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Zoo News Digest
July-August 2010


At Chinese zoos, the animal keepers are the savage ones, activists say
A report finds poor conditions and mistreatment at major zoos and safari parks, including the declawing of tigers and bears. It's probably much worse at other places, animal advocates say.
In 10 years of visiting zoos and animal parks in China, David Neale has seen a bear punched in the head by a trainer, tigers whose teeth and claws had been removed and hundreds of animals that lived in filthy, unhealthy conditions.
Too many facilities take credit for simply keeping animals alive, while a large number rely on barbaric techniques such as whipping, beating and prodding with metal hooks to control them, said Neale, the animal welfare director of Animals Asia, a Hong Kong-based advocacy group.
"The conditions are appalling," Neale said recently. "It's setting the bar at the lowest level."
In a report released this month by Animals Asia, cases of poor conditions and mistreatment, including the declawing of tigers and bears, were plentiful during the last year at 13 state-run zoos and privately owned safari parks.
Animal welfare activists say the report not only reflects the poor conditions at parks named by the agency, but also suggests that captive animals all across China may be facing conditions that are as bad or worse.
Kati Loeffler, veterinary advisor for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, estimated that there were hundreds of other zoos and parks in China with similar practices and facilities, and thousands of animals facing maltreatment.
"The scenario that Animals Asia describes is unfortunately very typical. But to be honest, these are probably the best conditions there are for animals in China," Loeffler said, because the zoos and parks named in the report are among the largest and most well-financed in China. "There are many places that are smaller and with less money, and the conditions there, we can only imagine what they are."
The release of the report followed the deaths of two giant pandas in July. One was accidentally killed by poisonous gas at the Jinan Zoo in Shandong province, and the other's death at the Beijing Zoo was caused by untreated intestinal complications that went unreported for almost 20 days.
Four months earlier, 11 Siberian tigers at the Shenyang Forest Wild Animal Zoo in northeastern China starved to death.
After the deaths of the giant pandas, the State Forestry Administration issued a statement criticizing zoo managers for prioritizing profit over the well-being of,0,2116802.story

The Frozen Zoo aiming to bring endangered species back from the brink
San Diego Zoo began collecting ski samples from rare animals in 1972 in the hope they might be used to protect these endangered species in the future. A breakthrough in stem-cell technology means that day is getting closer
The inside of a metal box filled with liquid nitrogen and frozen to -173C (-280F) is hardly the ideal habitat for a large African mammal. But, as a test tube is fished out of the frigid container amid a billowing cloud of white gas, a note written on its side is unequivocal about its contents. "This is a northern white rhino," says Scripps research scientist Inbar Ben-Nun as she reads out the label and holds the freezing vial with thick gloves that look like industrial-grade oven mitts.
Ben-Nun is holding no ordinary scientific sample. For the frozen cells in that test tube could one day give rise to baby northern white rhinos and help save the species from extinction. They would be living specimens of one of the most endangered species on Earth, who after a few months would be trotting into wildlife parks, and maybe, just maybe, helping repopulate their kind on the African grasslands. No wonder that the place where the sample came from is called the Frozen Zoo.

Tiger Escapes From Cage At Miami Zoo
A tiger escaped from its cage at a zoo in Miami on Saturday, forcing the zoo to be partly evacuated before the tiger was recaptured, the Miami Herald reported.
Nobody was injured by the Bengal tiger, said Lt. Ignatius Carroll, a spokesman for Miami Fire Rescue.
A witness said the tiger jumped from its cage at the Jungle Island zoo after a monkey jumped into the cage, WSVN-TV reported. Another witness saw the animal loose near the entrance to the zoo.
The tiger was captured around 1 p.m. local time.
Jungle Island’s website said male Bengal tigers measure around six to nine feet in length without their tails and weigh around 400 to 660 pounds. Females

Bilby gets a second Chance at zoo
THE Australian bilby may be on the brink of extinction, but at Taronga Zoo it's thriving.
With fewer than 1000 of the small, large-eared nocturnal marsupials left in the wild, the zoo's keepers have been working closely with its three resident bilbies, Dougal, Sparkie and Yippie, gradually getting the timid creatures used to crowds, reported The Daily Telegraph.
"We've got them used to people and now we can bring Dougal, Sparkie and Yippie out at Taronga's Australian Nightlife exhibit for tours so our visitors can see them," the Sydney zoo's mammal keeper, Paul Davies, said.
"We're getting amazing reactions from people. Many Australians say they've heard of them but never seen one."
He said the number of bilbies was dropping fast as they succumbed to feral cat predators and climate change.
"The small marsupials are similar to bandicoots and have the most remarkable ears which function like sophisticated air-conditioning systems to help them survive in their harsh natural desert environments where temperatures swing from boiling hot to freezing cold," Mr Davies said.
"When it's hot, the bilbies keep their ears erect. The ears are hairles

International wildlife smuggler held at KLIA
A man, believed to be international wildlife trader Anson Wong, has been detained at the KL International Airport following the seizure of more than 90 snakes from various species.
It is learnt that the man was in transit from Penang to Jakarta on Thursday when he was detained by Malaysia Airlines staff, who had been alerted after a piece of luggage was reported broken. The snakes were found inside the bag.
According to a government official, 95 of the snakes are believed to be boa constrictors, two are suspected to be rhinoceros vipers and one is believed to be a matamata turtle.
Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed that a man named Anson Wong was picked up at 8.50pm on Aug 26, by airport security for allegedly trying to smuggle snakes. He has been remanded until Tuesday.
“We have handed the person over to Perhilitan (Wildlife and Natio­nal Parks Department) for further investigations,” he said.
It had been reported by The Star in February that Wong had been linked to a Dec 15 seizure in the United States of various types of animals from an exotic animal outlet.
Two of the trader’s companies were found to have been supplying animals to the outlet.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) had claimed that CBS Wildlife and Sungai Rusa Wildlife, both owned by Wong, were supplying various types of animals and wildlife to US Global Exotics (USGE).
Wong pleaded guilty to trafficking in

A place where elephants can thrive
I’d like to clear up several misconceptions about the National Zoo’s elephant habitat raised by Peter Stroud’s Aug. 22 Local Opinions commentary.
Mr. Stroud’s comments were based on a single afternoon visit nearly a year ago. Our scientists, veterinarians, keepers and field researchers are internationally recognized as dedicated leaders in the care of Asian elephants in zoos and in the wild.
Elephants need imaginative spaces for exercise and soft ground for their feet. Today, their indoor barn has rubber and sand flooring, and their outdoor area has about two acres of varied terrain, tall grasses, shade, a pool and mud. When the renovation is complete in 2013, there will be even more space and opportunities for enrichment, for what we ultimately envision as a habitat for a natural herd of elephants.
We are confident that our elephants will thrive in their new home. On Labor Day weekend, our visitors will be invited to see the first phase of the elephant habitat. The main viewing area at the bottom of a hill, as well as from the bridge, will allow visitors

Elephant-herd idea cruel plan to make money
Bridget Vercoe writes that Auckland Zoo's scheme is ill-conceived and unnecessary.
Auckland Zoo's $13 million plan to establish a breeding herd of elephants is cruel and will do nothing to protect this majestic animal in the wild.
Despite assertions to the contrary, the breeding programme proposed for the zoo is not linked to any valid conservation programme and probably for good reason.
Elephants born and bred in zoos cannot be, and are never, released back into the wild. Any elephant born at Auckland Zoo will remain in captivity its entire life.
It will either live out its life at the zoo or be shipped at great expense and detriment to the animal's welfare to another zoo, either in New Zealand or overseas.
Life for a zoo elephant is far from pleasant. Elephants are a notoriously difficult species to maintain in zoos. Zoo elephants suffer a range of health problems not commonly found in wild populations.
They are often overweight through lack of exercise, experience foot and leg problems, have circulatory problems such as heart attacks, suffer from arthritis and have been known to die from

Watch These Videos

Note to all from SachemoV : As the producer of this video, allow me to state quite clearly this work is mine alone and has not been commissioned by or for Sea World, or for any other aquarium for that matter. Their parks were specifically referenced in this video only because they were featured prevalently in The Cove.

This video is not intended? to be "pro" or "anti" captivity, just to keep to facts of a volatile issue - and one that needs to be solved with honesty.

Dolphin Show = Dolphin Kill? An Investigation of The Cove Part 1

Dolphin Show = Dolphin Kill? An Investigation of The Cove Part 2

V I Panda
Probably the most significant event in the zoo world over the past week was the birth of the Panda in Vienna Zoo. It was significant not because it was a Panda but because this was a natural birth and the mother was rearing it herself.
Yang Yang the mother Panda in Schoenbrunn

Second panda born in Vienna zoo
Another panda has been born in Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo, the second in Europe to be conceived naturally in captivity, the zoo said Tuesday.
The 10-year-old mother, Yang Yang, who made history on August 23, 2007, by giving birth to Fu Long -- Europe's first panda to be naturally conceived in captivity -- gave birth a second time on Monday afternoon after around four hours in labour, the zoo said in a statement.
The new baby, whose sex cannot yet be determined, was born exactly three years to the day after Fu Long, who was returned to China last year.
As was the case with Fu Long, Yang Yang was actually carrying two babies, but the second did not survive, said the zoo's expert Eveline Dungl.
"Female pandas usually find a second baby too much and unfortunately we couldn't save it," Dungl told the Austrian news agency APA.
The surviving panda weighs around 100 grammes (0.2 pounds) and measures 10-12 centimetres (four-to-five inches) and will remain in the litter box with its mother for the next few months.
Both the mother and the new baby were in

Operation Dolphin in Bolivia
So far, a team of scientists from the Museum of Natural History Noel Kempff in Bolivia, led by biologist Mariana Escobar, were able to rescue two of the nine individuals who had been stranded in the Pailas River, a tributary of the River- Grande-as a result of low water in the area. Han sido trasladados a otros lugares donde el nivel es mucho mayor. Have been transferred to other locations where the level is much higher.

Los Angeles Zoo is home to 22 baby Komodo dragons
Twenty-two Komodo dragons have hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo this month, giving a modest boost to the world's endangered population.
The zoo's adult female Komodo, Lima, laid the eggs on Jan. 22. The first one popped through its soft-sided egg shell on Aug. 8 and hatchlings kept coming for two weeks.
Komodos are the world's largest lizards and are popular attractions at zoos from the United States to Europe. All 2,500 left in the wild can be found at the 700-square-mile Komodo National Park in Indonesia.
Komodos are cannibalistic and usually eat their young and eggs of their own species, so zoo officials say staying alive is tricky for a hatchling.
This is the first time the Los Angeles Zoo has succeeded at a breeding attempt. It joins fewer than 10 other zoos in North America

Man proposes in penguin enclosure at Welsh Mountain Zoo, Colwyn Bay
IT was quite a p-p-p-proposal. A young Romeo asked his sweetheart to marry him – in the penguin enclosure at the Welsh Mountain Zoo.
Happily, Sarah Evans, once she’d got over the shock, said yes.
Her bridegroom to be Ben Smith knew 26-year-old Sarah was a huge fan of the Humboldt Penguin – so you could say it was the p-p-p-perfect p-p-p-place for him to p-p-p-pop the question.
The couple had met on holiday in Brisbane, Australia, nearly four years ago and became inseparable. Ben coaxed his bride to be to the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay.
Ben, 24, said: “I looked on the internet and saw that a keeper at the Welsh Mountain Zoo had been proposed to here in the penguin parade. I phoned up and the zoo was really

Editorial — Zoo plays a role
The Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove has come in for a great deal of media attention over the years, and not all of it has been positive.
Some of the negative attention over the years related to the care given to specific animals, and there is no doubt that some of these situations were heartbreaking.
However, in the larger context, the zoo has served the overall community very well. It is a major tourist attraction, has introduced children and adults to many animals at close range and, for the most part, it provides good care to the animals who live there.
In recent years, zoo management has taken issues of animal care very seriously and has worked hard to meet the objections of the more reasonable members of the animal rights lobby. It has been pushed in some instances by the SPCA, but there is definitely a will and desire to do the right thing.
There is no way that the zoo can ever meet the standards of the most radical animal rights lobbyists, who are completely opposed to any type of enclosure for wild animals, and in many cases are totally opposed to humans eating animals, which most of us do every day.
The zoo is home to 135 different species of animals, and many of them are native North American species that most people never have a chance to see up close. In many cases, they are animals found or rescued from situations

Drusillas zoo donates hair to Mexico oil spill clear-up
Staff and visitors at a zoo in East Sussex have taken part in a local appeal to donate human hair to help mop up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Nearly 60 people had their hair cut for free at Drusillas Park by Jal Clarke, of Icon Stylists in Eastbourne.
He launched the appeal in July after learning that aid workers intend to use human and animal hair stuffed into nylon tights to mop up the slick.
The hair is laid along the shoreline and the oil clings to the follicles.
Last month Mr Clarke visited the zoo accompanied by Eastbourne MP, Stephen Lloyd, to collect shorn llama and alpaca fleeces.
Icon Stylists still require human hair, old hair extensions, animal hair and nylon tights and are appealing to businesses that work in these areas to collect any donated items in a bin bag.
Mr Clarke said: "We have had great support so far from Drusillas but we urgently need a lot

Zoo to recreate gorilla rainforest
Dublin Zoo has unveiled plans for a massive revamp of one of its oldest enclosures to create a gorilla rainforest.
The new landscape, slightly smaller than the Croke Park playing pitch, will have streams, dense vegetation, small hills and rocky outcrops mimicking the animals' wild environment.
Zoo chiefs are also planning forest paths with special

Thit Cho a Danger to Health
The transport and slaughter conditions for dogs on menus in Asia are said to be so unhygienic that they are a threat to public health.
Responding to reports about a new book by China’s first astronaut in space, which reveals that China’s space team had dog meat in their diet, Animals Asia Foundation’s Irene Feng says: “I’m shocked. There are so many health risks associated with the farming, slaughter and consumption of dogs.”
According to the foundation, diseases such as cholera, rabies and trichinellosis are all associated with the dog meat trade and can all be transmitted to humans.
CEO Jill Robinson, who founded the Hong Kong-based charity that protects animals in Asia, stresses that as well as the human health issues, the cruelty involved in the dog meat trade cannot be ignored.
“These dogs are piled on top of each other in tiny cages and driven for days in a truck,” she says. “When

Endangered tadpoles released into SoCal stream
Researchers have released dozens of tadpoles into a Riverside County stream in hopes of reviving a frog species endangered in the region.
San Diego Zoo officials say zoo researchers bred the 36 mountain yellow-legged frog tadpoles that were released Tuesday into a stream near the town of Idyllwild.
The mountain yellow-legged frog is on the federal Endangered Species List in Southern California and has recently been proposed for listing under the California Endangered Species Act.
Fewer than 200 adult mountain yellow-legged frogs are thought to remain in the region's mountain ranges.
Researchers had released some 500 mountain yellow-legged frog eggs into the creek in April, but the tadpoles from

Forest dept seeks `private' advice for Gorakhpur Zoo
Things are moving slowly but steadily for the first zoo of eastern UP in Gorakhpur. The forest department has submitted a proposal to the government for finalising private consultants for the project.
"We would be able to say more on the project once consultants are finalised," said Ajay Kumar, chief conservator of forest, Gorakhpur. It is a big project of the forest department, which also involves other state agencies like Gorakhpur Development Authority (GDA). A lot of things have to be worked out and it would take some time, he said.
The proposal has pegged the revised fund requirement for the project at Rs 86 crore. Gorakhpur zoo will have an area measuring 212 acre. The land has been acquired from the GDA and after forest department pays the stamp duty, it will be registered under the department.
The USP of Gorakhpur zoo will be its size and the modern design. It will outsize the two existing zoos of the state, each in Lucknow and Kanpur. Kanpur zoo has an area of about 189 acre (76.5 hectare) and Lucknow zoo is a much smaller entity in comparison with just 70 acre of area under it.
The idea is to provide the natural wild ambience to the inmates in their enclosures. "This is where role of consultants would come into play," said Kumar. The design of enclosures and the entire zoo will be planned with the help of consultants.
The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has ordered that Gorakhpur Zoo will house some 146 animals from 9 smaller centres (probably mini zoos) of the state. However, efforts will be made to not overcrowd it. The list of animals to be housed here is still to be finalised. Whether it would have more animals than Kanpur (some 1,300 animals) and Lucknow (
Read more: Forest dept seeks `private' advice for Gorakhpur Zoo - Lucknow - City - The Times of India

Istanbul animal market faces accusations of mistreatment, smuggling
From cats and dogs to tropical birds and giant turtles, Istanbul’s Animal and Flower Market offers a wide variety of animals for sale – creatures that critics say are mistreated, unhealthy and perhaps even illegally trafficked.
The 20-shop complex between the New Mosque and the Spice Bazaar in the Eminönü district draws many customers willing to overlook the smell of dirty cages for the cheap prices and convenient location. Some of them end up regretting having done so.
Commenting on an online forum, a poster nicknamed Zapake wrote that a dog he bought at the animal market had contracted canine distemper and died. He blamed the vendor who sold him the dog, saying that conditions there are unhealthy for the animals and the shop owners do not know how to vaccinate the pets properly.
“Whenever I consulted [the vendor] about my

Lion reported in parked car
Authorities in Kazakhstan said they received a call from a shocked motorist about a lion in the car parked next to his vehicle.
A spokesman for the Interior Ministry in the city of Kostanai said the man reported the lion Monday morning and authorities determined it had been purchased by a businessman for his private zoo, RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.
"The lion was left in the parking lot because its owner returned late from his trip. The cage containing the predator was locked, and the lion was calm," the spokesman

Wildlife in flight!
As the first phase of the Mattala airport project in Hambantota gets underway there are allegations of animals being killed for food by site workers and large tracts of land being set ablaze driving elephants into human habitation and other environmental issues.
Kumudini Hettiarachchi reports
Heads but no bodies, skins and scales strewn around while in the backdrop massive forest fires are visible that usually Sri Lankans see only on television.
This is not happening in some far off foreign land but amidst an area which has been in the spotlight for several weeks now, for its showpiece harbour and proposed second international airport. What is taking place at Mattala in Hambantota as 800 hectares are cleared under the first stage of the airport project?
The ground reality is sending shock waves not only among perturbed environmentalists but also the people of the area.
There is a massacre of anything that moves, be it four-legged, two-legged or no-legged for food, said a concerned conservationist, pointing out that mouse deer, snakes, frogs and even the pangolin (scaly ant-eater or kedellawa) are ending up on the plates of the employees of the foreign company mandated to carry out the Mattala airport project.
The pangolin, the Sunday Times learns, falls under the ‘Near Threatened’ category of the IUCN’s Red List due to poaching while their numbers are also decreasing because they get caught in traps and snares easily.
A set of photographs from within the site in the possession of the Sunday Times says it all. No animal has been spared, with conservationists charging that not only are they putting into coking pots all those animals which have got trapped within the area enclosed for clearing but also getting local workers to bring in other creatures as well.
The project was launched in November 2009 with much fanfare after Acting Chairman of the Central Environmental Authority Chairman Sunil Wimalasuriya on May 4, 2009

Local bamboos for pandas
NEARLY all spare land at the Singapore Zoo has been mobilised - for bamboo planting.
The jade-green clumps are in preparation for the arrival of a pair of giant pandas from China, which will be in residence at the River Safari attraction opening in 2012.
As each animal consumes about 20kg of the fibrous plant matter every day, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), the parent company of the zoo, has decided to grow its own bamboo to ensure a reliable supply, explained WRS assistant director of horticulture Melvin Tan.
In the past six months, about 1,300 clumps of bamboo have been planted at the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and the site of the River Safari.
They make up about a fifth of what WRS needs. The remainder will be planted at the zoo's own 5ha farm in Kranji, where food for the monkeys

B.C. aim to help bruins get back to bear necessities
B.C. wildlife officials are ready to go further in weaning marijuana patch black bears from their diet of dog food that could spare their lives, the province’s environment minister said Monday.
Initially, a B.C. conservation officer had said there’s a good likelihood many of the up to 15 bears found lounging around a large > marijuana garden at Christina Lake would be destroyed because they faced a steep challenge in adapting to the wild after a long-term diet of human handouts.
But on Monday, B.C. Environment Minister Barry Penner said the officers are willing to set up feeding stations leading into the bush that would gradually lessen the bruins’ dependence on unnatural food.
“The conservation officers have indicated they’d be prepared to try that, to get them out from that site at greater and greater distances,” said Penner.
If the bears don’t disperse on their own from the 28-hectare site 700 km southwest of Calgary discovered by RCMP three weeks ago, officials would try the feeding stations, he said.
But Penner said the time and resources his staff can

Kingdom in the Clouds
Patrick Stewart narrates a landmark three-part series on the world's last mountain gorillas.
The largest gorilla family in the world is starting the perilous journey down to feed on the fresh shoots of bamboo. They run the risk of being caught in illegal snares and Cantsbee, the dominant silverback, will have his work cut out keeping them all safe, especially those closest to him.
Meanwhile on the other side of the Rwandan volcanoes a young gorilla has been deserted by her mother. She turns to her silverback father for guidance and protection, but is he up to the job?
In Uganda, Marembo the teenage silverback has come of age. He has lived 15 years under the watchful eye of dominant silverback Rukina but now feels it is time to make the break on his own.

Zoos in RP fall short of int’l standards
None of the almost 3,000 zoos in the Philippines meet international standards in the proper treatment of animals and maintenance of facilities, a newly formed group of private zoo owners said.
Zoological parks in the country, said Philzoos president Henry Babiera, are dealing with long-running problems of poor maintenance and ill treatment of animals.
In a conference of zookeepers last Monday, Babiera said Philzoos intends to ask government for assistance to help improve Philippines zoos in term of facility, conservation, education, research, and recreation in order to make them reach international standard.
The conference was organized in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB).
There are total of 2,750 big and small zoos in the Philippines. Only 25 of big zoos and 12 of the small ones have so far officially joined Philzoos.
Philippines zoos are lacking in professional zookeepers, veterinarians, and budget—thus their and poor standard—because they fail to get the full support from government, according to Jake Gaw, administrator of Avilon Wildlife Conservation Foundation and vice president of Philzoos.
Gaw said that, among Philippines zoos, the Manila Zoo has the poorest standard. It puts bears in very small cages, thus limiting their movements and denying them of what they would naturally do in the wild.
Henry Babiera, who is CEO of Lombija Wildlife Park and Heritage Resort, suggested that small zoos limit the number of animals so that they can provide animals with bigger space. However, most of small zoos now have plenty of animals in their custody, thus the need to limit the space given to the animals.
According to Dr. Govindasamy Agoranmoorthy from Southeast Asian Zoo Association, all zoos should observe the five basic animal freedoms, such as freedom from hunger, thirst, and malnutrition; freedom from physical discomfort and thermal pain; freedom from injury and disease; freedom to conform to essential behavior pattern; and freedom from fear and distress.
“PHILZOOS association is so important for us as private zoo owners because we can ask the government for help both financial support and law enforcement in order to improve our zoological parks standard,” Babiera added.
In response to Philzoos’ concerns, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri said he would help zoo owners in terms of funding and creation of laws to further raise the quality of zoo keeping. He said he would closely work with PAWB and Philzoos.
“It is very important to improve zoos standard

Oklahoma couple finds passion in caring for exotic animals
Bill and Melissa Meadows love the rare and unusual. But theirs is not a love affair with rare gems or hard-to-find antique furniture pieces. They love rare and exotic animals. The owners of Tiger Safari zoological park in Tuttle, the couple have been collecting such animals since their passion began 17 years ago with their first exotic pet: Shirkon, a cougar they still own.
"He was our very first and was going to be our very only,” Melissa Meadows said. But that was not to be. Since the couple opened Tiger Safari seven years ago, their collection of exotic animals has grown to include more than 140 animals.
Bill Meadows claims that he and

Salisbury Zoo's economic impact worth $17M
The Salisbury Zoo is worth about $17 million in terms of economic impact, according to a recent study.
The study was performed by the Salisbury University Business Economic and Community Outreach Network to compliment the Renew the Zoo capital campaign now under way.
Zoo Director Joel Hamilton called the results impressive.
Hamilton, Zoo Commission President Ron Alessi and business trend analyst Memo Diriker are scheduled to present the report to the City Council during a meeting tonight.
The $17 million is only the

Sundarvan to get facelift
Soon, the city will have several zoos to choose from. The Central Zoo Authority of India has approved three master plans (layout) for the state zoos. All the three that have got clearance are from Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar.
The CZAI has cleared master plan (layout) for Kamla Nehru Botanical Garden, the Indroda Nature Park and Sundarvan Zoo. Kamla Nehru park and Indroda park were managed with government funding and were also getting help from the CZAI, but since Sundarvan was in the mini zoo category, it was difficult to get funds and the zoo was managed by Centre for Environment Education ( CEE).
Officials said the present structures in Sundarvan were very old and needed urgent attention. The plan which has been prepared for the development of Sundarvan was around `2 crore. But, since there was shortage of funds, the entire plan would be taken up in phases.
Kiran Desai of Sundarvan said, "Yes, we are facing shortage of funds, but we have made representations to the central government to give funds for development. The government has agreed to funds such zoos too. The master plan is spread over a period of 10 years.". He added that the CZAI wants it to be theme-based zoo and hence it would not go in for addition of new animals. Thus, Sundarvan would remain a reptile park.
The present enclosures would be given a facelift. The structure will be expanded and each enclosure will be of 10 feet long and equally broad. The height of each enclosure will be eight feet. The new enclosure will have vegetation to suit the animal which it houses. Also, there would be separate feeding chambers for each animal. This would help the keepers take care of animals in a proper way.
Rishit Shroff, who has designed Sundarvan, said that the best feature would be the crocodile enclosure which would be open. One can also see them swim in water. "A bridge will pass over the enclosure. If the crocodile in water one can get inside the tunnel-like structure

Surabaya ‘death zoo’ to remain open to public amid takeover
Surabaya Zoo will remain open to the public after the Forestry Ministry decided to take over its management as of Sunday following the deaths of hundreds of animals, including endangered species.
East Java Governor Soekarwo said Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan had set up a special team to take over the management and investigate the deaths of animals in the 15-hectare zoo, one of the largest in Southeast Asia.
“I’ve assigned the husbandry agency to care for the zoo’s animals. The office will report to me if any of the animals are sick. We don’t want the zoo to lose more animals,” he said Saturday.
Soekarwo said the new team would be in charge of the zoo’s administrative works, services to visitors and security.
He said the provincial administration would assist, including in setting aside maintenance funds to provide food for the zoo’s animals. Funds will be taken from the administration’s natural disaster budget.
“The deaths of the animals are an extraordinary incident so we can use the budget allocated for disaster management,” Soekarwo said.
Zulkifli said Friday in a press conference the ministry had been forced to take over the zoo’s management because no improvements had been made since early this year, leading to the deaths of 689 animals between 2008 and 2009.
“Since February this year, 26 animals, including a

56-year-old chimp gives birth at zoo in Kansas
A 56-year-old chimpanzee has surprised officials at a zoo in northeast Kansas by giving birth.
Officials at Sunset Zoo in Manhattan announced Monday that Suzie the chimp gave birth to a female on Aug. 18 and that the mother and baby are in good health.
Zoo director Scott Shoemaker says Suzie was taken off birth control because of medical concerns — and because zoo officials didn't think she would get pregnant at her age.
Zoo curator Mark Ryan says he hasn't heard of any older chimpanzee who has given birth anywhere in the country.
The Manhattan Mercury says

Zoo mulls another costly panda mission
The price of pandas just got personal for Giorgio Mammoliti.
So passionate is the North York councillor about bringing a pair of the bamboo-chewing bears to the Toronto Zoo, he’s willing to shell out $7,000 of his own money on his ursine quest, heading off potential criticism of a hefty travel bill in an election year.
“Hopefully this will stop all the nonsense, including the mayor’s nonsense,” Mammoliti said, referring to comments from Mayor David Miller on the optics of a large delegation heading to China.
City council just voted in April to request the zoo board not to send more than three people on such

Zagreb zoo to celebrate European Bat Night
For the fifth year in the row, Zagreb zoo will celebrate "European Bat Night", a popular, annual event to boost public awareness of endangered bats in Europe.
Visitors can look forward to a rich educational and entertainment programme from 6pm to 10pm on 28 August. The zoo has prepared numerous presentations, workshops and bat walks after dark.
Today, European Bat Night takes place in many cities and regions in more than 30 countries in

Zoo Announces Plan to Move Elephants out of Jackson
In keeping with its commitment to provide the best care possible to its animal collection, coupled with a struggling financial time, officials at the Jackson Zoo have made a most difficult decision concerning the elephants at the Zoo.
The Jackson Zoo Board of Directors and staff have decided that it is in the best interest of its two African elephants, Juno and Rosie, to be relocated from their existing exhibit to the Nashville Zoo in Tennessee.
The Zoo hopes to house elephants again in the future if funds become available to create an exhibit that can accommodate a herd of at least three elephants, as required by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (“AZA”).
The Jackson Zoo is the only AZA accredited zoo in the State of Mississippi—a fact which the Board and staff take very seriously. “The AZA requires at least three elephants in a single exhibit. In that manner, if one elephant should die, it is not as traumatic for the surviving elephant,“ said Beth Poff, executive director of the Jackson Zoo. “To comply with AZA requirements, it would cost between $8 to 10 million to construct a new exhibit at the Zoo.
Unfortunately, at this time, the Zoo does not have the resources to fund such a project, requiring us to move the elephants to another AZA facility.“ “We have an obligation to the animals, and the Nashville Zoo has agreed to

3 white tiger cubs to be displayed at zoo from Sunday
Visitors to the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur will be able to see three white tiger cubs at close quarters from Sunday. The cubs, along with other adult white tigers, will be let out into the display enclosure 84 days after their birth.
For the second time in 15 months, six-year-old white tigress Anu had given birth to three cubs on June 6 this year. Zoo-keeper K Chelliah has been taking care of the cubs which have remained healthy ever since their birth. After they stopped having their mother's milk, the cubs were being fed 250 gm of chicken and beef daily. Now each cub weighs about 8 kg.
With their addition, the number of white tigers in the zoo has risen to seven and the total number of tigers to 15. "The cubs have grown up well. So we decided to leave them within the enclosure for public view. Being a holiday, we thought Sunday would be the ideal day to let them out," zoo director KSSVP Reddy, who is also chief conservator of forests, told TOI.
The zoo allows people to adopt animals by paying for their daily feed. The adoptive person gets a tax exemption for the amount paid and also gets special access to zoo

Bridges help dormice to cross Church Village bypass
Dormice will be able to cross a new bypass safely, thanks to three special bridges costing £190,000.
The bridges are over the Church Village bypass near Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, and are part of plans to protect ecology along the 4.6-mile road.
The bridges consist of wire mesh tubes suspended between trees and tall poles.
The Wildlife Trust of South West Wales' conservation manager, Robert Jones Parry, says the bridges should help maintain dormouse populations.
Dormice are a European Protected Species and are subject to stringent safeguards under the Habitats Regulations Act. The Countryside Council

Dolphin Blow
Imagine collecting DNA samples being as easy as breathing in and out. Well, that’s exactly how researchers are collecting dolphin DNA.
Published today in PLoS ONE in an article called, “Thar She Blows! A Novel Method for DNA Collection from Cetacean Blow,” scientists reveal that they can collect DNA from dolphins, whales and porpoises by collecting the blow, or exhalations, from the animals.
Researchers at the National Aquarium in Baltimore collected blow and blood samples from six bottlenose dolphins between March and May 2010. A test tube was held inverted over the dolphin’s blowhole as they were trained to exhale on cue. Taken along with each blow sample, a control

Bachelor pad: Hogle Zoo forms silverback companionship
In their native Africa, the endangered species live in packs of five to 30, with one dominant male heading up a group of females and their offspring. Young black-backs leave the group after puberty. Some kidnap or coax away other females to make their own group, but more often, male silverbacks live in bachelor troops.
"Bachelor groups are a necessity in the captive population because of the surplus males," Fenn said.
Today, most zoos try to form bachelor groups when the male black-backs are young, rather than a mature adult. "The gorilla management community didn't realize that was a necessity back in the day," Fenn said.
Indeed, even the American Zoo Association's Species Survival Plan, biographical information kept on each zoo animal, adds a new layer for gorillas. Listing genealogical history

Zoo licence row closes Cornwall tortoise sanctuary
The owner of a tortoise sanctuary has closed it to the public after officials reclassified it as a zoo.
Up to 12,000 people a year visit the Tortoise Garden at Sticker, near St Austell, which is home to more than 400 animals.
But Cornwall Council says it had to term the attraction as a zoo - because the tortoises were "wild" animals, not domestic pets.
Sanctuary owner Joy Bloor said she hoped the law might be changed.
Mrs Bloor has run the sanctuary, which relies on visitors' donations, for about 11 years and it is home to many rare and endangered varieties.
Most were unwanted, abandoned, injured or illegally imported and were given to her after being rescued by members of the public and organisations including the RSPCA.
Mrs Bloor said she was "absolutely devastated" at the decision to close and that she had

Camrose bison still on the loose
Some of the bison that escaped from a farm near Camrose remained on the run late Wednesday.
About a dozen of the animals were seen northeast and northwest of the city. About 40 broke free from a farm north of the central Alberta city of about 16,000 on Monday night.
RCMP said they've pulled back on their search for the bison because they want the animals to calm down from the stress of being chased Tuesday.
"They're quite a large, roaming animal, so it could become a public safety concern," said Const. Michael Devloo. "So far, not so much. We

New homes for Singapore polar bears
A new habitat is being built for the two polar bears - Inuka and Sheba - at the Singapore Zoo.
Wildlife Reserves Singapore said the 1,400 square metre habitat in the upcoming River Safari will be three and a half times the size of the existing one.
It said the polar bears' new home will be housed within the wildlife theme park's Frozen Tundra exhibit.
It aims to educate visitors on the importance of glaciers and semi-frozen freshwater ecosystems, among the most threatened of the world's biomes.
Wildlife Reserves said the polar bear dens and indoor areas will be climate controlled, with temperatures that simulate the Arctic north.
Three viewing elevations will be

EU interested in importing Georgian frogs, says minister
The European Union is interested in developing imports of frogs from Georgia, the country's agriculture minister said on Tuesday, reported RIA Novosti.
"EU countries are interested in importing Georgian frogs and investing in this field," Georgian Agriculture Minister Bakur Kvezereli said.
Georgia has been exporting live marsh frogs

Meet the beetles
Like most young men, Henry Walter Bates sought adventure. Unlike most, he was also obsessed with beetles. So in 1848, aged 23, he set sail from Liverpool on the trading ship Mischief, bound for Brazil. During 11 years in "savage solitudes", the naturalist fell ill with malaria, yellow fever and dysentery; he was horribly lonely but, despite physical pain and mental anguish, he kept on collecting rainforest species never before seen by European eyes. When he left South America, never to return, he shipped to the Natural History Museum more than 8,000 different species – mostly insects – that were previously unknown to science.
The Victorians' wonder at the miracles of nature, and their hunger to conquer foreign lands, has long made species hunting seem an anachronistic endeavour. Theirs was an age of never-to-be-repeated mapping of the world's plants and animals, a time of The Origin of Species and the feting of explorer-scientists such as Bates, Alfred Russel Wallace and Darwin. The discovery and naming of things has never quite captured the public imagination in the same way since.
Yet now, barely a week passes without

Rhino horn: All myth, no medicine
Although few features in the animal kingdom are as magnificent as the horn of the rhino, such magnificence comes at a deadly price: The illegal rhino horn trade is responsible for decimating the world's rhino population by more than 90 percent over the past 40 years.
And a recent upsurge in rhino poaching has conservationists extremely concerned.
2006: A spike in illegal rhino horn trade
The 2009 report African and Asian Rhinoceroses--Status, Conservation and Trade (IUCN/TRAFFIC) revealed that illegal trade in rhino horn, particularly in southern Africa, had become progressively worse since 2006.
"The combined loss of horns from poaching, thefts from natural mortalities, government stocks and other private collections, abuse of legal trophy hunting and illegal private sector sales suggests that a minimum of 1,521 rhino horns were destined for illegal trade in this time period. Compared to the six-year period 2000-2005 when a minimum of 664 horns were acquired for illicit trade purposes, this figure represents

Scientists Discover Pea-Sized Frog in Borneo
Scientists in Borneo don't need to kiss this frog -- he's already their little prince charming.
Researchers say they've found a new kind of frog that might be the smallest such amphibian living outside the Americas.
The pea-sized frog, dubbed Microhyla nepenthicola, measures between 10.6 and 12.8 millimeters in length, making it small enough to live inside puddles that accumulate in pitcher plants in the forests of the

State-protected bears damaging eastern Turkish melon farms
Bears have been damaging tons of melons in the Uluköy district of the eastern province of Erzincan, benefiting from laws that prevent people from shooting them, Doðan news agency reported Wednesday.
“Between 10 and 15 square meters of land are damaged each day,” said Uluköy Mayor Yaþar Kocatürk, adding they expect new solutions from the government about the issue since locals are stuck between the bears and the law.
With tons of melons ruined by bears that enter farms by night, growers are angry, saying they are prevented from using guns against the animals due to possible legal penalties.
They also said they have faced these attacks for five years during every harvest season, but have been powerless

Baby tiger found stuffed in bag at Thai airport
Authorities at Bangkok's international airport found a baby tiger cub that had been drugged and hidden among stuffed toy tigers in the suitcase of a woman flying from Thailand to Iran, an official and a wildlife protection group said Friday.
The woman, a Thai national, had checked in for her flight and her oversized bag was sent for an X-ray which showed what appeared to be a live animal inside, according to TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring group.
The woman was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport before boarding her Sunday flight. The cub, estimated to be about 3 months old, was sent to a wildlife conservation center in Bangkok.
"The cub arrived at our unit Monday," said Chaiyaporn Chareesaeng, head of the Wildlife Health Unit at the Department of National Parks' Wildlife and Plant Conservation Center, where the animal was put under close supervision.
"He appeared exhausted, dehydrated and couldn't walk, so we had to give him oxygen, water and lactation," said Chaiyaporn. "We

Rare frogs leaping back from ‘brink of extinction’ thanks to Chiricahua leopard frog recovery plan
Chiricahua leopard frogs can now ribbet a bit easier, thanks to ongoing efforts to restore the threatened population of this rare amphibian breed.
This week saw the 10,000th Chiricahua leopard frog released into the Arizona wild, thanks to extensive recovery efforts by biologists from the Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the Phoenix Zoo’s Conservation Center, said a joint news release.
The Chiricahua leopard frog release party set loose more than 1,700 frogs of all ages, from tadpole to adult, into the Tonto National Forest, frogs that had been raised in the Phoenix Zoo’s Conservation Center.
Look for the newbies at multiple sites in the forest near Payson. These frogs came from eggs collected in

Vets left in the wilds
Wildlife Department vets are on strike, demanding better facilities and more effective measures to manage the human-elephant conflict. Malaka Rodrigo highlights the difficult conditions under which they work
Serving as a wildlife veterinarian is a dangerous job in Sri Lanka. Whether it is to tranquillise a rogue elephant for translocation or treat a dying jumbo, these vets -- there are just seven of them -- have to go on foot in dense jungle braving numerous dangers. They run the risk of being killed by the elephants – even one mistake could be fatal for the whole team.
Recalling one such incident, veterinary surgeon Dr. Chandana Jayasinghe, who is in charge of the North-western Zone, said he had a narrow escape when he treated a female elephant.
“We tranquillised the elephant to put a radio collar on her. After the job was done, we gave her anti-tranquillizer, but the elephant didn’t respond in time. We went closer

Europe Announces Breakthrough in Breeding Bluefin Tuna
Scientists in Europe have bred Atlantic bluefin tuna in captivity, and without using hormones, potentially boosting stocks of a fish that has become endangered because of huge demand for sashimi and sushi in Japan and other countries.
“If the results of this research can ultimately be commercialized, it can improve food supplies and contribute to economic growth and employment while also helping to ensure a sustainable management of bluefin tuna,” Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European Union’s commissioner for research, said this week.
Concern has grown over the health of the species because too many bluefin are being caught before they get the chance to breed. The migrating wild fish are caught, then fattened

Cairns Wildlife Safari staff angry at 'roar' pay deal
THE workplace watchdog will investigate more complaints that staff at the Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve have been underpaid.
A Fair Work Ombudsman spokesman confirmed the office had received further underpayment complaints from zoo staff.
He said the office would investigate the complaints.
"As the investigation is ongoing, it is not appropriate to comment further at this time," the spokesman said.
The pay issue was believed to have been resolved this week.
But several zoo employees contacted The Cairns Post to complain they had not been paid for weeks.
The zoo’s owner Jenny Jattke could not be contacted yesterday.
One staff member, who asked not to be named, said the financial position of the zoo was worrying.
"We haven’t been paid before, but this time it feels a bit worse," they said.
"Vet care is the most important

