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Zoo News Digest
March-April 2011


Director hopes zoo can be saved
A significant increase in revenues earned by Chiang Mai Night Safari during the past year should help it survive an attempt to close the money-losing venture, says Sarawut Srisakura, the zoo's newly appointed director.
Mr Sarawut said he was ready to defend the controversial night zoo before a panel appointed by the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission (OPSDC) to study its future. The panel, formed by the Samak Sundaravej government in 2008, will make a decision early next year on whether to shutter the operation or overhaul its administration.
Chiang Mai Night Safari was launched in 2006 with a budget of 2 billion baht during the tenure of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra . Located on an area of more than 800 rai in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park about 12km from downtown Chiang Mai, the zoo aimed to be the region's biggest night wildlife centre despite protests from local activists.
Over the years, the night zoo has been criticised for the poor conditions provided for animals and reports of wildlife deaths. But the zoo claimed the rate of animal deaths has been cut by 20%. Moreover, the number of animals has doubled to more than 1,800 over five years.
The government provides the Night Safari with a 110-million-baht operating subsidy annually. The zoo has suffered losses during the past five years - but management claims the operation is self-sustaining.
Mr Sarawut said he was confident that an almost 50% increase in the zoo's revenues from the fiscal year 2010 to 2011 would convince the panel that its management plan is sound enough to warrant continued operations.
"We see no reason to close it," Mr Sarawut said. "We are the biggest money maker in the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration [a public organisation to which the

MoEF says trapping and shifting leopards to Bondla zoo is ineffective
Trapping and shifting leopards from human habitations to the Bondla zoo may have been followed like an ideal solution to man-animal conflicts in Goa, but the Union ministry of environment and forests has termed it ineffective.
"The capture and translocation of problem leopards has been a common practice in various parts of the country. However, such measures did not alleviate the intensity of conflict in the affected areas," the ministry said in a statement.
While releasing the guidelines for the first time, on the basis of previous efforts at mitigation of the problem in high-conflict states like Maharashtra, the ministry has suggested a three-pronged strategy to deal with the situation. "These guidelines, the first of its kind from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, are based on consultations with a host of scientists and experts who have worked on the issue, and various scientific studies and reports," the statement explains.
Citing recent studies, the ministry has stated that most leopards, like other large carnivores, do not attack humans, but conflicts arise when they target domestic animals and livestock, which results in economic losses to local communities. The conflict reaches a point of severity when the leopards start preying on children and enter homes at night.
A forest official said several instances of leopards entering habitated areas have been reported in Sarzora and Dramapur area in the recent past. "Many Dhangar families rear goats but they keep them in the open as they have no stables and they are preyed upon by leopards," the source said.
But trapping them for translocation is not a solution to the problem. "It has been rightly pointed out that leopards are territorial animals. If one is removed, it may create a vacuum and three other animals may try at the same time to fill it up," assistant conservator

A hellhole called Alipore zoo
The city zoo, which Union environment and forest minister Jairam Ramesh has dubbed “overcrowded”, flouts several conditions laid down in a central notification to ensure proper upkeep of animals.
Zoo director Raju Das begs to differ but a comparison between the Centre’s prescription and the reality lays bare how cramped the Alipore facility is.
The 2009 notification of the environment and forest ministry states that a “large” zoo must have 75 hectares for 750 animals of 75 species, or 0.1 hectare for every animal on an average.
The Alipore zoo, in contrast, has only 18 hectares for as many as 1,300 animals of 130 species. The space for each inmate — 0.013 hectare — is at least 10 times less than the norm.
As for large mammals, the Central Zoo Authority prescribes around 1,000sq m for a pair of tigers and lions and 2,000sq m for a pair of rhinos and hippos. Going by the benchmark, the 22 animals of the four species the Alipore zoo has should get around 14,000sq m of enclosure space. The actual allotment is a lot less.
Moving on to the “qualitative” aspects, the ministry norms state that the animals should be kept “in naturalistic settings” and the zoo authorities must ensure that the “animals are not unduly disturbed”.
“Each animal enclosure shall have appropriate shelters, perches, withdrawal areas, pools, drinking water points and such other facilities which can provide the animals a chance to display the wide range of their natural behaviour as well as protect them from extremes of climate,” the ministry notification states.
The settings for the animals at the city zoo are anything but “naturalistic”, the enclosures bereft of most of the facilities that could make the inmates feel at home.
Union minister Ramesh’s suggestion to shift some of the larger animals to give them, and the rest, some breathing space is unlikely to be implemented following problems over land acquisition.
Director Das, who denied while talking to Metro recently that the zoo was overcrowded, said: “The Central Zoo Authority has asked us to decongest the zoo and shift some animals to a satellite facility. The relocation, however, will be difficult as the government had faced problems acquiring land in Bhagawanpur

Bungled Shark Tagging Leads to Infighting
Photographs showing a raw festering wound on a shark that was hooked and released by researchers at the Farallon Islands in late 2009 have surfaced, igniting questions about a controversial tagging process and setting the shark research community aflame with accusations and counterattacks.
The images depict “Junior,” a great white shark that San Diego marine biologist Michael Domeier fitted with a “SPOT” tag and released on Oct. 29, 2009. During the procedure, which involved bringing the shark aboard a floating platform, the shark was accidentally hooked in the throat. Researchers performed an impromptu surgery using bolt clippers inserted through one of its gill slits to cut the hook, part of which was left in the animal’s throat when the scientists let it go. They also bolted a Smart Position or Temperature Transmitting (SPOT) satellite tag to the shark’s dorsal fin.
Junior was caught, tagged, and released within the boundaries of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, a federal zone where white shark protections include a prohibition on approaching within 164 feet of one of the animals. Though multiple scientists warned that Domeier’s hands-on approach to tagging great whites could injure such large, heavy fish, federal and state officials jointly green-lighted the project.
Questions immediately arose about Junior’s health following Domeier’s tagging operation. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials who oversaw Domeier’s permit assuaged concerns that the shark might have been seriously wounded.

Sea of shrinking sharks
DIVERS' logs in Sabah are beginning to show fewer sharks. "In 1996/97 when I first came here, we did a lot of surveys to see what the issues and problems were and what we could do about them," says marine biologist Steve Oakley.
"In December last year and January this year, a group did a lot of dives around Sabah. We have taken their information as well as information from dive resorts around the coasts and have come up with a picture of how many sharks have been lost."
According to Oakley, who set up the Green Connection Aquarium in Kota Kinabalu, a staggering 98% of the sharks that had been recorded from 1996 have been lost.
A quick Google search revealed that Malaysia is ranked among the top 10 countries in the world that contribute to the depletion of sharks.
Both the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) have determined that sharks need protection. Many countries including the US (Hawaii) have imposed a ban on shark fishing.
Over the past few years, the campaign has picked

Buddy's Pizza delivers for Detroit Zoo animals
Detroit Zoo animals will receive an extraordinary treat on Wednesday, April 27, 2011, when Buddy’s Pizza delivers specially created “enrichment pizzas”. Prepared in collaboration with the Zoo’s animal welfare staff, the pies will be topped with such culinary delights as fish, peanut butter, bones, bugs and worms.
The special delivery kick's off a multi-year agreement between the Detroit Zoological Society and Buddy’s Pizza recognizing the restaurant group as “Proud Pizza Partner of the Detroit Zoo”.
Detroit Zoo visitors are invited to watch the animals devour their pizzas at the following times:
9:30 a.m. – polar bears (tundra) – giant pizza with fish and peanut butter.
10 a.m. – snow monkeys – personal pan pizzas with cereal, honey,

National Zoo hosts Easter Monday tradition for black families, dating back to 1890s
The National Zoo is hosting an Easter Monday event for African-American families that dates back almost as far as the White House Easter Egg Roll.
The free gathering Monday runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It includes an Easter egg hunt, games and a visit from the "Easter panda." There will be gospel performances, a Caribbean and reggae band and other performers.
The zoo exhibits will include 56 different talks with animal keepers and demonstrations and feedings of the cheetahs, gorillas, elephants and other animals.
The zoo has been hosting the Easter Monday event since

This giant python was not handed to Perhilitan
As report in the local Chinese papers, this 26-feet long python was not handed to Malaysia animal welfare and protection authorities, Perhilitan. Python is a protected wildlife and permit is needed to keep and breed the snake.
This giant python can swallow an adult man in the wild.
Anyway, I have alerted Perhilitan about this incident

Edinburgh Zoo holds crisis meeting over suspensions
Edinburgh Zoo chiefs are to hold a crisis meeting with members over the suspension of two senior executives.
More than 20 members have demanded an extraordinary general meeting, which will be held on Thursday 12 May at 1930 BST, in the zoo's education centre.
Fears have been mounting that management upheaval will put the lucrative deal to bring two pandas from China to the zoo at risk.
However the zoo has said the £6m deal was

Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Program Recognized For Propagation Achievements
The San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research has received the 2011 Plume Award for long-term avian propagation programs for its work with critically endangered Hawaiian birds. The award was given in March by the Avian Scientific Advisory Group (ASAG) during a session at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) conference.
The Zoo's Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Program (HEBCP) is a species recovery effort in collaboration with the State of Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The program uses captive breeding and reintroduction to prevent extinction and promote species recovery through the reestablishment or augmentation of existing bird populations. Its restoration activities provide a strategy to preserve options while habitat is secured and the plummeting populations of wild birds are managed and stabilized. The HEBCP manages two captive breeding facilities: the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center (on the Big Island of Hawaii) and the Maui Bird Conservation Center.
"Our awards committee was overwhelmed with the amazing projects submitted for the Plume awards this year," said Steve Sarro, director of animal programs at the National Aviary and coordinator of the ASAG Plume Award judging committee. "We felt the efforts being made to save Hawaii's birds, and the attention to repairing the ecosystems

Walkers protest ban move at zoo
The Sanjay Gandhi Biological park here was witness to an unpleasant scene on Tuesday morning as the strollers protested the proposed ban on walking at the park. A huge crowd gathered at the main entrance of the zoo shouting slogans against the government and the zoo authorities.
Balram Singh, a 65-year-old regular at the zoo, said, "We have been coming here since ages. This decision would be the worst that the present government can take." The government, it seems, wanted only the elite to come here, and bar the commoners, said a protester, adding "we will take up the matter with the CM and appeal against Modiji`s decision."
"There is no need to panic. The whole process of introduction of passes will take

Zoo helps to save endangered species
A team of biologists and students spent the better part of a recent Friday tagging 150 endangered frogs before they were released into the wild.
For over a decade the Greater Vancouver Zoo has been involved with the recovery project of the Oregon Spotted Frog, since this species was declared endangered in 1999.
The biologists marked the frogs for identification and tracking purposes, and then released the sub-adults back into the wild.
The frogs were once abundant in the Pacific Northwest, ranging from southwestern B.C. to the northern tip of California. The Oregon Spotted Frog population in B.C. is estimated to be less than 350 breeding individuals in 2010, and is now restricted to three scattered wetland locations in the Fraser River Lowlands.
Environment Canada biologist Rene McKibbin said the frogs were “common everywhere in the 1960s” but development and habitat changes have drastically reduced their numbers.
However, “They have started

It doesn't say Volunteer in the blurb so I reckon it's okay. Take a look at:
This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of a real Rhino Game Capture on a Reserve in South Africa. These opportunities are rare and extremely exciting!

Twin polar bear cubs find a mother in breeders

Twin polar bear cubs were introduced to the cameras on Monday at a wildlife park in northeast China's Liaoning Province.


The bear cubs, a male and a female, were rejected by their mother just hours after they were delivered and have been hand reared by staff at the Dalian Laohutan Ocean Park for the past three months.


The cubs' parents were gifts from Finland to China in 2001.


Four hours after the cubs were delivered, their mother stopped nursing them and left them on the cement floor.


Experts at the park decided to remove the cubs and rear them by hand.


In the wild, a mother bear will pick the stronger baby to feed, and leave the other to test its luck.


Breeders at the park's Pole Aquarium candidly expressed their love for the bear cubs.


"At the time of emergency treatment, the baby bear's heartbeat stopped. I sat there and burst into tears. We three breeders all cried. While crying, I felt that

Rare African elephant euthanized

Offiacls at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk said an elderly female elephant that had been suffering from several debilitating ailments has been euthanized.


Officials who've been watching the deteriorating neurologic function, trunk coordination and muscle mass of Monica, the 38-year-old African elephant, decided to euthanize her 7 p.m. Tuesday, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday.


"It was a heart-wrenching decision, but her quality of life changed significantly this week, and we didn't want her to suffer," Greg Bockheim, executive director of the Virginia Zoo, said in a release. "Monica lost interest in socializing with staff and other elephants, and experienced further deterioration of both her mental and physical

Road-building plans threaten Indonesian tigers

Indonesia is preparing to greenlight the construction of several highways through a park that has one of the world's few viable populations of wild tigers, conservationists warned Thursday.


The move would be especially alarming, they said, because it would come just months after the government signed a deal in Russia promising to do everything possible to save the iconic big cats from extinction.


There are about 3,500 tigers left in the wild worldwide. The Kerinci Seblat National Park, which spans four provinces on Sumatra island, is home to an estimated 190 of them — more than in China, Vietnam, Nepal, Laos and Cambodia combined.


"We need to do everything possible to stop this," said Mahendra Shrestha of Save the Tigers in Washington D.C. "It would be disastrous to one of the core tiger habitats in Asia."


The plans for four roads through the park would open up previously inaccessible land to villagers and illegal loggers, divide breeding grounds and movement corridors, and destroy vulnerable ecosystems.


Shrestha said it makes a "mockery" of the agreement signed by 13 countries that still have wild tigers to preserve and enhance critical habitats as part of efforts to double populations by 2002.


The 1.4-million hectare Kerinci Seblat park, which is divided by the Barisan mountain range and fringed by oil palm plantations as far as the eye can see, also is home to critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros, elephants, clouded leopards, sun bears

Two-headed tortoise takes on tipster role

Following in the 'footsteps' of Paul the oracle octopus, a rare two-headed tortoise has embarked on a new career in predicting results at the upcoming ice hockey World Championship in Slovakia.


Magdalena the African spurred tortoise will try to replicate the success of Paul, who rose to fame by correctly predicting the outcome of eight successive matches at last year's soccer World Cup in South Africa.


Magdalena's first attempt was in line with bookmakers, predicting hosts Slovakia would beat outsiders Slovenia in the championship's opening match Friday.


Born in the northern Slovak town of Zilina in March with the genetic defect of having two heads, Magdalena makes the picks by mov

The Gharial - Our river guardian - A factsheet prepared by the Ministry of Environment and Forests

This factsheet on the Gharial is prepared by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF). The Gharial is a river crocodile endemic to the Indian sub-continent. It was found in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma and Bhutan, but is now extinct in these countries. Today, it is seen in a few places in Nepal. In India the major population of Gharials is found in the Girwa and Chambal rivers. It faces many threats to its survival which include fishing, linking of rivers, large irrigation canals etc. This brochure is an attempt to provide information on this specie's. There are also suggestions as to the direction the efforts for the protection of the Gharial should take.


The Gharial is touted to be the most unique of crocodiles because it has evolved into a river inhabiting fish eater. The reason this crocodile is called Gharial is because of the bulbous ‘ghara’ on the tip of the male snout. In Hindu mythology, it is the vehicle of the goddess Ganga and of the water god Varuna. These animals nest between March and May. The females lay 60 eggs and these hatch in 90 days.


The Gharial is listed in the IUCN Red List of endangered

Are Dolphins Too Smart for Captivity?

In 1998, a team of researchers marked the foreheads, backs, and flippers of a pair of show dolphins with triangles and circles, then placed a mirror in their tank. The two dolphins swam to it and immediately began checking out their new tattoos, which were on areas of their bodies they couldn't normally see, thereby demonstrating that they could recognize their own reflections—a test of self-awareness that only chimpanzees and humans had passed at the time. The finding was a breakthrough in dolphin research and a milestone in the field of animal cognition. But it also sowed an uncomfortable seed in the minds of some researchers: If dolphins are as self-aware as people, how can we keep them locked up in concrete pens? Some researchers have since launched a crusade to free all dolphins from captivity. But they

Unnatural selection: what is killing America's mammals?

Death becomes all living things.


But the manner in which they die can tell us a lot about how they lived, and the pressures of life they faced.


It can also help reveal what forces are at work in shaping the ecology and future of different species.


So if I was to ask you what is the single largest killer of animals, what would you answer?


Other animals would be a good guess, as would disease, or maybe old age.


But for the large mammals of North America – the answer is different, and to me, quite shocking.


This week I’ve just learnt a startling statistic – the biggest killer of large and medium sized mammals across North America is…




Humans kill more deer, antelope, raccoons, skunks, porcupines, bobcats and coyotes, among others, than any other cause, including predation, starvation, weather, disease and natural causes including age, accident or developmental defects.


What’s more, humans kill more large mammals in North America than all other causes put together.


It’s obviously impossible to monitor how each mammal on the continent lives and dies.


So how can such significant a claim be made?


The statistics come from a piece of science just completed by Christopher Collins and Roland Kays from the New York

Calf bashing video raises stakes on MN bill

Last week a video from an undercover investigation by Mercy for Animals publicized on the internet and in news stories across the country showed workers at a Texas dairy cow facility bludgeoning calves to death with hammers and pick axes. The owner of the E6 Cattle company in Hart, Tex, this week explained that the calves were being euthanized because they had suffered frostbite. Still, the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the National Milk Producers Federation said such animal cruelty is unacceptable.


Why does that matter here in Minnesota?


Because Minnesota is one of four states to considering legislation that would make it illegal to make audio or video recordings at an animal facility without permission. It's an industry-led backlash against undercover videos like these made by animal rights groups that have exposed cases of alleged mistreatment. A similar video

New UA Center to Help Wild Cats Worldwide

Dedicated to studying and protecting the world's wild cats, the UA Wild Cat Research and Conservation Center is the latest addition to the UA's School of Natural Resources and the Environment, which is part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.


Of the 36 species of wild cats that roam the jungles, deserts, mountains and everything in between, 23 (or subspecies of them) are listed as vulnerable, threatened or endangered.


Understanding and conserving wild cats, while promoting vibrant human-wildlife communities, is the mission of the UA Wild Cat Research and Conservation Center.


"Wild cats are cool and beautiful, but more importantly, they are absolutely critical to the functioning of the Earth's ecosystems. Cats are top predators, even the small ones. They keep everything in balance," said Lisa Haynes, who founded the center with several colleagues, including Melanie Culver, a world

Big animals aid humane society

Participants can meet tigers, apes, elephant


For the third year in a row, some big pets at an area animal preserve will assist in a fundraiser for helping smaller, homeless pets in Myrtle Beach.


Myrtle Beach Safari will play host Sunday to the third annual T.I.G.E.R.S. (The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species) Event for the Grand Strand Humane Society.


Sandy Brown, executive director of the humane society, said guests will have up-close access and interaction with large animals such as tiger cubs, apes and Bubbles the African elephant, all at the preserve.


Changes made for the 2011 fundraiser include welcoming children ages 12 and older, and discounting the ticket price - two adults pay $200 - "in the hopes that more people can enjoy the event," said Brown. She said space might be available for 160 participants.


The tour includes "the experience of holding a tiger or lion cub," Brown said, and having photos taken of such encounters.


"Everybody gets really excited about that," she said.


Seeing a tiger show in "theater-style seating" through large windows

Saving The Cats

Far East Russia is home to both the Amur tiger and the Amur leopard. While the tigers population has somewhat held for a while, the leopards has fallen to under 40 and is critically endangered. Dale Miquelle the Director of WCS Russia was kind enough to answer these questions:

What are the most recent wild population numbers for the Amur Tigers?

(DM)Last count was 2005 - 430-502 animals was the estimate.


What is an aspect of Amur tiger conservation that is unique to this


species of feline rather that in trying to save a lion for example?


Because productivity of the land is so low compared to other places where tigers live, prey densities are naturally low, and consequently, each tiger needs much more land than, say, your average Bengal tiger. Average adult Siberian female home ranges are at least 400 km2, vs about 20 km for Bengal females. Hence to save a population of tigers of any given size requires about 20 times more land in Russia, than India, for instance.

What has been the most recent road block in tiger conservation, and do you honestly feel the recent Tiger Summit will help with this?

Poaching of tigers, prey and their habitat are the biggest issues, and these issues can only be solved at the national level. Getting national-level commitment to tiger conservation is therefore key, and hence the Summit has a great potential to increase focus of national governments on tiger conservation.

Is there a magic number on Amur tigers that would result of you all
saying: ok, we did our job close shop they will be fine, or will we
always need to be involved in their conservation?

Unfortunately, no such magic number exists. As long as humans are continuing to exploit and convert land and natural resources, there will be continuous threats to tigers and all species. We can only hope to transfer responsibility for conservation to the next generation, and do our best to minimize losses and acquire gains whenever possible.

Why did you personally get involved to save an animal that you may
never or very seldom see in the wild, and is also an animal that could
kill humans?

Tigers are an iconic species. If we cannot save tigers from extinction, we need to ask whether we can save our selves. So, in a very real sense, you can say, if we save tigers, perhaps we get to keep the planet.

Most cats have to deal with human encroachment and how we will
deal with the (taboo subject it seems) global population rising so
quickly and our usage of natural resources, do the Amur tigers even in
their remote location have to factor this in?

Russia has the lowest population density of any country where tigers currently exist, so population density per se is not the threat it is in other countries. But in nearby China, recovery of tigers will be hampered by the high densities of villages here.

Is there any current legislation pending that may hurt or benefit the
tigers that the average person should know about? Is there anything the average American can learn from other countries in regards to tiger or feline conservation?

Russia has a system of protected areas called zapovedniks, which do not allow entry by anyone except forest guards and the occasional researcher. Such a system is unheard in most western countries. But creating lands that are truly free of human impact is a lesson worth considering by any country.


The recent ratified Federal Tiger Conservation Program and the associated Action Plan lay out details of what ne

Aqua Marine Fukushima Aquarium: 7 weeks after the disaster

Over the last 50 years the Vancouver Aquarium has developed enduring international ties with some of Japan’s greatest aquariums. Building upon a foundation of common fascination for our aquatic world our relationships have grown from formal agreements to strong friendships. Our geographical position on the Pacific coast has allowed us to travel back and forth frequently, sharing our expertise and discoveries on everything from jellies to coelacanths, and exhibit technology to conservation programming.


The Vancouver Aquarium was devastated by the news of the recent earthquake and tsunami that has caused such terrible destruction in Japan. It is our understanding that all visitors and staff at the various aquariums during the event survived the ordeal and fortunately most of the large aquariums in Japan were shaken but not severely damaged. However this was not the case for all of them. The Fukushima Aquarium, with whom we have a very close working relationship sharing both programs and strategy, was hit directly by the tsunami causing damage and total failure of its life support systems. A few surviving animals were transferred to other facilities but many perished. Compounding the recovery has been the loss of fresh water and electricity supplies and the spectre of radiation contamination as the nuclear power plants are just 55 km away and suffering failure.


To help provide some support to our impacted colleagues at Fukushima, the Aquarium dedicated $1 from every general admission from March 18th to 25th. During this period we were able to raise $18,295. To provide moral support, and to see the extent of the damage and recovery progress to date, staff from the Vancouver Aquarium - Clint Wright, SVP& GM and Takuji Oyama, Senior aquarist – took a day trip to the Fukushima Aquarium last weekend to meet with the director Yoshitake Abe. Following

Zoo not for polar bears

Re: ''Activists, zoo polarised over enclosure'' (BP, Apr 24). ACRES urges Chiang Mai Zoo to reconsider its decision to house polar bears as its new attraction. Studies have shown that polar bears are poor candidates for captivity, and Thailand's tropical climate is totally unsuitable for polar bears!


The zoo's arguments for having polar bears are fundamentally flawed.


The zoo states that ''the project is part of an attempt to save the species from extinction, as their natural habitat is threatened by climate change''.


Polar bears are indeed threatened by climate change and their habitat is disappearing fast. Any efforts to save polar bears from extinction, however, should be focused on protecting their habitat, fighting climate change and reducing our carbon emissions.


Chiang Mai Zoo needs to clarify how spending 200,000 baht on electricity bills for the upcoming polar bear enclosure _ thereby contributing to climate change _ will help save polar bears. Is this not contradictory to the zoo's message with regard to urging its visitors to cut their carbon emissions?


The zoo states, ''We have done everything to follow the Association of Zoo and Aquarium's guidelines, especially on natural habitats.'' The zoo needs to clarify if it is indeed following international standards to ensure optimal welfare for the polar bears.


ACRES understands that the enclosure being built in Chiang Mai Zoo measures 135 square metres with a pool area of 23 square metres. This is a far cry from the minimum enclosure size of 500 square metres and a minimum pool area 70 square metres as recommended by the Association of Zoo and Aquarium

'Tiger Valley' to open at end of year

Nature lovers can watch tigers roaming in their natural habitat when the Pahang government opens its Tiger Valley' at the Klau Forest Reserve in Temerloh at the end of the year.


State Tourism, Arts and Heritage Committee chairman Datuk Shafiq Fauzan Sharif said the project would be an open-zoo concept using facilities that were already available "with some new twists for added value."


The state government received RM3.2mil from the Tourism Ministry to roll out the project under the 10th Malaysia Plan.


"Although it is based on an open-zoo concept, there is still a need for it to be fenced.


"But it will be huge enough for the wild animals to roam freely. It will be back to nature for the animals as that is where they are supposed to be, not living in a cages,'' Shafiq told The Star yesterday.


He added that the "Tiger Valley" would have facilities for visitors to watch the animals from a safe distance, such as a viewing tower and specially-built walkways.


Shafiq said the Wildlife and National Parks Department

REGION: Complaint lodged in endangered frog case

An environmental group has filed notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to develop a recovery plan for the Southern California mountain yellow-legged frog, now in its ninth year on the federal endangered species list.


About 200 adult frogs remain in the San Bernardino, San Jacinto and San Gabriel mountains, where they were once numerous.


Scientists with the San Diego Zoo and U.S. Geological Survey have worked aggressively in the past few years to breed the frogs in a laboratory and return them to the wild in hopes of increasing the population.


Lack of a recovery plan -- a road map of steps required under the Endangered Species Act to save a plant or animal from extinction -- has made the work more difficult, said Adam Backlin, a USGS ecologist working on the frog breeding project.


"A plan is developed and agreed on by people with varying degrees of expertise. Once it's in place, there's a greater comfort level to take action. Without it, there are questions about whether what you want to do makes sense," he said.


Jane Hendron, spokeswoman for Fish and Wildlife's Carlsbad office, said she could not comment on pending litigation.


But she said her agency has been working with its partners, including the zoo, USGS, U.S. Forest Service and California Fish and Game to improve prospects for the frog through captive breeding, by limiting recreation that harms habitat and by clearing non-native trout from streams.


The agency, however, has a limited budget and time, and first must meet court-ordered deadlines brought by numerous lawsuits over endangered species listings before it can move on to developing

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo and KidZania host conservation initiatives on Earth Day 2011

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo and KidZania at The Dubai Mall marked the global Earth Day on April 22, 2011 to raise awareness on the need to take concrete action on climate change. A box for recycling mobile phones was placed at the entrance of Underwater Zoo encouraging visitors to recycle their phones, while KidZania, the first of its kind edutainment concept in the entire region, joined hands with DEWA to celebrate Earth Day. As a key marketing partner, DEWA is hosting an Earth Day special event until April 28.


Gordon White, General Manager at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, managed by Emaar Retail LLC, said, "We are committed to undertaking tangible initiatives that help make a difference and promote the sustainable development initiatives in the UAE. We tailored several activities to mark Earth Day, which helped strengthen public awareness on the key environmental challenges faced by humanity today and inspire our visitors to become active partners in climate change initiatives."


To involve the little ones in the Earth Day celebrations, presentations on

Juvenile Male Markhor Briefly Escapes at Zoo

A juvenile male markhor briefly escaped Wednesday morning at the zoo at Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure west of Salina.


According to Rolling Hills, their Emergency Response Team had an opportunity to use their skills when the markhor, a member of the big horned wild goat family, escaped his enclosure.


According to the facility, as is often the case, the wild goat immediately wanted back in to the enclosure where his twin sister waited.


The zoo's emergency response team was called to action and the incident was treated as a "code red" to provide

Giant panda wildlife training improved

Giant pandas raised at the Wolong Nature Reserve in southwest China's Sichuan Province will have greater opportunities to get back to nature this year.


One of the reserve's pandas, a giant panda named Cao Cao, was moved to a larger, more challenging training area with her cub in February of this year. Their wildlife training program began last August.


"This means giant pandas bred in captivity will be able to experience more of the 'real' wilderness environment," said Huang Yan, a panda expert with the Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in Wolong.


The new training area is located 3,000 meters above sea level, higher than the previous training area. Pandas in the new training area are required to forage for food themselves, as the research center will suspend food supplies after the pandas are moved, according to Huang.


"This does not mean that they are being abandoned," Huang

Is it too late to save the polar bear?

It’s sad but true that life is getting harder for polar bears due to global warming.


Polar bears live within the Arctic Circle and feed primarily on ringed seals. The bears’ feeding strategy involves swimming from the mainland to and between offshore ice floes, poaching seals as they come up to breathe at holes in the ice.


But climate change is heating up the atmosphere and substantial amounts of offshore sea ice are melting. The result is that bears must swim farther and farther out to sea in search of ice floes; some expend all of their energy in doing so and end up drowning. Scientists first noticed this deadly phenomenon in 2004 when they noticed four drowned polar bears in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s North Slope.


More recently, researchers from the United States Geological Survey fitted several Alaskan polar bears with tracking collars to find out the extent of their travels and document how much trouble they are having hunting in a warmer Arctic. One of

Major ivory seizures in Thailand, China and Viet Nam

Three significant ivory seizures this April provide further insight into the markets being targeted by organized crime syndicates smuggling elephant ivory from Africa to Asia.


Chinese media yesterday reported one of the largest ivory seizures in recent years—a staggering 707 tusks, 32 ivory bracelets and a rhino horn—found during a routine inspection of a large truck at a toll station on a highway in Guangxi, China, just a few kilometers from the border with Viet Nam.


The seizure comes hot on the heels of 247 tusks seized by Customs in Thailand concealed in a consignment of frozen fish from Kenya on 1st April, while yesterday, media in Viet Nam reported police had confiscated another 122 ivory tusks from a warehouse in Mong Cai, a port in north-east Viet Nam, right on the border with China.


“The enforcement authorities in all these cases are




Would we still be fishing bluefin tuna if they were as cute as pandas?
If bluefin tuna were as cute and cuddly as giant pandas, maybe governments would be a little more prompt to protect them. With this in mind, the marine conservation group Sea Shepherd launched an awareness-raising campaign titled: “When you see a Bluefin Tuna, think Panda", featuring a series of bloody fishing scenes where the tunas have been replaced by the black and white bears. Wildlife conservation group WWF launched a similar campaign, featuring bluefins wearing various endangered species masks.

Mary the elephant has large abdominal tumors

The Little Rock Zoo is sad to announce that its beloved elephant, Mary, has been diagnosed with inoperable tumors in her abdominal area.


Elephant care expert, Dr. Dennis Schmitt of Missouri State University, was called to Little Rock after Mary was showing signs of lethargy. Dr. Schmitt confirmed the terminal diagnosis.


Zoo veterinarian, Dr. Marilynn Baeyens, says that tests also confirm the presence of carcinoma cells and added that the tumors are likely the result of Mary's old age.


Baeyens describes Mary's condition as "touch and go." Mary will be treated with medicine to ease discomfort and will be closely monitored by Zoo staff. She is still eating, playing in the mud and with enrichment items, and can be seen on exhibit.


Even though Mary is 60-years-old and has already outlived many of her captive counterparts, her diagnosis is still difficult news for Zoo staff. Elephant keepers have a strong bond with their elephants and Mary's keepers are no different.


Mary is an important member

The worst zoo I ever saw

I feel sorry for my Harari friends.


During my stay in Harar, Ethiopia, they were so hospitable, so eager to ensure I had a 100% positive impression of their city and country. For the most part I did, and I left for the capital Addis Ababa with lots of great things to say about Ethiopia.


They should have warned me not to visit the Lion Zoo in Addis Ababa.


It's billed as a natural wonder, where you can see rare Ethiopian black-maned lions descended from the pride that was kept in Haile Selassie's palace. In reality, it's a sad display of animal cruelty and neglect.


The lions, primates, and other animals are kept in undersized cages with bare concrete floors. They look bored, flabby, resigned. Several of them look sick. Visitors shout at the listless animals or even throw pebbles to get them to move. Some toss packets of chocolate or potato chips to the monkeys and laugh as they tear the packages apart to get to the food inside.


The worst are the lions, proud carnivores, kings of the wilderness, reduced to trapped objects of amusement for bored city dwellers who don't give a shit about nature. The lions lie around most of the time, doing nothing. Occasionally one will get its feet, shake its dirty mane, take a few steps

Bolivia to ‘make world history’ by granting rights to Mother Nature

Bolivia is preparing to pass a new law that could lead to citizens challenging environmental destruction in court.


A Ley de Derechos de la Madre Tierra (The Law of Mother Earth) would grant nature the same rights as humans, according to The Guardian.


The country will establish 11 new rights for nature, including: the right to exist, the right to continue natural cycles, the right to clean water and air, the right to be free of pollution, and the right not to have cellular structures altered or genetically modified.


The law will also give nature the right "to not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities."


"It makes world history," Bolivian Vice-President Alvaro García Linera said. "Earth is the mother of all."


"It establishes a new relationship between man and nature, the harmony

Thai Customs Seize 175 Smuggled Anteaters

On Wednesday, Thai customs officers confiscated about 175 pangolins smuggled from Malaysia worth more than $66,000.


The pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, were kept in nets and cages.


Officials say they were hidden in a pick-up truck to be sold in third-party countries.


Customs officials have confiscated smuggled shipments of endangered animals four times in less than two months.


[Prosong Poothanet, Director General, Thai Customs Office]:


"Nowadays, custom officers focus on prevention of drugs and banned wildlife trade. We can often arrest them. We hope they will stop. If they try to sell them, but cannot make any profit, they might stop one day.”


Pangolins are mostly found in Southeast Asia where some people believe that its meat and blood can enhance sexual power.


The seized pangolins will be sent to a reh

Mad about the bear: why are we fascinated by pandas?

With a breeding pair set to take residence at Edinburgh Zoo, our reporter meets a man who says there's more to it than just looking like a real-life cuddly toy


SO, WHAT'S black and white and has got us far more excited than the Royal Wedding ever could? It's got to be the giant panda, or more specifically a particular breeding pair of giant pandas. Since it was confirmed that this other royal couple – Tian Tian and Yangguang – are to take up residence at Edinburgh Zoo, the pair have barely been out of the headlines.


Why do these beasts elicit such excitement and curiosity? Why, when Edinburgh Zoo is already home to a spectacular array of lions and tigers and bears (oh my) are these animals guaranteed to get the turnstiles spinning at record speeds?


Author Henry Nicholls will attempt to answer these questions in his talk, The Way of the Panda, as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival this evening. Nicholls, a panda expert, is fascinated by our fascination with pandas and will set out to explore the political and historical significance of these real-life cuddly toys, whose story incorporates politics, corruption, death and scandal.


Indeed everything but – if one of the many myths surrounding them is to be believed – sex.


Pandas have a rather undeserved reputation for being bad at bonking.


Then there's the fact that, thanks in part to a freak gene that means they probably can't taste flesh, they're carnivores who only eat bamboo. As such, the average panda has to spend half its day sitting around munching on bamboo in order to ingest enough calories. In short, the panda seems to be something of an evolutionary folly.


So why, when this celibate vegetarian appears to be unwilling to play its own part in the propagation of the species, do we revere it above all other endangered animals? "Of course, there are the basic aesthetic explanations," explains Nicholls. "There's the baby-like body proportions, the big round eyes and fluffy ears, the fact that they're quite playful, particularly when they're young, that they're not fierce. But there are loads of other creatures which have never reached the appeal of this one, so that begs the question 'why the panda?' I think it's for a series of historical quirks. A sequence of historical events propelled the panda into quite a formidable cultural position. There's a whole series of events, but history could just have been different, and then we wouldn't revere the panda as we do."


One such pivotal event was the communist party coming to power in 1949 in the People's Republic of China. They were looking to create a national symbol for the new modern China, and needed something which was strongly, identifiably Chinese, but with no connections to the country's imperial past. With all evidence suggesting that humans have been aware of the giant panda's existence for less than 150 years, it seemed like a perfect choice.


"The panda was only formally discovered in 1869 and there is no artistic rendition of it until the 20th century," says Nicholls. "This was very important for the story of the panda because it had no associations with imperial China. It was already obvious that it looks great, and the fact that it was rare and difficult to spot meant that there was a sense of allure around this mysterious creature, this big, big mammal that you can't see."


It wasn't just the communist party who decided to take the panda on as their symbol. In the 1960s, the West got on board when the panda became the symbol of the World Wildlife Fund. Ironically, they didn't choose the animal because it was endangered – at that point no-one really knew that it was – but primarily because it was beautiful, eye-catching, and black-and-white, therefore perfect for printing on their literature.


Indeed it was 18 years before the charity engaged in any panda work.


Advertisers quickly got on board too. The panda's image has been used to sell electronic goods, fizzy drinks, biscuits, liquorice and cigarettes.


Among other reasons given by scientists as to why we are so obsessed with this particular creature is that they remind us of ourselves. They have a special "pseudo thumb

Zoo's rhino heading to Japan for breeding

A white rhinoceros at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo will be moving to a safari park in Japan on Monday.


Zoo director Joe Clawson said “Tank,” a 4,000-pound rhino, has been a resident of the zoo since 2008.


“We have to say bon voyage to our good friend, Tank,” Clawson said. He said Tank had been at the zoo on loan to give him time to grow up.


“He is now going to Japan, along with a new girlfriend, to start a genetic line in that country,” Clawson said. He said most animals that are born in zoos will live their entire lives in zoos.


Clawson said to help control the animal population, zoos must manage how and when animals reproduce. Of great importance is the genetics. Zoos keep stud books, a record of the genealogy of all the animals in collection. They can use these books to look up how closely related animals a

Company in America launches Taser 'bear stun gun'

The company that makes Tasers has unveiled a version of the device designed for use on large animals.


It can temporarily incapacitate mammals like bears and moose and is designed to increase the safety of wildlife workers and park rangers.


The $2,000 (£1,250) Wildlife Taser has a range of up to 35ft (10m) and can fire three shots without reloading.


Taser says the new device will save lives by reducing the need to use guns to kill or tranquilize.


"It is designed to incapacitate larger animals more effectively and safer than current animal control tools," said Rick Smith, CEO of Taser International.


The laser-sighted weapon is based on the company's most advanced police Taser, the X3, but is optimised to work on large animals with thick hides.


Like other Tasers, it delivers an electric shock by shooting two electrode darts attached to conductive wires.


The subject's motor nerves are immediately affected and the brain is unable to send signals to the muscles until the charge is turned off.


Tests in Alaska, and an incident in Oregon involving a trapped elk, suggest that the device is effective in subduing large animals.


Police use of Tasers on humans

GVI Gains Unique Access to Panda Project in China

A new volunteer project has been established to help conserve the last remaining Qinling pandas, a subspecies of the giant panda. According to WWF China, there are only around 200-300 of the Qinling panda left in the wild following the destruction of habitat, a lack of conservation resources, and poaching.


There have been grave concerns over the future of the species as China continues its rapid economic development. The Western China Development Programme in particular is expected to increase the pressure on the survival of the remaining pandas in the area. The Qinling panda population is especially fragile, since it is distributed in a separate mountain range with little connection to others.


However those intent on preventing the extinction of the giant panda have made some progress. In late 2002, the Shaanxi provincial government officially sanctioned five new panda reserves and five panda corridors to link panda populations, increasing protected areas in Qinling by 130,000 hectares (Source: There are now over 30 giant panda reserves in China, protecting

Elephant meat for hungry prisoners

PRISONERS in the country’s overcrowded jails may soon be fed with elephant meat if a proposal by the Justice and Legal Affairs ministry to curb the shortage of protein in prisons is accepted by government.


The ministry is proposing the culling of the “over-populated” elephants and supply the meat to prisons where inmates have had meals without meat for years. The country’s prison dietary requirements are said to be far below international standards and what is required by the law. Inmates alternate sadza with cabbages or beans as their main meal.


Unconfirmed reports were that prisoners had gone for four years without meat.


In an interview last week, Deputy Minister of Justice Obert Gutu said while “things have slightly improved in the prisons and prisoners are getting three meals a day”, there were still limitations in terms of the dietary requirements.


“The meals do not meet the approved dietary standards as stipulated by the law. In one of our meetings it was discussed extensively how the problem could be solved,” said Gutu. “It was at this meeting that the ministry and the Prison Services Commission considered elephant meat as an option. It was agreed that since experts say that there is an overpopulation of elephants in the country

Bambi or Bessie: Are wild animals happier?

We, as emotional beings, place a high value on happiness and joy. Happiness is more than a feeling to us - it’s something we require and strive for. We’re so fixated on happiness that we define the pursuit of it as a right. We seek happiness not only for ourselves and our loved ones, but also for our planet and its creatures.


Sure, campaigns for Animal Liberation take this to the extreme. They believe that all animals "deserve to lead free, natural lives." But extreme animal activists aren’t the only ones who think animal happiness is important. They’re not even the only ones that think animals have some level of right to be free. Many people are against zoos because they feel it’s wrong to keep animals in captivity. I’ve even heard arguments for hunting as an alternative to farming livestock, because at least the wild animals lived happily prior to their death, while the poor cows or chickens suffered because they are never allowed to be free. And let’s be honest: who didn’t watch Free Willy and feel, at least for a moment, that every animal we have ever put in a cage or a tank should be let go?


The core idea behind all of this is the belief that animals in nature are truly happier than animals in captivity, even than domesticated ones. But are they? I mean, really?


Happiness is hard enough to define in people, let alone in an animals. You can’t just ask them how they are feeling. Instead, we tend to qualify happiness in animals as a lack of chronic stress. Stress, unlike happiness, is very easy to measure. You can look for decreases in overall health in just about any kind of creature. You can keep an eye out for neurotic behaviors, and measurements of hormone levels of cortisol, norepinephrine, adrenaline and other "stress" hormones provide a quantified means of measuring stress. Though lack of stress doesn’t guarantee "happiness", it’s the closest we can get.


The idea, in particular, that livestock could be happier than wild animals is a hard thing to grasp, because as people, we can’t imagine being kept simply to be used. The idea of having no control over how we are used by another, even if we’re given everything we want now, seems unbearably cruel - but it’s not the same for animals. Domesticated animals don’t feel stress about the future, because they don’t have an understanding of their future in

Panda-monium in Switzerland

The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) is turning 50, and the Swiss National Museum in Zurich threw a quadrilingual party (sorry Romansch, English is the 4th language) last night to celebrate today’s opening of a summer-long exhibition about the history of the organization. The party’s guest roster included some very A-list taxidermy like a magnificent Bengal tiger from Burma, an elegant polar bear, and a covert of coots from Coto Doñana. A few living celebrities made an appearance as well, namely ‘Chocolate’ the very free-range chicken-turned-mascot for the Swiss cooperative grocery chain Migros, so popular she has 53,000 friends on Facebook.


But make no mistake, this was and is a panda party. There were almost as many pandas there as there were remaining in the wild—1,200 according to WWFs figures. These partying pandas included the original WWF logo ink-sketches by Sir Peter Scott, Giant Panda from Andy Warhol’s 1983 Endangered Species screenprints, an adorable taxidermy baby panda from the Zoological Museum of The University of Zurich, and Panda Eyes, a very cool motion-sensor-activated art piece by Jason Bruges Studio, assembled from a hundred iconic WWF Panda change banks.


The exhibition, debuting today, is not your ordinary eco-family-friendly museum show. The landmark exhibition designed by Zurich architects Ralph Meury, Andrin Schweizer, and design-firm Büro4 opens with the dramatic Burning Room, a simulated living room on fire which forces visitors to experience the loss of

Critically endangered leopard filmed in northeast forest

A leopard of a critically endangered species was filmed for the first time in northeast China's Jilin Province, local authorities said Monday.


Cameras on the Sino-Russia border captured a roaming Far Eastern leopard in Hunchun City on April 13, said Yu Changchun, head of the environment protection bureau under Jilin's forestry department.


Soldier Li Mingquan saw the leopard through the surveillance cameras at 3:31 p.m.


Animal carcasses, which could have been left by the leopard, were found near the spot one day later, Yu said.


The Far Eastern leopard, also known as Amur leopard or Manchurian leopard, faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.


Experts say there are less than 50 Far Eastern leopards in the wild. The feline predators are native to the forests in northeast China, Russia's Far East and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).


About two to four Far Eastern leopards live in the forest of about 100,000 hectares in Hunchun. The number may change as some leopards sometimes cross the Sino-Russia border, said Lang Jianmin, head of the Promotion and Education Center for Hunchun Manchurian Tiger National Nature Reserve.


The Mongolian government had revoked a decision it made earlier this month to allow foreigners to hunt leopards for scientific purpose, local media reported Wednesday.


Mongolian Environment and Tourism Minister L. Gansukh canceled the permission to kill four leopards for scientific purpose this year, after meeting researchers and representatives of non-government organizations to discuss the issue.


The researchers opposed the decision made by the cabinet on March 2. They said genetic research and other modern technologies made it possible to do scientific research

Brazilian court denies painting chimpanzee freedom from zoo

A Brazilian court has rejected a bid by academics, animal rights campaigners and environmentalists to have a chimpanzee who paints every day released from a zoo.


Jimmy, nicknamed the Cezanne of the Simians, has lived for around 12 years on his own in a 61 square metre cage at Niteroi Zoo, near Rio de Janeiro.


Last year a legal action to try to secure his freedom was launched with backers including the Great Ape Project (GAP), a Greenpeace representative and American academics.


They wanted to use the principle of Habeas corpus to have Jimmy, 27, freed and moved to live with other chimpanzees at a wildlife sanctuary in Sorocaba, Sao Paulo state, owned by Pedro Ynterian, international president of GAP.


But a court in Rio has now ruled that despite chimpanzees sharing 99.4 per cent of their DNA with people, Jimmy cannot qualify for Habeas corpus because he is

Zoo admits to releasing 3 more crocs into dams

The authorities at the Rajiv Gandhi zoological park on Thursday admitted to releasing six crocodiles into the dams in the Sinhagad range, out of which three were from the zoo itself while the rest were brought to the rescue centre at the zoo from 'outside'.


An official from the zoo had claimed on Wednesday that only three crocodiles were released in the dams.


The dams in the Sinhagad range area include Khadakwasla, Panshet and Varasgaon, which supply drinking water to Pune and are

Tigers, pumas saved from being Mexico tourist attractions

Mexican environmental authorities rescued here Thursday nine Bengal tigers and two pumas kept in cramped, unsafe cages that belonged to a businessman who used them as tourist attractions.


Taking part in the operation were at least 50 federal agents and specialists in handling wild animals, who took charge of sedating the big cats and moving them elsewhere.


Officials at the Profepa environmental enforcement agency said the animals were being taken to zoos and wildlife reserves in Mexico and Puebla.


The attorney general for the state of Quintana Roo, Gaspar Armando Garcia, said his office had been notified about the operation in Cancun.


Several environmental groups had filed a series of complaints against businessman Jose Juarez because of the foul conditions in which

Tiger expert Ron Tilson retires from Minnesota Zoo

Ron Tilson grew up hunting and fishing in the Montana wilderness.


"I thought if I could find a job being in the outdoors, that would be the way to go," Tilson said.


He took that dream to an extreme. Tilson, the Minnesota Zoo's conservation director, will retire today after 27 years of studying and saving tigers, rhinos and other endangered species — and spending long stints in the world's jungles and wilderness in the process.


"I've been permitted to live in some of the finest outdoor areas on Earth you can imagine," said Tilson, 66. "It's very spiritual."


The Minnesota Zoo has been credited as a leader in species and habitat conservation, a zoo movement Tilson helped spearhead. His last day is today, Earth Day.


Tilson, who is probably best known for his work with tigers, wrote the book on tiger conservation — literally. "Tigers of the World," published in 1988 and updated last year, "put together in one volume, for the first time, the state of science about tigers," said Phillip Nyhus, professor of environmental studies at Colby University in Maine.


"It had an enormous impact," said Nyhus, who co-wrote the updated volume and is one of many people Tilson has mentored who work in the conservation field.


Tilson also has been in charge of the massive breeding database for the big cats in North America for almost his entire career with the Apple Valley zoo, a duty he will pass on to another yet

Ceawlin Thynn interview: It was a different normality, says the young lion of Longleat

Ceawlin Thynn, heir to the 7th Marquess of Bath, has just taken over running the estate. He tells Jasper Gerard about his radical plans for it and his extraordinary upbringing .


Those huge, bulging eyes are unmistakable. So, too, the informality (to even the most junior employee he is “Ceawlin”, pronounced See-aw-lin, rather than Lord Weymouth). Oh, and when my invitation to lunch at Longleat turns out to be a sarnie in a cellophane wrapper from the tourist café, there can be little doubt he is fit to inherit the title of Britain’s least stuffy aristocrat.


But there the similarities with papa seem to end. While the marquess, also known as the “Loins of Longleat”, keeps an estimated 75 “wifelets”, the viscount remains unmarried (though perhaps for appearance’s sake he has been accused, wrongly it now transpires, of fathering a daughter out of wedlock).


