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Zoo News Digest
May-June 2008


Apes get legal rights in Spain, to surprise of bullfight critics
Spain is to become the first country to extend legal rights to apes,
wrongfooting animal rights activists who have long campaigned against
bullfighting in the country.
In what is thought to be the first time a national legislature has
granted such rights to animals, the Spanish parliament's
environmental committee voted to approve resolutions committing the
country to the Great Apes Project, designed by scientists and
philosophers who say that humans' closest biological relatives also
deserve rights.
The resolution, adopted with crossparty support, calls on the
Government to promote the Great Apes Project internationally and
ensure the protection of apes from "abuse, torture and death". "This
is a historic moment in the struggle for animal rights," Pedro Pozas,
the Spanish director of the Great Apes Project, told The Times. "It
will doubtless be remembered as a key moment in the defence of our
evolutionary comrades."
Reactions to the vote were mixed. Many Spaniards were perplexed that
the country should consider it a priority when the economy is slowing
sharply and Spain has been rocked by violent fuel protests. Others
thought it was a strange

Conservationist to aid parrots in peril
A once critically endangered species of parrot now under threat from
a highly contagious virus may be offered a renewed chance of survival
by a conservationist at the University of Kent.
Dr Jim Groombridge, Lecturer in Biodiversity Conservation at the
University's Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE),
has been awarded GBP215,594 from the Leverhulme Trust to lead a three-
year project that aims to determine what factors drive the Mauritius
parakeet's susceptibility to infection, and in particular the spread
of the highly contagious (and often lethal) parrot-specific virus
Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) that has recently infected
this endangered parrot.
This project is all the more important given that the once widespread
population of the Mauritius parakeet (Psittacula echo) fell to just
12 individuals by 1987, following a century of habitat loss and
competition from the introduced ringneck parakeet. However, following
a highly successful avian restoration programme, numbers of Mauritian
parakeets eventually recovered to 350 birds (resulting in its
downgrading from critically endangered to endangered) but in 2004 an
outbreak of PBFD threatened this still recovering population.
Alongside its principal aim of providing important guidance for
managing the disease-problems encountered by this endangered parrot,
the project will also provide equally important guidance for managing
infectious disease in species conservation programmes worldwide. In
addition, it will provide a rare opportunity to study the
epidemiology of infectious disease as extensive data is available
from 20 years of careful monitoring of both the Mauritius parakeet

Batang to have dolphin breeding center
The Batang district administration in Central Java will soon
cooperate with Cisarua Safari Park to build a dolphin breeding center
and a swimming pool in the Sigandu tourist resort, a local tourism
official said.
The chief of the Batang District Tourism Office, Bambang Ibnu
Riyanto, said here on Monday the dolphin breeding center would be
completed in the next four months.
"We are optimistic that following the completion of the breeding
center, the number of tourists visiting Sigandu resort will increase
significantly," Bambang said.
He said the center would be built on a 0.5-hectare plot of land which
had already been bought by the investor.
The dolphins, according to him, would be taken from Batang waters.
"Based on a

4 Emporia zoo birds dead after weekend break-in
Police are investigating the deaths of four birds who were killed at
the Emporia zoo.
Police Chief Gary Smith said employees at the David Traylor Zoo on
Sunday found two cereopsis geese and one black swan dead from blunt
force trauma and puncture wounds. Smith said a second black swan had
to be euthanized because of the severity of its injuries.
According to a police statement, one or more people entered the zoo
overnight and damaged

Boy survives wolf attack after falling in moat at zoo in Switzerland
A 10-year-old boy who fell into a wolf enclosure at Basel Zoo's and
was bitten on the head has survived with only light injuries.
The Basel prosecutor's office says it is unclear how the boy fell
into the moat surrounding the wolf exhibition while on a school trip.
The boy is being treated in a hospital but none of his wounds are
The prosecutor's office says the boy was pu

More than 1,000 snakes and rare turtles seized at airport
Two wildlife smugglers were arrested at Suvarnabhumi airport
yesterday as police intercepted an illegal shipment of more than
1,000 snakes and turtles.
Police said it was the biggest wildlife seizure this year.
They received an anonymous tip-off yesterday morning that smugglers
would be sending the shipment through the airport's cargo section.
"We immediately contacted customs officers and asked them to
carefully monitor shipments being sent to China, Taiwan and Vietnam,"
said Pol Col Subsak Chavalviwat, senior liaison officer with the
Asean Wildlife Enforcement Network (Asean-Wen) Programme Coordination
Two men arrived at the airport in separate pick-up trucks, parked the
vehicles in the cargo area and began unloading 180 foam boxes for
Within minutes, police arrived and examined the cargo.
"They told us that the boxes contained fish and mantis shrimps, but
fish and shrimps were found in only 62 of them. The rest of the boxes
were full of turtles and

Dallas Zoo's lone elephant to move to Mexican wildlife park
The Dallas Zoo will move its remaining elephant to a wildlife park in
Mexico this fall.
Jenny, the 31-year-old African elephant, will move to the Africam
Safari Park, a 617-acre forested wildlife park located 80-miles
southeast of Mexico City, zoo officials said today.
There has been much speculation about Jenny's future since the death
of her companion KeKe, 39, who died in May of congestive heart
failure. Animal activists had requested Jenny be moved to a sanctuary
to ensure mental and physical well-being.
"Once these animals go out of the country, it's very difficult to
ensure they're going to get the care that they need," said Lisa
Wathne, a national spokesperson for PETA. The group plans to protest
the move.
"We are appalled that the Dallas Zoo would send Jenny out of the
country to an unknown facility where she will not be protected by
U.S. Animal Welfare Act law. This move is not in Jenny's best
interest," said Catherine Doyle, campaign

Cheetah is hunting prey on the North Downs
The first cheetah to be allowed to run through the English
countryside made its first public appearance this weekend.
Nine-month-old Boumani – which means warrior in the language of its
native Malawi – became the first big cat in the UK to demonstrate how
these magnificent animals hunt in the wild.
The cheetah is the latest addition to the menagerie at Eagle Heights
wild animal rescue centre just outside Eynsford on the North Downs.
The animal – native to the plains of Africa – is already attracting a

Indian man jailed for keeping sloth bear as pet
This is not a happy story.
It all began last year, when Ram Singh Munda found an orphaned bear
cub in the woods and brought it home to console his 6-year-old
daughter after the death of his wife.
"The bear and I used to eat together and have fun. The bear was
taking care of me," Goki, the daughter, tells The Times of India. "My
father use to take both of us on his cycle. The bear never harmed
When the story of the sloth bear appeared in a newspaper, IBN says
government officials ordered Munda to return the sloth bear to the
wild. He complied, but the bear

Beijing Zoo enriches environment to enliven animals before Olympics
You traveled all the way, queued to get a ticket and elbowed through
the crowds, and finally, there are the pandas, lying still and
To better enliven the animals and satisfy its visitors, Beijing Zoo
has recently launched a campaign to enrich the living environment in
animal enclosures by making changes to structures, presenting novel
objects and smells for them to investigate and explore and changing
the ways of feeding.
The project was aimed at creating a more nature-like environment for
the animals, according to the zoo.
"For example, we would play hide-and-seek with some animals at
mealtime to stimulate them to explore for potential food and fun and
to interact

Gorillas leave UK for Africa
Three baby gorillas are leaving Howletts Wild Animal Park near
Canterbury, Kent to start a new life in Africa.

Three baby orangutans find sanctuary at Nyaru Menteng
Nyaru Menteng - Borneo Orangutan Survival's rescue and rehabilitation
centre in Indonesian Borneo - has recently welcomed the arrival of
three young orangutans from West Kalimantan. All three (aged between
2 - 3 years) were confiscated from private households - victims of
palm oil development and logging. Nyaru Menteng, founded by Lone
Droscher-Nielsen, is home to 670 orangutans, ranging in age from a
few months to about 8 years, where they are cared for and
rehabilitated to prepare them for their ultimate release into the
In February this year, the Natural Resource Conservation Agency
(BKSDA) of the Forestry Department in Indonesia, confiscated Frengky -
one of the orangutans - from the area of Singkawang, on the north
coast of West Kalimantan.
Within two months, another young orangutan, Thomas, was rescued from
Sintang, also in the northern part of West Kalimantan province. They
were temporarily homed in transit cages in Pontianak, waiting for an
opportunity to be transferred to a rehabilitation centre.
It wasn't long before a third orangutan, Caleb, was confiscated -
this time in Ketapang, a small town in the southern part of the
province, abut seven hours' journey by boat from Pontianak city. He
was placed in the Yayasan Palung's transit centre in Ketapang to
await transfer
Full story with images at:

Thai tiger temple a con job, says wildlife group
THAILAND'S famed tiger temple, where monks walk around with tigers -
and make money from tourists - is facing accusations that it is a con
job, where tigers are traded on the quiet with Laos in violation of
the law.
Making the claim is the Britain-based conservation organisation Care
for the Wild International (CWI), which this week released a report
based on an extensive investigation of the Wat Pa Luangta Bua
Yannsampanno in Kanchanaburi.
The 28-page report - much of it a contribution by a volunteer

The Lion Man
There are problems training the unwilling Zion for a television
advertisement. Then tragedy strikes and the team face their saddest
day ever at Zion Wildlife Gardens.
About The Lion Man
Zion Wildlife Gardens is flourishing and Craig is even closer to
realising his life long dream.
He now has the largest big cat sanctuary in Australasia - and one of
the finest collections of rare and endangered big cats in the world.
That's because he has recently introduced a host of endangered new
cats to the park - including three white lions - and jaguars.
Now with over 30 cats on the site - he is about to open large
habitats for the cats - allowing

Victorian zoo staff pay boost
VICTORIAN zoo workers won a significant pay rise at the Industrial
Relations Commission yesterday.
After a seven-month battle, zoo keepers, horticulturists and
maintenance staff from Victoria's three major zoos negotiated a 12.7
per cent pay increase over the next three years.
The deal includes back pay of $1000 to compensate staff for not
receiving a raise since 2006.
Workers from Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary, Melbourne Zoo and
Werribee Open Range,21985,23923394-2862,00.html

Disappearance of honey bees could hike food prices
Food prices could rise even more unless the mysterious decline in
honey bees is solved, farmers and businessmen told U.S. lawmakers
"No bees, no crops," North Carolina grower Robert Edwards told a
House Agriculture subcommittee. Edwards said he had to cut his
cucumber acreage in half because of the lack of bees available to
About three-quarters of flowering plants rely on birds, bees and
other pollinators to help them reproduce. Bee pollination is
responsible for $15 billion annually in crop value in the U.S.
In 2006, beekeepers began reporting losing 30 per cent to 90 per cent
of their hives.
This phenomenon has become known as Colony Collapse Disorder.
Scientists don't know how many bees have died; beekeepers have lost
36 per cent of their managed colonies this year.
It was 31 per cent for 2007, said Edward Knipling, administrator of
the Agriculture Department's Agricultural Research Service.
"If there are no bees, there is no way for our nation's farmers to
continue to grow the high quality

Another tragedy for Greater Vancouver Zoo
Trained golden eagle chased by crows into lion enclosure is killed in
front of zoo visitors
Staff at the Greater Vancouver Zoo have not had a good year, and that
year just got a lot worse.
Still dealing with the tragic death of Jocko the Spider Monkey, and
the unsolved theft of his mate, the Aldergrove facility was dealt
another blow Friday when a four-year-old trained golden eagle took
flight during the raptor show and strayed from the usual course.
An eyewitness, Pablo Su, was at

Denver Zoo to build $50 million exhibit for elephants
The Denver Zoo will start building a $50 million exhibit for its
elephants next year at a time when five major U.S. zoos are closing
their pachyderm houses.
Since 2004, zoos in Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, New York and San
Francisco have decided to eliminate their elephant exhibits, mainly
out of concern for the animals' well being, but also for financial
Denver Zoo officials say their planned Asian Tropics exhibit —which
could house up to 12 elephants — will greatly improve the herd's
living conditions and help ensure the species' long-term survival.
But animal-rights activists and others

Norfolk's new zoo opens
Norfolk's newest tourist attraction officially opens to the public
today and is promising a wild time for visitors from near and far.
Nearly 25 years after the old Cromer Zoo closed, on Christmas Day
1983, the long-anticipated Amazona Zoo is finally open to the public
at the old brickworks, just off Hall Road, Cromer.
Boasting a wide range of South American birds, fish and mammals, it
promises to both wow the crowds and play an important role in
conservation work to help protect a number of endangered species.
Tourism experts predict the zoo will prove a great asset to the town
and say it is opening at just

S.F. Zoo Officials: Tiger Was Not Underfed
Zoo Responds To Radio Report On Tatiana's Health
San Francisco Zoo officials denied a report that Tatiana, the female
Siberian tiger that fatally mauled a zoo visitor in December, may
have been underfed.
The officials were responding Thursday to an in-depth KCBS radio
report that indicated Tatiana's loss of 50 pounds since her arrival
at the zoo from Denver two years earlier may have heightened her
aggressive behavior.
On Dec. 25, after somehow escaping from her grotto, the tiger
attacked and killed 17-year-old zoo visitor Carlos Sousa Jr. of San
Jose and injured two

Captive hairy-nosed otter finds a new home in Cambodian zoo
The world's only known hairy-nosed otter in legal captivity has taken
swimmingly to its new home in a Cambodian zoo, an official said
The male otter, named Dara, which means "star" in the Cambodian
language, was rescued in December after his mother was killed by a
Conservation officials later brought him to Phnom Tamau Zoo, where he
was looked after in a smaller enclosure before being released last
week into his new, 33-by-50 foot (10-by-15 meter) pen last week.
"He looks quite satisfied in his new home. Each day, he spends most
of his time swimming in the pool and climbing the rock and the wooden
structures," said zoo director Nhek Rattanak Pech.
As Dara entered his new home, two Buddhist monks


First beaver dam in England for centuries
A pair of beavers have built what is believed to be the first dam in
England for centuries.
The animals were hunted to extinction in England and Wales during the
12th century and disappeared from the rest of the country 400 years
However, two beavers from Germany were introduced to a river
enclosure in Devon last year.
This year, the pair have built a 6ft dam with mud, bark and twigs on the
River Tale at Escot House, near Ottery St Mary.
John-Michael Kennaway, who owns the estate, has been working to
reintroduce the animals on the site for three years. He said that the
beavers may be rearing young, known as kits.
"The male beaver has been spotted feeding alone some distance from
the lodge, whereas the female seems keen to stay close to their home,"
he said. "This might suggest that she has young inside, but we won't
know until at least late July when they're


National Zoo Reverses Vasectomy on Horse
The first ever successful reverse vasectomy on an endangered species
is performed at the National Zoo.
The Prezewalski horse came to the Smithsonian National Zoo in 2006.
He was vasectomized in 1999 at a previous institution and now has had
a successful reverse vasectomy.
The Prezewalski horses are a horse species native to China and
Mongolia that was declared extinct in the wild in 1970. There are
approximately 1,500 of these animals maintained at zoos throughout the
world and in several populations in Asia.
"The major challenge we faced was that this procedure had never been
performed on an equid, let alone a critically endangered species," said
Dr. Budhan Pukazhenthi, a reproductive scientist at the National Zoo's
Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Va.
The team sought out Dr. Sherman Silber, a St. Louis-based urologist
who pioneered microsurgery for reverse vasectomies in humans and
had been

Black Market Tigers Linked to Thai Temple, Report Says
It's the hottest part of the day at a forest monastery in western
Thailand, and tourists are led by the hand, one by one, into the beating
sun to pet chained tigers and smile for the camera.
Every day at this unusual "Tiger Temple," as many as 800 tourists pay
300 Thai baht (9 U.S. dollars) each for their chance to interact with the
endangered big cats.
The tigers—several of which were born at the compound—live
alongside monks and volunteers in what one temple handler called a
beautiful blend of Buddhism and conservation.
Though the remote monastery near the Burmese border is considered a
must-see by some tourists, it's what the public doesn't see that has
prompted a


Exploiting the Tiger
Illegal Trade, Animal Cruelty, and Tourists at Risk at the Tiger Temple

Elephants: Thriving at zoos?
An African elephant in Philadelephia's zoo died recently at age 52. While
wild elephants sometimes live into their 60s, that left a 48-year-old in
Salt Lake City as the oldest African elephant in a U.S. zoo.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums talks about how "elephants
thrive in zoos." Consider us a bit underwhelmed.
The oldest Asian elephant in a U.S. zoo is a more impressive 67. The
AZA says average life expectancies are the same in capitivity and the
Most zoos, including Seattle's, are dismissive of calls for elephants to be
in spacious sanctuaries. Most critics would be happy to think the
elephants are enjoying themselves in conditions that might lead to
remarkably long lives. Somewhere there must be a watering hole
where dedicated professionals and caring

Poachers kill last four wild northern white rhinos
The last four northern white rhinoceros remaining in the wild are feared
to have been killed for their horns by poachers and are now believed to
be extinct in the wild. Only a few are left in captivity but they are difficult
to breed and the number is so low that the species is regarded as
biologically unviable.
The outlook for other types of rhino, including the endangered African
black rhino, was more optimistic yesterday however. Figures released
by the IUCN, the international conservation body that assesses threats
to wildlife, showed that the number of wild rhinos had increased to its
highest level for decades.
The northern white rhino, Ceratotherium simum cottoni, has been
struggling for suvival since the 1970s, when numbers dropped from
about 500 to 15. A slight recovery was recorded in 2003 when 30 were
counted but by 2006 only four were left. All of them were recorded in
the Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo but war
and civil unrest in the region has led to an increase in poachers.
"Worryingly, recent fieldwork has so far failed to find any presence of
these four remaining rhinos," Dr Martin Brooks, a rhino specialist with
the IUCN, said. "Unless

Rhinos on the rise in Africa but Northern white nears extinction(lifepr)
Gland, Switzerland, 17.06.2008 - African rhinos have reached record
numbers for the first time in decades, but the Northern white rhino
(Ceratotherium simum cottoni) is on the brink of extinction.
The figures, complied by the IUCN Species Survival Commission African
Rhino Specialist Group, show there are now more than 21,000 African
According to the results, the white rhino (Ceratotherium simum) has
increased from 14,540 in 2005 to 17,480 in 2007. It is listed as Near
Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(TM) , but one
of its two subspecies, the Northern white rhino, is listed as Critically
Endangered and is on the brink of extinction.
It is restricted in the wild to Garamba National Park in the Democratic
Republic of Congo and the only remaining population was reduced by
poaching from 30 in April 2003 to only four confirmed animals by August
"Worryingly, recent fieldwork has so far failed to find any presence of
these four remaining rhinos," says Dr Martin Brooks, Chair of the IUCN
SSC African Rhino Specialist Group. "Unless animals are found during
the intensive surveys that are planned under the direction of the African
Parks Foundation, the subspecies may be doomed to extinction."
In contrast, the other subspecies, the Southern white rhino
(Ceratotherium simum simum), is listed as Near Threatened on the
IUCN Red List and continues to increase in numbers and range.
Similarly, the population of African black rhino (Diceros bicornis), has
increased from 3,730 in 2005 to 4,180 in 2007, although it still remains
Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. In the last two years alone,
numbers have risen by about 450 animals, with several new populations
being founded

Zoo boss threatens to sue Dalton Carnival Committee
THE boss of a top Furness attraction says he missed out on thousands
of pounds worth of revenue over the weekend.
South Lakes Wild Animal Park owner David Gill has threatened to sue
the organisers of Dalton Carnival after the main route into the zoo was
blocked-off for hours.
No traffic was allowed to pass down roads affected by the carnival
between midday and 4pm.
Mr Gill says he was not told the road closures for Saturday's carnival
would be in place for so long and believes it may have lost him up to
He said: "I am taking legal action. I am going to sue the carnival
committee for the money we've lost.
"It is the worst thing that has happened to me in 14 years.
"This is the type of thing that will make us move from Dalton.
"The visitors were stuck in the zoo. We couldn't send them through
Marton because God only knows where they'd have ended up.
"People who are not from around here wouldn't have a clue where to
Mr Gill says the carnival committee should have paid for signs to say the
park was open and accessible through alternative routes.
He said: "This year they've gone crazy. They have not even made an
effort to talk to me. They

Zoo Tales: What Does a 400-pound Gorilla Eat?
The first segment of a new series Zoo Tales by Post photographer Joe
Elbert's follows animal nutritionist Karen Lisi as she helps to feed
thousands of animals across hundreds of species.
Lisi was online Monday, June 16 at 11 a.m. ET to take your questions
about the care and feeding of the National Zoo's menagerie. A transcript
Info For Daughter: Hello Ms. Lisi, I want to get as much info I can on
what my soon to be 17-year-old can do about her interest in animals.
She has volunteered at the zoo, but as a greeter/helper, and also
volunteered at nature centers. She would love to work at an animal
hospital or pet store, but to no avail. Can you give me any suggestions
on what she can do, while school is out? Thank you.
Karen Lisi: I would encourage your daughter to visit our Web site and
search for "volunteer opportunities." Friends of the National Zoo, FONZ,
runs several programs for interested students your daughter's age.
Since we offer a variety of opportunities, there may be something
different that would appeal to your daughter.
We also have information about wildlife-related careers on the Web site
as well.
May I also suggest looking into FONZ