Bites renew calls to close Cherokee bear zoo
Visitors to a bear zoo on the Cherokee Indian Reservation — including a 9-year-old girl — were bitten by a caged cub on two occasions last month, renewing calls from animal-rights advocates to close the business.
A federal inspector watched on July 21 as a young girl fed a mixture of Lucky Charms cereal and cat food to a six-month-old bear cub at Chief Saunooke Bear Park. The animal bit her, leaving tooth marks on her wrist.
The incident was the second time that week that a bear bit a customer, according to a subsequent U.S. Department of Agriculture report that ordered the exhibit to add safety features.
“There must be some form of public barrier to protect both the animals and the public from direct contact,” the report says.
Cherokee's bear zoos came under fire last summer from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the national animal welfare advocacy group.
The group brought game show icon Bob Barker to the reservation to call on Principal Chief Michell Hicks to close the parks.
Hicks, at the time, told Barker that Cherokee residents had complained about PETA activists on the

Chinese Bear Poses For Pictures With Tourists
A bear has become a minor celebrity in a Chinese zoo by happily posing for pictures with tourists.
Tian Tian was forced to retire from his job in a circus - where he performed on the parallel bars and a bike - because he was too obese.
He is now paraded around Shendiao Mountain Zoo in Shandong, northern China, but because of his time interacting with humans at the circus, he relates to people better than other bears.
"I have to take her and wander around during the day time outside the bear pen," said Tian Tian's feeder Wang Qunfa.
When she first arrived at the zoo and tourists began to request pictures, officials

Aquariums sink Living and Leisure results: Melbourne Aquarium
THE James Packer-controlled Living and Leisure Australia booked its second consecutive annual loss.
It was dragged $2.76 million into the red by its lagging aquarium business.
"All operating segments have faced challenging circumstances over the period," said John Schryver, chief executive of the business that owns the Melbourne Aquarium and Under Water World on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
The company is a former offshoot of the collapsed Queensland property business MFS.
Arctic Capital, part-owned by James Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings, secured a 49 per cent stake in LLA after MFS collapsed in 2008.
Prolonged closure of LLA's Siam Ocean World, due to political instability in Bangkok, and a fall in visitor numbers at its Shanghai aquarium were partly to blame for the aquarium division's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation

‘Negligence’ Killed Zoo Animals in Surabaya
An investigation into the recent spate of animal deaths at the Surabaya Zoo has found that negligent keepers were to blame in many of the cases, an official said on Friday.
In just a few weeks, the zoo in the capital of East Java has seen a number of animals die, including a Sumatran tiger, an African lion, a Komodo lizard, a babirusa cub, a wallaby, a Bawean deer and several birds.
The Surabaya Police and East Java Nature Conservation Office conducted the joint probe on the orders of the zoo’s interim management team, which was formed by the Forestry Ministry after the facility’s license was revoked earlier this month.
Tony Sumampauw, the head of the caretaker administration, said the Sumatran tiger and male lion died because of old age and bad health. The animals had difficulty exercising because of the “limitations of their cages,” he said.
But negligence by keepers has been cited in the death of at least three other animals — a babirusa cub, a wallaby and a Bawean deer, he added. 
The cub was killed by an adult babirusa after it managed to find a hole into the latter’s enclosure, while the wallaby’s death was believed to have been caused by stress after an unfamiliar individual entered its cage.
“It is the wallaby’s natural trait that it is very prone to stress ... In this death, we suspect that someone else beside the keeper entered the cage and caused the stress that led it to ram the wall,” Tony said.
The keeper of the Bawean deer had failed to notify the zoo’s veterinarian when one of the beasts was discovered dying, he added.
Achmad Sachrozy, another member of the investigative team, said
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Why Cute Little Liger Cubs Are So Controversial
The Taiwanese government recently confiscated some pretty cute contraband -- two newborn liger cubs. The hybrid offspring of a male lion named Simba and female tiger named Beauty were housed together in a private zoo, and now the zookeeper could be fined close to $1,600.
It's illegal to breed rare, protected animals in Taiwan, but zookeeper Huang Kuo-nan maintains that these feline lovers mated on their own.
So why are these baby ligers so controversial? Scientists and activists say that breeding hybrids shows a disregard for animal welfare and, moreover, is simply not what Mother Nature intended.
"We disagree [with] any kind of breeding program, including hybridization or intensive inbreeding, which aims only to create individuals for human attraction, especially those [that] will not exist in the natural world," Kurtis Jai-Chyi, the director of the Pingtung Rescue Center for Endangered Wild Animals at National Pingtung University of Science and Technology in Taiwan, where the ligers are being held, said in an e-mail to AOL News.
Certain animal hybrids, like the pizzly bear (a cross between a polar bear and a grizzly bear), have been known to occur in nature, but the liger is not one of them. While lions and tigers may historically have been friendly neighbors, today their geographic ranges do not even overlap.
In captivity, lions and tigers will occasionally mate, producing either ligers or tigons (hybrids of female lions and male tigers). But most liger cubs bred in captivity never make it to adulthood -- the two Taiwanese cubs had a third
Zoo keeper defends liger cubs
A private zoo keeper in Taiwan has claimed that he did not intentionally cross-breed a lion and tiger to create two liger cubs.
Huang Kuo-nan will be investigated by the authorities and faces a fine of around £1,000 if he is found guilty of breeding rare protected animals, Sky News reports.
The two cubs were the surviving offspring of the first pregnancy of African lion Simba and Bengal tigress Beauty, who have reportedly been mating for three years.
Huang said: "Usually when a lion and a tiger are kept together, they will for sure attack each other to death, but these two have been spending time together since they were small."
The cubs, which lack the ability to reproduce, are being hand-reared
Advocates urge harsh punishment for 'liger' breeder
An animal rights group on Monday called for the immediate seizure of two newborn ligers -- a hybrid of a tiger and lion -- from a private zoo in Tainan County, saying the operator should be severely punished for illegally cross-breeding two different species of protected animals.
Environmental and Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST) said Huang Kuo-nan, the owner of an educational farm, violated the Wildlife Conservation Law by allowing two types of protected animals to mate.
The group is urging the government to mete out harsh punishment on Huang, known as the "snake king, " to deter others from copying the behavior.
On Sunday, a six year-old tigress gave birth to three ligers but only two survived, according to Huang.
Kuo Yi-pin, the head of the Tainan County Government Agricultural Department, said tigers and lions are protected animals and therefore, it is illegal to artificially cross-breed the two.
The county officials are scheduled to visit the farm and will slap Huang with a NT$50,000 fine and confiscate the cubs if any legal discrepancies are found, he said.
"Cross-breeding two protected species is completely against nature. We are urging the Council of Agriculture (COA) to seize the two cubs immediately and bring Huang to real justice. A fine of NT$50,000 is a mere slap on the wrist, " said Lin Tai-jing, an EAST researcher.
Lin said a light fine of NT$50,000 is "too little to pay to legalize an illegal behavior."
"It is like paying the government for a permit to breed ligers, " she argued.
Huang, however, said he did not artificially breed the animals but
Keeping Orangutans Active-Cincinnati Zoo
Cloning technology suggested for Scottish wildcats
Cloning technology could be used to create Scottish wildcats if numbers of breeding pairs in the wild collapse.
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's Highland Wildlife Park confirmed the proposal was in the early stages of being discussed.
Talks have been held with the Medical Research Council's Human Reproductive Sciences Unit in Edinburgh.
A house cat-wildcat hybrid could be used to give birth to "pure wildcat kittens".
It has been estimated that 150 breeding pairs of wildcats survive in parts of the Highlands.
Disease, loss of habitat and inter-breeding with domestic cats have been blamed for devastating wild populations.
Douglas Richardson, animal collections manager at the wildlife park at Kincraig, told
Manly secret of non-mating sloth at London Zoo
Keepers at London Zoo have discovered why a male sloth seemed reluctant to mate with its arranged partner - his "girlfriend" Sheila turned out to be male.
Sheila was brought to the zoo in the hope of breeding the first two-toed sloths there for more than a century.
But the patter of tiny feet was not forthcoming and an ultrasound scan revealed why.
The sloth - a notoriously hard animal to sex - was not female.
'Very secretive'
Now Sheila has been shipped out and replaced with playful three-year-old Marylin.
And this sloth is most definitely a lady.
Senior zoo keeper Lucy Hawley said: "Two-toed sloths are very secretive creatures so we are never quite sure what they're up to but we like to encourage them to meet as often as possible.
"It would be amazing if we were to have a two-toed sloth baby at London Zoo.
"We haven't bred them

An interesting video of a Kangal Dog in with a Lion and Tigers
Paignton Zoo asks gardeners for sunflower donations
Gardeners have been asked to help feed animals at a Devon zoo, by donating home-grown flowers.
Paignton Zoo is asking people for sunflowers, which will be used to enrich the diet of its monkeys.
The nutritious seed heads from the sunflowers will also be given to agoutis and porcupines at the park.
"It's a great way for gardeners to help a wildlife charity and provide the animals with a locally-grown treat," zoo spokesman Phil Knowling said.
He said people should take their cut seed heads to the zoo by 29 September for weighing.
"Whoever brings in the largest sunflower head will win the chance to see it given to some of the animals, plus an animal adoption of your choice."
In 2006, pupils from Kingsbridge
Two more rhinos gunned down by poachers in South Africa this week
The slaughter of South Africa's rhinos continues unchecked. At least two more white rhinos fell under poachers' guns this week and their horns were removed. As many as 300 rhinos may have been felled in South Africa over the past 20 months. The following account about the latest atrocities is compiled from reports from the South African media, (Beeld) and the Zululand Observer, and a blog post by Rhishja Larson, founder and Program Director of Saving Rhinos LLC.
Two white rhinos were poached for their horns in South Africa this week, according to South African news reports and conservation organizations.
A male white rhino was struck down viciously on Wednesday morning by poachers armed with an AK-47 assault rifle. The bold attack reportedly occurred close to Masinda Camp in the iMfolozi Game Reserve--a place that is world famous for its successful restoration and conservation
Chester Zoo charges extra for disabled carers
DISABLED campaigners have locked horns with zoo officials over a controversial policy which charges them extra for their carers.
Since 2008 Chester Zoo has charged a nominal rate for the admission of carers who accompany disabled guests, following a period of consultation with other organisations across the country.
However, members of Trailblazers, a support group for people suffering from congenital muscular dystrophy, have now called on the zoo to change the rule, which they claim is “discriminatory”.
Catherine Alexander, 19, who uses a wheelchair and needs a constant carer, said she discovered the policy when she helped out with a survey to investigate tourism for disabled people.
She planned to go to Chester Zoo for a day out but
Judge boots legal action over Lucy the elephant
An Edmonton judge has punted a legal application by animal rights activists upset over the fate of Lucy the elephant.
Well-known Toronto-based lawyer Clayton Ruby argued earlier this year on behalf of Zoocheck Canada and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that the 34-year-old elephant is sick, isolated and being treated inhumanely at Edmonton's Valley Zoo, which contravenes provincial legislation.
John Rooke, associate chief justice of Court of Queen's Bench, ruled Friday that the notice filed on behalf of those groups is an abuse of the legal process and threw out the case.
He stated there is a "comprehensive legislative and regulatory scheme for the care of controlled animals in a zoo, such as Lucy."
In throwing out the argument made by the animal rights groups that there's nobody else who can bring the issue to court, Rooke said there are officials who have the "duty to take steps or lay charges when required," under provincial legislation.
Those rules also provide an "effective mechanism" to bring the issue of alleged breaches before the courts," the judge said.
A PETA spokeswoman said the ruling proves how little legal protection captive animals have in Alberta, calling it "despicable."
"This is a technical, procedural setback. But we fully intend to pursue other legal action on behalf of Lucy," said Lisa Wathne, a Seattle-based spokeswoman with the group.
She said enforcement officers in Edmonton
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Mollusk species reintroduced to Big Darby Creek

Riffleshell mussel last seen in 1990


The release of dirt-colored mussels into Big Darby Creek doesn't garner the same public adoration as a mass of tiny turtles marching into the ocean or gray wolves returning to the wild.


But biologists hope the public at least will take note of the 1,500 northern riffleshell mussels they dropped into the muddy creek bottom yesterday.


"The end goal is for boy to meet girl and make babies," said John Navarro, a program administrator for the Ohio Division of Wildlife. "We want a population that will sustain itself."


The freshwater creatures, about the size of chicken nuggets, once were prolific in Ohio. But pollution and flooded habitat killed them off and put them on state and federal

Blocked culvert floods Duluth zoo

Kingsbury Creek backed up across the street from the blocked culvert into the zoo, resulting in a washed-out bridge and the flooding of the Polar Shores exhibit’s underground area and the playground.


About 12 percent of the Lake Superior Zoo was flooded today after a piece of culvert liner near the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad in Norton Park created a blockage.


BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth said the railroad was in the process of repairing the culvert and heavy rains Tuesday and this morning turned the culvert liner on its side, damming Kingsbury Creek. The rainfall, 2 inches or more in some areas, was enough to fill streams and cause local flooding in several areas, but the zoo was especially impacted.


Kingsbury Creek backed up across the street from the blocked culvert into the zoo, resulting in a washed-out bridge and the flooding of the Polar Shores exhibit’s underground area and the playground. The turkey vulture was the only animal that needed rescuing

White tigers from China pledged to Kaohsiung in ceremony

A ceremony was held Friday to mark the donation of two white tigers from China's Guangzhou to Kaohsiung City on Friday.


Guangzhou Vice Mayor Wu Yimin presented symbolic pictures of the two tigers to his hosts, and Kaohsiung City Council Speaker Chuang Chi-wang and Kaohsiung Tourism Bureau chief Lin Kun-shan accepted them.


Chuang also exchanged gifts with Guangzhou Mayor Wang Qingliang and accepted 15 million yuan (US$2.2 million) for schools in southern Taiwan that were damaged by flooding triggered by Typhoon Morakot last August.


Chuang said the two tigers, which are currently being kept in Xiangjiang Safari Park in Guangzhou, have been under quarantine and will be sent to Taiwan soon.


Chang Po-yu, director of Kaohsiung's Shoushan Zoo, said members of the zoo staff have prepared for the arrival of the two tigers based on their experience in raising similar breeds.


Roughly a dozen protesters led by city councilor Huang Chao-hsi

Man dies after bear mauling

Investigators continue to gather statements and other evidence in a deadly bear attack in Lorain county Thursday. The attack happened at an exotic animal sanctuary on North Marks Road in Columbia Township.


Lorain County Sheriff's Department Captain Jim Drozdowski says it appears 24-year-old Brent Kandra and the property owner, Sam Mazzola, were feeding the bear when it attacked, wounding Kandra.


Kandra was taken to the hospital by life-flight and later died.


The animal was put back in its cage. No one else was hurt.


Mazzola also became ill during the incident and was hospitalized. He was later released.


Drozdowski says the victim often helped out with the many exotic animals on Mazzola's property and was very familiar with the bear.


Drozdowski says investigators will check to see if a video system on the property captured any of the incident.


In the past, Mazzola would bring his bears to public events and invite members of the audience to wrestle the animals. His exhibition

Local Animal Expert Explains Why Bears Attack

Animal experts say black bears are known for being a "pleasant" animal but just like any other wild creature, they can attack in an instant.


Geoff Hall is the general curator at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. He says, "Wild animals attacks can happen very quickly. It usually comes as a surprise to the keepers."


Thursday night, 24-year-old Brent Kandra of Elyria was mauled to death at a wildlife compound in Columbia Township. The bear's owner, Sam Mazzola said Brent worked with wild animals for six years. Thursday night, he fed the bear and was being playful when the bear suddenly attacked. The attack lasted less than ten seconds.


"Wild animals are wild animals, no matter how long they are kept in captivity. At the Cleveland Metropark zoo, we ensure staff safety by always having a barrier between the staff and all the animals, especially bears," said Hall.


Hall said although bears tend to form bonds with their keeping staff, deadly attacks can still happen-- and the reasons aren't always clear.


"It's mostly because bears are looking for food. People are in the wrong place at the wrong time or it could be a mother bear protecting its kids. At the end of the day, bears are wild animals. They might be tamed but that doesn't make them domesticated. At any moment, a wild animal can act unpredictably and potentially,0,1880350.story

It Was An Accident Waiting To Happen

Gorilla saved by French doc's hip op

A French surgeon may have entered the record books by saving a 70-kilo (154-pound) female gorilla

that sustained a crippling injury after falling from a tree in a safari park.


Louis-Etienne Gayet, an orthopaedic surgeon at the University Hospital Centre in Poitiers, central France, was called in to help eight-year-old Kwanza after the ape snapped her thighbone at Vallee des Singes (Valley of the Apes) in Romagne.


The break occurred very close to where the thighbone, or femur, enters the hip, where its ball-like end is enclosed by a ring of bone, the park said in a press release on Friday.


The problem was that, because the femur had been completely fractured, the ball end twisted around in the hip casing. As a result, the two bones were left back-to-front.


Delicate cases such as these are relatively common in human surgery but almost unheard-of for veterinarians.


Gayet rolled up his sleeves and in a three-hour operation at a veterinary clinic last Monday gently turned the bone's ball end in the right direction and reattached it to the rest of the femur with a 15-centimetre (six-inch)

RSPCA: End zoo jumbos



There should be a ban on importing elephants into UK zoos, demands the RSPCA.


The call comes as a report, commissioned by Defra, raises serious concerns about their welfare.


Rspca scientist Dr Ros Clubb said: "Elephants are without question suffering in zoos. Adding yet more to an ailing population simply masks the problems."


Bristol University experts found elephants were obese, suffered behavioural problems and

Zoo elephants 'treated as badly as intensively farmed chickens'

Elephants should be banned from British zoos because they are treated as inhumanely as intensively farmed chickens, according to a new report by the RSPCA.


They have a far shorter life-span and higher infant mortality rate than wild elephants and also suffer from high levels of obesity, a report found.


They also show behavioural abnormalities and a level of lameness equivalent to that endured by intensively farmed livestock "recognised internationally as cause for great welfare

'Cruel' treatment of elephants in zoos must stop, says RSPCA

No more elephants should be imported into Britain, the RSPCA has said, calling for the animals to be phased out from British zoos.


Recent research has shown that they were suffering from severe welfare problems which range from lameness and obesity to obsessive behaviour, and that it was inappropriate and cruel to keep them in confinement, the society said.


The RSPCA was reacting angrily to a report from the Government's own advisory committee, the Zoos Forum, which endorsed the research findings on welfare problems, but stopped

Chhatbir zoo may not have to shift elephants

The Mahendra Choudhary Chhatbir Zoological Park is likely to retain the elephants, which were the main source of attraction for visitors, after a team of Central Zoo Authority (CZA) found adequate arrangements and facilities for the upkeep of elephants here. In November 2009, CZA had issued a notice to all the zoos across the country, asking to shift all the elephants to national parks, sanctuaries and tiger reserves as soon as possible. The directive had cited that a zoo environment was not the best place for elephants, who require a large area to move about freely. Chhatbir zoo authorities had, however, claimed to have the sufficient space and a suitable atmosphere for the elephants and requested the CZA to check the zoo before calling back its elephants. A team of two officials, comprising Monetary Evaluator Brij Kishore Gupta and Suparna Ganguly from

An ill-fitting new home for the National Zoo's elephants

I visited the National Zoo for the first time on a cold and rainy afternoon last fall. For more than 15 years, I have been deeply engaged with questions about captive elephant welfare, so I was particularly interested to see how the Smithsonian Institution had spent a colossal $50 million on Elephant Trails, the new home for its elephants set to open in early September.


Since that visit, I have continued to follow the work on Elephant Trails. As a former zoo curator and director, I know that zoo development projects are complex and time-consuming, with many competing issues to balance. There are engineering and design challenges, visitor needs to be accounted for, restrictions imposed by the landscape and climate, and, of course, the welfare of the animals to consider.


The needs of wild animals in zoos can be hard to define, but there are a few basic rules. Top of the list is checking carefully the key aspects of a creature's life in the wild. What does it do with its days and nights? How far does it move and why? How does it interact with others of its kind?


Generally speaking, this sort of accounting works well, and many zoo programs create conditions and routines for animals that are broadly analogous to life in the wild. But the bigger the animal, the more difficult this becomes, especially where space is limited, the terrain difficult and the way of life of the species so complex that it is almost impossible to simulate.


Take, for instance, elephants at the National Zoo.


Elephants need space. Zoo people will often say it's the quality of the space that matters, and indeed it is -- to a point. Why, then, is the Elephant Trails landscape so unimaginative? There are sweeping green lawns and a shallow-looking pool, but little


Mysterious 'bearded' antelope photographed

Hirsute creature appears to be a young, female Thomson's gazelle


When Paolo Torchio set out across Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve a few weeks ago, it was just

a typical Thursday morning for the veteran wildlife photographer, who has lived and worked in Kenya for two decades.


Torchio is intimately acquainted with the beasts that wander the nearly 600-square-mile game reserve, so he was astonished to see a terrier's face poking out of the tall grass.


"I was wondering, what is this dog doing?" Torchio said. "And when it came out from the grass, that was a surprise."


The hirsute creature that emerged was clearly not a dog. The animal had all the markings of a Thomson's gazelle (a type of antelope) — but, like that old song from "Sesame Street," one of these kids was

"Snot Otter" Sperm to Save Giant Salamander?

Cryopreservation may be the last chance for the hellbender

, aka the snot otter.


It may be a shot in the dark, but freezing sperm is one of the last chances to save the hellbender, North America's biggest salamander, conservationists say.


Hellbenders—also known as snot otters and devil dogs—have dwindled throughout their range, which once encompassed streams from northeastern Arkansas to New York.


The 2.5-foot-long (0.7-meter-long) amphibians have declined by 80 to 90 percent in most of their traditional watersheds in recent decades, and now haunt only isolated pockets of southern Appalachia (see map), said Dale McGinnity, curator of reptiles at Nashville Zoo.


All of the states in the hellbender's range have listed the animal as a "species of special concern," and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently reviewing whether to add the hellbender to the federal endangered species list, McGinnity said.


The reasons for their decline is unknown, but it's likely environmental contaminants such as pesticides are harming the creatures via their highly permeable skin, he said.


To make matters worse, hellbenders don't seem to be breeding at all in the wild, he said, possibly because human-made pollutants containing synthetic hormones are damaging the amphibians' reproductive systems.


As a result, there are apparently no young wild hellbenders in existence, only aged individuals—the

Runaway zebras escape in Sacramento suburb, leave unanswered questions

It's still unclear who will foot the bill for the damage caused during the search and capture of two runaway zebras that escaped from a local animal facility.


California Highway Patrol investigators are working to determine who will be responsible for the incident that caused traffic hazards for drivers on a busy residential street.


The striped pair fled the animal training facility on the 6600 block of Sutter Street just after 7 p.m. Saturday, according to Sacramento County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Tim Curran.


Witnesses said drivers slammed on their brakes as the animals weaved in and out of traffic on Fair Oaks Boulevard near California Avenue.


Sheriff's deputies along with park rangers worked to corral one of the zebras, while the other made a mad dash toward Jameson Court.


The second zebra was finally captured in a nearby wooded area where Sacramento Zoo officials were on hand to offer support while Michael Mustagni, the animals' owner, lured the zebra into a trailer around 11:00 p.m.


"Law enforcement did a fantastic job," said Mustagni. "These gentlemen are cool, calm and collected. Some of them have equine experience and they did a great

EU suspends seal trade ban

A European Union ban on the sale of seal products traded by the Inuit was suspended on Friday after the bloc's top court accepted a moratorium request by the indigenous populations who traditionally hunt the animal.


EU member states and the European Parliament decided last year to restrict trade in seal products, heeding environmental groups' arguments that commercial seal hunting is cruel and inhumane.


The sales ban was due to come into force on Friday, but on Thursday the European Court of Justice (ECJ) blocked its enforcement for at least one month.


"It is in the interest of the proper

Bronx Zoo ships 100 rare Kihansi spray toads to Tanzania to help create a new colony

The cargo wasn't just precious - it was almost extinct.


An official from the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo flew to Tanzania last week with some seriously exotic carry-on luggage: 100 rare, tiny toads.


The Kihansi spray toad has vanished from its native habitat, and scientists hope to create a new colony by importing some from U.S. zoos.


"It's an amazing feeling," said Jim Breheny, director of the Bronx Zoo.


Last Tuesday, their handler, Alyssa Borek, packed 50 toads from the Bronx Zoo and 50 from the Toledo Zoo into plastic deli containers after swaddling them in paper towels soaked in purified water.


They were loaded into two cardboard boxes that Borek hauled onto a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines jet for the trip from Kennedy Airport to Africa.


She delivered them to a state-of-the-art propagation center. The goal is to eventually move them to the Kihansi Gorge, where the Tanzanian government has installed sprinklers in an attempt to recreate the toads' habitat.


The toads were discovered in 1998, living on less than five acres of a spray zone created by waterfalls in the gorge.


The 2000 opening of a

Building a Framework to Read Animal Emotion

Pet owners might like to think they can judge the moods of their cats or dogs with ease, but finding true scientific methods to evaluate animal emotion is difficult.


In a review published in The Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers describe a framework that may help other scientists measure animal mood.


Because it is difficult to otherwise judge an animal’s emotional state, the researchers devised a model that correlates emotional state to decision making. An animal that adopts a “safety first” stance to a rustle in the forest is probably feeling pessimistic, according to the framework. Conversely, an animal feeling optimistic would interpret the same rustle as a sign of prey.


In creating the framework, the researchers used earlier data they gathered

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson intervenes in probe of SeaWorld trainer's death

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, a vocal supporter of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, acknowledged Thursday that he intervened in a federal investigation into the death of a SeaWorld killer-whale trainer.


Grayson, D-Orlando, personally contacted the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration earlier this week to discuss the agency's probe of the death of Dawn Brancheau, a SeaWorld Orlando trainer who was drowned Feb. 24 by a six-ton killer whale named Tilikum.


OSHA is in the process of finalizing that investigation. The agency must issue any citations, proposed fines or recommended remedies by early next week.


Grayson would not answer questions about his exchange with OSHA when reached on his cell phone Thursday, and his office said he was unavailable for an interview later in the day. But Grayson's chief of staff, Julie Tagen, said in an e-mail that Grayson wanted to learn "first hand" the status of OSHA's probe and to "share his own views and impressions regarding,0,293357.story

Inside a bear bile farm in Laos

Despite increasing international outrage, extracting bile from endangered black bears is still rife in south-east Asia


On a post outside a nondescript property on the outskirts of the historic city of Luang Prabang, there is a small, handwritten notice. It declares in simple Laotian: place where bears are kept.


Entering the family home behind the sign, I am greeted by a scene of comfortable domesticity. A baby crawls on the dark teak floorboards; a teapot sits on a table in the front room; a dog pants in a shady corner, sweltering in the exhausting summer heat. Through an open door, down a short corridor and out through the rear of the house, the scene is rather different. Trapped in tiny, cramped cages above urine-soaked floors there are eight large Asiatic black bears.


Bear-farming is a relatively new business in Laos. The practice involves keeping Asiatic black bears in battery-farm conditions where they have their bile, which is used in traditional Chinese medicine, regularly extracted.


This small Vietnamese-run farm, an offshoot of a larger one in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, is one of at least eight such farms – one of which holds about 100 bears – known to have opened across the country in the past decade. Welfare organisations believe other smaller farms exist in Laos, although they do not appear on government records.


Bear bile has been used in Asian medicine for thousands of years. The bitter yellow fluid is made in the liver, then stored in the gall bladder until it is released to help break down fats during digestion. Traditionally it is believed to 'relieve internal heat’, but its supposed powers are myriad and it is prescribed for everything from hangovers to

Government takes over management of conflict-ridden Surabaya Zoo

The Forestry Ministry has taken over management of Surabaya Zoo on Friday following the death of hundreds of animals, including endangered species such as a Sumatran tiger.


The ministry set up a new team to take over day-to-day operations of the 15-hectare zoo, which is one of the largest in Southeast Asia and in Indonesia.


“We were forced to take over the management because no improvement has made since early this year,” Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said at a press conference Friday.


He said the previous management by a group of so-called animal lovers failed to meet government-set management standards, leading to the deaths of 689 animals between 2008 and 2009.


“Since February this year, 26 animals including a Sumatran tiger and a lion died of old age and poor facilities,” he said.


Surabaya Zoo is home to 4,200 animals from 315 species.


Most of the deaths were due to various illnesses such as pneumonia, enteritis and malnutrition and the poor facilities at the zoo.


The new management run by the Forestry Ministry and the Surabaya city administration will be headed by Tony Sumampau, the chairman of the Indonesian Zoo Association.


The team is required to submit quarterly reports to the Forestry Ministry.


The ministry also gave the new management

Tiger overcomes shyness, open for public view

The visitors to the Mysore zoo have a special attraction. The eight-year-old tiger that was rescued at Virajpet and treated at the zoo hospital has made its way to the enclosure, which could help the zoo in its plans for captive breeding.


Initially, when he was captured in the Kodagu forests, there were apprehensions that he might be crippled and not able to move to the open for injured animals are barred from public display. But braving odds, he has recovered fast and acclimatized to the new environs at the conservation centre too allowing the officials to move him open space.


When he was moved here some three months back, the eight-old-year was ferocious, yet dull. He had suffered injuries and was weak. The zoo vets attended on him with care and now he is out there in the open treating the visitors. Says animal keepers: "Initially when

Council updated on Tulsa Zoo management transition

The City Council was updated Tuesday on the transition of the Tulsa Zoo as it moves toward a private management structure for the zoo.


Tom Baker, a former fire chief, city councilor and deputy mayor, was recently hired as the transition coordinator for Tulsa Zoo Management Inc.


Baker has a 90-day contract with Tulsa Zoo Management.


Baker told councilors that there is a lot of detail work that needs to be done to complete the transition.


"The employees are very optimistic about the transition," he said.


Baker said employees have compiled a list

To the circus: conservationists warn of elephant exodus from Laos

Once worshipped as gods, the endangered elephant population of Laos is under threat from a legal loophole


Mahouts (elephant keepers) are being offered incentives to conserve the elephant population of Laos. Photograph: David Longstreath/AP It may be known as the Land of a Million Elephants, but conservationists are warning that the imminent exportation of more than a third of Laos's remaining domesticated elephant calves to a Chinese circus could prove disastrous for the endangered species.


Once worshipped as gods, the animals are still considered sacred by many in Laos, but loss of habitat and tradition means there are now just 20 domesticated elephants under the age of 10 left in the country.


The agreement with the circus company will see seven of these youngsters, along with four older animals of breeding age, exported from the remote Thongmixay district, in Laos's Sayaburi province, to southern China this autumn.


Although Laos signed up in 2004 to the CITES international agreement against trading endangered wildlife, a loophole is being exploited. Elephants are being taken out of the country on "long-term loans" to zoos and circuses in foreign countries but are never returned.


With the most recent government estimates suggesting there are now as few as 600 wild and only 480 domesticated elephants left in the country, hopes for the survival of the species in Laos are pinned on breeding programmes involving the domesticated population. The loss of so many young elephants will place that under threat, the NGO ElefantAsia has warned. The group has official responsibility for the animals, having been charged by Laos's department of livestock to manage the Laos Elephant Care and Management Programme.


"We are very concerned to see so many elephants – especially young ones and females – being exported to foreign countries," said Sebastian Duffillot, co-founder of ElefantAsia. "The best and healthiest animals have been leaving the country steadily for several years despite existing laws condemning the export of live elephants."


Korea and China are the main destinations for the "loaned" elephants. Because elephants are privately owned, ElefantAsia has no mandate to prevent the animals leaving the country. "Laos needs

What The Elephants Know (Long Article)

The Toronto Zoo has lost four elephants in as many years, and the fate of the remaining herd—Iringa, Thika and Toka—is uncertain. Can a one-hectare habitat in the middle of a northern city be any kind of home for exotic animals with complex thoughts and feelings?


On the morning of November 30, at around 7:45, three keepers entered the elephant enclosure at the Toronto Zoo to begin their daily routine. The elephants live on a dusty one-hectare tract of land with huge umbrellas for shade and three simulated termite mounds. During winter, they spend their nights in a concrete building with a corrugated roof, a poured rubber floor and metal bars as thick as tree trunks. That morning, the keepers were greeted with an alarming sight. Tara, the 41-year-old matriarch of the group, was on her side, unable to get up.


Most elephants can’t lie on their sides for extended periods of time—their sheer mass puts too much pressure on their internal organs—so zoo staff immediately began trying to raise her. Getting into the pen with an elephant is dangerous work—one elephant gored a keeper in 1993. But there wasn’t much time, and the team was desperate.


The eight staff who tend to the elephants had agreed that they wanted to be called in if one of their charges ever went down, and soon off-duty keepers were rushing down to the enclosure to help out or, more likely, to say goodbye. The African animal supervisor, Eric Cole, a 30-year zoo veteran with short-cropped hair and the remnants of an Irish brogue, had had some success coaxing fallen elephants back to their feet in the past. At first, Tara swiped angrily at the keepers with her trunk. She eventually calmed down, allowing Cole and his team to get straps underneath her. Using a winch, they raised the 3,800-kilogram animal to her sternum. Tara struggled. She managed to lift her hind legs but wasn’t able to pull her front legs under her. Keepers tried a few more times to raise her, but she wouldn’t budge. At around 11 that morning, Tara died. “She didn’t appear to have the will,” recalled Maria Franke, curator of mammals. “It’s like she decided to let go.”


The keepers were devastated. “It was pretty shattering,” Cole told me. “Everyone was just drained; the staff was all crying.” They brought Tara’s body out to the paddock so that the other elephants, Thika, Toka and Iringa, could mourn her. Elephants are highly social animals, and females live in tight-knit groups their entire lives. When an elephant, particularly the matriarch, dies in the wild, the loss can reverberate for months or even years. There are stories of elephants returning to the bones of a family member years after the death, rubbing their trunks along the teeth of the skull’s lower jaw in the same way they greet one another in life.


Tara had to be autopsied, so mourning could last only a few hours. The zoo’s remaining elephants—animals who lived with Tara for decades—straddled her and stroked her skin. They used their trunks to throw dirt on her. At the end of the day, keepers transported Tara and brought the rest of the elephants back inside for the night. Because the elephants don’t always get along, they are often kept in separate pens and spend the night apart. When keepers arrived the next morning, however, they found all the elephant dung piled close to the connecting corners of their respective pens. The three elephants—the final members of a haphazardly formed family group that had once been eight—had spent that night huddled together, as close to one another as possible.


Two days later, the Toronto Zoo was quiet, empty save for a few groups of teenagers playing hooky and a handful of daycare kids who toddled past the simulated Serengeti bush camp toward the empty Africa Restaurant (a Harvey’s and a Pizza Pizza outlet in a jungle-themed pavilion). It was a bright, unseasonably warm day, and most of the animals were in their outdoor display areas: tigers stretching out in the sunny section of their Indo-Malaya enclosure, muddy-looking polar bears in the new Tundra Trek area, a group of impalas and kudu blinking in a broad pasture, indifferent to the intruding raccoon and flock of Canada geese that compromised the verisimilitude of their savannah habitat.


At the African elephant exhibit, the mood was sombre. A young zookeeper in gumboots and khakis told me that she’d had an emotional few days. “We look after these animals eight hours a day,” she said. “We become close.” Since Tara’s death, the elephants had been unusually subdued, keeping near to one another, acting tentative. Thika, a 30-year-old female, stood motionless under one of the large wooden umbrellas, one foot cocked at

White tigers from China pledged to Kaohsiung in ceremony

A ceremony was held Friday to mark the donation of two white tigers from China's Guangzhou to Kaohsiung City on Friday.


Guangzhou Vice Mayor Wu Yimin presented symbolic pictures of the two tigers to his hosts, and Kaohsiung City Council Speaker Chuang Chi-wang and Kaohsiung Tourism Bureau chief Lin Kun-shan accepted them.


Chuang also exchanged gifts with Guangzhou Mayor Wang Qingliang and accepted 15 million yuan (US$2.2 million) for schools in southern Taiwan that were damaged by flooding triggered by Typhoon Morakot last August.


Chuang said the two tigers, which are currently being kept in Xiangjiang Safari Park in Guangzhou, have been under quarantine and will be sent to Taiwan soon.


Chang Po-yu, director of Kaohsiung's Shoushan Zoo, said members of the zoo staff have prepared for the arrival of the two tigers based on their experience in raising similar breeds.


Roughly a dozen protesters led by city councilor Huang Chao-hsing a

Wild animal park to shut down before it even opened

A wild animal park in Polk County never opened to the public and after a recent court ruling, it never will.


The Safari Wild Park has been in the works since 2007 and recently, a judge decided the park should shut down because of its location.


The judge ruled that the park was in violation of Florida rules because it sits on an area of land that is environmentally protected by the state, called the Green Swamp.


The park sits about a half-mile drive from a paved road just north of Lakeland and is comprised of two buildings and a lot of open land.


One of the buildings is used to store food for the animals and the other would have been a visitor welcome center for up to 500 people per day.


Veterinarian Stephen Wehrmann co-owns the park with Lex Salisbury, the former president of the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa.


“These are the only two buildings on the property,” Wehrmann said. “And

6-figure aquariums: The new status symbol

Karin Wilzig has a hard time choosing a favorite color from among the 64 that she and her husband can use to illuminate the 14 1/2- foot, 450-gallon aquarium in their TriBeCa town house. The default is fuchsia, which turns the dozen koi a deep pink.


"Not pink," said Mrs Wilzig, 40, an artist and a mother of two small children. "Alan, go to the turquoise."


Her husband, Alan Wilzig, 45, a former banker who collects motorcycles and prides himself on the orange tanning bed in his basement, goes to the James Bond-like control panel in the kitchen, where a touch of a button turns the fish -- which are specially bred to be colorless -- a vivid blue.


"I think they like that," he said, walking down the steps to the sunken living room to admire the fish from another angle. (Given that they do nothing but swim from one

New face in Solomons dolphin trade

Animal rights activists are outraged by a Solomon Islands businessman who has virtually imprisoned eight "totally stressed" dolphins in a tiny pool for months while he tries to sell them to marine parks in Australia and the US.


Despite opposition from both the Australian and New Zealand governments, Solomons dolphins are captured and sold to aquariums, marine parks and even hotels around the world, often fetching as much as $200,000.


Solomons dolphin activist Lawrence Makili, who is the Earth Island Institute's Pacific Regional Director, has told AAP that despite the institute's tireless efforts to end the live trade, another dolphin dealer had emerged.


The American-based Earth Island Institute earlier this year began paying Solomon villagers to stop hunting dolphins.


At the time, Canadian Chris Porter, the so-called 'Darth-Vader' of the Solomons dolphin trade, had a change of heart and switched from dolphin seller to dolphin saver.


But for the past six months local businessman Francis Chow has been trying to sell eight

Rare Turtle Hatchlings at the Tennessee Aquarium

Tennessee Aquarium herpetologists have been quite busy recently caring for some new baby turtles.


Six red-necked pond turtles, Mauremys nigricans, hatched recently from eggs that were laid in the Asian River exhibit about two months ago.

Nets are a dead loss for sea life

ALMOST 4000 sea creatures have been caught in shark nets lining NSW beaches over the past 20 years, new government figures reveal, prompting calls from environmentalists to immediately ban the meshing.


Of the official count of 3944 creatures trapped, about 60 per cent were sharks and less than 4 per cent were considered ''target'' species (or those particularly harmful to humans) - that is, 100 great whites and 49 tiger sharks.


The haul - as recorded in the Department of Primary Industries' Report into the NSW Shark Meshing (Bather Protection) Program - included a total of 2521 sharks.


Among them were 15 grey nurses, a harmless species considered critically endangered.


Also on the list were stingrays (1269), dolphins (52), turtles (47), whales (six), seals (four), a penguin and a dugong.


Humane Society International's director Michael Kennedy said the public would be shocked to know how many animals were killed in the nets, which are strung off parts of 51 popular beaches from Stockton in the north down to South Wollongong, from September 1 to April 30.


''We know from our own research and from the government's research that these nets do kill a large amount of threatened marine animals,'' Mr Kennedy said. ''It is very hard to justify their continued use.''


The Humane Society is calling on the NSW government to invest in alternative protection measures, such as radio signals, sonar technology and electric nets.


''The government needs to be brave enough to use these new devices rather than kill the animals,'' Mr Kennedy said.