While the father favours a wardrobe of velvet kaftans and colourful fezzes the son appears

Artis Zoo puts animal print gallery online

Ever wondered what a teyu looks like? A quick search on Google will reveal it is a 30-centimetre-long lizard found in South America. But in the old days, people would have been left guessing. That was until illustrators like Gerrit Schouten (Surinam, 1779-1839) made detailed drawings of all kinds of strange creatures. Amsterdam’s zoo, Artis, has just published its collection of prints of animals online.


A couple of centuries ago, most Europeans had never seen any animals from Africa. In the late 18th century and early 19th century, the first zoos were built in Europe. Artis was built in 1838. The aim was to entertain the public and enable biologists to study exotic species.


But before that explorers would take artists

Blind Indus dolphin survey concludes in Sindh

The six -day blind Indus dolphin survey in Sindh concluded on Friday.


The survey was launched on April 16 by the Sindh Wildlife Department (SWD) in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature – Pakistan (WWF –P).


The SWD officials said that the survey team counted 918 blind dolphins in the river Indus from Guddu to Sukkur.


The survey team comprised 35 key officials of SWD and WWF–P.


The officials recalled that that during survey conducted by WWF-P in 2006, around 810 dolphins were counted in the river Indus from the Guddu Barrage to Sukkur Barrage.


Assistant Conservator of SWD Ghulam Mohammad Guddani said: “A distance of 200 kilometres from Guddu to Sukkur was covered for the survey and water samples were obtained after each 10 kilometers to ascertain causes of the death of 45 rare blind Indus dolphins reported from 2006 to 2011 March.”


The final report of the water samples would be issued publicly in three weeks, he added.


Guddani said that the survey is conducted every five years and previously each survey has shown 40 per cent rise in the number of the dolphins. However, this survey has posted disappointed results.


“No encouraging growth in the dolphin’s population has been observed because of different reasons,” he remarked.


Use of banned fishing nets and poisonous chemicals by fishermen, unhampered release of hot poisonous water of the Guddu Tharmal power into the river Indus, release of drainage water and industrial wastewater into the river at Sukkur and the construction of hydel power stations along the Indus are among others, grave threats to the survival of the rare species, spelle

'Inspiring zoo' gets new keepers

ANIMALS at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park are under new supervision following the arrival of two new keepers.


Jamie Wood and his partner, Alison Larkin, arrived in Combe Martin from Colchester earlier this month.


Jamie has taken over the position of head-keeper having been at Colchester Zoo for ten years.


The 29-year-old, who has specialised in exotherms: reptiles, amphibians and small mammals, is keen to see the park develop, and plans to increase the reptile centre.


He said: "I am so pleased to have been given this opportunity, I think Combe Martin is such a great conservation centre with the inspiring ethos of animals roaming free.


"I can see the scope for further development and, through discussion with the park's owners, Bob Butcher and Simon Maunder, I am hoping much of the change will be happening soon.


"Bob has done such an amazing job here, it really is a unique place which is so beautiful, and I think with collaboration from all of us it can only get better."


Simon Maunder, investor and partner at the park,

£350k expansion to build on zoo’s ‘best year’

THE first stage of Dalton zoo’s expansion has been completed.


The new £350,000 development at South Lakes Wild Animal Park has seen an increase in restaurant space and a bigger gift shop.


Zoo owner David Gill says the work is the first stage of his expansion plans, which could see the zoo treble in size.


He said: “We’re having the best year in our history.


“We’ve had more than 70,000 visitors.


“It’s been so busy that we’ve been forced to expand our facilities.


“The expansion wasn’t going to happen just yet because we were planning to do our major expansion later this year.


“In the winter, when it is colder, everyone wants to stay inside to have their meal.


“And I sat down one day while having a coffee and said ‘I’m going to build a bigger restaurant’.”


The new restaurant area seats an extra 90 people, taking the overall capacity to 250.


Mr Gill added: “People were coming in to the restaurant and having nowhere

Finding the footprints of a phantom

Only two countries stand between survival in the wild and oblivion for the Arabian leopard: Yemen and Oman.


The situation in Oman is reasonably clear; 50 or so leopards range widely on Jebels Samhan, Qara, and Qamar in Dhofar. They have been extinct in the Hajjar mountains since 1976 and probably in the Musandam Peninsula since 1999. This is known with some certainty since the Sultanate initiated its Arabian Leopard Survey in 1997. This comprehensive effort monitors wild leopards, educates the public about the value of preserving them, and otherwise works around the clock to ensure the survival of Arabia’s rarest and most charismatic mammal.


In Yemen, the situation is a lot murkier. An unknown number of leopards are presumed to exist in a few widely scattered localities. The most recent confirmed evidence was a scat specimen collected in Hajjah in January 2009. Eye-witness reports from various governorates are intriguing but in the absence of hard evidence such as photographs or tissue samples, they remain unp

Tigers and lions find safe haven

Who would have thought that east of Fallon dwells a quiet and peaceful sanctuary for lions, tigers, cougars and a lynx aptly called Tiger Touch?


It all started in 1997 when John and Barbara Williamson were driving thru Fallon heading back to California and they received a phone call. The message revealed some big cats were slated to be euthanized within 30 days if not removed from the property due to an unfortunate mishap involving an unattended child who stuck his hand in the tiger's cage.


The Williamsons assumed the responsibility of taking care of a tiger, a lion and three cougars when nobody was able to take the big cats. With the help of volunteers, donors, wildlife inspectors and un derstanding neighbors, and along with Mary Walker and Nola Fletcher, the Tiger Touch nonprofit corporation facility was built on a 10-acre private property to house the rescued cats. Since then, the Wil liam sons' relationship with the cats has become stronger. Besides providing them a better life, both researchers do all the physical labor themselves, from feeding the cats to cleaning their cages and giving them much-needed interaction.


Tiger Touch currently has seven furry residents: Peggy Sue — a fe male Eurasian lynx who lives in doors with John and Barbara Wil liamson; Teddy and Sunshine — a male and female Canadian lynx, respectively; Nala — a female Barbary lion who recently lost her mate, Rocky, who was also a Barbary lion; Det, short name for Detonator — a male Bengal tiger; and Niki — a female Siberian tiger.


What makes this sanctuary unique is the fact that Nala, the lioness, and Det, the tiger, harmoniously cohabit in one big cage.


You feed them once a day, some of them twice. Make sure that they're happy. Play with them. Give them your attention, as if they were not so much children but friends,” said Tiger Touch director John Williamson in describing the experience of taking care of the big cats.


What started as a sanctuary and as a place of learning ways to protect big cats is slowly in the process of transitioning to Tiger Touch University Retreat.


“We are in a transition into a much bigger operation where we will house about a hundred cats,” Tiger Touch Project Manager Barbara Williamson said. “It'll be a safe place for them, make sure the poachers can't get to them. We need to raise the money to get the land and from then own we can get architectural drawings and see where we can get the money from.”


They realize that offering rescue and sanctuary is not enough and if they want to help in preservation of other endangered exotic cats, they would have to expand.


“There's this press release in 1998 regarding biodiversity crisis, it says we're going to lose half or more of the species within 30 years,” said Barbara Williamson. “We have a maxim

Richard Branson to create sanctuary for lemurs - 8,000 miles from their home

Virgin boss Branson defends monkey conservation plans at Moskito island


Sir Richard Branson has triggered a conservation row over a plan to import lemurs to the Caribbean, half a world away from their natural habitat in Madagascar.


The British entrepreneur said ringtailed lemurs would be transported and released into the rainforest of Moskito island, a tropical hideaway he owns in the British Virgin Islands.


Branson said he wanted to help conserve a species threatened by deforestation in Madagascar, off Africa's Indian Ocean coast, where political turmoil has accelerated illegal logging.


"We have had a lemur project in Madagascar the past few years and seen that things are getting worse for them so we thought about finding a safe haven," he told the Guardian. "We brought in experts from South Africa to Moskito island and they said it would be perfect."


But other experts say the introduction of an alien species from 8,000 miles away could harm the

Monkeyland helps Branson import lemurs

A self-taught primate expert from the Western Cape has been advising UK billionaire Richard Branson on the importation of Madagascan lemurs to one of his two islands in the Caribbean.


Lara Mostert, marketing manager of the Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary in Plettenberg Bay, said she met the head of the Virgin empire at Necker Island at the end of last year, where she advised him on the introduction of the prosimians, or what she called “pre-monkeys”.


Mostert defended Branson’s desire to import the lemurs to a different continent from their native Madagascar, an unusual move in conservation, saying “the forests there are being knocked down faster than you can save them”.


Lemurs, including the ring-tailed and red-ruffed species, are found only in Madagascar, with the red-ruffed lemur listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which has placed the animal on its “red list” of threatened species.


Describing Branson as a “serious conservationist”, Mostert said the ring-tailed lemurs he will be importing would thrive in the forests of the British Virgin Islands, where Branson owns Moskito and Necker islands.


Branson has been quoted as saying that because of the overthrow two years ago of the government in Madagascar, “the space for lemurs is getting less and less”. He will importing 12 to 15 of the ring-tailed species, less threatened than the red-ruffed lemurs, to Moskito.


Monkeyland staff designed a feeding station for the animals on the island, said Mostert, adding that she is in ongoing contact with the billionaire about the project but is not

UK's Branson gets flak for lemur relocation plan

British billionaire businessman and adventurer Sir Richard Branson has plans to fly commercial passengers into space, but his terrestrial scheme to relocate endangered Madagascar lemurs on a Caribbean island he owns is getting flak from some conservation experts,


The Virgin Group VA.L founder, who has combined a meteoric business career with round the world balloon flights and philanthropic initiatives, has announced he will resettle lemurs collected from zoos on 120-acre (48-hectare) Moskito Island, part of the British Virgin Islands archipelago.


He wants to create a new island sanctuary for lemurs, primates native to the Madagascar and Comoro islands off Africa which are threatened by the rapid destruction of their natural habitat due to unchecked farming, hunting, mining and logging.


The bright-eyed furry-faced creatures are favorites with children at zoos and figured, as animated recreations, in the popular DreamWorks movie "Madagascar".


British Virgin Islands officials have approved the Branson plan, but some conservation experts say that, while apparently well-intentioned, it could be an ecological disaster.


"I do think it's a bad idea ... we have experience over and over and over again that when you transplant organisms from one part of the Earth to another part of the Earth the results are usually bad," Anne D. Yoder, a lemur expert and director of the Duke Lemur Center

Activists, zoo polarised over enclosure



Chiang Mai Zoo will go ahead with its controversial Polar World project despite fierce opposition from animal rights activists.


Zoo director Tanapattara Pongpamorn said yesterday the project was worth the investment and strictly adheres to international animal welfare guidelines.


Under the project, the zoo will import a pair of polar bears and some king penguins from foreign zoos. The polar animals will be kept in a 71 million baht enclosure, which is now 30% complete. Work will continue on the 2,909-square metre enclosure over the next two years.


The zoo anticipates that the enclosure will boost visitor numbers by half.


Mr Tanapattara dismissed environmentalists' concerns that conditions at the zoo will harm the polar animals.


"We have done everything to follow the Association of Zoo and Aquarium's guidelines, especially on natural habitats," said Mr Tanapattara.


"We have a life support system in case of emergencies, together with plans to reduce the animals' stress in a new environment."


The zoo has been negotiating with zoos in Russia and Canada as well as Safari World in Bangkok, where four polar bears are kept.


Mr Tanapattara said he would make sure the polar animals chosen for the zoo were born in captivity, as they would adapt to the new environment easily.


Environmentalists are also worried about the amount of electricity required to run the air-conditioned enclosure.


Mr Tanapattara said the electricity bill would be around 200,000 baht a month.


Veterinarian Kannikar Nimtragul, who will look after the polar bears, said the project is part of an attempt to save the species from extinction, as their natural habitat is threatened

Zoo bans 'damaging' bunny outfit

A TEENAGER suffering from cancer was barred from visiting Edinburgh Zoo because she was dressed as an Easter bunny.


Laura Gibson and her friends, who were wearing bunny and chicken costumes, were told by bosses that their costumes would cause the animals "deep psychological damage".


The 15-year-old, who has been receiving daily chemotherapy treatment at Sick Kids' Hospital for Hodgkin's lymphoma, had been encouraged to go out as a treat because her immune system had improved.


But when the group, including Laura's father and brother, showed up at the gates yesterday in all-in-one bunny suits they were refused entry by a zoo manager.


A zoo spokeswoman confirmed that they had turned the visitors away because it has been proven that costumes can cause "psychological damage".


She said: "It is zoo policy not to allow people wearing costumes to enter the zoo. We have to put animal welfare first. It does very much distress the animals if they go up to the enclosure. The chimpanzees in particular get very distressed."


Laura, who is from the New Town

Camel bites baby at zoo

Family trip goes awry when camel snatches one-year-old by his head, causing severe injuries


A one-year-old baby suffered moderate injuries when he was bitten by a camel while visiting a southern Israeli zoo with his family Friday.


The infant was rushed for emergency surgery at Beersheba's Soroka Medical Center; his condition was later said to be stable.


The family was touring the Chai Negev Ecological Village in Kibbuz Revivim when the camel grabbed the infant by the head.


A spokesperson for Soroka Medical Center said that the baby suffered severe injuries to his face and salivary glands. He added,7340,L-4060046,00.html

Bahawalpur zoo’s mane attraction goes underfed

The Bahawalpur zoo has been a success story for breeding of lions in captivity. The fact that 128 cubs were born there between 1982 and 2010 is a testament to the huge reproductive achievement.


But things are getting murky now. The big cats, including a would-be mother, are being underfed, putting the health of the “king(s) of the jungle” in peril.


Sources told The Express Tribune that only one head of cattle is slaughtered to provide meat to dozens of wild animals, including seven male and female lions and a couple of Bengal tigers, kept at the zoo. Veterinary surgeon Dr Naeem says that on average a lion or tiger needs 10 to 12 kilogrammes of meat a day to stay healthy.


The zoo, officially known as Bahawalpur Zoological Gardens, is spread over 25 acres and is famous for the rearing of lions, tigers, black bears, and birds since its establishment as ‘Sher Bagh’ in 1942 by the Nawab of Bahawalpur.


Zoo visitors complain that the public garden now risks losing its rare distinction (of captive breeding) because of lack of interest by authorities. They point out that animals have been confined to small cages and teasing as a form of entertainment, especially of lions, has become a common pastime for those unsympathetic to the creatures of the wild.


Sources in the zoo say that a black bear couple was also born here and is now 28-years-old.


According to Dr Naeem, a lioness is expected to give birth to baby lions in May or June.


Many of the lions born here have been sold or shifted to other zoos of the country.


A senior citizen Saleem, who has been visiting the zoo for decades, says that once the public garden was very well maintained. But now the authorities do not care much. He laments that since an elephant – the main attraction for children – died in 2002, the administration has not bothered to find a replacement.


However, official sources say that a cut in funding for the upkeep of animals is to blame for the dismal state of affairs.


Another reason for diminishing numbers, according to sources, was the demand placed by th

Quake-hit panda center recovers

SOUTHWEST China's Wolong reserve, the world's largest giant panda breeding center, has recovered from the "devastating blow" dealt to it by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, with reconstruction slated for completion by the end of 2012.


"The new center, with more advanced and comprehensive facilities, will play a more important role in the world's efforts to protect this endangered species," Zhang Hemin, director of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda said.


While pursuing higher quality in the artificial breeding of these rare bears, the new center will become more prominent in its role as a training center for pandas that will be released back into the wild after being born in the center, Zhang said.


The center will also serve as a principal public educator in the area of wildlife protection, he added.


The Wolong reserve, some 30 kilometers away from the epicenter of the 2008 quake, was severely damaged in the disaster. The quake left one panda dead, one injured and another one missing.


"With severe damage to the center's infrastructure, total economic losses amounted to more than 1.9 billion yuan (US$292.4 million)," Zhang said. He indicated that 7 percent of the reserve was totally destroyed, including the center's core panda habitat.


Despite the damage, the Wolong center has bred 47 cubs since the disaster and is now home to 165 pandas, accounting for nearly 60 percent of China's giant panda

NE China's Siberian Tiger Breeding Center Conducts DNA Tests on Cubs

Siberian tigers in a northeast China breeding center will soon obtain special "ID cards" that will help facilitate identification, research and management of the endangered animals.


Researchers at the Heilongjiang Siberian Tigers Garden, the world's largest breeding center for the large cat, launched a DNA test program on Thursday to identify and earmark more than 100 cubs born in 2010.


A total of 19 cubs got blood tests and were earmarked on the first day, Zhou Ming, director of the garden's veterinary hospital, told reporters Friday.


The cubs received an anaesthetic before their blood was drawn and identification chips were embedded under the skin around their necks, Zhou said.


To date, the center has conducted DNA tests on more than 800 Siberian tigers since introducing the program in 2001.


Thanks to its successful breeding program, the center has bred over 1,000 Siberian tigers since opening in 1996, when it had just eight of the large cats.


Though Siberian tigers once roamed parts of western and central Asia and eastern Russia, they are now one of the world's rarest species. An estimated 300 Siberian

CDC Warning: 216 Sickened by Salmonella From Aquarium Frogs

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is warning consumers to be careful handling African dwarf frogs and the aquariums in which they live after the aquatic pets were linked to a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 216 people in 41 states.


African dwarf frogs live completely in water and are sold in stores nationwide for aquariums; they are also sometimes given away as carnival prizes. Frogs and other amphibians are known carriers of salmonella bacteria, which can cause potentially serious infections in the very young, the elderly or those with weakened immune systems. Even normally healthy people sickened with salmonella can suffer from diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps.


Since the aquarium frogs usually live at the bottom of their habitat, the CDC said the most likely source for those sickened with the salmonella typhimurium bacterium was the aquarium water itself. This particular strain of salmonella is one of the most common in the United States, and the agency has been tracking this outbreak since 2009.


As of this week, 216 people have been sickened by the same strain of salmonella, which the CDC has tracked back to a single frog breeder in California (The agency did

Alien parakeet's days could be numbered

Defra draws up secret plan to cull latest tropical arrival because of its disruptive nesting habits


As tropical birds go, few look more like they belong in the jungle than the monk parakeet. It is noisy, and has iridescent green and blue plumage and an orange beak that looks like an offensive weapon. But, for all its exotic appearance, it has somehow found a way to settle down in the Home Counties.


It is the latest tropical bird to raise young in Britain, following the success of the ring-necked parakeet which now throngs south and west London. The South American bird, which can live as long as 30 years, has founded colonies in Wiltshire, Hertfordshire and London, and also been spotted in Cheshire and Devon.


But its place on our list of resident birds could be short-lived. The bird may be colourful, a good talker and popular as a pet, but when it goes

Hoan Kiem turtle is a new species

Dr. Tran Binh, Director of the Institute for Biological Technology, on April 18 told VTC News that the institute had finalized the DNA test of the legendary turtle in Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem Lake.


“We will report the test results to Hanoi authorities and the information will then be widely announced to the public,” Dr. Binh said.


According to Binh, Hanoi authorities planed to announce the DNA test results later this week.


“Our test results are not different from previous statements of Vietnamese experts. The turtle is feminine gender and a new species. It is not a Chinese or Dong Mo turtle species,” Dr. Binh added.


Binh said the turtle genetic sample will be sent to the World Gene Bank in Switzerland.


“After the World Gene Bank receives the sample, Vietnam can make public that the legendary turtle in Hoan Kiem Lake is a new species, named Rafetus Vietnamensis or Hoan Kiem turtle,” said Binh.


Binh said the turtle may be sourced from the Red River from millions of years ago.


Dr. Bui Quang Te, chief of the turtle treatment group, said that the turtle’s health is very good now. “We are going to complete our treatment mission later thi




Parrot DNA to fight unscrupulous breedersIn a study that could dissuade breeders from illegally smuggling parrot eggs, the DNA code of the cockatoo mitochondrial genome has been pieced together, revealing the surprising evolutionary history of these large, native Australasian birds.
While the 21 known species of cockatoos vary significantly in size, plumage colour and bill morphology, those that share similar features are not as closely related as researchers have assumed. The new study, based on DNA sequencing and fossil-based data, has now called for a redraw of the cockatoo family tree.
"The results show that you can't really judge a book by its cover until you open up its DNA and read the code," said lead researcher Nicole White from Murdoch University in Perth. "Previous studies have looked at the birds' behaviour, but that doesn't equate to what you can find in the DNA."
Rethinking the diversification of parrots
The order of parrots (Psittaciformes) to which cockatoos belong is a large and diverse avian group that has been split into three families: Nestoridae (New Zealand parrots), Cacatuidae (cockatoos) and Psittacidae (all remaining parrots).
The initial radiation of the Psittaciformes has been a contentious issue among experts in the past, as molecular approaches to ancestry and information gleaned from the fossil

Tropical exhibit unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo
The Assiniboine Park Zoo's brand new Toucan Ridge exhibit will open to public Wednesday morning, featuring 10 new species including the world's biggest rodent, the South American capybara.
"They're very, very cool," says Zoo Director Tim Sinclair. "Very efficient swimmers, as you can see he has a nice big pool."
The new Toucan Ridge exhibit is housed in the made-over Tropical House, which was built in the 1960s.
"We put in all new windows, all new finishing, new plants and a new collection of animals," says zoo CEO Don Peterkin. "We're so happy to have it available to the public leading

TV’s Jimmy Doherty unveils £275,000 Colchester Zoo extension
TV farmer Jimmy Doherty has opened a new £275,000 extension at Colchester Zoo.
The three new enclosures form part of the Wilds of Asia section and house red pandas, gibbons and hornbills.
Anthony Tropeano, zoological director, said the extension’s opening came at a crucial time for the zoo after a tough period.
He said: “We had a very difficult year last year in terms of visitor numbers and this year we’ve had a steady, but unspectacular start. We have to tread carefully. We are just coming into a real crunch period – Easter is a make or break time for us.
“If the weather is really poor, that puts us on the back foot

Tiny octopuses become aquarium attraction
Staff at Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary, Norfolk, were stunned when a ‘male’ octopus they named Roland after gave birth to 400 babies.
But the tiny octopuses measure less than 1mm across and are so small that they can only be seen through a special tank with inbuilt microscopes.
Manager Nigel Croasdale said: ”With the naked eye the octopus young look like specks of dirt but under a magnifying glass you can see they are a perfect miniature.
”Octopus eggs only hatch in aquariums once in a blue moon and we are doing everything we can to try and keep them alive, it would be fantastic if some grew to maturity.
”We are asking aquariums across the country if they would like to take some, if they feel they could successfully rear them.”
The sea life sanctuary acquired Roland the

Oakland CA zoo plan - environmentalists see irony
The Oakland Zoo is on the verge of getting approval for a decades-old dream to build an exhibit to celebrate California's native wildlife and terrain.
But environmentalists say the zoo's plans to expand and build bigger buildings than the ones approved in the 1990s would ruin the idyllic landscape of Knowland Park.
The 45-acre zoo would expand uphill, taking 56 more acres, a quarter of which would be filled with buildings and exhibits.
"We don't think that building a theme park that celebrates extinct species is the right way to protect the native plant and animal life that exists here," said Tom DeBoni, a board member of Friends of Knowland Park.
The roughly 500-acre, city-owned Knowland Park is one of the largest wildland parks in Oakland. The Sierra Club, the California Native Plant Society and the California Native Grasslands Association are among the preservation groups fighting to rein in the zoo's planned expansion. The zoo has been working on this project for nearly two decades and already received permit approval for the project in 1998.

Popular Hippo in Tokyo Zoo Is Latest Quake Victim
Japan's monster earthquake has claimed its latest victim, a popular hippo named Satsuki at the Tokyo zoo
The 39-year-old animal, who became a popular attraction after appearing in a tooth brushing event, has been hobbled with injuries since the magnitude 9 quake struck last month, zoo officials said. She died last Saturday.
Keepers at the Ueno Zoo said Satsuki was in a pool when the tremblor hit on March 11 and did not suffer any injuries. However, the hippo lost her balance and twisted her left front leg as she walked back to her cage an hour after the shaking stopped. Officials believe the shock and stress from the record setting jolt may rattled and disoriented the animal.
Veterinarians treated Satsuki's sprained leg, but the animal re-injured it in separate falls, making it nearly impossible for the 5,000 pound animal to support her own

Budapest Mayor prevents closure of small zoo on Margaret Island
A popular small zoo on Margaret Island in Budapest can continue operations because Budapest Mayor Istvan Tarlos "will not allow it to close down," the mayor's office told MTI on Tuesday.
Sandor Szaniszlo, chairman of the Budapest city development and environmental protection committee, said on Monday that "news have been circulating for weeks" according to which a recent 153 million forint (EUR 560,000) cut in financing from the City Council would force the Metropolitan Zoo to close down its Margaret Island facility in the first half of this year.
Szaniszlo said it was an unacceptable

Chester Zoo helps rhinos in Tanzania gain access to water supply
CHESTER Zoo has helped provide a group of rhinos in Tanzania with vital access to water.
A two-tonne bowser, bought using funds provided by the zoo, will be used in The Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary – a flagship conservation project in Tanzania – and will provide relief to 14 critically endangered black rhinos.
It was partly funded by the zoo’s ‘Rhino Maniacs’ – a team of nine members of staff who conquered Mount Kilimanjaro and raised money for rhino conservation in 2010 – and the auction of the fibreglass rhinos that featured in last year’s Rhino Mania art project in Chester.
The bowser is described by Save the Rhino International as being ‘an exceptionally important piece of equipment’, particularly given it will supply

PETA Challenges Neverland Zoo
Animal rights activists sent a letter last week requesting that the owners of Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch transform the property into a wildlife sanctuary.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) contacted Jackson’s children and property owner Thomas Barrack Jr. of Colony Capital LLC and Sycamore Valley Ranch Company LLC, criticizing the Jackson family’s proposal to turn the 2800-acre property in the Santa Ynez Valley into a community park and center for animals. PETA suggests the Jacksons consider the Standards of Excellence, established by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries — an organization that establishes criteria and standards for the creation and maintenance of animal sanctuaries — and how the project would go against Jackson’s wishes. According to Ryan Huling, a public spokesman for PETA, organization members are concerned that the proposed park will provide poor living conditions for the confined animals.
“While some zoos aim to protect animals, others do just enough to keep them alive, and the majority are willing to trap animals from the wild to put them out on display,” Huling said. “It is purely for human amusement, and many animals do not bode well being on display with visitors poking and prodding. It is the same as keeping a dog chained up outside.”
Jackson housed several exotic animals at his Neverland

Govt to ban stroll in zoo
Taking a serious view of the episode involving an IAS officer and his woman friend while taking morning stroll in the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said that morning walk in the park would be banned in phases.
He appealed to people to stop going to the zoo for a walk as it affected the animals housed there. "Instead, people can go to the newly-constructed Eco park, S K Nagar park, Kankarbagh park etc," he said. The Central Zoo Authority had written numerous letters in the past asking the state government to ban morning stroll in the park.
People would be given some three months to get used to visiting the other parks, after which passes for the Patna zoo would be issued to some at a price. This pass system would be scrapped after some time and there woul

Release of crocodiles into dams appals experts
The dams around Pune are an attraction for people tired of city sights, but caution is advised when one visits them next. For, between 2007 and 2009, as many as 15 crocodiles from the rescue centre of the Rajiv Gandhi zoological park at Katraj have been released into the dam waters, which experts say is a cause for concern.
While the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), which runs the zoo, confirms that 15 crocodiles have indeed been released into the dam waters, what is not clear is how the crocodiles

Police Nab Suspect in Stolen Komodo Case
Police have arrested a man suspected of trying to sell Komodo dragons stolen from the Surabaya Zoo, an official announced on Wednesday.
Comr. Sudamiran, the Surabaya Police deputy chief of detectives, said officers arrested the suspect, identified only as E.S.W., in Jakarta last week. “For the time being, we suspect this man of receiving stolen goods,” he said.
Sudamiran said authorities had received intelligence reports that the suspect attempted to sell a Komodo dragon believed to be one of the three juvenile lizards that disappeared from the zoo on Feb. 28.
“The Komodo that was being offered had the same physical characteristics as the one that disappeared from the Surabaya Zoo last month,” he said.
Adj. Comr. Andi Sinjaya, the

Report reveals pitiful state of zoo animals
report has been released by nine university students who spent their winter holidays participating in the Chinese Zoo Observation (CZO) program, with the goal of investigating animal welfare in zoos after a new governmental policy on the matter was released in October.
The report reflects the policy's poor implementation and the overall shoddy living conditions of animals at 21 zoos in nine provinces and municipalities where the policy was introduced. CZO was sponsored by Lives Protection Society, a Beijing-based animal-protection non-governmental organization (NGO).
Worrying incidents
The project came into being after two high-profile cases of endangered animals dying in captivity last year sparked the public's interest in the living conditions of animals at zoos.
Last March, 11 Siberian tigers in Shenyang Forest Wild Zoo, Liaoning Province, along with 30 other animals, died of hunger over three months. In July, a panda in Jinan Zoo, Shandong Province died of respiratory failure after breathing toxic gas, reported the China News Service (CNS). According to the latest statistics from Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens (CAZG), there are at least 200 zoos in China, an oversupply that has led to many zoos training animals to hold circus-like performances in order to draw crowds.
Responding to the outcry, in October 2010, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development released a notice requiring all zoos to stop all forms of animal performance, close all wild-animal restaurants in zoos and stop illegally selling wild-animal products.
Cruel realities
The students' investigation into animal welfare at zoos included their health conditions, living environments and visitors' attitudes toward the animals. According to the investigation, many animals are commonly seen to be unhealthy and hungry.
A monkey in a zoo in Qingdao, Shandong Province was observed by Sun Caizhen, a volunteer from Beijing Normal University (BNU), to be sitting against a hot plate, continuously gnawing its fur and knocking at the hot plate. Half of its back was bald and showed visible injuries, according to Sun.
Liu Xiaoyu, a volunteer from the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, reported that the tusks of an elephant at the Xinjiang Tianshan Wild Animal Park, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, had been cut off, its spirits were low and it performed a number of unhealthy repetitive motions. "Many of these repetitive behaviors are caused by its limited living space, as though it was living in a prison," Liu said.
Sun also found that in some zoos, carnivores and herbivores are put in adjacent cages. In Weifang Zoo, Shandong Province, monkeys are kept in a cage next to a leopard. "They are natural enemies. Such an arrangement would greatly damage the psychological health of the animals," she told the Global Times.
Student investigators also found that among the 21 zoos, only the hippopotamus section at Chengdu Zoo, Sichuan Province, has any trained staff on hand to guide visitors in feeding animals, while all the other zoos are woefully under-equipped in regulating visitor behavior.
Luo Tian, a volunteer from BNU, reported that in other sections of Chengdu Zoo, visitors were indiscriminately giving food to the animals, and an elephant was seen to have eaten a pie along with its plastic package. A monkey in Nanchang Zoo, Jiangxi Province also mistook a plastic bag for food and ate it.
"Animals can't usually control themselves when it comes to eating – unhealthy foods and overeating in general can make them sick," Sun said.......

442 completes first stage of design overhaul for Edinburgh Zoo eateries
Edinburgh Zoo’s redesigned Grasslands Restaurant opened at the weekend - the first stage of an overhaul of existing and new catering outlets at the attraction.
Edinburgh creative agency 442 Design was contracted by Compass Group, who was awarded the catering contract for the eateries at Edinburgh Zoo, to create a design overhaul of the Zoo’s eateries in a bid to boost catering revenue.
442 took inspiration from the main animal habitats represented at the Zoo Rainforest, Grassland, Woodland and Oceans and Wetlands to create themed eating areas designed to enhance the customer experience.
Strong graphics, textures and insect details inspired by the animal kingdom have been integrated into the design, while the redesigned Jungle Foodcourt

Dubai Aquarium witnesses first-ever births as penguin chicks hatch out
Two penguin chicks marked the first-ever births at Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo with the Humboldt Penguine community adding on new members to its fold.
The chicks were born to three-year-olds Rami and Circo, and visitors thronged to watch the newborns.
Circo, the mom, was identified as being pregnant three months ago and Rami started making nests by shoving rocks around. The aquarists, the only people authorised to enter the penguin enclosure, started providing wood branches and rocks, supporting Rami in his nesting activity. After an incubation period of about 45 days, the first penguin chicks were welcomed to the colony
The aquarists took extra care not to unsettle the nest with the penguin chicks, as Rami shared his feed of fish with the little ones. The chicks have been feeding off the fish from 15 days of age.
The chicks have now started treading out of the nest and mingling with their wider family, although they will stay in their nest until they are fully grown in about 80 days.
The Humboldt penguins are medium-sized penguins and grow to about 65-70 cm long. They are a warm-weather species found on rocky mainland shores and

Luang Namtha protects wild elephant herd
A herd of wild elephants in Luang Namtha province in the country's north is now being protected to ensure they do not disappear, according to a provincial official.
Luang Namtha provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office Head Mr Soukson Phonpadith told Vientiane Times yesterday there were great numbers of wild elephants in the province in the past.
“Now only six elephants remain,” he said.
The main causes of the decimation of the elephant population are deforestation and poaching for the ivory trade.
Mr Soukson said the remaining elephant herd is located in Sing district near the border area between Laos and China.
To protect the wild animals, both local Lao and Chinese authorities are working together to preserve the forest area that is home to the elephants.
Sing district in Luang Namtha province contains about 28,000 hectares of forest near the Laos-China border and neighbouring Jinghong province in China has almost 30,000 hectares of forest.
Laos and China have been working together for almost two years to protect elephants in the area, Mr Soukson said.
On the Lao side, the Luang Namtha provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office initiated a project to protect wild elephants in 2008, as well as various activities to conserve forests near the border area.
As elephants live in both provinces and regularly cross the border, it makes sense that the elephants are protected equally in both countries, said Mr Soukson.
The joint nature reserve is part of efforts to build improved wildlife habitats in the bordering tropical rainforests, aiming to connect them into bigger and better habitats for elephants and other wildlife that occupy them.
Laos and China also provide training to teach officials working in the reserve to protect elephants against poachers who kill the animals for ivory, and to monitor the area and undertake biodiversity surveys.
Mr Soukson said officials from the two countries also boost awareness of the importance of protection efforts through people-to-people exchanges. The project will hire more staff to conduct environmental education campaigns for villagers in forested areas. Wild elephants can be better protected through improved National Protected Area management and limiting the amount of elephant habitat destroyed for human dev

‘Zoo to get enough funds in next budget’
Karachi Administrator Fazlur Rehman has said that an adequate amount will be set aside in the next budget for making the Karachi Zoo a model and modern zoo.
During a visit to the Zoo on Wednesday with Coordinator to Administrator Karachi Rasheed Jamal, and Director Media Management Bashir Saddozai, he also directed the District Officer, Zoo, to submit suggestions for making zoo a model and modern recreation point.
On this occasion, while giving a briefing to the Administrator, Karachi, the District Officer, Mansoor Qazi, said that despite limited resources, the Karachi Zoo was




Zoo's penguin dive is 'UK first'
LIVING Coasts is offering the first chance anywhere in the UK to dive with penguins.
Torquay's coastal zoo is launching a dive experience where people can come face-to-face with the charity's penguins and other diving birds.
The dive experience takes place first thing in the morning, when the penguins are at their most active. Guests will spend up to 45 minutes in the water with a qualified dive supervisor. The diver will have the chance to try cleaning windows, conduct a crab survey and take part in fun exercises.
The experience ends with a full English breakfast.
Dive supervisor Derek Youd said: "The penguin pool has easy access. People will be able to swim with the African and macaroni penguins and any other species which may be in the water at the time, such as bank cormorants, eider ducks and Inca terns.
"We can't guarantee that penguins will be in the pool during the dive but, if they aren't, then people can repeat the dive another time or help with the afternoon penguin feed free of charge."
Living Coasts' Stuart Wright said: "We are pretty sure no one else in the country is offering this experience. It's the ideal gift, but we provide vouchers so people don't have

Blues reported in Czech zoo
Officials from the Cayman Islands Blue Iguana Recovery Programme are investigating reports that a zoo in the Czech capital, Prague, is claiming to have acquired pair of the critically endangered rare Grand Cayman iguanas. According to reports on the internet, the zoo has had the blues on show since January and got them from a Hungarian dealer. The zoo’s director, Miroslav Bobek, reportedly spoke with local journalists earlier this year and revealed that it was the only zoo in Europe to have the rare iguanas. "From our point of view, the acquisition is a treasure comparable with finding a pot with ancient coins," said Petr Velenský, who is in charge of reptiles in the Prague zoo.
According to local news reports, the two iguanas were christened at the ceremonial opening of the 80th season of the Prague Zoo in March. The city’s mayor, Bohuslav Svoboda, is said to have named the blues Faust and Margarita. Reports also revealed that the zoo had been seeking to acquire the Grand Cayman iguanas for more than ten years and the director said he hoped they would multiply.
Fred Burton, the director of the recovery programme, confirmed on Monday that contact has been made with the zoo in Prague and he is now awaiting a response from the local iguana specialist.
“We hope to find out who the Hungarian breeder is

New Conservation Hall, Glover’s Reef Open at Coney’s Aquarium
The Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium last week renovated its Conservation Hall and Glover’s Reef — a spectacular 4,000-square-foot building now home to more than 100 species of aquatic animals, from colorful corals to exotic eels.
The new Conservation Hall holds species that have never before been on display at the aquarium. It is divided into three habitats: the Pacific Ocean’s Coral Triangle, Africa’s Great Lakes, and Brazil’s Flooded Forest.
Adjacent to these exhibits is Glover’s Reef, an impressive 167,000-gallon exhibit. The spacious viewing areas offers visitors an up-close look at some of the most beautiful fish native to these regions of the world, including piranhas, stingrays, angelfish, black pacus and many more.
The renovation of Conservation Hall and Glover’s Reef is a major part of “A Sea Change” at the New York Aquarium, a 10-year $150 million-plus public-private initiative.
The exhibits at Conservation Hall and Glover’s Reef are designed to educate visitors about the importance of underwater habitats. Graphics and a new interactive coral kiosk provide information about environmental threats facing reef systems, such as global

Zoo honour for Mercedes as polar bear put to sleep
MERCEDES the polar bear could be honoured at Edinburgh Zoo, it emerged today.
The 29-year-old bear, who suffered from crippling arthritis, was put to sleep at the Highland Wildlife Park in Kingussie yesterday morning.
The half-ton bear moved to the park, which is situated in the Cairngorms National Park, in October 2009 after concerns were raised over the size of her enclosure at the city's zoo.
Douglas Richardson, animal collection manager at the Highland Wildlife Park, described her as the "nicest" polar bear he has ever worked with.
Mr Richardson said it was likely that there would be some sort of honour, such as a plaque, at Edinburgh Zoo in her memory.
"That's something that I'm sure we will discuss in the coming couple of weeks," he said.
"She spent a long time at the zoo and her arrival at the time was the biggest story in the history of the RZSS - as far as the amount of coverage and interest - and so she certainly did her bit to help the park move forward.
"I think we owe her some sort of formal commemoration."
Mr Richardson, who has worked with around 20-30 polar bears, added: "She had a very gentle attitude about her. She holds a bit of a special place because she was such a character and was so high profile. She's definitely been the sweetest-natured polar bear I've worked with."
Mercedes was on a cocktail of drugs to deal with her advanced osteoarthritis, for which there is no cure.
A basic post-mortem examination on Mercedes, who had exceeded the average 20-year wild polar bear lifespan, revealed very significant signs of arthritis in some of her joints, as well as signs of hardening of the arteries in her brain.
Further tests will be carried out on her body.
Mr Richardson said: "She just wasn't doing well at all and took a very bad turn for the worse over the last week or so. We had no other option. It goes without saying that Mercedes will be greatly missed."
A statement from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, which runs Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park, said: "We noted a marked and rapid downturn in Mercedes' behaviour and demeanour, and she appeared to be ageing very rapidly and possibly showing signs of senility.
"All of the individuals responsible for

Zoo to highlight local species with new aquatic center
Brownsville’s Gladys Porter Zoo is well known for its collection of exotic creatures from around the world, but species from this neck of the woods, so to speak, haven’t quite gotten their due.
That’s about to change now that construction crews have broken ground on the $2.6 million, 8,000-square-foot Russell Aquatic Ecology Center, going up adjacent to the zoo’s reptile house on the site of the old aquatic exhibit. The new exhibit will feature different sections representing the major aquatic ecosystems of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, featuring finny denizens of rivers, lakes and ponds

Is your next egg pushing tigers to extinction?
Auckland Zoo goers were given a hard hitting message today when they went to check out the tigers.
Every Easter egg they eat could be pushing them toward extinction.
That is because the palm oil used in chocolate is sourced from areas where endangered species once thrived.
Six-year-old Oz, a Sumatran tiger, was enjoying his giant Easter egg today.
But if he knew what was in the real thing he may have stopped licking.
“By us going out every year and buying chocolates for Easter we are contributing to the destruction of these guys habitat,” says Peter Fraser, Conservation Officer for the Auckland Zoo.
Indonesian rainforests are being stripped so rapidly by illegal logging and palm oil plantations

Financing problems force Margaret Island Zoo to close
Preparations are under way to close a small zoo on Margaret Island in Budapest which has been home to around 200 animals representing 26 species, a spokesman of the Metropolitan Zoo and Botanical Garden said on Monday.
Zoltan Hanga said the decision to close the zoo had been made in agreement with the City Council due to lack of financing. No final date has yet been specified but it is likely to happen "in the first half of the year," he added.
The deer have already been taken away from Margaret Island and a new home is being organised for the rest of the animals, he said.
Metropolitan Zoo, which also runs the main zoo in Budapest, has operated the Margaret Island facility since 2002 and received dedicated financing for this purpose until 2007. Since the City Council reduced funding for

Eagle Heights owner Alan Ames to get new zoo licence

A ZOO keeper is hoping a revised zoo licence will allow him to keep his cheetahs and camel on site.


Eagle Heights owner Alan Ames, 55, is to be issued with a draft of a revised zoo licence after Sevenoaks District Council found he had category one animals on his reserve last March.


The draft will outline conditions Mr Ames has to meet in order for the Eynsford-based park to remain open with the animals, which includes three cheetahs and a camel.


The zoo also houses 130 birds of prey and 26 rescued husky dogs.


If Mr Ames, who used to be in the army, does not accept the new conditions, he can appeal them at

April is National Frog Month, but don’t kiss one: It can be unhealthy for both you and frog

In the world of make-believe, kissing a frog could turn him into a prince. In real life, touching them can kill the creatures and cause serious problems for humans too.


April is National Frog Month, and while most people probably know that touching frogs and toads won’t give you warts, frogs can transmit diseases. They can give humans tapeworm cysts and salmonella poisoning, said Jeremy Goodman, director of the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, N.J. Both can cause serious complications if not treated immediately, he said.


Human hands have natural salts and oils that can irritate a frog’s skin, so handling the animals with dry hands can cause severe problems for them, even death, said Devin Edmonds of Madison, Wis. Edmonds is the author of “Frogs and Toads

A new home: Your £200,000 generosity for Anne

The Daily Mail would like to thank its generous readers who have now raised the remarkable figure of almost £200,000 for Europe’s first elephant sanctuary and permanent home for Anne.


In just two weeks, donations have poured in to the Daily Mail Elephant Sanctuary appeal to create a purpose-built haven at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire.


The astonishing response follows an outcry over photographs taken by Animal Defenders International which showed Anne, 59, being beaten by a groom in her former circus home.


Thanks to the Mail, Anne, who has arthritis, is enjoying a happy retirement at Longleat.


The £1million

Red and Arctic foxes clash in Russia

Russia's Arctic foxes are under threat from an expanding population of red foxes, according to scientists.


For the first time, a red fox has been observed intruding on an Arctic fox breeding den in Russia's far north.


The Arctic fox abandoned its den to the dominant intruder, leaving pups to fend for themselves.


Researchers say this is evidence that red foxes are expelling Arctic foxes as a warming climate allows them to survive much further north.


Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) live in mountainous tundra habitats around the

Opening Of Legoland Octopus Exhibit Postponed

Exhibit Will Be Featured At SeaLife Aquarium At Legloand In Carlsbad


The opening of a new octopus exhibit scheduled for Friday at the SeaLife Aquarium at Legoland in Carlsbad was postponed for a few days because the finicky octopi didn't like their new digs, according to aquarium officials.


Octopus Garden, named after the Beatles song, will be an interactive exhibit featuring cephalopods, cuttlefish and nautilus.


The squishy creatures are sensitive to water and

Richard Branson's lemur plan raises alarm

Sir Richard Branson is to import lemurs to the Caribbean, where they will live wild in the forest on his islands.


The project has alarmed conservation scientists, who point out that many previous species introductions have proved disastrous to native wildlife.


But Sir Richard's team maintains that both the lemurs, which will come from zoos, and native animals will be fine.


Introducing species found on one continent into another for conservation purposes is virtually unprecedented.


Lemurs are found only on the African island of Madagascar and many species are threatened, largely because of deforestation.


The threat has grown worse since the toppling of President Marc Ravalomanana's government two

First elephant born at Oklahoma City zoo

After years of considered planning and waiting, the first elephant born at the Oklahoma City Zoo was delivered, the zoo's elephant supervisor said.


Elephant supervisor Nick Newby said the mother Asha and the 304-pound Asian elephant calf, born Friday and as yet unnamed, are both doing well, The Oklahoman reported Sunday.


"We all think of them as our family," Newby said. "When she has a calf, it's like having a child of your own."


Zoo veterinarians noticed a rise in Asha's hormone last Sunday and expected a birth within a few days so they began their preparations.


Asha went into labor about 10:30 p.m. Thursday. The delivery took a little longer than expected with the elephant in hard labor for 24 hours, the zoo's Director of Veterinary Services, Jennifer D'Agostino, said on The Oklahoman's video link.


After about a half an hour of examinations, vets and zookeepers slipped a harness under the calf to help her feet so she could walk in a stable manner.


"She's actually a very, very strong, very

It’s official: Pair of sightless sea lions coming to San Francisco Zoo in May

Silent Knight, the blind sea lion that was found shot in Sausalito, and Henry, a pinniped from Crescent City that nearly starved because it cannot see, will be entertaining the masses at the San Francisco Zoo in May.


Zoo officials have announced they refurbished the vacant sea lion pool near the South American Tropical Forest in anticipation of their arrival since they cannot be released back into the wild.


The sea-lion pool, which has been part of the zoo since its construction in

'Devil' otter attacks farmer

(includes Photos)


A PSYCHO otter attacked a farmer in a rampage across an Irish village yesterday.


The furry beast pounced on farmer Joe Burke and bit his hand before he managed to trap him in a canvas sack in Tulla, County Clare.


But the deranged creature then chewed through the bag and started munching on Joe's VAN.


Joe,52, had to run full PELT to escape the

Stuttering and the Big Cats

A new film titled Stuttering and the Big Cats featuring renowned American zoologist, conservationist, and field biologist Dr. Alan Rabinowitz is now available on DVD from the Stuttering Foundation.


In Stuttering and the Big Cats, Dr. Rabinowitz, president and CEO of New York-based Panthera, shares his life-long struggle to overcome stuttering through his work protecting the world's largest and most imperiled cats. The film captures his address to young people who stutter at the annual convention of Friends, a national support group for kids.


Rabinowitz was honored at a gala event in New York City today to introduce the film internationally.


"Alan's courage is particularly inspiring to young people whose career paths have yet to be decided and for whom stuttering often seems an insurmountable obstacle. Through hard work, perseverance and dedication to his true passions, Alan never let stuttering hold him back from his quest to help endangered animals," said Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation. "We are proud to make this video available and hope that every young person who stutters has an opportunity to hear Alan's story."


"I recall vividly as a child, staring at a jaguar as he paced in his cage at the zoo," said Alan Rabinowitz, president and CEO of Panthera. "He was trapped, seeking a way out of a dark world, something I related to strongly at the time. And I knew then that when I found my voice, that I would use it for him, for saving big cats

Game officers arrest woman found with three cheetahs her house

Arusha In a rare ambush against animal traffickers, game officers have stumbled upon three live cheetahs in a residential house here. The house owner, Ms Rahma Miraj Hasan, had kept them in one of her living rooms at the Sombetini suburb. Upon being interrogated, she claimed that the animals were brought to her by a person whose name has not been disclosed.


According to the zonal head of the Wildlife Division's anti poaching unit, Mr Charles Mvungi, the animals were to be transported outside the country. He told reporters in Arusha on Friday that investigators were still trying to establish if there was a syndicate involved in illegal exports of cheetahs.


The rare animals have been classified under Part I by the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES).Although Tanzania has a substantial population of the cat-family animals, wildlife experts contend that they are in danger of extinction. According to Mr Mvungi

New land crab discovered

Following field research at Kenting National Park last year, a team led by land crab specialist Liu Hung-chang (???) said it had discovered a new genus and species of crab known as Lithoselatium pulchrum.


The conservation division at Kenting National Park Headquarters said Liu found the new species at the coral shores of Banana Bay (???) in Pingtung

Taiwan gives China rare deer and goats

Taiwan has given China a pair of endangered deer and one of indigenous goats, zoo officials said Sunday, in the latest piece of animal diplomacy after China gave its former arch-enemy two pandas.


The two sika deer and two Formosan serows -- both seldom seen in the wild -- were transported Saturday to Liugong Island off China's Shandong province and were welcomed by over 500 people, the Taipei City Zoo said in a statement.


The animals will be quarantined for a month before they are allowed to meet zoo visitors. They were donated as a gesture

Radio collar 'chokes' big cat

Controversy has again struck the Sunderbans. This time, a ten-year-old male tiger caught from Dobanki seven days back is bearing the brunt.


