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Zoo News Digest July - August 2009


Fears for UK's polar bear cubs
IN HER article on The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland plan to move polar bear Mercedes from Edinburgh Zoo to the Highland Wildlife Park (News, 16 August), Hilary Duncanson stated that Mercedes had produced two cubs.I think this is an error and Mercedes actually gave birth to several more cubs. Many readers will remember the media frenzy which surrounded Minty, the cute cub which was hired out to promote a certain brand of confectionery. When Minty outgrew the cute and cuddly image, the Zoo shipped him off to an antiquated enclosure in Antwerp Zoo where I filmed him exhibiting the stereotypical behaviour displayed by most captive polar bears. Minty died not long after. I believe other cubs were sent from Edinburgh to other foreign zoos including Japanese bear parks.Edinburgh Zoo is to be congratulated for providing Mercedes with good retirement quarters at the Highland Wildlife Park. I hope she will be the last polar bear in Britain to be used to produce

Sri Lankan elephant at National Zoo celebrated during Asian Elephant Day
That I am not in favor of zoos or captive breeding is no secret. I have talked about that here and on "Focus Earth with Bob Woodruff." (Age of Extinction: August 22, 2009)So when a reader directs my attention to an article in the Washington Post about the celebration of Asian Elephant Day, I trek to a newsstand and pay the premium out-of-state price for the paper. I am immediately saddend by the photograph---albeit skillfully and brilliantly composed by Post photographer Ricky Carioti--of a 7-year-old elephant named Kandula, who was born at the zoo. (Not the photo shown above and no link on the Post site, so far.) Kandula's situation is the kind that I find particularly distressing. He was born in captivity; he will die in captivity, never knowing the life his DNA promised. The Washington Post article by staff writer Michael S. Rosenwald cheerfully describes the glee of children visiting the zoo and the pride of the Sri Lankan dignitaries in attendance and explains the well-documented importance of elephants to the Sri Lankan culture. Kandula is the son of an orphaned elephant given to the National Zoo in 1976. A nice sanctuary

Zoo comparison - Cleveland vs. Columbus
Clearly, living in Columbus can spoil even the most ardent animal-lover for other zoos. Our zoo is ranked the best in the nation, and it is constantly expanding and improving on its offerings. We should recognize, however, that there are many other fine zoos to visit should we find ourselves outside the Columbus region, including several great zoos right here in Ohio. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is most assuredly one of those.As the name implies, the Cleveland Zoo is part of the Cleveland Metroparks system. Much like our own beloved Metro Parks, this system offers a wide variety of hiking, education, and other offerings in natural settings. The association between the Cleveland Metro Parks and the zoo has benefits for both the zoo and the other parks, and it has

Canadian helps found Afghan wildlife preserve
Guns and hand grenades have nearly wiped out many large animals and fish in Afghanistan. But Canadian wildlife biologist Chris Shank has helped found the country's first national park, providing safe haven to those creatures left behind after so many have become collateral damage in a country decimated by decades of war. Band-e-Amir holds rare attributes for a national park: exotic animals here have been frequently shot, marine life gets blown up by fishermen who carry explosives instead of fishing gear, and the path into the park bypasses landmines. In the midst sits a jewel of a region with rugged peaks and clear blue lakes in the Hindu Kush mountains of the central Bamiyan province. It was inaugurated last April near the site where 1,500-year-old Buddha statues were reduced to rubble by the Taliban in 2001. Its creation is a small victory, 30 years in the making, for the Alberta-based researcher who first saw its potential in the mid 1970s while working with a team of researchers from the United Nations. Since 2006, after signing with the U.S. Wildlife Conservation Society to oversee environmental projects in Afghanistan, he's been spending at least four months a year there championing ventures like Band-e-Amir. "It's a symbolic hurdle," Shank admits. "This

FDLE probe into ex-zoo boss will 'die on the vine,' his attorney says
An attorney for Lex Salisbury said today that the former president of Lowry Park Zoo won't be charged with any crimes after a city audit revealed he took supplies and animals to help start his private exotic-animal park.The Florida Department of Law Enforcement hasn't even interviewed Salisbury, attorney Robert McKee said today."That's not going anywhere," McKee said of the investigation. "It will die on the vine."A FDLE spokeswoman said Friday the agency continues to investigate Salisbury's actions.McKee made the comment today after he released a statement from Salisbury about a financial settlement with his former employer."I believe that the final resolution of this dispute supports the absence of any wrongdoing on my part," Salisbury said in the statement.City auditors were determined to "get Lex" rather

Cebu Provincial Capitol asserts ownership of lot occupied by zoo
The Cebu Provincial Government has reasserted its ownership of the property currently occupied by the Cebu City Zoo and warned the Cebu City Government against signing a Memorandum of Agreement intended for further zoo development.In a letter addressed to Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Provincial Legal Officer Marino Martinquilla said the Province of Cebu is the rightful owner of the 70,000 square meter lot occupied by the Cebu City Zoo and the City of Cebu "has no right or authority to enter into a memorandum of agreementwith Robert Yupangco or any other person involving the same."The property is adjacent to the Boy Scouts of the Philippines Cebu Council campsite at Capitol Hills, Cebu City. The Boy Scouts lot, marked 1298, was donated by the Province of Cebu, through a Deed of Donation in 1963, but the portion that is

Brno zoo wants to save pond tortoise population
The zoological garden in Brno, south Moravia, wants to attempt at renewing the population of the European pond tortoise (Emys orbicularis), the only original tortoise species living in the wild in the Czech Republic, the daily Lidove noviny (LN) reported Monday.The pond tortoise was widely spread on Czech territory until the end of the 18th century, but now the species is on the verge of extinction and it is almost impossible to observe it in the wild, LN writes.It adds that in the past the pond tortoise was also quite commonly served as a dish."Unlike the beasts of prey whose return to our mountains is not enthusiastically welcomed by everyone, no one should mind the harmless tortoises," Brno zoo director Martin Hovorka told LN, explaining why the zoo has chosen this endangered species.The Brno zoo is not breeding the pond tortoise itself, but it plans to get the suitable animals from the Viennese zoological garden and then multiply them for a later


Cincinnati Zoo Cheetah Prepared to Set Speed Record
The Cincinnati Zoo's eight-year-old female cheetah Sarah is preparing to set the world record for all land mammals on Wednesday, September 9 at the Zoo's Regional Cheetah Breeding Facility in Clermont County. The 100 meter run was originally scheduled to run at the Kentucky Speedway, but the Zoo's Cat Ambassador trainers decided to go for the "home field advantage" and move the run to Sarah's training facility. "Sarah is very comfortable at the Mast Farm," said Cathryn Hilker, Founder of the Cincinnati Zoo's Cat Ambassador Program. "When Sarah's not running in the Cheetah Encounter at the Zoo during the summer, she runs at the Farm and does extremely well there. We are very grateful to the Kentucky Speedway for giving us the opportunity to run at their track, but

Bamboo-Loving Giant Pandas Can Warp a Zoo Nutritionist's Worldview
From the moment he wakes up in the morning until the moment he falls asleep at night, Mike Maslanka has one thing on his mind: bamboo. Bamboo, bamboo, bamboo bamboobamboobamboobam. This is what happens when you are responsible for making sure the three most famous animals in Washington -- Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and Tai Shan, the National Zoo's giant pandas -- don't starve. As the zoo's senior animal nutritionist, Mike is responsible for feeding all 2,000 animals at the zoo, but, let's face it, the pandas are the stars. Since bamboo is pretty much all a panda eats -- about 60 pounds of the stuff each day, every day -- bamboo has become Mike's obsession. And so yesterday morning Mike, a wiry 37-year-old, met a crew from the zoo's Bamboo Procurement Team in a bamboo grove in Montgomery County. Three days a week, sometimes more, they cut bamboo. Letters stuck on the front of the crew's truck said it all: "The bamboo never stops." Last year, for reasons that weren't entirely clear at first, the stands of bamboo the zoo maintains at its Front Royal, Va., conservation center stopped growing. Desperate, the zoo did something it had never done before: put out a call for help. Hundreds of people responded, including the contractor building the Intercounty Connector. Several large stands were found along the route, including this one near Layhill Road. Lots of people may hate the ICC, but it's putting bamboo on the table. Armed with loppers and wearing hard hats, Mike and his crew, Bernard Graham and

Crows eradication programme at Safari delayed
The eradication programme of crows from the Safari Park has been delayed further, as city district government has not appoint air gun shooter so far, it was learnt. Sources in the park administration said that the city district government has failed to resolve the much-awaited issue of the crows who have made life hell for the animals in Safari Park and Karachi Zoological Garden for the past several years. However, now this issue has become more serious as various precious animals are being planned to be brought here, but surprisingly, the authorities concerned did not take any final decision to resolve the issue by appointing air gun shooter in Zoo and Safari Park. They said that flock of crows always keep hovering at Safari Park, causing survival threats to the animals placed in the open cages such as Deer, Zebra, Bucks, Ostriches, Camels and other animals.According to the eyewitnesses, these crows always sit on the backs of the animals, injuring them badly by biting the flesh, causing infectious wounds and holes on their backs. The animals remained helpless in moving them

Escaped monkey moves in to house
A STUNNED family told yesterday of how they discovered a MONKEY in their living room.Gemma Peck, 18, was having her breakfast when boyfriend Colin Hinder spotted something move on top of the curtain rail.He thought it was a pigeon - then looked closer and found it was a tiny marmoset.The monkey - named Kite - had escaped with pal Ponty from Woburn Safari Park, Bucks, two miles away.It is believed that the intrepid pair scaled the 8ft park wall, crossed a busy A

'Creationist' zoo causes dismay
Tourism boards have been urged to stop promoting a North Somerset zoo which presents creationist ideas.The British Humanist Association (BHA) says Noah's Ark Zoo Farm undermines the teaching of science. Signs at the zoo in Wraxhall describe how the "three great people groups" could be descended from the three sons of Bible ark builder Noah. A spokeswoman for the zoo said they viewed the natural world as a product of both God and evolution. Another sign at the zoo says animals hunt and kill food because "man rebelled against

Zoo animals rounded up after High Park escape
Police patrolling Toronto's High Park early Wednesday morning came across some escapees from a local pen: llamas, a wallaby and a yak.The animals had escaped from the small zoo located inside the park after someone cut the chains and broke the locks on the enclosures housing the yak and the wallaby. A large hole was cut in the fence to the area housing the llamas. Both the north and the south gates to the zoo were open and unlocked. Police and zoo workers were able to round up all the animals — four

Cop investigated for feeding gorillas Pop-Tarts
A Minnesota police officer is under investigation after he allegedly snuck into a zoo to feed gorillas Pop-Tarts after hours.Surveillance video reportedly captured two zoo security guards sneaking in several people including the off-duty officer.Zoo officials say its not clear if the gorillas actually ate

Al Ain Wildlife Park launches all night zoo during Ramadan
For the first time in its 40-year history, Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort has launched an all night zoo and has invited people to observe the nocturnal behaviour of animals.The park will open its gates from 9pm to 2am during Ramadan, giving an opportunity to the public to watch a demonstration where penguins are fed. There will be other demonstrations at the Arabian and African mixed exhibits, said an official

Giant Pandas on Verge of Extinction
Giant Pandas in China are on the verge of extinction, the conservation group World Wildlife Fund said today. The problem: increasingly fragmented habitat due to human economic development, Reuters reports. "If the panda cannot mate with those from other habitats, it may face extinction within two to three generations," said Fan Zhiyong, Beijing-based species program director for WWF. "We have to act now." Panda's need lots of room and mature trees to survive. They breed just once

Showcase: Forgotten Elephants
Once the revered symbol of Thai culture, the backbone of industry and the protector of the country's sovereignty during war, elephants now wander the streets of Bangkok, reduced to providing rides for tourists and helping their owners beg for their next meal.With their drivers — mahouts, they are called — the elephants dodge Bangkok's chaotic traffic and the feeble attempts of the government and the police to push them out of the city.Many elephants were put out of work when logging became illegal in the 1980s, making it difficult for their owners to feed them. Wild ones have been hunted and driven from their natural habitat. It is estimated that there are now 2,500 domesticated and 1,500 wild elephants in Thailand, down from around 50,000 in 1950.Some of their owners bring them to Bangkok so they can afford to feed and care for the elephants, who are treated like family. Other owners are more mercenary, keeping the beasts in squalid conditions and renting them to the highest bidder for tourist rides.Pollution, traffic and noise make Bangkok inhospitable to elephants. Their presence is a source of controversy. Preservation and environmental organizations try

Aquarium Director Honored As Coastal Hero
The executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium is getting a special honor.Julie Packard is being named one of nine 2009 California Coastal Heroes by Sunset magazine and the California Coastal Commission.Packard and the other honorees will be profiled in the September issue of Sunset magazine and will receive their awards at the California Coastal Commission's 25th anniversary celebration in San Francisco on Sept. 17.The aquarium will celebrate its 25th anniversary Julie Packard Lauded For Work At Monterey Bay Aquarium

Zoo Won't Release Elephant Birth Video
Animal rights activists have urged a Salt Lake City zoo to release a video of an elephant giving birth, suggesting it shows cruel treatment.The video shows the elephant, Christy, chained by her front legs with two trainers standing nearby at the Hogle Zoo, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.Suzanne Roy, program director for In Defense of Animals, called chaining the elephant "cruel" and "barbaric.""If they think it's an acceptable practice, they should release the video and let people judge for themselves," Roy said.Holly Braithwaite, a zoo spokeswoman, said the video would be misconstrued on its own without a veterinarian explaining what was going on."The birth footage is internal video used for scientific review purposes," she said. "It's not something we chose to publicly release."The board of directors of the Hogle Zoo viewed the video Monday.Zoos have different policies on releasing

Zoo in bad condition
I CONCUR with S.M. Mohd Idris' view which appeared in The Star on Aug 25 that Zoo Negara should place more emphasis on the welfare of its animals. For years, complaints from disappointed visitors and outraged animal lovers have been met with the official response that once Zoo Negara receives funds, it would be able to upgrade its facilities and improve the living conditions of the animals.Years have passed but the animals are still living in a squalor. Very little effort has been made to truly educate visitors on the animals' natural history or on animal welfare and wildlife conservation issues.I am of the opinion that improving the quality of life of zoo animals need not be a costly exercise. The management of Zoo Negara could take basic steps such as the following:> All washable substrates should be cleaned and disinfected regularly and rotting food and animal waste must be removed from non-washable substrates as quickly as possible for health, safety and aesthetic purposes.> There should be proper drainage systems in the animal enclosures, and there should not be standing water

£100,000 expansion plans for village's zoo
A SMALL zoo is continuing with plans for expansion.Shaldon Wildlife Trust wants to extend its animal enclosure area and make the site more wheelchair-friendly.The plan is part of a wider vision to make the trust accessible to everyone.An application to build new animal houses, enclosures and pedestrian pathways will go before Teignbridge Council's planning committee on Tuesday.The proposal, which has been recommended for approval, is to extend the animal enclosure area and build new animal housing and pathways.The pathways will link the top of the existing zoo area to a new ramp and access point next to the entrance building for the zoo on Ness Drive, near the tunnel to Ness beach.Boardwalk pathways around the animal enclosure areas will have passing places every 10 metres and seating areas.The buildings in the enclosures

Zoo keepers nurse rare cormorant to health
A RARE chick has come out of quarantine after being nursed into the world by zoo keepers trying to save the endangered species.The bank cormorant at Living Coasts, the coastal zoo in Torquay, is the first of its kind to be hatched in the UK.Ten eggs were collected from nests on Robben Island, off the South African coast near Cape Town, better known as the former prison home of Nelson Mandela, as part of a conservation programme to establish a new species in a zoo environment.The bank cormorant is an endangered


Sumatran tiger killed in zoo, body taken away 
Thieves killed a female Sumatran tiger (phantera tigris Sumatrae) at the Taman Rimba Zoo here early on Saturday and took the animal`s body.Jambi police chief Adjunct Commissioner Posma Lubis said the thieves killed Shela, the tiger, and took away its body at around 3am leaving the animal`s intestines.The police were still investigating the case and searching those that had stolen the animal weighing 125 kilograms.He said five people had been questioned as witnesses including the head of the city`s animal hunsbandry service, Hanif Lubis, the head of the zoo, Adrianis and zoo keepers Widodo, M Nasir and Madikwan.Mudikwan was the first who knew about the theft. Mudikwan was about to enter into the cage to clean it when he saw blood, intestines and slices of meat in the cage.The rest of the body was gone, believably taken by the thieves 

Sumatran elephants on loan in Belgium 
The government has sent a pair of Sumatran elephants to Belgium to enliven the Indonesian Park in Parc Paradisio in the European country.Male elephant Valentino, 5 years old, and his partner Ani, 4, have become a center of attraction since their arrival on Aug. 17, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said. Indonesian Ambassador to Belgium Nadjib Riphat Kesoema received the elephants, which were resettled under a breeding loan program signed by the two countries.The elephants are a special gift for diplomatic ties between Belgium and Indonesia which have lasted 60 years. It's the first breeding loan program we have ever had in Europe," Nadjib said. The Indonesia Park, which occupies 6.2 hectares of land, 

Volunteers called in as zoo strike intensifies 
Volunteers have been called in to assist at the Pretoria National Zoo to ensure the animals are being properly cared for as National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) affiliated workers continued their strike over a wage dispute.Striking Pretoria Zoo workers threw rubbish at the entrance to the National Zoological Gardens as the Nehawu strike intensifies. Tshwane University of Technology Nature Conservation students are amongst volunteers assisting the zoo while the strike continues. Managing director of the Zoo, Clifford Nxomani, says they will take steps against striking workers who intimidate or endanger visitors. Zoo management has assured the public that despite the strike, all animals are being properly cared for. Visitors, including thousands 

Gorilla Returns To Pen After Escaping Enclosure At Denver Zoo 
The Primate Escaped To A Private AreaA gorilla returned to its enclosure after escaping it for a few minutes on Thursday afternoon at the Denver Zoo.A zookeeper spotted the primate in a private, behind-the-scenes area at the primate house, zoo officials said. Charlie, the 12-year-old gorilla, was spotted in the back of the outside enclosure area.The zookeeper opened the door to Charlie's 

Alipore zoo theft: Animal handler holds key, say cops Kolkata: 
Sleuths investigating the theft of eight common marmosets from the Alipore zoo earlier this month are convinced that a former handler was involved in the crime. Police are now in the process of zeroing in on the handler. "After the earlier attempt (in March), zoo employees rescued a marmoset that was left behind by the accused after being chased. Interestingly, the monkey remained calm even as the miscreant tried to smuggle it out. This behaviour indicated that the accused was an expert handler of monkeys," an officer said. On August 9, too, none of the eight marmosets that were stolen created a ruckus. This effectively confirms what police have been suspecting all alongthat an insider is involved in the racket. Meanwhile, chief secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti, home secretary Ardhendu Sen and city police chief Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti visited the zoo on Thursday morning and took stock of the security mechanism there. They also announced an award of Rs 50,000 for providing information on the stolen monkeys. The city police have informed Interpol about the thefts through CBI as they suspect the animals could be smuggled 

Councilor backs local govt to maintain komodo dragons 
The local legislative assembly has thrown its weight behind a call for the forestry ministry to reconsider a plan to relocate 10 komodo dragons from their habitat to a Bali safari park for genetic purification."The genetic purification should constantly be conducted in Komodo Island which serves as the habitat of the prehistoric animal species. I fear the komodo dragons will not breed in other location than their habitat," Chief of East Nusa Tenggara Legislative Assembly (DPRD) Melkianus Adoe said here on Thursday.He was responding to the local government`s stance to constantly coordinate with the forestry minister to have the plan reconsidered. It was for the forestry minister to handle all problems related to komodo dragons. But it would be better if there was coordination among provincial governments through the internal minister, Adoe said.He said the presence of komodo dragons in East Nusa Tenggara also had a significant impact on the local tourism. Hence, it would be better if they were not moved to the safari park in Bali."I hope the process of selecting and appointing the Komodo national park as one of New Seven Wonders of Nature will soon materialize. I think we need 

London's former mayor to wed at the zoo 
Are wildlife-influenced nuptials a new wedding planning trend in the UK? Earlier this month, Monkey World in Dorset announced it would let people tie the knot near its chimpanzee enclosure.And now London's former mayor, Ken Livingstone, has revealed he will be saying his vows at the London Zoo.He and long-time love Emma Beal have chosen a location near the Mappin Pavillion, which houses wallabies and emus.Livingston told the London Evening Standard he chose the zoo because it would help entertain his five children who might otherwise get restless during the ceremony."A wedding can be quite boring for young kids," he said. "But they can go and look at the animals. I know the place - I just 

Lowry Park Zoo, Salisbury reach settlement 
A city audit late last year found that Lowry Park Zoo's former president took more than $200,000 in animals and supplies to help start his private exotic-animal park.Today, the zoo announced a legal settlement that calls for its former chief executive, Lex Salisbury, to pay the zoo about $2,200. Salisbury will return all zoo property and barns still on his property.The agreement marks the end of the zoo's ties to its former leader who lured big-name donors, powerful allies and is widely credited with transforming one of the nation's worst facilities to one of the best."I think it's fair," said Bob Rasmussen 

Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo and former president Lex Salisbury negotiate a financial settlement 
The Lowry Park Zoo and its former president Lex Salisbury officially cut ties Friday, resolving the outstanding financial claims laid out in a city of Tampa audit that concluded Salisbury used zoo animals, materials and employees for his personal enrichment.In the December audit, Salisbury's tab exceeded $200,000. But after this final agreement, Salisbury will have to pay only $2,212.Why the steep difference?Salisbury had his own claims, too.In December, after the St. Petersburg Times investigated transfers of assets Salisbury made between 

A local nature reserve is one of three charities calling for action to prevent the world's rarest duck from becoming extinct.There are thought to be just 19 Madagascar pochards left in the world, living on a small remote lake on the island, and only six of those are female.The lake was visited last month by staff from Slimbridge's Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (Durrell) and The Peregrine Fund. The charities planned to set up a breeding programme for the ducks, but were alarmed to find dwindling numbers because none of the 11 birds born last year had survived.They are now trying to take emergency action before the species dies out.Nigel Jarrett, WWT's aviculture manager was one of the staff who made the trip. He said: "With possibly only six females, the total population of Madagascar pochard might well number just six pairs, and with no successful fledglings from the 2008 season the need to establish 

Passing Perceptions 
An interseting take on zoo photography 

Keepers patrol shops to save animals 
People power has forced Cadbury to take palm oil out of its chocolate - but campaigners say that's just a start. Environment reporter Eloise Gibson gets some advice from Auckland Zoo.Zookeepers have taken to trawling the aisles of supermarkets, writing down ingredients in a bid to save the animals they look after.Auckland Zoo staff believe that, without intervention, creatures such as the Sumatran tiger will be gone in the wild within 12 years.Their "orang-utan-friendly shopping list" is to help save the rainforest where tigers, orang-utans and small-clawed otters like those found at the zoo live.After a customer outcry caused Cadbury to pull palm oil from its products this week, they hope public pressure will trim it from breakfast cereals, baby wipes, pet 

Company fingered for killed animals 
A private security company tasked with safeguarding East London Zoo's inmates might have to pay for animals killed under its watch, the Daily Dispatch said on Friday.This follows incidents when the zoo lost animals, valued at R82 500, on four occasions between October 2008 and May 2009.A report tabled to the Buffalo City municipality's mayoral committee on Thursday recommends that the security company be held responsible.In October 2008 stray dogs managed to get into the zoo and killed three Blue Duikers and three 

Owner reaches agreement over three elephants 
He can keep 1, but must give up 2 others Willie Davenport will keep Boo — a 9,000-pound elephant who has performed in circuses with his family since the 1960s — but he had to relinquish two other elephants to end his fight Thursday with federal authorities over permitting and care of the gentle giants."I am sad. This is not just my loss, but East Texas is losing their elephants. They have touched a lot of people," said Davenport, who was surrounded by 70 neighbors who came to show support when authorities arrived to collect the two elephants. Davenport lives in a trailer 50 feet from a pasture and barn where the elephants romp in Leggett, a town of 500 off Highway 59 north of Houston. Under an agreement with federal officials, Davenport, 24, will pay a $3,000 fine in exchange for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife dropping complaints against him for failing to have proper purchasing permits for his Asian elephants, Jewel and Tina. The U.S. government requires such permits because elephants are at risk of extinction worldwide and can no longer be imported from India like Boo was 40 years ago.Davenport said he purchased Jewel and Tina for $150,000 from a retiring elephant trainer in Florida three years ago. While he had obtained a United States Department of Agriculture exhibitor's license and state permit, Davenport said he was unaware he needed the $40 purchasing permit.In addition, USDA inspectors had filed documents to seize Jewel because of "chronic weight loss" and inadequate veterinary care.Davenport denies any improper treatment of his elephants, saying he fed 

Zoogate: CZA top boss arrives in city 
Central Zoo Authority (CZA) member secretary B R Sharma is expected to visit the Maharajbagh zoo on Saturday to investigate the entry of Maharashtra agriculture minister Balasaheb Thorat into the tiger cage last week.Sharma is also expected to meet state's principal chief conservator of forests for wildlife A K Joshi. Sharma told TOI that the report sent by Maharajbagh zoo controller had reached his office, but denied he had rejected it. "I'm expected in Nagpur on Saturday but everything will depend on the weather in Delhi, which is right now unfriendly. If weather improves I will visit Nagpur or I will come next week." The TOI on Thursday had reported that the zoo officials and police had given a clean chit to Thorat for entering into the cage of tiger on August 15. The zoo officials have played safe by citing agriculture university rules to protect Thorat. Sharma's visit seems to be the result of Jairam Ramesh, minister of environment and forest, taking serious note of the incident and asking the CZA to submit a report. If found guilty, Thorat faces six months jail term or fine of Rs 2000 or both. He was filmed last week stroking a tiger cub in the zoo as his armed security guards and the 

Activists miffed by Maharajbagh Zoo authorities' report 
The nature-lovers and animal rights' activists of Nagpur took a strong exception over the report of Maharajbagh Zoo authorities and the city police that gave a clean chit to the Maharashtra Agriculture minister Balasaheb Thorat for the entry of the enclosure of tiger in the zoo on August 15.The minister, along with the city Congress president Jaiprakash Gupta, entered into the tiger cage and allegedly teased and patted an eight-month old tiger cub that was brought from Chandrapur forests when its mother had abandoned the cub.Responding to an explanation, sought by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), the Maharajbagh Zoo authorities defended the minister for his act, saying that he (the minister) has every right to enter the zoo as he is also the pro vice-chancellor of the Punjabrao Agriculture University which runs the zoo. The Maharajbagh Zoo authority sent its clarification on Friday.Kishore Rithe, president of Satpuda Foundation, an NGO that works for the conservation and protection of the big cats in the region, strongly condemned the Maharajbagh Zoo authorities for its attempt to protect the minister. The acts of the minister and his associates were purely against the Wildlife Protection Act and they should 

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm baby tiger dies 
The baby tiger born at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm in Wraxall has died.Anthony Bush, the owner of the zoo, said he was very sad to announce the death of their baby tiger, Tumkur.It comes soon after the tiger cub's mother Tira also died.Mr Bush said three keepers had worked around the clock to try to save the cub, after its mother, who was dying of an incurable cat disease Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), abandoned it soon after giving birth on July 29.But the baby Bengal tiger died at 4am this morning.He said: "The chances of its survival were always very small, but with the sort of dedication shown by only the best zoo keepers they decided to do what they could."There were many ups and downs of concern during the three short weeks of little Tumkur's life, when medical aid was provided several times in the night."He seemed to be 


Dallas Zoo turned over to private zoological society
The Dallas City Council voted unanimously this morning to hand the Dallas Zoo's management, employees and animals over to the Dallas Zoological Society.The privatization of the zoo will take effect OCt. 1 and is expected to save the city some $1.5 million this year and tens of millions in coming years. According to backers of the plan, the privatization will also open the door for increased donations to the southern Dallas attraction.Council members Dave Neumann and Angela Hunt voiced some concern about the speed with which the city pushed the plan forward.They also sought information about the city's continued oversight of the zoo and the public's access to zoo records, particularly as they relate to animal welfare.Overall, though, the council agreed

New shoes help treat zoo elephant
A four-tonne elephant from Devon has been given a new set of hand-made shoes to ease the pain in her feet.Gay, an Asian Elephant who lives at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, suffered from foot abscesses and needed the shoes for protection. Gay's keepers had to draw around each foot to provide a pattern for the Australian company to work from when designing and making the shoes. Each of the boots cost £250 and

Central Zoo Authority asks zoos to step up security
The Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA) asked zoos across the country to heighten security in the wake of the theft of eight rare Brazilian monkeys from the Alipore Zoological Garden here on August 8."We have issued a circular to all zoos in the country to beef up security and submit a report after reviewing security measures," Dr. B. K. Gupta, Evaluation and Monitoring officer of the CZA told The Hindu over telephone from New Delhi on Wednesday.There have been security lapses

Lion Man: I'll Quit NZ
"Lion Man" Craig Busch will consider quitting New Zealand if he fails to regain control of Zion Wildlife Gardens. Busch star of the worldwide TV sensation, The Lion Man is battling his mother Patricia for the Northland big cats park.Asked if he would move overseas if he lost the dispute, Busch, who has a global following (the show is screened in more than 100 countries), said: "You can never say never, but hopefully, it won't come to that".He was "overwhelmed" by the support he had received from fans around the world as he continued his legal wrangle.More than 20,000 people have signed up to his Facebook page (NZ Lion Man Craig Busch). Fans have organised fundraising fairs and sponsored walks.Busch said he was desperately missing his "family" Zion's lions and tigers which he had raised from cubs."It is hard to put into words how I feel but I miss them every day. They are my family part of me. Not only do I believe I am essential to their wellbeing, they are equally essential to mine," he said. "These cats are both my life's work and my life."Patricia Busch moved into Zion in July, 2006. She raised a loan to repay Craig's company and personal debt, and in return was given power of attorney and sole

Nursery for the endangered: Audubon Society offers prime habitat for vulnerable fish
"We have razorback suckers using our pond right now," said an excited Bob Wilson, president of the local Grand Valley Audubon Society. So, why is a bird guy so interested in endangered fish? It's because part of the property the Audubon Society controls is prime habitat for endangered fish. It's located along the Colorado River adjacent to the Connected Lakes section of the James M. Robb Colorado River State Park and in 2004, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife

The photographers were ready, the stage was set, but the model had a case of nerves. Chulo, a senior grey fox, would not be bribed, coaxed or cajoled onto the black cloth at the end of his pen.Photographers Joel D. Sartore and Malora L.C. Rogers waited patiently for several minutes as Chulo dawdled in the corner, eyeing the lights, the tripods and the mysterious visitors with suspicion. After snatching up a few nearby treats, he seemed to make up his mind. Like a finicky star, he went back to his greenroom: a wooden box filled with straw in an off-exhibit pen at the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park.The shoot was a bust.Fortunately, not all the day's models were so sensitive; this was a one-day affair. Mr. Sartore, Lincoln, Neb., is a contributing photographer for National Geographic, and Malora, Norwood, Mass., a 16-year-old wildlife-photographer-in-training. She was getting a lesson Thursday from one of the pros thanks to the

