park is a bold statement.
"It shows that we are being looked at in an international light.
"When Walker was listed as requiring to be moved from his zoo in Holland we were at the top of the list."
The Highlands are now home to the only polar bears in the UK.
In a historical link, the region produced what are believed to be the only polar bear to have been found in Britain.
A skull was discovered in 1927 in the Bone Caves at Inchnadamph, in S

Zoo visitors hit 30,000 by mid-day
Thousands of visitors have packed Ragunan Zoo in South Jakarta during the three-day New Year holiday, with up to 30,000 people flowing into the zoo by mid-day Sunday.
Zoo public relations and promotions chief Wahyudi Bambang Prihantoro said zoo operators had added 17 additional ticket booths to the usual 24 booths in an effort to cope with the visitor surge.
“We also opened [certain] areas of the zoo as locations to park cars,” he said, as reported by
Zoo operators have also set up a special information center to deal with reports of lost children, he added.
“Our attendants are ready to help reunite [lost] children with their families,” he said, adding that the zoo had employed another 300 attendants to add to

Ocean Park fish set for aquarium move
Ocean Park is moving the inhabitants of its Atoll Reef to the new Grand Aquarium over the next few weeks, but not all of the marine life will stay in the park after the relocation....


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