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Zoo News Digest Nov-Dec 2008


Pressured, Salisbury Quits Zoological Association Post
Lex Salisbury lost his job running Lowry Park Zoo.
Now he has resigned from a leadership position of a nonprofit zoo
organization after several members said he and another Lowry Park Zoo
staff member threatened the integrity of the group.
Salisbury and Larry Killmar, the zoo's director of collections, resigned
Thursday from the Zoological Association of America, which had its
office at Lowry Park Zoo. Killmar was chairman and Salisbury was
secretary of the fledgling organization, which supports exotic-animal
breeders, animal parks and

Zoo chief gone; problems aren't
Lex Salisbury lost his job as president of Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo
because he mingled zoo and personal business and abused his position.
The board that allowed that to happen finally woke up to its
responsibilities and forced him out last week. But it moved so slowly and
in such bad form that it was made plain that the zoo's problems go well
beyond Salisbury. The city of Tampa and Hillsborough County should not
contribute another dime

China's goodwill giant pandas arrive in Taiwan
A pair of giant pandas from China's fog-shrouded mountains reached an
excited but wary Taiwan on Tuesday, a symbol of improved relations
between the longtime political rivals who once stood at the brink of war.
Panda-decorated baggage trucks drove out to collect the crates carrying
Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan from the cargo hold of a jumbo jet that
landed at north Taiwan's major airport.
After arriving at the Taipei city zoo in a truck with police escorts, the
pandas, whose names said together mean "unite," were taken to a
T$300 million ($9.24 million) hillside complex where they should attract
huge crow

Zoo no place for pandas (Who the hell is Craig Redmond?)
Gordon Brown may be giving his backing to Edinburgh Zoo displaying
giant pandas, but it certainly will not save this endangered species from
extinction (your report, 17 December).
Renting a pair of pandas from China could cost the zoo £6 million, on
top of the cost of building an enclosure for them. Effective conservation
involves the protection of natural habitats, something the Chinese
authorities are already progressing with. Keeping the species in zoos is
an expensive and dangerous diversion from that.
Sending pandas from China to overseas zoos is often criticised as having
political rather than conservation motives. Next week

Polar bear Knut opts for meat over intruder
A 37-year-old man climbed over a fence and into the enclosure of
Berlin's celebrity polar bear on Monday, but escaped unharmed when
zookeepers distracted Knut the bear with a piece of meat, police
said. "The man said that he thought the polar bear was sad and lonely,
and that he wanted to keep him company," said Berlin police
spokeswoman Miriam Tauchmann. "He was very lucky that nothing

Meet Arizona's new aquarium: Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium
Still from the slide show at www.WildlifeWorld.comMore water has
come to the Valley and this time there are fish and aquatic animals in
it. "It" is a 135,000 gallon sea that will eventually be populated with
more than 400 species of animals. The doors to the Wildlife World
Aquarium, the newest attraction


Ohio zoo elephants unusually old?
Recent study suggests beasts live longer here
Ohio's pachyderms are packing on the years, living longer than a recent
study concluded that elephants do in European zoos.
"Middle-aged" would best describe most of the 13 elephants at four Ohio
zoos. They range in age from 20 to 41 if you don't count two youngsters.
"If you look at the U.S. zoo populations, right now over 60 percent of the
female African elephants are over 25 years old, so it's kind of hard then
to believe that study's conclusions," said Anne Baker, executive director
of the Toledo Zoo, which has two elephants.
Keepers at Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland zoos -- the three other
Ohio zoos with elephants -- also are skeptical of the study, published
recently in the journal Science. Researchers said the median life span
for elephants in European zoos was 16.9 to 18.9 years. Median means
half died younger than that age and half were older.
The median life span for

"Wild wolf" detected near Beijing's Great Wall
Police and forestry workers at Badaling, a section of the Great Wall in
northern Beijing, are setting traps for an alleged "wild wolf" which some
villagers claimed to have spotted -- and even captured on camera.
The forestry police station at Badaling in Beijing's rural Yanqing County
confirmed in an interview with Xinhua Tuesday they had received a
digital image of a wolf-like animal allegedly shot by a villager last Friday.
But police did not name the photographer.
Rumors that a wolf was wandering near the Great Wall, a landmark for
sightseers and mountaineers, spread rapidly among

Tiger attack, one year later: Zoo tries to reclaim mission while families
still grieve (Peter's Note: An interesting read)
Tanya Peterson had been acting director of the San Francisco Zoo for
little more than a month when she stood in the zoo's Great Hall in
August and addressed the employees who were still — she was
surprised to find — traumatized by the Christmas Day tiger attack.
Not only were some dealing with nightmares and feelings of guilt and
fear after the escaped tiger killed a San Jose teenager and wounded
two of his friends, she said, but many were questioning whether the zoo
still had a purpose. With attendance and donations plunging, plus
pressure from a county supervisor to convert the facility into an animal
rescue sanctuary, some worried the zoo might not survive. Even the
birth of three tiger cubs in the spring didn't pull the staff out of its funk.
Peterson made a plea:
"No one is going to rescue us," she remembers telling the assembled
group of about 130 employees in the lodge-like Great Hall, with its
towering stone fireplace. "We have to defend our zoo."
Now, a year after the tiger attack devastated one institution and two
families, the institution is healing. The families are not.
After Peterson's rallying cry that day, and

Zoo snake house to be revamped
The cramped snake house at Kamla Nehru Zoo in Kankaria is set to get
a new makeover. Soon, visitors will be able to view the unique collection
of native and exotic snakes in their natural surroundings. For that, one
has to first enter the giant belly of pre-historic dinosaur-shaped dome.
The reptiles will be housed in spacious and well-lit enclosures instead of
previous cramped cubicles. Each enclosure has been landscaped
keeping in mind natural habitats

City Zoo without elephant since 2006
For the last two years, the Elephant House at Karachi Zoo has been lying
deserted. In July 2006, the only female elephant, Anarkali, died at the
age of 65. Since then the authorities concerned cannot bring any
elephant neither for the zoo nor the Safari Park.
The EDO Community Development Department (CDD) Rehana Saif told
The Nation on Sunday that elephant would be brought to Karachi Zoo by
January 2009. She pointed out that these

Africa's Oldest Chimp, a Conservation Icon, Dies
Jane Goodall Institute staff members are mourning the death of
Gregoire, Africa's oldest known chimpanzee. Gregoire, who was 66
years old, was an international symbol for the conservation of all
animals, particularly those which suffered human-inflicted abuse prior to
their rescue.
On Dec. 17, Gregoire passed away peacefully in his sleep at JGI's
Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of
Congo. He died next to a female chimpanzee named Clara, from whom
he had been inseparable for many years.
"Gregoire was an incredibly resilient being," Lisa Pharoah, JGI Africa
Program manager for West and Central Africa, told Discovery
News. "Particularly for our Congolese staff, he served as a symbol for
how we can all overcome adversity. There was such a gentleness abo

Vietnam customs seize five tons of frozen pangolin meat
Vietnam customs officials said on Monday they had seized about five
tons of frozen pangolin meat, a protected species whose trade is illegal.
The 270 boxes of pangolin meat were found Friday in northern Quang
Ninh province, said an official at the Cai Lan port customs office, asking
not to be named.
Officials suspected the cargo was on its way to China, she said.
Another source at the port's customs office, who also asked not to be
named, said the meat came from 1,481 pangolins.
Pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, are protected under,prtpage-1.cms

Gorilla love: When Ngozi met Charles
Their first meeting was full of anticipation. For months, alone in her
cage, Ngozi had yearned for a primate touch. She had spent her days
watching Charles through a clear partition, restlessly awaiting the day
when they would meet.
When the fateful moment arrived, her excitement was palpable. Within
10 minutes of their first encounter, the two were in the throes of
passion. The keepers who watched over them were pleased, for the
union held a greater purpose. It was never just about love.
Instead, there lay a hope that their meeting would bring forth healthy
Unbeknownst to Ngozi, a young beauty of Gabonian descent, the future
of gorillas in Toronto rested on her strong, sinewy shoulders. She had
left behind her family at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle last spring, at

Rare rhino calves found in Indonesian jungle
Four calves of the world's rarest species of rhino have been found in
remote jungle on Indonesia's Java island, giving hope to efforts to save
them from extinction, an official said Tuesday.
"Four Javan rhinos of six to seven months age were seen by scientists
on the beach near the jungle during a recent field survey," Agus
Primabudi, the head of the Ujung Kulon National Park in West Java, told
Alerted to the presence of humans, the baby rhinos fled into the park to
where two adult rhinos aged roughly 35 to 36, believed to be their
parents, were staying, Primabudi said.
Primabudi said that the birth of the four calves has given new hope that
the Javan rhinos can breed in

San Jose family of teen killed by tiger sues San Francisco, zoo
The parents of a San Jose teenager who was fatally mauled a year ago
by a tiger that escaped its enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo filed a
lawsuit Tuesday against the city and the zoological society that owns
and operates the nearly 80-year-old institution.
Carlos Sousa Jr., 17, died at the zoo Christmas Day 2007 when a 250-
pound Siberian tiger named Tatiana escaped its enclosure and attacked
him and two friends, who were severely injured.
The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco County Superior Court, accuses the
city and the San Francisco Zoological Society of ignoring industry
standards and warnings from their own staff that the tiger enclosure
was inadequate to contain the animal.
"Siberian tigers are wild animals with a vicious disposition and possess
dangerous propensities," the suit said. "Defendants ignored warnings by
San Francisco Zoo employees that the Siberian tiger wall was
The suit, filed by Carlos' parents, Marilza and

SF man unveils sculpture of tiger that mauled teen
A San Francisco man has unveiled a sculpture of the Siberan tiger that
killed a teenager and injured two others in last year's Christmas Day
mauling at the San Francisco Zoo.
Sculptor Jon Engdahl says he considers the tiger, named Tatiana, a
victim. Police shot and killed the 243-pound animal after it escaped from
its enclosure and fatally mauled 17-year-old Carlos Sousa Jr. The tiger
also injured Sousa's friends, brothers Paul and Kulbir Dhaliwal.
Engdahl unveiled the sculpture Thursday on the city's Telegraph Hill. The
sculpture made from broken tiles and concrete is meant to look like the
tiger when it was young.
Sousa's parents sued the city and zoo Tuesday, alleging

Detroit Zoo welcomes newborn aardvark
The Detroit Zoo welcomed a baby aardvark this month.
Zoo officials are awaiting DNA test results to determine the sex of its
newborn aardvark, Amani (Swahili for "peace"), born at 1:05 a.m. Dec.
8 to mother Rachaael and father Mchimbaji.
The 23-inch infant arrived hairless, weighing 3 pounds, 10 ounces, with
ears measuring 4 inches. "This baby can only be described as hideously
cute," said Director of Conservation and Animal Welfare Scott
Carter. "Rachaael is a first-time mother and is showing great maternal
Due to the aardvark's clumsy nature and poor eyesight, zoo officials are
assisting Rachaael

Safari park at Ridiyagama
National Zoological Department has taken steps to set up a safari park at
Ridiyagama, Hambantota.
This proposed park will be constructed in a 500 acre landscape with the
objective of housing animals who live on fauna and flora. There will also
be a reptile park. Animals, birds and reptiles of foreign origin will be a
special feature in this park.
The construction work on this project was inaugurated recently and the
total expenditure would be in the region of Rs. 1.5 billion. The park will

Zoological Park to be established in Azerbaijan
On Dec. 26, the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, issued an order
establishing Zoological Park in Azerbaijan.
For this purpose, the Reserve Fund of the President will provide AZN
2.85mln, which will be spent on conducting studies in the chosen
territory, devising design projects, building and planning development of
the park.
The Cabinet of Ministers is in charge of creating Zoological Park

Elephant settling in at new home
Jackson, the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium's 29-year-old African
elephant, is making himself at home at the International Conservation
Center and seems to be adjusting well to his new surroundings.
The 11,000-pound animal traveled from the zoo last week to the 724-
acre conservation center, and on Tuesday, zoo administrators showed
off his state-of-the-art housing facility.
Jackson will be joined by two female elephants from the Philadelphia
Zoo early next year for breeding.
"The main benefit of having this center is its size because there is more
room to move around, as opposed to the zoo," said Willie Theison, the
zoo's elephant manager.
Theison added that Jackson was disoriented his first day but quickly
began to explore and got

Orangutans learn to trade favours
Orangutans can help each other get food by trading tokens, scientists
have discovered - but only if the help goes in both directions.
Researchers from the University of St Andrews found orangutans could
learn the value of tokens and trade them, helping each other win
An article in Biology Letters, claims it is the first evidence of "calculated
reciprocity" in non-human primates.
Gorillas and chimpanzees were much less willing to co-operate, they
Two orangutans - Bim and Dok - who live in Leipzig Zoo, Germany, were
especially good at helping each other.
Initially, they were given several sets of tokens, and learned the

Despite rocky start, Mahal growing up to be normal orangutan
He loves bungee cords and building blocks and making loud noises. He's
bulking up, growing confident and looking a bit lanky. Gone is the
roundness of a baby.
This is Mahal, the Milwaukee County Zoo's Bornean orangutan, at 20
months old -nearly one year after arriving in Milwaukee to a new life
with a surrogate mom named M.J.
He came here on Feb. 7 aboard a private jet provided by wealthy
industrialists Terry and Mary Kohler, looking for a fresh start after his
rocky first months: a chaotic birth followed by hand-raising and
repeated, failed attempts to reunite him

Two baboons die of exposure at New Brunswick zoo
Staff at a New Brunswick zoo are investigating the tragic deaths of two
African baboons. They were accidentally left out in the cold overnight on
Monday as temperatures in Moncton dipped to -20 C.
Bruce Dougan of the Magnetic Hill Zoo, where the incident took place,
told CTV Newsnet on Wednesday the animals were mistakenly locked
out of their cages by a staff member. The worker had been cleaning the
interior of their cage.
Dougan said zoo officials have to temporarily lock a passageway to clean
the cage. When it isn't locked, the passage allows the baboons to enter
and leave the indoor cage on their

300 animals die from poor care at Chiang Mai Night Safari (Peter's Note:
Hell of a statement from the Director...does he not take any of the
A chronic lack of experience among zoo keepers had led to the deaths of
almost 300 animals at the Chiang Mai Night Safari in just two years, zoo
director Preecha Ratanaporn said yesterday. Poor diet and inadequate
care from the zoo's veterinarians had caused the demise of many
animals, including zebra and giraffe, he said.
The zoo is home to about 1,700 animals but the complex employs just
six veterinarians.
Chiang Mai Night Safari, initiated by the Thaksin administration, opened
on Feb 6, 2006. It is located in Muang district's tambon Suthep and Hang
Dong district's tambon Nong Khwai.
The zoo director's statement came after members of the web board for
nature and animals at discussed the matter. They said the
cost of the dead animals could be as high as 26 million baht.
Mr Preecha, however, said most of the dead animals were small
animals, such as birds, flying squirrels and deer.
''We don't think this is a big issue,'' Mr Preecha said.
Although some 300 animals had died, the zoo also had been blessed
with 290 newborn animals, he said.
Mr Preecha said some animals imported from Africa were exhausted by
the journey and could not adjust to their new environment.
''Some of them had digestive problems as they ate too

Zoo begins work on $1 million exhibit for 2 giant anteaters
The coming attraction at the Santa Ana Zoo? A creature that shuffles
along on its knuckles, slurps up termites with a sticky, 2-foot-long
tongue and will most likely be named Peter.
The zoo has broken ground on a $1 million home for a pair of giant
anteaters. Zoo officials are offering naming rights to any big donor who
steps forward with the money to

Australia Zoo heartache for Steve Irwin's dad Bob
THE original "croc hunter", Bob Irwin, says that if he had his time again
there would be no Australia Zoo.
The father of the late Steve Irwin said a lot of "heartache" had come
from the famous tourist park he had helped build on the Sunshine Coast.
Mr Irwin, 69, said he was proud of the zoo but, if he had his time again,
he wouldn't build it.
"You look back now and think it was all worth it," he told The Sunday
Mail last week.
"Mind you, I don't think I'd do it again. No, I wouldn't."
Speaking from the back veranda of his home on a newly established
wildlife reserve, Mr Irwin said he never set out to create the zoo as it is
known today.
"I just wanted to make a living out of something I enjoyed," he said.
"But it was a lot of hard work and there was a lot of heartache."
Mr Irwin said it also meant he didn't get to spend as much time with his
children as he would have liked.
He said he was happy to spend the rest of his days caring for injured
wildlife on his property north of Kingaroy.
"I've been here since I resigned from the zoo (in March). Resigned, not
retired – there's a big difference," he said.
Mr Irwin said Camp Chilli was his private retreat and he had no intention
of turning it into a tourist destination like Australia Zoo, now run by his
daughter-in-law Terri Irwin.
"It's not for people, it's just for animals," he said.
Camp Chilli is his tribute to Steve, named after a special memory of the
pair's crocodile hunting adventures.
"That's a personal story betw,23739,24848337-5007190,00.html

Another Taiwan zoo seeks China's pandas
After the Taipei Zoo received two giant pandas from China, another
Taiwan zoo said on Friday it is seeking to receive a pair of pandas from
The Leofoo Village Theme Park in Hsinchu, western Taiwan, which
applied for two Chinese pandas but lost to the Taipei Zoo, said it hopes
that China can give Taiwan another pair of pandas.
"We have built the Panda enclosure and three animals caretakers have
received training in China. We have made all the preparations," Yuan
Hsiang-chieh, director of the theme park, told Deutsche Presse- Agentur
dpa by phone.
Taiwan press reports said China

Emu stabbed to death at Qld zoo
An emu has been stabbed to death at a central Queensland Zoo.
Police are investigating the suspicious death of the bird, which happened
at Bundaberg's Alexandra Park and Zoo on Tuesday night.
RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty described the scene as vicious.
"Somebody snuck into the zoo. It was in an enclosure and they've just
gone in and stabbed the animal," Mr Beatty said.
"Something very similar to this happened about 10 years ago."
Mr Beatty said the zoo had moved an ostrich from its enclosure, fearing
for its safety.
"If they catch the offenders, we're going


Puerto Rico hunting, killing troublesome monkeys
The easy life is over for hundreds of monkeys — some harboring herpes
and hepatitis — that have run wild through southwestern Puerto Rico for
more than 30 years.
Authorities launched a plan this month to capture and kill the monkeys
before they spread across the entire island, threatening agriculture,
native wildlife and possibly people. But some animal experts and the
farmers who have complained for years about the rhesus and patas
monkeys think it may be too late.
"I don't honestly believe they will ever get rid of the patas monkeys in
Puerto Rico," said Dr. Mark Wilson, director of the Florida International
Teaching Zoo, which has helped find zoos willing to take some of the
animals. "They may go deep into the forest, but they will never go away.
There's just too many of them, and they are too smart."
At least 1,000 monkeys from at least 11 distinct colonies populate the
Lajas Valley. After a year of study, rangers began trapping them in steel
cages that are about 10 feet long, baited with food and equipped with a
trip lever. Two

Aceh Tigers Soon to be Released Into Forest
A pair of rare Sumatran tigers held in captivity for a month will be
released back into the wild soon, the Natural Resources Conservation
Office of Aceh said on Thursday.
"The two tigers are in good physical condition but they cannot stay in
cages for good because they are wild animals and their cages are too
small," Christopher Stremme of the Veterinary Society for Sumatra
Wildlife Conservation, a Medan-based NGO, said.
The tigers, one male and one female, are being kept by the
conservation office in cages measuring three by two meters.The male is
still receiving medical treatment for a trap-induced wound, which
Stremme said would take at least two more weeks to fully heal.
Both tigers will be released into a forest in the Nagan Raya, Pidie, Aceh
Besar or Aceh Jaya districts, pending approval from district heads. The

Endangered wild dog exhibit opens at Werribee Zoo
An exhibit featuring one of Africa's most endangered animals has
opened at Werribee Zoo.
Nine female african wild dogs are on show, including a mother and her
eight daughters.
Next year, the zoo is planning to introduce male dogs to the pack and
will attempt to breed them.
It is estimated there are only a few thousand african wild dogs left,
fewer than the number of white rhino.
The dogs are not related

Tigers, Rhinos, Polar Bears And Elephants Among Most Threatened
Species In 2009, Says World Wildlife Fund
World Wildlife Fund today released its annual list of some of the most
threatened species around the world, saying that the long-term survival
of many iconic animals is increasingly in doubt due to a host of threats.
WWF's list of "9 to Watch in 2009" includes such well-known and
beloved species as polar bears, tigers, gorillas, pandas, elephants,
whales and rhinos, as well as the lesser-known black-footed ferret and
vaquita. WWF scientists say these, and many other species, are at
greater risk than ever before because of poaching, habitat loss and
climate change-related

Shark jumps out of aquarium into swimming pool
A shark managed to jump out of its aquarium on to a water slide at a
hotel swimming pool used by guests.
The female reef shark, one of various exotic creatures in the popular
Mayan Temple aquarium at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, tumbled
down the slide –known as the Leap of Faith – after vaulting the one foot
high and 18 in wide barrier around its pool.
Although the creature survived the journey its body could not cope with
the chlorinated water in the swimming pool at the bottom of the slide.
Rescuers managed to return the 12-year-old shark to its own pool but it
died shortly afterwards.
Staff at the Atlantis resort said that guests were never at risk as the
water park had yet to open for the morning. The shark posed no threat
to humans and regularly swam with guests in its aquarium
"The Atlantis Aquarists believe the shark was startled by an unusual
circumstance that we have no way of defining completely. In the over
ten years guests have experienced the Leap of

Lion Kills Tiger in Zoo
If a lion and a tiger fight, which will win?
At a zoo in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, a lion did.
A male lion killed a female tiger by biting her in the neck at Jeonju Zoo
around 3:40 p.m. Wednesday.
The incident occurred when the five-year-old lion, named ``Cheongi,''
fell into a trench five meters below his yard, which segregates the pen
from zoo visitors, while attempting to catch a chicken that a zookeeper
had thrown to him.
Right after the lion's falling, the tiger, six-year-old ``Hobi,'' who was in
her pen next to Cheongi's, jumped into the trench. ``Hobi, excited while
watching it, jumped down to the trench. She made a poor landing, then
Cheongi attacked her, bit a fatal spot, and killed her,'' the zookeeper
The lion and the tiger were similar in length, but the former was heavier
by about 20 kilograms, weighing 110 kilograms. Hobi, a Siberian tiger,
was moved to the zoo in 2006.
``It is rare that a tiger and a lion fight. The lion seems to have thought
the tiger invaded his territory and attacked her,'' the zookeeper

Rescued Otter Makes A Splash With Return To Wild
The carrier door swung open and the otter took a cautious step before
breaking into a trot toward the water and disappearing with a splash.
He swam up the Hillsborough River, made a U-turn and swam the other
way, diving and resurfacing with barely a ripple.
The release this morning marked the first time an otter cared for at The
Florida Aquarium has been returned to the wild.
This otter made its way to the aquarium thanks to the attention and
patience of Jeff Eilertsen of Lakeland.
Eilertsen knew something wasn't right when he spotted a dark shape
slumped next to a four-lane access

Elephants make other herbivores feel safe from predators
A new study has suggested that elephants may make other herbivores
feel safe from predators, especially when all the animals are gathered
at a water hole.
According to a report in New Scientist, the study was conducted by
Marion Valeix, then at the National Centre for Scientific Research in
Beauvoir-sur-Niort, France.
The aim of her study was to find out if some elephant populations have
increased due to reduced poaching and creation

Scientists Try To Let the Blind 'See' Fish
The audio aquarium works through a camera that uses recognition
software that tracks objects based on their shape and color. The
software then links each movement to different instruments that change
in pitch and tempo as the fish patrol the tank. Fish that move toward the
surface have a higher pitch. The faster they move, the faster the tempo.