Primary Industries Minister Stephen Whan said shark control measures were constantly reviewed but there were no viable alternatives to meshing, although the government would again trial a


'Ligers' bred in Taiwan zoo

A private zoo in Taiwan could be fined after breeding 'ligers' – a cross between a lion and a tiger.
The zoo is the island's first to breed the hybrid of a lion and a tigress, but officials seized the cubs and said they may fine the owner.
The three liger cubs were born in Taiwan on Sunday at the World Snake King Education Farm in the south, but one of them died almost immediately.
"The pregnancy of the tigress caught me totally unprepared," said Huang Kuo-nan, the farm's owner.
"The lion and the tigress have been kept in the same cage since they were cubs more than six years ago, and nothing

Zoo keeper defends liger cubs
A private zoo keeper in Taiwan has claimed that he did not intentionally cross-breed a lion and tiger to create two liger cubs.
Huang Kuo-nan will be investigated by the authorities and faces a fine of around £1,000 if he is found guilty of breeding rare protected animals, Sky News reports.
The two cubs were the surviving offspring of the first pregnancy of African lion Simba and Bengal tigress Beauty, who have reportedly been mating for three years.
Huang said: "Usually when a lion and a tiger are kept together, they will for sure attack each other to death, but these two have been spending time together since they were small."
The cubs, which lack the ability to repro

Controversial zoo plans are up for discussion
CRUNCH talks about Chester Zoo’s controversial multi-million pound development scheme are set to take place next month.
A public meeting will be held by Upton by Chester Parish and District Council in September to discuss the zoo’s Natural Vision Project.
The controversial plans for the £225 million ‘Eden Project of the North’ development sparked fierce debate among residents, councillors, zoo bosses and green belt campaigners, when the application was put forward to Cheshire West and Chester Council’s planning board.
The development would include provision for a themed hotel and a ‘Heart of Africa’ biodome development, which will be situated on Green Belt land up to the edge of the A41 from Flag Lane North to the Backford Dip.
Following increased pressure Chester Zoo axed a second hotel and a garden centre from the plans.
Despite the change campaigners and some local residents have mixed feelings about the development and hope to raise their concerns to the council at a meeting at Upton British Legion, Heath Road, Upton, at 7pm on Wednesday, September 8.
Former parish councillor Brenda Southward said the proposals had sparked a lot of discontent among some villagers.
Mrs Southward, of Brook Avenue, Upton, said: “A lot of people are up in arms about the whole thing, but my personal view is that it is good for the village, Chester tourism and jobs. But on the other hand I am concerned about Green Belt land and would not want it to encroach on it too much.”
Upton by Chester Parish and District Council chairman Jean Evans said the meeting was being held to clear up misconceptions about the project.
She said: “We will have a meeting to explain to people what would or could happen. If people didn’t understand the plans, the lead planning officers have been invited to answer people’s questions and it is also a chance to give their views on the project. From here we can gauge what kind of percentage of people are for or against it.”
Campaigners from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) say they are still “seriously concerned” about plans to build on 100 acres of Green Belt land.
Planning co-ordinator for CPRE Ann Jones said: “CPRE is particularly concerned about the impact that the outline proposals will have on the integrity of the Green Belt in the vulnerable narrow space between the built up area of Chester and the built

Cranes reintroduced to West Country after 400 years (GREAT VIDEO)
9 August 2010 Last updated at 10:31 Help It has been 400 years since wild cranes were regularly seen in the West Country.
The graceful birds are now being reintroduced to the region and it is hoped they will soon start breeding.
The precise location of where the cranes have been released is being kept secret.
The BBC's John Maguire met some of the conservationists

Bear in high-wire motorbike stunt and example of China's animal cruelty
A picture of a bear forced to ride a high-wire on a motorbike with a monkey in tow has been released by a charity to bring attention to the cruelty inflicted on animals in China's zoos and theme parks.
The image is one of a number of pictures released by the British charity Animals Asia, others show bears being forced to box, toothless tigers riding on the back of horses, pigs being pushed off a 10ft diving board and monkeys performing handstands on the horns of a goat.
They are included in a report, released in Hong Kong, which found widespread maltreatment of animals at 13 safari parks and zoos across China that were visited by their representatives between over the past 12 months.
The scenes are expected to intensify calls for China to speed up the enactment of its first ever animals rights law, a draft proposal of which was submitted to the authorities earlier this year but is yet to receive official approval.
David Neale, Animals Asia's animal welfare director, said that many of the animals were often brutalised during training for their "tricks" and kept in unsanitary, cramped conditions when away from public display.
"The animals are housed in small, barren, concrete enclosures often in darkened rooms at the back of the performance

City zoo keepers to get lessons on the wild
In an effort to impart knowledge on maintenance, conservation and welfare of wild animals, officials from Veer Jijamata Udyan or Byculla Zoo have planned to send zoo keepers on a training programme to some of the better-managed zoos across the country.
The tour will be subsequent to a two-month in-house training programme, starting from Monday. At Byculla Zoo, a team of veterinarians and wildlife experts will hold special sessions for the 45 keepers to improve their animal handling skills.
A N Anjankar, director of the zoo said, "The idea is to empower them with knowledge that will help in better maintenance of the zoo. A visit to various zoos in the country will allow them to learn new techniques and they will be able to see how animal enclosures are maintained.''
Some of the zoos that have been identified by officials for the tour include the Katraj Zoo in Pune, Mysore Zoo, Hyderabad Zoo, Delhi Zoo, Ahmedabad Zoo and even

Elephant expansion at Auckland Zoo
A $13 million extension to Auckland Zoo has been given the thumbs up - which could bring the only elephant herd in Australasia to New Zealand.
Auckland City Council's arts, culture and recreation committee has endorsed a proposal to enlarge the zoo's existing enclosure to six times its size, which would incorporate two areas of Auckland's Western Springs Park.
The proposed areas, which run adjacent to the zoo's current elephant enclosure, will include an exercise area, a new elephant bull house, a public viewing area and boardwalk.
The extra space could take a herd of up to 10 new elephants, and the zoo is in talks with another zoo in Asia to bring a herd over.
The zoo wants to expand to improve the well-being of its sole remaining elephant, Burma, whose companion Kashin died in August 2009.
Burma is a non-breeding female. She has

Highland Wildlife Park's polar bear weighed
The UK's only polar bear has been weighed to help her keepers determine the state of her health.
Mercedes, who weighs 291kg (45 stone), was moved from Edinburgh Zoo to the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig in the Cairngorms last year.
Her estimated age of 29 is old for a polar bear, but wildlife park staff said she was healthy.
She is thought to have gained some weight after losing some following her arrival in the Highlands.
For the weighing process, Mercedes was "trained" to step on to mechanical scales in her enclosure.
Animal collection manager Douglas Richardson said the scales were placed in a small passage which connects her two roofed den areas.
He said Mercedes was "quite gentle" for a polar bear, but staff still had to be careful when working close

The Performance
Watch this video to the end. It is as disturbing as it is horrific. It does not mention zoos anywhere but....sadly, there are zoos which do exhibit such shows (read my Zoo Hubs to learn of some). It really does have to stop.


Endangered sea turtles released in Thailand (INCLUDES VIDEO)
An annual ceremony to celebrate the Queen of Thailand's birthday has been marked by the release of 779 green turtles.
The turtles were released from the Royal Thai Navy's Sea Turtle Conservation Centre in the Sattahip naval base as a token of gratitude to Queen Sirikit who turns 78-years-old on Thursday.
Most of the turtles are three to six months old, while seven are adults aged between six and 16 years old. The adult turtles have been fitted with microchips for conservation research.
Some 300 officials, conservationists and students take part in the event each year to watch the young turtles born and raised in the conservation centre


Few Genetic Variations Separate Great Danes and Dachshunds
The difference between a pug's smashed schnoz and the narrow muzzle of a dachshund depends on just one small segment of genes, according to a new study.
The findings, published today in the journal Public Library of Sciences – Biology, are the most comprehensive genetic analysis of domestic dogs to date, and could have an impact on human genetics, the researchers say.
Thanks to years of breeding for function and form, dogs are now the physically most diverse land animal, according to Stanford University. What researchers didn't know was whether the differences between Great Danes and chihuahuas or shar-peis and whippets was caused by lots of little genetic changes adding up, or just a few big changes.
To find out, Stanford professor of genetics Carlos Bustamante and

Inside the Minds of Animals
Not long ago, I spent the morning having coffee with Kanzi. Kanzi is a fellow of few words — 384 of them by formal count, though he probably knows dozens more. He has a very clear, very expressive and very loud voice, but it's not especially good for forming words, which is the way of things when you're a bonobo.
But Kanzi is talkative all the same. He keeps a sort of glossary close at hand — three laminated sheets filled with hundreds of colorful symbols that represent all the words he's been taught or picked up on his own. He can build thoughts and sentences, even conjugate, all by pointing.
(See a portfolio of smart animals.)
Kanzi knows the value of breaking the ice. So he points to the coffee icon on his glossary and then points to me. He then sweeps his arm wider, taking in primatologist Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, an investigator at the Great Ape Trust —the research center in Des Moines, Iowa, that Kanzi calls home — and lab supervisor Tyler Romine. Romine fetches four coffees, takes,8599,2008759,00.html

NGO: Johor's Danga Bay petting zoo risks tiger attack
A UK-based conservation NGO is worried that zoos such as Johor's Danga Bay Petting Zoo (DBPZ) risks tiger attacks on members of public.
"The risks at Danga Bay cannot be underestimated," said Nature Alert director Sean Whyte, whose team of investigators have been to Danga Bay about three times thus far this year.
"A tiger escaping from the circus can cause a panic. Many people could be crushed to death running away from a terrifying situation,” he said.
Sean made these observations after a tiger attack in an Indonesian zoo recently. He fears that the same may happen in Malaysia.
According to an AFP report, the 10-month-old tiger attacked a little girl in Indonesia late last month, as it was being transferred from one enclosure to another.
Upon seeing the toddler, the tiger became 'excited and wanted to play' with her, knocking over one of its trainers in the process.
Sean claimed that Nature Alert 'investigators' found DBPZ's tigers to be very sleepy in public photo shoots.

Zoo animals star in new webcams at Durrell
Webcams have been set up at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey for the first time.
They will be used to monitor the zoo's nocturnal animals and can be viewed online.
Meerkats, skinks and fruit bats are among the animals which will have camera's on them 24 hours a day.
Durrell's Kelly Barker said: "People should be able to experience all our activities, including our work in the field and our training programmes."
The trust was started in 1959 by the author and naturalist Gerald Durrell, whose aim was to help save

Animal deaths at Calgary zoo reflect problem with care, says report
To many in the city, the tally of animal deaths at the Calgary Zoo in recent years seemed unusually high.
A hippo died after a long, painful transfer from another zoo. More than 40 stingrays perished after someone messed up oxygen levels in their tank. A large spiral-horned wild goat got caught in a toy rope and strangled.
Some wondered whether the zoo had just hit a patch of bad luck, something that could happen at any facility trying to care for so many animals.
But a report released Thursday by the groups that accredit zoos across North America suggested the string of deaths wasn’t an unfortunate fluke.
It concluded human error was behind more deaths than at other zoos and urged immediate steps be taken to ensure the creatures’ safety.
“This is not just a series of unfortunate events ... there is a pattern related to lack of preparedness and expertise to accept new animals, increased work expectations, workload ... and a lack of rapid and appropriate aggressive response to problems,” said the report.
Zoo president Clement Lanthier

Red-eared turtles threaten ecological balance
They say the creatures could seriously affect the nation’s ecological balance if left uncontrolled.
The warning was made after the Can Tho Seafood Import Joint-Stock Company imported 24,000 red-eared turtles from the US to Vinh Long Province’s Tra On District for breeding and processing.
Head of the Science, Technology and Environment Management Institute under HCM City’s University of Technology, Le Huy Ba, said this was an irresponsible action. He described it as a threat by the enterprise to the nation’s ecological system.
"The International Union for the Conservation of Nature considers the turtle one of the world’s 100 worst invasive species. I don’t understand how it could have been imported to our country so easily. The matter should have been carefully studied beforehand," Ba said.
Ba said Viet Nam had gained painful lessons from many imported animals and plants, such as golden snails, water hyacinth

Gorilla Keepers Work to Limit Stress of Vet Exams

Ohio keeper hurt by elephant broke rules
A zoo in Ohio says a keeper who was critically injured by an elephant broke two rules by going into the enclosure alone.
The Toledo Zoo has released a review finding that Don RedFox should have had another person with him and that he should have carried a steel rod used to handle elephants.
Zoo director Anne Baker says the 53-year-old keeper has been disciplined, but she would not give details during a news conference Tuesday.
The 7-year-old elephant named Louie charged RedFox twice July 1 and pinned him in a corner. He was hospitalized with life-threatening
Fury at 'circus-style' cruel zoos
Zoos and parks were exposed yesterday for their barbaric circus-style treatment of endangered animals simply so they can "amuse" visitors.
Shameful pictures, taken by an animal rights group, showed Asiatic black bears forced to box one another and ride motorbikes.
While tigers, which have had their teeth pulled out, were prodded into jumping through hoops on fire and riding on horses.
Animals Asia slammed China for tolerating the cruelty to the critically endangered bears, but warned shocking treatment of animals was widespread across the country.
David Neale, welfare director, said that many of the animals were beaten during training.
He said: "They are housed in small, concrete enclosures, often in darkened rooms at the back
Two San Diego-Born Pandas Headed For China
Two giant pandas born at the San Diego Zoo, now 3 and 5 years old, will be sent to China at the end of the summer, it was announced today.
Su Lin, born in 2005, and Zhen Zhen, born in 2007, will be sent to the Wolong Nature Reserve Giant Panda Bi Feng Xia center, where they will be part of a conservation breeding program there, according to the zoo.
"We will miss Su Lin and Zhen Zhen, but as a conservation organization we are aware of the significant breeding contributions they will make in the preservation of this critically endangered species at another panda conservation center such as Bi Feng Zia," said Carmi
Free neutering of farm cats in the Cairngorms!
Cats Protection (CP) have launched a scheme whereby farmers and crofters in the Cairngorms National Park can get farm cats neutered for free during the month of August.
The charity supports the Cairngorms Wildcat Project by neutering both pet and feral cats, helping to prevent interbreeding, and thus hybridisation, with endangered wildcats. It will have a stall tomorrow at the Black Isle Show to inform people about their neutering work and is encouraging Cairngorms farmers and crofters with unneutered cats to visit them at the Show to register for a neutering voucher. Not only does neutering help reduce the risk to the wildcat population, but it prevents unwanted kittens (apparently an unneutered female domestic cat can be responsible for 20,000 descendants in just five years!), benefits the health of the cats themselves, and by helping to keep the domestic cat population under control, reduces the impact on wildlife species which are predated by cats.
Farmers not visiting the Show can call the CP national helpline on 03000 121212 to register for a voucher. CP operatives may also be able to trap and transport the cats to the local
Zoo attendance goes down when temperatures heat up
Edie the elephant loves to put on a show- but there hasn't been much of an audience. That's because Mother Nature has been keeping them away with 90 degree temperatures.
John Vlan, Executive Director says, "Weather is the biggest concern we've always had. We are 27,871 people down. "If we made no changes we would be a little over 400-thou and dollars as a deficit.
Giant panda has second set of twins in Japan
A giant panda born and raised in Japan has given birth to two cubs, her second set of twins, a zoo official said Thursday.
Nine-year-old Rauhin gave birth to a female and a male cub Wednesday at Adventure World zoo in western Wakayama prefecture -- where she has spent her whole life -- after mating naturally with a panda brought from China.
Rauhin was the first Japanese-born panda to breed when she gave birth to twin cubs in 2008.
Her caretakers at the zoo conducted artificial insemination to improve Rauhin's chances of breeding two years ago, but the new babies were born as the result of natural mating with the Chinese male panda, the zoo said.
"The two pandas go together very well," Adventure
Rare tiger cubs meet the public at Port Lympne
A pair of endangered tiger cubs have been introduced to the public for the first time at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park.
The two female cubs were born to their parents Tugar and Ingrid on 27 June 2010.
At six weeks they are having a taste of the outside world for the first time.
Amur tigers are endangered due to poaching and loss of prey species. It is estimated that there are less than 500 left in the wild.
Adrian Harland is Animal Director at Port Lympne: "Amur tigers and very endangered and we are very pleased that we've got two new arrivals."
"The breeding programme is very important," said Adrian. "It's computer dating, we move animals all over Europe to make sure the breed pairs are good genetically
New research suggests orangutans not so solitary
When British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace arrived in Borneo's jungles 150 years ago, one of his great hopes was to see orangutans. Even he was surprised at his success, spotting the red apes feeding along river banks, swinging between branches, and staring down from trees almost the moment he arrived.
He saw 29 - shooting more than half of them and sending their skins and skeletons back home - in just 100 days, an experience shared by many other adventurers and collectors during the same period.
"Whereas some early explorers would see as many as eight orangutans in one tree or encounter 35 along a river in one day, spotting even one in the wild in the same undisturbed forests is now rare," said Erik Meijaard, one of the authors of a study published Wednesday in PLoS One, a journal of the Public Library of Science.
"This prompted us to ask if these notoriously solitary apes once lived in much higher densities," said Meijaard. "We believe hunting may have caused a change in behavior, causing them to be less social."
The scientists measured the density of orangutan populations now compared with assumed densities in past - based in part on frequency of sightings by 19th century explorers - and found that encounters were three to six times higher back then. They also looked at possible causes, including ecological changes and disease, and determined

Vet removes tumour from wide-awake crocodile

Chimpanzee at KC Zoo dies after attempt to assimilate him with other males
A male chimpanzee at the Kansas City Zoo died Wednesday after being placed in a group with other males the day before.
There had been some scuffling among the powerful primates, and Josh, who was nearly 21 years old, had some scrapes on his hand, but there was no indication of traumatic injury, zoo Director Randy Wisthoff said Thursday. A necropsy was performed, and tissue samples were sent to laboratories to determine the cause of death.
Josh had been the alpha, or dominant, male in the larger of two troops of chimpanzees at the zoo. Josh’s troop included one other male and 10 females. The other troop had two males.
Zoo staff was hoping to assimilate all the chimpanzees, with the exception of one elderly female, to improve the animals’ social structure. Wisthoff said that was being done at the recommendation of the chimpanzee species survival plan, a protocol among accredited North American zoos.
The first step was to place all four males together and later add the females. The males were in the off-exhibit holding
Nepal zoo opens 'honeymoon suite' for rhinos
Nepal's only zoo has opened a new "honeymoon suite" for its two one-horned rhinos in the hope of persuading the endangered pair to breed for the first time.
Kancha, 20, and 22-year-old Kanchi have lived together in captivity for most of their adult lives, but have never bred -- something the zoo's manager Sarita Jnawali attributes to the quality of their enclosure.
She hopes that their new, much larger home, which features mud rather than concrete floors and two large ponds for them to wallow in, will persuade them to finally start mating.
"As far as we can tell, Kancha and Kanchi have never mated," Jnawali told AFP on Friday.
"Before, we didn't have the proper facilities for the rhinos to breed, and we hope this new enclosure will help us to increase species numbers."
Thousands of one-horned rhinos once roamed the plains of Nepal and northern India, but their numbers have dwindled in recent decades
Smuggled dolphins returned to freedom
Two humpback dolphins were returned to the sea yesterday after police saved them from being transported to a zoo in Chon Buri on Wednesday.Villagers of Ban Ta Se in Hat Samran district gathered to witness the release of the dolphins.
The ceremony was presided over by Trang governor Maitri Intusud and Marine and Coastal Resources Department deputy chief Prawim Wutthisin.
The dolphins, about two metres long, were caught illegally off Trang's coast and transported in a van to Chon Buri.
Highway police stopped the car for inspection when it reached Chumphon's Muang district on Aug 11.
Three men - Sompis Niemkert, Manit Mathuna, and Nathapong Niemkert - admitted they were hired by an owner of a zoo in Chon Buri to catch dolphins and bring them for display there, according to police.
Inquiries are continuing into the involvement of the zoo.
A dolphin conservation group in Ban Ta Se says the episode has shown it needs to stay alert for illegal catches off tambon Ta Se's coast, home to many types of dolphins.
The area has about 130 bottlenose, humpback and Irrawaddy dolphins, said group chairman Tawan Tuionn.
In Surat Thani, a female dugong has beached on a shore
Social Cognition in Polar Bears
In most zoos and animal parks, polar bears (ursus maritimus) attract such a disproportionate amount of attention that they are referred to in the industry as "charismatic megafauna," or in other words, "really cool animals." Perhaps it is because it is especially rare for the average zoo-goer to happen upon a polar bear in the wild, or because they live in such an inhospitable environment. Perhaps it's just because polar bears are so damn cute.
Whatever the reason, psychologists Michael J. Renner and and Aislinn L. Kelly of West Chester University in Pennsylvania write that because of their high level of regard they serve as "important ambassador[s] for species-survival plans and conservation efforts" and therefore have significant value in public education.
Perhaps owing to the scarcity of available resources in the wild, polar bears live most of their lives in isolation. Aside from brief encounters for mating purposes, they live and hunt alone. The longest that polar bears are known to live together is for three years while mother bears care for their cubs. Their solitary lifestyle makes social encounters between individual polar bears extremely uncommon. And yet in captivity, polar bears are housed socially, with several individuals sharing the same space. Given their size and strength, aggressive interactions between individuals could be dangerous and potentially deadly. For these reasons, it is important to understand the social behavior of polar bears, in order to best design their zoo enclosures to minimize conflict and maximize health and quality of life.
The polar bears at the Philadelphia Zoo spend
Two More Casualties at Surabaya Zoo
The Surabaya Zoo, also known as the KBS, has lost more of its collection this week. Leli, a 17-year-old lioness, was found dead on Wednesday.
Two days earlier, a six-year-old female Papuan kangaroo was also found dead.
I Wayan Titib Sulaksana, the deputy chairman of the Surabaya Flora and Fauna Park Association, which oversees the zoo, said that the recent deaths highlighted flaws in zoo management.
“Lately, the zoo has had to deal with an increasing number of animal dying,” he said.
“If this continues, the zoo will have to close down.”
He said that his records showed that in June this year alone, the zoo lost 13 animals, including a Komodo dragon and a Bali starling, both endangered species. The other animal casualties included a Bawean deer, a babirusa, a proboscis monkey, two pythons and several birds.
However, a spokesman for the zoo, Agus Supangkat, dismissed the recent deaths as reasonably normal occurrences.“Our animal collection comprises some 4,200 animals. It’s only normal that
All animals at Indonesia's largest zoo could die if conditions don't improve, official warns
All of the animals at Indonesia's largest zoo — many of them critically endangered — could be dead within five years unless strong action is taken to change the culture of neglect and corruption that permeates the facility, a zoo official said Saturday.
An endangered Sumatran tiger was found dead Saturday morning in its cage at the Surabaya Zoo, spokesman Agus Supangkat said.
The remaining 13 Sumatran tigers are being kept in dirty, cramped cages and are also at great risk, said Tonny Sumampouw, the chairman of the country's zoo association who has been tasked with overseeing the facility after the government took it over earlier this year.
In recent days, an African lion and an Australian kangaroo also have died, Sumampouw said.
He said hundreds of animals die every year at the zoo, and others suffer from hunger, stress and overcrowding. The 94-year-old facility was built under Dutch colonial rule on a 37-acre (15-hectare) plot of land and currently holds 4,200 animals.
Sumampouw, who is running the zoo as a caretaker until a new director is named, blamed bad management and corruption for the problems.
"My assumption is that all those animals will definitely disappear in the next five years unless there are efforts to reorganize how the zoo is managed," Sumampouw said.
Many employees have been caught stealing meat intended for the animals and sometimes, in the case of rare species, stealing the animals themselves, he said.
He said fixing the problems "will be a big challenge" for the new boss.
A spokesman for the zoo's old management

Surabaya Zoo Faces Beast of an Overhaul in Wake of Animal Deaths
The Surabaya Zoo is desperately in need of radical change if it wants to prevent a massive loss in its animal collection over the next five years, a zoo official said, following the death on Saturday of a Sumatran tiger, the third animal to die there in the past week.
Animal expert Tony Sumampau, who has been appointed by the Ministry of Forestry as head of the zoo’s interim management, said that pneumonia, too little food, unattended and rundown cages and unprofessional staff had led to the deaths.
“If the zoo’s condition continues like this, I predict the animals in the zoo will all die,” he said, adding that he had data revealing that as many as 320 animals in the zoo died over the past 12 months.
The latest casualty was Martina, a 20-year-old Sumatran tiger that died on Saturday after suffering from hepatitis. Leli, a 17-year-old lioness, was found dead on Wednesday. Two days earlier, a 6-year-old female Papuan kangaroo was also found dead.
Other animals at the zoo, including a giraffe, a jaguar, a bison, a pig deer and a bull

Siberian tiger mauls keeper in China
A Siberian tiger mauled a keeper to death in eastern China after being left to roam the cage as it was being cleaned, state media said Sunday.
Zhan Guanshun was attacked by the tiger while cleaning the cage at a wildlife rescue centre in Anhui province on Saturday, the Anhui News reported.
The tiger bit Zhan's neck, inflicting fatal injuries, the report said.
China says it has nearly 6,000 tigers in captivity, but just 50 to 60 are left in the wild, including about 20 wild Siberian tigers.
In the 1980s, China set up tiger farms to try to preserve the big cats, intending to release some into the wild.
But those farms have come under the international
Surgeons rebuild crocodile's face (old story)
Vets in Florida say they have successfully rebuilt the face of a crocodile hurt in a car crash last December.
The medical team at Miami's Metrozoo bolted four steel plates to the animal's skull, secured with 41 screws.
The 10-foot (three metre) croc can
Modi dedicates new 137-acre Pradyuman park zoo in Rajkot
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi dedicated Pradhuman Prak Zoo in Rajkot on the eve of the Independence Day.
Rajkot this zoo is spread in 137-acre of area and is a dwelling for wild and grass-eating animals and birds. Surrounded by Lalpari and Randarda lakes this region is filled with more than 35,000 trees of 69 different species.
Within the park, blocks of the same group animals are made and displayed according to taxonomic and zoo geographic method. The zoo will also
Rare 'princess' turtle returns to Malaysia after 32 years
A leatherback turtle has made a surprise return to a Malaysian beach after 32 years, a report said Friday, hailed as a "miracle" by conservationists and renewing hopes for the endangered species.
The leatherbacks—the largest of all sea turtles—were once a star attraction at Rantau Abang beach in Malaysia's northern state of Terengganu but overfishing, poaching and pollution caused the population to plummet.
The turtle, dubbed the "Puteri Rantau Abang" or Rantau Abang Princess and identified by special markings, returned last month to end a long dry spell of turtle landings which have been rare in Terengganu since the 1980s.
"It is a miracle that leatherback turtles are making a comeback to this area," Malaysian Fisheries Department director-general Ahamad Sabki Mahmood said according to The Star news
Report highlights zoo animal abuse
Performing animals in Chinese zoos and parks are often trained using abusive practices, including routine beatings and are housed in inadequate shelters, according to a report by a Hong Kong-based animal welfare group.
Bears are regularly whipped and beaten with sticks, elephants are prodded with metal hooks, and tigers and lions are defanged and declawed, causing them chronic pain, said the Animals Asia Foundation in a 28-page report.
The group surveyed animal performances and living conditions at 13 zoos and safari parks in China over a yearlong period until this August.
"The combined aspects of performances, abusive training methods and inadequate housing conditions are causing severe animal suffering for many thousands of performing animals across China," the report said.
Earlier this year, the problem of animal mistreatment in China was highlighted with the reported deaths of 11 rare Siberian tigers at the Shenyang Forest Wild Animal Zoo
Toledo Zoo elephant trainer has no memory of attack
The elephant trainer who was attacked at the Toledo Zoo by a 7-year-old male elephant on July 1 has no memory of the incident, officials said Tuesday.
As a result, Anne Baker, the zoo’s executive director, and Marna Ramnath, a former president of the zoo’s board of directors who chaired a six-member review team that performed an internal investigation, said they do not believe they’ll ever know for sure what happened involving trainer Don RedFox.
Mr. RedFox, 53, of Swanton Township, was hospitalized for a punctured lung and other injuries for weeks after the incident. He is now resting at home and is expected to return to work, Ms. Baker said.
"We fully expect Mr. RedFox to return," she said.
Louie the elephant, which was involved in the attack, was not supposed to be in his cage when the incident occurred, Ms. Baker and Ms. Ramnath said at a news conference on Tuesday morning.
The male elephant is expected to remain in protected contact at the Toledo Zoo, which means keepers must stay behind a barrier when they are working with him.
"We obviously don’t want this ever happening again," Ms. Baker said.
At the news conference, she and Ms. Ramnath outlined six procedural changes the zoo will undertake to improve communications and training. They both said an adherence to protocol will be especially important once the new elephant display is completed
Farmers arrested for cutting off their rhino’s horn
A father and son from Musina, Limpopo, have been arrested for darting one of their own rhinos and cutting off its horn.
The rhino was not killed but police said on Friday they were investigating whether the farmers were planning to sell the horn and cash in on a lucrative but illegal trade.
Over 150 rhinos have been killed this year by poachers and wild life organisations are calling the spike a "crisis."
Eyewitness News understands the arrests are part of a bigger investigation being conducted by the police to stop the poaching.
Spokesperson Ronel Otto said the two accused appeared in court

Wild Mammals in Captivity: Principles and Techniques for Zoo Management
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Vandalur zoo celebrates silver jubilee
Schoolchildren crowd around the animal enclosures at Vandalur zoo, pointing and chattering excitedly. Even on a weekday, the zoo is packed. At the chimpanzees' enclosure, Srinivasan watches them with a hawk's eye, ensuring that no one throws plastic and hushing the children gently when they get too noisy.
"These chimps are my friends," says Srinivasan, one of the zookeepers. "I ensure that they are safe and healthy." For him, it's more than just a job. It's been 25 years since Arignar Anna Zoological Park, also known as Vandalur zoo, was thrown open to the public but his association with it dates

Bear Center Enclosure a Success
Sometime last evening Lily and Hope were separated again. We see this often with mothers and cubs in late summer. All cubs are getting pretty independent—and, with all Hope has been through this year, she tops the chart in independence. While Lily rested this morning, Hope foraged off on her own. People spotted Hope crossing a forest road a couple hundred yards away. Hope retreated up a tree until she saw an opportunity to run back in Lily’s direction. We’re liking more and more what we see in Hope. We joined up with both Lily and Hope today. Lily appeared to be trailing something—likely Hope. But when we joined Hope, she seemed confident and unstressed about this separation. Stay tuned!
Another thing we like is the bear enclosure at the North American Bear Center. With advice from Rob Laidlaw of Zoocheck Canada, and others, we built the kind of bear enclosure we believed should be the standard around the world. It’s wild and beautiful—a waterfall and pond set in a diverse, dense forest of over 2 acres.
Bears in captivity should have an environment that doesn’t drive them crazy with

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Escaped zebras in Carmichael leave unanswered questions
It's still unclear who will foot the bill for the damage caused during the search and capture of two zebras that escaped from a local animal facility.
California Highway Patrol investigators are working to determine who will be responsible for the incident that caused traffic hazards for drivers on a busy residential street.
The striped pair fled the animal training facility on the 6600 block of Sutter Street just after 7 p.m. Saturday, according to Sacramento County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Tim Curran.
Witnesses said drivers slammed on their brakes as the animals weaved in and out of traffic on Fair Oaks Boulevard near California Avenue.
Sheriff's deputies along with park rangers worked to corral one of the zebras, while the other made a mad dash toward Jameson Court.
The second zebra was



Byculla Zoo eyes green status for building
Even as the Byculla zoo makeover project awaits the final nod from the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC), the zoo administration is working to get a green building status for the two-storey interpretation centre. The move is expected to raise the cost of the Rs 434-crore redevelopment project by 10 per cent, zoo officials said.
The zoo administration was recently granted permission by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to register with Hyderabad-based Indian Green Building Council, a CII-led council involved in promoting green buildings in India, and enter their prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental

David Field: Zoos are a vital part of gorilla conservation
Without a doubt, seeing a gorilla will rank as one of the most breathtaking moments in anyone's life. Even with the privilege of working at ZSL London Zoo and seeing them every day, they continue to take my breath away.
We believe that gorillas in zoos have the potential to make an animal lover and conservationist out of every zoo visitor – and with primates now more threatened in the wild than ever before, promoting conservation couldn't be more

Irish gorilla Kesho drafted in as 'surrogate' husband and father at London Zoo
He's tall, dark and hairy and zookeepers are hoping he will be a surrogate husband and father to a group of gorillas at London Zoo.
Kesho, is being moved from Dublin Zoo to join females, Zaire, Effie and Mjukuu at Regents Park in order to bring solace to the three women, left bereft when their previous mate died in April.
The sudden demise of Yeboah, a 20-stone silverback, was doubly sad because he had just conceived a baby with Mjukuu, the youngest gorilla, before his

Monkey attempts to 'adopt' toad in zoo
Visitors to Paignton Zoo in Devon were astonished to witness a monkey apparently trying to adopt a toad.
Swoozie, a female swamp monkey, saved the amphibian from a pond at the edge of her enclosure.
She then spent a whole day with the common toad before it was able to wriggle free
Crowds gathered as the seven-year-old monkey cuddled the toad and even rubbed the cold-blooded creature to try and warm it up.
The bizarre event was captured on camera by retired teacher Sheila Hassanein , 64, who was visiting the zoo.
She said: ''The monkey was trying to shield it from view, she was treating it as if it was her baby and she was trying to protect it.
''The enclosure is surrounded

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Ohio wildlife center breeds rare horse-like onager

A conservation center in southeastern Ohio has managed to create the world's first wild Persian onagers born through artificial insemination.


The two rare Asiatic asses were born at the Wilds in Cumberland through artificial insemination. The births came after four years of work by scientists, veterinarians and others from the Wilds and the

Smithsonian Conservation Biology



The foals were born on June 28 and July 9.


Persian onagers are endangered, with fewer than 700 living in two

Chinese News Reports Arrival of 12 Rhinos From South Africa

Yunnan Wild Animal Park in Kunming, China, reportedly received 12 young rhinos from Johannesburg, South Africa, during the last week of June.


The average age of these rhinos is just four years old.


The rhinos were said to have landed in Guangzhou on June 23th, after a stop over in Kuala Lumpur. Two days later, they arrived at the Yunnan Wild Animal Park in Kunming, according to the Spring City Mobile Newspaper.


Breeding pairs?


The selection of six male and six female white rhinos from three different locations in South Africa to “avoid inbreeding”, suggests that Yunnan Wild Animal Park is planning to breed them.


Additionally, it was reported that representatives from the Yunnan Wild Animal Park traveled to Johannesburg in March and June to “research rhino breeding technology”.


Although it is not confirmed that these rhinos will be “farmed” in order to “harvest” their horns for use in traditional Chinese medicines, this new

From the Bosphorus: Straight - High time to ban dolphin parks

A few of us at the Hürriyet Daily News are old enough to remember a standard feature of Istanbul life decades ago: the dancing bears. The bears and “trainers” would wander main thoroughfares. For a few liras, the colorfully-dressed bear handler would begin the beat of a drum and the domesticated animal would lumber to his hind feat. Not usually without a few whacks from the handler’s stick, in tempo with the beating drum. Guidebooks would hail them, tourists would line up to see them and somehow the practice was treated as a cheerful part of local lore.


Not any more. Public consciousness has grown and matured in many ways in recent years. Lots of customs once benignly regarded no longer exist. Child labor that might have been winked at 30 or 40 years ago is actively banned. Street vendors selling food are now regulated. Even doctors’ waiting rooms and hospital wards not long ago were equipped with ashtrays. Not anymore. Society matures and progresses and attention to animal rights is part of this process.


We realize, of course, that animal rights, hygiene standards, regulations on child labor are not today on a par with, say, Sweden. But progress has been remarkable. And no one could today imagine an itinerant bear handler strolling with his chained charge along the Bosphorus. Public mores, not to mention the law, would not allow it.


And so it should be with “


.” Aquatic shows featuring dolphins with their toothy smiles have proliferated in Turkey in recent years, particularly along the southern coasts.


Also proliferating are protests of the practice. The latest to get involved, as we reported yesterday, is filmmaker Savaº Karataº. He has embarked on a series of consciousness raising stunts, including plans to swim the breadth of the Dardanelles Straight, and is urging a boycott of dolphinariums.


Around the world, aquatic parks and dolphin shows have been drawing attention to the fact that most of them are based on myths. In most cases, the dolphins are not “rescued” from being washed up on a beach some place but are commercially captured. Studies indicate at least one dolphin is killed for every one taken live.


That playing with dolphins is an effective therapy for disabled children is a common argument heard in defense of dolphinariums. This is sheer nonsense, without any scientific support.


And that life penned up is a form of torture for animals accustomed to swimming up to 40 kilometers a day, a type of sensory deprivation, is apparent. Even forcing the creatures

International park becomes frontier in Southern Africa's rhino war

Rampant rhino poaching

is casting a dark shadow over the pride of southern Africa's ambitious transfrontier-park program. Rhino killers are ruthlessly exploiting the open international boundary running through what is known as the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park to carry out their dirty work.


Poachers typically down a rhino in South Africa's flagship Kruger National Park and then hotfoot it back into Mozambique's adjacent Limpopo National Park. The horn, sawed or hacked from the quarry, eventually passes through conduits to syndicates back in South Africa and on to markets

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New land is crucial for zoo to succeed

I WRITE in response to the article, "Zoo sets the fur flying as it unveils plans for big land swap", about

Edinburgh Zoo

's proposed investment in Edinburgh (24 July).


The map (without a legend) that accompanies the article is inaccurate in that it fails to provide a clear indication of the exchange we are presenting to the council and the fact that the community will actually gain over a third in extra land area should the swap go ahead.


It is also worth noting that the additional land will allow for the creation of a much enhanced setting for the "Rest and Be Thankful" landmark, as well as providing additional pathways and viewpoints. This is all about improving Edinburgh Zoo and Corstorphine Hill together.


The zoo needs different, not more, land

40 tons of harmful turtles to be re-exported to US

Forty tons or 24,000 red-eared sliders are being bred in Mai Dam hamlet in the southern province of Vinh Long by the company. Around 5200 turtles have died because of hunger and hot weather.


Vinh Long officials noted that they didn’t know the turtles could harm the environment, so they allowed Can Tho Seafood Import-Export JS Company to import them.


Provincial authorities and the turtle importer recently

Knut Relieved at Departure of Italian Girlfriend

Knut is back on his own in his

Berlin Zoo

enclosure after Gianna, his high-maintenance Italian-born companion, was moved back to her home in Munich Zoo last week. He doesn't seem to be pining for her -- which isn't surprising because she has been stealing his carrots for the last 11 months.


Knut, the Berlin Zoo's A-list polar bear celebrity, is back on his own again after his vivacious Italian companion Gianna was moved out of their shared enclosure last week, ending a rocky friendship that never quite turned into a romance.


Gianna's stay was always intended to be temporary. The Italian-born bear, named after pop star Gianna Nannini, was brought to Berlin last September to allow workers to renovate her home at Munich Zoo, and to get Knut accustomed to the opposite sex.


The two bears got off to a difficult start -- Gianna introduced herself by whacking Knut on the snout and had a habit of stealing his food.


But Knut, who gained global fame in 2007 when he was hand-reared from birth after his mother rejected him, proved a gracious host. In the end, they were playing together and even rubbing snouts affectionately, although they didn't mate, probably because Knut, still less than four years old and not quite sexually mature,1518,709771,00.html

Gorilla celebrates 50th birthday

Gorillas tore into presents at a birthday party held for Britain's oldest gorilla who has just turned 50 years old.


The party was in honour of birthday girl Mouila, a

Western lowland gorilla

who is thought to be one of the oldest in the world.


Nine-year-old Limbi hoarded the special presents given to the group, whilst birthday girl Mouila

Inside America's Tiger-Breeding Farms

Bred for profit, the animals are often cruelly deformed by inbreeding.


Almost all of America’s 7,000 tigers are born and raised here. Reports from tiger farms suggest there are many unscrupulous breeders, and activists allege that the trade is cruel. What’s clear is that tigers are often kept in small pens, people die when safety is lax, and the cats are hideously inbred to produce valuable white cubs.


The trade is not illegal, though a recent law bans the sale or trade of big cats across state lines for the pet trade. But breeders exploit a patchwork of state-by-state rules, and loopholes, to continue to sell cubs. People who rescue unwanted or mistreated tigers estimate that the number of breeders might be in the hundreds. Several alleged traders contacted by NEWSWEEK refused to be interviewed, perhaps because in recent years many operations have been shut down by authorities.