Bengal tiger mauls Wildlife Park guard (Peter's Note: Earlier reports said
it was a Cheetah. This is more likely)
A wildlife department guard was attacked and severely injured by a
Bengal tiger at the Lahore Wildlife Park, Raiwind Road, on Sunday.
The guard, Masood Yasin, was immediately shifted to Jinnah Hospital in
unconscious condition. Yasin received multiple injuries and his jugular
vein was badly damaged in the attack, doctor said. "The patient is in
critical condition. He was operated upon but he is still not out of danger.
A major operation would be held today in the morning by senior
surgeons," he said.
Deputy Director Wildlife Department and incharge of the park, Ch
Shafqat Ali, talking to The Nation said it was the first incident that a
tiger had attacked a human being in the park. "It has not been
determined yet whether it was guard's fault that he did not follow the
precautions or there was some other reason that the animal became so
ferocious that it attacked," Ali said.
In past there had been incidents in which the big cats killed other
animals. In January 2007, a tiger killed another tiger while in October
2006, a tigress killed another tigress.
Sources in the Punjab Wildlife Department said Punjab Chief Minister
Mian Shahbaz Sharif had also planned to visit the park on Saturday
(today) morning. They said the CM had taken notice of some complaints
against the administration of the park and was personally visiting it to
take action against those involved in irregularities.
So far the Wildlife Department officials are reluctant to explain the
cause of incident. "It is a very unusual incident and the first of its kind in
the park. It is possible that the animals are not fed properly at the right
time. If the animals are properly fed they never attack.
"Also the guard may have broken the rules and directly engaged with
the animals or perhaps provoked the tiger by some act

Companies Get OK to Annoy Polar Bears
Bush Administration allows oil and gas companies to annoy already
threatened polar bears
Less than a month after declaring polar bears a threatened species
because of global warming, the Bush administration is giving oil
companies permission to annoy and potentially harm them in the pursuit
of oil and natural gas.
The Fish and Wildlife Service issued regulations this week providing
legal protection to seven oil companies planning to search for oil and
gas in the Chukchi Sea off the northwestern coast of Alaska if "small

Floods wipe out 1,600 nests in disaster for Britain's rarest birds
More than 1,600 pairs of wading birds and ducks have had their nests
destroyed by flooding in a wildlife catastrophe in the Cambridgeshire
Nearly 600 pairs of increasingly scarce ground-nesting waders –
lapwing, snipe and redshank – have lost eggs or chicks in the flooding
on the Ouse Washes, a narrow, 20-mile strip of grassland near Ely
which is the best breeding site for waders in lowland England. More
than 1,100 pairs of eight species of duck, including 12 pairs of the rare
garganey, have similarly had nests washed away.
The Ouse Washes were built as a winter relief channel for fenland flood
water in the 17th century, and were traditionally inundated every winter
and dried out in spring, leaving damp grassland which was perfect for
nesting birds.
But in recent years the flooding has continued through spring and even
into summer. A combination

Authorities continue tiger investigation
Federal authorities continue to investigate the parking lot sale of six
Bengal tigers they believe were bound for Mexico.
On Monday, investigators interviewed workers from the Springhill
Wildlife Park and Ranch, the facility from which the cubs originated.
Little is known about the park, located at 5650 Springhill Road in
Calvert, Texas, about 35 miles northwest of College Station.
``This is the first time they've popped up on the radar,'' said Special
Agent Alejandro Rodriguez

Staff shortage plagues Corbett Tiger reserve
The Corbett Tiger Reserve might be brimming with a robust wild cat
population but the shortage of staff in the park is giving sleepless nights
to Uttarkhand wildlife officials who fear that poachers may take
advantage of the situation.
Park Director Rajeev Bhartri admitted that "forty per cent of the total
staff strength is yet to be filled."
Sources said the park spread over 1318 sq km area, including Sonanadi
Wildlife Sanctuary, has a sanctioned strength of 300 staff, not sufficient
to manage the healthy wildlife population comprising tigers, leopards
and elephants and other animals.
To worsen the matter, of these, 125 including 102 posts for forest
guards are lying vacant. The sanctioned strength of forest guards is
226, the sources said.
They said the problem aggravated when three dozen forests guards left
the Park en mass during the recent re-organisation of the state forest
"When given an option they preferred to join Western Circle, thus

Elephant, camels freed with Jaws of Life
Three circus animals had to be rescued by volunteer firefighters after
the transport truck carrying them overturned in a remote N.L.
"There are four very sharp turns here in town, a tractor-trailer was
coming around one of the turns and flipped over on her side, and there
was an elephant and two camels inside the truck," Daniel's Harbour
Mayor Steve Carey told Canada AM on Tuesday.
The local fire department, and one from a neighbouring town were
called in, bringing with them the Jaws of Life that had been purchased
in the last six months.
According to Carey, there were minor injuries resulting from the crash,
which occurred Sunday, but both the driver and animals are said to be
doing fine.
"It did turn into a circus for the youngsters that are in the area," Carey
Local residents were reportedly flocking to the area to get a look at the
unusual visitors, who are members

He's black, and he's back! Private enterprise saves southern Africa's
rhino from extinction
A pioneering scheme which allows private landlords to own and breed
wild rhinoceroses has succeeded in bringing one of Africa's most
majestic animals back from the brink of extinction, conservations will
announce today.
In 1960, an estimated 100,000 southern black rhinos roamed the plains
of southern Africa. Poaching and the destruction of the animals' natural
habitat cut their number to 2,410 in 1995.
The decline has been reversed: the International Union for Conservation
of Nature (IUCN) will announce this morning that more than 4,000
southern black rhinos can be found in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia,
and Kenya, a landmark signifying stability.
Numbers of southern whites have also increased, from 14,540 in 2005
to 17,480 at the end of last year.
"Effective law enforcement has become much easier now that the
animals are largely privately owned," said Dr Richard Emslie, a scientific
officer with responsibility for rhinos at the IUCN.
"We have been able to bring local communities into the conservation
programmes. There are increasingly strong economic incentives
attached to looking after rhinos rather than simply poaching: from eco-
tourism or selling them on for a profit. So many owners are keeping
them secure. The private sector has been key to helping our work."
As a result of poaching for their horns, the news is dismal for Africa's
two northern species of rhino, however. Only four northern white rhinos
remained when they were last seen in August 2006, all of them in
Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic

A spy satellite is to be trained on the vast rainforests of central Africa as
part of a British project designed to protect them from illegal logging
under plans to be unveiled today.
The £1m high-resolution camera will beam images of the Congo Basin
Rainforest to a new ground station to allow governments, NGOs and
local communities to prevent the rainforests being lost.
The equipment, which can photograph objects as small as 10 metres
across, will hover 650km (400 miles) above the rainforest to track illegal
logging operations, as well as monitor pollution levels and help monitor
agriculture. A £1.5m satellite ground station will also be built in the
region as part of an £8m package of measures to be announced today
to prevent dangerous deforestation in the region.
British ministers hope the satellite camera, likely to be launched in two
years' time, will also provide images for a £1.8m mapping project
designed to help the 51 million inhabitants of the rainforest to establish
their land rights and prevent loggers seizing territory.
The new initiative will be unveiled at the launch of a global fund to back
projects to preserve the rainforest, the world's second-largest tropical
The forest covers an area twice the size of France and contains 26 per
cent of the world's remaining rainforest, extending across six countries;
Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of
Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of Congo.
Estimates suggest that 3,600 square miles of forest are cut down in the
forest each year. Britain has donated £50m to the new fund, which
ministers hope will rise to £250m to prevent the rainforest suffering the
type of deforestation which has depleted the Amazon's rainforest.
The fund is part of an £800m

Chimp Cure For Stress: Hugs And Kisses
Researchers Find Consolation Helps Quell Chimpanzee Victims Of
Researchers studying chimpanzees, the closest genetic relatives to
people, found that stress was reduced in chimps that were victims of
aggression if a third chimp stepped in to offer consolation.
"Consolation usually took the form of a kiss or embrace," said Dr.
Orlaith N. Fraser of the Research Center in Evolutionary Anthropology
and Paleoecology at Liverpool John Moores University in England.
"This is particularly interesting," she said, because this behavior is
rarely seen other than after a conflict.
"If a kiss was used, the consoler would press his or her open mouth
against the recipient's body, usually on the top of the head or their back.
An embrace consisted of the consoler wrapping one or both arms
around the recipient."
The result was a reduction of stress behavior such as scratching or self-
grooming by the victim of aggression, Fraser and colleagues report in
Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Frans de Waal of the Yerkes

A MILLION dollar communication bungle has put the Rockhampton Zoo
upgrade in jeopardy.
Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Brad Carter this week confirmed
council had received a letter advising it of a $1m State Government
grant, but he couldn't pinpoint why it wasn't passed onto the correct
The promised funding, secured from the Regional Centres Program,
was originally dependent on the zoo and chimpanzee facility upgrade
being completed by March 9, next year.
The mayor said he wasn't sure now when the project, which had
already started, would be finished.
Cr Carter said it was unclear where the breakdown in communication
had occurred, but said ultimately the responsibility landed on the desk of
the organisation's chief executive.
"I know that the letter had formally been received by council, I had
discussed that matter with the CEO (ex-acting CEO Gary Stevenson),
about the commitment of the State Government, but in terms of why
that wasn't known to the parks department, I have no idea," he said.
"There's no conspiracy theory to do with the piece of correspondence
not catching up with the action officers.
"We're reviewing the management structure and reviewing

Zoo sends £1,000 to help Pandas in China
COLCHESTER Zoo has sent £1,000 to China to help rescue Giant Pandas.
The zoo has sent the emergency funds to the Chengdu Giant Panda
Breeding Centre in the Sichuan province of China which was affected by
last month's earthquake.
The money will help rebuild

Zoo Negara goes green to cut cost
Zoo Negara is going green to save costs, and the environment.
One of the measures used by Zoo Negara is the rainwater utilisation
system, where rainwater is collected, stored and used for daily usage.
According to Malaysian Zoological Society director Dr Mohamad Ngah,
the National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia was helping out
with its expertise.
The rainwater harvested will be used for the aquariums, toilets and for
cleaning purposes.
"This system is expected to help us save 30% in water bills," he told
reporters yesterday after a pre-launch of World Environment Day to be
held at the zoo on Sunday.
A group of young fashion designers, who will be showcasing their
specially-created designs at the zoo

Shhhh! The chimpanzees are mating
Female chimpanzees keep quiet during sex to keep other females from
finding out and punishing them for mating with the best males, British
researchers said on Wednesday.
The study of chimp copulation calls also found that females seem more
concerned with having sex with as many mates as possible rather than
just finding the strongest male as a way to confuse paternity and secure
future protection for offspring.
"They are trying to make the high-ranking males think they are the
father," said Simon Townsend, an evolutionary psychologist at the
University of St. Andrews in Britain, who led the study. "If you confuse
paternity, they are more likely to provide that female with future
The findings show that chimps – our closest living relatives – can use
their calls flexibly in response to social factors while knowing more
about the apes could help in conservation efforts, he added.
Researchers have long been interested in mating calls of different
animals, especially primates. A common hypothesis is that females use
such calls to advertise

Paul Martin launches fund to save Congo Basin
It's a haven for elephants, chimpanzees, gorillas and other wildlife --
and, now, former prime minister Paul Martin has helped launch a fund
to save the Congo Basin, the second-largest tropical rainforest in the
The $200-million Congo Basin Forest Fund, launched in London, England
on Tuesday, is jointly funded by Britain and Norway, aims to make the
forested area in Central Africa worth more as a living resource than it
would be cut down.
"The preservation of the Congo Basin rainforest is a tremendous step
forward, if we can make it happen, in the fight against climate change,"
said Martin in an interview Tuesday.
"Giving these communities the ability

Gharials pose problem of plenty in Patna Zoo
Patna (PTI): What would have been a dream come true for
conservationists has turned out to be a nightmare for the authorities of
Patna Zoo.
The burgeoning population of gharials or "gavialis gangeticus" at the
Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park is giving a headache to the authorities
who are planning to release them in rivers or shift the reptiles to other
zoological parks in the country under an exchange programme or even
for free.
"I have written to the chief warden of the Department of Forests and
Environment to consider releasing the alligators in the Gandak river and
his response is awaited," Director of the Park, Rakesh Kumar said.
The obstacle that is apparently coming in the way of releasing the
gharials, which fall in the "critically endangered" category under
schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, is doubts about

Bronx Zoo Lion House Goes Green as Cockroaches, Crocs Move In
A springy, rubberized floor made from recycled plastic and used tires
cushions my steps as I move from a leafy jungle to a spiny forest at
``Madagascar!'' -- the new exhibit in the restored 1903 Lion House at
New York's Bronx Zoo.
Waiting inside are 100,000 (or so) hissing cockroaches, Nile crocodiles
and, more adorable, furry, long-tailed lemurs.
The historic structure, designed by Heins & La Farge as part of the zoo's
original Astor Court campus, represented state-of- the-art zoo design at
the turn of the 20th century. The lions could stroll through a
passageway connecting their indoor and outdoor cages -- a true
innovation at the time.
Some two decades ago, the lions were relocated so they could roam
more freely in a natural-looking setting, leaving the building vacant --
until now.
Restored by FXFowle Architects of New York, the Lion House retains its
ornate charms -- the limestone and brick facade, the stately Ionic
columns, the copper roof and carved heads of jungle cats on the terra-
cotta cornices -- while incorporating some very 21st-century ideas for
green design.
The architects deepened and widened the basement to hide the
building's infrastructure -- like the geothermal wells that eliminat

Lions, jaguars, and a wolf intent on escape - why we bought a zoo
Ben Mee had always relished a challenge – and that's what he got when
he and his family took on a run-down wildlife park
We never planned to buy a zoo, it just sort of happened. The whole
family had been looking for a small cottage for my mum to move into
after my dad had died, and then the idea evolved that she could live
with one of her five children, by pooling resources and buying a larger
place. Which is how we came to be on the mailing list for what was
then called Dartmoor Wildlife Park, for sale through a normal residential
estate agents. At first we laughed – I mean, who buys a zoo? But the
more we thought about it, the more we thought, "Why not?"
We soon discovered there are many very good reasons why not. But on
the face of it here was a large 12-bedroom house in the middle of a
park, which also happened to have lions and tigers roaming the
grounds. A bit of research revealed that anyone can buy a zoo, as long
as you employ qualified zoo professionals to run manage the animals.
What could possibly go wrong? Well, quite a lot, actually.
Our idea of relocating with my mother did not go according to plan.
Although the asking price for the 30-acre site was the same as that for
my mum's five-bedroom house in two acres of Surrey, there was the
small matter of the extra £500,000 we would need to renovate the
place to make it serviceable and presentable to the visitors. During the
long and unbelievably complicated negotiations, the zoo had closed, and
the owner had handed in his licence. The place was very run down and
the enclosures were ready to be bulldozed to make way for a nursing
home. When we finally took possession after six months of wrangling
with bankers and lawyers, and with the aid of a loan from the very
understanding National Farmers Union Mutual, our problems really
After four days, our big male jaguar escaped, due to the error of a
junior keeper. Amazingly, Sovereign the jag didn't kill the keeper,

Zoo animals' twilight years pose new questions
We've highlighted people spending gobs on medical bills for their baby-
boomer pets. Now the nation's zoos are entering a "zone of unknowns"
as animals live longer than anyone expected, the Associated Press
While animals in captivity living longer than their wild brethren is
nothing new, as that gap in life expectancy increases -- partly due to
better medical care -- there have been some adjustments.
The Santa Ana Zoo, for instance, is home to Moka, a colobus monkey
pushing 27 years old, making him the second-oldest in the United States:
For Moka, old age has meant only a few minor changes. His perch has
been lowered so he doesn't have to jump up to it. He gets regular X-
rays to check for arthritis. And he tends to get access to warm areas
during the winter.
But the aging population of America's zoos is raising many other
simple –- but potentially daunting –- questions.
Do female gorillas, now frequently living into their 40s and 50s,
experience menopause?
Can an aging lemur suffer from dementia?
Should an oldster be put down simply because he's old?
"How old is geriatric? How old

Return of Zoo's exec causes controversy
Ambiguous leave of absence by chief leaves board questioning status
Calvin White, the chief executive of the Toronto Zoo who has been on a
leave for the past six months, will be back at his post July 2.
But Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37, Scarborough Centre), a
member of the zoo's board of management, is calling for a special
meeting to discuss White's return – which he says has never been
discussed by the board.
In fact, Thompson said board members have not been formally told that
White is coming back.
"I've only heard it through the grapevine," he said. "It's a little bit
chaotic in terms of not knowing what's going to take place."
White's leave has been controversial. It started last December when
board members got a note saying White was seeking a medical leave of
absence of six months or more. The board struck a committee to look
into the matter and two members of the committee signed a proposal
for a severance package worth more than $400,000. But a third
committee member refused to sign and, in January, a majority of board
members balked at the deal.

THE cotton-topped tamarin, which lives only in north western Colombia,
is clinging to survival in the remaining pockets of rainforest in its
Dwindling habitat and the pet trade have pushed these tiny monkeys to
the brink of extinction.
With their flash of white hair and tiny stature – cotton-tops fit in the
palm of your hand – it's easy to understand how they've been snagged
as desirable pets.
Although they were declared endangered in 1973 they only recently
became the focus of conservationists.
David Gill has been working with the multidisciplinary Proyecto Titi, or
Project Tamarin, for three years now.
As well as providing funding, Mr Gill was recently invited to Baranquilla,
on the northern Caribbean coast of Colombia, to offer practical
assistance to the project.
His style of semi-wild facilities at South Lakes Wild Animal Park is in
great demand across the globe, with many zoos wishing to move away
from cages to create more natural enclosures.
While he was there Mr Gill started looking creatively at practical ways
Dalton zoo could help the tamarins.
His idea is to sell square-metre patches of rainforest here in Furness to
conserve the equivalent area of land in Colombia.
Explaining the concept, Mr Gill said: "We went out to the forest and saw
the fragments that were left suitable for cotton-topped tamarins. It's
frightening how vulnerable these tamarins are.
"We want to look at these forest fragments to see if we could get
involved with purchasing them to protect them forever. We thought we
could start a small project, based in El Ceibal.
"On that ranch there's a 400 hectare plot of forest, full of life. It's full of
howler monkeys, three different species of macaw, tortoises and cotton-
topped tamarins.
"It's an island of forest surrounded by cattle ranches. That particular
area floods in the wet season. It isn't being used because it isn't easy to
turn into grassland, otherwise it would have been destroyed by now.
Further across there's an area of forest that's also suitable.
"So what we thought was we would try to buy the grassland to be a
corridor in between the two plots.
"We came up with a scheme to encourage visitors to buy a metre
square of rainforest. It's 400 hectares and there's 10,000 square metres
in a hectare.
"It still seems like a very achievable thing, even if we can only put down
half of it.
"We want to try and buy it so we could protect it for all these species."
Key to conserving Colombia's natural habitats is getting the local
communities on board.
How do you convince the villagers that the tamarins are not worth
sacrificing to the pet trade?
Through education programmes and by creating more sustainable living
solutions, the tamarin has now become a living emblem, to the extent
that the species is celebrated in an annual cultural festival.
"The problem was the local villagers saw the forest for firewood and
tamarins for the pet trade," explained Mr Gill.
"So we had to go to the villages and come up with some sort of idea of
how to help them so they could help the forest. They came up with an
outstanding idea themselves. They started collecting supermarket
carrier bags that people were recycling.
"They slit the bag open with

Tiger cub diary: video exclusive
Forget meerkat manor – Kent Online has launched its own fly-on-the-
wall look at two of the county's more unusual animals.
Every two weeks we will be updating you on the progress of Sinda and
Bira, Port Lympne Wild Animal Park's pair of Siberian tiger cubs.
At 13 weeks, they may look like a pair of fluffy little tiggers only
interested in playing and food.
But these beautiful tiger cubs are already starting to show their claws.
In the first of Kent Online's exclusive video diaries cataloguing the
progress of Siberian tiger cubs Sinda and Bira at Port Lympne Wild
Animal Park, it is clear the pair are well on the way to becoming
boisterous young carnivores.
Keeper Richard Barnes said the smaller of the two, Bira, is emerging as
the most outgoing of the two, showing little fear as she bounds around
her enclosure.
Sinda is a little more cautious – and a little more feisty with her
keepers – but still loves a scrap with her sister