With the Backing of the USDA, One Lady Seeks to Remove One Man's Elephant that he's Loved and Owned for Over 25 Years.Willie Davenport, an animal exhibitor, has 3 female elephants: Boo (52 yrs. old), Jewel (45 yrs. old), and Tina (42 yrs. old). The problem Davenport is having is with Jewel and a lady named Denise Sofranko. Sofranko wants to take Jewel away from Davenport and put her in an "elephant sanctuary". Davenport is a 3rd generation animal exhibitor. "Denise Sofranko drove my dad out of business in 1997 and now she's coming for me... It's personal", Davenport told "Elephants at her sanctuary die frequently" he says. "The last one that died just a couple of weeks ago laid on its side immobile for 3 weeks until if slowly and painfully passed away". According to Davenport, Sofranco's elephant sanctuary is in Tennessee and Sofranco has the backing of the United States Department of Agriculture. So why is Sofranco so bent on getting Jewel whose

Zoo Escape game -- Just for fun
With everything else Single Moms have to do, sometimes taking a minute out of your day for a laugh can be just what the doctor ordered. Zoo Escape is a fun game you can play with your kids. The object of the game is to get Milton the Penguin out of the zoo without being seen.Zoo Escape is another game

The Zoo closes
Cathy Larimer felt like crying when she saw the sign: "Come say goodbye to the Zoo."Larimer and her daughter were among the dozens of visitors who braved the rain to visit The Zoo Northwest Florida on Sunday, a day that could be its swan song.The financially troubled facility is closed and will shut its doors to the public permanently unless Santa Rosa and Escambia counties give $125,000 each by Friday.
"I hope someone gives them the money, because this is a wonderful place," said Larimer, gazing at a nearby albino peacock. "Just driving here and seeing that sign made me want to cry. It will be a shame if the zoo closes forever."It was a sentiment echoed by visitors and staff alike.Terry Whitman, director of operations and maintenance, started at the zoo 25 years ago as a volunteer. On Sunday, he was busy with preparations for Tropical Storm Claudette, even as visitors strolled through the animal exhibits. "Today is a sad day for all of us," said Whitman, watching as staffers moved several parrot cages indoors. "We're hoping this is a temporary closing and that the public will make their protests heard."Although about half of the zoo's 38 employees will be laid off during the closure, he said the zoo's primary concern was the safety of its inhabitants."No matter what happens, we will take care of these animals," Whitman. "They

Clarke shares zoo stories
Former director signs copies of his book, 'Hey Mister - Your Alligator's Loose!'From a gorilla for an office secretary to a bikini-clad patron in the rain forest, former Topeka Zoo director Gary Clarke has a lot of stories to share.That's probably why his new book is more than 400 pages long. The thick hardcover book is full of photographs and written descriptions of all Clarke experienced in his 26 years at the zoo, such as the story the title comes from, "Hey, Mister - Your Alligator's Loose!""I was just fascinated by all of his experiences, like when the alligator got lose on the plane," said B. Jean Taylor, who attended a reading and book-signing by Clarke on Sunday at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. "He's just such a personable man, and he was always willing to share a story."Clarke personally accounted dozens of tales included in the book for the more than 100 people who attended Sunday's event. The crowd laughed, sang and whooped along with Clarke as he reminisced about a somersaulting giraffe or a dignified elephant named Casey.And did you hear the one about the rock star koala on loan from the San Diego Zoo?"A rock star may request eight pizzas and a six pack after a show, but there are a lot of pizza parlors around. We had to provide fresh cut eucalyptus leaves flown in twice a week from San Diego," Clarke told the library patrons. "It never occurred to me to tell San Diego we didn't have the wherewithal to house the koala. After all, we were the World Famous Topeka Zoo."Clarke's book, which retails for $29.95, can be purchased at the library or at Lloyd Zimmer's Books and Maps, 117 S.W. 6th. For those who missed Clarke's reading and signing at the library, a second will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at Zimmer's shop.Be warned, though. For all the stories he shares, Clark doesn't give away all the endings

Minister enters tiger cage in zoo
Guardian minister of Nagpur district Balasaheb Thorat on Saturday entered the cage where three tiger cubs are kept. He, accompanied by local Congress leaders and actively encouraged by zoo officials, petted a cub in full view of media and other visitors. This is in complete violation of Central Zoo Authority (CZA) rules and endangers the life of wild animals by causing them trauma and increasing risk of infection. Only authorised and trained personnel can enter the cages under controlled conditions. Section 38J of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, states that no person shall tease or cause disturbance to the animals in a zoo. Conservationists say minister's act amounts to teasing. Talking to TOI, Thorat denied teasing the cubs. "I went to the zoo with the good intention to see how it could be developed. I am being falsely implicated." However, this was not the only violation that Maharajbagh zoo officials have allowed. In the last fortnight, a string of VIP visitors have been allowed to get close to animals, particularly tiger cubs. Nagpur West MLA Devendra Fadnavis even fed the cubs milk from a bottle. Before that, NIT chairman Sanjay Mukherjee and city police chief Pravin Dixit were allowed to cross the security perimeter and go close to the cage, a dangerous act for animals as well as visitors. Thorat, who was in the city for Independence Day function on Saturday, came to the zoo at about 1 pm on Saturday and spent about 25 minutes. He was accompanied by city Congress chief Jaiprakash Gupta, associate dean of agriculture college & zoo controller M M Damke, officer-incharge of the zoo Dr S S Bawaskar and 15 others.

Zoogate: PDKV, police clean chit to Thorat
Expectedly, the Maharajbagh Zoo authorities on Wednesday gave a clean chit to agriculture minister Balasaheb Thorat who had entered the cage of tigers. Sitabuldi police also prima facie found no violation by the minister. In his reply to Central Zoo Authority, zoo controller MM Damke said that as per Section 4 of Maharashtra Agriculture Rules 1983, Thorat is pro-chancellor

Mercedes appeal has crate expectations
THE PUBLIC Appeal to build a new enclosure for Mercedes the polar bear at the Highland Wildlife Park is continuing, with £27,000 still to find.The appeal, launched by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) in June, is two thirds of the way towards finding the £75,000 required. There has been fantastic public support, with the highest individual donation being £10,000, and work has already begun on her enclosure.Zoe Mobey, donor development manager for RZSS, said: "I'd like to thank the public for all their support so far."Meanwhile, Mercedes has also been preparing for her journey to the Highland Wildlife Park. Her transport crate was placed in front of her enclosure a couple of months ago and, since then, keepers have been working with her every day to ensure the move goes as smoothly as possible.Alison Maclean, head keeper

EDITORIAL Plight of the jumbos
The various projects to help the elephants of Bangkok have finally begun to take shape. Thanks to public donations, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has been able to purchase a 30-year-old, partially blind animal. Instead of begging for food in the dangerous capital city, Pang Bua Kham will get a home at the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang. The rescue of this elephant is a heart-warming story, and a project that

White rhinoceros dies in HCMC zoo
The 38-month-old female rhinoceros, also known as a square-lipped rhinoceros, died of Anaplasma ovis, a disease caused by a parasitic bacterium of ruminants that affects white blood cells. The female was brought to HCMC in December 2007 along with

One giant step for jumbo: Amputee elephant Motola is fitted with state-of-the-art artificial leg (Peter's Note: Interesting Photos)
One small step for Motola the elephant, a giant leap for the world's injured animals. Motola lost her foot and most of her left leg when she walked over a landmine ten years ago. But yesterday, she stepped out happily - if a little tentatively - after being fitted with a state-of-the-art artificial limb.

Gorillas at the Columbus Zoo
The Gorillas have one of the most personal exhibits at the zoo. Placards with each gorilla's name and photo will keep older kids guessing on who is who. This exhibit has both an outdoor and indoor environment, so if viewing is crowded outside, just keep walking to see the gorilla's behind glass inside. Try to find the first gorilla born in captivity, and also the oldest gorilla in captivity.The gorillas are a great opportunity to talk to kids about how animals care for their young just as people do, noting the similarities between gorilla relationships and our own. These ties help connect kids to animals and understand that animals need love and attention just like we do.There are many exhibits that are worth a glance and quick run-through, but the gorilla area is one that will keep you lingering. Try to stop by around 11:30 or 2:00, when zookeepers will be interacting with the gorillas. If you can't visit around this time, corner

Cadbury sweet with Auckland Zoo
Cadbury is sweet with the Auckland Zoo again.The zoo says it is delighted at Cadbury New Zealand's decision to remove palm oil from its dairy milk chocolate range, and commends the company for listening to its customers.The firm started using palm oil recently as part of a cost-cutting exercise which also saw the 150g and 250g bars shed about 20 per cent of their weight.But it obviously didn't expect such a public outcry.Environmentalists called for a boycott over concerns palm oil production damaged rainforests. Auckland Zoo pulled Cadbury's products from its shelves because diminishing rainforests threatened orang-utans and Green MP Sue Kedgley urged shoppers to send a message through their selection.Cadbury New Zealand managing director Matthew Oldham said the decision to bring back the old

Zoo society members resign
Roughly 20 people were laid off last week when Animal Park, Inc., took back control over The ZOO Northwest Florida. Executive director Danyelle Lantz, who is employed under the Gulf Coast Zoological Society, resigned, later requesting API pay her for training purposes during the week the zoo would be closed, which was not honored. "We're going to close the zoo for this week and just keep the necessary people here to feed and take care of the animals," said Pat Quinn, co-founder of API. "Our first priority now is the animals." That decision saves API about $80,000 a month in payroll. "They never asked us to take a pay cut," said Terry Whitman, building director at The ZOO. Whitman had been working at the zoo since it began 25 years ago. "And I would have (taken a pay cut), too, if they had asked. I could have easily gone and taken a job elsewhere, but this is where we live. I love this community and I love

Vulture missing from Settle is found in Brighton
A VULTURE named Dumb that went missing from a Settle falconry centre more than two weeks ago has been found on the south coast of England. The bird was located in Brighton on Monday after being blown off course during a display at the Yorkshire Dales Falconry and Conservation Centre on July 18. Dumb was found resting in a tree being harassed by the local seagulls – local accounts on previous days imply a similar treatment by crows. He was tempted from his perch after five hours by falconers from Huxley's Birds of Prey Centre, who waited patiently after offering him dead chicks. "It's the most incredible

The Zoo executive director resigns
Danielle Lantz, executive director of The Zoo Northwest Florida, has resigned.She announced her decision in an e-mail dated Friday, according to Joanne Curtin, a member of the Gulf Coast Zoological Society.The e-mail said "after today" Lantz would not be associated with the zoo "in any capacity," Curtin said.No consideration will be given to replacing Lantz until the zoological society and others who serve as administrators at the not-for-profit business learn Wednesday whether public funds will be spent to keep The Zoo alive, Curtin said.The Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Council is scheduled to decide whether to contribute $125,000 to The Zoo and if it does vote to do so the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners will vote Thursday on whether it will match the TDC funding.Jay Gould, another Zoological Society member, was not optimistic the funding would come through

Science Center plans to breed maned wolves
Nena and Luna, the leggy, auburn-haired beauties of the Natural Science Center, are leaving town.The sisters — a pair of female maned wolves — have been a popular attraction since their arrival at the center a year and a half ago. But Eury, the anteater that lives with them, won't be alone for long. A new pair of maned wolves will be on exhibit sometime this fall. Their names aren't yet known, but it's hoped they will like each other enough to mate.Nena and Luna will return to their birthplace, the Smithsonian's Conservation Research Center in Front Royal, Va. Their time at the Natural Science Center showed that the AZA accredited institution could successfully house maned wolves. The Association of Zoos & Aquarium's

Woman suing Brookfield Zoo after fall at dolphin exhibit
You'd expect this sort of business from monkeys.But shouldn't dolphins know better?A Chicago woman is suing Brookfield Zoo, claiming -- among other things -- that bottle-nosed dolphins there deliberately splashed water on her during a visit to the zoo in August 2008.In a suit filed this week in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Allecyn Edwards, claims she slipped and injured herself, blaming zoo keepers who "recklessly and willfully trained and encouraged the dolphins to throw water at the spectators in the stands, making the floor wet and slippery."Edwards is seeking in excess of $50,000 for her injuries. Edwards did not return calls, and when her husband answered the door to the couple's home Wednesday, he told a reporter to call his wife's lawyer. The attorney, Edward G. Proctor Jr., did not return repeated calls to his Chicago office Wednesday."I cannot really comment because litigation is pending," said Sondra Katzen, a Brookfied Zoo spokesman.The suit claims the zoo also failed to provide: warnings,brookfield-zoo-lawsuit-dolphin-081909.article

Doors close permanently at ZOO
Sadly, even a packed conference room of teary-eyed supporters couldn't sway the members of the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Council, which voted unanimously to not fund The ZOO Northwest Florida the $125,000 it needed to maintain operations through the winter. Instead, TDC member Jack Sanborn made a motion to support the zoo when "someone of leadership" shows the board a plan. "I think that's what we need to see here," said Ira Mae Bruce, TDC member. "There needs to a plan and I don't even know who's in charge anymore."Bruce referred to the for-profit organization, Animal Park Incorporated's takeover of the zoo last Friday, from non-profit Gulf Coast Zoological Society. ZOO founder Pat Quinn addressed the board with his concern about there not being any leadership in the government aspect of the community – one reason there might not be much community support. "The people are looking for sustainability, and how can the zoo sustain itself without government and county support," he said. "TDCs all over the country help fund their zoological parks." Even though the TDC can statutorily fund zoological parks, Santa Rosa County Commissioner Gordin Goodin still expressed concern over the TDC setting a possible precedent with its funding The ZOO. "I think you're going to open yourself up to a lot of requests for

Vandals try to release animals in Wis. zoo
Vandals tried to release the animals at the Irvine Park Zoo in Chippewa Falls by cutting locks and prying open fences, prompting officials to close the park to vehicle traffic on Wednesday. Chippewa Falls Parks and Recreation Director William Faherty says the overnight release of the animals was intentional. As of Wednesday afternoon, most of them were back in the enclosures. A porcupine and two other,0,6145561.story

Baby elephant makes his debut
A zoo has officially presented its first elephant calf born after artificial insemination.The so-far unnamed male calf was born at Twycross Zoo, Leicestershire, on August 6 but raised concerns when he became ill last week. Today the zoo said its new addition was back to normal and back to feeding mainly from his mother Noorjahan.Standing just over a metre tall, the calf weighs just over 100kg (nearly

$85.88 million bump
Here's the take-home message on the economic impact of the Henry Doorly Zoo:When the community comes together to make something great, the economy benefits, said Eric Thompson, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln economics professor.Thompson is the author of a study on the zoo's economic impact in Omaha, which he said was $85.88 million in 2008.He attributed much of that to the zoo's unique attractions."This is a lesson in life in general," Thompson said. "Do

U.K. Zoo Explores Vertical Farming for a New Angle on Animal Feed
A zoo in the United Kingdom has come up with a novel approach to locally sourcing some of its food for animals and dealing with the challenge of limited space: vertical farming. The Paignton Zoo in South Devon, working with Valcent Products (Eu) Limited and its VertiCrop farming system, has just finished planting its first crop of lettuce. According to Valcent, the Paignton VertiCrop project is capable of producing 11,000 heads of lettuce every four weeks or so. The idea is to plant the greens so that the zoo can harvest fresh vegetables daily for the animals that eat them. Eventually the farm will have vertical plots of red chard, mizuna, mixed leaves, various herbs, edible flowers, wheat grass and barley. The grow area at the zoo sits in a specially

Zookeeper Richard Barnes has a wildly exciting career
Richard Barnes enjoys nothing more than stopping for a chat with his favourite cats and giving them a pat and a friendly scratch on their tummies.But these aren't ordinary household tabbies he gets close to, but lions and tigers at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent, where Richard is the head of large carnivores."I'm quite loud and like to talk," he says, "and it's a good thing to do around carnivores because it means they are used to my voice and I never surprise them or creep up on them."They are very affectionate and, like all cats, love a good scratch. I'm never afraid of them, you aren't in danger as long as you treat them with respect

Brazil's military offers flight for stranded penguins
Penguins stranded on beaches in Rio de Janeiro will be flown to Antarctica, a Brazilian military official said Monday.The flightless birds trek between continents by riding ice floes that melt near Brazil's shores.In previous winters, the birds were rescued by biologists and sent to zoos.This time, more than 100 birds will be able to hitch a ride to Brazil's most southerly region when Brazil's air force flies equipment to an Antarctic naval base next month, a spokesman for the force said.The navy will then take the birds closer to their home in the Antarctic.Scientists who've banded thousands of penguins and attached satellite transmitters to others have found more birds tend to die during cold-water years.For example, Argentine penguins follow their sardine, anchovy

Tasmanian devils face new peril: inbreeding
RESEARCH shows the devil facial tumour disease decimating the Tasmanian devil is causing the species to become inbred, potentially hastening its extinction.Genetics researcher Shelly Lachish yesterday told The Australian genetic testing of samples from devils taken before DFTD broke out and compared with testing after DFTD took hold showed increased inbreeding. There has been an estimated 70 per cent decline in the numbers of the carnivorous marsupial since DFTD was first noticed in 1996; the disease wipes out 95 per cent of affected populations. "We did pre (DFTD) and post (DFTD) tests and basically there were elevated levels of a measure of inbreeding. In addition, we also found a trend towards increased,25197,25954890-30417,00.html

Tiny red panda has big role in genetic pool
Like any newborn, Sha-lei's days are punctuated by feedings and naps.She snuggles with a blue fleece blanket and a brown stuffed monkey.But unlike human babies, Sha-lei is a critical link to preserving her species--the red panda-- which has an estimated population of 2,500 to 3,000 left in the wild.She's important because her parents are from a zoo in Japan, said Sandy Helliker, an animal technologist and registrar at the Edmonton Valley Zoo."They add genetic diversity to the breeding program, so they can be bred to almost any other animal

Kenya loses 100 lions every year
Kenya's lion population has been dropping by an average 100 lions each year since 2002, the Kenya Wildlife Service announced on Monday, warning that the big cats could be extinct in the next two decades.Cattle herders who kill the lions in retaliation for attacks on their stock have been blamed for much of the decline, the organisation's spokesman Paul Udoto told reporters.Habitat destruction, disease and the

Zoo animals escape the ban
Will animals in Lucknow Zoological Gardens have to go hungry because of the order banning slaughter and sale of meat in the state? Authorities at the Lucknow zoo claim animals can breathe easy. "...The apex court order is not applicable to them. It is for humans," said Dr Utkarsh Shukla, chief veterinary officer. The zoo has a long list of animals who survive only on flesh. Figures show that the zoo has a daily consumption of more than 100 kg of meat and about 50-60 kg of fish. Notably, tigers and lions need a lot of meat. A single carnivore eats at least 10-15 kg of raw mutton every day. All aquatic birds live on fish. Dr Shukla assured that animals will be saved from the crisis. "The meat and fish is supplied to

Giant Iron man plan for Chester Zoo
AN IRON man twice the height of the Angel of the North could soon welcome visitors to Chester.Land near Chester Zoo has been earmarked by bosses at Chester City Management who describe the location as the "ideal" site.If erected the structure will give motorists approaching the city on the M53 and M56 motorways grandstand views of its towering height.Inventor Ed Whalley had originally intended to erect the 39 ton giant at his children's adventure attraction, the Crocky Trail in Guy Lane, Waverton.But he was refused permission by planners at the council, then Chester City Council and the giant was left lying in a field on its stomach.Chester City Management and Mr Whalley have been looking for a new home for the 130ft tall creation ever since.The prospective spot is in a field close to Fox Covert Lane between junctions 11 and 12 of the M53.Chester City Management's chairman

Growing Coral at Zoo
Michael Henley is trying to grow coral, hoping to replace coral that has been destroyed. "Coral is the best animal in the world," said Henley, who works at the National Zoo. Henley works with elkhorn coral, a hard, antlerlike coral covered with thousands of living polyps. Once a year, just after the first full moon in August, elkhorn corals release bundles of sperm and eggs into the ocean at the same time. "You can set your watch by it," Henley said. Henley goes to Puerto Rico every year to capture thousands of larvae. Last year, one of Henley's larvae made it to the growing-polyp stage


Mother's pride: First lion cubs born at London Zoo in 10 years make their debut
Two rare lion cubs who were born at London Zoo took their first steps in their new enclosure today, as their mother looked on with pride.The 10-week-old un-named cats are the son and daughter of Lucifer, six, and Abi, 10, who was the last Asian lion to be born at the zoo.Malcolm Fitzpatrick, curator of mammals at ZSL London Zoo, said the little lions have already started to form their own personalities

Conservation programme launched for 70 critically endangered species
The Central Zoo Authority has initiated a coordinated conservation breeding programme for 70 critically endangered species in Indian zoos, an official statement Saturday said.
"The Central Zoo Authority has initiated a planned coordinated conservation breeding programme for critically endangered species in Indian zoos. Around 70 such wild animal species have been taken up under the programme," a statement of the

First bees, now bats are disappearing. What's next?
Look at these two pictures. Both are endangered species. But one looks cute and cuddly, and one – doesn't.So, naturally, The U.S. Department of Interior is focusing on the polar bear.Don't get me wrong, I like polar bears as much as the next guy. I don't want to see them go extinct. Their extinction will mean a significant change of lifestyle for several northern peoples. But, thanks to Global Warming, it is likely that – except for zoos – polar bears are going to go the way of the dodo.But polar bears don't directly impact our environment. Bats do. And the bat extinction that appears imminent is not getting anywhere near the attention, or research dollars, that it needs.Last year, it was reported that bats in the Northeast were dropping like flies due to a mysterious illness known as "white-nose syndrome." If you were one of the millions who put their heads under the covers and hoped problems like this would go away, this is your wake-up call: It did not go away, it has spread.Over the past year, white-nose syndrome has spread to New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia, killing hundreds of thousands of bats. Kentucky, Tennessee and Northern Alabama hold some of the largest colonies of hibernating bats in the world. If/when the disease spreads

Polar bear project moves forward
Plans to move the only polar bear in a UK zoo to a new home in the Highlands could be completed by the autumn.Mercedes has been at Edinburgh Zoo since 1984 after being rescued from Canada where she was due to be shot. In June, a campaign was launched to raise £75,000 to create a new enclosure for her at the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig. The appeal has so far raised £48,000, including an individual donation of £10,000. Mercedes has been preparing for her move to the Highlands by familiarising herself with a new transport crate that will be used to take her on the journey. Since the crate was placed at her enclosure a couple of months ago, keepers have been working to make her feel comfortable in it. 'Positive reinforcement'Alison Maclean, head keeper of carnivores at the zoo, said: "It is quite risky to sedate a large mammal so we have been training Mercedes to walk into the transport crate. "We've been doing this using positive

Zoo, forest dept in line of fire
The theft of the eight Common Marmosets from Alipore zoo has caused much flurry in Delhi too. While the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), which is the umbrella body that sets guidelines for zoos in the country, has shot off a grim letter to the state forest department and the Alipore zoo authorities, seeking an explanation, wildlife activists have decided to inquire into the "woeful" incident on their own. In the letter, CZA has demanded separate explanations from the state and the Alipore zoo authorities about the "reported theft" of the marmosets. The letter also mentions a deadline, within which time both the state and

Zoo director suspended over theft of monkeys
The countrywide furore over the theft of eight rare Brazilian monkeys from Alipore zoo led to the suspension of its director, S K Chaudhuri, on Monday. Two security guards have been arrested and the state government and the zoo authorities showcaused by the Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA). The detective department took over the case on Monday even as CZA sent the government a notice saying it was "certain of an insider hand". After preliminary investigation, police believe the gang had negotiated with a buyer before carrying out the theft. "It is much easier for the thieves to have a specific buyer rather than go around carrying the animals

Zoo turns to TDC for funds, lest it close
A decision to close The Zoo Northwest Florida could be made in coming weeks if the Santa Rosa Tourist Development Council does not decide to contribute funding to the struggling facility.Representatives from The Zoo attended Monday's Santa Rosa County Commission meeting in hopes the board would approve a $125,000 contribution to the facility, which has struggled financially for years. The contribution would have matched the amount the board appropriated to The Zoo last year.Instead, commissioners decided against continuing its support for The Zoo and as an alternative voted to recommend the Santa Rosa Tourist

Newborn elephant suffers setback
A baby elephant, whose mother was the first elephant to conceive via artificial insemination at Twycross Zoo, has suffered a setback.A press conference to show off the elephant, who was born on Thursday at the Leicestershire zoo, has been cancelled as he has become unwell. The 100kg (220lb) elephant is being closely supervised by vets but is not thought to be in a serious condition. Staff have said he just needs more time alone with mother Noorjahan. Noorjahan was inseminated from a bull elephant based at Whipsnade Wildlife Park in Bedfordshire. The procedure was carried out artificially as moving elephants between zoos for mating can

Mayoral Candidate Mary Falling Wants Creationism Exhibit
A mayoral candidate has resurrected a controversy over Creationism at the Tulsa Zoo. A push to exhibit the Christian story of creation at the Tulsa Zoo failed four years ago. Republican candidate for Tulsa mayor, Anna Falling, is bringing the issue front and center.It's the same exhibit and the same arguments, but now it is given from the bully pulpit of a candidate running for mayor."Some may ask why this issue during a Mayoral campaign? And I say why not?" said candidate Anna Falling.For Anna Falling, the road to city hall runs through the Tulsa Zoo. She's made her Christianity central to her platform and now the exhibit depicting the Christian story of Creationism is her first campaign promise."Today we are announcing that God will be glorified in this city. He shall not be shunned. Upon our election, we hereby commit to honoring Him in all ways that He has been dishonored," said Anna Falling.Falling says God was dishonored four years ago, when the Tulsa Parks Board rejected an exhibit which borrows heavily from the

'Alien scene' of tadpoles' feast
"Alien-like" scenes of tadpoles feasting on eggs emerging from their mother have been caught on camera.The footage marks the success of a captive breeding programme for the critically endangered mountain chicken frog, one of the world's largest frogs. In April, 50 of the amphibian giants were airlifted from Montserrat after a deadly fungus swept through the island, devastating the population. Now several breeding programmes are under way to save the frogs. Once numbers have been boosted in captivity, researchers hope to reintroduce the frogs back into the wild within the next two years. Bizarre sightThe remarkable footage was recorded at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, in Jersey, which took in 12 of the rescued frogs. Twenty-six others went to Parken Zoo in Sweden, and 12 are now housed in ZSL London Zoo.So far, four pairs of mountain chicken frogs have started to breed - which could result in hundreds of frogs. And this has given researchers an insight into the way that these unusual amphibians care for their offspring. Professor John Fa, director of Durrell, said: "Mountain chickens have very peculiar breeding habits because they form foam nests in burrows in the ground." The females lay their eggs in these nests, which eventually hatch into tadpoles. But as the nests are underground, food is scarce - so the frogs need to find a way to provide nutrition for their young. Professor Fa explained: "In the case of mountain chickens, we have discovered that the female comes into the nest and starts laying a string of infertile eggs.The tadpoles feast on the unfertilised eggs "We thought that the eggs would come out and drop to the bottom of the nest and then the tadpoles would start eating them. But the footage shows about 40 tadpoles congregating around the female and eating the eggs as they come out of the

Gabonese Orphan gorillas set free on an island
Six young gorillas, rescued from the illegal bush meat trade, have begun new independent lives on a lagoon island just outside LoangoNational Park in Gabon.Staff at the Société de Conservation et Développement (SCD) are celebrating after announcing the successful transfer of the six juvenile western lowland gorillas (a species deemed critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List (IUCN)) onto,gabonese-orphan-gorillas-set-free-on-an-island

Brookfield Zoo Gets A New Elephant
Joyce, 26, is a busybody who loves to play in the mud, according to her handlers.