One of the biggest, Savage Kingdom, in Florida, was closed by the Department of Agriculture in 2006. Several accidents had occurred there. In 2001 a handyman named Vincent Lowe went into a cage to repair a dangerously worn-down gate. Colleagues had to watch as a 318-pound male tiger, Tijik, “ripped out [his] throat,” according to the USDA report. They could not rescue him for fear of being attacked themselves.


The tiger was eventually shot by Savage Kingdom’s octogenarian owner, Robert Baudy, who had been in the tiger trade for many decades—he’d even been on The Ed Sullivan Show promoting his animals. “He was from an era before animal welfare,” says Jamie Veronica, who is with the charity Big Cat Rescue and went into the farm after it was closed to try to remove and resettle dozens of tigers (all were eventually moved safely). “When he started out, people just saw animals as a commodity, a way to make money.” The USDA report blamed Baudy for safety failures that led to Lowe’s death. He could not be reached for comment at a number listed for him.


Baudy specialized in white tigers, which sell for up to $20,000 per cub. But white tigers are rare genetic mutations, not a different species. According to the San Diego Zoo, every American white tiger is descended from a single father. New cubs must be inbred further. For every healthy, valuable cub, it is thought that many are born with ailments like shortened

The Trouble With Tigers

There are twice as many tigers in captivity in the U.S. as are left in the wild. They make deadly pets. So why do Americans love them so much?


There are only 3,000 tigers left in the wild. There are at least 7,000 in the United States. A few hundred of America's tigers are in established zoos, but the rest live in suburban homes and urban apartments. They decorate Las Vegas casinos, prowl the estates of celebrities—glimpsed on MTV's "Cribs"—and perform in circuses, magic shows and animal parks. Some are even employed as guards or punishers. Police in Atlanta recently found a tiger (along with a lion and a bear) when they arrested a local drug dealer. Another was found patrolling a crystal meth lab in San Antonio.


They make bad pets. Americans die or are severely injured in tiger attacks almost every year. The biggest subspecies, the Siberian, can be almost four feet tall at the shoulders, nine feet long, weigh more than 650 pounds, and live longer than 20 years. In the wild they kill prey, including bears and leopards, by stalking through dense jungles. They target the head and neck, with jaws designed to macerate living bone. But, says Beth Preiss, who tracks the cats and other animals for the Humane Society of the United States, they are appealing precisely because they are so dangerous. "We want," she says, "what we can't have."


The American tiger has had some stellar endorsements too. Martin Van Buren, the eighth president (1837 to 1841), was given two cubs by the Sultan of Oman. In December 1960, the first white tiger in the U.S.—a tigress with ice-blue eyes named Mohini of Rewa—was presented to President Eisenhower on the White House lawn, a gift of Metropolitan Broadcasting Corporation.


The market for pet tigers swelled between the 1980s and early 2000s, say those who work with big cats. Many cite the influence of the movie "Scarface," in which Al Pacino's drug baron Tony Montana keeps tigers, and of Michael Jackson who posed with a 6-week-old cub on the cover of his "Thriller" album. Jackson also kept two of the animals, Thriller and Sabu, on his Neverland

Is the Houston zoo's exhibit racist?


Houston Zoo

has announced a project “The African Forest” which will open December 2010. Zoo exhibits that teach about non-Whites, replicating their villages among animal habitats, are called “human zoos,” and The African Forest is one of them. Despite their claim of making foreign cultures accessible, human zoos have been widely condemned as racist for a century. (Whites are never showcased in zoos.)


According to the zoo’s website, The African Forest includes an “African Marketplace Plaza,” a “Pygmy Village and Campground,” “Pygmy Huts,” a “Storytelling Fire Pit,” a “Communications Hut and Conservation Kiosk,” and a “Rustic Outdoor Shower.” (Notice there is little of “modern” Africa to be found.) The exhibit is

Manipulating wildlife conservation for special interests

Taxation without representation is magnificently exemplified within our wildlife management system. Like most, I once believed in the suggestive concept of “wildlife conservation” and “preservation”. Make no mistake – an ample supply of game for the next hunting season is the only thing being conserved and preserved. These terms are officially oxymoron’s.


On July 23, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, announced the appointment of 18 people to the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council to give advice about recreational activities associated with wildlife and habitat conservation.


Whatever diversity had been described in soliciting nominations must have been forgotten. Instead, like the majority of our state wildlife agencies governing Boards, all 18 of Salazar’s and Vilsack’s appointees to this Council have very strong ties to hunting, wildlife and shooting sports. Once again, non-sporting wildlife stakeholders have absolutely no representation!


This “Heritage” Council (yet

Wipe for Wildlife CSA


Zoos Victoria




Central Zoo Authority to get more teeth: Govt

The Government plans to restructure Central Zoo Authority to give it more teeth, Minister for Environment and Forest Jairam Ramesh told Rajya Sabha today.


He said during Question Hour that the Central Zoo Authority

in its present form is "hardly an authority" and the proposal is to make it more effective.


There is a proposal to set up five regional offices of the Authority. The proposal will go to the Cabinet soon, he said.


The Central Zoo Authority oversees and enforces minimum standards the norms for upkeep and healthcare of animals in Indian zoos through Recognition of Zoo Rules, and provides them technical and other assistance for improvement and restrains mushrooming of unplanned and ill?conceived zoos.


He also said that Master Plans for all the 198 zoos in the country are being prepared. With this, ?I hope to see some improvement in the way zoos are maintained in the country," he said.


Of the 198 zoos in the country, only one is run by the Central government and the rest are by state government, NGOs, private individuals etc.


On setting up of new zoos, he said new proposals

Never a dull moment for zoo residents

San Diego Zoo’s program keeps its animals engaged


The cardboard pony didn’t last long in the lion’s den at the San Diego Zoo

. One reason for that: Raw meat was inside of it, and lions really like raw meat.


A female lion swiped a big paw at the make-believe prey and then lunged her 300-pound body at it. It wasn’t just a treat for her; the cardboard pony helped improve the lion’s life in captivity.


The process of enrichment — mental and physical activity — is as vital as food, water and shelter, said zoo experts nationwide.


“The whole point is to bring out the natural behavior of the animals,” said Yvette Kemp, a senior mammal keeper at the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park and a member of the facility’s Enrichment Committee.


That small group of employees — and a similar one at the Wild Animal Park near Escondido — is constantly brainstorming for new ideas to help wild animals stay active and vibrant. It also helps zookeepers incorporate the concepts into their daily work routines.


Granted, taking down a cardboard pony in front of a throng of camera-toting tourists isn’t the same as chasing down a zebra on the African grasslands, but it still helps alleviate boredom and keeps the animals on their toes, so to speak.


Enrichment is an evolving field of study.


In the early 1900s, just keeping wild animals alive was a significant goal for zoos, said Beth Bicknese, a senior veterinarian and another member of the Enrichment Committee. The next milestone was the successful breeding of various species in captivity. Today, zoos are trying to make the animals’ lives as fulfilling as possible, Bicknese said.


Don Moore, associate director of animal care at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., has worked on enrichment for 35 years. He remembers when zoos — even major ones — sported isolated cages with bars and offered little, if anything, for animal stimulation.


Some zoos came into being after traveling circuses failed, Moore said. Towns and cities created the facilities to house animals that were left behind. There was little scientific expertise in the field.


The enrichment measures were simple at first, Moore said. Lions were given scratching posts. Walls were knocked down so some animals could socialize, which is one of the most powerful forms of enrichment.


Since then, Moore said zookeepers’ efforts have grown considerably in scope and depth. Habitats are more spacious, the scenery is more realistic and studies are conducted on how to stimulate an animal’s natural behavior.


Now zoos must have enrichment programs to receive accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Federal law also mandates

Tortoises illegally on sale in Indonesia

Ploughshares, the world’s rarest tortoise species have been observed openly for sale at an exposition in the centre of Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital.


Ploughshare Tortoises Astrochelys yniphora and other threatened reptile species were seen illegally on sale by TRAFFIC staff last week at the expo which ran from 2 July to 2 August.


In addition to Ploughshares, Radiated Tortoises Astrochelys radiata, Indian Star Tortoises Geochelone elegans and Pig-nose Turtles Carettochelys insculpta were also being offered for sale—none of which may be legally sold in Indonesia.


International trade in all these reptiles is also regulated under the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Ploughshare Tortoises and Radiated Tortoises are listed in Appendix I of the Convention, which means no international commercial trade is permitted.


“Indonesia has sufficient legislative tools at their disposal to combat the illegal trade in tortoises and freshwater turtles, but recent surveys and this expo demonstrate that the trade in endangered species continues,” said Chris Shepherd, Senior Programme Officer with TRAFFIC

Wildlife park joins in global conservation

AL AIN Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR), a multi-faceted ongoing phased development spread over 900 hectares, boasts one of the world’s most unique collections of arid-land species and work is underway in collaboration with Oxford University, the Smithsonian Institution, San Diego Zoo and other global conservation leaders on species reintroduction projects.


AWPR CEO DR FREDERIC LAUNAY speaks to SHALU CHANDRAN about his plans for AWPR and developing a destination of choice for nature lovers the world over.


Since your launch as AWPR, how much global awareness does the park have?


Whereas the global reach of AWPR’s conservation efforts is broad and well-known, marketing the resort as a destination of global importance has only just begun. This spring AWPR participated in ITB Berlin, Arabian Travel Market (Dubai), and GIBTM (Abu Dhabi). In the fall exhibitions will include World Travel Market in London and the World Green Tourism Abu Dhabi event. AWPR partners with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority to travel regionally and globally with current trips to Australia and a recent tour through Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain.


What kind of attendance do you see now? What percentage of visitors are residents compared to tourists?


In 2009 we welcomed 760,000 guests. In 2010 we are on target to receive nearly 1 million. As the park rolls out new offerings we expect to increase attendance to 2.5 million.


Currently, the majority of our visitors are residents of the UAE and Oman. Al Ain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi residents constitute 75 per cent. Oman and the distant emirates of the UAE contribute another 15 per cent. The remaining 10 per cent are international tourists from the GCC region, Europe, Russia and Asia.


The focus will be on the international tourist to meet the attendance goals of the future.


When is Phase 1 due for completion and what can we expect to see?


Phase 1 is expected to welcome guests at the end of 2011. It includes the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre – a 10,000-sq-m natural history museum dedicated to geology, ecology, anthropology and the concepts of conservation and sustainability – the North Kenya Safari – the first of five desert safari experiences, featuring the arid land ecosystem of North Kenya with abundant wildlife including herds of ostrich, eland, giraffe, impala, zebra, a pride of lions, hippo and water birds.


The World Deserts Zoo symbolises the new wildlife park. It is filled

What is it with Putin and tigers?

Does Vladimir Putin have a cuddly side? It’s not been evident so far, but in September he will host a summit of world leaders aimed at saving the tiger. And on Thursday (World Tiger Day, as it happens, though it passed me by) he took steps to protect the forests of Korean Pine in the far east of his country, home to the rare Amur tiger.


Once there were 100,000 tigers in the wild. Now, says WWF (formerly the World Wildlife Fund) there are more in America’s zoos than in all the forests of the globe. Three species – the Bali, Caspian and Javan tigers – are already extinct, with others struggling to survive. The summit, held in Vladivostok to mark the Chinese year of the Tiger, aims to double

Woman attacked by wolf at wildlife park

A 21-year-old woman was bitten by a wolf on Friday during a private guided tour at Kolmården wildlife park.


The one-year-old wolf

sank its teeth into the woman’s cardigan before dragging her to the ground and biting her in the arm.


“I was terrified,” the woman told newspaper Aftonbladet.


The woman was treated by the park’s veterinarian after fleeing the wolf enclosure with the rest of the group. She was later taken to hospital.


According to the Norrköping park, the young wolf’s behaviour was a means of seeking contact and was not intended as

Zoo visitors stay indoors as curious gibbons go walkabout

THERE WAS something of a role reversal at Dublin Zoo yesterday when some 200 visitors found themselves locked into the venue’s main restaurant after a pair of gibbons escaped from their enclosure and went on a short walkabout.


The siamang gibbons, Sasak and her baby son Gizmo, temporarily left their island habitat on the zoo’s main lake at about 10am yesterday.


Carrying her three-year-old infant, Sasak is thought to have swung from the island on to a low-hanging branch on the shore, in an apparent bid to sample life on the mainland.


While the primates posed little threat to their human cousins, zoo authorities took the precaution of locking down the complex while the gibbons remained at large.


Dozens of bewildered visitors were ushered into nearby buildings or directed to stay in the zoo’s main Meerkat restaurant while keepers attempted to cajole the runaways back home.


A Dublin Zoo spokesman said: “At no time were the gibbons out of sight of zookeepers and the pair never left the perimeter of the zoo. The gibbons were never



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50% of Yerevan Zoo enclosures do not comply with international standards
Director of Yerevan Zoo Sahak Abovyan said that 50% of Yerevan Zoo enclosures do not comply with international standards. “However, any zoo has its small and big problems. Yerevan Mayor’s Office assists us in solving big problems, and we try to solve the small ones ourselves,” Abovyan told a press conference on August 5.According to him, even under conditions of the crisis, Yerevan Mayor’s Office has not cut the zoo budget. Moreover, it has developed a special program on reconstructing and bringing the zoo into compliance with international standards.“As wildlife and wild animals are studied in none of Armenia’s higher education institutions, Yerevan Mayor offered to establish a college under the Armenian zoo to study wildlife and wild animals, and it will be the first similar college in the region,” noted Abovyan.He added that the basic problem faced by the zoo is lack of free enclosures

Some Exotic Animals Lent to Milwaukee Man Charged With Animal Abuse
Some of the exotic animals that were found in squalid conditions in Milwaukee this spring had been lent by zoos from around the country.
The Journal Sentinel says at least 32 zoo reptiles were loaned to Terry Cullen, who is charged with a dozen counts of animal abuse and violating rules for endangered species.
Police were investigating allegations that Cullen sexually assaulted a woman from Chicago when they found 230 exotic animals at Cullen’s wildlife conservatory in May. The paper said some of the animals had been loaned for decades, with very little oversight from the zoos which provided them.
The reptiles included endangered Chinese alligators and crocodiles. They came from the Bronx Zoo in New York and zoos in Miami, Memphis, and Brownsville

From the Bosphorus: Straight - High time to ban dolphin parks
A few of us at the Hürriyet Daily News are old enough to remember a standard feature of Istanbul life decades ago: the dancing bears. The bears and “trainers” would wander main thoroughfares. For a few liras, the colorfully-dressed bear handler would begin the beat of a drum and the domesticated animal would lumber to his hind feat. Not usually without a few whacks from the handler’s stick, in tempo with the beating drum. Guidebooks would hail them, tourists would line up to see them and somehow the practice was treated as a cheerful part of local lore.
Not any more. Public consciousness has grown and matured in many ways in recent years. Lots of customs once benignly regarded no longer exist. Child labor that might have been winked at 30 or 40 years ago is actively banned. Street vendors selling food are now regulated. Even doctors’ waiting rooms and hospital wards not long ago were equipped with ashtrays. Not anymore. Society matures and progresses and attention to animal rights is part of this process.
We realize, of course, that animal rights, hygiene standards, regulations on child labor are not today on a par with, say, Sweden. But progress has been remarkable. And no one could today imagine an itinerant bear handler strolling with his chained charge along the Bosphorus. Public mores, not to mention the law, would not allow it.
And so it should be with “dolphinariums.” Aquatic shows featuring dolphins with their toothy smiles have proliferated in Turkey in recent years, particularly along the southern coasts.
Also proliferating are protests of the practice. The latest to get involved, as we reported yesterday, is filmmaker Savaº Karataº. He has embarked on a series of consciousness raising stunts, including plans to swim the breadth of the Dardanelles Straight, and is urging a boycott of dolphinariums.
Around the world, aquatic parks and dolphin shows have been drawing attention to the fact that most of them are based on myths. In most cases, the dolphins are not “rescued” from being

A Chinese media source has reported the arrival of 12 rhinos from South Africa
Yunnan Wild Animal Park in Kunming, China, reportedly received 12 young rhinos from Johannesburg, South Africa, during the last week of June.
The average age of these rhinos is just four years old.
The rhinos were said to have landed in Guangzhou on June 23th, after a stop over in Kuala Lumpur. Two days later, they arrived at the Yunnan Wild Animal Park in Kunming, according to the Spring City Mobile Newspaper.
Breeding pairs?
The selection of six male and six female white rhinos from three different locations in South Africa to “avoid inbreeding”, suggests that Yunnan Wild Animal Park is planning to breed them.
Additionally, it was reported that representatives from the Yunnan Wild Animal Park traveled to Johannesburg in March

Myanmar Officially Designates the World's Largest Tiger Reserve in the Hukaung Valley
The Government of Myanmar formally announced that the entire Hukaung Valley would be declared a Protected Tiger Area. The declaration officially protects an area the size of Vermont and marks a major step forward in saving one of the most endangered species on the planet - the tiger - which numbers less than 3,000 in the wild.
In 2004, the Myanmar government designated 2,500 square miles of the Hukaung Valley as an inviolate wildlife sanctuary, based off of the first ever biological expedition of the area in 1999 led by Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, President and CEO of the wild cat conservation group Panthera, and staff from the Forest

New land is crucial for zoo to succeed
I WRITE in response to the article, "Zoo sets the fur flying as it unveils plans for big land swap", about Edinburgh Zoo's proposed investment in Edinburgh (24 July).
The map (without a legend) that accompanies the article is inaccurate in that it fails to provide a clear indication of the exchange we are presenting to the council and the fact that the community will actually gain over a third in

Captive-bred panda gives birth in semi-wild fields

A giant panda gave birth Tuesday to a male cub in a semi-wild training base in southwest China. This marked the first time a captive-bred panda delivered a cub in a near-wild environment.
Cao Cao, the giant panda, gave birth without assistance early Tuesday morning in camera-monitored fields in Hetaoping, Wolong, the panda's hometown in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
The cub, weighing 205 grams, is healthy, staff at the base said.
The semi-wild training base, which covers some 20,000 square meters, appears the same as wild fields only with hidden cameras to monitor panda activities.
Cao Cao was among four pregnant pandas selected from the Ya'an panda breeding base to give birth in the semi-wild environment, as researchers sought to have panda cubs born and raised in the wild.
This is part of a program from the Wolong Giant Panda Protection and Research Center to gradually release captive-bred giant pandas into the wild.
According to the plan, the four giant pandas, aged four to five, were expected to give birth to their cubs and live in the wild until the young are aged

International park becomes frontier in Southern Africa's rhino war
Rampant rhino poaching is casting a dark shadow over the pride of southern Africa's ambitious transfrontier-park program. Rhino killers are ruthlessly exploiting the open international boundary running through what is known as the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park to carry out their dirty work.
Poachers typically down a rhino in South Africa's flagship Kruger National Park and then hotfoot it back into Mozambique's adjacent Limpopo National Park. The horn, sawed or hacked from the quarry, eventually passes through conduits to syndicates back in South Africa and

My Husband and Other Animals - Croc Whisperer
Many years ago, I pointed to the pictures of Thai crocodile and American alligator wrestlers with their heads inside gaping toothy jaws and asked incredulously, “Surely those animals are trained, aren't they?” Rom thought they just intimidated the animals enough so they wouldn't bite during the show. The accepted wisdom then was: crocs can be tamed but not trained.
In Irian Jaya (Indonesia), Rom had seen a New Guinea fresh-water croc that lived in a wooden house on stilts. From the time it had been a mere hatchling, it had grown to five feet in length alongside children, people and dogs. On cool rainy nights, it lay by the fire warming itself along with the community members.
Ralf Sommerlad, who was the Director of the Madras Crocodile Bank briefly in mid-2008, recalled seeing a gardener with his pet caiman (a kind of South American crocodile) in Frankfurt, Germany. When the man knelt down, it would rub against his head and shoulders much like a puppy wanting to be petted.
Ralf initiated a programme to start training the reptiles at the Madras Crocodile Bank. Soham Mukherjee, the Assistant Curator, developed the idea into an increasingly fun (for both people and crocs) and

Wildlife Manager Assassinated
Unknown assailants murdered the manager of the Special Maputo Wildlife Reserve, Gilberto Vicente, on Sunday night.
According to a report in Saturday's issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias", the murder occurred at around 19.00 in Chigubatana locality, in Boane district, as Vicente was driving from the Reserve to Maputo City, where he had meetings scheduled for the following morning.
According to the police, the Toyota Hilux in which Vicente was traveling was ambushed by six men, each armed with an AK-47 assault rifle. Eight shots were fired, instantly killing Vicente, and seriously injuring his companion, Carlos Nunes, who is now undergoing medical treatment at Maputo Central Hospital.
The gang made no attempt to steal anything from the car, and after the murder made off at high speed in their own vehicles.
The police suspect that this was a contract killing, since Vicente was a thorn in the flesh for organised groups of poachers.
Vicente had earlier worked on the restocking of the Limpopo National Park, in Gaza province, with large mammals (imported from South Africa), and was preparing to do the same in the Maputo Special

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm urged to drop elephant plans
Animal welfare experts have urged a zoo near Bristol to drop plans to build what is thought would be the UK's biggest elephant enclosure.
Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, at Wraxall, has been granted planning permission for a 12-acre enclosure which would be home to up to 10 elephants.
The RSPCA, which is against elephants being kept in European zoos, said it was not enough space for the animals.
The zoo said its plans would improve standards of welfare.
'Highly irresponsible'
The RSPCA said studies had shown elephants often develop lameness, obesity and behavioural abnormalities in zoos.
The charity's senior scientist, Dr Ros Clubb, said: "It is clear elephants do not fare well in zoos and we believe it would be highly irresponsible to introduce yet more of the

SeaWorld wildlife fund awards $1 million in grants
The conservation fund set up by SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment this week awarded more than $1 million in grants aimed at protecting endangered species around the world.
The SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund grants will go 95 wildlife-protection projects and help everything from sand tiger sharks and West African manatees to bald eagles

Losing battle
An activists wearing an orangutan mask lies on his back with a foot of another protester on his belly in a campaign for orangutan protection in front of the Thailand embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday. Conservationists from the Center for Orangutan Protection( COP ) called on Thailand to send back to Indonesia 11 orangutans they

No-charge surgery: Eel goes under knife at S.A. zoo
How do you get rocks out of an electric eel's stomach? Very carefully!
An eel named Sparky, who lives at the San Antonio Zoo, has an appetite for rocks.
So, veterinarians did a special surgery to remove them before they wrecked his digestive system.
Of course, there were some unique risks associated with the procedure.
"We did have a volt meter, just something you'd find in a hardware store that was actually measuring the electrical charge within the water. So that way we can determine if he was ' firing

Mankiewicz's death leaves big void for L.A. Zoo
Screenwriter had devoted much of his later life to drumming up funds for the zoo and defending the organization during controversy.
In the world of zoos, there is no greater compliment than having an animal named after you. So it was little surprise to find a rare snow leopard cub frolicking at the Los Angeles Zoo in early 2007 named Tom — after Tom Mankiewicz, the chairman of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn., the institution's fundraising arm.
"I thought it was perfect," recalled Gail Oppenheimer, who with her husband, Jerry, donated,0,11159.story

Plumpton Park Zoo closes in Rising Sun
As Rising Sun residents mourned this week the closure of a beloved local attraction, the 24-year-old Plumpton Park Zoo, records show that inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture had recently notified owner Ed Plumstead, 82, of nearly two dozen potential violations of federal regulations governing animal health and safety.
Among the 21 concerns cited in a June 29 report, an inspector wrote that seven animal enclosures needed repair, a structure housing six bison lacked proper access to water, a monkey cage had insufficient ventilation and a tiger was living in a keeper's residence on the property.
"That's a lot of [problems], and we take them seriously," said David Sacks, a spokesman for the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which inspected the facility on Telegraph Road again Thursday. "I don't know the details of the [Plumpton Park] situation, but running a zoo is a huge and complex responsibility. Sometimes the best-intentioned [owners] just,0,5135756.story

Zoo record broken for ferret births
The black-footed ferret was once thought to be extinct. But the National Zoo's Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal is doing its part in helping to boost the population.
Twelve litters of the ferrets have been born at the facility since May 7, including litters born to four females who had never given birth

South African reserve’s last rhino butchered for her horn
Poachers have butchered the last adult rhinoceros at a South African game reserve, cutting off her horn and letting her bleed to death, the chief game ranger says.
“We’ve had rhinos here for 20 years,” Japie Mostert told the Star on Thursday from the Krugersdorp Game Reserve, 60 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg. “She was the last one.”
The nine-year-old rhino at the 1,400-hectare reserve was likely attacked by poachers who hovered in a helicopter, shot her with a tranquillizer dart then leapt out and sliced her horn off with a chainsaw, Mostert said.
“The whole operation would take seven to 10 minutes.”
The animal’s female calf had been killed by poachers in January; her nine-month-old male calf was taken to a different reserve for sanctuary after the killing on July 14, he said.
It would take “a guard working day and night” to protect the rhinoceroses, which are being slaughtered at a record rate across South

SeaWorld’s killer-whale peer review nears conclusion
A team of marine-mammal experts assembled by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment to review the company’s killer-whale training protocols has made its recommendations to SeaWorld.
But neither SeaWorld nor the experts is yet willing to say what changes they recommended.

PETA Seeks Manslaughter Charges In SeaWorld Whale Attack
Organization Calls OCSO Investigation 'Grossly Negligent'
PETA wants SeaWorld and its executives to face criminal charges for the death of a killer whale trainer in February at the Orlando theme park.
Trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed when she was attacked by a killer whale named Tilikum.
PETA said it reviewed the investigation file from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and is calling for Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum to pursue involuntary manslaughter charges against SeaWorld and its senior executives. (READ: PETA

Alipore Zoo's 60 spotted deer to be sent to Sunderban Park
Alipore zoo authorities here have decided to release 60 spotted deer into Sunderbans Tiger Reserve to improve the food supply of Bengal tigers, which usually strayinto villages and attack people.
"We have an excess population of deer over here, which has bred over here and multiplied over the course of time.
Now we have taken a decision after getting proper permission from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) and getting the approval from other authorities concerned in this field that we will be shifting out of the total population of 70, we will be shifting about 60 of them to Sunderbans," said Raju Das, Director of Alipore Zoological Gardens.
"Initially, they'll be taken over there and be kept in an enclosure so that they can acclimatize themselves to the surrounding and to the environment over there. Once they have acclimatized, they will be released in the wild," he added.
Das informed all required permissions have been taken and medical tests for all the spotted deer completed. They are free from any disease.he zoo authorities are hopeful that this initiative

Army wages war on seagulls at a Jersey wildlife park
A troop of soldiers has been drafted into a wildlife park in Jersey to help protect visitors from nuisance seagulls.
Twenty soldiers from the Royal Wessex Yeomanry spent a day at Durrell Wildlife Park building a seagull-proof roof on the Dodo restaurant terrace.
Large wooden supports were installed

The Tower, The Zoo And The Tortoise

This is a fictional story but has hints of fact, There was of course a zoo in the Tower in the dim and distant past. I thought it may appeal to some.

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A Beefeater, his wife, and their nearly 180-year-old tortoise live in the Tower of London, and if Stuart's deadly charming sophomore novel (after The Matchmaker of Perigord) is any indication, the fortress is as full of intrigue as ever. Balthazar and Hebe Jones lost their son, Milo, to illness three years ago, and while Beefeater Balthazar grieves silently and obsessively collects rainwater in perfume bottles, Hebe wants to talk about their loss openly. Hebe works in the thematically convenient London Underground Lost Property Office, and the abandoned items that reside there (an ash-filled urn, a gigolo's diary, Dustin Hoffman's Oscar) are almost as peculiar as the unruly animals (lovebirds not in love, a smelly zorilla, monkeys with a peculiar nervous tic) in the Tower's new menagerie, given to the queen and overseen by Balthazar. Passion, desperation, and romantic shenanigans abound among the other Tower-dwellers: the Reverend, an erotic fiction writer, has eyes for a bartender, and the Ravenmaster is cheating on his wife with the cook. Though the cuteness sometimes comes across a little thick, the love story is adorable.

Plastic bags killing turtles, Quebec aquarium warns
Officials at the Magdalen Islands aquarium say plastic bags threaten the lives of the leatherback turtles that migrate to the region every summer.
The Island Aquarium has launched a seasonal exhibit on the leatherback turtle to raise awareness about the dangers.
Since 2005, more than a dozen of the 400-kilogram creatures have been found dead along the beach.

Hampi to get zoo
Tourism Minister Janardhana Reddy said on Friday that the State Government would develop world heritage site Hampi as a major tourist destination with a 'Rs 100-crore zoo in 1,000 acres in Hampi being the star attraction.
Reddy told reporters that the government had set up Vijayanagar Area Development Authority (VADA) for overall development of Hampi and surrounding areas.
A unique programme ‘Hampi by night’ - to take tourists around Hampi by walk would be launched soon. The programme includes four sound and light shows.
The Zoo Authority of India had given its clearance for setting up of a zoo in Hampi. The government would be investing about 75 crore on the project. The minister said soon after assuming office in the Yeddyurappa Cabinet he had assured the Bellary people that he would develop the district such a way that it should attract attention globally.
“Now all major steel industries of the world are setting up their units in Bellary. In a couple of years from now Bellary will become the global hub of steel,” he said.
The VADA will develop 530 sq km area as a major industrial hub. It would serve as a major centre for all types of industrial activities including

Mark Wahlberg's Son Attacked By Giant Octopus At Aquarium - Considers Suing
Mark Wahlberg is considering taking legal action against bosses of a public aquarium in San Diego, California, after a "giant" captive octopus attacked his son.
The Hollywood actor and his model wife Rhea Durham were on family holiday with their four kids, but the trip took a frightening turn at the Sea Life Aquarium in Carlsbad - when an aggressive sea creature latched on to Durham, their four-year old son Michael, and the family's tour guide.
Wahlberg recalled the incident during an interview on David Letterman's late night TV show on Thursday.
He said: "We have a tour guide so she's like, 'You have a special treat today, we'll be able to take you behind the tank and you'll be able to see the octopus...' So this women pulls out this gigantic octopus, the thing latches on to my son's arm. It's got my wife, (it's) wrapped completely around the lady, and another guy's just standing there. They can't get this octopus off.
"My son is freaking out but no sound is coming out of his mouth. So finally we rip the thing off of him. He's got all these suction marks

Aquarium boobs over buxom mermaid
Aquarium bosses have put a bikini on an underwater statue of a mermaid - because her boobs were attracting too much attention.
Staff at Sea Life Chessington said they noticed many young male visitors to their underwater tunnel were not giving the marine life their full attention.
So in a bid to save the mermaid's modesty and get visitors concentrating on the fish again, a diver was dispatched to cover the statue's breasts with a bikini.
Manager Justine Locker said: "It's a bit of a boob on our part. We hadn't noticed quite how buxom Sally was until we clocked young boys, and not so young boys, spending a lot of time ogling

Nearly extinct snake coiled to regain habitat with Memphis Zoo's help
The baby snake that emerged from its shell at the Memphis Zoo recently represents the future of the Louisiana pine snake.
It's at the center of a program to re-introduce the species to its native territory.
The program is the first attempt to release captive-bred Louisiana pine snakes into the wild, according to Steve Reichling, curator of reptiles, aquarium and small animals at the Memphis Zoo.
It is also a program that puts into action the commitment zoos have to species preservation.
"Zoos often talk about why

Zoo needs revamp of facilities to carry on Whitley's legacy
PAIGNTON Zoo boasts it is open all year round, except Christmas Day, and that is a record to be proud of.
However, there was a time when it closed down completely when its owner, Herbert Whitley, saw red that he was being wrongly taxed, the HM Customs and Excise assessing the zoo to be an entertainment establishment rather than an educational one.
Mr Whitley was adamant he should not have to pay the tax for that which he had always maintained to be an educational theme.
He found himself obliged to attend the Paignton Magistrates Court in March 1924 — it would seem he had no respect for the way one should dress because there he was, stating verdantly his case, dressed in his working clothes, like he was doing the rounds in his zoo.
Despite his enthused opinion, he could not persuade the HM inspector present to budge. Mr Whitley stormed out of the court shouting he would immediately close the zoo down rather than pay such an unjust tax.
He meant business and no matter what the local zoo enthusiasts said, the closed notice on the front entrance gate remained intact. He was a man of high principles but although folks were deprived of seeing creatures they could never see otherwise at that time, he took the time to reassess his stock and pursue other ambitions, perhaps thinking that maybe public opinion may persuade HM inspector of taxes to submit.
Of course, it didn't work like that, but something would have to give, so three years later, in June 1927, the zoo was in business again. Whitley relented "in the interest of public education".
That was not the end of it and come 1939 the intrepid zoo man had come to the end of his tether — more problems arose regarding charges, tax and the overriding question of what constitutes entertainment as compared to education and there were comings and goings of all manner of people.
After all, other similar establishments did not have to pay the dreaded tax so why should he? It seemed even a man as determined as Herbert Whitley had his breaking point when, in 1939, war was declared, it was the final straw and he had to close and sell his animals lock, stock and barrel.
It wasn't simply a question of the money — he was a millionaire — but the action may have probably been his demise but for a certain extrovert called Reginald Goddard, founder

Asiatic lions, iguanas, emus to come to Kolkata zoo
Asiatic lions, iguanas and emus will be seen among the animals housed at the Alipore Zoological Gardens here in a little more than a fortnight, and a consignment of kangaroos and zebras may not be far behind, officials told The Hindu on Friday.
“A pair of pure-bred Asiatic lions, two pairs of iguanas and a pair of emus are being brought from the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad. The Hyderabad zoo authorities are going to procure some zebras and kangaroos, so we are trying to acquire them for the zoo here as well,” said Raju Das, director of the Alipore Zoological Gardens.
Mr. Das was hopeful that they will be able to secure the same terms and conditions from the international agency that will be proving the zebras and kangaroos to the Nehru Zoological Park.
In exchange for the animals received from the Hyderabad zoo, a male giraffe, six pairs of spoon bills and a pair of pea fowl are being dispatched there shortly. “Of the animals being brought here, we are

Corridor Of Life For Sabah's Endangered Wildlife

The protected wildlife in Sabah is set to see better chances of survival, thanks to the `corridor of life' introduced by the Sabah state government.


The corridor of life is not only aimed at creating more forest for the wild animals to move about but also to complement the state government's goal of ensuring that 55 per cent of Sabah's total area has green cover.


State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said the program would involve rehabilitation of the riparian reserve to create a passage for the wild animals to move about.


"Many people, especially owners of oil palm estates, plant crop right up to the river bank, thus blocking the passage

Elephant gets tusk caps at Calgary Zoo

An elephant at the Calgary Zoo is feeling a lot better thanks to two hours of surgery to place stainless steel caps on his damaged tusks.


Spike, a 30-year-old bull elephant, had caps installed on both tusks about 10 years ago after his left tusk became cracked.


About 18 months ago, the 5.4-tonne elephant cracked his right tusk above the cap while playing with a toy in his enclosure.


The zoo decided to recap both the tusks, a two-hour task that required a team of eight, including a machinist, a welder and a 10-tonne hoist.


After Spike was sedated, the team trimmed the tusks and installed the caps, which weigh about 20 kilograms apiece.


Fabricating the caps and installing them cost an estimated

China to lend Singapore a pair of pandas: minister

China will loan Singapore a pair of pandas for ten years to celebrate this year's 20th anniversary of the Sino-Singapore relations, a Singaporean minister said Saturday.


The promise was first made between leaders of the two countries last November.


Lee Yi Shyan, minister of state for trade, industry and manpower, said at a ceremony marking Singapore's National Pavilion Day at the ongoing Shanghai World Expo that the two countries had signed a cooperative contract on research and breeding of pandas.


Lee said Singaporean people would view the panda in the River Safari, a newly built wildlife conservation park in Singapore, in the first half of 2012, after the Chinese most beloved animal passed the adaptive phase.


"The preparation work is underway, and the panda will be delivered to Singapore in the second half next year," he said. @ Experts say "panda diplomacy" shows that China


In an era where old, established companies seem to disappear with distressing regularity, there are some companies that have long histories. The family owned aggregate company Graniterock is one of them. This year it is celebrating its 110th birthday (it started business on Valentine’s Day 1900) and it remains committed to the basics of good customer service and environmental protection that has keep them in business in both good and bad times.


Although over a century old, Graniterock has maintained a reputation for being a forward thinking company. It has been consistently named by Fortune Magazine as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for, received the Clean Ocean Award from the City of Santa Cruz, and been named the Manufacturing Business of the Year by San Benito County Chamber of Commerce. They have also taken ideas from other industries to make the construction materials business more customer friendly.


Graniterock has thrived and survived in the environmentally tough California business environment by keeping a focus on environmental concerns. Graniterock created approximately 100 acres of set-asides and conservation

London Zoo's gorilla breeding initiative is questioned by conservationists

Is our preoccupation with the species in captivity distracting from the problems they face in the wild?


London Zoo announced that, in August, Kesho, an 11-year-old male "blackback" gorilla will be imported from Dublin in the hope he might graduate to silverback status and breed with the females in Regent's Park.


One would find it hard to recall the last time we read a story about the baby-making issues of other under-threat species in our zoos. Why are we fascinated by gorillas and their breeding habits? Ian Redmond, a biologist and conservationist who worked with Dian Fossey in the 1970s, refers to himself as a "lifelong gorillaholic". He is consultant to the Born Free Foundation; in 2009 he was an ambassador for the UN year of the gorilla; and he taught Sigourney Weaver how to grunt like a gorilla for her role as Fossey in 1988's Gorillas in the Mist.


"We seem to be more excited by gorillas perhaps because they embody many of the characteristics we wish we had. Chimpanzees are very like us – prone to violence and mob culture sometimes – but gorillas have a reputation for being above all that."


So our interest in gorillas isn't necessarily about their fight against extinction and conservation issues are often far from our minds. Redmond finds a zoo visit "very uncomfortable".