The radio collar fitted to the tiger stopped functioning about three months back, but it is yet to be removed. Experts said the collar had badly choked the tiger`s neck and it could not eat properly. The tiger is now at Alipore Zoo.


But two principal chief conservators of forests are speaking in conflicting voices. While S B Mondal, PCCF (wildlife) said that he had given instruction to remove the collar, PCCF and head of forest force Atanu Raha said it won`t be removed unless the tiger comes to a state when it can

Dead animals on display

The Cologne zoo has a special animal exhibition on display: a collection of 20 animals including an elephant, a giraffe, and an ostrich, preserved through a process called plastination.


German anatomist Gunther von Hagens became famous for his controversial exhibition displaying plastinated human bodies.


Plastination refers to a process that creates specimens that can be touched, do not smell or decay and retain most of their original properties. Plastination is achieved by replacing water and fat

Zoo manages "geriatric" animal collection

Old age is creeping up on animals at the Honolulu Zoo.


"I think what we have here overall is a fairly geriatric animal collection," said Zoo Director Manuel Mollinedo.


Zoo animals are getting better care than ever, so they are living longer, and the longer they live the more age related problems they experience. Those health problems create challenges for zoo keepers.


"Come on Scar," said a keeper as she tried to coax the 17 and a half year old cheetah into a covered enclosure. Zoo veterinarian Ben Okimoto said he believes Scar is the oldest cheetah in the United States.


"He's doing real well considering the problems he has which include kidney disease. He's got arthritis. He has cataracts. He's getting hard of hearing. He can't see very well. But he's still getting by," Okimoto said.


Scar has been taken out of the cheetah exhibit and is now housed behind the scenes in a kind of hospice setting.


"What we're seeing here is, I think, similar to what private practitioners are starting to see with pet animals. The better care that they get, the better diets are

Zoo operations manager balances maintenance with mingling with the animals

Zoo operations manager balances maintenance with animal mingling


The homes that Jay Gregston builds are not as famous as David Weekley, Perry or Pulte Homes.


They are not praised in Better Homes and Gardens magazine or featured on the Victoria Parade of Homes tour.


But they do, however, provide shelter to some of the most loveable and exotic four-legged, two legged and no-legged residents of Victoria - the animals of the Texas Zoo.


"It's the first job that I've ever had that I love to come to work," said Gregston, who is the operations manager at the Texas Zoo. "I'm 51 years old and this is the first job that I know I'm doing something good and worthwhile."


Since joining the zoo in 2008, Gregston has been responsible for a multitude of tasks, including maintaining all the zoo buildings and signs, maintaining the zoo grounds, doing blueprints

Phuket Aquarium Plan 'Will Have Performing Seals'

AN EXPAT entrepreneur is winning support on Phuket for his plan to establish a 900-million baht aquarium and marine zoo with performing animals in the southern Phuket district of Rawai.


Canadian Daniel McDaniel took his proposal to Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha at Provincial Hall in Phuket City today, accompanied by the Mayor of Rawai, Aroon Soroj.


Mr McDaniel, a six-year expat resident on Phuket who has investments in Vancouver, told the governor that he had a long-term lease on 60 rai of land near the shooting gallery in Patak Road, Rawai, between Chalong Circle and Karon Hill.


The 900 million baht investment would cover two phases, the first including the aquarium and marine zoo. Visitors would be able to feed marine animals, including sea lions, dolphins and seals, he said.


The plan also was for tourists to be able to swim with the creatures, he said. About five rai of the property had been set aside for pools.


Although environmental permission had yet to be granted, Mr McDaniel said his estimate was that the project could be completed in 120 to 160 days after approval and could be open in time for Phuket's next high season this year.


Phuket needed wet-weather entertainment

No to a new aquarium in Phuket

I urge Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha to halt plans to build an aquarium and marine zoo in Rawai.


Life in an aquarium is like life in prison for dolphins, seals, scallions and other animals whose natural ocean habitats are vast, fascinating and complex. In aquariums, these animals - who would normally swim for miles - can only circle endlessly in small, barren, chlorinated concrete tanks, which to them are the size of a bathtub.


Separated from their families and deprived of their natural instincts to forage for food, explore, raise families and communicate with other members of their

A new leap

Lankan scientists introduce Taruga, a new endemic genus of foam-nesting tree frogs.


Boosting Sri Lanka’s image as an amphibian hotspot, a group of Sri Lankan scientists have introduced a new genus of frogs that is endemic to the island. The new group is named Taruga meaning ‘tree climber’ in ancient Sinhala and Sanskrit.


This name is appropriate as the adults of these are tree-inhabiting frogs, rarely come to the ground, even laying their eggs on trees on overhanging foam nests.


Taruga is currently the only genus of endemic frogs among the tree-frogs (Rhacophoridae). Definition of a new genus is a rare occurrence, and for a vertebrate group, even rarer. The task of separating these species into a new genus is indeed complex and demanding.


The researchers have to analyse molecular DNA and morphological data such as the outward appearance as well as the form and structure of the internal parts like bones and organs of both adult frogs as well as tadpoles to distinguish this ancestry unique to Sri Lanka.


Dr.Madhava Meegaskumbura, the principal scientist behind this task, said, the research outcome published recently has been already updated in reputed amphibian journals further strengthening Sri Lanka as one of the world’s most important amphibian hotspots.

Tilly's willy: Sea World employees routinely have sex with an abused serial killer whale

Happy endings with a whale must stop! Free willy


For years I've been writing about various aspects of animal behavior, focussing more recently on their emotional and moral lives, conservation strategies, and the horrific ways in which animals in captivity are treated. In February 2010 I wrote about Tilikum (AKA TIlly), a wild-caught killer whale who attacked and killed a trainer at Sea World. This wasn't the first time Tilly had killed a human. Tilly had been taken from his pod at about 2 years of age in 1983. Now, 28 years later, Tilly is back on display and continues to be a very successful stud, used in the same way that puppies in a puppy mill are used to make more dogs. In effect, Tilly is part of a profit-motivated "whale mill" the result of which is to produce more whales who will languish and be abused in captivity, for entertaining humans by performing stupid tricks. While the confinement of Tilly and other Orcas (and many other animals) in and of itself is as regrettable, demeaning, and disrespectful as can be, I just learned that humans go into the water to play with Tilly's willy so that he produces semen (see also). I was shocked. How could I not know this, as I've been studying and writing about animals for decades? While some people from Sea World deny that this is done, former Sea World scientist, John Hall, disagrees as do others who have worked at this

New zoo proposed near Ettimadai

The Coimbatore corporation will soon come up with a master plan for creating a new zoo on 73 acres of land at Ettimadai close to the Kerala border.


The city will get a new zoo on its outskirts and a team of experts from the Central Zoo Authority have already identified 73 acres of land for this at Ettimadai on the foothills of the Western Ghats. "There is no big zoo for the animals of the Western Ghats, some of which are unique to the region. The Ettimadai zoo will take care of this," says corporation commissioner Anshul Mishra.


"The contour mapping for the zoo has been done. The survey was slightly delayed because of the elections. However, we will resume it now. We are in the process of identifying a consultant for the master plan. We also have to get government approval to acquire a few more acres of land in the region," Mishra said.


The expert team visited the corporation-run VOC Zoological Park and has proposed that the animals and birds be shifted to the upcoming zoo. "We spend about Rs 40-45 lakh per year on maintaining the old zoo. But since we are ultimately going to shift it, we have not spent much on infrastructure," said Mishra, explaining why the present zoo is in a bad state.


"The land in Ettimadai is suitable for a zoo since it is flat and has no undulations. We are also consulting with the forest department in this regard," he said.


The shifting of the zoo to the outskirts of the city has been a long pending issue. Some activists had accused the zoo management of neglecting the animals. Denying this

West and Central African Lions Are Genetically Different from Those in East and Southern Africa

Researchers from the Institute of Environmental Sciences and the Leiden Institute of Biology in the Netherlands have recently published the findings of their genetic research on lions, which reveals a remarkable difference between lions in West and Central Africa and lions in East and southern Africa.


The study, from which the results were published in the Journal of Biogeography, was conducted by a consortium of researchers from a number of different universities.


Genetically different


The outcome of their research suggests that lions from West and Central Africa are genetically different from lions in East and southern Africa. The researchers analysed a region on the mitochondrial DNA of lions from all over Africa and from India, including sequences from extinct lions such as the Atlas lions in Morocco. Surprisingly, lions from West and Central Africa seemed to be more related to lions from the Asiatic subspecies than to their counterparts in East and southern Africa.

Saharan dust feeds Atlantic Ocean plankton

A storm in Africa's Sahara Desert brought a sandy fertilizer to the Atlantic Ocean on April 8, triggering plankton blooms that show up as blue-green swirls in this photo from the European Space Agency's Envisat satellite. The storm's plume covered parts of Ireland [top left], England [top right], France [below England] and the Iberian Peninsula [bottom right].


Saharan sand carries nitrogen, phosphorus and iron—delicious and essential treats for phytoplankton, which are microscopic ocean plants. The sand frequently hitches a ride on atmospheric convection currents and travels as far south as the tropical Atlantic and west to the Caribbean Sea.


Saharan dust in the ocean is a "mixed blessing," according to NASA's Earth Observatory. The plankton that feed on the dust's minerals can bloom significantly, providing food for other ocean creatures, but an overgrown bloom can consume much of the dissolved oxygen in an area and create

Europe's first killer whale born after artificial insemination - and she weighs 23 STONE

A killer whale born in France is thought to be Europe's first to have been conceived via artificial insemination.


Following a pregnancy lasting more than 18 months, 11-year-old Wikie - herself born in the water park - gave birth last month to her 6.5ft baby at Marineland in Antibes.


The calf, a girl, weighed just over 23 stone when she was born in mid-March.


The birth followed a decade of work by the French park and American researcher Todd Robeck, from SeaWorld in San Antonio, Texas, according to The Riviera Times.


She was fathered by Ulysses, a male from San Diego's SeaWorld, and is Wikie's first offspring.


Jon Kershaw, Marineland's wildlife director, told the paper: 'The baby orca has survived its first month after birth. This time is very dangerous for most offspring, but fortunately she has pulled through it and we are ecstatic to have her as part of the family.


'It takes months to train the killer whales to calmly accept insemination and a dose of two million sperms are usually injected into the female whales to get them pregnant.


'In Wikie’s case,

Twycross Zoo mourns death of young elephant

The first Asian elephant to be conceived via artificial insemination in the UK has died of a heart condition.


The Asian bull elephant, named Ganesh Vijay, was raised at Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire by his mother Noorjahan.


Ganesh Vijay has suffered from epileptic fits from birth, and required intensive nursing for the first five weeks

Rhino head, snow leopard sold in U.S. auction

The mounted head of an endangered white rhinoceros and the stuffed remains of a highly endangered snow leopard, remnants of the fortune amassed and lost by an Alaska real-estate titan, have been auctioned off to pay some of his debts, officials said on Monday.


The wildlife trophies were part of the estate auctioned off in Anchorage to settle the bankruptcy case of Robert Kubick, a once-wealthy businessman and big-game hunter who was imprisoned after being convicted of defrauding his creditors.


Buyers of the endangered animal trophies had to be Alaska residents and were required to keep the items in

Tigers Need More Space, Experts Say

Indonesia’s few remaining Sumatran tigers need to be placed in more conducive breeding environments if the species is to be saved, conservationists say.


Satyawan Pudyatmoko, an expert on wild animals from Yogyakarta’s Gadjah Mada University, said the fragmented tiger habitats in the forests of Sumatra should be connected to allow the tigers to roam and mate outside of their original habitats and prevent inbreeding.


“This will ensure strong genes to help them survive,” he said. Four tigers, he added, would need roughly 100 square kilometers where they could roam.


Chairul Saleh, from WWF Indonesia, said the fragmented habitats were the results of massive deforestation, which also resulted in the loss of prey for the tigers. As a consequence, he




New Protests in Egypt: Activists to Picket Cairo Zoo for Animal Rights
The Egyptian uprising was enough to wrestle a dictator from his long-held post and bring shadows of democracy to a Middle Eastern nation. But can people power also be utilized to elicit support for an animal-rights movement?
A coalition of organizations and activists in Egypt have banded together to demand an overhaul of animal treatment within the country, and just as weeks of protests forced the resignation of former president Hosni Mubarak in February, they hope that a citizen demonstration will bring a renewed focus to the issues that have long plagued the country and seem to only get worse over time.
The Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA), along with the Egyptian Society of Animal Friends (ESAF) and Animal Welfare Awareness Research (AWAR), announced over the

What a zoo
A corner of cheerful coexistence in a largely segregated city
FOR the peccaries at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, it is a familiar experience. Dark-clothed humans appear disgusted when they spot them from afar, and then, drawing nearer, suddenly beam smiles and benevolence. The pig-like animals from South America have a comforting sign on their enclosure. “Doss is nisht a chazer,” it assures Yiddish-speaking visitors from the city’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community: “This is not a pig.”
The same assurance appears in Arabic, too, for the thousands of Muslim visitors. Neither religion positively enjoins zoo-going. But the director, Shai Doron, tries to be accommodating. A signpost near the kangaroos, making the sacrilegious claim that the continents shifted 40m years ago, used to be defaced almost daily. Now it has been subtly reworded to “many years ago”, and peace reigns.
For Mr Doron, in fact, religious strictures are a boon. His carnivores get all their meat and poultry at knock-down prices from Jewish slaughterhouses. These call the zoo whenever a butchered animal is ruled unkosher. Many Jewish disqualifications also

Madrid zoo unveils first orangutan born there in more than 20 years, name is BooThe first baby orangutan to be born in captivity in 20 years at the Madrid zoo has made its first public appearance.
The 9-month-old primate named Boo cuddled a stuffed animal — a bright yellow orangutan — as it was unveiled by a keeper Thursday.
Boo’s mother died of lung disease in late February. Baby orangutans normally stay very close to their mothers until they are a year or so old and nurse until they are 2 or 3. Boo gets his milk from a

Bill would ban video of Minnesota farming operations
Making undercover videos of animal mistreatment would be illegal in Minnesota under bills pending in the state Legislature.
The bills would make it illegal to make audio or video recordings at any animal facility without permission. Even possessing such videos would become illegal.
Animal rights advocates say the proposal would have a chilling effect on whistle-blowers trying to call attention to animal cruelty.
Republican Sen. Doug Magnus of Slayton tells the Star Tribune the bill he's sponsoring is "aimed at people who are harassing and sabotaging these operations."

Berlin Zoo tells loyal Knut fans to get stuffed
Plans to put the dead polar bear's carcass on display have angered followers worldwide
The angry protesters, wearing T-shirts and badges emblazoned with furry images of their dead hero, have turned the entrance of Berlin Zoo into a shrine of remembrance decked out with candles, photographs, and flowers.
Emotions were already running high in the German capital over last month's sudden death of Knut, the world's most famous polar bear. But now officials have announced plans to stuff Knut's carcass and put it on display in the Berlin Natural History Museum, causing them to boil over into rage.
"Knut simply does not deserve this fate," complained Jochen Kolbe, 31, the leader of a growing campaign to stop the bear being stuffed. "Knut is not only a polar bear; he is a friend and a family member. If somebody dies in your family, do you want to see him stuffed in a museum?"
The idea to have Knut stuffed and put on public display were conceived by Berhard Blaszkiewitz, the Berlin Zoo director ultimately responsible for turning the polar bear into a global celebrity, earning millions in visitors fees alone. Knut was rejected by his mother when he was born in 2006, and the zoo arranged for him to be hand-reared by his keeper, Thomas Dörflein. Watched by the world's television cameras, Knut was played Elvis songs on his keeper's guitar and nurtured with helpings of cod liver oil.
Before his unexpected death after a brain seizure last month, world fame had

Troubled zoo blames the weather for loss of 90,000 visitors
Edinburgh Zoo has seen its visitor numbers slump by more than 90,000, despite a bumper year for rival leading attractions.
Scotland's leading animal attraction suffered the biggest drop – equivalent to 250 visitors a day – among the top 20 "paid-for" sites around the country last year.
The 14.1 per cent fall is thought to have cost the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland more than £1 million.
Over the past few months, 16 jobs have been axed to help stave off a financial crisis.
The zoo has been embroiled in scandal in recent weeks after two senior offic

Study: Climate change, whales causing penguins to starve
That most iconic species of cold-weather waterfowl, penguins, is in dire peril due to climate change and a resurgence of hungry whales, according to the results of a long-term study.
Back in the early 80s, about half of Adelie and chinstrap penguins on the West Antarctic Peninsula returned to their breeding grounds after hatching. That number has plummeted to just 10 percent today – the implication being that the AWOL penguins have starved to death.
Biologist Wayne Trivelpiece of the National Marine Fisheries Service, a researcher in the study who has been on the penguin case since the 1970s, thinks he knows what’s killing

$4,000 worth of coral stolen from Midvale store
Thousands of dollars worth of exotic coral was stolen from a saltwater aquarium store in Midvale.
On April 1, the owner of 'Marine Aquatics' says the suspect grabbed $4,000 worth of coral from a tank and walked out of the store.
Surveillance cameras caught the crime from several different angles.
The owner says he believes the suspect knew what he was looking for. "Most of the pieces that are in the tank are the elite pieces or the higher-end pieces, the more expensive pieces," says Jerry Ohrn the owner of

Australia Zoo welcomes baby white rhino
AUSTRALIA Zoo has a cute new addition to its family - a baby white rhino.
She's about 60kg and a bit wobbly after being born at 3.15am yesterday.
Zoo spokeswoman Manu Ludden said the female calf was doing well and had already started feeding from proud mum Caballe.
"Our little rhino calf was on the move immediately after being born and she has already had at least three good long feeds," Ms Ludden said.
"Mum is also doing well. She is super relaxed

Task force recommends zoo expansion, but on a smaller scale
After more than 90 minutes of arguing over lines on a map, the Buttonwood Park Zoo expansion task force made a recommendation that may allow for the zoo to retain elephants as well as give it space to handle new exhibits.
The recommendation would expand the zoo to the north, to the edge of the greenhouse in the park, although no one at the meeting would give an acreage estimate, as the land has yet to be surveyed.
The task force is an advisory board comprising representatives from the surrounding neighborhood, city government, the zoo and the park.
Dr. William Langbauer, the zoo's director, said after the meeting that the proposal is about half of zoo's original 4-acre proposal. Louis Garibaldi, the Friends of Buttonwood Park president and a foil of Langbauer's throughout the task force's discussions, meanwhile, said after the meeting that the zoo got about 80 percent of what it wanted.
"The park got the short end of the stick," he said.
The zoo is located within Buttonwood, and

Sanctuary Sued for Chimpanzee Attack
An unpaid volunteer says a primate sanctuary failed to protect her from a chimpanzee that attacked and bit her as she cleaned its cage.
Andrea M. Maturen says the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary Foundation has greater knowledge of what's required to deal with chimps, but failed "adequately segregate" the adult female, Shawn, or to put a panic button in the chimp's cage. Maturen also says the foundation did not immediately provide her with medical care, causing her "considerable and unnecessary physical pain and suffering, fear, angst, terror and emotional pain and suffering".
The sanctuary's attorney, however, said, "This lawsuit never should have been filed." Attorney Tom Dandar, of Tampa, added, "We have paperwork that she signed."
Dandar acknowledged, though, that the chimp

Volunteer attacked by chimp sues Suncoast Primate Sanctuary Foundation
A volunteer who survived a vicious chimpanzee attack at a local animal sanctuary filed a suit against the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary Foundation this week.
Andrea Maturen, 23, was attacked on Feb. 12, 2010, while cleaning a cage at the sanctuary, formerly known as Noell's Ark Chimp Farm. Shawn, a 75-pound chimpanzee, jumped on Maturen and bit the back of her head after opening a door in an adjacent cage. The attack continued as Shawn chased Maturen around the sanctuary.
Maturen said sanctuary officials initially told her they'd help her with her medical bills, which topped out at $55,000. But months later, they offered her about $50 a month, she said.
She's having a hard time putting the incident behind her with the bills looming over her head, she said.
"It's super stressful," Maturen said. "It makes it impossible for me to emotionally move on from it."
Outreach coordinator Debbie Cobb and her husband Jon, a foundation officer, were also named in the suit.
Among other allegations, Maturen's suit claims that the sanctuary and the Cobbs failed to obtain immediate and proper medical care for her. It also accuses them of "misleading law enforcement," causing a delay in the treatment of her injuries and unnecessary pain.
Maturen sustained a deep cut in the back of her head, a broken thumb, a gaping mouth-shaped wound on her elbow, and various bites and scratches.
Debbie Cobb referred a call for comment to her attorney, saying, "I'm just not going to entertain anyone that's not in the best interest of the sanctuary, or the animals or even for Andrea."
Cobb's Tampa lawyer, Thomas Dandar, said he hasn't seen the entire complaint yet, but said, "I deny most of the allegations in there." He said he was surprised Maturen filed a lawsuit.
Earlier this year, Maturen told the St. Petersburg Times she was angry to discover that the Cobbs and other sanctuary workers kept a deputy waiting outside the sanctuary on Alt. U.S. 19 while she lay bleeding inside.
The day of the attack, no one from the sanctuary called 911.
A deputy responded after a patron at the facility called authorities. The deputy said sanctuary workers were evasive about Maturen's condition and refused to let him into the sanctuary, according to a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office report.
"Looking at the time line, it appears Andrea (Maturen) was at the sanctuary with severe and potentially life-threatening injuries while I was outside trying to find out what happened and check on her," the deputy wrote. "She went over an hour before receiving medical treatment at (a clinic). I believe I was intentionally misled about her condition, about what happened and her location."
About 10 minutes after the attack, Maturen said she found refuge in the sanctuary bathroom, where she lay bleeding. Several minutes later, after another volunteer called the Cobbs, she heard the Cobbs trying to lure Shawn back to her enclosure.
Eventually, unbeknownst to the deputy outside, Maturen was ushered into the car of another volunteer, who followed Jon Cobb to a walk-in medical clinic about five or 10 minutes away, Maturen said. To get there, they would have likely passed Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital and its emergency room.
Maturen's father is outraged about how his daughter was treated.
"You would think the main thing would be getting help for whoever was injured," said Bill Maturen, who lives near Largo. "The hell with the monkeys."
The suit, filed Monday, also accuses

Rhino kills mount after poachers exit jail
Posing a serious challenge to wildlife conservation, a dozen poachers who were released four and a half years ago after their jail sentences were commuted, have now been ravaging wildlife at Chitwan National Park (CNP), investigations show.
Ramsaran BK, one of the 12 poachers set free in August, 2006 after they had served just three and a half years of a 15-year sentence, was arrested again on poaching charges recently.
BK, who is known as an all-time notorious rhino-horn smuggler, was nabbed last week in the capital in a raid by the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), which has been running ´Operation Hunt´ against poaching rings for a couple of months now.
The poachers must all have reverted to their old ways, given the rapid increase in rhino-poaching in the wake of the amnesty, which

NEW Zoo in Suamico uses specialized software to track diets of all its animals
Zootrition helps zoos decide how much food to give
Neil Anderson shows us how the NEW Zoo uses specialized software to figure out how much food to give the animals.
The animals' dietary needs can change over the year. For example, when the giraffes are outdoors during warmer weather, their activity level picks up and they need more calories.
The Zootrition software has a database of more than 3,000 different types of food to help zookeepers prepare and manage a diet. It takes into account each animal's size and body weight. It also takes into consideration the animal's physiological status, for example

Keeper’s Dudley Zoo memories
Dudley Zoo was his playground as a child – with the castle as an unusual climbing frame.
And more than 70 years later, former keeper Les Baker had a trip down memory lane when he returned to his childhood home.
His first visit to the zoo was in 1937 — the year it opened — with his father, who became the elephant keeper at the complex.
George Edward Baker was in charge of elephants until his death in 1952. He had been working with elephants at a travelling circus but wanted to settle down and brought his young family from the south of England to the Midlands.
One of the attractions for George was that the job included family accommodation in Castle Lodge set within woodland in the zoo grounds.
His son says he can clearly remember living in the lodge, which has since been demolished. The 77-year-old, of Woodsetton, said:”As a lad living on site, I loved it.
“Imagine having a zoo as your playground, and there is no part of Dudley Castle that I haven’t climbed at some time.”
He also recalled tales from his father’s time at the zoo, including a sticky situation on a summer’s day in the late 1940s. He said: “Dad paraded an elephant on the forecourt of the elephant house for the benefit of a throng of visitors

TB in elephants called 'a gray area'
Animal-rights group says elephant with positive TB test is a danger, but circus and government health officials say there is no risk
An animal-rights group contends that an elephant performing in Baltimore with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus poses a health risk to the public because she has tested positive for tuberculosis, but circus and government health officials say the animal is no threat because she does not have an active form of the infectious disease.
Karen, a 42-year-old Asian elephant, tested positive for TB in a blood test but negative in a follow-up test known as a trunk wash, which involves taking a culture of saline solution run through the animal's trunk.
The positive blood test was enough to get Karen barred from entering Tennessee with the rest of the circus back in December. But it appears that health officials in that state, where TB was transmitted from another elephant to nine employees at a refuge in 2009, were taking a stricter stance than

Wellington Zoo's Big Bite 2 Benefits Bears Around The World
In early March Wellington Zoo held its second Big Bite fundraising event. The night was a great success, raising more than $4,000 for Free the Bears Asia through a money-can't-buy auction as well as $30,000 to help build the ASB Malayan Sun Bear exhibit at the Zoo. The new exhibit will be home to Sean and Sasa - the Zoo's sun bears. Brendon Veale, Fundraising Manager at the Zoo explains; "As well as raising money for our own sun bears here at the Zoo, it was great to be able to support our friends at Free the Bears with the important work that they are doing. It really highlights the role that zoos can play in raising awareness and funds for species that are in trouble in the wild" Part of Wellington Zoo's sponsorship arrangement with Arataki Honey means that Arataki raises funds for Free the Bears at its visitor centre in Havelock North throughout the year. "We are delighted to contribute to the donation Wellington Zoo is giving to Free the Bears. We have a special exhibition in our visitor centre about the Wellington Zoo sun bears and ask our visitors to give donations to help bears in the wild through Free the Bears," says Pam Flack, Arataki Honey Director. Together with sponsor Arataki Honey, Wellington Zoo has worked for many years to raise funds to support the work of Free the Bears Asia through its Conservation Fund. The Zoo also raises awareness of the issues that bears face in the wild in Asia. Sean was rescued from a restaurant in Cambodia by Free the Bears Asia and the Zoo was

Don't play with your food! Bengal tiger entertains at Thailand zoo by leaping into pool after chunks of meat
These spectacular images show a female Bengal tiger as she attempts to entertain visitors at a Thailand zoo.
Asih has become a favourite for visitors at Rangunan zoo as she dives into her pool in pursuit of chunks of meat.
The big cat leaps into the

Zoo join campaign to increase number of trees in the UK
CHESTER Zoo has rolled up its sleeves to join a tree planting movement aiming to double the number of native trees and woods in the UK.
Staff from the zoo teamed up with children from Acresfield Primary School in Upton to help pupils plant 50 tree saplings - marking the launch of this year’s RHS 'Britain in Bloom' campaign, which aims to increase the number of trees in Britain.
The move comes as a recent United Nations (UN) report highlighted the UK as the second-least wooded country in Europe with just 12 per cent forest cover.
Finland topped the league of forest-clad countries with 73 per cent cover and Sweden, Slovenia, Latvia and Estonia all exceed 50 per cent.
In an attempt to change this, RHS 'Britain in Bloom' and the Woodland Trust are donating 200,000 free tree saplings to be planted by communities across the UK, including Chester.
The giveaway is in support of the UN’s 2011 International Year of Forests. Chester Zoo will be planting 400 of these trees around its ponds, hedgerows and visitor car parks

Zoo's little penguin patients released
A FEW took their time but most didn’t waste a second getting back into the water.
Eight little penguins were released at Fishermans Beach today after being treated for a range of conditions at Taronga Zoo.
Some were malnourished, some had been injured and some

Baby elephant's death affects zoo staff
The death of Dineo, the first baby elephant born at the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa in Pretoria, felt like a death in the family, zoo staff said yesterday.
Dineo, born three weeks ago, died in her sleep yesterday morning. An autopsy is being conducted.
"We had her under 24-hour surveillance since the day she was born," said Craig Allenby, a manager at the zoo.
"Within the first day we saw she wasn't feeding, and we acted immediately. We even had permanent veterinary staff with her in the end."
Dineo was the first calf of Pumbi, an "immature mother", said Allenby. In the wild, more experienced mothers help inexperienced ones rear their calves, or even rear the calves for them

Erica the trapped River Tay beaver died of septic shock in Edinburgh Zoo
A post mortem examination has revealed that the beaver trapped as part of a controversial scheme on the River Tay died of septic shock
A beaver captured on the River Tay died at Edinburgh Zoo from septic shock, a post mortem examination has revealed.
The beaver, nick-named Erica, was captured in Perthshire as part of a controversial trapping campaign ordered by Scottish Natural Heritage.
A post mortem has revealed that a small splinter of plant material in the beaver’s leg allowed bacteria to enter her body.
Erica contracted septicaemia after the splinter entered her leg during her time at the zoo.
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has claimed that there is no immediate concern to other animals after the death.
Campaigners in the Scottish Beaver Group claimed Erica’s death last month backed

West Bank zoo welcomes new Tel Aviv hippo
A West Bank zoo has welcomed a new hippopotamus that was delivered to Qalqiliya town courtesy of a zoo in Tel Aviv, in what officials said was a goodwill gesture.
Visitors watched while zoo keepers introduced the latest arrival to its new living quarters.
The animals were given by the Ramat Gan Zoo near Tel Aviv, also known as the Israeli Safari.
The zoo has in the past moved some of its animals to other zoos in the Palestinian territories.
The animals successfully travelled a path that many Israelis and Palestinians cannot - the army prohibits Israelis from entering Palestinian areas

US lawmakers seek to ban chimp experiments
US lawmakers proposed bills banning medical research on chimpanzees in the United States, the last major industrialized country to still use to the apes for experiments.
"Scientists worldwide have halted chimpanzee experiments, because these intelligent creatures suffer immensely and are poor models for researching human diseases," said Elizabeth Kucinich, director of government affairs for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medecine.
Her research ethics group has campaigned for the bills now being sponsored in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington, Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Susan Collins, a Republican senator, are sponsoring the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, which would put

Maritime Aquarium Seeks Horseshoe Crab Tagging Help
Norwalk’s Maritime Aquarium is seeking help from Westporters and other area residents as spring moons draw male and female horseshoe crabs on to beaches for an annual mating ritual.
An announcement today said it is seeking volunteers to help attach census tags to horseshoe crabs as they come out of the water to spawn at Norwalk’s Calf Pasture Beach.
It is part of a census of horseshoe crabs in Long Island Sound being led by Jennifer Mattei of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, the announcement said. The Maritime Aquarium is assisting with the census and tagging.
The horseshoe crab population on the East Coast may be declining as the animals are harvested and ground up for use as bait in eel pots, the Aquarium said.
“Fewer horseshoe crabs would mean

World Kazakhstan to reintroduce Turan tiger
Kazakhstan and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are to jointly launch a program to reintroduce Turan tigers to the Central Asian state, the government's press service said on Friday.
Central Asian Turan tigers were exterminated in the 20th century. Ecologists say the restoration project includes bringing in Russian Amur tigers as they are genetically identical to Turan tigers.
"For this purpose, we will establish a unique preserve of the kind in our country in the southern part of the Lake Balkhash area," the Kazakh government press service said.
Lake Balkhash in southeastern Kazakhstan, one of the largest in Asia, is the original habitat of the Turan tiger.
"We have agreed that the WWF and the Ministry of Environment in Kazakhstan will draw up a comprehensive program to

"Free the Atlanta 11" group to protest Georgia Aquarium show On Saturday, April 16 between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., concerned members of the greater Atlanta and surrounding communities along with marine conservation activists from the ‘Free the Atlanta 11’ group will unite to protest the Georgia Aquarium’s newest attraction, the “Dolphin Tales Show”.
Learn more about current dolphin research and the money interests behind this exploitive attraction. Find out how you can get involved to help raise awareness

World’s 2nd deadliest poison, in an aquarium store near youIn 2007, a man from Woodbridge, Virginia was rushed into hospital after inhaling an aerosolised version of one of the deadliest poisons on the planet. He was not the victim of a terrorist attack. He wasn’t working in a biohazard laboratory. He was trying to clean out his fish tank.
The man, who posts on the Reef Central Forums as Steveoutlaw, was trying to get rid of a colony of zoanthids – a relative of corals and sea anemones – that was infesting his aquarium rocks. He had heard that boiling water would do the trick. When he tried it, he accidentally inhaled some of the steam.
Twenty minutes later, his nose was running and he had a cough. Four hours later, his breathing was laboured and he was headed to the emergency room. By the time he arrived, he was suffering from severe coughing fits and chest pains. He was stabilised, but he developed asthma and a persistent cough, and had to use steroids and an inhaler for at least two months.
The reason for his sudden illness was palytoxin, a speciality of zoanthids, and the second deadliest poison in the natural world. One gram of the stuff will kill more than a hundred million mice. This poison, liberated by

Will Bob Barker’s plea sway Toronto Zoo to move elephants?Former Price is Right host Bob Barker says he’ll likely contribute some of his own money to help relocate three Toronto elephants to a warmer sanctuary, an offer the chair of the Toronto Zoo board isn’t rejecting.
The former game show host arrived Thursday in Toronto to try to persuade zoo officials Friday to move Toka, Thika and Iringa to new homes in the U.S.
“If necessary, I certainly will (donate cash). I think that there are organizations who are prepared to pay for that, but if they run short, yes, absolutely,” Barker told the Star shortly after arriving at his hotel Thursday night.
He said he had heard the zoo board and

Elephant exhibit to open next month at Cleveland zooSeveral months ago, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo brought Jo, Martika and Moshi, three adult female elephants, back from Columbus to see their new multimillion dollar home — African Elephant Crossing.
Four times as big as their previous digs and full of features that will give zoo guests up close views of the animals, the new enclosure is scheduled to open May 5.
At that time, the ladies, along with the zoo’s newest elephants, Shenga and a bull named Willy that just arrived on April 5 but is still being kept in quarantine, will be on full display in their grander but still

Recent census in war-torn DR Congo finds gorillas have survived, even increasedCensus team led by Wildlife Conservation Society, ICCN braves insecurity of imperiled Kahuzi-Biega National Park
A census team led by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Insitut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) in Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo today announced some encouraging news from a region plagued by warfare and insecurity: a small population of Grauer's gorillas has not only survived, but also increased since the last census.
The census, conducted late 2010 in the highland sector of Kahuzi-Biega National Park, revealed the presence of 181 individual Grauer's gorillas, up from 168 individuals detected in the same sector in 2004.
A "cousin" to the more famous mountain gorilla, the Grauer's gorilla is the largest subspecies of gorilla in the world, growing up to 500 pounds. The Grauer's gorilla (also known as the eastern lowland gorilla) is the least known subspecies, due in large part to the 15 years of insecurity in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The gorilla is listed as "Endangered" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN's) Red List and may number fewer than 4,000 individual animals.
"We had several close calls with armed militias during the survey," said Deo Kujirakwinja, WCS's Albertine Rift Coordinator in DRC. "Thankfully, no one was hurt, and our census result is positive news

Extremely interesting Film on the birth of a Killer Whale at Marineland

You've got male: gender of 12-day-old gorilla revealedAFTER A two-week wait, Dublin Zoo was finally able yesterday to reveal the sex of its newborn baby gorilla. It’s a boy.
The youngster’s mother had previously held him so tightly that keepers were unable to determine his gender.
However, mother gorilla Lena has recently begun to relax her grip just enough for the staff to make a judgment. “A little boy, it’s fantastic for the population of western lowland gorillas. Mum is healthy, baby is healthy so it’s a very special day for Dublin Zoo,” said Ciarán McMahon, the team leader responsible for the gorillas.
A spokeswoman for the zoo said that since they announced the birth of the baby gorilla the public interest had been phenomenal.
“Visitors have flocked to the zoo to see him,” she said.
The baby gorilla does not yet have a name and Dublin Zoo is asking members of the public to submit their suggestions via Facebook

Kakapo's Future May Lie With Ailing ChickA chick with "precious genes" has been flown from Codfish Island sanctuary to be treated by Wellington Zoo's resident kakapo expert.
The gangly grey chick is one of 11 hatchlings from this year's kakapo breeding season and could one day play an important role in the rare parrot's survival.
Solstice One, as the 34-day-old chick is known, had been suffering from unknown respiratory problems and low health.
On Tuesday, it was flown to Wellington for one-on-one treatment from veterinary science manager and kakapo chick expert Lisa Argilla.
She has helped to hand-raise 26 chicks, after working with Conservation Department rangers in heavy breeding seasons.
This week Dr Argilla and her team had been running blood tests, X-rays and other diagnostics to try to work out what was wrong.
She said the chick might be suffering from "fatty liver", which can happen when rangers supplement the adult kakapo population's food sources. "It can be deadly




California zoo prepares for rare captive walrus birth (Scan)
A California zoo walrus is due to give birth to a calf this month, in a fairly rare event that has only been recorded 11 times before in captivity in North America, park officials said on Friday.
The 16 year-old Pacific walrus named Uquq is expected to give birth this month at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, near San Francisco.
The park has three walruses, one male and two females, which were acquired as calves in 1994.
The animals have been slow to reproduce as the two females' breeding season did not match the rutting season of the male, which is named Sivuqaq, park officials said.
Despite the obstacles, Uquq was

Chinese students wear turtle keychains
The latest fashion trend to come out of China, according to local media, is sporting keychains with tiny turtles and fish sealed inside.
They are being sold outside train stations and are especially popular among school children.
How do you feed the little creatures? You don't.
Vendors say the water, often coloured, that the animals swim around in is nutrient-rich.
'The water in the key ring has 'nutrients',' one vendor told Global Times. 'They can live for months inside there.'
But experts say nutrients or not, fish and turtles need to breathe and will die within days, if not hours, of being put inside a sealed

Algorithm Finds the Hairy-Nosed Wombat Not Worth Saving

It's a bad day to be an Australian hairy-nosed wombat.


Researchers at James Cook University and the University of Adelaide have come up with a new algorithm that ranks endangered species based on how much effort should be expended in an attempt to save them. The hairy-nosed wombat, which is one of the rarest large mammals in the world even though it once roamed across almost all of Australia as recently as 100 years ago, didn't make the cut. It's the Google search approach -- except the poor wombat doesn't show up until page 10 of your results.


There's only so much money out there available for conservation efforts. And that number, whatever it might be, isn't enough to save even a fraction of the species that are currently teetering on the brink of extinction, according to Corey Bradshaw, a professor at the University of Adelaide that worked on the team that developed the new algorithm. "We wanted to come up with an index that was really based around theory that we have developed over the last 20 years about what constitutes the best chance for a species to persist over time," Bradshaw told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).


Currently, the list maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species ranks animals from safe to critical endangered. But Bradshaw takes issue: "A lot of those categories are based on somewhat arbitrary thresholds for how much a species has declined over a certain period of time or how much its range has contracted, and there is a lot of expert opinion so there is some subjectivity involved," he told ABC.


Bradshaw's new index is based, instead, largely

Zimbabwe rhino conservationist wins top international environmentalist award

The endangered African rhinoceros isn’t like a prehistoric dinosaur on the verge of extinction. It is robust in its natural habitat, it is disease resistant and breeds well when protected from poachers, says veteran Zimbabwean conservationist Raoul du Toit.


“If you can keep the poachers away, rhinos can look after themselves extremely well,” he said.


Du Toit was named Monday among six recipients of this year’s Goldman Environmental Prize, the most prestigious international award for environmental activists, citing them as “fearless emerging leaders working against all odds to protect the environment

Rare turtle’s habitat discovered in Vietnam’s Central Highlands

A group of scientists have discovered that Lam Dong Province in the Central Highlands is the habitat of an endangered turtle species, Saigon Tiep Thi reported Monday.


Dr. Bryan Stuart from the US-based North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and scientists from Ho Chi Minh City University of Sciences, found eight southern Vietnamese box turtles (Cuora picturata) in the forests of Langbian plateau during a study conducted from July 2010 to January this year.


Scientists have never spotted the turtle in the wild before.


A representative of the group said the discovery was significant to preserve the endangered animal. The species was first recorded in 1998 during an investigation into wildlife trades in Ho Chi Minh City.


According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Cuora picturata is a “critically

Zoo chick swap tricks rare condors

Keepers at the Oregon Zoo have pulled off a California condor chick trick. An inexperienced pair of the endangered condors got rough with a freshly hatched chick last weekend, and keeper Kelli Walker rushed to the rescue, grabbed the chick out of the nest and brought it to a veterinary clinic. Walker tells The Oregonian she never usually would have done something so dramatic, but every chick counts with the condors, which were nearly lost to extinction in the 1980s. The zoo’s captive breeding program had an older pair of condors incubating a dummy egg as insurance. So the

Denver Zoo Orangutan Breathes Easier With eFlow Technology From PARI

A state-of-the-art, eFlow Technology nebulizer (PARI Pharma GmbH) has lifted one Denver Zoo orangutan's health and spirits. Mias (Mee-us), a 27-year-old orangutan, has what veterinarians believe to be chronic airsacculitis, a complex respiratory disease that is a substantial problem in both wild and zoo orangutans. Current information suggests that this condition in orangutans may also have some similarities to cystic fibrosis in p

The koala coup that changes the menu

It's a scientific discovery that rewrites the textbooks on koala ecology, shattering the myth they only eat gum leaves.


Across 30,000ha of dry eucalypt forest south-west of Bredbo in southern NSW, evidence has emerged of healthy koalas gnawing bark from brittle gum trees. Some of these ''koala chew trees'', as scientists are now calling them, have deeply gouged teeth marks running from the base of the tree, up into the crown.


'' We don't know why they do it, but it shows koala foraging is far more complex than we thought,'' NSW National Parks and Wildlife ecologist Chris Allen said.


''They could be after salt, minerals or even sap.


''We don't know if bark is a food source or supplement, or if this chewing is linked to weaning behaviour in young animals.''


More than 200 years after Australia's early colonial naturalists were so baffled by the koala they couldn't decide if it was a sloth or a monkey, koalas are showing they can still baffle the experts. Although scientists have claimed for more than a century that wild koalas feed exclusively on eucalypt leaves, local historical records refer to Aboriginal tribes on the Monaro describing

Turtle signs proving too popular with thieves

Del Stowe has a message for township thieves: please don't steal the turtle crossing signs.


Theft of the signs has been a problem since the program began three years ago, and it seems to be getting worse. Of the 18 signs around the township reminding motorists to watch out for the slow-walking reptiles, at least 6 were missing as of last week.


"It doesn't make any sense," said Stowe. "What do they want them for, hanging in their rec room?


"We'd happily sell them one for cost (about $45) if that's the case."


Although evidence of the signs' effectiveness is primarily anecdotal, anyone driving the roads of Frontenac County can see that they seem to have had an impact on the number of turtles killed on area roadways, Stowe said.


"We don't have any numbers, but

Burglars break into Lion House at Lincoln Park Zoo

As targets for burglaries go, this one’s a head-scratcher.


Someone broke into the nearly century-old Kovlar Lion House at Lincoln Park Zoo early Saturday morning. After getting inside, they even forced open a steel door that leads into the moat where tigers sometimes roam in their outdoor enclosure — where the offenders, for reason still unknown, left a ladder.


But the burglars were fortunate, it turns out: the tigers were not outside but in a secure indoor enclosure at the time. And whoever broke in also did not access areas where any of the lions, leopards or other big cats were being held overnight, zoo officials assured.


The break-in happened sometime between midnight and 6:20 a.m.. It was discovered by employees arriving to work just before 7 a.m., Lincoln Park Zoo spokeswoman Sharon Dewar said.


Police said the thieves broke a door window and gained access to the building’s basement. There they were able to get inside an office and

Ghost safari: spotting leopards in Oman

In the mountains of Oman, visitors can join the only conservation project in the world trying to save the endangered –and elusive – Arabian leopard


Khalid stopped the pick-up truck and inspected the ground ahead in the light of the headlamps. There were a few tiny greyish plants on a gently convex plateau of jagged loose rocks. It felt like we had landed on a small and rather inhospitable planet. There was no track, and hadn't been for the past few miles – not since we had stopped to look at a wolf track in the dust.


"This is it," he said, "our campsite." He grinned. "It's not as bad as it looks: there'll be enough firewood to boil a kettle, and in the morning – you'll see – it's a good view."


The rest of the team were coming up in two cars. "And leopards?" I asked, "Are they here?"


Khalid made a face. "Insha'Allah [God willing]. There's a trail camera near here which we'll check tomorrow." He jumped out of the car and started unloading, a man used to this life of remote camps in the Dhofar mountains of Oman.


As a wildlife protection officer with Oman's Arabian leopard project, Khalid is on the front line when it comes to saving one of the world's rarest creatures. There are probably fewer

Marineland To Cost $1.5 million in rates

Marineland is doomed but it is still going to cost Napier ratepayers more than $1.5 million in the coming financial year.


The marine zoo, which had been one of Hawke's Bay's top tourist attractions since the mid-1960s, has been closed to the public for two years and Napier City Council plans to shut it permanently.


According to the council's draft annual plan, Marineland will soak up $538,000 in operating costs and $24,000 in depreciation, offset slightly by $9000 in income.


As well, the plan allocates $1m to build a new enclosure for Marineland's little blue penguins at the National Aquarium further south along Marine Pde.


The fate of the dozen seals and sea lions still at Marineland is uncertain but there seems to be no place for them at other zoos in New Zealand and at least some will probably have to be put down when the attraction is finally closed.


Friends of Marineland event coordinator Emily Otto said her group opposed

Flesh eating disease from a turtle?

A UK hairdresser is recovering from necrotizing fasciitis...flesh-eating disease....that was linked to his pet turtle. The problem started when he cut his finger while cleaning out the turtle's tank. An infection developed, which isn't too surprising since a turtle terrarium is full of a variety of bacteria. However, instead of a mild, local infection, he developed an aggressive infection that started to spread up his arm. "His finger turned black and his arm became swollen and red" and amputation was discussed.


It doesn't sound like there were any cultures taken from the infection at the start, but after he didn't respond to initial antibiotics, he ended up in hospital in IV antibiotics. The infection had progressed from his finger to his bloodstream and a bacterium, Group G Streptococcus, was isolated from his blood.


Here's where more details would be useful. The news article simply says "...and the terrapin, called Cosmo, was identified as the culprit'.


It doesn't say how Cosmo was implicated. To make a link, they'd have to find the same bacterium in the turtle's tank. Ideally, beyond just isolating the bug, they'd show that it was the same strain. It's possible that was done, but rarely do people go to that extent, so it's possible that the link was just made because the initial injury occurred in the tank. The problem with that is Group G Strep can be found in healthy people (10-25% in some studies). Therefore, while he set the scene for the infection in the tank, by breaking his skin, he could have become infected from bacteria already on or in his body. Additionally, other animal sources are possible, such

Shark fest at Dubai Aquarium, Underwater Zoo

The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo at The Dubai Mall is celebrating ‘Shark Fest,’ until May 15.


The highlights of the Shark Fest include the introduction of seven new and exotic species of sharks at the Underwater Zoo and the world’s largest collection of Sand Tiger Sharks in the aquarium. With such a diversity of species in one leisure attraction, visitors will have an unprecedented insight into the world of sharks.


The additions will give visitors an unrivalled opportunity to watch the marvels of the ‘shark world’. The seven new species will be differentiated by their remarkable adaptations and a variety of striking appearances. The new shark species include the Black Tip Shark, White Tip Shark, Spotted Bamboo Shark, Coral Cat Shark, Zebra Horned Shark, Wobbegong Shark and Leopard Shark.


With the addition of the seven new species, the total species of aquatic animals in the 33,000-strong family of Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is now over 260.


Visitors can look forward to much more than shark spotting at the aquarium, as Shark Fest offers a unique opportunity to further understand the shark community, watch feedings of different species of shark and gain an overview of the operations of the aquarium through§ion=theuae

Essex County spends $3M to bring leopards, jaguars, cougars to Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange

A cathouse is coming to Essex County. And it’s not going to be cheap.


County officials, though, said the $3 million it will cost to bring snow leopards, jaguars and cougars to the Turtle Back Zoo is a worthwhile expense that will pay off for the local economy as well as for something a little harder to quantify — the overall health of wild felines.


Although the zoo’s director, Jeremy Goodman, said it was difficult to gauge how much any new zoo exhibit boosts attendance, it’s thought the cats might bring an additional 50,000 visitors to

I'll be surprised if Chinese send giant pandas to crisis-hit zoo, expert warns

A PANDA expert has warned that the management crisis at Edinburgh Zoo could jeopardise a deal struck with China to bring two of the endangered species to Scotland.


Henry Nicholls said the suspension of key figures at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) could lead the Chinese to pull out of the agreement.


Iain Valentine, the man who had helped broker the deal to bring two giant pandas to the zoo later this year, was suspended last week pending an investigation into "matters of a very serious nature".


A second member of the management board, believed to be director of development Anthony McReavy, also left his job at RZSS, which owns the attraction. The zoo's interim chief operating officer, Gary Wilson, was suspended in March.


Mr Nicholls, author of the Way of the Panda, told

A leaky ark is better than nothing

There is a particular memory that often comes to mind when I think of zoos.