March of the Penguins
Ready ... Set ... Waddle!In what's become an annual tradition at the San Francisco Zoo, four adolescent Magellanic penguins will graduate Wednesday from the equivalent of avian finishing school with a parade from their classroom to the 54-member penguin colony on Penguin Island.Born earlier this year, the three adolescent females and one young male will become the newest members of the largest, most prolific Magellanic penguin colony in captivity.During their summer stay at the zoo's Avian Conservation Center, the baby penguins learned to swim, eat herring from keepers' hands and socialize with

The End of the Northern White Rhino
The white rhino is the second largest land mammal, and as a species, it is the only rhinoceros species that isn't considered endangered or critically endangered by IUCN. That said, only one subspecies of white rhino has relatively healthy numbers. That would be the subspecies known as the southern white rhinoceros, which has an estimated population of over 17,000 individuals. Its range is in southern Africa.The other subspecies is not so well-off. Indeed, it might be safe to say that this subspecies is functionally extinct. The other subspecies is the northern white rhinoceros, which has (or had) a range in Central and East Africa.The best estimate of the population of the northern white rhinoceros is 8 in captivity and 4 in the wild. Now, take this with a caveat, because those four wild white rhinos haven't been seen since 2006. Those four were living in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Park of Congo, which is not the

More than 350 species, including world's smallest deer, discovered in Himalayas in past decade
The world's smallest deer, a flying frog and catfish that stick to rocks — as well as more than 350 other species — have been discovered over the past decade in the Himalayas, making it one of the world's most biologically rich regions, an environmental group said Monday.But researchers warn that the effects of climate change, as well as development, threaten the diverse habitat that supports these species."This enormous cultural and biological diversity underscores the fragile nature of an environment which risks being lost forever unless the impacts of climate change are reversed," said Tariq Aziz, the leader of the World Wildlife Fund's Living Himalayas Initiative, a regional conservation program that covers India, Nepal and Bhutan.The WWF is calling on the countries to develop a conservation plan for the region — which also includes parts of Myanmar and Tibet — and for governments to give local communities,0,6655259.story

Raid leaves zoo with £2,500 bill
A ZOO is out of pocket by more than £2,500 after a break-in.Thieves snipped their way through the perimeter fence of Shepreth Wildlife Park and headed straight for the dodgems, which they drilled for around

World's Oldest Polar Bear Dies At Indy Zoo
The world's oldest-known polar bear died Wednesday at the Indianapolis Zoo at the age of 35.Tahtsa, the zoo's smaller polar bear, was euthanized Wednesday morning after complications of aging left her no longer able to stand, zoo officials said.Tahtsa was born in 1974 at the Denver Zoo, and spent 30 years at the Louisville Zoo, before coming

Jellyfish explosion batters Monterey Bay Aquarium's plumbing
A swarm of jellyfish are causing plumbing problems at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Hundreds of thousands of Chrysaora jellyfish feeding in the bay waters Monday damaged a filter screen on the aquarium's water intakes, said Eric Quamen the aquarium's facilities systems supervisor. "From an operations standpoint, it's a big deal. From the aquarium standpoint, it's a minor inconvenience," Quamen said. "The public would never notice." A four-person dive team spent part of Tuesday repairing the damaged screen on the end of the quarter-mile-long intake system, he said. The pipes pump about 2,000 gallons of water per minute from the bay into the aquarium for the exhibit tanks. Quamen said the screens on the ends of the pipes are designed to act as filters, but there has been a recent explosion in the number of jellyfish

Indian Zoo Breeds Endangered White Tigers
India's Lucknow Zoo in Uttar Pradesh has initiated a program to breed white tigers and to take them off on the endangered list. So tiger Aryan and tigress Sona are being tended with utmost care. [Renu Singh, Director, Lucknow Zoo]:"As you know in India, the population of tigers has reduced. They are a highly endangered species, especially the white tigers. White tigers are not found in the wild (except the Rewa region in Madhya Pradesh). They can only be found in zoological gardens. Our zoo's objective is to breed these

Minister to form team to study komodo dragon transfer plan
The forestry ministry will set up a team of experts to study its plan to transfer 10 komodo dragons to Bali, a spokesman said.The formation of the team was recommended by a meeting of various stakeholders in the matter, chaired by Forestry Minister MS Kaban on Wednesday (Aug 12), the ministry`s information officer, Masyhud, said in a press statement on Thursday. Present at the coordinating meeting were representatives of the East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) administration, the Environmental Affairs Ministry, the Indonesian Safari Park, the Tourism and Culture Ministry, the West Manggara District Head, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) officials, the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) and the University of Gadjah Mada.The meeting recommended the setting up of the study team to formulate preventive measures related to the forestry ministry`s decree issued on May 13, 2009 regarding the plan to move 10 komodo dragons to the Indonesian Safari Park located in Serongga Kelod, Gianyar subdistrict, Bali Province. The transfer was aimed at promoting komodo dragon genetic purification.The plan is in line with the demand of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) which recommends a studbook system of genetic purification for endangered species.IUCN recommends a national studbook keeper on komodo dragons in Flores because the habitat of komodo dragons is not in Flores, but on Rinca and Komodo Islands, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) which are part of the Komodo National park (TNK). Flores is not part of the TNK. Komodo dragons (varanus komodoensis) are found in Komodo Isl

transfer of 10 komodo to bali eventually canceled
Plan the transfer of 10 komodo from Komodo Island Flores to Bali eventually canceled. That said, the Governor of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Frans lebu Raya said that the Minister of Forestry MS Kaban agree not to do so."Basically forrest ministry understand action NTT rejection from the community to move as many as 10 tails Komodo to Bali," said Governor dust Raya in Kupang, Wednesday (5 / 8). According to the

Recently, as part of its GO global advertising campaign, Visa ran an ad showing a father taking his daughter to a public aquarium. The commercial was very well done and should have great appeal to young families with children, especially those who regularly visit zoos and aquariums. The tag line asks "When was the last time you took your daughter to an aquarium on a Tuesday?" There are many branding messages implied by Visa being associated with a family visit to a public aquarium. The most prominent message is "Visa enables your visit." Visa wants to be thought of as synonymous with a visit to a public animal attraction. There is a very good reason for Visa doing this as a component of their global ad campaign. Each year more than 200 million Americans visit animal attractions. Worldwide attendance is close to 800 million. The image of a parent taking their child to an aquarium is very positive, and there are a lot of good connotations associated with this industry. Today's animal attractions in the United States are associated with conservation, wildlife preservation, environmental education, and the overall "green" image every company desires. There are many brands that take an active role working with animal attractions,746W/76.html

Vulture Restaurants: Serving Up Clean Carcasses, Free of Charge
For the small number of vulture lovers the world over, good news comes this summer from Sindh, Pakistan. In June, a new "vulture restaurant" opened to provide safe food for the endangered birds — no reservations needed, but it's always a fierce fight for the flesh. Similar vulture ventures have already been successful in South Africa, India and Nepal, where one region in which a restaurant started to provide vultures with clean carcasses saw a doubling of nesting pairs in just two years, according to Bird Conservation Nepal.Alas, uplifting news is rare in the vulture world: the big picture is that the birds, commonly portrayed as harbingers of death, are themselves facing doom, particularly in the eastern hemisphere. Three species in South and Southeast Asia were placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's critically endangered list 10 years ago — to little effect. The oriental white-backed vulture population has declined a catastrophic 99.9% in the past 15 years; once estimated at 40 million, the global number now sits below 11,000. The long-billed and the slender-billed vulture populations have also fallen nearly 97%, according to a 2007 study published in the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. Though the West's vulture populations have not been hit as hard, the case of the quickly disappearing vultures is an alarming example of how difficult it can be for animals to find their place in our modern world. The advent of 20th century farming replaced wild herd animals, whose carcasses are the staple diet of vultures around the world, with heavily medicated livestock. Diclofenac, a frequently administered anti-inflammatory veterinary painkiller comparable to ibuprofen, has proven to be particularly deadly to the vultures,8599,1916445,00.html?xid=rss-world

Time to be zoo-logical?
A FATHER and son are aiming to prove that there's nothing funny about their monkey business — as an eight-year battle with residents comes to a climax next week.Don and Anthony Walser, who hope to open Newport's Owl and Monkey Sanctuary to the public in a matter of weeks, have suffered countless setbacks along the way.Now their best ally in a bid for a zoo licence renewal application is a noise diary, detailing decibel readings of the mating calls of the gibbons.And for the Walsers, at least this time the application — due to be heard on Monday — has more letters of support than objections from the locals surrounding the project at Five Acres Farm, off Staplers Road.It took the pair more than four years to get planning permission. They were turned down by the Isle of Wight Council's planning committee, against officers' recommendation, but won at appeal.The committee famously trooped off to Hampshire's Marwell Zoo to use noise monitoring equipment — without success — to record

Islamabad zoo to buy 34 animals and 27 birds
The Capital Development Authority, which has the responsibility of maintenance of Pakistani federal capital Islamabad, will purchase 34 animals and 27 birds for the city's Murghzar Zoo after the completion of a `Development of Murghzar Zoo Islamabad' project under an approved project concept-I (PC-I). The National Assembly was told yesterday to a question raised by Tasneem Siddiqui, the CDA would add to the zoo 34 new animals, including brown and black bears, yak, ibex, Suleman markhor, leopard, wolf, jackal, barking deer, grey goral, urial, stripped hyena, rhesus monkey, grey langur, Sind wild goat, leopard cat, palm civet, yellow-throat marten, Bengal tiger, samber, jungle cat, Asiatic lion, cheetah, rhinoceros, African elephant, rhino and lion, black panther, hippopotamus, giraffe, kangaroos, chimpanzee, baboons and gorilla. A CDA official said the authorities would buy for the zoo 27 birds, including chukar partridge, koklas ph

Humane Society Pres. Questions SD Zoo's Animal Loans
The San Diego Zoo has a fantastic reputation for treating animals the right way. Even the Humane Society of the United States said the zoo is an example for others to strive for.However, the group is questioning the San Diego Zoo's decision to send some animals away.Pictures taken during an investigation into conditions at the Las Vegas Zoo captured Niya, a 3-year-old lynx on loan from the San Diego ZooOne animal expert is heard giving her opinion on the conditions at the Las Vegas Zoo."This zoo should be closed immediately, and people who care about animals should never give them their money and go to that zoo," said the expert.The San Diego Zoo has loaned at least four animals to Las Vegas, but the Humane Society of the United States' president has a problem with that.In a letter to San Diego Zoo Director Doug Myers, he wrote:"We are writing to ask the San Diego Zoo to consider ending its practice of sending animals to the Southern Nevada Zoo and to reclaim those currently on loan.""We believe the conditions observed in Las Vegas are conditions that the San Diego Zoo itself would not allow …"Conditions he wrote that include, "Animals without shade" living in "small, barren enclosures" without "any meaningful stimulation."The San Diego Zoo asked 10News to use an interview from July to explain its position."We are comfortable that the Las Vegas Zoo is taking care of our animals very well," said San Diego Zoo spokeswoman Christina Simmons. "We were just there (Las Vegas) two weeks ago and our top animal care people were comfortable with the situation the animals are in."San Diego Zoo officials told 10News they loan animals to the Las Vegas Zoo so staff there could get training and make it a better place for the animals living there.The Humane Society president wrote:"We applaud this effort, but it appears this facility has an awfully long way to go."He cited the case of a leopard on loan from San Diego that "died within weeks of arriving."The Humane Society president ended the letter by saying:"The current situation appears unacceptable. We hope the

Why flamingoes stand on one leg
It is one of the simplest, but most enigmatic mysteries of nature: just why do flamingoes like to stand on one leg?The question is asked by zoo visitors and biologists alike, but while numerous theories abound, no-one has yet provided a definitive explanation. Now after conducting an exhaustive study of captive Caribbean flamingoes, two scientists believe they finally have the answer. Flamingoes stand on one leg to regulate their body temperature, they say. Matthew Anderson and Sarah Williams are comparative psychologists based at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, US who are interested in the studying the evolution of behaviour. "Flamingoes captured my attention for a variety of reasons," says Anderson. "Scientifically speaking, their highly gregarious nature makes them an ideal species for investigating social influences on behaviour. "Aesthetically speaking, they are large, beautiful, and iconic. "Perhaps most importantly, I was very surprised to discover how little systematic, hypothesis-driven empirical research had been conducted on flamingoes." Lateral thinkingAnderson and Williams's research began by studying laterality in flamingoes: whether they

Bald penguin dressed in wetsuit
A bald penguin has been fitted with a custom-made wetsuit to protect him from the elements.Bill Hall of Marwell Wildlife Park told the BBC that the penguin, named Ralph, needed the suit to stop him getting sunburnt during the day and chilled in the evenings.Hall said: "This time of year is moulting time for penguins and the classic way to do things is to grow your new set of feathers under your old set, lose the old set - there's your brand new suit."Ralph doesn't bother with the growing the new, he just loses the old and goes bald for a couple of weeks. His feathers will come through, but


Students protest plan to move Komodo dragons
Strong public opposition to a government plan to move 10 Komodo dragons from their natural habitat to Bali was fervent as ever on Tuesday. Rallies sprung up on Jl. Soeharto in East Nusa Tenggara's capital, Kupang, as student activists urged the governor to ignore a ministerial decree that sanctioned the transfer of the reptiles. "If the goal of the move is genetic purification, why should the dragons have to leave their habitat? It's illogical," rally coordinator Herman Son said. Forestry Minister Malam Sambat Kaban issued a decree in February, allowing the transfer of 10 Komodo dragons from Komodo National Park in East Nusa Tenggara to Bali Safari Park. In a joint statement, the student activists requested the minister revoke the decree and thereby advocate the conservation of the rare reptile in the habitat to which it is endemic. Students protest plan to move Komodo dragons Komodo island has now been

Saving the species is the number one priority
Management at the Bali Marine and Safari Park has insisted that a plan to resettle several Komodo dragons from their original habitat in Flores to the nature reserve in Bali was initiated by the central government. "We are just carry out orders. The policy came from the top," park head Hans Manangsang said Thursday. The plan to relocate the endangered animals has been rejected by the East Nusa Tenggara administration and some environmentalists, with protests being held almost every day since the plan's announcement. Recently, the Forestry Ministry issued a decree allowing the resettlement of 10 Komodo dragons from their habitat in Wae Wuul, West Manggarai, Flores, to the Bali park. "Despite the decree being issued, we have not yet set up a special team to handle the relocation," said Manangsang. He strongly denied that the initiative was aimed at boosting business interests or Bali's profile and tourism industry. "Our main objective is to protect and preserve Komodo dragons from natural and human threats that may lead them to extinction," he said. The number of Komodo dragons in East Nusa Tenggara is beginning to drop as forest fires, global climate change and a lack of food resources begin to take toll, he said. Human threats such as poaching have contributed to overall dwindling numbers of the ancient creatures. "They will soon become predators to one another because there is no food around," Manangsang said. He said the Bali Safari Park was a conservation area which could support the original habitat conditions of the creatures. In the park, many endangered animals are being treated and monitored to prevent them from dying out. The park now has four Komodo dragons, one of which is pregnant. "I don't know whether the egg is in good condition and will hatch perfectly," he said. He said that a park in Bogor, West Java, has successfully bred the endangered Bali Starling back from near extinction. The number of these rare birds was dropping but now sits at around 90. "We already returned the 90 Bali Starlings to their original habitat in West Bali National Park in Jembrana in 2007 and 2009. Previously, there were only five Bali Starlings left in the National Park," he said, Environmental group Walhi's Bali office director, Agung Wardana, insisted that any plan to move the Komodos from their habitat was unacceptable. "We strongly urge the central government

East Nusa Tenggara asks Bali to return four Komodo dragons
Deputy Governor of East Nusa Tenggara Esthon Foenay asked the management of Bali Safari Park on Thursday to return four Komodo dragons to their natural habitat in the eastern province."Komodo is a rare animal. How can a rare species be found almost everywhere? We hope institutions or individuals who possess the reptiles will voluntarily return them to us," Esthon said. The deputy governor's request comes on the heels of controversy over a central government plan to resettle 10 Komodo dragons from East Nusa Tenggara to the safari park in Bali.Esthon said the East Nusa Tenggara government and people had been questioning how the Bali park management could secure the four Komodo dragons."Komodo is our identity and dignity. Anyone who intends to conduct a study on the species, please come to its natural habitat here," Esthon said.Head of the Komodo National Park, Tamen Sitorus, said

Unknown History of the Dragons in Bali
The East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) provincial government urged the Safari Park Bali management to relocated the four komodo dragons to its natural habitat in the Komodo National Park in West Manggarai regency."If the komodo dragons are everywhere, it will not be a rare species anymore," said NTT vice governor Esthon Foenay in Kupang on Thursday, Aug. 6. He further added that the dragon is one of NTT's signatures and has been the mascot and area's pride."If there are people who want to make a research and genetic purification, please visit their natural habitat. This ancient beast has caught the world's attention, they should stay [in their habitat]," he stressed.The four dragons which are located in the Safari Park Bali have raised question among NTT people since their natural habitat and the time of their transfer to the Safari Park Bali have yet to be discovered.The protection division head of the

Metroparks zoo offers cell phone guided tours
ere is a new way to visit the zoo. Instead of slowing down to read the sign's one can use their cell phone to learn about the exhibit. Keeping in step with today's technological advances; the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo now offers a Guide by Cell tour service for visitors. The service is simple to use. Numbered signs around the zoo designate the cell phone number accessible tour stops. Visitors can then call 216-453-3962 and enter the required stop's extension. A recorded script written by the zoo's education department would then provide visitors background information on the exhibit. Visitors with the latest high tech video gadgetry phones can enhance their tour by downloading videos. These videos will show behind the scene moments one could

San Diego Zoo's giant panda, Bai Yun, gives birth to a healthy cub
Late last month, the San Diego Zoo announced that its resident female giant panda, Bai Yun, was pregnant. Pandas' reproductive systems are still largely a mystery to researchers, so even zoo staff, who'd been monitoring Bai Yun extremely closely, didn't know when she would give birth. Today just before 5 a.m., Bai Yun gave birth to what the zoo's senior research technician Suzanne Hall called a "vigorous, squawking" cub. For about 24 hours prior to the birth, Bai Yun had been restless, alternating between sleep and bouts of nest-building, Hall wrote on the zoo's blog. The cub's gender is not yet known.Bai Yun is described by zoo staff as an excellent, attentive mother; she's given birth to four other cubs (Hua Mei, Mei Sheng, Su Lin and Zhen Zhen) since arriving at the zoo as part of a scientific exchange with China in 1996. This pregnancy included an interesting development: An ultrasound last month revealed that Bai Yun was carrying not one, but two fetal cubs. But Hall pointed out at the time that, in one of the panda's previous pregnancies, she had

An array of improvements brightens Kansas City Zoo
The Kansas City Zoo is making a strong comeback.That's the encouraging state of the 200-acre facility during its centennial celebration this summer. Among the positive signs:•Attendance is up significantly, headed for its highest level since 582,000 people arrived in 2001.•The make-it-easy-to-park-here front entry plaza that opened last year has been a big hit with visitors.•The just-renovated Tropics building — the entire home for the original zoo when it opened in 1909 — is beautiful inside, featuring a chocolate tree, spiny palms, black bamboo, ferns and orchids in a rain forest setting. Wide-eyed children watch white-cheeked gibbons scamper above and Asian small-clawed otters swim below.•Several new, large wood viewing decks with benches and roofs provide shade for patrons while bringing them closer to dozens of animals in the expansive African exhibit.•A newly air-conditioned viewing enclosure allows visitors to getthisclose to lions, pressing against thick glass, face to

Sounding Off: Privatize the zoo?We asked our Sounding Off list members:Should Dallas hand over management of the city-owned zoo to a private organization?
If the spirit moves you, feel free to respond to this question in the comments section here. Or, if you'd like to join the Sounding Off print respondents, click this link to send your full contact information to communityopinions@dallasnews.comFor some of the responses to this week's question, keep reading ...Katherine Palomino, First grade bilingual, Rowlett Elementary, Garland ISD: Dallas has to do what is best for the its own operations and budget. But I have always felt that the Dallas Zoo was ours, and loved sharing the enjoyment of it with other Dallasites. If the zoo does change hands, I hope that the new group fosters that feeling of ownership also. Lin Barbee of Dallas: Since the Dallas Zoo is currently controlled by another zoo (the Dallas City Council), I don't see how handing over operations to a private group could be anything other than an improvement.Victor Aves of Dallas: The zoo needs help! Better marketing, upkeep and communication would help get more citizens and visitors there. I would gladly outsource the zoo operations -- initially for a limited period, two to three years to see how it goes. If it goes well, continue the


Endangered habitat
At the Stone Zoo, attendance has been on the rise over the last several years. A new $750,000 black bear exhibit stands near the Stoneham institution's main entrance, not far from displays that include jaguars, cougars, and coyotes. A gift shop sells T-shirts, key chains, and postcards festooned with zoo images.While visitors are wowed by the exotic animals and exhibits at the 104-year-old, 26-acre zoo, state legislators - faced with making large cuts in the budget for the fiscal year that started July 1 - are taking a closer look at the zoo's financing. For more than a decade, Stone Zoo and Boston's Franklin Park Zoo have been managed by Zoo New England, a quasi-public agency heavily dependent on state funding. Last month, Governor Deval Patrick announced plans to cut the zoos' funding this year from $6.5 million to $2.5 millionAfter Patrick's announcement, Zoo New England officials warned legislators they'd be forced to close the zoos and possibly euthanize animals if the funding was not restored. Legislators promptly vowed to save the zoos, sending a new supplemental budget to Patrick late last month with a $5 million allocation for the zoos. Patrick vetoed $1.5 million Friday, leaving Zoo New England with a $3.5 million appropriation for the fiscal year.While the zoos appear to be spared for now, Patrick and legislative leaders are adamant about Zoo New England moving toward a budget that includes less state funding. Patrick has given Zoo New England president

Orphaned Seals Return to Sea
On Thursday, Norddeich seal station in the northern German region of East Frisia released five baby seals from a batch of over 70 pups back into the wild. The flippered creatures had spent the last few months at the station learning to fend for themselves.Each summer the seal orphanage, 100 kilometers northwest of Hamburg in the town of Norddeich, raises between 30 and 80 motherless seals until they are strong enough to be released back into the North or Baltic Sea.Robert, Kalli, Jack, Inge and Rollo were found in the Wadden Sea on the western coast of Schleswig-Holstein. Others that had lost their biological mothers were picked up off the coast of the state of Lower Saxony. SPIEGEL ONLINE talked to Peter Linau, who runs the conservation center, about the work of saving orphaned seals and delivering them back to nature.SPIEGEL ONLINE: Where do the seals which are being looked after in Norddeich come from?,1518,641084,00.html

Banham Zoo breeding endangered parrots
Banham Zoo's latest and most colourful arrivals have shocked staff by suddenly being classified endangered - but staff are aiming to save the species.The zoo received two sun conure parrots in June, thinking at the time that the birds were common in their native South America.However, since then, the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has officially labelled them an endangered species.It is now thought there may be just one flock

Zoo plans security changes
Additional safety measures sought after bobcat, porcupine freed at zooStaff members at the Topeka Zoo are discussing increased security options to prevent vandalism that resulted in two animals escaping their exhibits Thursday morning, director Mike Coker said.Coker said animal keepers discovered about 6:15 a.m. Thursday a bobcat roaming the facilities and a porcupine resting in a tree near its exhibit."They were neatly returned to exhibits by staff," Coker said. "There was no injuries to the animals, no injuries to anyone at all."Johnson is the zoo's lone bobcat and was found 200 to 300 feet from his exhibit. Prickles, the North American porcupine, is the lone porcupine at the zoo.Both animals were contained, checked over by the zoo's veterinarian and returned to their exhibits by 8:15 a.m., Coker said.While the property damage was minimal -- less than $100, according to a Topeka Police Department report -- it did appear the vandal or vandals' purpose was to free the animals, Coker said. A chain was cut on a small, exterior access gate to enter the zoo, then the lock hasps on the two exhibits were cut to release the animals.Coker said visitor safety

Zoo Elephants Becoming Mayoral Campaign Wedge Issue
As SF Appeal is reporting, the San Francisco Zoo has no plans to build (and cannot afford to build) any new sanctuary that would humanely house elephants, following on a 2005 decision by the city not to house elephants there after all the zoo's elephants croaked. This revelation comes on the heels of reports of a certain Rec and Park commissioner who wishes they'd get some elephants again because his grandchildren like them. Anyhow, Chris Daly has used this opportunity to mention that this issue may come up again under a Bevan Dufty mayorship, because he plans to let the zoo remain a zoo, while Daly would transform it into an animal sanctuary.

Dufty: No Elephants At Zoo Again, Ever
Earlier today, the mainsteam media faithfully informed us that, at least according to a fervent animal rights activist, a certain Recreation and Park commissioner keeps asking Recreation and Park staff when the San Francisco Zoo is going to get another goddamned elephant. Because, you see, my grandchildren really like elephants!(Elephants, as you may know, are native to Africa. The Outer Sunset, where the zoo is located, is nothing like Africa. Except -- no, fuck it, it is NOTHING like Africa out here. It is not hot and Savannah-like, there are no jungles or massive rivers, Joseph Conrad wrote no books about it and Dave Chappelle would never come here for a break. Nothing like Africa.) The zoo's been elephant free since 2005, after half of the zoo's elephants died or were euthanized and the survivor was trucked off to the Sierra foothills

Daly won't drop Zoo sanctuary idea
A proposal to turn the San Francisco Zoo into an animal sanctuary just got let out of the cage again.During a Rules Committee hearing Thursday, Supervisor Chris Daly pressed the issue, which he championed last year but which never got enough political support to move ahead.On the agenda was discussion of whether to forward to the full board of supervisors appointments to the Recreation and Park Commission -- the list included the reappointment of Commissioner Larry Martin."Why not a sanctuary type of situation at the zoo in terms of evolving what we have there from what I think is the situation where we have less than ideal conditions for many of the animals there," Daly asked Martin, who Mayor Gavin Newsom wants to reappoint to the commission.Daly went on to say that "technological advances" have enhanced people's "ability to learn about animals without the lock-up kind of situation that we still find at our zoo."Martin was vague in his response. "I think there

Monkey business for wedding party
An ape rescue centre has been granted a wedding licence for couples to tie the knot among chimpanzees.The first ceremony is set to take place in September at the 65-acre Monkey World site in Wool, Dorset. Couples can say their vows alongside Paddy's Enclosure where 20 of the park's 58 rescued chimpanzees live. Wedding guests can also visit the rest of the park for pictures among the 235 animals, including 13 orangutans, 13 woolly monkeys and 90 capuchins. Dr Alison Cronin, director of Monkey World, said: "Our first wedding is in September and we're planning on a very special and unique experience for people who want to come and join our family and bring their families to the park." The centre was set up in 1987 by Dr Cronin and her husband Jim to provide abused Spanish beach chimps

Zoo officials on toes after tiger attack
The authorities at the Nehru Zoological Park adopted more precautionary measures at the zoo after a man's hand was bitten off by a white tiger."More security personnel have been deployed near the enclosure of the white tiger which bit off the hand of a visitor," said Dr Abdul Hakeem, veterinarian at the Nehru Zoological Park."Authorities are also planning to increase the height of fences around all the wildlife enclosures in the zoo by two or three inches," he said.The condition of the victim, Mr Ramesh Kumar, who is undergoing treatment at the Osmania Hospital, is said to be stable. Mr Kumar is from West Godavari district.Ramesh lost the muscles on his right forearm almost up to the shoulder and also suffered some scratches on his face. All that was left after the attack was a bone, doctors said

Endangered snake at Lincoln Park Zoo is expecting
One of the region's last remaining Eastern Massasauga rattlesnakes is pregnant after spending several months at the Lincoln Park Zoo, officials there say.In April, workers from the zoo teamed up with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and environmental groups to scour northeastern Illinois for the snakes, believed to be on the verge of extinction.The search teams found a pair of Eastern Massasauga rattlesnakes and brought them back to the zoo. Zoo officials think these two snakes could quite possibly be the last two remaining of their kind in northeastern Illinois. A zoo press release says the female,31000

Orangutan ruse misleads predators
Wild orangutans in Borneo hold leaves to their mouths to make their voices sound deeper than they actually are, a new study shows.The apes employ the leaf trick when they are threatened by predators, according to scientists observing them. By holding leaves to their mouths, the orangutans lower the frequency of the sounds they produce. This is used to ward off predators, giving them the impression the apes are a bigger target. The international team made

New nestlings bring cautious hope for Asia's Threatened vultures
The Critically Endangered Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris has been successfully bred in captivity for the first time, raising hopes that captive breeding has the potential to save this and other Critically Endangered Asian vultures.Two Slender-billed Vultures - which are rarer and more threatened in India than the tiger - have been reared at dedicated breeding centres in India, along with three White-rumped Vultures Gyps bengalensis (another Critically Endangered species). It is estimated that only 1,000 Slender-billed Vultures remain in the wild and their population is decreasing dramatically every year.Last year saw the first successful captive breeding of White-rumped Vultures and there are encouraging signs that a third Critically Endangered species, Indian Vulture Gyps indicus, may breed in the centres next year.Chris Bowden of the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) is in charge of the Society's Asian vulture programme. He said: "This news is a huge boost to those of us fighting to save Asian vultures, which face extinction in the wild within the next decade unless we can prevent the veterinary use of

Dolphin hunt film sparks dilemma for tourists
The affecting cloak-and-dagger documentary "The Cove," which documents a brutal dolphin hunt off the Japanese town of Taiji, is putting would-be amusement park visitors in an ethical bind and park owners on the defensive. The film's protagonist, Ric O'Barry, who trained the animals that played TV's Flipper before he had a change of heart, indicts businesses like Sea World as being either overtly or tacitly complicit in the cruelty. "The captivity industry keeps the slaughter going," O'Barry charges in movie. If he has his way, the gruesome images of bloody dolphins will keep you from buying a ticket to a marine park, or stepping into a pool of one of those "dolphin encounters" at a tropical resort. Park owners, on the other hand, are crying foul, insisting they have nothing to do with dolphin slaughter and that buying a ticket helps support valuable education and environmental work. `The Cove' puts amusement park visitors in bind, park owners on defensive

Position sought: Acting zoo director Lee Ann Whitt wants to continue in late husband's footsteps
The city of Alexandria is searching for a new full-time zoo director.The zoo has been under the direction of Lee Ann Whitt for the past year, as the former zoo educational curator has served as acting director since the death of her husband, Les Whitt, who ran the Alexandria Zoo for 34 years. Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy said he hoped Lee Ann Whitt would apply for the position."We have been served highly faithfully and in excellent fashion by Lee Ann Whitt," Roy said, adding he had to be careful with speaking about potential candidates so as not to be "accused of pre-selecting" the next zoo director.Later, Lee Ann Whitt confirmed that she has applied for the zoo director position

Dudley Zoo keepers participate in international conference
THREE keepers from Dudley Zoo joined delegates from across the world for an international conference on enriching the lives of zoo animals. Sophie Cousins, senior keeper in the birds section, Jay Haywood, assistant head of ungulates and cats, and Pat Stevens, assistant head of primates, spent a week in Torquay for the conference, which was organised by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria. A total of 230 delegates, from as far afield as China, America, Australia and Russia, gathered for the event, which included lectures, workshops and trips aimed at swapping ideas about how to improve the lives of zoo animals by providing mental and physical stimulation with various devices and toys. Keepers visited Paignton

Zoo goes ape to preserve precious forests
AS SUMA, one of Melbourne Zoo's oldest orang-utans, fixes her trusting eyes on a playful toddler from the sanctuary of her enclosure, thousands of kilometres away her relatives in Sumatra and Borneo watch with fear the activities of the humans who come their way.While Suma and her daughter, Kamil, live in safety, wild orang-utans are under increasing threat of extinction as their native rainforest habitat is razed for palm oil plantations to supply the world's food and soap product manufacturers.An estimated 40 per cent of Australian groceries contain palm oil but manufacturers are not required to list it as an ingredient, so most consumers are unwittingly buying products containing the oil - including detergent, shampoo, toothpaste, lipstick, chocolate, biscuits, snack bars, noodles and desserts - thereby fuelling demand for it.By law, manufacturers must declare

Dubai Zoo's unrelenting efforts pay off with birth of rare baby giraffe
A rare baby giraffe was born at Dubai Zoo on Thursday.The latest arrival at the Beach Road enclosure is due to the efforts of the zoo team, which is administrated by Dubai Municipality's Public Parks and Agricultural Department.Saleh Al Najar, deputy director of the Dubai Zoo, said this type of giraffe rarely ever reproduces in captivity. He said: "This giraffe inhibits savannas and grasslands in Africa and the southern desert. However, the efforts of the zoo team in providing a [more] natural habitat for mating of birds and other animals have been successful and crowned by a number of births, among which was the birth of this baby giraffe."The first giraffe born at Dubai Zoo was Laila on April 9, 2000 while the second-born, Razia, died a few days after birth in the summer of 2002. Al Najar said flamingos had also reproduced in captivity at the Dubai Zoo along with many other species of birds.Dubai Zoo is the oldest facility of its kind not only in the UAE but also in the region. It was the first zoo in the Arab world to breed rare chimpanzees and Arabian wildcats.During the first couple of years of its existence, Dubai Zoo only housed a few animals such as big cats, monkeys and hoofed-animals. There was also a small aquarium and reptile cage. Dubai Zoo was originally built in 1967 on a two he

Out of Africa for the first time to learn about gorillas at Bristol Zoo
An African primate keeper is improving his knowledge of gorillas with a three-week training visit to Bristol Zoo Gardens.Ernest Bongmoyong is the head keeper at a primate sanctuary in Cameroon that cares for more than 250 young primates, orphaned by the illegal bushmeat trade.Mefou National Park is one of the largest primate sanctuaries in Africa and is run by conservation charity Ape Action Africa, which has its UK base at the zoo.It is the first time Mr Bongmoyong has left Cameroon and the trip has been funded by volunteers at the park who believed he deserved the opportunity to visit the zoo to gain knowledge and skills to benefit the project in Cameroon.He said: "I only work with young primates, including tiny babies, so seeing Bristol Zoo's family group, including the adult gorillas, is

Celebrity bear Knut to get `racy' Italian playmate in Berlin zoo
She is nubile, blonde and Italian . . . and, no, this is not another story about Silvio Berlusconi.Gianna — named after the singer Gianna Nannini — is being lined up to be the playmate of Knut, the celebrity polar bear, whose heartrending biography and love of human applause have earned millions of euros for Berlin zoo. Both bears are two years old so there is still time — serious mating begins in another two years or so — before the world is presented with mini-Knuts.The zoo, however, seems to be setting the stage for an elaborate courtship. The first step will be to build a "canoodling fence" between Knut's enclosure and that of Gianna. This will give Knut time to sniff her and get used to the idea of female company before they share a compound. Gianna and two other adult bears, Yoghi, 10, and 32-year-old Lisa, are ordinarily resident in Hellabrunn zoo in Munich, but Berlin has agreed to take on all three while Munich extends its bearpit.It seems that Yoghi and Lisa will eventually go

Chester Zoo hosts cool design competition
CREATIVE young designers are being urged to let their imagination run wild in an ice cream firm's competition.The Design a Fab Den contest has been visiting Chester Zoo over the weekend in the form of a giant igloo designed in the colour scheme of a Fab ice lolly.Attractions inside the igloo, which is at the zoo until Monday, include toys, games, ice lollies and contest forms.Ice lolly firm Fab will donate £1 for every entry received to Rainbow Trust Children's Charity.Winners of the competition will see their design transformed into reality.James Beaumont, from R&R ice creams, added: "Design a Fab Den is a great way to engage children during the summer holidays, get them away from the TV and encourage them to explore their creative side."For more information about the competition

Calls for Taronga Zoo welfare chief to resign
THE chairman of Taronga Zoo's conservation and welfare committee, Anthony English, has been called on to resign after it emerged he was an advocate of game hunting in NSW.The Greens and Animal Liberation NSW both called on Dr English to resign from the committee yesterday, saying there was a conflict of interests between his advisory role at the Game Council NSW and at the zoo. "He is unsuited to further the conservation aims of the zoo, given his strong support for conservation hunting," said the Greens' spokeswoman on animal welfare, Lee Rhiannon.The call comes after the Herald revealed Taronga Western Plains Zoo, near Dubbo, sold endangered blackbucks antelope from Western Plains to a member of the Shooters' Party who would move to hunt the species in an enclosed game reserve under legislation before the NSW Parliament.Western Plains Zoo confirmed yesterday that it had sold 82 blackbuck and five bison to seven private parks in NSW since 2004.The zoo's general manager, Matt Fuller, would not be interviewed by the Herald but told the ABC the animals could not be hunted in NSW."We would never sell animals or trade animals with any individual which would ultimately mean they would be hunted for trophies," he said.Dr English, who is a member of the Order of Australia and participated in the 2020 Summit, would not be interviewed by the Herald about his involvement in the sales or his support for conservation game hunting.A colleague on the conservation and welfare committee, Professor Richard Kingsford, said the ideals of private game reserves and public zoos could not be reconciled - although he would not comment directly on Dr English's views. "I just can't see what the value of that would be in a conservation sense."