"You see a lot of institutionalised behaviour patterns that you see in humans – rocking, plucking of hair, boredom and stress – things you don't see in the wild because



Man detained in China over zoo panda death
A man has been detained over the poisoning death of an endangered panda in a Chinese zoo, state media reported Wednesday, in the latest case spotlighting risks to captive animals in China.
The panda, a 21-year-old female named Quan Quan, was found extremely ill Thursday and died hours later after attempts at reviving her failed.
An investigation found that she died from inhaling toxic gas that leaked into her enclosure at the Jinan Zoo in Shandong province through a narrow vent connected to a former air-raid shelter next to the zoo.
The man, identified only by his surname Yang, had hired workers to disinfect the air-raid shelter, which he had rented to grow mushrooms in, Xinhua news agency said.
It said the vent had been drilled in 1995 to help cool the panda enclosure in the summer.
Quan Quan had been on loan to the zoo from China's famed Wolong Giant Panda Research Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan since September 2007.
She had been a star attraction at Jinan Zoo, and was dubbed a "heroic mother" after giving birth to seven cubs in her lifetime, a significant number

Colchester Zoo use mirrors to help flamingos to breed
Keepers at Colchester Zoo have been encouraging their flamingos to breed by using mirrors.
The birds have been tricked into thinking their flock is larger than it actually is as this helps them to nest and eventually lay eggs.
The zoo's 15 Chilean flamingos have now started to build their own nests.
"Even if we don't get eggs this year, it's taken us a step in the right direction," the zoo's curator Sarah Forsythe told BBC Essex.
Like many birds, flamingos do not breed very well in small flocks and the illusion of a larger group means there could soon be flamingo chicks

Shark Week -- Education or Just Entertainment?
"Teeth of death," "Shark feeding frenzy," "The Worst Shark Attack Ever." It is that time of year again, when the Discovery Channel brings out shows like these as part of its annual "Shark Week" programming. This week of bloody feeding frenzies and vicious shark attacks is part of a larger trend in nature programming. Instead of seeking to educate or to promote environmental conservation, these shows focus only on presenting graphic, sensationalized animal violence. Programs like those in Shark Week -- while they might garner high ratings and attract advertiser dollars -- all too often mislead the audience, exploit animals, and fail to promote conservation.
It is easy to understand why Shark Week or other shows like "Untamed and Uncut", "Man vs. Wild", or "When Animals Attack" would attract viewers. The subject matter is riveting, the editing is flashy, and the shows are thrilling and suspenseful. As nature writer Bill McKibben once quipped, the most popular documentaries consist of "big cats alternatively mating and killing each other." Shows like Animal Planet's "Untamed and Uncut" take this to a new level with footage of a marlin impaling a boy's face, a lion mauling a zookeeper, and a polar bear ripping off a woman's leg. This brand of mayhem and mutilation has an eager audience and has turned

Six deer escape from Night Safari
Six deer escaped from the Night Safari at the Singapore Zoological Gardens on Wednesday morning.
Five have been found but one is still missing, although it is believed to be within the Night Safari park.
The fifth deer was caught in the evening at Mandai Lake Road. It had to be sedated. It took about one and a half hours to bring the deer back to its enclosure.
The Sambar deer are all female and were found missing during a routine check by a zookeeper.
One of them had managed to get out of the Night Safari's perimeter fence. A tree had fallen on the fence, allowing the deer to walk out of the park's boundaries.
Kumar Pillai, director of zoology at Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: "(At) the Deer Park, we've got the primary enclosure and if for some reason the animals do come out of there, we have a secondary fence to keep the animals in. But it's the secondary fence that got damaged by the fallen tree and they got out of the park."
It is the first time the deer have escaped from their enclosure.
In a separate incident, the Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) rescued three wild Sambar deer in Mandai.
Army personnel had informed WRS that deer were seen at the range. When the WRS team arrived at the scene, they found three Sambar

Escaped coati still missing from Belfast Zoo
A racoon-like creature which absconded from Belfast Zoo more than a week ago is still on the loose, the zoo has confirmed.
The white-nosed coati from Belize escaped on Monday 19 July. A spokesperson for the zoo said there had been no reported sightings of it.
The mammal was being held in quarantine after just arriving at the zoo.
It had been hoped the female would take part in a breeding programme with several other coatis recently

CZA orders probe into poor condition of zoo
The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has ordered a probe into the pathetic condition of wild animals at Maharajbagh Zoo, managed by Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV), Akola.
The inquiry is the result of a complaint by Maharashtra civil supplies minister Anil Deshmukh on May 21. The letter issued on July 19 by CZA member-secretary BS Bonal has urged the chief wildlife warden to submit a report on the factual status on the issues raised by Deshmukh and violation of Recognition of Zoo Rules and Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Following a series of deaths of peacocks and deer in April, Deshmukh visited the zoo on May 4 and directed the authorities to manage it as per CZA norms. His demands included a full-time director and a vet for the zoo, release of excess deer in the wild, encouraging exchange of animals, reconsidering the white tiger proposal and operating the zoo with sufficient

Delhi Zoo exploring for building dolphinarium
Notwithstanding opposition by wildlife enthusiasts to keeping dolphins in captivity, the Delhi Zoo is exploring the feasibility of building a dolphinarium as envisaged by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh. The dolphin exhibit or dolphinarium will be the part of the yet to be prepared master plan of the Delhi Zoo which would also include a multi-species immersion exhibit with elevated board walk, interpretation centre, food court, open air theatre and souvenir shop.
While majority of zoos have already submitted their master plans to the Central Zoo Authority and availed funds for infrastructure developments, the Delhi Zoo has plans to rope in a consultant to do the job to ensure global standards are maintained.
"We have floated expression of interest for a consultant

Detroit Zoo worker lends aid to Gulf cleanup effort
A Detroit Zoo staffer is in New Orleans this week, helping to care for animals harmed by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
veterinary technician Amanda Dabaldo is stationed at the Audubon Aquatics Center in New Orleans to tend to oiled sea turtles that need to be captured, cleaned up and then returned to the wild,

Can Australia save the dingo from extinction?
Where did the Australian dingo go? Once present throughout that country, the feared predator (Canis lupus dingo) in its current form is on its way to extinction as it is either killed or breeds and hybridizes with domesticated dogs. With the disappearance of the purebred dingo comes the loss of an important part of the region's ecosystem as well as a greater chance of environmental destruction by invasive species such as foxes and feral cats.
Now the Australian state of Victoria is taking baby steps toward preserving the dingo. Eighty percent of the dingoes there are hybrids, and pure dingoes exist in

S.A. Zoo dissed on worst-of list; officials say it's 'preposterous'
Certainly there is probably room for improvement, but could the San Antonio Zoo really be one of the worst zoos in the world?
The Global Post thinks so. It has come up with its latest list of the ten worst zoos in the world, and put the San Antonio Zoo on that list, based on the treatment of its elephants.
The list begins in Egypt with the Giza Zoo as the worst, followed by the Glkand Zoo in Iraqi Kurdistan. They say the third worst is the Mumbai Zoo in India and the Kiev Zoo in the Ukraine round out the top four.
Sitting at number five is the San Antonio Zoo. Karrie Kern with the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force says that's where San Antonio belongs.
"Do I believe that we deserve that position? Of course we do, given the kind of habitat, yes," says Kern.
Kern says the issue is with the with the half-acre space for the zoo's elephants. Kern thinks Lucky and Boo need more space, and should be living their last years in a sanctuary.
Zoo management disagrees.
"That's preposterous for anyone to claim that the zoo is one of the fifth, or the fifth worst in the world and put us in the same

Red squirrels to be bred in Paradise before returning to wild in Cornish woodland
A bid to bring red squirrels back to Cornish woodlands is being given a helping hand by a local conservation park and visitor attraction.
Paradise Park, in Hayle, is to provide captive bred red squirrels to the project.
Curator David Woolcock said it was fantastic to play a part in helping bring back a creature not seen in the area for almost 30 years.
He added: "There are people in Cornwall who remember seeing red squirrels in their local woodlands and we must take this opportunity to get the natural balance back so that future generations can appreciate them there too." The project to reintroduce the species to the Lizard and parts of West Penwith was unveiled by Prince Charles at the Royal Cornwall Show in June.
He is a patron of the Red Squirrel Survival Trust, which is working

Jairam Ramesh plans to bring back cheetah
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh is moving fast on his promise to bring back the cheetah to India. Three sites have been identified - two in Madhya Pradesh and one in Rajasthan as special sanctuaries for the animal that went extinct from India in the 60s.
Cheetah, the fastest animal on land had vanished from the subcontinent in 1967. Now, determined to bring back the cheetah, the environment ministry has unveiled an ambitious plan
"Three sites have been identified - two sites in Madhya Pradesh and one in Rajasthan. We will take it forward and it will take three to four years before these sites are made completely fit. I would give this the same importance as I would give project tiger or project elephant," said

Kaohsiung prepares for two white tigers from China
The Shoushan Zoo in southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung City plans to bring in a pair of white tigers from the Xiangjiang Safari Park in Guangzhou, southern China before the 2011 Chinese New Year, Lin Kun-shan, director-general of the city's Tourism Bureau, said Tuesday.
The city government received an approval document July 19 from the Ministry of Economic Affairs's Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) for the importation of the tigers, according

Lifetime zoo sentence for cubs of grizzly that mauled Ont. woman in Montana
A mother grizzly bear responsible for killing a camper and injuring two others near Yellowstone National Park was euthanized on Friday and her three cubs will be sent to a zoo, Montana wildlife officials said.
DNA analysis of bear hair, saliva and tissue samples collected by investigators confirmed that the 300- to 400-pound mother bruin captured with two of her cubs after Wednesday's attacks was the killer grizzly, officials said.
The grizzly's third cub was trapped separately after the first two yearlings and their mother. The three younger bears each weigh 100 to 150 pounds.
A lethal injection was administered to the 10-year-old mother grizzly with a "jab stick," essentially a long pole with a syringe attached to the end, said a spokesman for the Montana Fish, Wildlife

Mine plan threatens Koh Kong woodland
THE conservation NGO Wildlife Alliance yesterday criticised plans for the development of a titanium mine in Koh Kong province, saying the project would scare off ecotourism investors and derail implementation of a lucrative pollution-reduction scheme.
Suwanna Gauntlett, the group’s country director, said the United Khmer Group had recently obtained a permit from the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy for the mine, which she said would cover 15,000 to 20,000 hectares in Thma Bang district.
“Now they need a permit from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, but they’re ready to go. They’re building the roads already and redoing the bridges,” she said.
Company representative Phorn Thou confirmed his company intended to mine titanium in the province, but said no permits had been granted. “My company is in the process

Nepal has 155 adult tigers, 5% of world population
The number of adult tiger has reached 155 in Nepal's forests, an increase of 28% over last year's population, a top official has said.
The tiger population grew after tiger census was conducted in the Chure area of Chitawan National Park, which was skipped during last year's census, according to Coordinator of the Tiger census 2010 Bivash Pandav, an Indian national, who is working under World Wildlife Fund Nepal office in Kathmandu.
The number of adult tiger has reached 155 in Nepal's forests which is an increase of 28%, announced Gopal Prasad Upadhyaya, director general of Department of National

Paignton Zoo feeds alpaca to tigers!
The one metre tall model alpaca was made out of papier mache and cardboard and covered with off-cuts of alpaca fleece.
Paignton Zoo big cat keepers Helen Neighbour and Lucy Manning got the idea after they went llama trekking on Dartmoor.
Lucy said: “We got talking to the owner of Dartmoor Llama Walks, and said it would be good to have some fleece. She let us have some pieces after the alpacas were shorn.
“The model alpaca is great environmental enrichment for our Sumatran tigers and a bit of fun for our visitors. The look of this unusual object in the tigers’ paddock and the unfamiliar smell of the fleece really got the animals interested.”
Adult Sumatran tiger Banda and 18-month old cubs Aryo and Surya certainly made short work of the model. Helen: “It took me about four hours to complete the model and it was all over in a matter of minutes, but it was totally worth it!”
Zoos use environmental enrichment to encourage natural feeding and foraging behaviours, stimulate mental and physical activity and provoke curiosity using unusual objects and

PCCF gives nod to release excess deer
Principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) AK Joshi has given a nod for the release 40 excess deer in Maharajbagh Zoo in the Navegaon national park in Gondia district or in Chaprala and Tipeshwar wildlife sanctuaries in Gadchiroli and Yavatmal districts respectively.
The PCCF gave the permission on July 23, but zoo in charge Dr Abhijeet Motghare claimed to have received the letter on July 28. The zoo authorities have been asked to conduct a health check-up of the deer and release only fit animals.
Similar permission was granted to the zoo three years ago, but except for making wooden cages, no efforts were made to release the deer. As per CZA norms, not more than 10 deer can be kept in captivity in a mini zoo, the category to which the Maharajbagh Zoo belongs. Now, the zoo authorities may be forced to take a

Pity the Toothless Pangolin
Chinese customs officials in southern Guangdong Province have intercepted a boat with a grisly illegal cargo: nearly eight tons of frozen pangolin carcasses (2,090 of them!) as well as 4,000 pounds of scales stripped from their bodies. Six traffickers posing as fishermen had been paid to transport the pangolins from Southeast Asia, part of the animal’s native habitat, to China.
Most Americans are probably unfamiliar with the pangolin, a toothless scaly anteater that lives in the forests of Asia; it plays an important role in ant and termite control. Many Chinese prize the animal because its meat is considered a delicacy. And its scales are used to make traditional medicines that are purported to benefit women who are nursing, among other things.
That has led to a precipitous decline in the pangolin’s numbers. Two of the four Asian pangolin species are classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of

Let's Go to the Zoo and Laugh at Suffering Polar Bears
This film educates its audience about polar bears—and the animals don't seem to mind that they're being spied on. Not so in the case of the video below: Shot by a giggling zoo visitor, it shows how polar bears suffer in captivity (so much so that some animals are given mood-altering drugs) and how naïve zoogoers misinterpret the animals' neurotic behavior.
The typical enclosure for a polar bear at a zoo is a mere one millionth the size of a polar bear's minimum home range in the wild.
And if the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre has its way, more bears will be taken captive. The center's plan is to seize polar bears from the wild in Manitoba and dump some of them at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg and others at zoos around the world. The export of polar bears from Manitoba was stopped in the 90s after animals were found languishing in all sorts of places—even, as PETA discovered, in a Mexican circus. But now, some are determined to resurrect this cruel practice.
And others are determined to stop it: John Youngman, a lawyer and former president of the Zoological Society of Manitoba, wrote this enlightening commentary. Every sentence underscores how misguided the center's plan is, but I think my favorite point might be the following: "As for educational value, the only substantive thing a polar bear in captivity teaches kids is that it's okay to ruin an animal's life for our viewing pleasure." Or maybe it's this: "There is no 'conservation' value in capturing wild polar bears and putting them in zoos. Nor is there any known program for successfully

Platypus Rescued From Sewage Plant

Poison horns to save rhinos?
Helicopters, machine guns, bullet-proof vests, R250,000 night-vision binoculars, prescription tranquillisers, axes, saws... these are all tools of the grisly trade in rhino horns.
And one man is prepared to go to extreme lengths to stop it.
Ed Hern, owner of the Rhino and Lion Park near Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg, believes poisoning the horns of rhinos will result in consumers of the product falling ill or dying and knock the demand for this illegal product hard.
"We need to try poisoning the horns with something like cyanide so when someone uses it for medicine they will die. I have started testing with a vet," he said.
South African rhino owners are becoming increasingly desperate as the country is being targeted by high-tech rhino poaching syndicates, believed to be working with industry insiders, to feed the demand for rhino horn in Vietnam

Public Outcry Ends Citibank Hong Kong’s Promotional Discount On Shark Fin Soup
Yet another symbol of Chinese status is one more pricey delicacy: shark fin soup. The greatly increasing demand for the soup has been fueling the killing of 100 million sharks a year! The shark fin trade has caused a sharp decline in the world’s shark populations over the last 20 years. To make matters worse, Citibank’s Hong Kong branch launched a promotion this month that advertised Citibank credit card holders would receive at fifteen percent discount on a “shark’s fin and garoupa” dinner at Maxim’s Chinese

Ten key indicators show global warming "undeniable"
Melting glaciers, more humid air and eight other key indicators show that global warming is undeniable, scientists said on Wednesday, citing a new comprehensive review of the last decade of climate data.
Without addressing why this is happening, the researchers said there was no doubt that every decade on Earth since the 1980s has been hotter than the previous one, and that the planet has been warming for the last half-century.
This confirms the findings of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which reported in 2007 with 90 percent certainty that climate change is occurring. The IPCC also said that human activities contribute to this phenomenon.
The new report was released after U.S. Senate Democrats delayed any possible legislation to curb climate change until September at the earliest. Prospects for U.S. climate change legislation

Jack Hanna wards off grizzly with pepper spray
TV host and zookeeper Jack Hanna says he took his own advice and used pepper spray on a grizzly bear headed toward him.
The Columbus Zoo keeper and frequent David Letterman guest said he was with his wife and other hikers in Montana's Glacier National Park on Saturday when a bear cub, weighing about 125 pounds, charged them. Hanna told The Columbus Dispatch that he held up a canister of pepper spray, which he takes routinely on hikes.
"At about 30 feet, I unload my pepper spray, and the wind takes it," he told the newspaper.
But the bear kept coming. Hanna sprayed toward the animal again, but still it kept coming.
"Then the third time I unload that pepper spray right



To Order Please Click
Product Description


Inspired by medieval bestiaries, in which animals were presented in a fashion that favored the fanciful over the factual, Solnit and Caron have partnered to create their own book of magical beasts one in which the truth is stranger than fiction. Deeply aware of how much animal lore feeds the language of human imagination, Solnit uses her unique literary prowess to describe native California animals in such a way that they become as thrilling as any exotic creature of yore. From the bluebelly lizard and the California condor to the elephant seal and tule elk, this wondrous cast of characters reveal the depth of their magic. Enriched by Caron s illustrations, which keenly explore the play between human and animal realms, this collection will feed your dreams. This book was created in partnership with the Oakland Zoo which has just unveiled plans to create an ambitious native California animal exhibit where local species will be rehabilitated and cared for. 



Zoo in the sun

Lucknow's Prince of Wales Zoological Garden has the distinction of becoming the country's first zoo to use solar energy. All the zoo offices, streetlights and kitchen run on solar power at present. In a few months the entire establishment will switch to this eco-friendly energy system, which will power water pumps, the animal hospitals, water heating systems, the nursery, water power ejectors for the fountain, vehicles ferrying visitors within the zoo, the ticket house and even the quaint lanterns adorning the main gate! Additionally, the irrigation system at the bio-fuel plantation in the zoo nursery will also run on sunlight.


The driving force behind this path-breaking change is Zoo Director Renu Singh.


The 30-something woman was inspired to turn the zoo into a green zone when, in 2008, the Uttar Pradesh Government decided to build a solar energy park on dedicated land within the zoo. The park was meant to educate people about the benefits of solar energy. “I was not convinced that just setting up the park would motivate people to switch to solar energy. So I started to look for ways to make the idea more people- and zoo-friendly,” says

Topeka Zoo Inspection Results

Results from a recent inspection at the Topeka Zoo have been released. Several non-compliant issues were reported, but the zoo is hoping to avoid this in the future by resolving the issues before they are brought to their attention.


The inspection report shows four non-compliant issues, including fly problems in the gorilla and lion exhibits, rust damage in the hippo stall, and an issue with objects falling into the bear exhibit.


Topeka Zoo Director, Brendan Wiley, announced the zoo identified several of these issues themselves and tells us how they are hoping to build a relationship with



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Product Description

A passion for wildlife and conservation led John Knowles OBE to found his own latter-day Ark - the Marwell Zoological Park. His autobiography tells the fascinating story of how a childhood collector of stick insects became a successful farmer and poultry breeder, and went on to achieve his ambition to own a zoo.


John's story unfolds against the backdrop of a rapidly changing post-war world where rising populations and increasing demands on natural resources place huge pressure on wildlife. Recognising that captive breeding populations may be the only way to save many species, he established several successful herds at Marwell. The roan antelope, reintroduced to Swaziland, Scimitar horned oryx and the famous Przewalski's wild horse, are among the animals that have benefited from John's efforts.


His account describes how Marwell developed from small beginnings, with all the planning, financial and operational headaches that entailed. He tells of the necessary balancing act between conservation of the animals and the historic Marwell Hall; the need to make the enterprise pay; and how, because of his determination that Marwell should itself be safe, he formed a charitable Trust to which he gave the entire zoo.


Throughout this book, John's 'can-do' attitude to tackling one of Planet Earth's greatest challenges shines through and, as he now enjoys a well-earned retirement, John Knowles can be justly proud of what Marwell has achieved.



Stop the Spread of Zoo Zombies

This film educates its audience about polar bears—and the animals don't seem to mind that they're being spied on. Not so in the case of the video below: Shot by a giggling zoo visitor, it shows how polar bears suffer in captivity (so much so that some animals are given mood-altering drugs) and how naïve zoogoers misinterpret the animals' neurotic behavior.


The typical enclosure for a polar bear at a zoo is a mere one millionth the size of a polar bear's minimum home range in the wild.


And if the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre has its way, more bears will be taken captive. The center's plan is to seize polar bears from the wild in Manitoba and dump some of them at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg and others at zoos around the world. The export of polar bears from Manitoba was stopped in the 90s after animals were found languishing in all sorts of places—even, as PETA discovered, in a Mexican circus. But now, some are determined to resurrect this cruel practice.


And others are determined to stop it: John Youngman, a lawyer and former president of the Zoological Society of Manitoba, wrote this enlightening commentary. Every sentence underscores how misguided the center's plan is, but I think my favorite point might be the following: "As for educational value, the only substantive thing a polar bear in captivity teaches kids is that it's okay to ruin an animal's life for our viewing pleasure." Or maybe it's this: "There is no 'conservation' value in capturing wild polar bears and putting them in zoos. Nor is there any known program for successfully rehabilitating orphaned or captive-born polar bears back into the wild."


Tell us which point in Youngman's piece

Stiffer penalties sought for wildlife criminals in Thailand

More than 30 senior judges and prosecutors, plus senior officers from the Royal Thai Police, Royal Thai Customs, and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation begin a three-day meeting today to examine how to deal more effectively with wildlife crime in the region.


South-East Asia is a major hub for illegal wildlife trade. In recent few weeks there have been a number of large wildlife seizures in the region, including a haul of over three quarters of a tonne of illegal ivory seized at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport.


However, it is common for those convicted of wildlife-related offences to walk away with minor penalties and in some cases continue with their illegal activities.


In response, law enforcement officers have been appealing for stiffer penalties and higher rates of prosecution to help ensure that the penalties meted out deter the wildlife criminals and wildlife crime.


The ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (WEN), an integrated network

West Midland Safari Park's Bob graduates with honours

WEST Midland Safari Park’s “animal man” has proved it is never too late to learn, earning a degree at the age of 59.


Bob Lawrence graduated from Nottingham University not only with a first class honours degree but also the Vice Chancellor’s award for outstanding academic achievement alongside an honorary graduate, Sir David Attenborough, under the eye of the University’s Chancellor, Sir Michael Parkinson.


Mr Lawrence also collected a national adult learning award from NIACE (National Institute of Adult Continuing Education), nominated for by the university.


He was one of only two students out of the possible 40 that

The zoo that believes in Noah's Ark: Creationist attraction is approved for school trips

A zoo that promotes creationism and believes that the story of Noah’s Ark is supported by science has become an approved school trip destination.


The move has provoked a war of words between the Christians who run Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm and those who believe it will expose children to ‘dogma’.


Visitors to the attraction are invited to question the traditional view of evolution and consider instead ‘the case for a Creator’ – with information boards challenging established science such as fossil records, carbon dating and the speed of light.


Critics say the decision to award it a Government kitemark is ‘entirely inappropriate’.


But bosses at the family-run zoo, in Wraxall, near Bristol, insist that workshops for children merely cover the national science curriculum and do not include discussion of religion.


They admit that youngsters visiting the centre are free to go to an area where posters and charts advance its religious beliefs.


James Gray, education officer at the British Humanist Association, condemned the award of the Council

Delight as Dudley Zoo rakes in the profits

?Dudley Zoo has seen a six-fold increase in profits – with visitors flocking to see new attractions, bosses said today.


Zoo chief executive Peter Suddock said he was “delighted” with the figures and vowed the zoo would continue to grow.


In the year ending December 31, 2009, profits were £95,000, a rise of £81,000 on the previous year.


The soaring cost of energy and food for the animals had dented profits in the previous year.


There were 15,000 extra visitors at the zoo last year, which was 7.5 per cent up on 2008, according to Dudley

The baby panda factory: Inside the extraordinary breeding centre where China is mass-producing infant pandas

Masked and gowned to avoid passing on an infection, wildlife presenter Nigel Marven gazes in wonder at the tiny and rather odd- looking creature nestling helplessly inside a blanketed incubator.


Just a few inches long, with a furless, pink body and tightly scrunched-up eyes, it could be a newborn rabbit, or some sort of rodent, perhaps.


In fact, this is a nine-day-old giant panda — still blind and unable to crawl —being nurtured in a remarkable Chinese panda nursery which is leading the fight to safeguard the future of the world’s most emblematic animal.


The project is considered so sensitive that only a handful of Westerners — all veterinary specialists — have been permitted inside the sound-proofed, softlylit nursery at the giant Panda Breeding And Research Centre in Chengdu, Western China.


But Marven was made an exception this week after he was appointed as Chengdu’s ‘Panda Ambassador’ — an honour previously awarded to just one man: China’s favourite actor, Jackie Chan.


And only the Daily Mail was there to capture a moment that the 49-year-old presenter described as ‘the most memorable of my career’.


The newborn panda has been named Jiao



An interview with a zookeeper from the National Zoo
Anyone with a pet knows that taking care of an animal is a lot of work -- but the tradeoff is you have a loving animal to play with and enjoy. A zookeeper's chores are a lot more involved than, say, scooping kitty litter, but they also get the reward of being with the animals.
In honor of National Zookeeper Week, KidsPost's Margaret Webb Pressler went behind the scenes at the National Zoo's Small Mammal House to meet Kenton Kerns, one of seven zookeepers who take care of the tamarins, porcupines, naked mole rats and about 27 other small mammal species at the zoo. Kerns, 25, talked about his life as a zookeeper, and as he spoke he held in his hands a tiny tenrec named Pandora. Tenrecs are cute, spiny mammals found in Madagascar and parts of Africa. Pandora promptly fell asleep in his hands.
Yeah, she just passed out. She spreads her body out flat to absorb the heat from my hand. You don't intend to bond so quickly with one particular animal, but you can't help it.
Did you always want to be a zookeeper?
I grew up on a farm; we always had a ton of pets. And my parents were definitely animal lovers. I always said I wanted to do something with animals, but I didn't know what that would mean. . . . I studied biology at American University. I didn't know if I wanted to go into research or what. So I started volunteering at the zoo. Then a position opened up.
What's a typical day for you like?
With 100 animals, there's always something going on with one of them. I get here just before 6:30 [in the morning] and walk around the exhibit to make sure the animals look good.

Ape escape: Chimps break free at zoo
Zoo keepers at the Sedgwick County Zoo got quite the surprise Sunday morning when they discovered all the chimps escaped from their enclosure. They didn’t get far and Monday officials said the whole incident actually shows the zoo is safe.
According to zoo keepers, the chimps are amongst the smartest animals they have and they proved it over the weekend when they figured a way to get out of their cage inside their exhibit.
“Our keepers were greeted warmly on Sunday morning by one of our chimps - our longtime resident, Marbles,” said Christan Baumer with the Sedgwick County Zoo. “If you know Marbles, that's not necessarily unusual. But what wasn’t quite right was Marbles wasn't where he was supposed to be.”
A keeper left a door unlocked Saturday evening and with their opposable thumbs and clever brains, the chimps figured out a way to open it. They didn’t get far, though. They all wound up trapped in a secondary containment area where they safely sat until Sunday morning.
“The reason for that is we always build redundancies into the exhibits for the safety of our keepers, our guests, as well as for the safety of the animals,” Baumer said. “There would have to be multiple mistakes, multiple things done in order for one for them to get out the primary containment area and then for them to breach secondary containment areas.”
Visitors were briefly kept away while the chimps were rounded up and put back where they belong – behind a thick layer of

Elephant in the room at wildlife park
Call it Operation Dumbo Drop.
Officials at Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort, a combined zoo, botanical gardens and museum, are looking at buying an elephant. It would be a first for the Emirates and a complicated logistical challenge.
“Our visitor surveys tell us that our guests want to see elephants,” said Michael Maunder, the chief collection, conservation and education officer of the park. “However, our facilities and master plan do not include plans for elephants … but we are getting a lot of interest.”
The possible addition of an elephant would be part of the large-scale procurement drive at the park, where visitors will be able to see re-creations of the world’s deserts on safari four-wheel-drives.
Each of six deserts, including the Sonoran landscape of the south-west US and the arid environment of East Africa, will be complete with animals and plants from the native regions.
The estimated US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn) project will also include a resort, housing and museums. The first phase is planned to open in November next year.
The largest part of the project’s procurement drive is plants. Trees, shrubs and succulents from up to 15 countries are being bought.
Jamie Hilyard, the landscape manager, is known as the “plant hunter” by his colleagues because he travels around the world buying vegetation.
They are growing aloe dichotoma in Kenya

Free the Tatweer two
Animal rights campaigners have called for a new home for two tigers that have spent years locked in a glass cage outside a Dubai office block.
The animals - dubbed the Tatweer Two have been housed next to the reception of the former Tatweer building at Dubailand for at least three years. The building, at the end of Umm Suqeim Street, now sits half empty after plans for most of the massive tourist attraction were put on hold.
Officials told 7DAYS the Bengal tigers are enjoyed by people going to the Dubailand Visitor Centre, which is housed in the building.
But campaigners say the animals belong in a sanctuary or wildlife park.
Ayesha Kelif, founder of Dubai Animal Rescue Centre, said: “These animals are wildlife - they’re unpredictable and endangered.”
A spokesperson for Al Ain Wildlife Park added: “The place for these animals is not an office building. They need to be in a conservation park.”
Driving under the sprawling sign welcoming you to Dubailand, you would expect to see rollercoasters and theme-park attractions.
But work is not yet underway and clearly still has a long way to go.
Instead the only ‘tourist attraction’ is an enclosure in the entrance of an office building where two beautiful Bengal tigers are currently caged.
The cats are kept behind glass in the reception of the Tatweer building, which is home to Dubailand Visitor Centre and a handful of other offices.
The two tigers - dubbed ‘The Tatweer Two’ - were born eight years ago at Dubai Zoo and were taken to their current home at the offices three years ago.
Earlier this year, Tatweer became part of Dubai Property Group, and although the building is still used, there are far fewer employees working there.
Now, animal rights campaigners have called for the animals to be moved to an area that is more suitable for the majestic beasts, such as a wildlife park.
Ashley Fruno, a senior campaigner with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia, said: “Even the biggest enclosures cannot provide the space, privacy and enrichment that animals need to express behaviours that come natural to them.
“The tigers should be transferred to a sanctuary, but at a minimum, they need to have areas in their enclosure where they can run and play.”
A spokesperson for Dubailand said the tigers were kept in the building for tourists to see.
“Dubailand is a good tourist destination. Although there is no completion date, tourists come to look at the models of the theme park, which is the largest model in the world, and take pictures and videos of the tigers,” he said. “They’re living a great life, in an air-conditioned environment and it’s a better life than it would be at Dubai Zoo.”
Although they do appear to have a more comfortable life than they would at the zoo, animal lovers say it is still not good enough.
A spokesperson for Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR) said: “They have access to water, space and a shaded area, and while this space might be adequate, they could definitely do with more. Naturally they should either be in the wild, or in a conservation park.” He added that big cats are housed at AWPR and are given special attention.
“We have Arabian leopards, cheetahs and lions among others, and as a park we have the appropriate space, medical attention, nutritionists and trainers who ensure they get the exercise they need daily,” he said.
Although the company is licensed to keep the animals, the biggest concern is the responsibility that comes with it.
Ayesha Kelif, a founder of Dubai Animal Rescue Centre, said: “They may have a CITES licence, but it doesn’t mean they can be kept in an office block. We need to protect these animals or in a few years they won’t exist. “It’s not a case of ‘it’s a nice-looking animal so I’ll keep it in my back garden.”
But according to a spokesperson for Dubai Property Group, the welfare of the tigers is a primary consideration.
“The health and well-being of the two tigers currently on exhibit at the Dubailand Visitors Centre is of great importance to Dubailand and Dubai Property Group,” he said.
“These animals are being cared for by a dedicated team of professionals including trained veterinary staff and certified animal handlers from the Animal Management Consultancy in Dubai.
“The tigers are also frequently monitored by experts from the Dubai Zoo and have been found to be in excellent health. In addition, the enclosure has been certified by UAE Ministry of Environment and Water. The tigers are enjoyed by hundreds of visitors to the Dubailand Visitors Centre each day.”
However, one visitor did not agree. He said: “My initial reaction was sadness. I’m not a vet, but they looked in good condition. I just didn’t see the point of them being there. “It doesn’t attract custom

Oregon Zoo pond turtles being released
About 70 western pond turtles raised at the Oregon Zoo are being prepared Monday for release into the wild in the Columbia River Gorge.
The endangered turtles have been raised at the zoo as part of a conservation program with the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle and state and federal wildlife agencies.
A program scientist, David Shepherdson, says they spent the past 11 months in warmth and light so they wouldn't go into hibernation. That allowed them have about three years growth in less than a year.
The turtles weigh a little more than 2 ounces

Hot To Feed 2000 Animals

Take back animals, Madagascar told
Madagascar must take back the animals that have been smuggled into Malaysia from that island, the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) said.
A last option for the department if Madagascar refused to take back the animals was to “euthanise” them, its legal and enforcement principal assistant director Loo Kean Seong said.
Loo said the department had written to the country to bear the costs of returning the animals, estimated to be between RM10,000 and RM15,000.
“We have contacted the authorities there under provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) for them to take back the animals.
“We have not determined the actual cost of repatriating the animals to Madagascar. It depends on the total weight but the cost is less because there is no need to hold them in special cages,” he said here yesterday.
The animals, estimated to cost a total of RM250

Big cat mauls duo in zoo
An elderly man was mauled by a leopard at a zoo near Dimapur when he crossed the safety barricade ignoring warnings for a closer look at the animal yesterday afternoon.
While Kivikha Chophy, 64, suffered severe injuries on the head and cheek, his nephew, 27-year-old Kughazhe Yeptho, had deep gashes on his neck and elbows when he tried to free his uncle from the leopard’s grip.
Chophy has slipped into a coma, though Yeptho could go home after first aid.
The two strolled into Rangapahar zoological garden near Dimapur a little before noon.
When they reached the leopard’s enclosure, Chophy passed the safety barricade and stood just outside the animal’s cage.
As the man turned his back to the cage to leave, the leopard thrust out its paws through the railing and gripped his head.
The nephew grasped the leopard’s paws with both



To Order Please Click
Product Description


Inspired by medieval bestiaries, in which animals were presented in a fashion that favored the fanciful over the factual, Solnit and Caron have partnered to create their own book of magical beasts one in which the truth is stranger than fiction. Deeply aware of how much animal lore feeds the language of human imagination, Solnit uses her unique literary prowess to describe native California animals in such a way that they become as thrilling as any exotic creature of yore. From the bluebelly lizard and the California condor to the elephant seal and tule elk, this wondrous cast of characters reveal the depth of their magic. Enriched by Caron s illustrations, which keenly explore the play between human and animal realms, this collection will feed your dreams. This book was created in partnership with the Oakland Zoo which has just unveiled plans to create an ambitious native California animal exhibit where local species will be rehabilitated and cared for. 



Reclusive Clouded Panthers born in Paris zoo

A pair of reclusive Clouded Leopard cubs, or Neofelis nebulosa, were born two months ago in a rare birth in captivity for the species and are doing well, a Paris zoo said Wednesday.


The two female cubs, Parti and Jaya, were born May 14 in the Jardin des Plantes menagerie to Luang, formerly from Britain's Howletts zoo, and father Samar, who was brought to Paris from Prague.


A medium-sized cat found in Southeast Asia, the Clouded Leopard has a tan or tawny coat marked with large, irregular ellipses shaped somewhat like clouds. Because of its reclusive behaviour, little is known about it and breeding

Bangladesh zoo mourns elephant

Bangladesh's biggest zoo has declared three days of mourning following the death of a 100-year-old elephant which was its top attraction and "loyal servant", an official said on Saturday.


Pabantara collapsed on Thursday after a heart attack and died hours later, plunging her fans into grief, AHM Shahidullah, head of the state-owned Dhaka Zoo, told AFP.


The female Asian elephant had lived at the zoo since it was founded in 1957 and carried hundreds of thousands of children and adults on fun rides - a key activity at the zoological garden.


"All the mahouts (caretakers) and those who knew Pabantara cried like babies over her death," Shahidullah said.


"Some mahouts who retired from the zoo came all the way from their villages to be at her side. They prayed and lit candles and incense at her grave," he said.


During the mourning period, which began on Friday and will finish on Sunday, "there will

Cricket St Thomas to be re-opened after transformation

The historic gardens of Cricket St Thomas near Chard are set to be officially opened after a £300,000 refurbishment project.


The Grade II-listed estate has been transformed from a wildlife park and returned to its former state.


The work, which included draining seven manmade lakes on the 160-acre estate, started at the end of 2009.


Smaller animals from the wildlife park, which closed last year, are still on the estate including lemurs and deer.


Tamarind monkeys also remain, and are living 'free-range' in the trees.


The larger animals, which included camels and leopards, have been permanently re-homed in zoos and


Management of Kuwait Zoo open to constructive criticism

Director denies animals dying due to summer power cuts


Director of Kuwait Zoo, Farida Mulla Ahmed, has denied the allegations made by PETA Asia Director, Jason Baker, last Friday saying that she believes that Baker has based his opinions and concerns only through a particular article published a month ago that is full of unfounded remarks.


Referring to an article written by Fahed Al-Mayah of Al-Rai newspaper on June 21, Mulla Ahmed said that the way the article was written was unprofessional and biased. “The writer claimed that there isn’t any air conditioning in the indoor animal enclosures and that they are dying due to the summer power cuts, which is untrue,” she said.


In an interview with the Arab Times, Mulla Ahmed added that she had personally requested the Ministry of Electricity and Water not make electricity cuts in the zoo. “Even if our power gets cut, we immediately respond and take care of the situation to make sure all the animals are alright.”


“Even though the zoo is undersized and our enclosures are considered small for the amount of animals, we have renovated plenty of enclosures and many animals have successfully bred. Our doors are wide open and everyone is welcome to come and see what we are doing themselves,” she said.


Speaking to the Arab Times, Wildlife Consultant, Dr Mostafa Mahmoud, also said that the article was not fair and was full of mistakes. “I have commented on the PETA website inviting any animals’ rights activist or organization to visit us and share their opinion and discuss any problems.”


According to the Director and the Consultant, a similar incident occurred last year when writer for  

Peter Dickinson made offensive

remakes about Kuwait Zoo based on “wrongly interpreted assumptions”. He

subsequently apologized

in another post.


“To be honest, there isn’t one animal activist or one animal rights organization that has come to the zoo’s management and provided their views or criticisms about an issue to allow us to review their considerations and work on finding solutions,” he said.


He added that he has never encountered any credible animal rights organization that has accused a zoo of neglect without actually visiting the concerned zoo. The management does not mind receiving constructive criticism from visitors and human rights organizations.


Regarding the renovation plans of the Kuwait Zoo, Dr. Mahmoud said the Kuwait Zoo began renovating and taking a new form since four years ago under the new director, Farida Mulla Ahmed.


“There was an extensive agricultural plan and we have succeeded in adding plenty of vegetation in a lot of cages and enclosures thanks to the hard working and professional staff. As a result, endangered animals and birds, such as the Macaw and the Arabian Oryx, have

eBay auction to name twin ring-tailed lemurs at Durrell

There was a surprise birth at the Durrell wildlife park on with the arrival of twin ring-tailed lemurs.


Morticia, the twins Mum, didn't appear pregnant to the keepers, which meant the arrival came as a surprise.


Because the birth was unexpected keepers didn't have names ready for the new arrivals.


So, to help raise funds for their conservation work, Durrell have opened an auction on eBay giving


Bill to exempt zoo animals?

The anti-cow slaughter bill could exempt the wild animals in zoos in Karnataka.


Transport and food and civil supplies minister R Ashoka on Friday left a window open for feeding the wild animals, especially big cats, with beef. This follows the request made by the Zoo Authority of Karnataka to the state government. He said, "We will take a look at it while framing rules. This can be done."


Ashoka was in the zoo for an inspection following complaints from people. "There are complaints that toilets and restrooms are not in order here. I came to inspect it," Ashoka said after an hour visit to the conservation centre. He said there

Orangutan Genocide Continues in Indonesia

An international stakeholders conference organized by the Indonesian Forestry Ministry, entitled, Man of the Forest: Orangutan and the Future of Humanity, was held July 15-16 at a posh local resort off the eastern coast of Bali. Government officials from Indonesia and Malaysia and corporate executives of palm oil plantations, pulp and paper and mining companies operating in orangutan habitats across Sumatra and Borneo met to determine a course of action for the future of orangutan "conservation" at the USAID supported event. They were joined by a conglomerate of dedicated NGO and non-profits including a small delegation of direct action environmental and animal rights activists who showed up on behalf of the real stakeholders, the orangutans.


"Everyone wants to talk about statistics and research, and believe that we are achieving success, but the situation is worse now than ever and no one wants to address the real issues. The orangutans are losing." said Hardi Baktiantoro, Director of COP, The Center of Orangutan Protection, during a press conference held in a sparsely filled room adjacent to the main conference.


The third largest forest nation with 120 million hectares, Indonesia is subsequently the world's third largest carbon polluter and loses more than 1 million hectares per year due to illegal logging, illicit land clearing and forest fires. About 90 percent of orangutans live in Indonesia, between Sumatra and Borneo islands, while the remaining 10 percent can be found in Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia. Both species of orangutans have been place on the red

Giant salamander: Human threat, human promise

As we pull into Toyohira, an unusual and unexpected welcome committee is lined up ready to receive us.


The group of primary-age children breaks into a song about the bonds of friendship between human and salamander.


"It's everyone's friend," they warble through the chilled afternoon air.


"Let's be friends forever."


A small river burbles its accompaniment - a river flowing past their school, which contains along its length a number of concrete structures designed to make sure the Japanese giant salamanders, or hanzaki, are still around by the time the next generation of children stands in the same spot and sings the same song.


The "hanzaki holes" are a key conservation tool in a land where many rivers are now sculpted not by nature, but by the hand of man.


When I ask Professor Masafumi Matsui from Kyoto University, a leading Japanese authority on

Zoo Has Measures in Place to Prevent Future Attacks

The release of video showing an elephant knocking down and injuring his trainer at a zoo in Toledo has people wondering about the safety of animal-human interactions. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, however, had already put into place measures to prevent such an occurrence.


Security Video was released Wednesday showing the elephant charging the keeper twice and pinning him in the corner after being startled by his arrival in the enclosure.


The frightening encounter shows the keeper trying to protect himself as the elephant lowered its head, its tusks narrowly missing the man's head and chest.


The elephant then backed away as the keeper stumbled out. The keeper, Don Redfox, has been hospitalized with life-threatening injuries since the attack three weeks ago. Doctors have upgraded his condition and expect him to recover from two punctured lungs and several fractured ribs.


