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Zoo News Digest
July-August 2011


Elephants still roaming streets
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) deputy governor Theerachon Manomaipibul yesterday said that seven street-roaming elephants were impounded in separate cases this month, mostly in the suburbs.
Despite the authorities' attempts to solve the street-roaming elephant issue, elephants were still being brought to beg in the Greater Bangkok area, with their mahouts taking them to rest in Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon. BMA has asked for the cooperation of these provinces and of the Livestock Development Department in arresting the mahouts. So far this month, seven mahouts have been arrested and their elephants impounded. While the mahouts were prosecuted at the police stations, the elephants were kept in quarantine for 30 days

Devouring Dragon, Disappearing Tigers
China has launched a number of conservation efforts
to save the remaining tigers in China, including the nearly extinct
South China tiger. However, the demand for tiger products persists,
much of it related to the vaunted health, medicinal and preservative
qualities of the tiger; there are also questions as to the
motivation of these tiger conservation efforts and it appears that
the two preserves visited by Econoff really can't sustain themselves
without undertaking some commercial actions that would affect the
well being of the animals they are supposed

US diplomat posed as Korean tourist in undercover visit to China tiger farm
Cable released by WikiLeaks reveals American efforts to investigate allegations breeding centre was selling tiger parts
An American diplomat posed as a Korean tourist to investigate a notorious tiger breeding centre in southern China, where he saw animals whipped, made to perform "marriage processions" and reportedly sold to be used in traditional medicines.
As a result of the undercover visit to Xiongsen Tiger and Bear Farm, the US government was notified of doubts about China's conservation efforts, according to a diplomatic cable recently released by WikiLeaks.
The investigation – more a piece of journalism than spying – was inspired by a flurry of foreign media reports in the spring of 2007 alleging the farm offered tiger meat in its restaurant and

The Big Bat Map
(Great idea...sadly not worldwide, Just UK and Eire)

What's all the flap about?
Best option for Happy Feet not clear.
Under a clear blue sky, Christine Wilton's stroll along Peka Peka Beach was interrupted by the shiny white object standing ahead of her.
She had no idea that her chance encounter with an emperor penguin would set off a conservation phenomenon that would grab headlines around the world, spark debate among experts, and provoke a nation to open its wallets and hearts.
After walking her dog on Peka Peka Beach that Tuesday morning of June 21, Mrs Wilton returned home to call Peter Simpson, the Conservation Department's Kapiti biodiversity programme manager. The previous afternoon, he had taken a call from a Raumati Beach resident who reported seeing what he thought was a large bird playing around in the water. Mr Simpson assumed it was a seal, the witness wasn't so sure, and the pair left it at that.
Mrs Wilton was more persistent. She described a penguin that came up to her chest - Mr Simpson assumed she was very short. "She said no, this thing is five foot tall. She thought it looked like an emperor. I said blimey." There had only ever been one emperor penguin to arrive on New Zealand's shores, at Southland's Oreti Beach in 1967.
Perplexed, he got on the phone to DOC's Waikanae office. They knew exactly what he was calling about, their phone was also ringing hot.
On his way out to Peka Peka Beach with fellow DOC workers, Mr Simpson didn't feel excitement building. He was more concerned about confirming whether or not the bird was in fact an emperor penguin. "Then we would have to figure out what would happen from there."
What would happen from there was far beyond DOC's control. One penguin's poor sense of direction was about to spark debates about animal welfare, arguments over the ethics of mankind intervening with nature

20 endangered Siamese crocodiles hatch in Laos
A rare crocodile species is one step further from extinction after 20 eggs hatched in a Southeast Asian zoo.
The Siamese crocodiles were born at Lao Zoo last week, just outside Vientiane. The babies wiggled their way out of their eggs while under the soft red light of an incubator.
The wild eggs were found in the southern province of Savannakhet in June by a team of villagers trained by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, which is working to save the species in landlocked Laos. The eggs were then brought to the zoo to hatch.
The crocodiles will be raised in captivity for 18 months before

Cricket St Thomas wildlife park fans peeved by signs
Families hoping to visit a wildlife park in Somerset are turning up at a hotel because of outdated road signs.
Cricket St Thomas Lakes and Gardens hotel resort near Chard used to be home to hundreds of animals and birds.
But while the wildlife park closed in 2009, signs directing motorists to the location have not been removed.
The Highways Agency, which is responsible for the distinctive brown road signs, said it was working with the firm to resolve the issue.
Staff at the hotel resort said they regularly have to deal with angry tourists searching for the animal park.
Despite requests from the resort owners, the signs along the A303 and M5 have not been taken down by the Highways Agency.
A spokeswoman for the Highways Agency said: "We have been made aware that Cricket St Thomas Lakes and Gardens is no longer a wildlife park and our agents have

Suspected gorilla traffickers arrested in DR Congo
Two men suspected of running a baby gorilla trafficking ring have been arrested in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, conservation activists said Friday.
The two were arrested in Goma, the capital of DR Congo's Kivu Nord province, and "charged with illegal trafficking of an endangered species", the Congolese ICCN conservation group said in a statement.
Authorities believe the criminal outfit captures baby gorillas in the iconic Virunga National Park, which straddles DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, and then smuggles the rare mammals into Rwanda to be sold.
"The arrests are the outcome of a coordinated effort by Rwandan and Congolese law enforcement authorities," Virunga National Park director Emmanuel de Merode told AFP.
"While we are pleased to have brought this group of traffickers to justice, we remain very worried by what appears to be a significant and growing demand for baby mountain gorillas," he added.
Most of the world's mountain gorillas are found

Jozankei Bear Farm
Suspected of Violations of Animal Welfare and Management Act. ALIVE Requested Sapporo City to Make Inspection and Order Improvements
ALIVE received a letter informing us about the bears at Jozankei Bear Farm in Hokkaido. The letter explained the horrible situation of the bears at the farm. After conducting our own inspection survey of the site and gathered information, ALIVE sent a letter of request to Sapporo City on August 17, urging that improvements be made at the bear farm facility. We asked the city to oversee and direct the farm to change the current situation

How a police horse was nearly slaughtered at Woodland Park Zoo
Prince was a beloved animal when he left the SPD mounted patrol
Earlier this year, there was talk of Seattle police horses being retired because of budget woes. But quick efforts from the Seattle Police Foundation and private donors helped saved Seattle's equinest.
That wasn't the first time a Seattle police horse had been spared at the last minute, though the previous case had a more serious fate looming.
In 1926, Seattle police had 14 officers on horseback. One of the horses was Prince, a light brown horse with a white streak down his muzzle. Early that year, the top brass determined Prince was too old for the job and sent him to retirement.
He didn't get a pension, but a local farmer agreed to take him. The

Life in a fishbowl
Six wild-caught beluga whales have spent the past year in a holding facility in Russia, ready to be flown to Hong Kong, while a giant tank is being built for them at Ocean Park, Simon Parry reports. Does this mean animal welfare groups have lost their fight to stop the import of the near-threatened species?
Their location is being kept secret and few people have access to them - but they must be a magnificent sight. In a marine facility in western Russia, six wild-caught beluga whales from the Okhotsk Sea swim back and forth, ready to be flown to a new home in Hong Kong.
Thousands of miles away, an activist campaigning against their import to Hong Kong sees what he describes as "a huge tank" about 10 meters deep at the construction site of Ocean Park's new Polar Adventure section, big enough to accommodate the six whales and up to 14 more besides.
The belugas, it seems, are coming. Two other major developments appear to be making imminent the controversial import of the near-threatened whales to Hong Kong, a move fiercely opposed by a coalition of animal welfare groups.
Firstly, independent scientists have verified a sustainability study funded by Ocean Park which concluded up to 29 beluga whales a year can be taken from the Okhotsk Sea - and secondly, an opinion poll on the import of belugas to Hong Kong has returned largely favorable results.
With preparations so advanced and both scientists and the public largely in support, the campaign to stop belugas being brought to Ocean Park appears doomed and their import to the Polar Adventure section before it opens

New ?stanbul Aquarium has already become a top attraction

The ?stanbul Aquarium, the world’s biggest thematic aquarium with its 15,000 species of fish, opened in June and has already become one of the top attractions in the city.


The ?stanbul Metropolitan Municipality launched the ?stanbul Aquarium project, in which TL 268 million was invested. Designed by the municipality, the aquarium complex sits on an area of approximately 100 acres in Florya.


In an interview with Sunday’s Zaman, ?stanbul Aquarium General Director Sami Milli stated that he has taken part in all stages of the aquarium’s planning since 2007, from its draft sketches to its opening ceremony, when the aquarium was inaugurated by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an and ?stanbul Mayor Kadir Topba? in June.


Visitors can see 15,000 species of fish at the ?stanbul Aquarium, which features 16 regions of the world, from the Black Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Inside the aquarium are an exploration trail and an interactive rain forest. The aquarium project was announced in 2003, and its plans were completed after ?stanbul Metropolitan


Keeper blamed as lion cubs killed by adult lion at Berlin zoo

Two lion cubs at Berlin Zoo have been bitten to death by an adult male lion after a keeper carelessly opened a door separating them, the visitor attraction admitted Friday.


Iringa and Bomani, both 5 months old, were prowling round with their own parents in an exercise yard next to the lion cages. Suddenly, another lion couple, Paule and Amira, leaped into the enclosure. Paule, 13 years old, killed the two cubs wit

Safari Zoo planned in Jahra

With widespread public dissatisfaction at the state and conditions of Kuwait's one existing extremely old-fashioned zoo in Omariya, the Public Authority for Agriculture and Fish Resources (PAAFR) is planning to build a new, more humane safari park-style facility to the west of Jahra City.


The new safari zoo will be more modern in design, with the animals allowed to roam freely whilst the human visitors will only be able to travel through it by car or in specially designed trains, although there will be indoor facilities too which visitors will be able to view using the latest technology.


The Municipal Council has already approved the proposed site for the new facility, explained Yousef Al-Najem, the director of Kuwait Zoo: "It will be located on a 16,000 square meter site, sixteen times the size of the current zoo," he told the Kuwait Times. "The zoo will be established under the BOT [Build Operate Transfer] system, and will add to the existing entertainment facilities in the country.


The PAAFR is currently conducting a number of studies on the best layout for the new zoo, Al-Najem continued, adding, "The research won't take long to carry out, but the problem lies in the execution. The research is carried out by the investor, then sent to the Municipal Council for approval. The good thing is that the new safari zoo won't cost the government more money.


The animals currently at the present zoo will be transferred to the new facility, Al-Najem explained. "The animals will be transferred from the zoo in Omariya to the new one. The zoo will include animals from different environments such as the tropical or the cold one, and we will prepare similar environments to those which they came from.


The new zoo will also bring more animals from other zoos that we have an agreement with. For instance, Kuwait Zoo has an animal exchange program with the Korean Zoo, from which we brought the leopard and we exchanged it with deer that were bred here.


The old zoo won't be completely abandoned, however, the director revealed. "It will be turned into to some other useful facility. We are not sure yet, but the PAAFR is planning to change it to an aquarium or an insect zoo. Kuwait signed the CITES [Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species] Treaty on wild fauna and


Lions get a closer view of Detroit Zoo visitors

Animals can better interact with guests in expanded habitat


The Detroit Zoo's lions have more room to roam, thanks to a newly renovated habitat that opened Thursday.


The habitat, home to two male and four female lions, underwent a six-month, $1 million renovation that expanded it from 3,500 square feet to 7,500 square feet. Besides being bigger, the exhibit features a 17-foot-high glass wall that allows the lions and visitors to stand within feet of each other.


"It gives them an opportunity to interact with guests," said the zoo's chief life science officer, Scott Carter. "Sometimes, they'll take an interest in someone across the glass. They're predators. We're prey. They'll take a predatory interest in us sometimes."


But rest assured, the wall of 60 tempered glass panels is strong enough to keep the lions from acting on their predatory instincts, the zoo says. The glass could withstand a 2½-ton truck traveling 40 mph, according to zoo officials.


Besides the see-through barrier, the new habitat features grass, a small watering hole and several warming rocks, some of which are near the glass panes.


The lions' old habitat featured a rock and dirt landscape and a 22-foot-wide moat to separate the lions from spectators. When the zoo opened in 1928, the exhibit was groundbreaking because it was one of the first to feature a natural habitat, said Ron Kagan, executive director of the Detroit Zoological Society.


"Almost all zoos had bars and cement floors. It was very small," he said. "Over the years, we've wanted to give them more room, and we finally now have

National Zoo’s Reptile Discovery Center adds endangered species, emphasizes preservation

When you realize your home’s look hasn’t evolved much since its post-college phase, you put the Ikea bookshelves on Craigslist, start searching for a contractor who won’t drive you crazy, scrutinize endless tile samples and stop considering Pottery Barn too public a venue to fight with your spouse. Then you prepare the neighbors and pay the county.


When you realize your reptile house is “stuck in the ’80s,” as National Zoo biologist Matt Evans did last year, you put your aging non-endangered snakes, turtles and lizards on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ “status list” (a Freecycle of sorts for curators), work the phones to ?nd a new home for unwanted animals, and start cashing in favors from former colleagues whose zoos have just the gecko you gotta have. Then you prepare the neighbors: Tell the plant people you need new native plants, the commissary you need new meat, and the vet you need quarantine space. And you cross your fingers and hope no red tape keeps the Smithsonian’s Reptile Discovery Center from getting fresh, new cold blood.


Kinda makes your remodeling look less beastly.


When Dennis Kelly left his post at Zoo Atlanta to take over the National Zoo last year, he made species preservation his top priority. He enlisted Evans and Jim Murphy, a research associate, to do a massive remodeling of its “geriatric” inventory, while revamping its mission: more research, more species protection and more endangered animals.


The Smithsonian’s zoo wasn’t, as Evans says, “doing much in the way of science” or leading the country in species preservation, so the 71-year-old Murphy, a giant in herpetology circles, was called out of semi-retirement to head up the Reptile Discovery Center.


“Firing up the herpetologists is Jim’s forte,” said David Chiszar, an animal behaviorist and snake specialist at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In terms of research and journal contributions, Chiszar says, “Murphy is probably in the top five across all zoos and across all the years we have had zoos in the U.S.”


It was the conservation aspect that lured Murphy out of semi-retirement: “I am convinced that we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction event of animals and plants, caused by humans,” he says. The fifth cleared the planet of dinosaurs. “I know hundreds of biologists, and not one is optimistic. It is incumbent upon me to alert others to this looming catastrophe.”


With every new endangered Malagasy leaf-tailed gecko now calling Woodley Park home, Evans and Murphy are shifting the

Final stranded pilot whale heading to SeaWorld

The last pilot whale remaining in the Florida Keys since a mass stranding nearly four months ago will be transferred to SeaWorld of Orlando to continue its rehabilitation.


"SeaWorld received federal approval today to provide a permanent, caring home for the remaining rescued pilot whale that has been deemed non-releasable," SeaWorld spokeswoman Becca Bides said Friday.


The 12-foot, 1,800-pound whale has been under care at the Marine Mammal Conservancy in Key Largo since a few days after the May 5 stranding.


A pilot whale calf, originally identified as whale 301, that was also at the MMC was driven in a special truck to SeaWorld's new stranded-animal facility in late July, and continues to recover. That 900-pound calf has been renamed Fredi.


The pod of 23 pilot whales stranded May 5 off Cudjoe Key. Most died at the scene, but two males were released after being deemed healthy enough to survive. The two females, Fredi and 300, are the only other survivors.


The calf cannot be released into the wild because it apparently lost its mother in the stranding, and has not learned survival skills. The adult female suffers

Raiders steal fake rhino horns in Britain

Two rhinoceros horns were stolen from a British museum on Saturday -- only the horns were fake and worthless.


The horns were removed from a stuffed Indian rhino and a White rhino specimen at the Natural History Museum's site in Tring, northwest of London.


However, due to a recent spate of such thefts across Europe, the museum had replaced the horns with replicas.


Rhinos are often poached for their horns, made of keratin and sold on the black market for ornamental or medicinal purposes, particularly in Asia.


Horns fetch around £60,000 ($100,000, 70,000 euros) per kilogramme.


"The theft occurred around 4:00 am (0300 GMT) this morning, following a failed attempt at midnight," a Natural History Museum spokeswoman, Chloe Kembery, told AFP.


"The horns were replaced with replicas about three

Bored with wolves? Go see wolverines

Distracted by lynxes, grizzlies, gray wolves and skunks, visitors often miss seeing a rare glimpse of nature when they visit Northwest Trek Wildlife Park: wolverines mating.


"Visitors don't seem to spend much time watching our wolverines," said Dave Ellis, deputy director of the animal park near Eatonville, Wash.


Maybe they should.


"Our wolverines are pretty much unafraid of anyone watching from overhead or through the glass," he said, noting that the park's wolverine couple engages in amorous behavior in late July and August.


"Like most members of the weasel family, they are intensely active for 15 or 20 minutes, then crash and sleep it off," Ellis said. The result, in four of the past five years, has been the birth of wolverine kits around Valentine's Day.


Wolverines are still common in the far north, but their numbers have dwindled in the lower 48 states, so seeing them is a treat. The two kept at Northwest Trek, in the foothills of Mount Rainier, were acquired from private breeders and are among only a half-dozen pairs displayed at U.S. zoos.


Northwest Trek is a 725-acre wildlife park, home to more than 200 animals native to western North America.


The park's visitation experience brings to mind Oregon's Wildlife Safari in Winston, with a twist. Wildlife Safari is a drive-through park, where visitors tour the grounds in their own vehicles. Viewing at Northwest Trek is on foot, past enclaves where carnivores and birds of prey are kept, plus an escorted tram tour through a free-roaming area where plant eaters live.


Both parks have large enclosures where animals have more space to ramble than big city zoos can offer. Northwest Trek is the rural adjunct to Tacoma Metro Parks' excellent Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.


Of course, big space may be good for the animals,

Possible biological control discovered for pathogen devastating amphibians

Zoologists at Oregon State University have discovered that a freshwater species of zooplankton will eat a fungal pathogen which is devastating amphibian populations around the world.


This tiny zooplankton, called Daphnia magna, could provide a desperately needed tool for biological control of this deadly fungus, the scientists said, if field studies confirm its efficacy in a natural setting.


The fungus, B. dendrobatidis, is referred to as a “chytrid” fungus, and when it reaches high levels can disrupt electrolyte balance and lead to death from cardiac arrest in its amphibian hosts. One researcher has called its impact on amphibians “the most spectacular loss of vertebrate biodiversity due to disease in recorded history.”


The research, reported today in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation, was supported by the National Science Foundation.


“There was evidence that zooplankton would eat some other types of fungi, so we wanted to find out if Daphnia would consume the chytrid fungus,” said Julia Buck, an OSU doctoral student in zoology and lead author on the study. “Our laboratory experiments and DNA analysis confirmed that it would eat the zoospore, the free-swimming stage of the fungus.”


“We feel that biological control offers the best chance to control this fungal disease, and now we have a good candidate for that,” she said. “Efforts to eradicate this disease have been unsuccessful, but so far no one has attempted biocontrol of the chytrid fungus. That may be the way to go.”


The chytrid fungus, which was only identified in 1998, is not always deadly at low levels of infestation, Buck said. It may not be necessary to completely eliminate it, but rather just reduce its density in order to prevent mortality. Biological controls can work well in that type of situation.


Amphibians have been one of the great survival stories in Earth’s history, evolving about 400 million years ago and surviving to the present while many other life forms came and went, including the dinosaurs. But in recent decades the global decline of amphibians has reached crisis proportions, almost certainly from

Retired Lab Chimpanzees Provide Sound Track for the Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Andy Serkis. James Franco. Freida Pinto. John Lithgow. These are clearly the stars of the movie, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” which is now showing in theatres. But there are others who had important speaking roles in the movie who won’t appear on theatre marquees. Hamlet, Les, Henry, Keeli, and a host of other chimpanzees spoke for the apes in the movie.


The chimpanzees are residents of Chimp Haven, a sanctuary in northwest Louisiana that provides a home to chimpanzees retired from biomedical research or are no longer wanted as pets or entertainers. Of the 134 chimpanzees currently living at the sanctuary, 124 come from biomedical research.


The facility is on a 200-acre campus that provides spacious outdoor habitats for the chimpanzees to live in large social groups. Every day, they receive nutritious meals and behavioral enrichment—items and activities that challenge that stimulate their mental and cognitive functions.


Unlike the “sanctuary” in the movie, Chimp Haven provides a positive environment where the chimpanzees can climb trees, build nests, participate in social groups, and engage in behaviors typical of c

Zoo focus on safe animal breeding

plans to provide wildlife-friendly ambience


Apart from displaying animals for visitors, the Patna zoo is now focussing on conservation of wildlife through breeding.


The zoo authorities are now putting in comprehensive efforts to conserve wildlife, including several endangered species through breeding.


The authorities are also putting in efforts to develop pseudo-natural habitat for animals inside the zoo, including developing favourable enclosures and arriving at an ideal male to female ratio for the animals to mate.


At present, there are several constraints, which are proving to be a hindrance to the breeding of the animals inside the zoo.


“The basic principle of conservation of animal includes augmentation of breeding of animals, so as to make the zoological gardens self-sustaining and if possible develop a pool of surplus animals, which can be given to the other zoos. Thus, we are making step-by-step efforts to promote breeding of animals at the zoo,” director of Patna zoo Abhay Kumar told The Telegraph.


“For instance, there are certain animals which need to be kept in a no-display area to breed. Thus, we have sent a proposal to central zoo authority (CZA) to develop a lion conservation area in the zoo, where lions would be kept in no-display area where they would be able to breed. Similar proposal has been sent to CZA for developing a rhino conservation area. We are also making plans for developing a conservation area for tigers. Moreover, we are also making efforts to complete the pair of several existing animals so that they are able to mate,” he said.


Recently, a pair of Asiatic lions, a pair of white tiger and a lone royal Bengal tiger arrived at Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, Patna from Nehru zoological park, Hyderabad under an ex-change programme.


Sources said, Patna zoo has also entered into an agreement with Sipahijala zoo, Tripura, for another animal exchange programme where Patna zoo would give one female rhino and a pair of hippopotamus to the Sipahijala zoo and in return would get one pair of spectacled languor, a pair of clouded leopard, one pair of pig-tailed macaque, a pair of leopard cat, one silver and one golden pheasant.


“There are certain animals which are not being able to breed as they do not have breeding partners. The problem has almost been solved for lions and tigers with for the recent addition from the Hyderabad zoo. We will also come up with a similar breeding solution for leopards, languor and pheasant if the exchange programme with Tripura zoo is successful,” Abhay said, adding that the animal exchange apart, there are several other fundamental wildlife issues, which the zoo

Extinct bumblebee to be reintroduced to Britain

A rare bumblebee that died out in Britain more than two decades ago is to be reintroduced into the wild under a new project by conservation experts.


Scientists are planning to release around 60 short-haired bumblebee queens into wild flower meadows in an attempt to re-establish the species in this country.


The rare insect, which is also known by its scientific name of Bombus subterraneus, has not been seen in the UK since 1988 when it was spotted in a meadow in Dungeness, Kent.


The queens to be reintroduced have been imported from Sweden. The first crop of the fertilised insects are currently being screened for disease, before being released into meadows in southern England in the spring. Other releases are likely to follow.


Dr Mark Brown, a senior lecturer in biology at Royal Holloway who is involved in the scheme, said: "These insects have been declining across Europe due to the changes in agricultural practice that have seen the decline in flower-rich wild meadows.


"While other species of bumblebee have been declining, this is one that we have lost and we are

Tides To Power Yorkshire Aquarium

In Hull, East Yorkshire, England, the Neptune Proteus NP1000, a tidal power device we first told you about last year, was approved for implementation, developers announced. The device, developed by Neptune Renewable Energy, will become operational in the fall of this year.


The Proteus will use the tidal stream of the Humber, a tidal estuary, to power The Deep, an aquarium and popular tourist attraction. The Deep’s managers see the use of tidal power as entirely fitting for a marine-themed place like the aquarium – and Neptune hopes it opens eyes to the possibilities with tidal




Yowl! Madhya Pradesh to welcome 60 African cheetahs

Come December and the forests of Madhya Pradesh might just get resounding with the yowls of cheetahs. That's when the state government will bring in six of these slender felines - the first in a lot of 60 - from Africa.

Cheetahs are extinct in India, but now they will roam the Palpur-Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in Sheopur district.
"The Palpur-Kuno has been selected for Project Cheetah and in the first lot, six (both male and female) cheetahs would be brought from South Africa," Madhya Pradesh Forest Minister Sartaj Singh told IANS.
The cheetah, said to be the world's fastest animal, was once found in good numbers in India, but has been non-existent in the country since 1940. It is found in Africa and the Middle East.
The cheetah can run at speeds between 112 and 120 km per hour (70 and 75 metre per hour). With black stripes running from the eyes to the mouth, a long tale and a tawny gold spotted coat, the animal is a picture of grace, particularly when in motion.
The ancient history of India is filled with stories and pictures in which cheetahs have been shown in the company of goddesses and kings. The project to reintroduce it in India is in its final stages.
Soon there will be 60 of them in the state, said


How the humans benefit from having a zoo

EVERY month, some 18,000 visitors walk through the grounds of Dalton’s zoo.


And around 50 businesses in the South Cumbria area provide services or products to the attraction.


Looking at the figures, the zoo spends around £1m a year; filling its toilet roll holders, providing its herds with bales of hay, making meals for visitors and putting down dishes of dry food for its ever-growing animal population.


Food for the animals alone represents a huge spend, as the zoo’s Karen Brewer explained.


She said: “Our penguins, giant otters and birds eat their way through 40 kilos of fish a day – that’s 14,600 kilos a year. Our giant otters are fussy eaters and will only eat fresh water roach so our fish order has to be specific for them.


“Our carnivores – jaguars, lions, tigers and fennec foxes munch their way through 200 kilos of meat a week; that’s 10,400 kilos a year plus 45 chickens a week – 2,340 a year!


“We buy our snakes about six rats a month and our ever – growing herd of rhinos and giraffes munch their way through three quarters of a bale of hay a day – that’s 273 huge bales of hay a year.


"Our primates, with the help of local supermarkets – Asda, Morrisons and Tesco, eat their way through 25,000 tons of fresh fruit and vegetables every year.”


In total the animals go through 95,000kg of dry food every year, most of which comes from Broughton Supplies and requires careful delivery.


Karen said: “Our last hay delivery was for 55 bales and it took one trained forklift driver one-and-a-half hours to offload.”


A new disabled toilet and baby-changing facility provided business to a number of local firms. Karen said: “Our maintenance team has been working alongside Hecol to install new green energy-efficient heaters, the Plastic Man for all the windows and doors for the new building; Wareings supply us with the panels for the building; The Plumb Centre will supply the new toilets and City Electrical Factors are supplying us cable to upgrade our security cameras in the Lion house.”


Food supplies for the zoo’s café also represents a big spend.


Karen said: “On a busy day in the café we can go through 48 bags of chips, 150 baguettes, 100 burgers, buns and cheese slices

Infant stress in monkeys has life-long consequences

Baby monkeys grew up anxious and anti-social after the stress of separation from their mothers, a study says.


It suggests changes to the brains of infant monkeys may be irreversible, and the study could be a model for humans.


An early shock to the system may leave the monkeys prone to a life of anxiety, poor social skills and depression.


But the work could point the way to better management and treatment of those who live with a legacy of "early adversity".


The report, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that rhesus monkey babies do not fully recover from the stress of being separated from their mothers at birth.


Some baby monkeys had to be cared for separately if they were at risk from an inexperienced mother

Navy releases 800 turtles for HM the Queen’s birthday
The Royal Thai Navy released 800 turtles and 80,000 fish into Sattahip Bay to honor HM Queen Sirikit as she celebrates the start of her 80th year.
Adm. Narong Thesvikaal, commander of the Royal Thai Fleet, presided over the release of the mostly juvenile green turtles at the Sea Turtle Conservation Center Aug. 11, a day before the queen’s 79th birthday. More than 2,500

Fearing a Planet Without Apes
VIEWERS of this summer’s Hollywood blockbuster “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” may be surprised to learn that before our earliest ancestors arrived on the scene roughly seven million years ago, apes really did rule the planet. As many as 40 kinds roamed Eurasia and Africa between 10 and 25 million years ago. Only five types remain. Two live in Asia, the gibbon and orangutan; another three, the chimpanzee, bonobo and gorilla, dwell in Africa. All five are endangered, several critically so. All may face extinction.
A decade ago, Congress stepped forward with a relatively cheap but vitally important effort to protect these apes through innovative conservation programs in Africa and Asia that combined taxpayer dollars with private money. But attempts to reauthorize the Great Apes Conservation Fund have gotten stuck in Congress and may become a victim of the larger debate over the national debt.
Hollywood’s depiction of apes as cunning — if not conniving — creatures comes close to reality. Fifty years ago, Jane Goodall’s observations of chimpanzees’ using tools and eating meat demonstrated just how similar apes are to humans. Subsequent fieldwork has underscored this point.
Gibbons, long thought to be monogamous, occasionally mate with individuals outside their group. Orangutans fashion tools to extract seeds that are otherwise difficult to obtain. Gorillas engage in conversational vocal exchanges. Bonobos appear to have sex not only to reproduce but also to relieve stress. Male chimpanzees form coalitions to kill their neighbors and take over their territory. If all of this seems human, there is a good reason: The apes are our closest living relatives, and in anatomy, genetics

The Adelaide Zoo may change its name
ADELAIDE Zoo is considering breaking with a 128-year tradition by rebranding itself as "Conservation Ark" under a plan to ease its $24 million debt.
Zoos SA, which runs the beloved Adelaide institution along with Monarto Zoo and Warrawong Sanctuary, has used the potential new moniker for its conservation and research projects since 2008.
However, the Sunday Mail understands management has started consulting with key stakeholders, including tourism representatives and media partners, about the change predicted to take place early next year.
Zoos SA was asked several times by the Sunday Mail to confirm the rebranding plan, but on each occasion failed to provide a clear answer.
A spokeswoman for Zoos SA said it "is considering a number of changes but is unable to comment further".
"For a number of years there have been ongoing discussions about whether the organisation would benefit from a re-branding exercise," a statement


Home sought for last bear at shuttered NC zoo

The Faircloth Zoo in Brunswick County has been closed for years, but it still has a very large, and hairy reminder of its past.


Shadow, a black bear, is the zoo's last resident, and needs a new home.


The Star News of Wilmington reports ( that efforts to find a new lodging for the animal have so far been unsuccessful.


Pender County bear enthusiast Howard Loughlin has been calling zoos and other institutions, but hasn't had much luck.


Gary Evans of the Lynwood Park Zoo in Jacksonville says he'd like to bring Shadow there, but building an enclosure

Zion faces further mauling as access is cut

A bid to bankrupt Zion Wildlife Gardens operator Patricia Busch has been scheduled to be heard in the Whangarei High Court tomorrow.


A court spokesman confirmed a hearing had been set down for 10am. The spokesman would not reveal who was taking the case against Busch or the sum sought.


But Sunday News understands the action has been brought by a former employee and involves a sum of about $20,000. The scheduled hearing comes as visitor access to the Northland big cat park has been restricted. Pre-booked guided tours of Zion were still taking place this week but casual visits were suspended.


An online posting says the park will make a "status update" tomorrow on whether the gates will be reopened to drive-by visitors, or if all tours will be cancelled while receivers consider the park's financial records.


PricewaterhouseCoopers were appointed as receivers last month by Rabobank. Busch had taken mortgages with the rural bank on properties she owned in a bid to save Zion. Meanwhile, Busch's lawyer Evgeny Orlov said he had approached the Government on her behalf in an attempt to save Zion and its big cats – lions, tigers, cheetahs and a leopard.


Orlov said he was aiming to set up a charitable trust, which would include a London-based "zoo specialist", plus members of the Busch family, including Patricia and probably her daughter Megan – who works at Zion.


But he said no invitation would be extended to his

UK to lead international rhino horn clampdown

The UK has secured an international agreement to curb the illegal trade in rhino horn, which is now being sold for more than diamonds, gold and cocaine.


Britain will lead global talks to fight myths about the curative powers of the product, amid what conservationists have warned is a "poaching crisis".


Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said the trade was "cruel and archaic".


The agreement was reached at the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Geneva.


There is so much demand for rhino horn that it is now worth £50,000 a kilo.


'Peddled myths'


As part of the agreement, policing techniques and awareness campaigns will be shared by countries and conservation groups.


Experts say myths that rhino horn can cure cancer or help remedy strokes are fuelling demand for it in Asia.


Ms Spelman said: "Criminals trading in rhino horn have lined their pockets while bringing this magnificent animal to the brink of extinction, but their days are now numbered.


"We will be leading global action to clamp down on this cruel and archaic trade, and to dispel the myths peddled to vulnerable people that drive demand for rhino products."


The UK will support a workshop in South Africa in September to help develop better co-operation between countries where rhinos are poached and countries where their horns are sold.


Last September, after the UK's Animal Health agency detected a rise in the number of rhino horn products being sold through auction houses in Britain, it issued a

Elephant Makes a Stool—First Known Aha Moment for Species

Eureka! Burst of insight may redefine elephant intelligence.


In an apparent flash of insight, a young Asian elephant in a zoo turned a plastic cube into a stool—and a tool—a new study says.


That eureka moment is the first evidence that pachyderms can run problem-solving scenarios in their heads, then mentally map out an effective solution

Chimpanzees Are Altruistic Animals, Study Finds

Chimpanzees have been found to be genuinely altruistic animals that care about the welfare of others -- denying previous claims characterizing them as self-regarding, according to a new study.


While humans have widely been known to demonstrate altruistic manners and generosity toward others, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) were previously known as "reluctant altruists," only sharing and looking out for others when pressured.


Studies conducted in the past confirming the selfish nature of chimpanzees contradicted field studies, since chimps are frequently observed in nature unselfishly sharing with others similar to humans.


"For the past decade we have lived through the curious situation -- frustrating for many chimpanzee fieldworkers and observers -- that chimps are well known for spontaneous acts of altruism, yet have not shown the same tendencies in well-controlled experiments," said lead author Frans de Waal, a primatologist at Emory University.


Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta decided to construct a simplified experiment to prove chimpanzees indeed have a prosocial

Iberian lynx 'not doomed' by low genetic diversity

One of the world's most endangered cats, the Iberian lynx, may not be doomed by its tiny population size.


About 250 are thought to exist in the wild, putting the species at risk of low genetic diversity and inbreeding.


But new research suggests that the lynx has had little genetic variability over the last 50,000 years, and this has not hampered its long-term survival.


The study is published in the journal Molecular Ecology.


The authors say that the findings should offer hope to conservationists who are trying to pull this critically endangered cat back from the brink of extinction.


Love Dalen, from the Swedish Museum of Natural History, said: "This indicates that some species

Veteran conservationist J C Daniel dead

Veteran conservationist and Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) Vice-President J C Daniel died today at a hospital in Mahim here. He was 84.


He was recently diagnosed with cancer and died at 10 PM, BNHS sources told PTI.


This is another loss to the conservation movement in India after the demise of BNHS President B G Deshmukh on August 7.


Daniel was associated with BNHS as a researcher since the 1950s. He had worked as the director of the Society and later as head of various sub-committees.


He was the mentor at BNHS in many ways and had worked on various projects involving conservation at various levels including for elephants and the big cats.


He has authored various books such as 'The Book of Indian Reptiles and Amphibians', 'Cassandra of Conservation', 'Petronia', 'A

Zoo considers chimp breeding plan

A zoo is hoping to start a new chimpanzee breeding programme 23 years after its last arrivals.


Chippy and his half-sister Rosie, both 23-years-old, have had blood samples taken to find out if they are part of a rare group.


They were anaesthetised for the procedure at Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park in Stirlingshire and their blood will be sent to Denmark for DNA analysis.


Park manager Gary Gilmour said hair samples were taken from the chimps last year to check their DNA but it did not give an accurate reading.


He said: "It did indicate that our chimps could be a sub species of western chimpanzees - pan troglodytes verus. They are quite rare, with not many in zoos in Europe."


Mr Gilmour said the tests were being undertaken because the park wanted to bring in a female to breed with Chippy after the

Smithsonian closes museums, zoo after earthquake

All of the Smithsonian Institution museums on the National Mall have been closed in the wake of an earthquake centered in Virginia that shook the nation's capital.


Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough said Tuesday that staffers are examining the buildings for damage, and no injuries were reported.


Clough, who is an earthquake engineer, said a main concern is the Smithsonian Castle, the red, gothic-style building that was constructed in 1857.


He said he was meeting with his

Zoo mystery: How did apes and birds know quake was coming?

Her name is Iris, and with her straight, elegant, red-orange hair she is beyond dispute the prettiest orangutan at the National Zoo. She’s calm, quiet, unflappable. “Iris lives the life of a queen,” says great-ape keeper Amanda Bania.


On Tuesday afternoon, the queen lost her cool.


It happened a little before 2 p.m. Primate keeper K.C. Braesch was standing just a few feet away when Iris emitted a loud, guttural cry, known to scientists as belch-vocalizing

No junk inside those trunks

The Elephant Orchestra is back, delivering some unique sounds


The Thai Elephant Orchestra, resident at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang, has returned to the studio for their third and, allegedly, final album. Handel may have beaten them to the title, but the music the elephant ensemble offer here has less to do with the River Thames than with our seasonal rains, at least if we go by the titles of the individual pieces on the programme (were the elephants consulted about these?).


As in the two previous releases, the ensemble is more a chamber group than an orchestra. The packaging lists 14 elephant performers, but although the individual players are not listed for each track, I get the impression that it is only rarely, if ever, that all of them play at once. The elephants perform primarily on percussion instruments, some built especially for them, although the reedy sound of a harmonica-like instrument sometimes shines through the drumming and chiming.


This third programme is, in a way, the purest of the three because human participation is at a minimum, with almost all of the music-making left to the elephants themselves. But one exception, and a beautiful one, can be heard in the opening pieces, Invocation, when mahout Boonyang Boonthiam intones a healing riak khwan chant, after an introduction of ringing percussion sounds. The accompaniment gradually diversifies to include wood sonorities and weighty thuds.


Six minutes into the track the chant ends, and the elephants are one their own. The texture quickly thickens to included tam-tam like crashes and sizzling cymbal-like interjections. At times the animals become so exuberant that they join in with chirps, roars and barks, and at the end the instruments drop away completely in favour of the elephant vocals. Humans are heard again playing rainsticks in the second and third pieces on the programme (Rainsticks proved unsuitable for the elephant trunk, a note on the disc's packaging explains.).


Each of the tracks has a different sound and mood

Chester Zoo staff to help build orangutan bridges

We all know orangutans like to swing, but did you know they can't swim?


A team from Chester Zoo is travelling to Malaysian Borneo, south-east Asia, to build special orangutan bridges.


The forests where the primates live are becoming smaller and smaller due to deforestation, so it's becoming harder for them to get about.


By building the bridges, it's hoped the orangutans will be able to cross rivers that used to keep them trapped in one area.


Chester Zoo's Nick Davis said: "The worry is that the forest out there has been so fragmented that the orangutans can't move

Finally, cops file charge sheet in zoo case after 370 days

Finally, the beleaguered Sitabuldi police have filed a formal charge sheet in the case of the secret burial of a deer and an emu in the Maharajbagh zoo last year, after 370 days.


TOI had consistently pursued the matter about how police was going slow and not filing a charge sheet despite the fact that it had all the relevant papers ready. On August 16, 25 volunteers of People for Animals (PFA), working for animal welfare, had also protested in front of the police station against cops' inaction. PFA had exposed the case on August 13, 2010.


TOI had consistently pursued the matter about how police was going slow and not filing a charge sheet despite the fact that it had all the relevant papers ready. On August 16, 25 volunteers of People for Animals (PFA), working for animal welfare, had also protested

Aquarium opens full-scale animal medical facility

A hospital equipment company with a location in Charleston has donated an operating suite to the S.C. Aquarium for its recently finished full-scale animal medical facility.


“South Carolina Aquarium staff work around-the-clock caring for our exhibit animals, including fish, sharks, sea turtles, birds, reptiles and even invertebrates,” the aquarium said in a news release. The aquarium said the medical facility is designed to help the staff handle the diversity of patients.


The nearly 800-square-foot treatment area, which is within the aquarium building, includes an operating suite donated by Berchtold Corp., a treatment and necropsy area, a pharmacy, a radiology room and the staff veterinarian’s office.


The S.C. Aquarium is one of few in the country to have a medical facility, the news release said. The facility was made possible through a gift from an anonymous donor, a gift by H. Dell Shutte Jr. and family and the donation by Berchtold Corp., the aquarium said.


“Caring for animals is at the heart of the aquarium’s mission,” Kevin Mills, aquarium president and CEO, said. “This generous contribution from Berchtold will help us provide state-of-the-art medical care for the 7,000 animals in our collection, not to mention the sick and injured sea turtles that undergo rehabilitation and recovery at the aquarium.


Berchtold offered technical assistance and support

Zion Wildlife Gardens in liquidation

Zion Wildlife Gardens has been placed into liquidation after the High Court at Whangarei today ruled the struggling business cannot pay its debts.


The park is said to owe more than $100,000, according to lawyer Phil Smith who made the application for liquidation on behalf of the Inland Revenue Department.


An official assignee will be appointed to work with receivers PriceWaterhouse Coopers.


The receivers were appointed two weeks ago after it was revealed that Zion was failing to bring in enough money to be able to continue to operate.


The issue is the latest in a long line for the park. In 2009 a handler was mauled to death by one of the park's big cats.


Access to the wildlife park has already been restricted. Pre-booked guides were still taking place last week but casual visits had been

Manila Zoo keeps endangered species

The City of Manila Monday ordered the turnover of endangered species to the Manila Zoo following their seizure during a raid on Tayuman in Tondo late evening of Wednesday.


The confiscated items which include 21 turtles, 69 talking mynahs and a serpent eagle will be brought to the Manila Zoo for safekeeping after being rescued during a raid, where the species were supposed to be sold at the Aranque market.


Traders who were caught with the alleged illegal commodities during the raid were identified as Luz Estacio, James Perolino and Jake Vargas.


Based on information, the three allegedly sold the talking mynah bird for P2,000 each while the rare serpent eagle was amounting to at least P5,000. The price of the turtle ranges from P30 to P50 pesos depending on the size.


The city government of Manila be informed the public that the trade and export of endangered species of animal is against the law. The species reportedly came from Palawan.