Seattle zoo elephant may be pregnant
An elephant at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle may be pregnant. The
zoo says it won't know for sure until an ultrasound scheduled this fall.
The elephant, named Chai (chy) was artificially inseminated in January.
The father is an elephant named Sneezy at the zoo in Tulsa, Okla.
It all goes as planned the baby would be born by Thanksgiving of 2009.
Some animal rights activists are worried about the health risks. The
group Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants says it's unethical to
breed Chai because her 6-year-old daughter, Hansa, died last year of a
herpes infection. The group fears a new calf would also get the

Hogle Zoo requesting $65 million bond
Not to be deterred, Hogle Zoo officials are once again asking for a $65
million zoo renovation bond.
But to get there, they have to get through the Salt Lake County Council
first. The council must vote to put the bond on the November ballot and
is scheduled to discuss the issue Tuesday.
Last summer the council rejected the same request,5143,700236342,00.html

PETA starts campaign to revoke tiger cub ranch
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has started a
campaign to revoke the license of a wildlife park that tried to sell six
tiger cubs in McAllen.
PETA sent an urgent letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture officials on
Thursday morning urging them to investigate the Springhill Wildlife
Ranch and Park in Bryan, Texas.
The park's co-owner Michelle Ashton under investigation for allegedly
attempted to sell six endangered tiger cubs in a McAllen Wal-Mart
parking lot on Sunday.
It is believed the animals were destined for Mexico possibly violating
American and international laws regarding the trade of endangered
PETA is asking the USDA to revoke the dealer'

Card sharks on Vegas Strip welcome Komodo dragon
A Komodo dragon has arrived on the Las Vegas Strip, where the
endangered species normally are limited to cheap buffets, 99-cent
shrimp cocktails and single-deck blackjack.
The 87-pound, 7-foot-long endangered lizard went on display Friday at
the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay casino. It comes from the
Miami Metro Zoo.
About 75 Komodo dragons are in zoos and aquariums in the U.S. and
Canada, according to Shark Reef officials. Some 3,000 to 5,000 Komodo
dragons live in the

U.S. and Iranian officials put aside difference to save one of the world's
rarest big cats
Iranian and Western wildlife experts are working together to save rare
cheetahs from extinction in this arid, mountainous region, despite a
nuclear row between their governments.
British-based conservation groups are backing a campaign spearheaded
by Iran's Department of Environment and the United Nations
Development Programme to prevent the endangered Asiatic cheetah
from dying out.
Iran is believed to host the only 60 - 100 Asiatic cheetahs left in the
wild. Some eke out a living in a forbidding terrain of jagged peaks, deep
gorges and bone-dry plains in the Kuh-e Bafgh protected area in Yazd
province in central Iran.
The sleek and spotted cats once roamed between the Arabian peninsula
and India, but their number in Iran is estimated to have fallen by
roughly half in the last three decades.
"This is a wonderful case of the urgent conservation needs of the
cheetah transcending political differences," executive director Luke
Hunter of Panthera, a non-governmental organisation, said.
The United States, which severed ties with Iran after its 1979 Islamic
revolution, is leading efforts to isolate the Middle Eastern country over
nuclear work Washington suspects is aimed at making bombs, a charge
Tehran denies.
But Hunter, an Australian, said he believed "both Iranians and
Americans realise that we cannot afford to allow politics to affect the
cheetahs. If we did, we could lose them."
Iranian officials expressed similar views.
"I love anybody who works for conservation and wildlife protection. It
doesn't matter who it is," said Ali Akhbar Karimi, a 59-year-old veteran
from Iran's Department of Environment in Yazd province.
Until the first half of the 20th century, Iran was home to four of the so-
called big cats -- including lions and tigers -- but now only leopards and
cheetahs remain.
The Asiatic cheetah is closely related to its better-known African
counterpart, a killing machine that can reach speeds of over 60 miles
(100 km) an hour in pursuit of its prey.
In Iran, cheetahs have been pushed close to extinction by increased
population pressure and a lack of resources to protect them, with
villagers hunting their prey for food and herds of sheep and goat
encroaching on their habitats.
"We need to do something urgent to save them," said Iranian biologist
Houman Jowkar, field director for U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation
Society (WCS) in Yazd.
"It is a national treasure."
The Kuh-e Bafgh Protected Area


Keep Daly away from the zoo
In response to your June 11 story on Supervisor Chris Daly's
proposal to turn the San Francisco Zoo into a rescue center
("Today's Newsmakers"), leave it to Chris Daly, San Francisco's
chief civic ignoramus, to come up with another bad idea to destroy a
San Francisco institution. I have been a member of the San Francisco
Zoo for more than 10 years and have seen some real improvements in
that time.
The zoo does have problems that need to be fixed, but that can be
accomplished with new management. A new zoo director, with an
established background in animal

India rejects World Bank funds to save tigers
The government has all but decided to refuse the 'offer' from the
World Bank for a loan to save Indian tigers. In what would be seen a
snub for the bank, government feels that it has enough resources to
tackle tiger conservation on its own and the Bretton Woods
organization would not be able to provide any technical input that
India cannot muster domestically.
TOI had earlier reported how two of the biggest names in the tiger
conservation circuit, Ullas Karanth and Valmik Thapar, had written
against the Bank's offer to the government to take the loan.
Thereafter, members of the National Board of Wildlife and other
conservationists also wrote to the PM asking to reject the offer.
The bank wanted to launch a programme across all tiger-bearing
countries including China and India, the former a key market for
tiger parts and the latter one of the biggest reservoir of tigers
left in the world. On June 9, it had unilaterally launched a public
campaign in Washington roping in some Hollywood stars. It had sought
India's 'endorsement' of the event after it had decided to hold it.
But the government decided not to endorse the event.
The bank had suggested that it was in a 'position to convene' a high-
level meeting of the countries on the issue and host a high voltage
2010 summit on


Tiger, lions not yet saved due to valley climate
The plan to rescue one endangered tiger and two lions from a Shifang
wild animal park was postponed due to bad weather, with one military
helicopter almost downed in southwest China's Sichuan Province
yesterday, local media reported.
Despite careful preparation, the rescue effort did not go smoothly.
Due to bad weather in the valley, the first planned rescue was
postponed. A new attempt will be made today, Ge Yujin, an Air Force
Deputy Chief of Staff, told the Tianfu Morning Post.
Three white lions and two white tigers had been trapped in the park
since the May 12 quake. Breeders had trekked into the valley on June
5, bringing beef to feed the bony and starving animals. Two days ago
a 2-year-old tiger was shot dead by soldiers to protect the safety
of quake survivors, while another white lion has already starved to
death. It is hoped to transport the remaining two white lions and
one white tiger to the Bifengxia Zoo in Ya'an City.
However, a Super Puma copter heading to Shifang City to evacuate the
animals made a forced landing at 12:35 PM yesterday when it
encountered mechanical problems. Three people were injured, one
critically, said an official with the

Junagadh zoo to get cheetahs from Singapore
Two cheetahs will be brought from Singapore to the Sakkarbaug
Zoological Park in Junagad in Gujarat in exchange for lions, a zoo
official said.
V.M. Rana, the zoo superintendent, Wednesday said a pair of
cheetahs, a male and a female, would be brought here within the next
six months. In return, lions would be sent to Singapore.
He added that a team of officials from Junagadh will go to Singapore

Safari park felled trees charge
WEST Midland Safari Park has pleaded not guilty at Kidderminster
Magistrates' Court to charges of uprooting more than 50 trees to
make way for a raft ride attraction - which they were earlier
ordered to pull down..
The charges relate to clearing land to build the £1 million White
River Rafting Ride over a two-year period up to 2005 and the Bewdley
park will now face a two-day trial.
Wyre Forest District Council has accused the park of breaching the
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 by destroying the trees.
advertisementThe top tourist attraction had already lost its appeal
to the Planning Inspectorate

Monkey uses garden hose to scale moat, bolt from zoo
A spider monkey used a garden hose to scale the wall of a moat at a
Michigan City zoo before being captured at a nearby boat dealership.
One of two spider monkeys recently added to the Washington Park Zoo
broke out of its enclosure this week while workers were cleaning the
moat, which had been emptied of water.
Zoo Director Johnny Martinez says workers had figured the monkeys
would remain inside their enclosure during the cleaning despite the
lack of water in the moat to act as a barricade.
Once past the moat Wednesday, the escaped monkey jumped onto the
roof of a water filtration plant. Martinez says zoo staff recaptured
it at the dealership atop a white,0,6803247.story

Monkey business in Rust de Winter
Meet Manzi and Makulu, two Chimpanzees that have found a new home in
Rust de Winter, Limpopo.
The pair were part of a group that lived in the Singapore Zoo, but
as they grew older they started to challenge the alpha male of their
group. Since he was not ready to give up his top spot in this
hierarchy, fighting broke out and the zoo management had to find a
new home for them.
Back in South Africa, Christa Saayman, the owner of Mystic Monkeys
and Feathers Wild Animal Park, heard of their plight and contacted
Singapore Zoo officials, who agreed to send the primates to her.
Obtaining Cites permits for these animals was a lengthy process, but
when the necessary permits were obtained, the chimps were sent to
South Africa via Singapore Airlines in March this year.
On their arrival, they were quarantined

Siegfried and Roy welcome new tiger cubs to Vegas habitat
Siegfried and Roy might want to move the good furniture into storage
for a while.
The famed illusionists welcomed five new tiger cubs to their exotic
habitat on the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday, a move Siegfried
Fischbacher said would be therapeutic for Roy Horn, who was
critically injured when he was mauled by a 380-pound white Bengal
tiger onstage in 2003.
"That gives him a reason to get up in the morning," Fischbacher said.
Horn did not answer questions from reporters but played with the
small tigers, holding them for the cameras, kissing them and
nibbling on one's small ear. The playful, 15-pound, 6-week old cubs
were brought to Las Vegas three weeks ago to be part of the longtime
duo's animal breeding program.
The cubs - two white females, two white striped

Endangered sea dragon at Ga. aquarium pregnant
A weedy sea dragon at the Georgia Aquarium has something to
celebrate this Father's Day. One of the rare creatures is pregnant
for only the third time ever at a U.S. aquarium, aquarium officials
said. But don't look for the expectant mom -- dads carry the eggs in
this family.
more stories like thisThe aquarium's sea dragon has about 70
fertilized eggs -- which look like small red grapes -- attached to
his tail. He is expected to give birth in early to mid-July, said
Kerry Gladish, a biologist at the aquarium.
Sea dragons, sea horses and pipe fish are the only species where the
male carries the eggs, Gladish said. Sea dragon pregnancies are rare
because researchers don't know what gets them in the mood to mate.
"We know there's something biologically or

Lions at Kenyan park being wiped out
National Geographic puts up $150,000 to pay off local herdsmen
Conservationists raised the alarm Thursday that lions in Kenya's
Amboseli National Park face extinction within a few years unless
action is taken to help them.
"The situation has reached a critical level," said Terry Garcia,
executive vice president at National Geographic Society. "Unless
something is done immediately, there will be no more lions in this
part of Kenya, which would be a tragedy."
Fewer than 100 lions are estimated to remain in the 2,200-square-
mile region at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro on the Kenya-Tanzania
border, the society said. Lions are a major attraction at Amboseli,
a popular

2,500kg of water monitor, python meat seized
A total of 2,500kg of water monitor and python meat was seized from
the country's largest reptile meat-processing factory in Cha'ah here.
Wildlife and National Parks department (Law and Enforcement) deputy
director Celescoriano Razond said the average market price for the
meat seized on Thursday was about RM125,000.
"Each type of meat can be sold in the country at an average price of
RM50 per kg," he said, adding that if exported, the price could go
up to RM200,000 for the 2,500kg.
He was speaking at a press conference Friday at the Wildlife
Conservation Centre at Air Bangas, Segamat. Razond said the total
weight of the water monitor meat seized was 1,700kg while the python
meat was 800kg.
He said the meat was seized because the owner could not produce any
proof to show that the sources of the meat

Melbourne Zoo keepers in pay dispute
Melbourne Zoo keepers fear staff could be forced to look for work
elsewhere if a pay dispute is not resolved.
They have been protesting outside the zoo today with horticulture
and maintenance staff.
Keeper Noel Heafield says the 4 per cent wage increase they have
been offered amounts to a pay cut because of inflation.
He says the Victorian Government needs to step in to ensure the
highly trained staff are not forced to leave.
"The major impact that we're looking at is people having to look
elsewhere and having to find work elsewhere," he said.
"With that you lose all these

Zoo protest 'was to cause alarm'
Zoos Victoria has issued a statement saying a protest by staff today
was aimed at creating alarm.
Staff held a protest outside the Melbourne Zoo today, calling for a
better pay deal, and claiming the Zoo was about to cut their wages.
Zoos Victoria says it has been in negotiations with the union for
seven months, and all parties have agreed to take negotiations to
the Industrial


Wildlife presenter Steve Irwin was "tiresome", says Simon King
Simon King, who co-hosts the BBC's nature programme Springwatch,
has criticised the snake-wrestling presenting style of other wildlife
The award-winning naturalist, who is being hailed as the next Sir David
Attenborough, said he found the "animal-grabbing" antics of TV
presenters like Nigel Marven and the late Steve Irwin "tiresome".
"It's theatre, and I understand the appeal," he said in an interview with
the Radio Times, "but I dislike the way animals are manipulated and the
message it sends out...At the end of it all, a knowledge of natural
history is the most important tool. If you don't have the background,
then you're stuffed."


Ban on export of macaque reimposed
The Cabinet has reinstated the export ban on the protected long-tailed
macaque, ending months of uncertainty about the fate of about
250,000 `urban' monkeys that are in demand as exotic food in East Asia
and in laboratories in the West.
Confirming that the Cabinet made the decision last month, Natural
Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas said:
"The decision was taken to reverse the earlier lifting of the ban after
considering the arguments and views of the various groups. A Cabinet
paper on how to tackle the human-macaque conflict, especially in the
urban areas, was submitted and approved as well.
"An allocation of RM1.6mil has been made to Perhilitan (Department of
Wildlife and National Parks) to resolve the conflict either by relocating or
culling those problematic monkeys. Perhilitan will be presenting its
action plan to the ministry next week."
There had been fierce objections from animal rights and conservation
groups when the ban was lifted last June

Celebrities join World Bank in saving tigers
Hollywood celebrities Harrison Ford, Bo Derek and Robert Duvall on
Monday threw their support behind a new global initiative by the World
Bank to save tigers from extinction.
While the global development agency's main mission is to fight poverty
in developing countries, it has rarely taken on wildlife conservation
efforts of endangered species.
The new Tiger Conservation Initiative will bring together wildlife
experts, scientists and governments to try to halt the killing and thriving
illegal trade in tiger skins, meat and body parts used in traditional Asian
Ford, a long-time environmental activist, said efforts to protect tigers
would only succeed if local communities were involved in conservation
"By committing to help wild tigers, the World Bank is sounding its
intention to be a global leader in biodiversity conservation," Ford, the
star of the latest "Indiana Jones" movie, told an event at Washington's
Smithsonian National Zoo.

Police arrest man for smuggling rhino horns
Ho Chi Minh City police detained a man on Saturday so they can
investigate allegations he smuggled almost 18 kilograms of rhino horns
through Tan San Nhat Airport last January.
The HCMC Customs Agency had decided to investigate the case after
airport officials discovered the haul on January 1.
The five rhino horns, including the biggest which weighed-in at eight
kilograms, were hidden in smuggler Tran Van Lap's suitcases and
personal belongings.
Lap – a photographer from Hanoi – left for South Africa last August and
was returning to Vietnam on a transit flight from Singapore when
An inspection by the HCMC Forest Control Agency January 7 showed
that all the rhino horns were genuine and had a total weight of 17.6
The rhino horns were for his own personal use, Lap said to the HCMC
Investigation Department Monday.
He also showed a license for exporting

Vietnam police arrest tiger smuggler
Vietnamese police have arrested a man smuggling a tiger carcass that
he planned to use for traditional medicine in the flourishing illegal
wildlife trade, state media said on Monday.
The smuggler, Pham Dinh Van, had bought the 190-kilogram (420-
pound) animal for 20,000 dollars at a border gate with Laos in central
Ha Tinh province to boil down its bones to make traditional medicine,
the report said.
He was arrested in Hanoi on Friday as he transported the frozen tiger
body, cut into five pieces, the state run English-language Vietnam News
daily said.
All tiger species are endangered, and less than 100 of the cats are
believed to survive in the wild in Vietnam, where habitat loss and
poaching have taken a heavy toll on endangered flora and fauna in
recent decades.
The US ambassador in Vietnam, Michael Michalak, wrote in a

Nature laid waste: The destruction of Africa
The massive scale of environmental devastation across the continent
has been fully revealed for the first time in an atlas compiled by UN
geographers. Michael McCarthy reports
It was long shrouded in mystery, called "the Dark Continent" by
Europeans in awe of its massive size and impenetrable depths. Then its
wondrous natural riches were revealed to the world. Now a third image
of Africa and its environment is being laid before us – one of destruction
on a vast and disturbing scale.
Using "before and after" satellite photos, taken in all 53 countries, UN
geographers have constructed an African atlas of environmental change
over the past four decades – the vast majority of it for the worse.
In nearly 400 pages of dramatic pictures, disappearing forests, shrinking
lakes, vanishing glaciers and degraded landscapes are brought together
for the first time, providing a deeply disturbing portfolio of devastation.
The atlas, compiled by the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) at the request of African environment ministers, and launched
yesterday simultaneously in Johannesburg and London, underlines how
extensively development choices, population growth, regional conflicts
and climate change are impacting on the natural world and the nature-
based assets of the continent.

Panda bear killed in quake laid to rest in reserve
Mao Mao the panda's remains were gently laid in a wooden crate and
wheeled to a patch of ground in China's famed Wolong Nature Reserve
where a freshly dug grave awaited.
The center's director stood cap in hand and shoveled in a few spades of
dirt. Then Mao Mao's keeper stepped forward crying, and arranged two
apples and a piece of bread by the grave. Three minutes of silence
followed as workers gathered around the grave.
Nearly a month after she was crushed to death when China's
devastating earthquake collapsed the wall of her enclosure, 9-year-old
Mao Mao was laid to rest Tuesday in a quiet corner of the Wolong
panda breeding center.

Baby beluga whale born at Vancouver Aquarium
Qila, a 12-year-old beluga whale, successfully gave birth at the
Vancouver Aquarium, Tuesday afternoon.
"The baby looks very strong did just what babies are supposed to do,''
said John Nightingale, a spokesman for the aquarium.
"It popped out tail first, swam to surface, took a nice big breath, popped
back five seconds later and took another one. So that's the first
milestone,'' he said. "The baby's been swimming all over the place.''
Aquarium officials say they are virtually certain that the baby whale is a
Before giving birth, Qila had

Shedd Oceanarium to close for upkeep
Dolphins, otters, whales to be shipped out on loan
In what some wags on the staff have dubbed a "scrub the tub" project,
the Shedd Aquarium on Sept. 2 will close its Oceanarium section for
nine months so it can re-seal the surfaces of the giant pools housing its
beluga whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins and sea otters.
The animals will be shipped to facilities around the country so the
aquarium can empty the pools of their 3 million gallons of saltwater for
the project, described as routine preventive maintenance. The Shedd
will use the opportunity to make a number of other structural updates
over a nine-month period at a cost of $50 million.
"We want to emphasize that the aquarium itself and our popular Wild
Reef exhibit will remain open,0,2744811.story

Council backs safari park plan
WYNDHAM City Council's decision to give its in-principle support to the
controversial African safari park proposal at Werribee Zoo has been met
with mixed reaction.
In a significant move, the council voted last week to give the proposal its
conditional support, subject to receiving more detailed information.
But the decision was attacked by lobby group Friends of the Zoo, which
two weeks ago submitted a petition to the State Government containing
8000 signatures opposing the plan.
Friends of the Zoo president Christina Dennis told Star she would
consider writing to the council seeking an urgent meeting.
"I'm very disappointed that they have made this decision

Giraffes arrive at wildlife park
Staff at a Cumbrian zoo are celebrating the arrival of two new young
Bo and Earl, both two-year-old male Rothschilds giraffes, are settling in
at South Lakes Wild Animal Park after travelling from Belfast Zoo.
The pair, both about 9ft (2.7m) tall, will remain at the park until they
are mature enough to enter a Europe-wide breeding programme.
Park owner David Gill said: "They are just getting to know the other
animals but they seem to be mixing

Petition Aims To Bring More Polar Bears To Asheboro Zoo
Thousands of people have signed a petition which supports plans for an
expansion and improvementsto the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro.
The Zoo Society e-mailed members to get support for the zoo's
expansion of the Polar Bear Exhibit, to build a Children's Nature Zoo and
to develop plans for the replacement of the African Pavilion and
surrounding exhibits. In all, the Zoo Society wants $10 million for zoo
improvements and planning, promising to raise $4 million if the state
provides $6 million.
Of the Zoo Society members who responded to the petition, more than
two thousand added personal comments strongly endorsing

Legislation would make Zoo a rescue center
The San Francisco Zoo would transform to a center that primarily
houses rescued domestic and exotic animals and those confiscated by
law enforcement under legislation proposed at City Hall Tuesday by
Supervisor Chris Daly.
The legislation would create a city policy that states that future
acquisitions of animals occur from rescues or confiscations. The
legislation also would create an advisory committee to monitor the
welfare of animals at the zoo.
Daly said the Christmas Day incident at the San Francisco Zoo in which
an escaped tiger killed a teen and injured his two adult friends
was "rooted in fundamental animal welfare deficiencies at the zoo." The
tiger was shot dead by police.
"That tragedy is the latest indication that there are structural problems
that plague the zoo," Daly said.
His proposal comes just days after the executive director of the zoo,
Manuel Mollinedo, abruptly resigned his post. The zoo did not give a
specific reason for his departure, and a spokeswoman did not return a
request for comment on Daly's legislation Tuesday evening.
The legislation, which Daly said was not timed to Mollinedo's
resignation, closely resembles recommendations from the city's Animal
Care and Welfare Commission made earlier this year in response to the
tiger attack.
The 250-pound Siberian tiger named Tatiana escaped from the tiger
grotto that had concrete moat walls nearly 4 feet below

Petal, oldest African elephant in US zoo, dies
Petal, the oldest African elephant in an American zoo, died Monday at
age 52.
The elephant, which usually slept standing up, was found lying in her
stall by Philadelphia Zoo staff around 7 a.m. Veterinarians were called
immediately, but Petal died about two hours later.
A video monitoring system showed that Petal's right rear leg buckled
suddenly Monday morning, causing her to collapse, said Andrew Baker,
the zoo's vice president for animal programs.