Anne Baker, the Toledo Zoo's director, said it's not clear why the elephant, named Louie, turned on the keeper. The elephant and Redfox had been together nearly every day since the animal's birth seven years ago.


Louie has been the face of the zoo since he was born in Toledo in April 2003, becoming just the 38th African elephant born in captivity in the United States.


The elephants at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo are in Columbus while their exhibit undergoes a major renovation and expansion. The enclosures will be equipped with a specially designed,0,2127445.story

The gall of bears and the rise of man

Miriam Mcdougall has a theory about bears.


It has something to do with what might be referred to as the rise of man.


Our story begins in 1933, when Miriam was born on a 45-acre spread near Dewdney. It was what she called a "stump ranch," farmland so raw it still had uncleared stumps on it.


"We grew up right against a mountain," Miriam said, "and I mean right at the end of our backyard there was the foot of a mountain."


It was hard, forested land, but the odd thing about it, Miriam said, was there were never any bears around. She never saw a one.


"You just didn't see them," she said. "And this was in the days of the galvanized garbage can, when the garbage men would slam it down after emptying it and the lid would never fit right again. But there were never any bears scavenging in our garbage."


Fast-forward a couple decades. Miriam moved to West Vancouver in 1955. She now lives on shorefront property on Bellevue Avenue -- "17 minutes from downtown Vancouver," she said -- which, separated as it is from the mountains by a freeway and several residential neighbourhoods, is unlikely bear habitat even for the North Shore. Despite this, it has become unbearable.


"I have bears eating my raspberries," Miriam said. "I have bears eating grapes off my vines on my upper deck, three storeys up. I have bears peeking in my windows. I have bears rubbing up against the doorknob of my back door so they can scratch their butts. I see bears all the time."


It was not always so in West Vancouver, she said:


The bears began showing up only 10 years ago.


The usual theories for an increase in bear encounters in communities like those on the North Shore cite loss of habitat, climate change affecting natural food supplies and increases in scavenging opportunities in suburban neighbourhoods.


Also, North America has seen a dramatic increase in the black bear population. Estimates range from 600,000 to more than 800,000 black bears continentwide, while B.C.'s population



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Product Description

A passion for wildlife and conservation led John Knowles OBE to found his own latter-day Ark - the Marwell Zoological Park. His autobiography tells the fascinating story of how a childhood collector of stick insects became a successful farmer and poultry breeder, and went on to achieve his ambition to own a zoo.


John's story unfolds against the backdrop of a rapidly changing post-war world where rising populations and increasing demands on natural resources place huge pressure on wildlife. Recognising that captive breeding populations may be the only way to save many species, he established several successful herds at Marwell. The roan antelope, reintroduced to Swaziland, Scimitar horned oryx and the famous Przewalski's wild horse, are among the animals that have benefited from John's efforts.


His account describes how Marwell developed from small beginnings, with all the planning, financial and operational headaches that entailed. He tells of the necessary balancing act between conservation of the animals and the historic Marwell Hall; the need to make the enterprise pay; and how, because of his determination that Marwell should itself be safe, he formed a charitable Trust to which he gave the entire zoo.


Throughout this book, John's 'can-do' attitude to tackling one of Planet Earth's greatest challenges shines through and, as he now enjoys a well-earned retirement, John Knowles can be justly proud of what Marwell has achieved.



Top 10: world's worst zoos

Some places you don't want to bring the kids.


Unfortunately, when it comes to the worst zoos in the world, the stories are pretty much all the same: small cages and living spaces, unnatural surroundings of concrete and iron, under-feeding and under-watering and well, cruelty in general.


However, some zoos go above and beyond expectations of horrible.


Ever hear of a zoo misplacing a few animals? How about one that slowly turns into a taxidermy museum? Animals being shipped two-by-two on a "Noah's Ark" to a different country?


The zoos listed here are places you don't want to bring

Zoo Rethinks New Exhibits, Focuses On Community's Desires

The Topeka Zoo has put several new projects on hold. Staff will redesign the exhibits to include educational opportunities and focus on what the community wants.


There is something missing at the Topeka Zoo and it's more than just the hyenas. The zoo is going back to the drawing board to make sure it gives the community what it wants.


"People in Topeka want more than just animals behind a fence," said Topeka Zoo director, Brendan Wiley. "They want an experience."


In order to give them that experience, the staff is taking a look at the entire zoo.


"We want to make sure we've got all our priorities in place," Wiley said. "That we're addressing all of our needs, that we're fixing all of our problems before we dive head first into construction of new buildings."


The first thing they plan to work on is the Kansas carnivores exhibit. They will fix the pool so the river otters can return, and add a roof and climbing structures to make the mountain lions more active.


As the renovations continue, those involved

Nibbled hazelnut nut leads to Ceredigion dormice hunt

Villagers in Ceredigion are hoping that a carefully nibbled hazelnut found on farmland might prove it is home to a rare dormouse.


The creatures open the nuts in a particular way, which leads ecologists to believe one is hiding away in Betws Bledrws, near Lampeter.


There are now plans to monitor the area for the next two years to see if the nocturnal animals are nesting there.


Numbers of the once widespread species have fallen by 39% since 1992.


The hazelnut was found at Denmark Farm Conservation Centre. Ecologists working for a company

Hungry Chimp Goes Crazy in Kumasi

Workers of Kumasi zoological Gardens in Kumasi were thrown into a state of shock when an apparently hungry chimpanzee pounced on one of the zoo attendants, while he was conducting some school children round the facility.


Eye witness said when they got to the chimpanzee section of the Zoo, Mr. Gana (zoo attendant), in his attempt to give some bananas to the chimpanzee was not lucky, when the chimpanzee

New at the National Zoo: Live, hot salamanders. But no sex (yet)

Okay, time for some live lizard sex. Er, live amphibian sex.


The National Zoo unveiled its new breeding center for Japanese giant salamanders Thursday morning, and inside is some hot, steamy -- wait. They're in separate tanks? They're several years away from sexual maturity? Good thing the zoo's free.


Even if they were of age and unquarantined, it doesn't look as if the salamanders would be in the mood. One in particular acted stoned. It lolled around its tank, occasionally kicking one of its stunted limbs, smacking its flat, wide head directly into the acrylic wall, then floating backward, stunned or completely careless.


An animal keeper named Barbara lowered a freshwater smelt into the

Video: Elephant Fights Back Against Toledo Zoo Trainer

The Toledo Zoo still uses the archaic free-contact elephant-handling system. In free contact, elephants are dominated and punished with force, and that puts keepers at constant risk.


The zoo's use of the free-contact system has previously been discussed in Toledo. The zoo failed to act on a July 8, 2005, "Lucas County Commissioners Special Citizens Task Force for the Zoo Final Report" that confirmed that keepers have been injured under the current free-contact system.


Now we are asking the zoo's board of directors to allow us to bring in a team of elephant experts who can train zoo staff to eliminate the use of bullhooks and transition to a protected-contact system, which more than half the accredited zoos in the country already use.


Bullhooks are heavy batons with a sharp metal hook and point on the end. If someone routinely smacked you with one, wouldn't you eventually fight back?


Video footage taken at the Toledo Zoo shows that a young elephant named Louie did just that: He charged his bullhook-wielding keeper, leaving him hospitalized with serious injuries. In the video, Louie is shown backing away when he sees keeper Don RedFox approaching

Zoo elephant charges trainer video

Video of an elephant knocking down his trainer and injuring him at a zoo in Ohio shows the pachyderm pinning the keeper in a corner. The elephant backs away then charges at the keeper who's been in a hospital

What's Killing the Animals at Ukraine's Biggest Zoo?

Samka the rhino looks sad. When her longtime companion, Boy the elephant, died in April, she watched over his body for an entire day until it was taken away. Today, the elephant's pen sits empty. Boy is just one of several animals at Kiev Zoo — including a camel, a bison and a zebra — that have died in recent months, some in mysterious circumstances. As the city carries out an official investigation, the deaths have prompted outrage and denial, with activists accusing the zoo of negligence and corruption and authorities pointing to an anonymous killer as the culprit.


Boy's death has brought fresh attention to a scandal that has been running for months. Serhiy Hryhoryev, a former zoo worker who runs a site campaigning for the rights of the zoo's animals, says the Indian elephant was underfed, kept in poor conditions and stressed by constant changes to the staff of handlers. "By the end, you could see his ribs," says Hryhoryev.


According to animal rights activists, the number of animals at Kiev Zoo has almost halved in the last,8599,2006074,00.html

The Rainforest Experience At The Parrot Zoo

As most of you know, Derren has a love for parrots and is the patron of the Parrot Zoo Trust.


The Parrot Zoo have just received planning permission to construct the Rainforest Experience, an amazing all weather development, allowing anyone at anytime to experience the creatures that live in the Rainforest set within the Parrot Zoo who recently received the honour of being within the top 100 visitor attractions to visit in the UK, this will no doubt enhance what is already a superb facility.


The proposed development incorporates a large open-plan landscaped interior with a series of enclosures for a variety of animal species. Giving a totally unique educational experience showing the different levels of a rainforest and the creatures that live within, offering the Parrot Zoo the availability to diversify into alternative

Animal-rights group's offer to assist zoo is spurned

An animal-rights group said Thursday it will help pay for the Toledo Zoo to move to a different style of elephant management, but the offer received a chilly reception from the zoo's director, who said the group lacks knowledge of its operations.


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to the zoo's board of directors Thursday morning in which it urged the zoo to move to the "protected contact" management system in which keepers only attend to elephants from behind a protective barrier.


The zoo already uses protected contact, but it also employs a management style known as "free contact" in which trainers work directly with elephants in their enclosures.


PETA sent the letter in response to the zoo's release Wednesday of a video showing the July 1 attack by a 7-year-old African elephant on his trainer, Don RedFox. In the video, Mr. RedFox can be seen approaching the elephant and touching him with a hooked stick, or bullhook, a staple of the free contact system.


"This incident with Mr. Redfox would not have happened if the zoo practiced protected contact with the elephants," PETA spokesman Lisa Watne said Thursday, adding that

Zoo wolf attack horrifies visitor

Horrified at seeing a lone wolf singled out and attacked in its Calgary Zoo enclosure, a visitor says she repeatedly called officials for help only to wait about 40 minutes for any to arrive.


Elisha Steffler, a B.C. resident in the city for the Stampede, was at the zoo July 13 when she saw the attack, saying she resorted to tossing sticks and stones into the enclosure in a bid to save a wolf with a bloody wound on its head, from being outnumbered by two other wolves she was struggling to escape.


"It was the most awful experience in my life," she said.


"I sat there for 40 minutes trying to save this wolf's life."


The 25-year-old said she spotted the wolf, with its tail between its legs, frantically running around as two wolves stalked it.


They were joined by a third said Steffler who watched helplessly as it was chased into an enclosed area where she could only hear evidence it hadn't escaped its tormentors while still waiting for zoo officials to show up.


"All I could hear was yelping for five minutes and I was bawling my eyes out," she said.


"I don't understand why this is allowed to happen -- if she was in the wild she would have had a chance to run off ... I agree with nature and the circle of life but if they are going to take them out of the



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Hot off the plane: Dubai's penguins

Six Gentoo penguins have flown in to be star attractions at Dubai Mall’s Underwater Zoo. More used to Antarctic temperatures, they have their own snow-making machine and a steady supply of herring to make them feel at home. Tahira Yaqoob sees them settle in.


Their high-pitched singing might have gone unnoticed by the passengers of Emirates flight EK028, but when the plane landed it was clear there were some rather unusual VIPs on board.


Instead of pulling into the gate, the jet taxied directly to the Customs dock, where government officials and a police escort were waiting to greet the new arrivals.


The usually lengthy disembarkation process was speeded up to just 20 minutes as the six visitors had their papers stamped, were placed in a refrigerated truck to keep them cool in the 40°C heat and transported to their new home – Dubai Mall’s underwater

Zoo lacking funds for improvements

The La Chorrera zoo is facing an economic crunch that is preventing it from making improvements ordered by environmental agency Anam.


Friday, Anam ordered immediate changes be made to the facility or the animals there would be confiscated. But the facility's funds have been frozen by the National Bank of Panama because of a lack of payment for outstanding bills.


The facility is operated by the Feria Internacional de La Chorrera. Yusaida Marín, president of fair, said that the organization has a new board that was not aware of the problems prior to taking office. She said lawyers for the entity are trying to address the fair's financial problems.


She also said that the government has been asked for financial assistance

Oldest polar bear in Japan dies at Hokkaido zoo

The oldest polar bear in Japan, Koyuki, died of liver failure at Asahiyama Zoo in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, the zoological park said Saturday. The female bear is believed to have been 34 years old, or about 100 years of age in human terms. The average lifespan for a polar bear is 20 to 25 years.


Koyuki was born in Russia probably in 1975. While she did not give birth, she was



Earliest evidence of pet tortoise in Britain
Researchers have found the earliest archaeological evidence of a tortoise being kept as a family pet in Britain, at a castle in Staffordshire.
The find, which is reported in the journal Post Medieval Archaeology, dates to the late 19th Century.
The researchers say that, at this time, attitudes to keeping family pets "began to change".
"A fondness for pets was more regularly expressed in literature," the researchers wrote in their article.
There has been evidence of turtles and terrapins in domestic situations dating back to the 17th Century - but it was believed that these animals were used for food.
The discovery of a 130-year-old tortoise leg bone at Stafford Castle, amongst the remains of

Patna zoo on world rhino map
The Sanjay Gandhi Park came into the limelight due to high breeding of rhinos.
Ten years after the Sanjay Gandhi Zoological Park came into existence in Patna in 1969, a pair of rhino (Rhinocerous unicornis) - Kancha and Kanchi - was brought here from Guwahati. Three years later, or to be more precise - in 1982 - another rhino, Raju, was captured from Bettiah on Indo-Nepal border, and brought to the zoo.
Though the warm climate of Patna is not conducive for housing rhinos, Raju and Kanchi mated successfully and gave birth to a baby rhino after a long gestation period of 18 months. The year 1983 proved to be a turning point for the zoological park, as four more rhinos were born in successive years.
Three decades down the line, the Sanjay Gandhi Zoological Park here has six male and as many female rhinos. Today the zoo has second largest population of rhinos in the world.
“So far as the population of rhinos is concerned, the Patna zoo tops the list in India, and is second in the world after San Diego, (in US)” the zoo director Abhay Kumar told Deccan Herald, while dwelling at length on how there was a difference

Activists, businesses work to save orangutan
Why should we protect the orangutan? It is a frequently asked question when lay-people, including businesspeople, discuss the need to protect orangutans, Asia’s only great ape, which is greatly endangered.
People have also often raised the question that foreign countries could bar exports of palm oil products from Indonesia due to the loss of the orangutan. Conservationist Meirini Sucahyo from the Indonesian Orangutan Forum said the presence of orangutans reflected the health of a rainforest. “Orangutans play a crucial role in stabilizing forests,” she said. “They are effective seed dispersers; they open the forest canopy to let sunlight get to soil.”
“Humans need forests. Forests need orangutans, so we need orangutans.”
She said saving orangutans meant a myriad of other species living in rainforest could also be saved.
“I dream that the orangutan can be used as symbol to combat global warming in Indonesia,” she said.
The international community has acknowledged the role of forests in tackling climate change due to its ability to absorb huge amounts of greenhouse gas em

Barbary lion cubs born at animal park
Wednesday was a special day at Living Treasures Wild Animal Park, which welcomed the birth of a second litter of cubs to Barbary lions June and Cash.
This birth is special because Barbary lions, which are closely related to the more common African lions, have been extinct in the wild since 1922.
Barbary lions, also known as Atlas lions, were once native to the Atlas Mountains of North Africa but are now found only in a handful of zoos around the world, according to a release from the Lawrence County Tourist

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE - Attack on Toledo keeper rekindles debate on zoo elephants
The Toledo Zoo's star elephant, "Baby Louie," isn't quite so cute these days.
Since the 7-year-old African pachyderm attacked and critically injured his trainer, Don RedFox, on July 1, zoo employees have been keeping their distance, attending to him only from behind a protective barrier.
Zoo officials and experts have been puzzling over the attack, trying to understand why it happened.
"I think it was just a fluke at this particular time," Alan Roocroft, an international expert on elephants, said last week after an initial assessment of the issue. He said it didn't appear that the 4,000-pound animal intended to seriously harm RedFox, who had worked with the animal since its birth.
Although it may never be clear what motivated the attack, it has added fire to a debate among elephant experts, zoo administrators, and animal-rights activists about the suitability of keeping elephants in captive settings, particularly in cold climates such as Toledo's. It also has prompted demands from activists that the zoo review its elephant-handling methods.
A shifting landscape
Clearly, not all zoos have had an easy time keeping elephants. Over the last two decades, 18 zoos across the country have either closed their elephant exhibits or decided to phase them out, according to a list compiled by the California-based group In Defense of Animals. Reasons cited include lack of space or money to expand the exhibits, concerns about climate, and difficulties keeping the animals healthy. The zoos include the Alaska Zoo, the Bronx Zoo in New York, Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo, the Detroit Zoo, and the Philadelphia Zoo.
The Detroit Zoo is thought to be the first to close its elephant exhibit voluntarily and on purely ethical grounds. In 2005, the zoo sent its two Asian elephants, Winky, 51, and Wanda, 45, to an animal sanctuary in California. Executive Director Ron Kagan said the decision was made after years of trying to improve the elephants' environment and handling methods at the zoo, all of which failed.
"We finally said that, with every improvement we make, whether with space or protocol, none of those things seemed to ultimately lead to elephants thriving," Kagan explained. "We just said, if they're not going to thrive, we're not going to keep them."
He said the elephants at the zoo suffered from ailments common among elephants in captivity.
Those include foot and skin problems, psychological issues related to stress, such as pacing and swaying, reproductive problems, and short life spans.
The director linked those problems to lack of space for the animals compared with their habitat in the wild at the Detroit Zoo the elephant exhibit was 1.5 acres to restraints on social interaction with other elephants while in captivity and to chilly winters, which can lead to elephants spending a lot of time indoors.
"Captivity for a lot of animals presents challenges, just as certain captive situations present challenges for humans," Kagan said. "The issue is how you cope. Some cope well and others don't cope so well."
A question of stress
Although opinions on elephant behavior and coping skills vary among professionals, some experts believe space restrictions can lead to mental stress and even aggression.
Pat Derby, a founder of the Performing Animal Welfare Society sanctuary in San Andreas, Calif., which took in the Detroit Zoo's duo among others, said she's seen a positive transformation in the behavior of zoo and circus elephants after they arrive at her 2,300-acre sanctuary.
"Elephants are so intelligent and they're so complex, they're just bored to tears in most zoos," said Derby, who has not visited the Toledo Zoo. "The effect of space and freedom of choice is huge it's miraculous."
Nevertheless, Anne Baker, executive director of the Toledo Zoo, strongly rejected the notion that Louie or the other two elephants at the zoo could be under stress. She said the elephants whose exhibit is 0.7 acre and will be expanded to just over 1 acre in 2012 receive plenty of stimulation and exercise and show no signs of mental stress. All of the elephants can go outdoors in the winter unless the ground is slippery, Baker said. "There's good evidence that elephants have a lot more problems with heat than they do with cold," the director said.
Baker said she thinks Louie's behavior was most likely the result of hormonal fluctuations as the young elephant approaches

Amazon river dolphins being slaughtered for bait
The bright pink color gives them a striking appearance in the muddy jungle waters. That Amazon river dolphins are also gentle and curious makes them easy targets for nets and harpoons as they swim fearlessly up to fishing boats.
Now, their carcasses are showing up in record numbers on riverbanks, their flesh torn away for fishing bait, causing researchers to warn of a growing threat to a species that has already disappeared in other parts of the world.
"The population of the river dolphins will collapse if these fishermen are not stopped from killing them," said Vera da Silva, the top aquatic mammals expert at the government's Institute of Amazonian Research. "We've been studying an area of 11,000 hectares (27,000 acres) for 17 years, and of late the population is dropping 7 percent each year."
That translates to about 1,500 dolphins killed annually in the part of the Mamiraua Reserve of the western Amazon where da Silva studies the mammals.
Da Silva said researchers first began finding dolphin carcasses along riverbanks around the year 2000. They were obviously killed by

Screw cap wine blamed for loss of forest in new campaign to revive traditional cork
The fashion for screw cap wines among the middle classes is destroying forests and could lead to the extinction of one of world's rarest wildcats, ecologists claim.
It used to be unthinkable to start a dinner party without a satisfying ‘pop’ of the cork.
But the popularity of ‘New World’ wines from Australia or America and the convenience of opening a picnic bottle without a corkscrew led to a rise in the popularity of screw caps.
Now cork suppliers and environmentalists are fighting back claiming the move is threatening the two million hectares of forest across Portugal, Spain, North Africa and Italy which are sustained through industry management.
The area includes the Montada forest which is considered one of the 'biodiversity hot spots' of the world where some of the world's most endangered animals live including the Iberian lynx.
In just 0.1 hectare of

Africa's national parks failing to conserve large mammals, study shows
Populations of zebra, buffalo and lion have fallen by an average of 59% since 1970, according to research
Africa's extensive network of national parks is failing to stem the decline of large mammals, according to a new study that highlights biodiversity loss across the continent.
Populations of large mammals such as zebra, buffalo and lion have declined by an average of 59% since 1970, according to the research, which collated data from parks including popular tourist safari destinations such as the Masai Mara in Kenya and the Serengeti in Tanzania.
The study warns that urgent efforts are needed to better protect the animals and secure the future of the parks, which draw millions of tourists each year and provide much-needed income.
Ian Cragie, a conservation scientist at the University of Cambridge who led the study, said: "Although the results indicate that African national parks have generally failed to maintain their populations of large mammals, the situation outside the parks is undoubtedly worse. Many species like rhino are practically extinct outside national parks."
The team of scientists, including experts from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the United Nations environment programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge, compiled population records of 69 key species, including lion, wildebeest, giraffe, zebra and buffalo, inside 78 protected areas across Africa from 1970 to 2005. More than half the records came from aerial surveys, the most accurate but also the most expensive way to monitor.
The results show an average decline of 59%, though the results varied significantly from region to region. Eleven parks in west Africa were the hardest hit, with a decline of 85%. Mammal species populations across 43 protected areas in east Africa fell by more than half, while those in 35 reserves in southern Africa showed

Tiger conservation discussed in Bali, Indonesia
Officials from 13 countries are meeting in Bali, Indonesia, to agree on ways to try to double the number of tigers in the world.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) conservation group has warned that a lack of global action could kill off the endangered species.
Hunting and a loss of habitat had cut numbers to about 3,200 tigers - the lowest ever.
The Bali Tiger Forum is a precursor to a planned global summit in December.
There is a particular focus on China, where a huge demand for tiger parts fopr consumption has fuelled a drop in numbers.
Tiger's year
Conservationists are concerned about the proliferation of Chinese tiger farms, where 5,000 tigers are kept in captivity - they say this spurs the trade in tiger parts, and demand for illegally caught wild tigers.
Representatives from China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Russia and Thailand
Dr Bivash Pandav, landscape co-ordinator for the WWF tiger network initiative in Nepal, said political

Europe's oldest elephant dies at Stuttgart zoo
Stuttgart's Wilhelma zoo on Monday was mourning the death of Vilja, the oldest elephant in Europe, after the 61-year-old cow passed away this weekend
The extraordinary long-living pachyderm collapsed suddenly and subsequently fell into a ditch within its enclosure, officials at the zoo said.
“We are very sad but we are glad that Vilja did not suffer,” said Wilhelma director Dieter Jauch.
A wrinkly and clever lady, the Indian elephant was long a crowd favourite. She arrived in Stuttgart in 1952 and was the first mammal at the zoo.
Visitors are said to have seen Vilja collapse on Saturday when her front legs suddenly gave way and she fell.
Zookeeper Volker Scholl said that there had been no signs of any illness or particular weakness in the days before her death.
He said she had naturally aged and slowed down, but lately she was very fit and active. On Saturday morning, she

Environmentalists to set up trust fund to save dolphins
Eight wildlife conservation and environmental protection organizations from central Changhua County announced yesterday the establishment of an environmental trust fund to purchase a vast wetland to save the Taiwan Sousa, also known as the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinesis), living along Taiwan's west coast.
They presented a petition to the Ministry of the Interior with signatures from more than 30,000 people supporting the cause.
This is the first ever campaign in Taiwan launched by environmentalists to purchase state land to be reserved for the endangered animals in the form of an environmental trust.
The organizers also held a rally in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei to urge the government to respect the people's wish to safeguard the rare dolphins, commonly known as “white dolphins” for local people.
Under the plan, they will raise about NT$160 million to purchase a tract of 200 hectares of wetland near the estuarine waters of the Choshui River in

Governmental commission to investigate Kiev Zoo deaths
Numerous deaths of animals in the Kiev Zoo raised strong concern from the Ukrainian Ministry of Environmental Protection and forced it to create a special commission to investigate the case.
A female gaur buffalo, a bison, an Amur tiger, an Asian black bear, a zebra, an armadillo and 13 large birds have died since January 2010 and an endangered Mongolian wild horse, a Przewalski horse, vanished.
On April 26, the Kiev Zoo's symbol, an elephant by the name of Boy died. Local media reported that the animal was allegedly poisoned.
"The commission will examine in detail the zoo's collection, and the living conditions for the animals...Additional investigations will be held if necessary," a statement issued by the Environmental Protection Ministry on Monday said.
Experts say the zoo is in a miserable state, but the zoo's management does not see any fault in the bad treatment of the

How Long Can a Rhino’s Horn Grow?
The horn on a rhinoceros is very different from that of a sheep or antelope. A rhino’s horn is not attached to the skull. Rhino horn is made of compressed keratin fibers, the same material that is found in fingernails and hair! Some people believe that rhino horn has powerful medicinal uses, ranging from stopping nosebleeds and headaches to curing diphtheria and food poisoning, but there is no scientific evidence that this is true. The use of rhino horn for medical purposes has been illegal since 1993. Trade continues, however, and is driving the illegal poaching of endangered rhinos. Asian rhino horns are more highly prized than African horns; consumers believe that their smaller size means that they are more concentrated, and therefore more potent. One repeated misconception is that rhinoceros horn in powdered form is used as an aphrodisiac in traditional Chinese medicine. It is, in fact, generally prescribed for fevers and convulsions. The horns are also valued as dagger handles in Middle Eastern countries like Yemen, where they are known as “jambiyas.”
To prevent poaching in certain areas, rhinos have been tranquilized and their horns removed. Many rhino range states have stockpiles of rhino horn, which needs to be carefully managed.
The African and the Asian rhinoceroses have some distinct characteristics. Morphologically, one obvious difference is that both African varieties have two horns in tandem, while the Sumatran rhino has two horns, but one typically is a stub, and the other two Asian types, Greater one-horned and Javan rhinos, have a single horn. Behaviorally

New man in charge of Clifton Zoo says, 'Wildlife park will go ahead in five years'
THE new man in charge of Clifton Zoo has revealed he hopes a giant wildlife park in South Gloucestershire will still open within next five years, even though fund-raising efforts have been delayed by the recession.
The £60 million park near Cribbs Causeway was originally due to open in 2012 but Dr Bryan Carroll, who will formally take control of the zoo in September, says fundraising has been delayed.
The current deputy director is replacing Jo Gipps and will take charge of the ambitious plans to open the huge park close to junction 17 of the M4.
The 136-acre site is already owned by the zoo and planning permission

Siberian tiger threatened by mystery disease
Conservationists say an epidemic is destroying the big cats' ability to hunt and turning them into potential man-eaters
A mystery disease is driving the Siberian tiger to the edge of extinction and has led to the last animal tagged by conservationists being shot dead in the far east of Russia because of the danger it posed to people.
The 10-year-old tigress, known to researchers as Galya, is the fourth animal that has had a radio collar attached to it for tracking to die in the past 10 months. All had been in contact with a male tiger suspected of carrying an unidentified disease that impaired the ability to hunt. "We may be witnessing an epidemic in the Amur tiger population," said Dr Dale Miquelle, the Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) Russia director.
Galya had recently abandoned a three-week-old litter of cubs and come into the town of Terney looking for an easy meal. Following a series of all-night vigils by researchers, attempts to scare the tigress away failed. She was reported to the Primorsky

Thirteen countries meet for tiger summit
Representatives from 13 countries have gathered in Bali to develop a plan to preserve their tiger populations from extinction due to massive habitat destruction and illegal trading.
The three-day Pre-Tiger Summit Partners Dialogue Meeting, which was opened Monday by Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan, is a preparatory meeting in advance of a heads of government meeting to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia, in September.
“It is alarming that only six of the nine tiger sub-species in the world still exist. In Indonesia, only Sumatran tigers are left. The other two sub-species in Indonesia have become extinct,” Zulkifli said in his opening remarks.
Participants will jointly formulate a draft Global Tiger Recovery Plan which will propose a plan to double the world’s tiger population by 2022, according to a representative.
The summit will also draft a declaration for the heads of government meeting, which will be attended by Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Zulkifli said that Indonesia still lacked monitoring on the ground

Tiger population 'falls to lowest level since records began'
Tiger numbers are at lowest level since records began, with conservationists warning that the world has 12 years to save the species
The WWF announced today that the wild tiger population has now fallen as low as 3,200, down from an estimated 100,000 in 1900.
The big cat, which is native to southern and eastern Asia, could soon become extinct unless urgent action is taken to prevent hunting and loss of habitat, the charity’s experts warned.
The WWF is calling on governments in countries where tigers are still found – including China, India and Bangladesh – to fulfil their commitment to double tiger numbers by 2022.
It has also urged Britons to put pressure on “tiger nations” by signing a new online petition saying they do not want to live in a world without the animals.
Diane Walkington, head of species at WWF-UK, said: "Without joined-up, global action right now, we are in serious danger of losing the species forever in many parts of Asia.
She went on: "If we lose the tiger, not only do we lose one of the world's top

Tiger Farms: A Ticket To Extinction - WWF



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Product Description


Welcome to the savage and surprising world of Zoo Story, an unprecedented account of the secret life of a zoo and its inhabitants, both animal and human. Based on six years of research, the book follows a handful of unforgettable characters at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo: an alpha chimp with a weakness for blondes, a ferocious tiger who revels in Obsession perfume, and a brilliant but tyrannical CEO known as El Diablo Blanco.


Zoo Story crackles with issues of global urgency: the shadow of extinction, humanity's role in the destruction or survival of other species. More than anything else, though, it's a dramatic and moving true story of seduction and betrayal, exile and loss, and the limits of freedom on an overcrowded planet--all framed inside one zoo reinventing itself for the twenty-first century.


Thomas French, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, chronicles the action with vivid power: Wild elephants soaring above the Atlantic on their way to captivity. Predators circling each other in a lethal mating dance. Primates plotting the overthrow of their king. The sweeping narrative takes the reader from the African savannah to the forests of Panama and deep into the inner workings of a place some describe as a sanctuary and others condemn as a prison. All of it comes to life in the book's four-legged characters. Even animal lovers will be startled by the emotional charge of these creatures' histories, which read as though they were co-written by Dickens and Darwin.


Zoo Story shows us how these remarkable individuals live, how some die, and what their experiences reveal about the human desire to both exalt and control nature.



Zoo declines offer

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is rejecting an offer of a live-streaming webcam that would allow people to watch the elephants at the International Conservation Center near Fairhope.


“We will continue to work with the news media and the Philadelphia Zoo to provide updates on the elephants at the ICC,” said Connie George, director of marketing and public relations.


The Friends of Philly Zoo Elephants and In Defense of Animals (IDA) had offered to fund a live webcam that would enable the public to view former Philadelphia residents Kallie and Bette any time. The organizations opposed the elephants’ transfer to the Somerset County center.


“Kallie and Bette should be sent to a natural-habitat sanctuary, where they would have a spacious permanent home and the stability that elephants need,” Catherine Doyle, IDA

Lion, wolves and bears draw the crowds at Baghdad pet shop

Sabah Alazawi is doing a roaring trade these days at his Baghdad pet shop -- and not only because he has a lion for sale. Along with dogs, he also offers bears, wolves, monkeys and vultures.


While hundreds of people visit his menagerie daily, most are there because it offers a free alternative to an outing to the zoo, rather than to buy.


But Alazawi, an ex-soldier who has long harboured a passion for wild animals, doesn't mind in the least.


"Children and families are depressed in Iraq. I am proud to give some happiness to these people," he says, as crowds mill around his pet shop in Mashatel street, a leafy thoroughfare in northern Baghdad's Adhamiyah district.


Jutting out on to the pavement are three cages that serve as the homes respectively of two young bears, a lion cub and a pair of baboons.


Another monkey, chained at the leg, hops from one cage to another while two vultures are tied to their perch nearby, completing the strange

Do Animals Commit Suicide? A Scientific Debate

Forty years ago, Richard O'Barry watched Kathy, a dolphin in the 1960s television show Flipper, kill herself. Or so he says. She looked him in the eye, sank to the bottom of a steel tank and stopped breathing. The moment transformed the dolphin trainer into an animal-rights activist for life, and his role in The Cove, the Oscar-winning documentary about the dolphin-meat business in a small town in Japan, has transformed him into a celebrity.


"The suicide was what turned me around," says O'Barry. "The [animal entertainment] industry doesn't want people to think dolphins are capable of suicide, but these are self-aware creatures with a brain larger than a human brain. If life becomes so unbearable, they just don't take the next breath. It's suicide."


Animal suicide may seem absurd, yet the concept is as old as philosophy. Aristotle told a story about a stallion that leaped into an abyss after realizing it was duped into mating with its mother, and the topic was discussed by early Christian theologians and Victorian academics. "The questioning of animal suicide is essentially people looking at what it means to be human," says Duncan Wilson, a medical historian at the University of Manchester and co-author of a study in the March issue of the British journal Endeavour on the history of self-destructive animals. "The people talking about animal suicide today seem to be using it as a way to evoke sympathy for the plight of mistreated and captive animals."


Changes in how humans have interpreted,8599,1973486,00.html?artId=1973486%3FcontType%3Darticle%3Fchn%3DsciHealth

'Monastic' Malagasy bat mystifies experts

A monastic species of bat is mystifying zoologists.


The bat, known as the sucker-footed bat, lives in Madagascar, and although it has long been known, its ecology is only just being researched.


But new studies of the bat have revealed a curious phenomenon; they have yet to reveal a single female sucker-foot bat, despite having caught or sighted hundreds of males.


No-one knows where the females live, or why they sexually segregate this way.


Details of the monastic bat are published in the Journal of Zoology.


The sucker-footed bat (Myzopoda aurita) is named after the sucker-like structures on the ends

Blind monkey gives birth at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park

Clinging tightly to his mum, this cute little new-born monkey has no idea the beloved parent he relies on is virtually blind.


But, according to keepers at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, it doesn’t matter – proud Tolkien tends to all his needs.


Staff at the park have been amazed at how the "remarkable" nine-year-old parent, who had cataracts, has taken

Drunk takes croc for a Ride

A CROCODILE snapped after a drunk man broke into an animal park — and tried to RIDE him.


The reveller was left with "very nasty lacerations" after the angry 16ft beast turned on him and clamped its jaw around his leg.


The 37-year-old tourist had clambered on to the back of the croc, named Fatso, who retaliated by starting to try and EAT him.


Cops are amazed the man, who has not been named, escaped with such minor injuries.


He told officials that after

Advocate upset at croc reporting

A mental health worker has attacked some sections of the commercial media over the reporting of a crocodile attack on a man in the West Australian town of Broome.


Michael Newman survived an attack after breaking into a wildlife park while drunk and trying to sit on the back of a five metre crocodile.


The former chair of the state forensic mental health advisory council, Ken Steel, says he has been appalled by the reporting of the story.


"He's been named called, he's had various derogatory terms ascribed to him because of some of his appearance and sometimes because of the action he took," he said.


"If you go beyond that it is obvious that the man has some sort of problem, he's not in full control of his faculties."


Mr Steel says the media should

Chinese Consume Tigers, Americans Eat Bluefin Tuna: What's the Difference?

Dishes like pangolin stew, shark fin soup, and tiger bone wine may seem like strange dinner choices. But they're actually quite common in China, despite the fact that all these food items include endangered species as their main ingredient. For the most part, they're also illegal. As Andy Revkin reports on the New York Times' Dot Earth blog, Chinese government agencies recently seized 2,000 frozen pangolins, a seriously endangered anteater that's poached illegally for its scales.


A similar situation takes place throughout Africa with the bushmeat trade. Eating species like gorilla and chimpanzee — apes with some pretty low population numbers — is a big part of some African cultures. Revkin puts it best when he comments on the situation in China. "Depletion of such exotica — from scaly, slow-moving mammals to rare turtles to tigers — erodes the basic biological patrimony of the planet for the sake of supplying consumers with an utter indulgence."


Not to sound culturally imperialistic, but I agree with Revkin. Eating endangered species is pretty much the most unsustainable diet a person can embrace. And Revkin and I aren't alone in our assessment: Many Americans are quick to judge

Chinese customs officials seize thousands of dead pangolins

Nearly eight tonnes of endangered anteaters found on ship were destined for the dinner table, authorities say


Chinese authorities have intercepted one of the biggest ever hauls of illegally smuggled pangolins, which were almost certainly destined for the dinner table.


Customs officials in Guangdong boarded a suspect fishing vessel and seized 2,090 frozen pangolin and 92 cases of the endangered anteater's scales on 5 June, according to the conservation group Traffic, who have commended authorities for their work.


Police have arrested the six crew members, including five Chinese nationals who reportedly said they were hired to collect the contraband from south-east Asia and ship it to Xiangzhou port in Guangdong.


The other Malaysian crew member was said to have received instructions by satellite phone on where to rendezvous at sea to pick up the cargo. The smugglers were intercepted as they prepared to offload the nearly eight tonnes of pangolin to another vessel off Gaolan island.


According to wildlife groups, China is the main market for illegally traded exotic species, which are eaten or used in traditional medicine.


Pangolin meat is considered a delicacy and their scales are thought locally to be beneficial to breast-feeding mothers.


As a result of demand, the pangolin populations of China, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia have been virtually wiped out. With traders moving further and further south, the animal is declining even in its last habitats in Java, Sumatra and the Malaysian peninsula. It is a similar story for many species of turtle, tortoise, frog and snake.


China's customs officials have often been criticised for turning a blind eye to this trade, which supplies the

Detroit Zoo director climbs water tower

Detroit Zoo Executive Director Ron Kagan wanted to bring attention to the zoo's most powerful landmark -- its water tower -- so he climbed it.


At 11:17 a.m. today, Kagan began his ascent of the 150-foot structure at Woodward Avenue and 10 Mile that is in the midst of a $200,000 makeover. Using a harness and safety clamps in each hand, Kagan reached a walkway at the base of the water tower about 100 feet up, which completed his walk.


He performed a similar climb in 1999 when the tower had completed

Ducks, gorillas living together at Chicago zoo

In literature, some animals don't get along, like the 'Tortoise' and the 'Hare' or the 'Big Bad Wolf' and the 'Three Little Pigs.' However, "The Ducks and the Gorillas" get along just fine in a modern-day fairy tale playing out at Lincoln Park Zoo.


Once upon a time in the Land of Lincoln Park Zoo, a mother mallard duck made her nest and laid her eggs and raised her family right in the middle of the gorilla exhibit. Six gorillas lived there, and all of them were powerful and strong and the kings and queens of their animal world. But mother duck and her ducklings don't seem to be bothered at all by gorilla royalty. In fact, it looks like ducks and gorillas are birds of a feather.


"We had a duck, a mallard, show up last year, and wouldn't you know she's here again. She laid her eggs, and we've got five ducklings and the mother, and they are actually co-existing with the gorillas," said Maureen Leahy, curator

Helpful dog feeds four white tiger cubs at a zoo in China

At a zoo in Taiyuan, China, the birth of quadruplet white tiger cubs on June 20 was an exciting event. Unfortunately, their inexperienced mother couldn't figure out how to nurse them, and the cubs were at risk of dying from lack of food.


Enter a loving dog. Zookeepers found a mother dog who had recently given birth and brought the dog in to nurse the two male and two female cubs.


White tigers are very rare, with only several hundred left in the wild.


Despite the commonly held belief that dogs and cats don't get along, this kind

White tiger cubs born in Indore zoo

The Indore zoo saw the birth of two white tiger cubs on Wednesday. With only 34 white tigers left in the country, the birth of these cubs has ushered new hopes for the dwindling species.


A tigress named Sita that was brought from Aurangabad two years ago gave birth to the cubs. The doctor confirmed that the mother and the cubs are perfectly healthy.


A year ago, the tigress gave birth to three cubs, one of which recently died.