Estacio, Perolino and Vargas were charged with violation Republic Act 9147 at the Manila Prosecutors

Oklahoma City Zoo doesn't advocate human-ape contact

Oklahoma City Zoo officials warn the public not to have primates as pets. Their hand-feeding of a struggling chimp baby is an exception to their normal, hands-off approach to animals.


Zoo doesn't promote human-ape contact


Oklahoma City Zoo officials have now hand-raised two chimpanzees in the past few years, but they said this week that human-primate contact should always be limited.


Zookeepers have had to raise the chimps because one's mother died during child birth and the other's mother couldn't produce enough healthy milk, zoo veterinarian Dr. Jennifer D'Agostino said.


These are unusual circumstances, D'Agostino said. Zookeepers spent many days holding Siri because that's what chimp mothers do in the wild, D'Agostino said.


“We don't advocate any primates as pets,” she said. “Normally we take a very hands-off approach with their care.”


Ape supervisor Jennifer Davis said both chimps were returned to

Monkeying around in Belgian zoos brings girls out on top

A female bonobo has been named "the world's smartest ape" after beating chimpanzees distracted by male rivalry in a contest between two Belgian zoos, whose results took scientists by surprise.


The chimps, generally a more aggressive, male-dominated species than bonobos, were expected to take the title.


But the winner turned out to be a non-dominant female named Djanoa who showed proof of uncommon patience and perseverance, said Jeroen Stevens, a primatologist with the Royal Society of Zoology of Antwerp.


Or, maybe she just liked nuts more than the others, he added.


"Now the real research begins" on personality and social order and .. snack food preference in the monkey world, he said.


The match this summer was organised "above all as a game", said Stevens.


It pit the bonobo team at Planckendael Zoo in Mechelen against the chimp

Help free 10 orangutans from Malaysia’s Alcatraz prison for Orangutans?

The A’Famosa tourist park is primarily a golf resort situated about 70 miles south of Kuala Lumpur.


The ten or so (we can’t be sure if any babies have been born in the last 12 months) orangutans have been kept in cramped, dark, indoor quarters for over a year.


The government has a long history of protecting the resort from prosecution for handling illegally obtained orangutans.


The A’Famosa resort should never be allowed to keep these orangutans.


We would greatly appreciate your support in the form of signing this petition which will automatically trigger sixteen emails being sent to key government

New regulations could end all elephant rides

New rules recently adopted by the nation's animal facility oversight agency may mean the end of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom's popular elephant encounter attraction.


The new policy, approved Monday, prohibits "free contact" handling of elephants in favor of the so-called "protected-contact" elephant management method, according to information from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) website.


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Director Delcianna Winders said her group's members are delighted. Officials of animal rights groups like PETA and In Defense of Animals have long objected to housing elephants at the park.


Winders said the Maryland-based association ruling appears to give Discovery Kingdom two choices: Comply with the ruling or lose its Association of Zoos & Aquariums accreditation. Complying with the ruling would almost certainly mean discontinuing the park's interactive elephant encounter program as it now exists. The elephant encounters include handlers sharing a space with the animals, allowing audience members

The Most Painful Sting in the World

What's the most painful sting in the insect world?


In the jungles of Panama Steve faced his fear and handled a mind blowingly painful stinger–the bullet ant.


A sting from most ants is nothing more than a painful nip, often with a bit of formic acid thrown in. But not the bullet ant. As its name suggests, a sting from one of these is like being shot!


In 1984, a man named Justin Schmidt published a paper in the journal Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology. He subjected himself to the stings of 78 different insects which resulted in the Schmidt Pain Index with stings rated from 0 (no effect) to a maximum of 4 (most painful). Here




Snapperfest - Indiana's shameful call to torture wildlife

Ohio County, Indiana - Get ready Hoosiers! The 13th Annual Snapperfest is planned for this Saturday, August 20 where sociopaths and future serial killers can pluck a wild caught snapping turtle out of a wash tub, grab it by its tail, slam it to the ground, pull it out of its shell, swing it around and then cheer while the "contestant" wraps his fists around the tortured animal's neck!

The egregious violence of this "entertainment" is done while children watch adults kill and torture innocent animals as if it were a Saturday afternoon softball game. Children are exposed to the barbaric behavior, and then adults wonder why children torture kittens and puppies or take their anger and wrath out on other human beings?
Humane acitvists aren't sure who to blame - the local government for encouraging such aberrant behavior, individuals who find this a "manly" sport, or

WWF, TCM Practitioners Rebut Rhino Horn And Cancer Cure Link
The 61st meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is taking place from August 15-19 this week in Geneva, Switzerland.
Its primary topic for concern is the escalating crisis facing rhinos and elephants due to the increased levels of poaching and the growing illegal ivory and rhino horn trade.
“Elephants and rhinos are at the front of our minds in going to this meeting,” said Dr. Colman O’Criodain, WWF International’s policy analyst on wildlife trade issues.
CITES has identified Vietnam as a major destination for illegal horn products, while China and Thailand have been highlighted as the two biggest ivory consumers in the world.
Thailand, which is also the host country for the next CITES meeting, has been told to put in place controls to curtail its illegal ivory trade.
Rhino horn has been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and according to TCM theories, rhino

An Epidemic of Rhino Poaching
As if a rhino’s life wasn’t already hard enough.
A belief in some East Asian countries that medicines made from the endangered beast’s horn can cure cancer is putting growing pressure on fragile Asian and African rhinoceros populations.
Traditionally, rhino horn was used in Chinese medicine to treat fevers, gout, convulsions, rheumatism and other maladies (although, contrary to popular belief, not as an aphrodisiac).
It’s easy to imagine that someone suffering from terminal disease and already predisposed to believe in the efficacy of traditional medicine might be willing to pay any price for a supposed cure. That belief has made China and Vietnam major importers of illegal rhino horns, wildlife officials and conservation organizations say.
With that in mind, Lixin Huang, president of the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, took advantage of a meeting this week of global wildlife trade officials to issue a statement.
‘‘Some individuals and organizations with little understanding of the essence and modern development of T.C.M. misinterpret and exaggerate the medicinal properties of rhino horns,’’ she said. ‘‘There is no evidence that rhino horn is an effective cure for cancer and this is not documented in T.C.M. nor is it approved by the clinical research in traditional Chinese

BBC drops film-maker over Malaysia impartiality fears
The BBC is investigating how it aired programmes made by a company that allegedly received millions of pounds in payments from Malaysia's government.
The BBC has suspended all programming by UK-based production company FBC, which has made documentaries on controversial issues in Malaysia.
The BBC said it has strict agreements with independent producers "including avoiding any conflict of interest".
FBC has denied any wrongdoing in its programme-making for any broadcaster.
FBC told the UK newspaper The Independent via its lawyers that "at no time have the television programmes made for the BBC ever been influenced or affected by our client's commercial activities".
'Strict agreements'
FBC has made several documentaries for the BBC about Malaysia since 2009, examining controversial

WWF: Mekong dolphins close to extinction
Conservation group estimates remaining dolphin population at just 85 as it calls for special protection zones.
The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) has called for urgent action to prevent the extinction of freshwater dolphins in the Mekong River, including the creation of special conservation zones.
Entanglement in fishing nets, low calf survival rates and a steady degradation of the creature's habitat are threatening the estimated 85 Irrawaddy dolphins left in Cambodia and Laos, WWF said on Wednesday.
The Irrawaddy dolphins live in a 190 km (118 mile) section of the Mekong between Kratie, Cambodia, and the Khone Falls, which are on the border with Laos.
Fishing gear, especially gill nets, and illegal fishing methods involving explosions, poison and electricity, all appear to be taking a toll.
Surveys conducted from 2007 to 2010, showed

Trunk to trunk in Hua Hin
The King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament celebrates its tenth anniversary next month - be there
The popular coastal resort of Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan province gets to see plenty of trunk to trunk action next month, as the King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament celebrates its tenth anniversary in style from September 4-11.
Tim Boda, general manager of Anantara Resort and Spa, Hua Hin, is happy that the tournament, which made its debut at the Anantara Hua Hin in 2001 but moved to the resort's Chiang Rai property five years ago, is back by the sea. "You can't afford to miss the excitement of the games," he says. "More importantly, this charitable event raises money for the benefit of all Thailand's elephants."
To date, the tournament has raised more than US$300,000 primarily for the National Elephant Institute, which provides medical care, sustenance, employment and mahout training to Thailand's elephant population.
The money has been used to custom build and run an elephant ambulance as well as provide housing at the Centre's elephant hospital allowing it to offer free accommodation as well as medical treatment to any sick elephants in Thailand. The Centre's mobile elephant clinic also now has a mobile veterinary centrifuge.
Proceeds from the 2009 and 2010 tournaments were used to "rescue rent" five street elephants for training in occupational therapy as part of a joint Thai Elephant Conservation Centre, Chiang Mai University project investigating the benefits of using elephants to treat autism.
"Thai people love elephants. When you start talking about elephant polo, interestingly, everyone wants to know more and be part of it," he adds. "So on Saturday

The Born Free Foundation welcomes the news that Carlsberg India Ltd, a subsidiary of the Danish beer makers Carlsberg Group, has withdrawn its sponsorship of an elephant polo match in Jaipur, India. The polo match, due to take place on 21st August has now been reportedly cancelled.
Elephant Polo is opposed by a large number of international and Asian animal welfare organisations including the Born Free Foundation.
Using the same concept and rules as horse polo, elephant polo involves two teams of elephants each with a rider and mahout. The mahout uses the bull-hook, or ankus (consisting of a sharp metal hook), to manoeuvre the elephant, whilst the rider plays the game by hitting the ball towards the goal posts with a wooden mallet. Elephant polo tournaments take place in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand and involve teams of riders from all over the world.
The nature of the polo tournaments requires the elephants to perform behaviour that bears no resemblance to that of elephants in the wild. Animals are trained at a young age and this usually involves methods that compromise their welfare. In addition, control and restraint of such large animals is difficult in captivity and is normally achieved using a combination of negative reinforcement training, including the use of the ankus, and physical restraint such as chaining and shackling. The often harsh training methods and polo ‘game’ itself, is likely to severely impact on the psychological[tt_news]=819&cHash=b7bc876161

Happy Feet heading home at end of month
The emperor penguin who became world famous when he washed up on a Kapiti Coast beach in June will return home at the end of this month.
Wellington Zoo and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research (Niwa) today announced Happy Feet would be shipped out to sea on Niwa's research vessel Tangaroa on August 29.
Happy Feet, who has lived at Wellington Zoo since he was found on Peka Peka beach, would be released in the Southern Ocean four days into the ship's month-long trip to the Campbell Islands, 700km south of New Zealand.
Wellington Zoo's manager of veterinary science Lisa Argilla, assisted by two Niwa staff, would accompany the penguin on the voyage.
Happy Feet would be housed in a travel crate, designed to keep him cold and comfortable during the four days, Wellington Zoo chief executive Karen Fifield said.
The penguin would be released 53 degrees south "which is within the natural range of juvenile emperor penguins - they are often spotted on Campbell Island which lies at the same latitude''.

Going ape! Crazed chimp runs amok and throws food at staff after escaping
A chimpanzee who escaped her enclosure went on the rampage stealing food from the zoo's kitchen, stunning staff and visitors.
In a scene which could have come straight from the new film Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, female chimp Josie barricaded herself in the kitchen, hurled food at staff and smashed pots at Twycross Zoo in Atherstone, Warwickshire.
It took staff 40 minutes to calm down the 23-year-old chimpanzee before they were able to coax her back into her enclosure.
Despite the beast going on the rampage, staff have insisted the public were never at risk after Josie escaped.
A zoo spokeswoman said: 'Josie decided she wanted an extra snack and managed to get into the back kitchen area within the chimpanzee building,

Chester Zoo unveils new brand identity, website and promotional film
Chester Zoo, recently rated the UK’s top admission-charging leisure attraction, has gone public with a new brand ID created by design agency Music, a new website for its ‘Act for Wildlife’ operation and released a new film created by Chester agency Rapport.
Music has also developed other marketing tools for the Zoo, ranging from site signage to a new TV ad.
The creative theme underpinning the new identity relates to a hand-written typeface which was designed together with illustrator Adam Hayes.
Corporate services director at the Zoo Alasdair McNee said: "We created our own hand written typeface to deliberately move away from a corporate look, to one which more reflects the personality of the zoo.
“We’ve also gone live with ‘The Act for Wildlife’ website with a communications platform which,-website-and-promotional-film-20110816100955148

iPads now hip with apes
Orangutans, it turns out, love the iPad and its games just as much as some humans do.
A budding program at the Milwaukee County Zoo is working to place iPads into the giant, gentle palms of its orangutans. Two of the zoo's orangutans already look forward to weekly sessions with an iPad. They even have favorite apps, shows and games, but they haven't yet been given free rein with the Apple device because keepers worry they might get frustrated and simply snap one in half.
"One of the biggest hurdles we face is that an orangutan can snap an iPad like you or I could rip cardboard," said Richard Zimmerman, executive director of Orangutan Outreach, which hopes to extend Milwaukee's iPad enrichment program to

Amphibian species clings to life
Fewer than 200 mountain yellow-legged frogs are believed to exist. The Station fire destroyed habitat; now 104 have died mysteriously in a zoo's breeding tanks.
One of the nation's most ambitious wildlife reintroduction efforts has suffered a setback with the deaths of 104 mountain yellow-legged frogs that had been rescued from the fire-stripped San Gabriel Mountains in 2009, authorities said Tuesday.
The federally endangered frogs, which recently metamorphosed from the tadpole stage, died in captive breeding tanks over the last several weeks at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.
"We have two frogs left. We're trying to determine exactly what happened," said Scott Barton, director of the zoo, which is highly regarded for amphibian husbandry. "We were thrown a curve ball with a,0,7097333.story

Zoo's Harvey the chimp dies at age 52
Harvey the chimpanzee, a beloved animal of the Toledo Zoo since the 1970s, died overnight Zoo officials said.
The chimpanzee died in his sleep apparently of natural causes and heart disease played a role in his death, Dr. Chris Hanley, the Zoo’s Chief Veterinarian said.
"Initial necropsy findings indicate that heart disease contributed to his passing," Dr. Hanley said in a news release.
Harvey was estimated to be the third oldest male chimpanzee at any American zoo. According to information from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the median life expectancy for a chimpanzee is approximately 26 years for males and 35 years for females. Only four males in the AZA zoo population have ever lived longer than Harvey.
Except for several years at the Baltimore Zoo, Harvey had been at the Toledo Zoo since the late 1970s. He enjoyed good health throughout his long life, a testament to the excellent care he received at the Zoo. An examination in 2010 revealed an abnormal heart

Zion wildlife Park sentencing cancelled
Sentencing has been cancelled for Zion Wildlife Park for failing to protect keeper Dalu Mncube.
He was killed by a tiger in 2009.
The Whangarei District Court has agreed today to cancel Friday's scheduled sentencing after Park director Patricia Busch applied through her lawyer this week to vacate the guilty pleas she made in June.
The court has given

Man smuggling bear paws arrested at Vancouver airport
Wrapped in foil and tucked in a carry-on bag, the bear paws were on their way to Asia, part of a shadowy, international trade in animal parts that flourishes even as governments step up efforts to contain it.
Instead, the paws – three of them, from two different black bears – were spotted early Sunday by security staff at Vancouver International Airport, where a 39-year-old man was detained as he attempted to board a flight to China.

Anna Hazare's supporter and RTI activist shot dead in Bhopal
In a broad day light murder, an RTI activist and a strong supporter of Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement, Shehla Masood was shot dead around 11.30 am on Tuesday.
Unidentified assailant shot her dead from point blank range while she was leaving in her car to attend a demonstration in support of Anna Hazare.
About 35 years old, Shehla was still sitting in the driver's seat when she was attacked, however, no one heard any gun shot. When the car didn't move for a while, the family members came out only to find that she had collapsed on one side with blood oozing out from her chest.
She was shot in her chest. The murder took place just in front of her house in Koh-e-Fiza locality of Bhopal. However, more details are still awaited as a post- mortem is still on.
The seriousness of the crime could be ascertained from the fact that the director general of police SK Rout and Additional director general Intelligence Rishi Kumar Shukla also inspected the crime scene along with the IG and SSP of Bhopal.
Shehla was an RTI and a wild life activist and had annoyed many people while seeking information and raising issues.
The crime scene suggested that the murder was executed by some professional killer with a firm arm fitted with a silencer. However, the SSP Bhopal

Chester Zoo raises British spiders for release in wild
HUNDREDS of endangered spiders are being reared at Chester Zoo ahead of their release later this year, as part of a conservation programme aimed at stemming their decline in the UK.
Lead keeper Karen Entwistle is hand-rearing 400 baby fen raft spiders in a purpose-built, bio-secure pod at the zoo.
Ms Entwistle said: “The spiders are all kept in separate test tubes so they do not attack each other and I have to individually hand feed them with fruit flies.
“It’s a very, very time-consuming job for that number of spiders but it’s vital for the future of the species.”
The dedicated keeper spends four hours a day; four days a week, alone with the spiders in the special breeding

Call for more trained staff at Nehru zoo
It seems a lack of trained zoo-keepers and officials is causing lax upkeep of the Nehru Zoological park. “Even two years back, the zoo used to be a lush green space and many visitors came back for a revisit. But many areas have turned dry and some species are not here anymore,” said SK Nannemiya, a visitor.
The zoo, which is spread over 380 acres, houses around 2,100 wild animals and birds. “On an average 9,000 people visit daily. But 56 animal-keepers, 71 gardeners and 16 other officials are not enough to keep the zoo clean and maintain sustainable development of animals,” said MA Waheed, the zoo curator. He added they needed at least 35 more zoo-keepers and 15 gardeners, who have basic understanding of the animals’ food and other habits.
“Some of the zoo-keepers are just class VII pass. There is a need for well-educated and trained zoo beat officers who can help in better all-round maintenance of the zoo and especially animal enclosures,” Waheed said. He added he had appealed to the Central Zoo Authority of India for more staff but there was no positive response. The zoo has recently hired about 20 workers and 25 security personnel.
When asked about reasons of death of 20 wild species over the last year, Waheed said, “There are many reasons behind the death of an animal which could be the weather, food habits, health problem and zoo-keepers not taking proper care of the animals. That is why we need well-trained and sufficient staff,” he observed.
“According to CZAI guidelines, zoo-keepers

Oklahoma City Zoo announces elephant plans, awards raise to director
A bull elephant will be brought in from Canada for breeding with the Oklahoma City Zoo's two female Asian elephants.
The Oklahoma City Zoo could have a new elephant as early as late September, officials announced Wednesday at a meeting of the zoo trust.
The zoo received its import permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department on Wednesday, Assistant Zoo Director Alan Varsik said.
A male elephant named Rex will be transported from African Lion Safari in Cambridge, Ontario. He will breed with both adult female elephants in Oklahoma City in the coming years.
“We've got the facility ready to go for a bull,” Varsik said.
The bull will be quarantined for about 30 days before he will be able to interact with the rest of the Asian elephant herd.
Rex weighs about 13,000 pounds — about twice the size of the

Cuckoos' 5,000km journey tracked by satellite
Scientists from the British Trust for Ornithology have tracked the migration routes of five British cuckoos, using tiny satellite-tracking tags.
The team caught and tagged the birds in June and fitted them with trackers, which fitted like miniature backpacks.
All five birds have now reached Africa.
Having started their journeys from the same breeding ground in East Anglia, the birds are now distributed

Speak up for the Arctic Fox
The Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is experiencing global warming at one of the fastest rates on the continent, putting the Arctic fox in danger. To help vulnerable wildlife survive, it's more important than ever to keep them safe from oil and gas drilling, which would mean habitat loss and other stressors for the Arctic

Researchers Find That Alligator Fat Could Be a New Source of Biodiesel
Researchers at the University of Louisiana recently discovered that alligator fat might be an alternative source of biodiesel, a clean burning fuel that is primarily produced from soybeans. The problem with soybeans is that they also supply food for both animals and humans, so eliminating the need for them in the production of biodiesel is good news for everyone. On average, the US burns 45 billion gallons of diesel annually, and sourcing just one billion of those gallons from soybeans would consume up to 21% of the American crop. But

Chickens out for Highland Wildlife Park's capercaillie
Leaving captive capercaillie chicks to be reared by their mother could aid future efforts to protect the species in the wild, according to a park boss.
Two chicks have hatched at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig.
Usually captive capercaillie are hand-reared or raised by chickens in a controlled way to boost their survival.
Douglas Richardson said leaving the chicks with their mother would make them socially and physically healthier.
There are just 1,228 capercaillie in the wild, according to figures released by RSPB Scotland in April.
The birds numbered 20,000 in 1970 but by the 1990s, when the first formal counts were made, RSPB Scotland said numbers had declined sharply, particularly in Deeside and Perthshire.
Wet springs, affecting breeding

Sweden halts official wolf hunt
Sweden says it has halted a controversial licensed wolf hunt meant to cull the animals that have been attacking livestock.
The Swedish government said it would consider resuming the hunt in the winter of 2012-2013, while announcing it was removing a previously set ceiling of 210 wolves that can be culled each year for wildlife management purposes.
That would not mean an unlimited number of wolves would be culled in Sweden, a government minister said.
"Of course not. We will reach a favorable conservation status with as few wolves culled as possible," Minister for the Environment




Lion bones off to Asia
South Africa's lions are beginning to fall prey to the lucrative east Asian black market for wildlife products, with the government authorising the export of more than 200 carcasses to Laos.
Responses to DA MP Gareth Morgan's parliamentary questions by Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa show that permits for the export of 156 lion bones were granted in 2009, increasing to 1623 in 2010. North West dominates the trade, having exported 92 carcasses in 2009 and 235 in 2010.
Of these, 256 were exported to Laos, known to be the operating base of Xaysavang Trading Export-Import company, which has been linked, in media reports, to southeast Asian wildlife trafficking syndicate.
Last month The Times reported that two Thai men had been convicted of being in possession of 59 lion bones without a permit.
A week later, Chumlong Lemtongthai, the alleged kingpin of a rhino horn syndicate and director of Xaysavang, was arrested at the same home in Edenvale.
It has since emerged that Lemtongthai allegedly used Thai prostitutes to acquire permits for fake rhino hunts.
He is currently facing charges on 52 counts of contravening environmental and biodiversity laws.
His attempt to make a plea bargain with the state collapsed at the Kempton Park Regional Court on Friday.
Xaysavang has also been involved in shipping lion bones - which are used as a substitute for tiger bones, believed to have medicinal properties - to southeast Asia.
Yolan Friedmann, CEO of the Endangered Wildlife Trust, said that the market for lion bones was becoming bigger because tiger populations in southeast Asia are severely depleted and because of the recent recession.
"There's not a good enough market to come and shoot lions [in legal hunts], so game farmers are offering bones for sale," she said.
Friedmann said that provincial environment departments, which are responsible for issuing permits in relation to threatened and endangered species such as lion and rhino, were often under-staffed, corrupt and inefficient.
"By quietly supporting this ... the government is stimulating a grossly unethical trade in animal parts," she said.
Albi Modise, spokesman for the national Department of Environmental Affairs, yesterday referred questions about the issuing of permits to provincial departments.
Asked if any national investigation into the issuing of permits at a p

Britain urges Asia to act over surging trade in rhinoceros horn

Belief it can cure cancer has led to a huge rise in poaching of endangered animals
Britain is to ask China, Vietnam and other Asian countries to tell their citizens that rhino horn has no medicinal value, in an attempt to halt a wave of rhino poaching that may drive the endangered animals to extinction.

Although long known as a powdered ingredient in traditional Asian medicine, a recent belief in its power to cure cancer has seen prices for rhino horn surge to £50,000 a kilogram – more than the price of gold or cocaine.
The sky-high price has sparked a spate of museum burglaries in Britain and Europe, with mounted rhino trophy heads being targeted for the value of the horn. More significantly, it has directly produced a substantial surge in rhino poaching in southern Africa.
Between 2000 and 2007, South Africa saw about 12 rhinos poached each year, but by 2010 it had reached 333. This year, more than 200 have already been killed and conservationists are increasingly alarmed about the future of the species, with most of its populations already classified as critically endangered.

Now Britain is putting forward a request on behalf of the European Union for Asian nations to mount "appropriately targeted" awareness-raising campaigns for their citizens, highlighting the lack of evidence in support of the horn's alleged medicinal properties. British officials will speak at a week-long meeting, beginning in Geneva today, of the committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).
"The demand for rhino horn in traditional Asian medicine is driving a new wave of poaching and the decline of rhino populations," Richard Benyon, the UK Wildlife minister, said. "The price is now very high. But rhino horn is basically keratin, which is the same stuff as our hair and fingernails, and it has no healing properties.
"The world community cannot sit back and just watch these species disappear, and we want to help debunk the myth of rhino horn's healing powers."
Mr Benyon denied the request would be seen as interfering in the internal affairs of countries such as China and Vietnam. "I don't think it is preachy – it's just asking these counties to recognise that there

Zoo worker bitten by Tapir

Contract worker Venkatesh, who was bitten by Tapir in City Zoo yesterday, being treated at the hospital.


A contract worker of the City Zoo was admitted to Shantaveri Gopalagowda hospital after being bitten by a Tapir yesterday.


Contract worker Venkatesh, 36, was cutting grass in the Tapir enclosure, when the animal which suddenly advanced towards him from behind, bit him on his chest and thighs, following which he was rushed to the hospital where he was administered anti-rabies vaccine.


Zoo Deputy Director Vijaykumar, who spoke to Star of Mysore, said Venkatesh is out of danger. His injuries are of minor nature for which he has been appropriately treated.


Venkatesh was a replacement to Tapir caretaker Srinivas who was on leave, he explained.


It may be recalled here that another Zoo worker Shiva-shankar had to lose one of his fingers recently after being bitten by a snake when he attempted to save tiger cubs fr

Food Festival Serves Whale Meat in Iceland

Tens of thousands descended on Dalvik, a small fishing town of about 1,500 people in northern Iceland, last weekend for a two-day festival of free food. It was all courtesy of the community’s four seafood processors.


Ulfar Eysteinsson, who is the head chef overseeing preparations in Dalvik, is credited with coining the name, fiskidagur mikli, the Great Fish Day, when it began 11 years ago.


“We are cooking for about 30,000-plus. The last three years we’ve had up to 40,000,” he said.


At quarter past eight, pairs of candles began appearing in the front of Dalvik homes, to signal that the soup was ready – a thick, aromatic fish stew made with cream and seasoned with curry. Visitors paraded through homes and gardens where the soup was served.


Valdis Gudbrandsdottir welcomed people enthusiastically into her home.


“This is so fun, this is so giving,” she said. “We are giving other people food and they are happy and we are happy. We have been doing this maybe 10 years

Philippines: Uproar over Sorry State of Manila Zoo (VERY DISTURNING PHOTO!!!)

The sorry state of Manila Zoo caused a stir among Filipino netizens after photos were posted online, resulting in the rise of the keywords “Manila Zoo” as a popular trending topic on Twitter last month.


It all began last July 12 when Nix de Pano posted circa 2008-2010 photos of sickly animals and poorly kept pens of Manila Zoo in her Livejournal blog. The next day, de Pano’s friend Karen Ang reposted some of the pictures in The Pro-Pinoy Project site:


Soon enough, the issue spread worldwide on Twitter. The keywords “Manila Zoo” became a popular trending topic while the photo post gained over a thousand retweets and reposts. It also caught the attention of some celebrities and mainstream media.


The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has also initiated an online petition calling on Manila City Mayor Alfredo Lim to stop plans to

In Vitro Fertilization May Help Older Cheetahs Reproduce

Good news for the dwindling cheetah population; despite aging, the eggs of cheetahs older than 8 years appear to remain in good condition, scientists have found.


"Those of us who work with cheetahs have anecdotally noted that it's hard to reproduce older cheetahs, but this is the first time anyone has documented how aging affects the physiology of reproduction in this species," said Adrienne Crosier, study author and cheetah biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Va.


The researchers analyzed hormones, eggs and the uteri of 34 cheetahs at eight institutions, finding that cheetahs over age 8 develop abnormal cell growth, infections and cysts in their uterine tracts. These complications

As age takes its toll, zoo animals need some of the same extra care required by human seniors

The 13 oldest animals at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, with current ages and possible life expectancy. The median life expectancy of many animals hasn’t been determined; estimates can vary depending on gender.


• Bubba, an Aldabra tortoise, 64 (up to 100)


• Colo, a gorilla, above, 55 (30 to 35)


• Pongi, a gorilla, 48 (30 to 35)


• Mumbah, a gorilla, 46 (30 to 35)


• Sonny

The Manifesto for Zoos

Are police trying to bury the deer case?

Even though case of secret burial of a deer and emu that rocked the historic Maharajbagh Zoo completes one year on August 13, the Sitabuldi police are yet to file a formal chargesheet in the matter.


The People For Animals (PFA) had exposed the case on the night of August 13, 2010, when a deer and an exotic bird emu were buried by then zoo officer-incharge and now zoo veterinarian Dr AB Motghare and suspended associate dean Vandan Mohod.


Both are facing charges of violating Wildlife Protection Act (WPA) 1972, Recognition of Zoo Rules and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 for burying the animals without conducting a post-mortem. The duo has also been charged with negligence that led to death of two deer while relocating them to Navegaon National Park that day. No transit pass (TP), which is mandatory to shift the animals, was obtained from the forest department by the zoo officials.


Under the WPA 1972, illegal transport of Scheduled animals invites a punishment up to three years or a penalty of Rs 25,000 or both. Deer are listed under the Schedule III of the WPA. The Sitabuldi police had registered an FIR on August 14, 2010, against the

Zlín zoo second in Europe to breed Maguari stork

The Zlin zoo has become the second in Europe, after Berlin, to successfully breed a young Maguari stork, Pavel Shromazdil, from the zoo, told CTK Friday.


The young bird hatched on May 21 in an incubator where the breeders transferred the egg after the parent storks destroyed their nest and left it for unknown reasons.


The young stork is healthy and agile, Shromazdil said.


"The stork mother laid three eggs. They were the first eggs a Maguari stork ever laid in our zoo's history. The parents sat on the eggs assiduously, but after a fortnight they destroyed the nest," Shromazdil said.


Of the three eggs, only one was preserved.


The young bird, a male, that hatched from it in the incubator could not be returned to its parents who had done away with nesting meanwhile and

Release of bison into Alaska wilderness put on hold again

The re-introduction of wood bison in Alaska has been delayed for at least another year, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is paying for it.


The federal agency recently forked over $200,000 to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to maintain a captive herd of more than 100 wood bison for another year at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Girdwood south of Anchorage.


The hope is it will give federal and state agencies enough time to negotiate a special rule that will make the animals exempt from the Endangered Species Act when they are finally set loose in Alaska. The state has been holding the bison at the AWCC for more than three years as part of a plan to restore the shaggy beasts to the Alaska landscape. The Department of Fish and Game imported 53 bison from Elk Island National Park in Alberta, Canada, in June 2007 to complement a herd of 33 wood bison that were already being held at the AWCC.


The herd size has since grown to 103 with the addition of calves the past four years.


The Fish and Wildlife Service gave the state $200,000 to maintain the herd for another year “because we support the reintroduction and believe that


Mabira: Activists dare government

Conservationists yesterday vowed to take President Museveni head-on over his renewed plan to push through a proposal to give away part of Mabira Forest for sugar cane growing. Addressing district leaders and agriculturalists at Entebbe State House on Saturday, President Museveni said failure to give away the forest in 2007, is partly to blame for the current sugar crisis in the country.


However, in what might lead to a repeat of the 2007 protests against the proposed give-away in which three people were killed, activists and politicians have condemned the President’s latest move and vowed to fight

Six Talking Apes

In the new movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the leader of the ape revolution can talk. In the real world, apes can’t speak; they have thinner tongues and a higher larynx, or vocal box, than people, making it hard for them to pronounce vowel sounds. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have the capacity for language—sign language, after all, doesn’t require any vocalization.


Over the years, researchers have succeeded—and failed—in teaching apes to use language. Here’s a look at some of the more famous “talking” apes.

OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop Brings Together Those Working to Save the Orangutan

The 2011 Orangutan Conservancy/Orangutan Veterinary Advisory Group (OC/OVAG) Workshop convened this year in the south central region of the island of Java. A sense of urgency was in the air as Indonesian rehabilitation centers have been given the time frame of 2015-2017 to release all captive orangutans back into the wild.


Whether this ambitious governmental mandate is feasible or practical remains to be seen, but the business at hand for the nearly 40 delegates in attendance at the workshop was how to best care for the orangutans in their facilities, while preparing those that can be released for what lies ahead in their wild future.


At this third annual event, information, strategies and research statistics were shared and compared. An international array of professionals including veterinarians, vet school instructors, healthcare workers, researchers, a parasitologist and a nutrition expert tackled an impressive number of subjects during the 5-day symposium. And that is the exact reason for this and previous workshops that OC has organized: bring together those doing the good

Three lion cubs found dead at zoo, one still missing

Three of the four cubs born to a pair of lions just five days back at the zoo were found dead inside their cage while the fourth one went missing in mysterious circumstances on Friday morning.


The news came as a rude shock to animal lovers who were delighted by their birth — the first lion cubs to be born at the zoological gardens in 30 years — on Sunday.


The bodies of only three cubs, one of them reportedly soaked, could be recovered from the cage where they were said to be living with their mother. The fourth one was eaten up by the lioness, according to zoo officials.


They, however, couldn’t come up with a plausible explanation about what led to the deaths of the other three. While the bodies were shifted to the zoo clinic, no post-mortem examination was carried out till late afternoon.


The pair of lions, Sarah and Alfred, ‘imported’ along with another pair of the same species, was seized by the customs authorities at the

‘Lion cubs died due to neglect’

Although District Officer (DO) Karachi Zoological Garden Mansoor Qazi has been suspended following the death of four lion cubs at the zoo, there remain many questions unanswered on the part of the zoo administration.


Minister for Local Bodies Agha Siraj Durrani suspended DO Zoo Mansoor Qazi on Saturday and constituted a committee to probe the matter under the supervision of Special Secretary Local Bodies Shazia Rizvi and submit a report in seven days. It is the second such committee that has been formed to probe the death of four cubs.


On Friday, Administrator Karachi Fazlur Rehman had appointed Executive District Officer (EDO) Revenue Ghanor Leghari as inquiry officer to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit a report in 15 days.


Four cubs were born to a pair of African origin lions on August 7 and three of them were found dead in mysterious circumstances on August 12, while the cause of the disappearance of the fourth one was not known.


A press release issued by the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) on Friday claimed that these cubs were kept under full care and treatment. However, three of them expired and one of them was eaten up by the lioness due to its cannibalism nature.


Sources in the CDGK, however, told this scribe that these cubs died due to extreme negligence on the part of the zoo administration. It was learnt that they were kept under open sky and the last rainfall in the metropolis caused their death. They had been soaking in rainwater but the zoo administration did not take any step for their safety, as the sources said that these cubs apparently died due to pneumonia.


According to the sources, the zoo administration should have the knowledge that the lioness might

The case of the missing lion cub

The post-mortem report of the three lion cubs who died mysteriously within four days of their arrival at the Karachi Zoological Garden is expected within a week. The fate of the fourth cub, whose disappearance led to the discovery of the three deaths, is anyone’s guess.


Meanwhile, the zoo’s district officer, Mansoor Qazi, has been suspended for negligence towards the lions and Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani appointed Special Secretary Shazia Rizvi to head an inquiry into the matter.


The bodies have been put on ice, with a special generator in place in case of load-shedding. Their organs are to go to the Dow University of Health Sciences. The investigation team began its probe under the supervision of Revenue EDO Ghanwar Leghari on Saturday evening.


“The conditions that the babies were kept in were not at all hygienic and a team of experts are looking into it,” Leghari told The Express Tribune. “Everything will be clear after the post-mortem.”


The zoo is trying to pass the missing cub and the deaths of its siblings off on some form of ‘survival of the fittest’, claiming that the cubs’ mother, Sara, had tried to eat them. “The fourth missing cub is something we have to look into after the autopsy as our experts claim that the mother is captive and would not eat its own breed.”


Sindh Chief Chemical Examiner Dr Fazal Elahi Memon and the wildlife and animal husbandry team is examining the bodies.


On the other hand, the lions’ owner, Irfan Ahmed, expressed his reservations about the investigation to The Express Tribune. “The zoo has no proper preservation mechanism and by the time the post-mortem is conducted, all evidence

HC seeks report on zoo agitation

A sitting judge of the Calcutta high court has taken note of the mess caused by a prolonged trade union agitation at Alipore zoo and written to Chief Justice J N Patel, requesting him to take judicial notice of the issue. The Chief Justice has treated the letter as a PIL. The high court has asked the state zoological authority and forest department to file a report.


Since the agitation started on May 27, administrative and maintenance routines have been disrupted, animals have often gone hungry, and the zoo's renovation has almost come to a standstill. TOI highlighted the sorry state of affairs at the city's tourist hot spot in a series of articles from August 3 to 7. The high court judge

Are crawfish really lobster?

The New York media is all aflame over a shocking discovery at local institution Zabar’s. Zabar’s, an Upper West Side gourmet grocery store is justly famed for its amazing coffee, cheese, and baked goods (the chocolate babka is especially glorious). But for the last 15 years, the lobster salad has been made with freshwater crawfish – it contained no actual lobster at all.


In the New York Times story on the scandalous news, Saul Zabar, the 83-year-old president and co-owner of Zabar’s, defended this unusual labeling scheme:

Is China opening the door to the tiger and leopard skin trade?

Beijing refuses to respond to conservationists' concerns about possible re-opening of trade in tiger and leopard skins


Has China quietly reopened the trade in tiger pelts? The question was posed very publicly on Thursday by the Environmental Investigation Agency, which fears that Beijing may be backtracking on an international pledge to save this critically endangered animal.


In a press release, the conservation group accused the Chinese government of opening up a loophole in the tiger trade ban by allowing commercial breeding centres to register and sell skins.


This is a contentious claim on a crucial subject. China won international kudos for prohibiting the trade in 1993, but it remains the main source of demand for illegal tiger products and is under pressure from commercial breeders to relax controls.


The government has repeatedly re-iterated its commitment to protect the animal and curb illegal sales, most recently at last year's Tiger Summit in St Petersberg.


But it has been far from forthcoming about its efforts to enforce the ban, verify the legality of tiger products and deal with the huge stockpiles of bones and hides that are accumulating in the country's massive tiger farms.


Along with the lack of transparency is a problem of trust and either an unwillingness or an inability to communicate with the outside world, as I learned today when I tried to get the government's response to the Environmental Investigation Agency's

Elephant calf sacrificed for President’s ‘Prana Pooja’

An elephant calf has died in Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage on the 9th. The calf had been born on 16th January to the she elephant called ‘Lasanda.’ However, this elephant mother had been separated from its calf on a request by the President and was offered to Vishnu Temple at Devinuwara.


The calf, saddened by the separation from its mother, had refused to consume milk given to it instead of its mother’s milk. As a result the calf developed diarrhea

Hope for tragopan brood

The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in Darjeeling has decided to start the captive breeding of satyr and Temminck tragopans.


The zoo has received two female satyr tragopans, three female and one male temmincks about a week back from London.


Although the Paradise Wildlife Park in London had sent 10 tragopans, for birds — two male satyrs and two male temmincks — died during transit at the Singapore airport.


“The birds were kept in the sun and died from the heat. We have, however, requested the World Pheasant Association to send at least one more male satyr tragopan from the Paradise Wildlife Park in London,” said A.K. Jha, the director of the zoo.


The transfer of the pheasants was facilitated by the association. Until and unless a male reaches the Darjeeling zoo, the breeding of satyr cannot

Lion Man looks to move feline stars elsewhere

LION Man Craig Busch is proposing to take all big cats at Zion Wildlife Gardens to another location if he does not regain control of the park.


A day after receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers gained entry into the park, Mr Busch said he was keen to resolve the financial and operational problems at Zion to save the animals.


He said he had put forward three proposals to the receivers but his mother and park operator Patricia Busch said the receivers told her on Thursday they had not heard from him.


A spokeswoman for Mr Busch, Jill Albrow, said the Lion Man had made a negotiable unconditional cash offer to the receivers.


"If they do not wish to sell to Craig, he has put a proposal to take all 37 cats to another location," Ms Albrow said.


"Craig has also offered to lease the park from the receivers immediately, to be at the park and pay for the care and welfare of the cats while these issues can be settled."


Ms Albrow said the receivers did not dispute that they had no legal right to possession of the cats.


Mr Busch understood the receivers had a legal duty to perform

Lion Man's Zion bid

Lion Man Craig Busch wants to open talks with receivers to regain control of the big cats at Zion Wildlife Gardens.


Receivers Pricewaterhouse-Coopers were allowed into the Whangarei park this week after being kept at bay by Craig's mother Patricia, who has had control after an acrimonious split with her son.


A spokeswoman for Craig Busch, Jill Albrow, said his lawyer Noel King, of Auckland, had contacted the receivers with three proposals, including a negotiable unconditional cash offer for the park.


"If they do not wish to sell to Craig, he has put a proposal to take all 37 cats to another location," Albrow said.


"Craig has also offered to lease the park from the receivers immediately, to be at the park and pay for the care and welfare of the cats while these issues can be settled."


The receivers have refused to discuss

Ownership key in fate of big cats

The big cats at the financially stricken Zion Wildlife Park will most likely be sold by the receivers if they secure their ownership through the High Court, a specialist Whangarei liquidator says.


The park, understood to be in the red by $2 million, went into receivership two weeks ago but operator Patricia Busch has been allowed by the High Court to look after the animals.


Whangarei liquidator Steve Bennett, however, doubted a local market existed for the animals whose unknown health could also pose problems during the sale process.


He said a major obstacle would be to identify the owners of the big cats.


Former Lion Man and park operator Craig Busch claim the cats belong to him and has a court injunction that says the animals cannot be disposed off without a judge's consent.


But his mother, Patricia Busch, said the court had yet to decide on their ownership.


Mr Bennett said once the receivers proved ownership of the animals, they would then have to apply to the High Court for the injunction to be lifted before potential buyers were approached.


"They'll [the big cats] probably be sold but it's not something for which you bring a stock agent and say 'I've got five tigers for sale' so that will pose some problems," Mr Bennett said.


"The receivers may sell off land, building and the business as one package or may also include the animals but it's quite difficult."


Mr Bennett said if he was the receiver, he would approach someone who had the licence to sell wildlife animals and recoup some money.