Zoo Negara hopes to get more tropical animals
Zoo Negara is looking at expanding its collection of animals, especially those from the tropics.Malaysian Zoological Society chairman Datuk Ismail Hutson said the zoo was hoping to increase the percentage of its tropical animals from 60% to 90% or 100%."We are targeting to become a world-class zoo by 2015, so hopefully before that we can expand the collection of our animals."We prefer to concentrate on local tropical animals. If possible, we want to have a collection of every tropical animal in the region." he told The Star.The zoo has been working closely with the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) through the years to achieve that, said Ismail, adding that even the department faced problems in acquiring tropical animals."These animals, for example, the rhinoceros, Malaysian gaur and Siamang are becoming very rare. Maybe we can get them from Indonesia but it takes time."We have a few gaur and only one Siamang here. If we have more, they can breed," he said.Ismail, along with Zoo Negara director Dr Mohamad Ngah and Zoo Negara animal welfare committee chairman Prof Dr Zulkifli Idrus have also refuted a news report on Aug 2 which painted the zoo management in a negative light, said Ismail, adding that it may cause sponsors to pull out.He said the false information was spread by some council members who "may have a personal agenda".The welfare of animals is the utmost priority for the management, said Dr Zulkifli, adding that the zoo's mortality rate last year (4%) was a standard one and the lowest in eight years."People also overlook the fertility rate, which is a good indicator of the welfare of the animals," he said.Meanwhile, Dr Mohamad revealed

Temuka aviary birds viciously attacked, decapitated
A vicious attack at the Temuka Domain aviary on Tuesday night left 32 birds dead, many of them decapitated.Heads and feathers were ripped from the birds' bodies and their remains were scattered around the domain, about 19km north of Timaru, the Timaru Herald reported.Cockatoos, parrots, canaries and rainbow lorikeets were among the dead, and some were sitting on eggs.Temuka police yesterday took photos and fingerprints from the aviary.Sergeant Graham Sharpe said police hoped the aviary's parrots would have fought their attacker and left scratches or bites to help identify them."It is just mindless and will be

Dubai aquarium likely to enter Guinness records
The acrylic viewing panel at Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre at the Dubai Mall is expected to be featured in the upcoming edition of the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010.The viewing panel measures 32.88 metres wide x 8.3 metres high and 750 mm thick, surpassing the current Guinness World Record holder, Churaumi Aquarium in Okinawa, Japan, at 22.5 metres wide x 8.2 metres high and 600 mm thick.Designed by architects at Peddle Thorp Melbourne of Australia, the acrylic viewing panel, which weighs 245,614 kg, is built to withstand the enormous pressure of 10 million litres of water 10.5 metres deep used in the aquarium, but transparent enough to give visitors

Beluga Whales Pregnant At Shedd Aquarium
Two beluga whales at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium are pregnant.Shedd senior vice president Ken Ramirez said Tuesday that both female whales are healthy and staff at the aquarium remain "cautiously optimistic" about the pregnancies. Ramirez says the pregnancies have been progressing normally. The whales that are expecting are 23-year-old Puiji (poo-EE'-jee) and 20-year-old Naya (NY'-ah).Shedd's beluga whale Naluark (nah-LOO'-ark) fathered both calves.Shedd officials say the belugas

Hatching a plan to save the turtles of Terengganu
IN the next year or so, a drive to Penarik will be an interesting one. And it is not just due to the scenic route, where coconut trees dot the sandy white beaches or the serene blue ocean. It is because the site will also be home to the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC).
The objective of the centre, to be located on a 3.2ha plot, is the conservation of the species as well as a site for research and outreach programmes.
Malaysian Nature Society president Tan Sri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor told the New Straits Times that these would include educational campaigns, volunteer and fund-raising activities.
The TCC will also aim to restore


Lion and tigress in Chinese Wildlife Park set to produce first `liger'
A tigress and lion in a Chinese Wildlife Park have finally mated, and authorities now looking forward to first liger species.The four-and-half-year-old tigress and the lion were deliberately kept in a single cage at the Badaling Wildlife Park in Beijing.And it was after eight months of staying together that the two animals finally made love, reports the China Daily.Zookeepers are now hoping for the park's very first liger sometime this year

Only gorillas can display hairy torso in this Dutch zoo
Hilvarenbeek safari park became the first zoo in the Netherlands to introduce dress code as complaints about half-naked visitors walking around increase.The Beekse Bergen safari park in Hilvarenbeek became the first zoo in the Netherlands to introduce a dress code where all visitors have to be fully-clothed.The zoo has posted notices saying: "As of 1 August the only ones in the park allowed to display naked hairy torsos will be our four male gorillas."According to AD, the motto for the campaign is "Only female gorillas are impressed by hairy chests". Due to the warm weather, many male visitors have been walking around the park stripped to the waist. The safari park has since received a lot of complaints.A spokesman for the zoo said that visitors who are semi-clothed will not be asked to leave or fined. Instead, they will be directed

Mole Hall Wildlife Park to re-open
MOLE HALL Wildlife Park is set to re-open its doors following an extensive refurbishment project - after almost a year in the wilderness.When the gates to the Widdington attraction were locked for the final time in September 2008 - due to owner Douglas Johnston suffering from terminal cancer -it was thought that the park would never again be open to the public.But those fears have proved unfounded.Park administrator, Katrina Allhusen, said: "It was never the plan to be closed forever, we were very upset at the time and things got taken out of proportion. "We were always confident that we could re-open and now we are delighted that we can once again invite the public in to enjoy themselves."Mrs Allhusen added: "Our new focus will be on conservation of the natural species in the park and on educating children. We believe it is important that visitors not only enjoy themselves but learn something in the process."Some animals have remained inside the park during the last 10 months and many others were sent to various specialist sanctuaries, most of which now will return to the attraction.Officially the park will re-open at the start of August but Ms Allhusen has said that visitors may have to be a bit patient in the first few weeks as work continues."We will not have all the animals back at the beginning because we need to complete the fencing, although people can still come in for a picnic," she

Letters: Send the orangutans home
Since confiscating 11 orangutans from a private zoo on Feb. 5, the National Park authorities have remained suspiciously tight-lipped. Will anyone be prosecuted? Will the orangutans be repatriated to Indonesia?
Readers may consider this to be remarkably reminiscent of behavior the authorities adopted in 2006, when they did all they could to block the return of up to 100 illegally-held orangutans back to Indonesia.
All attempts to find out the long overdue results of DNA tests of these 11 orangutans have met with silence. We are left to wonder why no one will be transparent with such information. If, as is very likely, these orangutans were all illegally imported into Thailand, the authorities have a legal obligation to return them to their original country without delay.
Even more troubling for many is the apparent lack of enthusiasm from Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) who are currently looking after the orangutans, to return them back home to Indonesia. WFFT have made it clear they want to keep them.
It is difficult to understand why a wildlife rescue centre, apparently opposed to trade in wildlife, is seemingly reluctant to send these creatures, caught in the wild, returned to the forests of Indonesia - rather be kept caged in Thailand.
By making no attempts to return these orangutans to Indonesia, WFFT is knowingly, albeit with approval of the Thai authorities, holding onto illegally traded, highly endangered

Last chance to save the gorilla
YOU might have missed it, but in December 2008 - when the world's media were preoccupied with President Barack Obama's election and the global economic recession - the United Nations declared 2009 the Year of the Gorilla. If you did notice, you could be forgiven for wondering why. Just weeks earlier it was reported that almost half of all primate species are at risk of extinction, so why lavish yet more attention on the one that is seldom out of the spotlight?
The simple answer is because they need it now more than ever. Despite all the film footage, fieldwork and fund-raising, and the efforts of park rangers and conservation NGOs, the number of gorillas continues to plummet. Hunting, logging, mining and disease are taking a terrible toll on the greatest of the great apes, and if things continue as they are, they may be reduced to nothing more than a series of small, highly vulnerable populations within decades.
That's not the only reason the UN chose to focus on gorillas. These apes are such iconic animals they can galvanise people into action like few others. Redoubling efforts to protect gorillas and their habitats will benefit other endangered primates, including chimps and bonobos. If those efforts centre on development projects and gorilla tourism, they can also improve the lives of some of the world's poorest people. That is the UN's plan. And entirely the wrong one, as far as many gorilla experts are concerned. For all its good intentions, they say, there's no way it can work fast enough to give gorillas any chance

UAE Releasess 20 Arabian Oryx in Jordan's Wadi Rum
Twenty Arabian Oryx (8 males and 12 females) were released yesterday (Wednesday July 29, 2009) by the United Arab Emirates in the Wadi Rum Protected Area of Jordan. The release is part of HH Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces' initiative to reintroduce the Arabian Oryx into its natural habitat in Jordan.The project began when the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), which chairs the Coordinating Committee for Conservation of Arabian Oryx, and Al Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, Aqaba Special Economic Zone, signed a sponsorship agreement in April 2007. Under this agreement, EAD is sponsoring the $1.100 million three-year project which entails several components, including the reintroduction of the Arabian Oryx into the Wadi Rum Protected Area. This also includes rehabilitating the habitat and helping local residents to improve their living standards.The Oryx release, which came after 8 decades of extinction in Jordan, was attended by HE Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Managing Director of EAD, HE Ali Mohammad Bin Hammad Al Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to Jordan and HE Majid Mansouri, EAD's Secretary General. Eng. Hosni Abu Ghida, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority and representatives of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as well as dignitaries and heads of tribes in the Wadi Rum region also attended this release. The released oryxes were

Spain to give Portugal 20 Iberian lynxes
Spain has agreed to give Portugal 20 of its Iberian lynxes, in a bid to save the species form extinction. Spain currently has the only active breeding centre for Iberian lynx. Portugal has built a new breeding centre especially to receive lynx from Spain.This new development is a concrete example of how Spain and Portugal are working together to protect the world's most endangered cat species. The Iberian lynx is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, with just 200 believed to survive in the wild. "This is fantastic news for Iberian lynx conservation," said Paul Hotham, Regional Director of Eurasia. "The next step is to make sure that once lynx bred

San Diego Zoo announces giant panda Bai Yun is pregnant (and may give birth to twins)
The San Diego Zoo has announced that its 17-year-old resident female giant panda, Bai Yun, is pregnant. Bai Yun was born at China's Wolong Giant Panda Research Center and came to the San Diego Zoo in 1996 as part of a scientific exchange program. (Zoo officials and a Chinese diplomat announced late last year that the loan of Bai Yun and a male panda, Gao Gao, would be extended for an additional five years

Woman Upset SD Zoo Animals On Loan Treated Poorly
The San Diego Zoo has loaned at least four animals to the Las Vegas Zoo, but one woman said the Las Vegas counterpart is not treating the animals well, the 10News I-Team learned.The Las Vegas Zoo does not have accredidation and is being called 'a terrible place for animals' by United States Humane Sociey investigator Jane Garrison."This zoo should be closed immediately," Garrison said. "People who care about animals

Poetry In Pathology
Legendary primatologist Dian Fossey spent decades documenting the lives of the mountain gorillas of Rwanda. Now, scientists are exhuming the bodies of those gorillas to learn about evolution. Researcher Erin Marie Williams is part of that team and sent this third dispatch from the field.There are seven cervical, 13 thoracic and three lumbar vertebrae in each mountain gorilla (unless there aren't, which is rather common), making a grand total of 23 (more or less). Hands and feet have 19 bones, 27 if you count the wrist and ankle bones. There are also 26 ribs, six leg bones and six arm bones (we're at 169 bones, if you're keeping count). Throw in two clavicles, two scapulae, two patellas, and some skull bones, and you've got well over 200 bones in one mountain gorilla. Last year, before we arrived, the crew here recovered, cleaned, photographed and cataloged over 70 mountain gorillas. If you do the math, this means that they sorted through hundreds of mountain gorilla bones in just six weeks. Picking Up The PiecesToday, at the Karisoke Research Center's garage, it took me all morning to sort out the hands and feet of a single male gorilla. Or maybe it was just one hand and one foot. However, Rome was not built in a day. Fortunately my colleagues are far more proficient than I am. While I labored over my one hand and one foot, Amandine Eriksen, one of the two forensic anthropologists

Monkey business: Lionshare Farm may get orangutan from troubled Fla. zoo
A private zoo in Greenwich that is seeking to import four cheetahs from South Africa could become home to another endangered animal, a baby orangutan, if the cash-strapped Florida zoo housing it goes under. The Zoo of Northwest Florida in Gulf Breeze, Fla., has posted a 3-year-old orangutan, Indah, as collateral on a loan made in December by Marcella Leone, co-owner of Lionshare Farm, a private zoo and horse center on Taconic Road.Despite this support, the Florida zoo remains in financial dire straits.Last week, its executive director, Danyelle Lantz, said she expects to run out of adequate funds to stay open through August unless the local government kicks in additional funding, according to published reports. Lantz declined to comment Thursday.If her zoo closes, Lionshare could be first in line to house the baby orangutan -- a prospect that has riled animal advocates who assert that transferring the animal to a private zoo as collateral is unethical, and borderline illegal."Using this animal as collateral is absolutely outrageous and dangerous to its future," said Lisa Wathne, a captive exotic animal specialist for the People for the Ethical Treatment

Pakistan's Lahore Zoo has more than its share of problems
At the Lahore Zoo, the largest zoo in Pakistan, the animals are suffering due to mismanagement and inhumane treatment., according to nature lovers and former board members. The zoo hasn't invested in a pharmacy, sick bay, examination room, X-ray machine, vaccination schedules or ultrasound equipment.Critics say mismanagement and inhumane treatment jeopardize the animals there. Now, the zoo is also grappling with a smuggling scandal involving white tigers and the aftermath of a suicide attack.It's been battered by a suicide attack, residents are traumatized, and officials have been sharply criticized for failing to provide clean water, decent food or basic healthcare.A community in Pakistan's troubled frontier area? A camp for displaced people fleeing the fighting in the Swat Valley? No, the Lahore Zoo.Nature lovers and former board members say a long history of mismanagement and inhumane treatment at the 137-year-old zoo jeopardizes the animals it's supposed to protect."If all this is not fraud and misuse of office, I don't know what is," said Masood Hasan, an advertising executive and former member of the Lahore Zoo Management Committee. "It might not be a bad idea to . . . put all the officials inside cages."The latest problem to hit the troubled institution is a smuggling scandal involving two white tigers, which were allegedly imported from Indonesia a few months ago without the permits required to move endangered species internationally. According to local news reports, the zoo applied for various permits retroactively after agreeing to pay about $47,000 per tiger, a hefty markup from the importer's cost of $1,250. An inquiry will try to determine what role the zoo, importer and middlemen played, and whether bribes were paid, but Hasan said he didn't expect much to come of it.Zoo-goers didn't seem particularly surprised,0,4691206.story

Zoo Receives Major Award
There's a celebration underway this week at the zoo of Acadiana. The zoo has received a coveted award; National Accreditation from the Zoological Association of America. It's a distinguished honor for this longtime Acadiana Landmark, where compassion for the animal kingdom is all in the family.It's an accomplishment that's been more than a year in the making. The Zoo of Acadiana is now joining an elite group of wildlife sanctuaries around the country through its accreditation by the Zoological Association of America. "It will open up a lot of doors for us, as far as collaborating with other zoos that are accredited by the association, especially in regards to getting new animals and enhancing our collection and working with other zoos on other large projects and efforts" Says Mathew Oldenburg.Oldenburg is the second generation of his family to devote his life to caring for members of the animal kingdom, and was literally born into the job. When his dad, George, took over as director of the facility some 20 years ago, Matthew began learning the family business from the ground up, and is now moving into a leadership position by spearheading the accreditation effort. But the Oldenburg's give all the credit to the people of Acadiana. "We're more than grateful for the children and families of Acadiana and the surrounding areas, who continue to support

Govt to Relocate Komodo Dragons to Bali
The government is planning to relocate five pairs of komodo dragons from their natural habitat in Wae Wuul, West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara to the Safari Park in Bali. The reason is genetics purification.Then, an inevitable polemic surfaced. Some assume the genetics purification reason is only a cover up. They question why the komodo dragons will be moved to Bali. It is suspected that there is a business motive involved because Bali is an international tourist destination, especially because the government chose the Safari Park as the place of relocation.Bali Safari and Marine Park (BSMP) expected the relocation will not be a continuous polemic because all of the decisions were made by the Indonesia Safari Park (TSI) in Bogor while Bali is just providing the place."If asked why the komodo dragons would be relocated, it's the policy of the TSI. Even though the Forestry Minister has issued the Decree, until now there hasn't been any team formed to pick up the komodo dragons," General Manager of BSMP, Hans Manansang said on Sunday, August 2.According to him, BSMP is one of the forms of off-site conservation which could complete the on-site conservation. At off-site conservations, the population can be supervised and there are available facilities and supporting equipments. "The conserved animals belong to the people and they would later be returned to them," Manansang said. Why should the comodo dragons be relocated? He explained that the conservation was done to anticipate the threat of extinction caused by habitat damages

More groups reject Komodo dragons relocation plan
Environmental activists grouped under the Flores People's Solidarity Forum rejected Friday the central government's plan to relocate 10 Komodo dragons from Wae Wu'ul National Park in Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara to Bali Safari Park. The activists urged forestry minister M.S. Kaban to revoke decree No. 384//2009 permitting the move of the endangered species from the national park. The decree stated the relocation was aimed at breeding the dragons in an effort to prevent their extinction. The government was concerned about the declining population of the giant lizard, which currently stands at around 2,500, because of their cannibalistic nature. "There is no better habitat than their original habitat here in Maggarai for the Komodo dragon genetic purification tests," Forum representative Rofino Kant said. Rofino stated that the relocation would not only damage tourism in Manggarai and Flores in general, but would also speed the extinction of the prehistoric reptile. "The relocation would damage the image of Komodo National Park which is, at present, trying to garner support to become one of world's new seven wonders," he said. The group sent a statement to the minister, the governor of the provincial legislative council and to the regents of Flores, Timor, Sumba, Alor, Rote Ndao and Sabu Raijua. East Nusa Tenggara legislative council deputy speaker Kristo Blasin said the Komodo dragon was the province's tourism icon and, while appreciating the government's good intentions of saving them from extinction, tourism in the province should not be sacrificed in the process. "If they were moved to Bali, it's possible that local and foreign tourists would just visit the Safari Park, instead of visiting the animal's real habitat in West Manggarai. I also believe that the relocation would cause tourism to suffer here, despite the government's good intentions," Kristo said. Earlier Governor Frans Leburaya expressed his objections to the plan, urging the central government to conduct the Komodo dragons breeding program within their original habitat, sending a written request for the revocation of the ministerial decree. As well as activists, dozens of students staged an rally earlier, rejecting the relocation plan. The students saw the transfer plan as an effort to shift the tourism appeal from Komodo Island to Bali. The relocation plan, the central government said,

British interns at N.C. park learn valuable career lessons from big cats
The Conservators' Center Inc., an animal preserve in Mebane, lets interns and visitors alike take a walk on the wild side. Its nearly 100 untamed animals include a diverse mix of lions, tigers, wolves, servals, leopards, lynx, bobcats, Guinea singing dogs and other exotic creatures. Making sure the fenced animals are fed and taken care of this summer are animal-care director Janine Tokarczyk, a few part-time employees, volunteers and an equally diverse group of about a dozen interns, three of whom came from England. The trio is working toward their diplomas in animal management at Houghall College in Great Britain. During an interview at the preserve Thursday morning, the three young ladies, Bekki Mullett, Danielle Whitley and Katie Neesam, fed raw chicken to a pair of 13-week-old, part-Arctic wolf pups and talked about their fortuitous discovery of the center tucked away in rural North Carolina. "I accidentally e-mailed here, thinking it was in England," Neesam said, adding that she sent messages to about 25 animal care centers in her native country. Their three-week internship at the center fulfills a requirement of their diploma. To pay for their adventure to the United States and the preserve, Mullett, Whitley and Neesam each received 500 pounds from their college, 300 pounds each from an organization, and raised the rest of their money totaling 3,500 pounds, or about $7,000. Their duties include preparing food for the center's animals, building and cleaning cages, and interacting with the animals through enrichment exercises, such as giving them toys to play with.

Hoolock gibbon conservation programme
The Centre for Environment Education (CEE), North East is going to undertake a `Site Specific Conservation Education Programme (SSCEP)' in selected hoolock gibbon sanctuaries of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura involving 20-25 schools together with a local NGO partner forming a cluster. The programme will involve development of gibbon educational packages in the context of the North-east to support classroom teaching-learning and make it more environment-friendly; orientation workshop series for NGOs and teachers to help them effectively carry out implementation of school programmes; year-long school cluster activities; evaluation information and attitudinal changes brought about by the project; thorough pre- and post-project Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) surveys; building up linkages with allied institutions and departments for implementing

Pigs play football at wildlife centre
Most footballers keep themselves in trim shape – but a new team in Lincolnshire is proud of its porky physique.A sport-savvy gang of five pigs have taken up the nation's favourite sport at Woodside Wildlife and Falconry Centre at Newball, near Langworth.The park introduced pig football a week ago – and organisers say it's been a cracking success.The four-legged footballers will be instantly recognisable to fans because of their wide snouts, curly tales and a penchant for scoffing grub during the game."We wanted to come up with something that both the pigs and visitors would enjoy," said owner Neil Mumby, who came up with the idea after wanting to extend on pig racing."It was quite simple to do as we just filled a hollowed out ball with pig food so that every time they

Ohio family claims to hit 52 zoos in 52 weeks
It has been a wild year for members of an Ohio family who say they've accomplished a goal to visit 52 zoos in 52 weeks.Marla Taviano of Columbus, her husband and three daughters started Aug. 1, 2008 with the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky and spent weekends and vacations going to zoos across the country, including the Dallas Zoo, New York's Central Park Zoo and the San Diego Zoo. The family's Web site shows they really wound up hitting 55 animal parks.Taviano says she got the idea while trying to think of an adventure that would feel like traveling the world and seeing exotic creatures, but on

Dallas to save $1.5 million by handing over zoo
Last week, we broke the news that City Hall intends to hand over the Dallas Zoo's management and animals to the Dallas Zoological Society.What we didn't know was how much money the city hoped to save.From this briefing on the city's plans, it looks like the number is about $1.5 million off the $12.3 million City Manager Mary Suhm had proposed to run the zoo in the coming fiscal year.The $12.3 million figure included massive cutbacks that would have eliminated more than 40 jobs at the zoo.According to page 11 of the briefing, the city calculates the savings off handing over the zoo at a significantly higher figure of $4.75 million.That figure represents the savings over the cost of running the zoo at its current level, without the extreme

Como Zoo's fifth Sparky the sea lion dies at 31
The Como Zoo's oldest sea lion, who entertained visitors for 20 years, died Monday at the age of 31. Sparky V was the second-oldest California sea lion in the nation and suffered from multiple ailments, said Como spokesman Matt

Lion Man abandons legal proceedings
Lion Man Craig Busch has dropped his claims to be reinstated and his personal grievance for unjustified dismissal from Zion Wildlife Gardens.An Employment Relations Authority hearing on whether Busch was wrongly dismissed from the Whangarei wildlife park last year was postponed in late May, following the death of keeper Dalu Mncube . Busch had complained he had been unfairly dismissed from his job at Zion Wildlife Gardens, near Whangarei, by his mother Patricia Busch.But despite Busch dropping those claims, Zion spokeswoman Sara Reid says the hearing is still going ahead on Monday afternoon, with the park

New hope: German gorilla gives birth again
A traumatized gorilla who carried around her dead baby's body for several days in a German zoo last year has given birth again — and this time her offspring is healthy.Twelve-year-old Gana's very public mourning for her last child gained widespread attention last year. The baby gorilla, Claudio, died when he was three months old of a severe intestinal infection.Gana's new daughter was born early Sunday, said Ilona Zuehlke, a spokeswoman for the Allwetter Zoo in Muenster.The newborn is healthy and lively, much to the mother's apparent joy, Zuehlke said Tuesday."Gana looks very happy," she told The Associated Press.Zuehlke said the zoo probably would name the baby Claudia — after Claudia Kleinert, a German television weather forecaster

Zoo pelican swallows cell phone
Can you hear me now?A pelican at the Tautphaus Park Zoo took something other than food in his bill when a cell phone that had been dropped in a pool at the exhibit made its way down the hatch.The flock in the exhibit were playing with the phone Monday until one of the birds swallowed it. For three hours, zookeepers couldn't figure out which bird did it until the culprit coughed up the goods."Luckily, the bird regurgitated it so it wouldn't harm him," zoo superintendent Bill Gersonde said. "We just need folks to be really cautious

UN breeding barn owls to stamp out crop-eating rodents in Laos
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is breeding barn owls under an innovative new programme that hopes to deter rodents from attacking crops in northern Laos.Rats in Laos turned their attention to crops last year, with devastating results for farmers, after bamboo plants flowered and the number of bamboo seeds decreased as a result. To prevent a repeat of that situation, FAO is using the barn owl, a natural predator, to control

Jyamchang Bhote, a young professional mountaineering guide, reached the summit of Mount Everest for the third time on 19 May 2009 at 10 A.M. local time. He held up a banner sponsored by the Wildlife Watch Group (WWG) and the U.S.-based International Primate Protection League (IPPL). The banner carried the slogan "Stop the Monkey Business! Don't Export Nepali Monkeys to American Labs." Today a framed photograph of this historic expedition, dedicated to prevent Nepalese monkeys from being sent to deadly experiments in U.S. labs, was handed over to Nepal's new Forest Minister, the Honorable Deepak Bohara, at his office at Singh. Before presenting the framed photograph to the Minister, Mangal Man Shakya, Chairman of WWG, handed over the joint Appeal with Nepalese Federation of Forest Resource Users Group (NEFUG) and a special letter from the Chairwoman of IPPL, Dr. Shirley McGreal, O.B.E., addressed

Zoo protocol for escaped animals
A reader asked us what happens at Woodland Park Zoo when an animal escapes, which we think is good information to know. Here's what the zoo told us:Woodland Park Zoo is committed to ensuring visitor and public safety; ensuring safety of zoo staff, volunteers and affiliated personnel; and ensuring the safety of the animal collection. Each unit that houses dangerous animals has a plan of action in the event of an animal escape.When an animal escapes, guests are immediately evacuated from the area and escorted to secured buildings on zoo grounds by the zoo's emergency

Zoo staff on the prowl to Highland park
A TEAM of fundraisers from Edinburgh Zoo are getting on their bikes for a 120-mile ride.Eight staff members from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland are cycling from the zoo to the Highland Wildlife Park to raise Scottish wildcat awareness.The team will set off on Saturday morning and arrive at the wildcat enclosure at the Highland Wildlife Park on Sunday.The Highland Tiger campaign, of which the sponsored cycle is a part, is aimed at educating the public and raising awareness of the Scottish wildcat's plight.The Highland Tiger Tour has already exceeded its target of £500 sponsorship for the conservation

Brunei Sanctuary For Endangered Turtles
Bandar Seri Begawan - Brunei's initiative to construct a turtle sanctuary is now in the implementing stages with input from various government agencies aimed at furthering conservation and management of endangered sea turtles to protect them from extinction.Senior fisheries assistant of the Fisheries Department. Hariel Hj Simpul, who said this, explained the department's initiative to improve their services and promote awareness of turtle conservation and management in the country.The turtle sanctuary and conservation programme, formulated by the Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, involves the building of the centre on 5.33 hectares of land located at Meragang Beach in Muara.He said that the approved location for the sanctuary will serve as a home for its existing and rescued turtles and provide these delicate

A genetic linkage map for the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
Genome elucidation is now in high gear for many organisms, and whilst genetic maps have been developed for a broad array of species, surprisingly, no such maps exist for a crocodilian, or indeed any other non-avian member of the Class Reptilia. Genetic linkage maps are essential tools for the mapping and dissection of complex quantitative trait loci (QTL), and in order to permit systematic genome scans for the identification of genes affecting economically important traits in farmed crocodilians, a comprehensive genetic linage map will be necessary.