China: Pandas to Be Sent to Taiwan
Two pandas that the government had promised to send to Taiwan as a
good-will offering will begin their journey to Taipei on Tuesday, a
government official said this week. China had announced in 2005 that it
was sending the pandas to Taiwan, but their departure has been
delayed. Some pro-independence politicians in Taiwan have urged the
Taiwanese government not to accept the pandas. Ma Ying-jeou,
Taiwan's president, said when he took office this year that he would
accept the pandas as part of efforts to improve relations with the
mainland. The 4-year-old pandas will be kept in the Taipei zoo and are
called Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, whose names together me

Association of Zoos and Aquariums Hails Incoming NOAA Administrator
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) today commended
President-elect Obama's choice of Dr. Jane Lubchenco to be the
incoming Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA).
"Dr. Lubchenco is a well-respected and distinguished scientist and a
passionate advocate for marine conservation," said AZA President and
CEO Jim Maddy. "AZA-accredited aquariums have worked closely with
Dr. Lubchenco and have tremendous

Nearly frozen sea turtle heading to rehab
His name is Herb, and he was very, very cold when he was found on a
Cape Cod beach.
The 75-pound loggerhead sea turtle was discovered by volunteers from
the Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary at Wellfleet Bay and was taken to
the New England Aquarium in Boston for a slow but steady warmup.
The aquarium said Herb's body temperature was in the 40s when he
was found on the beach in Truro on Dec. 3. Veterinarians and rescue
biologists slowly warmed him about five degrees each day,


1,000 new jungle species discovered
Spiders, mammals, snakes among Mekong region finds
More than 1,000 species – spiders, mammals, snakes and a hot pink,
poisonous millipede - have been discovered in the Greater Mekong
region of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, creating an urgency for
environmental groups that fear widespread destruction of the land.
"In the current world of discoveries in our planet, this is very big," said
Pete Ewins, spokesperson for the World Wildlife Foundation.
The report, titled First Contact: New Species Discoveries, was released
by WWF last week. It examines a decade's worth of discoveries in the
greater Mekong region, comprising Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar,
Thailand, Vietnam and China's Yunnan province.
"Now that the region has

Tigers at Thai Temple Drugged Up or Loved Up?
Monks Deny Conservationists' Claim That Animals Are Drugged
Deep in the heart of Western Thailand, where the River Kwai weaves
through the rich green jungle, the monks of the Wat Pa Luang Ta Bua
Temple are beginning their day.
They walk through the town and collect alms from the locals. But back at
the temple for breakfast and prayers, it's clear that this Buddhist
monastery is like no other, for this handful of monks live with some of
the deadliest animals in the world.
They call it the Tiger Temple, and its story is the stuff of fairy tales.
According to Abbot Pra-Acharn Phusit, a tiger cub orphaned by poachers
was brought to the temple years ago.
The abbot cared for her and, as word spread, more people

Zoo Negara officer out to stop needless killing of serpents
Zoo Negara media relations officer Tayalan Raman is on a one-man
crusade to promote snake conservation.
"Snakes are a misunderstood lot because people find it hard to relate to
"It does not help that some societies regard their presence

Endangered minnows reintroduced into the Rio Grande
Biologists braved the cold and snow as they loaded thousands of
endangered minnows into trucks for a 12-hour trip to Texas, where the
tiny fish will be released into the Rio Grande near Big Bend National Park.
The team of experts at the Albuquerque Biological Park said Monday the
release will be a big step toward ensuring the survival of the rare Rio
Grande silvery minnow, which was listed as endangered in 1994 due to
its plummeting population.
The minnow used to be abundant in the Rio Grande and some of its
tributaries from northern New Mexico down to the Gulf of Mexico. Due to
pressures on the river and changes in habitat, the minnow today only
occupies about 5 percent of its historic

Global response to lemur deaths
Donations have been sent from across the world to the owner of an
animal park in Cumbria after he lost 30 lemurs in a blaze.
David Gill, who runs South Lakes Wild Animal Park, in Dalton, has
received hundreds of pounds, letters and cards from those affected by
the tragedy.
Nearly a quarter of his Madagascan primates died in the fire, which
destroyed one of the animal enclosures.
A fire spokesman said it was caused by an electrical fault in a heater.
Mr Gill, whose wife gave birth to their fifth child shortly after the blaze,
said: "It has had a huge

Chicken-free menu at zoo
The authorities of the Assam State Zoo here have taken tips from the
authorities of the Sepahijhola Zoo in Tripura to make its leopard and
jungle cats to change to mutton as chicken has been taken off the menu
following the outbreak of bird flu in the city.
The zoo's Divisional Forest Officer, Narayan Mahanta, told The Hindu
that he had got in touch with the Sepahijhola Zoo as the animals were
reluctant to take mutton after chicken was completely stopped from
December 11. As the animals refused to eat raw mutton, the next day
they were served boiled mutton but they were still reluctant to take it.
However, Sepahijhola Zoo officials told Mr. Mahanta that the animals
would eventually start taking mutton.
Zoo authorities have also stopped procuring eggs, which are normally
given to bears as an additional food item. Mr. Mahanta said that after
the outbreak of the disease, the zoo stopped

Judge issues order in tiger case
A district court judge signed a temporary restraining order today that
blocks state wildlife officials from seizing a 550-pound Siberian-Bengal
tiger from a Gross Tete truck stop pending a hearing Dec. 29.
The ruling by 18th Judicial District Judge J. Robin Free was in response
to a lawsuit that Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin filed against
the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Iberville Parish
State wildlife officials had given Sandlin a deadline of today to
move "Tony" from his cage at

Information release: Captive elephant used in tourism safaris kills
handler, Victoria Falls
A recent fatal incident at a sanctuary which uses captive elephants for
tourist safari rides in Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) highlights some of the
many concerns over this much criticised industry.
Representatives of Wild Horizons have confirmed that earlier this week
Gavin Best, an experienced and well respected handler of captive
elephants used in their tourist elephant-back safari rides, was killed in a
horrific and tragic incident by one of the elephants in his care. They
have suspended their elephant tourism interactions whilst the incident is
investigated. Wild Horizons recently established the `Wild Horizons
Wildlife Trust' to support their commercial elephant-back tours and
elephant `orphanage'. They currently have a total of 16 captive

Whistleblower Tips Off Group About Heartless Plan
After being contacted by a concerned whistleblower, PETA fired off a
letter today to the executive director of The ZOO of Northwest Florida
imploring her to cancel plans to remove a 3-year-old orangutan named
Indah from her mother Sara, allegedly so that the youngster can be sold
to a facility in Connecticut. Orangutans and their offspring share
intensely close bonds and will typically stay together for eight years.
"Forcibly removing Indah from Sara will cause immeasurable grief and
leave both animals emotionally scarred," says PETA captive exotic

New database to help zoos manage, find animals
It's a herd. It's a crane. No, it's the super animal database!
And if testing goes well, this global software system will be soon coming
to a zoo near you to revolutionize how captive animals are bred, cared
for and perhaps even saved from extinction.
"It's not that the (animal) data doesn't exist; it's that the data is
scattered all over the place," said Elisabeth Hunt of the Minnesota-based
International Species Information System, or ISIS.
"Being able to get it quickly, efficiently and accurately in one place is
going to make a huge difference in keeping (endangered) populations
from disappearing."
Hunt is the director of training and support for ISIS, which maintains

Secret Scotland - Glasgow Zoo
Glasgow Zoo closed on August 23, 2003.
As of January 2005, the zoo grounds remain and there are still a
number of the smaller animals such as llamas, ponies and ostriches on
the site, although the majority of the building have been decimated by
local vandals.
The were two car park areas to the front of the zoo. One has been
fenced off, while the other has recently been developed as a block of
luxury flats.
The main entrance was just off nearby Hamilton Road, where these
signs faced the road. Shortly after they were recorded, the multicolour
sign painted on the stone wall was eradicated when it was painted over

Scottsbluff, Neb. zoo director resigns
The director of Riverside Zoo in Scottsbluff has announced his
Joe Clawson's resignation takes effect Sunday. Clawson has been the
zoo's director since September 2005.
Clawson says it's time for someone else "dream for the zoo" and come
up with some new ideas.
Riverside Zoo Society President Tony Kaufman credits Clawson with
helping turn the zoo into a tourist attraction. Clawson

Management Plan Approved For Conservation Park
The Christchurch City Council has approved a management plan for the
Isaac Conservation Park.
The conservation park covers about 1200 hectares of land t between
Christchurch International Airport and the Waimakariri River and is
owned by the Isaac Wildlife Trust.
The Council recently provided for mineral extraction activities within the
Park as part of a variation to the City Plan. Included in the variation was
a requirement for a management plan, the purpose being to manage
the range of competing uses within the park such as quarrying,

Zoo apologizes for smelly gorillas
Zookeepers at Chessington Zoo in Surrey, England have issued an
apology to visitors due to the foul stench coming from a gorilla enclosure
after the animals were fed brussel sprouts.
The primates were fed the green treats due to the vitamin C they
But, the strong smells produced from the gorillas

Crested ibis raised in captivity found dead in Niigata Prefecture
One of 10 Japanese crested ibises, released into the wild by a
conservation center on the island of Sado in September, was found
dead on Sunday near Lake Kamo in the center of the city.
According to the Ministry of the Environment, the ibis, which was
believed to have a leg injury, was discovered dead by a local resident at
around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday in the woods near the lake. Yuki Iwasa, a
ranger at the ministry's

Elephant Moves From Zoo To Somerset Co.
An 11,000-pound elephant was moved from the Pittsburgh Zoo to the
International Conservation Center in Somerset County on Wednesday.
Jackson, a bull elephant, rode to the center in an 18-wheel truck with a
reinforced ceiling so he wouldn't poke a hole through it.
Willie Theison, the elephant manager at the Pittsburgh Zoo, said the

Zoo official fights critical audit, blames mayor
The attorney for suspended Lowry Park Zoo Chief, Lex Salisbury is
defending his client and striking out at Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio.
Attorney Robert McKee says Salisbury didn't do all that should have been
done and he realizes that today in spades. And, while McKee admits
mistakes were made in Salisbury's private venture, Safari Wild, he
maintains Salisbury didn't do anything wrong.
McKee says what is wrong is blurring the line between the appearance
of impropriety and impropriety. McKee says that line is being blurred and
he places the blame on Iorio.
McKee implied the Mayor bordered on unethical behavior by having an
audit of the zoo done by people who work for her. McKee says the
Mayor prejudged Salisbury's actions from the beginning when she
dubbed the incident "Rhinogate".
But Santiago Corrada, the city's point man on the board, points out the
American Zoological Association also concluded Salisbury did something
wrong and he says the audit was no

Tampa Zoo Chief Disputes Charges - Dec 15
Embattled Lowry Park Zoo president Lex Salisbury is fighting back
against allegations of improper conduct outlined in a city audit released
last week.
"I've provided a full, fair, accurate explanation for my role in each of
these transactions to the auditors who, for whatever reason, chose to
ignore these explanations and other exculpatory evidence I've presented
to conclude that I've unjustly enriched myself at the zoo's expense,''
Salisbury said in prepared remarks released today shortly before his
lawyer held a news conference on his behalf.
"Nothing could be further from

Lowry Zoo CEO Says He'll Make Amends If Fault Is Found - Dec 15
Lex Salisbury, president and CEO of Lowry Park Zoo, defended his
tenure with the zoo against a critical city audit and said he will answer
questions at a special zoo board meeting Thursday.
In a written statement, Salisbury did not say directly whether he hopes
to remain in his job but focused instead on the board meeting.
"At the end of the process, if it is determined that any error in judgment
I may have made may have resulted in detriment to the zoo, I will make
amends. I ask only that no judgment be made about my conduct until all
of the facts are considered."
Here are other highlights from the statement, issued this afternoon
during a news conference at his attorneys' Ybor City office. Salisbury did
not attend.

Zoo leader takes issue with audit - Dec 16
Embattled Lowry Park Zoo president Lex Salisbury attacked city auditors
Monday, saying they ignored his explanations in the 60-page report that
accused him of enriching himself at the taxpayer-funded zoo's expense.
Salisbury did not attend a news conference but released a statement
through his attorney, who called the city audit biased and the
auditors "minions" of Mayor Pam Iorio.
Labor attorney Robert McKee said Iorio behaved inappropriately when
she made negative statements about Salisbury's conduct early on,
including referring to a zoo animal loan made to him as "Rhinogate."
In doing so, McKee said, she compromised the objectivity of the audit.
He also classified the city's contribution to the zoo — $450,000 a year,
plus its land and animals — as "very small."
City officials say they

What's best for Lowry Park Zoo is at stake in this fight - Dec 17
Tampa's zoo chief to those who want him fired: It's on.
Last week came a blistering 60-page city audit that says Lowry Park Zoo
president Lex Salisbury took animals and property from the taxpayer-
supported zoo to his own safari park business and private ranch.
Not good.
The audit also details other assorted potential conflicts and eyebrow-
raisers, among them a side trip to Paris and $12,700 in local restaurant
charges on the zoo's tab.
Also not good.
This has some officials, including the mayor, looking for Salisbury's
ouster as well as law enforcement scrutiny of his zoo-related doings.
Meanwhile, the zoo's accreditation by a national group hangs in the
This week, Salisbury fought back. (Actually, his lawyer fought back.
Salisbury is apparently saving his voice for the zoo's governing board at
a meeting tomorrow, when he makes a last-ditch bid to defend himself
and save his job.)
At a news conference Monday, attorney Robert McKee pointed out that
Mayor Pam Iorio used the term "Rhinogate." He said the audit came with
a built-in bias.
In truth, the mayor stayed largely out of things during the review. The
idea that when she said "Rhinogate," city auditors actually heard, "Bring
me Salisbury's head on a platter!" seems a most unlikely reach.
Though McKee offered explanations for some of the allegations, the
picture still isn't pretty. At best, we have a messy mixing

Iorio Stunned Activities At Zoo Didn't Raise Flag
Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio said the lack of oversight at the Lowry Park Zoo
is astonishing.
With a zoo board meeting looming Thursday that could lead to the
ouster of zoo President and CEO Lex Salisbury, the mayor said she
doesn't understand how some board members seemed to know so little
about Salisbury's mingling of zoo and private business.
A city audit released Friday said Salisbury routinely took zoo animals,
equipment and supplies for his private ranch and for Safari Wild, a for-
profit exotic-animal park he is building in Polk County. The audit said
Salisbury should repay the zoo at least $202,000.
"It really has caused us to wonder how all this could've gone on so long
without anyone raising a red flag about it," Iorio said.
Iorio said some board members didn't even know basic information like
how much the zoo was paying Salisbury. Auditors reported that with
salary and benefits, Salisbury pulled

Monkey Saga Behind Zoo Controversy Has Ended - Dec 18
The last of 15 monkeys that escaped from Safari Wild have been
recovered, ending a saga that set in motion the events leading to the
resignation today of Lowry Park Zoo President Lex Salisbury.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Gary
Morse confirmed that the five monkeys still at large in late October have
been accounted for. Four of them were trapped, at least one this week,
and one was found dead in th

Where are zoo's tiger cubs? (Peter's Comment -Makes a fascinating
Nothing draws people to zoos like cute baby animals. And the birth of
two white Bengal tigers at Lowry Park Zoo this fall was no exception.
Who couldn't smile as the two tiny cubs felt their way around the zoo's
Asia exhibit?
But few people remember their siblings — an equally cuddly pair of
white Bengal tigers born at the zoo last year.
Several months ago, Lowry officials shipped those tigers to a facility in
Kansas that is not accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
(AZA) and whose owner's past dealings in the exotic animal trade are
The man responsible for that decision: embattled Lowry president Lex
Salisbury. This morning, Salisbury will try to keep his $339,000-a-year
job when he appears before the zoo's board of directors to answer
questions about a critical city audit.
The 60-page audit says Salisbury took zoo animals and materials to both
Safari Wild, his yet-to-open Polk County exotic animal park, and his
residential game ranch in Pasco County. It says he used salaried zoo

Lowry Park Zoo Director Announces Resignation - Dec 20
For 21 years, Lex Salisbury was the future of Lowry Park Zoo.
The often charming and charismatic zoo chief gets credit for turning a
meager collection of animals into one of the nation's finest zoos.
But on Thursday, even as it praised his contributions, the board
Salisbury had largely hand-picked decided he used staff, equipment and
animals from the taxpayer-funded zoo to help build his for-profit exotic
animal park, Safari Wild.
The pasty-skinned man known as "the White Devil" by people who
feared and adored him was asked to resign after the board met for
nearly five hours at a noisy office park near Tampa International Airport.
The warm day turned surreal when Salisbury's wife was cited for
leaving two dogs in their dusty Nissan Pathfinder as Salisbury tried to
save his job. In a final twist, news broke that the last of 15 missing
patas monkeys were recovered at a Polk County sod farm, eight months
after their escape from Safari Wild triggered Salisbury's downfall.
Salisbury left the building without any severance and without speaking to
reporters. He had been on paid

Zoo CEO Resigns; Wife Faces Charges
For 21 years, Lex Salisbury was the future of Lowry Park Zoo.
The charismatic and often charming zoo chief gets credit for turning a
meager collection of animals into one of the nation's finest zoos.
But on Thursday, even as it praised his contributions, the board
Salisbury had largely hand-picked decided he used staff, equipment and
animals from the taxpayer-funded zoo to help build his for-profit exotic-
animal park in Polk County, Safari

Lex's menagerie of malfeasance -Dec 19
What should we call this tawdry tale of money-grubbing, insider
cronyism and flat-out hucksterism on the savannah? The Snow Job of
Who would have thought the affairs of sweet little Lowry Park Zoo would
turn into something out of the Chicago City Council meets Tammany
It was only a few short months ago that Lowry Park's president, Lex
Salisbury, was enjoying something of a Marlin Perkins reputation for
being a zoological messiah only to become the Lex Luthor of Lemurs.
Alas, increasing scrutiny of Salisbury's stewardship of Lowry Park
revealed a man who treated the zoo as if it was his own personal Sam's
Club of critters, using the institution's resources and animals to enhance
his private business interests while dragooning his employees as if they
were lackeys doing his bidding.
A recent audit of the zoo's management exposed Salisbury as little more
than Leona Helmsley in a pith helmet, finding the president comingled
many Lowry Park operations with his private, for-profit Polk County
attraction, Safari Wild.
Salisbury was found to have given himself an extra $7,000 bonus,
presumably for his deftly executed public relations coup in turning the
zoo into a bigger public relations embarrassment than Sarah Palin's
fashion consultant.
The audit discovered that the zoo's answer to General Motors purchased
a pair of zebras for $2,000 but later charged Lowry Park $10,000 for
another pair of zebras. Geez, with this kind of accounting, Salisbury
might have a second act as a Pentagon bean counter.
The review of Salisbury's keen management skills also disclosed a
transaction in which the president approved the transfer of an $8,000
lawn mower to the zoo in exchange for a $13,000 Mercedes truck, at a


Thirty lemurs die in Cumbrian zoo blaze
Thirty lemurs were killed in a blaze at a Cumbrian zoo last night.
Firefighters battled flames at South Lakes Wild Animal Park for two-and-
a-half hours after it broke out at 8.25pm. Zoo boss David Gill braved
thick smoke and flames and rescued about 13 rare animals.
The cause of the blaze is still being investigated but Mr Gill believes it
may have been started by a faulty electrical heater.
Although the park was open as normal today, he said staff had been in
Mr Gill said the only reason the usually free-roaming creatures had been
locked up for the night was to protect them from the bitterly cold
weather. They included ringtails, red ruffed and black and white fronted
Mr Gill said: "The flames

Elephants live longer in wild than zoos
Zoo elephants don't live as long as those in the wild, according to a
study sure to stir debate about keeping the giant animals on display.
Researchers compared the life spans of elephants in European zoos with
those living in Amboseli National Park in Kenya and others working on a
timber enterprise in Myanmar. Animals in the wild or in natural working
conditions had life spans twice that or more of their relatives in zoos.
Animal care activists have campaigned in recent years to discourage
keeping elephants in zoos, largely because of the lack of space and
small numbers of animals that can be kept in a group. Debates have
been especially vocal in Dallas and Los Angeles.
The researchers found that the median life span for African elephants in
European zoos was 16.9 years, compared with 56 years for elephants
who died of natural causes in Kenya's Amboseli park. Adding in those
elephants killed by people in Africa lowered the median life span there
to 35.9 years. Median means half died younger than that age and half
lived longer.
For the more endangered Asian elephants, the median life span in
European zoos was 18.9 years, compared with 41.7 years for those
working in the Myanmar Timber Enterprise. Myanmar is the country
formerly known as Burma.
There is some good news, though. The life spans of zoo elephants have
improved in recent years, suggesting an improvement in their care and
raising, said one of the report's authors, Georgia J. Mason of the animal
sciences department at the University of Guelph, Canada.
But, she added, "protecting elephants in Africa and Asia is far more
successful than protecting them in Western zoos."