As for Mr Busch's desire to buy back the park, Mr Bennett said the only trap was if there was a restrictive clause in the origin

Environmental Enrichment for Captive Tigers (Panthera Tigris)

Royal bengel tiger is the National animal of India having a conservation status (schedule I animal under wildlife protection act of india, 1973 and endengered under IUCN). The wild population is declining day by day and the current existing population in the wild in india is only 1114. Zoos play a role in consevation by promoting programmes like captive briding. But for a successful conservation programme behavioural diversity of endangered genetic diversity in captivity should also be conserved which will helpful for reiintroduction in to there natural wild habitat.

Zoo food quiz

Can you match the zoo animals with the food they eat?

Breastfeeding at the zoo: Taboo?

A woman says she was breastfeeding at the Houston Zoo when she was told to feed her baby in private, but moms who breastfeed in public are protected by state law.


The zoo is now apologizing for one of its employees who may have acted out of her own passion.


It's a sensitive topic, and everyone has an opinion.


"If you got to do it, you got to do it. I mean, just keep it covered," mother Jessica Millirons said.


"You can't be offended. That's natural. That's part of the world," father Dennis Garner said.


But one out-of-town mother who was visiting the Houston Zoo on Friday says she was offended by a zoo employee.


"One of the ladies that works there came up and said that they didn't like moms to do that in public," Michelle Page explained.


Page says she was embarrassed when the zoo employee asked her to move her breastfeeding session into

Please follow proper zoo etiquette

Did you know that over 135 million people visit zoos in the United States and Canada?


When you think about it, that's a lot of people for the staff of each zoo, including the Magnetic Hill Zoo, to look after and assure they are adhering to the "rules" of the zoo.


Now, you're probably wondering, "Zoos have rules?"


The answer is yes, they do.


It's not as if these rules have been written down in a book that sits in the main entrance building and every zoo patron is required to read through it and follow each one, but there are a considerable number of unwritten rules in every zoo that are in place to help protect both visitors and the animals.


First, tapping on the glass of an animal exhibit at zoos and aquariums has become a major problem. Those who enjoy visiting the zoo should know that the animals that reside there are there to show us their natural instincts. That means that if an animal is sleeping when you get around to their exhibit, it's because that's what it would be doing in its natural habitat. Tapping on the glass, or rattling the fence to wake up a sleeping animal will probably only frustrate them. Think of it this way, if you were fast asleep, comfortable in you bed, and someone started tapping on your

Zoo mortalities common, often hushed up

It is not only the four lion cubs that fell victim to the utter negligence of the zoo staff in recent times, mortalities especially of newborns are common at the zoo and are often hushed up, inquiries by Dawn reveal.


Sources said four newborns of a fallow deer and a male baboon had also died in captivity over a month ago.


Though no official account was available on these deaths, the source said the death of newborns due to navel infections was a common occurrence at the zoo while animals were vulnerable to eating plastic bags and wrappers thrown into their cages by visitors.


Earlier this year, a complete herd of mouflons (two male and four female), a male fallow deer, a male ostrich and a female crocodile also reportedly died at the zoo. The herd of mouflons, reportedly sick, vanished in 11 days.


Zoo officials, as usual, didn’t respond to repeated calls made to inquire about the deaths.After the loss of these animals, the number of ostriches and crocodiles fell to three (two females and a male) and 18 (kept in the same enclosure), respectively.


There are, however, more than 30 fallow deer in the zoo.


According to zoo sources, ostriches have been at the zoo for over six years. And though the birds have been laying eggs, no one has ever seen a chick around. The zoo also never witnessed a growing big cats’ cub for at least three decades despite the fact that it once had a good collection of big cats that included a pair of lions, pumas and tigers and leopards.


The zoo lost them one by one, and right now it is left with only three male lions and Bengal tiger and leopard. On Friday, three lion cubs, barely five days old, born to a pair of lions whose custody is currently being contested in court, were found dead at


the zoo on Friday. One cub, according to zoo officials, was eaten up by its mother.


Non-friendly conditions for animals at the zoo and frequent mortalities point to the fact that the facility for captive animals lacks competent, trained staff as well as adequate funds required for animal upkeep, said experts.


‘Good management is key’


Giving specific information in the context of recent lion cubs’ death, Dr Masood-ul-Haq, who served as the director of the Bahawalpur zoo for over two decades and now works as a consultant for a number of parks

Releasing Captive Cetaceans Back Into The Wild: A Potential Death Sentence!

In 1991, the UK-based Animal Rights group Born Free Foundation, and it’s two group partners, the Switzerland-based Bellerive Foundation , and the US-based World Society for Animal Protection, began running a “return-to-the-wild” campaign called “Into the Blue”. This campaign focused on rehabilitating long-term captive dolphins for release into the wild. The campaign involved the use of three bottlenose dolphins from British aquariums. One dolphin named Rocky, was collected from the Florida panhandle in 1971. The other dolphin named Missie, was collected off the coast of Texas in 1969. And the last dolphin, named Silver, was collected off the coast of Taiwan in 1978. The three animals were moved to a sea-pen in the Turks and Caicos in February and March of 1991. There, their “rehabilitation” began. Over a six month period, the animals were simply “taught” how to eat live fish. On September 10th, 1991, all three dolphins were released after being freeze-branded. Although the three animals were seen the day after their release, Missie and Rocky would never again be seen project staff members. Since then, all sightings have been made by fishermen and tourists who were unfamiliar with the dolphins.


About less than two weeks after being released, Pacific bottlenose dolphin Silver, was sighted by project staff members. However, when he was sighted, he had already lost some weight and had a series of health problems, including an infection on his rostrum. Silver was also given both sixty pounds of food, and antibiotics by the project staff in the wild. At the same time, he had also began to associate with a “wild-friendly” dolphin named Jojo. Still, Silver was only seen from September 16th, to September 29th of 1991 and has not been sighted since then. Meanwhile, a photographic competition to produce photographic evidence of the animals continuing to survive. Therefore, the fate of the three UK aquarium dolphins Rocky, Missie and Silver remain unknown.


The release of Free Willy star Keiko is well documented. In the late 1990′s three marine animal rights groups lobbied and attempted to release Keiko back into the wild. This release project coast $20 million in tax-free donations and produced several TV documentaries. Although it’s been documented that Keiko swam all the way from Iceland to Norway, the scientific reports made by both Greenland and US officials concluded that the release of Keiko was NOT successful. About only a few weeks after being on his own, Keiko began to




Epidemic of UK rhino horn thefts linked to one criminal gang
Rhino horns stolen from museums fetch twice the value of gold on the Chinese medicine market
Rosie the rhinoceros took her last breath somewhere on the Indian subcontinent early last century. She was shot, skinned, stuffed and shipped to London. Then, in 1907, she was acquired by Ipswich Museum, which swapped her with the Natural History Museum for a pig. For more than a century, in Ipswich, she has suffered the pats of generations of school children, her horn curling to the ceiling.
Last month, however, Rosie suffered the second violation of her ignominious afterlife, almost as cruel as the first.
At 12.27am on Thursday 28 July, two men forced their way through a fire escape at the rear of the museum and made straight for the rhinoceros, where they swiftly wrenched off her 45cm (18-inch) horn. They paused only to collect the skull of a second black rhino, displayed on a ledge above its stuffed cousin, before fleeing in a silver saloon car. Nothing else was stolen.

Rhino-horn gang strikes again in Belgium
Robbers made off with two rhino horns from a Belgium museum, the third such heist in the country in less than two months, prompting official warnings against the illicit trade, Belga news agency said Thursday.
The latest occurred last week in the Africa Museum in the city of Namur when one man in a gang of three made off with a stuffed white rhinoceros head as his accomplices diverted the attention of staff.
Government officials subsequently issued a statement underlining that trade in rhino horns is banned under the CITES international agreement, the 1975 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Officials warned the trade was on rise, with customs seizing seven hauls of horns last year in the European Union against one or two a year in the past.
"A rumour propagated across Asia claims powder


Forest on the auction block
Almost 30,000 hectares of a wildlife sanctuary in Oddar Meanchey, Siem Reap and Preah Vihear provinces have been reclassified as state private land for agricultural development, drawing sharp criticism from rights groups.
Four sub-decrees signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on July 22 reclassify land in the Kulen Promptep sanctuary, paving the way for its development.
They cover 12,820 hectares in Preah Vihear and Siem Reap provinces and 15,450 hectares in Oddar Meanchey’s Anlong Veng district.
Thuk Kreun Vutha, secretary of state at the Ministry of Environment, said the government had conducted environmental impact assessments and deemed wildlife would not be affected.
“Now, this wildlife sanctuary has no more wildlife. It is eroded land,” he said.
But Wutty Chut, director of the Natural Resource Protect-ion Group, said that although Ministry of Environment off-icials had failed to curb illegal poaching and logging in the sanctuary, the area still contained areas of healthy forest and diverse species that were protected by law.
Businessmen developing agriculture in other forest


Wildlife park's receivers await ruling over access
Receivers are waiting on a court ruling to give them access to Zion Wildlife Gardens in Whangarei.
A hearing took place at the Wellington High Court on Tuesday to allow receivers from PricewaterhouseCoopers to serve notices to the wildlife park's managing director.
Craig Busch founded the park, but was sacked as manager by his mother Patricia Busch in 2008. Ms Busch took over his debts and the park when he ran into financial trouble.
Ms Busch has refused to allow the receivers on the property and is launching legal action to try to
Cheetah to be reintroduced at Palpur-Kuno sanctuary


The Palpur-Kuno sanctuary in Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh may soon become home to Cheetahs, which will be translocated from Namibia for revival of this endangered and now-extinct species in India.


“If all goes well as per the plan, then Cheetah would be introduced in the Palpur-Kuno habitat by the end of December or early January next year,” Madhya Pradesh Forest Minister, Sartaj Singh told PTI.
“The Cheetahs will be brought from Namibia for the revival of the now-extinct animal in the country,” he said.
“Surveys have been done in this regard and opinion of the experts are in favour of the re-introduction of Cheetah at Palpur-Kuno,” the minister said.
Recently, a team of experts from Namibia including Lorrie Marker, conservationist and senior forest department officials visited Palpur-Kuno to workout the strategy for reintroduction
Perhilitan audits problem zoos, submits reports
The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) has conducted audits on Malacca and Johor zoological parks which allegedly have mistreated their animals.
The Malay Mail understands the results of the submitted audits will be known after they have been discussed by a committee headed by Natural Resources and Environment Ministry secretary-general Datuk Zoal Azha Yusof.
The committee, which is entrusted with scrutinising applications and issuing permits for zoo management under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, may stop issuing permits for the zoos based on the results of the audit reports.
Johor Zoo had been alleged to have kept a baby elephant named Paloh in deplorable conditions while the Malacca Zoo was alleged to have confined eight orang utan to a cage instead of having them out in the open with the other animals.
Nature Alert, an international non-governmental organisation, had submitted at least 12 separate official complaints to Perhilitan documenting animal abuse and neglect at the government-owned Malacca Zoo and the privately-owned A’Famosa Resort in Alor Gajah, also in Malacca.
Perhilitan deputy director-general Dr Zaaba Zainal Abidin told The Malay Mail apart from the two zoos in Malacca and Johor, the department recently conducted audits at eight other parks
Mother bear kills cub and then itself
The Chinese media has reported on an extraordinary account of a mother bear saving her cub from a life of torture by strangling it and then killing itself.
The bears were kept in a farm located in a remote area in the North-West of China. The bears on the farm had their gall bladders milked daily for 'bear bile,' which is used as a remedy in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
It was reported that the bears are kept in tiny cages known as 'crush cages', as the bears have no room to manoeuvre and are literally crushed.
The bile is harvested by making a permanent hole or fistula in the bears' abdomen and gall bladder.
As the hole is never closed, the animals are suspect to various infections and diseases including tumours, cancers and death from peritonitis.
The bears are fitted with an iron vest, as they often try to kill themselves by hitting their stomach as they are unable to bear the pain.
A person who was on the farm in place of a friend witnessed
Zoo Leadership to Focus on Staff Training and Development
One day after a private consulting report was heard by city council, the director of the Chattanooga Zoo says it is on firm financial ground and has a dedicated staff.
The zoo came in for some criticism earlier in the year over the deaths of several animals.
The Friends of the Zoo organization paid for the 25-thousand dollar study, which praised the "passionate leadership" but urged the administration to spend more time building and developing
Humans to live in huge hummingbird nest at Lincoln Park Zoo ... for a day
Bird is the word at the Lincoln Park Zoo, where a human-sized hummingbird nest will be under construction beginning Thursday.
The nest, made of 1,800 feet of bungee cord and an enormous steel twig, will be occupied by three TV hosts on Monday as part of Nat Geo Wild’s “Live Like An Animal” series.
The three men previously spent 24 hours in a man-made beaver’s lodge in London and a wasp’s nest in New York City.
“It’s just sort of a test, can you build like an animal, can you live like an animal,” said Richard Pearson, the show’s producer, as he strolled through Lincoln Park Zoo looking for local materials like wood chips or plants to incorporate into the nest. “In this particular place, three grown men will spend a total of 24 hours living in the nest and we’ll see what they experience.”
They won’t have much room. The nest will be approximately 5.5 feet in diameter and 3 feet deep, which mimics the hummingbirds small nest of “stretchy and strong materials,” Pearson said.
On the previous two projects, the TV crew realized they could not build the animal home as well as the animals could. Pearson said he wouldn’t be surprised if at some point there is a trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond to pick up some sort of necessary “doodad.”
“There comes a point that what the animal does is impossible
The science behind the Zoo
WHEN YOU think of an elephant, what springs to mind? Beasts of burden hauling logs? Circus animals putting on a show? Our relationship with Earth’s largest land mammals has had its less-than-stellar moments, but an initiative at Dublin Zoo is putting biology first to ensure that its elephants can live and behave as naturally – and happily – as possible.
“The whole philosophy behind the house was the biology,” says Gerry Creighton, Dublin Zoo’s operations manager.
He explains how the Asian elephants, two sisters who arrived over from Rotterdam, pregnant, in 2006, and their offspring interact with the zoo team through a “protected contact” system that allows the animals to function as a matriarchal society, but still lets the zoo team care for them, from giving them pedicures to tracking their hormone cycles.
“In the old days when they designed houses here, nothing about the animal would be taken into consideration,” he says.
“Now the inspiration for the design comes from the animal itself. We looked at elephants and biologically how they are programmed, what behaviours we wanted to maximise and what they do in the wild – and we created an environment where they could do all those in the zoo situation.”
So how does it work in practice? One of the key areas is feeding, because elephants in the wild spend around 18 hours a day searching for food or eating, explains Creighton.
The habitat in the zoo makes the animals think and work for
Bonobo crowned 'cleverest ape in the world'
Matriarchal monkeys showed alpha apes who has the most intelligence after the females won a competition for "cleverest monkey" organised by Antwerp Zoo.
The bonobo apes, more commonly known as pygmy chimpanzees, beat the group of chimpanzees 4-2 in intelligence tests.
Bonobos are a primate unique to Congo and humankind's closest relative - they share 98.4 percent of their genetic make-up with humans. They live in matriarchies where females lead the group and frequently use sex to resolve social conflicts.
The competition included six games, or tests, that had to be undertaken in a limited timeframe - time the chimpanzees wasted with alpha male in-fighting, while the matriarchal competitors muddled through.
Behavioural biologist and bonobo specialist Jeroen Stevens and his colleagues at the zoo expected the tool-wielding chimps to win, but were surprised by the persistence and motivation of a female
Elephant to retire to Maine community
Are there elephants in Maine? Not yet, but there soon will be. A veterinarian from the town of Hope is building a treatment facility for a retired circus elephant named Rosie.
Dr. Jim Laurita says elephants are amazing creatures, as smart or smarter than many humans, and very social. He began working with elephants in the circus at age eighteen, and then worked with elephants at the Bronx Zoo and an animal safari business in Oregon before graduating from Cornell University Veterinary school. Laurita says he has known Rosie the elephant for years, and says she needs specialized treatment for muscle and leg injuries suffered
Patricia Busch offers olive branch to son Craig over Zion Wildlife Gardens
The mother of Lion Man Craig Busch has extended the olive branch to her son in the hope that he will return to Whangarei's world-famous Zion Wildlife Park.
Patricia Busch and her son had a bitter fallout after she took over the park after bailing him out from financial debts.
But just hours after Mrs Busch finally allowed receivers into the park yesterday, following it being placed into liquidation last week, she says she still loves her son and wants him back at the park.
"I'd love him to talk to me. I believe he is in New Zealand but I can't be certain about that but I've certainly put it out there to him," she said.
On whether she would like to see her son take back the park, she said: "Absolutely. It's his idea and he was the founder. I still love him of course."
Mrs Busch said legal stoush aside, they do not have anything personal and if they have a chance to talk, they would.
She last spoke to Mr Busch on July 2 when h
Animal Welfare Group Opposes Privatization of L.A. Zoo
The Los Angeles Zoo is one of a dwindling number in the U.S. that is publicly owned and financed. But all of that may change very soon if the City Council approves a plan to privatize the zoo, a move that In Defense of Animals (IDA) opposes.
Catherine Doyle, IDA's elephant welfare specialist, told the Los Angeles Times that privatization will result in less transparency, making the zoo "become even more secretive and insular."
In 2009, IDA filed a grand jury complaint against the zoo over its "gross malfeasance and unethical behavior in its actions to secure approval of a $42 million elephant exhibit expansion." The controversial, 6-acre Pachyderm Forest exhibit, which opened last December, was opposed by animal rights groups that wanted the elephants to be moved to a much larger sanctuary.
The City of Los Angeles currently contributes about $15 million to the zoo's annual $26 million operating costs. The zoo brings in about $11.5 million in revenue each year.
On July 28 the Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee voted unanimously to request management proposals from private groups, according to KPCC. The committee also approved a motion to study ways to increase zoo revenue, such as charging for parking, to enable it to remain under city management.
According to the proposal, the animals would continue
Woman hurt at Tobias Wildlife Park's tiger enclosure
A woman was reportedly injured Thursday afternoon after sticking her arm inside a tiger enclosure at a Dauphin County zoo.
Pennsylvania State Police spokesperson Cpl. Tom Pinkerton said it is believed the employee at Lake Tobias Wildlife Park in Halifax Township was in an area she was not authorized to be in. One of the Bengal tigers in the enclosure "bit or scratched" her arm, causing a deep wound.
Pinkerton said it was believed the employee was a driver for the zoo, in her late 20s and from Harrisburg. She was taken to a hospital by ambulance.
Pinkerton said no other information was


Who’s Hurting Chimpanzees Now?
Should a wild animal be forced to sell car insurance, dance the Macarena, and smoke cigars to provoke a laugh? Not that it matters if there were millions of chimpanzees around to abuse, but a new study concludes that chimpanzees may be doomed as a species as long as the public




Snake man busted for unsafe work practices
PARK Orchards’ “snake man” has been found guilty of unsafe practices and fined $12,000 by the County Court.
The Department of Sustainability and Environment brought charges against Raymond Hoser, who operates under the name Snakebusters, for demonstrating with venomous snakes less than 3m from the public, working in accessible pits and demonstrating in way that

Editorial: Lucy the elephant and the silly circus

In a ruling about Lucy the elephant Thursday, Alberta's top court justifiably swatted strident animal rights activists like the pests they are.


But it would be too much to hope that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Zoocheck Canada will slink away with their tails between their legs.


They may decide to pursue the case to the Supreme Court of Canada, which would be a shame as well as a waste of judicial resources.


Alarmist animal rights advocates, who have claimed for years that Lucy is being improperly cared for at Edmonton's Valley Zoo, just can't take no for an answer.


We've lost track of all the silly stunts pulled over the years to try to convince the city to move Lucy to warmer climes in the U.S.


Money has been offered, both by retired game show host Bob Barker and former Oiler Georges Laraque.


There have been protests, Valentine's Day cards urging councillors to "have a heart for Lucy," petitions

It's a different story at Darjeeling zoo

If a trip to Alipore Zoo creates sympathy for the unfed animals, a visit to Darjeeling's Padamajaa Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park makes one wonder how the treatment of animals could be so strikingly different when both are maintained by the same authority.


While agitating staff had left animals starving for nearly 60 hours at Alipore zoo, the one in Darjeeling is impeccably maintained, where workers' agitation is something unheard of, even when the Gorkhaland agitation was at its peak. Delayed feeding is something 'unthinkable' in the zoo.


"We make sure our animals are fed at fixed time slots. In case of our zoo, it is 5 am. This is the timing that suits the high-altitude carnivores. Here, too, we make animals fast on Thursday," said Alankar Jha, director of Padmaja Naidu Himalayan zoo. "The Darjeeling zoo is in really good shape and you will feel good if you visit it," said a member of state zoo authority, who preferred to remain anonymous since he didn't want to get dragged into the 'ongoing controversy'.


When animals at Alipore zoo are going through harrowing times, the inaction of the state zoo authority (SZA), supposedly guardians of these hapless animals, is most startling. The agitation and resultant 'delay in servicing' has been happening since May 27. But the additional chief secretary (forest) and SZA vice-chairman K S Rajendra Kumar preferred not to speak on the matter. So did SZA member and principal chief conservator of forest Atanu Raha.


Animal activist Purnima L. Toolsidass said, "I was sure that some steps would be taken to alleviate the suffering of the animals. It is an outrage that none of the people legally responsible did anything to lessen suffering of the helpless beings who have the misfortune to be under the 'care' of people who are not bothered about to their hunger and thirst."


Central zoo authority member secretary BS Bonal said, "Alipore zoo authority should have made an alternative arrangement since its staff were agitating. "It is certainly

Money allocated for new Baku Zoo

President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan has decreed on measures on construction of a new Zoo park on the territory of Absheron district.


Under the decree Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry has been allocated AZN 3 million from President’s Reserve Fund in State Budget of Azerbaijan for 2011 for construction of a new Zoo. The Finance Ministry has been empowered to provide financing and the Cabinet of Ministers – solve the issues

Jurong Bird Park gives four king penguins to Guangzhou zoo

Four king penguins from Jurong Bird Park will soon be flown to China as part of an exchange programme between Jurong Bird Park and Panyu Xiangjiang Safari Park in Guangzhou, China.


The exchange is part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two wildlife parks to improve conservation efforts through the sharing of resources and knowledge. Jurong Bird Park is the only institution in South East Asia to successfully breed king penguins in captivity.


"We are happy to share our breeding expertise with Panyu Xiangjiang Safari Park," said Mr Raja Segran, the General Manager of Jurong Bird Park. "The successful breeding of animals in captivity will ensure the survival of endangered species in the wild and also serves the purpose of educating visitors about the wildlife we have on our planet."


The four king penguins - two male and two female - aged about four years old each, underwent a routine veterinary check on Wednesday, and will be sent to China on Aug 16.


King penguins, which are distinguished by their ear patches of golden-orange feathers, are the second largest species of penguin after the Emperor

The Thrill of Boredom

SANTINO, a 33-year-old chimp, likes to collect rocks before the Furuvik Zoo in Sweden opens and pile them up on the visitor side of his island. He greets the 300 less hirsute primates who crowd around his enclosure every day with missiles hurled from his cache. Indignation? Bad temper? Or is Santino so bored with his captivity that he’s taken to seeking relief — and entertainment

Monkeys that can do sign language

To the untrained eye it might seem like just another cheeky bit of monkey business.


But when Milly the mandrill covers her face with her hand she is actually sending a serious message to her fellow primates: “Leave me alone!”


Experts believe the 15-year-old female invented the gesture to warn other monkeys at Colchester Zoo to give her some space.


And, remarkably, the signal has been picked by other members of the group, who use it when they too require solitude.


Evolutionary biologist Mark Laidre believes the behaviour is evidence of social culture among the mandrills, which are the largest species of monkey and are best known for the eye-catching colouring on their faces.


Significantly, the sign language is


Cheeta is the most famous and beloved chimpanzee of all, bringing great joy and affording millions of people all over the world the chance to re-live wonderful childhood memories of watching and playing “Tarzan and Cheeta”. He is one of the many chimpanzees to play the sidekick to Johnny Weissmuller, legendary Tarzan, and Maureen O'Sullivan in the 1930s-1940s films. Cheeta’s role in these films was to provide comic relief, convey messages between Tarzan and his allies, and occasionally lead Tarzan's other animal friends to the ape-man's rescue

American Zoos Help Return Condor To South America

In the high Andes of South America, one of the world's great birds is making a comeback.


The condor is returning from the brink of extinction, thanks to a program in which condor chicks are raised in American zoos and then released in the wild. Success, though, depends on the cooperation of farmers and shepherds — and in one special case, a group of Colombian army soldiers assigned to a rocky cliff.


Getting to condor country requires going high, on narrow, boulder-strewn mountain passes in a sturdy, off-road vehicle. The mountains are so high and strikingly picturesque that they leave you breathless. Biologist Olga Nunez says it is hard to reach the high peaks that are home to the large birds.


Weighing as much as 35 pounds, with wings that can stretch up to 11 feet, the condor is simply magnificent. Using the roaring mountain winds and thermal currents to ascend to 15,000 feet, the birds search for the rotting remains of dead sheep, deer or rodents — and then strip meat off bone in minutes.


The condors' voracious appetite, coupled with their search for food across hundreds of square miles, led farmers to mistakenly believe they snatched

Ailing leopard denied medical treatment, dies

Animals, it seems, are divided into two classes the privileged, lucky, zoobred ones and their unfortunate counterparts in the wild forests. None illustrates this better than the death of a leopard cub from the Nugu Forest area at Sargur on H D Kote Road, due to snake bite.


The two-and-half year old leopard cub, named Rama, received initial treatment and was allegedly denied treatment later, when it needed the most, by the authorities of Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens on grounds that it was not a zoo-bred animal, and that it may be spread infection to the other animals of the zoo. An eyewitness told Express that this led to Rama's eventual death on August 2.


About a year ago, two leopard cubs were found abandoned in Nugu Forest near Sargur; the forest department had rescued them. A forest official, on condition of anonymity, said: "We fenced an acre of forest land to create a natural environment for the cubs and left them in it. We would leave a live goat or chicken in it for them.


"When Rama was bitten by a viper on its neck recently, the chief veterinarian of Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens arrived within four hours, and administered antivenom to the leopard cub, after which it started recovering."


However, sources add, after ten days, its health began to deteriorate and it refused to eat or drink. Worse, no doctor was available to look after the cub. At this juncture, the zoo was contacted again and the cub was brought to Mysore zoo.


An official explains that the leopard was given a basic checkup, and more medicines along with antibiotics. "They told us that the leopard

Bristol Gorilla Organisers 'Not Surprised' Over Vandalism

One of those behind the gorilla art trail - to celebrate 175 years of Bristol Zoo - has told us she isn't surprised a number of the sculptures have been vandalised.


There are around 60 of the sculptures across Bristol to celebrate the Zoo's milestone.


There is just over a month to go until they're taken off to be cleaned up and auctioned for charity. Organiser of the art trail, Wendy Walton, told us she is not surprised: "I think whenever you decide to do a kind of public art trail, you have to have some sense of realism that one or two may be targetted.


"That is all it has been though, one or two. Obviously the extreme case of Kingdom in Clifton Mall gardens, and then someone tried and failed to steal one of the smaller ones outside an estate agents in Whiteladies Road.


"These gorillas are becoming

Bullet-proof panda panes to protect zoo's precious bears

EDINBURGH Zoo is installing bullet-proof glass on the new panda enclosure, to provide visitors the best possible view of the animals at the state-of-the-art attraction.


Contractors have brought in ten huge glass plates, which weigh a half-tonne each, to provide a secure barrier between visitors and the 250lbs giant pandas, the Evening News has learned.


The thick reinforced floor-to-ceiling glass will allow up to 600 spectators to view Tian Tian and Yuang Guang up close each hour.


And the secure barrier will also prevent any members of the public breaking into the £250,000 enclosure.


The glass walkway under construction, surrounds the new enclosure, which includes a swimming pool, cave, nursery and climbing area.


Specialist hydraulic vacuum lifters have been brought in to move the glass plates into position, "much to the amusement of the surrounding animals" according to contractors the GGR Group.


Although no date has been set for the arrival of Tian Tian and Yuang Guan, it is expected to be shortly after a visit by the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association scheduled to take place in October.


On Friday Hugh Roberts, chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, which owns the zoo, revealed modifications are already being made to the enclosure to prepare for the future arrival of cubs, described as "baby-proofing measures".


And Mr Roberts said the large

Good work at zoo recognised

THE hard work of the zoo’s executive manager of marketing and education, Louise Gordon, is paying off: she was nominated for the Most Influential Women in Business and Government Awards.


Louise Gordon, the zoo's executive manager of marketing and education


Organised by the publishing house company CEO Communications, the awards recognise the work of women who have excelled in specialised sectors such as agriculture, building and construction, mining and public enterprises.


The theme of this year’s awards was Honouring Women of Substance and Vision. The final winners were announced at the Sandton Convention Centre on 29 July, a few days before August, Women’s Month.


Gordon, who joined the zoo

Woman guard accuses top zoo official of harassment

Close on the heels of a woman employee of Bhubaneswar Development Authority ( BDA) accusing the vice chairman (an IAS officer) and some other staff members of the development body of making derogatory caste remarks against her, now a female employee of the state forest department has leveled harassment charges against her boss, an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer.


The woman, who works as a forest guard at Nandankanan zoo, alleged the deputy director (in the rank of DFO) of the zoo, harassed her mentally and physically. Police lodged a case against the senior forest officer on Sunday, based on the woman's FIR at Mahila police station on Saturday.


She alleged the deputy director demanded illegal gratification from her to open

Pittsburgh Zoo awaiting genetic material for breeding

The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium has waited for nearly two years for the South African government to release genetic material so the zoo can start the first sperm bank for African elephants in North America.


"It is taking longer than we hoped, but we knew when we started that it had not been done before," said zoo President and CEO Barbara Baker.


Scientists collected samples as part of Project Frozen Dumbo, an international effort to help zoos breed and conserve the largest living land animal. Thomas Hildebrandt, head of reproduction management at Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, is leading the effort involving the Pittsburgh Zoo, ZooParc de Beauval in France and South African scientists and rangers.


The zoos sent scientists to the Phinda reserve in September 2009 and April 2010. Pittsburgh planned to set up the North American sperm bank and ZooParc de Beauval would set up a European bank, enabling zoos on both continents to breed elephants without the danger of transporting them thousands of miles.


"This is a way to bring in new bloodlines without bringing an elephant in," Baker said. "It's much easier to carry a little vial of semen ... than to bring in a full-grown African elephant."


Zoo officials expect the frozen samples to last for several more years.


For now, 16 liters of semen lie in the National Zoo's BioBank in Pretoria, awaiting export and import permits to reach the United States.


Officials at the South Africa Embassy

DENR says traders selling iguanas as tuko

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Monday revealed that some traders have reportedly been duping buyers into buying iguanas and letting them think that they bought tuko or geckos.


During the day's Senate inquiry on the alleged illegal trade of geckos, DENR Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) Wildlife Resources Division director Josefina De Leon said that they have been receiving reports from the National Bureau of Investigation that some syndicates have been posing both as buyers and sellers of geckos.


She said that syndicate members buy geckos, which have alleged medicinal properties, in front of other interested buyers from supposed gecko traders who are actually accomplices.


When a victim follows their lead, De Leon said the syndicate will deliver not a gecko but a certain species of iguana to the victim. "(Then) they will go away with the money leaving the animal unusable," he said.


The gecko trade


The DENR had earlier said that they have been receiving reports that geckos are being sold in different parts of the country for a minimum price of P50,000 per 300 grams.


Reports have also indicated that geckos are primarily being sold or bidded out online through networking sites and other Internet-based marketing networks.


Senator Manuel Villar, chairman of the Senate committee on trade and commerce, said there has been much interest in geckos because of claims that they can serve as aphrodisiacs and as cure for cancer, asthma, tuberculosis, impotence and even Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).


No scientific proof


But Dr. Eric Tayag, head of the Department of Health National Epidemiological Center, said there is no solid scientific basis for




One respected authority who’s seen it first-hand doesn’t mince his words. The rate and scale of forest clearing in Sumatra by big paper producers approaches ecological Armageddon.
“I thought I’d seen, you know, impressive deforestation in the Amazon and parts of Africa. But what’s happening there (Sumatra) on a large industrial scale is pretty daunting …some of the worst forest destruction I’ve ever seen anywhere.” BILL LAURANCE Forest Scientist
Riau province in Sumatra is home to the world’s biggest paper plant. It’s owned and run by Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd, better known by the more disarming acronym APRIL

Exclusive Rare Footage of Endangered Sumatran Tiger Taking Her First Steps into New Home
This exclusive footage and accompanying images were captured by Alain Compost, an independent wildlife photographer, film maker and conservationist, hiding in camouflage just feet from where the endangered cat was released. Compost sat frozen in place with camera in hand under a sweltering sun for more than an hour to keep from distracting the tiger before her release. The Republic of Indonesia’s Minister of Forestry Mr. Zulkifli Hasan, watching from a nearby boat, pulled a rope that opened the cage door. Within minutes the 7-year-old Sumatran Tiger named Putri, meaning Princess in Indonesian, quietly walked out of her cage and strolled into her new home of Sembilang National Park, marking the end to months of hard work and dedication to a painstaking process involving numerous local and central government organizations, wildlife and conservation experts, private companies and N

Zion Wildlife Gardens locks receivers out

The battle for control of Zion Wildlife Gardens is heating up with receivers for the financially stricken park going to the High Court to get access after they were locked out.


Park operator Patricia Busch last week refused to open a gate for receiver Colin McCloy, saying she would only do so on the instructions of her lawyer.


Mr McCloy and fellow receiver David Bridgman then sought a court order that Mrs Busch give up possession of the park, hand over all keys and unlock all gates at the park for them.


Justice Edwin Wylie said Mrs Busch's actions prevented the receivers from doing their job.


She was wrong to lock the gates to keep the receivers off the property, he said.


The receivers needed to have access to the wildlife park, including to the part of the park where the animals were caged.


The receivers succeeded in securing an order but the court directed they not remove Mrs Busch as the licensed operator for the care and welfare of the animals.


The receivers were also ordered not to interfere in her duties as the licensed operator.


Rabo Bank, which appointed the receivers, argued

Receivers get court order to beat wildlife park lockout

The battle for control of Zion Wildlife Gardens is heating up, with receivers for the park going to the High Court to get access after they were locked out.


Park operator Patricia Busch last week refused to open a gate for receiver Colin McCloy, saying she would do so only on the instructions of her lawyer.


Mr McCloy and fellow receiver David Bridgman then sought a court order that Mrs Busch give up possession of the park, hand over all keys and unlock all gates at the park for them.


Justice Edwin Wylie said Mrs Busch's actions prevented the receivers from doing their job.


She was wrong to lock the gates to keep the

Ukraine to save bears from forced vodka drinking

Ukraine's Environment Minister Mykola Zlochevsky vowed on Wednesday to free all bears kept in restaurants for entertainment purposes and often forced to drink alcohol, Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday.


Captured and tamed bears were often used for entertainment in the Russian Empire, which included Ukraine, turning the animal into a national symbol.


The practice appears to have also survived Ukraine's emergence from Soviet rule, but Zlochevsky said it was inhumane and unacceptable today.


"On television, they keep showing bears

YPHS Prepares for Upcoming Relocation of Sumatran Tiger; Works with APP on New Wildlife Management and Protection Policies$FILE/110725%20Preparing%20for%20Upcoming%20Tiger%20Release.pdf

Knoxville Zoo talks about changes made after two incidents in 2011

The Knoxville Zoo has dealt with two cases in 2011 where an animal harmed a person.


The first, in January. Stephanie James, a Knoxville Zoo employee, was killed while working with Edie the elephant. Investigators said James was in Edie's stall when the elephant was spooked and lunged forward and struck James with her trunk. James later died from her injuries.


Then in May, a five year-old boy was pinned against a fence by a 400 pound camel. Initially, emergency first responders from outside the zoo weren't allowed inside to help. Right after, the

Video: Grass Widow Plays Music for Gorillas at the Zoo

Grass Widow are part of a project called Music For Animals, which, as the name suggests, is dedicated to having bands play songs for a variety of species. They recently performed for gorillas at the Franklin Park Zoo, which they told us was “magical,” and that one primate in particular, Kiki, seemed to especially enjoy the concert. Apart from being awesome, a mini-manifesto on Music For Animals written by founder Laurel Braitman descries the group’s heady goals:


Individual animals have tastes, just like we do. There is likely no “music for dogs” just as there is no “music for humans.” There are things we can hear and certain decibel levels that hurt our ears–but beyond that, species level music doesn’t make

Guwahati institute to assist Indonesian rhino project

Aaranyak, a wildlife research and bio-diversity conservation organisation based in the city will assist Indonesian authorities to undertake non-invasive genetics research on two critically endangered species — the Javan and the Sumatran rhinos — in Indonesia.


The Aaranyak under its Wildlife Genetics Programme will work with an Indonesian counterpart to initiate non-invasive DNA-based research to estimate the population size, male-female-calf ratio, rhino density and also study the issue of genetic bottleneck and inbreeding of the rhinos.


The global population of the Javan rhino is less than 50 and found only in Ujung Kulon National Park (NP) cum World Heritage Site in West Java.


Indonesia harbours about 60-70 per cent of total global population of the Sumatran rhino, whose population in the world is between 200-250.


Head of Wildlife Genetics Programme at Aaranyak, Udayan Borthakur, recently visited Indonesia to prepare the line of action needed to undertake the research and interacted with park officials, officials at Yayasan Badak and Eijkman Institute, stated Aaranyak publicity secretary Dhrubajyoti Kalita in a release.


The Guwahati-based organisation decided to lend its technical support after discussion with the International Rhino Foundation (IRF). The IRF has been assisting conservation and protection in Indonesia through its partner Yayasan Badak and in association with the Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia, Mr. Kalita added.


The lab-based work will be performed at the Eijkman Institute in Jakarta with technical assistance from Aaranyak, which will assist it to prepare the needed markers for DNA-based studies from dung and hair samples.


Mr. Borthakur claimed that the Wildlife Genetics Programme successfully prepared and tested the markers for the

Zoos join fight to save endangered orangutans (VIDEO - PLEASE WATCH)

The Federal Parliament is under increasing pressure to take action against the shrinking jungles in South East Asia, which are inhabited by endangered orangutans. Critics say the importation of illegal timber and the sale of products containing palm oil are contributing to the problem. But countries like Malaysia are fiercely defending their export industries.

Toronto Zoo’s white lioness dies

The Toronto Zoo’s first and only white lioness has died after vets discovered she had cancer.


Nokanda was put down after tests revealed cancerous masses in her liver, the zoo’s senior veterinarian Graham Crawshaw said. The white lioness was 15.


Born at the Philadelphia Zoo in 1996, Nokanda was sent north of the border a year later.


Unlike a pair of white lion cubs the U.S. zoo had loaned to Toronto in 1995 after losing a friendly World Series bet, Nokanda became a permanent attraction of the Toronto Zoo’s African Savanna exhibit, which opened in 1998.


The milky white creature, whose “extremely rare” colouring was the result of a genetic variation, attracted record visitor numbers that have been beaten only when pandas visited the zoo in 1985, said Crawshaw.


Researchers say that in the wild, white lions are so

Zoo turns into political circus

Walk into the Alipore zoo these days and you would think you had stepped into a political party office. Rows of green flags, banners, festoons and slogan-shouting men greet you at the entrance. More flags and posters line the pathways that lead to the animal enclosures. Giant cut-outs of Intuc leader Subrata Mukherjee, a minister in Mamata Banerjee's cabinet, adorn the campus.


For two months now, the zoo has been held to ransom by members of Congress' trade wing, Indian National Trade Union Congress (Intuc), who demand the suspension of deputy director Piyali Chattopadhyay.


The agitation has badly affected maintenance. Renovation

Just don't pull my trunk! Brit who works as the world's first osteopath for ELEPHANTS

A ground-breaking British specialist packed his trunk and trekked through the sweltering jungle for his biggest ever job - osteopathy for elephants.


Pioneering Tony Nevin, 47, the world's only wildlife osteopath, travelled all the way to Thailand to treat the two-tonne, floppy-eared animals.


He used his healing hands to help bring comfort to dozens of the creatures at an elephant sanctuary, many of whom had suffered

History of rich animal life reprinted

“So you’re from Africa? Do you have lions and elephants walking around in your streets?” “No, but we used to have…” At some point in their journeys, nearly all South Africans travelling abroad will be subjected to idiotic questions about the country’s wildlife by ignorant foreigners.


But it wasn’t that long ago that lions, elephants and many other wild animals were in fact still walking around just about the whole of South Africa, even if there weren’t streets as such – and that includes the Cape Peninsula, Cape Flats and all the rest of the area that now makes up metropolitan Cape Town.


While the indigenous San and Khoekhoe had obviously lived alongside these beasts for millennia, the first written records are only from the 17th century when the early European sailors ventured past the Cape en route to the East.


In March 1609, for example, Dutchman Cornelis Claesz van Purmerendt wrote of the Peninsula: “There are many lions there, against which they (the Khoekhoe) sometimes wage war.”