Why Copenhagen Zoo's new elephant house is strikingly familiar
WALES doesn't do elephants, but if it did, they'd probably be the
happiest elephants in the world.
And that's because the new elephant house unveiled yesterday at
Copenhagen Zoo, described by experts as "one of the finest zoo
buildings anywhere", is almost precisely modelled on the National
Botanic Garden of Wales' Great Glasshouse.
And the man behind the familiar-looking giant glass domes rising from
the earth in the Danish capital – famous mainly for its Carlsberg lager –
is Sir Norman Foster, who also designed what is now one of Wales'
most recognisable features in the Carmarthenshire countryside.
Working with the Danish landscape architect Stig L Andersson, Foster's
firm designed the new Elephant House as an extension of Frederiksberg
Gardens. It has been described as "the latest thinking in elephant

'Safe sex' man bites cobra back
In a case that has baffled Thai police, a 40-year-old man was found
dead on Sunday with a badly bitten cobra carcass in his hands and a
condom on his penis, news reports said.
Wiroj Banlen, 40, was found dead on the side of a dirt road near Lamsai
village of Ayutthaya province at 07:00 on Sunday.
A preliminary police autopsy revealed Wiroj had several snake bites on
his right leg and his cheeks, said The Nation online news service.
The dead cobra found clenched in Wiroj's hands had also been bitten
several times, and snake remnants,,2-10-1462_2336860,00.html

Officials vow to punish sale of tiger bone wine
Authorities have vowed to punish anyone found to be trading in
endangered animals or their products, following a foreign media report
of sales of tiger bone wine in Beijing and northern China.
The U.K.-based Sunday Telegraph reported that undercover
investigators had been offered the chance to buy wine made from the
crushed bones of tigers at the Qinhuangdao wildlife rescue center in
north China's Hebei Province, as well as at the Badalingsafari park in
"An investigation into the wildlife park in Qinhuangdao would be
conducted on Thursday afternoon," said Yang Chunming, head of the
Qinhuangdao Forestry Public Security Bureau, without elaborating.
"We will deal seriously with any case of illegally selling the bodies or
products of wild animals," he said.
His counterparts in Beijing also vowed to strengthen enforcement to
punish and prevent such trade.
"We have opened a hot-line and welcome any report from the public,"
said Kong Lingshui, head of the Beijing forestry inspection team.
But he said previous investigations of markets

Trade in dead tigers alive and well - June 10, 2008
According to several reports in the British press, investigators for the UK-
based Environmental Investigation Agency had little trouble procuring
illegal tiger wine from so-called wildlife rescue centres in China.
The wine, made by steeping a tiger carcass in cheap booze, is used by
many for medicinal purposes, but it has been banned in Chinese
domestic trade since 1993 as well as under the UN Convention on
International Trade in Endangereds Species. At the Nature offices we
weren't too surprised by the news that tiger parks are apparently
flouting those rules. A freelancer who worked on a tiger story for us,
Jerry Guo, had no problem tracking down two bottles when he was
writing about the Hengdaohezi Feline Breeding Centre not one of the
two parks visited by investigators.
Jerry just asked around at the train station until a taxi driver agreed to
take him to a store that specializes

Box 1. Another pickle for Siberian tigers
On a nondescript street near downtown Harbin, the Double Mountain
Local Products Wholesale Centre offers the usual array of kitsch items
stripped from the wilderness: deer antlers, pelts and dried starfish. A
request for tiger wine, a traditional brew of corpse-steeped cheap liquor
with dozens of reputed medical benefits, raises a stern eyebrow from
an employee who informs a customer that as such concoctions are
illegal, they are not available at the store. But at the mention of
American money, a store manager intervenes — $100 would buy two
bottles, and true to the employee's words they are not at the store; they
will be delivered via courier. Doubts about the brew's authenticity are
shooed away. The manager is certain the bottles are the genuine article
because, she says, "they came from over at that tiger park". She is
referring to the Hengdaohezi Feline Breeding Centre on the outskirts of
the city. And whether or not she is speaking the truth, the manager is
highlighting a looming international stand-off between conservationists
and the Chinese government.
China banned domestic trade of tiger parts in 1993, but that did not

California sea otter population is slowly growing after facing extinction,
but still faces threats
The California sea otter population is growing by 5 percent each year
after facing extinction, but potential oil spills and disease pose threats
California's iconic sea otter population continues its slow recovery from
the brink of extinction but faces an uncertain future because of high
levels of disease and vulnerability to oil spills.
That's one of the main conclusions of a report released Tuesday by the
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the status of the California sea otter.
The 10-page report examines population trends and estimates how
many of the animals, also known as southern sea otters, are killed by
humans each year.
San Luis Obispo County is at the heart of the furry marine mammal's
range, which stretches from San Mateo County to Santa Barbara. At
least 3,026 otters live in that area, with 41 more at San Nicolas Island,
which is one of the Channel Islands. Scientists estimate that

'Unicorn' sighted in nature preserve
Instead of two horns, roe deer in Italy has just one - and it's in the
middle of his head
A deer with a single horn in the center of its head - much like the
fabled, mythical unicorn - has been spotted in a nature preserve in Italy,
park officials said Wednesday.
"This is fantasy becoming reality," Gilberto Tozzi, director of the Center
of Natural Sciences in Prato, said. "The unicorn has always been a
mythological animal."
The 1-year-old roe deer - nicknamed Unicorn - was born in captivity in
the research center's park in the town of Prato, near Florence, Tozzi
He is believed to have been born with a genetic flaw; his twin has two
Tozzi said such anomalies among deer may have inspired the myth of
the unicorn.
The unicorn, a horselike creature with magical healing powers, has
appeared in legends and stories throughout history, from ancient and
medieval texts to the adventures of Harry Potter.
"This shows that even in past times, there could

Hau hopes to secure rare animal deal in Shanghai
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (???) plans to
take advantage of his visit to Shanghai next week to seek giant pandas
and other rare animals, including golden monkeys, to be displayed at
Taipei Zoo.
The Taipei City Government has been hoping to receive the pandas
since the administration of former mayor Ma Ying-jeou
(???), when China offered two of the animals
to Taiwan as a sign of goodwill during former Chinese Nationalist Party
(KMT) chairman Lien Chan's (??) China trip in 2005.
China also presented two golden monkeys — an endangered species
from Yunnan Province — to People First Party Chairman James Soong
(???) as a gift during his trip to China in
2005, but political issues have also kept the monkeys from coming to
Hau, who will visit Shanghai from June 23 to June 27 to sign a contract
and finalize the city's participation in the 2010 World Expo, will further
seek rare animal exchanges with China, Taipei Zoo director Jason Yeh
(???) said yesterday.
Hau will visit the Shanghai Zoo on June 25 to talk with Chinese officials
about sending the pandas and golden monkeys to Taipei.
"From the animal conservation perspective, it's

Many kinds of frogs – including toads – face extinction
It's tough to be a frog these days – or a toad, for that matter: 2008 has
been named the Year of the Frog by a number of environmental groups
to raise awareness of the worldwide plight of amphibians.
What, you didn't know they were in trouble? Between one-third and one-
half of all amphibian species are threatened with extinction, the
conservation group Amphibian Ark says. Loss of habitat is the major
threat, affecting the most species, but a disease called chytrid fungus is
also proving deadly.
Frogs and toads make up one of three main groups of amphibians.
There are about 3,500 known species of frogs and 300 kinds of toads.
They can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
All toads are frogs, but not all frogs

Group's bear care centre proposal
A conservation group with links to Scotland is trying to establish a large
carnivores sanctuary in Slovakia.
The Slovak Wildlife Society's (SWS) work with mammals, such as
wolves and bears, has attracted interest from Highlands estate owner
Paul Lister.
The society is also to work collaboratively this summer with the Wildlife
Conservation Research Unit headed by Scot, David Macdonald.
SWS hopes the planned centre would help rehabilitate sick and injured
Robin Rigg, of the Anglo-Slovak organisation, said the sanctuary could
provide care for abandoned European brown bear cubs and lynx with
minimal human contact.
Bear-proof bins
He said: "The aim would be to release them back into the wild.
"Another part of the sanctuary


Taiping 4 Gorilla 'Oyin' Dies
Oyin, one of the "Taiping Four" gorillas died of unknown causes in
Cameroon yesterday the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW – announced this evening.
"We are extremely upset by the news that Oyin, one of the gorillas
relocated to Cameroon from South Africa in December 2007, has
passed away. She had apparently been sickly for about 10 days. At this
stage it is unclear what caused her illness and, following an autopsy,
blood and tissue samples have been sent to appropriate laboratories to
ascertain the cause of death," said Christina Pretorius, Campaign
Manager of IFAW Southern Africa.
"We are extremely grateful to the Limbe Wildlife Centre (LWC) which
has been caring for Oyin and Tinu, Izan and Abbey – all Western
Lowland Gorillas – since we were able to return them to Cameroon last
"We also extend our deep sympathy to the National Zoological Gardens
of South Africa and their staff who provided great care and affection for
the gorillas for so many years," said Pretorius.
Pretorius said IFAW would announce the results of the cause of death
as soon as they became available.
The return of the so-called "Taiping Four" to Cameroon marked the end
of a saga in which the gorillas became ensnared in the politics of
several nations and international law and became a high profile
example of the rampant illegal trade in endangered species.
The gorillas, a male and three females, first made international
headlines in 2002 after being smuggled to Malaysia using forged
documents. DNA tests later confirmed that the animals were captured
from the wild in Cameroon prior to being exported to Malaysia. In 2004,
after being confiscated by Malaysian authorities, they were sent for
safekeeping to the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa in
Over the last five years IFAW represented the NGO community including
the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA), the International Primate

Tiger mauls, kills Japanese zookeeper
Police say a Japanese zookeeper was mauled to death by a tiger while
he cleaned the animal's cage.
Atsushi Ito was attacked Saturday by 150-kilotram male tiger at the
Kyoto City Zoo in western Japan. The zoo was open when the attack
occurred and a visitor found Ito lying in the cage bleeding.
A police official says the tiger bit him on the neck, face and head.
Police suspect Ito had failed to lock the cage's door, allowing the 11-
year-old tiger to slip into a room where he was working.
Ito was rushed to a nearby hospital, but police say he was already in
cardiac arrest.
The zoo was closed after the incident. Zoo


Sharjah ruler inaugurates Sharjah Aquarium
The Sharjah Aquarium opened to the public on Friday to offer nature
lovers with state-of-the-art display of a host of marine species.
Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, UAE Supreme Council
member and ruler of Sharjah on Friday inaugurated the Sharjah
The aquarium was built to enable visitors to discover life under the
ocean—clown fish, seahorses, moray eels, rays, reef sharks and

San Francisco Zoo director resigns
San Francisco's embattled zoo director announced his resignation
Friday, nearly six months after a tiger mauled a San Jose teenager to
death at the zoo.
Manuel A. Mollinedo's sudden retirement comes after months of
criticism over the San Francisco Zoo's role in the sensational Christmas
day mauling that also injured two San Jose brothers and led to dual
legal claims against the zoo and the City of San Francisco, which owns
the zoo.
In a one-page statement issued Friday evening, the San Francisco
Zoological Society made no reference to why Mollinedo was quitting,
simply noting that he and his wife intended to retire in the Bay Area and
remain active in the support of the zoo.
Neither Mollinedo or zoo officials could be reached for comment.
"The board greatly appreciates his efforts and wishes him well in his
retirement," the news release said.
Tanya McVeigh Peterson, who serves on the zoo's board, has been
appointed interim director.
On the day of the mauling, Carlos Sousa Jr., 17, and brothers Kulbir and
Paul Dhaliwal, 24, and 19, were at the zoo when a 350-pound Siberian
tiger leaped out of her grotto and attacked

Caribbean monk seal becomes extinct
Federal officials have confirmed what biologists have long thought: The
Caribbean monk seal has gone the way of the dodo.
Humans hunting the docile creatures for research, food and blubber left
the population unsustainable, say biologists who warn that Hawaiian
and Mediterranean monk seals could be the next to go.
The last confirmed sighting of a Caribbean monk seal was in 1952
between Jamaica and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The National Oceanic
Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service confirmed Friday that
the species is extinct.
Kyle Baker, a biologist for NOAA's Fisheries Service southeast region,
said the species is the only seal to become extinct from human causes.
The seals were first classified as endangered in 1967, and wildlife
experts investigated several reported sightings over the past few
decades. But officials determined they were other seal types.
The federal agency says there are fewer than 1,200 Hawaiian and 500
Mediterranean monk seals remaining, and their populations are
"We hope we've learned from the extinction

Animals become prey at Egypt's Giza Zoo
Police say workers seeking to supplement low wages turn exhibits into
food or sell them as pets
In most zoos, employees feed and care for the animals. At Egypt's Giza
Zoo, police say, workers have been turning them into dinner or selling
them as pets.
When two Moroccan camels were butchered in August, the perpetrators
left behind only the hide and hooves. A police investigation found that a
zookeeper had slaughtered the animals and sold the meat to
supplement his,0,6530817.story

Elephant barn nears completion
Pittsburgh Zoo administrators are taking advantage of construction-
friendly weather to work toward finishing a barn for bull elephants to be
brought to a new breeding center in Somerset County this year.
"It's moving along very well," zoo spokeswoman Tracy Gray
said. "Construction is underway."
By August, the center should be complete at a 724-acre former game
preserve that the zoo is turning into an International Conservation
Center. African elephants are the first on a list of endangered species to
be bred at the facility.
Meanwhile, two 25-year-old cows, Moja and Savannah, are on the
verge of giving birth at the zoo. Gray said they likely will have two
female babies within the next week. Elephants calves can weigh up to
250 pounds, she said, and require a gestation period of about 20
Those elephants are not slated for the center at this point, she said.
Another zoo resident will be headed to the center when it's ready: 28-
year-old Jackson, the most successful breeding bull in the country. He is
to be bred with

Australian zoo artificially fertilises rhino egg
An Australian zoo on Friday said it had artificially fertilised a rhinoceros
egg in a breakthrough that could be used in the future to ensure the
critically endangered animal's survival.
Biologists succeeded in fertilising the egg of a female black rhinoceros
with sperm from a male after several failed attempts.
The procedure was carried out at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in the
New South Wales town of Dubbo, about 300 kilometres (186 miles)
west of Sydney, with the help of experts from Berlin's Institute for Zoo
and Wildlife Research.
Biologist Tamara Keeley said despite the team's success, the technology
to implant the egg into a female to carry it for the 14-month gestation
period did not yet exist.
Instead, any viable embryos created would be preserved in liquid
nitrogen until the technology to carry out rhino in-vitro fertilisation
catches up.
"This embryo, we're hoping, will continue to develop and if it develops
enough, we'll actually freeze it and keep it frozen until we've developed
the technology that we need to transfer it back into a rhino and possibly

Giraffe milk, meat confirmed kosher
Jewish authorities in Israel have ruled that giraffe milk and meat qualify
as kosher food.
Veterinarians at the Safari Park in the city of Ramat Gan said they took
a sample of giraffe's milk while treating one of the animals and
discovered that it clotted in a way that is in line with Jewish law for
kosher certification, Britain's Telegraph newspaper reported Friday.
Professor Zohar Amar said he and his colleagues submitted the milk to
rabbinical authorities, who ruled that meat and milk from giraffes is
kosher for consumption by observant Jews.
"Indeed, the giraffe is kosher for eating," said Rabbi Shlomo Mahfoud,
who worked with Amar's team. "The giraffe has all the signs of a
ritually pure

Berlin Zoo Feeds Goat to Wolves
It's been a hard year for Berlin Zoo Director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz. First,
he was accused of selling and mistreating animals. Then, he admitted
he had killed cats with his bare hands. Now he let wolves rip a goat to
shreds in front of zoo visitors.
At the Berlin Zoo, it's a short distance between the petting zoo and the
wolves' habitat. But it can apparently also be the distance between
being lovingly caressed by children and being dismembered by
bloodthirsty predators.
Crowds at the zoo were shocked Thursday as they watched wolves
savagely jostle each other to get their piece of a recently killed goat.
The feeding of zoo animals to other creatures in the parks is an
accepted practice in the European Union. And like those animals, this
goat had already been killed before being placed in the wolves' habitat.
In simple terms, it's an issue of animal overflow in a man-made
environment without any predators. As Ragnar Kühne, the zoo's curator,
told the mass-circulation daily Bild: "When we have too many goats in
the petting zoo, we usually give them to farms or private persons. But if
we can't get rid of them, we have them appropriately slaughtered and
fed to carnivores."
Although some people might find it troubling,1518,558123,00.html

Toronto's zoo saving one frog at a time
Program is part of a world-wide effort to prevent the single largest
mass extinction since the disappearance of the dinosaurs
Deep in the bowels of the Toronto Zoo's service building, offlimits to the
public, the reptile room is uncomfortably warm and humid.
Most of the snakes and lizards snoozing in white plastic bins prefer it
toasty warm. A few, though, lurk in tanks where chillers work overtime
to keep a few centimetres of water at a brisk 18 to 20C. Among them
are Panamanian golden frogs and lemur leaf frogs, and their need to
keep cool is part of the reason they could soon vanish from

Rare white rhino birth caught live on webcam
The birth of a white rhino in Cumbria has been caught live on webcam
and watched around the world.
Ntombi gave birth to 70kg Nyala at South Lakes Wild Animal Park near
Barrow after a 16 month pregnancy.
The labour itself lasted just 15 minutes and the baby rhino's arrival and
first tentative steps were all caught on camera.
The park's director David Gill, who was present at the birth, said it had
been a long wait: "There was some concern about Ntombi as she was
about one month overdue.
"But when her labour started it was perfect for the camera. People all
over the world saw the baby being born.
"We put it out live on the internet and we had messages back from the
rhino's native Africa to say how it was the first time people there had
seen a rhino give birth.
"It was a fantastic day for us - the biggest birth we have ever had."
A spokeswoman for the animal park said all the staff were on "cloud
nine" after the birth on June 2.
She said Ntombi, who arrived at the park from South Africa in 2003,
had been caring for

Giant tortoises threatened as Galapagos volcano erupts
A volcano on the largest of the Galapagos islands has erupted and is
threatening rare giant tortoises that live in the area, Ecuadoran officials
said Friday.
The Cerro Azul volcano on Isabela Island began erupting on Thursday,
officials with the Galapagos National Park said in a statement.
The island is home to rare and unique flora and fauna, including the
Galapagos Giant Tortoise, which can weigh more than 230 kilos (500
pounds) and live more than 100 years.
"The eruption is a natural process" because the Galapagos islands "are
of volcanic origin," the park said in a statement.
However the volcano is spewing lava on the north-east side of the island
where a large population of tortoises lives, it added.
Park rangers are monitoring the volcano's activity to make sure
that "neither human lives nor the population of giant tortoises are at
risk," the statement said.
There are five active volcanos on Isabela, including Sierra Negra, which
erupted in October 2006. Cerro Azul last erupted in 1998.
Located 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) west of Ecuador's coast, the
archipelago of 13 main islands and 17 islets is a UNESCO World

Seeing the true face of the civil service of Hong Kong
Animal conservation
The Zoological Unit of the Hong Kong Zoological & Botanical Gardens is
one of the teams featured in the series. Their efforts in breeding
endangered species have contributed to the protection of the world's
ecological balance. The unit won a merit award