Years ago, I visited one in the south of England and watched as a group of teenage girls stood at the gorilla enclosure and taunted the apes inside. “You looking at me?” they shouted, waving their arms, gesticulating and leering. “Come on, big boy! Have a go!” Back then, I thought how sad it was that, for all zoos talked about educating us about animals, one of the main things they seem to teach us is that if we can enclose them we have them under our control. They can’t hurt us or run away. Mighty as a gorilla might be, he’s a pussy when he’s behind bars.

Greenwich zoo owner agrees to plea deal

The owner of Ashville Game Farm has agreed to a plea deal in a criminal case against him, and it should not affect his ability to re-open the zoo this spring, according to his lawyer.


Jeffrey Ash, owner of the Greenwich zoo, was in Washington County Court on Friday for a hearing on a 29-count indictment filed against him late last year that accuses him of endangering patrons and a host of environmental and wildlife crimes.


Judge Kelly McKeighan told lawyers in the case that they were "very close" to a resolution, and he adjourned the case until April 29. He said he believed "all terms and conditions could be in place" by that point for the case to be resolved.


One of his lawyers, Tucker Stanclift, said he was confident an agreement would be in place with prosecutors by the next court appearance. But he said he could not discuss the case because McKeighan had imposed a gag order.


Stanclift said there was "nothing that is happening with the legal action that will affect his ability to re-open."


"He will make an economic decision as he does each year," Stanclift said.


The state Department of Environmental Conservation, however, has not allowed Ash to renew his state license pending the outcome of the case, DEC spokeswoman Lori Severino said Friday.


Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright could not be reached for comment later Friday.


The investigation by the state DEC and Washington County District Attorney’s Office began in August after a 7-year-old boy visiting Ashville was apparently bitten by a ringtail lemur.


Three lemurs were seized and killed to be tested for rabies, but none were found to be rabid.


Authorities said an inspection of the game farm found numerous violations of safety regulations, including improper fencing that would allow visitors to have contact with b




Rarer than pandas: The three spring Bagot goats who are anything but gruff
As they sit snuggled up on a bale of hay, these little bundles of black and white fluff have no idea how special they are - being rarer than giant pandas.
But the three Bagot goats, born within hours of each other on a smallholding, are the latest additions to this country’s rarest native breed of goat.
And, with their owner confident they are all girls, they are set to play an important role in ensuring there are plenty more of their kind seen frolicking in fields in the future.
Twins Breeze and Blossom were born to Barbara on Monday afternoon and were quickly followed by their half-sister Blot, who was born to Maia the following morning.
It brings the total number of Bagot goats owned by smallholder John Green, of Wells, Norfolk, to 10, after Beatrix came into the world last September.
Mr Green at one stage had 17 of the rare breed on his land but swapped some for a llama.
He said: ‘We think they are all female, which is really good.
‘They are very rare. There are far fewer of them than there are giant pandas.’ Bagot goats are classed as ‘vulnerable’
New endangered species: Edinburgh Zoo chiefs
ONE of Scotland's leading visitor attractions is in crisis after it emerged that another senior manager at the Royal Zoological Society for Scotland (RZSS) has been suspended and another has left his post.
The departure comes just weeks after the suspension of Gary Wilson, interim chief operating officer of RZSS, following "serious" anonymous allegations - and means that more than half of the senior management board of Edinburgh Zoo are no longer active in their roles One member of the management board - thought to be Iain Valentine, the man behind the key deal to bring two giant pandas to the attraction - has been suspended pending an investigation into "matters of a very serious nature". A second, believed to be director of development Anthony McReavy, has also left his position at RZSS, which owns the zoo.
Mr Wilson was suspended from his role in March. The investigation, which the zoo says does not involve the police, relates to money syphoned from the £4.5 million Budongo Trail monkey house, it has been claimed.
A spokeswoman for the organisation, which has suffered months of financial turmoil as a result of the economic downturn, refused to confirm or deny that Mr Valentine or Mr McReavy were the staff members referred to in the statement, but admitted that the
Bob Barker begs Toronto Zoo to retire elephants
The one and only Bob Barker will visit Toronto on April 15 in an attempt to convince the Toronto Zoo to send its elephants south.
Barker, animal activist and former host of The Price is Right, will meet with some city councillors and members of the Toronto Zoo board of management. They are “genuinely looking at the possibility of moving the three elephants in Toronto to a more agreeable climate,” he says. Mayor Rob Ford
Chester Zoo unveils £30 million Islands development but delays its Biodome plan
CHESTER Zoo has revealed plans for a £30m redevelopment – the first phase in its ambitious Natural Vision project.
The Islands project is to be a boatride between islands where some of the zoo’s animals will be kept.
The Heart of Africa biodome, which was to have been the first phase, has been postponed for now due to Government funding cuts.
The 110-acre zoo, which attracts 1.3m visitors a year, aims “to create a world-class animal and visitor experience”.
Islands will be the largest zoo development of its kind in Britain.
Connected by the boat ride, it will pull together some of the zoo’s key animal species.
These include Sumatran Orang-utans, Sumatran tigers, Sun Bears, Malayan tapir, various lemurs, Sumatran and Philippine crocodiles, Hornbills, Visayan Warty Pigs, Spotted Deer, Komodo Dragons, Babirusa pigs and other birds, reptiles and invertebrates.
The intention is “to create an exciting
A day this elephant will never forget: Anne's retirement begins as campaign to build haven for circus animals is launched (Nice Photos)
Anne’s first steps are faltering as, slowly, she shuffles forwards, back legs dragging painfully on the concrete floor, her head bobbing nervously up and down, and breath coming in loud, whooshing blasts. Everything about her looks tired and creaky and sore, from her arthritic joints to her dry, wrinkled skin.
Her dark brown eyes are weepy, her huge yellow toenails chipped and gnarled. Her tail finishes in a sad, knobbly stump — the feathery end chewed off decades ago.
But as she edges further across the lush green grass of her new enclosure, towards a flock of pink flamingos and a herd of eland basking in the spring sunshine, she seems to savour every second.
Every few paces she stops to feel the sun on her back, curl a tuft of grass in her trunk, or have a satisfying scratch against a fallen log.
And, presumably, to revel in her sudden good fortune.
Because, thanks to the Daily Mail — and, more importantly, to the unfailing support of our readers — Britain’s last (and oldest) working circus elephant has finally hung up her undignified feather headdress.
After 54 years of performing and relentless touring, Anne has begun her long overdue retirement in a tranquil, 13-acre enclosure in the beautifully landscaped grounds of Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire.
It couldn’t be more of a contrast to the home where she has lived for the past half century — a corrugated metal compound, littered with animal droppings, owned by the Bobby Roberts Super Circus.
Expert John in mission of mercy to help Brtain’s oldest elephant
ONE of Doncaster’s best-known animal experts was drafted in to help move a former circus elephant to its new home.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park animals director John Minion was asked to help transport the elephant, called Anne, to safety at her new retirement home.
The 59-year-old elephant is set to start a new life at Longleat Safari Park.
Specialist Wildlife Services contacted Mr Minion, who is one of only a few elephant experts in the country experienced at care and movement of the breed, to oversee the move of what is described as Britain’s oldest elephant from Northampton to her new retirement home.
John works at the Doncaster-based Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Branton, and his previous work has included moving a pride of lions to Doncaster.
“It was an absolute pleasure to be asked to help Anne. I’d give up my time at the drop of a hat
Paignton Zoo's elephant Duchess has glaucoma
Paignton Zoo's African elephant has been diagnosed with the eye condition glaucoma.
Duchess, who weighs four tonnes, has started a course of treatment to prevent the condition from worsening.
Glaucoma is a progressive eye condition which if untreated can lead to blindness. The zoo said she would be monitored closely and medication should help control the condition.
The zoo said it hoped with treatment she could live with glaucoma.
Glaucoma sees fluid pressure in front of the lens and iris and behind the cornea increase.
Ghislaine Sayers, head of veterinary services said staff had noticed changes to Duchess' right eye.
She said: "We are using eye drops
Zoo revamp to woo voters
With an eye on the upcoming civic elections in early 2012, the Shiv Sena has decided to compromise with municipal chief Subodh Kumar and is now pushing the civic body to finish the revamp of the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan, popularly known as Byculla zoo, within a year. Rather than opposing Kuma or downsizing the budget from Rs480 crore to Rs150 crore, the ruling party has decided to go ahead with the revised project.
Instead, the Shiv Sena-ruled civic body has short-listed two consultants for the bird and reptile park in Powai, which is expected to cost about Rs200 crore.
However, the Sena is keen to have the first phase of the revamp, which is the interpretation zone, ready by November 14. “We plan to inaugurate it on Children’s Day, as it will host a number of children’s activities such as a library on wildlife as well as a 3D zone,” said Rahul Shewale, standing committee
How can you tell if a zoo takes good care of its animals?
Ever since Knut, the Berlin Zoo’s 4-year-old polar bear, died last month, I’ve been wondering: How can I tell if a zoo is taking good care of its animals?
This is a tricky question. Some animal advocates argue that zoos, by definition, are bad for wild animals. Even so, there’s no question that certain zoos treat their animals better than others. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them.
In the United States, zoos must have a license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but this bar is set quite low. The federal regulations that govern animal-exhibition licensing are vague and essentially guarantee only that the animals aren’t facing imminent death. Enclosure sizes, for instance
A hellhole called Alipore zoo
The city zoo, which Union environment and forest minister Jairam Ramesh has dubbed “overcrowded”, flouts several conditions laid down in a central notification to ensure proper upkeep of animals.
Zoo director Raju Das begs to differ but a comparison between the Centre’s prescription and the reality lays bare how cramped the Alipore facility is.
The 2009 notification of the environment and forest ministry states that a “large” zoo must have 75 hectares for 750 animals of 75 species, or 0.1 hectare for every animal on an average.
The Alipore zoo, in contrast, has only 18 hectares for as many as 1,300 animals of 130 species. The space for each inmate — 0.013 hectare — is at least 10 times less than the norm.
As for large mammals, the Central Zoo Authority prescribes around 1,000sq m for a pair of tigers and lions and 2,000sq m for a pair of rhinos and hippos. Going by the benchmark, the 22 animals of the four species the Alipore zoo has should get around 14,000sq m of enclosure space. The actual allotment is a lot less.
Moving on to the “qualitative” aspects, the ministry norms state that the animals should be kept “in naturalistic settings” and the zoo authorities must ensure that the “animals are not unduly disturbed”.
“Each animal enclosure shall have appropriate shelters, perches, withdrawal areas, pools, drinking water points and such other facilities which can provide the animals a chance to display the wide range of their natural behaviour as well as protect them from extremes of climate,” the ministry notification states.
The settings for the animals at the city zoo are anything but “naturalistic”, the enclosures bereft of most of the facilities that could make the inmates feel at home.
Union minister Ramesh’s suggestion to shift some of the larger animals to give them, and the rest, some breathing space is unlikely to be implemented following problems over land acquisition.
Director Das, who denied while talking to Metro recently that the zoo was overcrowded, said: “The Central Zoo Authority has asked us to decongest the zoo and shift some animals to a satellite facility. The relocation, however, will be difficult as the government had faced problems acquiring land in Bhagawanpur (where the satellite zoo was proposed to be set up).”
The director, rather, claimed that the authorities had been planning a “lot of new things to optimise the space use”, including setting up of a sprawling food court with 14 outlets. He claimed that there had been a “qualitative
Anteater blamed for flamingo slaughter
A FLOCK of flamingos met a gruesome end at a Swedish zoo when an anteater broke into their enclosure and mauled them to death.
The South American mammal tore a hole in a fence separating its pen from the birds' compound. Once inside, it used its powerful claws to maim and slaughter the feathered inhabitants.The Local reported today.
By the time zookeepers had reached the escaped anteater, ten flamingos had been killed and five more of the exotic birds - best known for their long legs and pink plumage - had been injured.
Officials at Parken Zoo in Sweden's eastern municipality of Eskilstuna, said the anteater - one of two kept at the wildlife attraction - should not be blamed for the massacre.
"It is not as dramatic as it sounds. The anteater panicked when the birds cackled and flapped their wings and it struck back," Helena Olsson told the
Zoo’s help for tsunami sites
Dudley Zoo is helping out the animals in stricken Japan, following the country’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.
The Castle Hill zoo has donated £1,000 to the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA).
The donation will help the Japanese charity with the temporary relocation of animals from affected collections as well as helping repair the destroyed the zoos and aquariums.
Fourteen animal institutions suffered damage from the devastating natural disaster on March 11.
JAZA chair man, Shigeyuki Yamamoto, said: "I would like to thank
Edinburgh Zoo panda man Iain Valentine suspended
The man behind an agreement to bring pandas to Scotland has been suspended from his job at Edinburgh Zoo.
Iain Valentine is the latest figure to be investigated at the zoo into what officials are describing as matters of a very serious nature.
It follows the suspension of the zoo's chief operating officer, Gary Wilson, in March.
The zoo hopes to take delivery of two giant pandas from China later this year.
The zoo has not revealed the nature of the charges but said it was taking them extremely seriously and that the police were not involved.
Mr Valentine has been instrumental in the zoo's efforts to bring the pandas to Scotland.
It is understood the zoo's director
Edinburgh Zoo chaos: Panda man suspended and boss sacked
THE man responsible for bringing two giant pandas to scandal-hit Edinburgh Zoo has been suspended.
Director of animals, conservation and education Iain Valentine was sent home yesterday.
And Anthony McReavy, who was director of development at the zoo, has been sacked.
The pair were put in charge during a fraud probe into interim chief operating officer Gary Wilson last month.
McReavy, who had been in his post only 11 months, was told to clear his desk after his fellow directors found him to be in "contempt of the board".
Yesterday's events follow an investigation into anonymous allegations of theft made against Wilson.
The 47-year-old was suspended amid accusations that he had siphoned money from the £4.5million Budongo monkey house to pay for a £50,000 extension to his home in Dunblane, Perthshire.
Claims that he stole building

Edinburgh Zoo chief suspended over theft claims vows to clear his name
THE Edinburgh Zoo chief suspended over allegations that he stole from the monkey house claims he is the victim of jealousy.
Gary Wilson has been banned from the famous attraction while bosses probe claims of theft from the new Budongo Trail chimpanzee enclosure.
The 47-year-old is also being investigated over the fleet of fancy cars he has driven over the years, including a Lotus and an Audi TT.
But yesterday, Gary told the Record the charges were "nonsense" and vowed to clear his name.
He said: "I'm the victim of a smear campaign from people who are jealous of the position I hold."
The scandal threatens to overshadow the imminent arrival of two giant pandas at the zoo - the first in the UK for 17 years.
Gary, who helped bring Tian Tian and Yang Guang from China, is accused of syphoning money from the £4.5million Budongo Trail to pay for a £50,000 balcony at his Dunblane home.
He is also accused of stealing building materials - and a probe is being launched into his expensive cars.
Interim chief operating officer Gary said: "I know who made the allegations against me and they're complete nonsense.
"It was me who designed the Budongo house - that's why the balcony looks similar to
Zoo's £100 a head bill to cull Tay beavers
BOSSES at Edinburgh Zoo offered to kill wild beavers for £100 a time, it has emerged.
In a letter seen by the Evening News, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland offered to "humanely destroy" the animals caught on the River Tay as part of a Scottish Natural Heritage project.
Bosses said they would rehome the beavers and search for new homes for them for three weeks,
before culling them if none could be found.
The news comes after one wild beaver - the only one captured by SNH so far - died at Edinburgh Zoo within months of its arrival. The zoo stressed that the beaver was not destroyed and that a post- mortem was under way.
The letter to SNH said the zoo would charge "£100 plus VAT for the cost of drugs for the destruction of each animal, and subsequent disposal of the cadaver".
The project by SNH to catch wild Tayside beavers, which is currently on hold, would see at least 20 beavers - on the loose after escaping private collections in Angus and Perthshire - taken into captivity.
A spokeswoman for SNH said it had decided it was unhappy with the idea that the beavers could be killed not long after the letter was sent. She said: "The zoo proposed it (a way of dealing with the beavers] and we then discussed another way. We didn't want the beavers to be killed. We decided to only re-home the beavers. The conclusion we came to was a mutual decision."
A spokeswoman for the zoo also pointed out that, shortly after the letter was sent, it was decided that it would not destroy any beavers.
She said: "At the time of writing the letter there was potentially an unknown number beavers that we were going to be asked to hold. We were willing to accommodate as many as resources would allow but we would never have been able to accommodate a large number."
Critics of the project suggested that it was unlikely SNH could carry out the project without culling the animals as there was little chance it could rehome 20 or more beavers.
Louise Ramsay, a spokeswoman for Scotland Wild Beaver Group, said she hoped the decision not to cull meant they would be left in the wild.
She said: "I hope that this information, and the recent death of the one beavers they managed to trap,
Cash-Poor Moscow Zoo Gives Away 2 Elephants
The Moscow Zoo has donated two female African elephants to a zoo in the Spanish city of Valencia because it could not afford to house the animals, Interfax reported Thursday.
The donation was proposed by Deputy Mayor Lyudmila Shvetsova and approved by Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, the report said.
The two elephants were purchased by the city of Moscow from South Africa's Kruger National Park in 1985, but the zoo could not provide them with enough room to walk.
After years of living in confined quarters, the animals were loaned in 2006 to the Valencia Zoo, a move that has now become permanent because the Moscow Zoo has had to postpone indefinitely plans to build a better elephant facility due to a lack of funding.
This is not the first occasion elephants have faced a hard time in Moscow. In 2009, residents chipped in for food for a starving female elephant
Houses will erase last remains of Nanaimo zoo where child was killed by a lion in 1958
The marshlands off Nanaimo's Rutherford Road hide a tragedy that most residents have long since forgotten.
Nanaimo's only zoo, shut down in 1958 when an eight-year-old girl was killed by an escaped lioness, once stood where a new 190-home development is being planned.
Few residents who move into this complex will remember the horrific events that took place in the area decades ago.
According to Daily Free Press articles from that year, what ensued was "one of the most dramatic hunts in the history of the Island" as the lion was tracked down and killed by the RCMP and local game club members.
An international phenomenon, the event marks a dark time in Nanaimo's past that most don't remember.
Nanaimo Museum Curator David Hill-Turner said few people seem to recall the zoo.
"Some of the old-timers can remember bits about it but it strange, it's sort of disappeared from people's memory," he said.
Four children were playing hide and seek when one of the girls, an eight-year-old named Maureen Vanstone, was suddenly attacked.
She and her sister Patricia were approximately a half-mile from the Vanstone's home with Lee Butcher, 11, and Janet Butcher, 7, when the escaped lioness, a two-year-old named Fury, grabbed Maureen.
According to a Free Press article that ran in May of 1958, the girl had no claw marks on her body, but had four teeth marks, one that severed her jugular and one that broke her neck.
The coroner's report said the girl likely died instantly.
The two-year-old lioness escaped from its cage while being fed by zoo employee Walkdmar Jungenkrueger, who had worked for zoo owner Paul Hertel for five-and-a-half years.
According to the court transcripts, there was a phone tree to inform the local families of danger, but communication
Ruben Khachatrian appointed new director of Yerevan zoo
Ruben Khachatrian, director and co-founder of the Armenian Fund for Protection of Wildlife and Culture (FPWC), has been appointed as a new director of Yerevan Zoo, an Armenian semi-weekly 168 Zham reported today.
The newspaper says the previous director, Sahak Abovian, was sacked after a series of abuses of the law were revealed. The paper says o Ruben Khachatrian has been engaged in ecological and nature protection issues for a long time and plans to transform
Zoo animals left to die in cages
Hundreds of animals were left to die in their cages in the Nakhon Si Thammarat floods because a local zoo had no evacuation plans for them.
Talad Zoo, in Muang district, faced the greatest loss in its 26-year history after more than 100 birds, 50 snakes, five crocodiles and one deer reportedly died in the flood.
The remaining animals, numbering in the hundreds, have had to be crammed together while zoo officials try to salvage the complex.
"The animal deaths are the biggest tragedy since the zoo opened in 1985. The flood came so fast. We had no time to evacuate them. We regret the loss but it was truly unpreventable," said Nattawut Panpob, deputy mayor of Nakhon Si Thammarat municipality. The zoo has been under water since last Saturday _ at one point the flood waters were 3m high.
Zoo staff made every effort to move the animals out of the cages, especially the birds. However, the birds wouldn't fly away because they had become too domesticated. Eventually, the staff had no choice but to leave them in the cages.
After several bouts of heavy rain and low temperatures, the birds, most of them parrots, died.
Staff also had to take the tough decision to let more than 50 snakes drown as it was too risky to move them out.
"We had 11 crocodiles. One died in a cage while the other four were euthanised. We can't locate the rest at the moment. As soon as the water recedes, we will
Government shutdown: What about the zoo animals?
Most people know that if the federal government shuts down, that means the Smithsonian's museums close too. But the National Zoo -- which is part of the Smithsonian's collection -- in northwest Washington, D.C., is an unusual case. It would close to public visitors, but behind its gates and fences, nothing stops.
"Consider it business as usual inside the zoo," said zoo spokeswoman Karin Korpowski-Gallo. The 30% of zoo staff, including administrative, that does not take care of animals ("like me," Korpowski-Gallo said) would not come to work. But the keepers, curators, vets, nutritionists (a commissary of staffers prepare daily meals) who minister to the needs of 2,000 animals would remain at work.
Similarly, at the zoo's conservation facility in Front Royal, Va. -- which is rarely open to the public -- all hands-on animal care would continue. That means the two tiny clouded leopard cubs that were born last week and are considered genetically valuable will be oblivious to the government upheaval. They will continue to be hand-reared by the staff, get nightly feedings and be otherwise looked after round the clock.
Back in Washington, the zoo's giant anteater, Maripi, and her 4-month-old pup, Pablo, who have been attracting a lot of attention, will still be wandering their grassy exhibit. She'll be sniffing out the peanut butter that keepers hide for her to find (a zoo
Dingo breeder faces court
A DINGO breeder who accompanied wildlife photographer Jennifer Parkhurst to Fraser Island in 2009 to “watch her at work with the dingoes” yesterday fronted Maryborough Magistrates Court on charges of interfering with the wild animals.
Simon John Stretton, the first person in Queensland to open a private pure-bred dingo sanctuary, was fined $1200 after pleading guilty to one charge of disturbing a dangerous animal and one charge of failing to keep food from animals.
The court heard the Department of Environment and Resource Management brought charges against the 53-year-old conservationist from Kingaroy after they raided Parkhurst’s Rainbow Beach home on August 24, 2009.
Among items seized were
Canadian seeks support for B900mn Phuket aquarium project
A Canadian expat is seeking support from the Phuket Provincial Office for his plan to develop a 900-million-baht aquarium in Rawai.
Accompanied by Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos, businessman Daniel McDaniel today presented his proposal to Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha at Provincial Hall.
As managing director of Phuket Ocean Front Co Ltd, Mr McDaniel said Phuket still possesses huge tourism potential and that there are few business investors in the proposed area, along Patak Road in Rawai.
He has rented a 50-rai plot for 30 years with the intention of building an aquarium and a marine petting zoo, as well as a hotel in the project’s proposed second stage.
Under the completed master plan, the entire project would take five years to complete.
The first phase aquarium and petting zoo could be completed by the beginning of the high season for tourism in late 2012, he said.
“The aquarium would be the first development phase. Located on a five-rai plot, it would also house a marine zoo with performing animals. This would serve

Conservation key to turtle/dugong future

EVEN third-world countries manage their fisheries better than Australia, an internationally recognised conservatrion activist has told a meeting in Cairns.


Pete Bethune, founder of Earthrace Conservation and former Sea Shepard ‘whale warrior’, also told the Torres News: “The Solomon Islands - on Australia’s doorstep and a great deal poorer - has recognised the need for protection for these species and has already banned the hunting of [turtle and dugong].”


Conservationist, politicians and animal rights groups met in Cairns last Thursday to discuss the hunting and trade of sea turtles and dugong in north Queensland and the Torres Strait.


Although at first not all those at the meeting could agree on what action should be taken, a final resolution was made that aims to ensure Native Title rights are preserved while protecting the long-term future of sea turtle and dugong.


The meeting included who took a hard-line stance on the issue saying he would like to see the current legislation changed to remove all Native Title rights involving any endangered species within Australia.


Mr Bethune said: “There’s a gaping wound in this country today, and, those with the power to change things, need to address it urgently before Australia loses any more respect around the world,” he said.


“The Native Title Act and Animal Care Act are failing endangered species entirely; that dugongs and sea turtles continue to be hunted in Australian waters and killed using such disgusting methods under the guise of customary rights is

Cute cubs Blade and Troy given a warm welcome at Wingham Wildlife Park

WINGHAM Wildlife Park has taken delivery of its first two tigers.


Three-week-old male cubs Blade and Troy were being picked on by their mother and needed a new home.


So they were snapped up by park boss Tony Binskin and his wife Jackie, who had been hunting for wild cats for their newly-built animal enclosure. The cubs were given their first public outing on Saturday.


Managing director Tony said: "Taking care of these young cubs is hard work, and much like looking after a human baby.


"There have been sleepless nights and a hectic daily schedule to ensure they are kept fed with bottles of milk, kept clean and not allowed to get bored."


Part of the regime has included being shown

Mutant crab caught by fisherman

A mutant three-clawed crab has been hauled up in a fisherman's lobster pot.


The sea monster, which has an extra set of pincers growing from beneath its shell, was caught off the coast of Northumberland.


Amble fisherman Jeff Handyside donated the eight-inch edible crab to the Blue Reef Aquarium in T

Man, 71, dies after being nipped by crab

A 71-year-old man has died in hospital after succumbing to a flesh-eating bacteria from a crab that nicked him two months ago.


Mr Lim Qi Mu, a retired fisherman was preparing chilli crabs for his family on the first day of the Lunar New Year on February 3 when the incident happened.


The father of three had bought the crabs from the nearby wet market when one of the crabs claws nipped at his hand, causing a wound between his index finger and thumb.


But he kept mum about the incident, while his family enjoyed the feast he prepared.


The next day, while out visiting,

Elephant dies at Budapest Zoo

One of the Budapest Zoo's two old Asian elephant cows died after a sudden unexpected illness on April 7.


Zitta's death was caused by acute inflammation of the colon. Doctors had fought for her life for 20 hours but she could not be saved.


Zitta arrived in Budapest on October 22, 1996 from Emmen, The Netherlands. Her exact birth date is not known, but she was probably nearly 50 years old.


There are now three Asian elephants living at the Budapest Zoo: a young

Popcorn-smelling bearcat cubs cause a stink at Chessington zoo

The sweet smell of popcorn greeted zoo keepers when they returned to work last month to find three baby binturongs.


The binturong, known as bearcats, are known for having a natural scent almost identical to movie popcorn.


The new arrivals were the product of Jalita and Awan, who have successfully bred at Chessington Zoo in the past, but never a litter of three before.


Head mammal keeper John Merrington said: “Binturong are fantastic animals to work with, incredible friendly and sociable, in fact one of our female binturong loves people so much she will often take part in the daily shows.


“The continued breeding of these animals is an important part of the European stud book programme




Abu Dhabi’s Family and Kids Park Zoo In Expansion Phase
The Family and Kids Park Zoo in Al Bahia, a north-east suburb of the UAE capital, is undergoing significant expansion that will eventually see 35 motel-style chalets, a full-size ice-rink, an indoor Marine Zone with 26 salt water and four fresh water tanks, Butterfly Park, Play and Gaming Zone and increased ‘natural’ outdoor animal enclosures added to the four-hectare park’s existing attractions.
With 660 animals, including a majestic pair of white tigers, a 31-year-old, 300kg-plus Siberian bear, lions, cheetahs and dozens of zebras already housed in the zoo’s ‘Predators’ and ‘Wild Animals’ enclosures, the under-construction additions will double the park’s total size as they are phased in over the next 12 months.
The existing park-wide ‘misting system’ which keeps animals and patrons cool in the summer months will stretch across the new areas, which will also include a ‘Reptile & Amphibian House’, ‘Chimpanzee Park’ and ‘Parrot Park’. A new, Arabian fort-themed entrance and an expanded food court are also in the offing.
“We are unique among the UAE’s zoos in that kids get the chance to interact with the animals and actually feed them; we provide a very hands-on experience that is lacking in other zoos around the Middle East,” said Mark Wright, General Manager, Family & Kids Park Zoo – a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
“The educational emphasis will continue in the park’s new features when they come online. The expanded areas will allow us to accommodate more animals of different varieties, making us an even more attractive proposition for existing and new customers,” added Wright.
With the majority of the park’s custom stemming from

Legendary turtle sunbathes
The turtle is suffering from a lot of wounds from fish hooks and pollution-related problems. The local authorities are trying to cure it.
The turtle is among the last four of its kind - the Rafeteus swinhoei – left in the world. Two are being kept in a zoo in China and the remaining one in Hanoi’s Dong Mo Lake.
Douglas Hendrie, technical adviser for nonprofit Education for Nature Vietnam and founder of the Asian Turtle Program, said that turtle experts estimate it is probably between 80 and 100-plus years old.
They also believe it is probably the most endangered freshwater turtle species in the world

'Sacred' turtle captured in Vietnam lake

Veterinarians examined a rare giant turtle considered sacred by many Vietnamese at a makeshift hospital in Hanoi on Monday to check mysterious lesions afflicting one of the last four known members of its species.
The giant softshell turtle, which has a shell the size of a desk and is estimated to weigh about 440 pounds (200 kilograms), was pulled from a lake in central Hanoi on Sunday.
Tests were being run to try to pinpoint what's ailing the creature, said Tim McCormack, program coordinator of the Asian Turtle Program. He said photos taken of it in a holding tank showed injuries on its legs and elsewhere, but it was not yet clear how serious they are.
The animal is believed to be about 80 to 100 years old, though many Vietnamese believe it is the same mythical creature said to have helped King Le Loi fend off the Chinese nearly six centuries ago.
It took 50 workers two hours Sunday to net the turtle, put it in a cage and pull it to a small island in Hoan Kiem Lake that was recently expanded and equipped with the small holding tank, known as the "turtle hospital."
It is the first time anyone has captured the creature, which escaped through two nets during a similar rescue attempt last month. Thousands of onlookers crammed around the lake for a glimpse, which is considered lucky. The crowed whooped and clapped when the turtle was finally captured, but they were pushed back when it was taken

Circus show is 'cruel'
A ROW has erupted under the big top of an Abu Dhabi circus amid claims the show, which sees a lion tamer jam his head into the jaws of a big cat, is cruel to animals.
A number of spectators at the Mongolian Animals Circus walked out mid-performance last weekend and dozens of lobbyists have set up online protests against the travelling troupe after concerns were raised over the treatment of the cats, dogs, lions and tigers in the show.
Katy Lifei is among those who have written to show promoters Sky Events calling for the animals to be taken off the bill, whilst urging the public to boycott the event.
In an open letter to the firm she said: “You are promoting a practice that is not ethical or moral.
“Animals belong in their natural habitat. They suffer immeasurably in circuses like the one you support. Their life is lived in cages - moved from one place to another, through hot and cold.”
The Mongolian Animals Circus tours worldwide and a staple of its line-up is a boxing kangaroo made to don gloves, shorts and boots while it goes head-to-head in the ring with a handler.
However, a spokesman for Sky Events said the kangaroo section has been shelved for the twice-daily Abu Dhabi sell-out show.
The spokesman said: “It is not the only circus in the world that uses animals. We are fully booked every night.
The big cat show is the same as any other in any other circus. The people who are complaining have not seen it. If they attended they would know it is not cruel.”
But a number of people who did visit the circus at Zayed Sports City claim they witnessed lions being beaten with sticks when they deviated from the rehearsed show - allegations'cruel'

Penguin rescue operation under way after south Atlantic oil spill
On an island chain located halfway between Africa and Argentina, local authorities say a massive penguin rescue operation is under way.
A mix of island officials and resident volunteers are struggling to save tens of thousands of Northern Rockhopper penguins threatened by an oil spill in the remote stretches of the south Atlantic, roughly 1,500 miles west of Cape Town, South Africa.
The islands' conservation director said at least 300 penguins have died after a cargo ship leaked thousands of tons of heavy oil, diesel fuel and soya bean near Nightingale Island, a British territory part of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago.
"I've seen about 15 to 20 dead penguins just today," director Trevor Glass said.
Thousands more are covered in the ships' oil and diesel fuel, according to local officials and

Zoo on mission to save rare crocs

TWO members of Australia Zoo’s rescue unit have had a major breakthrough during a mission in Cambodia, helping save and relocate a critically endangered siamese crocodile.

The head of the zoo’s rescue unit, Brian Coulter, and team member Toby Millyard are in the South-East Asian country in answer to a plea from Fauna and Flora International to rescue a group of the rare crocodiles which has become stranded in an isolated river system.
After months of planning the mission, they flew out of Australia on March 11 and have spent the past weeks deep in the jungle in search of the reptiles.
Having previously been declared extinct and then rediscovered, the siamese crocodile is considered critically endangered, with an estimated 250 individuals remaining in the wild.
An Australia Zoo spokesman said the crocodiles at the centre of the rescue mission were stranded in a 2km stretch of

Tiger census: What lies beneath the numbers (Long but interesting article)
It is never easy counting secretive, solitary predators. For decades, foresters studied pugmarks and usually counted more tigers per tiger. Then in 2002, Project Tiger (now National Tiger Conservation Authority) and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) began replacing the human error-prone pugmark census method with a scientific estimation protocol.
It was a landmark initiative. Nine years later, however, India's tiger numbers remain equally suspect. So far, more than Rs 22 crore has been spent during two all-India estimation drives, in 2006-07 and 2010-11, to scientifically evaluate the status of the tiger. And yet all the government churned out were a few gospel figures for media consumption. When the subjective pugmark count method was junked, the promise was of moving away from banal number games towards effective monitoring.
Yet, the first all-India tiger estimation report said: "These population estimates have high variances, but since these estimates are not to be used for monitoring trends, they should suffice the need for converting a relevant ecological index to a more comprehensible concept of numbers."
Numbers make headlines, more so when spiced up by technical jargons. Sure enough, when minister for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh proudly announced the gain of 225 tigers last week, it made happy headlines. Accounting for the Sunderbans figures (70) that were not available in 2008, the minister preened, the population gain was a healthy 295.
Lack of scientific rigour
But the lack of due scientific rigour was soon evident when on March 31, three days after Ramesh had charmed the media, WII rushed to correct its own presentation. An email from a WII scientist to NTCA admitted that "there has been a mistake in the computation of the standard error for the tiger numbers for the state of Maharashtra", with a request for updating the MoEF website.
The Press Information Bureau website, however, is yet to drop the incorrect figures. To be fair, the WII-NTCA presentation, Status of Tigers in India, 2011, the one Ramesh appropriately put up on his ministry's website, does quote biologists Richard Hutto and Jock Young: "Any monitoring program is a compromise between science and logistic constraints." While the presentation stops at that cryptic disclaimer, the ministry's own records do not. Back in 2006, an international team of experts led by John Seidensticker from the department of conservation biology at Smithsonian's National Zoological Park in Washington, DC did a peer review of the new estimation method.
In its report, the team questioned the feasibility of the exercise given that more than 40,000 forest units would have to be sampled, adding that the new method, too, relied on the "integrity of the primary data collectors, data compilers and their supervisors."
The words strangely echoed the NTCA's own justification for discarding the old pugmark count method. The peer review also warned that the genetic methods proposed in the census were not "fully developed for this application" and that there were not even enough GPS (global positioning system) sets to map out the terrain. For the record, the new method breaks down the estimation process

Cheetah may now come to Hadauti region
Despite the fate of the Cheetah project in the Shahgarh Bulge in Jaisalmer uncertain, the state can still hope to be a home for the cheetah.
And this time, the animal could come to the grasslands near Rawatbhata in Hadauti.
Union minister of forest and environment Jairam Ramesh assured that the cheetah would come to state. "I had a talk with chief minister Ashok Gehlot and he has assured me that he would talk to the local leaders at Jaisalmer so that the cheetah could be brought to the Shahgarh bulge in Jaisalmer," he said during a visit on Sunday.
The minister and Gehlot

Russian Amur tiger saves face after successful operation
An Amur tiger, who nearly died two years ago after a failed operation on its cheek and jaw, has had extensive face surgery, a Russian animal preservation activist said on Monday.
Eduard Kruglov, head of the wild animals rehabilitation center Utyos, said Zhorik the tiger underwent surgery on Saturday but added that more operations were still needed.
"Their timing depends on how the healing goes along," he continued.
He said the 160,000 rubles ($5,600) raised by schoolchildren in Russia's Far East will be used to provide him with food and medicines.
Despite massive efforts

Animal Planet tells story of otter pup raised on dock of Monterey Harbor
While running his commercial dive company in Monterey over the past 15 years, Jim Capwell has had the unique opportunity to hang out with sea otters who live at Monterey Harbor in an area dubbed Millionaire's Row.
One in particular — a mother otter with a newborn pup who nurtured her baby to survive on the dock — caught the attention of Capwell and a film crew for "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom."
"Million Dollar Otter " is the title of tonight's season premier of the long-running nature show. It is scheduled to air at 4p.m. on the Animal Planet network.
Shot at the harbor, the episode follows the mother otter in the weeks after she delivers her pup on the dock, next to Capwell's slip.
Capwell, owner and operator of Central Dive in Monterey, is featured in the episode as the observant boat owner who takes a keen interest in the mother otter and her pup.
Capwell first took notice of the mother a few years ago.
"This particular mother otter, I've been with her for four pups. Two survived and two haven't," said Capwell. "The ones that have survived, I've been in position to spend a little time with them every day for the first months of their life."
Capwell, a self-described sea otter activist, said mothering an otter pup is a harrowing experience due to high infant mortality rates.
"When they're pregnant and you know the female is going to deliver, you're

Tourists to enter crocodile's den A Cairns tourism operator is taking the wildlife experience to the extreme, allowing tourists to dangle over a four-metre crocodile.

Those up for the challenge will face Goliath, Cairns Wildlife Dome's resident saltwater crocodile, while hanging from a flying fox-like apparatus.
Operator Charles Woodward said thrillseekers would be three or four metres above the animal, while an appropriately angled camera would ensure the gap appeared to be even closer.
"It will be an exhilarating experience," he said.
He expects visitor numbers to double to 100,000 annually when the attraction, part of a $1 million challenge course, opens at the end of the year.
Children as young

Turtles make a splash at sea life sanctuary
The Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary hopes to be able to breed endangered species at its new facility in Oban.
The Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary in Oban, which opened its turtle enclosure at the weekend, is the latest addition to a network of UK breeding centres designed to build captive stocks of endangered freshwater turtles.
Its initial residents will include Australian snake-necked turtles, yell-bellied sliders and 18 "illegal immigrants" - Mississippi Map Turtles that were seized by Customs officials after they arrived in the UK without the necessary documentation.
Another of the 35 reptiles is Grumpy Gordy, a 30lb snapper turtle, named after former Prime Minister Gordon Brown after he was put in solitary confinement for bullying other residents.
The turtle enclosure needs to be kept at a temperature

Two new tiger cubs arrive at Wingham Wildlife Park
A Kent wildlife park has welcomed two rare fluffy young residents who arrived in the county by ferry at Dover.
The three-week-old tiger cubs were rejected by their mother in a Belgian zoo, and Wingham Wildlife Park jumped at the chance to give them a home.
The two male cubs are being bottled-fed by park owner Tony Binskin and his staff.
"Taking care of these young cubs is hard work and much like having a baby," he said.
The cubs arrived on the ferry from Calais, and, after the passengers had disembarked, staff from the park collected the cubs in their Defra approved quarantine

Conditional permit issued for fledging zoo
The province has given operators of an embattled zoo a conditional permit while authorities probe further into the welfare of its animals, officials said Friday.
The 60-day permit for GuZoo was announced following a review leading into its annual renewal, a process that coincided this year with a vitriolic social media campaign spurred by photos distributed last week showing what appear to be many of the zoo’s denizens in distress.
“Albertans expect operating zoos to protect animals, visitors and staff and to take the care of animals seriously,” said Mel Knight, Minister of Sustainable Resource Development.
Officials will use the next 60 days to assess animal welfare at GuZoo Animal Farm - about 140 km northeast of Calgary - and seek “an independent third-party verification process” for animal health assessment.
Dave Ealey, a spokesman with Sustainable Resources and Development, said the measure is geared to satisfy demands among all involved parties that health standards are being met at private facilities such as GuZoo.
A meeting of the provincial zoo advisory committee is also expected to take place with a mandate to explore discrepancies of legal enforcement concerning zoo and non-zoo animals cohabiting the premises of such roadside facilities.
Meanwhile, an investigation into the welfare of GuZoo inhabitants will be ongoing and “will take some time to complete,” said Terra Johnston, executive director for the Alberta Society for the Protection of Animals.
“There are a number of different complex issues that need to be

Time to close Kyiv Zoo
I'm not a animal right zealot by any stretch of the imagination. But I believe the cruelty being caused at the Kyiv Zoo needs to be faced head on. Rather than pretend there is no problem, directors and their executives need to be finding good homes for these animals and shutter this horrible place.
It is simply outrageous the level of care. Zoo management can blame budget problems, the financial crisis, animal medical issues, etc. Surely the directors of the zoo have enough clarity in this situation to recognize that animals need to be relocated for their own good. Does the national government need any more egg on its already dirty face? I don't think so!
Let's hope that the directors exercise integrity and realize that it's not necessary to have a zoo unless you are ready to take care of your principal assets – the animals, birds, reptiles, etc. I would urge the zoo directors to set out a 6 month plan to divest themselves of all their animals. Find them a good home in a different zoo, wild animal park or preserve.
This is about saving face, and not embarrassing

White tigers from China to arrive in Kaohsiung zoo as early as May
Two white tigers from China could settle into their new homes in a zoo in southern Taiwan as early as May, as aplan to import the tigers has been approved, said a zoo official.
The two tigers, which will be imported from Guangzhou Xiangjiang Safari Park to the Shou Shan Zoo in Kaohsiung City, are already being inspected by officials, said Chang Po-yu, director of the zoo's management center.
Chang said that the zoo will set up a better display area for the tigers and that after their arrival they will be taken care of by animal care specialists.
The zoo will also add nutrition into the tigers' diet,

White lion fever takes a grip at Dreamworld's Tiger Island as rare siblings adapt to their new lair
DREAMWORLD has a new mane attraction - two rare white lions have arrived at the Gold Coast theme park for an autumn break from their regular home at Canberra's National Zoo and Aquarium.

Park officials hope the arrival of Jake and his sister Mischka will generate interest throughout the school holidays.
The three-year-old siblings have wasted little time getting comfortable in their new enclosure even though it is just a few metres from the domain of the theme park's other big cats at Tiger Island.
National zoo senior cat keeper Ryan Brill, who has helped the lions settle in to their new digs, said they would be aware of the tigers but so far there have been no cat fights between the two species.
"They can smell scents from up to

How to conserve the Philippine eagle

FOR shamelessly demanding $50,000 from Singapore to showcase the Philippine Eagle in its bird park, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje succeeded in losing not only the pittance but also the scrapping of a memorandum of agreement for a bilateral cooperation on ecological preservation with our world famous eagle as the focal subject.

The proposed MOA should have been signed during President Aquino's visit to the city state, but this, so the story goes, did not take place because Paje had demanded that the amount be insured first.
What is the impact of this mercenary posturing of DENR? Well, President Aquino lost face as Paje made us look like mendicants. The efforts to draw attention to our majestic but endangered Philippine eagle vanished and so with the opportunity to generate more assistance and support for the propagation of the species not only from Singapore but the millions of tourists that visit that country.

That is the more direct blow on our conservation efforts. Singapore could have played an accessory role in conserving and propagating the most magnificent eagle in the world. Despite its very small area, Singapore is a veritable show window of ecological balance and upkeep. For every inch of property the owner has to dedicate a portion for environment conservation. About three decades ago, they planted their boulevards with acacia trees which they sourced out from Davao.

Today, they have more acacia trees standing than we do because they value trees as part of their existence while we mow them down for firewood. They have more wild animals in the woods than we do and they earn millions of dollars in revenues from tourists who pay quite a sum to view them during day or night time.
Secretary Paje should have thought out of the box. He thought of the $50k "like the bird in the hand that's worth two in the woods. Meaning it's better

Trapped River Tay beaver Erica dies in captivity after 'cruel' capture
Concerns have again been raised about the project to trap 20 beavers after the only one captured died in captivity.
The beaver trapped on the River Tay as part of a controversial conservation project has died in captivity.
Campaigners against the trapping of the animals by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) claim the death of the one beaver caught emphasises the “cruelty” of the programme.
The beaver, dubbed Erica by members of the Scottish Wild Beaver Group, died in captivity in Edinburgh Zoo.
She had been trapped last year in Perthshire before being moved into captivity. Since her capture, the campaigners made her an honorary mascot for the 45th Perthshire beaver scouts.
SNH claimed that around 20 beavers that escaped or were deliberately released into the

‘Extinct’ Siamese crocodiles lay first eggs in Cambodia
Cambodia's critically endangered Siamese crocodile took a step back from the brink of extinction this week when a captive breeding pair in Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre built a nest and laid their first eggs.
Previously Cambodia was home to two crocodile species. The salt water crocodile is now believed to have vanished from the country, while the Siamese crocodile, long believed to also be extinct, was rediscovered a decade ago in the Cardamom Mountains by a team from Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the Forestry Administration of Cambodia.
The Siamese crocodile has long been prized for its skin, and over hunting has caused numbers to decline drastically. Estimates currently put the total wild population at fewer than 250 individuals. Development of hydroelectric dams in current crocodile habitats look likely to create further threats for this species, leading conservationists to attempt a captive conservation breeding programme.
Crocodiles, unlike many reptiles, build a nest which the female guards throughout the incubation period. Generally, it takes a Siamese crocodile up to 15 years of age before it is sexually mature and able to breed. Keepers at the facility first noticed breeding activity in December 2010. On 12 March the female crocodile began gathering nesting material. Biologists quickly examined the top layer of the nest on 22 March, confirming there were at least 12 eggs; there is likely to be double this number. "This is great news", said Adam Starr, FFI's Project Manager of the Cambodia Crocodile Conservation Project. "If we can successfully breed Siamese crocodiles in captivity and release the young in to the wild once they are large enough to be safe from predators it gives the species a fighting chance."
A new captive breeding facility was opened in Phnom Tamao, outside

Anne the elephant gets new home as groom tells how she was beaten for decades
ABUSED circus elephant Anne took her first steps towards freedom this ­weekend after years of misery.
In a victory for Sunday Mirror ­readers, who backed our six-year campaign with Born Free for her ­release, Britain’s last circus elephant is to move to Longleat ­Safari Park.
Once an elephant house is ­refurbished, 59-year-old Anne, in ­constant pain from chronic arthritis, will set off on her 150-mile ­journey.
The move comes just days after a video of her being hit with a pitchfork was released by animal welfare group Animal Defenders ­International.
Her release was greeted with delight by Robert Sheret, 56, who ­repeatedly tried to stop Anne being abused while he worked at Bobby Roberts Super Circus from 1983 to 85.
He said: “When I complained she and the other elephants were being beaten, and weren’t getting enough exercise or food, Bobby Roberts told me: ‘I pay you to work, not to think. They’re my elephants and I can do what I like.’
ABUSED circus elephant Anne took her first steps towards freedom this ­weekend after years of misery.
In a victory for Sunday Mirror ­readers, who backed our six-year campaign with Born Free for her ­release, Britain’s last circus elephant is to move to Longleat ­Safari Park.
Once an elephant house is ­refurbished, 59-year-old Anne, in ­constant pain from chronic arthritis, will set off on her 150-mile ­journey.
The move comes just days after a video of her being hit with a pitchfork was released by animal welfare group Animal Defenders ­International.
Her release was greeted with delight by Robert Sheret, 56, who ­repeatedly tried to stop Anne being abused while he worked at Bobby Roberts Super Circus from 1983 to 85.
He said: “When I complained she and the other elephants were being beaten, and weren’t getting enough exercise or food, Bobby Roberts told me: ‘I pay you to work, not to think. They’re my elephants and I can do what I like.’
“After two years I couldn’t take any more and I left.”
This week Bobby and wife Moira claimed they’d been trying to find a retirement home for Anne for two years, surprising campaigners whose offers to rehome her have been ­refused.
Robert said: “The only reason he’s letting her go now is because she’s too sick

Govt decides to set up zoo in Peshawar
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to establish an international standard zoo over a fifty acres area in Regi Lalma Town Peshawar very soon to heed the call of school students that had collected signatures to lobby Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti.
The approval was given by chief minister while presiding over a meeting on Saturday. He approved the recommendations of committee constituted for identifying suitable location for the proposed zoo at his office.
A group of students from Beaconhouse School System, Khyber Campus, Hayatabad, Peshawar had collected signatures to petition the chief minister to announce the construction of a zoo in Peshawar.
The student Asad, who spoke on behalf of the students, had conveyed to the chief minister the wishes of 1.7 million children of Peshawar to construct a zoo.
The chief minister had informed the students that the government had already earmarked Rs50 million for the project but

Zoo-museum tax district shows age after 40 years
None of the city's big, publicly funded cultural institutions seems to be hurting for cash.
The St. Louis Art Museum has nearly reached its $145 million goal to pay for a massive expansion already under way. At the St. Louis Science Center, workers are adding 12,000 square feet of exhibit space. The always-expanding St. Louis Zoo is planning new homes for its sea lions.
Those efforts rely on private dollars, but they wouldn't be possible without a stream of property tax money authorized by voters 40 years ago this week.
During its history, the zoo-museum district - officially known as the Metropolitan Zoological Park and Museum District - has raised more than $1.3 billion, stabilized five once-struggling institutions and helped some of them develop international reputations.
The district can charge property owners in St. Louis and St. Louis County up to 28 cents per $100 assessed valuation. The money goes to the zoo, art museum, science center, Missouri Botanical Garden and Missouri History Museum

British royal wedding to aid elephants in Thailand
Endangered Asian elephants stand to benefit from Britain's royal wedding.
Charitable donations requested by Prince William and Kate Middleton instead of wedding gifts will help the London Zoological Society. It works in Thailand with the Elephant Conservation Network to reduce conflict between villagers and the animals in the western province of Kanchanaburi.
Network director Belinda Stewart-Cox said Thursday the gift would help ensure "we really make a difference to the lives of these amazing animals and the villagers who accommodate them."
Wild elephants in Thailand number probably

WILD animals will be banned from Britain’s circuses under new Government plans, the Sunday Express can reveal.
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman has been persuaded that forcing elephants, tigers, lions, camels and other exotic creatures to perform tricks for audiences is wrong in modern Britain.
She is also said to believe that making them travel thousands of miles every year in cramped lorry trailers known as “beast ­wagons” is harmful to their welfare.
While Animal Welfare Minister Jim Paice told MPs last month that a new policy was “close to completion”, his boss Ms Spelman is now “minded” to introduce the ban, say senior sources. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also favours such a move.
Officials at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are working on the final details to ensure there is no conflict with European legislation. An announcement is expected within weeks.
Dr Ros Clubb, senior scientist with the RSPCA, which has called for the ban, said last night: “It’s about time that in Britain we showed we really are a nation of animal lovers.” The development comes a week after undercover footage showed a Romanian groom at the Bobby Roberts circus beating 59-year-old Asian elephant Anne with a pitchfork and kicking her. Anne, who is severely arthritic, is now to be re-homed at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire where she will be protected from such cruelty.
The film, which provoked national outrage, spurred celebrities and ministers into action, with actor Brian Blessed leading a delegation to Downing Street last week.
Under existing laws, travelling circuses only have to comply with relatively simple guidelines under the Animal Welfare Act which governs how domestic pets must be treated. They are specifically excluded from tougher cruelty and welfare laws for zoos.
Although legislation was passed in 1976 to stop the unlicensed trade in animals such as lions, tigers and elephants for private collections or commercial organisations, travelling circuses were again excluded.
The only legal registration for circuses, applying to those people who train or exhibit their animals, is not intended to protect welfare and, according to a recent Government report, is widely regarded as

Thai customs seize two tonnes of ivory
Thai customs on Friday said they had seized two tonnes of ivory worth over $3.3 million hidden in a shipment of frozen fish -- equivalent to more than 120 elephants killed.
Officials found 247 tusks concealed among hundreds of boxes of mackerel apparently from Kenya, in a boat at Bangkok Port on the Chao Phraya river, the customs department said.
The haul -- which officials said was the biggest in a year and equated to at least 123 elephants killed -- weighed 2,033 kilos (4,472 pounds) and was displayed by authorities in the Thai capital.
Wildlife anti-trafficking group Freedland said it was the first time customs officials had found ivory coming into Thailand by boat and said it showed smugglers were being forced to change tactics.
"It is another sign that steady collaboration by Thai and African law enforcement is foiling ivory traffickers who are losing huge amounts of money, and that's where you have to hit them to stop them -- in the pocket," said the group's director, Steven Galster.
Freedland said the seizure marked the ninth major enforcement

Top 10 Zoo Escapes,29569,2041628,00.html

GoDaddy CEO explains elephant-killing 'safari'
CEO of web hosting giant GoDaddy, Bob Parsons, sparked outrage last week by releasing a video of himself killing an elephant. After it was written about, Parsons got in touch and asked to tell his side of the story.