Poaching May Erase Elephants From Chad Wildlife Park
The elephant population in one of central Africa's remaining wildlife
strongholds may vanish within the next two to three years if poaching
continues at recent levels, according to conservationists who recently
surveyed the park.
Researchers conducted two sample surveys this year of African elephant
populations in Chad's Zakouma National Park. Both counts indicate that
there may be just a thousand members of the species left in this 1,200-
square-mile (3,100-square-kilometer) refuge.
That represents a significant decrease from 2005, when the population
was estimated at 3,885. In 2006 conservationists counted 3,020
After the 2006 census, nearly 120 elephant carcasses leftover from ivory
poaching were discovered in herds in and around park.
(Watch video from the 2006 survey.)
Because some elephants leave Zakouma during their winter migration,
the 2008 numbers—from both the Chadian government, in conjunction

Zoo elephants die sooner, study says
But zookeepers dispute researchers' finding they live longer in wild,
saying it's out of date
A small paper in North America's most prestigious scientific journal is
sending a stampede of controversy through the zoo world by suggesting
captive elephants are doomed to live shorter lives than their wild
Zoo elephants are living truncated lives, as little as one-third the lifespan
of pachyderms in protected preserves, says the study, which was co-
authored by a top University of Guelph veterinarian.
The paper, which looked at 4,500 elephants, appears today in the
journal Science.
But news of the research has already been trumpeted throughout the
international zoo community.
Zoo officials charge the paper is based on living conditions that no
longer exist in prestigious facilities and does not take into account the
North American experience with elephant care.
University of Guelph vet Dr. Georgia Mason, the senior study author,
says her research looked at 45 years of breeding data from African
game parks, Burmese logging operations and zoos across Europe to
reach its "counterintuitive" conclusion.
That is, despite facing predators, parasites and the occasional drought,
wild elephant life spans can be triple those of their pampered and
doctored zoo counterparts, Mason says.
African elephants lived a median of about 17 years in captivity, while
those in Kenya's Amboseli National Park averaged 56.
Indeed, Mason says, zoos appear to be so bad for the animals that even
Indian elephants raised to be bulldozers in the Burmese logging industry
have longer lives. Captive Indians lived about 19 years in zoos while the
logging animals lived an average of 42 in the forests.
But Dr. Bill Rapley, head of conservation and research at the Toronto
Zoo, was highly critical of the paper and said it did not reflect the
elephant experience in modern North American facilities like his.
"This paper, I think, it's sort of like you can take a machine gun and
shoot holes through it," says Rapley, the zoo's original veterinarian, who
questioned the study's accuracy and findings.
Rapley says his African elephant sisters Tara and Tessa are already 40,
while Iringa is 39, Toka, 38 and Thika, the youngest, 28.
He says that's far older than the zoo Africans found in the study. The
zoo did, however, lose the female Tequila, Thika's mother, at 38, last

Let's face up to the elephant in the room
ONE OF the greatest privileges of my life was seeing elephants in the
wild at Tsavo East National Park in Kenya. We travelled for hours over
dusty savannah, arriving at a waterhole in the late afternoon and were
rewarded with the breathtaking vision of a herd of elephants, silhouetted
against the setting sun.
Elephants fill you with awe. They are astonishing creatures. The African
elephant is the largest living land mammal, larger than its Asian relative -
the sheer bulk is astonishing in itself - but there's so much more to this
magnificent pachyderm.
Elephants are highly intelligent, gregarious and capable of emotions we
associate with humans: they even appear to grieve over dead
companions. That tear-jerking scene from Dumbo where Dumbo's
mother strokes him with her trunk through the bars of her cage was no
Disney licence. We stood and watched the herd touching and caressing
one another and entwining their trunks. Female elephants, of course,
are famously attentive mothers and look after any vulnerable members
of their herd and form family groups that span several generations.
Even if you have never seen an elephant, it doesn't take much
imagination to see that keeping elephants in zoos can't be right, and as
if any affirmation of that commonsense observation was needed, we
now have a new study, published last week in the journal Science,
which concludes that "bringing elephants into zoos profoundly impairs
their viability".
Researchers looked at records from 1960 to 2005 for both African and
Asian elephants in European zoos and compared them with a population
of African elephants at a protected reserve, Amboseli National Park in
Kenya, and a group of Asian elephants kept as working animals for a
Burmese logging company. The average lifespan for African elephants
born in zoos was 16.9 years while those kept at Amboseli died of natural
causes at 56 years. Asian elephants, meanwhile, despite being hard-
working beasts, showed the same pattern. The lifespan of these
elephants born in zoos was 18.9 years, while that of the elephants at
the timber company was 41.7 years.
A second report, this time on the welfare of the 77 elephants in

Experts seek solutions to obesity among zoo animals
Even hippos and whales, it turns out, can get fat. But how can you tell,
let alone slim one down?
Obesity among zoo animals is such a complex problem that zoo
nutritionists, scientists and others, from as far away as England,
gathered at North Carolina State University on Friday for a two-day
symposium on such weighty matters as how to tell when an oyster's
weight is about right.
"It's actually a huge problem, and a multifaceted one," said Michael
Stoskopf, a professor at the college. "You have to look at not only diets
themselves and the amount of calories delivered, but also things like
The basic cause of chubbiness is no different for moray eels and
wildebeests than for humans: "If the

Report on zoo elephants sure to reignite Jenny debate in Dallas
A group of researchers has concluded, in a report to be published in the
journal Science, that living in zoos drastically shortens elephants' lives.
Read news reports on the study here, here and here.
The findings, which the Association of Zoos and Aquariums roundly
criticized, is likely to reignite debate over the plight of troubled Jenny the
elephant, who resides in the Dallas Zoo.
Dozens of animal welfare advocates, including comedian Lily Tomlin,
have lobbied the Dallas City Council to transfer Jenny to a spacious
wildlife refuge in Tennessee.
But city officials have decided

Dwarf crocodiles split into three species
You'd think that if scientists were to discover a new species, it would be
in some remote, uncharted tropical forest, not a laboratory in New York.
But a team from the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics at the
American Museum of Natural History has done the unexpected. Looking
at the genes of the African dwarf crocodile, researchers found that the
group—genetically speaking—comprises three distinct species rather
than one. This not only ends a long debate about the taxonomy of this
group, previously thought to consist of two closely related subspecies,
but also defines a new, distinct species from genetic samples.
"In the past, the two morphologically distinct crocodile populations were
believed to be different genera, then later different species, and then
finally different subspecies," explains first-author Mitchell Eaton. Eaton
conducted the research at the Sackler Institute and is finishing his
doctoral degree at the University of Colorado. "We collected samples in
Africa to explore this taxonomic question, and we found a great deal of
evolutionary divergence between populations in the Congo Basin and on
the west coast of Central Africa. We also—quite unexpectedly—found a
completely new species from far West Africa; there may be even more
species that we haven't sampled yet!"
African dwarf crocodiles, genus Osteolaemus, live in the tropical forests
of Central and West Africa. Adults typically grow to no more than 5 feet
in length and are the smallest living members of the crocodilian family.
The three groups identified in this current research include a species
from the Congo Basin (O. osborni), another from Central Africa's
Ogooué Basin (O. tetraspis), and the new, yet unnamed species from
West Africa. All of these crocodiles look very similar, and all are widely
hunted by local people as a source of food.

Sustainable Living – True Conservation
Over the past month or so much has been said and written about the
national norms and standards for the management of elephants in South
Africa as part of the Biodiversity Act (Act 10 of 2004) which allows the
minister of environmental affairs and tourism to provide regulations for
the management of elephants in national parks, provincial nature
reserves and private land. According to these regulations managers of
these areas can manage elephant populations within the guidelines set
out in the norms and standards and according to the approved
management plan for the land. This has effectively re-opened the
avenue of culling as a last resort in the management of elephant
populations. In extensive protected areas such as the Kruger National
Park this is seen by park managers and many conservationists and
public as the only practical way to regulate elephant numbers in an
extensive system.
The thought of our national park authorities re-implementing culling as
an elephant management tool is horrific to many and specifically to the
animal rights organisations and their supporters who equate elephants
to people and see culling as murder. This extreme preservationist
standpoint is based mostly on emotions and lacks a dedicated and
thorough study of the implications of rapidly increasing elephant
populations within the confines of limited habitat. These arguments
surrounding the management of elephant populations have been going
on for decades, with neither side really gaining any ground, although
protected area managers now have the legislation that will allow them
to implement such measures if they comply with the conditions set out in
the norms and standards.
However, those opposed to the regulation of animal numbers and
specifically elephant numbers, have in fact misread the entire situation.
Wildlife managers argue that they want to regulate numbers

Zoo's condors bound for Colombian wild
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden officials said two endangered
Andean condors have boarded a jet bound for the birds' native Columbia.
The zoo said the female condors, which were hatched from parents at
the Cincinnati and the San Antonio zoos, will be released into the
Colombian wild as part of an international program aimed at
reintroducing species to their native homes, the Cincinnati Enquirer
reported Thursday.
Officials said the condors, the fifth and sixth of their species to be sent
to South America by the zoo in the past 14 years, will be outfitted

Zoo shut after power cut
BLACKPOOL Zoo was forced to close today after a power cut.
A fault within an internal power system left bosses with no choice but to
close the top attraction shortly after lunchtime.
Zoo spokesman Jude Rothwell said: "There has been an internal fault
which has meant we've had to shut the zoo this afternoon.
"It has not affected the animal side as it has a separate power supply,
but it has affected the main building including the shop, offices, nursery
and Play Barn.
"The disappointing

Zoo panel holds back funding request
Even though the North Carolina Zoo needs more help from taxpayers to
grow, next year isn't the time to request more state funding, a
legislative committee decided Tuesday.
Zoo officials and legislators who represent Randolph County said the zoo
needs to be able to put more of its ticket receipts toward repairing its
exhibits and building new ones.
Dedicating 70 percent of sales to such capitol items would let the park
open a third continent of animal exhibits.
In order to make that change, taxpayers would need to pick up more of
the park's operating costs, to the tune of about $4 million annually.
With the economy in recession

Man cited for jumping into rhino enclosure at SF Zoo
A man who authorities say jumped into a black rhino enclosure at the
San Francisco Zoo has been cited.
Neither the man, whose name has not been released, nor any animals
were hurt in Monday's incident. But zoo officials say he was lucky the
rhino did not go after him.
The man was cited for violating a park code that restricts people from
bothering zoo animals.
San Francisco's Animal Care and Control chief, Carl Friedman, says it's
not clear why he entered the enclosure.
He apparently scaled a fence meant to keep humans

In photos: 'Belgrade Zoo White Lion Cub'

Tacoma zoo closing some days to save money
The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma will close on Tuesdays
and Wednesday in January and February to cut costs.
The Tacoma News Tribune reports the zoo will be open every day this
month except Christmas, and the annual Zoolights exhibit will be open
every evening except

Staff say Lion Man tough to work for
Lion Man Craig Busch has lost his battle for temporary reinstatement to
his job at Whangarei's world-famous Zion Wildlife Park.
Mr Busch, the star of television's popular Lion Man series last week
sought to be temporarily reinstated to his role by the Employment
Relations Authority.
He was sacked for alleged serious misconduct, including allegations of
major breaches of safety protocols, inappropriate behaviour in the
workplace, performance issues, failing to keep proper training records

Former Zoo Worker Tells Of Links To Private Ranch
A former employee of Lowry Park Zoo said he was told to resign or be
fired after he questioned why zoo president Lex Salisbury took zoo
animals and supplies home to his private Dade City ranch.
Mark Reynolds said Salisbury routinely directed him to bring zoo
animals, hay and supplies to the ranch. Reynolds also told The Tampa
Tribune he helped build barns and did other work on Salisbury's
property while on the zoo's payroll.
"Lex told me it was none of my business where the animals were
going," Reynolds said.
The revelation comes as the city of Tampa prepares to release an audit
of the zoo's transactions with another of Salisbury's outside interests,
Safari Wild, a for-profit animal park he plans to open in Polk County.
Salisbury has said he never personally profited from his 21-year tenure
with the zoo. He is on paid leave from his $271,000-a-year job, awaiting
results of the audit. He did not return messages seeking comment
Reynolds, who left the zoo in July 2007, filed a lawsuit Wednesday
against the zoo seeking to be repaid for $15,000 in improvements he
made to the living quarters at the zoo's 1,300-acre preserve in Pasco
The zoo never disputed that Reynolds was to be repaid, according to an
e-mail from the zoo that's included in the suit. But the suit alleges that
Salisbury reneged on the

Zoo Needs Good Cleaning
I have been a volunteer docent at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo for over six
years, which is why I've kept my mouth shut up to now, but enough is
enough. Read the exact words used by the Association of Zoos and
Aquariums in temporarily revoking the memberships of both zoo
President Lex Salisbury and animal Collections Director Larry
Killmar: "for intentionally failing to abide" by the association's policies,
Not by an error in judgment, not by overlooking a detail or making
a "mistake," but by intent.
Absolutely regardless of his contributions to our wonderful zoo in the
past, the most honorable thing that could happen now, especially after
months of very likely wrongdoing bringing negative publicity to the zoo,
would be for Salisbury to voluntarily retire his position. Killmar should go
with him. The news gets steadily worse, not better, the longer and
deeper the probing goes.
Perhaps we need a big, broad broom

Fired employee sues Lowry Park Zoo
A former Lowry Park Zoo employee is suing the zoo and the local water
district, saying they failed to reimburse him for improvements he made
on property used to house endangered animals.
Mark D. Reynolds was hired by the zoo about 3 1/2 years ago to work as
a caretaker on 1,320 acres of Central Florida wetlands where the zoo
conducts, among other activities, its red wolf captive breeding program,
his attorney Joseph Fritz said Tuesday.
The zoo has leased the land from the Southwest Florida Water
Management District, commonly known as Swiftmud, since August 1995.
Before Reynolds moved in, he spent $25,000 to refurbish part of a barn
that would serve as his living quarters, Fritz said. Per an agreement with
the zoo, Reynolds would live there rent-free for five years to recoup his
Fritz said zoo president Lex Salisbury negotiated the arrangement. But
two years in, Salisbury fired Reynolds, according to Fritz. The

Suspension Includes Zoo Chief
Two top leaders of Lowry Park Zoo have been booted from their
profession's most respected organization for deals that sent zoo animals
to the president's private collection.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums temporarily revoked the
memberships of zoo President Lex Salisbury and collections director
Larry Killmar for "intentionally failing to abide" by the association's
policies when they acquired and transferred animals.
Salisbury's loss of membership casts new doubt on his future at the
taxpayer-supported facility.
Santiago Corrada, the city's representative on the zoo board, said
Tampa requires its leaders to be

Zoo Chief Should Repay $202,000 For Animals, Gear: Audit
Lowry Park Zoo's embattled president should repay the attraction at
least $202,000 for animals and equipment he has taken from the
complex, according to preliminary results from a city audit released
The inquiry revealed Lex Salisbury routinely took zoo animals,
equipment and supplies for his private ranch and for a separate
business venture. It also says he overcharged the zoo when selling his
animals but paid below

Zoo's CEO Must Go, Iorio Says
Lowry Park Zoo's embattled president should repay the attraction at
least $202,000 for animals and equipment he has taken from the
complex, according to preliminary results from a city audit released
The inquiry revealed that the zoo's president and chief executive officer,
Lex Salisbury, routinely took zoo animals, equipment and supplies for his
private ranch and for a separate business venture. It says he
overcharged the zoo when selling his animals but paid below market
value when he bought.
In one instance, he acquired a used Mercedes safari truck the zoo had
recently bought and refurbished. In return, he gave the zoo a used
lawnmower and $3,433.
The lack of documentation means Salisbury could owe much more, said
Santiago Corrada, the city's representative on the zoo board.
"There are some serious issues that need to be looked at by law
enforcement," said Corrada, the city's

Wanted: Volunteers to share pen with wolves
A wildlife park in China is looking for three human volunteers to share
an enclosure with 36 wild wolves.
Qinling Wildlife Park in Xi'an says they will be safe in a tree house 10ft
above the ground, reports the Xi'an Evening Post.
It wants three volunteers, aged between 22 and 45, to spend three full
days in the treehouse in exchange for a certificate and a cash reward
worth £500.
"They will be safe in the hut. We will equip them with a walkie-talkie
and monitor the hut around the clock. In case of emergencies, we can
shoot tranquilizer darts at the wolves," said a park spokesman.
The three volunteers will each be expected to write three 300-word
articles, take eight pictures and film two video clips per day, as well

Rare stick insect survives through captive breeding
Here's a tale of resilience from the insect world.
It survived a massacre by rats and 80 years clinging to a rocky outcrop
in the Pacific Ocean.
Now, scientists who rescued a rare stick insect from the brink of
extinction have

German zoo: Polar bear mom may have eaten her cub
The Nuremberg zoo says one of a pair of twin polar bear cubs has
died — and that it is possible its mother ate it.
The twin bears were born three weeks ago to the mother of the zoo's
celebrity polar bear — Flocke.
Flocke had been

Hoped-for East End reserve for Blue Iguana
Back in 2001, the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme set a goal of
bringing the Cayman Islands' rare Blue Iguana back from "functional
extinction". That vision is now within reach, said Fred Burton, the
Director of the programme.
But much depends on whether the non-profit organisation can secure a
new reserve for the unique species, somewhere in East End.
In 2002, "there were perhaps from 10 to 25 Blue Iguanas in the wild,"
Mr Burton said at a press conference on Friday, 6 December.
"At that time, the males could not find the females, and the few eggs
that existed had serious genetic defects. Though they were not yet
extinct, they were in fact doomed - what we call `functionally extinct' -
because while there was some breeding, because of the very small
numbers of animals, there was inbreeding and this causes all sorts of
serious genetic problems."
Today there are perhaps 250 young Blue Iguana, according

Hoaxer threatened bomb attack on safari park coaches
A hoax caller from Cumbria threatened to carry out a terrorist bomb
attack on coaches travelling to a tourist attraction, a court has heard.
John Pendlebury Carter told emergency services: "This is a 9/11 serious
call. Cancel all coaches attending Knowsley Safari Park or all passengers
will die. This is serious."
Carter, 54, of Barrow, made the call and two similar threats from phone

Zoo's baby ocelot gets 1st exam
A feisty 1.7-pound baby ocelot, born Halloween night, had his first
checkup Monday at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo.
The brief encounter, witnessed only by zoo staffers and the press, was
done to check on the health of the kitten and also to determine its sex.
Although most in the examination room let out a collective, "Awwwww!"
the kitten wasn't one you'd want in your lap. Hissing and extending its
claws, the exotic cat left no doubt he had little affection for human
"It went beautifully," said Dr. Harold Hochman, the veterinarian who
performed the examination. "The kitten looks as normal as can

Animal protection group slams Calgary Zoo for restocking stingray exhibit
An Ontario-based animal protection group says it makes no sense for
the Calgary Zoo to restock its cownose stingray exhibit with more of the
creatures, after dozens of them died seven months ago.
Zoo officials couldn't determine what killed the 41 rays, but have decided
that the public won't be allowed to touch the new batch of fish, as they
were before.
Rob Laidlaw, a spokesman for Zoocheck Canada says it seems foolhardy
to put new creatures into an exhibit when the Calgary Zoo hasn't yet
identified the cause of the prev


Rhino escapse Monarto Zoo pen in search for mate
A RANDY rhinoceros escaped its enclosure today and went looking for
love - but has been sedated near a perimeter fence.
The escapee - an 18-year-old male white rhino named Satara - was
reported to have escaped Monarto Zoo, east of Adelaide, around just
after 1pm (CST) today.
Relieved zoo keepers then reported the amorous animal lacked an
adequate sense of direction and was not able to gain access to the
female object of his desire, AdelaideNow reports.
The rhino was tranquilised by zookeepers just inside the zoo's perimeter
fence - and they now face the challenge of figuring out how to move the
giant African mammal back to its enclosure.
Satara is part of the international breeding program for endangered
rhinos a,22049,24768050-5001028,00.html

L.A. council halts work on zoo's new elephant exhibit
The Los Angeles City Council has put the brakes on construction of a
$42-million elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo. The project isn't
completely dead, but construction of the partially built Pachyderm Forest
is now halted. As The Times' Carla Hall writes:
The project seemed headed for extinction but for an 11th-hour proposal
from the zoo's fundraising arm, the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn.,
which offered to contribute millions of dollars more

The LA Zoo Elephant Controversy from the Zoo's Side
Brenda Scott Royce, director of publications for the Greater Los Angeles
Zoo Association, sounded off this weekend at Huffington Post about all
the elephant talk going on these days. Animal activists and Councilman
Tony Cardenas want the exhibit currently under construction to halt
work and have a search a large expansive elephant sanctuary. Royce,
along with others, believe the exhibit is just fine. Their point of view has
not gotten as much press, so here's some of it.
"Zoos accredited by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums
(AZA) not only adhere to a very strict set of animal care guidelines--
much stricter than the USDA licensing requirements for sanctuaries--
they also work tirelessly toward the bigger picture: the survival of
species," writes Royce. "The Los Angeles Zoo is in the middle of
constructing an expansive elephant habitat that will be bigger than the

Amazon and Beyond brings rain forest to Metrozoo (Peter's comment -
excellent video)