Yeti 'photo-fit' shows 'potentially explosive' evidence of elusive mountain
A British artist has produced what she calls a "photo-fit" of the Yeti
based on "potentially explosive" new evidence of the elusive creature's
Wildlife painter Polyanna Pickering was shown what is believed to be a
100-year-old yeti scalp at a remote monastery in the Himalayas.
At least one expert believe it could be the most important proof yet that
the giant apelike beast is more than mere folklore.
Ms Pickering was gathering material for a new exhibition in the remote
Bhutan region of the Himalayas when she made her chance discovery -
with a little help from David Beckham.
She said: "I was told this was from'photo-fit'-shows-'potentially-explosive'-evidence-of-elusive-mountain-beast.html

Scottish Government gives go ahead for beaver reintroduction
The Scottish Government has today announced that it has approved the
application from the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) and the Royal
Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) to bring back beavers to Scotland.
Conditional approval was granted for up to four beaver families to be
reintroduced on a trial basis, after six months quarantine, to Knapdale in
Mid-Argyll in spring 2009.
Extinct for 400 years
Allan Bantick, Chair of the Scottish Beaver Trial Steering Group
said: "This is a historic moment for wildlife conservation. The Scottish
Government has now given the go ahead for the first-ever formal
reintroduction of a native mammal into the wild in the UK. Beavers have
been extinct in Scotland for over 400 years and they are well known for
their positive impact on habitats and conditions for other species. By
bringing these useful creatures back to their native environment we will
have the chance to restore

Zoo-keepers' Training Opens in Patna
An 11-day training program for zoo officials designed to raise
awareness about the needs of the animals and their proper upkeep
within a confined environment opened at Patna's Sanjay Gandhi
Zoological Garden with officials from Bokaro, Tata, and Darjeeling Zoo
taking part in the program opened on Monday.
The Patna Zoo resident veterinarian Dr. Shashi Kant urged the zoo
officials to treat the animals with kids' gloves. "They are your
responsibility and you must treat them like your own children. If you see
slight change in their attitude and behavior, you must report to your
seniors without delay so proper steps are taken to prevent them from
getting sick," Dr. Kant said.
Zoo director Rakesh Kumar, during his inaugural speech, presented a
brief history of the Patna Zoo and its respectable position in the world,
particularly in the area of hippopotamus breeding.
"Because of our care and intensive medical research, we have come to
occupy a special position in the world of

What's the Zoo to do with its wild ass problem?
The St. Louis Zoo has a wild ass problem. If you worked at the Zoo and
you heard this, you'd immediately think that something was amiss with
our Somali wild ass herd. Most of you, however, were probably thinking
something else. That's exactly the problem.
Fewer than 1,000 Somali wild asses — and maybe as few as 700 —
remain in their native range states of Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia, in
the Horn of Africa. They live in rocky, arid land, including Danakil, one of
the lowest and hottest places on earth. Among mammals, the males
have one of the largest territories in the world.
Not only are they rare in the wild, where they're hunted for food and
are thought by many local tribesmen to have medicinal value, but North
American zoos don't have a strong safety net for them either. Three
zoos have just 27 of the animals, with seven of those in St. Louis.
Just a few weeks ago, our first wild ass foal was born, and I began to
spend more time up at Red Rocks. The little filly prances and dances,
kicks, bucks and nuzzles by turn. She has a gorgeous taupe-colored
coat, and she balances (sometimes precariously) on long light-colored
legs marked with vivid black stripes. Few animals are more adorable
than a baby wild ass. (And by the way, we have two more pregnant
But here's the problem. If you stand around their yard for any length of
time, you'll hear visitors making a variety of rather tasteless jokes about
the animals' name. Parents rush their children along so that they don't
have time to read the educational graphic. Mothers tell their children
that our asses are donkeys — which they are not. School groups break
into gales of laughter when the class clown shouts their name. In other
words, visitors are missing our conservation message that we are
working hard to save these rare, beautiful and magnificent animals.
We've supported ground and aerial field surveys in Eritrea and Ethiopia
and have funded training for conservation biologists in those countries,
too. Tim Thier, our zoological manager, keeps a breeding history of all
the Somali wild asses in North America. He is doing his best to help
manage the population in the most genetically

Cat-clawed, hairy, bone-breaking frog found in Cameroon
Biologists have described a bizarre, hairy frog that actively breaks its
own bones to produce cat-like extendable claws.
According to a report in the New Scientist, this grisly process allows the
frog to unleash sharp claws that puncture their way out of the frog's toe
David Blackburn, and colleagues at Harvard University's Museum of
Comparative Zoology, believe the behaviour is used for defence.
This unforeseen mechanism has also been found in 9 of the 11 frogs
belonging to the Astylosternus genus, most of which inhabit Cameroon.
Blackburn said "Some other frogs have bony spines that project from
their wrist, but in those species it appears that the bones grow through
the skin rather than pierce it".
At rest, the claws are nestled inside a mass of connective tissue.
Collagen forms a bond between,23739,23777116-5003419,00.html

11 big cats rescued from Romania arrive at South African wildlife
The wide-eyed lion cub inched slowly to the edge of the wooden crate.
He stared around him, then with a growl from the older cub behind him,
he leapt out onto the grass.
They were among nine cubs, along with an adult lion and a tiger,
rescued from bleak Romanian zoos and released Saturday into their
new home — a sanctuary in South Africa that was once a notorious
game lodge where lions were bred to be hunted.
When another of the crates was opened, the cubs disappeared inside
but came out again, rolling and playing with two other young lions.
From the third and fourth crates came more frightened cubs who looked
suspiciously around them, their bodies crouched low and ready to
Sticking close to each other, the cubs sniffed the grass, the air and

Tiger sanctuaries selling bone for Chinese medicine against
international law
Animal parks in China are turning tiger bones in an alcoholic "health
tonic" and defying international laws aimed at protecting one of the
world's most endangered species, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.
Staff at two "safari parks" a few hours from the capital Beijing offered
to sell undercover investigators wine made from the crushed bones of
tigers that died in captivity at the sanctuaries.
The wine, which it is claimed, helps to cure conditions including arthritis
and rheumatism, is advertised openly and sold at the parks.
The revelations that the parks are breaking the law are embarrassing
for the Chinese government which is trying to promote a positive image
of the country in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics in August.
International trade in tiger body parts and derivatives is banned under
UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Domestic trade is prohibited under national law and reinforced by a
special State Council order in 1993.
Conservationists said lifting the ban would increase demand and lead to
a surge in poaching that could push the highly endangered tiger into
Poaching has reduced the number of tigers in the wild to around 5,000
to 7,000, compared to 100,000 in the early 1900s. At one point in the
1970s, the number fell to 4,000.
Investigators from the UK-based Environmental Investigation Agency
found tiger bone

Zoo mourns the death of last tigon
National Zoo and Aquarium staff are mourning the death of Asta,
Australia's last tigon.
General manager Trent Russell said yesterday Asta - part lion, part
tiger - defied the expected 15-year life span of most big cats, living until
he was 22.
''Asta was really lovely, just like a big pussy cat,'' he said.
Asta passed away from old age late last month, surrounded by his
keepers, who made sure he was comfortable in his last days.
''It is an extremely sad moment for staff, as we all become very
attached to the animals,'' he said.
Brother and sister tigons Asta and Tangier arrived at the zoo almost
eight years ago after retiring from a

Sir Bani Yas Wildlife Park opens in winter
From October, tourists will be able to stay on Sir Bani Yas Island when
the first phase of Abu Dhabi's unique Desert Islands destination is
The former private eco-retreat of the UAE's late President His Highness
Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the island is at the core of the multi-
experiential Desert Islands destination and will be the first step in
unlocking the latent potential of Abu Dhabi's western region, according
to Lee Tabler, CEO, Tourism Development & Investment Company
(TDIC) and the name behind Desert Islands.
Tabler was speaking at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in
Dubai, he believed that the Desert Islands,


Butchered Camels Spark National Outcry to Fix Egypt's Giza Zoo
In most world zoos, employees feed and care for the animals. At Egypt's
Giza Zoo, workers turn them into dinner or sell them as pets.
When two Moroccan camels were butchered last August, the
perpetrators left behind only the hide and hooves. A police investigation
found that a zookeeper had slaughtered the animals and sold the meat
to supplement his monthly wage.
More than 400 animals, including foxes, zebras, a black panther and a
giraffe, have vanished from the government-run menagerie in the past
three years, according to police documents. Conditions at the zoo have
grabbed headlines in a country where people criticize President Hosni
Mubarak for everything from crumbling schools and hospitals to the low
wages and rising food prices that have sparked violent protests.
``The zoo is a living example of the mess our country has become,''
said Ahmed El-Sherbiny, chairman of the Egyptian Society of Animal
Friends. ``It is a combination of corruption, the death of work

Zoos 'genetic wastelands' (Peter's Note - What an ignorant man)
Zoos are genetic wastelands which have no real point in the modern
world, a visiting animal rights advocate claims.
India's leading animal rights advocate Raj Panjwani is in New Zealand to
give a lecture on animal rights at the University of Auckland.
A Delhi lawyer, he is celebrated for playing a key role in ending the ivory
trade and for taking up the case of a 16-year-old schoolgirl who
objected to having to dissect animals as part of her biology lessons.
Eventually the government school system was forced to back down,
allowing students the option of dissecting a plant rather than an animal
without losing marks.
Television had ended the reason for a zoo's existence, he told Fairfax
Not only were they still caging animals – albeit in bigger cages – but in
many cases they were damaging the species through inbreeding and
keeping off-spring in the zoos rather than releasing them.
"To me caging an animal itself is an act of cruelty in itself," Mr Panjwani
Zoos came into existence in an earlier age when the only way people
could see live animals was to bring them and "put them in cabinets" so
people could look at them.
Television nature documentaries of animals in the wild did that
education so much better.
"At that point in time, the vision was different. But should be we be blind
for ever? he said.
The only rationale for a zoo was in the case of a highly critical
endangered animal and the zoo had a perfect specimen.
It could be used to breed replacements which, he said, should be
returned to the wild as soon as possible.
He said animals used in such zoos should not be on show.
Zoos were guilty of severe inbreeding and most zoo animals were now
incapable of living in the wild.
They continued to breed off the off-spring of zoo animals.
"You are just creating a bank that is useless

Animals fare better in zoos
Scientists are learning more about how zoo animals feel and how a toy
or a little training can sometimes help cut the endless pacing and other
repetitive behaviors that are often assumed to be signs of distress.
Some big cats want a high perch from which to view visitors, polar
bears want to scratch for hidden caches of food, and male barn
swallows could use a tail extension to appeal to potential mates,
according to experts from zoos and universities meeting on Friday at
Chicago's Brookfield Zoo.
Visitors who see a cheetah pacing or a polar bear swimming in circles
might assume they are stressed by confinement. But they may simply be
expending excess energy or soothing themselves, experts said
interviews at the symposium.
"We humans swim laps, and people take comfort in walking in circles.
As long is it not injuring the animals, and not causing them pain, it may
not be a sign of poor welfare," said Nadja Wielebnowski of the Chicago
Zoological Society.
Wielebnowski measures stress hormones in zoo animals and her work is
to guide efforts to reduce stress when animals are moved, come in
close contact with humans or are exposed to noise.
"Some species do absolutely great in

Taipei Zoo claims ownership of Formosan black bear cub
The Taipei Zoo declared yesterday that it has the ownership of a
Formosan black bear cub born in captivity in the Shoushan Zoo in
Kaohsiung, based on an agreement between the two zoos.
According to Yang Chien-jen, deputy curator of the Taipei Zoo, when the
zoo sent a male Formosan black bear, Shiao San, to the Shoushan Zoo
to mate with a female bear of the same species in July last year, the
two zoos signed an agreement that any cubs reared as a result of the
conservation program will belong to the Taipei Zoo.
"There is no question as to who the bear cub belongs to. It is now up to
veterinary specialists to determine the best time to transfer the cub to
the Taipei Zoo," Yang said.
He added that it will take about six months for a bear cub to become
weaned, and that the Taipei Zoo will wait until then to get the cub from
The controversy over the cub's ownership arose after news reports said
the Kaohsiung zoo management intended to keep the new-born female
bear at least until it is two years old.
The Formosan black bear is an endangered animal species. Although
there are more than a dozen such animals in Taiwan's zoos, most

Dalton zoo boss blasted by councillor
A ZOO boss has been accused of treating the borough council "like dirt".
South Lakes Wild Animal Park owner David Gill did not attend Thursday's
Barrow Borough Council licensing committee meeting to answer
complaints his staff were shooting guns in the car park.
Mr Gill has permission from the police and council to use the attraction's
car park for gun practice.
But complainants Kerry Martin and her partner Alan Jones, who live next
door to the wildlife park, claimed the sound of gun shots from the zoo
had scared her horses and surrounding wildlife.
Mr Jones, speaking on behalf of Miss Martin, said: "As neighbours the
sound of shots has been disturbing, especially from an elephant gun.
"These sounds are very distressing for Kerry's horses and having never
received any advance advice from the zoo Kerry could never make
preparations for her horses prior to the shooting.
"These sounds can be distressing to the animals in nearby farms and
indeed in the zoo.
"We feel that a licensed gun range offers a better working and safety
environment than the proposed car park."
Councillor Rose Hamezeian told the meeting: "Mr Gill has treated this
council like dirt.
"He doesn't even have the common c

Bob Dylan inspired exhibition goes on show at Chester Zoo
A THOUGHT-PROVOKING exhibition inspired by a legendary Bob Dylan
song is on show at Chester Zoo.
Hard Rain is an open-air exhibition of dramatic and moving photographs
set to the lyrics of Dylan's famous 60s protest song, A Hard Rain's A-
Gonna Fall.
Aimed at encouraging action on climate change, habitat loss, pollution
and poverty, the exhibition features hard-hitting photographs taken by
London-based photographer Mark Edwards.
The exhibition is touring the world and is accompanied by a Hard Rain
book which has been sent to every world leader encouraging them

Melbourne Zoo Asian elephant pregnant
In a first for Melbourne Zoo, a 15-year-old Asian elephant is pregnant.
It is the first elephant in an Australian zoo to conceive through artificial
The expectant mother, Dokkoon, was confirmed pregnant on Saturday
by an ultrasound examination.
The ultrasound was carried out by fertility specialists from the Berlin-
based Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, with Melbourne Zoo's
veterinarians and keepers.
The Berlin specialist team also visited Melbourne in March when the
artificial insemination was carried out with Melbourne Zoo's bull
elephant, Bong Su.
Dokkoon was one of eight elephants to arrive in Australia from Thailand
in November 2006 to establish the new regional breeding program.
Three young female elephants including Dokkoon joined Bong

New Techniques Reduce Stress in Zoo Animals
Animals in the nation's zoos are faring better as more is learned about
ways to relieve their distress, according to experts from zoos and
universities who met Friday at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo.
The scientists are gaining a better understanding of how animals feel,
and how a toy or training can often reduce the continuous pacing and
other repetitive behaviors that are often believed to be signs of distress.
For example, polar bears like to scratch for hidden stores of food, and
some big cats prefer to view visitors from a high perch, and male barn
swallows could use a tail extension to attract potential mates.
Visitors who observe a pacing cheetah or a polar bear swimming in
circles might believe the animals are stressed by confinement, but
instead they may be merely expending excess energy or soothing
themselves, said experts during interviews at the symposium.
"We humans swim laps, and people take comfort in walking in circles.
As long is it not injuring the animals, and not causing them pain, it may
not be a sign of poor welfare," Nadja Wielebnowski of the Chicago
Zoological Society told Reuters.
Wielebnowski, who measures stress hormones in zoo animals, is
assisting in efforts to reduce stress when animals are moved, exposed
to noise or come in close contact with humans.
"Some species do absolutely great in zoos -- they get great food, they
get it every day, they have great veterinary care. For some species, the
zoo trumps the wild," David Shepherdson of the Oregon Zoo in Portland
told Reuters.
However, some species do not fare as well, such as bears, elephants
and large cats.
Shepherdson conducted a study of polar bears in the nation's zoos, and
found 50 out of 54 bears exhibited behavioral symptoms indicative of
stress, even though there were no elevated levels of corticosteroids,
hormones that specify stress.
Shepherdson further discovered that close to half the bears reduced
their repetitive behavior when given training or toys that helped them
mimic their behavior in the wild. He found, for example, that polar bears
that were provided a plastic barrel would crush it, just as they would a
seal den in their native Arctic habitat.
Experts are also looking at whether certain species, such as leopards,
do not belong in zoos at all because they favor remaining out of sight.
"Essentially, we need to go against the knee-jerk human reaction, which
is the view that (zoo animals) need companionship, they need a large
enclosure, and that they are only interested in the world visually," Vicki
Melfi of Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, told Reuters. Melfi runs
Britain's Paignton Zoo.
She said animals sensitive to sounds might be offered a

Monkey business discovered in Swiss zoo
Monkey business is clearly afoot in a Swiss zoo after a paternity test
revealed that one of its gorillas has effectively been cuckolded by a
young pretender half his age.
Zookeepers in the northern city of Basel were shocked to discover that
Kisoro, a 17-year-old gorilla, is not the father of little Chelewa - instead
it's Viatu, another male who is just nine years old.
The situation was "almost unbelievable," and the precocious Viatu
has "broken all the rules that apply in gorilla communities," the zoo said
in a statement.
Normally, only male gorillas aged 12 or over have

Zoo attendance roars to a record
Gas prices make day trip appealing
The N.C. Zoological Park enjoyed record attendance over Memorial Day
weekend, and state tourism officials think the milestone portends a good
year for the travel industry.
Zoo spokesman Rod Hackney said 32,732 people came to see the
elephants, chimpanzees and their neighbors over the three-day
Memorial Day weekend. That tops the previous Memorial Day weekend
record of 25,806 in 2005.
Hackney attributed the turnout to good weather, wide publicity of the
zoo's improved elephant and rhino habitat, called the Watani Grasslands
Reserve -- and $4 a gallon gas.
"People are not taking as many long trips," Hackney said. "They're doing
day trips, where it's just one day out and back."
The zoo, just south of Asheboro, is 75 miles west of Raleigh.
Wit Tuttell, spokesman for the state tourism office in Raleigh, said the
division will debut an advertising campaign in the next couple of weeks
appealing to the traveler who wants to get away --

Leopard attacks worker at zoo
A Potawatomi Zoo worker was attacked by a leopard as she cleaned the
cat's holding area, leaving her with heads wounds and shocking zoo
Zoo visitors watched Saturday as veteran zookeeper Jeri Ellis was
wheeled away on a stretcher, her head heavily wrapped in bandages
and white towels spotted in blood.
Ellis, whose injuries were not serious, was discharged Sunday from St.
Joseph Regional Medical Center in South Bend.
Zoo Director Terry DeRosa said Ellis was doing her daily routine when
she was

Zoo still reviewing leopard attack
Potawatomi Zoo officials are still reviewing the events leading up to a
zookeeper being injured by a leopard last weekend, according to a news
release sent out Thursday.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reviewed the zoo on Tuesday and
gave the zoo incident a "clean" review, the release said. The zoo is also
said to still be in good standing with its accreditation status.
The female Amur leopard named Pearl reportedly is doing well and is
back to her normal routine. It was unclear if any repercussions would
follow for the animal because of the incident.
The release still did not explain how the zookeeper was bitten or why

Bug used to suck zoo animal blood
A bloodsucking insect is being used to collect blood samples from
animals at zoos, London Zoo has said.
Kissing bugs crawl onto the animal and release a pain-reducing enzyme
as they bite and suck the blood from veins.
The "stress-free" method simplifies collecting blood from animals, who
do not have to be sedated, the zoo said.
The pilot project, which is underway at London and Whipsnade zoos,
has seen blood collected from a hippo, cheetah, giraffe, elephant and
white rhino.
The "non-invasive" method is expected to make collecting blood samples
from small animals easier as their size makes veins inaccessible.
The scheme is part of a study by Wuppertal Zoo in Germany and the
insects are bred in a laboratory

Father Claims Peacock Attacked His Son at Zoo
Officials at the Oregon Zoo are re-evaluating their peacock policy after
one of the free-roaming birds scratched a four-year-old boy's face
The peacock policy could change soon, after discussion this week.
Cyrus Vafi said the peacock attacked his son near the zoo's train depot
without being

Fire causes $10,000 loss at zoo Rain Forest exhibit
An overheated generator is being blamed for a fire Tuesday morning
that caused about $10,000 damage to the Rain Forest exhibit being
constructed at the Buffalo Zoo.
Fire and zoo officials said the blaze broke out at about 9:25 a. m. on the
roof of a building in the construction site where contractors were
working. Firefighters quickly extinguished it.
"The fire started when we were doing a full-load testing of the
generator," explained zoo spokeswoman Jennifer Fields. "Heat from the
exhaust ignited the insulation in the roof."
Fields said the zoo opened to visitors