Hope of freedom for orang-utans dashed
248 endangered primates left in cages after mining company pulls out of rescue A world-renowned programme to return hundreds of orang-utans threatened with extinction to the wild has been thrown into disarray by the withdrawal of Britain's biggest mining company from Borneo.Dozens of orang-utans that had been due to be released this month have been left locked in cages after BHP-Billiton warned it could no longer guarantee the safety of the animals on forests it had been surveying for coal. With BHP's support over the past two years, orang-utans from a rehabilitation centre – made famous by the BBC TV series Orang-utan Diary – have been released onto BHP's land in Kalimantan. But last month the world's largest mining company told investors it was withdrawing from the area for "strategic reasons" which it declined to explain. A planned airlift of 48 adult orang-utans scheduled to take place on 20 July was cancelled a week before it had been due

Calgary Zoo to build $24.5-million penguin exhibit by next spring
The Calgary Zoo plans to start building a $24.5-million penguin exhibit — featuring about 80 birds from four species — by next spring after the project spent months in limbo. It's the only piece of the ambitious Arctic Shores proposal that will be built in the near future.Antarctic Landing will give visitors a chance to see King, rockhopper, Gentoo and Humboldt penguins at play, including a viewing area in the middle of a chilly indoor pool that allows the birds to be seen both above and underwater.There will also be a separate outdoor pool."It will be one of the most eagerly anticipated openings in quite some time," Don Peterkin, the zoo's director of facilities, said of the display they hope to open in 2011. "It's one of those exhibits

Burgeoning deer population becomes a headache for city zoo
The laxity on the part of the zoo officials and of the Culture Department in finding a suitable piece of land to house the burgeoning deer population at the city zoo continues to cost the zoo dear.The death of three spotted deer on August 1—the latest of deer deaths at the facility—after being tranquilised and shifted to another enclosure makes it clear that the deer numbers are way beyond what zoo officials can handle.Though the norms of the Central Zoo Authority allow a zoo of this size to house only 20 deer, the city zoo has close to 250 deer now. This includes more than 80 spotted deer and as many sambhar deer. On August 1, two male and one female spotted deer were tranquilised and shifted to another enclosure. After they were administered medicine to revive them, the animals reportedly ran helter-skelter inside the enclosure and banged against the wire mesh around."Deer by nature are excitable to an extreme and whenever we try to shift them or catch one, there are such fatalities," said

Siberian tigers barred from entering Idaho
A Nevada man who wanted to open a big cats exhibit is upset with state rules.For years, he has fought the ensuing extinction of the Siberian tiger. His foundation, Siberians Are Becoming Rapidly Extinct, or SABRE, was organized for that purpose.In 2007, Renzo, who lives with his family and his tigers in Silver Springs, Nev., east of Reno, was trying to open an educational exhibit for his tigers in the Blackfoot area, complete with a restaurant and hotel for tourists. The exhibit would have housed seven tigers and one black panther. Renzo hoped the Idaho location would draw wildlife tourism from Yellowstone. Renzo says the exhibit would be not-for-profit, with the proceeds supporting SABRE. "We had the financing; we had the paperwork and permits ready to go," Renzo said. "We were ready to move forward." The planned 24,000 square-foot complex would have cost about $6.3 million, he said. But the Idaho State Department of Agriculture blocked his attempt to bring the tigers into the state. The department said Renzo would have to sterilize the cats before

New Attractions At Bangor State Fair (Peter's Note - Hogwash!!!!)
.....However there are some new attractions like a group of bengal tigers. "Well your going to see eight bengal tigers," says Mike Inks a handler with Marcan Tiger Preserve, "bengal tigers are native to india. a lot of people don't know there are four different colors that bengal tigers come in, the most rare being the snow white bengal tiger, there's only about 40 of those in the world so it's a great opportunity to see them up close and personal right here in your hometown." Some popular acts will be back as well, like the Dsconnected K9's dog show, returning for its s......


Goodbye, Jumbo - The identity crisis of the modern zoo
In zoo parlance, they're known as charismatic megafauna. We're talking lions, tigers, and other large creatures. They are the big-ticket beasts and the reason, historically anyway, why people have come to the zoo. Where there is megafauna, the thinking goes, there will be crowds.
That's partly what made Ron Kagan's decision so shocking. The executive director of the Detroit Zoo announced in 2004 that he was voluntarily sending his zoo's two Asian elephants to a California sanctuary, where the land was plentiful, the weather temperate, and the elephants could roam. The reason, Kagan said, was simple. To paraphrase: The zoo, despite its best efforts, was essentially ruining the elephants' lives.

Endangered Birds Released Into The Wild
Nine endangered light-footed clapper rails were released into the wild on July 22, 2009 as part of a captive breeding program partially funded by the Port of San Diego. The environmental effort took place at the Los Penasquitos Marsh east of Torrey Pines State Beach.

Chimpanzees Infected With SIV Do Develop And Die From AIDS, Contrary To Prevailing View
Although the AIDS virus (HIV-1) entered the human population through chimpanzees, scientists have long believed that chimpanzees don't develop AIDS. But a new study from an international team, including University of Minnesota professors Anne Pusey and Michael Wilson, shows that chimpanzees infected with SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus), the precursor to HIV-1, do

L.A. Zoo officials ordered to report to city council committee over USDA investigation into elephant, chimp deaths
City Councilman Tony Cardenas has ordered Los Angeles Zoo officials to appear before a council committee to discuss the U.S. Department of Agriculture's investigation into the deaths of an elephant and a chimpanzee at the zoo three years ago.The USDA, which enforces the Animal Welfare Act, cited the zoo for failing to get veterinary care quickly to the animals when they were stricken. (The elephant, Gita, was found down in her enclosure in June of 2006. The next month, a chimpanzee, Judeo, was bitten by a rattlesnake.)The zoo paid a $3,281 fine, but officials have steadfastly maintained they did everything possible to save both animals. The fine came

PETA opposes saving zoo
Dear Ms. Young and Commissioners:I'm writing on behalf of PETA regarding the The Zoo of Northwest Florida's pleas for public funding and to urge you to continue denying such requests. Not only is the zoo financially unstable, it also appears to have engaged in a contract that could transfer animals at the zoo to a private owner. An article in the December 18, 2008, edition of the Pensacola News Journal (enclosed) indicates that the zoo received a $100,000 "loan" from Marcella Leone, owner of a private menagerie in Stamford, Conn. The enclosed documents from the Florida Secured Transaction Registry, filed on December 30, 2008, seem to indicate that the zoo's animals were used as "collateral" for the loan (the documents specifically mention the zoo's baby orangutan, Indah). PETA has asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to investigate whether this transaction may constitute buying, selling, or otherwise engaging in commercial acts in violation of the Endangered Species Act. Leone's facility is not accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is also not recognized as a sanctuary. All too often, animals at such facilities are passed on to exotic-animal breeders or dealers, private collections, pseudo-sanctuaries, shabby roadside zoos, the pet trade

Cincinnati Zoo's cheetah looks to set new land speed record for mammals
The Cincinnati Zoo announced this week that one of its resident cheetahs, an 8-year-old female named Sarah, will participate in an attempt to set a new land speed record for mammals. Sarah will vie for the record with another 8-year-old female cheetah named Nkosazana (which means "Princess" in Xhosa, one of South Africa's official languages) from a South African organization called Cheetah Outreach.The two cheetahs won't face off in a head-to-head race; instead, each will make three timed 100-meter dashes on an enclosed course in her home country. Nkosazana (or Zaza for short) will run first; her attempt at record-breaking will be held Aug. 15. A little less than a month later, on Sept. 9, Sarah will travel to the Kentucky Speedway near Sparta, Ky., where Cincinnati Zoo staff hope she'll be able to beat the time set by Zaza. The record-breaking attempts aren't just for fun, zoo officials said -- they're intended to raise awareness about the plight of

Mystery of the toucan's beak solved
Charles Darwin thought the toucan's oversized beak was a sexual lure for attracting potential mates, while some modern-day biologists suggested it was either for peeling fruit or to warn off territorial rivals. A new study has found, though, that the outrageously big structure helps to keep the bird cool in the heat of the tropical day.The beak of the toco toucan – the largest member of the toucan family – accounts for about one-third of the bird's body length, which is larger than the beak of any other bird for its size. When the 18th-century French naturalist

Villagers discover 'extinct' leopard cub eating a monkey
Conservationists in Bangladesh are celebrating after remote tribespeople discovered a rare and threatened leopard that was believed to have been extinct in the country for almost 20 years.Villagers in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in south-east Bangladesh captured the clouded leopard cub after they disturbed it, its sibling and their mother eating a dead monkey in the jungle. The others escaped, but the villagers captured the three-month-old and put it in a cage. It is understood the tribespeople planned to sell the animal but, after news of the discovery spread, conservationists persuaded them to release the leopard back into the wild. They did so yesterday."We are delighted. For

Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre To Be Built In Sepilok
A Borneo sun bear conservation centre will be set up in Sepilok here in an effort to prevent the endangered animal from becoming extinct.It will be next to the Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre in Sepilok, and the ground-breaking ceremony for the project was officiated by state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, here, Friday.Director of the sun bear conservation centre, Cynthia Ong, said the centre, to be built in three phases, would have facilities including a home that could accommodate 43 sun bears, a visitors'

Elephants putting strain on Kenya's ecosystem - report
ELEPHANTS ARE destroying Kenya's national parks, trampling woodland and putting other species at risk, according to a new report.The giant mammals need vast areas of land to graze and trying to protect them inside parks is putting a strain on the rest of the ecosystem.The finding is part of a study that discovered Kenya's famous wild animal population is dying off at the same rate inside protected parks as outside – 40 per cent in 20 years.Kenyan scientists concluded that a radical review of the country's conservation policies was needed and that open spaces around the country's network

Uttar Pradesh official imposes entertainment tax on wildlife park
The district magistrate of Lakhimpur-Kheri in Uttar Pradesh has decided to impose entertainment tax, which is normally applicable for amusement parks, on the Dudhwa National Park, officials said here Friday. In a letter sent to the national park's director last week, the district magistrate not only sought to know the revenue earned by the park over the past four years but also raised a demand for payment of 30% of that amount as entertainment tax. "I have not been able to figure out how such a demand could be raised by a district magistrate unless he does not understand the

Donkey Business - The only zebra in Gaza
Something didn't quite look right about the zebra, but it was hard to say exactly what. Of the several ramshackle zoos in Gaza, Marah, located not far from the Bureij refugee camp, is by far the cheeriest: The animals are lively, the enclosures clean, and children gather around the cage of a resting lion.Then again, the competition is hardly stiff: The zoo in Rafah features dead animals left to rot in their cages; another animal park, situated in a densely populated neighborhood in Bureij, recently shut down amid financial difficulties (and after neighbors complained of the smell). A third, also in Bureij, is so short of funds that a fox is kept in a grocery cart with a board over the top.Yet Marah, with its broken-down bumper cars and a pit filled with sadly deflated balls, had its own not-quite-right feel—particularly the zebra. Standing near the back of its cage, facing away from the spectators, the animal kept its head tucked down."It's really a painted donkey," admitted Mahmud Berghat, the director of Marah, when asked about the creature. Making a fake zebra isn't easy—henna didn't work and wood paint was deemed inhumane, so they finally settled

Biologists Rediscover Endangered Frog Population
Zoo, Museum, State and Federal Agencies Collaborate To Save Mountain Yellow-Legged FrogFor the first time in nearly 50 years, a population of a nearly extinct frog has been rediscovered in the San Bernardino National Forest's San Jacinto Wilderness. Biologists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessing suitability of sites to re-establish frogs and scientists from the San Diego Natural History Museum retracing a 1908 natural history expedition both rediscovered the rare mountain yellow-legged frog in the San Jacinto Wilderness near Idyllwild, Calif.This re-discovery — along with the San Diego Zoo's first successful breeding of the frog in captivity, and successful efforts by California Department of Fish and Game to restore frog habitat — renews hope of survival for this Southern California amphibian.Globally, amphibians are on the decline because of habitat loss, effects of climate change and the spread of a deadly pathogen called the chytrid fungus. The mountain yellow-legged frog is one of three frogs or toads on the federal Endangered Species List in Southern California. Prior to this recent discovery, USGS researchers

Tortoise plan would involve 1,000 acres
The latest Nye County desert tortoise habitat conservation plan would be a high-impact plan allowing the disturbance of up to 1,000 acres over 10 years, planner Kyle Walton told county commissioners Tuesday afternoon.Previous plans were termed low effect, covering up to 100 acres. A low-effect plan would mean it would be an insignificant impact to the environment and would fly under the radar when it came to having to comply with requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act."Up to 100 acres, we could probably justify. It is going to be the responsibility of the Fish and Wildlife Service to justify to the public that this is, in effect, a low-effect habitat conservation plan. The higher impact, the greater the number of acres that can be disturbed, the harder it is for us to make the case to the public that this is indeed a low-effect plan," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biologist Jeri Krueger.Nye County planner Kyle Walton, who gave

Worshippers cry foul as Madhya Pradesh `de-fangs' Nagpanchmi
Nagpanchmi, the festival of snakes, which was celebrated Sunday, left many Hindu worshippers disappointed when they went to temples but found no snakes. The forest department had taken snake charmers to task for displaying the reptiles. Nagpanchami is a festival of snakes celebrated on the fifth day of the bright fortnight in the Hindu holy month of Shravan. People visit temples of Hindu god Shiva, worship snakes and offer them milk besides alms to the snake charmer who brings them. But now, there are no snake charmers seen in the towns and cities as the forest department has warned them of strict action if they bring the reptiles on Nagpanchmi. In the absence of snake charmers, many people have crafted images of snakes using cow dung on either side of the entrance of their houses to welcome the snake god. "We have been worshipping snakes on this day for ages but now our right to worship is being encroached upon by the government," said B.L. Mehra who lives in the posh Kanchan Nagar locality of Bhopal. Hindu mythology is full of stories and fables about snakes, the most important

Zoo celebrates breeding success
A Cornish zoo has helped an endangered species of mammal by successfully breeding two rare Owston's Civets.The cubs are part of a breeding programme at Newquay Zoo, which also supports a conservation programme in the civets native home of Vietnam. Three years ago the zoo bred the first twins to be born outside South East Asia. A total of five cubs have been bred by the zoo - three of which have been transferred to other zoos in the UK. Owston's Civets are at risk from the illegal wildlife trade and trapping for their fur and meat. Stewart Muir, director of Newquay Zoo, said

VIN SUPRYNOWICZ: Save the habitat, kill the turtles
When -- in the name of heaven, I demand to know -- are those responsible for enforcing the Endangered Species Act going to do something about remediating the habitat devastation and starting to recover the minuscule remaining population, before it has dwindled past the point of no return, of that brave and noble beast, the poodle?What? Are you serious, Vin? There are, like, 68 million domestic pet dogs in this country, and the poodle is the seventh most numerous breed. There are millions of poodles out there.As a matter of fact, purebred poodles are among the 4 million to 6 million dogs euthanized in America each year because homes can't be found for them. America's dog and cat problem is not species extinction; it's overpopulation.Well, to anyone tempted to respond in that manner, let me clarify for you what the Endangered Species Act is really all about. You see, the number of poodles living in domestic captivity doesn't count. Once we have succeeded in getting the noble poodle listed as threatened or endangered -- as it most certainly is, in the traditional range of its wild habitat -- all that will matter is the number of wild, untouched acres set aside. Once you've developed a house and a yard and put two happy poodles in it, for purposes of the federal ESA, you might as well have just shot the pups, because you have destroyed wild poodle habitat, and we are going to count your poodles as "taken," meaning dead. In fact, we may have to take steps to stop you from allowing them to breed, up to and including "euthanizing" your captive slave dogs, since "Unlimited breeding of an endangered species in captivity is something the community has to look into." You think I'm making this up? Here in Las Vegas, Clark County's Desert Conservation Program -- a well-paid division of the county Department of Air Quality and Environmental Management -- is currently going hat in hand to the appropriate chain of federal agencies, asking "permission" to amend the so-called Desert Tortoise (and 77 other critters, including bugs and mosses) Habitat Plan, with the purpose of "allowing" the county to develop an additional 215,000 acres of adjoining stinking desert ....

`More to zoo than feeding, cleaning animals'
Laura Tardieu has loved animals since she was a child, so it came as no surprise when she chose to work at a zoo. Tardieu is employed at Emperor Valley Zoo, where she has assumed the position of temporary zoologist since February. Dressed unpretentiously in a pair of track pants, polo shirt and sneakers, Tardieu looked quite relaxed while seated in the lobby of the Zoological Society's office on the zoo's compound during a recent interview. The 28-year-old shared her experiences at several foreign zoos and the changes she hoped to implement in the diets of the animals here at home.Her inspirationWhen she was ten, Tardieu said she was inspired by a documentary and knew at that point exactly what she wanted to do. "My dream was inspired by a film. There was a zoologist who was protecting elephants whose tusks were being hunted, and I felt strongly about that, and I said to myself `I wanna do what he is doing.' That was

A hippo critical situation
HACIENDA Napoles was Pablo Escobar's pleasure palace, a 5,500-acre estate where the notorious drug lord reigned over million-dollar cocaine deals, parties with underage girls and visits by shadowy men of power.Escobar lived large here in his lush fiefdom 100 miles east of Medellin, far from the teeming slums where he began his life of crime. He built a bullring, an airstrip, an ersatz Jurassic Park with half a dozen immense concrete dinosaurs. He stocked a private wild animal park with hundreds of animals, including elephants, camels, giraffes, ostriches and zebras. He installed four hippos in one of the estate's 12 man-made lakes.Today, Hacienda Napoles is in ruins, taken over by jungle foliage and bats. The sprawling Spanish-style mansion has been gutted, scavenged by treasure hunters looking for stashes of gold and cash buried under the floors. Escobar is long gone, cut down in a hail of police gunfire.But the hippos are still here.More than 15 years after the government took control of Hacienda Napoles, the elephants, giraffes and zebras have long since disappeared, given away to Colombian zoos or left to die.But the hippos were never claimed because they were too large and ornery to move. Now the original four have multiplied to 16 and, far from starving to death, as some expected, they have learned to forage like cows. In fact, local authorities say they represent a safety hazard — and are standing in the way of plans to redevelop the late drug lord's estate.At night, several of them emerge from their watery habitats and roam for miles looking for grass to munch on. Three months ago, a male hippo was shot to death by ranchers after he wandered three miles from the rest of the herd to a neighboring stream.Weighing up to 3 tons, the hippos are not constrained by ordinary barbed-wire fences or gates."The problem is, you cannot manage them," said Francisco Sanchez, environmental officer of Puerto Triunfo municipality, which has control of the mansion

Hope of freedom for orang-utans dashed - 248 endangered primates left in cages after mining company pulls out of rescue
A world-renowned programme to return hundreds of orang-utans threatened with extinction to the wild has been thrown into disarray by the withdrawal of Britain's biggest mining company from Borneo.Dozens of orang-utans that had been due to be released this month have been left locked in cages after BHP-Billiton warned it could no longer guarantee the safety of the animals on forests it had been surveying for coal. With BHP's support over the past two years, orang-utans from a rehabilitation centre – made famous by the BBC TV series Orang-utan Diary – have been released onto BHP's land in Kalimantan. But last month the world's largest mining company told investors it was withdrawing from the area for "strategic reasons" which it declined to explain. A planned airlift of 48 adult orang-utans scheduled to take place on 20 July was cancelled a week before it had been due to take place. Lone Dröscher-Nielsen, the former air stewardess who cares for 650 orang-utans at the Nyaru Menteng Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre, said BHP had warned that the Indonesian government was likely to hand its coal concessions to other companies who would not match its environmental stewardship of the land. She added that it now seemed unlikely the Anglo-Australia mining giant would fund a plan to a create a 250,000-hectare wildlife reserve in central Borneo that could have sited 1,000 orang-utans, a genetically

Living Coasts sees increase in visitors
ONE of Torbay's newer tourist attractions is seeing a recession-busting increase in visitors this summer.Living Coasts opened six years ago and so far this year has seen a four per cent increase in visitors which it says is due to its evolution into an all-weather attraction.It has had 59,000 visitors this year, an increase of 4,041 on last, and should total more than 100,000.When it first opened Living Coasts had a visitor target of 300,000.A spokesman said: "Who knows where we'd be if the economy was stronger? It seems more people are holidaying in this country, which is good for Torbay and good for us."Living Coasts has evolved into a

SF Zoo tiger attack victim arrested
A San Jose man attacked by a tiger at the San Francisco Zoo has been arrested on suspicion of cocaine possession and being under the influence of a controlled substance. Authorities say 24-year-old Kulbir Dhaliwal was taken into custody Wednesday after the vehicle he was a passenger in was pulled over by San Jose State University police.Dhaliwal was allegedly carrying three grams of cocaine. The driver, 26-year-old Tarlok Dhaliwal, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Kulbir Dhaliwal, his brother, Amirtpal "Paul" Dhaliwal, and their friend, 17-year-old Carlos Sousa Jr., were attacked by a Siberian tiger that escaped its enclosure at San Francisco

Animal adventure as £1m menagerie opens
A £1 million menagerie of monkeys, meerkats and micro pigs has been created in Wolverhampton.After running an exotic pet shop for more than a decade, brothers Jimmy and Ben Wicks have sunk their life savings into creating Wickid Animal Adventure in Dunstall.The brothers from Wednesfield have spent the past year – and £500,000 each – transforming a patch of wasteland at the side of their shop in Gorsebrook Road into the animal park, which also has wallabies, genettes, skunks and birds of prey.The menagerie also has an exotic pet shop licence and will officially open to the public at 10.30am on Sunday, with admission costing £1.50. The site includes enclosures, a refreshment area and the brothers are working on a nocturnal animal house and pirate-themed aquarium.Jimmy, aged 39, has run Wickid Pets for 11 years and takes care of the wildlife, while Ben, 41, works on the enclosures and models. Father-of-two Ben said: "We bought the shop off the old landlord last May and have sunk absolutely everything into this. "The land was a complete dump at first and we have been working around the clock to bring it up to scratch."Jimmy has been running the shop for years and is very respected in the field of exotic animals. I think he has always had a project like this in mind, ever since he was five years old and first went to Chester Zoo. There is nothing he doesn't know about animals."The animals have come from zoos, breeders, animal sanctuaries and Jimmy's contacts from the pet shop world. There

Caught on film … the beast of Helensburgh
THE mysterious big cats of legend are on the prowl once more.A military policeman yesterday spoke of his shock after capturing what appears to be dramatic footage of a big cat prowling close to a Scottish naval base.Chris Swallow, a dog handler based in Faslane on the Clyde, said he was "stunned" to see a large black cat on a nearby railway line. The officer, in a friend's garden in the Churchill Estate in Helensburgh on 30 June, initially believed he was looking at a Labrador crossing

Houston Zoo starting work on $50 million African Forest
Moving away from the concept of bars and cages, the Houston Zoo in September will break ground for a $50 million African Forest, a 6.5-acre exhibit designed to give patrons the illusion they are strolling through an open landscape populated with chimpanzees, giraffes and other equatorial animals, zoo officials said Tuesday. Directors of Houston Zoo Inc., the nonprofit organization that manages the zoo, approved Phase 1 of the project Monday, said CEO and President Deborah Cannon. The exhibit is scheduled to open in December 2010. Plans ultimately call for expanding the exhibit to 13 acres, she said.Cannon said the zoo has raised 95 percent of the money needed for the first phase through foundations and other private sources. It will launch its first public campaign for funds to cover the remaining 5 percent.Jim Brighton, a landscape architect with Seattle-based PJA Architects, the project's designer, said the exhibit will tell stories about the African forest, not simply provide an opportunity to look at wild animals in captivity."Traditional zoo exhibits concentrate on animals, what they eat, how big they are and so forth," Brighton said

Whole-hog loving python, Ann, dies at Memphis Zoo
Ann, the Memphis Zoo's reticulated python died this morning. She was 18.Ann last made news in March when she was fed a dead pig that weighed about 30 pounds.In fact, she feasted on whole hog once every two or three months and interested observers regularly contacted the zoo in order to attend her feedings.Ann came to the zoo 10 years ago and had been captured in the wild in Indonesia.A necropsy will be preformed

Baby Elephant Calf Makes Her Debut At British Zoo (VIDEO)
A female elephant calf made her public debut today at the Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire, England. The calf, who has yet to be named by zoo staff, weighs 126kg (278lbs) and was born earlier this month.The zoo has seen its elephant population decline this year. Two of its elephants died from an elephant herpes virus. Zoo director David Field told the BBC the baby calf's birth was important for the zoo's endangered

Improper upkeep at Binh Duong wild animal farms
Three private breeding farms for wild animals in the southern province of Binh Duong have failed to meet required technical and safety standards, inspectors have found. The registration certificates of these farms had also expired, provincial inspectors said after carrying out checks on Dai Nam Zoo Co. Ltd., Thai Binh Duong Beer Company and Thanh Canh Enterprise.The three companies, which run zoos and collect entrance fees from the public to view the animals, have a total of 53 tigers, making the province the country's leading locality in breeding the endangered species.Inspectors found Dai Nam Zoo Co. Ltd. raising 13 tigers although they had registered for seven.In total, the company was found raising 583 wild animals belonging to 71 species although its [expired] registration permits just 294 animals of 27 species.Dai Nam had designed the cages properly for the different species and had veterinarians to take care of them.

Australia gets the hump – and reaches for the gun to settle its camel question
Brought to the country as beasts of burden in 1840, today there are one million camels eating the outback There are more than a million of them and they pose one of the greatest social and environmental challenges to Australia's outback. They munch their way through desert vegetation, further denuding this arid nation's heartland and threatening its sensitive ecosystem. They damage Aboriginal communities in their search for water, fracturing pipes and knocking air conditioning units off walls. And their population is more than doubling every eight to nine years. The camel – which was introduced to Australia in 1840 to help transport heavy goods to the remote interior

70-tonne whale meets its match after collision with cruise ship
Fatal collision highlights dangers posed to wildlife by giant passenger linersIt is a bit like the hedgehog-and-car encounter, scaled-up many thousands of times: a collision where there can only be one winner.Whales may be the world's biggest animals, but they don't stand a chance when hit by a mammoth cruise liner – as has just been proved in Canada.When the giant vessel Sapphire Princess docked at Vancouver after a trip to Alaska, it was found to have something remarkable impaled on its bow: a fin whale, the second biggest whale species after the blue whale, and thus the second biggest animal on the planet. This example was about 70ft long and weighed about 70 tonnes.But even such dimensions are no protection against a ship almost 1,000ft in length and weighing

Three's company: Female elephants explore new domain
The stage is set for the biggest romance Somerset County has ever seen.But only one of the two players is certain: Jackson, the bull elephant who lives at the International Conservation Center.He gets to pick his love interest from the new arrivals, Kallie and Bette – pronounced Bet.Jackson hasn't yet been given the chance to decide: As is often the case in matters of the heart, timing is everything, and zookeepers want to get this one right.The ICC on Monday introduced the girls to their new 3.5-acre paddock and minutes later let Jackson out of the barn to roam his adjacent 1.5-acre stomping grounds. It was a get-to-know-you session, separated by a few iron bars.For the pachyderms, summer in Fairhope might just as well be springtime in Paris.The female African elephants, Bette in particular, quickly warmed to the 11,500-pound Jackson

Interactive: Spiny-tailed Lizard
Spiny-tailed lizards, commonly known as 'Dhabs' are slowly vanishing as development eats into their habitat.

Orangutans employ unique strategies to control branch flexibility
Orangutans are the largest habitually arboreal mammal. For them, as for all arboreal mammals, access to the abundant fruits and narrowest gaps found among the thin peripheral branches of tree crowns poses considerable safety risks and energetic demands. Most arboreal primates use flexed-limb postures to minimize problems caused by branch compliance and instability. Here, we show that Sumatran orangutans employ unique locomotor strategies to control compliance and allow access to the terminal branch niche for feeding and gap crossing. We calculated a "stiffness score," which is a measure of the flexibility of the supports on which orangutans moved. We found that certain locomotor behaviors clearly are associated with the most compliant supports; these behaviors appear to lack regular limb sequences, which serves to avoid the risk of resonance in branch sway caused by high-frequency, patterned gait. Balance and increased stability are achieved through long contact times between multiple limbs and supports and a combination of pronograde (horizontal) and orthograde (vertical) body postures, used both above branches and in suspension underneath them. Overall, adult females seem to be

Parts of Giza Zoo declared antiquities
The Supreme Council of Antiquities added the Japanese Kiosk and Citadel Hill, both located in Cairo's Giza Zoo, to the roster of Islamic and Coptic antiquities because of their architectural, archaeological and historic uniqueness. Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said that he plans to present the results of the report of the Archaeological Committee on the Japanese Kiosk and Citadel Hill to the Standing Committee of the Islamic and Coptic Antiquities in its next meeting.He explained that the committee had inspected the facilities in the zoos that were built at the turn of the last century during the reign of Khedive Ismail, which include a number of distinguished buildings and monuments. The committee recommended registering the Japanese Kiosk and Citadel Hill with the Islamic and Coptic antiquities.Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni, had reportedly said that the Giza Zoo "must be classified as an antiquity in the next meeting of the Standing Committee. It is an antiquity

Drainage specialist turns animal spy at Dartmoor zoo
Lanes for Drains had a very different task on its hands in Devon recently - spying on wild animals.Instead of using its sophisticated CCTV equipment to check for sewage blockages, the Lanes for Drains' camera crew was called in to check on a mating pair of meerkats at Dartmoor Zoological Park.The pair, Sue and Timon, had moved into their new enclosure at the end of May and settled down to the business of starting a family almost immediately. But an essential part of the meerkats' home is a network of tunnels built to mimic their natural

Zoo backs breeding plan for rare lizard
NEWQUAY Zoo is supporting a conservation breeding programme for Britain's rarest lizard.The sand lizard is only found on the heaths and dunes of South West and North West England and North Wales.It is also a European protected species.Zoo director Stewart Muir said: "This is Britain's rarest and only egg-laying lizard. Our population is from the Dorset race and managed with the Herpetological Conservation Trust and Natural England."They have a special enclosure situated outside our native wildlife centre in the village farm. Sand lizards are

Jodie Marsh helps zoo find female partner for cheetah
A ZOO is trying to raise thousands of pounds to find a female partner for its cheetah. Around 1,000 people came along to a fundraising event at Eagle Heights, supported by glamour model Jodie Marsh, to watch two-year-old Boumani run a five-second sprint to catch his dinner. A target total of €9,000 (£7,800) is needed to buy a female cheetah from Germany to start a breeding programme, but so far the zoo has only managed to raise £1,000. The fundraiser at the zoo in Lullingstone Lane, Eynsford, also featured treasure hunts, bird and reptile displays, and a tortoise race. Zoo director Alan Ames says Boumani is the only cheetah in the UK to run in front of the public. Mr Ames said: "He is the real star, he can get from zero to 70 miles per hour in three-and-a-half seconds. "The crowd think he's great,

Panda picture postcard from China brings good news for Chester Zoo
A PICTURE postcard from China has delivered good news to conservationists at Chester Zoo about the success of a project it is supporting to protect giant pandas in the wild.The extraordinary image shows an adult panda leisurely crossing a river in China's mountainous Sichuan province.It has delighted the conservation team because it is an important sign that their work is paying off.Chester Zoo, in conjunction with researchers from Liverpool's John Moore's University and the Sichuan Forest Department, is helping Chinese authorities protect the highly endangered

Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard embraces 'animal guy'
It's an hour before gates open at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, and the giraffe yard looks like it's littered with oversized Milk Duds.A trim, tanned worker wearing khaki shorts and rolled-up shirt sleeves dutifully rakes the droppings into piles, then scoops them into a wheelbarrow. By the time he tackles the elephant house - whose residents eat 250 pounds a day and create much larger messes - his shirt is soaked with sweat.Visitors might not notice that the hard-working helper is executive director Thane Maynard, but his co-workers certainly do. For the past year, he's devoted Saturday mornings to lending a hand in different zoo departments."It helps the morale," says elephant handler Val Nastold. "And it gives him an opportunity to see what the grunts are doing. It's important, because we are the front line.

Who needs meat? Polar bears bite off more than they can chew to get to their frozen fruit and veg (Peter's note - great Photos)
As a carnivorous animal, you wouldn't expect a polar bear to get excited over fruit and vegetables.They're usually more concerned with capturing seals than ensuring they receive their five-a-day.However these inhabitants of Tokyo's Ueno Zoo were determined

Indy Zoo vet to treat mountain gorillas in Africa
A veterinarian from the Indianapolis Zoo will oversee the health of mountain gorillas in Rwanda, Congo and Uganda.Associate Veterinarian Dr. Jan Ramer will take a two-year-leave of absence from the zoo beginning Aug. 1 to serve as regional manager for the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project. She will be in charge of seven veterinarians and 15 guards and caretakers. She also will be involved with a health program for people in the area.The project has been working since

The zoo dilemma
THE fate of the world's 1,000 or so remaining zoos offers a barometer of changing social mores on wildlife. From the ancient practice of maintaining menageries of exotic animals for the entertainment of royal courts, the modern zoo was instituted by Sir Stamford Raffles (in an interesting local historical context) to bring animals to where people live. Nowadays, wildlife enthusiasts prefer going where the animals live. Raffles, an inveterate naturalist who gave his name to the Rafflesia flower now prominent in our tourism branding, set up the Royal Zoological Gardens in London in 1828, giving the word "zoo" to the world. Zoo Negara, established in 1963, was originally faithful to Raffles' idea of displaying wild flora and fauna for the edification of urban societies. In the four decades since, however, there have been fundamental changes in popular attitudes towards wildlife. Zoos have kept apace with these changing values by expanding into animal research and husbandry, shifting their role from cabinets of curiosities into centres for the study and protection of wildlife.