Animals seized from private zoo
A long-nosed crocodile, two pythons and three dead tiger cubs were
confiscated from the Saleng Zoo here yesterday.
Wildlife and National Parks department (Law and Enfor cement) deputy
director Celes coriano Razond said the animals were seized because the
zoo owner could not produce permits, licences or documents to prove
"The long-nosed crocodile is about 4m long and more than 15 years
old," he said, adding that the reptile had been in the zoo for five years.
Razond said the tiger cubs were only a few days old and they would
have to investigate if the animals were bought from elsewhere or bred
in the zoo because no reports were made to their department about
"We will also investigate when the

Underwater nativity scene created at Madrid Zoo
13 sharks will share the large aquarium with the nine biblical figures.
An underwater nativity scene has been created at Madrid Zoo. Divers
have been placing the figures in the large aquarium which is home to
the 13 sharks.
This year there were nine figures placed

Vancouver Island marmots thrive in the wild
The wild population of endangered Vancouver Island marmots is doing
so well it may soon become self-sustaining despite a continued high
mortality rate, says a scientist closely associated with the recovery
About 74 per cent of Vancouver Island marmots are surviving through
the year, which compares with survival rates of closer to 90 per cent for
the alpine marmot in Europe and the yellow-bellied marmot in Colorado,
private consultant Andrew Bryant said in an interview.
"If we got to the point where we have 80-per-cent survival, the
population would grow on its own and we could all walk away and
retire," he said. "We're very close to that target. Given the success
we've seen to date, it could be as early as five or six years."
Don Doyle, chair of the marmot recovery team for the Ministry of
Environment, agreed the marmot continues to prosper, but said

Fox kills 13 penguins at German zoo
A spokesman for the Euregiozoo in Aachen, Germany, says a wild fox
broke into a zoo enclosure and killed 13 penguins living there.
The unidentified spokesman said the wild animal forced its way through
the enclosure's nylon netting and slaughtered the exhibit birds this week,
The (British) Daily Mail said Thursday.
Wolfram Graf Rudolf, the head of the zoo, said all 13 of the penguins
were of the Black Footed variety and had originated from Africa's
western coast.
Rudolf said the loss of the penguins, whose bodies were found
Wednesday, was a major blow to the tourist site and its remaining
penguin occupants.
"They were the heart of the zoo and part of a valuable breeding
program -- every animal was genetically unique. The remaining
penguins are traumatized -- especially those that have lost partners," he
told The Daily Mail.
The fox blamed for the penguin slaughter has yet

Credit freeze bites as zoo tries to sell Knut the polar bear
No longer cute, no longer washing powder-white, Knut the celebrity bear
has become the latest victim of the credit crunch.
Knut, two years old on Friday, is almost ready to mate – but Berlin Zoo
is unable to raise the cash for a new polar bear compound that would
give him space to romp around and work off some of his raging
hormones. So the zoo, which has made millions out of marketing the
once-fluffy bear, is looking for another home.
Zoos from across Europe are eager to take on Knut – he is an
international star, the only bear to make the cover of Vanity Fair – to
boost their ticket

Letter: Save the long-lost primate
A pygmy tarsier, one of the planet's smallest and rarest apes, was
recently rediscovered in Mt. Rore Katimbo in Lore Lindu National Park,
Central Sulawesi.
Looking like a Gremlin, this unusual nocturnal insectivore with large eyes
and ears had not been seen since 1921.
The first live pygmy tarsier was sighted in August by an Indonesian-
American expedition at an elevation of 2,100 meters. Indonesia should
take the necessary measures to protect this rare species.
I take this opportunity to draw the attention of North Sulawesi Governor
Sarundayang to the need to protect the animal.
To my absolute horror, people in North Sulawesi consume the Tarsius
Spectrum primate (which is also a protected species, no bigger than my
hand) as a snack during festivities. In 1998 the Tarsius Spectrum in
North Sulawesi numbered 3,500 according to Johnny Tasirin, an
ecological and conservation expert of Sam Ratulangie University in
Now they have dwindled to a mere 1,800, half its population

Lowry Park Zoo chief fined $46,036
Water district lawyers hit Lowry Park Zoo president Lex Salisbury with a
$46,036 fine Wednesday for excavating ponds and dredging without the
proper permits to create his for-profit Polk County exotic animal park.
But Safari Wild owners will get a chance to negotiate that fine — and
they will, said Salisbury's business partner Stephen Wehr mann, a St.
Petersburg veterinarian.
"I'm not saying we didn't make some mistakes," he said. But there have
been misunderstandings.
Officials with the Southwest Florida Water Management District say they
learned in May that construction had taken place at the 258-acre Safari
Wild site, but no environmental permits had been pulled.
All new commercial projects need those permits, which ensure that
stormwater is being properly treated and that neighbors aren't affected
by flooding.
In June, water managers visited Safari Wild and documented

Germany: Knut Needs Room
Knut the superstar polar bear turns 2 on Friday, looking nothing like the
button-eyed ball of photogenic white fluff that captured the world. He
has now fully grown, at 440 pounds, and has gotten too big for his
enclosure at the Berlin Zoo. Officials say he will probably have to move,
and that is a big deal: Knut has been credited with a 27 percent increase
in zoo visitors in 2007 and profits of nearly $8.6 million, including
merchandizing. So where is an evicted polar bear to go? Perhaps
north — to Neumuenster

Lionman takes fight for job to court
Ousted television star Craig Busch should know by tomorrow whether he
will be back at work as the Lion Man at Whangarei's world famous Zion
Wildlife Gardens.
Mr Busch and his mother Patricia Busch have been in a bitter dispute
over management of the wildlife park, home to 42 rare lions and tigers
and which was the subject of the television series The Lion Man.
Mrs Busch sacked her son from the park last month in a long-running
dispute between the pair.
The role of licensed operator - a Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
requirement for any wildlife park - has since been taken by Glen Holland,
a former Auckland Zoo boss.
Yesterday, Mr Busch asked the Employment Relations Authority for an
interim order to reinstate him to the wildlife park until his claim of
unjustified dismissal against his mother, Zion Wildlife Gardens Ltd and

Putin sends Siberian tiger cub present to south Russia zoo
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that he had sent
one of his birthday presents, a female Siberian tiger cub, to a zoo in
southern Russia.
"She's fine, in a zoo, among specialists," the prime minister said during
his televised question and answer session with the public. "The zoo is in
the Krasnodar

Jallo Wildlife Park converts all enclosures into `natural' habitat
The Jallo Wildlife Park management has plastered a mud-like substance
on all birdcages and animal enclosures to convert them into natural and
safer habitats, a park official told Daily Times on Wednesday.
Several spotted deer, hog deer, chinkara gazelle, blue bulls, sambar,
urial deer and goral wild deer are kept at the park. The Forest
Department constructed several aviaries, cages and enclosures for the
animals. The department used bricks, cement and iron for the cages'
Mud-like: The park has plastered a mud-like substance on the cages'
walls to provide the animals with a more natural habitat. Sources said
the bricks and concrete had severely injured several birds. All 18
aviaries, 17 enclosures, 22 cages, ticket booths, toilets, sheds and pillars
have been covered with the mixture to also provide the animals with a
safer environment. Sources said the mixture is made of clay, wheat
hush, glue and a chemical called Clark. Muhammad Tahir, a park visitor
said the cages looked

Cosley Zoo to scale back butterfly costs
A proposed butterfly exhibit at Cosley Zoo in Wheaton needs a little
tweaking, particularly when it comes to finances.
Park board commissioners want to see a lower operating cost and more
proof the exhibit will maintain interest in the long term.
Despite a $50,000 donation that will help offset the $145,000
construction cost, annual operating expenses were estimated last month
at around $43,000. That includes $1,200 a week for new butterflies to
stock the exhibit.
But those estimates were based on a building and program fully-staffed
by paid employees, parks Director Mike Benard said.
When the proposal was drafted, officials were under the impression all
staff must be employed to qualify for a difficult-to-achieve USDA license.
Benard said they've since learned the USDA will accept volunteers as
qualified to work in the exhibit as long as they're sufficiently trained.
Making that change to the

Hundreds of Complaints Force Zoo to Break Ties with Creation Museum
A high volume of complaints have forced the Cincinnati Zoo to pull out of
a special business partnership with the Creation Museum in nearby
Petersburg, Ky., after running for less than three days.
The two institutions had come together to offer a special ticket package
that gave visitors the opportunity to drop in on both at a discounted rate
while promoting one another at the same time.
According to the Creation Museum's founder, Ken Ham, however, the
zoo received hundreds of complaints, many of which were opposed to
the faith and ideas that the museum presents.
"It's a pity that intolerant people have pushed for our expulsion simply
because of our Christian faith," Ham said, expressing disappointment in
the zoo's decision but also understanding of its perspective.
"Some of their comments on blogs

Off-topic: Japanese Zoo Training Drill With Fake Rhino (video)

Letter: Primates in Ragunan Zoo
Regarding your article titled "Gorillas go ape waiting for a girl" (Nov. 24,
p. 2) which stated that Howletts Wild Animal Park in Britain intends to
send a female gorilla to the Schmutzer Primate Center at Ragunan Zoo:
The Schmutzer Primate Center is indeed a world-class facility for the
few lucky primates that live there. With this primate center, Ragunan
Zoo has a great opportunity to create awareness about primate
conservation, greatly needed in Indonesia where the list of animal
species threatened with extinction is the longest in the world.
There are, however, numerous orangutans and other primates at
Ragunan Zoo that do not enjoy the benefits of living in the Schmutzer
Primate Center.
These orangutans, gibbons and macaques live in small, dirty cement
cages with rats running freely in and out.
As a testament to its commitment to take good care of animals given to
Ragunan, the zoo administration should start with improving the living
conditions of the many suffering surplus primates before requesting
gorillas from other parts of the world.

International conservation program brings endangered wild-born jaguar
to Phoenix Zoo
- Only wild-born jaguar in an American zoo
After years of planning, an endangered jaguar made its way from
Sonora, Mexico to Arizona recently. On loan from Mexico, the young
male cat will call the Phoenix Zoo home for at least the next year before
returning to a zoo in Mexico. The loan was orchestrated by the Arizona
Game and Fish Department and the zoo as a way to provide needed

Wildlife park opens its doors
Ýzmir Sasalý Natural Life Park, one of the biggest nature reserves in
Europe, is going to be opened to the public Sunday. The park hosts
1,500 free-roaming animals from 120 species, 3,000 trees and 250
kinds of plants. Buses providing services between the park and
Karþýyaka County are decorated with animal figures as part of the
The Natural Life Park at Sasalý, one of the prestige investments of the
Ýzmir Metropolitan Municipality, is ready on all counts and will open with
a ceremony Sunday, Nov. 30, at 10:30 a.m.
Aziz Kocaoðlu, the mayor of Ýzmir, said living in a clean, healthy and
natural environment was a basic right for animals as much as humans.
A model city
"Following this motto, we are thriving to be one of the model cities of
Turkey on preserving natural life and investing in the environment;
creating forests in the city to form new attraction centers," said
While the people of Ýzmir wait for the opening, animals from Kültürpark
Zoo and all over the world have

German zoo finds escaped red pandas
A German zoo says it has recovered two red pandas that escaped their
enclosure by climbing bamboo stalks weighed down by snow.
Opel Zoo spokeswoman Margarete Herrmann says the pandas escaped
Thursday night from the zoo that is near Frankfurt by climbing bamboo
stalks that had cracked and fallen over the top of their outdoor enclosure
after recent

25-year-old gorilla dead at London Zoo
Officials at the London Zoo said the attraction's 25-year-old male
silverback gorilla has died of unknown causes.
The zoo said in a statement that the gorilla, named Bongo Junior --
Bobby for short -- was found dead in his nest Friday morning, The Daily
Telegraph reported.
"He was a dearly loved resident and will be sadly missed by all," a zoo
spokeswoman told The Daily Mail. "Our keepers are incredibly upset,
and it is asked that everyone respect the feelings of staff during this
difficult time."
Ralph Armond, director-general of the Zoological Society of London,
which runs the zoo, said workers and members of the public
are "devastated

Lowry Park Zoo News Release
Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo is engaged in a series of reviews and audits by
the City of Tampa and the Zoo's independent auditor. Several months
ago, zoo management also invited the Association of Zoos and
Aquariums (AZA), a voluntary membership organization, to review its
procedural operations regarding the purchase, sale, trade, loan or
donation of animals.
The zoo has been notified that its AZA membership has been
temporarily suspended based on AZA's initial review, and the zoo has
been invited to respond to this change in status. We have assured AZA
that we will work cooperatively with the organization to address
This does not affect the zoo's daily operations, the high quality of animal
care or operating standards employed by the zoo. Our zoo upholds the
highest standards of animal welfare and care in accordance with
regulatory agencies including USDA and the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission, and is an organization committed to
excellence in education, conservation and research.
Zoo leadership, the executive committee and t

Lowry Park Zoo accreditation suspended
The prestigious Association of Zoos and Aquariums has suspended the
accreditation of Lowry Park Zoo, city and zoo officials said this evening.
The suspension is temporary and is based on an initial AZA review of
the zoo's procedures for acquiring or transferring animals, according to
a written statement from zoo director of public relations Rachel Nelson.
"The zoo has been invited to respond to this change in status," Nelson
wrote. "We have assured AZA that we will work cooperatively with the
organization to address concerns.
"This does not affect the zoo's daily operations, the high quality of
animal care or operating standards employed by the zoo," she
added. "Our zoo upholds the highest standards of animal welfare and
care in accordance with regulatory agencies, including (the U.S.
Department of Agriculture) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission."
In recent months, the city and the AZA have been auditing 201 trades,
sales, loans and gifts of animals to zoo president Lex Salisbury, who
runs a private venture called Safari Wild.
Salisbury has been on a leave of absence since October while the audits
are underway. His private

Special Announcement

The Board of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums voted by a two-
thirds majority to suspend or temporarily revoke the membership of Dr.
Larry Killmar in AZA pending a final hearing at the Board of Directors
meeting in Oklahoma City on 27 March 2009. In his position as the
Director of Collections, Dr. Killmar helped formulate the Lowry Park
Zoo's decisions to intentionally refuse to abide by AZA's acquisition and
disposition policy and to not participate fully in the AZA's Species
Survival Plan (SSP) Programs.
The AZA Board voted by a two-thirds majority to suspend or temporarily
revoke the membership of Lex Salisbury in AZA pending a final hearing
at the Board of Directors meeting in Oklahoma City on 27 March 2009.
As the President and CEO, Mr. Salisbury led the Lowry Park Zoo in its
decisions to intentionally refuse to abide by AZA's acquisition and
disposition policy and in its decisions not to participate fully in the AZA's
Species Survival Plan (SSP) Programs. The Zoo's non-compliance was
exacerbated because many of the animal transactions were conducted
with entities owned by Mr. Salisbury.
The AZA Board voted by a two-thirds majority to suspend or temporarily
revoke the membership of the Lowry Park Zoo in AZA pending a final
hearing at the Board of Directors meeting in Oklahoma City on 27 March
The AZA Board of Directors noted, among other things, the following:

Lowry Park Zoo's intentional refusal to abide by AZA's animal acquisition
and disposition policy;

the Zoo's animal acquisition and disposition policy is not consistent with
modern zoological practices;

the Zoo's intentional refusal to participate fully in the AZA's Species
Survival Programs;

the failure of the zoo's governing authority to enforce AZA standards.

Judge takes bite out of Lion Man's pride
A High Court judge has refused to grant "lion man" Craig Busch an
interim injunction, as he tries to wrest control of his Whangarei wildlife
park back off his mother.
TV personality Busch had alleged Patricia Busch had overstepped her
authority in sidelining him from the business he built up, after she
injected money to keep it operating.
In refusing the interim injunction, Justice Paul Heath today said Mrs
Busch had provided money "where one could not justify an investment
on purely commercial grounds".
Busch agreed to let his mother take over in 2006 after a period of
personal difficulty. He was convicted that year of assaulting his partner.
Mrs Busch raised a loan of about $1.7 million against her own property
to repay her son's company and personal debt.
In exchange, she was given power of attorney

Climate change increases problems for Florida reefs
Despite new federal protections, Elkhorn Coral may disappear from the
waters off the coast of South Florida
The last, largest stands of ancient elkhorn coral survive in shallow
waters off North Key Largo, where rough seas sometimes expose thick
golden branches reaching toward the sunlit surface.
Forty years ago, elkhorn grew in dense forests that would cover parking
lots. Now, the biggest clump would barely fill one space.
In another 40 years, elkhorn could disappear altogether -- along with
just about every other hard coral forming South Florida's once-vibrant
barrier reefs.
Federal regulators

NKorean leader visits Pyongyang zoo
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il went to the Pyongyang zoo and visited
the tigers, bears and aquarium, state-run media said Tuesday, in the
latest in a spate of reports depicting Kim as fit three months after his
reported stroke.
During the visit, Kim praised the reconstruction of the Central Zoo at the
foot of Mount Taesong, calling it a treasure of the communist nation, the
Korean Central News Agency said from the capital, Pyongyang.
He noted that the zoo houses a variety of animals — some rare — sent
as gifts from around the world, and called on zookeepers to make sure
to care for them, said the report, monitored in Seoul.
Kim, 66, is believed to have suffered a stroke in August, but North Korea
has steadfastly denied he was ever ill.
On Monday, state-run television released still images of a fit-looking Kim
touring a military unit. None of the reports provide an exact date for his
appearances, but they appear to be recent.
Tuesday's dispatch was one of the first to provide a location:
Pyongyang's Central Zoo. No photos were released with the report.
KCNA said Kim was accompanied by top officials, including his brother-in-
law, Jang Song Thaek, who heads the administrative department of the
all-powerful Workers' Party.
Kim, who inherited leadership of the Stalinist country from his father,
has not publicly named a successor. Many analysts consider Jang a key
player in the North's future leadership.
The latest dispatches come amid tensions between the two Koreas, with
the North restricting traffic through its border with South Korea

The World's Most Endangered Great Ape Gets a New Park
U.S. Taxpayers and Zoo Visitors Help Pay to Protect Cross River Gorillas
The world's most endangered great ape, the Cross River Gorilla, is
getting a helping hand.
The Wildlife Conservation Society, the Government of Cameroon, and
other partners have collaborated to create 261-square mile Takamanda
National Park, adjacent to Nigeria's Cross River National Park. Together,
the preserve will help to protect 115 gorillas -- about one-third of those
known to be living in the wild.
Forest elephants, chimpanzees, and drills -- another rare primate -- also
call the preserve home.
There are four gorilla subspecies -- the Cross River, western lowland,
eastern lowland (also known as Grauer's gorillas) and mountain gorillas -
- all of them critically endangered from habitat loss and hunting, and
none more so than the Cross River gorilla. The U.S. taxpayer has
supported conservation of the gorillas, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service has invested $13 million since 2001 from the Grate Apes
Conservation Fund Act, which expires in 2010. Visitors to the Bronx
Zoo's Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit also help fund conservation of gorillas
in Africa.
Since beginning field research into the Cross River gorilla in 1999, the
Wildlife Conservation Society has made some interesting discoveries,

zoo creates ornaments from reindeer droppings
The Christmas ornaments for sale at the Miller Park Zoo's gift shop are
partly manufactured by reindeer. Honest!
Staffers make decorations out of droppings from the zoo's two reindeer,
Ealu and Rika. The droppings are dried, then clear-coated and either
painted or rolled in glitter.
Zoo marketing director Susie Ohley has named the products "magical
reindeer gem ornaments," and each comes with a label of authenticity.
They cost $5 at the zoo gift shop.
Staffer Katie Buydos, who makes jewelry as a hobby, donated wire and
beads, saying, "Susie asked me to bring some creativity

Errant zoo still flouting rules on animals
READ with frustration the report "Animals seized from private zoo" (The
Star, Dec 5), which stated that three dead tiger cubs were seized, along
with other wildlife, from a private zoo.
This zoo has been in the news many times before for keeping animals
without licence. The owner even mentioned in the article that Perhilitan
has seized more than 20 animals in the past six to seven years.
According to reports, Perhilitan officials had seized eight endangered
and protected animals from this zoo in January last year. They again
seized 19 tiger cubs and other endangered wildlife from there in July
this year.
What is the outcome of these cases? Was the owner prosecuted, and if
yes, what was the punishment meted out? And why has the zoo not
been shut down? What will it take before the authorities close down this
place, which blatantly and repeatedly violates the Protection of Wild Life
Act 1972?
I am also puzzled why they have so many

White twin lion cubs to debut before visitors in Ningbo
In March this year Ningbo Youngor Zoo sent a white female lion they had
kept to find mate at Hangzhou Wild Animal World. Successfully, a white
male lion there was appealing to the female, and the two become a
couple. Soon in September they bred twin white

Dead man's colleague wrecked with guilt
THREE weeks after the mauling of Malaysian cleaner Mr Nordin Montong
in the white tiger enclosure, his colleagues are still grappling
with "whys" and "what ifs".
Why did he snap? What was he thinking when he leaped into the
enclosure and certain death? What if we had listened?
Could we have helped?
His operations manager, who declined to be named because she is
seeking closure, revealed that the 32-year-old had wanted to talk to her
the day before he died.
"I told him to come see me at the end of the day," said the 46-year-old
manager, who worked with him in Sun City Maintenance, the cleaning
company contracted by the Zoo.
"But I had a long, busy day and it was raining heavily so I decided to go
home without talking (to him).
"Now I'm left with so many questions: What if I had stayed back to talk
to him?
What if? What if? All these questions, but there's no way to answer
Sobbing, she said: "I just want closure. I agreed to be interviewed
because I wanted people to see him in a different light. He was not
crazy. His life was so much more important than his death."
She is reminded of Mr Nordin every day when she goes to work because
there is a giant white tiger poster on the wall behind her desk. She did
not want to take it down because it serves as a tribute to Mr Nordin.
"Although it is painful to think of