“I’ve been going to Africa for six years,” he says, “and I progressively became aware of the elephant situation and what a problem it is for




Zoo managers from around the world go biblical in Jerusalem
Over 100 international delegates flock to Jerusalem for business and the pleasure of hearing the full story of the 'Mossad agent' eagle recently captured in Saudi Arabia.
Over one hundred managers of leading zoos from around Europe met in Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo Friday, the first time the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria has held a conference in Israel.
Among other issues the meeting tackeld, delegates got the full story of the “Mossad agents” recently captured in Saudi Arabia.
In January, Saudi media reported that a vulture captured in the country was sent by the Mossad, after its captors found standard Israeli tracking marks on the bird. The vulture, like all other vultures born in captivity in Israel in recent years, hatched in the Biblical Zoo and was released from the Golan Heights.
The vulture’s story was told in a panel on “Birds as peacemakers in a conflict zone,” showcasing of the Zoo’s incubator and the return to nature of wild birds hatched there.
“Some of the project we initiate could be a bridge to our neighbors,” zoo director Shai Doron told Haaretz.
Doron said the zoo was extremely excited to host the conference.
“On their way are nearly mythological figures of the zoo-keeping world,” he said. “They are nearly leaders in their home countries. It’s not people like Shai Doron but slight more serious folks, with no disregard to myself.”
Some of the guests included the managers of the London Zoo; managers from the oldest zoo in the world, in Amsterdam; the managers of the Zurich zoo and the managers of the Copenhagen zoo, where a new 40-million-euro section for Asian elephants was recently inaugurated.
While relatively small, the Jerusalem zoo is world renowned for conservation efforts and the reintroduction of endangered species to the wild.
One of its most famous achievements is a rare in vitro fertilization of Tamar, an Asian elephant, using semen from a British elephant flown to Israel. The elephant born as a result, Gabi, was recently transported to Turkey, where he was successfully introduced to one of the local zoos. The Tamar and Gabi story will also be discussed at the conference.
Another reintroduction project said to be discussed in the conference is that of the fallow deer. Fallow deer have been released in the Jerusalem and Kaziv stream area, and the Nature and Parks authority is currently looking for an area to release deer in the Galilee as well.
The project was co-sponsored by the San Diego Zoo.
Some of the visitors used their trip to check on animals they’ve sent to Jerusalem in recent years. The Amsterdam zoo guests were able to meet the descendants of the black-footed penguins they’ve sent to the zoo, which had multiplied exponentially. “Israel will soon start exporting penguins to zoos worldwide,” said Doron.
The director of the Lisbon zoo paid a visit to the Siamang gibbon sent to the zoo just a few months ago. The ape, born in Portugal, was brought to Israel after a failed date with an Israeli ape named Richard, who was sent to Lisbon as part of a matchmaking effort.
She met her current partner, Dylan, soon after her arrival to the Jerusalem zoo.
EAZA is the world’s largest zoo body, and it operates the European program for saving endangered species. Israel became a member five years ago.
“The Jerusalem conference is going to be a lot of fun,” said Doron before the event. “The fact that 100 people from Europe are coming to the conference, in Jerusalem,

Experts: German celebrity polar bear Knut drowned
The Berlin zoo's celebrity polar bear, Knut, drowned after swelling of his brain caused him to collapse and fall into his enclosure's pool, experts said Friday.
A necropsy of the four-year-old bear who died suddenly two weeks ago showed he was suffering from encephalitis, an irritation and swelling of the brain that was likely brought on by an infection, pathologist Claudia Szentiks said.
It remains unclear what that infection was, but Achim Gruber, a professor of veterinary medicine at Berlin's Free University, said it likely was a virus.
"We believe that this suspected infection must already have been there for a long time ... at least several weeks, possibly months," Gruber said, although he added that there had been no sign of anything amiss in the bear's behavior.
Knut died March 19 in front of hundreds of visitors at Berlin zoo, turning around several times and then falling into the water in his enclosure. Polar bears usually live 15 to 20 years in the wild and even longer in captivity.
Experts who examined Knut found massive quantities of fluid in his lungs, supporting the conclusion that the immediate cause of death was drowning. But they said that even if he hadn't fallen into the water he likely wouldn't have survived.
"Given the massive scale of the inflammation, Knut would probably have died sooner or later — it wouldn't really have been possible

Deer death sparks zoo negligence cry
A deer died at Aizawl Zoological Garden in Lungverh while a pair of hoolock gibbons are being treated after they touched a livewire on the highway while escaping from the zoo. Animal activists blamed zoo officials for both the incidents, alleging negligence.
The wildlife division of the state environment and forests department, however, denied any negligence.
An official statement said the deer escaped from its enclosure and officials tried to catch it in vain as it was very strong. It was caught only after its horns were chopped off. The deer was taken to a cage where it was sedated. However

Barcelona Zoo to review security after wolf escape .
Barcelona Zoo is back to normal this morning following a day of tension yesterday, after a she-wolf and her cub escaped from their enclosure, forcing the the zoo to activate its emergency evacuation protocol and causing widespread panic amonst the visitors.
The all-Spanish wolves jumped the perimeter fence in the region their enclosure after becoming "highly nervous" by the arrival of a new animal in the neighbouring enclosure. They jumped over the fence at in the region 11am, forcing the zoo's management to move the roughly 900 visitors, including 17 school groups, into various secure areas whilst the wolves were found.
Approximately an hour and a quarter after the escape, the mother wolf was found and tranquilised, before being taken to the veterinary clinic within the zoo. in the city are conflicting reports as to if her cub actually ever escaped. CiU spokesperson Sònia Recasens claims it was later found "sleeping peacefully" backside a rock in the enclosure, and accused the zoo staff of "alarmist" behaviour.
The zoo's directors have described the wolves' escape as an "exceptional and isolated" incident, asserting that the perimeter fence is three metres high and the upper section is electrified. The wolves had "never before" been known to jump such heights.
A spokesperson for "Libera" - the animal protection organisation, that campaigns against the exploitation of animals in

Zoo Animals Headed To Other Facilities
More than 200 animals currently housed at the Little River Zoo have been auctioned off and will be sent to other federally licenced facilities in the near future, zoo founder Janet Schmid said Wednesday.
Schmid said the zoo had been looking for a buyer for about a year, but couldn’t find one.
“We had an interested party at one point and we negotiated for a long period of time, but the deal fell through,” she said. “At this point, we really have no other choice but to place the animals in other centers.”
Schmid said the animals — including a pair of mountain lions, American black bears and numerous kangaroos — will not be sold to individuals who would keep them as pets. She said, in total, there are around 250 animals on the property.
“We are not selling the animals to the pet trade,” she said. “They will go to facilities that are licensed by the (U.S. Department of Agriculture) and all the proceeds will go to cover the debts of the zoo.”
The transfer of the animals has to be monitored by the USDA and other agencies “to keep track of them and keep them in the system,” Schmid said, adding that selling them in the pet trade is far more lucrative.
“The zoo isn’t going to get anything near what it could have by selling them as pets,” she said. “But that’s not the right thing to do — by the animals and by the zoo.”
According to Schmid, who stepped down as the zoo’s director 18 months ago, a consultant was hired to find new homes for the animals. Tuesday night, a week-long bidding process involving licensed facilities wrapped up.
The 55-acre zoo shuttered in late January, citing a lack of resources and support from the community. The land is owned by Bill Schmid, Janet Schmid’s former husband and a co-founder.
Schmid, who is still involved with the zoo’s operations

Long lost Coventry Zoo Zulu warrior turns up at last
THE FAMOUS giant Zulu warrior which used to tower over Coventry Zoo has finally turned up.
The attraction at Whitley closed 30 years ago but Coventry folk have long wondered what happened to the iconic 35ft figure.
Today the Telegraph can finally solve the mystery.
The head is all that remains of the statue which greeted visitors to the zoo during the sixties and seventies.
Over the years he’s been well looked after, spending time in sheds, garages and bedrooms around Coventry after being spotted in a scrapyard.
He’s even spent five years at university in Manchester.
The head, spear and big toe of the warrior were discovered by brothers Gary and Wayne Anderson when they were scouring Freddie Barnes’s scrapyard at Baginton in the early 1980s.
They had set out to find parts to restore

Philadelphia Zoo President Vikram Dewan speaks on ethics and extinction at St. Thomas', Whitemarsh
In its 150 years of existence, the Philadelphia Zoo has changed from a Victorian garden to Noah’s ark, Vikram Dewan, president of the zoo, said Sunday morning at St. Thomas’ Church, Whitemarsh.
When it was built in 1859, he said, the 42-acre zoological garden at 34th Street and Girard Avenue was just that: a place to escape from the overcrowded, industrialized city, a maze of cages and flower beds where visitors could literally get lost.
Today, however, as the human population of the world approaches 7 billion, and natural habitat vanishes at an accelerating rate, the zoo’s primary task is to rescue animals from extinction.
“We have not been the best stewards of our planet,” he said.
Dewan’s speech was part of a series of Sunday morning forums on ethics that began at St. Thomas’ in January, and the third of five devoted to ethics and environment. Talking briskly and at length, he detailed the zoo’s efforts to improve the condition of animals, both around the world and within its gates, and to soften its own ecological impact on the Philadelphia area.
Three years ago, Dewan said, the zoo consumed 1.8 million gallons of water a day, which sounds like an exorbitant figure, until one considers the nature of the zoo’s inhabitants.
“You never had to wash a hippo in your backyard,” Dewan reminded his listeners.
The City of Philadelphia, which provides no money for the zoo’s operating expenses, provided the water free of charge until 2008, when budget constraints forced it to give the zoo an ultimatum: either pay half the water bill, or cut consumption. The zoo chose to conserve, Dewan said, and today, daily water use stands at 780,000 gallons a day.
Parking at the zoo is another longstanding problem with environmental consequences, Dewan said. Limited space and the zoo’s location create frequent traffic snarls and keep the number of visitors lower than it could be.
“It’s not unusual for KYW to blame every single traffic issue in Philadelphia on the zoo,” he said. “Parking is a turn-off.”
To alleviate the problem and improve access, the zoo is lobbying SETPA to reopen an old, nearby rail station, he said.
In the distant past, Dewar said, the mass extinction of species was a natural phenomenon caused by volcanoes or meteor impacts. Today, the earth faces the worst period of mass extinction in its history, he said, but this time, the cause is human beings.
One in five species of bird is threatened with extinction, he said, as well as one in four species of mammals and one

River Tay feral beaver dies at Edinburgh Zoo
A feral beaver captured on the River Tay after it was ordered the animals should be "re-homed" has died at Edinburgh Zoo.
The animal, nicknamed "Erica", was trapped late last year. The zoo said it had died "very recently".
Up to 20 beavers are believed to have escaped from private collections in Angus and Perthshire and are now living and breeding on the River Tay.
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) said it was illegal to allow their escape or release into the wild. An official trial reintroduction is currently being held at Knapdale in Argyll.
The organisation issued the trapping order in November.
But the order has been opposed by the Scottish Wild Beaver Group, who are planning to

Human Metapneumovirus Infection in Wild Mountain Gorillas, RwandaThe genetic relatedness of mountain gorillas and humans has led to concerns about interspecies transmission of infectious agents. Human-to-gorilla transmission may explain human metapneumovirus in 2 wild mountain gorillas that died during a respiratory disease outbreak in Rwanda in 2009. Surveillance is needed to ensure survival of these critically endangered animals.

NC Zoo welcomes white alligators
White alligators, natural anomalies that have fascinated people for years, are the newest attraction at the North Carolina Zoo.
The “Swamp Ghosts: Legends of Fortune and Good Luck” exhibit in the zoo’s African Pavilion brings the white gator together with other animals and elements thought to be lucky.
Two seven-foot, female white alligators are on loan from Florida’s St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park. The animals are scientifically known as albinos. The white color results from a genetic defect of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes.
Albino animals are very rare because the characteristics that set them apart also make them more vulnerable to predators, more obvious

Pack yer trunk... we’re out of ear

ANNE the abused elephant packed her trunk and said goodbye to the circus yesterday - after The Sun stepped in to help prepare her for a happy new life.
Circus boss Bobby Roberts agreed to let Anne go to Longleat safari park after being as sickened as our readers to find her groom was secretly beating her.
We were on hand to welcome independent vets to check 59-year-old Anne and ensure she was fit to travel after the deal was sealed.
And I broke the news to the elephant over a trunk of her favourite treat - a giant suitcase full of bananas.
Circus owner Bobby said: "We want to thank The Sun for helping arrange the perfect send-off and we're delighted Anne will be retiring to the ideal

At last, Anne the elephant's suffering could be over as Whipsnade Zoo offers her a home
Hopes were rising last night that Anne the circus elephant could be freed from her cruel captivity within days.
A specialist vet from Whipsnade Zoo and RSPCA officers were allowed to visit Anne to check her over after shocking secret footage was passed to the Daily Mail showing her Romanian groom battering, kicking and stabbing her with a pitchfork.
Whipsnade said it would be ‘delighted’ for Anne to join the herd of elephants already living at the zoo.
The 59-year-old Asian elephant’s owners Bobby and Moira Roberts also appeared to be softening their stance on giving her up.
Moira Roberts, 72, said: ‘We will allow Anne to live her days out in a sanctuary as long as we can visit her regularly and as long as she’s cared for properly.’
She added: ‘We have had the RSPCA here today and Bobby

Could this be a loving new home for Anne? We'd be thrilled to take her in says Longleat after secret talks
A deal was close last night to rehome Anne the circus elephant within a week.
Her owners Moira and Bobby Roberts have finally agreed to allow the 59-year-old animal to retire to an enclosure at Longleat Safari Park, the Mail can reveal.
It marks a victory for this paper, which brought Anne’s desperate plight to the public’s attention by revealing secret footage of the Asian elephant’s Romanian groom stabbing and beating her.
And on Sunday, secret discussions between her owners and officials from the 900-acre wildlife park began. They came after the welfare group Animal Defenders International released the footage to the Mail and campaigners began calling for her to be rehomed.
Despite a generous offer from Whipsnade to provide a home for the elephant, experts felt that her old age and arthritis meant it would not be in her best interests to be in the zoo’s herd with young calves.
Last night, Jonathan Cracknell, director of animal operations at Longleat, revealed that discussions with her owners had been ‘favourable’ and a final decision would be reached today.
Mr Cracknell said: ‘Anne is a geriatric elephant coming towards the end of her life and we’re trying to do what we can to see she lives out her retirement in peace.
‘Things are looking favourable and hopefully we will have her at the park within seven days where we can begin rehabilitating her, depending on independent veterinary examinations and consultation with elephant experts.’
He added: ‘The accommodation we already have meets her short-term needs – and long-term, we are committed to building her a modern elephant house and introducing other rescued elephants, if that is in Anne’s best interests.
‘If Anne were to come here, her management and treatment regime will be dependent on Anne’s needs, both physically and psychologically, which will be assessed by Longleat and a team of independent elephant experts.
‘Elephants are very much like humans when it comes to their psychological needs,’ he explained.
‘Some elephants can suffer problems like post-traumatic stress disorder and we have to be careful not to do anything that would be detrimental to her well being.
‘But I think if we do get everything right, there is a capacity for Anne to understand that she is in a loving, caring environment where she will feel safe and secure.’
But even as hopes rose

Anne the elephant's owner apologises after cruelly-treated circus animal is moved to safari park
The owner of Anne the circus elephant yesterday apologised for her mistreatment as a deal was struck to rehome her at Longleat Safari Park.
Moira Roberts said she felt responsible for the suffering endured by Britain’s oldest elephant because she hired Nicolae Nitu, the Romanian groom secretly filmed kicking her and stabbing her with a pitchfork.
Anne’s plight was revealed by the Daily Mail last week.
Yesterday Mrs Roberts, 72, said: ‘I hired the man. I’m responsible. I thought I was a good judge of character. I’m not. I have completely lost all my faith in human beings. I hired him and I should not have done so.’
Mrs Roberts said she and her husband Bobby, 68, had been ‘vilified’ since the footage emerged and had received death threats.
Yesterday, as the Bobby Roberts Super Circus resumed its tour in Knutsford, Cheshire, 100 protesters gathered outside to express their disgust at Anne’s suffering.
It came as it was

San Andreas sanctuary officials say 50-year-old former zoo and circus elephant Ruby has died
Ruby, an African elephant who was moved to a Northern California sanctuary four years ago amid protests over her confinement at the Los Angeles Zoo, has died. She was 50.
Ruby died Tuesday at the Performing Animal Welfare Society elephant sanctuary in San Andreas, director Pat Derby said Thursday.
A veterinarian, the elephant staff and Derby were all with Ruby when she died.
A necropsy was being performed at the University of California, Davis, Derby said.
Ruby spent 20 years at the Los Angeles Zoo, after being transferred several times and performing with Circus Vargas, Derby said.
Los Angeles Zoo officials said Ruby was one of the oldest African elephants in captivity.
The zoo sent Ruby to the sanctuary, southeast of Sacramento, in mid-2007 after years of lobbying by animal rights activists.
Entertainer Bob Barker donated $300,000 to help pay

Honolulu Zoo accreditation in limbo
The Honolulu Zoo's attempt to gain re-accreditation has once again hit a road block.This despite the fact the zoo has spent millions of dollars on upgrades the past few years.
So why won't the Association of Zoos and Aquariums sign off on our zoo?
It's hard not to notice the improvements, which have been costly the past few years.
"We've spent close to ten million dollars in improvements. And behind me, our new entrance here in testimony to a three million dollars investment to upgrade the zoo,” said Sidney Quintal of the city’s Enterprise Service Department.
And that makes for some frustration in the re-accreditation process.
"We don't agree with what they have done to us,” said Quintal. “I think it was unfair, they didn't take it globally."
As for what concerned the inspectors?
"The elephant was an issue, we were slow, that was a major project. The total cost for that project, with moving other exhibit around is in excess of eleven million dollars,” said

Dallas Zoo quickly quashes giraffe-encounter fee
Face-to-face encounters with giraffes have been among the most popular features at the Dallas Zoo. But for two days, it cost you some lettuce to do it.
Nicole McElwee of East Dallas tried Sunday to lead her 21/2-year-old son onto a platform that juts out into the giraffe exhibit at the Giants of the Savanna exhibit and allows visitors to get within inches of the animals.
She was stopped by a temporary barrier.
Employees told her that, under a policy that had begun that day, the family could enter the platform only by paying $5 for lettuce to feed the giraffes.
“My son started crying,” she said. “I can see keeping people out if it was crowded, but there were only eight or 10 people in the … area.”
A visit by a Dallas Morning News reporter Tuesday afternoon confirmed McElwee’s experience, but a zoo spokesman said it was all a mistake that would be corrected immediately.
“The situation you described did exist, but it is not the situation right now,” said Susan Eckert, zoo spokeswoman. “That’s not the policy, and we’re going to make sure the whole staff knows about it.”
Effective immediately, she said, zoo visitors would again be able to enter the giraffe platform with or without buying a treat for the giraffes. She said visitors might have to wait in line if the platform is crowded.
She said she did not know how

Zoo elephant case before Alta. appeal court
Alberta's Court of Appeal heard four hours of arguments Tuesday in the case of Lucy, the Asian elephant at Edmonton's Valley Zoo.
Zoocheck and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [PETA] believe Lucy is in distress and want her moved to an elephant sanctuary in the United States. They filed an originating notice last year asking the courts to declare Lucy an animal in distress.
A Court of Queen's Bench judge ruled against the groups in August, stating they did not follow the proper channels to bring legal action against the City of Edmonton, which operates the zoo.
Zoocheck and PETA appealed that ruling, asking for the case to be reinstated. Lawyer Clayton Ruby said afterwards Tuesday's arguments did not get to the issues at the centre of Lucy's case.
"We argued fine points of very abstract law all day today and that's great for a lawyer," Ruby said.
"But at the end of the day this animal is truly suffering and in pain, aged and dying and not receiving any adequate medical care. That's awful."
City officials say Lucy has health problems that make it too dangerous to move her. They reject any suggestion Lucy is poorly treated at the zoo.
City lawyer Steve Phipps says the Edmonton

Freeze on funds threat to conservation project
ONE of the country's most valuable biological resources is lying dormant due to a lack of funding.
Known as the frozen zoo, the Animal Gene Resource Centre of Australia, at Monash University's Clayton campus, contains samples of blood, saliva, skin and reproductive tissue from more than 100 rare, threatened and endangered species.
The 16-year-old collection - the world's first national animal gene bank - is part of a worldwide database designed to secure the genetic diversity of threatened or endangered species. The frozen zoo also holds genetic material from animals such as sheep and cattle dogs - a valuable agricultural resource should disease decimate stock.
However, Australia's ''biobank'' branch has struggled to secure continued funding after advocate and inaugural chairman Alan Trounson left the country to work in the US. This coincided with biotech

Panda deal finance boss steps down from zoo job
A ZOO boss who was involved in bringing giant pandas to Scotland resigned just weeks after it was announced the attraction had secured the loan of the two animals.
Max Gaunt, who worked as the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's treasurer for nearly four years, stepped down from his position in February.
It is unknown why he left the post but it not being linked to the suspension of acting chief executive Gary Wilson, who the Evening News last week revealed was being investigated over mystery allegations.
Bosses said Mr Gaunt, the chief executive of RGA Consulting and a former finance director for Gleneagles Hotel,

Snake's alive! The Bronx Zoo Cobra found... at the Bronx Zoo!
You may now breathe a ssssigh of relief. After escaping from a cage at the Bronx Zoo last week and going MIA, a venomous 24-inch Egyptian Cobra was found on Thursday by zoo staffers. Was it captured while slithering its way through Central Park? Catching a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden? Enjoying a quiet dinner at an Italian bistro in the Village? Nope. She was just coiled up in a dark corner of the reptile house, a mere 200 feet from her cage, and is now “resting comfortably and secure,” according to zoo officials. (Cue the singer from Survivor: The search is over/you were with me all the while…)
It’s been a fangtastic week for the BZC, who quickly became America’s deadly darling as she did everything from staying out of sight to keeping a low profile. One sneaky soul set up a Twitter account @BronxZoosCobra, which detailed

Lost Cobra May Hide for Weeks, Zoo Says
For advice on how to catch a wayward snake in the Bronx Zoo, it seemed worthwhile to consult the city’s own resident snake charmer, Serpentina, of Sideshows by the Seashore in Coney Island.
She recalled how, some years ago, her albino Burmese python once got loose in her dressing room. Then Serpentina, sometimes known as Stephanie Torres, 34, of Brooklyn, offered an answer that clearly benefited from hindsight.
“Get better locks,” she said with a laugh.
The case of the missing venomous snake in the Bronx Zoo has yielded much interest, many press inquiries and even a fake Twitter feed or two. What it has not yielded is the snake, a 20-inch female Egyptian cobra born a few months ago.
On Monday, otherwise known as Day 4 of the cobra hunt, zoo officials put out a statement cautioning that they may not find the adolescent cobra for days, and perhaps weeks.
“We understand the interest in this story and that everyone wants us to find the missing snake,” James J. Breheny, the zoo’s director, said in the statement. “Right now, it’s the snake’s game. At this point, it’s just like fishing; you put the hook in the water and wait. Our best strategy is patience, allowing her time to come out of hiding.”
Zoo officials said they were confident that the snake was somewhere inside the reptile house, which was closed immediately after the snake went missing on Friday.
“The holding areas of the reptile house are extremely complex environments with pumps, motors and other mechanical systems,” Mr. Breheny said. “In this complex environment, she will likely remain in hiding and not move until she feels completely secure. As her comfort level rises, she will begin to move around the building to seek food and water.”
A native of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, the Egyptian cobra, or asp, can be deadly. But it usually preys on toads and birds, not humans. Its venom can quickly cause respiratory failure, and legend has it that Cleopatra used the asp’s toxins to commit suicide.
But experts said cobras are generally averse to human contact and unlikely to bite unless they feel their lives are in peril. In this case, the snake’s small size would make it even less deadly because its glands are smaller, said Rulon W. Clark, a herpetologist at San Diego State University.
“The actual danger in a situation like this is very low,” Mr. Clark said. “These aren’t animals that view people as meals.”
Jack Hanna, host of the syndicated television show “Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild,” recalled how a snake escaped

Fugitive Bronx Zoo Cobra Now Has A Twitter Account
The Egyptian cobra that escaped from The Bronx Zoo over the weekend did what anyone would do after being cooped up indoors for several years...create a Twitter account and tour New York City.
A new Twitter page
has emerged in the wake of the venomous reptile's departure becoming a news media sensation. The twitter account (@BronxZoosCobra) was just started yesterday and already has over 50,000 followers.
The cobra has already visited the Magnolia Bakery, the Metropolitan Museum of Art , and the Museum of Natural History. The cobra visited Wall Street as well, but didn't stay long since the

History’s Greatest Snake Escapes
It’s day five of the search for the Bronx Zoo’s most daring cobra, and the animal remains missing. (It is “the snake’s game,” after all.) How might the creature’s game of hide-and-seek end? For answers, we turned to history’s most daring snake escapes.
In August 2010, a poisonous tiger snake (pictures suggest it’s much more snake than tiger) ventured from its home at the Zoo Atlanta. “It’s nowhere near public access,” a zoo spokeswoman said at the time. This would soon prove to be untrue. About two weeks later, the snake was located “roughly 100 yards away on the front porch of a Grant Park couple, where it was clubbed to death by homeowner Guy Mower,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Years earlier, in late 2006, a poisonous cobra went AWOL from its enclosure in a Toronto apartment building, where it had been living as a pet with North America’s worst tenant. The city’s public-health department “sealed off the building

Snake trappers use live mice to bait runaway Bronx Zoo cobra - who now has 118,000 Twitter followers
Worried staff at the Bronx Zoo have resorted to setting traps baited with live mice to catch a cobra missing for five days.
The snake escaped from the zoo's Reptile House on Saturday and while desperate officials search for the fugitive, the cobra is apparently alive and well, according to his very own Twitter page.
The deadly venomous viper appears to have been keeping himself busy, with the spoof page, named @BronxZoosCobra, providing a running commentary as to his whereabouts

Hoan Kiem turtle to have “sanatorium”
Dr. Ha Dinh Duc, a member of the steering board to protect Hoan Kiem turtle, said that the small tank that was built in the middle of the lake in early March is only the “hospital bed” of the turtle. The second tank, which spans several hundreds meters in area, will be the turtle’s sanatorium

The Role of Thailand in the International Trade in CITES-Listed Live Reptiles and Amphibians
International wildlife trade is one of the leading threats to biodiversity conservation. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is the most important initiative to monitor and regulate the international trade of wildlife but its credibility is dependent on the quality of the trade data. We report on the performance of CITES reporting by focussing on the commercial trade in non-native reptiles and amphibians into Thailand as to illustrate trends, species composition and numbers of wild-caught vs. captive

Do breeding facilities for chelonians threaten their stability in the wild?
After a short introduction into the aims of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and the definition of the different breeding categories used by CITES („captive bred“, „captive born“ or „farmed“, and „captive raised“ or „ranched“), we present and evaluate import and export statistics of different species and countries. These show many cases of incorrect and inconsequent data, in some cases chelonians are mislabelled, or they entry into a country as „wild caught“ and leave it as „captive bred.“ Typical trading routes are named. We address the limits of CITES and show possibilities of the importing countries to improve the conservation status, i.e. by double-checking non-detriment findings, like it's imperative by each import into the European Union.

The Story Of Mawar And Her Mahout
"Mawar is naughty and likes to bully the new trainees here," said Hafizan Mohamed who is the mahout to Mawar, the 11-year-old female elephant (also called she-elephant).
According to Hafizan, Mawar which lives at the Kuala Gandah elephant conservation centre since the jumbo was two years old, likes to slap the junior workers and trainees with her trunk but refrains from doing the same against the senior workers there.
Hafizan started work as a mahout over three years ago and shortly later was given the task of looking after Mawar. Several months earlier, he underwent training with smaller elephants in order to learn the

How Species Save Our Lives
When adding up the benefits from three centuries of species discoveries, I’m tempted to start, and also stop, with Sir Hans Sloane. A London physician and naturalist in the 18th century, he collected everything from insects to elephant tusks. And like a lot of naturalists, he was ridiculed for it, notably by his friend Horace Walpole, who scoffed at Sloane’s fondness for “sharks with one ear, and spiders as big as geese!” Sloane’s collections would in time give rise to the British Museum, the British Library, and the Natural History Museum, London. Not a bad legacy for one lifetime. But it pales beside the result of a collecting trip to Jamaica, on which Sloane also invented milk chocolate.
We still scoff at naturalists today. We also tend to forget how much we benefit from their work. Since this is the final column in this series about how the discovery of species has changed our lives, let me put it as plainly as possible: Were it not for the work of naturalists, you and I would probably be dead. Or if alive, we would be far likelier to be crippled, in pain, or otherwise incapacitated.
Large swaths of what we now regard as basic medical knowledge came originally from naturalists. John Hunter, for instance, was a colorful London physician, a generation or two after Sloane, and his passion for animals made him a model for Dr. Dolittle. (He may also have been the original Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for his nighttime work sneaking cadavers in by the back door.) While others were only dimly beginning to contemplate the connection between humans and other animals, he made detailed flesh-and-blood comparisons, discovering, among other things, how bones grow and what course the olfactory nerves travel.
Hunter, now regarded as the father of modern surgery, came out of a Scottish tradition that treated the study of nature as essential for developing a doctor’s observational skills, and he drilled this attitude into his students. Among them was Edward Jenner, a country doctor who spent 15 years studying cuckoos (perhaps one reason he later got labeled a quack). But this research, combined “with Hunter’s insistence on finely honed observation and cogent presentation, helped prepare Jenner’s mind for his great work,” according to science historian Lloyd Allan Wells. That work was the development of the world’s first vaccine, for smallpox. Establishment physicians balked. But Jenner’s bold

Climate change and evolution of Cross River gorillas
Two species of gorillas live in central equatorial Africa. Divergence between the Western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and Eastern Gorillas (G. beringei) began between 0.9 and 1.6 million years ago and now the two species live several hundred kilometres apart. New research published by BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology shows that the divergence of Western lowland gorillas and the Critically Endangered Cross River gorillas (G. g. diehli) occurred more recently, about 17,800 years ago, during the Pleistocene era.
An evolutionary model of the two subspecies of Western gorillas was generated using microsatellite genotyping of living gorillas and 100 year old museum specimens. This data showed that, although Cross River gorillas diverged from Western lowland gorillas about 17,800 years ago, the two subspecies continued to intermittently interbreed. Drs Thalmann and Wegmann suggest that climate change during the Pleistocene era caused the forests to expand, permitting the Western gorillas to expand their range. When the forest contracted again the gorillas were separated into two populations which began to diverge. Successive rounds of climate change resulted in periods when the two subspecies could interbreed followed by repeated episodes of isolation of the Cross River population.
The model indicates that gene flow finally stopped between the two subspecies approximately 420 years ago. Over the last 320 years ago there has been a 60% decrease in the numbers of Cross River gorillas causing a loss of genetic diversity within the population. Dr Thalmann said, "The number of Cross River gorillas has continued to decrease, probably due to anthropogenic pressure, such as destruction of their habitat or hunting by humans. There are thought to be fewer than 300 individuals left."
He continued "It is unclear what effect this loss of genetic diversity will have on the long term viability of Cross River gorillas. But, given that this bottleneck occurred so recently, it is possible that if the population was allowed to expand the loss of diversity could be stopped."

Polar Bear Lovers Protest Potential Display of Knut's Body at Museum
Fans of the polar bear Knut, who captured the hearts around the world as it grew up in captivity at the Berlin Zoo, are planning to protest a proposal to publicly display the recently deceased bear's body.
Activists are busy collecting signatures to argue that the bear, who died suddenly March 19 at just 4 years old, should not be stuffed for display at a Berlin museum, the UK Telegraph reports. Such a display is one option being discussed, but no decision has yet been made about Knut's remains.
A condolence book on the Berlin Zoo’s website is filled with angry messages, and a letter to the zoo director says, “Nobody wants to look at a stiff, dead Knut,” the paper reports.
Knut unexpectedly died in front of visitors at the zoo, turning around several times and then falling into the water in his enclosure. A team of veterinarians determined brain problems were probably the cause of the death. Polar bears usually live 15 to 20 years in the wild and even longer in captivity.
Knut was rejected by his mother at birth and was the first polar bear to survive past infancy at the Berlin Zoo in more than 30 years. He rose to celebrity status as an irresistibly cute, fluffy cub. He attracted attention when his main caregiver, Thomas Doerflein, camped out at the zoo to give the button-eyed cub his bottle every two hours.
The bear went on to appear on magazine covers, in a film and on mountains of merchandise..
Protesters say the zoo wants to milk the bear for more money. They argue he should be cremated.
But Heiner Kloes, who is in charge of bears at the Berlin Zoo,

Inspectors save 11 hawksbill turtles covered in sea debris
Municipality aims to raise awareness among public
Young Hawksbill turtles, covered in different types of sea waste, were found on the shores of Dubai recently.
Inspectors of the Marine Environment and Wildlife Section of Dubai Municipality rescued 11 young Hawksbill Sea Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) of length 3-5 inches and weighing 50-150 grams. They were found during the inspectors' daily patrols of coastal areas.
Most of their [turtles] body parts were covered in different types of sea waste which hindered their movement and also resulting in malnutrition.
Special centre
Dubai Municipality handed over the turtles to a specialised centre to conduct required tests as a preparation for its rehabilitation and then to release them back to their habitat.
"The Hawksbill Sea turtles are highly migratory species. They travel through the oceans of the world frequently and this migratory behaviour has made it harder for policy makers to




Death in zoo pool
Animal minder goes down with boat that sprung a leak on the Tunku Abdul Rahman lake
A zookeeper drowned on duty on Saturday morning and three of his colleagues were lucky to survive — after the boat they were in sprung a leak and went down in the lake inside Zoo Negara.
It was a tragedy that was probably waiting to happen after staff members warned the zoo management about the leak-prone boat used to trim foliage hanging down the banks of Tunku Abdul Rahman Lake.
In the incident at about 10am Zulhakimi Suhaimi, 24, and his three colleagues were in the boat trimming over-hanging dropping branches from islets within the lake in the middle of Zoo Negara home to over 300 free-roaming birds.
In about about 20 minutes, water filled the boat causing it to sink and spilling the four men overboard.
The tragedy was witnessed by an Indonesian maid, Rose, who was decorating a gazebo on one of the islets in preparation for celebration of the daughter of her employer.
"I was alone then. The children and their parents were sight-seeing. As I was setting out the place, I heard loud shouts for help by four men in the water."
Rose said two of the men managed to swim to the islet and haul themselves on shore while holding on to the overhanging branches.
Another man managed

Tiger population rises by 295 in India
The Census exercise was carried out in 2010 in the designated 39 tiger reserves of India.
According to the last Census report of 2008, the population of big cat was at 1411.
In the Sundarbans archipelago in the Bay of Bengal, the tiger count is 70, according to the latest Census, busting the myth that the number is 275 as bandied about by the West Bengal government for long.
"Someone from the West Bengal government should answer what they were doing in the past ten years. Will they accept the figure," asked tiger expert Valmik Thapar speaking to NDTV after the figures were made available.
According to the Census, the tiger population in Shivalik-Gangetic plains is 353, in the Central and Eastern Ghats 601, in Western Ghats 534 and in the Northeast


Zookeeper sues Woburn: full report
A FORMER zookeeper at Woburn Safari Park has claimed he was forced out of his job after highlighting health and safety and animal welfare breaches.
At an industrial tribunal in Howard Street, Bedford this week, Dr Paul O’Donoghue, 32, claimed constructive dismissal saying that a number of incidents – including events leading to the escape of an elephant – stopped him from being able to do his job.
But a solicitor, representing Bedford Estates, claimed Dr O’Donoghue left his role at the safari park voluntarily, and that the firm had adhered to all disciplinary matters and grievances at the park within given guidelines.
Solicitor Abayomi Alemoru, said: “Let me suggest to you that saying you were pushed out of your job for making complaints about health and safety and animal welfare is a post-employment construct made with your claim in March 2010.”
He suggested Dr O’Donoghue’s motive for the claim were the result of a vendetta against the park.
Dr O’Donoghue, who represented himself at the tribunal supported by his partner Emily, left his position on December 5, 2009.
He claimed that he was not able to carry out his health and safety responsibilities at the park because of a “culture in which health and safety issues seem to be tolerated within the organisation”.
When giving evidence to the tribunal he claimed that issues he raised, including a leak of human waste from the restaurant toilets which was contaminating the monkey house, breaches in security which led to an elephant escaping, and inexperienced workers tending to the park’s pride of lions, were overlooked by park chiefs.
He said: “I resigned from a permanent position at Woburn to take up a temporary position at Chester University.
“I strongly feel that I will never work in a zoo again and being a lecturer is not my long-term career ambition.”
Dr O’Donoghue described an alleged incident in which staff member Neil Berry got out of his Land Rover in the lion enclosure to free a vehicle which was stuck on a hill.
He said: “I was concerned that inexperienced staff were managing a dysfunctional and unnatural pride of lions.”
Dr O’Donoghue said that Mr Berry reacted violently when he confronted him and urged him to report it.
Mr Alemoru claimed that the reason Mr Berry behaved in this way is because Dr O’Donoghue swore at him, not because he didn’t want to file the report.
During the hearing Dr O’Donoghue claimed that he had suffered detriment and victimisation as a result of highlighting issues at the park.
He said: “During October and November there were actions and occurrences that made me question the tenability of my position.
“Comments were made about my job security, I was assaulted at work, and my employer has failed in its contact to provide a reasonable working environment

Napier's Marineland to be closed and cleared (December 2010)
Marineland will be permanently closed and the site cleared "ready for something new."
More than two years after the marine park closed to the public, Napier City Council announced this morning it will not be reopened.
The decision came after the government confirmed it would not support marine mammals being kept in captivity.
Napier Mayor Barbara Arnott said the government's stance, and the need for major upgrades at the aging facility, forced the council's hand.
The decision was made to "close the facility and clear the site ready for something new".
Mrs Arnott said many alternative options were

What happened to Marineland's stars?
As a city which suffered a massive quake, the thoughts of Napier residents are very much with the people of Christchurch, but there is another matter on the minds of many Hawkes Bay residents; The future of Marineland.
You may remember the Napier city council announced Marineland's closure, but local opposition to this has led to a judicial review.
The sea mammals which were once Marineland's celebrities are now kept out of the spotlight, behind locked gates.
The council allowed Campbell Live in to try and find out what will happen to them.
Whena Owen met


Further information on the above.