An Englishman, Thomas Best, called at the Cape in July 1627 and later recorded: “During the the night they (the Khoekhoe) sleepe around a fire in the open fields to secure them from their watchfull and hungry neighbours, the lions… In the darke weather the lions use subtilty to catch and eat the savages… In the daytime they (the Khoehoe) digge pits, cover them with boughs, and traine the couragious lions thither where they receive destruction

Giant rat kills predators with poisonous hair
By utilizing the same plants that African tribesmen use to poison their arrows, the furry fury known as the African crested rat can incapacitate and even kill predators many times its size, researchers have found.
"This is the first mammal that is borrowing a deadly poison from a plant and slathering it on itself without dying," said study researcher Jonathan Kingdon, of Oxford University in England. "This is an extraordinary thing to have evolved."
Growing up in Africa, Kingdon was frequently exposed to these rats, even keeping one (very cautiously) as a pet. He had heard this animal was poisonous, but it look 30 years for him to figure out how and why this
Too old to hunt, too young to die
The Wildlife authorities in West Bengal are setting up a special reserve for old tigers no longer able to hunt. The move is part of a country-wide campaign to revive India's rapidly falling tiger population by keeping the highly endangered national animal away from poachers and from conflicts with angry villagers, who sometimes kill them.
West Bengal's principal chief conservator of forests Atanu Kumar Raha said that the tigers that could no longer catch prey because of their age or infirmity would be rescued and then be relocated to the centre.
"It is going to be like an old-age home for the tigers. We are developing it almost like a natural habitat for them. It is definitely not to be something like a zoo. The animals here will feel free almost as they do in the wild. They will be fed well and will be provided veterinary care," said Raha.
"The facility will also remain open for old or sick tigers from the zoos in the country. For wild tigers, in certain circumstances, it will also be used like a short stay home."
The reserve which will be known as Tiger Rescue Centre is coming up at the edge of the world's largest mangrove forests of Sundarbans, about 140 kilometres south of Kolkata. Built over a five-acre plot, it will house tigers from the country's wildlife reserves
Zoo to pair Royal Bengal tiger with white tigress to prevent inbreeding
The authorities at the Arignar Anna ZoologicalP arkin Vandalur have decided to pair Vijay, an eight-year-old Royal Bengal tiger, with Namrata, a two-year-old whitetigress. According toofficials,this is the first time in the country that such a pairing is being planned and is aimed at preventing inbreeding among whitetigers in whom the risk of genetic deformities is high.
Vijay, without a mate for the last four years at the zoo in Vandalur, 31 km southof Chennai, was brought from the Indira Gandhi Zoological P ark at Visakhapatnam in 2007. Efforts are being taken to shift Namrata to Vijay's enclosure."The white tigress has attained maturity and is ideal for mating. Almost everything is ready in her new home.A closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera will be installed in the enclosure to monitor
Zoo keeper steps out on a missionary adventure
A Christian animal keeper from an award-winning zoo in Bristol is set to exchange caring for birds and reptiles to helping local communities in Africa.
Mark Walters, 22, a senior zoo keeper at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm and his wife Megan are set to begin the first stage of their round-the-world trip with a small group of Bristol doctors in Uganda, assisting with practical community projects for three months. Following a short break in South Africa, Mark will continue to Mozambique to work with IRIS Ministries, run by missionaries Rolland and
Llama attack traumatizes family
SPCA investigates after 75-year-old woman's bones broken in trampling
Sandy Philpott grew wary as she watched a llama at Krause Berry Farm's petting zoo circling her mother, getting a bit too close.
As the animal followed France Pilotte, 75, it nibbled at her backpack, probably looking for grain she had bought at the Langley farm to feed the animals.
Philpott instinctively reached out for her 18-month-old son and drew him
Asiatic lions: Let the pride increase!

Hundred years ago, the population of Asiatic lion in India were left to about a dozen; today this number has reached to 411 lions. World over there is a trend of flora and fauna declining due to human population increase and consecutive habitat losses, so what is it that the population of Asiatic lion is increasing.


Yogendra Shah a wildlife researcher working in Gir forest gives the credit of this reverse trend to the community living around the lion’s territory and the forest department. The lions are a symbol of pride for the people of Gujarat and for their conservation; they make all efforts and sacrifices.


Shah recollected an incident where, he went to meet a family, which had six members and two buffalos, the lions killed one of the buffalo but the family had no grudge against the big cats.


About a hundred years back when the Junagarh nawab could not find a lion for his shikar, he realised that the lion population had declined. He stopped hunting of lion. With times, trends and problems change like forest department rescue team has been rescuing 20-30 lions each year from open deep wells. There are some eight

Agreement to protect endangered red panda

The Social Welfare Council (SWC) and the Red Panda Network, U.S.A. have signed an agreement for implementing the Community Based Red Panda Conservation in Eastern Nepal.


The conservation project will be implemented in 18 Village Development Committees (VDCs) of Taplejung

OK, this polar bear walks into a Scottish bar…

That’s probably not the exact scenario but a recent article in Current Biology claims that most, if not all, of today’s living polar bears are descended from one Scottish brown bear. Mama bear lived in Ireland near the peak of the last Ice Age 20,000 to 50,000 years ago. Increasing Arctic ice flows likely brought the polar suitors into contact with the brown bears. As the ice receded, the polar bears drifted back to their icy Arctic island, but with a little going away present from their lovely brown sweethearts — a neatly wrapped package of mitochondrial DNA, DNA passed exclusively from mother to offspring.


It has definitely piqued the researchers’ curiosities. One of the researchers, Mark Thomas of University College London said the study shows that species may not be as fixed and tidy as we would like.


Nor is hybridization necessarily a death knell for a species, but could actually help its survival and coping during times of stress. He pointed to recent studies by Stanford’s Peter Parham that shows Europeans gained genes that helped in battling northern diseases from interbreeding with Neanderthals.


Biologists and researchers have long been aware of the polar bear/brown bear dalliance but it was thought these trysts originated on the Alaskan “ABC” Islands (Admiralty, Baranof and Chicagof) around 14,000 years ago. However, new international research spearheaded in part by Beth Shapiro, assistant professor of biology at Penn State found DNA evidence in the skeletons of 17 brown bears from eight different cave sites in Ireland that predates the Alaskan peccadilloes by 10,000 years or more.


Dr. Ceiridwen Edwards of Oxford University, the Current Biology paper’s head author noted that the DNA from the older brown bear remains (38,000 to 43,000 years ago) had basically

CNBC and BBC Suspend Television Programmes Over Sarawak Whistleblower Allegations: Bruno Manser Fund Demands Apology

CNBC, the American satellite and cable television news channel, has withdrawn its international business show, “World Business,” following allegations that the show’s production company, FBC (“Fact Based Communications”), was doubling as a PR firm for corrupt Malaysian politicians.


Meanwhile, the British BBC, another FBC customer, has suspended broadcasting all FBC-produced programmes and launched an internal investigation.


Last Monday, Sarawak Report, a news website run by Clare Rewcastle, the sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, revealed that the UK-based FBC Group had been paid 5 million US dollars by Abdul Taib Mahmud (“Taib”), Chief Minister of the Malaysian state of Sarawak, to promote the politician’s battered international reputation.


Other payments to FBC have apparently been made by the Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, and by Sime Darby, a palm oil group responsible for clear-cutting large tracts of tropical rainforest in Malaysian Borneo.


On 27 March 2011, the CNBC’s “World Business” show broadcast an interview with Taib, in which he claimed that 80 per cent of the state’s forests were “almost intact” tropical rainforest. The statement was broadcast uncommented despite being in stark contrast to all independent analysis and to Taib’s own earlier statements.


In April 2001, Taib publicly admitted that 90 percent of the state’s harvestable trees had been felled.


By broadcasting sponsored news and current affairs programmes, the CNBC and the BBC appear to have breached British and American media regulations.


The Bruno Manser Fund is shocked to learn that leading global television networks are broadcasting shows that are unlawfully sponsored by corrupt Malaysian politicians and by companies responsible for the destruction of Borneos’s unique tropical rainforests.


We demand that CNBC and the BBC apologize to the public over the broadcasting of sponsored FBC shows that are distorting the facts. In

City`s Road Map for Orangutans Preservation

Jakarta Provincial Government commitment to improve the environment should be appreciated. Besides promoting the blue sky program and trees planting, city government also gives special attention to improve the lives of orangutans, especially those at Ragunan Zoo, South Jakarta, through orangutans’ welfare program which have been implemented since 2009 until 2012. It is expected by 2013, all orangutans at Ragunan Zoo can have a decent life.


Ipih Ruyani as Head of Jakarta Marine and Agriculture Department stated her department has gradually implemented the program which adjusted to the animal care standard. “The animal care standard for instance are providing proper cage, feeding the animal, etc. This is in line with Jakarta Governor’s commitment to improve the lives of orangutans,” she said at the City Hall, Thursday (8/4).


She explained that Ragunan Zoo, an area of 147 hectares, has been established by the city government as an area of conservation, preservation, wildlife diversity, education and research, outdoor recreation, water infiltration, green open spaces as well as the source of oxygen or city’s lungs. Currently, there are 55 orangutans live in 7 cages of 5.2 hectares. The cages are Schmutzer Primate Centre Tunnel (PPS), Mrs. Ulla Von Mangden, quarantine, northern orangutans, PPS southern orangutans, middle orangutans, and new orangutans.


Basic principles of animal welfare realization are the animal is free from fear, free from hunger and thirst, free from pain, free from being alone, and free to do activities or play as in its real habitat. To improve this, the Ragunan Zoo management has also conducted corrective measures, such as provide proper cages for orangutans to live and play, give mates for orangutans that are old enough, give enough foods and drinks as well as vitamins and medicines if they got sick including nurse and medics to treat them.

Zoo apes need better care: Conservationists

The Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) and the Center for Orangutan Protection (COP) staged a rally Thursday at City Hall calling for better treatment of the endangered species in zoos.


COP official Daniek Hendarto said more than 20 orangutans at Ragunan Zoo did not receive acceptable treatment.


“Two years ago we met Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo and he promised changes. Now, the orangutans continue to be imprisoned in those terrible cages, and they are short of food and proper care,” Daniek said.


He said conservationists were concerned for the wellbeing

SD Zoo Bird Experts Help Endangered Heron

The first hands-on rearing of a critically endangered white-bellied heron in Bhutan was successful thanks to a pair of bird experts with the San Diego Zoo Safari Park who spent three months in the small Asian nation this year, park officials said Thursday.


Only 26 of the large wetlands birds are believed to be left in Bhutan and about 50 in the world, according to the park. Bhutan is a land-locked nation between China and India, and lies at the southern base of the Himalayan mountains.


In rearing the chick, animal-care manager Don Sterner and lead keeper Debbie Marlow used an incubator, but periodic electrical outages meant that the bird required round-the-clock monitoring. Sterner and Marlow trained local authorities in how to care for the bird.


"At that time the chick was 40 days old and beginning to stand, learning to fly and catching live fish," Sterner said. "Our hope is to continue to assist the folks in Bhutan who are dedicated to saving this species."


The white-bellied heron is mostly dark gray and has

Lucy the elephant staying in Edmonton

Lucy the elephant is staying put.


The Alberta Court of Appeal is upholding an earlier court decision to dismiss legal action against the city over the Valley Zoo creature, the city said Thursday.


A lawsuit was launched against the city by animal rights groups including PETA and Zoocheck, but the appeal court judges ruled the suit was inappropriate.


"We are very pleased, but not surprised, that the Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of the City of Edmonton," said lawyer Steven Phipps, who represented the city.


"The majority of the judges are very clear that the applicants' attempt to circumvent the appropriate regulatory authorities is not proper."


Controversy over the Asian elephant's fate has been brewing for years.


Animal rights activists have been calling for Lucy to be moved to a U.S. sanctuary, while zoo officials argued she was safer at the Edmonton Valley Zoo.


Activists launched their lawsuit in February 2010, and it was

Zoo driver saves tiger-cub, bitten by cobra

Had it not been for an alert zoo employee, the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens may have lost a tiger cub. Shivashankar, 31, a tram driver in the zoo, in his effort to protect a tiger cub, was bitten by a cobra; he is now struggling for life at a city hospital.


The incident took place on July 30, when he saw a stray cobra entering tigress Manya's cub's enclosure.


Unfortunately, doctors informed him that the edge of his index finger, where he was bitten by the snake, will have to be amputated.


"I returned to duty at about 2.50 pm on Saturday after lunch and was on my routine rounds with tourists in the tram, when I noticed a snake entering into the tigress' enclosure. As I approached the enclosure, I saw the snake going towards the cubs," explained Shivshankar.


He adds that a little later, the zoo's veterinary doctor, Dr Prayag, too noticed the snake slithering towards the enclosure. "I caught the snake by its tail and realized that this was not a zoo bred snake. It bit me as I managed to pull it away

Chinese delegates to make final panda cage inspection

The final inspection by Chinese delegates of the new facilities being created for two giant pandas at Edinburgh Zoo has been set for October.


Officials said they did not have a date for the arrival of Tian Tian and Yuang Guang but it would depend on the enclosure passing the inspection.


It is expected the pandas will arrive by the end of the year, as announced by Premier Wen on his recent UK visit.


About £250,000 is being spent creating a home for the pair.


It will have pools, caves, climbing

Camel bites visitor at Catoctin Zoo

A camel bit the lower arm of a visitor who had food in her hand at the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo south of Thurmont, said Harold Domer, Frederick County Animal Control director.


The visitor, a 29-year-old woman, was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital with a moderate injury to her arm Thursday at about 1 p.m., Domer said.


The woman was not feeding the camel, he said. She was on a tractor ride that winds through the zoo, Domer said.


The camel, an adult male named Malachi, stuck his head near where people were and bit the woman, Domer said.


The camel is in quarantine at the zoo, Domer said. A veterinarian is monitoring Malachi to make sure his disposition does not change. A change in disposition is a sign the camel may be unhealthy, he said.


Domer said the camel appears healthy. Malachi was trying to grab food from the woman's hand as she pulled her hand

Can an ape learn to be human?

As two new films explore the human-like behaviour of chimpanzees, Steve Connor explains the fascination – and fear – we have about our closest living relatives


Many years ago while on a visit to London Zoo I experienced first hand the wily intelligence of chimpanzees in the days when they were kept behind wire mesh. The captive troupe had rehearsed a kind of primate nonchalance that would attract a curious crowd of onlookers gathered around their caged compound. Then, with little warning, they would start to fling dung at their human audience, jumping up and down with apparent glee at the sight of the fleeing crowd.


As dirty protests go, it was relatively unsophisticated. Some years later, primatologist Mathias Osvath of Lund University in Sweden documented a rather more complex strand of protest in a chimp called Santino who lives in Furuvik Zoo. Santino showed that it was possible for chimps to plan for the future. He did this by methodically building up a cache of stones in the early morning, hours before opening time. When the first zoo visitors appeared, he began to enthusiastically hurl his missiles at the gawping humans.


Dr Osvath concluded that Santino's actions showed that chimps have a rather well developed form of intelligence, one that could envisage "life-like mental simulations of potential events". By anticipating opening time, and preparing for it with his cache of rocks, Santino and the dung-chucking chimps at London Zoo were able to construct mental pictures of the future using an element of rudimentary consciousness known as forward planning. "They most probably have an 'inner world' like we have when reviewing past episodes of our lives or thinking of days to come," Dr Osvath said at the time.


The degree to which chimps think and behave like humans has been the subject of endless speculation, and many scientific studies. When we gaze into the face of the chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes, our closest living relative with whom we share more than 98 per cent of our DNA, we are also looking into the eyes of another highly sentient being who might in many ways pass for one of us.


Indeed, chimps are capable of an array of behaviours that were once considered the sole preserve of humans and some scientists have seriously suggested that chimps, which belong to the genus Pan, should in fact be classified as Homo – the human family. They make simple tools, they are fascinated by fire and rain and have even been known to appreciate a sunset. They mourn their dead, they make war on members

Delfi Messinger

has joined the staff of Escambia County Animal Services as division manager.


Messinger was formerly director of animal programs at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens from 2005 to 2010 and general curator at the Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City, Kansas, from 2001 to 2005.


She has written a book, “Grains of Golden Sand,” about the bonobo, a rare African ape. She has served as the manager of the animal department at the National Biological Institute in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), Africa, from 1987 to 1998 and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire from 1984 to 1987.


Messinger graduated in 1980 Texas|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s

A rare bird indeed hatches at Toledo Zoo

Kori Bustard chick 1 of few born in U.S. in '11


History of sorts was made in South Toledo this week when an African bird that many people don't know about -- the Kori Bustard -- was born at the Toledo Zoo.


It was significant because Toledo's zoo is the northernmost spot on this continent to hatch such a bird in captivity and the third most northern globally. Two zoos in Germany that lie north of Toledo have accomplished the feat, Robert Webster, Toledo Zoo curator of birds, said.


The birth had a little drama too.


The new chick, named Kojo (African for "Born on a Monday") appeared to run of out

I.Coast's only zoo mourns lions starved during vote conflict

The grungy lion cages in the Ivory Coast's only zoo stand empty after its three lions starved to death in April as forces for rival presidents battled in the city around them.


Around 40 animals in the Abidjan zoo lost their lives in the months-long conflict that ended on April 11 with the arrest of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo, who had lost November elections.


But Lea, Simba and Loulou -- the pride of the animal collection and who came from Ethiopia -- are missed the most.


They died of hunger, said Claude-Sie Kam, who has been in charge of carnivores at the complex for 14 years, pointing to the empty concrete cages set among verdant foliage in west Africa's biggest zoo.


"Their death pained me, they were pets," he said.


The zoo is situated at what was a flashpoint for the fighting that gripped Abidjan for around 10 days in April -- the culmination of a conflict that built over months.


Violent clashes between forces for Gbagbo and his rival Alassane Ouattara, now in place as president, trapped residents in their homes for days. UN and French forces were drawn in, carrying out air strikes.


At the crossroads of Cocody -- where Gbagbo hid out in a bunker for days -- and the Ouattara stronghold of Abobo, the zoo is also on the road to the country's biggest police camp.


After its food supplies ran out, the few guards stuck there were not able to venture out for more. About 40 animals died in their cages, zookeepers said.


Around 112 survived, from 25 species including monkeys, crocodiles and snakes. But the 80-year-old zoo is shattered.




Roger Boisen column: Day at the zoo becomes joke of a lifetime (Amusing)
In the early to mid 1960s, I lived with my parents and about eight or so so-so siblings on a dairy farm in the Wausau area. Rarely would we take a long trip, and you can probably guess why. But early one morning, when I was about 7, we crammed ourselves into our car and drove off to see some cousins in the Chicago area.
After visiting at our cousins' house, we all headed to the Brookfield Zoo for what was sure to be one whale of a good time. I was really looking forward to seeing the zoo, although in hindsight, that seems odd, given the fact that I lived on a farm with an excessive number of brothers and sisters.
Eventually, our parents herded us into the elephant house. The huge animals were fascinating, and I was mesmerized. I swear that I wasn't horsing around or anything. But at some point, my spider sense began to tingle.
Something was fishy. I turned to my left, and I turned to my right. I noticed that, except for a solitary zoo employee

Malaysian Palm Oil Chief Hits Out At Orang Utan Treatment At Melbourne Zoo

Malaysian Palm Oil Council's chief executive Tan Sri Datuk Dr Yusof Basiron has lashed out at the treatment of orang utans at the Melbourne Zoo here, describing it as deplorable and a disgrace.
Dr Yusof told Bernama he made a quick visit the zoo to check out the anti-palm oil signs outside the orang utan enclosures and was appalled at the way they were screaming for attention in the winter cold
"They were shivering and making noises which I recognised them as distress calls," he said.
"Orang utans are tropical animals and find it extremely hard to survive in biting cold temperatures. At the Melbourne zoo, orang utans had just sack cloth to cover themselves in the cold.
"But the sack cloth was small and they were struggling to get it round their huge bodies. I felt very sorry for these poor animals. Unlike human beings, orang utans cannot complain and their distress screams appeared to be ignored by the zoo," he said.
Dr Yusof said he could not believe his eyes when he saw food for the orang utans being place in the open so that zoo visitors could see how the animals ate.
"This was a poor show, just pandering to the delights of the people but to the extreme cruelty to the orang utans," he said.
Yusof, who is accompanying the Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Tan Sri Benard Dompok, on his eight-day working mission to Australia, said Australian animal welfare authorities should investigate "the pathetic conditions" for orang utans at the zoo as well as other zoos in Australia.
"It is utter cruelty to the orang utans. The zoo must understand these are animals from the tropics and adequate protection should be given to them during winter. Their enclosures must be warm and made comfortable

Melbourne Zoo rejects claims orang-utans mistreated
MELBOURNE Zoo has refuted claims it mistreats its Orang-utans by leaving them exposed to winter conditions.
The zoo's conservation director Rachel Lowry said allegations made by Malaysian Palm Oil Council chief executive Dr Yusof Basiron that the endangered apes were suffering were ridiculous.
"He was saying the animal was cold. Our exhibit actually has heated elements integrated throughout," Ms Lowry, a board member of the International Zoo Educators Board, said.
"They also have access to beds that are heated. They're like bedrooms really that are maintained at 20C at all times. On a cold day the orang-utans have a choice of whether they want to stay in our outside."
A Malaysian news agency reported last week Mr Datuk briefly visited the zoo to find the apes

The age of aquarium The Deep opens a window on what lies beneath. Roger Ratcliffe reports on the work that goes on to keep its 3,500 sea creatures healthy and well-fed.

There’s a place right at the bottom of The Deep known as “the tunnel”, a glass passageway across an authentic reproduction of an ocean floor. Unless you are a deep sea diver, being there is probably one of the most thrilling experiences you’ll ever have.
It’s at this point where you get a sense of almost leaving dry land behind and becoming enveloped by a greenish-blue world of reefs and seaweed. And if you stand there long enough you will begin to feel as though you have gone native and joined a swirling fraternity of big fish – sharks and stingrays, shoals of jacks, and a couple of fearsome green swordfish.
It’s a constantly changing scene, and one that has been enjoyed by over four million people since the aquarium – or “submarium” as The Deep prefers to be known – was first opened in 2002.
The journey starts in a lift to the third floor of a building which looks like a ship’s bow has been left stranded at the confluence of the River Hull and Humber estuary. You then proceed down a series of gently sloping ramps ingeniously wrapped around the 10-metre-deep main tank.
But in the lift there is a button without a number, and if pressed the lift stops on the second floor. This is a place which the public never get to see. It’s where the backroom operation of looking after thousands of fish and reptiles goes on seven days a week.
Here, curator Katy Duke and her 14 staff start the day by planning and preparing meals for 3,500 fish,

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

Vietnam's tiger population hits crisis point

JUST 30 wild tigers survive today in Vietnam out of 3,200 across the world, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).


The WWF said there were 100 wild tigers in Viet Nam 10 years ago. The conservation body said the number of tigers across the world has decreased by 97 per cent since 1900.


The main reason for the diminishing tiger population is deforestation, said Do Quang Tung, deputy director of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) Viet Nam. The growing human population has also put pressure on tiger numbers, he added, as has illegal hunting and trafficking.


Meanwhile, Nick Cox, WWF's manager of protected areas, species and wildlife trade, said Vietnam was a trade hub for tiger products, while illegal medicines made from tiger bones had become increasingly popular. 'It's very important at the moment to halt the illegal international tiger trade and domestic consumption of tigers,' Mr Cox said.


Keshav Varma, programme director of Global Tiger Initiative (GTI), said the continuous demand for tiger parts and the surge in illegal smuggling are totally unacceptable. He said if things continue going as they were, the last remaining tigers in Indo-China will be wiped out within a few years.


Hoang Thi Thanh Nhan, deputy head of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry's Bio-diversification Conservation Department, said Vietnam, in a bid to save tigers in the wild, has participated in Global Tiger Initiative forums. Vietnam and 12 other countries have made a historic commitment to eradicating poaching and the illegal trade

Wild tigers crowding habitats

The number of wild tigers is increasing to the delight of conservationists, but a new problem is now emerging _ their habitats are running out.


The National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department plans to increase tiger territory to accommodate the growing number of the animals in Huai Kha Khaeng and Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuaries.


The growing number of tigers is the result of a successful crackdown on poachers and efforts to provide more forest areas for the animals to forage for food. The country now has 250 tigers, with most of them found in the two sanctuaries.


The sanctuaries are adjacent to national parks in Uthai Thani, Kanchanaburi and Tak provinces.


Covering 622,200 hectares, they form the largest protected area in Southeast Asia and were listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1991.


Saksit Simcharoen, chief of the department's wildlife conservation division, said the two sanctuaries might not have enough territory to handle the rising number of tigers which will also result from the department's policy of doubling their population. The sanctuaries are home to about 100 tigers.


He said Mae Wong National Park in Kamphaeng Phet, Tab Lan National Park in Prachin Buri and Dong Payayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex in Nakhon Ratchasima might be chosen as new tiger habitats.


Staff would check the number of tigers, and introduce a patrol system to tackle poachers in Mae Wong National Park and Tab Lan National Park, where wild tigers are also

India's tigers gain numbers but not ground

Results of the world’s largest tiger population study show that the numbers of the highly endangered big cat in India have increased, but that habitat continues to decline.


The estimated population of 1,706 individual tigers represents a 20 percent increase from the last survey in 2006, which estimated a number of 1,411. As well as an increase in the number of tigers within high-density populations, the increase is also due to additional areas being included in the survey this time.§ion=42&topic=23

Rise in attacks – bad news for victims, good news for tigers

For villagers and their families it is a tragedy, but for tiger conservationists a sudden rise in the number of attacks offers welcome, if gruesome, evidence the predator is staging a comeback.


Tiger numbers have risen by more than 20 per cent in the last five years in India, the first time that a significant increase has been recorded since the population crashed – in 1960 there were an estimated 25,000 of the

Facial-recognition software could help to save great apes

Attempts to save populations of great apes could be helped by new facial-recognition software designed to monitor the animals in the wild.


Researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer and Max-Planck societies are designing a program that can recognise individual apes from photos, video and audio footage recorded in a specific area and so help to count the numbers living there.


‘The biologists [looking after apes in the wild] have to evaluate whether a management strategy is efficient or not,’ Alexander Loos from the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology told The Engineer.


‘They have to know the number of individuals of a specific species, whether a population is declining or increasing and which factors influence the population.’


Remotely operated cameras and audio equipment are already used to help monitor animal populations in the wild, but they often produce more data than can be manually processed.


The new semi-automatic system can filter the footage to find where the apes clearly appear and then identify individuals in real time using complex algorithms, in a similar way to human face-recognition software such as that of the Microsoft Kinect.


‘This technology has to be adapted but the similarities of the human face and the ape’s face are clear and so we decided that it is a good idea to use face

Toad Escapes Snake and Tiger to be Rescued by Zoo Staff

What is thought to be the luckiest toad in the country has been rescued at the Isle of Wight Zoo.


The amphibian was spotted by a visitor inside the Indian Tiger Enclosure on Monday morning with a grass snake coiled around it.


But the snake fled when the toad was approached by an Indian Tigress called Lola, who started licking the creature. However, she was put off from eating the toad because of its taste.


Charlotte Corney, Isle of Wight Zoo Director, explained to IW Radio: "Toads secrete when they are worried as a defence mechanism - they don't taste too good! The tiger decided it would stick with its normal diet and didn't pursue the toad at that point. The toad hopped off outside the mesh of the

Baby elephant on the way at Melbourne Zoo

Melbourne Zoo's two baby Thai elephants are to be joined by another playmate ... eventually.


The zoo says Num-Oi, a 10-year-old female, is four months into her 24-months-long pregnancy, with the new arrival expected in early 2013.


Senior veterinarian Helen McCracken says Num-Oi was impregnated via artificial insemination after a year-long focus for the zoo.


"We've got three elephants we imported from Thailand several years ago, now all have either had babies or are about to have babies so it's terribly exciting," Dr McCracken said.


"That was our plan, we really wanted to make sure we had a good breeding population of elephants here at Melbourne Zoo."


The new arrival will join 18-month-old Mali, daughter of Dokkoon, and Ongard, the 11-month-old son of Kulab.


The three mothers arrived from Thailand in 2006 to join the zoo's original pair, Mek Kapah and the family patriarch, Bong Su.


Dr McCracken says the baby will be born into a happy family unit.


"They've got two (playmates) and a mum, and the mum herself

Helping to protect the species

THE TWO seven month white old lion cubs who arrived at Paphos Animal and Bird Park on Wednesday are settling in nicely after their 16-hour flight from South Africa.


Dias and Hera, as they have been named by park founder Christos Christoforou, seem relaxed and quite at home in their new specially constructed 800 square metre enclosure, and none the worse for their long journey.


Yesterday Christoforou spoke to the Cyprus Mail of his joy at finally adding cats to the ever growing list of animals which now call the park home.


“They are so friendly and playful and settled into their new enclosure immediately,” he said.


The lion’s new home is expansive and includes trees, rocks, wood and a water feature. They also have a specially constructed room in which to feed and sleep, complete with a ceramic tiled floor, which is easy for their keepers to clean.


Christoforou said: “Just before the lions left South Africa it was raining and snowing, as its winter there, and so when they arrived they were quite muddy. We are now grooming them and will give them a bath and groom them again,” he said.


“They are very beautiful creatures and we now have our first cats at the park,” he said adding: “We will get some more lions from a zoo in Denmark, they will be arriving in the middle of September.”


The parks founder said that he believed the climate of Cyprus

Kirkpatricks give $1 million to Oklahoma City Zoo hospital

The Kirkpatrick family has pledged $1 million to help build a new veterinary hospital at the Oklahoma City Zoo.


An Oklahoma family announced Thursday a $1 million pledge to help build a new veterinary hospital at the Oklahoma City Zoo.


The donation from the Kirkpatrick family is one of the largest in the history of the zoo, said Dana McCrory, executive director of the Oklahoma Zoological Society.


The gift is funded by two Kirkpatrick family philanthropies: $650,000 from the Kirkpatrick Family Fund and $350,000 from the Kirkpatrick Foundation.


The Kirkpatricks

'Extinct' cranes back in wild

Thailand should remove the sarus crane from its extinct wild animal list now that 10 of the birds bred in captivity have been released into the wild, Zoological Park Organisation director Pimook Simaroj said yesterday.


The sarus crane has been listed as extinct in the wild by the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (Onep) since it disappeared from from its natural habitat in Thailand 50 years ago.


In 1989, Thailand received a couple of the cranes from Cambodia. Experts at Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo successfully bred the birds in captivity bringing their present population at the zoo to about 100.


Ten of the birds were released into the wild in March at Hoei Chorakay Mak Wildlife Sanctuary in Buri Ram which is close to Cambodia, the birds' original home.


All of the cranes were fitted with radio tracking devices to enable officials to monitor them.


"This is a major success," Mr Pramook said. "They all are in good health and there is a chance they will breed in nature. I support the delisting of the cranes from the extinction list."


The director said Her Majesty the Queen had expressed concern over the cranes and supported the programme aimed at boosting their population in the wild.


The Zoological Park Organisation and the Department

Animal deaths shock Sipahijala zoo authorities

The Sipahijala wildlife sanctuary has not been able to keep its guests safe. Death of three exotic animals in the sanctuary and zoo, located about 25 km south of Agartala, in the last few months has sent the forest authorities into a tizzy.


Only recently the zoo authorities had brought three Emus, giant Australian birds, to garner tourist attraction. But, one of these flightless birds, second largest to Ostrich in the world, fell sick with Ranikhet disease, also known as New Castle disease and died last week.


Animal experts said Ranikhet disease, a serious viral disorder in poultry, spreads with lack of proper housing and good care.


Another shocking animal death took place when two adult bears killed and ate up a cub recently. The zoo authorities were rearing two bear cubs in isolation for sometime. They decided to put them with adult bears in the same cage recently and as soon as the cubs were put in the cage, the adult bears became furious

Visitors turned away at zoo due to overcrowding .

Hundreds of people who turned up to visit the National Zoological gardens at Dehiwala were disappointed as they were turned away on Saturday due to overcrowding, an official said.


"Even on Sunday we have received a large crowd and finding it difficult to issue tickets to them", an official said.


He said if people would come earlier in the day it would help them to visit the zoo without being disappointed.


Some of those who were turned away told Sundaytimesonline that there were a large number of people who had come from areas such as Ampara, Matara and Anuradhapura who were turned away.


"Usually from a place like Anuradhapura it takes four to five hours and when we reached the zoo it was about 2.00 p.m. and were told no tickets were available. Our group including a large number of schoolchildren were disappointed and had to get back home", school teacher Anurangani Chandralatha said.


Another group from Kandy said they had left around 6.00 a.m., but since they had several other visits they had decided to visit the zoo as their last visit before ending the trip, but around 3

Pilikula Nisargadhama hisses with King Cobra success

Ophiophagus Hannah aka King Cobra stands demystified at the Dr Shivaram Karanth Biological Park at Moodushedde near here. In the first known successful instance of captive breeding of largest venomous snake in the world, indigenously, park authorities late on Sunday tasted success with 32 out of 147 eggs laid by 'Rani', 'Nagaveni' and 'Nagamani' - female King Cobras at the park hatching increasing the slithery tribe by 32.


Permitted by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) in November 2007 to breed the reptile in captivity, the project did not take off for a good two years. CZA in 2009 sanctioned funds for the construction of a spacious off-display King Cobra breeding centre on the park premises where authorities chose four pairs of King Cobras for mating. Remaining six King Cobras including five males were kept in glass enclosure at snake house for viewing by visitors.


Eggs started hatching late on Sunday

Chocoholic fish at London aquarium ate nothing but Kit Kats

STAFF at a London aquarium have managed to wean a chocoholic fish raised on Kit Kats onto a healthier diet, Sky News reported today.


Staff members at the Sea Life London Aquarium initially could not understand why Gary, an inherited 4 kilogram, 40cm-long gourami, refused to eat.


They later discovered he had been fed nothing but chocolate by his previous owners.


To gradually wean Gary off his unhealthy diet, the team began feeding Gary Kit Kat pieces inside grapes.


"Gouramis usually eat a diet of fruit but Gary doesn't

Conservationists say stronger protections needed for sharks

An international marine conservation organization is calling on the federal government to protect the world's dwindling shark populations by banning imports of shark products from countries that have weak protections in place.


In an Aug. 1 letter to the National Marine Fisheries Service, Oceana asks the U.S. government to ban imports of shark products, such as dried fins, from China, Japan, Indonesia, and a dozen other countries where conservation regulations governing shark fishing are weaker than in the United States.


"What we're proposing here is a separate tool" from

A lonely, barren existence for elephant

Does the elephant in question, a 34-year-old female from Sri Lanka, really look that curious?


To me she looks malungkot (lonely). You would be too, if you were taken from your home, kicking and screaming, to be later confined in a small space with little or nothing to do for the rest of your life.


It’s a barren, dusty and miserable existence for one of our planet’s most intelligent animals. While she has it bad, some of the zoo’s less lucky animals have it even worse. The monkey exhibit is nothing more than a collection of barren cages, without so much as a single leaf provided to replicate a natural environment.


Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim’s claim that some of Manila Zoo’s animal residents, in captivity, live beyond their life span is a weak argument. I think all of us would prefer to live to 75 surrounded by friends and family, rather than living 100 lonely years in a prison cell. After a lifetime of misery, even the best birthday cake would taste like dust.


Carlos Celdran advises all tourists who take his tours not to go to Manila Zoo. Would he do that if it were the brilliant source of education and entertainment that Lim so often claims it to be?


I understand why our neighboring countries are dragging




Cambodia reports H5N1 death, zoo outbreak
Cambodia's health ministry today announced today that a 4-year-old girl died from an avian influenza infection, a day after the country's animal health officials reported that the virus struck a zoo in a different province.
The girl, from Banteay Meanchey province in the northwestern part of the country, died Jul 20, the ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a joint statement, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. Her death is Cambodia's seventh this year and pushes its number of H5N1 cases to 17, including 15 deaths.
The report did not mention if the girl had been exposed to sick or dead birds, but Cambodia's health minister, Mam Bun Heng, warned parents and guardians to keep children away from them, according to the AFP report.
Yesterday Cambodia's agriculture ministry reported an H5N1 outbreak that killed 19 wild birds at a Phnom Tamao zoo in Takeo province, located in the southern part of the country, according to a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
The bird deaths started Jul 13 at the zoo's rescue center, where workers feed the wild birds fish distributed on the banks of a pond during the rainy season (June through December). Zoo workers originally suspected Newcastle disease or fowl cholera, and they buried the carcasses and disinfected the area.
The virus killed 19 birds, and 10 more sick ones were destroyed to

Happy Feet rated priceless publicity despite costs
At least $30,000 has been spent saving Happy Feet the penguin at a time when conservation budgets for safeguarding other wildlife are being slashed.
But the bird has provided priceless publicity for wildlife in general, says Forest and Bird.
Happy Feet, an emperor penguin from Antarctica, was found on a Kapiti Coast beach north of Wellington in June and, according to figures obtained through the Official Information Act, Wellington Zoo estimates it has cost in excess of $30,000 for numerous operations to remove sticks and sand from his stomach, as well as rehabilitating him for a return to the wild.
The Department of Conservation (DoC) has not released how much it spent on looking after the penguin while it was on the beach and then transported to Wellington.
The department is planning to return him to the sea in August from a boat off the Bluff coast.
Forest and Bird advocacy manager Kevin Hackwell said $30,0000 may seem like a lot of money when seen against the backdrop of DoC redundancies. The department announced in June it would be cutting 100 jobs across the organisation.
"The Department of Conservation has had its budget slashed by the government and it's laying off staff so having to spend significant sums of money looking after this one bird compared

Saving prions from NZ's worst wreck
Wellington Zoo is still busy trying to save 190 broad- billed prions involved in the largest prion "wreck" recorded in New Zealand. A wreck is when a great number of seabirds are driven inland and many die.
The first prion - the seabird pachyptila vittata, in Maori parara - was found dead on a Waikanae driveway during a devastating storm on July 11 and within three days more than 1000 live prions had been handed into wildlife centres in the Wellington region.
Although there is a long history of prion wrecks on New Zealand beaches, the scale of the latest one was unprecedented, Te Papa's terrestrial vertebrates curator Dr Colin Miskelly said.
"The two previous largest wrecks of broad-billed prions, in 1961 and 1994, were between 1100 and 14,000 birds. It will be difficult to estimate the full extent of the 2011 wreck but it is likely to be up to 250 times larger than either of the other

Japan's oldest African elephant 'Mako' dies at Tama Zoological Park
"Mako," the oldest African elephant in Japan, died of respiratory failure at an estimated age of 46 at the Tama Zoological Park in the suburbs of Tokyo on July 29 after apparently crushing her lungs with her own body weight.
A zoo keeper found "Mako" lying down in a sleeping room at the zoo on the morning of July 29.
"Mako" was brought to the zoon from Tanzania in 1967 together with "Ako," a female African elephant from Kenya, whose estimated age is 46. Many visitors enjoyed watching "Mako" walking

Privatize zoo, councillors urged
The elephants are lucky they’re leaving.
A review of the city’s core services suggests selling the Toronto Zoo.
It’s the latest city asset KPMG recommends the city wash its hands of.
Mayor Rob Ford dodged a question Wednesday about whether he’d sell it.
“This is about priorities and what we can afford,” Ford said when asked directly about the suggested zoo selloff.
At its meeting Thursday, the parks and environment committee will consider pulling the city out of the business of running the Riverdale Farm, the High Park zoo and the Far Enough Farm on Toronto Island.
Councillors on the executive committee will have to mull selling off the Toronto Zoo, too, at next Thursday’s

Terrapin haven in Tuscany for UK rescued reptiles is ruined and overrun
Carapax sanctuary, which gave new home to UK's abandoned terrapins, in disarray after legal battle and neglect claims
It seemed the perfect solution to the problem of Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello. Thousands of red-eared terrapins had been dumped in Britain's waterways in the early 1990s, after being bought as pets during the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle craze.
Rather than allow them to devour native animals including fish, newts, moorhens and ducklings, a terrapin charity paid for more than 800 to be flown abroad to start a new life in Italy.
The terrapins took up residence at an idyllic site, a sanctuary in Massa Marittima, 90 miles south of Pisa. However, after the eviction last year of the sanctuary's manager hundreds of the rescued reptiles are dead or dying, while scores more of the non-native animals have escaped into the Tuscan countryside, according to local people and terrapin experts.
The Italian sanctuary, known as Carapax, or the European Centre for Chelonian Conservation, and run by Donato Ballasina, the director, attracted funds from charities across Europe. It received £25 for every terrapin and other non-native chelonian sent to the centre.
"This was a shipping of animals to their death – to be put in lakes which were not fit for purpose," said Tom Langton, an independent ecologist who investigated the project. "Animals were underfed and dying with disease. The whole thing is bizarre and worrying."
In Britain, there are more than 2,000 terrapins still at large in waterways in the London area alone. Many are dinner plate-sized red-eared terrapins (Trachemys scripta elegans), also called sliders, which were discarded by their Ninja Turtle-loving owners. Red-eared terrapins are now banned from sale in Britain but many enthusiasts have switched to other similar non-native species.
In 2007, the City of London Authority captured rogue terrapins from park ponds in the capital and, along with other organisations and individuals, passed them to the British Chelonia Group.
The BCG funded the terrapins' expatriation to the Tuscan sanctuary, which was billed as a home for life, where the creatures could swim in lakes fed by streams warmed by volcanic rock. The sanctuary was also claimed to be "hermetically sealed" so that no red-eared terrapins could escape and start terrorising the native species.
Almost immediately, the BCG received evidence that terrapins were dying because the sanctuary's ponds were too small and because fencing was not secure. But the charity said it dispatched people to check on the animals' conditions and found no problems, so it continued to part-fund the project.
"It all sounded too good to be true, and it was," said Paul Eversfield, a former BCG member, referring to his visit to the sanctuary in the autumn of 2007.
Eversfield said that he found a muddy

Vietnam to have first international day for tigers

VietNamNet Bridge – The first international day for tigers will be held in Hanoi on July 31, to raise the awareness of protection of this endangered species


A workshop, games and exhibition with the topic “combating wildlife trading”, including tiger trading, will be held, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).


In Asia, tigers are being hunted and traded illegally to meet man’s requirements. In Vietnam, tigers are mainly used to make products that are considered as medicines like tiger bone glue and tiger bone alcohol. Their skin and meat are used to make souvenirs or cuddly tigers.


According to statistics by the Education of Nature Vietnam (ENV) in 2010, there are less than 30 tigers in nature in entire Vietnam.


Nick Cox, an expert of the WWF Greater Mekong Sub-region, said that Vietnam is a hot spot in tiger trading from Southeast Asia to China and also for local demands.


As carnivorous animals, tigers help ensure the numbers of bait animal species in control to maintain the balance and stability of the ecological system, Cox explained the significance of protecting tigers.


Pauline Verheij, manager of the anti-tiger trading program of the TRAFFIC organization, confirmed that there are little evidences about the effect of tiger bones in curing diseases and in all cases, there are replacements that are much cheaper and legal than tiger bones.


According to Verheij, breeding tigers at farms are much costly than hunting them in the nature (around 250 times higher), tigers have become the targets of hunters.


The international day for tiger in Vietnam is jointly held by the WWF, the Biodiversity Preservation Agency and TRAFFIC.


In the brink of distinction of tigers in the nature, Russia held the Summit of countries that have tigers, with the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The leaders of 13 tiger-having countries committed to take action to preserve this species. The goal of these countries is the number of tigers in the nature to double from 3,200 to 6,400 by 2022.


Attending countries in the Tiger Summit included: Russia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam.


Vietnam makes great efforts in tiger conservation


A children’s painting awards ceremony and an exhibition on combating the trafficking of wild animals were held in Hanoi on July 29 in response to International Tiger Day.

The claws are out

News that Zion Wildlife Park has been placed in receivership has revived hopes that the Lion Man could return to rescue the big cats. As Geoff Cumming reports, that may not be in the animals' best interests.