Pig-Like Mohawk Gets People Into Zoo Free
In an effort to promote a new pig exhibit, the Brevard Zoo will offer free
admission over Father's Day weekend to anyone sporting a mohawk --
real or fake -- resembling the Visayan warty pig's mane.
The zoo will open a Visayan warty pig exhibit June 14 and 15, which is
when those with mohawks can receive free admission. Fathers will also
receive free admission -- mohawk or no

Iraq's rebuilt zoo an oasis for locals
In the bedlam of Baghdad, the zoo seems more like an oasis. But like its
lions, the zoo is lucky to still be around.
In the battle for Saddam's Baghdad, zoo animals were caught in the
crossfire. Few survived and just barely.
The big cats were found starving, some roaming the zoo grounds.
Five-hundred other animals disappeared, most stolen by looters, but
some were sold and others were eaten.
Even now, the zoo's director winces remembering the worst moments,
like slaughtering the ostrich to feed his starving lions.
"I was trying to save these rare animals," the director said. "It was
really important to save these animals."
Animals like Salimah the cheetah survived. Then

Lion cub escapes in western Quebec
A male African lion cub is believed to be roaming near Maniwaki, Que.,
on Wednesday after escaping from its owner the night before.
Quebec provincial police spokeswoman Melanie Larouche said the
animal was last seen around 9:30 p.m. on Highway 105, about one
kilometre south of Maniwaki, a community about 145 kilometres north of
Ruby Whiteduck, who is related to the owner, Stanley Dumas
Whiteduck, told CBC News the lion is a 150-pound cub that's less than a
year old, not a two-year-old adult as previously reported.
She said the animal, named Boomer, escaped from a home at the
Kitigan Zibi Algonquin First Nation reserve after being taken out for a
walk Tuesday evening and then tied with a dog leash.
The lion reportedly comes when he is called, has been fed from a bottle
and is litter trained.
Nevertheless, schools and daycares in the area are closed and police
are urging the public to be careful.
Helicopter helping with search
Cpl. Gordon McGregor of the Kitigan Zibi reserve police force said police
had set up a security perimeter, and were looking for the

Lion's owner wants zoo charged with theft
Boomer, the lion cub that created a stir last month after escaping from
his owners on the Algonquin First Nation reserve in Maniwaki, is about
to become the focus of a different kind of commotion.
Dennis Day, the cub's former owner, said he plans to have Granby Zoo --
where Boomer is currently residing -- charged with theft after the zoo
didn't respond to a request for the feline's return.
Mr. Day, who lives in Cobden, Ont., said he sent Granby Zoo, some 80
kilometres south of Montreal, a letter on May 16 giving it 10 Mr. Days to
"When the 10 Mr. Days is up on this letter, we're going to have them
charged with theft," said Mr. Day on Monday, the tenth day since the
letter was sent.
Mr. Day said since he hasn't received a reply from the zoo, he intends to
begin legal action Tuesday morning at the courthouse in Pembroke, Ont.
He said his "next step" after that will be to take the zoo to small-claims
"If they want to keep him they're going to have to pay for him," Mr. Day
Catherine Page, a spokeswoman for Granby Zoo, said

German zoo keeper dives into river to save drowning monkey
The head of a German zoo dived fully clothed into a river to save a
drowning money, officials in the eastern German town of Aue said
Tuesday, as the Japanese macaque recovered from its nearly fatal flirt
with freedom. Keepers used an anaesthetic dart to immobilize the
monkey in a tree Monday evening, three days after it had got out of its
cage. But it promptly fell 14 metres into the water and did not resurface.
Aue Zoo chief Christian Schroller jumped in and plucked it,german-zoo-keeper-dives-into-river-to-save-drowning-monkey.html

'Beast' moves in to the zoo
THE "Beast" has arrived at Exmoor Zoo near Bratton Fleming with the
official opening of her new enclosure.
In fact, Ebony the Asian leopard, stayed sensibly dry in her den as
visitors, friends and dignitaries braved monsoon conditions to see the
new Exmoor Beast attraction.
Along with a real live Beast, there are exhibits of big cat skulls found in
the area, a sightings map and a host of information.
Local author, naturalist and wildlife expert Trevor Beer also attended.
Trevor has helped the zoo with signage and has adopted Ebony as a
sponsor. He delighted fans on the day by signing copies of his new book
Merlin - about a West Country leopard.
Zoo owners Danny and Lyn Reynolds quickly learned about the "alleged"
Exmoor Beast shortly after moving to the area in 1994 - when they
almost ran over a puma, according to Danny.
"It's part of the rich culture

Zoo sends aid to earthquake victims around China's giant panda reserve
EDINBURGH Zoo is sending money and equipment to China to help those
dealing with the aftermath of the earthquake.
Zoo representatives visited a panda research centre in Wolong, in
Sichuan province, to discuss obtaining a pair of giant pandas, just a
week before the quake devastated the region.
Wolong, which is the largest giant panda reserve in China, was close to
the epicentre of the earthquake and remains under threat from
aftershocks and landslides.
Five members of staff at the Panda Conversation and Research Centre
died and many more have been injured.
The zoo has donated

Fire causes $10,000 loss at zoo Rain Forest exhibit
An overheated generator is being blamed for a fire Tuesday morning
that caused about $10,000 damage to the Rain Forest exhibit being
constructed at the Buffalo Zoo.
Fire and zoo officials said the blaze broke out at about 9:25 a. m. on the
roof of a building in the construction site where contractors were
working. Firefighters quickly extinguished it.
"The fire started when we were doing a full-load testing of the
generator," explained zoo spokeswoman Jennifer Fields. "Heat from the
exhaust ignited the insulation in the roof."
Fields said the zoo opened to visitors as scheduled at 10 a. m., adding
that the construction site was already blocked off to visitors.
The South American Rain Forest exhibit is part of the Buffalo's

Big campaign against zoo plan
PLANS for a safari-based theme park at Werribee have sparked a bitter
backlash against the Brumby Government amid warnings the existing
open-range zoo will be destroyed.
The Friends of the Zoo organisation has embarked on a big campaign to
block Village Roadshow's plans for a $220 million theme park.
FOTZ has written to its thousands of members, warning that the Village
proposal would be the death of the park's ability to educate children and
conserve endangered animals.
It has urged members to write to MPs and newspapers, call talkback
radio and sign a web-based petition.
It is also planning a protest rally.
Under the Village plan the company would,21985,23756810-2862,00.html

A day in the life of a zoo keeper
The morning air is crisp with a hint of late spring chill. Dew drops
glimmer in the rising sun's beams and soak rubber boots traipsing
across the savanna. A few hundred yards in the distance, a crane casts
a weary cerulean blue eye on the visitors imposing on the grassy hills
belonging only to him, a few ostriches and vultures.
That is, until Eric Reinsch steps into his office.
As collections supervisor of Binder Park Zoo's Wild Africa exhibit, the 33-
year-old's daily business entails an intimacy with exotic animals that
most people only see on the Discovery Channel. These animals,
however, know, trust and depend on him to be there each morning, as
do the zoo's guests who will be arriving shortly.
Although a hefty part of his day is spent working with animals on exhibit,
Reinsch and zoo keepers do the lion's share of less glamorous work out
of the public eye.
"A lot of people have the misconception that all we do is scoop poop and
pet animals, which couldn't be farther from the truth," Reinsch said.
There probably are few people who can say they receive a welcome
from co-workers as kind and sincere as Reinsch gets each day.
After attending a daily 7 a.m. meeting with staff, he goes to the Wild
Africa barn where a gaggle of wide-eyed giraffes peer out from behind
stall bars like children eagerly awaiting

Handler hospitalized after lioness attacks him at Detroit Zoo
In Katie's 15 years at the Detroit Zoo, the lioness has never been in
close contact with her keepers thanks to a pulley system that remotely
ushers the big cats from outside to their indoor habitat.
But for an unknown reason, the 16-year-old lioness came too close to
her handler Saturday. Katie scratched and bit her keeper shortly after
the zoo closed at 5 p.m.
The injured keeper, Brett Kipley, who's in his 20s and has worked at the
zoo for a couple years, was taken to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak for
treatment of his injuries, which did not require surgery.
After receiving stitches, he was scheduled to stay overnight at the
hospital, zoo spokeswoman Patricia Mills Janeway told the Free Press.
Zoo officials said they were perplexed by the situation.
"We don't know what happened to allow the keeper and

Vietnamese lawmakers mull wild animal farming, trade
Legislators discussing the Biodiversity Bill in the house Monday were
divided over whether to allow the rearing of protected animals on farms.
Hoang Thi Binh, a legislator from the northern Cao Bang Province, said
farming and trading wild animals did not violate the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
This, in fact, would help prevent the illegal hunting of the animals, she
Though illegal, the trade of wild animals as "specialty" foods remains
widespread in Vietnam.
Under the proposed bill, farms breeding wild animals will be obliged to
get a license, show clear and legal origins of their animals, and ensure
good living conditions for the animals.
But Nguyen Dinh Xuan, the southern Tay Ninh Province's National
Assembly (NA) representative, said wild animal farming and trade was
against the country's Forest Protection Law and Environment Protection
He urged the NA to consider this provision of the Biodiversity Bill
Nguyen Minh Thuyet, who is on the NA's Committee for Culture,
Education, Youth and Children, said the breeding and trading of
protected animals should be banned.
Under the bill, zoning plans for biodiversity preservation will get priority
where they conflict with zoning plans for other purposes.
Le Minh Hong, a legislator from the northern Ha Nam Province, however,
wanted other zoning plans such as those involving national security to
get the highest priority.
Nguyen Thi Thu Ha from the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai said
more than 134 medicinal plants that the

German zoo investigated for killing tiger cubs
Prosecutors are investigating whether the Magdeburg Zoo's decision to
kill three tiger cubs because they were not pure-blooded violated animal
welfare laws.
Animal rights organizations Animal Public and People for Animal Rights
Germany filed charges after the zoo in the eastern German state of
Saxony-Anhalt euthanized the three newborn cubs in early May.
"We can confirm the initial suspicions," Magdeburg chief prosecutor
Silvia Niemann told German news agency DDP on Friday.
The zoo has said the zoo director Kai Perret decided to euthanize the
cubs - offspring of Siberian tigress Kolina - in order to protect the purity
of the species after consulting with a veterinarian and other zoo officials.
A new testing method showed in February that the cubs' father, Toskan,
is descended from Sumatran as well as Siberian tigers.
The zoo had planned to breed Kolina and Toskan since acquiring the
pair in November 2006. Aborting the cubs would have been too risky for
Kolina, Perret told DDP.
"We acted correctly and not in violation of the law," zoo spokeswoman
Katrin Demco said on Friday, citing support from other zoos.
People for Animal Rights Germany said in a statement that concern over
the purity of the breed was not sufficient grounds to kill the cubs.
"Those responsible at the Magdeburg Zoo deliberately bred these cubs
without proper testing and then simply killed them," Kurt Simons, the
group's chairman, said in a statement. "This is contrary to the intent of
animal rights law and demonstrates the irresponsibility of the
The zoo froze the bodies of the cubs, two males and a female, and
planned to deliver them to the University of

Marghazar Zoo uplift to cost Rs1.4 billion
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has decided to make
Marghazar Zoo at par with the international standards and a project
costing Rs1.4 billion has been approved for this purpose.
Director Marghazar Raja Muhammad Javed while talking to Online
informed that the area of the zoo would be extended to 82 acres and
the work would be started in the second and third week of June.
He stated that the PC-1 of the project has been approved and tenders
have also been issued, adding that 16 companies
have showed their interest in the project and the contract would be
awarded to one company soon.
Veterinary hospital, restaurants, attractive footpaths, care parking and
other facilities would be provided in the zoo with the total cost of
Rs1407.8 million, added Raja Javed.
He said that the hospital would have the facilities of X-ray, ECG,
operation and laboratory tests. The species of the animals would be
increased from 60 to 220, he added.
Director Marghazar underlined that all out facilities would be provided

Toronto Zoo macaques exhibit going green
An exhibit housing lion-tailed macaques at the Toronto Zoo will be
retrofitted with green technology in the hopes of reducing emissions,
saving money and educating the public at the major tourist attraction,
Ontario Energy Minister Gerry Phillips said Friday.
The province will contribute money from its Community Conservation
Initiative to help fund a geothermal energy system, which will use heat
from within the Earth to control temperature in the monkey's habitat.
It's an ideal way for the zoo to showcase an environmentally friendly
heating and cooling system to the facility's 1.4 million annual visitors,
said Phillips.
"It's going to be a great demonstration

World's rarest rhino caught wrecking video camera
The world's rarest rhino does not like the limelight. A Javan Rhino was
captured on video attacking a camera set up in an Indonesian jungle to
study the habits of the animal, apparently because she sensed the lens
was a threat to her calf, the WWF said Thursday.
There are around 70 Javan Rhinos in the wild, about 60 of which live in
Ujung Kulon National Park on the western tip of Java island. The
remainder live in Vietnam.
In the first month of operation, five infrared video traps have captured
two images of the camera-shy mother

Q and A: Iain Valentine
The head of animals, conservation and education at the Royal Zoological
Society of Scotland, on the move to bring giant pandas to Edinburgh Zoo
and the decision to donate £10,000 to the disaster relief fund set up to
help the panda research centre in China in the wake of last week's
devastating earthquake.
How did it come about that you have the opportunity possibly to bring
giant pandas to Edinburgh?
We have been introducing Chinese species into our collection quite
gradually. It stemmed from that. We had been talking about it with
China for about a year and it culminated with our visit where the letter
of intent was signed.
Why did you want to help out when disaster struck in China?
It happened just a few weeks after our visit, when we met staff over
there, five

Zoo staff deserve praise for the way they loved Lashka in wake of
controversy surrounding other animals deaths
To listen to animal rights activists, you'd think the Calgary Zoo is a place
driven by profit, where the demise of an animal is measured only in lost
The death of Lashka, Calgary's oldest Siberian tiger, has been kept quiet
by zoo officials for a full week -- and you can't blame them -- at a time
when the critics have their claws out.
Zoo officials were slammed earlier this month for allowing a hands-on
exhibit after 41 cownose rays mysteriously died in a case now bogged
down in toxicology tests and speculation.
They were slammed again when a keeper was hospitalized after being
body-checked by an elephant. PETA, in a letter addressed to a director
who retired last year, scolded the zoo for allowing keepers to be in
direct contact with the pachyderms instead of behind a protective
Add in a hippo dying in transit, two gorilla deaths

Longer lifespans, medical advances have zoos caring for more special-
needs species
At the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, it's survival of the less-than-fittest.
Sheep and goats are on Celebrex. One sea lion is blind, and another is
half-paralyzed. A hedgehog-like critter is so old it must eat mushy food.
Advances in medicine mean animals are living longerin zoos nationwide,
even if they have maladies that could make them dinner in the wild.
"It's a relatively new phenomenon, where zoos have gotten so good at
what they do that we are surpassing median life expectancy," said Andy
Snider, the zoo's director of animal care and conservation.
In the zoo world, the term "geriatricfy" is now common, referring to
changes in exhibits to make it easier for aging animals to get around.
At the San Francisco Zoo, an elderly hippo has ramps in its enclosure to
help with mobility, and an aging chimp gets doses of glucosamine and
anti-inflammatory pain medication, such as Advil, for arthritis.
"Human doctors are always amazed at the equipment and medicine we
have and how similar it is," said Jacqueline Jencek, chief

Zoo rethinks money handling
Police investigating armed robbery near entrance gates
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium officials are expected to confer with one
another and Pittsburgh detectives today in the wake of an armed
robbery at the Highland Park facility on Sunday near closing time.
Spokeswoman Connie George said officials likely will change money-
handling procedures because of the robbery. Both she and Pittsburgh
police said the amount of money taken was still being determined.
Ms. George said she expected zoo officials


Zoos are best hope, says Jane Goodall
Expert says primates are at greater risk in the wild as she opens
Edinburgh Zoo enclosure
After a lifetime of studying, filming and fostering understanding of
wild chimpanzees in the Gombe National Park in Tanzania, Dr Jane
Goodall has begun a passionate defence of keeping the animals in
Dr Goodall, 74, who is president of the animal rights organisation
Advocates for Animals, was speaking at Edinburgh Zoo yesterday,
where she opened a new £1.6 million enclosure housing colonies of
squirrel and capuchin monkeys. Its supporters say that it will help
in the understanding of primate and human behaviour.

Zoos no longer have a role, says campaigner
DAVID ATTENBOROUGH-style documentaries should be sounding the death
knell of the world's zoos, India's leading animal rights lawyer says.
Raj Panjwani, 54, will deliver the keynote lecture on Thursday at an
animal rights symposium jointly sponsored by the University of NSW
and the pro-animal charity Voiceless. India's constitution insists
citizens have a duty to show compassion to all animals.
In his 18 years as an advocate for animal protection Mr Panjwani has
scored some notable victories, including helping to end India's
ivory trade.
He also took up the case of a 16-year-old schoolgirl who objected to
having to dissect animals as part of her biology lessons. Eventually
the government school system was forced to back down, allowing
students the option of dissecting a plant rather than an animal
without losing marks.
Another of his Supreme Court victories ensured all Indian food
manufacturers have to show on their labels whether animal products
have been used. Now all Indian foodstuffs carry a simple symbol on
the packaging - which Mr Panjwani would like to see Australia

The debate over zoos
Are zoos an anachronism from a time before the internet and AnimalPlanet?

Orangutans escape from two U.S. zoos
A male from LA, female from Tampa curiously broke free on the same
A female orangutan from Florida and a male orangutan from Los
Angeles both escaped from their zoo enclosures over the weekend.
Whether they planned to rendezvous in Texas was unclear because the
orangutans were returned back safely to their cages before they
could leave either zoo's premises.
At Busch Gardens in Tampa, Fla., part of a new exhibit is closed
after a 10-year-old female orangutan called Luna Bella broke free
Saturday by climbing the exhibit's windows. Caretakers had to coax
it into a back area using apples, carrots and vanilla ice cream

Busch Gardens Announces Worlds of Discovery Resort in Dubai
Just got back from the BIG announcement! BEC will be building 4
parks in Dubai with the first phase set to open in 2012.
The entire project will be called Worlds of Discovery, and will
consist of Sea World, Busch Gardens, Discovery Cove, and Aquatica.
They are being constructed on one of the man made Palm islands. When
the entire project is complete, it will resemble a giant killer
whale. (See pics below!)
There were not a lot of details about the parks
"Worlds of Discovery will occupy a section of The Palm Jebel Ali
known as "the Crown," which will resemble a giant killer whale when
reclamation work is complete. Nakheel's plans for The Palm Jebel
Ali, currently the world's largest man-made island, also call for
the development of commercial, residential and shopping districts,
as well as resort hotels and restaurants.
The Worlds of Discovery project will be phased and includes
SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Discovery Cove and, the company's newest
theme park brand, Aquatica. Worlds of Discovery on The Palm Jebel
Ali will also include a variety of other family activities,
including resort hotels, spas, shops and restaurants.
In addition to SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, plans call for the
construction of a Discovery Cove similar to the park adjacent to
SeaWorld Orlando in Central Florida. Discovery Cove in Orlando is an
all-inclusive, reservations only park that features a variety of
animal interactions and resort experiences, most notably swimming
with bottlenose dolphins, rays and exotic fish. The"

Animal group calls for changes at Calgary zoo after elephant injures
An animal advocacy group is calling for changes to how elephants are
handled at the Calgary Zoo after a keeper was injured by an animal
over the weekend.
Lisa Wathne with People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals is
calling on the zoo to use protective barriers that separate the
keepers from the animals at all times.
Calling the practice "protected contact," Wathne says in a letter to
the zoo's president that keeping the animals separate protects
elephants by preventing keepers from using corporal punishment.
"Protected contact eliminates the beatings, bullhooks and chains
that are routinely used on elephants when they are handled using the
free-contact system," Wathne says in the letter.
Brent Vanhooft was taken to hospital on Sunday afternoon

Protest group plans wildlife park
People who were opposed to a planned recycling centre are hoping to
start a wildlife park at the site.
Rhuddlan Environment Group originally submitted a planning
application to try and spoil Denbighshire County Council's plans for
the recycling unit.
But after the council withdrew its own application, the group
decided to continue with the wildlife park.
It has also been offered a £30,000 donation which could be used
towards building the park if it is approved.
On Sunday, about 250 people held a "celebration march" in the town
after news that the council would not be continuing with its plans
for a recycling centre some 600m, or a little over a third of a
mile, from Rhuddlan Castle.
The march had initially been planned as a protest, but turned into a
celebration after the council's unexpected turnaround last week.
The recycling park plans were pulled after objections from the
Environment Agency, which wanted the council to design the site so
it could deal with a "one in a thousand