AZA report raises questions about Knoxville Zoo elephant's behavior
Knoxville Zoo sticking with protective contact for handlers
An independent review panel has determined the Jan. 14 death of Knoxville Zoo elephant keeper Stephanie James was an accident. In the aftermath of James' death, the zoo will continue to care for its African elephants through protective barriers.
James, 33, died from internal injuries after female elephant Edie pinned her against a wide steel pole called a bollard. At the time, James was giving Edie her evening treats in one of the stalls at the Stokely African Elephant Preserve.
The four-member panel's report concluded that James' death was accidental.
The report also found no reason for the 8,500-pound animal to move toward James and found she exhibited no signs of aggression before, during or after the incident.
When Edie moved forward, she pinned James against the metal bar. The bars are spaced 2 feet apart. The report says injury to James could have been avoided if James had been standing in that open space.
The zoo also today included a special report issued by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the organization that accredits zoos.
The AZA report says that the zoo's elephant management procedures are consistent with its own standards and that the park's elephant keepers are qualified and experienced.
However, the AZA report does

Zoo authorities clueless on elephant's aggression
Zoo authorities are clueless as to how to deal with the three-month-long period of aggression of Rajmangal, a 55-year-old male elephant at Chhatbir zoo. Wildlife lovers feel elephants should be shifted to forest and sanctuary areas in keeping with guidelines of CZA ( Central Zoo Authority).
According to wildlife experts, elephants are mega herbivore animals and they need extra surface to roam around. A circular issued by CZA in 2009 said elephants should be moved out from captivity areas. 'When a team from CZA had visited Chhatbir zoo last year, why it did not direct zoo authorities to shift the elephants to sanctuary areas is incomprehensible,' said Payal Sodhi, founder of People for Animals (PFA) Chandigarh.
Zoo authorities say they are helpless as they cannot leave the elephant for it to walk around openly during the period of aggression. 'We have no option but to chain the elephant, otherwise he could harm visitors. Elephants are treated well under supervision of experts. However

Dubai Zoo: Looking forward to a better day
Yet another summer will come by with hundreds of animals, at the Dubai Zoo, languishing in cramped conditions even as authorities continue to delay plans for a bigger facility. Most of the animals at the zoo are either victims of illegal trafficking or unwanted pets. In trying to find them a better home, the authorities have see-sawed over the past few years between plans on building a new zoo and shelving those decisions. Gulf News reporters take a look at the venue’s struggle to become more than just an animal shelter.
There seems to be no respite for the more than 1,000 animals at the Dubai Zoo who will continue to languish in the sweltering summer heat due to inordinate delays in plans to construct a new and bigger facility.
While the Dubai Municipality, the authority that manages the zoo, acknowledges that the zoo has its limitations, it added that there is no immediate solution to alleviate the space constraints.
"There are many plans for Dubai Zoo but all these plans are long term and no change is expected to take place at least until the end of this year," said Engineer Eisa Al Maidour, Assistant Director-General of the Dubai Municipality.
Not only is the Dubai Zoo housing animals in cramped conditions, it has also been earning bad press with limited or no promotion in hotel advertisements luring tourists to the emirate.
The zoo has grown considerably since it was launched in Jumeirah, in May 1967, with a few animals. Today, it is home to around 230 species while the total number exceeds over 1,000 animals — all of whom reside in an area measuring 20,000 square metres, which also includes offices and a visitors' centre.
More than 80 per cent of the zoo's population consists of animals either donated by people or seized by customs or municipality officials. Now, the zoo has stopped accepting

Dubai Zoo

Plans for albino zone in Byculla zoo
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to create a special zone for albino animals within the premises of Veer Jijamata Udyan, popularly called the Byculla zoo.
According to officials, the zone will be set up in a two-storey structure to be constructed inside the zoo for educating children and creating awareness among them on wildlife conservation. To be called the Interpretation Centre, the structure will be built as part of the plans to modernize the zoo.
On Thursday, Neelim Kumar Khaire, director of Katraj Snake Park in Pune, met Rahul Shewale, BMC standing committee chairman, to discuss the feasibility of transferring some of the albino animals to the Byculla zoo.
"We already have a white peacock and a white crow. But Khaire wants to transfer some white cobras and turtles as well. We also plan to add a white porcupine. It will be a small area in the intepretation centre, near the penguins. It's aimed to be different so that school children can appreciate it,"said an official from the zoo. "The idea of having a white

Zoo's revenue goes in part to conservation efforts
We refer to the letter "Attractions need to charge less" (March 23) by Ms Marietta Koh.
The Singapore Zoo, operated by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, is a self-funded organisation, while the Melaka Zoo is managed by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, a government organisation responsible for the protection, management and preservation of biodiversity in Malaysia.
All profits and revenue earned from our parks is injected back into the care of the animals and exhibits, as well as conservation efforts and skills upgrading of our employees. A portion of our entrance fee is also donated to the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund (WRSCF), which was set up by WRS to support the conservation of endangered native wildlife, as well as for capacity building, education and awareness programmes on key species and conservation issues in the South-east Asian region.
The role of zoos has changed through the years. In addition to offering recreation for families and tourists, our mission is to connect people with wildlife to inspire nature conservation and to educate people on the human effect on living things and habitats. To run a successful social enterprise with such a mission, we need to be financially independent.
Therefore, we have invested resources in making sure that we maintain world-class exhibits, while introducing new in-park attractions to remain competitive and relevant. We also have ongoing initiatives to transform our parks from "viewing zoos" to "learning zoos". This involves installing interactive signage at all exhibits, organising outreach activities for the young such as overnight camps, and working with partners such as the Ministry of Education to publish educational materials for use in the classroom.
We constantly try to balance the maintenance of our financial health, the protection of local and global biodiversity and the support of community development.
That said, at WRS, we have different price points targeted at various groups. Local senior citizens can purchase admission tickets at half price. Park hopper specials allow visitors to purchase 3-in-1 or 2-in-1 admission tickets to either three or two of our parks - Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo - at a discounted price. Locals and residents keen to visit several times in a year can sign up for a reasonably-priced membership package which comes with perks such as tram rides and complimentary parking. Additionally, WRS extends heavily subsidised rates to visiting schools. For a value-added visit, teachers can make advanced bookings for complimentary enrichment pr

Zoo gets $15 million gift and a new look
Philanthropist Conrad Prebys makes largest donation in zoo history
San Diego philanthropist Conrad Prebys is giving the San Diego Zoo $15 million to launch a major redesign of its big cat and koala areas. This gift, announced Sunday afternoon, ?follows Prebys’ 2007 donation of $10.1 million to revamp the polar bear plunge and elephant care center.
Not only is this new pledge the largest single gift in the history of the Zoo, but CEO Doug Myers said Prebys is also the largest single donor to the Zoo at over $25 million. (In 2004 Joan Kroc bequeathed $10 million to the Zoo.)
The bulk of Prebys’ new gift will transform the Zoo’s Big Cat Trail into a winding walkway like San Francisco’s Lombard Street and enhance its Africa Rocks section. The donation also will

Meet the Zoo: Alexandra and Nicholas (Great Photos)
Section Sponsored By Nicholas is a sweetie, but Alexandra can be downright mean.
At many zoos, smaller animals are often overshadowed by their popular, larger cousins.
Not so for Alexandra and Nicholas at the Prospect Park Zoo, where there are no lions or tigers to steal their thunder.
This little pair of Pallas’s cats are about the size of house cats, but look much larger because of all their fur.
They were born in the Moscow Zoo in April of 1998. When they were just a year old, they moved to the San Diego Zoo where they gave birth to several litters of kittens. In 2008 they moved to the Prospect Park Zoo, where they’re spending their golden years.
Alexandra and Nicholas are the first wild cats exhibited at Prospect Park Zoo since it was renovated in 1993. Visitors

Prague zoo opens 80th season
Thousands of people attended the ceremonial opening of the 80th season of the Prague Zoo despite cloudy weather Saturday to see the christening of a pair of rare iguanas and the reconstructed buildings with a new restaurant and gallery.
The Blue Iguanas, a critically endangered species, were christened by Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda and the Zoo director Miroslav Bobek. The lizards were named Faust and Margarita.
The Prague Zoo sought to get the nearly extinct lizards coming from the Grand Cayman island for more than ten years, curator Petr Velensky said.
He said the Prague Zoo is the only one in Europe to have them.
Velensky expressed hope that the pair would multiply.
Bobek said he believed the timbered Cubist houses built by renowned Czech architect Josef Gocar at the beginning of the 20th century would be one of the main attractions of the Prague Zoo even though there are no animals in them.
The houses were originally built at the city's first

Death of German polar bear doesn’t affect KC’s Nikita, zookeepers say
Kansas City’s polar bear, Nikita, is four years and four months old and appears to be in the pink, er, white of health.
But Knut, the superstar polar bear at the Berlin Zoo, also appeared healthy before he suddenly keeled over and died in front of hundreds of horrified visitors. And he was only four years and three months old.
The shocking death points to the challenge facing zookeepers in managing the health of their animals, especially the ones that capture the hearts of the public.
Before Nikita came to the Kansas City Zoo last year from the Toledo Zoo, he was tranquilized to allow extensive tests. That included blood work to see how well he carries oxygen to his organs, X-rays of his head, a check of his reproductive system and even a glaucoma exam. Veterinarians also removed two baby canine teeth that failed to emerge

1,200 mails exchanged to bring home cheetahs
Visitors from south India may have the chance of witnessing cheetahs in captivity in the 118-year old Sri Chamarajendra Zoologoical Gardens here, but they are oblivious of the untiring efforts made by the authorities to procure these majestic animals. But for the existence of the e-mail system, it would not have been possible for the authorities to get these endangered species in a short span of one and a half year.
Mysore zoo authorities exchanged more than 1,200 e-mails with various agencies and government organizations before they got the four cheetahs from Johannesburg. With the arrival of these four cheetahs, Mysore Zoo has become the only zoo in south India and second in India after Junagad zoo in Gujarat to have cheetahs as exhibits.
The idea to import cheetahs took off a year-and-a-half ago when Mysore zoo authorities wrote to Central Zoo Authority(CZA) seeking its permission to import cheetahs from an African safari. But since the proposal did not go down well with the CZA for various reasons

Putin's animal antics questioned in Russia
"There's a good kitty, a pretty kitty," Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was shown by state media telling snow leopard last weekend, who stared back at him, covered in fresh blood.
The rare species is the latest to go under "personal control" of the Russian leader, who is overseeing research programs on a handful of mammals, including the tiger, beluga whale and polar bear.
As part of that work he has taken part in several tagging missions with scientists from the Moscow-based Severtsov Institute.
But other scientists have said the snow leopard was harmed, and that the program is scientifically unreasonable and directed more towards publicity.
The leopard, called Mongol, had to be flown to Khakasia, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) away from its habitat in the Sayano-Shushensky reserve, and was held in captivity for five days, released only after meeting Putin.
The removal of the animal was "criminal", according to the regional UNDP-funded programme on biodiversity, since the Severtsov institute only had permission to tag Mongol, which could have been done in 15 minutes.
On Sunday, the Severtsov institute said on its website that the animal had to be held and treated for wounds on his neck and cheekbone.
"He was ill," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told AFP, dismissing allegations that the animal had been held captive in order to meet the prime minister as "absolutely groundless."
But Alexander Bondarev, the manager

Villagers Protest 'Illegal' Swiftlet Building Close To Homes
More than 100 people of Kampung Gajah Merangkak here Sunday staged a protest against the construction of a building to breed swiftlets in their village, less than 100 metres from the nearest house.
The demonstration was held at the site of the building to draw the notice of the Kulim Municipal Council and the Kedah government to the matter.
The chairman of the village development and security committee, Ismail Jusoh, 52, said the committee sent a memorandum to the council in September last year but there had been no action.
"We went to the office of the menteri besar in Alor Setar in December but only met State Executive Councillor Datuk Phahrolrozi Zawawi with whom we registered our objection, but in vain.
"The construction of the building is illegal because I did not get any information on the structure from the Kulim Municipal Council," he told reporters.
Ismail said the committee had received a copy of the approval letter for a similar building, also in the village but located 1.5 kilometres

Bird Nest Soup

Malaysia's tourist city bans breeding of birds after UN issues warning over old buildings
Tens of thousands of birds cultivated for their edible nests are being banned from the capital of a Malaysian tourist island after the U.N. cultural agency warned that the business endangered efforts to preserve decades-old buildings prized for their historical value, officials said Thursday.
The bird breeders on Malaysia's northern Penang island voiced fears that the ban would disrupt their lucrative business, which existed for years before UNESCO placed Penang's capital of Georgetown on its list of World Heritage Sites in 2008.
A spot on the list helps attract tourists and U.N. grants, but authorities have to follow restrictions to limit changes to the landscape. The restrictions pose a problem for entrepreneurs in Georgetown who convert old buildings and houses into small farms where sparrow-like swiftlets live and breed.
Cup-shaped nests made from the swiftlets' glutinous saliva are sold across Asia as a delicacy and can fetch up to $1,000 per pound ($2,000 per kilogram). Many Chinese serve the nests in a soup, saying it has medicinal qualities.
Chow Kon Yeow, a Penang state legislator, said authorities have ordered all swiftlet farms in Georgetown to move to agricultural areas elsewhere on the island by 2013. Twenty-seven have closed so far, while another 101 remain.
"It's too heavy a burden if we lose" the U.N. heritage status, he said.
UNESCO has expressed concerns to Malaysian

Lucy has a comfortable life here-zoo
Re: "Let's get Lucy the help she needs," by Dr. Debi Zimmermann, Letters, March 18.
As the head of the Edmonton Valley Zoo, I would like to correct the portrayal of Lucy the elephant's life in Edmonton.
She enjoys a comfortable life at the zoo, where she is loved and cherished. Visitors often see Lucy out and about enjoying the whole zoo as her home.
Lucy has unique needs and must be understood and treated as an individual elephant.
She has a complicated medical condition that is being managed responsibly at the zoo. Elephants usually breathe through their trunks; Lucy breathes through her mouth.
Under stress, or during other times of increased need for oxygen, Lucy's ability to breathe is stretched almost beyond her capacity. It is imperative to keep her calm and quiet.
Dr. James Oosterhuis, an elephant specialist, returned to the Edmonton Valley Zoo earlier this year for a followup examination of Lucy. He concluded Lucy's medical condition precludes any thought of moving her and, in fact, it would be life threatening

Endangered condors lay 10 eggs at the Oregon Zoo
California condors have laid 10 eggs, with one more possibly on the way, at the Oregon Zoo.
The Oregonian reports that's the most eggs since the Portland zoo joined the effort to save the critically endangered species in 2003 with a captive breeding program. The zoo has 11 breeding pairs and 38 condors total.
For the first time this year the zoo plans to transfer two to four of the eggs to California where they'll be placed in nests in the wild.
The rest of the eggs will be hatching in coming weeks

College goes wild over zoo
EXOTIC animal encounters will be just around the corner with plans for a Ponteland zoo.
Monkey business and comparing the meerkats will soon become the norm in the Northumberland countryside as the Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens gets set for opening to the public.
The new tourist attraction is being created at the Northumberland College campus to improve its learning environment for animal management and horticultural students.
But the facility will also invite the public to meet its animals, which will include more than 100 different species, from emus to wallabies, pygmy goats to marmosets and meerkats to ring tail lemurs.
Visitors will be able to chat to zookeepers, who will introduce them to the animals and tell them more about their behaviour and habitats.
There will also be a river and forest trail, ornamental and walled gardens, an aquatics centre, picnic

Terri's secret sell-off - Australia Zoo growth on hold
STEVE Irwin's widow Terri has been quietly selling off properties from a multi-million dollar portfolio amassed by the star couple.
In a sign Australia Zoo has hit hard times, Mrs Irwin has placed several Sunshine Coast properties on the market. A number of zoo exhibits are on hold or delayed.
Mrs Irwin has admitted a horrific wet summer drastically affected visitor numbers and forced job cuts.
An investigation reveals Mrs Irwin has been trying to offload properties since late last year - many at a loss.
Four directly border the zoo on Fraser and Bunney roads, Beerwah, and were originally purchased back when expansion plans were at full throttle.
A sprawling 95ha parcel at Peachester, with views of the Glass House

Zoo's Dolphin Habitat Celebrates 50th Anniversary
More than two million people each year visit the Brookfield Zoo’s Seven Seas exhibit in suburban Chicago. The exhibit, celebrating its 50th anniversary, is the oldest inland dolphin habitat in the United States. It focuses on the Chicago Zoological Society’s efforts to promote marine conservation.
Fifty years ago, the only way people in the US. Midwest could see dolphins up close was by visiting the coastline. The Chicago Zoological Society wanted to bring that experience closer to home.
"This was a very groundbreaking facility," said Rita Stacey, curator of the Seven Seas exhibit at Brookfield Zoo. She's worked with dolphins at the zoo for twenty years. "It was the first inland Dolphinarium. It was the first one to

Missing Cobra Shutters Reptile House At Bronx Zoo
The Reptile House at the Bronx Zoo was closed Saturday after an adolescent Egyptian cobra went missing from an off-exhibit enclosure.
Zoo staff said they immediately closed and secured the building after learning the snake was missing. Egyptian cobras are poisonous.
Officials at the zoo said they were confident that the snake, about 20-inches long, was confined to an isolated, non-public area of the building. Snakes typically seek closed-in spaces, and are uncomfortable in open areas.
“We are informing the public out of an abundance

What a Sign to See at the Zoo: Cobra Is Missing
Visitors to the Bronx Zoo were greeted with locked doors when they tried to enter the reptile exhibit this past weekend, and with good reason: a venomous snake was on the loose.
“The World of Reptiles is closed today,” a sign explaining the closing said. “Staff observed an adolescent Egyptian cobra missing from an off-exhibit enclosure on Friday.”
The Egyptian cobra, a favorite of snake charmers — and probably the asp whose venom Cleopatra used to commit suicide — is a dark snake with a narrow hood, and grows up to two yards in length. (The missing animal was only 20 inches, a zoo employee said.) Native to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, it usually preys on toads and birds, not humans, but zookeepers

Epilepsy killed celebrity polar bear Knut: report
Knut, the celebrity orphan polar bear who drew thousands of visitors to Berlin zoo, died after an epileptic fit, according to neurologists quoted by Focus magazine.
A CAT scan had revealed abormalities in the brain of the bear, who may have inherited epilepsy from his father Lars, also a sufferer.
Four year-old Knut, who won global fame as he grew from a cute cub but grew into a 200 kg predator, died in front of horrified visitors at the zoo last weekend.
Neurologists said the fit was triggered by a brain disorder yet to be identified. The magazine said Knut's brain is now being studied at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wild




Illegally Held Hyena Confiscated
Animals Lebanon takes action with the help of the Minister of Environment
A joint operation between the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Environment and Animals Lebanon succeeded in confiscating an illegally held hyena.
The hyena, now named May, was kept by a small pet shop in the city of Saida in southern Lebanon.
Animals Lebanon received so many complaints about this hyena that we approached the Minister of Environment H.E. Mohamad Rahhal to take immediate action.
The pictures we showed the Minister were horrific. A wild caught hyena kept for four years in a tiny cage barely big enough for her to turn around. The cage was in an empty piece of land next to the pet shop, exposed to the rain and cold. Her jaw was broken and she was forced to sit on the

Google Map of Japanese Marine Parks and Aquaria

Top zoo boss suspended
THE boss of Edinburgh Zoo has been suspended at a critical time for the attraction's future, after mystery allegations.
It can be revealed today that an investigation has been launched into chief operating officer Gary Wilson – who has also been acting as chief executive – following what are described as "anonymous allegations" which are being treated "extremely seriously".
Mr Wilson's shock suspension comes as the zoo prepares for the arrival of two money- spinning giant pandas from China. Bosses are also trying to negotiate a land-swap deal with the city council as part of an ongoing multi-million-pound development.
Only a day ago the attraction announced that 16 members of staff had been made redundant as part of a cost-cutting exercise.
Mr Wilson was overseeing all of the zoo's major projects, including the introduction of the pandas, following the retirement of former chief executive David Windmill. He was also in charge of the operation of retail and visitor services at the Highland Wildlife Park.
It is not known exactly what is being investigated following the arrival of an anonymous letter around a fortnight ago. An internal and external investigation is under way although the

Review panels: Knoxville Zoo elephant handler death "accidental"
The Knoxville Zoo has released the results from two independent reviews of the Jan. 14 death of elephant handler Stephanie James. One was an independent review requested by the zoo, the other was conducted by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
The independent review panel came to the following conclusions, according to a release from the Knoxville Zoo:
-Two elephant handlers present were qualified and adequately trained to handle elephants.
-All parties interviewed, both separately and together, were straightforward, answered all questions, and were
consistent in their recounting of the incident, without exception.
-All policies and procedures reviewed by the team were being followed.
-Enrichment items being offered were routine and incidental to the incident.
-There were no documentable stimuli either visual or auditory that would have triggered the reaction from the
-There had been no changes in the routine in the elephant barn during the week before the incident.
-No apparent cause for the elephant to move forward toward Ms. James was found.
-Injury occurred as elephant moved forward toward Ms. James, who was standing in front of a steel containment
bollard, pinning her against the bollard.
-No obvious aggression by the elephant before, during or after the incident, was reported.
-Injury could have been avoided if handler had been standing in approximately 2 foot open space between two
-This was an accidental death.
The AZA concluded the following:
"The Knoxville Zoo's elephant management protocols are consistent with AZA standards. The present senior elephant staff is qualified and experienced. The Zoo's immediate response to the incident was timely and followed their written protocol, including switching immediately to protected contact management of the two female elephants.
"Although it is not known what provoked this fatal incident on January 14, 2011, this does not appear to be an isolated incident with this elephant. Three previous documented incidents involving Edie in conjunction with the January 14, 2011, fatality has raised concern, and should be considered as an indicator of the possibility that an aggressive behavior pattern is developing. The Knoxville Zoo staff must consider how they will manage these elephants in the future, especially in relationship with past events and trends. To that end, we understand that the Knoxville Zoo will, in due course, promptly apprise AZA of its determinations and plans as to how it will manage such elephants."
In the release, zoo leaders cited previous incidents with Edie that occurred between 2007 and 2010 that were determined by the zoo's senior management to be isolated incidents and not of an aggressive nature.
Also, a previous review by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency concluded that James died as the result of an intentional blow by Edie, although the elephant was not acting in an aggressive manner. TWRA also reported that the zoo was following its safety procedures.
The release also said the U.S. Department of Agriculture found the zoo to be in compliance with its regulations while a review by the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health is currently ongoing.
Meanwhile, all three of the zoo's African elephants continue to be managed in protected contact, a change implemented after the Jan. 14 incident.
That protected contact involves handling an elephant through a protective barrier. The elephant, however, is not confined and can move about freely.
The independent review panel

Two red deer drowned as park is targeted
THE owner of a Somerset wildlife park says she is being ‘persecuted’ after two of her deer were drowned, and two others had their horns mutilated.
Helen Duckett, owner of Alstone Wildlife Park near Highbridge, spoke to the Mercury after two red deer were drowned at the park last week having being chased out of their enclosure and into the River Brue in the early hours of March 15.
Two male deers have also had their horns mutilated by knives, while in the past five months all 40 birds in one of the park’s aviaries have been stolen.
Staff were first made aware of the break-in at around midnight, when grounds man Gavin Cooke received an anonymous

Ultrasound scan for venomous fish
Keepers at a marine wildlife park have been using ultrasound - and chain mail gloves - to find out whether one of their venomous fish is pregnant.
Staff at Living Coasts in Torquay, Devon, noticed that Bonnie, a mangrove whipray, had put on some weight and suspected she might be carrying young.
So they enlisted the help of a company, Mount International Ultrasound Services (MIUS), that makes ultrasound machines

Fort Wayne Zoo target of scam
The Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana announced Thursday it has received reports that someone is going to local businesses asking for support of a coupon book supposedly put together for the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.
Cheryl Piropato, Zoo Education and Communications Director, said it’s not true. “The zoo has nothing like this in the works and we want the public to know immediately so that this scam can be stopped in its tracks.”
Michael Coil, President and CEO of BBB of Northern Indiana said that the last time BBB heard something like this, it was a person selling


Ex-worker forced from Woburn Safari Park claim
An ex-member of staff at Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire claims he was forced out of his job after complaining about conditions at the attraction.
Dr Paul O'Donoghue is suing Bedford Estates for constructive dismissal after he left his job in December 2009.
He told the tribunal the "last straw" was on 22 November 2009 when he had believed that an elephant would escape, and "it did in fact escape".
Woburn Safari said it rejected claims he had been

Safari park case adjourned
The case of a former worker at Woburn Safari Park who claims he was forced out of his job after raising concerns about conditions there has been adjourned to a date to be fixed.
Paul O'Donoghue is suing Bedford Estates for constructive dismissal after leaving the job he held from January 5 2009 to December 5 2009.
An official at the Bedford Employment Tribunals Service said the case was listed part heard and a new date would be set in due course.
Dr O'Donoghue, of Ellesmere Port, has told the panel that he was seen as a "trouble maker" and

Topeka Zoo crew excited to have accreditation restored
Topeka Zoo supporters are celebrating a big milestone after a couple of tough years. Zoo officials learned at a meeting in Chattanooga, Tenn., Sunday morning, that the Zoo's accreditation has officially been restored.
This means the zoo has the support of its accrediting agency, even with a few outstanding issues it currently faces. Animal Care Supervisor Chris Grassl says, "It was a great step for us and for the city. Just the fact that we can say the Topeka Zoological Park is AZA accredited. There are only about 250 accredited facilities in the country. So, to be one of those 250, it's a big deal."
The status of the outdoor hippo exhibit, the perimeter fence and a few other projects will be included in a progress report to the agency

Editorial: Zoo picture keeps improving
The Topeka Zoo is officially on the rebound.
This past weekend, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums restored the zoo’s accreditation to full status, ending a year-long period of uncertainty about the matter.
Zoo director Brendan Wiley said he and his staff were elated, and that didn’t come off as hyperbole considering the dire consequences that would have come with losing accreditation. Chief among those would have been damage to the operation’s image and reputation, which would have threatened to hurt the zoo’s ability to attract visitors and raise private donations, and almost certainly would have made it more difficult for the operation to retain and hire qualified staff. Beyond that, AZA accreditation brings such benefits as the ability to make arrangements with other zoos to borrow or loan animals.
So when the AZA tabled a motion to revoke the zoo’s accreditation a year ago this month, there was plenty of cause for concern. At the time, the zoo was enduring a string of ugly revelations about animal deaths and disappearances, as well as reports of inadequate care. The

Zoo Keepers Held Off Reporting Komodos Missing
Surabaya Zoo keepers waited five days before reporting the disappearance of three baby komodos, according to the zoo’s management.
Toni Sumampau, the head of caretaker administration at the zoo, told the Jakarta Globe that the keepers first became aware that the komodo dragons were missing on Feb. 28, 2011, but did not report it to zoo’s management until March 5.
He said there was little possibility that the komodos had escaped from their cage.
“That means they were either eaten by predators [larger komodos] or they were stolen,” Toni said, adding that he suspected their were stolen to cause friction and arose the suspicion of zoo staff members.
Last year the Forestry Ministry formed a caretaker administration headed by Toni to manage the zoo after a dispute between managers

Man, goose form odd-couple friendship

Cottonmouth Viper 'Spit' Sends National Zoo Employee to Hospital
DC Fire Department Alerts Twitter Followers of 'Snake Bite' at National Zoo
What do you get when you mix snake urine, feces and venom? For a reptile keeper at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., the toxic concoction got her a quick trip to the hospital and a star appearance Monday on the District of Columbia Fire Department's twitter feed.
"EMS - snake bite - National Zoo - 3001 Connecticut Av NW - health unit - adult employee bit by snake," DC Fire and EMS tweeted at 4 p.m. Monday, still breaking in its new Twitter account.
That snippet was soon followed by this one:
"Update - Zoo - Cotton Mouth Viper 'spit' at keeper - EMS evaluated & transported adult female - checkup not serious anti-venom on board."
It turns out that while the reptile keeper was attempting to transfer

Bob Barker offers Edmonton $100,000 in Lucy the elephant dispute
Former U.S. game show host and animal rights activist Bob Barker has offered the City of Edmonton $100,000 to use as it sees fit if the city agrees to an outside assessment of the living conditions of Lucy, the only elephant at the Edmonton Valley Zoo.
Barker wants experts from Zoocheck Canada and Performing Animal Welfare Society to check on her welfare.
"It's crucial that Lucy's condition be accurately diagnosed before her health deteriorates further," said Barker. "It is indefensible that Lucy has been forced to live in misery for all these years."
The 34-year-old pachyderm has a mysterious and undiagnosed respiratory problem. Activists want her shifted to a California facility but officials at the Edmonton zoo argue that they can tend to her health problems and that it's too risky to move her.
As well, Lucy is overweight and has foot problems — a leading cause death among elephants in captivity.
"Obviously we are interested in only one thing, Lucy's well-being," Barker said Tuesday. "She is going to die there. She is dying slowly."
A city spokesman said Edmonton would not take him up on his offer because they already have experts looking after Lucy and finances are not the issue.
Last summer, a lawsuit by animal activists to force Valley Zoo to move Lucy was tossed out by an Edmonton

Zoos: Do you think wild animals should be kept in captivity?
Former television game show host Bob Barker has offered $100,000 to the City of Edmonton if it will allow experts to examine Lucy, the lone elephant at the Edmonton Valley Zoo.
"It seems like a win-win-win scenario to me," said Barker, in a news release. "The zoo wins, concerned citizens win, but most importantly of all, Lucy wins," said Barker.
Groups including Zoocheck and PETA believe Lucy is overweight, lonely and plagued with health problems typical of captive elephants.
Meanwhile, Naturewatch, a British-based animal welfare group, is among the organizations calling for the 100-year-old Kiev Zoo to be closed and its animals sent elsewhere in Europe.
Animal welfare groups say dozens if not hundreds

'A concentration camp for fur and feathers': Scandal of the zoo where the animals keep dying
Animal welfare groups from around the world are calling for the immediate closure of Kiev Zoo after a shocking spate of animal deaths.
The 100-year-old zoo has recently been dubbed 'a concentration camp for those with fur and feathers', with many suspecting corruption to be at the heart of the problem.
An Indian elephant called Boy, the pride of the zoo, collapsed and died in his enclosure last year.
Around the same time, Maya the camel succumbed to a digestive illness and Theo the zebra died after crashing into a metal fence.
Animal welfare groups say dozens if not hundreds of animals have died at the zoo in recent years due to malnutrition, a lack of medical care and mistreatment.
Naturewatch, a British-based animal welfare group, is among the organizations calling for the zoo to be closed and its animals sent elsewhere in Europe.
'The Kiev Zoo will never attain any basic standards, it's so far removed from any zoo in Europe,' said John Ruane of Naturewatch. 'The conditions have been absolutely horrendous and no matter how many more directors were appointed the situation still remained the same.'
New managers appointed in October said that nearly half of the zoo's animals either died or mysteriously disappeared over two years under their predecessors, and a government audit found that thousands

These Chicks Don't Need a Puppet
Two new Condor chicks, just hatched in San Diego, are surviving without the human touch.
In video released by the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (formerly known as the Wild Animal Park), the parents can be seen helping the chicks.
In the past, zookeepers would help the process using a Condor hand puppet.
The chicks hatched on March 14 and 16 are being parent-reared.
It takes about five months for the chicks to leave the nest.
The California Condor Recovery Program is shipping eggs to other partner sites in Arizona, California or Baja.
“We’re doing that to help the genetic variability from site to site,” said Ron Webb, San Diego Zoo Safari Park senior keeper.
Four other eggs are in the incubator. Of

Surabaya Zoo Celebrates Healthy Elephant Birth
A 20-year-old elephant on Monday gave birth to a healthy 100-kilogram male baby elephant, or calf, at the Surabaya Zoo, a spokesperson said.
Lembang, a female Sumatran elephant, gave birth at 2 a.m. on Monday, said spokesperson Agus Supangkat.
“The birth was normal and was assisted by paramedics from the Surabaya Zoo,” he said.
The father of the calf is 40-year-old Doa.
Agus said the new elephant, who has not yet been given a name, began breastfeeding from his mother after 12 hours.
“This has made all of us let out a sigh of relief ,” Agus said, adding that Lembang had been aggressive since giving birth, being very sensitive to the presence of humans or other animals nearby.
The mother and calf are under constant monitoring by the zoo’s veterinarian.
The new birth brings the number

Leopard captured on camera in Yemen for first time
Camera traps capture male and female Arabian leopard for the first time in Yemen, raising hopes that the critically endangered animals are breeding
Researchers have succeeded in photographing male and female Arabian leopard for the first time in eastern Yemen, close to the border with Oman.
The Foundation for the Protection of the Arabian Leopard in Yemen (FPALY) researchers captured the images in the Hawf Protected Area last month.
FPALY ‘s executive director David Stanton said: “This is the first time that a wild Arabian leopard has been photographed anywhere outside of Oman.”
The organisation is currently expanding its programme to include other areas in Yemen where they believe leopards exist.
Wildlife cameraman and TV presenter Gordon Buchanan said: "The first evidence of the Arabian Leopard in east Yemen is a delectable find indeed."
"Camera traps are relatively cheap,

There is though a number of Arabian Leopards in captivity. The majority of these are held in the excellent facilities in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

Did Negligence Kill Knut the Polar Bear?
He was the most famous polar bear in the world — the cuddly cub Knut, dubbed Cute Knut, captured people's hearts after his birth at the Berlin Zoo in December 2006. So it's no wonder that his sudden death on Saturday, at the tender age of 4, has sent a nation into mourning — and sparked a controversial debate on the ethics of keeping polar bears in captivity. As the zoo tries to figure out what killed Knut, animal-rights groups are blaming zookeepers for his death, accusing officials of putting financial interests ahead of the famous polar bear's welfare.
Knut died on Saturday after collapsing into a pool of water in his enclosure, as hundreds of visitors looked on in horror. In a video posted online purporting to show images of the last minutes of Knut's life, he repeatedly turns around in a circle and then tumbles into the water. Berlin Zoo's bear curator Heiner Klös tells TIME that he last saw Knut on Saturday afternoon shortly before his death and that he looked fine. "I was so shocked to hear that Knut had died — he'd been a big part of my life for the past four years," says Klös.
By Sunday, in a sign of Knut's superstar status, a steady stream of visitors was flocking to the zoo to pay tribute to the bear, lighting candles, leaving notes and laying flowers at his compound. The zoo's website has also been inundated with messages of condolence. "Knut, you were the sweetest polar bear that I ever knew — why did you have to die?" wrote one mourner named Anna.
Knut shot to fame after his mother rejected him at birth and he had to be hand-reared by zookeeper Thomas Dörflein. Knut was the first polar bear to be born and raised at the Berlin Zoo in 33 years. Images of Dörflein lovingly bottle-feeding,8599,2060743,00.html

Head keeper tells of 'amazing' visit to China to meet pair
THE head keeper who is set to care for Edinburgh Zoo's pandas has described the different personalities of the two bears and said she "can't wait" to welcome them to the Capital.
Alison Maclean said meeting the pair for the first time in late February was "truly amazing". The keeper, who has 25 years of experience caring for animals, is now gearing up for a return visit to China so that she can bond with Tian Tian and Yang Guang.
She described how the male, Yang Guang, had ventured into the enclosure to meet zoo bosses face-to-face, but that female Tian Tian had been rather shy.
She said: "We went to the Bifengxia Panda Base and the professors took us to meet the pandas. The female was quite shy and she hung back, but the male was straight down. Their enclosure is a steep mountainside filled with bamboo, but the male was much more curious and he even came into the glass house to have a look at us.
"I'll go over again just before the pandas come to Edinburgh to get to know the two, learn about their individual needs, their likes and dislikes and their personalities. There will be a period

A Chinese aquarium is hitting the headlines again over controversial plans to import Beluga whales into their aquarium from the wild.
The Aqua Park 'super aquarium' feature at Ocean Park in Hong Kong first came to conservationists' attention last year when they considered importing wild Bottlenose dolphins from the Solomon Islands. They now plan to import the wild-caught whales from the Russian Arctic (Okhotsk Sea) for their new Polar Adventure attraction.
Suzanne Gendron, the park's executive director for zoological operations and education, said that the Ocean Park Corporation has already given almost $6m over the past four years to fund research into the sustainability of Beluga whale populations in the Russian waters.
Unsurprisingly, the study found that the population, while listed as 'near threatened' on the IUCN website, has a population sufficient to allow wild capture of the whales to be imported to Hong Kong for 2012.
The park was keen to stress that an independent review panel would be convened to confirm any sustainability findings before a transfer took place.
The aquarium was the scene of a protest earlier this year when members of the environmentalist group Green sense claimed that Ocean Park was importing endangered species.
The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society state on their website: "WDCS opposes these captures [of wild Beluga whales] because they are inhumane and unsustainable. There is not sufficient research that proves that taking Belugas out of the wild

AZA Finds No Management Cause Of 6 Of 8 Animal Deaths At The Chattanooga Zoo
Says New Tortoise Needs To Be Completed By Next Winter
An inspection team from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) found that six of eight recent animal deaths at the facility were not management related.
The team found that found that two tortoise deaths appeared to come from substandard winter housing, which zoo officials said has now been corrected.
It was noted that the deaths of the marmosets came from significant liver disease and weight loss that originated or predated the administrative error which caused the animals to go unfed for two days in
The remaining four deaths were found to be an unfortunate series of unrelated

Indonesia Has Its Share Of Scientists, So Where’s the Science? (Orangutan Conservation)
In 2007, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono launched Indonesia’s national orangutan action plan, which calls for all remaining wild populations of orangutans to be stabilized by 2017. It is both an ambitious goal and a highly laudable one. But with regard to the specific plan, how does the president know whether it is a good one?
Under ideal conditions, this is where good scientists enter the picture. They should be able to tell the president that his government — hypothetically speaking — has invested $20 million into implementing the plan, has secured 30 percent of the remaining wild orangutan populations and is perfectly on track to achieve its 2017 target.
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to say any of this because we haven’t got much of a clue about what has been done and what has been achieved. We don’t know the impacts of a government intervention, largely because no one is really trying to find out. What would normally be the realm of conservation and government scientists appears to be an area largely devoid of action.
Indonesian science in general

YouTube sensation fuelling trade in an endangered species
They are the adorable, furry little creatures with the big round eyes who almost purr in delight as they are tickled into a stupor. They are also an endangered species whose stardom on YouTube is fuelling a trade built on cruelty and abuse.
The slow loris, a species of primate native to South-east Asia, rivals Justin Bieber as a viral internet sensation. A video of an animal being tickled has gained more than six million views. A new clip, posted this month, in which a loris clutches a cocktail umbrella, has been viewed two million times.
The creature's new-found fame is now stoking demand among children to turn the wild animal into must-have living toys. But the primate is no pet.
Poachers steal infant lorises from their parents in the wild to sell at open-air markets in Indonesia, where they are traded for as little as £10.
The export market is most lucrative in Japan, where lorises stolen to order sell for £3,500. The trade is now expanding into the US and Europe, with illegally smuggled lorises reported in the United Kingdom.
But many do not survive the journey. "The only reason the loris isn't biting the person holding it in the video is because it has had its teeth ripped out with pliers," said Chris Shepherd of Traffic Southeast Asia, which campaigns against the trade in primates.
The teeth are removed because the loris, listed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, can deliver a toxic bite. Mr Shepherd said: "The creature

Zoo defends decision to stuff Knut
The Berlin Zoo on Wednesday defended its decision to stuff their late polar bear Knut, saying they had received significant support from his many fans.
The dead bear was a “worldwide, emotional mascot,” the zoo’s bear keeper Heiner Klös told public broadcaster RBB.
His mounted body will be displayed for educational purposes at Berlin’s Museum of Natural History, “because there aren’t that many polar bears any longer,” he said.
Klös also said he understood the opposition to preserving Knut in such a way, but insisted those against it were in the minority.
“Many think it’s good,” he said, ad

Bony-headed toads to breed in Scotland
Colony of rare toads have arrived at Deep Sea World to start breeding and help save the species from climate change.
A colony of unusual amphibians has arrived in Scotland as part of an international effort to save the species.
The bony-headed toads have been sent to Deep Sea World in North Queensferry as part of a new captive breeding programme.
They were born at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust on Jersey in the Channel Islands and it is hoped that by creating another breeding group in

Elephant demonstration area popular with Oklahoma City Zoo visitors
The new elephant exhibit at the Oklahoma City Zoo has a demonstration pavilion. For the first time, visitors will have a chance to see how zookeepers work with Asian elephants Asha and Chandra.
Visitors to the Oklahoma City Zoo now can get a closer look at two of its most popular animals.
The new elephant exhibit includes the Elephant Pavilion, a demonstration area that seats more than 400 people. Spectators filled the pavilion stands and even lined the surrounding pathways during the zoo’s busy spring



North East venue swaps lions for brides
BRIDES can now blush beneath the ramparts of a piece of North East history.
For grade II-listed Lambton Castle, near Burnmoor, is to become an upmarket wedding venue.
Grade I listed Biddick Hall, within the grounds, is also available for couples to hire for their magical day.
The 1,400-acre County Durham private estate, the ancestral seat of the Lambton family, is set to expand services for other events, such as classical concerts and parties, to raise money towards its upkeep.
It is a far cry from when it was a popular safari park.
Lambton Lion Park opened in 1972, although there were problems with animals escaping.
It closed in the early 1980s, a special Bring Back Lambton Lion Park page has been set up on social networking website Facebook.
“At the moment we have no plans to reintroduce lions to the Lambton estate,” said Bob Duff, events manager at Lambton Castle. “But who knows what could happen in the future?
“However, even without the lions, Lambton Castle is a very special place with a colourful and unique history.
“It’s also one of the most stunning 19th century castles in County Durham, with lovely grounds and wonderful interior rooms which lend themselves to any occasion from weddings to business conferences.
“We’re now excited to be entering a new phase in the castle’s history, and we’re delighted to be throwing open our doors to guests who appreciate art, music, culture and excellent cuisine in a beautiful and unique setting.”

Knut's last moments: Harrowing film of the death of the world's most famous polar bear emerges amid fears over his treatment
WARNING: Animal lovers will find this video extremely distressing, please do NOT view it if you are easily upset. We have chosen to include it because of the profound animal welfare issues raised by Knut's short life and and untimely death

Alarm raised over loss of wild animals
Wildlife conservancies in the Upper Eastern region have expressed concern over rampant poaching.
The private and community conservancies concentrated in Laikipia, Samburu and Isiolo called for stiffer penalties for those involved in the illegal trade in wildlife trophies if the war against poaching is to be won.
“The rate at which we are losing the elephant and rhino populations means that in the near future we might not have any of them left in Kenya,” said Dr Antony King of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum.
He was addressing representatives of more than 300 conservancies from across the country during a meeting in Nyeri.
The agenda of the forum was to push for the passage of the Wildlife Bill, which they said would boost conservation efforts.
Participants were taken through shocking statistics showing how the country’s elephant and rhino populations had drastically reduced, mostly due to poaching, over a 70-year period.
The workshop heard that the elephant population

States Consider Bans on Farm Photos
In the past decade, modern industrial agriculture has experienced a stream of negative media attention, a significant departure from the typical pastoral image of American farming. The livestock industry in particular has come under fire with the release of undercover videos exposing animal cruelty.
In 2004, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) secretly filmed a video revealing horrific images of workers at a West Virginia slaughterhouse kicking, stomping, and slamming live chickens against walls and floors. The video brought about a massive investigation of the slaughterhouse, as well as several firings of workers who had engaged in the abuse.
A few years later, in 2008, The Humane Society published a similar undercover, investigative video documenting the abuse of "downer" cattle, or cattle that are too sick or injured to stand

'Lemurs are a bit like Hollywood stars: beautiful, but a bit stupid' Primate populations in the forests of Madagascar are declining rapidly. Dr Christoph Schwitzer, head of research at the Bristol Conservation & Science Foundation, talks about the battle to save species from extinction

Biodiversity Conservation: Zoos Urged to Breed Animals from Threatened Populations
Of around seven land vertebrate species whose survival in the wild is threatened one is also kept in captivity. These and other data on the protection of species in zoos and aquaria have now been revealed by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock.
Writing in the journal Science, the team of researchers and the International Species Information System (ISIS) advocate the establishment of targeted captive breeding programmes to supplement the protection of animals in the wild. To do this, zoos should team up in networks and shelter these animals, as a form of life insurance, until they can be released back into the wild.
The researchers used data from the International Species Information System (ISIS) to calculate how many of the endangered species can already be found at zoological gardens: 20 to 25 percent of all endangered mammal species are kept at zoos. The overall figure for birds is only slightly less than that, but is much lower for avian species that are acutely at risk of extinction: only nine percent of these are found in captivity. Only three percent of endangered amphibian species are kept in

Zoo boss asked by cops to dart vicious dogs to death
A FURNESS zoo owner has spoken of the moment he had to kill a pair of savage dogs after they attacked a teenager.
Lancashire police contacted David Gill, owner of the South Lakes Wild Animal Park, after two dangerous dogs turned on a man in a vicious attack.
Mr Gill travelled from Dalton to an area of Blackburn where he met a team of 60 police officers and an armed response unit.
Police told Mr Gill two dogs, possibly illegal pit bulls, had savaged a man.
The two dogs, called Coco and Dekker, were on the loose inside a terraced house and police were unable to bring them under control. Mr Gill, 49, said: “The mess inside the house was unbelievable, there was blood and bits of flesh everywhere from where the dogs had attacked the man. Police had managed to get him out but he had been very badly hurt.
“We decided to wait until the

THE rare Iberian lynx could soon be found roaming the British countryside following a radical proposal to save them from the brink of extinction.
With just 200 found living in southern Spain, the animal, which has distinctive leopard-like spots, is the world’s most endangered cat.
Professor Chris Thomas, of York University, believes Britain would be an ideal place to introduce the Iberian lynx and other species that are struggling to cope with climate change.
Writing in the science journal Trends In Ecology And Evolution, he presents a controversial plan to save endangered species, which also includes introducing to Britain the Spanish Imperial Eagle

Saving the missing Iberian lynx
Ten years ago, there were barely 100 Iberian lynx left. But an innovative Spanish conservation programme is rescuing them from the edge of extinction
It took a very short time for Dactil the Iberian lynx to prepare his dinner. The four-year-old male clamped his jaws on a rabbit's throat, there were a few twitches of his prey's legs and it was all over. Within minutes, the rabbit had been consumed. Then Dactil wandered off to rejoin his mate, Castanuela, inside their enclosure at the Olivilla breeding centre, near Santa Elena in Andalucía.
Such behaviour is difficult to observe in the wild. For a start, Lynx pardinus is a reclusive hunter that leads its life as far as possible from humans. The lynx, with its distinctive large, tufted ears and woolly side whiskers that grow thicker with age, is also extremely rare. Its territory across Spain and Portugal had already started shrinking in the 19th century, before numbers plunged drastically in the 20th. Habitat destruction, loss of prey and indiscriminate trapping by landowners brought this beautiful predator to the brink of extinction. Ten years ago, there were only around a 100 of them, making the Iberian lynx the world's most endangered species of cat.
But at Olivilla, an ambitious attempt is being made to transform the animal's fortunes. Here 32 lynxes – a substantial percentage of their total population –are provided with shelter with each cat's behaviour being monitored by more than 100 cameras dotted round the centre's 20 enclosures. These images are studied by staff working in a control room that has enough TV monitors to do justice

Russia lifts ban on polar bear hunting
Russia has legalised the hunting of polar bears for the first time in more than half a century, a move that critics say will put further pressure on the endangered mammal.
Roman Kopin, the governor of Russia's remote Chukotka region, signed a decree allowing the area's indigenous people to hunt and kill 29 polar bears each year, including 19 females.
Russian wildlife campaigners condemned the move, saying the polar bear was already threatened by a shrinking habitat and rampant poaching.
Varvara Semonova, a wildlife campaigner, said the decision would "threaten the survival of the polar bear in the Russian Arctic and will have not only ecological but serious social and political consequences for us."
The authorities defended the partial lifting of the ban, arguing that hunting polar bears for their meat and their fur was a traditional part of local Chukchi culture in the Russian Arctic. They said hunters would not be allowed to export

Russia Bans Winter Den Hunt for Bears, Countless Cubs
Today new "Rules of the Hunt" legislation was enacted in Russia, which will effectively end the cruel hunting practice of rousting bears from their dens during winter hibernation and then shooting the bears. Often, this hunting practice left tiny bear cubs orphaned, and the cubs would quickly die of starvation or freeze to death.
Since 1995, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW has campaigned to end the winter den hunt and to rescue, rehabilitate and release orphan bear cubs back into the wild. To date, IFAW has successfully released more than 150 cubs from its rehabilitation center in Bubonitsy, Tver region.
"The Rules of the Hunt legislation is a tremendous step forward for animal welfare in Russia and reflects the opinion of the Russian people that bears should be protected from this sort of hunting," said IFAW Russia director, Dr. Maria (Masha) Vorontsova. IFAW gathered more than 400,000 signatures against the winter den hunt and notified the Ministry of Natural Resources that the public wanted this kind of hunting to end.
The new law significantly reduces the hunting season for bears and specifically excludes the winter season when bears are hibernating

Park trophy hunting decimates hyaenas
SPOTTED hyaena packs in the Kwando Core Area of the Bwabwata National Park and in the forest in the Mudumu North Complex (MNC) are stable but exist at low density, a recent study has found.
The study on Spotted Hyaena Ecology and Human-Wildlife Conflict in the Caprivi Region was conducted by the Caprivi Carnivore Project (CCP).
Project leader Lise Hansen said it appears that the spotted hyaena population around human habitation areas of the MNC was fragmented and unstable and this was likely due to persecution and trophy hunting, which under most conditions cannot be practiced sustainably with this species due to the population dynamics.
“It is likely that trophy hunting of spotted hyaenas in conservancies is impacting on clan structure within the protected are of Mudumu National Park (MNP). The density of spotted hyaena throughout the Caprivi Region appears to be far lower than originally calculated,” said Hansen in the report.
The report suggested that present management practices like trophy hunting of spotted hyaenas should not be conducted within the boundaries of protected areas, particularly the Bwabwata National Park, which is the only stable habitat for the long-term conservation of spotted hyaenas in the region.
It said the present method of setting trophy-hunting quotas per conservancy to maximise benefits to the members rather than the sustainability of the hyaena population should be reassessed for spotted hyaenas.
The report argues that there is no scientific basis or justification for the present off-take, which is driven by community pressure and negative perception and is likely to be extremely damaging to the species.
Hansen said research efforts for 2011 will focus on areas adjacent to the core conservation areas of the Bwabwata National Park, to examine the impact of continued trophy hunting of spotted hyaenas within the park as well as in the vicinity of human settlement areas to assess the extent of human-wildlife conflict.
Additional hyaena clans using the Kwando

Zoo board: Few perks, big satisfaction
Zoological Society panel lacks diversity, but not passion for mission
Who would ever want this gig?
For one thing, it doesn’t pay a dime. Travel expenses? Sorry, but they’re not covered either.
Whenever there’s a big fundraiser, it’s expected that you pony up. That runs about $3,500 a year — at least.
Yet ...
Most everyone who gets tapped for a seat on the Zoological Society of San Diego’s board of trustees doesn’t hesitate to say yes. Far from it.
Robert Horsman is the latest person to be named to the 12-member board that runs the zoo, the Safari Park near Escondido and the zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research. “I was flabbergasted,” said Horsman, 64, who was appointed in January.
Not that he should have been, perhaps. Horsman fits a familiar profile when it comes to most zoo board members — past and present.
He’s prominent in local society and successful in his line of work, which is finance. He’s white and middle-aged. He has volunteered for the zoo for years —in his case, raising funds.
“We look for people with a passion for the zoo,” said Dr. Frederick Frye, the board’s current president. “Robert has a passion for the zoo.”
The zoo is world-renowned. Nearly 5 million people visit it and the Safari Park annually.
So getting on the board that runs such a high-profile organization can be heady. One former board member, Albert Eugene Trepte, called the 12 seats “precious” in a 1985 story in the San Diego Tribune.
To land one, a person usually has to show serious commitment to the zoo over a number of years — even decades.
Frye. a retired pediatrician, served on various volunteer committees for the zoo starting in the 1970s. It wasn’t until 1993 that

Badminton players, morning walkers abuse zoo staff
Repeated requests and warnings by officials to morning walkers and badminton players to stop venturing into the Maharajbagh zoo premises fell on deaf ears. The matter took an ugly turn on Saturday when players barged into the Maharajbagh zoo office, abused staffers and threatened to bash up zoo officials for refusing permission to play inside the zoo premises.
Mahesh Pandey, livestock supervisor, filed a police complaint at 9.30am at the Sitabuldi police station on Saturday following threats from unknown persons. "This has been going on for many years. Our requests and warnings don't work as morning walkers continue to stray inside. Some of them even formed a club and started playing badminton adjacent to the cage of sambars till as late as 11.30am, without paying a penny for entry ticket or pass," informed zoo-in-charge Dr SS Bawaskar.
The zoo is officially open from 9am to 5.30pm but badminton players and joggers are seen inside the zoo premises as early as 5am and even past sunset. Helpless zoo staffers have a tough time keeping amorous couples under check too.
"Even the Central Zoo Authority officials from Delhi asked us to stop such activities within the zoo premises as noise disturbs animals. Zoo is meant for captive animal breeding and not for playing badminton. Morning walkers must not enter the zoo. Finally, fed up of these troublemakers, we deliberately damaged the area where they played. The angered

Radio collar unfolding mysteries of snow leopard
The joint venture of Wildlife department and some international organizations to tie satellite radio collar to a snow leopard in Chitral district provided unique opportunity to researchers to explore and study the obscure habits of rare big cat.
“Snow leopard is considered as cryptic in nature because the animal resides in one of the harshest and most inaccessible mountainous areas due to which it was almost impossible for wildlife biologist to explore its life,” said Muhammad Ali, deputy conservator, Wildlife Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Talking to APP, Muhammad Ali said the attempt to tie up satellite collar by Wildlife department, Global Environment Facility (GEF) and International Snow Leopard Trust provided a base to biologists to study and unfold the mysteries shrouding the life and habit of this elusive wild specie.
This obscure nature of the creature has led to it being labelled as the “Imperiled Phantom” by eminent wildlife biologists, remarked Muhammad Ali.
It was a first ever successful endeavor that a snow leopard was trapped in the mountainous Chiltral district

Sea otters a hit at Busch Gardens
It’s always fun, when traveling to different parts of the country, to see others have an appreciation for otters. Such was the case this past Monday at Busch Gardens near Tampa, Fla. People admired sea otters that came from Southeast Asia.
For officials at Busch Gardens, having the otters on their grounds means much more than just providing an opportunity for people to see these mammals. Organizers of the Busch Gardens Conservation Fund are among organizations working to protect the struggling sea otter population on California’s Central Coast.
“Sea Otter Awareness Week” celebrations are held in various parts of the country. Those events directly benefit sea otters and the diversity of marine wildlife. Those mammals depend on the coastal ecosystem for food and habitat.
Otters are members of the Mustelidae family of mammals, which also includes weasels, minks, ferrets, wolverines, skunks and badgers. Otters are semi-aquatic carnivores that inhabit every continent except Australia and Antarctica. Most otter species mainly live in freshwater habitats, including North American river otters such as those that were at one time more prevalent in Otter Tail County.
Sea otters and marine otters dwell almost exclusively in coastal regions. A recent issue of “Land, Sear and Air” described 13 otter species.
The North American River Otter is also known as the Common Otter. An adult river otter can weigh between 11 and 30 pounds. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. This type of otter is versatile in the water and on land. The otter establishes a burrow (tunneling) close to the water’s edge in river, lake, swamp, coastal shoreline, tidal flat, or estuary ecosystems.
Their dens have many tunnel openings. One of the openings allows the otter to enter and exit the body of water. Female otters give birth in these underground burrows, producing litters of one to six young.
North American river otters, like most predators, prey upon the species that are the most readily accessible. Fish is a

SF Zoo Sees First Traffic Spike Since Tiger Attack
It's been a long, hard climb back to popularity for the San Francisco Zoo following a string of bad publicity.
After surviving the onslaught of national media and lawsuits involving a tiger attack that left one teenager dead and another two severely injured on Christmas day in 2006, the zoo has been doing what it can to clear its name.
Now the San Francisco animal sanctuary tells the San Francisco Examiner that it is starting to see a climb in attendance since its turnstiles slowed down in 2007.
After three years of consistent visitor decline, the zoo says it is ahead of pace for the first two months of the new year.
The zoo attracted 46,237 visitors

Knut dies: Animal rights group Peta blames Berlin Zoo
AN animal rights group has blamed Berlin Zoo for the death of its star polar bear Knut, who collapsed and died in front of a crowd of 660 visitors.
Peta attacked what it said was “intensive” breeding of polar bears in zoos and claimed putting him in an enclosure with three females led to “enormous stress”.
Knut, aged four, is thought to have died of a massive heart attack on Saturday afternoon.
He started to convulse as he entered a pool and floated ­motionless in the water for several minutes, as watching children began to cry.
An autopsy will be performed today

Jumbos unlikely be relocated from city zoo
The five elephants in Nehru Zoological Park may not be relocated to a sanctuary. Highly-placed sources said that Nehru Zoological Park was one among the zoos, which had written to Central Zoo Authority (CZA) requesting an inspection before the relocation is carried out. Awaiting an inspection, the authorities are confident that it is offering an appropriate environment for this largest mammal.
Besides, officials say that there is no progress in the matter ever since the CZA issued orders directing the authorities to relocate all the elephants in captivity to government-operated refuges even after a year-and-a-half. In fact, soon after its orders, as per the CZA directions, the authorities had also sent an estimate of Rs 98 lakh required for relocating the nine elephants in captivity to sanctuaries. The Nehru Zoological Park has five elephants including the female elephant Rajni that is owned by the Nizam's Trust. The zoos in Visakhapatnam and Tirupati have two elephants each.
Suparna Ganguly, member, Elephants Inspection Committee, set up by CZA, said that if zoos have proper facilities and natural conditions, the elephants will not be relocated.
"The problem is the elephants, which have been kept in captivity, need to be monitored. Some zoos in south India have good facilities with a large area for movement and grazing. We need to first evaluate and then take a decision," said Ganguly. She added that

National Aquarium Volunteers Save $2.4M
Workers Serve Wide Range Of Tasks
Officials said volunteers have stepped up to help the National Aquarium, even with the economy slumping.
The Baltimore Sun reported that 853 volunteers and interns worked at the aquarium in Baltimore in 2010.
They worked the equivalent of 53 full-time jobs -- which saved the aquarium about $2.4 million.
Nancy Hotchkiss, the senior director of visitor experiences at the aquarium, said 2010 was a record year.
The oldest volunteer was 91, while the youngest volunteer was 14.
The volunteers take on a range of tasks. Some are certified divers who go under water to help feed some of the creatures




Zoos and aquariums affected by earthquake and tsunami in Japan
Gland, Switzerland (March 15th 2011): After the earthquake and tsunami that has affected the North of Japan on March 11th, WAZA is joining forces with its Japanese regional association (JAZA) and its member institutions to help the zoos and aquariums in the North of Japan.
"After the horrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan, WAZA is trying to provide financial support for emergency assistance. The most affected zoos and aquariums urgently need help in order to protect staff and save animals", says Gerald Dick, Executive Director of WAZA - the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Huge damages happened in the northern part of Honshu island. Some affected zoos and aquariums are suffering from shortage of gas, fuel for heater, food and drinking water for both humans and animals.
•Some aquariums in Tohoku area (north part of Honshu Island) have been heavily affected by the earthquake.
•Sendai Marinpia Matsushima aquarium was completely-flooded but there was miraculously no human damage.
•Sendai Yagiyama Zoo estimates a shortage of feeding stuff. The power is out in Sendai city. JAZA is considering concrete measures to send feeding stuff to Sendai Yagiyama Zoo.
•The power is also out at Akita Omoriyama zoo, Morioka Zoo, Asamushi aquarium
and Hitachi Kamine Zoo.
•Fukushima aquarium will move their sea mammals and birds to Kamogawa Sea World.
"It is most important for us to secure the adequate means of transport. And we have started a drive to collect donations from the public." says Kazutoshi Takami, Zoo Veterinarian at Osaka Municipal Tennoji Zoological Gardens.
WAZA is now organizing the cooperation and support for the disaster-affected institutions by collecting donations through its website. Click on the "Donate for Japan" button on the WAZA homepage and help us support JAZA.