Watching Craig Busch playing with Shakira and other lions on old Lion Man episodes, you can't help but believe in the guy.


See the Lion Man cuddling and cavorting with giant cats; his rapport like a modern-day Mowgli. See him ride the lion; see a white tiger (extinct in the wild) being born ...


Busch's X-factor was as rare as his charges were said to be: he was an actor not upstaged by animals. The series has screened in 140 countries; its pulling power a mix of awe at Busch's fearlessness, empathy with co-stars as cute as they were lethal and sympathy with Zion Wildlife's stated conservation goals - a breeding programme to ensure the survival of "endangered species" including white lions, royal white bengal tigers and barbary lions.


Seeing is believing. Great Southern Television's Philip Smith, who discovered the khaki-costumed cat handler, says Busch was "Krusty the Clown meets Daktari". The show had universal themes about conservation and nurture and fitted the elusive formula of bonding television - parents could enjoy it with their kids.


What viewers didn't know was that Busch's mastery over 250kg killers was not just down to their hand-rearing and life of dependency. They had secretly been declawed, a practice decried

Oklahoma City Zoo animals discover artistic side

Turtles can be painters, even if they don't much care for art.


Animal trainers at the Oklahoma City Zoo are coming up with creative ways to help animals put paint on canvas to support wildlife conservation efforts around the world.


The second annual Art Gone Wild art show kicks off next week in the Paseo Arts District.


Artwork has been created by elephants, flamingos, grizzly bears, snakes, a rhinoceros and other animals.


Zookeepers have devised clever plans for teaching the animals to paint, said Diana Jones, a spokeswoman for the zoo. For example, turtles trot through paint and over a canvas to reach sweet strawberries.


The paintings are part of what zookeepers call enrichment, Jones said.


“It creates problems for them to solve,” Jones said. “It creates challenges of them. ... It stimulates the animals mentally and breaks up their daily routines

There's Something Fishy About His Job

Vince Levesque, who helps take care of the sea animals at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, has plenty of friends at work.


The octopus likes to say hello. The groupers seem to recognize him by sight. Even the sharks are polite, since they're more interested in the food he brings than in his own potential as a convenient snack.


But not every ocean creature is so full of bonhomie. The mantis shrimp has the power to break through aquarium glass. The coral, a living animal, can be poisonous. And some of the jellyfish will sting him without a second thought, or even a first one. (They don't have a brain.)


Ten aquarists, including Levesque, feed the animals and maintain the tanks at the aquarium. He also goes into the ocean to gather fish, jellyfish and other critters.


I took a behind-the-scenes tour with Levesque and asked him about the joys of his job, the personalities of the aquarium's sea life and whether he ever surprises an unsuspecting kid or

Environment: The case against protection

So why not leave you with perhaps the biggest question in the environmental book - where is the natural world heading, if nothing much changes?


Simply protecting land and sea won't be enough to stem the loss of nature, according to a study just out in the Marine Ecology Progress series.


Read it one way, and it's one of the most depressing things you'll have seen, if you're concerned about the biosphere's future.


Currently, about 13% of the world's land surface is under some form of protection, about half of which is under what a recent study evaluated as "strict" protection.


At sea, it's a different story, with protection hovering around the 1% level - depending on how you define it.


So if land protection is in one sense a success story, being a rare example of an internationally agreed target that has been met and indeed exceeded, what impact is it having on biodiversity loss?


The various graphs in the paper, some of which I've copied in here, tell the story better than any

Councillors defend zoo decision

COUNCILLORS have explained their controversial decision to reject David Gill’s plans to expand his zoo.


Barrow Borough Council’s planning committee members chose to reject the proposed extension to South Lakes Wild Animal Park, Dalton, at their meeting on Tuesday.


Eight of the 11 councillors who were eligible to vote on the issue chose to issue a “minded to refuse” decision.


They said this was due to safety fears about the proposed entrance off the A590 and the size and character of the development in a rural area.


The Evening Mail spoke to those who made Tuesday’s decision.


The final decision will be made by the same committee on August 23.


Ann Thomson, chairwoman of the committee, Labour member for Hindpool (cannot vote)


“Nobody wants to stop Mr Gill from expanding but we have got to be clear that the scheme he puts forward is the best scheme possible.


“We have to act as a responsible planning committee and if we have concerns about a development and the safety of residents, then we cannot give

Business leaders plead for zoo expansion plans

BUSINESS leaders have called for a solution to be found to allow a zoo to expand.


Earlier this week, plans for an expansion to the South Lakes Wild Animal Park were initially rejected by Barrow Borough Council’s planning committee.


The committee chose to reject the plans as they had concerns about the size and character of the development, and about traffic problems which they believe would occur if traffic had to access the park from the U6097.


But park owner David Gill has hit out at the decision, and said the zoo has to expand in order to provide better facilities for its customers.


Harry Knowles, chief executive of Furness Enterprise, has called for both sides to negotiate a compromise.


Mr Knowles said: “Furness Enterprise’s position is that while we of course understand the concerns of the residents and the planning committee, the wild animal park has been one of the main tourist attractions in the area.


“We hope that a solution can be

'Lion Man' has new plans for Zion Wildlife Gardens

'Lion Man' Craig Busch has revealed his plans for Zion Wildlife Gardens if he regains control, including turning the big cat reserve into an African-style safari park.


Most of Zion's 36 big cats – including lions, tigers, cheetahs and a sole leopard – would be released from their enclosures and allowed to roam around the Northland tourist attraction.


Tourists would be able to get close to the big cats, travelling around the park's secure boundaries in a specially-designed safari bus.


At night they would also have the chance to camp out under the stars, enjoy an African-style barbecue and listen to Busch, who won worldwide acclaim with The Lion Man TV series, talk about his wildlife travels and issues such as poaching and animal trafficking.


The ideas are included in a business plan prepared by those heading Busch's bid to return to the sprawling Zion Wildlife Gardens that is being tabled with potential investors.


Busch's support team includes Charles Cadwallader, a former national inspector of the SPCA and ex-MAF animal welfare investigations manager andSunday News can confirm major changes will be made to the park if Busch returns.


He opened Zion, on the outskirts of Whangarei, in 2002, but sole directorship of the park was handed to his mother, Patricia, in 2006 after she raised loans to help pay off growing debts.


Busch's employment ended in 2008, sparking a long-running legal battle between the pair.


Receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers were called into the park on Tuesday after action by Rabobank in relation to loans taken out by Patricia Busch.


After Patricia went public with her fears that some of the animals could be put down, the receivers said the welfare of Zion's big cats was a priority.


Talking via his official spokeswoman this week, Busch confirmed that he had the "financial resources" to resume control of Zion. "Verbal and written approaches have been made to the receivers," the spokeswoman said.


"A deal has been put on the table with various options as to how it may be implemented.


"Craig's offer has been noted by the receivers and he looks forward to working with them."


"He has the experienced personnel and financial resources to take back the park immediately from the receivers and re-establish the Lion Man and cat breeding programme in New Zealand."


Craig Busch is currently based in South Africa and is now planning to

CLP Award Winners: Sustaining Wild Salmon Populations in Russia

For the last five years, our organization has fought to save wild Pacific salmon in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. After conducting research with leading Russian scientists, we have come to an unsettling conclusion: the Sakhalin taimen, whose habitat is limited to rivers in far eastern Russia and Japan, is rapidly approaching extinction.


The Sakhalin taimen is the largest salmon in the world — an ancient species that has been around since the age of the dinosaurs. Born in freshwater habitats, the adult fish make annual migrations to the sea for feeding, returning back to fresh waters for spawning.


On Sakhalin Island just north of Japan, wild salmon fishing is the second-largest industry, supplying 20 percent of global Pacific salmon catch and generating $500

Laos Shuts Down Bear Farm

Authorities in Laos have shut down a farm in the outskirts of the capital where bears had been held captive for extraction of bile, a hotly traded commodity.


An unknown number of bears have been seized from the farm but the owner, a Vietnamese, has bolted, officials said, adding that he would have to be prosecuted in court.


The authorities raided the farm in Kao Liao village north of the capital Vientiane on Thursday, a day after RFA reported that Lao officials had turned a blind eye to the facility, believed to be illegal.


Bear bile trade is thriving in Laos though the animal is protected under the law. The trafficking of bile-based traditional medicine is a key threat to Asia’s bears, partly because of poaching, environmental groups say.


"The farm owner right now has just vanished, we cannot find him," an official of the

Treating Sick and Injured Emperor Scorpions




Galloway wildlife park raises closure fears
The manager of a south of Scotland wildlife park has warned it needs urgent funding to avoid closure.
John Denerley said the Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park, near Kirkcudbright, could be forced to shut in a "couple of months".
He said the centre had suffered a "serious blow" to its finances during the economic downturn.
The Dumfries and Galloway site is home to several endangered species, rare mammals and birds.
The GWCP has been operating in the area for more than eight years.
However, Mr Denerley said that it was now struggling to meet annual running costs of more

Rhino Crisis Round Up: Antique Rhino Horn Cups Fuel the Fire, Thai ‘Hookers’ Weep and More
Thanks to a financially-focused rhino story that dominated the news during the past few days, crime syndicates could be more motivated than ever to “source” rhino horn.

Rosie the rhino's horn stolen from Ipswich Museum
Thieves have broken into Ipswich Museum and stolen the horn from a stuffed rhino on display.
Despite receiving warnings of gangs targeting museums and auction houses for rhino horn, the museum in the High Street was broken into on Thursday.
Two men, believed to have stolen the horn from Rosie the Rhino and another rhino skull, were seen leaving in a silver car at about 00:25 BST.
The museum service said it had been confident

Palm oil council chief upset over orang utan treatment in Aussie zoo
The treatment of orang utans at the Melbourne Zoo has raised the ire of Malaysian Palm Oil Council chief executive Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron, who described it as deplorable and a disgrace.
He said was appalled at the way the animals were screaming for attention in the winter cold when he made a quick visit to the zoo to check out the anti-palm oil signs

Arctic scientist under investigation
A US Federal wildlife biologist whose observation that polar bears likely drowned in the Arctic helped galvanise the global warming movement seven years ago was placed on administrative leave as officials investigate scientific misconduct allegations.
Although it wasn't clear what the exact allegations are, a government watchdog group representing Anchorage-based scientist Charles Monnett said investigators have focused on his 2004 journal article about the bears that garnered worldwide attention.
The group, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, filed a complaint on Mr Monnett's behalf today with the agency, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.
BOEMRE told Mr Monnett on July 18 that he was being put on leave, pending an investigation into "integrity issues".
The investigator has not yet told him of the specific charges or questions related to the scientific integrity of his work, said Jeff Ruch, the watchdog

Lost interview: Charles Monnett describes how he discovered 'drowned polar bears'
In July 2007, I sat down with wildlife biologist Charles Monnett and a spokesperson for the then-Minerals Management Service, the federal regulator of offshore oil development. Monnett -- who is now in trouble with MMS' predecessor, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement --had led the team of federal scientists who had spotted apparently dead polar bears floating in the Arctic Ocean in fall 2004, the causalities, some would later argue, of a warming climate. Or perhaps just a brutal storm.
That revelation, which was published in a journal at the time, galvanized environmentalists, who had long been saying the Arctic was melting. There was no ice for the bears, and now it seemed they had to swim farther than ever before. That was the implication of Monnett's and his colleagues' work at MMS.
I wanted to interview the man who had made the polar bear an international symbol of global warming. But the federal agency he worked for, which at the time was defending Royal Dutch Shell's plans to drill for oil in Alaska's Arctic, was wary of me asking questions of their scientist. And Monnett himself was paranoid that he would get in trouble by talking to me. As is today, Royal Dutch Shell was facing environmental opposition to its drilling plans for the Arctic. MMS was caught in the middle. And the survival of the polar bear -- now listed as a threatened species -- was at the center of the debate. Monnett seemed to indicate that he was already on thin ice as a result of his research. Thus, an MMS spokeswoman was there to monitor my questioning of Monnett. That's how it seemed, at least.
Here are some selected transcripts from my July 2007 interview with Dr. Monnet:

Palm Beach Zoo - Tiger Cam - Live!

Among necessary giants: why we can’t afford to lose the elephant
Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson, authors of Walking Thunder, explain why the survival of the elephant is critical for our own future
‘He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down,’ wrote Melville in Moby Dick. What percentage of Europe and America’s wealth has been drawn from the bodies of whales? What are we to make of a species – ours - supposedly sapient, supposedly sentient, that has destroyed hundreds of thousands of whales in the cause of lighting our cities, corsets and lubricating intercontinental ballistic missiles as the Russian did in the 1970s. That was surely the apex of our madness? Sadly it wasn’t.
In the 1980s, over 600,000 elephants - more than half the

Wild elephants attack Nepal refugee camp; 2 dead
Wild elephants have attacked a refugee camp in southeastern Nepal, killing two elderly men and damaging several huts.
Gehanath Bhandari, the chief government administrator in Jhapa district, says two elephants entered the U.N.-run camp for Bhutanese refugees Wednesday morning and trampled the two victims. There were no other casualties.
Floods during monsoon season usually drive the elephants from neighboring India into Nepal, where they destroy farms and occasionally attack humans.
Bhandari says some of the refugees were chasing the elephants away from corn

Crocodile caught in Siberian lake
A rescue team in the Russian republic of Khakassia said they caught a 6 1/2-foot crocodile spotted floating in a lake.
Yury Stolbun, head of the rescue group, said Wednesday a tour group in a catamaran spotted the crocodile floating in the water and initially thought it was a log, RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.
"Suddenly the log started blinking and paddling with its legs," Stolbun said.
Stolbun said the croc belongs to a man who offers tourists the chance to be photographed with the reptile.
"Something distracted the owner

L.A. is one step closer to privatizing zoo
A proposal to potentially turn over management of the Los Angeles Zoo to a private operator was approved by a Los Angeles City Council committee Thursday. If the plan gets the OK of the full council next month, the city could begin soliciting proposals from prospective operators by the end of this year.
Council members also made a new request: that city analysts develop an alternative to privatization to see whether there are changes that can be made to save money and keep the zoo under city management.
That move was cheered by some zoo workers, who are wary of privatization because they might be transferred to other city departments, and by animal-rights activists, who worry that a zoo not managed by the city might be less transparent when it comes to animal welfare.
Councilman Herb Wesson, who sits on the Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee that approved the plan, said the amended proposal will allow the city to consider the pros and cons of privatization.
"Basically, we're looking at plan A and B," Wesso

'Britain's fattest orangutan' Oshine loses 20kg on diet
An orangutan said to be the fattest in Britain has lost a fifth of her body weight after being put on a diet.
Oshine tipped the scales at 100kg (15 stone) - more than double her natural weight - but lost 20kg (3 stone) in 11 months after a lifestyle change.
The 14-year-old ape has cut out sweets, jelly and marshmallows, and instead tucks into a healthy diet of fruit, vegetables and plenty of exercise.
She arrived at Monkey World in Dorset last year from South Africa.
Oshine was previously kept as a pet in Johannesburg for 13 years.
'Morbidly obese'
Her sedentary and unnatural

Paloh the baby elephant is freed from her chains
Paloh the traumatised baby elephant has been freed from her chains – thanks to outraged Mirror readers.
She has been unshackled and moved from a filthy compound at a Malaysian zoo to join a young companion in a better enclosure.
Pictures on Tuesday of lonely and exhausted two-year-old Paloh sparked angry Mirror readers to bombard the Malaysian embassy

Zoos must be well run
JOHOR Local Government, Housing, Arts, Culture and Heritage committee chairman Datuk Ahmad Zahri Jamil’s defence of Johor Zoo (“No reason to shut down state’s iconic park, says exco man” – The Star, July 25) is preposterous.
The zoo’s long history, low ticket prices and high number of local visitors are not indicators of the zoo’s animal welfare standards or educational value.
The recent outrage over Johor Zoo’s cruel treatment of Paloh the baby elephant is only the latest in a long string of complaints against it for animal abuse and exploitation.
As recently as 2010, Johor Zoo was openly selling wildlife in a shop within its premises, and this year the zoo made headlines again with Shirley the chain-smoking orang utan.
In May, it was reported that all wildlife establishments would have to undergo auditing under new guidelines drawn up by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry. (“Audit on all who keep wild animals” – The Star, May 6).
This move is timely and any progress on

Rare rock wallabies returned to outback
Six rare rock wallabies taken from the far north-west of South Australia as joeys have returned home to the APY Lands.
A project aimed at saving the endangered species has brought together Anangu people with government agencies, zoos staff and university students.
They transferred more than 20 black-flanked rock wallaby joeys, or warru, into the pouches of surrogate yellow-footed rock wallabies.
Monarto Zoo staff kept them safe until adulthood and six of the wallabies have now been returned to the APY Lands and released into a 100-hectare predator-proof enclosure.
Matt Ward from the Environment Department said there was more to the project than saving the warru.
"It's also very much about employing Anangu

Monkey thief jailed for a year in Ras Al Khaimah (Strange looking Monkey!)
A criminal court in Ras Al Khaimah sentenced a man for one year in prison for stealing a monkey and a parrot at gunpoint from a private zoo in the emirate, a local newspaper reported on Thursday.
The man, identified only as MR, had used a gun to force the zoo guard to hand over the monkey and the parrot before fleeing, Emirat Alyoum said.
Police later seized the man on descriptions

Zoo's live postmortem fails to draw crowd
EDINBURGH Zoo has reportedly sold just 30 tickets for a planned live animal postmortem.
The "distasteful" show was heavily criticised by animal charities when it was announced earlier this month.
Organisers had hoped to sell 100 of the £20 tickets for the event, scheduled to take place on August 23.
Scottish animal welfare group OneKind said that the low sales were a sign of people's distaste at the initiative.
A spokesman for the group said: "It is a credit to the people of Edinburgh that they are animal lovers and they don't want to attend this type of event."
"Most people find it to be in bad taste." But chief executive of the trust that runs the zoo, Hugh Roberts, said the

Experts are foxed as first ever footage of urban OTTER making its home in city dock emerges
Conservationists have captured this amazing footage of a new breed of 'urban' otter which is shunning the countryside in favour of city centres.
Researchers have discovered that the usually-reclusive water creature - immortalised in Kenneth Grahame's Wind In the Willows - are encroaching into cities.
They set up hidden cameras and captured an urban otter making a home by a floating dock in the heart of Bristol city centre - just yards from a shopping mall

Seal scales fence to reach pup at St Andrews Aquarium
A 14 stone (90kg) harbour seal's successful attempt to overcome a metal barrier to welcome a new pup to her Fife aquarium has been caught on CCTV.
Managers at St Andrews Aquarium said they were "amazed" by Laurel's strength and tenacity to overcome a 4ft (1.2m) fence to reach the new arrival Togo.
Officials had planned to introduce the pair in a few weeks time.
However Laurel, 20, was unable to wait and 15 minutes after the park closed on Friday she broke into the other cage.
When workers arrived on Saturday they discovered Laurel was not in her enclosure and found her playing with one-year-old Togo in his new pool.




Suspended zoo boss returns to work and prepares for pandas
THE senior manager behind the deal to bring two giant pandas to Edinburgh Zoo is to return to work after being suspended earlier this year, it has emerged.
Iain Valentine was removed from his post in April pending an investigation into what was described as "matters of a very serious nature".
Yesterday Hugh Roberts, chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), said that, following an internal investigation, Mr Valentine - who was director of animals, conservation and education - would be returning to the organisation next week but in a different role.
Mr Valentine's suspension came amid months of turmoil for the zoo, one of Scotland's leading tourist attractions, which included the suspension of another senior manager, the sacking of a third and the resignation of chairman Donald Emslie, after a vote of no confidence by RZSS members.
Mr Roberts, said: "The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has completed a disciplinary investigation into Iain Valentine and a full hearing has been held, the details of which are, and will remain, confidential.
"From 1 August, Iain Valentine will be working in a changed role in which he will focus on animal conservation and research.
"The board is implementing significant change across the organisation that allows staff to play to their individual strengths to deliver a strong future for the RZSS, Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park.
"While recent times have

Lion Man wants to buy back Zion park
Craig Busch, founder of the troubled Zion Wildlife Gardens north of Whangarei, wants to buy back control.
The world famous park was put in receivership this week with debts believed to be $2 million. The move raised questions about the future of the 37 big cats which include lions, tigers, servals, cheetahs and a leopard.
Mr Busch, known as the Lion Man after the television series shot at the park sold around the world, was in Africa and not available for comment but a spokeswoman said he had financial backing and wanted to regain control of the park.
The park was owned by a company called Country Developments of which Mr Busch was a major shareholder, said his spokeswoman, Jill Albrow.
She said in 2006 he signed over the voting rights to his mother Patricia Busch but now wanted to regain control.
"He has the shares but not

Black-bellied hamster given reprieve by European Court of Justice
Ruling demands that France offer better protection to nocturnal rodent regarded as a pest
These little nocturnal animals are so unobtrusive that very few people ever see them or even know they exist, let alone care about their survival. The European or black-bellied hamster (Cricetus cricetus) might very well have vanished from France unnoticed, had the European Court of Justice not taken up its case.
In a ruling last month, the court concluded that France had failed to take the necessary measures to protect the rodent and demanded that it remedy this situation promptly.
The court's findings were confirmed by the most recent survey of burrows in Alsace published this month by the Regional Environment Agency. It found 460 burrows spread over 22 localities, which was down from 480 and 25 respectively last year.
But why should we worry about black-bellied hamsters, long considered in Alsace – the only part of France where it ever managed to thrive – as a dangerous pest? Why has

Edinburgh Zoo official swims in pool with penguins
An Edinburgh Zoo official has been training for the London Triathlon in the attraction's penguin pool in a bid to get fit for the event.
Rob Thomas, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's conservation and research manager, has been donning a wetsuit to swim with the penguins.
He has been practicing for the 1,500 metre swim part of the Olympic distance triathlon ahead of Saturday's event.
Mr Thomas said the penguins had been "curious" about their guest.
He has also been training for the running and cycling part of the race on Corstorphine Hill where the zoo is based.
Mr Thomas said: "Corstorphine Hill has proven to be the perfect location for training for all three disciplines.
"As well as running and cycling around the area, taking a dip in the zoo's penguin pool

Zoo boss hits out at council decision
David Gill, owner of the South Lakes Wild Animal Park, has reacted to a council committee's decision to reject his plans for an expansion.
Mr Gill, who is currently in Wyoming, learned of the news this morning and has released a lengthy statement in reaction to Barrow Borough Council's planning committee' decision to reject plans to extend the park by nine hectares.
He said: "I received the news of the planning committee rejection of our expansion from Karen Brewer who is the Project Manager for the near £4m project this morning. I am living in the USA for most of the summer where I have had a home now for nearly 18 months.
"The decision to reject the plans by the elected council members against the professional advice of the very officers they pay high salaries to carefully assess and scrutinise planning applications using the applicable rules, regulations and law is not a shock nor surprise to me.
"It is however a gross disappointment once again to see the very people who the electorate vote for doing the exact opposite of the majority view. A clear failure of democratic values, because it is obvious that the support from the local population for this expansion is huge and overwhelmingly in favour of it.
"It seems that six or eight people on Melton Terrace have managed to hijack the opinions of councillors against the wishes of around 600 to 800 residents who would have benefitted directly and dramatically from the changes proposed and the whole community of Furness who have the benefit of a flagship national attraction in their midst.

Orangutan Rocky Horror Show
On a follow up visit recently, investigators were at first pleased to observe that an attempt at some improvements to the orangutan enclosure had been made since their last visit when the adult orangutan ‘Shirley’ was observed smoking cigarettes.
Upon closer inspection all was not well. There are two adult orangutans at Johor Zoo, ‘Shirley’ and ‘Abu’. ‘Shirley’ had been given black plastic trash-bin liners to play with. These bags are easily torn and even one small piece ingested by an orangutan could prove fatal.
Orangutans do need plenty of enrichment – things to keep them occupied with, but not plastic bags. Perhilitan was recently shown examples of suitable enrichment for orangutans.
Sean Whyte, chief executive of Nature Alert said: “Providing orangutans with enough enrichment on a daily basis is neither difficult or costly. Our offers of free expertise to Perhilitan were rejected, so it’s still a case of the blind leading the blind. If they won’t accept our advice, they should make the short trip to Singapore Zoo and learn from them.”
What kind of educational or conservation message does watching orangutans surrounded with black bags give to visitors, especially children? Are children going to grow up thinking orangutans move around the forests carrying black plastic bags to keep the rain off them?

Abandon Ship! Even The Palm Oil Industry Is Distancing Itself From Alan Oxley’s Lies
You might not believe it, but apparently there is a point beyond which even the palm oil industry isn’t willing to stretch the truth. And Alan Oxley just blew right past it.
Last November, Alan Oxley was called out by a dozen scientists from leading academic and research institutions around the world for promoting industrial logging and oil palm plantations at the expense of the truth. According to those scientists’ analysis, Mr. Oxley lacks credibility and treads “a thin line between reality and a significant distortion of facts.”
This month, he has entire countries banning his rhetoric.
Alan Oxley makes more money than you and your mama combined under the guise of a “non-profit organization” called the World Growth Institute, which supports palm oil industry groups like the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) and its new European lobby arm, the European Palm Oil Council (EPOC), in their mission to paint a bogus picture of reality in which palm oil plantations are somehow magically creating habitat for the species gravely endangered by their

Oldest Elephant In Any North American Zoo Dies In Tyler
The oldest African Bull elephant in a North American zoo died at Tyler's Caldwell Zoo Saturday, Executive Director Hayes Caldwell said today.
The elephant, named “Chico,” came to the zoo from the San Diego Zoo in 2003. He was 46.
The cause of the elephant’s death has not been determined yet, but it was not related to the heat or any specific illness, Caldwell

Organized crime is wiping out wildlife
A paper by noted WCS conservationist Elizabeth Bennett says that an immense, increasingly sophisticated illegal trade in wildlife parts conducted by organized crime, coupled with antiquated enforcement methods, are decimating the world's most beloved species including rhinos, tigers, and elephants on a scale never before seen.
The paper, published June 7 on the online issue of the journal Oryx, says that much of the trade is driven by wealthy East Asian markets that have a seemingly insatiable appetite for wildlife parts.
According to the paper, organized crime syndicates using sophisticated smuggling operations have penetrated even previously secure wildlife populations. Some of the elaborate methods include: hidden compartments in shipping containers; rapidly changing of smuggling routes; and the use of e-commerce whose locations are difficult to detect.
"We are failing to conserve some of the world's most beloved and charismatic species," said Bennett, who began her career in conservation more than 25 years ago in Asia. "We are rapidly losing big, spectacular animals to an entirely new type of trade driven by criminalized syndicates. It is deeply alarming, and the world is not yet taking it seriously. When these criminal networks wipe out wildlife, conservation loses, and local people lose the wildlife on which their livelihoods often depend."
For example, South Africa lost almost 230 rhinoceroses to poaching from January to October, 2010; and less than 3,500 tigers roam in the wild, occupying less than 7 percent of their historic range.
Bennett says an immediate short-term solution to stave off local extinction of wildlife is through enforcement of wildlife laws, and to bring to bear a variety of resources to supersede those of the criminal organizations involved. This would include everything from a sharp increase in the numbers of highly trained and well-equipped staff at all points of the trade chain, to sniffer dogs, DNA tests, and smart-phone apps with species identification programs.
"We have taken our eye off the ball," said Bennett. "Enforcement is critical: old fashioned in concept but needing increasingly advanced methods to challenge the ever-more sophisticated methods of smuggling. When enforcement is thorough, and with sufficient resources and personnel, it works."
On a larger scale, Bennett says that law enforcement agencies need to look at wildlife smuggling as a serious crime and its enforcement as part of their job. Encouragingly, Bennett points to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Asia, which has recently listed wildlife crime as one of their core focuses, and the potentially powerful International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime was signed into effect.
"Unless we start taking wildlife crime seriously and allocating the commitment

Malnourished monkey mistaken for alien
A hungry, hairless monkey sparked panic in the Chinese village of Guzhai, Yahoo News reports. Housewife Mao Ziping spotted the animal in her garden, at first thinking she was looking at a rabbit, before deciding it was actually extraterrestrial.
"At first I thought it was a rabbit, then I was shocked to see it had an alien face," Ziping explained. "My neighbours agreed it was like nothing we'd seen before."
Emergency services arrived on the scene with instructions to arrest the creature. However, it was soon discovered that the 'alien' was actually an emaciated monkey, who was so malnourished that its hair had fallen out.
The monkey - who since being discovered has

Orangutans enjoy fruits of labour GREAT PHOTOS!
THERE was no monkeying around when these orangutans spotted a bunch of juicy blackberries they couldn't reach.
Living up to the title of king of the swingers, the inventive animals made a makeshift zipwire to get them closer to their target.
Armed with an old rag they had found in

Apes From the Future, Holding a Mirror to Today
THE evolution of species takes place over millenniums. Pop-culture franchises just don’t have that kind of time. Rupert Wyatt’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” opening Aug. 5, is the seventh film about the peculiarly advanced simians invented by Pierre Boulle in his 1963 novel “Planet of the Apes” and the first in 10 years. The last “Apes” picture, directed by Tim Burton, was a remake of Franklin J. Schaffner’s original 1968 adaptation of the Boulle novel; the first film generated four sequels, a couple of TV series (one live action, one animated), a line of comic books and a jungleful of merchandise before the brand began to peter out, ceding its dominance to other, stronger market beasts like “Star Wars” and “Batman.” The apes had a nice run, but

WHAT'S WORKING: Zoo's solar project gaining national attention
The brutal heat is cooling off the energy bill this summer at the Cincinnati Zoo
"A year ago on a day like today, I was sweating it big time because of my electricity bill," said Mark Fisher, Senior Director of Facilities, Planning and Sustainability at the Cincinnati Zoo. "But the same day this year, I'm saying bring on the sun!"
That's because Fisher said their new solar panels generate at least 20-percent of their power.
Zoo managers installed 6,400 solar panels in the parking lot in April. They produce enough energy to keep all of the lights on in the Zoo's 70+ buildings within the Zoo's 70-acre campus.
"On a day like today, we're off the grid right now," said Fisher. "From 10 to four, we're literally producing more power than we're using."
All that green is saving the zoo green.
The Zoo can't store the energy produced so it's sent back to Duke Energy. Instead of owing money for the bill, the Zoo

Live Penguin Cams and more
California Academy of Sciences

Famous grizzly mother and daughter swap a cub
Little-seen adoption an example of animal altruism, expert says.
Two famous grizzly bear mothers have swapped a cub in Grand Teton National Park in what might best be described as an example of animal altruism, biologists said this week.
The roadside family drama of grizzly mothers 399 and 610 and their total of five cubs-of-the-year unfolded in front of thrilled crowds near Willow Flats last week.
Grizzly 399 and her daughter from 2006, grizzly 610, have previously been seen with three cubs and two cubs, respectively.
“People started observing a bear with yellow ear tags with three cubs,” said Steve Cain, Grand Teton senior wildlife biologist. “The folks observing immediately jumped to the conclusion that we had captured 399 and put yellow ear tags in her.”
But, the bear with yellow ear tags was actually 610. The grizzly appears to have adopted an additional cub.
“Very shortly after that, independently, 399 was observed with only two cubs,” Cain said.
The cub swap likely occurred sometime between July 16 and July 20, local wildlife photographer Tom Mangelsen said.
On July 16, Mangelsen shot pictures of 610 with her two cubs. Four days later, Mangelsen photographed what he thought was 399 and her three cubs chasing elk in some willows on July 20. When

763 koalas hurt in a year
BLAIR is the luckiest – or unluckiest – koala in Australia, depending on how you look at it.
The furry-eared little fellow is one of a huge influx of koalas being treated at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.
This is the fourth time Blair has needed the help of vets.
He was once mauled by a dog, twice hit by a car and is now fighting off cystitis, a urinary tract infection.
Wildlife vet Dr Amber Gillett said koalas were in the middle of their breeding season and there was a worrying number needing hospital treatment.
Blair is one of more than 763 koalas admitted in the past 12 months, making up a massive chunk of the 3300 wildlife patients

We're on the trail of the big cats of Banffshire
THERE is a great fascination with big cats. They're mysterious, rarely photographed, but tall tales are often told of a fleeting glimpse in the countryside or in the glare of car headlights at night on a rural road.
Last week the Banffshire Journal reported on a Whitehills family who believe they spotted a big cat in woods at Fochabers. According to Jane and Steven Watt, it was very large, with a long black tail, and was lying over a tree branch about 100 feet off the ground.
It was an impressively detailed account, with a photo, albeit from fairly far off, to back up their comments.
The latest in a long line of sightings over the years - speculating on panthers, pumas, lynxes and jaguars - it follows on from a recent spate in Moray, which is causing a delegation from the Big Cats in Britain organisation to plan a fact-finding visit next month. No doubt they will be keen to follow the trail into Banffshire.
This week we carry the remarkable story of a crofter near Cornhill who is compiling a fascinating dossier on what he believes is a wildcat and her cub. There may be

Man-elephant conflict now a concern for Bodoland too
The man-elephant conflict is no longer restricted to upper Assam. Felling of trees and clearing of woods in the Manas Tiger Reserve has led the problem to spread to Bodoland as well.
People at a Khoir and Shishu tree plantation site near Saragaon village in Kokrajhar have been living in terror as a wild elephant has strayed into the area on Sunday night.
The pachyderm entered the village after midnight while grazing on maize fields. No destruction of property has been reported yet. The animal then entered the plantation area spread across over 450 bighas on the banks of Saralbhanga. Estranged from its herd, the aminal has been roaming around in the area for the last three days.
About 31 families from the Saragaon village have formed an NGO - Rwdwmshri - with one member from each family in 2001, and started the plantation on the banks

Inside a tiger farm: 'Vanguard' Dispatches from the Field
In this dispatch from the field, correspondent Adam Yamaguchi tapes his own raw reaction to seeing first-hand a massive tiger farm in China where over 1,500 animals are being held -- likely until they die, when their parts are far more valuable.
For the episode "Tiger Farms," Yamaguchi goes undercover to investigate China's lucrative black market for tigers and tiger parts, including the business of Asian zoos and breeding centers.
"Tiger Farms" premieres Tuesday, July 26 at 9/8c on Current TV. For

Editorial: Reforms Needed For Heavy-Handed Touching Exhibits At Public Aquariums
When's the last time you visited an aquarium that had a touching exhibit? Touching exhibits let guests to use their own hands to touch sharks, sting rays, starfish, and many other small aquatic animals and bring knowledge about the importance of all animals in an ecosystem, not just our pets at home. But are these aquatic animals being treated fairly and safely by the guests who visit these touching exhibits? If not, we can all do something to make this issue better.
Touching exhibits, such as the one in Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey, have delicate and fragile aquatic species being mishandled, grabbed out of the water, and poked at. All of these issues can cause serious harm to the aquatic animals in the exhibit and to the visitors themselves that do these kinds of things. These aquatic animals are not our pets but wild animals that cannot be tamed or handled excessively by h

Tortoise sanctuary reclassified as a zoo by health and safety officials faces closure after it can't shell out for expensive licence
Britain's only dedicated tortoise sanctuary has been served with a 35 day closure notice - after council officials reclassified it as a zoo.
The Tortoise Garden in the rural village of Sticker, Cornwall caters for around 400 unwanted, abandoned or poorly tortoises, many of which would die without help.
They are cared for by owner Joy Bloor, 68, who set up the facility in her back garden around 12 years ago

Horror zoo says chaining elephants is for training purposes
THE zoo at the centre of a cruelty storm last night claimed it chained up baby elephant Paloh as part of her training.
Horrific pictures of the two-year-old with her front feet chained tightly together have shocked animal lovers around the world and led to calls for the ­Malaysian zoo to be shut down.
The protests of thousands of Mirror readers have been sent on to officials at Johor zoo.
But, as messages poured in to the London embassy as well as ­government officials in Malaysia, Paloh’s zookeepers claimed she was being restrained to stop her injuring keepers.
They said: “The elephant is currently undergoing training to prevent it from becoming ­aggressive. This is to enable the keepers to handle it accordingly, especially during feeding and routine ­veterinary inspection.”
They also claimed: “The baby elephant is allowed to roam freely between training sessions.”
But the excuses have been rejected by Sean Whyte, of charity Nature Alert, which has fought to bring the cruel ­treatment of animals at the zoo – including chain-smoking orangutan Shirley – to world ­attention. He said: “Our investigators ­monitored the elephant. What we r

Zoo inmates facing pollution threat
Forest Department personnel assigned for maintenance and protection of several species of animals in Manipur Zoological Garden, Iroisemba are reportedly working round the clock to ensure safety and wellbeing of the animals as flood water which have invaded the complex are posing threat to the animals. ruling out possibility of welcoming visitors at least for some days if not weeks, some personnel of Manipur Zoological Garden said all the birds and animals are safe inside the zoo premises even though the only approach road and low lying areas inside the complex are still under flood water.
Pointing out that absence of an effective mechanism to drain excess water from Lamphelpat is the chief factor for Manipur Zoological Garden frequently facing problem of flooding during monsoon, they said insecticides such as spraying of bleaching power and Phenyl are being undertaken to prevent outbreak of water-borne diseases.
They also emphasised

State monitor for zoos
The state government has decided to set up a regional zoo authority to monitor the state-run and private zoos in Bengal.
“All the zoos will soon be brought under the control of the West Bengal State Zoo Authority. The new body will comprise eight government officials and five representatives of the civil society, who will co-ordinate between different departments,” said forest minister Hiten Burman.
“The private zoos will not directly be under this authority. But if they violate the guidelines of the central zoo authority, the body will have the power to act against them,” the minister added.
The previous Left Front government had also planned to set up a body to oversee management of the zoos following the theft of marmosets from Alipore zoo in August 2009.
There are 11 government-run zoos across the state, including Alipore Zoological Gardens and Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in Darjeeling. Of the five privately controlled zoos, two are snake parks.
Burman also said the 771 vacant forest guard posts

Wolves: now at our door
Canis lupus is on the march through Europe. Will Britain's home counties echo to howls of outrage?
For centuries a war against wolves was fought across Europe and beyond, to rid the land of what was characterised as a vicious killer of livestock – and a creature that emerged from the wilderness to attack people. But now wolves are making a comeback in western Europe.
They have returned to France, and, according to shepherds, have moved into Albania from Greece. From Sweden they have sought new territories to bolster Norway's small population. Animals from eastern Europe have arrived in Germany. And Spanish and Italian packs are spreading. A Dutch businessman has bought land in Scotland and announced plans to re-introduce wolves to a country where none have been seen since for centuries. And they migrate: one day wolves instead of foxes could be rifling through the bins of Surrey or Kent.
These returns and the "right" of return are a contentious and emotional issue. For some it is an indication of a re-wilding of European landscapes that should be celebrated. Others express anger that a "ruthless killer" is being allowed to return to places that have long been safe from its predations.
In the popular imagination no other wild animal threatened humans in the ways that wolves did – illustrated by




Can I hire a monkey for cuddles? Weird requests to zoos
It's not unusual for zoos to receive requests for the use of their animals at various public events, from birthday parties to nativity scenes. But these ideas - as well-meaning as they often are - are almost always rejected out of concern for animal welfare, zoo officials say.
Sometimes the ideas that people come up with are very creative.
A German man, for example, asked whether he could buy his wife an hour of cuddle time with a chimpanzee for her birthday. People have asked to borrow a camel for a summer festival and the owner of a German castle once asked whether one of the zoo's hippopotamuses could be used to eat the algae that had overgrown the castle's moat.
'People don't think about the fact that the animals can be dangerous,' said Sabine Haas, a spokeswoman for a zoo in Gelsenkirchen in west-central Germany near Dortmund.
Haas said the zoo at Christmas receives requests for the use of sheep, donkeys and goats for use in live nativity scenes. Those are routine, but she said the request for the hour-long cuddle session with a monkey was extraordinary.
Ilona Zuehlke, a spokeswoman for a zoo in Muenster, said one of the more unusual requests she has received was for the use of an elephant for a summer festival. And it was her zoo that had to turn down the request from the owner of the castle with algae in his moat. Zoos usually reject such requests not only because of the negative effect it would have on the animal.
'It would mean a lot of stress for the animal,' said Zuehlke. 'That's why as a rule we don't grant such requests.'
The Muenster zoo, however, did make an exception when it came to Sandy, a penguin that lives at the zoo. That's because Sandy was allowed a visit to sick children - a public appearance that was broadcast on TV - as long as she was able to remain at the side of her

Facebook page to save Paloh the baby elephant after zoo cruelty sparks world outrage
Horrified Mirror readers led world outrage yesterday and a Facebook page was launched over the cruel treatment of baby zoo elephant Paloh.
Photographs showing her at a Malaysian zoo with her legs chained together so tightly she can’t lie down or move caused an outcry.
Facebook page Save Paloh the baby Elephant was set up and a letter was sent on behalf of Mirror readers to Malaysia PM Najib Razak by Nature Alert boss Sean Whyte. He said: “This zoo belongs in the Dark Ages. It must

Resorts World Sentosa heads into 2nd phase of development with Marine Life Park for 2012 and science education curriculum with National Geographic's JASON project

Sea Research Foundation, which oversees The JASON Project science programs in collaboration with the National Geographic Society, has entered into an agreement with Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) to jointly develop a marine environmental curriculum for students in Southeast Asia. Contents of the curriculum will be drawn from Sea Research Foundation’s Mystic Aquarium, distinguished for its marine animal research and husbandry expertise. As part of the three-year agreement, Sea Research Foundation, a global leader in marine research, deep-sea exploration and hands-on education, and the National Geographic Society will join forces with RWS’ new Marine Life Park (MLP) in Singapore

Brazil in line for new aquarium projects

New aquariums are to be constructed in Brazil and across South America as the result of an agreement between Terramare and Australia-based Advanced Aquarium Technologies (AAT).


Terramare has been operating within the aquarium industry for 15 years and has worked on the design, build and management of attractions, including the Ubatuba Aquarium.


The company has also worked on a range of other schemes in Brazil, while AAT has worked on rpojects throughout the work - including Ocean Aquarium in Shanghai, China.


The partnership is designed to bring together a knowledge of the Brazilian market and global expertise in the design and construction of aquariums.


Terramare executive director Hugo Gallo Neto said: "With an ever increasing demand for building bigger aquariums throughout the country and Brazil's advances in technology the time is ripe for

Zion Wildlife Gardens $2m in debt

Whangarei's world famous Zion Wildlife Gardens is in receivership over unpaid debts, throwing the future of the park's 36 big cats in doubt.