Rescued baby `dugong' dies in Zamboanga City
Dr. Mariel Buccat-Flores, a marine mammal veterinarian could not hide
her tears when she realized "Zam," the two-month-old sea cow rescued
in a port in Zamboanga City last November 26, was no longer moving his
Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat, who considered himself as one
of the marine mammal's surrogate mother, was silent looking at Zam
from his aquarium.
Veterinarians and Lobregat discovered Zam has died on Saturday.
"In a way we have developed a relationship with Zam. When you look at
his face he looked so friendly and playful whenever any person was
around," Lobregat said.
Doctors from Ocean Adventure in Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium and
Wildlife in Need, a non-government organization, rushed to Zamboanga
City days after learning of Zam's rescue at the port.
Flores with two other veterinarians brought with them supplies for the
sea cow, locally known as "dugong."
Like an infant, the animal doctors and Lobregat took turns in

Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre at The Dubai Mall hosts children
from Dubai Centre for Special Needs on aquatic tour
Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre at The Dubai Mall recently hosted a
tour for children from the Dubai Centre for Special Needs. The children
were thrilled with the multifaceted splendour of the aquarium, which has
a rich diversity of marine species, and the Discovery Centre, an
educational experience offering children a touch-and-feel experience of
the diversity of the marine world.
Mr Suresh Bhatia, Chief Executive Officer, Emaar Retail, said: "We were
delighted to host this visit for the children from Dubai Centre for Special
Needs. It is our commitment to introduce to children the marvelous
experience of the marine environment. The educational value of the
aquarium is now underscored by several educational institutions
organizing tours for students."
With the Guinness Record for `World's Largest Acrylic Panel,' Dubai
Aquarium will feature over 33,000 aquatic animals including sharks and
rays. The

New Population Of Extremely Rare Snub-Nosed Monkey Discovered
A new population of the extremely rare Tonkin snub-nosed monkey, so-
called because of its unusual and distinctive up-turned nose, has
recently been discovered in a remote forested area of northern Vietnam.
The exciting finding made by Fauna & Flora International (FFI) provides
new hope for the monkey's future.
Believed to be extinct until the late 1980s, only around 200 Tonkin snub-
nosed monkeys (scientific name: Rhinopithecus avunculus) are left in the
world. As a result, the primate is listed as Critically Endangered on the
International Union for Conservation


Zoo exhibits visitors' free day
Edinburgh Zoo is set to open its doors to the public for free for the first
time in its history to mark St Andrew's Day.
The Zoo will be joining dozens of visitor attractions as part of the
Scottish Government's 'Visit for Free' initiative on Sunday 30 November.
Edinburgh Zoo welcomes about 650,000 visitors a year.
The zoo is urging visitors arrive early on the day to avoid disappointment
in case people have to be turned away.
As well as having the chance to see more than 1,000 animals, visitors
be able to see the penguin parade and new indoor enclosures such as
Rainbow Landings and Budongo Trail.
David Windmill, chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of
Scotland (RZSS), which owns Edinburgh Zoo, said: "We are really
pleased to be part of the St Andrew's Day celebrations and the 'Visit for
Free' initiative is a wonderful opportunity for us to show visitors how
much we have achieved in the last few years.
"As a charity we are taking a risk by having a free day but it's a chance
to welcome members of the public that perhaps haven't been for a while
or have never been at all.
"We're anticipating that we will be

Colwyn Bay mountain attraction becomes National Zoo of Wales
THE Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay has just become the National
Zoo of Wales.
The change has been backed by the Welsh Assembly Government, the
leading zoological Societies in the UK and the British and Irish
Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA).
It means visitors to the zoo will be calling at one of Wales's most
prestigious venues.
Peter Gibson, Chair of the Trustees of the National Zoological Society of
Wales, called the name change a significant coup for North Wales.
He said: "Having a high profile Welsh national institution based in North
Wales is not only an important recognition of the work carried out at the
Welsh Mountain Zoo but also a significant coup for the region.
"As well as being the focus for much important work in the fields of
conservation and education, the Welsh Mountain Zoo is a flagship tourist
attraction with huge potential for the future".
The change of name of the charitable trust that owns and runs the Zoo
to the National Zoological Society

Panda attacks student in Chinese zoo
A panda at a zoo in southern China has attacked a student who snuck
into its pen hoping for a hug.
The 20-year-old man jumped over a fence at the compound in Guilin but
scared the endangered bear who bit his arms and legs.
Recovering in hospital

Lunching with the crocs
The crocodiles at Durban's Phezulu Safari Park can make for interesting
company for adventure lovers…
That South Africa abounds in its animal life is not exactly new. So when
I got a chance to go visit the South African city of Durban, I knew I was
in for a rendezvous with a safari park. But to be honest, the thought of
going to a crocodile park didn't really cross my mind. And so nothing
prepared me for my visit to the Phezulu safari park in Durban.
Essentially a crocodile farm and a cultural village, the park also houses a
fair share of snakes and turtles.
The snakes' enclosures were made of wood and glass so we were
warned that a mere tap on the glass would attract undue attention from
the venomous snakes. The crocodiles, though, were another story; in
fact, each of them was a story unto himself / herself. What's more, they
were all very interesting in their own way.
So while Rameses and Cleopatra (yes, these are crocodiles) were
known to be the best breeding pair (she is said to lay between 20 and
80 eggs every year at the beginning of summer) there was yet another
couple who were known for being the oldest pair in the park. The
caretaker at the park even noted how this female crocodile didn't allow
the male to go after the other females! It even explains why only this
couple had the luxury of a separate (read

San Diego Zoo Receives $250,000 Sempra Energy Conservation
The San Diego Zoo received a $250,000 donation from the Sempra
Energy Foundation, the charitable-giving arm of San Diego-based
Sempra Energy, for the Zoo's conservation efforts.
The funds will benefit the San Diego Zoo's EnviroSchool program, which
brings conservation programs into local schools; the 2009 Cans for
Critters program, which encourages recycling throughout the
community; and the Baja California Condor Education Effort, which
works to raise awareness for this critically endangered species.
"Through this donation, the Sempra Energy Foundation is supporting a
project that educates children while promoting the conservation of
endangered species," said Berit Durler, president of the Zoological
Society of San Diego. "We appreciate their support and look forward to
working with them on these projects in the future."
"The San Diego Zoo's conservation and recycling programs are
important for teaching students and their families about protecting our
environment for future generations," said Jessie J. Knight, Jr., chairman
of the Sempra Energy Foundation.
The Sempra Energy Foundation is the 501(c)(3) private foundation

Gorillas go ape waiting for a girl
Three male gorillas at Ragunan Zoo, Kumbo, Kihi and Komum, live a
more comfortable life in their modern enclosure than other animals at
the zoo.
But that has not stopped them from getting antsy.
Even truckloads of sumptuous fruit and vegetableswhich have had them
piling on the poundswere doing nothing to soothe their bad moods.
But a big, fat hairy solution is on the way - in the shape of a female
mate to ease their loneliness, once the zoo has built an enclosure and
the zookeepers are fully trained.
"We concluded it was time for them to mate because they have grown
into young adults. They are still virgins," zoo spokesman Bambang
Wahyudi told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.
Howletts Wild Animal Park in the United Kingdom, where the three boys
came from, has agreed to send a female in exchange for 12 Indonesian

Wildlife celebrity gives backing to zoo
CELEBRITY wildlife expert Chris Packham has become a patron of
Colchester Zoo's charity, Action for the Wild.
The television presenter, photographer and author has a passionate
concern for conservation and the environment and agreed to support the
charity because of its "proactive role" across the globe.
Action for the Wild's conservation Officer, Rebecca Perry, said: "We are
incredibly excited that Chris has agreed to be Action for the Wild's
"Over the last five years, Action for the Wild has taken a very active role
in in situ conservation and we are delighted that we can now put Chris
Packham's name to the charity and hopefully

Zoo to add four gorillas
The Calgary Zoo wants to double the number of gorillas under its care
by importing four of the great apes from the United States.
The zoo is awaiting permits from agencies on both sides of the border
so the Wildlife Conservation Society can send two female and two male
gorillas from New York's Bronx Zoo to Calgary for several years.
The transfer will add females to the troop around Kakinga, the Calgary
Zoo's silverback gorilla, explained Cathy

Rare turtle survives close call with soup pot
Fisherman agrees to exchange it for $200 and two new fishing nets
A rare Vietnamese turtle, one of just four believed left in the world, was
swept away by a flood, taken hostage by an enterprising fisherman and
nearly ended up in a soup pot.
Instead, the 150-pound animal returned to its lake Wednesday and
conservationists celebrated their deal with the fisherman — the turtle's
freedom in exchange for about $200 and two new fishing nets.
Douglas Hendrie and other

Another pangolin smuggling attempt foiled
Marine police here detained three men and seized 65 pangolins and one
tortoise during a raid at a house near Bukit Pasir at about 10pm Tuesday.
The men, including two orang asli, aged between 28 and 39, were
believed to be members of a syndicate involved in smuggling exotic
animals into the country.
Muar marine police base commanding officer Asst Supt Mohamad Pouzi
Abdul Rauf said the pangolins were estimated to be worth more than
"We have been on the lookout for pangolin smuggling from Indonesia
into the country for months and a team managed to trace the syndicate
members yesterday.
"Our team, headed by Insp Mohd Naser Marzuke, spotted a car with two
men behaving suspiciously and followed the car to Bukit Pasir," he told
reporters Wednesday at the marine jetty here.
ASP Mohamad Pouzi said when the car stopped at a house in Bukit
Pasir, the team rushed in and found bags of pangolins and a 41kg
tortoise and seized them.
He said initial investigations showed the house was being used as a
trading point for the smugglers to sell

Zoo gets 5-year stamp of approval
Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo has received a stamp of approval from the
Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the leading zoo accreditation
organization in North America.
The accreditation, announced Tuesday, means the zoo is one of 217
such institutions nationwide that are AZA members. The approval, good
until September 2013, also means the zoo, in Bridgeport's Beardsley
Park, can participate in AZA's animal exchange and breeding programs,
and it will have an easier time securing grants and gifts from various
"This is a great day for the zoo, and it's something that we've been
striving for," said Gregg Dancho, zoo director, who credited the staff for
the recognition. "This is for you guys, because of all of the hard work
that you put in to make the zoo what it is today. This is a feather in the
cap for us."
He made the announcement at a reception at the zoo's Hanson

Soon-to-be Waco orangutans to delight zoo audiences, help wild cousins
Mei is a 10-year-old redhead whose hobbies include cuddling with her
baby sister, eating giant popsicles, building bamboo treehouses, playing
with water hoses and prying things up with spoons and sticks.
A Bornean orangutan, Mei lives at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago and will
likely be the first resident in the

Deer Killed At Wildlife Park
A west Harris County family wildlife park became a crime scene on
Tuesday after someone broke in and killed one of the park's most
popular animals, KPRC Local 2 reported.
Investigators said a deer in Bear Creek Park known as Mr. Buck was
killed when someone cut his or her way into a remote fence and then
cut off the deer's head.
Harris County Precinct 5 deputy constables said the head and antlers
were gone, but the body was

Zoo scoops educational award
CRICKET St Thomas Wildlife Park has scooped a prestigious award for
its educational programme. The British and Irish Association of Zoos and
Aquariums (BIAZA) selected Cricket St Thomas from a list of 77 zoos to
receive the award for Best Education Project for Schools and Educational
Institutions in the small zoo category.
The Wildlife Park was nominated after the success of their French day at
the park, Une Journee dans le Parc, which saw over 1,100 pupils from
schools across the area visit the zoo.
All zoo signs were changed to French and pupils ate crepes and
practiced the language throughout the day.
Andy Holden, education officer at the

Lowry Zoo's Tiger Cubs Draw Ooohs, Ahhhs, Criticism
Oblivious to the "oohs" and "ahhs" echoing from the overhead gallery of
spectators, two 7-week-old white tiger cubs emerged from their den this
morning, their official debut to an adoring public.
The as-yet unnamed cubs, with white and chocolate-brown stripes, pink
noses and ice-blue eyes, were born at the Lowry Park Zoo in October to
Nikki and Yala, two grown white tigers who are "an established couple."
Though rambunctious and adorable, the cubs didn't garner much favor
among some conservationists, who maintain that the breeding of captive
white tigers is leading to inbreeding and thus a weakened species.
They charge that zoos breed white tigers indiscriminately to draw larger
"The white tiger controversy among zoos is a small part ethics and a
large part economics," said Minnesota Zoo Conservation Director Ron
Tilson in an article he wrote for the Save the Tiger Fund Web site.
Tilson also oversees the Tiger Species

Tiger truths? Not from zoos or TV shows
Some years ago, on a now memorable New Year's Eve, I was walking
with two friends in a dense jungle in northern India when a wild tiger
growled at us from a distance of about 4m.
We kept our cool and simply walked away. The tiger, which had been
disturbed while taking its afternoon snooze, sent us an unmistakable
signal with a series of menacing growls - but it did not attack.
Had we panicked, run and inevitably fallen in the undergrowth, we
would have spooked it and it would have lashed out at us, and I would
most probably not be alive today to write this piece.
Whatever the species, animals act for a reason, even if that reason is
not readily apparent to humans.
A tiger in its natural state would avoid humans. But if it did encounter a
human and it felt threatened, it would first try to drive the human away
with a short charge and a series of snarls, designed to intimidate the

Melbourne Zoo's super-stud could help save species
A TEAM of researchers working at Melbourne Zoo believes new
techniques for freezing elephant sperm will prove the breakthrough the
endangered species needs.
And the zoo's super-stud Bong Su — a 34-year-old bull regarded as one
of the world's most fertile Asian elephants because of his high sperm
count — will play a key part, with the frozen sperm to be made available
to overseas

Judgment reserved in Lion Man spat
A judge has reserved his decision on a bid by "lion man" Craig Busch to
get back control of his Whangarei wildlife park from his mother.
Busch alleged in the High Court in Whangarei on Friday his mother
Patricia Busch had overstepped her authority in sidelining him from the
business he built up.
His lawyer, Wayne Peters, told the High Court that Busch agreed to let
his mother take over in 2006 after a period of personal difficulty.
Craig Busch was convicted that year of assaulting his then-wife.
Patricia Busch raised a loan of more than $1 million to repay Craig
Busch's company and

Trunk trio rock out to relax (Peter's comment- Daft story but the press
love it)
KEEPERS at a safari park in the West Midlands use a bizarre method to
calm down their overexcited elephants – blaring heavy metal music into
their enclosures.
The rocking nellies instantly behave better when they hear songs by rock
giants Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Metallica.
African elephants, Jack, 16, Lataba, 16 and Five, 17, at West Midlands
Safari Park seem to become soothed by the classic rock tracks.
Keepers at the safari park play the songs to ease the massive beasts
into their morning

Theme park aquarium plan approved
Alton Towers theme park has been granted planning permission to build
an aquarium at its site.
The Sea Life centre is expected to open in the Mutiny Bay area of the
Staffordshire park next year.
The planning application was approved by Staffordshire Moorlands
District Council at a meeting.
The park said it would be the 30th Sea Life centre in the world, including
one already in Birmingham city centre.
Russell Barnes, divisional director, said: "We'll

Thousands of Florida softshell turtles end up on dinner plates in Asia
Fishermen pluck softshells from Florida's waters to satisfy Asian
Hauled from canals and marshes around Lake Okeechobee, turtles
arrive in the late afternoon at Jones Fish House, a corrugated metal
structure on the Palm Beach County side of the lake.
A truck sent by Tamarac seafood broker Wan To Ho pulls up every few
days and takes the turtles to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International
Airport for a journey that will end in the soup bowls of Hong Kong,
Beijing and Shanghai.
The international trade in Florida softshell turtles has become a
significant business in Florida and other southeastern states, as Asian
countries scour the globe for savory meats that have become rare at
home. In September the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission imposed an 20-turtle daily limit on commercial fishing of
softshell turtles, but it's unclear whether that will have much effect

Gorillas in the midst: Rangers return to Congo wildlife park
It has been a long and painful wait for rangers at Virunga National Park
in the Congo. The rangers fled the park 15 months ago because of
fighting between troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo and rebel
forces. leaving behind the mountain gorillas who call the park home.
This week, after a groundbreaking deal between the rebels and the
government, the Congolese Wildlife Conservation Society and the
rangers returned to the park, and found a welcome surprise - a gorilla
family, the first of what they hope will be several in and around the park.
Three gorilla families spotted this week by rangers and an Associated
Press television crew is the first of what they hope will be many found in
and around the park. A monthlong census is now underway to give the
world its first understanding of the status and health of the endangered

Diabetic monkey trained for daily insulin injections
A monkey which suffers from diabetes has trained itself to take daily
insulin injections.
George, a nine-year-old De Brazza monkey, knows when it is time for its
insulin and is a willing volunteer when its keeper enters its enclosure
each morning.
One of eight De Brazzas at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Ashford,
Kent, the animal leaves its troop and scampers across to welcome its
"He presents himself at 9am, puts his bottom in the air, and has the
insulin," said Tricia Corkhill, a spokesman for the park. "Afterwards he
jumps up and wants his food."
Matt Crittenden, the monkey's keeper who is also a diabetic, said: "We
have been very lucky because he has trained himself.
"He knows he feels better after the injection so he comes in and
presents himself. We give him the injection and he goes again.
"No-one likes being stabbed with a needle but it is an incredibly small
needle and does not hurt a bit. It is just

Aquarium reopens at Chiang Mai Zoo
The Chiang Mai zoo's new aquarium, sporting the world's longest
viewing tunnels has reopened after a three week closure to fix the water
purifying system.
Both Thai and foreign visitors at the new aquarium in the northern
province of Chiang Mai were again excited to see over 8,000 living
aquatic creatures and more than 250 species of fresh water and salt
water life. The aquarium closed the day after it officially October 26
opening because of the water purifying system.
Zoological Park Organization (ZPO) director Sophon Dumnui said it
targeted achieving at least 800,000 visitors each year.
The new high profile aquarium is the joint venture between the
zoological organisation and a private company with the investment of
Bt600 million.
The Chiang Mai zoo's aquarium is South

Japanese zoo attempts to mate two female polar bears
Confused Japanese zookeepers have solved a six-month mystery
surrounding the lack of interest in mating shown by two polar bears
both are female
Experts had been confounded by the lack of chemistry between
Tsuyoshi, a polar bear named after a popular male Japanese baseball
player, and a female bear called Kurumi.
After six months of living together at Kushiro Municipal Zoo in the
northern island of Hokkaido, zookeepers were surprised to find that
there had been no amorous activity between the pair.
"Even though the rutting season came in spring this year, Tsuyoshi didn't
show mating behaviour such as chasing after a female bear," said
Hiroyuki Kubono, the zookeeper. "We thought it might be because
Tsuyoshi was still too young."
But earlier this month Tsuyoshi was put under an anaesthetic in order to
undergo a gender check up  and after conducting DNA tests on the
bear's hair, zookeepers were surprised to be informed that he was in
fact a she.
"I have mixed feelings," Yoshio Yamaguchi, head of the zoo.
Determining the gender of young polar bears can be problematic due to
long hairs covering reproductive organs, according to experts.
Tsuyoshi is not alone in having its gender confused: the bear's "brother"
who was adopted by another zoo,

Zoo staff strip for calendar
A group of zoo keepers at Dudley Zoo has stripped off for a naked
calendar to help raise funds for a wildlife campaign.