Israeli elephant expert dies in Ethiopia blast
An Israeli elephant expert was killed Thursday morning in a blast in
the Ethiopian capital.
Prof. Yehezkel Shoshani, a world-renowned specialist, was killed
after a minibus blew up in the heart of Addis Ababa. Two other
passengers were killed, and nine were seriously wounded.
Shoshani, 65, dedicated his life to the study of elephants. For
eight years, he studied elephant communities in the east African
state of Eritrea, and moved to Ethiopia last year to teach at the
University of

Zoo denies allegations of unfair pay
Australia Zoo officials have emphatically denied allegations they
are underpaying their staff.
Media reports yesterday claimed the multi-million-dollar Sunshine
Coast tourist attraction made famous by the late Steve Irwin had
failed to offer some of its staff fair workplace agreements.
The reports alleged it not only underpaid staff but also stripped
rest breaks and other penalties from them, based on a leaked letter
to a staff member from the Workplace Authority.
It is understood the letter, dated May 2, pertained to a staff
member who worked in the zoo's food courts.
The government body reportedly ordered

Quake-shaken Chinese Pandas head to Beijing
Eight pandas from a Chinese reserve severely shaken by a deadly
earthquake are expected in the capital this week to go on display
for the Olympics, a Beijing Zoo spokesman said Wednesday.
Some of the pandas are still acting nervous, eating and sleeping
less since the quake, officials said, so their keepers will
accompany them.
"I'm not sure about the mental state of the pandas right now,'' said
Ye Mingxia of the Beijing Zoo. "We will have to carefully observe
them after they arrive.''
The pandas from the Wolong Giant Panda Reserve will arrive Saturday
on a special plane and be on display until November, a visit planned
long before the May 12 quake in central China. They are expected to
draw more than six million tourists, the state-run Xinhua News
Agency has reported.
"I want them to be more than just a tourist attraction, and for
people to understand that they are endangered,'' said Suzanne
Braden, director of U.S.-based Pandas International

Reward for Vancouver zoo's missing spider monkey reaches $10,000
None of the tips that pour in daily to the Greater Vancouver Zoo
have panned out, but staff continue to cling to the hope that Mia,
the spider monkey missing for more than two weeks, will be
returned. "I think she's out there; I just don't know where she is,"
said zoo spokeswoman Jody Henderson, describing the situation as
frustrating and devastating. The reward for Mia's safe return, which
is funded partly through donations, has reached $10,000, she added.
Mia, pictured, disappeared after thieves broke into the zoo's monkey
enclosure on the night of May 6. Zoo staff found Mia's lifelong
partner, Jocko, dead from a blow to the head

Hospital boss `disgusted' by kangaroo killings
AUSTRALIA Zoo has called for a halt to Canberra's controversial
kangaroo cull, saying the Government is spending more than it needs
The zoo's Australian Wildlife Hospital manager Gail Gipp said on
Thursday she was "absolutely disgusted" the more than 400 eastern
grey kangaroos were being slaughtered and that the government is
spending more to kill the roos than it would have cost to relocate
and track them for wildlife research.
"They're shooting them _ there's a lot of room for error and its
quite barbaric," she said.
"They just corral about 10 at a time and start shooting them _
they're killing about 40 animals a day so this is going to take well
and truly over a week."
"Peter Garrett (Environment Minister) has lost all of his
credibility. He's let us down badly. And the RSPCA are doing nothing
because they get funding,23739,23746181-953,00.html

New London Zoo gorilla is a sex addict
She's 5ft tall, weighs around 65 kilos and has glossy black hair all
over! She may not be everyone's cup of tea but ZSL's new female
gorilla has certainly set one heart racing.
Mjukuu, or `Jookie' as she's nicknamed, is now a permanent resident
of ZSL London Zoo's Gorilla Kingdom and she's proving quite a hit
with male silverback Bobby; so much so that the pair took to
consummating their relationship a staggering 17 times in just four
Jookie, nine, joins the 25-year-old male gorilla and two females
Effie, 15, and Zaire, 33, from a group of eleven gorillas at another
zoo, and it looks like her social skills are paying off.
Her arrival has caused quite a stir with gentle giant Bobby;
zookeepers say he is captivated by his new love interest.

Zoo theme park 'a circus'
TWO former directors of the Werribee Zoo have called plans for a
$220 million theme park a "circus" that would jeopardise the zoo's
Friends of the Zoo — which has more than 67,000 members and
contributes $1.7 million annually to Zoos Victoria — is mounting a
campaign against the Village Roadshow development bid, which has the
backing of Tourism Minister Tim Holding.
The park, to be known as African Safari World, would be built on 40
hectares of the existing zoo site and backers say it will boost
annual visitor numbers from 266,000 in 2007 to 1.3 million a year.
Former Werribee Zoo director David Hancock said rhinoceroses should
not be combined with roller-coasters, and warned the amusement park
would become a white elephant.
"I think it will be busy for a year or so and after the novelty has
gone we'll be left with a junk yard at the side of the freeway," he
said. "It completely degrades

Future of zoo's CEO still murky
Not known when – or if he will return from leave
The status of the Toronto Zoo's chief executive, which has been
uncertain since December, remains murky after the latest meeting of
the zoo's board of management.
Chief executive Calvin White has been on leave since December.
Yesterday Councillor Raymond Cho, who chairs the zoo board, says he
has no idea when, or whether, White will be back.
"We don't know. I hope so, but I don't know," Cho replied when asked
in an interview whether White will be returning.
Robin Hale, the zoo's chief operating officer, has been made acting
CEO in White's absence.
The uncertainty about who is running the zoo comes at a sensitive
time: The zoo is planning a $250 million fundraising drive to renew
aging facilities and put new emphasis on conservation and education.
Members of the zoo board got a note last December


Animals behave abnormally after the earthquake
It is often said that animals can sense a coming earthquake. Is there
any truth in this? How did animals behave before, during and after
the Sichuan earthquake? A Xinhua reporter visited the Chengdu Zoo in
search of answers.
At 6:30 PM on May12, the reporter arrived at the zoo, the city having
experienced an earthquake that afternoon. No visitors were to be
seen, but things were still very noisy because of the unusual
behavior of the animals.
Some places in the zoo were quiet; others not at all. In the Parrot
House the birds were squawking in an unusual manner. They seemed very
anxious and were struggling to escape.
Mr. Wu, the zoo's Breeder of Birds, spoke about what had happened in
the afternoon: "The Bird House began to shake violently at about 2
o'clock in the afternoon, which made the baby parrots and peacocks
flee in disorder. Fortunately the door was closed, or else they would
have escaped."
"Inside the Penguin House, the water in the pool suddenly began to
churn and the frightened penguins had no idea where to run", Wu said.
In the Orangutan House, the tame orangutans become violent, using

Australia Zoo breaches salary conditions
SOME Australia Zoo staff have been forced to work for substandard
wages and without even lunch or toilet breaks, The Sunday Mail can
The multimillion-dollar tourist attraction near Beerwah in the
Sunshine Coast hinterland has been found to have offered workplace
agreements that underpay and overwork some employees.
The Australian Government Workplace Authority said the zoo had been
ordered to reinstate award wages, penalties and rest breaks stripped
from at least one staff member via an "unfair" Australian Workplace
In one instance the Workplace Authority demanded the zoo alter or
dissolve the agreement and provide immediate backpay. Failure to do
so could result in a fine of up to $33,000.
In a leaked letter dated May 2, the Workplace,23739,23714651-3102,00.html

Zookeepers answer SOS at Galloway Wildlife
A TEAM of workers from Britain's biggest zoo have been busy carrying
out a "DIY SOS project" at a Stewartry wildlife park.
The nine-person crew from Chester Zoo helped rebuild some of the
animal enclosures at the Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park near
Enclosures near the main entrance received particularly close
attention from the team.
The project was funded through Chester Zoo's "Keeper for a Day"
scheme, which provides the opportunity for people to work alongside
the animal teams.
The move came about as Chester Zoo's director of conservation and
education Mark

Updated: Tiger injures Toledo Zoo keeper
A normal day on the job turns dangerous for a Toledo Zoo keeper. The
worker is out of the hospital after one of the tigers swiped him.
Tanieya Lewis was at the zoo and says this happened before the zoo
opened to the public Sunday morning.
The Toledo Zoo keeper was going through his daily routine around 8:30
a.m. Sunday. He was giving the tigers their normal cleaning and
feeding when one tiger reached his paw through a double mesh barrier
and swiped the keeper's chest.
The keeper was treated for three minor chest lacerations and released
from the hospital.
It happened at the Tiger Terrace where the two cats live. The tigers
are around five years-old and are named Kat and Marta.
The tigers remained in their enclosure the entire time. The zoo says
there was no risk to the public.
They are conducting a review of what happened
Toledo Zoo Director Dr. Anne Baker says, "I do want to stress that
this was not keeper error. It was simply an unfortunate accident. I
think the cat was just jumping

Researchers dig up new details about elusive shark
A recent research expedition to the Canadian Arctic has uncovered
fascinating details about the mysterious and elusive Greenland shark.
Canadian scientists took part in the study, camping out on the ice in
remote locations in plywood shelters amid -25 degree temperatures, to
learn more about the monsters of the deep.
Steve Campana, who has been studying

Stingray deaths another blow to Calgary Zoo
Calgary — As nine surviving stingrays, some covered with black
blotches – a telltale sign of stress – slowly swam around a temporary
holding tank at the Calgary Zoo yesterday, officials were scrambling
to determine what wiped out 34 others in a matter of hours.
The cownose stingray exhibit, which opened in February and allows
visitors to touch and feed the fish in their 10,000 gallon tank, is
closed as staff await test results on water, food and tissue samples
from the dead rays.
But the circumstances are so mysterious, so sudden and so unusual
that zookeepers aren't ruling out foul play.
"It's hard to speculate, but certainly you have to look at was
something introduced through the water lines? Was something
introduced into the pool? Did someone put something in there?" said
Doug Whiteside, a zoo veterinarian who performed necropsies on the
rays and found irritants

Calgary zoo wants police help in rays' likely poisoning
The Calgary Zoo is seeking the help of city police in the mysterious
deaths of 39 cownose rays, now believed to have been poisoned by a
"This is a huge tank, so something substantial had to have been put
in. . . . We don't know if it was a powder or a liquid," said Laurie
Herron, a spokeswoman for the zoo.
"But at this point we're thinking it was not accidental."
Tests from an independent local lab released Wednesday found the
water chemistry of the ray pool was within acceptable ranges. Levels
of ammonia, dissolved oxygen, PH, salinity and other natural minerals
were measured. Initial tests, however, can't identify possible toxins
in the water.
Late Sunday, 26 of the 43 rays died, with other deaths following over
the next few days, including one Tuesday evening and another

Safari park sued for £500k after tot left with kidney damage
A MUM who fears her daughter needs a kidney transplant after playing
at a safari park is demanding £500,000 damages.
Kerry Ramage claims that seven-year-old Beth was exposed to E coli
0157 after touching bird droppings.
Beth suffered acute renal failure requiring dialysis and will need
further treatment and possibly a new kidney, it is alleged.
Single mum Kerry, 40, wept as she told how her daughter fell ill
after visiting Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling.
She said: "For days I didn't know whether Beth was going to live or
die, it was the most terrifying experience of my life and something
no child should have to go through.
"The E coli caused her to have an acute kidney failure.
"She was in intensive care for two

Indianapolis Zoo to award $100,000 to researcher
A wildlife researcher who has spent more than 50 years working to
save endangered species around the world will be named the winner of
the 2008 Indianapolis Prize - a $100,000 award honoring
George Schaller, who turns 75 this month, will be presented the
biennial award at a gala in September. The Indianapolis Zoo
administers the prize, the most lucrative given to champions of
"I am honored and proud," said Schaller, who has a home in
Connecticut but spends much of his time abroad. "But I also feel
humbled because I know, scattered around the world, there are lots of
conservationists who do the things I am doing."
Schaller has trekked 1,000 miles across a rugged reserve in Tibet to
study the endangered Tibetan antelope, or chiru, and is working to
save Marco Polo sheep and snow leopards. He has also worked to save
mountain gorillas, giant pandas, tigers, lions and the wild

$16 million rainforest exhibit due soon
These days, one of the most frequently asked questions of Donna
Fernandes is: "What is that tall building going to be?"
The Buffalo Zoo president explains that the building is a $16
million, 50-foot-tall rainforest exhibit designed to bring a bit of
South America to Buffalo's Delaware Park.
Fernandes began work on the exhibit in early 2004. When finished this
summer, the 15,000-square-foot building will be home to more than 30
species including exotic reptiles, birds, monkeys and giant
anteaters. It will be kept an average temperature of 80 degrees and
have an 80 percent humidity level. A 30-foot waterfall will complete
the tropical package.
The building is considered an engineering and construction marvel.
The peaked roof is made from a specialty plastic developed in
Germany, welded in China and installed by English craftsmen, said
David Resetarits, owner of Resetarits Construction Corp., the
project's construction manager. It took his crews more^1632123

San Diego Zoo panda expert worries about people, not pandas, in post-
quake Wolong
Upbeat reports on the survival of China's giant pandas in the Sichuan
province's Wolon panda reserve are encouraging, Ron Swaisgood, co-
leader of the San Diego Zoo's panda conservation unit, said Tuesday
afternoon. But "my biggest concern is and was the people. Some of my
best friends are there."
In 13 years of visits to Wolon and neighboring areas, Swaisgood said,
he's learned that many panda reserve employees send their children to
schools in Dujiangyan, where calamitous school-building collapses
have been reported. The 7.9-magnitude earthquake

Minnesota Zoo raises $2.7M
The Minnesota Zoo has raised more than $2.7 million, mostly from
corporate donors, over the past year to support its goal to become
one of the top 10 zoos in the nation, the organization announced on
The Cargill Foundation and the Medtronic Foundation each pledged more
than $1 million, the largest corporate gifts since the zoo in Apple
Valley opened the UnitedHealthcare Marine Education Center, where
dolphin shows are presented.
Cargill's gift will help build an Environmental Learning Center,
which will be a major part of a new entry and visitor

Columbus zoo names new director
The director of the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta has been named the
new executive director of the Columbus Zoo.
Jeffrey Swanagan will succeed Jerry Borin, who's retiring after being
in charge of the zoo since 1992. The zoo's board of directors
announced the hiring Tuesday.
Swanagan is a Cleveland native who started his career as a Columbus
zookeeper in 1980. He later worked at the zoo in Atlanta and spent
four years at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa before becoming head

Calls to stop zoo's panda plans
Politicians north and south of the border have called on Edinburgh
Zoo to reconsider its plans for a giant panda breeding programme.
Scottish Green MSP Robin Harper has tabled a motion at Holyrood
expressing concerns at plans by the Royal Zoological Society of
Scotland (RZSS).
It has been proposed that a breeding pair should be loaned from
The RZSS said work in zoos was integral to preserving the species and
helped conservationists in China.
Animal campaigners claim no captive-bred panda has ever been released
into the wild and conservation groups

Blackpool Zoo keeper attacked by ape
A woman keeper at Blackpool Zoo spent three days in hospital after
being attacked by an ape at the attraction.
The staff member was in the corridor at the ape house when a 24-year-
old orang-utan called Vicky launched into the attack.
She bit the keeper on her arm and foot, and an ambulance

Orangutan escapes enclosure at L.A. Zoo
Visitors to the L.A. Zoo had to evacuate Saturday after an animal
escaped its enclosure.
Officials at the zoo said an orangutan named Bruno got out of its
cage in the afternoon, but did not leave the area around its
Bruno is 29 years old, 300 pounds, and is one of six orangutans at
the zoo.
The animal has since been recaptured, and no one was
hurt. "Fortunately all of our great apes, the staff trained them to
allow medical procedures, so the keeper actually put him through his
behaviors, and he allowed her to hand inject him

Parents of tiger attack victim seek compensation from San Francisco
The parents of a teenager killed by an escaped tiger at the San
Francisco Zoo want the city to pay up for the fatal mauling of their
17-year-old son.
Carlos Sousa Junior died on Christmas Day when a Siberian tiger named
Tatiana escaped its enclosure and attacked the San Jose teenager and
two of his friends.
The two friends were injured before the tiger was shot dead by
Sousa's parents say the city's tiger enclosure did not meet height
standards set by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums,

Baby gorilla good news for Calgary zoo
Zuri the gorilla delivered some much-needed good publicity for the
Calgary Zoo yesterday: a new baby.
After a week during which the zoo has made headlines across the
country over the mysterious deaths of 40 rays, Zuri's little bundle
of joy was welcome news.
The birth was especially good news for Zuri, a Western Lowland
gorilla who suffered the loss of a previous baby in August 2006. That
infant gorilla lived only 12 days because

Sofia Zoo Celebrates Its 120th Birthday
Sofia Zoo marks on Wednesday, May 14 its 120th birthday.
At the festivities that starts at 11 o'clock, will take part many
famous Bulgarian music stars like Rositsa Kirilova, Milena Slavova,
many jugglers and clowns.
Sofia's mayor Boiko Borisov will also attend the celebrations.
In the Zoo, which is b

Park plays part in securing pandas for Scotland
EXPERIENCE in caring for a host of creatures from the Orient on the
part of keepers at the Highland Wildlife Park has played a key role
in negotiations to bring giant pandas to Scotland.
After months of talks, officials at Edinburgh Zoo have reached
agreement with the Chinese Government to look after a breeding pair
of giant pandas.
The zoo is owned by the same organisation that runs the popular
attraction by Kincraig, where several species native to China have
been bred and reared successfully.
That experience played a major part in persuading the Chinese to sign
a letter of intent to allow a pair of their prized giant pandas to
leave their country for life in a foreign zoo.
The endangered animals are revered in their native China, which keeps
strict controls on their allocation to zoos around the world.
If the final stages of negotiations are s

Don't turn on the tears, Daddy ... How rescuing a rundown old zoo
helped one father survive a shattering tragedy
Mum and I arrived as new owners of Dartmoor Wildlife Park to the
sound of wolves howling in the darkness.
My brother Duncan was already there and that night of October 20,
2006, with Mum safely in bed in the zoo's mansion, we stepped out
into the misty park to try to get a grip on what we'd done.
Everywhere the torch shone, eyes of different sizes blinked back at
us and the mystery of exactly what animals lurked behind them added
to the atmosphere.
We knew where the tigers were, however, and made our way over to one
of their enclosures that had been earmarked for replacement posts to
get a close look at what sort of deterioration we were up

More animal donations to zoo, bird park last year
THE Singapore Zoo and the Bird Park both had a bumper year last year
in terms of the number of animals donated.
Most of these were brought in by the police or confiscated by the
Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority.
The animals were mainly reptiles, and included star tortoises, green
iguanas, fly-river turtles and South-east Asian soft-shell turtles.
The total number of animals donated to the Singapore Zoo and Night
Safari rose to 460 last year, almost four times the 118 animals
donated in 2006.
The Jurong BirdPark received 177 donations in 2007.
The AVA confiscated 175 animals last year, seven

Python Immobilized After Eating Zoo Deer
Reptile Moved To Forest Reserve
A python in southern India got more than a mouthful when it ate a 6-
month-old deer.
The snake snuck into a deer enclosure at a zoo and swallowed the much-
larger animal.
Zoo officials said the snake gobbled the deer whole, without leaving
a trace.
The python was so full, he couldn't


Budongo Trail: ideal home or gilded cage?
Edinburgh Zoo's new chimp habitat has reignited debate about the
morality of putting animals on show
A zoo is a wonderful place in which to watch humankind, close up in
tooth and claw. Last week's bank holiday was Edinburgh Zoo's busiest in
two decades: more than 9,000 souls went through the ticket barrier. Up
and down the huge hill they ambled, from the vicuña fields at the
summit to the hut at the base that allegedly contains ring-tailed lemurs,
the Lord Lucans of the animal kingdom.