The park is understood to be in the red by about $2 million and operator Patricia Busch will file an injunction in court to prevent receivers PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) from interfering with more than 36 animals housed at the facility.


Mrs Busch took over the park from her son Craig Busch - who shot to international stardom in the hit TV programme The Lion Man - after he got into financial difficulty in 2006.


Her lawyer, Evgeny Orlov, said problems arose after Rabo Bank called in the receivers who tried to take over the park yesterday but were told not to touch the animals.


Mr Orlov said the short-term plan was to file an injunction in court and in the long-term, he would write to the Government and local authorities in Northland to help put the big cats in a trust.


Receivers Colin McCloy and David Bridgman of PwC were working closely with an independent zoo expert, who was not related to any prior operator, to ensure the welfare and containment standards were maintained.


Mrs Busch, 70, said she put everything on the line

Wildlife: Safari park, breeding centres planned

The government encourages the establishment of safari parks and zoos and the import of birds, animals and breeding of wildlife in private sector, Shah Nawaz Badar the Forest, Fisheries and Wildlife secretary, said on Tuesday.


Badar said that the government will launch an ambitious plan where private sector will be allowed to set up safari parks, zoos and breeding centres for the promotion and conversation of wildlife in the Punjab.


He said that the chief minister had shown personal interest in establishing international standard parks for the citizens. International experts will be invited to design the safari park, he said.


The secretary stressed for creating awareness among the people about the importance of conservation of wildlife. He said that the chief minister had allocated funds for promotion and protection of wildlife in the province.


Badar said that the officials had been directed to take strict actions against poachers. Raiding teams have been deployed at important focal points to monitor poachers,

Marmosets die in Alipore zoo

The fate of marmosets at Alipore Zoo seems to be inextricably linked with that of director Subir Chaudhuri. In August 2009, Chaudhuri had been removed from the zoo's director post after eight marmosets were stolen. Now, when Chaudhuri has been reinstated, two of the endangered species died at the zoo hospital.


While the cause of death is yet to be ascertained, employees have not ruled out the possibility of foul play. A post-mortem was conducted on Saturday, a day after the week-old marmosets died.


"It's ironic that the marmosets' died at a time when Chaudhuri is making a comeback. He, of course, had nothing to do with it but it remains to be seen if the deaths happened due to negligence," said a union leader at the zoo.


Alipore Zoo now has 16 of the endangered Brazilian monkeys who have been inmates since 1991. Three were born on July 19. Soon, the new-born were taken ill and

Hogle Zoo's male orangutan undergoes 2nd surgery for breast cancer

After having two cancerous masses removed from his chest in May, 21-year-old Eli underwent more surgery Tuesday to remove all traces of potentially cancerous tissue from his body.


The procedure reportedly went well, and though Eli may still be a little weak from the anesthesia, he should be back in his cage in no time.


Eli is a 200-pound orangutan who lives at Utah's Hogle Zoo.


Lindsay Sine, the community relations coordinator for the zoo, said that in the staff's research preparing for the surgery, they could not find a single documented case of breast cancer in a male orangutan.


"In his case it was super rare," Sine said. "Breast cancer in human males alone is rare so imagine how rare it was in a great ape."


Eli is already recovering quickly, Sine said. Procedures like the one he underwent

Manila gov’t to acquire more animals for the city zoo

The Manila Zoo’s here to stay, according to Mayor Alfredo Lim.


In a statement issued in line with the Manila Zoo’s 52nd anniversary on Monday, Lim said he would not close the zoo despite an online petition from animal rights groups and added he would even acquire more animals for the zoo.


“While I am mayor of Manila, I will not have the Manila zoo closed,” Lim said in a statement.


“I have already written to eight South East Asian ambassadors asking them to donate to us if they have some animals in their countries,” he added, in Filipino.


A petition recently launched by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and local animal protection groups criticized Manila zoo as being in “miserable conditions” where “animals…are housed in cramped, barren cages that can’t compare to their natural habitats.”


It asked readers to join the call “in asking Mayor [Alfredo] Lim to halt plans to acquire more animals for the Manila Zoo. Instead, ask him to improve the lives of the animals already there or, better yet, to close the zoo altogether.”


Lim, and Parks and Recreation chief and zoo director’t-to-acquire-more-animals-for-the-city-zoo

Enrichment programmes for captive animals

To prevent captive animals from losing their natural behaviours, zoos are instituting enrichment programmes.


CAPTIVE animals in zoos and related institutions exist in an environment controlled by people. There are no zebras for lions to pounce on, no trees for elephants to wrestle with, and no rats scurrying through the undergrowth for our slithery friends to surprise.


In the captive environment, any opportunity to run, jump, pounce, climb, burrow, hunt and basically do what comes naturally to the animals, is afforded by humans. These are what zoo keepers call “enrichment programmes”.


Enrichment is all about making sure animals have the opportunities to remain stimulated, both mentally and physically. It can be as simple as filling the exhibit area with a variety of

Disturbing Connection Between Antique Rhino Horn 'Activity' and Rhino Killings in South Africa

Although antique rhino horn has been starring in recent headlines, the tragedy behind the spotlight remains woefully underreported.


Antique rhino horn is now commanding record prices at auctions and appraising for exceedingly high values. Specimens are also being stolen from museums and castles.


Unfortunately, there does not seem to be much focus on “why” this is happening.


A blatant example was yesterday’s media buzz over a set of antique rhinoceros horn cups – a buzz which failed to mention that rhinos are still being killed today because of the perceived monetary value of rhino horn.


In fact, over 200 rhinos have been killed in South Africa this year, and 333 were killed last year.


‘Direct link’


According to data compiled by the European Union (EU) for CITES, there is a direct link between the “growing affluence in many traditional consumer States”, the escalating prices in antique rhino horn – and the rising death toll of rhinos

Genetic testing finds new mini frog

Researchers have discovered a new miniature frog species in Western Australia's remote Pilbara region.


The Pilbara toadlet is thought to have gone unnoticed for a million years and has adapted to the harsh desert conditions.


The finding was made by researchers from the University of Western Australia, the West Australian Museum and the Australian National University.


ANU PhD student Renee Catullo says the two centimetre toadlet is unique.


"It has big glands and it has brown spots all over it, it also has a different call from all the other species," she

Dalton zoo expansion plan rejected

PLANS to expand South Lakes Wild Animal Park have been rejected.


Zoo boss David Gill had submitted a planning application to Barrow Borough Council to build a new road entrance and a mega car park at the Dalton animal park.


But members of the planning committee today refused the application on the grounds of overdevelopment

London Zoo strikes promotional deal with Lovefilm

London Zoo has launched an online hub on Lovefilm to raise awareness for its new Penguin Beach attraction


The deal sees the movie-subscription service host a campaign site, which offers subscribers a selection penguin films, prizes and gifts, as part of London Zoo’s push to boost traffic to its own site.


Visitors can also win a range of competition prizes such as DVD credits to redeem against over 70,000 films, including a number of penguin films, as well as free tickets to the zoo’s new animal enclosure.


The site will be used to siphon traffic back to London Zoo’s site, by encouraging visitors to book tickets or adopt a Rockhopper penguin from it.


Jo Underhill, head of European sales at Lovefilm said, “By teaming up with ZSL London Zoo on this new campaign we have created a nationwide promotional platform that will reach our 1.6 million subscribers and drive significant traffic to the ZSL website.”


The campaign was brokered

Judge denies restraining order to halt zoo expansion

An Alameda County Superior Court judge today denied the request to issue a temporary restraining order to halt the Oakland Zoo's expansion project. The request, filed jointly by Friends of Knowland Park and the California Native Plants Society (CNPS), called for a three-week suspension of the zoo's project, which the groups say will damage the natural habitat for endangered native species living in the city-owned Knowland Park.


The zoo's expansion plan, approved unanimously by the Oakland City Council last month, has been on the drawing board since the mid-1990s and gone through multiple rounds of environmental reviews before it broke ground earlier this month. However, the groups opposing the project argue that the development plan has been significantly changed since its initial




Zion move to save park's big cats

A court injunction is being drafted to save the big cats at Whangarei's Zion Wildlife Gardens, after receivers moved in to take control of the Northland park today, the current operator says.

Patricia Busch said she fears for the welfare of some of the 36 cats housed at the reserve, and has contacted lawyers to help.
"If the receivers now move in, the cats will be separated, some will be sold overseas, some will be re-housed and for those that cannot, will be put down," Mrs Busch said.
"These animals are like our family and we know that we can keep breeding these endangered cats. It is such a shame that New Zealand will lose possibly one of the greatest big cat breeding facilities on earth today, simply because of a series of deeply unfortunate and tragic events."
Mrs Busch, 70, fears the collection of breeding pairs and big cat family groups will be lost, and sold off to other zoos.
She was also concerned that some animals might die, and others might be put down, because there was nowhere to house them.
Zion has one of the largest collections of endangered big cat species in Australasia and the largest in New Zealand, she said.
But the park's income had been drastically reduced due to the ongoing litigation between Mrs Busch and her son "Lion Man" Craig Busch, and a series of events including the end of the wildlife encounters, and the tragic death of a keeper Dalu Mncube.

Zion pleaded guilty in court last month to failing to protect Mr Mncube.
"This park was not only my son Craig's life work, it has become the families' life work. Thousands of hours have been spent on this vision of a haven for Bengal tigers and a breeding programme, we have achieved the impossible only to see it being destroyed before our very eyes.
"I despair to see this happening to the cats. I want New Zealand to help me save the cats," Mrs Busch said.
Her barrister Vijay Narayan told NZPA Mrs Busch wanted legal help with the welfare of the animals.
"We agreed to act on that basis. We're not particularly interested in the commercial issues. There are around 300-400 Bengal tigers left in the world. "There's also a rare species of lion called the Barbary lion which is virtually extinct. So this facility is not just a park. It's a facility which can breed these animals for future genetic stock.
"Many of these animals were hand reared by the family so they have a connection, which is much deeper than a wild animal. That's why they've been able to be bred in captivity. So this facility is unique to the world, and especially to New Zealand and Northland, and it would be a tragedy to break it up.
"When there were problems with the park, MAF (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry) was going to exterminate all the animals but the family was able to stop that happening.
"So we're going to apply for an injunction to stop the bank and the receivers from taking control over the animals. We're not concerned about the land or the park, we just want to ensure the animals can stay protected.
"At the same time

Longest Polar Bear Swim Recorded—426 Miles Straight
Study predicts more long-distance swims due to shrinking sea ice..
A female polar bear swam for a record-breaking nine days straight, traversing 426 miles (687 kilometers) of water—equivalent to the distance between Washington, D.C., and Boston, a new study says.
The predator made her epic journey in the Beaufort Sea (see map), where sea ice is shrinking due to global warming, forcing mother bears to swim greater and greater distances to reach land—to the peril of their cubs.
The cub of the record-setting bear, for instance, died at some point between starting the swim and when the researchers next observed the mother on land. She also lost 22 percent of her body weight.
"We're pretty sure that these animals didn't have to do these long swims before, because 687-kilometer stretches of open water didn't occur very often in the evolutionary history of the polar bear," said study co-author Steven Amstrup, chief scientist for the conservation group Polar Bears International. Amstrup is

The Perils of Polar Bears’ Longer Swims
In arguments over the impact of climate change, some of the images commonly associated with those clashes have attracted skeptical critiques, perhaps none more so than those of polar bears forced to swim longer distances because their sea ice habitat is melting. Some skeptics point out that polar bears are born swimmers and that the worries of environmentalists are therefore overdone.
Now comes a new study from researchers at the United States Geological Survey and the World Wildlife Fund indicating, after tracking a small sample of bears wearing radio collars, that the swims have indeed grown longer over the last six years. Five of the 11 mothers swimming with cubs lost the cubs along the way, and one bear even swam 427 miles to reach sea ice.
The study’s conclusions, that bears are swimming longer distances to get to the sea ice they use as a platform to catch seals, were in line with earlier work in the area, but its six-year duration gives it more heft. Scientists put global positioning system collars around the necks of 68 adult females to focus on swims

Elephants moved to make way for Games

SRI Lanka is set to relocated more than 200 wild elephants to make way for an international airport and massive sporting village being planned for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

News reports out of Sri Lanka yesterday quoted the country's Minister of Agrarian Services and Wildlife SM Chandrasena saying the elephants would be shifted to Weheragala in Monaragala, 60km from Hambantota.
A Sri Lankan environmental group has signalled it will

Girl, 6, names rare species of butterfly... then tracks it down in rainforest 13 years later with the help of just a map and a laminated photo
A woman has realised her childhood dream by travelling to Ecuador to track down a rare species of butterfly which was named after her when she was six.
Isobel Talks, 19, was obsessed with butterflies as a child and won a competition to have a newly discovered species named after her in 1998.
The Isobel's Butterfly, or Pronophila Isobelae, was found deep in Ecuador's national park and is so rare that the female of the species has never been seen.
Young Isobel made a promise to herself that one day she would

Protestors demand boycott of Denver Zoo
A group of community activists is calling for a boycott of the Denver Zoo - one of several demands made on Friday with hopes they might learn more about the death of a 29-year-old man after a struggle with security guards and Denver Police officers at the zoo earlier this week.
Police say Alonzo Ashley attacked several officers and security guards Monday afternoon and died minutes after police hit him with a stun gun. On Friday, about 40 people, including members of Ashley's family, gathered outside the zoo demanding

Sick chimp dies ‘after attack’ at Welsh Mountain Zoo
A SICK chimpanzee may have been killed by other chimps in their zoo enclosure in a battle for dominance.

Zookeepers are “devastated” about the death of 20-year-old animal called Bob at the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Upper Colwyn Bay.
In a statement, the zoo said a keeper found his body early on Wednesday morning.
It read: “We are saddened to announce

Donations sought to help remove zoo's oleanders
The Reid Park Zoological Society has responded with great sadness to the death of male giraffe Watoto at the Reid Park Zoo. In response, the Society is accepting donations to provide funding for Zoo improvement projects.
The City of Tucson will be removing oleander plants from the perimeter of the Zoo. The well established oleander is deeply entwined with fencing and has served as a park barrier as well as visual screen since the Zoo's construction. The extensive demolition and removal project will drastically alter the appearance of the Zoo perimeter. Funds raised in this effort will be used to assist in this project, especially in the addition of privacy fencing and alternate plant materials to replace the current ones. Excess funds, if any, will be used to assist the Zoo with other improvement projects.
Reid Park Zoological Society would like to thank the staff of Reid Park Zoo for the work they do every day and for the high

Aquarium boss: 'Living fossil' fish a survival symbol
"I was called 'Abe the Braggart' for a while," aquarium director Yoshitaka Abe said with a wry smile.
It has taken the "big talker" only four months to reopen his Aquamarine Fukushima, which was struck hard by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
The tsunami killed about 200,000 fish and other marine creatures at the aquarium in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture--nearly all the sea life kept there.
"Everyone thought [the aquarium] was finished," said the 70-year-old Abe.
The tsunami, which followed the Great East Japan Earthquake, flooded Aquamarine Fukushima, destroying its water purifiers. The facility was also inundated with a massive amounts of earth and sand.
All the sea animals that survived at the facility were lungfish, sturgeons and other "living fossil" species. "Living

Leopard Back On Display After Injuring Child
An endangered leopard is back on display after injuring a child earlier this year at the Sedgwick County Zoo.
An endangered leopard is back on display after injuring a child earlier this year at the Sedgwick County Zoo.
The accident happened in May. Witnesses say a 7-year-old boy climbed the outside fence to the exhibit, getting close enough to the leopard for her to grab him.
Friday, after the exhibit sat empty for around two months, the leopard returned home. Zoo staff, volunteers, and visitors watched as the Amur leopard, named Nia, took her first steps back into her exhibit.
"It was kind of like a kid at Christmas, like a new present," said visitor Jeanette Blackwell.
Blackwell and Danielle Nance, both teachers and zoo regulars, wanted to make sure they were there for Nia's return. They were among those able to see her for the first time after the zoo took her off display following the May accident.
"It was just sad. It was sad for her, sad for the student," said Nance.
But Friday, there were smiles when the zoo returned her after weeks of health exams, improvements to her exhibit, and reviews of the zoo's policies and procedures.
"It's just a part of the process. We wanted to be able to look at everything that we could," said Senior Zookeeper Danielle Decker.
Now, the zoo says it's determined the policies and procedures in place do insure safety for visitors, saying Nia shouldn't pose a danger to anyone following the rules.
"This cat was born in a zoo, she understands her environment, and

DNA confirms state's 4th wolfpack
DNA tests on an animal equipped with a radio collar last month in Kittitas County have confirmed Washington now has a fourth documented wolf pack.
State Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists caught, collared and released an adult female wolf that was lactating, indicating she was nursing pups. The biologists took tissue and hair samples and submitted them for DNA testing to determine whether the animal was a wild wolf or a wolf-dog hybrid.
Results of the DNA testing conducted at UCLA confirmed the animal is a wild gray wolf. The results were released July 5.
Department biologists are monitoring the wolf's location and activity through the radio telemetry

State govt removes Alipore zoo director
The state government on Friday removed Raju Das as director of Alipore Zoo. He was replaced by former zoo director Subir Chowdhury who had been removed after eight marmosets were stolen from the premise. Das has been put on compulsory waiting.
Announcing the removal, state forest minister Hiten Burman said, "Chowdhury, a zoo expert, has been brought back to Alipore zoo. The inquiry into allegations of embezzlement of zoo funds will continue."
Significantly, Chowdhury, who was suspended after the marmoset theft, was subsequently made officer on special duty at Aranya Bhavan with

The white tigers of Vizag zoo
The white tigers- Sireesh and Kumari and their extended family with seven cubs is a sight to behold at the zoo
She and her little ones are the pride of the place. The four cubs in a playful mood with their mother is a sight to behold, remarked the Governor of Andhra Pradesh E.S.L. Narasimhan during his recent visit to the city zoo.
Well folks, the inference is about Kumari, the white tiger at Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, and her four cubs. The zoo can be credited for breeding a significant number of white tigers in captivity in the last four years. “Today, the population has increased from just one to nine,” says the Curator of the zoo G. Ramalingam.

Navam Raja, no more
The death of this majestic tusker was a tear jerking story for most Sri Lankans. This is not the first time when a death of an elephant became a story much talked about through out Sri Lanka.
The tusker passed away on Friday 8, 2011, at about 7 am. Navam Raja was an attractive part of the Navam Prerahera. Raja meaning the king in both Sinhala and Tamil languages became the lead elephant to take part in the Gangarama Navam Perahera.
He was a much-celebrated elephant in Sri Lanka that carried the casket in the procession. Navam Raja was usually considered a very obedient elephant. The elephant was mainly attracted to photographers and well as foreigners. There exists an important history behind the elephant. The elephant was gifted by an Indian National to a local Buddhist monk, in the hopes of overcoming a long standing illness.
Then the elephant was donated to Gangaramaya temple, Colombo 2. Recently the tusker was donated to Daladha Maligawa, Kandy. However, all the maintaining was done by the Gangaramaya temple until the death of the elephant. This elephant was known to regularly come into the musth period (to be in heat) in the Month of April. There was one incident in Kandy, were Navam Raja killed Dingiri Mahattaya, its mahout. He was a person from Godakawela in Rakwana. It was the time when Navam Raja was brought to Kandy for Esala Perahera in Daladha Maligawa.
When Dingiri Mahattaya was trying to un-tie the elephant, the elephant suddenly knocked him down with his tusks. Then the tusker has flung him over an electric wire. Dingiri Mathaya fell behind a massive log in the corner. The injured mahout was rushed to the hospital. However in spite of much effort the mahout later died.
This sort of behaviour was not common in Navam Raja. Later few elephant experts predicted that this was due to the elephant being in heat, although the musth behaviour was not distinct in Navam Raja. The mahout Dingiri Mahattaya was said to like the tusker so much that had a great faith on the elephant. On the day of his funeral, near his coffin

China Joins Regional Network to Fight Animal Trafficking
China has joined a network of Southeast Asian nations to help curb the illegal trafficking of wildlife. Regional and international law enforcement efforts to combat animal trafficking have increased amid warnings over the bleak outlook for some endangered species and calls for the arrest of the trade's leaders.
Anti-trafficking groups say China's decision to join the South East Asian Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN WEN) boosts regional cooperation against the illegal animal trade.
China is a major destination for illegal wildlife used in local medicines and as food. Analysts say the global trade is worth several billions of dollars a year.
Kraisak Choonhavan is chairman of the anti-trafficking group, Freeland Foundation. He says China joined ASEAN WEN because of its support of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES. “So finally China recognizes the CITES convention to an extent. So they will have to start suppressing trafficking of tigers, elephant parts, bear parts, will have to start changing; this culinary culture which

Tigers roam where monks reside
Sanath Weerasuriya checks out one of the recent attractions outside Bangkok, the Tiger Temple
Since the millennium Sri Lankans have been bitten by the travel bug- outbound traffic from Sri Lanka has almost doubled. Recent statistics show that 43 % Sri Lanka’s outbound traffic is to Bangkok and other destinations in South East Asia.
With Lankan travellers now looking beyond Bangkok for their family vacation, Thai tourism authorities have introduced two new destinations in Thailand close to the capital Bangkok. The Kanchanaburi- mountain experience and Hua Hin Beach are now being offered to Sri Lankans by Cathay Pacific, which takes the highest number of Lankan passengers to Bangkok, flying every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Kanchanabur is just three hours drive from Bangkok. The leading attraction of this mountain region is the Death Railway and the Tiger Temple. The tiger (Panthera Tigris) is a beloved, yet most feared species of animal in the world. But for the monks in the Wat Pa Luangta Bua popularly known as Tiger Temple, they are just big cats.
Here the huge Bengal tigers breed, feed and even roam with human beings. Since its opening in 1994, Wat Pa Luangta Bua has gained a reputation as a wildlife sanctuary. It started with an injured jungle fowl

Getting the right action from behavioural training
UNDER the glow of soft orange light in Panggung Tunku Abdul Rahman in Zoo Negara, about 100 people are sitting silently as Christopher Cain Xavier, a 26-year-old animal trainer at the zoo’s Veterinary Department, walks in.
It is a role reversal exercise and Xavier has volunteered to play the “animal”. He has absolutely no idea what his “trainer” John Dana, a 31-year-old senior keeper at the zoo’s Ape Centre, wants him to do. Everyone else in the room does, however. They had just moments ago decided he should do the front crawl while standing up.
Dana presses a red clicker as Xavier approaches the centre of the room. Xavier knows the drill. He must keep moving randomly and every time he does something right his trainer will press the device. Eight minutes later, Xavier has both arms up in the air. He is frustrated as he still cannot figure out what he is supposed to do. Giving up, he drops his arms and Dana clicks twice.
A wave of wordless excitement spreads through

WWF accused of failing to regulate sustainable timber scheme
Investigative group claims that members of group's Global forest and trade network are involved in 'highly destructive activities'
Conservation group WWF let timber companies use its panda brand logo while they were razing some of the world's most biologically rich rainforests or trading in potentially illegally sourced timber, according to the investigative group Global Witness.
The WWF's flagship Global forest and trade network (Gftn), which is part-subsidised by the US government and EU, promotes sustainable timber, bringing together more than 70 international logging companies and large numbers of timber sellers. The WWF says the 20-year-old scheme is now responsible for nearly 19% of forest products bought or sold internationally, with members' combined annual

London's museums warned of rhino horn theft risk
London's museums have increased security after raids by gangs stealing rhino horn.
Museums are responding to the problem by removing rhino horns from displays or by replacing them with replicas.
The Metropolitan Police has warned museums, auction houses and other institutions of the Europe-wide trend.
The thefts have been sparked by an increase in the value of rhino horn which is used in the traditional medicines of many Asian countries.
Police said they were aware of two break-ins in the UK - one in Surrey and one in Essex - but they warned that a number of gangs had visited museums on reconnaissance with a view to carrying out a theft.
Horniman Museum
Det Con Ian Lawson, of the Metropolitan Police's Art and Antiques Unit, said: "Some of the museums I know have taken the rhinos horns from their display, others have put a replica rhinos horn in place."
Thieves use a variety of methods, including "smash and grab" style raids and overnight burglaries. They have been known to use force when challenged.
Paolo Viscardi, deputy keeper of natural history at the Horniman Museum, said he was concerned about reports of tear gas being used by thieves and emphasised that staff safety was the museum's top priority.
"People who steal rhino horn can be quite aggressive. We don't want our staff to be open to those threats."
The south-east London museum has removed its rhino horn altogether, while the Natural History Museum in Kensington has put a replica in its place.
Earlier this month, Europol said it had

Desperate orangutan digs tunnel in cage
An orangutan at a Chinese zoo is missing his pregnant mate so much he has started to dig a tunnel in the hope of being reunited with her. Yunnan Wild Animal Park quarantined La Tewhen when she fell pregnant, much to the dismay of male orangutan Pei Pei.
According to the zoo Pei Pei has become quite depressed since being separated from his ‘wife’.
Pei Pei flatly refused to go back inside his enclosure at the end of the day, staying outside in the exterior pen all night.
The next day keeper Li Kanglan was surprised to discover that Pei Pei had begun to dig a tunnel under the wall leading

Vultures Rock

Gorewada virtually left to die
With more than 50% posts vacant, the Gorewada international zoo project has been virtually left to die a slow, silent death. The promises made from time to time by the chief minister, forest minister and local leaders to implement the Rs 720 crore project have turned out to be hollow.
With almost half the existing posts already

Nim Chimpsky: the chimp they tried to turn into a human
In the early 70s, a primate named Nim Chimpsky was the subject of an experiment whose purpose was to learn whether language is innate. Now, his strange life has been turned into a documentary by Man on Wire director James Marsh
Whether he's zooming past in a pushchair, perched on a lavatory seat or getting a little too intimate with a passing cat, it's impossible not to be charmed by Nim the chimpanzee. Nim Chimpsky, to give him his full title, was born at the Institute for Primate Studies in Norman, Oklahoma, in the early 70s. Highly intelligent, he was chosen to be the subject of a language experiment at Columbia University, called Project Nim, that aimed to discover whether or not chimpanzees could use grammar to create sentences if they were taught sign language and nurtured in a similar environment to human children. His name is a pun on Noam Chomsky, the linguist who theorised that language is unique to humans, which the experiment hoped t

‘Paloh’ the baby elephant horror at Johor Zoo
Investigators checking on Malaysia’s zoos were shocked last Friday to find a baby elephant with its front legs chained together and unable to lie down for at least 48 hours. Powerless to walk she literally attempts tiny two-footed hops from side to side.
Her front legs are held together by a chain a few inches in length. Weak from standing so long and with no shade, her legs are seen to buckle.
The rope and chain together prevent this baby from moving in any direction.
Nature Alert’s chief executive, Sean Whyte said: “Checking on Malaysia’s zoos we have come to expect the worst, but this cruelty to a baby elephant is one of the most sadistic treatment’s of a wild animal (elephants are also a protected species) we have witnessed so far.
The elephant’s front legs are chained together making it impossible for her to move either leg by more than a few inches. During the time we monitored her day and night she had been standing in the same place and mostly in one hundred degrees heat for 48 hours.”
Johor Zoo is no stranger to animal cruelty or complicity in the illegal wildlife trade. In 2010 it was found to be operating a shop inside the zoo which was openly selling illegal wildlife. A report by Nature Alert resulted in the closure and demolition of the shop.
In May of this year Shirley, a chain-smoking, jun

Rookie zookeeper quits after poisoning two giraffes, killing one
A zoo official who was responsible for poisoning two giraffes, killing one, has resigned.
The unidentified apprentice at Reid Park Zoo, Tucson, accidentally mixed up the plants and gave the giraffes leaves from a deadly plant.
He was said to be 'horrified and devastated' by

Phoenix Zoo becomes sanctuary for endangered subspecies of squirrel from southern Arizona

The Phoenix Zoo now is a sanctuary for an endangered subspecies of squirrel from southern Arizona.


Four of the last remaining 214 Mount Graham red squirrels known to exist were brought to the zoo's conservation center last month amid concerns that their isolated habitat in the tinder-dry Pinaleno Mountains could be wiped out by wildfire.


"If there were a big fire, we could be working with the last of these guys anywhere," said Stuart Wells, the zoo's conservation and science director. "So, yes, we were a little nervous. But I think we're all adjusting well."


Wildlife biologists captured the two male and two female squirrels and took them to the zoo under an emergency order by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Counting the pandas

Which is more difficult to count: a couple of thousand or 1.34 billion? Think carefully before answering.


The answer, as you will probably have guessed, is the former, or I would never have asked the question.


The fact is that the Chinese have recently published the results of their latest census and announced that the number of people in the world's most populous country is 1.34 billion.


Having got that one out of the way, they have started on the more difficult question: how many pandas are there in the world?


Just as they do with people, the Chinese attempt to count their pandas every 10 years.


Unlike the people-count, however, the decade in between panda censuses tends to be filled with disputes about counting methods and challenges to their accuracy.


This is hardly surprising, for counting pandas is by no means as easy as counting people.


You cannot just send a form to every panda household

500 piranhas hatch at Scottish aquarium

There has been a baby boom at Deep Sea World in North Queensferry, Fife, thanks to just two breeding pairs of red bellied piranhas.


The tiny terrors – just a few millimetres long – all hatched out over the last few weeks and now aquarists are caring for them in a special nursery tank.


Deep Sea World’s Aisling Thornton said: ”It’s quite unusual to be able to successfully breed piranhas in captivity and we’re all delighted with how the babies are progressing.


”We decided to remove them from the main shoal for their own safety but, if all goes according to plan, we’ll be able to reunite them with their parents within the next few months.”


The piranha, or cannibal fish, common throughout the Amazon, is among the most famous and feared inhabitants of the mighty river.


They are reputed to be able to

Las Vegas Zoo: Two Years Later

Some people are surprised to hear Las Vegas has a zoo.


We do... but should we?


That's the question being asked by the Humane Society of the United States and many action news viewers.


It's been two years since Contact 13 first exposed conditions at the Las Vegas Zoo.


Now, Chief Investigator Darcy Spears goes back to ask what's changed, and whether it's enough?


A spiderweb of cracks in a boa constrictor's cage... A dead baby peacock no one knew was there... Conditions indicative of the Las Vegas Zoo as a whole according to patrons, animal welfare advocates and exotic animal experts.


"It tears my heart apart to watch these animals. I can't even go back in there," said recent zoo visitor Lindsay Roach.


"Those animals suffer in silence," said animal welfare advocate Linda Faso.


"There's just an overwhelming feeling of oppression and sadness at this place," added HSUS Regulatory Specialist Lisa Wathne after a visit to the zoo in early July.


Contact 13 first began investigating the Las Vegas Zoo two years ago. With help from the Humane Society of the United States, we uncovered conditions that were too hot, too dirty, too small and overrun by pigeons and flies.


"Progress report. Where are we two years after the fact?" Darcy Spears asked Wathne.


Lisa Wathne: "Well, from what I can tell, we are not much further along, if at all."


The zoo meets USDA minimum standards. They're not violating the law.


But many say the conditions are simply inadequate. And that due to little private funding and no city support, there's no reasonable prospect of turning it around.


After her visit there in early July, Lisa Wathne told Contact 13, "Animals don't have adequate shade. There are improper social groupings. Cages

Free zoo admission for orange-clad enthusiasts Saturday

Orange clothing is the key to free admission to the Sacramento Zoo Saturday, when a cheese company will be hosting a promotional event at the Land Park destination.


Tillamook Cheese is launching its second-annual cross-country "Loaf Love Tour" and will be returning to Sacramento this week. The "Loafster," a new convertible Volkswagon bus made to resemble the comp

The Grand Old Lady Of Our Zoo

The oldest animal in captivity in India, Shameem Faruque finds Maheshwari still happy and taking life easy


‘Airavata’ is the mythological white elephant of Indra. And we have one right under our nose! Albino elephants are rare and our own Airavata Maheshwari, an albino has lived most of her life in the Trivandrum City Zoo. Rarely has any animal in a zoo managed to fire the imagination as this grand old lady. But when it strikes you that she is actually older than most of the zoo’s visitors the crux of the matter settles in. She is an octogenarian who was born more than




SA lion breeder connected to rhino poaching syndicate
It has emerged that a South African lion breeder and safari operator may be a key supplier of millions of Rands worth of rhino horn to a South East Asian wildlife tracking syndicate.
Media24 investigations established that the company, which reportedly operates from a hotel in central Laos, placed a major order with operator Marnus Steyl in April.
The syndicate is alleged to have used young Thai women; many of them trafficked to South Africa to work in brothels, as so called hunters in sham hunts.
Suspected syndicate leader Chumlong Lemtongthai is due to appear in court on Friday after being arrested in Edenvale two weeks ago.
At the same time, the Hawks said they are profiling two men arrested in Pretoria on Tuesday night for trying to buy equipment commonly used in rhino poaching.
Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela said the suspects were

Manila Zoo will stay – Lim
THE Manila Zoo will stay for as long as I am the mayor.
This was declared yesterday by Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim, as he made the assurance that all efforts are being exerted by the administrators and staff of the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden under parks and recreation bureau director Engineer Deng Manimbo, to take real good care of the animals housed in the zoo.
Lim took exception to the calls of an organization for animal’s rights to shut down the zoo, with a demand for the animals there to be released in the wild.
According to him, the animals there are all domesticated and have adjusted fully to their present home and that bringing them to the wild would be greatly difficult for them.
“Magiging strangers in paradise lang sila du’n dahil sanay na silang may nagpapakain sa kanila at nag-aalaga. Hindi biro ang pinakakain sa mga ’yan,” Lim said.
The mayor said the zoo had been established 50 years ago, with the purpose of providing cheap entertainment and source of education for the poor children of Manila. Entrance rates are pegged at P40 for adults and P20 for children, with special discounts given to city residents, senior citizens and the handicapped.
He also bared that a lot of private companies and individuals have already tried to talk him into selling the zoo but that he rejected all such offers, including suggestions to have the zoo transferred to huge lots in Cavite or Tagaytay.
“Former Mayor Lacson built this zoo for the

Manila Zoo refutes PETA criticism
The Public Recreation Bureau (PRB) of the Manila city government has denied accusations thrown at them by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), claiming that it is “unfair” to judge the whole operations of the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden with photos released by the animal rights group that appeared to show the country’s oldest zoo in unpleasant light.
In an interview at the zoo with PRB Director Deogracias Manimbo, he explained that the photos taken by PETA were old files and did not represent the whole zoo. “Hindi ibig sabihin na pag may nakitang bottled water sa isang cage, lahat na ng cages namin, madumi (It doesn’t mean that when one finds bottled water in one cage, all the cages are dirty). It’s unfair on our part because the photos they used were old,” he said.
However, he assured that they are taking measures to avoid littering inside the zoo. “We are contemplating on restricting the use of bottled water inside the zoo and designating a specific area where people can eat to avoid littering inside the zoo,” Manimbo said.

Japan 'to continue' Antarctic whaling
Japan intends to send its whaling fleet back to the Antarctic this year, a senior official has told BBC News.
There has been speculation that campaigns by activists, money problems and new rules at sea might persuade Tokyo to stop Antarctic whaling.
But at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting, Japan's Joji Morishita said the plan was to return.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which forced the last hunt's early closure, says it will be back too.
Finding a way to deal with the organisation's vessels is the main obstacle Japan sees to continuing for the next season and beyond.
"We are now discussing how we can send our fleet back to the Antarctic Ocean," said Mr Morishita, Japan's deputy commissioner to the IWC and a senior official in the Fisheries Agency.
"Simply put, the attack from Sea Shepherd organisation is the one we have to consider how we prevent that to happen again."
During the IWC meeting, being held in Jersey, Japanese delegates showed pictures and videos that, they said, showed the campaigners

A rare he-she butterfly is born in London's NHM
A half-male, half-female butterfly has hatched at London's Natural History Museum.
A line down the insect's middle marks the division between its male side and its more colourful female side.
Failure of the butterfly's sex chromosomes to separate during fertilisation is behind this rare sexual chimera.
Once it has lived out its month-long life, the butterfly will join the museum's collection.
Only 0.01% of hatching butterflies are gynandromorphs; the technical term for these strange asymmetrical creatures.
"So you can understand why I was bouncing off of the walls when I learned that... [it] had emerged in the puparium," said butterfly enthusiast Luke Brown from London's Natural History Museum.
Mr Brown built his first butterfly house when he was seven, and has hatched out over 300 thousand

Lizard has problem-solving skills
A vibrant green tree-dwelling lizard has surprised scientists with its mental prowess by succeeding in a problem-solving test.
The tropical lizard Anolis evermanni was able to associate the colour of a disc with a food reward - flipping over the correct disc to reveal a worm secreted underneath.
The results, published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, suggest that reptiles are more intelligent than previously thought.
The scientists gave six lizards the colour discrimination task.
First they concealed a worm underneath a disc to find out if the lizard would be able to negociate the obstacle.

The Fin Trail
Since time began we have seen the shark as the silent deadly killer of the ocean deeply engrained in the human psyche as an object of fear. However fact is that in an average year, sharks account for less than ten human deaths, while in the same period we kill up to 100 million of them. What's more, 99% of them are killed for their fins alone which are added to a soup to make an oriental delicacy.
The fact that sharks are facing extinction

Conservationists sound alarm over macaque
The long-tailed macaque is being threatened with extinction by a huge surge in international trade and the destruction of its habitat in Southeast Asia, conservationists said on Friday.
Species Survival Network (SSN), an international coalition of over 80 charities, says trade in the species had more than doubled in the second half of the last decade.
The group is pressing countries taking part in a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Geneva this month to review the impact on the macaque of the trade.
"The long-tailed macaque is the most heavily-traded mammal currently listed on the CITES appendices and our research findings raise alarming questions concerning the long-term viability of targeted populations of the species if this trade is allowed to continued at current levels," Ian Redmond, chairman of the SSN Primate Working Group

Lion Village: A zoo on the edge
In recent years, the environmental office has been regularly asked by visitors and activists to take measures to improve the state of the zoo at the Lion Village, located an hour and a half from Cairo, at Km 59 of the Cairo-Alexandria desert road. After two inspections over the past month by the environmental office, the license should be renewed shortly even though the zoo’s state is far from being ideal.
The first thing customers notice when they step into the zoo is a big cage in which a lion and a lioness are lying down. Although the zoo is located in the middle of the desert and experiences scorching heat in this season, the lions’ cage is obviously devoid of a water trough, and none can be spotted anywhere nearby.
When justifying himself, Ahmed al-Timsah, the owner and captain of the Lion Village, is full of contradictions. At one point he says that “every now and then, a worker puts water in a bucket and then removes it because otherwise the lions spill it”, but later asserts that there is a trough in a corner of a cage attached to the first one, which provides unlimited

Flying zookeepers
Perhilitan’s special squad in nationwide animal park checks
The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) has set up a special roving task force to check on the condition of zoos and more importantly, the animals.
Its director-general Datuk Abd Rasid Samsudin, in a statement to The Malay Mail, said the Zoological Park Task Force’s concern was to monitor the condition of zoological parks, with special attention being paid to the welfare of animals being kept or exhibited.
"We also want to create an awareness on compliance to the new regulation on zoo operations supervision, under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, which is in its final stages,” he said.
"The main purpose of the Act is to monitor how zoos in Malaysia were being managed and operated."
The flying squad has started operations around the country. To date, they have conducted audits on 17 zoological parks in Peninsular Malaysia.
The outcome of the audits will be used as a reference by a committee entrusted with scrutinising applications for zoo management.
Abd Rasid said under the Wildlife Conservation Act (Act 716), a permit was required by any party intending to operate a zoo, circus as well as wildlife exhibitions.
“However, a permit will not be issued to any party that fails to adhere

Owner of small Iowa zoo hospitalized with injuries to head, torso from tiger attack
The owner of a small Iowa zoo has been hospitalized with injuries from a tiger attack.
The Delaware County sheriff’s office says 52-year-old Tom Sellner suffered lacerations to his head and torso in the Sunday morning attack at Cricket Hollow Zoo in Manchester. He was flown to an Iowa City hospital. His condition

Eagle injures boy at Sydney zoo show
Nonami, a wedged-tailed eagle, deviated from the prepared flight-path and landed on the 18-month-old boy's head during a freeflight at the zoo on Saturday, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The impact of the bird, which has a 2m wing span, left the toddler with a gash to his head and he was taken to the Royal North Shore Hospital with "superficial injuries". He was released after a couple of hours.
A statement from the zoo described the behaviour of the seven-year-old bird as ''exploratory rather than attacking'' and said it was the first time in three years of performances the eagle had pounced on someone.
Staff said Nomani would not be destroyed but would never been flown in public again.
The statement said the zoo was concerned for the care of the boy and his family, and would carry out an inquiry to

We need help, not criticism, Manila Zoo director tells PETA
The Manila Zoo director has criticized a group that has been asking the public to sign an online petition for the city government to shut down the attraction.
According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and other local animal protection groups, the zoo is a “tiny, decrepit and outdated facility.”
“Animals… are housed in cramped, barren cages that can’t compare to their natural habitats,” PETA said in its petition.
It asked netizens to sign the petition asking Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim to stop plans to acquire more animals for the facility. “Instead, ask him to improve the lives of the animals already there or, better yet, close the zoo altogether,” the group said.
Manila Parks and Recreation Bureau chief and zoo director Deogracias Manimbo, however, said the petition and criticisms were being “played up.” He explained that while there were indeed plans to add more animals to the zoo like a giraffe, the city government doesn’t have the funds to do so right now.
“The mayor’s priority is education and health,” Manimbo said.
Manimbo added that instead of criticizing the zoo, animal protection groups should pitch in by donating money so that they could improve the animals’ living conditions.
The zoo operates on a P50-million budget annually, Manimbo said in an interview. Around P40 million of the total is spent on the animals’ food and upkeep alone. The rest is used to pay for utilities. “It’s all maintenance funds. We don’t have development funds,” Manimbo pointed out.
However, he reported that they rehabilitated a portion of the attraction last year, thanks to donations from private entities.
While admitting that some animals such as monkeys were

Move to save terrapins
WWF Malaysia is concerned over the habit of people eating turtle eggs in the state.
The foundation's Terengganu Turtle Conservation team leader Rahayu Zulkifli said the cooperation of the people as well as tourists was essential in order to remove terrapin eggs from the menu.
She said WWF Malaysia was alarmed that certain tourist guides still promoted the eating of terrapin eggs.
“I was informed that the guides would casually remind tourists not to miss the chance to eat the eggs while they are in Terengganu,” she told The Star yesterday.
Rahayu said her team of researchers, volunteers as

The Anatomy of Animal Madness
Is it method or madness that drives animals crazy?
'But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
'Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: 'we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.'
'How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
'You must be,' said the Cat, 'or you wouldn't have come here.—Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland [1]
There's is a lot of talk about crazy animals these days: hair-plucking apes, suicidal dolphins, chimpanzees with psychiatric disorders, homicidal orcas, serial killer elephants—a veritable Everest of documentation describing how animals go mad as readily as humans under the right circumstances. [2,3,4,5] Despair and depression possess every species when their societies implode with the ravages of genocide, and few are spared when subjected to torture and imprisonment, whether in zoos or prisons.
None of this is new. The pernicious effects of animal confinement have been recognized for centuries. Dating

Ukrainian zoo owner moves into cage

Visitors to a Ukrainian zoo will get the chance to see a new attraction after the zoo’s owner decided to move into a cage - with a pride of lions.