Rise and Shine With the Rhinos
International Rhino Foundation offers auction for "Rhino Rendezvous"
Looking for the perfect holiday gift for those special someones who have
everything and still want to save the world? How about a four-day safari
with five of your favorite folks to experience some of the world's most
endangered species up close? And, you don't even need to dust off your
The International Rhino Foundation, which made international bizarre-
holiday-gift news last year by auctioning rhino poop on eBay, has toned
it down this year, but beefed up the offerings: This year they're offering
a rare animal encounter for conservationists and animal lovers.
In a special pre-holiday auction, the International Rhino Foundation will
award the top bidder a one-of-a-kind "Rhino Rendezvous" for six people.
The winning bidder will have a rare opportunity to spend four days at
IRF's headquarters at White Oak Conservation Center, just north of
Jacksonville, Fla.
"Rhino Rendezvous" includes ground transportation, meals, exceptional
accommodations, recreational activities and access to a world-class
conservation facility not open to the public. This unique and exclusive
center is generally reserved for scientists, global and corporate leaders,
and White Oak Conservation Center Foundation members.
"Rhino Rendezvous" offers quality time with endangered species,
including four of the five species of rhino, giraffes, tigers, cheetahs,
panthers, zebras, elands, and Komodo monitors -- just to name a few.
The winning group will go behind-the-scenes with conservation experts
for photo opportuniti

It's `Not The Tiger's Fault'
Zoo Owners Say Bitten Worker Admits Error; PETA Asks Probe
Four days after a tiger at a local zoo bit a teenage employee, owners of
the zoo called the girl's decision to touch the tiger "a mistake," adding
that the victim holds the tiger blameless in the attack.
"She wants everybody to know that [the biting was] not the tiger's
fault," said Jennifer Westhoff, co-owner of Luray Zoo.
The attack, in which a 5-year-old, 225-pound female Bengal tiger
named "Star" bit off the finger of a 15-year-old female employee,
occurred on Sunday. The victim, whose name has not been released
because she is a minor, was showing the tiger to visitors at the zoo
when she was bitten, said Westhoff.
Mark Kilby, the facility's other owner, said he and Westhoff have
discouraged employees from handling the zoo's animals because of the
danger inherent in touching or petting wild creatures. The incident, said
Kilby, will force him and Westhoff to be take a harder line in enforcing
that policy.
"We've repeatedly told our employees not

Safari Wild Failed To Get Proper Permits, Water Agency Says
Water managers say Lowry Park Zoo CEO Lex Salisbury and his business
partner ignored environmental regulations in developing a planned
exotic-animal park in a protected area of Polk County.
Safari Wild didn't get the proper permits before constructing buildings,
putting up fences and dredging land on the property, the Southwest
Florida Water Management District has determined.
The work included a 1-acre island and moat that once contained 15
patas monkeys, which escaped in April and made news nationwide.
Safari Wild is in the 870-square-mile Green Swamp, source of the
Hillsborough, Withlacoochee and Peace rivers, making it critical to the
Tampa Bay area's drinking water supply.
The water management district is the third

Chaos at the Zoo for Anna Ryder Richardson
Changing Rooms? It's Changing Cages as the makeover star turns to the
animal kingdom
One thing we do well, we British, is an eccentric. Not just the totally
over-the-top, Monster Raving Loony eccentric - but a whole, varied,
range, from "mild" to "in outer space". Suitable for all tastes and
budgets. As if we were having our nuts supplied by someone with a
superlatively wide sourcing database, like John Lewis.
Take, for example, makeover programmes - the TV genre that swept
the world at the end of the 20th century. Who knows what kind of
makeover expert they got in Belgium, or Taiwan? Some straight-up guy
with some swatches and a tape. I dunno. A load of wallpaper-squares.
I very much doubt, however, that they had anything like Laurence
Llewellyn-Bowen (looks like King Charles crossed with Austin Powers,
lives in a haunted mansion). Or, indeed, Anna Ryder Richardson -
always on the edge of an hysterical weeping attack when her fleur-de-
lys radiator cover doesn't fit, prone to giving utility rooms "an Inuit
fishing-hole feel", and now - after deciding to downscale her fabulous
urban lifestyle - the owner, and occupant, of a zoo.
I know. I know. That's not "nuanced" eccentricity at all. That's little short
of someone wearing a tuba as a brooch. And, as stressed emus and
badly wormed camels drop down dead all around her, Richardson
cranks up the eccentricity factor by getting her children, Bibi Belle and
Dixie Dot, to round up a herd of pink flamingos for her, while dressed in
delightful frocks from Boden. One can't help but think of Marie Antoinette
dressed as a milkmaid - albeit a Marie Antionette who shouts "F***!
I've just bought a zoo!" quite a lot.
But, as Chaos at the Zoo makes abundantly clear, Richardson ultimately
considers all this stuff to be quite normal. Taking a rundown zoo outside
Tenby, living in it, and turning it into an eco-friendly family park is just
one big makeover for her. It's not so much a documentary, as a one-off
episode of Changing Rooms, populated by oryx. The last five minutes
are nothing but before-and-after shots. Look! This yard full of barbed
wire and broken pallets is now a delightful modern play area

Tastes like fish
If wishes were fishes, I wouldn't be here: A resident of the aquarium at
the Atlantis hotel. Randi Sokoloff / The National
Kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus... tasty? The Atlantis
serves up piscatorial knowledge to Roland Hughes.
Atlantis, the multi-billion-dirham hotel on the Palm Jumeirah, is flashy
even by Dubai 's standards, a glittery relic to a time that never was.
Nowhere is this more evident than in its aquarium, which plays host to a
gaudy clash of mythologies: underwater worlds, alien invaders and faux-
Greek architecture.
For a fish tank that so stunningly displays its contents – ultra-thick glass
magnifies its 65,000 fish to make them more visible – the Atlantis
aquarium is surprisingly coy about who its inhabitants actually are. Not a
single sign can be found telling the public what species any of the fish
are, leaving visitors to play an underwater guessing game. Only Sammy,
the giant whale shark who has attracted almost as many column inches
as Barack Obama in recent months, is recognisable amid the vast
swarms of fish on display.
The hotel's guides, however, have developed an unusual methodology
for informing the public about sea life.


Tiger Attacks Guide At Zoo
Animal Bites Hand Of 16-Year-Old Girl
The victim of a tiger attack at a zoo just east of Luray on Sunday was a
young female employee who was showing the animal to a group of
visitors, Page County investigators say.
The 16-year-old victim - whose name was not released because she is
a juvenile - was leading a tour at the Luray Zoo when the attack
occurred, according to Maj. Russell R. Montgomery, chief deputy with
the Page County Sheriff's Department.
In a report filed on Monday, Montgomery said the 5-year-old Bengal
tiger bit the girl through its cage as the victim tried to pet the animal
shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday. The bite caused severe lacerations to her
left hand, the report said. The victim, who is employed as a tour guide
at the zoo, was taken to Page Memorial Hospital before being
transported to the University of Virginia

Irwin zoo opens animal hospital
Sick and injured native animals are set to receive the best possible care
with the opening of the new Australian Wildlife Hospital at Australia Zoo
north of Brisbane today.
The hospital will be able to cater for up to 10,000 sick animals a year
and will officially open as part of the zoo's Steve Irwin Day celebrations.
The day celebrates the wildlife conservation

Zoo beefs up safety steps
THE Singapore Zoo will be rolling out a series of new security measures
to prevent a recurrence of the incident on Thursday, in which a cleaner
who jumped into the white tiger enclosure was killed by the big cats.
Three measures are being discussed: Installing alarms in glass
housings that the public can set off, deploying more patrols, and setting
up closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras near the exhibits of
potentially dangerous animals.
The review of existing procedures was prompted by the death of
cleaner Nordin Montong, 32, who managed to get into the enclosure
and then provoked the white tigers into attacking him.
If implemented, the new measures aim to ensur

Abu Dhabi to create 'new Maldives'
Abu Dhabi authorities have announced details of an ambitious project to
transform eight islands into new tourism centres.
The Abu Dhabi government has unveiled the first details of a major
development to attract tourists to eight of its desert islands.
Sir Bani Yas Island, located off the west coast of the Al Gharbia region,
will be open fully to visitors next year as part of an attempt to boost
tourism in the Middle Eastern country. The project also includes Dalma
Island and the previously unexplored Discovery Islands, two of which
are expected to resemble Maldivian island resorts.
Originally conceived as a wildlife reserve to ensure the survival of
Arabia's most endangered species, Sir Bani Yas island is a legacy of
Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late President of the United Arab
The Arabian Wildlife Park, which covers most of the 50-square mile
island, is home to 23 species of animals, including giraffes, antelopes,
hyenas and a 400-strong herd of endangered Arabian Oryx. It is also
boasts over 60 species of migratory birds, while its sea life includes
dolphins, sea lions and dugongs.
The island's first hotel, the Desert Islands Resort and Spa, a 64-room
resort operated by Anantara, opened for business earlier this month.
There are also plans to build five further lodges and resorts, a golf
course and up to 500 luxury beach front homes.
Other activities on offer will include mountain biking, snorkelling,
kayaking and hiking the island's salt domes (mounds of sodium chloride
deposits that have built up over centuries).
Lars Nielsen, marketing manager of Desert Islands, said that although
day trips to the island will be available next

MAF alarm over Lion Park
The revelation comes from Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
documents - released to TVNZ under the Official Information Act -
expressing concerns over animals kept in crowded, unsanitary
Officials were also concerned about barriers, with one external fence
damaged and not repaired for a day and a half, and lions and tigers
kept in the same enclosure.
Among the options being considered by MAF were finding a new
operator, or even performing euthanasia on 40 of the park's big cats.
Since the concerns were raised earlier this year, improvements have
been made at the Kamo, Whangarei, wildlife park which gained
worldwide fame through the TV series The Lion Man.

MAF investigations manager Greg Reid said the immediate animal
welfare issues at the park had been addressed. One investigation was

Monkey theft still under investigation
The investigation into the theft of two monkeys from Cotswold Wildlife
Park is still ongoing despite their safe return police said last night.
Squirrel monkeys Stripe and Deana were taken from the park near
Burford in west Oxfordshire on Monday night and it was feared they had
been stolen to order.
However, a mysterious tip-off on Wednesday saw them returned safely.
PC Simon Towers, wildlife officer for Thames Valley Police, said last
night: "Even though the monkeys have been returned, our criminal
investigation continues.
"We are treating the incident very seriously as the theft of a rare
species has national implications.
"We have a number of leads, which w

Real-life Furbys rediscovered
Some experts feared that Indonesia's pygmy tarsier was extinct
A primate species that looks like a living, breathing version of the Furby
electronic toy has been found alive in the forested highlands of an
Indonesian island for the first time in more than 70 years, scientists
announced Tuesday.
Three specimens of the pygmy tarsier, a nocturnal creature about the
size of a small mouse, were trapped and tracked this summer on Mount
Rorekatimbo in Lore Lindu National Park in Central Sulawesi, Texas

Centre to help preserve Sabah's sun bears
Having established itself as home for wildlife such as the orang utan,
Sumatran rhino, Borneo pygmy elephant and proboscis monkey, Sabah
intends to give more attention to its population of sun bears.
Noting that Sabah's sun bears were one of the world's eight bear
species, Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman said the state wanted to
protect the mammal, which was considered a unique

New Frog Species Discovered in Panama
Already in danger of extinction
A new, still-unclassifed frog species has been discovered in Panama and
will be announced in a specialized publication in December, the
research team responsible for the find said.
The amphibian, a type of tree frog with bright reddish- and green-
colored skin that grows to a length of 22 centimeters (8.7 inches), was
found by a group of researchers at the El Nispero zoo's Amphibian
Conservation Center in the Valle de Anton, a mountainous, rain-forested
region of central Panama.
A name will be given to the newly discovered species upon conclusion of
the scientists' research, which will be published in the U.S. Journal of
The frog already "is in danger of extinction because the habitat to which
it belongs is being degraded by the construction of roads and houses,"
El Nispero's director, Edgardo Griffith, told Efe.
Researchers with the University of Utah and the University of Miami, as
well as the Panama-based Smithsonian Tropical Research

World's oldest polar bear dies at Canadian zoo
The world's oldest polar bear has died at a Canadian zoo.
Zoo co-ordinator Gordon Glover at Winnipeg, Manitoba's Assiniboine
Park Zoo said Tuesday that the bear, named Debby, was euthanized on
Monday after suffering from several strokes and organ failure.
The 42-year-old polar bear was born in the Russian Arctic in 1966. She
came to Winnipeg's zoo as an orphan a year later.
Debby entered the Guinness Book of World records as the oldest

Vietnam bans all acts of illegal animal trade
Vietnam's consistent position is to actively engage in the preservation of
wild animals and to strictly prohibit all acts of illegal trade in wild
animals, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The ministry made the remark on November 19 in reply to
correspondents' questions about Vietnam's reaction to information that
a video recording broadcast on a South African television station shows
a Vietnamese Embassy staff buying rhino horn.
"The Ministry has asked the Vietnamese Embassy in South Africa to
verify information and has decided to recall Vu Moc Anh to explain the
issue," it said.
Vietnam is a member of CITES (Convention on Illegal Trade of
Endangered Species) and its policy

Keeper cites reasons to keep zoo
GIOVANNI Romarate loves taking good care of animals, a habit he
learned from his father .
Romarate, the caretaker of the Cebu Zoo, said he now trains his four
kids to have the same appreciation.
This is the reason Romarate said he and other zoo employees disagree
with the Cebu provincial government's plan to evict the zoo and recover
its seven-hectare lot in barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City.
This is the only zoo in Cebu, he said, so other children should get the
chance to experience the thrill of seeing live monkeys, a tiger, alligator
and exotic birds in a natural environment.
He said the zoo is an educational habitat for children and a venue for
family bonding on weekends and holidays.
visited the zoo yesterday and found at least two bus loads of visitors.
Nanette Borbon, one of the visitors, , said she and her family don't want
the zoo evicted since this is where she and her children spend their
Teresa Payusan, a vendor who sells her goods outside the zoo, worried
about losing her livelihood.
"Maayo na lnag gani ni kay naapa mi ipalit og bugas (For now, I still
have money to buy rice)," he said.
Romarate said the zoo usually earns more during weekends when
families and

Mammoth task: Scientists map DNA of ancient beast
Bringing "Jurassic Park" one step closer to reality, scientists have
deciphered much of the genetic code of the woolly mammoth, a feat
they say could allow them to recreate the shaggy, prehistoric beast in
as little as a decade or two.
The project marks the first time researchers have spelled out the DNA
of an extinct species, and it raised the possibility that other ancient
animals such as mastodons and sabertooth tigers might someday walk
the Earth again.
"It could be done. The question is, just because we might be able to do
it one day, should we do it?" asked Stephan Schuster, a Penn State
University biochemist and co-author of the new research. "I would be
surprised to see if it would take more than 10 or 20 years to do it."
The million-dollar mammoth study resulted in a first

Cane toads threatening crocodiles
Researchers say numbers of freshwater crocodiles have more than
halved in some Northern Territory waterways due to the advance of the
toxic cane toad.
Professor Keith Christian from Charles Darwin University says
freshwater crocodiles are eating the toads and dying, with 77% of the
population in the Victoria River in the NT's north-west wiped out in one
Prof. Christian has been given $35,000 from the NT Government to start
a monitoring project, and he hopes the Commonwealth will come up
with an additional $400,000.
He says increasing demands on freshwater resources are a threat to
the freshwater crocodile population, as is global warming which could
effect nesting.
But he says the biggest threat comes from cane toads.
"A recent survey on the Victoria River showed that

Zoo told to get creative for elephants
Auckland Zoo has until March to report to the council on how it plans to
develop an elephant herd in a bid to keep the species in New Zealand.
Kashin and Burma could become the last elephants in a New Zealand
zoo as a result of Auckland City Council budget cuts.
Modern captive animal practice dictates elephants must have
companions, so if Kashin - who turned 40 on Sunday - died

Los Angeles Zoo elephant debate takes over City Council meeting
Officials, experts and Bob Barker weigh in on whether elephants do well
in captivity.
The Los Angeles Zoo's controversial pachyderm exhibit was hardly the
proverbial elephant in the room Wednesday during a packed L.A. City
Council meeting.
Far from being an unspoken issue, the topic consumed 4 1/2 hours of
discussion. People cheered and groaned as wildlife experts, animal
welfare activists, impassioned schoolteachers, zoo lovers, a former
game show host-cum-animal cause philanthropist (Bob Barker) and
council members weighed in on the future of elephants in the city.
At issue was a proposal from Councilman Tony Cardenas to halt
construction of the zoo's $42-million "Pachyderm Forest" habitat,0,410492.story

Zoo wins wildlife medicine award
Bristol Zoo's in-house veterinary team has won a top award for
significant advances in zoo and wildlife medicine.
The award recognises the pioneering use of a test to detect avian
malaria in captive penguins and Inca terns.
Head of Veterinary Services Sharon Redrobe said the test could be
carried out in-house with one drop of blood and only takes 20 minutes
to run.
"This test is a real breakthrough for the treatment and management of
malaria in captive birds," she said.
Ms Redrobe was researching malaria when she wondered whether the
test would work on birds.
Disease control
"I spoke to the researcher who developed the test and he agreed there
was no reason why it shouldn't work in the same way on birds," she
"It has proven very effective and we have not had any major outbreaks
since we started using it."
The award is from the British


Vague rules mean animals suffer in EU zoos: NGOs
Tens of thousands of animals throughout Europe are kept in cruel
conditions because zoos fail to apply EU rules on standards of care
and the laws themselves are unclear, an animal welfare coalition said
on Wednesday.
Zoos often fall short of providing proper space, nutrition and mental
stimulation for the animals, said ENDCAP, a pan-European coalition of
non-government organizations seeking better care for animals in captivity.
ENDCAP and fellow NGO Born Free Foundation took their message this
week to the European Parliament in Brussels, where the two groups
showed footage of zoo animals in Romania, Spain and Bulgaria living in
what they called poor conditions.
"They are not stimulated so they start developing kinds of abnormal
behavior like pacing, rocking. Some animals pull their feathers or
hair out. Some actually go into self-mutilation," ENDCAP coordinator
Daniel Turner said.
Turner said EU countries failed to enforce the bloc's rules on animal
care because the regulations were vague and it was not clear how they
should be implemented. As a result, zoos failed to meet even basic
requirements for animals.
Zoos say it is not easy to comply with the rules, which include
creating enough space for animals to roam.
Belgium's Antwerp zoo, for example, has few enclosures. Along with
cages, it has spaces surrounded by glass for some animals so that
visitors and animals can look at each other.
The zoo, trying to improve standards, has invested over 80 million
euros ($101 million) in the past decade. Its director Rudy Van
Eysendeyk says the city is growing around the zoo, making expansion
more difficult.
He said Antwerp zoo was close to full compliance with the EU rules and
would continue improvements even when it

San Jose brothers sue over tiger attack
Two San Jose brothers mauled by a tiger at the San Francisco Zoo in
December have followed through with their pledge to sue over the
attack, filing a lawsuit that blames city officials and the zoo for
their injuries and also seeks damages for defamation in the aftermath
of the international incident.
In a complaint filed in San Francisco federal court last week, Kulbir
and Amritpal "Paul" Dhaliwal seek unspecified damages in connection
with the Christmas Day attack, in which the brothers were seriously
injured and their friend, Carlos Sousa Jr., was killed by a 250-pound
Siberian tiger named Tatiana.
The San Jose family of the 17-year-old Sousa also has sued over the
attack, which occurred when the tiger escaped from her enclosure and
was eventually shot and killed by San Francisco police.
The Dhaliwal brothers, represented by prominent lawyer Mark Geragos,
maintain the zoo and the police were

'We thought it was a show'
A CLEANER, who climbed into the enclosure of three Sumatran white
tigers on Thursday was set upon and mauled to death.
Earlier before the attack, Mr Nordin Montong, 32, a contract worker
from Sarawak, was seen acting strangely.
An Australian couple, who did not want to be named, said that they
heard a splash and saw the worker making his way across the 10
metre-wide moat at 12.15pm.
At the other side, he looked as if he wanted the tiger 'to check him
out,' they told The Straits Times.
Waving a broom and pail, he approached the big cats, each weighing
over 100 kg.
The largest tiger lunged at him and he fell and quickly recoiled in a
foetal position while trying to cover her head with the pail.
The horrified Australians and other visitors at the enclosure thought
it was part of a show until one of the tigers bit Mr Nordin's back and
started dragging him to the tigers' den.
They started screaming.
The commotion alerted a keeper nearby. He quickly used his
walkie-talkie to raise an alarm.
About 20 other keepers came forward and managed to get the tigers back
in the den. The police was called and an am

Tiger escapes, kills caretaker at Mexico zoo
A tiger escaped from an unlocked cage at a commercial zoo and fatally
mauled its caretaker before it was captured and killed, officials said
State officials said that Bioparque Estrella had closed Monday when
the tiger left its unlocked cage and fatally attacked 26-year-old
Herminio Rodriguez Palma. It was unclear why the cage had been left
Some 150 police officers and zoo veterinarians began an intense search
for the tiger at the 300-hectare (740-acre) wild animal park in the
countryside northwest of Mexico City. It was captured and killed
before dawn.
Mexico has had problems with dangerous animals escaping from their
caretakers recently.
In September, a five-ton elephant got

'Playful' tiger injures zookeeper
A zookeeper is expected to recover from wounds inflicted by a playful
white tiger, said the owner of the Junsele Zoo in the north of Sweden.
The keeper, who has worked with the zoos tigers for 16 years, was
trapped in a cage with the big cat for about 15 minutes Saturday, said
Ulf Henriksson, the zoos owner.
Henriksson said he lured the tiger away from the staff member with a
piece of meat so rescue workers could get the man out of the cage and
into an ambulance, the Swedish news agency tt reported Sunday.
The keeper was bitten in the foot and the shoulder and would be
hospitalized for a couple of days to ensure against infection from the
wounds, Henriksson said, noting the tiger saw the keeper more as a
playmate than a threat.
"Had this tiger wanted to inflict injury then we would not have

Jobs likely to go at Marine Aquarium
STAFF at the National Marine Aquarium have been warned their jobs
are under threat as bosses carry out a major `restructuring'
exercise, The Herald can reveal.
The Coxide attraction today said it would `refocus its activities'
and confirmed redundancies were a possibility.
Managing director Andrew Robertson said: "There will regrettably but
unavoidably be a period of transition which could result in a
limited number of redundancies."
He promised to make `every effort to support those affected during
this difficult time'.
But he said the NMA was forced into considering job losses and said:
"We are taking action now to make sure it (the aquarium) is here to
stay and that it becomes a key element of marine science not only in
the South West but in the UK as a whole."
The 10-year-old attraction employs 60 full-time and part-time workers.
Mr Robertson said the business was `disc

'Bureaucratic blunder' caused hippo's death, say zoo employees
The Dehiwela Zoo lost a female hippopotamus while the animal was
trying to give birth on Saturday morning, with a section of employees
blaming negligence by the authorities as the cause for the tragic
The female hippopotamus had died in agony due to suffocation with the
lower part of the body of her new born getting stuck in the womb as
doctors severed the head in an attempt to save the animal as repeated
attempts at safe delivery failed.
But a section of the employees blamed higher authorities for the
incident saying that a conducive environment was not prepared for the
safe delivery and that wrong procedures had been practised due to lack
of knowledge. As a result, the Zoo had lost yet another rare animal
due to bureaucratic blunders, they charged.
The hippopotamus named Julia weighing at least two tons was brought to
Sri Lanka from the Singapore National Zoo in 1999.
She had later given birth to five calves

Panel rejects idea of stopping LA elephant exhibit
A City Council committee has rejected a move to stop work on a $40
million elephant enclosure at the Los Angeles Zoo.
The panel's decision came Thursday despite pleas from celebrities such
as Lily Tomlin and Bob Barker to instead fund a 60-acre elephant
sanctuary in the San Fernando Valley.
The council committee declined to take a vote that would have sent the
proposal to the full council for consideration.
Celebrities who want to remove the elephants from the zoo say living
there can harm their health and shorten their lives. Tomlin