Pandas head for Scotland in a bid to save the species
EDINBURGH Zoo is in advanced negotiations to bring a pair of giant
pandas from China to Scotland, The Scotsman can reveal.
Senior officials recently returned from China, where they visited a giant
panda conservation centre and signed a letter of intent, signalling an
initial commitment to take the iconic creatures in spring 2009, to
coincide with the zoo's centenary.
The zoo plans to house a breeding pair of pandas aged two or three,
which it hopes will have cubs in Scotland. Edinburgh would join just a
handful of zoos outside south-east Asia to have giant pandas, and would
be the first in the UK to keep the animals since London Zoo returned its
panda to China 14

San Francisco denies claims filed by tiger attack victims
San Francisco officials say an investigation has found there is no
indication the city is liable for injuries suffered by two brothers who
were attacked by an escaped zoo tiger.
In a letter released Friday, City Attorney Dennis Herrera denies claims
for monetary compensation "for serious physical and emotional issues"
filed by Kulbir and Paul Dhaliwal. The brothers were attacked by a
Siberian tiger on Christmas Day after it escaped its pen. The tiger killed
the Dhaliwal's

How ethical is a visit to the zoo?Tigers may fare better in captivity than
out in the wild, but are zoos doing more harm than good, asks Lucy
Unless you are six (or have a six-year-old), there's a strong possibility
zoos have slipped off your radar. Whereas I once viewed this nation as
a series of zoological highlights - Colchester, Paignton, Chester, etc, by
the age of eight I'd done them all - I had unwisely assumed that
gawping at captive animals was out of fashion.
But no, there are now 400-430 zoos in the UK (this is an 'estimate', as
some zoological collections remain unlicensed) doing good box office:
Colchester was voted Large Visitor Attraction of the Year last year. But if
gate fees remain the primary source of funding, then aren't visitor
numbers the primary motivation? Which would in turn explain the
popularity of 'charismatic species' such as polar bears, which pull in the
crowds but are, according to a raft of experts, completely unsuitable for
captivity. There was widespread criticism of Nuremberg zoo in January,
when officials allowed polar bear cubs bred in captivity to be eaten by
their mother.
Any zoo worth its salt will deny this charge, shifting emphasis away
from animals as entertaining curios (a Victorian idea) and on to
the 'modern' zoo's noble aspirations: species conservation and
In the UK, all licensed zoos should conform to an 'ethical review
process' which includes ensuring that captive animals are allowed to
display natural behaviour. The £6m primate house that opened a
fortnight ago at Edinburgh zoo is designed to give chimps the
most 'natural' captive experience yet.
Meanwhile, everyone is trying to minimise their footprint these days.
Chester was the first UK zoo to be awarded the environmental standard
ISO 14001, while Paignton zoo has found a novel use for its yard waste:
zoo poo compost (from
But even a luxury ape house won't placate the many critics who believe
animals have an intrinsic right to liberty ( Nor are

Prague zoo sets out to save Indian gharial
The Prague zoo has launched a test programme to save the Indian
crocodile-like gharial from the brink of extinction with a million-dollar
pavilion for the animals to bask, and hopefully reproduce, in.
There are only between 150 and 200 of this species, the Gavialis
gangeticus also known as the gavial, living in the wild along India's
rivers today. Another 20 or so are in captivity in India, Japan,
Singapore, Sri Lanka and the United States, according to figures from
the Prague zoo.
"All of the conservation plans launched in the world have failed up until
now. The gharial is one of the most

`Stranded' circus bear moved to Doha zoo
A BEAR which was "left behind" by a circus company and living in a
cramped cage at a car park for the past 10 days has been moved to the
Doha zoo, thanks to a group of animal lovers.
The bear had arrived in Qatar as part of the International Russian
Circus, but when everyone else had packed up and left, the animal was
left in a cage at the site where the circus was hosted.
An expatriate resident had noticed that the animal had been left behind,
and raised the alarm with local animal enthusiasts at once.
After that a small group of animal lovers joined together and

Wait until Santa finds out. Toronto Zoo starts killing male baby reindeer
to manage the herd. Staff are heartbroken -- and furious
Dear Santa: I hope you are sitting down.
The Toronto Zoo is killing baby boy reindeer.
Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer...
The first was dispatched shortly after his birth April 8.
His mom, Hayzel, bellowed mournfully for two days. You could hear her
from Meadowvale Rd.
The second met the same fate at the point of a hypodermic on April 22.
His mom, CUPE, is named for the zoo staff's union.
Both little gaffers were chocolate brown and gangly cute. They had
barely begun to nurse.
Both were perfectly healthy.
"Euthanized due to being male," says the keepers' report, terse and
The keepers were so upset they left as the vets moved into the reindeer
enclosure and refused to take part.
"This is wrong," the keepers told the vets, who were none too happy
Three female babies have been spared.
Tinsel and Rhonda delivered theirs

Toronto Zoo calls emergency meeting over cull policies
The Toronto Zoo, stung by publicity around its decision to euthanize two
baby reindeer bulls, has called an emergency meeting of its animal care
committee to review cull policies.
The zoo's animal care, research and acquisition committee will review
the culling of two newborn male reindeer last week, carried out to
control the size of the herd.
"The zoo takes this very seriously. [Euthanasia] is not the number one
option, it's the last resort," acting zoo CEO Robin Hale said.
The Toronto Zoo houses 13 adult reindeer, two of which are four-year-
old males considered surplus. For three years, the zoo has been unable
to find a zoo or wildlife organization willing to take them, Mr. Hale said.
The zoo's board of management endorsed plans last June to euthanize
male reindeer as a last resort. The zoo will focus on renewing

Toronto Zoo finds a home for reindeer
Three males including calf going to Bowmanville after criticism over
euthanasia in culling herd
The Toronto Zoo has found a new home for its three male reindeer –
after being hotly criticized for a decision to cull its reindeer herd and
slaughter two newborn male reindeer earlier this spring.
The Bowmanville Zoo has agreed to take the three remaining male
European reindeer, the Toronto Zoo announced yesterday. Two 4-year-
old male reindeer will be moved in about four months once the
necessary veterinary checks and permits have been approved, said
Robin Hale, acting chief executive officer

Let's see zoo back up its big claims over conservation
FOLLOWING recent concerns raised by a number of animal welfare
groups about Edinburgh Zoo's plans to begin breeding chimpanzees in
its new Budongo Trail exhibit, the zoo issued a statement to the press
from its CEO David Windmill claiming that "95 per cent of the mammals
in our animal collection are endangered".
In fact, the zoo's animal inventory for 2006 (the latest publicly available)
shows that at the end of 2006, only around 27 per cent of the mammal
species and around 27 per cent of the individual mammals kept by the
zoo are officially classed as Endangered (or greater risk) by the IUCN
(World Conservation Union). Furthermore, less than 50 per cent of the
zoo's mammal species and individuals are threatened in the wild
(Vulnerable, Endangered

City zoo swarmed with ghariyals
City's Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park finds itself at its wits' end as the
number of ghariyals or alligators here have gone up from 13 to 129 in
the last five years. The "population explosion" has led to space
congestion and, of course, additional expenditure on their feed: 11 adult
alligators consume 50 kgs of fish twice a week.
"We have decided to discourage breeding of ghariyals," zoo director
Rakesh Kumar said and added so many ghariyals are not needed in the
Among zoos in India, the Patna zoo today has the largest number of
ghariyals with even the Nandankanan zoo, which initiated the process of
breeding ghariyals in captivity some 40 years ago, having fewer
The space crunch in the Patna zoo is quite visible. While a pond meant
for one adult male and two females is now the home to two males and
nine females, the rest of the alligators, aged between one to three
years, are kept in anothe

Blackpool Zoo worker to host Gorilla Conservation Weekend
Blackpool Zoo's education officer, Yvette Foulds, is aping around for
charity and she's inviting everyone to join in!
Yvette is holding a Gorilla Conservation Weekend at the East Park Drive
attraction on May 10-11 to raise money for The Gorilla Organisation.
Gorilla activities include acting ape' workshops, ape enrichment
workshops, competitions, face painting, a raffle and the chance to
sponsor Yvette to take

'More than a wildlife experience'
President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan yesterday
reviewed the proposed redevelopment of Al Ain Zoo and Aquarium in
the presence of General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu
Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE
Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
The President expressed his satisfaction and approval of the plan that
will make Al Ain Zoo a world-class wildlife destination, as well as a
centre of excellence for environmental education and wildlife
Shaikh Khalifa also emphasised that the project be fully integrated with
Al Ain's long-term vision and that the zoo should become the pride of

San Diego Zoo teams up with Abu Dhabi for wildlife park (Peter's note:
So all the rumours were true)]
The San Diego Zoo has entered into an agreement to help the
government of Abu Dhabi create a 2,000-acre wildlife park, to be called
Dowh Al Ain.
The project is expected to take more than a decade. The goal,
according to a joint statement, is to allow visitors to the Persian Gulf
nation, part of the United Arab Emirates, to get close to species native
to the African, Arabian and Asian deserts.
The zoo and the emirate have been partners on other projects,
including the reintroduction of the scimitar-horned oryx, like those
pictured here, to Northern Africa.
The wildlife park is an expansion of the Al Ain Zoo and is set to include
a five-star resort and a family hotel. In the making for months

Al-Ain Wildlife Park selects programme manager
The Al-Ain Wildlife Park and Resort in Abu Dhabi emirate has selected
US-based CH2M Hill as its programme manager.
The project will include a zoo and safari park that will recreate many of
the world's largest deserts over an area of 9 square kilometres.
Desert environments from the Arabian peninsula, Africa, Asia, Australia
and America will all be recreated. Each will exhibit the wildlife and
plants that are indigenous to these areas.
The development will include a luxury resort, a family hotel and retail
outlets. Six residential clusters will be built in the safari areas as well as
desert campsites linked to the resort hotel.
Al-Ain Wildlife Park and Resort will be developed in three phases. Phase
one is due for completion by the end of 2010 and will include the zoo,
the Arabian and African safaris, the luxury resort, retail outlets, a
residential community
and see here:

Bangkok market a hub for illegal international trade in freshwater turtles
and tortoises
Thailand is a major hub for the international trade in illegal freshwater
turtles and tortoises, finds a new report, Pet freshwater turtle and
tortoise trade in Chatuchak Market, Bangkok, Thailand, launched today
by TRAFFIC, the wildlife monitoring network, a joint programme of
Surveys of Chatuchak Market (also known as the JJ or Weekend Market)
by TRAFFIC investigators found that 25 out of 27 freshwater turtle and
tortoise species for sale were non-native, the vast majority of them
illegally imported into the country.
"Dealers stated openly that many specimens were smuggled into and
out of Thailand," said Chris R. Shepherd, Senior Programme Officer for
TRAFFIC Southeast

Six critically endangered Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas were killed by
unknown persons late on Saturday evening, in the QE II Botanic Park.
The crime was discovered by volunteers with the National Trust's Blue
Iguana Recovery Programme, shortly after 9am on Sunday morning.
Dead on Sunday morning were the adult breeding males "Yellow"
(sponsored by Caribbean Publishers), "Pedro" (sponsored by Websters
Tours), "Digger" (sponsored by Simon Hicks), and "Eldemire"
(christened by Kent Eldemire). The grand matriarch of the captive
facility, "Sara", was also dead. "Jessica" had been thrown out of the
neighboring pen and was in shock, but still moving. Both females had
been preparing to lay eggs.
The effort to save Jessica's life went on into the night, but despite
specialist advice by telephone from the Wildlife Conservation Society

Irwin, Australia Zoo debt lawsuit settled
A multi-million dollar lawsuit against Terri Irwin and Australia Zoo was
resolved today in the Melbourne County Court after an undisclosed
The zoo was sued for $2.5 million and Ms Irwin for $60,000 by a debt-
collection company over unpaid "bills of exchange" - unconditional
promises to pay money - as part of their involvement in an alleged tax
minimisation scheme.
Debt collector Alyssa Treasury Services claimed Mrs Irwin and the zoo
did not meet their obligations regarding the unpaid bills of

Rs 13.48m to be spent on upgrading zoo
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) is likely to upgrade Marghazar
Zoo in mid-Jun. An amount of Rs 13.48 million has been budgeted for
the project. The zoo upgradation would be according to the new master
plan and the project would be completed in three years. Under the new
plan, the area of the zoo has been increased from 25 to 60 acres, said
a senior official of the

Crocodile from Russian sailor's bath tub found home in Paignton Zoo
A fearsome crocodile that shared a cabin with a Russian sailor has
taken up residence in a new £1.5 million swamp enclosure at Paignton
The Cuban crocodile, Crocodylud rhombifer, which can reach 3.5
metres (11ft) long, is found in the wild only in two freshwater swamps,
both of them in Cuba. It has almost 70 dagger-like teeth.
This specimen has been kept at the zoo since being discovered by
shocked Customs officials several years ago during a search of a ship
that had docked at Liverpool. The sailor who had it in his bath was
hoping to keep it as a pet.
The crocodile is one of six to move into a new enclosure at Paignton
Zoo in Devon.

Zoo's opening festivities prove fatal for three elk
Virum Elk Park outside of Vimmerby in southern Sweden had a rather
tragic premiere when it opened last Sunday.
Three of the park's four European elk, known as moose in North
America, became so stressed during the inauguration festivities that
they died later that night, according to local media reports.
The incident took place after one of the elk became stressed for an
unknown reason and began to run around wildly. Zoologist Clas
Sandberg called the episode a case of "extremely bad luck" and
maintains that there aren't any shortcomings

Female tiger seriously injured
A white tiger by the name of Sasha has been seriously injured by her
mate Brahma at Eskilstuna Zoo.
Apparently the injuries came about during play that transgressed into
more aggressive hunting behavior, giving true rise to the
expression "easy, tiger".
Sasha's injuries were life-threatening but as of Wednesday her situation
had stabilized.
The zoo's head Helena Olsson told news agency TT that they were
helping as much as possible with pain relief and antibiotics to avoid
further infection.
According to Olsson, injuries sustained

Tokyo zoo's panda plan comes under fire
TOKYO'S zoo has been flooded with calls to refuse a pair of pandas
offered by Chinese President Hu Jintao, fearing that the money from the
lease would fund Beijing's clampdown in Tibet, officials said.
Mr Hu, paying a rare fence-mending visit to Japan, offered to lease a
male and a female panda to replace one of the best-loved animals at
Tokyo's Ueno Zoo, Ling Ling, who died last week.
Although the fee is undecided, the going rate is one million dollars a
year for a Japanese zoo to rent a panda, Tokyo metropolitan official
Kazuomi Nishikiori told reporters.
Chinese and Japanese officials will hold talks next week about the
proposed deal for Ueno Zoo, which is run by Tokyo's local government,
he said.
Tokyo's Governor Shintaro Ishihara, an outspoken

Hopes rise that leopards may be freed from zoo for new life in Africa
THE YEAR-long struggle by animal rights group Animal Responsibility
Cyprus (ARC/ Kivotos) to liberate four leopards from their cages at
Limassol Zoo and send them to a park in Africa seems to be bearing
Mayor of Limassol Andreas Christou has pledged to address the issue at
a meeting scheduled for the end of the month.
The state's inability to enforce legislation on animal trafficking and zoo
regulations, however, means that exotic animals keep getting shipped to
Cyprus through the back door to spend their lives in cages, creating a
daunting vicious circle for animal rights activists.
The latest recorded incident of illegal animal trafficking into Cyprus took
place over the Easter break, when a shipment of exotic animals arrived
at Limassol Zoo. The shipment included lion and jaguar cubs, while no
establishment in Cyprus maintains EU standards for keeping such wild
animals. Initially, authorities did not allow the shipment to enter Cyprus,
but the dealer who brought the animals via Germany, Holland and Italy
was worried over where the animals would be kept if turned away. In
the end, the animals were allowed to enter. Such incidents frustrate
animal rights groups who spend money and energy to release wild
animals from cages in Cyprus, only to see more arrive on the island.
"When we rescued the two bears from Limassol Zoo and sent them to a
park in Hungary a few years ago, it cost us ?40,000. Sending the
leopards to Africa will cost us more. However, what sense does it make
to do this if they keep bringing more animals through the back door?"
said Patricia Kyriakou, President ARC.
The World Society for the Protection of Animals' (WSPA) has

B.C. zoo break-in leaves monkey dead, one missing
Staff at a British Columbia zoo are devastated after a vicious vandal
broke in and killed one of their resident spider monkeys.
The monkey's mate is missing and zoo keepers are hoping that the
female monkey may have escaped during the attack and was not taken
by the vandal.
Jocko and Mia were longtime residents of the Greater Vancouver Zoo in
Langley, B.C., east of Vancouver.
"Some time in the middle of the night, we're not sure when, one
person, several people -- we have no idea

Monkey killed at zoo suffered `brutal death'
A spider monkey that was killed at the Greater Vancouver Zoo suffered
a violent death when its mate was stolen during an overnight break-in,
an initial examination of the primate's body suggests.
A necropsy on the dead monkey, a male named Jocko, indicates that it
died due to a fractured skull and hemorrhaging on the right side of its
brain, zoo spokeswoman Jody Henderson said today.
"It definitely was a brutal death," said Henderson.
Jocko was found dead yesterday

B.C. zoo plans memorial for monkey killed during theft
The Greater Vancouver Zoo in Langley will be holding a memorial
ceremony for Jocko, a spider monkey that was killed when thieves broke
into a cage with bolt cutters on Tuesday night and likely made off with
his mate, Mia.
The zoo has also announced it is planning to match public donations up
to $3,000 and offer the cash as a reward for information leading to
Mia's safe return.
A necropsy revealed Jocko died after suffering a fractured skull and
internal bleeding during the theft.
The two monkeys, both 17 years old, had been constant companions for
more than

Aid for Myanmar Mobilizes, Mixed With Criticism
The high winds blew roofs off the cages at the zoo, one person
reported, and a baboon or gibbon was spotted Monday sitting on top of
a giant plastic ruby in the middle of a traffic circle near Shwedagon
"He refused to get down," the resident said, who spoke on condition of
anonymity because of a government ban on unofficial news. "This
afternoon, when my driver and I drove by, the ruby and the monkey
were gone."

Escaped monkeys return to zoo
Monkeys that escaped from Yangon's zoo during last weekend's cyclone
have returned to their cages after spending a few days swinging
through debris strewn around the city, the zookeeper said on Thursday.
"Several monkeys ran away when their cages were destroyed when the
storm hit," Myint Nyein, director of the

Scientists map the genetic makeup of the platypus
Scientists said they have mapped the genetic makeup of the platypus --
one of nature's strangest animals with a bill like a duck's, a mammal's
fur and snake-like venom.
The researchers, whose analysis of the platypus genome was published
Thursday in the journal Nature, said it could help explain how
mammals, including humans, evolved from reptiles millions of years ago.
The platypus is classed as a mammal because it has fur and feeds its
young with milk. It flaps a beaver-like tail. But

Call of the wild
SHEPRETH Wildlife Park is helping to save the rainforest by pledging
£2,000 to the World Land Trust.
The money will be used to expand an area of rainforest in Brazil, which
is being protected as a haven for wildlife.
Rebecca Willers, animal collection manager at the wildlife park,
said: "The keepers at Shepreth are passionate about species
conservation and raising public awareness through educational talks.
"They have been enthused to be able to relate this to a project we, and
other zoos, are directly involved in."
The donation comes as part of an initiative

Oldest gorilla in captivity turns 55 at Dallas Zoo
An animal considered to be the world's oldest living gorilla in captivity
celebrated her 55th birthday today at the Dallas Zoo -- with a frozen
fruit cake.
"Jenny" also enjoyed banana leaf-wrapped treats at her wooded home
in the complex.
Her caretakers say that Jenny -- at about 210 pounds -- has a few joint
issues and her eyesight isn't what it used to be.
But Jenny still looks good for an old ape.
Curator Todd Bowsher says

Success story of captive breeding at zoo
The authorities of Assam State Zoo are studying the golden langur
population at Umananda following the success of the captive breeding
programme of these primates at the zoo.
"We are examining the golden langur population of Umananda through
a detailed genetic study after which the possibility of breeding them will
be looked into," the divisional forest officer of Assam State Zoo,
Narayan Mahanta, said.
The study is likely to throw up interesting revelations on whether there
was a link between the golden langur population at Umananda and the
zoo, he said.
It was a day of joy at the zoo as the authorities today disclosed

Virulent H5N1 bird flu strikes in South Korea's capital Seoul close to a
The first bird flu outbreak in South Korea's capital has been confirmed
as the dangerous H5N1 strain, the Agriculture Ministry said Wednesday.
The outbreak occurred among birds raised in a cage on the compound
of a local government office in eastern Seoul for children to view. Four
of 57 pheasants, chickens and turkeys died of the disease, and the
remainder were destroyed later.
The Gwangjin-gu local government office is just 1.2 kilometers (less
than a mile) from Children's Grand Park, an amusement

Endangered pygmy hogs released into wild
Numbers of a critically endangered species of wild pig are to be boosted
following the success of a captive breeding programme.
Three small families of the pygmy hog will be released back into wild
grasslands in Assam in north east India.
The 16 animals are the result of the only captive population of the
species in the world.
The pygmy hog (Porcula salvania) is the world's smallest pig standing
about 25-30 cm from the ground, and was once common across India,
Nepal, and Bhutan but by the 1960s was thought to be extinct.
Its preferred grassland habitat across the southern foothills of the
Himalayas was swallowed up by human encroachment, livestock

Campaign gets ready to fight zoo land sale
CAMPAIGNERS fighting Edinburgh Zoo's controversial plans to sell off
land for homes are gearing up for the public inquiry.
The zoo's £72 million expansion plans were thrown into doubt last year
after councillors voted to oppose the development of houses off Kaimes
The plans are a key part of the zoo's masterplan and will be one of the
main focuses at the local public inquiry in September.
The Friends of Corstorphine Trust has enlisted the help of planning
experts from community councils to prepare a case ahead of the
Eddie Price, chairman of the Trust, said he expects the


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