Out of the 34 white tigers in the country, 6 are in


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Levy foundation opposes wolf plan

Are wolves coming to the Leon Levy Preserve in South Salem? Maybe not. The Wolf Conservation Center’s highly-touted new home at the corner of Route 121 and Route 35 has hit a snag, as the Jerome Levy Foundation — which donated a significant amount of the funds to purchase the preserve, and is run by the widow and brother of Leon Levy — has come out against the proposal, but the town seems to be backing up the wolf center.

Councillor hits out at zoo boss U-turn

Councillor Eric Wood, who represents Barrow Island on Barrow Borough Council as well as being a member of the planning committee, said Mr Gill had wrongly blamed the borough council for delays in the planning process.


The Evening Mail revealed last week Mr Gill intends to sell the zoo after his £3.6m expansion plan was delayed until August after the council’s planning committee said it needed more information before it could proceed with the application.


But Cllr Wood said: “The reason he (Mr Gill) can’t move forward at this moment in time is that the Highways Agency have put a stopping order on it, which is nothing to do with Barrow Borough Council.


“We can’t process anything without Highways Agency permission.


“All the flack is directed at the council

Park staff are in mourning as lion cubs die

UPSET staff at one of the borough's biggest tourist attractions are mourning the death of two lion cubs.


The newborns at Yorkshire Wildlife Park tragically died after appearing to be rejected by their mother.


Earlier this year the park in Warning Tongue Lane, Branton, successfully completed a mission to rescue 13 lions from a Romanian zoo and

Police warn of big cat sighting in woodland

POLICE issued a warning yesterday after a large, black cat was spotted in woods in the Highlands.


The animal, which is said to be about the size of a German shepherd dog, was seen by a dog walker at Inshriach, near Kincraig.


Last night Shaun Stevens, a researcher for Big Cats in Britain, said it was not surprising that the cat was seen close to the Highland Wildlife Park, which is home to other large felines.


Mr Stevens, who lives in Campbeltown, Argyll, said: “We do get regular reports of big cats in that area. It’s interesting that it’s also near the wildlife park.


"We got a report from Dartmoor where the owner of the wildlife park was hearing big cat calls outside of his park. When they’re breeding, they smell


Cooperation Urged to Bring Indonesia’s Dwindling Orangutans Back From Brink

Conservationists, wildlife experts and government officials are set to meet today at an international conference in Bali to save the orangutan from extinction.


The International Workshop on Orangutan Conservation, which will run through Friday at the beachside resort town of Sanur, is aimed at stabilizing the habitat and populations of both the Sumatran and Bornean subspecies by 2017, as well as completing a three-year-old rehabilitation program to release previously captive orangutans back into the wild by 2015.


However, the chief of the Borneo Orangutan Survival foundation, Bungaran Saragih, on Wednesday said that very little progress had been made toward either goal.


“First, there are still no visible signs of stabilization of orangutan habitats or their populations,” he said.


“Second, the rehabilitation

Tiger kills man in Indonesia's Aceh province

A tiger mauled a man to death in Aceh province on Indonesia's northern island of Sumatra, state media said Thursday.


The victim, Cut Hasan, 48, is believed to have been attacked Tuesday while herding buffaloes in Pidie district, the state-run Antara news agency

USDA inspector questions Dallas zoo official about zebra death

An inspector from the federal agency overseeing animal welfare paid an unannounced visit to the Dallas Zoo on Tuesday, questioning an official there about the death of a zebra last weekend.


Zoo deputy director Lynn Kramer said he met with a representative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for about a half-hour.


He said they discussed the zebra's death, which occurred Saturday when the animal apparently panicked and broke its neck running into the side of a holding pen.


Kramer said it was unclear what

Former zoo vet to speak out

Former Topeka Zoo veterinarian Shirley Y. Llizo has scheduled a news conference for Friday afternoon, but she and her Overland Park-based attorney wouldn't elaborate on the topic Thursday.


Llizo and former director Mike Coker left the zoo after two critical federal inspection reports cited the zoo for animal deaths and insufficient record keeping.


"At this point in time, as far as I am aware, there is a pending arbitration," said current zoo director Brendan Wiley, so he couldn't speak about the matter.


Llizo's employment ended in October 2009. She had joined the staff as the sole veterinarian in 2006.


A U.S. Department of Agriculture report from late September 2009 faulted the zoo for lax veterinary care and inadequate record keeping related to the deaths of animals in past

Former zoo vet ordered reinstated

An arbitrator has ruled a former Topeka Zoo veterinarian was dismissed for reasons that "lacked just cause" and is to be promptly returned to her position.


The attorney representing veterinarian Shirley Llizo said Friday he expects the city and the zoo to abide by what he said was binding arbitration and restore Llizo to her position in a timely manner.


Whether that will happen anytime soon remains a question.


"I have seen it, and I know it's still under the jurisdiction of an arbitrator," zoo director Brendan Wiley said of the order issued July 8. "We haven't talked about it in great detail yet, but we will do what we're directed to do to be in compliance."


Llizo's employment ended in October 2009. She had joined the staff as the sole veterinarian in 2006.


Llizo was fired after a U.S. Department of Agriculture annual review of the zoo faulted the facility and its vet for keeping expired medications in its pharmacy and emergency medical kit and for a failure to maintain adequate records regarding animal care. In her notice of discharge, Llizo also was told she had provided false information to USDA investigators regarding budget matters and had "demonstrated a lack of professional courtesy" during the survey.


But Kansas City-based arbitrator Mark Berger, after three days of hearings, ruled in a 21-page decision there was no evidence presented that Llizo ever used an expired medication on an animal.


Moreover, he ruled that a computer outage — described as a "catastrophic" failure by the city's information technology department — wiped out two years of records that weren't properly backed up. The crash occurred in May 2009, shortly before the surprise USDA inspection, and

Jeremy Keeling: the monkey man's dark secret

For 50 years, Jeremy Keeling, one of the world's foremost experts on primates, harboured a terrible secret, he tells Cassandra Jardine.


For 50 years, Jeremy Keeling kept his secret. During that time he became one of the foremost experts on primates in the world, but also saw four marriages end in divorce. His relationships were poisoned, like his early life, by the secret he felt he could not talk about, even to a wife.


His friend, Jim Cronin, with whom he set up the only ape rescue centre in the world, knew that Jeremy was dragging around a huge psychological burden. But it was only three years ago that Keeling, shortly after his 50th birthday, took a deep breath and spat it out. "I was sexually abused by my mother," he told


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Product Description

A passion for wildlife and conservation led John Knowles OBE to found his own latter-day Ark - the Marwell Zoological Park. His autobiography tells the fascinating story of how a childhood collector of stick insects became a successful farmer and poultry breeder, and went on to achieve his ambition to own a zoo.


John's story unfolds against the backdrop of a rapidly changing post-war world where rising populations and increasing demands on natural resources place huge pressure on wildlife. Recognising that captive breeding populations may be the only way to save many species, he established several successful herds at Marwell. The roan antelope, reintroduced to Swaziland, Scimitar horned oryx and the famous Przewalski's wild horse, are among the animals that have benefited from John's efforts.


His account describes how Marwell developed from small beginnings, with all the planning, financial and operational headaches that entailed. He tells of the necessary balancing act between conservation of the animals and the historic Marwell Hall; the need to make the enterprise pay; and how, because of his determination that Marwell should itself be safe, he formed a charitable Trust to which he gave the entire zoo.


Throughout this book, John's 'can-do' attitude to tackling one of Planet Earth's greatest challenges shines through and, as he now enjoys a well-earned retirement, John Knowles can be justly proud of what Marwell has achieved.


Virgin (Eland) Birth at the Oakland Zoo!
Ok we're not quite halfway through the summer and if you're stretching, stretching trying to think of fun local things to do, I think you can pretty safely put "Go See the Miracle Eland" on your list.
The little eland was born on June 22nd, just two months after another baby was born to his aunt in the all-female herd. This officially makes these babies the products of virgin births, except that (don't tell the kids)the mothers came from the San Diego Zoo, which has both male and female elands. The rest
Scientists document wild cats imitating monkeys in the Amazon
Cats are an ideal pet for New Yorkers or other big city dwellers. Social when they want to be want but OK with alone time. But, have you ever wondered what your cats are up to when you’re not around? Well, they just might be talking just like you do. No kidding.
Scientific researchers have published findings of vocal mimicry by a margay (a spotted wild cat) in the Brazilian Amazon. This wild cat has long been rumored among locals, along with other big cats such as jaguars and pumas, to be able to imitate such prey such as a rabbit sized rodent called an agouti or certain primates.
The scientists documented the behavior of the margays mimicking the calls of baby pied tamarins (long tailed monkeys about the size of a squirrel) in an attempt to attract the monkeys to the source of the cries. In the recorded incident the cat was not quick enough to catch the monkeys once they discovered who was actually doing the crying.
Fabio Rohe of the Wildlife Conservation Society, one of the lead researchers told Science Daily: “Cats are known for their physical agility,
Two runaway lemurs captured in Austrian bar: reports
Two young ring-tailed lemurs which had escaped from Salzburg zoo five days ago have been recaptured by their keepers in a hotel bar in a nearby village, according to local media reports Friday.
The two-year-old males had escaped from Salzburg's Hellbrunn zoo on Sunday afternoon, journeying around 25 kilometres (15 miles) over the next four days.
On Thursday morning, they crept through the open window of a hotel in the village of Wals, where staff lured them into the bar with fruits
Dochodo Zoological Island in South Korea
What can we do in remote areas with little infrastructure, few inhabitants, and almost no visitors? We see growth potential in the green area – a case study to identify areas of tourism based on the track of sustainable development, where the nature and structure functions in balance, eat each other symbiotically. This program is a new zoo in a small island off the coast relatively undeveloped south-west of South Korea, but we see the strategic potential of the project to redefine the region as a whole.
Geographic identification
Dochodo Island is the vanishing point of an isosceles triangle is described by the Seoul (the largest city and business center of South Korea) and Pusan (the second largest city and industrial
Indonesia pledges forests for orangutan conservation
Indonesia said it will reserve thousands of hectares of forest in Borneo island for some 200 captive orangutans which will be released in a conservation drive, an official said Friday.
"A foundation has asked for a permit on about 86,000 hectares of forests in Kutai area in East Kalimantan (Borneo) to be used for orangutan conservation," forestry ministry secretary general Boen Purnama said.
Conservationists have been looking for large areas to release the endangered great apes as vast tracts of Indonesian jungle have been cleared for plantations and logging.
Purnama said the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) had asked for the space in the forests, which were formerly used for logging and need to be restored before being used for conservation.
"We expect to release about 190 out of 226 orangutans
Free our polar bears
THE proposed International Polar Bear Con­servation Centre that recently broke ground at the Assiniboine Park Zoo will, if it unfolds as planned, do a profound disservice to the legacy of Debby, the recently departed polar bear at the zoo who was adored by generations of Winnipeggers. She was an orphaned cub from the Russian Arctic, "rescued" from certain death when her mother died.
The plan is to capture Manitoba polar bears from the wild, keep some of them for display at the Assiniboine Park Zoo and export the rest to zoos outside of Manitoba. The existing bear enclosure at the zoo is being converted into a "transition centre" for the wild bears destined for other zoos.
It is at the "transition centre" that the bears will get their first taste of captivity -- and learn to get used to it, something animal welfare scientists say is impossible. Captivity is where they will spend the rest of their lives.
Polar bears targeted for captivity include orphaned cubs, and possibly "problem" bears, for whom life in captivity will be the newest - and as it turns out cruellest - punishment ever meted out to problem bears by the government of Manitoba.
The word "conservation" in the proposed International Polar Bear Conservation Centre is a misnomer. There is no "conservation" value in capturing wild polar bears and putting them in zoos. Nor is there any known program for successfully rehabilitating orphaned or captive-born polar bears back into the wild.
As for educational value, the only substantive thing a polar bear in captivity teaches kids is that it's okay to ruin an animal's life for our viewing pleasure.
History has proven over and over again that exporting polar bears outside of Manitoba can have tragic consequences for the bears. Yet the export of polar bears to zoos outside of Manitoba is the cornerstone of the proposed polar bear centre.
As recently as the 1990s, it was common practice
MP govt rules out tiger relocation to Sariska
Madhya Pradesh government on Thursday ruled out tiger relocation from the state to boost big cat population in Rajasthan's Sariska Tiger Reserve.
"We don't have surplus tigers,'' MP forest minister Sartaj Singh told reporters in Bhopal. The refusal came after Union environment and forest minister Jairam Ramesh wrote to MP and Maharashtra CMs and asked them to provide a few tigers to Sariska. Singh said he had no knowledge
Taken from home into a life of pain
A picture is worth a thousand words.
One by an animal welfare group last month showed a lion in a local zoo caged within an enclosure only twice its length.
The group claimed some animals in zoos were kept in small cages and taken out only to perform tricks before a crowd.
Bears have their legs tied to bicycle pedals to force them to keep on cycling. Macaques are chained by the neck and yanked around for photography sessions. The legs of elephants are chained to the ground for more than 20 hours a day.
These cases were recorded by the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), a Singapore-based animal welfare group, with support from the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).
In its survey last year into the well-being of animals at all 39 zoos in Peninsular Malaysia, it found that the majority of zoos did not have "acceptable welfare standards" for animals.
More than 660 enclosures, including large facilities housing thousands of animals and mini zoos with just a few animals, were assessed.
The survey found that some animals were denied
30ft dragon swaps Glastonbury for west Wales
CELEBRITY zookeeper Anna Ryder Richardson has revealed the latest addition to the collection of beasts at her West Wales wildlife park – a dragon.
The 30ft sculpture had been a permanent fixture at the Glastonbury Festival since 2006 and hosted the marriage blessing of festival organiser Michael Eavis’ daughter.
When Brian, as the dragon is known, was put up for sale the former I’m a Celebrity... contestant and her husband, ex-restaurant owner Colin MacDougall, were quick to make a bid.
“We were told that the dragon definitely had to go after this year’s festival,” the former Changing Rooms host told the Western Mail.
“There were a couple of people interested and, after a few phone calls, before we knew it Colin was looking at
Poachers kill last female rhino in South Africa's Kruger park for prized horn
Record levels of poaching is endangering the survival of white rhinoceros in South Africa
Fears are growing for the survival of the rhinoceros as the last female in the popular Krugersdorp game reserve near Johannesburg was killed, bleeding to death after having its horn hacked off by poachers.
Wildlife officials say poaching for the prized horns has now reached an all-time high. "Last year, 129 rhinos were killed for their horns in South Africa. This year, we have already had 136 deaths," said chief game ranger Japie Mostert.
The gang used tranquilliser guns and a helicopter to bring down the nine-year-old rhino cow. Her distraught calf was moved to a nearby estate where it was introduced to two other orphaned white rhinos.
Wanda Mkutshulwa, a spokeswoman for South African National Parks, said investigations into the growing number of incidents had been shifted to the country's organised crime unit. "We are dealing with very focused criminals. Police need to help game reserves because they are not at all equipped to handle crime on such an organised level,'' she said.
Rhino horn consists of compressed keratin fibre – similar to hair – and in many Asian cultures it is a fundamental ingredient in traditional medicines.
Mkutshulwa said poaching was rife in the 1,500-hectare Kruger park. Five men had been arrested there in the past week alone, four of whom were caught with two bloodied rhino horns, AK-47 assault rifles, bolt-action rifles and an axe.
Kruger park attracts at least 200,000 visitors every year. It is also close to a private airport, which may have been used by the poachers. "The exercise takes them very little time," Mostert said. "They first fly over the park in the late afternoon to locate where the rhino is grazing. Then they return at night and dart the animal from the air. The tranquilliser takes less than seven minutes to act. They saw off the horns with a chainsaw. They do not even need to switch off the rotors of the helicopter. We do not hear anything because our houses
Elle Macpherson regrets promoting use of illegal rhino horn remedy
Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson has said that she is regretting her decision of promoting the illegal rhino horn powder as a Chinese medical therapy.
In a recent interview with The Sunday Times Magazine, Machpherson said that she had tasted the rhino horn powder and it had ‘done the job’.
Animal rights activists slammed the 47-year-old model’s comments because she had earlier boycotted a posh London restaurant for serving bluefin tuna, an animal that is an endangered species.
Macpherson said that she had “never knowingly consumed or encouraged the use or consumption of any products which contain material derived from endangered species,” reports
She also said that she regretted “any distress or offence



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Rare species named for the first time by British public

Winners of the name a species competition announced. The British public choose common names for species with an identity crisis.


Emerging from obscurity, ten previously unnamed British species are now enjoying some long-awaited limelight as the results of the competition to give them popular names were announced today (Saturday 17 July).


The Queen’s executioner, sea piglet and witches’ whiskers were previously only known as Megapenthes lugens, Arrhis phylonyx and Usnea florida, respectively. They now join the ranks of the more familiar shepherd’s purse, swallowtail and foxglove, now having popular names that describe their characteristics.


Thousands of people submitted entries in response to the Name a Species competition organised by Natural England, The Guardian and The Oxford University Museum of Natural History. The competition invited the public to give popular names to ten species of British beetle, bees, jellyfish, shrimps and lichens, all of which are endangered and all of which have until now been listed only in Latin.


The competition follows the earlier publication by Natural England of Lost life - a report that showed that 430 species have become extinct in England in the last 200 years – and the subsequent call by George Monbiot, author and Guardian comment writer, for a competition to enable

Packing the trunk: how to get an elephant to the UAE

How do you buy an elephant? And once you have bought your elephant, how do you pack up your pachyderm and get it home?


These are not questions that trouble most of us, but they could soon be asked by the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort.


Officials at the zoo say they are looking at the logistics involved in obtaining an elephant after receiving numerous requests from visitors.


According to Dr Michael Maunder, the chief collection, conservation and education officer of the park, “our visitor surveys tell us that our guests want to see elephants.”


The zoo’s African mixed exhibit already



Asian elephants at Chester Zoo get a new-look home
CHESTER Zoo’s seven elephants had plenty to shout about as they took their first steps out onto their new paddock.
The herd of Asian elephants trumpeted their approval as they explored their newly made-over outdoor enclosure.
More than 2,000 tonnes of sand have been added to the paddock, which has also had something of a makeover with rocks and logs used to create terraces.
Upright logs for scratching and pushing have been added and the sand will give the elephants a perfect

Denmark opens Northern Europe's largest aquarium
Northern Europe's biggest aquarium has opened in Denmark on the north coast of Jutland.
Located in Hirtshals, the brand new Oceanarium contains some 4.5 million litres of water and more than 3000 fish, aiming to give visitors an insight into life in and around the North Sea.
You can spot the likes of catfish, playful seals and sunfish al in their natural environment, and you can get up close and personal with fish by putting your hands directly on the seabed and even touching some of them in special touch pools.
The attraction's 'Expedition

Dentist treats Devon zoo tigers (VIDEO)
A dentist used to taking care of human teeth has had a special appointment - operating on two tigers at a Devon zoo.
Dr Peter Kertesz, who has a surgery in central London, treated the tigers for broken canines at Dartmoor Zoological Park near Plymouth.
They were put to sleep in the moated tiger

Big cats to test wife-swapping at Lucknow zoo
Straight from zoo stables this time is a sad saga, also slightly morally lax, of wife-swapping. Two tiger-wives will exchange their husbands in between. While one of the two will live-in and start a family with the other's man (as expectations go), the second one will have to abstain and only give moral support, if the need be.
This after Lucknow zoo made it official that Shishir and Ipshita, Royal Bengal tigers, are separating after two years of togetherness. And accompanying them in the agony are their ‘albino' neighbours from tiger house, Sona and Aryan, who too will be calling it quits after eight years of relationship. The families are falling apart all because they could not go the family way.
After the monsoon months, Ipshita will move in with albino male Aryan and Sona, albino female, will occupy Ipshita's enclosure right beside Shishir. If the pairs are willing to go separate ways is still not known. It will be clear only after the new pairing is done. If they take to each other willingly nothing like it, feels zoo administration.
"We have a potential male white tiger, already nine years old. There is no harm in trying the new pairing," said Renu Singh, zoo director. Indeed, zoo has not been lucky when

Dudley Zoo threatens legal action to secure funds
THE chief executive of Dudley Zoo has pledged to fight through the courts to get £5.4 million pledged to a huge revamp.
Peter Suddock said he would take legal action to get the doomed regional development agency Advantage West Midlands to pay up.
The agency is being axed by the new coalition Government as part of a massive package of cuts – but uncertainty still surrounds projects that the body signed up for. Funding is under threat for major initiatives like the extension of Stourbridge College and the Manufacturing Advisory

Donated Cambodian elephants to be flown to S.Korea
Two elephants donated by Cambodia will be flown to South Korea Thursday to swell the country's depleted ranks of the endangered species, a zoo official said.
A South Korean air force cargo plane has left for Cambodia to collect a 20-year-old bull and a 27-year-old cow elephant after Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen approved the donation, the Seoul Children's Grand Park official said on condition of anonymity.
They will join a 36-year-old bull elephant called Taesan, who has been leading a lonely life at the park zoo since his mate died of colitis 14 years ago.
There are hopes the female will become pregnant from

Israel female hippopotamus sent from Mykolayiv zoo to Kharkiv
Lucy, a female hippopotamus gifted by the Zoological Center Tel Aviv Ramat Gan, has been sent from south-Ukrainian city of Mykolayiv to eastern Kharkiv.
The Israel zoo presented - within the framework of the International Program on Species Conservation and Breeding - two female hippopotamuses Lucy and Ricky to the Mykolayiv zoo in November last year. One of the animals intended for the Kharkiv zoo.
It was very precious gift, Volodymyr Topchy, director of the Mykolayiv zoo, said. Right by now, male hippopotamus Kazymyr felt sad and lonely, since his female partner had passed away. And

Dolphin leaps from tank 'in escape bid'
Shocking video has emerged of the moment an aquarium dolphin leapt out of its tank in a seemingly desperate attempt to escape captivity.
The dolphin, from the Churaumi Aquarium in Okinawa, Japan, made the dive onto the floor outside its tank during a performance, the Daily Mail

In Congo forest, bushmeat trade threatens Pygmies
They emerge from the stillness of the rainforest like a lost tribe of prehistoric warriors forgotten by time - a barefoot band of Mbuti Pygmies wielding iron-tipped spears.
The men come first, cloaked head to toe in coiled hunting nets shaved from the liana vine. Then the women, lugging hand-woven baskets filled with the same bloodstained antelope their ancestors survived on for thousands of years.
And waiting anxiously in the middle of their smoke-filled hunting camp: a horde of village traders who've come to buy as much bushmeat as the Mbuti can bring.
Time has long stood still in the innermost reaches of northeast Congo's Ituri Forest - a remote and crepuscular world without electricity or cell phones that's so isolated, the Pygmies living here have never heard of Barack Obama or the Internet or the war in Afghanistan. But the future is coming, on a tidal wave of demand for game meat that's pushing an army of tall Bantu traders ever deeper into Africa's primordial vine-slung jungles.
It's a demand so voracious, experts warn it could drive some of Africa's last hunter-gatherers to eradicate the very wildlife that sustains them, and with it, their own forest-dwelling existence.
Over the last few decades, that existence has been vanishing at astonishing rates across the continent, as forests are ripped apart amid soaring population growth

Lion-bone wine latest threat to survival of Africa's big cats
To most of us the mere thought of sipping a concoction in which animal bones soaked for a lengthy period is revolting. Yet, even in these supposedly enlightened times, the clamor for so-called tiger-bone wine in China is such that brewers are importing lion bones from South Africa as a legally obtainable and cheaper substitute.
The growing trade has environmentalists worried.
At the moment merchants are mostly getting their supplies under government permit from hunting farms on which captive-bred lions are released to be shot as trophies--itself a rather grotesque business.(South Africa snared in "abhorrent and repulsive" lion hunting schemes)
One of the concerns, however, is that as the trade grows, it could lead to already endangered lion populations in the wild getting poached for their bones.
Another worry is that it could serve as further encouragement to the commercial lion-breeding industry which the government is trying to curb, not least because of the bad image it creates of a country that has tourism, particularly nature tourism, as its fastest growing industry.
The trend adds to an already grim picture in which animal species in South Africa are under threat from poachers cashing in on enduring primitive beliefs that the physical attributes of animals can be acquired by ingesting

Paris Hilton spots 'tiger' ... on safari in South Africa
Paris Hilton found herself the subject of ridicule this week after she enthusiastically tweeted about spotting tigers while on safari in South Africa.
The American socialite, who has been in the country for the past week to watch the World Cup and take in the sights, wrote from safari: "So many amazing animals here – Elephants, Tigers, Zebras, Cheetahs, Rhinos, Hippos, etc. So awesome!"
While elephants, zebras, cheetahs, rhinos and hippopotami are in plentiful supply in South Africa, tigers – which are

Pittsburgh Zoo Works To Save Endangered Hairstyle
Fashion trends come and go and hairstyles do to. Today, at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium they are trying to bring back the mullet.
Anyone with a mullet saved $5 on the price of admission and there were more prizes given out as well.
There's something memorable about the mullet.
"Hairstyles come in and out, but I don't think that one is going to come back in anytime soon. Although there was that one kid, I forget his name, on 'American Idol.' He had that mullet, the red-haired kid," Kristina Tooley said.
Jaromir Jagr sported it to stardom with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and some still call it the hockey helmet.
Yet these days, the hair-do of the

Stay Cool In The Zoo

Pair arrested in theft of zoo's camels, tiger
Police have made two arrests in the recent theft of a pair of camels and a Bengal tiger from the Bowmanville, Ont., zoo, and say more arrests are expected.
Police said an investigation showed the truck and trailer with the three animals had been in a barn in Saint-Edmond-de-Grantham, northeast of Montreal. Officers moved in with a search warrant Tuesday and arrested two men, ages 23 and 44.
The truck and trailer were snatched from a motel parking

Old age mutant Brummie
ANGLER Steve Bellion was shell-shocked last night - after catching a giant TURTLE.
Steve, 23, was fishing for carp when he hooked the 57lb monster in a lake near Birmingham.
He was amazed when he got it on the bank and it was identified as an 80-year-old alligator snapping turtle, from south-eastern USA.
Tales had abounded for a decade of a vicious creature biting through anglers' lines and attacking ducks.
Steve said: "It was hissing and snapping and could easily have taken your hand off."
The ancient female is believed to have been a pet which grew too big and was released into Earlswood Reservoir.
British Waterways sta

Clouded Leopard Cubs

Dublin Zoo relieved over return of stolen penguin
Kelli the penguin's back home in Dublin Zoo after pranksters snatched the bird and abandoned her on a city sidewalk.
Dublin Zoo condemned Thursday's theft as no joke, because the 10-year-old Humboldt penguin could have been injured during her abduction or crushed by a vehicle.
Zoo officials said police tracked down Kelli using a signal from a microchip planted on the bird. She got the medical all-clear and was returned to her penguin partner, Mick.
Police said the thieves climbed over a security fence into an enclosure housing about a dozen Humboldt penguins and picked Kelli for reasons unknown.
Dublin Zoo has been targeted by annoying pranks

Tracking Microchip and Penguin Kelli Recovered
Microchip and penguin Kelli was recovered by using a tracking device. Kelli, the penguin, phoned home with the microchip tracking device and was found just hours later. It's the latest technology that involved a microchip that found a penguin named Kelli.
Police in the Dublin said the penguin was stolen from a city zoo. It was then tracked by using the microchip and located on a city street. Investigators said the penguin was taken from the Dublin Zoo by

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A passion for wildlife and conservation led John Knowles OBE to found his own latter-day Ark - the Marwell Zoological Park. His autobiography tells the fascinating story of how a childhood collector of stick insects became a successful farmer and poultry breeder, and went on to achieve his ambition to own a zoo.


John's story unfolds against the backdrop of a rapidly changing post-war world where rising populations and increasing demands on natural resources place huge pressure on wildlife. Recognising that captive breeding populations may be the only way to save many species, he established several successful herds at Marwell. The roan antelope, reintroduced to Swaziland, Scimitar horned oryx and the famous Przewalski's wild horse, are among the animals that have benefited from John's efforts.


His account describes how Marwell developed from small beginnings, with all the planning, financial and operational headaches that entailed. He tells of the necessary balancing act between conservation of the animals and the historic Marwell Hall; the need to make the enterprise pay; and how, because of his determination that Marwell should itself be safe, he formed a charitable Trust to which he gave the entire zoo.


Throughout this book, John's 'can-do' attitude to tackling one of Planet Earth's greatest challenges shines through and, as he now enjoys a well-earned retirement, John Knowles can be justly proud of what Marwell has achieved.

Pregnant elephant at St. Louis Zoo loses baby

An pregnant elephant at the St. Louis Zoo lost her baby overnight, the zoo said today.


The pregnant Asian elephant, Ellie, had been 36 weeks into a 22-month pregnancy, the zoo said. She was due in late summer of 2011.


The zoo had been closely monitoring Ellie since Monday because of changes in her hormone levels and other medical signs, but found she had lost the baby overnight when staff checked on her this morning.


The zoo isn't sure why Ellie lost the baby.


"We are sad about this loss," said Martha Fischer, curator of mammals at the zoo. "Ellie's health appears to be quite normal. She has received regular prenatal checkups, including physical exams, blood tests and ultrasounds. She has also been on a prenatal diet and exercise


Injured zookeeper violated protocol

Manager entered Louie's enclosure alone, officials say


A Toledo Zoo keeper who was badly injured by a young elephant this week violated zoo protocol by entering the animal's enclosure alone, zoo officials said Friday.


Elephant manager Donald RedFox was knocked to the ground Thursday by Louie the elephant after he approached the animal with carrots while its back was turned, the Zoo's deputy director, Ron Fricke, said.


Video footage shows Louie appeared to have been startled, but it's not clear why he knocked down Mr. RedFox, who has worked with Louie since his birth, Mr. Fricke said.


Zoo protocol specifies that keepers should always enter an animal's enclosure with another member of staff, the deputy director said. However, zoo officials had not been able to

Toledo Zoo creates inquiry team after elephant attack

The Toledo Zoo will assemble an inquiry team to review the recent incident in which Elephant Manager Don RedFox was injured by African elephant Louie.


Zoo leaders also said in a news conference Friday that Redfox is showing signs of improvement. According to Dr. Anne Baker, the Zoo's Executive Director, "The entire staff of The Toledo Zoo is united in their best wishes for Don and his family, and our thoughts and prayers are with him as he makes what we hope is a full and speedy recovery."


The Zoo does have a videotape of the incident, and officials say they'll release it Saturday afternoon.


Louie remains on exhibit, along with his mother, Renee, and Twiggy. At this time Louie is being cared for in what's called protected contact, in which the elephant is cared for by keepers working outside the exhibit. Zoo leaders say Louie has been trained in this management system.


The names of those serving on the inquiry team were listed in a news release by the Zoo:


Toledo, Ohio—The Toledo Zoo will assemble an inquiry team to review the recent incident in which Elephant Manager Don RedFox was injured during an interaction with seven-year-old male African elephant Louie. The team will be chaired

Expert reviews video of Ohio elephant attack

An expert says he doesn't believe an elephant who pushed a trainer at the Toledo Zoo intended to hurt anyone, based on a review of videotape from the attack.


Alan Roocroft, an internationally recognized elephant expert, said Saturday the footage shows the elephant going into a crouching position after the attack, like an animal waiting for a response.


Roocroft looked at the video at the request of zoo officials, who are investigating Thursday's incident. Officials said elephant manager Don RedFox entered the cage alone, against zoo protocol, carrying carrots. Roocroft said it appears the 7-year-old African elephant became startled.


The 53-year-old RedFox was taken to a hospital with broken ribs, a wrist injury and abrasions.


Zoo officials have not yet spoken to RedFox

Toledo Zoo continues elephant attack investigation

The Toledo Zoo is still investigating an elephant attack that sent a trainer to the hospital last week. Don Redfox suffered broken ribs and other injuries when Louie the elephant pushed him.


The zoo decided not to release surveillance video of the incident after getting a letter from Redfox's attorney, but an animal expert saw the video and says it looks like Louie was startled but didn't

Zoo trainer's lungs punctured in elephant attack

Doctors say a trainer attacked by an elephant at Ohio's Toledo Zoo suffered life-threatening lung injuries and is on a ventilator.


However, doctors at the University of Toledo Medical Center say they expect 53-year-old Don RedFox to recover fully from last week's encounter with an elephant named Louie.


Dr. Kris Brickman, the emergency department director, said Tuesday that RedFox is likely to remain hospitalized for weeks and that complications are possible.


Brickman says RedFox is in critical but stable condition with fractured

Zookeeper unfairly portrayed

Apparently Louie, the African elephant at the Toledo Zoo, acted instinctively when he was startled and harmed elephant manager Don RedFox (“Zoo elephant hurts keeper during attack,” July 2). It would probably be a good assumption that Mr. RedFox knew this might happen someday.


It's shameful that media have been quick to report that Mr. RedFox broke protocol when he entered Louie's area.


They have chosen to portray Mr. Redfox as reckless in his profession, despite his commitment to allowing the elephants



Zookeeper on ventilator after elephant attack, officials at hospital say

As legal debate continued Tuesday over the release of a video showing an elephant knocking down a Toledo Zoo keeper, hospital officials said for the first time that the animal keeper suffered life-threatening injuries and is on a ventilator.


Donald RedFox, 53, of Swanton Township was injured Thursday by 7-year-old African elephant Louie in the animal's enclosure at the zoo and remained in critical condition Tuesday at the University of Toledo Medical Center, the former Medical College of Ohio.


Dr. Kris Brickman, medical director of the hospital's emergency department, said Mr. RedFox suffered multiple rib fractures in the attack and punctures to both his lungs. He is now attached to a ventilator and is under sedation. Dr. Brickman said Mr. RedFox is unconscious but emphasized that he is not in a coma.


Dr. Brickman said Mr. RedFox's condition is improving slowly, but predicted Mr. RedFox could be in the hospital for many weeks. He said complications are possible.


"His injuries are substantial. It's going to be a long road," Dr. Brickman said. "He is clearly not out of the woods."


The incident was recorded on video, which the zoo had planned to release until receiving a letter on Saturday from Mr. RedFox's attorney claiming the animal keeper's privacy would be "irreparably harmed" if the video were released.


Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Linda Jennings Tuesday granted the attorney's request for a temporary restraining order and set a July 20 date for a hearing on a permanent injunction.


Attorney Scott Ciolek filed a notice of appearance on behalf of The Blade Tuesday to inform the court that the newspaper hopes to intervene in the case. Mr. Ciolek said he will file such a motion Wednesday as well as one asking the judge to reconsider her decision.


"In this case, we're talking about an audio/video recording of zoo employees acting within the scope of their employment," Mr. Ciolek said. "What we have to do is lay out the law and demonstrate to the judge that facts that would make it a privacy issue are not present here."


According to the motion filed on behalf of the elephant manager and his wife, Wanda, the surveillance video

Butterfly Conservation Center - Toledo Zoo


Agency says frequent zoo violators on tight leash

A push in recent years by the federal government for more frequent enforcement of zoos with repeat violations has resulted in a rash of inspections at the Topeka Zoo at a rate far greater than the state's other facilities, say the zoo's director and animal advocacy groups.


In total, the U.S. Department of Agriculture since 2007 has inspected the Topeka Zoo seven times, resulting in 33 citations for noncompliance. In that same period, the USDA conducted 32 inspections of the state's nine other zoos, resulting in 37 citations for noncompliance.


Catherine Doyle, campaign director of In Defense of Animals, said she listened in on a USDA teleconference in May in which federal officials told stakeholders they wanted to improve consistency and aggressiveness of inspections.


"The bottom line was that they were stepping up enforcement," she said.


Past and ongoing audits by the USDA's inspector general appear to have prompted at least some of the changes.


A 2005 audit about the animal care division's inspection and enforcement activities dealt mainly with a need to follow up inspections with further investigation. But it also recommended the agency "conduct more frequent reviews of facilities identified as repeat violators."


Just this May, another internal audit about dog breeders highlighted the need for more consistency in inspections, a push that some say has seeped into the inspection process for animal exhibitors, such as zoos.


Now, the USDA's inspector general is currently auditing the agency to evaluate whether it "has controls to safeguard both the animals and members of the public" who visit zoos, said inspector general spokesman Paul Feeney.


"Because of these audits, they are beefing up their inspections," said Don Elroy, an official with the animal rights group Stop Animal Exploitation Now!


USDA spokesman David Sacks said any shift in inspection policy is "not the start of a focus on animal welfare here at USDA but rather an improvement to our current processes."


Topeka Zoo director Brendan Wiley said he has no problem with the evolution of inspection procedures. But the facility is having to learn as it goes.


In past years, there were grades to the noncompliant items, from those violations that don't affect animals to the ones that could harm them, he said. Now, Wiley said the scale is more black and white, a violation or not.


"The standards haven't changed from 10 years ago, but how that standard is interpreted may be different," he said. "And there isn't a guide that tells you how these standards are evaluated, only what the standards are."


That has resulted in some recent citations drawing

Wildlife park worker escapes mauling by tiger

A wildlife park worker narrowly escaped a mauling after slipping during a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a giant Bengal white tiger.


The scene was captured during a daily tiger splash event at the Out of Africa Wildlife Park, in Arizona, USA.


Jeff Harwell pretends to be the prey during a daily routine with the cats, where they chase an inflatable toy being held by him.


The tigers are so excited about capturing and popping the toy they do not harm the park workers.


The workers then jump into a pool with the tiger at the end of the game.


However, Mr Harwell slipped over on the wet grass and found himself between the two-year-old white tiger called Chalet and his inflatable toy.


He quickly managed to throw the toy into the pool and the tiger jumped

I wanna be like you-hoo-hoo: Reunion of girl and orang-utan sealed with a hug

The last time Emily Bland met Rishi the orang-utan, they were both still at the crawling stage.


So when the pair were reunited two years later, there was a whole new world of play to explore.


The three-year-olds spent a blissful afternoon climbing, swinging from rings and tyres, pedalling around on a plastic tricycle and sometimes pausing for a hug in scenes reminiscent of the 'I Wanna Be Like You' sequence in the Disney film

Massacre of endangered rhino continues

The massacre of South Africa's endangered rhino population continues with the discovery of two more mutilated carcasses in the North West and Limpopo.


This brings the total number of rhinos killed for their horns to 117 according to anti-poaching investigators, though SA National Parks has put the figure at.


A butchered rhino cow was discovered on Thursday morning in the Borakalalo National Game Park in North West when members of the anti-poaching

$42 million zoo exhibit to provide a slice of Africa in Hermann Park

Right now, the six-plus acres that will comprise Houston Zoo's $42 million "African Forest" look a lot like Houston in July. Got mud? Yes. Standing water? Yep. Sweating workers and heavy machinery a-slog in paradise? You betcha.


Come December, though, Phase 1 of the finished project, promoters say, will be a slice of Africa in the heart of Hermann Park — alive with chimpanzees, giraffes, rhinos and cheetahs. Visitors sauntering along the exhibit's half-mile trail will be immersed in a near-natural setting that marks a dramatic departure from the traditional animals-in-cages zoo experience.


The exhibit's first permanent residents - 10 chimpanzees from northern California - will arrive at a zoo quarantine facility next week. Zoo officials, who Wednesday led reporters on a "hard hat tour" of the 65-percent complete exhibit, said the chimps will be the first housed at the zoo in more than two

What Should Animal Rights People Think of Zoos?

I am in San Diego, CA, a legendary city named after majestic sea creatures. I’ve enjoyed some of the great sights, but I would have been remiss not to visit the “World Famous” San Diego Zoo. I did so with some hesitation (and with a certain singer in my head). I was previously under the impression that the San Diego Zoo was more like a wildlife safari, where the people are in the cage moving in the environment.


I was disappointed to find out that it is not.


The Wild Animal Park of which I was thinking is a totally different place. The zoo is a rather nice zoo. It emphasises its conservation of endangered and threatened species. Zoos, however, are a contentious issue for many in the animal rights world. The question is whether animal exploitation is acceptable when the purpose is to bring the animals closer to humans.


That’s a simplistic way of phrasing it, since circuses also bring animals closer to people, but are not something to celebrate. Yet many view the boredom and enclosed lives of animals in zoos just as poorly, arguing that media sources such as documentaries bring animals to life in a way that does not cause them suffering.


I’m very torn on the issue. On the one hand, I see the similarities between zoos and circuses. Animals are captive in both, and the motivation behind the original zoos of the Victorian age was to display the “great beasts” of the “Dark Continent” and beyond for spectacle.


Certainly there are a number of zoos that do not keep their animals in excellent conditions, and most zoos in the United States cannot provide any where near the range that any of the animals enjoy in the wild. Also, modern recording equipment seen in Life and Planet Earth can bring high definition footage into living rooms in dynamic fashion without interfering with an animal’s life.