Zoo boss joins jet set
Toronto Zoo board chairman Raymond Cho has spent almost $12,000 over
the past two years on travel including two trips to South Korea within
a year.
Cho said he used the trips to secure $800,000 from the South Korean
government for a statue and memorial garden at the zoo commemorating
Dr. Frank William Schofield, who journeyed to that country from Canada
in 1916 as a Presbyterian missionary.
Cho's now trying to get funding from Canadian governments and private
donors to secure the remainder of the $1.6 million cost of the project.
Cho also travelled to Manitoba and Nunavut last month to learn about
polar bears.
He said he only travels on the zoo tab out of necessity.
"Don't think that I'm going abroad to have a vacation holiday," Cho said.
The polar bear trek cost $3,844 including $2,649 for airfare.
Cho's first of two trips to South Korea last year was from April
7-to-17 and cost $3,942 of which $1,624 was airfare, $1,571 went to
pay hotel costs and $747 covered his meals.
He was back in South Korea from Dec. 30 to Jan. 13, a trip that cost a
total of $4,141 -- $2,208 in airfare, $1,417 on hotel costs and $515
for meals.
Schofield, who stood up on behalf of Koreans against the Japanese, is
to Korea what Dr. Norman Bethune is to China, Cho said.
"If this project becomes successful, I'd like to see the statue of
Gandhi (at the zoo)," he said.
Councillor Michael Thompson, who recently resigned from the zoo board,
said it had been his understanding when the idea of a Schofield
memorial was first raised with the board that agreements were already
in place

London Aquarium to get £5 million refit
The London Aquarium is to get a £5 million renovation.
According to London's Evening Standard newspaper, the London Aquarium,
which was acquired by Merlin Entertainments in May 2008, is to get an
extensive re-fit which starts this month.
It says that the company is due to start building work to create new
exhibitis, better tunnels and interactive features for children.
It also claims that the company plans to increase the number of
species on display from around 400 to more than 500 and will house
turtles for the first time.
As Practical Fishkeeping reported in May, the London Aquarium is to
become the flagship branch in the Sea Life Centre chain, and its new
owners have invested

Mexican zoo offers interactive experience
A zoo in Mexico has come up with a down to earth way to educate
children about the environment.
It's helping kids to learn more about animal exhibits and
conservation, encouraging them to ask questions through interactive g

There's a different kind of action happening at the Cape May County
Zoo over the next two weeks as a million-dollar construction project
is underway. It's all about making the facility better for visitors
and the animals.
"It's very new to them and they don't know what's happening, so they
get a little nervous about it." While the animals at the Cape May
County Zoo are used to being the attraction, today they were given
something to watch, as crews there got started on a utility
construction project. "Well, we've had to move some of the animals
because of the equipment that's being used in the construction that's
going on," said Dr. Hubert Paluch, the zoo director.
While some animals were moved because of the commotion, others clearly
weren't bothered by it. Regardless of what the animals think,
installing a new sewer system

Patna Zoo world No 2 in rhino count
Patna zoo has something to be proud of. With 11 Indian one-horned
variety, the city zoo is second to California's San Diego Animal Park
which has
Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has declared Patna zoo as the top breeding
centre of rhinos. The first pair of rhinos was brought here from Assam
back in 1979. Patna zoo started breeding in 1988.
"It's not easy. We have to take extra care to get the right kind of
environment and diet to breed animals like rhinos. As a result, we get
baby rhinos every year," a zoo official said.
Patna zoo has also become a breeding centre for 'gharial'. The
39-year-old Patna zoo, spread over 153 acres, has earned Rs 1.64 crore
revenue in 2007.
In 2005, Patna zoo had exchanged three giraffes from San Diego Animal
"We have given them two Indian single-horned Rhino," Patna zoo deputy
director Subhash Chandra Verma said. "We had exchanged a male

Deadline for Lion Man to save licence
The Whangarei based Lion Man could be out of a job on Wednesday, the
last day Craig Busch can challenge the Ministry of Agriculture and
Forestry's decision to revoke his licence to operate his wildlife park.
ONE News has discovered MAF has spent three months trying to deal with
serious animal welfare issues at the park in Kamo, near Whangarei.
MAF inspection reports say lions and tigers were being kept in cramped
unsanitary living conditions.
Immediate welfare issues have now been sorted at Zion Gardens, but
there is still concern for the animals, due to an ongoing dispute
between Busch and his mother.
Emails and MAF reports released under the Official Information Act
show one of the options MAF considered was euthanising 40 big cats.
And it seems a dispute between the park's licensed operator (Busch)
and his mother Patricia is making the situation worse.
According to an extensive

A world first mudskipper spawning?
'Has a Canadian reader really become the first person to breed
mudskippers in captivity, or are the fry from something else?'
Not a huge amount is known about the reproduction of mudskippers, and
as far as I can recall, there's not been a single previously reported
aquarium spawning. So, I was particularly excited to receive an email
last week from Canadian reader Alicia Fox who believed that her
Atlantic mudskippers, Periophthalmus barbarus, had bred in captivity.
However, as a trained sceptic, I wasn't entirely convinced that it
wasn't a false alarm, with the "mudskippers" actually being fry from
something else. I've lost count of the number of readers whose "Clown
loach fry" have turned out to baby Puntius filamentosus, for example.
To double-check, I asked Alicia to send over some pictures and aske

Monkeys snatched from wildlife park
Thieves have stolen two monkeys from an enclosure at a wildlife park,
police said today.
The female squirrel monkeys were snatched after raiders broke into the
Cotswold Wildlife Park, near Burford, Oxfordshire, last night.
Staff discovered the enclosure had been entered and the animals were
missing at 7am this morning.
Pc Simon Towers, Thames Valley Police wildlife officer, said: "This is
a highly unusual crime. There has not been a similar theft of a monkey
nationally since 2006.
"We are very concerned about their welfare - they have a highly
specialised diet and would be severely traumatised by the experience
so we need to recover them as soon as possible.
"If anyone saw any suspicious vehicles or people in the vicinity of
the park, which is accessed from the A361 south of Burford, then
please let us know.
"I would also like to advise the public that, while they might be
cute-looking animals, they are wild, may be frightened and could
easily bite someone.
"If you do see them, do not attempt to approach them but contact the
police immediately or the park directly."
The stolen monkeys were called Stripe, who in her 20s was the oldest
in the group at the park, and Deana, who was in her teens.
Curator Jamie Craig said the thieves

Rare monkeys found after tip-off
Two rare monkeys stolen from an Oxfordshire wildlife park have been
found safe and well.
The pair of female squirrel monkeys, Deana and Stripe, were taken from
their enclosure at the Cotswold Wildlife Park, near Burford, on Monday.
However, they were found in a box nearby after an anonymous caller
contacted the park on Wednesday night.
Curator Jamie Craig said the animals would soon be reunited with the
other monkeys later on Thursday.
Mr Craig told the BBC News website he received an anonymous call on
Wednesday afternoon

What price our wildlife?
"No study has been done to show just how much Malaysia is really
losing, in ringgit terms, based on the amount of wildlife seized over
the years," said Azrina Abdullah, Southeast Asia regional director for
wildlife trade monitoring network, TRAFFIC — whose objective is to
ensure such trade is not a threat to the conservation of nature.
"What is the real value of losing a pangolin, a tiger or a Sambar Deer?"
Commending agencies such as the Anti-Smuggling Unit, Marine

Call to investigate 'The Lizard King'
The facts in the widely acclaimed non-fiction book on wildlife
smuggling, which had been dismissed by the National Parks and Wildlife
Department (Perhilitan) in late September as a "work of fiction,"
should nonetheless be investigated, said Azrina Abdullah, Southeast
Asia regional director for wildlife trade monitoring network, TRAFFIC.
The Lizard King — The True Crimes and Passions of the World's Greatest
Reptile Smugglers by Bryan Christy, which was published in August
after four-and-a-half years of research, has been picked this month as
an "Editor's Choice" by the US conservation magazine Audobon, and
given the thumbs-up by the New York Times and National Geographic.
"This book gives an account of the underworld of the illegal wildlife
trade, involving a Malaysian, Anson Wong who was actually convicted
and jailed in the US for illegal smuggling'The_Lizard_King'.aspx

USDA removes malnourished elephant from Balm owner
U.S. Department of Agriculture officials removed the 21-year-old Asian
elephant from his Balm home Saturday after they found him malnourished
in the care of his owner, circus trainer Lance Ramos.
Carol Buckley of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee in Hohenwald,
Tenn., wrote in a diary she's been keeping about Ned that his shoulder
blades were protruding from his 9-foot-6, 7,500-pound frame when he
arrived at the sanctuary Sunday.
That's about a ton underweight, she said.
Ned, who was born at Busch Gardens on Oct. 10, 1987, is only the
second elephant to ever be confiscated by the USDA, according to
Elliot. He was born to two elephants who were captured in the wild in
Southeast Asia, but who came to belong to a Busch Gardens breeding
When he was 2 years old, Ned was sold to a circus trainer. He
performed with the Big Apple circus for almost a decade until
elephants were cut from the circus lineup. That's when Ramos took
possession of the elephant, according to the sanctuary.
Jessica Milteer, a spokeswoman with the USDA's Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service, said Ramos was warned several times prior to the
confiscation that his care of Ned

Polo's long wait may end soon (11th November)
The eight-year old search for a mate for India's only gorilla, Polo
may soon end. The Mysore Zoo has organised a two-day international
conference in January next year and invited representatives from the
top 100 zoos around the world, which have female gorillas, to be a
part of it, hoping to find a mate from among them for Polo.
"We are trying to establish contact with 100 zoos in the world and
have also invited representatives from the Gorilla Foundation, a US
non-profit corporation dedicated to the protection of gorillas," a zoo
official said. According to official records, there are around 850
gorillas housed in 100 zoos in the world with a male-female ratio of
1:2. The Howletts Zoo Park in England has the highest number of 43
gorillas of which nine are male and 34 are female.
Says Polo's keeper and winner of debut International Gorilla Award,
Shankar, "Gorillas are an extremely exotic species. They need
psychological and emotional enrichment without which they can develop
psychological problems leading to a decline in their life span." Polo,
a western lowland gorilla, was gifted as a mate for Sumati, another
gorilla at the zoo, on May 12, 1995. Sumati and and another gorilla
Sugriva were brought to the Mysore zoo in 1977 and became its star
Sugriva died even before completing a year at the zoo. In the 80s,
Israel gifted a male gorilla, Bobo as a mate for Sumati. But it too
did not live long. When Polo arrived in 1995, Sumati did not take to
him . She died of cardiac arrest on October 4, 2000.

Huge haul of dead owls and live lizards in Peninsular Malaysia
Over 7,000 live Clouded Monitor Lizards and almost 900 dead owls plus
other protected wildlife species have been seized in two raids in
Peninsular Malaysia.
On 4 November, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks
(Perhilitan) staff raided a house in Muar, in the state of Johor, and
found in a freezer and storage room 796 Barn, 95 Spotted Wood, 14
Buffy Fish, 8 Barred Eagle and 4 Brown Wood Owls, 2 Crested Serpent
Eagles, 51 live Clouded Monitor Lizards, 4 live juvenile Wild Pigs,
plus parts of one or more Wild Pig, Malayan Porcupine, Reticulated
Python, Malayan Pangolin, Sun Bear and Greate

Government Not Ready with List of Animals to be Leased
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The government has yet to come up with a
price list and species of animals that could be leased out. The lease
will require a deposit as collateral. However, the government stressed
that the animals to be leased out will not be newly captured animals.
There is no list of the animals, nor a price list. We suggest this
first step to see whether the idea would be accepted, Tonny Suhartono
told Tempo yesterday. Suhartono is director of the Biodiversity
Conservation Center.
Darori, Forest Protection and Natural Conservation director-general,
had previously suggested that people should be allowed to care for
protected animals. The idea came to him when he saw how an
almost-extinct Jalak bird, native to Bali, was kept in a protected
environment to allow it to reproduce. However, a significant deposit,
like Rp 1 billion, would be required to obtain the right to care for a

Bhalou the Bear Suffering in Doha Zoo?
A story I missed yesterday but which popped up on my alerts today was
that of Bhalou the bear.
Those who have been in Qatar a while will remember that the bear was
left behind by the Russian Circus performing in the Hyatt Plaza after
the circus were denied the papers they needed to take the bear home.
Now the bear is housed in Doha Zoo and, according to the zoo, is doing
well. Not so, according to the Gulf Times, which stated that the bear
had lost weight, had no food in its enclosure and was denied access to
its air-conditioned shelter.
The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) had arranged a
place for the bear in a sanctuary in Pakistan, but then been denied
access to the bear.
The person who found the bear claimed that Bhalou was depressed and
being kept in filthy conditions.
Claims that the animals are not well cared for have been made before.
One conservationist I spok

London Zoo thrilled by progress of green unicorns
Green unicorns have been raised successfully for the first time at
London Zoo as part of an international conservation breeding
programme. The snakes, also known as rhino rat snakes, Rhynchophis
boulengeri, hatched in July and were brown and cream but will turn
bright green as adults after a year. The rare Vietnamese reptiles will
grow to about a metre long. They are dubbed green unicorns because of
their horn-like feature. It is thought to be the first time that the sp

First live rhinoceros birth from frozen-thawed semen
There may be less than 20,000 rhinoceros in the world, with one
species perhaps already extinct and another with possibly only four
animals remaining in the wild. As the populations of these animals age
and become infirm, successful breeding becomes increasingly difficult.
In an article scheduled for publication in Theriogenology, An
International Journal of Animal Reproduction, researchers from the
Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Zoo Budapest
and the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, report on the first
live birth of a rhinoceros resulting from artificial insemination (AI)
with frozen and thawed semen.
Using semen collected from a 35-36 year-old Southern white rhinoceros,
frozen for 2 to 3 years and then thawed, a 30 year old female
rhinoceros was artificially inseminated in two attempts. The first
failed, but the second resulted in pregnancy and the birth of a
healthy offspring. At the time of conception, the female was housed at
the Budapest Zoo in Hungary an


Mexico City's 'water monster' nears extinction
Beneath the tourist gondolas in the remains of a great Aztec lake
lives a creature that resembles a monster — and a Muppet — with its
slimy tail, plumage-like gills and mouth that curls into an odd smile.
The axolotl, also known as the "water monster" and the "Mexican
walking fish," was a key part of Aztec legend and diet. Against all
odds, it survived until now amid Mexico City's urban sprawl in the
polluted canals of Lake Xochimilco, now a Venice-style destination
for revelers poled along by Mexican gondoliers, or trajineros, in
brightly painted party boats.
But scientists are racing to save the foot-long salamander from
extinction, a victim of the draining of its lake habitat and
deteriorating water quality. In what may be the final blow, nonnative
fish introduced into the canals are eating its lunch — and its babies.
The long-standing International Union for Conservation of Nature
includes the axolotl on its annual Red List of threatened species,
while researchers say it could disappear in just five years. Some are
pushing for a series of axolotl sanctuaries in canals cleared of
invasive species, while others are considering repopulating
Xochimilco with axolotls bred in captivity.

Bear trade thrives despite efforts to end smuggling
Two new Sun Bear cubs have just arrived at Phnom Tamao zoo, rescued
from wildlife traders. But they're the lucky ones – many bears don't
MILLIE, a 14-month-old sun bear, sits in the corner of her new
enclosure, sucking her paw and letting out a constant, quiet whine.
Her new playmate Mollie eagerly lunges at her but receives little
reaction from the nervous cub who until recently was neglected,
malnourished and chained by the neck to a tree.
The pair are two of the newest additions to the Free the Bears
family, currently numbering 93 members, at Phnom Tamao Zoo and
Wildlife Rescue Centre.
An average of 10 to 15 bears are confiscated per year from wildlife
traders, restaurants and rich pet owners, according to Matt Hunt,
Southeast Asia program manager for Free the Bears, an NGO that has
been working in Cambodia since 1997 trying to eliminate the bear
"Many more than this are taken from the wild each year," Hunt
said, "but unfortunately we cannot get to all of them".
In the past, bears were hunted for traditional Khmer medicines. Bear
paws, gall bladders containing bile, teeth and claws are still traded
in Cambodia by hunters.
But according to Choun Vuthy, who has been working at Phnom Tamao for
11 years and is now their bear manager, the real market

Taking paradise public
Even getting to Sir Bani Yas Island is an adventure.
We have come to visit the wildlife reserve, created 20 years ago by
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, the late founder of the nation, as a private
retreat and sanctuary for rare Asiatic and African species and now
opened to the public.
But we get our first glimpse of animal magic only moments after our
boat pushes off from the jetty at Jebel Dhanna for the short voyage
to the reserve.
No sooner has our guide mentioned that dugongs live in these waters
than we see a flash of light brown against the silver-blue glitter of
the midday sea and one of the gentle giants surfaces nearby.
The skipper stops the engine and, as we drift, we are surrounded by
several of the creatures, swimming languidly either side of the boat.
There are five, maybe six of them, including what seems to be a young
one, sticking close to its mother.
They are not as graceful or as agile as dolphins, but they have charm
to spare and, in a matter of seconds, transform

Activists want Calgary Zoo to halt breeding program
Animal rights activists say the Calgary Zoo should immediately halt
its breeding program after the death of a baby elephant last weekend.
Malti the elephant died last weekend, less than a week after being
diagnosed with elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus
The disease kills by attacking the cells that line an elephant's
blood vessels in the heart, liver and other organs.
Julie Woodyer, a spokeswoman for national animal protection charity
Zoocheck, is calling on the Calgary Zoo to stop breeding more
"Now that there is herpes within this herd and each one of these
elephants has had access to each other and the new baby... the
breeding program must be stopped immediately," Woodyer told on
She said the disease issue

Longtime S.F. Zoo lion keeper dies
ck Castor, the beloved former lion keeper at the San Francisco Zoo
who acquired more than 500 stitches in the course of a 48-year career
of tossing raw horsemeat to the wildest of wild animals, has died.
Mr. Castor, who reigned supreme over the king of beasts, died Oct. 23
in San Francisco after a short illness. He was 84.
At the time of his retirement in 1999, he had served for 48 years, 5
months and 11 days - longer than any other city employee.
It was not possible to spend half a century in a lion house, he often
said, without having something bloody to show for it. Mr. Castor's
compact, muscular body was full of scars, wounds and stitches, all
nobly acquired.
"Every one of 'em has scratched me," he told the Chronicle in 1999,
smiling, w

Croc farms, environmentalists form uneasy alliance
As deforestation and a loss of natural prey threatens Siamese
crocodiles with extinction, the farms that once helped endanger the
species are now helping save it, conservationists say.
There are fewer than 50 Siamese crocodiles left in the wild in
Thailand and about 200 in the entire Mekong river region, but
thousands live on commercial farms designed to transform them into
belts, shoes and handbags, or meat for export.
"(People) hunt the young to sell to the crocodile farms. For the big
ones, they hunt for the skin, the hide," says Chavalit Vidthayanon, a
freshwater specialist with conservation group WWF.
"Crocodile farming may induce hunting also," Chavalit says. "That is
a negative side. But on the positive side it means the crocodile farm
can retain the genetics of the crocodile for a longer time."
Thailand's crocodile farming has over the past six years expanded
into a booming multi-billion-dollar industry, with tens of thousands
of crocodile skins and live crocodiles, as well as the reptile's
meat, sold worldwide each year.
Much of the skins end up as handbags, wallets or shoes on chic
consumers in Asia and the West.
The dark green, three-metre (10-foot) long Siamese crocodile begins
life at one of the dozens of farms along the Mekong river.
The conservation group Fauna and Flora International says the farms
are to blame for the extinction of the Siamese species from 99
percent of its natural habitat.
But now the industry is helping preserve the rare reptile and deter
smuggling, says Wuthiphong Thaolar, a Thai customs inspector and
member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' Wildlife
Enforcement Network.
There are 22 farms in Thailand that are legal

Birmingham Zoo adds two rhinos
Two Southern White Rhinos will be transferred to the Birmingham Zoo
on Tuesday, kicking off the first stages of its upcoming Trails of
Africa exhibit.
The two rhinos – mother and child Laptop and Ajabu – are coming from
the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas, said a news
The two are part of a program to continue conservation efforts of the
rhinos, thought to be extinct at one time, and other animals formed
by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums called Species Survival Plan.
The White Rhino has a square lip, three toes on each hoof and can
weigh anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 pounds, standing five to six feet
high, said

Deaths of Zoo Elephants Explained -- New Virus Identified
Researchers at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and the National Zoo in
Washington, D.C., have discovered the cause of death of nearly a
dozen young North American zoo elephants -- fatal hemorrhaging from a
previously unknown form of herpesvirus that apparently jumped from
African elephants to the Asian species.
"This is very troubling because these are endangered species," said
Gary Hayward, Ph.D., a Johns Hopkins scientist and co-author of a
report published in the Feb. 19 Science. "And also because there may
still be carrier African elephants in zoos."
Quick detection and treatment with antiviral drugs is life-saving, he
Asian elephants are bred more frequently in captivity than their
African cousins, and a sufficient number of young elephants is
necessary for bolstering the population, which is dwindling in the
Of 34 Asian elephants born in zoos in the United States and Canada
from 1983 to 1996, seven have died from the virus, and two more with
incomplete records are suspected to have died from it. The virus
appears to be latent in most African elephants, although two of seven
African elephants born in North America over the past 15 years have
also died from herpesvirus infection. Most of the infected elephants
were young.
In their report, the scientists say that the elephant herpesvirus
kills by infecting cells that line blood vessels in the heart, liver
and other organs. Untreated, the virus soon causes internal bleeding a

Animal lover Natasha soaks up zoo keeper experience
MOST teenagers do their work experience in a local shop, factory or
But wannabe zoo keeper Natasha Wilton, from Barrow, got a taste of
her dream job with a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Antwerp Zoo in
Natasha was shown how to deal with customers and, more importantly,
how to look after various animals.
A huge amount of responsibility was involved as she helped welcome
new animals into the zoo and give them vital injections.
"The best bit was showering the elephants," said Natasha. "I'd love
to work with elephants if possible.
"I definitely want to work in a zoo, my dream location would be San
Diego Zoo."
Lancaster and Morecambe College

Black Rhino Calf Born
Born to 10-year-old mum Kitani at Chester Zoo on Wednesday October
29, this calf is the first Black Rhino to be born at the zoo in 10
years and the first newborn for Kitani.
At just two days old, the Eastern Black Rhinoceros calf is still
trying to find its feet.
But despite its first few faltering steps, eventually this little
calf will make big strides in helping the population of Black Rhinos
in the wild.
The arrival is made even more significant as the Eastern Black Rhinos
remains perilously close to extinction in the wild, with only 700 ani