Conserving Big Cats Works: Proof Published from South African Leopard Field Study
The Munyawana Leopard Research Project at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal began in April 2002 and has been instrumental in the long-term conservation of local leopard populations. Guided by Dr. Luke Hunter and Guy Balme from Panthera, the research is the most comprehensive study on leopards ever conducted, specifically in terms of the length of study, the number of leopards collared and the outputs generated from the research. Since inception, 64 leopards have been collared (the highest recorded in previous studies was 31), over 13000 locations logged and more than 1600 direct leopard observations made.

Estonia to send three rare Amur leopards to US, Britain
Three extremely rare Amur leopard cubs that were born at Estonia's Tallinn zoo last spring will have new homes in US and British zoos, the Estonian institution said."The birth of all three cubs was an extraordinary event because there are only 50 Amur leopards still living in the wild," Mati Kaal, director of Tallinn Zoo, told AFP."All live in Amur, in an area surrounded by Russia, China and North Korea," he said. "During the last century, the number of Amur leopards has decreased dramatically due to human carelessness."Edgar, the largest cub, will make his new home at Erie Zoo in the US state of Pennsylvania, while another male, Toomas, and a female cub, Kaia, will go to Marwell Zoo in the county of Hampshire, southern England."We are not asking for any money, but the receiving zoo has to pay the costs of transport," Kaal said."Zoos across the globe cooperate very well and exchanging

Sharifs' burning tiger gets frosty reception in boiling Pakistan
Biting sarcasm tears into political family's plan to keep imported Siberian cat in chilled pen as Pakistanis roast amid power cutsWhen a Siberian tiger landed in the Pakistani city of Lahore last week, at the height of a sweltering summer, some worried that the blistering temperatures might prove too much for the rare animal.But in the end the heat proved too much for its owners, the politically dominant Sharif family, who, after a round of lacerating media criticism, have offered to give the hapless tiger up.The animal was flown in from Canada by Suleiman Sharif, a nephew of the opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, who is known as the "Lion of Punjab". The Pakistani government banned the import of big cats last February.However, Sharif junior has got powerful connections: his father, Shahbaz, is chief minister of Punjab. So when the tiger landed at Lahore airport, it was welcomed by the chief minister's private secretary, who whisked it through customs.According to press reports, Suleiman planned to house the tiger in a chilled enclosure at the family's private zoo on the Raiwind estate, on the outskirts of the city. A second tiger had been ordered from Canada.The matter, when it hit the newspapers, prompted outrage, not so much because it highlighted the powerful dodging the law, which is nothing unusual in Pakistan, but due to the insensitivity of building a refrigerated room at a time when most Pakistanis are labouring under extensive electricity outages in roasting weather."It is hard to see the inhabitants of Siberia faring well in the heat and humidity of Lahore," noted an acerbic editorial in The News, which demanded an official investigation. Its competitor, Dawn, queried: "Wouldn't millions of Pakistanis … be outraged?"And so the tiger had to go. Today, the World Wildlife Fund office said the Sharif family had offered to donate the politically problematic animal to charity. "They contacted our office to say they are ready to hand over the animal. It's in their interest to give it up," said the charity's director for Pakistan, Ali Hassan Habib. "And so it should be. We want to use this opportunity to educate them."Habib said he would try to place the tiger with a suitable zoo in Lahore, otherwise the animal woul

VIP allowed to import Siberian tigers in violation of ban
The government has issued a permit to Suleman Shahbaz Sharif, son of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, to import a pair of Siberian tigers, a rare and highly endangered species, in violation of a ban.According to sources, the federal environment ministry issued the permit in the first week of June to Suleman Sharif for the Sharif Wildlife Breeding Farm, Jati Umra, Raiwind Road.International transport of endangered species is controlled and monitored by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) whose secretariat is in Geneva. Its focal point in Pakistan is the Islamabad-based National Council for Conservation of Wildlife (NCCW). The sources said that a ban on import of tigers, lions and other big cats by the private sector imposed by the NCCW had been breached within four months.One of the tigers — a male — arrived at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore a couple of days ago from Toronto by PIA's flight PK-790. The CITES permit No. P04/2009 was issued on June 4 and the same day the NCCW also issued a permit, No. F7– 6/78 NCW.Suleman Sharif had declared the value of the rare tiger — purchased from Norm Philip, Northwood Zoo and Animal Sanctuary, 2192 Cookson Lane, Sea Grave, Ontario, Canada — as $5,000.

Baby elephants spark fighting in Sri Lanka
Two baby elephants under five years old were taken away from their mothers, sparking anger in a world-renown elephant orphanage in central Sri Lanka, a local English newspaper said on Monday. The Island said the two baby tuskers were forcibly separated from their mothers by the Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela, the chief custodian of the Temple of the Tooth, on Saturday night at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, about 80 km northeast of the capital Colombo. Despite protests by some officials at the elephant orphanage, after hours of battle, the Diyawadana Nilame who was supported by nearly 50 persons including police and Army personnel finally managed to take the two elephants to the central town of Kandy. `I consider it as one of darkest hours in my career as an employee at Pinnawala to witness the struggle between the two mothers who were heavily chained, when their babies were taken away. We boast our cultural and religious values but we continue to be inhuman when it comes to dealing with animals,` a spokesman from the elephant orphanage was quoted by the paper as saying. Officials at the elephant orphanage said that it was not customary to separate baby elephants who depend on their mother`s milk. `If it is to be separated from its mother, the elephant has to be over five years old,` one official was quoted by the paper as saying. Officials from the Department of National Zoological Gardens said one of the


Greenland shark may become new source of biofuel
The Greenland shark, one of the largest species of sharks, is a nuisance to fishermen and its meat is toxic to humans, but researchers now hope the flesh can be used to create a biofuel for Inuits.Native to the cold Arctic waters, thousands of the sharks get caught and die in fishermen's nets off Greenland every year. The beasts -- which can be compared to the Great White Shark in size at seven metres (23 feet) and can weigh up to a tonne -- are thrown back into the sea.But at the Arctic Technology Centre (ARTEK) in Sisimiut in western Greenland, researchers are experimenting with ways of using the animal's oily flesh to produce biogas out of fishing industry waste."I think this is an alternative where we can use the thousands of tonnes of leftovers of products from the sea, including those of the numerous sharks," says Marianne Willemoes Joergensen of ARTEK's branch at the Technical University of Denmark.Joergensen, in charge of the pilot project based in the Uummannaq village in northwestern Greenland, says the shark meat, when mixed with macro-algae and household wastewater, could "serve as biomass for biofuel

Zoo's `intolerable cruelty'
CHARLES the chimpanzee, of the Natal Zoological Gardens and Lion Park at Umlaas Road, probably suffered chronic pain from his four broken canine teeth. Another chimp, Jessica, was "emaciated" — both animals had no access to water. Billy, who features in television advertisements, was kept in isolation in a cage from where he was unable to see another living being.Jessica and Charles were removed to Chimpanzee Eden in Mpumulanga.These are some of the findings of "intolerable" living conditions and animal cruelty made by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife staff when they conducted an inspection of the Natal Zoological Gardens and Lion Park at Umlaas Road in November 2008, according to papers that were put before Judge Ron McLaren in the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.Other criticisms concern "severe overcrowding" of 67 lions kept at that time in "ad hoc" and damp enclosures designed from disused shipping containers, and the chaining of four Asian elephants for 16 hours between 4 pm and 7 am without access to water, although they were given a bale of hay to eat.The EKZNW executive director for biodiversity[_


Trafficked Gorillas Transferred To Mvog Betsi Zoo
Four gorillas age between 5, 8, 10 and 18 recently confiscated by officials of the West Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife in Bafoussam have been transferred to the Yaounde Mvog Betsi Zoological Garden. This followed an order sign by the Minster of Forestry and Wildlife, Elvis Ngolle Ngolle.The four Nigerians, owners of the four gorillas have been left frustrated and are parading the corridors of the West Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife in search of the animals. One of them, leader of the group who spoke to Eden in tears said that if really the animals are transferred to Yaounde, he would commit suicide because of the importance of the animal to them.He equally described the Forestry and Wild life personnel as heartless and wicked not to know that the animals were tame and as such their pets. The leader, Abdulati even said that the absence of the gorilla makes him feel like someone who has lost his wife or mother. He said it was unfair

Robber killed after zoo hold-up
An armed gang of 15 robbers triggered panic at a crowded zoo in Brazil at the weekend, leading to a gunfight with police that left one of the criminals dead, media reported Monday.The gang entered the zoo in Sao Paulo on Sunday, pretending to be ordinary visitors and paying the entry fee.They then converged on a secure zone and stole 100,000 reais ($64,533) after bundling up the personnel.As they ran out, one of the robbers fired a shot, sending many of the 18,000 people visiting the zoo running for safety and alerting

Detroit Zoo Sees Record Attendance
The Detroit Zoo is seeing record attendance numbers with blockbuster summer attractions.June's attendance was 185,684, up 9 percent from last June. Also, the zoo had a record-breaking single-day attendance on July 3, with 14,409 visitors."The Detroit Zoo provides a unique experience and great value for the community, particularly in this struggling economy," said Executive Director Ron Kagan.Kagan credited "Dinosauria," the zoo's

Brand-new zoo
Asia, the Arctic, the forest and the plains -- all in a dayAs weird as it sounds, the people responsible for the Assiniboine Park Zoo are actually happy to hear visitors complain.For decades, Manitoba's largest zoo has foundered into decline, the victim of insufficient funding from a City of Winnipeg that's been struggling to find a way to meet its infrastructure commitments.Founded in 1904, the Assiniboine Park Zoo features many enclosures and exhibits that date back to the 1930s, '40s and '50s, when zoos served as mere collections for animals and did not place naturalistic settings -- never mind education and conservation -- at the top of their priorities.Today, zoo visitors encounter empty enclosures, outmoded cages and rundown support facilities. Many complain, underscoring

Zoos' plans serve as arks for animals' survival
Knoxville Zoo chimpanzee George is an active youngster whose first birthday is today. Science, as much as nature, was the key to George's birth. Science also factors in the zoo's longtime success caring for red pandas. A total of 93 red pandas have been born in Knoxville; 53 have moved to other parks to continue the species. But this science of genetics and animal management isn't always successful. Even the most advanced technology sometimes can't override nature. Knoxville Zoo keepers monitor and fret over African elephant Edie's reproductive cycle. Past efforts to artificially inseminate Edie haven't worked. And Edie, like many other zoo pachyderms, isn't getting younger.Whether it's chimps, pandas, elephants, toads or tigers, genetics and science are key as zoos try to ensure endangered animals don't disappear. Zoo officials say central to their efforts are long-term population management and animal conservation programs called Species Survival Plans or SSPs. The cooperative, often complex, efforts oversee the lives of thousands of animals today and can determine the births of their descendents and ultimately the survival of their species.SSPs aren't new. The first began in 1981; today all accredited North American zoos participate. A total of 114 plans oversee 168 species from Addax

The Brilliance and Sadness of Zoos
People wonder about mothers, human and animal, who walk away from their babies… who refuse and do not nurture their young, who literally walk away, stray out late, leave the child in the bush, in the car, at home alone unable to reach the doorknob and without food…the children cry themselves to sleep, furry or human child, matters not…each needs a mother, her warmth, her regard, her watching over them while they are yet so vulnerable, not knowing up from down, not knowing predator from friend. Alone in the world, even though this is not Creator's mind about what is meant to be.This week, two little red pandas were born in a zoo in China. The mother, fresh from the agonistas of labor, and half delivered of placentas, took one look and walked away.Away away. Did not come back to her little mewing babies. Couldn't be coaxed. No. She was having none of whatever those things were.She had lost her instincts to recognize her own. Red pandas grow up to be pint-sized versions of the Great Pandas who can outweigh these little guys by hundreds of pounds. The red pandas nibble at tender bamboo shoots once they are weaned. They have lovely red fur and in a way look like little red foxes. They are protected in China as a treasured species, as are their larger kin.Yet, people scratch their heads, including some zoologists. How can a mother who just gave birth and who is hard wired to care for her children, just walk away?Some speculate: There must just be `bad mothers' in the animal kingdom… not just human mothers who abandon their young for a night of crack and pot-metal earrings that infect her earlobes by morning, but animals too… must have some strain of bad bad moon and even worse mothering in them.

Whangarei locals getting behind big-cat park
Zion Wildlife Gardens staff are optimistic about the Whangarei big-cat park's future.Community support, including financial help from Kamo businesses, has been a key factor in reviving the park's prospects after a long period of despondency.Zion gained international prominence through the success of the Lion Man television series featuring Craig Busch, now in a legal dispute with his mother, Patricia, over administrative control of the wildlife park.Staff morale hit rock bottom when Zion keeper Dalu Mncube died after being mauled by a rare white tiger when cleaning its cage on May 27.But spirits have since lifted, with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry checking out animal welfare and safety procedures and Whangarei-born zoo troubleshooter

Extinct Fish Bred at Bristol Zoo Gardens
Bristol Zoo Gardens has successfully bred a species of fish that is extinct in the wild. A group of Potosi pupfish arrived from ZSL London Zoo earlier this year in the hope that they would breed at Bristol Zoo. Keepers were thrilled when spawning behaviour was observed soon after the fish were introduced. The fry are now six weeks old and only a couple of centimetres long.Bristol Zoo and ZSL London Zoo are the only two institutions in the UK working together to safeguard this species through a conservation breeding programme. There are a handful of private breeders in Spain, Mexico and America who are also keeping them. It is hoped that numbers will be boosted in captivity through coordinated breeding. This programme is managed through the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums.Jonny Rudd, assistant curator of the aquarium at Bristol Zoo, said: "The Potosí pupfish belongs to the

Giant Tortoise Lonesome George 'To Be A Dad'
Unhatched eggs have been found in his "bachelor" pen in the Galapagos Islands, his keepers said.For decades, the last known Pinta island tortoise had shown little interest in reproducing.But after nine decades, George is said to be in his sexual prime.Galapagos tortoises were among the species Charles Darwin observed to formulate his theory of evolution in the 19th century.Scientist have been trying to get George to mate since 1993, when they introduced two female tortoises of a different subspecies into his pen.The Galapagos National Park said the five eggs found on Monday were "in perfect condition" and ha

Age, Illness Claim Life Of Cameron Park Zoo Rhinoceros
Age and illness have claimed the life of a 38-year-old white rhinoceros named Wrinkles at Waco's Cameron Park Zoo, the zoo announced Tuesday.The rhino died Saturday night.It had been under care for digestive problems and appeared to be in the early stages of renal failure, according to a press release the zoo issued Tuesday.A necropsy will be performed to determine

Seal sanctuary slams the council for denying funds
OWNERS of the Irish Seal Sanctuary have slammed the council for inviting it and other community groups to apply for capital grants only to write later and say they could not fund them. Brendan Price, the man behind the sanctuary said the council was 'cruel and callous' in denying capital grant funding to organisations like his having encouraged them to apply for the grants.The council wrote to the seal sanctuary and other community organisations around the county saying that all its capital funds were 'being

Interactive: Caspian Terrapin

Bangladesh rare leopard cub found
A critically endangered clouded leopard cub has been captured by tribespeople in a remote area of Bangladesh, a leading zoologist has told the BBC.Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh (WTB) Chief Executive Mohammed Anwarul Islam said that the find was "exciting and hugely significant". Many conservationists believed that clouded leopards were extinct in Bangladesh. The WTB is now trying to secure the cub's release. Professor Islam said that the cub was found by indigenous villagers near the town of Rangamati in the south-eastern Chittagong Hill Tracts in June. "Obviously our long term

Back to the wild
In Fiji we have every reason to be proud of our natural heritage. Who else has the amazing crested iguana? Who can claim the beautiful red-throated lorikeet? And most Pacific islands don't even have one species of frog. We have two.But in order to keep hold of this wildlife, we need to work closely with other island nations to share knowledge and skills that have already been used to bring species back from the brink of being lost forever from this world.Earlier this month, conservation workers from across the Pacific region came together to discuss the best ways to tackle the challenges facing island plants and animals.The Island Species-Led Action course was hosted in Fiji from July 6-15 and was run by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, a UK-based charity that is at the heart of a remarkable network

Solar eclipse: Zoo inmates mistake morning darkness for dusk
The humans might have excitedly watched the solar eclipse early Wednesday morning but zoo inmates went into a quiet mood mistaking the morning darkness for dusk. "We had planned in advance to study the impact of eclipse on behaviour of inmates", said Renu Singh, zoo director. The zoo workers watched the behaviour of birds, smaller and bigger animals all through the hours of eclipse, from 5.30 till 7.30 in the morning. All of them were found huddled together in groups and birds stopped eating, especially during the 20 minutes when light was almost cut down. While the lion king, Prince had retreated to its den thinking it's time to go to sleep, white tiger, Aryan, in a pre-sleep composure, had some cool moments inside the water pond inside its enclosure. The peahen with her chicks had taken shelter inside bushes and deer chose to

Zoo anticipates more flamingos
Keepers at a city zoo said they are expecting a record-breaking number of flamingo chicks after a successful breeding season.Four Chilean flamingo chicks have been born in Edinburgh Zoo and another five eggs are due to hatch in the next few weeks.The zoo's previous breeding record is four chicks, which hatched in 2006.The zookeepers said they have put in a lot of work in the past few months to create an optimum breeding environment for this threatened

Sea lion stud dies in action at German zoo
A male sea lion from California called Mike has died of exhaustion after overexerting himself during the mating season in an animal park in Nuremberg, Germany.The 19-year-old father of 12 offspring through three different females showed signs of tiredness and could not get out of the pool. He died of a heart attack. "Mating season is a common time for fatalities when

Zoo jobs are lost
THE AXE has fallen on jobs at Twycross Zoo as employees have been made redundant for the first time in its 45 year history.The finger of blame for the redundancies of 12 full-time permanent positions has been firmly pointed at the poor economic climate.The job losses are the first in the history of the attraction which first opened in 1963.Positions that have gone include the deputy director as well as in areas of gardening, marketing, catering and admin.The move comes just months after the zoo was inundated with job applications for seasonal positions, which saw queues of people having to be turned away.Kim Riley, spokesperson for the zoo, was keen

Jellywatch – aquarium wants your sightings
NEWQUAY'S Blue Reef Aquarium wants holidaymakers to record their jellyfish sightings this summer. The aquarium is backing a nationwide survey by the Marine Conservation Society to find out more about these mysterious ocean wanderers.Blue Reef, which has its own living jellyfish display, hopes the survey will help change people's opinion of these enigmatic creatures. The Marine Conservation Society has already received more than 6,000 reports of jellyfish from the UK, Eire and the Channel Islands since the survey began back in 2003 and is hoping this summer will provide a

Endangered camels set up home in Scottish wildlife park
CAMELS might not be the first creatures you would expect to see in the Highlands, but the region's newest residents were settling into their surroundings yesterday. Three Bactrian camels made their public debut at the Highland Wildlife Park, near Kincraig, after moving from Edinburgh Zoo. There are two females, Caramel and Khara, and a younger male called Karnali.It is hoped the park will be able to breed the species when Karnali matures.Bactrian camels used to be found throughout central Asia but are now restricted to pockets of the Gobi desert. The species, which can reach speeds of up to 40mph, was domesticated in an area called Bactria, near present-day Iran, more than 4,000 years ago. Bactrians have two humps containing Animals well-suited to northern climate


Toothless laws encourage rising demand for Asian pangolins
rising demand for pangolins, mostly from mainland China, compounded by lax laws is wiping out the unique toothless anteaters from their native habitats in Southeast Asia, according to a group of leading pangolin experts.Illegal trade in Asian pangolin meat and scales has caused the scaly anteaters to disappear from large swathes of Cambodia, Viet Nam and Lao PDR, concluded a panel of experts whose findings were announced today by the wildlife trade monitoring network, TRAFFIC. "China has a long history of consuming pangolin as meat and in traditional medicine," the report states. "Due to continual demand and the decreasing Chinese wild population, in the past few years pangolin smuggling from Southeast Asia has resulted in great declines in these producing countries' wild populations, as

Kruger an 'Animal Supermarket'
A blistering attack has been launched on the Kruger National Park by animal welfare organisations worried about the fate of the wild animals, specifically white rhino."The Kruger National Park has developed into a kind of supermarket trading in animals to make even more money."The organisations claimed it had become time that the Sanparks board resigned as they had "failed" in their task to properly protect and conserve the country's wild animals, and specifically, white rhinoceros.This followed on Monday after the death of at least 10 of the 200 white rhinos, who were recently sold at an auction.The organisations were also furious that a rhino that was bought by a Free State game breeder on Friday at the game park, fell from a trailer on the N4 between Witbank and Middelburg. The trailer's tyre apparently burst and it fell over with the rhino. The frightened animal ran around in the area before it was

Mother dog nurses lesser pandas at north China zoo
Two lesser pandas who were abandoned by their mother shortly after birth at a north China zoo are now healthy and content thanks to their competent wet nurse: a mother dog, zoo workers said Thursday. The baby pandas were born at Taiyuan Zoo in Shanxi Province on June 25, said zoo worker Ha Guojiang. "Their mother, the first lesser panda bred at the zoo, was taken in from a nature reserve in the northwestern Shaanxi Province at the end of April. No one knew she was pregnant. Her plump body and bushy hair disguised her protruding belly until the babies were born," said Ha. After the panda gave birth in its pen, in broad daylight

State zoo group threatens animal euthanasia
The chief of Boston's two area major zoos is standing by statements that the facilities would shut down and some animals would have to be euthanized if the legislature does not restore $4-million in state funding.The president and chief executive of Zoo New England, which runs the Franklin Park Zoo and the Stone Zoo, said as many as 20 percent of the animals would be put down because it is unlikely officials could find new homes for them under current economic circumstances.Scott Foster, chairman of the board for Forest Park Zoo, said that he is hopeful that such drastic measures will not have to be taken. "The animals would almost certainly never be euthanized. Other zoos would take them. There's a whole network of

Zoo gets new support
Citizens group UPA pushes for public funding of Gulf Breeze facilityA citizens organization in south Santa Rosa County is throwing its backing behind public support of the financially ailing Zoo Northwest Florida.The United Peninsula Association — formerly known as the United Peninsula Homeowners Association — is supporting the zoo's request for money from the Santa Rosa County Commission."Let's trim the budget and cut the payrolls, but save the zoo while we tighten our Santa Rosa County belts," UPA president Don Richards wrote in a July 9 e-mail

Activists say Malaysia is losing battle to save Tigers
Malaysia is losing the battle to save its dwindling population of wild tigers, a conservation coalition warned Wednesday after a series of raids that netted tiger carcasses and bones.`It is clearly time to admit that we are fast losing the battle to save our tigers to an army of smugglers and poachers intent on killing every last one,' said the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MyCat).`They enter our protected areas with ease, and illegally trap, kill and export our wildlife with little fear,' said the alliance which includes WWF Malaysia and watchdog Traffic Southeast Asia.MyCat demanded that Malaysian authorities take action to stop the illegal trade in tiger parts. It listed a series of seizures of dismembered tigers in recent months, from the Thai-Laos border right down to Malaysia itself, including three

Missouri works to preserve giant salamander population
Inside the Ron Goellner Conservation Center at the St. Louis Zoo, slimy creatures 2 feet long hide under rocks in separate tanks. These solitary creatures are the largest amphibians in North America, giant salamanders known as hellbenders or "snot otters."Hellbenders have been on the federal endangered species list since

Rhino, hippopotamus soon at Safari Park
A Rhinoceros and Hippopotamus will be the next new arrivals in the Safari Park, revealed by the DCO Karachi, Javed Hanif, during his visit to Safari Park here on Saturday, The Nation has learnt. He was on a visit to review the arrangements made for the 4 baby elephants in the Safari Park. It may be noted here that arrival of four baby elephants is unique in a sense as there is no other example in country's 60 years history that four elephants were present at a time in any zoo of the country. These days, people along with their children thronged to the Safari Park to see these elephants. The Safari Park management claimed that hundreds of thousands citizens visited the elephants enclosure since their arrival. Hanif directed the park management to initiate arrangements for other animals including Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus Giraffes and other animals. Whereas, tenders would be floated in this regard as soon as possible. He also directed the zoo staff to pay extra attention to the baby elephants. Meanwhile, the Community Development Department (CDD) has finally

Thai probe shows tiger parts came from Malaysia
Investigations by Thai wildlife authorities have confirmed that some of the tiger parts confiscated in Thailand last year belonged to the Malayan tiger, a specie found only in Peninsula Malay-sia.Dr Suchitra Changtragoon from the Forest Genetics and Biotech-nology Group said genetic fingerprinting revealed that the parts came from three species of tigers — the Indochinese, Amur and Malayan.The group comes under the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department of Thai-land.The group investigated 17 meat samples obtained from the seizure of animal parts early this year.Twelve were found to be tiger meat, three were leopard meat and the rest were meat from the clouded leopard.Of the 12 tiger samples, five were from Malayan tigers, five were from Indochinese tigers and the remaining two were from Amur tigers.The findings were published in a scientific journal made available to The Star. The report is also published on the department's website ( January this year, three tiger carcasses, weighing up to 250kg, were seized from a truck passing through Hua Hin while in February, two tiger and one panther carcasses were recovered

Mnangagwa, Shamu in Rhino Horn Scandal....Docket Vanishes into Tthin Air
In a scandal that has sent tongues wagging in the official corridors of Zimbabwe, a police docket against two ZANU PF heavyweights — Emmerson Mnangagwa and Webster Shamu — has vanished from attorney-general Johannes Tomana's office.And, efforts to give Tomana a copy of the docket has seen the police superintendent who was in charge of the investigations transferred from his posting at Bulawayo Central police station to a rural outpost at Nzvimbo in Chiweshe.The two high-profile figures had been implicated in massive poaching of rhinos in Zimbabwe's national parks. Mnangagwa, who earned notoriety as the head of the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) ministry in the early 80s, is the current defence minister in the government of national unity.Shamu is the media and information minister.What triggered the investigations on the two was the arrest of a Chinese national early this year when he was found with six rhino horns at a police roadblock along the Hwange-Bulawayo Road. He implicated a businessman in Kwekwe whose name has been withheld by the police. The businessman then pointed fingers at Mnangagwa and Shamu.The two government ministers are said

Sabah conservationist Mahedi dies at 58
Datuk Mahedi Andau, widely considered the father of the state's key wildlife conservation programmes, died yesterday.The 58-year-old former Sabah Wildlife Department director died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here of a heart ailment.He leaves behind a wife and three children.Department director Laurentius Ambu said Mahedi who headed the department after it was upgraded from a unit of the Forestry Department in 1988, was instrumental in the state's wildlife conservation efforts.Ambu served as Mahedi's deputy until he took over as director in 2007.He said among

Big hopes for tiny toads
When Northwest Trek purchased a small pond near its Eatonville wildlife park, they had no idea they would inherit an amazing, natural spectacle. Toads, tens of thousands of Western Toads are born in the pond and, right about now, they start coming out. The small beach appears to be alive. The ground is moving as somewhere between 50

Monkey World's gibbon family set to travel to Vietnam
A BABY gibbon is set to be the first to be released into the wild from Monkey World at Wool. Tia Nang, a golden-cheeked gibbon, was born at the park in February. Tia Nang, her sibling Tien and her parents Peanut and Pung-Yo could be the first to go back to their natural habitat through Monkey World's rescue centre at Cat Tien National Park in Vietnam. Tia Nang was named by the winner of a competition run on Heart FM, formerly 2CR. Regular visitor Emma Matthews, 40, of Blandford, won the contest and visited the park to officially name her. The name Tia Nang, meaning `ray of sunshine' in Vietnamese, was chosen by

Elephant carwash raises zoo cash
wildlife safari in Oregon, USA, has come up with an unusual way to raise money in the tough economic climate. For $20, visitors can have their car washed by the zoo's elephants, who scrub with sponges and rinse with their trunks. Wildlife Safari Executive Director, Dan Van Slyke, and Elephant Supervisor, Carol Matthews, claim that

Zoo Bars Cadbury Products
A consumer backlash is mounting over Cadbury's decision to add palm oil to its chocolate, with Auckland Zoo pulling the confectionary giant's products from its shops and restaurant because of concern over the damage palm oil production does to rainforests. Users of social networking sites have set up "boycott Cadbury" groups, and plans are under way for a petition urging Parliament to warn consumers about palm oil. And Green MP Sue Kedgley has waded into the debate, urging people to vote with their wallets.Auckland Zoo conservation officer Peter Fraser says the problem with palm oil is that to produce it, rainforest is being cleared in South East Asia.That means the endangered orang-utans are losing their habitat and the zoo predicts that if palm oil production continues at its current pace, none of the animals will be left in the wild in 10 years.Keepers at the zoo are also weaning

Orang-utan's great escape from Perth Zoo
Her name translates as "come home", but Pulang the orang-utan has done anything but for a few minutes at Perth Zoo.The 15-year-old Sumatran simian used a rope to swing out of her enclosure on Saturday, showing all the wisdom of age and her species.Pulang "appeared to free a rope from a bolt and swing herself into the visitor area", senior orang-utan

Moribund burial beetle getting a new lease on life (interesting video) The undertaker of the insect world is beginning to make a comeback from its own near-death experience.Once, the American burying beetle - known for the unusual subterranean habits that inspired its name - was found throughout the Northeast. But the beetles have largely vanished from the region, except for a population that lives on Block Island off Rhode Island.Now, a 15-year effort to reintroduce the black-and-orange beetle is showing signs of success, right under tourists' feet on Nantucket. At least 150 beetles - and probably many more - are surviving in the wild here each year.The 1-inch beetle's shot at survival marks a discernible shift in the protection of rare species. Rather than focusing primarily on animals at the top of the food chain, scientists increasingly are training their survival skills on the less cuddly creatures that form the building blocks of earth's ecosystem."People need to care about more species than just polar bears,'' said Lou Perrotti, the conservation programs coordinator

Killing of hippo in Colombia sparks outcry
Protesters demand an order be rescinded that authorizes the killing of two other hippos believed to be related to the slain one, called Pepe, that escaped from a ranch once owned by Pablo EscobarThe government-ordered killing of a hippopotamus that escaped from the ranch once owned by the late drug kingpin Pablo Escobar has raised an outcry among Colombian animal rights groups.The hippo, nicknamed Pepe, was killed last month near the town of Puerto Berrio, about 100 miles northwest of Bogota. An environmental agency in Antioquia state ordered the hippo killed as a health risk and menace to farmers and fishermen, and the national Environment Ministry approved the killing.The killing came to light last weekend when photos were published showing soldiers who helped corner the animal posing around the carcass like big-game hunters. The hippo was killed by two professional hunters using high-powered,0,235800.story