Himachal zoo lion count falling

The Renukaji Zoo, which once abounded with lions, with there being as many as 16 (eight male and eight female) of them in 2005, has just three (one male and two females) today. Eight (six males and two females) died natural deaths between 2005 and April 2010.


The lions in Sirmaur district of the state showing deformities, the Central Zoo Authority has directed that two lionesses be shifted to the Dhauladhar Nature Park, Gopalpur, and one lioness to the Zoological Park at Chhatbir even as other lapses in the upkeep and management of the animals were pointed out.


Senior forest officials told TOI that lions had been kept at the Renukaji Zoo since 1975 when a pair of the animals was procured from Junagarh.


"However, the pair died in 1976 and two male lions were also received from Chhatbir Zoo in 1975 and 1976, but one of them died in 1976 and in 1977 a pair of lion was procured from Trichur Zoo", they added. They said that from 1981 to June 2001, 69 cubs had been born in 26 litters, but only 23 of them survived beyond one year after birth and the remaining 46 died within a year.


"The cubs born between 1981 and 12,001 exhibited high rate of mortality and even before death showed deformities of limbs, physical abnormalities and bent neck conditions, besides swaying movements, because of inbreeding, to stop which male and female lions were kept separately from March 2002 onwards", they pointed out.


Officials said that in 2003-04, two male lions were sterilized, but since both of them died, the practice of sterilization was given up. "A veterinary officer and scientific zoo officer from the Central Zoo Authority made a visit as far back as in May 2005 to review the management practices and health problems of the lions and suggested that the abnormalities in the lions was hereditary and probably due to inbreeding", they maintained.


Meanwhile, PCCF Vinay Tandon said that as had been suggested by the team from the Central Zoo Authority inbreeding had been the bane of the lions kept at the Renukaji Zoo. "The only plausible thing of separating the male and female to prevent inbreeding was done, as it was not possible to get wild genetic stock of the Asian lions and lions in most of the zoos of the country are related", he added.


He said it had become obvious the deformities and mortality

San Diego Zoo says giant panda bit a worker

A giant panda has bitten a caretaker at the San Diego Zoo.


The San Diego Union-Tribune says female panda, Bai Yun, bit a keeper Sunday after wandering out of her habitat at the zoo's giant panda research station.


The Union-Tribune says the worker was treated at a hospital. Details about the person's injury and condition were not released.


Zoo officials say the safety barrier between the keeper area and the animal's habitat was not fully secured, allowing for the unexpected encounter. The worker was bitten as Bai Yun was being herded back

Zoo officials puzzled by panda bite

Officials at the San Diego Zoo say they are trying to figure out why a giant panda named Bai Yun bit a caretaker, sending her to a hospital.


Zoo officials say they are puzzled by the panda's action.


"We have never had an incident like this with pandas," zoo spokeswoman Christina Simmons told The San Diego Union-Tribune.


The caretaker was bitten as the panda was being led back to her enclosure Sunday.


"Certainly there are occasionally incidents where baby animals that are being hand-raised mouth the hands of their keepers

Peshawar to have international standard zoo

Khyber Pakhtun-khwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti has directed the relevant departments to finalise a site for the construction of an international standard zoo in the provincial capital so that the work on the project could start from the next financial year.


He was talking to a group of students from the Beaconhouse School System, Khyber Campus, Hayatabad. They presented him with a petition having hundreds of signatures seeking the construction of a zoo in Peshawar.


The chief minister said the government had allocated Rs15 million for the project in the current financial year but work was not initiated as no decision could be made about the site. Hoti said the Environment Department had identified a number of sites including one at Jalozai between Peshawar and Pabbi.


He said work on the construction of the zoo would begin as soon as the department came up with a final decision. “If need be, we can allocate more funds for the project,” he said. He recalled his days as student in Lahore when he used to visit the zoo there. “I know kids love to go to zoo,” he told the students in presence of Minister for Environment Wajid Ali Khan and other officials.


The chief minister asked the minister and the departments concerned to convene a formal meeting by next week and finalise the site for the proposed zoo.Presenting his petition on behalf of the students, Asad Ismail said Peshawar had nothing to offer to its over 1.7 million children in terms of amusement, recreation and ecological education. “Sir, we earnestly need to have a zoo in Peshawar for a zoo is a place of protection for the threatened and endangered animals, along with education,” he argued.


A class-II student, Asad Ismail, who took the initiative to have signatures for the construction of the zoo, said a zoo was needed not only to protect endangered species

Woodland Park Zoo elephant artificially inseminated

Staff at Woodland Park Zoo has artificially inseminated Chai, the zoo’s 32-year-old Asian elephant. The procedure, which was conducted over the weekend, is to preserve the Asian elephant population in North American.


From the press release:


“The world’s leading experts on elephant health and breeding, including the Asian Elephant Species Survival Plan, recommend that we breed Chai again, by artificial insemination,” explained Dr. Nancy Hawkes, the zoo’s General Curator and resident expert in elephant reproductive physiology.


“A baby would be socially enriching not only for Chai, but for the herd. A successful pregnancy and birth would help us begin to re-build a multigenerational social group here at the zoo.”


A 12-year-old bull at Albuquerque Biological Park Zoo contributed the semen. With no offspring to date, he is genetically valuable to the North American population of elephants.


The gestation period for elephants is 22 months. It will be approximately 15 to 16 weeks before the zoo can confirm

Coral reef cryogenic plan gets under way

AN AMBITIOUS plan to create a ''coral bank'' of frozen reef polyps so that they can survive extinction is being developed by Australian researchers.


The proposal would mean that as sections of the Great Barrier Reef are eroded by global warming, ocean acidification and coral bleaching events, they could be repopulated from embryos stored at Taronga Zoo.


''This is really an insurance program to take the coral out of an uncertain situation and put it in a place that is 100 per cent safe for a very long time,'' said the zoo's manager of research and conservation, Rebecca Spindler.


''When you store organic material at minus 296 degrees [Fahrenheit] it can stay at that point forever because matter simply cannot break down.''


The zoo's liquid nitrogen tanks already hold the sperm and eggs of a menagerie of animal species, including 300 genetically different rhinos, but the coral plan will be a first.


''What we need to be able to do is be in a position to bring back those ecosystems that die immediately - this is about getting the tools and the training now so we don't have to do it in haste later,'' Dr Spindler said.


The plan will draw on the zoo's expertise for cryogenic freezing as well as researchers at Monash

Zoo animals banned from having sex

Keepers at an ageing zoo in Romania say they have had to ban animals from having sex because of European Union legislation.


Facilities at Oradea Zoo do not meet EU standards and officials have now passed on a European Commission ruling ordering zoo management to make sure no new animals arrive until things improve.


And the zoo, which has decided to close while trying to upgrade its facilities, has said that means having to make sure all the animals are kept apart.


A spokesman for the zoo said: "As soon as we meet the new standards we will apply for the zoo to be reopened and then the animals will be allowed to reproduce again. Until that time there will be no opportunity for them to be together."


The local council that controls the zoo said they had decided to act after they were contacted by the European Commission.


A spokesman added: "They made it quite clear that this

Orphaned bears run away to the circus

Orphaned bear cubs picked up at a distant safari park are running away to join the circus.


The pair of one-month old Asian Black bear cubs were found in a box by a visitor, and spent a month with the park’s vet before heading to Moscow.


“By the middle of March baby-bears had grown strong enough to live through an eight hour flight from Vladivostok to Moscow,” Dmitry Mezentsev, the park’s director told RIA Novosti, adding that the circus representatives will meet them

PETA: Knoxville Zoo should be fined in handler's death

A controversial animal-rights group has called for massive fines and court action against the Knoxville Zoo in the January death of an elephant handler.


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals became nationally known over the years for such advertising campaigns as "Meat is murder" and its protests against circuses, fur-wearing and the dairy industry. The organization sent a letter today to the Tennessee Department of Labor demanding the state cite the zoo in the death of Stephanie James.


James, 33, died Jan. 14 from internal injuries after Edie, a 27-year-old African elephant, pushed her into the metal bars of a stall in the Stokely African Elephant Preserve barn during the evening feeding. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency ruled James did nothing to provoke the elephant, who probably didn't mean to hurt her, and found no wrongdoing by the zoo.


State labor investigators continue to review James' death to determine whether the zoo followed proper workplace safety protocols. The zoo has no history of violations.


PETA's letter insists James' death shows the zoo's elephant program to be inherently unsafe.


"Ms. James' untimely death proved yet again what the elephant management community has known for years," Delcianna Winders, director of PETA's captive animal law enforcement program, wrote in the letter. "It is not possible for an employer to furnish a 'place of employment free from recognized hazards' ... while allowing employees to have free contact with elephants."


The letter demands a fine of up to $70,000 and a court order forcing the zoo to manage all elephants only through protected contact, which employs barriers between elephant and handler at all times.


The zoo has managed Edie and another female elephant, Jana, in protected contact since James' death. Zoo officials have said that practice will continue at least until the state investigation and an internal review are finished.


About half of U.S. zoos manage elephants through

Over 1400 Lion, Leopard trophies exported: Minister

Big cats, mainly dead ones of the genus Panthera, are big export items, according to figures released by Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.


In a written reply to a parliamentary question, tabled on Monday, she said export permits for just over 1400 lion (Panthera leo) and leopard (Panthera pardus) trophies were issued in the past two years.


This total -- for 2009 and last year -- does not include hundreds more export permits for skins, bones, "carcasses" and skulls.


The export permits are issued under provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to which South Africa is a signatory.


According to the figures provided by Molewa, the country issued permits during

STOP PRESS: Hawaii's Laysan and Black-footed Albatrosses suffered heavy losses in last week's tsunami UPDATED

Whereas Hawaii and the rest of the Pacific were spared the loss of human life and large-scale damage that have so tragically occurred in Japan from last week's earthquake and tsunami, it appears that Hawaii's nesting albatrosses have not been so lucky.


In contrast to the ‘high islands' where Japan's Short-tailed Albatrosses Phoebastria albatrus breed, which are relatively safe from tsunamis, in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands virtually all Laysan and Black-footed Albatrosses breed less than 10 m above sea level. These islands, in particular Midway Atoll and Laysan Island (which together host 94% of the World's population of Laysan Albatrosses P. immutabilis and 64% of the World's population of Black-footed Albatrosses P. nigripes), were the hardest hit with up to 75% of the area of several islands reportedly washed over by waves.


Midway Atoll reported approximately four waves, the largest about 2 m in height. About a quarter of the runway on Sand Island was washed over with sand and rocks and flooding occurred that was reported as much worse than from storms earlier this year (click here). Estimates are that Eastern and Sand Islands were 60% and 20% washed over, respectively and that minima of 1000 adult/subadult and tens of thousands of Laysan Albatross chicks were lost. Spit Island was completely washed over.


On Midway's Eastern Island (where the Short-tailed Albatross nest is, click here) the chick has survived, although once more it had to found (this time 35 m away) and carried back to its nest cup. It also seems that Wisdom, the 60-year female Laysan and her chick on Sand Island (click here) made it through the tsunami.


On Laysan Island, waves washed out much of the camp on the island and came to within 15 m of the hurricane shelter. Some of the personnel on that island are in the process of being evacuated due to the loss of the camp. It is as yet unknown exactly what the extent of damage is to the island's albatross colonies (as well as to the endemic land birds), but it is likely to be extensive.


Kure Atoll also reported four waves, starting after midnight that washed approximately 100 m inland causing extensive damage to the pier and mass seabird mortality. Although other islands have yet to assess the losses to seabirds, the camp manager on Kure Atoll reports that entire portions of the Black-footed Albatross colony (which typically breed on the perimeter of these islands) have been washed away and that there are dead chicks everywhere. Mitigating news from Kure is that the female-female Short-tailed Albatross pair (click here) was seen alive the next morning.


Albatross colonies on Tern Island, Lehua, Kauai and Oahu (including the new predator-proof fence at Ka'ena Point) all survived without any reported damage as did the STAL translocation colony on Japan's Mukojima Island which is high up enough not to have been affected by the 1-8 m wave reported for the Ogasawara Islands.


Although acccurate estimates are not yet available, based on the descriptions provided and the numbers of albatross nests on these islands, losses are likely to be in the tens of thousands, if not more. However, for both Laysans and Black-foots it is currently the post-guard period in the breeding cycle which means that many of the breeding adults would have been out at sea provisioning for their chicks when the tsunami hit, so with any luck the majority of the mortality will be of chicks and not of breeding adults. Against this the fact that the tsunami hit the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands at night may have added to the mortality of adults.


Nonetheless, this is potentially a huge loss for the Laysan

National Zoo Adds a Twist to Anteater Naming

The Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park needs your help in naming its newest anteater.


Polls are currently open on the Zoo’s web site and you can vote for your favorite name until noon on March 28. Once the polls close, the top three vote-getters will move to round two, where things get interesting. Maripi, the anteater cub’s mom, will then choose the winning name of her pup. How does a giant anteater pick a name for her cub exactly? Well, the three top names will be coupled with different enrichment objects (meaning things that an anteater finds interesting) and placed in the anteater yard. Maripi will be let loose in the yard and whichever

Wolf killed after zoo escape

The owner of an Orono zoo says she isn’t sure how a grey wolf escaped, but insists it won’t happen again.


Christa Klose said she feels awful two-year-old Shadow was shot to death at a nearby farm “but it was the only possible solution to make sure the public was safe.”


All animal enclosures at Jungle Cat World — which counts wolves, cougars, lions, tigers and leopards among its collection — are protected by two fences, one of which is almost two metres above ground and about half a metre underground, Klose said.


The perimeter of the entire six-hectare property, about a 45-minute drive east of Toronto, is also fenced in.


The exception to the double-fence rule is the wolf den, where a section backs on to a pet cemetery. That area only has one fence, as the cemetery is not accessible to the public.


”We think one of the staff members may not have shut the gate (of the wolf den) properly. Shadow escaped into the cemetery” around 2 p.m., she said. “Staff noticed but Shadow was gone quite quickly. I think he might have dug under the perimeter

Elephant Ashok's grieving mate attracts crowds to zoo

While cackling children and equally enthusiastic adults stand and adore the magnificence of Roopa, the pachyderm who lost her mate Ashok, she continues to gyrate around in her shackles seeming rather distant.


Ashok and Roopa were one of the main attractions in the city zoo and after Ashoks sudden death on Monday, Roopa, the 22-year-old elephant who had spent 20 years of her life with him, stands alone today, calm and silent.


Visitors remember the two as a playful pair. "We have never seen her so quiet. She and Ashok were always busy running around while kids enjoyed their enthusiasm", says Jaishree Vaghela, a visitor at the Kamla Nehru Zoo.


For the past three days, Roopa has had all her four legs shackled with chains giving her just enough room to comfortably stand, as her keepers are worried that the trauma

New Himalayan Black Bear study at Darjeeling Zoo

Dog medicine saves rare zoo animal

A rare Asian mammal has been saved at Paignton Zoo with medicine usually used on pet dogs.


Staff at the zoo in Devon became alarmed when Josh, a male pigmy slow loris, kept losing weight despite being fed twice as much as each of the rest of his group.


Vets found that he was not producing an enzyme that helps loris digest food. After some treatment he is back to normal.


Ghislaine Sayers, head of veterinary services at Paignton Zoo, said: "The deficiency meant that he wasn't absorbing nutrients. It can be a common problem in some dogs and we were able to use an off-the-shelf medication.


"We don't know of a published case of this nature, so we hope to write a paper in due course. With more research, we may find out why it happens and possibly develop a better diagnostic test."


The pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus) comes from the forests of South East Asia, where it lives on a diet of insects, fruit, slugs and snails. The small nocturnal primate has what is considered a comical appearance and the name loris is believed to come from an old Dutch word for a clown.


The Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s nearly wiped out the species as forests were burned or defoliated. It still remains listed as "vulnerable". There are four

Bankers build new 'bat tunnel' at Durrell

Fruit bats in Jersey have had a new "bat tunnel" home built for them at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.


A five-month project to create the tunnel was completed at the weekend.


The walls of the tunnel, which is home to the Livingstone's bats, were made from 800 tyres, which would otherwise have been shipped away as waste.


The public areas of the tunnel were rendered with mud and fitted with windows made from bottles, before the roof was installed.


More than 330 HSBC staff

Rare Andean cat no longer exclusive to the Andes

Wildlife Conservation Society and partners find endangered cat species beyond the mountains in Patagonian steppe


Once thought to exclusively inhabit its namesake mountain range, the threatened Andean cat—a house cat-sized feline that resembles a small snow leopard in both appearance and habitat—also frequents the Patagonian steppe at much lower elevations, according to a new study published by the Wildlife Conservation Society and partners.


The finding represents a range extension for the Andean cat, which normally occurs at altitudes above 3,000 meters (approximately 9,800 feet). The new survey presents evidence of the cats occurring at elevations as low as 650 meters (approximately 2,100 feet) on the Patagonian steppe. The species is listed as "Endangered" on the World Conservation Union's Red List and may number only 2,500 individuals throughout its entire range.


The study appears in the recent edition of CATNews. The authors include: Andres Novaro and Lorena Rivas of the Wildlife Conservation Society and CONICET, Argentina; Susan Walker of the Wildlife Conservation Society; Rocio Palacios of Alianza Gato Andino; Sebastian di Martino of Department of Protected Areas of the Province of Neuquén; Martin Monteverde of Centro de Ecología Aplicada del Neuquén; Sebastian Canadell of Universidad Nacional de Cordoba; and Daniel Cossios of Université de Montréal.


"These confirmed records show the lowest elevations ever reported for the Andean cat," said WCS conservationist Andres Novaro, lead author of the study. "According to genetic studies underway led by Daniel Cossios, this new population appears to represent an evolutionary lineage distinct from the highland population."


Prompted by a lone photograph of two Andean cats in the foothills of central Argentina, the research team surveyed approximately 31,000 square kilometers (approximately 12,000 square miles) of Argentina's Mendoza and Neuquén provinces in 2007-2009. The team collected samples from several locations that included scat, skulls, and skin, all of which were confirmed with DNA analysis. In addition, the researchers conducted surveys with inhabitants of the region. The conservationists also found evidence of three other small cat species: Geoffroy's cat, pampas cat, and jaguarundi.


The Andean cat's range extension coincides with the known distribution

SA has already lost 71 rhinos

South Africa has already lost 71 rhinos to poaching this year, the SA National Parks (Sanparks) said on Monday.


"This figure encompasses fresh and old carcasses which have been found in the various parks and nature reserves countrywide," said Sanparks CEO David Mabunda.


Most of the poaching, 46 rhinos, occurred in the Kruger National Park.


Rhino poaching figures are on the increase with 333 rhinos slaughtered in 2010 compared to 122 killed in 2009 and 83 killed in 2008.


Mabunda said 64 suspected rhino poachers had already been arrested this year.


The Associated Press reported in February that so far this year nine poachers had been killed by park rangers.


The rangers were acting in self-defence to heavily armed poachers, according

Emu eggs being stolen from Mobile, Ala., zoo

The Mobile Zoo in Alabama is trying to put a stop to the theft of emu eggs.


Curator Lacey Clark says at least two or three of the big, emerald-green eggs have recently been taken, apparently by people coming over the fence into an area where the giant birds are incubating their future offspring in ground nests.


Clark says there are suspicions that the thieves enter the zoo as visitors and steal the eggs during regular hours.


Clark says the zoo has two adult female and two adult male emus, and that each spring the females lay up to 12 eggs

USDA Conducts Unnanounced Inspection of the Topeka Zoo

The USDA wrapped up Wednesday an unannounced two day inspection of the Topeka Zoo.


Zoo director Brendan Wiley says the inspection resulted in a report of three non-compliant issues.


The most serious is the height of the Zoo's perimeter fence which is already being addressed through a city ordinance to fund it's partial replacement.


The others include improper storage of wood shavings in a quarantine

New jobs created at Welsh Mountain Zoo

UPPER Colwyn Bay’s Welsh Mountain Zoo will provide 12 new jobs as well as a new tropical house and education centre with training and community facilities.


As part of the Assembly-funded project the zoo will become the Wales Centre for Wildlife Skills and Education, run by the National Zoological Society of Wales.


The new development will combine an all-weather tropical house with a science discovery exhibition as well as the training, skills and education centre.


Run in partnership with Coleg Llandrillo, the scheme will be funded through the Assembly’s North Wales Coast Regeneration Area programme.


Coleg Llandrillo will run courses in animal and life science at the centre, which will also be used as a facility by schools and community groups.


Subject to securing additional external funding for the project, work on the new facility will

Ecologist Boreiko says 'criminal group' active at Kyiv zoo

Director of Kyiv Ecological and Cultural Center Volodymyr Boreiko has claimed that the leadership of Kyiv Zoo is still hiding facts about the deaths of animals, and plans to address the department for the fight against organized crime to find out how the funds allocated in 2010 have been used.


"All attempts by Kyiv City State Administration to bring order to the zoo via the replacement of directors… yield no results, as there is a criminal group at the zoo consisting of people from the zoo that have practical interests there," Boreiko said at a press conference in the Interfax-Ukraine news agency on Tuesday.


According to him, "the same team, which worked using illegal methods that the Kyiv prosecutor's office discovered, has now returned."


Boreiko said that under a relevant resolution, UAH 50,000 was foreseen for 2010 to produce stands and sign plates in the zoo.


"But there are no plates there. The question is: where has the money gone? We will file a motion to the department for the fight against organized crime, and let the department find out where these funds have disappeared to," the ecologist said.


He also stated his center's main demands and plans: "We will turn to the department for the fight against organized crime. I have already written three letters… I also plan to address the prosecutor's office. I want to investigate and find out where the money allocated under the resolution disappeared. I support [deputy of Kyiv Council Oleksandr] Bryhynets and ask that he persuade [secretary of Kyiv Council Oles]

Jerusalem hosts European Zoo conference

On March 31, senior staff of 100 zoos across 25 countries will arrive at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo (so-named because all its animals are mentioned in the Hebrew Bible) for the annual European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) directors' day and council meeting.


"The decision to hold the event here reflects the fact that Israel is today a big player in wildlife conservation," said the Biblical Zoo's director-general Shai Doron. "Though we are a small country we are involved in some of the most exciting projects in our field."


He gave the example of his zoo's elephant Gabi, one of the first elephants ever born as a result of artificial insemination, adding: "If you think of the size and strength of an elephant and the fact it can't be put to sleep, you get a sense of the achievement."


EAZA changed its bylaws five years ago in order to give Israel full membership. Up until then, only European countries could join.


British delegates in Jerusalem will include EAZA's chairman Simon Tongue, executive director of Paignton Zoo Environmental Park

Lions, Tigers, And Volunteers Make Big Cat Rescue Grrrreeeat!

Patch chats with Jeff Kremer, Director of Donor Appreciation for Big Cat Rescue in honor of National Wildlife Week.


The National Wildlife Federation – the country’s largest conservation organization – has declared March 14-20 National Wildlife Week, urging communities to celebrate the wildlife all around us.


One of the county's most dense population of wildlife sits not to far from Westchase, in a wooded 55-acre sanctuary steps from the Citrus Park Mall.


Founded in 1992 by Carole Baskin, Big Cat Rescue is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the care of exotic cats. Big Cat’s primary objectives include, empowering and educating the public with information on these animals and the charity, rescuing wildcats who may have been abandoned or abused, and using their resources and knowledge to change laws and regulations.


Accredited by the Global Federation of Sanctuaries, BCR boasts the world’s largest and most diverse assembly of rescued cats include over one dozen different species of cats, including tigers, lions, leopards, cougars, bobcats, servals, lynx, and ocelots.


In honor of National Wildlife Week, Patch spoke to Jeff Kremer, director of donor appreciation.


Jeff landed at BCR after years in the aerospace industry. His first job was as a volunteer. His passion soon landed him in a full-time staff position. As director of donor appreciation, Jeff is the link to the organization’s private and business

Tesco could outpace competitors through Asian expansion

Tesco is set to outpace sales growth of its major global rivals, driven by its expansion in Asia, according to international food and grocery analyst IGD.


.....Tesco unveiled plans in November to quadruple revenue in China to approximately £4 billion by 2014-15 by more than doubling its number of hypermarkets there to in excess of 200.


The 2007 opening of Tesco's first supermarket under its own brand name in China caused controversy when animal rights activists accused the company of cruelty to amphibians by selling live turtles and frogs at its Beijing store.


Unlike British stores, almost all fresh food is produced locally with only a tiny percentage of its range from imports. Chinese consumers also prefer to examine their food before buying, so there is a bigger focus on fresh fruit, vegetables

Charges Loom for Death of Rare Jaguar Post-Capture

A jury will have to decide if a researcher broke the law when she allegedly helped capture and collar the last wild jaguar known to live in the United States, a federal judge ruled.


For years the rare borderland jaguar known as Macho B had been the subject of ghostly photographs snapped by camera traps set up in the remote wilderness south of Tucson, and researchers considered it a coup when they were able to trap the big cat and collar him with a data-collecting monitor in 2009.


But when the jaguar died in the wild from kidney failure just 12 days later, it set off a firestorm of recrimination and a lengthy internal investigation of the role that the Arizona Game and Fish Department played in the capture.


In May 2010, big cat researcher Emil McCain pleaded guilty to the prohibited take of an endangered species and was sentenced to five years of probation. At the time of the capture, he had been setting snares as part of a study of mountain lions and bears in the remote area near the U.S.-Mexico border.


Also that month, federal prosecutors filed charges against researcher Janay Brun, alleging that she had "placed

Designs for New York Zoo aviary renovation unveiled

Design plans worth $287,240 for transforming the New York State Zoo aviary into a classroom and zoological exhibit have been unveiled.


The Thompson Park Conservancy had been eyeing the idea of a classroom and exhibit in place of the former aviary to accommodate locals, visitors and students on field trips to the zoo. The design aims to honour the original design and history of the building.


Zoo officials plan to spend an estimated $287,240 to remodel the A-frame building into a primarily glass-enclosed structure. Keeping the original ‘70s a-frame design, the current building’s steel frames would be sandblasted and coated with epoxy paint. The current wooden exterior of the building will be replaced by stone veneer. Translucent glass panels would

Record toll of turtles wash up in reptile rehab

A record number of sick and injured marine turtles have been received by the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project since December, with lack of food blamed for the steep increase.


The total of 210 turtles received by the project is significantly higher than in recent years. By 2008, the project was receiving just 20 turtles each year.


The turtles are usually washed ashore during the winter months, with 45 animals found on one day in January, said Kevin Highland, a wildlife expert with The Wildlife Protection Office.


"We hope not to make records of sick animals, but yes, this is the most we have had," he said.


Dr Ulrich Wernery, the scientific director of the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory (CVRL) in Dubai, which works with the rehabilitation project, said he believed the main reason for the sickness and deaths was that the animals had




Shameful treatment of orang-utans
The Indonesian government has decided to donate 12 confiscated orang-utans in Thailand to a commercial zoo on the outskirts of Bangkok.
The 12 orang-utans were confiscated in 2008 and 2009 after complaints by the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT), which had evidence that the apes were smuggled in from Indonesia to entertain tourists at two different zoos, in Chumphon and Phuket provinces. After several months of complaining and putting pressure on the authorities, the Thai police raided the Chumphon zoo and found one orang-utan of approximately two years old amongst other protected wildlife; 63 animals in total were confiscated. But they were allowed to stay on the premises. Only after four weeks of campaigning were they removed and taken into the custody of the authorities.
The other 11 orang-utans found by the WFFT at a tiger and crocodile zoo on Phuket were not found on the day of the raid that took place in January 2009. But a month later they were found on the side of a rural road and were taken into custody of the authorities "as they had no owner". The WFFT has since campaigned to get both owners of the zoos prosecuted and their zoo licenses revoked, and the animals repatriated to Indonesia or taken to a suitable location. Neither of the two goals has been met.
During a meeting with high-placed Thai government officials of the Department of National Parks and wildlife (DNP) on February 28, the WFFT was informed that the Indonesian government had refused to take back the orang-utans, stating they were not able to properly care for the apes. The Indonesian Forestry Department and Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok requested the DNP to hand over the 12 orang-utans to a well-known tourist attraction in Samut Prakan, which had five illegally imported orang-utans confiscated in 2003. The WFFT has called the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok and they have confirmed they want to see the orang-utans handed over as soon as possible. The Forestry Department in Jakarta has not yet replied to questions by the WFFT on the reasoning for this decision.
Orang-utans are native to Indonesia and Malaysia but are smuggled out of their range states in large numbers to other Asian countries, as they are intelligent and easy to train to be used as photo props or boxing apes. In the last seven years the WFFT has helped to confiscate almost 90 orang-utans in Thailand and Vietnam, of which 57 were repatriated. Young orang-utans are sold for between Bt150,000 to Bt250,000 baht each in Thailand

Jairam halts eco park in AP
The environmental activism of Union Minister Jairam Ramesh has once again put him on a collision course with his own party’s government, this time in Andhra Pradesh.Jairam has waved a red flag to an ambitious eco-tourism project coming up in the posh Jubilee Hills area here.
He has sent a communication to the state government ordering a halt on work at the night safari park -- on the lines of the night safari in Singapore Zoological gardens -- citing violation of various project conditions and environmental guidelines.
We are dismayed to learn that the project proponents have actually planned to construct huge concrete structures such as a large hotel with 300 to 400 rooms, a convention centre with a seating capacity of 2,500 people and a multiplex with a dozen screens and a multi-level parking for about 5,000 vehicles which

Steve-O Protests Zoo, Isn’t Such A ‘Jackass’ After All
For a guy who makes his living being flung into the air in a used outhouse, “Jackass” daredevil Steve-O is a pretty cool guy. Why? He’s a committed vegan and often spends his spare time championing animal rights! He has even sounded off on breast cancer awareness in the past.
Steve-O recently joined PETA to protest outside the Edmonton Valley Zoo. The star stood in the cold with other protesters to send a message to the zoo: let Lucy the elephant go free!
“I’m sympathetic to Lucy because I know that elephants in their natural habitat will walk some 30 miles every day,” said Steve-O. “I don’t understand how the zoo’s able to keep her. It seems so black and white.”
Lucy has been kept in the zoo for over 30 years, and is experiencing a number of health problems as a result: she suffers from arthritis, chronic foot problems, and a respiratory illness, all most likely caused by her inability to walk the ranges that she would out in the wild. Because she lives in the cold of Edmonton, the zoo must keep her in a barn for

Will Mongolia End Hunting of Snow Leopards?
The Mongolian government last week allowed foreign nationals to hunt four leopards for research purpose in 2011. The letter said the snow leopard is facing extinction, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature categorizes it as Endangered. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora also lists the snow leopard on its Schedule I, thus making illegal any international trade in the animal or

Two leopard cubs clubbed to death
Even as a national campaign is underway to save India's tiger population, farmers in an Uttar Pradesh village Sunday clubbed to death two one-year-old leopard cubs in an apparent revenge attack after the mother leopard attacked a woman in a tiger reserve.
The incident happened in the Katarniya Ghat wildlife reserve in Bahraich district barely 24 hours after the woman was mauled.
According to state chief wildlife conservator B.K. Patnaik, 'the cubs were killed when a large number of local farmers surrounded them after a farmer's wife was attacked by the mother leopard while the woman was watering her fields'.
He said: 'The mother leopard managed to leap to safety, but the one-year-old cubs were cornered and beaten

San Diego Zoo going deep with its research
The zoo is taking over the Cocha Cashu Biological Station in one of the most remote and diverse places on earth: the Amazon rain forest of Peru. It's a perfect place to study unruffled nature.
The San Diego Zoo is taking over a research facility in one of the most remote and biologically diverse places on earth: the Amazon rain forest of Peru.
Few places on the globe have had as little contact with the modern world, researchers said.
The Cocha Cashu Biological Station is accessible only through a flight into the jungle on a small plane and then a two-day trip by boat up the Amazon River.
It's a perfect place to study unruffled nature, including more than 1,000 species of birds, 200 of reptiles and amphibians, 125 of mammals. The wide river is chock-full of fish species, some with sharp teeth.
For nearly three decades the station was run by John W. Terborgh, a professor emeritus at Duke University and a pioneer in the field of tropical research and conservation. Terborgh, considered a legend by San Diego Zoo officials,0,944884.story

People up in arms against Kaziranga Tiger reserve
The Kaziranga National Park, of late, is in news for all the wrong reasons. The park has been declared a tiger reserve but locals are up in arms against the move. The residents fear this could affect their livelihood, as a Tiger Tag will impose restrictions on the inflow of tourists. It’s a haven for tigers, rhinos who drives tourists inside Kaziranga national park in Assam.
The people are worried because the formal process for declaring Kaziranga as a tiger reserve is now through. The fear is that the tiger tag will impose restrictions on the flow of tourist vehicles thus affecting their livelihood.
Others fear they will be asked to accept a rehabilitation package and be

Vancouver 'ape angel' set to celebrate creation of orangutan sanctuary
Forty years after Birute Mary Galdikas became the world's leading protector of orangutans, the B.C. scientist's quest to secure a more sustainable future for our long-armed primate cousins is about to mark two major milestones.
Next month will see the worldwide release of the Warner Bros. IMAX documentary Born to Be Wild, directed by Canadian filmmaker David Lickley and showcasing the 64-year-old Galdikas' inspiring conservation efforts at her orangutan sanctuary in Borneo.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian government appears ready to approve the creation a unique jungle reserve where up to 150 of the animals that the Vancouver primatologist has nurtured to maturity over the past four decades could finally be released into the wild.
Just 25 when she began studying the orangutan in 1971, Galdikas was one of the trio of so-called "ape angels" — along with chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall and mountain gorilla specialist

Edmonton says Lucy the elephant fitter, losing weight, but too sick to move
The latest medical report on the Edmonton Valley Zoo's lone elephant is mixed.
A veterinary specialist hired by the city says Lucy has lost some weight and is in better overall physical health.
But the elephant expert also says Lucy still has respiratory problems that would make it too dangerous to move her.
The zoo says it is working with engineers to build a tool that could be used to check the elephant's nasal passages to find out why she can't breathe through her trunk.
Lucy is at the centre of a battle between the city and animal rights activists

Land Rover backs Arabian leopard conservation
Land Rover, the premium and luxury 4x4 automotive manufacturer, has for the sixth consecutive year supported Biosphere Expeditions to continue its commitment to conservation in the Middle East.
The Biosphere Expeditions research project, which ended recently, aims to bridge the gap between conservation scientists and the wider public. The team, led by Dr Matthias Hammer, continued its pursuit of the Arabian leopard with the support of the all terrain Land Rover, the multiple award-winning LR4.
Additionally, the expedition vehicles were outfitted with Land Rover accessories and off road tyres at the Mohsin Haider Darwish’s Land Rover Sales & Service facility in Muscat. On-the-ground support was also provided by Mohsin Haider Darwish’s Land Rover Sales & Service facility in Salalah.
Land Rover supplied four LR4s and a range of equipment useful for the expedition to search for the Arabian leopard, which resides amidst the stunning backdrop of Oman’s Dhofar mountains. The Arabian leopard is the last of the big cat species that remains in the GCC and previous years’ expeditions have demonstrated that it may well have a successful habitat and lifestyle based on the presiding ecosystem albeit with only a handful of individuals.
In conjunction with the Office for Conservation of the Environment, the 2011 project focused on an area close to Salalah to establish the continuing existence of the

SeaWorld releases 1000th sea turtle
Friday morning, 10:30 a.m. at Canaveral National Seashore’s Eddy Creek, SeaWorld's animal rescue team returns to the wild its 1,000th rehabilitated and now-healthy sea turtle.
Since the sea turtle rescue program began at SeaWorld Orlando in 1980, more than 1,530 sea turtles have been cared for by the park's vets and turtle experts. Each was rescued by the staff or brought to the park due to cold stress, injuries from nets, fishing line and hooks, ingestion of trash such as plastic bags, boat strikes, natural causes and most recently, oil contamination.
The team's success rate in caring for turtles with such a wide variety of injuries is amazingly high: 68% of the turtles brought to SeaWorld in the past 30 years have been returned to the wild after hands-on care and TLC.
The 1,000th turtle is a sub-adult loggerhead that suffered from “lockjaw” and was brought to SeaWorld in Sept. 2010 for rehabilitation by the Sea Turtle Preservation Society of Brevard County. Upon arrival, it weighed only 70 pounds. After many weeks of physical therapy, medication and help with feeding

Madrid zoo unveils twin panda cubs
Twin six-month-old giant pandas Po and De De have gone on show to visitors at a Spanish zoo for the first time.
The pandas, which are both male, are the first to be born by artificial insemination outside China.
Names for the pair were voted for by children in China and Spain.
'Po' was inspired by the star of animated film Kung Fu Panda and 'De De' is the pronunciation of a Chinese character from the word Madrid in Mandarin, according to a zoo staff member.
So far the giant pandas twins weigh about 1.5 stone and eat a mixed dairy diet.
"I feel very happy to see them growing

Camel injured after Indian Gaur escapes at Zoo Miami
A camel at Zoo Miami was slightly hurt Thursday morning after an Indian Guar escaped from its exhibit and jumped into the camel exhibit, all this while the zoo was open to the public.
At around 10:25 a.m., a “Code Green” radio alert was given signaling that an Indian Gaur, a type of wild cattle, had escaped. Officials at Zoo Miami say the 1 ½ year old male escaped by jumping into the moat that surrounds its display. Once it was out, it ran through a service area and headed to the Dromedary Camel exhibit.
The gaur then crossed the moat at the Dromedary Camel exhibit. The camels ran around to avoid the gaur. That’s when an elderly female camel slipped, fell and couldn’t get up. Zoo officials say she suffered some superficial scrapes and bruises but there were no other visible external injuries and she was never touched by the gaur. While the camel is standing again on her own, there is a chance she may have more serious muscular injuries that we will be evaluated closely for the next 24 hours, according to zoo staff.
The guar eventually left the camel exhibit the same way he arrived, across the moat and back out into the service area. In the private service area, the guar was corralled back into the moat in its own exhibit. Zoo staff then coaxed the animal its holding pen where it was secured about a half-hour after its escape.
At the moment the “Code Green” was called, zoo officials closed all entrance

Statement: DoE: Rhino poaching a cause for concern
The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa, has called for more public involvement in the efforts to reduce rhino poaching in the country.
Minister Molewa announced that rhino poaching continues to increase at an alarming rate. She also took the opportunity to congratulate the members of the National Wildlife Crime Reaction Unit (NWCRU) for their escalating

Celebrating Thailand's National Elephant Day At The Denver Zoo
The largest exhibit ever undertaken by the Denver Zoo is getting an encouraging push from some of its smallest benefactors--kids. A fundraising effort by the zoo called the Asian Tropics Kids Campaign launches this Sunday in celebration of Thailand's National Elephant Day and ends just in time for Elephant Appreciation Day in September.
On Sunday kids can start picking up their "ele" banks (decorated with photos of Denver Zoo resident Asian elephants Mimi and Dolly) to save money for the 10-acre exhibit, and turn them in by the first of September.
Starting at 10 AM, the zoo will be hosting elephant-educational presentations until 11:30, when Mimi and Dolly are publicly treated to a traditional buffet of fruits and vegetables.
Asian Tropics is a $50 million exhibit that will give Denver elephants 7 times the space they currently occupy in the zoo. For visitors, perhaps the most exciting feature of the Tropics will be "The Preserve," a walkway that offers panoramic viewing tours of animal life spanning 3 island habitats. According to the plan, gibbons can swing through the treetops over vistors' heads, and elephants and Indian rhinos can interact will be able to interact

Seattle zoo plans $21 million Asian forest exhibit
The Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle has received an anonymous $4 million matching challenge gift for the Asian tropical forest exhibit that will house tigers and bears.
The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce reports the $21 million exhibit will replace the 60-year-old space where the tigers and Asian bears now live. The new exhibit is the centerpiece of the zoo's $80 million fundraising campaign called More Wonder More Wild.
With the latest gift, the zoo has

NYC zoo saving rare salamander species
New York's Bronx Zoo is raising a rare species of salamander to help save it from extinction.
The zoo says the 41 juvenile eastern hellbenders were hatched at the Buffalo Zoo in 2009 from eggs collected in western New York. They will be released into the wild once they are mature enough, in about 2 1/2 years.
Hellbenders are native to New York State where they are listed as a species of special concern. They are threatened by pollution and habitat destruction.
When fully grown, the aquatic creatures are 2-feet long. They have

Zoo's animal signs speak volumes
PAIGNTON Zoo is giving visitors an insight into another form of communication.
Signs around the zoo show how deaf people would use British Sign Language to identify different animals.
British Sign Language is used by thousands of deaf people in the UK and the idea came from zoo teachers Gill Snell and Samantha Hammond.
Gill said: "We were inspired by a demonstration of British Sign Language at a recent education conference, and by the fact that the theme for National Science Week this year is communication."
The signs include crocodile, giant tortoise, monkey, giraffe, elephant, owl and duck.
Gill said: "Having the signs is fun, inclusive and something all ages can join in with.
"Other places that have them say visitors are regularly seen signing animal names.
"Our signs are low down to encourage small children and are in cartoon format to attract their attention.
"The signs themselves are wonderful: the sign for camel is a wavy hand, to show humps."
There will be a temporary trail around the zoo for National Science Week which focuses on fascinating facts about animal communication.
There are plans for a special sound trolley, with

Sea lions may go from Edinburgh Zoo as cash cuts hit revamp
THEY are one of the original and most popular attractions Edinburgh Zoo has ever had.
But after almost 100 years of delighting visitors, it seems the days of sea lions welcoming visitors to the Corstorphine Hill attraction could be numbered.
Zoo bosses are considering finding a new home for their sea lions, Sofus and Miranda, because they cannot afford the cost of a new pen.
The zoo has already been ordered to upgrade the sea lion enclosure in a report that threatened to remove its operating licence.
But senior staff say it's unlikely the zoo will be able to afford the estimated £2 million repair bill.
They have also admitted plans for a new multi-million-pound veterinary centre have had to be shelved.
The financial headache, which comes as the zoo prepares for the arrival of two Giant Pandas from China, is a result of being unable to sell surplus land which was originally worth £15-18m.
One past employee said the loss of the sea lions would be a "huge shame".
They said: "The sea lion enclosure is the first thing you see when you go through the zoo entrance. It's really popular and it has been there since it originally opened.
"The costs to keep them may b

Peninsula man discovers new species of seabird
That science and media have explored nearly every corner of the world makes Peter Harrison's discovery of a new species of seabird all the more remarkable.
“There are new species of birds that are discovered, but they are usually in some obscure part of the rainforest, so it's really unusual that we found this bird in plain sight in a populated area,” Harrison said Tuesday.
After a lengthy expedition, Harrison on Feb. 20 confirmed the existence of a new species of storm petrel, which weighs about three grams — the size of a small sparrow — in the coastal town of Puerto Montt, Chile.
The date of the discovery is coincidentally the same date in 2009 when Harrison caught a world-record steelhead trout in the Hoh River.
The 64-year-old Port Hadlock man wrote "Seabirds, an Identification Guide," the defining book on the topic, and is at work on a follow-up, due for publication in 2016, in which the newly discovered bird will be included.
Harrison, who usually spends five months out of every year on explorations, is now working

Czech zoo says first ever elephant born in captivity in Czech Republic
A Czech zoo has announced the arrival of the Czech Republic's first ever elephant born in captivity.
The zoo in the eastern city of Ostrava says 14-year-old mother Vishesh gave birth to the 78 kilograms (172 pounds) calf — her first — early Friday.
The zoo asked the public to be pateint, as the elephant pavilion was closed to prevent the elephants from being disturbed during the birth.
Vishesh had become aggressive after the birth, which the zoo says is common, and she had to be separated from the calf

Clemson University Tigers work to save real felines
Clemson University veterinary-science major Brian Lang said he doesn't want to go to a university where the mascot is an extinct species.
But with only about 3,200 tigers left in the wild worldwide, and ongoing poaching, that could be a reality within a decade if measures aren't taken to control the decline of the existing wild population.
Lang is president of the South Carolina university's student group, Tigers for Tigers, which raises money for the species' preservation around the world. Lang leads a group to work at a large-cat park every summer in central Florida and also leads Cubs for Cubs, which reaches out to children of grade-school age.
"We lead an awareness campaign to let the whole community understand the plight of tigers in the wild and the possibility of their extinction in a few years," Lang said.
Lang works closely with ecology professor David Tonkyn, who since 2004 has taught a spring course about the tiger. "Biodiversity and Conservation in India" is team-taught with international-student-programs director Louis Bregger and goes over the animals a student

Tripura zoo on alert after death of birds, animals
Close on the heels of the detection of bird flu at two government-run farms in western Tripura, mysterious deaths of some animals and birds at the Sepahijala Zoo has put the authorities on alert.
'Since last week three leopards, one wild cat and 13 birds, including some extremely endangered species, have been found dead at the zoo enclosures. We have sent samples to state and national level laboratories,' director of Sepahijala Zoo and head of the wildlife sanctuary Ajit Bhowmik told IANS Saturday.
He said: 'The samples have been tested by the Eastern Region Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ERDDL) in Kolkata and the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal. No indication of avian influenza or swine influenza has been found.'
'According to the experts of the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Uttar Pradesh and the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), the disease might have been caused by some viral infection. We have taken preventive measures for the other animals and birds in the zoo,' Bhowmik added.
With the outbreak of avian influenza (bird

Two big cat sightings in space of day
Big-cat spotters have reported sightings 10 miles apart within 24 hours of one another.
Last Saturday, a resident of Burrough-on-the-Hill, near Melton, reported seeing a big cat near the village at about 11.30am.
The animal was described as being about four-and-a-half feet long, feline in appearance and low in stature, with a long black tail.
The next day, pensioner John Murray spotted a "black panther" as he drove along the road between Thurnby and Stoughton.
Both sightings are being investigated by big-cat investigator Nigel Spencer of Rutland and Leicestershire Panther Watch.
Mr Murray, 66, of Hungarton, said: "I was driving past a coppice