Aleksandr Pylyshenko will be fed through the bars at the same time as the lions and says he will remain there - sleeping in the cage and playing with the big cats for five weeks.


Pylyshenko explained: “One of the lionesses is pregnant - I plan to see the cubs being born and spend some time with them but then I will move out.”


The 40-year-old

Namibia to Donate Almost 150 Animals to Cuban Zoo

Namibia will donate almost 150 animals to the Cuban National Zoo next year, announced sources from a delegation of the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism visiting the island.


The donation includes leopards, lions, wolves, cats, ostriches, antelopes, elephants and rhinoceroses, said Santos Cubillas, an expert at the zoo, located in the outskirts of Havana.


Erika Akuenje, permanent secretary of the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism, told Cuban television that hygiene standards would be met to ensure that no diseases

Dak Lak sets up elephant conservation center

The Dak Lak Province authorities have decided to set up an elephant conservation center as the number of pachyderms have dipped to critical levels in the Central Highlands.


The center will operate under the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to protect both wild and domestic elephants, the Dak Lak newspaper reported Friday.


The center’s major tasks would be to improve elephants' health, monitor their population and habitat, raise awareness of elephant conservation and propose actions to minimize conflicts

Pittsburgh Zoo's Somerset Reserve Takes On Three Rescued African Elephants

The Pittsburgh Zoo rescued three African elephants and gave them a new home at their preserve in Somerset County.


Thandi, 20, Seeni, 18, and Sukiri, 18, are the new female additions to the preserve.


The Corea family of Botswana rescued them from being victims of a cull or a government-sanctioned killing in South Africa.


When the elephants outgrew the Corea's elephant orphanage in Botswana, they were transported to a reserve in South Africa. A trainer endured a fatal injury. Wildlife law in South Africa requires the animal to be killed, but an emergency deal was worked out with the Pittsburgh Zoo.


On July 15, the elephants were put in 4,000 pound crates, loaded on a 747 Kalitta plane and flown 20 hours to Pennsylvania.


Thushara Corea said, "They seem to have a great future here. The Pittsburgh Zoo and the

Vertical Safari: Crazy Skyscraper Zoo has a Built-in Ferris Wheel

Mesh a modern observation-style ferris wheel (think: London Eye) with the skyscraper, then throw in some animals – and there you have it. Visitors to the vertical zoo would commandeer the wheel’s pods. As the wheel turns in the sky, visitors are taken to various levels where animals reside, up to 240 meters in the sky. Proposed for a site on the edge of Puerto Madero’s Reserve waterfront park, the park would allow visitors to lions while taking in an aerial view of beautiful Buenos Aires.


Unlike a ferris wheel, the zoo’s observation wheel will turn at an incredibly slow speed – taking 30 minutes to cover a half circuit. The top of the skyscraper is

Natural Science Center Aquarium Approved

The Natural Science Center's vision to build North Carolina's only center-of-state aquarium in Greensboro will finally move from blueprints to building construction.


Following 30 days of negotiations, New Atlantic Contracting, Inc. of Winston Salem, has worked with SciQuarium designers and the Science Center team to lower costs and meet the NSC's mandated budget guidelines.


Construction is expected to begin later this summer. SciQuarium construction will take approximately 14-16 months plus an additional 2-3 months required by Center staff for the acquisition, quarantine and acclimation of the animals that will inhabit the seven main exhibit areas. A new ticketing and entrance complex, expanded gift shop (Tricerashop) and café (Meerkat Café) are also part of this first phase of expansion.


The Center's Executive Director, Glenn Dobrogosz, said the contract negotiation was a long, hard process.


"Our team of designers, builders, staff and board members has worked extremely hard over the last month to reduce costs by $700,000 while still preserving key exhibits and visitor experiences. We have finally achieved that goal. Approximately 9 million dollars in voter-approved,0,4454206.story

Is she completely bananas? Monkey lover takes her troop of macaques everywhere

Monkey lover Connie Tibbs will argue she is anything but bananas - however these pictures prove otherwise.


Mrs Tibbs, 37, is so obsessed with her pet macaques - all five of them, that she refuses to let them out of her sight.

Get off my patch! How two tigers left with their tails between their legs after being scared off by a protective mother bear

Dog: The Other White Meat

Hundreds of dogs were crammed on a truck heading north along a major highway in Beijing on April 16th of this year.


The dogs were headed for restaurants in Changchun, a city in northeastern China. Have you been? If yes, you'll know that in Changchun restaurants you can choose from a long list of dishes, including dog soup (Gaejang), boiled dog mixed with spices and vegetables (Jeongol), and dog-red pepper paste pickle. Most people in this region take their dog spicy. Thirsty? Wash it all down with a drink made from cooled dilution of digested dog. Side note: For those of you that "need" ketchup with every meal, ketchup made from digested dog and tomato puree is available year-round, so not to worry.


Back to that truck.


Mr. An, driving north along the same highway, saw the truck and heard panicked barks and anxious whimpering. An, a volunteer at the Beijing-based China Small Animal Protection Association, posted an alert on a Twitter-like site to the local animal protection community. Within the hour, a group of two-hundred animal lovers blockaded the truck at a toll booth. Some of the dogs were dehydrated; others were suffocated by disease. And one delivered five puppies through the rusty bars of her cage. The truck driver eventually released the dogs for $17,000, saving most of them from being slaughtered and eaten hundreds of miles up the h,b=facebook

Denmark teen passage to manhood: kill innocent dolphins for sport

That’s right.


To be considered a man in the Faroe Islands, part of Denmark and Greenland: it is a ritual requirement to kill dolphins and other small cetaceans.


The whole town turns out to watch the slaughter. Children are kept home from school, so they can line the bloody shores and watch the brutality. They listen to the cries of wounded and suffering dolphins as if it were all a part of the festival atmosphere that residents claim proudly as their culture.


How can this cruelty be allowed?


The Faroe Islands are regulated by Faroese authorities and not the International Whaling Commission. They claim this “ritual” has been a part of their heritage since the islands were first settled by the Norse over a thousand years ago.


The sporting process involves surrounding unsuspecting dolphins with boats and driving them into a fjord, where they become trapped and helpless victims. It’s not clear how the Norse ancestors managed their hunts, but it probably involved a spear and a canoe.


If the Faroese people are so dedicated to their traditions, they should use the same weapons and strategy their ancestors did; then the animals might have a sporting chance.


Conservationists and animal-rights advocates contend that other food sources are plentiful on the islands and the barbaric hunt is completely obsolete, cruel, and unnecessary.


In fact, in late 2008 the chief medical officers of the Faroe Islands recommended that dolphin and pilot whale meat no longer be considered fit for human consumption, due to the levels of mercury and other toxins that can be unhealthy if eaten regularly.


Increasingly, more of the island locals are speaking out about the negativity of the annual practice.


The specter of people, including men, women, small children, and toddlers, who stand on the shore and view the slaughter and suffering of innocent animals, which have a declining value as sustenance for island people—is an inhu




Cheetah sprayed with fire extinguisher after mauling keepers during safety demo
A cheetah had to be subdued with a fire extinguisher after mauling keepers at safari park during a filming session to prove the animals were safe for visitors
The big cat - the fastest land animal in the world capable of running at up to 75mph - bit and clawed two members of staff at Eagle Heights Wildlife Park in Eynsford, near Dartford in Kent, on Sunday.
The park has three cheetahs but the youngest Zena took exception to a film crew in her enclosure.
The three cheetahs - Savannah, Boumani and Zena - were being filmed by park workers to "prove" to local council bosses at Sevenoaks District Council that they were 'safe' for visitors to get close to.
But on Sunday, as the cheetahs were being filmed, Zena launched an attack on keeper and trainer Jonny Ames and cameraman Luke Foreman, also a member of staff at the park.
The big cat bit both men several times before swiping its massive paw at Mr Foreman, ripping his shorts off and leaving him with scratches down his leg.
Shocked visitors watched in horror as park staff tried to haul the cheetah off the two men - with staff desperately grabbing the cheetah by the scruff of the neck and sitting on it before another worker blasted it in the face with a fire extinguisher - forcing the animal to release its grip.
Both men were taken to hospital for treatment and given jabs and had their wounds treated, but were back at work on Monday.
Chartered surveyor Michael Cooper, who was with his two sons Jamie, six, and six -month-old Harry, said he watched in horror as the attack took place in front of around 50 visitors.
The 42-year-old told the News Shopper newspaper today (Tue): "The staff were jokingly describing that they were filming the cheetahs to prove to the local authority that they were friendly.
The man sent in to film was looking rather uncomfortable, but we were assured the cheetahs would only go for the fluffy microphone and if it looked like he was going to get eaten, not to worry.
The cheetahs were let loose and without hesitation one of them went for the cameraman.
Not even interested in the fluffy microphone, one decided to bite into the mans leg.
He added: The cheetah had taken quite a few bites and scratches from both the cameraman and the trainer, ripping the shorts off one in one close swipe of the paw.
The two men managed to sit on the cheetahs head while another member of staff ran for a fire extinguisher

Who let these cats out?
Two villagers have been killed in the last month by hand-raised leopards released in the wild by the Mysore royalty and an NGO. Jay Mazoomdaar writes on a ‘rehabilitation experiment’ gone horribly wrong
IT WAS almost noontime. Inside the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, five Jenu Kuruba tribals were walking silently within one another’s earshot, scanning the branches overhead for beehives. Traditional honey-gatherers, these tribals collect wildflower honey in the early monsoon. Over generations, Kurubas have learnt that the forest is a safe place, as long as one stays away from rogue elephants and temperamental bears.
But on 1 June, the five men from Lakkipura, a Kuruba village at the edge of the tiger reserve, were in for a cruel shock. It was Rama Kuruba who spotted the leopard. He stood still, waiting for the cat to walk away. Instead, it came pouncing and knocked him down. Kampa Kuruba was the first to rush to Rama’s rescue. The leopard let go of Rama, who by then had given up the struggle, and turned on Kampa.
As a desperate Kampa held the cat at arm’s length by the radio-collar around its neck, it started pawing his face and the head. By then, the other Kurubas were creating a ruckus and hitting the leopard with sticks. But the cat would not let go. Eventually, a powerful blow on the spine made it back away. By then, Rama had stopped breathing. The leopard was still alive, growling in pain at a distance. Unnerved, the Kurubas scampered, carrying a profusely bleeding Kampa, who would spend the next 10 days in hospital.
In Lakkipura, the initial response was of disbelief. Kurubas never considered leopards a threat because the spotted cats avoided them and never attacked except in self-defence. Now, they were faced with a leopard that targeted people to kill and did not back away even from a group of men, challenging a thumb rule of survival in the wild. They did not know that the leopard that tore open Rama’s throat and nearly killed Kampa was not a wild cat.
DEPUTY CONSERVATOR of forests (DCF) KT Hanumanthappa has brought down the humanelephant conflict in Bandipur by 70 percent in just two years, by digging up trenches and laying service roads for maintenance of electric fences. “We are here for conservation work,” he says. “But managing conflict used to take up all our time. Now that headache is gone.”
He got a fresh headache on 5 June 2010, in a letter from his top boss, Karnataka’s chief wildlife warden (CWLW) BK Singh, permitting him “to rehabilitate the leopard cubs in Ojimunti of Bandipur National Park with the assistance of Smt Vishalakshi Devi, Bangalore”.
In fact, it was Vishalakshi Devi who sought permission on 8 May 2010 for “rehabilitation

Aping the pros: Silverback with artistic temperament uses honey-covered video camera to film himself
This cheeky ape curiously peers into the lens as he turns the tables and takes this high definition video - of himself.
Silverback gorilla Ya Kwanza, 27, is seen playfully filming himself with a camera hidden inside an indestructible box, which is covered in oats and honey.
The primate repeatedly holds the device up to his face and pokes the lens at Durrell Wildlife Park, Jersey.
But when it came to handing back the footage, Ya Kwanza went bananas and cheekily hurled the box out of his enclosure.
Expert Jon Stark, who has been taking care of critically-endangered western lowland gorillas for four years, came up with the idea after wondering what life from a primate's perspective looked like.
He said: ‘The animals here at

Miracle Saved Mormon Missionary Mauled By Lions at Guatemala Zoo, Father Says

The father of a Mormon missionary mauled by two lions at a zoo in Guatemala credited a higher power Tuesday with saving his son's life.


Alan Oakey spoke to the Deseret News in Utah about Monday's attack on his 20-year-old son Paul, who is now recovering in a hospital in Guatemala City.


Paul Oakey had been serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Guatemala City South Mission for 19 months.


He was attacked on Monday, when he climbed up a concrete wall to have his photograph taken in front of a lion exhibit at a zoo in a rural town about five hours from Guatemala City. He had his back turned when one lion reached through the bars of the cage and grabbed his right leg.


As he fell back a second lion grabbed his left arm. One lion bit a chunk from the missionary's right calf, while the other clamped down on his left bicep. Paul fought back against the lions, his father said, while others in the group went to his aid.


"He was punching one of

Hopeful aquarium reopens after quake

Mai Hibino, an animal keeper at an aquarium in Fukushima, used a hose to pour water over Go, an 11-year-old male walrus. "You've been very, very patient," Hibino said softly.


Go galumphed his 720-kilogram body toward Hibino to snuggle up to her, then let out a roar.


A long, hard journey was nearly over for both Hibino and Go when this scene took place July 9.


After being closed for four months due to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the Fukushima Marine Science Museum aquarium in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, reopened Friday, thanks to the support of aquariums across

San Diego Zoo cleared in panda attack on keeper

A California agency says the San Diego Zoo will not be fined for an incident in which a panda bit and clawed a keeper.


The Los Angeles Times reports Wednesday that a spokeswoman for the California Division of Occupational Health and Safety said agency investigators determined that the March 13 attack was not the result of any lapse in safety regulations or training for employees.


Panda Bai Yun pushed open a safety barrier between the keeper area and the animal's habitat. When a keeper tried to herd Bai Yun

Wildlife park under pressure to hire full-time zookeeper

The New South Wales Government is insisting the Waterways Wildlife Park at Gunnedah hire a full-time zookeeper or risk not having its exhibition licence renewed.


The park was the centre of a controversial RSPCA raid last year, which removed eight koalas over claims of animal cruelty.


The park's owners, Nancy and Colin Small, were never prosecuted.


A lawyer with Slater & Gordon, Peter Long, sa§ion=news

Endangered dolphins captured for performances

Environmentalists have called for stronger regulations as dolphins near extinction in waters near S.Korea


An analysis by the Hankyoreh has confirmed that all dolphins appearing in South Korean animal shows are endangered species that were captured in the wild and trained. One of the dolphins appearing in Korean dolphin shows is the exceptionally intelligent bottlenose.


According to an analysis conducted Friday by the Hankyoreh from data on dolphin show venues nationwide, a total of 27 bottlenose dolphins are performing or displayed at all four aquariums, including one on Jeju Island. Also, the wild habitats from which the animals were captured are regions that are either facing extinction risks or the subject of controversy over environmental destruction.


Bottlenose dolphins whose accidental capture in illegal nets was discovered by the Korea Coast Guard on Thursday were found to be performing at Seoul Grand Park in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi, and Pacific Land on Jeju Island, with a total of twelve animals at the two sites. A 52-year-old identified by the surname Heo was booked without detention for violating the Fisheries Act after purchasing

Reverend’s rhino plan to put town on the map

RHINOS could find new homes all around the ancient capital of Furness next summer.


The Reverend Alan Mitchell is overseeing the possible installation of 20 or so four-foot by three-foot rhino sculptures throughout Dalton in a bid to bring more tourists in to the town.


Mr Mitchell is hoping the sculptures will work as a complementary tourist attraction for visitors to nearby South Lakes Wild Animal Park.


The potential costs of the project are currently being worked out and he said the next stage would be for local businesses and people to purchase or sponsor the finished sculptures in a bid to raise money for local and national charities.


Mr Mitchell said: “I saw the statues in Liverpool, the Superlambanana ones, and thought perhaps we could do that in Dalton.


“I’ve always been concerned that the tourists signs pointing to the zoo feature elephants on them and there aren’t actually any elephants at the zoo. So I thought we could make some fibreglass ones and put them around the town.”


But following a chat with zoo boss David Gill, he then decided to make the most of one the zoo’s star attractions – the rhinos.


Mr Mitchell said: “The

Arsonist Torches San Diego Zoo

It's back to the business of eating bamboo for the Giant Pandas. Hours earlier and just steps from the bears fire ripped through the panda gift shop.


Zoo Spokesperson Christina Simmons told San Diego 6, "was a scare for all of us. Anytime there's a major fire we are concerned particularly for the animals in our collection. The animals are doing fine."


Suspicions over a cause we're quickly validated. Fire officials say it was no accident.


San Diego Fire Spokesman Maurice Luque says, "we know it's arson. Investigators spent about 7 hours there." And sources tell San Diego 6 an employee who had access to the park may be to blame.


Luque says, "from disgruntled employees to letters that may have gone into a business threatning them for whatever reason to surveillance cameras the whole gammet of things are looked at."


News that an arsonist would torch the zoo not only angered visitors, it put a monkey wrench in some of their plans.


Janette Baertsch is from San Diego. She brought some family to the zoo Monday. She told San Diego 6, "that was really sad because they had to move some of the shows to somewhere else and all our animals are endangered."


Dan Cerney is visiting San Diego from New York. He was surprised that an arsonist would torch the zoo. He said, "It's absolutely terrible that there's people out there that would start a fire in such an area where there's so many beautiful animals living

Dolphin calves died of pneumonia, internal bleeding, National Aquarium says

Although the animals died within days of each other, officials say the deaths were unrelated


Pneumonia killed one dolphin calf at the National Aquarium last month while internal bleeding took the life of another baby days later, according to results of a necropsy released Friday.


The aquarium has yet to resume its popular dolphin shows because the surviving dolphins remain distressed by the deaths.


According to the necropsy, the deaths of the two 2-month-old calves were unrelated, said Brent R. Whitaker, the aquarium's deputy executive director for biological,0,1220010.story

Vampire frog flies in to Australian museum

Australian Museum scientist Dr Jodi Rowley was working in Vietnam's jungles in 2010 when she discovered a previously undocumented frog.


She and named it Rhacophorus vampyrus or Vampire Flying Frog.


Frank Howarth, Director of the Australian Museum, explains how this amphibian's baby fangs and adult flying abilities earned

Endangered species given new life in Shepreth

A SPECIES nearly wiped out in the Vietnam War has been given a boost after a Crow Country birth.


Keepers at Shepreth Wildlife Park were celebrating after a pygmy slow loris was born following a six-month pregnancy.


There are thought to be only 700,000 left in the world after the bitter conflict devastated its habitat.


Since then forests have continued to be cut down, or burnt, and the illegal pet-trade, as well as the use of the creature in traditional Chinese medicine, have kept numbers dangerously low.


A spokesman said: “We are delighted to have positively contributed to this programme.


“Breeding endangered species, and

Anger at zoo's 'ghoulish' autopsy show

EDINBURGH Zoo has been heavily criticised over plans to stage a post mortem of an animal in front of a paying live audience.


The visitor attraction announced the move on its website and is selling tickets at £20 per head for the event on August 23.


The post mortem will involve the dissection of a "large mammal", although a spokeswoman for the zoo admitted they were as yet unsure what animal would be used for the event, or where it would come from.


The move has been dubbed a "callous money-spinner" by an Edinburgh animal welfare group, while the UK charity PETA has said the move would not sit well with many members of the public.


However, Hugh Roberts, the new chief executive of the trust that runs the zoo, said the event will be of educational value.


The autopsy will be carried out by a member of the zoo's world renowned veterinary team, and is being organised to help educate members of the public about animal biology.


A spokesman for the city charity OneKind said: "This seems a really staggering thing to do at a point when the zoo doesn't need to court any more controversy. It's sending out the entirely wrong message that these (animals] are exhibits that can be put out on display even when they're dead."

Orangutan cruelty discovered at Melaka Zoo

Investigators visiting Melaka Zoo were shocked to find eight orangutans confined behind bars like criminals for days at a time, with no access to the sun, rain, fresh air and the company of other orangutans.


Each time investigators visited the zoo the same two orangutans were outside; an obese female and her juvenile offspring.


If Minister Douglas Embas had enacted the new Wildlife Conservation Act on schedule, this government run zoo could and should be prosecuted.


Behind the thick iron bars of the indoor

A Point of View: In praise of the zoo

The zoo is not just for children, exotic animals can help grown-ups get some perspective on their lives, says Alain de Botton.


Moose don't loom large in the national imagination. There are only around 100 of them on these islands, but they're a fascinating and noble kind of creature. Ugly from one point of view, rather as camels are, but full of a native kind of dignity and stoicism.


I'm mentioning moose because earlier this summer, rather unreported by the media, a baby moose was born in Whipsnade Zoo. It got called Chocolate by the Zoological Society of London, and - according to an e-mail that was sent out to all members of the zoo - it's doing very well. It's being looked after by its concerned mother Minni and its protective dad Melka.


Both can now be seen in a special exhibit called Wild Wild Whipsnade. If you fancy a trip, as the same e-mail went on to explain, you might want to take in Sapo the pygmy hippo, who's recently taken his first dip in an

Qatar’s rare initiative

Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation’s conservation programme for the critically endangered Spix’s Macaw is aiming to release some of the birds to a site in Brazil as early as 2013, according to the co-ordinator of the programme, who said that the two-year target represents a best case scenario for the unique initiative taking place in Qatar.


Al Wabra (AWWP) is a conservation park established by Sheikh Saoud bin Mohamed bin Ali al-Thani to breed certain endangered species in captivity.


The Spix’s Macaw is one of the most endangered bird species on the planet, with no recorded birds in the wild since 2000, and only 76 in captivity. Of those 76, 55 are owned by AWWP, which has been breeding the species here for seven years.


Gulf Times spoke to programme co-ordinator Ryan Watson for an update on the initiative and to discuss the future plans for this highly endangered species.


“We face a lot of challenges with the Spix’s Macaw because of the very tight genetic bottleneck the species is in,” he explained, adding that the birds have a number of problems with embryo viability, infertility and disease.


However, the centre will soon have two populations of Macaws, with the younger group of birds set to be transferred to

Virginia Aquarium educates visitors about aquatic life using RFID

The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center has installed a new interactive exhibit, dubbed “Fish and Chips”, that uses RFID technology to instantly provide visitors with information on the aquatic life as it swims by, according to Breaking News Travel.


Similar to identification technology that is used in household pets, a tiny microchip is injected under the fish’s skin. As the fish swim by an RFID antenna “pings” and instantly provides information on the species, habitat, range and other interesting facts on a computer screen for the visitors to read.


Using RFID also allows aquarium staff to monitor the health and better perform veterinary procedures since the fish are more easily tracked and identified. The Virginia Aquarium had already been using RFID technology, but not until recently did the implementation support for in-water identification.


For more information on the “Fish and Chips” RFID permanent

Sea turtles’ 30-yr journey starts with poachers turned saviors

Did you know that marine turtles, no matter how far they swim around the world, always return to their place of birth after 30 years? This is one of the amazing facts we picked up at the Pawikan Conservation Center in Nagbalayong, Morong, Bataan. Volunteers in this fishing village attempt to keep endangered marine turtles from vanishing.


The volunteers fear that the turtles would fall prey to poachers. At night, they patrol the 7 kilometers of shoreline facing the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), scoop up turtles’ nests buried in the sand, and bring these to the center’s hatcheries for incubation.


The night patrollers have saved more than 47,000 turtles since September 1999 when the center was founded, according to the center’s leader, Manolo Ibias.


The total distance walked by them in a year is said to be equal to the distance between Morong and Sao Paolo in Brazil.


Manolo, now 55 and once a poacher himself, plans to rest his leg muscles when he picks up his senior citizenship card. His two sons, both in college’-30-yr-journey-starts-with-poachers-turned-saviors

Struggling beetles released in Ohio

It's time to meet the beetles at the Wilds conservation center in southeast Ohio.


Director of Animal Management Dan Beetem says 160 American burying beetles were released Wednesday at the nearly 10,000-acre facility. It's part of an effort to re-establish the species in Ohio.


The Wilds says the American burying beetle was once found in 35 states but in 1989 became the first insect listed as an endangered species.


Biologists aren't sure why the beetle species

Three elephants electrocuted in UP's Dudhwa national park

Three wild elephants were on Friday electrocuted after they came in contact with a dangling live high voltage cable in the thick confines of Uttar Pradesh's famous Dudhwa National Wildlife Park


According to the state's Chief Wildlife Conservator, B K Patnaik, "the electrocution was the result of an accident caused by a marching herd of elephants that led to toppling of an electric cable pillar, which brought the live wire down on to the path of the animals".


"While three of the herd of some 15-odd tuskers were electrocuted, the others promptly withdrew from the scene as they sensed trouble," Patnaik said.


He said the mishap occurred near Bodhiya-kalan village situated on the periphery of the core area of the wildlife sanctuary where the elephants had been spotted a couple of times over the past few days.


A team of six veterinary surgeons were arranged to carry out autopsy on the three elephants. "However, no sooner than the surgeons got down to their job, the remaining herd made an attempt to charge at them. The forest guards and other staff, however, somehow managed to thwart their attempt," said Patnaik.


Eventually, the post-mortem was completed on Saturday morning after which the animals were buried in the forest area, he added.


This was stated to be the first incident of its kind in Dudhwa national park. However, a similar tragedy was witnessed at the world famous Corbett Park where as many as 11 elephants were electrocuted in 1980, say official records.

Feet-nibbling fish pedicures shut down in B.C. over health risks

A Vancouver Island spa is being forced to shut down a controversial pedicure treatment because the tools used to do the job weren’t being sterilized. The “tools” in this case are hundreds of tiny Garra rufa fish imported from Turkey, where they are known as doctor fish. During a fish pedicure, patients submerge their feet in an aquarium and the hungry fish, which don’t have teeth, suck off the dead skin cells.


The Purple Orchid spa has been offering the treatment, meant as a temporary relief for psoriasis and eczema, since July 2010. After the spa was featured on a local television program the Vancouver Island Health Authority, with the support of the British Columbia Ministry of Health Services, ordered spa owner Dixie Simpson to stop offering the therapy, citing health risks.


“Vancouver Island Health Authority are now classifying my fish as tools. But these are live animals. I can’t sterilize them. So therefore I have to shut down,” she said in a CBC News report, adding that she was stringent about keeping the water clean and uses a UV filtration system.


“There’s been [health] concerns about tanning beds; they still go on,” said Ms. Simpson, and that she doesn’t have the money to launch a legal challenge against the order. “I guess at the end of the day, where

PETA wants investigation of Ark. elephant's death

An animal rights group has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate the death of a 60-year-old elephant that died at the Little Rock Zoo.


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says the request regarding Ellen the Elephant was sent to Dr. Robert Gibbens, the western regional director of the agency's animal care unit. PETA director Delcianna Winders says the group wonders why the zoo was closed after Ellen's death and her body was immediately removed for burial.


The Asian elephant died Tuesday morning. Zoo officials say she likely suffered a heart attack or stroke.


She came to the zoo from New York in

PETA's elephant to lead protest vs Manila Zoo

An elephant will lead the protest of the animal rights group People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) against the Manila Zoo.


Scheduled at 1 p.m. on Friday, the protest will be led by an elephant which will hold a sign reading “Close the Manila Zoo!"


According to its news release, PETA said its members of PETA Asia will hold the protest outside the Manila Zoo on Adriatico Street, Malate.


PETA said the Manila Zoo "has been internationally criticized for housing animals in cramped, barren cages and for providing substandard care. The animals are relegated to a lifetime of boredom and abuse, which often leads to self-mutilation and other abnormal behavior."


"The Manila Zoo is a tiny, decrepit, and outdated facility and has nothing to offer animals except a life of deprivation, misery, and loneliness," said PETA’s Rochelle Regodon.


"We're asking Mayor Lim to close the zoo for good and prevent any more animals from spending their lives in this decrepit and shameful facility," she added.


"As do all zoos, the Manila Zoo presents visitors with a distorted view of wildlife. In the wild, most animals roam territories of hundreds of kilometers, but the entire Manila Zoo measures only 0.055 square kilometers," PETA said.


"Even the largest zoos worry that they cannot provide

Closure of Manila Zoo sought

INSTEAD of raising cash to restore the decrepit Manila Zoo, an animal rights group said the government should padlock the facility owing to its poor conditions.


According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), it is time for the government to recognize that animals should not be kept

RI zoo raises $300,000 for conservation, outreach

Rhode Island’s largest zoo has raised nearly $300,000 for education and conservation programs.


Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence announced that the money raised at its “Zoobilee’’ fundraiser in June will fund its 2012 programs designed to enhance environmental education and protect threatened species around the world and in Rhode Island.


The June 25th event attracted nearly 1,400

Phoenix Zoo contributes $64M to state economy, report says

The Phoenix Zoo helps contribute $64 million in economic activity to Arizona, a recent report for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums has found.


"The Phoenix Zoo supports the community in more ways than one," Jim Maddy, president and chief executive officer of AZA, said in a statement. "Not only does the Phoenix Zoo have a deep commitment to science education and wildlife conservation, but it also generates valuable economic benefits to the region."


AZA commissioned a state-by-state economic impact analysis of 212 AZA-accredited zoos and aquari

Big zoo overhaul

Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan)LocalWildlife Conservation Act 2010


Tighter control on zoological parks with new regulations


ALMOST 54 years after the first zoo in the country opened its doors to the public, Malaysia is finally set to have its own set of regulations on how zoological parks nationwide should be managed.


The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) is in the final stages of draft ing the new regulations on ‘Mengawalselia Pengendalian Zoo’ (Supervision of Zoo Operations) to be included in the new Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, which was enforced last December.


The department is now finalising the necessary by-laws and the new regulations are expected to be in force as early as next year.


Department director-general Datuk Abd Rasid Samsudin told The Malay Mail they comprise, among others:


• Operators would have to apply for speci c permits to run zoos, unlike before


• To prevent overcrowding, the overall size of the zoo will determine how many animals can be kept


• Enclosure size and layouts, as well as cage sizes, will be determined by the animals’ size and habitat


• Quality food and vitamins for the animals to be made compulsory


• All zoos must have its own in-house veterinarians


• All captive wildlife and those meant for export will be tagged with microchips


Abdul Rasid said all 44 zoos in Peninsular Malaysia and Labuan, including Zoo Negara, currently needed only to apply for temporary permits allowing them to house wild animals.


“Under the provision of Section 10 of the Act, no one can operate a zoo, conduct commercial captive breeding, or have circus or wildlife exhibitions involving protected wildlife unless granted a permit by Perhilitan.”


He said zoos had also been noti ed of the impending addition to the Wildlife Conservation Act.


"Once implemented, there should be no excuses from zoo owners and operators. My officers and that of the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry conducted a road tour of all the zoos in March last year and have informed them of the new regulation and what it entails.


"We hope they would not be caught

Mutant two-headed snake wows visitors at Ukrainian zoo

A snake with two heads, each able to think and eat separately and even steal food from each other, has become a popular attraction at a Ukrainian zoo.


The small albino California Kingsnake, now on show in the Black Sea resort of Yalta is quite a handful, zoo workers told AFP.


The snake's two heads are fiercely independent, are not always in agreement and like to snatch food from each other, said keepers of the private zoo, called Skazka, or Fairy Tale.


"Sometimes one head wants to crawl in one direction and the other head in another direction," zoo director Oleg Zubkov told AFP.


Zoo worker Ruslan Yakovenko added that he tries

Police raid Thai zoo in tiger smuggling probe

Thai wildlife police on Thursday said they had discovered unregistered big cat cubs in a raid on a private zoo, raising suspicions that it was part of a smuggling ring.


Eight animals were discover in the operation earlier this week -- four adult tigers, two tiger cubs and two leopard cubs -- the Thai Nature Crime Police said in updated information, adding that official permits were only found for the older tigers.


Police colonel Kiattipong Khawsamang said DNA tests would be conducted on the tiger cubs, which the owner of the newly-built zoo, in northeastern Chaiyaphum province, said were the offspring of the older tigers.


But the zoo also failed to provide official documentation for the leopards and they were confiscated.


Kiattipong clarified earlier information suggesting the owner was male and said "the real ringleader is a woman".


Earlier the police colonel said the owner "tried to make illegal things legal" by setting up a private zoo and investigations had indicated

Man Who Owned Killer Bear Chokes to Death on Sex Toy

An animal keeper whose bear mauled another man to death was found dead, chained to his waterbed and choked by a sex toy.


Sam Mazzola, 49, of a Cleveland, Ohio, suburb, was wearing a mask and had his arms and legs restrained, Dr. Frank P. Miller III, a pathologist at the Lorain County coroner's office, told The Associated Press. He had choked on a sex toy, Miller said.


Mazzola's body was found on Friday at his home in Columbia Township, about 15 miles southwest of Cleveland.


Someone else was present during Mazzola's fatal sexual role playing, but left before he died, Miller told The News-Herald of Willoughby. Sheriff's officials ruled out suicide and homicide but are still investigating the manner of death, the newspaper reported.


Last summer, Brent Kandra, 24, was killed by a bear after opening its cage on Mazzola's property for a feeding. Kandra's death was ruled a workplace accident. The bear was later destroyed.


Mazzola still had exotic animals in his care when he died, according to the paper. They were being cared for by his brother. Mazzola said in a bankruptcy filing

Could the Cindy Sherman of Monkeys Accidentally Revolutionize Copyright Law for Artists?

By now you've probably heard of the "Cindy Sherman of the Monkey World," as we dubbed her recently. While working in an Indonesian national park, British nature photographer David Slater had his camera purloined by a clever macaque monkey who took several self-portraits, apparently fascinated by her own reflection in the lens. The exceptionally charming images that resulted caught the eye of Britain's Daily Mail and won the cheeky monkey fans around the world, as well as "calling into question notions of personae, monkeyhood, affect, and the history of photography itself," as we put it.


We were being tongue-in-cheek, but as it turns out the images have indeed called the very nature of photography into question. The pics are now at the center of a lively debate about copyright, with implications not just for Slater but for the entire world of animal art (yes, there is a world of animal art).


After hearing about the accidental monkey masterpieces, the Web site Techdirt posted a short essay musing on the fact that several of the images bore a credit line attributing them to the U.K.-based Caters News Agency, for which Slater works. Copyright is generally held by the person who takes the picture, and since the author was in this case the monkey — Slater explicitly stated that he had no hand in creating the image — Techdirt wondered by what basis Caters could have acquired

What to do with Hong Kong's first orangutan twins?

Hong Kong gains two new zoo members, but an animal rights group wants to put them in the wild


Hong Kong saw the birth of the city's first Bornean orangutans twins at the Zoological and Botanical Gardens last Friday.


A male and a female baby orangutan were born weighing two and 1.4 kilos respectively. Their parents are Vandu, a 16-year-old male from Hungary who was bred under an orangutan conservation program, and Raba, a 15-year-old female born in Hong Kong.


The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are unhappy about the endangered species residing in the zoo.


"The zoo should find a trustworthy conservation agency to help them transfer [the twins] to the wild community once they grow up and are able to survive on their own," says SPCA spokeswoman Rebecca Ngan Yee-ling to the SCMP

Wellington Zoo's new occupants requiring military precision

Wellington Zoo's now caring for six hundred weakened seabirds, blown ashore in their thousands by this week's storm.


Feeding time at Wellington Zoo has become a military operation. It takes four and a half hours to feed the 600 prions, which are living in 200 cardboard boxes.


Almost every room in the zoo's animal hospital is filled with boxes of birds.


“We never realised those events would be this major this quickly but if you can do 100 you can do 600 as well,” says zoo operations manager Mauritz Basson.


The birds are fed twice a day, with six litres of salmon slurry having to be made for each

Gorewada zoo chief post upgraded

The Gorewada zoo project, which has been stalled for nearly six years, appears set to get a fillip. On Thursday, government upgraded the post of divisional forest officer (database) as CCF (planning & wildlife management). G Saiprakash, who was conservator of forests (CF) at Pune, has been promoted as CCF. He will look after Gorewada. Till now, a CF rank officer was in charge of the project.


Principal secretary (forests) Praveen Pardeshi, during his visit to Nagpur on July 7, had dropped enough hints about the plans to expedite Gorewada project by posting a senior official. This means H M Meshram, who was DFO (database) and was also drawing and disbursing officer (DDO), will now be posted elsewhere. Meshram

Johnny, the Elephant from India

real personal tragedy, wrote the following obituary for their departed friend:


“Our elephant Johnny was born in India in 1965. It took thousands of kilometres for this resident of the Indian forests to find his way to Perm. Dutch sailors took him by ship from India. The small passenger was then taken onboard by Baltic sailors and transported to St Petersburg. From there, the small elephant was taken to Moscow on horses. He arrived at the Perm Zoo in summer 1966.


“The Perm Zoo has been celebrating John’s birthday every year since 2000. A birthday cake was prepared for the elephant from 60 kilograms of selected fruits and vegetables. The birthday boy always behaved very sedately, eating carefully and with dignity. John would have numerous guests on those days. The celebration was a success during any kind of weather.


“During the summer heat, the elephant loved to pour water over himself and swim in the pool, particularly on hot days, as well as spray the public with water.


“Johnny developed some habits during his life at the zoo: he was to be fed in the morning, at lunch and in the event. The elephant remembered people who did anything unpleasant to him, always trying to throw something at them or spray them with water. Johnny was able to reproduce the sounds of the human voice and could put together entirely intelligible phrases.


“The Perm elephant also loved to steal equipment such as brooms and hoses. He would scratch his back and belly with the broom and run around his enclosure with the hose, wrapping it around himself. In April 2009, he got a hubcap stuck around his trunk and could not get it off on his own. It had to be by almost all of the zoo employees tugging at it with fire hooks on a rope”.


In late June 2011, the 46-year-old Johnny fell while taking a walk. Zoo employees tried for six hours to get him back on his feet, including with the help of a truck crane, but they had no luck. The elephant died. The cause of death will be announced following an autopsy and examination. He will then be buried in a special biothermal grave.


The zoo employees said in the obituary that they would like to preserve the image in their heads of their favourit

World's 'Most Dangerous Bird' escapes from exhibit at Denver Zoo

Gates at the Denver Zoo were temporarily closed Friday when a large, potentially dangerous bird called a cassowary escaped from its enclosure, officials said.


According to zoo spokeswoman Tiffany Barnhart, a visitor saw ‘Murray,’ a 62-pound 5 ½ foot tall cassowary, burst through its wire fencing at Bird World at about 12:45 p.m.


This prompted officials to essentially place the zoo on ‘lock down,’ closing gates and forcing some visitors to stay indoors as a precaution.


“Birds, naturally, are not necessarily I don’t believe (Murray) would have sought anyone out,” Barnhart said. “However, he is a large bird. He could have become afraid. He could have become defensive.”


‘Murray’ was captured a short time later and returned to his exhibit.


No one was hurt.


The cassowary, which is native to New Guinea, is,0,7223319.story

Chhatbir zoo range officer’s row with contractor ends; lion safari re-opens

Service was halted after dispute over non-renewal of registration certificates of two mini-buses used for safari


The lion safari at Chhatbir zoo, which was closed to visitors on Thursday due to a dispute between the contractor of the safari service and the range officer at the zoo, has now been reopened. While the contractor and the range officer agreed that the service was halted due to their dispute over the non-renewal of the registration certificates (RCs) of the two mini-buses used for the safari service, the field director asserted that it happened due to a routine inspection of the safari.


The contractor said that he had applied for the transfer of the RCs of the;-lion-safari-reopens/818181/

Enrichment facility for animals at M'sian zoo

A NEW centre at Malaysia's Zoo Negara aims to provide a more conducive environment for the animals as well as educate the public on their welfare.


Zoo director Dr Mohamad Ngah said the facility would 'enrich' the lives of the animals by introducing toys and developing creative ways for the animals to get to their food.


'Enrichment efforts have been carried out in the zoo since 2005. However, this is the first time that a centre has been set up to centralise such efforts,' he said during the launch of the facility at the zoo on Friday.


During the event, the media was brought to the centre and shown various enrichment tools designed to improve the welfare of the 5,000 animals in the zoo.


Among them was a piata (a container made out of paper), which was made to look like a beehive and filled with food so that animals like bears would have to break

Wild Parrots Get Names From Parents

Before a green-rumped parrotlet is even able to chirp and squawk, mom and dad teach it a distinct series of sounds used by parrots to recognize a specific individual. In short, they give their nestling a name.


Researchers have observed captive parrots using so-called contact calls to identify mates and family members, but didn’t know how birds were named in the wild. Maybe they didn’t learn from their parents, but had contact calls hard-wired from birth. Or maybe it was an aberration of captivity.


To find out, Cornell University ornithologist Karl Berg and his team swapped eggs between nests in a wild parrotlet population they’d studied since 1987. Half the parrotlet pairs raised foster chicks, who used the contact calls demonstrated by their adoptive parents. Were the calls hard-wired, they’d have used their biological parents’ calls.


Among other animals known to imitate the

Badger culling is ineffective, says architect of 10-year trial

Former UK government scientific adviser Lord Krebs says results of the trials prove culls are not an effective way of controlling bovine TB


Badger culling is "ineffective", the expert behind the UK's biggest review of the links between badgers and tuberculosis in cattle, said on Monday.


Professor Lord John Krebs was the government adviser responsible for the scientific review in the 1990s which found that badgers were a "reservoir" of bovine TB and could transmit the disease to cattle. He called for trial culls, which were then carried out. But he said on Monday the results of the trials showed that culling was "not an effective policy" and would be a mistake.


His remarks are expected to reignite the debate over whether to cull badgers, as the government is set to make a controversial announcement this week allowing farmers to carry out their own badger culls around the country.