On the other hand, animals in zoos do not need the same ranges that they do in the wild if survival is not at issue. Food is provided, as is shelter, and all natural predators are removed. Are the animals bored? I believe that despite the toys that are provided them, many are.


But think of it this way. If you were given the option of living in an apartment with one or two weight machines, or maybe a book, and all of your dietary and medical needs were met, or you were out on the plains left to make your own weapons and tools and told to survive a la “The

Thrown to the lions: China mulls animal cruelty law

At a wildlife park outside Beijing a dozen lions battle over a live chicken thrown into their enclosure by a tourist—who has paid four dollars for the privilege.


A siren wails and three four-wheel-drive vehicles race into action, screeching to a halt just shy of the animals to separate them and restore harmony to the caged pride—until the next feeding.


“It was scary,” says one visitor, standing at a viewing point above the enclosure.


“Yes, but it was thrilling too, lots of fun,” adds her friend, part of a group touring the Badaling park.


Throwing live animals to the lions is a popular attraction. For 60 dollars, visitors can feed them a bleating goat.


Ethically questionable practices such as this, seen at zoos around China, have contributed to the government producing the nation's first draft animal protection law.


“Animals in most of the nation's zoos, wildlife parks and aquariums are a serious concern,” said Peter Li, a China specialist for Humane Society International, a US-based animal group.


Li, who this month took part in the first zoo directors' workshop in Beijing aimed at addressing problems in China, added that most zoos were “decades behind the more progressive standards of zoos in industrialised nations.” China has been plagued by a series of scandals that has thrown the spotlight on poor conditions in many of the nation's wildlife parks.


In recent months, 11 endangered Siberian tigers starved to death at a cash-strapped park in the northeastern province of Liaoning where they were fed chicken bones, and two others were shot after they mauled a worker.


Allegations that the zoo had harvested parts of the dead animals to make lucrative virility tonics caused an outcry, even in a nation where illegal trade in animal parts thrives due to their perceived medicinal benefits.


In nearby Heilongjiang province, authorities also uncovered a mass grave of animals -- including lions, tigers and leopards—that died of illness and malnutrition at a wildlife park, state media reported in March.


“That hit the headlines and shocked a lot of Chinese but it's the tip of an iceberg,” said Paul Littlefair, who oversees the international programmes of UK-based Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), with a focus on East Asia.


“A lot of animals are generally malnourished and may slowly deteriorate over a period of time and be subject to health issues that there is little veterinary support for.” While the live feedings at Badaling have attracted controversy, zoos in major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai have improved conditions over the past decade.


According to Littlefair, the Beijing Zoo has opened a much larger elephant enclosure and otters that used to live on concrete now enjoy a natural environment with waterfalls.


The zoo denied to AFP recent reports that it was serving meat from zoo animals at its cafe.


But Littlefair admitted most zoos were still “stagnating.”Xie Zhong, vice secretary general of the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens, said that private ownership of wildlife parks was partly to blame.


“We have repeatedly emphasised that zoos should be for the public good, the government must manage them,” Xie said.


“Private owners take all the money... they give their workers very little money and the cash they invest in animals only just keeps them alive—their aim is profit.”Grace Ge Gabriel, Asia regional director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, added animals were often exposed to abuse by the public.


“People often shout at, throw objects and feed garbage to animals,” she said, citing the example of a university student who poured acid into the bear pit at Beijing Zoo in 2002, injuring several of the animals.


According to Gabriel, there have been small improvements, with some establishments removing signs such as “bear gall bladder is good for medicine and tiger skins are good for rugs.”But experts say that laws governing the treatment of animals in captivity are badly needed.


A draft animal protection law is currently being discussed, but is not expected to come into force for several years.


The draft includes a clause prohibiting the feeding of live prey and another stipulating that an establishment where animals are suffering due to lack of funds will be fined if it does not report its situation to the government.


Li says increased public awareness is key to the fight for animal rights.


“Compared with their parents' or grandparents' generations whose

Port Lympne’s Wildcats get a Different Perspective with New Walkways (Great Photos)

Port Lympne’s Scottish Wildcats have been given a chance to see the park from a different point of view with the construction of special raised walkways.


Better View for Visitors


The raised walkways, enclosed in a mesh tunnel, extend from the cats’ enclosures and travel around an area of the park before returning to the enclosure once more. The innovative system allows the cats to wander around a much larger territory. As well as allowing the cats to explore much more of the park, the walkways also afford visitors a better view of the often shy and elusive animals as they travel around the walkways and sit out in new vantage points. The walkways were funded by contributions from a campaign run by Your Cat Magazine

Al Ain’s global effort to save wildlife

Perched atop a rocky bed, a majestic white lion lay overlooking her mini-kingdom. The rare feline and her brother were flown in from South Africa and transported to the AWPR a few months ago, away from extinction.


Gene diversity, as Farshid Mehrdadfar, (Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort) AWPR’s animal collection manager, puts it, is a dream the resort hopes to fulfill in the near future.


Following the success of the resort’s ‘Sand Cat Project’ (in collaboration with US-based University of Illinois and the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden) where the use of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) helped conceive a kitten from a surrogate mother, has given hope to park officials to introduce species to quality DNA strains for better means of survival.


“It (in-vitro fertilization and embryo transfer) furthers the gene diversity of species within captive population by infusing founder samples (semen from US, Europe, etc.). It could help with the overall approach of collection management and the long term sustainability of mean kinship and survivability of the species in wildlife parks and zoological facilities by lessening the number of animals captured from the wild and focusing on sample collection from the wild animals,” said Mehrdadfar.


He added that it would connect wildlife parks and zoos in a global network to share ideas and samples.


“If we can exchange animals within zoological facilities we can preserve many endangered species,” he said, adding that the resort works in close collaboration with international conservation groups around the world. Organisations include the Northern Rangelands Trust and the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya, the Sambora Wildlife Reserve in South Africa, The San Diego Zoological Society in the US.


The AWPR is home to more than 4,000 animals comprising over 160 species. The animals are acquired at different parts of the year giving enough time§ion=theuae



CEO of the Wild Foundation Vance Martin comments on Save China's Tigers Rewilding and Reintroduction Project

Vance Martin is CEO of the Wild Foundation, and he comments on Save China's Tigers Rewilding and Reintroduction Project

Tigers in Africa seems a fanciful thought…but they are there! Though they do not roam completely free in the wilderness, the South China Tiger can be found in carefully managed, large wildland areas in South Africa, the subject of an ambitious effort to rescue it from extinction. The 33,000ha (82,000 acre) LaohuValley Reserve is the centerpiece of Save China's Tigers experimental bid to breed the South China Tiger and eventually return it to its natural habitat.

This effort has generated significant controversy, so I went there in January to better understand what it is doing and to determine its role in the broad spectrum of conservation work occurring around the globe. I found a valid initiative, doing good work, and fighting two battles simultaneously: one to save a tiger (arguably a sub-species), and (as if that were not enough) another to defend itself against the (sometimes) seemingly endless internal sniping of the nature conservation world. Who needs enemies when fellow conservationists often serve that function?!

I encourage you to go to the SCT website to see details. They're making progress. I'll just briefly give my response to some of the "sniping" I've heard from other groups and conservationists.

1.Tigers don't belong in Africa. Why start a breeding facility there, almost halfway around the world from their home range? – The historically-proven and commonsense strategy to save a very small remnant population is to create geographically-separated gene pools, or small groups of the survivors, in order to protect them from potential threats such as disease, human pressure, etc. If they breed successfully, and there are adequate wild reserves





Springwatch presenter Chris Packham relives his enchanted childhood... and the awful moment he was told: no pet crocodile

Sorry, I don't have change for a ladybird,' said the ice-cream man, trying to coax the red beetle scuttling across the counter of his van back into the matchbox.

'Why don't you take these lollies and tell your mum she owes me a shilling?'

He smiled and I carefully placed the little box back in my pocket and set off for home, the rocket-shaped lolly dribbling down my Thunderbirds T-shirt





Malaysia: Shooting of rare tiger defended

The head of Malaysia's volunteer security corps said Friday one of his men shot an endangered tiger to protect villagers and he would have done the same, despite criticism by wildlife activists.

Mohamad Sulong Che Ros shot the 3-year-old Malayan tiger after it was found foraging for food in his village in northern Perak state Tuesday. He is part of Malaysia's security corps, known by its Malay acronym RELA, whose members are allowed to carry firearms.

Conservationists have condemned the killing, and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks is investigating.

RELA Director General Zaidon Asmuni said




PM's panda diplomacy fails to woo Auckland Zoo

Aucklanders are likely to lose out to Wellington in housing giant pandas at the zoo because Auckland Zoo turned up its nose at Prime Minister John Key's offer to broker a panda deal with China.

Auckland Zoo was offered first dibs on housing the two giant pandas Key hoped to rent from the Chinese government, but the zoo declined because "black and white pandas are not in our collection plan".

Key says long before Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast's announcement last week that she wanted a pair of the endangered bears for Wellington Zoo, he had had the same idea, but was thinking of acquiring them for Auckland Zoo because the larger city had better odds of recouping the high cost of keeping the crowd-pleasing bears.

Visitor numbers at Adelaide Zoo in Australia have leapt by 70% in the six months since it acquired a pair of pandas.

But Key told the Sunday Star-Times that when Auckland Zoo was approached by the government, the response was lukewarm.

"There was some initial discussion with people, who didn't say no, but they certainly didn't say





Predator-prey relationships play large part in zoo's setup

Asahiyama Zoo tackled the problem this April in its brand new, ¥70-million raptor display. Built to accommodate endangered Blakinston's fish owls in the future, the house-size black metal cage currently holds three white-tailed eagles. It also features a small pond stocked with rainbow trout intended to supplement the eagles' regular diet of dead fish supplied by their keepers.

Gen Bando, the zoo director, said that designing the exhibit was tricky.

"There is certainly the ability of the predator to chase its prey, but there is also the ability of the prey to escape its predator. If you put the prey into an environment where it can't escape, there's the possibility that it will simply become a cruel one-sided show," he said. To avoid that situation, the pool in the raptor cage has been designed with nooks and crannies where the fish can escape the eagles.

A different kind of problem arises when it comes to feeding the snakes, said Bando.

"We feed mice to our snakes, and visitors don't object. But if we fed the snake a rabbit, we'd have a bad scene on our hands. People will only watch if the prey is an animal that's slightly disgusting to them," he explained " adding that


See subject above: I wrote on this very subject only a very short time ago. Please read:

Live Feeding To Zoo Animals





Sariska may see two more tigers this rainy season

Call them monsoon tigers, for this time round too the rainy season will mark the arrival of tigers in Sariska. As soon as the season's first showers lash the slopes of the mighty Aravallis, another pair of wild tigers would be shifted to Sariska Tiger Reserve from Ranthambhore National Park. The twosome—a male and a female—would join the group of one male and two females which have already made the Sariska woods their home since the first ever tiger re-location in the country two years ago.

"The temperature has to come down. We cannot release the tigers if the temperature is above 40 degrees C. The ideal situation to carry out the exercise is the rainy season," says the Chief Wildlife Warden of Rajasthan, R. N. Mehrotra.

"Now that the Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests has given clearance for another round of re-location, we have started the preparations. It can happen some time in the first fortnight of July," Mr. Mehrotra reveals.

Environmentalists and tiger lovers are happy about the end to the impasse over tiger-shifting as after an unsavoury controversy over the wisdom of bringing together the tigers from the same gene pool the National Tiger Conservation Authority had started acting tough on the issue. Though still positive about the re-introduction of the tiger population in Sariska – after the reserve lost all its tigers some time





Zoo Negara to have more wildlife from Sabah

Zoo Negara visitors will soon be able to view more exotic wildlife from Sabah.

Malaysian Zoological Associ-ation president Datuk Ismail Hutson said efforts are being made to get animals from Sabah to be relocated at the zoo in Hulu Kelang.

"Preparations are underway to receive Borneo pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys, orang utans and hornbills," he said after witnessing the launch of the zoo's rain harvesting system by Natural Resources and Environment Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Azmi Che Mat yesterday.

The harvested rain water process was carried out in collaboration with the Drainage and Irrigation Department.

It is an environmental friendly project which recycles rain water to be utilised for the zoo sewerage system and several




Zoo told to make night houses for monkeys

A health advisory committee, a panel to advise zoo administration on the hygiene, nutrition, health and treatment of animals, examined the health and general upkeep of the animals in the Patna zoo on Saturday.

The committee also examined tiger Ram, tigress Sita and elephant Mala. According to zoo director Abhay Kumar, Ram has been suffering from posterior paresis for quite sometime and has also a wound for years now. The tiger has not been on display for last three months and has continuously been kept under treatment.

"All efforts are being made to improve the big cat's health. We have also increased the size of the cubicle where it sleeps. A water channel has been constructed to provide a bigger space and better living conditions to it," said Kumar.

The zoo has currently one pair of yellow tiger and one white tigress, Sita. Sita, despite her old age, is maintaining a normal health.

"We are in talks with the Junagarh and Hyderabad zoos to bring a pair of tigers by the end of this year," said Kumar.

Mala has a wound at the left shoulder joint since long. Till a few years back, children have had the pleasure of a joyride on its back.

After the Central Zoo Authority (CZA)-New Delhi banned keeping elephants in the zoo, two elephants from the Patna zoo were sent to the Valmiki Tiger Reserve where they are used for patrolling purposes. However, the zoo administration intends to retain Mala due to her poor health, and a request to the effect has been sent to the CZA.

The health panel found the arrangements for handling possible health problems due to extreme summer conditions quite satisfactory. There has not been any casualty due to heat wave this year, the director said.

The committee, however, recommended increase in space and construction of night houses for rhinos, monkeys and gharials. Other suggestions include planting of elephant grass in the elephant enclosure, purchase of a new tranquilliser gun, construction





Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has announced the 2010 recipients of nearly $1.5 million in grants to protect vulnerable wildlife and ecosystems around the world.

The funding enables nonprofit organizations to provide support for more than 45 species across the globe–from protecting the critically endangered Sumatran rhino in Indonesia, to tracking northern jaguars in the foothills of Mexico, to studying the threats of the endangered green sea turtle.

"As part of Disney's longstanding commitment to the environment, the work supported through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund is more important today than ever in helping preserve our planet's most precious resources," said Dr. Beth Stevens, senior vice president, Environmental Affairs, The Walt Disney Company. "We are proud to support these organizations that are truly making a difference around the world to aid in the protection of wildlife and the natural environments they depend on to flourish."

Over the past decade, the DWCF—through support from The Walt Disney Company and Disney Guests—has provided more than $15 million in grants for the study of wildlife, protection of habitats, land management plans, community conservation and education. Along with a focus on support for species and habitat conservation science, the DWCF encourages programs that engage local residents and benefit both human and animal communities.

Below is a highlight of some of this year's recipients:

· Wildlife Trust: Black Lion Tamarin Conservation through Research and Community Involvement - Wildlife Trust teaches communities about sustainable development alternatives, including tree nurseries and handicrafts, to protect the black lion tamarins living in Brazil's Atlantic Forest.

· Northern Jaguar Project: Northern Jaguar Feline Photo Project - In an effort to reduce jaguar mortality and build conservation alliances with rural landowners, Northern Jaguar Project works directly with local ranch owners in Mexico to monitor and protect the species.

· Save the Elephants: Elephants and Bees - Save the Elephants minimizes human-wildlife conflict by studying and researching innovative strategies to reduce crop-raiding. By using beehives as a deterrent, community crops are left un-touched and families have a new source of income through honey production.

· University of Hawaii: Conserving the Green Sea Turtle in Hawaii - This program advances the understanding of the impact of pollution on endangered green sea turtles. Through further research, conservationists are able to work more effectively with local communities and governments to protect the turtles.

· International Rhino Foundation: Sumatran Rhino Conservation - The Sumatran rhino is considered the most endangered rhino species with numbers declining more than 70 percent in the past two decades. International Rhino Foundation is protecting the species through research and outreach programs in local communities.

To date the DWCF has accomplished the following milestones:

· More than $1 million to primate conservation efforts


· More than $900,000 to protect cats worldwide


· More than $850,000 to elephant conservation


· More than $850,000 to study and save sea turtles


· More than $625,000 to rhino conservation efforts

Since 1998, the DWCF has also awarded more than $575,000 in Rapid Response funds to assist with more than 120 environmental and animal emergencies. In the past year, the DWCF has provided more than $125,000 to support efforts worldwide including veterinary care and vaccinations for animals in the wake of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti and rehabilitation


There's always someone who ruins a photo.....


(Many thanks to the anonymous photographer)





Emergency services have been called to a large blaze in Newchurch the Gazette can reveal

Fire crews were called just before six pm today Sunday (June 27) to Amazon World in Watery Lane in Newchurch

Staff at the zoo, which houses over 200 animal species, discovered the blaze in an outbuilding and raised the alarm.

Robert Westmore Amazon Zoo Manager said, "Staff tried to tackle the fire using a garden hose as it was feared that the fire might spread to the quarantine area of th






Giraffe is born at Miami Metrozoo

This is the 43rd giraffe to be born at the zoo, which will soon be renamed Zoo Miami.






One of world's most endangered species, Guam kingfishers live on in zoos in struggle to survive

Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo has two chicks being raised by different parents

A mated pair of Guam Micronesian kingfishers, one of the most severely endangered animal species in the world, laid two fertile eggs this spring deep inside a hollowed-out palm log in a special breeding room of the Lincoln Park Zoo bird house. Keepers promptly stole one of the eggs.

The parents incubated and hatched one egg in the hollow log June 3 and now rear the chick there. The other egg hatched June 5 inside an incubation machine in a lab, where the chick now lives, fed by keepers from tweezers protruding beneath the beak of an over-sized kingfisher hand puppet.

Taking the second egg is standard procedure in 20 American zoos that for 25 years have struggled to save the bird from extinction. Guam kingfisher pairs often lay two eggs. In nature the stronger of the two kingfisher,0,853170.story






Jerusalem to expand Biblical Zoo

The Jerusalem Planning Committee yesterday approved plans to expand the city's Biblical Zoo, Israel's most popular tourist destination for three years running.

In a unanimous decision, Jerusalem Municipal Planning Committee members yesterday approved plans to expand the city's Biblical Zoo, Israel's most popular tourist destination for three years in a row. The plan would increase the zoo's area from 250 to 400 dunams over the next few years. The decision was prompted by a survey which revealed the zoo had beat out the ancient ruins of Masada and Caesarea, and the hot springs of Hamat Gader, to become the country's top tourist attraction. In 2007 alone, 700,000





Poachers doom rare Javan rhino

The International Rhino Foundation fears that the animal shot dead in Cat Tien National Park in late April may have been Viet Nam's last Javan rhino. Sai Gon Tiep thi (Sai Gon Marketing) spoke to park director Tran Van Thanh.

Was the dead rhino Viet Nam's last?

Park rangers searched for rhino traces after we found the bones of the dead animal. Previously, when we found indications of the rhino in the south of the park, we co-operated with World Wild Fund experts to search for more rhino but were unsuccessful.

It's possible that Viet Nam has no rhino; but that's just a theory drawn from experience.

So what will you do now?

We will comb the entire park for two or three weeks for traces of rhino and wait for the results of DNA verification due in July. We sent 60 samples of droppings taken from the dead rhino for DNA tests at Queen's University, Ontario. If they find the DNA matches that of the slaughtered rhino, it means there was just one Javan rhino in Viet Nam and it's dead.

Poachers killed the Javan rhino, so what was the responsibility of the park's rangers in its death? Will the animal's death influence WWF projects





The last great cat of Yemen

Many years ago, when Arabia was connected to Africa, wild animals roamed the mountains of Yemen. According to the Greek writer Agatharhides of Cnidus who lived in the second century BC, the northwest of the country once abounded with lions, wolves and leopards. But now Arabian lions are believed to be extinct. Only a few of the great cats survive, and their existence is threatened with human settlement and the depletion of their natural prey.

In Yemen, the dark chocolate spotted Arabian leopard is thought to still live in the eastern and north western parts of the country. Its relatives have been shot by shepherds, killed for sport or for their skin, and caught for sale to private zoos. Weary of humans, it is believed to hunt in a large area including the governorates of Amran, Mahwit and Hajja.

Chances of seeing the leopard are reportedly similar to the chances of being struck by lightning, but one Sana'a-based organization continues to be determined to set up trail cameras to capture it on film. The organization is headed by David Stanton, formerly a teacher at the Sana'a International School, who two years ago became executive director of the Foundation for the Protection of the Arabian Leopard in Yemen. The conservationist, who is also adviser to the Minister for Water and the Environment on the conservation of the animal, spoke to Alice Hackman.

The Arabian leopard has been Yemen's national animal since April 2008, says David Stanton, but so far its national status has not really been exploited, either to muster patriotism among Yemenis, or to put it at the center of a campaign to push for the protection of all the species in its food cycle.

Save something at the top of a food chain and you save everything underneath, he explains. To conserve Yemen's leopard, the water resources should be pure, the ecosystem should be intact, and the vegetation should be adequate to support the prey species that the leopard eats.

But the animal at the top of this food chain, a `critically endangered' animal on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)'s red list, has not so far been the focus of a campaign run by the government's "easily moveable





Zoo 60 years old and going strong

At 60 years of age, the Hattiesburg Zoo has never looked better, thanks to the occasional facelift and improvements over the years. New animal habitats and landscaping have made the zoo more pleasant for animals and visitors alike, but even more is planned this year.

"What we want is for the visual appearance to pull off Hardy Street better," said Rick Taylor, executive director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission, which now oversees the operation and promotion of the zoo. "With the animals, you have to provide some screening. We're looking at landscaping and asking how do we meet the needs of both animals and humans? We're looking nationally (at other zoos). One of the benefits we've brought to the zoo is the ability to ask questions as a guest. That lets us address things."

The latest addition to the landscaping is a waterfall and koi pond at the entrance to the train depot, sponsored by Mike Keith of Waterflow Productions.

"We're going to have to monitor the koi carefully because, despite





Rhino horn man Mark Rowland jailed

A man caught selling banned rhino horns on eBay has been jailed.

Mark Rowland, 24, tried to sell a tusk for £2,000 to a buyer in the US, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Just two years earlier, Rowland, of Swaffham, Norfolk, was convicted of dealing in rare stuffed animals, including a buzzard and black bear, on the website.

He was jailed for nine months and banned






Not yet released. Pre-order and save money




Today is the 10-year anniversary of the Treasure oil spill in South Africa. After 556,000 grueling hours of labor by 12,500 volunteers, 95% of the 38,000 affected penguins were returned to the wild. I was a Penguin Aquarist at the time, and worked as a rehabilitation manager during this historic event. 



King of the swimmers: How orangutan Suryia loves a summer dip with his trainer

When people talk about getting an all-over tan for summer, they're not usually talking about getting an all-over orangutan.

But 30-year-old Moksha Bybee has the most unusual of swimming partners - a seven-year-old urangutan who clings to her as she dives beneath the surface.

The jungle-dwelling creatures are not known for their love of the water, but Suryia appears to have permanently swapped tree trunks for swimming trunks.


See above: Something else which I have written on recently. Please see:

It May Be Clever But Is It Right?



Suit: Stop funding zoo's 'cruel' elephant treatment

Two women have sued the city of Seattle in an effort to stop their tax dollars from funding what they call "cruel, inhumane and unlawful" treatment of elephants at the Woodland Park Zoo.

For years, Mary Sebek and Nancy Farnam have been a part of a growing movement of people who believe zoo elephants do not thrive in captivity and should be released to sanctuaries.

In 2006, local advocates filed a lawsuit accusing Woodland Park Zoo of violating federal laws in its treatment of Bamboo, a female Asian elephant. That complaint was dismissed. In 2007, advocates again complained vociferously about the zoo, after the beloved baby elephant Hansa died of herpes.

This time, plaintiffs have the backing of the California-based Animal Legal Defense Fund. Filed Tuesday in King County Superior Court, the complaint alleges that the three elephants currently at the zoo -- Bamboo, Watoto and Chai -- suffer from painful foot and joint injuries, psychological distress and abusive breeding practices.

In addition to the usual allegations that the zoo is violating animal-cruelty laws, the plaintiffs want the city to stop funding the zoo.

"The injuries suffered by the Zoo elephants constitute waste of public property," the complaint says.

Or, in the words of Farnam, a longtime elephant activist from Edmonds:

"I shop frequently in Seattle. I pay sales taxes. I'm very concerned, because the city of Seattle has been put on notice on the condition of these animals. It hasn't made any difference. We're very much afraid these elephants are going to die."

Like many elephant advocates, she wants the animals released to an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee.

Spokespeople at the zoo and the City Attorney's office had no comment Tuesday on the complaint, citing a policy of not publicly discussing lawsuits.

The complaint alleges the elephants suffer from a plethora of painful foot injuries caused by zoo conditions, including hard concrete floors and lack of space for natural roaming and foraging behavior.

Based on publicly disclosed medical records, the lawsuit says the elephants suffer from ostereoarthritis, abscesses, infections, lesions and cracks, and that Chai, a female 31-year-old Thai elephant, was treated more than 80 times in 2008 for abscesses, infections and lesions.

The complaint also says the elephants exhibit behavior consistent with psychological distress, including rocking and pacing.

Plaintiffs also condemn the zoo's breeding program, in which they say the zoo has used artificial insemination to try to impregnate Chai more than 57 times. None of the attempts have worked, and Chai has suffered from multiple miscarriages, the plaintiffs said. (Chai gave birth to Hansa in 2000, after impregnated by a bull elephant at another zoo).

The complaint also alleges that a fourth Woodland Park elephant, Sri, suffered a stillbirth, after being impregnated while on loan to the St. Louis Zoo.

"Sri has been carrying the deceased, slowly mummifying fetus in her birth canal for more than four years," the complaint said.

In 2006, when elephant advocates accused the zoo of creating conditions that led to Bamboo's difficult, aggressive behavior, zoo officials bragged about its elephant care.

"We are proud of the world-class care and treatment afforded all our zoo's animals, including Bamboo and our other elephants that reside and socialize in our award-winnin





What The Elephants Know

On the morning of November 30, at around 7:45, three keepers entered the elephant enclosure at the Toronto Zoo to begin their daily routine. The elephants live on a dusty one-hectare tract of land with huge umbrellas for shade and three simulated termite mounds. During winter, they spend their nights in a concrete building with a corrugated roof, a poured rubber floor and metal bars as thick as tree trunks. That morning, the keepers were greeted with an alarming sight. Tara, the 41-year-old matriarch of the group, was on her side, unable to get up.

Most elephants can't lie on their sides for extended periods of time—their sheer mass puts too much pressure on their internal organs—so zoo staff immediately began trying to raise her. Getting into the pen with an elephant is dangerous work—one elephant gored a keeper in 1993. But there wasn't much time, and the team was desperate.

The eight staff who tend to the elephants had agreed that they wanted to be called in if one of their charges ever went down, and soon off-duty keepers were rushing down to the enclosure to help out or, more likely, to say goodbye. The African animal supervisor, Eric Cole, a 30-year zoo veteran with short-cropped hair and the remnants of an Irish brogue, had had some success coaxing fallen elephants back to their feet in the past. At first, Tara swiped angrily at the keepers with her trunk. She eventually calmed down, allowing Cole and his team to get straps underneath her. Using a winch, they raised the 3,800-kilogram animal to her sternum. Tara struggled. She managed to lift her hind legs but wasn't able to pull her front legs under her. Keepers tried a few more times to raise her, but she wouldn't budge. At around 11 that morning, Tara died. "She didn't appear to have the will," recalled Maria Franke, curator of mammals. "It's like she decided to let go."

The keepers were devastated. "It was pretty shattering," Cole told me. "Everyone was just drained; the staff was all crying." They brought Tara's body out to the paddock so that the other elephants, Thika, Toka and Iringa, could mourn her. Elephants are highly social animals, and females live in tight-knit groups their entire lives. When an elephant, particularly the matriarch, dies in the wild, the loss can reverberate for months or even years. There are stories of elephants returning to the bones of a family member years after the death, rubbing their trunks along the teeth of the skull's lower jaw in the same way they greet one another in life.

Tara had to be autopsied, so mourning could last only a few hours. The zoo's remaining elephants—animals who lived with Tara for decades—straddled her and stroked her skin. They used their trunks to throw dirt on her. At the end of the day, keepers transported Tara and brought the rest of the elephants back inside for the night. Because the elephants don't always get along, they are often kept in separate pens and spend the night apart. When keepers arrived the next morning, however, they found all the elephant dung piled close to the connecting corners of their respective pens. The three elephants—the final members of a haphazardly formed family group that had once been eight—had spent that night huddled together, as close to one another as possible.

Two days later, the Toronto Zoo was quiet, empty save for a few groups of teenagers playing hooky and a handful of daycare kids who toddled past the simulated Serengeti bush camp toward the empty Africa Restaurant (a Harvey's and a Pizza Pizza outlet in a jungle-themed pavilion). It was a bright, unseasonably warm day, and most of the animals were in their outdoor display areas: tigers stretching out in the sunny section of their Indo-Malaya enclosure, muddy-looking polar bears in the new Tundra Trek area, a group of impalas and kudu blinking in a broad pasture, indifferent to the intruding raccoon and flock of Canada geese that compromised the verisimilitude of their savannah habitat.

At the African elephant exhibit, the mood was sombre. A young zookeeper in gumboots and khakis told me that she'd had an emotional few days. "We look after these animals eight hours a day," she said. "We become close." Since Tara's death, the elephants had been unusually subdued, keeping near to one another, acting tentative. Thika, a 30-year-old female, stood motionless under one of the large wooden umbrellas, one foot cocked at the ankle. In the stillness, you could hear the swish of her trunk as she rubbed it over her rough body, over her head, over her ears, over her





World first for vultures facing extinction

Globally extinct within 10 years: that has been the worst prediction for three species of vulture which have disappeared from huge swathes of southern Asia. But the latest exciting news from a conservation partnership in India reveals that all three species have now successfully reared young in a captive breeding centre, providing some long-term hope for these three Critically Endangered species, especially as the ultimate aspiration will be to return birds to the wild.

Reportedly, before their population crash, Asia's vulture population extended to tens of millions of birds, but now the combined population of all three species numbers is believed to be well below 60,000 individuals. And with the population of at least one species almost halving each year, the success of captive breeding may give some hope that these magnificent birds will be prevented from reaching oblivion.

The centre reports that 10 vulture chicks have fledged this year, with three Indian Vulture Gyps indicus chicks fledging in captivity for the first time ever. These chicks were complemented by the fledging of three Slender-billed Vultures G. tenuirostris and four White-rumped Vultures G. bengalensis.

The population crash of Asia's vultures was first noted in the late 1990s, since then their rate of decline has been steeper than many other species, including the infamous extinction of the dodo. The vultures' catastrophic decline has been driven by the veterinary use of diclofenac. A vulture will die of acute kidney





Drugged tigers do not a zoo make

THERE have been a lot of news reports on private zoos and resorts management of wildlife over the past few months. Many of these reports have focused on either how zoos are used as fronts for the laundering of wildlife or the exploitation of wildlife for profit. One establishment rents (yes, rents) tigers to companies for photographic opportunities and to bring the companies luck. One instance was the footage captured by a member of the public, shown on YouTube on the allegedly drugged tiger at a zoo in a resort. These reports were not only published locally but also broadcast by international television stations watched by millions.

Granted that these establishments were given special permits and licences to display wildlife as exhibits but some have gone to the extent of claiming that this is their conservation effort to save wildlife. I am having a difficult time accepting this. How does having tigers photographed for a fee or renting them add to conservation value?

The manager of the resort, when asked whether the tiger in the video was drugged for the keeper to manipulate for that perfect photo, explained that since the animal is sleepy in the day and well-fed, the keeper needed to coax it to perform as the dutiful tiger. Seriously? When I first read this, I could not believe that the public would be so ignorant as to believe this excuse. So, I was glad to see the public responding in anger to the treatment of the tiger, and demanding that these animals be treated with respect and in a humane manner. The public is not swallowing the excuses these establishments give to justify their treatment of wildlife as playthings.

My main contention is why are these "zoos" touting themselves as promoting conservation, and calling themselves zoos. The purpose of a zoo, when displaying captive wildlife, should primarily be for the conservation of the species, education and research. Entertainment of visitors should always be secondary. This means that to function within the definition and purpose of a zoo, it should do one or a few of the following: conduct research on the wildlife it is keeping; study the animals behaviour and publish the findings to contribute





Thousands of Sea Turtle Eggs To Be Moved Out of Oil's Way

For the tens of thousands of sea turtle eggs incubating in the sands of the northern Gulf of Mexico—and dangerously near the oil—it's come to this: Officials are planning to dig up the approximately 700 nests on Alabama and the Florida panhandle beaches, pack the eggs in Styrofoam boxes, and fly them to a facility in eastern Florida where they can mature. Once the eggs have hatched, the young turtles will be released in darkness on Florida's Atlantic beaches into oil-free water. Translocation of nests on this scale has never been attempted before.

"This is really a worst-case scenario," says Michael Ziccardi, a University of California, Davis, veterinarian and oil-spill veteran who is leading the government's response efforts for marine mammals and sea turtles. "We hoped we wouldn't get to this point."

Sea turtles that hatch in the Northern Gulf of Mexico typically spend a few months near the coast, and many eventually enter the Loop Current to make their way into the Atlantic. This year, that path would put them right in the oil spill. Federal officials in charge of response "believe that most, if not all, of the 2010 Northern Gulf hatchling cohort would be at high risk of encountering oil during this period," according to the written translocation plan, developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service, and the






"Metamorphoses of the Zoo marshals a unique compendium of critical interventions that envision novel modes of authentic encounter that cultivate humanity's biophilic tendencies without abusing or degrading other animals. These take the form of radical restructurings of what were formerly zoos or map out entirely new, post-zoo sites or experiences. The result is a volume that contributes to moral progress on the inter-species front and eco-psychological health for a humankind whose habitats are now mostly citified or urbanizing."




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Pride of lions spotted roaming S.African village

South African authorities on Wednesday said they were searching for four lions believed to have escaped from a wildlife park which have been spotted roaming villages in the northwest.

"A search party of rangers has been out since last week but they have not managed to capture the four lions," said Joshua Kwapa, a spokesman for Limpopo province.

Kwapa said villagers in Giyane, which lies close to the Kruger National Park, north of the country have spotted the lions on numerous occasions.

"They are three adults and a calf. We suspect they might have escaped from one of the parks in the Kruger National Park area," said Kwapa.

"The lions pose danger to both humans and domestic animals," he added.

But officials in the Kruger Park denied suggestions





Conservationists hail arrival of India vulture chicks

Three species of rare vultures in India have been successfully bred in captivity, conservationists say.

Most of the birds were reared in the Indian state of Haryana, but also in the state of West Bengal.

Among the 10 chicks that have fledged this year are four oriental white-backed vultures.

Experts say this species - once found all over India - has been declining at a "rate quicker than the dodo before it became extinct".

Population crash

The birds have been bred by a partnership of British and Indian conservation groups including BirdLife International, Bombay Natural History Society, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), UK International Centre for Birds of Prey (ICBP), and the Zoological Society of London






Elephant hurts keeper at Toledo Zoo

An elephant keeper was injured by an elephant at the Toledo, Ohio, Zoo on Thursday afternoon, according to officials.

Don RedFox, the keeper, was taken to the University of Toledo Medical Center, said zoo spokesman Andi Norman. RedFox's injuries are not life threatening, according to the zoo. RedFox is the elephant manager and has been employed at the zoo for more than 30 years, mostly working with elephants.

The elephant involved in the incident is a 7-year-old named "Louie." "He was born at the zoo in 2003 and had been under the keeper's care since then," Norman said.

The incident between the keeper and the elephant occurred at 3:45 p.m. ET Thursday, said Norman. "A zoo






'New' giant ape found in DR Congo

Scientists believe they have discovered a new group of giant apes in the jungles of central Africa.

The animals, with characteristics of both gorillas and chimpanzees, have been sighted in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to local villagers, the apes are ferocious, and even capable of killing lions.

A report about the mysterious creatures is published in this week's edition of the UK magazine New Scientist.

If they are a new species of primate, it could be one of the most important wildlife discoveries in decades.

The discovery of these apes "reveals just how much we still have to learn about our closest living relatives," New






Giant pandas make group debut at park

Fourteen giant pandas made a public group debut at Shanghai Wild Animal Park on Wednesday, marking the opening of the zoo's giant panda pavilion, China News Service reports.

The giant panda group consisted of four old park residents, including a bear that was born in 1983 and three pandas that have a chance of being sent to Taiwan. The other 10 were World Expo pandas born after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which had been relocated to the park two days ago from another part of Shanghai.

A 10,000-square-meter bamboo forest had been prepared for the pandas featuring a variety of bamboo plants. The Expo Giant Panda Pavilion inside the forest was built to resemble the natural living environment of the giant pandas.

Breeders say that the 10 Expo pandas have been in good health since they were moved to Shanghai from their hometown Wolong in Sichuan Province in January. Although their recent move has affected their eating and sleeping habits, the pandas







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Released lynxes have cubs

The seven Iberian lynxes (four females and three males) released in December 2009 in Guadalmellato, Cordoba are breeding successfully. Three cubs have been born to one mother, and two other females are believed to be pregnant.

The seven animals were the first to be released from the lynx captive breeding programme with the aim of establishing new territories across Spain. In this first case, an area close to the main lynx stronghold of Andújar was chosen. To make their adaptation easier, supplementary food in the form of penned rabbits has been provided – the lynxes can get in, but the rabbit can't get out. The animals have also been fitted with radio-trackers.

The biologists in charge of the project are delighted not only with the news of the cubs, but also because no lynxes have so far died – three to four were expected to do so as they succumbed to the ordeal of adapting to their new territory. One animal has also come into contact with lynxes from Andújar which bodes well







How should Micke Grove Zoo be operated?

Micke Grove Zoo's future may be at a crossroads. The 5-acre zoo hasn't been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums since 2006, and a San Joaquin County supervisor has candidly stated that the zoo is bereft with problems.

"I don't want to be negative, but this zoo is all screwed up," Supervisor Larry Ruhstaller said during last week's budget hearings by the Board of Supervisors.

Ruhstaller said in a follow-up interview last week that a personality clash lies between members of the Micke Grove Zoological Society and zoo director Ken Nieland. Additionally, the Board of Supervisors should stop being passive about zoo operations, Ruhstaller said.

"We need to exercise our authority and say, `OK, how do we make this work?'" Ruhstaller said. "Otherwise, in six months or a year, we don't have a zoo. I think we need to play hardball with (the zoo)."

Nieland responded, "I have never had a conversation about the zoo with Larry Ruhstaller."

Zoological Society members differ on what their role and influence should be. Outgoing society President Bob Westwood and new President Wayne Diede have greatly different perspectives.

"Why should the county fund what the public doesn't want?" said Westwood, who applauds the county's trimming of the zoo budget. "(The public) doesn't want just monkeys and birds."

The public has been surveyed several times, and they want a variety of animals — ones who are active, run around, and stare at people as people stare at t


`We're out of it,' says zoo boss in council rift

ZOO boss David Gill says he will sell the attraction after his expansion plans were delayed by the council's request for more information.

`This is an example of rip off Britain at its worst'

`We have had objections from several consultees'

Mr Gill said he has axed the £3.6m expansion after Barrow Borough Council delayed the development, saying he must provide them with more information.

Now Mr Gill has jetted off to his home in America, to escape what he calls "Broken Britain", saying his future lies away from the Dalton zoo.

In a letter to the council (see opposite page) Mr Gill said he was scrapping plans to expand the park, which would have seen the construction of a new car park, entrance and animal enclosures, because of the money and time he has lost as a result of the latest setback.

Speaking to the Evening Mail, Mr Gill said: "We've been let down so much by Barrow Borough Council on this, to the point where I am distraught.

"How can we possibly move forward when you don't know what is round the corner.

"They have changed the goalposts and I don't know when it will stop.

"They stated to us exactly what they wanted and now they've changed it.

"I told my staff a while ago, that if they (the council) come on again and if it is going to cost us any more money and we have any more delays – we're eight months behind as it is – we can't do it.

"I'm not going to take the personal risk, put my family's life and everything else on the line, not knowing what is round the corner from the people on Barrow Borough Council.

"We're out of it.

"The sad part is, we were going to create a lot more jobs and something very spectacular for the area.

"I'm going away now for five or six weeks and I'm going to make a new life for myself.

"I'm glad to be out of it, glad to be out of the area and glad that I've made this decision because at the end of the day, what I created has never been fully appreciated by the council. Yes, I'll try and keep the company going, but it will certainly be with management that is not me.

"As far as I'm concerned, all I want to do is get out and get my health back because


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