Rare cats born from frozen embryos
The latest rare wildcat kittens at a New Orleans conservation center were born from embryos frozen before Hurricane Katrina.
The two male African black-footed cats are among the world’s smallest felines. They’ll grow to about one-third the size of the average housecat.
Scientists in Omaha, Neb., collected and froze the father’s sperm in 2003. At the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species, it was combined in March 2005 with eggs from a black-footed cat in the center’s collection.
The embryos were kept frozen until December. On Dec. 7, the thawed embryo was implanted into a second female black-footed cat. The kittens, which don’t yet have names, were born Feb. 13.
The southern African species is listed as vulnerable, with numbers declining because of persecution, loss

Bewick's swans' bottoms sized up for science
Bigger bottoms are definitely better - for swans at least.
Scientists at the UK's Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust are measuring the size of Bewick's swans' behinds, to see if they have the fat reserves to survive their long migration to Arctic Russia.
The swans' population is in decline and the researchers want to find out if a shortage of suitable food at their UK wintering sites could be the cause.
The birds are just about to embark on their annual

Alligator Farmers Snap Back At Florida's Plan to Sever Funding
With Sales Down, They Want Marketing Aid; Ribs, Tongue and a Missing Middle Finger.
Genie Tillman, an alligator farmer from Lake Placid, Fla., prepared for an apparel trade show in Las Vegas last month by packing an array of reptilian wares into three large suitcases. She threw in alligator-skin bomber jackets, golf shoes and Bible covers.
"We have something for everybody," said Ms. Tillman, the 68-year-old owner of Parker Island Gator Farm here. "We even have a whiskey flask that's covered in alligator and purses for biker babes."
The trip was aimed at promoting Florida's struggling alligator industry—some 30 farms, along with hundreds of trappers, tanners and leather makers. Though demand for gator meat remains strong, tough times drove revenue from Florida alligator products down to $5.3 million in 2009, from $16.4 million the year before, the most recent state figures show.
Now, Gov. Rick Scott wants to cut off the funding that helped pay for Ms

Melbourne's Thai elephants blessed
BUDDHIST monks have blessed Melbourne Zoo's Thai elephants to mark the national elephant festival in their native country.
Monks chanted and sprinkled water over the three adult females and two calves during the blessing ceremony, which also marks eight years since the Trail of Elephants opened at Melbourne Zoo.
Thai Honorary Consul General Simon Wallace said the ceremony took on extra significance given the Buddhist belief in reincarnation.
"Depending upon on how you've behaved in this life you come back, so you could be blessing your great uncle as an elephant," he said.
"The Buddhist belief is very much in respecting all forms of life, not only are children baptised and blessed, but elephants, animals are similarly

£1m lottery bid launched to restore Dudley Zoo
A £1 million lottery bid to fund vital repairs to a dozen historic buildings within the grounds of Dudley Zoo has been launched.
Under the plans work would be carried out to the 12 Tecton buildings, which have been listed as worthy of international acclaim.
The repair work would pave the way for future development at the site, which would include creating a medieval farmyard.
Zoo board chairman Councillor David Sparks said work needed to be carried out on the foundations of the buildings. The zoo still hopes to attract further funding to help fully restore the structures.
The 12 Tecton buildings include the zoo’s iconic wave entrance, elephant house, sea lion pool and bear pit as well as the birdhouse, Moat Cafe, polar bear complex and two kiosks.
The structures, built by Russian-born architect Berthold Lubekin in the 1930s, were placed on the World

Ah Meng lives on in new baby at Singapore Zoo
The Singapore Zoo announced the arrival of Ah Meng's great grandson on Saturday.
Ah Meng was the zoo's poster girl in many of its tourism campaigns, and is arguably the zoo's most well-known icon.
A male baby orang utan was born to Chomel, who is Ah Meng's granddaughter, on Jan 31, 2011, at 4.20am.
He is the first Sumatran orang utan to be born in the zoo in 14 years.
Keepers have described the little one as a 'very amiable and expressive baby', and also reported that mother and baby are healthy and bonding well, according to a Straits Times report.
Chomel's keeper, Alagappasamy Chellaiyah, 60, who was also Ah Meng's keeper, said that Chomel was an excellent mother, even though she is a first-time parent.
The baby's father is an orang utan from the Frankfurt Zoo, named Galdikas. The 11-year-old is at the Singapore Zoo on a breeding loan, and was chosen

Byculla Zoo revamp plan rejected again
The Mumbai Heritage Conservation committee (MHCC) rejected the second revised plan for renovation of Veermata Jijabai Udyan and the zoo submitted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
One of the proposals put forward by the BMC was to allow people inside animal cages at the Byculla zoo on weekends when animals are in the holding cages. But the MHCC rejected the proposal and also asked the civic body not to allow any trees inside the new animal enclosures.
The committee termed the proposal “funny” and asked the BMC to maintain the number of animals in the zoo. The plan to incorporate 1,100 trees — out of total 3,213 trees — into the animal enclosures also came in for sharp criticism by the MHCC.
The BMC has undertaken an ambitious Rs600-crore makeover plan of the botanical garden and zoo. Thailand-based HKS Designer and Consultants International have designed the plan which proposes to get animals from Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia and build

Habitat loss and poaching threats to hyena
Poaching, the loss of habitat and the loss of food sources, are some of the major challenges Namibia’s brown hyenas are faced with. In 2004, the number of brown hyenas in the country was estimated to be between 800 and 1200.
According to Dr Ingrid Wiesel, founder of the Brown Hyena Research Project, the number of the endangered species seems to be stable at the moment.
“However, we are experiencing a decrease in abundance in some areas. Indirect effects [of diamond mining] on the brown hyena are mostly disturbance and habitat fragmentation, while direct effects are road kills,” Wiesel said.
In an effort to mitigate these effects, the project is monitoring the brown hyena population and camera traps have been set up around Bogenfels and Van Reenen Bay.
The project also made recommendations to Namdeb regarding speed limits, speed bumps and wildlife warning signs.
Brown hyenas, one of Africa’s largest carnivores, are found in Angola, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Namibia. Locally, they are found throughout the entire country except in the northern and south-eastern parts. It is estimated that there are between 5000 and 8000 brown hyenas in the region.
In Namibia, these animals can mostly be found in the coastal areas. There are only six conservation areas with governmental or private protection status within the brown hyena’s distribution range, one of which is the Sperrgebiet National Park. “We are and were involved in making recommendations regarding the land use plan of the Sperrgebiet National Park. The brown hyena was also declared a flagship species for the Park and

Snow leopard population increasing in Bunji
Initiatives taken some couple of years back in Bunji, a small town some 50km away from Gilgit, to help increase population of endangered snow leopard have started showing tremendous results as local people claim that population of this fascinating specie has almost doubled in this particular area.
Though no radio collar study has been carried out in this area due to lack of resources but eleven local persons have so far claimed that they have succeeded in looking snow leopards from a close distance in last two months.
The wildlife experts on the basis of statements given by the eyewitnesses were of the view that the population of snow leopards in the area has increased up 50 to 60 as compared to nearly 30 some years back.
In their initial evaluation the experts have said decline in the population of Markhor, national animal of Pakistan, led to decrease in the population of snow leopards that usually depend on hunting of this ‘King of Goat’ specie for their survival. When markhors started facing extinction the snow leopards, which

Scientist Creates One-of-a-Kind Frog
A newly bred hybrid frog – the offspring of two species of tropical leaf frogs – is one of a kind and even rarer than its endangered parents.
A scientist at The Manchester Museum in England allowed the two species of endangered Central American leaf frogs housed within the same chamber to interbreed to better understand how closely these parents are related. Understanding the genetic relationships between, and even within, species is important when trying to protect them.
This was a match made in lab heaven. The parents, Agalychnis annae and Agalychnis moreletii, wouldn't cross paths on their own, since they occupy different regions in Central America. In the past 30 years, populations of endangered leaf frogs have completely disappeared, particularly at cooler, high elevations. The amphibian

Regeneration project at Welsh Mountain Zoo is Simples
Deputy Minister for Housing and Regeneration, Jocelyn Davies AM has met the meerkats at the Welsh Mountain Zoo– National Zoo of Wales in Colwyn Bay while visiting the attraction to see plans for an innovative new project that will provide jobs, training opportunities and community facilities as well as adding another exciting exhibit to the zoo.
The proposed Wales Centre for Wildlife Skills and Education, which will be run by the National Zoological Society of Wales in partnership with Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, has had funding from the Welsh Assembly Government’s North Wales Coast Regeneration Area programme agreed in principle and, subject to securing additional external funding for the project, work on the new facility will begin in 2012.
The development will combine a new all-weather Tropical House with a science discovery exhibition which will include a training, skills and education centre. Llandrillo College will run courses in animal and life science related areas in the centre, which will also be used as a community facility

Zoo improvement work nears completion
EDINBURGH Zoo has completed around 90 per cent of improvements that a critical report by the Scottish Government asked the attraction to make, bosses said today.
Documents last September pointed out that the big cat enclosure was in disrepair, the sea lion enclosure was out of date and a food store was infested with vermin.
Animal collections manager, Darren McGarry, said everything had now been sorted out apart from the sea lion pen and pool, which the zoo may close instead of refurbishing.
Mr McGarry said big cat enclosures had newly-painted walls and bars, plus replaced water heaters. He said the current vetinary hospital has newly-painted walls and new cabinets and fixing holes in the roof of the food storage building had solved the vermin problem.
Mr McGarry said: "Most of the problems were aesthetic and 90 per cent of them have been mended. If there was any damage or problem that affected the animals directly, we would fix

First for Chester Zoo as rare venomous lizards hatch
A rare species of lizard that inspired a treatment for diabetes has been bred for the first time at Chester Zoo.
Three of the venomous reptiles, which sport yellow and black markings, have hatched over the past week.
Beaded lizards, one of only two truly venomous lizard species, found fame in 2007 when it was discovered that it could help in the treatment of diabetes.
Scientists uncovered a new protein in the saliva of the giant lizard which shares similarities with a human hormone that helps regulate blood sugar.
Richard Gibson, curator of lower vertebrates and invertebrates at Chester Zoo, said: “To breed beaded lizards is a great achievement for our reptile team, especially as they are

Tracked for the first time: The incredible 4,500-mile Atlantic Ocean journey of tiny turtles as young as four months old
Scientists have lifted the lid on an incredible 70-day journey that wild turtles, some younger than six months old, take for the first time.
Researchers tagged some of the smallest and youngest ever baby turtles to be tracked, revealing the epic 4,500 mile journey in the Atlantic Ocean.
The young Loggerhead turtles were monitored by satellite as they made their journey - the equivalent of travelling from London to Mumbai.
Scientists customised the 9gm tracker tags normally used for birds, making them waterproof, before gluing them onto the reptiles' shells.
Jeanette Wyneken and Kate Mansfield, from Florida Atlantic University, said they were amazed at the length of the journey made by




18 Japanese crested ibises being released into wild from Niigata conservation center

Conservationists began releasing 18 endangered Japanese crested ibises in Sado on March 10, as part of efforts to restore their presence in the wild.

The door of an "adaptation cage" that was used to teach the ibises how to survive in the wild was opened at around 6:15 a.m. at the Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Conservation Center, and by noon seven of them had flown off. This is the fourth release of artificially-raised Japanese crested ibises from the center into the wild.
According to the Ministry of the Environment (MOE), the birds range in age from 1 to 6 years and consist of 10 males and eight females. The first bird to leave was a 2-year-old female, at

Tiger kills lion in Turkish zoo
A Bengal tiger has killed a lion at Ankara Zoo after finding a gap in the fence separating their cages, say zoo officials in the Turkish capital.
The tiger severed the lion's jugular vein in a single stroke with its paw, leaving the animal dying in a pool of blood, officials said.
They denied local media reports that the tiger had broken down

Has Viagra helped endangered species by reducing demand for rhino horn, etc?
As an upright environmentalist kind of guy, I was wondering if the rising popularity of erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, etc, has caused a corresponding subsidence in the demand for powdered rhinoceros horn and other aphrodisiacs made from the body parts of endangered animals.

Did Mongolian government permit hunting snow leopards for research? SLT takes immediate action.
Below is a clipping from a March 2010 Mongolian Newsletter reporting the hunting permits allowed for the year, including four leopards for research.

Zoo's Brian Keating stepping down
When Brian Keating first started working for the Calgary Zoo, the animals were still kept in cages with bars procured from an old city jail and no one was thinking about conservation.
That was 1982, and within a year the bars were cut down and Keating, an anthropologist and then the zoo's education curator, was getting new ideas on for a future direction for the organization inspired by his international travels to find endangered wildlife.
"I'd come across places like Ngorongoro Crater (a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Tanzania) and I would see signs like 'the anti-poaching team of the this park is sponsored by the Frankfurt Zoological Society,' " said Keating.
"And then I'd go into the Congo, which was then called Zaire, and we stayed in a lodge to go mountain gorilla searching and that lodge was sponsored by the New York Zoological Society.
"It seemed that New York, Chicago, San Diego, Frankfurt and London appeared all over the world with conservation efforts. I always

This two-headed tortoise is destined for stardom
This African spurred tortoise was born in Slovakia and has 2 heads, 5 legs and a shell.

India to re-introduce extinct Cheetah
The Environment Ministry has released latest finding of the International Union Conservation for Nature according to which two more species are now on the critically endangered list.
This takes the list of endangered species that are in danger of being lost forever to 57.
These findings are surely going to hurt animal lovers and activists. But, there is a reason to cheer as well. The government has said that India is close to re-introducing the cheetah in two years' time.
While the Cheetah had become extinct in India, the Madhya Pradesh government

A new zoo loo
The 250th Changing Places toilet opens at Marwell Wildlife
Marwell Wildlife in Hampshire has become the 250th location – and the first zoological park – in the UK to install an accessible Changing Places toilet.
Changing Places toilets meet the needs of an estimated 250,000 disabled people in the UK, including those with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD

Karachi Zoo: Crows pick at Bactrian camel’s wounds
The state of the two Bactrian camels at the Karachi Zoo perhaps provide the clearest example of the horrific conditions the animals live in. Crows picked away at a wound on the brown camel, which winced and shook itself to try and get the black birds off its back.
After some time, a shorter darkish Bactrian emerged in a crooked walk from its brick shed. A regular visitor said that the animal was limping because of a severe wound that was a few months old.
Another visitor, Dureen Ance Anwer said: “[They] had wounds all over their bodies and … maggots had grown in. Crows were feeding on those maggots. Out of helplessness and pain, the camels would roll on the ground every time the crows gleaned with their pointy beaks”. A group of young school children approached the cage and called out to the two animals. The darker one, whose face was covered with flies, kept scraping its body against the cage, probably trying to get rid of an itch, while the brown camel remained aloof.
“Even though there are just a few attractions

Sea Turtle Restoration Project
Help Stop the Catastrophic Kimberley Gas Hub
Australia has its very own Dick Cheney. His name is Colin Barnett and he is the Premier of Western Australia. He wants to leave a legacy of oil and gas profits and do so at the expense of the wild and sacred Kimberley.
He doesn't seem to care much about Australia's own flatback sea turtle. In fact, the turtle sections of the gas hub environmental review conclude that this massive industrial project won't do any harm to the little-known sea turtles that breed, feed and migrate along the Kimberley coast.
Please help us support

Elephants help each other out
They say elephants never forget; now scientists have shown they are also capable of helping one another.
Scientists based at the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang conducted tests to see if elephants would co-operate to collect food on a heavy tray that could only be moved by pulling two ropes in unison.
"Not only did the elephants act together, they inhibited

Mystery remains as black swans return
A PAIR of black swans returned to the Huangpu River yesterday, after first being sighted at the weekend - but where they came from remains a mystery.
As there is little food for the birds in the river, Shanghai Wildlife Conservation Center said it will try to catch them and put them in a zoo.
Yesterday morning, the swans were spotted swimming near Binjiang Avenue in the Pudong New Area. A witness, surnamed Zhang, said he rarely saw any birds on the Huangpu River, certainly not black swans.
When the swans appeared for the first time on Saturday, a center patrol boat tried to catch them. "It's difficult to get them on the water," said Pei Enle,

SIV strain infects Goodall chimps
A DEADLY AIDS-like disease is infecting the chimpanzees of Gombe national park in Tanzania - the animals made famous by the renowned British primate researcher
Jane Goodall. Researchers have found that a strain of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) has spread to many of the chimps, with sharply raised death rates among infected animals.
There are at least 40 different types of SIV in African primates but two of these crossed the species barrier to generate HIV-1 and HIV-2 - the human form of the virus.
Chimpanzees were, however, thought to be so accustomed to such viruses that they were resistant to them. This now appears to be wrong.
The SIV strain affecting the Gombe chimps is closely related to the HIV-1 virus, which makes its research important to scientists studying the human disease.
"Our results show that the strain of SIV found in some Gombe chimps has a substantial negative impact on the health, reproduction and life-span of wild chimpanzees," said Beatrice

Vandals break into zoo, leave dead monkey behind
A small monkey was found dead at a North Texas zoo following a break-in by vandals over the weekend.
Gainesville police spokesman Sgt. Belva McClinton said Tuesday that authorities don’t know what caused the death of the cotton-top tamarin at Frank Buck Zoo.
She says police have identified three juvenile suspects in the vandalism, but are still investigating and have made no arrests. The intruders broke in sometime after closing Friday at the zoo about 70 miles north of Dallas.
Zoo director Susan Kleven tells the Gainesville Daily Register that the vandalism included oil poured

Guard dogs keep unwanted predators out of zoo
For the Texas Zoo's new night security guards, chasing off hungry raccoons and co-existing with squawking guinea hens are all just a part of a day's work.
Sarge and Jazz, who are a brother and sister pair of Great Pyrenees, officially started their jobs as night security guards on Saturday.
"They guard the zoo not from people coming, but they guard the animals from natural predators," said Andrea Blomberg, zoo executive director. "It's our job to keep the animals safe."
Talks to bring in canine security guards started in early February when zoo staff met to discuss the influx


INTERESTING: Item on the declawings at Zion Wildlife Park

Not familiar with the above? Read Craig Busch and Zion Wildlife Park

Who cares about rhinos anyway?
Last year’s furore over organised rhino poaching elicited widely contrasting responses from South Africans. Bunny-huggers turned into rhino-huggers by their hundreds and declared the crimes bad enough to warrant the re-institution of the death penalty.
Others considered the outrage over the illegal hunting of a couple of glorified zoo animals as overly emotional and insignificant in a country plagued with many bigger problems from chronic poverty to large-scale unemployment.
It might sound disingenuous, but as far as I’m concerned both of these opinions contain a kernel of truth (although, rhino-huggers, you’ll never get my vote on the death penalty...).
The survival of a single endangered species like the rhino is insignificant in the sense that it merely represents the tip of an iceberg of animals and plants that are threatened by extinction, not because of the nefarious operations of a few crime syndicates, but because of our own activities. Yours and mine.
We should care about butchered rhinos in the hope that such high-profile incidents will put the spotlight on the much, much larger, global crisis of biodiversity.
So today’s take-away phrase is mass extinction. The one we humans are currently in the process of precipitating.
Brand new species usually evolve at more or less the same rate as others die out, keeping overall biodiversity at a relatively constant level. When die-offs outpace new arrivals too rapidly, however, mass extinctions literally change the face of the earth by almost wiping the biological slate clean.
Periods of major mass extinction in which 75% or more of the earth’s plant and animal species disappear forever are natural phenomena that have occurred five times in the geological past, the most well-know example being the cataclysmic event that killed off the dinosaurs and many other species about 65 million years ago.
Exactly what causes such extinctions has been hotly debated by scientists for decades. Clearly it’s complicated, but the main culprits are asteroid or comet impacts and volcanic eruptions on a scale big enough to make Eyjafjallajökull (the Icelandic volcano that grounded Europe’s commercial airline fleet last year) look like the geological equivalent

Pandas for hire
It was just like any other state visit. A plane with a painted logo sat on the tarmac. Inside, the flight crew were all wearing tailor-made costumes.
The red carpet was out. TV cameras and fuzzy microphone-wielding reporters were at hand. Nearby cars got stuck in traffic as thousands of fans flooded Tokyo streets decorated with special cartoon banners.
Minutes later, the great bear and his first lady arrived: Bili and Xiannu, loaned to Japan for an annual fee of 79 million yuan ($950,000), had ended their 30-hour journey from Sichuan Province to Tokyo.
Though sparking a public frenzy in the Japanese capital on February 21 and reportedly boosting the local economy by US$240 million, the Ailuropoda melanoleuca at the center of all the Nippon hoopla were criticized for costing too much by a Japanese Times editorial headlined "Softer Touch with Pandas" on February 25.
With wild pandas already almost extinct in their motherland, other nations can borrow a captive panda for 10 years at up to $1 million a year, a China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) official confirmed.
"Pandas are dispatched overseas merely for international scientific research supported by foreign friends," said Zhong Yi, director of the association's International Affairs Office.
Partners donate their own preferred amount, explained China's "father of pandas" Zhang Hemin, director of the Wolong Nature Reserve Administration.
"All proposed panda imports are targeted at conservation," he said, avoiding all mention of previous "commercial loaning" prohibited since 1996 by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Thanks to foreign exchange earnings from international projects, he revealed, China has expanded its panda research and conservation bases from 13 to 64.
A total of 30 pandas - nearly 10 percent of all of China's 317 captive pandas -were living overseas last year, according to the State Forestry

Outlawed bear baiting continues in Pakistan’s Punjab
Landlords [a British colonial term, meaning land owner] in the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Sindh enjoy a particularly bloody form of entertainment: bear baiting. The rules are simple: a pair of trained fighting dogs are unleashed on a tethered bear whose claws and sharpest teeth have been removed.
The practice of bear baiting was reportedly introduced in Southern Asia by British colonisers in the 18th century. It was gradually abandoned in all countries except Pakistan, where they are staged during events organised by regional landlords to impress and entertain the general public. The bears are illegally captured by poachers, and then trained into submission by their gypsy owners.
Each fight lasts about three minutes, and the dogs are said to ‘win’ if they have managed to make the bear roll over on the ground. Bears are often injured, but seldom killed – they are much too valuable for their owners to let them die. Some bears are made to fight up to ten times a day.
Although the bear baiting was banned in Pakistan in 1980 by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, it continues to prevail in deeply rural tribal regions.
Animal protection groups like the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) have worked with Pakistani authorities to try to eradicate the practice. According to the WSPA, education campaigns

Zim land reforms target wildlife
Zimbabwean authorities will force the country's predominantly white wildlife park owners to join with black partners in a new round of controversial land reforms, state media says.
"Government is now implementing the wildlife-based land reform policy after five years of resistance from conservancy owners," The Herald newspaper reported.
"This will see 59 indigenous people getting leases from the government or sharing conservancies with white former owners."
Parks and wildlife authority director-general Vitalis Chadenga said the project was "one of the unfinished businesses of the country's land reform programme."
Under land reforms launched by long-time President Robert Mugabe in 2000, Zimbabwean authorities seized farms from thousands of

Dallas Zoo improves quality of life for its biggest residents
The Dallas Zoo was heavily criticized for having elephants live in cramped and outdated enclosures. But now the zoo is riding high on the huge success of its new exhibit, Giants of the Savanna, where elephants have lots of room to roam.
Other American zoos are watching closely as Dallas uses new high-tech tools to monitor the animals' "quality of life" in their new exhibit
Jenny the elephant and five new friends live in what's considered one of the best zoo elephant habitats in the country.
In 2007, Jenny lived in the cramped confines of the Dallas Zoo's 50-year-old enclosure. Back then, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit and San Francisco had all closed their elephant exhibits, lacking the money and space to properly care for the massive pachyderms.
At the time, Dallas Zoo Director Greg Hudson wouldn't rule out the possibility of doing the same thing here.
Last year, the Zoo opened the sprawling Giants of the Savanna habitat, where elephants, giraffes and other species mix together — a new idea.
"The behaviors that you're seeing over here are behaviors I see out in the wild," said Dr. Charles Foley, an expert who helps manage and protect elephants at the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania.
Researchers at the Dallas Zoo say the amount of time Jenny spends exploring her environment is up more than 90 percent, and all the elephants have much healthier feet, which


JoGayle Howard, a National Zoo scientist who helped breed giant pandas, dies at 59
JoGayle Howard, a National Zoo scientist known as the "Sperm Queen" for her skill and ingenuity in helping clouded leopards, giant pandas and other endangered species with the delicate task of breeding in captivity, died March 5 at the Washington Home and Community Hospices in the District.
She was 59 and had malignant melanoma.
Dr. Howard came to the zoo as a paid intern in 1980 - back when the reproduction of captive animals, she said in a 2010 interview posted online, was more art and luck than science.
"The breeding programs would put a male and female together; if they didn't breed, they would try another male," she said. "I was shocked at how little information we had, and how little help we could give."
During the next three decades at the zoo and the Smithsonian's Center for Species Survival, she became a leader among scientists working to improve animals' reproductive chances by understanding their basic biology.
A veterinarian by training, she also used her clinical skills to pioneer the use of common human-infertility treatments - such as artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization - on animals.
"She was really the first woman scientist to have a goal of taking technologies developed for overcoming human infertility and applying them to species recovery on a large scale," said David Wildt, who heads the Center for Species Survival. She "put babies on the ground."
Early in her career, Dr. Howard was among a team of scientists who successfully adapted artificial insemination for use on cheetahs. Later, she again adapted insemination techniques for the black-footed ferret, once the most endangered

Panthera - March Newsletter

Letters: Knoxville Zoo failed in protecting worker
This is in regards to the death at the Knoxville Zoo.
Whether this incident was an attack, intentional, unintentional, playful, etc., or considered an “accident,” the Jack Hannahs, the Knoxville Zoo and the zoo community is still avoiding responsibility and will continue to spin this story as an “accident.” The argument that this young lady was willing to take the risks as part of the job responsibility for working with the elephants is no excuse, and the Knoxville Zoo should take full responsibility. This death was highly preventable, had the Knoxville Zoo made the decision to put keeper safety first by utilizing protected contact when their new barn was constructed.
Unfortunately, the zoo establishment would rather stick together protecting themselves, rather than admitting any wrong doing. Until the zoo institution steps up and accepts responsibility, requiring protected contact managing

Shhh ... It's a koala whisperer
A LOST koala has been caught on camera following a clairvoyant to get home after the psychic told him he was “in the wrong tree” on the Sunshine Coast.
Medical intuitive and clairvoyant Doctor Michael Taylor and wife, fellow clairvoyant K, made the unexpected friend when they visited Australia Zoo last week.
The incredible images of the tenacious but apparently confused koala walking along side Mrs Taylor on the soggy day was captured by Dr Michael Taylor, who is also an “animal whisperer”.
Dr Michael said he had received tickets to the popular Sunshine Coast attraction as a birthday gift some time before.
He said he and his wife had enjoyed a nice quiet day at the zoo when they noticed “an unhappy koala” up a tree that

New phone app guides people about enclosures at Colchester Zoo
ANIMAL lovers will be able to use their mobile phones to get the lowdown on life at Colchester Zoo.
It is having a phone application designed to act as a personal guide.
The app is likely to include features such as maps, lists of animal feeding times and zookeeper talks.
It is thought it will also keep subscribers up to date with news about births, deaths and new exhibits, and allow people to reserve tickets.
Colchester Zoo has commissioned Ipswich-based Crafted Media to build the app so it is ready in May.
Alex Downing, communications and development director at Colchester Zoo, said: “Crafted Media came up with some exceptionally creative ideas for developing our first mobile phone application.
“It will act as a personalised guide for our visitors, providing instant information about all the zoo has to offer so that they can plan their visit in detail and then get the most out of their visit while in the park.
“We love to see our visitors enjoying our animals face to face

How to survive a bear attack
Following an unusually big year for bear attacks, here's a look at how to meet a black, brown or polar bear and come out alive.
Bears don't want to attack people. We kill them far more often than they kill us, and many bears seem well aware of that ratio. When they do attack, it's usually because they were either starved or startled.

Tirupati temple caught in civet deadlock
A search by the Sri Venkateswara Temple, Tirupati, for a supply of the aromatic secretions of the civet has pitted the temple authorities against India’s Wildlife Act, creating a deadlock that officials are trying to resolve.
Temple staff have for decades been adding the secretions from the perineal glands of civets into a mixture of spices and oils and applying it to the temple deity every Friday morning as part of a traditional ritual, temple sources said.
The temple complex used to keep civets in its dairy farm until about five years ago when wildlife officials ordered that the animals be moved to a zoo in Tirupati. The ritual called Punugu Ginni Seva — or civet vessel service — requires a few grams of secretions a week. Staff collect only secretions that have dropped to the ground and do not harm the animals in any way, temple sources said.
The Tirupati zoo now has three civets — an aged male, a young male and a young female. The small number has prompted temple authorities to search for strategies to maintain the supply of the civet’s secretions.
A proposal by the temple authorities to fund a special

Hanoi fails to catch Hoan Kiem turtle
Workers on March 8 began the task of trapping the ailing giant turtle to bring it to the Turtle Tower in the middle of Hoan Kiem lake for treatment.
Nearly 40 workers jumped into the lake to draw the net ashore.
They captured the turtle in their net but the turtle slipped from the net.
A volunteer named Le Quoc Dung who joined workers to draw up the net, commented: “The old turtle is very strong”. He said that the turtle got through the first net and tore a hole in the second net and swam away to the southern part of the lake.
After the turtle escaped from the nets, workers and volunteers went ashore and collected their nets.
Many witnesses showed their disappointment. Some walked to the southern part of the lake to follow the turtle.
Hoang Luan, 23, from Tu Liem district, Hanoi said that he was present at the lake at 8 am to see how the legendary turtle was “invited” to the shore. He said that workers used tools which looked “very rudimentary” and he showed worries for the turtle’s health because “he was excited”.
Tran Van Thanh, 60, from Tran Xuan Soan street, Hanoi, was also at the lake from the early morning. “I think that there are many obstacles inside the lake so it was very difficult

Steve Irwin's body may be dug up if Queensland zoo closes
The remains of ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Steve Irwin may have to be exhumed if Queensland Zoo, which is run by his widow Terri, has to close because of cash problems.
The Australian TV wildlife expert, who was killed in a freak accident five years ago, is thought to have been laid to rest at the Queensland zoo run by his widow Terri.
She is said to be considering selling the land because of a cash crisis, according to fresh reports in the US.
But Mrs Irwin has already rejected claims that the zoo – where her husband carried out daredevil stunts with crocodiles – is on the brink of closure.
‘I have absolutely no intention of closing Australia Zoo,’ she told the country’s broadcaster ABC. ‘Nothing has closed. Nothing will close.’
But she did admit that more than 20 staff members

You're gonna need a bigger tank: Giant shark arrives in Scotland after getting too big for old aquarium
The two-metre-long sand tiger shark has arrived at Deep Sea World in North Queensferry from Ireland after an 18-hour journey.
A giant shark which got too big for his last home has arrived in Scotland after an 18-hour journey from Ireland.
The two-metre long sand tiger shark has been given a new home at Deep Sea World in North Queensferry after becoming too big for his tank at Dingle Oceanworld aquarium in Co Kerry.
The 100 kilo fish was welcomed to the attraction on Tuesday after travelling 1000 kilometres from Dingle Aquarium. He was staying in a special quarantine tank after he was transported across Ireland, on the Belfast to Stranraer ferry and across Scotland in an epic 18-hour journey.
In a fortnight he will be put into the Underwater Safari display to join the six other sand tiger sharks




Play With A Liger, Wolf Pup To Help Exotic Animal Park
Wolves, tigers, and even a liger are roaming in Edmond to help raise money for an Oklahoma exotic animal park.
The G.W. Exotic Animal Park set up shop in Bryant Square this weekend. They're trying to raise money and awareness. For $25 for two people, you can actually go in the cages and play with wolf pups or the liger cub, which is part lion, part tiger.
"We are trying to make it through the winter, trying to get the bills paid, trying to keep money coming in at all times. Just reminding people spring break is coming up. Reminding

Lawyers for owner of Greenwich zoo call for tossing of charges
Defense lawyers for a Greenwich zoo owner who has been indicted for alleged environmental and wildlife crimes asked a judge on Friday to throw out the charges, arguing there is insufficient evidence and that procedural errors were made before the grand jury.
Jeffrey Ash, owner of Ashville Game Farm, faces 29 felony, misdemeanor and noncriminal violation counts related to the operation of his Lick Springs Road business.
One of his two lawyers, Robert Winn, argued Friday that the indictment should be dismissed because the Washington County District Attorney's Office allowed improper "hearsay" testimony before the grand jury, falsely concluded a tarantula could seriously injure a person and wrongly charged Ash with forgery and illegally possessing a duck.
"We feel the integrity of this grand jury was so imperiled that entire indictment should be dismissed," Winn said.
Ash was indicted in December, four months after a ringtailed lemur at his zoo apparently bit a 7-year-old child. Three lemurs were killed to be tested for rabies, but none were found to be rabid.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation initiated an investigation after the biting incident, an investigation that ended with criminal charges, including forgery, endangering the welfare of a child, reckless endangerment and protection of the public from attack by wild animals.
Winn spent more than 20 minutes Friday breaking down what he and defense lawyer Tucker Stanclift claim are flaws in the indictment.
Winn said Ash was cited for an injury in which a monkey bit a child, but it was not noted in the charges that the 1-year-old's father lifted the child so he could reach a cage that was 8 feet off the ground.
Stanclift called the charges "nonsense" and said prosecutors and police have an "over-reaching agenda."
"They're trying to shut down a Washington County business

Blue Planet Aquarium’s poison arrow frog with a romantic twist
A POISON arrow frog with a bizarre heart-shaped pattern on his back has got pulses racing at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire Oaks.
Romeo, a male dyeing frog, is part of a highly successful breeding colony of the potentially lethal amphibians, a member of a group of frogs whose toxic skin was once used by native South American tribes to poison their arrowheads.
His peculiar markings were spotted by keeper Adam Mitchell, who is also a keen photographer.
“Dyeing poison frogs are a highly variable species, ranging from almost completely blue, through cream, black and even yellow depending on where they come from,” said

Captive orangutans in Indonesia may be freed
Their black eyes peer from the slats of wooden cages, hundreds of orangutans orphaned after their mothers were shot or hacked to death for straying out of Indonesia's rapidly disappearing forests in search of food.
No one wants to get them back into the wild as much as Birute Mary Galdikas, who has devoted a lifetime to studying the great red apes, now on the verge of extinction. And for the first time in years, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, thanks to a Hong Kong-based development company's plans to protect a 91,000-hectare (224,866-acre) peatland forest along Tanjung Puting National Park's eastern edge.
"The problem has been finding a safe place to release them," said the 64-year-old scientist. "Many are ready to go right now."
A half-century ago, more than three-quarters of Indonesia, a sprawling archipelagic nation spanning the width of the United States, was blanketed in plush tropical rainforest. But in the rush to supply the world with pulp, paper and, more recently palm oil - used in everything from lipstick and soap to "clean-burning" fuel - half those trees have been cleared.
It is here, in scattered, largely degraded forests, that almost all the world's 50,000 to 60,000 orangutans can be found. Another 1,500 live in a handful of crowded rehabilitation centers, many of them rescued after their mothers were killed.
Fadhil Hasan, the head of Indonesia's palm oil association, denied plantation workers were intentionally killing orangutans to protect their crops from raids, saying villagers involved in the illegal wildlife trade pose the greatest threat to the apes.
"Sure, maybe it happens occasionally," he said. "But the businessmen who run these plantations, and their workers, understand that these animals are protected."
Young orphaned apes can't be released directly into parks like Tanjung Puting -home to 6,000 orangutans - because of a 1995 decree that prohibits the release of ex-captives into forests with large wild populations, primarily over fears they'll introduce diseases like tuberculosis.
But the small patches of trees that remain are inadequate for their breeding needs and massive appetites. In the wild, the giant apes spend almost all of their day looking for fruit, consuming up to 20 percent of their body mass.
"We manage, just barely, to give them what they need for adequate lives," said Galdikas, as a dozen caretakers lift shaggy, young orangut

Mystery deaths at Sepahijala zoo
The mysterious deaths of two leopards and some birds sent the Sepahijala zoo authorities into a tizzy. In the last four days, two leopards and as many as 11 birds of various species including night herons, pond herons, eagles, owls, kites, small cranes and white and black-necked storks have died in the zoo.
Besides the two leopards, another wild cat was found dead in the zoo area. A vulture was also found sick and immediately shifted to the intensive care unit. Vultures are now considered an extremely endangered species.
The wildlife conservator and director of Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary, Ajit Bhowmik, confirmed

Va. Aquarium staff fixes foot of 400-pound crocodile
How do you give medical care to the aching foot of an annoyed, 400-pound crocodile?
An obvious answer is "very carefully."
But on Thursday at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, there were no jokes or punch lines as six staffers, including a Gloucester veterinarian, climbed into a wet tank to treat a rare and ailing crocodile named Gloria.
Gloria and her 14-foot-long boyfriend, Grover, are both tomistomas, a highly endangered crocodile species native to Southeast Asia and the island of Borneo.
They have been together on display at the Virginia Beach aquarium for about two years, and curators hope the two wil

Immigration questions two women sleeping at Zoo
Two women who arrived at Piarco International Airport last Sunday night found themselves in an awkward situation when they declared to Immigration officers that they would be staying and sleeping overnight at the Emperor Valley Zoo, for a week.
One of the women also gave her surname as “Owlett,” and Immigration officers concluded the women may have been monkeying around, and subjected the visitors to almost two hours of questioning. The officers informed the women that the local zoo, like all zoos, accommodated only animals.
However, the American women insisted that they planned staying at the Port-of-Spain zoo, even though they didn’t have the Zoo’s address. However, after a thorough investigation the women were eventually allowed entry into the country. The Emperor Valley Zoo does in fact have a visitor’s suite. The Emperor Valley Zoo also falls under the Ministry of Tourism.
The duo — Senior Bird Keeper, Athena Wilson and Animal Care Supervisor for Birds, Janice Owlett of the San Diego Zoo came to Trinidad as part of an ongoing collaboration with the Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago. While here, they spent time working alongside the local zookeepers in readiness for the new exhibit opening soon under the first phase of the Emperor Valley Zoo upgrade project.
They have also joined their local counterparts in some research work on local hummingbirds, some of which are on display at the San Diego Zoo, and are huge attractions.
The visitors amid their busy schedule, made time to enjoy the natural beauty of Trinidad, taking trips to the Caroni Swamp Bird Sanctuary and Asa Wright Nature Centre, followed by a visit to,136841.html

Place of worship hits tiger conservation
A huge place of worship right in the middle of Palamu tiger reserve has hindered progress of conserving the big cats.
The pucca building at Labher on way from Betla to Garu has become a troubled zone also as a ranger had been beaten up by local villagers some years back.
National Tiger Conservation Authority member of east and northeast effective management evaluation Srivastava said the ranger had objected to the construction of the place of worship at Labher.
The Supreme Court has asked the state governments to ensure a relocation of all places

The secret life of animals
The Smithsonian's database of thousands of 'candid camera' shots gives a fascinating insight into wild behaviour
They were just going about their daily business: the elephants strolling, the hyena mooching, and the pair of thirsty pandas taking a refreshing drink. Then... gotcha! With the click of a hi-tech shutter and perhaps a blinding flash, a moment from their hidden existence was captured for posterity.
In recent decades, scientists have come to rely heavily on motion-sensitive cameras to conduct research into animal populations and behaviour. The tiny automated devices, which can be left in remote areas for weeks at a time, are triggered by sudden changes in temperature.
Until now, the photographs that they produce have largely been kept below the radar: made public only via the publication of scientific research projects. Though they are often pretty and occasionally fascinating, the primary purpose of the images has been to inform professional ecologists.
That all changed yesterday, when the Smithsonian released a vast database of more than 202,000 "candid camera" shots, from seven major projects around the world, via its website. The collection is available for viewing to the public via the newly launched "Smithsonian Wild" website.
While many photos are relatively mundane, a few capture moments of high drama: one shows an ocelot creeping up behind an armadillo, ready to pounce.
Each shot is published with a record of the exact location and time at which it was taken, allowing

13 White Hatchling Sea Turtles
We have posted about sea turtles here before, but for those of you who don't know, Tim Baynham (nyami), Nicole Mann (hissing roach) and myself manage a sea turtle conservation project in Soyo, Northern Angola. Our project focuses on protecting nesting females, their nests and the education of the local community of Soyo.
Yesterday we recieved a call from one of the neighboring fishing villages reporting that the turtle patrol team on the peninsula had found a nest containing 13 white hatchling sea turtles. In the past

The £6bn trade in animal smuggling
It funds terrorists and civil wars, and brings more species closer to extinction
Animal smuggling has grown to a £6bn-a-year criminal industry, and is exceeded only by the drugs and arms trades. Its illicit profits are a major source of funding for terrorist and militia groups, including al-Qa'ida, and the snaring and slaughtering of animals is driving dozens of species to the brink of extinction.
These are the main findings from a month-long Independent on Sunday investigation into the growing scale and impact of wildlife trafficking – an illicit business which, thanks to huge profits and the violence to which it so readily resorts, is overwhelming the law and order resources ranged against it.
For all the international treaties, police units, campaign groups and NGOs battling it, the trade continues to grow. The world's tiger population has plummeted from 100,000 at the start of the 20th century to below 4,000 today; 20,000 elephants are killed each year for their ivory; the number of rhino poached in South Africa doubled last year; sea turtles are being harvested at an astonishing rate, their shells turned into jewellery; and, over the past 40 years, 12 species of large animal have vanished completely in Vietnam. The trade takes its toll in human lives, too. Each year, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, more than 100 African rangers are killed, the men unequipped

Why being hunted is good for Africa’s lions
This week, a coalition of animal rights activists filed a petition with the Department of Interior to list African lions as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act — their latest attempt to impose restrictions on hunters. As usual, the activists use sensationalized, emotional messaging that has nothing to do with the science of wildlife conservation.
Hunters and hunting actually benefit Africa’s lions — as well as its humans. Revenues from hunting generate $200 million annually in remote rural areas of Africa. This revenue gives wildlife value and humans protect the revenue by protecting the wildlife.
Placing African lions on the Endangered Species List will effectively end hunting of the animal. When the conservation and financial incentives that hunting provides are lost or mismanaged, the value local communities place on the sustainability of lion populations greatly diminishes. This leads to humans killing lions as a result of human-lion conflict.
For example, in lion range states where hunting has been banned, cattle herders are using snares and deadly pesticides to poison and kill lions in high numbers in the interest of protecting their own livelihoods. Other resident wildlife also falls to snares and poisons that target lions.
Human-wildlife conflict is a consistent threat across lion range, but people better tolerate coexisting with lions when lions have an economic value. Ending hunting in countries that currently allow it could spell the end of responsible management of lion populations.
Through adaptive management, governments set hunting regulations that are non-detrimental to the health and survival of the game species populations, specifically for lions, as this species generates huge economic revenues for rural communities. Hunting is the most successful tool for maintaining incentives to conserve lions.
We are proud to say that Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) is a true leader in the conservation movement. From the restoration of America’s forests and

Tiger experts meet today
A meeting of top global experts on tiger is being held in New Delhi on Monday to discuss the “new way forward” in tiger conservation efforts. Those participating in the meeting include George Shaller, Alan Rabinowitz and Joe Smith from Panthera, an American non-profit organisation, Belinda Wright, Bittu Sahgal and Valmik

Vietnam scrambles to save Hanoi's sacred turtle
Hundreds of people are working around the clock to clean up a lake in the heart of Vietnam's capital in hopes of saving a rare, ailing giant turtle that is considered sacred.
Experts say pollution at Hanoi's Hoan Kiem Lake is killing the giant freshwater turtle, which has a soft shell the size of a desk. It is one of the world's most-endangered species, with only four believed alive worldwide.
Teams of people are cleaning debris, pumping fresh water into the lake and using sandbags to expand a tiny island to serve as a "turtle hospital." The rescuers may even try to net the animal for the first time as part of the effort.
The Hoan Kiem turtle is rooted in Vietnamese folklore, and some even believe the creature that lives in the lake today is the same mythical turtle that helped a Vietnamese king fend off the Chinese nearly six centuries ago.
It swims alone in the lake and in the past has been glimpsed only rarely sticking its wrinkled neck out of the water. But it has recently surfaced

Wildcat number are low but experts are fighting tooth and claw to save the Scottish species
The Scottish wildcat is often portrayed as being all snarl and teeth, back hunched and ears flattened, spitting out furious defiance.
The reality, of course, is less dramatic, for its behaviour is largely similar to a domestic cat as it goes about its daily rounds, padding softly through the bracken and grass with not a hint of a scowl, pausing now and again to
listen for the telltale rustle of a field vole.
But while it may be benign in behaviour, there is real drama unfolding around its survival status in Scotland, with the wildcat now

Hibernating bears may help sick humans
Hibernating bears set their energy demands on low; but unlike most other animals that take long winter naps, they don't chill out very much, researchers have reported.
Figuring out how bears cut energy use but still keep their body temperature relatively warm could one day help doctors treat people who have suffered heart attacks and strokes.
The body temperature of small hibernating mammals can drop to near freezing. But that is not the case for black bears, according to new research.
The study's senior author, Brian M. Barnes of the University of Alaska, and his colleagues studied five black bears that Alaska wildlife officials had removed from areas near people.
The bears hibernated wooden nest boxes fitted with cameras and sound recorders as well as instruments to measure oxygen use. All of the bears had implanted transmitters to measure their temperature, heart rate and muscle activity.
The scientists found that rather than having their temperature drop to near freezing, the bears went through cycles of several days when their temperature fell to 86 degrees. Then

Conserve all forms of endangered species, says Zoo executive director
Present conservation priorities are only restricted to tigers, elephants, orchids and other mega species, while we are practically blinded about other life forms such as butterflies, said K B Markandaiah, Executive Director, Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens.
He was speaking at the valedictory of a two-day national conference on ‘Scientific documentation of life of butterflies: Need, process and importance’ organised by St Philomena’s College here on Sunday.
Pointing out the need to conserve butterflies for posterity, Markandaiah said they are a flagship species with an aesthetic appeal and ecological importance.
With 15,000 butterfly species in the world and 1,500 species in India, he said that one-third of them are endangered.
While butterflies are critical biological indicators, he mentioned that the future of the winged species is under threat.
He said that earlier, they were visible in home gardens, but now they are disappearing from backyards also.
Second largest pollinators
Being the second largest pollinators, next only to honey

Historic hippo birth at Swedish zoo (VIDEO)

80-year-old 3ft lobster named the Bone Crusher makes a big impact at aquarium
With just one squeeze of his massive orange claws he could snap a person's finger in two.
The Bone Crusher, as he's been dubbed, is a monster of a lobster measuring 3ft from his tail to the end of his claws and is believed to be aged around 80 years old.
He became tangled up in a trawl net off the coast of Lyme Regis, Dorset, and is now living at the marine aquarium in the popular holiday town.
Max Gollop runs the aquarium perched on the end of the historic harbour wall known locally as the Cobb.
Mr Gollop, who has been running the aquarium for the past 10 years, said: "He could break your fingers.
"We called him the Bone Crusher because he crunches up crabs and whelks with his massive claws.
"He's the biggest lobster we've had and has certainly broken the record for the biggest lobster.
"He was brought in after he got caught up in a trawl net – he was far too big to be caught in one of the lobster pots.
"Since he came in last month he's proved to be a massive

Lion on the march, reclaims lost kingdom
The Asiatic lions of India were hunted down all over the country and they found refuge in a tiny corner of the Saurashtra peninsula which was their home for most of the 20th century. Now, slowly but surely, the lion is reclaiming his larger kingdom.
The Gir national park and sanctuary is unable to contain the growing population of the lions. As their numbers grow from the count of 411 done in mid-2011 , the lion kingdom today is nearly 10,500 sq km — almost one-fifth of Saurashtra.
As many as 114 lions have drifted way beyond the protected area and spread out into other areas of Amreli, Bhavnagar and Junagadh districts. The length of this kingdom, spread across southern Saurashtra , is a whopping 200 km as the crow flies. Having learnt to live close to friendly human habitations, the lion is moving

Not your ordinary pool accessory at SeaWorld
As SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment prepares to put trainers back in its killer-whale pools, the most complex — and expensive — safety upgrade the company is developing is a fast-moving pool floor capable of rising to the surface quickly in an emergency.
These are not off-the-shelf false-bottom floors. Although designers were hesitant to discuss specifics with the Orlando Sentinel last week, they say the floors — which SeaWorld is designing with the advanced-technologies unit of Houston-based Oceaneering International Inc. — will be much different than the cable-operated lift stations already in place in the company's killer-whale medical pools.
John Linn, SeaWorld Parks' senior director of engineering services, said there are 75 individually designed components among the roughly 10,000 parts used to make the floor.
Tech will be shared
What's more, SeaWorld says it expects the new floor systems will ultimately prove to have uses in other facilities beyond its marine parks. And it says that it intends to make the technology available to others once the floors are complete.
"We don't plan to develop this technology and keep it to ourselves. That is not the intent," Linn said. "Now, how that happens, how others have access to the technology, those details haven't been worked out. But, clearly, that is our intent: We're going to develop this and then it will be available."
SeaWorld has also worked with Oceaneering to develop what is essentially a remote-controlled underwater vehicle that could be deployed in hopes of distracting a whale who has broken from a trainer's control. The device is design,0,3019185.story


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