The issue is highly emotive, with wildlife campaigners preparing to resist any moves to a cull, while farmers are adamant that a well-coordinated cull in TB hotspots would help to reduce the incidence of the disease, which costs the farming industry - and taxpayers - tens of millions of pounds a year and has forced some farmers out of business.


The results of the 10-year "randomised badger culling trials" showed that widespread, highly coordinated culls requiring the destruction of many thousands of badgers resulted in a reduction in new infections in local cattle herds of about 16%. Ministers

New research demonstrates damaging influence of media on public perceptions of chimpanzees

How influential are mass media portrayals of chimpanzees in television, movies, advertisements and greeting cards on public perceptions of this endangered species? That is what researchers based at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo sought to uncover in a new nationwide study published today in in PLoS One, the open-access journal of the Public Library of Sciences. Their findings reveal the significant role that media plays in creating widespread misunderstandings about the conservation status and nature of this great ape.


A majority of study respondents were more likely to believe that chimpanzees are not endangered after seeing them portrayed with humans. They were also more likely to falsely believe that the apes would make an appropriate pet even though in reality their massive strength and aggressive nature makes them highly dangerous. The researchers used composite digital images to experimentally test survey respondents' reactions to chimpanzees in different circumstances. For instance, survey respondents shown a photograph of a young chimpanzee standing next to a person were significantly less likely to think that chimpanzees were endangered in the wild, compared to respondents that viewed the exact same picture with the human digitally removed.

Hunters Paying $150,000 to Kill an Endangered Rhino May Save the Species

In June 1996 a game rancher named John Hume paid about $200,000 for three pairs of endangered black rhinos from the wildlife department of the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. Among them was a male who would come to be called “Number 65,” and whose death would play a central role in the debate about conservation.


South Africa did not start the auctions because it had a surplus of the animals. Quite the opposite. Although the black rhinos had been reproducing, they were still critically endangered. Only about 1,200 remained within the country’s borders, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Dec. 13 issue.


But black rhinos are massive animals, and with just under 7 percent of the country set aside in protected areas, conservationists and wildlife departments had run out of room to accommodate them.


Hume’s 6,500-hectare ranch, Mauricedale, lies in the hot, scrubby veldt in northeastern South Africa. Hume, 68, made his fortune in taxis, hotels, and time-shares, and Mauricedale was his Xanadu, a retirement project of immense proportions. In the late 1990s he began buying up many of the neighboring farms and ranches, and his triangular estate would soon be boxed in on all sides by roads and sugar cane plantations.


Hume also was rapidly becoming the largest private owner of white rhinos; there are currently 250 split between Mauricedale and another similar property. He also raises cape buffalo, roan and sable antelopes, hippos, giraffes, zebras, and ostriches.


Rhino Number 65


When the black rhino bull arrived, Hume’s farm manager -- a burly Zimbabwean named Geoff York whose typical mode of dress is army boots and a pair of purple shorts -- tranquilized him, clipped two notches in his left ear and two in the right, and gave him a number: 65.


With a horn worn down to 20 inches from rubbing it against rocks, Number 65 was not a beautiful bull. It wouldn’t




Happy on our diet of salmon
Celebrity penguin Happy Feet has ditched his demanding sand and twig diet in favour of Marlborough cuisine.
That's because New Zealand King Salmon has donated 100kg of salmon smolt (juvenile fish) to Wellington Zoo to help restore the young Antarctic visitor to health.
Happy Feet is eating up to 2kg of the fish a day.
New Zealand King Salmon marketing manager Stephen Gibson said the company supplied Wellington Zoo with the salmon smolt when it was available and had doubled the contribution for the Antarctic visitor.
The emperor penguin sparked international interest when he arrived at Peka Peka Beach, 4000km from Antarctica, three weeks ago. He ate sand, mistaking it for ice, to cool down. He has since had surgery at Wellington Zoo to remove the sand. The penguin was back on the table on Saturday for his fourth procedure to flush sand from his stomach.
Veterinary science manager Lisa Argilla said undergoing general anaesthetics was unlikely to be tiring or stressful for Happy Feet but he did need a rest bet

Controversial Alberta zoo reopens
The gates to an embattled Alberta zoo are open and its owner is back in business.
Lynn Gustafson's GuZoo near Three Hills, Alta., about 140 km northeast of Calgary, unlocked its gates Tuesday and allowed visitors in for the first time in a month.
The zoo was shut down in June after the province revoked its permanent licence following an independent review citing several problems.
The zoo had been the target of an online campaign to shut it down, with concerned people posting pictures to Facebook depicting the allegedly squalor conditions its more than 400 animals, many of them exotic, live in.
It was given a temporary licence for the decommissioning process, but Gustafson requested a judicial review of the province's order.
On Tuesday, Gustafson and the province confirmed they agreed the decommissioning process could

Stroke or heart attack claims life of Ellen the elephant at Little Rock Zoo
Tuesday morning Ellen the elephant died with staff by her side. Preliminary indications are that 60-year-old Ellen died from a stroke or heart attack according to Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Marilynn Baeyens.
"She seemed fine yesterday, eating, enjoying the day and the holiday weekend and to come in and see her so debilitated, it's hard."
Zoo Director Mike Blakely says Tuesday morning brought a unexpected and difficult discovery for zookeepers.
"They found her down on her side. She was unable to get up. She was obviously in distress." Ellen the elephant, a staff and zoo visitor favorite.
Arriving at 3 years old in 1954, Ellen has

Zoo Chimps' Mental Health Affected by Captivity
Research reveals signs of mental illness, including repetive rocking, self-mutilation and eating feces.
Many chimpanzees housed in zoos show abnormal behavior that suggest mental illness, according to a new PLoS One study.
The documented behaviors, which included self-mutilation, repetitive rocking, and consumption of feces, are symptoms of compromised mental health in humans, and are not seen in wild chimpanzees, the authors say. The study found that even chimps at very well regarded zoos displayed the disturbing behaviors.
"Absolutely abnormal behavior and possible mental health issues are most commonly associated with lab chimps," co-author Nicholas Newton-Fisher told Discovery News. "This is one of the reasons we were surprised to see the levels of abnormal behavior that we did -- in chimpanzees living in good zoos."

Was Dalu Mncube the victim of a family feud?
Last week Campbell Live broke the story that 'Lionman' Craig Busch had repeatedly warned authorities that the Zion Wildlife Park had become dangerously unsafe after he had been fired.
His warnings appeared validated when Dalu Mncube was killed by a tiger there six months after Craig left. But why did this tragedy really happen?
Was it that the park had become more unsafe under Patricia Busch's leadership?
Former keeper and Dalu's best friend Richard Mthembu says no.
He says Dalu was as much the victim of the family feud between mother and son as he was of Abu the tiger.
While Craig Busch was the star of the Lionman series, Dalu was the man behind the lions.
Craig had first met Dalu Mncube at the wildlife park he worked at with Richard in South Africa.
“Craig actually promised Dalu a better future... Dalu grabbed it with both hands,” Richard said.
It appears Dalu didn't have the right papers to work in New Zealand - but Craig brought him out anyway.
Initially it was a close relationship.
“He was quite trusting. Craig was the brother he never had,” Richard said.
Craig made Dalu senior keeper

What’s it like to work a day at the zoo
Tim Synder, curator of birds and reptiles at Brookfield Zoo, said one of the biggest misconceptions is zoologists who work as keepers at the zoo play with the animals.
“People who work with animals in the zoo have a high respect for them and keep in mind that they can be dangerous. We want them to be wild and we keep a distance,” Snyder said.
A typical day for a keeper in Snyder’s department begins around 7 or 8 a.m.
“We make sure that all is well — that no animals were injured or scared during the night,” he said.
Start time will depend on anticipated life cycle events within each exhibit, such as impending births or other issues. A baby on the way could mean that keepers need to arrive even earlier to monitor the situation.
After the initial check, food is prepared and water provided. Feeding time offers another opportunity to eyeball animals for signs of good health.
Cleanup follows. This is a relatively simple process with easy going animals like birds. Keeping in mind that larger animals are wild and can be dangerous, Snyder said.
“We shift animals into nearby spaces if we are dealing with dangerous animals,” he said.
Behind-the-scenes activities include training for both the animals and the keepers. Animal training smooths the way to reduce stress during medical check ups.
“We can train larger animals to move toward a scale so we can weigh them, and train larger primates to present an arm so we can take blood samples. We train giraffes so we can to trim hoofs. This is so they won’t need anesthesia for

Irrawaddy dolphins triple in protected area: survey
A RECENT survey has found the number of Irrawaddy dolphins living in a protected area on the Ayeyarwady River has almost tripled in the past eight years.
The Irrawaddy Dolphin Protected Area was established in December 2005, spanning a 74-kilometre stretch of the river near Mandalay, from Kyaukmyaung and Singu townships in the north to Mingun in the south.
“The Irrawaddy dolphin population has increased gradually, year by year, between Kyaukmyaung and Mingun. We found 32 in 2002 but this had increased to about 90 in 2010,” said U Mya Than Tun, deputy director general of the Department of Fisheries.
“We conduct twice-monthly patrols in the protected area. On the patrols the project team conducts educational outreach activities, research on dolphin behaviour and fisheries, enforces the prohibition on illegal fishing techniques, and monitors the status of the dolphins and threats to their conservation,” he said.
In another positive sign for the critically endangered species, U Mya Than Tun said several hundred more Irrawaddy dolphins had been found in coastal areas. A survey of the entire Ayeyarwady River, conducted by the department, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Forestry Department and University of Yangon in Myanmar in 2002, found Irrawaddy dolphins living in a 400-kilometre stretch between Bhamo and Mingun. In 2010, the department and WCS conducted survey activities into Gulf of Martaban area of the Ayeyarwady delta; Rakhine coastal areas, including the Mayu River, Kaladan River and Laymyoe River; and the Myeik Archipelago, especially Thameehla Island.
“In Sittwe, especially in areas with a mix of fresh and salt water, we found quite a few Irrawaddy dolphins; we estimate there are about 100 in Rakhine coastal areas,” said WCS coordinator

Hathi has only 1 sathi as these babies wait for release from isolated quarantine
Two baby elephants at Safari Park have been languishing in quarantine for over a year even though they have long cleared infection control since they arrived.
An animal in quarantine is isolated from other animals and has very limited human contact. Their prospects for moving in to improved living conditions seem bleak as the city does not even plan to discuss funds for zoos until next year’s budget.
Four elephants were shipped to Karachi last year – three females and a male. Two were sent to the Zoological Gardens where they have been given proper enclosures, while the remaining two, that are about five years old, are still in quarantine at Safari Park. They have been temporarily called Malka and Sonu by the staff.
For elephants, international standards dictate a 40-day quarantine period for new arrivals at zoos to avoid the spread of infections. A doctor is supposed to visit them intermittently to monitor their health while they remain in isolation. However, the elephants have been in their temporary cages since June 30, 2009. Experts from the Community Development Department (CDD) explained that elephants are large and rather sensitive animals, therefore it is especially difficult for them to live in the

Shiva the rhino may die a celibate
One of the most visited animals in Byculla zoo, Shiva, the one-horned rhino, is likely to die single after 26 years of forced celibacy . All attempts by the zoo officials to find him a match have failed and they are clueless about what can be done for the animal.
To worsen matters, the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has sent another reminder to the zoo asking it to expedite the process of transferring the animal that has been living alone in its enclosure ever since it was brought from Assam in 1985. Zoo authorities, though, say this is much easier said than done.
"We have already informed several zoos in the country about our willingness to part with the rhino. But due to old age, none of the zoos want to accept him," said Anil Anjankar , director, Byculla Zoo.
Shiva is already 35 years old and life expectancy amongst rhinos in captivity is around 40 years. Zoo officials state that due to old age, even transporting the animal to another zoo would create problems for him. "To implement the CZA directives, other zoos in the

Introducing the Newest Rare Animal Hybrid: The Donkra
What's going on at the zoos over in China?
Recently, we told you about a litter of ligers (those are lion/tigress hybrids, for those who are catching up) that were born at China's Xixiakou Wildlife Zoo and found themselves an unsuspecting surrogate mother: A black dog. Now, we bring you another fascinating and bizarre cross-animal creation: The donkra.
This hybrid is the offspring of a male donkey and female zebra, and was born at the Xiamen Haicang Zoo in southeast China on Sunday. With striped zebra-like legs, a brown donkey-esque body and big black

'Zookeeper': Talking-animal tale is hard to swallow
Special effects have improved greatly since the 1950s/1960s, but talking-animal comedies haven't progressed much since the heyday of "Mr. Ed" and "Francis the Talking Mule."
Case in point: "Zookeeper," starring terminally genial Kevin James as Griffin Keyes, a lonely caretaker at Boston's Franklin Park Zoo, where the animals listen to him blubbering about his love life (or lack of same) and decide to break their code of never speaking to humans.
The mouths of real animals are manipulated and animated to create the illusion that they're speaking to Griffin and advising him on how to win back his witchy ex-girlfriend Stephanie (Leslie Bibb). They're also trying to boost his confidence and steer him in the direction of Kate, a more compassionate fellow worker (Rosario Dawson).
Yet the illusion is shockingly unconvincing, just as it was half a century ago. While "Zookeeper" appears to have cost a fortune, the animals' mouths almost always look like they're being digitally

Chiang Mai misses out on polar bears
The Zoological Park Organisation has scrapped a controversial plan to allow polar bears to be displayed at Chiang Mai Zoo after protests over the welfare of the animals.
Pimook Simaroj, the new director of the ZPO, said public concerns over the polar bears' welfare were reasonable and had persuaded the board to drop the project.
"We are concerned not only about the animals' welfare, but also about the global warming aspects," he said.
"I know some people might be upset about our decision to scrap the project. But our prime mission is to focus on animal welfare, not economic issues."
Although there will be no polar bears at the zoo, a demonstration project to display polar life, including penguins, was still on the books, Mr Pimook said.
He said the zoo would turn the polar bear zone, which was already under construction, into a multimedia learning centre for children to discover animal life that exists at both poles.
Mr Pimook said the polar bear project was not crucial to boosting tourism revenue in Chiang Mai. All related sectors should work together on ways to promote

Set Toronto’s elephants free
Doing something over and over again and expecting different results was Einstein’s definition of insanity. (Tell that to your piano teacher.) Of course, we all know what Einstein meant: five and five, no matter how many times you batter away at them, will never add up to 11. And you’re a nut to think otherwise.
But what if the thing you’re doing over and over again is “speaking the truth”? Are you insane to expect a different outcome? Maybe you’re just really frustrated.
Over and over again during the past five years I, and others like me, have been blowing the whistle on the conditions for elephants at the Toronto Zoo. We’ve been telling people that the elephants are dying way too young: at 40 years of age, at 41, 38, 20, when, in the wild, they have a lifespan of 60 to 70 years.
Why are they dying? Because they are nomadic, social creatures being held for up to 16 hours a day in cold, cramped stalls in a northern climate. Because as babies they were wrenched from their slaughtered mothers and shipped to America. They’re traumatized, depressed, bored and maddened. Their feet are literally

Wildlife dept stops simians wedding
The Wildlife department today stopped a marriage between two simians on legal ground here, officials said here. The department also booked the female monkey's owner Niranjan Pancholi, a resident of Talwas village. Monkeys are endangered species and it is illegal to keep the animal at home, Bundi ADM Devanand Mathur said. "Both the moneys have been rescued. One of them has been sent to Kota zoo and the other has been kept under custody in Bundi," Bundi DFO Rajendra Singh Nathawat said. About 500 invitation cards for the marriage had been distributed and a feast for over 1,000 people were being prepared, villagers said. Monkeys

Two Arabian leopard cubs born in Taif
An Arabian leopard has given birth to two cubs under the captive breeding program of the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) in Taif, a senior official of the center told Arab News on Wednesday.
“This is one of the NWRC captive breeding programs undertaken in cooperation with a similar center in Sharjah,” general director of NWRC Ahmed Alboug said.
He said the center's entire staff is very happy about the birth of these two cubs since the Arabian leopard is a critically endangered species that is on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Only 200 are believed to be remaining in countries in the region such as Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Palestine.
Alboug estimated that the Kingdom has around 80 to 100 leopards in the wild. They are mostly found in the southwestern and northwestern parts of the Kingdom, he added. Alboug said the sex of the cubs is still not known as the mother is still protecting them.
The parents of the cubs are named Fareeda and Al-Jazeerah. “We have to think of two good names for the newborns after discovering their gender, “ Alboug said.
The general director said under the leadership of

Snow tiger cubs fed by Siberian tiger
Snow tiger cubs born on July 1 in the Siberian Tiger Park in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, are being fed by two tiger mothers as their biological mother does not have enough milk to nurse them.
The 10-year-old snow tiger mother gave birth to quintuplets - four female and one male cub.
They are a rare sight as snow tigers usually give birth to only two or three cubs. There are fewer than 50 snow tigers in China.
"The tiger mother does not produce enough milk for her five cubs, so the cubs have lost some weight," said Wang Jingru, snow tiger breeder. "A tiger cub should usually gain about 50 grams of weight a day."
The snow tiger's first two litters died due to the lack of milk produced by the mother. Thus the breeders found "new mothers" to ensure the quintuplet's

Italy's bear politics
A banquet due to serve up bear meat in protest at the animals' reintroduction to the Alps had more to do with politics than ethics
Bear hotpot, bear chop and bear steak. Even stewed bear, for the most sophisticated palates. These were the main dishes that were to be on offer during the banquet organised by the Northern League in the region of Trentino last Sunday. The banquet was a protest against the Life Ursus project, which – after it started back in 1996, thanks to EU funding – made the reintroduction of the brown bear to the Italian Alps possible.
At the heart of the debate is Maurizio Fugatti, secretary of the Northern League party in Trentino, who is opposed by some ministers of the Popolo della Libertà (part of the same coalition). "The citizens should feel free to walk around wherever they want, without being scared of the presence of bears in the area", Fugatti said. "We want to defend and protect the citizens who live in these mountain areas from the continuous visits of bears, we prefer to see them around in this way [as a meal]," he said. The opposing ministers commented on the event in strong terms: "disconcerting" and "barbarian" were the adjectives used to describe the banquet by the minister for foreigner

Syracuse zoo opens Asian Elephant Preserve
The crowd had pretty much thinned out at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo's new Asian Elephant Preserve when Kirina got playful.
Picking up a tuft of hay with her trunk, the 16-year-old pachyderm swept the load into the air and dropped it onto her back, plopping a little on her mother, Romani.
That drew a laugh of delight from Samantha Lindhuber. The 7-year-old North Syracuse resident had come with her grandmother, Donna Lindhuber, to catch the grand opening of the preserve this morning. They hung out in the preserve's Elephant Overlook to watch Kirina, Romani and Siri, the herd's matriarch, explore their new home.
"I think this is good," the child said. "The elephants can play and stuff."
Which is one of the reasons Onondaga County officials and the Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo decided to build the Asian Elephant Preserve. The $6.4 million project, part of

Sergeant Saves Iraqi Frog as Part of "Project Global Amphibian Blitz"
Jonathan Trouern-Trend, an intelligence sergeant with the Connecticut National Guard, was at the latrine of the U.S. military base near Al Bakr, Iraq, when he made a discovery: a Lemon-Yellow Tree Frog, one of Iraq’s eight species of amphibians, was sharing the bathroom with him. According to Trouern-Trend, the frog had likely been sucked up from a nearby pond by a cleaning truck, which then deposited the frog inside the bathroom when workers hosed down the facilities.
Trouern-Trend, concerned that the midday heat would render the oven-like latrine uninhabitable for amphibians (not to mention human beings), sprang into action. He captured the frog, carried it to a nearby pond, and released it after snapping a picture.
Back at his computer, he uploaded the photo to iNaturalist, a new social network for identifying,b=facebook

Polar bears have maternal Irish brown bear ancestors
The maternal ancestors of modern polar bears were from Ireland, according to a DNA study of ancient brown bear bones.
Scientists in the UK, Ireland and the US analysed the teeth and skeletons of 17 brown bears that were found at eight cave sites across Ireland.
The new research has been reported in the latest edition of Current Biology.
Previously, it was believed that today's polar bears were most closely related to brown bears living on islands off the coast of Alaska.
However, analysis of mitochondrial DNA - which is passed from mother to child - has shown the extinct Irish brown bears are the ancestors of all today's polar bears, the scientists said.
Their work provides evidence of the two species mating opportunistically during the past 100,000 years or more.

Marineland refuses to free Ike the Orca
A whale of an international custody case has surfaced, with a Niagara Falls theme park refusing to surrender an orca to its U.S. owners.
In a court decision that would terrify any repo man, Ontario Superior Court Justice Richard A. Lococo has this week ordered Marineland Canada Inc. to return Ikaika, an eight-year-old male orca, to Seaworld Parks & Entertainment LLC as soon as the 1,815-kilogram youngster is ready to go south.
But Marineland isn’t budging. It announced Thursday it will appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal.
“The present dispute with SeaWorld over Ikaika is unfortunate,” the company said in a statement. “Marineland believes that Ikaika should be allowed to stay at Marineland. That was the original understanding between SeaWorld and Marineland.”
SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida loaned “Ike” to Marineland for breeding in 2006, according to the decision. In December, it gave notice it was terminating the “breeding loan agreement

Happy Feet's cute but he won't save our kids
It amazes me that so much money and so many resources can go into saving one solitary wild bird.
So what if Happy Feet is only the second emperor penguin to make it to our shores? What about this for a more incredible - and shocking - statistic: every five weeks in New Zealand a child is killed by a family member.
So instead of the penguin getting the cash, what about more funding for preventing cases like the death of five-year-old Napier girl Sahara? Just this week Kerry Ratana - the partner of Sahara's mum -pleaded guilty to her manslaughter.
Then there's the death of baby Serenity in Ngaruawahia, which is as yet unsolved. Oh, and not forgetting the sordid Kahui case that just goes on and on. Those poor wee twins.
With a shame list like that, surely more money is needed to stop the cycle of family violence and killing. But no, we

Animal activists, trainers spar over cruelty questions
When Tweet the giraffe died at the Franklin Park Zoo while filming “Zookeeper’’ almost two years ago, animal rights activists demanded an investigation. The necropsy report ultimately pointed to natural causes, but animal lovers did not take that as a sign to stand down.
Now, activists are nosing around for signs that Rosie, who plays Barry the elephant in “Zookeeper,’’ which opens today, endured cruelty during training. Animal Defenders International (ADI), an organization based in Los Angeles, London, and Bogota, filed a lawsuit in the US District Court, District of California, on June 27, claiming that Rosie and other film elephants undergo abusive training methods at the hands of their owners.
According to the complaint, the firm Have Trunk Will Travel, based in Perris, Calif., “secretly abused elephants . . . while simultaneously extolling their humane training methods and convincing the public to financially support their elephants by riding the elephants, renting the elephants, and watching the elephants in TV and movies.’’
Kari Johnson, who with her husband, Gary, owns Have Trunk Will Travel, said via telephone on Tuesday that she had not been served with the legal papers but had heard through others of ADI’s plans to sue. She declined verbal comment but issued a written statement calling the lawsuit “frivolous’’




Global species extinction isn't quite so dire, study finds
Scientists using a new method to calculate the rate of extinction say the crisis is being overestimated by as much as 160%.
Hit the snooze on that ecological doomsday clock for a minute: The world's species may not be going extinct quite as fast as we thought they were. Scientists may be overestimating the crisis by as much as 160%, according to a recent study.
The research was published online Wednesday in the journal Nature.
While stressing that the global extinction crisis is still indeed a crisis, the study's two authors called for a better mathematical model to predict how fast the world's diversity is disappearing.
The massive loss of species occurring today may constitute the sixth mass extinction of life on Earth. It is caused in large part by habitat destruction, which can be blamed on human encroachment. The rate of biodiversity loss, however, is difficult to estimate, said study coauthor Stephen Hubbell, an ecologist at UCLA.
One of the models that scientists use reverses what's called the species-area relationship: This starts with the number of species in a certain area and then,0,6091441.story

Zion Wildlife keeper should not have been exposed to killer tiger
The big cat that killed a Zion Wildlife Gardens keeper should have been locked away before the man entered the enclosure.
Dalu Mncube was killed in May 2009 while cleaning the cage of Abu, a rare white tiger. Details of the Department of Labour's case against Zion Wildlife Gardens and its subsidiary, Zion Wildlife Services, were released to the Northern Advocate on request this week.
They include statements that:
- Zion's operations manual did not meet national rules requiring adult big cats to be secured before people entered their enclosures.
- Zion staff regularly breached that rule.
- A tour group witnessed the mauling before a Zion employee realised and ushered

'Gas-less' kangaroo secret sniffed out
Scientists have gone some way to explaining why kangaroos produce much less methane in their burps, flatus and manure than farm animals such as cows.
They identified a bacterium in the gut of the Tammar wallaby - a member of the kangaroo family - that processes their food without making methane.
Farm animals are a major source of methane, an important greenhouse gas.
Writing in the journal Science, they suggest the work could show how to cut greenhouse emissions from livestock.
The Tammar wallaby is a fairly small member of the family, found in pockets of Western Australia and on some islands off the coast, and has long

Threatened green snakes released in county preserve
It’s emerald green, about as wide around as a pencil and it’s in trouble.
On Thursday, in an effort to boost the population of the endangered smooth green snake, six of the little serpents raised at Lincoln Park Zoo were released at Old School Forest Preserve near Libertyville.
According to officials with the Lake County Forest Preserve District, the release was part of a conservation effort with the zoo that aims to boost the snakes’ population through scientific study, breeding, monitoring and reintroduction efforts.
The effort began last summer with Lake County officials reportedly finding a small number of adult snakes and more than 80 eggs in an area slated for development. The eggs were taken to the zoo for incubation, and 83 of them hatched.
The snake, which lives on insects and likes to slither through long green grass, has been declining in numbers in recent years, said Joanne Earnhardt, a population biologist at the zoo.
Half of the snakes brought to Old School this week were given a “hard release” directly into the wild, while the other half had a “soft release” into enclosures within the preserve. Officials report the enclosed snakes will “spend some time getting accustomed

Los Angeles Zoo Welcomes Gander
This city's favorite gander gave up walks in the park for a small stable and a roommate named Odie the Donkey.
In a ceremony Thursday, the Los Angeles Zoo unveiled the new home of Mario, a gander who gained fame for befriending people in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Echo Park.
Mario was greeted by zoo guests and feted by local politicians as he strutted around his pen, nipping at Odie and nibbling lettuce from the hand of Dominic Ehrler, a 65-year-old retiree he had befriended.
Mr. Ehrler and Mario were the subject of a Feb. 12 front-page article in The Wall Street Journal, which helped focus attention on their unique relationship: Starting last year, Mario—then a goose who lived at an urban lake in a neighborhood park—accompanied Mr. Ehrler on a daily walk around the lake for more than nine months.
The article recounted how their relationship—and Mario's home—were threatened by a city plan to rehabilitate the lake, prompting city officials to move Mario to the zoo. At the time Mario was thought to be a goose, whom locals named Maria. Zoo

Zoo 'to create a generation of online conservationists'
A UK zoo has launched a website that it hopes will help bridge a growing divide between young people and conservation.
Chester Zoo's Act for Wildlife site hopes social media, video and blogs will increase gadget-obsessed youngsters' interest in wildlife.
It will allow users to find out more about the effort to save species, put questions to staff working around the globe and follow their fieldwork.
Organisers hope it will help establish a network of online conservationists.
The zoo commissioned a poll that showed that 66% of adults felt that 10-year-olds were more interested in technology than wildlife.
The survey of 2,094 adults, conducted by YouGov, also found that 94% of adults felt that biodiversity conservation was important, yet only 15% actively helped a cause.
"The survey is a somewhat depressing summary of the world today," said

Nepal to 'fingerprint' tigers for conservation
To pinpoint the exact population of wild Bengal tigers and to combat poaching, Nepal will start "fingerprinting" its big cats from this fall, marking a switchover to hi-tech DNA profiling from the current tiger censuses conducted the old-fashioned way by using cameras and assessing pugmarks.
The two-year Nepal Tiger Genome Project, funded by the US Agency for International Development, will be conducted by Kathmandu-based Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal (CMDN) in collaboration with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech University and the University of Idaho.
According to Dibesh Karmacharya, CMDN international director as well as the project's principal investigator, from September-October, teams will fan out to the four national parks in Parsa, Bardiya, Chitwan and Kailali districts, the habitats of the bulk of Nepal's big cats, and other areas where

What's New At Taronga Zoo

State forms panel to look into sea water aquarium
The plan to modernise the 60-year-old Taraporewala aquarium, the only one in Mumbai, into an oceanarium is finally inching ahead. A nine-member committee headed by the chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad, consisting of secretaries of the animal husbandry, urban development has been formed to see that the project is soon a reality.
According to a government resolution (GR) issued on June 30, 2011, the committee will need to revert to the government on the way ahead — whether to accept the bidder, Eden Inc Berhad, a Malaysian firm which was shortlisted in February 2010, or float a fresh tender.
Eden Inc Berhad operates the Underwater World at Langkawi.
The GR adds that while this is being done, the committee will need to consider issues such as additional floor space index to be given for construction, the issue of coastal regulation zone clearance and no-objection from the environment department, which the urban development department will need to ensure.
If the government decides to finalise the deal with the available bidder, then the plan will include exhibiting 150 species of fish from international waters, minimum 50

Five white tiger cubs born in NE China
Five white tiger cubs were born on Friday at the Siberian Tiger Park in Harbin, the capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.
The white tiger quintuplets, one male and four females, are healthy and weigh about 1.2 to 1.4 kilograms each, Liu Dan, the park's chief specialist, said Saturday.
"Usually, white tigers will give birth to two to four cubs at one time. It is rare to see healthy quintuplets," Liu said.
The white tiger is a subspecies of the endangered Bengal tiger. It is estimated that between 200 and 300 white tigers live in captivity in China.
The Siberian Tiger Park, the largest Siberian tiger breeding and field training center in China, was founded in 1986. There are more than 1,000 Siberian tigers in the center at present.


Two More Bolivian Lion Prides To Be Released
The final 2 prides of African Lions rescued from Bolivian circuses will soon be roaming freely on 40 acres of rolling grasslands at The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS), as they are scheduled to be released on July 5, 2011.
One of the prides consisting of one male and two female Lions suffered from years of physical abuse and neglect in the circus. They had severe mouth problems requiring major dental work, which extended the length of their rehabilitation, and delaying their release.
The other pride that will be released includes three cubs that were only 7 weeks old when they were rescued, but had been separated with their mother from the other members of their pride so circus workers could steal them for photograph sessions with customers. "It is very rewarding to know these cubs will not have to endure years of hardship in the circus like their family members had, and will instead be able to roam freely in wild open spaces," said Executive Director Pat Craig. After months of being separated, the cubs and their mother were able to rejoin the pride, since the cubs had recently reached a suitable age and weight. The reunited pride of 7 will now be released into one of the Sanctuary's large acreage habitats where they can live together for the rest of their lives.
The Lions were rescued from eight different circuses throughout Bolivia after the government banned the use of animals in circus acts. Upon arrival in Colorado, the 25 big cats were temporarily housed in a state of the art 15,000 square foot biosphere-like building featuring natural amenities such as grass and trees while they went through the Sanctuary's rehabilitation process.
During their rehabilitation, four distinct prides were formed in order to allow the Lions to live in a more natural state. Two prides have already been rehabilitated and released into large acreage habitats, with the remaining two scheduled to be released in a matter of days. Craig says, "All of the Lions are doing remarkably well, and we are extremely excited

Zoo director faces finance probe
The state forest department has ordered an inquiry into allegations of financial irregularities against Raju Das, the director of the Alipore zoo. Das will also be transferred.
“We have ordered an inquiry against the zoo director after receiving a number of complaints of financial irregularities against him,” forest minister Hiten Burman told Metro.
Das denied the charges. “I only used the power I enjoy as director. All steps were taken in accordance with the law,” he said.
According to sources, additional principal chief conservator of forests (finance) Abhijit Basu Roy Choudhury is in charge of the probe. He has been given time till July 15 to report his findings but the deadline may be extended.
The forest minister said Das’s transfer was only a matter of time. “It is difficult to carry out the inquiry while he is in

CZA panel examines Maharajbag's master plan
Decks for development of Maharajbagh Zoo have been cleared with the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) expert committee examining the master plan cleared by the Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV).
CZA is a statutory body under the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) monitoring all the zoos in the country. BK Gupta, scientific and monitoring officer of CZA, said it received the master plan a week ago. "Our panel of experts is examining the plan which will be forwarded to

For orangutans, less food means lowered fertility
Ever-changing weather cycles have contributed to the declining population of orangutans, an animal which has a limited child-conceiving cycle, a scientist says.
Boston University biological anthropologist Cheryl Knott said that in the high fruit season, the great apes’ females are more likely to conceive than in the low season.
“Mast fruiting season has between two and seven year intervals due to El Nino weather. During the mast fruiting, up to 80 percent of trees bear fruit at the same time, affecting the diet of the orangutan,” she said during a seminar held in Eijkman Institute of Molecular Biology.
Knott, who has been observing the great apes for a decade at the Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Project in West Kalimantan, said during the high fruit season, orangutans eat various fruits available, with intake amounting to up to 11,000 calories per day.
The calories would be spent for traveling through the forest and for reproduction. During the low fruit season, the orangutans make due with whatever fruit is available and tree bark and leaves, resulting in far lower caloric intake of only around 2,000 calories per day.
Studies revealed that orangutans in the wild have a birth interval of between eight to nine years. There are currently around 35,000 orangutans in the world, but

Agony and Ivory
Another carcass has been found. On the Kuku Group Ranch, one of the sectors allotted to the once nomadic Maasai that surround Amboseli National Park, in southern Kenya. Amboseli is home to some 1,200 elephants who regularly wander into the group ranches, these being part of their original, natural habitat. More than 7,000 Maasai live in scattered fenced-in compounds called bomas with their extended families and their cattle on Kuku’s 280,000 acres. Traditionally, the Maasai coexisted with their wildlife. They rarely killed elephants, because they revered them and regarded them as almost human, as having souls like us. Neighboring tribespeople believe that elephants were once people who were turned into animals because of their vanity and given beautiful, flashy white tusks, which condemned them, in the strangely truthful logic of myth, to be forever hunted and killed in the name of human vanity. And Maasai believe when a young woman is getting married and her groom comes to get her from her village she musn’t look back or she will become an elephant. “But in the last few years, everything has changed,” a member of the tribe told me. “The need for money has changed the hearts of the Maasai.”
In 2008, post-election ethnic violence followed by the global recession halved tourism to Kenya, making the wildlife in the parks even harder to protect. Then, in 2009, one of the worst droughts in living memory hit much of the country. More than 400 elephants in Amboseli died. The Maasai lost many of their cows and are still struggling, while the price of ivory is higher than ever, so increasing numbers of them are risking the misfortune that killing an elephant could bring on their families, according to their traditional thinking, and are getting into poaching. There are brokers just across the Tanzania border who are paying cash—around $20 a pound—for raw ivory and selling it to the Chinese. Or perhaps there is a series of transactions, a series of middlemen, but ultimately what is not being picked up by the Kenya Wildlife Service’s sniffing dogs at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, in Nairobi, is making its way by all kinds of circuitous routes to China, where raw ivory is now fetching $700 or more a pound. Ninety percent of the passengers who are being arrested for possession of ivory at Jomo Kenyatta are Chinese nationals, and half the poaching in Kenya is happening within 20 miles of one of the five massive Chinese road-building projects in various stages of completion.

The Lonely Polar Bear
MY heart goes out to Gus, the famously neurotic polar bear in the Central Park Zoo, who used to swim endless laps around his pool. He’d dive to the bottom in a froth of bubbles, surge across and then surface like a bear obsessed. He’d backstroke to the other side, and with great paws splashing, dive down to the bottom and circle around again. Some wags called him the “bipolar bear,” but most zoo-goers sensed that he felt bored, pent-up, out of his element and depressed.
A high-profile animal psychologist, called in by zoo officials, began treating Gus in 1994 with toys, games, more challenging mealtimes and a better designed habitat. Soon Gus seemed like his old self again, lounging and playing with his longtime companion, Ida.
But when Ida died recently from liver disease at the age of 25, Gus grew listless, slouching around his habitat and swimming little, obviously confused and greatly disturbed by her disappearance.
In the wild, male polar bears tend to be loners, who wander long distances through sketchy weather and over shape-shifting ice, with drifting pack ice as home. They go with the floe. But for 24 years, Ida was a pal with whom Gus cavorted and related to in countless ursine ways.
Strangers when they met, they nonetheless had much in common, including sheer tonnage. Surrounded by jabbering monkeys (us), they alone fathomed one another right down to their inner seasons

It was Harry Miller, the Welsh journalist living in Madras, who introduced the snake-hunting Irula tribals to Rom. The latter was so impressed with their abilities that he moved from Bombay to Madras so he could work with them selling venomous snakes to the Haffkine Institute in Bombay.
Soon Rom figured that merely catching and sending snakes didn’t bring much income. He had wholly supported the shutting down of the unsustainable snake skin industry which now left many Irula with no livelihood. Something needed to be done quick and he was certain that selling snakes was not the way.
Rom conferred with his Irula buddies, “Sure Man” Natesan, “Eli Karadi” Rajamani, “Nak Bulti” Vellai, and Raman, and suggested that since he knew how the venom milking business worked, having been trained by none other than the famous Bill Haast, they could set it up themselves. While the others thought it was a good idea, Sure Man joked that in this son-besotted country, a snake temple with real live snakes would make more money than venom.
The Chief Conservator of Forests of Tamil Nadu felt the venom business was a good job opportunity for former poachers and suggested setting up a cooperative than a private company as the chances of getting the necessary permits from the government would be smoother. In 1978, a cooperative to be owned and operated by the Irula was formed with Rom as the Technical Advisor.
Rom then went to meet the state honchos at the Secretariat armed with a proposal for the Irula to catch a thousand snakes a year, keep them for four weeks for milking after which they would be released. Four years of protracted negotiation later, the Government of Tamil Nadu issued the order allowing the cooperative to capture, milk and release snakes but with twenty-five accompanying strictures.
The next big challenge was housing the numerous snakes. The Haffkine Institute used cumbersome, metal boxes with mesh roofs and the Miami Serpentarium used special plastic and fiberglass cases. Neither seemed practical for Madras conditions nor did the cooperative have much money to invest. Rom had seen the snake charmers of Bengal and Maharashtra hold their snakes in earthen pots and that became the ideal “low cost housing”.
In the 1970s, most of the Irula were immobile; if they had to get anywhere they walked. No bicycles or public transport for them. You couldn’t blame them, they were paranoid about being identified and

'Gorewada international zoo project economically not feasible'
The much-talked about Gorewada international zoo project promises to be the signature of the region, however, the state finance department recently made it clear officially that the Rs 720 crore project is not economically feasible. This is in complete variance with the statement by guardian minister Shivajirao Moghe last week in Nagpur that the project would get Rs 200 crore every year from the state.
According to Mantralaya sources, in a recent letter issued to SK Khetarpal, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife), Maharashtra, the finance department made it clear that state government will not share responsibility for the Rs 720 crore needed to implement the zoo project.
The department has said that the Rs 720 crore was the initial cost, and it must have escalated by now and hence the project is economically not viable. "The cost of the project must have gone up to Rs 1,000 crore by now," feels an architectural consultant who was earlier involved with the project.
Now, there is no hope of getting the Rs 200 crore demanded by the zoo in 2011-12. "It will also not be possible to give the said amount in 2012-13," the finance department officials have said.
The finance department feels that the high-profile project will put a burden on the state exchequer even as its financial feasibility has not been established. Besides, the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) approval is also not in place for the project. "The projection of 15 lakh visitors, each approximately paying a gate fee of Rs 1,000 seems to be farfetched," sources to

Zoo raid was lawful

THE Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) had the right to raid Saleng Zoo without a warrant or court order under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716).


State International Trade and Industry, Energy, Water, Communications and Environment committee chairman Tan Kok Hong explained that this was provided under Section 95 of the Act.


He said the zoo owner’s application to renew its licence on April 22 last year had been rejected by Perhilitan’s director-general based on Section 14(1) Grant of Licence and Section 12(3) Application for Licence under the Act.


“The owner’s appeal to the relevant ministry was also rejected and the department was ordered to take immediate action under Section 110(1) of the same Act,” he said in his winding-up speech at the Johor state assembly sitting here at Kota I

Lhinping sibling expected within 10 days

Chiang Mai Zoo has reported celebrity panda Lhinping's mother, Lin Hui, is likely to soon give birth a second time.


A veterinarian from Chulalongkorn University conducted an ultrasound scan, which showed the expansion of her uterus. This means she will probably give birth in about 10 days.


After being artificially inseminated on April 25th, Lin Hui has been lactating and tearing off strips of bamboo to build a home for her offspring. She has also exhibited behavioural and hormonal changes associated with pregnancy.


Lin Hui and a male panda, Chuang Chuang, are

Zero captivity breeding year for Western Tragopan

No breeding of Western Tragopan, an endangered pheasant, has been allowed this year at the Saharan breeding centre, as the birds, weakened by e-coli infection last year, are still to recover from the after effects, a wildlife warden said here.


"It's a zero breeding year because we are first concerned about the health of the in captivity," said AK Gulati, principal chief conservator wildlife. In all, 19 of these rare birds (ten males and nine females) are in captivity at the only breeding centre of its kind in the country under a programme supported by Central Zoo Authority (CZA).


"The infection detected in the birds last year affected their breeding and we decided to give the birds rest this season," said Gulati

Youppi, the one in 10 million orange lobster, avoids boiling pot

He munches on hand-fed shrimp every day, enjoys local celebrity status and will avoid the boiling finish that's coming for his darker-shelled tank mates.


A lucky orange lobster, who looks like he's already been cooked, has beaten massive odds to receive royal treatment at a Quebec supermarket.


The carrot-coloured crustacean is more than a rarity _ only one in roughly 10 million lobsters comes in that shade.


Despite multiple offers, the Trois-Rivieres store has refused to sell Youppi, who's named after the fuzzy orange mascot of the Montreal Expos who now roots for the Canadiens.


The supermarket is trying to find him a permanent home on display in an aquarium, where he could educate the masses.


But until he moves, fishmongers at the IGA supermarket will continue to be his unlikely caretakers, a job they took on when he arrived unceremoniously during a routine delivery some three weeks ago.


Youppi immediately stood out among the greenish-red creatures creeping around the cage.


"I thought someone was playing a


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