Kenya seizes ivory, rhino horn heading to Asia
Kenya seized more than 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of illegal ivory and black rhinoceros horn — some of it still bloody — on a cargo plane headed to Asia on Tuesday, wildlife officials said.The blood on some of the 16 elephant tusks and two rhino horns suggested the animals had been killed recently, said Patrick Omondi of the biodiversity and research division of the Kenya Wildlife Service.The contraband was hidden in wooden boxes shaped like coffins.The flight originated in Mozambique and stopped in Nairobi en route to Thailand and finally Laos. It was not clear where the items came from; Omondi said they could have been smuggled into Mozambique from Tanzania or South Africa.Poaching elephants and black rhinos is illegal. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species banne

'Banks for the new mates' say Durrell's lemurs
A donation by Isle of Man based Fairbairn Private Bank will allow the Gerald Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust at Jersey Zoo to start a new breeding programme for its endangered ring-tailed lemurs.Fairbairn has adopted the bachelor group of animals which have lived at the zoo for many years.The recent arrival of two new females, the cost of which has been covered by the bank through the donation, has caused great excitement among the three males. The two females, from Chester Zoo, have completed a four-week quarantine period and were recently moved to the park's main Lemur

Interactive: Migrating bird Houbara Bustard

Funding most likely to be restored to Stone and Franklin Park zoos
Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo announced at a press conference Monday afternoon that, after receiving a large outpouring of support from both the public and state officials, Stone Zoo — along with its Dorchester counterpart, Franklin Park — will most likely see a restoration of funding that would prevent the closure of their facilities.This week or next, the House and Senate are expected to override Gov. Deval Patrick's decision to cut Zoo New England funding down to just $2.5 million from the original $6.5 million set aside earlier in the budget process."We are working very hard with the state Legislature and the governor's office to resolve this very complex issue and we're hopeful of a positive outcome," John Linehan, chief executive officer and president of Zoo New England, said

The zoo that cried wolf
First of all, nobody was ever planning to close Franklin Park Zoo or the Stone Zoo in Stoneham. Nor was anyone ever going to liquidate any animals.This was a mass panic - fueled by public manipulation by the outfit that runs the zoos - that never needed to happen, even given the governor's announced budget cuts.For now, House Speaker Robert DeLeo has blinked. He declared yesterday that the entire $4 million cut from the zoo's budget would be restored in short order by overriding the governor's veto.DeLeo has not said what the House will cut to make this happen, though a possible target is medical aid to legal immigrants.Because really, why take care of noncitizens, at the expense of giraffes?Like any right-minded person, I am squarely on the

Sea lion therapy in Elche
It's said to help hyperactive children to relax and increase their self esteemThe Elche safari park has started a new therapy to help hyperactive children, Público reports this Thursday. Supervised by psychologists and monitors, they are given the opportunity to join the safari park's sea lions in their pool, for hour-long sessions with these calm

First Safari Park at Ridiyagama
The first wildlife safari park and botanical bio-diversity conservation garden of over 500 acres will be set up in Ridiyagama, Hambantota. The total estimated cost of the project is Rs. 1.6 billion while the work on the park to be named Lion Safari park will start immediately, Chief Government Whip and Urban Development and Sacred Area Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardene told Parliament. He presented a Rs. 50 million supplementary estimate to initiate the project. The Safari Wildlife Park will feature wildlife conservation and breeding under the direction of zoologists and wildlife men especially of endangered endemic species and will also be in close proximity to the Bundala bird sanctuary and hot water springs at Madunagala as well as the new botanical gardens at Mirijjawila. The park will also be home to Sri Lankan wild animals that would be brought from other parts of the country and released into it for natural progeny to take place but under the overview of the zoologists the Chief Government, Whip Minister Dinesh Gunawardene said presenting the supplementary estimate on behalf of Sports and Public Recreation Minister Gamini Lokuge. Since the Lion Safari Park will be located in close proximity to the Internal Airport and the Hambantota port it will be easily accessible to tourists and in addition a research centre for naturalists and students would also be a part of the park and a special enclosure

Wildlife minister smuggling turtle meat to China?
The railway police decided to conduct a raid on the Sindh Wildlife conservator's official vehicle. They were not disappointed so to speak, as they discovered a heavy consignment of protected turtle meat. The meat was dried, boneless and all packed in four large cartons to be exported to the international market. Turtle meat is served in soups and is considered to be not only a delicacy but also in fact an aphrodisiac in many countries including China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand. Just these four cartons alone could fetch up to Rs 1 million.The cartons were tagged with the words `Thai cargo' and the bill no 217-16234875. They were supposed to be taken to Beijing, China. The railway police station lodged an FIR no 44/2009 under section 411/34 Pakistan Panel Code (PPC) while also arresting the wildlife department's junior clerk, Bashir Ahmed Shiekh, the Sindh Wildlife conservator's personal driver Ghulam Nabi and Imran, a rickshaw driver. The 150 kg consignment was also taken into custody along with the official vehicle, registration no GS-4126 and Imran's rickshaw, bearing resgistration no D-45521 in custody. The incident took place while Sindh Wildlife Conservator Husain Bux Bhaagat was not in the country and is in Saudi Arabia for performing

Two members of staff from the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) at Slimbridge will don their backpacks and travel to a remote lake in Madagascar this weekend in a bid to save the almost extinct Madagascar pochard - a species of duck.The Madagascar pochard was thought to be extinct until a couple of years ago when 24 birds were discovered on a small lake in a remote area of the country. Regular surveys since show that numbers are not increasing, leaving the species at high risk of dying out.WWT's aviculture manager, Nigel Jarrett, and head of species planning, Peter Cranswick, will meet colleagues from Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and The Peregrine Fund in Madagascar next week to

ORANG UTANS: A promise of action over wildlife
DR AMERJIT SINGH for Secretary-GeneralMinistry of Natural Resources and Environment, PutrajayaI REFER to the letter from E.L. of Petaling Jaya on the baby orang utans that were confiscated from Taiping Zoo ("Taiping Zoo staff face the music" -- NST, July 13). The Department of Wildlife and National Parks shares the concern of the writer and has formally informed Taiping Zoo on this issue. The case is

Baby gibbons stolen from French zoo
Thieves broke into a French zoo and snatched year-old twin baby gibbons after throwing their mother into the moat around their island home, the site's manager said Thursday.Keepers at the Frejus Zoological Park discovered what had happened on Tuesday morning after finding the female ape, 15-year-old Micha, soaking wet and in distress

Oldest zoo in Texas turns 100
It took just minutes for four Asian elephants to knock down and munch on the decorated hay stacks Thursday, as if the Fort Worth Zoo's special 100th birthday cake was like any other snack. But everyone else knew it was a centennial celebration for the state's oldest zoo, which started with about a dozen animals from a traveling carnival. The zoo now has about 5,000 animals representing nearly 500 species and participates in conservation research projects. "A hundred years ago, zoos were a farm collection and some exotic animals, and they did not have the professional

Where the wild things are
Intrepid reporter spends day at the zoo. The joke begins like this: So a reporter walks into a lion cage. The punchline ends with the reporter scooping up lion droppings.The second joke begins like this: Why did the peacock cross the road?Well, it didn't actually cross the road, because early Thursday a motorist on his way to work ran over the peacock, leaving it on the side of Attridge Drive near the entrance of the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo.The large, brown lump is the first contact with the zoo this morning for the reporter, who plans on spending a day working with zoo keepers. It's a grim portent for a day to be spent in close contact with powerful carnivores.At 8 a.m., the reporter meets the zoo's manager, John Moran, to set the parameters for today's job shadowing. Moran mentions the zoo employees have already done checks to confirm no caged animals are missing."Have you ever lost an animal?" asks the reporter."Ever lose people?" replies Moran.A minute later, the call comes in from a zoo employee who informs Moran that a motorist on his way to work hit a peacock around 6 a.m. Someone is sent out to retrieve the carcass."That's the trouble with free-range birds," says Moran

Kilkenny's 'thickest thieves' hit Reptile Zoo
THIEVES who broke in to Gowran's Reptile Village Zoo early yesterday (Tuesday) morning are contenders to be named Kil-kenny's 'thickest thieves'.The intruders smashed their way into the zoo, which houses man-eating crocodiles and a dazzling array of dangerous animals including pit vipers, Nile Monitor lizards and boa constrictors.They then stole three worthless creatures, raided a charityADVERTISEMENTbox

Auckland Zoo to return a third of their orang-utans to the US
Orang-utans are an endangered species. So endangered that Auckland Zoo is returning a third of theirs to the US. Saying good bye to a family of orang-utans will be hard for staff at Auckland Zoo. Come this Sunday, the trio will be relocated to Florida where their genes will make a valuable contribution to the US species' survival plan. It is a move staff say is for the best. The family are part of an international captive management

Four artificially-bred South China tigers survive in China zoo
A zoo in central China's Henan Province said Wednesday that four South China Tiger cubs produced by artificial breeding had survived. The four cubs - two males and two females - were born in Wangcheng Zoo in Luoyang City. Three cubs were born on April 17. Their parents, Liang Liang and Niu Niu, are three years old. Another cub was born on May 1, and its parents, Guo Guo and Pan Pan, are 12. "They have passed a critical period," said Li Maoping, manager of the park. "It is the first successful breeding in the areas north of the Yangtze River." The survival rate of artificially-bred South China tiger cubs is about 40 percent as they have low resistance to disease because of inbreeding and a lack of breast milk, she said. Li said the cubs had passed DNA tests and were genuine South China tigers, an endangered species. The tests were conducted in a biological laboratory for

Zoo accused of lizard-napping
Police raided Næstved Zoo yesterday after accusations that the owner had stolen animals The family-run Næstved Zoo has been thrown into the spotlight again after its owner was arrested by police yesterday and questioned regarding claims that he had stolen...The family-run Næstved Zoo has been thrown into the spotlight again after its owner was arrested by police yesterday and questioned regarding claims that he had stolen animals from a Czech dealer.On behalf of Czech authorities, police confiscated five rare lizards, two turtles and a snake in the raid on the south Zealand zoo yesterday afternoon. The animals matched a description of animals allegedly stolen from a Czech animal supplier in March.Peter Bo Rasmussen was later released by police and maintained his innocence saying he had receipts for the purchase of the animals and implied that he had been set up by the foreign animal supplier.Rasmussen, according to Berlingske Tidende newspaper, bought the animals in March, but the dealer, he said, was anxious for him to

Therapeutic taping helps Detroit Zoo flamingo
A therapeutic taping method used on athletes at the 2008 Beijing Olympics turned out to be the perfect solution for treating the bowed leg of a Detroit Zoo flamingo. While hand-rearing Ashton, a male Chilean flamingo born in October 2008, bird care staff noticed a progressive rotation in one leg as he continued to grow. When regular exercise did not solve the problem, it became evident that alternative treatment would be necessary. If left untreated, the condition can lead to scar tissue formation and a painful arthritic condition from bone-on-bone

Kyoto zoo chimps no chumps at simple math
If you visit Kyoto City Zoo, there's a chance you will see chimpanzees learning numbers in front of a special touch panel.Since late May, four chimps that arrived at the zoo in March began their studies under the guidance of Masayuki Tanaka, an associate professor at Kyoto University's Wildlife Research Center. Visitors can watch the hourlong study period four times a week.The chimpanzees are learning the scale of numbers. For example, when several numbers appear on the panel screen, a chimp sitting in front of it is to start touching them in order. He or she is to start from one and continue

Baby cuttlefish the latest arrivals for aquarium
TYNEMOUTH'S Blue Reef Aquarium is celebrating the arrival of more than a dozen baby cuttlefish this week.More than 14 of the mini-marvels, each just over a couple of centimetres long, were born from eggs laid earlier this year at Tynemouth's sister aquarium in Newquay and are thought to be the seventh generation of cuttlefish born in captivity. Cuttlefish are close relatives of the octopus.Like their eight-legged cousins they can change colour and even body shape

Taiping Zoo caught red-handed, again
It was encouraging to read of Perhilitan's quick response to the tip off that orangutans were being held illegally by the Taiping Zoo and a nearby ostrich breeder.The response from Dr Kevin Lazarus to the confiscation of the orangutans would be laughable if it were not so serious. Here is a man in charge of a zoo which, by any standard, is notorious for its involvement in the illegal trade of great apes, having previously been caught red-handed with four wild caught gorillas.On that occasion, although after a very prolonged delay the gorillas were returned to Africa, Taiping Zoo, were, inexplicably, never prosecuted by Perhilitan. Even the exporters were prosecuted in Nigeria, not exactly a country renowned for its law enforcement.Now, after being caught yet again with illegal wild animals, Lazarus wants us to believe he accepted these orangutans

Vietnamese police arrest three tiger smugglers
Hanoi police have arrested three men who were found illegally transporting a disemboweled tiger carcass and a tiger skeleton, a police official said Thursday. 'It took us about a month to bust this case,' said Tran Quang Cuong of Hanoi's Environmental Police Agency, which arrested the men as they were transporting the tigers in their car. He said they confessed their crimes. Police identified the three men involved in the case as Hoang Van Su, 36, the owner of the tiger carcass, Nguyen Trung Phong, the car's driver and Su's friend


Mummy, where are my stripes? Pure white Bengal tiger astonishes keepers
It doesn't take a wildlife expert to spot the difference between this white Bengal tiger cub and the rest of her family. For six-month-old Fareeda missed out when they were handing out the stripes. That makes her an extreme rarity - and a major attraction at the South African conservation centre where she was born. Fareeda's mother Geena and father Shiva are kept at Cango Wildlife Ranch, near Cape Town, as part of a breeding programme to keep their species

Berlin zoo: Knut money dispute settled
The Berlin Zoo says it has resolved a financial dispute with another German zoo over celebrity polar bear Knut.A zoo statement says the zoo reached an agreement with its counterpart in Neumuenster and will hold a news conference Wednesday.Zoo officials declined to comment further Tuesday. Officials in Neumuenster could not be reached.Neumuenster owns Knut's father and says it is the legal owner of Knut, his first offspring. It has sought a slice of the proceeds from Knut, born in Berlin in 2006.Berlin's B.Z. newspaper reports without citing sources

Interactive: Lappet faced vulture
Gulf News will run an infographic page every Tuesday, a series spread over two months. It's our way of promoting awarenessby highlighting creatures native to the peninsula which areunder threat of fading into history books permanently.

For well-behaved pet, take tips from zoo trainers
You'll never have to teach a panda to walk on a leash. But if any kind of animal lives in your house, trainers at the zoo have some useful lessons for you.Modern training methods rely on a simple principle of learning: If an action has a pleasurable consequence, the animal will repeat it. Or as animal behaviorist Emily Weiss puts it, "If it feels good, do it again."So it should be easy to mold a pet's behavior - reward it when it does what we like, and don't when it doesn't. But getting the details right can be a challenge, whether with a panda or a pup, and that's often because

DENR to make Quezon City wildlife park a 'biodiversity showcase'
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced yesterday its plans to transform the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center (NAPWNC) in Quezon City into a "biodiversity showcase.""We intend to make NAPWNC a `model biodiversity conservation area in an urban area' where people, particularly the youth, can learn more about Philippine biodiversity and appreciate the necessity of protecting them," DENR Secretary Lito Atienza said.The DENR said the Philippines has long taken great pride in its diverse natural wealth – the country has more than 14,000 species of plants, 9,000 of which are flowering plants."Worldwide, the Philippines rank fifth in the number of plant species. We also rank fourth in bird endemism, which means that these birds are found only in the Philippines. And we rank fifth in mammal endemism," Atienza said.Recently, Atienza signed a memorandum of agreement with Palafox Associates, represented by its founder, managing partner and principal architect Felino Palafox, to facilitate the preparation of the NAPWNC conceptual master plan that will include detailed site engineering, landscape architectural design and urban design.The DENR said around 3,000 species of trees that thrive in the country are found in the park, 100 of which are endemic to the country such as narra, molave, kamagong and ipil. As for plant and animal species that cannot thrive

White rhino from Kruger sold to hunters, it is feared
Hundreds of white rhino from one of the world's most famous game reserves are to be herded up and sold, many of them to private hunters. Up to 350 of the rare animals will be sold this year alone from the Kruger National Park under fundraising plans drawn up by the South African government.Animal rights groups have criticised the move and warned it would undermine conservation efforts at the reserve, which is visited by 1.5 million tourists every year.Steve Smit, spokesman for Animal Rights Africa, said: "The idea of herding up animals from a major wildlife reserve and selling them to private institutions is outrageous."We have a duty to protect these rare animals, but the South African government is more interested in making money than conservation."Many of these animals will end up being bought by hunters who will

Zoo tigers 'key' to Amur survival
Past plans to use captive Amur tigers to help boost the subspecies' wild population could be reinstated soon, a wildlife park chief has predicted.The move would follow research suggesting fewer than 35 out of 500 big cats in the wild are genetically diverse for healthy breeding. Doug Richardson, of the Highland Wildlife Park, said using captive animals had been mooted before. The park at Kincraig has five of the world's largest cat. Researchers Michael Russello and Philippe Henry of the University of British Columbia, in Kelowna, Canada led a team drawn from universities in Canada, Japan

Prison Inmates Raise Endangered Frogs
If the spotted frog manages to make a come back in Oregon, the species will have two state convicts to thank in part for the success story.Prisoners Harry Greer and Albert Delp, both serving time at the minimum-security Cedar Creek Corrections Center in Littlerock, Washington, spend their days helping raise dozens of frogs for a project run by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. It turns out both men are quite good at mothering tadpoles into fully grown frogs that eventually are released into the wild to repopulate the species in the Puget Sound area. Since the project began, only eight frogs cared for by Greer and Delp have died—which

Australia's first Asian Elephant calf (Video)
We took the calf for its third walk today. Mum Thong Dee decided to try climbing a hill and the calf tried to follow. He made a really good attempt but had a little stumble. Thong Dee turned straight back and continued on flat ground. On the way back to the barn Thong Dee, aunty Tang Mo and the calf all got involved in a dusting session and the calf had great fun in the dirt. He also had his first introduction to a toy today. We gave him a toy soccer ball to see what he would make of it. He was kind of kicking it but I

Santa Rosa rejects zoo plea - No money for facility, county officials say
The Zoo Northwest Florida got an answer just short of "No'' on Monday when it asked the Santa Rosa County Commission for $125,000 to help keep the Gulf Breeze animal park open."Based on our current budget considerations, I don't see any way to find it," County Commissioner Don Salter told the zoo's executive director, Danyelle Lantz.Salter said there was no reason to put the matter on the commission agenda for a formal vote on Thursday."I think the answer is going to be 'No,' " he said.The county is facing a $3.5 million budget shortfall, and painful cuts are expected, County Administrator Hunter

Monkeys on the loose at city zoo
A number of monkeys who escaped after being moved to a new enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo are still on the loose.The barbary macaques, which are not said to pose a threat to humans, made their bid for freedom on Friday. Zookeepers with nets are now trying to tempt the monkeys down from trees at the Corstorphine Hill site. A zoo spokeswoman said some of the monkeys had been recaptured, but an undisclosed number were still free within the grounds of the zoo. She said the escape had involved a small number of the barbary macaques. "We are still open to visitors

Oversize Tortoise Outgrows Sedgwick County Zoo Exhibit
A massive attraction at the Sedgwick County Zoo outgrows its home. Now an animal that isn't known for moving much has a long trip to make. Other famous tortoises are known for being slow and steady. This one just doesn't want to move at all. The 78-year-old Aldabra tortoise, appropriately named Rocket, has found himself a shady spot in his corner of the zoo. It appears no amount of carrots will coax him out. Zookeepers give him a good shake, kind of like waking a sleeping teenager or two. "The average Aldabra tortoise is anywhere from upper 200's to around 550 lbs. He's 609 pounds, so he is larger than normal," said Nate Nelson, Curator. "No one thought he would get that large when we got him." After 40 years at the zoo, the exhibit hasn't exactly grown with him, so he's headed

Mountain Lion Wipes Out Petting Zoo
The owners of an all-natural, community-supported farm faced a tough choice after an all-natural predator killed most of the animals in their petting zoo. It started with four sheep, and then later 16 goats went missing while a mountain lion lounged on their farm. The only animals that escaped were geese, which are surprisingly nasty if you get on their bad side. Faced with crowds of children for their upcoming Garlic and Onion festival, the all-natural farm (minus the

Zoo's orang utans move to Florida
Three of Auckland Zoo's Bornean orang utans are moving to a Florida zoo this month, where they will take part in their captive breeding programme.Indra and Horst have been at the zoo for over 25 years, along with their 20-year-old daughter Intan.The Bornean orang uta

New Monkey Discovered In Brazil -- Threatened By Proposed Dams And Other Development In Region
The monkey is related to saddleback tamarins, which include several species of monkeys known for their distinctively marked backs. The newly described distinct subspecies was first seen by scientists on a 2007 expedition into the state of Amazonas in northwestern Brazil.The discovery was published in the June online edition of the International Journal of Primatology. Authors of the study include Fabio Röhe of the Wildlife Conservation Society, José de Sousa e Silva Jr. of Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, Ricardo Sampaio of the Instituto Nacional de Parquisas

Minister makes cat calls, wants cheetah back in India
It's been known for some time and now Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has made it official that tiger censuses conducted in the country in the past have been completely unreliable. "All previous methods (of conducting tiger surveys) were faulty," he said in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.Wildlife experts have long questioned the age-old method of relying on pugmarks for the census. The controversy caught on in 2005 when it was exposed that the Sariska Tiger Reserve - that claimed to have 15 tigers - didn't have one big cat. To avoid false reporting, the system for counting tigers was changed last year to a more scientific method which pinned the country's

Zoo tragedy as elephant mum kills her baby
Asali is a nervous elephant by nature and unfamiliar with baby elephants by circumstance. During her 21-month pregnancy, the staff at the Memphis Zoo in the US worried about how she would take to motherhood.Within minutes after Asali, 23, gave birth late on Monday night to the first baby elephant in the zoo's 103-year history, their fears vanished."Instantly, like a switch flipped, she became a good mom," curator Matt Thompson said.But on Wednesday, the joy over the much-anticipated birth turned to horror.The female baby, shaky on her feet, stumbled in the zoo exhibit area and Asali tried to help

Memphis Zoo's baby elephant accidentally killed by its mother
The jubilance at the Memphis Zoo following the Monday night birth of an African elephant calf was snatched away on Wednesday after the new baby was accidentally killed by its mother.At about 10 a.m. Wednesday, the calf stumbled in the enclosure. As Asali tried to right the baby with her trunk, she used too much pressure and critically injured it with her tusk, said Chuck Brady, zoo president and CEO.Zoo staffers immediately moved Asali away from the female calf, but the facility's medical team, including an elephant expert brought in for the birth, was unable to save the calf, Brady said.She died at 11:10 a.m."What started out to be

Zoo custody dispute over Knut the polar bear ends; he'll remain in Berlin
The custody battle over celebrity polar bear Knut is now over, with the Berlin Zoo -- where he's lived since his birth in 2006 -- agreeing to pay 430,000 euros (about $600,000 U.S.) to keep him. Knut and a sibling were born to the Berlin Zoo's female polar bear, Tosca, and a male polar bear named Lars that was on loan to Berlin from the Neumünster Zoo, also in Germany. According to Neumünster, it had made an agreement with Berlin that it would own Lars' first offspring.Tosca rejected her cubs shortly after they were born, and Knut's sibling died. Knut survived and became a beloved international figure -- even gracing the cover of Vanity Fair -- when

Blumenthal Questions Zoo's Plan To Import Cheetahs
The state attorney general is asking for a close examination of plans by a private Greenwich zoo to import three cheetahs from South Africa.In a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released Wednesday, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal asks for a "careful and considered review" of an import permit submitted by the Zoological Center at Lionshare Farm, a 100-acre horse farm and animal preserve owned by Olympic equestrian Peter Leone and his wife, Marcella.Blumenthal, who fought for a law banning ownership of many exotic animals after a pet chimpanzee mauled a Stamford woman last year, emphasized the zoo's proximity to several schools and a golf club and noted that it is "only a few miles" from downtown Greenwich."The service no doubt will carefully consider the location of any dangerous animal subject to an importation application," he wrote in the letter, dated July 2 and prompted by concerns raised by the advocacy group People for the Ethical Treatment,0,7335903.story

15-year High for Rhino Poaching
Rhino poaching around the world is set to reach a 15-year high, conservation groups have warned.They say demand for the threatened animals' horns is being driven by the traditional medicine trade in Asia. The groups estimated that the number of rhinos being killed in southern Africa had risen four-fold in recent years. The findings were presented at a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in Geneva. "Rhinos are in a desperate situation," said Heather Sohl, species policy officer for conservation group WWF. "This is the worst rhino poaching we have

Carnivore conservation in South Africa has been strengthened by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) joining forces with the Wild Cheetah Project, previously housed by the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Trust. The Endangered Wildlife Trust has worked on carnivore conservation outside of protected areas for many years, and welcomes the staff from the Wild Cheetah Project, who have valuable experience in Cheetah research, conservation and conflict mitigation, into the EWT. This addition to the EWT will enhance its ability to positively impact on general carnivore conservation by expanding our team of experts. "We are excited about the increased capacity that this brings to the EWT and welcome the additional expertise around important conservation issues such as human-wildlife conflict management and carnivore research," says Yolan Friedmann, CEO of the Endangered Wildlife Trust. "Carnivore conservation is more effective when we look at a multitude of species and the EWT will use this increased capacity to broaden its scope and increase the impact of its carnivore work." The majority of South Africa's wild Cheetah population occurs on communal and commercial farmland in the Limpopo, North West

Zoo penguin couple breaks up
Someone alert Perez Hilton: Harry and Pepper, the San Francisco Zoo's long-term same-sex penguin couple, have split up. And you might say there's a disreputable dame to blame.The couple's relationship began in 2003 and the breakup came as a shock to the couple's zookeepers because Harry and Pepper, both Magellanic penguins, had long seemed one of the zoo's happiest avian partnerships, according to zookeeper Anthony Brown.The two black-and-white birds paired off when Harry, whom Brown described as outgoing, befriended Pepper, an introvert who sticks mostly to his burrow. At the time, the two were adolescents and everyone assumed they were just friends.But soon they were nesting together. Harry would gather grass and bring it home to Pepper, who would arrange it tidily in their burrow, Brown said. Single females would come around, but both birds never seemed interested.Last year, the pair was allowed to incubate and hatch an egg another penguin had laid."Of all of the parents that year, they were the best," Brown said. "They took very good care of their chick. He ended up being the largest

It's a wild idea
ZOO bosses are looking to a revolutionary Dutch wildlife park for inspiration as a major new tourist attraction is planned for Glasgow.The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland - the charity behind Edinburgh Zoo - hopes to create the £35million biosphere-style animal park on the banks of the Clyde in Glasgow's East End.Experts from RZSS have visited Burgers' Zoo in Holland, which has created a series of habitats to allow visitors to immerse themselves in the natural surroundings of creatures.The Evening Times first revealed details of the plan four years ago, but zoo bosses say the plans are now well advanced.advertisementThe Dutch attraction will be a model for the Glasgow park, which is expected to have a humid Amazon jungle at its centre complete with primates, manatees and sloths.Burgers' Zoo was the first safari

Cash-strapped Boston zoo may be forced to close doors, euthanize animals
The Franklin Park Zoo, a Boston institution that has drawn generations of city and suburban families, might be forced to close its doors and possibly euthanize some of its animals as a result of the deep budget cuts imposed by Governor Deval Patrick, zoo officials said Friday.Without more state funding, those zoo officials said, they will run out of money by October and have to close both the Franklin Park Zoo and its smaller counterpart, the Stone Zoo in Stoneham. They would lay off most of their 165 employees and attempt to find new homes for more than 1,000 animals, the officials said.The zoo officials, in a written statement that echoed a letter sent earlier to legislative leaders, said they would be unlikely to find homes for at least 20 percent of the animals, "requiring either destroying them, or the care of the animals in perpetuity." The zoos, which are run by Zoo New England and attracted nearly 570,000 visitors over the past year, are operated through

Late Colombian drug lord's escaped hippos
Wanted: Late Colombian drug lord's escaped hipposColombian bounty hunters with orders to kill are seeking the two remaining hippopotamuses that escaped from the famous menagerie of fallen Colombian drug baron Pablo Escobar.The three mammals bust loose from the zoo two years ago and have survived on the lush vegetation of the steamy Magdalena valley in northwestern Colombia, far from their native Africa.Colombian wildlife authorities say the decision to order the animals killed wasn't easy and was made after locals complained the massive beasts were damaging crops and livestock, and endangering the lives of fishermen and ranchers.The first hippo — a 1 1/2-ton male — was killed by two hunters near a river in Antioquia province on June 18, but the news was first reported on Friday by Colombian news media.During his heyday at the head of the Medellin cartel

Endangered Baby Proboscis Monkeys Born in Zoo (Video)
Speaking of zoos, three baby Proboscis Monkeys born at a zoo in Indonesia's East Java debuted to the public this week.Locally known as Bekantan, with its distinctive pendulous nose, long tail and orange and grey coat, the species is native to the island of Borneo.The three babies were born late June and one in early July from mothers who live at the zoo's enclosure. They have yet to be named. The zookeeper at Surabaya Zoo says the babies are healthy. [Sukadi, Surabaya Zookeeper]:"We received these

Edinburgh zoo may become smaller
Edinburgh Zoo may have to become a smaller attraction after plans to sell off land to raise money for its upkeep were knocked back.A Scottish Government reporter has ruled against the zoo's plans to develop up to 120 homes on the edge of its site on Corstorphine Hill. It follows the zoo's unveiling of £72m plan to upgrade its Victorian plumbing, electrics and facilities. It is now feared it will not raise the £20m it hoped to make from the sale. David Windmill, chief executive for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), said if they

Tiger farming too great a gamble—World Bank
Experimenting with Tiger farming is too risky and could drive wild Tigers further toward extinction, the World Bank told a key international wildlife trade meeting today."Extinction is irreversible, so prudence and precaution suggest that the risks of legalized farming are too great a gamble for the world to take," World Bank Director Keshav Varma told the member countries of the 58th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Standing Committee. "We cannot know for sure if Tiger farming will work." Because of the unpredictability of the market environment and the small number of remaining Tigers in the wild, there is "no room for experimentation," Varma, who leads the World Bank's Global Tiger Initiative, said after the meeting."Commercial trading in Tiger parts and its derivatives

Manila Zoo's Lone Orangutan Dies
Since 1981, Sisi had been incarcerated at the Manila Zoo. Although orangutans are tree-dwelling animals, Sisi was forced to live much of her life in a tiny, litter-filled concrete-and-steel enclosure. She was on display continually in a cage that was surrounded by noisy souvenir stands and food vendors, and she was provided with nothing to hold her interest, help her pass the time, or stimulate her keen senses. Sisi's death, reportedly from cancer, is just one indication of how animals have been left in deteriorating health without veterinary care at this atrocious zoo. Because PETA Asia-Pacific remains concerned about the well-being of the surviving animals at the Manila Zoo, who all lack the space, exercise, privacy, and mental stimulation that they require, the organization has decided

Dresden zoo forced to rename primate called 'Obama'
The Dresden Zoo has been forced to rename a baby baboon called Obama after facing accusations of racial insensitivity, according to a report. The zoo welcomed the baby mandrill, a large west African baboon with a red and blue face, in the spring and, caught up in Obama-mania, named the new arrival for the US president, according to a report in The Local, the German English-language newspaper. However, a black advocacy group accused the zoo of racism and demanded that the primate be

Chester Railway Station to Chester Zoo free bus service set up
DAYTRIPPERS can climb aboard a new free bus service that will take them directly to Chester Zoo.During the summer holidays, the 110-acre zoo will trial a service that will see visitors picked up from Chester's main railway station and brought straight to the zoo's door.The trial service – which has the backing of rail companies Arriva, Northern Rail and Merseyrail – will run every hour and provides a round trip for rail ticket holders.The 16-seater bus – which has been provided by Chester-based company Busybus – has been designed with animal prints on the exterior. It is envisaged


Zoo's 30 chimps escape enclosure

Thirty chimpanzees have escaped from their enclosure at a zoo in Cheshire, forcing it to be closed.The animals found their way into a nearby keepers' area, where their food is usually prepared, at about 1240 BST, Chester Zoo said. A spokeswoman for the zoo said the animals had been contained and the zoo was closed as a security measure. How the animals came to leave their quarters is not known but they were not in an area accessed by the public. Sarah Jones, from Chester, was among the visitors at the zoo when the animals left their enclosure. "My two young boys had only

Inquiry into zoo's chimp escape

An investigation is under way into how 30 chimpanzees escaped their enclosure at Chester Zoo, forcing its evacuation.The primates found their way into a nearby keepers' area, where their food is usually prepared, on Sunday afternoon, the zoo said. Although the area is secure, about 5,000 visitors were asked to leave the zoo site as a security measure. Zoo director general Gordon McGregor-Reid has apologised for the inconvenience to visitors. The animal alert went out at 1240 BST after the chimpanzees were discovered in the kitchen area, Chester Zoo said. How the animals came to leave their quarters is not known but they were not in an area accessed by the public. The Zoo's blacksmith was visiting the area on Monday to examine the door latches. 'Safety first'Mr McGregor-Reid said: "Somehow or other they got into the kitchen - it must have been the smell of the bananas or something like that." "It was a bit like an old-

Lizard's birth is 'virgin' on the miraculous

IT is being hailed as an "immaculate conception" -- but not in the Biblical sense. The world-first birth from a virgin lizard at a reptile farm in Co Kilkenny has left scientists scratching their heads. Nice, a 10-year-old Nile monitor lizard, has lived at the Reptile Village Zoo in Gowran, Co Kilkenny, since she was a hatchling and never had any contact with a male lizard.Curator James Hennessy said the birth was a "miracle of nature", which has never occurred in captivity anywhere in the world before. Amazing "This phenomenon is known as parthenogenesis and has never been known to occur in this species before," he said. Mr Hennessy said Nice, who is one of two female Nile monitors at the zoo (the other is called Nasty) laid about 12 eggs. "Both the lizards lay eggs most years, but we usually just throw them out," he said. "I decided to put the eggs in an incubator and see what happened. I'm still not 100pc sure why I did it this year, but I'm glad I did."