PLIGHT OF THE SUN BEARS: Time running out
For all the conservation efforts on which Malaysia prides itself,
there is surprisingly little that we know of the Malayan sun bear.
EVANGELINE MAJAWAT and JULIA CHAN sniff around in search of these
elusive creatures and stumble upon a concerted effort to protect this
threatened species
A NAUSEATING stench of faeces and rotting food fills the air. In the
far corner of a lush garden stands a rusty metal cage -- the source
of the offending smell.
In the cage, barely a metre in height, a listless sun bear repeatedly
rubs itself against the bars.
The cage is far too small for the sun bear, so much so that there is
no space for it to move. Its once coal black fur is now a pale brown,
with bald patches from rubbing against the cage too often. Its skin
is covered with sores.
But more disturbing are the mounds of rotting fruits and vegetables,
and the faeces in the cage. In a bowl, there is murky water.
These are the terrible conditions in which captive sun bears are kept
in this country.
Malayan sun bears (Helarctos malayanus) are still kept illegally as
pets in Malaysia and neighbouring Indonesia despite strict laws which
prohibit the capture and trade of these animals.
But an innovative sun bear conservation

Zoo told to fix fences
One of Britain's top zoos has been ordered to fix its fences amid
fears that lions and tigers could escape, a report obtained by The
Independent shows.
Government experts demanded tougher security for the Big Cats
enclosure at Chessington World of Adventures in Surrey, to protect
visitors from being mauled.
Fencing at the rear of the enclosure was "in need of attention and
improvement", the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
warned, saying it was "essential" that Chessington upgraded fencing
to prevent escapes or humans climbing into pens.
After the inspection last winter, Chessington improved fencing at the
Trail of the Kings exhibit, which houses lions, tigers, leopards and
gorillas. Previous inspections had criticised London's second biggest
zoo for failing to heed requests to improve conditions for animals.
Dated 10 September last year, the latest inspection praises "much
higher standards shown by staff" and greater commitment from the
management. However, it says Chessington should make improvements to
the "bland and unstimulating" reptile house which contains geckos,
monitors and chameleons and make big improvements to security.
"It is essential that a risk assessment be carried out... to ensure
that the perimeter boundary including all entry and exit points is
appropriately designed, constructed and managed."
One million people a year visit the zoo. In a

Wildlife aplenty in the market and on the menu
A small trader from Nga Bay Town in Hau Giang Province advertises a
king cobra on sale for VND4 million (US$238), offering blood she says
can be ingested to treat incurable diseases.
The trader is confident that there will be many takers for such
offers, because they feed off the widespread belief that the blood
and flesh of wild creatures have therapeutic effects.
The high demand for such specialty meat is pushing the population of
rare wildlife species to new lows.
Both live animals and their meat are sold illegally and openly at
markets that spring up spontaneously all over the Mekong Delta and
the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.
Hunting, trading and consumption of rare wildlife species are
strictly prohibited under the Vietnam Environment Protection Law and
Law on Forest Protection and Development.
Near the entrance to Nga Bay Town's People's Committee office, a
wholesale wildlife market by the roadside has apparently been
established for years.
Nga Bay, which means intersection of seven

Dana Brown Charitable Trust gives $3M to endow zoo CEO position
The Dana Brown Charitable Trust has announced a gift of $3 million to
the Saint Louis Zoo to endow its position of chief executive officer.
Effective immediately, the Zoo's top position will be known as the
Dana Brown President and CEO of the Saint Louis Zoo. Jeffrey Bonner
holds that position.
"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the
position of Zoo director or president has been endowed," said David
Diener of U.S. Bank and chairman of the Dana Brown Charitable Trust,
in a statement.
The Dana Brown Charitable Trust, a local philanthropic private
foundation created in 1994, was named for Dana Brown, a noted business

Surfing polar bear thrills crowds at North Carolina zoo
A polar bear surfs on a red float after leaping on to it from the
side of a pool.
Wilhelm, who weights 1,000lbs, was captured on camera by a volunteer
at the the North Carolina Zoological Park, in the United States.
The bear, know to zookeepers as Willy, dived and splashed around with
the plastic float gripped in his paws.
According to the zoo's website, keepers use toys such as the float
to "encourage the bears to swim, forage for food, search for hidden
treats, solve puzzles and have fun."
Valerie Abbott, who took the pictures, said: "The keepers do a
fantastic job of keeping different enrichment items in his exhibit.
One week he will have his bright lifeguard float, the next a big
plastic pickle or even a giant bucket.
"This gives Willy something to look forward to. It's a bit like a
child in a toy store – he never knows what fun thing he is going to
get to play

South Lakes Wild Animal Park fund Sumatran tiger preservation team
SUMATRAN tigers live unseen in one of the wildest parts of the world.
Their tracks in the earth and incredible trap pictures such as these,
brought exclusively to you by the Evening Mail, are evidence of their
A dedicated team, funded entirely by South Lakes Wild Animal Park, in
Dalton, is trying to stem the dwindling numbers of native tigers by
persuading the Indonesian government that these globally significant
forests need saving.
Yet even as they compile evidence to present to the government, the
tropical rainforests of Sumatra are under threat from slash and burn
clearance for profit.
But, says the park's owner, David Gill, "if we weren't doing it
nobody else would".
The park invests £180,000 a year in the Sumatran Tiger Trust, but as
far as David's concerned it's a debt he owes one of the zoo's most
important residents.
Toba, the zoo's first Sumatran tiger, inspired

Rare animal trade thrives in Thailand from lax laws
Thousands of tourists and locals throng the congested aisles of
Bangkok's popular Chatuchak market every weekend, hunting for
everything from a new pair of shiny leather shoes to a puppy.
But among the racks of caged creatures is an illegal trade in
endangered animals that wildlife police say they are powerless to
stop as sellers take advantage of lax Thai laws and punishments.
The illicit international trade in rare species is worth an estimated
six billion dollars per year, academics estimate, and wildlife
campaigners say much of that money now changes hands in the Thai
"It's difficult to arrest these smugglers," Lieutenant Colonel
Thanayod Kengkasikij of Thailand's anti-wildlife trafficking
taskforce told AFP.
His problem is practical and legal as keeping an eye on smugglers as
they move about the market is tough enough, but once arrests are made
getting the courts to punish them is even tougher.
"If the court handed down harsher verdicts to traffickers I think

Who let the animals out?
Karachi Zoo losing its charm since the death of Anarkali
The Elephant House at Karachi Zoo has been vacant and deserted since
the death of Anarkali, the lone female elephant of the Karachi Zoo,
who died in July, 2006 at the age of 65. Since then the authorities
are claiming to have her replaced "within months" but these false
promises have not been materialised. In addition the zoo lacks
rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, zebras, giraffes and other animals,
which are not found in this region but are acquired by the zoos for
the entertainment of their visitors.
As far as acquiring the elephants for the Karachi Zoo and Safari Park
is concerned, the authorities claim that a supply order for the
acquisition of two elephants has been placed after the permission was
granted from the City Nazim Karachi, Mustafa Kamal and District
Coordination Officer (DCO) Karachi, Javed Hanif. "We are aware of the
demands and requirements of our Zoo and have issued a purchase order
for acquiring two elephants worth Rs9.9 million each for both the Zoo
and Safari Park in August 2008," informed the Executive District
Officer (EDO) Community Development of the CDGK, Rehana Saif.
She stated that the supplier was optimistic that by the start of
2009, the elephants will arrive in Karachi and enthral the visitors,
especially children at both the Karachi Zoo and Safari Park. Another
official of the Community Development Department (CDD), District
Office (DO) Headquarter, Rashid Ali who is also a member of Animal
Purchase Advisory Committee of his department, was quite hopeful that
the elephants will be at the Zoo and Safari park within the next two
to three months.

Celebs weigh in against LA Zoo elephant sanctuary
Celebrities who want to remove elephants from the Los Angeles Zoo say
living there can harm their health and shorten their lives.
Lily Tomlin said Thursday that she thinks "the word zoo is elephant-
speak for Guantanamo."
Tomlin joined Bob Barker, Robert Culp and Kathryn Joosten
of "Desperate Housewives" at a news conference.
The celebs and Councilman Tony Cardenas oppose a $40 million, 6-acre
(2.4-hectare) elephant enclosure the zoo is building. Cardenas says
it's too small and instead wants funding for a 60-acre (24-hectare)
sanctuary in the San Fernando Valley.
Activists say 13 elephants have died at the zoo

Highland home could offer lonely polar bear a brand new lease of life
SHE has been at Edinburgh Zoo for more than two decades – but
Mercedes the polar bear could soon be on the move to a new home.
Mercedes, the only polar bear kept in a zoo in the UK, may be moved
to the Highland Wildlife Park near Kincraig. The announcement has
been welcomed by animal rights groups, which say the location will be
more suitable for her needs.
David Windmill, chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of
Scotland (RZSS), confirmed she could be relocated.
"The environment at Highland Wildlife Park is ideal for her and we
are looking at what needs to be done and how much it would cost to
set up her new home in the Highlands," he said.
A spokeswoman for RZSS said the plans were still in the early stages,
and no time scale had yet been set.
However, she said it was likely the enclosure at the Highland
Wildlife Park would be bigger than the pe

Kirshner Wildlife Foundation close to being ordered to move
Despite an attorney's allegation proper procedure hadn't been
followed, a popular Durham wild animal park is one step short of
being ordered to move.
Tuesday the Butte County Board of Supervisors passed a motion of
intent to give the Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation just under
two years to move from its present location on Laura Lane, or face
The vote gives the foundation until Oct. 30, 2010, to find, purchase,
build the necessary facilities to house its animals, and move.
s of that date the use permits allowing operation of the current
Durham facility will be revoked, forcing the operation to close.
The foundation, created in 1994, houses a range of endangered and
exotic animals including large cats, reptiles and exotic birds. It
conducts educational programs for schools and the general public.
All the supervisors praised the foundation and described it as a
valuable asset

Officials investigate how cheetah escaped into garden
SAFETY officials have launched an investigation into how a cheetah
escaped from Hamerton Zoo and ended up in a family's garden.
Huntingdonshire District Council has sent officers to the wildlife
park, near Sawtry, after a nine-year-old schoolboy came face-to-face
with the big cat as he played on his bike.
It is thought the three-year-old predator had scaled an 8ft fence
surrounding his outdoor enclosure, after a solar-powered electric
fencing unit broke down.
A council spokeswoman said the zoo had notified officers about the
escape, and an investigation was under way.
"Our environmental health officers are responsible for the licensing
of zoos and dangerous animals," the spokeswoman said.
"The zoo reported the escape to us, and we are aware that there was a
faulty electric fence unit which h

Dubai's diverse developments
Atlantis, The Palm is located at the centre of Palm Jumeirah's
crescent, and will be the first of an estimated 30 hotels expected to
open across the project over the next few years. The resort's theme
park, Aquaventure, is the largest waterpark in the Arabian Peninsula,
with 170,000 sqm of beachfront, a marine lagoon, 18 million litres of
fresh water powering seven waterslides and a dolphin conservation
Corporate groups can use a 5,600 sqm conference centre, complete with
the 2,100 sqm Atlantis Ballroom, capable hosting up to 2,500
delegates and offering WiFi Internet access.
There is also a 1,000 sqm pre-function area with floor-to-ceiling
beach views, while the Silk and Spice Ballrooms, each over


Researcher puts elephants to the test
"I'm right in the middle of running an elephant. Can you call back in
like half an hour?" Michael Rowe pocketed his cell phone and returned
full attention to clicking off Jean's paces.
It was after hours at the Audubon Zoo _ one of four zoos where Rowe
is studying how elephants, which can't sweat or pant to bring their
temperatures down when they get too hot, deal with heat and cold.
Regulation of body heat hasn't been studied much in very large
animals, Rowe said.
His doctoral research may have implications for helping wild elephant
herds in an era of climate change, said Jeff Andrews, animal care
manager for the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Wild Animal Park.
"The more we can learn about this very important component of large
herbivore biology and elephant metabolism and biology, the more we
can apply to the quest for conservation," he said.
For instance, he said, although wild elephants are usually looking
for food and water when they come in conflict with people, they may
sometimes be looking for a warmer or cooler place.
Andrews said it's long been known that wild elephants can handle

Zoo's snowball the polar bear found dead
Snowball, the second-oldest polar bear in captivity in North America,
died unexpectedly Friday morning at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
The lover of mackerel - known as the queen of her three-bear
community - was 37.
"She was the boss lady of the exhibit," said Sue Allen, spokeswoman
for the zoo. "If she wanted to bask in one part of the exhibit and
another bear was there, they got up and let her."
An avid fisher, catching any fish a keeper would toss into her
exhibit's moat, she was indistinguishable from the other two polar
bears to most zoo visitors. Snowball entertained patrons by playing
with hard plastic balls, often pushing them with her nose as she
swam, or with the frozen balls of fish, fruits and vegetables the zoo
calls "fish-sicles."
She died after breakfast, having shown no signs of illness. A
necropsy was performed late Friday.
"She was generally in good health," Allen said. "She was outside
Thursday night for our 'Boo at the Zoo' celebration. Friday

Poor season for new Cromer Zoo
Jaguars, capybaras and flamingos were not enough to overcome bad
weather, high fuel prices and rising living costs according to the
man behind Norfolk's newest zoo.
Ken Sims, who developed Amazona Zoo in Cromer, said visitor figures
for the attraction's first year had been "disappointing".
Mr Sims said: "Fuel prices and food prices were high, the
meteorological office said it had been the gloomiest August since
1963 - these things don't help - so, in common with many other
attractions, visitation was low."
The zoo, which officially opened in June and houses about 170 South
American animals including piranhas, boa constrictors and an ocelot,
saw 15,000 visitors through its gates in August. Mr Sims

Congo rebels on offensive, seize gorilla park HQ
Congolese rebels launched a new offensive on Sunday, defying the U.N.
Security Council and for the first time seizing the headquarters of a
park that is home to many of the world's last mountain gorillas,
officials said.
The U.N. Security Council condemned Congolese Tutsi rebel leader
Laurent Nkunda last week for calling for a national rebellion, and
urged all armed groups in the huge country's violent eastern
provinces to lay down

Chiang Mai Zoo's aquarium closed to fix water purifying system
The Chiang Mai Zoo's high-profile new aquarium has closed
temporarily due to malfunctions of both its water purification
systems and ticket machines, following Sunday's gala opening
ceremony, according to the facility's director.
The aquarium, the new highlight of the Chiang Mai Zoo, will be closed
about two weeks because the water purifier inside the exhibition
area's walk-through tunnel, displaying freshwater animals
malfunctioned, zoo director Tanapat Pongamorn said on Monday.
Sand was leaking into the tunnel's water supply and purifying system,
causing the water to be too murky to see
the aquatic animals on display.
The closure disappointed numbers tourists who visited the aquarium on
Monday, whose expectations had been raised by the facility's
extensive public relations campaign.
However, the zoo plans to reopen the new exhibition

Zoo tries to fish out polar bear with crane
'Treats' offered to lure Zero into crate
Zoo hopes to lure Zero into crate
Zero's Big Moat Adventure might be about to end at the Milwaukee
County Zoo.
Senior animal staff lowered a large crate into the polar bear's moat
via a crane Monday morning. A plastic milk storage crate full of his
favorite treats - apples with peanut butter and herring - is inside
the larger crate.
"The hope is he'll go in there after the treats, and the crate will
close behind him when his whole body is in the crate," zoo
spokeswoman Jenny Diliberti said. "Then we will wait until the zoo
closes, and the crane operator will come back, and Zero and the crate
will be hoisted up into his yard."
The 1,100-pound polar bear fell into the moat Oct. 13 but

Discovery Initiatives announces new gorilla and chimpanzee
conservation and action tour
Discovery Initiatives is pleased to announce a tour of rural Rwanda
and Uganda, giving the opportunity to see gorillas and chimpanzees in
the wild:
servation+in+Action+Tour.aspx Working closely with the Director of
the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Karisoke Reseach Centre, this tour was
established in 1999 and designed specifically to allow our clients
the unique opportunity to gain a real insight into the conservation
process in the region, under the watchful eye

Calgary Zoo elephant calf diagnosed with life-threatening disease
According to officials at the Calgary Zoo, one of the youngest
animals in the zoo family has been diagnosed with a potentially fatal
Baby elephant Malti was diagnosed with elephant herpesvirus today,
and veterinarians and zoo keepers have dedicated around-the-clock
medical care to the young calf.
"There's no doubt that

Cheetahs on a plane: 1 gets loose in cargo hold
A Delta baggage worker got a bit of a fright before Halloween when
she opened a jetliner's cargo door and found a cheetah running loose
amid the luggage. Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton said Friday that two
cheetahs were being flown in the cargo area of a passenger flight
from Portland, Ore. to Atlanta a day earlier when one escaped from
its cage.
Talton said the airline summoned help from an Atlanta zoo. Experts
rushed to a closed airport hangar and tranquilized both animals and
took them back to the zoo.
Talton said the airline is now working

Terror of boy after finding cheetah in back garden
A TERRIFIED nine-year-old came face-to-face with an escaped cheetah -
in his own back garden.
Toby Taylor was playing on his bike when the big cat - the fastest
land animal - emerged from bushes just 15ft away and walked towards
He jumped off the cycle and ran 40ft into his house while the
creature pounced on his bike, ripping the seat and tyres to shreds.
Toby and mum Jules, 41, cowered inside for 20 minutes before
zookeepers arrived to capture it.
They believe the cheetah, called Akea, escaped through faulty
electric fencing and was prowling the area looking for food.
They said Toby had not

Outrage over Adelaide Zoo bashing of blind flamingo
THE bashing of a blind flamingo at Adelaide Zoo has sparked statewide
outrage and prompted calls to review laws preventing underage
offenders from being named.
AdelaideNow readers have vented their fury over Wednesday's senseless
attack on the 78-year-old flamingo – one of the zoo's main
attractions since the 1930s.
Police arrested and charged four teenagers, including two aged 17,
but their identities will not be revealed under laws that prevent
alleged offenders being named if they are under 18.
Family First SA leader Dennis Hood said it was time to review laws
shielding the identity of teenagers,27574,24574238-2682,00.html

First tuatara nest found in 200 years
The first confirmed tuatara nest in over 200 years on mainland New
Zealand has been discovered at the Karori Sanctuary in Wellington.
Sanctuary staff uncovered the four ping-pong-ball-sized leathery
white eggs yesterday during routine maintenance work near the
sanctuary's mammal-proof fence.
Raewyn Empson said that about this time last year staff had found a
gravid (egg-carrying) female.
The eggs would have been laid almost exactly a year ago in a shallow
trench dug by the female and then backfilled.
"We knew of two suspected nests but didn't want to disturb them to
confirm whether or not they contained eggs."
The nest had been uncovered by accident and was the first concrete
proof that the sanctuary's tuatara were breeding.
Ms Empson suggested

White Rhino Conceived From Frozen Sperm
For the first time in conservation history, a baby rhino male has
been conceived from artificial insemination using frozen sperm. The
insemination took place in June 2007 by a team of researchers at the
Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin,
Germany, and the rhino was born at 4:57am on October 22nd in Budapest
Zoo, Hungary.
The frozen sperm originated from a rhino bull in the UK, 38-year-old
Simba, and was placed in rhino cow Lulu after several unsuccessful
mating attempts by a younger pair in Colchester Zoo. This
insemination is not only an achievement in that the father's semen
was still fertile and viable despite his being no longer young, but
the fact that the semen used was cryopreserved for three years in
liquid nitrogen at ‑196°C. Dr Robert Hermes, an IZW scientist
who helped perform the insemination said the birth is "an important
success for species conservation and preservation of biodiversity."
IZW scientists extracted and froze Simba's sperm cells with a new
deep-freezing technology adapted for wildlife sperm, while
specialists from Berlin carried out a non-surgical insemination

Holidaymaker's terror at zoo vulture attack
She had no doubt taken precautions against sunburn and been warned
about timeshare touts. But nothing could have prepared Mary Corcoran
for the attack by a vulture on her Tenerife holiday.
The 56-year-old from Ipswich told yesterday of how she feared she was
going to be eaten alive when the metre-long griffon vulture pinned
her to the ground while she was watching a birds of prey show on the
She was taken to hospital after the vulture swooped down and attacked
her and her friend Teresa Largent at Tenerife's Jungle Park zoo.
The vulture, which has a wingspan of 2.5 metres (8ft), was eventually
punched to the ground by its keeper. The attack was unusual because
vultures normally only feast on dead animals.
The attack happened on Sunday as the women's week-long holiday was
coming to an end. They were watching

Lion-Tiger Critically Injures Oklahoma Zoo Worker
A worker at an Oklahoma zoo was seriously injured after a liger, a
cross between a lion and a tiger, attacked him Wednesday while
feeding the animal.
Peter Getz of Safari's Interactive Animal Sanctuary in Broken Arrow
was taken to the St. John Medical Center in Tulsa and remains in
critical condition for injuries in the neck and chest, according to
Zoo officials have no comment but a recorded message from its
telephone answering machine said

Volunteer dies from mauling at Safari's Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary
Owner considered giving sanctuary to `gentle giant'
Peter Getz had no relatives in Oklahoma, but the owner and operator
of Safari's Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary thought of him as her brother.
Lori Ensign even considered giving the sanctuary to Getz to reward
him for all his work.
Getz, 32, died Thursday night at a Tulsa hospital. A lion-tiger
hybrid cat called a liger gashed Getz on Wednesday while he was
feeding the animal at the sanctuary.
"We wanted him to be the legacy to take over here. He was the perfect
gentleman, the perfect man. He was a gentle giant," Ensign said. "I
would trust him with my life."
"For some reason, the gate door was opened, which never happens,"
Ensign said. "There were two other people there when it happened. We
don't really know what exactly happened. It was just a routine
Ensign said Getz had gone inside the fenced area instead of feeding
the animal through the fence.
Getz, who worked previously at the Tulsa Zoo, volunteered and


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