World first as Kilkenny virgin lizard reproduces

A KILKENNY reptile zoo has reported the world's first birth to a virgin lizard previously thought incapable of reproduction without a mate.While other species of lizard are known to give birth by parthenogenesis – an asexual form of reproduction – James Hennessy, curator of Reptile Village Zoo in Gowran said one of its female Nile Monitor lizards had reproduced, despite having never been in contact with a male."This has never been known to occur in this species before," he said. "There have been two cases of parthenogenesis recorded in Komodo Dragons – a different species of Monitor lizard found only in Indonesia – but never in Nile Monitor species from Africa, so this is a first in the world."Mr Hennessy said the zoo's Monitor lizard – a species commonly found in west and central Africa – recently laid a number of eggs, two of which turned out to be fertile."Having a Nile Monitor reproduce in captivity is an accomplishment in itself, but what makes this even more amazing is that the female has never been with a male lizard. I was absolutely shocked."The young lizard was too weak to hatch

Elephant calf born at Taronga

SYDNEY has welcomed the first elephant born in Australia.The male calf was born to Asian elephant Thong Dee in Taronga Zoo's Elephant Barn about 3.08am yesterday.After a three-hour labour, Thong Dee, who was a street elephant in Bangkok, was surprised by the calf and took time to calm down.She greeted the new baby by touching his trunk. By morning, he was trying to suckle, which zookeepers say is excellent news."Although it's very soon since the delivery, the early signs are good and we will monitor mother and calf very closely, providing every possible support," zoo director Guy Cooper said in a statement.He said zoo staff had been eagerly anticipating the birth."They were with her throughout the

DNA tests being done on orang utans

The Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhi- litan) is conducting DNA tests on two baby orang utans which were confiscated from the Taiping Zoo last month.Perhilitan director-general Datuk Abdul Rashid Samsudin said the DNA results would help prosecutors determine the type of charge for those responsible."We need to find out what species the orang utan are, and the results will determine what action can be taken," he said

Hong Kong Ocean Park to raise admission fee by 20%

Hong Kong Ocean Park announced Wednesday that it will raise its admission fee by about 20 percent on Aug.1. The single ticket for adults will cost 250 HK dollars (about 32 U.S. dollars), compared with the current 208 HK dollars while the child ticket will rise by 22 HK dollars to 125 HK dollars. In terms of the annual pass, the fee will be up 67 HK dollars to 695 HK dollars for adults and 37 HK dollars up to 350 HK dollars for children. Meanwhile, children younger than three years old and elders aged above 65 will still have free access to the park. Ocean Park Chairman Allan Zeman said the price hike

Tippi Hedren says she's told Michael Jackson's former pet tigers about his death

Actress and animal advocate Tippi Hedren, who runs the Shambala reserve, which now houses Michael Jackson's pet tigers, says she has notified the animals of their former owner's death. "I went up and sat with them for a while and let them know that Michael was gone," Hedren told AFP. "You don't know what mental telepathy exists from the human to the animal. But I hope they understood."Jackson asked his longtime veterinarian to find the best homes available for his animals when his private zoo was being dismantled, according to a statement on Shambala's website. The vet suggested the Acton, Calif., reserve, which houses about 70 big cats, for Jackson's two Bengal tigers. The tigers, named Thriller and Sabu, arrived at Shambala in 2006. (See video of them at the wake of Jackson's death, Hedren is urging his mourning fans to take action for the big cats he loved by supporting legislation to ban breeding them for use as pets.

Newly-arrived baby elephants' monitoring period comes to end

The four newly brought baby elephants will be accessible to general public from today (Thursday) as the 48 hours monitoring period has come to an end on Wednesday, The Nations learnt. Great jubilation was observed in the Safari Park, when four baby elephants were witnessed trumpeting in the quarantine station, but the visitors were not allowed for the spectacle till Wednesday due to 48 hours strict monitoring of the loving species. After passing 48 hours in the Safari Park, the baby elephants, imported from Tanzania are quite relax and enjoying the new environment. Keeping in view this condition of the species, the city government authorities have decided to open the quarantine stations for the general public from to on Thursday evening. Informed sources said that two elephants handling experts, who came along with the elephants from Tanzania to monitor the quarantine period, has permitted the Safari Park authorities to allow the public visiting at the quarantine station of elephants to see the new animals during the evening time. The EDO, Community Development Department (CDD), Rehana

Elephant import to Karachi triggers customs row

A row is simmering after four baby elephants donated by the Tanzanian government to the City District Government Karachi (CDGK), arrived in the city, sources said yesterday. Sources said the CDGK termed the elephants of "no commercial value", but a freight of approximately $6,000 was mentioned. The customs, however, provisionally considered the price of the four baby African elephants to be around $10,000 and hence

Confiscated Orangutan Photo

Department of Wildlife and National Parks officer Ahmad Julaihi nurses "Tattoo" a seven-month-old baby orangutan at his offices in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday. Tattoo was one of three baby orangutans rescued last weekend from an ostrich breeder and a zoo in northern Malaysia. The zoo and breeder could face up to six years in prison if

Baby Rhino in Good Health, Say Officials

THE five-day-old baby rhino at Nakitoma in Nakasongola district is playful and adorable, the sanctuary managers have said."The mother is still too protective, but the baby is extremely playful," said Angie Genade, the executive director of the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

After a decade in South Salem, endangered wolves to go on display

It's taken 10 years, but this fall, visitors to the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem will be able to see a pair of the center's endangered red wolves, previously held away from visitors. The breeding pair of wolves will be in a new enclosure, built as the center celebrates its 10th anniversary.Construction on the new enclosure, expected to be close to an acre, began last week, and is expected to be completed in the fall, according to center Managing Director Maggie Howell. The display of the endangered wolves is to complement the

Montgomery Zoo: Alabama elephant deaths not related to breeding

A Montgomery Zoo veterinarian says the final necropsy reports show the deaths of a 23-year-old African elephant and her 1-month-old calf were not related to breeding elephants in zoos, a conclusion that critics dispute.Zoo veterinarian Jack Kottwitz said the report showed the mother elephant, Mary, died Aug. 16, 2008, from an abdominal problem with intestinal rupture and that she would have died in the wild.She died three days after giving birth. Her male calf, weighing 200-plus pounds, died from a fungus infection, known as candida, resulting in heart failure, according to the necropsy.The reports, completed last October, were recently released to The Associated Press by the city attorney.A California-based group, In Defense of Animals, seeks

Zoo remains in deep debt

$250,000 sought in public moneyOnce again, The Zoo of Northwest Florida is looking for an infusion of public money.And the Gulf Breeze facility, which is about $4.5 million in debt, faces the prospect of closing if it doesn't get the money, Executive Director Danyelle Lantz said.Zoo officials plan to go before the Santa Rosa County Commission on Monday to ask for another $125,000 to help keep the nonprofit organization afloat during the lean winter. They plan to ask for the same amount from Escambia County.Each county donated that much to the zoo this year, but getting a second year of funding could be an uphill battle in a time of ever

Help save the frogs of Panama

Amphibians, including frogs, toads, salamanders, and caecilians (a slender, legless amphibian found primarily in tropical areas), are very important to the environment as they feed on insects (including mosquitoes!) and provide food for animals like snakes, birds, and mammals. The young tadpoles help to control the amount of algae that grows on the rocks in the streams. Furthermore, the songs and sightings of frogs are typically welcomed by human visitors, especially those traveling

Humans give Kerala elephants a TB scare

Pigs are being blamed for the latest human pandemic - swine flu. But conservationists fear that humans are doing equal damage to some of their jumbo pets. A study by the Indian Institute of Sciences revealed that slightly over 15% of captive elephants in south India suffer from tuberculosis, apparently due to their little masters.The Asian Elephant Research & Conservation Centre, which studied 387 captive elephants in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, found 15.25% of the studied animals

EDITORIAL Battle to save our wildlife

The five-week-old panda cub in Chiang Mai is Thailand's newest superstar and enjoys a quality of life befitting her noble status. That is as it should be. But on the other side of the northern capital, exotic animals have not fared quite as well.The Chiang Mai Night Safari is still lamenting the loss of almost 300 of its animals, including giraffe and zebra, over the past two years. The zoo director blames poor diet, inexperience and inadequate veterinary care for this sad state of affairs, which has now been rectified.Such swings of the pendulum have long characterised this country's approach to wildlife conservation. Attitudes have ranged from the good to the bad and the downright ugly. The good moments came just over four years ago in Bangkok, when Thailand was singled out for praise at the 174-member Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (Cites), attended by 3,000 delegates. They discussed ways of saving species already on the verge of extinction.Pangolins, tiger skins, rare orchids and ivory products were high on the list of topics. Action was promised and ringing declarations made. The question now being asked is whether successive governments have delivered on these promises and if that praise was deserved.The British-based wildlife trade-monitoring network TRAFFIC thinks not. In a report issued last month, it claims Bangkok still hosts the largest illegal ivory market in Asia and that more than 70% of souvenir shops in Thailand have ivory items for sale. The network claims that since 2004, Thai

Nandankanan now a member of world zoo body

Nandankanan Zoological Park has become a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). It is the first zoo in India to acquire this distinction. Having more than 240 zoos and aquaria as its members, WAZA works as a catalyst for joint conservation. WAZA membership would provide leadership and support for zoos, aquaria and partner organizations around the world in animal care and welfare, conservation of bio-diversity, environmental education and global sustainability, a WAZA communique told Nandankanan. Zoo director Ajit Pattnaik said, "This is really a great achievement. We are involved in many ambitious conservation and breeding programmes for endangered species. Habitat loss, human encroachment and poaching are some of the challenges faced by endangered anim

Zoo builds three-ton cage to move elephant

The Changsha Zoo in Hunan province has built a large new iron cage to help transport a super Asian elephant to a new home.The big cage weighs three tons and was made for the elephant, Pa Mai, which stands more than 3.2 meters high.The cage can also be used to transport other big animals such as giraffes, hippos, lions and tigers.The big cage reaches 3 m high, 4.5 m long

Returning polar bear orphans get fancier digs

They were cuddly and confused when we first met them. Orphans, who had lost their mother, suddenly became stars in the animal kingdom of the Toronto Zoo. It was 2001, and two baby polar bears warmed us with their soft, furry innocence – inspiring wide-eyed kids to beg their parents for a baby bear of their very own. But then they left, to grow up in the north. Now, eight years and many kilometres later, Aurora and Nikita have returned. Yesterday the two sister polar bears were transported from the Polar Bear Habitat Heritage Village in Cochrane, north of Timmins, to their new home in the Toronto Zoo, where they will once again become the main attraction.So, how do you transport two 800-pound polar bears from Cochrane to Toronto? Very carefully.First, Nikita and Aurora were drugged with darts that immobilized them, explained Dr. Graham Crawshaw, the senior

Baby panda goes on display at Chiang Mai Zoo (includes video)

Thousands of excited visitors flocked to a zoo in northern Thailand on Saturday for the first public viewing of a panda cub born six weeks ago. Thais have shown immense interest in the panda since its surprise birth at Chiang Mai zoo at the end of May. A public competition to name the female cub drew more than half a (m) million entries. These have been whittled down to four and the name will be chosen next month . The birth took zoo officials by surprise. They had tried a number of strategies to get the female Lin Hui pregnant including showing her and her mate videos of their species mating. Zoo officials eventually turned to artificial insemination. Officials had noticed the female panda's

That'll do pig, zoo tells Afghanistan's only porker

Afghanistan's only known pig trotted out of quarantine on Saturday, two months after he was locked away because of swine flu fears, to bask again in the mud at the Kabul Zoo.The pig, a curiosity in Muslim Afghanistan where pork and pig products are illegal because they are considered irreligious, was quarantined because visitors to the zoo were worried it could spread the new H1N1 flu strain, commonly known as swine flu."Our people did not understand that the disease only passes from person to person and felt that the swine influenza might even be spread from


Baby orang utans rescued

Three baby orang utans believed to be part of a smuggled group of five animals were confiscated from the Taiping Zoo and a private ostrich breeder in Klang recently by the Department of Wildlife and National Park (Perhilitan).The raid on the zoo came about after the private ostrich breeder in Klang, who was keeping one of the five baby orang utans, revealed the matter to Perhilitan enforcers.It is learnt that Perhilitan is searching for the remaining two babies.Confirming this, Perhilitan's deputy director-general Misliah Mohamad Basir said the zoo was raided after a tip-off."All orang utans at the zoo are microchipped but these specimens were without microchips, hence we are able to ascertain that they are of dubious origin," she said, adding that they were also without official papers.As the orang utan is a totally protected species under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 as well as prohibited from international trade for its status as an Appendix I species on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), keeping the animal is only possible with a special permit from Perhilitan.Following the high-profile expose of the smuggling of about a dozen of orang utans from Indonesia in 2005, Perhilitan took an inventory of all orang utans held by private and public zoos to show its commitment to stemming out trafficking in the endangered species.Orang utan, the sole Asian ape, is only found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Three sub-species of the genus Pongo pygmaeus are distributed in Borneo while Sumatra is home to Pongo abelii.Misliah also said DNA samples of

Orang utans dropped off by donor, says Taiping Zoo

An anonymous donor had dropped off the two young orang utans confiscated from the Taiping Zoo earlier this month, its director Dr Kevin Lazarus said.He said the zoo staff accepted the totally protected animals two or three weeks ago because they were concerned that the animals might be traded somewhere else."I was away at the time so I did not know who the donors were. We took the orang utans in as a social obligation," said Dr Lazarus, who is also Malaysian Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria chairman.He added that the zoo was in the process of writing a letter to inform the Department of Wildlife and National Park (Perhilitan

Zoo, community mourn director

'I feel like I've lost a son,' director emeritus Hanna says It's business as usual at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium despite the heavy hearts mourning the death of Executive Director Jeff Swanagan, Jack Hanna said yesterday."Today, I feel like I've lost a son, but the zoo will go on and we'll continue Jeff's dreams," said Hanna, the zoo's director emeritus.Swanagan, 51, died Sunday night, apparently of a heart attack, shortly after complaining that he didn't feel well while cutting grass at his home in Powell. His wife found him on the couch, and he was rushed to a hospital.Dale Schmidt, chief operating officer since fall, will be interim director, the zoo board announced yesterday. Schmidt was president of the Oregon Coast Aquarium for four years.Hanna said Swanagan's organs

Saving rhino gets government backing

The Pandeglang regency administration and legislative council have voiced their support for plans to expand the habitat of Javan rhinos at Ujung Kulon National Park (TNUK) in Banten province, on the western tip of Java. Regent Dimyati Natakusumah said the local administration and council hoped the TNUK would become a source of pride for the nation and also a world-renowned site that could pull in international revenue. "We've sent a letter to the Forestry Ministry to request an upgrade to the status of the TNUK to a World Wildlife Park, but they haven't responded yet," he said over the weekend, after a meeting in Pandeglang with representatives of international donors. To attain World Wildlife Park status, a park must have several

Time to go ape over plight of howler monkeys

THE howler monkeys of Colombia are used to adapting.As babies many are forcibly removed from their mothers to be sold as pets or the troupe is divided by deforestation.For the past decade a project at La Pintada has helped rehabilitate and protect howlers, either handed in or confiscated by the authorities.South Lakes Wild Animal Park has been involved for the past six years.And despite announcing two weeks ago that he is planning to leave the zoo and Dalton behind him following a vicious stabbing at his home two years ago, zoo owner David Gill went to Colombia this year as usual.David goes to South America to

Rare turtles head to the Gulf

The pitter patter of tiny flippers could be heard on the beach in the wee hours of Saturday morning. At around 3 a.m., 92 precious little packages made their way to the ocean for the first time.They are newly hatched Kemp's Ridley sea turtles, the most endangered of all the sea turtles. But these particular babies were special in that their injured mother was the first turtle to come ashore on South Padre Island to nest this season, and had to be euthanized.During her journey to land, turtle observers believe she was struck by a boat, leaving

As Fences Cut Off Migration, Hoofed Species Decline

One of the most spectacular events in nature — mass migrations by large, hoofed, grass-eating animals — is endangered. That's what scientists conclude after completing what they say is the first comprehensive look at this phenomenon.Grant Harris from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a team of scientists compiled a record of all the great migrations in the historical record. These are "charismatic megafauna," says Harris: wildebeests and oryxes in Africa, caribous in North America, the antelopelike chiru in Asia. They move by the thousands over hundreds of miles of territory, seeking out fresh grass o

Years after they stopped soaring over city, 2 vultures found

Almost a decade after they went extinct, two vultures have now been found in the city. On Saturday afternoon, a highly endangered Egyptian Vulture was found by an NGO, Wildlife SOS, from near the Ghazipur abattoir. A few days earlier, another Egyptian Vulture, also known as the Scavenger Vulture, was found by the Jain Bird Hospital in Old Delhi. According to experts, a veterinary drug called `Diclofenac', poisonous to vultures, has led to the bird's near extinction across the country — the rate of decline is put between 9

Southeast Asia's largest zoo for insects launched

In an effort to woo more visitors, Zoo Ne-gara yesterday opened the country's first and Southeast Asia's largest Insect Zoo which will showcase 200 species of endangered insects found in the country's tropical rainforest. President of the Malaysian Zoological Society Datuk Ismail Hutson said the Insect Zoo would attract more domestic and foreign tourists as it consists of rare butterflies and insects."Its collection includes the Atlas Butterfly which is the largest butterfly in the world and Rajah Brooke's Birdwing butterfly, a species which was first discovered in 1855, and is regarded as the 'Prince of Butterflies' for its beauty, and the Orchid Praying Mantis, an insect which can camouflage itself as

Say hello to 50th jumbo born at Pinnawela!

The orphanage begun with just seven orphans, now has 89 jumbos, thanks partly to a successful breeding programme. Malaka Rodrigo reports, Pic by Sanka Vidanagama It was 3 a.m. The silence of the night was disturbed by some hurried footsteps toward the doctors' quarters. A sarong-clad figure knocked on the door and called out "Sir.. You are needed." The summons was anticipated and taking his medical kit, Dr. Rajapakse hurried toward the dimly-lit shed in a corner of the Pinnawela orphanage. `Surangie' the female elephant was grunting in pain, only minutes away from delivering her first born. Soon she gave birth to a fine male

Northern spotted owl loses genetic diversity

A new study has determined that with a drop in its numbers, the northern spotted owl has also lost genetic diversity. The northern spotted owl has been a controversial conservation icon for years, ever since large swaths of old-growth forest in the Pacific Northwest were set aside to protect the threatened bird 15 years

At its 80th anniversary, S.F. Zoo reassesses

When the San Francisco Zoo opened during the Great Depression, chimpanzees were trained to ride elephants and zookeepers pried open big hippo jaws for applause.Eight decades later, the carnival has been replaced by conservation: The endangered aye-aye lemur lives in a pitch-black exhibit, so visitors can only glimpse the nocturnal animal after waiting 15 minutes for their eyes to adjust. While the zoo's approach to animal welfare has matured as it

Actor Still Wants To Close LA Zoo Elephant Exhibit

Actor Robert Culp is appealing a judge's decision to dismiss his lawsuit seeking to stop construction of a new elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo. In a lawsuit filed in August 2007, Culp and real estate agent Aaron Leider alleged the zoo withheld medical care, confined elephants in too small an area and used bull hooks and electric shock to control them. They also maintained a larger exhibit would be a waste of taxpayer money. While calling their arguments compelling -- including opinions from experts as far

Zoo's rainforest plans considered

Plans to transform Chester Zoo into Europe's largest conservation attraction are to go before the public.The £225m project includes a 56 hectare indoor African-themed rainforest where gorillas, chimpanzees and other tropical animals could move freely. The £90m "Heart of Africa" dome, which would form the initial phase of the scheme, would be the first of its kind in the UK. Chester Zoo is holding four public

For Ramat Gan safari, there's no business like elephants' business

Elephant droppings make quality compost, say staff at Ramat Gan Safari Park, and piles of it are saving piles of water. They have recently been using the droppings of the park's 12 elephants to fertilize the trees on the grounds, as well as to save water. Each elephant deposits seven kilograms of dung four times a day. After a few months the dung heap attracts bacteria, insects and worms, producing high quality compost. Safari staff are using the compost to seal the irrigation basin around young trees, enabling the water to permeate the roots, while slowing down its evaporation. "Until about a year ago we used to pay a company to collect the dung with a tractor," said zoologist Amelia Terkel. "But then we thought, why pay for removing it if we could use

Desperate bid to save finches that changed the world

British conservationists are to launch an ambitious project to safeguard the future of a colony of Galapagos finches which inspired Charles Darwin to formulate his radical theory of evolution. There are now only about 100 individuals left of the Galapagos mangrove finch, the rarest of the 14 closely related finch species that Darwin encountered when he visited the islands in 1835 as the naturalist on board the survey ship HMS Beagle. All of these species evolved from a single common ancestor to fit different niches in the ecosystem, and when Darwin realised this once he was back in

First rhino born in Uganda after 20 years

A calf has been born among the six rhinos living at the breeding sanctuary in Nakasongola district. This is the first birth of a rhino in Uganda in the last 20 years and brings the total to nine."The calf is three days old, but the mother is too protective. So, it is difficult to get close to them to establish its gender," said Angie Genade, the executive director of Rhino Fund Uganda. The mother, 10-year-old Nandi, is one of the four rhinos that were donated by the Disney Animal Kingdom in the US. According to Genade, the donation was aimed at helping in the breeding of rhinos at Nakasongola for re-introduction into the country's parks. She also pointed out that Nandi produced 16 months after conceiving and that this was her first birth. Rhinos are globally endangered because of their

4 baby elephants arrive in City

After tireless efforts by the Community Development Department (CDD) of CDGK, four baby elephants from Tanzania will be arriving here on late Monday night through a special charter airplane and would be kept in Safari Park for quarantine period, informed sources told The Nation. The sources confirmed that after removing all the hurdles, the four baby elephants would be landed at Karachi airport at 11:30pm through a charter flight, hired by the exporter company Osaka traders, sources said. They added that the four baby elephants would be shifted to Safari Park soon after their arrival where a quarantine station has been established. After staying for at least 15 days at the quarantine station, they would be shifted into a big enclosure for elephants. The DO Safari Park, Raza Abbas Rizvi, said that all arrangements for housing the elephants in the quarantine station had been completed and the visitors of Safari Park would be able to see the four baby elephants in the quarantine station from the very first day in the park. The EDO of CDD, Rehana Saif, confirmed The Nation that

Massive New Home For Curious Kea

A new walk-through Kea aviary is complete at Orana Wildlife Park and tomorrow some of the residents move in!Tomorrow, Orana Wildlife Park's elderly Kea, Silver (20) and Kikimo (24), will move home from their 30 year old aviary (64 square metres) into a newly completed 352 square metre home. The birds will be given the chance to adapt to their new setting before the aviary is opened to the public later this year.This exciting 'walk-through' exhibit was built by the Park's Development team. The aviary has been five years in the planning and took one year to construct. It will provide the Kea with a healthier home and enable visitors to have close encounters with the 'Clown of the Mountains.'Head Keeper of Native Fauna, Tara Atkinson, says she cannot wait to see

'Trouble in Paradise' installations at Vienna zoo draw attention to environmental issues

German artists Christoph Steinbrener and Rainer Dempf have crafted a strange combination -- art installation meets zoo exhibit -- at Vienna's Schönbrunn Zoo. The end result, called "Trouble in Paradise," is intended to raise awareness about the perils of habitat destruction in an innovative, if off-putting, way. The zoo says the artists used the concept of the readymade -- everyday objects functioning as art, made famous by artist Marcel Duchamp with pieces such as "Bicycle Wheel" and "Fountain" -- as inspiration. The exhibits created by Steinbrener and Dempf include a penguin habitat with a prominently placed oil pump, railroad tracks in the bison enclosure, and wrecked cars submerged in the water of the rhinoceros enclosure. "Trouble in Paradise" will run through October 18, after which the altered enclosures will be returned to their original, pristine states."Trouble in Paradise" has already proven provocative: three zoogoers

LA council approves $1.1M overrun for zoo elephant project

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a $1.1 million cost overrun for the second phase of the Pachyderm Forest at the Los Angeles Zoo, with promises of tightened procedures for future work. The elephant project generated controversy earlier this year when animal activists mounted a massive campaign to get the zoo to shut down the exhibit and relocate its lone elephant, Billy. After a lengthy debate, the council voted in January to continue building the $42 million project. "What's done is done," said Councilman Tony Cardenas, who had opposed the overall project. "We can't do much about that at this point, but we can look ahead to make sure we have procedures in place to prevent cost overruns." City officials said the higher costs were due to price increases

Interactive: The endangered Arabian wildlife

Rare: Endangered fishing cats which swim join zoo

TWO rare fishing cats have arrived at Newquay Zoo to join a breeding programme for the endangered species.The cats arrived from Port Lympne Wild Animal and Safrai Park in Kent this week.Named Ping (female) and Bing (male), the cats will take a few weeks to settle in at their new surroundings.Numbers of fishing cats have decreased as their waterways in Pakistan, India and Nepal are cleared or polluted. They are also used for medicine by some cultures and hunted ferociously by farmers, due to their capability of taking livestock.Director of Newquay Zoo, Stewart Muir, said: "Unusually for a cat, but as the name suggests, fishing cats

ZooRopia at Bristol Zoo: A treetop view of a wild, wonderful world

A new zoo attraction is giving visitors a chance to see its inhabitants from a different perspective. As I climb into my harness, that classic Disney refrain, "I'm the king of the swingers, a Jungle VIP", is dancing around in my head; its infectious beat overlaid with the excited chirruping from the group of children who surround me. I'm at Bristol Zoo and I'm just about to have a go on their latest attraction, ZooRopia. Part ropes course, part aerial nature trail, it's the first of its kind in Europe that is open to anybody over the age of five and is set in a zoo environment

Hi-tech puffins to monitor decline in seabird populations

Stubby seabird with comedy beak to help scientists investigate steep decline in seabird populations across BritainAudio slideshow: Studying puffins on the Farne islands

Earning their stripes

Next week in Geneva, a prime issue for a UN endangered species committee called Cites will be illegal trade in wild tigers. In this week's Green Room, Debbie Banks argues that a handful of businessmen want to reduce the tigers to nothing more than a luxury commodity."Bagh Bachao, Jungle Bachao, Bharat Bachao" is the rallying cry of NGOs and activists across India, and they're right: Save the Tiger, Save the Forest, Save India. The future of the tiger and its jungle home are inextricably linked to the survival of all of us, not just the people who live in tiger country. The forests that are protected in the name of the tiger are vital to mitigate climate change and to secure water resources. The tiger is an indicator of the health of the ecosystem and thus a symbol of good governance and political commitment to an equitable and sustainable future. It is also a cultural and religious icon, venerated, feared and revered by communities across Asia and the world. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has been investigating and exposing the illegal trade in tigers and other Asian big cats for over 10 years. We have documented the changes in the markets and the increasing role of organised criminal networks. We have campaigned for more effective enforcement initiatives to disrupt their operations, and know there is so much more that governments could do if they wanted to. Hijacked conservationLooking to the future, it is essential to plug some of the gaps in conservation strategies. Many people living alongside tigers have yet to benefit from the millions of tourist dollars that the "world's favourite animal" generates; but in India, home to the largest remaining population of wild tigers, investment, policy and practice are at least moving in the right direction. The same cannot be said for other countries, where business interests are hijacking the tiger conservation agenda, calling for the relaxation of trade bans so they can flood the market with farmed tiger parts. The logic behind such a move is that since tigers breed well in captivity, farming them is an economical solution to satisfying demand whilst alleviating pressure on wild populations. It's a simplistic logic that rests on critical assumptions about the complex nature and dynamics of the illegal trade in tigers and other Asian big cats. Assumptions about the motivations of those involved in the trade, the costs of the trade, the scale and type of consumer demand: all plugged in to economic models and squirted out the other side as gospel. What the followers of this faith have failed to acknowledge is that their version of events does not hold true in the real world. The risk of proceeding with this as an experiment is enormous, and the stake is no less than the extinction of the wild tiger. So who are these disciples and what is their motivation? There are tiger farms in Thailand but by far the biggest ones are in China, where there are reportedly around 5,000 animals in captivity. Despite a 1993 ban prohibiting the sale and use of tigers in China, business interests have continued to breed them, speculating that the ban would one day be lifted and that they would be sitting on a valuable stockpile of body parts. 'Conflict of interest'Some argue that they want to sell tiger bone to save lives. Yet the Chinese medicinal community has long since promoted alternatives to tiger bone, which was never considered a life-saving ingredient in the first place. Others just want to sell tiger bone wine. In fact, some businessmen are so keen they have already been found in breach of Chinese law, illegally selling the wine in tiger-shaped bottles and in one case, selling tiger meat. EIA and others have found tiger bone wine being marketed as a general tonic and packaged


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